My Home

My Home

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Still Moving

I have about a half dozen or so Jeep loads of stuff still to move into the new apartment. And I have plans to go through EVERYTHING and organize and pare down while I'm in this apartment. I have got to get my act together.

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

Happy Birthday To Me

Sigh. That's the word that sprang to mind when I sat here to start typing. Just... sigh.

Everything's fine, I'm moving in, working, and running late.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Movin' On Up

I get the keys to a new apartment in 4 days. Yes, I decided to move, and found an apartment quickly. Almost all the units on Post are deployed. A lot of the families went 'home' while one parent was to be gone for a year. The apartment complexes are scrambling to fill empty apartments. Which makes the rent increase here even more of a puzzle. At any rate, a really, really nice apartment complex is giving $200/mo discounts for 8 months (which coincides with the returning soldiers, funny that), so I am moving into a huge, 2 bedroom 2 bath with a gas log fireplace apartment. Between what things are included in that rent that aren't here, and the difference in utilities between a middle floor apartment and a poorly insulated trailer, the cost difference is small. Why the larger apartment. Well... because I can? I'll have room to pull everything out and sort and reorganize and get rid of and make decisions on what I want to do. And a deadline to do it in. I won't be able to afford the apartment when the rent goes back up.

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

Dedicated to Nancye






Enjoy the Pickup Truck. :)

Up Against the Wall

Perusing my blog list this evening I found that Lloyd Kahn has posted a YouTube video of Jerry Jeff Walker singing a new song. I may need to find where I can buy the new music. However, it tapped into a dormant side of my history, and I found myself on YouTube listening to older Jerry Jeff music. So, after a few minutes I'm drinking a glass of cheap wine and wailing along with Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother. '...he's drinking in a honky-tonk, just kicking hippie's asses and raisin' hell'. And if you don't understand why I love that song, you ain't a redneck hippie who has (at least a few made it) fond memories of the 70's and 80's and Jerry Jeff and Willie and Waylon. JJW looks a bit pudgy, bald and happy in the new video.

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

Sunday Night Cooking

Tonight I remembered that I signed up to bring sweet potatoes to the pitch-in tomorrow at work. So, quick trip to WalMart, then a second to get 2 more cans of sweet potatoes since one didn't look like nearly enough. I got some apples, and a couple of oranges. I put the cans of sweet potatoes in 'light syrup', brown sugar, a bit of cardamon, and 1.5 cut up apples into the slow cooker. I'll decide tomorrow if I want to use some orange juice, too, but most likely I won't now. The walnuts didn't make it home with me, and I'll decide if I have time to run back to WalMart on the way to work to get some more. I'm thinking when she switched from her bags to the ones I brought in and forgot to give her at first that the bag of chopped walnuts didn't make the switch. Oh, well...

Not much got done this weekend. Nothing new there.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another Saturday Morning

Would that be Cat Stevens' song now that we are all no longer 20? Anyway, on to what I'm reading. And, uh, morning is barely true, as I slept in till 11am.

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

Slacking

I'm slacking tonight, a bit late with a post after raising an alarm last night. I apologize. Dad is ok. He doesn't have pneumonia, which is what I guess they were worried about. He aspirates when he eats. It's getting worse. He doesn't want a feeding tube. So, this is how it is now. Feed him small bites and make sure he swallows twice. He goes back to the nursing home tomorrow. I talked to him when I called Mom today as she hadn't yet called me. Cell phones make this possible, for me to call and catch Mom is his room there. He asked a vague question that didn't fit, making Mom think he didn't know who he was talking to. I had called him Daddy, as I have a lot even as an adult, so he would have a clue, and he said he knew who he was talking to. I think he is just slipping deeper into his shadowy dream world, and this world's details don't matter so much to him.

Not much else going on. Tomorrow is Friday, so I will soon have the weekend to do more to write about.

Weeknight limbo

There just isn't enough happening in my life to post every day. So, do I try to get a more interesting life, or just post every few days...?

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

I'm Here - still

Not much to post. It's a work night so not a lot goes on. Mom called and said my Dad isn't doing well. He has a fever and has trouble eating. I wish I knew what the 'right' thing to do was. I have no time off left to head back unless it's an 'emergency' and I've already done the run back to say my good-bye's. A woman at work is going through the same thing with her Mom in New York who is roughly the same age, maybe even a year or so older than Dad, except her Mom has cancer and is now in the hospital on Morphine. At what point do you go back to have those last moments when they actually know who you are and know you are there. Doctors estimate for her it could be hours, could be months. With Dad it's even more open since he doesn't have any major issues, he's just shutting down. Why am I out here when I should be back there, and was there until last January. sigh.

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

Sunday Evening Coming Down

I've been reading zenhabits.net tonight. I'd bookmarked one article in it a while ago that related to the Getting Things Done organization method, but today I have been exploring the rest of the site. The Getting Things Done method is a system that I thing would really help me if only I could get organized enough to implement it. Anyway, back to the ZenHabits.net site where he has an article about NOT multitasking, and how to not do it. It involves, among other things, breaking the day down into chunks of time. I'm thinking tomorrow I'll try studying for my Security+ test for 40 min, then alternate 20 min of each hour doing what I call walkabout which is going around and checking in with my problem children, then 20 min of working on the laptops that need attention in the office. So, study 40, walkabout 20, study 40, organize and update a laptop, etc. It's a start...

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

Once Again

Last night the lure of the nap again preempted posting here. Coupled with the fact that there was not much to write about, it was an easy choice. And so, today again I start over. Or pick back up. Whatever it is that I keep doing when I don't seem to be able to keep my promises of improvement that I make to myself. Today was a day of pulling out gear, most of it while on the phone to Turtle Lady. I haven't found the hammock that I was looking for. The suspension I put on it 'temporarily' to test it is worth more than the hammock itself, and is why I'm looking for the hammock in the first place. I want to put the suspension back on the hammock it came off of. It's not in the Jeep, not in the backpacking gear. sigh. Found a few things I forgot I had, and started a (small) pile of equipment to donate to the silent auction next time I go to a hang-out.

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

Nothing New

Nothing much to write about tonight. On work nights I don't do a lot. I am trying to learn to do push-ups. I am at the point where I'm going backwards on my abilities. Tonight I can't even do one girly push-up. I collapsed while trying to push myself back up. I'll try to go slightly down and just hold that position for a few seconds. I just can't seem to go slow enough to actually build up and get stronger. Practice, practice. And that is pretty much what's going on here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daily Wrapup

Not a lot done today except nap and wander the internet.

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...

More Neat Stuff

I'm just gonna leave this window open and link to the neat stuff I'm finding this morning.

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.

Quickie

Ok, ran accross a neat story in a blog, Lloyd Kahn's blog at http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/ He posts small snippet of neat stuff as he find them, so I'm doing the same. This is a treehouse of sorts in Crossville, TN. http://www.flickr.com/photos/chucksutherland/3977773445/ is the link to the picture of the treehouse, and http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2007-07-29-treehouse-church_N.htm is a link to the story about the treeehouse. It is a 10 story treehouse, and isn't so much a treehouse as a house built using live trees to support it. I'd post the picture, but I need to brush up on how to do that, and I'm busy reading other folks' blogs right now. :)

Oopsy

I came home yesterday, changed clothes into sweats and decided on a 'quick' nap before starting anything else. I woke up after a deep sleep, and without glasses on thought the clock said 4am. Apparently it actually said 9pm. Anyway, I just finished getting undressed and went to bed thinking I'd missed the evening. So, that's why no update yesterday. That's my story...

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

Three's a Trend?

I got more done yesterday, so I'm feeling like I'm finally making some progress after the weeks of being sick. Laundry is finally caught up. The house if more or less straight. Tonight I'll start what I hope is a habit of taking my shower at night. I practiced my push-ups. Lori and Cindi gave me ideas on how to get strong enough to actually start doing push-ups. I'm working on it.

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

Back Again

Day 2. Yesterday I got several things accomplished. My bedroom looks less cluttered. I put stuff into containers, drawers, and back into the correct room depending on what it was that was out of place. The container thing is a middle ground. I find it easier to put like things together, then later go through and pare down those to just what I feel I need at the time. So, at least now there is less loose 'stuff' in there.

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

Ummm. Hello?

'Last updated 5 weeks ago'. Yeah. I've been in a bit of a depression, I guess. Lost interest in most things, sick for at least 2 weeks of it, which didn't help. Realized this morning that I let the first of November, which is National Novel Writing Month, slip past without even feeling like I should try to write. Then read a blog that I enjoy even though she updates no more often than I do. She has taken the challenge to blog every day in November. My book of quotes might say something like 'and on the 7th day she finally got her tail in gear while everyone else was resting...' No promises. But I will try to write every day. As I've suggested I would do at times in the past and failed to keep up with it. Of course, the 3 people who read this have probably given up on my at this point, which is ok. This blog is mostly for me, anyway.

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

The Line

Reading some of my blogs this Saturday morning, I again started thinking about that line. The line I have to make between the public parts of my life I write about here and the more private thoughts and events that I don't mention here. I know that there are friends of mine around the country who check in here to keep track of me, and I use this space to let them know what's going on (and hear about it when I don't update often enough... smile... hi, Charlie) I also sometimes go back and read the older entries myself to see where I was mentally and emotionally to make the decisions that have put me here. In leaving comments on others' blogs I also sometimes have folks I don't know in real life stopping in here to read. I try to be somewhat interesting for those folks, too, although I fail on that level more often than not I think. I started writing in a paper and pen journal recently to give voice to thoughts and emotions that involve other people who would not like to see their parts in my life broadcast in the blog. I don't keep up with it regularly, either :) .

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

Home and Sleep

I'm back home in WA. I got in around 5 and immediately fell asleep. 12 hours later I feel more normal. I'm sore from packing around the huge amount of stuff I flew home with. I won't take so much next time, or bring so much back.

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

Update

I have been asked to update more often (waves at Charlie...). This week I can't say I don't have anything happening to write about. So far it has gone basically as I outlined in my last entry. Nancye, from here on out known as Turtle Lady (because I carry my home on my back), and I went to Hot Springs for the hangout last weekend. Met some nice folks, learned some new tricks with my hammock camping system, and came into a couple of home made alcohol stoves and a new style pack called the Molly Mac Pack. The pack was his prototype that he donated to the silent auction at the hangout. It is a rectangle of molly straps with alice pack shoulder straps and hip belt. This is a military style method of attaching various pouches and equipment, used on the back of flight vests and such. His pack is just the attachments. Difficult to describe. I'll attach various water proof bags to the frame, and eliminate the 'bag' part of the pack. I've wanted to play with this since he mentioned it. I'll put in pictures when I get home and load it with my stuff.

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

On the Road Again

I'm at Sea-Tac airport waiting for the flight to Nashville. I used the shuttle that picks me up at home. A neighbor will take care of the cats while I'm gone. Nancye was putting my truck at the house yesterday, Phil will pick me up at the airport and take me to the house when I get there this afternoon. Tomorrow after visiting my Dad, Nancye and I go to the hang-out at Hot Springs for the weekend. Then, I meet with the folks who want to rent my house, using work on the house as part of the rent. I'll be busy this next week while at home. Hopefully, everything here in Washington is battened down and will be fine while I'm gone.

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

Same Old

Again, not a lot goes on here. The weather has gone back to rainy and cool. One of my co-workers told me, when I was talking in early summer about packing away my winter clothes, 'don't pack them too far away'. I see what she meant. I need a change here. I'm spending this Labor Day weekend going through more stuff trying to eliminate and consolidate. It's the small things at this point. But, I have the time now and it needs to be done.

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

Almost a Month

Hard to believe that I've let almost a month go by without a post. Sorry. Just not much going on. The heat did break after 3 days. The furnace came on this morning, second or third time since the heat of last month. It just takes the chill of in the mornings. I'm glad I didn't go spend money on an air conditioner. If I'm still here next summer though I may try to move someplace that does have it already.

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

More Hot

It is just shy of unbearable. That is, I sweat sitting still, but can't think of any alternative at the moment. Hopefully it will cool off enough to sleep later. No real news. I'm just trying to post every day for awhile. I keep thinking that if I just start doing it then it will become a habit. So I ask your indulgence to some blathering (or, more than usual) and no real content for awhile.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's Hot

For the past 3 days it's been too hot here. I don't have any air conditioning in the trailer. It has taken until late July for the heat to strike, but it has. If it doesn't break soon, or if this is what 'summer' is here, I will have to move. The manager suggested I go buy myself a window air conditioner. I'm not going to buy my own air conditioner. I'll move someplace that has one already.

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:

http://sites.google.com/site/livingwithoutmoney/

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:

http://www.peacepilgrim.com/

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

Fun Stuff

I've been a hermit lately. I'll catch up some today. First, over at Lloyd Kahn's blog he showcases YouTube videos of music he likes the latest is a cool vocal Jazz ensemble that performed in Africa last year. I really liked this video, helped by the fact that they are singing a favorite song of mine.




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.

http://zerocurrency.blogspot.com/

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

Bad Habits

I've picked up some bad habits while waiting for whatever it is I always end up waiting on. Today I'm sick, achy and watery eyes. Took the day off even though I won't have enough vacation days to get paid for all the time I'm taking off in September. I need to break out of the rut. Lori is back now, so work is still covered.

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

Just Normal Stuff

My co-worker is back from vacation. We started sifting through the stuff that piled up while she was gone. Easy day since the soldiers had a 4-day weekend and weren't in today. Tomorrow may be an entirely different story. Went and got groceries tonight. That is unusual in that I normally just eat out. I didn't stock up, since I'm trying to eat down my pantry. The problem is that I now only have 'ingredients' and have to actually cook to have anything to eat. So I got some frozen dinners and some quick side dishes. It's a start. I continued the inventory by adding in the items stored in the cabinet under the sink. Not as much of an ordeal as I was making it out to be. Two small cabinets that mostly have spices (which I won't inventory now) and one stack of dishes from my old set that I'm keeping around for, you know, those times I entertain. Which I don't do. It was a cloudy, misty, chilly day. I didn't even open the windows after work, and ended up turning the furnace on for just a bit to take the chill off. In July. They say it gets hot here in August, so we'll see.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Feeling Better

Today I haven't taken any painkillers, and I haven't had any spasms in my neck. It is a bit sore, so I'm being careful. I also feel like I draining some infection from my sinuses. Maybe that is one reason I've felt so crappy lately. The weather is again getting cooler, it is just a bit chilly with the windows open this evening at 7pm. I'll close the windows before going to bed. The weather this far north is very different to me, being used to Tennessee.

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

Stagnant

I'm still here. I injured myself again. I'm tired of pain. I reached to turn off the alarm one day this week and apparently pinched a nerve in my neck. It has been painful. Luckily the spasms are now controlled by regular OTC pain pills. I'm tired of complaining about being injured.

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

Still Alive

I am back in the land of the living. I went back to Nashville for a weekend to celebrate my Dad's 90th birthday. I flew out Friday and flew back Sunday. In the middle I loaded what little was left at the house that I wanted to keep, and in the process put my back out, and then locked up behind me and left. It's in the hands of the Realtor now. The Realtor I can't seem to get hold of since I left.

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

Fail... Almost

I am working on making the 5 min Artisan Bread. Last night I made up the main dough. 3 cups (more or less) King Arthur bread flour, 3 cups (more or less) King Arthur whole wheat flour. A package of quick yeast and a tbs. (yes, tablespoon) of salt (more or less), dissolve these two ingredients into 3 cups of tepid water. That means I put a cup of water into a Pyrex measuring cup into the microwave for a minute twice, then added a cup of water from the tap. Then I put the bread flour in, and then the whole wheat flour in. Added more warm water since it's supposed to be a soggy dough (I've seen the video - Google it as if I look all the links up I'll never get this posted). I put it in my largest Pyrex mixing bowl, and it was too much dough to transfer into anything else I had once it was mixed up. I put a towel over it, let it sit on a counter for 2 hours, then put the entire thing towel and all into the fridge.

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

Home Again

I'll talk a bit about my trip back to Nashville, but first a quote from a blog. I read several blogs, some more often than others. Blogs give me a chance to explore other ways to live, try other ways on for size. One I read is Zach Aboard at http://www.zachaboard.blogspot.com/ . It is a Mom who writes about raising her son Zach while the family lives on a sailboat in a harbor. The quote is in the story about how one of Zach's 'friends' is the 'Queen of England' and he wanted to have high tea with her.

"...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

Hiking in the Olympics

I have gotten out some and hiked. These pictures are from my trip last weekend.



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

Slow

I have spent the past week feeling sorry for myself again. Being a hermit. Sleeping instead of doing anything, surfing the internet at work. The words from Ara in his blog, The Oasis of my Soul:

"... 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

Reward

Now that I think I've gotten the basics, I'll give you a picture I took recently.



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.

Got it?

Trying again...


This is just a test...

I'm going to try to learn how to sprinkle pictures in my postings without overwhelming the text. Please bear with me.


REMOVED BY ME

This is a picture I took the weekend I hiked the approach trail to the AT a couple of years ago.

REMOVED BY ME


It is a generic enough picture that I can play with it.

REMOVED BY ME

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

Doing Not Thinking Update

Last week I did well with my project. I walked the rest of the week at lunch. Two days I did longer walks, walking the entire hour and covering 3+ miles. The other two days I did about a mile. I was able to do this because I had enough food as leftovers that I could take my lunch. Taking my lunch to work for 3 days in a row was also some kind of record for me.

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

Doing Not Thinking

Over at Two Frog Home ( twofroghome.com ) she is having a group challenge called Doing Not Thinking. We are to pick a goal, and report on our progress in our blogs each Tuesday with a wrap-up on September 20. I said in her comments that I was up for it. So, guess I'm in for a challenge.

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

Went Somewhere

Drove about 9 hours of 'somewhere', saw the circumference of about half of the Olympics. Highway 101 entirely circles the Olympics. I took a northern route to get over there, and drove over the Narrows bridge (near Gig Harbor, where I got lost... don't want to talk about it...), and then over the floating bridge across Hood Canal. I also took Hwy 112 from Port Angeles over to Hwy 113, dropped down it to 101 and took 101 the entire way South to Olympia. I'll leave the West and South sides for another time soon.

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.

WTF

Why am I sitting here on a rare sunny Sunday morning, reading about others going out hiking/camping? I complain that I'm not having fun 'out here'. I complained that I had 'too much to do' when back 'there'.

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

Motivation

Motivation. I need some. I am totally frustrated with my life out here. And there is no reason I can't stage myself to be ready for some kind of change. I need to stage myself for change, because when I'm this unhappy or frustrated the Universe conspires to hand me that change even if I don't consciously do it myself.

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

Happy Easter

It's a rainy Easter Sunday. I slept in, and now have a headache. It's going away since I took an Advil and am drinking coffee. I decided against going anywhere this weekend, enjoying the time at home. Yesterday I took down the hammock I'm sleeping in, cleared out the rest of the floor space that was cluttered with things that didn't go in there, vacuumed, then moved the air mattress in. It didn't hold air long enough for even a nap. So, another thing gone. I put up the hammock again and slept in it last night.

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

Time Flys

I have written here lately because I've been kinda in hermit mode. I need/want to get out and about, but nothing around here so far trips my trigger. I did drive out to Mt. Rainier a couple of weeks ago, and the road was closed because of the snow. Went again last weekend and made it up to Paradise. From there down to several miles outside of the park it was solid snow, so no hiking. Also, only the one road up was open, so no real exploring to be done, either. It was an ok trip, and the park really isn't far away. Almost close enough to run out after work as the daylight hours increase. Just need to melt off some of that snow.

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

Decisions

I'm sitting here in my recliner, on the computer, in a beam of rare sunlight. I have no blinds on the windows in the main part of the mobile home, so rain or shine, it's all there at the windows. I'm thinking that I should get a shower, dress and head to Mt. Rainier for a day trip. It's sunny. Not sure for how long. They had snow yesterday, but I've got 4WD on the Jeep, and however far I get is more sightseeing than I've done so far. Just gotta get going. I hope to be on the road by 10. Yes, it's been a lazy Sunday morning.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Back to Normal

I'm sitting at a Jeep dealership waiting while they do the first oil change on my new ride. Almost 6K miles. Actually, the past few months are probably the least I've driven a vehicle in many years. Just so much else going on. I made an early appointment, 8am, to get myself going on a rainy Saturday. How did I know it would be raining? It's the South Sound area... sigh...

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

Sick

Out of nowhere this morning I noticed that my right ear felt stopped up when I got out of the shower. I couldn't find my Q-tips since I cleaned and put everything away last weekend. I went to work and felt worse as the day wore on. At lunch I notified the boss that I was heading home. Drank some Emergen-C, cleaned the ear out with hydrogen peroxide and a Q-tip and slept for 3 hours with the ear pointing down. This evening I've had left over Mexican food, more Emergen-C, and have done nothing but sit round. So far I feel better in general, and the ear doesn't feel quite as stopped up. I don't want to get sick since this weekend I want to head out and explore the area finally.

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

Settling In

Nancye was here visiting for a couple of evenings. I took her to the airport this morning to fly back to Nashville. Her upcoming visit prompted me to go into high gear to get 'stuff' put away, unpacked, decluttered, etc. last weekend. Well, also it was snowing. I wasn't yet psychologically prepared to head out in snow, even with the 4WD on the Jeep. So, I stayed home and unpacked. As a result my place was actually somewhat like a home. I actually did kitchen stuff in the kitchen while she was here, and we could sit in the living room (she let me sit in my recliner and she took the camping chair) and read the computer and/or books. She scouted me a microwave at Goodwill, so for $15 I am back in the modern times. I can re-heat food again. There are just some things that I don't have the knack to reheat in the oven.

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

Hermit

I've been in hermit mode since I got back from TN. First, my Dad has had more issues and is still in the hospital. His digestive system isn't working, basically. They were to run more tests. I've been sleeping a lot just catching up from my trip. Everything here is going ok. I'm slowly putting the stuff I moved into here away. I'm trying to get a routine going.

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

Quick Update

Dad is doing much better. He is in a regular room, and tomorrow they may send him to a rehab center (read, nursing home) for therapy. This opens many more issues for my Mom.

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

More Changes

I'm back in Nashville for a few days. My Dad took a turn for the worse. Mom took him to ER on Friday, and I flew in Saturday (yesterday). I walked into his hospital room and he brightened up. Mom hadn't told him I was coming. He was rattling when he breathed, and Moms said that had started about an hour before. I wasn't there 5 min and Mom put her coat on for us to leave. I would have stayed longer, but wasn't sure if she wanted to leave or just wanted to tell me something. We ended up going back to her place and then going out to get something to eat. She thought I was staying there, but I had already put my stuff back here at my empty house, so I came back here and slept on the floor in my sleeping bag. Mom called about 2am and said that the hospital called and were moving him to CCU because he was having touble breathing. Then they called again in a panic that he needed to go on a ventilator. Mom asked it that violated his living will, and could she take him off it if she decided it was what he wanted. She was told she could, so she gave the ok and then called me. I said leave him on it till this morning anyway. She was calling a nurse friend to ask her opinion, too. When we left Dad's room last night, I wasn't really ready to go but thought, well, I'll just come early and talk to him in the morning. Mom hasn't called back, and around 3:30 I gave up trying to sleep and just got on the computer. I'm waiting for 6am for McDonalds to open since I don't even have a cup to get a drink of water here right now.

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

Almost

esterday after work my co-worker and her husband brought their truck and helped me move all the big stuff out of my storage unit and over to the trailer. I have plastic tubs of many colors ringing my front deck at this point. I'll go over in a few minutes and get the last of the smaller stuff, and then I will at least have all my things out here in one place. Now that my ankle is not hurting and feeling weak as much my attitude is improving. This morning I went over to the small State Park near me and hike about a mile. It was a good test of my leg and ankle, and they passed pretty much. It did hurt to climb into the Jeep after the hike, but I did ok after that. The hike was nice. Things here are still green even in winter. Damp, chilly, and green are not what I'm used to. Still, it was good to get outside again and get some exercise.

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'm Tired

I'm tired of moving. I have maybe a third of my stuff moved out of the storage unit. I'll keep at it. I have till the end of the month.

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

Snow

We got let out early today because it snowed. I thought that Nashville was a bit slow with snow after moving there from Indiana. Back in Indiana if I didn't hear the snow plow on my residential street by 6am on days it snowed I was miffed. In Nashville, the main roads got plowed on a fairly regular basis if it was snowing, but the secondaries were on their own for the most part till it quit snowing. The word was, stay put till 10am or so and let it just melt. Here, they apparently don't own plows at all. Even on the interstate there was no evidence of any snow plows and it snowed all day. The temp was 35-39 degrees, so it was more slush than anything. The grass is green under the snow. It's funny, but I finally warmed up when it started snowing. The damp chilliness went away.

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

Sunday Evening

I am unpacking. I went to the unit and got a few more of the suitcases. Luckily I got the ones that had the bathroom things I needed, or really just wanted. The cats are settled in and playing and romping and napping with me in the hammock. Things seem to be on track. However, I'm feeling unsettled. Like I forgot something. Maybe my life? Like I left it back in Nashville? I just tell myself to give it time. Get all my stuff over here from the storage unit and start whittling it down. Make a (long) list of my bills and when they need to be paid. Get a routine going. It will all fall into place.

I want to go back home.

But I can't.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Normal Life

Yesterday went a bit slower than I had planned. I was up and ready for work around 7:30am. My ride in from my co-worker took a bit longer to show up. Once she broke away and got me at around noon, things went fairly smooth. We had lunch at the pizza place near the hotel (which was good), then got my various ID cards and vehicle registration so that I can get on post on Monday. Then we picked up her kids from daycare,and she dropped me back off at the Jeep. I drove over and paid my deposits and got the key to the mobile home I'll be renting. The rent kinda went up a bit, I think I am the first one of the year, and the manager first quoted me the old rate. I didn't write it down, so it's a moot point. It wasn't much different anyway. So, I unloaded the Jeep into the home, and came back here to the hotel for the night.

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

Got It

I got a call from the manager of the mobile home park last night. I was approved for the mobile home. I am going into work later this morning for awhile, then I'll go over to the park and give the deposits and rent and start moving in. I probably won't move the cats till in the morning, but I have at least 2 other Jeep loads of stuff to take first. I got a Coleman portable hammock and stand to sleep on for now. I have my 2 camp chairs, and my recliner. Of course, I'm not sure how to get the recliner to the mobile home if it doesn't fit in the Jeep...

I'll try to post pics of my new digs tomorrow.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Now I'm Worried

I got the truck filled up with gas and turned in. Cannibal, you did good on the repair to the carrier where I ran the fender into the concrete, it wasn't even mentioned. Then I applied for the mobile home at the park next to the storage place. Most likely I can move in starting Friday. So, I extended my stay here at the hotel through Saturday morning. It will take several trips to get me, the cats, and the stuff in the room over to the mobile home. After that I went to dinner at a place close to the hotel, which turned out to be an oriental buffet. I ate as much there as I have in the entire time since I left Nashville. After that I went to Cabellas and looked around. No hammock stands there right now. Did see a hammock in a box, so I'm pretty sure I was in the area where they would have been. This may call for a trip to REI in Seattle this weekend. So, things are falling into place after all the adventure of first going to Germany for 3 weeks, then hearing about the layoff and worrying about it over the Holidays, then finding out I would be laid off and starting the job search, they getting laid off, breaking down and applying for the job out here, getting hired, packing up the house, loading the truck, driving for 4 days straight, unloading the truck, finding a place to live...

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

Movin' On

I picked a storage unit place out of the on-line yellow pages, reserved a unit through their central off (Public Storage, you don't get to talk to the locals till you commit), and when I got there it was a place I could also drop off the truck and carrier. Got the Jeep off the carrier and got it unhooked and unofficially turned in. Then I spent the rest of the day unloading all the stuff I drug out here. It barely fit into the 10x10 unit. The Jeep is stuffed, and that doesn't account for all the stuff I've got in the hotel room. It's going to take several trips to get moved out of the motel room. I extended for another day.

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

I made It

Copied from my post on HammockForums.net since I'm still tired:

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

In Denver

I am sitting in Denver at Cannibal and Genuine Draft's place. We are drinking coffee and Cannibal fixed me a warm cinnamon roll. Things with the trip are working very well. No issues, except just driving. The cats are doing ok. They calm down immediately when I can get them out of the carrier. They are well behaved cats when I've stayed at people's homes, using the litter box and not making messes.

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

150 down, 2350 to go

I'm in Illinois, about half way to St. Louis. I will pick up a car carrier to get all 4 wheels off the ground as I tow it, unlike the tow dolly I have now that only gets 2 of them off. St. Louis was the closest one that they would put my Jeep on. So far the trip has gone well. I'm glad I filled up with gas in Clarksville. Driving through Kentucky was very, very strange after the ice storm. We had so little other than rain in Nashville that I was only slightly prepared for what I found. It was like diving through a ghost country, very little traffic or evidence of actual people off the side of the interstate. No electricity, no people, no lights, no traffic. Lots and lots of ice, and trees all split and broken, branches pointing wrong directions. Huge evergreen trees with their branches all pointing down. Everything covered with coatings of ice. No fuel anywhere, no restaurants, no motels, nothing open. Very strange. And, I've heard rumors of a storm on the way again for them tomorrow. Oh, and no cell coverage in the entire length of the state. No way to check in with folks.

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

Cleanup 3 days left

An awesome amount of stuff got done yesterday Nancye, Bill, Bluebelle, Tree, Neo and his sons JackRabit and TaterTot worked their behinds off. Nancye's pizzas and carrot cake were a major hit.. At this point everything in the house is something that I can lift, other than the waterbed. The waterbed is draining. I am making piles of things ready to be loaded into the rental truck, a smaller pile of stuff to go into the storage unit, and a pile of stuff to go down to the shed here. If everything works out (and it has done so amazingly well) when Phil and Tim come to look at the house this afternoon I can get them to help take the waterbed frame down to the shed with me. It is still a mess here, but much less so in many ways. As I put stuff into the truck, it will finally start to clear out and not just move around to different piles.

I am awestruck at the willingness of my friends to help me. I have no words.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Pace Picks Up

Today is D day in many ways. In a few minutes my ride will show up to take me to pick up the Rental truck I'll pack a couple of different times, and will ultimately drive to Tacoma. I've been clearing out the furniture that goes to storage, the first load. Neo will arrive with his sons to load that furniture. That will be the main clearing out. Nancye and Bill will arrive before that and start helping me pack things, take the items they are taking. Then Bluebelle and Tree will arrive and load the things they are taking. When all of that is done, the only furniture here should be my recliner. Along with the storage items we'll take to Mom the things she wants and the things she sold for me.

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

More Updates

I have a truck reserved from Budget that I pick up Saturday morning. I pick up the car carrier Tuesday. Saturday Neo and his boys will come over and load up the furniture that I'll put in storage. Nancye will show up and load up the things she's taking and as much of the furniture I'm getting rid of as will fit. Bluebelle will show up and take her stuff. They will help pack up the stuff I've just got in piles that I'm taking with me or that I'll put down in the storage barn here. Maybe. Depends on their time and how things are going.

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.

I'm numb.