Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

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.


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!


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:


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.


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.

Oh, one last thing before I do that

Years ago we had a 50s Day at work, and I had a couple of interesting pictures to share. The first is of me with a Clinical Symposia journal with an exploding nuclear bomb on the cover, which is really from the early 60s, but I tried:

The second I waited to share until I was sure it was okay per company policy, as someone else is in the picture, but since the face isn't shown, it was okay. We had a hula hoop contest. I didn't win--but I did have fun. Those were the days:

I am so freaking tired

I have been up for fifteen hours, since 1:30 this morning. I tossed and turned until 3:30, got up, got ready, went to IHOP by 4:30, Kroger by 5:15, and work by 6 am. I got off early as a result and went to TWC/Spectrum and got my Internet connexion back on for less than I thought it would be (yay!) and got my allergy shots. I am going to forage for food here and then get some rest. There's not much here, of course, being right before payday, and I need gas, too, but I can barely drive at this point. I did get my federal refund (not a lot, but enough to get the Internet back on and pay a very overdue bill, at least partly). I've been hot all day, I feel gunky despite the shower this morning. I don't feel like going out, and I can't go hog wild and do something like order pizza (although I do have a coupon from T-Mobile for 25% off or a free one-topping pizza. Hmmm...no, bad for the blood sugar. I'll figure something out. I think I still have some bread and cheese. I don't think I could wait for pizza. My head is pounding from lack of sleep. So for now, I'll head to bed. But at least I can stream Pandora, Netflix, or Amazon on the TVs and print without using my phone now (and more importantly, look and apply for jobs for both A and myself). And I got a deal so it's cheaper than it was. Okay, taking off the shoes, letting down the hair, taking off the jewelry, getting into something comfy, and eating a cheese sandwich soon. :)

So my doctor prescribed

A medicine called trazodone for my midnight insomnia. It's an antidepressant, not a barbituate, and seems fairly mild. But the only trouble is since I'm perfectly sleepy when I head to bed--sometimes overwhelmingly so, I don't think to take it. Which does no good, of course. So here I am, three hours in, awake in the middle of the night for the second night in a row, and it's too late to take and not be groggy on the morning. I have got to start doing better.