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.