My family is amazing. And they know amazing people.
I thought my computer was gone for good, but Sis and the Brother-in-Law have a good friend who works for PC Laptops, and he took his day off to fix my computer for me, and clean up a bunch of malware that was on the hard drive. Now, though, the Bro-in-law isn’t going to give me the one he built over the weekend, but I’m okay with it, because my laptop is running so much better.
I feel like I have a lot to blog about, and I’m not really sure where to start. So, I guess I’ll go backwards.
Before I knew my laptop could be fixed, when the Bro-in-Law was building a desktop for me, I realized that I could spend $60 on cat-5 cables that could be strung around the walls from where the internet connection comes out of the wall, or I could re-arrange my bedroom. It was a much more difficult decision than it should have been.
See, I’m a clutter-bug, and re-arranging my bedroom would require me cleaning it first, something that I’d been putting off for way too long mostly because it was such a big job, that I didn’t know where to start. I was a bit angry with myself when I finally got everything cleaned, the carpet that wasn’t covered by furniture vacuumed and shampooed, but no furniture moved, and it had taken a little over an hour. (the point being, I had lived horribly for a long time, when it didn’t take very long to get things cleaned up.) It then took another three to get the furniture re-arranged, and every square inch of carpet in my bedroom vacuumed and shampooed.
So, very important note, here, if, when you happened to buy/move into your home, the former resident left a big heavy piece of furniture rather than move it out, and you want to move said heavy piece of furniture from one side of the room to the other, it always helps to have a big, strong man to help. And, it’s equally important to call said big strong man before you start moving furniture, so you a) have access to the phone you left in the other room, and b) the big strong man can get into the room where the furniture that needs to be moved is located. Especially if the carpet in that room wasn’t put down very well, and tends to bunch up when heavy furniture is pushed across it. Still, I managed to do it all by myself.
And, going back…
I was a bit lost without a computer. I don’t know how I managed to do it before. The good news, is, that over the weekend, I unleashed more creativity than I had in the previous two months. I wrote, I drew, I painted–well, watercolor pencils, so kind of combination of the two. Mostly, I pulled out my sketch pads to see if watercolor pencil would work on regular sketch paper–sketch paper is expensive, but not as expensive as watercolor paper. I’m fairly happy with the results, and am debating posting some of the pictures (of course, that would mean hooking up the copier/scanner/printer, and I’m not sure I’m up to it now. I might have to force myself to have computer-free days just so I’ll get some writing done.
On that note, I decided that rather than change the type of writing I need to do, I just need to embrace the fact that I am a fantasy author. Cheyanne Young discussed, a few days ago, why she writes YA. I’ve been thinking about it, and frankly, I LIKE fantasy. I like world-building–I’d much rather make up a city than do the research necessary to make a story located in Chicago or New York City believable. Yes, I could write in locations that I know-basically, Utah. And, frankly, books and stories set in Utah tend to have a very specific audience that I’m not sure I want to write to. I don’t like Mormon fiction, and I’ve never read a book just because it was written by a Mormon author that I’ve enjoyed–and that includes Orson Scott Card. So, I think if I keep writing what I enjoy, I’ll write more. Maybe, someday, I’ll have a story set in the real world that needs to be told, but for now, getting in the habit of writing every day is the most important thing.
I don’t know if I should tell the next story or not, and Dad, if you want me to take it down, I will.
On…gosh, I don’t even remember what day it was. Friday, probably. I decided that it was time for me to go home, and my parents went up to my sister’s house to get the car that they had traded for. I stopped by my house, and dropped Max and Lulu off, then Mom and Dad picked me up in their new car–AND I got to drive. By the time we hit Salt Lake City, it was starting to get rush hour, so I decided to take Bangater. (The freeway would have been quicker, but Bangater circumvents the surface street that gets so congested on the way to my sister’s house.
While I was driving, I noticed a bunch of big trucks pulled off to the side of the road, and wondered what was going on. I then saw a man lying on the side of the road, with a few people around him. There were no ambulances, police cars, or anything to indicated that anyone official was offering help. I quietly said “Dad”, and pulled off the side of the road. I swear he was out of the car and had his First Responder kit in hand before I had fully come to a stop.
There were a few other people around, truckers, and other medical professionals who stopped to help (Dad, did you just catch that I called you a medical professional?) but Dad was the only one with real equipment, and from what he said, his head on straight enough to do any good–the woman who claimed to be a doctor didn’t know what to do (I suggested that she might be something like an OB-GYN or an oncologist, someone who would have no experience in that kind of thing) and another EMT who didn’t even think about supporting/restraining his neck when wanting to turn him over.
The guy was conscious and talking the whole time–basically, he didn’t know why he pulled over, but when he tried to get out of his truck, he fell, hitting his head, and causing it to bleed. This was the first time I’d seen my dad in action since he became an EMT and I was proud of him–he got in there, took charge until the official EMT’s, the ones in the ambulance, arrived, and even helped them put the man on the backboard.
So, I’ve had plenty of adventure in the past few days, and no way to write about it. I found myself going to bed at night, thinking about what I would have blogged about for that day.
The first time I hit the “publish” button, for some reason, it published the version that was on the “preview” screen, and not what I had edited, and finished writing. It cut off at least the last 200 words, as well as a lot of spellcheck/editing that I had done.
So, apologies all around. I guess three days of not blogging and I forgot what I was doing.
After a little mini crash last night, I actually made it to bed at a decent time. After a few hours of sleep, I woke up to the distinct and highly disturbing smell of melted plastic filling my home.
Crap, that can’t be good.
I inherited a highly sensitive nose from my mother. She can smell cockroaches in the walls. I can smell hot metal (I almost caused a roommate to burn her nose when we were walking out the door, and I mentioned that it smelled like someone left a curling iron on. She checked, and it was hers. She wanted to know what I smelled, and ended up holding the curling iron a quarter of an inch from her nose before she could smell it. That terrified me.) Anyway, because I have this sensitive nose, I wasn’t really sure how bad the situation was. I tried to sniff out the source of the smell, but it was so pervasive, that I couldn’t find it.
Okay, so, on to find the likely culprits.
The furnace: I’d turned it off during the day, and just turned it back on before going to bed. I’d been running it all winter without any problems, and don’t have anything plastic stored in the utility room. Still, I shut it off just in case. I didn’t want to get dressed, and checking the furnace means going out to the breezeway.
Air Purifier: My sister, in a move calculated to make me jealous, bought a Rainbow vacuum cleaner. As a favor to her, I sat through the demonstration, but couldn’t afford a $1,500 vacuum, and really couldn’t justify it if I could. As a consolation prize, Sis gave me the air purifier that came with her vacuum. I run it almost constantly, and put some essential oils in the water so it will freshen the air as well. Sometimes, after the oil has degraded a bit, the smell changes. Like, when I thought I was smelling maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal, and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. (I hate instant oatmeal, and maple and brown sugar is the worst flavor in my book) It was the orange and clove oil that I had put in the air purifier the day before. I couldn’t figure out how my favorite combination of lavender and lemon could turn into melted plastic, but that was a possibility. Off went the air purifier until further notice.
I started a load of dishes right before I went to bed, and wondered if I had melted something in the dishwasher. I checked, and I didn’t put anything plastic on the bottom rack, so I let it be.
I got my computer used a couple of years ago, and it gets really hot sometimes, but only if it’s been running. I always shut the cover, putting it to sleep when I’m finished using it, so I didn’t think it was a likely suspect, but I checked anyway.
The battery charger, the DVD player, various other electronics with plastic housing:
I wandered around my living room and kitchen, touching electronics and home appliances with plastic housings, to see if any of them were hot. Nothing.
Maybe something outside:
It’s not uncommon for random smells from outside to make their way into my home, so I stuck my head out onto the patio and took a big whiff. Well, it was cold and raining and definitely smelled better than inside, so the smell was most likely coming from my house, or one of my neighbors.
After a good half hour searching, I couldn’t find the source of the smell, but it was beginning to dissipate anyway. By this point, I was too wound up to get back to sleep, so I sat up and read for a bit, before deciding that I was thirsty.
Now, I’ve discovered that I drink more water when I have it nearby then when I have to go into the kitchen to get a glass, I have a plastic pitcher, similar to the one shown to the left, that I’ve dedicated to water. I can keep it and a glass close by, and doing so increases my water consumption dramatically. I have sensitive teeth, so I don’t like ice water, and water in the fridge absorbs the various yucky fridge smells, and ruins the point of filtering it in the first place, so I actually prefer my water to be room temperature.
Well, I put Crystal Lite in my water pitcher recently, and, in an attempt to curb my sweet tooth, decided that I needed to go back to plain old water. I washed the pitcher part by hand, but since I was starting a load of dishes anyway, put the lid in the dishwasher.
Have you figured out the source of the mystery smell yet?
While filling up the pitcher in the sink, I went to retrieve the lid from the dishwasher. I found the blue part, but the green part had gone missing. And then I saw it:
The green flippy thing had fallen off the top rack of the dishwasher, and gotten lodged under the heating element. It had melted in two:
So, mystery solved. My water pitcher is now sans green flippy thing, but my house isn’t going to burn down around me. I turned the heat back on, and am on my way back to bed.
The moral of the story is: Corianne shouldn’t do dishes. Wait. That doesn’t sound quite right…