Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Spider Bite?

So yesterday wiped me out, but last night was horrible. I woke up around three, every joint burning and sore and near impossible to move. It felt like hot bolts in my knees and toes and I could not close my hands. WTF? I had one red itchy bump on my left inner arm, like a hive. I managed to go back to sleep. This morning the bump is almost gone and the joints hurt, but not a third as intensely. I feel like crappola. Everything hurts and my head feels stuffed full of wet cotton. The only other time I have felt like this was a couple years a go when I got a spider bite on the back of my knee. Not sure if that's what this is, and the red bump didn't look bite-ish, but I can't think of any explanation which fits. Eating nightshades has a similar effect, but they are differences in the type and quality of joint pain.

Today will be low key. I have no choice, I can't move.

And the cat threw up; I went to get paper towels. Came back, no puke. Huh? Dang dog ate it, YUCK! YUCK! YUCK!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Health? What's that?

Dad had a couple cancerous spots taken off his upper lip, not a big deal, he has this done often. Too much sun on the flight deck and nowhere near enough sunblock for decades. Anyway, the one spot is gone, as usual, but the second spot still has cancer cells. He couldn't remember exactly what kind ... he says not basal or squamous, but it isn't melanoma, so it has to be one of the others. I asked him to ask his doctor for sure, but he won't. That's his idea of not worrying me. A specialist from Logan is coming down to do microscopic removal, it may be cancer but it is still in the treatable stages. He's in his 80s, he doesn't want to fool around with treatment if it gets bad. Hard to take, but I can understand him. Lots of backstory here I can't describe in words.

My brother is on medical hold from his job. He fell, did a real face plant, was taken to the ER for stitches, had nasty black eyes. The fall had nothing to do with his myeloma; but they put him on hold anyway. He went in for training, that's paid, and they lent him a company car to go to Salt Lake to see their union doctor. That's paid too. He'll miss shifts until the doctor releases him to work or not. He wants to work, they need not only the pay, but the insurance. UTA must not fire him because he is having expensive treatments. That's lawsuit territory and you bet he would. He's taking it slow, working as long as he can. He isn't sick yet, well, maybe a little tired some days, but he feels alright. He looks a lot better since I got him started on milk thistle. If they do let him go for medical reasons, he'll go on disability, but his insurance will run out too soon. IHC will still treat him, they do charity work, but it will be rough. His Dang Wife needs to get a Dang Job that is something other than $7 an hour three hours a school day tutoring. If she doesn't pick up the slack, because his adult kids sure as hell can't fend for themselves much less the family, she is going to lose the house. No doubt. And I won't give her a penny past what's coming from dad once my brother is gone. I know she's going to want to sink a lot of money fixing up dad's house, but it isn't worth it in this market, not at all. A good thing I am sole executor. My brothers are cool, as is Sue, but Silly SIL is a real piece of work.

Example, Larry worked his butt off yesterday, all day clearing the garage and patio, moving things in to the shed, prepping my garden, running errands, well, it was a ton of stuff to do and only half finished. She calls around suppertime as we're closing up. She wants him to bring the trailer to move an entertainment center from her sister's house to hers. I told her he was busy, but she kept whining and waffling and not hearing "no, he's tired, maybe next week." So I sent Genius along. I warned him that he had to go because she always has one more thing and Larry wont' say no. Sure enough, the entertainment center was not the only piece, there was a computer desk too. Oh, it will only take a moment to unhook the computer and move all that stuff. Yeah, right. They moved the damn desk. It was after ten when they got back, Genius was amused and said I was right. I was steamed, but it does no good, I do want to help my brother, and he knows his wife drives me bat-shit crazy. She talks big on communication, but when you really talk to her, she ignores that which she does not care to hear or deal with. ARGH!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Sneaking off to post a few pics, then slinking away ... so much RL, so little time. Much errands, although one must be annoyingly repeated as the Layton Hills Mall was completely powered down ... lost power and the emergency genny caught fire. Much lunch at Texas Roadhouse, turns out the giftcard given to mylarry was for $50, nice! Much nap for me, much yardwork for larry and desi. Much clearing off of patio. Much fire in our little fireplace, much munching of hotdogs and mushmellows, much watching TV turning into sleep. genius and desi stayed over, they're down in the basement guest room. Nice to have a crash spot so friends won't drink and drive.
Much more RL today.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Annoyed as Heck, but I got over myself.

Okay, I put in my art grant application to bring the Home for Wayward Art to Element 11, the Utah regional Burn. I got a nice reply back, and a query: couldn't we camp separate from the art project? They'd like it in Center Camp. Uh, no, it doesn't work that way. The Home needs a lot of curating and oversight or it gets empty, gets cluttered, gets MOOPy. It is a process, not a finished product; it is dynamic, not static. If our new organizers/event planners had been to the last two or three burns, they'd know that. I refuse to camp apart from my art; I relish the interactivity of people stepping around to the shade structure to talk art. Screw Center Camp, I might drift by the one at the big burn once during the event, so I am completely unattached to the idea. I don't want to look after the Home if I have to schlepp across the stupid salt marsh. It goes where I go. That's the vision. If they want something else, ask someone else. I am so irritated that selling my tickets and concentrating on Dark Skies is beginning to feel good.

Meh, if they won't place us, it will go up wherever we choose to camp.

P.S. already settled it, they sent the map, we have gotten over the bump in the learning curve for both of us. Ah, the joys of communication. Actually, I really love these people when I'm not all bitchy and irritated with life. Sigh, perimenopause, U R makin mai lief sucking!

Pictures: The Home for Wayward Art: Utah regional version 2007, 2006, Burning Man 2005, 2006, 2007.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Got to Get Back to the Garden

Yesterday Larry finished shingling the Love Shack. Windy as all get out and he worked all day, he was putting finishing touches on at twilight. He was frustrated trying to lay roofing felt while it was so windy, and he'd forgotten that while I am not afraid of heights, I am afraid of ladders. Terrified. He yelled at me, which is so rare as to be remarkable. There, I remarked. The roof is done, he wants to do some interior work, caulking, reinforcing the floor, a peg board. The exterior will need a good coat of paint or two; I'm thinking dark mossy or spruce green so the shed "fades" into the yards.

I worked on the garden and got seeds into the ground; lettuce, celery, carrots, broccoli, dill and yet another variety of basil. I still have several types of squash and two types of beans to plant. In the herb bed, I added cinnamon basil and Greek oregano from pots and sage from seed. More basil too. There's parsley and lime thyme and a ton of lemon balm up from last year. Desi cleared it for me a few days ago. I put some flower seeds in the containers under the scrub oak, and the long containers will go on the south side of the shed after it is painted.

In the front section of my veggie garden the rhubarb, chives, and strawberries are up, plus the black hollyhocks and the red poppies. I still need to weed some more, the grass gets in around the flowers and strawberries and must be taken out by the roots one piece at a time. Tedious and painful on the back and hips and hands. Arthritis is not our friend. I did some yesterday and broke out in a terrible rash. I tried weeding again today and the rash came right back. I hate taking benadryl, but sometimes it helps. I still have to get the grass out, so I hope I clear up soon.

This afternoon there were three quail in the backyard. Enchanting. I hope the neighbor cats don't eat them. And a blue jay drinking out of my dirty bird bath, which was frozen solid Friday morning!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Love Shack, II

Larry has a few hours before he has to pick up raw steel and run it up to Pokie (Pocatello, ID) and run a different set of raw steel back down to West Jordan tomorrow morning. He decided to put up the top sections of the end walls and try to get the roof panels on. The shed had a blue tarp for a little while, and he'll put that back on until he gets to shingle. It is dull and overcast outside, rained and snowed and hailed yesterday. The water in the birdbath was frozen solid this morning. Brrrr!

Pictures: The dead arbors between the garden and the shed. The wisteria vine look okay, it is leaning on what's left of it's arbor; the logs on the ground are the old rose arbor from in the corner where the shed is now. The climbing rose was in the neighbor's yard, it finally aged and died. Shed with just a tarp over the roof beams, securing the tarp. Screwing around! The shed with the end pieces up, but not the outer finish trim which supports the roof panels.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Love Shack

Hell, I don't know what else to name the little house which is being dropped in my backyard. I was against the whole idea, but I am starting to warm up to it. Larry insisted it would only take a day; but no, especially since the instructions suck ditch water and he and Desi had to reposition the walls a couple times. He's out there this morning, putting up the rafters so he can tarp it; there's rain forecast for Tuesday or Wednesday. I told him it was a two or three day endevour, but he didn't believe me! I'm usually right.

The pictures: Building a foundation; the rail ties were free from when he worked for Armadillo shuttling rail crews. Ogden City requires a permit if we put in a concrete or gravel pad. Wouldn't be surprised if we weren't breaking half a dozen city ordinances, Ogden is weird. The shed, some assembly required. Building the floor. Good neighbors helping to move the floor from the driveway to the yard. Not as easy as it sounds, there's a fence and overheard lines to deal with, it had to be moved flat. First wall up, in the wrong place. You hold, I'll nail. Some of the nailing had to be done from the neighbor's yard. Fortunately Annabelle the Big Dog was friendly. Fourth wall on! That leaves the rafters, the eaves, the roof, and the loft. And moving the compost heap back a few feet and shingles and paint and THEN I get to do flowerboxes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Haunted Honeymoon Suite, Done! Kinda.

Okay, this room is as finished as it is going to be for now. I have tiny books, real printed books, like Poe, on the way. Those will be "tossed" on the chaise lounge. I need, and do not have, half scale luggage or a trunk and traincase, a bouquet, a rug, a screaming bride and an empty tuxedo. Maybe some wedding flowers, like a wreath or swags with white ribbons. These will come along as I find them, or find patterns or kits to make them. Patience, patience.

The pictures: Yay! The washstand is finished! Have you ever tried marbling that small? Or gluing on tiny knobs? Yes, the drawers open. The pitcher is a creamer from a doll's tea set, the hand mirror is laser-cut and came from my big dollhouse. The Suite. Yes, the lamp and the vase on the side table are leaning over, I just don't want to reach in and fix it right now. The Rembrandt copy, not my best work, but I love the laser-cut frame, wish I could find more frames like that! The BnB, side three view.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spring already, dagnabbit!

Rain and snow and hail, all mixed up outside. I have the remnants of the cold settled into my sinuses, and so a nasty headache has taken hold today. I took all the medicines the doctor has given me, drank hot tea and hot cider, took the hot bath, used the hot compress, took naps. Argh. I hate it when my teeth ache from above, and the back of my skull feels like it is trying to do a continental shift.

MyLarry went to Pokie yesterday, and then Vegas, he should be home by midnight. He was off on Monday, we went on errands after Desi got off work. He wanted a garden shed, and showed me the nice little one in the flyer. We get to the Big Box Store and the little metal shed is indeed a piece O' keerap. I was miserable by then, it was cold and raining, I wanted to go home. He did indeed, buy a garden shed, then whined because it was too late and too dark and too wet to get it put up. Twelve months, same as cash, I can manage it, but that was NOT in the budget. Nope, he got one that is four times as much as the one he originally picked out. Plus paint and shingles and a driplip or some such nonsense. At least it came with a floor kit. He did ask about a military discount, and lo and behold! Got 10% off. Lowe's does give a MD, but only if you ask for it. Good to know. And so does Michael's Crafts, BTW. It maybe his money, he earns it and he works hard, but it is MY budget. That's the deal.

His peace offering to me: I get to paint the shed any way I like once he has the base coat on. Desi and I are planning a panel with the Man, and a big Trash Fence mural.

I should garden this year; the price of lettuce is getting stupid. I have a garden; I have just neglected it since I got sick back in 2004. That's one long depression; minor, but there it is.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Long Trips and Hot Nights

Ah, I still have the wretched cold, settled into my lungs and sinuses. Still, I managed a dance to Fat Bottomed Girls on the bar at Coyote Ugly Friday night, and fire safety training on Sunday evening.

I rode down with Larry to Vegas, we got in quite late. This is the first time I'd been to the SME plant to pick up steel. He was carrying "FAK" or freight all kinds, dunnage and welders and general crap which needed returned from the construction site in LV to the main plant in Utah. Then we pulled over the the steel staging area. The day was windy and overcast, there few shadows were indistinct smudges. There is a hay field next to the steel, no signs of life at the south end, just tattered plastic bags stuck in the fence and piss jugs truckers had tossed. I had visions of the empty industrial landscapes from Stephen King's novel, The Stand. The piles of steel are the bones of new casinos and hotels, waiting silently under their veneer of dust and rust, marked with cryptic numbers in chalk and paint like arcane hieroglyphics; construction tape fluttering in bright ribbons of pink and green and white and yellow to mark family reunions of metal. So much metal, flanges in newly welded grey, browned beams which have had time in the weather, and rust primer red; curved beams looking for all the world like a rack of Flintstone ribs. Each pile is actually carefully built into a load which will be safe for transport. Lying in their cradles of discarded beams, the steel slumbers before the trundling forklifts beep their way to lift their offerings onto the trailers of the semis. I found it disturbing, watching the workers and my husband standing inches under the tons of steel hoisted on the forks while adjusting the wood which lifts and separates the beams. Dunnage ... the brassiere of interstate trucking.

MyLarry then chained the load, reaching a gloved hand up and hauling himself onto the pile of steel. He tosses those chains as though they were ropes, I know each weighs in at 50 pounds. No wonder he has outgrown the shoulders of his shirts. And I know why they call him the Monkey Man, he just climbs up as though the steel were there for his amusement. Sometimes I think that's true.

The ride down and back was unremarkable, in fact, I was pretty miserable for some of it. Coyote Ugly was crowded, but I love Vegas people watching. Had entirely inappropriate conversation with the site foreman once more. Still think he's hitting on me, which is confusing for a fat old married lady. The Sunday ride through the desert was awesome, the mesquite and joshua trees are all green and perky, there are carpets of red and yellow flowers lining the interstate. even some of the cactus is in bloom vivid purple; at one point there were lavender flowers edged with white blossoms of some kind coated the dirt banks along the road. Virgin River Gorge is as spectacular as ever.

Sunday night was a fire safety training. This is information and skills that both MyLarry and I are familiar with, from our Navy days, plus we've been doing it for a couple years now with the Utah burners. Basically, knowing the different fuels, transport and storage, how they burn one fire toys, how to snuff a toy, how to rescue a performer who has caught themselves on fire. Fun stuff. For true breath-taking amazement, have a gander at the amazing people we are honored to work with on their demo video:

I may have been sick, but I wouldn't have missed any of it by choice!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Step Away from the Kitchen

So I'm feeling another notch better and decided to get some baking done. Had some wheat-sesame crunchy things, but they're bland. I got the brilliant idea to mix them up granola style with nuts and banana chips and cocoanut, and bake a sweet crusty glaze on them. Used regular foil instead of no-stick, forgot to spray the foil with cooking oil. Big sticky mess, although most of it is edible; I hope no one minds mining for foil with their fillings.

I left the oven on because MyLarry's cookies were next. Wandered off, got distracted, left my gas oven going for an hour. Sigh. Then the cookies ... somehow I got the sugar-liquids-flour mix off. Instead of nice chewy cookies which hold their shape; I got flat crumbly discs. I am not pleased. And they don't taste as good as usual. Too much sugar, dough too wet, too little white flour and too much whole wheat. I haven't botched cookies in ages. They are edible, but not my best effort.

So now I have a range to clean, a floor to sweep and mop, a counter, cutting boards, cookie sheets, cooling racks and more to scrub. Screw that. I decided bread was a Bad Idea today.

No work on the dollhouse, still hacking and my eyes are funky. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll stain and paint and upholster ya tomorrow. Spent entirely too much time online, on Skiffy and DeviantArt and eplaya. Bad Maggie!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Sproing, at last.

As promised, photos from the Spring Sproing Burn, courtesy Ranger Genius.

Pictures: MyLarry and Ranger Borderline, Me and my Breast Cancer Head in a Basket, Chuck of Arabia prepares my flaming basket for flinging, fully engulfed, FLING! The crossbow is ready, The Pentagon in flames, Moonrise over the bonfire.

Still sick, less dripping, more hacking. Hair is much improved.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Blech, squared

I'm so sick my hair hurts.