Thursday, April 12, 2007

watch alarms

There was a nicely attended service a couple weeks ago. Rather formal, a little stodgy. About halfway through, someone's watch alarm starts going off. The FD looks down in a panick that it's his watch. Whew, it's not. The chaplain glances down at his, nope not him either. The FD is a little annoyed that whoever's it is, they aren't shutting it off. I know, I know, you can see where this is going... Yep, the watch was right up front, in the casket. It just kept going all through the service. Afterwards the FD checks the guy's arms. No watch. Checks his pockets. No watch. Which can only mean one thing. Someone tucked it under him during the viewing. The pall bearers are waiting at the back of the chapel, so FD can't just pull the guy towards him and get the watch out from under him. So, he does what anyone would do. He closed the casket, called the pall bearers forward, and they carried out the casket, alarm and all.
Someone got a private chuckle out of their little joke. It made me happy for the dead guy, well, I'm assuming that it was done in fun, and that were he alive, he'd get the biggest kick of all out of it. I imagine him smiling to himself. Pleased that he'd passed on a little happiness.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

bla bla blog 2

I forgot one "award". Dang it. Although you could have seen the link on the side. Sheri of Days of Deerledge entertains me. I have a favorite Sheri quote, which I shared with Steve and we both had a great laugh as it fits us too. Sheri and her husband were adding a closet to their home: "We come home and get to work. I play the usual role: Gopher Gal. He plays his usual role: Lord of I Know It All. They are roles we both are very good at from many, many years of practice and perfection. " This is so us. Funny how men and women, husbands and wives, all of us, we're more alike than we are different. Thanks for the fun reading, Sheri.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

bla bla blog

hmm, so I think i'm almost an official blogger, except that I haven't really figured out much about how to add pictures or fancy stuff and I doubt I'll take the time to learn, so maybe I'm not a real blogger after all. If blogger is even a real term, not some stupid thing that I just wrote. One psychiatrist in my past labeled me a narcissist. What did he know? Perhaps though, in the blogging world, it may be true as I've only recently discovered that anyone besides me writes about their lives. I was fairly certain that google set up this whole website so I'd have a place to record my thoughts, it didn't really occur to me that the rest of you were out there doing the same thing. I think I've figured out that blogger may be the equivalent of the prepubescent myspace. It seems to me that 90% of (the 15 or so) blogs I've read are written by women around my age.

Yesterday I sent an email to my sister at the exact same time that she was sending an email to me asking the same thing, "are we still on for dinner tomorrow?". It was weird, like our sister-esp was working.

That thing about my sister had nothing to do with anything, it just popped into my head. So back to the blogging thing. Catch from A Penny for My Thoughts (see the sidebar link) was very complimentary about my pencil scratchings. It's fun. So, since I'm not so sure how to add links here and even less sure that I care to take the time to learn, I'll just say that the links in my sidebar are the blogs I read. I'm not so great at commenting, but I read them and enjoy them immensely. Not all of them make me think... like Just for Humor, that's for plain old fun. It makes me laugh. But Snickollet (i could be spelling it wrong) makes me think alot. Catch makes me laugh quite a bit. I really enjoy her mix of humor and daily reality. I love how Sayre of Sayre Smiles examines herself. I especially liked her post about her stride. Having worked in a clean room in the semiconductor industry for years, I recognize many people by the way they walk. Her post reminded me of what our walks say about us.

So that's about as close as I get to an award ceremony. It's not technically pretty, but in the spirit of the blogging community, it's my stab at participation. :) So maybe I am a narcissist. Maybe.

Friday, April 06, 2007

quiet end to the week

The week ends quietly. Whew. I'm thinking of getting a little bistro set to put on the front porch. I could sit out there with my laptop and a diet coke. I mentioned to my manager that I need a wireless connection. He laughed and said "uh-huh". This was mentioned after I called to see if I could lock the front door, turn the phones over to the answering service and go get some lunch with one of my coworkers. He really laughed and said he wouldn't care. Somehow I think if i actually did it, he would. The DC courier (guy who gets death certificates from me, takes em to a doctor for signing, then picks them up once signed and takes them to the health department for filing) said I could sit on the porch in shorts and tshirt. When a family comes up, I tell them to go right in, then I run around the building as fast as I can; sneak in the back door; pull a black dress over my head; kick off my flip flops and jump into some heels; pull my hair into a bun and then walk into the arrangement office like I've been there all along. It sounds like a good plan to me. I think it could work. Maybe I could set up a walk-through perfume mister for right after i slip into the dress.
Skip and I were talking about getting a bbq in the back. There's no shortage of fresh meat.

Ha! Gross! Yuck! and all that. It sure made me laugh when he said it.

A guy from a competitor funeral home came over yesterday to get some prayer cards. I showed him around, he was pleased with how things looked. I guess he did an internship here many years ago. It was fun to meet someone new and also good for the networking portion of my job in case i wanna work somewhere else. Plus I'm awful curious about the type of people who work in this field. Mostly they are surprisingly not what I thought they'd be. He was. There was a young funeral director on "Six Feet Under" (HBO) who had a crush on Ruth. He was weird and awkward and a little frightening. This was the guy I met yesterday with about twenty years and twenty pounds added. I was greatly entertained.

guess i better finish up this Good Friday. I'm so ready to go home and it's not even quite lunchtime yet. Dyed Easter eggs with my oldest grandson last night. His hands were pink up to his wrists. What a riot.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

april 4

how's that for a title "April 4", you can see my originality shining through. Today is better than yesterday. Today i'm back to hating stupid people. It's an easier place to be. Thanks for the kind thoughts shared with me. I have to say again, it's really weird to me that anyone besides my husband reads this. Brianaldo, you make me smile, thank you for making today better for me.

So, I may have lost two preneeds and I say "Good for Noelle". My manager told me to send em to someone else closer to them anyway. It's a man who has power of attorney for his parents and he wants to do everything by phone, fax, mail. That's okay if he'd do what i tell him to do or if he'd read what i send him, which he doesn't. So everytime I talk to him (which has been about ten times since the 11th of January) we start over fresh. Today I wasn't playing well with others. I said he just needed to come in, we'd go over the paperwork, we'd be finished in 20 minutes and it wouldn't have to drag out any longer. I hope they go somewhere else. I'm tired of playing around. It's his parents. I'm sorry if he thinks he can't spend an hour and a half including drive time to take care of this. I'm also sorry that he and his wife don't communicate as i've explained the whole process to her about four times. He thanked me for the evaluation of his family situation. I don't know if I'll hear from him again. Good for Noelle. Very good for Noelle.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I am unable to stop crying and i don't know why. It's noon. I'm at work. I have a lot of work to do. I don't know what the heck is going on. Two families were waiting for me when I got here. One young man to pick up his mom's urn, she was only 54, cancer. His dad died earlier in the year, also cancer. I don't know how old the son is, but he seems to be late 20s. I can not fathom how hard this year has been for him.
Another lady was here to choose a marker for her mother. She was a JERK when she was here before for the arrangement conference. The new FD and I analyzed her after she left, did she love her mother at all or was she overwrought? We judged and found her lacking. Today she was humble and appreciative, just a daughter who lost her mother and for a little while has lost her own way. She gave me a hug when she left.
A viewing for a veteran, his family was here all morning. Also a young-ish guy, 62, very handsome. His wife is so kind and so very gentle. His children are in their 20s and also obviously well-bred, that sounds odd, i don't know how to say it. I stand at the door to my office as they wheel his flag-draped casket to the front door. I always stand as they go by, how could I not. The pall bearers take him off the church truck (new word of the day for you, it's what the rolling stand is called under caskets) and place him into the coach (remember, we don't say hearse). His family is gathered around. It's the saddest part for me, the placing of the casket into the coach. It gets me everytime.
Then I have to hurry in and fill three necklace pendants with remains for a woman who'll be here soon. I hate those darn things. I still need a sieve. I don't have one. The ash is all over me and i can't wash it off. It's in the curves of my fingerprints, even though I've scrubbed. I can look down and see it. I can smell it. It clings to me, super glued to my fingertips. I used the metal polish to buff the pendants. The company sent the polish with them. It etched them and now they look horrible. I've tried to buff them back to a shine. I can't. I got a little glue on the top of one and i try to scrape it off with my fingertip. It seems that the ash is stuck in the grooves of the pendant and it won't come out of there either. I know I'm freaking out and i can't stop. Realistically the ash is gone but i can see it and smell it and I really need it to go away right now.

Skip just got here. With the baby. Her parents will be back anytime, they've gone over to the big funeral home but are coming back here. The baby is tiny on the prep room table. The mom wanted to bring her here from the hospital. She couldn't bear to part with her precious little girl. The mom and the grandma both are beside themselves. I cried with them yesterday. Today, I will try not to. Although i don't know how i won't as i can't stop already. I must look a fright, as Skip just stared at me with his silent appraisal. Did I say yesterday was his first day back? He had a heart attack two weeks ago. He's not supposed to be embalming, cuz he shouldn't be lifting anyone, but he's stubborn and he refuses to stand around "just doing services". It's probably less stressful to be in the prep room anyway. Although I don't think it's the stress his doctor's worried about, but the healing incision where they went into his femoral artery to give him a stint in a heart artery, how's that for technical? I'm glad he's back. I missed him more than i'd realized.

Dang, the baby's family just walked in. What in the world am I doing here?