Saturday, June 14, 2008

Plans for Today

I was thinking that it's time that I set out some goals. These are very general, but I think that I need to start thinking in the right direction:

For Today

  • I believe that I can get through this.
  • I will take care of business.
  • I will do things that I want to do.
  • I will ask for what I need.
  • I will learn something new.
  • I will cry only for a reason.
  • I will laugh for no reason.
I did well with this today. Annette and Steve came down and helped me with my sorting and culling. I worked on some more very difficult things today -- attic and library.

In the attic, I had stashed a bunch of bakery-related things -- glass pie plates (yes, more of them!), muffin pans, springform pans..on and on. And I had four years of wonderful and creative lesson plans. And many pounds of materials that I had used with my students, projects that they had made, etc.. The lesson plans are at the recycling facility. The materials are going to Teachers' Warehouse, and I hope that some teacher finds them as fun as I once did.

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I put these things into the difficult-to-access attic, but I believe, at my tender age of 38, I thought that I might someday return to teaching high school mathematics. I think that I believed that life is long, and our desires go through cycles. There is no way that I could ever live long enough to teach high school math again.

And I went through some of my books. Books become like friends, and it seems inordinately difficult to get rid of them. How could I toss "The Pearl," "Night in Funland," or "In a Sunburned Country?" I didn't. I did put some books into a pile to give to the Red Cross, which has a book sale annually. I hope they want them.

More books -- the rarer and older ones -- will be put up for sale on Amazon. This saddens me deeply, but simplifying is what I want to do now, and this is the way to do it. If I didn't do it now, someone would be tossing my life's collections after I die, and they would just laugh at my things.

I boxed up my puzzle collection, too, but these -- my favorites from my collection -- will be going with me to Tucson. I'm not sure where I'll put them there, but I do love my puzzles. Only if I use it, need it, or love it, is it eligible to stay with me. And I have to answer honestly about each item.

We had lunch at MCL and it was gooood! Now it's time to play some games. I think that online Boggle will be my game for tonight. I play at WordsPlay. I consider myself a winner if I place in the top third; that's how good these folks are!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cloudbursts, Comcast, and Culling

Today began with my going out quickly to get my walk done before the rains came. Actually, the walk was cool and pleasant, and I returned in plenty of time. It had not even begun raining when I came out of the house, all showered and ready. (The pets and I are living in the RV -- eating and sleeping. But I am showering in the house, to keep my gray tank from filling too fast.)

Next was my Comcast confrontation. I called first, to see what it was that I had to do in order to disconnect my service. They told me that I would need the converter box, the remote -- which I would have forgotten, and Michael's death certificate, since the cable had been in his name. I unhooked the box and put all the stuff in a plastic bag, against the inevitable rain. Put the death cert into the car with the box, and off I went!

I stopped first at the bank to cash an overpayment check from State Farm. They do this all the time -- send me a bill, which I pay, and then return a bunch of it, telling me that it's an overpayment. Whatever, I'll take it, but it just seems silly.

The woman at Comcast was not very pleasant, particularly when I told her that I wanted to have my service disconnected as of October 25, 2007. I explained my situation -- that I had left in a hurry after Michael's passing, and that I had called from Arizona. I had been told then that I could only disconnect the service if Michael were there in person, which was quite impossible, or if I were there in person, with a death certificate, and the cable box, which was also quite impossible.

The woman told me that I had made a choice to leave, after all, and that Comcast wouldn't be able to refund anything. I explained that I had paid faithfully while I had been away, about $830 in all, so that I wouldn't get bad credit. She said that, yes, that was the right thing to do. Then she offered to get her supervisor.

The supervisor started talking about their "policy" about disconnecting service. That's when I started to stomp my little feet and I told her that the "policy" was MEAN! I said, "Come ON! It would just be NICE to cut someone a break, when their life has been torn apart like this!"

I think that she did not like my foot-stomping, because she very calmly said, "Have a seat over there. We're going to get this done for you." I did, and she did. She returned to me in a few minutes, having talked to her boss. I'll be getting a check in 4-6 weeks! So yay.. Comcast has a heart!

Toward home I went, with rain peppering down, off and on. I went to the grocery, stocking up on some of my favorite things including Rainier cherries, chocolate pudding cups, and Quaker Mini Rice Cakes. I also got another box of Great Grains cereal, making *3* in my RV's cupboard. Sheesh. I think that'll last me a while.

Culling today was mostly in the pantry, and it was difficult again. This was tough because .. what do you do with 8 boxes of Kleenex? I'll use it eventually, but I'll have no place to store it! Same with 6 bottles of Lysol Toilet Cleaner. I think that'll last me the rest of my life, but .. where to put it in the meantime? It's a puzzlement. I think that I'll give a bunch of that to Annette, either to use, or to keep for me in case I ever get a house with particularly dirty toilets.

I also cleaned out one of the cupboards in the wall unit in the music room. This is the one where I discovered Michael had stashed his good ham radio! I'd been looking around for that, thinking that I'd offer it for sale, but then it occurred to me to give it to Ray, a ham friend of ours, who has been very helpful to us over the years. (Thank you, Ray, and may you use the Ten-Tec for many happy years!) I know that Michael would have approved.

I took a few things down from the walls and sort of wandered around a bit, as if lost. I'll attack things with more fervor tomorrow.

I got back into the RV just as the clouds burst again, around 5pm. This time, it really poured down, but there was no wind and the rain didn't last for very long. Now it's calm, dry, and cool! I had pizza and cherries for supper. Mmmm. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hello from Bloomington!

I am in Bloomington! I arrived at about 10am Tucson time, or 1 pm Eastern. I have to get my watch fixed so that I can pull out the crown to reset it to local time.

I am not moving back into my old house. I am living in my RV and clearing and cleaning my old house in order that I may sell it. I don't know if I'll get a new place in Bloomington or if I'll go someplace else, but I do know that I do not want to be in this house on this property so far away from town.

I began today by leveling and hooking up the little RV and getting her A/C going. I have just one 30A outlet and that's in the garage, which is a distance of probably 100 ft from the house. I don't have enough cord to park the RV in the shade by the house. I could park IN the garage and thus have shade, but I enjoy having some scenery! For the nonce, I'll be using the bathroom in the house, and that should work out fine for me. If I were parked next to the house, I have a full hookup for an RV, but it's a hookup for a 50A electric plug, and that I do not have for this smaller RV. Oh well...

After doing the hooking up, I opened mail that had gathered for me and sorted it. Then I made a list of things that I needed to tackle -- rooms that need to be gone through and the sorts of piles that I will make. I intend to go through a room at a time, taking the stuff to donate, recycle, and dump as I get through a room. My goal is to have only what furniture needs to be in there to demonstrate what the room is for -- nothing personal and nothing in any drawers or closets. Big job!

The funny thing is that, upon my arrival here, I mused about the fact that I have everything that I really need with me in my little RV and back in my little Tucson cottage! So everything that's in the house is stuff that I don't really need. Easy, right? Well.... yes, till I start going through things.

I felt plenty of feelings when I went into the house. I halfway expected Michael to be there waiting for me. Instead, there was lots of his stuff. I will see if his children or brother and sister want any of it -- the things that I don't want to keep, that is.

Then I worked a bit in the house, taking things out of my closet. I got all the shelves and drawers emptied, with piles on the floor to go to Goodwill, to the dump, and then a pile (too large) on my bed of things that I want to keep. I have to do my hanging clothes, and then a cupboard and two closets.. oh, and the drawers under my bed! I'd just about forgotten those. I have just a few things in Michael's closet that I need to disburse, because Ann and I had gone through his closet before I left. (That was a good thing, though I didn't feel quite ready then.) Then I'll be able to check off one of my rooms!

One enormous job that awaits me is cleaning out the attic, and I don't look forward to that in this heat! I don't think that it's hugely full, as attics go, but it'll still be difficult, hot, and dirty. And I'll have to be very careful, because I have just a little ladder access through the hall ceiling to the attic. I may see if I can find someone to help me with that.

Maddy and Eddie did great on the ride home and they are happy as can be in here with me now. I'd thought about taking Maddy into the house with me as I clean up, but... I'm not sure if I will do that.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June 10 in Louisville

Yes, I arrived in Louisville yesterday afternoon at 4:30. Becky, Angie and I caught up for awhile before we left for dinner. KT's served us a fine dinner of prime rib (them) and chicken tortellini (me). Afterwards we went for pie and ice cream at the Pie Kitchen.

I slept in the cool of the house and missed the rain! In fact, I didn't even know it rained till I went back out to the RV this morning, discovering wetness on the couches and floor. Like a doof, I'd left the windows and vent open. Everything will dry today, though, in the sunshine.

Eddie slept fine in the RV and Maddy stayed with me in the coolness of the basement apartment.

So then I awoke fairly early (4:30 Tucson time!) to get ready for my day. Angie and Becky drove me to Don, my accountant's, so I could ask and answer some questions.

I walked back here from there, about 3.5 miles. It was a mostly pleasant walk, though there was lots of loud traffic for parts of the walk. Hot today, but cool in the shade. And the humidity feels um... not wonderful, but not as awful as it could. It actually feels kind of good for my face, and my hair isn't staticky for a change!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Somewhere in Missouri

I did some artwork tonight! This is a scene to which we were treated in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I didn't have my camera, so I took the picture with my mind, and this is what it looked like.

The sky was churning and gray in my rear view mirror all afternoon! I got off from Kansas City at about noon, as I thought I would. Finding a nice grocery, I stopped and stocked up on a few supplies, including fresh raspberries and bananas. :) I found a cashew chicken salad too, in the deli.

On the road again, I was routed onto US 50 for probably an hour, before the GPS took me back up to I-70. I rode along on 70 till it became time to stop -- a couple of hours, probably. Boonville was the name of the town where I fueled up at Love's and then parked to enjoy a short nap before my chicken salad lunch. Maddy enjoyed a short romp about before retiring back to her treat in her crate so I could resume the trip.

By the way, people have asked me how Eddie travels, and the answer is "very well!" This RV is equipped with a cabover bed which folds up to the ceiling, secured by hooks. Beneath the bed are Eddie-sized cubbyholes, one on either side. Eddie curls up in the one right above me and sleeps peacefully as I drive. Sometimes he'll awaken and maybe mew, but he returns to slumberland just as soon as I say something to him.

I keep his food in another of the cubbies and he and Maddy share the big non-spill water dish in the back of the RV. Eddie's CleverCat litterbox is on the lower bunk bed (with mattress removed), and on the other side of this bunk is Maddy's crate. Petfood bins also store nicely on this bunk. If I had a different floorplan of this RV, I'd have a tough time getting used to having to accommodate pet things in another way; this is so handy!

So at Love's, I took a short nap, as I mentioned, and I dreamed, though I don't remember what it was about. Then I put her into Drive again, arriving here at Lazy Day Campground in Montgomery City, MO, at about 5:30. Hooking up was easy, though, after the sewer hose mishap in Tucson, I'm not looking forward to the dumping that I will have to do in the morning.

I was happy to get a few emails sent out this morning before leaving KC. If yours still hasn't been answered, it may be that it's still in my 21 in my inbox (getting that back down to 10 tonight!) or your email may have been included in my quarterly "email bankruptcy," where I delete everything and start over.

This campground hosted a free ice cream social at 7pm and I went! They had vanilla and/or chocolate, toppings including strawberries, chocolate sauce, hot fudge, pineapple, whipped cream, and cherries. It was great, heavily attended, and delicious!

Thank you for your ongoing love and support, everyone! I'm going to keep the blog coming atcha!

Trees, Grass, and Humidity

The colors in Tucson are wonderful. There are contrasts of the muted shades of tan, purple, gold, and green and the obscenely bright flowers that spice the landscape.

So now I'm in Kansas City, south of the city, actually, in a beautiful county park -- at Longview Lake Campground. And the green is so intense that it almost hurts my eyes. Well.. LOL that may be a bit of an exaggeration.

The air is thick with heat and humidity and the pale blue skies of the last few days have given way to thick fast-moving rainified clouds.

The driving has remained extremely difficult, with winds that toss me about on the road. There have been many times, particularly yesterday, when I would have sworn that my little RV was riding on just the wheels on one side.

Ok... time for me to go unhook before the clouds burst! I'm getting the latest start of this trip. It'll be be close to noon before I leave this place. Wow.. unreal winds.