Monday, June 27, 2005

Moving is a nightmare. But I knew that.

I do not have internet or cable at the apartment, but I can write this in MSWord on my PC and then paste when I get to work tomorrow. It is late Sunday night after dinner at the absolutely BEST Chinese restaurant—and I have eaten in a lot of them. It is only a block from my new apartment! I am surrounded by boxes, boxes, boxes and some furniture that needs to be reassembled. But the bed is done and made.

Of course, the day we moved the high hits 91 degrees with a relative humidity varying between 39% and 66%! I guess we either got this type of weather or rain. Thank goodness ( or God or the Gods) we did not get rain. We hired William – an ex-husband of a friend. He was recommended as hard working and strong, but not the brightest bulb in the room—so says the X-wife. Well, he did just fine and seemed bright enough. Then Hubby drove by the Duron paint store (this is another blog) and picked up a 38-year-old from El Salvador (Alessandro), who spoke no English, but was also very hard-working. My husband speaks a reasonable amount of Spanish. My son and his friend, both strong, also showed up. With Hubby’s back surgery and all the strain and pushing he has been doing these past weeks, he was smart and didn’t do any lifting.

We were going to try and make both the trip to the apartment and the trip to the storage in one rental truck load. But this proved to be too ambitious and we ended up having to make two loads. We even threw away two wooden chairs and some other stuff along the way.

The first trip to the apartment, they didn’t have the pads in the elevator as promised, Hubby went to get that arranged while the rest of us started unloading boxes unto the dolly. On one of the trips, as we were waiting for the elevator, a middle box started buzzing like an angry bee or a bomb waiting to go off. Alessandro looked at me a little startled. I smiled and shrugged my shoulders not having a clue what the noise could be. When we got to the apartment I tore open the box to get the irritating noise to stop. It was this !! I’m sure when Allesandro saw it, he thought it was something else.

I had wisely made a floor plan on graph paper of all of the furniture so that they could place boxes in the middle of the room and the furniture in the correct area. Even with this good planning, after everyone left, I realized that we would have to move the computer desk next to the TV or the cable guy would make me run all the cable across the room. Which, like dominoes, meant we had to move some boxes to clear a path to move the smaller book case to the former desk area so that the light switch and thermostat are not covered, which in turn meant moving the large bookcase into the small bookcase place, etc., etc.

Since this is neither my permanent nor long term home, I only care about efficiency not aesthetics in getting the furniture in place. I do still have a little feng shui thing going each time I move. It IS sort of in my soul and I don’t consciously think about it, but I can sense an uncomfortable feeling when things are placed incorrectly and try to move them.

Well, enough for tonight. I am going to sleep the sleep of a baby boy grandchild.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ok, so Imelda and I went to the same school!

I am busy packing today and took a short break to blog. Since I will be unplugging the computer tonight and unable to get internet access until next week at the apartment, I will not be blogging anytime soon unless I do a little from work on the weekend. (I will soon be living across the street from work...what AM I thinking?)

Anyway, we have started clearing the lot down near the water and so most of my blogging and picture loading is at that site today, since we are so excited that things are actually moving in a forward direction.

We have been packing and hauling boxes every single afternoon to the apartment which is only a mile away and to the storage unit which is about a mile in the other direction. This Saturday we will hire some day help and get the furniture moved to each of these locations. I was getting some snarling from my hubby in the packing of our clothes yesterday. It appears that I actually do have about 40 pairs of shoes, boots, sandals, etc. But, you know what? I actually wear all of them throughout the year. Well, he has at least 100 duck-bill caps! So there!

We are raising oysters under the dock. We sampled some this week. They are very nice and put the more expensive restaurants to shame!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Here is the same room after paint and new furniture!

Putting the cable at son's new pad. Note the newly finished walnut stained floors!

Fecundity of Inanimate Objects

Please note that the following items reproduce when you are not looking:
Garbage bag wire ties
Plastic shopping bags
Jars of fingernail polish
Jars of salsa
Types of wire connectors
Wine corks

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Quickie.

What is the best age to be and why?

26. You are at the beginning of everything important in life and
actually have control as an adult for the first time and you have freedom if you are unattached. This doesn't mean that my
age now is not good to answer all those stupid fifty-something articles.

What is your strongest virtue?

It’s probably a toss-up between honesty and discipline…but I have become
less honest and more introspective as I have aged. My discipline is a
standing joke in the family. I think they call it anal-retentive.

What virtue do you wish you had?

Again it’s a toss up between faith and patience. I have to work at both.

What is the most creative thing you have done this year?

A poem I wrote for my grandson (which I have yet to deliver) and some
photography work from a few trips I took.

What do you least like about people you hang out with?

Their narrow view of life.

What do you like most about the people you hang out with?

The fact that they love me and want to hang out with me.

Why do you answer these questions?

To help me understand myself a little better, perhaps. But probably because I don't have a life!

Friday, June 17, 2005

My son says he takes off his shoes in his new condo to protect the freshly re-finished floors. I take off my shoes also!

Movin on.

We are moving. Took 5 loads of boxes to the storage unit. We now have 7 shelves full of stuff in the 10X15 foot unit. We have also taken a small load or two to the rental apartment. I now have to inventory furniture and decide what can fit in the apartment, what can fit in storage, what is able to be stored in the non-climate controlled shed and what goes to Goodwill tomorrow.

First, I have to pour another glass of wine!

Sound or Noise?

Moving from this rental house will mean leaving behind some familiar nightly noises. I won’t call them sounds because they really are noise. We live exactly one house away from two gas stations (Yes, they are side by side.). At approximately 4:00 A.M. several times a week, at least one of the stations is getting its underground tanks filled. This means the sound of a large truck backing with its warning beep going off. This is followed by very loud clanking, which I think must be the tank covers being removed and set on the concrete beside the hoses. Sometimes I can even smell the fumes as they drift over to my house!

We also sleep only two blocks from the fire station. Their alarm and the sirens from their trucks are usually heard at least one night a week heading to the nearby freeway or into the neighborhood.

The local hospital is about six blocks on the other side of us and their sirens can also be heard frequently.

In addition to all of this noise, we get the rush hour evening and morning traffic sounds as we are two blocks from a MAJOR intersection.

The apartment we are moving to will have some of these sounds, but I am hoping with less intensity and frequency. I think the traffic outside the bedroom window will be the worst. But we are on the fifth (top) floor of the complex with large trees outside the window, so I am hoping that will be a buffer.

And, when we move to our retirement house in the ‘Four-Acre-Woods” and on the water, I am hoping that the primary noise will that of birds, insects and wind. (Of course, across the water there is a guy who has equipment to install docks!)

I am adaptable for the most part to changes in my environment. When we lived in Indonesia, our bedroom, which had jalousied (slatted) windows, was directly behind the local Mosque. The rooftop speaker faced our bedroom window and at sunrise every morning the call to prayer came in loud and clear. After a few weeks we slept through it!

I do think that noise does cause stress on our physical well-being even if we adjust and adapt. A few weeks ago, Newsweek published a lengthy section on hearing loss. The article included a statement that hearing loss in the twenty-thirty something generation may be greater as they get older because of the wide-spread and lengthy use of earphones for listening to music. While they addressed volume that also said this has an adverse effect on our hearing since it screens out background noises and wider range noises. I am hoping they are incorrect.

My son, who is an audio engineer, once said that audio engineers have a working-life-span of about 20 years, because after that time their hearing is not as discerning and they have to move into management or do something else. It is interesting that the technologies (visual and computer) for sounds cannot replace an engineer’s biological ears totally.

I have not discussed at all the use of sound for control of people. NPR did a program on that use by the Israeli Military…ugh.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I will miss this backyard view when we move from this house. This tree has seen many moves I am sure.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


After the long drive up to Connecticut the males on the trip needed a break while daughter and I unpacked. Precious photo I thought.

Buiilding my house and moving on at the same time

Settlement for the construction loan FINALLY went through. So I have been blogging there and since clearing of the road, etc. actually starts next week I will probably begin the diary of that process on my other blog. This means weekly trips to the land 70 miles away.

This weekend I will start to pack the miscellaneous in the kitchen (all those huge platters and casserole dishes that I have not really used since we moved into this tiny house.) We drop off the rent deposit to the apartment today as well. Maybe we will be able to move in clothes and small stuff on Sunday. I am so eager to get this move over with as it is the third in as many years!

I am one of those anal types that do things way ahead and then regret the exaggerated efficiency. For instance, on May 24 I sent in an address change card to the Post Office and marked that I wanted mail delivered to my new address starting June 24. Those of you smiling know exactly what happened. The person at the post office stopped delivering mail on May 24! My husband told me I was too efficient. I just want some lead time. So it took me an entire week to get my mail will be interesting to see if it stops coming on June 24. We will be out of the house, but still checking the mail until the end of the month.

We also have to get out of here because I started buying nice linens and towels (all my stuff is 20 years old) and my boss gave me a Pack and Play and needless to say, things are filling up here again after my clean out. MUST STOP SHOPPING! This is probably displacment for all the gardening I can no longer do.

I will try to stop by Son's condo and post a picture. I am eager to see how it looks since he got some new furniture.

Monday, June 06, 2005

OK. I Now Accept That My Job has Died

I think I mentioned a while back that my job was morphing. I am slowly losing my budget. What actually happened is that another department has now taken on the mission from the department that funded me. While I have spent the last few months kissing butt, spending hours finding ways to assist, working on committees and using higher ups to encourage continued funding, I think I need to accept that my retirement years are going to fizzle out like cold water on a sparkler. "They" are re-inventing the wheel and I had hoped that my years of experience would save them some time and mistakes...but they want to do this on their own. (This department has the reputation of being controlling and secretive even among their own staff.)

I realized it this week when I was pretty much eliminated totally from a big push for a press release on something that we have worked on for years before this new department took control. I was 'accidentally' left off the list for meetings and while told the announcement would be on my website, I now find that because I was out at a doctor's appointment today, they were going to put the link up (tomorrow) on their department's website. When I emailed between doc visits I was generously told I could link to their page!

In an email earlier this week "they" emphasized that they would need lots of help in distributing packets, setting up panels, etc. at various venues and when I volunteered to do ANYTHING they needed, I was pretty much ignored and sent a schedule via email if I wanted to attend.

This doesn't mean I will lose my job, just that I have a few years of boring activities to fill before I retire. (I actually could BS my time and no one would probably get concerned.) Unfortunately, I need to be doing something useful and intellectually is the challenge for my future. Fortunately, my boss likes me and is on my side.

If I was younger, this would be a devastating blow to my ego and career. See, getting old has its benefits.

Also, and MORE IMPORTANT, the mole was a benign keratosis which doc froze like the gum commercial.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

At Loose Ends

Been busy...just got back from a weekend babysitting in Connecticut while my son-in-law and daughter went to a wedding. Really nice weekend and not too many rough spots and probably worth some blogging just for the memories when I have more time.

Hubby is now in Maine at a meeting and since Son has moved out I am ALL ALONE in my house for the next 4 days. Weird feeling. I don't mind being alone after the intense weekend of people and babies and confined car traveling...but still a little odd.

I have a doctor's appointment with the dermatologist tomorrow to get a mole removed. It has started growing like mad and both itches and is tender, and since my sister died of melanoma, I am a little concerned. But, just a little. It is not the Buddhist way to worry about things you have no control over. I tend to have lots of moles and as I have aged, lots of strange skin changes. Lost my fear of ugliness a long time ago when I could not longer hang on to my youth ;-).

So, I am now going to unpack, go through my weeks mail (which just arrived yesterday--this is another long blog about being too efficient) and then a long relaxing bath.