Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The reality in the science fiction

If you've ever watched any futuristic science fiction movies there seems to be a few common themes for the cities feaurted in the story. One of which is that the cities are in levels, a physical representation of the old-fashioned caste system.

The ground levels are naturally the oldest. Built first, they are the foundation of the city. Here you find your working class; the poor, the struggling, and the outcasts.

Moving vertical up through the city you find the blue collar workers, the middle class, the everyday common citizen. The chools, hospitals, and other community sevice buildings are also usually in yhese areas.

At the very top of the city, the highest levels, the tallest buildings you find the wealthy. These are the city leaders, both electorials and financial. These are the newest buildings with clean designs free of the rubble and crowding of the lower levels.

Ok, you say. We all know this, you think. So why take the time to explain it?  Why?  Because traveling through the very real modern-day Kansas City was like traveling through one of these science fiction cities. I noticed it first when we were heading West. The city newspaper building was a huge structure made of glass and polished steel, shiney and bright. The buildings around it were modern and clean. There was an arena with a conical shape much like the classic opera house of Syndey. All of these were built up on the highest level of the city, literally.  There are highways over highways.  Buildings on top of buildings.  It is quiet liertally a city of class levels.

Traveling into the city heading back East this theme is even more apparent. At the lowest level is the river with all the original trade and commerce of cargo boats and trains.  There are miles and miles of train yards easily 2-3 football fields wide. The buildings are old brick, dirty, in disrepair, and many abandoned or condemned. Approaching the city there is an stone wall built along the side of a hill separating the train yards from the newer working class businesses and homes. Many of these are still made of red brick but clearly younger and better maintained.  Finally the roads split, the city continues to climb and you travel into the newest sections. The transition is marked and quick. The new stylized buildings stand in starke contrast to the older middle class structures below.

My eyes wide and my mind spinning while we traveled through the city,  I couldn't help but see the similarities of real and fiction. Beyond all that I continue to be excited to have this opportunity to see all these amazing sites.  Also, I am thankful for my parents who instilled in me the love of reading which has fed my love of science fiction, both books and film which helps me appreciate all that I see.

~sierra

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Living Small in Wide Open Spaces

The past couple of days we've traveled through Kansas, Wyoming, and down in to Utah. Looking out on the plains to a horizon many miles away is a lot looking out across the ocean. It's harvest time, and the lyrics "amber waves of grain" come to life before my eyes. Then later, some nearly 9000 feet above sea level in Wyoming looking out from the top of a mountain and seeing the beauty of the world below spread out in
uncountable miles of glorious beauty was a moment I will never forget.





Born and raised in Florida I am used to trees hugging the roads. You can't see too far off in the distance unless you're at the beach. Out in the midwest with rolling hills, farm land, and mountains there is lots of wide open spaces in every direction. I imagine due to the more airid climate and high winds trees don't grow nearly as tall and they tend to be more spaced out; oasises of green nestled in fields of gold. The open space is refreshing, especially as I gaze out from behind the glass of our International 73" sleeper.

While it is wide open spaces on the outside, inside we are learning to live in a total space that is about half the size of our bedroom back home. Clutter adds up quickly if you're not careful. Having such limited space makes you really think and prioritize all your "stuff". It is more important than ever to have a place for everything and to keep everything in its place. Clothes are rolled, not folded, to save space. Each category of clothing is in its own bag to keep everything from getting jumbled up. Plastic store bags, the kind you get from the grocery store or walmart, become small trash bags that are thrown away daily. We took the top bunk out to allow more head room when standing. It makes the sleeper feel less crowded. In the relatively near future he plans to build some small cabinets snd shelves with netting to better utilize the verticle space. Especially since we will remove one of the small cabinets on the floor to put in a refrigerator and microwave.

Of course the mind needs a personal space to be cluttered, messy orgaization. The cubbies above the driver and passenger seats are for each of us to keep how ever we wish. While I straighten up the sleeper and cab daily and keep on top of any trash or clutter, his cubbie is left alone. That is his personal, hands off space. The same with the cubbie on my side. It gives us each a sence of personal space in such small confinement. Being in such close quarters basically 24/7 it's important to have that little bit of personal space no matter how small or perceived.

I am looking forward to both the interior and exterior upgrades to our extremely mobile and tiny home. And I am still beyond excited about seeing this amazing country.

~sierra

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beyond Pictures

It was early morning, the sun barely in the sky. As we came around the curve and up over the hill, I couldn't believe my eyes. Through the mist and rain, clouds rested against the mountain sides. The wind rustled the multi-colored leaves and the clouds stretched like pulled cotton clinging to the tree tops. Down into a valley another curve in the road was balanced between a steep drop to our right and sheer rock cliffs to our left. Every few yards cool mountain water raced from rock creavaces cascading onto an old railcar resting on its iron tracks which hugged the rugged curves of this Tennessee mountain.

And there was no place to pull over to capture this picturesque scene which seemed straight from some old Hollywood movie. Even if there had been the slanting rain would have made digital capture near impossible. But the memory will forever be burned in my mind.

And of course his smile at watching my excitement and reactions.

Breath caught finally and conversation ensued. We were going by Lookout Mountain, the top of which allows a spectacular view over multiple states. I vaguely remember going with my parents when I was young, 9 or 10 maybe. The last time he was there was with grandparents when he was around 13.

....

We both visited Lookout Mountain as kids at the same time! Was he that rambuctious boy my parents scowled at? We'll never know, but it makes my heart race to think about the many near misses we had through the years. The almost meeting here or there. We have many of those, and today was the discovery of yet another.

I can't wait to see what new adventures every tomorrow brings.

~sierra
posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, October 13, 2014

New Adventures

Seventy three inches. That is the total length of our new "home."

Along with new living space I am also learning a whole new language and lifestyle. Being on the road is a culture unto itself. Lifestyle changes, storage challenges for small living, CB radio lingo, trucker jargon, and more are all part of this modern-day gypsy lifestyle. I have only been on the truck a few days and I have learned to differentiate between different truck models and styles even from a distance, the names of different truck parts, and experienced a few of the woes of being mobile. Overall it has been a good, if somewhat slow start.

We've been stuck in Atlanta for a couple days. While being parked in a truck stop over the weekend isnt terribly exciting, its given he and I a chance to talk about plans, places, dreams, and adjust to being in such close confines and around each other essentially 24/7. I am happy to say all is well in that department, great even.

Seventy three inches isn't a whole lot of space, and I was worried I packed too much. However, I got most of our belongings all put away and surprised there is still room for more. Even the twin mattress feels comfy and roomy with the both of us on it. For now we just have sheets and a sleeping bag until I find a comforter set I like. When we first started talking about doing this I teased him about putting kitty paw prints all over his truck. Guess what? He decorated the truck with little kitty cat paw prints decals for me!







We are in Atlanta for a few more hours then we begin a trek across country to Denver and then Salt Lake City. He's already trying to plan a route that will take us by some huge sunflower fields for me to see. Regardless of which way we go, I am just excited to finally be able to see more of the country and have a great partner to experience it all with me.

~sierra

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Quilt

It's funny how the mind works.  I was drinking my coffee this morning and poking around on Pinterest, two of my favorite addictions, when I stumbled across an Emmet Kelly figurine post under the "Everything" option in Pinterest.  So, I started looking up Emmet Kelly figurines, which somehow also added a Precious Moments clown figurine in the search.  So of course I had to reminisce and look up Precious Moments, as my aunt, my mother's sister and whom I am named after, used to cross stitch Precious Moments scenes.  Many of the PM kids reminded me of another childhood character, Holly Hobbie.  I bet you can guess what I had to look up next!

And that brings me to the purpose of this post, childhood memories.  Specifically one childhood memory, a quilt.

There are few material things remaining in my life from my childhood; my quilt is one of them.  And though it is tattered and in disrepair, it is one of my most valuable possessions.

The quilt.  It is old and threadbare.  It is stained and faded.  Much of the quilting is now flat and there are a few holes in some of the squares.

My quilt.  It feels like home and smells like memories.  It is worn and soft, and nothing in the world can compare to its comfort.

You see, when I was a baby my grandmother made this particular quilt for me.  She spent the better part of a year (so I've been told) hand-stitching from start to finish a quilt for each of her grandkids as Christmas presents.  Both of my brothers got a quilt, one in blues and greens, and one in earthy tones.  Neither of my brothers still have their quilt.  They were long since lost or discarded.

My quilt, my precious quilt, is squares of pastel pink and a light summery green.  Each and every square was decorated with needlework of Holly Hobbie, enough squares to completely cover a twin-sized bed.  The style of needlework was embroidery, not cross stitch, with beautiful stylized stitches accented with decorative knots.  I can't even imagine the time my mother's mother put into making just this one quilt, all by hand, much less three.

This is what the needlepoint work originally
would have looked like on my quilt.
Through the course of a lifetime my quilt was used to keep me warm, as padding to sleep on, comfort when I was sick, a play mat for my kids as well as the children of my friends and family, and to warm my mother when she was battling cancer.  It has silently witnessed everything from birth to death of human and furry creatures a like.  It has felt the coolness of grass on a spring day and protected me from the burning sands of the beach on a hot summer's afternoon.  It has been eaten on, spilled on, bled on, thrown up on, had diapers changed on it, machine washed and rewashed, bleached, sun dried and dryer dried, even hand washed more than a few times, used as a couch cover, a chair throw, a car and hotel blanket when traveling, a crib/playpen "sheet", a pet bed, and yes, even as a cover for my own bed.

Now almost 40 years old, the lovingly-stitched Holly Hobbie scenes are long gone, the decades-old thread having been faded and worn away to nothing.  You can still faintly make out where some of the knots and stitches us to be.  The lining and edging are frayed and have holes in them.  Life, my life, has left a few permanent stains on the now delicate fabric of the quilt.  The stains that to others may seem unsightly, to me make it all the more beautiful because of the memories of a lifetime held within each one.

My grandmother has long since passed away, and sadly so has my mother.  But I have a quilt, and because of that I will always have a little bit of them with me.

My quilt


~sierra

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Influenster and the VowVoxBox

"Vow Vox Box"? Don't Panic!

You haven't missed any invitations or save the date notices.  There are no wedding plans, secret or otherwise.  However, #Influenster recently had another vox box program of products to sample that would go well with the pending blushing bride or possible potential maybe perhaps one day bride. Anyway, breathe.....

This was a smaller vox box but it was packed with some pretty great items from #SallyHansen, #Ecotools, #Puresilk, #Tide, and a coupon for a wedding website by #Riley&Grey.  So let me give you guys the run down.


The first item to try was of course Sally Hansen's the complete manicure nail polish in Barracuda Blue.  What a fun summer name for a pretty light blue polish.  Initially I tried it on both my fingers and toes.  As I figured, I'm not a color on my fingernails kind of girl.  I'm fairly boring in that department sticking with the tried and true french manicure.  But oh my little toesies!  They loved the blue, especially at the beach.  As you can see above.

It was just light enough to brighten up the toes, but not so dark to make people give your feet funny looks.  Well more funny looks.  Lets face it, feet can be kind of funny looking on their own.  But my little toes felt so pretty in pink.... er blushing in blue with this color.  It's a matte babyish sky blue.  Very pretty and feminine.  And definitely an option for the bride who might need that little "something in blue" on her special day.  Try doing a french manicure with Barracuda Blue colored tips instead of the normal white.  Elegant, colorful, and whimsical all in one.

Pure Silk shaving cream was the next up to try.  I've never been one to use shaving cream, instead opting for body soap, shampoo, conditioner, or lotion... Basically just what ever was handy.  I have latin (Cuban) blood in my so unfortunately I tend to have to shave my legs rather frequently, especially in the summer.  Every other day isn't unheard of for me.  The first thing I noticed with the Pure Silk was I got a much closer shave.  This was honestly somewhat of a surprise for me because I didn't think it would make that much of a difference.  So close in fact that it was 5 days before I had to shave again.  A few shaves latter I started with a fresh razor and that familiar dread as they always leave me with little nicks and cuts the first shave or two.  Much to my surprise I walked away without even the tiniest cut.  I was so surprised by this fact that I spend a full 5 minutes standing in the bathroom in front of the mirror looking at my legs examining them for any tell-tale trickle of blood and just flabbergasted that I couldn't see even one drop.  Yay for Pure Silk.  It has turned my shaving routine from a torture to just routine.

The Tide To Go pen was the object I was least looking forward to testing as I have an allergy to Tide.  After much debate and thought I decided it would be safe to try.  It is after all just a small amount on a small spot on a single item of clothing.  It couldn't possibly cause too bad of an allergic reaction.  Of course, I had just spilled coffee on my favorite white tank top that I sleep in.  Tide to the rescue.  Coffee and mornings.... no I wasn't coherent enough to take pictures.  I wish I had.  The pen took the stain out in just seconds.  When I washed the shirt, I did so with regular laundry and not whites with beach.  When it came out of the dryer it was all pretty white with no coffee spots on it.  The Tide To Go pen found a new home in my purse.

Sadly, I did not use the website offer as I have no wedding to plan.  I did look around at their site a little and their offers.  This seems like it would be a great thing to do, especially if you are a bride planning a large wedding, or have family and/or bridal party members who do not live close to you.  It's just another wonderful way to commemorate your beautiful and special day.

Once again, thank you to Influenster, Sally Hansen, Ecotools, Pure Silk, Tide, and Riley & Grey for the items in the Vow Vox Box and allowing me to sample and test them.  The VoxBox program is always fun, helpful, and every time I learn both about new products and known products with new product line that I might not have otherwise.

~sierra

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Coffee is good for you when consumed responsibly... AKA a Fishy Tale

A tale about why coffee is good for you...

We have a salt water fish tank and our fishy eats frozen fish food.  Every morning I get up, let the p3 out to go potty, turn the light on the fish tank, and put a cube of the frozen fish food in a cup with some water to melt while I get coffee started.  I know.  I know!  That process of events is backwards.  Coffee should always come first.  But the other is a better use of time and keeps me from walking in circles.   Usually, I fix my cup, then take my coffee along with the plastic cup of fish food to the living room where Lt. Dan (our surviving fish) gets fed and I sit and sip my coffee enjoying the sunshine from the open door. This morning The first part of my routine flowed normally without problem.

That is until I went to fix my first cup of coffee....  I poured my cup of coffee, added creamer and sugar, grabbed the spoon, stirred, picked up the cup to take my first sip and paused.  Thank GOODNESS fish food has a fishy smell.  I had stirred the fish food and nearly too a long, not so comforting, first sip of.... fish food soup, mixed with creamer and sugar.  Talk about gastric disaster.  Fish cup emptied and rinsed, new fish food defrosted and fed to Lt. Dan AFTER I had a full half a cup of coffee.

Remember folks... Safety First - Coffee before anything!

~sierra