Looney Bin
The Padded Room

Date: 2018-02-05 18:48
Subject: Quarterly check in Imbolc 2018
Security: Public
Mood:pleased pleased
Tags:family, life, update, yard work

Let me summarize:

Took some time off in December and road-tripped to Arizona to see the Middle Spawn and the Spawnlettes. It was a good trip, though driving could have gone somewhat better. We didn't make as good of time as I would have liked, but we had several days with the family, and no one was killed during the drive.

New started with a bang and the workload jumped with it. Over the past few years we've had a busy time between October and February,but this year it's been a bit different. Still, it's been fairly good. I've faced some new challenges in the prep room, and its been good for me.

Had a bit of a scare with an old friend who is in some legal trouble. For a day we thought that they had chosen to take their life, but they were found. Now, a few weeks later, we had them over for dinner last night and it was a good evening. I can only hope that they will be able to face what is coming.

We have taken on a boarder, sort-of, kind-of, in that we are leasing out a portion of the yard to a very nice lady with a tiny house and a sheep :D.

With her having some work done around the yard, the whole house is looking better. We've taken on paying couple of the guys that did work for her to take on taming the rest of the yard. The house and yard is looking so much better. I am thankful that we are able to do this, and in turn help someone else with providing a job and financial help.

Youngest Spawn, who has been suffering from a variety of abdominal issues, and finally was able to have some procedures this week. They found a suspicious bruised area in her stomach, and one lonely polyp in her intestines. We hope that the testing will give us some information about what is going on so any good thoughts will be appreciated.

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Date: 2017-05-11 20:04
Subject: Whinging and whining, feel free to ignore
Security: Public
Tags:family dynamics, fighting, smoking

I am just needing to place this out there, somewhere private, or at least as private as the interwebs get.

For those who do not know my family issues, I have 2 daughters that live at home (nothing wrong with this, just laying out the facts). The Eldest has been helping to take care of the Youngest, and has not had the best of luck with jobs in the recent past SO much so that they are seriously depressed and unwilling to think about working for the time being. A bit of a financial strain, but we are making do.

The Youngest is bipolar with a host of other diagnoses, and we've been fighting to get her declared as disabled with SSI - she cannot hold a job, and honestly cannot take care of her self.'

She has been a smoker for a while (a whole host of issues for me in this, but she is an adult and can make her choices), but had finally quit to the relief of all of the family. The stress of the SSI hearings (several over the past 4 years) had her reaching for the cigarettes again. She then came to her sister and said that she wanted to quit again, so started the Chantix program again. It helped the first time, and have hopes that it will the second.

Today had been hell. She's attacked one family member, cut on herself, drank a bottle of vodka and then tried to pick a fight with me when I got home.

I'm just discouraged and saddened by it all, I know its hard for her to quit, and as I told her, "I hate that you smoke, but you are a grown ass woman and can choose to do what you want. Just don't expect me to support you in buying cigarettes for you."

There was a lot of loud voices and statements about perceptions. I doubt that anything will change in the immediate future, but I just needed to vent about the issues to the universe at large and let it go.

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Date: 2017-03-19 10:37
Subject: Week in review and a birthday
Security: Public
Mood:amused amused
Tags:birthdays, patreon

I hate the schedule I am currently on, my days off are split so I am on 2 days, have a day off, then on three days then have a day off. It really fucks with me being able to catch up on anything around the house.

I cannot wait until they finally hire someone to be the office manger again, though it is the worst job in the office. Way too much responsibility and not enough power and perks to put up with it. It's the second hat I wear currently and I cannot wait to get rid of it. If it was the only job, it would be tolerable, but because I split between it and the lead embalmer, I have far more responsibility than one person should have and not enough time to fill either job with any sort of grace.

Bah, enough bitching!

The Eldest Spawn celebrated her seasonal rotation of the sun with a low key dinner with some of the family and a few friends. She's struggling with some fairly serious depression and having trouble finding work at the moment. To help combat that she is doing a lot of art and has launched a Patreon here:


Go forth and support her if you wish!

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Date: 2017-03-15 10:00
Subject: March mayhem and floods... just rambling mainly
Security: Public

It's that time of year again, the rains continue unabated and the rivers rise. My phone is blowing up with flood alerts for the local river. I just want to put on my wellies and go for a walk along the soggy and commune with the drenched world.

I keep cutting my hair shorter and shorter, by fall I'll have shaved my head, or let it start growing back out. I'm not actually sure which I want.

As a result of my work schedule, I rarely have time to sit and read for leisure, so I became an Audible subscriber, which has been a good and a bad thing. On the good side, I've not continued to bring paperback books into the house where there is no place to hold them other than the floor and every flat surface.
On the bad side, I spend at least as much on audio books as I did on hard copy books. So I'm not saving any money.

Yesterday I started to listen to John Wyndham: A BBC Radio Drama Collection: Six classic BBC radio adaptations. I can recommend it to any that like this kind of thing, with all the additional noises and aspects of a radio drama. I am enjoying it quite a bit.

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Date: 2016-11-11 11:24
Subject: Have trocar will travel
Security: Public
Mood:apathetic apathetic
Tags:not sure where i was going with this ori

Working as a trade embalmer is an interesting experience. From what I have learned, if it is a challenging case, if they are oversize, if they have been autopsied and/or tissue donation, we are the ones you call to embalm.
That is not a complaint, it's just an observation. It came up at work, as I am currently mentoring an intern who had gone to work briefly at a traditional funeral home, before coming back to work with me and I mentioned that if I were to leave my current position I would work as an independent embalmer/funeral director. I had jokingly mentioned to a friend that my calling card should be "Have trocar, will travel".

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Date: 2016-10-08 12:44
Subject: Huh, I didn't think that they could actually do this
Security: Public
Mood:discontent discontent

In my job I wear many hats, funeral director, dispatch, removal tech, embalmer, and lead. I have two 'call-out' embalmers that trade off alternating weekends of the month. One of them has gone through two years of chemo and surgery for breast cancer and during that time, if she was on light duty we made accommodations for it and her.

Jump forward 2 years - my second call out embalmer is having some back issues, and the doctor puts her on light duty. She comes in with the note and is told to go home, that she can come back in two weeks with a clear to work note from the doctor.

In the two years between there have been a few that have had light duty that abused the system, but I feel that the response was out of line and uncalled for. It was however the owner of the business that made the call.

I guess that I am just wondering if this is as wrong as I feel that it is?

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Date: 2016-09-22 21:11
Subject: And now I am just babbling
Security: Public
Tags:death, embalming, funeral business

Rereading my last post from 2 years ago - I am still at Mortuary Service Provider. My interviews didn't pan out like I had hoped, but in looking at those same companies now I only only be grateful. One has a problematic worker, and their record with female employees makes me thank the Goddess everyday that I do not have to work with him on a regular basis. Nothing like having have your staff quit in protest when you bring said problem child from oe funeral home to another.

The other position (different company) was given to another person, and honestly I cannot understand why they do things the way that they do. But I don't work for them, so it really doesn't matter I guess.

Its a very small world in the death industry, so you always want to be cautious in what you say or do.

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Date: 2016-09-22 21:02
Subject: In the vein of depression, I'd like to talk to you about death
Security: Public
Mood:blah blah

Lets be honest. We are all going to die. That is the truth, but have you thought about what it means?

I invite you to ask me anything about the death industry, really, anything.

I will respond in an open and honest manner.

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Date: 2016-09-22 20:44
Subject: Ramblings of a depressed woman
Security: Public
Mood:depressed depressed
Tags:depression, family dynamics, sadness

The house is in turmoil - to much time together, to many adults all in the same house Its very difficult when two of the adults are the grown children of the other two.

Anger festers and boils out over trivial comments.

No one apologizes for the hurt, the pain, the sorrow caused. Each would rather have the other apologize.

Old angers and hurts are dragged out and reviewed.

We were terrible parents. We spanked, sometimes unjustly, its easy to point and say that this is where you did the incorrect thing.

The self loathing I feel for not being a better parent is crippling. I wish I had better role models, but I am a product of my parents. A battered and abused wife, an alcoholic and abusive father, whom I suspect of having some bi-polar tendencies, based on reviewing my memories. Its too late to know, both are long dead and their children reap their sowing.

Too long too late. My children are grown and alternately love and hate us in turn. They want to escape to another state. I wish I could make it possible for them.

I wish that I could get any of us to have a conversation with out it turning into a battle.

I wish, I wish, I wish, but none of that does any good.

Eventually they will leave and we will be left behind, as it should be, but the thought hurts.

Oh well. It is what it is and I can only accept it.

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Date: 2015-01-04 13:40
Subject: Time flies out of control when working in the death industry
Security: Public
Location:ye olds homestead
Mood:contemplative contemplative
Tags:life, spawn, updates, work

I got a note from a long time friend wanting to know if this journal was still active and I realized that I haven't updated in two years.

Time, like a river flows ever on, even when we attempt to hold it back.

In my case I made the realization that I rarely have the opportunity to just sit in front of a computer these days. When I worked for the Evil Empire was in front of one 8-10 hours a day, now I'm lucky to have an hour a day in front of one.the limits blogging and fandom activities pretty quickly.

I'm not complaining, I'm still employed full time in my field and I'm licensed as both a full funeral director and an Embalmer, so the trade-off is fair, but miss the ease participating in fandom.

So, here in a nutshell is what's happened in the past two years....

I am still employed at the mortuary provider and finished my internships. I passed my exams and became fully licensed. I am currently job hunting for something in a more traditional funeral home and have done a couple interviews.

My spouse embraced their inner woman and began transitioning a year ago. The Elder and the Younger Spawn continue to reside at the family home, the Elder working in their chosen field as well. They had planned on moving out, then as typical with life a crisis occurred and that was put on hold. Medical bills to be paid off, etc. Nothing to worry about, just a gall bladder that needed to come out then a reaction to the meds. All it's fine with them now.

The Middle Spawn, the Son in Law, and the Spawnletts moved back to the area for health issues and are doing mostly okay. Time prevents me from seeing then as much as I'd like, and I want to change that for the coming year.

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Date: 2012-10-21 09:42
Subject: Random babbling, a job!, and life after graduation...
Security: Public
Location:Home, where the heart lies dreaming
Mood:accomplished accomplished
Music:Does the washing machine count?
Tags:funeral business, job, random update, school

And it starts out like this; over the summer, although I'd done the 'walk' for graduation I had one last class to take and pass.


Just so I am clear, this shall never be spoken of again.

The class itself wasn't that horrible, but I found myself wondering why the hell I actually had to subject myself to this class. I could see the point for several in my cohort - they couldn't get up in front of the class to present a slideshow, let alone a persuasive argument, but I'm an old pro at standing in front of crowds and talking. Oh well, it really doesn't matter, I did the fucking class and passed and have my diploma sitting at the school waiting for me to pick it up.

Things got really hairy by the end of summer financially here as my student loan wouldn't pay for the singular class and the annuity that I'd been receiving monthly from my mom's estate ran out (with out a statement or notice from the annuity company). Luckily I'd only scheduled one bill payment to come out so I didn't have a load of fees from the credit union.
Luckily enough all my job hunting FINALLY paid off and I have a full time job, in the profession I got a degree for and everything!

I'm working for a funeral care center. What this means is that we aren't an actual funeral home, instead we provide services to 40+ funeral homes in the area that include removal and storage of decedents, cremation, embalming, casketing, and the more frequent than I would have thought shipping of said decedents to other places via plane and train.

I've been there two full weeks and the best part is that I'm also doing my internships there. No more trying to find a funeral director to intern under, or embalmer either. I'm interning under the boss for my funeral director internship and under one of the embalmers for my embalming internship.

And the truly bestest part of all? Its a paying job!

For the first time in 3 years I am working full time. It's a big adjustment and it feels great!
Now I'm just playing to learning game and working on getting used to working full time again. I figure in another week or so my body will realize and adjust to the early wake up and will stop nagging me so much about it all.

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Date: 2012-07-25 15:31
Subject: Lammas
Security: Public
Mood:tired tired
Tags:lammas; recipes

 The time of the harvest, the first harvest approaches. 

Lammas, Lughnasadh, Loafmass, Harvest Home…. 

It goes by many names and each carries some specific weight and tradition with it. 

Most simply use Lammas as it’s easy to say and spell. Others who have a decidedly more Irish or Celtic bent will use Lughnasadh instead. Regardless of what you call it, in the northern hemisphere it is associated with the first harvest of grain and is frequently celebrated with games and a feast. 

In my early years I had a friend who threw a big Lughnasadh party every year that went for the entire weekend. We’d all camp out on her front yard in Arroyo Grande and play games; there’d be athletic games, strategy games, and games for the kids. On Saturday there’d be a big feast often showcasing rabbit and on Sunday her coven would lead the ritual in celebration.

Lughnasadh is the traditional time for games to be held in honor of Tailtiu, who cleared a large forest so that the land could be tilled. On her deathbed she told the men of Ireland that as long as they held games in her honor that Ireland would never be without song. 

Here are some traditional recipes for dishes to be served on this day; please note that these are not ‘low-fat’ or other such nonsense recipes. 


3-5 lbs new potatoes, scrubbed and diced

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 medium head of green cabbage or kale, trimmed and diced (1 inch cubes)


Half & half or heavy cream

Salt & pepper

Boil potatoes until tender. While potatoes are cooking, steam cabbage or kale along with onion. I generally put them in a steamer dish on top of the potatoes; salt and pepper these before steaming.

Drain potatoes and add enough half & half or cream to ease the mashing, adding chunks of butter to the potatoes. Add in steamed cabbage and onions (or kale and onions) and mix together.

Place in large serving dish, leaving a well in the center that you have placed even more butter in.

Serve warm once all the butter had melted. You can also add heated cream to the center well.



4 c. sifted flour

1/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 c. butter

2 c. raisins

1 1/3 c. buttermilk

1 egg

1 tsp. soda


1. Combine and sift flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

2. Cut in butter with pastry blender until it resembles coarse cornmeal.

3. Stir in raisins.

4. Combine buttermilk, egg and soda and add to flour mixture.

5. Stir until just moistened.

6. Bake in greased round cake pan or pyrex, 35-45 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown.

7. Yield: 1 loaf.

8. Break instead of cut. Does not freeze well.


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Date: 2012-05-03 22:28
Subject: Looking for a link...
Security: Public
Mood:aggravated aggravated
Tags:hawaii 5-0

Begging and pleading, does any one have a link to the most recent episode of Hawaii 5-0? 

The crossover with NCIS LA?



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Date: 2012-05-03 22:13
Subject: We are all stardust and to it we return
Security: Public
Mood:contemplative contemplative

I got sad news this past week in that one of my uncles was taken off of life support on Sunday.

He'd had a brush with lung cancer several years ago but had surgery and all was good. Apparently they did not as it had metastasized and when they found it this time it was too late. He was placed in a brief coma and then taken off of life support.

I know I am okay with it all, but I fear badly for the wife he is leaving behind along with his sons and grandchildren.

Goodbye Kenneth, you will be missed by your brothers and mother who survive you as well as the numerous nieces and nephews.

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Date: 2012-03-15 21:06
Subject: School Blatherings and Other Nonsense
Security: Public
Location:Planet Earth, treading water
Mood:cheerful cheerful
Music:Commercials on the tv

I’ve one more quarter of school and then I graduate.  It’s hard for me to believe that the time has passed so quickly.

The quarter draws to a close and as I prepare for finals I think back on what I have learned this quarter; Embalming has been an intense learning experience this quarter even more so than last quarter.  It’s been good and I believe that I made the right choices in choosing this program. 

The second quarter of Restorative Arts was pretty intense – we had to choose someone real and then recreate their head out of wax. It was judged by a panel of 10 judges – other teachers outside the program. I was very proud to have gotten 99 out of 100 on mine.

If you want to see the head I did take a swing out here:


Unfortunately there were some sour grapes in the class who thought that they should have been graded better.


Haters gonna hate.


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Date: 2012-02-29 14:56
Subject: School update
Security: Public
Mood:busy busy
Music:music from Thor

I'm about 4 weeks from the quarter ending and then one more quarter and I'll be done with my program! 

WHOO HOO~ let the partying begin :D

I'll have three 'arranged classes' which means that they will be online, and two classes on campus. Unfortunately one is during the day, the other is at night. Le sigh. It was either that or end up taking accounting over the summer.

Now the hard stuff begins, I have to find a temp internship (6 weeks) and then a full time one for my licensing. I also need to start studying for my boards as I cannot officially graduate until I pass those. That'll be a $400.00 fee for testing.  Ouch!

So, if anyone feels like they have a couple of bucks laying around that they want to contribute to my schooling fund, here is the link again :D


I've also posted pics of my current projects in class - in restorative art we all have to make a head of someone real, it'll be compared to photographs as a final project. If you are interested in seeing it, you can see them here: plus.google.com/u/0/photos/104716306577182105405/albums/5712736267282777457 (hopefully this link works).

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Date: 2011-12-16 12:36
Subject: Holiday baking and other assorted craziness
Security: Public
Mood:accomplished accomplished
Tags:holidays; cooking; school; anniversary

School has finally let out for the season, luckily the stomach bug that [personal profile] abeilledeverte and kidlets left with us was over the weekend before finals. I think I only did bad on one final due to lack of being able to study D: but still passed the class.

FAL11     CHEM& 121         INTRO TO CHEMISTRY             3.5          5.0                FSE   250         FUNERAL SERVICE MGT            3.1          4.0                FSE   256         FUNERAL SERVICE OPTIONS        4.0          3.0                FSE   258         INTO TO REST ART               3.7          3.0                FSE   261         EMBALMING II                   4.0          4.0    
Chemistry was actually the one I was worried about but I am fairly happy with the grades no matter what.

I've spent the last week recovering from classes and doing some holiday baking as well as celebrating my 30th (gasp) wedding anniversary with the Beloved Spouse ([personal profile] moondancer ).

So far I've baked fruitcake twice, made molasses/ginger cookies, sugar cookies, coconut haystacks, and bark with redhots instead of candy canes over the top. In my experimentation over the past 3 or so years with fruitcakes I come up with a version that is likeable by just about everyone I've tried it out on. My personal complaint with fruitcake is that the texture is kinda gross, it frequently smells like old shoes, and the glace` fruit is just nasty....

My version is closer to a spiced bread with fruit and nuts - made with out any glace` fruits, and instead is made with just assorted dried fruits - this years version has dried cherries, blueberries, currants, dates, figs, craisins, and candied ginger. I've also added more nuts than the recipe calls for, and the last batch has both walnuts and hazelnuts. I upped the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves) and replaced the shortning with organic butter. I cooked them in individual muffin cups/tins so that each is a single serving, easily heated with a smear of butter for breakfast. We've all certainly enjoyed them here as has the Eldest Spawn's BFF & family. I've debated on the alcohol basting - and have decided against it for the time being as many of my friends are in recovery, though I did rehydrate the fruit in about a 1/2 cup Jim Beam Red Stagg - it's pretty nice.

Today I'll frost the sugar cookies and make pumpkin fudge. I may make regular fudge as well, with and without nuts. I need to pick up more candied ginger to make more molasses cookies as well as maybe some gingerbread.

Hmmmm... I think the kitchen is calling me.

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Date: 2011-11-22 19:39
Subject: Anniversaries
Security: Public
Mood:melancholy melancholy

I try not to dwell on the past and on those that I have lost.... especially when I know that they are no longer in pain and suffering.


My mother's birthday was yesterday.  She would have been 76.

I miss her something terrible right now.

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Date: 2011-11-17 08:15
Subject: School update
Security: Public
Mood:ditzy ditzy

Blah...blah... blah feel free to skip if bored :-D

School continues - I think I will be fine in all my classes and could even possibly pass chemistry! Whoo hoo.

Now, just to bitch and gripe a little on chem, I am loving the class ...BUT... I really needed a pre-chem type class to start with, unfortunately the school doesn't offer one. I never took chem in high school, and even if I had, that was ...mumble...30...mumble years ago.

So, many of the student in the class are nursing and dental tech students, and they all gather every fucking day with the tutor to go over the work and homework, they have to have a excellent grade to pass for their program, thankfully the FSE program is a little more forgiving.

Turns out several students in my class lobbied for a take-home test, which the teacher agreed to. Took it home and it took me 8+hours to finish! And I really don't think he changed it to be harder just because it was a take home test, and that's the scary thing to me - if I'd been trying to do it in class in the hour he allows I would have failed miserably.

So, back to the other students and the tutor - the met up with the tutor and went over the test, turns out there was a question on there he had no clue as to how to do the answer for. So, am I just crazy thinking that he's throwing shit at us that we have no ideas of? I think the instructor is a great teacher, but like many who have a degree, teach, retire then come back to it, they forget just how hard it is for those who this is their first or second exposure to chemistry.

Turns out the scores ran for 41 to 103 and I got 101! This is the best score I have gotten on any test in his class by far and it drug my grade from a C to a low B - as long as I can do okay on the last test I should be able to pass with a C at the lowest. This is the one class I am stressing out over big time as you can guess.

The rest are not 'cake' but have more easily relate-able subject matter as they all focus on funeral stuff.

In Restorative Art we've learned all about the skull, muscles and structures of the head for doing reconstruction and restoration. The last couple of weeks we've been able to work with wax to learn the proper way to create an ear or nose.

This link takes you to my Tumblr where I posted a pic of the nose and ear from yesterday:
s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lurwrqjRtj1qdi6cao1_1280.jpg Let me know if the link doesn't work please :D

Funeral Options is all about coming up with the right options for each individual instead of a the standard 'casket/service/graveside' or 'cremate/urn' that folks tend to think about when they are looking at setting up a funeral. A lot of work and thought goes into it all and it's a difficult thing to broach.

Funeral Home Management is all about running your own business, much as you might guess from the title. So a lot of information about advertising, web sites, employee stuff.... basically Small Business Management aimed towards the funeral business.

And then there is Embalming..... I've gotten to embalm 2 bodies now, and I think that this indeed the right place for me. I felt a sense of accomplishment over being able to embalm someone's loved one and make them look good for a service/viewing. I felt like I was giving something back to those families and to the person whom I embalmed.

However.... I really wish that the drawings were more like the real thing when you are attempting to find a carotid artery and jugular vein, just saying :-P

And yeah, here is my plea for monies to help with the costs of schooling again:
While the lab fee for the class is $500, that only covers the cost of the 'body' and not of all the supplies that we have to purchase each and every time, so it's a little pricier than expected.  Any little bit helps, and you have my deepest and greatest thanks. Please, feel free to pass on, signal boost, and share this link.

I am looking forward to December 9th, as school ends the 8th and I get to finally sleep in!

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Date: 2011-10-18 12:42
Subject: Well hell, it's been almost a month
Security: Public

It's been a busy month with school restarting, babies being expected, friends traveling and a social security hearing....

So, from the top:

Youngest Spawn had her SSI hearing - we are still waiting to hear back on the decision but it was so stressful she dropped out of classes for this semester.

Middle Spawn, aka [personal profile] abeilledeverte was expecting to deliver at the end of November. Due to some issues she was going to heading over the mountains to this side to be closer to the hospital and the specialist at Children's Hospital for the Spud. Then late last week she ended up being hospitalized and they induced labor.

The Beloved Spouse headed over to offer support and help to run herd on the toddling terror.

This morning at 1:02 the Spud made her appearance in the world. She'll be in NICU for a while, and that's pretty much all the info I really have at the moment.

Family friend the Garzan left this morning to go to Thailand for 6 months to work as a volunteer - I'll be babysitting his big assed red SUV (you have no idea of how much this is fun for me). Dropped him off at the airport this morning and he'll arrive sometime tomorrow.

And finally school.... chemistry is kicking my ass somewhat but I think I'll be okay. The rest of the classes are going well and we're still waiting on a body to have our first embalming lab. *fingers crossed* that'll happen this Friday :D

And how is your fall going?

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February 2018