Monday, June 25, 2012

Waiting for Godot the Mover

I arrived at my storage place just after 11 AM and then proceeded to have a series of phone conversations with a U-Haul-recommended mover in which I described where the self-storage was located and he just couldn't seem to figure out where I was.

During the last call, I handed the phone to the Manager of the place, then listened to him say all the same things I had said ... but I guess it finally clicked (or maybe he just needed to hear it from a man to believe that there really was a storage place where I was telling him) and the mover found his way here and the UNloading started at 1PM.

When they finish, I plan to return the truck at a U-Haul dealer that's close enough to walk back to my car and then I am going to pick up something for a late lunch and go hang out with the kitties.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Note to Self

The big truck is not only taller than I used to and longer than I am used to, it is also a bit wider--as I was reminded at my last pit stop when I walked around the truck to gas up. Yikes, that was close.

Believe it or not, I was able to squeeze between the truck and the pump enough to see the screen and tap through the options and pump my gas.

As the sun set tonight, I crossed the New Mexico border at Texico, New Mexico--a town whose name always makes me smile as I pass through it. I like the symmetry with Texarkana, too. I wonder if there is a town with a Texas + Oklahoma name somewhere along their shared border? I also gained an hour as I entered Mountain Time which made the day in the truck seem not so long ;-)

I am settled in a hotel room with a to-go salad and a plan for a hot bath and a good sleep ... and another stress-free day tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Clovis,United States

On the road again

According to the AAA TripTik ap and Bing, I am here ...

... doing this. I admit to a bit of fear of finding gas stations along the route that will accommodate the height and length (and turning radius) of the truck. The mechanic scared me with the tale of another driver in a UHaul truck like mine who had a quarter of a tank but "ran out of gas" when going up a hill in North Austin and was forced by the police to back down the road in neutral with no power steering ... I don't want that to be me on this trip.
Here's one more Texas scene from this pit stop ... and now I am on the road again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:County Road 281,Zephyr,United States

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Progress Report

An interesting thing happened when the movers came to load my belongings into the big truck. They wanted to move it to position it a bit better for loading and ... it wouldn't start--no gas.

For the 90 minutes that it took them to load the truck, I was on the phone, mostly on hold, with U-Haul making the argument that it was really bad customer service to give me a truck with enough gas to travel something less than 10 miles-especially when they claimed that the 50 gallon tank was a quarter full.

Two hours later (3 1/2 after my call to U-Haul road service, the mechanic showed up, with his wife riding along, confirmed that I was, indeed, out of gas and put 10 gallons in my tank.

The ordeal has worn me out ... Tomorrow is another day and I think I'm going to have some dinner delivered (too bad I cleaned out all the take out menus earlier today), try to get some sleep in the empty apartment and get an early start tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, June 22, 2012

Are YOU Going to Drive the Truck?

This morning, when I dropped off the van--a local rental--and picked up the truck--a one-way to Santa Fe rental, the manager asked, "are YOU going to drive the truck?"

It is a little daunting ... but I did manage to drive it back to the apartment and park it in the space between two carports and miss the tree out front.

I was reminded of my first U-Haul adventure, when I drove a truck-full of my belongings 2400 miles from Sonoma, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I stayed with quilter friends in Utah and Nebraska and the husband of one of the friends was out of town, but told his wife that he would like to have met a woman that would drive a U-Haul across the country.

This morning I assured the manager that although I wasn't sure if I had driven a truck quite this big, I did manage to drive a truck towing my vehicle through snow and ice for 1200 miles. I blogged about that trip, here.

This is a very big truck--I actually reserved a smaller one, but when U-Haul offered a larger truck at the same price, I took them up on their offer ... remembering how, despite assurances from the movers in Michigan that all my belongings would fit in the truck I had rented, ultimately they didn't.  I'm not looking forward to driving this beast across Texas, but, at least, I know that all my belongings will fit.

When I drove from California to Michigan, the truck broke down in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming and I waited for almost 5 hours for help.  When I drove from Michigan to Texas, the trailer (with my car on it) had a flat and I was on the side of the road, dodging snow plows, after only about 5 minutes on the road.  This truck was supposed to have a 1/4 tank of gas in it, but the fuel gage is resting at less than empty--cross your fingers for me that after it is loaded and I'm on my way, I make it to gas station in time ... and that there are no vehicle problems.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

One more time ...

One more time with feeling? I have come back to Texas and am hoping that the third time IS a charm and my plans to complete the move out of my apartment go a lot better than my last trip ... which was supposed to be the last trip.

I started before dawn this morning, so I could drive across town to my storage place before the morning commute turned the highway into a parking lot. After everything was in the van, I made a quick stop at HEB for a couple pounds of their store brand coffee beans, the "Houston" Taste of Texas which has pecan and praline flavoring and coconut flakes.

Then it was time for a breakfast taco at Taco Deli--not an especially appetizing photo, but my "Otto" (with puréed black beans, avocado and bacon) was yummy.

Then on to drop off my DVR at the cable company and back home to finish packing.

While in Santa Fe, I have not missed Austin traffic nor the sticky hot summer weather, but I really DO miss all the great regional products and produce at HEB (and Central Market), the inventive tacos at Taco Deli, the always great service from Time-Warner ... and the strong 4G cell signal in Austin that is non-existent in central Santa Fe (grumble grumble AT&T).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Austin,United State

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Morning at the Opera

Arriving at the Santa Fe OperaOn Saturdays from June 2 through August 25, The Santa Fe Opera has Opera Insider events on Saturday mornings. 

Opera Guild members will welcome guests to the theater at 8:30 AM with coffee and muffins. Below, we are gathering after our coffee and being welcomed by someone from the Santa Fe guild. 
Some Introductory Remarks No Cameras or Cell Phone allowed 

Unfortunately, inside the gate, no camera nor cell phone usage is allowed.

The Insider event starts at 9 AM, when an Opera staff member talk about his or her specialty. I chose to attend today because the Costume Director, David Burke was the designated speaker.

The talk was briefly interrupted by a gun shot test on stage. As we sat and talked about costume design, one of the sets for Tosca was being assembled on stage in preparation for a run-through today.

Afterward, we broke into small groups for backstage tours, led by docents.

We were treated to some history and a tour that took us all around the campus. We peeked in on bustling costume department, crafts group (which included the milliners) and wig makers. We chatted briefly with a carpenter who was putting the finishing touches on an incredible hand-carved table and a seamstress who was pushing a dressmaker's dummy wearing a beautifully embellished skirt, part of a design for which we had been shown the illustration earlier.

We saw the water treatment facility--water from the roof is used to water the surrounding landscape and toured the dressing rooms, the orchestra waiting area and the stage manager's area in the wings.

And then we went shopping in the Opera store ;-)

Once outside, I played with the landscape photo option in the point-and-shoot camera I wooted earlier this week.

Look close (or click for a larger view) and you can see that that the woman in the white t-shirt appears in the image twice: leaving the gift shop and approaching her friends on the bench/flower garden.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The International Folk Art Museum

CIrcus FiguresFriends have noticed my lack of doing tourist things. It's hard for me because of everything I know I should be doing.  I couldn't put the stress of everything aside.

But I knew that I could really use a break and so spent an hour or so om Sunday afternoon introducing myself to the International Folk Museum on Museum Hill. I suspected it would put me on visual overload and I knew it would force my brain to drop juggling all the errands and concerns.

It worked.

I visited two of the exhibits.

First, a colorful room full of a relatively small number of the 106.000 pieces donated by Alexander and Susan Girard.  Pieces were grouped and arranged in colorful boxes or placed on top of other displays and hung on the walls.  It was organized cacaphony–apparently, all of it organized and specified by the donor.

  Morroccan Figures 

The visitor's guide mentioned that African figures like these likely influenced Picasso. I definitely saw it, too.

Another favorite was this Moroccan yarn painting.  The designs are created by pushing yarn into softened beeswax.

My planned destination was an exhibit of traditional Macedonian Embroidered dress called, Young Brides, Old Treasures.

 Entrance to Young Brides, Old Treasures Exhibit

This is a Miyak Wedding Dress, circa 1900. The exhibit included garments from 1880 through 1950.

You can see all my iPhone photos of the day on Flickr, in my photo set Museum of International Folk Art.  I apologize in advance for the quality of some of them ... I am still on the learning curve as an iPhone photographer. 

You can also check out the Museum's Flickr photostream (for MUCH better quality images) here.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Blue skies, the week that was, and why I cut my hair

San Miguel Church 

I took this photo of San Miguel Church some time ago–with my iPhone as I haven't yet done anything about replacing my beloved dead Nikon camera.  I loved how well it captured the blue skies and was reminded of it this afternoon, as I walked past and big fat raindrops fell from a dark sky.  For the record, it isn't always blue skies around here, though for many days so far, the skies have looked exactly like this. 

It wasn't blue skies for me last week either ... but that had nothing to do with the weather.  I headed back to Texas, with assurances from a national moving company that I was all set for a move–I had decided it would be worth paying the $$$ to avoid 12-15 hours of driving a truck across Texas.  To be safe, though, as a fallback plan, I also reserved a moving truck for just that purpose and some guys from a local mover to load the rest of my belongings into it. 

The National Mover's representative, weaved and ducked via telephone for a couple days then finally, I talked to someone that told me that there was no way they had actually scheduled my move, nor could they schedule me for about 6 weeks ... and when time came to pick up the rental truck, despite my confirmed reservation, they had no truck for me.  Since I now had no truck in which to be loaded, I apologetically cancelled the local movers and bought a very expensive airfare home.

About thirty minutes after my arrangements were made and paid for, the local moving truck company–to whom I had reached out 8 hours earlier–called me back to let me know they found a truck for me.   

As I was deciding what, among everything still in Texas, I could bring back on the plane and packing a large suitcase, I spontaneously decided I couldn't stand my growing out bangs anymore, found some scissors and chopped them off.  I thought I was trimming just enough for bangs just below my eyebrows ... what I got was at least an inch and a half shorter.  I look like nothing so much as my second grade school portrait ... and it looks like those bangs could have been cut by the second grade me, too. 

As soon as I did it, I knew I was acting out of that feeling that if everything else is out of my control, at least I can control my hair.  It's a good thing that hair grows ...
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