I have been enjoying writing and posting my book reviews here. This poor blog was so neglected for so long that it has been a joy resurrecting it. It has also given me a reason to think more deeply and write with more analysis about the books I read and listen to and that is, generally, a good thing. I hope you find the reviews at least a little entertaining and useful.
As much fun as the book reviews are, it does leave my blog a little flat on personal details, though, so I thought that maybe I should check in every once in a while, maybe every Friday or maybe less, and fill you in on what’s going on in my life. It has been years since I have posted anything here, so let me bring you up to speed on me and my loved ones.
|Mom and Dad in 2016|
First, and most important, I have lost several people over the last few years. My oldest sister, Pat, lost her battle with cancer and then my Dad’s mom died at the age of 96. Most recently, my dad fell and suffered head trauma which accelerated his already advanced Alzheimer’s and we lost him in January after five months of intensive nursing at home. My mom and I are still trying to find our way without him. He wasn’t the father I grew up with for several years before his accident so the grieving process has been skewed. I am relieved that he is no longer dealing with the degradation of the disease, especially the last five months, but I am just now beginning to truly grieve the loss that was spread over such a long time. You can see his memorial page at DonShiles.com.
My mom and I are closer than ever and I can’t imagine my life without her. She is still providing daily doggy day care for my dogs on top of managing her own horde of three rat terriers and one Siamese cat. I think the last time I wrote here I had three rat terriers, Harley, Scooter, and Pixie. Almost two years ago I added a rat terrier, chihuahua rescue who I named Pooka. She came to us from a pet hoarding/puppy mill home where she churned out so many puppies that it took a huge toll on her mind and body. Soon after she came to us she broke her jaw and we spent over $5,000 saving her life. This was only possible because of the kindness of friends and strangers who supported her GoFundMe campaign. I’m happy to report that Pooka is happy and healthy and a holy terror who bullies Scooter and adores me. I understand the first, but not sure about the second. It’s okay, though, I adore her right back. She may not have many years left since she was about 11 when she came to us, but we’ll take whatever we can get.
|Scooter and her half-size nemesis, Pooka|
I’m still working at Kelly Press and learning new skills as we branch into e-learning. I have been experiencing e-learning from the other side, too, as I have been working on my associate’s degree online thanks to my union. I’m going to finish that up in December and then I start on my bachelor’s degree at University of Maryland University College which, despite its highly redundant name, has a good reputation. Dad used to teach Psychology for it in Germany and it has the advantage of being an online program so I can finish more quickly than I would if I had to go to classes.
If you’ve gotten this far, do me a favor and leave a comment. I like to think there is someone out there, listening. If you’re here just for the reviews, that’s cool, I promise to get back to them soon. I just thought that maybe you’d like to hear a little about me once in a while, too.