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Un-Worldly Traveler….And Then Some

As much as I travelled with Lestat, I’ve never really traveled for actual work.  So, coming up at the end of February I will be on the very first of many trips for work.  I’ll be in Washington DC to visit NASA headquarters and to attend a conference for the Space Grants.  Which means all fifty state space grants will descend on DC in late February and early March.  Okay now that I’ve got that over with here’s the part I don’t like, I’ve never been outside the state of Texas for travel (not including driving into New Mexico for work) and as stupid as this sounds, I’m fucking terrified.  Not of the flight or travel itself but of being at a conference and mingling with people who have been doing this way longer than I have and know this shit by heart.  I know the finance part, the handling grant funds part that’s no problem, but I’m wondering if I’ll be able to fit in with these space grant people.  I’ll be there for a total of four days and my boss is going with me and I’ve already threatened him to not leave me on my own at any cost.  Yes, that sounds just a bit dramatic but, what can I say?  This is my first time traveling and I should be excited and happy, but I’m really not. 

Something Respectfully Curious

As most of you already know, I travel into New Mexico from Texas to work at a university in NM.  To which on my commute each day I have to travel a mountain pass to get to work.  It’s not a treacherous mountain pass but it’s a daily commute I enjoy because it’s a chance to prep for work or unwind afterwards.  Before the Christmas break there were notices on both sides of the Anthony Gap (the mountain pass I take every day) notifying drivers that they were going to start the road widening project on January to make that part of the highway a four-lane road.  Currently it’s just a two-lane road which makes it a bitch when you’re behind construction truck going 15 miles an hour and holding up the rest of traffic.  When I began my new job, on the first two weeks I noticed that along the roadsides there were about 16 or so crosses.   These crosses or memorials were probably put there for loved ones who lost their lives along this stretch of road.  Some of them were just plain wooden crosses, others were more intricate, one of them is a wrought iron sculpture of a cowboy on one knee with his head bowed in prayer and on the bottom, one work, Mark.  I almost cried when I noticed this because I don’t now who Mark was but he lost his life along this road and his family took great pains to place this memorial with such love. 

So now that NMDOT is working on this road, they began to widen the sides with heavy machinery, bulldozing about a ten-foot-wide patch on both sides.  This morning as I passed I saw that they had started moving dirt, vegetation and rocks from the sides of the roads and saw that most, if not all the memorials were gone.  I was flabbergasted because even though I don’t believe in marking the place where a loved one died, I respect those families that have gone through that tragedy and using markers to as a cathartic way of coping.  I couldn’t believe this and all day long I was wondering, who could I call to ask about this.  Yes, I did put that much thought into something most people don’t even think about.  But then on my drive home, I saw some of the construction workers moving the “Mark” memorial back behind where the road will eventually be.  I was relieved, and my faith in humanity was restored once again.  That is until of course, someone does or says something stupid to make me lose faith in all for the four-thousandth time yet again. 

Vintage Jewelry Collector

Because of the fact that I’ve had no energy to actually do what I use to love doing, run and swim, I’ve found myself watching YouTube videos on vintage jewelry.  I began watching then as I delved further into this manic and expensive hobby (I don’t have the funds to even try to get to the level of some of these collectors) I realized, what a fucking minute!!  I already have a lot of the jewelry these YouTubers are touting as vintage and worth a lot of money.  The first is true but the second it depends on the condition of the item and if you can find a market or person who’d buy this vintage jewelry from you.  Most of it came from my mom and at the time I just left it in the boxes she gave them to me in and were in a huge box in one of my many closets.  A few weeks ago, over the Christmas break I saw a couple of more of the videos and realize my mom had bought some of this stuff when it first came out.  Names like Coro, Trifari, Haskell, Schiaperelli and the such would come up over and over.  I was curious and I went on the hunt for that huge box of my moms old jewelry. 

A Coro Pegasus heart bracelet my mom gave me. She bought it when she was 18 years old, so that would make this circa 1961

After I did I found that she not only collected Avon jewelry, she occasionally bought Coro and Trifari.  I was delighted and yet perplexed at why I never actually saw her wear any of the high-end costume jewelry?  Because I don’t remember seeing her get dressed up for work, I mean not like I do.  But then again, she was a warehouse manager for the local school district so that may have had something to do with it.  But I was surprised that she gave me a lot (I do mean a lot of costume jewelry) that is actually worth something.  But I’m conflicted as to what to do with it because they belonged to my mom.  I’ve selected a few great pieces and will keep those for myself.  But I have tons of her costume jewelry and I wonder if I should just sell most of it. 

A Coro parure my mom bought around 1965. It looks gold but it’s not, it’s a silver color.
An Avon brooch and earrings designed by Nina Ricci.

This set I bought myself but I’ve only worn it once. It’s also by Nina Ricci for Avon. I have no idea why Avon jewelry gets such a bad rap. Its jewelry line is magnificent.

One Thing I Can’t Live Without

A small insight into my ever so complicated and weird life, one thing I can’t live without is………Spearmint Chapstick.  This is the only Chapstick I will ever use, or the only lip balm I’ll ever use.  I’ve tried so many others but there’s nothing like my favorite.  Why Spearmint Chapstick you ask?  I can’t really say, all I know is that I use Chapstick a lot, like all the time.  When I’m not wearing lipstick that is, but it’s always within reach for me.  I use it all through the day, and right before I go to bed at night and after I have lunch I don’t reapply my lipstick, I use Spearmint Chapstick.  The thing is, it’s getting harder and harder to find.  The last batch (yes I buy it in batches) I got from Amazon, which was a box of 24 and that was when I bought my house.  I’ve got a couple left but they are getting more expensive and harder to find because I’m thinking I’m the only one that uses Spearmint Chapstick.  So there’s a weird tid-bit about me you might have not known, or cared to know.  Hey it’s my blog so……yeah.

Until next time……this is the Huntress, saying…”Don’t be a Moth Around a Dim Yellow Bulb, Be a Moth to a Flame, Make it worth the Burn!”


Published by thehuntress915

My life has been a lot like the movie Bridget Jones Diary (the Hispanic version) constant comedic struggles and life lessons learned by way of personal experience. I've survived divorce and online dating debacles, so tag along for the ride and lets laugh together.

15 thoughts on “Un-Worldly Traveler….And Then Some

  1. Have you tried e-bay for your chapstick? I just looked and they have a large selection. I’m addicted to Dr. Hess’ Vanilla lip balm. A soft spread and doesn’t disappear as quickly as other balms. I’m pretty sure they also have a mint, but don’t recall if it’s Spearmint.
    Good luck on your travels. I’ve found that people tend to be nervous at these conventions and are willing to talk and help newcomers.
    And drive carefully during all that construction!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I’ve learned anything about you in the past few years it’s that you can hold your own. Don’t be terrified of this trip… enjoy it. I doubt your boss would be bringing you if he didn’t feel you were qualified. DC traffic is crazy but there’s so much to see and do! Hope you have time for more than the conference.
    Nice find on the jewelry. Some of that vintage costume is worth a fortune. Keep the pieces you like and sell the rest… with a thank you to mom for having a good eye.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know my boss wouldn’t have asked me to go if he didn’t think I’d learn more about our program and NASA in general. It’s the actual time of the trip I’m stressing about, I mean we have a freaking 3 hour layover in Atlanta before we fly into DC. What the hell are we going to do in Atlanta for three hours?! Anyway, I’m sure I’m in good hands with my boss, he travels all the time. My mom has TONS of jewelry I mean more than I have and I have a lot. But I’m sure glad she kept the ones she first bought as a girl but I can’t see myself parting with the high end pieces. I still haven’t finished going through that huge box, so I’m kind of excited to see what else comes up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to travel all the damn time, usually alone. Although I always have books so I can sit and read, the computer age really helped alleviate long layovers. So have the shopping centers and restaurants most terminals now housed between concourses. With a three hour one, I’d log on for a bit — most airports provide free wifi, just use your own protection — walk around, looking at the stores, and probably have a drink with a meal.

    Last is people watching. Like, WTF is up with her and how she is dressed? Where is this mass of folks from and where are they going? Good God, can those pants BE any tighter? You bend toward writing so you can always start making up stories about the people you see. Or entertain yourself too by thinking how you would change the airport experience, were you ruler of the world.

    Have fun. Safe travels. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Since this is my first official trip for work, I’ll start to people watch as per your suggestion. But that might be hard since I’m going with my boss and he just LOVES to talk, lol. But thank you for the suggestion, I love to read and I hadn’t thought about taking a book or two with me for the actual flight.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If you have any Schiaparelli jewelry that could be a fun NASA conversation piece since there are Schiaparelli craters on both the Moon and Mars. But even if you don’t I believe you’ll more than fine at the conference. I remember my first work conference, which required flying from Tennessee to California. Scary, yes, but also fun.
    The roadside markers always make me sad but also remind me of a story I heard about a guy who got hurt in a hit-and-run accident. He put up a fake roadside memorial. The other driver came forward and confessed to causing the accident and leaving, saying, “I thought I’d killed somebody.” Not exactly a story that does much for faith in humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the big box of jewelry might have a Schiaparelli but I’m not even half way going through it. This is my first trip out of state, I mean other than NM I mean. I’ve seen so many roadside memorials, all make me sad when I pass them. That’s an interesting story, but then again what a clever way to get the other driver to come forward.


  5. Traveling can be intimidating the first few times you do it, but in very short order it becomes routine. Spend some time with your GPS and remember to put your venue and hotel address in it in case you get disoriented walking around …
    … if you stay at hotels, the staff will tell you the safest routes and places to eat, but I don’t think the type of traveling you are doing is going to put you in dangerous areas …
    Trust your instincts …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rusty, your sage advice is appreciated. The good thing is my boss will be with me and he’s been to this conference for last six years. So I’m sure he won’t let me twist in the wind by myself.


  6. Fear of the unknown is common. You don’t know what to expect. You WILL be fine, though. As far as your mild imposter syndrome, here’s how I’ve always dealt with that. Keep your mouth shut—unless you’re asking a question. Just listen. Speak up when you know something forwards and backwards. Others will view you as an expert on the things you ARE an expert on. People remember what you say or do, not what you DIDN’T say or do, so because you’ve remained silent on things you know less (or nothing) about, they’ll view and remember you as knowledgeable and authoritative. I’ve lived my entire life handling rooms full of strangers this way, and have often been asked how I know everything about everything. I always respond that there is plenty I know little to nothing about and to pay attention to my silence—there are PLENTY of times I’m silent, but nobody notices. Basic human psychology.

    I was so sad to read about the removed memorials, but my heart warmed to read that the road crew replaced them, even temporarily. ♥️

    You know I’m big Avon jewelry lover/collector. I don’t have vintage pieces, but most of their costume jewelry pieces are quality. I definitely would love to see more photos of vintage pieces you own! As far as selling them, I think you should hang onto pieces that you love/wear. Your mom gifted them to you, so you have no obligation to her regarding them. You can sell, keep, or give away any of the pieces as you see fit. I suspect she gave them to you BECAUSE she doesn’t wear them and she recognized that you DO wear jewelry—she figured you’d appreciate and wear them…and she was mostly right! If you still feel guilty selling them, you could split the sale amount with your mom…

    I suspect you like the spearmint Chapstick best because the mint tingles/soothes lips upon application, plus mint is a clean and soothing scent—it helps calm anxiety. In other words, I totally understand your addiction to it. Have you contacted the company directly to ask about it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg Heather!! That’s the best advice I’ve heard regarding my fear of meeting these people at the conference. Thank you for this, it will definitely do this. It’s not like I’ll be alone going over there, my boss will be with me but he’s so anxious to introduce me to all his colleagues at NASA. That’s I definitely don’t understand, but oh well.

      The road crews moved all the memorials farther back and will stay there. They moved them because they are widening the road and I was so relieved when I saw this.

      I do know your a HUGE Avon jewelry collector! You and I both and I do have some vintage pieces, from the 80s and 90s. Maybe you could help me identify some of the designer pieces. I know Kenneth Jay Lane did a jewelry line for Avon. I can’t believe I actually gave two of his sets away as gifts! I could kick myself for that because they are ver valuable now. As did Elizabeth Taylor, your not going to believe this but I had her Avon Taj Mahal reproduction pendant. Her Avon line is worth so much right now! I can’t remember what I did with it, aahhhgggg! And Jose and Maria Barrera designed a jewelry line for Avon as well, and I know I had a set of theirs too, but I can’t remember what I did with it. I have tons, I mean tons of costume jewelry I need to catalog and label, about 90% of it is Avon jewelry.

      Someone suggested I look on eBay, and I found a 24 pack of Spearmint Chapstick (thank goodness) I only have like five left, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Let me know how it goes—once you start doing it, you won’t go back. When my son was a young teen, he asked how I knew everything and I told him to pay attention to my silences, explaining the psychology to him. He told me months later that I was totally right and now he follows the practice, causing others to ask him how he knows everything. It’s simple, but you do have to learn to fight against the natural urge to fill silences or answer questions with partial answers.

        I’m so glad they are relocating the memorials! ♥️

        I dunno much about the big name designers Avon partnered with in the 80s and 90s. I think there are value reference guides for Avon collectibles out there that very well may include vintage jewelry pieces. I’ve not looked into them, so don’t know much about them, aside from their existence.

        It looks like Amazon currently has them available in 12-packs. Not too spendy at $17-$18 either.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I suffer from a lot of allergies that cause my lips to get very dry so I rely heavily on those lips balms with menthol and other things. As for the jewelry, the vintage stuff is huge right now, so if it’s not something you’d wear, sell it while the market is hot!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am so damn behind on reading blogs…and I apologize because yours is one of my faves! I will keep my eyes out for spearmint chapstick, my friend! Good luck on your travels! You got this, girl! Seriously. You are going to nail it. I wish I had some of the Avon jewelry I used to have. I had a good collection, of course not old enough yet to be worth anything. You could be a millionaire and not even know it with all the jewelry you have! 😉


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