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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year End

I just spent the past few hours making a new expense tracking spreadsheet. Since I'm a computer geek more than a numbers person, the spreadsheet itself is more fun than looking at the numbers. I put a sheet at the back to keep track of the balances in my accounts, both savings accounts and debit accounts like my mortgage and credit cards. The upshot is that I am a bit over $85K in debt. Yes, that includes my house. I looked at my fixed bills. I could, if I have to, make it on unemployment. That is, I could if I stop spending money like I have been the past couple of weeks. I am sobered by what I see. The past year really, really knocked me backwards financially. Knocked me backwards but didn't knock me down.

I will have to be firm in my resolution to do what it takes to get on my feet financially if I am to have any hope of hiking the AT in 3 years. Or if I have any hope of doing much of anything on my list of things to do with the rest of my life. I am on a very shaky cusp on all fronts, financially, physically, emotionally. I have chosen to stay home tonight, New Year's Eve, to think about all this. I really want this next year to be much better than the past one was.

I will start tracking where every penny goes from now on. This is what the spreadsheet is for. It is a work of art for me, this spreadsheet. I have it broken down into the categories that make sense to me. It is easy to use because I designed it, it works the way I think. So, there is no reason I can't do this. If I am spending more in a day than I can track, I'm spending too much on too many things. I have done this before and it isn't that difficult.

As I watch where my money is going I will make decisions on what is worth the money to me and what isn't. Food is still an issue for me now. I just can't figure out what I want to eat. Even giving myself permission to go out to eat doesn't help since I can't figure out where I want to go. So, that will be a challenge especially as I start working out more and need those calories. The give and take of money vs. health vs. convenience.

I am grateful that the house sold. If it hadn't sold by now my decisions would be between much more difficult options, so I am very grateful for what I do have. I am just sobered, as I said, by where I am vs. where I thought I'd be by now.

And so, on with the new year. I am ready to say good-by to this one. I have no idea where I will be this time next year. I have stopped making very concrete plans more than a few days in advance. But now I have a better idea of where I am starting out with the new year.

Hike

Yesterday I went back to the county park and hiked. I used my new hiking poles. I realized that they give an upper body workout, kinda the low weight/high reps taken to extreme. I feel it today. I can feel my muscles building up some. That means that I am going from having no muscles to having some muscles.

I have told enough folks that I'm in training for the Appalachian Trail in 3 years that I guess it is now a real goal. This means I gotta figure out how to pay off the credit cards and such in that time period. It is kind of disheartening because this time last year they were paid off, and now I'm deeper in debt on them than I've ever been from having to live on them while having 2 house payments and such. The three year time frame gives me a realistic window to get into shape and acquire the equipment I need.

Today I will spend tying up loose ends from the year. I may post a year-end wrap-up later.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Woot!

I went and got a new gas cap for the truck, one that you don't have to take off to add fuel. I then spent $69 on an oil change, new air filter and new brake light at Jiffy Lube. When I went for the emissions testing the truck passed! I will try to get the plates for the truck today. It has occurred to me that this is the last day of the month to get plates, so the line may be a bit long. sigh.

I also went and rejoined Gold's Gym. I have my initiation workout this afternoon at 1. The trainer who called me to schedule last night sounded enthusiastic. I had a fun time playing with him on the phone. It should be interesting. I tend to know what I want to do when I walk in, but I'll try to just listen and not make comments intended to mess up his script.

So now I need to take a trash run. Then come home and get cleaned up and head out. If the line isn't too long I'll try to get the plates for the truck. Then the workout. Then, well, I'll take stock and see what is next on the list.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Odds and Ends

Quote from the comic Zippy: If time didn't go by so fast I wouldn't dwell so much in th' past.

I had, for me, a very social week leading up to Christmas. I had social obligations for 3 days in a row, ending on Christmas Eve with having dinner with my parents and then working some more on setting up Mom's computer. On Saturday, which was my birthday, I helped oddball and various friends move what they were able to salvage from the fire into their new apartment. Then he took WizardPC and I out to dinner as a thank-you. Since that was what I'd wanted for my birthday - to spend it with friends - I got my wish and had a very good birthday.

Since I got home the evening of Christmas Eve I have not gone out of the house. Today, which is Thursday, I will go out and run the necessary errands. This includes the fact that my truck plates run out at the end of they year in 4 days. Since the county I used to live in didn't require emissions testing and the one I moved to does, I should start that process today. With a truck that is 10 years old and has 280K+ miles on it, this might get complicated and/or expensive. First off I know I need a gas cap. I lost the first one within 6 months of buying the truck new. My then boyfriend insisted that I get a new one. Well, I lost it soon after, but I had also lost the boyfriend so I never replaced it. I think I also have a leak in the exhaust system. It is original, so that isn't really a surprise. Just don't know how that will affect the emissions test. I probably should also get the oil changed beforehand. Like I said, it may get complicated.

I finally installed the tub diverter/faucet. That bathroom is now much, much cleaner. However, I found that as I cleaned I saw just how damaged it is. Mostly wear and tear that isn't dirt but actual places that won't clean up. I was depressed yesterday because of it. That room will need over-hauling that is more than just painting as I had hoped. Again it is the question of where to draw the line, how much to fix. The entire tub and surround could use a replacement. Also, the shower head is loose, but that would mean sawing a hole in the wall behind it to get to it to tighten things. That bedroom that has the shared wall is the one with the most damage, and one more hole wouldn't be that big a deal, I guess. It is also most likely the last room I'll tackle, so I'll leave that decision until then.

I spent most of one day just shredding papers with my new heavy duty shredder. I have more to go, but I can see progress there. Now I just need to take the trash away. FlyLady (flylady.net) says that we shouldn't turn our houses into landfills just because we either don't want to take things to the landfill for environmental reasons or because we hold onto things that need to really be trashed. I have spent over 2 years just cleaning out old trash from my stuff. I keep making deeper and deeper cuts, and when I really look at a lot of the stuff I've moved around I can't think of anyone who would want it. There is some guilt, but I want to be rid of all this just 'stuff'.

Which brings me to what I've really been doing these past few days. Nothing. Nothing but laying around thinking of how I really kinda wish I was down to just what would fit into my truck to move, how I wish I lived in a one-room house or houseboat or RV, etc. I am a long ways from that now. And, really, I don't know that I want that at all. But, I can't pull myself out of this funk and start working on the house right now. Madcap Mum, over on blogspot, posted a site that has information that she's been using to help herself with some issues. I'm going to try it out. I know that if she hadn't posted that it's helped her I would dismiss it as hype because it has a lot of the hallmarks of it. However, around page 35 of the free manual it did in fact have the directions on how to use the process after all. So, today I will take a shower, get out and run errands, and this evening I'll start learning this process. If it works I'll post the link here for those who don't go to her site.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Not-Quite Mid-Week

I didn't do a lot on the laundry room last weekend, just enough to figure out that the corner stuff I found didn't work as I was told it would. I just now thought of a way it might work, but not for the corner I was working on. I went back to plan A, which is just lots-o-mud. I haven't started sanding on it yet, so the verdict is out on how well that worked. What I did do on Sunday was go out and hike 6 miles in the city park. It is actually more of a county park, and the trails are all in the woods. But, there is usually voices and such around since with the trees off sound carries and the trails are all around one ridge. The 6 miles were about as much as I wanted to hike, and I'm still feeling it in my muscles. I need to do that every weekend to even begin to get into hiking shape.

Mom's computer should be delivered today, so I'll go up there this evening and set it up for her. The new version of Open Office (a free software suite that has many of the same types of programs as Micro$oft Office) has a much better database section that I think will work for her class reunion database. I'm hoping so since I don't know that I can lay my hands on a version of Micro$soft Office I can afford. Her digital camera software and such will work much better on this new computer, and those are the main things she uses. I'll set up her email, and she should be good to go.

I am making plans with the guys at work to go to the Saucer on Friday after work, and called my former partner over at Metro and told him to tell the techs there that I'd be there Friday if they wanted to show up and share a beer. So, that will be my beginning to the Holidays. I have asked on channel, and specifically oddball and WiardPC to join me for a drink or something somewhere Saturday to celebrate my birthday. I'll hammer down plans for that later in the week. Which will leave Christmas Eve to get together with my parents for dinner. Then I'm taking the next week off work. Well, I'm on call if they need me, but I'm thinking (hoping) they won't. So, at the least I'll do a hiking trip up to Land Between the Lakes, and if the weather holds maybe even over to the Smokies. Again, I'll decide that when it gets closer to the day.

I got my tub diverter. I need to have daylight to work on replacing the old one since the old one is cemented into place. I'll use my trusty dremmil tool that I got last year to buzz it out. But, the light in that bedroom where the access door is doesn't work and I don't want to do that work with a flashlight. I also need to troubleshoot the switch in there to see if that is the problem, again not a flashlight project if I can help it. I took the plate off the switch last night and it looked pretty sketchy in there from what I could see.

Another 'I'd never be here if I wasn't working this job' story. Yesterday I had a call at Gaylord Entertainment and the directions were to go past the guard shack, park, and walk past the camels... I said "camels...?" and he said that the Rocketts have a live nativity scene in their show and the animals are quartered in that parking lot. Sure enough, in a tent in the parking lot were a donkey and 3 camels. Kinda cool.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Spending Money

I have been spending money this week. Some of it is really good. I found the piece that is broken on most of my kitchen drawers for less than $1 at Lowes once I knew what I was looking for. I'll go back and get enough to fix all of them. The ones that need a complete replacement of the slides will cost less than $10/drawer. So, I'm looking at maybe $50 total. I also ordered the tub diverter. This sounds so trivial, but I have no water in that tub and it needs a good cleaning. The diverter won't be here till the first of next week. While at Lowes I found some inside corner drywall stuff. Not sure what you call it, but it has metal in the corner itself, and paper tape attached on both sides so that I can mud the corner and have it look better and be more stable. And they were cheap, too.

I also ordered Mom's new computer last night. Hopefully it will be here for Christmas. I got a scratch and dent Dell. More than I wanted to pay, but it will be a good computer that hopefully won't lock up on her all the time like her current one is. I'm having it sent directly to her. Told her to expect her gift to arrive next week, and to call me when it did. Didn't tell her what it is, but she probably figured it out. When I said it's her gift from Dad and me, she asked if he knew about it. I said he did at one time... I'll let him contribute as much or little to the price as he wants. The main thing I'm buying is not having to go over and troubleshoot intermittent issues with her computer. At least that's the idea.

Work has been ok this week. No real bad days, so I'll take that as good juju. The food I bought has worked out well. I got some uncrustables, the frozen PB&J sandwiches, and I'm addicted to them. I went back and got 3 more boxes. Maybe I'll make some home made ones this weekend to see how they do. These are a huge step up from Pop Tarts, which is what they replace in my life. Pop Tarts or a morning drive through the local fast food place to get a couple of fried pies. About the same cost, but healthier. I also got a 60 count box of frozen waffles to have for breakfast. Again, I'll make home made stuff eventually, but these do for now.

This weekend I promise myself I'll get out and do something. Walking the trail at the local city park, which is around 3 or so miles of trail, would be an easy way to ease into getting out more. Since I consider myself in training for the Appalachian Trail in a few years, weather should not be an issue. I have a rain suit and down jackets and wool sweaters and whatever I should need to do 3 miles that is a couple of miles from my house.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another Week

Yesterday I worked on the laundry room remodel. I've pulled the door trim off one of the doors, and worked on one corner that is tricky because of the way they hung the drywall. They do it differently in these modular homes that they never intended to tape and mud. It is slow progress, but it is progress. I had worked out a sketchy time line that would have me finished remodeling the inside of the house by the end of next year. I don't think I can keep up even that pace. The time line is useful so that I can be more realistic when I'm looking at what needs to be done. To be finished in a bit over a year I would need to be done with the laundry room by the end of the month, and I don't see that happening at my current pace. I may get faster as I go along, but who knows.

Another thing I did was research new drawer slides for the kitchen drawers. I have 14 of them, and only about 2 of them still work correctly. At the most it looks like a bit less than $20 each to put new slides on them. After looking in detail at how it all works I'm sure this is within my carpentry abilities. I also took the time to research again finding a simple tub diverter. You know, that thing where you turn on the hot and cold water for the bathtub, pull up on the shower diverter and water comes out either the spout or the shower head. Well, you can spend over a thousand dollars (!) on a setup that basically does just that, but I couldn't find the simple old-fashioned one-piece thing that has the spout and faucets all together. I found a place out of Alabama that has it, and I may call them tonight. Even with shipping it will be just under $30. I have that site bookmarked for further reference when I need useful items in my remodel.

I also kind of put out my back again. I'm sure it was from reaching up and working on the walls but it happened when I picked up a concrete block to set next to the dog house to stabilize it. Everything is on a hill here, and I used bricks to level the dog house. It was sliding around a bit, so I put blocks on 3 sides of it to keep it in place. My back didn't like that. It isn't as bad as it has been the other times I've put it out, more of a warning.

I feel like I'm more or less on track. It is a slow track, but at least I feel like I'm making some progress now.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Settling In

Today, since it is Saturday, I mostly cleaned and did laundry. I am still in the process of taking possession of this house by washing out cabinets and such. I am working on the kitchen mostly this weekend, although both bathrooms could use a good cleaning, too. I also decided that the cat and I were not coming to any agreement on who controlled the futon at night, and I was tired of losing and having to scrunch up to sleep while the cat hogged the bed. So, I moved things around in the one room I'm living in, which is the great room, mopped the floor and then put up the single bed. So this one room has a bed, a futon couch, a lazy-boy chair, a smaller rocker and footstool, my desk w/computer and printer, my printer table and a few other odds and ends. It is a largish room, but geesh! Obviously I need to get working on remodeling the other rooms.

I also got tired of being sick. I went to Wally World and stocked up on frozen food. My small fridge is already full with just stuff, you know, the bottles and drinks and stuff that isn't exactly food but that needs to be kept cold. I also got some frozen pre-made pancakes and (gasp!) some of the frozen pre-made (and crustless!) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Eventually I will make my own and freeze them, but the main thing now is to eat. I am happy that my system is back in running order and I'm feeling better. I basically had stopped eating. I do that when my routine is disturbed. So, whatever it takes to get back in a routine that includes meals is what I do. As I get in the habit of eating it then becomes easier to do it in more healthy and frugal ways. But, first I have to be in a routine.

My dog and the pit bull 'pup' that is now as big as my dog have become friends. I'm glad that the pit bull was smaller when they were introduced. I don't worry now when I leave the dog outside when I'm gone. Which is good because the dog wants to be outside during the day, even when it's cold. On the other hand, my dog and my cat no longer get along. The dog never used to be inside as much at the other place, so when she was in they tolerated each other. Last night the cat was doing it's 'look Ma, I've got one of your socks' yowling that he does every night. The dog got tired of it and snapped at him as he brought the sock to me. The cat hid all day today, and won't come out and sit with me even now. This is very unusual. Hopefully this is temporary. On the other hand, I may be able to sleep stretched out tonight rather than scrunched around a cat who is taking up more than his share of the bed.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Down Time Again

Yesterday afternoon I got a sick headache and it progressed into a queasy stomach. I never actually got sick, and felt better after I got home. I slept from the time I got home till around 1am, which got my sleeping pattern mixed up since I was wide awake in the middle of the night at that point. Today I got a slow start and didn't feel really well, but not sick enough to call out from work. I made it through my calls, and decided that my problem was that I just hadn't been eating enough real food. The fast food sandwich I got yesterday really didn't sit well so I hadn't eaten anything else all day. Today there wasn't time to stop to eat during the day, so this evening I went up to the diner and got supper. I was doing ok till I got to the register to pay. All at once I felt like I might should find the bathroom. I persevered, and made it home ok without getting sick. Now I am again just feeling poorly, but not poorly enough to call my boss and say I can't work tomorrow. I hate this. I'm not making any progress on the house, or anything at all. I'm making myself stay awake until at least 8pm so that I may sleep through the night.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Quote

I found Walden on line at: http://www.online-literature.com/thoreau/walden/

The quote I referenced is: '... for I made no haste in my work, but
rather made the most of it'

I feel better using the proper quote. He says it better than I remembered it anyway.

Progress Happens

I have officially started the remodel of the new house. I pulled the 5 gal tub of drywall mud back out, taped a few seams and mudded them. The laundry room is my room to learn on. I will have a lot of sanding to do. Not sure what to do about the inside corners where I pulled the trim off. I'll wander into Lowes and Home Depot and maybe a random hardware store or two and see what is available. I'm hoping that there is something for the inside corners like Critch is using for the outside corners. I have one of those in the laundry room, too, so need to pick up the outside corner stuff and some tin snips. I may pull the trim off around the door to make some of the corners easier to mud and paint. I'm going slowly.

I haven't talked about the closing last week. It was odd. Now the new thing is for the buyer and the seller to close at different companies, even in different towns. I never met the person who bought my house. There are a few things he needs to know, such as the alarm code. Oh, well. My realtor had to run up to where the buyer was closing to get our checks. I wandered the mall while waiting. I did end up with my check in the end, though. I called a couple of friends who all said "I bet you are relieved now" and realized that I really had no emotion about it at that point. I keep waiting for it to sink in, but it is just kind of a blank still. It's almost like the home I lived in for 7 years just no longer exists for me. Oh, well, I guess I'll sort it out at some point.

I spent pretty much all of yesterday cleaning on the new house. I cleaned out the master bathroom and started putting some things away. I cleaned some of the kitchen. I sorted clothes out so I can find what I need more easily. The biggest challenge and biggest opportunity is not having entrenched habits anymore. Everything pretty much changed. I am comfortable in a jumbled house right now because my own mind and feelings are jumbled. I work on fixing the things that are an annoyance, such as the leaking washer hoses and no sink stoppers. Today I need to take the drain pipes apart under the kitchen sink and see why one sink drains so slowly. One thing at a time. I restore order to the house as well as my mind.

I wish I had my copy of Walden unpacked. I can't quote directly, but in talking about building his cabin he said something along the lines of 'for I did not hurry about my labors but rather made the most of them'. That is what I am doing.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The day I've been waiting for

Today is the day I've looked forward to for over a year. I'm in my new house (at least all my stuff and animals are in one location now), and I have nothing serious hanging over my head. I am no longer rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. I'm not sure if the ship went down or not, but I am at least momentarily on stable ground.

Ok, enough with the philosophy. I have a normal Saturday planned. Laundry is happening, and the new hoses don't leak. I am starting to really think about what I want to do to the house first. I am getting the normal chores done. I am making progress. That last is what I haven't felt like I've made much of this past year. Progress.

About a year and a half ago I looked at the ladder of progress I was climbing and realized a few things. First of all, I was not really climbing anymore. I was at a standstill. A post on a message board I hang on talked about how you can't steer a stationery ship, so even a move in the wrong direction is an improvement. I also realized that one reason I was at a standstill was that the ladder was leaning on the wrong wall. It wasn't going anyplace I really wanted to go after all. So, it was time to make a change. I certainly didn't think it would take this long. It was a very deep and comfortable rut I had to blast myself out of. Now that the ship is moving, it is time to start steering it again.

I have been out with friends several times this week. That alone is an improvement. Last night Dementia cooked dinner for a few of us as a way to give Oddball and Panya some calm space and comfort. I went basically to be supportive of them, and ended up staying for dinner and some wine. It was nice to spend time with people I enjoy. Critch is renovating his new house and looking at the materials he is using and what he is doing was educational and has motivated me in ways that I hadn't been before. I'm not alone in this stuff! I am actually excited to get back working on the laundry room again... not that I've started yet this morning, mind you.

Now hopefully this blog will become a record of movement and progress, not just a place for me to whine. As I move through this day and weekend I will be thinking about what I want to accomplish.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Reality Check

The house finally closed yesterday. I have the money in hand. I still felt depressed, whine, whine. This morning I woke up to the news that a couple of my best friends, Oddball and Panya, had their apartment burn down last night. They are ok, and they say that the cat got out ok, too. But, most if not all of their stuff is gone. As well as a place to live. Reality Bites.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Almost There

I wanted my next post to be that everything was finished with the move and selling of the house. Today I give up, and here is an update: I am moved! Finally! The old house is empty. I am living amongst boxes and bags and such in the new house, sleeping on the couch yet. I'm in no hurry to settle in, and am taking my time deciding what I want where. What hasn't happened is that the old house hasn't closed yet, meaning that I don't have my money yet and I still own it. It has been put off twice now. My realtor wouldn't even return my calls today. Her assistant said she thought she heard that we MIGHT close on the 30th. Not sure what's up. I don't think it's anything with the buyer or anything. In fact, when I went today to turn off the electricity he had already put it in his name. Oh well. It will close at some point hopefully.

I didn't get either of the two jobs I had second interviews with. Both companies said I was over qualified for the jobs. Well, yes I am. I need a job, though, and could have done either job very well for them. Whatever. I have another interview tomorrow. It pays more and will be a more interesting job. It is software as well as hardware support, and it is on servers and backoffice software. If you don't know what that means, just nod and congratulate me. Here's hoping...

So far the new boss is ok. He is very much into "I'm here to make your job as easy as possible so you can take care of our customers" and seems to be trying hard to do so. Much nicer to go to work now. The permanent folks are walking around kind of in shock still at the reorg. I feel sorry for them, but I just hope it's not an issue one way or another for me much longer.

Nancye says she can see a difference in my stress level now. I don't feel too different, but I do know that I'm a bit more relaxed. Moving out of the old house was very difficult for me in ways that I didn't foresee. It was stressful, almost like admitting defeat in some way because I didn't do all the improvements and such that I had planned. Also, I hated seeing things that needed to be tended to and just leaving them. Nothing major, just things that I'm excited to get to here that I never had the energy to deal with in that house, like painting and such. That last few loads kept expanding, and with every load I'd realize that I had several more loads to go. Even with the last load, there were a few things like some bricks and such that I just didn't have room for. I declared "Enough!" and drove off.

I have long-term plans to go through everything I own and eliminate large chunks of it. A friend I was talking with this weekend wants any artsy stuff since she works doing art projects with kids. I can get rid of a box or two of things to her. And that is just a start.

A friend just called and we are going to meet up at the interstate for a cup of coffee on his way home from work. This is why I moved down here closer to town, to be able to just jump into the truck and meet up with folks. This is good.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Batching It

I am up in Clarksville at the Books-A-Million drinking a cappuccino and using my new lappy wireless card that gives me wireless wherever I am (within a metro area). Up here it isn't as good as down in town, but it works. I don't like cappuccino's apparently. I remember the ones at Runciple Spoon in Bloomington, IN and I enjoyed them. Oh, well. I have a client appointment at 6, and I have another half hour to kill. This is my attempt to make nice at work by doing what is necessary to finish my calls. The guy who was yelling at me so much isn't our dispatcher anymore. They made the dispatchers the boss over the desktop group (which I am a temp in), but luckily for me we got a new dispatch guy. I don't know anything about him yet, but hopefully he won't yell at me.

I decided last night that I am just batching it at home now. That term to me means that I'm just doing what is necessary to function, and comfort isn't really part of it. I am sleeping on the futon and sleeping in sweats since I tend to get up several times each night. Things are all jumbled around and I've made no attempt to bring any kind of order to any of it. Today I did stop by Lowe's and get some stoppers for the kitchen sink so I can wash up dishes and new hoses for the washer so that I can do laundry without leaking water all over the floor. I priced dorm size fridges. Lowe's ones are nice, but for just a bit more I could get a real fridge. Sam's Club has a nice on for $137. If I don't find a better deal I may get it. They also had one for $119, but the pricier one is much nicer for the extra $20.

I'm putting off talking about the interviews. I know for a fact that I didn't get the one I interviewed for on Friday. That was the one I felt most confident about. I did the second interview at the other place yesterday. I didn't feel warm and fuzzy about it, and took out my frustration by going shopping and getting some new interview clothes. I didn't spend nearly as much money as I did on the first 2 outfits a couple of years ago ($450) which I have felt was well worth every penny for how they have made me feel walking into interviews. I did spend almost $100, but I got pieces that will work with the ones I already had. And, more important, I felt better. I don't know when I'll hear about the last interview, maybe tomorrow.

Zycron, the contracting company I was working through at Metro and who I really like, called me tonight about an opportunity. I couldn't get my phone to pick up the line and by the time I got the message they had left the office. The cell phone number left for me to call won't connect. My new phone is officially flaky, but I need my box and paperwork to trade it in for a new one. If it's not one thing, it's another.

I'm just getting through this one hour at a time. I will have a nice, settled life again at some point... maybe...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

And, Yes, Still Moving

I am living at the new house. I moved the animals yesterday, and they are settling in fine. I got the washer and dryer hooked up and am doing laundry as I write. I've eaten supper at the diner up the road the past 2 nights. Not frugal, but I am getting real food at least.

I still have stuff at the old house. The longer I do this, the weaker I get. Luckily the stuff is light weight, just 'stuff'. Pots and pans in the kitchen, the fridge stuff since I don't have a fridge here, odds and ends like shoes and my desk chair and I don't even know what all. I think I have everything here that I absolutely need to function. Guess I'll find out tomorrow as I get ready for work if I do or not.

I have a second interview tomorrow at 3. I have my interview clothes laid out. Friday when I was getting ready for the interview at another place I realized that I had moved all my dress shoes and I was at the old house. Tonight I laid everything out that I will need. I should shower tonight and wash my hair and all that. We'll see. I am really tired.

I'm glad I took some time off work. My stress level is way down. I still have a lot of details to handle, and some things are just not getting done. Hopefully, the major things are covered somewhat. It is times like this that I'm glad I'm single. I don't have to listen to someone tell me what a stupid loser I am because I'm not doing this perfectly. No one but me (and the animals) suffers if I let something slip.

I am keeping Lowes in business lately. Next trip I need stoppers for the kitchen sinks, new hoses for the washer (one is leaking pretty badly), and I think I'll spring for a dorm size fridge since my cooler idea really isn't working well after all. Last trip was the new power cord for the dryer. Money is going out faster than it's coming in. Hope I get a real job soon.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

And Still Moving

The structural engineer found some things he thinks need to be fixed under the house. Well, the tech who was here taking digital pics in the dark apparently made him think that some things need done. So, we don't close tomorrow. Which is good since I still have things at the house and am still living there. It is where my wireless internet is... oh, and the animals, it's where my cat and dog are. I'll move them tomorrow. Really, there isn't a lot here, but the trickle of things going to my truck and to the new house is slow. I have taken off work for 3 days to deal with all this.

It turned out to be good that I took off work also since I had two job interviews at the placement center yesterday. I made the cut for a second interview for both of them. One interview is tomorrow at 10, and by Monday at 3 when I go to the other interview I should know if I already have an offer from them. That will make the second interview interesting, which ever way it turns out. If I go in knowing I have another job if I want it, I may ask for more. If I know I don't have a job at the other place, I will be very very easy to get along with and have few demands of my own.

So, the whirlwind continues. Everything I've waited for six to nine months to happen is happening this week.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Still Moving

The big stuff got moved on Saturday. It went better than I had any right to even hope for. Mom made us chili and she and my aunt and uncle had the new place looking a lot cleaner by the time we got there. Nancye came back down and help herd us, leading Howard over to the new house with my lawn tractor in tow (literally), and they got it put into the storage building.

I have a bunch of little stuff left to move. It is just a countdown to Friday to see if I am out. If we really do close on Friday I will put whatever isn't moved into the garage and move it Saturday. I'm hoping there is little left other than trash to take to the landfill.

Oh, I did find the clean underwear...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fear

Fear is hitting pretty badly right now. I am taking care of the 'last minute' details, but the details pop up faster than I have time or energy to handle them. Mom found a close by place that I can rent a 14' truck to move with. That way I won't be spending Saturday morning worrying that not enough trucks will show up. Space is more my concern than strong bodies at this point, hense the truck. I packed two more drawers of clothes, the underwear. I am a bit concerned that my clean underwear and my clean work clothes end up at the same house at the same time. Not terribly concerned which house it is, just that I don't end up without one or the other come Monday morning.

Tonight I drain the waterbed, wash the bed clothes, buy dog food, go to the new house and get the 12 cup coffeemaker that I already moved over there cause I don't use it much. My helpers may want coffee in the morning, and we will be over here at that point. I need to figure out the cooler thing. I have a large cooler what will be my fridge till I can afford to buy appliances for the new house. I have a small chest freezer to keep ice going for it. I need iced down drinks at the new house in the afternoon. sigh. Guess I'll shop Friday night for sandwich stuff and drinks and buy some bagged ice, then take the cooler with me to the new house when I go on Saturday... Like I said, the details keep popping up.

The new house is a total mess. I had cleaned it at one point, but it is in serious need of another cleaning. I bought a 2-burner hot plate so Mom has something to cook on while she's there. I'm sure she will clean some while waiting on us. I also need to get her a key to get into the new house... sigh, another of those details.
And life doesn't get any less complicated after the move.

Onward. Again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Voting Day

I did my duty and voted yesterday. I havn't had a radio or TV on so I don't know how any of the races turned out. It was dark and rainy and I'd had a not great day where I got off work late. But, late was only 5pm and I was less than 5 miles from the place to vote. I imagined the line at the fire hall to be long and outside in the dark and rain, but I also decided that there are folks who risk death in other countries to vote so the least I could do was brave some rain and dark. When I got there I didn't even have to wait. I think my area is somewhat small population wise, or else my county just happens to have enough districts. My Mom, living two counties away, had to wait an hour in line to vote. I was glad I made the effort. I thanked the women at the table who checked me in for volunteering. They seemed to appreciate my saying something. On the list of things to do once I move is to change my registration to the new place.

Didn't do anything towards the move last night. When I got home I was hungry. Not a lot of food in the house, so I actually got in the truck and went back to the little town I live outside of. There is a diner there that is basically like it was in the 50's. It was full but I got a booth and ordered a hamburger and chili. This place even has the individual juke boxes at the booths like a lot of places used to have. There was a kid who looked about 16 eating at the counter who was feeding money into the main juke box playing Beach Boys and Bob Dylan. It reminded me of the place I sometimes at lunch in my small hometown and listened to that same Beach Boys song when I was in Jr. High. There were folks of all ages there. Lots of ball caps and camo hunting clothing and even a few cowboy hats. Quite the cross section of the area. Wish I'd been going there before, but I just got the courage to try it out for the first time a few weeks ago.

I am mentally making a list of what has to be moved Saturday that I can't move myself the next day. Really, there are only about a dozen things that have to be moved by someone besides me, or that I can only lift half of. Mom is making cookies and will make some chili and I'll get a deli plate and drinks for those who help me. The guy who has the trailer to move the yard tractor is confirmed for that morning. So, hopefully things will go ok.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Decision Time

Sometime last night I made the decision to go ahead and move everything to the new house this weekend. I had been thinking I'd wait to see if the current contract would really go through, but this weekend is the last weekend before the potential close date and so it is the last time I could get help to move the big stuff. I have decided to just go ahead and move. If the current deal falls through I'll have an empty house for sale. The big issue is the waterbed. I didn't want to take it down till I knew for sure I'm moving. However, it would be difficult for me to move it myself. So, I'll start draining it on Thursday night. sigh. I love my king sized waterbed. I won't be putting it up till the bedroom at the other house is remodeled. That happens to be the room where there are actual holes in the wall and some other damage. I'll be on an air mattress till the work is done.

The realtor says that things are on track. There are some issues, such as they want the structural engineer to do his inspection before the appraisal. I said that since *I'm* paying for everything, screw what they want. Don't know if she heard me or not. I mean, don't know if she will do what I said. Anyway, since I can't control the process any with this realtor, I made the decision on the only thing I can control which is the actual move. She said the home inspection did happen. I asked "when? he wasn't here when I was" and she just kinda went on past it in the conversation.

I did nothing towards the move last night. I came home and crashed. I needed a night to just give up and not even try. Maybe that's what I needed to make my move decision. At any rate, I do feel better in general about the process now. I am scared. Stepping across that chasm to the new life is scary. It is funny that I got inspiration from the 'Wendy Usually Wanders' blog. I mentioned her a few months ago as Heather's Mom and said that both of them were making decisions that I wouldn't make. But, I still read Wendy's journal. And she is currently all about change and not getting in a rut. She said something about how a little change and privation are good things. The privation of living in a house that I'll be remodeling is what is a bit scary to me. This current house is nice and comfy. The new one needs work that isn't my strong suit. I will have to face a lot of things I'm totally insecure about. This would be why I haven't been working on it the almost 11 months I've already owned it.

Onward. I guess.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Day of Rest?

Wow, a lot got done yesterday. Mom and Nancye came over and helped move the 'little stuff'. Mostly we cleaned out the outdoor buildings. There is not a lot left in either building. The amazing thing is that Nancye got all of it arranged in the 10x12 building at the other place and left room for the tractor. I was way too tired to worry about arranging, I would have just slung it in and dealt with it later... maybe... So, everyone asked when I say things like this "is it sold then?" and the answer is "maybe". There was an appointment for someone to come do a 'home inspection' yesterday. I finally pinned my realtor down. Well, she didn't know much. Seems her assistant had set up the appointment. As we talked the realtor pinned everything down on this inspection and said that everything else is waiting on it... The guy never showed up that I could tell. He (I'm being sexist assuming it was a he) was to be here between 11 and 12. We were here till after 2 and never saw him. We are supposed to close in less than 2 weeks. My realtor said she would sit down and figure out all the timing and let me know Monday. right.

We moved all my side tables yesterday. When I brought my hot very large mug of coffee to my rocker and reached for my laptop that was on the hearth (only place to put it) I almost dumped my coffee into the laptop. Looked for a different place to direct the spill, and my down jacket was in the way. Ended up mostly spilling on my hand. sigh. Moving is inconvenient.

The nanowrimo writing is way behind. I may try to catch up some today. I'm slow getting going because my body is not used to as much physical labor as I did yesterday. Writing may fit in with that. I still haven't heard from the folks that asked me to be their webmaster. I'm not sure I'll have internet at home for awhile when I move. Since that may be in a bit over a week, that could be an issue on many fronts. I'm thinking that I'll sign up for the Cingular wireless that uses the cell wireless system. The new house is close enough to town that I should be ok. It's a lot slower than broadband dsl that I'm used to, but I'll have signal wherever I am in town. If it is too slow I can take my time figuring out what else to do. I think satellite is my only other option at that location.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Things speed up

I did my daily word count on the nanowrimo writing. I am slowly getting the hang of what the project is about, which is to start writing and stop thinking. I needed 130 or so words to finish the night and didn't know what to write, especially in the story. I just started writing. I got the word count plus 1. A bit painful to make myself sit down and do it, but that's the point.

I packed up the Tupperware from the Hoosier cabinet. I just need to pack the pyrex measuring cups (I have several) and that cabinet will pretty much be ready to move. Progress. The extended weather shows rain for my move date, the 11th. I plan on trying to get as much stuff as possible moved this weekend. Nancye will come down and help me. No strong bodies to move large stuff, but we can fill both our vehicles with plenty of the smaller things.

I put my back on the verge of going out again today. Did it the same way I did it last time, carrying a large but not heavy box all over Vanderbilt campus. I have to carry the boxes on one hip, and walking in that off-centered position for too long stresses the muscles in my back. So, I have to be very very careful for a few days so that I don't put it all the way out. The weight of what I pick up isn't terribly important, it's that I can't twist while I do it.

Called the realtor tonight. She couldn't talk and said she'd call me back. She has not. The date of handing over possession is two weeks from tomorrow and I don't have any idea if we are on track or not. She said they haven't received the ernest money yet. I have to have city water hooked up by closing I think, and I need to know when to schedule it. I don't want to pay out over $2,000 until I have to if this deal isn't going to go through. The appointment center called, and they are showing the house again tomorrow evening. To someone else. Geez.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nanowrimo, It Begins

I got my first 1000 words done on my nanowrimo novel this morning, and then this evening I added 700 more. I got my word count for the first day plus just a little. The other thing is that I actually started a story. Don't know how far I'll get with it, but so far so good.

I packed up the last of my cookbooks tonight which cleared off a set of shelves. The box of books and the shelves are sitting by the front door to be loaded into the truck in the morning. I may take them by the new house tomorrow or wait till I have more stuff loaded. If I get a wild hair later tonight I brought in boxes to pack up the last of my plastic storage/tupperware containers.

My wrist is now sore. It has happened in years past when I did nanowrimo. It didn't bother me in on the ergonomic keyboard but here on the laptop it hurts. Guess I should stop typing for the night.

It's November

If it's November then it must be time to start my nanowrimo novel. Obligatory disclaimer here: I'm not a novelist. But every year since 2003 I start the process with nanowrimo.org and try to write 50,000 words of a 'novel'. This morning I started and already have over 1,000 words. And for the first time I have started the rudiments of a story. Not sure how writing, moving, keeping up my blogs, as well as daily life will all fit, but I'll give it a try. I've not ever made it to 50,000 words but that is because I am usually leaving for 2 weeks in the Virgin Islands in the middle of the month. This year I just don't have the money and I am sorta in process of moving instead.

I'll update more tonight as I try to make my daily 1,667 words.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

living well

I have been surrounded by nudges that it is time I stopped trying to 'fit in' and get on with living well. For one thing, I have a lot to do right now. As I take care of details in my life, I uncover more and more details that need to be taken care of. My current house stays cleaner than it ever has before. I have moved so much stuff that cleaning it is easy when I need to do it. I am down to 2 plates, 1 bowl, a handful of mugs and glasses, so I have to wash dishes regularly. But, there is never much to wash. However, it seems like the more I do the more there is to do. I pay a bill, and realize that I have let 2 others go just by forgetting them. Bills are something I usually can keep track of in my head. Not lately.

I had my vow of silence on the chat room, and broke it as I felt more comfortable. I was still not jumping in as readily as before. Then yesterday one of my favorite posters decided to take a leave of absence from the room. I started realizing that with him gone, and one other person I used to talk to not on as often that when I do say something most of the time it is ignored. Early mornings are the only times that I really enjoy conversation there. A handful of us early risers (or late workers) kinda have a coffee klatch there. The person who is now absent is one of the few I talk to then. So, I am thinking I again need to take advantage of a good opportunity to keep my mouth (or fingers) quiet. This has an advantage of freeing up more time for those pesky details I mentioned before.

As if moving wasn't enough to keep me on my toes, I have agreed to be the webmaster (webmistress?) for a group from up home that I used to be very active in. I am not really a webmaster, but I have more time than anyone up there who is actually working on putting on the convention that the website is for. So, this should be a learning experience. So far they haven't sent me the info for me to log in and see what I've gotten myself into.

Speaking of moving... I showed the house 3 times this weekend. Each group said they were going to put in a backup offer. One did actually go in and talk to my realtor. They decided the house is just too small for them. My realtor hasn't seen the need to verify that the person who has the current offer on my house actually closed on the one he was selling yesterday. That was one of the requirements of the offer. She seemed confused as to why I even asked about it. sigh. So, I wait. And I pack.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

It's Saturday

I am somewhat caught up going into this weekend. We are making progress on an offer on the house. There are still a lot of bridges to cross, so I'm not counting the money yet. However, if the offer goes through my date to hand over possession is November 17. I have started the major packing. Well, I have packed one box of coffee mugs this morning. Packing up the kitchen is one of the two worst areas as far as time goes. The worst is going to be my office. This weekend I plan on moving most of the kitchen stuff I don't use and again, working on emptying the outbuildings. When I have my 'move day' where I beg friends shamelessly to come help me I hope that all I have left is the furniture that I can't personally move myself. Since I've been working for the past several years to get down to stuff I can move myself, that means that there are only a dozen or so things that should be left.

As I clean out cabinets I am making sacks of stuff and taking it to Mom. She can figure out whether to use it, donate it, recycle it or trash it. I am to the point that I can't make clear decisions past 'I don't need this anymore'.

Off to do more packing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Progress

Last night I cooked myself some supper. A salmon fillet and some red beans and rice. I have one more fillet left from a bag of frozen ones I got at Sam's club. They are good, but I had gotten tired of them. At some point this week I went to the grocery store and got the boxed red beans and rice, a box of angel hair pasta and sauce, and 3 boxes of pop tarts. This explains some of my eating issues. Mostly it explains it because this is a huge step up from normal for me. I do feel better this morning for having eaten last night.

I also did a load of laundry. Since I wasn't home during the weekend I am playing catch up on some things. But, I am catching up this time around. I also paid a past due bill. The common thread here is that I am attending to the details of my life rather than sitting in front of the computer thinking how I have so much I 'should' be doing while not doing any of it. Still have the vow of silence on the chat room. At some point I may even stop reading it constantly.

I am still unsettled thinking about my friend with the health issues. When prodded about why he hadn't told me sooner and did he have any process in place to have me informed if, well, he died, he said no, he would just disappear. That hurts. It's easier for him, but it hurts me. So, I need to ponder how to get hold of some of our former common co-workers that he keeps in closer touch with. Moving into the age bracket where friends start dropping out due to heart attacks and such sucks. My genetics on both sides say that if I don't screw it up I should make it to 100. I have great aunts on both sides who lived to be 103 or so. I know that saying goodby to friends is on-going at this point. Luckily it has been several years since I lost a friend to death.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Correction

Ok, first off a correction. During my self-absorbed rant I said no man had paid for my meal in a long time. I then later remembered that Oddball paid for my dinner the night I bought the Stanza from him and he took Naienko and I out for Chinese. Sorry, Oddball, I was busy feeling sorry for myself and blocked out anything that interfered with my pity party.

Next for real news. As usual it isn't final, but I have an offer on the house. I countered, not really a lot of difference in the prices. They now are waiting for an appraisal before finalizing the offer. I think they want to say they are paying more than I'm selling it for, and roll the difference into their closing costs. Not a problem, I did that when I bought the place 6 years ago. But, now we wait... again... This is the same couple that I originally showed it to, and they then came back and looked at it officially. They had put the offer in, but my agent hadn't been into her office to get it off the fax machine. She was sick. sigh...

Yesterday I had a late call up north, and called a friend on the way home. We met for coffee as our paths crossed heading home. He is someone I've known for about 10 years or so. He's actually more or less my age. He's also married, but we still can be friends. Almost 2 years ago he had a heart attack. I didn't hear about it till he was back at work and I called him to see why he hadn't been answering his phone. I thought I had asked him to let me know when he has major health issues. Last night he finally let me know that for most of this year he has been fighting an issue with his liver. As in it is enlarged to twice it's usual size. They've biopsied it, etc. Basically at this point the doctors are looking more for why he is still alive rather than what is wrong with him. Some comment about duty while in the Army (career), and how most of the folks he served around are dying/dead. double sigh...

Now it is time to do more of the things that I normally just sit and whine about. I really do want to make changes. I need to make changes. And changes don't happen while sitting reading the chat room on the computer every night. I have instituted a vow of silence for now on the chat room. Too many things I might say that would burn bridges or start flame wars. It's better to get on with living well. My motto has always been that living well is the best revenge.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Nature of Change

I went to a con this past weekend. For those who don't know what that is, it is where you go to a hotel and party with approximately 300 of your friends while pretending to be attentive to the informative talks on various forms of computer hacking/security. In truth, many of the talks were interesting. I'm just too restless to sit through an entire talk. I made it through 3 of them in their entirety, and learned a lot from just that much.

The weekend alternately confirmed beyond doubt that I need to walk away from this group then turned around and showed me why I stay. By 5 am this morning the sword was cutting both ways rapidly, and each direction it took cut deeply. I may or may not go more into some of it, but it has me thinking again about the nature of change for me.

From my constant whining about being stuck and such on this log it might seem that I don't understand how major permanent life changes come to pass. This is not true. I have a few years of various 12-step meetings and counseling of various types behind me, and I have been through at least one major life change already. The basic fact for me is that things have to get so bad, so painful that I get totally pissed off. A 12-step book detailed how the word emotion can be broken down to e-motion, the energy that fuels change or the energy of motion. That's why when folks 'help' their sinking friends and keep them from feeling the strong emotions that hitting bottom brings they deprive them of the energy needed to fix the problems. What I have been missing is that energy, that ability to feel the pain enough to get pissed off enough to actually make the painful steps necessary to change.

This weekend I got pissed off.

The only helpful anger for me is to get pissed off at myself. Upset at my laziness. Upset at the fact that I go back to unhealthy ways of relating to people - men especially. Pissed off that I have let my body go so badly. This last in response to showering in a bathroom in the hotel that had brightly lit mirrors that didn't hide what is happening to my body.

Then, as I would get totally pissed and get ready to leave the con and go home, someone would turn around and show me that I do really enjoy some of the folks in this geek group that there are intelligent, caring, fun folks here in and amongst the ones that I dance the unhealthy dance steps with. As I started for the elevator to start packing up last night, one of the guys I know primarily through the chat room stopped me and asked if I wanted to have dinner with him and his friend. We went downtown to a small pub and had a nice quiet dinner. He even paid for my dinner, the first time that a man has paid for my dinner in a long time. I was totally humbled by his simple act of friendship. Later things happened that had me going to bed finally around 3 am thinking that I would just get up, disconnect from the chat room and leave the group again. At 4:30 am some goon pulled the fire alarm. After getting back to my room I started packing up, planning on just going on home. I heard someone out in the hall (the door was open) and one of the guys I've wanted to get to know better was wandering around and he came over and gave me an affectionate hug, the first time he has ever really done anything like that. I was able to tell him I appreciate his posts on the chat room, and he seemed touched by that. I felt good about that, and decided to just go back to sleep.

As I was checking out I was given the opportunity by fate to be drawn into a conversation with another of the young men in the group who is also in another computer group I'm in. The discussion about his new projects made me think that I do want to attend that meeting next Wednesday, that there are some good things going on in that group. And then one of the other guys wandered through and we talked for several minutes, sort of solidifying a budding friendship that I appreciate and learn a lot from.

I know all this is vague. Basically it was as if fate was making sure I saw both sides of the issue before I made any decisions to burn bridges. And maybe showing me that I need to widen my circle of friends in the group rather than walking away from it. The ones that I treasure there push me to learn more to keep up with them. They get excited talking about their projects and make me want to have projects to get excited about too. The others sit around and wallow in their adversities, always in a bad mood and bitching about any little glitch in their lives. I have fallen into my usual dance of trying to 'fix' things for them, giving sympathy and such and thinking that they will find me to be the one true friend they just never had. The reality in that dance is that they just suck my energy into their own bad karma and never give me the energy I need to move ahead myself.

And so, I need to take the e-motions from this weekend and rather than turn it inward into self hatred like I usually do I need to use the energy to fuel self improvement and movement toward what I want in life. What I want is an interesting life filled with projects and friends to spend time with who enjoy what is going on in their own lives.

This was written for myself more than anyone else.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More of the Same

Have not heard one word from the couple who looked at the place last Saturday. The appointment was for 'second showing and putting in an offer' and I know they were here cause a few things were moved around. No idea what made them change their minds. There is another appointment to look at it by someone else later in the week. The second group that had scheduled to look at it last weekend ended up canceling before the showing.

The hacker convention is this weekend. I have a room booked for Thursday through Saturday nights. I haven't even started packing. I asked for Friday off. I'm still not feeling well and am glad I have a short week.

I haven't posted cause there just isn't much to talk about. I hate just saying over and over that the house hasn't sold and I don't have a real job yet.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Once again, Maybe

Yesterday I came home sick. Too many things went the wrong way physically, and I just decided to call it a day early on. I had on my list of things to do to call the realtor and find out what happened to the folks she called me about since I hadn't heard anything. Since I was feeling puny I hadn't called her by the time I got home. As I walked in I got a call from the showing scheduler (a separate person with this brokerage) saying that a couple wants to see the place on Saturday from 11-12. I asked enough questions to verify for myself that this is the same couple that I showed it to last Sunday. They keep saying they want to put in an offer. When I hung up I considered pulling off my clothes and crawling into the waterbed since I still wasn't feeling well. The dog started barking right then and a car was in the driveway. I stepped out and it was the woman of that same couple with 2 of the kids. She didn't expect me to be home and just wanted to show the kids the place. I told her to 'make yourself at home' . She said they would be back on Saturday and that the mortgage folks see no problems. Of course, we have not started talking money yet.

Yesterday was cold. I put on long sleeves for only the second time this year, then came in and put on a fleece top as well. That wasn't enough with the chilly wind. That was part of why I was sick, I was getting a sore throat. Add in that it was my, ummm, low energy day of the month and that my tummy wasn't feeling well and I just came home and slept all day. I felt some better last night, and am better this morning. Still not full energy, though.

The bee meeting is tomorrow. I am ashamed that I have not taken care of my bees at all since I moved them to the new house in the spring. I have no idea if they are ok or not. Apparently there is a huge problem with hive beetles this year, and I couldn't tell you if I have them or not. With the weather turning chilly I can't really open the hives up till it is warmer anyway. I guess tomorrow morning I'll get up and tidy the house and load up the truck with things to move to the new house and then head to the meeting.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Almost

Once again things are just waiting. The job was vapor ware. What the means is that it never really existed. The upper manager was sure he would get the funding so he had his manager start the interviews. When it came down to it, he did not get the funding and so that is why the second round of interviews never happened.

Last weekend I got the yard mowed and trimmed up so it looks good. Hopefully it will stay that way awhile now since it is the middle of October. It is raining today, so that will help keep things a bit green for awhile. The new realtor called me yesterday asking detailed questions about the place. Seems there is a couple who want to put an offer on the place. I showed the house to a couple on Sunday who stopped by, but she said she specifically asked the other realtor if this was them and the realtor said these folks had never seen the place. So, I'll clean a bit extra before heading out today in case the house shows. I also got a new mailbox up. I hope it stays up longer than the 3 weeks the last one did.

I had dinner with Oddball and Panya last night. We went to a Japanese place that was cheap and good. I ate with chopsticks. I was told that if you have to ask for silverware there they make fun of you. I said that if I felt I needed silverware, then everyone could just deal. Apparently one of our friends won't go back there because he doesn't like being made fun of cause he can't use chopsticks. Seems counter-productive to the restaurant. But, the food was good and the meal was under $10. Then we went to Bongo Java. This is one of the geek coffee house hangouts. I had never been there before. I was a bit dissappointed, expected something different although I can't tell you what. Something more like Runciple Spoon in Bloomington I guess.

I haven't been posting because I'm thinking about what direction I want this blog to take. Also, it is part of the process of figuring out what direction I want my life to take. I enjoy the blogs that have some kind of theme to them or a focus or something and the blog is a record of the journey in a particular process. This one is just a listing of how I almost but don't quite sell the house and/or get a better job. Still pondering.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday

I have re-listed the house for sale. The house is clean other than the yard still needing attention. Hopefully it will sell this time. Mom finally coerced me into watching as she transplanted the redbud trees at the new place. These are trees that maybe 2 years ago she took as cuttings from my blooming trees here at the old place and put in water like cut flowers. They rooted so she planted them in her small garden at the senior housing. When I bought the new place immediately they became trees for the new place. I have been under orders to get them transplanted for several months now. Realize that at no time did I ever mention that I wanted these trees. So, yesterday she dug them up and we met at the new place and mostly I watched as my 75yo Mom dug the holes and planted two 5' tall redbud trees for me. I will enjoy seeing them bloom in the spring if they live, I know. But again this is Mom deciding I 'need' something and getting testy with me cause I don't come get it.

The round of second interviews for the job has been postponed until the second week of October, maybe. When they start getting vague all of a sudden either the job is vapor ware and is disappearing or they hired from within and it was all just smoke and mirrors anyway. I will call and ask the recruiters about it a couple of times more, but I'm not hopeful.

This week should be focused on working on the yard here at the old place, and packing up and moving more of the stuff in cabinets and closets and moving it over to the new house. Also I need to start seriously moving things from the outbuildings. That is the goal. I am thinking that I really have no excuse not to actually move over there now. The temperature has fallen to the point that the lack of air conditioning isn't an issue now, and it does have a nice new furnace for when it gets colder. I would tend to work on the house a lot more (read: I'd actually start working on it) if I lived there. The neighbor has 2 pitbull pups now running around loose. They are cute and friendly, but there is no way now that I can take my outside, tethered, older dog there. My dog is old and probably blind at this point, and arthritic. I will make an appointment at a vet and have her put down sometime in the next few weeks. I'm putting it off, and that is one of the reasons for not moving over to the new house yet. That is one decision that I will be glad to be on the other side of. It's hard.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Routine

In the interest of getting into the routine of updating here daily, I'm posting even though not much is happening. I had a basically good day. Few calls, and I had the time and opportunity to go to lunch with oddball. So, I got pizza and enjoyed the company of a nice attractive male. Both Good Things. I remembered to go get my CSA basket, which I forgot to do last Monday. That worked out last week, though, because yesterday I managed to clean out my fridge. Tonight I cooked another of the squash for supper. I am officially tired of squash. It would help if I knew some way to fix it other than bake it then drown it in butter. I am tired of anything fixed the only other way I know to cook, which is saute a thing in olive oil and onions. I have 5 more squash in the fridge to eat. This week. This is one reason the pizza tasted so good.

I picked a new realtor, and her phone is busy. For the past 2 hours it's been busy. I'll try her again in the morning. If it's busy then, I'll go looking for yet another realtor. I checked the listings, and I honestly think my house is priced appropriately. It is older and smaller, but closer in to town than some. It also has more land. Oh well.

And, I didn't hear anything about the second interview for the job yet.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lazy

I can call it overwhelmed to make it sound better, but lately I am definitely lazy. Ok, not just lately, but I am more bothered by it lately.

I found my down sleeping bag. It is one of my prized possessions because of the freedom it gives me. I bought it 20 years ago after a relationship broke up. That and a small tent. No longer would I need a man to go do the things I enjoy! The bag keeps me warm, and being down, is also fine for summer. I have been careful during this move to keep it near me. I thought. Labor Day weekend when I went to James Cave I couldn't find the bag. I figured it was just in Another Place, since with 2 houses and 4 outbuildings I have a lot of Places. Before heading to Montgomery I looked in every Place I could thing of, no bag. I decided it saw me looking lustfully at new -20 degree bags in the new ultralight gear sites and being the jealous type it took a hike. Well, apparently it has forgiven me, because yesterday I walked into the room where I had looked in the closet and under the bed for the bag, and it was leaning against the wall next to the dresser. I keep it unstuffed in a muslin bag, so it is 2.5 ft tall and over a foot around, so it isn't like it's something small to look for. But, somehow I had gone into that room many times looking specifically for that sleeping bag and not seen it sitting right there. sigh. At any rate, I have my freedom back and can look forward to sleeping warm whatever travels I decide to head out on.

All but one of the hikers I've followed on the Appalachian Trail are either finished or have dropped off the trail at this point. It has been bittersweet, since I no longer will have any connection to these folks I feel I've come to know through their blogs. I do have a goal to hike the trail myself in 3 or 4 years. This gives me a concrete timeline to get myself and my gear and my finances where they need to be. I could refer back to my opening comments on being lazy here. As the weather gets cooler I want to go back to the Smoky Mountains and do the day hike that is my gauge on how in or out of shape I am. I won't schedule it for Christmas Day again since the weather has a habit of making it's sudden turn to winter right around Christmas Eve, and the park won't let me up to the trailhead when there is snow since I don't have 4wd.

Hopefully I'll post this evening on what all I've managed to accomplish today. It is almost 11:30 and I haven't started...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Snippets

Some things that I come across and think I should blog:

At the entrance to the landfill in this county is a big sign that says "SLOW - BUZZARDS AT PLAY" which I think is hysterical. It gets the point across and makes me smile.

I hang out at SimpleLiving.net on the discussion boards (under a different name). In a thread about 'what degree(s) do you have and would you do it over again?' a long-time poster detailed a list as long as my arm of certifications from his military career and then pretty much every certification that Microsoft and Cisco have. At the end he noted 'One lesson learned: certifications expire, but an academic degree is forever'. This is the most concise reason for going to college vs. just 'getting the certifications' that I've ever read.

I added a new experience in field service recently. I worked on a computer in the surgery of an animal hospital while a dog was being operated on behind me. The client contact stood behind me as a human curtain since I have a weak stomach. This job is definitely interesting.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Quick Update

The showing of the house was a no-go and the realtor came and got his signs on Sunday. I wouldn't let him have his lockbox since Nancye and Charlie might have needed them to get into the house when they got here on Monday.

They made it in to town here just as I got my drink and chips at the Mexican restaurant where we had decided to have dinner Monday evening. We had a good time relaxing, then came back to my home where they spent the night. It was nice to have plenty of space to have a couple of over night guests. The next morning Charlie was on his way early, and Nancye and I talked for a bit. Then she reclaimed her car and headed home. We decided it had been a fun adventure of the kind she and I both enjoy. I just wish I could have had more time with Charlie and Sandy.

I heard this afternoon finally that I have officially made it to the second round of interviews for the job. Also, the rumor is that they may hire 2 folks rather than 1. So, I am 1 of 5 left in the process. Life would indeed be much easier financially if I was making decent money again. But, those thoughts are best left to dwell on after I find out I have the job.

Dad's tests have been postponed again for a week. Guess no one thinks that his issues are terribly dangerous, which is good.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Change Happens. Maybe.

The job interview was rescheduled to Friday afternoon, right in the middle of my scheduled trip to Montgomery. I felt like I had been hit with a load of bricks. Before I could do much, especially since I was driving to Ft. Campbell on a call at the time, Mom called. She was taking Dad to the emergency room. I called Nancye and said 'my life is kind of falling apart right now, I'll get back to you on the trip...' Well, I decided to run Nancye down to Montgomery after work on Thursday, and get up fairly early and head back for the job interview. Mom called and said that the specialist the emergency room ordered has scheduled tests next week, and released Dad till then. So, Thursday about 4 pm Nancye and I piled into her much nicer car and headed south.

I had mentioned to Catonic in the chatroom earlier in the day that we would be through Birmingham that evening, and he should call me when he was finished working out if he wanted to meet for dinner. The fact that I hadn't eaten all day started being an issue about the time we crossed into Alabama, and we ended up stopping and getting some extremely good bar-b-q long before Birmingham. A bit after we were back on the road Catonic left a message on my phone, which hadn't bothered to ring or record his number, asking where we were. I had given him my number, but hadn't gotten his, so I had no way to call him back. I got hold of Oddball, and he posted to the chatroom to Catonic to call me again, which he did. So, Nancye and I ended up stoping and visiting with Catonic at a Starbucks in Birmingham that wasn't far off the interstate. I enjoy meeting people I formerly only knew on the internet. He and Nancye talked Mac computers. One of the few times that Nancye followed a computer conversation better than I did. I kept having to ask her what Catonic was saying...

We got in to Charlie and Sandy's campsite in Montgomery around 11 pm. Sandy was already in bed as she had to work Friday as the last day on that contract. Charlie already had our beds made out in the living room and kitchen (I slept on the bed made from the breakfast nook of the travel trailer), so we crashed. I didn't sleep well, may have been the Starbucks coffee so late in the evening. I was awake around 6 for the day, and after seeing Sandy off to work with a hug, I got ready and headed back out to Nashville in Nancye's nice car. She will help Charlie and Sandy move their 3 vehicles up to Arkansas. Actually I talked to her earlier today, and they got the trailer situated and headed out around 8 this morning.

The trip up to Nashville was uneventful, thankfully. I got home around 1pm and called Mom to call me a bit before 2 to make sure I was awake. I knew that if I even sat down I'd go to sleep and miss the interview. She called and woke me up on schedule, and I made it to the interview by 3:30. I interviewed well. This job hits all my strong suits. I am pretty sure I did well enough to get called back for the second round of interviews, but I won't know till Monday for sure.

Friends of my parents' from Missouri showed up as I was talking to Mom after the interview, so I said I'd drive on up to see them. Having only eaten a breakfast biscuit around 8:30 am, the turkey and deviled eggs and such that Mom was sitting out for supper looked good. After supper all of us walked around the senior apartment complex and looked at the various flowers that everyone has in the plot of ground between the porches and sidewalk that is theirs to garden. I looked over Mom's computer and reset some things she couldn't figure out, then I said my goodbyes and headed home.

This morning I got up with no plans except to relax. I did start laundry, figured I'd clean up the mess I'd made of the house before the interview later, and took a nap. At 11 my former realtor called me and said that a different realtor wanted to show the house at noon. He had told me Friday that they had called and it might happen, but I didn't really think it would. So, after being woken from a dead sleep, I had an hour to get the house ready. Luckily it was just surface mess from unpacking and such, so I cleaned it all up and headed out by noon.

I went to the rails to trails trailhead and was just going to sit there in the shade but decided to walk. I'm tired but a bit edgy by now. I walked about a mile, reading the information signs that are a new addition since the last time I walked there. I then stopped at Sonic and got one of their small banana splits to celebrate.

I am back home, and I've had a bit more of a nap. I think I'll get cleaned up and go someplace to eat later. I need a good meal. Tomorrow I may go back and visit with my parents and their company, or I may just veg. I haven't decided.

So, I may end up selling the house (haven't heard back from anyone on that yet) and getting a good job, or one or the other, or both may fall through. I'm too tired to care much right now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Oops

While driving down to town for my job interview, I got a call confirming that I would be there... tomorrow. Hmmm. Not sure where the mix-up was. At any rate, all has been rescheduled and it will work out at least as well as if it had been done correctly the first time. Actually, it was better because I got a lot of things done around here that had been bothering me. I did make the trash run in the rain. The rain looked a lot more threatening from inside than it ended up being when I was actually tossing the trash into the compacter at the landfill. I got the grass that I tracked all over the house after mowing this weekend all vacuumed and swept up. I did the dishes so they are currently caught up. I got the clean sheets put on the bed. All good things

I feel so good about being more caught up that I have enjoyed spending a lot of time just reading random blogs. I bookmarked a few for further reading. There seem to be a couple of main types of blogs. Ok, some are in Spanish. I don't read enough Spanish to manage those. That was the only other language I stumbled across. Some college classes seem to require a blog as an assignment. Those blogs have a much more cut and dried sound to them and I don't tend to bookmark those, maybe because they are written for a teacher to read rather than friends. Another common group seems to be the religious folks. I was reading one blog of a woman who is a teacher up in Amish country in northern Indiana. Since I am from Indiana originally, I enjoy her descriptions. She also spent time in Africa this summer on some kind of graduate class/mission project. I believe she might be Mennonite, which if there has to be missionaries they seem like the most helpful type. I did bookmark her blog. Another one I bookmarked was by a woman who seems to be part of a frugality network. I want to explore that group more extensively.

I brought from my readings a vision from a student of almost empty bookshelves. He characterized the picture as how he sees himself right now, bringing little from his previous life into his current one, waiting to fill the shelves with what he will learn as he goes onward. I'm thinking I need to clear off some (a lot!) of space on my mental/emotional shelves myself. I also brought the sense of excitement that wandering as a lifestyle can have from the lady who was in Africa. Wandering in the sense that I could take time to enjoy the trip, see detours as opportunities for adventure, etc., and not be as concerned about any perceived destination. I may as well view my life as wandering since I don't seem to be making any straight-line progress anywhere right now.

Time to think about supper. A new cooking adventure. sigh.

Two Steps Back

The guy from dont4close.com won't call me back, even to give the courtsey of saying he's not interested in even talking about buying my house. The guy from tnbuy.com talked to me and said he wouldn't be interested because it's so far out and its a modular home, but he took time to try to give me suggestions of other ways to sell. So, I'll continue getting the house ready to show again and call a different realtor.

I took today off work because I didn't know till yesterday when I got home from work what time my job interview is today. It's 3:30 this afternoon, so I have time to do things beforehand. I was going to run to the landfill, since I didn't do it Saturday. However, it is raining. I do need to run down to town and pay some bills, though.

I'm feeling myself slipping into a depression. I'm trying to eat more, but I can't figure out what I want most of the time. Thursday after work Nancye and I are headed down to Montgomery, AL so I can drop her off to help some of our friends move to Arkansas. It will be good to see everyone, and feel like I'm giving a little back to a common cause. Depending on what goes on I'll either drive back Friday or Saturday morning. It's only a 4 hour drive down there, so it's no biggie.

Madcap Mum has a quote on her blog something to the effect that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Makes sense. But, when I look at my days I see a lot of sitting around feeling overwhelmed by something, either housework or finances or my job or something. Gotta find the energy to break out of this somehow.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

It's Here

The Saturday that I have no 'plans' and can do all the stuff that I wanted to put off till I had a Saturday when I had no plans. And, I'm sitting here on the computer. Ok, I'm going to take a minute to start some dishes to soak...

Ok, back. I don't do dishes all week, just put them in the dishwasher. But, I don't actually use the dishwasher, I wash things by hand on the weekend. I have thoughts that if I did things during the week I could go do fun things on the weekend, but haven't managed to get there yet. So, I only have about 3 sink-fulls of dishes. It wouldn't be the difficult to do them at night. It's on the list.

The main things I want to get done today are making a trash run, since Saturday is the only day the landfill is open that I'm not working, and mowing the yard here at the 'old' house. The next things I'd like to do is run a couple of loads of stuff from the 'old' house to the 'new' house. At some point I need to do a large trash run, taking the stuff that I have to pay to drop off. I don't have a lot of stuff, but it tends to be the bigger stuff that takes up room and looks bad sitting around, like the old beat up mail box and such.

I was reading a thread on simpleliving.net about decluttering makeup. I really need to do this. I have drawers and drawers of makeup, some of it older than some of my current friends. I don't tend to wear makeup. I kind of have it layered, with the stuff pulled out that I think I might wear in one room and drawer, another drawer there that didn't hold everything, and 2 or 3 drawers of stuff in another room that didn't make that cut. I'll try to eliminate one drawer of makeup today.

I didn't hear from the broker last night. I may or may not call them Monday again. I kinda want to see how they play this game, so I might continue the dance just to see what happens. I still need to go to the other url to see what they do. I also need to go through my bills and pay some of them. A better job or selling this house would go a long way toward making me feel better about that area of my life.

So, with all this to do, why am I still sitting here?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tipsy

I met my friend Trisha for beer and garlic bread after work today. We get together occasionally and whine/commiserate/enjoy what's going on in our lives. Tonight I had about 2.5 mugs of beer, which is 1.5 more than I usually have. I am feeling it. Amazingly I didn't feel any effects while driving home till I was about a mile away, at which point I was very glad I was on a 2 lane county road since I definitely felt drunk. I got a ticket already this morning for turning right at an intersection that has a 'no turn on red' sign, so I really, really didn't want to get stopped for driving while intoxicated.

So, any in-depth posting will have to wait till in the morning. Of course, tomorrow is the Saturday that I have put off pretty much everything that I should have been doing for the past month. Since posting is the least of the things I should deal with I may actually get that done. Oh, and I haven't heard from the broker I called to see if they would buy my house. Somewhat surprisingly, I saw another sign with a url for a place that 'pays cash for houses'. I will at last go to the website. I am still mostly trying to figure out what the gig is with these folks. So far I know that not calling me back is part of the game. I am not desperate, so I can sit and play as long as they want to. I imagine that for folks who are in dire financial straits and see this place as their only hope, waiting for a few days is a killer and may make them more ready to do whatever it takes to work with the company. Not so for me.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Beat Goes On

Yesterday I called one of the cash-for-houses folks. I was not going to give a lot of personal information on the phone, but they didn't ask much, just basics about the property. Not sure how I feel about that. Since one of the first questions was 'is it a mobile, modular, or ...' and I said modular, that may have stopped them. Anyway, they will call me 'by Thursday' to let me know if they are interested. I also got a letter from a realtor who saw that my listing had expired and they want to talk to me about listing with them. Sine they are out of Joelton I may try again with them if the cash place doesn't want to work with me.

The weather has cooled. I was busy all weekend doing things away from here, but I feel a lot better and am getting more done. I also feel better about work. I think that not dealing with driving around, getting in and out of the truck, etc. in the heat is helping.

I have a lot to say about the weekend, but since I kept putting it off I decided a quick note is better than not posting at all. So, maybe tonight I'll write about the weekend.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ups and Downs

I bought the Stanza. It is older, and has some issues. The transmission, which was somewhat recently replaced, was not behaving well. That was the most annoying problem. Also, I was getting only 14 mpg. That was truly annoying since it's a 4 cylinder. I was about to park it to use only as spare transportation, but decided to run it through a quick-lube place and see if they found any fluids low, etc. After an oil change and a new air filter, the car runs really well again. I was low on gas, so I was going to get gas at Sam's when I was there, but they had the pumps blocked off. I looked and still had some gas according to the gage, so I decided that I'd just stop at the station on the highway home. Well, on the interstate I ran out of gas. The gage is very sensitive, it gets close to E and it stops. I called Oddball, and he answered the phone saying "I hope you aren't calling to tell me you are stranded by the side of the road in the Stanza", and I said, "well...." He was still at work, so I called Mom, and she said she'd be right down with some gas. It was raining and I was about 2 miles from a station. I decided to try to get the car rolling a bit to get further away from traffic (which you basically can't do in an automatic transmission car). I started it and it sputtered. I figured out that you can't start it while it's in any gear but park (give me my manual transmission!), so put it in park and hoped I could shift fast enough to move some. I started it, and it wouldn't go into reverse. After a bit I realized I need my foot on the brake to be able to shift out of park (grrrr), and then also realized that the motor was still running. I put it into drive, and managed to drive it to the gas station. I called mom and told her not to come. So, from now on I don't let it get below 1/4 tank. Also, after driving approximately 50 miles after the service of 228 miles on the tank of gas, I got 19 mpg. So, maybe the gas mileage will go back up to where it needs to be. The joys of older cars. It is fun to drive a car again, though, except for the automatic transmission.

I haven't done anything about selling the house yet this week. I am catching up on other things. I already have 2 days of the 3 day weekend booked doing things elsewhere. Saturday I need to be up at James Cave to help with some trash removal. The rotten wooden stairs were taken out of a section of the cave, and there is a major push to bring the wood out to a dumpster. Lots of folks who haven't shown up for a trip in ages (like me) will be there, so it should be fun. Then on Sunday there is a push to finish wiring the hotel where Phreaknic is held. When we finish all the rooms will have hardwired network connections along with wifi. It will be a good time to bond with the computer geeks a bit. When it rains it pours. I don't do anything socially for months, then this all happens in the same weekend.

I am working on myself this week. I say I'm on an 8-week self improvement plan to be stunningly perfect by Phreaknic. Well, there are a lot of loose ends in many areas that I'd like to have tied up by the end of October, so this is a good excuse.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another Update

The transmission is fixed, at no charge. The guy at Grahams Transmission said that it had a burr on 4th gear. That's the only gear that didn't work by the time I got to his shop. He took it for a drive and 'knocked the burr off' and it goes into all gears now. I think it's something floating around in the transmission, but I'll accept gratefully that all gears currently work. Bill got the Saab fixed for me to borrow, so now they have an extra car for whatever they need it for. Nancye is pleased. And, I'm going to buy oddball's Stanza to have as a back up for when the truck needs work done again. So he's happy. All in all a good ending for the day that started out looking so bleak.

I'm still decompressing. I should take a load of things over to the new house. I say I want to 'get moving'. I'm also lazy. We'll see which wins.

Update

All of the deals on the house have fallen through. The lady who was trying to arrange financing has disappeared, apparently couldn't get the money. The couple who looked last Friday seemed to like it, but found nit-picky things wrong. I think my realtor saying I was firm at a price I'm not firm on scared them away. I wish I could get him to just shut up. :) I replaced the weed-eater that I broke getting the yard ready last Thursday. It cost over $100. sigh. It is the only one that I've had that actually does what I need, and the new yard will be the same way, so I went ahead and bought it.

Then last evening the Universe smacked me again telling me I need to get a move on (literally). The transmission went out in my truck. I have 3 gears left out of 5, sometimes. I am arranging to borrow a car from a friend. Her husband has declared the car unsafe to drive at this point (a recent issue in the plan), and he is going to see if the mechanic can fix it today so I can borrow it. It might be able to be bought if I want after driving it. It is an older Saab. Another friend offered to sell me his Stanza. It has some issues, but is currently running. If I can borrow the one car while I get the truck running again, I'm not sure which of the cars I'll buy, but most likely I'll buy one or the other since the truck has 268K miles on it. I need backup transportation.

Once I get me and the house cleaned up this morning I'll baby the truck into the transmission place and see how much this will cost me. I'm hoping for under $700. We'll see. If I remembered the name of the place so I could call them it would be good, but I can't. All in all, this will cost me around $1,000 no matter what. I took today off work to figure something out. To rent a car I'm looking at $200/wk at least. That's why just buying an older car makes some sense, even though I'm broke.

Ok, ok, I'm getting the message, Universe. I need to sell this house no matter what and get back to where I have some money to fix things that are breaking.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Waiting

The people who looked at the house last night apparently like it. They were here till after 8pm. Their realtor told my realtor that she had shown them a bunch of stuff in the past 2 months, and this is the first one they have really liked. So, hopefully today they will make an offer. My realtor kinda led them to believe that I'm less willing to negotiate than I really am. I think it is no accident that the ones who have seriously followed up on the place are the ones I talked to first...

Decided not to go to the Huntsville hamfest since I busted the weed-eater on Thursday working on getting the yard looking good. I have to replace it, and that will be $80 or so. It is hot again, so not a lot of work will get done this weekend, I'm thinking, but I may try to pack up some more things. Mostly I'm just waiting.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Again

The realtor called me yesterday and someone wants to see the house Friday evening. I will spend tonight finishing up the cleaning, and then find something to do after work tomorrow. Who knows. My life is on hold waiting on a phone call. Either the one that says 'I have a written offer for your house near what you are asking' or the one from a contracting company that says 'I have a job you might be interested in'. So, anyway, I'll get the house as presentable as possible tonight and hope for the best.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Middle of the week

I have the blahs. The weather is cooler, but not enough to inspire me to do anything after work to move along towards any of my goals. I am having anxiety attacks most mornings before work. This job is not hitting me in my strong suits in many ways. The technical work is fine, but I hate having others arrange my day and I don't find out what I'll be doing till that morning, even what county I'll be in or what time I might get off work. I keep saying that I want to move before getting into serious job hunting, but I get anxious about actually making a move on that, too. It did occur to me that I could at least call one of the bottom feeding brokers to see how they work, to see if they will be an option or not. Some loose ends are slowly getting tied up, but I'm feeling stuck.

I am also realizing how many areas I feel uneducated in. I went in to a used book store yesterday, and just looking around made me realize that I could spend most of my time in study and just scratch the surface of what I feel I should know. History, politics of the world, cooking, literature of the rest of the world - saw a couple of books on the literature of Japan... - and that is just a sampling of the liberal arts side.

There is a hamfest in Huntsville on Saturday. I am thinking of driving down for it. I am also thinking 'I should stay home and work on the houses...' but I always think that and I am also saying I need to get out and do more fun things. Some of the guys I talk to in the chat room will be there. Still haven't decided. And, the KY state fair is going on now, starts tomorrow. I try to get up there one day while Nancye is working her facepainting booth there. Last year I made it on the last day of the fair. I was also thinking of going up there either Saturday or Sunday. I may just decide when I get out of bed on Saturday what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

More Projects

I am still thinking about how to structure my University unschool. Discussion on the chat room this morning about authors has me reminded that it has been years (decades?) since I read fiction books. My taste ran to non-fiction, mostly technical stuff, early on and I never went back. So, I am excluded from any discussions about modern writers. I was thinking that a place to start might be the NY Times bestseller list, starting at the bottom. I am a fast reader, so it might work. The other might be to ask friends what they are reading. Still pondering.

One of my favorite authors was Collette. She was a French author at the turn of the century or so. Unfortunately, the quality of the translation affects the version you read. The older translations that the Bloomington, IN library had were wonderful, written in that same turn of the century style. The newer paperback anthology of her work that I got a few years ago doesn't resonate with the romanticism of the earlier works. One danger in reading too much of her is that I have become like a character in one of her novels, choosing to live alone rather than give in to society's demands. Also, like one of her female characters, I tend to notice 'young male bodies' a lot...