Book List 2014

1.  A Clash of Kings, George RR Martin
2.  A Storm of Swords George RR Martin
3.  A Feast for Crows George RR Martin
4.  My Own Hearts Blood, Diana Gabaldon
5.  Nickel And Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
6.   A Dance with Dragons George RR Martin
7.  NOS4A2 Joe Hill
Wow, another year where I barely read 5 books. Admittedly though, they were all very large, thick books at least!


Seems Like Old Times

I don’t always miss blogging, but I do more lately than I have in the past few years. The past few weeks have found me at the computer for at least an entire day of the weekend (my weekends are 3 days again, but my new job is only 32 hours a week, so I get the 3 days off, but it’s paid for with lower income – especially since the new job pays about half per hour than the old one- ) The weather lately has been bad enough, at least one day out of the 4 I work, that I miss work & so make it up from home, some on the day I miss & some more on the weekend. 3 or 4 hours at a time isn’t so bad & once I’ve been sitting here that long, Pinterest or Facebook sucks out most of the rest of the day from me without my even really noticing or minding (much)
The new job is cool, medical billing & office management for a very small doctor’s office, the doctor, one physician’s assistant, a medical assistant, a receptionist, myself all work 32 hours per week & we have one part time billing specialist who comes in most weeks one or two days, but she lives down a mountain from the office so sometimes even rain will keep her home. She’s got 3 kids, all born at nearly the same intervals as my kids were but where my youngest is now 14, her oldest is 14, so she’s got to worry about day care & school schedules and so doesn’t come in or works from home quite a bit just for the convenience. I do like the new job a lot more than the old one (except for the paychecks- although they have their perks in that we get paid weekly instead of every other week at the doctor’s office- I do love money coming in every week- even if it’s small amounts!)
What is going on with me isn’t really what I had planned to blog about, it was more about how long it can take me to “gear up” to a blog post now, it used to be I wrote at least 2 or 3 paragraphs every single night before going to sleep. Nearly daily, if not daily, I’d write & save it to continue the next night. Now I’ve got drafts sitting which are 3-4 months old, I mean to finish them, but they give me more trouble, it’s like pulling teeth to get the right words out, I think it may be more that I’m choosing the words a little more carefully than before, and at least one blog post, an in memoriam for a friend who died last summer is just hard to write, I’d known him 20+ years, through many different situations and stages in both of our lives and it’s slow going to write about that. I still haven’t even decided if that’s going to be a public or a private post, because I do private stuff too, and it’s just as difficult to write those too. Even though it seems to me it should be easier, because I don’t intend anyone to ever read the private ones, unless I die of course, then heaven knows what will happen to them, or who may read them but it won’t be my problem anymore!
So I’m still thinking about writing, I’m feeling a bit more interested in it lately, I keep telling myself after over a year on this 32 hour a week schedule, I ought to be doing more than facebooking & embroidering with all this spare time I’ve got now!

2013 The Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Lots of things, most relating to my job, I’ve learned a lot “on the fly” about medical billing, finances, payroll & multiple computer programs, all of which is useful knowledge.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well I had said I would blog again more, that didn’t happen, the healthier thing, well I certainly feel better than I did last year, but I haven’t lost any weight so in the eyes of most, I’m not any healthier
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one specifically close to me did but through work I see a few tiny babies occasionally now, which is always fun.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
yes, a friend of 20+ years died in August, I’m ok with it but his loss has popped out at me in a lot of weird ways since then.
5. What countries did you visit?
No other countries, I did leave Virginia, but only to go to North Carolina & pick my mother up at the airport in Charlotte, then to take her back there a week later after her visit in August, (the friend who died, did so while my mother was here which made for a very weird week in general)
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Money again.
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 3 when Eric died, and the next day at Lois & Av’s for a cook out, with friends & family who knew Eric, plus my mother being there, that day was especially surreal. Also the holidays were memorable this year with Lois, Av & Cam of course.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I don’t think I really had one, maybe managing all the new challenges at the new job without losing my mind?
9. What was your biggest failure?
I do wish the job was going better, a small family practice Dr’s office is a hard business to run in this day & age.
10. What was the best thing you bought?
I like  my new smart phone better than my old one, it was free with my bonus points from U. S. Cellular though, so I didn’t exactly buy it.
11. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I’m very proud that Cameron (now 14) did the school marching and concert band all through the fall very well.
12. Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted?
Congress and especially the congressman for my own district Morgan Griffith of VA I truly hope 2014 is the year we get rid of the do-nothing obstructionists.
13. What song will always remind you of 2013
pfffttt….. “What does the Fox Say” lol.
14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Read, received money
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Take verbal abuse, wait.
16. Did you fall in love in 2013?
17. What was your favorite TV program?
Sons of Anarchy
18. What was the best book you read?
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (also loved the second book in the series & am awaiting the third & final book this year)
19. What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?
financial solvency
20. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012
I tried to balance the teal, blue, green trend I’ve been on for a few years with a bit more purple.
21. What kept you sane?
Melatonin, at the least, no matter what chaos was going on, at home, at work, in the world around me, at least I could guarantee myself a good nights sleep every night.
22. Who did you miss?
Eric who died in August, and sort of because of his death, my father more, they were both Capricorns & when I missed my father I would often talk to Eric because he was analytical & thought about interesting, abstract concepts like my father did. Now I don’t really have anyone like that to talk to in my life (Lois’ boyfriend Av’s dad is similar, but I’m a little intimidated by him still)
23. Who was the best new person you met?
I like Cameron’s newest & closest friend’s mom pretty well. We share a Sons of Anarchy obsession so that’s something.
24. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2013
Keep your friends close because you never know when you’ll see them again.
25. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ I got nothin’

Booklist 2013

1. South of Broad by Pat Conroy

2. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

3. The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling

4. All Souls by Deborah Harkness

5. The Templar Salvation by Raymond Khoury

5. The Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

6. A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

Really? 6 books is all I read this year? That is crazy, it’s mostly a by-product of not working a job with a lunch, I eat at my desk & keep working through, it I didn’t I’d be at work until 6:30 every night & that’s just too long! There’s also the embroidery obsession of course, that takes up a lot of free time I might otherwise read during.  I think I need a New Year’s Resolution to read more this year.

2012 The Year in Review

Ok, so I know I don’t write on this blog much at all anymore, I felt it had become a litany of all which was wrong with my life in past years & had abandoned it as a bad idea because it wasn’t really going anywhere. I’m going to try to start writing here again in the next few months and I thought a 2012 year in review would be as good a place as any to start.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Spent time in the Hospital & was very sick & weak.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I had no resolutions in 2012, I was barely conscious at the beginning of the year.
My only resolutions are about trying to get healthier & maybe blogging a little more.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope, still not a grannie at 44.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No deaths to report this year either.

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn’t even leave the state of VA in 2012.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Money and a vehicle which works well.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 15 2012 is the day my job @ Dish ended. I haven’t missed it in the least since I’ve been gone although I do wish I could have continued at that rate of pay.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I’m excited that I found a new job in less than a week, but I know that was more about coincidence & being in the right place at the right time than any skill or achievement on my part.
I am happy that I haven’t ended up back in the hospital or seriously ill again though.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I found out in July that I’m borderline Diabetic now & I’ve done poorly at controlling that by my own estimation.

10. What was the best thing you bought?
I found out at the last minute that my medical bills could be claimed on my taxes & so got an unexpectedly large tax refund in early April & I replaced both my kitchen stove & washing machine, both of which have been absolutely awesome to have & use this year!

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I don’t really know. Lois & Av have been somewhat helpful but it’s not often done with good cheer on Lois’ part. Cam & I go back & forth between loving & hating one another, he being 13 now has changed a lot of things, including him going to rage more often & being a lot lazier & less willing to be helpful around the house or even pick up after himself.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted?
The perpetrator of the Newtown CT school shootings, IDK his name & refuse to learn it.

13. What song will always remind you of 2012
Funny how the songs which occur to me aren’t songs from the actual year. This year would probably be “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald or If You Could Read My Mind” both sung by Gordon Lightfoot. IDK why but I’ve been obsessed with both songs for months.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Saved money while I was making nearly $20. per hour.


15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Felt physically ill, weak & exhausted.

16. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Har de har har.

17. What was your favorite TV program?
I think I stopped blogging regularly right around the time I became obsessed with Sons of Anarchy but that one has to win hands down for what would be (If I’d been keeping up with the blog) the 4th year straight.

18. What was the best book you read?
Ananzi Boys by Neil Gaiman.
I went on a serious Gaiman kick this year & this is the book (albeit on CD initially) that started me on that kick.

19. What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?
If when they finally fired me @ Dish I hadn’t been so completely overwhelmed that it was actually happening after 11 years & 3 months, and I had been able to yell something obnoxious on my way out of the building or say something about my boss’ hypocrisy. 

20. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012
1. it fits
2. Warm when it’s cold
3. Cool when it’s hot

21. What kept you sane?
my smart phone, isn’t that sad?

22. Who did you miss?
Both my 16 year old who lives with her dad out of state & my grandmother, deceased 6 years now.

23. Who was the best new person you met?
I did Jury duty the week after I was fired & I met quite a few very nice people there, the new job hasn’t exactly yielded any new friends as I was fairly well acquainted with the people who worked there already as I’ve been seeing this same doctor for 12 or 13 years.

24. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2012
The Only constant is change, embrace it and go with the flow, it’s much easier than railing & fighting against it. When the universe says change, just go with it.

25. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
What a tale my thoughts would tell.

Picture 1 Cameron, my 13 year old on Christmas eve.
Picture 2 Lois & her boyfriend Av on Christmas day

IMAG0566 IMAG0587


booklist 2012

1. The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
2. Stationary Bicycle by Steven King
3. Flight by Sherman Alexie
4. The Emperor’s Tomb by Steve Berry
5. Ananzi Boys by Neil Gaiman
6. I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crossley
7. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
8. Just After Sunset by Stephen King
9. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
10. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
11. Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
12. Unimaginable Zero Summer by Leslie Stella
13. The Patriot by Stephen Molstad & Dean Patriot Devlin
Weird year, I haven’t read very much at all I’m afraid & the CD player breaking in my truck means I haven’t listened to many books on tape at all either.

Is there anybody…..out there?

Wow! It has been quite awhile since I’ve been here, all the pingbacks to the year in review meme from 2007 sort of drew me in. I’m considering doing that meme again, but so many things have changed, I’m not sure it would make much sense.
I still have my house, due to cutbacks @ my work we’ve gone from mandatory overtime to them asking us to come in late, leave early & take long lunches. Financially this is not a good thing at all. Which is why I say still have my house, it’s been touch & go the last 2-3 years, which is one of the reasons I haven’t written much, since I believe in the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” style of blogging.

My oldest, Lois, now that she’s a) over 18 & b) doesn’t live with us anymore, is living in her boyfriend’s grandfather’s home, (the grandfather died 18 months ago & wanted his grandson & Lois to have the house, it took over a year to get the BF’s family to all agree they could live there. They moved in this November & received a kitten from me & a puppy from a friend of hers. The house is a beautiful Virginia farmhouse, big cedar trees all around the house & lots of land which is also shared by other members of the BF’s family, their houses are distant from the big house, but at night they can see the other houses lights. After working at the local nursing home & the local grocery store she is now working at my company taking calls from “people who are way too involved with their TVs” as our family doctor calls what I do for a living.

18 months ago the ex asked to have the 2 younger kids come visit him for a month during the summer. I reluctantly agreed, at the end of the month, my middle daughter (now 15) decided she wanted to stay in Oregon with her dad & step mom. I wasn’t ecstatic about this, but at 14 (which is how old she was at the time) she really has the option through the courts to choose who she lives with. So I didn’t feel like I could say no. She’s still there now & seems to enjoy it up there.

My youngest, Mr 12 now, is still with me, basically he has both upstairs rooms & actually hasn’t even moved all of his stuff out of his downstairs bedroom (after nearly 3 months of having Lois’ old bedroom upstairs) I want him to move his stuff out of the downstairs room so I can make it a guest room/craft room, not that I have much of anything to go in the room yet, but I’m hoping to find some stuff for it soon.

I’ve been very frustrated with work, though my job title equates to level 4 advanced technical support & I can’t complain at all about my hourly wage, my group as a whole has the worst schedule options in the building. No options for the whole weekend off (really not that important to me, but I wouldn’t mind having just 1 day of the weekend off) no options any longer to work 4 ten hour days, which is my favorite type of schedule (54 miles a day round trip to go to work & come home, working 4 days can be much cheaper) the people who come in the door knowing nothing get options for schedules which I would kill for! This makes me rather crazy.

Although considering what else has been going on in my life, I’m not too valuable to the company. In November Mr 12 & I both got a cold. He kicked it in 5 or 6 days, I just kept getting sicker & sicker. After 3 weeks, in which I got sicker & sicker, going from walking 100+ yards from the parking lot to my desk at work without thinking about it in the least to being unable to walk more than 5-7 feet without having to stop & get my breath back, I went to the doctors. She decided I had pneumonia & found I was seriously anemic. (Caused by the lengthy & heavy periods I’ve had for the past 3+ years very likely, we had dealt with this issue somewhat back in November when she prescribed birth contol pills as I could not afford the surgical options available to me) so she gave me a b-12 shot, antibiotics, an inhaler with albuterol in it & some free iron pills to help with the anemia.
So all was ok, although I was still too sick to work, for the next 5 days. Then when I went to use the bathroom before bed on Sunday night 12/18, I passed out in the bathroom. I passed out 4 more times just getting back to the living room. I was able to yell loudly enough to wake up Mr 12 & he helped me back to the chair I usually sit in, in the living room. I slept in the chair that night & Mr 12 slept on the couch. The next day I called Lois on her break at work & I told her what was going on, she left work, I called the doctor’s office & told them what had been going on, they insisted I needed to call the rescue squad & have them take me to the hospital. With serious convincing from Lois, I did so & then spent 15 days in the hospital. They admitted me due to the anemia, dehydratio@n, the rapid heart beat & inability to breathe if I tried to walk or, at that point, even stand.
They quickly found that it wasn’t pneumonia, I had blood clots in both my legs & my lungs. This is something which can happen when you take the pill & smoke but I don’t smoke & never have. They put a screen in me to keep more clots from moving up into my lungs, then decided to do auterine oblation, which should put a stop to my heavy periods for awhile, maybe as much as 5 years, which, hopefully will take me to menopause.
When they tried to wake me up after the surgery I was unable to breathe on my own. They put a breathing tube in & airlifted me to the bigger hospital down in Roanoke. I was in the ICU for 6 days, of which, I only remember the last day. 5 days, from the time I went under for the surgery on 12/21 to the day after Christmas I don’t remember a thing.
Weirder still, Lois tells me that I kept trying to pull the breathing tube out & when I did accept it & Lois was there, I was communicating with her through the sign language alphabet. Lois says I was making sense, asking for Mr 12, asking if she was out of work on her own say so or if work let her go as a money saving thing. However, I don’t remember that at all! I spent a little more than a week in the general hospital getting strength back & walking again. Although I was out for awhile, I surprised the nurses & the physical therapy people because although I was a little wobbly at first I didn’t need any actual therapy to walk, I just started with like 2 steps between the bed & chair & built up each day until the last 3 days I was “allowed” to go to the bathroom without someone in the room.

So Christmas was a complete non event for me this year. Mr 12 stayed with Lois & her BF, they had xmas with his family. When they released me from the hospital I stayed at Lois’ house for the first 4 days & then, on Sunday, after we had our own little Christmas (2 weeks late) complete with full turkey dinner we’d purchased the food for 3 days before I went into the hospital. Mr 12 & I came home, after 5 more days of rest & a follow up doctors visit (I actually have to go to the doctor’s every week for now because they put me on coumadin which can cause heavy bleeding) I’m back at work 4 hours a day this week, building up by 2 hours per week back to 8 hours. Financially this has been devastating. Missing all that work & also the hospital bills are already horrendous, I haven’t even received a bill from the Roanoke hospital yet. They did give me a break with their charity plan, the plan I qualified for makes me responsible for 55% of the bills, up to 20% of my annual income. Still lots more money than I have lying around!
I know I came close to dying & I’m lucky to be alive, as many of the nurses & Lois kept telling me. I am glad I can breathe & walk at the same time now, but it’s still an out of the frying pan into the fire situation on the financial side of things!