Beauty in New Mexico

The original post date for this entry was December 04, 2015. My bright idea to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org resulted in my most recent posts not transferring. After hours of thinking I could wear a programmer hat produced nothing but cuss words and the realization the high tech world is passing me by, I was forced to go old school and re-post manually. Without further adieu…here is Beauty in New Mexico, republished.

When my dad was in the hospital between September and October I made several trips to southern New Mexico….Alamogordo….home of the first atomic bomb test….White Sands National Monument….and killer sunrises and sunsets. It’s a long drive from northeast Oklahoma. 10 hours with a radar detector.

I don’t know about your neck of the woods but in these parts there are long stretches of….I was going to say, “nothing.” But that’s not true. There is such beauty in the west Texas plains and the New Mexico desert. I put my life in jeopardy talking many photos while driving. The use of a radar detector means one thing….ya don’t drive the speed limit. One day I’ll post those pics but this post is about a single house near San Patricio, New Mexico. I’ve driven by it for years and never stopped. Until I did.

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A true blue adobe house. Abandoned long ago. Mere feet from the road.

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It’s beautiful.

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I’m standing at the guardrail taking this photo.

While snapping pictures playing professional photographer a truck pulled up and parked in a clearing just out of the picture to the right. An older lady got out and I’m waiting for her to ask me just what the heck am I doing on her property. We starting chatting, she telling me that she’s lived in the area all her life and this home has always been empty. When the highway was expanded several years ago it was mandated that no building older than 50 years could be torn down and sacrificed for the sake of two vehicle lanes. The expansion had to work around this old house. I would say it’s 15 feet from the road.

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I did think twice about going through the front door but I had finally stopped and took the time to marvel at her beauty. So I went in.

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In the house looking at the front door step.

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This plaster was nearly an inch thick. This distressed look is often copied around the southwest but it always looks fake. You just can’t beat the real thing even though I wouldn’t want it in my home for obvious reasons.

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There was a cellar. My balls weren’t that big. No way was I going to peer down the hole.

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Can you imaging waking up to this view out your back door? My photography doesn’t do it justice. The colors were much richer in real life.

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Crazy the juxtaposition. Desert out the back door and fertile pasture out the front door. I wonder….did they farm this pasture?

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Had to throw in a pic of my Camaro….because I don’t have it anymore. In a moment of being practical I traded it in for a Toyota Highlander a few weeks ago.

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Look at this old old clay brick. Based on my new friend’s age it has to be closing at least 100 years.

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It’s not unusual to see abandoned homes in the rural areas of the southwest. When I drive by I always wonder who lived there. Were they happy? Was a bride carried over the threshold? Were babies born there? Did they have a good life?

Now that my dad is gone I doubt I’ll ever drive by this house again. I’m so happy that I stopped when I did.

And, in yet another interaction with someone to remind me of how small this world can be and how we are all connected, the elderly woman who I chatted with stopped at this house to meet her daughter and pick up her grandchildren. They were then headed to Alamogordo, where I lived for a time and my dad was still there. After the weekend she was then headed to Amarillo, where I lived for 13 years. Of all the towns between Tulsa and Alamogordo, 730 miles, she had family in the two where I had lived.

And now for an Alamogordo sunrise…..here you go.

NM sunrise

Luggage Cover Hints and Tips

The original post date for this entry was December 04, 2015. My bright idea to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org resulted in my most recent posts not transferring. After hours of thinking I could wear a programmer hat produced nothing but cuss words and the realization the high tech world is passing me by, I was forced to go old school and re-post manually. Without further adieu…here is Luggage Cover Hints and Tips, republished.

Hey there,

This is a short blog regarding fit for the luggage covers I’m selling in my shop on Etsy: sheislivinoudloud. I want you to really get the full benefit from using one.

  • My cover gets banged up with every trip I take. But my suitcase looks brand new. This is an important point: Your cover will get banged up too. It’s meant to take the hit so your expensive luggage lasts longer.
  • For best results place all zipper pulls toward the top of your luggage or an area where there’s a gap between the luggage and cover. Your cover will last a lot longer if you do this:
    zippers up
  • As stated on Etsy, the cover size is intended to accommodate 22x14x9 inch luggage. The cover dimensions are sewn to 22x16x10. Some luggage brands will take up every bit of the cover length while others call for you to roll up the elastic one or two times…typically on the back side. Roll the elastic under; roll toward the case. Or, you might be able to get away with just positioning the elastic band up away from the wheels a bit:
    Elastic is scrunched up a bit to clear the casters.

    Elastic is scrunched up a bit to clear the casters.

    Elastic is rolled up and under.

    Elastic is rolled up and under.

  • Pay special attention to the elastic band with an inline wheel design…as opposed to caster wheels. Inline wheels will probably require you to roll up the back side of the cover:inline view
  • The cover will fit a little baggy on an empty or lightly packed case, as shown on the Etsy photos. It’s supposed to so that when you really pack it the cover will accommodate the extra girth:
    This Samsonite is packed to the gills. In this photo, the depth is about 12.5 inches. The seams will not unravel!

    This Samsonite is packed to the gills. In this photo, the depth is about 12.5 inches. The seams will not unravel!

    Inline wheel style packed full. Notice the bottom edge is rolled under to clear the wheels. Inline wheel designs typically do not have front wheels. The front of the cover is simply tucked under the front of the luggage top much like how a fitted sheet is tucked under a mattress.

  • This brings up another important point: It IS a universal fitting cover. It fits most brands pretty darn good. You may have a small amount of bagginess or tightness in an area depending on the design on the front side of your luggage. Or, it may fit like a glove. Maximum carry-on luggage size for the big US domestic airlines is 22x14x9 except Southwest. Some other carriers allow for a larger carry-on. So please know your luggage dimensions before you buy.
  • As stated on Etsy, there is a plastic buckle that fastens a strap on the bottom of your case. You do not need to crank this down as it is not needed to keep the cover in place. Securing it too tightly will pull the fabric down causing it to get caught under the wheels. The intent of the strap is to keep the cover in place when the beating begins…when other luggage is forcibly pushed up against yours. A small amount of tension is all that is necessary for the strap to do its job.

Care instructions: Fabric is 100% nylon. Wash cold to warm water; no hot. Best to air dry but could get away with low dryer temp for a few minutes only.

Enjoy! You’ll get a lot of people asking you about it. And thank you for buying; its much appreciated.

Safe Travels!
Cindy

The Tale of Luggage Covers

The original post date for this entry was December 01, 2015. My bright idea to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org resulted in my most recent posts not transferring. After hours of thinking I could wear a programmer hat produced nothing but cuss words and the realization the high tech world is passing me by, I was forced to go old school and re-post manually. Without further adieu…here is The Tale of Luggage Covers, republished.

Ever hear of one? I mean, who slides a cover over their carry-on? Me. Who has a banged up cover but a brand new looking carry-on? That would be me too.

I have yet to travel through an airport without being asked, “Where did you get that cover?” On a trip to Houston last summer, after five fellow flyers asked me this question, the light bulb finally lit up. All this time….I felt like so many people were staring at me and I didn’t know why. I’m not Cindy Crawford. Just naming this supermodel must show my age. Do I have tissue stuck to my shoe? Why are you looking at me?? Ah ha!!! My luggage cover! Mystery solved.

Being a very detail-oriented person this blog post could be pretty dang long telling you the tale of luggage covers. I mean, I left no stone unturned.
• Fabric: It had to be sturdy but lightweight; the cover can’t take up a lot of space when not used.
• Airline luggage size requirements: Googled it; got them all.
• Different luggage sizes and styles: Googled it; head spinned.
• Construction: I can top the cover for my suitcase by a long shot.
• Sourcing materials: I’m a small fish in a big pond who wants big fish pricing. But I can’t do a 5,000 minimum order. Sourcing materials is always a challenge.
• Prototypes: Many.
• Manufacturing: How can I Henry Ford them?
• Quality: Always in the front of my mind and the top of my list.
• Offer monogramming: Need a new sewing machine. My husband might argue this is why I chose to make luggage covers.

Here is the tale is pictures:

Trying my cover on luggage at Kohl's. See the black spots at the lower right corner? They are tiny rips from rough handling. And the seam is about to rip out

Trying my cover on luggage at Kohl’s. See the black spots at the lower right corner? They are tiny rips from rough handling. And the seam is about to rip out.

Another view, Check out that skid mark. On my cover but not my case! Trying out my cover on other luggage showed the modifications needed for a universal cover fit.

Another view, Check out that skid mark. On my cover but not my case! Trying out my cover on other luggage showed the modifications needed for a universal cover fit.

First prototype. Tried it on my husband's suitcase. Long and baggy. That's my pristine case in the rear.

First prototype. Tried it on my husband’s suitcase. Long and baggy. That’s my pristine case in the rear.

Back at Kohl's. Much better fit.

Back at Kohl’s. Much better fit. I promise, my legs are shaved even though it appears there’s a little Grizzly Adams action going on.

Another view. Kohl's security cameras know me by now. Although I liked the fit on top I didn't like the front. Another prototype was made. It took a few more modifications before I was happy.

Another view. Kohl’s security cameras know me well by now. Although I liked the fit on top I didn’t like the front. Another prototype was made. It took a few more modifications before I was happy.

I braved Walmart. Thought for sure I'd get busted. This suitcase is smaller than the most common size of 22x14x9 inches. That's why its so baggy.

I braved Walmart. Thought for sure I’d get busted. This suitcase is smaller than the most common size of 22x14x9 inches. That’s why its so baggy. But by rolling up the bottom elastic I saw that it would still work just fine.

Have you ever tried to sew inside mitered corners using double seam binding? Don't. Trust me on this. I racked my brain for another way to enclose the nylon fabric edges because it frays really bad. Nothing met my standards. I spent SO MUCH time on this part. After several days I just walked away from it with a few choice words. When I was ready to tackle it again...the craziest thing happened....I started sewing them like a pro and using only one pin at each corner.

Have you ever tried to sew inside mitered corners using double seam binding? Don’t. You must trust me on this. I racked my brain for another way to enclose the nylon fabric edges because it frays really bad. Nothing met my standards. I spent SO MUCH time on this part. After several days I just walked away from it with a few choice words. When I was ready to tackle it again…the craziest thing happened….I started sewing them like a pro and using only one pin at each corner.

!!!!! SCORE !!!!!

!!!!! SCORE !!!!!

Photo shoot. I couldn't think of a backdrop that really worked. So I used a white tablecloth draped on my fold-up cutting board. Then I edited the photos removing all the background and laying the luggage image on top of another background. I hope it works. Photography is hard and time consuming.

Photo shoot. I couldn’t think of a backdrop that really worked. So I used a white tablecloth draped on my fold-up cutting board. Then I edited the photos removing all the background and laying the luggage image on top of another background. I hope it works. Photography is hard and time consuming.

Big Time Sangria. This has nothing to do with my luggage covers except that it reminded me the times when a happy hour cocktail did me good will sewing inside mitered corners. We made this for Thanksgiving and already have it on our Christmas and New Year's Eve menus. Love my fellow Okie and fairly close neighbor Ree Drummond...aka the Pioneer Woman. Here's the link:

Big Time Sangria. This has nothing to do with my luggage covers except that it reminded me the times when a happy hour cocktail did me good while sewing inside mitered corners. We made this for Thanksgiving and already have it on our Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus. Love my fellow Okie and fairly close neighbor Ree Drummond…aka the Pioneer Woman. Here’s the link:  P-Dubs Sangria. If you looked beyond the sangria you might notice that I have a thing for knives.

Now to get them posted. All pics are ready except for my monogram color and font options. Tomorrow. Although tomorrow is in one minute. 11:59pm.

Thanks for reading!! I do appreciate it.

Please check out my shop if you’d like:

sheislivinoutloud