Thursday, December 26, 2013

This and that

Things are settling down, mostly because my body says it is done with all the riding in the Jeep for awhile. Turtle Lady and Bill are here for a few more days, but I think they will be mostly around the park here. They seem to be enjoying learning about this type of post-retirement (for them) living. The weather finally got cloudless and warm so they can see Arizona the way it has been advertised to them.

I'm clearing out my email, and found some comments with questions I hadn't answered. I do read all the comments and appreciate them a lot. One asked about medication for the vertigo that Mom and I are experiencing, even though we are several states apart. I haven't gone to a doctor about it yet. I'm still having the vertigo but it is in the annoying category rather than really bothering me. I had it worse in Las Vegas than I do here, so I think it may be more recovering from whatever caused it than a continuing exposure. Mom hasn't mentioned hers lately, but her doctors weren't taking it very seriously. On a related note, she is changing doctors.

Dizzy Dick asked if they still have the prickly pear cactus ice cream at Tortilla Flats. The short answer is 'yes'. We ate at the restaurant and Turtle Lady got a cactus bowl salad (in a real bowl, not one made of cactus) and it came with a scoop of the ice cream. Neither her nor Bill were terribly impressed, and I was trying mightily to eat all of my barbeque sandwich and didn't try any. I had thought we would go to the ice cream parlor afterwards, but we were too stuffed from our meals, so I don't know that they have it there, but they probably do.

This morning I will start the (at least) yearly backups of all my computers. I am looking towards the ending of this year to tie up loose ends and the beginning of next year to start progressing in some new goals. Nothing major, just mostly the recycling of past goals. :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Busy busy

The trip to Las Vegas with Turtle Lady and her Dear Husband was fun. We walked and walked, despite my best efforts to find efficient ways to get around. The bus system has been determined to be the most efficient way to get up and down the strip. Since we've been back here at my home the two of them have knocked down the Honey-do list to the point that I have no more chores for them. The place looks a lot nicer, and Bill (the Dear Husband) even installed a grab bar in the bathroom for when my Mom visits. The bathroom tub is a very large step up and down, and even I sometimes have trouble with it. He also resurrected the bakers rack that the movers who transferred the stuff between trucks in Wichita ended up almost destroying. TL has food in the house and has taken over my kitchen as promised. Life is good. They even had roses waiting for me when I got up to go to work yesterday to celebrate my birthday. I tell ya, I may invite them back again!

Later today we head to Payson and hopefully a short hike in the state park up there. For me, it is a chance to see trees. Amazing how that means so much to me after months at a time living in the desert and not seeing a real forest. Very different that the Southeast, or even Honduras. I took them out to Tortilla Flats a few days ago and they were impressed with the Superstition Mountains and all the cactus and such. We ate at the restaurant there, and it was good. I'll probably take Mom out there while she is here as well.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a happy Holidays whatever you choose to celebrate during this season. Take time to stop, give thanks, and mostly CELEBRATE that we are here and the blessings that we have.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Exciting Times

Today is the first day of a week's vacation. I had some days that needed to be used before the end of the year. This has morphed into a trip to Las Vegas, leaving tomorrow to drive up there. My friends, Turtle Lady and her DH, will fly in from KY and meet me there. We spend 3 days enjoying Vegas, Baby! and going to a show this time, my first time doing so. I want to explore some around Lake Mead on the way up and stop wherever they want to on the drive back to Phoenix. They will stay here with me for another week and we will explore around here.

This is prompting a major shuffle of stuff around here. Luckily, they are good friends and are used to me and my stuff. Turtle Lady will take over my kitchen. She knows that there is usually no food around here, so a trip to the grocery will be up early on. Then IKEA. Then who knows.

In the shuffle I did find my camera charger and cable, among other things. I have assured TL and her DH that they have free access to my wifi as well as my yarn stash and supplies. Between all of the above the next weeks should be full. Maybe even some pictures included in blog posts, who knows. I'll have a couple of weeks to recover, then Mom flys out on the 20th of January for a visit. You know I'll be clearing and cleaning for that!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


I will admit the primary reason I'm updating is that my blog list along the right side of the page isn't refreshing. I mean that other folks' blogs aren't refreshing for me, showing the list from yesterday. This happens sometimes. I can't seem to get it to update. I'm hoping that if I make a post it will jog it. Not a log going on as I'm in the middle of switching shifts again, back to nights. I only work and sleep when I'm doing that. I did start knitting a sweater again with the yarn I was looking for awhile ago. I was starting socks as a learning project, but with the sweater weight yarn and making up the pattern as I went to adjust they were going to be way too large. So I ripped them out and started the sweater. Now I've decided to make some cotton knitted dishcloths for my neighbors for Christmas, so the sweater may go to the back burner. I really like the yarn, though, so I'll probably sneak a row in occasionally. Now to post and see if this worked. *UPDATE* It worked. I have a refreshed blog list. I actually use my sidebar list to read the blogs, and use the blog lists of those I read to wander further. I don't 'follow', I go the the blogs and read. Just how I roll. I hope folks don't think I'm any less loyal for doing it that way.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Forgot what day it is

On the way into work tonight I started to swing by WalMart to get some snacks and a sandwich to take into work as I do a lot of nights on the way in. As I was stopped at the light getting ready to turn in I sort of wondered at the amount of traffic at 9:30pm on a Holiday and suddenly it hit me what I was about to do! I was going to WalMart on the cusp of BLACK FRIDAY!! NOOOOOOO!!! I made a circle of the parking lot, which had more cars than are usually there during the day (what few daytimes I've been there lately). I tend to be crowd adverse, so I decided I had what I needed in my locker at work, which was bread and peanut butter, and some yogurt in the fridge as well. When I walked into work I remembered that my employer had Boston Market deliver Thanksgiving dinner for whoever was working earlier in the day, and the remenants were in the fridge. So much for peanut butter!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

It is currently 2:30am local time and I'm at work. I will get off work around 8am and just go home and sleep. I am making double time and a half, so I'm glad to have the hours this year. I am thankful for a lot of things. The past 3 Thanksgiving holidays I was in Honduras, so being back in the US is one thing I'm grateful for. I hope everyone has a safe Holiday season.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Testing, testing, 123

I'm trying the Google speech to text to see if I can just speak into my tablet computer and have it type it as I speak. Other than not knowing how to add punctuation, which it just did, I seem to be doing okay. I think I will make more use of my tablet now that I know how to do this. So far it hasn't made a single mistake. Such more accurate than my own typing in fact. Who news technology come this far.

Friday, November 15, 2013


The house in Nashville officially belongs to someone else! I got the confirmation email that told me to do my happy dance! I verified that the utilities were switched out of my name and canceled the homeowner's insurance. Then I took a nap. Only a couple of minor account and mailing address closures and I will have everything in my life, business wise, centered here in Phoenix. WOO HOO!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

On being quiet

I realized a few days ago that I think in two different cases I left virtually the same comment on folk's blogs that I had left before. I start to write a post and just never get to it. I don't feel much original coming out of my keyboard.

I am getting things done in real life. I hit the point a few days after finding my yarn that I am totally tired of stepping over and around all this stuff just sitting around as I've unpacked boxes and totes to find things. I now have found what I need to live for the near future, so I'm working on putting away and clearing and in a few cases even getting rid of stuff.

My vertigo is still here, although it only bothers me when I lay down or when I get up in the morning. It is more a backward and forwards (laying down and sitting up) vertigo than the spinning type. I did put together the shelves and fit them to be the base of my bed so I'm not on the floor on my air mattress. I just did that today, so I'll know maybe by in the morning if it helps or makes the vertigo worse. Mom's vertigo seems to be under control now, so I'm glad of that at least.

The closing on the house in Nashville is set for Friday, so starting tomorrow I have phone calls and paperwork to sign and get notarized and sent back and hope that nothing keeps this from happening. Selling the house makes my life a lot easier (massive understatement there...). So, that's what's happening.

Monday, November 04, 2013

I found my yarn!

It wasn't being held ransom by renegade sheep or auctioned off by Customs to fund their morning coffee after all. I decided to start working on the boxes in the attached shed/workshop and the second one I opened had the yarn. It also has the two really nice duffle bags I had the yarn packed in that I was sorry to have lost. So, life is getting settled in. Kinda scary after all these years.

Getting back to normal

News on the vertigo front is good. I found on YouTube videos to correct vertigo including one I just now found: which explains it very well. The one I used showed the Epley maneuver. I called Mom to tell her about it, and she said that her vertigo had disappeared. It seems she did the movements in her sleep. She woke up with her head hanging off the side of her bed with a screeching in her ear. When she rolled over, the vertigo went away. After one Epley maneuver my vertigo was 80 percent better, only bothering me at night a bit. I'll try the movements in the video listed above, but I think even without it that I'm fine now.

Yes, I do believe mine was from the off-gassing of the shelves I bought at IKEA and laid right next to my bed that day. It was just too immediate and acute an attack. I don't know what caused Mom's. My new shelves are out on the screen porch, and I will put them together and move them back into the bedroom in a couple of weeks. If I have any return of the vertigo, I'll make other plans then. I think this was a recent shipment as the bin I got them from at IKEA was full, and I never had any reaction to anything else I've bought there. From now on, though, I will let any new furniture air out before bringing it into the living space.

I have a lot of other things to update, including that I finished the sweater I was knitting and my trip up to Jerome, AZ along with pictures, but I've misplaced my camera cable. Mostly it is irritating and I do have severalof those cables around here. I'm being stubborn and looking for the one I usually use as I just had it last week. The search is prompting me to clear out my office and rearrange, so all is not totally negative from this. Piles are getting put away, some things are being moved out and given away or trashed. I still have not found my yarn, so I will go buy some more today probably. I want to start making some socks. More updates when I either find the darn cable or use one of my other ones.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Mom is home from the hospital with no diagnosis. She is to go to a ENT. My vertigo comes and goes. I work today, and then have 4 days off to figure out what's going on. The house sale is going on track so far. I'm just hanging on till I can finish my work week and start picking up the pieces.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Another Update

I survived the day at work, but was really dizzy at times. I slept next to the new wooden pieces of the shelves that I bought Saturday and it was Saturday night while sleeping next to them that I first got dizzy. I had the air conditioning or heat on the next two nights that circulated the air in the room and had been feeling better. Last night the temperature was warm enough the heat didn't come on so the air didn't circulate and I felt again dizzy like I had on Sunday. I moved the shelves to the screened porch and turned on the overhead fan for tonight to see if that is what is causing my issues. If I still feel this dizzy tomorrow and Thursday at work, on Friday my day off I will find a doctor somewhere. I hope it has just been a reaction to the off-gassing chemicals. A different problem, but better than a health issue.

Mom is in the hospital. She got tired of waiting on the doctors while she kept getting worse. They admitted her and have so far run a CAT scan and not found anything. Later they will run an MRI. They said her doctor couldn't have ruled out an inner ear issue by just looking in her ear. One of my co-workers had this issue of vertigo and found some exercises on YouTube that cured it. I was going to send Mom a link, but wasn't quick enough. I'll look them up tonight and try them. If Mom gets worse I'll be hoping a plane to MO for the weekend.

I also just got a cash offer that I have accepted on the house in Nashville. A bright light in all the other issues. Here's hoping it goes through.

Prayers for all of this would be appreciated.

Monday, October 28, 2013


I am better today and I plan on going to work tomorrow. I'm glad my dizziness happened in the middle of my regular days off. Mom is still having issues, and her primary doctor is still dragging his feet on getting her into a specialist. A couple of us have mentioned she might want to get a new doctor, and also go ahead to the ER as her dizziness is more of an issue and has been going on for almost 2 weeks now. She can't drive, which puts a crimp in her lifestyle at this point. I'm guessing the fact that we both had the same symptoms was coincidence and not caused by the same thing as mine only really last 24 hours, for which I am very thankful. Today I've felt like I've been trying to shake a hangover, and I haven't had any alcohol in months.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Just called Mom again. Third time today. Normally we don't talk 3 times in a week, but knowing how I feel I want to check in more often. Seems we have both leveled out and not had any acute waves of our heads feeling like they are jerking. A friend of her's will take her to the ER tomorrow if she feels like she needs to go, and she has her bag all packed. I figure since tomorrow is Monday the office here will be open and I can ask about which hospital I should go to and I can take a cab if I need to go. If I just stay wobbly I probably won't go. I may start looking for a doctor, though.

I cooked eggs for breakfast, and later fixed salmon and steamed veggies for supper. I was attributing my dizziness to not eating much except peanut butter sandwiches and pop tarts yesterday. I'm also taking vitamins. And sleeping a lot. Nothing got done today except eating and sleeping. Luckily I don't need to go to work till Tuesday, so I have a day to make some decisions.

And now this...

Lots going on to blog about. One not so great is that Mom is experiencing dizzy spells, and getting worse. I had talked to her on Friday and she had been to the doctor and he said it is her heart, but they hadn't gotten her in to order the test from that doctor yet. Then last night I rolled over and my head just kept spinning, yep, just like Mom said her's does. Strange sensation as it is just my head, I know where my body is. At one point I was laying on my back and it seemed like my head jerked backwards at least 45 degrees. I got up, holding onto things, and got some water. Later around 8:30 I called Mom to see what was up with her, and she has had a more severe attack of the dizziness. She decided to get her things together in case she needs to go to ER. I made myself a cup of coffee and a peanut butter sandwich and wove my way back to bed. Spent from then till around 11:30 waking up, taking a bite and a drink and going back to sleep. Finally the room seemed to steady itself and so I called Mom to see how she is doing. She was up and decided to wait till tomorrow to go unless it gets worse. She mentioned that it seems to happen if she is looking up at all, compressing the back of her neck. I tried keeping my head pointed downwards, and it is helping. Things are better, but I'm still not wanting to drive anywhere. This is so strange, she's in Kansas City, MO and I'm in Phoenix, AZ. I keep trying to figure out what could be similar other than genes, and haven't figured it out yet. If I still feel this strange tomorrow I'll finally try to find a doctor. If it gets bad again, I'll head to ER. I don't run to doctors for much of anything, so that shows how out of normal this is for me.

I'll post the rest of what is going on when the room decides to stop wavering on me.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Title goes here

The hardest part of posting is trying to come up with a title. Sorry, I'm not feeling creative today. I got the header photo working again. I took this on an early morning trek I made up to Roosevelt Reservoir that had been recommended to me. I really want to have a beer with the person who recommended it (Bob G, you know who you are) because at one point I would have been screaming like a little girl if I hadn't had to watch where I was driving to keep from going over the edge of a cliff. At any rate, things are getting done and life is mellowing out. I finished one jigsaw puzzle last night, an easy 100 piece one that is probably for kids. I started a 500 piece one today. This is one reason that more hasn't been done on the blog changes. My aunt had a bunch of these in her yard sale, and I brought home what didn't sell. I'll donate them to the collection here at the park once I put them together. I'm thinking of heading to Jerome, AZ tomorrow. I'll see how I feel about it when I wake up. If I do go, I will try to get pictures. I will also turn off the date display on the camera as I don't really want to crop out parts of the pictures I do take.

Getting back to normal

Not sure what normal really is for me, but it is nice to find things when I want them. I have been listening to some of my CD's this morning while I work around the place. Nice to have music again. I played with the template on this blog and only managed to delete the header photo. I'll play more as I go along and make the changes I've been threatening. I have to shrink the size of my pictures in order to use them, a fact that I forgot which is why I deleted the photo rather than just changing it. Not a lot going on, and this is a nice change.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wider paths

I stopped so much unpacking and worked on finding places for the things I'd already unpacked. All the things in the past 5 years that I've bought more of because the ones I already had were packed away? They are now all here. I have more of everything than I need, more than I want. I'm having trouble letting it go, though. A work in progress.

I need to apologize to my new rice cooker. Apparently it is the almond milk that I was using to cook the rice rather than water that was causing the scorched issue. Had the same problem with my old cooker, although not as bad. I still need to run to the grocery to get fixings for lentil soup in the slow cooker. It will take me awhile to get back in the swing of having all my stuff, and therefore no excuse, not to live right. Found the clothes I was wondering about, and some more that I forgot I had. Have not yet found the yarn. An email buddy says the government took it to sell to drum up money, or else some sheep are holding it for ransom. Either one could be likely I guess.

I've told folks to come visit me this winter here in the sunny southland, I have plenty of room. Hmmmm. Gotta make those paths wider to have room for company. Guess it will keep me out of trouble for awhile.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I keep unpacking boxes and totes and suddenly the nice mobile home isn't nearly as big as it used to be. So far I've found most of what I missed the most. I just this morning found my smaller slow cooker and rice cooker. My new rice cooker burns the rice, not something I ever had a problem with before. So, the new one will get donated. I've found most of the clothes I've missed, but not all. I have not found my yarn yet.

I am to the point that I need to put a lot away and donate some to make room before I unpack much more. I have only paths in all the rooms. I'm careful to keep track of important stuff, putting it away when I use it so I'm not in total caos. The stuff is getting to me, though. It is a process and I just have to work through it. Again, I read posts about how 'We just sold off all our possessions and now we are SO happy!' and I wonder how that process really went down at the time.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Work is finished for the week

I had my 4 day work week this week, finished today. I was a tired puppy as I drove home. The vacation was not restful, and 3 12 hour days with an 8 hour one at the end is also tiring. I came home and took a nap. Now I am in the in-between state of being too tired to really do much and not sleepy now. Tomorrow I hit the unpacking again. I'll start with taking out the empty storage containers, breaking down any empty boxes, then taking store of what is left. I still haven't found my yarn or my small slow cooker. Also, I'm missing a lot of clothes. As it is getting chilly here I'm wanting my winter clothes, most of which have been packed away for several years. I also will start the trek of things to a donation box. At this point it is mostly clothes that are too small now. I'm hoping some of the clothes I find will still fit. I still can't quite grasp that everything I own is here in the mobile home, or out in the shed. I'm thinking when I get out there to the shed (which is attached and at the end of the car port) I'll find a lot of things that aren't on my current radar.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

It's Over

Or it has just begun, depending on what part I'm talking about. I still need to take the empty truck back, but I will do that on Monday for a lot of reasons. It is safe parked across the parking spots outside of the laundry room. There are only 3 of us on this end of the park here now, so it is ok.

The nice, clean, empty mobile home looks like it has been trashed by a band of deranged I don't know what. There are boxes, totes and stuff everywhere. Pathways only around or through the piles, some of which are taller than I am. I've been saying that it will take me a year to get through all of this stuff. I think I'm being too conservative with that estimate. It's ok, though, I have absolutely no desire to drive anywhere at all. I definitely have enough to keep me busy right here.

I've started slowly picking my way into boxes. The yellow box that I kept telling folks emphatically that it needed to be near the back of the load so I could get it early because it had my coffee pot in it? Turns out it had hiking gear. Stuff I wanted to get to for sure, but not the coffee pot. I made a bookmark when packing it in Honduras, but the bookmark got misfiled apparently. So, I then decided to see what it was that Customs was so interested in that they opened the box and then taped it back with their identifying tape (so I could know they got any contraband?). Turns out they were interested in my coffee maker, so all is good. I just need to wash it out and plug it in and I can make more than 6 oz of coffee at a time again.

My back hurts and I'm so wired I can't sleep and I'm too tired to actually make much progress on the sorting and such. Hopefully this will even out before I have to go back to work on Tuesday morning.

Home Safe

Made it in around 1am this morning, drove straight through sleeping in the truck once I got the replacement one. Now to unload...

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Heading Out - Again

Transfer into the new, working truck is complete. I just grabbed a bite to eat and cooled off a bit and now I'm heading out to drive the last 1053 miles. Hopefully this truck is going to make it the rest of the way. I think Budget is tired of hearing from me.

Stuck in Kansas

For the first time with Budget I got an old truck I wasn't sure about. However, my help to load it up was there, so I decided it would hopefully make it to Phoenix. It didn't. Outside of Wichata, KS I started to pull off at a casino to relax for $20 worth, get some coffee and head back out. I didn't make it through the toll both. I was stuck at the toll booth until around midnight. Well, the truck was, I walked over to the hotel and got a room, which Budget will pay for. This morning I am waiting on them to bring another truck. At one point the lady on the phone said they would be towing me to Blue Springs, MO to make the transfer. I informed her they definitely would not as that was 6 hours away. She didn't believe me. I said to have her 'supervisor' who set this up to call me ASAP. She called me back and apologized and said she now realized it was 300+ miles, not 60, and that they were now looking for a truck nearer to where I am. Who thinks Wichata (which I can't spell, BTW), is a suburb of Kansas City? Aparently Budget does. Or did.

So, I am 24 hours behind schedule. It could have been worse, I wasn't on the side of the road, the toll booth ladies were wonderful to me, and I had a nice hotel room last night. The adventure continues.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

On the Road

I'm in Kansas City staying at Mom's place. The two storage units are getting staged for loading into a big moving truck on Tuesday. Family has been rounded up to direct younger family members who will hopefully heft and tote the stuff into the trucks under the supervision on my Aunt who can load 'more than 10 lbs of * into a 5 lb bag'. Getting all my stuff into the 24' truck, the largest Budget has, will test her skills. I have found at least 3 pieces of furniture I forgot I had. Mom says just leave them, my uncle can use the wood from them in his shop. I am sick at the thought of the furniture of my youth being torn up, but many stories on the net and in various magazines mentions that youth these days don't want all the stuff we 'older folks' kept all those years.

I had hoped to get rid of some stuff while sort through, but instead Mom keeps giving me more stuff. I am taking it with plans to have large piles of things for a 'free' box at the park where I live. I am also not taking some of it. Really.

Friday, September 13, 2013


This has been a week of pondering options. A job agent (automated bot that scans job positions and sends me ones that meet the criteria I've set) sent me notice that a job back on the Honduras contract I had wanted is now open. I've stayed in contact with my former boss, and I've been talking to him. There are good and not as good points about both going back and staying here. I'm pondering.

I am on the cusp of going back to MO and getting my things in storage there. For the first time since I drove off from Nashville in the big moving truck with my Jeep hitched on behind I am close to having everything I own in one place. As such I'm working on getting the new place ready for the huge influx of just stuff. For the past few days this has taken the form of measuring the space in the bedroom, the air mattress, and comparing all of it to the IKEA catalog. For $500 I can build a base for the mattress with storage, and have the alcove filled with drawers. This should go a long way to storing all my clothes. This morning I'm looking at the card balances and my paycheck, and I'm thinking that cardboard boxes and the mattress on the floor aren't so bad.

I met a fellow blogger and her husband for lunch 2 days ago. Judy of Judy's Quilts and Things (see sidebar) and her husband moved to Phoenix recently. We spent the time talking mostly about yarn and knitting while her spousal unit sat patiently nearby. It is nice to feel like I know someone local now outside of work. I had met another online-only friend when I first moved here as well. I have yet to have a bad experience when meeting bloggers or people I only know through message boards on line. Everyone has pretty much been the way they come across when they write. Then yesterday a former co-worker from my time in Honduras was in town and we met and talked for over an hour. I ran my ideas about going back and he weighed in on his point of view. It was good to sit down with someone I've known for a few years and really talk and catch up on what's been happening with friends from down there. All in all a much more social week than normal.

Temperatures are starting to get down into a range I can tolerate for more than just a few minutes outside. I'm looking forward to getting out and hiking some, as well as travel around the area more. Not a lot else going on, just a lot of pondering my options and trying to make sensible decisions.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lessons learned at 3am

I really need to make sure I have the keys to the house on me AT ALL TIMES when I step outside.

The door to the mobile home won't just 'jiggle' open.

I was very circumspect in keeping all the other access ways locked.

My Jeep is ridiculously easy to break into, it's just a zipper.

I hate the zipper on the back door of the Jeep.

I need to start carrying a screwdriver in my Bug Out Bag in the Jeep.

Keys for a toolbox that is still in Kansas City work as a makeshift screwdriver.

The window on my screened porch is only 1 pane of glass and the blinds. Held down with a screw, which keys will turn.

I have small hands and arms and can reach in by prying the bottom section of glass out enough to reach the crank.

I am small enough to climb into the cranked open window.

New bright white t-shirts get slightly embarrassing black marks on them when I climb into Jeeps via the unzipped back window and enter the house in a similar manner.

I hate the zipper on the back window of my Jeep.

I should probably also put a spare set of keys in the BOB in the Jeep.

I was reminded of the time when I was 19 I showed up at my parent's place sooner than they expected me while they were at work. They had moved since I had been back to see them (I still found them! Ha!) so the neighbor didn't know me. He was working on his car next door. I went around the house, found an unlocked window, and casually went and asked him if I could borrow a screwdriver to get into the house. He gave me one, then followed me to the window and watched as I popped the window out easily, handed him the screwdriver with thanks, and proceeded to climb in. He always looked at me weird after that. Mind you, my Mom worked 3 miles from there and my first and only thought was to break in, not go get her key. When my parents got home they asked how I got in and I said I broke in. They didn't find it too strange. I did mention they might want to reassure the neighbor. Comes from being a latch key kid who didn't always remember my key. Obviously, I've still got it!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Computer glitches

I guess my computer got tired of me saying that I didn't like using it, cause it went tango uniform (geek speak...) last night. I'm trying to revive it. My next most useful laptop is my D800, which has a 17" screen, but it is the oldest and slowest. Well, maybe not slowest. The netbooks don't seem to have much horsepower for the things I want to do. At any rate, I am counting the days again (still?) until I have my desktop back in operation. Pictures are on hold as my time is now spent working on my ailing laptop and trying to figure if I lost anything. I had the nagging feeling I should pull a backup this week. It kept running slower and slower, and I was cussing my internet connection. Oh, well.

I have my ticket to fly back to Kansas City the last week in September. It will be a busy week and a half of sorting, loading and driving my stuff in a big truck back here. I'm both looking forward to it and not looking forward to it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Beginning the blog changes

I don't have photo editing software on the laptop. If I did I would have cropped out the date on the header picture. My home isn't in this picture, this is the main cross street looking toward the Superstitions. I'll work on the rest of the pictures, but don't hold your breath.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Guess I should post

Nothing is really wrong. Some things are actually right. I made the mistake the other day of thinking that I finally have life and finances nailed down pretty well and then the past few days have shown me that I have some expenses I forgot about and some that I just hadn't wanted to think about. The job is ok, this shift is doable but not great. However, this shift is what I signed up for so it is what I work. Things have been worse before. As many blogger mention from time to time, mediocre is difficult to write about. Still going through things so the place is still a mess as I don't have furniture to hide the papers and stuff inside of. The office has become my dumping place. That needs to change.

I have started in the kitchen and am cleaning out all the cabinets. I had just put my few things away inside of them, but when I looked several of the cabinets still have sawdust from when they were mounted. As I've said, everything inside of the mobile home is new. So, I'm cleaning and sorting. I have discovered that even standing on my folding chair I can't reach all of the cabinet above the refrigerator, or even all of the top of the fridge. These are minor issues in the grand scheme of things.

I decided that my looking kinda rough had less to do with the hours I'm working than the fact that I could use some newer clothes. My small clothes just don't really fit anymore. I went and got some medium polo shirts. After washing they are tight as well. I think 50 percent is they shrunk, and 50 percent is that I am now a large. Difficult for this recovering anorexic to get my head around. I'm walking every morning around daylight on my days off. If I exercise too much my back hurts. When did all this stuff sneak up on me?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Good Morning

Up around 7 because I was slept out. Had breakfast while Skyping with Mom. Look out the window to... dark. Because it is 7pm when I get up now and my 'day' is more or less midnight to noon. I will have to intermingle with folks on the backside of my day, not my best time even when I'm on the same schedule as the majority of the populace. However, we didn't win the PowerBall last night. I give the guy at work who buys the group tickets a hard time about not getting us a winner yet. He just looks at me with one of 'those' looks. What does he care, he has retired twice now and just works now to have something to do. He's strange in other ways, too.

My body isn't sure if it wants breakfast or dinner or if I am at the beginning or end of the day, wind up time or wind down time. I'm told I'll get used to it. I have 2 nights off, then I swing into the regular schedule of 3 on, 4 off, 4 on, 3 off, midnight to noon. Even I think I'm looking a bit rough as the regular day folks stumble in around 8 am. I should work on that. Luckily we aren't a spit and polish corporate workplace.

Another cup of coffee and I'll start clearing things around here at home. I pulled everything out a few weeks ago to go through it all and I'm tired of stepping over it. That is one excuse for no pictures, it's kind messy here right now. I should also go buy a vacuum and a mop. Tell me again how the 100 item folks do it. You know, the ones who only own 100 things. I have decided to get rid of one blouse I brought with me. Since I wear each piece of clothing more now I'm either wearing them out or am just now noticing that some pieces don't look all that good. I can get rid of several more pieces before I have to worry about not having clothes, though.

And this is my life right now. Waiting on cooler temperatures to go on adventure, getting used to night shift and cleaning house. I'll try some of the offered solutions to get Linux going on my days off as well. It is just difficult to get fired up with it being dark outside now. Seems like it should be time to go to sleep instead.

Monday, July 29, 2013

So much for not being chatty right now

I made it to 3am before I crashed. Now it is noon and I'm supposed to be going to bed, not getting up. The chopper left about 5 minutes after I posted previously. Quiet morning after that.

I managed to get a USB download of Ubuntu, but it didn't like my Dell D800 notebook, which is the one I would have put Ubuntu on permanently. My CPU didn't have pae or something like that. I'll try setting it up on my netbook and see if it works there. So much for Linux working great on 'older' model computers.

I spent some of yesterday over at where they have a Code Year of tutorials/classes on web programming. I'm 3 'weeks' in, and if nights are going to be anything like last night I'll be a freaking educated genius before this is all over.

Today I need to clean house and do laundry. I want to get through everything I have here and have it clean and organized before I bring all my other stuff in. I went to Deseret Industries the other day and got a pyrex bread pan, a small stainless skillet and 2 small plates (originally from Williams-Sonoma) all for $8. I'm slowly getting set up.


A bit ago, just before 2am I walked to the community building and got a gallon of filtered water at the machine outside and walked back. There were birds I'd not noticed before tweeting at me the entire time from up in the palm trees. This is an urban area, so it wasn't totally quiet even at 2am. I heard a siren for just a bit as I got back home. I hadn't locked the door because, well, it is 2am and I'm the only one out. However, with the siren I was reminded I do need to lock my doors, so I did that as I came back in. In just a few minutes after getting home and constantly since there has been a chopper circling above here in a tight circle that includes this park. I have checked all the closets and everywhere someone could have come in and hid. In my experience the sound of a circling chopper in an urban environment means the authorities are after someone and they are in the air looking at the area from above. Guess I need to tweek my situational awareness a bit. I have gotten complacent since coming home from Honduras. Over 20 minutes now, and they are still up there. I'm a light sleeper, so I know this would have woken me up if had happened before, so it isn't just because I'm trying to stay up all night now. If it's not one thing, it's another.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

More online courses

I am a frustrated reference librarian. My specialty is free courses on pretty much any subject. So, here are some I've gathered lately:

Last November I signed up for the course Think Again: How to Reason and Argue. The instructors are hilarious and the subject matter definitely not boring. This is the way video courses should be done. Last November I was still in Honduras and just couldn't keep up with the timing of the course. They are offering it again, and they say the textbook is free this time. I'm going to try again. This course is from Duke University, if it means anything for you.

Another set of free video classes I've signed up for is a series of free Permaculture classes. This one is self paced. This is set up by the Regenerative Leadership Institute. I believe there is a way to pay and get the certificate for the classes if that is important to you.

Next I'm off to find some Linux tutorials. I got a USB stick set up with Debian but it doesn't have the GUI desktop that I need at this point. The #! (crunch bang) version is what I want to end up with, but I see a Ubuntu USB setup in my immediate future as an in-between. Also, I will get back on the training circuit to get my web programming skills up to par. Since even on my nights off I'll need to maintain an awake schedule between midnight and noon, I need something to keep me out of the casinos.

Another transition

Besides not feeling very social, I am currently transitioning to my 'permanent' schedule. It is the exact opposite of my previous schedule. I'm moving to working from midnight to noon, Sunday through Wednesday. I truly have to look at a calendar and 24 hour clock to remember where in the week I am at this point. I'm supposed to go to sleep now, even though I've only been up a couple of hours. If I am even more absent from here for a few more days, that is why. Everything else is moving along ok. I am ready for the temperatures to move below 90 degrees all the time, and even will be happy if they just don't go over 100 degrees for several days in a row.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Still Slow

Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again? I'm that way right now. Last of my 4 days off and not a lot to point to as progress. Linux is still kicking my posterior, can't get the right combination of stuff going to get it installed on a thumb drive, or at this point even to copy off the iso onto a DVD. I used to have a fancy program that was opensource (free) that would open an iso file like it was a directory on my computer, and it would copy off a bootloader from whatever you pointed it to (that was already bootable) and copy it to the CD/DVD/USB drive and make it bootable. It has either gone to for-pay or doesn't exist, or my search fu is gone.

Found out there is a filtered water machine here at the park that gives drinkable water for $.25/gal. My brita just doesn't take all the bad taste out, tap water tastes like it is softened or something. The machine does a fine job, and is close. Also found out that besides a billiards table in the back building there is a nice library and a card room with 3 poker tables. Apparently this place rocks during the winter.

No pictures. Still trying to get the dang computers to behave. My original netbook, the ASUS, is freezing up during Skype calls now, done it twice in 2 days. Also making an ominous buzzing sound while it does it. I had the original hard drive disintegrate on me early on and it was replaced under warranty. I think that is about to happen again. The HP netbook is what I'm trying to take to Linux unsuccessfully. Since it may become my primary Skype machine I want to use a 'live' DVD or thumb drive test run to make sure I can still use Skype with Linux on it before I actually make it a permanent install. Hopefully in approximately 8 weeks I will have my desktop computer, along with everything else, moved out here. Then I will run out of excuses and have to make up all new ones.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Life slowed down

I haven't posted only because life finally slowed down and I've been just letting myself catch up to myself.  There has been a bit of just sitting around and a lot of just not getting anything done.  I'll get back on track now.  I start my 3 day work week today and then I have 4 days off so hopefully i can get out and about again.  The weather is not as hot and I have actually seen a couple of rain drops, so I'm thinking I can actually survive the summer in Phoenix.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Prayers for the 19 Firefighters

There is a wild fire in Yarnell, north of Phoenix, that has claimed 19 firefighters' lives. It is 0% contained. 150 homes destroyed (I think). One of my co-workers' wife can see the orange glow on the horizon over the mountains. Currently here at work we are having a dust storm. It is like being in a very dusty convection oven with the dry winds whipping around. I came back into the building after a few minutes as my facination with the weather wasn't as strong as the annoyance of the dust in my eyes. Again, keep the families of the firefighter's in your prayers tonight.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day Off

To give you an idea of what kind of days I've been having, I wandered by a mirror a bit ago, having been up an hour drinking coffee and reading the computer blogs. I pull on yesterdays clothes on my days off to wear until I drink enough coffee to wake up and take a shower and put on clean clothes. In the mirror I saw the neck tag of my tshirt staring at me below my chin, meaning the shirt was on wrong side out and backwards. Time for another cup of coffee. I try not to Skype with my Mom until I've had at least one cup of coffee for this reason.

Interesting point about Phoenix: the other day the dew point was 14 degrees. Today it looks like it is back up to 29 degrees. What this means is that cold drinks don't have condensation on them. I guess monsoon season here is when the dew point gets high enough to have condensation.

Time to shower and get cleaned up so I can go close out my apartment. I'm dreading that for some reason. Need to get it over with.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where was I again?

I survived my 44 hrs in 4 days work week. I now have 3 days off. Today I slept until after noon, and I haven't moved a lot since. At this point in my life the exhaustion is as much mental as physical. The apartment is still sitting back there with the cleaning stuff and the shower curtain and I'm still paying the electrical on it. Hopefully by tomorrow I can go officially close that out. Everything else will have to happen after that. I'm getting there.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Testing phone posting

Short Update

First, I want to clarify that I enjoy the RV blogs that have folks paring down and living full time, or even part time. The blogs that depress me are the middle age or younger professionals who sell the McMansion and go spend a year in New Zealand and/or find part time work in Nicaragua (the one I was reading last night) and their life is now perfect, or live in Thailand out of a backpack and make big bucks with their blog telling everyone how simple it is and they should do it too, just buy their e-book for the details. I am on a quest to find my 'just enough' and the details as well as the amount of what I need are confusing and a bit depressing. How mundane to find that toilet paper, shower curtains, can openers, hand towels, and wastebaskets seem to be necessary to my living the good life.

Also, I have finished the first sleeve of the sweater and am working on the collar. I have had to take out the first couple of rows of that already as I picked up the stitches from the wrong side and it showed. Didn't make it to the hookers meeting this morning. I am in a routine that is about 3 hours offset from 'normal' and just don't get up until at least 10am, and am not ready to go out of the door till minimum 10:30.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Just some midnight (it's midnight somewhere, although it is 10pm here) ponderings. I've been reading minimalist blogs again. I don't know why I do that. One of the things Leo in Zen Habits (see sidebar on right) keeps saying is stop comparing yourself to others. I sill read minimalist blogs as well as financial blogs. Don't know that a lot has improved in my life from doing so, and I end up either feeling badly about my current life and past decisions, or at best confused.

Tonight I'm confused. I was reading another of the 'we sold off or got rid of all our stuff and now we are ecstatic with our wonderful new simple (minimalist, whatever word of the day) life. Pretty straightforward. So why am I confused? Well, I'm pretty simplified right now. If you call 4 laptops and a tablet, and 4 suitcases of clothes simplified. For me it is. Remember, I have 2 10'x20' storage units full of stuff a bit more than 2,000 miles away. So, by the currently accepted formula, I should feel free and light and pretty darn good. I don't. I'm still screwing things up, as evidenced in part with the painful cost of breaking my lease on the apartment to get the mobile home. I should have stayed in the Extended Stay, it would have been cheaper and was nicer than the apartment on a monthly basis and I wouldn't have had a penalty for deciding to leave. But, I digress.

I seem to spend most of my time reaching for things I don't currently have at hand. Like buying a couple of cans of a favorite brand of soup. It is a bit fru-fru in that it's organic and all, but mostly it's the weird types of soup I like such as lentil an split pea. So, today I finally was ready to heat a can for lunch. I have a sauce pan and a stove. What I don't have is a can opener. sigh. Time to hit the *Mart again.

Another thing I miss, and the primary reason I'm not posting pictures yet, is my desktop computer with the full size monitor. I'll get past that, whimpering as I upload the pictures from the laptop. Still, I miss the ease of a real computer with more horsepower under the hood.

So, I'm confused. I guess I need more of a paradigm shift to be able to get into the whole minimalist thing. Don't get me wrong, my problems are all 1st world problems. I'm doing fine, and I have a really nice place to live that I keep pinching myself wondering how I bought it so cheap. I have pretty much everything I need (except a can opener...), and I have a job that is ok so far. I just wish I could see how the minimalists do it on a day to day basis. I could probably learn a few things.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mending my ways

I'm attempting to mend my ways on many fronts starting today. One is I want to update this blog more frequently, and also try to answer comments. I do appreciate the people who comment and let me know they are reading. Some of the folks I know in real life send emails instead, and that is fine. I'm not really trying to have a 'popular' blog. I'm trying to engage with people more. I tend to be a hermit who doesn't always play well with others. I've been pretty isolated since I left Nashville 4.5 years ago. Some of it, probably most of it, intentionally. Time to come out of hiding.

I didn't make it to the hookers meeting this morning. The stretch of 12 hour shifts just makes it difficult for me to get up early. Thursday looks like a better fit. I'll try again then. Wanting to get out and join in here is part of the above noted attempt to stop being such a hermit.

I've been so busy moving and working that I didn't write about the fact that a couple of weeks ago I met in real life one of the people I've 'known' on a message board for a long time. We met at the local Greek restaurant and sat and talked for quite awhile. As I get settled I want to contact her again. It is nice to have someone to just sit and talk to. She said she would also let me know the free days at the local museums and such. As we were leaving she said she had put together a box of stuff for me as I had been bemoaning my lack of kitchen stuff on that message board as well as here. I was touched. She gave me some kitchen towels and plastic containers, bath towels and other misc. stuff that I needed. I think of her generosity every time I use those items. As I get my stuff here I want to 'pay it forward' and give a lot of it away as a way of sharing the kindness.

So, today is the day to do all the things I've been putting off until I have time. Luckily it is my week of 4 days off. Oh, one of the things I want to do here is review restaurants that I like here in Phoenix. The Greek restaurant is one, and an Indian restaurant I found the other day is another. I also know I promised pictures of my new place, and I need to update the blog header picture to reflect Phoenix rather than Honduras. All it takes is time and motivation.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Work work work

I'm in the middle of my 3 days of 12 hour shifts. I did get up this morning for the coffee and donuts at the clubhouse here in the park. I met a handful of the regulars here. As I suspected, most of my neighbors are snowbirds and are gone for the summer. I also was informed that they don't like to be called snowbirds. :) I will try to get down for the 'Hookers' group, which is about all kinds of crafts (cough, knitting and such, Charlie and Dave) and maybe even finish the sweater with that encouragement. They meet 2 mornings a week and while I'm not a morning person on this shift I will do my best.

Work is fine, if long. At midnight it turned out I didn't feel like going by the apartment to grab a few more things, so will finish Monday. Really, if I was to actually put my mind to it I could have it finished in one load. Especially since I could have, if I'd had to, done it all in one load. I have what I need here now to live.

Looking forward to Monday as it is my next day off.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Back Online

Ok, that took longer than anticipated due to some screw ups and mis-communication However, I'm back now. I spent last night in the mobile home. Due to the heat (114 yesterday, 106 at 9 pm) and my sore back I'm bringing small loads each time in the Jeep since I just can't do the steps at the apartment the many times it takes to bring things down in the small weights I can comfortably carry. I COULD get it all in one load if I repacked the clothes off the hangers and such, but I have till the end of the month at least, or actually until the end of July since I had to pay rent for 60 days after giving the notice. So, I have 3 or 4 loads left and hope to have them here today. I'm enjoying the new place. Pictures soon, I promise.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Movin' On Up... again

Home is where the internet connection resides. That moves to the new place this afternoon, so by definition, so do I. I am packing up the computer and router as soon as I finish this. Hopefully by this evening I will be set up in the new place. One consideration is that with only one chair and two places, at what point do I move the chair. I think I'll leave it here this trip as moving items down the steps wears me out more than just carrying them into the mobile home. I'll need to sit down in a chair here at the apartment to rest. I know, 3rd world problems. :)


Monday, June 10, 2013

Today is a new day

It has been a rough week. Literally a few hours after I gave the certified check to the park manager for the mobile home the air conditioner went out. This prompted me to check everything else out, and the gas cookstove, which is new, didn't light. I was too late to get the hepatitis A shot at CostCo on the last day before I started again into 12 hr shifts, so that got put off. I went in to work, and almost everyone had called out sick. I was sort of on my own, and I'm not totally trained yet. I had help from one of the sick guys working from home, and we got through 2 12 hour shifts that way. Luckily it was slow. Then last night I ended up sick and came home after 3 hours. I sincerely hope it is/was whatever is going around and not the hepatitis...

Today I got a call from the park manager and the previous owner says the air conditioner on the mobile home is still under warranty and she is taking care of it. The gas to the stove was just turned off, and she is taking care of that, too. I feel better and am going to try to go in to work. I have a lot of stuff staged in the living room of the apartment ready to load and take to the new home. I could do it in one Jeep load, but with the heat hovering around 110 degrees it will more likely be in several small loads and most of that after dark.

So, onward and upward.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Big News

Things moved faster than I had any right to hope for. So, I can now announce:

I bought a mobile home in a 55+ community here. I hate apartment living, and the price of the home was low enough to put on my credit card (at 0 percent interest...). The lot rent is much lower than this apartment, and the home has been very recently remodeled. I like that there is a sense of community there, and I intend to join in. More as this develops.

The reason I'm not already moved in is that I am now being affected by the heat. Big time. I drove to Sedona yesterday. Not what I expected, but I think my experience was colored by my reaction to the heat and sun. I will go back when the temperature is below 100. Here in Phoenix it was reported at 109 degrees yesterday, and again today. It is to be hotter tomorrow. I am not in the habit of wearing a hat, which I will start immediately. I feel like my eyelids are sunburned as well, not painfully but just irritated.

Another wrinkle in things is: remember me complaining about all the seeds in the frozen berries I was making smoothies from before? The frozen berries I got at CostCo? The same ones being recalled for Hepatitis A? I have been getting automated calls from CostCo about it as they had a record I was one who had bought them. Yesterday the recording said I need to get a vaccination and they will pay if I go to a doctor for it, or they will be giving them at their pharmacy starting today. So, I need to go do that.

I'm waiting for the sun to go down. I will without shame hide in airconditioning for the next 3 months or so. I am so not a desert rat. It will be ok, and the mobile home is a much nicer hiding place than this apartment. I just have to get moved, and that will happen in the darkness of night. I have till the end of the month to move my one Jeep load of things. I think I know how vampires feel.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I think I'll like it

Since I don't really know anyone to hang out with here in Phoenix, I think I'll like the weekend nights shifts. The ones who seem to not like it tend to have a family they are trying to spend time with. I worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday and am now on Tuesday seem to feel recovered. By the 3rd night I never really felt like I was going to fall alseep in my chair.

I will have big news next Monday. Don't want to jinx it by talking about it before hand.

I'm meeting a person from a message board I've been on for decades in a few hours. She contacted me on the board when I said I'd moved here. Turns out she lives in this same area. We are meeting at a Greek restaurant.

I may drive to Sedona tomorrow for a look around. The jury is still out. I've been to Tortilla Flats, and Payson so far. I also tend to drive around town, so I am getting more familiar with this area.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

I survived!

Funny how the smallest things end up looming so large. My first night on night shifts went well. I work with a great group of guys. Tonight should be interesting as the guy I've been waiting to train with will be working, and not a lot of others. Seems several folks are taking vacations now. Everyone is cross trained and if last night is any indication the weekends nights are slower, so I hopefully can learn a lot.

Thanks for all the support. I truly appreciate it.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Suspended Animation

I don't do well with a lot of time to myself and constraints on how I spend it. I manage to convince myself that I 'can't' do much and just end up in a fetal position worrying about the future. That future happens today at noon when I go in to start my 12hr shift. Mind you, prior to a week sitting here getting myself in a tizzy I wasn't at all concerned. Now every detail of my life scares me. It is good that I'm getting back out whether I'm ready or not.

I need to go to the Credit Union and get a money order and pay my rent that is 'past due' after the 1st. No grace period. I'm amazed at apartment complexes being so heavy handed as a lot of folks get paid on the first, but whatever. It was much the same in WA. One reason I hate living in apartment complexes. Then I want to stop by CostCo to see about some lentil dinners that I saw referenced in a thread somewhere on taking in lunches to work. If I end up going out for Panda Express later this evening anyway, so be it. Since I need to be at work at noon, I'll leave here around 10, an hour from now.

And so, off to start a new chapter, yet again.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And More ...

Since I'm sitting at home pondering I am taking the opportunity to re-read Walden by Thoreau on-line. This is one of my favorite books. Here are some quotes, and how I'm applying them to my current life:

To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically...

I do pretty well solving my lifestyle problems theoritically. The practical part is where I fall down. I want few possessions, but it seems that every time I turn around I 'need' to go purchase something else to do what I'm trying to do. Whether it is make use of my older laptops, or take lunches in to work rather than running out for fast food. In the long run I know these things will cost less. Right now it just seems that I'm always pulling out the debit card for something. It especially is frustrating since I have a lot of these things that I'm paying storage on in MO. To get those things to me here also will cost money. It is a constant battle in my mind on what is the best course of action.

I also have in my mind that seemingly wealthy, but most terribly impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but know not how to use it, or get rid of it, and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.

This unfortunately is my life in a nutshell. I am fettered by the storage units, a house I can't live in, and yet I'm still acquiring stuff.

Let him who has work to do recollect that the object of clothing is, first, to retain the vital heat, and secondly, in this state of society, to cover nakedness, and he may judge how much of any necessary or important work may be accomplished without adding to his wardrobe.

This is one area I'm good in. I have A LOT of clothes. That is what most of the Jeep was filled with. Luckily my new job isn't one where I am face to face with clients. The clothes I bought to wear in Honduras work well in Phoenix. I am not even tempted anymore to buy clothes.

So these are the issues I'm thinking about. I do have projects I can and need to do. I have the sweater to finish knitting, Linux to install on a couple of my laptops. There are places in town I can go and wander around and I can take pictures and update this blog. I'm sitting home spinning in circles instead. I'll come out ok. I'm just really trying to take advantage of this turning point in my life to head in the direction I want to end up.


My stuff continues to occupy my mind space. I think about what I don't have that I would like to have here. I think about the 2 10x20' storage units of stuff in MO and wish I knew how to get to it and trim it down. I think about how I don't want to go out and get new things here that I have in storage in MO. I don't think this is how an experiment in minimalism (relatively speaking) is supposed to go down.

The latest things I acquired are a 1 gallon plastic pitcher, tea bags and sugar all from the dreaded Mart. I want something to drink other than coffee, and home made sweet tea won out. I also got 3 more gallons of drinking water. I need (want?) to get a Brita filtering setup so I can hopefully get the city tap water to not taste so bad. This would also give me something to use the ever larger pile of gallon plastic jugs left over after I use the water. At $.88/gal the price to just buy the bottled water isn't bad, but the fact that I have to go buy it, and the empty jugs afterwards piling up mean a new way has to be found. An alternative, I guess, would be to find a 'fill your own jug' water filtering station.

I am getting more comfortable with the less stuff lifestyle. Having the tea in the fridge was a large step into luxury for me. Next up is a skillet and spatula I think. I do check out thrift stores, but lately the prices at the Goodwill and Savers stores are so close to prices for new that I opt to go new and get only what I want. As I read recipes to start cooking at home in order to take in lunches to work I realize I not only don't have the ingredients but I also don't have the cookware to cook it or the containers to store it in the freezer. Back to the storage units many zip codes away, I have multiples of everything back there and can't get to it. It really isn't worth having Mom search through the boxes of stuff and mail it to me.

I am in the middle of almost a week off work as I switch to 12 hr shifts at night. I worry about spending money so I'm not driving anyplace. I'm not going shopping. I'm not doing much of anything. I have time and no good ideas of what to do. So, I'm sitting pondering all of this.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Getting there

This week I finally hit some kind of status quo. I haven't had any areas where I've gotten so annoyed that I ran to a Mart and bought the answer to the issue. I've learned that towels and some cooking utensils are good, at least one chair and one table are necessary, and pillows might be nice but I can sleep ok without one. I'm pretty sure I could still get everything in my Jeep if I had to, and this thought is a difficult one to get past. I'm so used to needing to move about that I find settling in is a slow process. I do now have a local Credit Union, prompted by the fact that my first paychecks were paper ones and I just don't want to jump through the hoops to deposit check via my phone. I will at some point, just not now.

I am sobered by how little relatively I'm bringing home from this good job. Relative to my work outside the US which I didn't have to pay taxes on. I'm almost afraid to add up my bills, even though I thought I was being conservative while I was signing up for the apartment and internet and such. I will be going over all of that. I am close enough to work to bike it, but I don't own a bike right now. Pondering the idea of getting a bike vs. just driving the Jeep is one of the next issues, after looking at the bills.

I have been working on the sweater as knitting is cheaper than going to the casinos. I also enjoy it almost as much. Having found a way to make it a social thing as much as a couple of evenings a week if I so choose means it is filling that need as well. I am almost finished with the first sleeve, leaving one more sleeve and the collar to finish for it to be completely done. I have learned some more new procedures including magic loop knitting and the proper way to do a SSK. Exciting stuff, eh?

I am going through all of the things I brought out here as at the time I stuffed items into packs and bags and such. I'm still missing a couple of things, including a belt that I could swear I had at the hotel prior to moving here. If that is all that is lost I'll call it good. All of the things from Honduras arrived in MO on Monday and Mom supervised the unpacking and loading of it into the storage unit. She reports that everything looked fine. I wish I could transport about half of it to here in Phoenix, but that will happen in time. I'm still trying to decide where I want to settle more permanently, in this apartment or over in a slightly cheaper area or in an RV park or what. Money is an issue, and most major changes in residency are waiting on the house to sell.

I am trying to decide if I will drive out to Payson for the day and check out the state park over there. I weigh the money for gas vs. looking back later and wishing I had gotten out more. I most likely will go.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

More holes get filled

A trip to Goodwill, which is amazingly close it turns out, and for $3 I have a real plate that I can use in the microwave and a set of metal eating utensils. I also went to Costco and got some food. I now have frozen chicken tenders and frozen vegetables and berries (without seeds...) and individual pizzas. Also some sliced cheese. I like cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches as much as the ones I put the roast beef slices on, so I'm good for lunches for awhile now. A cheese sandwich and a frozen burrito or pizza and I can make the 8 hour shifts I'm on now. I'll need more to make it through the 12 hour shifts I'll have when I get trained, but by then I hope to be actually cooking again.

In between those two places I drove over to Tortilla Flats. I did take a couple of pictures and hope to at least update my header picture this weekend. Maybe the background one as well. I am still not a desert rat and am more one of them there tourons who just drive by in their air conditioned car. I figure I'll drive around during the summer heat and get an idea of the layout around here and then actually get out and enjoy walking and hiking the area this fall and winter. It is pretty amazing country, but the lack of shade gives me pause when thinking of leaving the Jeep behind and walking down a trail.

Slowly things are coming together. I still need a few more cleaning items and some peanut butter. I forgot(!) to get some when I was at WalMart the other day and CostCo only has Skippy! Who'd a thunk. So, tomorrow probably means a trip to the Mart. Then no more spending money for awhile.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Good, Bad, and not really Ugly

Life is good right now, for the most part. I am official at work, finally. I can announce with confidence that I have the new job with no asterisk declaring *as soon as gets filed. I have an apartment confirmed for the near future that will most likely be a viable option at the end of this 7 mo lease. I enjoy this area, what I have gotten out and seen so far.

I am feeling disconcerted at not having a lot of my stuff here. Stuff, as in individual items, and a lot, as in the apartment is echo-ingly empty. I don't have things packed away to make room for the things I'm actually using. I have room. I miss my stuff. I find my camp chair to be uncomfortable. I could sit on the floor with pillows! Oh, I don't have any pillows, either. Even on the air mattress I call my bed. When I start to think about what I 'need' to go out and get the list gets long and I don't know where that line is where I shouldn't spend so much money on stuff that I will eventually (soon?) not need because I'll have my 'real' stuff here. At some point I realize that I can probably go spend money on some more peanut butter and even a gallon of bottled water without guilt, but it is a slippery slope. I use my plastic dish as a platform to microwave a salmon burger (don't recommend them, btw), and wonder if I'll melt it into a horrid mess. It didn't. However, the fact that my choices are the plastic plate or a stainless saucepan when it comes to cooking utensils gives me pause. If you saw just how MUCH kitchen paraphernalia I own that is somewhere adrift in Missouri (I hope) you would realize why this is a confusing moment for me.

The upshot is I'm starting to feel the familiar depression starting to form clouds on my horizon. I know I need to start eating better. I need to get some kind of center going where I feel at home. This is all messing with my proclaimed desire to head towards minimalism. Hey, I'm supposed to be having wonderful gushes of lightness and freedom in my nearly empty apartment with it's empty kitchen cabinets. I hate to run out and fill the space until I give this experiment more time. But, it's getting cloudy around here, emotionally.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Settling In

Once again they needed something for the background check that came in late yesterday. Hopefully next week I can finally do something at work. Laying low and staying out of trouble when I don't have anything to do is not one of my strong points. If I could log into a computer and start studying something, anything, I would be happy, but I can't really touch a computer while I'm there.

On the home front I'm getting a bit more organized. Still very little furniture. I did buy a small folding table to put the printer and cable modem on. I'll do more shopping around this weekend. I'm only buying things that I reach for out of habit and get truly annoyed when I don't have whatever it is. Kleenex in the bathroom, wastebasket, something to keep the various underwears corralled. Something that was second tier (second shopping trip when I moved in) was hangers. These are things I don't pack usually, and always need when I get where I'm going. On short trips I use inflatable hangers, and wonder why everyone doesn't think they are as awesome and I think they are. However, I ended up buying 4 packs of 18 before it was all said and done. I do have a few empty, but not many. I do have a walk in closet here.

Lots of projects bubbling in the back of my mind. Lots I want to get out and see. Any suggestions for the immediate area of Phoenix that I should do/not do/check out/avoid are welcome (Thanks DD for your suggestion!).

Monday, April 29, 2013

Moved In

A week to the day after I got to Phoenix I moved into my new apartment. I had been slated to get a studio apartment that would be available near the end of the month of May. However, the person decided not to trade up to the 1 bedroom apartment after all, so the studio was no longer available. The 1 bedroom that he didn't want was available immediately, though, so I moved in on Saturday. It is a second story apartment, and I was a tired and sore mess by Saturday night. I have more than enough room now.

What I don't have is all the little things one needs when moving into an empty apartment. You know, the things that are in storage or on the long trip to MO from Honduras. Not here in Phoenix. I am learning my own hierarchy of needs that doesn't quite mirror Maslow's (do I have the right person there?). My first trip out was for toilet paper and a shower curtain. I have one towel as I did remember that was something that I needed immediately on another move, and I read Hitchhikers Guide (again, was that the series that said always have a towel? I remember the concepts, not always the source...) Next was some dish detergent. I got my camp chair and small camp table from the storage unit, and also my few plastic dishes I got in Nashville the week I stayed in my vacant house. I didn't bring the air mattress or pump with me for some reason, so also had to replace them. I have internet in the apartment (a girl has to have her priorities) and so now have most bases covered temporarily. I would like something to put the folding clothes in other than being piled on the floor, an iron and ironing board, various kitchen things, but I don't want to spend much more money right now. WalMart has an inflatable couch that I think I'll get since I need to keep furniture small enough I can carry it up/down the stairs. A table will have to wait.

I only got a 7 month lease. I still plan on researching RVs, another reason I don't want to run out and get furniture. However, I'm 2.5 miles from work right now, and I'm not finding any RV parks in this area. A blogger I sometimes read gave some good advice once: if you get confused, slow down and stop spending money. So, for now I'm officially slowed down and not spending on much other than food. I also still hurt from moving, so the idea of being in one place for 7 months sounds really good to me right now.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home Suite Hotel

I rolled out of Vegas a bit poorer. No issues getting down to Phoenix, except that I realized that what I thought was the south side was not even to the middle of Phoenix. My storage unit is 30 miles north of where I (will) work. Not a huge issue as I don't need to go there often and it is all freeway. Checked into my extended stay studio and got my dressy clothes all pressed for the first day of work. On Monday everything was going fine until the boss called me into his office to talk. Not an unusual thing to happen on a first day. Except it turns out that all that paperwork wasn't actually finished. The stuff that has to be done for me to actually start doing any work. So, I went back to the hotel and started making calls. I think now (Thursday!) I have finally finished submitting the additional forms and peeing in the cup and it is up to the 3rd party background check folks to figure out how to deal with my Honduras life. I keep saying that I had a clearance that I guarded and that they wouldn't have let me keep if I'd screwed up down there, but it doesn't compute in the civilian world.

I think I have found an affordable apartment that will be available about the time my reservation here at the hotel is up. I'll finalize that tomorrow. I have real food that I cook in the kitchen here. Well, it is frozen food, but closer than I've been able to do for a very long time. I bought a Magic Bullet mixer/blender and am making smoothies. Hint, don't get frozen berries that have pomegranates included for smoothies or you spit a lot of seeds. So far I really like it. Yes, I have been touring WalMart, IKEA, CostCo, etc. I also bought a printer/scanner as I have so many forms lately to print, fill out and scan back in to email. It is amazing to wander around those places after not having much of any selection for anything for so long in Honduras. I try to keep it under control, though, as I'm still in the situation of needing everything to fit in the Jeep.

The boss says he's not giving up on me, even though the background check is taking longer than we'd like. I know they won't find anything adverse as I managed to keep the clearance which is harder to get than what they are checking for now. So, I hang out and cook and eat and drive around the area to see what's here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Vegas, Baby! Take 2

The trip west went without incident. I did end up getting Motel 6 rooms, first in NM as I was getting unsafe driving. Motel 6 is my Uncle's go to place. I was not impressed, especially since the internet I paid extra didn't work. I drove to Phoenix and got a storage unit to drop the things I don't need right away. I walked out of the first place I tried (U-Haul Storage) because they were asking for all kinds of information and requiring insurance. Not just offering it, but extorting the money to get the unit. So, I walked. I didn't like the vibe of the place. I called another place from the parking lot. They worked with me, and the unit was half of the price of the U-Haul place per month, so I have temporary storage for a couple of months. Second month was free, so I'll at least keep it that long.

I then drove to Kingman, AZ and got the second Motel 6 room of the trip. Still not impressed, and the paid-for internet didn't work here either. Drove into Las Vegas on Sunday, stopping at Hoover Dam to look around. I made it half way out the walking bridge along side the new highway bridge before my fear of heights got to me and I decided it just didn't take me long to look at a dam (take off on a very old joke that if you remember it you are older than I am... :)

I was at the Quad for 3 nights, and I'm now at the Luxor. Again, I appreciate both places giving me free rooms. I did gamble so financially it was probably a wash, but I'm having fun. The internet, that I again paid for, did not work at the Quad worth a hoot. Seeing a pattern here? At the Luxor it is included in my 'resort fee' that I may or may not have to pay depending on how much I gamble here. It is wired (uses a cable) instead of wireless AND IT WORKS!!!

Tomorrow morning I check out and head back to Phoenix where I check in to my home for the next 30 days and start unpacking for the first time since I left Honduras in February. I'm ready to settle down for a bit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Westward Ho!

I am all packed up, and in the next hour will get into the Jeep and head West. Making things up as I go. Gypsy asked about my tent: it is a very small 1-person called a Walrus. I used it on vacations in St. John for 2 years several years ago and it is too small to live out of in a humid climate like that, so I packed it away. All my 'good' gear is on it's way here from Honduras, but this tent was accessible, so that is what I'm taking.

My background check is still not back for the new job. I'm boring enough that I don't worry about any issues other than the military contracting outside the US stuff. They didn't really seem to know what to do with that.

Internet access will again be spotty for awhile. I'll post from my phone as I go along, not that I anticipate much excitement. All plans are in sand at this point, other than to head south and west.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Time to Update

I am still in MO at Mom's. The paperwork is making it's rounds, I hope, for the new job. Of all the things I was not worried about, the background check was at the top of the list. However, nothing is official until that is completed. I have two major things left to do here before I head west: Taxes and get the Jeep serviced. The taxes are just to capture the losses last year on my rental house. Hopefully that will soon be history. The Jeep is in need of an oil change, and 4WD is acting strange. Granted, I don't use it much, but it doesn't feel like it actually 'shifts' when I put it into 4WD, and I don't feel much change. I am wondering if it is stuck in 4WD, as my gas mileage is bad, even for a Jeep. So, today is taxes and tomorrow I work on getting the Jeep ready.

I have 6 nights free in Las Vegas all reserved. I decided I want to be out in the general area of Phoenix while waiting for my start date. I'll have my Jeep, so I can travel around and sight see, which I couldn't when I flew out there in February. Also, I'm getting antsy just sitting around here, so it is time for a road trip. A low-budget one, but a road trip just the same. I usually drive straight through from point A to point B when I travel, but I'm not sure how I'll do this drive. I'm planning on taking I40 across, even though Google Maps says I70 is a tad shorter. I don't want to deal with snow again, so I'll head south. I'll have a tent and camping gear with me, so I'm thinking I'll just stop along the way a couple of places. Then again, I drove straight through both trips to and from Washington State a few years ago, and that was a lot further.

As usual, all plans are in jello. I am so ready to have a 'home' again. Oh, and I still have 1.5 Jeep loads of stuff I want to take, but slowly I'm paring it down.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Paperwork never ends

I am working on getting paid for my last job and getting the paperwork filed for my new job. That has been the last 2 days' job. I'm still filling out the background check forms. I don't fit into nice, neat forms very well. I called the support line and he left the call as puzzled as I was about how to do this. His answer was to give my recruiter a heads up on why the paperwork is wonky.

I know where I'm going, and roughly when I need to be in Phoenix. I just don't know when I'll leave. Finances are the issue as usual. I can get more free nights in Las Vegas I have discovered. That may be a cheaper place to spend time than here where I'm wearing my welcome thin. Or, I'm just not used to sharing space, especially when this is a one-bedroom apartment that is my Mom's place and not mine.

I'm looking to see how to put together a low(er) cost trip out. In the meantime, I'm still sorting and repacking. I'm down to maybe 1.5 Jeep loads of things I want to take, mostly clothes. We took some of the clothes I'm getting rid of to a neighbor of Mom's who is smaller than I am now. She also has many, many grandkids and great-grandkids, so someone will get use out of them.

Friday, March 29, 2013

What day is this again?

I'm at Mom's going through my mountains of stuff. The paperwork is making it's rounds on the new job, so all I can do is wait. I plan to head to Phoenix sometime around the 15th. That plan is very tentative, though. My start date at the new job is either the 22nd or 29th of April.

I landed at Mom's last Saturday on her birthday. I said 'great birthday present, huh? Your 50-mumble unemployed daughter shows up at your doorstep looking for a place to stay." She takes it all in stride, though. She feeds me and gives up her bed for me to sleep in. I would sleep in the recliner, but the fight to change her isn't worth the energy.

Before I leave I want to swap out one of the 10'x20' storage units for a 10'x10' one. The jeep is no longer in storage so I don't need at much room now. Even when my stuff gets here from Honduras I won't need that large a unit. So, maybe today or tomorrow at the latest I'll go see the manager and see what he can do for me. I'm getting a good deal on that unit as it isn't cosmetically as nice as his others, being one of the older units. Mom used to work for him when he first opened, and he knows I pay up several months at a time, so he really works with me.

Yesterday I went and started the process of sorting the things in the jeep unit as there isn't as much in that unit. Today I'll go and pack back up all that I unpacked yesterday in a way that hopefully makes it easier to find what I want. I am getting rid of some things, but not as much as I need to. It's a process for me. I have at least a week to get more organized, do my taxes, get the jeep serviced, and pack up to leave.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Now for something completely different...

I'm not in Chicago anymore. I just couldn't handle the job, the situation, anything about what was going on. My boss and I parted on good terms, I think. I have never walked off a job with no notice and no job to go to. Then again, I've never been in a similar situation as I found myself in there.

Today I accepted a job in Phoenix. If the background check comes back clean, and it should, I will head to AZ in a few weeks. If nothing else, my life is now not boring.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Passed

I passed the final of the three classes to be certified in whatever it is I'm doing now. I still am not sure I can handle the full job physically, or what I'll do in the warehouse, but I guess I'll find out starting tomorrow. Everyone is still finding their way in this new company.

Chicago is way too cold. If the weather doesn't break soon I will need to hit the stores somewhere this weekend and find more warm clothes. I have some with me, but I need thicker base layers (long johns to those of us a bit older) and a warmer jacket. I did find my winter hats/beanies and gloves, which should help.

No real time or opportunity to do much that is interesting. When it warms up I want to get out more into downtown. However, the idea of heading to Navy Pier in 20-30 degree weather doesn't do much for me. We did go out last Friday night and get some great Chicago pizza. The guys liked it, but I don't know if anyone is up for it again. I'm getting really tired of fast food and so I hope we move to someplace with kitchen facilities soon. There are some interesting looking ethnic and Asian super markets around here, but with no stove or fridge I don't even want to go in and look yet.

And so the adventure continues.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More of the Same

This past weekend I ran back down the Nashville so that Monday morning I could go into the Codes office and get the last permit. The inspector worked with me and made the permit more wide open to things that might need to be fixed once the other inspections are complete, as well as making sure that the person doing the work for me can get permits in my name if I'm not there. I drove back to Chicago yesterday after taking care of that business, and the weather cooperated so I made good time. I'm still in the hotel with the questionable internet, so I'm not online much. This is driving me nuts, so some solution will have to be found soon. The upshot is that I'm fine, if frustrated, and the house in Nashville will be on the market by the end of the month (hopefully) so that frees my money up a lot. That in turn frees me up a lot. Then I can make some more life decisions.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Ping Pong

That's what it feels like I'm doing, ping ponging around. Right now I'm back at Mom's place for the weekend. I need tools and more winter clothes that are in storage here in MO, and I need to store some of the stuff I had with me. Now that I have a (slightly)smaller target to hit with what things I need I'm here to organize a bit. It is early so Mom is still asleep in the living room, so I'm on the computer catching up. I do miss having my desktop computer. I just thought I might keep my biggest laptop with the 17" screen with me after all. My eyes just don't do well on the smaller screens as my primary computer. The wireless at the hotel where we've been staying has been spotty, so all in all I haven't been spending much time on-line.

I went through rain last night on the way in. I'm hoping it gets rid of all the snow and I don't have to see any more for the foreseeable future. I took my time and stopped a lot on the way and while I was tired when I got here, I am able to be up and about early today. This is good as I need to drive back to Chicago tomorrow for another class on Monday. A couple of the guys in the group just came in from Afghanistan, so I'm in awe of their ability to make the temperature transition. The guys who will be up on the towers and roofs will be working this weekend if the weather cooperates, so I hope it at least warms up for them. I can see that I need to start working out to strengthen my back. The good thing is that as I'm moving around more and lifting (mostly my stuff in and out of the Jeep at this point), the soreness doesn't last as long. Each morning I'm ok again, even though I'm stiff and sore at night.

All in all it is an adventure. Very different than most of what I've done before. It is a new company so there isn't a lot of structure right now. It is a mix of younger guys and a couple of us older ones who have been around this kind of thing before. I'm sure there will be things to work out. For once there is another female, and she will be in class with me next week. She is cool, and has a lot of stories to tell from her time in the military. Neither she nor I are much used to working with other women, so that is something we will work out.

As for why Chicago, that is where I am told they need me. I murmured about going to Seattle, but the main boss said he needs me in Chicago. Turns out I worked with him in Honduras as well, so he knows me. Maybe once this site is up and running I can move around a bit. It is all a work in progress.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Chicago It Is

I am in Chicago, and it would seem I'll be here for awhile. I'm working for the same company I worked for in Honduras, but a different contract. So far I've been in training this week, and I managed to pass the final test for the class. That gets me more training next week.

I need to head to Mom's to change the stuff I have with me as I have way too much in my Jeep, and I don't have some things I need. I need more winter clothes! Chicago got snow all week, which I had managed to avoid up until I got here. I remember why I moved south! I don't need 'interview' clothes as I will be employed at least for awhile now.

So far, so good. The only down side is that my internet access is spotty. I'm working on that so I can update more often.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Meet the new boss...

Same as the old boss. My conracting company has signed me on to get training in Chicago starting Tuesday. I started wrapping things up here in Nashville by getting a permit to tear off the front deck, and starting the process of getting a permit to build a landing back. Next up is packing up and finding room in the Jeep for not only all the stuff I brought out here from Mom's, but also all the stuff I bought to be able to live in the vacant house. I won't be getting back to Mom's in the near future to off-load the things I don't need and pick up some of the stuff that has since arrived from Honduras that I'd like to have with me, but I'll make do. I'll be living out of hotel rooms for as far out as I can see right now.

It has been good to be back in my house for a few days. Even if it is snowing right now. I managed to avoid snow for most of 4 years, but it has caught up with me. Hopefully it will be gone by the time I leave here to head north on Monday morning. So far everything is working out better than I could have thought possible.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Catching up with myself

If I do not get this down about the steps I've already taken I won't be able to figure it out later so bear with me.  I flew out of Honduras on Friday February 15 and mom picked me up at the airport late that night. I spent Saturday and Sunday doing things for Mom and packing for Las Vegas.  Monday morning I flew out to Las Vegas for 5 days. I had fun but didn't win much money. Late Saturday mom picked me up at the airport and we went back to her place. All day Sunday I kept hearing about a bad snow storm was going to hit sometime Monday, so I threw everything that I had mailed from Honduras into the Jeep and made a run for Tennessee. After being at Moms place for less than 24 hours I drove all night and hobbled into my friend Turtleladys house around 7:30 the next morning.  A couple hours of sleep and some good strong coffee and conversation I headed to my house in Nashville.<p>

Some of this sounds like I'm typing in strange sentences it is because I'm also playing with the voice recognition app.  It doesn't understand me a lot :).<p>

So I am possibly looking at a career change and need to be in Chicago at some unspecified time or I need to be in Seattle a week from next Monday.  I may find out which today or tomorrow.  One job has constant travel and so I am looking for a very lightweight travel trailer.  My Jeep is a base model Wrangler and won't pull anything too heavy.  An older class C would be nice but I probably can't afford one that is reliable enough.  If any of you know of any deals let me know. <p>

I'm learning my phone as I go here as I never much texted or phone posted before.  I don't seem to have a comma for instance so forgive the absence of appropriate punctuation.  Once the voice recognition app gets me trained I'm sure I'll post more often.

Testing email posting

Trsting to see if this still works.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Real Life

So, it is back to real life for me now. I did not win my retirement in Vegas. I did manage to stick to my budget (the money I won in slots while in Honduras). I'm in Kansas City, and I'm looking at a huge storm heading this way. I need to get the heck out of here and go to Nashville. I haven't driven in winter conditions in about 4 years, so I really need to get going.

I am coming to terms with the fact that back here I am no longer in the 1%. No one at the hotels calls me by name, servers get testy with me when I make (to me) reasonable requests, my clothes don't fit the weather, and I don't automatically earn points with strangers when I say where I live. Back to fading into the background and being boring. Consider that fair warning. Those who considered me boring when I lived in Honduras, well, I guess there is little room to fall. :)

I'm getting data working on my fancy phone, learning to text message, learning that I have hot water at all the sinks here, and I can make coffee from the water at the faucet. I throw my clothes into Mom's washer and dryer and have clean dry clothes in an hour or less, rather than doing the hand laundry I did in Honduras. My Jeep will need gas today, and suddenly the gas prices Mom is always talking about get more interesting to me. After spending so long packing things up to get back here I find the fact that Mom is looking at the ads in today's newspaper to see if she 'needs' anything to be a strange idea. Heck, a newspaper I could actually read is strange to me.

So, in about 12 or so hours I'll head east as fast as my Jeep can haul me, and figure if there is anything I need that I don't have with me I can go to a Goodwill or other thrift store and get whatever it is. Not sure what I'll find at my house since I haven't seen it in a year and a half.

The adventure continues.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Las Vegas, Baby!

I'm having fun. I am not winning my retirement, which was plan A. Oh, well. I just looked at a calendar and I fly back to Mom's tomorrow. Time flys, I guess. I could have sworn I had at least 3 more days here.

I am slowly getting my US legs back under me. Phone plans changed to Consumer Cellular, and data working on my non-US generic smart phone. Their customer service is totally AWESOME. US based, and they speak real English in real terms. I am not being paid to say this, either!

I'm paying to use the Business Center here for internet. This is one strike against Harrahs here. I guess I expected Las Vegas to be the top of the heap of the properties. I've visited Harahs in North Carolina, Kentucky, St. Louis and Kansas City, and they all are more, I don't know, vibrant? Customer oriented. However, I have a nice room, and it is free, so I shouldn't complain. I do find the front desk folks short verbally and with little patience, and a server actually got beligerant with me last night, and I don't even drink? I asked for a water. I wasn't in her 'station' and she didn't want to give it to me. A water. She didn't get a tip when she did bring me coffee later when I was in her sacred station. But, I'm not bitter...

More when I'm not watching the money meter dwindle while I type.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I am in MO at Mom's apartment. It is starting to sink in that I'm in between realities. I am constantly surprised at how friendly everyone is. The lady at the parking booth was friendly, the guard at the casino last night was friendly. Well, the Hondurans were probably friendly as well, I just couldn't understand them. When I made coffee this morning I had to stop and think and remember that I can use the water out of the faucet.

I'm glad that I have plans for the next few days because I'm feeling a bit in suspended animation. I took my Uncle's keys to the Jeep. He has been driving it for me occasionally while I've had it in storage. It won't be going back into storage again, at least for the foreseeable future. When people ask me where I live, I pause and start a story as there isn't any one place where I live.

It is good to be back. I was wondering a lot how I was going to get here, from point A in Honduras to point B, here. Now I start pondering point C.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

They Came, They Saw

They packed! I got a call at 8am from Bill saying that the packers were outside my door. I always ignore pounding on the outside doors as it is never for me. Except this time. They were an hour early, but I was happy to see them. They worked their tails off, packed me up in a very professional way, put everything into a wooden container and let me take a picture of it for my records. I got a nice numbered inventory.

Then I finished packing the two Gorilla boxes I was mailing, got cleaned up and went to post and mailed them. Visited with a few folks who walked by and wondered where I'd been. I then came home and took a nap! The worst was over. I am going home tomorrow. Since then I have given Bill the fridge and microwave and iron and ironing board he bought as well as some other odds and ends, given my upstairs neighbor some more odds and ends, and there is still plenty of odd stuff left for my landlady. I have shifted things around in my luggage so none of it is too heavy. All but the one I will put the clothes in that I'm wearing now are by the door, and will be in the car before I go to bed tonight. I will go in early and have breakfast with my old breakfast crew as well as anyone else who wants to say goodby, then my personal taxi will take me to the airport where I will board an airplane and fly HOME.

Not sure when I'll get back on-line, but by Saturday morning for sure. From Mom's computer. In the US.