Posts

The Forever Ache

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I'm not sure where to begin this post. There's so much to say, and for once, I'm at a loss for words. I'll start with the facts, and see where that leads us. November 27th, 2018 mom passed peacefully at home with Dad there. I'm glad that he was there for her, and that she wasn't in pain or afraid. Those were some of my biggest fears surrounding mom's eventual passing.
When it happened, I wasn't really sure what to think. I had thought for some time that she was in serious decline, but Dad was very optimistic that she would bounce back. (As crazy as that sounds - she had a habit of bouncing back from what seemed like the brink. She had more than 9 lives...) I kept it together for Dad's sake, and because my Uncle Paul and I had a really eye opening discussion. He told me that there would be all the time in the world later to mourn and toss myself around like a Victorian damsel in distress - for now there was work to be done.
During my bereavement leav…

Overcaffeinated Thoughts

It's 1:33am and I'm still up. I'm on my second Monster Energy drink of the day. I'm dog sitting Lily because mom is in the hospital and has been for a few weeks. Dad goes to see her, I take Lily on the weekends. This weekend I'm working on computers for my job, partially because I am stressed, but mostly because it's what I can control. That's my coping mechanism when I'm up against something I can't fight. I take something I think I can control and start wreaking havoc.

I'm also chatting with a friend of mine on Facebook. We talk daily. But with both our lives being a circus lately, we are catching up more frequently just to stay current. He's been having medical issues, and I've been updating him on my mom and mother-in-law, both of which are fighting medical battles of their own.

He and I were going back and forth on whether or not he wanted to write an article regarding his newest hassle, and it got me thinking. There's this movi…

Don't Read This Book at Night!

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I absolutely love horror and sci-fi - even better when they're mixed in the same movie, book, or experience! You can find me crocheting like a woman possessed while watching scary movies with my dog and cat. (My husband is nearby, gaming on his computer and laughing when I jump or squeak in fear.)

When I found out that Kody Boye was writing a novel about an alien invasion I was giddy with excitement. He's a talented author with solid world-building and character creation skills. I also know from reading his previous works that he's not afraid to kill off a character - no matter how important the reader thinks they are!

I got my paws on When They Came and couldn't wait to start reading. Kody completely bypasses the lead-up to the invasion and instead drops the reader in the aftermath. Humans are trying to rebuild their society and struggling every step of the way.

The story is centered around the experiences of Ana Mia, a girl who is just coming into womanhood as the st…

Emma and Leslie are back for more!

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Generally speaking, I'm not a girl who reads mysteries. Or, at least, I used to be a girl who didn't read mysteries. Kelley Kaye's Chalkboard Outlines series changed that for me.

The two teachers at the center of the series are English teachers Emma and Leslie. Emma is a sweet Southern belle who drips with charm. Leslie is a plucky counterpoint who loves to quote Shakespeare. Their friendship is endearing and realistic, as are their characters. I have to confess that one of the reasons that the series is appealing to me because I used to be a (Spanish) teacher. Kelley's depiction of the school day and the teacher's workloads are extremely real. Often Emma and Leslie have to wait to see each other on lunch in order to share new insights into the murders. They also discuss having to grade papers and plan lessons. I appreciate these touches - it kills the immersion for me when fictional teachers don't seem to actually have to do their job. Watching them juggle the…

On Change

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Here we are....on the last day of the year. When I was younger, that felt magical. When I hit high school, it just meant the end of the longest break from school for the year. In college I became all about the resolutions.

This year is different. I know I keep going back to it, but the two years since my grandparents and uncle passed have been under more scrutiny than any other time period in my life. Maybe that's because it coincided with my 30th birthday. Maybe it's because my family dynamic changed suddenly. All I know is that this December 31st is vastly different than any other December 31st that I can remember.

This year was a jumble of medical issues (broken finger, infected finger, having strep twice, more fighting with anxiety and depression), and a roller coaster at work. Opening the outpatient clinics, the big Children's Hospital move, and then winding up unemployed.

What I do know for sure is that change will happen. Independent of anything I do, change in inev…

HEEEEERE'S HOLLY!

I promise you, Charnel House Reviews is nowhere near dead! Despite an absence of several months, I have returned to bring you honest reviews on everything HORROR. For those of you wondering where I've been - it's all been work related.

For over a year I've been a temp with a local healthcare company. Myself and several other temps have been working to move a local children's hospital. It went in stages - first were the outpatient clinic moves. We moved them to two floors of a building in what's called the "medical corridor". Basically my company is creating a centralized area with special hospitals and clinics so it's like one-stop shopping. I work with the hardware installation team, setting up computers and the peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.)

The clinic moves were smooth and quick, compared to the hospital! The deadline for the hospital was November 10, 2017. Up until that date I worked 6 days a week, often more than 10 hours a day. As crazy …

Walking With the Dead

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All my life I've been interested in the idea of death and its associated imagery. I was absolutely in my glory when I came across Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives of lost loved ones. Full of skull imagery and bright colors, it felt tailor-made for me. Not to mention, the focus is on remembrance and it does a great deal to take the fear out of death and the uncertainty of the afterlife.

Two years ago, we had a string of deaths in my family during the months of July to December. Within months we lost both my paternal grandparents and my uncle. His wake was held on my birthday. I would love to say that more than anything the imagery of Día de los Muertos gave me comfort. What it actually did was give me a way to express my grief. A starting point for speaking with those who are uncomfortable with the idea of death. Additionally, it allowed me to grieve for as long as I wanted, without public judgement. You see, my crafting room has been sugar skull them…