Sunday, December 27, 2009
On a higher note, I have won a set of hand made fabric coasters from Madcap. I will take those as another indicator that I am to entertain more at this apartment. Ok, that means that I need to actually entertain, which I haven't done in years. The birthday women's get together was postponed from my birthday to 'sometime in January' since everyone suddenly looked at their to-do list and realized that even doing away with the evening here there wasn't enough time to get everything done. Especially me. So, when I was asked if it would hurt my feelings to put it off awhile, I said, basically 'hell, no, let's do it'. Now I have some kind of deadline to at least have things shuffled around so I can have 6 of us here to drink wine.
The weather has cooperated with my move. Chilly, but with my hot flashes I still sweat while toting things into and out of the Jeep. My back limits me to 3 loads a day before I'm laying on the floor waiting for it to unwind more than I'm moving gear around. Cindy has offered herself, her truck, and her strong husband to make another load for me, so I'm leaving the heavier stuff that I could get if I had to for that last load. I'm still not used to the smaller Jeep. That is the one thing I hate about it after having Toyota trucks for 20 years, I can't get used to no hauling space.
Low key Christmas, other than I was awoken by Mom on Christmas Day to tell me that Dad has been put on comfort care. He's been taken to the hospital a few times in the past month from complications of his inability to swallow, and now also has MARS, a bad type of staph infection. Comfort care means only pain pills if necessary, and no more hospital. It even means that if he doesn't want to eat, no one will force him. Mom says that the implications of that haven't hit him yet. Basically, since he doesn't want a feeding tube there isn't anything else they can do.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
A fact of this rental life is that moving house (a UK term I like that sums up the ordeal nicely) while renting happens much more easily than when owning. I live 10 months here, 8 months there, move again. Not a big deal, and a smaller deal as I keep less and less stuff. Packing has started, but most of my stuff was never unpacked. It lives in the large 45 gal wheeled plastic storage containers meant to pack away Christmas decorations and trees and such. I have 5 out here with me, and 4 are still packed. I'll pull the one empty one out of my small storage building in my current yard, and the loose backpacking equipment will go there. That will mostly pack up one of the 2 small bedrooms. I may go see if WalMart has more of them now that it's that time of year again. Probably not on sale now like they were in January of last year. 2 more of them and all of my loose stuff would be nicely contained. Ah, well, I may need to go find some boxes.
I passed my Security+ test. I am now fully legal in my job. A lot of stress is off from that now. There is uncertainty about the larger contractor jobs at the hangar. Their contract is iffy right now. Our contract comes up for renewal next year. I'm thinking that 8 months from now I'll know a bit more about my longer term plans and options. Having the Security+ can only help when I go out to find another job. Getting my finances settled down a bit and then hopefully selling the house in that same time frame will set me up to be making some decisions about where I want to be. In the mean time, I just need to keep simplifying my life, getting more solid professionally and on paper, and also enjoy my time in this apartment and in the Pacific North West.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Other blogs are about mundane things like killing a calf for meat, and feasting with friends and cute kids pictures. It occurred to me that I'm past all that. I want to drink cheap wine and sing to Jerry Jeff while playing computer geek. I'm making backups to put into my new lock box at the bank. If I lose my computers, I won't lose the information that way. I live in a cheap trailer, and have few responsibilities. I don't grow my own food, or raise animals for food (the cats wouldn't come anywhere near paying their way for that...). I'll be one of the first to go down come the revolution. Fine. It's been a good run, mostly. I'm ready to have fun.
The new JJW music is about living in Belize, and slowing down. Think Jimmie Buffett with a chaser of hard liquor. Good Stuff.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Not much got done this weekend. Nothing new there.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
On SimpleLiving.net, I'm reminded of the Organized Home challenge. I am doing that anyway, which goes along with wanting to move. Kitchen is pretty much organized, if you don't count the large plastic cubes of kitchen stuff that are in the living room under tablecloths and disguised as end tables.
On another blog (by a guy...) he mentioned his hula girl beaded curtains. I'm thinking that some of those might be an answer to covering the living room windows and still letting the cats see out. On my side I'd still have the IKEA white curtains pulled back in the traditional manner, but the middle would show off the beaded curtains. From the outside, I guess they'd see the beaded ones mostly. Pondering...
In the IKEA catalog is my new dining room table. It is a Norden gateleg table. Pictures here: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20104718AS
I just accidentally deleted a few paragraphs about other blogs. The auto save was too fast and saved after I deleted it...
One was about a blog where a woman who home sews is making slippers for her family. Interesting family in that it is nice to see the workings of a home-schools, attempting to be self-sufficient as possible largish family (4 kids): http://omelay.wordpress.com/
Another was a blog that I follow about a guy who has a really nice motor home who camp hosts a lot around the western part of the US. His past two entries about about driving over the Hoover Dam, with information about the new Dam by-pass highway being built so that all the NAFTA traffic doesn't drive over the Dam itself with it's security concerns, and an brief intro on Kartchner Caverns State Park in AZ. He is a former news photojournalist from Portland, OR, so his posts are always more professional than most folks I follow: http://www.lightcurve.com/
As for what's going on around here, Dad is back in the nursing home. It takes up to an hour to feed him a meal, and Mom doesn't know how long either she or the nursing home folks can handle doing that. He himself gets frustrated with it all, and doesn't always understand what's going on or why he has to swallow twice. I slept, as I said, and so apartment hunting is on hold for today. I have been working on the afghan I started last winter, so there is progress in using up my yarn stash. Using up what I have put back for 'some other time' is my main decluttering mode right now. I'm continuing to study for my Security+ exam, and feel good about knowing about 80% of the material. That is Thing One to get done this weekend, and I have a target date of taking the test the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Not much else going on. Tomorrow is Friday, so I will soon have the weekend to do more to write about.
Good news: last night the cats (or one of them, not sure as I didn't see it happen) killed a mouse. It was right in front of the door, so it had to happen while I was in another part of the trailer and I didn't hear anything out of the ordinary. Great going for a couple of declawed cats.
No so good news: Mom called about 6 (8pm her time) to say that Dad was still having trouble eating and swallowing, and it was getting worse. She called back a couple of hours later to say the nursing home called her and took my Dad to emergency to have his lungs checked. Mom can't drive at night, so she won't get to the hospital till tomorrow morning. Wish I was back there. I feel badly that my Dad is alone in the emergency room. I think Mom is right about not driving the 20 or 30 miles alone at night. I just wish I was there so I could go over.
My friend at work and I share our stories of our parents' decline. I'm guessing we will both lose them before the end of the year. We neither one can get back right now, although she is going back next week until the end. I shouldn't, but I may check flights for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Monday, November 16, 2009
House is cleaned up, and I'm clearing off more flat surfaces. I'll start looking around for an apartment this weekend. I don't know if I'll find a better place, but I need to look so I know what my options are. My goal is to have very little actual packing to do, having everything compartmentalized already, when I do pick up and move. Whether it's across town or across country.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I got the living room reclaimed from the backpacking gear, and the suspension on the TrekLight hammock again. The hammock I was lookingk for was there all the time, but I was thinking it was a hammock I'd gotten rid of already since they are all made from the same type material. Finally remembered I didn't have the other hammock, and viola, the one I was looking for appeared in that spot... Got the dining room kinda reclaimed, and made lentil soup in the small slow cooker. I actually thawed some chili I'd made last week and had frozen half to have tonight for dinner, so I think I'll take the lentil soup for lunch tomorrow. I refilled my pepper mill, since I found my peppercorns. I have both black and white ones, and don't remember which I had in it before. I used the black, and I'm thinking I mixed them last time. Oh, well, just have to use up this refilling and do the mix next time.
I want to shower and choose my clothes for work tomorrow before going to bed tonight. I have been working my way through my dressier office clothes to see what fits and what needs attention or needs to be passed on. So far, everything has fit. I do better if I choose the outfits the night before rather than just reaching for my usual comfort outfits in the haze of early morning.
Got the camera charged up. I don't like the pictures I'm getting of the table. The flash makes it look strange. Without flash the pictures look fuzzy. So, I'll either use my iPhone camera or figure something else out.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Found my camera, but the battery is now dead. I think I know where the charger is for it. These things are never simple it seems. I tried using my new IPhone to take the picture. Got one, and the battery on it died, too. It is charged up now, so maybe tomorrow I'll go that route.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Here is a recipe site that gave me a recipe for instant Cream Of ... Soup: http://busycooks.about.com/od/homemademixes/r/creamsoupmix.htm
I'm thinking I'll leave out the instant bouillon and just use store bought broth to make it with. I checked out the muffin recipes there, but I'm thinking I can get simpler than they are. Their recipe uses 1/4 stick butter. And an egg. Doesn't seem very healthy. Does sound good. I'll keep looking.
V8 has 'healthy' soups now in milk carton type single serving sizes. A take off of the Pacific brand organic ones. The Yuppie/hippie ones taste better, but the butternut squash one from V8 was ok. I got it at the local WalMart, and they had the Yuppie brands, too. I don't remember the prices, but I'm thinking I didn't save any by getting the V8 one instead. I'll go for the Yuppie brands next time.
Reading the crafts blogs has me wanting to pick up my knitting and crocheting again. I have the afghan I'm working on, and I still haven't made any socks. I see that being my main evening entertainment in a few days. It would be cheaper than the Casino, anyway.
Nope, still no picture of the table. To tell the truth, I'm not real sure where my camera is...
http://myhouseofblues.com/ This link is also from Lloyd Kahn. He posted it a few days ago and I finally had time to go there today. Just enjoyed Eric Clapton doing Cocaine and remembered why I like his music so much. Also listened to him and BB King doing Rock Me Baby. Great stuff. All music, not bling. Cool site that I'll go back to. It's all on YouTube video, but it's organized to find the blues.
One more from Lloyd: http://bit.ly/1hF5x2 It's a cliff house, modern style with lots-o-glass and wood. Kinda neat, but I have a few issues with it. Maybe. It does blend in with the landscape than most houses would, but I wonder things like where does their water come from, and where does waste water go...
http://www.missminimalist.com/ This woman hangs out at SimpleLiving.net on the discussion boards. She and her husband just got rid of (almost) everything and moved from the US to the UK and started over. This is the story of their journey to learn to live with Just Enough. She's a good writer, and has pictures. Interesting stuff if you are like me and (still!) trying to learn to let go of all this stuff. I understand some of her pain of having to go out and repurchase items that she had just spent energy getting rid of. I had to so some of that. A microwave and those plastic dressers I just bought are the main things. Oh, and the dining room table that I keep promising to take a picture of...
I'm going to post this now. I almost lost it among my open windows when I went on to a new blog here instead of the window I was using. If I find anything else neat I'll post it.
I feel like I need to explain a link I disconnected recently. I have a friends list of blogs that I follow. I took one person off. I enjoyed reading her blog entries about her life. However, now her blog is only her 'tweets', which made no sense whatsoever when I'm so far away from her life. It's difficult to have any depth of thought conveyed in 140 characters. So, I dropped her blog from my friends list. If she goes back to actually writing I will add her back in happily. But, life moves on and I'm guessing this fits her current life better.
I have today off for Veteran's Day. I was thinking of driving over to the Olympics to the Hoh Rain Forest. I may instead do house things, and free up next weekend for that. Or, I may just be lazy all day and next weekend, too. That's the problem with no one out here to motivate me. Once I get going I'm glad I did. It's that whole get in the Jeep and go part that's difficult.
Since I owe a post I'll post again tonight.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Not a lot to write about in the weekday evenings. I just don't do a lot here. But, I posted, so some promises to myself are being kept.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
I have a couple of loads of laundry to do today. Still catching up on that. The dining room, small nook that it is, also got cleared out, but I haven't taken the pictures of the table yet. Maybe today.
I want to do some sit ups, and some 'girly' push-ups since I can't do even one regular one at this point. We women were asked (jokingly) by one of the test pilots (who is retired military) if we wanted to participate in a PT test the 3rd week of this month. We looked at him and even the two females who are younger than me and former military themselves mentioned they couldn't begin to pass a PT test. The pilot yelled back to the NCIOC "they're in". This particular pilot is renowned for being able to ace the PT tests with no prior notice and even though he is a 'old man' of 40. I'll be there to provide comic relief I guess.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
It is raining. And, as it tends to do out here, the forecast is for rain out to the future. Last night I went and got some plastic drawer dresser things, like I have several of back in the storage unit in Nashville. I need to get my clothes out to see what I have and either wear it or get rid of it. Time to move on this. I want to look around and maybe move out of this trailer. It has been a nice temporary place. I'm not sure what I want, but I do know I need to get even lighter on my feet. I'm making progress on using up consumables around here. I had bars of soap enough for literally more than a year, maybe several years come to think of it, and I'm getting down to only a few. I have travel sizes of a lot of stuff, in several travel kits. I'm using it down. All of this takes room to store, and I'm getting that room back. I don't buy huges sizes of stuff now, just enough to get buy for a few weeks. Things like dishwashing detergent, toilet paper, groceries. As I use up what I have stockpiled, spaces are appearing in the cabinets. Not enough space yet, but it is starting to happen.
I went to the gym one night last week. I'll try for two nights this week. Progress, not perfection. I have lost enough weight (maybe 4 or 5 pounds...) that my clothes fit again. I'm trying to eat healthy, as I enjoy my morning oatmeal while writing this. I have a loose plan or goal for where I want to be by the end of the year. Nothing dramatic, so hopefully attainable.
If the day goes as I hope, I may post some pictures of my new kitchen table. We'll see. I do have 6 posts to make up to get on track.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Turtle Lady said I should mention here that the neighbor who was so wonderful at watching the cats while I was gone went above the call of duty in many ways. The cats had a new catnip mouse to play with when I got home. My black cat, Mikki, has now dunked it in the water bowl, which he does with all his toys for some reason, so I'm not sure how it will dry out, or how to keep it from going swimming again. Mentioning the new toy to her inspired her to gather some catnip and renew a toy for her own cat.
I am unpacked now, but I still have things laying around all over the place. It was nice to come home to a clean place, left that way since the neighbor was to visit the cats on a regular basis (which he did, watched by another neighbor and reported to me when I got home). I just wish that I had kept it clear longer than I was able to. So, today I'll take a shovel to it and start putting things away. I haven't played with my new pack or my new stoves yet. I need to fabricate a pot stand and wind screen for the stoves, so I may head to Home Depot for some hardware cloth and see if I have any aluminum foil to make the wind screen. The rest of the weekend will be mostly just figuring out what I will do now that I've decided to stay here and give up on moving back to TN any time soon. Yes, that decision was made while I was gone. I weighed the options and decided to give up on getting a job back there for now. I really only want to work full time for a few more years anyway. I'm trying hard not to burn my bridges before me, but I'm heading out with the idea that here in WA is my home now.
Its a chilly, rainy weekend. Don't think I'll go outside and do much. However, I need to get used to getting out in this weather since it's what happens here 9 months of the year.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I got a prototype pack while at the hangout in Hot Springs while I was gone. I hope I won't be schlepping the heavy pack I took with me back there again. That will help with the weight of the luggage. Also, I won't be packing all my dirty clothes with me again. It was nice to use my own machines to wash the laundry, but I had more clothes with me than I needed. I won't have access to my machines again, anyway. I rented out the house. Here's hoping it's the right thing to do.
I go in to work in an hour or so. I actually missed it, wondered what was going on with folks. I guess that is a good thing.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The house rental is on track. I'm having a lawyer friend of mine draft the lease. I'm nervous, but there seems to be no good solution to this now. I'm lucky that I can rent this out at a low enough rate to attract friends, or rather my friends adult kids. More when I have it all nailed down.
I work tomorrow, going in for training at the Ft. Campbell branch of our contract. I need the training, and it means I don't have to take any time with no pay. I didn't have enough leave for this entire week without this opportunity to 'work' two days while I'm here. My boss does try to work with me as much as he can.
And that is what's going on so far.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I packed my dirty clothes to do laundry at the house in my own machines. It occurred to me this morning while waiting on the shuttle that I packed no clean underwear (or anything else...) So, a first order of business is to get detergent and wash what I'll need for the weekend.
Another hour and a half till my flight...
Monday, September 07, 2009
I head to Nashville the 17th. I will set up the house for the winter, one way or another. I'll make some more decisions. I'll see my Dad again, as he is still there in the nursing home. He mostly sleeps, Mom says. I'll also spend the first weekend at the hangout in Hot Springs. There are so many folks who go to that now that I hope that the small intimate feeling of hanging with some special friends isn't lost.
Perhaps I'll post on my progress from this weekend later. If there is enough progress to discuss.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I go home for a week in September. I'm penciling in some plans. I want most of the time open, though. I'm thinking that since the house hasn't sold, or even been really looked at I'll just take it off the market when the Realtor's time is up. She hasn't done much to try to sell it, but the market isn't good anyway. I'll try again next Spring. So, I need to set the house up for winter while I'm home. I hate to have an entire house just sitting empty like this, but no other plan seems to be working out.
That's about all that is going on.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I have a wandering curiosity, if that hasn't shown itself already. The guy who lives with no money who's blog I linked yesterday has a website at:
It has many cool links on it, which is how I find most of my weird... err, interesting sites I end up following. A link there ended up with me going here:
That has me reading the book put together of Peace Pilgrim's writings. Interesting stuff, most of it things I've been exposed to other places but nice to read again in one place. Interesting dichotomy to working with a Special Ops Army Regiment on post.
As for work, it was swap-over time again. Every few months the folks who are deployed change out. 'New' folks show up who have been gone, and familiar faces stop by to say a temporary good-by. It is a mix of feelings for me. In this job, the war isn't nameless and faceless. It's the guys I work with every day, who leave family - wives and kids - to deploy. For them, at least on the surface, it is like in Corporate America when someone would go on the road for a week. Make arrangements for the home site to be taken care of while gone, and tell everyone you'll see them when you get back. I watch them head down the hall with their gear, and mentally take time to put them in God's hands. The one's coming home get an enthusiastic 'welcom back'.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
On another blog was a link to an article about a guy who lives without money. The article was soundbite length about a complex subject and person, so luckily the original blogger also posted a link to this guys blog.
Going back a few posts, before he was traveling as much as in the recent posts, he gets pretty deep into some philosophy. I enjoyed reading it. No so much because I agree completely, or even disagree completely. Mostly it made me think. That's a good thing. And I am reminded of a theme of one of my favorite authors, Henry David Thoreau. Those who are so busy making a living don't have the time to properly LIVE, have time to think the deep thoughts that are required (I wish...) of a living human.
I'm roaming my list of blogs and catching up around the house this morning. I went out and hiked the past 2 weekends, and was a zombie in between. I'll write more, and maybe post some pictures, as I move through this weekend.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
I've let financial details go. I've let clutter build up in the living areas, although not so much the places I've already inventoried. The places I've inventoried sorta seem like there is a place for what's there and everything goes in it's place. One of the side benefits to me of the inventory. I have gotten to where I just zone out. At work, when I should be studying and passing on-line tests, I zone out. At home, I just veg on the computer rather than do any organizing or playing with my backpacking gear or going out looking at this area of the country while I'm out here. A number of things have been knocking on the door of my awareness telling me it's time to wake up. One today was a guy sending me a private message on a message board I hang out on asking me how some of my gear works together. I couldn't answer him because I haven't been out lately and actually used it. That will change this coming weekend when I go out to the coast. Or, at least it will if I get off my duff and actually pack my backpack so I can leave from work Friday.
So, today I'll consume Vitamin C, straighten the house, sort backpacking gear, make some calls to settle some financial stuff, and get my associated body parts back under me to actually get on with my life. I also need to check in with my long term goals and see what parts of this phase of my life are working to plan, and what parts need changing up. I'm thinking that all this injury and sickness are trying to tell me something.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
I did laundry today, and should do a couple more loads of bedding and towels and such tomorrow. I'll see how I feel. The new laundry baskets, collapsible netting, work well to carry things to the laundry room in the park. Larry's spot next to the laundry room, where I still parked today, is empty. I used to talk to him while I did laundry even if I didn't see him any other time. I do miss him, just knowing that there was someone here that I could stop and talk to.
I have started an inventory of my stuff. I want to get renter's insurance, and an inventory would be good. That's not the main reason I want to do this. Mainly it is a way for me to really take possession of my stuff. I've worked on the kitchen. I have 2 cabinets left to do. Then I move to the dining room, which is also one of the emptier rooms. It will get really interesting when I start the living room since that is where several of the plastic tubs of stuff live. At that point I will really have to come to terms with the things that I don't use on a daily basis. What is unpacked enough to be in the kitchen is by default the things I actually use and don't need to justify otherwise. This has helped me to clear out a lot of expired food, and organize a few things better. I try to make plans to inventory 'at least 5 things each day...' and other deals that I make with myself. It doesn't work. I have to be in the mood to do it. Luckily, I'm enjoying the results of the inventory, so I am making progress.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
I'm on call at work. I've also been on my own since my co-worker is on vacation for the last two weeks. I've gotten 2 middle of the night calls. Handled both, one successfully. A lot of frustration on my part, so much that I just don't kin yet. The military does things their own way, and I don't kin their ways too well. I go back and forth about looking forward to the end of the year I committed to being out here, and realizing that I still have no plan B to go back home.
The one person that I got to know here in the park where I live, Larry, was acting stranger and stranger. Not scary strange, more like no one's home strange. I noticed that the door of his trailer was closed several days in a row, which is unusual in the non-air conditioned trailer. Before I could stop and ask the manager about him, the manager flagged me down to say that he was in the hospital. His family came the next weekend and pulled out his trailer, leaving the RV spot empty. The manager flagged me down last Wednesday and said that Larry had passed on the night before. My one friend/acquaintance out here. Change, and more change.
My hiking trip had gotten rescheduled from this weekend to next weekend when I realized that I was going to still be on call. The day after I rescheduled it I pinched the nerve in my neck. The weather here is nice, although the no rain issue is going on a bit too long. I don't mind that my grass has pretty much died, less to mow. Being in a coastal area there is usually a breeze so the heat is tolerable. In fact, last night was the first time I could have left the windows open all night, and this morning I really didn't need the sweat shirt that I usually start the mornings with much less turning the furnace on for a bit to take the chill off.
Maybe I'll write tomorrow more about other things going on. I'm trying to make plans, including a plan B for moving back East. I'm trying to get organized. Mostly I'm trying to stop hurting myself.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I nursed my back for a few days. I had just gotten to where my ankle wasn't bothering me, then the back went out. I was fussing that I was so tired of my body hurting. Thursday night while laying in the hammock I realized that for a few minutes nothing hurt! I'm on the mend now. I need to get back to being active so that I don't injure myself again. The week before I left I had started back on my walking routine. Next week I start again. Maybe even today if I get over to Mt. Rainier and do a short hike like I want.
The Artisan bread was a flop. I hadn't baked any more since it had been really hot here the week before I left. Yesterday I tried again from the same batch of dough I made up a couple of weeks ago. Major fail. I had hoped that the time would have muted the salt flavor. It didn't, in fact it was worse. That's all I taste. And, it still didn't rise, just kinda oozed accross the bottom of the casserole. I did use a lot of oil on the bottom of the pan before I put the dough in, but it still stuck. I think I'll go back to my bread machine. In the winter I may try this again, and I'll follow the directions next time.
Monday, June 01, 2009
I came from work today. Discovered that the towel was a Bad Idea. The dough was stuck to the towel. Got it unstuck, and it turned out not to be quite as much a mess as it originally looked. I cut the towel off by using a serated knife to cut the dough. Took a section of dough 'the size of a grapefruit' and formed a sort of ball with it. Oops, was supposed to flour hands. Well, my dough is still a bit on the dry side, so a little flour and all was unsticky again. Since I had the flour out again, I just sprinkled some on the correlle covered casserole that I planned to bake the bread in. On the SimpleLiving.net site some had said that was a good substitute for the pan of water in the bottom of the oven while it bakes to make it 'crusty', just cover it in something. I cut 3 slits in the top of the bread and left it to rise about an hour. Oops, guess it was supposed to be let it rise and then cut the slits as when it rose (what little it did) it kinda oozed into the slits. Oh, well.
Cooked it for 40 minutes. Actually logged back in to verify the temp. Hmmm, guess that was supposed to be 450 for 10 minutes, then 400 for 30, not 370 for whatever and then 400. Oh, well.
40 minutes later I had a flatish looking brown glob of bread in the casserole. Discovered that some flour on the bottom of the casserole didn't substitute well for the oil I was supposed to use. Being an anarchist doesn't always work well with bread recipes. Chipped enough up from the bottom to cut a small piece of bread. Wow, what is there is actually good.
The rest of the dough is supposed to get better the longer (up to 2 weeks) it's left in the fridge before forming into the ball and baking. Cutting the slits AFTER letting it rise. And putting in an OILED pan of some sort. Baked at 400 for 40 minutes. Tomorrow I'll get it.
I put some butter on the still warm bread that I finished chipping up from the casserole. I'll most likely eat the rest of it for dinner. Oh, and the salt can be cut back some, too. And, I think I'll work on a half batch of the main dough, using 3 cups of flour instead of 6.5.
Yeah, that's right. I don't cook. I'm too much of an anarchist sometimes.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
"...Lately Z’s been spending a lot of time with the Queen. And one day he got this idea that he really wanted to have tea with the Queen, not just regular tea, but High Tea. And he wanted it make it and serve it himself. One problem... we didn’t have a proper tea set. After browsing the internet and toy store options, I was told that none were fit for the Queen.
So we did what anyone expecting royalty would do. We went to Goodwill. Rows and rows of mismatched and long forgotten china just waiting to be snatched up at $0.50 pop. He picked out the perfect set, stripes and flowers and gold and blue, and finally had a proper High Tea with The Queen."
If this doesn't make it easier for me to donate things, thinking that some child will need it to have the proper items for High Tea with the Queen, then I'm hopeless.
I went back to Nashville for a week. Got lots done. The house is pretty much empty. The sheds almost gleaned of what items I intend to keep. I go back this next Friday to spend Saturday, my Dad's 90th birthday, with him and then fly home Sunday. Again I'll take two large suitcases, empty, and bring back what will fit. Then, that's it. The house is on the market. I have 2 storage units in Nashville, a 10x20 and a 5x10. Hopefully in September when I go back I can consolidate it all into the larger one. But, the major moving is over. For now.
Back here I have been able to start studying the material to pass the tests I need for work. I wasn't able to concentrate before. I've mostly slept since I got home but I did make some chili to take to work for lunch, and I will make muffins as well. The walking program starts again tomorrow, or maybe tonight if I feel ambitious. The cats were fine when I got home, the caretakers having done their job. They have even settled down from the wrestling and wall climbing for the most part. They curl up together more than they used to. Calm is being restored.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I drove out to Ozette Lake and did part of the triangle loop that goes from the ranger station at the lake out to the coast. On the way I took this picture of Clallam Bay. The area around here is nice.
I got to the trailhead late, about 3pm. It stays light till after 8:30, so I had plenty of time. I decided that I wasn't ready to camp out on the beach alone, so I set up camp in the campground at the ranger station (no trees, had to use my tent). Then I headed out toward the coast. I took the right hand trail this time. Next time I'll head left, out to where the ranger says there are trees to hang my hammock and camp. No more tents.
I had envisioned a nice, flat walk on the boardwalk for 3 miles out to the coast. However, it was more like 3 miles of steps up and down the small hills between the lake and the ocean. No great elevation changes at any one time, but the sum total of the 3 miles out and back really nailed my legs. Every muscle hurt when I was finally done.
And so, my first real look at the Pacific Ocean. I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge many years ago, but this was my first look at the coastline. It was worth the walk. Next time I will go prepared to do the entire triangle trail, which also includes 3 miles of beach walking between the two boardwalk sections out and back.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
"... The process is slow, painstaking, but time is present. What else is there but time? These moments I am still allowed to breathe in and out with the good fortune of a certain ability to think. Sometimes feeling as all is stagnant, but it is not. The gears never stop, they turn and turn so smoothly that only when new images come up I am aware of their constant movements."
And the words of John Wells in his blog, The Field Lab, where he talks about feeling like its time to 'get back into the game'. Except that I don't know where the game went. Or it's new rules. Or where I fit.
On Wednesday I go back to Nashville for a week. My Dad is still alive and in the nursing home. Mom chronicles the signs his body is shutting down. She is told by a recent widow the signs that mean 'there's about 2 weeks left at that point' and tells me that those signs aren't there yet. She has sold his lift chair at the apartment, and even his electric scooter. He is bed bound now. They have even stopped taking him to a doctor since it involves using an ambulance to get him there. Comfort is the word, keep him comfortable.
My house needs attention. The yard is wild, and I just got a water bill for $120.00 for last month. This means probably that a toilet is running constantly. I can't get hold of anyone with a key other than Mom, and she says it's storming there so I told her not to bother. I'll pay the bill, and keep trying to get someone else on the phone. When I'm back I will try to get everything closed out and the house put up for sale.
I feel closed in by so little of my life here with me in the West, and closed in by so much left undone back in Nashville. Things will change irrevocably in the next 6 months, or sooner. My Dad will pass, my house will sell. I will come to some resolution on living out here. For now I feel trapped in Jello. I can move, but I can't see clearly and movement seems difficult.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Remember when I said that I went to Mt. Ranier a couple of weeks ago and saw some snow. Well, here is a picture to show what I was talking about.
I'm wanting to start posting more pictures. Hopefully I can do it now without having them be larger than the rest of the post.
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This is a picture I took the weekend I hiked the approach trail to the AT a couple of years ago.
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It is a generic enough picture that I can play with it.
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Ok, so now I see what it looks like...
edit: ok, so how do I move it to the right? I know center make it, err, centered, and no positioning bracket says to the right. I think I'm supposed to already know this stuff rather than relying on Photobucket to hand feed it to me. sigh.
edited again: The Photobucket method takes users to my album on Photobucket. I want to just post the picture as a thumbnail. Yes, it's hosted on Photobucket, but I don't want to actually take people there. Guess I'll actually have to look up the correct image tag syntax. Geez...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
This past weekend I got little to nothing accomplished, other than sleep. So, with no food cooked and my motivation down, I drove off post for lunch yesterday. Today my coworker, Lori, decided to walk with me to the coffee shop on post for lunch. Problem was, I'd decided to forget walking today again, and just drive over. She laughed, and then guilted me into walking. It felt good to walk, but after lunch we both wanted naps.
I have a range of choices of what to do next weekend. There are at least 3 things around here that I would like to do, or I can go camping in the Olympics as I have been saying I was going to do. The weather will play a large part in my decision. It started raining again tonight. The rain this weekend was a lot of why I stayed in and slept. Sun is good. Rain is getting old.
The cats keep getting rambunctious lately, running from end to end of the trailer, wrestling at all hours of the night with each other, trying to climb the walls (with no claws they can't leave marks, thank goodness) and just generally being rowdy. I hope they calm down some. I'm almost to the end of this bag of food. I get them Science Diet, but I got a different type last time. I think I'll go back to the original one and see if that helps. I have decided that the wrestling and fighting seems to be an even match. Even though Ce Ce is twice the size now of Micki, Micki is as likely to initiate it as Ce Ce. I have shut them out of my bedroom at night when they won't settle down, so they pretty much quiet down in there now if I'm trying to sleep. They need the kitty cat version of Chucky Cheese or McD's playground to burn off some of this energy.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
My Goal: To be able to run/jog a mile without having to stop and walk. An alternative to that would be to be walking at least 5 miles a day 3 days a week.
Plan: There is a track of sorts around the airfield at work that the soldiers use in the early mornings for PT. It is 4.3 miles long from what I was told today. At lunch today I spent about 15 or 20 minutes and walked to one corner from our parking lot and back, about a mile altogether as estimated by a couple of the soldiers I work with. I already have plans to take in my lunch and then walk for a half hour, trying for 2 miles a day. After work I could walk the entire thing, which I'll start maybe next week. As I walk more, I will start jogging some of it.
Issues: I twisted my ankle about 8 weeks ago, and I have real pain in my inner thigh on that leg. I'm not sure if I should stretch it, or let it rest (even though it's been 8 week already). I think it does better when I stretch it. So far it doesn't hurt when I walk, but I can tell that my entire body is out of alignment from favoring that side of my body since the injury.
So, tomorrow I will take my lunch to work. I already have food to take, and I went grocery shopping and have food for lunch the rest of the week, more or less. This week should work out fine. Another issue may be the constant rain. It's been sunny her for 3 days in a row. I keep hearing that the summers here are really sunny. It's supposed to start raining here again tonight. I'll see how my enthusiasm lasts when it's wet out.
I apologize if there are glaring mistakes in this post. I'm enjoying a glass of wine...
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I finally found an area I really enjoyed out here. I have a plan, really several plans. I think that I need to get out to a few of the small 'rec area' campgrounds for an overnight and just car camp. Need to make sure I can use my hammock in those campgrounds.
I only stopped at one place, but I talked to a volunteer there. She didn't work for the campground so she couldn't tell me the policies about hammocks, and no one from the campground was around. I did find out that my yearly pass I bought at Mt. Rainier will get me into the area I stopped, saving me $15. I need to hit 7 Federal parks or sites that charge that $15 to pay for the pass. I still need 6, since I didn't actually hike into the Refuge where I stopped today.
I'm tired now. I'll see how I bounce back, and make my plans for next weekend accordingly.
Yesterday I did clear out the shed, and I cooked. I'm going to go take a shower, eat breakfast, and then I'm heading out. Somewhere. I have a nice new 4WD Jeep, enough money for gas, no real responsibilities. No excuse.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Small, easy steps. First I want to get out and clean out my small shed here. Most of the stuff in it isn't mine, it was left by prior tenants. I need to see if there is anything that should be just tossed, anything I can donate, and then talk to the manager about what to do with the rest.
I made muffins, the last package of the mixes I had on hand. I have a scratch muffin recipe now, and just need to buy some flour. Making a grocery list. Along those lines, I read a journal a few weeks ago about someone who spent $1/day on food, not letting herself use food she already had in her pantry. She did it, no reason I can't do it using my pantry food. The idea is not even so much to save money as it is to clean out the darn pantry. Tonight I'm thinking salmon patties (I still have 2 cans of salmon to use up), a can of the potatoes doctored up somehow, and some of the dehydrated vegetables I bought, mixed up in some combination.
It's sunny. Tomorrow I'll drive out to a new area. Today I wanted to work on the place, and I've gone through 3 of the plastic tubs. At least I know what is where now. Most of them aren't full at this point, so if/when I move I have room to pack a lot of stuff in them. The trick is to be down to the level of stuff that will pack into them. Then it would be easier to move. Or fit into an RV. Or even just stay here.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I have my backpacking pack exploded out onto the living room floor. There are a couple of pieces of custom gear that I have the parts to and I need to assemble. I would like to have my pack ready to just toss into the Jeep when I decide to take off. Put water in the platys, stuff the sleeping bag and underquilt, add food and go. Go where, I'm not sure...
I have the parts to make my gravity flow water filter. I just need to cut some tubing to length and put it together. Oh, and test it. I also have the pieces to make a custom coffee/freezer bag cooking setup with plastic ziplock containers. May do that today. I have an aluminized bubblewrap windshield reflector that I bought cheap to use as insulation in my original hammock that's not needed since I got my underquilt. It will be sacrificed to make cozys for the ziplock container to hold heat in while rehydrating the freezerbag cooking type food. That will also keep my coffee hot, and my hands from being burned when I pick it up to drink as the idea is that the container will do double duty. Not sure what I'll do if I'm rehydrating breakfast while wanting coffee. Hmmm.
I unpacked the last suitcase of clothes brought out here yesterday. I didn't get rid of any of it yet, but it is at least in view now. I am to the point of opening the many colored large plastic totes and starting to go through them. I know of a few things already that I plan to get rid of. Friday I bought an over-the-door ironing board that I put on the back of the door to where the washing machine would go if I had one. I need to find my iron (and give away the other two) because there are a few items that need pressing. I don't do that too often, but working around and with army guys, especially the old school ones, ironing is a thing for them. I can get rid of my large ironing board back in Nashville when I go back, too.
I'm sorting through piles of papers, getting rid of what no longer is needed and noting where I put ones that may be needed later. I need to find the name of the real estate agent who sold my last house and start the process of putting my house in Nashville on the market. I am being 'gently' persuaded to move on this by Nancye who listens to me wailing about my situation only so long before she starts nudging me along to actually do something about it. :)
Friday, April 10, 2009
I'm looking the other direction, over to the Olympics and the coast on the other side of them for some hiking possibilities. Found an area I really want to explore. Then I did a route finder on it and it's 4 hours away. Not all that bad, but I want to be ready with my gear to stay the night if I like the feel of the place. It's sea level, actually on the coast, so snow shouldn't be an issue now.
The rest is just kinda rolling along. The cats are restless lately. I'm listless and somewhat bored. I'm trying to funnel some of my frustration into sorting and trimming my stuff around here so that I can get moved into something more mobile. I make small steps.
My Dad probably had another stroke today. He's so weak that it's difficult to tell, but he had some kind of spell. It's the slide downhill, and there is not much anyone can do other than keep him out of pain and just stand by and watch.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I had planned to go to Mt. Rainer today but they are showing a major snow storm up there. Again. They say 8-22". Snow in the Olympics, too, so a detour to there is out. I may run up to Seattle to REI instead. I am ready to get out and about.
I think that most of the emergencies are under control now. My Dad is in a nursing home, and Mom had the appointment to see how much money they would let her keep. Turns out that it will be manageable. Not great, but manageable. Dad has stabilized. Again. At least he's not in pain, and mostly his mind is ok. He may make it to his 90th birthday in June after all.
I hate to use dealerships to work on my trucks, but to keep the lifetime warranty on the drive train I almost need to come here. They obviously aren't quick. Oh, well, it's a rainy Saturday anyway.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Started studying for my Security+ test, again. That is my next big goal, to pass that. I want to start doing yoga again, too. I have some DVD's to play with until I decide that I will actually get some good out of going to an actual yoga class again. As always, getting out and actually HIKING is a goal. No reason I can't work on all of these over the next few days. Assuming I'm not really coming down with something that has me confined to bed tomorrow...
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Dad is in the rehab center, and is actually getting physical therapy. Mom took his power chair (electric wheelchair) in to him this morning and he used that to go to therapy. He felt much better being back in his own chair. It would be really good financially if he can get strong enough to go home again. He still has a lot of issues. But, his basic health is still good. I really need to take better care of myself since I have long-lived folks on both sides of my family and unless I get stupid I will most likely be here for awhile. It would be nice to be able to enjoy it.
This coming weekend I am really going to try to make myself get out and explore around here. There are a few things I've been wanting to do. It may well snow again, but it doesn't stick, I have 4WD, and it's just time to get out and about.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I drove up to Seattle one evening after work this week. Mostly just for a road trip. Seattle wasn't what I was expecting, but then nothing out here has been what I expected. I didn't fine REI even though I was within a block of it. I'll probably go back this weekend. I'm trying to get out and see more of the area.
Just not a lot going on out here yet.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
I'm back in WA. I'm tired. The cats are active and seemed happy to see me.
And that is all I have energy to write tonight.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Not sure what's going to happen. I knew when I asked for the time off that it would probably move right into bereavement leave. At least he saw me and knows I'm here. And, he may rally yet. He has before.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
One day this week I was driving to work and happened to look off to the side of the interstate. There was this HUGE mountain right there that I hadn't noticed being able to see till then. It's Mt. Rainier. Kinda hard to miss when it's clear out. It is strange, cause from here to there seems to be pretty flat, then the mountain just kinda appears. I'll drive over there soon. I'm waiting on the roads to have some chance of being open up in the higher elevations. It's about an hour away, I think.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I know that I have not had a great attitude about this entire move. Everyone but me has been excited about it. It is different when a move is planned in advance, and is something that has been designated a Good Thing from weighing all the alternatives, etc. This move kinda just happened. So, I've decided that it's time for a change in perspective.
I am very grateful to have a job. And, it seems to be a job that I will enjoy. I'm in a nice area of the country (even though I was also in a nice area before the move). There is a lot to do around here. I just need to get settled, or get more mobile by getting rid of stuff. One or the other. I can't keep moving all this crap... err, stuff around. I'm sore, I'm tired, I'm grumpy. I want to be able to get out and see this new area without feeling guilty that I still don't have everything moved in.
One load moved today, at least one more to go.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Yesterday on my way out the door for my first day of work I missed the bottom step off my deck and twisted my ankle. I've been gimping around work. Great first impression. For the most part no one really cares I'm there at this point anyway. Not that anyone is unfriendly. I'm just not a part of their world yet. In the military (from my limited experience) folks tend to 'stay in their lane' and concentrate on what is needed for what they are responsible for. I'm still working on what I need to have the credentials to do my job. It's a slow process. However, work is very low-stress at this point.
Between the snow today, and the sore ankle yesterday I haven't moved anything more over from the storage unit. It is frustrating not to have my stuff. For the most part things I reach for and don't have are things I did bring with me, they are just over in the unit. I think dish washing detergent (which I did go buy tonight) and wastebaskets (I need to get soon) are the only things I know I need that I didn't bring with me.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I want to go back home.
But I can't.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
My back is starting to hurt more, so I think getting back into a hammock to sleep will be a good thing. Even if it is the (relatively cheap) Coleman portable setup I got the other day. This morning I'll make at least one trip over with just the stuff from the room, then the cats will ride over in the crate (not look forward to getting them into it again...). I have to be out of here at noon, so best get started on the process.
I'm looking forward to being settled in again. I am starting to really realize that I don't have anyone to call to have dinner with or go do any of the things I'm planning for the weekend. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Friday, February 06, 2009
I'll try to post pics of my new digs tomorrow.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Oh, why am I now worried? My fortune cookie at the oriental buffet? It said: Soon your life will get more interesting.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
I need to shower and then get breakfast somewhere on the way to check in the truck. Then, start looking for a temporary home. There is a sign at the small trailer court next to the storage place that says Mobile Home for Rent. I'll start there. I grew up in trailer courts, so living in one is no big deal. RV parks seem to be just up-scale trailer courts anyway. If the mobile home is month-to-month it will buy me time to find my own RV.
At bit later... I got a couple of phone calls, and one of them was from Lori, my new co-worker. I verified that the mobile home park is in an ok part of town, so if the accomodations work I'll probably do that. I've had my shower, and Advil, and 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee. The world looks brighter.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Thank you, everyone, for the prayers and posts of encouragement. I slept in this morning, 8 am, but here it's only 6! I get to cheat like that for awhile till I get acclimated . I felt the prayers the entire time I was driving out here. In fact I smiled at one point when I had stopped to get gas. I had gotten chilled while filling the truck, and decided once I was in the rig to toss a coke bottle. I was too tired/cold to get back out again, so I just kinda leaned out and threw it in the general direction of the trash bin. I swear there was an 'assist' to that bank shot because it wasn't really close enough to get in on it's own, and I really didn't want to have to get out and pick it up.
The trip went well, better than I had any right to expect. Joyce took me in when plan A didn't work. All the rest areas in IL were full because eveything in KY was closed. Neo and Joyce insisted that I stay with her. It was a wonderful experience, and she and Shadow (her dog) gave up their bedroom for me and the cats. Shadow wasn't even allowed to play with the cats, much as he wanted to.
The trip across MO and KS was mainly just long. I slept in the truck when I got tired and just kept driving. When I limped into Denver I was met with a hug by Cannibal and he and Genuine Draft took me in and made me feel at home. They fed me pizza for dinner, and then Cannibal made me warm cinnamon rolls while Genuine Draft made me coffee for breakfast. I didn't want to leave.
I left Denver with no plan other than just drive. I was having good weather, but didn't know how long that would last. I just beat feet all through WY, at least as much as the poor truck could do with those inclines while pulling my Jeep on the carrier behind it. I knew that it was the end of January and I was further north than this Southern chick ever wanted to be this time of year. The weather was stable, and while there was snow on the ground the roads were clear the entire way.
I made 11 states in 4 days. I'm in a really nice place, a Guest House International. I'm in a 'family suite' and if needed the cats could have their own bedroom with bunk beds. . Breakfast downstairs, an indoor pool with jacuzzi and work out room and laundry facilities. I will say the folks here have been really wonderful. I'm taking up a large chunk of their parking lot with the big truck and car carrier. I can't afford to stay here but a couple of nights, as the relocation fund is draining fast.
First up, after coffee and cleanup, is to unload the cab of the truck and the Jeep. Then find a storage unit, unload the truck, and if it's early enough, turn it in. Then I can relax a bit. Tomorrow and the next day explore and find a place to live longer term. Friday I'll go in and get ID's and meet my new co-workers.
And so ends the saga of Shadowmoss Heads West. Thanks for the support and prayers, they have meant a lot.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
I'll leave here in a bit, and head north. The weather looks good for the next few days. I'm not sure about WY, it's supposed to be windy (duh). I'm heading into unknown territory. I haven't been in this area in 20 years.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Nancye and Mom saw me off this afternoon. I'm a day and a half past my schedule. My boss sent word emphatically that I am not to kill myself getting out to Washington. He needs me alive. If I need to head south to avoid bad weather and take longer, I'm to do it. Paul, the HR guy who met me in Clarksville, is concerned that I don't have 'protection' with me. He got the Jeep secured to the dolly much more firmly than Nancye and I were able to. He saw me off with a worried look and more comments about being careful.
Nancye is probably more tired than I am at this point. She spent the better part of 3 days getting me packed up, helping me get loaded, cleaning up the house after me. I couldn't have gotten this far without her. I just am not thinking about the fact that the entire purpose of all this is for me to move to the other side of the country.
I'll update as I can. Neo and his fiance in St. Louis are pressing me to stop at her house and spend the night. Nancye is agreeing with them. So, guess I need to get back on the road.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I am awestruck at the willingness of my friends to help me. I have no words.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
At that point I'll have just 'stuff' laying around all over the floors. Nancye has offered to pack up my kitchen. I'm hoping that Bill or Phil can rebuild the antique clock that fell off the mantle, and pack up my two printers. I'll be sorting and packing the rest of the stuff.
And then I'll have my nervous breakdown.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Also Saturday I hope to finalize who will be living here. I have a Plan C now for that, too. Lots of out of work contractors it seems. Free Rent for work is something they understand.
Sunday is doing whatever didn't get done Saturday. Monday is tie up any loose ends business wise like mail forwarding, paying last minute bills, and packing up anything that didn't get packed into the truck or storage barn. Tuesday I take my Toyota truck to Nancye and we bring her Surburban back here, take the truck and get the car carrier and put the Jeep on it and put it in the cul-de-sac since I can't turn the rig around back here at the house. She will spend the night here with me, sleeping on the floor in my now-empty house. She'll help me get the cats into the truck, take pics, hugs, and see me off.
Somewhere in there I need to get the items for the cats' travel, make hotel reservations out in WA, spend time with my parents this evening and Monday evening, and have a nervous breakdown. There is intentionally some slip time in this schedule, and additional offers of help on Monday if I need it.