Friday, February 25, 2011

Snowing AGAIN, finally!

It's been three weeks and two days. I know this because it's been three weeks since I had surgery. I spent time on the HysterSisters board again and LORD I am lucky.  I don't hurt when I sit up or lie down -- the static state, not the motion of doing so.  I don't have family that resent my idling.  I am healing well and nothing is oozing.

Right, enough about that. Let's do chronological:

I posted Dramatis Personae last Saturday. The day before (14 days after surgery), I had Jessica to visit, a library-type who worked at the end of the hall where I last worked. She is now working for a for-profit and has a two year-old daughter named Charlotte. She was wonderful (Jessica was more than okay herself and brought me food). I haven't laughed so much in years. The kittens were fascinated by a pint-sized human and followed her around for an hour. She has cats at home and played with them very well. She also took their featherstick and rode it like a stick-horse, tried to play with the axe (her mother is just unreasonable), spent a long time sorting a pile of rhyolite pebbles, drew and wrote on pieces of paper, left the airlock in the wine alone when I asked her to, and was delightful. She also asked me to hold her. Kid has me in her pocket.

At one point Charlotte was wandering diaperless. Her mom was worried I would be mad if C peed on the floor. I told her it was okay if Charlotte did, but not if Jessica did. Jessica said that was a relief; some people try to hold Charlotte to the same behavioral standards as they do Jessica. Most unkind. Jessica is a LOUSY 2-year-old, but she does very well for a 30-something.

Meanwhile Jessica and I dyed stuff, made more interesting in that it's been awhile and I couldn't remember how.  I knew we needed a roasting pan, but why? (I have remembered.) Jessica said "OH! What PRETTY colors!" and then apologized, I think for not being serious enough. Since that sort of comment is pretty much what makes up my internal dialogue, I told her that was the right kind of response.  We both made cold-poured yarns that look like bruises, but were very pleased with some of our fleece (Mason jars in the microwave). I have to work on learning to mix earth colors.

Charlotte carefully unpacked everything in the kindling bucket: she found something to do that was safe, quiet, absorbing, time-consuming, and required no supervision. True, there was stuff on the floor. Her mother suggested she could put it back into the bucket. Charlotte dismissed this as fast as I would and went back to play with the toolstone. I offered to teach her to make and use a scraper but we had no caribou. I have not managed to tidy up the dyeing paraphernalia (of which there is enough that it needs an even longer word than paraphernalia); my kitchen is trashed. I crashed, giggling.

My two-week post-op appointment was the following Monday and the first time I drove.  It was a t four, so I thought about it all and went to Joann's first. All I wanted was a piece of turquoise felt. They had that and a few other things....

So then I went and sat in the bead shop, where they welcomed me with open arms and were delighted how well I looked, and I began to bead a new strap for my iPod (Willow bit through my old oe; it is a very seductively tender silicon and I can't blame her). Then I packed myself up and went for my doctor's appointment. I appear to be doing just fine.  Dr. Morgan asked for my e-mail address and forwarded the email she had from the pathologist of my extracted, bisected uterus in all its butchershop glory.  I went home and crashed.

(If you are like me and find anatomy fascinating, you can see the pathologist's picture of my uterus and fibroids (which are amazing) here . The password is 'uterus' so I wouldn't squick out innocent passersby.)

I still get really tired. On Wednesday I went to archaeology lab and stood up in the wrong shoes for about an hour I sat and did some computer tidying.  I was completely wiped out, ached ALL over, and my right knee has been more painful than my incision has ever been. So I took half a Vicodin. Mostly, though, my drugs are only Ibuprofen, which is always my friend.

So largely, I am animate every third day, inanimate the day after, and potter around on the third. Tomorrow is the last issue of Bee School. I have a deposit on a nucleus from Vermont, but I can't pick it up until the first week of May. We have a lot to do before that (electric fenced-enclosure) and I cannot even pretend that I won't fob all the work off onto Doug. I am afraid I am going to be mostly useless this year as far as archaeology is concerned. I do not like it. But I bend in the middle better than I did and while I am still on the overweight end of the scale, I look better. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dramatis personae

I should do this by age or something. Probably end up with proximity.

Human persons:

Doug: the dauntless housemate. He's ten years older than I am. We met in 1999, when I took up with
SCRAP, and dated for a couple of years. After I moved to NH in 2004, I lived with Sarah for a year; she moved to Canterbury and after some negotiation, Doug moved into the Kitchenette and the two bedrooms at the back of the house. He moved out for the year or so of 2007, and back just as Paul moved out. We get along very well, particularly now that we are not boyfiend and girlfiend.  He plows the driveway, worries about the woodpile,  tries to get me to exercise and eat wholesome meals and, unlike me, does floors.  We share custody of Mal and Wash. Doug is going to marry Barb next month.

Barb is a visiting nurse who lives in Connecticut with her brother and her adult daughter Becky and four black cats. Barb is not rural. She and Doug are not planning to live together until one of them retires. 

Sarah is about 23 years younger than I am. She is frequently mistaken for either my daughter or my
partner (everyone has been very supportive about it and it would save a lot of trouble, but neither of us swings that way). We met when I first worked with SCRAP and she was a lab supervisor. Since then she has gone into a more remunerative field in the region of non-profits.   She is a teacher of environmental education in Laconia, and greener than most people I know. I helped ruin her life by getting her into the twilit world of spinning and dyeing. She lived here for about a year when I moved in in 2004 from Melrose, MA.She has two cats, one of whom is Special Needs. If you would like to adopt Twilly, please let me know.

Deb Duranceau, Deb D is another friend from SCRAP, about Doug's age, who lives to the south. Sarah and I are trying to remake her in our own images and she has taken up knitting more seriously recently. Deb also volunteered to become my Bee Partner, because Doug is often not around and I need encouragement.

Deb is the one on the right.

 Dick Boisvert is the NH state archaeologist. He runs SCRAP. Dick is married to Deb Boisvert, whom we don't see enough of, but whose presence unseen or not has a lot to do with SCRAP's activities. Sometimes she participates and sometimes she affects Dick's plans, for, he tells us, he has no desire to find out what a divorce lawyer's office looks like.

I have two living parents in Boston, my mother and my father;
Clockwise: my dad, my mom, Ellie, Jenny, me and Asterix, Sam a few years ago

a son Sam (working at the Apple Store two blocks from my parents' apartment, engaged to Kimberly. They have two kittens); a daughter Eleanor (in grad school for Classics in New Jersey), and also in Boston, an ex named Jenny. She used to be named David. Things change. Jenny is English. My father is Texan. My mother is urban, from Chicago.
Sam and Kimberly, Jenny, my mom and dad, Ellie, her boyfriend Matt, and me

I used to have a contractor named Paul, who rebuilt The Loom Room and the Kitchen and lived here in theory for part of a year (2009). He moved out but left behind his daughter Katie, a high-school graduate who lived in the other upstairs bedroom for a year, until last September (2010).

Non-Human Persons or Characters:

Marten is a large neutered male tabby cat who has lived here since I brought him from the shelter in
2005 or so. I think he's about six and a half. He goes for walks with us down the driveway, but he doesn't like going into the forest. Marten arrived while Asterix and Obelix were still with us. They were great cats who lived to be 19 and 17, respectively. I still miss them, and Mena who was only 9 (kidney failure). Doug had a tabby named Digger who died about the same time; he blames tainted catfood. Then we acquired
Willow. She is a small tabby cat who really distrusts other cats. Sarah found her living in Canterbury Shaker Village. She loathes Marten and the other kitty we had for a while, Toby. Toby took to living under the porch until I took him off to live with Ellie in NJ.  Marten was fond of Toby but being attacked by Willow made him sour, and he and Willow both hated Nigel, who was a lovely un-altered male who lived here for a few months in 2009-10. I hope Nigel found a new family rather than a coyote's belly. He disappeared during the 2010 SCRAP field school, who were camping in the front yard. After we had mourned his loss for a few months, Sarah told me about two kittens who needed a home,
Mal and Wash. They have forged a friendship with Marten and a detente with Willow.


An archaeological unit

SCRAP, the State Conservation and Rescue Archaeology Program that is responsible for running archaeology field schools every summer in NH. Which was the main reason I moved to NH.  One does not get paid working with SCRAP, generally, but a bunch of us have been doing so anyway for a long time. As well as the four- to six-week field school Dick runs, there are sometimes others run by historical archaeologists along the same lines. You can get college credit for taking them, or sometimes poison ivy, or just hungover. It is a way of life. I love it.  Sometimes we make road trips to dig with Dick's colleagues in Quebec or Texas. In the winter, on Wednesdays, we sort and catalogue artifacts, if were lucky enough to find any in the summer or the long weekend of Octoberfest.

The House: a large, 'contemporary' (a year older than Sarah) with eleven acres of glacial till, uphill in almost all directions, both ways, outside of Henniker, NH. One of my criteria for a house when I was looking for it was that I should be able to put a car  up on blocks if I wanted to. I don't, but I could. I never have to rake leaves again.
The ground floor is largely open-plan, with a living/dining area (dark, because the previous owner put a glassed-in front porch onto the front of the house).
Off to the right, or the north, there is The Loom Room originally built by the previous owner around a concrete slab.  Paul had to rebuild it onto the slab with dry foundations, and the loft in the room because the support beam had been sawn halfway through to make niches for the two-by-fours of the loft floor (It bowed more than somewhat). I sold Doug the floor loom, but I have two or three frame looms and really a lot of wool. It's a sewing, beading, whatever crafting area, and also the spare room with a double folding futon.
There are two bedrooms upstairs (one of them mine), and maybe three, or two and a study, downstairs. The small bathroom used to open directly onto the dining area; now it's a dogleg away through the kitchen
The one+study make up most of Doug's suite, along with  
The Kitchenette.  The previous owner made the Kitchenette out of a small, attached garage in order to offer his aging father a home. My mother claims the idea of living there is what killed him before he took residence. There's a three-quarter bathroom. One way and another, the Kitchenette is the sunniest, warmest room on the ground floor, and an incomparable view of the proximal portion of the driveway (the paved part).
My Bedroom is the sunniest, warmest room on the second floor.  This makes it hard to get out of bed. It has a deck with a couple of bird feeders.  I wish the bathroom were not ensuite, and opened onto the hall, because it's icky for anyone in the other bedroom to use it (to say nothing of what I think of people having to come into my bedroom in the middle of the night). The original owner (I believe still in the federal pen for drugs and suborning federal agents as well as local cops) was a lousy designer.

Several years before I bought the house from its second owner  the four-car garage burned down, so I have a big concrete pad which uses most of the flat place they made when they built the house. There is a compost heap and some garden beds around the edges of the pad. I bought in some decent soil last year, making a huge difference in garden yield.   
The Driveway actually runs downhill to the road, but the downhill is much less noticeable than the uphill on the way back. It's about a quarter-mile long and unpaved. The gravel washes out. The drive in places lies directly on the bedrock.

It's pretty in the autumn

So that's something to be getting on with.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I cannot think of a clever title.

I may have used up my bloggish clever for the day, since I have just launched another  blog to talk about beekeeping (Beeing Human) and allowed out of the closet the one where I started putting links to things that make me think of Stephen Colbert's children's book (about 1:25 into the clip). It's called Dystopic Fun and I don't have to behave very well there.

Also I am pretty sure Blogger is trying to gaslight me by changing the template every time I come to it, but I'm fine.

I really have cut down on the opium.

After I persuaded the little man and his boat to leave the kitchen, I tidied the rest of the place up a bit, so I was ready to go to sleep when my parents arrived and got stuck in the driveway.

My father has the racking cough so popular in Boston today, and both my parents were wearing city-person shoes (not the Manolos, thank God). My father, who is only 83, wanted to go dig the car out. Since they were visiting me in theory because I am laid up, I could not go and shovel it out myself. Fortunately Doug and his fiancee came and got stuck just ahead of my parents' car, and then Dick the archaeologist and his wife Deb (not the same Deb as the one I have been exploiting for healthcare and Bee School)(that one is Deb Duranceau, Deb D).  Doug and Dick dug out the cars, and then Deb and Dick made dinner. They and my parents have met before, but it's had to get them in the same room, so I had pulled my weight as a poor convalescent to bring them together at the same time. It was fun.  Deb had made a lamb dish with coriander and chickpeas and I am still enjoying the delicious leftovers.

They all left around eight, and I was too tired to go to bed.

Since then I have been more careful (or less busy) to have naps.

Monday here  was in the fifties Fahrenheit, which means LOVELY. I think that was the day we had this year's 'January thaw,'  a period of usually four or even five days above freezing the last week or so of January, during which the snow consolidates.  One day was very nice, and not enough. I walked down and up the driveway (I did not get stuck or fall!). Mal and Marten came with me. It is fun to watch a dignified quadruped slide.  Mal (former kitten, now maybe 6 months old? maybe 5?)was very curious about the nice weather and came almost all the way down to the mailbox. Marten  (probably about 5 years old, also a cat) followed slowly after us. At first, while zooming down and up around me, Mal did not recognize him. When he saw Marten, about twenty feet away, he made a huge M-cat (huge for him. Mal is still about half Marten's size). Marten did a very lazy M-ish cat in response. Mal danced, ferocious yet cautious, in Marten's direction. When he was about four inches away he apparently got Marten's scent. He relaxed completely and greeted Marten with a friendly side-brush and rushed off again.  We walked back up the hill and I lay down in a sunbeam in a dry place on the porch for a few minutes. I think I saw two bugs. Chickadees made 'Hey, baby' remarks.  Spring is coming.

The next day was cold again, and so was yesterday. Not sure about today yet.  On Tuesday I drew my act closer together and fetched the dyeing materials: the needle-felting workshops of Conbust are the week after Doug's wedding, which is only 30 days from now.  So I recalled what dyeing facility I had, and put fleece into jars and into the microwave.  It's fun. On Wednesday I did more, and only got a little on one thumb pink (dye acts very differently when it is exhausted than when it is not), and took a nap.
Around three, Deb picked me up and took me to lab, and Sarah came and took me to the Elegant Ewe (only needles)(honest), and to dinner and the supermarket (at last! Raisins for the oatmeal!) and Doug brought me home.

Well, we were tired, Doug and I both. I read a book for a bit. We wondered if we were hearing a mouse in the walls. The cats ignored it, told us to sit back down and pat them.  I staggered upstairs, Doug staggered into his room. I turned off the hall light. A monster made crashing noises.

A monster made crashing, gnawing noises.

It was coming from the hatch in the linen closet upstairs.

See, on Saturday, Doug had put hardware cloth over the damaged gable-end vent in the roof. By Wednesday, the monster wanted out.

Doug said sadly that he did not want to get dressed and go out on the roof with the ladder in the snow and detach the hardware cloth.

We turned off the lights, we turned on the lights, Doug came upstairs, Doug went downstairs, the monster made crashing noises, I went downstairs, Doug went upstairs and brought the kittens, who wanted to see the monster (even the older cats were quite interested) downstairs into the kitchenette.

The monster almost opened the hatch.   I suggested we open the hatch and let whatever it was out. The raccoons know their way around the house quite well. Doug pointed out that squirrels were not so reliable (I could see him thinking of squirrels leaping from the light fixtures). We wondered if we had a porcupine.

Doug opened the hatch. He identified a raccoon and sighed a lot and closed the hatch. It was now midnight, so he went to fetch the stepladder. The raccoon made 85% of the way through the hatch into the closet, saw me, and went back into the ceiling. Doug went out the second upstairs bedroom window onto the roof, while I held a flashlight and said encouraging things. He undid the bottom screws so one could squeeze out from under the hardware cloth, and he waited. Later he came back into the house and waited, but though no one tried to come through the hatch no one came out through the damaged vent either.

Eventually we went to bed. No idea whether there are monsters up there now or not. I mean, more than the usual ones who spend the rest of the time under one's bed.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Superfund site made safe


Some of the victims of last night's murine contamination-home invasion horror


Technicians scan for any remaining traces of toxic waste



Well, something like that. Both bleach and SimpleGreen were involved. What's interesting is that the breadcrumb reservation, the places where a smidgen of this or that might rest for a day or so before being eaten or recycled or trashed, the spice drawer -- all of these much more likely haunts of the mouse -- are, as far as our crack team can tell, untouched. We don't think they came to check out the world's largest Kombucha mother. Or that it ate them, but it's darn big for just being made out of tea and sugar.

Soon Doug will come back here with more opium but I have enough to get through the weekend.

I left the house today! DebD took me to get the ingredients for an eggplant hat (fresh, not Parmesan) for my daughter. Is there a word for people who prefer to wear vegetables, as well as eat them? She is not vegan, which is good, although I think the sheep and alpaca were at least fed and housed in return for their exploitation. Unfortunately there was also a really enticing magazine, so I cannot say I behaved all that well.


Then we bought catfood and cat litter. I am not having any difficulty remembering not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I hope it gets better. DebD is getting over some long-term pain issues, so she's delighted to be the brawny one for a change.

This would have been enough excitement, but we went to Bee School. The president of the local society was speaking. He's a mostly chemical-free, queen-breeding beekeeper, also the youngest guy we have had so far and the furthest to whatever direction green is. I could not figure why I started yawning, when it was so interesting. Eventually I realized it was the first day I had gone without a nap since the surgery. Heady stuff.

Right now I am missing the annual SCRAP party. I like the people but I am glad to be home. I am trying to stay up late enough to actually go to bed, since 5:30 seemed too late to take a nap. And I think I will move back into my own room, warm though the kitchenette is. The cats will have to cope.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Have to admit it's getting better

I must be recovering, I want to kill someone. But who?


People whom I love and respect are coming to dinner on Sunday, bringing food.

I am running out of opium.

I ran out of shirts.

I think that's the background you need, with a red herring or two.


So I did the laundry, thanking my life that this does not involve rocks and rivers, if only because it is zero Fahrenheit out there. With appropriate caution I hung the laundry on the laundry hanging rack and picked up a few things (Christmas cards. Maybe it's time to declare the 2010 holiday season a wrap*). I felt fine, so I decided to empty the dishwasher. We ran it on Wednesday and again, that doesn't seem to be pushing it.

I have five little white pills left. The prescription says to take one or two every three or four hours. I began breaking them in half a couple days ago because it's not my kind of stoned; I like to giggle, as on alcohol, and opium just makes me stare, and then hours have passed. Also because I am assured that it is costive (binding), and my insides want to be FREE, and not need to be pushed (because this will hurt and more importantly, undo all the surgeon's work to restore me to prelapsarian innocence). But at the same time, when I was taking half a pill every six or seven hours I got so I could not honestly say I was ahead of the pain at all.

So I call the doctor's office and they are surprised I think I will need more pills, which makes me feel like a) a junkie and b) someone who may die at any moment. The nurse is off asking another doctor because mine is away for the next week, I hope somewhere glamourous. But you know, you might have given me guidelines for when I should be tapering off, because if I were still following the discharge instructions I would have run out probably yesterday.

I still can't tell if I am hungry, tired, depressed, lazy, or on drugs. I try to eat and sleep but it's not easy to know how much of either, particularly when the doctor, whom I still rather like, has said losing some of the fat would be a good idea. And I am not really clear if I am hungry as I used to mean it. These days eating seems like a good idea but not, you know, exciting. I suspect the narcotics are dialing down my palette and appetite.

I am still moving around, tidying, taking breaks from the tyranny of the dishwasher, and I open two incomprehensible letters from my insurance company. The one I drove through the terrible snow last Tuesday week to get set up with the EFT with the new bank. Because my old bank, as well as being on Mr. Assange's hot list, closed its only branch within 20 miles, so I moved to a nice bank, right in my neighborhood, where they have been primitive and not terribly helpful.

Okay, the EFT apparently has not worked. Service Charge!

So I go to the online presence of my bank, which takes my username and password and says I must be lying and asks a security question: What street did you grow up on?

How would I know that? I strongly doubt they have ever asked me that before, because it's a complicated question I would have resented and not suggested they use as a security answer. I moved a lot between ages 6 and 13 and do you mean where did I live when I went to high school? Puberty?

Have I grown up?

So they locked my account. I phoned them and got the bank's customer service machine to call me back.

While I was waiting for them to call I put away the silverware. I have four cats, and yet there are mouse droppings among the silverware. Not just a few.

I have been in that drawer several times since the surgery and I think I would have noticed. Or wouldn't Doug have noticed, when he got me a spoon the other day?

Is there evidence of mice among the crumbs by the toaster? next to the cat food? by the stove?

No, just among the stainless steel. That I eat with.

The bank called and asked, cosily, if I could tell them what my last transaction was. I replied that I could have, if I could have gone online, but actually it was at least ten days and an episode of total anaethesia ago and I couldn't remember. She passed me upstream.

They did unlock my online access.

I am putting the contents of the silverware drawer into the the nice empty dishwasher.

It would be a bad idea to take all five of my remaining white pills but it seems fairly attractive.


The service charge was from the old mess before I filled out the form; of course, it is important to go on sending confusing notices for three weeks, but okay.

I made hot chocolate.

* Ho, ho, ho.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I think I may be alive. Pretty sure.

The brain cells have not been quick to catch up, but today I think I am mostly awake.

So I survived the fast with flying colors; most of the time I didn't even feel hungry. I just played silly games with the various iTunes libraries and tried to keep warm. I absorbed good wishes and that was a warm feeling of another kind.

Then Doug and I got up VERY early on Friday and took me to the hospital, where they were very nice. They took away my clothes and put an IV into my hand. My son and his future wife and my parents arrived, and Doug left and apparently I did, too, because I don't remember a thing until about four pm, in my room.

The surgery went well. They did not let me hold the alien babies before they sent them off to Area 51. But I am told a normal empty uterus is 80 grams (short pair of socks) and mine was about 1200 grams (smallish sweater). My innards seem to be working nicely again; I still love prune juice but my body is back to reacting rather strongly to it.

The visiting went very well; my family and my friends kept saying how delighted they were I was doing so well. Since I can't actually remember finishing a sentence I think they had low expectations. But I have not felt nearly as bad as I expected to most of the time and I was lively enough to enjoy the company. I kept thinking we needed to have get-togethers more often, but my parents and my son and Proto-Daughter-in-Law say surgery is not a good excuse. They all seemed to be as tired as I felt, which was heartening in its way, too.

The hospital was a really clean, modern place full of gracious people and an amazing menu. I wasn't exactly hungry but they tempted me with chicken marsala and pork tenderloin. Nice light in the room (they gave me a single). Lots of fine drugs. They did wake me up to check my vital signs but since I went right back to sleep it was not a problem.

I came home on Sunday, despite not having had one of every entree on the menu, and Deb Duranceau made me oatmeal and reminded me to eat. I figured out out that writing down the time and dose of each pill I took made it much easier to know when the next one was due. There are little pieces of paper with ".5 opium @2:00 >6:00" all over the fiber kitchen. I turned out to be able to get to the bathroom by myself before I even left the hospital, but staying in the kitchenette made it easier on everyone and it is much warmer than my bedroom. So much warmer that I have had all four cats, who have been fairly careful not to spring on or off my incision. They are concerned but not worried, and wonder when I will start offering them small pieces of butter again.

Monday and Tuesday I noticed that it was too hard to text and just about too hard to watch TV. Yesterday Deb drove me to have my staples removed (which did not hurt as much as it sounds like it should) and I noticed, after my day's second nap, that I could read again. It comes and goes.

I succumbed to a free sample and bought the Kindle version of Midnight Riot. I should be ashamed to fit so well into the demographic :"Even if you've read all of the Dresden Files/Sandman Slim/Felix Castor/etc. novels, you'll still find plenty of originality and cleverness here." But if my perfectly fitting means more excellent yarns with intelligent characters and smart-ass remarks I guess I am happy about it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Fast fast slow

Well. It's snowed really a lot. Doug wishes we had a real plowblade instead of a tractor front-loader, and he would also like one of those Carhartt suits. At least we can afford a suit. Maybe a real plow sometime.

So the surgeon wants a CLEAN work area, and at noon I ate two pieces of buttered toast and a brownie (made by Doug because he is thoughtful, sweet, and kind, and I think he quietly worries and wanted me to venture into the unknown with the taste of chocolate in my mouth) and signed off food. It's clear liquids until after the surgery.

I also drank a lovely bottle of magnesium citrate. Although I have actually had worse soft drinks, it was untasty even for those of us who like salt and sweet. I bet it was aspartame. (Nope, saccharin. Yeough.)

The thundery squelchy noises in my stomach almost distract me from being hungry.

Then we each took naps (separately. His wedding with Barb is about six weeks from now). I had three cats helping me sleep. I am not sure how I got up. Heavy snow makes me sleepy and more indolent than usual. I had been trying to make my old Apple desktop into a Media Center (a record player, actually), but perhaps it did not like the music because its logic board has expired. Instead of turning on with a nice rich tone, it went "HOOT HOOT HOOT!" I was saving the music to an external hard drive, so the effort is not wasted, but I still have a lot of compact disks. I have iTunes Library Manager, which works as it says it will, and allows me to segregate the Christmas music (do you _want_ 'Run, Run, Rudolph' in your general shuffle?) Putting the extra seasons of 'Castle' on an external hard drive frees up a lot of space. Fiddling with iTunes while Snowmageddon hits the Northeast is about all I have managed to do today. I feel guilty about the time Doug spends ploughing, but I don't want to do it myself. Bad Laura.

The kittens have become eunuch kittens. They do not seem traumatized in any sense of the word. I hope I have as little post-operative difficulty as they have. I asked the vet if I could have it done to me there, since they get such good results, but though they were willing to call in a Large-Animal Vet, they weren't happy about their antisepsis. But I would be more likely exposed to distemper than MRSA.

I have been conscious of how good my health is, despite wanting to be able to bend in the middle better. The rundowns before the surgery of all the ailments I don't have, and only a single previous surgery was a Caesarean (baby is now 26 years old). Pointing out to myself that everything is easier now than it will be for at least the next six weeks (six months, a year) has not made me any better at tidying at all. At least it looks like someone tried to clean up after murdering the Avatar-blue alien in my bathroom (but their blood makes such good hair dye. SO natural!)

I have a huge stack of books to read when I come home, and a fair number of videos (The Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth was on sale at Amazon). Donna the bead lady asked if I had enough projects to keep me busy while I convalesced. I think maybe so.