Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, May 22, 2017

I am temporarily

working at Shriners again, as a contract worker, covering for someone who is out on maternity leave in registration. This was the photo I took this morning of the new building. I loved seeing so many familiar faces today. It was also very nice to be working again, even if it is temporary. Now if I can just figure out my way around the floor plan.



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bounty

From the farmers' market. Chatted with a few folks, and the guy who sold me the tomatoes gave me the little one for free with the others. They've been at the new location for three years now, and this was the first time I'd ever gone, mainly because I didn't want to deal work Hamburg traffic, but it's off Pink Pigeon on the east side, so it's not like the main drag of Sir Barton Way, which is far busier and congested, at all. All the products are made or grown in Kentucky, which is a plus. In retrospect, I wish I'd gotten a bunch of the pink peonies that were $5. They were lovely, both in appearance and in scent.

So apparently now my friend

Brenda has the crud that's been working its way through our gaming group, so there's no game tomorrow. I hadn't finished the notes yet, and that gives me more time to work on them, which I will at least try to start this weekend, if not finish them.

Later today I'm going to go over to YKWIA's and we're going to try to finish up 'Trial & Error' episodes before they expire on Hulu. It's a cute little show. I think we have five more to watch, and they've a normal running time of 30 minutes, so without commercials they're fairly short.

Okay, I've had breakfast (cheese and blackberries), checked my blood sugar, taken my insulin and some of my oral meds [I need to refill my pill reminder box], and I'm listening to the countdown on the radio. But for some reason I'm putting off getting a shower and getting ready to go out, so I need to do that. Have a great day!

Your trivia for the day

So in the wee hours of the morning, because I wasn't sleeping anyway [since I fell asleep by 8:30, then woke up about four hours later], I decided to use a $15 credit I had with Amazon [for sending that computer back] to replace my old jeans, and ordered a pair. Turns out that jeans were patented by Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss on this day, May 20, in 1873. Thank you to my alarm application on my phone for alerting me to this historical fact early this morning, in its nice British accent.

So now I'm up and awake despite being up in the middle of the night, and I have already taken a friend to work. Think I'll get ready and go over to the Bluegrass Farmers' Market this morning (at Liquor Barn's parking lot in Hamburg) to see what they might have.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Drat

Lost a fish, a mostly white gold fish. I'll test the water and do a water change tomorrow if it's warranted. I scooped out the dead one for now. That leaves five goldfish and the algae eater (the latter of which is filling out already) in a 29 gallon long tank.

Tired

My rest of the day:
  1. Got an oil change at Valvoline and a new air filter.
  2. Went to the library and picked up a couple of books on orchids.
  3. Got a call from my boss (I have a boss!) about bringing two forms of ID on Monday.
  4. Picked up a friend for his appointment and took him there.
  5. Picked up another friend from work, home, and to the pharmacy.
  6. Stopped by Jin Jin with my friends and picked up dinner.
  7. Dropped them off, came home, ate kung pao tofu and spring rolls followed by some ice cream. I am now very stuffed.
  8. Spent some time on Facebook. Found an interesting article about Polari, the forgotten secret language of gay men, which I passed on to a friend.
  9. Listened to Pandora (the Bastille station) for awhile.
It's not even 8 pm. I'm pooped. I'd like to watch something, but right now I'm going to just take it easy, maybe close my eyes for a few minutes, but not necessarily nap this late in the day. A has to be at work at 8 am, and I'm giving him a ride, but I don't want to go to sleep just yet.

Tonight's fortune cookie wisdom

Clear your mental, emotional and psychic space and you'll see.

Doors will be opening for you in many areas of your life.

I helped a friend

work on some job application materials, namely cover letter, résumé, and the online application, for a job at a local hospital. He's currently in the hospitality business, but wants to get back into healthcare, where a good bit of his experience lies.

I went through and filed a stack of papers regarding insurance, retirement, separation, unemployment, student loans, all that stuff that had been piling up in my inbox. I discarded anything I didn't need, and just put the rest into individual folders and into my little filing cabinet, which admittedly is falling apart, but will serve for now. So my inbox is clean and happy.

I also looked through some paperwork from the credit union on accidental death and dismemberment insurance, which was reasonable, so I think I may get it. The credit union pays for a couple of thousand dollars' worth, and then it's $1 per $10,000 per month after that, taken out of the account quarterly. So I do still have insurance, between that and what I ported from work, although neither lasts after my late 60s, early 70s. But in the meantime, if I die, particularly if I die accidentally, my loved ones can pay off their house and fix it up some. :) I already have funeral insurance, car insurance, renter's insurance, health and dental (I dropped the vision, as I'd already gotten glasses and contacts in the past year), and AFLAC. Insurance can be kind of scammy, to be honest, but on the other hand, it can be handy. My car was bought from my mom by my AFLAC money when I got hit by a car, for example.

I took a plastic crate and put it under my desk for recycling. There's also a small trash can nearby (that's what I hooked my toe upon), and together they're keeping the work area pretty clean.

I called YKWIA, but apparently he's just waking up, is still hacking, and I was using too many words. It takes him about two hours and two giant cups of coffee to really get going. He has an appointment I need to take him to, but it's not till 4 pm, so I'll venture over there in a couple of hours.

So that leaves some time. Mmmm...I'm really avoiding getting into the apartment clearing, especially as they could come by, and I already have plenty of stuff dragged out. The hangers I'll wait until after the inspection. My drill (and the drill bits, presumably) are in a closet that has some stuff that needs moving right now. Goodness, I wonder if I'll ever reduce the clutter in this place to where I can truly have friends over and be comfortable in my own apartment. But I do have several boxes of books to go right now.

It's sunny again. I wonder how humid it is out there. It's lovely in here, as the air conditioning is working just great. I did turn it so it wasn't too cool (didn't want to affect the fish or plants). That one orchid has put out six more buds, and that may have had something to do with how warm it had been in here. I don't know enough about orchids to really know. I must see if the public library has a good book on them. The only one I have is a very small guide, mainly with details on various varieties, rather than taking care of them.

I'll go look that up. Maybe I'll go to the library if there are any. I'm down to eight books from the library (mostly on job hunting). That's pretty good. I usually have far too many and don't get to them all in a timely manner. In fact, maybe I should just read one of the ones I have out. There's one on clutter, for example, and it's pretty small, but it may be useful, and it's due soon.

Well, that was an adventure

I got up early again today (well, 6:45, which is not all that early in the grand scheme of thing, but better than the 8:30 or 9 I was doing). I got up, got ready, had breakfast, took my meds, called the parking office, realised I had books due at the library yesterday (so I got the list of them and put them in a bag to take back before they opened, so they wouldn't be overdue). I then drove to the library, put the books in the book drop, then drove to UK. The drive was pretty light, and I got there at 8:30 or so. Most of the parking was already taken, it looked like, so it's good I'll be going in at 8 in the morning rather than later. The lady at the office had said there was metered parking near a construction zone, but made it seem like it was in the parking garage on Press Street itself, just like they are, and so I went through the garage, didn't see any, and was about to leave and see what I could find when I saw the meters, outside, by the construction fence. Without thinking, I shifted into reverse (I'd encountered no one so far) and promptly ran into the front of the car behind me. I got out, then got back in and move the car slightly forward so we could inspect, but there was thankfully no damage. I apologised, we said goodbye, and I pulled into a meter space and put a quarter in.

Getting the actual hang tag was pretty easy. I paid for the full 12 weeks, and a little more, through August 31st, because I wasn't exactly sure when this will end. So now I have a hang tag, and can park Monday morning when I go in. I also picked up some information on parking, a map, and a Valvoline $15 coupon off an oil change, which I need. Some of my co-workers park in that garage, others in the Orange Lot off Cooper, where there is a shuttle. Either is a fairly short walk, maybe 10-15 minutes for most people, which means 20-25 minutes for me.

Having escaped the office, I proceeded carefully down the street, past the medical centre and the Orange lot, through the roundabouts on Alumni, and over to Kroger on Chinoe, got a couple of things, and made it back before it started raining--and had the forethought to take one of the umbrellas in the car (there are four) with me. It is now raining really hard, but it's coming in onto the window boxes, so I'm fine with that--it was time to water them again. Still, I don't think I'll be going to the pool any time soon.

My plan on Monday is to get up at 6 am, be parked by 7:30, and then work my way to the medical centre and report for duty by 8. I need a short orientation and then I need to fill out the paperwork they're preparing. I don't need a TB skin test--I'm good till the autumn, and they have that record. I need to find out what exactly is the dress code for the department, as it varies. (Clinic was never supposed to have open-toed shoes, for example). It's not direct patient care, but it might have that. Also, most of the people in the department wear scrubs or T-shirts and scrubs, but I doubt they'll have me buy scrubs for the short period I'll be there. I think my normal office casual things should be okay, it's just a question as to whether I can wear sandals, really. And I need to make sure they're still doing the jeans on Fridays. :)

Wow, we're actually getting a little thunder. I can barely see through my screens, they're so wet. Nice. I've been so intent on typing and the rain, I forgot my TV was still 'connecting' to Pandora, and I had some sort of morning show running in the background. Got that fixed, anyway. Okay, I guess I should continue to be productive, although I don't have anything I have to do at the moment, so I may just take a break and watch the rain. :)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

What a day!

  • Did laundry very early in the morning.
  • Went to my meeting at the career centre/unemployment office, handed in my paperwork, went through a seminar on job searching and résumé-building, and asked some questions I needed to know more about.
  • Went to Lowe's and got a 2-foot stepladder that is rated for my weight, some swag hooks to hang plants from, and some knobs to try on the floor lamp, since the one that came with it fell, hit something, and disappeared somewhere under the bed or in the aether, for all I know.
  • Came home and tried a knob, but unfortunately it doesn't fit.
  • Forgot my rehab equipment and had to drive back to get it--but I just got out of the parking lot, and if I'd left the spirometer and the other thingy, I do live practically across the road.
  • Had a kick-ass session with pulmonary rehabilitation; I pushed myself, and oddly enough, did much better than normal (maybe it's the steroids).
  • Got something at McDonald's and watched nearby geese with their goslings.
  • Got a temporary job offer finalised that I accepted (and I think will work out for both me and the employer).
  • Sent my e-mail address to the folks I sent the computer back to. They sent a $15 credit to Amazon to me for my trouble. :)
  • Called UK parking to get some clarification on their tags.
  • Picked A up from work, took him to the doctor, went home (I'm across the road), found a job to apply for, started working on it, and then picked him up from there.
  • Took my friends to the credit union, the grocery, to pay a bill, and home.
  • Helped my friends pay a bill online (I do the techy part, but they pay the money).
  • Texted with a former co-worker.
  • Applied to a job which was posted today at a local university.
So here's the deal. My former workplace is really busy, someone is on maternity leave, and they need someone to help, so they changed the offer to full-time for about twelve weeks, via contract work, for a much better pay rate than I was previously offered. I was willing to take on the duties given that offer. They will work with my appointments and any interviews I need to go on. I start Monday, working a normal schedule, starting at 8 am. The parking is at the University of Kentucky, and they thought the single-use scratch-off tags might work, but I called UK Transportation Services and explained that I would be a contracted employee working full-time on a temporary basis, and she said that they do offer regular tags at a monthly, rather than yearly, deduction, which would be almost half the price of those scratch-offs, and I'd just have to go ahead and come down and set up an account with them. I need to call tomorrow to find out 1) can I get one before I get my badge, so I'm ready to go on Monday, and 2) where on earth do I park if I need a tag, as I don't see a visitor section to the garage that the main office is in, and the actual visitor garage is a good deal away, so it would behoove me to check. As far as the unemployment goes, I would simply stop filing for benefits after this week and then re-activate the claim after the temporary position ended. I have a full year to actually claim benefits, but I'm limited to 26 weeks of actual benefit payments, so they'd resume (assuming I haven't found another job by then), and that will get me almost to the end of the year in better shape than I would have been.

In the meantime, I'll continue to look for jobs. I've applied to eight so far, since being on unemployment (two this week alone, and I've only been required to apply for six so far). All but one was library-related, and both of this week's are. One is a public librarian in Owen County (an hour's drive away), one is at Transy, here in Lexington.

So what else to do today? Our inspections were put off till tomorrow, and the house is about the same as it was the other day, but not too bad. I might move a few things around, but no major rearrangement. Mainly I want people to be able to walk through without causing issues--so I need to move the hand truck with the cursed cinder block (my toe did partly turn black) away from the middle of the living room. There are also a few things that can go in the walk-in closet. And there are those plants to hang, but I don't know if I should do that just now, or wait till tomorrow when there's a lot of light in the window. That may very well depend on whether I can find a 1/8" drill bit for my drill. I think they're in the closet with the drill, but I'm not sure. The plan is to hang three plants in the living room window (and there's already been a hook in the middle before) and one in the bedroom. The stepladder should allow me to do it, as I think I have eight-foot ceilings (except the hallway, which is shorter), and I'm 5'4" tall, so that gets me close, anyway, although I have those short Tyrannosaurus arms, so close may not work. If that's the case, A may need to help me later.

Tomorrow there's the parking office, an appointment with a friend, and otherwise I think I'll just hang around here and work on the apartment some. Maybe I'll try to go to the pool early in the day so that I can enjoy it with some peace and quiet before all the kids come out, and start exercising in the fitness room as well, now that I know I can kick butt with my breathing techniques on the equipment. Okay, I think I'll go look for that drill bit.

This is an important read

This really floored me when I read it. Any preventable death is one too many. We need to put just as much effort in maternal health as neonatal medicine.

Focus On Infants During Childbirth Leaves U.S. Moms In Danger

Key findings of the article: (quoted from the sidebar)
  • More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. Only in the U.S. has the rate of women who die been rising.
  • There's a hodgepodge of hospital protocols for dealing with potentially fatal complications, allowing for treatable complications to become lethal.
  • Hospitals — including those with intensive care units for newborns — can be woefully unprepared for a maternal emergency.
  • Federal and state funding show only 6 percent of block grants for "maternal and child health" actually go to the health of mothers.
  • In the U.S, some doctors entering the growing specialty of maternal-fetal medicine were able to complete that training without ever spending time in a labor-delivery unit.

Interesting

I still think learning a language with a native or at least trained teacher is best, but Duolingo is useful, and it's making strides with languages such as Irish, which have relatively few native speakers, providing those without access otherwise a chance to learn.

Irish President meets with Duolingo and course contributors

Awake awake

Up at 5 am doing laundry before my résumé review at the career centre (unemployment office). Have filled out various forms of paperwork they wanted, and I need to ask some questions while I'm there that could impact the next little bit of my life. Also, I'm going to try to do pulmonary rehab today now that the bronchitis is easing up. Hope everyone has a good day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Blessed coolness

When I left to get that medicine today, it occurred to me that my thermostat might still be pretty far down, left over from being on heat, and so the air conditioning was running pretty hard when I left. But I didn't go back, thinking maybe I was mistaken. Well, I came in this evening and it was set on 60, had been running, etc., but it felt really nice. I'd say it's around 68, anyway. I turned it back up to 72, which is fine for me. It is much less humid in here as well, so I'm happy. Except for the pain in my toes, anyway. :) Anyway, it feels much better now. Thank goodness for air conditioning; I couldn't live in the South without it, especially as I age.

I am such a klutz

So last night I ran into a cinder block with my pinky toe; it is now swollen compared to the other. Today, when the guy came to fix the air conditioning and I was trying to answer the door, I hooked my middle toe on a heavy barred waste paper basket. Now it's bruised, hurting, will most likely turn darker, and it didn't help that a 75-lb dog kept sitting on it under the table at dinner. I am a menace to myself some days. At least the beet juice all came out of my white blouse that I spilled on myself while eating dinner, which is amazing. Thank goodness they didn't name me Grace.

And there was much rejoicing!

Both air conditioner and toilet are now fixed. The air conditioner was a contacter, I think, a switch in the unit outside that comes together when you turn it on that only one side was working on, and then the toilet was the seal inside the tank. Apparently they weren't too bad. Thanks to the maintenance guys at my complex for their help!

Surprise!

After weeks of bloom, three (maybe four) more buds are coming out on this orchid. Yay!


PS Actually, I've counted not four, but six new buds coming on. Marvelous!

It's a little sad when

you have to take a knife to open up a 20 oz. bottle of soda. I got one at Thornton's on the way back from my unemployment review and class, because I was very thirsty, and couldn't get into it, so I came home and tried a jar opener, a case knife, and finally I was able to make a bit of a perforation with a sharp paring knife (without hurting myself, always a plus) where apparently it didn't make one. But I feel somewhat puny. I also had a light in the kitchen flare out when I got home, and had a light bulb, and got on my little step stool only to find that I barely can change a light bulb, given my short height. I need a taller step stool. There is a reason most of my overhead light fixtures' actual covers are carefully put away, as I can't put them on or take them off at all, without an actual ladder.

The class and review were fine. I got to see three former co-workers, all from different departments. I gave in my list of jobs for which I've applied, and the lady went over the various services they offer and things we have to do to keep our benefits. I have to revise my system résumé, at their request, to take off two old jobs and my references, and have that printed out and ready, along with a packet, by Thursday at 9 am, when I go in for a small-group résumé review. I'd brought everything today, because I wasn't quite sure what was expected, and I was one of the better-prepared job-seekers. I hope that means there's a job out there for me.

After I came home, I opened the windows (it's 77 with a breeze right now, but it's supposed to be humid and close to 90 degrees later), pulled a few things out of the walk-in closet, and called about the air conditioner and the toilet running. When I talked to the leasing agent, I found out that the inspections have been put off till Friday, which gives me some time to vacuum, mop, and go through some of these boxes that are stacked up. This morning I got up at 6:45 am, later than I planned, but it was good, cleaned one little bit of wall that had something on it (I think it had a little mould from where I keep a hamper there, and I thought I'd need bleach, but it turns out Citrasolv works well, as that's what I had), did the dishes, and took the trash and recyclables out. Then I got ready for my review, and I was there 15 minutes early.

I called pulmonary rehab and cancelled for the day, and they were very understanding and told me to call Thursday if I still needed time, since it's an upper respiratory thing, and even if I could breathe better, stop coughing, etc., by then, she said she didn't want me wiping myself physically with the exercise programme if I'm not up to it. I have a sinus infection, cold, and bronchitis, and of course, bronchitis sometimes takes awhile to get over. I'll try to do the actual breathing exercises tomorrow if I feel up to it. I could have worked this past week, but on the other hand, I'm glad I could get some rest. I just would have had to push it a lot more, and rest in the evening more.

That leaves me the rest of the day to look for a job, go through some things here, and maybe go get some medicine for YKWIA if he needs it, later. We talked on the phone briefly. He's still hacking, too, and there's a medicine they gave me but with his insurance I think they were more expensive, so he'd held off. But they do help with the coughing, although I wish they lasted all night. I'm waking up early each night with coughing. This morning I was awake from 3 am to 4 am because of it. The coughing subsided after awhile, and then I couldn't get back to sleep for almost an hour. I'd also like to start The Glass Magician (and I need to check on my library books and when the next ones are due) and maybe watch a couple of things sometime today.

I got a call from my former workplace. They really want me to come in and help cover for the maternity leave, and she wanted to know what they could do to have me come in. YKWIA told me to tell them a full-time job with benefits and the same salary I had before. :) I'd like to help out, but I don't think it's viable. It would take quite a bit of time from the job search, not pay more than unemployment (unless they change that drastically), and make things more complex with the parking and the like. I'll call her back and hear what she has to offer, but I just don't think it'll work. They were saying before that they needed me for eleven hours a week for about twelve weeks. But I need to focus on getting a full-time job, soon. My unemployment benefits are only good for six months, and we're six weeks in. Also, soon I'm going to have to pay for the medical end of COBRA, and between that and the dental, it's about $750 a month. The sooner I get a new job, the sooner I get benefits, including health care, and can save money.

Oh, and I need to go back to that one post, a few down, and review my agenda for today. It is one reason I do that, it's sort of my way to make lists that I'll remember to go back to.

Hope you're having a great day.

Monday, May 15, 2017

In truth, I've gotten a little done this evening, but not much

I did work in the bedroom, true excavation, for about 45 minutes and took care of that. I'm feeling stressed now, mainly because the house is not in the shape I'd like it to be, and I'm still too sick to really do what I want with it, and I've run out of time for the most part. I think I'm going to have to just let that go, and do the few things I can before tomorrow morning. I may just go to bed early tonight, because I'm not feeling energetic in the least, and I'm having some trouble breathing. Rehab might be interesting tomorrow. I'll try though. The worst I can do is be sent home as too sick to do the exercises, I guess. I was debating on getting up early and doing the laundry and some work here, and really that's just the anxiety talking. I should just focus on going to the review tomorrow, trying to do rehab, and then I can come back and do laundry in the afternoon after that. I'm also going to see about getting my allergy shots tomorrow; I didn't feel up to it at the end of last week, and so I didn't get them at all, although I will say both arms itched the entire week from the week before, so apparently we're up to a fairly high concentration. :)

I think I'll just go on to bed, even though it's only 10 pm, and get up early, and see if tomorrow is a brand new day after all.

This afternoon I:

  1. Corresponded with the company over the computer I sent back.
  2. Signed an author agreement for a book review.
  3. Applied for a job as an electronic resources coordinator in the county my dad grew up in (and I spent a good bit of my early life).
  4. Got my job applications binder ready for tomorrow's review.
  5. Ordered four macramé plant holders to suspend from the ceiling, three for the living room and one for the bedroom, to be sent to YKWIA's in the hopes that it will work better than sending things here.
  6. Took A home so he could wash up and get ready for a meeting that I will also take him to and from tonight.
  7. Picked up some medicine for a friend.
So not quite as productive this afternoon, but hey, it was important stuff, at least. I found today that I (almost) had no anxiety driving in rush-hour traffic, as my general stress level is down, despite the need to find a job soon. I think that's a good thing. I did manage to break a tumbler that was in the drainer when I went to get a saucer out, which amazes me, as the tumblers are thick and sturdy, but I managed not to hurt myself on it, either. A is going to call me about 6:40, and I pretty much just got home, so there's no point starting laundry quite yet. I think I'll have dinner and maybe do something fun for about an hour, rather than work on the apartment, then go get him, drop off that medicine, take him to his meeting, and come back and work on everything. If I have to wait on the laundry, I can--I plan on wearing a nice skirt and top tomorrow, and I have underwear and such to wear, at least in the morning, and I can probably change into my jeans, which aren't too bad, and a shirt for pulmonary rehab, so I'm fine at least until Wednesday. I might even wind up actually doing the laundry at YKWIA's, depending. I knew today wasn't good. But on the other hand, his washer has a hand-wash setting that is superior to the delicate we have on our washers in the laundry room. So we'll see. Tonight I'll focus on getting the rest of the bedroom in shape, straightening up just a bit, etc. I don't want to stay up too late, though, as I need to get up early for that review tomorrow. But that'll give me about four hours to work on things till bedtime. I'll also wash the few dishes that are in the sink (I've kept up with them, the trash, and recyclables really well the last couple of weeks).

I've already been pretty productive this morning

I:
  1. Woke up easily and rested.
  2. Took all my medicine, including my injectables, and not only checked my blood sugar, but transferred the readings over to my phone. I haven't been doing so well with this between the different schedule and being sick, so I'm starting anew and really trying to get a handle on my glucose readings.
  3. Got a shower and got dressed.
  4. Sent the computer package back to the technology company.
  5. Enquired about getting a mailbox at the UPS store so that I can get packages, since it never seems to work out if I'm not home and it comes to the apartment, which is why I always had them delivered to work. It's $20 a month, $240 a year, but if you pay for a year right now, through a promotion he's running through June, you get three months' free, so it's cheaper. I'll think about it. I may be able to get things delivered to YKWIA's without the hassle I have at my home, because they leave things there for him. It may be my settings--I do have things tracked--or it might just be because I live in an apartment building. But I can receive things at UPS from any shipper, so that's good. Still, that's awfully expensive, and I doubt I'd have enough shipped to really warrant the expense. I may have a couple of small things sent to YKWIA's to see if it'll work before the special ends, and go from there.
  6. Got some quarters from Kroger.
  7. Picked up some caffeinated orange soda, which isn't the best for me, I know, but at least it doesn't have the dark colas' phosphoric acid in it.
  8. While there, I found a couple of orchids, still blooming, in colours I like, that were 75% off each. I am beginning to thing this orchid bug is an illness. I now have six orchids--two I re-bloomed, two I just re-potted, and the two I just got. All are different colours, and all all phalaenopsis, except possibly the smallest one. If I can get that one to re-bloom, and ever get to the orchid society, I'll ask them. Here's a picture of the two new ones:



  9. After I got home and opened the windows (it's quite pleasant with a breeze, although it's supposed to be in the 80s today), I noticed the peace lily, which the hospital I worked at sent me when my mother died, is finally about to bloom. It's a huge plant, and fortunately doesn't require a huge amount of light, so it's away from the window. I was afraid it wouldn't bloom for that reason, but it's about to, just in time for mother's day. :) I'll take it as a good omen:





Okay, it's not quite time for lunch yet, and my cherry chocolate Greek yoghurt is still keeping hunger at bay from this morning, so I think I'll start working on the house. I need to check and see just how much stuff needs to come out of that walk-in closet, as they need to fix the air conditioning, and then there's the rest of the apartment to straighten up before tomorrow's walk-through. And I really need to do something about the plants, as they are in the way of the windows pretty badly. I mean, if there was a fire, I'd be able to get out, because I wouldn't worry about injuring the leaves or flowers then, but they'll need to open them tomorrow. I wish I had a couple of hanging basket holders, and I could suspend a couple of them from the ceiling. Maybe I'll do that. The larger shamrock would work, as would the older Christmas cactus, and they wouldn't actually block the windows that way, like a shelf would. They're just a bit too crowded right now. I mean, I have 25 plants between the two rooms. I think I'm at my limit.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day, Momma

My mother and I, circa 1970.

A candle for my mother, may she rest in peace.

I actually read last night, and finished a book

that I'd just been on chapter three when I started. It's The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg, and it was an excellent light read, and exactly what I needed while recovering from this crud. This afternoon I went to the library and picked up the other two in the series. A little while ago, out of curiosity, I looked to see how much they were on Amazon, and while the paperbacks are quite inexpensive, the Kindle series (all three books) was only $4.05. So I got them on that, because I decided it would be better to hoard electronic books rather than paper ones. :) But really, I want to read the next one, The Glass Magician tonight. I'll read the physical book, as it brings me a bit more pleasure to turn the pages, then take the others back to the library so someone else can enjoy them, and finish up the series on the Kindle with The Master Magician.

I took A to work early this morning, after calling him to wake him up (but he went back to bed), but we got there just in time. That was 8 am. Then I got home and proceeded to sleep until about 11:30 am, and YKWIA called (he'd just gotten up again, too), to see if I could run to the store for a couple of things, that turned into a fairly good-sized grocery run, involving two stores (why are pearl onions suddenly impossible to find?) Then I got back and we watched a couple of episodes of 'Trial & Error' on Hulu (which is hilarious, and expiring, so while he's seen them all, we've got about half left for me to watch in about 11 days. But they're short.)

I came home, rested for about an hour (I didn't actually go to sleep, and I'm only tired because of the crud, but I took some medicine and listened to some music for awhile). I finally started to drift off, but the music was rather peppy, so I got up and excavated approximately half of the bedroom this evening. I have three tubs on the bed--recyclables, dirty clothes, clothes that are clean but need pressing, and then I've folded some of the cold-weather stuff I haven't been wearing that need to be put away and they're piled between the tubs. I also have a pile of bedding (there are a lot of pillows and a very warm comforter that came with my 'bed in a bag', and I can't sleep with all of them on the bed at night time).

I have a few other things to go through, some books stacked, a couple of loose piles of things, and such, but I made quite a bit of progress. Tomorrow I can launder the dirty clothes. I can press the ones that need it, and hang up the ones in the hang up pile. The cold-weather things are going to be put away into some easy-open tubs I have, and stored in the bottom of one of the bedroom closets. A few things need to be put away in the chest-of-drawers. The last couple of things I should do tonight, and move the tubs off the bed, and then I'll be able to sleep. I'm not finished in there tonight, yet. I just got overly hot and had to sit under the fans for a bit. I hate how tired I feel, and how winded I get whenever I try to do anything. I still cough a lot.

When I got home, I watered the outside plants and deadheaded the spent blooms. They're growing nicely. I also watered everything inside as well. I was supposed to do that yesterday, and didn't. Just like today or yesterday I should have done a water change for the fish tank of about 10-15% of the water. I'll try to do that tomorrow. The fish seem happy, at least, and I have done it weekly for a couple of weeks since everything was set back to full-functionality.

It's almost dark. I can't really celebrate mother's day, but I thought I'd light a candle for my mom tonight and let it burn for awhile. I'm thinking of her, anyway. I miss her. We didn't always have the best of relationships, and once upon a time we were too close, really, but I miss her nonetheless.

Okay, I guess it's back to work on the bedroom. I'll have to switch Pandora back to the bedroom TV. Good night.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Hey!

I managed to sing for a few minutes! (Coldplay's/The Chainsmokers' 'Something Just Like This'). Okay, granted, the opening, even sung by Chris Martin, is rather low. But hey, I managed, even the bit with the higher chorus. :)

PS Drat. Now my throat hurts. That was premature. :( I think I strained my vocal chords just a bit with that, and I didn't even sing the whole song. Back to as much silence as possible.

I've gotten a lot of rest today

broken up by terrible bouts of coughing. I tried to do some simple things like rearrange the TV table in the living room, and it got hard to breathe through the mucous (yeah, isn't that lovely) and I had to sit down. So today I'll just rest. I've got the Bastille station (although, really, it's played a lot more Mumford and Sons in the last hour than anything else) on Pandora on right now. I may watch something later, but really, I think I'll read. I still need to finish The Paper Magician and I have five days left on the loan. I am really enjoying it, it's just I only now have a good light (I put an LED bulb in) over by the couch, and if I read in bed, I tend to fall asleep. :) I think my doctor would definitely say it's time to rest today, and I can work at other things as I feel better.

So here's my week ahead:
  1. Tonight. Read. Listen to music. Relax. Pick up A from his job at 1 am and deliver him to his house. Give my (now bimonthly) libation, as I'm doing so at dark of the moon and at times I have my period. This one is the latter. It sucks to be on your period and sick, let me tell you.
  2. Sunday: Request my benefits check. Check for jobs to apply for, and apply if I fit the requirements. Maybe do laundry over at YKWIA's. I need to, as I didn't last week. If not, I may do it over here at the complex, as I have detergent and softener here. It's just a matter of getting quarters from somewhere on a Sunday. A lot of places get a bit stingy on that front. If I'm feeling up to it, I should work on the bedroom while I'm at it and do a bit of excavation of most of the horizontal surfaces. The bath and kitchen are in good shape; I just need to do a few dishes and touch up the bathroom. The bedroom is the worst room in the apartment. Light a candle for my mother.
  3. Monday: Check for jobs to apply for, and apply if I fit the requirements. Send back the extra computer, as they got the return labels to me. They're crediting me $15 with Amazon for my trouble. I need to work on the apartment, especially straightening up in the dining room, living room, and anything else in the bedroom. Try to rearrange the plants in front of the living room window so they won't get crushed if they try to open the windows--they open fine, but I always have to move a plant or two, with the orchids blooming, and the freesia bulb pots are on the sills. If I move things around, and they open them, as I think they're required to check, then I can minimise any damage. The African violets in the bedroom are never a problem, as they're pretty low to the pot.
  4. Tuesday: Check for jobs to apply for, and apply if I fit the requirements. My eligibility review with the unemployment office, a class related to that, my pulmonary rehab, and of course the walk-through/inspection is that day. Go through my life insurance portability and AFLAC paperwork and send them in.
  5. Wednesday: Check for jobs to apply for, and apply if I fit the requirements. Do some more de-cluttering and de-hoarding. I've got two boxes of books ready to go from the entertainment centre that is between the living area and dining room; I need to finish the rest, find a room for the books I'll keep, break down the centre, take it to the Dumpster area, and then move one of the other two shelving units over so that the one is back to back with the other and the space between the two areas is more open. Right now, the space has the centre on one side (going towards the hall), with two shelving units back to back with it, dividing it completely. I want to change that. I also need to take a friend in for a blood draw.
  6. Thursday: Check for jobs to apply for, and apply if I fit the requirements. Pulmonary rehab, and I may be taking a friend to an event. I can't remember if he said he wasn't going after all, or if he's checking on it. It's where a mah-jong group takes over a local restaurant and plays for about four hours. :) He's been playing at the library and learning the game. It sounds very complicated.
  7. Friday: Check for jobs to apply for, and apply if I fit the requirements. Take a friend for a shot. Work on the game notes.
  8. Saturday: Check for jobs to apply for, and apply if I fit the requirements. Take a another friend to work at an ungodly hour (for a Saturday) for the first of two jobs, then pick him up at 1 am that night.

A relatively pleasant day so far

I didn't go to bed till late last night, around 2 am, but I woke up this morning feeling rested. I'm still hacking, and I do feel more tired than normal, and I think my speaking voice is very near a baritone rather than soprano (and singing is right out), but I do feel slightly better. I did manage to take some books back to the library, including one that was a couple of days overdue, paid my fine, brought back a 'lucky day' book that was a 14-day-loan that I realised never actually got checked out to my account, didn't sound the alarm, and generally I'd absconded accidentally with in the act of trying to check it out. They were happy I brought it back. I'd gone all the way over to the Beaumont branch to get a book that had been an Audible special today that is called The Ten-Cent Plague about the early days of comic books, censorship, and generally how people lost their minds over the things in terms of their influence of young minds. It sounded interesting, and for all that I once worked at a comic book store, I don't know much about that period or the problems they encountered.

Then I took a couple of friends to an appointment, went and found some socks at Gabriel Brothers, got them from their appointment, we went to Subway to eat, Kroger for dog food, and then I dropped one off at home and one off at work. Now I'm home, and I've got the windows open, and it's sunny, the birds are singing, and I'm feeling tired but good. I need to go check out my e-mail; a glance tells me that I got several dealing with the UPS delivery yesterday (totally unexpected) of a second refurbished computer, without power cord, keyboard, or mouse, that was shipped by mistake. So I'm going to go take care of that, take my contacts out, take a nap, then get up and try to do some things around here. I'm here for the rest of the afternoon and evening (I do have to get A at work at 1 am), so it would be nice if I could get some stuff done, especially as they're doing a walk-through/inspection of the apartments Tuesday, and of course, while better, things are pretty cluttered.

We're not playing the game tomorrow, as both the game master and I have been sick, and when he explained that to Brenda, she was happy to stay away from plague. So I'm going to focus on getting better and not push to do notes today unless I feel like it, and get some rest tomorrow, too. I also need to remember to request my unemployment cheque tomorrow, and then Tuesday there's the eligibility review. I'm also hoping to go back to rehab on Tuesday, if this crud will work its way out of my system.

One last thing

My mom gave me this bear back on Christmas of 2007 (I know because the year is on his foot). It's always been good for a cuddle. I didn't expect to be going into mother's day with such a sense of loss at her passing. But I miss my mom. I decided the bear should have a name, finally. I decided on Pip, because my mom was Phyllis, with Phyl as her nickname, and Phil, short for Philip, is the male equivalent, and as anyone who had read Great Expectations know, Pip is another nickname for Philip. It's roundabout, but there you go. So this mother's day I'll think of good times and cuddle Pip, and be glad that at least my mom is at peace and no longer in pain.

I was about 20 years old

When I first picked up a copy of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which at the time had recently come out in paperback here in the States, it had a profound affect on me at the time, so much that 30 years later I still have my copy, and I remember the details of the story very well. This was before it was taught in schools and colleges, but it made me think about our lives as women in a way my textbooks did not. Even though at the time, I identified with Offred, the protagonist, I realised early on that my lot in their world--and certainly now, would be at best a Martha (a drudge), but more than likely cast away to the poisonous colonies. Certainly I was more biddable and less likely to be uppity or a rebel then, but still, in retrospect I could not have survived as a Handmaid, and even at 19, I'd been told it would be unlikely that I could ever have children (not, incidentally, by the doctor who did the tests, but rather some nurse or other random person in scrubs who had no business breaking it to me as bluntly and off-handedly as she did).

Even so, I have never felt that Gilead and its dystopian society were ever so possible as now, so I'm glad they're taking the story and popularising it for a greater audience, and so well. It's uncomfortable, sometimes horrific, but it should be seen (and read). I highly recommend both book and show, and it should be discussed. In the book, I remember the epilogue to the story was an academic conference looking at how this could come to be. I hope readers out there won't skip over that part. It's important.

Okay, that's all for tonight. I should get to bed. Good night.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Just wow

Watched the Hulu original series 'The Handmaid's Tale', first episode, tonight.  It is ever bit as chilling and powerful as the book by Margaret Atwood. Excellent and thought-provoking TV at its best.  I highly recommend it.

I feel like I'm burning up

I had about three good hours in which I was able to go to the pharmacy to get the medicine that got left out of the bag, go get a friend from work, take him by his place, take him by another friend's house, go get wine for a libation tonight, and go to the grocery for just a few things (for example, I got potatoes last night, but nothing to go on a baked potato). Now I'm home, and I'm pooped. Thoroughly pooped. I've got the windows up and two fans going. It's actually pretty cool outside; it's not air conditioner weather, and things are too bad in here. The heat is all internal to me. I probably have a low-grade fever, plus I'm hot-natured anyway. Later tonight I may watch something, but right now I'm really considering taking a nap. I'll check the news (none of which was good earlier, with a ransomware attack hitting computers in at least 74 countries, including British hospitals).

A rainy sick day

There's a fairly decent, steady rain falling right now, and it's gloomy and cool. I've got the windows open because I'm still running hot, with a small desk fan on me. I woke up about 5:30 am coughing pretty badly, got up at 6:45, took the over-the-counter medicine and fed the fish (they're getting the hang of the fact that food comes from the heavens after the light goes from nighttime blue to daylight), and went back to bed. At 9:30 I called YKWIA, because I have some medicine of his, but he said to just bring it later when I take someone over there. I also called the pharmacy, which had left a message with my home phone. They forgot to put one of my medicines in the bag (which explains why it wasn't there; I was afraid it had fallen somewhere in the car), so I'll have to go get that later, too, as it's a cough suppressant that I need. They'd tried to get me before I left the parking lot, but the number they had was at the apartment, so I gave them my cell phone for future reference. I then took my antibiotic and steroids, all my regular meds, and waited a few minutes (one of my medicines requires that before eating to work), then ate some burritos for breakfast.

Even the golden algae eater is out. It's doing a great job at uncovering the rocks, which were green and are now their normal colours.


So I don't have to be anywhere till about 3:30 pm. I feel worse today, actually. I'd like to watch something like 'The Handmaid's Tale' or 'A Series of Unfortunate Events', but I'm just not up to that, or reading. I may listen to some music. But I don't want to sleep the whole day away, even if I'm not up to doing much of anything, including working on the apartment.

I've watered the inside plants (the outside ones are getting a pretty good dose of rainwater, even the ones under the porch near the living room, as it sometimes blows in). All five of my umbrellas are in the car, so hopefully it won't be raining quite so hard when I go out.

Yes, I know, it's time to deadhead.

I just feel awful. I'd like to start adding news stories here again, but I just am not up to that today. And I'm trying not to whinge. Sorry, I'm not particularly interesting in my writing today. But at least I didn't have any appointments today or any real plans.

I think I'll go put some soothing music on and go back to bed for awhile. I can get up in an hour or so and take a shower, anyway, get ready, and then maybe I'll feel better, or at least clean out some of this nasal congestion. Take care.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I forgot

How much the Rocephin and Kenalog hurt (they're in the buttocks, one in each hip), and the area is sore for some time.

I took my normal medicine at night, the Breo, which is an inhaled steroid, taking special precaution to rinse my mouth, as I don't want an opportunistic thrush infection due to the antibiotics. The long-acting insulin is also important, because steroids wreak havoc with diabetes. They've moved me to something called Basaglar, because my insurance would pay for that but not Lantus. My pharmacist says it's very similar, just with an extra chemical chain. I have some Lantus left, but I decided to go ahead and just take the new drug first to make sure I didn't react badly to it, so they wouldn't fill it next time if I did. I am allergic to another long-acting insulin, Apidra, so it is possible to be. Anyway, I've done all that. Time to go to bed. Good night, this time for real.

We interrupt this silence

Let me just say that I haven't written today mainly because I'm miserable. I got my friend's crud, and after getting the package (just as I put my backpack on to leave to get my friend at 6:15 pm at the doctor's office, the guy showed up), I took my friend home, and I proceeded to set up a refurbished computer (that was the package) that was supposed to be a Windows 7 machine, but of course it updated immediately to Windows 10 (which my friend hates), thanks to Microsoft. :( He fell asleep. I was there till 11 pm and let myself out. I was feeling worse and worse. My chest was really tight when I went to bed. Today I woke up with full-fledged crud, took a friend to work, stopped by and got medicine that apparently you can only get into with scissors (it tells you on the directions to use them, even), and went to bed. Got up around 10:30, called my doctor's office, and they were booked till June but put me on a waiting list, and were able to see me at 2:45 after all. I was there till almost 5 getting two shots (an antibiotic and a steroid), prescriptions for oral ones, and having some blood drawn. Then I picked A up form work, we went by the credit union, the pharmacy, and Kroger's, I took him home, got home myself, started the Windows Creator Update on my machine (it took THREE HOURS on my laptop), and went back to sleep till 9 pm. I've been messing with Facebook a lot today, mainly complaining about small First World problems because I don't feel well. So now, the computer is finally working, I thought I'd write a short note, and then head back to bed. I just took the aforementioned medicine (Mucinex) about an hour ago, but the acetaminophen isn't touching my headache. My eyes are all runny, as is my nose, although it's better than it was without the meds. I'm coughing, sneezing, and just in general hurt and feel tired. I have two fans on me because I'm running a low-grade fever. The worst thing about today, though, is I'd really been looking forward to going to the Bluegrass Orchid Society's meeting, and I just couldn't do it, one, because I didn't want to spread germs and two, because I'm just that tired. Next month is their picnic--I'll check and see if it's open to guests. Oh, well. There will be other meetings.

Okay, I'm going to go on to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I'd like to get some things done. Good night.