Monthly Archives: September 2014

Lessons from a move are never learned. They just fade away . . .

As I look back, here’s what I’ve learned with this move

images1)  Moving is even worse than I remembered.   I didn’t want to move. Before I made that decision,  I recalled that every move I’ve made–except those way back when I possessed so little everything  fit in the trunk of my car–has been horrible.  One of my friends said that God did everything to get me to move and that took a great deal but, fortunately, God’s will is omnipotently stronger than mine.

2)    I never give away enough when I downsize.   When George and I moved from the house at Buchanan Dam with a shed and carport, I had that planned out with a place for every piece of furniture marked with tape.   But not on this move.   I’d given so much away, I felt sure there would be plenty of room.  Somehow over the two months before I moved here, the apartment got smaller.  As the movers brought in boxes, they laughed, a lot, about how I was going to get these piles of boxes into this much smaller place.  I had to call a junk company to carry off a large piece of the computer desk so I could move from my study to my bed without having to climb over furniture.   I’ve also made several trips to the Salvation Army with the trunk of my car full of little stuff.  And all those baskets I mentioned in an earlier blog?  I hope the Salvation Army has use for about twenty of them.

3)  Friends are wonderful.  Many, many thanks to those who gave of their time and muscles and boxes to help.  I couldn’t have done without them.

Yes, I’m here and am thrilled by the new possibilities.  I feel safer with an extra level of security.  In the previous apartment, the turnover was so great, I didn’t know anyone but the noisy neighbors overhead who delighted in bothering  the old witch downstairs    Here, there are no hyperactive children or crazily macho fathers and the soundproofing is great.   The pool is larger and heated and there are people who want to get to know their neighbors.  

What I’ve learned is that moving can take me to a better place and I’m really happy about that.  What doesn’t make me so happy is that moving takes three months out of my life every time!

Any uplifting stories of moves you’d like to share?


My life by tote bags

toteIn an earlier blog, I mentioned my problems with organization, how I use baskets and notebooks and colors to keep track of all my stuff and what I should be doing.   In THE MATCHMAKERS OF BUTTERNUT CREEK, Gussie uses different totes for the various sections of her life.  Yes, I took that from my life.  I had one tote for school–a very large one–another for church, and many others for volunteer activities.

Today, I mostly use my totes for shopping and realize anyone looking at them would learn a great deal about my life.   One is from an anniversary of the founding of my college sorority at Kansas State.  Whenever I carry that, I make sure my hair looks good, my shirt is clean, and my shoes don’t look too ugly.  I do that because living here in Austin, I fear a young collegiate Theta will see me and think, “I didn’t think alums looked that bad.”

I have another with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) logo on it.  This is a communion chalice on a St. Andrews Cross.  That cross is on its side and looks like the letter X which causes people to ask me if I’m a member of the temperance league.

Another tote has this written on it:  “My  hero can kick your hero’s . . .”  Well, I’ll allow you to fill that in so I won’t insult any readers.   I have totes with Romance Writers of America conference themes and one with the symbol of one of my publishers, all of which might tip people off that I’m a writer.

Many years ago, my dear mother-in-law gave me a tote with “Cats and Books” on it.  That pretty well fills in my other interests:  pets and reading.

What’s your favorite tote?  What does it tell people about you?

Cats do the darndest stuff

When I moved into my new apartment, I realized there is no ceiling fan–the first room I’ve seem without one since we moved to the South nearly thirty years ago.   I bought myself a small fan to put on the table next to me.,  Oddly, this fascinates the cats when it’s on.  Of course they like to have the breeze blowing in their faces but, even more, they love the taste of the fan.  It’s plastic.  When it’s on, they lick it and lick it.   Fortunately, they can’t get their tongues inside the grill–well, until Maggie, the timid, quiet cat, attempted to bite off the plastic grill.    I don’t allow that.  For her safety, I turn the fan off when I’m out of the room.   When I see her chewing, I give her a little push and say, “No”–cats always respond so well to “No”–but this does not deter her.

Okay, all you cat people out there, please help.  Why does she do this and how to stop her?   Please do not lecture me on the danger involved–I understand this.  I’d just like some insight into her tiny brain.

Seven years ago, George made a rope at one of the craft centers in Vacation Bible School.  He brought it home and gave it to Scooter, his gorgeous and self-centered cat.  Scooter loved it.  Why would a cat like a six-foot length of handmade rope?   This soon became like worry beads to Scooter.  When he’s upset or feels abandoned, he drags the rope around the apartment and makes the saddest, most heart-rending meows you’ve ever heard.  When I’m gone, I can tell if he’s felt alone because the rope has been moved from one room to another.

So, another questions for you cat people:  Why does a cat drag a rope around when he’s sad?

Many thanks to all for helping me understand feline behavior.

Domestic violence

This was not the blog I’d planned to post today but it became obvious this morning that it’s one I have to post.

When the video of Ray Rice pulling the limp body of Janay Palmer, his fiancée–his unconscious fiancée and the mother of his only child–from an elevator first appeared, I was appalled at the lack of outrage.   His coach said Rice is a good guy, a man of character  who made a mistake, the mistake being that he punched his fiancée out and left her unconscious.    The NFL answered with a resounding lack of horror at the act or concern for the victim:  a two-game suspension.  No one asked, “What happened in that elevator?  Why did the man who professes to love and should protect this woman from harm–why did he have to pull her out of the elevator?  Why was she unconscious?   Had the football star knocked her out?”

Even more incomprehensible:   she was accused of a crime, obviously for having her face in the way of Ray Rice’s fist.  She apologized for her behavior during a press conference, again for blocking her fiancé’s fist with her face.

Then the tape of the blow appeared yesterday.  From comments on news programs, it’s been around for a while but never made public, never used in the court case against Mr. Rice.  It shows the now Mrs. Rice walking ahead of her fiancé into the elevator.  She looks at him and gives him a shove and her beloved punches her so hard, she immediately loses consciousness and falls to the floor, her head hitting the railing of the elevator as she fell.

Only then did people say, “Maybe knocking a woman out isn’t acceptable behavior for anyone, even if he makes the team and the city and the NFL rich.”  After seeing that tape, his teammates  who had supported Rice after seeing the tape of him with his unconscious fiancée finally admitted that perhaps this was serious, that perhaps they had supported a man who brutalized a woman, supported him because he was, after all, a good guy.  Finally, with the knowledge of what happened when a heavily muscled athlete assaulted his fiancée, actions anyone who saw him dragging from the elevator HAD to have known happened–then these men decided he hadn’t just made an error.  He’d committed a crime for which he’ll never be charged because the case was quickly tidied up and he entered a program which consisted of no jail time but counseling.

What does this say about the status of women in America?  Oh, yes, I know men are assaulted but the great majority of those assaulted are women beaten by males larger than they or more violent than they and–especially if those men are wealthy or important or talented or have connections–it’s okay.  It’s a private matter between the woman and her assailant.   And all to often, those who benefit from the talent or money or connections close rank, blame the woman, and say the abuser is a nice guy.

Sadly and amazingly, this abused woman, Janay Palmer Rice, sees no problem with her husband’s behavior but that’s a topic I won’t go into because there aren’t enough words to explain this.

What are your thoughts?

Next week. . .

I have moved.  The apartment is a mess.  I’d planned to write a blog this week about what I’ve learned through this move.  As you may notice, I didn’t get that done.

Next week, I promise.  If you have any thoughts about what you’ve learned about moving, let me know.  Maybe I’ll include them.  Maybe they’ll must make me feel better that we are all united in this.