May. 24th, 2017 03:02 pm
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I'd like to start posting pictures on here now and again.  Since dreamwidth doesn't host pictures, I was wondering what service everyone else used and how easy you find it to add pictures directly from your phone. 
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So some of you may remember the drama last Thanksgiving around my brother and his wife. Well apparently I'm not invited to their kids' birthday parties anymore. I'm so fucking upset right now.
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Bit By Bit, Trump Is Shredding Credibility Of White House Officials

"The president has gladly used up [White House press secretary] Sean Spicer's credibility," says Nicolle Wallace, the former communications director for President George W. Bush, a Republican. "He has trampled the credibility of [adviser] Kellyanne Conway. He has used up and sort of walked to the line of his vice president's credibility. And now it is it is H.R. McMaster's turn to expend his personal credibility in service of this president."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the New York Times in an opinion piece advised Trump aids to bail ship.  Meanwhile, the case for obstruction of justice is becoming more and more obvious.  One has to wonder how much longer Republicans are going to be willing to let Trump continue on as president when his poll numbers continue to linger in the basement, the Dow drops, and apparently most don't like Trump to begin with.  As it is, there are signs beginning to show that even the GOP has had enough.
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Back in the day, I knew someone that had a gmail account back when it was first coming out and was only in Beta stage.  At the time, you can only get a gmail account if you knew someone else who had a gmail account and they invited you.  So I got an account before most people.  The up side of this is that I was able to get a gmail account with my actual RL name.  

There's a downside to this.  While my name isn't super common, it's common enough that there are many other people with the same name out there.  And there email addresses are sometimes close to mine...close enough that I've gotten professional family pictures from Georgia, bank statements from Ontario, and iphone purchase receipts from how knows where. It's creepy.  I always email back that they have the wrong address and sometimes I get an "oops!" type response, sometimes silence.

I also get emails from Elaina.  They aren't many in number-maybe a couple a year-but Elaina seems incapable of understanding that I'm not her daughter.  I've gotten emails about dresses for wedding and various odds and ends, to which I have replied that I'm not the person she's trying to reach.  She'll sometimes hit reply and email me a follow up, totally disregarding my email.  It's not that bad; she doesn't email often and up until recently not about anything important.

This week she emailed me to tell me Uncle Chubby died with details about his cremation and some ballpark ideas for his funeral (it wasn't set yet).


So I emailed back voicing my condolences and trying to stress that she has the wrong email address.  

To which she replied: "Not saying you have to go just informing."

Oh boy.

My husband says I shouldn't feel guilty; that clearly she's an idiot and I should just block her.  It might come down to that.  But I also don't want some woman in Minnesota (at least that's where Uncle Chubby's being buried) to miss her uncle's funeral.  Nor do I want to start some sort of big family fight.  I mean, it's not my fault, but I still feel like in a way it kind of is even though it isn't?

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 My husband has a new job!  He's pretty excited.  He'll start early July.  It'll be a step up for him and more pay so that's good.  

I've complained about work a bit lately, but while there are definitely a few grounds for complaint (like the fact that benefits were slashed), I think my greater problem is just a general sense of ennui.  I don't know if it is work or just me.  I mean, this has been, by far, the most pleasant library I've ever worked in.  The staff gets along well and even the greater campus is, on a whole, pretty easy going and pleasant.  But I just feel...blah.  I don't know if I really just need a vacation or if it has to do with the fact that I've been hit with one cold after another since October (I've been healthy for two whole weeks now, which is pretty much the longest stretch I've had) or if I'm just not satisfied anymore here or if I'm just not satisfied being a librarian.  I feel like this is such a first world problem, really, but here I am.  And I'm not sure what to do about it.

And tangentially related to being sick all the time, I've been sucking on cough/throat drops a lot since October and now that I'm healthy...I'm having some serious trouble with sugar withdrawal.  I want sugar all the time.  I'm trying to cut back.  

One of the ducks has been hiding her eggs.  We have not been able to find it.

Amelia's still scared of my dad, even though it's been a couple of weeks since he visited.

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This weekend, after my dad and his family left, we went to a local wildlife refuge that was having an event.  Finn got to hold a couple of owls, which was pretty exciting.


As for my dad's visit, it went fine.  Amelia never warmed up to my dad though.  She's at the age were kids tend to get shy around strangers but she usually warms up after a half an hour or so.  My dad, however, kept pushing her boundaries so he really didn't get anywhere with her.  Finn had a blast playing with his cousins.  They "camped" downstairs but the all went upstairs because they were afraid the coyotes were gong to get them. You know...those door opening coyotes.  You can never be too cautious.  

I'm exhausted from this last weekend and feel like I need a nap.

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I signed up for 23andme.  I've waffled back and forth on doing this for a while but decided in the end to do it.  It should be interesting to see where it says my ancestry comes from.  My family's background is pretty diverse as I know it: English, Irish, Italian, German and Croatian.  My father in law did it and discovered that he had a genetic mutation that effected his body's ability to metabolize Vitamin B6.  The doctor confirmed it and he's being treated for it.  He said a lot of smaller problems he's had his whole life have gone away.  And is very pleased!  It's genetic meaning that it could pass down to my husband and our children potentially, so it's good to be aware of it I guess.  I do think there's a danger into reading too much into it.  Just because you have the genes for something doesn't necessarily mean you have the condition.  At least, not for all genes.  I, quite frankly, don't expect many surprises health-wise anyway.

Monday the glass window in the library's main door was broken.  One of the students in the library was mad at someone outside and was apparently going out to fight them and punched the window on the way out with enough force to shatter it.  This wasn't just a flimsy piece of glass either.  So...that was exciting I guess.

Speaking of work, there was talk by the administration of taking away summer hours this year.  My campus closes at 4:30 in the summer, allowing everyone to go home a half hour early.  To put this in perspective: this year they reduced the college's retirement contributions down to zero and we haven't seen a raise in years.  I know we've got low enrollment but this seems needlessly cruel.  I suspect they'll find more push back then they might be expecting.  There was little complaint about the retirement because I think everyone understood the financial picture.  There is not apparent point to this.  ...Yeah, I have started looking for another job.  

My husband has an interview for another job himself.  This would represent a really big increase in pay for him and better benefits.  Keep your fingers crossed!

I have my first couple jars of honey jarred.  It's a beautiful gold color-or at least the first batch is.  Honey color can vary even within the same hive.  I definitely had some darker honey which I haven't processed yet.

I had a bit of a scare over my husband again Monday night.  I really can't go into it without giving away some personal, identifying type information but let's just say for a while there it sounded like he was in a potentially deadly situation but it turns out in the end that he wasn't in any real danger.  He's got to stop scaring me.

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 I got a new phone a couple of weeks ago.  It's okay, but I liked my Moto X more.  Mostly though, it isn't bad...except the spell check.

Spell check is way out of control.

It will "correct" normal words that you spelled correctly.  For example, it recently changed "hive" to "give."  I didn't misspell hive.  It just decided on its own that give was a better word or something.  It will even "correct" a work in the middle of the word.  For instance if I write "instance" it might correct it to "instayce" thereby turning my perfectly spelled word into gibberish.  I mean, WTH is that even supposed to be?  It errors more than I do.  Sometimes it will even continually fight you as you try to correct the word it wrongly autocorrected so that you're basically left fighting with your phone.

I might turn it off.

In other sad news, my hive died again this year.  I collected the honey and looked through the hive.  This time around it looks like I lost the queen sometime during the winter.  The hive numbers are low and there's signs of a laying worker.  The honey's still good and since dwindling numbers of bees means less mouths to feed, I got a good amount this time.

I think I'm going to wait a couple of years before going at it again.  Most hobby beekeepers still keep multiple hives because hives have a 40% die off rate and that'll be hard to manage while Amelia's little.  When she's around 4, I'll be able to do 2-4.
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 When I picked up Finn at the after school program yesterday, I was informed that he and a girl named Alexis got married.  Everyone was involved in the wedding and a reception followed directly afterwards at Denny's.  Then they had a baby (played by the also six year old Gemma).

So, I was warned they'd grow up fast but I didn't think I'd be dealing with in-laws this soon.

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One of the professors at the college is having her students do a genealogy project for class which is coming due soon - or rather it appears that they all have to present what they find in class and some have already and some have not.  The have nots are finishing up now.

And there is somethings deeply flawed with this assignment. 

First off, students are told that they must trace their ancestry back to their arrival to America.  This makes it pretty damn easy for our first and second and heck third generation Americans.  A little harder for others.  But you know who's really struggling?  A number of our African American students.  Slaves weren't exactly recorded in the census with the best of accuracy, you know?

Students are also told they need to have and answer to-in the class presentation-lots of personal information.  Like: why didn't you include a picture of you with your grandmother?  Why don't you keep in touch with your father?  Etc.

More to the point, we had a student in the library (who we know pretty well because she does work study) freaking out because her father abused her, she has no contact with him (he's legally not allowed to have contact with her) and she does not want to discuss it in class.  She's trying her hardest to craft her presentation so that she won't get any questions.  She's in a position where she's trying to talk about her abuser in her classroom as if she wasn't abused by him and everything is a-okay between them to try to avoid any questions.  And she feels like she has too because she states that one of her other classmates ended up having to talk about her father's affair (and resulting half-sister) when she obviously didn't want to and another got probed onto why her mother wasn't working which lead to why her mother was in jail.

This is deeply wrong.

One of the other librarians has plans to go the VP of Academics about it. 
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 So apparently word got out that the e-capstones mess was largely due to the VP dictating and pushing for the library to do it ASAP.  Namely the guy who runs the college archives is also a faculty member and talked to all the committee members before the committee meeting.  It went really smoothly, I wasn't stoned to death (they were nice to me even), and e-capstones are postponed for a year.  We're forming a task force to come up with proper policy and guidelines (aka we're doing it right this time).  The VP was overruled by the committee.  It was, in fact, one of the smoothest and quickest faculty motions I've ever seen in my career.

I'm pretty damn happy.
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 So a while back the VP of Academic (my boss) announced at a student even that the library will be closing two hours later Sunday nights before actually informing the library staff...which made them all shut down about doing it.  I did manage to get a position open (part time, 20 hours) that would help cover it (it helps in that our late night hours are only served by one staff member so I could really use the extra coverage for that person in case they get sick or whatever).

But, you know, hiring takes time.  We hired someone how worked for about a week and a half and quit right before the first Sunday extended hours.  The library was actually just about to announce that they were going to take effect but he quit before we did (oh lucky us).

The VP is pushing to have someone come in and work late Sunday night for the last couple weekends of the semester and since my staff has made it clear they won't guess who will likely have to staff that.

Add to this the fact that she has become insistent that we do e-capstones this year despite the fact that we don't even have the software (D Space) installed yet and there has been 0% consultation with the faculty.  So it's been pushed through-much like being thrown into teaching a class before making a syllabus.  And you know who's the face for this disaster?  That's right-me.  In a couple of hours I'm going to a faculty meeting where they're all upset about these e-capstones and the policies I was basically told to make up on my own in like a day's notice which are crap because I of course you can't do that well with no notice and consultation.

I'm just...I'm so done right now.
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I was actually very impressed with this episode.  In it, Ray bumps into a childhood sweetheart (he appears to have a sizable handful of these) who is looking for a missing girl from the Catholic school she works at.  Unable to secure a woman to go in and help, Fraser volunteers to cross dress and  look into it.

At no point is Fraser belittled for doing this.  He volunteers-no arm twisting-and pulls it off pretty well.  Ray (and others) treat him normally.   At one point Ray saves Fraser from a guy who's clearly smitten with him but cutting into their dance and proceeds to dance with the cross dressed Fraser so that they can talk and exchange information.  What few jokes there are are pretty damn respectful.  The show generally doesn't make such a big deal out of it.

In short, this was a lot better than what I'd expect from a show in the mid-90s.  Hell, its better than what I'd expect from a show today.

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Three years ago, shortly after purchasing the house we now call home, we discovered that the former owners dumped a lot of garbage in the back of the property.  This weekend Finn and I went back with a bag and collected recyclables until we had a bag full.  It's only a small start, but it's something.  I'm hoping to get a garbage bag of trash too.  Some of it is too big; they actually dumped a recliner back there.  But every little bit helps.  I hope some day to get it all cleaned up.

SaturdayFinn had swim practice followed by a soccer game followed by an appointment with the occupational therapist.  It was a busy day!  Next week is the last day of swim practice and he'll have only one more OT appointment two weeks from now.  Our Saturdays should be more sane after this.  

My father's coming up Friday evening through Saturday.  He's bringing up three of my cousins (the ones that live with him) and his wife of course.  The two of them well get a hotel while the kids sleep over.  Finn's pretty excited about this.  I haven't seen my father for months, maybe nearly a year.  
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 My husband's still recovering.  He work up this morning gassy and tired, which makes me feel alarmed because he was really gassy the day that he started bleeding.  He's also often just gassy, so that doesn't necessarily mean a thing.  I just worry about him.

The ducks are laying eggs.  Instead of using the multiple nest spots we set up for them, they've taken to making their own nests-often in inconvenient locations.  Yesterday I rescued a clutch of eggs in a hard to reach location.  Several had already been raided and eaten nearby, probably by the vandal raccoons that roam our yard.  I found another clutch this morning by the fire pit because, well, why not.

New duck continues to float around being menaced by lead duck.

Things worked out well at the cardiologist, I guess.  They found that while my blood pressure was good, my pulse has been a little fast-but not fast enough to be a problem.  He could see how caffeine might have tipped me over though.  It tends to shoot up whenever I go from sitting or laying down to standing.  (Laying is around 80, sitting is around 90 and standing is around 100.)  I might look into ways to lower that down a little.  Of course, it isn't like I haven't been stressed out and concerned about anything lately. :p
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 I feel exhausted today, as in 'can barely keep my eyes open' tired.  If we weren't short staffed at work, I'd be tempted to take a half day, but I really can't.  As it is, I'm leaving an hour early (came in an hour early) to bring my son to soccer.  My husband won't be home until late tonight.  

I have a cardiologist appointment Wednesday to see what, if anything, they've learned about the issues I had last fall.  I've basically learned that as long as I stay away from caffeine I don't have any problems.  Whether that's because it irritates an arrhythmia, whether it irritates an anxiety disorder (which I don't think I have but in all fairness runs very strongly in my mom's family) or if I just can't tolerate caffeine, this might shed some light on it...maybe.  I mean, it can't diagnose the other two.  I was told over the phone by the nurse there wasn't anything alarming so that's good.  
The kids loved Easter.  Finn has been absorbed in a lego set he got.  Amelia loves her Little People Mickey and Minnie Mouse (and has totally ignored her Minnie Mouse Four Wheeler).  The kids got real cracked up on chocolate by the end of the day and we had to herd them into the car as they were getting out of control.  

Ah...little kids and candy.
amycooper: (Teri Hatcher: Coffee)
 It's been a rough week, friends.  My husband is slowly recovering from all that blood loss.  While the transfuson helped a ton, he's still running a little low; Tuesday's checkup showed that he was still anemic, though just barely.  Everyday he's improving though and that's good.  They've got a few tests to do to see if he's still losing blood or not.  Given the nature of the test we won't know for a bit yet.  Depending on how that turns out they'd either send him off to a specialist or just kind of shrug and assume whatever happened is done happening.  They never did find were the blood loss came from.  Both endoscopy and colonoscopy turned up nothing so it was likely in his small intestines-the one place they couldn't really look.  It is possible that he had a number of small tears from the hernia surgery.  A big one would have come up on the CAT scan and one small one couldn't have created the kind of blood loss he experienced.

Meanwhile I've got a cold this week with a horrible cough.  I cannot wait for this to be over.  It's enough that I'm really dragging which sucks since my husband's not exactly overflowing with energy either.  Our kids though, God do they still have energy.  Our house is a mess and we've got piles of clothes everywhere.  I asked my husband to see if his family could host Easter this year and so it is now at my in laws instead of our house which is awesome.  We just can't do it this year.

Finn asks, every day, if Easter is tomorrow.  

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 Dear Writing Tutor,

We were kind enough to allow you to use the student study room twice a week...the study room that is supposed to be reserved purely for students to use.  Do not overstay your welcome by hanging up signs like it's your own office.  You were, quite frankly, lucky to have gotten it at all and will not be nearly as lucky next semester.

No love, me

Seriously though, it is our new group study room for students.  It's not fancy, but it's got a good position on the main floor, some new paint and a white board for them to use.  I had declared that it wasn't for faculty use when we opened out (outside of the oddball sign drop by session by librarian's discretion.  Somehow she got herself scheduled to it by the library staff.  Then she starts hanging up signs all over it which will do nothing but discourage students from using it as a group study room.

Thank You

Apr. 10th, 2017 08:31 am
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I just want to thank all of you for your support this last week while my husband was in the hospital.  While I didn't respond to nearly any of your comments, I've read them all.  Your support and encouragement meant so much to me.

My husband continues to improve.  He's still moving slowly and tires quickly, but that is to be expected, after all, he wasn't even recovered from the hernia surgery when this all happened.  We are looking at taking a few things off our plate in the next couple weeks and just trying to take it easy.  (We are asking family to host Easter this year instead of us.)

Anywho, thank you so much, everyone. for all of your support.  I appreciate it. 
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Husband home
Freezer full
House a disaster
Son sick (in bed)
Daughter eating

(Except the for the son sick part)
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