Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 5: We reach Oregon!

In the morning we had breakfast at the Black Bear Diner in a town just outside of Salt Lake City.

We drove all the way across Utah.
Then we drove across Idaho.
We stopped at Eden, Idaho for lunch at the Garden of Eden truck stop.
We drove 700 miles today stopping at Pendleton, Oregon for the night.  Pendleton is such a pretty town.  There is a walkway along the river.  I wanted to stop in Pendleton because I hope I can go into the woolen mill tomorrow.

We have just a little over 200 miles left until we reach Portland!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 May: Trip to Portland: Day 4

We started our morning in Montrose, Colorado.  We stopped in Montrose - cause its name is Montrose.  It is larger than Trinidad but not as cute.

It was in the 40's.  I was excited that I got to wear jeans again.  We walked to a coffee shop with a patio for breakfast.  It was closed that week.  So Andy ran into a McDonald's and we ate at a little table on the corner.
We went back and packed up the motel room at the Black Canyon Inn.  Andy had to lift up the mattress and box springs to get to Stella and put her in the car with us.

After breakfast Sweetsie was ready for another nap.
It didn't take long for us to make it into Utah.  The area around Moab was really cool.  But after Moab the terrain became very rocky and desolate looking.

We stopped in Green River, Utah for lunch and a stretch.  The cafe had coffee bags and Van Gogh prints decorating the ceiling.  The proprietor was a character.  She said that the city had just gotten phone service a couple years ago and they were still adjusting to the new technology.  Personally she preferred the old method of smoke signals.  One great thing - Sweetsie was able to come to the cafe with us.  Another dog was asleep in the middle of the floor.

It started raining and getting cold.  
We passed by wind mills among the rocky cliffs.Another big storm was brewing after we passed Provo so we stopped just outside of Salt Lake City.  It was about 5 PM so we wanted to avoid traffic, too.  This time we plugged the holes under the bed so Stella wouldn't be able to burrow into the box springs and hide.  Right now she is wandering around the room searching for a good hiding place.  She ate a little of my hamburger.  At least she ate something.  We were getting worried about her.

Sweetsie continues to be in doggy heaven.  She has me to sit on in the car during the day and Andy takes her out for long walks.  She cries whenever Andy leaves the room.  I told him that he should stay in Portland with us.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017 May: On the road to Portland:Day 3

This morning we had coffee at a little cafe in Trinidad, Colorado.  There was an interesting building right across the street.

The residents are so proud of their town that even the bricks are printed with "Trinidad."  There is also a sign on a hill, just like in Hollywood.
After the cafe we walked around the town and found a pretty pink building and several pot shops.


From Trinidad, we took a two lane highway past beautiful scenery.


We stopped for lunch in Westcliff, CO at "Chappy's."
Check out the menu.

After lunch we drove through Gunnison, CO.  More spectacular scenery -
 I took the picture of the black canyon out the side window of the car.

We stopped at Montrose, CO for the night.  We had to find a restaurant with a patio so the dog could be with us.  It was a little chilly but we all enjoyed fajitas.  Definitely not Tex-Mex-  the meat was like what you get in a Philly Cheesesteak.  It tasted good nonetheless.

Tomorrow we plan on spending the night in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Monday, May 15, 2017

2017-May: The road to Portland:Day 2

Day 1:  Sunday, May 14, 2017

I had to move out one day early.  The moving company called and gave me a choice of Sunday or Tuesday.  They said they had to cancel me on Monday.  So, I stayed up all night.  I ended up throwing out so much good stuff at the end.  I had already donated tons but I must have owned a few hundred tons of stuff in the beginning.  
They finished loading my stuff by 2:00 PM.  We were on the road by 2:30 PM.  Boy, was I exhausted.  We stopped at a Bucky's rest stop.  I didn't even recognize myself in the bathroom mirror.  My hair was plastered to my head from sweating and my face was all red and puffy from lack of sleep.  Andy took pity on me and we stopped after just 6 hours west of Dallas somewhere.

We let the kitty out in the motel room.  She was so scared.  She wouldn't eat.  But, took a drink and used the litter box.  Then she hid in the closet.
My dog had a wonderful time sleeping on my lap all day and Andy walked her when we took breaks. 

Day 2:  Monday, May 15, 2017

We started driving around 8 AM today. I encourage my son Andy to stop often though.  He is used to a Ford truck with a big engine.  My car is a great size for me but Andy feels squished in it.  The dog needs to pee. I need to get my circulation going in my legs again.  So we stop, get a beverage and walk around but the poor kitty continues in her hideout.  

I try not to be too needy.  I remember driving my mom from Rochester in 2004.  I had to do all the driving, fetching and toting bags.  It was tough.  At least Andy is young and strong.  He is being a great son driving his mama and her pets out to Portland in my small, slow Subaru Crosstrek.  Maybe I'll forgive him now for the 24 hours of labor he put me through in 1979 - lol!

Tonight we are staying in Trinidad, Colorado.  We drove about 10 hours today.  Poor Stella, my kitty, is hiding in the closet.  I hope she will eat something tonight.

We are a day ahead of what we planned.  My lease in Portland doesn't start until May 19th.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 16, 2017: getting ready

I've been preparing for my move to Portland for almost a year now.  Most of my stuff has either been given away, donated or packed up.

To get ready I made my dog, Sweetsie, a harness so she can sit in her carseat during our trip across country.  Then I made her a raincoat for Portland's rains.

She doesn't have the proportions for ready made dog clothes.  I could never find a harness to fit her.  The smalls are too small around her chest.  The mediums are way too large.  So I used her long and thin measurements to make her one.

I tried a doggy raincoat from Amazon.  It fit her but she wouldn't move.  The hood smooshed down her ears.  So I made her one from what fabrics I had on hand (not packed yet).   I used turquoise oilcloth from Mexico lined with fleece for the body of the coat.  The coat is made from one of those heavy plastic bags that pillowcases or napkins are sold in.

The secret to making a doggy raincoat is to make the hood detachable.  It's easier to construct and fits over the ears better.

Sweetsie will wear it but she's not too happy about it.  But she hates the rain so I think she will learn to appreciate it.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

↓↓April 5, 2017: Doing the Limbo Rock!↓↓

LIMBO # 1:
"How low can I go?"  I just reduced my house another $20,000.  It is now priced $100,000 less than what the county appraised it for and I pay taxes on.  But, if I want to move to Portland before the extreme heat of a Houston summer, I have to make it more enticing to buyers.

Portland is beautiful in the summer time.  I don't want to miss it.  And I want to be with my family there.

LIMBO # 2:
I made my house a blank slate so buyers can imagine themselves living in it.  All my dolls and poodles have been stored away.  I even removed my pink quilt and put a gray bedspread on my bed.  It doesn't feel like my home anymore.

Plus, I have to keep the house super neat.  It's hard to sew without creating a mess.  I miss making things.  It's a big part of who I am and what makes me happy.  I did make my dog a raincoat over the weekend.  I had to clean up continually during the process.  Most of my things are packed up so I spent a lot of time looking for the fabrics, snaps, thread, etc. 

𝄞All around the limbo clock
Hey, let's do the limbo rock

Thursday, February 23, 2017

February 23, 2017

Yesterday I turned in my resignation letter to Nia Georges, the chair of the Anthropology Department at Rice University.  She said they needed it so the process of finding my replacement could begin.  I put June 30th as my last work day.  I'll leave earlier if my house sells.  If it doesn't sell by June 30th,  I'm out of luck and a job.  I really do want to get out of Houston before the heat of the summer.

I've been working in this department since December 2004. It's the best job I've ever had.  The people are great.  The work I do is varied and new projects are added to my to-do list frequently.  Over the years I've supervised painting offices, copied textbooks, updated the department website and facebook page, processed graduate student applications and even babysat a dog, .  The list goes on and on.

My job was an island of normalcy when my life had such an abrupt change in 2010.  My then husband fell and became quadriplegic.  I went from a happy home life to one of service to 2 invalids - my Mom and my husband.  Life changed again when Mom went into a private care home and my husband left me.  I was alone at home but surrounded by friendly faces when I was at the office.

Leaving my job will be the hardest part of moving for me.  Already friends that I made on campus have retired or taken other jobs.  Rice is always changing - new people, new buildings, new software, etc.  I won't be able to go "home" again.  Even my parking spot will be gone as a new parking garage is currently being built.