Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

So it's been a difficult few days

Lots of stress, lots of little things, lots of running around, lots of phone calls. I won't go into all of it, but suffice to say most of it it financial, and things should get better in the next few days, and in the meantime I'm moving heaven and earth trying not to overdraught my bank account.

And, although the game was very good Sunday, and it was a particularly difficult adventure that the game master really had to rework, I lost a character. Now most of you who roleplay do short bouts of adventures, with a dungeon crawl here, or a single story, and then things happen and sometimes your character gets killed, and you roll up another and go on. But when you play an ongoing story, in which the characters take on life, for nearly twenty-six years, you get a little attached to them, and it kind of bums you out for a day or two. In all the time I've been playing Call of Cthulhu, I've lost three characters. One was stomped on by Shub-Niggurath and became toe-jam, just two months after she had a baby. The second was a guy who sacrificed himself in Antarctica to save the world (and a beloved non-player character), and I felt very good about that one, really, and hadn't been playing him very long at all. This one I've played for about 5-7 years; she had a baby 10 months ago in game time, and was killed by being cooked from the inside out when she missed her saving throw by none other than Nyarlathotep himself. I suppose I should be honoured by the fact that I've had characters killed mainly by major manifestations, but it still hurts. Also, the woman's husband had to be killed because he was turning into a Cthulhoid thing (and he was already a necromancer), just mere hours before her death. So the child is an orphan, though fortunately the family curse was thwarted, and he will not be doomed for all time.

You've got to love Lovecraftian roleplaying.

On the good side, I had no less than three characters on this adventure, and one was my very first character--the one I've been playing for 26 years or so--the one who usually survives by going insane, getting pregnant--she actually spent two game years inside Yog-Sothoth. If that's not devotion to avoiding death and mayhem, I don't know what is.

In this one adventure--'The Burning Stars'--we had seven characters (two for Brenda, three for me, and two non-player characters). Two went insane, two died, one barely survived having her heart squeezed by a spell by Nyarlathotep, and one was left standing to hike back into Port-au-Prince (we were in Haiti) to find help. That was the one who'd been around all these years, and she had an interesting discussion with Nyarly (as we call him) where she was basically tired and mourning and wasn't up to being terribly afraid of him. Of course, she should be.

So I was down a little yesterday, kind of glum, actually. Today I feel better. Of course, I also had my rehab today and did lots of exercise, worked harder than I had, did my breathing exercises, and wound up pushing myself into the beginning of an asthma attack, so I had to use my inhaler. But things are improving on that front. I'm still holding at about 7 lbs short of where I was a month ago and 16 lbs short of my all-time high. So it's helping with that, as well.

Okay, I think I will go do some things around the house. I need to call in the air conditioner and our bimonthly pest control visit is Thursday, and those dishes aren't going to wash themselves (more's the pity).

I will not scream, I will not scream

When you have to remind yourself that most of your situation is out of your control, it is better to breathe than scream, and it will all be sorted in the end, so just do what you can, call a calming friend, pray to your Goddess, and go do dishes, because *that* you can control.

On the plus side, I applied for another job today, at the Lexmark library (which is apparently staffed by UK). That's five active applications since the last week in March, and a non-librarian one that looks to be a good fit to apply for before May 1st. Here's hoping one of them will pan out soon.

Friday, April 21, 2017

I got

My last of the yellow-coded allergy shots today, meaning I have ten more (red) trips before going to maintenance dose. Yay, and finally!

I signed a friend up for his work benefits, taught him about emoticons and texting, took YKWIA to an appointment and to the pharmacy, came home, ate, applied for a job I really, really want--a faculty position at UK in the medical library--went and got A and took him somewhere, came back and got my cover letter finished for another job at Lexmark, tweaked my  résumé for it, and then got A and took him to another place he's staying over at for the night.

So it was a productive day. Now I'm home and I'm considering going to bed because there's no alarm clock where A is, so I'll call and wake him up at 6:30 am and get him at 7:30 am to get him to work by 8.

Both orchids are now blooming fully

Hot

I finally turned on the air conditioning today because the apartment was 75.7 degrees inside, hotter than outside, actually, with 44% humidity. It's been running all day, and it's now 76.4 degrees. Guess who needs maintenance to come fix her air conditioning? I doubt they'll be able to get to it till Monday, so at least it's good that tomorrow it's supposed to be fairly cool. I've brought my sleeping fan out to the living room for awhile, and I have the windows open (which unfortunately, being on the first floor, I can't sleep that way safely). Oh, well.

*facepalm*

The other day my printer stopped working, which was unfortunate, because I
  1. Had just replaced the ink and gotten it going again,
  2. Need it for reviews of my job materials and keeping track of my applications, and
  3. Know that it's often cheaper just to buy another printer if it breaks, rather than repair it, for which I have no money at the moment.
I'd done everything I could think of: changed the height of the paper, loaded and reloaded the drawer, pulled out the duplexer and put it back in, looked at the back of the machine where the drawer goes in, all that. But that last one I'd done when I'd been frustrated. This time, I realised that there was white in the back. My printer is black. Ding, ding, ding. There was an accordion of paper trapped between the back of the printer and the drawer, keeping the rollers from pulling up the paper. Simple fix. Obvious fix. But I wasn't doing so well a couple of days ago when I was troubleshooting, apparently.

Fortunately, I did drive well last night. We had a very close call. I was in the right lane on Alumni where it meets Nicholasville Road. At that time of night, that right lane can either go right or left (it's a dead end, so there's no straight). I had my signal on for left, and the sign was lit up clearly. When the light turned green, I proceeded in my lane left. The SUV in the left lane, which was huge, maybe an Expedition, swerved halfway into my lane, and ran me up the curb and off the road, briefly, but there was a utility pole so I laid on the horn, got back on the road, and the driver was either drunk, oblivious, or an utter asshole, because he or she just went quickly into my lane and sped down the road. The only reason we didn't collide is I was able to come to a dead stop (without getting hit from behind). We were probably about 2-3 inches from one another or less at one point. My passenger and I were a little shaken, but I got him home a couple more blocks down the road and then got myself home (going back down Alumni).

Things I don't understand:
  1. Why do people get into the wrong turn lane for the lane they want?
  2. Why do people not read signs or indicators like the other cars' turn signals?
  3. Why do people not turn into the correct lane?
  4. Why, on hearing not a little beep but a sustained horn, would you not, if you were blithely turning into the wrong lane, would you not get your ass back in your own lane, as someone was obviously in the other lane?
I'm putting it down to drunken idiocy in this case, for now. I'm glad no one was hurt. If I'd hit that utility pole, my passenger would have taken the brunt. If I'd been hit by the SUV, I would have. I seriously doubt the SUV driver would have had much trouble---I drive a Ford Taurus, which is much lower and smaller. The SUV would definitely have won, which I think is one reason why it seems drivers of big SUVs and trucks don't really seem to care how badly they drive, they can just bully their way through. I see that all the time. Sigh. And people wonder why I have so much driving anxiety. But hey, I did what I could, drove well (my passenger thanked me for that), and we survived.

Okay, I'm alive, the printer is fixed, the corrections have been made and printed, and uploaded to Google Sites (I had the string of letters 'rmaterials' written on one of the sheets). I swear every time I proofread, and think I'm looking at a perfect document, I find something else. I also turned the air conditioner on this morning because it was 75.7 degrees in here and I was sleeping with a fan on the middle setting (normally it's low), without a blanket, and was still sweating. I have some things to do, including some exercising while practicing my breathing to do before I go over to YKWIA's later today. I'll write later.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ow

It's been four-and-a-half years since I was hit by a car on my way to catch the bus to work - - October 12, 2012. Although my memory of that time is pretty decent, since it made quite an impact on me, generally I don't think of it much anymore. The car ran over my foot, breaking two metatarsals, and while my foot was trapped, the car hit me, breaking my ankle on the medial (inside) side, requiring surgery and a couple of implanted screws. But on those rare occasions, like now, when I turn my ankle a certain way, I remember. The pain is sudden and kind of takes the breath away. My doctor says that a small piece of bone has broken off inside my foot since the initial treatment. He tried to get my bone stimulator reset  but the insurance wouldn't go for that. If it gets worse, we may revisit further surgery, but for now it doesn't happen enough to warrant that for now. But when it does, it's definitely an owie.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Today's agenda:

  1. Water houseplants
  2. Pulmonary rehab
  3. A friend's appointment
  4. A friend's second appointment
  5. Pharmacy for a friend
  6. Drop friend off at library for class
  7. Finish state taxes
  8. Get together library materials that are due
  9. Load food into car to return to friend
  10. Take materials to library and return
  11. Pick up friend from library
  12. Set up something on the computer for another friend (couldn't do that as he couldn't find the directions; I'll take him to get another set tomorrow).

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sometime in the next week

I need to iron my interview suit, as next Tuesday there's a job class on networking I'd like to attend and they have recruiters who come in, so they suggest interview attire. I went and got nude panty hose to wear with it, as I had only black, which wouldn't work. I don't have pumps, so my other dress shoes will have to do (they're a flat, somewhat like a Mary Jane, but with slanted straps instead, and I'd be much more comfortable and assured than being awkward in heels). But this is what the suit looks like. I need to print up some more business cards before then, too.

This is not an ad

But more of a review. I was at Fresh Thyme, a new natural grocery, checking it out the other day, and got a tall can of this grape soda, which has nothing but carbonated water, citric acid, stevie leaf extract, and natural flavours. It's called Zevia, and it's pretty good, much better than others I've had in the past, and it's zero-calorie and has no caffeine, so I've been drinking them (I found six-packs of it at the Euclid Kroger) in the evening. It also doesn't have the phosphorus that dark colas have that cause kidney issues. I thought I'd share my find. I drink too much soda. This is a better alternative,  and it is a little more expensive ($3.49 for a six-pack, not horrible, but enough where I won't get a lot of them at once). The tall can was $1.49, but that was actually less than a regular soda. It comes in other flavours, too.

Hot

It's 74.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the apartment. I don't want to turn on the air conditioner yet, so I'm sitting in front of my bedroom fan. I sleep with one going all year round, under a single fuzzy blanket, as I'm hot-natured, and the perimenopause makes it worse.

I need to take a friend's food back to him tomorrow, as we transferred stuff to my refrigerator this weekend when his refrigerator (but apparently not the freezer, although we emptied that, too, as a precaution) went out. He's been storing half and half and mayonnaise (two absolute staples) in a cooler with ice in it, placed in the refrigerator. One thing that stayed in the freezer that he shared with me, though, were frozen bananas, wrapped in wax paper. They are sweet, cold, and a great substitute for ice cream. I may have to get some wax paper and start doing that. Try it, sometime.

Busy, busy, busy

Today I:
  1. Did my laundry (three loads) at YKWIA's.
  2. Took YKWIA to an appointment.
  3. Discovered that today's mail carrier doesn't understand what the 'outgoing mail' sticky note taped to the outside of my locking apartment mailbox means. This is not normally a problem. But my payment for my librarian certification did not go out today for that reason.
  4. Got some food from Captain D's and took it to YKWIA's. They got his order right; I got tilapia instead of salmon. Oh, well, I like tilapia.
  5. Watched the season finale of 'Legion' with him on Hulu.
  6. Came home and crashed for three hours, and feel like I finally caught up on rest from the weekend.
  7. Came out and did some stuff on the computer.
Tomorrow I:
  1. Need to go over about 10 am to help YKWIA with a project.
  2. Have pulmonary rehabilitation at 1 pm.
  3. Need to take YKWIA to an appointment and to his class at the library.
  4. Should get YKWIA to go through the books in my trunk so that I can give any rejects to the library and clear out the four copy paper boxes that are in there.
  5. Need to pay for and officially file my state taxes. Federal was filed weeks ago, but I have to pay for the state taxes, and they wouldn't let me take it out of my refund. Almost forgot to finish!
  6. Should review my cover letter and apply for the job that closes on the 25th.
  7. Need to check the various sites for new job openings.
  8. Need to water all my plants.
  9. Need to give the fish water.
So far there's just one thing on Wednesday, thankfully. Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty busy due to my rehabilitation, which last an hour and a half, so if anything else is scheduled, it can be hectic. But I'm definitely keeping busy.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Considering

I've had a total of about eight hours' sleep since Friday morning, I think I'm doing pretty well. Insomnia set in Friday, as I was pumped up on too much soda caffeine. Then A had to get wake-up calls at 6:30 am yesterday and today, rides to work at 8 am, and a ride from work on Saturday at 1 am (and tonight it will be midnight). So I've really only gotten about five hours last night and three Saturday during the day.

We have been playing a particularly creepy adventure in our Cthulhu game where the main character was an unreliable narrator who lost a total of 82 sanity points in one adventure, and was hallucinating people and acting out their personalities and accents, and he wound up beating himself up with a rock when all thing broke loose. Meanwhile, my character, who was not in on most of the investigation, wound up having to:
  1. take out the cultists,
  2. take out the priest-cultist,
  3. seal the talisman that summoned the flying polyp of doom (which had caused the above sanity loss) with an Elder Sign,
  4. get my comrades out of pods of goo in pools,
  5. wake folks up,
  6. put Brenda's crazy character in stasis, and
  7. retrieve the item that will stop an avatar of Nyarlathotep [and it makes me happy that Chrome can prompt me to spell Nyarlathotep correctly] from rising.
Kudos to the game master, who had us questioning the reality of our own presences and also for taking an adventure where technically everyone is dead and re-writing it so we could survive great danger.

I think I'm going to take my contacts out, turn Pandora on in the bedroom, and try to rest before A calls me for the midnight pickup. Tomorrow I'm going to go over to YKWIA's and help him go through some things, then take him to a doctor's appointment. But I would like to get some proper rest tonight, to be honest. Let's hope I can, anyway. I had less caffeine this time, at least, and I'll try to limit screen time for the rest of the night, limiting it to the alarm clock.

Good night.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Things to do soon

[Bold ones are priorities.]
  1. Go through my finances.
  2. Pay my cell phone bill.
  3. Finish and pay for my state taxes.
  4. Do my laundry (at the apartment complex or at YKWIA's).
  5. Do the plastic dishes (a holdover, and several below are as well, as I still have not done that).
  6. Wipe down the kitchen counters and stove.
  7. Do a once-over for the bathroom sink, vanity, and toilet.
  8. Clean out the hair trap in the tub (I have a catcher inserted).
  9. Find my keyboard wrist rest.
  10. Fold the loose laundry and put it away.
  11. Fill up the fish tank (another holdover).
  12. Do the game notes.
  13. Offer some books up to YKWIA so I can take the remainder to the public library for donation.

I didn't go to bed last night, really, or at least didn't sleep

It wasn't from lack of trying. I guess I'd had too much caffeine after not having any for awhile. I went to sleep about 8:30 this morning after taking A to work at his new job (he's working three over the next week, as they overlap). I got up a little before noon. But my night was not absolutely wasted. I got up about 3:30 am and finished and submitted a job application for a Digital Humanities Librarian at the University of Kentucky. I also did a cover letter for a job that closes April 25th, also at the University, and a medical library faculty position, but decided to wait to submit until I could absolutely proofread it while truly awake, as it fits my qualifications perfectly, and oddly enough, when I was looking to see to whom to address the cover letter, it was the only librarian at that part of the system I had not met. I'll go ahead and apply Sunday or Monday, when I've gotten some more rest. But it looked fine last night. Here's hoping that remains the same.

I'm connecting on Facebook with several former coworkers, both those still at the facility and those laid off. At least two of those laid off have new jobs, which is incredibly good, and I'm happy for them. I think it's going to take a lot of effort to get the type of job I want. My priority, of course, is to find a full-time medical librarian position. Barring that, I'd like to find a full-time librarian job. If those dry up, I'll expand my to things like retail and medical billing or scheduling, things I have experience in but I do not enjoy quite as much. But we're only two weeks in, entering the third, and so hopefully I'll find a library gig, as it is my first love, I care about patrons, and well, I'm pretty darn good at it.

It's a beautiful day, a little more windy than yesterday, and I have the windows open and Ed Sheeran's 'I See Fire' playing on the speaker in the living room. I am consuming more caffeine, which I suppose means I may make the sleeping thing worse, but I can't afford to spend an entire day, a lovely one at that, doing nothing but sleeping.

I am thankful that the orchids are actually pretty darn resilient, as I knocked over two (one was blooming, and fell right on the blooms, but they were okay) when I opened the windows. I guess I have too many plants, and they're pretty tall, most of them. Plus, I got a new one yesterday. I really had no business getting it, but I love lavender and it has certain spiritual connexions for me. And not only does it look beautiful, it smells divine, even when the breeze comes from the open window. Now to see if I can grow it okay indoors as a houseplant.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Today

was mostly about redesigning my résumé, curriculum vitae, and references pages, along with making business cards, all of which have the same 'brand' in terms of design, font, etc. My résumé, based on a template I found on the internet that was supposed to be updated to 2017's 'look', is a two-column format with very concise information on it. My CV is all one-column, five pages, but contains everything from my work and education history to my professional activities, committees, teaching experience, and publications. It's for academic/faculty positions. The cards have my contact info on one side and a short blurb of what I'm about professionally on the back. The references page is simple, but has the word 'references' going down the side. All of them have a touch of blue very similar to my interview suit. I'm hoping this all looks much cleaner and more professional than the table-format résumé I had. This seems almost like a unified business stationary.

I printed everything out, went to Office Depot and got some business card paper, and went over a little early to pick A up from work, and sat in the hot car with the windows down proofreading, finding quite a few ways to simplify things to a more concise use of language (one of my faults is my wordiness, as I'm sure you've figured out).

After I took him to get his hair cut and dropped him off, I came back, opened the apartment windows, and started making corrections. I printed out a sheet of the cards. (I got the sides mixed up, but I don't think you can really tell). I made 'web' versions of both the résumé and CV [without my address or phone number], posted them on Google Sites at the links on the right sidebar, copied and pasted them in a format that could be easily read when going to those pages, and printed the regular ones out again.

I have a job to apply for tomorrow, and another one I'm going to apply for next week. This will help. I also plan to go to the career center (unemployment office) and library next week and have the materials critiqued and get some feedback. I welcome any comment from those of you who might be more in the know regarding what employers are looking for these days. Just choose Résumé or Curriculum Vitae on the sidebar or the links on this post and to see the formatted versions, open up the document (.pdf) link. Look them over, and let me know what you think. I'd really appreciate it.

I know that they normally look at three references, but I've had one librarian, three nurses, and two doctors offer to be references, so I have them all on the sheet, indicating which ones were supervisors, which were patrons, and which are colleagues. The next two applications will be to the University of Kentucky, and three of the references have ties there. So I think that's promising.

Okay, I think I'm going to take a break. It's been a fairly busy day. I'll probably write later.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

:)

Today was the second time in my life I have seen a bluebird. I was over by Good Foods Co-op. The first time was standing at the bus stop at Shriners a few years ago (there are woids nearby, a golf course across the street, and the hospital was on 29 or so acres of rolling bluegrass). Each time it was magical. I love birds, and watch them attending to their daily activities with interest, but somehow, I guess from not living in the country, I missed out on bluebirds as a kid.

I feel much better...

Got my blood drawn, got gas and something to eat, and then went to the grocery. For 20 years, I have eaten two, sometimes three meals a day, five days a week, at a cafeteria. I've lost eight pounds since my last day. I want to continue the trend by eating healthier. So about half of what I bought were fruits and vegetables. Not everything was healthy (i.e., the fizzy drink and the Miracle Whip (for the tuna) ), but it's a start. :)

Well, drat...

Pardon me, I'm about to over share. So I'm awake, it's the middle of the night, and I'm hungry. I had to pay my regular bills like rent plus had an unexpected $117 after my exam for contacts, on the last day of my vision insurance, even with insurance. That was the 31st of March. So anyway, I was careful to save money for my car insurance, which came out yesterday, leaving me a mere thirty cents in the bank. So the last few days I've had to have my friends help me with gas due to all the driving I've been doing for them, and food has been scarce. Today I finally ate at about 5 pm, two seven-layer burritos from Taco Bell, thanks to A, who bought me some. Not good for a diabetic to wait that long. Later, I fixed some steel cut oatmeal with some hard brown sugar in it that I found in the back of the cupboard, along with five crackers.

Flash forward to now. My last paycheque from the hospital, plus payment for my personal time off, has hit my bank account--it is only for a week, so it's not as much as usual, but I can buy groceries. I'm lying in bed awake because I'm hungry and I decide hey, it doesn't matter that it's 3:30 am, I'm going to get dressed, go to the gas station (I'm on my gas light), and then go to Kroger and get some food.

I get up, get dressed, and am about to grab my purse and slip my sandals on, when I remember that I have a fasting blood draw at 9 am. Curses!

So now I'm back in bed, hungry. I guess I'll sign off and hope that I go to sleep. I'll go to the gas station and grocery as soon as my blood draw is over. I'll laugh about it later, I'm sure. But right now it's a little annoying, and I have a headache on top of insomnia. :(

For Latin lovers who happen to be 'The Big Bang Theory' fans

I present the following, courtesy of YKWIA, who translated the song:

mollis cattus, calidum cattus,
parva sphera furis,
laetus cattus, somnolentus cattus,
murmurillum, murmurillum, murmurillum.

:)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

One of the things I'm doing

with my new-found time (and through my COBRA benefits) is to go to pulmonary rehabilitation twice a week. That sounds ominous. I don't have COPD, but I do have some asthma issues that kick in with allergens but especially with exercise. Since it would benefit me to be more active, I would like to be able to exercise better. But I get pretty short of breath after a very short time, so I avoid it.

Turns out, that when we get short of breath, the air gets trapped in the bottom of our lungs, and that sets up a vicious circle where we continue to have shortness of breath, because we change our breathing and make it worse.

So pulmonary rehab consists of three main exercises I'm doing. One is that I inhale with a gizmo in my mouth that provides resistance, so I have to work harder as I adjust it up. The second has me blow into a tube and have my breath keep a plastic piece in a certain range for as long as possible. Both of these strengthen the muscles and encourage back breathing, so air doesn't get trapped in the bottom of your lungs. I come out of there actually feeling muscles I didn't know I had in my ribs and back area. The third is really important. You inhale through your nose and then purse your lips and let the air naturally flow (rather than blowing it out) through that smaller hole, trying to keep it going for as long as possible. Then it's put to the test while exercising--inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, and while that sounds easy, it's not quite as easy as it sounds. At first today I was exhaling longer like when we're sitting, and so my inhalations were quite short, and I was getting very short of breath. But then they showed me how to adjust and I got much better. I did a warm-up on the treadmill, worked 10 minutes on a piece of equipment they call the beast, which is sort of like a recumbent elliptical but you're tilted back), and then 5 on another type of recumbent elliptical that was more normal, and 5 minutes on the treadmill for cool-down. That sounds pretty small, but it was a good workout for me, where I had decent oxygen and heart rate readings and felt tired without being exhausted, and it really felt like I'd done quite a bit. After awhile, the exercise became secondary to the actual breathing, and I wasn't nearly as short of breath as I am normally. The whole session is an hour and a half long, with the exercise being maybe half. So I exercised for about 45 minutes, and I do the session twice a week. It's certainly a good start, and as an added benefit, my weight is going down a bit even in the short time that I've been doing it (although that may also be a factor of not eating in a cafeteria every day and having very little in the house right now). :) Anyway, I'm enjoying it, I feel like it's helping, and I'm trying to remember to do my exercises every day, not just on the ones where I'm there.

Monday, April 10, 2017

I have a little garden that

Looks its best about this time of day. Frustrated bumble bees and wasps have been trying to get to the orchids all day, as I've had the windows up, but of course there are the screens.

By the way

I took this picture last night. Two, count them, two orchids reblooming at the same time. I am amazed. (Don't worry about the oxalis/'shamrock' between them--the leaves just close up at night.) :)

An early start to my morning

I am trying to keep a normal business schedule in terms of getting up and starting my day, but I'm afraid things were so busy last week I only managed to get up at 9 am on most days. Today I was awake by 7:45 or so, up by 8. I took a shower, did all that sort of stuff, then moved the car over by the recycling containers and tossed in all the issues of The Journal of the Medical Library Association and MLA News I had in the trunk of my car. Before you go totally aghast let me explain that:
  1. I had issues going back to when it was The Bulletin of the Medical Library Association.
  2. They are actually (at least the JMLA and Bulletin) available freely online through PubMed Central.
  3. They were one of only two things I couldn't find a home for (the other being our hospital newsletters).
  4. I don't have the room to store them.
  5. I already have too much stuff that I'm trying to unclutter.
The one exception is that somewhere in my house there is one where I wrote a book review; I'll keep it. But the others, should I need to refer to the information they have in them, have been digitised and posted freely on the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central site. So I felt pretty decent about letting them go.

Then I took the hand truck and took four boxes of books that I weeded from my personal collection the other day and put them in the trunk of my car. YKWIA gets first pick, and this way he can just look through them and anything left can go to the public library, either for their collection or most likely their Friends' sales. I'm cool with that.

After that I checked the job boards and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives' job list site for anything new.

All that in an hour.

Now I've revived a rather hard, previously frozen French baguette (microwaves will make them softer, if you do just a few seconds on a piece), eaten it, had some water, and I'm preparing for my day.

So last night I cleaned up the kitchen and bath of various stuff that was lying around, loaded the dishwasher, ran a load, etc.

What I want to do (I'm going to try to get as much done today as possible, as I'm fairly free today, and Tuesday and Thursday are particularly busy, but if I don't, I'll just keep plugging through the list this week).
    [In no particular order:]
  1. Take out the trash and recyclables [which includes the discarded plants that were diseased or infested with mealybugs, when I made room for the others, so it's heavy].
  2. Wipe down the sink area of the bathroom and clean the toilet.
  3. Clean all the horizontal surfaces in the kitchen (island, counters, stove).
  4. Unload the dishwasher and do the plastic dishes.
  5. Sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom.
  6. Fold and put away laundry.
  7. Collect dirty laundry to take to YKWIA's and wash.
  8. Start unpacking boxes from my desk, etc.
  9. Find a place for the boxes of holiday decorations that are still sitting out.
  10. Take a bag of donations to out to the car so I can take them to Goodwill (and anything else I find to donate in the meantime).
  11. Excavate the dining room table and couch.
  12. Straighten the dining room and living room.
  13. Fill up the fish tank.
  14. Hang up my interview suit and the dress I wore to the funeral in the closet (they've been hanging up elsewhere).
  15. Take the three boxes of books I weeded in the bedroom out to the car for YKWIA to look at/donate to the library.
  16. Get with John if he can come up today and get the family photos from him.
  17. Call my human resources representative regarding continuing AFLAC.
  18. Reschedule my counseling appointment that's tomorrow, as it conflicts with the pulmonary rehabilitation.
I'll probably get A from work tonight and get something from the pharmacy for YKWIA, either this evening or tomorrow morning. We'll see. But I'm going to try to stick around today and get things done at home for the most part, and in case John can come up with those photos.

Okay, I guess I'd better get going. First, the trash and recyclables, as there are a lot of them, and they're often heavy. I think I'm going to put on my Bluetooth headphones (yes, they look like they're from the 70s, but you can move well in them) and listen to music while I work. That usually helps.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Okay

Serious question: with the job loss and everything else happening lately, I've had a lot of stress, which I thought I was dealing with, but I tend to 'deal' with stress by pushing it down and having somatic issues where I express it as bodily pain, plus I get anxiety that just builds and I want to just curl up in a ball and shut out the world. I need to learn better coping skills. How do you deal with releasing your stress in a healthy way? Exercise helps some, and I'm working towards being able to do that better. Meditation sounds great, but I find that to be difficult. What other activities would you suggest?

Friday, April 07, 2017

It's been a VERY busy day

I:
  1. Called my friends at 7:30 am to wake them up, then went back to bed.
  2. Fell back asleep till 9 am. Decided to wait to get a shower and everything, so I just went on out.
  3. Got A at 9:30 for an interview.
  4. Got some gas with money given to me by my friends I take all over the place.
  5. Texted with a former co-worker.
  6. Picked A up from his interview.
  7. Took him home to change for work, then took him to work.
  8. Did an errand for YKWIA.
  9. Came home, showered, ate, took my medicine, etc.
  10. Checked into the job classes offered by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension/Alumni Association.
  11. Picked YKWIA up for an appointment.
  12. Got my allergy shots.
  13. Took YKWIA to the pharmacy and grocery store, and then dropped him off.
  14. Came home, watered the peace lily, made a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grabbed some water, and checked my blood sugar.
  15. Applied for the children's librarian position.
Now I'm listening to Pandora, I've had dinner, and I'm going to go get A from work in a little while. Then I'm going to help him with an application on the computer. :)

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Waiting quietly

For a friend's soufflé to bake. I am very hungry, despite him giving me some fusilli salad earlier. It's also much later than I planned to be out, but oh, well.

Remember the children's librarian position for which I recently applied? There was one advertised, same location, but a slightly different schedule. I called the library today to see if it was a reposting or separate listing, and it was the latter, so the plan is to apply tonight or tomorrow for that. I have all the materials tweaked, I just need to go through their website and apply. I know they always say proofread, proofread, proofread. It seems every time I do there's something I missed. Apparently I had my undergraduate degree listed as a Bachelors of Science. I have no idea why. It's a Bachelors of Arts. I have no idea how I made that mistake. *shakes head*

Okay, I'm going to go for now. Wish me luck - with two positions I'm hoping for the best!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The storm that hit

while I gave A a ride to the grocery and his meeting was rather strong, although we didn't lose power. We waited outside the meeting because it was raining so hard I wouldn't really be able to see to drive (especially as it was dusk), and he didn't want to get super-wet. But I did drop him off in the rain and drove back to YKWIA's to deliver something, and even though it was almost dark, there was actually a rainbow. I got over there, helped with the pet feeding, sent them out during a lull in the rain, and we watched 'Legion'. We're a little behind on episodes; after this one, there was the one from last week (which I'll try to see tomorrow) and then I think a new one showed tonight (neither of us have cable TV; we watch on his Hulu subscription). This was almost entirely in David's mind. I cannot begin to say what a very good job they've done with the show and with the character, and Dan Stevens is superb. For all that I worked in a comic store years ago, and enjoy comics, I'm somewhat wary of comic-related shows and movies (they're often quite wrong, for one thing, as YKWIA will tell you, and too caught up in special effects and big explosions), but this Marvel show is very cerebral, as it should be. Although I know the basic premiss of Legion in the comics, thanks to YKWIA, I haven't read those books, so the differences don't really bother me too much.

Now I'm home, eating bean and cheese burritos, and I'm thinking I'll wait till tomorrow morning to take out the trash and recyclables, as it's still raining. But I do have a few more things I can get done before bedtime.

PS Actually, YKWIA have had a very long conversation on the phone. It's almost time for bed. Good night.

So today I

  1. won a contest at our apartment complex, a $25 Visa gift card, which I promptly used for gas and groceries, as I was in need of both.
  2. opened the windows (it's a nice day) and put on my headphones so I could listen to music as I worked.
  3. moved a bookshelf and weeded four copy-paper boxes' worth of books, to be taken to YKWIA for first dibs and then donated to the public library.
  4. worked on the area around my computer desk and the living room, getting things ready for working there a lot in my job search.
  5. hooked the laptop back up to the monitor and the rest of the computer cables.
  6. upgraded to Chrome 64-bit. I've had a lot of restarts and freezing, and when I used the task killer earlier, I realised I had the 32-bit version on a 64-bit machine--which may be part of the problem. Apparently to get it, you have to go download it rather than have it pushed out to you.
  7. watered all the plants and discovered my Christmas cactus from work is shedding whole branches, so I put them in some growing medium (I hesitate to call it soil) that I had, and hopefully they will root. I usually have good luck with that.
To be done for the rest of the day:
  1. Stop by YKWIA's for something.
  2. Pick A up from work and take him to the grocery.
  3. Take him to a meeting.
  4. Come back, take out the trash and recyclables that I've gathered.
  5. Work on the kitchen and bathroom, which are both disasters at the moment.
  6. Work on job search.
That will be a fair day's work, I think. Tomorrow I start my pulmonary class and take a friend to a doctor's appointment. The morning will be for job searching and tweaking my application materials as needed. I need to get ink for my printer as soon as I get that last pay cheque from the hospital. Okay, I think it's time to change clothes and get ready to go. Oh, and I guess I need to close the windows. :( There's a good chance of storms out tonight--we're under a tornado watch, actually. Hope the electricity holds. I finally got around to setting the clock on the microwave, so there's a good chance we'll lose power at least momentarily. On a happier note, the radio-controlled clock that I got for my ten-year anniversary at Shriners has caught up and adjusted for Daylight Savings Time (it changed at a different time, then, and it is programmed and can't be changed). That's good. I moved it over by the peace lily so I can see it better. The plants were occluding it on the hour glass, and that wasn't good. Also, the yellow orchid will probably open in a day or two, at least for the first bloom. Yay!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Hmmm...

I have obviously read too much Lovecraft. My zombie octopus mount from my Habitica task app reminds me of Cthulhu, and the desert rock companion looks suspiciously like a shoggoth.

Monday, April 03, 2017

It was a slow start to

What I choose to call my first day of 'job freedom', but it all worked out to be a decent day. I woke up at 8:30, downloaded some job materials to a thumb drive, looked over my unemployment paperwork again (they came to our workplace a few weeks ago and explained things and gave us a folder). At 10 am I found myself procrastinating the actual trip to the unemployment office, now called the career centre. I actually laid down. YKWIA called and caught me, literally, trying to nap about 10:45 am and mocked me into getting up, getting a shower, and going out the door. So I drove over to the office and got there a little after noon, presented my ID, and then filled out online form (I'd already created the résumé, which was required, on their site prior to being laid off), asked a couple of questions, waited to be called, spoke with a counselor, and got my dates for requesting benefits and reviewing eligibility. He also gave me info on classes run by the University of Kentucky over off Red Mile Road, where recruiters come and may do on-site interviews, so you should dress like you would for an interview. I saw two of my fellow laid-off coworkers while I was there, one of the maintenance guys and a cook from dietary.

I came on home about 1:45 and listened to music for a bit, then went to an appointment. I'm going to go to twice-weekly classes that week help me better be able to exercise better, starting Thursday.

After that I got my allergy shot, came home to check the mail, and then YKWIA called wanting a ride to take A some food, as he was languishing after working several hours at both jobs. I went to the library while they ate and checked out books on job searching and three CDs. Then I took YKWIA to the store for creamer, fed the dogs and cat for him, and now I'm home. I'm getting A from work in a couple of hours, at midnight.

Tomorrow I:

1. Go over and wake up YKWIA at 7 am.
2. Take him and a dog to the vet.
3. Drop him off at the library for a programme.
4. Go to a meeting of the Kentucky Medical Library Association, where I can meet with my colleagues and network.
5. Go to see a doctor for medication management.

That's it, so far, anyway. I'm definitely staying busy.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Me on my 50th birthday

So my birthday started out a little rough, but it got better. With all that's been going on, I guess a little lability was to be expected. But I finally got out and went to a friend's house, and we watched the movie Winter's Tale, which was good, and now I'm home, listening to music. I feel better than this morning, a whole lot better.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Here is the book

I love annotated texts. :)

Got my hair cut

I'm not sure about the curls she put in when she styled it, but it is much shorter, and it is basically a professional bob. I just showered and I'll see what it looks like without styling when it dries. I did buy a spray-in mousse that's supposed to lift the roots should I decide to blow dry it properly.

I didn't get anything done around the house today, but went to Gabriel Brothers and got two nice tops and a shower curtain liner (it was by the Supercuts that did my hair) using one of the gift cards given to me by my bosses. Then I went to Joseph-Beth and got an annotated HP Lovecraft collection using that card and the rest of the other. I went by the store for YKWIA, and then went and got my paperwork and asked several questions this afternoon at my meeting. I got new contacts from the eye doctor. I ran to the store again for YKWIA, and then to the post office to mail something. In between I spent time at home listening to music and going over things I needed to. Note I'm home. In a little while I'll go get A from work. Then hopefully I'll get to bed and sleep better than last night, when I had insomnia and got 4 hours at the most .

Okay , I'll sign off for now. Good night.

Sigh

Well, I guess it's not surprising that with my last day of work I have insomnia tonight. So much going on in my brain. Not bad, just busy brain cells. I'm going to listen to some music and see if that will soothe the overactivity. Good night, everyone.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Plans for tomorrow

1. Clean the kitchen.
2. Work out.
3. Call the public library about donating a folding chalkboard/felt board/magnetic story board.
4. Go to Joseph-Beth Booksellers. My boss gave me a gift card. :) (My other boss gave me a prepaid debit card, too.)
5. Get my hair cut. Maybe get a manicure (something I've never done).
6. Sign my severance paperwork at 2:15 pm.
7. Drop off the story board if they want it.
8. Get new contacts at 4:30 pm.
9. Work on weeding and moving a bookshelf at home.
10. Bring stuff in from the car.
11. Clean the bathroom.
12. Get A from work.
13. Enjoy music.
14. Read.

The library

Or, I should probably say more accurately, the room the library was in.

A sign

One of the dietary staff made. They aren't going, either--there is no cafeteria at the new facility.

My desk

No plants, nothing. Computer shut down. So many memories.

It was a good last day, really

  1. One of our coworkers who works with various charities took a few of the books that were left, and Dr. Viji of the We Serve Foundation came back and took away the rest of the books, over twenty boxes' worth.
  2. I found homes for everything in the library, including the skeleton and most of the small equipment. The only things not claimed were a pamphlet stapler and manual three-hole punch. The only things recycled were a small stack of old journals and a stack of our hospital newsletters.
  3. I finished the charge entry and boxed up the files for reference at the new facility. The facility charges will not be charged--that can only be done by a hospital, and so will factor into charges differently. But we needed to keep the last 90 days' worth of sheets in case there were questions.
  4. I took a few things out to the car.
  5. They gave away prints of the three hospital buildings (the first, in 1922, at Good Samaritan Hospital's grounds, the second, on the present site, built in the 50s, and the present one, built in the late 80s). So I got one; I've always liked that print.
  6. I got some good news about how my severance is being figured that might mean a little more security.
  7. I finished up the policies.
  8. I passed on a few things.
  9. I got as many of the journals into DOCLINE that I could and changed the address and contact info for it.
  10. I checked on job openings, but there was nothing new that fit my qualifications that was local, but I still have some to apply for.
  11. I said lots of goodbyes and received many hugs. I worked with great people. I will miss them terribly.
I got out at 4:45, about 15 minutes late, but got so much accomplished, and taking one last set of pictures, which I'll post here, including a panoramic one. It's so empty. But I feel really great about how I was able to shut the library down. So oddly, I'm not crying today.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

I applied

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

Wish me luck!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I ordered

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A busy day

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

I just spent the last four hours

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

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



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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rosemary and olive oil bread with Havarti

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

Twenty years, wow...

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

Sigh

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

So yesterday

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

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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Here are the tulips

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

I took a bit of a break from blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

I'm back home from my trip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, March 04, 2017

Earlier today

I shuttled my friends to their appointment, to the store, and got A to work, helped YKWIA a bit at home, and then came home, tired (I couldn't sleep last night after cooking till late at YKWIA's--I think I was finally able to get to sleep at about 3:30 am, so my insomnia is continuing somewhat).  It was a bright, sunny afternoon and had warmed up quite a bit, so I opened the bedroom window, got into some comfy clothes, and took a nap.  I'm thinking that was about 4 or so.  Now I'm awake and it's 7:40.  That might cause an issue later tonight, but at least I slept well for a bit.

My aunts and uncles are going to be able to come in for the visitation and funeral, which is Monday. The ones in Georgia are driving up tomorrow, and the ones in Texas, bless their hearts, were working overtime to find a flight in, and the closest they could get was Nashville, and then drive three hours. So they're travelling tomorrow, too.  I'm not sure about my cousins--one is on the West Coast for work and can't come, another is in meetings in Georgia, but I'm glad my mom's sister and brother and their spouses will be able to.

I need to pick my friend up from work tonight and tomorrow night, so I'll drive down on Monday morning.  It's about 35 miles away, so not too bad, and I'll be going against morning traffic.  I have a dress picked out (thanks to YKWIA, who informed me that the dress I wore to my grandmother's funeral would need more than Spanx to fit correctly).  It's a dress I bought for a vow renewal a few years ago, a deep purple covered in black lace--not exactly ideal, but it's nice, respectful (well, if I wear a camisole under that neckline, and I think my mom would approve.)  I do need to find some hose to go with it, which can be a challenge at my size (there's a reason I wear summer skirts and otherwise pants).  I may actually have to break down and go to the Evil Empire (aka Walmart), where I do not usually shop.  We'll see.

Tomorrow we are not playing the game. I could probably have used the distraction, but on the other hand, will have a little extra time to do some things.  I also desperately need to do laundry tomorrow.  I actually went out to Gabriel Brothers the other night looking for underwear (they usually have my size, unlike most other places in town that aren't a 'plus-sized women's' store, and much cheaper, because with YKWIA sick, I haven't done my laundry.  But I had no luck.  Fortunately I dug around and found some to get me through tomorrow.  So I'll go over there and do that and help him out if needed, or maybe we'll watch something on streaming video.

I also realised today that I missed renewing some books that were due the day she died, which I rectified, so I have some fines. I've paused my tracking, to-do items on Habitica so that by not doing them I will not affect the members of my party.  Funny how little things slip and then come to mind later in times like this.  I've e-mailed my family back and forth, and texted with my step-father, who sounds exhausted.  I've texted that I won't be to work to my bosses (well, I know I got through to one; the other may be an old number, so I'll leave a message at work as well).  I'll get some gas tomorrow for the trip.  I had thought about staying down in a hotel Monday night.  I'll keep it as an option, but for now, the plan is to just go down, go to the visitation and service, go the the graveside and know where she is to be buried, and maybe out to eat and spend some time with my family, then come back that evening.  I may take Tuesday off , though, as I have three days' bereavement leave, and I'm not sure it's really hit yet, and may not until the actual funeral.

I debated contacting my estranged father to let him know she had died.  We haven't spoken since 1993. but I know where he is on Facebook and could get a hold of him if I wanted to.  But I quickly discarded that idea.  He basically abandoned us in the 80s to pursue other women and a freer life without us, and I suspect he always felt rather trapped by my mother, who got pregnant before they broke up, then found out, and within a month his mom had pressured him to marry her.  My mom's parents, I will say, were very good, and even though it was the 60s, offered to let her live at home and not go the marriage route.  It's amazing the marriage lasted as long as it did, really.

My dad and I went our separate ways after my grandmother's funeral, when he lied to me and told me the insurance money was part of the estate and instead of asking me to help with expenses, demanded the money ($5,000, at a time when I was a student eating every other day, and he was an engineer who moved to Minnesota for an extra $30,000 a year and who had a policy in his name, as well, for twice that).  When I told him I wouldn't give it to him on the advice of my grandfather and YKWIA, he hung up on me, and that was that.

This is a man who moved us to another state, after they sold the house at a loss and my mom lost seniority at work, just so he could then tell her while we were in the motel that he was seeing someone else and wanted a divorce.  It was devastating, and it took her years to get over the financial and other repercussions.  He doesn't deserve to know.

Besides, while she had four husbands total (one of whom she was widowed by), her current husband and she were together longer than any of them (my dad was about 16 years; John has that surpassed).  John has been incredibly good to my mom, and has been a great companion, who took care of her in her illness day in and day out, and I can't thank him enough for being there.  I couldn't have done it, even without working.

When I was growing up, my mom and I were inseparable, even enmeshed to a great degree by the time I reached adulthood.  As an only child, there'd just been the two of us, especially while my father was overseas and then when he left.  As I got older, though, we drifted apart, and we were not as close as many moms and daughters that I know.  We each had our own lives, and checked in with each other every few weeks, and then I'd go visit about every three months or so, and at the holidays.  Momma tended to reach out to me more when she wasn't married, as she didn't have as much going on.  As years went on and I did a lot of examination, I realised a lot of my issues came from our relationship rather than just my issues with my dad.  And we talked about them a little, and we worked some of that out, but generally, we just lived our own lives and then came together every now and then. But we never cut ties like my dad and I did.

Despite that, I have found myself constantly thinking things over the last few days that bring my mom to mind.  'Oh, I should tell Momma that.  Wait, I can't.' or 'Momma would love this blouse I found.  But she'll never see it.' That sort of thing.  I guess that's to be expected, but it hurts.  The finality is starting to sink in.

Finally, let me just say that having watched the effects of end-stage liver disease, and even though she was never able to get a liver or even be placed on the list for one, she held out hope for that, and it would have changed her life around for the better.  Please consider being an organ donor.  There are thousands of people living, barely, who would benefit from that call that says, come in, we have a (insert organ here), that will have their lives transformed for the better.  You won't need them any more.  Why not donate life in your passing?

Okay, I'm going to sign off for now. I've been typing for an hour.  Funny, I usually listen to music to relax, even more than anything else, and I've had trouble doing that since she died, because certain lyrics cause me to cry, etc.  The only song I've sought out has been Rob Thomas' 'Now Comes the Night', a song I'd like played at my own funeral. I find it comforting.  Here it is:


*facepalm*

I spent the majority of today with my shirt on backwards. And it has sparkles on the front.

A timely quote from my inbox, from Thoughtful Mind

Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself.
― Walter Anderson 

Friday, March 03, 2017

One last picture tonight

My mom and I when I was in high school.

Sad

My mom was my first friend. She is at peace now. She died this afternoon. Requiescat in pace, Phyllis Montgomery, August 3, 1947-March 2, 2017.



Wednesday, March 01, 2017

I rested for a bit this afternoon

because I'd gotten so bad that while driving over by Time Warner Cable, I ran up on a kerb, and then when I went to hang up my keys, I missed the hook twice and had to fish them out from behind a table. I wasn't doing well. Right after I blogged, I got a text from my step-father that my mother is doing very badly...she hasn't eaten in two days, and just stares ahead and isn't responsive. He doesn't think she has very long at all. I mentioned the other day why I don't plan to visit her in the house, but even if I was going to go--I couldn't have driven safely at all. I let him know this and let my other aunt know (he texted both me and my mom's sister).

Sigh. I feel awful. I want to be with her. On the other hand, it doesn't sound like she recognises anything at this point. I just hope it's peaceful and without pain or suffering. My step-father's taken very good care of her, and I know he'll be devastated. I'm oddly...detached. I don't know if it's some sort of coping mechanism, or what. I don't know how I'll react when she passes, and I am occasionally crying tonight, but mostly it's like my brain is trying to curl up in a ball and pretend it's not really happening. I hate that feeling.

My libations were moved, due to my perimenopause, to dark of the moon, rather than during my period, a traditional time of worship for Her (Hekate). However, since the beginning of the year, I've been poor to the point of a dollar or less in my account at the time, and I never think to get the wine ahead of time, so I promised a full bottle and honey as soon as my tax refund came in, even though it is now a waxing crescent. So I ventured out to Liquor Barn just a little while ago and got a bottle of wine and then some things at Kroger. Now I'm tired again, but my head's not hurting like it was and I can think reasonably straight. But I'm going to take the opportunity to pray tonight, as Hekate also accompanies the souls of the dead.

I know that death is a natural consequence of life, but this sucks. I know my mom doesn't want to die (who does, usually?) and I'm not sure she'd come to terms with it. I think they always thought she'd somehow be put on the liver transplant list even with her other issues and her smoking. My mom and I share a dangerous trait, that we keep doing what we want when we want it, without giving much thought to long-term consequences. While her actual condition is genetic and secondary to her diabetes (fatty liver, turning into non-alcoholic cirrhosis, and even hepatic tumours), there were things she should have done a long time ago that would have helped. It's not lost on me that I have some of the same issues, and my liver enzymes are slightly elevated most of the time when they take them. Just like hers were for years. Oh, it may be a medicine you're on. Oh, don't worry, it's just a bit elevated. That's how it was until so suddenly it wasn't.

I'm not trying to be mean about my mom. I'm just saying there were warning signs, and I should heed them, too, so I don't wind up in the same condition. Oh, of course, something will get you in the end. But maybe if I make better choices now, I'll live longer and better. Momma's only 69. Her mother, despite diabetes, was 90. In my family, with the exception of my mom's grandmother, who had a diabetic stroke in her 60s, if you smoke, you live to your 60s or maybe early 70s; if you don't, it's more 80s and even into the 90s. I've never smoked. I have a lot of issues that 'age' me beyond my years, in a way, but if I make changes in my diet and exercise, it can only help. But I've got to do it. Of course, one big change I have no control over that should help is very soon I won't be eating 2-3 meals per day in our cafeteria, which isn't the most nutritious of food (it's mostly fried stuff, pre-packaged, and processed, with an occasional green vegetable, I hate to say). It's been better in the past, especially for vegetarians, but still, it's not the best route I could do.

I've already come up with a schedule for the time I'm off (however long that will be) so I'll keep normal business hours. Today I got an Indeed alert to two more jobs (that's a total of five), one at the university, in the health sciences library. It's closing date is April 25th, but all I have to do is a cover letter and have some friends and colleagues look over my curriculum vitae. Keep your fingers crossed for me. One is with the state, one with a local public library, and three with the university. So things are looking up, which is good, as we're thirty days for closing down.

Okay, I think I will definitely take the trazodone and start making preparations for bed. Good night.