Sunday, January 26, 2014

Yep, still crazy

I'm just checking to see if things are still nuts, and yep, they are. The weather continues to be insane. One day it's nearly 80F, the next it's barely hitting double digits for the high. Seriously?! And the winds, don't get me started on the winds. We have trash that needs to be burnt, but we can't because, between the lack of recent precipitation and the winds, they put out a burn ban. Which means that our trash sits in the front bedroom, where it's the coldest, until the ban is lifted, so we can haul it all outside and light it off in a huge pyrotechnic inferno of glory. (Yes, I'm being incredibly sarcastic there.)

Work's been okay, and I'm glad it's basically been pretty much same old, same old. Barring a few hiccups here and there, like when the one carrier belt in my section broke in spectacular fashion Thursday, stopping two of our x-ray lines for over half an hour while maintenance fixed it. And when it broke, it meant floor boys (aka janitors, but we call them floor boys, despite the fact that most of them are senior citizens, lol) got to sweep up the lovely mess of plastic pieces that went flying.

Friday for me was the pits. I don't mind being pulled off my section to do something else, as long as I'm still in debone, where I know the rhythms of things and I'm around people I can talk to, and mostly where you don't spend half the day standing around doing nothing. Nooooo, I get sent to F.P. (Further Processing), where the cooked products are made and packed. This is fine, except that they could honestly pack the product faster and less messily if they did it by hand and used ziploc bags, rather than the bagging machines they use, which have to be:

a - reloaded with more plasfilm regularly
b - make bad bags (holes, too big, not full enough) half the time
and c - said bad bags mean someone (Friday, me, ugh) has to stand there and open all those darn things, and dump them in a hopper to eventually be rebagged, hopefully correctly.

Honestly, it sucked hind tit. I spent more time standing around waiting for someone to find me work than working. I don't mind getting paid to stand around and do nothing, but when it's because of breakdowns, that's different. You know that things are either going to be quickly repaired and it's back to work, or if the repair will take a while, they'll send you all to the break room to wait it out until it's fixed or they say go home, it's going to take awhile longer than we thought. But when it's because nobody can find the oodles of work that were supposedly waiting for you to do, because half their people didn't show up for work so they're shorthanded, it's a bit nuts. And when you have finished up some of it by lunchtime, and are told that they'll have more waiting for you when you get back, then it's an HOUR after you get back from a half-hour lunch before they have more for you to do, it's just ridiculous. My friend at work, Christine, knows how much I hate just standing around doing nothing when there's work to be done. It drives me batty. So in general, the week was good, but it sure could have ended better.

One of the gals I work with, Tasha, has arranged for us to throw a baby shower on February 7 at lunch for another one of our gals, Jamie. Jamie's almost due with a baby boy, not her first child, but we want to do something nice for her. So it's shower time! Truthfully, we Tyson folk look for just about any excuse to party at lunch. Bake sales (for help with funeral expenses, disaster recovery, etc.), birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, babies .. if we can find a way to have a good time, we will manage to do it. Trust me folks, if you need a good job that pays well, has really good insurance and other benefits (the 401K and ESOP are just two), and pays weekly, and you're near a Tyson plant, go for it. It ain't glamorous or anything, and it's usually pretty messy and cold and kind of nasty, but the Tyson family you get makes it worth it. Is it any wonder I went back when Butterball got too stupid to keep hours up and keep people, among other idiocies they practice?

The granny square afghan that was going to go on our couch has decided it's fate. It's silly, I know, to say that an inanimate object like that can decide what it wants, but my needlework speaks to me. I want to be this, yarn will say, or I want to belong to this person, it will say as it's being made up. The afghan has made up it's mind, if it can be said to have one. It wants to go up to Michigan and be Mom's late Christmas/birthday present. Mind, Amber has been so busy that she still hasn't gotten our Christmas presents wrapped, and it's coming awful close to Valentine's, haha!

Why's she been so busy? Well, there's been school, of course, and the part-time job at the Presbyterian church downtown that she's had for a bit now, and now she's got another job involving vocal performance, too. So she's putting her dream to work for her, and I'm so proud of her. Not a lot of kids get to have parents that go, you know what, you want to sing for a living, go for it. She made up her mind when she was four that she was going to grow up to sing.

"I love Phantom of the Opera," she'd declare, "and when I grow up, I'm going to sing Christine AND Carlotta's parts! Just not in the same show, because you can't do that, because they're different characters." And I encouraged her to dream, because she had the voice and talent even then. I told her when she got older, that she likely would have to take a job doing something other than singing to support herself, and she understands that, but her focus is on vocals. It's all she's ever wanted to do, and I know how it feels to have a dream.

Mine was to be a vet, but I couldn't pass chemistry to save myself, and the only other thing I was good at was math. So I got an accounting degree. Funny thing was, I knew so much about animals because of having wanted to be a vet, that it ended up that all the folks locally who had animal-related businesses came to me and mom for their bookwork and taxes when I was working for her. Even when I left, due to economic downturns which led me to Arkansas eventually, they still came flocking to her door. Now that she's retiring, I don't know what they're going to do. But gosh, we had horse stables (boarding and training and riding), a few dog breeders, I don't remember who all.

One old fellow I particularly liked was named Jack. He had Standardbreds, and raced them. He was fond of me, because when he'd come in and mention having bought a new racing bike, he knew I'd understand he meant sulky for racing his horses, and not something to ride in the Tour de France. I kind of miss those days. For me, they were great. Even though my childhood dream of being a vet didn't come true, the knowledge I gained trying to attain it did stand me in very good stead over the years I spent doing number-crunching.

So it was an easy choice to encourage Amber's dream from the start. She had the looks, talent and voice to make it work, she just needed encouragement to give her a push, like training wheels, till she got the impetus to go it on her own. And here she is, twenty-one years old, and making her dreams come true. Great kid, I'm lucky to be her mom. I'm lucky I had the Mom I did, and do, because she encouraged me, too. And when my dream blew up in my face, she encouraged me to find a way to put the knowledge to use anyhow. That's a part of how I ended up working for her for over twelve years.

And now, I work with chickens. Dead ones, to be sure, but I work with animals nevertheless. Not quite what I dreamed of doing, but it's a start. And now, I have to get back to that afghan. A mere dozen squares left to attach and then the border and it's ready to go. And three-quarters of the baby sweater I'm making for Jamie's baby shower. Shhhh!!! Don't tell her! It's a secret!

Oh yeah, and we got asked to do weekend overtime in F.P. again this weekend. Uh, no. I understand that they have to ask, it's regulations, but it really gets on my nerves a bit. But Saturday's running and chores got done like normal, so that's all to the good. My head isn't in a great place right now, I've had some bad news that's difficult to deal with, but I'm managing. Hugs, all. I have to get busy on this week's booklist, and go from there to get other things done, too, as much as I can. Till next time! (And, no, I haven't gone back to the links, I just like the text links better.)



Chickens: Raising Chickens, Choosing The Best Chickens, Chicken Feeding & Care
Worm Composting: & Composting Ideas for use in Organic Gardening & Growing of Vegetables & Herbs
How To Make A Homemade Incubator
I CAN CAN RELISHES, Salsa, Sauces & Chutney!! How to make relishes, salsa, sauces, and chutney with quick, easy heirloom recipes from around the world ... or sell (I CAN CAN!! Frugal Living Series)
The Homemakers Journal: Natural Cleaners
Vegetable Container Gardening: Growing Vegetables In Containers & Planters (Gardening Techniques)
Healing Herbs for the Ornamental Garden (Herbal Medicine from Your Garden or Windowsill)
Happy Hens: A Beginner's Guide to Keeping Chickens.

Paleo Snack Recipes : Fast And Easy Paleo Snacks Your Kids Will Devour (And So Will You!)
35 Christmas Dessert Recipes: Quick Recipe Guide to Holiday Pies, Cakes and Candy
Simply Delicious Italian Cakes & Cheesecake Recipes - (Delicious Collection of Italian Cakes and Cheescake Recipes)
EASY ONE BOWL CAKES AND CUPCAKES PLUS FROSTING! - Easy, No-Fuss Cake and Cupcake Recipes - 40 Favorite Recipes!
Turkey Recipes: Delicious New Ways To Serve The Classic Turkey. (Simple Recipe Series)
Spring Roll Recipes: A Classic And Creative Collection Of Spring Roll Recipes. (Simple Recipe Series)
The Part-Time Vegan Cookbook: Vegetables For Every Day
Best Recipes Dinner Collection - Chicken, Chili, Meatloaf, Slow Cooker
35 Recipes For Slow Cooker Beef - Beef Slow Cooker Recipes To Try (The Slow Cooker Meals And Slow Cooker Recipes Collection)
Simply Delicious Assorted Italian Desserts, Plus Easter Holiday Desserts! Cakes, Crostata, Tarts, Cream Puffs, Ricotta Cheese Pies, and More!
35 Coffee Cake Recipes - The Ultimate Coffee Cake Recipe Collection (The Cake Recipes and Recipes For Cakes Series)
30 Paleo Salad Recipes - Simple & Easy Paleo Salad Recipes (Paleo Recipes)
Pressure Cooker Recipes: Essential, Easy To Follow Recipes You Can Make With A Pressure Cooker. (Simple Recipe Series)
My Redneck Family's Home Cookin Volume 2
A Christmas Collection: Classic Cookies and Fudge
30 Gluten Free Meals - Tasty Gluten Free Dinner Recipes To Try Tonight (Gluten Free Cookbook - The Gluten Free Recipes Collection)
Slow Cooker Christmas Recipes: Holiday Crockpot Recipes For A Wonderful, Stress-Free Christmas. (Simple Slow Cooker Series)
35 Easy Weeknight Dinners - The Easy Winter Recipes and Winter Food Cookbook (Quick and Easy Recipes - The Weeknight Dinners Collection)
29 Gluten Free Soup Recipes and Stew Recipes - Delicious Gluten Free Soup and Stew Recipes To Try (Gluten Free Cookbook - The Gluten Free Recipes Collection)
Making 30 Glorious Pasta Recipes: An Exuberant Collection of Fresh, Vivid, and Simple Pasta Recipes
Best Easy Mexican Recipes (Mexican Food Cookbook, Burrito, Nachos, Tacos, Chili, Enchiladas Book)
Lemon Recipes: 30+ Amazing Recipes Using Natures Super Citrus (The Simple Recipe Series) Ginger Recipes: 33 Mouth-Watering Recipes Using Natures Super Spice For Weight Loss, Health, And Beauty. (The Simple Recipe Series)
Christmas Dinner Recipes: Holiday Dinner Recipes For A Wonderful, Stress-Free Christmas. (Simple Christmas Series)
Christmas Casserole Recipes: Holiday Casserole Recipes For A Wonderful, Stress-Free Christmas (Simple Christmas Series)
Chicken Breast Recipes: Recreating This Classic Ingredient Into Creative And Delicious Dishes. (Simple Recipe Series)
Top 30 Mouth-Watering, Most-Recommended And Most-Wanted German One Dish Recipes
Top 30 Mouth-Watering, Most-Recommended And Most-Wanted German Main Dish Recipes
Breakfast Sandwich Recipes: Easy, Tasty Breakfast Sandwich Recipes To Start The Day Right. (Simple Recipe Series)
Okay, that's all the books I have time to list this week. Gosh, I'll be so glad when we get internet at home sometime in March, because then I can put together the list during the week, and post daily! Won't that be a hoot!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's a bit crazy out there

My arthritic right hip decided to go out on me on Monday, which made work fun. Easy as it was, standing up and walking with my hip shrieking imprecations at me did not make it overly easy. Dinner was leftovers from Saturday, when I made chicken teriyaki. Yummy. Then I got most of the dishes done, which is fine, other than my hip making it so I couldn't do all of them without wanting to scream.

I got all the way through Pinetree's catalog for veggies today, and oh dear me, but that's around $190 in seeds just for basics, never mind herbs and such. Yeah, I have a big list going. Can't bear to pare it down further than it is already, but it means getting things in small batches. If I don't get a garden in this year again, it won't be for lack of seeds for once. And I really want to get seeds and at least store them, with the news out of the EU saying that they're considering banning heirloom seeds there. That makes for some seriously bad stuff, folks. Hybrids don't breed true, and heirloom and open-pollinated varities do. I personally don't like hybrids at all, and the only one I knowingly grow is for acorn squash, which I love. Plus once I'm done with the basics for seeds, I want to start in on other things that we may not eat ourselves but which would make for good market produce. I still need to get my hip to shut up long enough to get the laundry put away, especially since it's two baskets full of clothes.

But I've been doing that in bits and pieces as my hip would let me, a few minutes here and there, filling in between with work on the granny afghan and the knitted log cabin style one. So there's things getting done, but boy does it ever ache today. Also, I should note that yesterday, hubby went and took down a couple more mangled trees out of the mess on the hill. They were marked in the fall as needing to come down. One was dead and the other was so twisted out of shape we both felt it was better to take it down and leave the nicer and more mature trees standing.

Tuesday was boring as all heck. They pulled me off my line to do nothing more than literally stand and stare at a light all day long to mkae sure it didn't go out or something. I never did get find out exactly what it was I was supposed to be watching for with the light. But hey, they want to pay me $11 an hour to stand and do nothing, I'm game. And when I got home, I found Scheeper's catalog waiting for me. Oh dear, more temptations.

Oh yeah, and this is what I looked like all day, staring at that stupid light.

Wednesday was better. Back to my usual job, and the day just zipped by, so even though my hip is still acting up, I felt some better. Now, with my hip acting up, we have had to make a critical decision that we'll be revamping our plans and skipping the hoofstock. This does mean some good things for our farm-to-be budget. We can go with as little as 2 acres instead of having to have 5 or more. We won't have to worry about my arthritis upending things even if he's still working by me not being able to do all that needs doing with hoofstock, and I'll get a bit of a break during the winter months because nothing really needs to be tended during the cold weather.

We'll likely still be able to have chickens and rabbits, due to the generally easy care they have, but with our ages (mid-40s for me and almost 40 for him), developing medical issues like arthritis, and time considerations, we're leaning very heavily toward losing the hoofstock off the future plans. I can still have a big garden, lots of fruits and nuts and herbs, and even flowers, to keep busy and have things to sell at the farmer's market (and seed online), plus plenty of time yet for things I like to do to relax. That means time to read and craft, but it would also mean that things like my craft sales plus the hunting down things to resell on Amazon like books, CDs, DVDs, and games would end up being a replacement income stream for the farmstead over the hoofstock.

Plus I've discovered there's several other small farmers around here who sell meat that is grass-fed, plus I took a look through a small local business in Green Forest called Das Butcher Haus, which does small meat production. They're the local abattoir, basically, and do butchering for locals who don't want to do it themselves as well as some animals they buy themselves for butchering and sale of the meat cuts. This gives us local meat production, I have local suppliers for wool for spinning as well, and this helps us out a lot with making changes to our future plans for the farm. And honestly, it leaves me feeling a bit less stressed out with plans, because I can take time to revamp the farm business plan and strategy, and have more fun with things. Homesteading, I think, should be fun and not a major stressor. With all we wanted to do to be as self-sufficient as possible, we were terribly stressed out with the plans.

These changes allow us to relax, work on what we absolutely HAVE to get done to make our lives more comfortable, and go from there. I like that. (Though I'm not so sure I'm going to like having to take and make time to revamp the business plan. It took me nearly 40 hours to put it together in the first place!) So here it is Wednesday evening and I'm going to stop all this, eat some supper, work on the afghans (four rows on the granny plus the border, and a third done on the knitted log-cabin style one), some reading (Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett), and an overall quiet, comfy evening. Oh yeah, and looking at my Burpee catalog that came today, too.

And the weather Thursday kept up the crazy. All week, temps went up and down, up and down, like a yoyo. And then Thursday, we added in lovely gusting winds up to 30mph on top of the crazy, bouncing temperatures. Yippee. Just what I wanted, an evening spent working on my needlework, while listening to the wind moaning around the house. Yeah. Just a good time all the way around.

But I've gotten eight full rows done on the granny afghan, which is great, and a lot of work done on the log cabin style thing, so that's great, too. We've made a decision on the satellite internet as well. We'd love to have it ASAP, and I'm just that close to having the darn deposit for it together, but with Quentin needing to get through probation at work, and possibly having to take a day off to help the satellite guy get the thing installed, it's a good idea to wait until after February. This is not fun, folks. I really want the internet like NOW, but there's a lot of good reasons to wait other than the possibility of Quentin needing to help the installer. The weather will be better and the ground softer, so getting the pole for the dish put in will be much easier. There's also the fact that if trees need to be thinned or trimmed or whatever to get better signal, Quentin's got to be able to be home in order to haul out the chainsaw and deal with that. But that's on schedule, work is going okay for the most part, and I'm pretty happy that the days are getting longer. Another month or so, about the same time that the internet gets installed, it will be light long enough after I get home from work to where I can get some work done outside before supper. Whee!

Not so whee, we got our forms for the state tax return already, and we haven't gotten our W2s yet. I will be glad to get that task out of the way when the time comes. I love doing taxes and bookkeeping, as that is my background, but sometimes, I just wish I could spend my days crafting and doing things on the computer without having to go work somewhere else. One day, I know it will happen, but it's a ways off, and for some reason, with all the wind today, that knowledge is a bit depressing.

Friday was a good day despite the chills. The weather is cold again, and clear, which left the living room a bit too cold for my taste, and the kitchen pretty frigid. Now, we're not talking so cold in the kitchen as to see my breath, just rather a bit more chilly than I'd like for fixing dinner. As for the living room, it's not that it's so much frigid there, either, it's still just a bit chilly after all of yesterday's winds to make it comfortable for listening to the idiot box while doing some needlework, or hunting through catalogs, or what have you, to keep my evening busy.

So I took the expedient route and hauled dinner, the computer, my needlework, and a couple of seed catalogs down to the bedroom so I could spend a quiet evening in reasonable comfort. Momma didn't raise no fools when it comes to surviving winter in good condition, that's for sure. Speaking of Mom, Friday the 17th was her birthday. Sixty-six years old, my goodness! It's hard to believe. I remember being a kid and thinking she'd never get old, and that I'd never be the age she was (whether it was thirty or forty). Now, here I am, forty-five and closing fast on forty-six, and wondering where the years have flown off to. I sure don't feel my age most days.

Well, except for Friday morning. I woke up a bit before the alarm and went to stretch under the blankets before getting up, and thought I was going to scream. I got a really bad Charlie Horse in my left calf, and surprisingly enough, despite all my moaning and banging into the walls because I couldn't walk normal for a while, Quentin slept through the whole thing. Either he was sleeping, or he was snoring awake. I slapped on some muscle rub (yeah, I'm getting old enough that that stuff is normal in the medicine chest), and had a lovely time driving my five-speed standard transmission car to work, up and down hill pretty much all the way. Oh yeah, and then being on my feet for eight hours, walking and standing.

Except for about an hour or so in the morning. One of the families at our plant had a horrible house fire the day before Christmas Eve, and lost everything. There was a bake sale to benefit them today, and nobody wanted to help man the thing. I volunteered solely because nobody else would, and that made me kind of mad. One of the things you learn in orientation is how Tyson employees are a family, and we take care of our own. Then something like this happens, and while folks are willing to donate food, or buy stuff, or whatever, they rarely want to help with setup, sales or cleanup. So I spent an hour manning the sale, which was fun.

After lunch, the one gal grabbed me and said they were continuing the thing all afternoon (which is unusual), and I needed to stay there and run it. I said, ok, but you better let Ann (my lead) know, because I'm not getting in trouble for not being back to work on time over this. Oh, she told Ann, all right, who came out to the break room and said, I kid you not, "Hey, hon, what's going on here?" (There is something inherently WRONG when your boss calls you "hon" and you've got at least a decade on her in age. But it's funny.) So I told her.

She got this steely look in her eyes and said, "We'll see about that." Off she went, back a few minutes later with a cover like we usually throw over the big totes for storage or breaktime cleanup (that way at break, the high pressure chlorinated water doesn't contaminate the meat), and told me to break it down, pack it up, and cover the leftovers I couldn't put away with the cover. One of the supervisors said there was NO WAY we were running a bake sale all afternoon. So about half an hour later, I was back to work. I was kind of glad, really. I don't mind helping out like that, but it was awful boring. Even considering that I work in the cold and wet, and the breakroom was warm and dry, I'd rather be at my job than watching that bake sale because I'd be busy and time would pass. Honestly, I saw a repeat of Tuesday happening if I couldn't get out of manning the bake sale for the afternoon. (As in, the blankish stare thing going on again. No thanks.)

Of course, Saturday was the busy day it usually is, with a ton of running around. It was a lot of fun getting so much done, and we picked up a few cheapo movies from the dollar store and Wally World to keep us busy for date night tonight, while also getting the truck paid down as of today to a mere $370. This means in a few more weeks, that's $65 a week I can put towards back bills or seed orders or whatever instead of a vehicle payment. Mind, by fall, we'll have to find a 4x4 to get me back and forth to work in bad weather next winter, but that's several months off and we'll worry about that at that point.

We both got offered some overtime this weekend, for both Saturday and Sunday in F.P., which is Further Processing, where the cooked products are made. The extra money would have been nice, but we always have so much that has to get done, that we really need the weekends off in order to get them done. So, naturally, we both said, oh heck, no. Instead, it was truck payment, laundry, groceries, smoke shop for Quentin, lunch, and a lot more that I've lost track of, but man, we spent about seven hours between driving and the other stuff. Mostly driving, because country living means you drive a half hour or more one way to the grocery store. It's awful fun though.

Like this weekend, on the way down the mountain road, the resident red-tailed hawk was flying around and swooped right down across the road in front of us, then soared up and up and around on the thermals, astounding us with his flight. Gosh, that's a gorgeous sight to see around here, that hawk. I know, I know, it's just a bird, doing bird things, but he's a very pretty bird. And then there's burning trash, getting it together and out to the burn pit or barrel, lighting it off and watching it go up in flames, while standing there nearby and feeling the warmth of the fire.

I should note, too, that while my buy order from Pinetree is a mere $190, the actual want list from all the seed catalogs is a heck of a lot more. I told Quentin I need to get a 20-gallon tote, order seeds and store them away for when we do get the blasted land cleared or bought or whatever. Things is, I figure even if I get seeds for things WE wouldn't eat ourselves, that stuff can go to market and be sold, or if it doesn't sell, it can come home, seeds can be saved, and the stuff itself composted. And that mess of seeds is sure going to be big and expensive over time. Yeah, it's big, and it sure will be expensive to get it all to at least store it away. I just hope Quentin doesn't realize just exactly how MUCH I spend on this stuff to hold onto until there's a place to put it all, lol. He'd probably figuratively strangle me, lol. But then again, once the van's paid off, that money could go for seeds, right?

Oh yeah, in other news, I picked out my new laptop for when I have saved enough for that. This one's older, slower, doesn't have the RAM I need, and is small screened, being a netbook. I really like one laptop Wal-Mart has that's a 17" screen and 8GB of RAM, but it's nearly $600. For half that, I can get one they also have that's a slightly smaller screen (15.6"), half the RAM, and 2/3 of the hard drive space (500GB instead of 750GB). But it would do all that I need, let me play my computer games when I'm REALLY bored, and have more than enough space for all the things I store on it.

Shoot, this little netbook only has a 250GB hard drive, and I haven't even half filled it, despite all the ebooks I have on it for my Kindle for PC, lol. But it's got to be replaced. It's old enough that it doesn't handle some of the things it needs to anymore, like Flash (it crashes regularly), and some of the keys are pretty worn so it's hard to get them to type properly without hitting them really hard. So it's time to save up after getting internet here, and replace the poor thing so it can go to a new home. What I may do is clean it up a bit, reset everything to the original settings, and see what the pawn shop down in Harrison would give me for it. Not a lot, I know, but it would give it a chance at a new life with someone else who doesn't need a lot of oomph, but does want a good little laptop to travel with. Mostly, I think it needs a good cleaning for the sticky keys, as I have a bad habit of eating while I'm on the thing, and that's not a good idea, really.

So, anyhow, it's time for the obligatory book list for the week. Have fun!

FREE KINDLE BOOKS FOR THE WEEK - and why do I keep trying to type "Kidnle" ?????



Sunday, January 12, 2014

My baby is all growed up

DD Amber turns 21 today. She's been a legal adult for a few years now, but now, today, she's a grown-up grownup, as she used to put it when she was little. So many memories, so few years, and gosh but I am so very lucky to have her as my baby girl. College goes well for her, but I hope she finishes up soon because she really needs to get working more than the part-time job she's got and taking care of herself. She's looking forward to it, she just doesn't quite know when she's going to get there yet. Being a single mom for so long, I had a lot of help raising her, but she turned out pretty great. Smart (her IQ is at least 136, yeesh!), beautiful, talented, funny, amazing, inspirational ... I could go on and on and bore you to death with this stuff, but I won't. I'll stop here so you can all figuratively go find the barf bucket and fake chunder past this, lol.

The last post ended as we here in NW Arkansas, US of A, were headed into a major nasty polar chill dropping all the way down to us. I felt really bad for all the folks in the northern states and Canada. My gosh, I haven't dealt with temps even remotely like this since I moved down here, and just the thought of it was causing me to be miserable. Me and cold just do not get along well. One thing I am grateful for here with still being on-grid, is that in our area, if you live in a mobile home, your power comes in on overhead lines, but from the pole to the house, the lines have to be buried. So as long as our yard light has juice, so does the house.

I left McQuack's Saturday night about 9ish, because it was starting to rain, getting down to the mid-30sF, and I wanted to get home before it started to freeze. Quentin took his last half-point (he still has seven-and-a-half weeks to go to get off probation) and came home at break because he wanted to beat the weather home. I wasn't happy about that, seeing's how now, no matter how bad he feels, or the weather or anything, he has to be at work, start to finish, period. I hope he can make it through, as so far, this winter has been harsh.

I'm truthfully glad I took a half-point and left work Saturday at lunchtime. The head cold I had was starting to kill me, and by the time I got another roll of insulation to stick up over the inside of the windows, got the shopping done to fill in necessities, and got email and did what I had to get done at a bare minimum, my back was killing me. By bedtime, I was whipped to the core and felt like ten miles of really bad road. Aches everywhere, couldn't breathe right, sneezing and sniffling (though that had mostly dried up, thank goodness), and just plain wanting to collapse. I told the supervisor at work, Cathy, when I had to leave at lunch that I was starting to feel like I needed to get home and lay down ASAP before I fell down on the production floor. As hard as we work, I likely would have passed out before end of shift if I hadn't left. I barely made it through all the things that had to be done before I got home and ate a bit of supper and then pretty much immediately crashed.

Thing was, I tried Saturday to get him to wear his backup clothes to work and let me take the laundry to Harrison with me and get it done. No, says he. We shall get out on Sunday and do it then. He should have let me take it with me. We didn't get quite the snowfall expected, maybe an inch if that, but on top of the fact that it was drizzling for several hours before it got cold enough to snow, means likely the roads and especially the mountain road, are a sheet of ice under the snow. It'll be Wednesday before it warms up enough to start melting it off, and until then, we may have to slide our way down the road with the vehicles to get to work, and then park at the bottom and walk again for a couple of days.

And it was cold, too. Highs were only in the teens, so while he started the van up, the chills and the snow had him paranoid enough that he would have a wreck or get stuck or whatever, and have to walk in the cold, that he wouldn't go do the laundry. Good thing I made sure ages ago that we could squeak by for a week without doing laundry if need be. We may have to air things out a bit in that case, or smell a bit manky, but honestly, I don't care as I don't go through clothes myself like he does.

He has this thing that is very modern, in that every day has to be all-new clothes that he hasn't worn, so they don't smell at all. Me, I change out the underthings and the rest - shirt, pants, extra shirts for warmth - all are the same for work day after day. They don't get filthy or whatever, so why change them out? I guess I'm a bit old-fashioned (okay, VERY old-fashioned!) in that respect. Laundry will scrape by.

The house is chilly but manageable. The kitchen, now that I covered over the windows with that insulation, isn't great but at least it's not so cold you see your breath in there as it was all the time. When it's early morning or in the evening, yeah, but at least during the day it's manageable if you have to microwave something to where you can be in there for five or ten minutes at a time. The living room is staying about 50F, so not too bad. But the bedroom is the best, so we are hunkering in there. Hey, at least we're comfy, and only have to leave the bed to use the loo or get food.

Monday was just plain awful. Despite wind chills nearing -20F, and all the schools around here closed for a wind chill advisory, Tyson still ran both shifts. I had called to double check because I was pretty sure that with the cold, they'd call off work. No dice there. The overall plant manager would rather see trucks full of dead birds come in that can't be used than let people stay home and stay warm. Out of nearly twelve people that work in my section, x-ray, only four of us showed up. We had to borrow a person to make sure we could run two lines out of our three. It was just that bad.

Neighbor Eric borrowed his mother-in-law's Explorer with 4x4 so we could get to work and back safely. I'd texted him to let him know that yes, we were working, after I'd called the guard shack to double-check, because with this cold, I was almost positive that the plant would cancel. Shows what I know! He called me a few minutes later and asked if I'd like a ride, he was taking the Explorer, and of course, I am a hardy girl, but not one to turn down a ride in a warm vehicle that will get up and down through this crap without issues. The road down to go to work was ok, and coming back up after, he didn't even have the 4-low engaged, and we still got up no problems.

However, the house is pretty cold in this mess. I'm not griping, it's better than homeless or no heat at all, but I will be glad when this chill is over in a few days. I've gotten quite a bit of what I wanted most to do all covered over with the R13 faced insulation I bought at Home Depot. It looks pretty stupid, and it's a mess, because it's so thick that the staple gun couldn't get through it to stick it to the wall. I had to hammer 16-penny nails through it to hold it up. It's not ideal but it cuts down a good deal of the drafts.

The problem with the windows is that they are double-pane thermals, but they are about twenty years old, and so badly-cared for before we moved in here that the inner seals are worse off than the outer ones. This leads to the cold air outside just being essentially sucked into the house. I still need to find the oomph to go do the big windows in the living room, but kitchen is done, bedroom is done, there's a piece ready for Quentin to hang over the front of the medicine chest in the bathroom (which has no door on it and it's a heat sink in there), so most of it's done. It's not keeping it warm in here by any stretch in this miserably bitter cold, but it's keeping out the worst of the drafts. Part of why this place gets cold so easy is that most of the insulation is gone from the floors underneath the house. Hence why we'd like to buy the property (so we can fix everything up) or buy a place elsewhere that we can work on.

My mom's been fixing up her house her way for 22 years and hasn't finished yet. I joked with Quentin a while back that if we ever actually get to buy a place, it will finally get the way we want it about the time we die. He laughed but then stopped and realized that I was right. It takes time to do things the right way, and sometimes it means doing it in a lot of steps. Right now, I'm just glad one step is to fix the windows so they don't leak so badly. I'm also glad Bouncer is such a snugglebug, because when he wants attention, he makes a nice, living muff for my hands. He has such soft fur and loves to be held and petted, so he gets what he wants, and I get warm hands and a lot of loud purrs out of it. Also sometimes a slightly raw chin from all the kitty kisses, because he tends to smooch on one place. He's actually given Quentin a raw chin once from doing that.

I should also note that we are not going without hot meals. We may be running them through the microwave, but dinners are a lot of quick things that will fill us up and warm us up. Mostly soup over rice, because I can make up a big batch of rice fairly quickly, and store it in the fridge. Then just halfway heat some soup, divide it for the two of us, add rice and finish cooking so it's really hot. It makes for a wonderfully warm meal and keeps us full. Not very haute cuisine, mind you, but in the cold of winter like this, it's any port in a storm for heat.

And sleeping? Thank goodness for all the afghans. They help a lot. As bitter as it is, not as well as when it's above freezing even at night, but they are keeping us rather comfy and we are being smart and sleeping in clean (or cleanish) work clothes so when it's time to get up in the morning, we don't have to dress in cold clothing or warm them up on the heater in order not to freeze while dressing. I hope I can get that one granny afghan done before it gets cold like this again, it would be another layer of warm on the bed!

Quentin couldn't get up the road Monday night, and had to park at the bottom of the road by the cow pasture and walk all the way up. It was so cold it really wasn't good for him, but he had to get home. Though it was a good thing I spent time Monday night around here rotating between putting insulation over the windows and working on sitting in bed to stay warm and occupied after I got home. The deep freeze was so bad that I took the day off, because Quentin told me that he slid so bad trying to get up the road that he ended up sliding completely around and said the heck with this. That's why he walked. Once he slid around, he drove back down and parked to be safe. But it also meant I likely wouldn't be able to get out Tuesday morning to get safely down the road myself.

I took the safe way out. I hate taking points, but good night, I'd rather do that and lose a bit of pay than to end up in the ditch on the mountain road. Especially since the ditch on one side is just a little hollow alongside the road and the other side of the ditch is a few feet of trees before more trees growing out of the side of the mountain, and it's pretty steep. As in, if you start going off that side of the road, you ain't gonna stop any time soon. No, thanks. I'd rather stay on the road. So Tuesday, I called in, slept in, and woke up to temps rather higher than the forecast had called for, which was stupendous. It also meant that with the north windows in the living room covered before I ran out of insulation, that room was a good fifteen degrees warmer by 7 AM than it had been when I went to bed at 11 PM Monday night. This is what I call a Very Good Thing. I can handle living in what's essentially a cave for a few months if it means keeping the blasted drafts out of the house. Honestly, I really should take a picture of the insulation for y'all, lol. It looks awful as far as a nice, neat job goes. But it really does the trick of keeping those drafty windows from leaking a ton of cold air in here.

So Tuesday meant I did the house chores after Quentin left for work, but it gave me something to do besides veg out with books and needlework. It was kind of fun, reminded me of the days when he worked and I didn't. I kind of miss those days some but not that much yet. I don't have enough to do to keep that busy all day long yet. Though in a few more weeks, once internet is set up, oh yeah, work online at night some, do some needlework and reading or whatever, and get things going, so eventually I don't have to work outside the house. It's going to take a long time for that, but it sure will be nice once things get to that point.

Wednesday was not a lot of fun. Oh, it was easy enough to get down the mountain road, despite the ice, because it was dry and I just crept down really slowly, and hit as many of the dry dirt spots as possible. So I got off the road fine, and into work fine, and work was okay. It really wasn't that bad, because with the wind chills still being a bit goofy, it meant a lot of birds were still dying on the trucks before they could get to the plant and into live hang. So that meant there were a lot of times where we all stood around and did a whole lot of nothing.

The not a lot of fun part started midafternoon, when it started sleeting at the plant and raining everywhere around it. Which, of course, means a Very Bad Thing when you live on a gravel mountain road that goes upwards at a fairly steep angle, has lots of curves on said inclines, and had ICE on it when you left for work that morning. Rain on ice is Not A Good Thing. It is, indeed, a Very Bad Thing when you live on a mountain road that has the aforesaid details. The paved roads were perfectly fine, other than being wet. They were clear that morning, so getting home on them wasn't any real challenge. Goodness knows, I've driven on wet roads plenty of times. I've even driven on wet ice before plenty of times.

In MICHIGAN. Where it's FLAT. Here, I started to try to get up the road and didn't even get to the second cattle guard before the tires skittered on the ice. I stopped, said the heck with this crap, and ever so slowly backed down the road to a point near the cow pasture where I didn't have to worry about backing into the seasonal creek or a deepish ditch with the car, did an extremely slow back and fill, and turned around to head to the cow pasture and park. I was going to have a long, cold, wet walk home, but I didn't really mind the idea considering my other option was to wreck the car, and I really need my car to get to work and such.

Turns out, there was a neighbor who lives up at the top near Eric and Bobbi. He is a sweet older fellow with a 4x4 who was waiting for me to get turned around, and when I told him how the road was, he offered me a ride up to the drive. Oh, bless his heart, I sure appreciated that. Still, even with 4-low turned on, he still had a couple slips on the road that spooked us both. He stopped at the end of the drive to drop me off, and good grief but the end of the drive was a sheet of freaking ice. I nearly fell on it, but managed to stay upright and sidestep to the one side where I could walk up a bit on grass to get to level ground and some snow for traction, and thus to the house without falling on my behind.

It was basically not a fun way to get my butt home. When Quentin called at his break, I told him about the road and he said it was a good thing he'd stopped at the dollar store and gotten himself a cheap raincoat to get home in, just in case, because if I couldn't get up, and someone with 4x4 slipped on the road, he wasn't even going to try. Like me, he'd rather walk and be safe. Cold walks are a lot better on the body than a wrecked vehicle. Thankfully, the house is warm again, in the 60sF just in the living room, so I was entirely comfy to work on that granny afghan (nearly done with the sixth row of ten of squares before the border is worked on), and the knitted one in log cabin style (that one's going to be a huge log cabin square out of scraps, until it's the right size for the width, then finished with plain knitted ends to make it long enough) got quite a bit done on it, too. That one's about a quarter done and I just started it a week or so ago. What can I say? I knit fast, lol.

Friday was delightfully boring at work. Nothing broke, nothing went wrong, pretty much everybody showed up ... it was a good day. Of course, having to walk up the mountain road because, while it had somewhat melted, it was patchy with ice and the dirt was sucking mud, that kind of took a bit of shine off the day. Thankfully, Eric and some of his family came up the road in the Explorer and gave me a ride to the driveway. They all laughed because I said that when my tires wouldn't go through the mud well, I backed up and parked at the cow pasture with the intention of walking. Walking was such a good idea, either, as there was one spot where my shoe nearly got sucked off my foot from the sticky mud. Oh well, another day or two, and the road will be in much better shape.

But it was also nice enough finally not to have to sit in the living room to work and halfway watch the idiot box where I didn't have to have blankets to keep warm! What bliss! And the mail was so good to me. Catalogs from Select Seeds (mostly flowers), McClure & Zimmerman (flowers) and Burgess Seed & Nursery (all kinds of stuff). What fun for me. The only really horrible part of the day is that my feet, for some reason, decided to have some serious ouchies and hurt so much that walking was going to be a ouch anyhow, so I was very grateful for the ride home!

And thank goodness for a very, very boring Friday. For the first time in a long while, nothing broke, nobody got hurt, everything went just peachy. Except for my left heel spur deciding to kick up a bit right before we got done, but it was bearable. And then I went to Harrison, did a bit at Wally World, treated myself to dinner at Pizza Hut, and got my happy self home in pouring blasted rain. I kid y'all not, dry as can be when I left the restaurant, and before I got to the turnoff for Alpena, WHAM! I got hammered.

No, not a wreck. It started just pouring buckets of rain with side winds that had me slowing way down, and even with the wipers on full, I felt pretty brave to go 30mph. I had a bad feeling I'd be walking up the road one more time, unless the rain let off before I hit the cow pasture. Well, it dropped to barely anything at all by the time I got to the go/no go spot at the cow pasture, and while it was a bit slippy on the level, I made it up to the driveway safely. Why was the level slippy? Oh yeah, all the blasted rain off and on all day that melted off the last of the ice and, since the road isn't that thawed, all that water ran downhill to ... you guessed it. The level part of the road from the cow pasture to the second cattle guard. Ugh. But I made it all the way home, so it was time to settle down with my seed catalogs (still working through them ... oh dear, this is getting expensive) and have some fun.

I really need to start some small orders this weekend, just to get stuff done. I just wish this darned cold would let me alone so I could work on things without being so tired. I hate being sick, but between the crazy weather and having to work in a cold environment, it's just dragging it out. Oh well. This too, shall pass. Yay me. Besides, 14 1/2 weeks longer and I'm at my anniversary with Tysons. Even more yay me!

And lest anyone I work with think I can pull overtime anymore, now that I no longer have to, because, gosh, everybody just KNOWS I'd be so happy to give up my weekend and work ... let me reassure you. I wouldn't be happy. Make it mandatory, and I'll show up. Otherwise, I have a whole host of things I need to be doing that are a bit more important on the weekends. Like today, a rather typical Saturday. Up, dressed, load laundry, make a grocery list, head out the door.

We went to O'Reilley's for some auto stuff for the van, Race Brothers for sawdust for the toity, pawn shop to look for a couple things we thought they might have in that we could use (no dice there), lunch at the best of the Chinese restaurants in Harrison (if you ever come this way, stop at Diamond Head, they have a great Ding Haow buffet), Wal-Mart for groceries and a new tire for the car, up to Green Forest for the laundromat to do two week's worth (since last week's polar vortex made it impossible to get out with the clothes), the dollar store next to the laundry to get a couple things we can get cheaper there, the smoke shop for cancer sticks for the hubby, stop at the Red-X in Alpena for gas and filling water jugs. Then we got to come home, and thank goodness the road is good enough to get up and down as long as the nimrods we live close to don't go tearing it up while it's soft with their 4x4s and ATVs. Unload everything, get it up to the house and on the deck, then I got it all in the house while Quentin put the new tire on the car.

Then I had to get the trash together to get it burned, and with last weekend's weather again hampering things, that's a lot of trash for us. I had to pull last weekend's trash out of the front bedroom so it could get burned along with this week's. That had to go out on the deck for Quentin to haul to the burn barrel, while I rested for five minutes to type out the Saturday doings, and now I have to clean the cat's litter box, put the groceries, laundry and dishes away.

We left the house about 10 AM, and it's already a quarter to six in the evening, and there's still another hour or so of chores to do before I can sit down and relax with seed catalogs. Nursery catalogs aren't a problem, as we decided we want to go through Stark's for that stuff. They have good prices, and good collections so things that aren't self-pollinating have one in the grouping. So it's veggies, herbs, flowers (annuals and perennials that I'd like to have around), grains just in case, ornamentals and bulb flowers (includes bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes and the like). Yeah, that's a long darn mess of stuff to pull together to order over this year, whether I get it in the ground or not right off. And I still have to also fix dinner and us to have "date night" with movies and food. That's thankfully a couple of hours out, but still, all we have to get done makes for a VERY long day. And yet, we often get asked if we want to volunteer for weekend overtime. HA!

And oh yeah, the granny afghan is six rows done and row seven of ten started, so it won't be too much longer before I'm putting the border on it and then draping it over the back of the loveseat for cuddling warmth. And even in warm weather, when the rains come through and cool things off, it will be fun to snuggle under and keep the damp off. Gosh, I love afghans. MUCH better than those nasty, expensive blankets to buy at the stores, which also seem to wear out super-fast. My Mom still has one that she uses on her bed all six to seven months of a Michigan winter, and I made it for her twenty years ago. Try and get that kind of wear and tear out of a store-bought blanket.

Anyhow, since I have a good road to get up this weekend, and reasonable weather, you guys all get books again to look over and possibly grab. Enjoy! By the way, and I are on the outs ... I know darned well I'm getting more clicks than they are crediting me for, as by far the clicks on books are over 1500 a month. To only get credit for less than fifty over a month's time is ridiculous, so I'm going back to the picture/text version Amazon supplies. is kaput. Besides, when I made a whole 15c from and it took my Amazon earnings to zilch, I think I'll stick with Amazon only and not try to incentivize the book links. At least I get affiliate income that way, which comes out better than the nothing I've been getting. No more experiments in that respect!

RECOMMENDED PRODUCT OF THE WEEK This one comes from Home Made Energy. It's a short video, might be worth a look.

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And that's it for this week. My time is up and I need to get home so I can do some prepwork for going to work tomorrow. See you next week!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year

Yep, it's 2014 now, and I can't believe how fast last year actually went. The wish list for this year's seed orders is coming along, needlework is trickling along a bit at a time (because I'm concentrating on the seed orders), and I'm generally enjoying things. I have had a busy week in some respects and I hope they all are this busy for a while. It sure would be nice!

Monday was pretty easy, considering how hard they ran us at work. They're trying very hard to make up for the holidays and the snow days, but boy does it make for a tired body when I get home. The reason it went easier than days have been going is that when we got there to start this morning, the guy was there from the company that makes a lot of our machinery, finishing up fixing the broken x-ray machine. It now works like it's supposed to, so work is much easier again. At home, a bit got done on various needlecraft things, like a bit done on some socks, a bit done on afghans, and mostly, sad to say, I just vegged out.

Tuesday was fun. Quentin didn't have to work New Year's Eve, but I did. Second shift got it off. Tyson's motto for the employees is "Safety First," and in giving second shift the night off it accomplished two goals. One was not to have to worry about where to get enough people to run the lines - Christmas Eve was a nightmare because a lot of folks called in. They expected pretty much the same thing Tuesday. Plus there was the concern that working second shift and then sending them home at the normal time (about 2 AM) would mean they'd be on the road to head home along with all the nimrods getting drunk at various parties and then driving home from them. So, they scheduled Saturday to make up for everything and finish getting caught up. More money on the paycheck is what I say.

Oh yeah, and more seed catalog perusing to be done, and the spreadsheet just gets bigger and bigger with "wants" that are going to have to be pared down to "needs" after the duplicates are gone. Especially since I just got the Farmer's Seed & Nursery catalog today to add to the collection. Erk. The thing is, my spreadsheet means going through catalogs several times, if they have more than just veggies. I have pages in the thing for vegetables, berries, fruit trees, nut trees, annuals, perennials and "decorative" stuff. I love flowers almost as much as growing food, and that covers the last three pages in the spreadsheet. The annuals and perennials is kind of self-explanatory. The "decorative" page is for all the oddball flowering stuff or just plain green stuff that's permanent but not small - things like lilacs and forsythia and bridal wreath bush and things like that. All the ornamental bushy or climbing things that I like and want to have around for just pretty stuff to look at. You know what I mean - all the things that have no purpose for growing on the place other than primarily looking nice. Sure, they'll provide safe havens and food for wildlife (which might keep them out of the garden, too), but for the most part, they're meant to just look pretty every year.

I also have a catalog from Horticultural Products something or other (HPS) around here that I want to go through for supplies. Mainly because their seeds are primarily flowers, and they are meant mostly for production nurseries, as the seeds come in no less than 250 to 500 per packet, if not more. I don't need THAT many of something until I get a good-sized greenhouse or hoophouse set up and grow LOTS of seedlings of all kinds for sale as well as produce for the farmer's market and/or farm store. But until that point, they've got some seriously good prices for various supplies like the cell pack flats that I want to get so as to make starting seeds off a bit easier.

And New Year's Day was so nice. The last holiday off we'll get for several months. Oh, there's other paid holidays, between now and July 4th here in the States, like my birthday and my hire date anniversary and Easter. I'll get paid for those holidays anyhow. And the first two I could take off if I wanted and still get paid for them with the holiday pay (or do the smart thing and work them and get paid double for the day). But the next real holiday off that the plant won't be working won't be till July. There will be days off between now and then - days when it's too cold outside and the plant shuts down for the temperatures, or sick days or there's an appointment or something that has to be done during work hours. But not generally a day like New Year's.

So much potential to the time ahead. So many plans to make and work on accomplishing. The chores and then some got done, despite it being a day off, just because they could be done on a day other than the weekend. So we picked up a pizza from Pizza Hut to bring home for late lunch/early dinner and went with that. Then we needed naps because we were so full and warm, lol. But I still got some work done on my spreadsheet and some knitting done, so the day wasn't a total chores only day as some have had to be. Between putting away laundry (waiting since Sunday, ack!) and doing dishes and burning the trash and dealing with the sawdust toity, and making a water run to fill jugs and ... the best part of the daylight hours. We had to run to Harrison for the pizza, and while there, stopped at a store called Cato's.

It's a women's store, more fashion-type stuff than anything, but the only store in the area that carries plus-size clothes without having to go all the way north to Branson or west over to Fayetteville. I found me new jeans. I needed a pair badly. The ones I've worn to work for the last couple of years are not only a bit too big (I'm not a 24W any longer, thank goodness), but they were starting to wear out to the point that the waistband had started to separate from the rest of the pants. They were gotten used anyhow, but they've outlived their usefulness as work pants. Now it's time to have them become my weekend jeans and the new ones be my work jeans. (And I'm down to a 20W, yay me!)

Thursday, it turned bitter cold. It was horrible for the temps, to the point I said the heck with TV for the next several days and decided my computer games and books were good enough entertainment (along with the boys doing kitty playtime) until this arctic mess passed us by. But it also would give me a lot of extra time to work on my seed spreadsheet, and time to knit, so no worries that I wouldn't be busy, said I! Bored a bit maybe with no background racket to keep me company, but extremely warm under all the blankets (the house was in the mid-50sF, which isn't too bad, but the wind chills outside weren't helping it to stay feeling all that comfy in the living room after dark), and I'll take warm and bored over cold and entertained any day of the week. Plus I got my Territorial Seed catalog as well, so even more fun to play with, catalog-wise.

So Friday, work was great. Lots of things went wrong elsewhere, so my department had a fairly easy day. It was kind of boring, really. After work, I headed to Harrison and the Home Depot. Knowing that the weather is going to turn REALLY horrible over the next few days, and seeings how the water jug on the kitchen counter developed ice in it over Thursday night, I decided to get a roll of insulation as cheap as I could get it (on a budget, after all), and somehow tack it up over the kitchen windows to help keep some heat from leaking out in there.

Especially since Quentin decided long ago that he "just knew" this winter wouldn't be that bad, no matter WHAT the Farmer's Almanac said about how it would be a bitterly cold winter. I ended up with a roll of R13 and had to nail the stuff up because the blasted staple gun wouldn't put the staples through three inches of insulation like darling hubby swore they would. Good thing we had some long nails. Mind, nailing it up isn't as good a stapling it, and causes the paper to tear a bit if you aren't careful, but it's at least holding it onto the wall. Well, onto the framing around the two kitchen windows anyhow. I don't really notice a major difference in there right now, as it's a basically unheated room other than what drifts in from the living room, because we don't really use it much at a stretch like the living room and bedroom. Though if it does the trick, I may be getting another roll in a day or so and putting this post up Saturday night and spending Sunday daylight nailing up more insulation over windows.

Mainly I'd do that because the weather is supposed to get REALLY bad over Sunday night and Monday. We are talking wind chills in the 0F to 25F BELOW ZERO level. I haven't had to deal with wind chills like that since, oh, I left Michigan! That is just too freaking cold to be doing anything but sleeping in my book, or huddling in bed fully dressed and calling it done. Wouldn't surprise me a bit with those wind chills if school is closed for the day and work as well. After all, even with tarps and other things that they put on the poultry trucks in colder weather to protect the birds from freezing to death until they arrive at the plant and get killed out, at those wind chills, not to mention the extra wind chills from the trucks moving along the road at a good clip, the birds wouldn't last five minutes on the trucks.

So I have a feeling Monday is going to be a get bundled up to go out and run the vehicles for a few minutes at a time and then come back and huddle under blankets with hot tea or cocoa or whatever warm drink you choose. We'll see then. But in the meantime, Friday saw me also sitting down with the granny afghan after I did the kitchen windows and had supper, and adding another four blocks to it. Poor thing is kind of getting neglected lately, but it's coming along a bit at a time. Though the temps we're supposed to get this weekend make me wonder just how cold the house will get. We didn't get that cold last winter, and it was pretty cold. This winter is just plain freaking BITTER. So far, we've managed to stay halfway warm. I'm concerned mightily about this temp drop we're about to get, but I'm going to do my best not to fret.


But there is now a recommended product of the week which I can throw in the mix.

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This product is from Earth4, and the product will help you to build your own solar panels. It looks pretty interesting from what information I got. Take a look!

But there are pictures .... which I was going to put up a couple of weeks ago. Ooops.

This is from the last snowstorm, standing on the deck at the front door and looking down the footpath to the parking area. You can see where we'd trampled a path, but at this point, the car and van were still having to be parked down the road.

 Same day, looking from the deck/front door towards the back of the property and the two crappy trailers back there. The one on the left is the Fleetwood that the landlords won't let us tear down as they use it for storage. The one on the right is the Merlot that we are slowly getting torn down. You can see the big hole in the end that Quentin's managed to knock into it really well as the snow sets it off.

My latest pair of socks, color is Blue Ragg. Very, very warm and comfy!

This is some of the acrylic yarn I got to make socks with. Color Blacklight, Red Heart Yarn.

The other acrylic I got, Red Heart in DayGlo. Both are a lot more neon than the photos show, but I don't want to blind y'all!

And this is the granny afghan under construction. I only had three rows done at this point, I'm finally up to about four and a half. Long ways to go to finish it and put a border on it!