Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cold and achy and stinky kitten chow smell

The kittens are five weeks old tomorrow and have been trying to eat the girl's wet food with them in the morning for a few days. Time to start them on softened kitten chow, so I did the "heat up kitten chow and water in the microwave" thing this morning. Ugh. Forgot how NASTY that smell is. They didn't think so, though. All five of Tink's dove right in, once I got them near the paper plate. Tink's finishing off what little the kittens left of two handfuls of chow, softened, for baby teeth, which wasn't much. The five clobbered it and now have full tummies. All are off washing up and looking for a spot to snooze. She's starting to teach them where the litter box is at as well. They also think everything is a toy, from shoelaces to toes to whatever. Other than making breakfast, it's the fun time of raising kittens!

Extremely cold outside still, only in the 20s with a feels like of about 18. We are expecting 1-3 more inches of snow. Hoping I can still talk hubby out of going anywhere, but maybe can't. Him and his determination to go out and do no matter what. If he goes, I will stay home and do a bit of cleaning up that's been neglected, because not only would I have to do a lot of walking down to the truck and likely back up after, which I hate the idea of doing, but I also have arthritis kicking up hard in my right hip. Knew all this walking wasn't good for me, haha. Grand opening for the webstore is probably a couple months off, but in the meantime, I'm going to still work hard on it and see about driving traffic to it for what is there. Now it's back to bed for a bit because I'm just plain sleepy. SNXXX.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Warming up a bit

It's supposed to be cold here again the next couple of days, but it will warm up some after that. I will be extremely glad of it, as I'm tired of the cold. The wind not so much, though in the cold it makes the cold worse, but the cold period is starting to get to me. Work was okay last night and we got done at a reasonable hour, but it sure was tiring to play catch up on that backdated stuff now that the third line on boobs is fixed.

I got a couple of letters written that have to go out rather soon, and a lot of needlework yet to finish up (when do I not?), stuff to do for the store (loads of that), and I really need a whole crapton more sleep than I've had lately. Stress is starting to bleed off some, so I feel better in that respect, but I will be so glad when it starts warming up really nicely so I can hopefully get outside for a bit each day again. I'm starting to get some serious cabin fever here! I'm looking forward to some green again!

For now, though, it's time for a nap, as hubby insists on getting up way early and then wants me up with him to keep him company. Just because HE can go all day on five hours sleep does not mean I can, and I want a bit more rest before I have to go mess with chicken all day again. (Another good reason for the store to get going and do well, I can sleep as much as I need to, not only how long I have available.) Hugs, all!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy birthday, Ian

My son is eighteen today. As I write, he's been "officially" eighteen for about an hour. He's quite the young man, talented, smart, handsome. He has an idea of what he wants to do with his life. He lives with his father and his father's wife in New Mexico, near Albuquerque, and I miss him terribly, but I never forget him. You never do with your kids. One day, I know he'll show up at my doorstep, needing a meal and a place to sleep, and likely a job. I know he'll get fed, likely end up sleeping on the couch, and end up working at the plant. There are worse things in life than a steady job, even if there are days you really would rather not go.

Speaking of work, it was not nearly as long last night. We got out at not quite 2AM, so that was good, because my feet are still killing me. The good thing is that the line that was broken was finally repaired about midnight or so, so things can go back to normal, more or less, because we still have a ton of rework totes to go through now. I kind of lost count at twenty. Work is so exhausting, and I was so tired when we got home, I ate a bit and pretty much went straight to bed without working on the store. Yeah, that is pretty exhausted. I'm still tired. This has got to quit one of these days, because I'm at that age when I need more sleep, and six hours or so a night just doesn't cut it.

Other news, the snow we got is pretty well melted, so late winter/early spring homestead chores can get done. I still have some clearing up on the garden from last year to do, so I can get something in again this year. If nothing else, I have to put in tomatoes, as hubby got hooked on homegrown tomatoes last year, and wants more. I'll have to see what I can do for him, lol. I like homegrown tomatoes, too, so I'll have to dig out my saved seeds from last year and see if I can get any to grow.

And finally, Raffles had her kittens last night. The ones hubby said she wasn't pregnant with. She was busy having them when we got home from work, and I haven't had a chance to sex them. Partly because hubby says you can't sex newborn kittens (you can, if you know what you're looking for), and partly because I don't want to disturb them too much. I did get one sexed before hubby started having a fit over it. Raffles outdid Tinkerbell, having six kittens. SIX! The average for a litter of kittens is three to five, so she beat the average there as well! I know most of them are dark. One is black and white, one is ginger tabby and white, and both of those are male. The other four, I don't know colors or genders other than they are dark.

One looks like it could be a calibby like Raffles and the other three look like possible tortieshells, so it's likely most of Raffles are girls. That gives us FIFTEEN cats and ktitens total. I guarantee most of those kittens are going. Hubby says he doesn't care if they do, and he's keeping the two that look like Bouncer anyhow. Right. He was only going to keep the one from Tink's litter and the rest, "including any Raffles has if she's even pregnant," were all going to get homes elsewhere. Yeah, sure. I know him too well. This place is going to be inundated, not that I mind, but most of them are either getting homes or ending up as semi-feral barn cats. Period. I'm putting my foot down on this one.

Funny part is, Raffles is determiined to not let any kittens out of the nesting box. Kizzy. one of Tink's (the calico female) was out exploring the floor. Raffles grabbed her by the scruff and hauled her back into the box, Kizzy squeaking the whole time. I almost feel sorry for Tink's babies, as they were just starting to explore, and Raffles is so protective, she wants both sets in the box! She did let me pet her last night while she was having the one after we got home, and sniffed my fingers, so with some work, perhaps by the time hers are weaned, she'll be more amenable to attention.

But it's time to start pulling together for work, yay me. Hugs, all!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Long nights are gonna kill me

It was 3AM again when we got done again. We were supposed to be done by 2AM, so goodness only knows where the extra hour came in. Don't get me wrong, I love my job most days, but this much overtime is going to kill me. We've had a lot of people quit because of all the overtime. It's ridiculous. We went from 8 hours a day to 9 1/2, with no warning, and it's annoying. For me, last night was half great and half awful.

One of the three lines on breast line was broken to beyond repair, so I got moved to one of the cone lines to pull tenders. It was supposed to be all night, but nope, only till lunch as it turned out. For some reason, even though I wasn't needed, I got hauled back to boobs. That kind of bit, as the cone lines move a bit slower, so I was keeping up with no problem. I had fun. I'd like to go back to the lines, even though it would cramp heck out of my hands for a few weeks, but it's extra money and more fun. So going back to boobs, being on bare concrete for several hours trimming, really didn't feel all that great. I was NOT happy.

The store isn't that great looking, in that it's a default template, but it works. I'm still working on a few things, I just don't quite know what does what. What is good about OpenCart is that a lot of the things you'd have to go into cpanel to edit files to do in OSCommerce (my other choice for store setup), you can do in OpenCart's admin. Added a product and want to meta tag it? There's a box for that right in the add product stuff. Want to do an about us page, or policies, or shipping information? There are places in OpenCart to do that, and you can do simple editing on them as far as bold, underline, italic, text font and size, etc. Want to have a list of "brands?" Go to that portion of the admin and add a brand, and it will show up in the list of brands on the store itself. Want folks to find a product by brand? Just choose the right brand when you're adding the product. SO much easier than other cart options. Not the most glamorous-looking, but I do like functionality!

So anyhow, considering hubby is about out the door, I'm laying down for a bit of a nap before I eat and pull together for work. Time for a tiny bit of relaxation before I go get clobbered again. Goodness knows, I worked my butt off last night on the store when I got home as far as getting info for some new products to add soon, so I can afford a nap. (Really should work on those bittorrents, too, but I'm wiped. Urgh. It's a nap or caffeine! Maybe both.)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Still cold but road's clear

So I am driving myself to work today. We have possible snow up to an inch, but none yet, so I should be okay, since it was supposed to start at 9ish last night. Good, because once hubby leaves, I'm back down for an hour for a nap. I'm still wiped from last week, and I have this week to get through. Meh. Life basically goes apace as usual. I got a lot done last night, working on various things, so that's good, and right now the house is quiet because the kittens are all sleeping. They got breakfast from Tink, and now they are sleepy. Another week or two and I'll have to start soaking them some kibble and putting them on solids.

House is some warmer, now that the cold has cleared out for the moment. Either that, or I've just become immune. Not sure which, but I am sure that a - I'm pooped and b - my "u" key does not like me the last few days and keeps not wanting to work. Annoying. I have to get laundry put away today, hopefully before I leave. I didn't do it yesterday and hubby is all annoyed. Apparently, I'm the only one in this house who knows how to put laundry away properly. Some days, I feel like I can't win for losing. I need more sleep, that's all there is to it, just not enough time lately with all the walking up and down the road. About all I've had time for is eat, sleep and work, and there's been too much of the work and nnot enough of the sleep!

Heading back to bed for an hour so I can be halfway awake for work. Hugs all!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015


We have another cold front moving through, and might get 1-2 inches of snow. What we had is mostly gone, with what's left just on the grass and such. The mountain road finally cleared up enough to get the truck up it last night after work, so that's good. Especially since we only get today off for the weekend, and that meant today was errands day. With being able to drive p, it also meant we could get everything up to the house without having to haul it up in the carts, which would have been time-consuming, exhausting, and a real pain in the butt. So showers and relaxing time are late today, which makes for a really cold bathroom for showering, but better that than not getting one at all. We did get a new tub mat because the old one had gotten extremely cruddy and even bleaching it wasn't killing the crud on it. This one has got feelers on it so you can use it to scrub the bottom of your feet while washing, whee!! It tickles. Only things I have left to do is put away the laundry and call my Mom to catch up on news.

Mom's lap quilt is finally quilted, so I just have to seam and bind the edge and it can finally go up to her. My travel project is that MAM afghan, and I am making some good progress on that. Work on the webstore goes apace, slow but sure, so soon enough, it will come to pass that things will look better for me financially. I'm not planning on it happening soon, but it would be nice! Don't get me wrong, I like my job, but it simply isn't what I want to do for the rest of my working career. What I get for growing up with an entrepreneur for a Mom, I guess, lol.

Kittens are mostly snoozing today. It's chilly and they want to stay warm and comfy. They are four weeks old today, and starting to get into the play fighting stage. Swatting, biting, etc., are now common, along with exploring to get out of the nesting box. The world is huge and they want to know what it's like. Smudge is curled up next to me, purring up a storm as he dozes off for a cat nap. That's my best buddy for ya.

For those who read this far, please send positive thoughts to my daughter. She's had a lot to deal with in the last couple of months in the form of six people she knows dying. SIX. In less than two months all told. That's a lot for a 22-year-old to have to deal with, and I am amazed that she is holding up as well as she does publicly with it all. No one should have to deal with this much death in this short a time. So please do whatever you feel is positive and appropriate to send some good vibes her way and the way of the famlies of her friends who have died. I am sure they could all use it.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Kittens underfoot

Well, ONE kitten anyhow. Starz has figured out how to get out of the nesting box. She can't get back IN on her own, and Tink just washes her and makes sure she's ok, and leaves her alone. The others stare at her over the edge of the box as if to say, "How the heck did you do that?" (So far, she has climbed our FOUR times ... in all of ten minutes. This kitten is seriously going to be a problem, I can see that already. She is in explore mode now!)

We have to work today to make up for Monday's day off, and honestly, I'm am completely exhausted. I got a tiny bit done on the store last night. So there is progress, just not as much as I'd like. Now if I just had enough going to where I was making some serious sales! I will say this, though, stuff I make from scratch that is marked OOAK is one of a kind, and while some of it will be the same pattern, it's different yarn or materials and won't come out looking like that ever again.

But it's time to get a couple of things done and get my butt in gear so I can go mess with stupid chicken again. And we're going to try to save a bit of time tomorrow, depending on when we get done with this crap tonight, and go get groceries, so all we have is laundry and water run tomorrow. Ugh.


Friday, February 20, 2015

So I called the road department

Yesterday morning while I was doing everything, and they got a guy out to plow. I got the excuse the "the driver probably got pulled off for an emergency." For TWO DAYS? Seriously? And he got it plowed. All the soft stuff got plowed off, leaving nothing but ice.  I fell twice going down the hill to the truck to go to work. (3AM again ... what is up with this?) But he got his, haha. We saw a spot where he'd gotten his one tire stuck and ended up digging a hole with his tire trying to get out. He did get out, but funny that his being a smart aleck got him stuck for a few minutes.

I'm exhausted and getting pretty much nothing done. Long hours, leaving early to get to the truck so hubby can get to the plant like he wants to "socialize" (read: stand outside in the cold to smoke with his buddies) and then the walk home uphill, has left me completely wiped out in just a few days. So I'm off to get a quick nap in before I HAVE to get going on his schedule. I'll be glad when this crap clears up so I can get some sleep AND get some work done again!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Road still not plowed

As of this morning, our mountain road is still not plowed. So I called the road department. The plow "maybe got pulled off for an emergency?" OK, so they plowed the county road we feed into two days ago, and the driver couldn't get back here because of an emergency elsewhere that lasted two days that nobody's heard about? REALLY? THAT IS YOUR EXCUSE? I gave her what for, nicely, but what for. Told her where we work, that the road is a sheet of ice and ain't nobody getting up or down without 4x4 and even then they darn near have to go in the ditch to avoid the ice, and WE have to walk over a mile from our truck to get home. UPHILL. Also that I'm 46 years old with a crappy heart, so there is no way I should be doing this kind of walking. Heck, I have to ride with hubby right now or I can't get to work, because I can't get my car out!

Though last night was a nightmare. They kept us till 3AM at work, so by the time we got home, parked and walked up, it was 430AM before we got in the door. My legs are still sore. I wish I could just say screw it and leave the plant permanent, but it's going to be a while yet. I can but hope that it's not too much longer, because I'm not physically comfortable doing that anymore. It's a great job, overall, just my body is too worn out for it with my health issues. Even for someone with my age, as long as they don't have major health issues, the job's not hard, other than being on your feet all the time. So I made a point last night to work on adding another thing to the store, even though I wanted to collapse.

I still want to. I'm so tired from the walking that it is not funny. But the worst of this is only supposed to last for about two weeks total, and compared to last years almost three months of unrelenting bad weather, this is a cake walk. So I'm off to get a couple things done and pull my happy butt together for work. Hugs, all - be safe!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Achy, achy, rise and wakey

The road wasn't plowed when we got home last night, so it was park the truck and walk our happy butts a mile uphill in the cold. Oh yeah, baby. That was just what I needed after eight hours on my feet in the cold at work. I slept like a log and I'm still exhuasted. I can see I'm gonna need caffiene today to wake up and keep going. If I didn't need the money, I could seriously see myself calling in today and saying the heck with it. Some day, Heather ... some day.

I'm so tired I can hardly think this morning after last night's debacle with the road. I lost count of how many times I had to stop, catch my breath and ended up crying from feeling like I couldn't do it. But I'm tough. Mountain people have to be, because you never know when something like this is going to happen. You may have to take it all in fits and starts, but you get it done. I want to sleep but don't have that luxury. Work / duty calls to keep the bills paid until that glorious day when I can say that's it, I'm done, and not because I got old enough to retire, either. I'm doing things others only dream of, and I know it, but I'm willing to work on the dream. Others would be saying, "Oh, someday, I'll have time to work on that," and never do. Me? I'm making the time. It's exhausting a lot of the time, but I'm still plowing away on it.

With that said, while I only have three things up right now, and I make sure to add something new every day, feel free to visit and bookmark the store. Visit often to find out the new stuff, and to shop. Wait till y'all see some of the goodies I have planned for it!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Back to work

And the side roads are crappy, due to breakdowns on three of our five plows from what I hear, so side roads are going to take a while to get to. By then, it will have all melted off, but because the side roads, like ours, are so crappy, I'm riding in with hubby. He has ten-ply off-road tires on the truck, so likely can get better traction on this crap than I can. Add in that he has a winch if we get stuck, and we'll be okay. I doubt the road's that horrible, but I'm not taking chances. Depending on the road, I may have to ride with him tomorrow, too.

But I did enjoy the free day off yesterday. I got a lot done on getting stuff together for more inventory for the store, got another item up, and got all the second rounds on the MAM strips done but for about 5 1/2. I'll be taking that with me to work today for the drive in and the wait till work starts, so I may be able to get a bit more done on it. Better than being bored.

Otherwise, things are going well. The cats are all hunkered down here with us; I can't blame them as it's the warmest room in the house. The kittens are at the stage of all trying to get out of the nesting box and explore, and are socialized enough at this point that they don't mind being held. They just sit in my hand and look around and wuffle. Cute little fuzzballs, and extremely curious, too. So I have to hurry through everything today and get ready for work, and hope I don't forget anything. I'm having one of those days with the fibro fog, ugh!


Monday, February 16, 2015

No work today

Because of the weather. Freezing rain made the roads impossibly slick for the drivers, and snow on top of that has made it treacherous for anyone getting out at all. Everything is at a standstill. It's too cold to do much of anything, so I'm going to enjoy my free day off. Granted, I could use the money. But when the weather is this crappy all of a sudden, you say the heck with it and don't even bother trying to do anything. We are fairly comfortable. With the house the way it is, the front room is holding steady in the 50s (it's just THAT cold out) and the bedroom is the warmest room in the house, as usual. All the cats are down here, even Raffles, and Smudge isn't grousing as much as usual.

I guess this means I spend the day working on the webstore while the internet cooperates, napping, having a Harry Potter marathon, and crocheting like crazy on the mile a minute scrapghan. Works for me. I'm going to enjoy this!


Sunday, February 15, 2015


It's awful chilly out. Mid-20sF for the temp, with the "feels like" temp about 15F. The house is reasonably comfortable, so that's good. I have plenty to do, and that's also good. And of course, all the kitties are happily ensconced indoors somewhere, so they are out of the nasty weather. Bouncer and Smudge don't go out anyhow, other than Bouncer occasionally getting a walk like a dog in good weather, but Tinkerbell and Raffles haven't even gone near the door except to play with a toy since I lured them inside. I knew it likely meant kittens because hubby was adamant at the time about NOT neutering Bouncer (apparently, it somehow would affect HIS manhood to have the cats nuts cut), but I was willing to deal with it and the possibility of a crapton of cats because there was no way that I was letting those two stay outdoors as cold as the fall was already. Worth it though, with the five from Tink, which are cute as can be and starting to play now.

Overall life's not going too badly, and the webstore is likely to be finished up in the next day or two. If I didn't want to add in a few nice extensions like a FB store and social sharing apps, it would be done in a few more hours. I do like how OpenCart allows pretty much everything to be edited from inside the cart admin panel, rather than having to go and edit it all through file manager and the actual HTML like OSCommerce. I'm good at hard coding, but that is a pain in the butt, because you don't know right off if you've done it right. With OpenCart, it's just fill in the blank, click save, and poof, you're done.

I do have a lot to get done today other than work on that, though. I have litter boxes to clean, trash to get together so it can be burnt when hubby gets back from doing laundry and water run (we skipped them yesterday to have our Valentine's "date"), and dishes to do, plus we both need showers for work. Those are going to be cold ... well, the bathroom will be, though the water sure will feel nice. And I have a lot of TV to watch, and needlework to do, and movies to watch, so it's going to be a busy day no matter what I do or don't get done! I also need to get business cards ordered from VistaPrint this week so I can start passing them out like Halloween candy. I need to get more of the finished stuff I have lying around here photographed so I can put that up in the webstore. As much stuff as I am going to have in the store, a standalone site has become a necessity so I don't have a $50 bill from Etsy every month just for listing fees! So, with all that, there's things to get done. Hugs, all!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Or, as hubby likes to call it, "Valencrime's Day." It wasn't too bad, but we've got a really nasty cold front about to swing through. We're expecting three to five inches of white stuff and possible freezing rain tomorrow night, with up to another inch Monday morning. Yay us. Just what we need when we have to work, because you think the plant will close for that crap? You've got to be kidding me.

But I still have the rest of tonight and pretty much all of tomorrow (dishes, trash, litter boxes and shower notwithstanding) to work on the webstore. Yep, I bit the bullet. I'm working on it in bits and pieces, because setting it up is kind of tedious. Not nearly as tedious as the plant, though, so that's a bonus.

I did manage to pick up some movies for my own entertainment today at the store. Two DVD 4-packs at about $10 each. What is so great is that it gives me all eight Harry Potter movies for about $20. Heehee. Hubby can't stand them but with what I have waiting for me on Hulu and these, plus what we already have laying around, if a storm is bad enough to stop us working but leave us with power, I will have plenty of entertainment.

Right now, though, I'm pooped. We went to Harrison, grabbed a fast lunch at McQuack's, hit up Wally World for some staples and the movies (he got a 4-pack with the first four Lethal Weapon movies ... were there more than that?), then home to drop stuff and back down to Harrison rather than laundry and water jugs (he'll deal with that tomorrow ... hope he gets home before the weather turns TOO bad) so we could have dinner together and go see American Sniper for Valentine's Day. It was a good movie and we had a nice dinner, so it wasn't too bad a day overall. For now, while I need to work on the store some more, I'm tired and need the nap I didn't get earlier. Hugs, all!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Yay for Fridays

One more day at work, and it will be over with for the week. Last night was okay, mostly boring other than things breaking down and putting us behind. That's not the most pleasant thing, because it disrupts my zenning out with the chicken. My feet are killing me, as usual by now, but that's normal.

I think that, even though I don't have nearly enough stuff to put up like I'd rather have, I will be starting the webstore this weekend. And I've lost my train of thought. Again. I love hubby, but he babbles a lot. By "a lot," I mean "in the morning, he is an incessant yapper once his eyes are open, and has to speak aloud every single thing he is doing." I kid y'all not. "Where is my left shoe? I have to put on my left shoe. I'm going to wash my face now. Ok, get my lunch bag. Get around the door so I can get my lunch bag." Just now, while washing his face, he realizes he needs to trim his 'stache. "Yep, time to trim it up, whether I want to or not." I'm trying to figure out which extra modules to add to OSCommerce for the webstore and every time I start to have a thought of something that would be neat to have, he has to start talking. ARGH! THIS, folks, is why I do my best work when he's not around or is at least in another room. It's QUIET and I can think.

Only bad part with the modules is that I have to download them and install them, and some of them require modifications to various files in OSC. I hate making modifications, and I'm always freaked out that they may not work. But as long as you save the original, working file down to your computer first, you're okay.

First things first, though. I didn't sleep too well last night, kept tossing and turning. So as soon as hubby is out the door, I'm going back to bed for a nap. It won't accomplish anything as far as the business, but it will keep me awake for work tonight. It's just going to be one of those crazy Fridays!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

This just isn't a good day

I don't really have too much positive to say today, so I'm just going to leave it. I'm having a depressive time which set in last night and I don't like it. I'm working on letting it go and letting my mind not dwell, but we all know how difficult that is. Mindfulness, where you focus on the present moment, but still acknowledge your thoughts and feelings and bodily sensations, is not coming easily today. I am having even a difficult time writing this little bit. Mindfulness is often used as a therapeutic technique, and it helps a lot most of the time. Toay is just not one of those days. So I'm not even going to try to write today, and will instead just let the writing go and work on just getting through. Hugs and love, all. I think today is a nap day or at least a "get a bit more rest" day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Week's getting better, mostly

Work wasn't too bad last night, mostly just the usual stuff. The one supervisor really needs to get his head out of his rectum, though. He's more of a "boss" type than a "leader" type, and Tyson's prefers you be the latter. He's causing a lot of folks to be passive-agressive in their behavior towards him, and he's getting called a lot of not-very-nice things behind his back. I think the nicest thing I've heard directed towards his back in the last couple of weeks was, "Curl up and DIE, a**clown." Nobody likes him, nobody wants him around, and he's about as stupid as a stump. I hear daily how he doesn't know anything. He may be supervisor over boobs, but at least he's not MY supervisor. (I started out with one, who transferred, and got another, who got fired back on New Years, and got a third who's basically a kid compared to me but he's a freaking sweetie.)

So work was okay, nice and easy and generally boring, and we got a teeny bit of overtime. I suspect that it'll get wiped out by shorter days the rest of the week, but if not, that's good, too. I need all the money I can get. This is why the writing and the storefront being worked on, and the other online things I do. One must has monies!!!! I even managed to get a tiny bit of needlework done last night when I got home, which was nice.

Must cut this short, I need to eat something and Smudge wants (read "is demanding") attention from me. He's all snuggled up next to me and purring and looking at me and meowing with his "Pet me now, Momma!" cry. So 'scuse please, must serve the feline master of the household. Haha.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

So glad it isn't Monday

Because yesterday at work just about killed me. I was doing great, having a blast, when I got yanked off the line to go reload boobs from overflow totes. Oy vey. Ninety minutes at the end of shift throwing boobs back on the line so they could get to the x-ray machines. Yeah, that's the glamourous life I lead, folks. But overall, it wasn't too bad. Just mostly made my arms tired, from having to reach and toss boobs. Those totes are 45" tall, heavy corrugated cardboard, and hold anywhere from 1500 to 2000 pounds of meat. That is a LOT of boobs, guys. Trust me on this one ... it's a LOT of boobs, especially when you have to load on or help load on upwards of 5 1/2 totes of the things. Figure about 2 pounds a boob, and with the others helping, I tossed on about 25% of all that, average 1750 pounds of meat per tote, so ....

1750 pounds x 5.5 totes = 9625 total pounds of meat, approximately.
9625 pounds of meat x 25% = 2406.25 pounds of meat I tossed back on the line myself.
2406.25 pounds of meat / 2 pounds per boob = 1203 boobs, more or less.

Like I said, a lot of boobs. And since we had to go slow, because the lines were still running, they had to be tossed on the line one at a time. Urgh. No wonder my arms are sore.

By the by, before I forget (again!!!!), thanks to everyone who likes and comments on posts, and PMs me about them, because I get so much joy out of all the lovely things y'all say. I think so highly of all the comments where you guys tell me how much you like what I write about my homesteading attempts and all, or how you'd like to do stuff I'm doing. I receive a lot of comments and PMs about how what I'm doing is so interesting. I even get questions about it all. I am no guru, just someone doing what they can the best they can, and I think it's the struggle that brings it home for everyone. I don't sugarcoat the ups or the downs, and because I'm going through it as I write about it, it makes it more real for folks than just writing it all in a book and telling people, "Do it this way, trust me on this, you'll appreciate not having to learn the hard way like I did." (Now the books I am working on, I do just cut straight to the chase, but that's a book, not a daily blurb on whatever is going through my pointy little head.)

I wonder about y'all sometimes when  I get those comments and PMs, though, and a good chuckle, because I really don't see the interesting part of all this. It's just the life I lead and what I do. When it's what you do every day, you don't really think that cutting wood, hauling water, gardening, needlecraft, housekeeping, raising kittens, and working in a chicken factory are all that interesting. I know, I know. For those that can't do it for some reason, it's pretty neat to see things that are positive and full of things to make you go awwwww. My life isn't perfect, but it's not that bad, either, overall. It's like those of you who just live the city life and enjoy it. I have a friend who is a professional dog-walker in California. She does a lot of traveling to horse races and such, and truthfully, there are days I envy her. Surrounded by (mostly) sunshine and fresh air, no snow (I don't think, anyhow), getting to do a job she loves that lets her travel frequently ... it sounds like a lot of fun and highly interesting as a way of life. But I can guarantee you, to her, it's just what she does every day and there are days I'm sure she doesn't think it's all that interesting.

I think it helps, too, that I do my best not to complain too much. Trust me, I do a lot of rewriting, and I do a lot of griping in person. But I do try to keep it primarily to myself because it's just not a lot of fun to see someone griping about everything. (Work is an exception ... everybody gripes about work, lol.) My only problem yesterday that's really gripe-worthy is that I didn't get any needlework done. I got some stuff done for the (eventual) storefront, but that was it before work, and after work, I was just too pooped. For now, though, I get to call the darned Chevy dealer down in Harrison.

Turns out my little car is part of a recall to fix a dohickey involving the DRL thingamabob under the dashboard. If it's not fixed, it could apparently overheat and cause a fire. Oh, joy. Just what I need, only I can't do anything until I get vacation time again at the end of April, because it's going to take all day and I can't get time off unless I take a point for that. There goes my anniversary holiday and any plans I had for that. Me and my needlework travel bag are going to become GOOD friends that day, I suspect.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Tired but keeping on

It was a busy day yesterday with all that had to be done on the one day I tend to stay put here and not go anywhere. I got so much done, but I woke up this morning sore and tired from it. Not any different from any other Monday. I'm just not looking forward to going back to work, but then again, I never do. It's just not my favorite place to be, ya know? I keep beating myself up over not starting the store years ago, and I know better late than never, so I need to quit bashing myself over the head, because it's not fair to me or the eventual business. I keep thinking I should just go with Etsy, but with as much as I plan on putting up, relisting fees at 60c a year (20c per item, for four months, so 60c a year) for all those thing that I will have multiples of or will restock regularly, and my ebooks, would get expensive really fast. Plus there's the limit of only 10 categories, and in my rough draft for the store of a category listing, I'm well over 100 categories already.

So a standalone store is going to be a must. I'm thinking of Open Cart, as it's open source and free, plus there are a ton of extensions (both free and paid) for it with good support, so I could still put a tab on FB on the business page for the store, so folks can shop from there, and a tab on the blog for the store to shop from there. Add in that I can also do contests, coupons, gift certificates and an affiliate program through Open Cart, and take PayPal or Amazon Payments while I figure out which credit card processor to use (though PP will let you pay with a CC without having an account), I get a lot of things from a standalone site that I wouldn't get with Etsy. Only downside is immediate exposure, but with applying a lot of the marketing stuff I've learned off Etsy, I can easily get the exposure, so I don't think that will be much of an issue, either. It'll just take time, like anything else. As it is, you don't have to be aggressive about marketing, just assertive, and I can be an assertive person when I need to be. To build my business and get out of working at the plant, I'll be the most assertive person some folks have ever seen.

Shoot, Mom was about my age when she went into business for herself, and she just retired from it after 26 years successfully being in business. Though I am wondering how much all her tax clients are starting to scream at the higher prices they are likely having to pay for preparation now, along with higher prices for many of the bookwork clients, with whoever they've gone with since she retired. Mom (and I when I worked with her) kept the prices reasonable rather than gouging. I guess that's why I'm hearing so many screams from that area lately, haha.

The kittens are wobbly, but walking around all over the nest box, so in a few more weeks, I'll have babies underfoot as bad or worse than the adults, who like to pad slowly down the hall in front of me when I need to hurry, or worse, go running up behind me and dash between my feet trying to kill me. I swear, they are furry little ninjas. Trying to plan a garden for this year, but I think this year, I'll skip it. With no real way to water right now, and all the trees yet to clear, it kind of defeats the purpose of putting things in.

Working on Mom's quilt went well yesterday in between bouts of working on the store stuff. I am nearly done with the last of the quilting, so that's finally almost off the WIP list (Works In Progress, for those of you who don't do needlework other than general mending and sewing on of buttons). I feel like it's about darn time that I show some progress on my projects list!! But it's time to haul together for work, yay me. I get to go mess with chicken boobies again! WOOT!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Another great day

Considering it's February, it's amazing to have temps today in the high 60Fs again. Got some wood cut, trash burnt, shower done, and the usual house chores like the cat boxes. Also getting quite a bit done on the store stuff, and while pages are loading for me to download all the things I need to have (graphics and etc.), I sit and work on Mom's lap quilt, which is down to not quite two sides left to finish on the outermost round of stitching, then it's just seaming the edges and binding and I can finally send her extremely late Christmas present up to her!

My daughter and her roommate had a scare today, not long after I got off the phone with my Mom for our usual weekend conversation. Part of the ceiling in their apartment had a crack in it, which the landlord and they knew about. Nobody thought it was that bad. So the kids are sitting down to dinner, and BAM, a chunk of their ceiling fell down! The landlord's already contacted and will be out tomorrow to fix it for them.

I've got all but one piece of paper for my taxes, yay me. Between royalties from my few books on the Kindle, and some other online things, I have a couple of 1099s coming to me. It's okay though, as I have plenty to write off against it. I had to buy the new laptop last year, and there's the internet here at the house which is mostly for business, so I can write that off against my self-employment income. It's not nearly enough to live on by any stretch, unless I want to starve 51 weeks a year, haha, but it's a start.

For now, though, it's time to get some dinner together. I'm making spaghetti. I haven't made it for a few weeks, and I'm getting a craving for it again. YUM!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Lovely day

The weather couldn't have been better, errands took forever due to crowds, but who cares. I came home with new pillows. My old ones were crappy and wouldn't fluff up anymore. These are so fluffy. I had to test them out when I got home. Didn't fall asleep, just lay on them for a few minutes. I got pictures of the babies, too!!! Not great ones, because they won't look at the camera yet, but I got pictures!!!

I also took Mom's lap quilt with me to the laundromat to work on it some more. I've now got all the middle quilting done and am started on the outside edge bit. That's about 15 FEET of straight line quilting, before I can seam it and bind the edges. I might actually get it finally done by the end of the month, lol!! Work on the webstore is coming along as well. Got a lot done last night and I plan on getting a ton more done this weekend. Why not? The house is actually cleaned up thoroughly for the first time in ages, so I essentially have nothing to do. I'm making dinner tomorrow though. I had spaghetti here and shredded cheese, so I just had to pick up some sauce - too lazy to make it this time. I couldn't remember if I had the pasta or not, and figured if I didn't, I'd do it over rice. But the pasta is here, so that is going to be yummy tomorrow!

If you want to see the kittens, go to this link and see the Photobucket album!


Friday, February 6, 2015

And today is wonderful

But I have to work. Yay me. But I got a bunch of stuff done last night, which is always to the good, and who knows? With luck, I might be able to do something small with the store in a few weeks, earlier than I expected to be able to do. The more I get done, the happier I am, and it makes all the crap at work so much easier to take, knowing that while I don't know the exact date I'll be able to do so, that some day in the not-as-far-off future as some people think, I'll be able to quit working for others and work only for myself, homesteading full-time instead of catch-as-catch-can. That day will be such a blessing.

In the meantime, the kittens are growing so much and starting to walk in their wobbly little way. I shall have to take photos of them individually this weekend to post for you all to see! I also got some more qulting done on Mom's lap quilt, which is nearly ready for finishing, and a bit of crocheting, so I only need two more starter rounds to have enough strips going for the finished afghan. Sure do wish I could take the day off, but money is needed for all kinds of things, and right now, I can't make it sitting on my butt.

The weather today would be perfect for it, too. It's 50F out, and boy howdy, would I love so much to get out and cut some wood and deal with some of the trash piling up, but nooo, I have to work. To quote one of my friends, blargleargle. (Told her I was borrowing that word on a non-returnable basis!) I feel for her, though. She had knee surgery several months ago and still has to take it easy, so she's not getting up and about much. Like many others, I envy her and, barring the post-surgery part, would love to be able to be home all day every day.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Crappy weather

But nothing compared to my home state's weather lately. We got maybe a quarter of an inch of snow (and the way people were acting, you'd think it was the end of the world) and some ice under it. Roads home were clear but wet, so I took my time and got here safe and sound. Getting down the hill isn't too much of a problem, it's the getting back up later that will be a bit of an issue, as it's not supposed to be much above freezing today for the highs. Strangely enough, tomorrow and Saturday will be a major change, as they are supposed to be 60's and 70s. I do have a bit of a headache, but I've taken stuff for it, and I suspect I just slept odd last night. Might need to see about replacing my pillows, because they are kind of old and squashed down. I'm pretty sure that will help a lot.

Not a lot of anything done yesterday, as before work was tough to concentrate, and I didn't get home for the night till almost 4 AM, so I pretty much ate and went straight to bed. So much to do and work on and no real interest right now with this headache. Time to go back to bed for an hour or so to sleep off this headache so I can work tonight, especially since they moved me permanent back to boobs as of last night. Yay me.