Tangled Challenge: The Aftermath

IMG_2613I did it!  I completed my Tangled Challenge!  I ended up changing a few of the tasks to ones I could actually accomplish (sorry, I’ve never made candles before), and I didn’t do everything in the same order as the song (the downstairs neighbors wouldn’t have appreciated laundry and vacuuming at 7am).  My Pascal companion for the day was a dinosaur optical illusion I’ve named Rexy.  Hubby came home at night to take a couple pictures of me, but Rexy’s featured in the majority of the photos.

Yes, I actually did everything.  I didn’t just pose Rexy and take a picture and move on.  The task that took me the longest, aside from the chores, was actually the puzzle.  Rexy tried to help me out as much as he could, but he is a T-Rex and has tiny arms, so that made things a little challenging for him (and for me–it was really hard sewing a dress with tiny arms!).  Enjoy reliving my day!

Slide1My task list for the day.  7am, bright and early!

Slide2Lots of cleaning!

Slide3Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicle’s books are super-awesome futuristic retellings of fairy tales.  The latest book, Cress, came out last week and happens to feature Rapunzel!  Rexy’s enjoying reading it as much as I am.  He’s also helping me paint new shoes for NerdlyGoodness.

Slide4I figured Ocarina of Time’s bombchu bowling was close enough to darts, right?

Slide5Rexy was so proud of the bread he baked!  Though he did take a chomp out of the bread before I sat down to dinner…

Slide6

Slide7Rexy thought he could help with the sewing, but his tiny army just wouldn’t cut it.  Also, he did not weigh enough to use the sewing machine peddle.  Sorry Rexy!

Slide8Finally me!  I had a lot of fun doing my Tangled challenge, but it honestly took all day long, from about 7am – 9pm (okay, Rexy and I may have had Tangled on in the background, and got distracted watching that in the middle of the afternoon).  I was happy to sit and get to reread my books 🙂

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Summer 2013: Revenge of the Fleas, Part 1

For the past several months, I’ve been keeping a running list on my iPhone of things to blog about. Some of them don’t make sense any more (“Think of the leftovers”?). However, at the very top of the list is a single word: Fleas.

I seriously hope I’m not jinxing myself by writing this, but here goes. You may recall last October that we had a bit of a flea problem in our furry-pet-free apartment. We managed to eliminate them last year, though we never came to a definite conclusion as to where they came from. Fast forward to May 2013. I wake up one day and notice bites on my legs. Not again! I moan. However, this time it’s a little different. I seem to be getting bit when I’m on the couch or out on the deck, rather that in other parts of the apartment (Hubby was actually getting bit as well this time too). Odd. I got extremely frustrated, to the point of writing a song about the experience, set to the tune of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables for I was miserable (Author’s note: this was written very late one night while hyped up on Benadryl. No attempts at editing or rhyming has been made. You have been warned.):

I dreamed a dream there were no fleas
That my skin was smooth and silky
I dreamed the fleas were never here
Cause they breed like tiny tribbles

But the fleas come at night
With their mandibles sharp as knives
As they tear my flesh apart
As they turn my legs to itchiness

I don’t have any dogs of any breed
Or cats or rats or hamsters
I only have frogs and snails and fish
So where do the fleas exist?!?

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different from this life of fleas
Now fleas have killed my dreams

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Let’s backtrack a month. In April, we had another pair (or the same pair from last year, we’re not sure) of house finches build a nest in our hanging fuchsia plant on our deck. By the time we noticed the nest, they had already started laying eggs, so we let them continue. After they were done and the fledglings had flown the coop, we put up netting around the plant. While the fledglings were cute and all, it was a major nuisance to have them there dive-bombing at us whenever we stepped outside. We couldn’t use our deck at all, no grilling, nothing. And the 4am cheeping feedings were disrupting our sleep cycles. Hence the netting to prevent future bird couples from using the fuchsia. Or so we thought. House finches are smart birds! They managed to find the seams in the netting and made their way in and started building a new nest. Oy! I gave the birds a stern talking to and told them to pretend a hurricane just happened and blew their plant away as I got rid of their empty nest and brought the plant indoors for a few weeks.

Okay, back to May. Hubby said he thought he saw some bugs around the fuchsia on the floor of the living room. After a conversation with my Aunt, I came to realize that we had bird fleas, which can live in nests. Ah hah! That explained why they were in the living room and on the deck. After thoroughly scouring the apartment with flea spray a couple of times (ours is a peppermint/nutmeg spray that makes everything smell like Christmas), we are finally flea-free for the time being.

Lesson learned: don’t bring plants that had nests in them inside!

Oh, and that giant dog from upstairs that I still believe was the source of the fleas last year? It just moved out 🙂

The curse of the mysterious fleas; or, how I found out I had labyrinthitis

To preface this, I would like to point out that Hubby and I do not own any furry pets. I’m allergic to cats and dogs. Our “children” currently consist of three African dwarf frogs, some snails, and various plants.

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Here are the froggies at Devil’s Tower. They moved across the country with us two years ago.

Anywho, I say this to have you understand that we have had no contact with fuzzy creatures in quite a while. Which is why we received quite a start two weeks ago when I woke up with my legs covered in flea bites (yes, we’re sure they’re fleas as we’ve seen and killed them). Now, Hubby and I are generally clean people; yes, we may leave the occasional sock lying around, but we’re not slobs. Did I mention this all was happening during our fourth wedding anniversary? There was a wonderful reenactment of our wedding-eve night (we had spent it in different places for logistical reasons) where I slept on the couch because I was very sick of getting bit (Hubby has mystical flea-repelling skin, and barely gets bit). We cleaned and vacuumed and laundried (is laundried a verb?) ’til we were blue in the face. We used flea-killing carpet powder, with a lovely potpourri scent. We were in the clear…

…or so we thought.

After a few blissfully flea-free days, I woke up on a Wednesday with some bites on my back, which Hubby lovingly referred to as my Harry Potter lightning scar. I went about my day, but at work started to feel very nauseous and dizzy. This went on for a few days, and after receiving a handful of other bites (including a lovely Orion’s Belt on my stomach), we started to wonder if I had picked something up from said pests. The only song in my head was Rats! by The Reduced Shakespeare Company, which is about the Bubonic Plague:

It’s a strange and new disease
That’s carried by the fleas
That live up on the rats

Yikes! Went to the doctor, and she said it had nothing to do with the fleas or the flea powder my smart asthmatic brain decided to put on the carpet. No, I have labyrinthitis (which spell check just changed to “lazy thirties”–I’m not quite 30 yet!), which is a bacterial or viral disease of the inner ear that causes one to feel nauseous and dizzy (or in my terms, wonky), and there is no cure and it should go away in a few weeks. A few weeks?!? I’ve already missed so much work that I’m in the negatives in sick time! I am truly frustrated with this. I have anti-nausea pills, which help, but moving around is what makes me dizzy, and most of my job involves movement. I tried to sit at the computer and just do data entry today, but even that didn’t work. Sigh.

At least the fleas appear to be gone. We are guessing they came either from the giant dog that moved into the apartment upstairs (I’m picturing fleas in tiny parachutes jumping down into our windows), or the cat down the hall that mysteriously ends up in the hallway on a semi-frequent basis. We did tell the apartment manager about all of this, and he said he’d get an exterminator out. However, he called me one day with no advanced warning saying the exterminator was here and we had to vacate the apartment for 4-5 hours. Problem was, we only have one car, and, as it was Hubby’s day off, I had it at work, so he had nowhere to go. As we hadn’t seen any fleas or received any bites in a few days, we cancelled that appointment.

I think I just felt something on my leg.

House finches

We have a pair of house finches who built a nest in our hanging fuschia basket on our deck. This is the second pair to do so this season, and it’s fun to watch the babies hatch and grow and learn to fly (and to have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to shut the window because the high-pitched cheeping is very loud!). Now you know the context for the following conversation:

Hubby: Why are the parent finches so thin?
Me: Because they puke up all of their food when they feed their babies and don’t get any nutrients.
*giggles ensue*

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Happy Video Games

Just an update on my video game process…

I did not have video games as a child (I read books!), so I’m slowly catching up on the classics as well as some newer ones.  Currently, I am not up to the point of being able to navigate 3D games (I include Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in this category), so I’m playing the simpler games for practice.  I also have learned that, no matter how sober I am, I cannot walk my character in a straight line.  This leads to much frustration in the realms of bridges!

So: I have completed LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 and Years 5-7! Yay!!!  I absolutely loved those games, and thanks to the walkthroughs from IGN for helping me though the tough spots!  They captured the books and the movies perfectly, and I enjoyed playing as unexpected characters (such as using Belletrix to fight Belletrix).  I also completed Epic Mickey, and loved all of the nods to the old Disney videos.  I can’t wait for Epic Mickey II to arrive so I can play with Hubby (my main complaint was that the original was not two player).

Back to the LEGO games: I took a hiatus from LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Indiana Jones to play LEGO Harry Potter, so now I’m going back to them.  I’m returning to Indiana Jones first because I was watching Raiders of the Lost Ark at the gym (the scene with the big boxer guy getting chopped up by the airplane), and couldn’t not think of the LEGO, less grisly, version.  I’ve unlocked Han Solo, and am quite enjoying tag-teaming between him and Indy for some LEGOy goodness!

Finally, I’m this close to finishing Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on Hubby’s original Super Nintendo (note to self: post a pic of our lovely antiquated video game systems).  Now that he has revealed the existence of the Game Genie, this should go by a lot faster!  I have to admit, I was originally against using cheats and codes to finish a game, but for someone who dies as much as I do, I now see the value in them 🙂

Ta-ta!