Saturday, June 30, 2007

Friday night fun, Saturday evening mellow....

Last night was a blast!
I got out of work early, and headed down to Albuquerque to go to the Gaelic Storm concert at the Zoo. Managed to find my way there, and did a 'park & ride' shuttle bus from the Botanical Garden parking lot. Lots easier than trying to park at the zoo! The lines were huge, but I finally got my ticket and headed in.
The bandshell is nice, and all the seating is lawn-style; bring chairs and blankets. I found a space over by the dance floor, naturally! Got myself a Guinness and a bite to eat, and settled in...for about five minutes. Lots of dancing going on, and I ended up joining in with a group of folks. We got talking, and they turned out to be some of the local pagan community! Now I'm even more glad that I got to go to the concert. We exchanged info, and now I have a connection that I'd been hoping to make. Yay!
After a great show, I treated myself to a snack at the Frontier Restaurant on Central Ave. Awesome place, good food, open 24/7. If I lived in Abq, I think I'd be hanging out there a lot!
Finally got home about 12:30 a.m. and started winding down. Had a lot to think about, including the workings of the universe in my meeting these particular pagans at this particular time. Those who know me best will understand, or at least know to ask me about that privately. :-D

So today, Saturday, I pried myself out of bed with Michael Longcor's song "I Can't Party as Hearty as I Partied when I Partied at 21" running thru my mind... Got up, went into town. Deposited/cashed my FIRST PAYCHECK! It's only a week's worth, but a very nice amount to me. I'm still trying to be economical of course, but it's nice to be making a decent wage at last. It shouldn't take long for me to save up enough to get into a nice place of my own with room for guests :-)
Worked all day, got a lot done, I think. Flutes this week. Bleah. They are so time-consuming! At least now I have the supplies I need to do them. And I should have a bunch of tools that I need coming in this week, too. I've been making do, and I did manage to get some tools at the jewelry supply store, but there are some things I really can't find substitutes for.
Tonight's supper is courtesy of the SF Baking Co. again. A veggieburger and a bowl of tomato cheddar soup. Good stuff.
I'll probably head home soon and curl up with a good book. I got some good ones at the library this week, including one on Mercury retrograde, one on Witchcraft in the Southwest (historical accounts!), a few mysteries and one on Native American lore.

Tomorrow is the 1st, so I'll try to call Matt and see if he wants to join me on a run up to the Mountain Home. I'm off work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday! Wednesday's the 4th, of course, and I'm gonna try to go to the Pancakes on the Plaza event. There's a car show, too, and other activities. Should be fun!

Right now I'm feeling a bit mellow and melancholy. Nothing major, but I sure do miss being able to talk to all my friends more often. With the 2 hour time difference, it's even hard to make phone calls! By the time I get off of work at 6 here, it's already 8 in Indiana. Oh, well. At least there's email! (That's a hint, y'all!)
Off I go. More when I get a chance!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Storms and stuff

Wrote this up last night, Thursday, but didn't get a chance to post till this morning.


Well, last night was certainly interesting! I had a ringside seat for one of the best thunderstorms I’ve seen in ages!
It started about sunset, rolling in from the south-southwest. I was watching it out the windows while I had dinner and started up a DVD. By the time the first disc of movie was done, I decided to take an extended intermission and head outside.
The rain was pretty heavy, so I also put out my bowl to catch some rainwater. There really hadn’t been enough to catch on Litha, so I figured this would make up for it.
The house dog is afraid of lightning, so he had been taken inside shortly before the storm got rolling. Yay! This means I can open up the windows to the porch and let the whole place air out!
So, here I am, sitting on a bench, on the porch. I’m on the side of a nice mountain (remember the pics I showed you?), and Thor is having a field day. Lightning everywhere, and some of it pretty close! It was just one bolt after another, and the thunder from one would overlap into the next rumble. I had grabbed a bottle of Guinness out of the fridge, and just sat back and enjoyed. The temperature was downright chilly after a while, and it felt so good. I laughed and applauded and had a great time. There may be more storms tonight and tomorrow. Sure hope the Gaelic Storm concert tomorrow doesn’t turn into a total washout! (Though if Matti does end up coming with me, I’m sure I wouldn’t mind being caught in a storm….*grin*)
I guess this is the start of what the locals call ‘monsoon season’. Not my idea of a monsoon, of course, but it’s good to get rain. The weather patterns out here are different, naturally, what with the altitude and the terrain. I’m enjoying learning the new sky!
So, yeah, tomorrow night I’m gonna go to Abq for the Gaelic Storm show. It’s at the zoo, so lawn seating. Hence, I’m at the Laundromat washing my furry blanket thing so I have something to sit on tomorrow. There’s food available there, so I may eat at the show, or I may wait till afterward and hit the Frontier Restaurant. We’ll see. Haven’t gotten a call back from Matt, so this is probably gonna be a solo trip. No biggie, I know he’s busy lately. I’ll try calling again tomorrow, just in case he didn’t get the voicemail.

I also got something very neat in the mail yesterday. I had ordered a five-volume set of books: The Kitchen Grimoire. I forget the author’s name, sorry. I got them through the site that took over from the Pagan Kitchen MSN group. The new place is They have good forums, lots of recipes, and a nice bit of a store. Well, the gal who wrote the books had a bit of a crisis going on, and I’d been wanting to get the books anyway, so it seemed like the right time.
Wow, what a collection!! It’s a set of five 3-ring binders, very handsomely done, and the printing/publishing was done by a cookbook company. There are tons of recipes, of course, for food, potions, remedies, toiletries, you name it. There are also pages of lore, astrology tips, ritual and tool ideas, and more. If you’ve got the money to get this, I recommend you look at doing so. With the shipping, it was about 50 bucks for me. Cheaper by the set, of course, but you can also order volumes separately if you wish. There’s enough in there to keep this little bookworm happy for quite a while.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Nice Day Off

Ok, it's Monday, so no work for me today. Lots of errands, and laundry, so at least I'm not bored!
Found a nice laundromat, and did a couple of small loads of washing. Not bad, and had time to call a friend while the clothes were in the washer. Clothes do seem to dry faster out here! Price was reasonable, same as the laundromat I used to use in Elkhart a few years ago.
Next stop, a late lunch and internet at the SF Baking Co. Cafe. Had a wonderful Tofu & Black Bean Burrito with tomatoes, onions, cheese and green chilies. Couldn't finish it, so there's a snack for later! Seriously, this thing was huge.
Next stop is Trader Joe's, since it's right here in the same plaza. Just a few essentials, bread, milk, etc.
A quick stop at the library to trade books and then I think I'm done for the day.
Tomorrow, I'm going to call back a lady I spoke with today about a house for rent out in Pecos. That's only about 10 miles further from where I'm currently staying, so not too far to commute. We'll see. It's worth taking a look at, anyway, even if I decide not to get this one. Housing is expensive out here, no doubt. I think I may talk to my bank people and see what can be done about buying, just to see what budget range I should be looking in. I'm not in a hurry, but the more info I have, the better.
Catch y'all later!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

T. G. I. S.?

Hmmm....this Wednesday thru Sunday schedule is going to take some getting used to. All the fun stuff happens on weekends, of course, but so far it also seems to run the same hours during the day! Guess my social life is going to have to wait till I can figure out what goes on in the evenings!
It's Sunday, I'm at work (12-5, not bad), and it's actually been a bit busy. I'm the only one here on Sundays, so I'm mainly out front dealing with customers. My work day is half over already, and I haven't touched a horn yet! Not complaining, mind you, since I have sold a few things.
....An hour or so later....
Well, that was certainly interesting! I think I just used every bit of Spanish in my brain! Spent a while with a customer talking about saxophones, and ended up selling him a lesson book, care kit and a couple of reeds. I know I didn't understand everything he said, but we managed to have a decent conversation. Boy, do I need that language course on CD soon! Pretty proud of myself, actually, considering that I haven't taken a course in Spanish in "mumble,mumble" years...
Anyway, only 45 minutes to go, so I'd better get off of here and start tidying up!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

First official day at work

My week of 'vacation' is over, and I'm actually glad to be really working now. I did do some more shopping today, but it was a quick run to the Santa Fe Jewelers' Supply store ( for some essential tools and Home Depot for a few other items for work. I'll let you do your own drooling over the jewelry supply store....
Work hours are going to be 10 - 6 Wed-Sat, and 12 - 5 on Sunday, it looks like, but since I'm on salary, I still get paid for a full time week. Wow. Of course, since I have keys, I am permitted to go in early or stay late if needed. There may be a couple of projects where I need to do that, actually, so I appreciate the flexibility!

On a more personal note...I finally got to talk to Matti yesterday! It was just a short phone call, but he actually answered the phone. He's ok, tired as heck, very busy, but doing alright. Insert sigh of relief here... There's also a possibility that he'll go to the Gaelic Storm concert with me on the 29th. We'll see. I think he could use some fun downtime, and I know I could, too.

Tonight's internet connection is courtesy of the Counter Culture Cafe on Baca St. Nice place, decent food, good selection of coffees, pastries, sandwiches, soups and salads. Lots of vegetarian options, too, which is a plus. I am trying to go veggie as much as I can, for health reasons. No more fast food if I can manage to avoid it.

That's about all I can think of for now. Here's a pic for ya:
This is the house that my apartment is in. The corner by the truck is my room.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Getting settled, sort of

Ok, it's been a week since I left Indiana. Time to catch my breath a little bit!
My work schedule has been modified, so I don't truly start my job till Wednesday the 20th. Not a problem. I'll be working Weds. through Sunday, but there's enough flex that I can still arrange to do social things when I find them.
Meanwhile, I've been finding my way around town, and getting used to things. Saturday I was down in Cibola National Forest at one of the campsites, hanging out with some heathen folk from the area. Nice people, very friendly and welcoming. Heck, one of the guys wants to see about getting a yurt (if I can ever get hold of Matt...)!
Found some cool places today. Natural Stones is a store full of just that...crystals and gems and rocks, oh my! There's also another coffeehouse called Counter Culture right by that. Will have to check them out when they're open later, and they also have internet. Bonus! Let's see, what else... Goodwill, of course, and their clearance store (unorganized as heck, but cheap!), I'm sitting in Santa Fe Baking Co. right now, and I found another mall today with the most awesome shop called Heart of the Lotus. More Ganesh and other Hindu figures than even Moonbow can find room for (but you know she'd try)! Wonderful stuff, and the gal who runs it used to live in Indiana! Small planet, huh? They also have an interiors store across town with...Mongolian and Tibetan Furniture!!!! Oh, boy! LOL
Anyway, I'm trying not to spend too much money, but it's nice to have ideas of where neat things are. And these are places that the tourist types won't find, which is even better.
So that's what's up. I wish I didn't have to come into town to get online, but once I get working it'll be part of the routine instead of a special reason to leave the house. But now I have to head home shortly, so I can get myself some dinner and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. More in a day or so!
Oh, let me try this real quick and see if I can get a picture to show up in here. If it works, you should see a pic of the view from my apartment.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Home at last

I've had a day to settle in, so got some pics of my new digs up onto Photobucket.
Take a look. The pics are out of order, naturally. :-( Hopefully the titles will help.

I'm getting address changes made, got my cellphone upgraded (same number, don't worry), and have found Goodwill, Albertson's (cousin of Kroger's), Wal-Mart (not a supercenter, though) and some other useful places. I'm getting better at finding my way around, too.

Still got a lot to do, so this will be a short entry today. Enjoy the pictures!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Da Trip: Made It!!!!

So, here I am in Santa Fe. Wow!

I got into town about 11 a.m., much earlier than I had originally thought I would. The trip went that smoothly, and I am so thankful for all the good juju and energy that got me here.

I did realize this morning that I had lost one of the rainshields on the truck, the gray plastic thing over the top of the window on the driver’s-side back door. No biggie, I can get another one. Frankly, if that’s the only thing to go wrong on the trip, I’m ecstatic!!

Anyway, my first stop was at the DeVargas Center store. Checked in, got my post office box, and better directions to my new digs. I’m not putting my mailing address in the blog, of course, you’ll have to get it from me elsewhere!

I got to the house around noonish. Let me tell you, the views are great, but the “road” that leads up to it is a one-lane, twisting, hairpinned, cliffhanger!!! Makes the road up to the Mountain Home in Chama look like an interstate. Good thing I’m not afraid of heights! The house is amazing. Very nice, and if I were rich, I’d think about buying it (it is for sale, hence I am temporary along with it) if it had more workshop room.

My little room/apartment is so neat. The main room is about 15 ft. square, but two of the corners are clipped, one of them being a fireplace. I think they call it kiva-style, as it is rounded, smooth adobe/stucco finish, with a small arched opening like an old fashioned oven. Very pretty. I will post pics, honestly, but for now, here’s a quick description. Walk in the door, and turn right. The bed comes out at an angle from the next corner (a clipped corner). It’s a full-size, with a wrought metal headboard. Next wall, straight in front of you, is 3 windows, with a wonderful view down the canyon. Left from that is the fireplace corner, then the next wall has 4 windows. It’s almost like having no walls at all, and makes it so much more spacious in feel. Under the 4-window wall is a round table with 2 chairs. Next corner to the left has two small steps up to the bathroom door. More on that in a second. Then the final wall has a large closet with twin folding doors, and finally the kitchenette area. A fridge, small gas stove with oven, a bit of counter and a large sink. Lots of cupboards, thank goodness.
The bathroom is sheer luxury to me! A Jacuzzi tub! There's a separate shower stall, all glass walled. Nice sink with counter space, and cabinets and drawers for my stuff. The kitties are in there for now, till they settle in a bit and hopefully the dog outside won't freak when they show themselves in the window.

Most everything's unpacked, and some things went to the garage for now. I do have my big TV hooked up -Direct TV demands more than a 15 inch screen! The only downside to home is that I don't have internet in my room. We'll see what can be done, but for now I'll just hit hotspots in town.
Right now I am at the SantaFe Baking Co. Cafe. I just got done getting a few things at Trader Joe's. I'm eating a wonderful Mandarin Chicken Salad, drinking herbal iced tea (Red Zinger, I think) and sitting outside. Ahhhhh.............
I do plan to hit Wal-Mart after this, so I can get other essentials, like catfood. Then back to the house.
More tomorrow, but I gotta check email! Bye!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Da Trip: Day Two

The travel is going much smoother than I had anticipated. I am already in Tucumcari, NM!!
Weather was a bit rough at the start, and I drove through some pretty heavy rain while I was still in MO. When I hit the OK line, it cleared right up! A few little squalls in TX, but mostly clear all day. Very nice, especially with construction along the way.
Anyway, I made my lunch stop in OK City, at a Waffle House. Yum. Had lunch "with" Sandy. Ok, she was on the other end of the cell phone, but it was nice to talk instead of text for a while! That was one tank of gas down the road. I figured my second tank would get me to Amarillo, TX. It did, but when I realized that it was only 6:00, and Tucumcari was only a couple of hours further, I decided to push on while the light and weather were good.
There was a wow moment about 12 miles before I hit the NM border. I came up over a ridge, and suddenly this wonderful valley was just laid out before me. The vegetation, mesas, and all just changed radically, and I thought "Now *that* looks right for NM!". Really a neat thing.
As I was getting close to Tucumcari, I started checking signs for hotels and such. I think I'm turning into a New Mexican already....I picked my exit because it had a Lotaburger restaurant. Mmmm.....breakfast burrito with green chiles..... :-D (Had catfish tonight, though. Yummy.)
The kitties are handling the trip fairly well, I think. The hotel (Best Western) is out of pet rooms, unfortunately. I did make a small sacrifice and take the smoking room downstairs instead of the upstairs non-smoking so that I can run out and check on kitties easier. I fed and watered them before taking care of my own dinner. I'm glad tomorrow's drive will be fairly short, and I can let them settle in again. They were both really lovey-dovey last night, and I will be paying them lots of extra attention for a while.
I do owe the kitties an apology, though. I smelled something nasty near Wildorado, TX, and was blaming them till I realized that I was passing a large cattle operation!
It's been kind of neat being able to see parts of old Route 66 from the interstate. Didn't find anything worth pulling over for, but saw neat buildings. Also got to see a huge wind turbine farm in TX. I knew those 3-blade windmills were big, but dang! They are really huge! I tried to snag pics with the phone, but haven't looked at them yet.
According to the maps, I should only have a 3 hour drive ahead of me tomorrow, give or take a bit. Wow. I know the cats will be happy! I will be, too. I mean, I've got my little 'cockpit area' of the truck set up pretty well, and the A/C is a blessing, but...let's just say I'll be glad for more walking around!
Time to unwind now, and get some rest. More tomorrow, I hope!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Da Trip: Day One

I hit the road this morning at about 8 a.m. pretty close to my planned takeoff time. Stopped to get petrol, and then onto the toll road. I took I-55 south through Illinois. The cats eventually settled down, but of them missed the litterbox early on, and I had a nice cleaning job to do tonight!
First side trip was to Blackburn College, in Carlinville, IL. It's about halfway between Springfield, IL and St. Louis, MO. I got my B.A. in Music there in '87. The campus and town have changed, of course, but once I got my bearings it wasn't too bad. I walked around campus, and even ran into a couple of professors I knew, the Buxbaums. She has retired from teaching Spanish, and he's still in the art department. Had a nice chat with both of them. Sorry to say, there is now only a department of 'perfoming arts' and not a music dept. or theater dept. There's not even an instrumental music professor! The college band is mostly community people, and the conductor comes by just for the weekly rehearsal. That was really hard to hear, as I was in so many instrumental and vocal ensembles while I was there. At least they still have choir and the madrigal singers. OH, and I found out that our choir director has retired...and now lives in Albuquerque!! What a small planet! Gonna have to try to look him up once I get settled.
I tried to find lunch in Carlinville, but only the fastfood places were open, so I went down the road to Litchfield. I found the other Jubelt's Bakery & Restaurant! The Carlinville one has since closed, but I used to eat there fairly often. Finally, after 20 years....I got the awesome bread pudding with lemon sauce!!! Ah, life's little pleasures!
Back on the road after lunch, and on through to Missouri. Fairly smooth driving, just a little bit of congestion on a tricky interchange at St. Louis. Managed to avoid the rush hour, thank goodness. I decided to keep driving till the sun got in my eyes, basically, and by that time I was at Springfield, MO. I'd kinda decided earlier that Springfield would be a good goal, and I'm tickled that my estimate was so good.
So I am sitting in the Krystal-Aire Inn & Suites. It's a completely smoke-free hotel, and they allow pets in the rooms! Bonus! My kitties are here in the room with me (under the bed for now, poor things) and have their litterbox and feeding station in the bathroom. I'm so glad I didn't have to leave them in their carrier in the truck. Thank you, dear Bast!
I ordered a Domino's Pizza so that I didn't have to be away from the room. Wanted to stay with kitties, y'know? Besides, now I have snacks for tomorrow. And caffeine. Dr. Pepper is good stuff. Then again, Ghost cat is now noshing on my veggie pizza. Hey, whatever works....I would rather see her eat than go hungry.
According to the online atlas thing, I have about 12 hours of driving ahead of me, or about 830 miles. I do plan to split it up, as I need to arrive in Santa Fe when the store is open, I think. I need to get the apartment key, of course, and it's easier to just go to the store first. On the plus side, that means that I don't have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn! Amarillo, TX is about 8 1/2 hours of driving, so somewhere around there is probably what I'll aim for.
Well, it's only 9:30 here, but my body says it's 10:30, and I'm tired. Time to clean up and unwind for bed. More tomorrow!
Thanks everyone for all the good juju, energy and support!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

At last... Already.... It's time to go....

Well, folks, it's time.
Tomorrow morning I'll tuck the last few things into the truck and head off to New Mexico.
I don't mind telling y'all that I am scared shitless! I'm also excited, nervous, happy, sad, and anxious all at once. This is the biggest move and leap of faith that I've ever made.
Honestly, I could never have done this without the love and support of all my dear friends. I've been living in Indiana for 17 years....nearly all of my adult life. This area, and the people in it, have shaped who I am. It wasn't all good times, that's for damned sure. Matter of fact, some of it was hellishly bad. But I survived, and now I have a chance to do more than just survive.
It's hard to single out the people who are most important in my life right now. These last few days have really made me aware of just how much my friends value me. It's humbling. I'm not used to it, and I've always had difficulty believing that I'm worthy of praise, love, etc. (Been working on that, honestly.) Anyway, I have tried to let the most important ones know how much I value them. Then again, it's good to do that whenever possible, not just when major changes are happening!
I do know that without the love and friendship of certain people I would never have been able to make a move like this. Heck, if it weren't for one dear friend of mine I probably would still be stuck in a hell of my own making. When we met, I was in a very unhealthy relationship, and had nearly lost my self and soul. I didn't think I could do any better. There was no light at the end of the tunnel - I couldn't even see that I was in a tunnel, I was that numb and dead. That was a little over four years ago. And now, that friend has told me that he is proud of me. I can't even put into words how deeply that has touched me. I think he understands, though, and that's what really matters.
My 'family of the heart' is a unique bunch, and there are those who I am honored to call sisters and brothers. If I mentioned them all, this blog would be way too long for anyone to read! But I have to mention one who has been 'Mom' and 'Sis' to me so much that her blood family has pretty much adopted me. She was the latest catalyst for these changes, and it was her family in New Mexico that we were visiting when I found my new job. Funny, we always thought she'd move back out there first! Strange how the universe works...
Anyway, I'll be making my best effort to stop at places that have internet access so that I can post blogs on the way. I hope I will not be too tired! Traveling with two cats is going to be very interesting, I'm sure.
I have pb&j makings for lunches, and money enough for gas, tolls, food, motels, etc. I'm gonna follow old Route 66 from the interstates, and will be making stops at interesting sites I may find. I do plan to stop at my old college (Blackburn College, Carlinville, IL) and see how much it's changed. I haven't been back there in 20 years, since I graduated! I'm going to enjoy the trip as much as I can, and make it a time to relax and get my mind wrapped around all the things that are happening.
That's all for now, hopefully more tomorrow!