Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Once the yard sale was over, and I’d gone through everything looking for more stuff to get rid of, it was time to think about getting on the road again.

The yard sale was so successful, that I had enough money to buy a topper for Luv. It arrived on Monday morning, and Janet and I with Stephanie supervising, put it together. We got all but the last two snaps on each side done, and then I needed someone to drill a couple small holes to finish the job. Trust me, since I am once again photo challenged, it looks real nice. (That’s southern for “holy cow, she’s a beaut”!

Time to load up. A friend of Janet’s generously offered to help load the two dressers. (Oak, heavy, really, really heavy) Myra and JT were to help, also, but JT had some health issues, and could not help in the end. Myra and I met at the storage lot where two young men were helping someone in the same building, and she offered them $5 each to load the dressers. Deal! But when one fellow saw the dressers, he opted out saying he had a stomach ache, and couldn’t lift those dressers. So, with Myra and me on one end, and the other fellow on the opposite, we loaded them in.

For the next 5 hours is was just me and Myra. And really, I don’t think more people would have been much help. Myra was in the trailer packing, and I hauled out whatever sized item she wanted to fit in a specific spot. She’s an excellent packer. However, she is adamant!!! This is the very last time she is going to help me move.

The plan was to take one of the rolling shelf units – in tact- to my daughter in Richmond. I thought of putting a layer of totes on the bed of the truck, then slide in the shelf, tying it to secure it, and packing in and around it. But with many warnings on how I could be killed if it came flying through the back window, it was put directly on the bed, and really packed in.

She bet me that when my daughter saw how the shelf was packed in, she’d tell me thanks, anyway- you keep it. Not an option, I had to pick up a sofa from her and take it to New York.

I got to Richmond around 6 p.m. – already dark. The plan had been to unload immediately, then get up and leave for Brooke’s at about 6 a.m. to join her for an outing.

Didn’t happen. I met Riley, a newly adopted grandpup, a companion for Brownie, we went out for dinner, or rather, didn’t because of the long lines and fell gratefully into bed. Up early, we had to unload 90% of the truck to get the shelf out, - loaded in the sofa, and threw all the bags (big, big space bags of fabric) back into the truck and went out to lunch.

While there, My daughter gave me a down comforter she decided she didn’t want any more. I’d never owned a down comforter, but enjoyed them in a couple guest rooms on my journey. So I jumped at the offer.

Before I left, I had to back the trailer and turn around. It’s a good thing I had plenty of room! It took about 30 minutes to accomplish the job. What a nightmare! I’ve got to make sure I don’t get into a situation where I have to turn around again.

I finally hit the road – it’s only about an hour to Brooke’s and since she was away from home til the afternoon, it was a leisurely drive. The trailer towed beautifully!!! I need to peel the rest of the film off the back side windows – they make it hard to see any vehicle in my blind spot.

I arrived, and had not even turned the ignition off, when Brooke called to say she was on the way. In September, Brooke had just her two working dogs with her, but now she had the “girls”, too. Gabby, a 4# bundle of noise and energy, and Guapa, about 8# of Spanish lady. Guapa is the matriarch at about 10 years of age.

As I walked up to the house, Gabby was in the window barking her head off. I had trouble opening the front door because of Denver and Andy jumping up on it, then 12 feet and 3 tails exploded past me and down the path. Guapa was last out. She ran down the path about 4 – 5 feet, stopped, looked back at me, looked at the 3 tails disappearing down the path, then ran back to me and smothered me with puppy kisses. Aw-w-w the joy of grandpups!

Brooke arrived back from a day of horse shopping. I had a horse when I was a teenager, and my girls were raised on horseback. Brooke has a friend with horses and she has accompanied her on many horse camping trips and trail rides, and has decided it is time to get her own.

We went to her friend’s house for a bonfire and a meal of hot dogs, and S’mores. It was delightful. Brooke wanted me to see the baby rabbits. One was brought out for me to hold. It was just a few days old, so tiny and soft, and ew-w-w-wue! It peed on me!!!! And peed, and peed. I swear something that little couldn’t have that big of a bladder!!! Brooke has a photo as proof of my humiliation – I’ll have to get her to e-mail it to me. Brooke claimed she held one for 20 minutes and it didn’t pee on her. Her friend’s husband says that in 20 years, he has never had one pee on him. So, what’s so special about me?

Brooke has a new camera outfit – SLR digital, so she decided I needed to upgrade my camera and swapped her Panasonic for my Canon. It is an improvement – has more pixels, and has much better color. She didn’t know where the manual was, but showed me where the chip was and told me there was an opening on my computer for it. (Not there) I’ve always used a cord connection to upload photos. We looked at my cord and decided it would fit (it didn’t) So - once again, I am photo challenged!
No more photos until I get the needed equipment from her. (But I still can do the long past due blogs of Montana - and will!)

In the morning, I dropped off the stuff I had for Brooke, and headed for NY. It was such a beautiful fall day. The trees were in top form and flaming with color. It wasn’t until I got to NY that it was obvious the peak of color had passed.

I tried to program Jack to take a certain exit, but couldn’t get it set up. As I was gliding up the New Jersey turnpike, I spotted my exit. Oops, too late, can’t make it with the trailer tagging along, and traffic behind me. So, once again, up the turnpike I went. But, let me tell you, I didn’t feel as vulnerable driving Luv. When I had to stop, I just made sure I used parking spaces
I could just pull through. Except for one stop. I was getting sleepy, so I slowly pulled through the parking area – but there was no place for truck/trailer rigs. I spotted a small parking area that opened to the road, and stopped. Upon returning to Luv, I saw that the entry to the road was blockaded. Oh, crap! I can’t back that trailer. Luckily, there were few cars in the lot, and I was able, finally to make a U-turn and get out of there.

I arrived in Glens Falls late that night. The next morning, we unloaded the trailer – thank goodness for big, strong teenaged boys! Then it was time to take the trailer back. Did I mention Angie lives on a dead-end street? That means backing and turning the trailer. First Amanda tried – then I tried. No matter how careful we were, the trailer wouldn’t go where we wanted it to go.

So, what do Real Women do when confronted with a situation like this? Real women unhitch the trailer, turn it and the truck around, re-hitch and head off down the road!!!!!

Until next time!
Bear Hugs

Luv ‘n Boots

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's a beautiful morning. The sun is shining brightly bringing out the fall colors beautifully. It's warmer than yesterday.

Tomorrow I load up and head for NY.

But, first, I have to go to the Post Office, the DMV and the Bank.. But wait!
Oops, today is Veterans day. Can't do any of those things. Blast - I'll have to do it in the am, before I leave for NY - didn't want to have to do that.

Well, I guess I'll go out and put the velcro for the new topper on Luv. Have to clean the area first with alcohol so the velcro will stick - and need to wait 24 hours before fastening so it will be well stuck.

Walked out the door - where is Luv? What the Hey!!!!???? Luv is no where to be found. Was she stolen? Couldn't have been towed - I had a visitor's pass. Well, I was wrong. She was towed, and whoever called it in told the tow company to
Luv was an unauthorized vehicle and to tow it whether or not there was a visitor's pass. $125.00 to get her back!!!

Janet left a message with the President of the Condo association, and will call the board as soon as it is 9.00a.m. This just about couldn't happen at a worse time.
So much to do today.

I'll continue this post as soon as this gets resolved.

Well, I got Luv back - $125.00 later, and about an hour trying to find the impound lot. Still no explanation as to why she was towed.

Janet is trying to get ahold of a board member to find out about it - but seems the holiday has caused a delay on that front.

I want my $125 refunded, or I want a really, really good explanation. (Like, if it is in the rules that a visitor can only stay so long, and I've outstayed my welcome)
Janet doesn't remember any such rule - but we'll get to the bottom of it at any rate.

I barely made it to Jackie's for lunch. And, what a delicious meal - fried chicken, beans and fresh bread. Jackie, unlike me, loves to cook and uses herbs and spices expertly. Jackie is also the bread expert. She's the one who introduced me to making bread. Jackie is also an artist, and teaches art locally.

I left there, meaning to make a couple stops, before heading to John and Violet's for dinner. Yes, it was that kind of day. But, I headed home, picked up my book (Girl Who Played with Fire), read for awhile, then fell asleep. Luckily, I woke up in time to leave.

Violet is also an excellent cook (So's John), and we had Hungarian Chicken and salad.
Oh, and apple cider - fresh apple cider - oh, so good. We had the company of cats, one of which always sits beside me at the dinner table looking for hand outs.

Violet is an artist. She has done Dolphins and Herons for Virginia Beach and Chesapeake,and, well, let me say her artistic talents are limitless. My words cannot do it justice. John makes reproduction duck decoys - Violet paints them.

By the way - John and Violet are looking for old, rusted horsehoes to use as weights on their decoys (authentic to history) - If you know of anywhere to find such, let me know.

I returned home shortly before Janet. I thought seriously about sleeping in Luv to make sure she didn't disappear over night, but Janet talked me out of it. Have faith, she said - Think positive.

Well, I am thinking positive, but I think I'll go down and make sure she is still therer.

Yup, she's still there, patiently waiting for me to load her up and hit the road.

Until next time,
Bear Hugs

Luv 'n Boots

I'm out looking for myself. If I return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Since I've been staying with Janet, we've been experimenting with different breads.
We've made raisen, cinnamon bread, stromboli, pumpkin spice, buttermilk, jalapeno and cheese, and many more.

The other day, I decided to try an olive "Tapanade" bread. It called for olives, capers, anchovie, and garlic. Janet checked her frig, and showed me the capers and the garlic so all I had to pick up were the olives and anchovies.

Now, I've told you before - I am not a cook. I have never used capers in my life. I had them once on a salad my first born made, but I, myself, have never used them.

So, I gathered up my ingredients, and chopped merrily away. When I reached in the fridg for the capers, I had a little trouble finding them. Finally my hand grasped a bottle with little round green things in it. I proceeded to measure, chop and stir, and soon had all the ingredients incorporated and resting in the bucket.

As I was cleaning up, I picked the jar of "capers", and guess what??? I had put in pepperinos instead of capers!!!

But - as it turned out - it was a great mistake. Last night we had openfaced sandwiches of Tapanade bread, fried cheese, tomatoes, avacados and baby spinach.
It was delicious!!!!! The pepperinos added an intersting bite to the bread.
While I was trying to design the sandwich, I thought of Carol in Chico - she came up with many delicious open faced sandwiches while I was there.

I'm still trying to organize my photos, as soon as I accomplish that - I'll finish up my trip blogs.

Until next time
Bear Hugs
Luv 'N Boots

I'm out looking for myself. If I should return before I get back, ask me to wait.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Last report, I told you my computer was cleaned up and ready to go - well, it was cleaned up, but it took til a couple days ago to figure out what happened to my photos. When I moved them to the other drive, they ended up in two different directories. Should be an easy fix, but then the puter went insane. It's been "logging off" for the past 48 hours - nothing I have tried has worked.

So, right now, I'm at Holly's. She is weaving, and I'm playing on her computer.

Let's see. What have I done since I got back??? Well, went through the stuff in storage - Had one stacked 10x10x12 - then had two units stacked 10x10x6 - still couldn't get around all the stuff.

Went through and pulled out anything I could put in a yard sale - had the sale at Betsy's - a very successful sale!!!! I took 3 truck loads to Betsy's and left with 4-5 boxes of left overs which were dropped off at a thrift store on the way back to the storage unit. My girls are very happy to hear that I sold all my baskets!!!!

A couple days before the sale, I discovered "Soft Toppers" - for my pickup - The yard sale netted me just about enough to buy one.

Oh, yeah, you haven't yet heard about "Luv" Luv is a 2002 Dodge diesel, 3/4 ton pickup - with 8 foot bed. Madame has gone to a very caring home - someone who can really take good care of her, and is very happy to have her.

Any how, I want to get a Soft Topper for Luv - it will give me the versatility I need. I wanted to be able to use the cargo capacity of the pu bed - so I almost decided not to get a 5th wheel - but with the soft topper I can have the best of both worlds. Folds up when not in use!

When I first arrived in VA, I spent several days house sitting for Holly while she and Dave were out of town. I got to play "farmgirl" Twice a day, I had to feed two dogs, 3 cats, 4 geese, a flock of chickens and a school of fish. And then fall asleep up in the tree tops (2nd floor) of this beautiful log house, to absolute silence and total darkness. It was a wonderful experience.

I have and am still meeting up with friends - I'll be leaving here the 12th of November for New York, I have the trailer reserved, and also have reserved someone to help load all that stuff. I still have so much - but once I get to Angie's, my load will be much diminished. She's taking my two dressers, and the two trunks. The dressers are solid oak and, very,very heavy.

Course, I have to take responsibility for all the fabric I'm hauling up there. When I moved it from one unit to the other, I stacked it across the back - I had a stack of fabric 4' high x 3 ' wide, by 10' long. Isn't that ridiculous? Absolutely!!! I will have to be sewing non-stop for 6 months to make an appreciable dent in the stack. But, I'll do my best.

Angie called to tell (warn?) me that there will be 44 for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm really looking forward to it! I love crowds during the holidays.

I'm getting close to having only what I can carry in my rig. However, I am holding out on my personal Christmas decorations (all made by my Mother) and my brother's art work, and one not quite filled box of my "memories"

Well, Holly wants to go for a ride in Luv, so I'll close for now. More later

Until next time
Bear Hugs
Luv n'Boots

I'm out looking for myself. If I should return before I get back, ask me to wait.