Sunday, August 31, 2014

It's an achy kind of day

Thank goodness it's a holiday weekend, and I still have tomorrow off. I have suddenly come down with a bit of a late summer cold, and my head aches and my sinuses are all stuffy. Ouch. I'll be okay in a day or so, but in the meantime, I'm glad I don't have to be around noisy machinery at the plant. I'd be even happier if I didn't have to work there any more, and was just working from home, but that's slowly coming along, a little at a time. Mostly, I'm just glad I have time to rest and get rid of this stupid headache.

Progress with the girls ... when I fed them this morning, both let me scritch ears and pet all the way down their backs for a few moments. Raffles could care less about it; she likes the petting but she's more interested in the food. Tinkerbell will tolerate the petting to a point before she pulls away a bit and hisses to let me know to leave her alone. Though I do think it's funny that they both now sit on the stairs or the deck and wait for me to bring out goodies. I'm completely owned by four furry little purring buddies, and I don't care that I'm their slave, lol.

I did get the optical drive set up last night as those of you who saw the photos on my Facebook page know. Quentin's Grammy isn't looking so good, but at 95, who does? It also meant that I could take a quick look at my Mother Earth News discs that I bought as the collection a few months back, and that was interesting. I can get a lot of information out of all that stuff. The archive spans 1970 through 2013, so I'll bet there's plenty to read and learn from the articles in there. Forty-three years worth of reading and learning! Plus the heirloom vegetable disc archives, so even more goodies.

Other projects are coming along a little at a time in nice fashion, so that's good, too. Every little bit of progress on things here make the homestead more comfortable, more practical, and further on towards goals being reaches. They may be lofty goals, but they'll be met eventually. I may be ready to retire by the time some of them are done, but each step is progress.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Busy Saturday

Then again, around here, when is Saturday NOT busy? It's our one real day to run around and get things done, so we have Sunday to bum around and rest up for the week. Of course, homesteading, you never really get a day "off" to do absolutely nothing at all, because there's always something to do. Around here, there's always scrap metal to clean up, trash to shovel into the burn barrel and light off, trees to cut for firewood, and the inevitable housework and my slowly burgeoning attempts to make money online so I can make a living that way instead of half-killing myself at the plant. Side note - good news about that is that I finally got my transfer to tender line, starting next week, so I won't aggravate my growing tenonitis from boob line any more. This means work will be REALLY boring, but at least I can still hold a job for a good while longer this way.

As to busy ... boy, was today busy. As it is the end of the month, it was time for our regular trip up to Branson for all the stuff we can't get down here. We did everything other than groceries up there. We hit up Dixie Outfitters first to get Quentin's Dixie horn that he wants to put in the truck to replace the manufacturer's horn. He is such a "Dukes of Hazzard" fan. Half his shirts are General Lee or Dukes shirts. His nickname is Dixie, which is also a nod to his southern heritage, as his one grandfather was from Atlanta.

Then it was lunch at Steak and Shake. We'd originally intended to go to Joe's Crab Shack, but on the way up, realized we weren't in the mood for such a rich lunch and opted for something we like instead. The shoestring fries at SaS are good, and I had mine with bacon and cheese on top. Then it was off to Bass Pro at Branson Landing, to get something we've worked on getting for quite a while. We picked up a nice .22 Mossberg short barrel rifle. I say short barrel because it's not a youth model, but it the barrel is only about 19" long. I can handle it easily. I couldn't hit anything worth spit with the air rifle, but this thing, well ... once we got home and got things done to where we could get off a few practice shots, I shook up a can of Sprite, we stuck it on top of the woodpile, and I got to squeeze the trigger. BAM! that can got blown darn near in half. There's only a small sliver of can holding the top and bottom together. One can, one shot. Found some other things to shoot for target practice, and it turns out that I'm pretty darn deadly with a real gun. I hit everything, first try. And the sound is not too bad, plus there's no recoil, so if something happens while hubby is eventually up north for his grandmother's funeral and has to be gone overnight, he now has a lot less worries about my safety. And it was actually pretty fun. It's been 30 years since I've shot a real gun for any reason, and I really enjoyed it.

After Bass Pro, it was up towards the Branson Wal-Mart even though we didn't go in, because Michael's crafts is up there along with Best Buy, and I needed to stop at both. Michael's was because I needed one more skein of a single color of thread for that embroidered lap quilt top I'm working on, and to see if they had a small lighted magnifier that wasn't overly expensive to help me with my needlework in the evenings after work, when it's naturally pitch-black. The overhead light isn't quite bright enough to do a good job. I got my thread, but no luck on the light. All they have any more is the expensive Ott lights, and I though I want one, not right now at that price. The Books A Million was a bust for the light as well. Best Buy did, however, have what I wanted, in the way of an external DVD drive. I don't need one in the computer, because I rarely use the thing, but a portable is important. I have stuff on DVD that I need to get copied on to this laptop, and there's always watching movies on here as well, or listening to music, or burning the music to the laptop. Or backing up stuff. It's one of those situations where it will get used maybe twice a month, and otherwise sit in the box, but when you need it, it's nice to have.

Then we got laundry done and went all the way to Harrison for groceries, because his few photos from his trip up to see his grandmother last weekend were finally in. He pulled a few of them to get bigger prints on the one hour machine, as he wants to frame and hang them. The regular prints came with a photo CD, so once I get the portable drive set up later tonight or tomorrow, I'll grab a few of them, edit them and post them so folks can see the hubster, his Grammy, and his brother. Oh yeah, and then I can get busy with my Mother Earth News DVDs I got several months ago that have everything archived on disc. Heehee. I'm going to have fun. I'm also going to need a lot more notebooks, sheet protectors, paper and ink cartridges, I think!

Then it was home, get it all indoors and put away, set up the gun, and that was when I shot up the soda can. A good end to a busy but fun day. Of course, now I'm all tuckered out and am going to spend a few hours relaxing. WHEW!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Racial slurs upset me, and I'm getting old

I was going to write a short bit today about an historical village back home called Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad. There are folks here who hear me talk about it and say, "Oh, it's just like Silver Dollar City!" No, it's not, it's not a frontier-themed amusement park, it's part of the Parks Department and is a learning experience. That's all I say about it for now, because something happened the other night at work that set me off a little, and reminds me a great deal of my Mom's Dad, my Grampa Max. As Mom raised me as a single parent, Grampa was a big part of my life and I often called him "Dad" as well as an adult. Grandma Edna was "Mom2" because, while she was his third wife, she looks an awful lot like my biological Grandmother.

Anyhow ... what happened, in short, was this. One of the x-ray machines in my area kept breaking down. The second time, one of the guys I work with was doing some stuff up near me, and made the comment that he didn't know why they were bothering to try to fix it, all they were going to do was n-rig it anyway. And he used The Word. The n-word. The one word guaranteed to send me over the top, along with a whole host of others at work. Seriously, they'll  tolerate just about any amount of foul mouth as long as it isn't loud and offensive, and that is despite rules saying we aren't supposed to swear. But racial slurs are a fireable offense. Sadly, I had no witnesses that were certain they'd heard it, just they "thought" they heard it, so he only got a verbal reprimand. But it reminded me of my Grandpa Max.

You're wondering why. In the early days of the Civil Rights movement, my Grampa, his second wife (Doris) and their bunch of my adopted aunts and uncles all went to a black church. Mind, they didn't just attend. Grampa was involved with four black churches during those years, as he was ordained as a Pilgrim's Holiness minister, and preached Baptist, mostly. One of those churches he was youth pastor. Another, the associate pastor. A third, he helped found. Mom even has an old article from the paper about it, complete with a photo of him working with some of the congregants. It's so old, the article refers to them as "Negro churches." As many of these people were ones I grew up around, one way or another, I take extreme umbrage towards use of that particular word in any form. It's a highly offensive word. You want me to go off on you and turn you to hamburger? Use that word around me, and you will discover a whole new meaning to "going to the Devil's playground."

I remember when Grampa died ... gosh it's been eight or nine years ago now. I hunted through Mom's scrapbooks for that article and made nice photocopies of it for all four churches mentioned. Then I took a half-day I had off and ran them around to all four of those churches. I explained to the church secretaries that my Grandad had passed, their church was mentioned in an old newspaper article about him, and thought they might like a copy for their archives. Every single one of those ladies said something like, "Oh, my yes, we certainly would love a copy!! And now, let's take you to meet Pastor. He'll want to pray with you and talk to you about your Grampa. We remember him so well. So sad he is gone."

The biggest of the churches, the one where he'd been a youth pastor, was amazing. I ran into a young man there who was in his early twenties. I mentioned why I was there and he said something to the effect of he remembered hearing about my Grampa from his grandparents telling stories all the time. Then I got to meet the grandparents. And the pastor, and most of the church elders, AND most of the church ladies. Seems there was some sort of shindig going on and I'd managed to fall into the middle of it. Four hours after I started, I went to see my Mom at work for a few minutes, and she asked how it went. I said, "I have been blessed and prayed over so much in the last few hours, I think I'm set for a month."

At Grampa's funeral, there were arrangements from all four churches, and the big one had also faxed a letter to the church where the funeral was held, and the minister presiding over the service read it during things. My Grampa was so loved, I don't think there was a dry eye in the place.

I have a lot of good memories of Grampa. From the copperhead story I mentioned before, to helping with the chickens and rabbits then, to going fishing with him off the neighbor's dock. Those were great days for a little girl. And when he stayed with Mom and me for a while after we got our first house, I remember a lot of afternoons when I'd come home from school, and we'd grab spoons and the jar of peanut butter. I'd sit in his lap and we'd watch cartoons together while eating peanut butter out of the jar. I'm sure he had things he would have like to do, other than that, but spending time with me was important to him, and he sacrificed a lot of what he wanted to do so we could have time together. Even now, I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and have them daily at work for lunch. But I still can't open the jar without thinking of Grampa.

I did have to take the day off yesterday, though, much as I hated to. Late afternoon appointment with the eye doctor, and Quentin went with me, just in case they needed to dilate my eyes. They didn't, but it turned out okay. I've been using cheaters for a while to read and such, and the last couple of weeks, things have been causing me some eyestrain. Having had regular glasses before, I know this is a sign that your glasses, cheaters or not, are not quite in line with your eyes. So it was off to the eye doctor today to get them checked. I am now officially old. I have to have bifocals. My right eye is pretty good, and with using both eyes, I have 20/20 vision yet. My left eye has always been problematic, and at 46, I am essentially nearly blind on the left.

Everything is so blurry without extreme work on the left lens that for reading and other fine work, I'm really in trouble on that side. Quentin made the mistake of telling the doctor he would make sure I took care of my eyes, and got asked how old he was and when he'd last seen an eye doctor. I have to laugh. Quentin got to put on the cheaters and read a bit off the story card to see what his vision is like, and got recommended to get +2.50 diopter reading glasses. So he did that, and my no-line bifocals are ordered. I only have about a week before they are in, and my vision troubles will be over for a couple more years. Quentin is now under orders to come in to get a full checkup by the spring to see what his vision is doing.

Of course, all of thise also means I have had to set the zoom on my internet stuff to 125%, because even with a 15" screen, that little bit extra will help with easing some eyestrain. It also means I read more Kindle books from now on. I do love my hardcopy books and will continue to get them, but with ebooks, I can much more easily zoom in and ease eyestrain problems as well. So, all in all, it's a quiet day here, and I'll do what I can on paying stuff. I have to be careful to limit things a bit till my glasses are in, but other than that, I'm good to go!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Joys and progress

This is short today, probably one of my shorter daily missives, because there's a lot to do to catch up from yesterday's IRS debacle. Joys are that I had to sign my first point sheet in months last night, to let me know where my points stand. I was getting a little concerned, because you're supposed to sign one every time you take a point, but even with the days I took off while sick with stomach flu, both before and during relapses after I took my vacation days to finish getting as well as I could ... I could have sworn I had a lot more points against me than I do. My old supervisor was a dear. She never put those against me, and counted them all as one big sick episode, so instead of 12.5 points against me (and you only get 13.5 to use), I only have 8.5. This is great news. If not for my arthritis in my hands, I could actually get away with going back on the cone lines, which is a lot more money than I make now ($1.50 an hour more ... I may do it anyhow, just to see if I can. Used to be really darn good at it.).

The progress is the girls. While Tinkerbell still backs off and hisses at me when I scritch her between the ears, Raffles will let me pet her all the way from ears to shoulders without backing off or tensing up. She's so busy eating, she doesn't realize she's getting petted for a minute, then she just flicks an ear at me and goes right on chowing down. I get the feeling that once she's a fixed, indoor kitty, I'll have another lapcat, lol. Tinkerbell on the other hand ... she did let me pet her a bit more today, and I did scritch her several times today, but she still pulls away and hisses at me. Someone has abused that girl in the past to where she doesn't much trust humans, but she's beginning to trust me. The last time I petted her today, she let me pet her for several seconds before backing off. She's never swatted at me, just hissed, as in "I'm not really comfortable with this, sister." I think once they're fixed, and I've got them indoors, they'll settle in nicely. Tink is big enough that if Bouncer tries anything, she will smack him and teach him manners. Raffles isn't huge, but she's big enough that he won't be able to do her a lot of harm, and she'll stand up to him as well. Smudge, I'm not worried about. He's a fraidy-cat anyhow. So my day today is starting off a little better than yesterday. Yay!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fun day with the IRS - NOT!

You ever have one of those days that starts off just perfect, and then it takes a complete nosedive and puts you behind schedule for everything? Yeah, that's my day so far. Everything was going gangbusters to start. Then I get a message from my daughter via Facebook - apparently, somehow, the fact that she needs my tax transcript for college for her financial aid slipped somebody's mind, and she needs it NOW so her financial aid can be released, so she can have the money for classes and books next week. This requires contact with the IRS. LAST year, I was able to get a real person to wade through this. THIS year, it's all automated and you can't get a real person for love nor money. So I go online. I still can't have it faxed to my Mom (as DD lives four states away in MI with her for college) ... I can get it as a PDF, however, so I do that and email the file to Mom. It took an HOUR to wade through all the crap to get that far. I want to cry from frustration. Pardon whilst I go shed a few tears over this mess.

I have so much to get done, and am trying to build my online business stuff, and then I have to deal with this crap? Oh come on ... all I needed was a real person to talk to, and it would have been done in ten minutes time. But, much like Bert Gomer said in Tremors 2 I think it was about the goverment guys ... "Do what you do best. Take something simple and complicate it."

I have to laugh at what there is of my "garden" yet this year. No ears on the 18" high corn (that's as tall as it got, lol), but it's got pollen like crazy! My sole surviving squash is still setting blooms, all male again, and my green beans are going gangbusters for bush beans. I'll get a meal or two plus some seed to save. Tomatoes are blooming again and getting ready for a second go at production, which is a surprise, but the weather is perfect fo them. And the radishes ... well, the watermelon have still done squat but a couple of leaves each. The two white icicle that did well are blooming like there's no tomorrow and I have a lot of seed pods swelling on them. Big grins here for that. It may not be much of a garden, but I proved to myself that, despite all the adversity I'm dealing with, I can get a garden to grow a little, anyhow. I think I'll skip next year though other than maybe a few tomato plants, and instead buy a ton of seed to save up. I have a bunch of place I like to get a little here and a little there from, but I think I'm going to shell out through the nose over the winter for what I want to get and save up. Even if I won't eat it, it could make good livestock food later on, or stuff to sell at the farmers market. I got me PLANS, folks. As Bob the Tomato put it in the one VeggieTales song, "I've got a LIST!" LOL! Hugs all - I need to get stuff done as soon as I inhale some lunch.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday blues

I gotta go back to work today, and while I like my job, I'd really rather get to the point where I can stay home and do things that actually interest me, like gardening, cooking, housework (yes, I'm nuts, I like cleaning my house), writing and crafting. Homesteading is hard work, but it's so much more fun than the competitiveness of a regular job. The only competition is my to-do list, and I can usually crank the daily "work chores" out in about 3-4 hours. Then it's nothing but fun on days off. Ah well, one of these days.

Writing is starting to pick up a tad - with the latest mini-book up on Kindle, and having done a couple of promos over the weekend, I gave away nearly 700 ebooks, but I also managed to sell a few and made almost $5.00 in royalties. Woop! Better than it has been lately, at around 50c a month, lol. I need way more things to sell though, between Kindle books and Etsy. I have discovered a mistake in my thinking on Etsy, which means Selz will go by the wayside.

Selz doesn't have a combined site like Etsy or Amazon or eBay do. What you see on an individual's storefront is all you see. You can't search the whole site for related stuff or anything like that. I was going to keep them for ebook sales off the Kindle platform (since if your book isn't enrolled in the KDP Select program, you can sell it elsewhere), but having found out my mistaken thinking about Etsy and digital items, everything is going on Etsy. I though Etsy would only allow five digital items per seller, but I had been misreading. It's five files per digital item, so you can sell as many digital items as you like, as long as they fit into Etsy's policies for acceptable items. Since the great majority of my ebooks will be for cooking and crafting, they can go there as well, when they are not being promoted on Amazon, and hopefully I can get more sales that way.

And Etsy will allow food items that meet it's requirements, so my "Gifts (Not) In A Jar" category will be able to go there as well as seeds once I have some to sell. Hee hee. My Etsy store is going to EXPLODE with stuff now that I've got it figured out. Having time to sit down and work on reading a lot of the help files last week made a big difference. And at only 20c to list an item, then the 20c to auto-relist it if you have more than one of an item (like the bracelets I do from kits are 6 bracelets, but I only get charged 20c to list until one sells, then another 20c, etc., instead of the whole $1.20 right off). I have a bunch of finished stuff here that needs to get put up; my goal is one new item a day, so I have plenty of things up and ready to go. Lots of photos to take!!!! (Another thing I like about Etsy vs. eBay ... five FREE photos instead of one and figure out how to link them from someplace like Photoshop to the description in eBay to avoid being charged for extra photos!) I am going to be BUSY for a long time to come, and hopefully, this will be the start of making a living online even better than I have been doing. Just goes to show what happens when you are able to get cracking on what you love to do vs. what you have to do!

Now, for those interested in more free books that aren't on Amazon, I do have a few resources, and most of the books are available in Kindle format. The new Kindle Metro on Windows 8 won't recognize them because of how it's set up, but if you have the older version of Kindle for PC, it will, because your ebooks are all stored on your computer in a directory (now called a "folder," but I am old school and will always call it a directory) called "My Kindle Content." Hence why I kept the install file for the PC version and don't use Metro. Heehee. I am a sneaky little thing sometimes! The other sites for freebies (also can be found there often in PDF and other non-Kindle formats, by the bye) are:

Harvard Classics and the Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction - As this is Project Gutenberg, there are over 45,000 books on there alone. Never mind their partners:
Project Gutenberg Partners - where you can get over 100,000 MORE free ebooks, and also:
Open Culture, which is free ebooks, audio books, online courses, certificate courses, K-12 educational resources, movies ... you get the picture. And if you're interested in homeschooling, this was a great resource for me when the kids were little:
Enchanted Learning, which has LOADS of printables!!!!!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lonely day

He left early this morning for the drive up, and called as soon as he got to the meeting spot. He's safely up north right now, as he called a bit ago to let me know he was ok and where he was. I still miss him. We may have our spats and squabbles and such, but even when we're mad, we're rarely out of touch for more  than an hour. Friends think we're a bit mad for each other, living in one another's pockets as we do, but for nearly 4 1/2 years, since we first met, it's how we've been. And right now, he's four hours away and basically concentrating on family, and it's okay, but I miss him. I could have gone, but I'm an awful copilot. I snooze like a baby when I'm the passenger, and so I opted to stay home and get stuff done.

So what am I doing? Spending most of the time cuddling his pillow and sniffling. I'm pathetic, lol. He better do as he promised and come back safe and sound, or I'll have to do something drastic to him, lol. Today will be a nice day, in spite of temps. Probably going to take water jugs with me to fill them in a while after I get dishes done, and get some Sunday dinner somewhere like Pizza Hut or the nice Mexican restaurant I can eat at (La Granja, Spanish for "The Barn") ... they have good food that hubby has trouble with right now due to his teeth, so we don't go there often. I do love their salsa, though.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

It is HOT

And I mean hot. I had to set up the swamp coolers today. I can take the heat pretty good, 90s don't bother me. But triple digits are rdiculous, and are in the "way to freaking hot for anything you don't have to absolutely deal with" temps. Harrison was between 98 and 106, depending on which outside thermometer you were looking at and whether or not it was on blacktop or close to the ground, or what. Taking the mean, it comes out to about 102 or thereabouts. WAY too hot. Thank goodness for the trees right now, because while most of the time I could cheerfully wish them to perdition for being so close to the house, they are currently helping to keep the trailer shaded. Nothing like living in a metal box in the summer, right? Another reason to have a small wooden cabin, even if it does have a metal roof to allow rainwater collection ... at least the place stays somewhat cooler in this kind of heat over a trailer!

My beans that have bloomed are setting pods like crazy. I'll get a few meals out of those. My white icicle radishes that I've been helping to pollinate (by taking the flower stalks and rubbing the flowers together to aid pollination) have started setting a few seed pods. It will be interesting to see how much seed I get, because I've honestly never, EVER grown radishes before this year, I've always bought them! And surprisingly enough, my Arkansas Traveler beefsteaks are going to have to be watered a LOT again. Even in this heat, and even though I could have sworn they were done producing, they are setting even MORE blooms. MORE MATERS! Yay me! Om nom nom nom. Can't hardly wait the few weeks till they are ready to eat, too.

And despite the heat, we got everything done that had to be done in the way of errands, and while enjoying the A/C at the laundromat, I got a lot of stitching done on Mom's lapghan quilt. The border is about a quarter done. I have a long ways to go on it, but I'm hoping with Labor Day coming up, that I can get quite a bit done on it that day, as well as tomorrow, because Quentin is heading north for the day to meet his brother and sister-in-law in Springfield so he can carpool with them to go see Grandma one more time before she passes. She's doing much better the last couple of days, surprisingly. She's been able to get out of bed with a little help, eat at the dinner table with everybody like she's wanted to for a month now, and even sat out on the front porch to get some fresh air (other than through a window) whilst a cousin came over and mowed the lawn. We know she still isn't long for this world, what with being 95 and all, but she's made a major rally. And that is something to be happy about.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Yesterday was nice

I got quite a bit of needlework done, the house is cleaned again to my satisfaction for the moment, and I mostly quit hurting. And because of my lead's position of "Speed it up!" all the time, I will be going in slightly early to catch both the nurse and tell her what's going on, as well as talk to my supervisor and explain why I want to change to a different section in the department, over to tender line. I can grade tenders like a trooper, even though it's boring as heck, because I do not want to end up having to change employers just because of RSI.

On the other hand, if I could make a living writing and crafting, you can bet I would be on it in a heartbeat. If I could do that, I would be at home every day doing the kinds of things I did yesterday, and enjoying the heck out of it. (Probably watching too much L&O while I was at it, too, haha.) That will happen one of these days ... I'm working on it every day, and every day that goal gets a teeny bit closer.

If you have a goal in mind, work on it every day, just a little. Before you know it, you will see movement toward your goal, and begin to see the accomplishments that build toward that goal. Never give in, never give up. My goal is to homestead, and work from home on that, my writing, and my crafting. I will not give up on that goal until I make it. Then it will still be work, but it will be fun work! (Sort of like retiring, but with a better paycheck, because let's face it, our senior citizens get screwed over on Social Security.) Hugs and love, all. Time to kick some butt on my goals!!!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'm just tired and sore

Didn't sleep well last night, and woke up still sore from yesterday, which will require another trip to the nurse's station over the aches and pains from flopping out boobs all the time. I don't mind doing it all day, every day, but for gosh sakes, give a person a chance to work at their own, sustainble pace that doesn't hurt them. Guess I'll be on light duty for a few days, and nobody to blame but my boss for "needing" me to push and me for doing it when I know better. Think I'll take a short nap, though. I have a lot to get done, but I need some sleep. Worst thing you can do is work injured when you're already tired.

Addendum: Hubby has convinced me ... we need the money, yes, and I'd really like to get my points down more, but I'm calling in today. My arms are so sore it's hard to do much of anything for more than five minutes. I'll visit the nurse tomorrow. I'm going to take it easy tonight and see if it helps any. You gotta love a man who says, "Don't worry about the money, we'll make it, babe. Take the day off, relax and rest your arms so you can go back tomorrow. Sure, you'll have that point back and you're halfway to getting another one, but what's more important - points or you not hurting? So take the day off, because if I see you at the plant tonight, I'm kicking your shmutt." ("Schmutt" being one of his nonsense words he throws out once in a while.) So today really will be an easy day. I'm off to do some crocheting and some embroidery, after I have lunch and do a bit of reading. Then I dunno what ... maybe a nap. Whatever I bleeding well feel like doing. Too bad we have to have two incomes right now. I could get used to this again, lol.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I want an easy day today

No problems, no issues, no nothing but maybe a nap before work, lol. The weather's just nice enough for it, and we're supposed to get rain later. Any more, I think my body says the heck with it when rain is headed in and wants to nap. If not for the short hours (so I need every one I can get) and trying to get my points down quite a bit, I'd call in and sleep the day away. Plus in order to have any chance at a rural home mortgage, I have to bring my credit score up a bit, have my job for two years (kind of hard to do that if I blow it on attendance), and a few other things. However, if it works out, in the spring, I might be able to have a no-downpayment loan. Of course, it's also contingent on getting some bills paid off so I don't have to nickel and dime them any more. But knowing that the RHA thing is no downpayment for first-time homebuyers, that helps a lot ... I can still sock some money away, but I don't have to sock back money for a downpayment.

But there is so much to do for the homesteading activities. My white icicle radishes have finally bolted, all two of them. So I need to see what my seed saver book says about that, so I can have lots (hopefully) of that seed for later. The crocheted afghan is coming along nicely, and as I hate spending hours assembling when it's done, it's going  together as I go. Saves a lot of headache to sew in a block as soon as it's done or reasonably soon after, rather than waiting till the end. That's the part I hate the most about making an assembled afghan, is the sewing!

There's a ton of stuff to put up on Etsy, writing to do (still cranking out my page a day routine and if a book is finished, up it goes to the KDP page for publishing), and converting books to PDF so I can trasfer them between computers or print them off much easier. That's a long term project, with over 12,000 ebooks to go through, haha! Never mind doing more ordering of books on Amazon for homestead reference books, and seeds to put away for next year or whenever I actually get a place where I can have a real garden of what a friend's five-year-old calls "a bigly size." You ask little Damien how big his Mom's garden is and that's his answer. "It's a bigly size."  Little ones are so cute. I kind of miss when my kids were that little, but then again, knowing that they've grown up into the wonderful young people they are, responsible young people to take over the world, I'll be happy looking back on the fond memories they've given me.

Hugs and love, all ... I need to feed Tinkerbell and Raffles, get my own lunch, do some paying-type work, and maybe see about a nap. And while I did a special post just for her, a very Happy Birthday to my great-Aunt Janet, who is 94 today. Who gives everybody I know and love permission to get so old so fast? Hahaa. Hugs and love, all ... time for me to find food!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Windoze 8 and I have a hate on now

I really like my new laptop. Bigger screen, more hard drive space (more room for ebooks?), faster speed, sound is louder at 100%, etc. However, I now have a gripe. Kindle Metro, which comes with Windoze 8, and I do not get along. Oh, it loads fast, and it's pretty and all, but ...

1 - I cannot find my books by just typing the first letter of the title and having it go straight to that letter in the list of books.
2 - It stores all my books "in the Cloud," rather than on my computer. About all that is stored on my laptop are the pretty cover pictures. I want the books on the computer, so I can convert them to PDF for easy portability from one device to another, without having to have Kindle on everything. Also, it makes printing off recipes or patterns a heck of a lot easier than the limited availability of copy/paste in a Kindle book, as most only let you do so much of that before you can't do any more. PDFs solve that issue.
3 - It will download the book but then it wipes it out once I close out of Kindle Metro. No, no, no, no, no. That is a travesty. That is darn near criminal.

Thank goodness I still had a copy of the install file on the netbook, so it was just a matter of copying that to the flash drive and moving it to the new computer, so I could install it on here. And yes, it works fine. Only problem I have is, errrr, I have over 12,000 ebooks, lol. The ones I want stuff out of are slowly getting converted so I can print stuff.

Otherwise, it's a slow day here at Casa Rauschenberger. I'm still tired, might take a nap later since no garden to deal with much (thank you this year's weather). I have a ton of things to do but I didn't sleep well, and I have to work again today. Gotta keep the paychecks coming in if I ever want to get out of all the back debt (barring my student loans, less than $6,000), and see about a Rural Home Administration home loan, which requires, among other things, that you have a job for at least two years prior to application. Grrr. At that point, I might be able to go through the credit union in Springdale that Tyson's is partnered with, where they give $10,0000 first time homebuyer assistance. It's going to be a wild ride, that's for sure!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Busy Sunday

I'm probably going to tire some of you out with how busy today was. And I still have to make dinner! (Salisbury steaks, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes and green beans for those interested. No, you're not invited, you greedy guts!) It was hot. The high was 90, and it felt more like 94 out when the temp dropped to 84 around 4PM. The heat index is ridiculous. So what all got done, besides a lot of sweating?

Trash got pulled together, taken out and burned. Dishes are done. Laundry's put away. Cat corner is cleaned up again. Soda cans are crushed. Weedeating's done again, and that was a hot mess. Sadly, I won't get any cherry tomatoes. The sole cherry tomato plant the was just starting to bloom go weed whacked when hubby did that. Why he lifted the business end of the weedeater almost two feet off the ground is beyond me. I cried. Seriously. Over a plant. I'm pathetic.

Tinkerbell and Raffles were waiting on me to bring out the goodies. I've made myself their slave, lol. Tink actually meowed at me when I came out today, and while hubby and I stood on the deck to watch them, Tink mostly ignored us, and Raffles finally got brave and came out of hiding to eat. When he saw how gorgeous they both are (I really need to get photos soon), he said, "Oh, wow. They are beautiful. I want them both, fixed and in the house. Lovely kitties." So eventually, the household will be a four cat house. Well, I have wanted to run a cat rescue ... I just didn't envision taking on cats that someone dumped in my yard.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Thank goodness for calamine lotion

Because I just willingly got myself eaten up by mosquitoes. You're probably wondering why and thinking I must be completely nuts. When errands were finally done, and all was in the house and put up, it was late but I had to keep my promise to feed the strays. I think I'm probably the only real food they can depend upon. So I chop up a couple more vienna weiners, find a somewhat dried up hot dog in the fridge as well, and top off with a bit of kibble and cold gravy from last Sunday (it was still okay, but no plans for it, so it's cat food now).

Dump all the stuff into the tray from last night's TV dinner and head out. The bushes by the house rattle as I head for the door. Tinkerbell and Raffles (Momma Cat and kitten, yeah, I named them) were waiting. Raffles kind of hung off at the edge of the bushes, somewhat wary. Then again, she was born and has been raised feral, so humans to her are scary things. This scary human brings good stuff, though, so she's halfway willing to give me a bit of trust. Tinkerbell on the other hand, came reasonably close - she's obviously been dumped here by someone, and I could strangle them for dumping such a lovely cat - black and tan tortishell. Raffles, on closer inspection without being in the shadows so much, is tri-color tortie, with the bottom half all white.

So I put down the tray, talking all the while about how they're getting "the good stuff" and how yummy it is to them, how much they like it, etc. Called kitty, kitty a few times as I put it down, backed off a couple steps. Close enough to pet Tinkerbell if she would let me but far enough she could feel safe about running if she wanted to. She came close, warily watching me the whole time while trying to also keep an eye on the food. Just in case it suddenly grew legs and ran off, you know. Then she dived in and mostly ignored me. Looked up a few times, licking her muzzle, then back into the food. Raffles was more careful.

She took a sneak up after I backed off a few more steps, then when I moved just a tiny bit, very slowly, she ran off a few feet, came back while carefully watching me, and took a bite. I made the mistake of moving again, shifting my weight, and off she went again ... only to not run as far this time and turn around and come right back. So I stood there, in the heat and sunshine and got skeeter bit so as not to scare them while they ate. And I talked. I sweet-talked. Told them how pretty they were (and they are - Tinkerbell has gorgeous medium green eyes like my Smudge, and Raffles has darker green eyes). Told them how I was sorry I'd have to scare them down the road with the trap and vet and all, but then they wouldn't have to worry about anything after, because they'd have a fur-ever home and all the food and water they wanted, without having to scrounge for it or hunt again.

So this is extremely major progress in only a few days time. WELL worth the mosquito bites and all the itching and dousing myself with calamine.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Slow day today

Especially in the garden, though for what is there, it is bursting with life. The tomatoes are hitting their stride and blushing like crazy, so I picked a bunch today. The large cherry tomato is really trying it's darndest to set some blooms, so you can bet those seeds will be saved. The beans are setting pods, which I'll let go to shell stage so I can save them. The squash all went kaput, which is a pity. Two carrots are struggling, but trying. And the radishes are going gung-ho. The watermelon radishes are so tiny, but trying to grow a bit more before bolting. The white icicles, all two of them, are both at the flower bud stage now, and it will be interesting to see what happens with them. I know, I could have eaten them, but when a 4.5g packet gives you a whopping seven or eight seeds isntead of the 100 or so you were supposed to get, you either get more seeds, or bite the bullet, grow out what you can, and save the seed. Or you give up. I choose to save the seeds on everything this year that I can because if it can make it here at all under such adverse conditions, I can just imagine what some of this stuff will do under much better conditions somewhere else.

The stray and her kitten were waiting for snack time again today. It's great to see them starting to be unafraid, though I know I'll have to scare them some once they are used to me enough that I can put the days snackies into a Hav-A-Hart and catch them. Then I have to dump them into a carrier so they can go to the vet for shots and altering. I think farm cats are great, but I want them altered so they don't end up helping to overpopulate. But I'd like to at least try to get the kitten to be an indoors cat, and hopefully Momma Kitty as well. On a positive note, they are getting used to me. Momma Kitty left me a present on the concrete pad near the bottom of the steps this morning - a dead mole. Clearly, she expects me to eat it. This does not bode well, lol. Good thing the trash has to go out to be burned, as I can hide it in there.

Hugs and love to you all.