The Cantina Staring Back At You From The Abyss

zanzjan

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Yep we always considered our Great Dane as normal size, and the 50 kg setter as the Little Guy

We ran into a Great Dane once when we were out on walkies and my Irish Wolfhound was SO excited to meet a dog his own size, and vice versa. Much adorableness.
 
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MaeZe

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... Sibling sounds like crud, hacking up a lung; something's sitting in her lungs. (She has not had her boosters or her flu shot, incidentally.) ...
Probably shouldn't bring this up but flu is peaking in King County right now. You and your parents had that flu shot, right?


Key symptoms of flu are high fever (>101F) and headache/body aches with the cough starting a day or so later.

RSV isn't that dangerous for older kids and adults but can be dangerous in the elderly.

I can't add much about COVID that most people don't already know. And there are plenty of other viruses circulating that aren't these three.
 
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E.F.B.

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)-: Poor doggo!

Check in with your vet, if you can, though; grain free foods have been implicated in serious heart problems/deaths in larger dogs, though I'm not sure what constitutes "large" as my 2yo pupper is north of 150 lbs and still feels kinda medium... But definitely grain-free is a no-no for giant breeds, just dunno where labs fall.
Da lab mix wavers between 75-80 lbs, which the internet says is on the lower end of "large" but we think of her more as a medium. But yeah, the vet informed us of the grain-free problem. Would've liked to know that sooner... She also feels that, as there are no other symptoms besides the lip/chin rawness and swelling, this is contact dermatitis rather than a food allergy. So, she wants da lab mix back on food with grains and suggested some brands that are quality with good science behind them. One brand she suggested is one that we used with our big rottie/shepherd mix when he was around and it gave him new life in his latter years, so we're happy to go back to that. She also gave da pup steroids and antibiotics to get her lips and chin cleared up and it already looks WAAAAAAY better.

In the meanwhile, we've been thinking about things da pup might have come into contact with that are different than what she's always in contact with. It's hard because several things changed in a short period of time after da beagle died. First, there was her emotional distress that da beagle was gone and that had her anxiety licking. Then we gave her a different food. Then we found this stuffed hedgehog which she adores, but it is a new thing that was introduced around the time that this started and the daily squeaking thereof definitely qualifies as mouth contact. The hedgehog has polyester fur. I swear she's had polyester stuffed animals before, but it's also possible this particular toy has some random fabric chemical on it that she's reacting to. We took that away for the time being. *If* we give it back, we'll wait until the meds are done, she's been introduced to the better food, etc, so that we can make sure we know what and if she reacts to anything. But honestly, it may just go in the trash for extreme safety.
 
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The hedgehog has polyester fur. I swear she's had polyester stuffed animals before, but it's also possible this particular toy has some random fabric chemical on it that she's reacting to. We took that away for the time being. *If* we give it back, we'll wait until the meds are done, she's been introduced to the better food, etc, so that we can make sure we know what and if she reacts to anything. But honestly, it may just go in the trash for extreme safety.
Try running it through the laundry (washer/dryer, or washer and dry on clothesline) before letting her try it again. Stuffed animals/soft toys handle being laundered very well.
 
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Brightdreamer

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Boo for viruses circulating! (As for shots, Mom, Dad, and I have the latest flu shot, and Mom and I have the COVID booster.)

Boo for mystery allergies!

Saturday morning, and actually had a nice, self-indulgent snooze-in this morning, though my dreams were weird - not even story weird, just "WTF, brain?!" weird. Am getting ready to do the weekly room tidying. Also should dust today because I put it off last week. And later today I need to get back to the neglected ornaments. Or at least check that I remembered to plug the heater back into the workshed after I unplugged it to run the hairdryer on the car the other morning during the Great Car Latch Freezeout.

I'm still ready to torch that hunk of steel and evil and roll it into a ravine...

Um, hypothetically, of course. If such a thing actually happened, I would know nothing about it and be totally innocent...

And I suppose I've procrastinated long enough.

--

Saturday afternoon, and stuff is melting rapidly off the trees, but the roads are gonna be a mess when they refreeze tonight; got that hard-packed slushy stuff that's such a pain. So very glad I got studs on the cars ahead of time...

May put off ornament stuff until tomorrow, when there should be a little less slushy ice crud.

On the plus side, I tried out our new shoe cover things on the walk to the mailbox and they seemed pretty stable. (They're made of the same stuff those "tire socks" are made of, some sort of fabricy thing that, unlike cleats, you can walk indoors with without breaking your neck and/or ruining hardwood and tile.)

Lungs, you are not feeling a touch of scunge, dang it! Stop that right now! (Could just be the weather... hope it's just the weather, because Dad has his makeup INR this Monday morning and I'm the only one who can drive him up there.)

--

Sunday morning, and snoozed in again.

Today I need to get the car cleared off and as ready as I can for Dad's early appointment. Will probably have to be out there early to thaw the car, too... and make sure his door closes and latches.

Also need to get out to my workshed this afternoon, because it's 20 days to ornament deadline (assuming we see family on Xmas, which may not happen this year with the sibling's screwed-up schedule). Speaking of, I have zero idea what to get anyone.

And I need to exercise, because I sorta blew it off yesterday (though I did walk down to the mailbox and I cleaned off the sibling's car for her.)

Still got a scungy edge in the lungs. Hopefully it stays on the fringes.

--

And windin' down Sunday evening.

Despite reports of thawing out and rain, we got an afternoon of flurries that added to the slush and potential ice tomorrow.

Stupid, lousy, hard to predict weather...

Anyway, didn't get a lot done today. Didn't even get out to the workshed. But I made myself exercise and I did a half-baked entry for the flash fiction countdown.

Tomorrow I have to get up at gawdsawful thirty because of that INR thing, and because I have to thaw the car (and the door latches now)... and as soon as we get home I have to head right back out with Mom for the weekly shopping trip. And more diesel tank topping, because that's my life now, topping diesel tanks while Mom dithers and puts off ordering the new oil tank. (She's not the one who has to keep hauling diesel in her car... and climbing the stairs multiple times a day to make sure we're not running low... mergh. I mean, yeah, could be worse, could be we had no heat at all, but still... come on, Mom.)

Fingers crossed we don't get a hard freeze tonight...

--

And Monday, nearing noon, wrapping up a slightly early lunch.

Dad's INR numbers were good, but he's a bit loopy and rather wobbly today. I wonder if he still has a bug; that can mess with both focus and balance.

Shopping occurred. Sibling's crud has moved into her chest, and her store was out of the good medicine (Mucinex, which still has that guawhatever junk that's the only stuff that touches a stubborn chest crud), so we had to track that down while we were out. Lots of holes on the cold and flu shelves... but we found it. And also Bronk-Aid, which she needs when she gets this bad. (The doctors insist she doesn't have asthma, but they've never been around her when she has a bug...)

As for my own lung crud, so far - knock on plywood - it's not getting worse.

Most roads were bare and wet this morning, but ours was a skating rink, tricky to get up even with the studs. (Didn't help that some putting twerp killed our momentum on the up our hill... without studs, never would've made it at all, and even with I fishtailed a bit getting around the turn without the needed momentum.) It's warmer today, so hopefully things are better by the time I have to go out again.

--

Monday evening, after dinner, and noodling with some writing.

We were just thinking that we hadn't heard the recycling or trash trucks today when we got a phone call: due to snow and ice in our area, they couldn't pick up today, so they'll do a double load free of charge next Monday.

The recycle bin is still full. I barely got it down the hill in this slop. Even in clear weather, I cannot physically haul the full bin back up the hill. It's just too danged heavy and awkward. So it's going to have to live down there for a week, neighbors be danged. (They have big trucks and SUVs. I'm doing this on foot, dang it... if anyone complains, they're welcome to bring it up to us.)

Mergh...
 
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Friendly Frog

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I realised this is going to be a year I not only don't have many gifts left in storage but I am at a loss to get some people... Like I drifted apart from so many people, I hardly know them anymore. Danged if I knew how to fix that.

Currently struggling with mom's overlock sewing machine. It's been a bother since we got it and a pain to rethread. If I don't return to the cantina this year, just assume I have lost the struggle and ended up strung up like a sausage somewhere.

And more diesel tank topping, because that's my life now, topping diesel tanks while Mom dithers and puts off ordering the new oil tank. (She's not the one who has to keep hauling diesel in her car... and climbing the stairs multiple times a day to make sure we're not running low... mergh. I mean, yeah, could be worse, could be we had no heat at all, but still... come on, Mom.)
Whoo boy, that is striking close to home alright.

Just order the new tank already, BD's mom!

Sorry, projecting there for a bit.
 

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Boo for sewing machine struggles and gift drift!

Tuesday morning, and need to get the day goin' here. Got to do more ornament work, but I'm up to the part where I need to start customizing and decorating and I'm still drawing a total blank as to how to make them look not cruddy. Been listening to holiday songs, but so far it hasn't helped me get in the spirit.

Dang it.

Also need to look a lot harder at getting some alternate income going, here, but I may just have to wait until the holidays and their attendant energy suckage are over.

--

And winding down Tuesday. Blew off exercise (bad me) and fetching mail (badder me).

Did get a couple Xmas gift items, but totally stumped on others... and one of them would definitely not use an Amazon gift card, which is my usual go-to (and my fallback for other relatives, 'cause I know it'll get used and be appreciated).

And I did a little more workshed/ornament stuff. Can do some more picking and poking before the "make a decision on decoration/personalization, you twit!" phase, which should take me up to the weekend. Then I'll have to figure things out ASAP.

Mom had been hearing good things about Netflix's new show Wednesday, and is currently binging and greatly enjoying. Says it's Tim Burton in a good way. (He can be good, or he can be... not so good.) Will have to try it, though I also really want to get to the new Dragon Prince eps... dunno why I keep having a mental block about that, but I do.

Okay. Got stuff ready for work tomorrow, so I should wander off and maybe try to catch up on Countdown to 2023 flash fiction prompts, here... running two days behind, dang it...
 
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Friendly Frog

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Not a strung up sausage although it was a close one. But I got beaten by a sewing machine anyway, so it's going back to the shop in the hopes it will be more cooperative when it returns. Not holding my breath since it's been singleminded since we got it. If only the stiching wasn't as useful.

Hoping I can get dad to look at the chimney leak issue today. Also not holding my breath.
 

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Boo for chimney leaks!

Hooray for over semesters!

Wednesday morning, getting ready for work, and fighting a persistent throat tickle/scunge, dang it... not bad enough to stay home, but I do not want whatever crud the sibling's been spreading around... does not sound like fun, and I don't have the time to lose this season.

It's been warmer, so hopefully the road isn't a death trap anymore.

But I still have to hit Costco on the way home, which is its own sort of death trap, especially this time of year. No helping it, though - they have the best price in town on Mom's antacid medicine, plus they have dinner options. And we need dinner options.

Okay, lung scunge... don't make me break out the medicine on you...
 

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Afternoon, Cantina. Da lab mix continues improving, though the steroid has her--to borrow the phrasing of one of the kindergarteners in my Sunday school class-- "thirsty as a hippopotamus." Two nights ago she had the first indoor pee accident she's had since she was a puppy being house-trained. Not her fault. She'd drunk a whole bowl of water earlier in the evening, got engrossed in chewing her big bone for three hours straight, then we didn't get her out fast enough for her bedtime potty. The bottle said to reduce the dosage as of yesterday, so now she's weening down.

In non-dog-related news, my mom got me a tea advent calendar as an early Christmas present. I have a new tea to try every day this month. I'm lazy in the morning and typically drink bottled tea, so I'm learning as I go how to brew it more consistently. I've been having trouble tasting half the teas I've tried for the past 7 days and finally figured out after some Googling today that I probably am using too much water. These bags don't have a ton of leaves in them and my preferred mug is on the large side. Gonna use a more average sized mug from now on. But despite using the big mug this morning, today's tea, which was a variety of chai, had a smidgen of garlic in it (Why? WHY???) and OF COURSE I could taste the garlic. Took two sips and poured it down the drain. Ew. None of the others list garlic in the ingredients so I won't have to repeat that again.

Writing has been sporadic lately, but I've checked several items off my to-do list (which I'm trying to learn to actually write down) and feel more freed up for wordage again.
 

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Ooh, I was looking at a tea advent calendar last week! My mom got me a traditional one (not great as I'm vegan, but it's in my possession and I will take the hit to my Good Place Points), and I asked for one like that instead next year. I love tea! There's a pink hibiscus and something one I'm really fond of, though I typically prefer black teas (green teas make me sad).
 

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Hooray for healing hounds!

Boo for garlic tea!

Wednesday, early evening, and chilling after work and the Costco run. Have an audiobook review to write up, but it may have to wait until after dinner 'cause I just don't wanna right now.

Today, we determined that repairs to the downstairs bathroom can no longer wait. Hopefully Mom can deal enough that I don't have to call out of work like I did last time we had a plumbing Issue. (She really does not deal with stress well...) And hopefully we can ask about a secondary issue at the same time, even if it doesn't get fixed at the same time.
 

Friendly Frog

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Garlic... in... tea? Hard pass.

We spent most of the afternoon on the leaky chimney, which isn't just leaky but eventually turned out to have a massive blockage as well. Over 50 L of it, in fact, considering the amount of sooth and ash we removed from it. We haven't found the leak yet (which might turn out to be specialist work in the end, joy) but the blockage was preventing us to use the wood stove and that at least should be fully sorted. As we might be having our first ice night soon, according to predictions, we got the stove back operational just in time. I see a nice and warm movie night in my immediate future!

I also have some hope that solving the blockage will also solve the soothy smell issue we have been having the last few weeks.

Sure it took us almost half a day, but the amount of nagging I had to do to get my dad started on it was longer. :rolleyes: Still, onwards. Now, to nag him to get somebody a little more specialist come and see the leak. Maybe I'll look up some addresses and websites and send him a slightly passive-agressive link to them. :evil

Off to find something else that is constructive enough until dinner since I'm still in my dirty work clothes and I'm too lazy to change yet.
 

Brightdreamer

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Boo for chimney leaks and soot stoppers! (Did you check the grout when you were cleaning the chimney? Old grout gets porous and soft and needs repointing - as we learned with our chimney... and, yes, specialty job, but in ours you could feel the soft grout and scrape it out with your fingernail and not much effort. At least, the really bad stuff, you could... more of it was going bad. Hence, porous, and hence, leakage...)

Thursday afternoon, and kept hoping today was Friday because it feels like it should be Friday. Or, rather, I feel like I should get two Saturdays, so I'd trade away a Thursday for an early Friday and then the real Friday for another Saturday. Is that a thing I can do without wrecking the timestream?

Am chilling after work. Should be doing something Useful, but... nah. Will check fuel supply for the furnace in a bit, but with the warmer weather we're not doing too bad on that.
 
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MaeZe

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Ditto on the chimney grout leakage. I had that problem plus the flashing and the inside sleeve.

And at another house we had a ventilation problem in that smoke came in the house not out the chimney. That one turned out needing a proper chimney cap. Apparently the tall trees created a downward draft (don't ask me how but the cap fixed it).

And there was the boiler chimney when I first moved in this house. I had insulated windows installed, calked here and there, got better doors and it turned out I had choked off the air the boiler needed to burn properly. Thank goodness for the CO monitor* I had also installed. Now I leave the window open a few inches in the utility room plus I installed a vent into the garage which is now a playroom but I left the vent the same.

*Fun fact: CO monitors with batteries take more than a day or so to reset. The fire department had their own monitors so we knew the CO had cleared but the alarm kept going off. I had to go to the store for a new alarm or I'd have to stay in a hotel with my then toddler. Fortunately there was a Fred Meyer open until 10PM.

Another fun fact: the fire fighters didn't know about the 24 hour reset either (this was 30 years ago when CO monitors for the home were relatively new). But their battalion chief did so we all learned new things. Now my CO monitors plug in and don't use batteries so reset problem solved.

Yep, I'm old enough to know a bit about chimney problems.
 
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Brightdreamer

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Boo for cranky CO monitors!

Hooray for learning things!

And it's Thursday evening. Dinner existed, dishes have been washed, and now I'm trying to get some oomph to catch up on the flash fiction challenge thing that I'm falling further behind on. Brain just feels like an empty, wet sack right now, though...
 

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Morning, Cantina. Up early because dad has an appointment with his eye doctor to discuss his potential cataract surgery and of course is throwing a temper tantrum about it. He whines about people wanting to "live in Star Trek world" but then wants to stay blind in one eye until they invent a pill he can take that will magically clear up his cataract. Because he doesn't have anxiety and it doesn't need treatment.

--

*changes into Christmas avatar*

Mom pretty much dragged him like an anxious dog to the vet, but Dad survived his appointment. The doctor handled things well. Dad actually expressed that he's scared about the surgery, especially anesthesia, and the doc reassured him that everyone gets scared about surgery sometimes, but this is super minor and he wouldn't even recommend dad be put under. They can numb his eye with drops instead of a shot and he'll only have an iv to give him something to help keep him calm while they remove the cataract. They're talking about possibly getting it done in 4 weeks. Sooner is definitely better because the longer he thinks about it, the more ways he'll find to be anxious. He'll still find ways, but his cataract is so thick they can't see his retina anymore to know if his diabetes is causing inflammation or not (they're going to give him a precautionary shot before the surgery to make sure any inflammation is down) so this really has to be done.
 
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Hooray for good doctors!

Friday evening, wind's pickin' up a bit, and sitting down for a bit whilst dinner dinnerfies. (Potato soup night. Was hoping to use our favorite potato soup mix, but nobody seems to carry it anymore. So we're improvising a bit... yeah, I know, potato soup is easy to make from scratch, but I think you underestimate how lazy we are.)

Work existed. Gremlins got into the computer system for a while, but we managed.

There are grumblings of snow overnight - nothing that's supposed to linger, but cold temps overnight are Not Fun when one's car door likes to pull a Han in carbonite impression...

Whee...
 

MaeZe

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Windy, hope the power doesn't go out. It leaves me with just the radio and flashlights. And the radio channel I listen to is in donation drive mode, it's annoying. Plus I use an emergency radio you have to wind up every 30 minutes or so. No batteries are needed.

I can/should work on that final editing I don't need to be online for.

Fortunately this time I have a GIANT tank of O2 plus four smaller tanks. Not that I'm totally dependent on it. I don't think it does me much good, I still get short of breath unless I'm sitting or lying down.
 
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Hot and humid here, with intermittent rain. Yes, didn't I pick the right day to have the slow cooker going for 10 hours plus the oven on 240 C for two hours? :rolleyes:

But, hurrah for Saturday, because I did zero day-jobbe work. Next week will flay me, but I don't care, I needed a day away from it all.
 
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Boo for winding up winds!

Hooray for zero work days!

And it's later on Friday. Just made sure the furnace fuel was topped for evening/overnight. And I got the day's audiobook review written up, so that's done. Trying to find some flash fic juice in the tank, not sure I got anything...

Maybe I can catch up over the weekend...

And if anyone wants the lazy potato soup recipe: Decide it's potato soup weather. Look for Bear Creek potato soup mixes. Fail to find them or any other potato soup mixes after visiting two stores, give up, and buy a few cans of Campbell's Chunky potato soup instead. Go home and put soup in big pot on stove. Add some potatoes, some bacon bits, some cheese, some ham, and some carrots, plus some water. Heat until potatoes and carrots are cooked, stirring occasionally. Serves whoever feels like eating potato soup. (Goes well with French bread, which one buys at one of the stores where one searched for the soup mix.)
 

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I'm starting to think this reading aid I'm trying to get for my grandad is cursed. Seller for the first one went no-contact for two weeks and I had to get my money back, which is like only the third time I ever had to do that.

The second order came with (no option for home delivery, grrr and) a lot of conflicting delivery notes: it's going to delivered Friday, no Saturday. Then on Friday I get a notice it is delivered and I can pick it up, only to find a closed door on Saturday due to a bereavement.

Fine, I say, I'll come back next week when they return, BUT when I check the track and trace at home just to be on the safe side, I find said it not only was it delivered on Friday but now it also says was refused on Saturday and has been returned to the sender. AAARGH! I've been trying to find out what to do now for two hours already and the only contact for the delivery company is bloody facebook. Dude, get a customer email, srssly.

In the meantime my grandpa is passively agressively suggesting we just cancel his newspaper because he can't read it anyway. Grandad, use the glasses, I know they're not great but if you don't want to get tested to get better ones, use them until I get this effing reading aid for you.

Such a joyful season, this! :Headbang: Well, it sure just keeps giving.

Boo for chimney leaks and soot stoppers! (Did you check the grout when you were cleaning the chimney? Old grout gets porous and soft and needs repointing - as we learned with our chimney... and, yes, specialty job, but in ours you could feel the soft grout and scrape it out with your fingernail and not much effort. At least, the really bad stuff, you could... more of it was going bad. Hence, porous, and hence, leakage...)
Good call on the grout because that is exactly our problem with the chimney bit that pokes out on the roof (chimney stack? or whatever it is called. Yeah, it can never be just one issue, is it?) But luckily the thing has like three layers of brinks and only the inside is affected.

I have already had to tell dad last year I am not comfortable doing this ourselves because it involves lifting a giant cracked stone slab but getting him to call in a pro is still an ongoing thing. Not in the least because of the many waiting lists involved, which my dad loathes and 'solves' by just never getting on one.

It's one of my most urgent nag-projects but ah, I have to pick my battles. So many things to fix, only so many things I can/may do myself and only one dad whose house this actually is... With the freezing starting, it'll be probably can't be fixed before next spring anyhow.
 
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