Thursday, August 25, 2016

A fun errand day

I had a productive -- and I might even say fun -- day today. That word fun doesn't show up very often these days, and I can tell that I was much overdue. Even though it was running errands and things I wouldn't ordinarily classify as fun.

Left early to hit DMV and get my car registration renewed. That didn't take as long as I thought it might, so I was at loose ends for my next intended stop, with at least 30 minutes to wait. So off I went down the pike to the mattress store, which was open. Found and retested the mattress I saw Saturday. Still love it, paid for it, arranged delivery on Wednesday afternoon.

Then my next stop was almost open, and I only had to wait a few minutes. Big warehouse full of furniture, mostly, a warehouse basically of St. Vincent de Paul, a charity thrift store that tends to have pretty decent stuff at decent prices. This is where I'd found my desk on Saturday, and it was still there. I checked it out again, still liked it, but did the obligatory walk-around to check out any new sofas or other desks and things I might need. Didn't find anything. Paid for the desk and delivery, headed to a nearby smaller St. Vinnie's retail store and found a little sofa/loveseat that will work quite nicely in the room. Paid and added it to the delivery, which will be a week from Saturday. I was nicely surprised to find that furniture was on sale for 25% off today, so I saved a bundle of money. More than enough to pay for the delivery.

Then, off to a luscious, but high-calorie lunch closer to home. High calorie, but very healthful and utterly delicious. Brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, black olives, other things I don't remember and a sauce they make which is addictive. Yumm!

Then, walked across the street to a Goodwill outlet as I was still looking for a desk chair and some cheap kitchen plastics -- dishpan and drainer and such. Found enough to get buy, plus a very nice swivel desk chair that is small and can be pushed under the desk when not in use. Piled the plastics on the seat, pushed/pulled it all across the street to where my car was parked.

Then, on to Comcast, where I reluctantly signed up for service that costs more than I want, but at least gives me a free installation call.

And then..... home, where the AC that I forgot to turn on before I left is trying to catch up with the sun coming through the glass. Actually, feels just fine. Gonna be a hot one today.

And here I am. All the errands done. Still a few things I want (a small, funky old table and chairs for dining, mostly) but tomorrow I think I'll wander the junktique stores of Coburg (and there are many of them) to see if I can find something.

Now all I have to do is pack, and no need to start dealing with that until the weekend. All those calories stuffed me to the gills, but all this leisurely driving around was actually fun. I think I really needed to get out for more than a short errand, talk to people, do what normal people do with their lives. I need to be less of a hermit, but am sure that will change to some degree as I meet new neighbors.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I'm in!!

Just got the word that I'M IN! Will get the keys next Tuesday, move in with just a bed and basic items (including bed delivery) on the 1st or even the 31st.  Unless I decide to do more than one carload. I pay the movers by the hour and they know it's not much stuff, so it will save me money if I can do this. Am I excited? Not in the least. Grins.

I scheduled my movers for Sept 7 a few days ago. Tried to get it sooner, but they were booked and realistically, I might have had to change it anyway.  Did some mattress shopping last Saturday, will go back and make a purchase and arrange for delivery now. Also checked out a couple of thrift stores for a desk and other things. Saw a desk I like, but they won't hold it beyond 2 days, so it's pointless to worry about it. There are always desks. I can look again when I go buy the mattress, since the stores are in the same area (and same area as DMV).

Friday, August 19, 2016

Count-down time. Almost.

Things just keep moving along here, despite triple-digit temps. Met with the apartment manager yesterday, signed a ton of forms (it is a HUD-backed building, after all), saw the apartment (people had just moved out that morning). All very cool. SO nice to be there, SO anxious to be able to go there and stay.

No move-in date yet -- there are lots of things she needs to confirm first. Personal and landlord references, doctors, pharmacy, social security (in case there has been income I didn't mention to her, which there is not). Move-in depends upon when all of these things are returned to her. I've heard from all references -- the manager emailed the forms to them and they are sending back ASAP, so that's good. The maintenance people told us they should have the apartment ready by this afternoon, so the only hold-up is all these forms.

The apartment is cool. Faces the street, but the building is set well back from the street and there are big trees, lawns and even a fenced terrace between the street and me. The apartment looks out over the big trees and the terrace, so the street is mostly hidden. I'd forgotten how small the bedroom is, but I don't need to put much in it besides a bed so that doesn't matter. There is tons of storage - three closets have closet-maid-type shelving, two of them are for hanging clothes. Nice removable shower head (on a hose) that isn't standard and was left by the previous tenant. They'll leave it for me. It's clean -- the carpet will be cleaned 'a couple of times' and they will patch nail  holes and do whatever painting is needed, but basically it's pretty much move-in. The carpet is ugly. Kind of a poop brown with zero pile. But that's a small thing that I can gladly live with.

So I'm on count-down, almost, and really getting antsy and impatient to move. About to head to the gym where I can maybe work some of this off. Gonna be 107 today -- I'll be clinging to the AC all afternoon, to be sure. And grateful to have it.

By the way -- Congrats to Ducks Ashton Eaton and Ryan Crouser on their gold medals last night. Not the only ones we've had or may have, merely the most recent. And that Ashton -- awesome dude. Lives and trains here in Eugene with his wife Brianne (bronze in heptathlon and also an Oregon alumni). They're both folks with deep character, appropriate humility and both are raging competitors. I expect they will retire after this -- they've talked of living elsewhere, traveling, doing humanitarian work. Good people.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Good Luck, Devon --- and all Ducks in Rio


Interesting photo montage that the football team just tweeted out: Devon Allen, one of its football stars qualifying in the 110 hurdles in Rio this afternoon, and Devon (#13) with football fans. He's a cool guy -- fabulous sense of humor (from tweets he sends out, including a string of them a couple of years ago when some of the team got stuck in an elevator at a hotel they were staying in for some big championship game). Fast as the day is long.

Since NBC is useless, and nobody reported on twitter, I don't know where he placed in his heat this afternoon, but the important thing is that he qualified with a time of 13.41, well off  his fastest time this year of 13.03, which is the second fastest time in the world this year. Semi-finals and finals are tomorrow afternoon. Good luck! See you on the football field in September.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

One more step forward....

So if anybody is wondering, yes I am still here. And within a month or so, this will be my new home! It's on the second floor, facing this way, in the 'middle of the building', although I'm not sure just where that is. But probably in this photo somewhere.

Apparently, I passed the background checks with an A+ (her words), which wasn't really surprising to me. But that hurdle is past and now I just need to meet with her next week and provide a list of documents -- basic ID and income verification things, expense verification (medical) for the most part. Nothing difficult. I believe it will be at that meeting where my rent amount will be settled upon (income-based) and I'll get a good move-in date. It's over a week away, and I'm working hard at 'practicing patience' while I wait it out, even though I want to jump in and get it done NOW.

In the meantime, I'm just thinking and planning, things starting to come together as far as moving, buying a few things (like a bed!), address changes, getting the garden spot ready for spring planting (serious work over winter turning it into healthy, organic soil).  Plus getting back on the diet and getting exercise.

I felt every year of my age this morning after returning from my 'usual' 11.2 mile loop.  I cut another minute or two off my time (1 hr 19 min) despite a headwind, but that alone shouldn't cause the aches and pains and fatigue I felt for awhile. I think possibly it's because I took a short, 30-minute ride yesterday just to get out. Not used to two days in a row yet! But whatever caused it, a hot bath and some food brought me back to whatever passes as normal. No aches to speak of, pleasantly tired. Even vacuumed the floor but wouldn't mind a nap. Grins.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Go Ducks!

Some of the U of Oregon athletes at the Olympics right now. These are mostly, if not all, members of the track team. I recognize most faces, but not good at putting names with faces other than Devon Allen, 3rd from left who does 110m hurdles AND is a star on the football field as well.

There are some alumni down there too whose names may be familiar, such as Ashton Eaton and his wife Brianne, who is with the Canadian team.

Wishing loads of good luck, good health, and fun to all. Won't see them on the field until August 16-17.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Blues in the park

This time of year in towns all across Oregon, free outdoor concerts are a tradition. This one happened a block from the house, and was fun to visit. There will be four in total this month.

This band is The Vipers, with Deb Cleveland singing. They are a blues band, and they could get down.

I'm still waiting anxiously to get final approval to move into the apartment, but it'll take a bit longer than a couple of days. They take their due diligence seriously -- background checks, credit checks, last 10 years of residency checked. All that takes time.  There should be nothing negative anywhere, but in this day and age one never knows what might crop up in some record someplace that does not belong there.

At any rate, I'm allowing myself to feel a little bit of how very wonderful it will feel to have a place of my own, with privacy and nobody else to answer to, once more. It's been over 2 years since I can say that, and while I've used these years to grow my Buddhist practice (as in, practicing patience and remaining equanimous in unpleasant situations), I'm ready for some personal space and privacy once more.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Finally!

So -- turned out to be an eventful day, although it started off rather normally.

Headed out on the bike -- first time in a few days because I  haven't been sleeping until last night. Same route as last time, 11.2 miles, and managed to cut a little over a minute off my time despite a strong headwind for the first 40 minutes or so, until I could change direction. Felt great to be out there, hope to do it again soon.

Then, this afternoon, the phone call I've been waiting to get for almost 3 years: there is an apartment available for me! Of course, there are background and credit checks to be done, but I don't expect any problems there. Once those are finished there'll be an interview, which should also go well. After all that, it'll be official. I should be able to move in early September sometime, which will be wonderful. I'll know more once it's official. My current, and very nice, roommate told me I didn't need to give her 30 days notice, she was happy for me and said I should just move as soon as the apartment is ready for me. She knew from the beginning, of course, that this would happen eventually. I just didn't expect it to happen this soon. The apartment is scheduled for a 'full renovation', including new counter tops, carpet, paint and possibly more. It'll be like moving into a brand new place.

Needless to say, I'm stoked, although the cautious side of me won't get too excited until I pass all the hoops and it's finalized. But it's certainly made a big change in my overall attitude.

So -- that's it. Time to celebrate, even if it's not official yet.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Wild Fermentation

Granted it doesn't take much these days, but this is the most exciting news I've had for awhile. The bible of lovely fermented foods (pickles, kimchi, yogurt, kefir and more) has been revised and available for sale in mid-August.

I knew there was a reason I've resisted paying $25 for the original edition in local stores. And never say that my Twitter addiction doesn't pay off. The author is someone I follow, and he sent this around an hour ago from his publisher. Complete with a $10 discount for pre-order. Didn't take me long to place that order. Skid marks on the credit card.

Other than that -- a damned dull few days.  I haven't had much energy, or enough sleep. Whine. That doesn't lead to long bike rides. Perfect weather today -- door open all day, lots of breezes, not too hot. Would have been a great day for cycling, BUT we have plenty of those days ahead so not to worry. I'll be back out there when my body is ready. Whenever that is. Really need to find something to do with all the hours I'm not on the bike. Boredom leads to eating, and that leads to fat. Not good! My roommate encourages me to do my fermentation stuff or whatever I want in the kitchen, make myself at home, but so far, I'm not into it. Also waiting for some pickling cukes to hit the local farmer's market.

What else? Need to find something or it's going to be another long few months. Don't get me wrong, this is a lovely place to live. There's just not much to do here other than what TV I can get with an antenna. Is it any wonder I cling to Twitter for fun?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

How's the heat wave where you are? Other than yesterday and today, it's been pretty moderate hereabouts. And headed back that way tomorrow. Thank goodness!

I've mostly hidden out inside, and mostly been glued to YouTube watching the convention proceedings all week. Some fascinating people speaking, every day, all day.

But, I took time out yesterday morning to head out in the effort to complete that bicycle loop I spoke of last time, and I made it with ease. Not speed, mind you, but without a lot of angst and discomfort.  Turned out it was a little longer than I had estimated -- 11.2 miles, according to Google Maps -- but that was ok, too. I wasn't worried or I would have checked to see how many miles it was before I left home. Made it in 1 hour and 22 minutes, which is certainly slow, but steady. I don't care about speed, never have. I'm out there for fun and there's no need to rush fun. Nor the 74 year old, out-of-shape muscles that were doing the work.

I've found another, longer, route in the same area -- simply another crossroads further down the pike -- but that's around 16 miles and I'm not ready for that yet. I'll be content to stick with 11.2 for awhile, as I build these muscles back to fighting shape. And that'll happen -- is actually happening fairly fast. After all, it's been barely a week since the first ride in almost two years, so going 11.2 isn't anything to be embarrassed about.

Plan to head out tomorrow and do it all over again. Hopefully, a bit faster.

Other than that, I'm going to hide inside where it's cool for the rest of the day.