The turn of a year…

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I can NOT believe that I haven’t posted since August.

This thing called 2019 has torn me into bits, scattered me to the wind, and had too many people trying to put the puzzle back together again.

I have always been the person who loves to work, loves to help, loves to come up with the unusual way to correct a situation. A troubleshooter, maverick, champion. When I’m the one that needs the help, things get weird. And I think that was the whole point.

My bills got overwhelming, and they forced me into a very uncomfortable and kind of unknown corner. This girl came out fighting. Since it seemed that environmental consulting was stalled for the year, I looked elsewhere. Within about six weeks in August and September, I interviewed for and got a job with a lovely local insurance company. It amused me that — without an insurance license — I beat out the competition! I pushed to get said license, and am slowly becoming an integral part of the agency. While I’m still fumbling around, I’m growing and I’ve been helpful at the agency.

As part of a very creative group of writers who had grand plans to blog their way to a book within a year, I amassed so much copy — but fell short of the goal. Alas, I decided not to publish, although 5 of the 15 of us did. I thought I should wait until we’re out of the trailer. At no point did I think, “Gee, why not a sequel?” Hopefully, I’ll gather my posts and collate them soon, and join the 5 who can now say that they are published authors!!

A fortuitous coincidence happened as a result of the blog group: besides making some lifetime (and awesome!) friends, other connections came about. I knew one of the bloggers was an energy worker because it was peripherally the theme of her blogs — and she knew I was an energy worker because I talked about it occasionally. Anna Marie finally put two and two together, talked to the owner of the therapy center where she worked, and after a brief interview, I start there next Saturday, doing a gentle Japanese healing art called Jin Shin Jyutsu! Two and two makes four — I start on the 4th!

Slowly, slooowwly, a picture is coming together of 2020; a series of vignettes, as it were. I am working with three environmental consultants now — all wanting me to help clients that need an environmental engineer’s expertise for a few days each month — which is exactly what I envisioned when I started back into environmental engineering. I’ll do Jin Shin Jyutsu on Saturdays and some evenings, and I’ll get as much from the sessions as my clients will. And I’ll help out the insurance office part-time as well. Busy, happy, helping them and helping me.

As we end 2019, which was unusual and difficult for many (read: learning experience), I want to thank it and wish it well — and I don’t want to repeat it. It was all worth it, all of it. And as we welcome 2020, may we have the “vision” to “envision” a way to use all of those learning experiences to have a balanced, adventurous, prosperous, creative, and Happy New Year!!

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“To Envision a Washer, and Beyond….”

Water hoses

As you may imagine, there’s no room in the trailer for a clothes washer. (It’s a 17-foot trailer; most people’s washers are bigger than my trailer!)

A few months ago, Frank connected me up to 220V power inside the house, so I’ve had a dryer for a while now, sitting amidst all the plaster and lath strewn about. We would still go to the laundromat to use the washers, then bring it all back to dry.

He’s been trying to finagle a way to get me a water connection from the pressure tank to the washer. We aren’t to the point where we want to install plumbing in the house, but we’ve been trying to figure out a nice temporary way to be able to save a bit more money and time (especially time!), and use our “free” well water. (It’s our well; we only pay for the power — nothing illegal going on!) Continue reading ““To Envision a Washer, and Beyond….””

And still more summer memories…

My family wasn’t the family that took vacations, had a pool or expensive toys, or did much of anything other than work. Right now, my life is mimicking that a bit. It’s ALL good, though — I get to live in the country, 100%!!

There have been times when there was more planned play. Frank won’t mind if I tell some tales from my past involving my ex and his large extended family…

Continue reading “And still more summer memories…”

And more summer memories…

Time in the trailer has me thinking about the past more often. I find myself in various places in various timeliness, and understanding the meaning of life as a retrospective.

My mom and dad both loved baseball but in different ways. Mom loved to watch the games while Dad loved to listen on the old transistor radio. I loved being at the stadium or listening in the car; still do.

I don’t remember who taught me to appreciate the game, but it was the one thing that we could all agree on, ever. (Well, if you don’t count ice cream.) If the Indians were playing, the game was on. There was no quibbling, no changing of channels, no drama, just baseball. I still know how to score a game on paper, archaic hieroglyphics.

Dad used to like sitting by the kitchen table with the little radio, while Mom preferred the living room with me. I had my own little transistor radio, a fancy blue ball Panasonic Panapet that I got for Christmas one year. With the two radios on, we’d have a makeshift stereo effect going. We would pay so much attention to the games that the summer twilights would settle, yet not one of us noticed it. There was only the baseball, the ice cream, the crickets, the fireflies, the warm unspokenness, and the baseball…

We’ve had so many great sports announcers though the years, but none could top the smooth delivery of the great Herb Score. Like the athletes he described, he was The Natural at painting the picture and putting you inside the ballpark, inside the game, there yet not-there, all worth it. Herb was a former Indians pitcher, maintaining his excellence and love of the game by being the television voice and then the radio voice of the Indians for decades.

Herb called many highlights, few better than Len Barker’s perfect game on May 15, 1981. Herb swept us right into the excitement as Lenny worked his magic and wove a spell not only inside the Stadium but inside our house. Mom and Dad and I celebrated right along with the Indians that night, as did many others in the neighborhood, their transistors on in their twilit living rooms.

The trailer doesn’t hear much baseball — Frank’s not a big sports fan, and although he doesn’t mind when I listen, I know he’d rather be doing something else. I catch my Indians in the car every chance I get, listening and watching in my mind’s eye as if I were in the new ballpark, my heart “back in the day” when we clung to those golden moments of peace in the dark.

Summer memories…

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Mother Nature has finally gone and done it.

She made it past the kinda cold and rainy season (nominally, Spring) and plunged deeply into the height of Summer. She’s all-in: hazy, hot, and humid.

We’ve had some beautiful days with all the windows open in the trailer and the breeze blowing through. I tried taking one of my engineering projects outside, but couldn’t manage the glare on my laptop, but it was so pleasant inside that I didn’t mind. The trailer has a robust AC unit as well, and we’ve had to activate it a few times just to cut the stuffiness. I’m not an AC girl, preferring to run it at about 80, and yet I’m so very glad it works when we need it. Let’s face it, Frank and Pip and I live in a metal box! (There has to be some kind of metaphor there…)

The closeness of the trailer brings old memories to mind. And when I say old, I mean old. The other evening, a particularly poignant memory surfaced. I was suddenly back in the late 1960’s at my grandparents’ house; I was there. Continue reading “Summer memories…”

Meanwhile, behind the scenes at the trailer…

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Wow, y’all. I did NOT realize it’s been two months since I posted. I had such blog momentum going — and then New Orleans ruined me, and then I realized that the trailer had made me lazy. And there are so many more stories to tell.

Let me catch us all up a bit. (This is as much for me as it is for you!)

My tiny family is here in our tiny trailer so that my husband could have all of his landscaping paraphernalia in one place. Four trucks, three trailers, two Bobcat machines (an excavator and a skid-steer), and all of the implements, tools, spare parts, and me and a dog — well, let’s just say that all of this didn’t fit at the old place. Here, Frank has three acres (and still not enough truck parking!) and a barn (that is filling up fast!) and is as happy as I’ve ever seen him.

While all of this was coming together, I wasn’t sitting on my hands. I haven’t talked much about my unusual skill set in the blog — in fact, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it at all — but thanks to a wonderful combination of factors and occurrences, much was happening behind the scenes. Continue reading “Meanwhile, behind the scenes at the trailer…”

The trailer has made me lazy

Now that the weather is getting nicer more often, we’re busier in our lives — and planning to start actually demolishing the inside of the house. I have a goal of being moved in around October, even if I may not have a second floor by then.

The trailer has created a “situation”, however. I’ve become complacent and comfortable. Frank and I have places for what we need in this tiny space, and now it takes effort for me to move toward the next step.

Take something as simple as income taxes as an example. I know exactly where the files are for last year to reference as I prepare this year’s filing. Have I walked the 50 feet or so to grab them out of the house? No. Something that simple, and I don’t want to go fetch. Continue reading “The trailer has made me lazy”

Haunted…

Maybe I picked up an entity on the ghost tour. Since I’ve been home from New Orleans, my mind keeps ending up back there. I may be haunted. I know this visit affected more than past visits did…

However, this is not a travel blog. Life goes on and I carry my NOLA within my heart and soul always. I’ll leave you with lyrics from the end of Poco’s “Heart of the Night”, a song that runs in my background a lot:

“I’m so glad to be back in New Orleans.

Please don’t wake me, don’t shake me, if it’s only, if it’s only just a dream,

‘Cause it’s the only place I can face that makes me feel so right,

Below that Dixie moon and lovin’ you, in the heart of the night…”

(Perhaps “haunted” is too simplistic… “infected” might be more appropriate….)

Thank you all for letting me trip away.

A giant game of Tetris

It seems like we’re always moving something to move something else, to move something else.

When we were bringing items here from the old house, we stored some smaller furniture items and four wardrobe boxes of clothes inside the house-to-be-remodeled instead of in the storage tents. This was a double-edged sword. Things still got damp, just not as badly as the tent stuff. As we’re getting closer to ripping into walls inside the house, we have to move much of this into the barn. (…So we can move it back into the house later — this is getting tiresome!)

The clothes were easy, actually. At least a boxful went straight to Goodwill. (Some of these were examples of truly laughable fashion choices: why exactly did we keep them?!) Eventually, all the clothes will have to go back into the house and upstairs. I have no intention of carrying anything upstairs that I haven’t worn for a while(or looks that silly!) with the exception of some seasonal items.

We’ve kept a manageable amount for both of us on a small clothes rack inside the barn. It’s nice to have access to it all again: you get used to being able to select an item from your closet, which is generally wider than the 9-inch-wide space inside the trailer. I don’t want or need a walk-in closet, yet choosing from the same five things was getting boring.

I also discovered and moved a bunch of odd-sized knick-knacky things found inside the house, too. I had been looking for our flag all summer, and there it was, with Frank’s grandpa’s old skis, a hockey stick, and two wooden porch candles for Christmas. They make an unusual vignette in the barn now, waiting to be popped up in the loft with the suitcases and a lamp just sitting there in the way.

It seems like a decision has to be made every time we touch anything: do we move it, give it away, set it aside for trash, or keep it? Why is it even there? It does get old, yet apparently this was a muscle I needed to develop.

Taking something into the barn to keep it may not be the end of the issue, either. We have moved the washer back and forth in the same 10-foot area to be able to work stuff around it, and to move the excavator, and to move the truck, and to move the truck back in, and… you get the idea.

It’s the biggest game of Tetris ever. And no real end in sight.

A mousie in the housie

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There are things I have to get used to now that I’m living in the country. Stink bugs, mud, horse flies — and mice. Mice are cute, especially the little fakery above, but I don’t want one as a companion!

We had been moving boxes around and apparently one of us brought a critter into the trailer. I think I would have seen it somehow as I was pulling clothes out of boxes, but maybe not. It’s possible that it just ran in when we had the door open. It’s more probable that this one little guy squeezed through a tiny hole somewhere or under the barn garage door to escape the cold.

Continue reading “A mousie in the housie”