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By ana (Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:29:17 PM EST) home repair, time heals all wounds (all tags)
 Oh right, you poke "new diary" and start typing.

 So I hired a painter who's worked on the house before. There's hideous 1972-era wallpaper in my house, made more hideous by the fact that it was inexpertly draped over gaps in the plaster. Several cats who've lived here liked putting their claws through the resulting structures and shredding them.

He's stripping wallpaper in two bedrooms, doing minor plaster repair, and painting. He'll also fix the ceiling over the "Cat Shelf", which unfortunately was subject to water damage after he fixed it before. The Cat Shelf is an odd space not quite high enough to stand up in, which is level with the 2nd floor, but opens only off the landing halfway up the stairs, some four feet above floor level. Easy for a cat to get to, damn near impossible for a dog. In a mixed household, it was exactly the right place to feed cats. Well, Rocky would sometimes very quietly, very stealthily (he thought) sneeeeeeak up there and stretch is amazingly long neck into contortions that had to be seen to be believed, all for a few crumbs of catfood.

Anyway. He spent last week doing the east bedroom, where the guest bed is. It's now essentially done, painted a very nice pale green color. The painter left his toys all over the floor. In preparation for him moving on to the master bedroom, I moved the guest bed back in there (it's leaning on the wall currently), and took apart the layers upon layers of window treatments in the master bedroom, and emptied the closet. Tomorrow first thing (it's a holiday in USia, in honor of Martin Luther King, and for the party surrounding Obama's second inaugural), I'll strip my bed, try to figure out how to take it apart (it's one of those fancy Sleep Number beds, with big air bags and an air pump, for adjustible firmness) and move it out of the way. When painter dude gets here and moves his toys, I'll set up the guest bedroom for my use for the next week or so.

I'm looking forward to being rid of the deep maroon wallpaper in the master bedroom. It's so dark in there, and the lack of any overhead lighting doesn't help.

In the process of moving most of the stuff I own from room to room I came across a little collection of keychain-sized LED flashlight thingies. All obsolete; I use my iPod (and the app "Just Light" which simply clears the screen to white) for that. I still can't quite see upping my mobile phone bill an order of magnitude for the privilege of moving the telephone into the same box as my electronic friend, but at least my ancient dumbphone is small.

The other day I found a container of dried lima beans in my cupboard. Since it's a long weekend, I figured maybe I could accomplish the multi-day cooking process. I put them in to soak early Saturday morning, and managed to remember to put them into the slow cooker early this morning (Sunday). So they'll be ready for dinner. Now I have to think of something to go with them.

The January Thaw is back, for the weekend. They're promising an Alberta Clipper for Monday, though, so cold is returning.

Saw a story to the effect that flowers are blooming a whole month earlier in this area, compared to the documentation left by Thoreau. And it's not just in Massachussetts; similar effects are seen in Wisconsin, comparing current data to records from Aldo Leopold a half-century (and a bit more) ago.

The one bit of anecdotal evidence that convinced me that something real is happening to the climate comes from somewhere in Northern Minnesota. There are two towns up there that both have Catholic churches dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. From the time they were settled, on St. Mary's day, March 25 (sometimes later, if that's during Holy Week), they had a procession from the one town to the other, across the lake, which was frozen solid. Nowadays... it's never frozen that solid that late. The question of whether the climate is changing for anthropogenic reasons is much harder, of course, but I think the effect itself is becoming alarmingly obvious.

Time out to feed the cat. He's been waiting patiently since I sat down after dismantling my bedroom.

Hokay, done.

A friend of mine, whose life imploded in a way similar to the way mine did, blogs about loss and its emotional impact. This is a propos of a review of Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes. There's also a link to an earlier blog on the subject. Her thesis is that loss due to death is something that leaves behind good memories, and so one tends to, or at least is able to, hang out in the nostalgic past and not move on. Loss due to being left (what happened to her), alters the memories even of the good times, and so makes it easier to move ahead.

I'm not entirely sure I agree. It certainly is different. Society is set up, at least in part, to help people cope with the inevitable mortality and the loss involved for those left behind. It's hard, but it's expected and so it's something people understand.

And she's right that the end of a relationship does change the memories even of the good times. Perhaps it's the relatively benign way that my relationship was altered, but I still have good memories of the times we had together.

Lemme just say that I'm doing much better lately than I was for a while; than I have been for a long time, in fact.

So in some ways it's just the number of the pronouns that changes; plural then, singular now. Was it easy, getting here? Hell, no. Perhaps Purgatory, no. I've survived. Was it harder than that other kind of loss? Thankfully, I have nothing to compare to, so I don't know.

Here endeth the meditation.

Work is going better, I think. I seem to be able to think about what I want to do next week, what it makes sense to do given the state of the mess we're in. Without getting sucked into the maelstrom (now thankfully calmer) that was my personal life. Maybe it's true, what they say: Time heals all wounds.

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How's this work again? | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
soaking beans by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #1 Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:50:27 PM EST
When I do them in the crock I never soak, just let them cook for 8-9 hours.  They seem to turn out okay.

I think you're cooking them wrong by mmangino (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:51:06 AM EST
Here's how I cook lima beans:
  1. Open Package
  2. Dump in trash can
  3. eat something that is actually food 

I don't understand the lima bean hate by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:15:31 AM EST
You aren't the first person who has looked askance at my love for lima beans (I once cooked a Southern fried chicken feast for ana's family -- his brother and SiL told the kids the lima beans were a kind of eda mame so they'd eat them).

Granted, I far prefer them fresh -- I grew up eating them out of my grandfather's garden, and they were one of my very favorite vegetables. Since I can't get them fresh around here, the frozen ones are a good substitute. The dried ones are fine, but not quite the same.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin

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I don't get it either by mmangino (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:49:18 AM EST
I like edamame, so it's not like it's a green vegetable thing. There's just something off putting about the texture of lima beans. They always seem a little slimy. I don't think it's a taste thing either, solely texture. My kids love them though. Tommy ate half a bag of frozen limas in one sitting once.  

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could be a quality thing by gzt (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:21:02 PM EST
if done wrong, it's easy to turn them into an unpalatable mush. if you've had that too many times, you're never going to change your mind, all you can remember when you start eating them is the mush. It's like how if somebody gets sick after eating a hamburger or something sometimes they have problems eating hamburgers anymore. That's my armchair speculation.

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How's this work again? | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)