Sunday, October 27, 2013

Time to get busy

(Writing on Friday and Saturday nights.)

Time to get busy, because something sad that I hate to admit has happened. The next year or so is going to be very busy, and very hard to deal with. Things are not going well with us as a couple, and despite best efforts, we're drifting apart. It's sad to think of homesteading alone, but unless things turn around with us, it's going to happen. I will be homesteading, alone. I thought it might happen a couple of years ago, but we moved to the mountain and things seemed to get better.

This past summer has proven otherwise, and things are just not working out between us. We spend more time apart than we do together, and there have been comments made on his part that indicate he's really not happy here. When your spouse says things like, "I know you don't really want to full-on homestead," despite that about all you talk about is plans for the future ON the homestead, and he makes other comments about finding a place "more in-town, with more conveniences," you kind of get the less-than-broad hint that things are not heading in a direction you necessarily want to go. It's not been said outright yet, but we've essentially agreed to go our separate ways. It'll be a bit easier once he's working again, because we'll see less of each other, with working different shifts. I'm sure some of you have noticed that I've been trying so hard to be cheerful these last several months, but I have to finally admit that I've run out of cheerful and have hit a wall in that respect.

With that said, things will continue to get done around here, fixed up as needed to make it a bit more liveable and cleaner and neater, but in the long run, I'm going to have to go it alone, probably somewhere else. So getting internet up here is going to be a big must as soon as he's back to work, to help make some extra money to sock away towards buying a place of my own. It means a lower-cost property, so I can afford it on my own. It probably means really hardscrabble living for a while yet after I get a place. My options are to buy something with a house on it (more expensive and I won't necessarily be able to have what I want easily), or buy bare land and put up a bare-bones cabin and go from there. At least with the latter option, I'd be off-grid from the start, which would leave more money for fixing it up the way I'd like. (Though there is a place for sale for $20,000 about 90 minutes from work, with a shell of a house on it already ... the stud walls are all up, the outer sheathing is on, and the metal roof is on, but that's it. No windows, no doors, and it's likely going to have to have the sheathing redone before windows and doors can go in.)

I did get some stuff done around here this week. Quentin did just about nothing, being busy being depressed that his rehire date isn't here yet. The weather has been semi-cooperative, in that while it's rained a lot, it's held off till after dark settles in each night this past week to do anything, and quit by early morning. Only once have the fall temperatures fallen low enough that I had to be really careful heading to work, and even then it was only that the deck was slippery. I slipped a bit stepping off the deck onto the stairs, but managed to catch myself and not get hurt. Thank goodness, because my bum left ankle from June just recently finally healed up all the way. It's still a bit swollen on the outside from tissue damage that I don't think will ever go away, but I've got full movement of the ankle again, thank goodness.

So anyhow, evenings, I got home from work just in time to drop off work gear (my heavy apron that's kind of like a tarp in material and my lunchbag), kick off work boots and put my sneakers on, grab my work gloves and a five-gallon bucket, and head outside for an hour or so. That trash pile by the easement and I are having at it, and it's slowly going down, because I want the trash here gone. G-O-N-E, gone. I'm tired of looking at it and tired of waiting for my other half to decide to do anything about it ("We need a garden cart or wheelbarrow to make any kind of dent in that mess. A five-gallon bucket ain't gonna do enough fast enough to make it worthwhile." AKA "I don't want to do it so I'm going to come up with a lame excuse that sounds valid so I don't have to do anything about it."). So I just did a few buckets a night and there's a bigger dent in the pile than there was earlier this year.

You kind of can't see it because there's just still so much junk there that it doesn't show unless you know what you're looking for. I got some weatherstripping from Home Depot a while back and had asked Quentin to put it on the front door frame to help keep out the drafts. I ended up doing that this week too, along with a lot of spray foam along the bottom, so sadly, I think my draft dodger is going to be a permanent addition to the place, because the foam kind of sealed it in place in between the entry door and the screen door. But at least there aren't any drafts around the door, now!

And I am sorry for being bitter up there. I hate to admit it, but I am kind of bitter over this past year with Quentin. There's been a number of excuses, many on my part ("He's depressed," etc.) to cover up the issues that have crept in on us and our relationship, but there's been a number on his part, too. Mostly involving one of two things. One, I give him a list of things I'd like to see done, and hear later that he didn't do anything because "It would have taken me all day to do some of that stuff." (Never mind that that was the point, to keep him busy so he wouldn't have time to be depressed.) Two, and his favorite, "It's too [insert weather condition of your choice here] outside to get out and do anything."

Kid you not, 4 PM, and he's going, "It's getting dark so we need to get inside and all." FOUR O'CLOCK, and at that point in the summer the sun wasn't setting until EIGHT at the earliest. But it's "getting dark," so obviously, we both have to quit doing a darn thing. Okay, third thing actually that kept things from getting done around here, in that he was too lazy to get off his butt and do anything, including find a job. (And I just didn't want the screaming arguements that ensued whenever I'd try to get some oomph into him.) There's another laundry list of excuses from him for not doing that, including "I don't want to work in a gas station because it'd be like being in a cage all the time." Never mind that the place hasn't got bar one on the building.

So yeah, I'm angry and upset and bitter and hurt and a whole host of other very negative things right now. But I'm not going to let it get me down. Things I want to see done will get done if I have to do them myself. If I don't know how, I'll have to learn pretty darned quick. All in all, it's been a pretty craptastic week barring one little thing.

That being I had Friday off work. USDA scheduled our plant for a no-kill day, so everybody, barring a couple of departments like the cooked products, got a day off. I need the money but the day off was nice, too. I went and got the groceries we need for the week, and while in Harrison, I made a stop at a place I'd looked at in passing a number of times and never stopped. At one point on the main drag, there's a little knock-together cabin sitting in a parking lot, close to the road. It's tiny but just the right size for one or two people.

Front porch that runs the full width of the front of the cabin, a few easy-to-get-up-and-down stairs to the porch, lots of nice windows that tilt in for easy cleaning, interior stud walls to make a cute little kitchen and full bath (big enough for a tub if you want one! and I could get a small wood-burning cookstove in the kitchen), and stairs to a sleeping loft above the kitchen and bath. Two big windows in the one end of the living room/dining room area, and another single one on the front porch side, give loads of light. I could easily sleep up in the loft for a while, and long before my aging joints said "Enough of that stair-climbing crap!" I could have a bedroom or two added on to the back of the place.

There's a window in the kitchen and in the loft, too. I'd want one more in the bathroom, but that's me. I like LOTS of light. I'd probably  have to have a bigger cabin, though, so I could have a spare bedroom for an office/library. I do love my books, after all, and I'd like to have my printed friends out of the bondage of boxes and onto proper shelves. For that matter, if it was bigger, I could sleep downstairs and have the loft for a library/office/reading nook, yes? The building is just stud walls with a finished exterior, and I need to find more info on the company online Sunday, but it looks good and they do other buildings, too. If they can do a barn like I want, that will help out tremendously down the road, too. I can't build anything worth a darn, as far as framing and the like, so I'd have to pay someone to do it anyhow, and if I can find what I like in a prebuilt or easily built like that, I'm all for it. Only problem is, the builder has no website, or any flyers at the place, just a phone number, and so I have no clue how much the place would cost, or if he'd do it as a rent-to-own building.

On the other hand, I also saw one in Berryville Saturday from Derksen I like about as well that's a display model. 16' x 40', double lofted, and they call it the Deluxe Lofted Barn Cabin. It's got a nice wraparound-the-corner porch in front, two huge lofts that could be used for some serious storage (all they'd need would be pull-down ladders), the nook right inside the front door would make a dandy little kitchen, with plenty of room yet downstairs for a sleeping area, a small bathroom and a living/dining/office area. All it would need would be an extra door in the back, and one more window in the back loft for more light and air up there. Heck, build a set of stairs to the back one and it could be a sleeping loft, for that matter. Derksen allows a free upgrade to a metal roof from a shingle roof, which would mean putting on downspouts and eaves pretty quickly, along with barrels for rain catchment. The one we looked at today (we had to go that way anyhow, and he wanted to stop and look - I'm glad I said ok) was nice and comfy, despite not being finished, and it's not even 50F outside today. So as long as it didn't get bitter cold, it could easily be dropped on a piece of land in late winter and even lived in easily while being fixed up.

Of course, that would lead to a need for a generator for power until a solar system could be set up, and a woodstove pretty much right off for heat and some cooking, but that's doable. Also a cheap corner shower from Home Depot to stick in the bathroom corner so I could still have my solar shower bag for cleanup, though I'd have to drill a hole in the floor for the drain and run pipe to a French drain outside for the greywater runoff from that. But it's doable, highly doable, and immediately off-grid, so the money that currently goes out for electric could instead be put to fixing up the place. Even the TV could go, as far as I'm concerned - I can watch TV on the internet or on DVDs, and a digital antenna isn't that expensive, nor is NetFlix. There's another $80 a month not going out for a utility that I get no current use out of around here. (Yeah, he hogs the remote, too. Sometimes I wonder why I even DVR anything, since I so rarely get to actually WATCH any of it right now.) The other really good thing is that Derksen buildings can be bought on payments over a three-year period of rent-to-own. If I could afford to buy this particular one cash on the barrelhead, it would be about $17,000. If I bought it on payments, it would add about $11,000 to the overall price, but payments would likely be a lot easier to come up with than the whole shebang right away. (The cabin in particular I am talking about would be about $775 a month to buy on rent-to-own, which is steep, but not horribly bad for owning it outright in three years with no credit check and no deposit.)

With the hope that soon, there will be interwebs here, I've been working on designing the website for the homestead a bit on paper. I kind of know what types of pages I want to have on the site, but I need to do a lot more design work as far as categories in various parts of it, especially for the recommended pages section and the actual storefront. Thankfully, with the webstore part, I can take PayPal and people can buy stuff with their credit cards that way if they like, rather than me having to pay a fortune I don't have (and won't have for a long time, if ever) for a credit card processing company to work with me to take payments. PayPal is safe and much easier for me to deal with.

As for needlework, the afghan for the baby has been started, and I hope like heck it turns out. I've changed my mind on it, and instead of the Baby Feet squares, I'm going to do an all-over pattern called linen stitch instead, in stripes. Dark blue for the garter stitch border (which for you non-knitters, just means that all stitches on both right and wrong side rows are knitted, so it's all bumpy), and the center will be the linen stitch pattern, done in stripes of the colors I have for the blanket. So it will be pretty in a non-distracting way, warm for cold evenings, and comfy.

I did get the crocheted sweater done for when little Elizabeth Marie is bigger, but now it's time for the 3 months sweater set to get done, and it will go fast, because I'm cheating on that one, sort of. I'm using the rather-popular-with-knitters 5-hour set, which pretty much is about how fast the sweater goes, then another couple of hours for hat and booties, and it's done. I can't find a soaker (diaper cover) pattern I like enough, so I'm skipping that and just plugging away on the rest of it. My socks are coming along, in that one is done, and the other is started, just not much, haha. The Feather and Fan afghan is currently back-burnered, as is the assembly of the granny square afghan, because I really need to get the baby's stuff done and my new socks. I'm running out of woolies for my feetsies to stay warm in at work, as I keep wearing holes in my current ones, so I need to get a good deal of sock-knitting done over the winter.

And here's current pictures of the boys relaxing in the warm-ish house. (Boy, I'll be glad when there's a propane heater in here, but the weather's being fairly cooperative lately, so it's reasonably comfy.)

Here's Bouncer ...

sitting on the back of the loveseat. He likes to curl up there for naps, and with it being so squishy and overstuffed, he can't fall off too easily. If he does, it's usually into the seat!

And Smudge ...

sitting on the floor about where the propane heater will go once it's here.

So there's a lot of changes in store along the next year or so. I hope they'll be good ones, where things can move forward. We shall see. With all that said, it's time for the weekly dose of free kindle goodies. Have fun folks - I'm trying desperately and it's difficult, but I'm still managing to smile and not cry. I gotta scoot, though, so I can have this ready to post tomorrow (Sunday), because I'm in the middle of a pretty good book (I'm reading Anne McCaffrey's Brainship series and I'm almost done with "The City Who Fought") and I want to finish it up before bed. So, till next week, here's this week's dose of freebies!

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall is arriving slowly

Oh, so slowly. There's just a touch of color here and there on the mountain, and the lower levels at the main road have nothing but green yet. The cooler weather is creeping in, as evidenced by the fact that we pulled the radiator heater for the bedroom out last night and turned it on. It was chilly enough at night that we could see our breath in the house, so it was definitely time to get some heat going. It was nice and toasty in there last night, and with the Indian Summer weather we're now getting, I expect that we'll turn it off in the morning, and on about when I head to bed for the next few weeks. After that, it's propane heat all the way, we hope. The boys loved the heat, and curled up on their shelf or the foot of the bed all night to soak it up.

Here they are, curled up on Quentin's side of the bed at the foot. Bouncer wouldn't look at me, and Smudge just kind of gave me a dirty look for interrupting his nap with photo-taking. Sorry it's a bit  pixelated, I took it with the webcam.

Things are slowing down for the winter, and I hope they don't slow down too much. It's getting too chilly out to get much done outside, and dark so early all the time this past week. I could have gotten a lot done, but it's been raining or cloudy every day this week, so by the time I come home and the night's rain is heading in, it's almost too dark to see. This has, however, been a good thing for crafting getting done. The baby sweater is finally nearly done. One more sleeve to do the border edging on, and the border around the bottom, the buttonband, and the neckband, then it's just the buttons to do. Yes, I even seamed it up, much as I hate seaming. That will take about one or two nights, and then another night for the hat and booties, and a couple of nights for the soaker. So, barring major tragedies of time-wasting on my part, and I should be ready to start or already started on the blanket. Then I can work on the socks that have been waiting for my attention, and the Feather and Fan afghan, and assembly can be done on the granny square afghan I've had sitting for months in the front bedroom in a box. (Yes, I hate seaming THAT much. I'll even put off joining squares that are already DONE just to put off sewing the darn things together. I don't even like crocheting them together!) But I will do it. I like afghans, especially if the pattern calls for no seaming, but I'll finish that one up one of these days.

And now for some promised and long-delayed photos!

Looking down the easement a bit, you can see pretty much in the middle a tallish tree that's just starting to turn orange. It's a bit difficult to pick out, but it's right in the middle. The color won't come in better without me washing out the whole picture, and I fiddled with this thing for a bit to get it this good. ARGH!

The new toolbox Quentin built from an old cupboard in the Merlot. It's sitting on brackets screwed to the front of the trailer, and yes, it does have a purpose for those blocks running front to back on the lid. One, they keep the lid from bowing up. The wood for the lid was pretty warped! And two, if hubby is out working on something near the trailer that might roll and get lost, like a small tool or something, those blocks keep things from rolling off the lid while he's working. Dual-purpose and very nice for him to have.

Looking back toward the house, you can just see the fall color starting to pick up in the thorny locust outside the bedroom window. Deep red this year all over the mountain, it's like having a short-term flaming tree outside the window!

This tree is at the end of the drive and just across the road. Isn't it turning a nice yellow?

And this tree is more red-orange than the photo looks, but a cloud went over just as I took the picture. This tree is at the bottom of the mountain road by the cow pasture. (Speaking of which, Mr. McCoy needs to mend fence, his cows keep getting out and into the road! Kind of disconcerting in the morning to be heading for work, come around a turn and there's a black blob of an Angus cow standing in the road like a statue!)

So that's this week's general newsbites. Time for some freebie Kindle books (I am trying to avoid a gazillion cookbooks), and getting my email! Hugs everybody, I need to get some other things done while I can! (Yeah, and grab some nasty McQuack's food for lunch, but at least it's calories. I'm making fettuccine alfredo with chicken and broccoli for dinner tonight. Sorry, not enough for everybody!) (Plus I need to reinstall my Kindle for PC, it keeps exploding on me lately and it's driving me nuts.)


Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's getting tight around here

But not for long. Seems that corporate decided everybody is getting "too much overtime" at work, so  now NOBODY gets overtime. This kills my paycheck to keep us going, so it's tighten the belt and go for broke. I'm going to get darned tired of tuna sammiches and hot dogs and ramen noodles over the next month or so till Quentin's back to work and getting paid again, but so's he, and it's what we have to do to keep going and keep fed. Mainly because he doesn't see the point in stocking up until we need it, and of course, by then, it's too darned late. His idea of homesteading and mine are worlds apart, I'm finding, and it's a long road to help him understand that living in the woods does not qualify as "homesteading" if you're still totally dependent on the grid and outside sources for all your needs, instead of trying to provide some of them yourself.

It's like the wood pile. Growing up, his family had a woodstove, and the boys all split logs for the stove. But they were all six inches or bigger for splitting and he just can't quite get past the idea that once you split it, it's STILL only going to be a couple of inches across at the biggest point. So what's the difference between cutting only big stuff and splitting it, and cutting the smaller stuff and saving it as much as possible for the wood pile, when your goal in the first place is to clear the land for further use? ARGH! Some days, he just totally aggravates me, and this last week has been one of them, lol.

He's so depressed yet that time isn't flying to get him back to work, and yet so juiced at the same time. All he can think about lately is getting back to work. I can't really be upset about it, but there are times I come home and honestly wish he'd just leave me alone to unwind for an hour, and he's so lonesome for human company, that all he wants is to socialize. But then he gets excited because my arrival home is cause to grab the sharpie and mark off one more day on the calendar until he can apply for rehire. (Thirty-two days and counting.) So there's the downside to it all.

Upside is that we'll be back to two paychecks, which will be a big help to getting more done around here. Of course, that means getting a lot of small things done every week at that point, like getting that propane heater and the tank and such, and getting the woodstove after that (because neither of us wants to be cutting a hole in the house for the piping in the wintertime), along with new tires that are needed. And that's just the "small stuff" that's so necessary right now. Then there's thing we both want for us. For him, it's more power tools and a generator. For me, it's more solar landscape lights for the walking path, a new computer, internet at home, a spinning wheel and a lot of books. (I do love to read and love books to teach me things, too. MUST have more of those crafting and homesteading books on my wishlist!!!)

Though things have gotten done around here again, and I still need to get some photos done. The fall color's starting to show a bit more and I really want to show it off. There's one thorny locust right outside the bedroom window that has already turned a blazing red with just a touch of orange to it, and I want a photo of that before it dies back for the winter. All the smaller thorny locusts on the mountain have already turned, so going up and down the road, there's a lot of small shots of color to look at. Winter is so blah, but I know that things need the time to rest. It also meant that this past week, we winterized the windows. The insulated blackout curtains that we left hanging up in the kitchen and hallway openings from the living room all summer, and just tied up out of the way, are now getting pulled down every evening to keep heat in the room. The front bedroom, which gets really warm, gets opened every morning to let heat into the rest of the house, along with all the other blankets and things we've got over windows, to take advantage of the last of the summer and fall heat while we can. As soon as I get home from work, it's close the curtains, windows, and door to that bedroom. With having closed up the house before it got cold this year, we stay a lot warmer. Once hubby's back to work and we get the propane heater, it will stay warm all the time, I know, which will be absolutely delightful.

Once he's back to work, too, I can get outside after I get home and get things done outside. No offense to Quentin, but he understands it, too. When I get home, he wants company. If I try to get things done outside before dark, he keeps wanting me to stop and pay attention to him, so very little gets done, if anything gets done at all. So outside work is on hold right now so he can get some human contact. Once he's back to work, I can come home, grab tools or whatever, and get outside to get more done. Of course, one of my other wants once he's back to work is a garden cart or two-wheeled wheelbarrow, to make hauling trash and crap to the burn pit easier than using a five-gallon bucket is. It will also make the loads bigger, so more will get done per trip. Plus with as rocky as some of the ground here is, a two-wheeled cart at the least is a necessity. A normal wheelbarrow would end up tipping over all the time.

Something he worked on this week that I'm really happy with is that he got a lot torn out of the inside of the Merlot, so the end where he'd already pulled off the tin outside sheeting, and we'd used the exposed insulation from that for filling that hole in the living room wall a few weeks back, well ... now there's a big, gaping hole in the end of the Merlot. That will make it easier to clean it out once he's working and there's a garden cart, because I can just shove it outside the hole into the cart and go from there, rather than hauling stuff all the way back to the other end of the trailer to the front door and going out that way with the trash. He also got enough stuff in the way of insulation (not the best but it will do for now) and paneling out of the Merlot to get the water heater compartment insulated on the stud walls. We can't do anything about the stupid door, but we can fix the walls up some so that heat doesn't sink out the bare walls there this year. And so he spent a day on that project. Don't ask for photos of it, because getting the door to that thing open outside is a pain in the butt.

And the business end of things is starting to pick up. I'm working on putting together a list of all the place I use to make a few bucks now and then online (though once I have internet at home again, it'll all pick up), and I'm working on making it into a book. Yeah, I do love to write, as you can all tell by my ramblings here. One of my Facebook fans for the farm's page told me it's like sitting down and chatting over a cup of coffee, and I do try to keep it informative and friendly in that way. We may be beginning homesteaders in the sense that we have bits and pieces of knowledge but haven't full-on lived the lifestyle and are just starting that journey, but I like to think that if we keep telling people what we're doing and how, and how long things take, then other folks won't get discouraged about how long it's taking THEM to get anywhere. I'm not the doom-and-gloom type like many I see on a couple of  homesteading lists I'm on, though I don't think this country is long for this world in it's present condition, but I do believe in preparing and living simply, and I like to pass that along.

With all that said, though, it's time for one of my favorite parts of the week - the freebie Kindle books festival! Enjoy, as I know I do (though my poor computer is getting awful loaded with freebie books, lol).


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And that's it for this week. I do wish I could find more homesteading-type freebies for you, but all they seem to have is COOKBOOKS most of the time, which gets pretty boring, doesn't it? Oh well ... until next week, maybe things will start to pick up then on things around here. I have a lot of work to get done!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Storms, cold and general stuff

Well, this is a good weekend so far. Yesterday was awful rainy, and I mean AWFUL, haha. Over two inches of hard rain in less about 12 hours. We had to take the truck for our errands because the rain was just that hard. Even so, Quentin drove really slow because there was some danger of hydroplaning, and who wants to deal with that? We sure don't. Though apparently, somebody did, because we got to Harrison, where we had to do our usual Saturday stuff, because outside one of the banks across the road from our Aldi's, a couple of mid-size grey sedans decided to take each other on in a head-on collision. Took a four-lane (plus center turn lane) major thoroughfare around here down to one lane each direction with traffic directed by the local police. Three fire trucks, two ambulances, and about six bubbletops were there when we went by the first time. Coming back, they had it pretty well cleared up and the cars were on flatbed haulers. They were so badly damaged that they were worth nothing but scrap. That was the "exciting news" for the week. (Yeah, country living is great, but it's kind of weird that "exciting news" means somebody got into a bad car wreck.)

We are glad that Quentin's wait for rehire is now down to 40 days, especially since I heard this last week that the plant won't allow more overtime for first shifters after another couple of weeks. This means my paychecks will go down to just about zilch to survive on, so we had to make a tough decision. The weather is overall cooperating with reasonably warm days in the 70s, so all the afghans are going on the bed and we'll deal with whatever cold comes along so that the money we were going to spend on the propane heater will instead help us through the tough times until hubby is back to work. We don't like it, but the forecasts are good for the next month or so, for the most part, so we'll manage. It bites, but once he's back to work, first priority is our winter heat. That propane heater and the propane tank and hoses are coming home and getting set up so we can be warm without huge electric bills this year from running space furnaces. Don't get me wrong, the things were great last year to keep us warm, but we don't want $175-$200 electric bills again. There's better ways to spend that kind of money every month for five months or so. Thus, chilly nights for us for a bit, but it's not like it's not surviveable.

We did find out what's wrong with the truck, too. There's been a clanking under the front end every time we hit a hard bump or go up and down the mountain road, but never on smooth road. We figured it could be any number of things, but a neighbor took a look and said it's the ball joints, so now hubby doesn't have to worry about driving and having the truck fall apart on him while he's going, especially if the log-hauling job he's trying to pick up to help us through till he gets back to work pays off. And it's easy to tell if they need repair or just to be greased - a cheap grease gun and some grease, and squirt it in. If the grease stays inside, the things just are out of grease (and since apparently, they're the original ball joints, is it surprising that they're out of grease?). If the grease squirts out anywhere, the ball joints are cracked and will need replacing. But it's a lot less expensive fix than hubby had thought it would be, so that's a good thing.

We've gotten some more trees and brush cut down and cut up for firewood, more trash is cleared up, and I'm so looking forward to NOT having to try to pull overtime anymore in a few more weeks. That will leave more time for me to get things done around the house, even if it's just for an hour or so a day when I get home from work, before it gets too dark and/or cold. We know we'll be here for another year or two, so might as well do what we can to make it a bit better and productive. That means getting the wellhead and/or cistern fixed this winter. I've told hubby that even if I have to do it myself, it will get done so I can get even a small garden in next year. I'm tired of no garden. I want to get a solar dehydrator built next year, too. Lots of small projects that will take a weekend or two to do, but that will make things easier to deal with and put the place further toward self-sustainability, even though we'll likely end up taking it all with us in the long run.

The baby set is coming along, and I should have photos of the full set in a few weeks, or at least more of the set. The sleeves are done, and all I have left of the sweater is the one front, the neckband, what seaming has to be done and buttons. Then there's the hat, booties, soaker and blanket. The blanket will take the longest, but I think the set will be worth it in the long run for Eric and Bobbi's baby. She's such a cutie, you just want to cuddle her forever. My socks and the Feather and Fan afghan are creeping along, because most of my knitting time is spent on the baby set for Elizabeth Marie. Babies grow FAST and even though I'm making the set in six months size, if I don't get it done in a hurry, she's liable to outgrow it before she gets into it!

The fall color hasn't really come out yet around here, though back home, it's in full bloom. My daughter posted a couple of pictures of her college campus (UM-Flint) and the trees are gorgeous. I'm looking forward to the colors on the trees, though not the following cold weather. Funny, Quentin the other day mentioned how he could hardly wait for next summer's warm weather, and yet a few weeks ago, he was griping how he wanted cooler fall weather! Hahahahaha! You can bet I didn't let him live that one down.

And now it's time for this week's freebie kindle offerings. Have fun and happy homesteading - I have a lot of things to add to the Bountiful Farm Astore, and a ton of work to do when I get home on the books (yes, plural) that I'm working on, and so I've got to get this done and get home to accomplish the things I want to get done today. See you next week! FREE KINDLE BOOKS FOR THIS WEEK
As always, while they're free when I post them, they may NOT be when you get to them. Always loads of cookbooks, but I do also post other books of interest as I find them.

50 Homemade Ice Cream Cake Recipes - Learn How To Make An Ice Cream Cake Today (The Summer Dessert Recipes And The Best Dessert Recipes Collection)
Delicious Soup Recipes (Delicious Recipes)
Food Preservation & Storage at Home - A Step by Step Guide to Canning, Pickling, Dehydrating, Freezing & Safely Storing Food for Later Use
Paleo Lunch Recipes - Delicious, Quick and Simple Recipes
Games for Kids: Fun and Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids: 25 of the Funnest Halloween Crafts for Kids - and How to Make Them Easily and for FREE (or Next to Nothing)! (Childrens Games)
Simply Raw: Easy Raw Food Recipes For Beginners
Backyard Bird Guide: Attracting Wild Birds to Your Yard
How to Make Homemade Pizza Recipes
Simply Delicious Italian Cakes & Cheesecake Recipes - (Delicious Collection of Italian Cakes and Cheescake Recipes)
Slow Cooking, Chicken Recipes & Easy Soup Recipes - 3 Book Bundle: FARMHOUSE KITCHEN RECIPES
25 Simple Salads and Delightfully Delicious Dressings
Owl Ornament: Crochet Pattern
How to Clean and Service an Oil Burner
Let's Eat! A Collection of Simple Singaporean Recipes
It's Not Just Paella
50 Delicious Party Food Recipes: Appetizers, Snacks, Desserts and More!
Let's Talk Turkey
Paleo Diet Cookbook: Great Tasting Paleo Diet Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack and Dessert
30 Delicious Dump Cake Recipes
Raised Bed Gardening - 5 Books bundle on Growing Vegetables In Raised Beds & Containers
Top 10 Vinaigrette Recipes: Balsamic, Raspberry, Citrus, And More!
30 Chicken and Pasta Recipes (Fabulous Chicken Dishes - The Chicken Recipes Collection)
Container Gardening Designs & Woodworking Plans - Volume 1 - Ideas for Organic Gardening & Urban Gardening
Woodworking Projects - Decking: How To Build A Deck Easily - Using Basic Carpentry Skills!
Awesome Chicken
Soap Making Problems and Solutions: Troubleshooting Guide (Start Making Soap)
Top 10 French Fry Recipes: How To Make The Best Homemade French Fries-Oven Baked, Fried, Sweet Potato, And More!
Barbecurious: A Beginner's Guide to American Barbecue
Cheating on a Chicken Coop: 8 Cheap Ideas to House Your Backyard Hens and Save Money
5 Ingredients or Less Salads: Latest Collection of 30 Top Class, Simple, Easy And Most-Wanted Salad Recipes For Healthy Life
50 Vegetarian Muffin Tin Recipes - The Healthy Muffin Tin Cookbook (Vegetarian Cookbook and Vegetarian Recipes Collection)
Biscuits! And Other Fixins
35 International Slow Cooker Recipes From Around The World - Ethnic Recipes
50 Quick and Easy Vegetarian Recipes - The Simple Vegetarian Meals Cookbook (Vegetarian Cookbook and Vegetarian Recipes Collection)
Crochet Pattern - Unicorn Baby Cap
Fast, Fun and Frugal Halloween: A Guide to Great Halloween Costumes, Recipes, Decorations and More (Holiday Entertaining)
25+ Delicious Cucumber Recipes

Ok, I'm out of time for this week to post more goodies. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, that we get through this trying time until hubby is back to work and I have net at home again. Hugs and love to all of you!