Monday, August 27, 2012

Success! Sort of ...

As of today, we finally have electricity at the property. Sort of. The meter's finally installed, and the electric company fellow this time was not the same dunderhead from last time. He apparently took one look at the splices in the meter box for the 100-amp breakers and said, "These need a bit of trouble prevention," got his black industrial heat shrink stuff, and covered three of the four splices. The fourth apparently was in good enough shape that it wouldn't need shrinky-dinking. The meter's digital screen says we've got up to 5822 watts available at a time, and knowing what we'll be running there, we know we can manage a solar setup that's probably half that and still have plenty of juice from the sun.

The sort of success is that once the main in the house was thrown, we found out just how bad the likely rodent damage to the house wiring really is. Outlets and switches that I know worked three years ago no longer work. So there is one light (master bedroom overhead) and six outlets (all three in the master and the three on the sink wall in the kitchen) that work, held on three breakers. Natch, nothing in the bathroom, hallway, small (storage) bedroom, living room or the front bedroom that is my office-to-be works. sigh The breakers that don't let anything work are shut off, so that IF the wires are mouse-chewed, we won't have issues with electrical sparking, thus starting a fire, which is one of my biggest fears. Sadly, one of the working kitchen outlets is NOT the one behind the fridge, but, hey, the $20 fridge works great.

So we'll be running 12-gauge heavy-duty indoor extension cords for everything so we have lights and such throughout the most important parts of the house and getting solar going ASAP. We've got to do a lot to make it work, including extension cords and etc to the house from the batteries/inverter/controller setup outdoors, and just wiring in new boxes and outlets and such as we need them. There are definitely going to be photos of that when we do it! The extension cords right now will allow us to run our basic electronics, and we'll be adding a lot of battery-operated flourescents and such as we go. Nothing like getting started the hard way, but we keep reminding ourselves it could be worse - NOTHING could work. At least SOME things work, and enough receptacles work on enough outlets to give us our basics.

So Friday is official moving day. We'll pack it all up the next couple of days, what little is left here (more than hubby really thinks there is), he'll grab some cords at Lowe's, along with some light sockets and cords for them, and head to the property. Then he'll get busy while waiting for me and the TV/internet installers so we don't miss too much of our entertainments. Oh this is going to be a busy BUSY weekend. And yes, Tina, I do plan on recharging the camera batteries - as soon as I remember to get them up there. Kind of hard to take photos when you have the camera and charger in one house and the batteries in the other one!

So no more posts from me for a few days while we get moved and settled. Once I'm back, I have a book review I promised to write and haven't finished up yet ... I'm a bad reviewer, lol. Talk to you all soon, Gentle Readers!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Failed Attempt #1

Well, that didn't work out so good. We are NOT moved, we are still at the apartment. I am so bummed as well as angry right now I could SCREAM. I also can't sleep - again. Mainly because of the huge nap I took when we finally got back here yesterday. We figured there couldn't POSSIBLY be a stall to things now that the electric deposit was paid. Boy, were we wrong.

We got a call about 8 AM from the electric company. The female idiot on the other end said that the guys had been out to install the meter and that we had to fix the "hub the meter sits on" before they could come back out, because the hub was broken. Now, I was under the impression that THAT would be their problem, but apparently not. So our day started out with an early rush to the property to see what the heck they were talking about. The hub looked fine. So we called them back. I got the same female idiot, who then claimed it hadn't been HER who called us. (Same name, same voice ... and we direct dialed back by using the call list on hubby's cell ... uh huh.) We tell her that the hub looks fine, what did they mean it was broken. She says she'll have to contact the technician and call us back. When she calls back, she says the tech meant the bit of conduit sticking up out of the box covering the wire on the pole. Why this is OUR problem and not theirs is beyond me, but I'm used to power companies who figure until the wire actually LEAVES THE BOX that it's their problem and not yours.

A trip to Home Depot (gag, their service around here stinks) ensued, to get the 71 cent piece of electrical conduit fitting that was required to fix this along with two 4/0 clamps to fix the 100-amp breaker on the other half of the box, where the wires weren't cut correctly to begin with. We notice that the clamps are going to have to be separated by something because the idiot who cut them where they come up INTO the box cut them the same length. Mind, they worked fine before, with the prior tenant, but with the electric company having a hissy fit over a 71 cent piece of conduit, we figured it was going to be a pain to get it to pass "inspection" as the clamps for the splice on the 100-amp breaker weren't in good shape. Right now, at 3 AM on Saturday, I have no clue how we're going to get that fixed the way it needs to be to pass "inspection on reconnect." I told hubby to get 4/0 clamps ... his comment? "No, we'll get these, those 4/0 clamps look too big." You can guess what happened.

We get back to the property, take apart the meter box, fix the stupid conduit, put the box back together, and he attempts to install his "right-sized" clamps which aren't, and we have to make ANOTHER trip to Home Depot to get the correct ones. The electric company shuts down for the week at 4:30 on Fridays, and you guessed it, we couldn't get it fixed in time to call them back for a return trip by the technician to install the meter. I have a bad feeling that they'll have kittens over the clamps on the breaker anyhow, and come up with another excuse not to install the meter, at which point I'll be about ready to demand our deposit back and go get a small solar system from Harbor Freight (there's a store about 1 1/2 hrs away from the trailer, in S-dale), and a battery and use that to run the fridge so we have food. Call it done on everything else till we install more solar systems as we go week to week and just deal with it as best we can with no electric to cook with, which means getting a camp stove at around $80 plus a bunch of the little propane things to go with it for another $25 or $30 and say the heck with it.

We never did get the clamps fixed because they wouldn't tighten down and hubby got aggravated. We'd been at this all day and hadn't gotten anywhere with it to speak of, and now I don't know WHAT we're going to do, other than try again today to get it fixed. That'll make around $100 in gas and parts this weekend just to get juice to the place so we can move. I'm so frustrated by this, that if I were a lesser person, I'd quit now. But like I told Quentin on the way back here late yesterday. We've put too much time and effort into it, and we've both shed blood for the place, and I refuse to quit now. If I have to live without electric for a bit, so be it. I just want out of this stupid apartment and onto the property so bad I can taste it.

As for whoever (sorry, forget your name!) suggested not letting them put a Smart Meter on, you don't get an option here. They come and put the meter on and leave, you don't even have to be there when they install the thing, so you gets what they gives ya. Bugger. Least they do net metering, so if we want to shell out the bucks for an electrician to hook up things THAT was, we can. Personallly, I'm all for hooking up a few solar panels and such at a time and running more and more of the house off new outlets and switches and calling it quits with the electric company. So far, they've been the best at taking out money and the worst at providing anything in exchange other than frustration.

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's time!!!

Dear Gentle Readers:

This is my last post to you ... from the apartment, that is. It's very early Friday morning, the 24th of August, and I can't sleep. It's not from excitement, because goodness knows, I'm tired enough to sleep. It's called Bouncer and Smudge playing Kittydega around the place till 12:30 in the morning and since I'm supposed to be sleeping so I can get up at 4 AM to get ready for work ... Let's just say that I'm pretty sure work isn't going to happen today.

Quentin gets paid on Thursdays by direct deposit. His employer requires that or they give you a payroll deposit card which charges the user for every little thing under the sun. We decided to forget that option and went with the second chance checking option at a local bank, where they let you open the account with a dollar and call it done to get going. The hope is that you'll keep the account active even a little bit. We run two paychecks through there every week, so there's little chance of the account not being active.

What does this have to do with this being my last post from the apartment? Yesterday, on my way home from work, I stopped at the electric company office near the plant. I pass it every day on my way to and from work. I had thought they closed at 4 PM, and was told yesterday that no, they closed at 5 PM. Turns out they close at 4:30 PM, and since we worked till 4 PM and it was twenty after by the time I got my car out of the plant parking lot, I cut it pretty close getting in. Thankfully, they take debit cards to pay for stuff, so I was able to get them the info they need and get the majority of the deposit paid to get the lights turned on. The rest will be on the first bill, natch. But the best news is, the gal said, "How's tomorrow sound for getting the meter in?"

Considering I don't even have to BE there when they do it, I was all for it. Texting Quentin about it made him very happy. So we have three options for moving now.

Option 1 - the original option was for him to take next Thursday off as a point, which kills him getting his holiday pay for Labor Day, but allows him to move us before the rent's due again next Friday. With a weekly rental, that would mean today would be our last rent paid, as we'd be out before it was due again end of next week. We'd be without TV and internet for a day or so, but that would be it. He'd take Friday as a vacation day to get everything set up in the house as best he could, and we'd finish up together over Labor Day weekend.

Option 2 - Tell our landlords we won't be paying this week's rent, but will be completely out by sometime tomorrow. This allows us both to work a full week this week, plus he can avoid taking a point next Thursday, thus getting his holiday pay. He'd call the tv company Thursday morning and set up the appointment for the TV/phone/internet install for his vacation day Friday so he'd be home for it, and we'd be without TV and internet for a few days, till sometime end of next week.

Option 3 - Looks like this is what we'll be doing. Both taking a point and moving today, because with the cats not letting me sleep, I won't be fit for work. Since the electric's going to be on later today, we might as well move our butts to the trailer and get this thing finished up. I'm tired of moving in bits and pieces.

Now the good thing about using option 3 is that we can also, by not shelling out rent THIS week, put that money instead into the move. Gas for the vehicles, then a run back up here where Q's cigarettes are cheap and the Lowe's (which has better prices and way better service than Home Depot around here does) to get a few supplies for fixing up the house (sliding screens, screen door and hardware, and brackets to hold a clothes rod we can improvise for now so our stuff can hang up in the closet). Also to hit up the dollar store for these alfredo ramen noodle things he likes that I can't stand, and our regular Wal-Mart to get groceries for the week. Thank goodness for the grocery store and neighborhood Wally World near my job, because I can pick up fill-in stuff there if need be after work. The bad thing about option three is it'll put my points up high enough that there's no way to work them down enough before "fresh" season (Turkey Day prep season) so that I get my Thanksgiving bonus check, but oh well.

Because we NEED to move. The gas is killing us and the commute is killing me by inches. I'm so tired from all the extra driving some days that it's all I can do to make it here to the apartment in one piece, even with a longish stop at the property. Quentin isn't faring much better anymore, he'll be 38 end of October and he is just old enough that he CAN'T do a lot of things anymore that he used to be able to do, like go two or three days on little to no sleep. At least the rent we'd shell out here for the week will do things like fill the pantry with food, get us moved, and do a couple minor repairs on the house while we're at it! And we'll still make it financially. Wow, what a concept, heck we might even have money left next week when the hubster gets paid again, instead of breaking even like we've been doing.

So there it is in a rather large nutshell. I'm offline for a week or more because the Big Day has finally arrived, sooner than we thought it would. When I'm online again, I'll post and hopefully have some photographs to add then. Until later, my dear Gentle Readers, take care of yourselves!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


This has been a good week, overall. No real downsides to it, for once. I didn't get all the stuff done that I wanted to get done, but when do you EVER have that happen in homesteading? (For example, I found my battery recharger here, but once again, forgot to charge up the camera batteries so I could take photographs. sigh.) Though the apartment is starting to look pretty bare after yesterday. We kept Q's small TV that he usually uses for playing his PS2 here and hooked up the complex cable to it so we can still watch some TV. The big 27" we usually use to watch whatever TV we want to see got loaded in the van, along with his little recliner (we actually put the TV inside the recliner and ratchet-strapped them together so the TV wouldn't bounce around - my idea and Q loved it when I came up with it). We also took the two small bookshelves we keep videos and his stereo on with us, and his stereo. Apparently the complex managers don't like people playing their stereos at any volume anymore, so we can't have music here. Yet people can play their TVs at all hours at all volumes. Ye gods. Add in that there's a new dive shop in what used to be a restaurant on the complex property that "rent" the complex pool for diving lessons all the darn time so the actual tenants here can't use the pool for four or five hours a day and you get a bit of testiness at management anymore. Moving Day cannot get here fast enough.

We got a lot of things boxed up, like the movies and music collections, and some of the knicknacks as well, but no room for them, so they are sitting in a corner for the moment. Q is scoring boxes for us at his plant as he can through the company store, so that's a big help. He got one huge box the other day that I can use for the dishes and pots and pans, thus knowing when we get up there exactly WHICH box has them in it! That'll make unpacking a tiny bit easier. He is a big help with packing, even though I'm the packmaster and he's the loadmaster. I help him as much as I can with loading, too, so it balances out. As an example, while I cleared out the clothes we don't need and loaded them in my car early last week, he packed up the movies and music and labeled the boxes. (Monday.) My poor little car was stuffed to the gills a couple days this week, but we want to make the final load as small as possible. We hope to avoid having to rent a trailer to move things, and since most of the big stuff is already gone, we might get lucky. Doubtful since we still have the small TV, the mini-fridge and his toolbox to take in the van, but we shall see.

This week is more small stuff in the car, because the more small stuff we can get out of here, the better off we are come Labor Day weekend. We won't get his holiday pay, because he's taking half a day off Thursday to get the last of things packed up and loaded, and hopefully get a few hours sleep as well prior to getting everything shifted that Friday. It might take a couple of loads, but with not having to pay rent at the apartment for that week (can you believe it's a weekly rental?) and the property payment as well, we should be okay financially. If we're not, there's something wrong.

As for yesterday and the rest of the week. It got a bit hairy Thursday morning just as I made the last turn to head to the plant. My right front brake pad had been squealing a tiny bit first thing when the car was cold for a few weeks. We knew the pads were about a year old and likely due, but hoped they'd last a few more weeks. No such luck. Slight grinding ensued. So it was baby the heck out of the brakes for two days and not drive it at all yesterday so we can get the pads today at O'Reilly's Auto Parts and Q can change them out for a Sunday project. At least it's a CHEAP fix, and one he can do without us going to a mechanic. So tomorrow, I'll have new pads to go to work with, and be able to drive much more safely. That makes me and the hubster happy. He doesn't like me driving on bad brakes. He'd rather risk his life than mine. (He was in the Marines, what do you expect?)

With what we shifted yesterday and got set up, the house is starting to look so much more lived in and loved. Of course, the floors are going to have to be swept daily in the condition they're in right now, and considering how much dirt we tend to track in, but that's a minor chore. We stopped at Lowe's on the way to the house to pick up some plumbing supplies (PVC pipe, pipe glue and some connectors) so we could get started on that after we got the van unloaded and things in the house. Thank goodness for the little dolly, because while moving stuff was still a pain in the butt with all the freaking rocks in the driveway, it was a lot easier than if we'd had to carry it all in. The TV's in place, the bookshelves and his stereo are in place, his chair is in place. YAY US!

We also put props under the fridge. The floor there is okay, considering it held that nasty old fridge for years without problems, but Q wanted to make sure that any soft spots wouldn't be an issue till we fix the floors. So a piece of 2x6 we had lying around got cut down a bit and two supports stuck under the fridge legs. They cross over the joists under the floor, so there's two or three joists giving extra support to the fridge props, making for any soft spots not being an issue. Heh. We've got this whole soft spot thing figured out, and while it's annoying, it also works for the moment, so we deal with it.

And Q went out the back door into the mess of a "yard" and kicked down the fence. It wasn't that well put together to begin with, so it came down easily. We're going to salvage the lumber from it to help with the whole building a small chicken coop thing later on. He crawled under the trailer and fount the water inlet, and the pipe coming from it. He doesn't like where it's at, as it's hard to get to if you want to work on things, and he's not totally happy with it. When it was set up, they used black flex pipe to come down from the cistern to the house and hook up. We pulled on what we saw out back and one of the connections had come loose, so we got about fifty or sixty feet of flex pipe to use. That's good in a way. He is bringing the pipe all the way under the trailer to the front where the hot water heater originally went, and running the T-connector for the bathroom (which that's right next to) and the kitchen from there, so we can more easily work on the plumbing if something goes wrong. We also found some clamps and fittings and things that will allow us to take the flex pipe and connect it to PVC pipe to go up the mountain to the cistern, thus making for a nice run of pipe for water.

I've never had gravity-fed water before, so it'll be interesting for me to see how well I handle it. I know basic physics, so as long as the cistern outlet is above our taps and showerhead at the house (which it will be), we'll get water, if not great pressure. Long as I've got water, I can deal. Sure, I'd love great pressure, but we both primarily want WATER. So some pipe got laid and in kicking over the fence and working on things, Q also found that screen outside the one living room window and pulled it out of the leaves it was buried in. Lo and behold, it needs a good cleanup, but it's in one piece! So as soon as we can clear the tracks enough to get the thermal window out of there and clean up that screen, that's one less we have to replace. With the one being buried and broken, we have one or maybe two to replace with the little sliding screens. Big deal. Considering how cheap they are, it's not an issue. We can do those and the screen door at the same time.

I'm getting a bit disjointed here, because honsestly, I'm pooped! At this hour, hubby's still sleeping, and I'm normally up anyhow, so here I am, typing away and trying to make this sound interesting and keep it halfway pulled together. Time for me to take a knitting break. I'm still kind of pooped and my fingers want to play with the other sock in that pair (yes, I finally found time to finish the first sock in the pair, now I want to get the other one done so I can wear them!). Till next time!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

An uneventful week

Thank goodness. It's been super-busy for us both at work, so there's not been a lot of time to get things done at the house, and the heat is still problematic, in that it makes me pretty sleepy. Good thing we have the bed there now, though, as if I'm that tired, I do a quick walkaround to make sure things are okay, and then lock the door and take a short nap. I can honestly say that the bed is really comfortable!

There's been some things done, though, just not a lot. The little end tables got reinforced, by nailing them back together, so if the cats go slamming into them while playing Kittydega or World Wrestling Kitties (ie, racing through the house or play-fighting), they won't knock them apart. The screen for both living room windows have been found, but one has to be retrieved from outside the back of the house and checked for damage since it's been on the ground for goodness knows how long, and the other is laying in the bottom of the trash pile outside the front door and needs repair. The frame's bent and the screen is slashed, but I think it's repairable or cheaply replaced. That leaves ONE window with no screen we can find or fix.

The diagram was measured out for the underside of the kitchen sink, so that Quentin can use his jigsaw later to cut that piece of paneling he found to size, and get it installed. Since there's no actual floor under the sink except for the trailer, and that is in rough shape, even a bit of paneling or plywood will help to keep things from going through the floor to the ground when they're supposed to be in the house and accessible. I got all the little tools down into the cupboards in the "laundry area," which we're going to use for household tool storage. Q wants to build a small enclosure in that area as well, to keep the cats out of things like the chainsaw, shovels, etc. Eventually, we'll have a regular tool shed, but in the meantime, it helps to have someplace to store things that the cats won't be bashing around and hurting themselves in.

All the smaller bits and pieces of things like nails and screws and such went into the kitchen drawer closest to the office. This is also known as "The Thing Drawer." We all have a Thing Drawer somewhere in our house, usually in the kitchen. It's that place where you put all the little things that don't really belong in the house, but you don't really have anywhere else for them, and you keep them because you really can use them. Extension cords, extra screws/nails/nuts/bolts, company ashtrays (especially if you're a non-smoking household), and so on. So our Thing Drawer is established. The etagere thing got moved to the bathroom and put up against the wall behind the old toilet that is going to get ripped out one of these days. The closet got measured for a clothes rod.

And I had to put the woodpile back together a bit. Part of the middle got knocked forward into the driveway, and from the looks of the damage, I'd say a deer tried to jump it and missed. The section knocked over looked like it'd been pushed pretty good from behind, but only in one narrow spot. It was easy enough to pick up and put back together. But boy, was it not fun to come "home" from work one day and find my nice woodpile strewn across the driveway!

Every hole I can find in the floors and baseboards is now blocked somehow, other than a bit of stuff in the bathroom around the existing pipes to the tub/shower. I need to get another thing of spray insulation and finish that up well before cold weather hits. I know it'll get done, it's on my personal to-do list, it's just a matter of getting the stuff and making the time to finish it up. There's so many other things that HAVE to get done ASAP that our to-do lists are ridiculous.

We did decide to go with the beech for the laminate floors after all, though. In doing some pricing out, it would cost about $1000 more to use the maple Q liked better, because of the smaller amount of flooring in each box, necessitating buying more boxes. He is a bit of a skinflint when it comes to fixing things. He'll do it well, and as right as he can, but he won't spend more than he has to, to get the job done. Thus, we get beech floors like I wanted originally, haha. The money that we would have spent extra on the floors to get the maple he liked better will instead go to replacing the deck.

He wants to rip out the old one (can't blame him there) and after Bobcatting the pile of crap from the house to a small hill out by the easement, he wants to reuse some of the lumber in the current deck if he can for other projects. All new lumber will be bought for the replacement deck, to be sure it's not warped and is cut to the right lengths and all. We're going to build it 8' x 16' instead of the current 8' x 8', and put railings on it, and a roof for shade, and screen the whole thing in. Then a cat tree will likely go out there or some kind of kitty playplace, so that during good weather, we can leave the house doors open and just latch the screen door on the porch, and let the cats "outside" without them roaming around and getting hurt. Too many hawks and turkey vultures and coyotes and who knows what that could carry the boys off. We're going to have to be super careful with the chickens and such, too, we know, because of that, but that's for later.

There are so many projects to do, so much to get done, to make it a real homestead, more than it is now. But it's still a big improvement over what it was when we started. And it will be so much nicer to be there than it is to be in this tiny apartment. We like that here, we have all the utilities included, even the internet, a laundry room and the pool (which we never use). We don't like the commutes for us, fighting to get use of the laundry room (three washers and four dryers aren't enough), the noisy neighbors who are usually drunk and arguing, and the fighting for a place to park. We're not too happy with the small space either, as there's really no room to move around. Shoot, at the house, my whole office is as big as this whole apartment! Yeesh!

I've been busy here, though. I've been making a lot of jewelry again from the stuff I found last week, and between that and the doll clothes I've had made already, I've been moving stuff from Yardsellr to Etsy. I would have gone with eBay, but things only stay there a week unless you pay extra, and Etsy they stay listed for four months for a mere twenty cents. I still have a lot of things to get listed that I need to move from Yardsellr, and a bunch more things I need to photograph and list once we're moved, but it's a big start. We already figured that I can quit my job and work from home if I can make an average of $200 a week profit from various income streams that we have in the works. Between Etsy, flea marketing, farmer's markets (a next year thing), seeds/seedlings sales, Watkins (I need to get that going again), etc., I should be able to do decently enough to work from that stuff and anything else I can come up with for "farm income" streams to make a living. That's important if we're going to get the homestead going to be what we want. I've also been knitting a pair of socks for myself, and I've got the one done barring the bindoff and the toe done on the second one.

We are a bit traditional in income earning things, for those that have asked. The husband, if possible, we feel is supposed to be the main breadwinner, and the wife stays home and keeps up the house and so forth, taking an outside job only if there is a need for the extra money. Q is more than capable of supporting us on his own income, but we both know that I don't want to be just sitting around and doing nothing but housework, either. So me keeping busy with "farm income" stuff is important. It gives me something to do for "butter and egg money," and it needs to be something that I enjoy. Hence, all the various income streams to help me make some farm income and keep me busy other than the house and garden and critters, lol.

So we can hardly wait for what Q keeps calling "the final descent," since we'll be moving south by about 45 miles or so. This place is just a roof over our heads for now, and the moving date has been set. We're planning for Labor Day (here in the States) weekend. Plans are that Q will take a vacation day that Friday before and get the trailer, then bring it here and load it up. By that Thursday, I'll have loaded all the stuff left here yet all packed up in boxes (he's getting a bunch of them from work), so all he has to do while I'm at work is load the van and trailer and shift things. I'm in charge of the packing and unpacking, he's in charge of loading and unloading. (Not so sure I want to trust him with moving my lappy, though, lol. It's my BABY!!!!!). That means that by the time I get off work that Friday before Labor Day, he'll have everything shifted, and likely be started setting up his electronic gadgetry that he "has" to have - tv, DVD/VCR, stereo, PS2. I'm just a geek with little bit of gagdetry, he likes his. I like non-electric gadgets better.

And this weekend, we are taking off. We've been working so hard on things and there's not a lot left we CAN do before we move, and we feel we need a bit of time to just sit and do nothing this time. So until next weekend, my Gentle Readers, adieu. I'm going back to bed for a bit, just because I CAN.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A major milestone!

Darn me, I forgot the camera and batteries again, and of course, I had to take pictures of the jewelry I made for sale this week, so my camera batteries are nearly dead, and I can't find the blinking recharger. I know it's here at the apartment still somewhere, but I'm not sure where, so I have to hunt it down. I think I know where it's at, but I still gotta look.

There's actually a couple of minor, and one major, milestones that have happened this week. Minor milestones include me deciding to start using eBay for some of my sales again, because Yardsellr, as much as I like it, is starting to hike fees to both sellers and buyers to ridiculous amounts, and I refuse to put up with that. Plus, despite promoting things through Facebook and Twitter regularly, I have had a whole two sales in six months. Not worth my time and effort to keep trying with it. I do like some of the features there, but the lack of actual sales on a free-to-list site really makes it hard to keep wanting to use it, even without the fee issues. eBay's fees aren't that bad overall, so I'll give it a shot there again, as I use it frequently for buying anyhow.

Another minor milestone is I found some of my old jewelry-making supplies (not all of them, though, the rest I found at the trailer today and left there instead of hauling it all back, as it's quite a bit!) here at the apartment and made some bracelets and earrings to sell. I've got an album up on the farm's Facebook page and as I'm in several auction/sales groups on Facebook that have recently started up (and have a LOT of people in them), I'm pretty sure some stuff will get sold through there.

Third minor milestone is that the stuff that's already AT the trailer has been unpacked and put away. I was looking for my birth certificate (which I could have SWORN I'd packed and dropped off there), but I couldn't find it. I may have to order a new one, so we can tag the car in Arkansas and get me a new license there. Ooops. But it's only $26 to order one by mail, so that's not too bad, and I'll have it in hand in a few weeks.

But the major milestone is today. For about $31 in parts, and another $30 or so in tools (a DeWalt hex key set and a set of bolt cutters), we got the splice fixed! Well, Q fixed it, in 3 1/2 hours of labor in 105 degree heat. He took quite a few breaks for Gatorade and rest in the semi-shade of the house, so as not to overheat. But it is DONE. I get to bury it this week, as by the time it was done, he was totally worn out. And he let me make the first cut in the wires to fix the splices. Those bolt cutters work well (Kobalt, I think) and actually are easy for me to use, but the wire was pretty hard to cut through, so it meant I had to use both arm strength and my thigh muscles to push the handles together. How Quentin managed to do it with just his arms I don't know, but it shows my muscle tone is for crap compared to his. And he's a freaking string bean of a man! Sheesh! People think I'm joking when I say he is tall and wiry, but I ain't kidding ... he is strong and very slim, and that makes a lot of things go so much easier. Now we just have to get $145 together for the deposit for the electric and do the paperwork for it, and we have juice. Plus Q will call for the TV and internet so we'll have our various entertainments, and the 'net that I use so much for blogging and business.

While he was fixing the splice, I was doing the unpacking and looking for my birth certificate. I have to say that the trailer now looks more like a home than it did before. It's kind of nice to have books and videos on shelves in the front bedroom (my future office/craft room) that I like to watch/read, my little desk set up in there ... and my cookbooks setting on the kitchen countertops leaning up against the microwave ... and the baking dishes tucked into the cupboards ... and the towels and washcloths tucked away in the linen closet. So much done and we are pretty happy with the results of today's work. Now it's just hurry up and wait till we have the utilities on, so we can finish moving.

I have to say we are both excited about today and exhausted. Whew!!!