Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, May 29, 2020


This is my last day off before returning to my normal schedule on Monday. I'm feeling much better, despite about four hours' sleep. I took my medicine right after I woke up, got some cereal, started the caffeination process, etc. So far I've done two loads of laundry, put two hampers of laundry away, made my bed sans sheets (I've got some on the way but the first lot got lost, so at the moment I only have one set of sheets and pillowcases and I plan to launder those, so in the meantime, the duvet and other pillows are on the bed hiding the mattress cover from curious kitties. I've also washed my hair, which always makes me feel better. I've made sure the table linens are ready for tonight, and the bread is ready, of course. I've been listening to music (Lewis Capaldi) while I've been working; I think now I'm going to read and maybe study for a bit.

What a day

I had my first attempt to use the dough setting on my machine, followed by punching it down, one more knead by hand, my first try at braiding, brushing with an egg mixture, and baking for 25 minutes. The first picture is the braided dough before baking, the second is the final result. It was a recipe that did the two loaves I needed at once. I'm really looking forward to tasting it tomorrow. I even put a few sesame seeds on top to be fancy.

The bread was my crowning achievement for the day, along with getting in some information on a website in a timely fashion. Otherwise, I managed to 1) forget to take any of my medicine, oral or injected, 2) had my blood sugar fly up to the 340s as a result, 3) received a kitchen timer in the mail that didn't work per the instructions so rather than just returning it I unscrewed and fiddled with it most of the day, figuring out how to put it back together but unable physically to do so, and getting mightily frustrated, to the point where I just threw it away, since I couldn't return it, 3) slept most of the rest of the day, 4) had a recurring anxiety dream which began with Dungeons & Dragons (which oddly enough, as a gamer, I've never played) in the Patterson Office Tower at the University of Kentucky, and ended with a full-out musical number with Nancy Drew in that location.
I get a little off when my medicine's off. The dream was my anxiety, I was more frustrated than normal, my blood sugar was affecting my thinking and in general, I was both anxious and depressed.
But I made good bread, so that's going to be my takeaway. In the meantime I've taken all the meds I can at night (ADHD and water pill/potassium are the exceptions, as they're a morning thing). I've also had a bit too much caffeine today, and it's late, 1:35 am and I'm both tired and awake. I watched some 'Designing Women' with my roommate just now, though, so I feel a little better.
That timer was sort of a metaphor of my day. Non-operational, then wound too tightly, and you take me apart and the spring explodes and you lose the screws.

Sunday, May 17, 2020


Our project for today: cutting down the HUGE honeysuckles that take up about 1/4 of the backyard. They have always been the place the dog poops (she's shy) and we hate doing it, but the dogs have been digging behind there at the fence. The challenge is we're doing it with a pair of loppers, him lopping and me dragging branches. The new dog sees nothing wrong with it and seems to just be happy being out there with us. The older dog is decidedly not happy we're messing with her yard. We may be about halfway through after 45 minutes to an hour with this part (there's also the getting twine and tying them into bundles so they can go to the curb). Now to get water and a rest break. It's about 6 big honeysuckles.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Today was rather busy

1) watched several episodes of different shows : a) Designing Women, b) Bless This Mess (3 episodes), c) The Great, d) Rizzoli & Isles, and e) Grimm.
2) totally redid my closet, taking out the intermediate clothes to take to storage as erk a the long organiser, rolling all my tops into two short hanging organisers with two sections each, hanging my purses and lunch bags, and putting my hamper underneath, and organising the shelf above. This is a small entry closet, so space is at a premium. I put away any remaining laundry, gathered clothes I'd pulled out that are for cooler weather, and put them into two plastic bags, along with the six-compartment organiser, to take to my storage unit.
3) cleaned the bathroom and completely emptied and refilled the cat boxes as we have an outdoor project planned for tomorrow so I did some Sunday chores today. 
4) watered all the plants inside and out. 
5) did the dishes.
6) dusted my DVDs and the shelf above them (I do two shelves a week, rotating throughout the house).

Not too bad, right?

Two things

First, I got my test results by 8 pm tonight, which was pretty speedy, and yes, I am negative, but of course, that just means right now.  Still, it will help going forward at work.

Second, while I was at Kroger this morning I looked at their plants.  You see, we have a hook next to the front door and last year midway through the season I got some impatiens that did well in the morning sun.  Granted, I've only looked at plants at the grocery because I was out making essential trips, but I haven't seen any impatiens or other part-sun/part-shade plants.  Everything has been petunias or geraniums or the like.  So today I saw a Fuschia plant tucked in with everything else, a type I hadn't seen before. I don't have a great deal of luck with them, as I've tried twice and gotten whiteflies each time, but also tried to raise them as a houseplant rather than outdoors.  I decided to give it a shot, especially as they were $17 for a very decent size.

Here is the plant in its place by the door, both the whole hanging plant and a close-up.  These are more slender and elongated than some I've seen, and it's more the bushy rather than trailing sort, which I thought odd in a hanging plant, but oh, well.  As a plus, they're not toxic to animals as near as I can discover--they're not on the ASPCA list at all, for example.

Friday, May 15, 2020

I haven't been good about

writing lately. I have meant to blog and just haven't. I'm home again on my week off due to COVID-19. Most people are starting back at work on Monday, but because of my diabetes and asthma I am in the vulnerable category, so I'll be going back full-time on June 1st. That means I'll go back the 20th-26th (but of course Memorial Day is a holiday), then be off for three days, and then back for good, so long as things don't change with a spike or anything.

Kentucky is doing pretty well about opening slowly.  We've been at a plateau, even decline, and testing has ramped up significantly better than it was even a month ago.

The last two days of being off I haven't done much, as I've just felt a little blah. I'm having horrible nightmares at night, too.  So I guess that's from anxiety.  Today was better.  I:

  1. Went to Kroger [masked] to get some soda (so I do actually have some caffeine in my system, which has been part of the problem and a few things we needed.  I looked for disinfecting wipes without success but found the Kroger version of the multi-purpose cleaner that has similar disinfecting properties that can be used with paper towels.  Everything I bring into the house gets disinfected if it can be, you see, along with my keys, the door, etc.
  2. Went to Fresh Market [also masked, of course] to get a couple of loaves of challah.  Here's the story behind that.  So last week I had gone back to work on Wednesday and Thursday and I'd been pretty busy, all things considered.  Plus we had worked on a couple of projects at home, and in it all, I'd forgotten to make bread for Sabbath, something I remembered early Friday morning as I dressed for work.  After work, I ran to Fresh Market to at the very least try to find a couple of brioche loaves, but they did have challah, nicely braided, and I was saved.  Fast forward to this week.  This week I was determined I would not have an ADHD moment and so on Wednesday I was going to do my regular chores like dishes and cat boxes, but definitely went to to the bread first.  I got the bread maker down and looked inside, and there was no paddle (kneading blade).  None.  And then I remembered.  The last time I'd made bread, two weeks before, it had not done well.  My bread comes out pretty evenly decent, but occasionally I get one that doesn't rise well and doesn't even mix right.  The one I got was a little square with lots of flour in the bottom, and not suitable for human (or even dog) consumption, so I threw it away.  Rarely, with this machine, the paddle stays in the bread.  I never checked.  Never thought.  Just chucked the sad bread and went on with what I'd made already.  Hence, I threw away the paddle something like two weeks ago.  It's in a landfill, irretrievable.  So I went online and found a suitable replacement (it says it will fit my model) from a storefront on eCrater (I'd never heard of them).  Anyway, it's ordered, so it should be here in about a week, but hasn't shipped yet, and we needed challah in the short term, so Fresh Market was the place to go, and I got their last two loaves.  (It was $10 for two loaves of bread, but the paddle itself was $20 and if it works, will get me back to making loaves cheaply).  In recent weeks I have found bread flour with difficulty and the help of co-workers, ordered instant yeast from Amazon (a whole pound), and generally have had to work hard at getting what I need for the bread. But I was all set, and then no paddle. :(  Oh, and instant yeast is apparently different from active dry yeast in that active dry yeast has some ascorbic acid in it.  I have a loaf booster I use for wheat bread that has that in it, so I'm going to use that when I can bake again.  The booster has soy lecithin and ginger in it, too.  Anyway, that's the bread saga.
  3. I came home, caffeinated, and had some cereal I'd gotten.  Then I went to be tested through a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 here in Lexington at Walgreens on Executive Dr near Hamburg.  It was well done.  None of my things--ID, etc. ever left the car.  A cart with the swab in a bleached box was placed near me so I could take out the swab (in its wrapper), swab each nostril for at least 3 seconds, replace the swab in the wrapper, and put it back in the box, where it was wheeled away after things were explained further to me.  All the people working there had gloves and masks, and my window remained up except when they were talking to me, whereupon they asked me to just roll it down for an inch or two so I could hear them.  The only time my window was down completely was to get the swab and replace it in the box, and they stood way back. I should know by tomorrow but most people get an e-mail by 8 pm the night they take the test. I'm self-quarantining (that's why I got my stuff prior to that, which yes, might be bad I guess if I am positive, but I am asymptomatic, and really got it primarily in anticipating going back to work, as they'd asked us to.
  4. Since I've been home I've swept and mopped the kitchen and bath and cleaned two of my masks and my roommate's mask.
It's a gorgeous day with a nice breeze. We have the windows open.  The dog has been outside most of the day as she has wanted to stay out, electing to go lie down in the grass and sunbathe.  We check periodically to see if she wants to come in to get some water or anything, but she hasn't wanted to.

We have a new member of the family, though, a male dog my roommate adopted on Sunday.  He's a chocolate Labrador mix, also probably with a little Pit Bull given his head.  His eyes are a beautiful honey colour, whereas the other, who is also the same mix, is blonde with dark eyes.  He looks for all the world like a chocolate Lab puppy, smaller than her, although he's about two years old per the humane society.  He's brought out the maternal in her, and they've gotten along well, although despite being fixed he has tried to mount her a bit and she's discouraged him strongly.  She's much calmer in general though.  He also plays with the kitten, who is now 14 lbs and is rougher than the other with him, so we're keeping an eye on things.  He has tried to play with the older cat and discovered that that is not a good idea.  He loves comfort.  He came from an abusive situation and has a couple of scars.  But he seems really gentle and also seems really happy here.  He has chewed the head off of a stuffed mousie that is the kitten's, and is totally not interested in balls, although the Nylabone was appreciated.  Neither dog understands they are part retriever, but he is fascinated with birds and chases them.  I do think he's had soft stuffed toys, though, so I'm keeping my teddy bear up, as he seemed very interested in that.

So there are two people, two cats, and two dogs in the house.  Everyone seems to be doing pretty well with one another.

So I've got the weekend and then Monday and Tuesday before I go back this time.  I'm going to try to stay caffeinated so I'm actually productive.  And yes, I'm going to try to remember to write.

Hope you are having a good week.  I'll sign off for now. :)

Monday, May 04, 2020

Another one

I've never had a professional manicure or pedicure in my life, and I just get my haircuts (without colouring) at Supercuts or Great Clips [and I'm sure it shows], so I don't get the urge to go back to normal in terms of primping. But I found this hilarious.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

How I'm doing #HealthyatHome

So I'm about two-thirds of the way through my third 'week off' due to Coronavirus, as I alternate being at work for a week and a week off. The first couple of weeks off I used personal time off, but I was rapidly using that to try to deal with it, but this time I broke down and applied for unemployment benefits since my hours were reduced by half. Since that could take awhile, I'm not sure how financially that will work out. It seemed a better idea since I'm not sure how long we'll be operating on this plan. The governor is opening things up very slowly, starting with healthcare, but it could take some time to get back up to normal levels, and even so, we need to do it gradually to protect patients and staff.

I'm actually getting ready to listen to Governor Beshear in just a couple of minutes. His 5 o'clock briefings have become part of the routine for many Kentuckians, as it is carried on TV, radio, and online in many media settings. He actually took off yesterday for the first time since this began with Kentucky's first case.

I've been home except for going to the grocery, pharmacy, or pet food store. Yesterday I did some re-potting of plants. Two friends, Brenda and Feliz, dropped off plants for me in a socially distanced way, where I didn't get out of the house. Brenda gave us a hyssop plant and a dill plant. Feliz had some really tiny cherry tomato and jalapeño plants, just sprouted, and I put them in pots, which I'll have to re-pot as they're going to get bigger, I just got them out of the cups they were in. I also potted up two African violets I got at the grocery during a run for essentials.

I also have a new orchid blooming:

So my bedroom is full of plants:

Shopping in the age of Coronavirus

If you see price gouging on Amazon, you can use the report incorrect product information link and then choose other product information to get to price issues. This is what I found today while searching for the bread yeast I use. Four stores I tried did not have any yeast whatsoever, so I thought I'd try Amazon. $50 for a 4 oz. jar that usually runs about $5.50 is ridiculous and is obviously price gouging, and I've reported it to Amazon.