Thursday, April 30, 2015


Because I can not seem to write anything today again that is not extremely negative, and I hate doing that. So, instead, I am going to work on things that do not require writing and thinking (much) and cuddle a kitten. Stars has apparently decided I am her human Momma and demands a great deal of attention no matter what I am doing. I keep having to put her aside several times to get her to realize that NO means NO, lol! So I will be back posting in another day or two when my attitude has improved. Hugs and love, all. Off  to work!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stress levels are about normal now

So the weekend of ridiculous stress is finally over with, and we head back to work today. The funeral's done, the Aveo is for sale up on Craigslist and I have had a few people interested in it that I need to get back with. Only one has made a firm offer, the rest want me to call/text them. I am not inclined to do that - I would rather email. I HATE using the phone. I despise texting. It can come in handy at times, but mostly I find it annoying. If you want to say something to me and you are in the same house, why not get up and TELL me? If you are not in the same house, CALL. I may be a bit hard of hearing but I would rather talk than text.

I did not get much needlework or writing done, and certainly did not get those tomatoes going as I wanted. I was so stressed out that it was difficult to concentrate at all. I think I spent most of it sleeping so I did not have to have my head going round and round with worry. We did find me a new-used car and got it all set up Title is transferred, plates transferred, insurance ditto. It is a 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 2-door coupe, white. Not the best as it does need a few minor things worked on, but mostly stuff that is easily and cheaply fixed. For example, the coolant reservoir. We can not seem to find one out of a junker, but that will happen eventually. It has a crack or small hole in the fill neck which hubby has fixed with epoxy, recommended by the auto parts store. The dash lights do not work, so we have to find some tiny touch lights of some kind to shine on the dash for driving after dark. But it runs decent and has about 100K less miles on it than the Aveo, so it has not had the crap driven out of it yet. It will last for a couple of years, I think. What does need work is minor, unlike poor little Victor the Aveo. And this thing is automatic rather than being a standard, so I do not have to worry about arthritis bugging me while I am driving and having to shift, nor do I have to fight the transmission to keep it in gear.

And yes, the funny thing is that even though I KNOW it is an automatic, I keep trying to reach for the shifter and clutch. That is going to take a while. But boy, did it handle the mountain road with no problems. So while it is not my cute little car, I will be okay with the Escort. Now I need to write a bit on my book, and work a bit on my store, and then head to work. Hugs and love, all.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Things are starting to look up

Well, truck ran good today, all day with no problems. Aveo stayed here at the house for the duration. It is moved into the easement until it is sold or scrapped. I'll be putting it up on Craigslist and various FB groups over the next few days. Found a new-used car, 2001 Ford Escort 2-door automatic. Needs plugs and wires, and of course we will watch all fluids for the first month twice a day to make sure there are no issues there. The Escort is older than my Aveo (my Aveo is a 2006), but 100K less miles on it, and has not had the crap driven out of it for the last few years, either. Gonna be interesting learning to drive an automatic again!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Starting to destress

I am about to stop using Kindle for my books period, and just unpublish everything there, and set my author page to just have the blurb and a link to the webstore. I fixed a few things in my little cookbook, which I typed up from my clipped recipes out of my great-grandmother's "cookbook," and now KDP is trying to tell me my info is "freely available on the web" so I have to confirm that I hold the publishing rights to the thing. Seriously? It's been for sale for a couple of years now, and now that I finally get the freakin' TOC working and add a link to the webstore with a coupon, NOW they decided that I have to prove it's not public domain? I do not THINK so. May not make as many sales, but I think me and KDP are going to go our separate ways if they do not fix this.

In other news, the funeral is done and hubby is headed back. He had the unfortunate experience of having to be a pallbearer. Not a job to relish for a beloved family member, but it was the last gift he could give her, so he manned up and did it. Now to get him back here with his brother and figure out what is up with the truck so it will hopefully run right for a while, and then Monday try to get the car to the dealer and trade it in on something cheap that will run for a year or two with payments we can afford on top of the truck payments. And people are wondering right now why I am so freaking stressed out the last few days. If nothing else, having your transmission on your 5-speed standard go out on you literally from one smooth drive to the next is rather stressful! But I have had it since it was new off the lot with only 78 miles on it and in nine years have put just over 267,000 on it. And yet, pretty much everything on it is still factory. About time for things to start going bad in major mechanical, so I really should not feel so upset over having to replace my little car, but still ... we have had nine years together, Victor and I, and I am going to miss him something awful.

I did lose one more of the beefsteaks, as i thought. This means I have the Georgia Peach, four Red Beefsteaks and we shall see what happens with some of the Arkansas Travelers. If all goes well, I can see me eating a LOT of BLTs this summer. Yummy. Which means I need to get a few things done around here, since I can not go much of anywhere unless absolutely necessary right now till we get something going with one of the vehicles. Trash needs to go out to be burnt, litter boxes need cleaning, kitties need cuddling (Stars and Fuzzy seem to think I am their favorite curling up spot), and I still have some TV to watch and some needlework to do. Not to mention working my butt off on the webstore!  Good thing I do not have to go back to work till Tuesday with the bereavement time. Gives me time to get things done that need doing and destress AND get a different vehicle so I have reliable transpo for work (and backup transpo for hubby if the truck goes down again). Hugs and love, all. Time to decompress with activity again!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Kitten photos!

Okay, since I have the day off for bereavement time (unpaid, but I do not care at this point, I am just THAT stressed out), it was time to take time to take some photos. My phone was easier to get to than my camera, so blame fuzziness, if any, on that.
Photo 1 - Smudge in front, Bouncer (sire of all the kittens, because apparently it affects HUBBY'S manhood to get his cat clipped now ... it will happen, trust me, along with all the kittens!), some kittens on the couch itself.

Photo 2 - for those who do not think we walk Bouncer like a dog on a harness and leash, or that he likes / accepts it, or that it can even be done ... photographic proof.

Photo 3 - of all the kittens, Kizzy (Tink's litter - 1/25/15) decided the hard floor next to the space heater was the most comfy spot possible.

Photo 4 - Some of the kittens in a chair by the front door. L-R: Oreo (b/w with spot under nose), Trouble (b/w), Junior (orange/white on his back), Fuzzy Buzzy (orange/white on his side on the right, and in back, Cocoa.

Photo 5 - Raffles herself!!!! She is finally deciding that being feral is not such a good thing and will curl up on the bed at my feet at night, or next to hubby on the couch. She has discovered that pets and ear rubbies are wonderful and will purr up a storm. She is also a talker!

Photo 6 - the rest of the kittens, in hubby's spot on the couch. In front L-R - Mazda (cream patch on hip - and yes, she does like to zoom zoom zoom around the house!), Shelby, Butterscotch. Crosswise in middle, Stars. Crosswise at back, Smokey.

At wit's end

Well this is turning out to be a really great weekend so far, NOT. Now the car, my first (and so far, only) bought new-new car, is having issues on top of the truck having issues. The truck does not want to stay running, and we are slowly dealing with every little thing one at a time to hopefully find the right darn one that puts an end to this stuttering, stalling idiocy with it.

And what happens? Now the clutch on the car has gone out. I have reverse, and I sort of have 2nd and 4th. I do not have 1st, 3rd or 5th. What forward impetus I do have means driving with one hand and holding the shifter in place with everything I have got in me.

Called the insurance company, they can change vehicles over in a few minutes on the phone and can fax the new info to the guy (same one we are getting the truck from, as he generally has pretty good older vehicles). I just have to:
a - call him in the morning and see what he has that I can trade the car in on as the downpayment
b - dig out the title to the car
c - get the car in one piece to his lot
d - call work and take my one day unpaid bereavement day to get all the stuff done, even though I was not going to do so. (Or take a point, whichever at this point.)

This is not going to be an easy day, but I can get through it with any luck at all, and end up coming home with a different, working vehicle that will run well for a good, long while. This has to be fixed NOW. There are just too many odd, little things worn out on the car that are going to cost more than the car to fix, and probably would cost as much as a similarly aged used vehicle that will run would cost. I keep thinking we are going to start getting ahead, and then things happen that put us back again into the hole. I need for things to start going RIGHT.

Somehow, some way, this too shall pass. I just am at wit's end trying to understand how, on top of hubby's Grandmother's funeral this weekend. His brother is coming down in the morning to get him and take him up, and then will bring him home after on Saturday, we just have to throw in for gas. THAT we can handle ... it's the rest of it that has me totally just ... too stressed to fall apart, because it just has me numb.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sad day here

This is a sad day. Hubby's grandmother passed early this morning in her sleep, at home. She was 95 years old, and not in the best of health. Last summer, we were all surprised she survived, as the heat nearly got her then. But she is in a better place, has no more pain or troubles, and had the best passing she could - in her sleep at home. One of the Aunties was getting her a cup of coffee for starting her morning, took it in, and found Grandma, who likely is sitting somewhere saying, "Darn it, missed that last cup of coffee!!" The one time we met, we got along well, as I had taken my crochet with me and she also crocheted, it turned out, and we talked needlework for hours while hubby and the rest of the menfolk were outside talking vehicles. No idea yet when exactly the funeral will be, but now we have to get the truck rolling (it is narrowed down to likely the throttle position sensor this time) so he can go to the funeral. He gets three paid days off for bereavement time. I get one unpaid day for the funeral, so I will have to skip it all, sadly and go to work. Buggrit, as Foul Ole Ron, would say. (#GNUTerryPratchett)

With that, I need to get my butt in gear ASAP so we can hopefully have time to go to Harrison, get the part and pick up the truck from the mechanic on the way in to work. He has had all week to work on the thing and has not even touched it yet. As it is, when I texted him to let him know we NEEDED that truck ASAP and why, and he literally cussed me out in a return text. He may be a good mehanic, but he has just lost our business, even if he is the mechanic for the guy we are buying the truck from. So it is a bit of a stressful day. Thank you ahead, everyone, for your condolences, as we know there will quite a number of them forthcoming. Hugs and love, all. Hope your day is better than ours.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chilly anniversary day for me

It is a bit chilly today for spring, but not so cold that it will hurt my garden any. I am just a bit tired. Last night at work was not overly long, considering we got out more or less on time, I am just not doing well with my health right now. Too much stress from life in general has me sleeping poorly. It will improve, but what I need is more sleep that I am not getting. Tough luck right now with the truck down. I can get in a short nap in the car at work, though, and that helps some, along with tons of caffeine. I do not dare take the energy stuff that most folks at work live on (Nos, Monster, yellowjackets, mini thins, Tweaker, etc.) with my heart conditions. I would likely end up killilng myself Tried a mini thin once and thought I was going to have a heart attack. So it is strictly tons of caffeine for me.

On the plus side, today starts year three back at the plant. This is a good thing, I guess, in that I now get my anniversary holiday and vacation time again to take as I wish. Personally, I wish I could get busy making enough not to have to ever go back, but that is going to take a while. Downside, we got a late start today, so no time to do much of anything, but I will cram in what I can. Hugs and love, all. The more I cram in on the store, the more likely I will be to get it going much better so I can reach that goal. Yay, me! Hugs and love, I am outta here!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's Time for Tuesday to get rolling!

First off, for those wondering how we can "afford" to feed fourteen cats/kittens, here is your answer. Between wet food (four cans a day), kibble, and fresh litter to top off the boxes after they are cleaned 2-3 times a day, it comes out to $2.50 a day, approximately. That's about $8.50 a WEEK for basic care. Cheap enough? I would say so. Add in that they are loads of furry love and plenty of entertainment at that price, and I'll take it. (I know, that is kind of snarky, but I am getting a LOT of PMs on "How can you deal with that? Isn't it expensive? *I* wouldn't do that!")

I think another of my beefsteaks is going to die on me. It looked pretty wilty yesterday despite all the rain that's fallen lately, so I will have to keep an eye on it. I will be puttng out some seeds this weekend in a flat for Arkansas Travelers and see what I can do with them. If I can get a few of those going, that would be great. They sure tasted yummy last year!

Got a bit of needlework done yesterday an a bit on the store, and a bit of writing, so things are progressing bit by bit there as well. Everything is going slow, but steady, so I am pleased. It is a slow process, but every step gets me a bit further along towards independence from the plant job. I like it and it pays well and has good insurance and all, but it is not my idea of a fun job. It is good enough that tonight is my last night on two years there. Tomorrow starts year three! This means lots more benefits become available, including first-time homebuyer downpayment assistance. Now, if we end up buying this place for back taxes, we could likely convert that into a construction mortgage to get a bit of land cleared and leveld with a Bobcat, get a Derksen cabin up here and settled, and fix up the interior. It would likely be something the bank or credit union would be more willing to go with than buying a newer mobile home and plopping it down on the land.

But I have to get some things done and get ready for another fun day of messing with chicken. Hugs and love, all!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Another day down, more to go

Things are cranking along today already. The truck got limped to Bill's yesterday, and Randy (mechanic) will see if he can get started figuring out what IS wrong with it this afternoon. We know a lot of things that it is not, because they have either been checked or replaced. It is not fuses, serpentine belt, plugs and plug wires, fuel pump/filter, or fuel injectors. Now to just narrow down from there what it could be. Lots of little things to check and see what it might be, as once you fix one thing on an older vehicle, it is a domino effect, and poof, lots of stuff starts going out on you.

I got some crochet done on the afghan, only to have to frog all I had done because I made a BIG booboo. Oh well, I have had that happen before and I know it will happen again. The webstore got some amazing stuff put into it, and in a bit, I will work on that a bit more before work. My Mom even took a look at it and liked it, said a lot of the craftsy stuff is just plain cute. I know, I do need to make some serious chump change though in order to quit the plant. I am working on it, so it is coming along nicely in that respect.

Back to work today to mess with chicken again. One more day toward down toward my goal, a lot more to go, but hey, folks have dealt with worse, I know. I know many successful entrepreneurs who make a good living at what they do. Not GREAT, mind you, but good enough to live on the profits. One galpal who inspires me has her own plant business, where she goes around office buildings and such and takes care of all the greenery, replacing what needs replacing as time goes on. Another has a sewing business. A few are authors. One is a baker working out of her kitchen (her state allows it under cottage industry laws). Most of all, my beloved daughter, who has wanted nothing but to be a singer since she was four, and is in college for a vocal performance degree right now, and actually working part-time in her chosen career. She has followed her dream and begun to make it come true at a young age. Wonderful people, who, like my Mom, inspire me to keep on keeping on. With that said, I need to pack lunch for work and make sure I am ready to roll in a while, and get done what I can before I have to head out. Hugs and love, all!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Oh yeah ... fixed something, too

On here, anyhow, I went and adjusted the template a bit so if you visit the Amazon a-store page here, you will find you can see everything now. The search box there will also search all of Amazon. Have fun, folks. It makes the right sidebar rather small, but that is fine, because if you want to shop Amazon and help support the blog, now it is easier!

Tomatoes and truck woes

Dang it all. I lost one of my tomato plants to a cutworm. Blasted thing ate all the soft tissue and stopped at the woody center, but the damage is too much to save the plant. Still, I still have five more beefsteaks and the Georgia whatsis, plus I am trying to get seed going from the Arkansas Travelers I had saved seed from last year. We shall see. So far, it has rained a little every day since I popped them in their spots, and so I have not had to water. I did pick up some bamboo stakes yesterday at Wally World, and used what I needed today in what little time I could get outdoors before it decided to start raining again. I have six left, just enough for if a full pack of starts gets going on the AR Travelers.

The latest book, one on making a few bucks with online surveys (one of many ways I make a couple extra bucks) is about half done. The time-consuming part is not the writeup on each company that is worthwhile, it is the research time to find the info to write about! Hobby stuff, like the antifreeze MAM afghan, is all comiing along in bits and pieces. I will have a couple of hours later on while catching up on some TV to do more on it. I have gotten to round four on all the strips, so I have those to do and the joining round and it is done. I think I may pass on adding a border to it, though that depends on how I feel about it without one when I drape it on the bed after finishing the rest up.

And the webstore. Ahhh, the webstore. So happy I have another good supplier lined up with nice decor things that I can put in my little webstore to sell. They dropship, so I do not have to actually have anything to do with the items other than taking orders from customers, buying the items from the dropshipper, and having them sent off to the customers! I can buy things to sell in person as well, and may do that. There are all kinds of things. Small decorative furniture, kitchen stuff (anybody want an overhead pot rack?), garden decor, birdhouses, and more. Different kinds of tchotchky type things. Though I wish I had more places to safely hang birdhouses. Some of them are just plain adorable. I am still working on the craftsy stuff I make as well, alternating between the two so I can get things done.

Which means I have a lot to get busy on this afternoon so I can head back to work tomorrow. Hubby and I have to ride together in the car for a bit. The truck is acting up, idling rough, will not stay started once in gear, etc. We have changed out the fuel pump/filter (they are combo on his truck - no in-line fuel filter), spark plugs and wires (plugs are gapped correctly), checked the resistance on the fuel injectors and that's running to spec. Goodness only knows what it is now. But like our mechanic said, it is a domino effect. Fix one thing and something else goes wrong on these older vehicles, but if you fix enough stuff, you get an older vehicle that will still run well for five or ten more years at least.

What is really odd is that once the truck starts to run rough and sputter and all, park it for an hour and it runs good again. It does the rough running after about fifteen miles, so there is something going on somewhere that only acts up once the truck is good and warmed up. We are stumped, so we limped it to the mechanic's place today and he will get on it when he can. We do not like having only one working vehicle available, but we can not afford a third one right now with still owing on the truck, though the wife of the guy we are getting it from told us do not worry about payments until it is fixed, and put the money toward fixing it first. Bill (the guy) and his wife, Faye, are both pretty up there in years, and Bill is having some health issues, so Faye figures that is more important than payments. Our next vehicle, we will likely have to get somewhere other than Bill and we will have to have sales tax money for it, too, because if Bill quits selling cheap vehicles, we will end up at another buy here-pay here place with more expensive vehicles, yikes! Oh well, that is how life goes!!

But I need to get going and do some paying writing, and work on the store. Chores at least are all done, so the rest of the day is work on here and playtime with yarn and thread. Yay, me!!! Half a day of nothing but pure relaxation! Hugs and love, y'all. I am outta here!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

It's Saturday again!!

Yeehaw! It has been a really busy day, and I am pooped and need a nap. Have to finish getting a few things put up first, but that has to be done soon, as my eyes are trying to go into snooze mode. I have a house surrounded by greened up trees, grass that needs cutting (gotta get the weed whacker out to get it ready to roll for the year), and stakes have to be put in with the tomatoes. Those have been getting watered daily by the skies, with the rain that has fallen lately. Good for me,  I do not have to haul water out for them. (I am a rather lazy gardener in some respects, sadly.)

Still, it is warm weather and so much needs doing. Tomorrow is going to be quite busy with me and my little battery operated chainsaw out cutting brush down and up for firewood. Whee! Once dark, I will do what I can on some needlework. Much work needs to be done on the store as well, and that is fine. Lots and lots of little bits of progress are happening, and I am enjoying every tiny step forward.

But for now, sleepyhead is off to get the last groceries put up and a nap in before more late night stuff. Hugs and love, all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Still sprinkling!!!

The weather is making me sleepy. I would love to do nothing more than go back to bed for the day, but not gonna happen. Loads to do and I want to get things done. Besides, I will get time off soon enough. My anniversary is in a week at work, which means things like anniversary and birthday holiday are available again (well, birthday not till June, but still), plus my vacation days. Those I will use up one at a time so I can get some kittens altered at the low-cost spay/neuter clinic over in Eureka Springs. I have to get a cat carrier, as the one I had broke, but they are not expensive anyhow. Then I need to make a Monday appointment, as they appointees can not have food or water after midnight before surgery. This means a large enough carrier that they can feel comfortable, but small enough to confine them safely. Especially Raffles. She is going to be a terror to get into a carrier because she is still pretty wild.

The only bad part for me is that the cats have to be there at 730AM, which means no sleep for me on spay day (getting all the girls done first), and do not pick them up until 230PM. This means taking the laptop with me, a blanket and a pillow and crashing in the car somewhere for a few hours, and if there is time, spending a bit of time at McDonald's with the laptop, before picking up the cats and heading home for more naptime. My vacation days this year are not going to accomplish much, I am afraid, but cats need altering and that will keep the colony stabilized in size and condition. Granted, it is an indoor colony, but they still need altering to help them stay healthier. There are a number of illnesses they can not get if they are altered, like various cancers.

So I am off to get a bunch of things done before I head out to work, yay me. See y'all later! Hugs and love, be good!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

More rain to come today

Which is a good thing. My maters need the watering, and nothing to me beats rain water for the garden, even if the garden is nothing but tomatoes. I hope this weekend to be able to make time to get some more of the Arkansas Travelers going from last year's saved seed. They would not be ready until late summer that way, but it has been a goofy spring so far and I have no greenhouse, nor place to put one right now. But no complaints, because even if I have to get things going late or buy starts, at least I can still grow a few things here.

On other things, like the webstore, everything is progressing nicely as well. Not as quickly as I would like, but even a little progress is so good to have. I keep reminding myself that one of these days, things will be going well and I will not have to worry about going to the plant, and etc., because I do not want to let myself get bogged down in how much there is to do, and instead prefer to concentrate on what has been accomplished. That is much more fun. Writing daily, even for just a few moments, accomplishes so much. The little book I am working on for doing surveys for cash is about half done, with a little work done every day. I know my writing and crafting and gardening stuff will never make me financially rich. I will happily settle for "able to pay any bills that come up with a bit left over." I do not need to be rich. Heck, I do not even buy lottery tickets!!! I just want to be comfortable, and I do not think that is too much to ask.

Some of you have asked how I got the entrepreneurial bug. I blame my Mom. She went into business for herself just after I got out of high school, and recently retired. She did well for herself for around 25 years, making enough to pay bills, buy her house, a couple of cars, do some remodeling on the house, and just generally get herself completely out of debt. If she can do it, so can I. I am not that much older than she was when she went into business for herself, for some of the same reasons I am working on this myself. I am content with my job most days, but having to put out so much effort for someone else is not all that much fun. If I have to work that hard, might as well be for myself!

For Mom, it was also she was tired of the promises she had heard for years from her boss, along the lines of "Someday, this will all be yours." A failing business lodged in the basement of his house? No thanks. Mom may not have had many clients to start with, and times were tough, but she did really well over time. I worked for and with her for well over a decade, and it was so much fun most of the time. I do admit that I encouraged her to found her own accounting firm. She was mentioning one day how, again, her boss was doing the someday thing, and I said something to the effect of, "You know he is never going to sell you that business. EVER. Why not open your own firm and be your own boss? You keep saying how you hate those stairs into that basement and the dark and damp and all. Tell the clients you are leaving, that you are starting your own firm, and leave. You do most of the work anyhow. Why not take all the credit AND the money?" A few weeks later, she did it. Made the break.

I know for me, when the time comes that I can make the break, it will be scary at first. Heck, it is scary now! But you have to make choices in life as to whether or not to stay with the corporate job, and keep on the way things are going, or to take the bull by the horns, start your own business, and go for it. With my webstore, I have loads of ideas of things to carry (you should see the listing of businesses I am contacting so I can buy stuff wholesale), and with my writing, which will also sell in the webstore, I have a huge list of ideas for small ebooks to write and sell. Then there's the patterns I wrote up years ago, that need typing up, and which can also become needlework kits to sell as well as just the patterns, and various bric-a-brac and garden decor... That store is going to be full of all kinds of goodies. I need to scoot, my friends, as I am making myself anxious to get more goodies up, even if right now, they are just crafted goodies! Hugs and love, all!

Monday, April 13, 2015

And it is raining

Naturally! I put out the tomatoes yesterday and watered them, so last night it rained, and it is still sprinkling today. Not that I mind, it saves me watering them. Things are getting so green around here for the summer, and it is amazing as always how life comes awake from winter dormancy as soon as the temperatures start getting warmer. I look out my desk window and see a sea of spring greenery that makes me smile.

As it is, I overslept today, which is unusual. The cats were so comfortable with the weather that they did not even wake me up for their breakfast! They were all still snoozing in kitty piles when I woke up. Now the kittens are starting to play since tummies are full and they feel good. Still, I did get quite a bit done yesterday, and planned on more this morning before work, which got rather derailed by the oversleeping. I got enough done yesterday that I do not have to really work, though.

I have several suppliers lined up for the needlework side of the store. There are other things I plan on carrying as well, though. Incense, candles, soaps, birdhouses, knick knacks and bric-a-brac and tchotchky of various kinds that would appeal, I think, to homesteaders. Garden decor, I think. Now if only I did not have to go to the plant, but considering that I was able to bid on the cone lines Friday, and will likely get there since I am just short of two years' seniority, it means getting away from my nightmare of a supervisor. Same department, just I am looking to have a different supervisor who is not a human Brillo pad.

Time to do what I can before I have to head out. Hugs and love, all!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Quiet right now

Hubby forgot to put a couple of things on the grocery list, so he took off first thing this morning to run to Wally World. He refuses to use homemade deodorant, claiming it is not as good as store-bought, so went to get himself some and a couple other things he forgot to tell me he wanted or needed. Still, there are always things to do around here, so I am glad that the majority of them are done for the day already. Still, there is trash to clear up and get burnt, and dishes to do, but otherwise, things are pretty well set for an enjoyable Sunday of getting out and doing some things.

I am also going to be putting in a bit more time after dark locating a few more suppliers. I think expanding from just craftsy stuff I make or can wholesale will be a good thing, if I can find things like candles, soaps, jewelry, garden decor, that kind of thing. There are a couple of places I need to look into more and go from there. Because let's face it, the more diverse my product line, the more likely I am to be able to make money selling stuff, right?

My only problem so far is getting the credit card processor to respond to my last email to them. Four days and no response to the information I sent them that they requested. I may have to break down and call them if I do not hear back in a day or two, as I would like to do regular credit card processing for orders instead of just PayPal. PP is good, but some folks would rather just pay with a credit card, period. Gotta get that straightened out, too.

But first, I gotta get up the gumption to actually get dressed-dressed instead of running round the house in a sundress and fuzzy slippers, haha!!! My traditional at-home clothes, but the slippers especially do not lend themselves well to outdoors stuff, so time for jeans and t-shirt and sneakers. Hugs and love, all!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

BUSY Saturday!!!

Boy, has it been busy. Let me see ... in order ...

Race Brothers for sawdust for the composting toilet.
Lunch at the Chinese place.
Wally World - needed some small electrical stuff, plus finally found some tomato starts in good shape. Race Brothers had some that had just been delivered that day and they were kind of wilty. I got one 3" pot with a German Queen (pink) and a six-pack of Red Beefsteak. As always with me, heirloom. I really wanted some more Arkansas Travelers from Race Brothers, but they were either pricey for well-grown or rather limp (good stems but leaves limp), so I will try to start some from the seed I saved last year and see what happens.
Water jugs filled.

All of it hauled home, unloaded and brought indoors, but now I am pretty wiped. Time to relax a bit before doing more than putting away the few groceries we got (mostly for the cats ... gotta feed the zoo crew!). I am so thrilled that I did find some good starts, so I will at least have some tomatoes for munching later this year. Did a bit of embroidery while at the laundromat, and did a bit of crocheting before we left while hubby loaded the truck up with laundry and water jugs.

We also got a cat toy for the zoo crew. It's two ramps that face opposite directions, with carpeted and sisal-covered areas for scratching, a solid carpeted base, and in the top of the ramps, hanging from the bottom of the angle, are two feather toys. The feathers are already disappearing. Kittens are playing those to death and growling at the feathers! It is hysterical. For $25, it is cheap entertainment!!!!

Hugs and love, all. I need some cheap entertainment, some needlework time while hubby and I watch a movie for "date night," and to get some work done on my store!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday fun

On the bright side, it is Friday and I only have to get through today to get to the weekend. On the dark side, I still have to go to work. Might not be too long a night tonight though. A neighboring county for weeks has had a ban on sales or transport of eggs and live chickens due to a small outbreak of bird flu. The ban was just lifted the other day, which is good, but because of it, there were a few of the plant's farms that could not receive chicks for raising for us, and thus now, there is a bit less chicken to process. I am not that fond of factory farming, which is why I homestead, but it does pay the bills.

Now that weather is warmer, I get so much more done. I do not mind winter for the extra crafting time, but I like getting outside so much that winter is difficult to slog through when the cold gets bitter. I got a couple of buckets of crap cleared yesterday before work, so that makes a tiny dent in the one pile. I need to work this weekend on getting more tires rolled up by the house and filled with the dirt I bought a while back, so I can put out tomatoes at least again this year. With nowhere to put even a small greenhouse yet in a safe manner, I will have to bite the bullet and buy starts again. I do have some seeds saved from the Arkansas Traveler tomatoes from last year that I am looking to start, though they will be nowhere near ready to pick until late summer at this rate.

I have gotten some good progress on the webstore, my writng and working on the antifreeze afghan. It should be ready in another couple of weeks, and then it will likely be put up for the warm weather, unless we get another night like last night. It was a bit chilly in the bedroom, as the heater there broke down, and you ccan not get them now for nothing at the stores. So it was pile the afghans on, because the temp dropped to the low 40s, with the "feels like" at freezing. The bedroom was pretty cool, though not miserably so, just a bit too cool for comfortable sleeping. Yet, by the time we got up to start our day today, it was near 70 outside! The silliness of spring temps in the Ozarks! Hugs and love, all ... time to get cracking on a few things before I have to get ready for work!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lovely weather

And I am getting to enjoy some of it before work. I am not fond of work lately, due to various circumstances I can not discuss (because it involves a complaint against someone so it is under investigation), but let us just say that I refuse to let the person causing me to have a hostile work environment will not win. I had to bite my tongue, figuratively speaking, last night, not to look at her and say, "Let's go, right now. Bring it on, sister." I instead chose to do my stupid, wide-eyed act. Those who know me well know what it means. For those who do not, it means trouble is brewing for the person causing the issue. My Bring It On button has been pushed and the other person is in deep doo-doo.

Much like the FB meme, my best friends at work are skipping along beside me singing, "Someone's gonna get it!" while carrying the baseball bat. Evil grins aside, work went okay, other than the issues with this person and that we did not get out until nearly 3AM again. It is exhausting, and I really prefer only working my eight hours. This is not comfortable, but I am tough, and will make it through, as sooner or later, we will get a few days of shorter hours that will allow us all to relax a bit. Add in that my hire-in anniversary is only a few weeks away, and then I have that holiday, my birthday holiday, Memorial Day and vacation days to use, all within weeks of each other, my summer is shaping up to be pretty darned nice, even if I get nothing much done outside.

I will simply enjoy what I can of it, like now. It is awfully nice to sit here and have the windows open, the curtains pulled back, and the heaters off for the season. Rain when it is 65F and up is much nicer than rain when it is in the 40s and 50s, and there are possibilities of scattered storms today. It is cloudy and the breeze is nice. A few windows will be left cracked for fresh air, but the ones that rain likes to come in will be left shut or cracked when I head to work.

So much got done before work yesterday and after I got home, despite the late hour. I even got a few more things up in the store, and am starting to do a bit there. Business cards arrived last week and I am passing them out right and left. I will have to get more out in a few days so I can take a stack with me on the weekend and put them up everywhere I go that has a place to do so. There was crochet that got done, some embroidery, mailed Mom's lap quilt to her, called her to let her know it was on the way and she needs to call me before she opens it. Sorry, folks, I did not have any charged batteries for the camera apparently, so no photos. Mom will likely take a few though, if I ask.

Today, there are the usual daily chores on the homestead, indoors and out. With warmer weather here, I make time daily now to get out for 10-15 minutes to clear up something. It could be working in the garden, or picking up some of the old tenant's trash to dump a 5-gallon bucket of it in the burn barrel, or picking up some of the scrap metal (mostly old soda cans) lying around here and dumping them in a big trash can that is here for that purpose. Actually, there are several. A couple for soda cans as they are a slightly higher rate than other small metals, and a couple for mixed small metals like soup and vegetable cans and cat food cans. There is also a basic pile for larger chunks, like the top of the one old ceiling fan I found the other day, metal bits and bobs of all kinds, tire rims, and the like. The rims in good shape get sold to the junkyard, the beat up ones go to the metal scrapper next door. There is also cardboard to tie up, glass to put into a bin (a different scrapper handles that), so basically, there is always something to clear up that usually will make some money! Hugs and love, all - gotta get this day rolling along.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Greening up!

Spring has arrived with a blast here in the Ozarks. Everything is turning green as can be, and I am rather happy about that. Sure, it means outdoor chores now have to be done as well as all the regular indoor stuff, but it also means windows open, heaters off, cooling breezes, lots of sunshine, and not feeling so much like I need a nap all the time! Winter is not kind to me, in the respect that there is much to do (always, on a homestead) but the lesser amounts of sunshine tend to make me want to hibernate.

If the kittens would all hold still for more than two seconds, I could get new photos to show you! Today's chores before work are printing off the tax returns as those got finished yesterday, litter boxes, lunch, and finding a box for shipping Mom's lap quilt up to her!

I got so much done over the weekend. I do feel often that I need more hands or more of me to get everything done, but things do get done piece by inch. While catching up my TV last night, I worked on the MAM antifreeze afghan and got to where almost all of the strips have the third round done. I am looking forward one of these days to doing this year's crochet and knit along afghans as well from Yarnspirations. I have been saving the clues each week, and one of these days, I will have time to make them, along with everything else I have planned, haha. Just piece by inch, like everything else.

So for now, it is time for me to make some lunch, and while it heats up, print off those tax returns and clear out the litter boxes. Dishes will be done tonight after work when I have a bit more time to fuss over them, and I will be looking for a box after I wash up from lunch. Just in time to pull together for work, yay me! Hugs and love, all ... tis time for this day to begin in earnest!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Crazy few days

The last few days have been a bit insane. Work Thursday was exhausting, so by Friday morning, writing anything would have just taken energy I did not have to spare. Though I guess a number of drivers around here have spring fever of some kind, as I nearly ended up in a head-on collision on the way to work Friday due to a dumb driver in a big pickup passing in a no passing zone going uphill because he did not like being behind a tractor with a large hay bale on the front bale spike. I saw the tractor from a bit off and just knew instinctively that the way people drive around here that someone was going to get stupid. I slowed way down and got ready to pull onto the grassy shoulder and stop, and sure enough, the pickup darn near hit me.

Then yesterday, on the way home from errands, which took pretty much forever and left it after 10PM when we finally got home, I nearly got rear-ended by two pickups as I was slowing to make the turn onto the mountain road. Apparently, they could not see the darn turn signal or brake lights on my car, because they were too focused on getting around the car in the right hand (slow) lane! Impatient drivers give me the willies, because you just know somewhere down the road that one of them will be the cause of you being an accident victim where they caused the accident.

But at least errands got done, though hubby insisted we leave everything but the few perishables in the car last night when we got back because he was tired. Fine, but it is supposed to rain off and on all day tomorrow, says I. He did not care, he was tired. So now it is raining and he does not want to bring stuff in so he does not get wet. As if getting rained on is going to make him melt. Looks like I will be digging out the Coleman cart and hauling stuff in myself in a bit!

Mom's lap quilt came out of the dryer beautifully finished off, so now I can find a box around here to mail it up to her. The baby quilt I am stitching to sell has a good start on it, but it will be a long while before it is done. The MAM antifreeze afghan is coming along nicely as well. I watched a few of my shows on Hulu last night and did quite a bit of crocheting on it, so now I only have round three to finish up on four more strips, then I have to do round 4 on sixteen strips and the joining round and it is done.

Tick season is also upon us here in the Ozarks, as I pulled two off the other day. One was behind my ear, crawling around, but the other had decided my waistline was a good spot to sink it's mandibles and start guzzling my blood. I got that one off before it got too far along, but the spot still itches. For those of you who do not have to deal with ticks, be grateful. They are an integral part of country living, but they are not fun in general. They do make good snacks for chickens and guinea hens, though! They love them and will go after them all day long. Same for grasshoppers and other insects at ground level. Though you think of chickens as being just simple grain-eaters, they are like all other birds in that they are omnivorous. They will eat just about anything they can get their beaks on. I have seen chickens go after frogs, mice, snakes ... if it moves, they will go after it. Chickens love to play keep away with stuff like that. But boy, do they taste yummy on my plate!

But I have so much to do. Get stuff from yesterday in and put away, straighten the bed (hubby is a blanket thief), clean litter boxes and add more fresh litter, dinner to make later for Ostara, needlework to do, more TV to finish watching so I can catch it up, shower to take, dishes to do, taxes to finish double checking before printing and mailing, writing to do, webstore to work on ... folks may think homesteading is easy and peaceful and loads of fun, but it is hard work. Yes, it is a lot of fun, but easy and peaceful it is not. There are moments when it is easy and/or peaceful, but they are few and far between. Mostly, it is a never-ending list of things that have to get done, and if you are lucky, you get a few moments a day on any of them. My writing, for example. I figure if I get ten minutes a day to work on one of my little how-to ebooks, I am doing really good. More than that is rare, because there is always something taking away my time. Mostly the off-farm job. But each day gets me closer to goal, and feeling better about what I am doing.

So in the meantime, for those who celebrate Easter, have a Happy one. For those who celebrate no holiday at all, have a great day anyhow. For those, like me, who celebrate Ostara, Blessed Be to you and yours. For everyone, may your day be filled with love and joy and happiness. Hugs and love all ... I am off to get things done like crazy around here.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dogwoods in bloom

It is that time of year again. The dogwoods are in bloom, and so are my sinuses. The weather is gorgeous for the most part. Work went smoothly last night with few major issues, but I am still tired. The job is wearing me down, and as I am trying to work off enough points in a row to go on the cone lines where the pace is somewhat slower and I can go to a line away from my current supervisor, it is aggravating my fibro. One of these days, I have a feeling I will flare out bad. Such is the life of homesteading with disabilities, when you have to have an off-farm job to pay the bills for a few years.

On brighter notes! I took Mom's lap quilt with me to work on before work, and finally got the last of the edge seaming done! So it can go in the wash this weekend to get the stamped pattern out of it, and next week can get shipped. I will take photos once it is washed and fluffy so you can all see it. I also got a shock last night.

Tinkerbell, as many of you know, got out a few weeks ago and I have not seen her since. I think something got her, and since we live in the woods on a mountainside, there are a lot of things that could have gotten her, least among them a red-tailed hawk, bobcats, and timber rattlers. If she wandered far enough, one of the neighbors has some mean dogs that are known cat-killers. But Raffles shows no interest in the outdoors, not even window sitting.

The surprise has been the last few days. She comes up to me whenever I am eating and tries to snag some of my food. I have been putting out a finger for her to sniff and seeing if she would let me pet her, but that is as far as it has gotten until last night. She was close enough that I made a grab and held and petted her. I left my grip loose but supportive, so that if she wanted to leave, she could. Instead, she sat there and let me pet her for several mintues. Not fully relaxed, but not completely tense, either. Later, she let me hold her again for a couple of minutes. And when I went to bed, big shocker. She curled up next to me for a while! Not touching me, but close enough that I could pet her and put a hand around her to snuggle her a little. I fell asleep before she left. That is absolutely amazing that a little cat like that could finally start to become so affectionate. I can only imagine how loving she would be if I had managed to lure her in as a fresh-weaned kitten so I could truly socialize her. I think I would have a serious lap cat if that were the case.

Have to hurry today and get done what I can while hubby fixes his hair and such for work, so we can leave a bit early and make a mad dash to Harrison for truck parts so he can fix things this weekend, and still get to work on time. Likely will not get any needlework done before work today, but that is okay, too. Hugs and love, all, I gotta scoot!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Raining today

And the truck is down this week due to oil pressure isses. The issue can not be effectively tracked down till this weekend, and is likely one of several things. More than likely, it is the oil pressure sending unit, which will not be easy to fix in terms of getting at it, as it is on the back of the block behind the distributor. To the good on that, it is apparently a fairly easy fix, just will take some time. Hubby also wants to replace plugs, plug wires and oil pump just in case they are worn, plus oil treatment and such to be safe. After all, it is an older truck (2001 Dodge Ram 1500) and who knows what has been done to it before we got it used.

My little car, on the other hand, was bought brand new at the dealer, and I am the only person to really ever have driven it. I am a generally careful driver, but the car has a fairly minor issue as well. It is "only" the front rotors. I have rear drums on the buggy, so that is not the cause of the shaking when braking. It is simply the front rotors are worn, and likely brake pads as well. At least I married a mechanic so I do not have to pay someone a small fortune to fix it all, and the car is more or less safely driveable for a while yet.

But it will all be getting fixed in the next few weeks on both vehicles to minimize any damage to them. Truck this weekend, car in a week or two. Thank goodness for a husband with tools and know how on how to fix things. So likely, y'all will not hear from me tomorrow. With only one truly safely working vehicle, we have to make a parts run to Harrison before work tomorrow, and that means not hopping online at all before work. Yikes! I will have internet withdrawal, haha.

Not really, as I have a ton of needlework projects I could easily haul with me to that and work to keep busy with prior to starting shift. But it sure will be nice not to have to go in one of these days. The more I do on things around here, the closer that day gets. I got quite a little bit done on the stamped cross-stitch baby quilt I took with me yesterday, and I only had about half an hour to work on it after we got there, parked and I visited the nurse's station, then ate.

Why the nurse's station, ye may ask? Because I tripped over a cat yesterday (Bouncer) on the way to close windows before work. It was going to be chilly, but only enough to have windows closed, when we got home. I ended up slamming my right hand on the back of the couch, and bent the nail on my social finger backwards. HOLY CRAP THAT HURT! It bent about a quarter inch BEHIND the blasted quick, so I had to go trim it off fast to the quick to relieve pressure. Still ended up bleeding a little bit, so had to see the nurse for a bandage and finger cot (we all call them finger condoms because they look like little blue condoms and go on the same way) so I could safely work and have a bit of padding on the fingertip. Still hurts like a bugger if I bash it, and I will have to clip it back more when it grows out some, but I did have the pleasure of being able to joke yesterday about giving people the "blue bird of happiness" all day. Amused some people to no end. Heard "Where's my blue bird?" all day long!

So, anyhow, time to go get my happy butt ready for work. Ugh. NOT so happy, but it is only for a while longer, and then I can bid to get away from my current supervisor while making more money. Plus work on getting the store going more, which is always fun! Time-consuming, but fun as all heck!!!!! Hugs and love, y'all!