Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

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.