Packing Under Purple Sunset Saturday, Jun 30 2007 

Packing Under Purple Sunset

30 June 2007

“Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November . . .”  a very helpful childhood rhyme I can remember teaching myself from a book at a very early age.  Today, I find myself wondering why it is that the two months I have to be away, are two of the really long ones?

Having been so sick earlier in the week, I have tried especially hard not to worry or stress about this packing process this year.  And, I think I’ve done pretty well.   Maybe even too well.  About halfway into today I began thinking about waiting until Monday to leave.  It’ll mean I have to drive two days straight, no alternatives.  Just a quick overnight with my brother, or whereever.  But, it’ll also mean I get to spend one more night here in my own bed.

So, I packed at a leisurely pace, and although I’m not done, I got farther along than I thought I might.  In the workshop, I’ve just got to do a final check.  I think there are two items waiting to be carted to the trailer.  The grommeter is already on board.  The sewing machine is in the truck, as is all the office stuff I keep near me when travelling.  Tomorrow I get to concentrate on packing my own clothes and shoes, and doing a little bit of office work and housecleaning, laundry, etc.  That way I won’t be leaving such a mess.  When I know it’s likely going to be ten or eleven weeks before I see the house again, I hate to start with it being disheveled!

This afternoon’s packing was tricky—dodging raindrops!  Kyle helped me load those heavy pieces of equipment, and not five minutes later the bottom fell out of the big bucket in the sky, and I was very grateful for our timing!

While I was winding down the packing tonight, the sun was setting and casting a pink glow on everything.  I went to get my camera, and in the moments that followed, the sky changed from some pink in the blue, to PINK and blue, and then finally to purple.  Beautiful. 

~MB

She knows . . . Friday, Jun 29 2007 

She knows . . .

29 June 2007

. . . that it’s almost time to leave.  She’s made this trip with me to Bristol for seven years in a row.  She’s never known a summer at home.  She recognizes the packing dance.  And if she wasn’t already completely convinced something was up, she sure knows it after today.  Every year before we leave, we visit the doctor and update any vaccinations and all that.  Doing renfaire with a pet, it’s not only necessary for following festival rules, it’s safer for the pet.  Today was “check-up” day for Artemis. 

All things considered, I guess it went okay.  She and I (and the doctor) all left the encounter in one piece.  Unless you count the thousands of cat hairs.  I’m not so sure about the scrawny little newbie guy they had working at the clinic this afternoon, though.  Although there was no actual bloodshed, I’m pretty sure he’ll have nightmares about my possessed cat. 

Although in the past, I’ve always been allowed to hold my pets’ heads, whisper in their ears, keeping them as quiet and still as possible, while doctors and techs did their stuff with needles and thermometers, today was different.  First we had the new kid who let us know right up front that he was uncomfortable with his job, just from his speech and body language.  Then, when I indicated I’d rather keep Artemis in her little bed/crate until the doctor came in, and we could do everything at once, he admitted to not being much of a cat person.  I tried to make light of the situation, hoping to put him more at ease, but it didn’t work.  He did okay with ‘Tia, who was also there for a booster shot, then he suggested that he take the cat in her carrier to the back and let the doctor and he deal with it all back there.  I never like it when they take the animal away from you, so I insisted that I wanted everything done right there in the exam room, where I could help.  So, by the time it was actually time to deal with her, he was downright afraid.  And all I had really said was that she was very “moody.”  Good thing I didn’t tell him she was borderline, or he’d have really been a mess.  I held her while he got her weight and her temperature, and although she growled to let us know she was not happy, things were on course.  It would be over soon, I figured.  Then, the doctor came in and things went from bad to worse.  The doctor (one I’d never encountered there before) refused to let me help hold the cat.  So, now we have a know-it-all doctor and a scared idiot tech kid trying to give two shots to a cat that doesn’t even let my husband pet her without hissing.

I have never heard an animal make the noises my poor bi-polar cat made in that exam room today.  And from what Kyle said about the reactions of the people in the lobby, neither had anyone else.  By the time the first shot was finally given, Artemis had growled, hissed, spit, and peed a little, which told me she was more scared than mad.  She’d been all over two counters, on the floor in the corner, in the sink, wrapped in a towel and I had raised my voice at the doctor.  The aforementioned, big, blood-curdling, kitty scream came after that.  I think it was that noise that really unnerved the doctor enough to let me help.  She made a comment during one brief kitty silence soon thereafter, that she didn’t understand why the cat was so much more angry and wild-sounding when the tech kid reached in to help (doing just what the doctor told him to do).  That gave me an opening to quietly say, “Because she can sense his fear.  Please let me help.” Obviously rattled, she did.  And from that point it all got better.  The kid backed away.  Once I was right there where she could hear my voice and feel me, the cat started to calm, and the second shot was much easier.  There was still hissing and spitting, but then it was over.  She went gladly back into her little basket/bed/carrier place.  And, she was very glad to get home.  But, it was not a good day for Artemis.

As I write this, now, a number of hours later, she is <please read this sitting down> laying curled up between Kyle’s legs as he reads in bed!  She seems to be over her mad, and except for having a little less patience for the dogs and their cat-herding games this evening, she is fine.

But, she knows.

~MB

No Kidding Friday, Jun 29 2007 

28 June 2007
No Kidding

…as if parking on either side of the street were even possible. I drive this road every day on the way to and from work. I hope, every day, that I don’t require a reason — any reason — to have to park on the side of this road. The original road was a construction path through what is called The Arlington Bottoms. With the completion of Trinity Boulevard, this small construction road has become a pretty major travel path for many folk who live in Arlington and work up airport way. It’s a situation that needs to be corrected in terms of widening the road, but I dread the day they start that, for my 22 minute drive will suddenly & dramatically increase.

Cheers

~KR (28 June 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.1 sec (1/10)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 58 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

The Guardian Friday, Jun 29 2007 

27 June 2007
Guardian

I’ve shown you the English Garden and some of its statues in previous posts; I’ve even taken photos of the fence. But this is the statue that sits on top of the fence at the corner of the road leading to the property. Another grey day in North Texas, I took advantage of a rare rain respite, rolled down my window and took this photo while waiting for the traffic to clear. Their house and gardens are a wonderful gift to the community. They are constantly updating and cleaning and gardening and building. It’s quite marvelous.

Cheers.

~KR (27 June 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 58 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Coloured Glass Friday, Jun 29 2007 

26 June 2007
Coloured Glass

~KR (26 June 2007)

I see this photo Kyle took and am reminded of the wonderful potential experiences as a baby apprentice glass blower, that await me this summer!  The artist who made these lovely pieces in this photo is our beloved gaffer, Shannon Jane Morgan of Girl Glass.

~MB

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.8 sec (4/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Only in Texas Friday, Jun 29 2007 

25 June
Only in Texas

Another day of off-again, on-again torrents at DFW. This is also the day where I finally completed a nearly 6 month exercise in gaining a government issued access badge. The entire process in gaining that badge fills me with wonder; wonder that our government can even function being such an inefficient, poorly-maintained and badly-in-need-of-lubrication machine. Certainly the government is less well cared for than this beautiful bike (and its attendant horn).

Cheers.

~KR (25 June 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1000)
Aperture: f/3.1
Focal Length: 14 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire, auto mode

Gimme an “R” . . . Thursday, Jun 28 2007 

28 June 2007

Gimme a “U” . . . Gimme a “B” . . .

I know —I’m on the Rubbermaid bandwagon, again.  But, it’s packing time, and a last minute trip to a local Lowe’s to buy more Rubbermaid tubs was inevitable.  I decided to leave the truck and trailer attached and ready to boogie, so Kyle took me to Lowe’s when he got home tonight. This time tomorrow, with any luck those five tubbies will be packed and loaded into the trailer, along with a bunch of other stuff. 

My fever seems to be pretty much gone, although the brain-battering cough is getting worse. 

~MB

USA v MEX Thursday, Jun 28 2007 

24 June 2007
USA v MEX
This photo was taken on 24 June 2007. It was a Sunday. I started the morning watching an excellent replay of an Arsenal versus Liverpool match as I prepared mentally to play in my own soccer game that evening. My first game since February. Sometimes it’s important that I watch a football match before actually playing so that I can get in the proper mindset. However, Marita Beth wished also to go to the movies. So, we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean in the early afternoon, a movie that we’d not yet had opportunity to watch. Although funny, it was overly long, overly complex and not nearly as good as the first.
Back to soccer. After watching the movie, we went home, where I watched another football match (Bundesliga, I believe). Using these two football matches and the intervening moving as mental floss, I began to prepare physically for the game ahead. When the time came, we departed with our two dogs in tow. I managed to get to the field without my camera. So even though I only played approximately 20 minutes because of an injury I sustained, I didn’t have opportunity to take a photograph. When we got home, the USA and Mexico game was on the Fox soccer Channel. So, since soccer had played such an important part of my day I decided what the heck. This is a photo I took.
Cheers

~KR (24 June 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.04 sec (1/25)
Aperture: f/3.1
Focal Length: 18.7 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Only One Way to Go: Down Thursday, Jun 28 2007 

23 June 2007
Only One Way to Go - Down
One way to hell.
That’s where we are headed.
I took this photo looking through the driver’s side window of my vehicle as I sat in an interminably long line at a traffic light. The only reason that the traffic was so bad at this particular time is because of all of the hideous construction being done in this area. Why you ask, is there construction? The answer simply is Wal-Mart. Yes, we have another Wal-Mart going in in our neighborhood; an unnecessary beastly burden that we as citizens of Arlington must endure because the City of Arlington council decided this is what was best for us. And apparently the perfectly acceptable divided road wasn’t big enough to accommodate all the Wal-Mart traffic they are anticipating. So, they tore up the nice, green, beautiful median. dividing the four lanes of traffic in two. Now there are six lanes; and no median. I expect accidents.
I have read studies that indicate that the property values of homes and businesses in areas immediately surrounding Wal-Mart began to decrease almost immediately. So, not only are we losing our wonderful green strip of beauty that ran the length of the road and created a safety barrier. But we can also expect that the property values in our neighborhoods are going to plummet.
Cheers
~KR (23 June 2007)

Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/500)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 58 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

102 degrees Thursday, Jun 28 2007 

102 degrees

27 June 2007

Well, the timing sucks on this, that’s for sure:  I’m sick.

I’m feeling considerably better now, but I still have a fever.  Summer cold bugs suck.  And the timing could hardly be worse, with my departure to Bristol at the end of the week.  But, life goes on.

I got the trailer maintenance taken care of—and for less money than I’d expected.  That’s always a nice surprise.  And they even fixed the side door that’s never been quite right, and it’s perfect now.  I highly recommend the folks at C & S Trailer World.  I’ve been a fan of theirs since I bought my first trailer from them years ago (it was my second trailer, so I had a basis of comparison).  They even took the old one as a trade-in.  Then, when I needed the next upgrade, and it was more than I could pay cash for outright—the owner of the company carried the note for a year!  No serious finance charges or anything.  And, I always know I’m in the right type of establishment, when there’s a sign posted that says: 

PRICE * QUALITY * SERVICE . . . . . pick two.  That’s that triangle of business I frequently reference—except it’s usually:  COST * QUALITY * SPEED.  The customer always wants low cost, high quality, and they want it yesterday.  It is an unfortunate reality, that only two of those conditions can really co-exist.  A number of my A Wardrobe In Time customers have learned that I’m sometimes slow—but I’m good!  And I stand behind the quality of my work, so even if my price isn’t the very cheapest, the customer is happy with the value.

I had my camera with me while I was out, but I wasn’t feeling “with it” enough to remember to use it.  Could have had some pretty neat photos of rows of trailers and such.  But, as it was, I got home from that one errand, completely exhausted, and unable to do anything but lay down.  Kyle got home early and forced some acetaminophen into me (why didn’t I think of that?) and a couple of hours later, I was able to get up and eat some toast and watch a movie.  And I was feeling creative enough to decide my photo pretty much had to be the thermometer!  Tomorrow I must work, and pack (between rainstorms) and work and pack some more.  I sure hope this little bug goes away quickly.

~MB

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