Redhead, nurse, sister, daughter, aunt, newly-ex-wife, sucker for lost animals, currently owned by Percy the cat and Spencer the dog. In the middle of some major changes–trying to figure out what I want so I can figure out how to get there.

Archive for June, 2011

Moving a body

I am significantly more aware and more comfortable dealing with end of life issues than most people I know. I suppose this is due to my professional experience as a nurse and my personal experience with unexpected death. I recognized at the time and continue to believe that the biggest gift Mother ever gave her children was a clear message about what she wanted about her end of life care, organ donation, and funeral arrangements. As a result of those factors, I have given much thought to what it is I want–though I have no reason to believe it will be needed any time soon. My goals are fairly simple–I want it to be inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and easy on my family. I initially thought I wanted cremation and be scattered anywhere that seemed appropriate. However, as cremation is rising in popularity, it is also rising in cost. Studies have also begun to surface that report that it has more of a negative impact on the environment than previously thought. That led me to search further.

There are many options for , but they are still thousands of dollars. For a time, though, this seemed to be the best option for me.

I may have mentioned my love for reading mysteries. I also enjoy the science of forensics–in print or on screen. I have read many books by many authors that cover the topic. One of these authors is Dr. Bill Bass and his co-author Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bill Bass is a forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He started a research program now affectionately known as The Body Farm. Anything you have ever seen or read about determining time of death by insect activity was likely discovered at this facility. They also study skeletal remains–learning every day a bit more about how to establish identity and cause of death with less and less to work with. By studying the chemical makeup of bones, investigators can identify the region of the country a person lived as a child. This knowledge can assist grieving families in gaining closure years after a death.

As you have likely guessed by now, this is where I wish to go after I die. It fits my love of science, my passion for mysteries, and my desire to help others. It is certainly ecologically sound–natural as possible. It costs nothing to donate one’s body to the facility. So, I was all set, right? Well, not quite. The one thing that would need to be addressed was the transportation. UT will pick you up in you live less than 200 miles from the facility (I don’t) and live in Tennessee (also not me). During initial calls to funeral homes, I was given the inaccurate information, “embalming is required by law to transport across state lines.” This is true in some states, but not in Georgia.

I was discussing this with a friend, and she said, “So all I need to do is get you to Tennessee and they will pick you up?” She was certain she could find a friend with a truck and “meet them in Chattanooga.” I appreciated her offer, but I had some concerns about the details. “So, you think it is a good idea to meet at the Hardee’s parking lot and change vehicles? I have concerns that you moving something that not only looks like a dead body, but actually is a dead body might attract some attention.” She reaffirms her willingness, but I decide exploring other options is probably a good idea.

So this week I made a few more phone calls. I got a few more erroneous reports, but finally hit paydirt. I found a company who will take me to Knoxville for under $650. Now all I need is to type up the information and leave it with my sister. It will require a single phone call to carry out my wishes, and that gives me a bit of peace. Have any of you given any thought to what you want and how to get it? Or does this just reaffirm (understandably) that I do not think at all like *normal* people?


Coffee table DIY

I had an inexpensive coffee table that had seen better days. I finally got around to a project I have had in mind for ages. My sister helped me with the initial steps. We sanded down the table, and painted it with hunter green paint. (The cards did not look right when we spread them out on the unpainted surface.) We were purposely unconcerned about “neatness,” feeling that it would be a waste of time and thinking we didn’t have enough paint to cover completely. After that dried, I glued a bunch of Loteria cards to the table. I bought these in San Antonio, but there are many places online they can be purchased. ┬áLoteria is a game similar to Bingo, but with much cooler, more colorful cards. We left out a few we didn’t like–most of the people including “la negrita,” but I kept the drunk dude (can’t remember the spanish word). I tried to leave out “la corazon,” but Sis kept putting it back in the pile.

I have some water based (hallelujah!) finish yet to apply. I think I will cover the cards with a light wash because they seem too bright to me. I will also likely paint the rest of the table either hunter green or black. One more thing in my odd, but very much like me little house. What do you think?

You can click on any of the photos for a closer look. If anyone is inspired to do something similar (either a table, a tray or something even more creative) let me know. I bought 2 sets of the game but only used one. I would love to donate to someone who will put them to good use.

Laid off, aging, slack blogger

I actually did not look to see exactly how slack I have been at this blogging thing, but I know it has been too long. Rather than catching up, I’ll just go with the current events.

I got laid off Wednesday due to a “reduction in force.” I was not surprised, we knew tons of cuts were coming, and I had done the math and figured it out. I will be paid for 7 weeks, and my insurance will be in effect through July. I also will be paid for whatever vacation time I had in the bank. So, instead of panicking, I am looking at this as a bend in the road (and it sure has been a twisted mother-fucker the past year). The cuts they have made will be really hard for the people remaining to adjust to, so in some ways I consider myself fortunate. What sucked was not being able to say goodbye. I was trying to slip out unobtrusively (as they asked), but did trip over and hug the neck of 3 co-workers. Even though I have been back less than a year, I have built and (re) built relationships. I was prepared for the layoff, but not for the feeling of being left hanging. I hate goodbyes, but I like closure. Fortunately, several of us had plans to go out June 25 in place, so I will see some folks then. I have some leads, and I am not stressed about it. I am still a nurse, and people still need nurses. I’m hoping to get THE job, but I know I will be able to get A job.

This Sunday marks the 46th anniversary of my birth. Last night I went to see Rebecca Loebe. She is from Atlanta, and plays often at my favorite venue, but I did not “hear” her until she was on the television show “The Voice.” (If you are a watcher, she didn’t make it out of the Battle Rounds. She sang a Nirvana song for the audition, chose Team Adam, and got eliminated after the duet of “Creep” with little med school dude.) She is brilliant, gorgeous, wide variety of original songs, and as nice as she can be. I met her father when I saved him from a hug-ass-mother-fucking-cockroach that was crawling on his back. I also got busted using the men’s restroom when the line was too long for the women. It was a one seater, I really had to go, and I didn’t want to miss any more music than necessary. Not quite the rush as using the men’s room at the Superdome, but worth a mention.

Tonight I will be eating fondue with my sister and a couple of very dear friends. We will then go to The Fabulous Fox Theater and see the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The Fox is an amazing building and I have seen Elton John in concert, Dora the Explorer with the niece, but never participated in the summer movies. They have a sing along with Mighty Mo (the organ) and a cartoon before the movie. I am looking forward to it. Low key plans, but exactly what I want to do. I can’t wait to get another peek at the amazing architecture (it started as a Mosque).

So, that’s what’s up with me. How about you guys?