Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


So the kitten has a thing for succulents--just succulents as far as plants go. He has ravaged the red velvet Echevarria, pulled up and nibbled on various aloes, and yesterday while watering the plants I made the mistake of moving an orchid that has two tiny Hawthornia plants in their own tiny pots from a corner so I could water the little ones easier and lo, and behold, the kitten plucked one out just like a bonbon and I have no idea what happened to it. It's just succulents--he leaves the orchids, violets, and bamboo alone, thankfully. The zygocactus he gets occasionally. He likes the leaves thick and chewy, full of sap, apparently. This is why I took so many plants to my office in the first place, and then I found another place for them when I was told to remove the plants at work by my former boss. Speaking of which, we went the other day and the shamrocks were dying. I need to tell them to either water more or get them out of the really big southern window before they're crispy. Everything else looked fine.

Meanwhile, I was cleaning up the soil in the bedroom when I heard a crash and crockery breaking and turns out my roommate accidentally knocked off an African violet from the toilet back, saving the violet itself, which is in a plastic pot, but the saucer underneath broke in two and soil got all over the place. Sigh. At least the saucer didn't break the tile, too. It hasn't been a good day for plants.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Happy Chanukah (night three)!

We're having leftover latkes tonight. Last night I didn't blog because I literally made latkes from 4 pm to 7:30 pm when we sat down to eat. There were cheese latkes with applesauce, potato latkes with sour cream, and zucchini fritters with tzatziki sauce. I doubled the cheese recipe and tripled the potato one. :) So we'll have some for tomorrow, too.

Today has mostly been relaxing. Neither one of was were doing our best to get going. We did go out the grocery a little before they closed to get some mints for a friend who is ill, and stopped by to see him. Also, we needed more candles and ran out to Bed Bath and Beyond for those, as pictured above. We watched a couple of episodes of 'The Dragon Prince' while eating tonight.

Monday, December 23, 2019



Well, the warm water pool where the class takes place is down (again) due to a heater issue. So no class tonight, to get in the way of latkes. But I am little disappointed; this is about the third time there's been an issue since I joined in September, and it's the only warm water pool in town in the YMCA system, which is good for aqua therapy exercises, but usually, when I go outside of class, there are lots of kids roughhousing, making it difficult to exercise at all during the open swim. I really am considering cancelling my membership. That's the whole reason I joined the YMCA.

Happy Chanukah!

Enjoying a day off from work, the third day of my five-day weekend. :) I've folded laundry, had a leisurely shower, and otherwise just relaxed and spent time with my roommate. Now he's out so I'm listening to Pentatonix' Christmas music and calming a nervous dog who wants her master. I think I may do some reading and writing. We'll probably watch more of 'The Witcher' later, too. But tonight is all about latkes. I have gelt hidden away and all the ingredients ready. And thank goodness my food processor is still going; his died at Thanksgiving. That makes it so much easier to grate the potatoes and zucchini. :) I'd planned on going to a Water Fit class tonight (I'm already dressed for the gym), but the latkes do come first. It's my main Hannukah present for him. I'll look up to see if it's even on the class schedule since it's Christmas week. It's not usually till 7:15 pm, so maybe I can do the latkes earlier and have them ready for the hanukkiah [menorah] lighting at sunset.


You'll never see Saint Nick the same way again. I knew most of these, but I thought I'd share. Remember, the truth will set you free.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

It has been a very busy weekend

Here's what I accomplished:
  1. Went to the pharmacy. Got to see my plants.
  2. Got nitrogen put in my tyres and discussed my treads and whether it was worth getting an alignment or rotation now or just waiting till I get new tyres, which will have to be soon, although I'm not sure how I'm going to swing that.
  3. Repotted the aloes.
  4. Repotted the orchids.
  5. Did my laundry on Saturday and my roommate's on Sunday. Managed to do that and the kitchen linens with the very last of the detergent.
  6. Moved a couple shelves in front of the library windows so I could put the orchids on them and they could get some actual light (eastern exposure). I'd temporarily placed them on top of my bookcase headboard, but they were between the windows and couldn't get any light. A grow light might have worked, but there's a painting that could be damaged by the full spectrum light. So I decided to try this. They are behind the nightstands, so it's a little crowded, but it passed muster with my friend.
  7. Went to the library and took some books back and picked up my roommate's hold.
  8. Took the other two shelves and summer clothes to the storage unit.
  9. Cleaned out the car.
  10. Did a boatload of plastic dishes.
  11. Went through the clothes I was given and pulled out the ones that needed mending.
  12. Incorporated the new clothes into my existing clothes, and put away laundry at the same time.
  13. Organised my closet and prepared some things to take back to storage and to donate.
  14. Organised the cedar chest and the clothes in the footboard of the bed. The kitten has been pulling my bras and other things through the little divet that's used to open the drawers.
  15. Put the coverlet back on the bed, which will hopefully deter him, as it will be out of sight, out of mind.
  16. Watched several episodes of a cartoon series.
  17. Generally straightened up my room.
  18. Took a nice long shower today.
  19. Swept and mopped the floors.
  20. Did the regular dishes.
  21. Took out the trash and recyclables.
  22. Cleaned the bathroom.
  23. Entertained the kitten, who was inconsolable that he'd been closed out of the bedroom while my roommate slept because he was gnawing on him.
  24. Packed my lunch for tomorrow.
  25. Laid out my clothes for tomorrow (I don't do that very often. I should.)
  26. Actually blogged! Twice!
Things that got put off till tomorrow:
  1. Go by the bank.
  2. Go over the grocery list and see what we already have.
  3. Shop at the grocery store for Thanksgiving (we already have the Quorn roasts).
  4. Get some cat toys for the kitten and food for the older cat.
  5. Complete replacement of the cat litter (once we get some from the store).
  6. Clean out and organise my nightstands.
  7. Take things out to the car that are to be donated or go to storage.
  8. Double check the smoke alarm/CO monitor. I think the batteries are in wrong, and it'll take both of us to change the batteries, as I'm not tall enough, even with a stepstool. I got some new batteries.
  9. Call in the morning and reschedule an appointment to finalise the draft of my revamped will--with my boss' announcement I didn't feel I could ask to leave early the next business day with so little warning and get a good reply.
  10. Get the duvet cover on the duvet and get it on my roommate's bed (it takes two to do well) and take back my heavier blanket.

So on November 11th

My boss came into my office, and among other things said there had been complaints about my plants, that my office was a jungle and that they were afraid it would draw bugs. I needed to get them out of there. 2/3 of them are toxic to cats, and we have a kitten who's about seven months old who hasn't learned not to eat them yet. I wound up packing everything up and with the help of three co-workers and a couple of carts from materials, took them out to the car and took the majority to a pharmacy I go to with a nice southern window that is run by people who love plants. At least I can see them sometimes. One plant I kept but then checked the toxicity lists and decided that I needed to take it that weekend as well was the peace lily that the hospital gave me on the occasion of my mother's funeral. So I was pretty heartbroken. I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach. I was also told I didn't dress up enough, even though I've worn the same style of clothes for years and considering I had about 68 cents in my account at the time, certainly couldn't go out and get a new wardrobe. I was also told I would be losing my office, not because of anything I did, but because someone else needed it. I'm not as upset about that--it was the way it was told to me as an offhanded remark, that I couldn't have kept the plants anyway because I'd be in a cubicle away from the light, that was hurtful.

The plants were, of course, what bothered me the most. Some I'd had for years. The shamrocks brought a lot of joy to people in the library for years--they were constantly admiring them. They're deadly to cats. I've made peace with the loss of the plants now, as it's been 13 days. And I was able to get some plants home--I now have 12 orchids, three African violets, three Thanksgiving cacti, a red velvet Echeverria, some aloes, and a bamboo plant at home. I'm not sure I've got them where they can get enough light, so I'll be monitoring it.

On the same day I got the bad news, there was a concern that the kitten, who dearly likes orchid bark, had eaten some and gotten a blockage, but that turned out to not be the case. Still, I removed all the bark that I could from the house, and once I got paid I ordered some sphagnum moss, and I spend some time yesterday repotting 9 of the orchids with moss instead of bark, topping off another couple, and repotting the aloes. So we're bark-free.

As far as my greatest concern from that meeting, it was what to do about the clothes. Now I have wonderful co-workers and work-friends. I had no less than four people contribute clothes that were either bought by them, repurposed by them, or repurposed by friends of theirs. One brought a huge bag over to the house full of khakis and nice blouses. I went from having five sweaters and a couple of velvet pants for the winter to a whole wardrobe, and I appreciate all the help immensely. It reminds me that the majority of people I know are good, and while I was feeling a little bullied by my boss (I'm not convinced anyone complained, I'm thinking she just may not have liked what I had).

So I'm dressing up some now, there are no plants or shelves in my office (it feels empty, but I've rearranged my desk now that I have more space, so everything isn't as spread out). I should lose the office around the beginning of the year, and I've come to terms with that. They're going to do some alterations to the cubicles since we deal with confidential info.

It was a hard couple of weeks. But this week has been better than the one before. I got a lot done and one of my co-workers helped me get caught up on a lot of offsite requests. I was useless for a couple of days after the talk with the boss and got behind. But I'm back in the black now, so to speak. Next week I'll have to really work on the surgery pre-authorizations as I'm only three weeks out and a lot have been added on. I try to be four weeks out, although I'm required to be out two. And nothing in our talk was about my performance or anything. It was all about my personal choices. I did what I could to comply quickly. And it turns out my boss is leaving next month, so I'm just going to try to keep a low profile till that happens.

One of my co-workers hit the nail on the head as to why the plant removal devastated me. Surrounding myself with nature is my way of beating stress, and I deal with insurance companies and scheduling with outside bureaucracies. I took all the little knick-knacks that were on the shelves (and the shelves) away, as well as the stones I'd had. There's a clock and a few motivational sayings on small plaques, as well as the wall art that shows any real personality to my office. The wall art will eventually have to go away when I move. But for now, it cheers me.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Hee hee

So the reason why

I definitely made the effort to go to the YMCA this weekend (and why I plan on going to the Water Fit class tomorrow night) is that I had an experience this week that gave me a preview of my life, and I didn't like where it was headed. On Thursday I had an appointment at the UK Legal Clinic to redo my will, mainly some minor changes, and it was down on Maxwelton, a street about a half a mile from where I work, so I saw no reason to go get my car from the Orange Lot, drive there, etc. I thought 'It's not that far, I'll just walk. I'll get my steps in, etc.'

It had been raining all day but was just spitting a bit when I got off work early. I'd alotted a half an hour to get there, even though Google said it was an eleven-minute walk, as I walk slowly. What I didn't realise was that the ground would be fairly uneven going there, even the better sidewalks, and it made me put more pressure on my right foot, which hurt because I'm sure I have arthritis (and it was a rainy day) in the metatarsals that were broken when the car ran over my foot and hit me a few years ago (we'd treated the ankle fracture, but the metatarsals weren't that displaced). Anyway, I had shoes on that were usually sufficient for walking, but they're Mary Janes, not my New Balance ones. My sock on my right foot kept twisting and going down into the shoe, making me walk funny. I wound up actually using my umbrella as a cane. By the time I got to my destination, my hair was wild, I was exhausted, and I was moving like a 90-year-old woman. The lady at the centre saw me struggle up the steps and after my appointment, she specifically asked the nice young law student to make sure I got back down them alright. I then walked the half-mile back to my workplace, and then through UK's hospital, caught the shuttle, and then walked across the Orange Lot. I could barely move by the time I got to my car, and I was in bed by 7:30 pm. All I could think of was that I needed to get back into exercising. I'm up to 310 lbs and terribly out of shape. My friend says that he can hear me breathing hard all the time, and when I listen to the game recordings I can hear myself. I need to work on this, or I will be feeble prematurely.


I'm a little frustrated. On the one hand, I finally made it back to the YMCA after an absence of nearly a month [things happened], mainly because the Cthulhu game was called, and open swim in the warm water pool is all day, from 10 am-7:45 pm, so I made an effort to get over there after doing my Sunday chores. Unfortunately, that means that lots of kids, who could not be in the main pool due to a full round of lane swimming, were all through the warm water pool, jumping in and splashing and playing with balls, etc., and there was precious little space to actually use the pool for exercises while this was going on. I won't say they were young hellions or anything--they were just kids being kids and largely unsupervised ones at that. So I managed to do some exercises next to the wall, but I couldn't do the warm-up walks or anything. After about half an hour I gave up, got towelled off and dressed, and went home. On the other hand, previously to going into the pool I managed to use the Nu-Step reclining elliptical for a longer period than before, about 15 minutes, or about 2/3 of a mile. I also tried out my new Bluetooth headphones, which are placed inside a sport band that is washable (you just take the speakers and controller out). They worked well. I think the solution, for now, is to go to the pool late in the day, after the swim lessons and classes, so about 8:30 pm-9:45 pm. It's late, I know, but hopefully, it's quieter and the kids will be in bed. Of course, it's about the time I start winding down for bed myself. But I'd hate to not be able to use my membership fully or have to cancel, but I'll have to find a time to do my exercises, as that was absolutely the whole point of joining. And the Beaumont YMCA is the only one in town with a warm water pool, so I can't just go to one of the others for that, anyway.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

This is the most succinct

description of privilege, acknowledging privilege, and what to do you when you have it I've seen:

I am so tired

Of premenstrual syndrome, or in my case premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is like PMS on steroids. It's been 40 years, after all. Surely my body couldn't have much left in terms of the baby-making factory. But here I am, at 52, still having horrible weeks and checking my calendar app WomanLog to see that I'm on day 26 and nothing seems to be stopping. I've had my periods pause for up to six months before coming raring back. You're not in menopause until the periods stop for 12 months straight; peri-menopause, the process of ceasing the cycle, can be unpredictable and a bumpy ride. And I'm sick of it all. Last period was fairly normal; the one before that I bled and bled like someone had stabbed me in an artery.

I remember being on the floor of our living room at age 13 in terrible pain, my legs up on the couch because my mom said that would help, and it did, although she never imparted the sage advice of a heating pad. That came from a gay friend who'd worked with lots of nurses. Every month, in and out, another reminder of womanhood, another battle for the emotions, another fourth of my monthly life given over to pain and blood, and of course in my case it was all for nought, as I was never pregnant (and never really wanted to be, mind you, except for about age 30-32, when my biological clock ticked and there was, fortunately, no man in my life at the time). So my periods have not been about the joy of life, but merely a personal nuisance at best and occasional torment. I don't have it worse than some; I've never had to have a hysterectomy or anything like that; the worst was having a D&C for fibroids and a biospy. But I'm definitely ready for menopause.

Friday, October 25, 2019

What book from your childhood would you want back?

Mine would be my copy of a 1st edition paperback of 'The Sword of Shannara' by Terry Brooks. It was given to me by a high school teacher and has an inscription. It had a pull-out artwork by the brothers Hildebrand, which was quite lovely and not included in subsequent printings.

I wound up accidentally putting it in a group of books that I donated to the Stanford/Lincoln County library. It is still listed in their catalogue. I wrote them at one point to see if I could get a copy of the inscription at all, to no avail. I'm tempted to drive down there (about an hour away) just to see if it's still there. I love the idea that others have read it and perhaps developed a love of fantasy from it--I just wish I hadn't let it go due to the inscription and the artwork. I do have an omnibus of the first three books of the series, and I'd hoped the artwork would be duplicated, but no. But the inscription is really what I'd like to 'get back'.

'Only a quid': woman reunited with childhood book in museum shop

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

50 (yes fifty!!) Things You've Never Been Asked....

I always enjoy reading these and seeing a quick glimpse into my friend's lives. (Just copy this & change the answers..💁)

1. What is the colour of your toothbrush? Bamboo
2. Name someone who made you smile today. Ahavah
3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Reading Facebook on my laptop in the break room
4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Listening to YouTube videos on strange phenomena
5. What is your favourite candy bar? Mounds
6. Have you ever been to a strip club? No
7. What is the last thing you said out loud? Hmmm...
8. What is your favourite ice cream? Homemade brand coconut almond chip
9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Water
10. Do you like your wallet? Yes, it is a phone case
11. What was the last thing you ate? Challah with blackberry jam
12. Did you buy any new clothes this weekend? No, I haven't for months
13. The last sporting event you watched? Ice skating, maybe two years ago
14. What is your favourite flavour popcorn? Caramel
15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? My uncle Terry
16. Ever go camping? Yes
17. Do you take vitamins daily? Yes, Centrum Silver Chewables
18. Do you go to church every Sunday? No, not my faith
19. Do you have a tan? Not really, I just turn red and then back to pink
20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? No
21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? No
22. What did your last text say? Thanked my uncle for a package.
23. What are you doing tomorrow? Working
24. What terrifies you? Pretty much everything; I am a ball of anxiety disorder.
25. Look to your left, what do you see? A portrait of my friend's great-grandmother
26. What colour is your watch? Purple
27. What do you think of when you think of Australia. Poisonous things.
28. Favourite soda? Diet Sunkist
29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive-thru? Both
30. What is your favourite number? 13
31. Who's the last person you talked to on the phone? Jay
32. Any plans today? Sleep
33. How many states have you lived in? 5
34. Biggest annoyance right now? Our president
35. Last song listened to? Beautiful People by Ed Sheeran
36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? I have never tried
37. Do you have a maid service when you clean your house? Ha, with what money?
38. Favourite pair of shoes you wear all the time? Sandals in the summer, Mary Janes otherwise
39. Are you jealous of anyone? No
40. Is anyone jealous of you? I doubt it
41. Do you love anyone? Yes
42. Do any of your friends have children? Yes
43. What do you usually do during the day? Work
44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? No
45. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? Yes
46. What colour is your car? Champagne (that's what the title says)
47. How many kids do you have? None
48. Are you thinking about someone right now? A friend who very ill
49. Have you ever been to Six Flags? No
50. How did you get your worst scar? Hit by a car and the subsequent ankle surgery


This Is What Millions of Monarch Butterflies Sound Like

Interesting article on the acidification of books and paper

The Little-Known ‘Slow Fire’ That’s Destroying All Our Books: Chloe Vassot on the Relentless, Inevitable Process of Decay


Youth Suicide Rate Increased 56% in Decade, CDC Says

There are always risks in any medical treatment, but they have to be weighed against the benefits. I can't imagine making these sort of life and death decisions on a daily basis (the main reason I did not pursue a career as a doctor or nurse), and pharmacology can be extremely tricky. But short-term studies are not foolproof, and if I had a teen with major depression, I'd seriously consider putting him or her on anti-depressants on the condition of close medical and parental monitoring. Of course, with my mental health history, I'd also make sure it was major depression and not bipolar, as SSRIs can make a person with bipolar disorder manic, triggering that phase of the disease, which can be just as devastating as the depression.

FDA’s continuing use of ‘black box’ for antidepressants ignores the harms of this warning

At work today

My new motto should be 'Will move heaven and Earth for chocolate.'


The folks that mow the yard apparently came. At some point, the downspout of the gutter got run over by them and was in the yard but someone thoughtfully put it on the back porch (although they did forget to latch the gate properly, something I always check when I let the dog out). Fast forward to when I let her out after her supper and she's done her business and I go to let her in, and I ask her to sit and she does, right on top of the cold, crushed metal spout, and she jumps about three feet in the air, startled. I so wish I'd gotten a video of it when her butt connected. The look on her face was priceless.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

We did not play the game today, although I prepared and we all got together

We watched the latest episode of 'Perfect Harmony'--which is a really good show, and the movie Coco, which I loved very much. The animation was wonderful, as was the story. I knew what was going to happen most of the time, but that doesn't really bother me. In fact, I love it when a story falls into the place with the various pieces like a puzzle.

Monday, October 07, 2019


Warning: I am about to vent mightily.

I am Southern, which means I tend to bury anger and try not to show my emotions. As a result, things sometimes boil over.

I am very proud that I kept it together going through Kroger's five-deep lines for my one item today because while I was justified at being angry, it wasn't anything that had to do with the place or people I was dealing with, and I really just wanted to scream at somebody...anybody.

So what got me so riled? I went to the pharmacy Saturday because I was almost out of my insulin and they told me that the endocrinologist's office had sent back a denial for a refill request they'd made, saying I never had been on the medication, even though I have been on long-acting insulin for years, mostly through this office. I had a little left of my pen, albeit less than I estimated, so I was calm and said I would call the doctor's office on Monday, which I did. I spoke to someone and the doctor is out this week, as is her nurse. She said she would route it to another nurse and they would call me back, but I didn't get any sort of phone call. At 2:30 I called the pharmacy to see if they'd heard anything. I took my last dose this morning (only because I skipped last night, otherwise I'd have had none today), and they told me that they'd sent over another request and it, too, had been denied. They suggested I ask my PCP, so I called and spoke with his nurse, gave her the dosage (he'd prescribed the same dosage years ago, so it's not like he wasn't aware of the condition or anything), and she said there shouldn't be any problem. I left work at 5 and called the pharmacy to see if the medicine was there, and they hadn't heard anything from his office, so I went home (stopping at the aforementioned Kroger), as there wasn't much point in going and the pharmacy was going to close at 6 pm.

After I got home and explained things to my roommate, the pharmacy called and said the prescription had finally come through as an e-script about 5 minutes to 6 and they didn't have it in stock but would order it and it would be in tomorrow afternoon. So on the one hand, I will have it tomorrow after work, but on the other hand, I'm going to miss three doses total.

I really want to know why my endo's office keeps denying the request as I have been on that medicine for years, with them having a prescription that lasted all the way through last month. I see the doctor in three weeks and I am definitely going to discuss it with her. Also, while I'm glad my PCP apparently came through, waiting till the end of the day, when I'd specifically said I was out of the medicine was not the best, especially as they know my pharmacy is a small, independent outfit which closes early. Finally, while I love my pharmacy, I'm irked that 1) the original denial was 9/10/19--almost a month ago--and they didn't say anything while I still had pens left and if they had, I could have taken care of this weeks ago. 2) They knew I was going to call today yet didn't put in an order for the insulin until they had the prescription, rather than putting it in when I came in on Saturday.

So anyway, I'm feeling better now that I know I can get it tomorrow, but I don't like this cluster of circumstances that is mucking with my health. If it were something like a cholesterol pill, that's one thing. This is insulin we're talking about here.

Okay, thanks for letting me vent!

Saturday, October 05, 2019

It's very quiet in the house

Just the sounds of my fans going above my head and nearby. We finally have some relief to the heat (it's been in the 90s with little to no rain for weeks), with rain in the forecast tomorrow, but I'm hot-natured, so even though it's in the 70s now both inside and out, I keep the fans on in my room whenever I'm there. But the quiet is nice. Sometimes it's good to only hear your own thoughts.

Today  I did many things but I did not go to the YMCA and do exercises in the pool like I meant to.  I haven't given up, I just had a lot to do today.  But I did have some time to myself and some relaxation time, as well as game notes and laundry and errands.

I went to the pharmacy today to get my roommate some medicine and see if they had my Lantus, as I started on my last pen of the pack.  Turns out they'd sent a request to my doctor's office for a refill and it had been denied.  The reason? They said they had never prescribed it.

Now, I have been on Lantus for a couple of years, Basaglar before that for a short time when it was on my insurance's formulary, and years of Lantus prior to that, including quite some time of it from this office, continuously up till this past month.  So obviously there has been a mistake. I'll have to call them on Monday.  I'm hoping I have enough to last me through Monday so we can get it taken care of, a pen only lasts a few days--I get 10 per refill, and they last about 3 days each.

On Habitica, the task/productivity 'game' I play, there was a reading challenge I took up to read a book called The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury.  Now I like Ray Bradbury, and it's actually a children's book, so I thought it would be good to read some fast-moving fiction. It's been such a struggle to read fiction (even non-fiction has its challenges), for several reasons.  For one thing, I think being on the Internet has made my attention span that of a gnat.  I've also apparently been a little off in how I use my bifocals, and it's hard for me to find a nice comfy place to read--I can't read in bed easily, and the comfy chairs are in the study (where my friend is often watching streaming stuff) or in his room.  Reading in bed requires lots of pillows, a folding lap desk, and a study pillow with a neck bolster.  I can read at the kitchen and study tables, when it is quiet, but the chairs are wooden and really need cushions after a while.  Still, I managed to read the whole book in a very short time, maybe an hour or an hour and a half (it's 145 pages long).  I enjoyed it--I knew all the various cultural ties to the practices of Halloween, but that was fine. And I'd figured out what happened to one of the characters.  I guess the only real thing I had a bit of an issue with it--not a lot, just a bit, were that there were no girls at all in the characters, and little to no character description or development, really.  But it is a product of 1972, and while Bradbury's writing deviates poetically from standard writing styles, he shares a common thread you find particularly in male writers of the time, and especially in science fiction writers, somewhat tilted towards action and away from characterization.  (Women, by contrast, tend to over-describe and have a lot of emoting going without driving the action forward at all)--a good writer balances both.  Still, his description of the settings and experiences are very good, and this story actually needs somewhat blank characters, as they represent certain timeframes of history in their costumes and with the exception of the one character from whose perspective the story is told,  there's no real personality among the children, and I guess there really doesn't need to be.  Anyway, I did enjoy the story, and it was a little chilling there at the end, so suitably Halloweenesque.

Later, we ate dinner from Subway with a friend, who had a couple of Pierce Brosnan 007 movies on, and then we returned home and I took up finishing the laundry.  I've done my clothes and I'm working on my friend's bedding right now. I'm going to do mine tomorrow.

Tomorrow I think I'll try to get up early.  I was supposed to do a couple of shelves, pulling off the books and dusting them.  I didn't, but I can today.  I did do the game notes, which were more timely.  If I could get that and my normal Sunday pre-game chores are done really early, I might still be able to go to the Y and do some exercises in the pool and work out in general for maybe an hour, total.  Then Monday I can go back for the low-impact pool class that I took this past week.  I did really well with everything (and have been in much less pain and been able to move and bend better as a result) except this thing where you put the foam dumbbells under your knees and then balance above them.  I need something to hold on and even so couldn't do it.  The instructor suggested getting a lighter pair of dumbbells (I had the heavy ones) next time.  People were really nice and non-judgmental, though, and I enjoyed it.  The instructor was very good.  We ended with a mindfulness exercise.  So it starts out easy, gets the heart pumping, puts you through all sorts of movement, but it isn't extremely intense--just right for my level of conditioning.

I  also need to run by the library while they're open and pick up a book on hold on the zero-waste home--I've been on the list for a while.  It must have been there when I picked up The Halloween Tree earlier, but I didn't realise it was in, so I didn't look.  I also checked out CDs by Sam Smith and Rush.

Okay, I'm going to get ready for bed.  The laundry's still in the dryer, but at least I'll have my teeth brushed, etc.  Hope you're having a good weekend.

Sunday, September 29, 2019


Why are books that shape? From Codices to Kindles, Why This Rectangle Stays Golden

It's an interesting and somewhat concerning phenomenon

The Ringification of Suburban Life

So sad

Sandeep Dhaliwal: Texas mourns 'trailblazing' Sikh sheriff's deputy

He was shot from behind at a routine traffic stop. No motive is known yet, but a suspect is in custody, but he had permission to wear his turban and beard on duty, so one does wonder whether it was directed towards him as a peace officer or him as a Sikh. There are lots of people out there who are anti-Muslim who see the turban and misidentify Sikhs as Muslim, because let's face it, hate is partly based on ignorance and stupidity.

I saw this show's pilot the other day and liked it quite a bit

Lake Cumberland area is setting for NBC's 'Perfect Harmony'

The Princeton professor reminds me a lot of YKWIA. It's set here in Kentucky, and one of its creators is rooted here in Kentucky.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Go, me!

I finally got to the YMCA around 6:15 pm, spent 10 minutes on the reclining elliptical/Nu-Step machine (starting small), and then an hour in the pool, doing my exercises.  I feel really great.  On the other hand, I was able to weigh myself on the scale in the ladies' locker room. I'm 310 lbs, which is just two short of my all-time greatest weight of 312. :(  So I definitely need to make changes, mainly staying away from the vending machines, since I eat pretty well at home, with all the homemade, vegetable-laden food.

Today's agenda

  1. Shower.
  2. Take medicine.
  3. Caffeinate.
  4. Do two loads of laundry.
  5. Go to the optician.
  6. Go to the Rusty Scabbard [a local gaming store that's been around for ages].
  7. Go pick up a couple of books on hold at the library.
  8. Go to the YMCA and work out and then hit the warm water pool during open swim.
  9. Do the game notes.
  10. Dust some bookshelves.
  11. Relax.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

I should be asleep

But I'm not very tired, which is a little odd.  I was pretty active today, walking over 7500 steps, although I did not go to the Y and work out, mainly because I had some errands to run that had to be done today and while I could have gone to open swim after 8:15 pm, that's a little late.  I don't know about exercising that late.  Of course, it's a warm water pool and it's pretty relaxing, so maybe it'll be fine.  I'm definitely going to try to go to the gym Saturday for a much longer time, try the Nu-Step machines and the pool and try to figure out where the sauna is, as that's always nice to end with.  (I did see where the hot tub is. I've never been in one but it looked very inviting.

I was sharing things from my newsfeed on Facebook and apparently, I got share-silly because a pop-up window came up asking me if I was a robot; I had to check the box to continue.  I need to be doing more sharing on this page; I've hardly written anything all summer.  I'm going to take the 'habit' I have on my phone on Habitica (the app that's a productivity one but with avatars and roleplaying game trappings that I've used for years now) and make it a daily, meaning I'll be more likely to think to write.

There are several applications I'm using right now that I'm finding useful for my health, beyond the one that comes with my activity tracker or something like Samsung Health or Google Fit.  I highly recommend them:

Daylio -- This is a mood tracker that I've used now for over 1100 days (I know, I have entries for that many).  Given that I have Bipolar Disorder II, it's been really helpful in seeing how my mood varies.  I'm generally in the good category, so that's nice to see.  It allows you to track activities as well that might contribute to the mood.

PainScale -- This app allows you to track where and how intense your pain is, as well as a journal, keep track of treatments, triggers, and you can also track food to see if what you're eating is contributing.  It keeps track of the weather and activity factors as well.

Ate -- This one is in beta.  It's a visual food diary that has you take a picture of your meal and then answer a few questions that have to do with mindfulness--why did you eat, who did you eat with, where did you eat, etc., and rather than keeping track of nutrients and calories, it asks were you 'on path' or 'off path'.  It also calculates the time between eating.  So instead of working with minutiae, you're getting to the reasons why you eat and how mindfully.  I mentioned it to my therapist, actually, as in addition to cognitive-behavioural therapy she includes mindfulness. I'm seeing her about every three or four weeks.

Okay, I think I will try to go to sleep, maybe listen to some soothing music.  I've been listening to the collaborative album Ed Sheeran put out all day, and I've now got 'South of the Border' stuck in my head.  I like it, don't get me wrong, but it's too damn catchy.

Have a good night.

Sunday, September 22, 2019


On Wednesday, I graduated from aquatherapy (got the shirt to prove it). :)  Now I could go to the pool at Cardinal Hill for $5 a visit and work out there, but that would get pretty expensive pretty quickly if I want to do it two or three days a week, and I'd have to get there by 5:15 pm to get anything done, as the pool closes at 6 pm. I usually get off work at 5 pm--I had a special schedule where I got to come in early and leave early on Tuesdays and Thursdays temporarily, but as we progress into autumn and winter it will be less likely I can do that (I'm very light-sensitive in the morning as far as waking up, which is why I bought an alarm clock that lights up in the morning.)

It has different modes including cycling through colours, an evening mode where it shuts off after a certain time, one that changes colour to do with the humidity and temperature, and then a guided breathing one.  But most importantly, a little before the sound alarm goes off, the light gradually brightens to bright white when it's time to wake up.

Anyway, I talked it over with my therapist and I decided to join the YMCA last weekend.  I was able to get 10% off and no joining fee through work, with everything prorated for September.  I tried to go to the pool last Monday, actually, (only Beaumont YMCA has a warm water pool like the hospital), but the heater was out.  They got it fixed later in the week, though, so yesterday I went and spent some time doing my exercises.  It was during an open swim, so there were a couple of families with small children in it, but I did fine, at least until they were playing with a ball, but I still managed to get all my walking in, most of my leg exercises (I forgot a couple), but did forget to do my arm ones.  I'll do better next time.

On Monday [tomorrow], however, there is a class that I think I'll try to go to that's a basic workout in the pool.  Tuesday I have my first real session of cognitive-behavioural therapy for fibromyalgia.  Wednesday I'm going to try to go to the Y again for open swim and do my exercises, and then again on Saturday.  I hope to make that a standard thing.

Today I'd thought about going because we weren't playing the game, but I'm having a slight reaction to a shingles vaccine [my second dose], where my arm hurts a bit and my joints and muscles are aching a little.  So I didn't quite feel like getting into the pool today.

Anyway, that's what's going on these days with me.  I thought I'd actually sit down and blog for a bit.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

It's been generally a good day, except

I found out that an old acquaintance (not close, but still, one I've known for decades) apparently died a couple of months ago of heart issues. He was my age. There was no memorial. This, on the heels of a former co-worker's death this week from cancer, has me thinking of my own mortality and that of those close to me.

But before we got this news, I took YKWIA out for a birthday Indian buffet at Masala, and it was wonderful.  They even had gulab jamun, which I adore, this time!  We also did some errands.

They're having a tailgating thing at work today (it's near the UK stadium, so it seemed a good opportunity to get my co-workers together), and I was thinking of going, am actually wearing the shirt they'd bought for us, but between the news and the fact that I'm stuffed with Indian food to the point of near torpor, I decided not to go.

I've done my shelf dusting for the day.  I have some laundry to do and the game notes.  Also, I need to take things to the storage unit and put them in there, put away my laundry from last week, make my bed, and generally straighten up my room.

Tonight we're planning on watching Cats, which I have out from the library. I've never seen the musical.

But before I do all that, I really want to take about a 45-minute nap.  So I'll stop here.  Perhaps I'll write later, though.

Monday, August 26, 2019

I'd like to say

That I've been on a planned hiatus, but that wouldn't be true.  I've mostly been accessing the Internet via my phone lately,  and it is a bit of a pain to blog anything of any length with autocorrect,  etc.

So here's a bit of a resolution here, a bit past the middle of the year, to log into the laptop and actually write.

Of course,  I'm writing on the phone right now.  And it's almost 1 am,  so I should put it down and sleep,  as this is the first week of school at university and I'll need to arrive early to deal with parking at UK.

So for now,  good night.

Monday, July 15, 2019


I originally went to Kohl's to return something to Amazon. I didn't get why Kohl's would do that until I got a 25% off coupon for using them to do the return. They had some swimsuits, and given that the pretty blue one I'd ordered is a bit tight, I thought I'd check them out. I found a bottom skirt that was nice and roomy, with a tank top that crisscrosses in the back and I can move in very well. (Mind you, I'd ordered the blue suit in a size up from my regular and it barely fit, especially with trouble around the bosom.  These are my normal size.) They're both black, so even though they're different brands they look good together. The nice thing is between the 25% off sale and the 25% off from Amazon, I got it for half off the total. I'm going to return the other suit to Amazon, since I can move better and it looks better on me. So I'm ready for aquatherapy. Yay!  On the other hand, that means returning the other swimsuit to Amazon via Kohl's, where I'll be very careful about that curb!

On Saturday

I took a pretty bad tumble at Kohl's coming out of the store and crossing the curb. It was one of those gradual ones for the carts and was marked, but I kind of stepped on the slanted part and just went down to the ground. A couple of guys came by and made sure I'd gotten hurt and check if I needed steadying as I got up. Fortunately, I didn't fall into traffic or break my glasses (which would have meant that I couldn't have driven home). Also, I was wearing jeans, so while I came down on my right knee hard, and it is red, it's not bleeding much. My right elbow is scraped up pretty badly. Both palms of my hands are scraped and my left wrist (which is already a jumble of bones, as at some unknown point in my childhood it was broken, according to x-rays from a couple of years ago,) is really hurting.  All the fingers are sore, especially if I make the 'ok' sign. My shoulders are both sore, not from direct hits, but the impact shock. It happened about 12:20 pm and finally about 6:30 I went to the urgent treatment centre for x-rays and to make sure nothing was broken.  I just have a mild sprain in my knee and a bad sprain in my wrist and hand, so I've been taking ibuprofen, icing it, and wearing a brace (the night splint I already had at night, a smaller one during the day).  

As YKWIA says, I am a danger to myself (but not others). I hate being a klutz.

Friday, July 12, 2019


I got the swimsuit yesterday (right after getting my medicine, which had to go to a different pharmacy due to the unavailability of my small independent pharmacy to get that low dosage of Lyrica from the distributor--apparently it's getting ready to go generic and supplies are low, but Kroger has some stockpiled in their warehouses) and driving home in a torrential downpour.  I sat in the car for about 20 minutes while it rained, then it finally broke a bit and I dashed to get the package (which was thankfully plastic, much as I hate the stuff), and then went over to pick a friend up from another friend's and have dinner with them.

So I didn't get to try on the suit until almost 11 pm when we got back.  It was, to put it mildly, interesting.  It does technically fit.  I normally wear a 3X in clothing, or in American sizing, 26-28.  I went for 4X and 28-30 thinking I probably needed some wiggle room.

One, it's from a Chinese company, and apparently, they don't consider that women that size have large breasts.  I had to squeeze my bosom into rather small cups (my bra size is a 48DD).  This was definitely a B cup.  Two, while the bottoms did just fit, the top bunches a bit under my breasts and has to be pulled down.  Plus it's really hard to get into.  But...I can bend over and move fine in it, and it may stretch a bit over time.  So for now, I'll hang onto it.

On the other hand, it occurred to me that I may still have the bright pink swimsuit.  I'm going to check the tubs in my storage unit just to be sure.  It fits better, I think, and even if I keep the other, it wouldn't be bad to have two suits because chlorine does a number on them.

The aquatherapy is supposed to be twice a week for 8-10 weeks at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital.  They have a 5-foot deep pool to do exercises in.  I'm trying to get my boss to adjust my schedule once I've gone to my initial visit so I don't miss work or have to take personal time off.

Dr Abbas also wrote a referral for cognitive behavioural therapy with a psychologist.  According to him, aquatherapy and CBT together reduce fibromyalgia pain about 50%.   That, along with the Lyrica, will hopefully help with the pain.  The Lyrica pills are tiny (they're just 25 mg, the lowest dose they make).   So that'll probably be once a week, so three appointments a week, hopefully, the latest they can get me in.

I'm at work right now, in the break room. I don't clock in for another 15 minutes (and I'm blogging on my phone hotspot, not the hospital's network).  I came in at 7:30 to see how easy it would be to adjust my schedule.  It wasn't too bad.  My main problem is when it gets dark in the morning in the fall and winter.

I'm in the break room, and I stopped by my office and got my fan from my desk, so I'm sitting here with it on.  I'm just always so hot after walking through UK to get here, especially as muggy as it's been here lately.

We're having an employee appreciation pizza party, with door prizes and such.  There was going to be a talent show, but I think that was cancelled.  Anyway, after noon there are no surgeries or anyone in clinic, and we'll shut down.  I may be able to go home early today.  I have a lot of phone calls to make today, especially on offsite imaging requests, scheduling ultrasounds and MRIs.  I'm about a month out on my surgery authorizations (yay!)

Okay, I guess I should pack up and get ready to clock in.  Have a great day!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Being proactive (finally)

When I was about 25 or 26 I was diagnosed by a specialist they brought in at UK's Student Health with fibromyalgia. At the time there were doctors who didn't believe it even existed, and there wasn't much to do about it, except try to stay active to stave off the chronic pain. There's no blood test, and at the time there wasn't much they could do medication-wise. And so I've lived for decades with a lot of pain that limited my activity levels. I finally decided a lot had probably changed since 26 or 27 years ago and it was worth going to a rheumatologist to see if anything can be done. So I went this morning and turns out that I'm doing a lot of things right already. I use my CPAP religiously. I'm on medication that helps with anxiety and depression. I used to do yoga but can't get up from the floor anymore, but he suggested doing chair yoga or modified poses. He also prescribed 8 to 10 weeks aquatherapy and some cognitive-behavioural therapy, both of which studies show reduce pain 50% together with no other treatment. He also put me on a very small dose of a medication, the lowest available given the other meds I'm on, but my pharmacy didn't have it, or Kroger on Tates Creek either. My pharmacy tracked down one that had it (apparently the low dose is not popular). But since it's a controlled substance (but not an opioid) the Kroger pharmacy has to request a new prescription from the doctor. So I can pick it up tomorrow. I'm really hoping all this will help and I can be more active.
Also, when they weighed me I had a crossbody purse on with my phone, etc. in it, and it was already lower than I expected. So I've lost about 8-10 lbs in the last couple of weeks without trying. That was nice.

When I moved away from the apartment, which had a pool that I rarely got in due to having a bright fuschia swimsuit that made me feel like a giant pink blobbie, I got rid of the suit and gave it to Goodwill. So today I ordered a new suit for the aquatherapy. Here's hoping it fits fine and makes me feel less conspicuous than the old one did. I've attached a photo on a model. 
Meanwhile, I have both initial appointments made and I've emailed my boss about tweaking my schedule when I know more about how often I need to go to therapy and when. 

Alright, time for bed. Good night. 


Saturday, July 06, 2019

What losing all my documents in a Windows update last autumn taught me

So last autumn I was one of the people who lost all their documents by upgrading early to the October 2018 update. One thing I did after that was to purchase a 128 GB SD card to put in my computer's slot, where I keep all my documents, pictures, music, etc. I also use Dropbox and an external hard drive. The idea, of course, is that I back up, and frequently, at least once a week, on at least two of those. I did backup to Dropbox before the deletion, but not as frequently, maybe once a month, so I lost a couple of weeks' worth of data. Now I don't have many documents, and they're not earth-shatteringly important, except for things to do with the Cthulhu game that I have been playing weekly since July 1991 (hello, 28 years). So that's the main thing I have to back up. I've gotten it down so I only have to really back up those files I update. My friend, who uses my old desktop and I back up his stuff on an external hard drive, has tens of thousands of documents and another tens of thousands of pictures, along with some videos and lots of e-mail. So, his is much more of a process, as he routinely changes where things are on folders and is constantly editing--again, mostly to do with the game.

I did the latest May update with no problem. It was not pushed out to my computer immediately, as it had been flagged for some reason or other, probably due to my Dell. I knew it would not update with the SD card or any USB media attached, but that's fine, as the whole point of having the card is to lock my documents away at the time of update, so I'd planned to remove them anyway. But all in all, it was a much smoother process.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

I am more than a little tired of rain...

The heavens opened up just as I was leaving work today. The window of the shuttle leaked on the way to the parking lot, leaving the right side of my skirt quite wet, and then on the way to the car, I was absolutely soaked. The picture does not do justice to the sheer amount of water. I was so very wet down to my skin, and that was WITH an umbrella.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019


One more orchid (which has two succulents in separate soil) for the office. I couldn't resist the colour. That brings it to 23 plants. I doubt I have any more room at this point, but I'm beginning to think I really am hoarding plants.

Sunday, June 30, 2019


After waiting since September 2018 I FINALLY got the call saying my number had come up on the waiting list for the shingles vaccine at the Tates Creek Kroger pharmacy (I started out at #164, I think), and I went in today - and for whatever reason they didn't charge me. Six months ago my health insurance wouldn't pay for vaccination at a pharmacy, so I expected to pay $175. Maybe that's changed, or maybe it's because the Little Clinic and medical offices are dealing with backorders, too, or just don't offer it. But yay! I need another in two to six months, and they'll call me when they get it in. :) 

For all those who have experienced the miracle of birth

I salute you, but don't sign me up.

Also, this is great and will no doubt be appreciated by you moms out there...(or anyone else with a sense of humour). It's based on a book by Gill Sims.

BBC Radio 4 Extra: Why Mummy Drinks (Omnibus)

Saturday, June 22, 2019


DC Comics Just Killed Its Vertigo Imprint

Most of the comic I collected were Vertigo titles, including Sandman, The Dreaming, Books of Magic to name a few. And while I didn't read them, I find Hellblazer, Luciferr, iZombie,and Doom Patrol fun to watch in their live-action incarnations.

Friday, June 21, 2019


I love the baby kitten...I love the baby kitten...I love the baby kitten....it's my fault for wearing shorts to bed when I am a convenient way to climb up. He took a nap while we were gone and is very rambunctious at the moment. But wow, I've never had anyone cause me that much pain in such an absolutely adorable manner. And yes, he obviously slid down most of my leg.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

My list got waylaid

by a tiny kitten. I'll work on the other things later. In the meantime, I'm enjoying tiny meows and purring, punctuated by the occasional hissing of the other feline denizens of the house. But so far, everyone's behaved themselves. :) But all that's left is the photos (which I've set the goal of finishing by end of summer, and I'm halfway there already), watering the plants (I can do that tomorrow--it'll give the water I filled up a little more time to outgas), and reading (and I'm educating myself for the purposes of a potential job, and that doesn't close till late July). The bills can wait till tomorrow, as nothing can be mailed out until Monday anyway. So I got the pressing things done, and the plants can wait till tomorrow. So all is good. Plus, kitten!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

This was very interesting

Bill Gates Posts Data Of Causes Of Death In The US, Is Amazed By The Disconnect Between News And Reality

A couple of things gleaned from Facebook that I liked...

Not sure I'll get to the tub of photos today, but...

I'm making progress on the list. I had to rearrange the bed headboard and the nightstands to incorporate the CDs and player back into the room. I've also dusted and rearranged four shelves of books, leaving two shelves until I'm finished with all of the bookshelves in the house. (Mind you, I started dusting two shelves a week when I moved in September 2017). The reason why I did four this week is I got a reprieve from last year because these included Hebrew bibles and a prayer shawl, and I was menstruating. And that's ritually impure in terms of handling sacred objects in Judaism. So there's just the two, but they have a lot of random stuff on them, so my friend's going to help me go through those. But whew, almost finished!

Here are the results of the great CD return:

Agenda for the day

  1. Go to the pharmacy for my roommate's medicine.
  2. Go through the second tub of family photos [I did the first tub last week all at once, surprisingly, and this is the second of two.]
  3. Do game notes.
  4. Four shelves.
  5. Go to two different pet stores for their brand of cat food.
  6. Visit the vet for kitty meds.
  7. Wash the dog blankets and the people bedding.
  8. Incorporate the CD player back into my room along with the CDs I brought from work. I wasn't listening to music that way because I was afraid of disturbing my neighbours--I usually listen to music with Bluetooth headphones on.
  9. Put away my laundry from last weekend.
  10. Water the plants.
  11. Read.
  12. Go over bills.
I keep thinking there's something else. Hmm...oh, relax. Get rest. It's been a rough week.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

There are perks to being a pagan living in a Jewish household

Sure, you have to know the kosher laws and my libations must technically be off the property, but last night's Sabbath dinner was wonderful: tilapia in wine, onions, and herbs, salad, challah, kugel, and asparagus with mint sauce, all very healthy and not very expensive at all, much less than you would pay in a restaurant, and much tastier. I think the cook outdid himself this week. It means he has to go out on the bus to the bakery to get the challah, which is downtown and has odd hours, as I can't because I'm at work and they're closed by the time I get off work, but it is well worth it. But he cooked most of the afternoon, I think and was very tired afterwards, and I cleaned up, and I was in bed by 10 pm.

This makes me so angry

I read about this the other day and was so mad I could not express myself coherently at all.

School Made Six-Year-Old Girl Do 'Cafeteria Walk of Shame,' Return Lunch, Because She Didn't Have Enough Money


Wow, the power one person can make

How One Man Singlehandedly Repopulated a Rare Butterfly Species in His Backyard">How One Man Singlehandedly Repopulated a Rare Butterfly Species in His Backyard

I've always had a fondness for swallowtail butterflies in particular. When the pipevine swallowtail lost habitat in San Francisco, they disappeared from the city. This man created the conditions needed to bring them back. For all that we hear about the destruction of our planet and denizens, this proves that one person's actions can make a difference in terms of fighting extinction.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Really looking forward to

the three-day weekend.  Here's hoping things go well at work (yesterday there were several fires to put out, metaphorically).

After the fiasco last October

when I lost all my documents doing a Windows update, I was somewhat trepidatious about doing the May 2019 update.  But, one thing I changed in the intervening months was that I had put all my documents on an SD card in my laptop, with Dropbox as a backup (the latter had been the case for the documents I lost, and with the exception of a couple of weeks' worth, I saved most of the rest.  Backups are important, people.)  Anyway, I had heard that the update wouldn't install with a USB drive or SD drive because of an issue with remapping the drives, but that if you disconnected the USB or ejected the SD, it should work fine.  Since ejecting the card had been the plan all along, I did so, downloaded the update in about two minutes, and had the whole thing updated within five.  It was the easiest Windows update that I've ever done, and it seems to be working correctly.

I did it this morning because I'd woken up at five and was just awake, and couldn't go back to sleep.  So  I got up, took a shower, got ready, and did the update.  I left the house at about 6:20 am, stopped by Kroger for caffeine, and went into work, getting there about 7 am.  So I  have until 8:30 am to just chill and do what I'd like.  I've gotten my personal e-mail squared away.  I'll check social media and the news.  I'm on my hotspot on my phone rather than the hospital's WiFi because I promised a long time ago not to use the hospital's equipment to blog at all after someone had a conniption over something I'd written during a break at work.  So, it's my equipment, my connexion.

Okay, let's go see what's going on in the world.  I did see on my phone that Teresa May, the prime minister of Britain, has resigned.  I don't care for her policies, or for the idea of Brexit.  Not that it matters, I suppose, given that I'm not British and they don't care about my opinion.  But she certainly was very polarising.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Catta malevolua mortua est

Grumpy Cat, Internet Celebrity With a Piercing Look of Contempt, is Dead at 7

Her real name was Tardar Sauce. Requiescat in pace.

I loved it

'The Big Bang Theory' finale closes with a big dose of heart [contains spoilers] I have only watched 'Big Bang Theory' fairly hit-or-miss throughout its tenure, although I do have several seasons on DVD, and hope to complete my collection. I just don't watch much live television and don't have cable.TV. But...I do love the show. So it was a great delight and a little sadness last night to be over at one of our friend's housing eating Chinese food from Jin Jin and it came on. :)

Monday, May 06, 2019

I've been a little busy lately

Last week was mostly preparation for a colonoscopy on Friday. I won't say it was fun, but it was necessary, and not too bad.

We as a society are much more open about speaking up about colon cancer and screening than we used to be. I have to admit, I never thought about it (I was still fairly young) until  Katie Couric spoke about her husband's cancer and the need for screening colonoscopies.  It's not the most pleasant test in the world, after all--who really wants to be scoped up the butt after a day of clear liquids or more and prep that make you live in the bathroom for hours?  But I have to say a couple of things here, having gone through my second one last week.  One, the scope itself is painless and quick, and if you've done a careful prep, they produce good results for seeing the colon and any polyps or cancerous growths that may be there.  Two, the preps are getting much better.  Five years ago, when I had my first colonoscopy, it wasn't as bad as many had said (it seems preps vary on doctor and patient needs).  This one, while I can't say it was a complete cakewalk, did its job quickly, was easier to get down, and it allowed me to sleep despite having to start at 6 pm the night before for the first part and 3 am for the second.  It is called Suprep, tastes like cherry with just a little saltiness thrown in.  There are two small bottles.  You put one's contents in a cup, add enough cold water for it to be 16 oz., drink it, and then follow with four 8 oz cups of water over the next hour.  Then your system turns to liquid, and after about an hour and a half, you may just want to go on to the bed.  Then you get up five hours before your test and do the same thing again.  I drank a little Diet Sprite in addition, and some more water, to stay hydrated.

By the time I was getting ready to go to my scope, everything was nice and clear, although I was eyeing the bananas on the table like they were ambrosia because I'd only had orange jello, veggie broth, and orange popsicles all day yesterday.  But all the hard work in terms of diet and prep paid off.  My scope went off without a hitch.  Dr Belin and the folks at Colorectal Surgical & Gastroenterology Associates made it an easy experience.  Literally, the only pain I felt was the putting in of my IV [I think I thwarted the nurse, as I'd given blood about a week before so she had to go through my wrist.]  I wasn't sore or anything afterwards.

They found one polyp, which was removed, and that was basically the same as the test I had five years ago.  I assume they'll send that away.  They always give you pictures and everything looked clear.  So I feel good about it.  I was originally told that I should have them every 5-7 years because of the polyp they found on the first one and was all set to put it off to about 7.  It's been 5, but after finding out my dad died of colon cancer, I thought I should have another one.  They're recommending I have one every 5 years now.  After my test, I was communicating with my stepmother on Facebook, and I learned that my paternal grandfather also died of colon cancer, and I came this mouthing to see if the frequency of the test should be changed but it is still five years.

Now if you're still with me, here's the thing.  I have a good friend battling stage IV colon cancer right now  He is in his early 60s.  He never had a colonoscopy screening, despite a family history of a genetic form of colon cancer,  so it wasn't caught early.   My friend's brother, having lost a father and now with his brother.s diagnosis, has to have the scopes every year.  He takes it in stride.  I know people who have good access to healthcare (and one with a personal history of another type of cancer), who are old enough for the test, maybe even a decade or more in, and they won't go because of either the prep, the scope, or the fear of cancer.  Others, like the friend who drove me today, are due for the screening but their health insurance is so high deductible that they can't afford the test.  In a civilised society, that shouldn't be the case.  I'm going to check with her because my understanding was that screening ones have to be done for free as part of the still-hanging-on Affordable Health Care Act.

Please keep the conversation open.  Don't treat colorectal screening and testing like some taboo.  Some still do.  Encourage your loved ones to get tested.  Get the test if you are 50 or over, or make a case with your insurance if you have any family history if you are younger.  Prevention really is the key.  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  Read up on colorectal cancer and how to prevent it. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

As someone with a love of history

I cannot express the feeling of loss  produced in me while I watched the images of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burning and collapsing. 800 years of history, beauty, art, and architecture were burnt away in mere hours. My condolences to the people of France, but it is a great loss for the world.


The thing that struck me the most this week (other than the footage today of Notre Dame burning, which left me crying and sick to my stomach at work today) was that on Saturday I went to the grocery and the man in line ahead of me, who was older, was getting items that obviously indicated he lived alone-single meals and canned goods, mostly, things that could be heated up easily without actually cooking. He was using an EBT card (Food Stamps) and was having trouble because he didn't have enough on it. The cashier checked his balance and he thought she'd run his card, so he started to use his debit card for the balance, which wasn't going through because he didn't know his PIN and the chip was confusing him. I realised what was going on and asked if he was trying to run the EBT first, because he was using the wrong card, and the cashier had him swipe his EBT card, leaving a five dollar balance, but he couldn't get that debit card to work to save his life. It had been about ten minutes. At first I was a little annoyed at the inconvenience, but as it went on I really felt bad for him. The technology was thoroughly confusing and thwarting him. I told the cashier that if it didn't go through in the next attempt to put it on my order, which surprised her. Things have been tight for me as of late, but it was only $5, after all. Finally, with two cashiers and a bagger helping, they got it to go through. He went on his way, never realising that I'd tried to help, and that was fine. But it was like looking at my potential future. He was alone, a little doddering, at the end of his monthly benefit, trying to make ends meet, and if he'd used the wrong card, that might have been the money for his electric bill or something. I'm sure for him the simple act of shopping for groceries was both frustrating and embarrassing, given the all the hoops he needed to negotiate, for which he was woefully unprepared. I thought of how I would have felt. It was very sobering. I'm 52 now and much more conscious of getting old than I used to be. I could see myself like that in 20 years.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

By the way, I was able to get the car fixed

It took $163.00, $65 of which was the tow, so that wasn't that bad.  It left me with very little until payday, but still, it's wonderful to have a working car again.  I used it to do errands this weekend, getting medicine for a friend from the pharmacy and getting a few things at the store. On Saturday I also cleaned and organised it, vacuuming and detailing it. I need to wash it, as it's very grimy.

I loaded up my car with my winter clothes and library books yesterday and then took the tubs to the storage unit and the books to the library. There were only two tubs (I don't have a huge number of clothes). I have only four pairs of shoes, including house shoes, to put things on perspective.

Friday, April 12, 2019

So yesterday went better than I thought it would

After work one of my friends and co-workers, Feliz, took me to the credit union, which was half a block from where she parks her car, and then out to PetSmart at Brannon Crossing to get some food for the kitten.  While we were there, I got some Gumbo Ya Ya for dinner to bring home and grabbed a few things from Kroger, and then she took me home. I'm very grateful.  I used to take her home often when she didn't have a car, so that worked out well.

Today I'm going to try to get the car fixed.  They've just opened.  I'm going to call Kenny at Mitch's Auto, get a tow truck over to the house, where the car is unlocked and the key is with YKWIA, and then see how bad it is quoted.  If it's just a hose, it may be very cheap.  If it's more, well, we'll see.  I had a PTO request in for today for a now-rescheduled appointment where I was leaving at 3 pm anyway, so I can leave here and get over there to get the car (assuming I can get it fixed),

Okay, I just called YKWIA to make sure he's awake, and Kenny to get the ball running with the car. Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I hadn't realised how long it's been since I posted

It's been a little busy.   The 30th of March YKWIA, Brenda, and I all went out to Masala for a birthday buffet.   I had my actual birthday on Tuesday, April 2nd, and while it was just another day at work, it all went well.  Last weekend Brenda and I went to the Central Kentucky Home and Garden Show, which was all well and good, but we were disappointed in the sheer lack of garden stuff (there was a plant sale of mostly generic geraniums and a few plants at a few booths, out of three major arenas).  But hey, it was free, as we got coupons out of one of those coupon envelopes you get in your junk mail that turned out to actually be useful.

My car has a vacuum leak and has been getting steadily worse.  Yesterday I went to pick up my contact lenses from the optometrist, and the car died as I pulled into my parking spot--not just idling at a light or something.  So today I'm on the bus.  Not sure how to get all I need to get done today, but I'll try.  But even though I came a little early I'd better get off of here and clock in, as it's just a few minutes away.  I'll try to write later.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Got my office (finally) just like I want it

So I had the parking in the back of the building on Monday and brought in another little bookshelf and the prints I won at auction, and the latter have been put on the wall.  Those, along with what I had, the plants, and the little radio/CD player, mean I have a bit of a jungle to de-stress my environment, can play music quietly, and overall counteract the more hectic parts of my job.

I'm very fortunate to have an office of my own (it's due to the reams of patient information I deal with and the phone calls I make to insurance), and it's a purple office, which is a plus, with lovely afternoon light.  I'm getting better at taking pictures without any patient information at all, I must say.  My desk itself has lots of cubbies to separate things, a computer, a scanner, and a calendar--very productive and not full of knick-knacks.

Here's what it looks like now:

Oops, got to go clock in.  I've been on my phone hotspot and I need to shut down and get going with my day.  Have a great day!

Monday, March 25, 2019


Got the card catalogue home from the old hospital attic with the help of friends and got it set up in the study and cleaned up. So happy! I've been bugging materials management for it for at least seven years and recently won it in a silent auction. It's nice to have a piece of my old library in the house.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Up early again

This time I just got up at my ideal time (6:30 am) and I happen to get finished getting ready early and decided to come on in and have some quiet time before work.  The quiet time yesterday really helped me get through a day where I had two MRIs to schedule within 48 hours (one post-op), prepared for and went to our weekly admissions meeting, submitted several surgeries and checked a slew of others for pre-authorization requirements, and generally hit the ground running at 8:30 am and worked my butt off up to 5 pm, on a very crazy day.  Here's hoping today will be a little quieter,  I still have a lot to do (I always do, as there are lots of details in my job), but hopefully, I won't feel like I'm putting fires out all day.  On the other hand, I am handling the stress of my job much better, I think, beyond some stress eating, and I'm working on that.

I went and picked up the prints and the VCR/DVD yesterday.  The prints are still in the car, as I should get the back parking lot parking lottery either Friday or Monday, and I can bring them in and have maintenance hang them on my office wall.

Whoops, better go clock in.  I've been on my phone hotspot in the break room and chatting with a co-worker!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

So I did the math

and this is actually true, putting things into perspective.  And of course, the death toll has risen since then.  Not sure where it originated from.  It was shared from a Facebook account for a Blair Thomas Greenem.

Happy Equinox!

In the northern hemisphere, where I live, today is the first day of Spring and also Ostara.  For folks in the southern hemisphere, happy Autumn.  But I, for one, and just glad it'll be getting warmer soon.  It's supposed to be in the 50s today but get colder for the next couple.  The weather this weekend is supposed to be sunny, which is very good, as I have to move a piece of furniture.

As you know, the hospital I work at moved both in terms of model and location a couple of years ago, and we were recently given the opportunity to bid on items at the old place we'd like in a silent auction.  I bid on four items, including one I've been bugging materials management about for about five years.  I'm going to pick up the small stuff today and the big one on Sunday with the help of a friend with a truck.  Here's my loot:

It's purple! And a garden...

This was above my desk at the old building.  It's a Ray Harm print of an indigo bunting.

Yes, I still have VHS tapes.  This VHS/DVD player should help with that.

And finally, I got my card catalogue!!! Whoopee!