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Still no rest for the wicked.

Well, mild rest, this week is light on school work. However it’s also heavy on me trying to ward off a sinus infection, so if this is less coherent than usual, I blame pollen.

Also, in the interests of lazy blogging, there is a post containing a picture of Jeremiah Swakhammer right over here. That would be Daniel’s blog, but lest you get all excited I feel obligated to warn you that he is an even lazier blogger than I am. Still, there is a turtle picture! Also a stick insect. Such riches!

In other news, the chicken house has shipped, and this weekend we shall put polyurethane sealer on the outside, and also pull down all the rusty wire off the chicken structure and install a door and shiny new welded wire fencing, and clean out all the trash that’s in it, and lay down some sort of Digging Discouragement System to keep the coons and possums and roving dogs and cats away from the chickens. Also, we have a much larger plastic bin which shall be converted to a winter home for whichever of the Manor Cats choose to use it. Still needed: another couple bigass plastic bins.

The garden progress has slowed as my best beloved has aggravated an old shoulder injury with all the digging and whatnot, and we’d prefer him not to be crippled so all the digging is on hiatus. So is going to Skilled Fencing for the new fence posts┬áso we’re not tempted to start pounding them in. On the other hand, he is still spoiling me rotten so I cannot complain even a teeny bit except about the necessity of me having a job. Oh to win the lottery! But first I’d have to buy tickets.

This Friday is payday, then two days later is School Money Day, so I shall be buying the last odds and ends I need for soap and hopefully you can look forward to stories of successful soaping!

USCIS has received our application for Daniel’s green card, so cross your fingers for us that the bureaucracy moves quickly and is not nearly so annoying as the whole K-1 Visa process, as I would very much like to not have my brand-new husband deported. I wish he could apply for EB5 investment visa but for now his plans are different.

And finally, I have started taking Chantix with an eye toward losing my nicotine habit. We shall see how it goes. The dreams thus far are, um, interesting and let me just say that the first one about chickens was definitely to be preferred.

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Life goes on.

Things are finally settling down here at the Manor after all the wedding excitement. Daniel’s father headed out on Saturday and my parents wandered off home to Roanoke today. We got our usual grocery-shopping trip in, I got a final exam done and a couple midterms, with one more to go on Monday. Today I’ve even managed to fit in some spinning, I’m nearly to the bottom of the bag of heathered purple wool that my Mom got me some time ago, and as I practice predictably the spinning is getting better. We’ve also managed to pull together the packet for Daniel’s adjustment of status so he can stay in the country, and got to work on the woefully late thank you notes for the wedding.

Briar Rose and Noodlehead are the only two cats we see outside, and I still have no clue what happened to Briar Rose’s kittens. Grace is buried on the back acre, at the foot of a little clump of sassafras trees, which I felt was appropriate. When land is clear-cut, sassafras is the first thing to spring up on it, growing off its tap roots like weeds. Since the flavoring extract from the roots was banned due to an association with liver cancer, the trees have no great value, and since they die off quickly when overtopped by other trees, people tend to disregard them as, more or less, worthless weeds that will go away if you ignore them hard enough. They are not unlike my Manor cats in this. But I cherish my little sassafras trees, who are for the blighted back acre valuable agents of resurrection: they supply dead leaves to rebuild the topsoil and their tough roots help break up the rock-hard clay dirt. And I cherish the Manor cats, adorable little personalities that they are.

Grace was not a terribly social cat with most humans, but with me and with other cats she was pure love, head-bumping us all in the excitement of feeding time, rubbing on my legs and the heads of other cats with nothing but pure joy that once again the thumb monkey was here with the good stuff. She was getting nicely round, putting on a thick winter coat and a bit of a layer of winter fat, as well. She had a name, she was known, she was loved, and I miss her.

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Well that’s a relief.

News the first: Daniel’s visa has been approved! Excitement abounds in these parts, and we’re setting an actual wedding date and working out his plane ticket and everything.

News the second: Emmett (Astute) and Zeke (Intrepid) came through neutering just fine, and in fact appear to have not noticed they had surgery. Ah, the boundless powers of recovery of kittens! They go home this weekend, starting with Zeke on Saturday and then Badger on Sunday morning and Emmett, last kitten standing, on Sunday afternoon, which means this evening I need to do one more photo shoot.

They’re such amazing little guys, really. Emmett of course has been a non-stop purrbot from day one, but Zeke and Badger have gone from being little balls of hissy hate for all things human to enthusiastically curious and friendly and adorable kittens. Although they are looking much less kitteny already, these days they look more like little miniature cats. And while I can’t wait for life to return to semi-normal here, I’m going to miss the little buggers. Emmett is the very image of his mama Emmaline, only with the coloring of Romeo (with added tabby stripes–will he grow out of them? I don’t know.), right down to the adorable wee back-curved ears that look a little like devil horns. Badger is a small pile of stripey, fluffy, snuggly goodness, with the most amazing long eyelashes and of course adorable white toes in front. Zeke is just more of a handsome bastard every day, his straight profile and larger ears very reminiscent of the build of an “Oriental” body-type breed like the Siamese or the Cornish Rex, but covered in a soft, long coat that features Bengal-type stripes and spots.

I’m hoping their new owners keep me posted as they grow into adult cats, and I get to see them become huge and indolent beasts who take over their new households with rampaging demands for love and playtime.

News the third: the Best Mother Ever will be here today, hooray! Because now that we know when Daniel will be arriving, we can do actual wedding stuff.

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Well that didn’t go so well.

Astute’s potential family backed out, saying they had “decided not to pursue a kitten at this time.” Fair enough, but now I’m back to trying to place three kittens. Sigh. My mission this weekend is to get most excellent and adorable pictures of them, and possibly organize a fundraising sale from the many crafty things I have lying around the house (I have a million hobbies) because I still can’t get the low cost spay/neuter clinic to call me back. It would be $40 each to get the Three Musketeers neutered there, whereas it will be $155 each at my for-profit vet.

Which is still cheap, as pediatric surgeries go, but three of them at once? Ow.

Meanwhile, just when we thought the immigration process was coming to an end, it turns out we are actually just back to more waiting, and it may be as much as four more months. Ow.

Things that are going well: Emmaline is starting to explore the house, which would be easier on everyone if the dogs were not fascinated by the brand new kitty, but is going nicely just the same. Badger is now 0% hissy, 25% purry, whereas Intrepid is at 100% purry and solicits human attention, and Astute is at about 200% purry — he starts up as soon as I walk in the room. So that’s all right. Now I just need to find them homes to go to after they’re neutered and vax’d.

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Sunny days chasing the clouds away…

Finally, we had a day with no thunderstorms yesterday! Yay!

Badger is purring for me consistently, and approaching me although not as much of an attention hog as his brothers. The vet says they can get rabies/distemper vax in 2 weeks, and neutered at the same time. Huzzah!

Emmaline discovered the bed today and spent most of her day lounging on it. Tonight, she is in Roo’s room. She continues to adjust well to indoor life, and had a nice meeting with Roo today.

No new immigration news, dammit. Tomorrow morning I’m calling the London Embassy to find out what’s going on. Still no sign of Dreadnought. Astute’s home may have fallen through, I haven’t heard from them in days. Sigh. I remain hopeful for the Three Musketeers, though!