A regular update

I took this afternoon off from work for my last flex day and decided other than laundry I would work on my book, i.e. do some more editing, do some research on agents, you know, keep my foot in the door.  And what have I done so far?  Met Krystal for lunch, walked a small bit around town, came back home, put in a load of laundry, fell asleep.  I KNOW!  I’m useless.  I mean not totally useless but it’s that combination of heat, a rather large lunch, too much caffeine and a really sweet dessert (we split it and still left half of it) anyway, out I went.  And the day, work day anyway, is over. I feel like I wasted a perfectly good day (actually half day) off.  But maybe it just went too fast – not really wasted.  Just aren’t enough hours in the day to get what you want to get done AND nap.

I also don’t understand this wash machine.  If I put it on regular it shows that it takes 1 hour and 33 minutes to wash.  That’s  a really long time isn’t it?  But if I put it on quick wash it’ll wash for like 26 minutes.  That’s a big difference isn’t it? I mean which do you choose? Should everything be quick wash?  What about sheets and towels?  Don’t you think those should go longer?  Is that regular wash only for farmers and muddy jeans?  I don’t have a lot to wash but still and hour and a half is a long time for a wash.  I don’t know how these new-fangled machines work.  But anyway, Wednesday wash day  It’s who I am.

So work, which is going fine thanks, they kicked us out of our building/house because they are exterminating termites.  I am assuming they are going to tent the whole house.  If you have never seen a whole house with a tent on it, it is an amazing sight to see.  They have tented several of the buildings on campus earlier this summer.  I took pictures to put on the blog but of course can’t find them now. The house across the street from me right now is being tented.  See?

Well anyway, we had to remove all food items and  just normal stuff you don’t want to get pesticides on or in.  In my office I had to pack up the Keurig, all the coffee pods, creamers, etc.,  emptied out food items from desk drawers and packed up a big garbage full of Tupperware bowls.  I do not know why we have those Tupperware bowls so I can only assume that they will be used for food at some point and I don’t want to poison the faculty….not yet anyway.  Here’s the kicker though.  We had to pack all this stuff up ourselves, which is fine, but then move it ourselves.  Ya know? Where is Maintenance I say?  Do they not know the workers comp nightmare they are exposing themselves to? I am not a mover!!! Apparently they are clueless as to my Baroness self and I found myself dragging bins down two flights of stairs.  And, AND we are supposed to figure out where to store them.  So poor Joan (President’s secretary) is loading up some truck – personal truck with like a whole hallway full of stuff.  And as we all know I can not fit bins in my car.  So what happens in this circumstance?  Do I get written up in HR cause I don’t have the proper vehicle for storage? Luckily, a colleague who has an SUV offered to keep them in her car for the weekend.  I put the garbage bag full of Tupperware in my back seat.  Who knew that I had to buy a vehicle for this type of activity as part of my job.  The job posting should include: must be willing to haul.  Maintenance did come and gather some of the $50,000 oil paintings we have on display…it is the President’s office…but did they help carry a bin?  No.  One time when I first started at Stetson I called Maintenance to move a bookshelf.  It was April I think.  They said they were done with moves for the year. LOL. I laughed out loud. They were serious.

I asked Krystal to drive me to the office building (I walked to meet her for lunch) so I could take a picture of it being tented to put on the blog but they don’t have the tent up.  Here’s some pictures anyway.


Oct. 13, 1884- DeLand Hall (pictured) opens. The original cost of the building was $4,000. The first academic building at the DeLand campus, DeLand Hall today is the oldest building in Florida in continuous use for higher education. (History of Stetson.edu)


DeLand Hall today (or yesterday) – there’s Annette carrying out a plant in preparation

Oh and get this, I was telling Krystal today how I need to plan a trip to my mom’s to get some of my winter stuff and she said, yea it doesn’t get too cold, maybe like high 20’s and 30’s, and you have to scrape your windshield once in a while.  WHAT? I say, WHAT? WHAT? This is not why I live in Florida. One more reason not to get tooo comfortable living here in DeLand.  I thought Tampa was too cold and that was in the 40’s.  I kept saying when I lived there that I had to move south.  I’m in trouble. More reason to work on that book and keep shopping it out there.  Perhaps I will make it back to south Florida one day like I always imagined.

Other than that I’m getting a little more used to living here, not feeling totally committed yet but not minding the adventure at all.  I finally found, and went to, a yoga class, one block from my house and I loved it.  So if I can get myself there every week that will be a good thing.  I’ve gone swimming twice at the Y.  Laps before work.  Trying to see if that’s something I can keep up.  I just have to get there before 8 am otherwise it gets very crowded (oh and I’m late for work.)  I’m on a free trial right now so we’ll see if I feel inspired to continue that.

I think it’s been sunny for about 3 days now.  That’s a welcome break from these Florida rains.

What else…well I guess that’s about it then.   It’s almost time to go get the laundry.  Has it really been an hour already?  That can’t be right.  I’ll go back and check it I guess.

this is a little sitting area back by where the washer and dryer are. isn’t it cute? Can you tell how big those bamboo shoots are?
An old lady was walking by and I asked her to put her hand on the bamboo so you could get perspective. She was about 90 years old by the look of that hand.


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And now her watch has ended

My friend Lori died last week.  Friday I believe.  I sent her a text Thursday night sharing how disgusted I am with myself, not fitting into my clothes and then apologized for my self involved comments and asked her what was the latest with her, how is she feeling, what’s going on?  I commented to my friend Janice the next day that she hadn’t responded and I wondered if I was just so insensitive with my own “fat” comments.  Janice reminded me that I should understand the dying process from my hospice work which I shared with her that I absolutely did not remember that part of my training.  Like a lot of life’s lessons I had no frame of reference, until now.

In my hospice volunteer role I would enter someone’s life at the very end.  A few of my patient’s (makes me sound like a doctor) were quite alert when I met them (still surprising me when they died even though I KNEW what being in hospice meant) but the majority of patients I visited were moments away from dying.  Mostly unconscious or very near there.  Sure there were conversations with the alert ones, many times, most times, talking about their families but I was there at the end, I was in the circle at the end.  Janice reminded me that a person’s world, as they are actively dying, becomes like a funnel with the circle of friends large at first and nearer the end it gets smaller and smaller until, well, until it’s over.

I was in Lori’s near-to-the-end funnel circle.  We didn’t know it was near the end at the time.  Sure I had my suspicions but early on I was totally sure, as was she, that she would beat this whole cancer thing.  She had been on top of it for awhile and had lived with the C word, unaffected, for apparently years…off and on.  We did talk about our fears about dying – but you know, we were friends from college.  When you’re in college you talk about everything.  I told her it must be all those drunken nights sleeping in each other’s rooms.  Freshman year, when you leave home for the first time and then thrown into this scenario with like 12 other girls and it’s like a slumber party EVERY night; how can you avoid bonding…well other than my roommate who moved out cause she hated me.  (It’s a long story)

Anyway, Lori and I talked about lots of stuff and at that point, in Richmond, all we had was each other as far as friend’s go.  She had moved there from Texas leaving a hoard of friends behind to be near her daughter and grandson…I had moved from Pittsburgh, via Palm Harbor, leaving friends and family behind.  We had each other.  Old friends, renewed, not missing a beat from our slumber party conversations.  I have realized she was put in my path to help me through a difficult time.  That’s how much of a God-send she was to me at that point in my life.

Shortly after Christmas, we met for lunch, and the way she suggested the lunch I knew something was up.  We talked about everything that day, except what she wanted to tell me.  But after we got through our different stories over our dogs dying, sobbing over that, I said “well, what’s up?”  I didn’t really want to know because I already thought I knew, but of course I did want to know.  It was after we were exhausted crying over the dogs, she told me the cancer had moved to her liver.  I remember just staring…with this like WTF look on my face.  At that point I reminded her that she was my ONLY friend in that area and if she liked me at all she would beat this for my sake.  We laughed, but I wasn’t kidding. Well, you know…I was…kidding…sort of.

I’ve had other friends with cancer, actually the number has been growing since my first friend shared her diagnosis with me 12 (or 13) years ago.  Every one of my close friends who have had that diagnosis is still living.  Until now.

After Christmas Lori got busy with various doctors appointments, got sicker with treatment, and just started feeling bad. At no time did she ever give me the impression that she was giving up or thought it was unbeatable, it was just a matter of time until the doctors figured it out.  They promised her.  Maybe they didn’t promise her but that’s how I remember it.

By the time I had gotten the job offer in Florida she had already started withdrawing, pulling away.  She really didn’t want to talk about it I’m sure because she wasn’t getting better.  It wasn’t in her nature to be negative so I can understand her not wanting to talk about it because also that might be admitting it.  I really don’t know, I’m just making excuses to make myself feel better.  It could have been she just hated me and didn’t want to see me anymore.  But I jest, we did spend two very nice days together before I left and both wished for more time.

I felt guilty about leaving her, but she had already started to withdraw and I didn’t feel like I had an employment choice and well we had planned on her getting better.  Once I got here we talked about when she would visit and places we would go to.  My last text from her was May 25.

She had promised she would fill me in with all the details but never did so when I sent the text on Thursday complaining about my weight and wondering what’s up with her, as if we talked yesterday, I figured maybe I’d finally get a response out of her.  But she died…the next day.  Guess she didn’t have a chance to answer my text.

I am sad. I am very very sad.  And kinda mad.  I’m a little mad that we reconnected so close to the end of her life and that I got to be so close to her, making it so hard now.  And I’m sad/mad that I didn’t make the smaller funnel area of the end.  She had a best friend that came and stayed with her nearer the end. It was that friend that got to share those last moments with her.  I understand now why people say it’s an honor.  I will never take that part I play in hospice for granted again.

Even though I’m not doing hospice work at the moment this experience is really going to add to my understanding of the dying experience.  It also puts a bigger picture on the “friend” experience.  I mean really, don’t you think about friends that come and go in your life?  And friends that come and go and come again?  Facebook helps with that.  Actually it was Facebook where Lori saw me posting pictures from my mom’s in Richmond that brought us back together. (Facebook does have some good qualities) And as for Lori and I, after 35 years (but who’s counting) we picked up where we left off, if only for a very short time.  But for both of us, for very different reasons, very very important times in our lives.

I am honored to have been there near the end, even though for awhile we didn’t know it was the end.  I know I left Richmond, and her life, when I was supposed to.  I know why she wasn’t texting..sort of…I wanted to be that end of life person for her but that wasn’t my role.  But I did have a role.  And she had a role in mine.  We all have roles to play and then we move on.  Some moving on are more permanent apparently.

Lori is my first close friend that has died.  Sure there was my dad, and Richard (he was like family) and I know I’m forgetting to mention others, but I have always been afraid of the day I would lose a close friend.  And now that day has come.  One good thing I think about is I finally have a good friend over there who I totally expect to be there to greet me.  Not that I expect to go anytime soon, but her being there somehow makes it less daunting for when it does finally  happen for me. She’s paved the way. She was such a good friend to me here I fully expect her to be a very good friend when I get there.  And I do totally believe in a there.

Until then I say prayers that she is adjusting well, that she has run into some old friends, that she is out of pain and that she knows that she can still be with her family from the other side.

But as for her earthly time, here in the 3rd dimension…. her watch has ended*.  A life well lived and loved for sure.


*Game of Thrones reference

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New stuff

I am old. I am one of those women that can’t seem to dress properly anymore.  I ALWAYS have a bra strap showing.  What is up with that?  Granted these summer sleeveless cuts (which I probably shouldn’t be wearing in the first place)..well they are cut in or out – so sometimes I wear one of those racerback bras so the straps don’t show on my shoulders so when I wear that particular bra, the straps end up around my neck so they show anyway, just not on my shoulders.  Then I have a top where the neck is loose so ends up falling on my shoulders – probably cute with a smaller bra that doesn’t cut into your shoulders because your boobs are hanging down to your knees cutting that bra strap with deep grooves into your shoulders.  I have changed no less than three times at certain times because I can’t figure out the bra thing.  Today I was running a few minutes behind (literally minutes) so I knew this top didn’t need a racerback (wrong) but at the very least I recently bought a dark black (or blue – who the hell can tell anymore) and I should have worn that dark color one because the top was dark but no – I wore the tan color that showed all day long, because why?  I’m old and can’t dress myself anymore.

Let’s see, other than new bras, I have a couple of other new things:

a new little kitchen table:

Isn’t it kinda cute?  It’s actually a patio set so when/if I ever get a real place it’ll go right out on the porch.  I already had my first dinner guest.  Julia came for dinner last week.  I made my white chicken chili (most of you have had it at some Bunko or other gathering) anyway, it was a hit.  The downside is there no other place to sit so we couldn’t like retire to the sitting room, smoking lounge or lanai.  It’s plastic chairs for the duration.  But how cute right?

a new dresser

still deciding what to put on the top.

I settled on another antique. This is cherry wood – in near perfect shape (I found a crack in one of the drawers last night).  It actually kinda matches the dining piece (remember broken marble piece?) but anyway I love it.  I really vacillated between this and those painted shabby chic dressers and well this is what I chose.  I think I might need to buff the thing though.  The owner told me he put some paste on it because he didn’t have a chance to do that when it was in the shop, he told me this as he was moving it into my apt..  But when I sort of yelled, incredulously, “I have to buff it now?” he said no no…and then mumbled something.  I didn’t really yell.  I don’t yell, but I know sometimes my voice is a little firmer than other times.  Well anyway, I’ll check with Lisa Devlin, she’s the expert on this stuff and if I have to buy a Walmart buffer well then so be it.  It’ll be a nice little project for me and then it’ll be beautiful.  It is a little dark in there though.

new curtains.

and new glasses

I just got them today.  Basically I need to take them off to see up close.  Why did I get them though?  Because I needed an updated prescription to help me see up close.  Do they work the way they are supposed to?  NO!  Am I happy?  NO!  Did I raise my voice?  Well, maybe a little.  What I said was “why am I paying $300 if I can’t see out of them?” – she told me to give them a week.  I can see really good at a distance.  They are great but what I really wanted was something to help me see closer.  My work friend, Kathy, thinks my eyes will adjust.  I will admit I was adjusting a little already at the end of the day.  But at this particular moment they are off of my face so I can see this computer screen.  But cute aren’t they?  I have had my other glasses I swear 10 years.  It is amazing how much better the distance vision is.  Like a whole new world.

OH and my car is back to being a Florida car.  I think it’s happy about it.  Virginia plates are very pretty, especially the cardinal one that I have, but I feel much more like a resident again. I should have gotten a new plate instead of reusing my old one – you know like starting ALL over – but I think I saved $300 by using the old one.  I’ll suffer through the memories 🙂

Let’s see what else….I’m assimilating.  The new furniture makes me feel a little more settled – still am sleeping with all my boxes as I have a little PTSD about parting with them (and never seeing them again) but my plan is to “hobo” decorate.  Find a piece of wood to level out the tops, throw a cute piece of some kind of material over it and voilà – a table or three. (I have a few bins yet) – well anyway, it’s a process and I’m doing great.  I really love having my own place again.  I was visiting over at the beach this past weekend (St. Pete, Treasure Island, Pass-a-Grille area) and I thought I’d be sad about returning but as I got off that exit I had a big smile looking forward to coming home to my little place.  I may have also been smiling because I survived that crazy drive.  It was really easy until it started pouring down rain and was the worst right where the construction on I-4 is the worst.  It was like a freakin free-for-all.  I couldn’t see the lane changes – I really don’t think there were any markings – it was pouring – I just pretty much shut my eyes and hoped for the best…only figuratively shut my eyes of course – but probably would have done just as well.  It’s a crazy stretch of road.  Anyway, I feel very happy here in my little apt.  I move my boxes around a lot and feel like I’m redecorating.  And now I have that new dresser.  And I talked to the antique man about getting me a piece of marble to replace the broken top.  He suggested going to the marble store which I guess I should just do.  Julia had a great idea to make it an artsy piece and cement the pieces back together and put stones/gems/glitter stuff in the cracks which is a cool idea.  Zachary suggested breaking it even more to do that so the look would be overall, which is also an excellent idea – except I’m not doing that.  For now I’ll just leave it.

So I’m good with my furniture buys (for now) – next I’ll focus on my social life. Joining the Y is on the list – I have used it when I’ve paid for it in the past so I believe in myself – I’m also confirmed for Bunko for next Wednesday. CONFIRMED!  Ha!  Well anyway, I’m looking forward to it but worried about missing laundry day.  I’ll figure something out.  I go back to Stephanie’s after that – maybe I’ll drag it to her house.

Here’s some pics from my 4th of July weekend.

There really are no words for how much I miss it there – but it’s an easy drive.  I still live in Florida. Two weeks ago I was at the Ocean and then last week an easy drive to the Gulf.  I mean, how many people can say that? (probably a lot that live here but that’s beside the point)


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