Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

On a brighter note

I was looking at my orchids, and this one has a stem sprouting! It's a yellow one I've featured here before, my most consistent bloomer. Apparently after doing well despite a lack of light for five months,  a Change to a brighter room with a window nearby has been good for it.

So...

Just woke up. The cat was all comfy after dinner on my belly and I fell asleep. The dogs were out for three hours (although mind you, it's 67 degrees now and very mild). A co-worker gave me some ingredients for bread, so I just put them in the bread machine and will have bread shortly before midnight. Can't believe I just totally fell asleep!  It was very steady at work today, between the number of appointments and the number of phone calls and messages.  I worked really hard.  I guess I was more tired than I thought I was.

On the way home I stopped at Kroger and got a sharps container.  I was going to get some extra pen needles (I take seven injections per day.  That means over the course of a month I use 210+ pen needles, and I have a prescription for a box of 100.  Occasionally I get another box from Kroger to supplement what I get at my pharmacy.)

Except for today.  Apparently, Kroger's policy is now that they will give you the third degree about having a prescription, make you sign a log, there must be a pharmacist on duty (there wasn't), etc., etc., to get a box of needles that, as far as I know, only work on insulin and related pens.  As far as I know, no one has figured out how to prefill an insulin pen with heroin or similar illicit drugs, so the policy is kind of insane, and only punishes those of us who need it for actual, real, (and yes) prescribed medicine.  This is why I don't normally use Kroger pharmacy for anything except a round of antibiotics--they make everything incredibly harder than it has to be and give me nowhere near the service of my small, independent pharmacy.

It's a stupid policy. Period.  And while it was not the fault of the girl who was explaining it all, you could tell she was mindlessly quoting the rules and policy rather than actually engaging into the why of it.  Sigh.  I guess next time I go to my pharmacy I'll have to pick up an extra box.  My prescriptions don't get run till the end of the month, though, so that means an extra trip across town, as I'll be out of them before then. Grrrr....

Monday, February 19, 2018

Well, that was productive

The other day I decided to check and see if my cell phone bill, which I've been struggling to pay, having to make payment arrangements the last couple or so months, could be lowered in any way.  I had a tablet that was long-since paid off but still had a mobile internet line attached to it, for example, and I never use it anymore, and even if I did want to, I have WiFi now.

I went to the T-Mobile store on Richmond Road on Saturday and explained what I wanted to the associate.  He reviewed my account and confirmed that if I dropped the mobile internet and switched to the newer One Unlimited (which, like my last plan, had data, voice, and text unlimited, but also has the taxes included and the hotspot is unlimited at 3G speeds rather than a cap of 5 GB at 4G).  I wanted to make sure I could still get onto the internet via my phone on my laptop, but it's not as crucial now that I have WiFi at home.  And the speeds aren't crucial, as I just browse on the hotspot, not stream or anything, and I've been judicious about using it since it wasn't unlimited.  So I actually prefer the unlimited everything.

So with the switch, dropping my voicemail to text feature (which frankly hasn't been working well lately--I'll just listen to them like most people) but keeping my insurance, my name ID, and my instalment plan for my device (of which I got a stupendous credit, so that's just something like $3.00 a month for the device, a screen protector, and a case), but without going on AutoPay (it would save me $5 a month, but I don't want it to come out for the time being, since I've been struggling to keep any money in my account), she gave me the quote.  I asked if my work discount applied still, and it doesn't (it was about 12%), but she applied an Insider discount since I've officially been a T-Mobile customer since 2011 (I was a prepaid customer from about 2000), and that was 20%.  All told I went from $107 a month to about $80.86.  Not bad, even though at one point I got cut off in the transfer to her department and then also had to wait awhile due to her department getting a lot of calls.  But still, it was worth it.  The representatives at the store and on the phone I dealt with were very helpful, when I got cut off, I was immediately called back, and no one tried to convince me to do anything I didn't want to.  I've always had great service with them, customer service and phone service.  Usually, you would have to wait until the end of the billing cycle to change, too, but I'm only two days in so she was able to make it effective immediately.  Yay!  That was the main reason we didn't do it in the store the other day--the mobile internet drop had to be done over the phone, and he was afraid that if he switched the plans it would prorate so I was paying for both plans, or roughly a month and a half, in the first month.

Anyway, I'm happy.  I've had a very good experience overall with T-Mobile.  In the 18 years, that I've been on their service, I've experienced one very localised and short outage period.  They've expanded their voice and data coverage immensely, of late.  I really have no complaints.  Compare that to a friend who tried to pay his husband's Verizon bill to save him a trip and was given the third degree, being asked questions even the husband didn't know the answers to, and he wasn't trying to access the stupid thing, just give them the money for it.  All he should have had to do was give the mobile number and hand over payment.  He doesn't have a cell phone himself, he was just trying to make things better for his spouse.  It did not go well.  I'm so glad T-Mobile isn't like that.  Yes, to make changes to my account there's a PIN.  But anyone, to my knowledge, could pay my bill without being hasseled. :)

A little oddness

So my computer updated, and it FINALLY lets the lockscreen dismiss when I first start it up, something that the Creators Fall Update had broken.  It is doing something if I keep it going for a while, either closed or open, where it's acting like the touchscreen is being touched when, in fact, it is not.  Restarting solves it, but it's weird.  I've had to do it twice in the last 24 hours.

Today was technically a holiday for work

but a couple of us came in and worked on the various queues to try to get them under control.  My boss brought her boxer, who is white with speckles and a brown spot around the left eye.  She's adorable.  We played a little, and after she got home, she sent us a text of her dog totally sacked out on the couch.  It was a nice, easy day.  We got to park behind the building, rather than over by the stadium, so there was no shuttling in.  I got home within 20 minutes of leaving work, and that included a detour, as the last road before mine was totally closed due to some sort of road work and I took a side road I'd never been down in the hopes that it would take me to the road that is parallel to ours, which it did.  It's beautiful outside, partly sunny and 72 degrees at the moment (and it was warmer earlier, I suspect).  There's a pleasant breeze.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be similar and 80 degrees--here, at the end of February.  It's not unheard of.  Years ago, in the 1980s, I remember living in an apartment where you couldn't control the temperature--the air conditioning ran in the summer; the heater in the winter, and we had temperatures in the 80s in February and were so hot that we had to open the windows.

Anyway, after the drive home, I came in, let the dogs out, found YKWIA stirring from a nap, which he promptly went back to, so I left him to it.  He's been studying very hard as of late and probably needed it.  I went ahead and prepared a medium-sized basic white loaf of bread and started the bread machine going.  One of my co-workers who wasn't there today was at the grocery and told me she'd like to get me some flour so I'd make her bread.  I told her the type to get, and she sent me a picture of it just to be sure.  So I'll make some for her tomorrow.

All in all, it's been a pleasant day.  It's a little while before time to feed the animals, although the cat does not believe that.  He's sitting here staring and meowing at me.  The bread will be ready about 7:45, probably, and the animals get fed around 7 pm.  I think I may take a nap myself since I've got an hour to rest.  Hope you had a good day, too.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Just had a wonderful meal

of lentil loaf, Gruyère velouté soup, homemade bread, and a Belgian endive/mushroom/asparagus salad. Really, the groceries cost very little, but the meal would be ridiculously expensive were we to dine in a restaurant. I love YKWIA's cooking. All I did was chop up two onions this time (he's very sensitive to onions as far as eyes watering, and I usually fare better, particularly if I have my contacts in) and the cleanup. I have two pots soaking at the moment. Otherwise, it's all in the dishwasher, which is running, or I've hand washed it.

Today there wasn't a game, but I worked four hours. We'd signed up for some voluntary overtime, and the folks who worked on Saturday got all the grid shuffling done (we have new scheduling grids, so it's a means to put the displaced appointments back in where they go--it takes much less time than rescheduling every appointment).  No one was certain how long it would take, so they had us working on it through the weekend and Monday [the medical centre is closed tomorrow for Presidents' Day].  It looked like I wouldn't be working after all, but my boss said I could come in today and get some things done.  There's enough in a couple of queues for me to work all day so I will be coming in tomorrow.  Today I reviewed some of the reschedules and mostly stuffed envelopes of letters going out for appointments that shifted more than 10 minutes in the process.  I hand-addressed and licked every envelope.  Apparently, our postal meter machine will seal the envelopes, but I wasn't sure about that, and by the time I found out otherwise, I was almost finished. :)  It wasn't too bad, though.

The other night I sat down and did some financial stuff and really fell into a funk that spilt over into grief over my mother (the anniversary of her death is coming up) and general issues of sadness.  I stayed in bed all evening and really felt emotionally hung over the next day.  I cried a lot and there were bags under my eyes that covered half of my face the next day.  I don't know, the financial stuff triggered it, but I don't know where all this anxiety and gloominess came from.  I listened to a lot of Simon and Garfunkel, which made me feel better (their music always does, despite the tendency to sing about death, suicide, depression, and the like).

Yesterday, like I said, I felt hungover and achy, mostly a combination of emotional overwroughtness and then arthritis acting up, as it was an extremely rainy day.  Today I felt much better, thankfully.

Anyway, that's why I hadn't been writing. I'd gotten onto Facebook in my funk for a bit but mostly stayed off the computer completely.  But I am doing better.  I did chores today, and I need to do my laundry tomorrow after work (I did the dog blankets and bath mat today,  as I meant to do those last week, and there has been a prodigious amount of mud brought into the house over the last few days, with all the rain).  Today was a little warmer and the sun actually came out, and it did a lot for my mood.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 70s.  We've got rain coming back in the forecast, though.

Okay, I'm going to check off my Habitica checkboxes, scrub those pans, and probably go on to bed a little early.  Good night.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mmmmm....

Two leaves for our potluck tomorrow... Whole wheat, which is vegan (but tasty), on the left, and herb bread with dill and caraway seed, rosemary, basil, and garlic, plus dried tomatoes and peppers, on the right. The house smells divine, as the herb bread just came out.


Yum!


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The wheat loaf came out well

Although, unlike normal, I had to extract the paddle from the bread, probably because it's denser.  But it rose well--just not as large as a normal 'XL' loaf, more like a large one.  At YKWIA's suggestion, I'm making a large loaf of herb bread as well, and everything's cooled down, so I've got that measured out and in the pan mixing and now probably rising as we speak.

In the meantime, I have put a heating pad on my back, which felt nice--whoever invented the things should be applauded--and I've put my laundry away from yesterday, which is good, as I'm bad about procrastinating that.  At the apartment, I often lived out of hampers because quite frankly, the closets were full of books.

Sadly, the cat did not come cuddle while I was lying down.  He stayed with his master, which I suppose is the order of things.    For the last two nights, the little dog has stayed in there with him, too, although apparently, she started out with me, per YKWIA.  I'm wondering if the fans on are too cool for her.  I have them on low (there are two in the library/my bedroom).  They're very comfortable for me, although way too cold for YKWIA to stay long in this room when I have them on, especially tonight, as I may have given my crud to him.  I just made him tea and rubbed his feet.  I've given the dogs their nightly peanut butter treat, chained the door, etc.  I'll turn the light over the stove out when I'm finished with the bread and head on to bed myself, but that won't be for another hour.

Must admit, however, that I am getting sleepy. :)

It was nice to be back to work today

We celebrated Mardi Gras with doughnuts and King Cake, and I've probably screwed up my weight loss by a couple of pounds today alone.  Tomorrow we're having a potluck to celebrate Valentine's Day and also our volunteer's birthday.  It being the day before payday, and with me having about sixteen cents in my account, and a slightly smaller cheque due to the lack of time off to cover everything (although it wasn't too bad--I was less than four hours short total, and it amounted to about $13 in pay after taxes, etc.), I suddenly realised last night that my best bet was to make bread.  So tonight I'm making two loaves--a wheat bread that is really good and completely vegan (one of my co-workers is a vegan), using applesauce or olive oil (I used applesauce) for the creaminess, and honey for the sweetener.  Later I'll try to make an herb bread as well.  We'll see how it goes.  I haven't made the whole wheat in a while.  I put together the dough conditioner just the other day.  I love the recipe and both the bread instructions and dough conditioner ingredients can be found at https://beanland.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/whole-wheat-bread-machine-recipe/.  The only difference is I use olive oil instead of canola, sometimes. I don't like canola oil, to be honest, and olive oil works fine.  But I used unsweetened applesauce this time.


So, with the bread making, I swept the floor in the kitchen and mopped it.  Of course, it's going to start raining soon, and it's supposed to rain for most of the week.  On Thursday I think the high is supposed to be 62.  In Lexington, we tend to have localised flooding, but up in the hilly areas to the east of us, schools have been closed and the flooding has been pretty bad.  So I wish we had a drier forecast, for their sakes, and for the sake of the kitchen floor.  But that's okay.

I am working this weekend for about four hours to help make up for the lost time, as well as Monday, which, as it is Presidents' Day, we are technically closed, but a few of us have permission to work on rescheduling the grids.  That way I won't have to use my very low personal time off.  My boss said she was able to use some of the extended illness bank for yesterday and part of Friday, so only part of Thursday wasn't covered.  But working will help offset the loss of personal time off, anyway.

After work today, I took a co-worker somewhere and she gave me a little money for gas, which was great, because I was on my gas light, and this should get me through to payday.

Now I'm listening to some music.  I may lie down on the heating pad for a little while.  It was great being back at work, but I am a little tired and my back is still hurting.  I think after that, I'll watch Netflix, maybe the next episode of 'Sherlock', because YKWIA is studying and reading tonight.  I think he was very happy to have me at work today. :)

Monday, February 12, 2018

PS

The kitchen can wait until tomorrow to be mopped.  I waited until after dinner since invariably some vegetable winds up on the floor (and the dogs aren't particularly into vegetables), but I'm too tired after helping prepare the salad and some other chopping, along with the cleanup afterwards.  My back is hurting quite a bit today, and so the bending to unload and load the dishwasher and then to stand and do the rest of the dishes was painful.  YKWIA did most of the cooking, and it was an excellent meal (a frittata, cream of asparagus soup, and an arugula, radicchio, shallot, and fennel salad with balsamic vinegarette with garlic dressing).  We didn't even need to get into the bread.  I've taken my nightly medicine, and I added some tizanidine, which I use occasionally on orders of my doctor, when my muscles are in spasm, as it relaxes them.  It's a tiny dose, just 12 mg (three 4 mg tablets at bedtime).  I'm also thinking of using the heating pad for a little while.  I did finish all my other tasks for the day, including my laundry. Yesterday I did his, today mine, and tomorrow I'll do the dog blankets and bath mat.

Okay, I'm going to get on that heating pad and listen to some music. I already feel a little fuzzy.  These are not things I can take and drive, for example.  Usually, I go straight to bed, and they don't make me groggy in the morning, really.  I usually wake up before my alarm.  But I stayed up once and it was a weird feeling, where I wasn't coordinated and slightly drunk.  So I use them very sparingly.

I guess the cat has forgiven me...

He came and sat on my chest just now (as I was typing, of course).  Now he's moved over to the bed.  But he purring and cuddling, and obviously had put the nail trimming behind him.  He's lying on the blouse I just mended, of course, because it isn't enough to be on the quilt on the bed. :)

Unfinished business to do today

  1. Trim the cat's claws.
  2. Mend a blouse, including sewing on a button and fixing a ripped seam.
  3. Take out the trash.
  4. Clean the toilet and tub. 
  5. Sweep.
  6. Mop the tile. *plus*
  7. Run an errand with YKWIA.
  8. Run by the pharmacy. 
  9. Help with dinner.
  10. Clean up after dinner.
The cat is distinctly not happy.  YWKIA is studying right now, so I don't want to make much noise doing the chores, so I'll do those later.  We're going out in about an hour to run an errand.  It amazes me how quickly today is going by.  I got up at 8 am, got something to eat, watched a couple of things on Hulu that he was watching, then went to bed from about 10 am to 11 because I'd only gotten about 6 hours' sleep.  I felt better.  I only actually slept about 15-20 minutes, but it was a nice nap. I'm mostly recovered, of course.

So I've written about Habitica before

Which is a role-playing game-themed task system to help you do things in life you might otherwise not be motivated to get done.  I subscribe, meaning I get gems and other goodies every month to use for various items such as quests (which I invite members of my party to) as a way of having more accountability in terms of doing tasks.  So they have new 'hatching potions' that can be used to create 'pets', which in turn can be made into 'mounts', and this Cupid hatching potion is available for gems and they are only available through February 28th.  I was lamenting the lack of gems until I suddenly realised, hey, it's February, a new month, I have plenty of gold to buy gems with, and as a new month, I can get up to 45 as a subscriber.  So I did so, got a new quest (the badger pet quest, which has just come out) and five of the Cupid potions.  I still have 31 gems, so I have some for other things, and they don't go away at the end of the month or anything.  But if I don't buy them, I don't think they build up from month to month.  Can't believe we're almost halfway through the month and I totally forgot I hadn't gotten any gems yet and was kicking myself for having no gems.

I'm an 86th-level healer, the only one in the party.   At 100 you can use an 'orb of rebirth' to become to go back to level 1 and at level 10, you can choose another class.  I've been a mage, a warrior, and a healer, so the only one left is rogue.  I'll do that.  Then I'll have done all four. :)

It's fun, but it also helps me get things like floss, take out the trash, and most importantly, take my medicine as I should.

The dog

is sitting in the middle of the backyard barking at the sky, or more specifically, a crow sitting on a powerline pole.  Now the other dog is barking because, while it's not raining, the yard is wet, she is unhappy, and wants to be let in.

At least the first one isn't jumping up above the fence today.

The cat, meantime, is on my blanket on the bed, still unmade, mainly because I don't want to disturb him.  It's very fluffy and he's very comfortable.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

It's so weird

not going to work tomorrow.  But that should be my last day, per doctor's orders, and I've been taking my antibiotic faithfully and feel much better.  I need to call tomorrow and make the two-week follow-up appointment they wanted.  When I spoke to the receptionist Friday, they were getting ready to close (they leave by 1 pm on Fridays).  Maybe I can figure out what's going on.  Also, it occurred to me to look up my lab results through their portal.  Looking at them, the following were all high: White Blood Cell Count, Red Blood Cell Count, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Platelet Count, Absolute Neutrophils, Absolute Monocytes.  Also, there are two things that are always just off, and I think they have to do with the liver, which scares me sometimes, as my mother's liver disease started like that.  They are Alkaline Phosphatase and ALT.  There used to be a reference guide in my health library that gave some indication of what these values mean.  That went to India, of course, with the other materials.  So I'll have to have Dr Nesbitt explain it to me.  The white blood cell count was the worse; most of the others are slight elevations.  So I guess it's an indication of infection and he wanted me on the antibiotic.  Not quite sure why he wanted me off another four days, though, unless he felt that 1) I needed more time to build up my strength in the face of infection or 2) maybe I was infectious.  I guess there's no way to figure out what was wrong with me.  But he wouldn't have put me on an antibiotic for a viral issue.  So, who knows?  I'll talk with him in a couple of weeks, by which time I'm hoping I feel normal (I have still tired out a bit, I must admit).

The bread came out

so big, I could barely get it out of the pan.  I dented in one side of the top doing so (there tends to be a lot of air up near the crust).  Oh, well, it's not as pretty as when it was in the pan, but I'm sure it will taste wonderful.  Now to let it cool completely before putting it into the container.  And I put the dough conditioner together, too.

So I learned two new words tonight

from the Caesar's Footprints book:

chador--noun, a large piece of cloth that is wrapped around the head and upper body leaving only the face exposed, worn especially by Muslim women.
atelier--noun, a workshop or studio, especially one used by an artist or designer.
Not bad for one chapter. Nine more and an epilogue to go.  I like his writing, and it really puts me back when I was studying Classical languages and history.

Reading Plan

So, in this order:


  1. A Darker Shade of Magic--3 days left [to be renewed so YKWIA can finish it and I can read it afterwards]
  2. Caesar's Footprints--6 days left (new/14-day book) [to start with immediately] 
  3. The Landmark Julius Caesar--6 days left (new/14-day book) [next]
  4. Anatomy of a Genocide--14 days left (new/14-day book)
  5. La Belle Sauvage--20 days left (fiction)
  6. The Oversight--26 days left (fiction)
  7. The Forgetting--26 days left (fiction)

When did this happen?

One thing about being home so much is that I'm starting to get on YKWIA's nerves because while the first few days I was exhausted and asleep, as I began to feel better I tended to do lots of small talk and chatter, even though I tried to rein it in.  Apparently, I miss the interaction with other people, and he's been working on projects on the computer and studying, so there have been large blocks of time I've been on my own.  Yes, I've read, watched videos, listened to music, done chores, and I've taken occasional naps, but still, I'm kind of lonely and bored, and what I don't get is this is the hallmark of an extrovert, and I've always been very introverted.  I score INFP on the Meyers-Briggs, always very strong on the introverted side, although it's moved closer to extrovert over the years, as is normal (you tend to move closer to the other side of the spectrum as you age and experience life, if I understand things well).  Anyway, maybe this is part of my problem with reading.  Maybe somewhere along the way it didn't satisfy my need to interact with people rather than characters.  I also find watching the TV to be rather passive, although I do get immersed in the story, just as I do with reading.  Music I enjoy on a different level, both in terms of the actual sounds and the lyrics.  But still, somewhere along the way, I got to where it's harder to amuse myself--me, the kid who was always alone and felt unloved.  That's a little unnerving.

I cuddled with the cat for a while earlier, although I really didn't sleep.  He got right up on my pillow with his head up next to mine.  Then I fed him and the dogs, and he seems to be keeping this food down, so he's happier.

I'm not really sleepy.  I just ate something extra because my blood sugar went low despite taking my insulin back 20 units each time for the long-acting insulin [so 60 units twice a day, which I think is going to have to go down to 50 or 55] and keeping the short-acting one at 34 units for all meals, not 34-42-42.  I kept track of what I've eaten today.  Even with four little meals, basically, I've stayed under the recommended amount for losing weight.  I've been pretty full.  Today I've had two bowls of cereal with milk, a banana, some homemade cream of mushroom soup, a piece of bread, two little applesauce cups, two peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and I think that's all.  So I've had 1 serving of vegetables, 3 of dairy, 4 of fruit (there were raisins in the cereal), 2 protein, 6 servings of grain, and a bit of sweetener, for 1333 calories (an I've burned 2004 for the day) between my activity/steps and my metabolism.  It's not exactly balanced, but it's not bad. If I eat anything else today, I'll make sure it's a vegetable choice.  We've got a turnip-apple dish in the refrigerator, along with 'green rice', which is basically rice with spinach and onions.  So those are possibilities.  In the meantime, I'm making some more bread right now; we should have an extra-large loaf ready by 10:30 pm.

So the question is what to do now. I'm listening to the OneRepublic station on Pandora.  I could read.  I could watch another episode of 'Sherlock'.  I just don't feel like doing either of those things.  It's kind of annoying, actually, that I don't.  I don't want to go to sleep or I won't sleep well tonight.  Sigh.  Maybe I'll try reading. I'm not up to Julius Caesar himself, but maybe the book on his legacy on the landscape (called Caesar's Footprints: a Cultural Excursion to Ancient France by Bijan Omrani).  It might be good to read before tackling Caesar, as I'll have a better idea of the lay of the land for the Gallic War, anyway.  Actually, I should go to the library's website and check to see when each book is due, then come up with a reading plan.  I know the one YKWIA is reading is due on Valentine's Day, the next one that's due, but I think I should be able to renew that one.  I just renewed The Forgetting and The Oversight.  I just checked out Anatomy of a Genocide.  So that leaves Caesar's Footprints, The Landmark Julius Caeser, and La Belle Sauvage to figure out.  Okay, I guess I'll do that.

We're coming up on the anniversary

of my mother's death, March 2nd.  I'm thinking about going down to Danville on the 3rd of March to lay some flowers at her grave and visit it for a while.  I'm going to text my step-father to see if he wants to meet for lunch somewhere in Danville that day, so maybe we can catch up.  I haven't seen him since May when he brought some family pictures up for me and we talked for a couple of hours.  He was incredibly good to her, especially in her last illness.  I want to check up on him and make sure he's doing okay.  We're not especially close, and he has a lot of drama in his family that I try to stay away from.  But I do like him; he's my favourite step-father, and I must admit I probably like him better than my father, with whom I haven't spoken since 1993.

Momma is buried in Bellevue Cemetery in Danville.  I checked the regulations, and it should be fine to bring some real cut flowers and lay them on her grave.  I'm thinking about some nice tulips.  She probably liked roses better, but tulips are a herald of spring.  I always thought it was sad she didn't live to see the renewal of life in spring.  She despised gladiolas, though--that I know.  It reminded her of funerals.

Okay, I'm going to attend to a needy cat who wants love (and food, but it's not time yet).

I went through three other gardening books

Which were mostly listings of various plants or some plans for some gardens.  I took pictures with my phone using CamScanner, which puts them into a PDF file, including an herb garden from Edible Landscaping and also a listing of various types of plants that are edible (and things that certainly aren't, like castor bean).  So I took a total of six books back, picked up the hold, so I have seven out, one of which YKWIA is reading, three of the others are fiction, one is a collection of Julius Caesar's writings, another a book on sites important in his travels, and then the Holocaust book focussing on a town and what happened there.  The fiction books are all fantasy; two are teen books, and they should be quick reads.  I'm hoping I can get everything read before time to take it back.  I'm going to focus on these before any others.  It was difficult to pass by the new bookshelf, which is right by the entry, without perusing the titles.  Also, I was very pleased to see the crowd turn out for the opening of the Tates Creek branch, which happens at 1 pm on Sundays.  I was there early, about 12 minutes till, and was the first non-employee to get there, as there was no one in the other cars.  But in the intervening time period, probably fifteen cars came in, and people were waiting at the door.  One man nearly ran over a woman as she was heading in.  I suspect the rush was to get to the computers. :)  But there were four other people looking to pick up their holds in that section.  Three other cars had dropped off books at the book drop while I had been waiting.  It was quite a crowd, and even though I don't work there, it warmed the cockles of my little librarian heart.

Okay, time for more caffeine.  Let's get these chores over.  At least the grocery run is finished--I got a few things at Kroger and then had to go to Fresh Market for radicchio.  Most things were for a salad--arugula, shallots, the radicchio, fennel, etc.  Of course, there was milk, and I got more bread flour because I miscalculated how much would be left when we did the last run.  I use between 3 and 5 cups of flour for each loaf of bread.  I really should get YKWIA to find his ginger for me and make some whole wheat bread, because I have all the other ingredients for the bread, including the soy lecithin granules and ascorbic acid for the booster you put in the bread to help it rise.  The ginger's part of that, along with cornstarch.  And you have to put wheat gluten in, but that's a separate ingredient.  It makes a lovely loaf.  I have an entire bag of wheat flour.  But I think YKWIA prefers the basic bread even to the oatmeal one I tend to prefer.  The basic white bread just takes flour, sugar, salt, dry milk, butter, and yeast, along with water, of course, and it's cheapest to make.  The oatmeal one has oatmeal, of course, but not the instant kind, but rather quick oats, and uses honey instead of sugar.  Both make lovely loaves.  I'll have to see about the wheat though so I can use that flour.  I think you still use a cup or so of white flour in the wheat bread as well, so I can't just make it if I run out of white bread flour, but if it gets low, maybe.  I get White Lily bread flour, which is made by a harder wheat than regular all-purpose flour, but I could use the latter in a pinch.  Because I use the rapid bake, I use a jar of Fleischman's rapid-rise yeast.  You use a little more yeast if using the recipes that came with the bread machine (the basic white and herb bread) or different amounts if I'm making the oatmeal bread, which is from the book Electric Bread, under 'Outrageously Oatmeal'.  It has good recipes, some a little odd but intriguing, and recipes for spreads as well.  It was a good find.  I think that was from a book fair at work. :)

Okay, really, I'm going now.  Have a great day.

I slept in till about 9 am today

When I heard the cat trying to claw my bed, which got him yelled at, he stopped, and he proceeded to climb up on me and tread, eventually moving to my pillow and settling on it.  Even with my CPAP, my allergies were reacting.  I love cats (and dogs), but I am pretty allergic to them.  I'm pretty sure he realises this.  Anyway, I petted him for awhile as he purred, got up, took a shower (closing my door so he wouldn't act out further), and so he moved onto waking up YKWIA.  The dogs tried to get me to let them out. We have a rule we established early on; YKWIA lets them out in the morning and feeds them, so they're not as likely to bother me in the morning or have the little dog bark and wake him up since I get up about 6 or 6:30 am each weekday.  I feed them in the evening and let them out.  It works well, usually.  Little dog does normally make it till after I leave; she's the only alarm clock he has.  But she has a little old lady bladder, so eventually, she'll bark.  Anyway, by that time it was about 9:30 or 9:45, so even though he was up later than I, it was time to get up, as he's usually up by 8 or 8:30.

So I've taken my medicine (my blood sugar was 102 today, which is really good). I've eaten.  I've made my bed.  I just need some caffeine to be ready for my day, and YKWIA said he'd get me some soda when I do a little grocery run later.  Things to do:


  1. Take those books back to the library after they open at 1:00 pm.
  2. Pick up the hold that is waiting for me there.
  3. Run to the grocery.
  4. Caffeinate.
  5. Clean the cat litter box.
  6. Trim the cat's claws.
  7. Take out the trash and recyclables.
  8. Clean the toilet and tub. [The mirror and sinks are fine; the others need a once-over, including the tub, to keep anything from building up like soap scum or, well, you know.]
  9. Sweep.
  10. Mop the tile.
  11. Run the dishwasher.
  12. Do laundry.
I didn't work on the game notes yesterday,  I may do that today, depending on how I feel after I do all that.  Yesterday, of course, I did the reading. I also watched an episode of  'Sherlock' ("The Sign of Three").  Then I watched Despicable Me 3 with YKWIA (we had the DVD out from Netflix).  I liked both.  I felt a sense of accomplishment because 1) I rarely read, and 2) I'm not great at watching things, especially on my own.  I can't binge watch.  Three hours is about my limit, usually, and then I normally watch things with other people.  I tend to listen to music more.  I'm doing that now, the Bastille station on the Amazon Music.  So it's been a relaxing time so far.  Now I'm going to see if I can get one more garden book taken care of before I take those books back.

[I decided since it has been raining all weekend, and it is supposed to clear up tomorrow, and I'm off tomorrow, I would do the floors tomorrow.  The trash wound up not being an issue; the recyclables were, and I took those out.  So that leaves the cat's claws [and he threw up his food earlier and isn't feeling well, so I may wait till tomorrow on that too, rather than upset him and cause further distress] and the bathroom stuff.  That I can do in just a few minutes.  I think for now, though, I'll take a nap, because even though I didn't do a lot, I'm kind of tired.  Must be this supposed infection I have, which might be sinus, as this morning I was blowing out goop that was a little yellow.  Not that you really needed to know about that, I guess.  I'll call my doctor's office tomorrow to make an appointment (they wanted me back in two weeks) and to see if I can get any more information.  Then I can text my boss and let her know what's going on.  But for now, I plan to be back on Tuesday morning.]

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I am so guilty of this...


Reading Diary Entry #1

JANUARY
  • The Heirloom Life Gardener: The Baker Creek Way of Growing Your Own Food Easily and Naturally by Jere Gettle
  • Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens by Barbara Pleasant
FEBRUARY
  • "A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
  • Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders

Finished

"A" is for Alibi.  It was a very promising start to the series.  Only 24 more letters to go. :)  I like the title, too, as the murder method is such that an alibi is moot, as the main character points out early in the book (I'm not giving any spoilers away, as the book concerns a murder eight years in the past.)  The next book is "B" is for Burglar.  But that will have to be for another day.  I have the other twelve books to go through and read.  Today I'm going to work on the language book, as I can probably have that done.  The garden plan book is finished, so I'll copy that plan I liked and take all three books back to the library tomorrow, and then I can pick up that book on hold.  I think that will work nicely.

The attack of the chatty people

I am chatty, have been all my life, to the point where my mom once said she prayed I'd get laryngitis as a kid.  'Momma, let me tell you one more thing...' was my refrain, she said.  Still, I do try to tone it down in the morning around YKWIA, because he's nowhere near toleration of it until he's finished with his second giant mug of coffee if that.  Today he's been especially testy about it.  Also, the person we picked up to take to the appointment is a very chatty, narcissistic person.  Two of us together made him rather want to curl up into a ball, I suspect.  So he's planning to have a quiet day, and I'll do stuff as needed out of his way.  I respect his need for privacy.  We're both introverts, really, although I've become more able to deal with people as I've gotten older, especially working in customer service.  But still, time to dial down the chattiness, stop filling the silence and focus on other things.

I brought the "A" is for Alibi book with me today and read a few more chapters.  I'm enjoying it; it's not a style I particularly care for, but it's nice to be reading again, and it's going pretty quickly.  I did just realise I've left it out in the car, which, since it's raining and I have houseshoes on, means putting at least my sandals on to go briefly out into the wet.  Oh, well.  I think I'll do that in a bit.  YKWIA did splurge a little by taking me out to Captain D's after we dropped the other person off, which was good because when I checked my blood sugar, it was 58. Remarkably, I didn't feel shaky.  But I was finding it harder to think.

For now, I'm going to work on some things on the computer and maybe listen to some music.  My laptop can play music through the speaker tower so I can stream some music through that.  Later I may work on the game notes for a while.  We're not playing the game tomorrow since I'm under doctor's orders to rest and apparently have some sort of infection, which I don't want to pass on to anyone, especially since the other player is about to take a trip to visit an elderly mother.  So we decided to err on the side of caution.  But if I get the notes finished this weekend, and then she's gone the next, I won't have to do them later when my memory's fuzzier about what we did.  We're on the third leg of the book Ripples from Carcosa, set in the future this time (we've done ancient Rome and Norman England already). I am beginning to hate the Yellow Sign and the machinations of Hastur.  I didn't really engage much last Sunday, as apparently not only was I tired, but coming down with the flu, but I did enjoy the story.  Hopefully, by next time we play, I'll be more involved.

I watered all the plants before we left this morning.  They're doing well.  The ones in YKWIA's bedroom are really flourishing.  I think they like him.  They're in a window seat in a southerly exposure.  The ones in my room are easterly to southeasterly, the couple of African violets in the bathroom (on the back of the toilet) get western light, and then there's his plant in the kitchen (a combination of Christmas cactus and some opportunistic wood sorrel that he likes), again, a western exposure.  The living room gets very early morning light but is fairly dark the rest of the day, which is why I was surprised my plants survived in there on the bed and nightstands for so long.

I would love to really garden this year, now that I have a yard to play with, but neither of us has the money to invest in plants right now.  Also, the best place for a vegetable garden would be out back behind the shed, and I found a really nice plan that would work, but there are the dogs to consider and whether they would damage the plants.  Perhaps a raised bed near the fence would work.  But that costs money to get landscaping materials like retaining wall products and mulch.  We'll see.  In the meantime, I've been looking through catalogues I found online (and one I requested from Burpee's) and have been dreaming of future gardens.  I prefer heirlooms over hybrids, and several of the catalogues are full of those.

I do like my present job, but if I could find one in my field (librarianship) which paid more money, that would be great.  I made more last year, due to the severance and contract work, than I had before, and I was pretty comfortable.  But I've taken a $5/hour hit since October and have really struggled with paying my bills.  I still am waiting for my 1099, so I can't file my taxes quite yet.  I may wind up paying, although I hope the severance taxes (which was a whopping 41%) will offset no tax withholding for the time I was doing the contract work, as the car repairs back in October took the last of my savings.  I'm going to have to have them prepared professionally this year, due to the severance, unemployment, and most importantly the 'self-employed' contract work.  Hopefully, I will get a 1099 form soon.  I talked to our chief financial officer yesterday and he said they had gone out but some of them were incorrect and they may need to be corrected, so that could be the holdup.  But also, since I moved, it may be going through the forwarding process.  He did say that he'd drop a line to headquarters about it.  In the meantime, I'll give it till the end of the month and hope I get it soon.  No sense in panicking until April.  Still, I'd like to know if I owe anything.  The first tax-related item I got this year was a form to be sent to the Fayette County school system for their share of the taxes.  That's why I need an accounting/tax preparing firm, as there are different forms for that contract work, and while they would have them all, I would not.

We do have the prospect of some overtime coming up because we have to 'shuffle' all the appointments out there into new grids, and that should involve some weekend work.  But the grids aren't ready yet, and I couldn't have worked this weekend anyway per doctor's orders.

Tomorrow I'm going to do some chores around the house, like laundry, sweeping, and the cat box--things I normally do before the game.  But I'll try to make sure I get some rest, too.  Monday I have no real plans.  I guess I'll just relax.  At some point, we have a small grocery run to make, just a few items.  Other than that, I'll have some time to rest and recuperate.  I'm taking my medicine as I should (I have to for nine more days).  I wish I knew what the problem was--I know it's not a UTI, and I don't think he'd have prescribed an antibiotic if it were residual from the flu.  It could be a sinus infection, as I have chronic ones, I guess, and I am having some sinus pain. I really was surprised he wanted me home for four days.  And I'm a little concerned because I don't have enough PTO to cover last week.  If they add the long-term sick time (which only kicks in after three days of personal time off), then I'll be about 3 hours short.  Otherwise, it'll be more like 12 hours.  That'll make for a small cheque.  This Monday is covered because of a new pay period, but then we're off the Monday after that due to President's Day, and that's on the same cheque so I won't have enough to cover that. I get something like four weeks of vacation time a year, so it accrues quickly--but not that quickly.  I actually was on track to have a week's worth of time built up before my birthday, but this has wiped out my hours completely.  I asked the payroll clerk to just do what she could.  I'm not sure I can touch the EIB because of the three-day rule.  I worked Monday half a day, and Friday half a day, so I'm not sure how that works.  I would think the PTO would kick in Monday, go through half of Thursday, and then the EIB would cover half of Thursday and part of the time I missed on Friday.  But I have 21 hours of PTO and I need 24.  I don't know if the EIB will kick in if I don't have enough PTO to cover those three days.  Sigh.

It's depressing to think about.  Oh, well.

I got up very early for a Saturday

But then I was in bed by about 9 pm and asleep by 10:30 last night.  I have to take a couple of people to an appointment in a couple of hours, and so I wanted to get up early, get washed up and dressed, and clean out the car.  Not that there was much in the way of trash (a couple of soda bottles to recycle), but I still had a small cherry table in the backseat and my TV and DVD player in the trunk, and they've been there since before I got sick.  I set it all up, it works (now that I have WiFi, I can not only get the basic channels with a digital antenna, I can get streaming services since it's a (small) Smart TV).  I can also watch my DVDs now without hooking up the old DVD-ROM to my laptop (I don't have one built into the computer as it's smaller and they saved space).

YKWIA just came in and saw the TV set up.  I'm not sure he was happy, but he said it was okay.  I did set it all up while he was asleep in the hopes that he'd be less likely to say no, I have to admit, which I did freely to him.  But it's out of the way of his treadmill (though next to it) and away from the books, so I think it'll be okay.

So far this morning I've also taken my meds (including the antibiotic), eaten some raisin bran with a banana, and now I'm in my room while he's watching 'Will & Grace', with the cat perched on my bed.  It's raining outside, so the dogs weren't particularly happy, and they were just let in and are gated in the kitchen.

I like the new room. I have a door I can shut so I have more privacy, so my music doesn't disturb him (or the TV for that matter).  I can hear him on the computer when he's watching stuff because he plays it loudly (his hearing isn't what it used to be, but then neither is mine, I just can listen to things more softly), but I can take it down a notch or two by closing the door.  I'm surrounded by books on three sides of the room, and I have taken over some of the built-in shelves, so I have more storage as far as the bed go.  The water for my CPAP, for example, is in the footboard instead of next to the bed.  I have the two nightstands, with two drawers each, the bookcase on the headboard, plus the top of that, the footboard with two sliding-door cabinets and two long drawers for underwear, socks, and nightclothes.  He's let me use his cedar chest for pants and T-shirts.  My normals blouses and sweaters, along with my laundry basket, lunch bags, a few random bags, and my robe are in the entryway closet.  I also keep my two microfleece blankets there in the daytime.  In the hall closet are my linens and two bags of purses.  Also in the bedroom, in addition to the TV/DVD/cherry table, are two small trash cans and a Bluetooth speaker tower.  My headboard has a small CD player/boom box, so I have all the music set up and now the video.  He brought a stool in while I was sick to put my food on, and I've kept it, so I have the laptop on it right now and my chair from the kitchen.  But those travel around, of course.  So it's a nice, comfy environment, and I'm doing so much better in terms of anxiety and psychological peace since downsizing.  Now granted, I am having to pay for storage, and most of that is the books that I didn't get rid of.  But it's still much better than when I was in the apartment.  We're doing pretty well in terms of getting along and giving each other space, although I'm a bit too chatty for him before his coffee, except that's usually just Saturdays and Sundays, and I can take a hint. I think having me home (especially after I ventured out of the bed after three days) was starting to get to him, having a little too much time with me).  But otherwise, we're doing fine.  I have certain chores and he does as well; we share a lot of the upkeep.

I have two windows in my room, good-sized, but separate as opposed to the two in the living room, which are together.  There are two maple trees and a redbud outside in the front yard, and there is a squirrel who has been hopping between one and the roof above.  The cat is having his Zen time on my bed, or I'm sure he'd be enjoying the view.   We get lots of squirrels.  Our neighbour has been putting out corn for them, and they nest in the maples.  It's nice living in a house.  It's got a little over 1200 square feet, has the large bedroom, which I gather was two rooms at one point, you can tell on the hardwood floor, the library, which was a study and a den at one point until they remodeled, the living room, a kitchen with utility room, and a bath.  I do wish they'd kept the bath as one main one with the half bath off the master bedroom, but instead they knocked down a wall and made it a large bathroom with tub, a shower glassed in on three sides, a window, two sinks (that is nice) with a large mirror and three cabinets behind it, and a door going to the bedroom and to the hall.  But sometimes we trip over each other trying to use it.  Still, it's nice, and there's ceramic tile in the kitchen and bath, and hardwood throughout the rest of the house, the former having been part of their remodelling a few years ago.  There's a nice-sized shed for storage and a privacy fence for the dogs, although one likes to jump up and peek over it, and can.  She could technically clear it, I think, she just doesn't realise it.  Still, I suspect she scares the neighbours when she does that, as she is a Labrador-pit bull mix with amazing jumping power.  The other little dog is a border collie-terrier mix.  The cat is black and slinky.  They are all incredibly loving and good-natured.  The older dog has mellowed over the years; she used to be much more anxious and weird.  We found that a Thundershirt helped when she was outside, but the other dog was offended by it and would drag her around the yard by it until she tore it to pieces.  She used to have to be sedated around the Fourth of July, but now she's a little deafer and it doesn't bother her.  I love all the animals dearly, but I'm a little partial to the little dog, who sleeps in my room most nights.

There was just a mourning dove out on the tree a minute ago, spooked by a squirrel.  But she walked along the branch with that funny gait and head bobbling thing they do.  I think they are my favourite bird, not particularly showy, but I love them.  They're usually on the ground in pairs when I see them.  I love their call, as well, so eerie.

Okay, I guess I should go get hydrated and ready for the outing.  I hope things are going pretty well for you all.  Stay well (I had mild flu, really, but it still was bad enough).  Have a great day.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Just had a meal

of home-made bread (my contribution, courtesy of my Panasonic bread machine) and lovely tilapia in white wine, onions, and herbs (YKWIA made that, except I chopped the onion).  It was incredibly good, a good meal for Shabbas, and very satisfying all in all.  We each had a third of the pound of fish and split the last third, and each had a couple of helpings of thinly-sliced bread (he did the slicing--I'm only now getting the hang of using a bread knife on a loaf).  Now my stomach is happy and I'm getting sleepy.  I think the kitty wants to cuddle; he's on my bed.

Did I mention that I weighed myself before and after I was ill, and I've lost about 10 lbs this week?  I'm sure some of that will come back, but at the moment I'm thirty-two pounds down from my highest weight. It's all of this home-cooked, wonderful food.  Yay!

Well, it's a start

I got three chapters read before YKWIA woke up and started dinner, and he needed my help with the onions (he's very sensitive to them and his eyes water terribly when he cuts up onions or shallots).  Then I fed the animals.  Now the fish will take about 30 minutes and the bread should be done just ahead of that.  We have some salad in the refrigerator (bleu cheese, shallots, Belgian endive, walnuts, with walnut oil, red wine vinegar, and mustard for the dressing).

I love that I can finally get onto the Internet without using my phone.  That means I can actually stream something if I want, like music or video.  Also, YKWIA doesn't know it yet, but I've had my TV in the trunk of the car for a few days, awaiting the return of WiFi.  I'll have to unload it tomorrow, but I'm hoping he doesn't mind it being in there.  The question is where to put it out of the way of my stuff and his books, but I think I have a place.  I have a little cherry end table I can put it on temporarily.  I also found my DVD player the other day while digging for the AC adapter for the router.  And the TV antenna's in the trunk as well, along with the remotes for both TV and DVD player.

My best friend

mocks me a lot because despite being a librarian, I don't read much anymore.  In fact, I can't tell you how many books I've read in the last year, maybe five, and those were mostly non-fiction books, like gardening ones, with lots of pictures.  Don't get me wrong, I've always been an avid reader, at least until about 5-6 years ago, and then everything petered out.  I don't know why.  I've had lots of excuses.  I'm too busy. I'm tired. I can't find a good place to read (I cannot read in bed, for example, and at the old apartment, there wasn't really a good alternative, whereas here there are chairs or the kitchen table, so that excuse doesn't work anymore.)  Since the beginning of this year, I've read two gardening books, but again, lots of pictures, not much text.

I have several books out from the library.  He accuses me (rightly) of hoarding books from there without reading them, sometimes for several checkouts, because I always mean to read the books.  I have the following out right now:

  1. "A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
  2. The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher
  3. Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
  4. The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
  5. Caesar's Footprints by Bijan Omrani
  6. La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, book 1) by Philip Pullman
  7. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab [which YKWIA has borrowed since I obviously wasn't going to read it in a timely manner]
  8. The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Complete Works (Gallic War, Civil War, Alexandrian War, African War, Spanish War) edited by Kurt A. Raaflaub
  9. The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: The Essential Guide to Planting and Pruning Techniques by Tracy DiSabato-Aust
  10. Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy
  11. Native Plants of the Southeast by Larry Mellichamp
  12. Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens by Barbara Pleasant [which I have actually read from cover to cover but am holding onto to make copies of one of the plans]

I also have a thirteenth book on hold that has arrived: Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz by Omer Bartov.  I'll check it out tomorrow.

So here is my conundrum.  I would like to read them all. I actually have time now to get some reading done.  I think I'll start with Sue Grafton's book because I have fifteen days left on that loan and it's very unlikely I can renew it, as I'm sure others put it on hold after her death.  I also want to knock out the gardening books, the language book (which is just a small illustrated description book), and Caesar's Footprints.  That leaves the actual Julius Caesar text, the one on hold, and the fiction books, all of which I have some time on.  If I can read these, I'll be doing very well.  And maybe, just maybe, YKWIA will stop taunting me for my lack of reading.  I will make progress on my 'To Be Read' pile!  To that end, I'm going to take Sue Grafton's book and go into the study and read, while YKWIA naps. :)  Oh, and where I pulled the books off my bookcase headboard to look at the titles and authors, the cat is now in the pile's space and is looking quite pleased with himself.

PS I got a notice from the Lexington Public Library that they had decided not to fill the position that was advertised, and for which I applied, which was Branch Manager of the Village Branch. I do wish employers wouldn't advertise positions they are not going to fill anytime soon. I was excited by the possibility of getting or at least interviewing for that one. Oh, well.

*sigh*

Went to work today feeling pretty well and my doctor's office called and told me to stay off till Tuesday, that I have an elevated white count and need to take an antibiotic. So for the second time this week I've been sent home. But other than feeling just a bit tired, I'm doing fine. Frustrated, but fine.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Muwahahaha!

I have WiFi again! I found the missing AC adapter! It works with the router. It also didn't need to be set up again--password and everything is still in there. Yay!!!