Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, March 25, 2017

I applied

for the first of four jobs that are open right now in the area that are library-related. It is a full-time children's library at the Lexington Public Library, Central Library. Wish me luck. I have taken classes in children's literature and children's programming in libraries, initiated a local site for the Reach Out and Read early literacy program. I've done some children's programming, and I started a family resource center focused on parenting and health topics using grant monies. So, while I've been a hospital librarian for all these years, I've done this, too, and I made sure I put them in the application. Also, I've supervised high school volunteers who were from a special education program. I've been a solo librarian all this time, but I did do that, including having a young lady who was interested in computers help me with the cataloguing. It was a great experience.

Wish me luck!

The other three are all academic positions: a library manager position, a faculty digital humanities librarian (both at Young Library), and a health sciences librarian in instructional design/nursing liaison, also a faculty position, and that one's at the Chandler Medical Library, where I know several staff (and one of my references is there, and three of my references are nurses). I hope one of these four pans out. :)

I dropped off the family resource books from the hospital as a donation to the Lexington Public Library today. There were three big boxes (I didn't pack them, so they were kind of heavy; I think my hand truck, which is rated at 300 lbs, might have been tested). I'd say there were about 200 books. I think they'd be excellent for their collection, or there is a Friends of the Library sale in April.

That leaves about a third of the library books (most went to the new facility in various offices) to box up and give to charity. There are some things upstairs, as well. I have to make a guide to using the UK Med library (there is no affiliation agreement on library services, but any resident of the Commonwealth of Kentucky can use the library and get a library card, and they are across the street on the other side of the hospital from the new facility). I need to finish changing our DOCLINE holdings to the electronic journals they will still have. All my stuff is basically home already--the plants, the various stuff from the desk, a few professional books, etc. I still need to bring the MLA News and the Journal of the Medical Library Association issues in, as well as a vase, and a I found that needs to go to the new head of the membership committee of the Hospital Libraries Section of the Medical Library Association (they're buttons with the logo, which I had when I was chair), but everything else is in the house. Now I just have to figure where to put things. :) The plants, at least, are in the window. I was afraid they weren't getting much light, but I was home during the afternoon sunlight, and I think they'll be okay. But it's afternoon sun, not the overhead and north-eastern exposure they're used to. So we'll see.

YKWIA wanted to be alone with his thoughts today, and I guess I wouldn't be great company, either, since I'm a little sad about the whole library closing thing and afraid about being unemployed, so I need to work on the game notes and work on the apartment some.

I did speak to the librarian at St. Joseph Hospital here in Lexington. She's hosting a Kentucky Medical Library Association meeting April 4th, and I don't have anything else planned, so I can go. She wanted to make sure I knew, especially as I'm still an individual member of the association. I had sent out a goodbye message to the electronic list the other day. She and another librarian were interested in the group that took our journals, so I gave her some contact information and will get back with the other librarian this week.

I'm kind of mellow, as I've been listening to Pandora, the Ed Sheeran station, although Coldplay's 'Yellow' is playing right now. I think I'm going to go listen to an audiobook (The Arm and the Stone, by Victoria Strauss, and scrounge up dinner, and then really work on the house. Among other things, the fish are getting low on their water in the tank. I am a bad fish mom. I've had several for years, feeder goldfish that are fairly pretty, and there are two left, in a 29-gallon tank. I'm thinking of cleaning everything out and starting over, with the fish in a small tank till the big one gets well-established. It's always had trouble with nitrates (which aren't as dangerous as other things, but most fish don't do well, and there are algae blooms), from the get go, the first time I ever had trouble with them. It doesn't matter how much I clean it, the nitrates stay up, even with an established aquarium. So we'll see. I'm not sure I can get away with a three-gallon tank temporarily housing two fish, as goldfish actually need some space, but I'll try to do something. But right now I have to do something, as they're not happy.

Okay, I'm going to sign off for now. At least I got that application in (Monday at 9 am is the deadline). My computer was giving me fits and I had to restart it. Hopefully it'll keep going--I certainly can't pay for a new one right now, and unlike a desktop, I can't really fix laptops. I guess the principles are the same, but everything's so smaller, and there's a battery. I'd rather replace something in a desktop (I can do modems, drives, memory cards, etc., and I think I could do a power supply but haven't). But laptops are a different story. But I think mine has to do with the fact that it's a Windows 8 machine running Windows 10 and it's four years old, which is kind of old for a computer. My desktop (which YKWIA has borrowed) was originally a Windows 7 machine, and it sometimes has issues, and seems to not like him in general, though it works for me (I used to have the same trouble with his Windows 7 machine). I know machines do not 'like' certain operators over others, but it seems electronics can be temperamental. I know I've had people who used our copier who jammed it every time, to the point where I would meet them at the door and ask to make the copies myself. I've come over to the copier and just touched it, and it's been fine. Just saying. Anyway, I may write later. I'm hungry (I had cheese and bread for breakfast, along with lima beans, and I had a can of peas for lunch, so I haven't had much today). Next week is right before payday AND the dietary department will no longer be serving hot food (they aren't going to the new facility, either). So I'll have to figure out what I can take. I've got a couple of cans of vegetarian chili and some vegetarian burgers. That may be what I eat. In case I don't get back here to write tonight, good night.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I ordered

A dress suit on Thursday that I'd had my eye on. It had gone up to almost $100, and I couldn't justify that even for job interviews. But then we got a notice about how on Thursday Amazon would give more than normal through their Smile programme. My charity of choice is the hospital at which I work. I put the hand truck/dolly I'd been meaning to get, and went back to the dress suit, and it had gone down to $77. So I ordered both. The dolly was supposed to come Monday, but came the next day instead. The dress, which is from Jessica London via Amazon, was supposed to come the 28th to 30th, which was fine, but actually came via FedEx on Saturday, and since they knew the shipping folks didn't work on Saturday, they took it off the truck without leaving it with security or anything. So I got a delivery attempted/business closed alert both Saturday and Sunday, even though they never actually tried to bring it to the hospital, which had people there. Then it didn't come Monday, and I was concerned it was being sent back. Turns out that station is closed on Mondays.

So it finally made it today. I put it on and showed it to a few people whose opinion I valued. It's a blue, almost purple-blue, a deep blue (it's called sapphire). It is a sheath dress with a double-breasted jacket, all the same colour, and it's all lined. Everyone liked the colour (I had considered getting it in 'berry', but knew I'd look better in this one). The skirt is a good length, just below the knee. The sleeves are just a tad long. I may get them altered. It's warm, but not to the point I'd die during an interview. It felt tight around the bust at first, but got better as I moved in it. I was able to put it on over my head without unhooking or unzipping it, something that I don't think would work if it were too small. I don't have anyone to zip and hook it for me at home, you see, so I wanted to make sure. Also, several said that if I'd gotten it a size up (which it didn't come in), the jacket would be too big. This looks just right, very professional, but not drab.

It is machine washable on delicate, tumble dry low. It has a few wrinkles from shipment, so I have it hanging in the bathroom so they will steam out. I tried to take a picture, but the colour wasn't true to form. I'll try to take one in brighter light while I'm wearing it.  I would wear nude hose and my black dress flats with it. I don't really do heels.

Okay, I think it's time for bed. Good night.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A busy day

Today I:
  1. Brought my friend some lovely hyacinths in bloom.
  2. Took my friends to an appointment, and then to various places.
  3. Came home and worked on the apartment some more, including cleaning out the filing cabinet. I had records in there from 1999. We're talking from utilities that don't even exist anymore. As a result, I have a small pile of things to shred, as all sorts of things pay stubs, student loan papers, etc., had my social security number on it then.
  4. Went over to YKWIA's and watched the movie version of Dark Shadows. Neither of us like Johnny Depp, but it was good. And Evan Green was excellent as the antagonist.
  5. Took a friend to visit the other at work. Sat in the car for an hour while they talked, playing with Google Assistant and listening to Ed Sheeran's new album,.÷, which I went ahead and got from Amazon. The CD's on its way, and I have the AutoRip that comes with it, so I can listen to the .mp3 version now.
  6. Came home, and I'm listening to the radio and burning a lovely lavender candle, and just sat down and paid all of my monthly bills that were left this month, with one exception. But I did a partial payment, at least). I couldn't make a payment plan, they were closed, but I did pay a good chunk and will be able to catch up next month. I'll be unemployed, but I do get a severance, and that should help catch up with that, although I'll have to be very frugal. And I started re-paying on my student loans again. But as a result, I have only enough for gas and a small grocery run between now and a week and a half away. Now I'm contemplating going on to bed, but Hozier's 'Take Me to Church' is on the radio, and I love it, so I'll wait. :)
PS It was followed by Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You'. At this rate I won't be in bed for awhile. :)

Friday, March 17, 2017

I just spent the last four hours

rearranging and cleaning my living room (and I'm not completely finished, as I'm going through and getting stuff together for Goodwill and I still need to file some papers and put other things away). But, in that time I:
  1. Finally threw away all the plants that were infested with mealybugs or otherwise questionable.
  2. Disinfected the area so that I can bring my other plants home.
  3. Rearranged my computer desk, printer stand, TV, speaker, and loveseat so that I can work better in the living room while job searching.
  4. Moved a filing cabinet into the living room near the computer for the same reason, making room so that I can take books off the bookshelf that was next to it in the dining room/entryway, and put it flush against the wall instead of as you enter, so that it opens up the entryway on that end. In rearranging the living room, I opened up things on the living room side.
  5. Collected a lot of random stuff that could just be thrown away.
  6. Re-wired just about every bit of technology in the room (yes, I am that girl, who is the go-to person for running cables and wires).
  7. Changed the lights around so the dimmer light comes on when the entryway light switch is used, and the brighter one is near the computer for better use.
  8. Put together a convertible hand truck/dolly that will help me get stuff out of the house during my purge.
Not bad for someone who's had a very busy day at work, took a friend to several appointments, and did it all on about one hour of sleep. I can feel the crash coming, though. Right now I'm listening to OneRepublic and hydrating, but I have to pick another frined up at 8:45 in the morning and so I should get up early for a Saturday. Then I need to get him and take him and another friend to an appointment. After that, I may work some more on the house or just chill with one after taking the other to work. I don't know yet; I'll leave it open. The game notes are finished (we did just a little playing, and mostly just talked amongst ourselves, especially since there's been so much loss lately in the circle).

Speaking of which, I was listening to Pandora, and heard the song 'Supermarket Flowers' by Ed Sheeran off his new album, about losing a mom. My mom and I didn't always have the best relationship, and for my youth we were too enmeshed, but this kind of says it all.



PS: The early literacy programme is a go after all. It tore me up that I thought they were going to end it after seventeen years. Also, I offered my regular medical books up to staff today (after various departments had their shot of them to take to the new building), and then left for a doctor's appointment so I didn't see the response except for the first couple of people. But I expect the shelves will be pretty bare on Monday, and then we can donate anything that's left to Dr. Viji's charity. I have some other books that will most likely go to the public library, parenting books and things on various challenges and disorders kids have and how to deal with them. Sigh. This is all going so quickly.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rosemary and olive oil bread with Havarti

and cherry-chocolate yoghurt really make an interesting combination.  Not bad, just odd.  Mix in a little orange soda and that was a very odd dinner. :) I somehow don't think my palate is ready for a five-star restaurant.  Of course, my piece of bread was probably bigger than any entrée you might get at one of those. Okay, I'm going to take my slightly depressed self and sign off for the evening. Time for bed. Good night.

Twenty years, wow...

The following pictures are from when I started my job at the hospital vs. a few days ago. Twenty years gone by... The first is me at 30 (I started work right before my birthday), the second as I'm about to turn 50. At least it's been a good part of my life, the best, so far.
Me at 30
And now, at almost 50!

Sigh

Apparently, Pandora can magically sense my mood tonight: 'Oblivion' by Bastille, 'Your Bones' by Of Monsters and Men, and 'Lifeline' by Mat Kearney, have all played in the last few minutes. My mom, the library, even the children's book programme--all going away, evaporating, leaving my life. It's really starting to hit me. Ten more workdays left till the end. Then I show up on the 31st, sign my paperwork, and that's it. Tomorrow will be my 20th year at work. And while I wouldn't trade it for anything, its ending makes me more than a little sad.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

So yesterday

Was mostly spent dizzy, feverish, chilling (and not the good kind), nauseous, and vomiting, with a headache. I guess it was some sort of 24-hour bug. I went back to work today but still felt puny, and I had a short burst of energy a little while ago where I did dishes and cleaned up the kitchen, but I'm kind of pooped now.

I think I'm going to relax, listen to music, and head to bed early. I have a lot of physical work to do for the library tomorrow.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Here are the tulips

Which my aunt's sister and her family sent. Beautiful, aren't they, and so fragrant.

I took a bit of a break from blogging

after losing my mom.  In fact, I took Wednesday to be mostly to myself and sort of process everything.  Once I went back to work on Thursday, I played catch-up over the next couple of days.  I was lucky, they found some way for someone else to do my data entry, in a totally different way than I do, so I had a large stack of papers waiting for me that were already finished. Yay!  But I was still very busy both Thursday and Friday.  The library is full of flowers, as the freesias are still blooming, and the orchid (the other is getting ready to).  I brought some lovely potted, fragrant tulips in from my mom's funeral, and someone donated flowers from another funeral to the hospital and one of sthe recreation therapists brought some lovely pink roses and carnations in a vase to me.

Friday my friends' cat, who has fought kidney disease for years, was doing poorly, with laboured breathing and obviously having trouble.  So the next morning we went to the vet and they had him put down.  He was a great kitty, eighteen years old, and he had a wonderful life with them.  I took one of my friends to work, and then I came on home.  The one who was closest to the cat wanted to be alone for awhile.  I understood.  That's how I felt with my mom.  So it's been a difficult week or so with loss.

Today I brought them a card for sympathy on the loss of a pet.  Brenda came over, and instead of playing the game, really, we just chatted and visited, and we all had a good time.  I think the companionship helped my friend.  One of the dogs kept looking for the missing kitty last night, checking where he used to sleep.  The other cat is definitely missing him, especially at mealtimes, and has been very demonstrative, more so than normal.  So the whole family is grieving, and we've all been very sad.  But my friend did an amazing job with the cat, who was given a year at most to live over three years ago, and his quality of life was very good up to the end.  I will confess that I cried a lot over him, probably on par with what I did with my mom or even a little more.  Animals are my soft spot.  It doesn't mean I loved my mom any less, but she'd had such a hard time, it was a blessing when she died.   And I think the grief for both just snowballed together, and where I didn't feel I could really cry for my mother, at least at the funeral, or break down, when I was by myself I no longer cared, and I grieved for both.

I think what strikes me the most, in both cases, is the absolute void left behind.  I keep thinking of sharing things with my mom, or about how she'd like this or that, and then I realise she's gone.  With the cat, it's little things, like feeding just one scoop of food rather than two during tonight's feeding, or watching Brenda rub the ears of the other cat and realising I would miss cleaning the kitty's ears.  I was the only one he would tolerate to do it, even years ago when he really disliked me (I once chased him with a broom trying to corral him for the vet, and he had a long memory, but the last few years he finally warmed up to me and was very loving).

Anyway, I'm home now.  A should call for a ride from work in about 35 minutes.  I'm not used to the time change yet.  I was actually up during it last night.  I'm still having some trouble sleeping in the middle of the night.  I'm listening to the Bastille station on Pandora (right now I'm listening to 'Holes' by Passenger).  I've spent the last day or two applying for jobs for a friend; I'm not going to do any more of that today.  But I got several in for him the last day or two.  And I have some to apply for myself, as well, especially needing to do cover letters.  I hate cover letters.  But I recognise their importance, and one day I will get a job due to a great and polished cover letter.  In the meantime, I keep practicing. :)

Okay, I think I'll sign off and get some things done before it's time to get A and then on to bed.  I have 19 days left before my last day at work; 15 workdays, actually.  It'll be a very busy week coming up.  Good night.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

I'm back home from my trip

I drove back from Danville today.  It's been raining for two days; it seems to always rain for funerals, although of course they happen on sunny days, too, but it still seems to, at least in our family.  I did alright on the trip down until I reached the Danville city limits, and everything suddenly seemed very real.  I met my aunts and uncles at the funeral home at 9 am (the family usually arrives an hour before visitation for a private visitation).  My step-father came up.  I must say, the staff of the funeral home (Preston-Pruitt-Spurlin) were very attentive and good at striking that difficult balance of being available when needed and generally in the background so the focus is on celebrating the deceased life. I would highly recommend them.

I have trouble with visitations usually, and in my own funeral plans, there isn't one.  There seems to be something a little strange about chatting around a dead body, at least as far as I am concerned. However, I realise it often helps some with the grieving process.  But at the very first visitation I attended, my great-grandfather's corpse looked very life-like, and my great-grandmother, who had Alzheimer's, stood up from her wheelchair and begged him to wake up.  It made a lasting impression.

They did a good job with Momma, but in the end, the body is still just a shell, and it wasn't really my mother there in the casket.  Still, it was hard seeing her there.  There were quite a few people who came by, about half her family and about half people John knew.  My workplace sent a giant peace-lily for the funeral, and the flowers were in various shades of pink and red, which went well with the lighting and Momma's pure white casket.

The intention had been to have photos on a loop on a screen during the visitation, but they could only do that using  a CD rather than the jump drive they were on.  Still, people connected and shared memories.

The service went well.  I'm not Christian, but my mother was a member, like her parents before her, of Gethsemane Baptist Church, and the pastor there did the service, which did involve preaching and payer, but at least he had met my mom and talked with her more than once.  When my great-grandmother, the one with Alzheimer's, died, the preacher had apparently not seen her, as he declared her to have been infirm in body but sharp in mind, which was complete lie.

John requested two songs to be played, 'In the Garden' and 'Amazing Grace', the latter on the bagpipes. That brought some tears to my eyes when it played.  I remember my mom being so upset at my grandfather's funeral that they played the song on some sort of recorded bell, rather than on the pipes, when my grandfather had wanted it in full Scottish fashion. That was another funeral home, of course. My mom was a stickler for details in funerals.  At my grandmother's my mom was annoyed that the casket had pink carnations on it instead of pink roses, my grandmother's choice.  So I'm glad hers went well.  Instead of flowers on the casket, John had brought in a quilt she had loved and they laid that on it, and the colours worked well with the flowers that people sent.

After the service, we drove as part of the funeral cortege a few blocks to the cemetery.  I've never actually driven in one, before.  The Danville police escorted us and did an excellent job.  At the cemetery entrance, one blocked the oncoming lane and stood at attention.  It was very respectful and I appreciated it.

After the graveside service, we went back and got the flowers, and then met up at Cheddar's to eat and visit.  I went back to the hotel my family was staying at and changed clothes and got out of the pantyhose (which I had found at Meijer's actually, along with some underwear.)  We went and visited with my cousin Buddy for awhile and then ate dinner at Cracker Barrel, and I had a good meal despite the fact that I don't eat meat, except for fish.  It's a little bit of a challenge with 'country-style' cooking, but I had lemon pepper rainbow trout with a baked sweet potato, fried apples, and macaroni and cheese.  Buddy picked up the entire tab; my aunt and uncle had picked up lunch for John and me, and then I stayed in their hotel room on a pull-out sofa bed, so my trip there cost nothing but the gas, for which I was very grateful.  I am so glad my family was there for so many reasons; they were a great comfort.

I'm doing pretty well emotionally.  I've never been particularly demonstrative upon the death of a loved one; it usually comes in short bouts of emotion for a few days, and I've been very fortunate in that my relatives' deaths have not be untimely, for the most part.  Momma had been in pain for some time, a constant string of bouncing back between hospital, nursing home, and home, and apparently the last few days were nearly unbearable.

I must give a special thanks to John, her husband, who saw her through all that and helped her bear it all.

So while there is an empty place in my life where my mother had been, I can't say I am sad to the point of devastation at her death.  It was time.  It was kinder to let her go.  None of us wanted to see her continue to suffer, although it was hard to let go.  I think I came to terms with it before my step-father did; he saw her every day.  I saw her every few weeks and could see just how quickly the toll her illness was having on her.  My mom was only 69.  She looked much older, and had wasted away to almost nothing.  It's sad to see her go; I will miss her, of course, but I am glad her suffering is at an end.  I keep feeling like I should be grieving more demonstrably; this was my mother, after all, and we were very close once upon a time.  But I guess grief comes in many forms.  I keep finding myself thinking of talking to her or showing her something, and it's like I suddenly remember she isn't there, and that's when I'm sad.

I'm writing this on the laptop while lying in bed, which isn't the best, of course. I think it's time to close. I think I'll take one more day off (I have three days of bereavement leave) alone to sort out my emotions. Yesterday and today were about family and friends. Tomorrow I want to take some time to myself and, as they say, decompress. Good night.