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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Swag Pix

Yes, I survived the Holidaze with Da Pham! It went surprisingly well. I almost didn't want to leave, which is odd.

It would be remiss of me to let the year end without posting photos of the swag won in the Stumbling Over Chaos caption contest! It's some cool stuff! I knew there would be a book and some yarn involved, but Chris (and Jeanne) outdid themselves with generosity (click to embiggen)!

The whole Kitten and Caboodle
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Socks!
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Books and Sheeplet
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Measure, Mark, and Make
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This measures up...
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Wintry Mix Ahead...
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Silly me, I forgot to close-up on the yarn. Maybe it was subconscious... I prefer to keep its beauty to myself, LOL! It's a luscious combination of deep blues, magenta, green, and purple—right up my alley. I think I'll go toe up on these and design my own motif.

Well, have a Happy, Safe New Year... see you in Aught Nine!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Spirits?




Your Christmas Sprit Level: 20%



Your Christmas spirit is there, but it's very faint.

If you celebrate Christmas at all, it's only when you truly want to.

It's okay if you're not really into the whole Christmas thing. Don't worry about not having enough spirit.

Pushing yourself to do more will only turn you into a Grinch!

Do You Have the Christmas Spirit?


Why does this not surprise me? Well, at the very least, I'm at neutral this year rather than "how dare anyone be cheery and festive around me when I'm hating it" like the last two years (mourning will do that to you). I can listen to carols without tearing up or wanting to kill someone, but I'm not quite feeling the joy. It still feels like it's happening to someone else (Christmas). But that's OK. This is progress from last year. I'll take it.

I got an early present in the mail that made it better. I submitted a caption to Chris' contest and won (Comment #35, Caption #2)! There will be pictures but you'll have to wait until after the holidays. I have a lot of gifts left to wrap and unless something happens with the weather overnight, I'm headed to the relatives tomorrow.

So,

MERRY CHRISTMAS

to ALL!
See you in a few days.


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

43 Things Personality Quiz

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and
found out I'm a
Self-Improving Spiritual Reinventer


I do believe they know me quite well!


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Monday, December 15, 2008

Meme and Estate Stuff

Well, I've been tagged, but I've already done the Random Things meme, and if you'd like to read it, go here and read it. :-)

I'd love to request some prayerful or similar energy from y'all. It's all good, though. The good news is, we got an offer on the house in the estate—the last remaining lot standing between me and freedom from the deathmare.

The not-as-good news is that it is ridiculously, insultingly low, and came with a list of justifications as to why the offer was low—most of which in everyone's opinion had no bearing on lowering the price because they were things that the future buyer could choose to do (such as relocate the driveway to make it a safer entrance or move the water tap-in) and not things that must be done.

Especially since the property is listed As Is with the assumption that given the condition of the house, the buyer has two options—tear it down and build new, or put in significant effort to do a complete restoration of the existing home. Both of these options will cost about the same amount of money to execute (actually, building new, depending on the size of the home, could cost considerably more than restoration). Both of these options increase profitability of the future sale of the restored or rebuilt home (meaning, whomever does this will likely make a killing if they sell when the market tops out in a few years).

Basically, we're aware of what it needs, and we have our reasons for setting the price where it is. It's actually been lowered by almost $40,000 since the fire happened. It's not about the house, it's about the quality of the setting, the lot and land itself, the existence of other fully functional outbuildings, the neighborhood, and so on. All of these factors justify the asking price.

If it was the house alone, yes, I could see how it might command a lower price. But it is not the HOUSE being bought, as in, "a move-in ready house", and that is clear in how it is listed. The house is not the primary focus of the listing.

But it's up to the buyer to decide if the raw materials suit their vision or not. You want it, buy it; you don't, that's fine. Just don't whine to us and expect us to lower our price drastically because what we have to offer doesn't suit you.

We countered on principle with a price about 10% lower than the asking price, just to make our point, and backed it up with OUR justifications. Yes, we intend to sell it, but let's be reasonable.

So I'd like to ask that you throw some positive energy our way towards having a miracle occur. Either have this buyer have an epiphany and agree to our counter or close to it; or conjure us up another buyer who sees the real value of the property, now and future, and is willing and able to reach an agreeable sum with us. Pronto, OK?

I have been "seeing" this closing occuring right after Christmas since before the offer came in. Help us make it so. You know what to do, I've coached you well. :-)

Thanks in advance.


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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Casting an Intention

OK, it's not exactly knitting, but it is casting on in a way. I hereby declare my intentions (and you have no idea how long it has taken me to craft these sentences in a way that they say what I mean, without one negative suggestion whatsoever!):

In my ideal financial scenario, I am able to do absolutely whatever the heck I feel like doing, whenever I feel like doing it, and the money continues to roll in every month, come what may.

My American dream is to have the freedom to do what I choose, when I choose to do it, with complete reassurance about my finances.

Yep. I had to eliminate perfectly innocuous phrases such as "with no worries", or "no matter what happens", and kill off lack words like "want". But I think I've nailed it this time.

You know, I've been having some pretty far-out insights hit me during that between sleeping and waking consciousness level and one of them is that everything IS possible. It is all right there in front of us, but we can't see ALL of it.

We have filters that allow us to see only that which we've programmed ourselves to be aware of—because if we didn't, we'd be bombarded with information and our brains would fry.

Filters allow us to become aware of things that align with our programming (which is based on what we grew up with, or later what we consciously choose to focus upon). Like when you buy a pink VW bug and suddenly you notice there are a ton of them out there, or you decide you love a certain color and it's the season's big fashion trend. It was always there—you just didn't have your filters programmed to allow it into your awareness.

So if you look around and all you see is a lousy economy, crappy housing market, and things to complain about, you've just set your filters to be aware of these things and to filter OUT signs of economic growth, positive shifts in the housing market, and things to be grateful for (like $1.39 gas, whoo-hoo!). It's all about semantics, and what you're telling yourself.

I've decided to tell myself I'm a multimillionaire, that I have all the money I could ever want or need, and that it comes to me easily. I'm setting my phasers on stun, and my filters to economic prosperity.

How about you?

By the way, it works the same way with everything. For example, if you think it's impossible to get a pill down a cat's throat and still keep your skin intact, then it will be. But if you think that it's really pretty simple, just irritate the cat enough that he hisses and snarls and learn to time the pill toss with the unhinging of the jaws then clamp down until he swallows, you'll be successful every time. ;-)



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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Blithering

Imagine that. I pilled the cat last night without incident. I have Pill Savvy.

I don't even think Jake remembers Monday anymore. It's amazing how fast cats heal.

Did you know that passive-aggressive behaviors are one of the many coping mechanisms used by children raised by a parent with Borderline Personality Disorder? Neither did I, until I began reading this book. I wasn't even sure what passive aggressive behavior meant until I read this description ["Surviving A Borderline Parent", p. 91]:
Another example of the passive-aggressive coping mechanism is the person who smiles and says, "No, really, I'm not angry about the situation." A couple of days later, when his wife asks him to fix her closet door, he says he will. Two weeks later, it's still not done.
1:00 PM: Sure, Mom, I'll take the dishes out.

2:00 PM: Yeah, I'll get to it.

4:00 PM: I said I'd do it!

6:00 PM: Geezus, Mother, can't you see I'm busy reading? (Disassociating) I'll do it in a minute.

Maybe what everyone labeled as "procrastination" was really just my being passive-aggressive as a way to try to control my life a little. Because when situations don't involve authority figures pressuring me, being on time or doing the job isn't an issue at all.

Something to consider.

Time for Private Practice...


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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jake Update

Thank you for the well-wishes and commiseration.

I'd like to report that Jake is fine.

He released himself from Cat Recovery (the little bathroom off of the kitchen where all cats go when they're recuperating) this morning and was found wandering aimlessly down my hallway meowing loudly at 7 AM. He was summarily removed to the Main Cat Residence room after much head rubbing and placating.

He also ate all of his food last night, including the chunk containing the pill that I discovered there was no way to get down him since the surgery involved his MOUTH. (Logical, that.)

And life continues...


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Monday, December 01, 2008

Fangs A Lot!

That's what my cat Jake is probably going to say when I pick him up from the vet in a couple of hours. Poor guy.

At 10 PM Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving (of course), I went to pet his head as he lay on the back of the couch.

He snarled, hissed viciously, and nearly took my arm off.

Jake's not the most personable cat, but even for him this was extreme. When he turned to look at me, I freaked a little. The right side of his face below his eye was puffed up and it looked like his nose wasn't on straight.

I thought OMG OMG OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY CAT?!?!?

Wouldn't let me get near him. Best I could ascertain was that there was no discharge of any kind, and everything else looked "normal", so... maybe he got bonked? He looked like a prizefighter. I thought maybe his jaw was broken or something. Except, he ate just fine.

I called the vet at home, described it all. He said, probably an infection or allergic reaction. Keep an eye on him overnight, if it's worse by 8 AM, come on in.

At 8 AM Turkey Day, I called to let him know the cat looked better, the swelling had gone down, and he was allowing me to touch him now. We determined he could hold off a bit before coming in.

So we went today. I took Zander along too, because he's been losing weight. My vet will give a kind of 2-fer deal. Bring in one cat for the $35 visit fee, and the second one gets a physical for $20.

My formerly corpulent Zander, who topped out at 23 pounds, is down to 16 pounds. The funny thing is, he's now at a healthy weight. (He's a behemoth.) He got a clean bill of health, and as long as he maintains this weight, he's fine. He's just not an obese pig anymore. So, Zander got to ride home.

Jake, on the other hand, is healthy except for the issue. His right upper fang has abscessed. Not fun. He's having it removed, under sedation, and I'll be picking him up at 5:30. The vet said this is one of those things that'll happen as they age (he is 8, after all; Zander is 10; the "kittens" of blue are 4; and Ophelia, my eldest is 14!) and brushing isn't going to do that much to change things. He'll get along fine without the fang. (Ophelia doesn't have any of hers anymore and she's fine.) And I'm thankful that it's just a dental mishap that is easily and for the most part inexpensively handled. But I'll miss the fang. Poor guy.

Happy Fangsgiving...


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