Friday, 30 March 2012

Horn rims

Kate wanted me to take pictures of me wearing this pair of glasses. Pre-coffee photos. One focused, one not. Taking pictures in the mirror is obviously not something I am good at, couldn't even get the focus right. :P


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Childhood - then as now, spent on a bus?

The oldest photo I have where I recognize parts of my face as what I have today (my nose, my mouth, etc, beginning to take its adult shape). I think I must have been around 7 years old. And I have a puppy in my lap, which I guess would be Lufs.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Texas: Midessa Oil Patch & Meeting the Wagon+KC







And some photos just to show exactly how little charm Midland/Odessa has:




I will try to restrain myself and not add any more pictures of this.. charming.. pictoresque.. idyllic.. town...

Texas: Midessa Oil Patch

Monday, February 6.: Meeting the Ladies
After picking up my checked bag I wandered outdoors into the sunny afternoon at the Midland/Odessa airport. Erik pulled into the airport parking lot about the same time as I went through the doorway - which was NOT according to plan, he was supposed to have been in town at least four hours earlier to meet up with a friend. That was not to happen, for reasons which will become clear..

Having no idea in which general direction to head I was leaning against a pillar outside the entrance when I in the distance saw someone I recognised. As always any trace of nervousness fled once it was real. I was in Texas, Erik was there, and I was focused on meeting him. Quick awkward hello and hug, then off to meet the true main characters and heroines in this story: The Wagon and the KC. 

That is, a Ford 1959 Ranch Wagon and a Kozy Coach from 1952, my home for the coming week. 

We then headed for Midessa Oil Patch RV Park where we were staying the night, and parked and unhitched the trailer (with no sarcastic commentatory necessary from me, Erik was doing better than I could have, unlike the episode of backing a trailer I went through with mother just before christmas..). The evening that followed included wandering all over a Wal-Mart looking for various home-y items, getting dinner, then wandering through a Sears looking for a blanket, and tidying out the KC enough that we could move about in there and settle in for the night. I actually think Erik was more traumatised than me, since I had the mental buffer of "I am just a tourist and everything is foreign" to protect me from the insanity that was shopping. I also got to hear the FAQ about the car and trailer for the first time, as people (particularly middle-aged men) compulsively had to talk to us about them. 

And then, eventually, with some beer in my belly (Shiner Bock) it was bedtime, first night in the trailer - for both of us. 

I fell asleep while Erik was sitting by the computer still - and woke up thirty minutes later, from the sound my own teeth were making as they were clicking together. I was shivering with cold. After sluggishly considering this problem while Erik went to bed, all the while trying to keep my shivering and teeth chattering from being noticed, I realised the answer to my problem was more clothes. Thus, woollen hiking socks and a hoodie was added to my nightwear, and shortly thereafter I was asleep again. 

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Coffee

Woke up at 6am, unable to sleep any longer. That was fine; I had actually slept around eight hours - which makes it a top5 night sleepwise since feb13th. Made coffee. Sat down to drink it. Three hours later I realised I am still so tired ( that I had forgotten to drink my coffee, when I took a sip and found it cold and not very good.

Just made a new cup, this one going down. Almost four hours after I woke up, I am waking up... Need sleep. About a month's worth of it.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Silent visitors, speak up!

I was bored so I decided to have a look at the visitor statistics, and I seem to have a wholly new crowd of people reading based upon location compared to the end of 2011. Most of it seem to be a side-effect of my little trip overseas..?

Anyway: I am very curious now. PLEASE leave me a short comment and introduce yourself (how did you find this blog? Are you a returning visitor? Have anything amusing or for that sake a dry fact to add? WRITE, please!)


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Flight.: Dallas-Midland/Odessa




Going West: Bye Florida, Hello Texas

Monday, February 6.: Flight
J drove me to the airport in the morning, and I wound up having plenty of time there after checking in and smoothly passing through security. Again TSA agents were like THE most nice people ever, strange stuff - I have heard so many horror stories from friends. First time in one of the scanners, not traumatised. With plenty of time to kill I bought coffee, and then figured out the airport had free wifi, so I was online using the mobile phone. A bit nervous since it would be bad to run out of battery during the day, but unable to resist, not sure when I would have that many hours online the next time.

Finally time to board. The flight to Dallas was mostly spent taking pictures of the scenery, and trying to figure out where I was. And, of course, being delighted at seeing rivers that are bigger than any river I had ever seen before, and then being amused by roads looking like celtic knot patterns.

Changing terminals at Dallas went smoothly and again I had plenty of time, no stress, no panic and no chance of getting lost. However, after waiting for a long and rather boring wait without any internet (during which I got myself a sandwich and pepsi), it turned out the plane we were supposed to board heading to Midland/Odessa was malfunctioning. Start the delays. After another wait another plane was found, most of the passengers had to be rechecked, and then they sent us off to the other end of the terminal, which seemed an unnecessary long walk at that point.

This plane was tiny tiny, just 30 seats or so, and I of course loved it. Again I spent most of the flight looking out the window, but there was a rather opaque cloud cover most of the way. Landing in Odessa, we were late by almost an hour and I had been unable to inform Erik, seeing as his phone wasn't receiving the text messages I had sent him (I didn't know for sure at the time but I suspected it). However, to my great relief, when I checked my e-mail upon landing it turned out he was late too. Basically we arrived simultaneously.

Meeting Erik was nervous - basically a stranger, although we had had some online communication for the past nine months. This distant relative, which I had a hunch was nice, knew what looked like, but who knows, you know, one could still truly dislike eachother from the moment one meet irl. And we were going to spend a week sharing a small trailer. Me sharing that small a space with anyone is going to be a challenge of mutual patience. So what could this be, except potentially a disaster waiting to happen?

To be continued... 

Flight: Tampa-Dallas







Saturday, 10 March 2012

Florida: Attis





Florida: Ybor City




Florida

We (that is, Carol and I) arrived at J's house fairly late Friday night (Feb 3rd), and stayed until Monday morning (Feb 6th). To be honest there is not much to tell from my time there: The time was spent relaxing and just hanging out with lovely J and her sweet husband (not to mention five kids aged 11-17 or so). We had a great time!

Now, looking through my photos it turns out I had almost no photos from the visit there that were NOT of Attis, one of their cats whom I developed a mad crush on. They also had a psychotic dog (who I actually dreamed about last night! I dreamed Bonnie had turned into the sweetest dog ever - can you believe it?), a snake, another cat, and a hamster.

Leaving was as usual painful, I wanted to spend more time with all the wonderful people and get to know them better - at the same time I had another adventure coming, which I was looking forwards to.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Comic Sans

Socius asks: "Why is your blog in comic sans sometimes?"

I have never seen this rather interesting bug in any browser or OS. Anyone else seen it happening?

Four years

Today it has been four years since I moved here, to this flat.

Four years of rebuilding my independence and integrity. Sometimes I wonder if I succeeded too well, made an ice shield around my heart. I don't know. Time will tell. As it is... I have been happy here.

A home of my own. And one of the longest stretches of time I have lived anywhere. It isn't perfect, but it has been my castle, a place where I make the rules, and where I can lock the door against the external world when needed, for these years. A place to learn about myself, to learn to stand on my own legs, and to find some pride in who and what I am. It hasn't been four easy years, and who I am today is perhaps not the result of living here but rather the career path I ventured out onto in 2008, just after moving here. Still. The two are interconnected in my mind.

I think I have healed fairly well. Sometimes I even forget, for days and weeks and months. Then something brings it back. Some blocks are still there, things I cannot do. There is a sting of loneliness now and then, but I suppose that is human and unavoidable. But overall.. I have come a long way.

Where am I going next? What will become of me?
How come the future seems more scary than my past and when did that happen?

But for NOW.. right here and now. I am doing good. Living in the moment. Trying to enjoy my life. Rediscovering the bright moments still.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

North Carolina: Goodbye, I'm going south!

Thursday, Feb 2nd: Last day
The last day was, among other things, spent going in to Raleigh to have a peek at an exhibition of digital interactive artworks. It turned out to be somewhat disappointing, but the growling plant seemed to fascinate Wayne. Of course, according to my standards the ticket was so cheap that it was totally worth it anyway.

In the morning Patty and I wandered around a bit, I got even more inspiration for crafts and things to make when I got home, and we found yet another yarn shop with irresistible yarns that aren't for sale over here. (I'll get back to those skeins in a later post...) The nice lady at the till gave me some needles for free because I didn't have any with me; not having intended to knit on the trip (I did have my tatting with me, it is a more compact and travel friendly craft). In the afternoon we went and got locally made ice cream, sitting in the sunshine eating it. Good times.

If you want to to see the pictures in a larger format, click on them and use the gallery function. 
Patty (to the left - you can actually see her outline) and Wayne (to the right, making a big  circular gesture with his arm) playing with one of the installations. 

Ever been at a loss of what to do with old bicycle wheels? 

I was there. RLY.

Ice cream in the sun. Patty! <3

The source of the ice cream. 



Jersey wanted to play one more time.



Goodbye, garden. Goodbye, Hillsborough. 

Friday, Feb 3rd: Heading south
Friday morning meant getting up early, hopping in the car, and then Wayne and Patty kindly drove me south to Charlotte where we met up with my friend Carol and her daughter, with whom I would travel on for the next adventure in my little series. THAT was a strange experience emotionally - really not wanting to go, disliking having to say goodbye, at the same time as it was so AWESOME meeting Carol and going to Florida with her.

I got to try my hand at being the map reader and navigator in the US for the first time and it turned out to be easy, we got all the way to the house we were going without much incident (though Carol's bank thought her card had been stolen because it was used in so many states and blocked it. WTF?).

So, we drove south.. from North Carolina through South Carolina, Georgia, and finally across Florida to get to where our friends J&J live. Through Georgia we had the decidedly best weather I saw on the entire trip, I actually had to get my sun screen because my right arm (catching the sun through the passenger window) was getting sore to the touch and I decided to not risk it.




Welcome to my state, now feed me!


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Some links

http://iditarod.com/ - Register for a free insider account to follow race updates, or a paid account to get access to even more.

http://www.teamsigridekran.no/ - the team you should be cheering on this year according to me. Playing favourites of course.

Who I think will win the race? Sometime next week I will start having firm opinions. There are a lot of experienced mushers participating, and it is going to be interesting to see how their teams perform this year, in the 40th Iditarod.

Interesting fact of the year is that the route is somewhat shortened, now less than 1000 miles. From iditarod.com:
Note: As of 2012 the Northern Route distance is approximately 975 miles. In prior years the distance was always over 1,000 miles. Three things factor into this adjustment:
The change in the Ceremonial Start (running from downtown Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip instead of Eagle River);
The change of the Restart location from Wasilla to Willow (loss of the Wasilla-Knik-Susitna River and some Yentna River mileage), and;
The actual year to year trail conditions can affect trail routing and the actual mileage will vary somewhat from year to year.
“1,049 miles®” has been a symbolic figure from the inception of the race to signify the 1,000 miles or more of race trail and the number 49 depicts Alaska as the 49th state.



The route varies between the "northern" and the "southern" route every second year. This year it is the northern route. Direct link to the route this year: http://iditarod.com/race/checkpoints/

Useless as of yet, but later on going to be interesting - the direct link to the current standings page: http://iditarod.com/race/current-standings/
The rules include 2x 8h layovers and one 24h layover. One of the 8h layovers are always at White Mtn, the location of the other two are optional but they have to be taken. During the 24h layover the time differences from the start are adjusted for. When looking at the current standings, keeping an eye on who's taken their mandatory layovers and who didn't yet plays into who is actually leading the race.

Ready for the fun? I certainly am.

It begins anew

Do you know what day it is today?
Do you? Do you?!?

It is the day of the Iditarod ceremonial start.

Time to tune in, folks :D

http://iditarod.com/insider/

Friday, 2 March 2012

North Carolina: Woodturning

Just observing on the first day: Wayne looking for treasure. 

Observing: Patty finishing off the bottom of a bowl. 

Treasure!

Bottom of the bowl.

First lesson. First bowl to be rough turned. Wayne literally held my hand for quite a while.

And then suddenly he didn't... 

My two rough turned bowls. Wonder if anything will become of them..