Sunday, August 30, 2015

I'm Sure It's Somewhere, but Where?

No, that's not me in the picture, but it could be.  Now that I've begun unpacking 10, 50, seems like 1,000,000 boxes, I realize I can't find things...and I thought I packed so carefully.  Among the missing:  my last books of blank checks, some of the picture books I use for speech therapy, my plates (all sizes), coffee mugs, my August attendance sheet, and probably some other things I haven't thought of yet.  Of course, they're here somewhere, either at the bottom of a box or in a box I mistakenly had put in storage.  Can I live without these things until the next move in December?  Probably, but it's still frustrating.  I know I put them in boxes I brought with me, but which ones?  Best thing to do is forget about it.

Other moving frustrations:  I needed to buy some speech therapy materials from a very large company that makes educational materials.  I found what I wanted, but I'd forgotten my password.  No big deal.  They provided a link to add a new password, but then when I checked out, they asked for both the old and new ones.  Did that make sense?  If I'd known the old password, I wouldn't have asked for a new one.  Were they crazy...or worse, was I?  No, it had to be their mistake.  But their website was inaccessible and no one answered their phone.  I finally just skipped putting in the old password, figuring if I made one up, it would be a bigger hassle, and it went right to payment and alas, their computer was reluctant to accept my new address.  And then it required proving I was a "qualified buyer," which meant providing all my professional association memberships and member numbers (which were packed away, probably with the dishes).  I finally typed it "I don't know," and that seemed to satisfy them, (whoever "they" are) and after 30 minutes, it actually let me buy the materials I wanted.

But was I finished dealing with people on the phone who are programmed to say things like, "Thank you for patiently waiting" when they put you on hold for 20 minutes (I wasn't feeling patient, but I didn't mention this, imagining if I did, it would ruin their entire afternoon).  I was at that time dealing with Amazon, trying to figure out how to connect to Wifi so I could buy a book for my Kindle.  The first person I spoke to eventually decided I needed "second level support"...I guess they triage customers.  The second level lady stayed on the phone with me for an hour and a half, trying to figure out what to do.  When we finally connected to WiFi and she asked if there was anything else she could help me with, I said, "No, and I bet you're glad to hear that."  I thanked her and told her she ought to buy herself a bottle of wine.  I hope she did.

More perils of moving to come in future posts.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


My children and granddaughter and I had a Farewell Brunch last Sunday, our last Sunday in our house, and we each told what we remembered.

Michael:  We made the garage into a playroom and we had a pool table, and I kept my game machines in there, too.  I had-Pac Man and Donkey Kong and some others.

Lori:  We used to do jigsaw puzzles on the game table in the living room.

Michael:  We played board game, too.

Michael:  We cooked hot dogs in the fireplace when our power went out during Hurricane Alicia.

Lori:  My room was always cold so I had an electric blanket.

Gabriella: I loved looking in the three-way mirror in the dressing room.  I wish we could take it with us.

Michael: We had lots of pets, but I liked when we started having cats.

Lori:  I found our first cat, Ringo.  He was a little lost kitten and we kept him.

Gabriella:  When I was little, I liked going in all the rooms.

Michael:  Once Ralph made a stew and he used red cabbage.  The stew turned out purple and no one would eat it.

Lori and Michael:  We practiced driving with Ralph.

Lori:  We played Pong.

Gabriella:  One time my friend came over with me and I told her Ralph's huge "monster" plant on the patio would eat her and scared her to death.

Me:  When the eye passed over during Hurricane Alicia, Ralph and I went outside on the front porch.  It felt eerie.

Me:  We had so many pets that when they had a unit on animals at the Speech and Hearing Institute, they asked me to bring pictures of all of them.

Me:  Gabby came home to this house when she was an infant because her parents were living here.

Me:  Gabby and I cooked Green Eggs and Ham (minus the ham) in our kitchen.

Michael:  I liked my room.  I could watch my little TV.  I never used the built-in desk.  I always did my homework on a lap desk on the bed.

Me:  When we moved into our house, my father got very sick and we went to Austin, so Gertie, our housekeeper, moved us and we couldn't find Bryan's clothes for a week.

Me:  Michael lost his car keys in the hall, and we never found them.

Me:  I loved my hot water dispenser, and I won't have one any more.  It would cost $1100 to install one at Brazos Towers, and I don't think I'll drink enough instant coffee to make it worthwhile.

All of us:  We loved living here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Quote for the Week

                       This seemed an appropriate quote for moving week.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saying Goodbye

This week I am saying goodbye to the house I have lived in over half my life.
I'm renting an apartment temporarily until the high rise I'm planning to live in is ready.

So, goodbye to my five-bedroom home; hello to a two-bedroom apartment.
Goodbye to the dish drainer I'm using because the flood ruined my dishwasher; hello to a new dishwasher.
Goodbye to watering a yard; hello to looking at a landscaped garden that I don't have to care for.
Goodbye my esperanza with its breathtaking beautiful yellow blossoms; hello to some flowers I haven't yet met;
Goodbye to the neighborhood where my children grew up; hello to what will look like a different neighborhood after so many flooded houses are torn down and rebuilt.
Goodbye to the Monster plant that Ralph loved so much.  Sorry I can't take you with me but that would involve tearing out the patio and digging you out by the roots and I'm sure you wouldn't enjoy that anymore than I would.
Goodbye to all my built-in cabinets and shelves; hello to having to decide what to cram into much less space.
Goodbye to Comcast; hello (in December) to a different service provided by the high rise.
Goodbye to my fig tree and the squirrels who always got to the fruit before we did.
Goodbye to the home where we lived and loved and laughed and cried, where memories call out from every corner.
Hello to new adventures.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Books of July

A fun read about "buried treasure."  Revisits the detective and others from Mr. Mercedes.

Sometimes I read Young Adult books that pique my interest.  This was one:  a dystopian universe in the future with various groups of different status (Don't they all have these?), a young girl from the Scholars group and a young man at a training school where his mother is the scary commandant.  I'm looking forward to the second book in the series.

A rather improbable story about a young woman searching for clues about her grandfather's suicide at the same time she's studying a white garden to copy for a client.  Somehow this all becomes connected to Virginia Wolff and her death, possibly a homicide.  Okay but not great.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Quote for the Week

"Always know in your heart
that you are far bigger
than anything that can happen to you."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

IPhone Therefore I Am

Isn't that a clever title?  No, I didn't come up with it myself; I saw it in a United in-flight magazine.  And, OMG, when I arrived at my destination, I realized my phone was in the purse I'd taken to work, not in the one I had with me  Someone at the conference asked if I felt naked, and I had to admit I didn't!  What did that mean?  Am I out of touch?  Do I have fine motor problems affecting my thumbs?  I think it means I actually like speaking to people face to face--not on Facetime--but in person.  Weird.

Back to the article I read on the plane.  It cites a study in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication which found that "we're so attached to our phones that being away from them can cause a form of separation anxiety, with real-world physiological and cognitive consequences."  Perhaps I don't suffer this form of anxiety because a large part of my life was lived with actual dial telephones.  Can you guess how old I am?  Please don't.

Not just physiological consequences, but life-threatening ones.  Will this man get hit by the bus?  Remember the woman who fell into a fountain when talking on her phone as she strolled through a mall? 
How about this one?  Gotta start 'em young. I bet her first word was "apple."  By the time this baby is two, she'll know how to get in touch with all her "phone friends," but what about her ability to engage in activities on the playground?  Maybe not as well-developed.

The article I read on the plane ended this way:  "...iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of ourselves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of 'self,' and a negative physiological state.  Losing your phone, in a sense, is tantamount to losing your head."

What do you think?  I'd love some comments.


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