Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, October 06, 2018

I'd like to think that I could write on days other than weekends

But it seems, for now, I'm too tired in the evening.  Here is a re-cap of the last few days:

Thursday, September 27th -- I utterly broke down at work because a mom was not happy that I hade made an appointment at an alternate location since I can't get an MRI at the university until a month after the child was supposed to have it.  Turns out the doctor told her they couldn't have it locally because the university's scanner is so much better.  She was very strident, not necessarily abusive, but it just set me off into a crying fit (it turns out I was also pre-menstrual, so maybe that can explain the sudden lability), and my neighbouring co-worker heard it, had me unlock the door, and talked me into taking a walk and stepping away from the office.  It was a really hard day.  I had over 20 off-sites to schedule (still do, as every time I manage to schedule one about 2-3 more appear in my box).

The university is down to two, maybe one MRI scanner (depending on certain conditions like age, if it's with contrast, etc.) due to some maintenance, and so the other day I managed to get a cervical, thoracic, and lumbar MRI scheduled there--a long scan, easily over 2 hours--but otherwise without any of the constraints I'm normally given (it was originally supposed to coordinate with a brace pickup, but the university was too booked, so they just said any time I could get), and the first available was in the middle of December.  Now in some cases, I do have an alternate place I can go to--the one I scheduled the kid in that caused his mom to go ballistic--and I was given the go ahead to go there for this one, as it's just too far out.  Most of these are supposed to be same day so they can see our doctors then, and they're usually in clinic about two days a week, given that they're in surgery or at the university on other days.  But if I go to the alternate place, I have to clarify a spine survey (a reduced scan) vs a full scan, and all these little details take time, especially since I try at the university first as that's preferred.  And they can't do sedation ones.

Meanwhile, the baby hips are causing me no end of stress.  When we ask for an ultrasound for hip dysplasia, it's usually for treatment, not for diagnosis, and it has to be without manipulation, often in a harness.  These kids are extremely delicate--they can't be moved out of position at all.  The university is the only place in town that does them without manipulation, and they're down three techs.  The requests for these are always the same day, as is our protocol, and usually a week or two weeks out.  I'm struggling to get dates before a month out, and I'm relying on cancellations to get anything scheduled.  There are lots of little things that go into all of this, forms to fill out, faxes or e-mails, calling the centres, calling the parents, rescheduling, usually, as it doesn't suit someone, and then mailing letters, maps, and updating a summary, and sending the form out to a group.  That's just my part.  Then I hand it over to someone else who pre-certifies it.  But this could easily be a more-than-full-time job alone.  And it's just half of what I do--the surgery pre-certs are the main thing, and I"m struggling to get those done ahead of time because of all the time I'm spending on the off-sites.  I tracked the last week of off-sites on a running total to see how many I had a day, how many I got done, etc., whether I ran into any problems.  The one where the mom triggered the crying fit took about three hours total. On a good day--if I only work on off-sites--I can do about seven, or one an hour.  But that's without doing the surgeries at all that day.  Usually, it's two, maybe three.  And they just keep coming.  Plus, they have to be prioritised as they come in, as some are more urgent than others, like ones that are post-surgery the next day, or the baby hips for a week out.  It's causing a lot of stress.

I've already had an episode where I went to the emergency room for hours with chest pains and headache, and they eventually decided I'd had a migraine that was causing numbness and pain down my left arm.  I told that to my neurologist yesterday and he gave me a dissolving medication for migraines.  But I'm sure the whole thing was stress-related.  I'm getting a lot of headaches, have had some gastroenteric issues, and I've been stress eating from the vending machines, so my hA1c jumped from 7.1% a few months ago to 9.0% since I started in June.  I'm going to have to start packing carrots and other healthy foods, as I'm not sure I can curb the urge to eat, but at least I can change what I eat, and my endocrinologist said that was fine.

Friday, September 28th--It was a better day.  Busy, of course.  I started tracking the off-sites at work.  I had 26 that morning and got it down to 19.

Last weekend--my friend, the kitten, and the cat were all sniffly and under the weather.  The dog and I were the only ones fine.  We didn't play the game as a result, but I got a lot of rest, at least.

Work throughout the week--I just sallied forth and did what I could.  Surgeries were mostly done the day before or day of.  I realised late Friday afternoon that I had not sent one, and sent it in.  It may be denied for no timely authorisations (most places don't due retro ones).  That's not acceptable, and I know it, and it most likely will be an issue.  It won't be passed to the family (we are an actual charity, not just a non-profit), but it will cost the hospital money if denied.  So there was stress there.  I didn't think I was doing well, but I didn't think I'd actually drop the ball entirely on one.  So we'll see if they approve it.  I have no illusions that they will.

Tuesday, October 2nd--So I updated my laptop to the Windows 10 October Feature Update.  More on that in a minute.

Wednesday, October 3rd--That evening, I went to do a book review that I hadn't managed to get in by the 1st, and lo, my documents were all gone due to the update.  No one was really reporting on it at the time, just a few things in the fora.  I spent the evening seeing if they had been moved to another area, and I rolled back the update to see if they would appear.  Nada.  Nothing on my desktop, music, or photos had been touched, just my local drive non-cloud documents.  But that included the game notes, my job hunt materials, and my book reviews.  I updated back and at least I have some of that on Dropbox.  The game notes were backed up a month ago, and there are just two sessions I lost, which is good, and those recordings were still on the desktop, thankfully, so I can reconstruct (over several hours).  Most of the important stuff was already backed up.  But I was not happy with Microsoft at all.  I was also up late that night backing up my desktop, where my friend has tens of thousands of documents and pictures that he's collected and created over years, and we unplugged it from the Internet entirely.

Thursday, October 4th--News stories started making the rounds on the tech sites of the data loss issue with the update.  I did find a good tool for trying to recover files, but it only recovered a few non-important files I'd deleted myself, although I did get a book review back.  But either the files I'd had were just absolutely deleted by Microsoft's update, or rolling back--which even now Microsoft is suggesting,--just deleted them beyond recovery.

I did find ways to make sure the desktop didn't get the update (fortunately that machine is Windows 10 Pro, not Home like the laptop, so it's easier.  We were able to plug the computer back in.  It's deferred all updates for a month, and any feature updates for a year.  So we're good for now, hopefully.  But again, despite my best efforts to go to bed early, I was awakened in the middle of the night for a minor crisis and didn't get back to bed till 4 am.

Yesterday--We are officially out of grocery money.  I'm broke in general, my last purchase being a pie for a send-off at work for a co-worker who is moving to a new department.  It's going to be a very lean week until I get paid.

Today--I got some good sleep last night, and woke up to sun streaming through the window, and the cat, who'd really been struggling with the crud, obviously doing much better.  I got up, got some water, took my medicine, and played with the kitten with a laser pointer, although I have to be careful because while he's up to playing, he's still got a little breathing issue from the crud he had.

Okay, that's it for now.  Sorry I haven't blogged.  Today is the library, pet food run, book review, and working on the notes, plus going over to our sick friend's for a visit and maybe a movie tonight.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

So since I last posted

I moved the kitten-toxic plants to work:

From home:

The office from the door. The peace lily the hospital sent to my mom's funeral is to the right on the other side of a chair out of the camera's shot, and it is blooming. Note that I carefully made sure no patient info was showing or exposed. It was hard. Folders, magazines, flipped papers, and photo frames were invaluable.

Here are some close ups:

The plants are very stress-releasing, which is good. Depsite that I had a breakdown the other day at work. It wasn't a good day. A series of events triggered it, but I just sat down in my office and cried. A co-worker helped me feel better. The next day was better, I went from 26 offsites at the beginning of the day to 19, and at least made progress after everything came to a crashing halt the day before. But I was so glad to leave work for the weekend, to get some rest and try to recharge. I'm going to try to speak with my boss Monday about some of the challenges I'm running up against.

The kitten continues to delight. Saturday morning I got a laser pointer (a cat toy that can easily be put up so the dog doesn't eat it), and he has discovered the red dot. He is adorable. He's on the tail end of a little viral kennel thing. The other cat is just starting with it. Meanwhile, totally unrelated, I believe, YKWIA has been fighting some sort of sinus gunk for three days, and I woke up sneezing this morning. So the dog is the only one of us not sneezing at the moment.

One last thing...our department at work is going to do Halloween as Disney characters of various types. I chose Maleficient, and I got my costume in the mail right about 8 pm last night (the US Postal Service cut it pretty close, but delivered it on time.) Here it is, sans any green makeup I'll actually do for the face (I haven't figured out what to do with the hands yet, as they should also be green. Gloves? Makeup? I don't want to get the latter everywhere.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

One last kitten update for the night

So the dog has been so anxious since the older dog, her little friend, died two and a half months ago. Since the kitten came out of hiding she has gone through the gate into the yard by herself, eaten normally, and generally seemed to be quite a bit calmer. So she apparently has a security kitten. He even curled up with her on the bed briefly, and she seemed okay with that. The cat is still hissing. He came in to be with me but the kitten came in so he hissed and ran away. Now the kitten is chasing him around the house. He wants to play. The cat will come around, eventually, of course. Good night!

I am pooped

I have gone to Kroger twice (once for caffeine to get going, once for more litter). I have taken the trash out, changed the litter out completely (and changed the pads under them), looked all over for a small grey kitten, including moving furniture and mattresses, taken plants outside, and while I've only walked 3,318 steps, it is also on 1:38 pm. Fortunately, I don't have to game notes today, as I did them last week. We don't have anywhere to go specifically today, although I might go by my storage unit. The other day I went before work and found the large map and one flanking map to hang on my office wall, but couldn't find the other. And several others are somewhere. Meanwhile, there are some things I put in the storage unit first that I might need on a pinch, or just want to get out occasionally, so I may move the pictures and mattresses out, get the other stuff up to the front, and then put the mattresses in the back and move the pictures back somewhat.

I really do think I'm going to lie down for a little while and listen to some music. YKWIA is sitting in the living room with the kitten on his lap having quiet time and reading. I have the cat. The dog is outside (it is a pleasant day). Time for a nap, I think.

After an otherwise thorough search produced nothing

Except a cut on my foot from a falling painting that was mounted on heavy wood, we resorted to the kitten detector (Felis silvestris catus, of the adult variety), by taking him into the bedroom. He lashed his tail and got up high on the chest of drawers, so we took that as a sign that the kitten was in that room, and took my friend's bed apart as far as sheets, pillows, and mattresses were concerned. The kitten was in one of the two box springs. He is now in the bathroom, and so he shall be while we make sure he has food, water, and until he and the cat are more comfortable with one another.

So I'm going to mash three Facebook posts together for one here

From yesterday:
It's been an eventful evening. We went to the local pound, found out they were closed, but that many of the animals up for adoption had been moved for an event to PetSmart, including the kitten my friend had his eye on. Went to PetSmart, started the adoption process when two women who were workers of either the society or the store were attacked by an over-excited, overstimulated dog and had to be taken to the hospital. [One was trying not to go, but my friend convinced her to do so, as she was bleeding more than she realised and it was her thigh.]

They shut down everything to deal with the crisis, but because he'd started the adoption, my friend was allowed to take the kitten home. What we have discovered is that the kitten is a master at hiding, and actually vanished while we were both looking at him, and is now nowhere to be found. So we now have a ninja cat with vanishing or teleportation powers in the house. Here's hoping that the women will be okay, the dog isn't just put down, as he apparently has never shown any aggression and it was really noisy and just got him overwrought, I think. Here's hoping that the kitten reappears. He's a little wary of the dog in our home, who hasn't seemed to really notice him yet; she just wants my friend to let her on the bed, and she's not supposed to be on it except at bedtime. Meanwhile, the cat has hissed and hidden a little, too, and I'm not sure he's really thrilled by the interloper. But hopefully, everyone will warm up to each other. Meanwhile, while the dog and cat I have been living with do not bother my allergies so much, I have discovered PetSmart, with the concentration of animals, made me regret not having my inhaler with me. But I did okay. It was just a weird night, and I like I said, I hope the ladies are okay. I didn't actually witness it, just the scene right before and after, but my friend gave a witness statement. All the workers were obviously rattled by the whole thing, understandably.
It's good that I have an appointment next week, as I have parking at work. Turns out nearly all of the plants in this window--no, all of them, are toxic to cats. The adult cat has never bothered them. We're not sure how the kitten will deal with them. So I'll put them all outside for now and take them to work next week...fortunately African violets, orchids, and Christmas cacti are all safe, so there will still be plants in the house.

And then:
Apparently the hiding place of choice is under and behind an antique marble washstand. We turned out the lights to go to bed and a tiny meow or two issued forth. I guess the dark scared him. He's only about ten weeks old.
Flash forward to now. I haven't seen him this morning. My friend said he cuddled with him, slept on the bed, didn't even seem to mind the dog and vice versa (she's been trained to keep her distance by the other cat, although she forgets, so she has little scars on her nose from their training sessions), and then this morning the big cat came in the room and the kitten moved quickly off the bed and has been hidden since, although my friend heard a couple of meows later. We're reasonably certain he's still in the bedroom, and the big cat is on my bed in the other room. We're hoping he comes out to eat and use the litterbox soon. We could tell he was a little shy in the cage at the store, but he also ate well and played with the other cats and snuggled up with them, too. It's just the big cat doesn't know what to make of the interloper, and the little cat is aware that he's not being welcomed with open paws just now, anyway. :)

PS There are approximately 4,000 books in this house and various antiques and cubbyholes to hide in. I suspect it will be a long week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


So I called my student loan servicer because I had received an e-mail saying my forbearance was ending, I was on an income-driven plan, and oh, by the way, your first payment is more than you make in an entire month. So I called and apparently, not in the e-mail, was the fact that they were waiting for a $5 payment to switch me over to a plan that is only $111.02 a month. Much different than over $1,800. Much different. Anyway, I get paid tonight so I set it up for tomorrow and it should reflect the new amount in 3-5 business days, then the new plan will start in about 45 days. Go me for being proactive. :)

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Do not engage the crazy

And I say that as someone who deals with mental issues. Okay, I hesitate to post this, because it has to do with race, and people have strong opinions on things. Was in line at Kroger when a woman, who had left her cart in line and then gone and done some more shopping accused a man of touching her cart (which she neither owned, nor anything in it, as it hadn't been paid for yet, and she'd taken her actual belongings like phone/purse, or whatever with her). She started screaming at the top of her lungs about how it was because of her race, when he 1) hadn't touched it, as far as I or anyone else saw, 2) race had nothing to do with it--people moved away and treated her differently because she was a raging lunatic at that point, and how he obviously felt entitled due to white privilege. She started screaming at us because we'd offered him a spot in our line to get him away from her, but we didn't engage her. I pointed out to the man that calling her crazy repeatedly (although she was certainly acting like she'd lost it) wasn't helping the situation. Security came and got him and hustled him to another checkout lane much further down, to try to diffuse things, which only incensed her further. We got through our checkout while she railed on, stopped by the wine and spirits section, and she was still complaining at the top of her lungs when we left several minutes later. There are so many things wrong with this country and race relations. There are lots of people who actually are oppressed or even being shot in the street. This was not that situation. This was an attention-seeking woman who went off on some perceived slight and used it to bully her way into getting attention and who knows what else. She was the one who had no thought towards others by basically abandoning her cart for several transactions. She came back and was upset that another lane had opened and she had missed the opportunity to get into it, I suspect, and he'd gone up ahead of her, because, well, she'd left her cart. The cart she was so protective of afterwards, and in the process slowed down the entire checkout for everyone in the two lanes. She called it sticking up for herself. She also threatened to harm him. She was basically acting like a rude kindergartner--he touched my stuff! I'll whack you! It makes me sad that anyone would cry wolf in a situation which clearly was not racially-biased or the result of white privilege when, in fact, there are plenty of cases where it is a serious problem. I never thought of her in terms of her race, any more than I would have thought about the man's race. I thought in terms of behaviour, and how she was losing her ^&%E in public over something so trivial [although I recognise it was not trivial for her, and she probably has gone through a lot of actual racist stuff that left her primed and ready to explode, stuff that was legitimate], and for a while I thought things were going to come to blows or worse because she was combative and he was acting surprised yet just repeating 'You are one crazy woman,'--not even an insult instead of the word woman--over and over, but definitely not making things better. The staff did what they could to calm her down, brought her attention back to her lane and checking out rather than her march towards him, tried to use customer service skills to diffuse things. But man, who knew going to get some food at the grocery would be this intense? And while I did not touch her cart, I have been known to move ones out of the way that were left in the middle of aisles unattended when they're in my way. Not so sure I ever want to spark a case of grocery rage just for doing that.e When did grocery rage become a thing?

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Feeling down

Today was difficult. I came home and curled up in a ball for awhile. Feeling a little overwhelmed at work. But I did get up, did some laundry and dishes, and read another chapter of 'Library of Souls' (the third book of Miss Perigrine's Home for Peculiar Children), and so I feel a little better. And I got in 8000 steps--not quite yesterday's count, but I made goal, even though it meant pacing the house for the last 600 steps. :) Here's hoping I can make more headway (and pull off a minor miracle) tomorrow. Good night.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Yesterday was the game

So it was a matter of getting the house ready, doing laundry, and rolling dice. Brenda and I are both playing characters we hadn't played in years, which was fun, although I have no clear idea of how to play mine since it's been so long.

Today, meanwhile, has been fairly relaxing, although it started out not so great. I'd forgotten to change my alarm, with it being a holiday, but more to the point, YKWIA came in shortly after 6 am to check on me.  Turns out that he'd dreamed I was dead and wanted to make sure I was alright and alive.  I think it was his mind's response to all the stuff that happened last Monday when I went to the emergency room.  So we talked for a while and both of us went to bed till about 9 am.

It was nice to have a day off from work. My physical therapist is out at the end of the week, so she worked on Labour Day, and they called and had a cancellation, so I moved my appointment from 6:30 to 2:00. I was there till about 3:30 pm [my piriformis and other muscles were really tight, probably from sitting at the game, so Grace took awhile working on it]. Then I went and got my hair cut, and he didn't take much off but at least it looks a little neater.



After and smiling :)

I'd taken YKWIA over to a friend's so he could help him with some things, so I went and got him and we went to drop off a bill and got a few things from the store (he's been cooking dinner; I've been keeping him company.) We're having sautéed zucchini with parsley and shallots, along with bell peppers stuffed with a tuna-onion mixture. [Note: I'm continuing this post-dinner and cleanup; it was very simple yet very yummy.]

Okay, it's after 10 pm now.  YKWIA is on the phone with a friend from Cicero.  I'm in my sleep clothes, and I have washed dishes, cleaned up, changed my purse, and packed my lunch.  I even laid my clothes out.  I don't usually do that.  It's time to go to bed now.  6 am comes early.  Have a good night!

Saturday, September 01, 2018

New month, new attempt to blog more often

My friend is in the shower. We're going to go pick up my insulin and then go to Masala, a local Indian restaurant, to celebrate his birthday, which was this week. It's the buffet. I hope they have gulab jaman--they don't always, but I shall content myself with naan, pakora, and the rest if not.

I had a scare the other day, on Monday. I was working at the computer and slowly realised that my face was growing numb, as well as my arm. At first I just thought it was my posture along with a pinched nerve from my neck, but I couldn't get it to let up at all and then I started having chest pains, starting from the heart area and going towards my left arm, and my shoulder and jaw ached terribly. Afraid to cause an issue (I know, good Southern girls probably drop dead rather than cause a scene), I called my friend, who used to be a nursing assistant, and he pointed out I was in a hospital with plenty of nurses to take my blood pressure. I had it taken by the lady whose cubicle is across from my office, who is acting as the employee health nurse right now, and it was a little high for me 135/85, but not dangerously high. Still, she offered to take me to the emergency room, and I asked her to take me to St. Joseph. She got the car and we left. She couldn't stay but dropped me off. They took me back for an EKG and bloodwork relatively quickly. I had a headache too, which I didn't really notice too much at first (I get a lot of them), and I was a little dizzy, so they got me a wheelchair. I sat for a while after the triage. I didn't realise it but I was a little confused, at one point realising that I didn't exactly remember the ride over (though I did later), and about two hours in remembered to tell them that I was on a beta blocker, which might be an issue if I were having heart issues.

Once I finally got into a room, a gown, and a bed, the nurse came in and took a history. I explained my symptoms, as well as a headache, which was getting terrible. They took me for a CT scan of the head (I'd already had a chest x-ray) and put me back in the room, and I stayed there a long time. One nurse came in and put me on a monitor (they hadn't, probably because I had come in during shift change), and then took some more blood. There was more waiting, but she'd gotten my phone out of my bag for me, so I ran it down to about 2% battery touching base with my friend and posting on Facebook. Eventually, the doctor came in for a couple of minutes. Everything was negative. They took a while to discharge me. A co-worker came and got me and took me to my car, which was over at UK, which was a blessing, as it's a long walk, and I'd been there almost six hours by the time I got out, so it was dark. They didn't know exactly what caused the 'unspecified' chest pain. I appears I had a migraine, and I hadn't thought I had had one in quite some time, but looking at symptoms that come with migraines, it could explain the dizziness I've been having on and off, as I have had quite a few headaches, just not the standard light-sensitive ones I used to have. Also, one type of aura for a migraine involves numbness and tingling in the arms, especially the left one. So that may have been part of it. They gave me some info on migraines, unspecified chest pain, and paresthesia, and sent me home. Thank goodness I've met my out-of-pocket expenses for the year in terms of health insurance.

So it all came down to nothing, but I'm glad I got checked out. But it was a little scary. I think a lot of it was stress, and had the equivalent to 4 1/2 cups of coffee in caffeine that day, via soda. So that could have been part of it. I've cut back on that. The job has been very stressful the last few weeks (I had 20 off-sites to schedule at one point last week--I have 5 now, most from the last couple of days). It's put me a little behind on my surgery authorizations in terms of time I usually get them in. But I keep chugging along. I didn't think I felt particularly anxious that day, but maybe I was somatizing instead.

Okay, I'm going to go now. I'm going to try to write more often, shooting for daily. I consider it a stress reliever.

Monday, August 06, 2018


So today I was off work and one thing I did was roll up a Dungeons & Dragons character for a game a friend is going to run.  Now mind you, I've played roleplaying games [and by that I mean the tabletop/dice and paper kind] for 27 years, but, while I have done Call of Cthulhu (for that entire time) as well as Ars Magica, Shadowrun, Brave New World, Vampire/World of Darkness, and Hârn, I never actually ever got a chance to play D&D.  Now I have a half-elven fighter-thief named Aderyn who is going to help escort a caravan with 8 hit points, all the gear I could muster for 110 gold pieces, and an abiding dislike of orcs and goblins. :)  Here's hoping I can keep myself (and the others) alive.  I know my other friend, the one I live with, plans on standing behind me, as he's a magic user with half the hit points I have, so he can be killed by the common housecat. :)

Monday, July 30, 2018

I think

This is the longest break I've taken from blogging in a while. I've mostly been working and getting a handle on the new job, and I think I'm settling in pretty well.

Also, I've started physical therapy for the sciatica/myofacial pain, which consists of deep massage and loosening the tense muscles and tissue, which is pretty painful at the time, but it is lessening the pain I'm feeling the rest of the time. I'm lucky that they have late appointments, plus my schedule was adjusted a half hour earlier on arrival and departure from work, so that helps, too.

The dog is still full of anxiety. She only feels relaxed and safe with YKWIA and Brenda - not me. He was here all weekend but went over to help our friend who has cancer today, and when he got back she was just shaking. She needs a companion (the cat does not count; he just acts out and beats her up when he's ready to eat). But neither of us can afford to adopt another dog from the pound just yet. I hope she gets better at being alone.

I guess that's how my life is going right now.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Blissful coolness

So, I'm broke, but I managed to pay for the air conditioning to be fixed, so things are much more pleasant in the house.  It was funny, I don't see any reason to tell YKWIA this, as he would be terribly offended, but when I called to see if I could get the fan motor that was maybe one tick up from the cheapest part the tech quoted, the lady said that he'd actually given us an estimate on an original Coleman part that is factory-authorised, but knowing money was an issue, had given us the quote based on a senior discount.  So Tuesday came and I left my debit card with YKWIA and apparently the fan blade itself was so rusted in place that it wouldn't move, so the tech had to get that order brought over, which took awhile, but he got it fixed.  I guess that's what burned out the motor in the first place--it rusted over the winter because when we first turned it on in May, it pretty much worked for just a few hours if that. When I got home, I asked how much more the fan blade was.  'I don't know. I just handed him your debit card.' That struck fear in me, as while I had extra money in my account, it was earmarked for my car insurance.  So I went to my e-mail and it turns out that the tech did the complete repair for the original quote, without charging for the blade at all.  Yay! I really liked them--we went with Synergy, and the tech's name was Zach Taylor and he did an excellent job.  I have to thank my former boss for pointing me to them--she'd heard an ad and directed me to them.  That night, I didn't know what to do--I had to sleep under a cover and I wasn't drenched in sweat that morning, nor did I have the 'break-out-in-perspiration-as-soon-as-you-get-out-of-the-shower' issue.  But because I'd kind of gotten too used to that, I didn't sleep super well that night.  I did last night, though.  Yes!

Yesterday was mostly about medical testing.  I did work from noon to 4:30 pm, but I had an EEG at 7:30 am and an MRI of the brain at 10 am.  I had gone to my neurologist concerned over periodic dizziness (I think now that it's vestibular, but we needed to rule out other concerns).  I also expressed concern that my memory issues have gotten worse, and while it's probably normal ageing, I've done a lot of replacing words that I have had a hard time finding with the opposite, stuff like that.  Now I have ADHD, the inattentive types, so maybe it's just partly that, and as we get older there's more information to juggle.  But I've had several untreated concussions, and my family doctor and I wanted to rule out any chance of dementia or early Alzheimer's, a personal fear of mine given my great-grandmother's battle against the latter.

Anyway, the EEG--which was quite interesting, by the way--was negative for any of that.  My brain's not slowing down, even though it sometimes seems that way.  And the MRI was fine, too.  I came home yesterday and looked at the MRI scans they'd given me at Lexington Diagnostic Center.  Not that I know how to read an MRI at all, but you can kind of look for light or dark areas that don't fit the rest of it, and I didn't see anything.  This morning my neurologist's office called and said it was fine.  I did get put on a beta blocker that is good for essential tremor, a benign tremor that can make your hands shake when you hold a spoon or write, or hold a letter, or even a phone, say if you've got it above you in bed. :) Not that you should be lying in bed looking at your phone when you should be asleep, right?  Anyway, it's a small dose and it's good for anxiety, too, according to my psychiatrist.  It does seem to be helping.  Otherwise, I got a clean bill of neurological health.  I just am going to have to accept that my memory is not what it once was (and in truth, it was good when I was young, I didn't have to take notes in high school, but I dealt with a lot less information).  Given my experiences with anxiety and depression, it's no wonder I've had some impact on daily life.  And I tend to compare myself to YKWIA, who has an eidetic memory, rather than say, your average 51-year-old. :)

Today I won the parking behind the building (which is funny, as I'd reserved it yesterday since I was coming from my appointments, so I'm a little spoiled--I have parked there two days in a row), so I took Samantha, my co-worker to her car both days, but today after that I went over to the pharmacy for my pen needles (which are a pain to get anywhere else if you don't have the prescription on you, like you can shoot up heroin out of an insulin pen, thank you, Kroger).  Then I went and got YKWIA from our friend's, the one he's helping who is battling cancer.  Since my schedule has shifted a half-hour earlier and I hadn't had to go to my car on the shuttle, even with the trip to the pharmacy we were home about 5:30 pm.  He was really beat, so he went to bed, and he's still there.  I'm going to wake him in a bit to take his medicine.  I ate, and then realised I was pretty tired, too.  I worked very hard and very steadily today.  I like my new job, but I can't ever say I'm bored.  So I settled down for awhile with the cat about 7 pm after I'd fed the animals and brought the dog in--who actually wandered around the yard and acted nearly normal.  I woke up at 9:45, started some bread making (now that the temperature and humidity are back to where they should be), filled the dishwasher, put away plastic dishes, washed the ones in the sink, took out the trash and recyclables, and took the Herbie and Rosie (the trash and recycling containers, respectively--we name ours here in Lexington) out to the kerb, and generally straightened up a bit.  Now I'm listening to Pandora and spending some time on the computer.  We're about an hour from bread.  The cat's on my bed again.  I think I'm going to put the flowered quilt back on the bed, as I don't have to worry about sweat stains now.  But that might be a task for tomorrow morning--the cat is quite happy and quiet at the moment, and we like to keep it that way.  So I have a task to do online and then I may lie back down till the bread machine beeps and listen to music.  My phone turned off, as I let its charge run down, so I'm playing the music on the computer.  I may do some brain exercises that go with an application on my phone that are pretty challenging, too.  Just to help out on the memory issue--which I do fine with the memory tasks on that.  So maybe it literally is just in my head.  I don't know.

Alright, I am definitely getting some water and finishing up here.  I also should work on a book review by the end of the week.  And I just got another published.  Yay!

Good night.

Saturday, July 07, 2018


The big dog is out in the yard, as first, she sat, now she's lying down. It's progress. Since the other dog died on Sunday, she has been looking for her little friend, even leaving the bed at night to go lie by the front door and wait for her. She's always needed her little friend to go out into the yard with. They used to run out like children, spilling into the grass together, even though little dog was 14 and had to take chondroitin to keep up with her. This one's grieving, as is the cat, who after all, has had little dog around all his life.

Meanwhile, the oppressive heat that means I felt like melting and dying over July 4th has ended.  I actually woke up with a blanket on that I'd pulled up, for the first time in days or even weeks. We are waiting for the air conditioning repair company to call us back concerning a part.  But I think it's okay that we won't get it fixed this weekend, anyway.

YKWIA is soothing the cat, who looked like his tummy might be upset.

I should get a shower, as I need to go by the pharmacy before they close and take him to meet someone/drop something off, and the pharmacy closes at 1 pm, but it'll probably be a couple of hours before he's had his coffee, etc.,  and gets ready.  It takes awhile for him to get going.

Right now I just want to enjoy the pleasantness that is inside the house, though. :) Less than 72 degrees!

Thursday, July 05, 2018

A dollar? Really?

Got a text today from Aspen Dental regarding a balance on my account, so I called. 'We were just trying to reach you about the balance left after your insurance so you won't go into collections,' Matt said. 'Oh,' I said, 'I haven't gotten a bill or anything. How much of a balance is it?' '$1.00' he says. '$1.00. A dollar?' 'Yes. Did you want to pay it over the phone or come in to pay on it?' I did pay with my flexible spending card, but seriously, you never send me a bill for the amount and then talk collections over a dollar? Matt could not see the absurdity of it, I guess. He just went on as if it were $100 rather than one. Mind you, I have the Dental Managed Organisation (DMO) insurance, where you pay half of what people who have the Dental Preferred Provider network have (think PPO, but dental), so that's the only practice in my network, basically. But still, really? Weird. Makes me want to change come October. The only consolation is they probably paid more in credit card fees than they collected from me. :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

So the other night I upgraded to Oreo

On my Samsung Galaxy S7. Only issue so far is that the Gallery and Music applications weren't pulling from the SD card. I restarted it, tried pulling it out and putting it back in, but about the only thing I saw that it did was show the SD card in the File Manager application. So I went on to an image and opened it in Gallery, and they suddenly were all there, and did the same for Samsung Music. Now my music, which is on the card, is accessible. Simple fix, better than everything else I found online, so I'm including it here.

Monday, July 02, 2018

I have to get up in two hours

When you can't sleep so you upgrade your phone's operating system to Android 8.0 (Oreo). Thanks T-mobile.

Sunday, July 01, 2018


This was at the vet today. The candle was burning for us - - I snapped this after we said our goodbyes. The house seems emptier without her. It's going to be hard to sleep tonight.

When did I get old?

So this morning we were at McDonald's (after all the trauma with the dog) and a nice young man, seeing his kids were dawdling at the drink fountain, urged them to hurry up because no doubt the old lady behind them needed to get a drink. He was talking about me. I've never heard anyone call me an old lady before. I know he meant well, but if I'd had a cane I might have whacked him on his shins. That was my first reaction - - which I realise is the reaction of an old lady. Sigh.

Very sad day

One of the dogs had to be put down today. The whole thing was sudden and traumatic.  But we  couldn't let her suffer. I miss her so much already. I was lying in bed feeling sad and the cat came and laid on my arm and purred. I think he's sad, too. He and the other dog keep looking for her.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

I have not fallen off the face of the planet

I am so sorry that I've been absent.  With the new job, I've been training like mad, plus I have a sciatica flare up so at night I've pretty much been putting my leg up in bed and resting and trying to stretch or applying heat to my back and ice to my leg and it hasn't really been fun. But I've been soldiering on.  My trainer's last day was Wednesday, so on Thursday and Friday I was on my own, and I think I'll be okay.  Still working the kinks out on things (like authorising Dysport injections, as those are a little tricky).  And she said I could text or call her if I did need anything.  I do have a question for her, but I messaged with my former boss (she left for another facility right as we were making the transition.  I owe a lot to her and was wishing her well on LinkedIn, and we discussed who at headquarters might be able to help on that one.)  And I'm finally making headway on scheduling off-site tests.

I'm back to working normal hours, which we are adjusting to 8 am to 4:30 pm, so shifting a half-hour earlier but later than I have been coming in lately.

I'm happy with my office, and I've got it set up quite nicely, with lots of plants:

Succulents in the window with pretty stones arranged around them.

Blooms on the succulents.

This is the orchid I got at the Bluegrass Orchid Society's meeting, plus the sign I had at my old desk.

My peace lily. I think I have to move it; it looks cramped.

An orchid that's been blooming since February, plus an African violet on the desk.

An orchid reblooming on the left, its counterpart, which is peach, but resting, and ivy in the middle.

A lovely bunch of peonies I got at Kroger.

My new title and sign to my office.

I've made contact with several people at the University of Kentucky and corporate that will be of assistance, and I had some training from a liaison from UK yesterday regarding a software package I need for my job since I get authorizations for UK surgeries for our patients that have out-of-state Medicaid plans.  The funny thing is to get access I had to have an account with UK and once they give you a computer account it's for life, as mine is based on one I got in 1985 as a student in a computer science class that has my old initials in it. :)

Here is my agenda for today:

  1. Get insulin I've been out of for 24 hours
  2. Caffeinate and eat breakfast
  3. Work on game notes for our Call of Cthulhu game
  4. Shower and get ready - I look a mess
  5. Go see Incredibles 2 with friends!!! With free tickets from my hoard of employee appreciation tickets [I'm using 3 and I'll still have 5--shows how often I go to the movies]
  6. Check on an ill friend and his mother
  7. Dust two shelves in the bedroom.
  8. Move some files on the computer for YKWIA [we're going to do that tomorrow; I'm tired and hurting]
  9. Do more laundry tonight or tomorrow morning [again, tomorrow]
Not quite restful, but I spent most of last evening in bed with the sciatic pain, and I am going to do everything possible to be productive and enjoy this weekend.

PS They realised that there was no way I could cover for the Physical Therapy secretary's maternity leave and do the new job, so I'm in my office full time now.  New people have been hired in the department for my old job and another checkout position.  One of my co-workers moved into the specialist position I was hired for before the other person left, and then another co=worker moved into hers.  They're still working with headquarters to get my job official, the new pay rate, etc., as it was such a quick transition.  I'm hoping that's just a mere formality, as everyone else has taken the other positions. :)  But I should know for sure next week.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Glad that it's Friday, but

I am planning on going in to work tomorrow, at least for a few hours, maybe a half a day. The plan is to move some files (I'm going to stay in the same office, so I need to switch the outpatient visit authorisations and the surgery ones,  as the woman who has the other office said I was welcome to, so long as she knows where things are.) I also have some authorisations to document that we didn't get in today because I trained all day on surgeries and off-site imaging and testing. Finally, I'll work the queue, filling out forms and creating a running request for clinical notes that can be fulfilled by the medical records department on Monday so I can fax a whole bunch of requests then.

That should keep me occupied for quite awhile.  I'm going to run by the storage unit earlier in the morning and get out one of the folding bookcases to take in since I can park in the building's parking lot tomorrow.

On Monday, I'm training from 7-9 and then will be in the rehab department all pretty much all day, or at least till 3 or so.  I think I return to my desk then if I remember right.  Tuesday I'll train from 7-9, be in rehab for the rest of that morning, leave for an appointment, and come back from 3-5 for more training.  Wednesday and Thursday I'll train from 7-9, be in rehab from about 9-12 and then in my office thereafter.  By then I should be doing my job with my trainer nearby for any questions.  On Friday I'll be in my office all day and should be working on my own, again, with her just a couple of offices away if I need her.  Meanwhile, she's going to train my replacement on Monday and as needed throughout the week.  So hopefully I won't be doing it all for very long. I seriously don't know how she's done it for months now, with just a couple of things taken over temporarily by others.  The off-sites alone could be a full-time job.  Scheduling is difficult and can be frustrating, as you are playing go-between between families and facilities.  One she showed me today took about 45 minutes to hash out.  That's my part, the scheduling, as my replacement has already been doing the pre-auths for those and they didn't see any reason to switch, even though the others were doing the opposite section prior to this.

So I'll be responsible for getting pre-authorisations for surgery cases that are done in our ambulatory surgery centre, as well as those of our patients done at the university that have out-of-state Medicaid, and patients undergoing halo traction, which is a long inpatient stay, plus scheduling the MRIs, ultrasounds, and EMGs that are done at the university and other facilities.  My counterpart will get authorisations for outpatient visits and off-site imaging and tests.  There are some others things--reports and audits, for example, but that's the bulk of it.  For the outpatient visits, there's a lot of faxing.  For surgeries, there is more contact via phone with the insurance companies, plus, of course, the scheduling is mainly done via phone.  We will, of course, be each other's back up and help each other as needed, too.  I think we can work well together.  We're a little more isolated from the department--on a different floor, in fact.  But because we deal with so much protected health information, we each get our own offices, which is nice.  You've seen mine.  I like the setup there better as the desk is on the left facing out towards the common area and so the phone and computer are on the left.  I am right-handed, so I prefer the phone on the left so I can write with my right hand, although I have a headset, too, and that will help.

If I stay for four hours tomorrow, I'll have a total of 22 and a half hours of overtime for the two-week pay period or an average of about 10 hours a weekday.  Which is good, as I have to file my taxes still, and then pay on them.  The overtime won't last forever, but I'm trying to do as much as I can while it's approved.

Okay, I'm going to try to get some notes transcribed for the game Sunday. I'm assuming we'll do that.  It's supposed to be 95 degrees that day, and I'm not sure we'll be comfortable, but we'll try anyway. :)

Good night.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

My head is still spinning a bit

So awhile back one of our co-workers left and the woman who was in my position filled her place. She has been training me to request pre-authorisation for the clinic visits and getting me set up with tools I need to do my job since I started the new position a couple of weeks ago. I've been doing some overtime to train and still be able to cover in physical therapy for the secretary who is on maternity leave, then coming in at the end of the day to cover check out upstairs. Lots of hours, lots of bouncing around, lots of learning.

This week my trainer's husband got a dream job that will require relocation to another state, and they will be moving and he will start in less than two weeks. She will follow shortly thereafter, once she's fulfilled her two-week notice. So the last couple of days have been a bit of a roller coaster ride as we're trying to get me trained before she leaves, and of course, I'm her back up, so there was that to consider (she does the surgeries, which are more involved, as well as other things). So the powers that be did some shuffling and now I have been offered and accepted her job, the second promotion in a matter of weeks, and one of my teammates will take mine. It will still be a struggle to get trained in such a short time due to my coverage of rehab, but tomorrow the whole day will be spent on training. So my new title will be Revenue Cycle Coordinator. I'm assuming it will kick in when the other person leaves.

In the entire time that I've been with the company (21 years), I've had six jobs, four of them in the last year. So it's been a whirlwind since getting laid off from the first two when the hospital moved. But things have, indeed, worked out pretty well. I'm happy, and a little scared given the time frame we're talking about, but I'm pretty sure I can handle it. So here's to new adventures.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

I finished the normal

Sunday chores, but it took about 45 minutes of lying under the ceiling fans to recover. Now I'm going to work on the shelves (which is technically a Saturday chore). The only other things on my list are to take some library books back, buy some glucose tablets, and get a birthday card for a co-worker. Oh, and of course laundry goes on for awhile, so I'll finish that tonight. My first load is still in the dryer. There's a second. I also have to wash the mopheads, the blanket the cat threw up on the other day, and YKWIA's laundry. I've been listening to Pandora all morning, mainly the 3 Doors Down station.  YKWIA has mainly had quiet time.  No game today because Brenda is celebrating Father's Day with her husband (I know, Father's Day is next weekend; either she is celebrating early or they made a mistake, but regardless we had a break from the game this week, so I didn't have to do notes, although we should be good to go for next week).


It's 69 degrees outside and 80.8 degrees in here--at 7 am. So much for getting up early to do chores when it's 'cooler'. Time to check the weather forecast for this week. :( No idea when we can get the air conditioning looked at, much less fixed.

Saturday, June 09, 2018


This weekend we're in the 90s during the day and it's been miserable in the house even with the fans on. And because the house is brick, it holds the heat in. So wishing it would cool back down. I did go in to work for 2 1/2 hours today, so at least I spent a bit of time in air conditioning. Tomorrow I have to do laundry and chores, so I'm getting up early in the morning to beat the heat, hopefully.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

I feel a bit like a bouncy ball

Today: I was in my office-->my trainer's office-->physical therapy-->checkout-->kiosk to sign in-->checkout-->physical therapy-->checkout. Whew! I walked 5,588 steps today (not great, but better than my usual lately). It was a lot of mental gymnastics with lots of different tasks and learning more. It was kind of stimulating actually; I feel like I got a real workout, mentally, anyway. So this will be how things go until 1) they get the new person at checkout or fill my position, whichever happens first, then the maternity leave coverage is about six weeks in duration. I'm going to start working the authorisation queue tomorrow morning with my trainer sitting with me, and I'll be able to work part of Friday on top of the early morning sessions. From there I might need to work on the weekend as well, so there's some overtime to get, yay! Okay, off to work on a project with my friend. Good night for now.

Monday, June 04, 2018


Last night I tossed and turned, afraid I'd oversleep for my first day juggling three offices (my new office, physical therapy (where I'm filling in during a maternity leave), and checkout (where I've been working for a year, first as a contractor and now as a regular employee) and training for the new job. I finally got up at 4:40 am, was at the parking lot by 6 (only two spaces from the shuttle stop), at work by 6:30, and clocked in and training by 7:00 am. I moved to PT by 8:45 am and to checkout at 3:45 pm. I've made a food run for a friend of ours who is battling cancer, had a great home-cooked meal with my roommate (who is an excellent cook) , cleaned up the dishes afterwards, and now I'm ready for bed, to do it all over again tomorrow. :) Hopefully I'll sleep better this time. PS The cat has stealthily crept up bedside me. He likes to sleep with me.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

From my favourite poet

Welshman Dylan Thomas, one of his most famous works, as expertly read by Sir Richard Burton. I love the lilt of the poem as much as the theme itself.

So I've moved into my office

Before I moved in

Added my name to the plaque

After I moved things from upstairs to the office [more to come, of course]

Me sitting in my new office

Starting Monday, this will be my schedule:

  • 7:30-8:45 am -- Training for the new position (continued on weekends, if necessary)
  • 8:45 am-3:45 pm -- Coverage in physical therapy for the secretary there, who is on maternity leave (she was in labour as I left on Friday)
  • 3:45-5:00 pm -- Coverage of checkout (my former job) till closing time
So the idea is that I can do all those things without having to stay super late, and only coming in an hour early for training, and maybe weekends if necessary.  That means that I'll get overtime both during my training period and if needed while I am covering for the maternity leave.  They should have someone in place for checkout and trained by the time the maternity leave coverage ends, and I can transition to my job full-time.  Wednesday I get to park in the back (I normally park in a lot at and take the shuttle) as I need to leave early for an appointment so I may bring some more plants from home. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


it was full moon until I saw it come out from some clouds out my window. I never tire of the moon's spell.


So things have been announced officially at work, and I can talk about it here. On Friday I accepted another position at Shriners, Revenue Cycle Specialist, which handles getting authorisations and referrals for outpatient clinic visits, scheduling off-site requisitions such as MRIs, and backing up the person who does the surgery authorisations and other things. It means a promotion to a higher grade, a decent raise, my own office and phone, and I'm really happy with it. While I won't be with our team as much, as the two of us are on a different floor than the scheduling department, and I will miss that, I will be closer to my long-term friends/lunch bunch. I will still be filling in for a lady who is going on maternity leave in one of the other departments as well [we're going to discuss how that's going to work in the next day or so, as her due date is fast approaching]. The next few weeks of transitioning and doing that will be very busy. But all in all, I'm pretty stoked.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

But I'm the smart one, right?

So last night it was miserable in my room.  There was no air conditioning still (it's been about two weeks), the ceiling fans were on, but it was almost 84 degrees with 60% humidity and I really had trouble dealing with it, but finally got to sleep.  The least amount of cloth near me (which is, of course, what I sleep on) was almost too much.

Fast forward to this morning, when I suddenly realise that when we came home last night I utterly forgot to open my window.  So much for skipping first grade, being in a gifted and talented programme, and doing so well in school.  None of that matters if you can't get outside your own head long enough to process sensory evidence and open up a freaking window when you're hot. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Something wonderful

happened today that will improve my life, and I have to stay mum about it at least for a few days, and it's driving me crazy. :)  I never have been great at keeping secrets.  But let's just say I'm feeling very good about life today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The last week or so

I've been watching a mourning dove that has been roosting in a tree near the shuttle stop by the main hospital at the University of Kentucky.  Today I saw her hatchlings for the first time:

I'm not sure if you can see them well, as this picture was taken several feet away so as not to disturb them, then cropped, but I hope you can.  Anyway, they made my day.  And the other day she was sitting on her nest despite a lot of wind.  Here's to continued well-being.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Okay, I'm officially annoyed

I was planning to vote for Jim Gray for Congress, but as I was doing some last minute research, I did consider Amy McGrath as a candidate, but had decided for the most part to go with my first choice. Then I got this text from someone with her campaign that I don't know, telling me to go vote and at least implying I should vote for her, which settled the issue for me, as I do not appreciate unsolicited campaign texts. After all, there are still people who pay per text, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who got this. Granted, mine are unlimited, but still, it is intrusive and unwarranted. I'd also like to know where they got my name and cell phone number, as to my knowledge I haven't given that number out to a political organisation, and it was obviously not a random text, as they called me by name. So in doing this, 'Sam' lost a potential vote for his campaign. Grrr.
Apparently, when checking on this, while it is illegal for companies to send unsolicited texts without consent, campaigns are exempt as they are non-commercial, even though they often use such texts to solicit money or votes. But I did find lots of other people who didn't like this kind of spam. So I'm not alone.
Still considering if it's worth texting back my feelings on the subject, but it's probably some sort of bot texting, anyway. :(

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Had a bit of a scare yesterday as the lower part of my face and jaw went numb on the drive from work. I couldn't smile properly, but it was on both sides, not just on one like a stroke. Fortunately my roommate used to work in orthopaedics/neurology in a hospital years ago. He checked my pupils, grip, etc. We finally decided that it was a pinched nerve in my neck, as I'd been jostled badly while on the shuttle when it hit a bump in the road. It hurt all along my spine, and my neck has been bothering me lately anyway. I feel fine today, didn't need to go to the ER or anything, thankfully, but man, that was a very troubling hour or so, and it wasn't back to normal till later that night.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sigh -- annoyance -- and, oh, hee hee

Good news: A former friend who owes me quite a bit of money sent me a payment.

Bad news: The man, who is 50 years old, did something that just made me facepalm. Instead of tearing the perforated counter cheque off like a normal person, he cut it out around the middle so that there is my name, his signature, and the amount, but no routing number, account number, or even a cheque number. Basically, it is a useless piece of paper. He did the same for someone else I know. And probably all the ones he sent out for bills. When he was told that this does not work, he was surprised and then the true horror of what he had done dawned on him. I am considering framing the otherwise weird little slip of paper for future cackling. Hopefully, he will send a real cheque when he gets the ones he ordered.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Finished the laundry and we made his bed. Now I'm in my bed listening to the Bastille station on Pandora, specifically The Lumineers' 'Cleopatra' under the two fans. I got a lot accomplished. Also, I made my friend's mom's day by bringing over the big basket of purple petunias he'd sent me out for. She's said she wanted to adopt me. It made the fact that my own mom and grandmothers are gone seem a little less sad.
Heading towards sleep now, a couple of hours late by my timeline, but hey, it'll work. Good night.

It is a pleasant morning

I am almost ready to begin my chores, which I'm dreading a bit because the air conditioning is not working.  So we have the windows open and it's 77 degrees right now inside and perfectly fine under the ceiling fan at the moment, but that's going to change, as it'll be pushing 90 this afternoon.

I awoke to birds chirping and plenty of sunshine coming through my windows.  I've had a shower and am in the minimum acceptable clothes (denim shorts and a light blouse I usually wear a tank top under but I'm choosing to forego that today, as there are solid panels in all the important places).

As my agenda states, I have a full day planned.  I want to get my hair cut; it's atrocious and it's been more than six months.  I'm thinking of a short layered bob.  Also, a friend who is homebound right now with cancer asked me to pick out a hanging basket of petunias for his mom yesterday for Mother's Day, so I did so and will deliver it when they're up and ready, around noon.

There's the normal Sunday chores to do, laundry (mine and YKIWA's, and that includes his bedding), and helping him apply for a part-time job at the public library and applying for two jobs at the University of Kentucky for me.  One of them was the one, reposted, that I terribly flubbed the phone interview on last year.  I'm hoping they'll give me another chance.  I'd tried to do it on my lunch break surrounded by distractions, and it didn't go well.  But it is in my field of health science librarianship, I would do a good job, and I'm very qualified.  I'm just terrified of interviews, at least ones that are by committee.  I do fine one-on-one, and can teach one-on-one, in small groups, and larger ones.  But being grilled by 3-5 people, whether on the phone or in person, flummoxes me.  This is ultimately why I didn't finish my graduate studies in ancient, mediaeval, and early modern history.  Thank goodness the library science master's degree didn't require an oral defence.  But I am going to apply again anyway.  The other one I may get dinged on because I haven't been in an academic library setting in some time, and while I was trained by the best for the job, I don't have a lot of professional-level experience in aspects of it.  Again, I can do the job, and I think I would be good at it, but it would mean changing things back to what I trained for rather than what I've been doing for 20 years.  But I'm up for it.

Okay, the cat boxes aren't going to clean themselves.  One more review of the timeline/agenda, and I'm ready to go.  Have a great day, including a great Mother's Day (I'm a little sad this year, as I have neither mother nor grandmother to give flowers to and spend time with).  So I'll try to use this opportunity to get some things accomplished.

Rattling and scurrying

There is a squirrel directly outside my window that is building a nest, I presume, as she or he is pulling small branches off the tree and taking it up into it. 

This beauty

opened up overnight.  I was happy to see it when I woke up this morning:

This is the fourth time this one has bloomed since I've had it.  IT's a regular trooper.  The blooms are actually a little small, but quite lovely.  I have another sending out a shoot right now, as well.

Timeline of my ambition


0800      Wake up. Shower. Caffeinate. Take medicine.
0915      Do cat boxes.
0930      Take out trash and recyclables.
1000      Clean the bathroom.
1030      Start laundry.
1045      Go to Supercuts.
1100      Get haircut.
1145      Go to a friend’s. Take his mom’s flowers he had me get for her.
1200      Visit for a bit.
1230      Go to the storage unit.
1245      Drop off winter clothes.
1300      Root for exercise equipment.
1330      Return home. Rest.
1430      Sweep whole house.
1530      Rest.
1545      Mop kitchen and bath tile.
1615      Wash mophead.
1630      Go to Kroger for bread yeast. -- Put off until tomorrow.
1700      Start bread maker.  -- Put off until tomorrow.
1730      Cover Letter-YKWIA
1800      Cover letter 1. -- Put off until tomorrow.
1830      Cover letter 2. -- Put off until tomorrow.
1900      Feed animals.
1915      Apply for the job for YKWIA.
2045      Read.  -- Not up to it tonight.
2115      Listen to music.
2200      Go to bed.

UPDATE: I also unpacked the exercise equipment, blew up the balance ball, and put things away.   The cat is enjoying the box, so I haven't recycled it yet. I brought in my microwave from storage as well since the one we're using is perhaps on its last legs, but then it's way over 30 years old.  Mine is only 26. :)

My job applications aren't due for a couple of weeks to a month, so I'm going to work on those tomorrow.  I'm still working on the laundry, actually.  I've done all his clothes, my clothes (and I put all of mine away from last week and today), and I'm about halfway through his bedding.  So it'll probably be a later night than 10 pm.  Also, the bread I made yesterday came out better than I thought--it had a huge air bubble in the bottom, but not in the top half so I can wait for the yeast and the new loaf.

Of concern is the heat.  Tomorrow in addition to the yeast, I am going to stop by the storage unit and get my fans, something I should have done today, but he is almost never really hot.  But he was today, and the dogs certainly were--we can put the fans in the living room and that should help, as it's the only room other than the bathroom without a ceiling fan.

Okay,  either the washer or dryer just buzzed, so I should go check on the bedding.  Have a good night if I don't write more.

Sunday, May 06, 2018


Brenda left just a little while ago and I fed the dogs, let them out, and then let them back in within a much smaller timeframe than usual as it was very dark and gloomy, much different from the mild, sunshine-full day we'd had so far.  Now the thunder, lightning, and rain have really started, so I'm glad they've come inside.

We didn't wind up playing the game.  We did go to the Indian restaurant Masala, over in Beaumont, to celebrate a belated birthday for me and something else that is a bit private, but let's say was a long time coming (really, and that's why the celebration was belated) but represents a very, very good turning point in one of our lives.

We stopped by our friend's house to say hello (Brenda had not seen him in quite a while), and then came back to play the game, but we wound up watching Batman: Gotham by Gaslight instead, which we have out from Netflix.  It was fun.

I'm working on laundry.  I've almost finished YKWIA's, and I have started on mine.  I don't think I'll get to the bedclothes today after all.  But I did the cat boxes, took out all the trash and recyclables, and cleaned the bathroom.  We knew it was going to rain later, so I didn't touch the tile, as it was just going to get muddy tonight.

It is so humid! YKWIA opened a couple of windows in the living room/study, but while there's a breeze it's not really making it in here, although the cat, satiated from his meal, is happily watching out the window.  I'm sweating and considering going into my room/the library to put the ceiling fans on. I've had quite a bit of caffeine today, so I'm not really sleepy or anything, just hot.

Okay, I should go check the dryer.  Have a good night.  I may write more, but for now I'm signing off.


Him: 'Lisa, Lisa, wake up! It's 8:30!'
Me: 'So?'
Him: 'It's 8:30, and you're not at work!'
Me: 'It's Sunday.'
Him: 'What?'
Me: 'It's Sunday. We're going to eat Indian food later.'
Him: 'Oh, that's right. I thought that it was Monday.'
At first, I thought he was joking with me, but he honestly woke up and thought it was Monday.  Ah, well.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Stop the stigma

My Name is Wil Wheaton. I live with chronic Depression, and I am not ashamed.

Who knew Wil Wheaton and I shared so many similarities? He's just a little better at describing everyday life with depression and anxiety disorders than I am. I'm going to take a page from his book and start writing that I live with mental illness, but it does not define me. I live with bipolar disorder, social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding syndrome, driving anxiety, among other things. I am afraid almost every moment of my life. It's crippling at times, but I still get up and go to work each day and take one step at a time. I take a good blend of medication -- a mood stabilizer and atypical antipsychotic (I'm not psychotic, but it works for other things, and you shouldn't give someone worth bipolar disorder SSRI antidepressants, as they can trigger mania), and an anti-anxiety medication. That helps immensely. Therapy has helped, too. But I will never be cured. I know that ust like I live with chronic diabetes that can be managed, but never really completely cured, no matter what some people claim in diet books. It's another type of illness, just an imbalance in my brain chemistry rather than the hormone imbalance behind diabetes. It's nothing to be ashamed or stigmatised by, although it often is. So I'm writing about this now. I live with mental illness every day. It is a constant companion questioning my every move. But I'm ultimately the one on the driver's seat. It is my life. I struggle, but I choose to live as fully as possible

Friday, May 04, 2018


Earlier I was at the Redding Road Thornton's, and as I was getting ready to pump gas a man left his wife and two children in the car while he went in to pay. Another woman stopped behind the car and just blew the horn like how dare they just be sitting at the pump she wanted. Fortunately, the pump on the other side became free and she angrily drove over there and started emptying trash from her car. I don't know what her problem was, or how her day's gone. I do know she was being a complete ass, and I'd like to think it had nothing to do with the fact that the woman in the car with her small children was wearing a hijab (headscarf). I would like to think that, but given the current climate in our country, I don't have faith in the inherent good of everyone. Once she moved to the other pump and the situation wasn't escalating I didn't interfere, but I was about to right as she moved. Life is too short for pettiness and prejudice.

The Muslim woman was doing nothing wrong, didn't deserve to have some whackadoo harassing her, and the kids were something like two. Dad came back out and starting pumping and I'd finished, so I left. But I feel bad that for a moment or two that mother was probably quite worried for herself and her children, and no one should have to worry that a small thing like that could escalate beyond that. She kind of laid low and tried to ignore it, and I guess that worked. But my point is, she shouldn't have had to deal with the other woman's overblown sense of entitlement in the first place.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Happy Bealtaine, by the way!

Today I:

  1. Got pooped on by a bird within 30 seconds of exiting my front door, on a day where I was happy with my outfit and thought I looked nice. Fortunately, I was in a thin but long-sleeved shirt, so I didn't get any on me.  I walked back into the house, went to the front entry closet, where my clothes are kept (left over from when I was living in the living room), and changed shirts, although things didn't match quite as well.  Everyone I've told the story to has told me that it's supposed to be lucky.  I'm not sure how.
  2. On the other hand, I went to take my medicine at the beginning of work and realised that one of the pills looked off, and in fact looked a lot like something I took last night. I pulled out a magnifier I keep with me to look at the imprint, put it and the shape and colour into the drugs.com database, and it wound up being tizanidine.  They're pretty mild, really.  Each tablet is only 4 mg and you normally take three at night, but they can make me loopy.  So I'm glad I caught it.  I went through the other bins of the pill reminder box and there was one more.  I'm not sure if I consolidated some other medicine and accidentally put tizanidine into a similar bottle, then put them in the reminder box, or what.  I think that's what happened, anyway.  To be honest, I'm not sure what small white pill I accidentally substituted it for; I think it was my furosemide (Lasix, or diuretic).   Thankfully, tizanidine (also known as Flexeril) has a scored side where you can divide it into fourths, and that's what clued me in because I noticed it last night when I took them. I guess that was lucky.  Oh,  wait, we're back to the bird poop.
  3. After work (which was steady) I went and picked YKWIA from our friend's house, took him home, let him rest for a bit, then went on a major grocery run on my own.  It took an hour and a half.  I got everything on the list except wine.  I got to the liquor store that's attached to Kroger just at 10.  I asked the security guard if they were closed, and he said they were.  I asked when they closed, and he says, 'They're closed now.' Well, gee.  I got that part.  So I ask, when do they normally close so I know next time.  Nine? Ten?  It was ten--so technically I came up at 9:59, but oh, well, we'll have to get wine to cook with tomorrow instead.  Most of it was fresh produce, dairy, beans, that sort of thing.  YKWIA pretty much never cooks out of a box--it's all real food.
  4. I came home, he helped me bring things in, and he put them away and I did a few small things to help.  Now I'm going to go plotz on the bed.
PS I started the manual update to the April 2018 Windows Update before I left.  It's still in the downloading phase, at 18%.  This may be an all-night sort of thing.  Okay, again, time to just collapse on the bed, listen to music and pretend my back still likes me.  Oh, and maybe take a couple of those tizanidine pills. :)