Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wet and chilly, with forecasts of things changing

But I'm enjoying the cool considering how miserable the muggy, humid heat was. I don't mind the heat, it's when it's horribly muggy because the storms we need won't break that I start feeling horrible. Funny, what beans there are didn't get very big (would you, in weather like that, if you were a plant?) but they are trying to bloom a little bit. Seeds from the first three tomatoes have dried out ... I got lazy and just dumped them on a PAPER plate like a ding dong to dry out for saving. Yeah, a paper plate. Real smart of me, because now I get to pick them off one by one and there's likely over 100 from those three tiny tomatoes. That's a lot of picking, folks! I have to seed and eat the other two on the counter, too, which is more Arkansas Traveler seeds. If I don't grow them next year (likely not), then I'll worry about them a year or two down the road, when a HOUSE is PURCHASED. Okay, so we'll likely be retirement age before it's paid off, barring some miracle, but it will be ours and we can do what we want with it without having to clear land to do it.

We've made that decision for sure. Yeah, we could go with something where we could slap a cabin on and blah blah blah and it would be fun and great and all, but it would be a really hard slog as well and we are tired of the freaking slog. And we don't NEED more than about five acres or so. We'll take more if we can get it in our price range, but at our ages, by the time we get a place and get it at all productive to where we can sell extra stuff ... I'll be at least 50, he'll be mid-40s and there is no way to deal with all the extras without killing one or both of us trying. Now, there likely will be chickens (eggs, meat and chicks to raise for more meat or babies to sell) and Angora rabbits (meat and fiber and pedigreed babies to sell), but much as I would love them, there is not likely to be hoofstock. Now, if we get at least 3 acres, maybe a nanny goat or two (Angora for meat, fiber, milk and babies to sell), a single cow of a small homestead breed (like a Dexter - meat, milk and babies to sell), an ewe or two (fiber, meat and babies to sell), and a sow (meat and babies to sell). If we get that much acreage, all the hoofstock would be paddocked rather than pastured, but you can see a theme in things. Multiple uses for everything, lol. I am rather big on that. Critters can't be just single-use.

Even my needlework has multiple uses when you get down to it. It provides me hours of pleasure and relaxation, and makes pretty things that are useful around the house, like all the afghans I make for keeping us warm in cool weather. Speaking of which, it's been cool enough, we've had to turn off the fans and crank the heater on to low, plus have afghans on the bed the last few nights! This is a bit TOO cool for end of July!! So, we are making plans ... there's working on getting out of debt, which just looks funny to bankers (what do you mean you have no debt at all? Not even a credit card????), and saving up a downpayment on a halfway decent place.

We don't mind a fixer-upper, but I know we can afford a good house - calculators figure with our debt ratio and combined incomes, that we can afford $150K for a house. At that price, I expect at LEAST 5 acres with it, instead of a darn tiny little city lot with a pricey house on it! Which, sadly, many houses are. We're keeping our top price below what the calculators say we can afford - no more than $75K. That way, I can do what I want with the garden and orchard and all, and he'll have a space to work on the vehicles when they need it, and yadda yadda yadda. Plus payments will be at a level we could afford even on ONE paycheck, because we all know that eventually, I won't be at the plant, because I'll be too busy at the farm.

This is also why my recent Amazon purchases have been used novels in good shape that I want to read, as well as NEW books on mini-farming and marketing from your mini-farm. If it ends up that we don't get enough acreage to support hoofstock even in paddocks (which would necessitate a lot more frequent cleaning up after them to prevent hoof diseases, plus twice-daily watering and feeding ... but ground could then be put into production for grain instead of using it for pasture ... and then you have to buy and haul in hay, as well ... so much to consider!) ... anyhow, if we get enough for hoofstock, even if we have to paddock-raise it, I want to know ahead of time what to do and how to do it, to make the homestead as self-sustaining AND profitable as it can possibly be, without getting into non-organic/natural methods. Which means, yes, I got my trilogy of used books yesterday, along with another new book on small-acreage farming. But for now, it's time to find y'all some freebie homesteading-type books, and get myself together for work, all while trying to keep Smudge happy with petting. Hey, he rewards me with LOUD purring and happy paws and occasional nose-nose on my hand. Little snot (not so little at around 15 pounds, but still ... ) Hugs, all!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NOW it rains

Now that the garden, such as it was, is pretty well dead on it's feet ... NOW I get a steady downpour here for more than five minutes. Problem A - Garden is basically dead anyhow. Problem B - I have to go to work. Problem C - Rain makes me sleepy and now I want to take a nap. Today is one of those days when I really wish I was working from home strictly, just so I could, lol. But I can't, not yet, and not for a few years, either. It's tough, but I can do this!!! Ah well, I got two tomatoes out of the "garden" yesterday ... double what I have been getting, lol. Hugs, all!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quiet today

It was a good day yesterday, in that nothing was messed up at work, it went fairly quickly and easily and we got out at 230AM. Add in that one of our probies was on her last day of probation yesterday, and is now a full-fledged team member, it was pretty darn decent. There were a lot of gaps in the birds, though. The heat we've had is just stressing the birds out on the trucks so bad, that even misting them when the trucks pull in isn't helping as much as it ordinarily would. The birds are just too stressed and are dying on the trucks, so we can't use them except for pet food. USDA regulations prevent it.

The weather has also killed off what's left of the garden. The beans and corn are struggling to make it, and I'm doing what I can with them, but the tomatoes are so heat-stressed that, like the chickens at work, they're dying off. LOTS of brown leaves despite watering regular and plenty. My squashes all died. I have one teeny Large Cherry Tomato trying to make it in the coleman cooler planter, along with a few radishes. but I don't know if it will survive to blossom and fruit. Guess I just buy up seeds and things and save it all up for when I do have a piece of land to call my own that's cleared so I can put a big garden in like I want. Oh well ... I gave it a good shot anyhow, and it was fun. Seems like everybody's gardens around here went to pot. The farmer's market in Harrison sent out a call recently for everybody to bring tomatoes if they had any to spare, because people were looking for them and not finding them. Anyhow, I'm sleepy and really need to wake up so I can get together for work and get something on the way in - probably Subway because it sounds good today and they have some reasonably healthy options for fast food. Hugs, all!

(Not too many books today, but then again, yesterday, there were a BUNCH!)


Monday, July 28, 2014


It's sunny but not too hot, and it rained a bit yesterday, though not nearly enough by a long stretch. I'm still sleepy, but that's normal, because working second shift, I tend to sleep till noonish and I'm always slow to wake up unless it's important. I do need to finish getting laundry put away and get dishes caught up, though I'm not in the mood for them. I just want to veg out but have to go to work, so I have GOT to get msyelf going. And of course, Quentin screwing up the finances the last several weeks means that the IRS bill hasn't been paid and you know they want their payment ... ARGH. We are going to get into so much financial doodoo because he keeps wanting to trick out the truck and spends money on that which needs to go to bills, no matter what I tell him. It's so frustrating sometimes.

The garden perked up anyhow, from what little rain we got, though I'm afraid it's pretty well dead because of the extremely rainy spring we got, and then things did a 180 degree segue right into drought. So everything is mostly dead or dying, though I do have some seeds from the few Arkansas Traveler tomatoes that actually survived so far, though not many, which I'm saving and hoping to get something from them in a year or two when I have a better place to grow a garden. Hugs, all ... I need a cry (because we wouldn't GET IRS letters if someone would quit "borrowing" my paycheck for HIS gas and such because of constantly tricking out the truck - TWO winches in two week's time ... neither of which he NEEDS! ARGH!) and I have to eat something and do a couple chores and get ready for and off to work. I hate Mondays sometimes.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Great weekend!

Yesterday was awesome. Made a day trip to Branson and got the rest of the thread for the butterfly lap quilt, barring one skein of the green that I need three of. I'll have to get that one on the next monthly day trip up. Had lunch at Denny's which was yummy, and also while at Michael's getting the thread, I got a bit of sock weight acrylic yarn that is a new to me kind from Red Heart. It's really soft and the colourway is called "Tidal," all in shades of blue, so I think it will make some interesting socks. And in the mail ... my 6" bamboo double points from Amazon that range all sizes from 0 to 15! In sock sets of five needles instead of the standard sets of four. Five makes it easier, so that your instep is on two needles, and so is your heel, which is a blessing when you are turning the blasted thing, because it helps avoid gusset holes. The fifth is the working needle, the one that the new live stitches go onto as you work, so you always have four needles with stitches and one without. But it was a long day and today was really fun, since I spent a lot of it sleeping through the worst of the heat. I woke up just when it drizzled for a little bit. Not enough rain, but it's still looking like it wants to try, and we have 30% chance of good rain here. I really hope to get a house in/near Harrison area when I'm ready to buy, becuase lately, they're getting it all and I'm dry as a bone up here! Waiting till it cools down a bit more before making dinner. Green beans, mashed taters and gravy, and picked up some new brats from Johnsonville that sound good - cheddar and bacon! Hugs, all!


Starting a New Garden (VOL. 1): How to Transform Your Yard and Patio Into Beds and Container Gardens (Growing Organic Vegetables at Home)
The Ultimate Guide to Companion Gardening for Beginners: How to Use Companion Plants for a Successful Flower or Vegetable Garden (Gardening, Companion ... Guide, Companion Container Gardening)
CAN IT! How To Can, Preserve, And Store Your Food In Jars
Container Gardening Ideas Plus Vertical Gardening-How to Produce More Organic Vegetables in Less Space
Container Gardening for Beginners: Grow Healthy, Sustainable Plants Indoors
Small Space Garden: How To Grow Everything You Need For A Salad And More (Small Space, Tiny Home, Container Garden, Edible Garden, Green Thumb, Beginner Garden)
Organic Gardening Down South

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hate mail, part one

First off, I want to thank everyone who has offered up sympathies and/or cures of one sort or another for my sinus issues that are regularly ongoing. I do appreciate the cures, but truthfully, they don't do any more good than generic Sudafed, because I work in a cold, damp environment. When that's the case, and the weather is warm, you're going back and forth between them, and your body just can't handle it very well. Add in that I work with about 250 other people, some of whom simply do not take care of themselves in that respect, and often come in without doctoring up first, you end up with a lot of sneezing, coughing and sniffling going on. There are even those who never learned the good manners to cover their mouth when they cough, and spray germs all over the place. It's a constant battle there between your body and the bugs. But on to the title of this post.

I get a lot of hate mail via email. And I do mean a LOT. It falls mainly into a few general categories, all based on someone's view of something is different from mine. These categories are primarily LGBT rights, abortion/birth control/jobs and gun control. Let's take them in order, just so I can get more hate mail, shall we? Today, we'll tackle LGBT, aka gay, rights.

LGBT rights are important to me. I have a gay cousin and a transgendered cousin, both of whom, as I have said before, I love very much. They taught me early on that those who are oriented differently from myself are not to be feared or hated or whatever, but that they are just as human as I am. So yes, I fully believe that gays, lesbians, etc., should be allowed to marry, or to adopt children, etc. I believe that they should be able to cover their partners/spouses on their insurance at work as a spouse. I believe they should be able to file an income tax return as a married couple if they so choose.

It should not matter what gender the person is that you are sleeping with, just that you love each other. It should not matter what bathroom you use, and whether you identify as a pointer or a setter. And yes, I do think they should be allowed to be foster parents and to adopt as individuals or as a couple. Children need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, loved and cherished. The more homes that are available for that, the better off those children will be. This goes for animals as well, though usually there are no problems with the LGBT community adopting pets, which astounds me. "Oh yeah, you're good enough to adopt a dog or cat, but we can't let you harm a child with your views." Give me a break. You can't make anybody gay any more than you can make them straight. The world needs to grow up and accept this.

Homosexuality in some form or other is rampant in the animal kingdom, and we are the only animals that look upon it as bad. Think of bachelor herds of horses, deer, etc. For that matter, take my cats. Both male, and they dominate each other with "homosexual behavior" regularly, to prove who's the boss at that point in time. One will pin and mount the other and keep the submissive one in place for several minutes. This is perfectly normal behavior in the animal kingdom. That humans believe it is not is something I cannot understand when we are animals, simply a higher form. Does that make us "better" than the lower forms? I think not, considering what we've done to rape the world over the last few centuries, particularly in recent history. So stop the hate mail on homosexuality. You won't change my point of view, and I am certainly not going to take more time than this to try to change yours, other than posting memes on Facebook.

So that is today's rant on my hate mail. Tomorrow, we'll go on to abortion, birth control, and jobs. Trust me, jobs are related and fit in well.


The Beginners Guide to Knitting: Learn How To Knit The Easy Way
Growing Organic Tomatoes: Your Seeds to Sauce Guide to Growing, Canning, & Preserving Your Own Tomatoes (Organic Gardening Beginners Planting Guides)
Square Foot Gardening - How To Grow Healthy Organic Vegetables The Easy Way: Including Companion Planting & Intensive Vegetable Growing Methods
Knitting Scarves From A-Z: Learn How to Knit the Perfect Scarf
Growing From the Greenhouse: A Quick Greenhouse Guide for the Organic Gardener
Raised Bed Gardening For Beginners - A Simple-to-Understand Guide to Raised Bed Gardening For Beginners
Successful Raised Bed Gardening:: A Beginner's Guide
Knitting Stitches Dictionary For Beginners (Knitting For Beginners)
Urban Homesteading: Become a Self Sustainable Urban Homesteader to Get off the Grid, Grow Food, and Free Yourself (Urban Homesteading: A Complete Guide ... a Self Sustainable Urban Homesteader)
How To Grow A Miniature Garden
EASY Crochet Pattern Lovely Ginger Man - Christmas Ornament - Amigurumi - doll - toy

Thursday, July 24, 2014

And now I'm sick again

This time, it's a summer cold, and truthfully, I really wish I could just cut my face off and get rid of the sinus pressure. Ugh. So no nostalgia today, I'm wiped. Need more sleep, this crap didn't let me sleep well last night, so no real work on anything today, either. I wish I felt better so I could do more work on my books, but that will happen, it will just take some time. Healing up from a major bout of stomach flu and then all this is not going to happen overnight, no matter what I wish.

On the bright side, the tiny garden that survived being neglected for two weeks while I was sick is trying very hard to make up for everything that didn't. I have tomatoes coming out my ears, and the beans are zipping up the stakes like mad. So we might be getting a few meals of fresh beans in a month or so. Corn is trying to grow and not doing great but there is effort. We shall see. I do need to take five minutes today and get trash together to get it out and burned tomorrow, and another five or so to make up more nectar for the hummingbird feeders and get them refilled. Assuming I don't just let my face explode first.

The weather is a bit nicer now that the storm came through last night. When I left for work, I had to stop on the way down the mountain road to clear a couple branches out of the way, and it was pretty muggy. Sprinkled a bit on the way to work, and I arrived to find that Harrison was getting hammered so hard that low-lying areas were having flash floods. I was glad I'd closed the windows before I left, just in case it poured. Don't know for sure if it rained here good or not, because of course it's dark when I get home, and I was too tired to notice. A few tree branches came down here on the property that will have to be cleared up, but nothing major.

It's cooler, though, so I figure it probably did rain some, and that makes it much nicer weather for napping till you feel better. I'll be glad when I do, as I truly miss working on my books. That one I was working on is stagnating at needing no more than a table of contents and to get uploaded to the Kindle Direct bookshelf on my account there, so it can go live, but that's a two- or three-hour process that I don't have the energy for right now. I can't even remember what the book after this one is going to be, and I don't have the oomph to check my notes, lol. I'm just that far gone today. We only worked till a little after two, but there was a lot of stuff left behind by first shift breast line that had to be done, and since that's where I work, you can bet that what energy I can muster each day generally goes to work.

I can hardly wait till this weekend though. I'm making a pilgrimage to Branson for a few things. Among them, I'm going to hit up Michael's there and see if they have the rest of the thread I need for the butterfly lap quilt, because I do not fancy paying the equivalent of $3.50 for a single tiny skein of thread. Okay, back to bed for me for an hour or so. Hugs, all!


Companion Planting: The Vegetable Gardeners Guide. The Role of Flowers, Herbs & Organic Thinking (Updated)
The Perfect Compost Plan: Simple Guide To Making Healthy Compost
Beginner Soap Making: Simple Homemade Recipes
Slouchy Hat Crochet Pattern
Growing Herbs: Indoors, in Pots, in the Garden, Herb Recipes And a Medicinal List: Indoors, in Pots, in the Garden, Herb Recipes And a Medicinal List (Vegetable Gardening)
Vegetable Container Gardening: The DIY Guide on Growing You Own Fresh, Organic Vegetables
Soap Making For Beginners: The Definitive Guide To Help Beginners Create Rejuvenating And Hydrating Soaps Like A PRO.
Indoor Gardening Essentials: The Essential Guide for Growing Herbs and Vegetables from Home

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More nostalgia

This is liable to be a bit long-winded, so bear with me. Y'all got me on a nostalgia kick. I can't sleep because of the fibro and my sinuses, so I might as well get up and write a bit.  Thank goodness for non-drowsy sudafed type stuff, so I can sleep and work. Last night just was not a good night for sleeping. I see a nap in my future today for a bit between getting necessary stuff done and heading to work. But, I promised more nostalgia, so here goes a few things that popped into my head over the last couple of days.

My great-grandmother not only had a ton of flowering stuff in her yard, which is what gave me a love of pretty things in the garden, but also was a champion African Violet grower. She had a TON of them in her house, and I wish I knew what happened to all of them when she died. I'd've liked to have had one all these years to remember her by, but she taught me a lot about flowers, and violets in particular. Between her and the lilac and spirea bushes at the house I grew up in, I have a "thing" for flowering stuff as the entrance to my garden and yard. Plans for when I do actually buy a place are to put in a hedge along the front side and both sides of the drive of lilac, forsythia, and spirea to not only beautify the place, but to keep nosy people from seeing what my yard does or does not look like. None of their beeswax, anyhow. But at least that way, folks going by can't gripe about the herb beds in the front yard, instead of me having politically correct grass mowed to the correct height.

The reunions had more than food and chit-chat to recommend them, if you knew what to look for. Now, the VFW hall we used for all but one reunion, for some odd reason, had a sidewalk along the two sides that bordered roads. This despite it being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by cornfields. The only reason any of us could fathom for this was to delineate the parking at the roadside from the yard, to keep folks from parking on the grass. One year, my very young second cousin Chad, who was somewhere between toddlerhood and preschool age at the time because I remember him being small and chubby, became a bit of entertainment as everyone was packing up to leave. I have four first cousins, all male, and sometimes it really bit to be the only girl, when at other times over the years, it has been a blessing. (It's pretty neat in school when you can tell people to leave you alone or you will sic your four younger but bigger male cousins on them.)

Anyhow, so here us cousins were, standing around, keeping an eye on Chad, as we'd been designated babysitters whilst everyone packed up. Why five of us had to watch one little kid, we couldn't figure out until he started getting into everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. Trying to catch him was like trying to catch a greased pig. That little snot was quiiiiick. He'd finally settled down to standing on the sidewalk, only because we stood around him in a ring to keep him in one place, when he saw a spider harmlessly doing it's thing of walking across the sidewalk. One of us, I don't remember who, started encouraging him to smash it. Being obnoxious preteens to mid-teens, we all joined in. So of course, his fat little hand went WHAM! on the spider and smashed it to the sidewalk. At this point, his mother walks over to see what's going on. Just in time to see her precious baby boy look at his hand with the smushed spider and LICK it off his hand. "OH MY GOD!" she cried, as us kids laughed and went "EEEEEWWWWW!" My Mom, for some reason, had been taking a last few photos, and captured this lovely moment on film Yes, she still has the photo in the albums at home.

WARNING: This particular memory is not necessarily NSFW. No photo to accompany, but the memory is a bit raunchy.

Another moment she captured on film for family posterity and potential embarassment factor happened within a few years of that on a wonderful Thanksgiving spent at my Aunt Janet and Uncle Len's house. They and their huge garden are two of the people and one of the reasons I homestead. (Like I said before, I blame my family and a few friends. Mostly, I blame my family.) Much of the family in-state at the time gathered at their house that year for The Big Feast. (Over the years, it migrated to Mom's brother's house - Uncle Jim and Aunt Helen put on a heck of a pigout party, trust me. My family does food very well.) Aunt and Uncle had this set of a jug and matching drinking mugs that were, well, risque. They were, in short, a naked female boob, anatomically correct. Uncle Len, being the jokester that he was, grabbed one of the mugs and pretended to be nursing on the teat. Mom had her camera out, as she was photographing everybody there. CLICK! when the shutter without warning, and, for all posterity, Uncle Len was captured goofing off with the mug. Yes, she still has that photo in the family albums as well.

Mom's Dad, my Grampa Max, was another of the family that got me started homesteading. When I was a little girl, he and his second wife, Grandma Doris, had a cabin on a branch of the Chippewa River near Berryton, MI. It was a lovely cabin, unless the river flooded. We had a small orchard, I think, but I do remember the chickens, rabbits, and the garden. See what I mean about my family getting me into this early on? I spent a couple of years living with them and several adopted aunts and uncles there, whilst Mom was still in town further south, trying to find a house for us. She'd come up on weekends, arriving late Friday night and leaving after Sunday dinner was done and cleaned up.

I spent a lot of time "helping" in the garden and kitchen, and I do mean "helping" with quotes, because I was only 5 or 6 at the time.  Grandpa and I spent a lot of time together, and I have many fond memories of him due to the years I spent there, and the time he spent in town with Mom and me once we had a house. We went fishing off the neighbors dock, as the river literally backed on to the cabin (hence why the cabin got flooded if the river went too high), and gigging for frogs. I remember one time, Grandpa, despite usually moving fairly slowly and thoughtfully, moved extremely fast. This was because he was in the garden, hoeing, and I had espied what I, in my young mind, had apparently thought would make a nice friend. A snake. And not just any snake. A copperhead that had slithered up out of the river into the back yard. I don't remember much other than Grandpa racing up with the hoe to chop off the snake's head when it was fairly close to me, then grabbing me in a big hug as he dropped the hoe. Being much older and wiser now, I can understand his fright and quick moves. Back then, all I knew was he'd killed my new friend I was trying to make. The sadness didn't stick around long, for whatever reason, but the memory has.

I also remember a Thanksgiving many years later, when Grandpa was dating the woman who would become his third wife, Edna. She is a darling woman. Smart, funny and loving. She sure kept Grandpa in line, too. "MAX!" she'd say. "Behave yourself!" Then they'd grin at each other. But that year, Mom and I had gotten a Turkey Day card from Grandpa with a note inside saying something to the effect that he and Uncle Harold would be down for dinner as invited, and was it okay if he brought along his "young lady friend" for dinner as well. I remember Mom looking at the card, and despite knowing Grandpa's penchant for humor and understatement, exclaiming, "Okay, he can bring her, but just how young is 'young'?" We found out the day of the feast. Not much younger than he was, spunky, feisty, and fun. We fell in love with her right off. And then the fun started. Mom always puts out green olives for big dinners, and this year was no exception. We're all stuffing ourselves more than the proverbial turkey, when Harold starts in on them. "You guy better lay off those little green love apples, or I'm going to have to separate you on the way back home. No telling WHAT kind of hijinks you'll get up to in the car! And at your ages, too!" We all started laughing, and after that, every time one of them would go for more olives, everybody would start laughing.

Okay, this is getting a bit long-winded, and I need to lay back down and reset my alarm. I hate nights when I don't sleep well, as I get next to nothing done otherwise, but at least I'll be awake for work. Hopefully, we'll get out similar to last night - we actually only worked eight hours for the first time in I don't know when. Certainly since I transferred to second shift in mid-April! I love the overtime, but it's starting to drag a bit! Hugs, all!


Fruit & Vegetable Growing - Two Book Bundle: An Introduction To Growing Organic Vegetables And Fruit Berries
Container Gardening Made Simple: Beginners Guide To Growing Health Vegetable & Herb Gardens
Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners: Simple Guide to Growing Beautiful Gardens!
Herb Gardening For Beginners: How to Plant an Herb Garden

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thanks ... just ... thanks

You guys make all the writing I do so worthwhile. I had a ton of people writing me in the last day to tell me how much it meant to them that I shared a bit of memories with you about my grandmother, obvious how much I love and miss her, etc. One of my aunts, who I love dearly (you know who you are!) told me she, one of her daughters, and her brother (who I both also love so much!) read it and were impressed. Yes, she said impressed! I have probably one of the greatest families ever. Period. Which brings me to more nostalgia. Don't blame me, you guys started it, and now I'm on a roll for at least today. I did tell my aunt that between Grandma Myrtle, her, Grampa Max, and a few other people, that it's THEIR fault I homestead, and it is. If they hadn't gotten me hooked on gardening and putting up the results, and chickens and rabbits, I wouldn't be where I am today. ALL THEIR FAULT! In a great way, though. I wouldn't trade this for much of anything.

In my family, we lift each other up, we laugh, we crack jokes, we tease each other, we think the others are fantastic each in their own way. Funny how we can not see or hear from each other for ages, and then poof! We meet up one way or another and catch up on things, and it's like we never were apart. We used to do family reunions that were pretty boring to us younger kids, but we found ways to have fun. The place we always got was a VFW hall in the middle of nowhere, no playground nearby, in the middle of cornfields which we couldn't go into. Our main forms of entertainment were trying to outdo each other on bragging and making cattail bombs. If you've never done that, trust me, it's an experience. Especially trying not to get the fuzz stuck in you as teeny splinters, because they itch like fury!

The adults would all yack, too, and play catch up on everything. Everybody usually brought the same dish, year after year, so you kind of knew what you were getting in the way of food. Mom's signature dish was cauliflower salad. That stuff is fantastic ... if I wanted any, I had better set it aside before the bowl went out the door, because even people (mostly the male members of the family) who swore up and down they "hated" raw veggies would go for it. Ranch flavor gets 'em every time. One year, she decided to make baked beans instead.

I was hanging out in the kitchen with the adults for some reason for a bit that year, and I remember one of the guys coming in and asking if Mom and I were there yet. "Yeah, they're in the kitchen," someone replied. "They can't be here already!" was the response, "Cheryl's cauliflower salad isn't on the table." There was much disapointment that year, as everybody looked forward to cauliflower salad. Mom didn't think they liked it that much, but was proven wrong, so ever after, she had to bring cauliflower salad. Same goes for her for church suppers. Nobody knows she's there if they don't see cauliflower salad on the table. Folks may think that she's too predictable like that, but I think it's more that other folks are a bit too predictable in what they expect you to bring to dinner!

Everybody griped every year how hot and sticky and humid things were at the reunions, but when we left, we couldn't wait till next year to see the new little ones, catch up on news and eat till we were ready to bust again. As I get older, it's the little things that mean more and more - the memories, the love, the good books read again (hello, old friends), all the things that were just "there" as a child and young adult, now mean so much.

I've always been a history buff, because it brought old things to life. It didn't slap me in the face until recently that I'm living history, and that I tend to write down and print off all my little memories like these, and store them safely in sheet protectors in a notebook, will someday be history to others. One of my favorite books for several years has been one I found by accident, called "Pioneer Women: Voices From the Kansas Frontier," by Joanna Stratton. Joanna's great-grandmother, Lilla Day Monroe, began to collect stories about early Kansas pioneer life from around 800 women in the 1920s.

She saved them, her three daughters saved them, and eventually, Joanna turned many of the reminiscenses into a book. Some of the tales are incredible. There's one about a grasshopper plague, one written in the romantic story style of the day about a woman waiting a the farm in the middle of nowhere for her husband to come home, and one that always caused me to think fondly of an historical village near home that I will write about another time, because it starts out, "Well, we will go a-marketing." And the author continues on, describing town, with all it's myriad shops and things. Reminds me, my copy is about read out and I need to do a bit of shopping this afternoon or tonight anyhow ... must replace.

So, yeah, I'm a nostalgic, sentimental slob. So shoot me, lol.


Container Gardening - 2 Book Bundle: Vegetable Container Gardening - Made Easy; Tomato Container Gardening - The Easy Way To Grow Tomatoes In A Small Space
Keeping Chickens: A Beginner's Guide
The Prepper's 'Lights Out' Guide to Surviving with the Grid Down (Survival Family Basics - Preppers Survival Handbook Series)
Raised Bed Gardening Planting Guide - Growing Vegetables The Easy Way (How to build a raised bed and grow vegetables with minimum fuss) (Gardening Techniques Book 1)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nostalgia time

One of my buddies on Facebook posted a link last night to one of those silly quizzes - this one was for what your old person name should be. Both the OP and first respondent got "Myrtle." This has me in some serious nostalgia for a few moments, as Myrtle was my great-grandmother's name (she was my maternal granddad's Mom). I spent many happy hours at her house, looking through National Geographics - she's the one that got me hooked on that, as just the photos alone were enough to give me goosebumps, especially on the 'scapes - land, sea, sky, space ... it didn't matter, I loved those photos and still do. She was another of the family that got me started on gardening and self-sufficiency, and her small city yard was just full of flowering plants of all kinds. There was hardly any grass at all.

I can still turn my mind's eye inward and see her house, the yard, and even the inside of the house as clearly as the last day we were there - the day we, as a family, found her gone. That was one of the saddest days of my life, and it still makes me a little sad, despite it being 34 1/2 years she's been gone. And you know, her cellar under the house (you had to go out the back door off the kitchen into the garage and down some stairs there to get to it) was just chock full of all kinds of food storage. She'd raised four children through the Great Depression and never, ever forgot what it was like to have to struggle. She lived through two World Wars and countless conflicts, saw man on the moon, airplanes, cars, telephones, and so much more. She spent over 30 years as a widow. She lost her oldest son when he was barely an adult. And yet ...

She was a treasure fount of knowledge of the old ways, and I learned a lot from her in the mere dozen years she was a part of my life. I was very blessed a few years ago at Christmas. When she died, one of the things Mom got was Grandma's recipe clippings book - just an old spiral-bound notebook with a gazillion recipes scribbled in it or clipped out of old magazines and newspapers and taped in place. But a few years ago, Mom did something amazing for me. She photocopies the whole thing for me. Every single page. Eventually, I'd like to inherit the actual notebook, but for now, those photocopied pages are a treasure to have. So pardon me while I shed a few tears for a lovely woman, Myrtle Loretta Wonch Rauschenberger (April 18, 1905 - January 17, 1980). She's been gone 34 1/2 years and I still miss her terribly. So please excuse me whilst I have a quiet moment to remember a remarkable woman who helped influence me and the life I lead as a homesteader. Hugs, all.

(And then, despite desperately needing to get other things done, I'm setting the alarm and going back to bed for a couple hours. I slept for seven hours and feel like I didn't sleep at all. Urgh.)


Homegrown Humus: Cover Crops in a No-till Garden (Permaculture Gardener Book 1)
Growing Juicy Delicious Tomatoes (Rainforth Home and Garden's Secrets and Solutions)
How to Crochet: Volume III The Final Complete Advance Guide with More Advanced Patterns, Stitches and Squares for the Advanced Crocheter. Includes Step- by- Step Instructions with Detailed Pictures
Crochet Pattern LADIES SLIPPERS MARY JANES: Do It Yourself

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Quiet Sunday

And here I am, doing the unthinkable with a brand-new laptop. I'm sitting in bed, with it on a laptop tray (a repurposed TV tray top that broke, actually), and I'm eating. Fried chicken, popcorn, cookies, and half that tomato I picked the other day. The first one from the garden. I'd have a photo for y'all, but ... well ... I kind of forgot before I cut it up and we ate it. A teeny bit of salt sprinkled on the slices for some extra flavor and it was gone. And yes, I saved the seeds as I went. There weren't many in this one as it is a very small beefsteak, but I did scoop them out into a small bowl, added some water, and stuck a lid on it, before popping it onto my desk in the front bedroom where it can stink all it wants in a few days. I want MORE of these things, especially after tasting this one.

Mind, Quentin likes tomatoes a lot, almost more than me, and that's saying something. But all he's ever had for YEARS has been those nasty cardboard things from the store, and let's face it, those things have color and size but no real tomato flavor. So when I held out the plate with the slices, he was a bit leery of trying it, figuring it was going to taste like a store-bought tomato. His eyes got so big and he said, "Oh my GOD! That is good!" and promptly grabbed half of them to add to his lunch. Then he sat and moaned in delight over every bite. I think I have him hooked now on homegrown, just off one tomato, haha! Now to just get him hooked on increasing and improving the garden space so I can do more next year! Off to find books and eat!

Woops, good thing I made a HTML file backup of my bookmarks. Apparently, when I went out earlier to unsync Chrome on the netbook and delete all my bookmarks that Quentin won't need ... it didn't get unsynced before I deleted. Thank goodness for backups, so I could import my bookmarks and spend five minutes reorganizing them instead of goodness knows how long refinding them all! I am a dork! And then Chrome starting acting weird on the netbook, so I had to shut down Chrome and restart it. Sheesh. That thing is really getting on my nerves now that I'm used to the new one. And the 1-ton winch that Quentin bought Thursday because he just HAD to have it? He broke it already, so he is "wasting" his Sunday taking it back to Wal-Mart to exchange it. I told him it's 2 hours round trip tops, it's not wasting the whole day. Sheesh. Oh well, it's time to call my Mom for our weekly chat, so hugs, all!


Soap Making for Beginners: Proven Secrets to Making All Natural Homemade Soaps that Will Rejuvenate, Refresh and Revitalize Your Skin (FREE Book Offer): Soap Making Books, Soap Making Recipes, Lotion
Learn To Knit: The Ultimate Guide On Learning How To Knit Hassle Free (Learn To Knit, Knitting, Knitting Guide, How To Knit, Beginner Knitting)
Create Captivating Water Gardens in Containers: Step by Step Guide to Enjoying Water Gardens on a Small Scale (The Weekend Gardener Book 7)
Organic Gardening - Beginner's Guide Learn the Healthy Way to Plant
Worm Composting - Woodworking Plans & Worm Bin Ideas for Use in Organic Gardening
Mini Farming: Becoming Self Sufficient Through Homesteading And Organic Gardening, Gardening For Beginners (Mini Farming, urban farming, Homesteading, ... Organic Gardening, Vegetable Garden)
Fruit Tree Container Growing: Grow Your Own Dwarf Fruit Trees in Containers at Home or even in a Small Apartment (Wyse Home and Gardening Book 2)
Container Gardening Designs & Woodworking Plans - Volume 1 - Ideas for Organic Gardening & Urban Gardening
Kitty Draft Excluder - Easy Knitting Pattern
Growing Upside Down Tomato Plants: Learn How to Set Up a Topsy Turvy Planter (Vegetable Gardening)
Build a Back Yard Frog Habitat: The Quick and Easy Guide to Build a Small Container Frog Pond in a weekend
Ballet Flats - Quick and Easy Crochet Pattern
Protect Your Rural Home Against Vandalism

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Long Saturday

It was a late start to the day, but that was a good thing, because it meant that all the traffic and crowds and things in Harrison were completely missed. I appreciated that, because I really hate heavy traffic and crowds. I'm a bit too much of a hermit, I guess. Got a lot done though - some writing, some money earning online, laundry, groceries, lunch, and got everything home and in the house. All's also put away other than the laundry, because I'm just too pooped now that everything else of importance is done.

I got my first little beefsteak today. It's only a few ounces, but it's mine, off the Arkansas Traveler plants, and another is blushing. Seeds are going to be saved from them, for next year. Reminds me, found a mid-sized popup greenhouse with the plastic cover at TSC for a reasonable price. Once I get a good paycheck again in a week or two, I'll have to see if they still have any on summer clearance and get one. I forget the price, but it was well under the usual price for them. I can keep it in the box and have it for next year. Oddly, Quentin was the one who spotted it and he usually takes little to no interest in the plants and things. He likes country living, but homesteading per se is somewhat beyond him, I think. Me, I am all for it, loving it all, in spite of the hardships and inconveniences. It's mostly a good deal of fun, no matter the hard work.

I should also mention that my beans and corn are trying desperately to grow. I have some radishes trying to keep going in this miserable weather that can't make up it's mind, along with a whole ONE large cherry tomato and a handful of carrots. The squash all died, barring the one that keeps putting out all male blooms and doesn't go anywhere as a vine, lol. The squash are a disappointment this year, and that's sad when so many of my gardening buddies are having bumper crops!

I'm really tired, so I'm going to finish this up and take a nap. Hugs, all!


Greenhouse Gardening : Tips For Easy Success With Your Greenhouse (A Greenhouse Guide With Tips on Growing Plants in a Greenhouse Year Round)
Container Gardening - A Step by Step Guide For Beginners
How to Grow Herbs: A Step By Step Guide to Growing Herbs
Container Gardening - A Step by Step Guide For Beginners
Slouchy Hat Knitting Pattern
Beginner's Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening: How to Start, Maintain, and Troubleshoot Your First Organic Garden
Our Survival Essentials: The self-sufficiency, homestead, prepper book for people that want to not only survive, but to thrive, in a difficult world
Growing 20 Everyday Herbs (How To Grow Herbs)
How to Grow Gorgeous Gardens Indoors with Modern Gardening Techniques: Ultimate Guide to Indoor Gardening

Friday, July 18, 2014

Well, it rained

Sort of. Nothing at all like the major thunderstorm we were supposed to get. It sprinkled on and off most of the night, but that was it. I was expecting to have to go to work and back in pouring rain, but nope - dry as a bone, both ways. Stuff is on the way, life is good, and my first tomato will be ripe for picking tomorrow. Then I get the fun of slicing it up, saving the seeds and salting it lightly for a snack. Yum.

There's also so much writing to do, needlework to do, and mosquito bites to treat with calamine when I get dressed for work. Where the heck they are coming from, I would like to know, but there are a ton of dragonflies that are working on catching the little pests and eating them. The jungle I live in is ridiculous, and once the next big project is done (propane heater and propane and such for heat this winter instead of running radiator heaters all winter again), things can start to progress better toward a downpayment for a house.

I don't need much - single story, minimum of an acre, prefer on a paved road. I'm a bit tired of dirt roads. I grew up on them, I'm living on one now, and so I have spent close to half my life living on dirt roads. They are not a lot of fun in the winter, when they get icy and horribly slick. Plus being on a paved road, I can put a sign at the roadside that I have veggies, fruits and crafts for sale, and make a bit of chump change that way. I am thinking of the future all the time now, and how to make it work, now that the decision's been made NOT to carve a place out of wilderness. It's a great idea, but when you are in your forties, it becomes way more work than your body wants to deal with, especially if you also have to work full-time to cover the bills until the homestead becomes self-supporting. And I'd rather that than have to work for another 20 years for someone else and make them lots of money.

Don't get me wrong, I like my job, but there are days when things just don't go well, and I'd like to give up and walk away from it. Granted, you can't do that when you are self-employed, but at that point, you have the knowledge that whatever happens, it's on you, good or bad. So it tends, for me, to make the work a lot more like fun and a lot less like work. Then again, that goes for anybody doing something they truly love, and I truly love homesteading and crafting and writing. I do not truly love mucking about with chicken all day, no matter how good the pay and benefits are, and never will. It's a job, I like it, it pays well, etc., but it's not my passion. So excuse me while I get some lunch and indulge in my passions for a little while before I head to the J.O.B. (Just Over Broke), so that one of these days, my passions will support me instead of the J.O.B. Hugs, all!

PS - For those who are asking, the stomach flu is long gone, but I'm still having issues of weakness and tiredness from it frequently. Plus my sinuses are acting up from being in the cold all day in production. So I'm nowhere near 100%. I'm maybe 65%, and slowly climbing out of this hole my body put me in. It's taking forever, and with the fibromayalgia as well, it takes two or three days to get another 5% or so better. I'm getting there, but it's very slow. Yet another reason to indulge my passion for writing. One of these days, all these ideas will be real books (maybe not long ones, but real ones) and they'll sell enough copies a month to support me, lol.


Homemade Soap For Beginners (How to Make Soap)
How to Grow Delicious Vegetables In Your Backyard
A Guide to Gardening and Growing Best Herbs Anywhere
Backyard Organic Gardening: The New Gardener's Guide to Growing Organic Produce
Plant a ... Flower Bag: Step-by-Step Instructions for Beautiful Results
(3 BOOK BUNDLE) "Beginners Handbook of Knitting Stitches" and " How to Knit Scarves" and "How to Knit Socks": Learn How to Knit Quick and Easy

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Looking like it will pour

And I'm glad as we need the rain. I don't much like driving in the rain, but I can handle it. Personally, I'd rather go back to bed and sleep through it than go to work, but I'm an adult with responsibilities and it's tough, but you do what you have to do as an adult. I tell that to a number of the young people who hire in at the plant and start whining about how "hard" it is to work. Hate to tell them, but if they think working is hard, try being unemployed and homeless. That's a lot harder.

That first tomato should be ripe enough tomorrow to pick. My first tomato in practically forever, and I grew it. Yay, me! Today is a short day for a lot of things here at home. I have a hankering for pizza, so as soon as I'm done with this and a bit of writing (reformatting, really, I'm that close to done with the current booklet), I'm hauling out of here and heading to town for pizza and breadsticks. All just so I can sit down and relax while I eat before I have to haul butt and get back up to the plant in time for work. Which I overdid a bit yesterday and so today I am hurting. There are days I really hate having fibromyalgia. Oh wait. That would be EVERY day.

I did manage to gross out one of the young folks at work, which isn't hard to do, considering how distanced most of them are from where their food comes from, despite working in a poultry plant. The first time, one of the guys was coming around to clear all the skin and meat out of my scrap tub. The one gal across from me is the one I grossed out, because she saw the guy clearing the scrap out and faked hurling. I said, nothing wrong with this stuff, it's what you make soup stock from. She got even more grossed out by that, especially after I pointed out that when you add in the carcass with the meat bits on it and cook it all down, that's your chicken stock. Then I said, well, gee, you do realize honey is just bee barf, don't you? Huh? she says. Yeah, says I, bees harvest nectar from flowers, take it back to the hive, eat it, puke it up into the honeycomb, cap it off, let it ripen and poof, you have honey. Apparently, she liked honey, and now she's grossed out that it's bee ralph. LOL. Like I said, I work with a lot of people who are totally unaware of where their food comes from despite working in a food plant.

Haven't done much on Mom's lap quilt top. I'm waiting till the weekend when we do laundry again to work on it, and I hope to have the rest of the thread by next weekend. I hate having to play pick and choose on colors to try to work stuff, and leave big gaps in the stitching because I don't have all the colors. But Wal-Mart doesn't carry everything and there aren't any craft stores around here, so it's mail order. It's the one thing I miss about Branson area, is having a Michael's right there to get stuff, and they carried just about all the DMC embroidery thread colors. Now yarn, you were taking your chances there, but if you were into stitchery, you were in good luck. Only one thing for it, when I want to stitch stuff, I'm going to have to start stocking up ahead of time on thread, lol. So for now, I'm off to find books quickly before I pull together and get out of here for some lunch, so I'll see you round. Hugs, all!


Seed Starting: Beginners Guide To Seed Gardening!
Raising Backyard Chickens For Beginners: Simple Guide To Keeping Happy & Healthy Backyard Chickens (Complete Guide)
Beyond Organic... Growing for Maximum Nutrition
Surviving Self Sufficiency and Thriving: The Best Manual to Do-It-Yourself and Returning to the Simple, Happy Life
Aquaponics For Everyone: The complete guide to easy aquaponic gardening at home!
Urban Beekeeping: How you can easily begin beekeeping at home, no matter where you live!
An Introduction to Aquaponic Gardening (Self Sustained Living Series Book 1)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Quiet day but kind of sad

It's very quiet right now. Quentin's left for work and the boys are snoozing. I'd like to take a nap, too, but I have a lot to get done. Seems like there's always stuff to do around here that require me to be awake, never mind work, lol. Whatever happened to everybody telling me homesteading was "easy" and "you get to sit around and do nothing all the time, right?" I'd like to know when I get to start sitting around and doing nothing! Oh, wait, I get to do all that when I'm dead. And I'm not planning on that any time in the near future, so I guess it's work, work, work.

What's sad about the day is that we have had news that his grandmother is not doing well. She's 95 years of age, and in poor health. It's just a matter of time before we get the call. I can't get more than one unpaid day off for the funeral, which is going to be in Missouri, several hours from here. I won't take the day off and make a long drive up, be exhausted and hurting, and then have to follow Quentin back ... it makes no sense to have to take two vehicles for ONE funeral. I won't get extra time off as she is not my grandmother. Quentin will get three days paid bereavement time, so he will be representing us at the funeral and such. I met his grandmother once, she is a sweet lady, and I liked her very much.

Writing is going well on the latest book. It's really short at only about 14 pages or so of some favorite jams, jellies and condiments (like salsa and chutney) that you can make fairly easily yourself. It's just that with work and all, there's not a lot of time to work on it. I have only so much time in a day and have to divide it up into teeny portions so I get a little bit done on everything, every single day, if at all possible. One of today's chores, if you can call it that, is some Amazon shopping.

I have quite a bit on gift certificates there, but I want to get some new bamboo knitting needles. The kind that are 6" double-points so I can make socks on them. I have my bigger bamboos for bigger projects like sweaters and afghans and such, but it's a bit difficult to do socks on those. Yeah, I know, there are methods to use a long cable needle to make socks two at a time and supposedly make the process go faster. I'm a purist. One sock at a time on double points. Mind, I do love sock knitting. I don't get what many knitters call SSS, or Second Sock Syndrome. As in, you get the first one done, especially if it's a complicated sock, and then realize you STILL have to do the other sock. Me, I am different. I get the first one done and realize I only have one more sock to do, and I feel a little blue about it. Of course, then when they are done, I get to wear these lovely warm things I've made. At least till I start wearing them out. Then I darn them. I take the worn out sock to the trash, drop it in, and say, "Oh, darn!" I keep the one that's still good, and so I have quite a few socks that are about the same length but have no mate. I don't care if they match or not, I just want my feet warm in the plant, and so it's homemade woolies for my feet!

I also need to order a book for my Mom as a present, and the rest of the thread for that quilt top, because I keep forgetting to do that. So excuse me while I get a snack to tide me till a quick meal before work (I'll sit in the break room before work and have a good nosh so I'm full up till break four hours later, then have another good nosh at break to tide me over till I get home and can have dinner). Then I'll find us all some lovely freebie books and then I'll see about my shopping and some more writing and some needlework and who knows what else? Hugs, all!


Natural Cleaning Tips 101 - Using Vinegar, Baking Soda, and More
Natural Cleaning Tips 101 - Using Vinegar, Baking Soda, and More
Apartment Gardening
Basic Rabbit Care Guide
Raised Bed Gardening: How to Use Simple Raised Beds to Grow a Beautiful Vegetable Garden (Raised Bed Garden - Your Ultimate Guide to Planting the Best Garden)
Container Herb Gardening Made Easy: How To Grow Fresh Herbs At Home In Pots (Cheap, Easy Green House Plan, No Thumbs Gardening) (Homesteading Book 5)
Crochet Pattern Bear Hat Adult Size

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No rain darn it

It threatened most of yesterday, but the rain never happened. That meant watering today whether I felt up to it or not. Bummer, because I had a good pain day yesterday (meaning little to none for a change), and of course got silly and overdid it and today I'm paying for it in spades with pain. Ow, ow, ow. I know better than to overdo it with the fibro and all, but do I ever listen? Nope, I use up too much energy when I feel good and then crash and burn the next day. Tonight will be interesting for work, that is for darn sure. But chores are done and I can relax, do stuff on the computer and get some food before I have to be packed and off to work in the next 90 minutes or so. Now, if I eat a good something here at home, I can leave at 4 instead of 330 ... and I really should start eating at home more. I tend to hit Subway on the way to work because it's fast and easy and I'm feeling lazy from the fibro a lot of days. I really need to stop that. It may be some of the only fast food I can eat, but that doesn't mean I need to live off it. Bad me, lol.

I do have positive news on the garden. My first tomato has finally started blushing. Yeah, I'll get a few tomatoes out of the deal and that's going to be about it, lol. But I gave it a good shot. Not my fault I got sick for nearly two weeks. Still recovering from that, but feeling much better and not so tired all the time. Just most of the time. I should be back to more or less normal just in time for cooler weather to start setting in. Yay me. Hey, checking local weather, I won't have to water the rest of this week - it's supposed to rain HARD Thursday. YAY! That's a few days I can get away with no outside chores. It does mean closing ALL the windows though, to make sure water doesn't get in and drown anything.

Quentin is getting his promotion at work finallly. They are training him up to be a shoulder cutter, which just means he will be making the cuts on the birds that separate the meat from the wishbone and ribs so that the wings, breasts and tenderloins can be cut off the birds by the other folks down the line. It is a BIG pay raise of around $400 a week just on the base 40 hours, never mind all the overtime. That is a good thing for us financially - a house is in the future sooner than hoped with any luck at all.

The only real problem I'm having right now with the new laptop is the arrow keys. I'm used to smaller ones for left and right, so they are all the same size. This thing has HUGE buttons for left and right and teeny ones for up and down. But the trade off for a computer that works properly and with a screen where I can see everything without squinting now is a big help, especially when I'm writing. So I'll happily learn to deal with that, as I am beginning to like this thing. (And if I want to game, the screen resolution is much bigger, so games that wouldn't work on the netbook will work on here, lol. Yeah, I'm a geek and a dork. So shoot me.) However, I need to find books and pack lunch and eat something so I can get to work. Yay me. I'm so thrilled today to go in. NOT. It's just one of "those days." I'd rather stay home and write, lol!


Grow thy Own: A Simple Guide to Organic Gardening. (Fertilizer, Watering, Composting, Bacteria, Fungus, Macronutrients, Micronutrients, and Pest Control)
Milking Your Goats What You Need To Know Guide (Goat Knowledge)
Owl Basket Pattern Pack
Container Gardening For Beginners: Simple Tricks And Ideas To Container Gardening Made Easy!
Home Grown Peppers: Beginners Guide To Growing Peppers & Chili (Simple Home Gardening)
A Beginner's Guide to Successful Container Gardening: Learn the Innermost Secrets of Growing Healthy Plants at your Home
Organic Vertical Gardening: The Beginner's Guide to Growing More in Less Space (Organic Gardening Beginners Planting Guides)
Aquaponics: The Beginners Guide to Growing Vegetables and Raising Fish with Aquaponic Gardening (Sustainable Living & Homestead Survival Series)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Not too sure about this

I'm starting to figure this thing out, but it's going to be complicated for a bit. It happens, but it's not going to be all that fun for a while, lol. Some things are just not going to be easy to get used to, like the keyboard being further back, and the function keys having other things going on with them, so I have to hold the FN key and then use the function key. It does have a numeric keypad though, which I like, I just have to get used to some things. At least I got it all set up, barring a couple minor things I need to move over yet. Basically, it's up and rolling. One thing that helped a lot is that I use Chrome for my browser, so all my settings sync through my Google account. Thus, when I first started it up, I immediately installed Chrome, and told it to sync. About ten minutes later, poof! There were all my bookmarks and passwords and everything, instead of saving everything and it taking two or three hours to move it all.

Work can now progress apace on things that were going slow because the netbook was getting old and slow and really needed a good hard drive scrubbing to speed it up, which I'm generally too lazy to do. With me, by the time a computer gets to that point, I've pretty well worn it out anyhow, so why bother for a little extra time on it. And on that one, with the power socket going kablooey, in short order, I would have still had to replace it. It doesn't make the whole process yesterday with the fridge and computer any easier to take financially, but I'll get around to accepting it eventually. I do not like that this new computer doesn't have a slot for a SIM card like the netbook. I can deal with no DVD drive, as I haven't had one in three years with the other one. But I do like my SIM card slot for photos. I'm going to have to look into USB plugins for the SIM card at least, and possibly for DVDs just for fun. I mean, what if I want to watch a movie on this thing?

It's thundering, so I don't have to get outside for anything today, but I do need to finish getting laundry put up and get myself off to work today. I did dishes last night once it cooled off, but then had a bit of a panic attack for no reason, and it kind of freaked me out. I really am going to have to concentrate hard on my crafting and writing to make money so I can quit the plant eventually (hopefully I can last till spring so we can get a mortgage through the plant credit union), because I can't work effectively when I'm wigging out like that. It's an easy job, but it's a bit difficult to concentrate on flipping chicken boobs when you're mind wants to scream at you, and you just plain don't have the time to stop and breathe till you're calm. And hey, they graded the mountain road finally!!! About darn time, it's only been gullied and cratered for about two months now.

One thing that is nice about the new computer is being able to use my desk again. The netbook was old enough that it got so hot, sitting in bed with it was the only option no matter the weather. During cold weather, it was so I could stay warmer. During hot weather like now, it was so the cooling fan could be under it and the pedestal fan that blows on the bed could blow on it as well to keep it from overheating. This one doesnn't have those issues, so it's kind of weird not to prop myself up with pillows! But now I need to get busy finding books, doing the couple of chores that need doing and getting ready for work. If there's time, I'll get some writing done - I have a really short book on some jams, jellies and condiments I'm working on and need to get some more reformatting and spelling/grammar corrections taken care of so it can go up for sale on the Kindle platform along with the others. (Yeah, I do like writing ... it's been a hobby for years, stems from all the reading I do. Trust me, there isn't a heavy reader out there that doesn't dream of being an author. I make it HAPPEN.)


Permaculture Chicken: Pasture Basics
Urban Gardening: The Urban Farmer Handbook - How to Grow Beautiful Fruits, Vegetables, and Plants in Any Space (Garden Design - Learn to Grow a Garden ... Small Yard, Roof Tops, Balcony, and more)
Organic Square Foot Gardening: The Beginner's Guide to Growing More in Less Space (Organic Gardening Beginners Planting Guides)
Managing Goat Nutrition What You Need To Know A Simple Guide (Goat Knowledge)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Scaling back is not a bad thing

Well, we are looking at houses online again. Not that we can afford one right now, as far as a downpayment, but we can still look. There are not a lot of homes in our range, but a few. We've decided we're willing to scale back a lot of what we wanted to do, because he'll be 40 at the end of October, and I'm 46, and truthfully, with my fibro getting as bad as it is some days anymore, we just feel we're going to be better off on-grid. We'd love to be off-grid and all, but with my disabilities, it's not likely to happen very easily.

Sure, we dream of a small piece of raw land and beating it into submission, but we're doing that here and it's killing us. So it's time to rethink, rescale, and go from there. That's fine. Homesteading doesn't have to be all hard work and hurting and pioneer spirit and all. You can do quite well with a small piece of land and not trying to do EVERYTHING that your pioneer ancestors did. A lot of them started out doing it from the cradle and never quit, because that was what they had to do. I'm more willing to cave on some things and deal with others, including a stupid power bill every month, than do make myself hurt more than I have to in order to accomplish at least some of my goals.

The problem comes in with the banking industry. Remember when I tried to open up a local bank account a few weeks ago? I'm still trying to find a local bank that will let me open an account without having "recent" credit history. Apparently, regularly paid utility bills don't count any more, even though they are reported to the credit bureaus, especially if you don't pay them. Having a regular job for several years running doesn't do much for you, either. So, we had to call our current bank for something else today, and while on the phone with them, asked them to send us information on the credit rebuilder credit card. I hate the idea of the thing, but if it gets a bit of "current credit" going again so a mortgage can eventually be arranged (which I also hate the idea of, but ...), I'm willing to give in. All of the properties we're just looking at online would have monthly payments under $300, and everything else wouldn't be that much, so bills wouldn't be bad. With a minimum of an acre, I can get in a small orchard, small bramble patch, small berry patch, and a big old garden, plus hedge in with lilacs, forsythia, spirea and all the other things around the edge of the property that will be pretty and help keep neighbors from deciding my garden is an eyesore. At least with working at Tyson, by next spring, when we'll have something of a downpayment put together, I'll have my two years in, and if I go through the credit union in Springdale at that point, one of the perks of working for Tyson is that the credit union will help with downpayment assistance up to $10,000 for first time homebuyers if you are an employee with at least two years seniority.

It means likely giving up on any livestock except maybe chickens and rabbits, but I can deal with that. Likely means neighbors closer than I'd like, but I can deal with that by mostly ignoring them. It does mean positives like running water (with the current heat wave, I'd just about kill for running water so I could take a quick cooldown shower daily instead of a sponge bath) and not having to build the place from scratch would speed up some of what I'd like to do. It's a trade off, but one that at my age, I'm willing to give in on in order to get somewhere ahead of the curve before I reach retirement age!

It would also allow me more time to do the crafting and writing and such I want to do if I don't have to work on carving a place out of wilderness. Let's face it, starting raw really takes a lot of time to get anywhere. But I wouldn't trade what has gone on here, and will keep going on here for a while to come, for anything. Because I've learned a lot of lessons here. I've learned I CAN make a wood pile that works. I've learned I CAN do something of a garden if I have to. I've learned what deprivations I can live with, and what ones I'd rather not deal with. I've learned to deal with heat and cold and everything in between. I've learned that I really do love hearing the birds and crickets and tree frogs. I've learned that I would much rather grow things that keep mosquitoes away from the house, and that I can live with MOST spiders even though I'm terrified of them (there's just too many legs and eyes). I've learned to deal with mice and rats and possums and squirrels and skunks and deer and rattlesnakes sharing my neighborhood. I've learned that even at my age, I CAN walk up and down a steep dirt road for a mile in the middle of winter if I have to, because the road's impassable for driving. I've learned that neighbors or no, I don't NEED people around me and on top of me to ensure I'm not scared and lonely.

And something several people said during and right after that recent bout of nasty stomach flu I had, really hits home. I am tough, strong and resilient. So many of you praised me for whining (you called it venting, but it was whining, pure and simple) that this was not fun and I didn't like going through it. It was sheer h**l, but you reminded me that I was tough enough to get through it, stuck it out, dealt with it, and came out ahead. Okay, so it's going to take a month or more to fully recover from as bad as it was, but you know what? I'm tough enough to deal with all the rest of what I've dealt with for the last couple of years while living here, this recovery is a piece of cake compared to all that. Most of all though, over and above everything else, I've learned again to be happy with what I'm doing and where I'm at. It's not perfect, but it's a blast learning so much and being able to do so much.

I look back at photos from when I started cleaning this place up to be able to live here, and it's amazing the transformation. In order to keep this place liveable, there'd be so much more to do, but I think Quentin and I have mostly decided mutually that we're going to just maintain things as best we can and go from there, while saving up a downpayment to buy something that's a bit less headache and work to start with. I'm game. Besides, it'll be fun doing more things I enjoy and less heavy lifting unless absolutely needed. (And I'll get to do more writing and crafting and such so that I can make some extra cash, which will help to get a house faster.) The journey is ongoing, and I'm loving every step of the trip. Hugs all - I'm off to find some books to share with you, and then I have laundry to put away, dishes to do, and watering to do for what is growing out in the miniature garden. Time for a great day, even if it will be incredibly hot again!

ADDENDUM: Well, I typed all that about 5AM, because I couldn't sleep. Freaking fibro flare. And then we get up, and the power outlet on the netbook is basically shot to crap, and the fridge part of our fridge has decided it's time to go as well. So ... there goes the kitty. The seal on the fridge wasn't that great in the one corner anyhow, but it still worked. Not any more. The freezer is still good, but the fridge is not so good. So we'll use the freezer till it dies all the way and keep the fridge part turned to most energy saver it's got and pack the channel on the seal with weatherstripping to make it seal a bit better. The new fridge is smaller - 10 cubit feet - so it won't hold as much in it. The new computer, on the other hand, is bigger, with a 15" screen. It's like the difference between a regular movie screen and an IMAX screen, haha. NOT my idea of a good way to spend Sunday, shopping for expensive stuff and then setting it all up! But it had to be done. The new laptop doesn't have a CD drive, but neither did the netbook, and I didn't use it anyhow, so who cares? Working on moving all my files over via flash drive - it's actually faster that way than with the home network!


Container Gardening For Beginners: The Essential Basics Of Container Gardening To Growing Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs In The Smallest Spaces! (Container ... Gardening in Pots, Gardening for Beginners)
Infinity Loop Scarf - Easy Knitting Pattern
Grow Fruit Indoors For Beginners: Surprisingly Exotic Fruits That Can Grow Indoors! (beginners gardening, grow fruits indoors, urban farm, indoor gardening, ... organic fruit grow, grow exotic fruit,)
Learn To Crotchet: The Ultimate Guide On Learning How To Crotchet Hassle Free (Learn To Crotchet, Crotcheting, Crotchet Guide, How To Crotchet, Beginner Crotchet)
Companion Planting: Unlock the Skills of Companion Planting for a Thriving Vegetable, Flower, and Herb Garden (Companion Planting Guide - Your Complete ... to Creating the Garden of Your Dreams)
How to Make Soap at Home: The Simple Soap Making Guide for Beginners! Discover How to Easily Make Gorgeous Looking & Beautifully Scented Homemade Soap!
Companion Planting For Beginners: Simple Ways To Dramatically Increase Crop Productivity With Companion Planting (Companion Planting, Companion Planting For Beginners)


It's so miserably hot right now, the trailer is about 90F according to the thermometer in the living room. We did our running, came home, and poor Bouncer was panting, despite all the fans going, the windows open for any breeze, and the ones that normally have loads of sun coming in covered to keep the sun heat out. Bouncer doesn't handle the heat well ever since that spider bite, so as soon as everything was in the house, which was when I noticed him panting, Quentin took him outside for a little while to cool him off. Poor baby. He really doesn't do well - loses weight despite a high protein diet, and once it hits 85 and up, he's hot. We end up taking him outside in the shade frequently, as well as drowning him in a dishpan of water. Thank goodness we do keep the auto waterer full, so there's always plenty of room temp water for the boys to drink to stay hydrated. Smudge handles it better, despite being a big cat of around 15 pounds, and a lot heavier furred. He just drinks a lot, pees a lot, and curls up in the bathroom behind the toilet.

Though the day went well, it was long and hard. We had to get sawdust for the toity (nearly out, not a good thing when you have a composting toilet, to run out of the coverage stuff!), laundry, and groceries. I could really kill Quentin on the groceries, honestly. In this kind of heat, he still insists on getting groceries FIRST. So I am on to peanut butter and jelly all the rest of the warm weather, because I am not risking lunchmeat that's been sitting for nearly three hours in the heat till we get home. Heck, my ice cream became soup because of that. No way am I risking eating anything perishable right now, the way he wants to get the food first. Perishables are liable to be perished by the time they get home. Ice cream will refreeze, but I will not risk meat. No freaking way.

I did skip the new laptop today. The van needed a tire more than I need a new computer, and I can make this last for another week. Our checks this week were a bit short due to my being ill, so in order to get the tire and make sure we get through the week, I'm passing for a few more days. I did find one I really like for $230, and so next week is going to get that. I think despite it being a 15" HP, Wal-Mart is selling them off cheap because they are getting new ones in. I don't mind an "older" model. It fits the budget and will last a good long time, especially since I don't have to go hauling it around to McDonald's all the time now. This one, Quentin wants to learn to use until it dies, and I think I can then take the hard drive from it and swap into the other, older netbook I've got sitting around and he'll still have a computer to mess around on to look up "car stuff," as he calls it, until it dies. (The Windows in the other one has lost some of it's boot files, and I don't feel like paying someone to fix it, because I'm cheap that way.) But we both will get some overtime next payday, and surprisingly enough, I'll have close to 44 hours despite going home early Wednesday night. Yeah, we worked THAT much. No wonder I am whipped.

There's not much I can eat in the way of fast food anymore, but Subway is one of the rare ones (Arbys and Pizza Hut being the other two), and ours in Alpena today was having a three-year anniversary party of buy one sub, get one free same size. They had "Subman" there with balloons for the kiddies. We stopped there on the way home and boy were they busy. We're in there often enough because of it being one of the only fast food places I can eat at, so as "regulars," they kind of know what we want when we walk in the door. They were trying to get rid of the free stuff, so I ended up walking out with a haul. Two sandwiches. My drink, which I had to get in order to get the free sandwich. A keychain. A yoyo (me joking I didn't need another one, I married one). A can cooler. A balloon. Two cookies. Good grief.

And I have Christmas presents started some more. I do need to go online and get a few more things of embroidery thread. Mom loves butterflies, and I found a stamped cross stitch lap quilt top with butterflies and vines on it at Wal-Mart today, and got what I could of the thread for it then. Some I will have to order, but I am started a bit on it. I will have to also get batting and backing, and put it all together, but once it's done, I think Mom will love it. And there's loads of time to get it done, because I don't do presents for everybody I know. Close family and that's it. Even friends don't get stuff, other than a card, lol. Ok, so I'm lame that way. I just don't see the point in going overboard with gift giving that time of year for everybody I know.

I'm going to have to spend some time tomorrow hauling up water and caring for what I have. My radishes are starting to really leaf out, though one of the Watermelon radishes seems to have a bad case of leaf miners. Oh well - it's ONE radish, and I'm not going to give a crap today about it. I won't be finding books tonight, sorry to say - I'm just too pooped and it's midnight now by the time I get everything done and eat and get a bit of rest from the heat. Hugs, all!