Thursday, June 1, 2023


A dinner party happened. We have five chairs and five sat down at the table. I got the pinto beans cooking early in the day because beans from dried take a long time. Nod did calabacitas and cornbread and everything came out well. Stellar guests brought a big salad and pie which made it fully festive. We still have the dinner table in front of the picture window but I'm lobbying for relocation.  

A creative and determined person: A Simple Exercise to Strengthen the Lower Esophageal Sphincter and Eliminate Gastroesophageal Reflux: An Autobiographical Case Report. Shared by Slime Mold Time Mold. He figured out how to exercise the lower esophageal valve muscles in order to get rid of his reflux. Kneeling and putting your forehead on the floor before swallowing sounds very awkward. But I'm sure practice makes perfect. More than six months of daily practice got rid of the acid and allowed him to sleep flat again. 

Found and lost and found again (thanks Metafilter!) the English Historical Fiction Authors blog gives wonderful topics, tidbits and enthusiasm. 

I'm collecting events calendars to try and find out what's going on in the city. 

ABQ: KiMo, Popejoy, Vortex, Guild, Expo and other fairgrounds bldgs, 

Santa Fe: Lensic, Railyard

ABQ and NM hikes, great site by an old archeologist: 

ABQ plants

Planning to go to the star watch night at the Valles Caldera in a couple of weeks. I'm really excited about that. Hope for a clear sky. 

Monday, May 8, 2023


As in alighting, landing on the ground. We've slept in the new house for two nights. I'm starting to get used to its sounds. The drip watering system came on this morning. We'll put the trash and recycle bins out tonight. We will become accustomed in time.

Unpacking is happening. Major progress was made by hired movers to get everything out of the container. Now we just have to open every box and decide what goes where. 

Freddie cat is calming down some. He's decided the high kitchen cabinets which have no doors (used as art niches by former owners) are his favorite retreat. It's not very hygenic having him jumping on the kitchen counter to get up and down. We may put the cabinet doors back on to foil him in future. I wondered why his white feet were so gray and then saw him in the fireplace ashes. I've closed that off. We need to get a real firescreen and pokers. 

Our college kids will be here next weekend. That is a pleasant spur to getting things arranged. One car should be done at the body shop tomorrow, Tuesday. There will be one futon couch to pick up on Wed evening. And one bed frame to be delivered on Thurs. On Friday we'll drive to the other NM college town to move daughter L out of the dorm. I have to say, things keep falling into place right along for us, even with some bumps. 


I'm having trouble remembering my age. Maybe because I can't say I'm excited about any of these 50s. I'll try some mnemonics, it's embarrassing not to know immediately. 56 is coming right up. 


4 seasons, still life paintings by Matthijs Röling in the 1970s. 

Lente / Spring:

Thursday, April 27, 2023

A Toehold

 Drove into ABQ yesterday evening. We are installed in a rental for a week until we get the housekeys next Wednesday. We won't have furniture for a couple of additional days. And I think we solve that by putting the cat in charge of the empty new place while we camp at my mom's for a couple of nights. 

It was a long draining day yesterday but by damn we did it. 

Our furry Tiny Idiot son would not eat his wet food with the tranquilizers in it. So my flannel sheet method of catching and bundling him into the carrier has gotten better with practice. He's smart enough to know that the food tastes funny and refuse to eat it. Which makes the whole process worse for everyone. But it was fun watching him explore the hotel room. He's mostly not holding a grudge. We hope he won't scratch anything in the rental. Last night he brought down the fireplace screen and metal tools. That was quite a wake up. Chaos goblin.

My sinuses have felt like they were flexing inside my face today. I think it's the dryness plus the pollen. Perhaps my immune system is working with its faint memory of NM pollen. Just weirdness so far, no drainage or stuffedness. 

There are tiny red and ink poppies in bloom in lots of yard where we are staying. I know poppies only stay in flower for a few days so I feel blessed by our timing. 


Wednesday, April 19, 2023

In the Chute

The half-sweet iced mocha in the Albuquerque airport was extremely delicious. But that night I lay awake obsessed with all the packing yet to be done and knew I had sabotaged myself. I will honor the rule and drink my coffee before noon. 

We are moving toward the May 3 closing date on the ABQ house. We should be on our way next Tuesday before the KS closing on April 26. We have a place to stay in between and I have gabapentin for the cat although it is still unknown if that will help. I'm going today to buy a harness so we'll have more of a handle to catch him by. 

I'm returning library books and sorting and trying to do the things that a reasonable person would do in this situation. I don't feel very reasonable. The more stressed I get, the dumber I am. 

The only way out is through. So here we go. 

Less by Greer and When I'm Gone, Look For Me in the East by Barry are both very much worth your time. It was good to hear from the book group that the Quan Barry book is worthwhile, even for people who aren't already super intrigued by Tuvan throat singing and Mongolian herder culture. Less manages to be about a midlife crisis and yet still be spare and kind and funny. I'm supposed to be reading Tremblay's The Pallbearers Club for another group. But I think that has to give way to the move. Maybe later. 

We visited a bookstore on the west side: Books on the Bosque. It has a nice collection of new and used books in a sunny building. I'm going to keep an eye on their events calendar. Ah, the future of being done with moving is dancing on the horizon.       


Monday, April 10, 2023

Missing objects, Objects in motion

In the wind

I cannot find the charger for my toothbrush. I used it right before we went to ABQ March 24 and now I don't see it in the drawer it goes in. Maybe I was distracted packing before we left and put it somewhere creative? Maybe it dropped into the trash and got binned?

I cannot find my favorite prescription sunglasses. Maybe I left them in the car that we left at my mom's in ABQ? Glad I came across the second pair. 

To make three: Katy asked if we found a disposable camera after she was here over new year's. I think I may have seen it while she was here but it never turned up after.

I expect this will be a common occurrence as we try to get remaining objects packed and ready to move in two weeks and one day. It's easy for me to tape up a box and immediately forget everything that's inside. I had a little freak out yesterday about how few days we have to go. 

Where we are

Selling a house - we accepted an offer and are arranging to fix a few things they asked for. There will be a final walk through on 4/24. Closing on 4/26. 

Buying a house - our offer was accepted. We are going to walk through with the inspectors this Friday. That will be our first time in the house, we've seen pictures and our realtor visited and shared her live phone video with us. Closing 5/03. The paperchase is significant. E-signing all these documents online makes it feel unreal.  

Moving our stuff - we have a container coming a week from tomorrow. I need to get movers arranged on both ends to put furniture in and take it out.      

Moving ourselves - two adults, one cat and two vehicles will set out on April 25. We'll spend the night on the road and should arrive the 26th. We need to reserve a place for 4/27-5/03, Nod likes the beanbs. 

Significant remains

So many things to attend to that my prioritizer is stuttering. I will keep making lists and trying to do things, I think that's the minimum required. I felt stymied yesterday: not sure of any other virtual documents to wrangle, not sure what I should be packing, not able to enjoy doing nothing. I will do more packing this week. Gah!  


Monday, March 20, 2023

For Later

Put off for now
Spring dreaming about cooking to come. I hesitate to buy new ingredients at this point. Our pantry is out of canned chickpeas, which nixed the first two. They both use tahini which is what I'd like to finish up. Guess I better go buy eggplant, parsley and lemon so I can baba ghanoush it up. 

Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini, Smitten. Calls for green puy lentils, small red onion, handful of cilantro or Italian parsley.

Carrot Salad with Tahini, Crisped Chickpeas and Salted Pistachios, Smitten. 

Easy Gan Bian Si Ji Dou (Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans), Serious Eats.  

Coffee Creme Caramel, Hiroko's Recipes. I found this when trying to nail down the microwaved cake recipe. Looks like a fun site with Meat Free Monday suggestions. 

Sublime name
Daughter of Huey 'Piano' Smith - Acquelyn Donsereaux. Recently retired nurse now serving on the nursing school board in NOLA. Known as Nurse Ackie, I wish her all the best. I learned about her and her marvelous name thanks to the mention in this Language Hat post

Break it down
Compost container for kitchen, recommended by K.B. SpanglerStainless steel gallon jug. ABQ composting, info here from the library system, will be a whole new game. One option I just read about is Bokashi, fermenting in a sealed container rather than composting outside. Sounds super stinky! But then the resulting slime has to be buried to finish breaking down, which doesn't appeal to me. I don't think I want to be a worm rancher but that is another option instead of trying to keep an outdoor pile damp enough in the desert conditions.  

Malignant, poisonous. A new word for me from an Elizabeth Bishop poem. The dictionary definition here doesn't include the story that the vapors from the poisonous lake were strong enough to kill birds flying over it. Really good essay on EB here, I didn't know anything about her beyond admiring the "One Art" poem. The author uses "alcohol use disorder" where I would have expected "alcoholism". I think I like that. Near the end is this piercing phrase "Bishop commemorates the tricky art of living in a body". Quote from Ernie Hilbert in the Poetry Foundation bio of EB, "...her poems are balanced like Alexander Calder mobiles, turning so subtly as to seem almost still at first, every element, every weight of meaning and song, poised flawlessly against the next." Wowww. 

Friday, March 17, 2023


Under contract
After one week of showings and an open house we accepted an offer and have a closing date in late April. One week from today we'll drive out and look at houses for the weekend. We'll try to find something that matches our needs. But it's seeming less likely to me that we'll be able to get a closing date as buyers that matches our arrival date. So there may need to be some vamping in the form of storage or a short term lease until we can get moved into a purchased house. 

I have been surprised at how little excitement I feel about having sold the house. I feel satisfaction at having gotten to this point in our packing and de-cluttering journey. And I'm happy it was done so quick. There's plenty of anxiety as I think about what is still to be done. Perhaps I'll get to be excited about the other end of the process. Certainly lots of different emotions are bubbling up. I tried to add two factor authentication on my phone a few days ago and almost burst into tears. (Later I was successful and did not sob at work.)  

I distrust moving companies. Here's a quote from a metafilter discussion that doesn't increase my regard for any of them:

"This is the way to prevent long-haul movers from driving to a mile away from your destination and calling you to claim they need another $1000 to finish the job. I do not know anybody who has not experienced some form of this hostage situation unless their move was being handled by corporate or military contract, in which case the moving company knows they will lose the contract if they pull the scams.

If you must use movers, please put several Tiles or AirTags in your boxes of belongings so you can tell the truck you know exactly where it is and are sending the police. I recommend doing this for a pod or even a self-move as well, just because theft is always a risk."

I gather that moving companies don't have staff drivers, they are middle men and contract with these yahoos who are fairly unaccountable. We may use P*DS and use their storage on the other end. 

After reading a bunch of microwave cake recipe I cobbled several together and made a respectable one last night. It was sleeting and snowing and being very cold and MARCH outside, thus the need for chocolate cake. I used some decaf coffee and the end of the whipping cream and it all worked out. Butter frosting was a good addition of course. 

Lady books
I am reading/recently read these two books:


The first one is a little insulting but it certainly works with the book content. I don't mind the second one but taken together I am offended at the aggressively lady-book graphics. Yes, I am a middle aged woman reading fiction. But I'd rather be toting a book with a cover that has some edge. It reminds me of the Ursula K. LeGuin story collection Always Coming Home I bought in paperback many years ago. Clearly the publisher had No Idea how to market this.  The cover had a pastel house and beach scene but was dominated by the title in large loopy feminine font. Very grocery store romance novel font.