Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I get to do our taxes now

Yay, me. I was waiting on a corrected 1099, because numbers just did not match up. I had to send the company a certified letter, wait for the card to come back, and wait for them to respond. I no sooner got the card back Friday, then yesterday's mail I get the corrected 1099. This is good. It is last minute, and why it took a month for them to get the letter from me to MI, and only a few days for theirs to get from there to here, is beyond me. Oh well. It may be last-minute to plug in all the numbers, but I have the headers started, as far as name, address, and etc., and will start plugging in the rest of the numbers tonight. Part of it is my fault, as I did not have all expenses together for the Schedule C, but this was not. They put the wrong number in a box and had to fix it. Woops.

Work was okay last night, though there were a lot of gaps in the line for some reason. We still got out before 2AM, so a tiny bit towards overtime, and a still reasonably on-time night. For those of you needing a job, if you are willing to relocate to NW Arkansas, give me a shout. I can help you get in at the plant. Full-time most of the time and starts at $10.50 an hour. Shift premiums for second shift, fairly easy work if you do not mind being on your feet in the cool all day, full medical / dental / vision insurance, 401K, ESOP and many more lovely bennies. MOST of the people are pretty cool to work with. Paid holidays and vacation days. All kinds of stuff. Oh yeah, and living is not expensive (if you are frugal, a married couple can get by on one paycheck, easily), cheapish living, reasonably easy winters (if you are from the North, especially my home state of MI, we are having 80s today and snow is long gone, hint hint). And we are perpetually short-handed, so getting in is reasonably easy. Also, if you hire in and put me as your referral at interview, when you get off probation, we both get a bonus for you hiring in!

We are so short-handed on breast line alone that I am having to do the front all day again. The flipping (straightening the boobs on the line so that they go through the x-ray machine properly) is what caused my tenonitis in the first place, so I hope we get more people and get them trained up quick so I can go back to trimming, which does not hurt me!

On the plus side of things, the warmer weather has me generally feeling better, and with my medical issues, the longer there is warm weather, the better off I am, and the more I can do. I have been feeling a bit overworked the last couple of days, so the store has suffered, but that will pass and it will be back to plowing along. Especially once the darn taxes are done. For now, though, it is time to look into pulling together for work. Hugs and love, all!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Not feeling the love today

Last week was such a nightmare at work that I am heading for a bad fibro flare now. I hurt so bad I can barely move. Hubby is mad at me for feeling bad, which does not help. Only three weeks and a few days left until I can start using vacation days again, though, so that makes me feel a bit better. Loads done this weekend at an easy pace helps me feel some better, too. It is nice that I can open windows and let in fresh air and sunshine again. Winter always gets me so down.

It is warm out and some days, I really wish I was still on first shift, as I seemed to get so much more done then. However, the extra money from second does help. Though I have mentioned it all to hubby, and if I do not end up on the line in a couple of months, but do keep working points down to where I could get a job as a lead over the Class 1s, it would pay almost as much as the lines. Plus if it opened up on first shift, that would be awesome. I would still make about what I do now, but I would have more daylight during warmer weather to do all the things I want and need to get done.

Seriously considering buying plain land and putting a RV on it, and going off-grid that way. A house is expensive, even if it is a used trailer. RVs are tiny house living like we need, already put together, no extra floors or anything. There is an older couple not too far from us that did this, and I like what they did. Parked the RV, though they put in a RV hookup for power, and had a carport built over the RV. The carpot provides a small storage shed at the back, behind the RV, and is wide enough to allow for a nice covered deck with handicapped ramp next to the RV. I like the setup and I could go for that. RVs have loads of hidden places to put things, you live minimalist, which I tend to do anyhow, and with a storage shed for my books and craft stuff I am not currently using, and for tools and such, there would be plenty of space in the RV to live and be comfortable. As well, they are easy to take off-grid, because they use less power overall than a normal house. I have so many possibilities for ideas on how to live better and smaller once things work out a bit better. I have a whole notebook full of ideas and drawings!

Time to get some other things done while hubby is cussing out his hair bands for his ponytail, so he can head in to work. It is nice enough that I moved out to the living room for the day so I do not have to worry about his temper over his hair bothering me. (Do not tell me he should just cut it then. He claims to be part Cherokee, though I have seen nothing to this effect, and will not cut his hair because he is "honoring his heritage." I do not mind honoring one's heritage, but prove the heritage and lose the temper while you are at it.) Hugs and love all!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

So I am trapped in the bedroom for now

Because of some goofiness on the end of DishNetwork TV. We have had them for TV for hubby for about two-and-a-half years, and they have done well by him. (I watch my TV on the computer, cheaper that way.) They were supposed to be out yesterday to upgrade everything. We got a letter from them a few weeks ago, and our equipment is outdated and needs to be swapped for new. So he called and made the appointment, and yesterday was The Day. Only nobody called. He called to find out what was going on, and somehow, one of the techs at Dish decided to be funny and CANCELLED the appointment. Hubby was mad, the tech he was talking to was upset, the supervisor was totally PO'd and threatening to fire the responsible party, because now they have to pay Sunday rates to a tech to come out to do the job that should have been done yesterday. Tech is here now, and I am shut up in the bedroom with eleven kittens and Bouncer. Smudge and Raffles hid, so no problem with them being underfoot. Me, I am inundated with fur people! The kittens all have Bouncer's extremely loving personality, and I only have two hands with which to pet. HALP!

I think I might pack up and go to Harrison for a little while this afternoon though, and use McDonald's internet. Not for old time's sake, but hubby is being a bit of a pain about all kinds of things this morning and I want to get away from him for a while to allow him to settle down. I really wanted to get some stuff done around here. But it does not look like I will get that done today. Oh well ... such is life.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

On weekend homesteading

Trust me, it is not all that folks think it is. For regular readers, you know that if you homestead at all, it is highly likely you will need a regular job for the money and the insurance. It helps a lot, even though it cuts severely into time you would rather spend doing other things, and causes those other things to take much longer to get done than you would like. This has been one of those weeks. Between work with some overtime every night this past week, and trying to get things done, it has been a hassle.

I still have to finish up our taxes, I am working on the next book, working on the webstore, daily online income-producing activities OTHER than the webstore, needlework, housework, litter training ELEVEN kittens, cutting wood, burning trash, and simply trying to find time to relax, the homesteading is slow going. Today was our usual errand day, and it involved:

brunch out
he stopped at O'Reilly's for spark plugs and plug wires for the truck
basic grocery staples
he stopped at the smoke shop for his silly coffin nails
water haul
getting everything in the house
water put away
laundry has to be put away
nonperishable groceries have to be put away
litter boxes are cleaned
sawdust toilet is changed and sawdust bucket is refilled
floors need sweeping
trash has to be pulled together and burnt

And we need to get started on next winter's wood supply for us and a customer, who wants four cords himself, in addition to the five or six we would like to have on hand, as a woodstove for heat is hopefully going in this year no matter what it takes to get it done. No wonder I am so tired all the time. Much of the small stuff like trash is twice a week, litter boxes and sweeping are daily (you would not BELIEVE how much litter fourteen cats and kittens can throw out of the box in a day's time).

While at the laundromat, I got the pig bib in the wash and it turns out I need to touch up some of the backstitching around the pig. Pink on pink is a bit hard to tell whether or not you got all the stitching correct for detailing if you have all that blue washable ink sitting in the way that makes the pink wash out against it. The cow bib was almost completed, and I got that finished up. It will go in next week's wash. Last week, my fingers were a bit sore, so I spent laundry time sorting out all the thread for the Noah's Ark blanket, and I got that started today a tiny bit. I am hoping that with the whole weekend off, I can get some TV or movie watching done tonight and tomorrow and will be able to thus finish off Mom's lap quilt and get it ready to go up to her, several months late for Christmas.

I also need to go through my crochet thread and such and find my #7 steel hook, and the colors rose, green, and ecru in my thread so I can make her this year's present and have a hope of getting it done on time (ha!). As I now have all my books here, including all my needlework pamphlets and books, I have the instruction booklet for a set of crocheted Victorian-style tree ornaments which I know she will like. She is rather into the Victorian theme stuff, so I know they will go over well with her.

Time to go get other things done that need doing. Hugs and love, all!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Glad it is Friday

This has been a hard week to get through, trying my patience every day at work. I know, a new supervisor means new management type and all, but when the management "style" is to be someone who finds nothing but fault in everything everyone does, that is not management, it is harrassment. At least yesterday, she stayed elsewhere, and it made things much easier on all of us.

Here, it was a lovely day, and I got quite a bit done before I left, including some needlework and plenty done with the webstore. That things with that are coming along in bits and pieces is a treat for me. My only gripe about this week is that it has been so hard on my physically that my fibro is wanting to kick up for the first time in ages in a bad way. I am hoping I can hold it off for a bit longer, but we shall see. This whole "I need a nap before work" every day thing is a big clue that I am heading for a major physical meltdown. Till then, it is naptime before I get ready for work. Hugs and love, all!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Trying not to complain

It is difficult, though. My new supervisor at work is a pain in the butt, expecting even those of us with medical issues like myself to perform at top speed. I am likely to end up with a suspension at this rate, because I am not going to put up with attitude from anyone. If she can do my job so well, there's the line, she can have at. Overall, Tyson is a good place to work. The machinery often is older and breaks down, but what is killing breast line right now is a new hire who is trying to impress everyone and is instead making a mess out of everything. So I am getting yelled at for things I can not control and things I could if I was in better health, and I am about to go off on my supervisor. End of rant, because things are going decently in other areas and I do not want to deal with being a Griping Gertie.

Other news. Raffles moved all of her kittens out to the living room from the nesting box, as she wants the box for herself. Tinkerbell got out several days ago and we have not seen her since, but her kittens are old enough to be on their own by far anyhow, so no big deal. Smudge is annoyed by the kittens, as they try to sneak his wet food and treats often, so he growls and swats them. They will learn.

I know that once I have a three-bedroom house, I know what the bedrooms will be for. Master bedroom, spare room for a guest, and one for my home office. Smudge will have his own place in the office, complete with food, water, litter box and a cat tree by the window, so he can be away from the other cats. He does not mind them in general, but he truly prefers being a mostly only cat. He will tolerate Bouncer a great deal, but Smudge mostly prefers being the only cat around. I will also have a small TV and DVD player so I can watch my movies that hubby does not enjoy (without being interrupted every time I am watching them) and a love seat so I can sit and do needlework, plus give Smudge a place to curl up next to me for cuddles. He and I are much alike in that respect. We prefer being alone and in a smaller space for peace and quiet.

The webstore is coming along, with more items being added daily again. It is going to be a long haul to add them all in, but that is what a business is about. You work your butt off all the time. In the long run, it is worth it, though. Eventually, I will have the freedom I want to do what I want and allow my health to get somewhat better than it is. It will never be like it was at eighteen again, but it can get much better if I am not at the plant around all the chemicals and people and overwork. It is such nice weather, I want to be getting out of doors to cut firewood, clear up trash, scrap metal out, burn trash, and work in the garden. But I have to have a job until the webstore is in better shape, so until then, it is slog away. So it is time for me to get ready for another day of slogging. Hugs and love, all!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Missed you guys yesterday!

Between working Saturday and being tired, and then having to spend yesterday running all the errands and doing all the weekend chores, I got pretty much nothing done around here until after dark. The weekend was a bit of a bust on getting things done outside, and last week was just ridiculous with having to run hubby back and forth to work with me, so I had to leave earlier than normal. This meant nothing done on the store or anything else. That really bites and puts me far behind where I wanted to be. Thank goodness the weather dried up. At worst, with some rain coming for a couple of days, I will have to park at Cliff's and ride up with hubby the rest of the way, and walk down to the car in the "morning."

What I want is to get things at work to the point that I can put in for a lead job on days. I do not like the idea of losing all my overtime and the shift premium for second shift, but I do like the idea of being able to get outside and do things in good weather when there is still daylight after work. Mind, if second shift lead job came up that I wanted, I would take that also. Anything to get off the freaking line until I can quit! The stress is enormous, and working from home is much less stressful. If I am tired, I can take a nap. If I am sick, I cat get well in my own time and do what I can as my body allows me. If I have everything done, I can do what I want for the rest of the day and if "everything" only takes a couple of hours, so much the better. All the more time to do things I enjoy!

I have been thinking about ordering Amazon Prime. I do tend to buy a lot on there with gift cards I earn through doing other things, but you have to pay for Prime with a credit card, and it is rare that I have enough in the bank to use my debit card for that. I do order enough stuff that it would pay for itself in short order, especially on Kindle books, haha. Goodness knows I grab enough free ones, getting more of them free with a Prime membership would be nice also. (Like I really NEED more books, haha.)

What I did get done yesterday. Groceries, laundry, stopped at Race Brothers for a tarp for the bed (hubby thought it was useless until Fuzzy decided he did not like it and peed on the bed first thing after hubby came to bed to "stretch out for a bit," and he did not end up with wet blankets), brunch, gas, water jugs, smoke shop for hubby, put groceries away, put laundry away and made the bed, talked to Mom, and did some needlework while watching TV and a movie on the compter. No wonder, with no nap on errands day, that I was in bed so early last night!

Time to pull together for work, so I am off. Hugs and love, all!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Another workday

Because we got scheduled for today for some reason. Either the birds are growing out too fast, which I have heard, or we are killing for another plant that is having issues, which I have also heard. No matter what, working a weekend is not all it is cracked up to be. When I first started at the plant six years ago, I lived closer to work in short order (four blocks away), I was single and I did not have much of anything to do on the weekends, so volunteering for overtime in another department just to get out of the house was fine. Being forced into it these days is not fine, and is, in fact, a pain in the tuckus.

I did get a bit of needlework done yesterday and a bit done on our taxes, and called that work instead of adding things to the webstore, which I would have rather done, but the tax return has to be done. Now if I could just wake up good today. Normal Saturdays, we sleep in a bit longer and that is exactly what my body wants. I am going to be so exhausted again tomorrow and most of next week. I am getting just far too old to be working this hard at something that I do not completely enjoy. If you are going to work, folks, make it something you like, not something that is expedient. I remember many years working a full Saturday during tax season and enjoying the heck out of it. Chicken, not so much.

Time to pull together for round six this week of that frozen hellhole. Today is a day I envy my daughter. She is in college for what she loves, and she has a part-time job doing what she loves. I need a nap before I have to pull together, so time to rush throug things so I can hopefully grab a quick snooze. Hugs and love, all.

(I really want to get back to the business of homesteading, and this job is not it ... ugh.)

Friday, March 20, 2015


My neck is still aching, despite popping and cracking all day at work. I ended up going to bed early for me, and I still woke up hurting. This is not kosher, folks. I am beginning to feel like a bowl of Rice Krispies. Every time I move, something goes snap, crackle or pop. On the other hand it has now been 24 hours since there have been kitten leavings on the bed, and Tink's bunch is consistently attempting to get to the litter box.

We got scheduled to work tomorrow as well as our usual weekdays, as of a couple of days ago. I found out why last night. The weather a few weeks ago was making the birds grow out almost too small for us to process. Now that it has warmed up, they are growing out almost too quickly to be processed. Believe it or not, the USDA has regulations on the size of chicken we can kill and butcher. Too small or too big, and they cannot be used.

The car has developed a bit of a wobble, which likely means one of the tires is developing a knot somewhere, where the tire treads are starting to separate. It is not unusual around here with mountain road driving, and considering that my car is a sub-compact, it is impossible to get tires with enough meat on them to last for any great length of time. I get about six months a tire, tops. Looks like I will have to have hubby check the tires today on the way down to the car. The walk down to Cliff's is not too bad, though the mud was sticky enough last night to suck one of my ice cleats right off my foot. I still have one, which is better than nothing, but I will have to find the other on the way out today. I know about where it came off, but I did not notice it was gone until after I was well past it on the way up that incline.

The house is so comfy and cozy that I really do not want to leave it. I like my house, I like my comfort, and work is neither likeable nor comfortable. As it is, with the way things have gone, I have not had a chance to work on anything with the store for a couple of days and it upsets me more than it likely should. Things happen, and you can not control them, but good grief, I need my peace and quiet, and work provides neither of those. About all it provides is a regular paycheck in the way of positive things. Being an introvert, a job really is not easy to handle! There are too many people around all the time wanting to talk and such. I just want to be left alone to do my thing, and my thing is NOT messing with chicken all day. It is not that I am not grateful for my job and what it provides, it simply is not my happy place.

One thing I am extremely grateful for right now is muscle rub. Good old liniment. The stuff is a wonder to behold. In this case, to feel, because I found the stuff just now (hubby had it stashed on his side of the bed for some reason) and rubbed some into my neck where it hurts. Oh, the blessed icy-hot feeling that may end up bringing some relief. Now to get through the next four-and-a-half weeks until I hit my anniversary at work again, and get more paid time off! Anniversary, birthday, and five vacation days. If I am still there this time next year, it will be ten paid vacation days. (I am hoping not.) I intend to spread them out once a month as needed for a day off to relax and enjoy myself, and plow through a lot of things for the store.

Now it is time to get a couple of other things done and pull my happy butt together to get off to work and check the tires. I am pretty sure it is a tire that is developing a knot and while it is not too bad right now, it is annoying and I would like it fixed ASAP. Hugs and love, all, have a great day!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Have to hurry today

We have to get going extra early today, as we need to run to Harrison to the auto parts store and pick up a fuel pump for the truck, so we can eventally get it back. I am exhausted and my neck is out of whack. I really need a day off, but we are having to work this Saturday, then I need to keep points down until at least next weekend, because the TV people are coming out to replace hubby's outdated equipment for his TV watching festivities. If they take too long getting it all done next weekend, I will have to take at least half a point to stay here while they finish up, IF we work next Saturday as well.

On the good news end, despite all the rain we had the night before and yesterday, I got the car up the mountain road to Cliff's place and the little layby there, so our walking was minimized to about half what it would have been otherwise. There was no way I was trying to get up that second incline up. Going down yesterday was bad enough on it. The clay was so slippy that the car went sideways despite me steering into the slide. I almost ended up in the ditch, and that would not have been fun. So, while I was able to get to Cliff's to park last night instead of having to park at the cow pasture, there is still a tiny bit of walking to do. Thank goodness for ice cleats, or yak tracks, or whatever you want to call them.

Now if my neck would just quit aching from vertebrae being out of whack. All I have to do is turn my head and CRUNCH. The muscles are sore. Apparently, I got things messed up while sleeping and they were like this most of the night, so things are pretty tense and achy. It will pass now that I am up, but in the meantime, ow. I am getting some needlework done at work while having to go in early and wait for things to get started. I also am getting work done on our taxes. I do not mind doing taxes, I do mind doing my Schedule C, and sadly, I am as bad about that as many of Mom's tax clients over the years. However, I do have a program for dealing with bookkeeping for the business, so I just have to input the year's expenses and go from there. The program is actually meant for other things but it has an accounting funtion in it as well, so I can keep some kind of track of things, which helps a lot.

It is difficult to get writing done right now, with having to ride with hubby again for a bit, as he likes to talk while I am trying to write, and my thoughts are jumbled enough. I will be glad when he gets his truck back so I can have a bit of time that is peaceful, quiet, and alone to write! I love him dearly, but I do like my little bit of quiet alone time. I will be glad in the next few weeks when things start warming up much more, things are greening up, and towards the end of next month, I hit my anniversary and get my vacation time! A day once a month, paid time off, to relax and enjoy myself without anyone home but me and the cats. It is a forerunner of my days once the business is really going well, and I intend to enjoy them! I could tak a whole week off at once, but I prefer to spread it out a bit so I can drag out the enjoyment.

So anyhow, time to start hauling my butt together for work. One more day down after today, one day closer to my goals. (Only problem with things as they are right now, I have no time to work on the store, which is not a happy thing!!) Hugs and love, all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Crappy times

Ugh. Yesterday was not all that great, and today is not starting out much better. Hubby's truck died on the way to work; goodness only knows what is wrong with it. It could be the performance module plugged into the front of the computer, it could be the fuel pump, it could be a bunch of things involving getting fuel to the engine. So of course I had to drop everything super early yesterday and go pick him up on the way in, just so he could get there in time to socialize. Me, the less I socialize with some of those people, the happier I am. So anyhow, the truck is still sitting there last night when we got done with work, because the guy who he uses for a shadetree mechanic had not gotten round to picking it up yet. Now hubby wants to stop and pull the module off and get a replacement and see if that works. I am trying not to worry about everything right now, like only having one vehicle and the rain last night making the mountain road muddy and ...

And what does hubby want me to do? TALK about it. I want to let it go, and he is always telling me to "stop worrying, it will be okay." So I try to not worry and get yelled at that I am "not communicating enough." Make up my mind. If I am going to get the response of "stop worrying" over anything that is bugging me, why even start to discuss it? He also wants my input on a mechanical issue, which he knows is something I know little to nothing about, and then gets angry when I say just let the doggone mechanic take care of it. The whole situation, on top of everything else going on, is just driving me up the wall. I am frustrated to tears by all this.

I can tell this is not going to turn out to be a good day, outside of work, the way it is starting out. Now if someone could just please tell me why giving my opinion when it is asked for causes a stupid screaming match yelling fight started by the one asking for the opinion? Then I get told I am not "communicating enough," etc. I am about ready to just give up. Yeah, this is turning out to be a craptastic day. It rained all night to boot, which likely means walking up the hill tonight, and definitely means a slippy drive down to get to work, so while we needed the rain for spring, I am not a happy camper. I am about ready to buy an RV and camp in a campground for a while, just to get off the mountain road! Ah well, best to quit ranting and venting and get myself together for work so he can get there early enogh to socialize (i.e., hang out in the smoke area, choke on his coffin nails, and B.S. with his buddies). The life I live, folks. Gah. Hugs and love ... I can but hope things get better from here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sunny and wishing I could stay home

Just because it is so sunny and beautiful outside. I would love to get out and clear any last things out of the garden to prep for this year, and get some more wood cut and all the things that really need doing. But duty calls for now, in the form of work. There is rumor we will be working this Saturday again for no good reason, and that is not thrilling, but it is life when you have a real job. Some day ...

Work was pretty easy last night, though, and we got out a little bit early so we did not get our eight hours, but it was considerably earlier than we have been getting out, so no complaints there. As long as I have enough to pay the bills and put a tiny bit back, I am happy. Windows are open for fresh air again, as long as hubby will let them be. He has this thing about closing all the windows when we are gone "just in case" it rains even when there is no forecast for it. That drives me nuts some days.

I am also mourning slightly as the high school guidance counselor I had, and who my daughter had, died Sunday from cancer. Mrs. G. was pretty cool overall, and she will be missed. Chores for the day are done, so I can get busy on preparing for another lovely day messing with chicken. Have a good one, folks! Hugs and love!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Monday

Yeah, sure. Monday generally blows. But it is one more day towards my goals, which is good. I am just not in an upwardly mobile mood today. I wil walk down to the car today to get to work, because I do not feel like riding with hubby. I have some depression going, and it is not fun. I do not even know what started it late last night. There is a part of me that says I should feel more "up" than I do, but I know from experience that for me, the best solution is to just keep on keeping on, and, as a friend of a friend said last night, I have to take pleasure in the little things, like a cat's purr (and with fourteen of them, eleven of which are starting to find their purrs), that spring is here and things will be greening up, etc., to help get through this.

I am a bit pleased. I did not come anywhere near my goal for the store yesterday, but I got further than I likely would have without the huge challenge, and I got the photo sharer for FB shares working for the most part, so that is a big plus as well. Add in that the kittens are starting to learn to use the litter box, and I watched a movie last night while working on Mom's lap quilt, getting another side stitched shut. That leaves two more to go. It is going to be a long haul to get it finished, I think, because I have to use the lighted magnifier and do all those tiny stitches to whipstitch it shut and that cramps my hands up. So things are progressing, but so slowly that it is difficult to see any progress. I think what I need to do is take a step back and look at where I am compared to last year at this time and stop telling myself that I should have done this ages ago and the like. Yes, I would be much further ahead if I had, but I did not and am not, so I just have to keep moving forward from here.

But it is time to get myself moving for work again, which is not going to be easy or fun. It never really is, and with tenonitis, it makes it even less fun. So here goes for the fun of work. Hugs and love, all, and thanks for all your support and kind thoughts and all the words of encouragement.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

We has spring weather!

It is a lovely mid-60s outside, so you can guess that the heaters are off and the windows are open to let out the stuffiness. I do not know about the rest of you, but I sleep better in warm weather. I can leave the windows open at night and listen to the tree frogs and crickets, which act as a white noise maker and knock me right out for snooze time. There are a few chores to get done today, but nothing major. Trash has to go out and get burned, laundry has to be put away and the bed made (we both got lazy about that yesterday), cat boxes cleaned and dishes done. Otherwise, it is going to be a lazy day, so excuse me while I get busy on it, as I have five hard days of being on my feet coming up. Hugs, all!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

What a BUSY day

Being Saturday, it was errand day for us. The usual lunch out as a treat (Chinese), grocery staples, laundry, dollar store stops, filled water jugs. We also stopped at Home Depot, O'Reilley's, and the farm store for more sawdust. Laundry was a big job, with not only the usual clothes, but we did the bedding as well. At least it is all done, and just has to be put away and the bed remade. Right now, I need a break as I am wiped out. We got home to the bottom of the mountain road, and things are a big mess.

The cow pasture has several stock ponds, natural swales, and they are full to overflowing. All the low-lying areas in local pasturage all have standing water. The season creek on our mountain is so full from snow and ice melting, plus all the rain we have had the last couple of days, that it is not a nicely babbling brook or chattering creek. It is a full-on raging torrent, complete with white water rapids. The boxes of the last of my books from Mom were still in the car, and in oder to make sure we had enough weight in the back of the truck to get through the soup, we put everything back there. Books and groceries and all else barring laundry, which went in the back of the cab. It was a good thing, too, as the slop was enough to slow the truck down to a crawl going up the last of the incline, and even with tire chains, we just made it through. The car would not have had a chance. I might have gotten it to the halfway point at Cliff's, but even that would have been a bit of a stretch.

Getting it all in the house, I am so glad we got that Coleman cart a couple summers ago. Hubby was never too sure on it, and we don't use it much, but it does come in handy sometimes. Instead of a bunch of exhausting loads with getting everything in the house, it was only four full loads with the cart. He brought things to the house and put them on the deck, I shifted them into the house and got things put up. Now it is time to relax, but way later than intended, as things did not go quickly today. So I am tired and ready to have some fun for the rest of my weekend! Hugs, all!

Friday, March 13, 2015

And the car is down again

At the bottom of the road, that is. The clay is just a bit too slippy to get good traction on it without tire chains or 4x4, and since my car is a compact, not only does it NOT have 4x4, but the tires are too small for tire chains. So I rode up with hubby last night and will be cutting things short today in order to ride down with him, since the weather has decided to turn to rain. The temperatures are nice for the most part, staying well above freezing now day and night. It is definitely early spring in the Ozarks! You know what that means! I get out my little mini-greenhouses and see if I can start any of those Arkansas Traveler tomato seeds I saved last year. I think this year I will stick with tomatoes, and hubby really liked snacking on them, so we shall see. With no running water and he still is not working at all on the cistern to get at least water for a garden, so I am kind of stuck with no big garden like I would like. Again.

We got a letter from DISH yesterday, his TV service provider. As everything is going high-definition, and we have all old stuff, they are going to bring us out all new stuff. New dish, receiver and remote control. He will be happy, I am sure. Me, what TV I watch, I watch online anyhow. This is a good thing for him, as it keeps him entertained and sometimes out of my hair when I am trying to accomplish things.

Tink's kittens have all discovered the bed is a great place to be. It is soft and comfortable and they like it. We are going to have to get a tarp, however, to put on it and to sleep under. They also are not quite litter box trained, so the microfiber comforter is rather worse for wear from this past week. They have been having accidents ON it, which we've had to clear up, but which have left marks on it. There is going to be a lot of laundry this weekend, that is for sure! This morning is the first morning all week that we have not woken up to kitten piles on the bed, lol. Instead, there are kitten piles on the bathroom floor near the litter box. At least they are trying, and from the looks of the box, they are starting to make it. The tarp is going to be for future accidents and for when Raffle's kittens get to the same stage. I would rather sleep under a noisy tarp than to have to do major laundry all the time for weeks. But it is kind of funny to see a bunch of kittens wrestling on the bed while I work.

Speaking of which, time to pull together to ride with hubby. With the road in the condition it is in, and the rain, I am not going to take the car. If I do not feel well for some reason, I can always sit down in the break room and do some embroidery, or I can go out to the truck and cover up with the blanket for a nap. Speaking of naps, I think I will take one myself ... in the truck, once we are at work and parked! Hugs and love, all!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Time to WORK!

On the webstore, that is, getting stuff put up for sale in it. Woot!!! I finally finished getting information I need from the one supplier, so I can get that stuff up and for sale, and that means then I can work on the next one and the next one and ... and begin building my business so I can eventually just work from home. This is a milestone! Only bad thing is that  I do actually have to go to work and hold down that J.O.B. until that day arrives, but this brings it one day closer to reality, so I am pretty jazzed. I do think the kittens have the right idea for the day, however. They are all asleep, barring Kizzy, who has been playing with a mylar cat ball, and has now climbed up next to me to cuddle (and, apparently, break wind, holy cow!). I need a nap, too. I absolutely MUST do some work on the store,  but once hubby has headed to work, I can take a quick nap before I have to get up and pulled together. Much easier now to do that again, since the road is good enough to get the car uphill and in the driveway again. YAY! So, I am off for the day, folks. I have to get some stuff done and get a nap. Watch the Bountiful Farm webpage for shares from the store for new stuff as it goes up!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Car is up!!!

I went down with hubby first thing this morning to see if the car could be gotten up the road. The road crew came through yesterday with a grader and literally scraped the road clear down to the clay base, which made it a bit of a mess, but a lot less of a mess than the soupy mud on top that was so slippery. It is still somewhat slick with the clay, but driveable. Now if the predicted rain is not too bad, I will still be able to get up and down from now on. Winter is officially over here in this little part of the Ozarks, because I got up the road in the car instead of having to walk. It is supposed to rain more Thursday and Friday, so those nights getting up the road might be a bit dicey, but I think I can make it. Mom had sent down the last of my books and they arrived early last week, twelve priority mail boxes worth, and they are all in the back seat of the car. As the car is front-wheel drive, this leaves little to no weight on the rear tires. Those boxes of books are staying in the back until the road dries out a bit more for traction weight in the rear.

Last night was not too bad for work, other than having to go in. Apparently, my phone calls to corporate made a difference, as they were forwarded to my plant so folks there could pull me off the line and into HR to explain what had been happening. I do not totally accept the explanation of last Wednesday that every single person I needed to talk to about whether or not we were going to work and why work was not being cancelled with all the weather were ALL in a "required quarterly meeting." I  can see it, but at the same time, I can not, because someone should have been left to answer the phones or allowed to say, "Those people are all in a meeting right now to discuss the situation." Would that really have been too much  to ask? We also discussed Saturday, and I pointed out that they wasted their best asset, the employees that they so often say are "valued and valuable team members." If they had had a short meeting after lunch break to tell us what was going on, and asked the folks who wanted to leave if they would stay to help everybody get out sooner, I know my coworkers. Ninety percent of those who left after break would have stayed, and we would have been out of there at least ninety minutes earlier than we were. Yeah, it is definitely time to get other things rolling. I am getting too old for ten- and twelve-hour shifts on my feet anymore. My favorite activity anymore involves something where I can sit. Or kneel, like in the garden.

The weather is warming up nicely today, with the highs around 60F. I took a light jacket with me to get the car, but did not need it. I actually had to roll the car window down because it was so warm. Kittens are all moving around. Tink's litter is extremely active with running around and playing. They also tend to pass out to sleep rather quickly, with their current favorite choice of sleeping spot being a kitten cuddle on the foot of the bed. Raffle's litter are two weeks old, eyes and ears are open and they are starting to crawl. No names on them yet, though Junior is now Fuzzy because of his fluffy coat, and the Bouncer lookalike that Raffles had is now Junior. That is the only one I know for sure on gender. The rest are rather squirmy and Raffles somewhat spooked as a mother for me to have a chance to sex them yet. So there are five question marks, though one I think is a female as it looks much like Raffles, and I will likely name that one Cocoa. The one that looks much like Trouble is liable to be named Oreo. That still leaves three more needing names, however. Ack!

So here it is, warm weather, and hubby is still saying, well, it will be cold tonight, we need to leave the heaters on and the windows closed even now while it is sixty degrees out. Hate to tell him, but once he is gone to work, while I am still here, the windows are getting opened and the heaters turned off. It does not need to be ninety degrees in the house. That is just insane. And he had better be willing to turn heaters off and open windows, and LEAVE them open, this summer, unlike last summer, or there will be a discussion, believe you me.

But because we got off work at a reasonable hour last night, 2AM instead of 3AM, I was home in time to get some work done towards the store and a bit of crocheting on the MAM. Mom's lap quilt is put aside until the weekend, when I will have more time to work on finishing the edge, as it needs tiny whipstitches to close the seam. During the week, I am just a bit to eyesore from work to deal with work that small and close, even with my lighted magnifier. For me, it will be pop a movie into the computer's external DVD player and watch/listen to that while I stitch like crazy. It is an extremely late Christmas present for last year at this rate, or even more so early for this year, haha. So it is time for me to pull together and head my sore-footed body to work once more. I just hope it is a good day, goes quickly and that I get home safely. Hugs and love, all!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Still recuperating

I am okay with the time change for DST, but not when I have to work through it like I did. I am still exhausted from that. Work yesterday was a pain, since one line on boobs is still broken after it went down Saturday, and the supervisor is all about how everybody has to work as hard as possible to keep as much as we can out of overflow totes. Sorry, buddy, but you are at least a decade younger than I am, and I will be 47 this summer. I do not push that hard for anybody but myself anymore. I am too old and cranky for that kind of thing.

I did get a bit towards potential overtime this week from last night, which is good, and even got a bit done towards products to add to the store once I have all the stuff from this company together that I want to do. I did not get any needlework done, which is a bummer, but I know that once the store is up and running well, I will have plenty of time to sew, embroider, knit, crochet, write, craft and just generally have a good time doing the kinds of things I enjoy, rather than having to bust tail for someone else for peanuts. Naturally, I will still have to do household and homestead chores, but those are easy compared to what I deal with at the plant, and loads more fun. Seriously, how much fun is a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) compared to getting out in the sunshine and fresh air in your garden? Which is more fun, indoors or outdoors? Personally, I pick outdoors. Even cutting firewood or gathering up junk to burn or scrap metal is way more fun than working for someone else.

So, it is time to get my butt in gear for what chores I have to get done before I head to work, and then go mess with chicken again. Hubby and I have already discussed what we will do once the webstore is running well. I will stay home, do things around here, and run the store. He will keep his job at the plant for the insurance (terrific insurance and cheap at that) and for some "play money" for his own stuff as well as the big bills (house payment, his silly TV, on-grid bills until the solar array is up and running, vehicle and house insurance, etc.). Neither of us really likes the plant much anymore after Saturday, but the insurance is difficult to beat. Anyhow, hugs and love, all ... I am outta here!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Okay, it was awful

We didn't have enough trucks to run as long as we did, so working till DAWN was ridiculous. By the time clock, it was 5AM when we got done. As the clocks don't switch automatically at DST, it was actually 6AM. So by the time I got home and to bed, it was 7AM. I was so tired, I couldn't even eat; I simply passed out. I'm surprised I made it home in one piece. And, after our meal break at 845PM, we didn't get another half-hour break the rest of the night. Yeah, we worked EIGHT HOURS SOLID without getting a rest period. Last time something like this happened, the GPM got fired and half the plant quit. If I'd had a point to spare yesterday, I would have called in and not felt the least bit bad about it. I ended up so exhausted that I just got up. Yeah, ten HOURS solid sleeping, plus eight hours with no meal break at work makes for EIGHTEEN HOURS without solid food. I have a headache the size of the Rock of Gibraltar and my feet are still killing me. If not for the best insurance and pay rates around, I'd find another job and quit. Like I told people last night, including my supervisor, it's stupid BS like this that is causing me to work on my own business. If I'm going to work that hard and deal with that much BS, I would handle it better on my own. At least then I could stop for a break or a short nap when I'm completely wiped. As it was, I had to hit up the gas station in town for some orange juice to drink to bring my blood sugar up a bit before heading home. That was NOT fun, and we get to go back to work tomorrow.

Hubby was so wired, he couldn't sleep right off, so he loaded up the laundry and the water cistern, and let me sleep. He did laundry, filled the portable cistern, and got it all home before he passed out. Shower water is heating up and likey about all I will be able to get him up for will BE his shower later on. I'm doing what I can manage, eating a little bit, trying to rid myself of the headache, and doing what I can on the store and such, before I get my shower and pass out again till morning. Right now, I am so sick of that place that I could scream, and management all acts like the money makes it all worth it. Gee, they do not haul butt nearly as hard as we do on the line, mostly walking around making sure everybody is working, so a twelve-hour shift is nothing to them. Lazy bums, and they get well-paid for it. If I weren't already working on the store, this would be a major wake-up call. They do not care about me, so why should I care about them?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Working Saturday

It will be a busy Saturday, in that we are working to make up for Wednesday, but I don't mind too much. I am having a good start to the day, what with kittens underfoot and warm weather, and one kitten (Junior) playing bed mouse with my toes. Smudge is recovering from all the terrorizing he got from Tink of late, now that she's back outside permanent, and I will hopefully find her a home sometime over the summer where she can be an only cat. Raffles will be homed out to find a place as a barn cat, where she'll be happier with lots of places to hide. The kittens ... well, I'm working on the kittens.

Mostly, I'm just pooped. Finally got the truck up the road last night, and I will likely be able to get the car up tonight. That does still mean a bit of a walk down today, but that's okay. One more time I can handle. Hubby wanted me to get dressed right as soon as I got up so we could go down and fetch it up, and I said no, I will walk one more time, because I just don't feel like getting dressed right off like that. I am barely awake at that point enough to feed the cats, so driving is out unless it is an emergency. So for now, I am back to bed for a nap. Till tomorrow.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sadness abounds

My Mom texted me this morning and woke me up. It was kind of important. My great-Uncle, Don, died this morning. He was known in the family as The Doughnut King, because many years ago, he had run (helped run? owned? I know he worked there.) a Dawn Donuts shop, usually called "Don's Donuts" by many. He was a tall man with a deep, gravelly voice that rumbled through you, right to the bones. He was smart, a loving husband and father. Of the four children my great-grandmother raised through the Depression, the only one left now is my great-Aunt Janet. He had apparently been ill for a while, but I know he will be missed. My Uncle Jim was particularly close to Uncle Don, so this will hit him hard. I got done texting with Mom, and cried myself back to sleep. It's a sad day for my family.

On brighter news, Tink will be going back outside this weekend, and I will probably put Raffles back out with her once her kittens are weaned. Tink's babies are eating and drinking regular food, but I do wish they would learn to use the litter box! I am a little tired of clearing up kitten poop, haha!!! Smudge is petrified of a lot of things, and her especially, because she has a bad habit of attacking him for no reason at all. That is not acceptable behavior. I think I will try to find her a new home, one where she can be an only cat. If not, I think Raffles would be happier outside with her, so they can keep each other company, not that Smudge minds Raffles, since she tends to hide all the time anyhow.

I have been getting a bit of needlework done, but little to nothing on the store. That is mainly because of all the walking down to the truck to go to work and then back up at night to get home. It kind of eats up time when it takes about an hour up and 40 minutes down to where I have no time to do anything. This is not good, because I need that time to load up the photos on photobucket of stuff Mom did that I said I would help her sell through some of my Facebook groups, and time to work on my store (getting photos and such from suppliers, writing, etc.). Spending over an hour and a half walking not only chews up work on the store time, but is also rather exhausting. But here it is time to work on getting ready for work. Yay me.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Last projected day of real winter this year

One more day of walking downhill to the truck for work, and probably a day or two more of it. Might be able to get both vehicles back uphill by Sunday after going to get groceries and laundry done, etc., but that is likely to be the first day in around a week. Thankfully, weather predictions say it will be above freezing by a good chunk tomorrow, and the weekend even better, with temperatures staying up after today. Nighttime lows might still fall below freezing, but that I can deal with. Warmer daytime temps mean everything dries out and clears up. That is much preferred to spending an hour walking uphill, trust me. At my age of almost 47, I really don't like all the "free exercise" courtesy of Mother Nature in the winter.

Work won't be fun, since my feet are always achy anymore from having to spend so much time standing on concrete, but you have to do what you have to do to make ends meet. At least things are rolling along on getting information on more things to add to the webstore in the way of photos and descriptions and such, so adding things and sharing them to the few social media sites I am on (facebook, twitter and pinterest) will get a move on in another week or two. It all depends on how fast the weather clears, because this last series of storms took all my "work time" on the store to zippo. Pretty darned sad, that is. Haven't had time or energy to do anything with it, and I was doing pretty good. Right now, it is time to finish up what I have to finish up and get going for work, even though I would really rather not. They will probably post for work on Saturday to make up for yesterday, and I do no mind much, other than being on my feet another day. One of these days .... heh. It will happen, my friends, it will happen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I give up

On Tysons, that is. It is a good job, do not get me wrong there. However, the roads are deteriorating by the minute, there is freezing rain/sleet coming down like crazy, and we have no idea if we can even get to the truck safely, let alone into town. So what does Tysons do? The do not cancel work! Of course not! There are chickens to kill, for goodness sake! We absolutely must put our lives on the line to go into work on these roads and kill them!

I simply do not believe this crap. On the plus side, the Tink's kittens are eating kibble and drinking water on their own, so they are good to go once the weather clears a tiny bit in order to toss her back outside. I am off to do what I can, because we are going to have to walk downhill a mile in this crap to get to the truck and then hope we can safely get out to go to work, so we can butcher chickens in this crap. This is totally insane. Think good thoughts or whatever that we survive this and make it safely in and back. Good grief.

ADDENDUM: Thank goodness!  Just found out they cancelled 2nd shift production for our plant for evis through debone! Some departments are still running, but the busiest half of the plant is closed for the night. Whew. I would MUCH rather work a Saturday for makeup, than to deal with going out in this crap.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Big changes this weekend

Not only is it "spring forward," but it is likely going to be warm enough that Tinkerbell is going to get put back outdoors. I'll make her a shelter over the next couple of weeks, but she's got to go back out. She is terrorizing Smudge to where he is afraid to come out of the window off the kitty shelf, going after him for no reason at all. He was here first, and as sweet as she can be when she wants to be, that is unacceptable behavior. I have literally seen her just go after him. Time for her to go back out so he feels safe again. He was here first, so it's only fair.

The kittens will be six weeks old by then, and they are already drinking water from a bowl and chowing on dry kibble. I filled the bowls this morning, and all five went right for the kibble. Crunch, crunch, crunch. They know how to use the litter box, drink, eat, wash, and so on, so they should be okay without her around. I hate to dump Tink bak out, but if she's going to be a heifer, it's out she goes, with getting spayed in a month or so when I get some vacation time. I will have her ear notched or clipped as well, to show she is a TNR feral. She will still get fed in the morning, but other than that, she will be out and ignored.

Needlework is going along. I have all but a tiny bit done on round one on all of the MAM strips, and Mom's lap quilt is into the edge seaming, with one side done and a second started. I am using my lighted magnifier to help me with that to make tiny whipstitches on the edge. It helped quite a bit with the quilting part, and for the edge seaming, it is helping me make those stitches extremely tiny and neat. My take-along of the baby bibs is helping to keep me busy during down times in the break room at work, though they aren't going overly fast. It is rather difficult to get much done when you have maybe ten minutes to sit and work, unless you get to work far earlier than you need to.

Speaking of work, my supervisor and I are going to have it out if he tries do what he was talking about last night. Despite new procedures to prevent it, there are still a lot of bones getting through to the totes. I am doing everything he is saying he wants done, the way he says he wants it done, to assist in preventing that problem. His solution to bones still showing up, because he "knows" the x-ray machines are "calibrated good?" His solution to the extra bones is to write up the trimmers who are doing that job at the time the tote goes on hold for bones. Now, company policy allows that if you are being accused of something and you know you are not doing that thing, then you can refuse to sign the statement that says you are. If he tries to write me up for missing bones, I will simply refuse to sign it, on the grounds that I am doing what he said to do, the way he said to do it, just like I told him I was last night. That write-up can get shoved where the sun does not shine. If he wants to escalate things from there, he had better be ready to play hardball, because I will bring my A-game. I will not tolerate being punished for doing something that I am not doing. Other than that, work is going well.

So life in late winter on the homestead continues along. The warmer weather is almost here, so I can get outside for a few minutes before work soon and get things done. I am hoping to soon attempt to get some of the seeds I saved from the Arkansas Travelers last year to grow and see what happens with them. It will be interesting again this year, I know! I have to run to get ready for work, but it is so mch fun to watch the kittens. They are playing right now, swatting at each other, biting, and generally roughhousing as young kittens do. It is amazing how just a few short weeks ago, they were blind and deaf and couldn't hardly crawl around at all. Now they play, sit at my feet and look up at me, asking to be picked up for a minute or two. Right now, they think my shoes are the most fascinating kitty toys ever.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Winter's almost over

And I'm glad of that. This year has been short and brutal, and my body is just too old to take that much walking uphill, period. I know, exercise is good to keep the body young, but mine has too much damage from bad genetics, and it isn't as good for me as for others. Thankfully, my kids missed out on the bad genes, but for me, with my heart condition, this kind of thing bites.

But country living does have it's terrific aspects. Neighbors close enough to be neighbors but far enough that they are not right on top of you. You have all the privacy you want and need. Plenty of room for a garden and orchard and a ton of wildlife around you to nature-watch. Warm weather brings open windows, fresh breezes, and the sounds of tree frogs and crickets at night to soothe you to sleep. Cold weather brings out the heavy blankets to put on the bed for comfy, cozy sleep then that makes you not want to get up. Spring brings starting the garden, leaves poking from tree branches to begin the process of greening up for the year, songbirds singing up a storm, and so much more. The changing of the seasons really brings home the many reasons to live in the country.

The only real problem is the citiots. Those are the folks who come from the city to live in the country and expect it to be just like the city, only with more trees. There's one property at the top of our mountain that's been sold about four times in just under three years. Why? The biggest complaint I hear is the mountain road in the winter. Just because they have 4x4, but it's not plowed five minutes after the snow quits, and never gets salted or sanded (it's a dead-end road with nowhere for the salt truck to turn around), and it's a steep road, and the top is three miles uphill ... well, gosh, you'd think folks had moved to purgatory! If it's not the snow and ice getting to them, it's the mud making it hard for a 4x4 to get up and down. Or the fact that the mailboxes are at the bottom of the road, rather than having it at LEAST delivered to the end of their drive. Or that trash doesn't get picked up by a truck every week and has to either be hauled to the landfill (and paid for to drop it off) or burned. Phone service is difficult to get (we almost all have cell phones up here, not landline, as everything is long-distance via landline). Internet and TV have to be satellite in order to get decent service. Grocery stores and gas stations are anywhere from 10-30 miles away. And so on. All the things us country folk take for granted as being something we have to deal with as minor inconveniences, in exchange for being able to have other things that are more important to us, are what the citiots complain about.

Yes, country living and homesteading is rough, and a lot of work, but it's worth it. I have so much fun at it. Every little thing I can do is nice. Mind, having emergency services more accessible would be nice, but I do love the country overall. Now it's time for a quick nap before I have to hike down to the car (ouch, my arthritis!!) and head in to work. I need to have energy for that and to work on the webstore when I get home. Gonna be another long day, but thankfully, this looks like the last week of winter weather around here! I'm glad of that, because I'm tired of being tired all the time. (I sleep better with windows open and night critters making racket than in the quiet of winter, haha.)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Backwards weekend but all is done

Shower water is on and nearly ready, my work is done for the most part, laundry is done and ready to put away, the few groceries we got are put up, and I'm whipped. It's been a rough weekend, and I just do not know if I can handle another week of wintery weather that we are supposed to get hammered with. More comiing later this week, too, from what is hitting the Rockies now. We have really had only a couple of weeks of winter, and I am hating every minute of it.

Had to walk down to the truck to get to town and do what we had to do today, so my take-along needlework had to be small and easily portable. Thus, I grabbed a set of stamped cross-stitch baby bibs I am messing with as it tucked nicely into my purse. Kept me busy at the laundromat, which was nice, and meant I did not get bored stupid. Fortunately, as we reached the truck, the grader/plow came through and we flagged him down to warn him that the slopes were slippy. He said, "Thank you for the warning," grins and finishes with, "I got chaiiiiins!" He stopped a bit past the cow pasture and hopped out to put on chains on his big equipment, so he could be safe. I had thought to mention the slippery spots to him because I saw 4x4 tracks on the walk down that were going all over in a few spots. We were lucky when we got home. It was getting dark, but one of our neighbors with a midsize 4x4 pickup  was heading up, and so we put hubby, the toboggan and our stuff in the back and I rode in the cab; we got a safe, quick ride home that way. Mountain folks make good neighbors. We do our part, too. If the bottom of the road is too piled with snow or ice, we break it loose out of the way and put down salt, and if they grade and leave tire-killing rocks in the road, we clear them out so folks do not get flat tires.

My Mom does a lot of stamped crib blankets and bibs and sent me photos of a few of hers, which I hope to get uploaded to the webstore tonight if I can stay awake long enough. They are extremely nice. She does some gorgeous stitchery.