Sunday, September 29, 2013

It's rainy season!

And while it'll make the mountain road a bit slippy for a while (I did slip a bit this morning heading to McQuacks, yikes!), I'm enjoying the weather while I can. All too soon, it's going to get cold and I don't like that much cold all that much, though it does give me a good excuse to curl up someplace comfy to sit, halfway watch the boob tube and knit my little heart out on something warm like an afghan or socks or a sweater. Speaking of sweaters, the baby sweater is coming along, though I'm a bit miffed with myself. I took it along yesterday on the errands to knit while hubby does all the driving as usual, and somehow, in the van, I managed to break one of my 10" double-pointed bamboos. Grrr. So that US#6 set is down to three needles instead of four. Oh well, I can get more off eBay at least, once Quentin's back to work. I thankfully bookmarked the seller and I know they sell 6" sets, too, and I want to get two sets of the 6" full sets, which will run me about $20, mainly because they are from China, but they are great and a lot cheaper than the US-made ones. I have no problem with foreign-made products IF they are as good or better than the US-made ones, and in this particular case, they are. I love my bamboo knitting needles, but I'm not going to crank out $10 or more for a single set of four of a single size when for about double that, I can get two sets of four of everything from 0 to 10.5. (I know, more knitting info than you non-knitters needed to hear, lol.) The right front is done, the back is done and the sleeves are just over half-done. They're raglan sleeves (the kind that angle in at the shoulder rather than like t-shirt sleeves), and I'm at the point where I start decreasing for the sleeve caps. So that'll mean by next weekend, with any luck, I'll only have the left front to do, weave in the ends, buttons and the sweater's done. Then there's the hat, booties or socks, soaker, and blanket to do yet. Blanket will take the longest, but at least it will move along pretty well.

The colors are starting up around here better, though still very touchy as far as how much we see here and there. It's a patch here, a spot there, and they are still uncommon enough that we spot them and are surprised by them. The deer on the mountain are looking fat and boy do I wish we had a big enough freezer and a .22 so we could get one of them. That 12-point buck really likes to hang around our place and he'd look soooo yummy on my plate, lol.

Not quite seven weeks to go and hubby can apply for rehire. I'm glad he's so happy that he'll be going back to work, but at the same time, I'm a little depressed by it. I'll have to get used to having the evenings to myself again, but I'll have plenty to do to keep busy and there's always the boys to entertain me with their playing and racing around. There's my needlework to do, writing to do, housework since Quentin won't have time for all of it anymore, and always my favorite, READING. Lots and lots of reading. Thank goodness for my Kindle for PC (and why I always want to type that as Kidnle I don't know), with all the books I have loaded on it. I can look through recipe books and pick out ones to print off and put in my clippings book to use for us (and then get rid of the thing and review it on Amazon), or I can read for fun, or I can play my computer games for that matter. LOTS of stuff to keep busy, so I won't be lonely.  And of course, once we get internet at the house, there's always hanging out on Facebook with my friends to play games, lol. LOTS to do, so no time to really be lonely or anything. Though it will be weird for a bit while I get used to not having Quentin home when I get there to tell him all about my day (mostly to entertain him, because he misses being around live people), and not having him talking my ear off out of sheer happiness to have a live person around to be with after hours and hours of nobody but the boys. I do understand the loneliness, having been off work myself for over a year at one point. It gets depressing and all when you haven't got a lot to do, to the point that you want someone around just to talk to. People become important to you, more than you ever realized.

I did try that new job for one day. Rehang wasn't that hard, physically, but oh my goodness, the chlorine in there was ridiculous. I know things have to be kept clean, but the chlorinated water coming from the chiller on those chickens just was too much. It was like trying to breathe pool water all day, and by the end of the day, I could barely breathe. We are talking gasping for air, runny nose, burning eyes, and darn near blowing donuts into the nearest trashcan. It was just THAT bad. I gave up and went back to my old job on x-ray. One good thing about Tyson's, among the many good things about it, is that if you bid up on a better job, and decide it's not for you in the first three days, you get to go back to your old job, no harm, no foul. Though I have to admit, my boss on x-ray, Ann, was REALLY glad to see me back. I was missed. *grin*

We did get some stuff done this past week farmsteading-wise. I tore out a crapload of paneling and insulation out of the Merlot to use in the water heater compartment. Quentin's job, when the weather cooperates, is to get it installed. He cut a bunch of wood we'd had laying around again, fixed the door on the old furnace closet so it is attached to hingest again and stays shut, and we got some trash burnt. (That's a weekly chore, I know, good thing one of his three favorite words is WHOOSH, haha!) We got rid of some junk laying around that needed to get out of the house to the midden heap, so it's just sitting out of the way now, waiting to be buried. So there's a bit got done, despite the weather being goofy with lots of rain sprinkles keeping things too wet to really get out. Funny part? The mountain was all that got wet around here till yesterday. Everybody and everything else was dry as a bone. Go figure.

With that said, I need to eat, do my weekly reviews on Amazon, and post this week's freebie Kindle books for y'all (plus put a bunch more stuff in the Bountiful Farm Astore), eat some lunch and do a little bit of shopping we forgot yesterday at Wally World. So till next week, my friends, keep on homesteading!


Quick & Delicious - 24 NO BAKE Little Dessert with BIG TASTE! Mini Cheesecakes, Fudge, Truffles, and Sweet Bites (EasyDessert Recipes Collection)
Soap Making From Scratch: 30+ Handmade Soap Recipes and Tips. A Complete Beginner's Guide to Handmade Soaps (A Soap Making Book)
Container Gardening Designs & Woodworking Plans - Volume 2 Ideas for Organic Gardening & Urban Gardening
How to Grow Herbs: A Step By Step Guide to Growing Herbs
Vertical Gardening: A Complete Step by Step Beginners Guide
Growing Vegetables: KnolKhol, Lettuce and Zucchini
Fall and Winter Gardening: 25 Organic Vegetables to Plant and Grow for Late Season Food
The Briggs Book : Recipes, Remedies and Household Hints from way back when
Build a Quick and "Cheep" Auto-Feeder for Your Chicken Coop (Urban Farming Simplified)
Crochet Pattern - Santa Baby Cap and Bib
Start Your Own Organic Garden This Year - And Feed Your Family Some Produce From Mother Nature
Black Gold: Tips To Make Organic Fertilizer And Create A Bountiful Harvest
Grow Your Own Sweet Juicy Organic Tomatoes - Secrets That Your Grocer Doesn't Want You To Know
Some Useful Advice For Building Your Own Garden Shed - Tips, Tricks & Techniques To Build Or Buy Your Own Special Garden Hangout
How to Make a Living from Crafts
Making Money with Strawberries
Aquaponics for Beginners - A Step by Step Guide to Aquaponic Gardening in Your Own Backyard
Crochet Pattern Bear Hat Adult Size

Not a lot of goodies this week, it seems, but I did put in here what I found of interest. With any luck, this upcoming week will allow for more fun and games for us!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Summer's over, fall is here

Officially, it will be here at 3:44 PM, about the time I actually get this thing posted. It feels like it, too, already. Chilly mornings, cool evenings, warm days. I'll be our fall color this year is going to be spectacular. It's already cool enough that I have to run the heater in the car on the way to work, to thaw out my toes, lol. We are prepping for the cold this year with better plans than last year's last-minute rush to figure out a way to heat things. We've got our radiator heater that we'll put in the bedroom to keep it and the bathroom warm, while shutting the hallway door and mostly blocking the bathroom door to the hall, so that the boys can get back and forth to the food bowls and litter box. The tool room is blocked off (we mostly shut the door but we're putting heavy blankets on the inside of it), the front bedroom will be closed off soon the same way, and that leaves us just the kitchen/dining and living areas to heat. We found a small heater from Mr. Heater at the local farm supply store, Race Brothers in Harrison. It will work out well for the front of the house, and with a bit of hookup with hoses and such, we can get it to work on the 20-pound tanks to start. We'll get a 40-pound or 100-pound tank later to last longer, and store them under the deck for keeping them outside. No more huge electric bills for us, nor worrying about if the power goes out. One more step towards being off-grid, whether here or elsewhere.

Because, yeah, the landlords are still dithering over whether to sell us the place or not. Yeah, we love it here, but if we can't buy it, we aren't putting a small fortune in money into it to fix it up nice and all like we have thought about doing. Not a lot of sense to putting money into a place if you aren't buying it, after all. I just hope we can finish getting enough stuff cleared that I can get some kind of garden in next year and get the water situation worked out so I can have water for it without hauling it in from outside. I'll be happy with either the well OR the cistern, long as I can water my garden!

On a sad note, a dear friend passed away this past week. John Plunkey was a good friend. For many years, he was one of Mom's clients (and mine, when I worked for her for over twelve years), and he was a fantastic mechanic. He also served on the police force for my hometown, Mt. Morris, Michigan, for 25 years, retiring as Deputy Chief a few years ago. I'll bet his funeral was wall-to-wall blue. He was lost to lung cancer. Mom told me last Sunday night that he'd been in a few months ago to finish up the corporate paperwork for his mechanic shop, so that when he went, there wouldn't be a whole lot for his wife, Patty, to deal with other than selling the place and finalizing the last corporate tax return. At that point, he only had half of one lung left, and Mom told him she expected to see him in the new year for his taxes. Sadly, he didn't quite make it that far, but he fought a good fight. Requisat In Pacem, John.

On a brighter note, our darling daughter, Amber got her first real paying job in her chosen field, while still in college! Okay, so she's done work study the last few semesters in the music tech lab, which is a job in her chosen field of music, it's a college job, and she didn't consider it a "real job," because it was on-campus. She's worked in a couple of fast-food places, still does at one, and now has a very small job at a local Presbyterian church back home singing for them once in a while, with extra payment for special services like Christmas Eve and Easter. We are so freaking stoked over this for her, and so proud of her. (Yeah, typical parents, lol - so shoot us. *giggles*)

And I may be promoting this week at work. I put in a bid for a job in a different department a couple of weeks ago, for something that is tougher to do, rehanging the birds on a shackle line after they come out of the chiller. It means not a lot of moving around from place to place like I've been doing on x-ray line, but it does mean some good things. Like a 55-cent an hour raise if I can hack it (I have till the end of Wednesday shift to decide for sure and let my current nimrod supervisor know if I'm staying with it.), and a bit earlier stop and start time, so when Quentin rehires and goes to second shift, and starts at 5 PM, I'll get a very few minutes with him before he has to clock in to work after I get done. Every little bit helps at that point, to keep your relationship sane and solid. It's tough working separate shifts, even contemplating it, but he'll make really good money that way and he LIKES working nights. Me, not so much. I like sleeping when it's dark, and when things work out for the farm like we want them to, as much as we can get them to do, then I'll need to be awake during the morning, not sleeping it away. Farmer's markets don't exactly tend to be open in the middle of the night, lol.

The baby outfit is coming along, with the sweater almost done, finally. Still a long ways to go, so it's a good thing I'm making it for a six-months size, because by the time I get it done, that little baby may be about that old! There's a long way to go and not a lot of time to get there. But at least movie night means a lot of knitting, because there's the time in the truck on the way around running errands, there's the time in the laundromat waiting on the laundry, and then there's the three or four hours we spend watching movies after dinner to keep our "date night" going. That makes about six or seven hours all told in one day for knitting or crocheting or whatever I'm doing that I'm dragging along on the driving part. I'm not the fastest knitter in the world some days, and most weekends I'm uber-slow because I keep stopping to talk to the hubby. I need to knit more and talk less, but I like talking with hubby most of the time, and I like knitting too, so they interfere. LOL. It'll all get done, just in dribs and drabs!

We are also working on tearing insulation and paneling out of the Merlot, along with the water heater door and it's frame from there, to fix up the water heater compartment on OUR trailer. No sense letting the cold in through uninsulated walls when we can fix them up and use it for a storage area unless/until we put in a water heater (which requires running water and pipes and all kinds of other things that run about $3000 to put all together properly). So - insulate, panel, and storage that also helps keep cold from leaking into the tool room and the bathroom (and thus the rest of the house). Pictures on that project as it gets worked on!

So that's this week's news. We are keeping busy and keeping warm, and happy to have our lives starting to go in a good direction again. Eight weeks to go and he can rehire, yay us!


As always, these and other goodies are also added to the Bountiful Farm Astore, and I'm so busy with all kinds of things going on that I sometimes wonder how I manage to get all this done. This is just a big sample of what I added this week, so have fun looking there, too. Happy homesteading folks!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

There is a light at the end of the tunnel

And it's getting brighter every day. With only nine weeks to go before Quentin can rehire, he found a possible job around here hauling logs. It pays decent, on a per-log basis, so that will be good for him if he can get into it. We shall see. Work for me goes on (and on and on sometimes it seems), but I'm working on getting a better-paying position, so that's a wait and see thing, too.

On the other hand, things are kicking along now that the weather's cooled off a teeny bit, by about twenty degrees! More stuff's getting cut down, burned, buried, or whatever needs doing. So you can bet that there's a lot of clearing up getting done, and we're happy about that. Any little thing that gets done is a blessing, whether we stay here and buy this place or end up eventually buying some other place nearby. It's all to the good, and the more we can clean this place up, the happier I feel about everything.

I do need to get some extra moolah together once hubby's back to work and do some stuff for myself, whether I plant in containers next year or not. One of the things I really want to do is based on the fact that I love, love, love tomatoes. They are my favorite veggie of all time. I can snack on them raw (so can hubby, for that matter, we go through them like crazy), good on sammiches, soups, stews, homemade sauces and ketchups and other condiments ... so much you can do with them. One of my favorite places to get tomato seeds is and their free with SASE tomato seed offer. The link takes you to the offer page. LOTS of varieties! I need to get some SASEs together and start sending for seeds, lol. And I need to get others ordered that I wanted to order this year and couldn't because of one very small income. We scrape by, but it's tough. Hence why we need so much to get other income avenues going much better, easier once we have two incomes and can afford to get internet at home. With that, I can do so much more than I do now, including revamp my Etsy store and get it going again. Yeah, I know, I've got loads of ways to MAKE money, it's a matter of getting it all going, and it's pretty much impossible to run an online business when you are only able to get online once a week. Grrr-some. But getting so much closer to not being a problem any longer.

Other blessings - our health and the kitties health is all good. Usually, either Quentin or myself comes down with a summer cold when the weather changes so rapidly. So far, so good. No sniffles at all. Guess working in a cold environment is helping me avoid it this year. Cold, but not overwhelmingly cold, like at Butterball, where it was freezing all the time. At Tyson's, I'm actually reasonably warmish most of the time, as long as I dress for the cold in layers of shirts. How hubby actually manages to deal with the cold in sleeveless tees under his smock is beyond me, when he's there. People think I'm joking when I say he's my personal furnace, but I ain't.

Back home today, he's busy burning trash after having cleared out the fridge. I told him that since he's responsible for all the leftovers IN the fridge, HE can clean it out this time. I'm not into his science experiments that get buried in the back. Gee, I wonder why he texted me that some of that stuff was pretty rank? Hee hee hee. Being a redneck, I swear his favorite word is WHOOSH from lighting off the trash pile. He certainly does light enough stuff off to make mini infernos on a regular basis. Of course, considering how much garbage is lying around the place, it does give him plenty of fun time burning things, so I can't gripe about his "hobby" of trash burning, right?

The layette for Bobbi and Eric's baby is coming along. My idea of knitting the sleeves into the body as I went didn't work out like I wanted, so I had to tink back a bit and while the body is in one piece, I'm going to have to make the whole sleeves separate and work them in when I do the neckband, then do the seaming (have I mentioned how much I HATE seaming????) once I get all the knitting done. Then there's just the hat, booties, diaper cover and blanket. The blanket is going to be cotton, too, just not the denim colored cotton I'm using for the rest of the set. I have lots of colors of scraps laying around in good-sized balls, including a whole lot of cream. So I'm doing knitted squares in a free pattern called Baby Feet. I'll be doing the borders in cream, and the middle in different colors of cotton. Once they're done, they'll have to be seamed together (ugh) to make the whole blanket, but the border of the squares will make the border for the blanket, so there's no need to go round the thing and add a border. I think it will look cute, and the cotton I've got in colors is all different colors, not just baby colors. There's green (three shades, I think), brown, dark and light purple, yellow, and I dunno what else. But lots of colors for a very cute baby blanket. The good thing is, with this being a unisex set, if they take good care of it, once little Elizabeth Marie outgrows it, they can put it away for the next baby to come along. Though if the set gets used all to heck, that's good, too. NOTHING a crafter likes better than seeing things they've made be put to use.

My socks are coming along a bit at a time, as is the feather and fan afghan, though they're kind of back-burnered whilst I work on the layette, so the baby has it before she outgrows it. Not like we don't have a bunch of afghans around anyhow, and I have enough socks to get by, but a baby needs STUFF.

So with all that said, here's a photo of our recently emerging fall color on the place. Enjoy! The photo is taken outdoors, just outside the bedroom off the kitchen, where that old tool shed used to be.

I also have to write a note of complaint to Wally World. I opened a newly-purchased package of swiss cheese slices yesterday when I made dinner (swiss burgers, stuffing and green beans) and found THIS on the cheese in the packaging!

Yes, folks, that is a piece of plastic wrapper of some kind ON the cheese as I pulled it out of the wrapper. Hubby was all for just pulling it off and tossing it, but I reminded him that this has to do with Quality Control, and with the industry that supports us, which is food processing, right now, QA is what we are all about, and I was pretty sure Wally World wouldn't be too happy to know that one of their packages had a problem. So it's off to write them a note pretty quickly. And now, for the obligatory (gigglesnort) list of this week's free books for the Kindle. Once I get the internet at the house again, there's going to be a lot of things going on, many of which are still in planning stages. I'm so glad I made a business plan for all this stuff, so I have a day-to-day list of what I have to get done to make things work.

Okay, there's way more I'd like to add, but I have a ton of other things I have on deck for today while online, and they have GOT to get done. See you next week, folks!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The end is near!

For Quentin's wait to get rehired, that is. Ten more weeks and he'll have his application in for rehire to the plant. Then it's just hurry up and wait for the phone call to come in for the pro-forma interview and medical check (BP, height, weight, flexibility, eyesight, drug check) and a few days after that for him to start orientation and get back to making a steady paycheck. Once we get that far, there's a number of small things to get done, the bills to finish paying off, I'll have more time for writing and crafting (which will also mean things will be going up on Etsy for sale again), and there will be more time for me to relax with doing things around the house that he has to be completely responsible for right now. That part kind of stinks. I'm a bit tired of the whole thing, as is he, and there's so much that can happen once we get back to two incomes.

Okay, so MY paycheck will drop quite a bit because of no overtime, and with that stupid garnishment coming out, I'll be lucky to bring home $250 a week, but he'll be bringing home over $400 most weeks, so we won't take a hit financially, and will instead be gaining a bit. Not a LOT, but every little bit will help, we know. So far, things are not going great, but hey, I'm happy that things are going at all in the income producing outside the job department.

Would you believe my little cookbook, which I gave away last weekend, has actually sold a few copies? (Yes, I know some of y'all were the ones who grabbed it, thank you!) A lot of copies sold, I'm trying to keep track of how many with the royalties thing, but gosh it's a weird thing to see little numbers like that for actual purchased copies. Now to sell a bunch, instead of give it away, as it's currently 501,000-something in the paid cookbooks, lol. I'm juiced it's making it at all, but boy, do I need to really promo the thing while working on other things, too. So far, between various venues, I've made a whopping $13.26 in the last couple of weeks. Not so good, considering that we need another $9986.74 to make our minimum downpayment on a place. But then again, that doesn't count the couple-three bucks in loose change we've got laying around in a change bucket, or what we'll be able to sock away once we're both working and I'm able to work more online (assuming we can get internet at the house fairly soon after he's back to work - that's hopefully my Christmas present this year). So yeah, long ways to go.

But heck, that property we like is still for sale. Now if it sells, fine, we'll find something else. But with a 1974 home that "needs TLC," according to the listing, being as far out in the middle of nowhere as it is, access across a deep dip with a low water bridge on pavement OR a lot of rocky, steep, one-lane county dirt road over at least four low-water bridges, it's not going to go very fast, even as low as the price for it is. Those are some serious detractors for someone looking for a nice, big country property if you aren't prepared to be out in the boonies and disconnected from major things by 20+ miles, on a dirt road, and surrounding by cow pastures. We don't care, we just want the downpayment money ASAP so we can go buy the place. It's just about perfect for us, and we don't mind the work to knock it into shape. With all we've tolerated where we're at, that place would be a blasted palace, lol.

Oh, we had a good time yesterday in Harrison. It was the weekend of the third annual Veterans 4 Warriors Corvette Rally at the local Chevy dealer in town, and while I forgot my camera, and am not a gearhead like hubby, we both had a grand time just looking. THREE Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Vettes were in the show. Amazingly cool, and Quentin discovered that his dream of someday owning a classic mucle car isn't as out there and expensive as he'd thought. The local Corvette/Classic car build shop had a red on red Vette in the show that was for sale. Quentin was drooling and going, "I wish I could afford something like this, but I'd have to hit the lottery." I told him to look at the price tag - a "mere" $10,000. Of course, we need that for the house downpayment fund first, but at least he now knows that owning a classic muscle car in show shape is affordable down the line.

Speaking of what we've tolerated brings up what's been going on besides tree-cutting and trash-burning, and Quentin slowly going out of his mind with boredom while he waits for rehire at the plant. So .... pictures!

While Quentin did most of the work, I was responsible helper-person, and handed tools and things he needed out the window. THIS window, with no screen in it, because we had to put the screen that belonged here on the other side of the living room by the front door last year when we found it and fixed it, since the frame for the other window was bent and we didn't feel like buying a new frame. (Hey, we're cheap that way.)  In this photo, you can see how the paneling we tacked up over the old air conditioner hole last fall finally came loose, and some kind of wren had built a nest in one bottom corner of the hole. Thankfully, the nestlings were gone, but I'm pretty sure Mama and Papa Bird were not too happy with us. (Speaking of birds, I think I finally identified our hummingbirds around here - very possibly buff-bellied hummers, so tiny and QUICK!)

Hubby tearing the old paneling off that protected the hole over last winter and this spring and summer. We didn't expect it to last this long, so it was a blessing that it was still up at all.

Where hubby fixed the wall to the floor under the A/C hole. The black thing on the lower right is our plastic two-step stepstool, so I could more easily hand things to him out the window. Being short sometimes is NOT a good thing.

The other project that went on a couple of weeks ago, where he fixed the floor between the living room and kitchen. It ain't perfect, but it's a lot better to walk on that and not sink or feel like you're going to go through the floor when you're going back and forth.

Bouncer laying on my desk, supervising the A/C hole repair.

The hole once we got all the old stuff out that we'd put in/on it to keep the weather out over the winter.

The 2x4 frame Quentin built to go inside the hole, laying on the living room floor. That sucker is SOLID.

The bird nest in the one bottom corner. You can see where hubby is putting the frame in. It took several tries to get the darn outside metal sheeting bent or cut out of the way so it would fit in right. Once we got that done, it mostly slid right in, and only had to be bashed a bit where the stud in the middle of the hole had been cut to originally install the A/C unit. Whoever did that didn't bother to frame in the hole properly, hence why we had to do this. They just cut a chunk right out of the stud, on an exterior load-bearing wall. Lord knows, we've watched enough DIY shows and read enough and such to know that you Do Not Do That Kind Of Thing Because It Is Not Safe. Or, as Mike Holmes (who we love to watch) says, "Unacceptable." Yeah, we're like that, too.

The frame is finally in!!!!!! And tacked into what framing there was available to nail it to for further stability (the 2x4 stud on the left as you're looking at this photo, and the stud that had been cut, top and bottom). The frame just plain is in there so tight that even without tacking it, it wouldn't move.

Quentin cutting up a piece of sheet metal off the Merlot to cover the outside of the hole. Tin snips come in darned handy at this point. Less than five minutes of cutting and he had the piece to size.

Yes, he's drilling on the living room floor. But it's so crappy anyhow, a little bit of punctures isn't going to do much more to it than has already been done. We managed this with a bit of ingenuity. He took the metal out and held it up against the hole, and I used a magic marker to draw on the inside of it, edging out the frame he'd built and installed. This gave him an instant way to know just exactly where to drill the pilot holes for the screws to hold the metal on the hole. He loved the ease of just drilling without guessing and HOPING the holes were lined up right. The hard part was getting the marks lined back up when he went back outside to install the thing. Once the top corners were done, it was just stick a screw in the hole and use the drill to put it in fast and solid.

Taking a break with Bouncer. He likes to steal straws out of Quentin's soda cups.

Insulation from the Merlot that was in good shape got gathered (I got it and stuffed two five-gallon buckets full of the stuff and had more than enough) and I stuffed it into the framework. It's not a pretty job, but the frame is pretty darned full. I couldn't stuff more in if I wanted to.

And the old piece of linoleum that I originally put up to cover the hole period is now back up and re-foamed around the edges to keep air leakage to a minimum. Quentin took the can out and did the outside, but I'm not climbing over all the trash that's still back there to get a photo, lol.

A new toy - a Harbor Freight can crusher. Love this thing, it makes squashing his soda cans down so much easier. It also means that a lot more cans can fit in the trash can for them outside, and we can get more in a bag when we take them to the metal recyclers.

This one came out dark and nothing I can do about that. I already lightened the photo, lol. It's the bottom of the front door. Yeah, it needs weatherstripping, but at least the gap in the floor where things could get in because the floorboards had rotted away for an inch or so got fixed with some of that spray foam, too. Quentin sprayed the heck out of it to fix the hole. Cheaper and faster than ripping up the floor and replacing it for the moment, especially if we don't buy this place.

Remember how I said Eric and Bobbi's baby was here and I was making a layette for her? This is the sweater body, all the way up to the armholes.

I decided to do the sleeves flat and then knit them in at the armholes like I'd started to do, because while I hate seaming, at least this way, I only have to seam the underarms on the sleeves. This sleeve is up to the armhole decreases and ready to be added into the sweater. The other sleeve is only halfway through the cuff ribbing, but since I did the sleeve and that little bit of ribbing yesterday while doing laundry and last night during "date night" time, I'm rocking along.

So that is this week's news. Wish there was more good news on the homesteading front to give, but I figure every little thing we do helps to be a learning experience, a fun time and keeps us heading in the direction we want to go. So till next week, happy homesteading! And don't forget to visit the Bountiful Farm Astore, in case there's other things you've missed here that need to be found, or you just want to do some Amazon shopping, because I'm adding everything there instead of here - it's a bit less time-consuming. Have fun till next weekend!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A nice break in the weather and Happy Labor Day, USA

Finally, we're getting a bit of a break. It's been so hot and muggy that it's been difficult to get outside for more than a few minutes at a time to do anything, so what's been getting done has been bits and pieces. A lot of small trash has been getting burnt (bless you, Quentin, my darling hubster!), some small trees have been getting cut down and trimmed up for future firewood, and a few small repairs got done around the house. Two in particular I'm glad are done.

One, we kept wondering why the heck the front door stuck, despite all the things Quentin did to fix it. Turns out that the wall right there between the doorframe and the interior wall between the living room and kitchen wasn't even attached to the flipping floor!!!! He fixed that with screwing some 2x4 to the base of the wall indoors and out to support the wall. No more squeaky hinges, no more sticking door. It's nice to shut the door and have it shut like it's supposed to now. And two, the floor in the kitchen doorway was pretty soft, and we were worried that one of these days, somebody'd step on it and go right through. He took a 3/4" pine board, cut it to short lengths for crossing over the joists, and while we now have to step up a tad to get over it and into the kitchen, it's a lot better than having to worry about stepping through the floor. We did notice that soft spot's pretty bad when Quentin got done, as the floor there actually gaps about 3/8 of an inch in the middle below the board. If we buy this place, the floors are going to have to be completely ripped up and redone with new boards. Period. If we don't, we'll just fix what we have to fix to keep from going through the floors.

The place we like is still for sale, though honestly, things are not going well for us financially right now in that department. We know it will be a long haul to get where we want to be, especially with not having internet at home, so I have to work hard at getting anything done right now. It's tough, but in the next few months, things will get much better for us. Quentin's only got about 11 weeks left until he can apply for rehire, and we're pretty sure that he'll get back in. That means I only have to do all the blasted overtime for about 12 more weeks (because it takes them a week to get the application printed off, call him for the tour/interview/medical, and tell him when he starts orientation again), and then I'll have more time to do the things I want to do. Like needlework and clearing things up around here, and writing and reading and cooking. Soooo many things I don't have time for right now that I'll be able to do again soon. We are both looking forward to good things coming soon.

Tomorrow, Monday, is Labor Day here in the USA, to honor our working-class people. A lot of folks make jokes about it being the day for pregnant women to go into labor, but it is for honoring our laborers. I'm going to have a rough time of it, with knowing I'd normally be at work and instead getting a paid holiday off!

I am getting some knitting done, though. I started a layette set last night during our date night for our neighbors Eric and Bobbi. Bobbi finally had the baby this past week, a darling little girl they named Elizabeth Marie. I'm making the set in a 100% cotton yarn, colourway is "stonewashed denim," which Quentin thinks is looking sweet. It's supposed to be a raglan sweater but I loathe doing seams and am well-known in my family for knitting up things as one piece so I don't have to do the things. Buttons are enough of a pain, and I hate trying to match up decreases and hope they come out right. If I knit the thing as one piece, I don't have to worry about sides and back not matching in length or whatever. And by doing the sleeves in the round rather than flat, not only do I avoid having to seam the things under the arm and into the body of the sweater, I can avoid doing much of ball-winding for them by knitting them to the underarm and then working across the body and sleeves as I go. Work one sleeve to the underarm, add it in, work up the other sleeve the same, add it in, and then just do my decreases per the pattern. It sounds a bit wonky, but it works out really well and also avoids the bulk of having seams in the sweater when it's done. I'm making it about six months size, so that when the whole set is done (sweater, bonnet, booties, and blanket), it will be plenty big enough for little Elizabeth to fit in and still have a bit of growing room. It's an heirloom baby gift, and I do enjoy sharing my stuff with people like this. It's such a joy to see their faces when they open the package and see what's inside.

Sadly, I don't think any of those peach seeds I planted this spring will ever sprout. I'm about to give up on them, as I have had nothing out of them all summer. Not a single sprout. I think I did something wrong, but I'm not sure what. Either that, or I got a bunch of bum seeds out of things, lol. It does happen!!!! So next year is another chance to give it a whirl. And who knows, sometime next spring, they might sprout anyhow.

Cleanup around here has included picking up a ton (it seems) of soda cans that just got tossed on the ground by the previous tenant. Good night but there are a lot of them! I need to find me a grabber thing to pick them and other small items up, because all that bending over hurts my back, and after Friday, it's sore enough. You know it's going to be a bad day at work when you walk in and your boss says, "X-ray two is broken!" and that's where you work. It took four people working our butts off all day to do a job that two people normally can handle. It made for a miserable day, really, and then I stayed over for another four hours for my overtime that I have to pull for three more months (why does twelve weeks sound so much shorter???), though in a different area, thank goodness. And tomorrow, I have off for the holiday, with pay, yay me. I'm looking forward to getting a LOT of writing done, and am finally halfway through Genesis. At this rate, I might get it done by October, haha!

And now it's time for me to dump my email to read when I get home and list a bunch of books and find a bootie pattern I like that will go with the sweater. Sadly, the pattern for the sweater doesn't include a bonnet or booties, so I need to find something that I can adapt a bit to include the mock cable pattern the sweater has going up the front next to the buttonband and up the sleeves. Till next time, it's book time for y'all! (Speaking of books, the Bountiful Farm Cookbook has made it to #30 on the top 100 Free in Cookbooks, yay!) Remember, the freebie books may not be free when you get to them, but when I grabbed them myself, they were. Have fun till next week!


That's all I have time to share this week. There are obviously a TON more that I simply do not have time to list right now with only getting online once a week. (You wouldn't BELIEVE how long it takes to put this post together every week with the links, lol.) Have fun, and don't forget to like the farm on Facebook - I tend to share other things on there that I don't put in here!