Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Yay!

Loaves of whole wheat bread,  one with 1 teaspoon of yeast,  one with 1 tablespoon of yeast.  Can you tell which is which?

Random thoughts

When trying to make microwaved baked potatoes, one does not simply put the potatoes in the microwave and walk away without setting the time and hitting the start button.

Three men were putting a car on a U-Haul trailer in front of my apartment last evening, and one actually pulled out (and read) the instructions. I was amazed. I bet he'll ask for directions, too. If anyone is dating him, he's a keeper.

No matter how hard one is hit with the urge to twirl upon entering the building one works at in the morning, one does not do it, because one is an adult. Exceptions may be made for days when one is wearing a skirt with sequins on it while walking in bright sunlight, but today was not that day. What can I say, I got rest (hence no blogging last night) and was in a happy mood.

When trying a recipe for the second time that didn't turn out right the first time, one should check and double-check the ingredients and amounts and directions. I am trying the bread again. This time I put a whole tablespoon in the yeast bin (I have a bread machine that has a separate yeast compartment which releases it at the right time in the process). We will see how it turns out.

Despite having a driving phobia, one's best friend has an incredibly calming effect on one, so that even if one forgot to take one's medicine, the drive across town to the pharmacy and back was pleasant and almost relaxing, even in rush-hour traffic. When one dropped off one's best friend, everything went downhill from there. Fortunately rush hour is now over and one is home.

When leaving the pharmacy, one does not turn sharply to exit into the parking lot, or one makes a horrible scraping noise on the kerb. However, there does not seem to be any damage, so one was lucky.

When one is driving someone with back problems who has expressly told one that his back popped earlier and he has been in quite a bit of pain, one should not turn suddenly or move quickly while driving (or run up on kerbs). One should instead pretend one has plants, animals, or children in the car, and drive gently.

A great big thank you to my bank branch at the Alexandria Road Kroger, which stays open on weekdays later than the others, so I was able to put $1.50 into my account rather than $2.00 to cover a bill I will be paying tomorrow, and as a result I had a whole $4 for gas. :)

It was nice getting free stuff via the Apple settlement from Amazon today--I got a blue cloth elephant-print purse, a phone case (what can I say, I like them, even though no one understands my need to match them to my outfits), and the second series of 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries'. One more DVD to get at some point, and then I'll have them all, yay!

I was so happy to see a co-worker who had been hurt return to work today. She started at the hospital the week I was born, and so next year, she will celebrate her 50th anniversary with the company before the hospital closes and becomes an ambulatory care centre instead, moving over by the University of Kentucky hospital.

I moved an appointment I had for tomorrow to Tuesday so I could have more time to get ready, and be on time, for a meeting of the library committee tomorrow. I already had a noon appointment Tuesday, so now I have one (same general area) at 2:30 as well, so I took the day off. That means I have a four-day weekend, although one will mostly be spent at appointments. :( I don't think I'll go to the downtown festival for the Fourth this year, as I haven't really had as much fun in recent years. However, I still plan on going to the Idle Hour fireworks as per usual (employees can park at the hospital using our badges to get in, and we're right across the street from the fireworks display). People normally park along the road and spread blankets or take chairs and sit on our front lawn. It'll be the last year the hospital will be open for it, and who knows whether the new owners will allow that sort of thing. We also allow sledding in the winter, and again, I think things may change. The neighbourhood tends to treat our grounds (there are slightly over 29 acres, mostly rolling grass and trees) as a local park, walking, biking, taking the dogs out to play, etc. There's even a bunch of little kids (very little) who practice soccer out in the back forty some afternoons. If the property is developed, or if the new owners don't want that kind of thing, the neighbours will be very disappointed, I think.

Okay, I'm going to make boiled eggs and the eggplant pasta later, but the bread machine is going right now. I think I'm going to lie down for just a bit, as I have a headache. I should write later.

Monday, June 27, 2016

In addition

To applying for that job,  I changed my Web job hunting documents (links on the right). I missed a publication along the way,  I discovered (there are 35 all together),  and I added a jury and closed some dates. Feel free to let me know what you think of them.

Okay,  I'm going to bed.  I picked up and carried a 35-lb dog food bag earlier.  My back and neck are twinging just a bit.  Good night.

Is it bad

That,  if my phone tells me I'm short by a few minutes on my activity level for the day,  I will take it and walk up and down my hallway for a little while?

#PavlovianTraining

It amazes me

how good that bread turned out, considering I was two teaspoons shy in the yeast department, having mistaken teaspoons for tablespoons, even though I spelled it out because I thought the abbreviations might be confusing. Sigh. Oh, well, it has been very tasty. I had my salmon, salad, and bread for lunch at work today, and they all said it looked really good. The salmon's funny, as it's bright purple, because of the blackberries. But it was a fun experience, and I still have one more meal of it all to go. I should boil some eggs and make a new loaf tonight, so I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner covered tomorrow. Wednesday I may make the eggplant pasta, and then I'll have some for both it and Thursday, at least.

Right now, though, I'm going to take it easy and listen to some music (softly, as I have a headache). I probably won't write again tonight, so I hope you have a good night.

Well, I didn't get the Kroger job

but I refuse to wallow in self-pity. It was a little disappointing, as Friday they I did a phone interview and they were, let us check with the in-store manager to set up an interview, and the next thing I know, I'm getting a form e-mail about how a candidate who was a better fit was chosen. Oh, well, it was apparently not meant to be, and it doesn't mean I can't keep applying for other positions either at that store or others. Of course, getting a job in the library field is the desired result, so after I took a friend to physical therapy and the grocery, and then helped him with a couple of things on the computer, I came home and finished an application as a part-time librarian in a nearby county. It's a reference librarian position, requiring the master's, and I think my experience and skills would be very useful to them. Today was the last day to apply (I saw it late). There's also an assistant position at another library, in a different, nearby county (Kentucky has 120 counties; there isn't a lot of distance between county seats). It closes July 2nd, so I'll apply for that one, too, by Friday, as it does say 'library degree preferred', although it only requires a high school diploma. I've interviewed at each of the libraries before; both are rather nice. The reference librarian pays more, and has full librarian duties, but either would mean some extra money coming in and, more importantly, it would help me get a food in the door into public libraries, something that may be priceless once my job at the hospital goes away. So here's hoping, anyway.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Well, the food passed muster with the expert

YKWIA said both the salmon and salad were excellent; the salmon was tender and moist, the salad worked very well. I am pleased.

I cleaned his house today and did my laundry and his, then sort of petered out about 6 pm, getting very sleepy, so I went ahead and came home and went to bed about 6:30, and I just got up at 9:30 and called a friend to see if I'm still picking him up from work and when. It's midnight tonight, so that's better than 1 am. He'll call just in case I fall asleep again. But for now, I'm up. I need to go back over my list of what I wanted to accomplish today. We'll watch the movie sometime this week. I remember the bathroom was on the list, and that won't take long, so I can do that tonight. The main trouble with the dining area is that I have clean laundry stacked up in it, so I need to move all that to the bed and put it all away. Then I need to pick up some CD-ROMS and books that are sitting in front of the microwave cabinet, clean out the ones inside, and then put the plastic containers neatly inside. Fortunately most of mine fit inside a large carrying box that should fit well under there. So let me double-check that list, and see what I can get done tonight, and finish if needed later in the week. (Well, the laundry must be tonight, if I start it, because it'll be on the bed.) But first, I need to call YKWIA about something. Good night!

Considering

I went to bed a mere five hours ago, I am up way too early for a Sunday morning, especially as we are still on hiatus from the game. But I couldn't sleep any more--I think I first woke up around 6:30 am and then kept waking up from there. So I'm enjoying a piece of homemade bread with margarine and spreadable fruit, along with some string cheese, and starting my day. Things I must/should do today:
  • Take some salmon and salad over to YKWIA's to get his opinion.
  • Do laundry there.
  • Clean his house.
  • Watch the movie we never got to last weekend, Pride, so we can send it back. [Update: we'll do this during the week.]
  • Work on the dining area.
  • Make room for plastic tubs under the microwave.
  • Do a quick once-over in the bathroom.
  • Reconcile my ledger with the co-op and Kroger purchases from yesterday.
  • E-mail my mom and check on her.
  • Pick up A from work again tonight.
I should have taken a little time yesterday to go to the pool, but didn't. I don't know if I'll be able to do so today; our pool is open from 10 am through 10 pm, and I'll probably be busy most of that time.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

And it's finally all done!

The salmon is very blackberry-purple:



And here's everything together:



The salad is very hearty, and where it's been sitting in the refrigerator, it has quite a bite to it (there is hot sauce and chili powder in the dressing, and chili powder and cumin seasoned the black beans that are in it, too). The dressing also has half an avocado in it, and so it's heavier than a standard dressing.

The only thing I was a bit disappointed in was the size of the bread, which was set on XL and did not at all look like the pictures on the website. I was somewhat dubious about 1 teaspoon of yeast--even my white bread recipes for a large, not extra large loaf, call for two. And I suspect that it would have done better on the long cycle (4 hours) rather than the fast rise, even though that was what was called for in the recipe. I'll try it again, certainly, and even though it was rather small and a little dense, the taste was out of this world. The salmon came out well, although I actually have quite a bit of the glaze left, and I now have a purple wooden spoon. I also set off the smoke alarm while broiling it at the end, so I need to remember to screw it back into the wall before I go to bed (our smoke alarms are hard-wired into the building, so they don't have batteries).

Fortunately I've done dishes as I go, so all there is left to do is put my dishes in the dishwasher, take the salmon and put it into a plastic container, and put the pan in there, too, then run the dishwasher. That's it--everything else is taken care of. I'm happily sleepy now, which is not great, as I have to pick A up at 1 am. It was a good experiment. I can give YKWIA some tomorrow and see what his expert opinion is. I'll still have enough for lunch tomorrow for me as well and lunch Monday, I think. I do need to work on my timeframe--it took about 5 hours to make everything, partly because the glaze had to cool and partly because I'm just slow. But at least everything turned out fine.

Things I would do differently:
  • Salad: I used a single cob of corn, but it was in its husk, and when I opened it up it was fairly small and frankly, immature. I may just get some canned or frozen corn next time, or at least a cob that's been husked. I also need to get plain quinoa, not a blend with brown rice, although it tasted fine.
  • Bread: I may consider adding some yeast and see what that does, and then if that doesn't work, increase the time to the regular cycle versus the fast rise.
  • Salmon: Not much different; it came out like it was supposed to, for which I'm grateful, as it was 2 lbs. of salmon, and that was something like $15. But it'll make four meals, so that's not too bad.
All in all it was a good learning experience, and tasty, too. :)

Update: I figured out what happened with the bread,  and it was user error,  not the recipe,  which calls for 1 TABLESPOON  of yeast,  not teaspoon,  which I misread even though I typed it into my recipe application correctly.  The fact that it did so well despite this is amazing.  I will have to make another loaf and sees how it goes. :) 

Well, I'm about 2/3 there...

So far, so good--the salad's done (I had to cook beans, corn, and quinoa for it, so it took awhile, and I'd rather be right than speedy, so I think it took about twice as long as the recipe said, but it's my first time, after all), and the bread's 40 minutes away from being done. I'm about to do the salmon. In some ways it might be easier--you just put the ingredients for the sauce together, cook it for five minutes until the blackberries break up, then put through a strainer and simmer for 20 minutes, brush the salmon with oil, add salt and pepper, then brush on the sauce, bake, then brush again, and broil. If you're interested in the recipe, it's here. The Mexican quinoa avocado salad with orange-lime dressing is from the Minimalist Baker site.

PS When I was at Kroger, I thought I picked up quinoa, but it was actually a quinoa blend with brown rice. Fortunately it cooked fine, and it tastes fine in the salad. Next time I'll get it from the bulk area, either there or at the co-op.

PPS The bread's baking, I can smell it. And the only problems I encountered so far tonight was I forgot I don't store the food processor with the thing that turns the blade, and had trouble getting it together with stuff in it, and I also sprayed myself with hot sauce (instead of buying a bottle, I'd used packets of hot sauce I had already...yes, the hot and fire ones from Taco Bell). :)

Taking a break

I didn't actually start till 5 pm, but I've gotten the dishwasher filled, did the hand-washable dishes, rearranged the refrigerator, stocked the cupboards, combined several jars of peanut butter into one, moved the plastic containers temporarily (I'm going to put them in the cabinet under the microwave, which is technically in the dining area (I have a very small kitchen), but I need to clean that out, too, as there are books in there right now. I also boxed up a collection of jars and moved them out of the kitchen. The counters are wiped down, everything's clean and sparkling. I put all the fruit in a bowl. I will make the salad now, as the cilantro may not last very long. So I'm tackling salmon, dough conditioner, bread, and salad tonight, which will make a nice meal and most likely a decent amount of leftovers. I even found a cruet in the cabinet for the dressing.

Okay, I'll start with the dough conditioner and start the bread baking, which will be the easiest part of the evening. Wish me luck--I've broiled white fish like cod before, but never salmon.

The pies turned out great

There was still some at the picnic when I went to pick A up, so I had a small piece. Very nutty and chocolately. Some Derby pies look like glorified pecan pies with chocolate, but this recipe is from a 'My Old Kentucky Home' pamphlet, and has walnuts instead. There's a batter of butter, eggs, flour, sugar, and then the walnuts and chocolate, so it comes out creamy rather than clear like chess or pecan pie. Since we did four pies at once, there were three cups of walnuts and three cups of chocolate chips in the whole thing.

But now he is safely delivered, so I can really work on things. I'm going to spend a few minutes cooling down with an iced drink and in front of the fan, then get going in the next half-hour. I'm trying to decide if I want to do the salad in addition to the salmon tonight or leave it for a separate day. The avocado and lettuce would be best if I did them now, I suspect, as the avocado is ripe without being soft, and I don't know how long they'll stay that way. We'll see how my time does, and I'll check the date on the mixed greens. I'm also going to mix up the dough conditioner and bake some whole wheat bread today. But first, cool off, and then get up and rearrange the refrigerator and do the dishes, then put the other groceries away. Hope you're having a good day.

It is very hot out there, and I am cranky

So I went and did my errands. My blood sugar is normal, and I've been running kind of high all week, so maybe my body thinks it's low. I ate a little snack to help if that's the case. Then there was sticker shock. I remember on my way to the co-op thinking, they've got this stuff in with supplements, protein powders, and whey (the lady I called the other day let me know where it was), so it's going to be expensive, maybe as high as $14. And lo, a 16 oz jar was $14.95 before tax. I so should be on the Price is Right--I had A's order at Kroger down to a few cents last night, too. That was the smallest one in granules, the smaller ones were in capsules, and I did check the baking and bulk goods, too. Alas, it was pretty pricey. Despite being an owner at the co-op, I don't go very often, mainly because of the prices. I just don't have the money to shop there much. I usually go when I need a specialty item, like this. The good news is the dough conditioner takes 3/4 cup of lecithin at a time, and then you mix it with small amounts of other things and put it in a jar, but then you only use 1/2 teaspoon of dough conditioner per loaf, so it should last for awhile. The person who created it said each batch she makes lasts about 84 loaves. Also, lecithin is made from soy, and this is non-GMO, at least.

I stopped by Sav-a-Lot, which I rarely have gone into, because it's near the co-op, to see if they had Diet Sunkist, but no. So I drove over to the Chinoe Kroger (where I've applied for a job) and got some, 3 for $5, which isn't as nice as the $1 a two-litre last week, but still, not bad. So now I have a little caffeine in me, and I've eaten a bit, and I feel better. I was kind of lagging there towards the end. That leaves me with about $26 after my bills, so it'll be a rough week or two, although not as bad as the last two, as I have some food, and I have some dishes that I'll have leftovers from to take to work. And maybe, just maybe, I'll have a second job by then, and that will help.

I have about an hour before I have to leave to pick up A, so while it took awhile, at least I got back with a little time to spare, although not enough that I feel comfortable baking the bread just yet. Besides, I have to work on the kitchen first. Not only are the non-refrigerated things still in bags, what is in the fridge, like fruit and dairy, needs to be rearranged, because I just stuffed it in there the other morning. Fortunately there isn't anything really to throw out, except a plastic lemon and lime (the ones with the juice in it), because I looked at the expiration date and it turned out to be from about the time I moved into this apartment, so about 12 years old. Yeah. I need to pay more attention to the condiments, I guess. Glad I bought a real lemon and lime the other day.

I think I'd better go set an alarm to know when to leave, so I don't get into things and forget him, or run late. :)

This is kind of sad, don't you think?

Brits Scramble to Google “What is the EU?” Hours After Voting to Leave It
A bit late, don’t you think? A report from Google shows the British are madly searching to figure out what the European Union is.

According to Google, “What is the EU?” is the second most searched term about the EU since the announcement of the historic Brexit referendum this morning. Oh, and in the hours prior to the vote, Google says one of the top questions was “What is Brexit?”
Which only serves to remind us that a democracy only works well if the people voting educated themselves on the issues before casting that vote (and hopefully more than a few hours before, especially on such a complex issue). It's easy for the rest of us to be snarky, but look at what's looming in our own general election. People, take note.

I did find a good overview on what will happen as a result of the Brexit referendum on the BBC: The UK's EU referendum: All you need to know. It makes for an interesting read.

It's really weird

that lately--sometimes, but not always--whenever I update a post, it automatically opens up for a new post and then saves a secondary draft of the post on the list, which I then have to delete. I'm not sure what's going on. But I've taken out the extra drafts, and I did some major corrections to the other post, because there were easily ten errors. Wow. I might have well typed like all those cat memes out there that start with 'I can haz'. Oh, well, it should be fine now. Hope you have a great weekend. It looks like we'll be hot but sunny here, and I sincerely hope A took sunscreen, as he is as pasty as I am and burns even worse. Now, for that yoghurt....

You know

wireless mice work ever so much better when you put the little USB transmitter into the computer first. :) Guess I'm still a bit sleepy, and I've been using the laptop back in the bedroom or outside the house, and so I haven't been using the mouse for the last couple of weeks. Anyway, it's plugged in now, as is the laptop, as are the speakers, back in the place where the desktop (which is currently over at YKWIA's) usually sits.

I nearly fell asleep in the middle of blogging last night, I was so tired. Actually, I may have for a moment or two, so I need to go back and proofread the post to make sure it makes some sense and was correct in terms of spelling, typographical and grammar errors, and I need to look up the spelling of a name I used. This was all impossible last night, as I was that sleepy. Thank goodness it didn't hit me till I about a half hour after I got home, since I was driving everyone around last night.

I've been getting up very early and going to bed very late, and not sleeping all that well for two or three days, so I decided it screw it, I don't have anywhere to be on a time schedule this morning, I'm going to sleep in past my original 8 am alarm, and I got up at 9:49 instead. The first thing I did once I went to the bathroom and washed my face was find my ledger book and update it with a debit from yesterday (where I found the salmon and blackberries on sale), and then calculated how much I have after the next two bills I have to pay before I get paid again. (It's not a lot, but it is enough for the soy lecithin, which is the only thing on my list left, plus some gas, and I'm going to get gas money from my friend, whom I'm taking and picking up from work today and will most likely pick up from work tomorrow (he gets off a 1 am, and he thought he had a place to stay that was closer, but the other tenant isn't moving out for another week, so he can't just walk to where he's staying temporarily, and the buses don't run that late)).

Beyond that, I have a free day, so I'm going to cook and work on the house. The second thing I did this morning was take all my medicine, including the one I need to wait for fifteen minutes before I eat, and so I'll get breakfast, take a shower, go to Good Foods Co-op and get the soy lecithin, get some soda from Kroger so I have some caffeine to work with (yes, the plan is to eventually wean myself off them, but not yet), and then come back here and work. The salmon I'll probably not cook until this afternoon, after I drop him off, but I'd like to put away dishes, do a few, take out the recyclables (the trash is minimal, which is good, as I'll probably produce a lot when I cook), and get the kitchen ready for working in. I also need to organise the things I bought that are not perishable and weren't put away yet, since I did my shopping right before work Thursday and really haven't been home much since. I may go ahead and bake some bread this morning, though, depending on how long those errands take.

So I have the ingredients for six main things:
  1. Oatmeal bread
  2. Honey wheat bread
  3. Roasted potatoes with onion and garlic
  4. Salmon with blackberry-ginger sauce
  5. Mexican quinoa salad with orange-avocado dressing, and
  6. Eggplant pasta
The pasta's pretty much an entree, as is the salmon. I'm going to share the latter with YKWIA, as I have enough fish for four servings, so I'll make it, have some for him and me, and then I'll have some for tonight and maybe lunch Monday. Since I have time today, I think I'll make the salad to go with the fish, as I think they'll work together. I'll bake some bread today, and alternate bread over the next couple of weeks. I can make the eggplant about mid-week, and the potatoes near the end of the week. I've gotten things that will work with the bread for lunch at work (mainly tuna, cheese, and peanut butter/spreadable fruit). Next week I won't have much in the way of fresh vegetables or fruit, but I'll try to eat my normal stuff, like tortillas and cheese, I have some burritos, that sort of thing. I also have plenty of yoghurt and berries, plus some eggs.

Okay, time to get some breakfast (I think it'll be Greek yoghurt and blueberries), then the shower, then the errands. But while I'm eating I can double-check the last post for errors. Sorry if there were; I couldn't have done worse if I'd been drunk, I was so sleepy.

What a day!

I left for work at 7 am this morning and got home just a little before 1 am tonight. I"m pooped. Here's what I've been up to, today, in somewhat correct order:
  • Worked on a project in the library, did my data entry, referrals, and did the OR reconciliation.
  • Had a phone interview for a job in the deli at Kroger, which would help getting some extra money coming in, and they're going to get back at me for an in-store interview once they check the hiring manager's available hours.
  • Printed off a possible job at a nearby county public library that is an actual librarian position, not assistant, also part-time, and while it pays less than my data entry position (really), it pays more than Kroger's would.
  • Went by the Kroger I'd applied at and discovered that blackberries were still 3 for $5 for some reason, and salmon was on sale, too, so the salmon with blackberry-ginger sauce is back on--yay!
  • Bought a newspaper to read about Lexington history.
  • Went over to YKWIA's, and took him to and from an evening appointment.
  • Did a lot of dishes.
  • Helped him bake four old-fashioned Derby pies (I'm better at using a hand mixer than he is, as it's not really made well for left-handed folks.) The pies are for A's annual picnic/fundraiser for a group he's in.
  • Watched an episode of 'Cybill' while we were waiting for pies to bake. I love the dog, which is some sort of giant mastiff.
  • Did more dishes.
  • Took the cooled pies to A and took him to get some soft drinks for tomorrow.
  • Dropped YKWIA off and came home.
Tomorrow the only thing I have to do is pick up A from the picnic and take him to work, about mid-afternoon. So I'm thinking cooking may be in the plan for tomorrow. I also will probably make a run to the Good Foods Co-op, as they have lecithin, which is part of the dough conditioner for honey wheat bread I have a recipe for, and it should work nicely in the bread machine, as the author has the same brand and type of machine. I also need to know whether I bought mushrooms the other day. I can't remember if I got the ingredients for the rice pilaf.

I can barely keep my eyes open. I'm heading to bed; good night!

Friday, June 24, 2016

I am feeling sad and a little frustrated

I just got home around 11 pm from running errands and helping out a couple of friends, only to find a rejection letter in my mailbox for the library assistant position I applied for. Considering the position closed only last Friday and I've already gotten the letter in less than a week, I suspect they already had an internal candidate 'who met the needs of the position' better. And yes, I'm a degreed librarian, so I wasn't sure they would even consider me for the position, even as a part-time second job. But that's why I both e-mailed and left a voicemail for the director, to ask her questions regarding the hours and whether they'd consider someone with a master's in library science, because I didn't want to waste their time or mine, and all I got back was silence, until this very short, concise rejection letter.

I'm beginning to wonder if this time next year, after the hospital becomes an ambulatory care centre, and the library is phased out, if I'll even be able to call myself a librarian, or at least be working in a library. I'm getting pretty darn discouraged, as I apply for job after job without any sort of success. I have had my degree for 23 years, have had my position for 19--I have experience, but not enough supervisory experience, or it's not in the academic or public sector, so it isn't considered. And in those few cases where a medical library position opens up, I suspect they've been snapped up by younger and more recent grads, because the perception is somehow that they're more pliable and dynamic, even though I'm devoted to lifelong learning and have very good tech skills with emerging technologies. I might have better luck if I were to move away from our library school, but beyond liking the town I live in, there's the fact that my family and support system are here, and I include my friends in that, and they rely on me in many ways. And for all the talk of the greying of the profession and how so many Baby Boomers will retire soon, well, it doesn't seem to be helping me. I've never actually worked full-time in a library setting, beyoung internships, and only went full-time (with two different jobs) in my current position six years ago, when I was 43, so I've been underemployed for years, and searching for positions most of that time. As much as I love being a librarian, and the fact that it is something I am very good at, I am beginning to wonder if I should have taken this path, as I've struggled my entire career for stability, often working second or even third jobs, all the while having enough student loans to buy a house with. It's just so frustrating.

It's been a long day in general. I slept very badly last night, and was up for two hours in the middle of the night, and when I did sleep it was with weird dreams of being able to shape and manipulate any sort of rock, gem, sand, concrete, brick, etc.--but not dirt, due to the biomass. I was up by 5:30 or 6 am, and by 6:30 I was at the Kroger gas station getting $25 in gas, followed by an hour-and-a-half trip through the mega Kroger I live near, following a prepared list. The store's so big, and I had to ask several employees for things that weren't stocked yet, or other questions, so I got tired and quit at 8 am so I could run home, drop the things off, and head to work. I finished up a few things tonight at the Chinoe Kroger (which I prefer to go to, as it's easy to get in and out) tonight, after leaving YKWIA's house. I've also paid several bills and done a lot of running around with my friends, taking them on errands, too. I also worked on YKWIA's back, which was bothering him, and we watched and episode of 'Cybil' from years ago.

So now I'm home, I've eaten some bean burritos with cheese, and I'm very, very tired, but the type where you don't readily fall asleep. And yes, I feel bad about the rejection letter. I'm trying not to take it personally, of course, that would be a bit psycho, but at this point I'm wondering if I'm on some sort of list shared by librarians for something I'm not even aware of that prevents me from being hired. I keep trying to have faith that the right position is just waiting and will come along in time to save the day--but it's hard to keep that up for very long. I have 10 months left in my job. I'm starting to feel like maybe it's time to start panicking, and I'm especially afraid of losing my health insurance, especially with our new governor mucking with things like Medicaid and the Affordable Health Care Act provisions. I may have to use COBRA, which is very expensive, and I don't know if I'll be able to. And that's with 6 months of unemployment and (presumably) a severance package. Yeah, the panic's starting to set in.

I guess I should get ready for bed and try to get some sleep. Thank you for reading and 'listening'. I don't want to sound negative, but it's just been a rough day, and I feel better having written a little about it.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Well, I got paid

I resisted the urge to go out at midnight and get gas and groceries. One, that's not the wisest time to be out, especially if you're a woman, alone. Two, I have 30 cents off a gallon at Kroger and their fuel centre closes at 11 pm anyway, and I'd like to use those points when I fill up. So I'll get the gas tomorrow morning. What I did instead was go meticulously through each bill and payment I need to make to see how much I can spend on groceries, and which bills can be paid and which cannot until next time. I then pared my grocery list down to include a few staples, the breadmaking ingredients, and three main recipes to try. It'll come to about $125 (keep in mind the cupboards are pretty much empty), leaving me some for next week for gas and groceries, but not much, so I think the second week will be experiment-free in the food arena. Unfortunately next time includes my rent, car insurance, and cell phone bills, so I'll have about $85 for two weeks for food. But as long as I can make bread, and I have peanut butter, I guess I'll do okay. What was so bad this time is that I ran out of flour, and so this time I'm getting two bags (one white, one wheat), and I'll mix it up a bit as to which loaf I bake at a time, as each bag lasts about a week.

I checked and the fuel centre (which is 1/2 mile away, so here's hoping I can get to it) opens at 6 am, so maybe I can do an early morning run to the grocery before work, as I'm taking a friend to the credit union and to the cable company tomorrow after work so he and I can both pay our bills. (In my case, the Internet, only). So I really need to go to bed, as it's almost 2 am (but I was asleep earlier). But my ledger is updated, I'm also keeping a tally on my phone, and everything's balanced and planned out, so barring any terrible emergency stuff coming up, I know what I can spend. Here's hoping no emergencies arise. Good night.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Well, I made it home

which is remarkable, as I'm on mile 16 of my gas light, and the car was idling a little funny while sitting in traffic. YKWIA wanted me to help him with something, but I won't have any gas money until tomorrow and couldn't take a chance of getting stuck somewhere, so hopefully he'll be okay. We do have plans together tomorrow, though. I had a fairly slow day at work, although I did help a co-worker who was having some trouble in Microsoft Excel by finding a partial solution in an e-book I have on Excel on my Kindle. I came home, opened the last of the tuna, and ate it with some mustard and dressing on crackers. Terminix is coming tomorrow, so I'm going to work on the dining room, which is covered in clean, folded but as-of-yet-not-put-away laundry. Most of the rest of the apartment is fine, except the bedroom, and I'll just shut the door to it. :) But I may work on that, a bit, too.

I'm having a little trouble with keyboards. See, on any given day I type on an ergonomic keyboard at work, a normal one at YKWIA's (although his has almost all the letters rubbed off, and even though I touch type, that can be an issue), a swiping 'virtual' keyboard on phone or tablet, a small Bluetooth keyboard for phone or tablet, the laptop keyboard, which is smaller than a normal one, but larger than the Bluetooth, and then there's the rudimentary keyboard on my Kindle. I think all of this typing on many different platforms is affecting my ability, because the placement of the fingers is different for each one. So if you notice any typos, you'll hopefully understand. Actually, the 'backspace' and 'delete' keys are reversed on the Bluetooth and laptop keyboards, and if I am at an odd angle (like now) on the bed, I touch the touchpad of the laptop accidentally with the heel of my hand, and bad things happen, indeed.

One last thing, for now: I want to wish my Uncle Ed and Aunt Sharon a wonderful 53rd anniversary. You make a great couple.

I seldom wake up hungry

But I did, several times throughout the night, so apparently last night's crackers didn't stay with me. This morning my blood sugar was 78, which is on the low end of normal, and almost unheard of for me, and it's probably just as well I got up early (5 am) and checked it. So now I'm having more crackers, but with some peanut butter this time. At least it is actually Wednesday, so I'll get paid late tonight, around midnight.

I've scaled back the new dishes I want to try (yes, I've been somewhat obsessed with food and the recipes I've found, probably because I haven't seen fruits or vegetables in days, except for some papaya and pineapple a co-worker gave me yesterday). Side note: Tropical fruit cups (I think it was by Dole) have red and yellow papaya and pineapple--not mango, which is great, as I am allergic to mango. I think I had a banana one day at work. But I've had almost no vegetables, and the things I've planned are heavy on fresh vegetables. But, one author advised trying no more than three recipes a week when you're beginning to cook to avoid being overwhelmed, and also fresh produce adds up and I can only spend so much. So I'm definitely going to try the blackberry-ginger salmon (the most expensive dish, but blackberries are on sale right now), the eggplant pasta, and the potato leek soup this week, along with the Mexican orange-avocado salad, (Yes, I know, that's actually four.) And I'd like to try the recipe I have for honey wheat bread, as I'm quite comfortable making bread, and it's designed specifically for my machine.

Wow, now that my stomach is satisfied, I'm trying to go back to sleep, even though I had several hours' worth. I may go back to sleep for a little bit--I did get up awfully early. The sun's not even up yet, although it is twilight outside. Maybe till 6:30 am? Then I can still go into work early to make up for the time at the appointment yesterday,

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Found on Facebook



I'm not sure where it originated. It was on Brad Takei's Facebook page.

While I am somewhat mechanically inclined

it is sometimes a bother that I'm single and live alone. At first I thought my mattress was sunken on one side because, well, I haven't turned it in a long time, mainly because it's a pillow top so you don't flip it. On closer inspection, the middle strut that goes across the bed as a support has come off on one side (at least), and the bed rails are carrying the weight of box springs and mattress, which they're not really designed to do. This has happened before. The bolt and slide sometimes come off. My bed is almost thirty years old, after all, and in the past I've put things underneath it to help keep it stable. I can fix the problem, I know how, but lifting up the mattress and box springs on my own is not as easy as it once was. I should grab a friend and make him help, in return for all the rides I give him. Maybe I can do that this weekend.

For a moment today I thought it was Wednesday, which would have been great, as I get paid very late Wednesday night (officially Thursday), but, alas, it is merely Tuesday. My gas light keeps going on and off, depending on how it affects the sensor. I'm eating crackers, and I did find a pouch of tuna, too. One more day. One day more, as the song goes. Let's hope I can get to work tomorrow and back. Our cafeteria has been letting me get things because they know I'll keep track of everything on my phone and pay on Thursday. So I'm not in terribly bad shape. But aside from the crackers, a little oatmeal, the tuna, and some pasta and sauce, things are pretty bare, so it's a good thing I get paid soon, even though most of it will go towards bills.

I did get a nice surprise today in that the Apple e-book settlement has finally been approved, and that works for other vendors as well, so in addition to the $15 I've had added to my account in the past, I just got a $60 and some change credit at Amazon to buy Kindle books with. That's quite a bit in Kindle books. I think it automatically deducts from that balance before taking anything out of my normal 1-Click form of payment, but I'm not sure, so I'll wait until I get paid and there's money in the account before I buy anything. As far as I know, I can just buy e-books with it. It's set up as a gift card balance. Thank you,  Amazon,  and I guess thank you to Apple,  too,  or more appropriately,  the people who sued over e-book pricing.

We had a brief storm today that knocked the power out briefly at work, shut down the computers, which rebooted, took out the phones for a couple of minutes, and took down our time clocks. Fortunately by the time I had to go to that appointment, the rain and lightning had stopped and the sun was back out. I just couldn't clock out, so they'll have to put it in tomorrow for me. I took YKWIA to his appointment and then to the store to get a few things, and because, I suspect, I took my umbrella, it didn't storm any more. Yay! But it was nice to get a little rain, and the wind didn't take out my geraniums or anything.

Okay, I think I'm going to do a little web surfing and see what's going on in the world. I may write later, I don't know. What I should do is go for a walk, as it's nice outside, but I'm already in my sleepshirt and fairly comfortable, sitting in front of the fan, so I'm thinking, no.

UPDATE:
I read an article that said that the Amazon credit could be used for most things (not gift cards or subscriptions,  but Kindle books,  music,  and physical items are fine.). So I used most of it on a DVD of the Miss Fisher Mysteries,  series 2, a bag,  and a phone case,  all from my wish list.  It was enough that there was no cost for shipping.  I still have $1.92 left,  and when I get paid I have a couple of Kindle books that are $2 each that I want to get,  and that will go towards that.  And it does come off your balance first unless you choose another method.  Yay!

I should not disparage

An entire state just because they have trees that are deadly poisonous in every part.  I was just surprised by the sheer toxicity.  I'm used to something like that being in someplace like Australia,  where many things are poisonous.  So,  my apologies to any of you Floridians out there. And after all,  I've lived in Louisiana,  which also has gators and poisonous snakes,  the Mojave desert,  with its rattlesnakes,  and Kansas,  which has tornadoes.  So every place has its dangers.

I'm at an appointment with a friend,  and I'm a little sleepy.  My blood sugar's been a bit high lately,  and I've been normal to low today,  so I keep feeling low.  Funny how your body adjusts one way or the other after awhile.

Okay,  I need to charge the phone.  Fortunately I have a little portable charger a friend got from his workplace,  and it should have some charge left.  I'll write later.

Monday, June 20, 2016

One more reason never to go to Florida



Florida is the only Southern state I have not visited. Now I understand why I never should. Thank you, YKWIA, for this video of the deadly Manchineel tree. We have found the Dark Young of the Woods.

So an uncaffeinated Rabid Librarian

is a sluggish Rabid Librarian, indeed. I had no caffeine this weekend, and I dragged all day. I don't even remember what I did Saturday, other than wish my aunt a happy birthday. YKWIA and I may have gone to the store, and I picked YKWIA and A from somewhere they'd gone to have a date out. Beyond that, I can't remember. And Sunday it took me 8 hours to do the cleaning I normally do in 2-3. (We visited a lot, too, and I did laundry, both mine and his, but still, it shouldn't have taken so long). I just couldn't seem to go any faster. Then we worked on something we'd planned to do, finished that, and it was too late to watch the Netflix movie, which I have kept with me, and maybe we can sometime this week. Our queue has dwindled quite a bit, and I'm considering cancelling the DVD plan. We didn't use it for awhile, and we have of late, but still, we average a movie a week at most. I'll think about it anyway. My streaming plan is going up by $2, and I think the DVd plan is about $8, so that would offset the increase. Every little bit helps. I just put my last $4 into the car as gas. I have 55 cents in the bank until late Wednesday/early Thursday. I'm just hoping that eighth of a tank of gas will last until then.

Anyway, I'm sorry, as a result of not having caffeine, I really didn't blog this weekend. Sorry abou that.

Last night I was itching quite a bit, but was so tired when I got home that I didn't register much other than I had some bumps on my abdomen. This morning I looked at it, and they are red spots with white, blister-like centres. There were two big ones, maybe two small ones forming. At first I thought maybe I'd gotten an infected injection site, but that's never happened, and I always use a new needle, etc. Now I did scratch myself accidentally with a needle, come to think of it, in that general area, but still, that wouldn't explain four places. Then I thought, maybe I'm having a outbreak of shingles. I have had chicken pox, I'd had a headache and was tired all weekend (but that could easily have been the lack of caffeine for both), and they were on one side of my stomach. But though they hurt when touched, they didn't hurt a lot, like shingle pain is normally described, but itched instead. Still, it could have been a mild case. But the more I investigated, the less likely that seemed--shingles are normally blisters appearing on a raised irregular red sort of shelf on the skin, going along the nerve. These were individual and spaced out. Really, the most likely thing is either folliculitis--an infection of the follicles, or some other skin infection. So instead of going to the doctor with something I'm pretty sure is minor, I'll just keep them clean, put some Neosporin ointment on them, and keep them covered with bandages, and I think we're good to go. That way in the unlikely chance they are shingles, I won't infect anyone (you can't catch shingles from another person, but in rare cases, you can have someone who hasn't been vaccinated or had chicken pox get that, as it is the same virus). I did check since I work in a children's hospital even though I'm not in direct patient care, and covering them is sufficient. So either way, it should be okay. Hopefully they'll clear up quickly.

I got an e-mail today saying that Kroger was reviewing my application. Yay! Hopefully I'll hear from them soon.

Tomorrow I take YKWIA to an appointment and hopefully get my allergy shots.

I took some of the recipes I'd found and put them in an Android phone application, and it's nice. It can be backed up to Dropbox and you can import them from web pages, although I've noticed it imports everything but the actual ingredients most of the time. Maybe it's not fully compatible with every cooking web site. But I've gone in an added those, and that's not too bad, especially as it gets the directions, which tend to be more of an issue.

Tonight I dug around in the pantry and found some Easy Mac, which I made in the microwave. It doesn't require anything other than the noodles, water, and powder pack. Now, this was one of the things I was given in a gift basket when I broke my ankle after being hit by a car...four years ago. It pretty much tasted like that, too. I did put about a half a teaspoon of butter in it and it made it creamier and mitigated the flavour a bit. But, hey, that was dinner.

I was going through a cookbook I had out from the library, and there was a great recipe for roasted peppers with baked eggs, and it had an ingredient I had never heard of--harissa. So I looked it up, and it's a paste made from chiles, spices, and olive oil, with some garlic and various other optional ingredients. It's North African. You put it in a jar and cover it with olive oil, then seal the jar, and it keeps for a month. Whenever you use it, you just put a little more oil over it. The spices were cumin seed, coriander seed, and caraway seed. You toast those, grind 'em up in a mortar and pestle (which I have) or coffee grinder (which I don't), and then put them in a food processor with the chiles (which have been soaked in hot water, with the stems and seeds removed, then you put in a little olive oil and process till you get the right consistence. Then you follow the procedure above with the jar and the olive oil. I think I'm going to try it.

So, the idea when I get paid is, along with all sorts of bills that I will pay, is to try to save money and eat healthier by cooking real food. So far I have some meals planned over the next two weeks, if I can afford the ingredients:
  1. Whole wheat honey bread
  2. Eggplant penne pasta
  3. Potato leek soup
  4. Salmon with blackberry-ginger sauce
  5. Asparagus frittata
  6. Roasted peppers with baked eggs (which requires the harissa)
  7. Zucchini au gratin
  8. Quinoa salad with avocado
  9. Roasted onion and garlic potatoes
  10. Slow-cooked beans (with fresh dry beans this time)
  11. Lentil cashew pilaf
Breakfast will be Greek yoghurt with berries, or sometimes boiled eggs and toast. I want to get some carrots and celery and string cheese to snack on. Not every meal will be home-cooked. Some lunches might just be peanut butter and the no-sugar added spreadable fruit, with maybe soem popcorn or a piece of fruit. But I am going to try to cook more and eat more vegetables.

Okay, I'm still a bit hungry. I Think I'll have some multi-grain crackers and peanut butter, despite having already brushed and flossed my teeth. I also got all my pills put into their reminder box (I'd forgotten to do that last night, and didn't have what I needed today), stocked up my insulin so I have enough, have taken my nightly Lantus, and have stocked up on pen needles. I think I'll head on to bed soon. My computer did a bunch of updating when I first turned it on and only has about an hour's worth of charge now, so I"ll go plug the laptop up.

PS Hope you have a happy solstice (summer, or Litha, for the northern hemisphere, or winter for the southern) AND a happy full moon, as they coincide today, the first time since 1948, or so said one story I read. Also, if you're in the southwestern US, try to stay cool. THe heat wave is predicted to go up to 122 degrees in Phoenix, for example. That's insane. I used to live in the desert, and 110 was not that bad, really, but at 120 they start grounding planes because the rubber tyres start to melt. Remember, please think of your pets, whose bare paws can burn on hot asphalt and cement. I've been through some rough heat waves (over 65 days of over 100 degrees in Kansas, where there's enough humidity to make that horrible and a lot of people died throughout the midwest that year (1980)). Also, avoid throwing cigarette butts out of the car or anything else that could spark fires, as they're almost impossible to fight in those conditions. Good luck!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

After work

I went over to YKWIA's, helped him with some things as he cooked and afterwards, and then came home. I spent a couple of hours looking at the numbers of getting a second job to help pay the bills, catch up on things, and maybe even put an emergency fund and some savings together (I applied for a Kroger position in addition to the library assistant one from last week). I also looked at how the finances would change in terms of when my full-time job ends next April. After that, I called a friend who had texted me earlier and she and I were on the phone for a good hour and a half. I was getting really hungry, so I put a chickpea patty on a heel of bread along with some salad dressing (as in Miracle Whip, not the stuff you put on salad). Now I have to admit I'm sleepy and perhaps it's time to head on to bed, as I have to be over to YKWIA's about 9 am.

So it's been a productive day--I sent in the Kroger application, looked at finances and was really thinking about ways to deal with the impending loss of job, spent time with friends in person and on the phone, and I also called and complained about a gas station where the manager took my loyalty card, signed in as me, and then took the customer survey without letting on that was what he did, all so they could cheat on their bonus. Since I used to work for the same company, and since I caught him at the kiosk right before he gave my keys back and realised what was going on (although really, they were pretty blatant about it), and I know that this is not how things should work, I reported them. Here's an idea, let the customer complete the customer survey, okay? Anyway, I think I've done enough for one day. Good night.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Making bread

with the last of my regular bread flour, and the oats and yeast are getting low. So no more bread, most likely, until next Wednesday night late or Thursday. That makes me a little sad.

The potatoes and beans made an excellent lunch today, and I finished up the last of them for dinner. Tomorrow the plan is to take eggs for breakfast, a tuna pouch and the bread for lunch, and eat on that.

This morning even my blood was sluggish--it took them three tries to do a blood draw, and it finally worked in my hand. I didn't get to work until 9:40 because of that, so I stayed a little late at work. I'm going to try to go in early tomorrow to make up some time. Generally, this pay period, I've done very well. I won't have to use PTO for anything last week, and if I can go in an hour early tomorrow, I may have to just a half hour of PTO. Yay! I did ask if my followup appointment, which is the 30th (my doctor always does a blood draw and then has me come back a couple of weeks later) would let out before 11, as I have a library committee meeting then. The office manager assured me that I would, as I'd be the first appointment of the day. Let's hope so. It also works out that I won't have a blood draw that day, as I'll be giving blood at our workplace blood drive later that day.

After work I went over to a friend's house and took him to the store. The only ingredient that eluded us at the three grocery stores we tried was hazelnut oil. He's going to try to work around it.

Usually when I apply for a job, I just include the related work history (most likely library-related, although I include my comic book store experience because I did everything a librarian does (ordering serials for vendors, putting clients and books into databases, processing and placing books on shelves, and customer service, to name a few), and because everyone should have something a little unusual on their application that makes them stand out a bit, as one of my co-workers has pointed out to me. Hers was teaching English for a year in Martinique, which is cooler than a year at a comic store, but hey, I included what I had to work with.

But since I was considering applying at the grocery store, I wrote up a listing, with dates, of ALL my work experience, from my first job down to my current job. In 32 years I have held 18 jobs. mostly part-time. (I just realised I forgot two--I'd only listed 16 on the paper), and they lasted at a minimum 3 months and at the most 19 years (the latter is current, and slated to end next year, at 20 years). I've had up to three jobs at a time, and I didn't work full-time for any one company till 2010, when I was 43, and even then, it's at two jobs within the hospital. I have been:
  1. A docent at a historical home/museum.
  2. An interfiler (the person who used to put catalogue cards in their proper place in the card catalogue).
  3. An office clerk for a medical school, which mostly entailed shredding old applications.
  4. A food service worker at a variety of sites on the University's campus.
  5. An archives assistant who ironed and prepared newspapers for microfilming.
  6. A deli clerk at a grocery.
  7. A cashier at a grocery.
  8. A stock clerk at a large toy store.
  9. A telephone surveyor doing research for the university.
  10. An intern at the state archive processing and providing access to three years' worth of state publications.
  11. A graduate assistant doing original and copy cataloguing and providing authority control in the integrated library system.
  12. A clerk at a bagel company.
  13. The assistant manager of a comic store.
  14. A medical librarian in a hospital (current job).
  15. A cataloguer for a vendor who provided children and teen books to public libraries.
  16. A teacher's assistant designing lesson plans on the web and doing education-related research for a public television station.
  17. A clerk at a gas station.
  18. A data entry clerk for revenue cycle charges, charge reconciliation, audits, and obtaining referrals from primary care providers (current job)
So it has been varied over the years. Most of them involved working with people and customer service.

I'm getting sleepy, so I don't want to apply tonight. But I have the information I need and will try to tomorrow night, depending on what I wind up needing to do after work. In the meantime there's the bread, and I'm listening to Bastille, which I haven't in awhile. I set my alarm clock up again (I usually use different applications on my cell phone). One nice thing about my clock is that I can take a male to male audio cable and plug it into the clock, and then to the earphone jack of the phone, and then I can play music through an auxiliary setting. But every time I set the clock (and it took three tries), it would jump ahead because it thinks it needs to for daylight savings time. :( I finally got it taken care of, though. I also pulled three batteries out of my telescope and put it into the clock as a backup.

Okay, I think I'm going to go now. I've decided not to check the news tonight; it's too depressing. It was awful about the assassination of the Member of Parliament, Jo Cox, over in Britain today. She was a tireless campaigner for the disadvantaged, had worked for non-profits to better the world. She was a supporter of aiding Syrian refugees. I keep trying to remind myself that the good people in the world really do outnumber the bad. But it's getting harder. Unfortunately, in this case, it was the good person, it seems, who died. And I feel so sorry for her husband and her children, the latter of which are only three and five, according to Wikipedia. I am going to go over to Facebook and catch up, since there was an outage earlier. Maybe I'll find something heartwarming there.

Anyway, hope you have a good night!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ah, potato-y goodness

So the potatoes turned out wonderful.  I put the majority away in a container for tomorrow's lunch,  but ate a few that were left,  and they were very good.  I put some beans in another container for tomorrow,  and that cleared out the crock pot.  Then I boiled ten eggs while I ran the dishwasher and did other dishes by hand.  Finally,  I wiped down the counters,  kitchen island,  and stove.  Once the dishwasher finishes,  everything will be taken care of in there.

Now I've brushed and flossed my teeth,  and I'm in my comfy clothes. I've taken my night medicine,  so here's hoping I'll have a better blood sugar in the morning,  since it's been high for two days now. Monday it was 386!  I had been bad about my medicines over the weekend. I'm not doing bread tonight,  so I won't be tempted to eat a piece on the middle of the night.  Come to think of it,  I have a fasting blood draw at 8:30 in the morning,  so nothing after this anyway. I keep forgetting about it.  Hopefully I don't go straight to work tomorrow. Now I'm having some water,  and then I'm going to go on to bed.  Good night!

Funny, the picture rotated, even though it was taken in landscape. Weird.

A storm's brewing

And the wind really picked up,  so I ran outside and put the window boxes on the ground.  The one on the right flew off the sill overnight and was upside down on top of the plant this morning and so I righted it,  put it back up,  and hurried to work.  This evening I swept up the lose dirt,  packed it back in,  and watered them so it would be a little heavier.  But this was a pretty high wind,  so hopefully this will help.  They're very pretty,  even if the one is a bit flat now. I put a broken piece in the soil to see if it will root.  We'll see.

I say, that was easy

Now let's see how it comes out. The recipe called for 6 medium potatoes, I had 8 ranging from small to medium, and these are red-skinned. I like the skins, so I didn't peel them, I just washed them well and cut them into bite-sized pieces and put them in the oiled baking dish. Then I added a chopped Vidalia onion and two cloves of garlic, minced, and salt and pepper, covered it with foil. It's supposed to bake for an hour, and then bake some after without the foil. I just realised I was going to add the herbs, as well. Let me go do that!

Okay, I'm back. I added some parley and Italian herbs (sage, thyme, marjoram, and oregano), but no rosemary, which in retrospect would probably be tasty, but I'm not going to do that again right now. Besides, rosemary has to be used carefully--it can really overwhelm a dish, in my opinion. I want to take a nap, but I'm afraid of oversleeping and letting it burn. I think I will listen to some music and read, though. And the kitchen needs some attention now, too. :)

No word on the dog yet

but we did come back from the pharmacy to discover the muzzle hanging from the screen door, which probably isn't a good sign. YKWIA said he'd stop by in a couple of days and ask about it, when they've had some time to recover from the shock. He barely slept last night. A lot of people think he's somewhat heartless, but he has a soft spot for animals and kept thinking about how it could have been one of his own, on occasions when there have been breakouts. One dog actually did go out the front door one time behind someone, got out, and disappeared. She wound up several miles away, on Richmond Road, someone found her, and they dropped her off at the night drop-off at the Lexington Humane Society, so they were thankfully reunited. How she managed not to get hit I have no idea, especially as she has border collie markings so is mostly black, and it was night.

I've come home, made some macaroni and cheese with white cheddar shells (which always look like trilobites to me when I see them flattened on a wooden spoon) and some of the beans, which are softer after sitting a couple of days and pretty decent, actually. I' going to prepare and roast some potatoes, onions, and garlic now in a little olive oil with herbs, so I'll have something for later. It's the first time I've used a glass baking dish, so wish me luck--YKWIA once had a very old one just totally explode and crack, and I had just gotten my set of three, so I've been a little reluctant to use them. But I realised I don't actually own a metal baking pan, just a Bundt pan and cookie sheet. That will have to be rectified when I have a little money. Okay, I'm off to cook.

Timely

This has been in my DVD queue for awhile,  but is now on its way from Netflix:

Pride

It's about an unlikely,  but true,  alliance between  striking Welsh miners and a gay group during Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister of Britain.

So far my favorite gay-themed movies are 1) Torch Song Trilogy and 2) Priscilla,  Queen of the Desert. We'll see how this one stacks up.

I have Pandora's Make America Gay Again station playing. It's an interesting mix.

Funny,  I've always experienced Pride month and gay rights issues from a strange position,  because when I first got involved I was supportive of my boyfriend and his boyfriend (long story,  let's just say that when I was very young I was in a tri-unity 
domestic relationship that I left for good reasons) .  And of course, my best friend is gay,  and I consider him and his husband a part of my family.

But even though I,  myself,  am bisexual,  I've never really felt part of the gay community itself.  The closest was when I sang in a chorus of mostly lesbians,  but they were not really open as a lesbian chorus.  Part of that is that I haven't been in an actual long-term relationship with either gender since I divorced almost 25 years ago, just a short-lived one with a woman that was purely physical.  Maybe I need to explore things a bit before I get into another relationship,  and figure out what I really want,  and whether I prefer one gender over the other.

Okay,  I have some bread rising.  It should be ready by 2 am. I think I'll listen to the music on a timer and go to sleep for a bit, and set a couple of alarms. The bread machine,  incidentally,  will turn itself off if I don't get up in time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Well

KoKo (CoCo? Cocoa?) is still hanging on and his people know what happened and are with him. They called and if animal control is called, he will most likely be euthanised. There is an emergency vet on Southland who will put him down for free but if they want treatment, it's $93 just for the exam, without x-rays, fluids, etc.--the things he needs. So they're trying to figure out what to do. But he has calmed down, isn't barking anymore, and is doing better now that they're on the scene. He'd been hit to the side of the road, so he's in a place where he won't be hit again. YKWIA brought out the muzzle and showed them how to put it on, so at least when they move him, no one will get bitten. YKWIA thinks he may have a broken hip. That's not good--when my cat broke his hip years ago, he was in an animal hospital for a month, which is very costly. He is apparently fairly old and has been hit before--you can tell from how he walks, actually. I'm afraid the only choice may be to put him down. Like I said, he's a sweet dog, rarely barks, just makes his rounds. I certainly would rather they keep him on leash, of course, and that would have prevented this whole thing, but right now I'm just hoping the best thing for KoKo can be done and that he won't suffer too badly. :(

I feel disoriented

I fell asleep around 7 pm and at one point woke up and thought the morning light was coming through the windows, but of course, the sun was still up. Just now I got a call from YKWIA that a man had banged on the door asking if the dog that had been hit out front was his (he drove off, even though he was the one that hit it), and the dog was dying. This is a medium-sized ginger dog that mostly stays across the street at the corner house, but roams the neighbourhood on a circuit every day. I asked if he'd checked with them, as I am reasonably sure they're the owners, and he was going to and if the dog isn't theirs, I'll go over there and we'll try to take it to the emergency vet on Southland. So I'm waiting back word. It's a sweet dog; I hate to hear that it got hit. I worry about it whenever it's out and about, as some people go down his street blazing, and it's an older dog and fairly slow. :(

So I got up and got re-oriented in time and space, and I'm drinking a big glass of ice water and fretting about the dog. I'll give him till 11:30 pm and then call back and check on it to see what's going on. I'm glad it's not either of the two that I'm auntie to. They don't normally run loose, but one is adept at taking boards off the fence, so that's sometimes an issue.

By the way

The bug came out from under the bed this morning, and I quickly put clothes on and took it outside on an envelope, so I didn't quite freak out as much, although then I started to go to work without my dentures in, so I was, indeed distracted. But I turned the car around and came back.

Ugh.

Something that makes me happier







[Spoilers]

Okay, it set up the breakup of Willow and Tara, the events of them reuniting, Tara's tragic death, Willow as the Big Bad, and Xander telling the story of the girl with the broken crayon.

But hey, it's a musical, so it makes me happy. :) And I can sing with every line of it, no matter who's singing, which also makes me happy.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Each life was important, and should be remembered

Anderson Cooper's emotional tribute to victims

Please listen as he reads the names, and tells something of each one of them, if known. The one that got me the most, for whatever reason, was Brenda Lee Marquez McCool. She was 49 years old--the same age I am. She had eleven kids, and had beaten cancer twice. One of her sons was gay, and she was so supportive that they often went to Pulse together to dance. That night, she died. He lived, and I'm sure it's torn him up completely.

As Cooper said, these were people who 'loved and were loved'. They had families and friends. They had dreams to chase. Many of them were very young--one was just 18. They seemed to have their whole lives ahead of them, but were cut down by a gunman who somehow seems to be an intersection in a complex diagramme of hate crime, terrorism, mental illness--all the usual suspects in mass murder, rolled up into one.

This incident has weighed heavily on me all of today; I could barely concentrate at work. So many lives cut short, due to a type of mentality that is incomprehensible to everyone I've talked to. It's so sad. Please, do not let these men and women become merely statistics. They were vibrant people who made a difference to those around them. Several were partners who died together. We need to remember their names, and more to the point, we need to take steps to make sure it's a lot harder for this sort of thing to happen again. Thank you, Anderson Cooper. You put the emphasis where it needed to be--the dead, rather than the gunman. Those names have meaning. Those names were lives lost.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Love conquers hate

'The Rose' is a favourite of mine. I first heard it at a convention in high school performed by girls from our neigbouring School for the Deaf. This was before I'd even heard of Bette Miller, or for that matter, Janis Joplin. But the song (while some may think it sappy), has an important message, and it was used a few years ago during this concert to inspire those who were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered who may have felt that life had become a burden worth ending. But tonight I'm listening to it in a different light, in terms of how love really can conquer the hate and terror (and really, hate and intolerance are at the very root of terrorism, too), and how each of us can foster love with our actions. So here you go:

A heavy heart today

I have spent much of today absorbing the news about the ‪‎Orlando shooting‬ at a gay nightclub. At present reports, 50 people lost their lives, and over 50 were wounded. Each of those victims had people who love them, each life is precious, each death and injury changes things so quickly. It is the worst mass shooting in the U.S. ever, and seems to have had elements of hate crime and terrorism in terms of the actions of the shooter and those targeted. I am very sad over all of this. Here are my (admittedly unsorted) thoughts. One, I don't believe anyone really needs an AR-15, as it's only really good for acts like this-- I'm not saying to take all the guns away from folks who are rabid about guns, I just mean, really, there is only one thing this type of gun is used for, and that's mass casualties. Two, my heart goes out to those affected directly and indirectly by this tragedy, including those killed and injured, their families and friends, the people of Orlando, and yes, the family of the young man who did this horrible act. who lost a son, husband, and father, as well. They are all suffering. Third, actions speak louder than words or tweets. I was planning on giving blood soon (we have a drive scheduled for the 30th), and was going to go in earlier, but apparently they have what is needed for now in Orlando, so I'll keep to the original schedule. But I've gone to gay bars, I have dearly loved people in my life I love who are gay. This hits home. I feel I should do something. Prayers and thoughts and Facebook posts are fine, but in reality what each of us needs to do is take small actions each and every day against hate and intolerance on a daily basis, and do what we can to make the world a kinder, gentler place, and that includes voting for people who work to do so rather than blowhards who use mass murder to shore themselves up further.


[Found on the ACLU of Northern California's Facebook page; not sure if they made it or if they just shared someone else's graphic, but it really does sum up things.]

Go hug someone you love and tell the person they're loved. Go on, go do it now.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Well, they taste fine, but they're not quite tender

even after 6 hours of slow-cooking. :(
If stored longer than 12 months, or exposed to unfavorable storage conditions, beans may never soften sufficiently, no matter how long they're soaked or cooked. On the other hand, some beans can cook up tender after years of storage.--US Dry Bean Council
So the pintos may be shot, but I may have luck with the others. And the chickpeas aren't that old. Oh, well, it was worth a try. I did eat some. Hopefully that will be alright. But the bread came out absolutely great, at least.

Happy bread

It's done.  You can also see the canisters of beans and rice in this photo. Still haven't taken that nap,  so I will now.

It's amazing

just how great pinto beans, onion, garlic, Italian herbs, and a bay leaf can smell while slow-cooking in a crock pot. I brought a friend over to my house to kill some time (he's staying at a house that's for sale, and they were doing a showing), so he made coffee, I boiled water, chopped an onion, rinsed the beans, minced garlic, and put that and the herbs into a crock pot and started that cooking. It should be ready by 7:30 pm. Since I was doing that, I went ahead and put the ingredients for my outrageously oatmeal bread recipe into the bread machine and started that. It should be ready about 6 pm. I then took him and dropped him off, came back home, and the apartment smells great. I'm figuring my beans may take the longer cooking time because while they've been kept dry in a tightly sealed container (I have several with those metal 'locks' and o-rings to seal in the freshness), the actual beans are years old. I mostly keep them because they're decorative (I have a 15-bean mix, the pinto beans, some butter beans, garbanzos, and Anasazi beans, plus brown and white rice in these large locking containers.) But I am very poor, so I'm getting into my stash. The recipe called for a pound of some sort of bean, one onion, four cloves of garlic, thyme (I substituted Italian seasoning, which has thyme in it, plus some others I thought would be good), and a bay leaf. I took the $5 I still had in cash and got the head of garlic, reasoning that it would be better than garlic powder, and some bay leaves, because while I could have 'borrowed' one from YKWIA, I have lots of beans, quite a bit of garlic, lots of seasoning, and have one more onion, and probably can get more. So I may subsist on beans for awhile. Look out world; despite not eating red meat or pork for 25 years, and only breaking down one year in that time to eat poultry before I decided that no, I can't kill a chicken myself, I never have particularly processed beans well. But they smell great, and I'm hoping they get tender and taste great, too.

I'm getting sleepy. I've done quite a bit of driving today, cleaned out my friend's litter boxes, been terrified by a beetle, and I am generally feeling lazy while sitting near a sunny window on a warm day. I also have a slight headache. I think I'll lie down until the bread machine goes off; that's in less than an hour. I've cleaned the tub and toilet today; I still need to do the bathroom sink. And I think I'll pick up some things out in the dining and living areas. I don't have to go anywhere till 11 am tomorrow, so I have some time to just hang out and work on the house some. I may do some more reading, too, and I think I'll listen to some Pandora later and maybe watch something on Netflix.

Alright. Here's hoping no bugs come and terrorrise me during my nap. I'll probably write later. :)

Before I was so rudely interrupted

I was going to write about two books I got when I stopped in at the library this morning shortly before picking up YKWIA for an appointment. One is A Field Guide to American Houses: the Definitive Guide to Identifying and Understanding America's Domestic Architecture by Virginia Savage McAlester, which has all sorts of information on elements of house structures and also various styles and their origin. It's hefty. I saw the paperback version in the Barnes & Noble yesterday and made a note to check out the library for it. Next to it was Weird U.S.: Your Travel Guide to America's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets, by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman. I have the Weird Kentucky book (I got it at a book fair years ago), but had never actually read the one for the United States. So I checked that out. While I'm waiting for my friend to get out of his appointment, I'll go check out the e-book I couldn't last night, if it's still available. And then I'll read for awhile till I get the phone call to come.

Okay, I like bugs more than most people

I loved entymology as a kid, did a whole project for 4-H on bugs, let mud daubers crawl on me when the other kids ran away, and won't even kill a spider.

But...

I can startle just as easily as the next person. I was getting ready to blog and was sitting on the bed with the study pillow behind me, when I looked down and a three-inch beetle was crawling up my Capris, obviously brought in from being outside a few minutes before.

I am embarrassed to say I freaked out totally, screaming bloody murder, for one. The computer, which was on a lap desk and pillow in front of me, almost went flying across the room, saved only at the last minute by some presence of mind that kept me from throwing the pillow and I managed to catch the laptop before it went crashing to the floor. Then I jumped up, spun around a few times, brushing at my pants, then took them off. Nothing. Nowhere. I examined the pants. I examined the floor. (Yes, I know, it's a bit like Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, which I hated in school, one of the few books I've despised. Actually, I think it's the only one.)

Then I began to take the bed apart. It wasn't on the pillows, blanket, my bookbag, the study pillow, a stuffed animal. Finally I saw it on the sheet--and it crawled down behind the bed. So now it's lurking down there. It's about three-quarters to an inch deep, three inches long, and about an inch wide. Huge. Huge bug. And it's lurking behind my bed. Not good.

I am so glad no one saw me do this. Now, I'd better go retrieve my pants. I guess the only thing that would have made it worse was if it had been on my head or face, but still. *Shudder*

I think it was a Prionus laticollis or Broad-necked Root Borer. They're here in Kentucky and the females are huge. I do hope she doesn't lay any eggs inside!

I really dislike

that the catalogue and any sort of e-book service, etc., goes down every night at midnight for the Lexington Public Library. I realise that maintenance has to be done sometime, but why not the wee hours of the morning, rather than a time when many of us night owls are still up and wanting to access our account, or check out an e-book. :( Also, if I try to log in to the mobile application Freegal, it locks me out of my account permanently and I have to uninstall and then re-install the application. So I've learned not to do that. But I was browsing and really wanted to get a certain book on my Kindle, and then, gee, got the 'unexpected error' message. I was hoping to avoid that since I was technically on OverDrive's website at that point, but it tried to interface with the library servers to log in. The thing is, I've never figured out when the maintenance is over, either. I've tried as late as 1:30 am and it's still been messed up. Oh, well, I'll try to check it out during a decent hour, tomorrow.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Something I need to remember

For YKWIA

Quote of the day

There are seven days of the week, and someday isn't one of them.
Thanks to the folks at SparkPeople for that one.

11,000!

I'm going to finish out the night by marking a milestone--11,000 posts written since this blog started in October 2001. Yay! Today, another milestone came to mind--the 15th of this month would have been my 25th wedding anniversary, and I am so glad that this is not the case. But I haven't really been in a relationship since then, and so that's why I'm a little iffy about things like OKCupid. It's a whole different world than when I was younger. Of course, I married the first man I dated (girls, never do that, live a little first), and I'm not sure you can say we actually intentionally dated per se, as we were seeing each other for awhile before I realised, hey, I have a boyfriend. But it's been 25 years since I married, almost 25 years since I left that marriage, and therefore, it's almost been 25 years since I was in a relationship. That's a lifetime ago, it seems. I am such a different person now. It doesn't even seem, sometimes, that I really was in that situation. Here's to finding a better one down the road, hopefully before another 25 years goes by! Good night.

Oh, one sad thing

A friend has a handyman who does things like repair fence boards that his dog tears off the privacy fence, that sort of thing. He's a carpenter by trade, and he was working on some lovely hickory cabinets, as they were redoing their kitchen cabinets and counters, and my friend tried to call him and kept getting a message on the cell phone that the person isn't accepting calls right now. Being YKWIA, he tried to look him up online to see if there was another number--and found his obituary. He died near the end of May. I'd just met him, he seemed like a nice guy. We were shocked. He was in his early sixties, but still, that's not that old these days. I found his wife on Facebook, and I know YKWIA wants to send her his condolences. I am ashamed to admit that while that was the first thought he had, I was worried about the money they'd put into the cabinets and how that would be finished. But I guess I was looking out for my friend, and I really didn't know the man, having just met him the once. But YKWIA definitely had the better response.

I seem to be

terribly incapable of washing more than a dish or two without getting soaked down my front to the skin. Tonight was worse, as a lid under the water at the wrong angle meant water in my face and on my glasses. It got everywhere. Even when I filled up the ice cube trays, I sprayed water everywhere. Plus, I have a small leak, and I tried to turn the faucet off completely in case that was it, and the whole faucet came up a tad, still attached to the pipe, but moving about. I'll call about that on Monday.

Thankfully, however, the kitchen is completely cleaned up, the dishwasher is drying dishes, the plastics and cookware are in the drainer drying, and sunflower seed bread is baking. I hope it rose okay with the dishwasher going and all my clanging about. I had just enough whole wheat flour and sunflower kernels to do the bread, and I thought it would make a nice change. Before I go to bed, I'm going to put a pound of beans to soak overnight, and then tomorrow I'll cook them with the onion and some garlic in the crock pot.

I need to head over to Facebook and wish one of my former co-workers a happy birthday. The bread has just about an hour to go, so I'll probably stay up till then, but then go on to bed soon after. Have a good night.

Here are two interesting articles

New Alzheimer's Blood Test Is Nearly 100 Percent

and

Doctors’ hand hygiene plummets unless they’re monitored, study finds

Last night I woke up from my 'nap' at 11:40 pm

I almost went ahead and went to the store, but I'm glad I waited till this afternoon, when I was awake and could really be frugal and calculate as I went. I managed to get bread flour, honey and butter for bread-making, two jars of spreadable fruit, a bunch of bananas, a gallon of milk, eighteen eggs, some raisin bran, string cheese, and some soda (yes, the latter was not important to get, but I thought it might be good to have some caffeine over the weekend), all for less than $27. That leaves me approximately $15 for things like more gas or groceries. Yay! I had some of YKWIA's bread (he's been making some, too) earlier, and I had some cheese and a banana. One of my co-workers also gave me a care package of oatmeal, trail mix bars, potatoes (to go with the onions I got yesterday), tuna, macaroni and cheese shells, and Indian lentils I can put over some rice I have. Thank you so much! That, along with the things I have in the cabinets (some tomato soup, some canned vegetables, and a few other things), plus my packets of Goldfish crackers, should (hopefully) last until I get paid. I can make bread, and I have some peanut butter in about four small jars that I'm going to consolidate. I also found a big can of pasta sauce I can put with my farfalle, and I think I have some old pasta up in the top cupboard that might still be edible.

Today was our No Limits Sports Clinic at work, where the kids come and play various sports out on the back lawn of the hospital (we have a total of just over 26 acres of land, most of it greenspace). We parked on the lawn east of the hospital to allow for families to have more parking. We had a good turnout, and I did the certificates for them. Because this is the last one at the current hospital building, they ordered each of us a teal shirt, and almost everyone wore those today, so we were all 'of the body', basically. It was fun. Lunch was a free cookout (I didn't eat hot dogs, hamburgers, or baked beans (pork is in that, almost always), but I had a cheese sandwich with trimmings, Doritos, a great coleslaw, and a fountain drink. I didn't schlep back outside to wait for the Amish ice cream, which is always great, but it seemed to be very popular. It's basically soft homemade ice cream in large vats powered (I think) by a gas contraption with a smoke exhaust pipe. One of my former co-workers came back to take care of the music. It looked like great fun. It was sunny and warm, but the humidity didn't seem bad, and the sun would occasionally be behind clouds to give them a break.

After I got finished with the certificates and delivered them, I turned my attention to the data entry, referrals, surgery charge reconciliation, and several issues I was tracking down, error reports, that sort of thing. I was able to leave at 4:30 pm because I had my time in, went over to YKWIA's, then we went to Barnes & Noble and I found a couple of books that I can't afford, but noted on my phone, and they're both at th library and available. I returned a book to the library (the one on the Medicis) on the way back, but couldn't check the others out because they'd already closed for the night. I dropped off YKWIA, picked up the stuff I'd left at his house, and went to the grocery. I also picked up a paper with directions on applying for a job. (Oh, and even though I haven't heard back about that one position, I went ahead and sent off the application today for a technology library assistant at Scott County Public Library). I did it via mail, since I'm not sure she ever got my e-mail. It's not due till the 17th, so it should get there in time).

Wow. While I was at the Chinoe Kroger, a fire truck and ambulance turned into the apartments there, and they had trouble negotiating the entrance. I just had a fire truck and ambulance go by my window as well, so apparently they're having to come out for medical emergencies at apartments today.

My apartment maintenance folks snaked out my tub today, so hopefully the water will run down the drain instead of backing up. I have a little cover I can put over the drain to keep hair out, but things were so bad, it would just float away. It's been doing it for awhile, I'd actually kind of gotten used to it (it happened so gradually), and I'd tried enzymatic drain opener (which worked on the sink, but not on the tub). I'd hate to see the hairball they got out of there, as I've removed it from the top area of the drain as much as possible, and apparently I shed a ton. Hopefully it will work right. Because it wasn't draining, the soap was impossible to get off the bottom of the tub, where the lather settled as it slowly drained, and it was getting slippery. I should have told them some time ago; like I said, it happened gradually and then suddenly I was up to my ankles in water.

Wow, it's almost 9 pm. I think I'll go start some bread, get something to drink, fill up the ice cube trays, and clean up the kitchen/do the dishes, since I didn't do that last night. I think I have four more posts before I hit 11,000 posts. :)

Thursday, June 09, 2016

My lack of sleep is catching up with me

I've only had maybe three hours' worth of sleep,  and I've functioned well,  all things considered.  But I feel like my batteries are running down now.  I may take a nap,  then get up and work on the kitchen.  I know it's late for a nap,  but there you have it.

I thought this was interesting

Saving Tiny Tim--Pediatrics and Childhood Poverty in the United States,  by Perri Klaas,  MD.

Dr Perri Klaas was the medical director of Reach Out and Read,  the national early literacy organisation which we participate with at work in our clinic.  I don't know if she still is.  Her Perspective article in the New England Journal of Medicine was published this week.  She talks about the challenge for paediatricians and practices serving as a medical home to evaluate the needs of patients and their families in regards to where they might be having trouble making ends meet and services that can be referred to help. It's worth a read,  and had some interesting statistics about extreme poverty in America.