Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
I may get some tape and tape the Christmas stocking I was given last year on the wall above my table again. That will be the extent of my decorating. I have to work tomorrow, but it will be slow. Sometime next week hopefully my presents to myself will arrive in the mail. When they do I'll show them here.
December has been a nice, slow month. I am starting to feel the stirrings of plans starting to be made in the depths of my mind. Still unsure what I want from this point on. Life down here is definitely easy. I would like to get back to the States, but even that is difficult to get fired up enough to do the things I need to do to get there. Maybe while it is slow tomorrow I'll work on shining the resume and posting it to some sites just to see what looks back at me.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
I just got the first electric bill from the house in the US in awhile. $94 for less than 2 weeks. $60 of it charges for things other than electricity. Ok, so I get the $45 turn on fee. And I remember the almost $4 fuel surcharge. What is an almost $12 'customer charge'? I have to pay them extra because I'm one of their customers? I really don't want to own real estate again. I haven't heard much from anyone up there. The realtor had someone who was supposed to go give me an estimate on how much to get codes off my tail so we can list the house for sale. I'm thinking we could list it now, but I think the realtor doesn't want her name officially linked to the place right now. The codes lady tends to tell her how close to having a warrant put out for someone's arrest due to the codes violations we've come in all this. See the place 'as is' and I'll take the hit. Oh, well.
My plan for the Holidays is to knit my sweater. Remember the sweater? I'm making some slow progress. Like the rest of my life. Slow. But it is progress.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
I turned electricity on at the house in Nashville, talked to the codes folks who had been pretty much forced to condemn the front deck, and am moving along on the process of getting the house sold. That will impact the total debt free part. If I have to put mega bucks into the house to sell it (an oxymoron) I may not pay off the Jeep next month. Whatever, it is almost a done deal which ever way it goes.
No big decisions. I am trying to pace myself. I don't want to get too excited about being 'debt free' till I actually get there. For now, life down here is pretty easy.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
And, I have a report that the tenant is gone from my house and it doesn't look from the outside as if they did any damage. Woo Hoo!!!
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
This is a new-to-me listing of free offerings. I haven't explored them yet. The class on discrete probability was recommended in the forums of my current class. I'm bookmarking this. The Web Applications section looks like something I need to go through to do if I want to really do my own web-based blog.
The rest of my life is going ok. Got the apartment cleaned up. I have a 3 day weekend coming up for Veterans Day. I'm not traveling any until after the end of the year. Instead I'm doing on-line classes. :) What the heck, they are free and it keeps me out of trouble and away from the on-line shopping.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Friday, October 05, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
No pictures of the hammock actually finished and hanging. It really never was fully stretched out once it was finished. It is in the back seat of my car rolled up. I had a going away party for one of the good soldiers, one I'll really miss, and I needed to get going as soon as I got the hammock finished. Earlier in the day I had said good by to one of the soldiers that had been down here for a year that I had worked with back at Ft. Lewis. Yesterday was a day of turning the page...
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
I am finally finishing The Hammock. I finished the weaving tonight. I need to neaten up the long ends where I joined the lengths of yarn and tie on the ends temporarily. Then it can come off the support poles where it has lived for (sigh) 15 months. I have had some strange reluctance to finishing it. I am pushing through while I still have all the energy from being back in the States.
Which brings up the fact that while up in the States I didn't have the half sleep-walking lack of energy I am constantly plagued with down here. I also didn't have the fluctuations in being too hot to being chilled to back to too hot that I do here. Then again, the temperature here hovers right around 'comfortable' so it doesn't take a lot to swing things either way. At least for me. I brought back a trunk load of vitamins and supplements. We'll see if they help.
I still need to unpack the luggage. I've caught up with my sleep. I need to see how much damage I did to myself financially (a lot...) and make a new plan. Seems that I have run off the end of the last plan which was to just maintain status quo until I get back from vacation. I'm back.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
I stopped by the storage unit yesterday afternoon, but it was too hot to do much. I've let this morning get away from me as well. I am meeting my Uncle at one of the casinos for lunch in a few hours, then I may go for a walk and then go to the storage unit (hopefully as it is getting cooler) and start putting the shelving units together. I got a couple of items out of the unit yesterday, but it was raining hard when I got back home so they are still out in the Jeep. One of them is my older laptop that stays here, and I want to do a health check on it and may take it back and put Ubuntu on it to play with.
I really need to get rid of most of this stuff, as I'm tired of dealing with all of it. However, when I go into the storage unit I don't see 'anything' that I 'want' to get rid of. sigh.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
It is funny, as I heading out I'm thinking how much I like it down here. I always do that. I didn't like Washington State until less than 48 hours before I left. This time I will be back in 2 weeks, and I'm sure I will be back to feeling sorry for myself that I'm not back in the States.
Unless I post during the trip, my next post will be from someplace in the US.
Edited to add: Just for fun I took one of my pictures from the park above Tegucigalpa and made it a header picture. Hopefully I'll get some more of my pictures off the camera and into some editing software. The one above is 'as is' from the camera.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Steps happening to get my resume out there. I need to compose a nice generic cover letter. I don't have the energy. It will work out.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
I've had a bit of a idealistic setback. I was attempting to lower my meat and dairy consumption. As well as my wheat and sugar consumption. Trouble is, I don't eat much in the way of veggies or fruits. If you are following that, it means that my food intake wasn't much, and cheating was fig newtons and coffee. Amazingly, despite my good intentions in limiting all of the above I was feeling less and less well. So, I'm back to eating meat, still limiting wheat and sugar, eating a lot of nuts and feeling a bit better. Also I'm still losing a bit of weight, which is good. I don't care how much I say 'well, I guess I really do look and feel better at 130' the truth is I would prefer to be below 120. So far the closest I've come is 124 while clothed. I'm not eating to lose weight primarily, but I am enjoying that I'm losing. It keeps me away from the worst sugar. Except fig newtons.
Monday, July 16, 2012
One of my issues is that I don't really post much about work, and I don't want to post a lot about the area where I live. This is a small country, and it wouldn't be difficult for someone to figure out who I am in real life. Is that a problem? I don't know. So, I keep very quiet about a lot of the details of life down here. Maybe once I leave I'll post some of the pictures.
Also, it is just not safe to wander around down here with a camera out. The vast majority of the time it would be fine. I don't want that one time someone would decide they needed my camera/cell phone/money and id's to make me feel even more afraid. This isn't a vacation, I'm living here and out and about every day. This fear of getting out and doing things is one reason I'm so bored now. It is good in that it is making me do the necessary things to move on.
If I don't post much, and if I am even more boring than usual when I do, that's why.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I have new neighbors in one of the upstairs apartments. A family, with 2 kids. Until now, this place was kid-free, and I'm not so much a kid friendly person. I do ok in small doses when I can hand the kids back. The energy level around here has stepped up, as has the foot traffic in and out to the street. These are not good things for me. I am looking to move, after I give them a few more days to settle in. I may have already lost the neighbor upstairs who was a single man who speaks English. I haven't seen him since the family moved in. That makes 2 steps backwards as far as I'm concerned.
One reason that posts have dropped off from me is that blogs are now blocked at work. I used to be able to take a few minutes and blather away here when things were slow. I may try posting via email again to see how it works.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Nothing special going on to write about. I'm working late shift today to cover a co-worker's vacation day. Paying bills - I get paid once a month on the 1st, or the 2nd this month - and budgeting so that I make it the rest of the way to the end of the pay period. It really is a lot easier to do that now that the vast majority of the debt is going away. I do need to contact the Realtor to see if the eviction letter went out to my tenant. I'll be glad when that house and it's debt are gone. I am blessed, though, I know, to be able to carry the low payment while this is all going down. A lot of folks ended up in much worse places financially than I with houses that wouldn't sell.
Think I'll spend the evening part of my shift looking for more places to send my resume. I'm out of touch with what is going on in the States as far as the job situation. Others say it is difficult to get a job even in Military contracting right now in the States. May need to widen my search. I want some place that I have more options in things to do, or at least a lot more money so I can save to not need a job. :)
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Still sending out resumes. No bites so far. This is how it works. When it happens I will have just a few weeks to get everything set up to move from here to there. Wherever 'there' turns out to be.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
No bites from any of the jobs I've applied for. So, I have avoided needing to make a decision. It's all good. I'm doing little baby steps, hanging on for the weekend. I'm reading MrMoneyMustache.com, started at the first blog post and reading all the comments as well. I'm not caught up to the present yet. It is keeping me from splurging. Well, other than for the wine. I haven't been knitting as the sweater is large enough now that it is hot to work on. Who'd a thunk, a 100% wool sweater, summer in Honduras, and hot. sigh. May start a pair of socks in the meantime.
Only 9 weeks till I go home for vacation. Not that I'm counting...
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I did go to the link on the induction cooktops. I even called to order the buy one, get one for S&H, with a cooking kit thrown in for S&H. So, it came out this way, $100 for one induction cooktop, with $29.xx S&H, for $130. Add in the free one for another $30 S&H (may have been a couple of dollars cheaper, like maybe $26), so we are up to around $160. The nice cook kit of 2 skillets and a pot with steamer, etc. was included with only S&H, but that was $70 or maybe $59, and I've rounded up twice. At any rate, we are up over $200 now, and that is only 1 cook kit, which they imply you can get two kits and you can for an extra S&H. So, at almost $300 for what I originally thought would be less than $150 (way less!), I decided not to bite. One of the benefits of a propane stove is that I can cook when the electricity is off, which happens often here. No, I haven't ordered that, either.
I'm working on eating right and keeping my money expenditures down and just putting one foot in front of the other. Time is going by way fast so it will be September soon. I also sent out 5 resumes for jobs in the US today. Murphy being what he is I may end up with a return ticket I don't use. But, Murphy being what he is, it wouldn't work out even that well.
DD, I'm glad your wife enjoyed the links I posted, and I'm touched she reads my blog. Gypsy, I don't know if going home will make being back here worse. I just know I need a break.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
I got my bamboo knitting needles from http://www.eknittingneedles.com/ just as they said I would. I haven't knit with them as I'm still working on the sweater, but I really like them. I also got the yarn to finish the sweater that I ordered from http://www.knitting-warehouse.com/index.html and it was just as advertised as well. Both places shipped to my APO box, which some places on-line won't. That is especially appreciated. So, I can endorse both places. No affiliate links or anything, just a satisfied customer. :)
I think my microwave died finally this weekend. My $15 Goodwill microwave that I've had for at least 3 years. Wish there was a Goodwill down here to get another used one, but I'll spend at least $80 at the PX tomorrow. At the moment it is the only way to 'cook'. I now need to actually order a propane 2 burner car-camping stove to use as my stove top. I keep putting it off for some reason. However, I've been relegated to peanut butter sandwiches all weekend as my only real food with no way to warm things up.
Other than commenting on my (lack of) housework lately, that is all that is going on. I'll just say that with the windows open because of no air conditioning the floors get really dirty. I have white tile on all the floors, and I have to sweep/mop every week, and I get up so much dirt when I sweep. Heck, I never did vacuum my carpets this much before! Then again, this is a really dusty country.
Monday, June 04, 2012
Sunday, June 03, 2012
First large payment on the last credit card. I want to count the days till it's paid off, but I stop. Too much can go too wrong, it has before. Among those things is the house. The new realtor has gotten some rental money out of the tenants, not enough for them to be current. They are working to get financing to buy the place. Once that is determined, either the current tenants buy it (WOO HOO) or they are evicted. We pick up the pieces from that and sell that sucker. This realtor makes things happen. I'm optimistic on the eventual outcome. However, I may need to put a lot of money that direction to make it happen. That probably won't affect my leave date, but may affect the date that everything is paid off and how soon I need to find a new job once I'm back in the States.
All other plans from that point on are castles in the air. I'm working, as Henry David Thoreau said, to put foundations under them.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
This is the pila on the roof of my apartment building. It is how locals do laundry, more or less.
This is the side where the piece of laundry goes to be scrubbed.
This part in the middle is where the clean water is dipped from. The drain on the side scrubbing area does not empty back in to here.
This is the clothes line that my landlord put up for me. The only issue that the sun is so bright I hate to use it for very long at a time. The good thing is that it is hot enough here that clothes dry really fast.
This is the back of the apartment building showing the creek that runs next to the building.
In my Traveling Light post I said that I pulled everything out and took pictures to show what I was traveling with in my carry on. Here it is:
Some more detailed shots:
The brown/black top has a matching skirt laying above it, along with the broomstick skirt. Most of the stuff in this picture I ordered from http://magicscarf.com/ . I ordered enough from them to be a wholesaler, and the vast majority of the stuff I have been really happy with. It is light weight, crushable, packable, and fits the climate down here. Your mileage may vary, and while I'm about to send in a second order I am not really interested in jumping the the necessary hoops to actually try to make any money. If you see something you really like, maybe I can give you more information. That's the extent of my 'sales' efforts.
The jeans and polo I wore down on Friday after work. Everything I had with me except the jeans would dry overnight after being washed and hung up in the shower. Jeans are problematical to travel with as they are so comfortable but take up room and don't dry. If I was going on a longer trip I would instead take a second pair of yoga pants to lounge in the room and/or work out in. It's also good to have a slip on in the dark OMG the fire alarm is going off I need to get out of here solution. Yoga pants and a sarong/shawl fit that for me. The sarong is in the baggie and is always with me, so much so I forgot to list it before. It is a towel/beach blanket/swimsuit coverup/extra carrying bag (folded) and just all around thing to have.
My ScotteVest with the 17 or 20 or whatever pockets inside. A bit hot down here, but worth it when I'm out and about in the city. Pretty much the only way I'll carry a camera on me while out down here.
Things I didn't mention that I would also take with me if on a longer trip are my flexible clothesline and my inflatable hangers. I use my inflatable hangers almost every day here as I do my laundry by hand (more or less...) and hang things to dry. Deflated they take no room, weigh nothing, and inflate to useable hangers. I got the idea for them from: http://www.onebag.com/ and I bought them here:
As for a towel, you can buy the pricy synthetic chamois stuff from Magellans or REI or whatever, but you can also go to the automotive department and get a nice large one for less than $5 (at least the last time I looked) that is not dyed (good for wringing out laundry). Just look for the one to dry off a car.
This post is long enough. I'll do more pictures later on the pila, the in house laundry solution down here.
ps: Forgot the picture of it all packed in the 3 gal ziplocks:
Saturday, May 12, 2012
"About a year and a half ago I looked at the ladder of progress I was climbing and realized a few things. First of all, I was not really climbing anymore. I was at a standstill. A post on a message board I hang on talked about how you can't steer a stationery ship, so even a move in the wrong direction is an improvement. I also realized that one reason I was at a standstill was that the ladder was leaning on the wrong wall. It wasn't going anyplace I really wanted to go after all. So, it was time to make a change. I certainly didn't think it would take this long. It was a very deep and comfortable rut I had to blast myself out of. Now that the ship is moving, it is time to start steering it again."
So, over 5 years later I'm still looking for the right wall. But, at least I have some clearer notion of what wall I'm looking to climb. And the places I've steered my ship to and around have been an interesting trip so far.
This is what can happen while copying off an old blog to save.
Who knows, I may even post some of the pictures I've been taking. I also cleaned out my daypack. I'll do a post of what I carry with me on a daily basis, since my Traveling Light post said I had that pack 'with what I normally have with me', which wasn't very enlightening. I also had way too much other stuff in there, it had gotten heavy!
I have reached a bit of a milestone in my quest to use up consumables around here. I finally, after many years, used up all of my stashes of moisturizer. Face stuff, anyway, don't ask me about body lotion... I had a lot of 'free gift' samples and various attempts to get that youthful look, pretty much all of it Lancome as that is all I've used for about 15 years. I finally exhausted it all, and am on a newly bought bottle of the stuff. Now about makeup, which I don't wear, that is another problem. I have a lot of lipsticks and eyeshadow and such stuff. Mostly from those free gifts. I don't wear much at all at any time, and the vast majority of the time I don't wear any. However, pretty much all of it has been used at least once, so it isn't sterile or anything anymore to give away. Well, at least to strangers. I hate to toss it. sigh. The decluttering goes on.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Progress is slow but steady on the hammock, as I promise myself to do at least 2 rows a day on it. I figure around 40 rows left. I did 4 yesterday. I am knitting the sweater the same way, at least 2 rows every day, and yesterday I did 4. Same with washing laundry and ironing. 2 days' worth of laundry every night until I catch up, again. I did some ironing this morning already. I'm also wearing clothes that don't need ironing as much as possible.
So, small steps. I'm hoping at some point I'll get a window of time and energy to build on that progress and make a large leap on some front.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Another one bites the dust
Another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust"
Third credit card of 4 paid off today. A year and a month after the last one. Geeze, hope this last one doesn't take that long. Plan A is to have that card and the truck paid off by the end of the year.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
I wore jeans and a comfortable polo shirt down here from work with tennis shoes. I had some black yoga pants and a new pair of black nylon hiking pants and a light brown broomstick skirt, and a reversible brown/black long skirt for my bottom half. I have a reversible brown/black top, a very light leopard print, cap sleeve top, a blue/black/pink print cap sleeve top, a reversible red/black sleeveless top, and 2 t-shirts. Underclothes and toiletries, a couple of belts, a pair of water sandels and some nice black slip on shoes to wear with the skirts a pair of black tights and black light weight tank top and a swimsuit. Oh, and my knitting.
In my day pack I have what I usually carry (includes a small flashlight and travel size of most stuff I use as well as some plastic eating utensils) and my netbook with my USB wireless stick. I wear my ScotteVest travel vest with all it's inside pockets when I'm out and about so that any money/camera/ids/cell phone are on me but not hanging off me.
I pack the carry on stuff in a couple of 3 gal. ziplock bags, toiletries in a gallon bag. It all fits with room to spare. On other trips I had wished for a pair of black pants and a t-shirt, just for when I decide to dress comfortable rather than dressy. The two skirts are because I couldn't decide which one, and since I didn't wear either the jury is still out. Ah well, more trips for testing are necessary.
Yes, I laid it all out on the bed and took pictures. You know how I am with posting pictures.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
I'm looking for a replacement for Google on all fronts. I use dogpile.com as my search engine. I don't know that they mask my personal search history from Google, but they also search a few other engines at the same time. I have my email accounts set up on Mail.com and Zoho.com, just need to start moving my traffic over there.
Moving my blog is taking a bit more research. I've gandered at Wordpress and Typepad. I've also started looking at opensource software to load onto an old website that I only use for the email address currently. I pay $30/mo just to have my domain and website sitting there, I should get back to using it. I say I'm a geek. This shouldn't be rocket science. So, any geeks out there have any suggestions?
I started copying my old LiveJournal blog into a LibreOffice document (opensource version of office suite software, which is free...), and am back to sometime in 2009 so far. I need to clean it up and actually copy the pictures into the document instead of the links to PhotoBucket that I use online. I stopped using LiveJournal because I had to pay $25/year to keep advertising off it. That is one thing I wouldn't have to worry about if I host it myself.
Sweater is coming along. I looked up and can get another skein of yarn to match the main color if I run too close. It's more expensive to order from Lion Brand directly than it was to buy it form (I think) Hobby Lobby, but I can get it at least. I'm finding all kinds of fun video tutorials on YouTube. I want to make socks and tailored sweaters with no seaming, and all that fun stuff. The hammock is another story. I am still needing to finish it. I guess my enthusiasm is just gone on that one. Then again, I'm still carting around a really pretty angora sweater that I started in high school (maybe jr. high?) that just needs the side seams sewn on it. 40 years. Yeah. The yarn I'm making up into afghans and baby stuff is also from at least that long ago. I'll get it all finished at some point.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 05, 2012
I had decided that my next post had to be the pictures I took of the pila (I asked about the spelling) up on the roof. I haven't pulled of the pictures from the camera yet, and so I kept not posting about anything else. So, the pictures will get posted when they get posted. I do have my desktop computer set up now, and I prefer to work on it with it's larger monitor when I'm dealing with pictures and video. I guess I do better with short, random posts than trying to actually tell a story of life down here.
I have been working on knitting the sweater. I had decided to rip out to near the start, if not start over completely, because my knitting is so uneven since I'm learning a whole different way to hold the yarn. However, I again reconsidered, and am continuing on. Basically, my gauge is still uneven so I'll just use this sweater for wearing around the house and getting more comfortable with knitting Continental style. Once it is done I'll order some really nice yarn and make a nice version.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I had to lay the fridge on its side to transport it home, so it is sitting for the required 24 hrs before actually turning it on. I'm excited that I may have cold water to drink and can cook and have a place to put leftovers that they won't spoil. I could even get beer to offer guests. Although I may have foiled that one already. Who knew that when I offered to have a guy over for dinner downstairs at the restaurant (in the hotel at the time), and up to my place to play video games on my wii, that he would be surprised that I actually meant we would play video games on the wii. I say what I mean, I can't help it if others read more into it... sigh... there is a reason I'm single. Turns out he really wasn't all that interested in video bowling after all. That and the fact that I only had coffee mugs to drink the wine out of. And no beer as an alternative. Yeah, I don't entertain often. I did go buy some wine glasses.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Work is busy, and I go home and don't do much. I did get the living room all cleaned and arranged last weekend. Pictures one of these days, really. My landlord hung some clotheslines up on the roof for me, so I started catching up my backload of laundry. I'll do pictures of the roof laundry suite at some point. Paging Ms. Belinda: there is something called a pela (pronounced pay-la, so guessing on the spelling). Is that a usual laundry thing in Central America, or is it possibly a Honduran thing. Again, I'll do pictures. Really.
The fan is making nights liveable, temperature wise now as well as making nice white noise. It is starting to warm up, but the mornings are still cool. No rain yet, but it should start raining in the afternoon/evenings in a month or so.
This is just a check-in to say that I'm still here. Oh, and I'm finally one of the cool kids. My blog has started to get spam. It's mostly on the older posts, and the Blogger spam-catcher has caught all of them.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Saturday morning I realized after my coffee and internet time that I should get a shower and get dressed as my landlord had said we would go get my internet that day. The neighbor upstairs had left a note in English on my door telling me the costs, but I didn't have enough lempira to get it done this weekend. I was showered and dressed when he and a young lady who speaks excellent English showed up. I told them my problem, I had dollars but not lempira. He said he would change it for me. She worked out the exchange rate, and off we went to Cable Color in his car. I asked when it would be installed, since I'm working late shift next week. He said at 3pm that day. Wow.
I came home and took stock of the situation. I had decided I wanted the internet in my bedroom, the one that currently held the majority of my stuff in tubs and boxes, as well as my bed stuffed into the last remaining space. So, I decided to mop the mostly empty other bedroom to start moving all that stuff in there. In the meantime, my landlord is working on the water drip in that bathroom, and has brought his 10yo grandson with him, who is wandering around in all the rooms of the apartment saying, you have a lot of stuff. Not only is his English excellent at 10 yo, he sees me for the hoarder I am. sigh.
The upshot is that my landlord cannot fix the drip himself, so he goes to get someone else. While he's gone I finish mopping most of the room, put the fan on to dry it and call that room good. I'm in the bedroom trying to come up with a plan to move all the stuff that was too heavy for me to lift while I was moving in. From the bathroom where the two men have been working and talking I hear a rush of water. They took the connection apart without turning the water off first. My almost dry floor is now flooded with water. sigh. They get the water turned off and work some more while I mop up the water. I want to cry because I still have a lot of work to do before 3pm, and it's now noon, but I was afraid that would add even more water to the situation. They finally leave saying they will be back on Monday. I get the room dried out and it is now completely mopped, as is that bathroom.
Over the course of the afternoon I do end up getting the majority of the stuff moved from one room to the other, thanks to my small 2 wheel cart. I then find the cable connection in the room I want and clear stuff away from it and mop that section. I sit down to rest, noting that I have an hour to get the last of the things moved out, and here comes my landlord with the cable guy. sigh. Who ever heard of a cable guy doing an installation on the SAME DAY as sign up and showing up AN HOUR EARLY???
After about a hour of looking in the ceiling for the correct cable (no TV, just internet?) and talking to the office, I sit down to test it with my netbook. Literally as soon as I made connection, my Mom called me on Skype. I answered, and the guys were happy and amazed I could see my Mom on the internet. Everyone waved hello across the interwebs, and I saw them out and had a nice fast connection to talk on Skype. This seems faster than the connection I had at the hotel, and it's cheaper by a little. Not quite $100/mo, and I still have the backup TIGO stick usb as a backup for $25/mo.
I got the bedroom all arranged now, mopped and everything. I put the fan pointing directly to the bed, and I was able to close my window. Nice, white noise. I slept like a baby all night. First time in Honduras, I think.
Today I'm taking the military bus to the capital. I'm looking for curtains and something to put in the shower to hold the soap and shampoo. I still haven't finished mopping the living room.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
A few months after I got here one guy came who is vegetarian. He got that restaurant to where they now realize that some of us don't want meat. Then another guy came here who is also vegetarian. It is now easy to get meals without meat and the locals don't look at me like I'm nuts.
I try to stay away from high calorie food now because I ballooned up 20 lbs when I got here. I have lost most of it, but I try to be careful. I also havn't had a physical in several years, and I don't want to have my cholesterol test come back high when I do end up getting one. So, I'm looking at cutting down on meat. My two co-workers are an inspiration. I can make the excuse that there really isn't a lot of choice in foods down here, not like in the States. I can make a lot of excuses. The dining facility food is a lot of choices in meat and starch and they always have several deserts. I don't have a 'real' kitchen to cook for myself.
Then yesterday I was out with one of the vegetarian co-workers. We went to Chilli's and he was talking about his choices. A lot of times he ends up with an veggie dip of some kind and fries. He got the nachos at lunch yesterday. And he was ok with all that. Makes it kind of difficult to look at my excuses when he just goes and does the whole veggie thing, making whatever consession necessary, except to give in to meat.
So, today I had the chicken and rice, and bean burito for lunch. I'll start with no red meat. I've gone 2 days without it so far. If I think it's 'too hard', all I have to do is look at my 2 co-workers who have managed just fine for a year down here without eating meat of any kind. Getting healthier is not something that would be nice to do, it is something that I have to do in order to have the life I want. No excuses.
Yesterday I went to the PX and bought a window fan. It is thinner and lighter than the monster window fans I've had for years (which may or may not still be in storage somewhere...). I like it a lot. I plugged it in and it makes nice white noise. After that success, I decided that before bed I would tackle dipping the standing water out of the shower. I got most of it out, dumping it into the toilet, and so I flushed the toilet. The drain then started draining. So, verifiying it again this morning, to drain the shower I have to flush the toilet after the water is standing in the shower floor. I had to flush twice this morning for it to totally drain. Maybe an air vacuume thing or whatever. As long as I can make it work I'm good.
No standing water in the shower, and nice white noise along with cooler temperatures meant I got a good night's sleep. Life is good.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
I turned in the high dollar (relatively) rental car, and rented another one from one of the local (when I say local, it means Honduran) guys on our contract that is cheaper per month. Not as nice a car, but the air conditioning works. When I turned in the original car I mentioned that the air conditioning worked Friday night and Monday morning, but not on Saturday during the day when I needed it. She shrugged and said that yes, when it gets hot it stops working. Ummm. That's when I just say to myself, this is Honduras.
I went to the PX and only bought a mop and broom and bread and some new sponges. With all the wiping down I need to do I figured I need more sponges. Once I take the top layer of dirt off I'll switch to them. The apartment isn't filthy, just a layer of dust on everything. This is a dusty country. I got home and there was a truck (upstairs neighbors) parked in my secure parking area. I called the landlord, and they got the neighbor and we worked out a system. Both cars fit, one in front of the other. So, we will work it out. They speak English and are engineers who are working on projects here on post. The landlord looked at the water leak, and decided it is one of the connections to the faucet on the sink. He says he will have it fixed by Saturday.
I fixed a peanut butter sandwich, got my laptop with my TIGO stick and sat my tail in my recliner and didn't move all evening after all that. Just as I turned off the computer and was trying to decide if I wanted to fix myself some tea using my hot pot, the electricity went off. My first thought was No Stereo Tonight!!! The cloudy and breezy evening meant it was cool in the house. So, I took advantage of all of that and went to bed and had a good night. The cooler temps even seemed to quiet the frogs (which I've been told are actually toads...).
This morning I locked the door to my bedroom in case workers were in the apartment. One thing about down here, there are plenty of locks on everything. I struggled with the gate for several minutes trying to get it unlocked to get my car out of the garage. I was late to post so I didn't get breakfast. I'm waiting for it to be delivered now from one of the local restaurants here on post. So, I'm settling in and getting a new routine. I need more curtains and trash cans and food and such. They don't have any dorm fridges at the PX right now, so no fridge until I get help finding one in town. It will all come together.
I guess I need to post more often to avoid these long diatribes.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
I don't have air conditioning here at this apartment. I am (was?) hoping that the slightly higher elevation would make up for that. Well, I tend to be an optimist like that. Fans will help. Nice white noise.
Still cleaning and unpacking. So far I've been able to find everything I've looked for. And while I'm a fan of small housing and RVs, and lurk on sites about minimalism and simple living and all that, it is a kick to have several rooms to wander around in. And closets to stash things out of site. Open spaces , smooth tile. I like it. Maybe I can get some of the noise cancelling earphones and plug them into my alarm clock so I can hear that in the mornings. Those and some ceiling fans. I'm figuring that as soon as I get all nice and settled in with what I need to be comfortable here, Murphy will find me moving someplace else.
Hey, the drum recital ended. I can still hear music but it is soft enough to be just part of the neighborhood sounds. I may get used to this place yet.
After a couple of cups of coffee and some Alive I had a better mood going on, so I started cleaning. I have a water leak in the bathroom off the room I had set up as my bedroom. After further investigation, I'm thinking that the shower leaks out the side. So, for the noise and water reasons I'm going to move into the other bedroom. This will take awhile as all my big boxes and tubs of stuff are in there now.
With no air conditioning I move slow. There has been a breeze all day so far, so it isn't bad, but it contributes to me being lazy. I've cleared out the living room, which is in the front of the apartment. It needs to be swept and mopped, but is otherwise done. Even hung curtains at the front window so my neighbors can't see in. I'm skipping over the dining area for now, and have slowly started to scrub the kitchen. I heard a gecko chirping last night, so I've decided that the droppings I've seen are from the gecko and not mice. Until otherwise proven, that's my story. Geckos don't get into stuff and chew, so protecting my food and dishes from them is easier. I will keep everything in plastic or glass containers anyway.
My feet are dirty because I go barefoot in the house, and the floor has cement dust on it (I guess that's what it is) from this place being remodeled. Everything is cement and tile here. Going barefoot is what showed me the water leaking across the floor. So, I'll take a shower in the other bathroom this evening before going to bed. Depending on how much I toss and turn and sweat, I may become a two shower a day person.
And that's all the news from here.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
No picture of me drinking wine on the roof yet. Maybe coffee tomorrow morning. I'm too tired to go back up there tonight. I'm coming down off a week-long anxiety attack. I'm going to put up my bed and take a nap.
Friday, March 02, 2012
I'm scared about tomorrow's move as well. Scared that I won't be able to find the apartment. Scared that no one will show up. Scared that they will, and I won't be able to communicate with them.
The reality is that I will be able to find things, I have a bilingual friend showing up, and if all else goes wrong, there is no reason I can't stay another week or so, keep the rental car, and move myself slowly. All it takes down here, all anything (and I do mean anything) takes down here, is money. And the cost is in my budget for the short term, anyway.
This is a largish chasm. I'm stepping off in a half-hour. That glass of wine is what's on the other side.
I have a car rented. It's nice. I may end up wanting to rent a car for the time I'm here. I have to check out the parking situation. Probably that will mean its a no go since I need secure parking to have one. The car is for tonight and the move tomorrow, and I'll turn it in tomorrow afternoon. Did I mention I'm a basket case? I'm had an anxiety attack most of the day. Just a lot of things down here that are out of my control. This is also an exercise is how I really, really need to get rid of a lot of stuff.
The vision of a glass of wine on the rooftop tomorrow evening is keeping me going.
Thursday, March 01, 2012
The original movers weren't available, but my co-worker has found 3 more, and the corporate admin here found me a guy with a 'big truck'. Not sure what that exactly means, but my co-worker will be there with his pickup as well.
As I said, it's non-linear.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
When I got to the gate the alternate driver was there, who I also trust. He is the 'boss' I think of my usual driver. While we were in the gatehouse we took advantage of the bilingual guard to talk. I asked if my usual drive would be able to continue 'if' I was to move to the other town. His boss said yes. I did a happy dance, which made the guard and driver both laugh. On the way home via cell phone and Spanglish, a price for the new drive was agreed upon. So, I will have my safe ride to and from work still. This is a big deal. Especially after dark on lonely roads down here.
I'll be paying a lot more than I could arrange for transportation back and forth. However, my driver is ALWAYS where he says he will be. That means a lot. I also know that he appreciates the money. Some of the drivers try to get as much money extra as they can. My driver just shows up, is friendly, and gets me safely where I need to be. I am happy that this relationship can continue.
Still no word on the big truck. Tomorrow I'll try again for that. Here in Honduras, most plans don't proceed in a linear fashion. I'm trying to work within that framework.
Monday, February 27, 2012
I decided to try to find a large truck and driver to move all my things in one load. It turns out that there are a couple of options. So, tomorrow that should be nailed down. This move must be meant to happen because everything (so far) is going easily. When I'm doing what I should be doing where I'm supposed to be doing it, that is how it happens. When I try to force things is when I end up regretting the decisions I made. Moving down here was as simple as asking a co-worker in WA if he could find out who to contact for the IT jobs here. A couple of phone calls and emails and I had this job. This move has been the same way, ask someone who I should see about an apartment, and two days later I find what looks to be the perfect place. I think the new apartment will put me in a good space to actually enjoy living down here more.
I am on the late shift this weekend. So, I took a late lunch that fell after the 1pm opening time of the hammock shop. I still have 2 stripes left on the hammock I started making back in June. I got a few rows done. Maybe if I take half my lunch hours when I'm on this shift I'll actually finish the hammock.
I work a row or so on the sweater I'm knitting in the mornings that I have time to fill that I no longer have at night. Switching to Continental style knitting means that my left hand can only knit one row of 166 stitches before it starts aching and messing up. Still, this style of knitting is faster and easier than the English way I've done up to now. Like many things, I just have to work up the endurance to do it longer at one sitting.
I'm bringing some things in to work to leave here during the move. I have some computer gear that I bring in my day pack and I'll lock in my desk. Slowly I'm getting things sorted so I'll have what I need immediately before and after the move. I'm excited. The 'laundry area' at the new apartment is on the open flat roof. I'm looking forward to taking a camp chair and my coffee up there and watching a sun rise and a sun set. I'll do pictures. That vision is what is getting me through this week.
I just re-read this, and it is just stream of consciousness typing while I try to get through the last hour of my shift. It is how life is going right now.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
In my efforts to be safer here I keep learning Spanish at my slow rate. Someone on a message board offered up this site as a place for free classes on many subjects: http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses . It is a cool site. It turned me onto a site that is what looks like a fun way for me to get better at Spanish. It is a telenova, or mystery video in 52 chapters that is meant to teach the language. http://learner.org/series/destinos/ I am going to try at least one chapter or segment a week. Maybe faster, but with trying to move I don't want to set a goal that I'll fail immediately.
On the creative front, I finished the baby afghan I was crocheting from yarn in my yarn stash. I like the way it turned out. I'll try to get a picture of it tonight. My next project is a cardigan for me from a pattern called Sawtelle. Affectioknit (see blogs in my sidebar) is knitting this, and I like it a lot. I'm making the adult version first because I have enough yarn in full skeins to make it, and I can see to judge better what misc yarn in my stash is enough to make a childs version. I'm trying to switch to Continental style knitting after 40+ years of English style (has to do with which hand holds the yarn being fed to the needles) so this is awkward and I have to keep a video handy so that I can remind myself just what I'm doing. I use the videos at http://www.knittinghelp.com/ .
There was another large fire, this time down in Tegucigalpa, the capitol, on Saturday. The maket burned, 1800 stalls. That is the livelihood for at least that many families. So, prayers again requested for the families affected. This time at least there were no fatalities.
Friday, February 17, 2012
So, I'm heading into a 3 day weekend. Time to sort/scan/repack and maybe send some more stuff back and donate more stuff to those who can use it down here. I'm also putting out feelers to find another place to live that isn't in the town I'm in now. Away from the main highway, in a smaller town sounds really good to me. Probably another hotel situation.
I have been folloiwng Tioga George's vacation in Guatemala this week. See my sidebar for a link to his blog. I'm not that far away from the area he's in. So, I'm pricing flights and making note of the places he's staying. I'm thinking maybe Memorial Day weekend I'll venture out on my first trip in Central America outside of Honduras. I need to get better at Spanish between now and then. I'll also ask around if anyone wants to go with me. But, I'm ok traveling alone. Really, as long as I blend in and am careful it is safe down here.
As for the fire in the prison, so many sad details are coming out. I really don't want to post much about it, but that is weighing on my mind as well. The living conditions, the lack of infrastructure to deal with the fire and aftermath. It is all so sad. Of course there are those with the black humor making jokes. I know the value of black humor in helping folks deal with things like this. I'm just not there yet about this fire.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Another question in my comments while I was on vacation was 'who is TurtleLady?' She and her husband Bill have been good friends of mine for maybe 30 years. We met through a common enjoyment of a sport (caving), and have stayed friends through the years. She is one of the few friends from home with whom I keep in fairly constant contact while I'm down here.
I don't tend to jump back and answer comments in that section. Since I'm getting more comments lately I may start. I do read and enjoy every one.
Monday, February 13, 2012
EDITED TO ADD: Main air conditioner just sprang to life, so guess it was a breaker. So, life is back to normal.
I tweeked and re-worked the hammock yesterday. Last night I made it all night in the hammock, and woke up able to walk, so that is progress. Next weekend is a 3 day weekend, and I have no real desire to head off anywhere, so perhaps I will pull out the rest of the hammocks I have here and experiment.
I got up on time this morning, started coffee brewing and picked out my clothes for work. Took a nice hot shower. As I was getting dressed the electricity started bouncing, much to the displeasure of the air conditioners. It was a major brown out/bounce/brown out. I ran for the remotes for the poor air conditioners and commiserated with the big fans at the restaurant outside my bathroom window as they groaned with the varying power. Then it was all dark. It was 5:45am, and still basically dark. I gave thanks that I was already showered and the coffee was ready. I lit my votive candle for light to brush my teeth and comb my hair, and by then the gray day was beginning to get light.
Word has it that the main power station went down in flames, or at least a flash and huge orange glow. That is what folks saw who looked outside. I was busy trying to turn off the compressors I had control over. So, life may get interesting with no power. I have my backpacking cookstove, so I will have coffee. The rest is just luxury.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
The second thing pushing this is that TurtleLady gave me a new hammock for my collection when I was back. It is a bridge hammock, which is a very different style from the asymmetrical gathered end hammocks I currently own. Ok, if that didn't make sense to you, then just go with it for now. So, with most everything out of the room I once again set up my too large metal pipe hammock stand in the bedroom and spent some time hanging the hammock. The reason I'm not sleeping in a hammock every night is that with this stand I can't get comfortable in any of my current hammocks. I am hoping I can make the bridge hammock work. Last night was the first test. I put a pad underneath in the pad pocket to kind of spread it out some. In the end I slept most of the night in my recliner. I have a spot on my right hip that is kind of numb. Apparently I usually sleep on that side, and in the hammock the way I have it hung all my weight is on that hip. Even this morning it is still bothering me. For the record I have never had a bad night in a hammock hung between two trees, just with this stand. I think it is too short or something. I'm going to make some adjustments to it and try again tonight. If it still doesn't work I may try my BlackBird hammock, my main go to hammock when I camp, one more time. If nothing else, I'll put up the air mattress bed again, but at least all the bedding will be clean now.
If you are curious at all about hammocks and using them for camping/backpacking or sleeping in every night, the definitive website for information is:
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Some drama at work yesterday, so things will be unsettled next week as it all shakes out. I'm actually more concerned that I truly do not care. I'm more in the mood to just pop some popcorn and sit back and watch. I'm not to the point that I want to actually push things to crash, but I don't feel much obligation to go out of my way to stop it, either. It is time to move on when I feel this way.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
I needed the good laugh.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Still pondering the trip. Lots more questions in my life than answers at this point.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Another issue I have is that when I'm living in the States, I do my business related stuff and messing with my possessions while at home, then I travel someplace and visit on vacation. Now, I need to do all of the above while I'm on vacation. No time to sleep in, no time to see everyone, no time to really organize my stuff. Ok, less stuff would help that last part.
So, I have mixed feelings about vacations back 'home'. I found myself thinking sometime around Wednesday that I was ready to head back to Honduras. That surprised me, but mostly I'm ready to just be able to sit and relax and not have to socialize. I'm a loner. The pull between taking advantage of precious time to see friends/family and my need to be alone is taking a toll. So, tomorrow I get on a plane and head back to Honduras. Not sure if I'm heading towards home or away from it.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I haven't been to the storage unit since the 2 teenage boys unloaded the truck into it. They did awesome. After I paid them Mom handed them a bunch of donuts, and I think they were more excited about that than the money. Well, maybe close. I'm postponing getting ready to head out by playing on the computer. I don't do well without a lot of time off to myself. The vacation has been good, but time to just veg by myself hasn't been near enough. So, that is why I'm taking advantage of the free rooms even though I could stay with Mom. I have to do some rearranging of the unit though as it seems that a briefcase that I left here with my older laptop is missing. I think it's in the stuff that was stored in the Jeep storage unit. sigh. Too much stuff to keep up with. However, most of it is now at least in the same zip code.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
I have scheduled lunch or dinner with friends for most meals this week. Turtle Lady keeps my schedule written in pencil in her notebook. She is making a run to Super WalMart right now for some hot chocolate mix for me. I had mentioned it, and then decided that I was too tired to go out for it. She is spoiling me.
I wonder when I will get back to Nashville next. I truly don't know. Everyone asks me my plans, and I have none. Pay off debt. That is the plan. Which ever option that presents itself that pays off the debt is what I'll do. Right now that is working in Honduras. Working outside the US means that I have to get all the details of my life in the US consolidated and put on autopilot. That is my plan. When I look up and that train has run out of track I'll find someplace else to work. Other than that I got nothing.