Friday, January 19, 2007

Storm Day... Ski Day and My Baby Is Back!!

With most of the Maritimes under the worst storm system to hit our area in 2 years, the decision to cancel school today makes sense NOW, but at 6 am this morning when they had to make the call, there wasn’t a flake in sight! Once we heard the news, Nick and I went back to sleep after calling out to the girls that it was a snow day. They must have slept right through that announcement because I woke up around 8 am to hear them whispering in Erin’s room about being late for school and arguing over which one would try to wake parents that had obviously slept through their alarm! When they found out it was a snow day, the squeals of glee were almost ultrasonic.

We did race out to do a few errands before the storm hit, including a run to the blood lab for both Bethany and I. By the time we got home, the flakes were falling fast and furious, but the forecast still warned of a switch over to rain by mid-afternoon. We ate our lunch and then I went out for my first cross country ski run of the whole winter! It was exhilarating as well as exhausting in the wet sticky snow. I am sure that by morning I will hurt in places that I’d forgotten skiing used, but I got a solid 45 minutes of skiing in before it switched to rain. We shoveled the driveway as soon as I got home to make sure that it would be clear before things froze and switched back to snow by midnight tonight.

Later this afternoon, I was sitting at the dining room table and suddenly heard the sound of water dripping right outside the door to the deck. The soft wet snow had started to melt off the slope of the roof and blocked the rain gutters with slush and ice, so they were overflowing in the heavy rain. Being TOTALLY paranoid about water getting into the office via that stupid window under our deck, I threw on my rain gear, grabbed a metal soup ladle and raced outside to climb up on my laundry bench to empty the gutters! I am sure the neighbours are used to me being strange by now! When this freezes and turns to snow again it is going to be a skating rink out there! The plow has gone by once, but there are reports of sewer drains being blocked by ice and snow causing flooding around town. How I wish it had all stayed as snow like in the middle of our province! It is time to face the fact that Moncton’s climate is shifting to be more like Halifax as everything warms up on our poor planet.

The girls have been lost in one of the most intense Barbie games they have played all year and for once seem to be getting along well. There must be an “Idol” component to the game because there seems to be a lot of singing going on upstairs, including a few duets!

I have my computer back at last!! They were able to undo whatever Nick had done for just over $100.00 and install my new system 10.4.6 at the same time. I am still getting used to a few Tiger quirks, but it is just SO great to have my machine back. After the teasing he got about sending it to the shop in the first place, I think he’s just going to stay away from the machine for a long time. I did tell the girls that Mommy’s work computer is totally off limits to anyone but ME on the keyboard. There are 2 other Macs in the house for them to use, even if only one can connect to the Internet at a snail’s pace... Paws off Mom’s machine!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Creatively Murdering My Husband...

I’m going to have to be creative when I kill my husband. The ground is just too frozen to dig a grave anywhere. Given that the temperature has dipped to -36 degrees Celsius with the wind chill factor, I think I will just put him out on the back deck in his underpants, throw a bucket of water on him from Erin’s bedroom window and let Mother Nature take care of things for me...

He messed up my computer. While I was working at Weight Watchers last night, he just went down to my office to play a game and check one thing on the Internet... but somehow random clicked on things to get Internet Explorer out of the endless loop it goes into with System 10.3.9 and now it gives the “kernel panic” message that you NEVER EVER want to see on a Mac... it kind of an “I don’t think I’m a real computer anymore and I need to be reset completely!” kind of panic message. A few minutes on my machine, however unintentional the incident was, and I am back to having no machine to work on, work with or make work for me.

Luckily for him, he’s cute, he’s handy and it would take too long to break in a new one. But the urge was there last night amid the tears and the panic and the bashing of the head against the desk when my Recovery Tools couldn’t even find a hard drive to try and read...
I mean... after all the computer woes, terrors and hassles I’ve had since the middle of November, it’s actually amazing that I still have any of the following: fingernails, a waistline, hair on my head etc.

This morning, I was able to run another diagnostic program on the poor machine amid the random freezing and kernel panic messages which told me that the bit mapping was all messed up and the volume couldn’t be read in order to check files for damage... so off I went in the subzero weather to haul the eMac’s sorry self into the store. I brought warm coffee as bribes and they promised to have it ready by tonight or first thing tomorrow morning.

Well, something came up. I just called to check and they told me that they haven’t even looked at it yet, so I am blogging out my frustrations and indulging in a brief fantasy or two about wreaking havoc and harm upon my poor spouse.

At least all of my information got backed up on Friday when I thought I was going to install the new system 10.4.6... so I won’t loose more than a few files from the weekend and first of the week if they have to wipe everything.

If the machine ends up being beyond repair for whatever reason, I will just have to buy a new computer and not do the show in Columbus this summer in person. Having a working computer as a Graphic Artist has to be the priority... but you can bet that either way, the machine I do my work on is now going to be off limits to ANYONE but me!!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Of Storms, Struggles and Clipping Hamster Toenails...

One week after the last storm day, the snow is falling fast and furious outside the window of my office. All of our family activities and one meeting I was supposed to attend tonight were canceled because of the storm that started around supper time and should last until tomorrow morning. We decided to get into our jammies early and play a game as a family since all of a sudden we had no where we had to be... but the other three people in the house are doing their storm dances in the hopes that school will be canceled tomorrow morning! I may actually be the only one going out of the house to work!

Tuesday is the day that I lead 2 Weight Watcher meetings, so in the morning, I will see how bad the storm was and determine if the morning session needs to be canceled. Since I can walk up there, I only cancel things if the roads are dangerous... so we shall see. I am sure that by the supper time meeting, everything will be plowed out.

I am waiting patiently for Apple Canada to send me a new install disk after the one I purchased from the store on Friday turned out to be a dud. My eMac will play all kinds of DVDs and has had no problems with other install disks, but this one just spins in place for about 3 minutes trying to read and then the computer spits it out. Once I can update to System 10.4, then I can start working with jAlbum to get the illustration side of my website revamped. I have kept myself busy in the meantime with mundane stuff like tabulating receipts for the accountant who needs to do my corporate taxes and tidying my office. I can actually see carpet and desk surface for the first time in many months. Another huge garbage bag of paper and older leaflets that I’ve now destroyed went out the door for the trash man to collect in the morning. Ah the joys of de-cluttering!!

My sister and I had a great chat today. Its funny how the distance between us geographically has no effect on how close we feel emotionally... other than I don’t get hugs from her as often as I’d like. We’ve both fallen in love with people who took us to places away from where we grew up and neither of us would change that for the world. She is a wonderful sounding board about stuff and a great friend as well as my sister. Today was just one of those days when I really appreciated having her in my life. Every time that Erin and Bethany get into a yelling match or go through a stage of being absolutely nasty to each other, I remind them that when they are older, that 4 years won’t be such a big deal and that they will be the only ones who can commiserate with each other about what a pain their Mother is!!!

This transitional time, early in the New Year, as I am still mapping out the next few months, setting goals, trying to get some new things started etc. is both exciting and frustrating. I meet on Thursday with another local author to see about helping him get a children’s book published. Unlike the last project, this author may choose to send things off to a publisher first, but I may still end up helping him publish it on his own if he can afford to invest in self-publishing. LIke many cross stitch designers who self-publish, you have to be able to look at what it will cost you to print the product and sell it yourself, even if the theory is that you keep more of the profits that way. You could also end up with lots of boxes of printed stuff that is paid for and isn’t selling! He’s still thinking about which route to go, but since the story involves a dinosaur, I am game to do some sketches.... dragons and dinos are not that far apart!!

It’s funny how we’ve been conditioned to want results or answers or solutions immediately. The storm tonight reminds me that we do not have control over everything in our lives. Spending 10 minutes trying to grip a tiny, wiggling ball of feisty fluff to clip Smudgy’s back toenails was also a good analogy for how difficult it can seem sometimes to get something accomplished. We had all 3 girls working to keep him calm. Bethany baited him with a large flake of American Special K cereal (MUCH better than the Canadian version!) while Erin held the squirming bundle in her hands and I reached out to try and immobilize a back paw to clip even a single toenail or two with the baby nail clippers. Smudgy doesn’t bite... but he does wiggle!! I think I managed to clip at least 4 nails... so that’s it for tonight.

If you’ve never watched the CAT HERDERS EDS Trilogy on YouTube... give yourself a laugh and go search for that title. It’s Monday... and you can never have too many laughs on a Monday!