Sunday, May 31, 2015

Happy Sunday!

Some days, it feels like I am getting nowhere fast. Spinning my wheels in place, no traction. This is one of those days. Errands yesterday went great, even got the new serpentine belt for the car, all is put away except for the laundry. I am sitting here waiting on hubby to need my help with the car after the debacle with the first belt, and wondering when in heck my life decided I needed to be kicked again.

The belt we got for the car is the one that it is supposed to have, according to specs. But it is at least two inches too big. So back today to the parts store, get it returned and swapped for a smaller one, same width, and get a second one a bit smaller than that and see which one fits best. The other one will go back to the store for refund. We shall see which one works. I want my car back on the road, and hopefully, replacing just the stupid belt will work to not only get the car fired back up, but the stupid engine and battery lights off! I have a funny feeling that the old belt was in just bad enough shape that it caused both to come on.

On the brighter side of things, I have been getting a lot done on the MAM antifreeze afghan, and finally ran out of de-antifreezed yarn, so am using up other scraps to finish it. I have six more strips that need round four done and then I can work in all the ends before washing the strips for assembly. I might get that part done tonight, as it's WWE Elimination Chamber, and hubby will be hogging the computer and internet for four or five hours to watch that. It lags a lot, but we do not have a TV that is internet capable, or I would find a dongle or something to plug into the TV that would pick up the signal from the router and allow him to install the app on the TV so he could watch it that way without the lag. But it is only one day a month sually, so I can tolerate it.

The newest book is doing well on Amazon with the freebie promo this weekend. Around 150 copies given away, and it is #2 in it's category. That is the best any of my books have ever gotten, so I am kind of stunned about that, but happy as well. It bodes well for the future. Now if only they had all been paid copies, lol. That would be about $300 in my pocket,  but you have to promo to get anywhere, and it is free advertising, so I cannot complain about it at all. As it may also get me some referrals on some things, which would also make me some money, and likely more than the $300 from selling all those copies, I am thinking happy thoughts. The next book I am working on is also about 10% done with editing, so that is a good thing, also!

The store is coming along nicely, but only crafty stuff going up the rest of this weekend until the wee hours of the morning, becase my supplier for the decor type stuff is down for site maintenance. Bummer, but what can you do besides nothing and hope that things work out in the long run. Oh yeah, and on top of everything else, I got out with the organic fertilizer and dumped some on the tomatoes! So much is going on and happening, that it is amazing to look back at the day as I head to bed and realize just how much really did get done! Hugs and love, all. I need to go do some gaming and wake up so I can finish up what few chores need doing!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Glad it is Friday

Last night was actually almost a full shift, which will be nice on the paycheck after all the short days we have had. Sometimes, I wish I was still on first shift, though, and I have thought about going back to it if I can get a lead job so I do not have to deal with the silliness on the line itself. Add in that it means a bit more money, I can handle that. It is either that or stay on second shift and go to the cone lines, which I do not really want to do. I do not think my arthritis would let me.

Work progresses on everything. The latest book is coming along a page or so a day, the antifreeze afghan moves along whenever I have a bit of TV or a movie to watch, other needlework is coming along a bit at a time before work, and the webstore is moving along nicely. Even though some of the stuff I can get wholesale is often found on eBay, I am thinking of putting the smaller stuff there up, like the $10 and under stuff, along with all kinds of links to my webstore, so that I can possibly generate some sales that way, along with traffic to the store. It certainly can not hurt. I would do some stuff on Amazon as well, but you have to compete worse there with price breaks and that is not easy. May have to eventually, though. This, along with trying to save up to get the girls all fixed along with the boys, and to get busy with a flea market stall or two.

The tomatoes are going to have to be fertilized. All this rain is washing the nutrients out of the soil, and I have a few yellowing leaves. Despite good drainage, it happens when there is just this much rain in short order. I know where the leftover organic granules are from last year, so I can sprinkle some in before work today or probably on Sunday, since my ride (hubby) is so impatient all the time to get going. (The man lives up to the line in an Alabama song that says, "I rush and rush until life's no fun." No fun for anybody around him, that is.) So it is that I must rush myself to get my day going so I can head to work. Yay, me. Hugs and love, all!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Yay for Wednesday

I am beat this morning. Work was not too bad, as we actually got out early. We are stil working some short days for a few weeks yet because of the bird flu in the area a month or so ago. It basically decimated several of our barns, full of birds of all ages, so now our growers have to grow out birds again for us. It kind of sucks for second shift, as first is getting full hours and we are not right now, but just give it a few weeks and we will be working full time plus a ton of overtime plus possibly Saturdays for a while to play catch up on all our orders.

No, I am beat because of eleven kittens deciding in the middle of my night (9AM for all you daywalkers) that playing kitty wrestling on my feet plus climbing the shower curtain. So I am short on sleep, but still got to go to work and mess with chicken all night. Yay, me.

The short night did do one thing, though. It allowed me some time to get more writing done and more work done on the webstore. So even as tired as I am this morning, and as much as I would just love to call in, I am happy. I can not call in though. My section is short-handed as it is, plus I need the money. Things are moving along in a way to where I need as much cash as I can earn through work and the store and writing. And if the gofundme campaign to get the cats fixed and raise some cash for the no-kill shelter's low-cost spay/neuter clinic does anything, that will help me get the cats all done and raise some much-needed cash for the shelter's clinic, so they can keep doing their good work.

All in all, though, it is a nice day (sunny for the first time in days) and I am feeling pretty good overall. Hugs and love, all. I have a lot to do before I head in to work.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday is ON

It is time to head back to work after the long holiday weekend. I wonder how many people will show up. A bunch did not Thursday, and company policy for holiday pay is that you have to work the full scheduled shift the day before and the day after the holiday. Personally, if folks do not show up, it is no skin off my nose, but it is nice when they do their job so that the rest of us do not have to do our own job plus part of someone else's. I do not mind working hard, but that gets ridiculous after a while.
If you are going to hire in for a job, show up and do the job, and so folks wonder why the majority of the people at the plant are in their mid-thirties and up. It is because we are old enough to have gone through all the stupid crap about not showing up for work and thinking that there are plenty of others out there AND that we can always depend on everybody else to take care of us. Oh yeah, it is called "being a responsible adult." Thank goodness my kids learned that while they were still young, and have turned out to be wonderful people. I could go on and on about that, but I will spare all y'all, lol. No need to start your week out with gagging over my Mom-praise, right?

I am still amazed at how much got done around here with just a bit of extra time and some concerted effort. So much done, so much yet to do, but gosh is it ever nice to see things starting to go the way I want. And hubby thought I would spend most of my weekend lounging around doing pretty much nothing. I have far too many things to get done to get to sit around and do that. Good grief, I have yet to figure out how to watch TV or a movie here at the house without needlework in hand to keep my hands busy. For me, that kind of thing is more of a background noise kind of thing, rather than being something to put me on the edge of my seat. I like certain shows, but there is more to life than the idiot box.

Thus it is that I have to dress and pack for work and get done what I can while I can, so that I can ride in with hubby to go mess with chicken again. I know it is only until the business and my writing take off, though. One of these days, they will, and I know it, and the day I put in my two weeks notice at a job I do not enjoy that much, to be able to spend my days on a business I do enjoy will be absolutely fantastic. It is slowly building to that. Which reminds me, hubby had a nice idea. Why not put back a few bucks a week and buy some small stuff to stock a flea market stall. Just stick it in boxes in the front bedroom for a while until I have a stall full, then get a stall at the flea market in Harrison to start (because it is closest)? So hugs and love, all. I gotta scoot.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

First off, I want to take a moment for us to have a bit of silence and remember the fallen heroes who gave their lives in service that we could all be free today. For those who think to say "Happy Memorial Day," please do not. This is not a day to celebrate our veterans, but to somberly remember those who died in service. If you want to celebrate them, wait until Veteran's Day when it is more appropriate. I just gave up a friend on Facebook who was wishing "Happy" Memorial Day yesterday, and gave a gentle correction. Nothing horrible, just a quick note to realize what the day is truly for. She wants to continue on because her son is going to Kuwait in a couple of weeks (I applaud his service, but happy he's going overseas?) and she specifically said she "did not appreciate" the "correction." A couple of others lambasted me for it. Fine, I do not need negative people like that in my life, so it is one less person on my friend's list. Not that I am worried, I have more than enough anyhow!!! So please, on this day when so many of us tend to think it is about parades and BBQs or picnics and a paid day off from work, just remember what it really is about.

Other topics. I got a lot done on the MAM antifreeze afghan the last couple of days while catching up on my few TV shows. I had not made time to watch for a bit, so I had eleven episodes to watch. yikes! That was a lot of crocheting, folks! I still have a few more strips to do round four on before I can work in ends and wash all the strips before joining. The tomatoes are all growing like crazy, and I am glad I have them well-drained with all the rain lately. The area is under a flood warning until later tonight from it all. So many of the local lakes are full to bursting with all the rain that the dams are having to let a lot of water out as well as blocking water from coming in. That backs up the rivers and streams that feed INTO the lakes, along with the tributaries that feed into the rivers and streams. Many of the local rivers are cresting at flood stage. I like the Ozarks, but the spring and fall rains can be a serious pain if you live in the hills as I do!

Much has been done on other projects, including writing and the store. The latest little book finally got done (how to make money with online surveys - I do not make a LOT but every little bit helps), and it has already managed to get a KU/KOLL lend/sale on it. I have gotten some other small things done, and I got quite a bit done on the webstore. Today is primarily webstore stuff, so I can get as much done as possible on my last day off.

Car issues ... the van is running good, but the car is down for a bit. The serpentine belt is getting replaced as hubby thinks it is a bit too worn (it looks fine to me, but I am not a mechanic-type person, so what do I know?) and the alternator is likely shot. We multimetered the charge on the battery. With the car off completely, we were only getting 12.7 volts, and with everything running, it dropped to around 11.8. This is not really good on a 12V battery that should be running 13.4 to 14.5 IF the alternator is charging it up. This is not good. Now, if he puts the old belt back on, and we check the fuses, too, it could be a blown fuse (either  the megafuse or the alternator fuse), but since the battery light came on, more than likely, it is the alternator and changing THAT out will probably solve the issue (90% chance that it fixes it). Now to just save up and get the parts, which will run around $200 plus tax and core. Ouch. Guess no payments on the car for a few weeks, which Bill does not mind if you are putting the money towards repairs. He really does not like selling lemons.

With all that, I need to clear litter boxes (the daily fun of cleaning up after the kitties while they try to "help" by swatting at the scooper and refilling the boxes as soon as they are done), getting dishwater heating up, and getting trash together so it can be burnt. Hugs and love, all. I have a ton of stuff to do today!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day weekend

So far, this weekend has been interesting. Did the run to Walmart yesterday for staples and cat supplies, did the run into Green Forest today for laundry. Cops are out like flies on a manure pile, as we saw them stopping people all over the place. While filling water jugs, we saw three stops in less than fifteen minutes. Wow. Good thing we are home now for the weekend and going nowhere till Tuesday when we have to head back to work.

Got my tomatoes I bought at Walmart yesterday in the ground while hubby unloaded water jugs, and he laughed, saying he has never really seen anyone enjoy playing in the dirt as much as I do. There is just something calming and relaxing about growing things. I even got the few seeds from last year's Arkansas Travelers (which is what I picked up in those two good-sized starts yesterday) that had sprouted in the ground, so hopefully I will get a good harvest of tomatoes this year again. Ok, so all I am doing as far as a garden this year is tomatoes, but at least it is something growing so I can keep my thumb green.

Needlework is progressing, and I am happy to say that some of the embroidery is really moving along. The antifreeze afghan (the MAM) is coming along whenever I have time to catch up on my television shows on Hulu, so in a few more weeks, I will finally get a chance to work in all the ends and wash the strips before assembly. They probably do not really need another wash, but I am going to be on the safe side, just in case kittens had a pee on them before I got them litter trained.

Chores are done barring litter boxes and putting the laundry away, so I can take a little while and relax and work on my money-making projects. The rest of today and all of tomorrow and Monday is going to be chock full of some serious goal work! I might even get enough gumption up to finish up the surveys book and get it up on the Kindle platform, even though I am not really happy with them. It does generate a few extra dollars a month, though, so I can not really complain overmuch, though it is annoying to put time and effort into original stuff and have it originally rejected because "content is too similar to information already on the internet." In this day and age, just about everything is already on the internet, but not everybody wants to look it up on the internet, and many folks are still old-fashioned enough to like books. (Seriously, if the KDP reviewers try to tell me this one is too similar, I am done, and will just put them all up on my webstore. Sheesh.)

Thus it is time for me to get busy kicking butt on paying work from home stuff (okay, after I catch up emaill and spend a few minutes playing Klondike and Ghost Tales). Hugs and love, all. I am outta here!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Last day for this week

Still have not found the multimeter. It is around here somewhere, just hubby does not always put things away where they belong when he is done with them, and then can not find them. Thus the story of the multimeter. It is buried somewhere, and it will be found when he finally does a bit of cleaning.

Still raining off and on, but at least the county finally got out and smoothed out the rough spots in the road so we can all get up and down the road again. Work hours are short this week. All short days, with only Tuesday being full hours and then just barely, as is typical of mid-spring at the plant. Once folks quit grilling, the hours go kaput till the weather clears again. But by the middle of next month, folks will quit griping about the short hours and will start griping about the overtime. You just can not win with some folks. Add in that we have tomorrow off as an additional unpaid day along with the weekend and Monday as a paid holiday, next week is going to be short money-wise.

But the plant had to give us an extra day off, because there is some critical maintenance and deep cleaning that has to be done, and in between second shift going home and first shift coming in on our regular schedule, there just is not time for those things to get done. Ah well, I have vacation days, and my hire-in anniversary holiday available to me, and in a couple of weeks, my birthday holiday as well that I can put in for. So I will be putting in for my anniversary holiday today so that is on next week's paycheck, to help with the short hours a bit. As we do not have to work tomorrow anyhow, there will likely be no problem with my supervisor signing off on it. I just have to catch her to get her to sign it, haha! Financially this week, we are doing extra good, as they finally got my bereavement pay on my paycheck! Only took a month and plenty of hollering about it. Seriously, if it was not paid, then say so. If it was, why take so long when they got hubby's done right off the bat? Oh yeah, I do not carry his last name, so folks apparently thought that we are not married (sorry, I have proof that in just over a month, it will be five years, sheesh).

Hugs and love all - have to hurry to get things done before we head out the door to work one more time. And then get through that, and barring chores and errands, I will have four days to work on the webstore and get LOTS of new things up! WHEEE!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More car woes

I get to ride with hubby again for a while. Yuck. I love him, but not his driving, or his temper. But there's no choice but to rush my mornings and ride with him for a bit. The battery light on the Escort came on last night just as I pulled into the driveway, and we need to find the multimeter so we can check to see if it is the alternator or a bad battery. I am hoping it is a bad battery, or even a blown mega fuse, because those are a lot cheaper and easier to fix than an alternator. Short hours all week this week are expected and we are getting an unpaid day off Friday, plus Monday off for Memorial Day, so with any luck, I can do some catching up over the four-day weekend. This is not going to be fun for a bit till the car is fixed for whatever is wrong, but at least it is a trusty vehicle to get me from point A to point B. Usually, used cars tend to leave me stranded on the side of the road over things like this, but the little guy, who I have named Buddy, got me home before whatever this is happened. So that is a good thing. Off I go to get as much done as I can before I throw together. Hugs and love, all. Think good thoughts for me, I need them right now. (The car now is yet another reason to move into town as much as I hate suburban living. No matter what, I could still leave when *I* like and walk to work!)

The kitten spay/neuter fund is up on gofundme. Any help is appreciated! Heather's Kitten Spay/Neuter Fund

Monday, May 18, 2015

Earballs and rain

The last few days have been so busy, despite off and on rain. I had to work Friday, of course, and that was fun, in that we all get to tease one of the floor boys (glorified janitors) for a few days on something he said. A while back, the plant installed this stupid bell next to the supply cage that we can ring if we have had a safe day at work. Unfortunately for where they mounted it on the wall, most folks clang it to annoy others on clock in. Friday was no exception. When I and a couple others were clocking back in after lunch break, including Grant the floor boy, another guy we call Polka Dot (long story) rang the bell right next to Grant's ear. Grant MEANT to say "Don't do that, it hurts my ears." Instead, he said it hurt his "earballs." Kid y'all not, within twenty minutes, everybody knew about Grant's "earballs," and I didn't have to do a thing. He practically begged me not to anyhow, because he knew I would tell hubby, who would not let him live it down. Or, as our GPM put it, what kind of warm, friendly, caring, supportive team member would I be if I did not share the wealth? *looks innocently around and whistles*

The weekend rained off and on, so not a lot of outside stuff got done other than burning trash and hubby got the walking path weed whacked so we have less worries about snakes and things near the house. It has been so wet for so long now, the grass was waist-high on me, and I am not that much over five feet! The yard, such as it is, looks much nicer now, and I was able to get out and tie up the tomatoes to their stakes yesterday when it was nice out. It is supposed to rain a bit more today, but at least it dried up enough over the weekend that we got both vehicles to the house Saturday afternoon. Unloading everything for the first time in days was so easy, but we were exhausted. Considering we did not get any perishables, we just left it all in the truck, came indoors, and took naps until we felt better and were more able to get things in and finish up the chores. I am still tired, but no time for any extra sleep. There are a number of things going on that I am not comfortable talking about right now and they are messing with my sleep, which is not good. I need more than five hours a night to be properly functional!

But it is time to start doing what I can with the store for a few minutes before I head out to work. Hugs and love all, be safe!

Friday, May 15, 2015


Thank goodness it is Friday. Well, sort of. One of the gals on breast line at work quit because she was not given the transfer to day shift that she wanted (too many points) and another is transferring to another plant, so today is her last day. So things are going to be rather busy over there without two people, especially since the lead went to first shift a few weeks ago. Yikes. But, as it is the one gal's last day, she is likely to get the "last day ritual of respect," or, she will have to bring a change of dry clothes with her because she is liable to get a bucket of cold water dumped on her sometime during the latter part of the day. It's the plant's way of saying, "Thanks for being here, for being a good worker, and we will miss you." Me, especially, because come Monday, I will have to take HER spot and that particular liine of the three breast lines is the busiest of all. The work is not that hard, but boy, do we get a lot of folks who quit after just a few weeks because "it's too hard." By which they mean that they are actually expected to WORK. Oh dear. I thought that was what a job was about, but maybe I was wrong.

The webstore is coming along nicely, so that is a big help. I need a lot more sales, but every little bit helps. Now if I were just awake enough to do more stuff, lol. The weather has me pretty sleepy with all this rain, but I gotta get my butt to work. Next week might be easier. There is talk of having Friday off as an unpaid no-kill day, because a number of the overhead shackles need to be replaced, and with the following Monday off as a paid holiday for Memorial Day. A four-day weekend next weekend would be nice because I could hopefully get so much more done. As it is, gotta get through today so I can get stuff done tomorrow and Sunday. Hugs and love all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Smarter than I thought

Every time I think I do not really know all that much about homesteading, or frugality, or simple living,  or any of the things that go into what I do, I find someone has a question that I can answer thoughtfully and insightfully, and realize once again, that I know more than I think I do.

Today, it came about with hubby that he doesn't like the color of the water I'm bringing up from the seasonal creek. It's not clear like tap water. It doesn't taste like tap water. That is because it is not tap water. I got him to understand it was safe to drink (if the wildlife around here is not dropping like flies from it, and it is what goes into folks stock ponds, wells and the local aquifer, I would say it is reasonably safe). Just because it is not filtered, chlorinated and flouridated and chemically treated beyond belief does not mean it is not good water. It is just like what we get from the well when we have time to haul it up over a hundred feet, and we have yet to get sick off of that water.

Others ask how I can possibly deal with a crappy road and hauling groceries and such up the road, if we have to park half a mile to a mile away from the house. A Coleman camping cart, which is a cloth folding cart, comes in quite handy. It folds up for easy storage, has a removable sturdy base that folds up for storage as well, and holds upwards of one hundred and fifty pounds of stuff in five cubic feet of space when opened. Now, hauling that much uphill is a trial, but we limit to about a third of that. For example, I already went down and filled four more jugs with water while hubby got ready for work. That was just over thirty pounds I dragged back to the house. Then he took the cart with him, as I will stop at the dollar store on the way to work and grab a small back of scooping litter at about fifteen pounds and some extra cans of cat food, so that is about twenty pounds to haul up from wherever we manage to park tonight, depending on the road. It is a lot easier to haul it uphill in a rolling cart (or on a sledge in wintertime) than to carry it in your arms.

My pollen allergies are still in full bloom, so to speak, as the dogwoods have finished up for the year, but now the wildflowers and wild black raspberries are blooming. And yet, I homestead, in the midst of all the green, glorious, pollen-loaded mess that is the backwoods. Go figure. Time to get some lunch, pack for work, and head out for another night of fun messing with the chicken! Supposed to rain a bit tonight maybe, so we will see. At least all this rain means my tomatoes are well watered! Hugs and love all!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ugh, still wet

It is going to be a miserable few weeks, weather-wise. I get a whopping three days of drying out, which is not nearly enough to get the road in driveable condition, and then another week of off and on thunderstorms. Yay, me. That means it will be about three weeks down the road before I can drive up the road again. That also means daily stops at the dollar store and/or grocery store in town for small groceries and some extra cat food, and I will have to fill about four jugs of water every day and haul those up at night with my lunch bag and whatever I get during the day, in the cart. I do not expect much help in this from hubby, as he has already gotten tempermental about it, griping quite a bit. Looks like it will all be on me, as usual.

The road is in such bad shape right now that I heard someone trying to come up earlier this morning in a 4x4, and it sounded like they got stuck anyhow, in the mud. Ooooops. That is going to be a nasty tow bill if they can not get loose. Good thing I have my walking stick and ice/mud cleats. I will get some great leg muscles out of this the next few weeks, that is for sure! Neighboring Alpena had warnings out that all their low water bridges were to be considered dangerous through at least noon today, as many are flooded out. So folks on dead-end roads with no 4x4 are SOL. If those low-water bridges get water over them, you can bet it will be fast-flowing and most folks are not getting over without 4x4 and likely also a winch. Even then, it would be tricky and quite dangerous, as well as stupid, to try to get aross.

But I did get quite a bit done yesterday, despite the weather knocking internet out off and on. Loads of needlework, and plenty done on the store, so it was not a total waste. Chores are already done for the day, so if it were not for having to go to work, I could relax and say the heck with it, work on what I want, and just enjoy the day. But duty calls, and that means hustling my butt to finish up what I can before I have to go hiking down that muddy awful road to the car and get my happy behind to work. Hugs and love, all.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Rainy Mother's Day

So it is pouring buckets on Mother's Day. It's okay, because I need the rest. Not a lot of chores to do indoors (litter boxes and trash), so it was looking to be a reasonably lazy day anyhow. But the rain has been insane the last couple of days, and it's still going on today. About the only outside thing I might be able to get done is something I've thought about, which is to go bring up the old feed buckets and blue barrel from the back of the property to the house for rain barrels, so I have water for the tomatoes. Though right now, I don't think that's much of a problem. My Georgia Peach tomato is already blooming, the red beefsteaks have a ways to go, and my Arkansas Travelers have yet to pop up, but that's okay - there's plenty of time for them.

Getting laundry and groceries to the house yesterday afternoon was a nightmare, and why I am glad that a - I have a walking stick, b - we have that Coleman cart, and c - hubby and I are tough. Also d - we got up super-early and got things done and got home before it was raining as badly as it got to be. The mountain road was a horrible mess anyhow by the time we got home, so we had to use the cart (took it with us just in case) to lug everything home UP THE MOUNTAIN ROAD in it. We started, at hubby's insistence, with everything in the cart - laundry and what groceries we picked up, mostly being cat food as they were low. Hubby could barely move the load, and wouldn't even let me try. He got it up to the second cattle guard and was so wiped, that as much as I hate him smoking, I made him take a smoke break and smoke that sucker all the way to the filter so he'd get a long enough break for his muscles to recuperate.

He admitted he wasn't likely to get the whole load up the hill in one shot, and agreed to what I said - take the laundry up first. He could heave it onto his shoulder and just walk up like that. As I had actually taken ten minutes to fold everything at the laundromat, despite him saying not to bother, it fit better and I had put a sweater and all the towels we did (six of them) on top of the clothes to help keep them dry. So off he went with the laundry basket (thank goodness I had talked him into that instead of the hamper). The tarp from the truck was over the top of all the groceries to keep the bags of cat food dry along with what boxed stuff we had gotten.

Soon as he was out of sight, I said the heck with waiting for him to come back, it's raining and I'm tired and I want to get this crap home. So, a few steps at a time, I managed to haul that cart full of stuff up the first incline and got it just over halfway to the house. Might only have been five or ten steps backwards up the hill, taking a step, heaving the cart, taking a step, heaving the cart ... but it got me and it up to Cliff's place before I had to stop for more than a minute at a time. I got started again and was almost to the bottom of the second incline when hubby got back to me, and instead of hollering at me for doing something so hard, he was grateful. It left him the muddiest, slipperist part of the road to haul the cart up, but I pushed from behind, and helped support the cart to keep it from rolling backwards whenever he needed a break. Thus the groceries got home, and everything indoors. I was so exhausted, I didn't even bother with trying to do anything last night, and simply ate a little bit and went to sleep till this morning. But I proved to myself that I am a tougher little homesteader than I thought I could be, even if it took me forever and a day to get the job done.

Thankfully, I had planned a nice but cheap and easy Mother's Day dinner for us - cheddar cocktail weenies, mashed potatoes, gravy and a veggie. Nothing fancy, just something reasonably filling and that we both like. Also, lightweight to haul home as there isn't much lighter than powdered gravy mix and instant mashed potatoes. The weenies weren't too heavy and we already had the veggies here, so that saved a bit on weight. The cat food was heavy enough (a 40-pound bag of kibble doesn't sound so bad until you try to pull it around in a cart up a 15% grade hill).

So I am essentially stuck indoors today, and I really don't mind. I have hobby things I can do, and I have needlework to do, photos to take of things for sale, kitties to play with, DVDs I can watch if the internet is down and I can't catch up my TV online, computer games to play, and loads more. I grew up without computers and internet, and can still manage to primarily entertain myself on a cruddy weather day without it, lol. Hugs and love, all. I am off to do what I can while I can.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Yay for Friday

Well, the truck is essentially gone, replaced with another Ford E-150. This one has the travel package in it. That means a ton of track lighting, a TV, VCR, I think there's a DVD player, two sets of captain's chairs, and a back bench seat that folds down into a bed. Hubby does have to fix the rod for the door handle on the back doors, because the one screw came out and the rod came apart, but otherwise, it seems to be okay. My little Escort runs okay, but it will be a while before I trust it like I did Victor the Aveo. So at least vehicle-wise, we are doing good, and I can get back to a full schedule of getting things done around here for the business that I need to get done.

Outside, everything is so green, and all the trees are fully leafed out. We are expecting rain again the next couple of days and got some last night, so I have only had to water my tomatoes once this year. They are growing like crazy. But the trees ... oh my gosh, they are so leafy that I can not see the trunks anymore. It is the warm weather jungle time. If we end up moving into town, which is likely, I will miss this time of year here. Though if we can buy a place, I would put in a garden and lots of growing things around the yard to "fence off" the place with a living hedge, and that will give me plenty of greenery. Forsythia, spirea, lilacs, all kinds of flowering hedge plants, along with my fruit and nut trees, my berry bushes and canes and plants and all my vegetables.

Nothing soothes my soul like green and growing things, which is why winter hits me so hard. No green things, and with housecats, it is a bit difficult to have houseplants that they do not try to eat! If I can get a big enough place, there will be a small greenhouse, too. Not just for starting seeds off in the middle of winter so my seedlings will be big and strong by warm weather, but if I get one big enough, I can have a few dwarf citrus fruit trees like oranges and bananas and kiwis so that I can have fruit year-round of some kind.

But since I no longer have to hustle through a minimal amount of work so hubby can get there early and socialize, or so we can do a zillion things as far as vehicle stuff, I can relax a bit and get some real work done. Hugs and love, all, I'm outta here!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I need a break here

Not going to get anything much done today, any more than I did yesterday, because hubby is in such a rush to get out the door. Yesterday, it was to go look at a different vehicle after limping the truck to the guy we got it from, as it was going to trade straight across towards whatever else we could get that would stay running. In this case, it turns out to be another van. We'll finish up paperwork today and moving all of hubby's junk from the truck to the van. Turns out after all we did to try and figure out what was wrong with it, it was all that other stuff, too, but now the computer is going out and that is just more than the truck is worth to fix. So now we will have two new-used vehicles up here.

I need to have time and peace and quiet (maybe tomorrow or next week, ha!) to call our bank and find out what they can do in the way of first-time homebuyer's mortgage when we have no downpayment money. The credit union partnered with the plant will give us $10K for a downpayment on a first-time homebuyer's mortgage through them if we qualify for a mortgage, so we can buy a place and get off this freakin' mountain. I love it here but I am a bit old for hacking out a house from the wilderness and want a few amenities these days, ya know? I would rather urban or semi-urban homestead and than carve one out. Problem is, hubby has no credit score and mine is in the low 500s, because we do not have credit cards, do not buy on credit, pay all our bills in full, or buy outright with saved-up cash or the debit card. This is apparently NOT the kind of lifestyle you are supposed to have if you want a bank to loan you money. You are apparently supposed to live well beyond your means, wondering if a financial collapse would leave you in the lurch. But there will be someone out there who will prequal us, I know. I just have to find it first.

Kitten update. Thanks to Fuzzy and Junior for being so fuzzy and wiggly. Apparently those two boys are girls, which I discovered last night. BIG for girls, too, and very tomboyish kittens, so with behavior and size and them not cooperating, is it any wonder they got mis-sexed? Hubby asked if I got Butterscotch's gender right, so I just pointed his butt at hubby, lifted his tail and said, "What do you think?" Hubby said, "Yep, there's his little kitty cazapas!" So my first trip to the low-cost clinic with girls to get spayed will have three instead of two, and the next two trips will have two each, and THEN I can start in on the boys. I want to get the girls done first to ensure no babies from babies.

Anyhow, time to do what I can before hubby goes aroud rushing out the door and trying to make me hustle, too, when he knows I do not like doing that. Hugs and love all, let's hope today goes well so I can get my work done again without worrying about HIS schedule on top of mine!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wacked-out Wednesday

I am trying desperately to remember something I was told a long time ago by someone I highly respect. "Have faith. It will all come right." Things are really stressful right now, and my anxiety levels are through the roof again. Doing my best to stay calm and not flake out, and just BARELY making it. Still managing to get some things done and survived work last night, so that's all to the good. We are looking to have to take the truck back to Bill and trade what we have paid on it straight across for a different vehicle. The thing is still fouling out badly even with all we have done to try to fix the issue, and we need two decently-working vehicles. Add in that we currently have no spare for the Escort until we get a different rim in a few days, and you have a gal who is stressed out to the max again. I need a break from all this stress. If I did not need my vacation days for getting the kittens fixed this summer, I would take a week off the job and get paid for sitting at home and doing what *I* want to do and enjoying myself. Not gonna happen, though.

As far as the next book on making a few bucks with surveys (it isn't great money, but every little bit helps, right?), I have about eight more pages worth of sites to double check on before I pronounce the thing done and ready for publication on Kindle and putting in the webstore. Speaking of the webstore, it is creeping up on 400 items and pretty soon, I am going to be blasting it all over my FB business and networking groups, the yard sale groups (promo one item and get traffic, might get some sales that way, ya never know), and even many of the book groups. I figure if I give away the new book once it is done as a promo, folks might spend some dough while they are there, right? All I can do is try.

I have figured out how to tell all the "twins" apart in the kittens. Fuzzy from Tink's litter and Junior from Raffle's litter are near-twins, but Junior has a full white collar and Fuzzy doesn't. Trouble from Tink's litter and Oreo from Raffle's are near-twins, but Oreo has a little spot under his nose and patches on his front legs. Mazda and Shelby, both from Raffle's litter, are more difficult. They are both near identical, but Mazda has little cream patches on the very tips of her ears. Shelby has dark patches. You have to look pretty close on these near-twins in order to tell them apart!

But it is time to do what I can while hubby is getting ready, since we are riding together in the car for a few days until we get something going on the truck, and get all the paperwork done for something different. This means I have to cut my time short on everything so we can leave when HE wants to leave, all so he can socialize and arrive an hour or more ahead of when we have to clock in, to "make sure" we aren't late. I think an hour is a bit much, but I can sit outside in decent weather and work on needlework to try to stay calm and away from people. I swear, the more I hang out with my cats, the less I like people. At least they are always honest. Hugs and love all ... time for me to get crack-a-lackin'.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Back to work today!

Let's see. I did take the day off yesterday, just because. Got quite a bit done around here while waiting on the guy to come get the car, which he finally did about 8PM. His trailer had blown a tire and like he said when he got here, he keeps his promises. He liked my little guy, but did not have a trailer or tow dolly. Ding dong DROVE IT OFF, 60 miles or more to his place, with the tranny in the shape it is in. Hey, hope he enjoyed the muscle workout with it! But now I have a few bucks  back in the kitty and the old buggy is gone. Hubby used my car to get to work yesterday so he could have a solid chance on putting a couple pressure relief holes in the catalytic converter on the truck this morning. Makes for an exhaust leak on the truck, but might help with keeping the truck from stalling out due to crap in the cat fouling it out, until we get a chance to get it to the shop and have it replaced. Probably with a piece of straight pipe just to make the repair a bit cheaper.

I got so much done around here yesterday. Several more strips on the afgan are ready for ends to be worked in, and once they are all ready to join, I will wash them all so that they can be clean and nice before I join them. Washing a full afghan is a pain in the butt, and while it is supposed to rain a lot this week, I don't have all the strips anywhere near ready to hang on the line and let nature wash them for me.

I also got a lot done on the webstore, so it's closing in on 400 products! Once I hit around 500 or so, I think I'll start promoting it on my various facebook groups that are for business promotion, as well as letting more folks know about the affiliate program that comes in the store software itself. Hey, if folks can sell some stuff for me and make themselves a bit of money in the process, so much the better for us all. Hugs and love, all, time to start pulling together!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hoping for a better start to this week

Waiting on the guy who jumped first to come get the Aveo. He's not paying what I hoped for it, but better than junkyard prices, so I'll be thankful for that. If he wants to part it out, at least I don't have to hear about it. That was one thing I put in the ad - if you want to part it out, don't say so, because I would rather junk it than see it parted out. I almost forgot to get the spare key to it from hubby as he left to head to work. I have to head out as soon as the guy gets here and takes off with the car. I am ready to roll but have to wait till he is here. HOPEFULLY he calls soon and lets me know he is in Alpena to come get the car, otherwise, I will have to start getting with others who were interested and see if they can come TODAY and take a point. Argh. This is not fun, waiting on this.

On the other hand, if I do have to take the day off, I can get a lot done around here that needs doing, including a ton of stuff on the webstore. I could get the floors clean, haha, not that that lasts long with our cats shedding like crazy right now. And I could get some serious needlework done - the antifreeze MAM afghan is still in progress, though I got quite a bit done on it over the weekend, and I am stitching on a set of bibs and a crib cover. I have things that need photographing to go in the webstore in the way of a finished set of bibs and several baby sweater sets. Yeah, if I had all the time in the world every day and did not have to work at the plant, I think I would accomplish a lot more in one go, but I am generally pleased that I make progress at all!

Today, so far, is a decent day. Let's hope it continues that way. Yay, me! Hugs and love, all! (Also, I am jealous of my daughter temporarily. She has the cutest Siamese or part-Siamese kitten now. Lily is adorable!)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

This is NOT a happy day

So here I am, feeling pretty morose right now. The truck is acting up again, the resevoir for radiator overlow on the Escort is not in the best of shape (the neck leaks badly under the cap ... we tried epoxy but it isn't holding too well), and a newish one would run $35 we don't have right now. The truck is probably just the catalytic converter acting up again, but it's run great for a week and now this. I am honestly at the end of my rope. With all we have had to do with the truck and now having to replace my car, and trying to sell the Aveo since the tranny went out for what we can get for it ... we are tap city on funds, but looking to have to move into the city (bleah) to be reasonable walking distance to work. A mile is about as far as we dare be from work right now, but finding something we can afford that is pet-friendly, becase we aren't getting rid of the furkids, and which will work with us on the deposit ... well, it's a bit of a pain in the butt right now.

I am grateful for what we have, just stressed out and scared that something is going to go horribly wrong and we will lose everything. I am just THAT stressed. But chores are done, I need to call Mom, we have to get showers in for work, we have to go later to try to limp the truck back to the house, dinner and dishes have to be done, I have to do some writing and work on the store and I want to post ads for the store everywhere on facebook sales groups and business promo groups that I am on, and the books on author groups to generate some funds. If I thought that a gofundme account would help us raise the cash to at LEAST get a place in town and get moved, I would do it in a heartbeat and beg people to send me money. I may do that anyhow, just to get the funding together for a rental, deposit and potential pet deposit, plus renting a truck to move our stuff (assuming the pickup does not want to cooperate!)

Time to call Mom and get busy on what I can. Hugs and love all ... this is going to be another tough week, I can see. Sheesh.

Friday, May 1, 2015

End of the week!

Thankfully, it is the end of the week. I am looking forward to a couple of days off without the stress of last weekend. Goodness knows, I might actually accomplish something this time! Last weekend was so stressful that I simply could not get much done. This week has not been much better, what with having to ride to work with hubby and all, whilst he works on the dash lights for the Escort, seeings how they do not work. Turns out all the bulbs are burned out. The tops of them are black with soot inside. But the instrument panel comes out easily without having to drop the steering wheel or pull the dash to get at them.

The kittens are growing so fast. What is funny is so many of them have decided I am Momma and good for cuddles at any time. They know I am a sucker for a furry face, head bumps and purrs. I got woken up this morning by SIX of them all sitting on or next to me, head bumping, purring, blerting, and washing my face and neck. It tickled so much!

The ad for the car on Craigslist is generating some interest, but I have also contacted the local community college and left a message with advising there about it. A young person would love having the Aveo. It needs work, but some mechanically-minded youngster would have fun fixing it up and tooling around in it for a few years. It would be a good beater for them to go to school, a part-time job and to hang out with their buddies, once it was fixed up a bit. The receptionist at the college got excited when I told him why I was calling. "Oh yeah!!! Some of our vo-tech students would love to have something to mess around with. Let me connect you to advising!" I had to leave a voicemeail. but at least I am getting the word out. Victor is NOT going to the scrapyard yet if I can help it, not when he has some good life in him yet.

Time to clean kitty boxes and pull together for work. Yay me. Now if rumors are true and we only get a partial day today, yes it would hurt the paycheck next week, but it would mean making the grocery run tonight to get some staples and go from there without fighting crowds tomorrow. Add in that it would cut some time from tomorrow's schedule, as hubby and I have a movie date tomorrow night. Separate movies (he wants to finally see Furious7 and I want to see Avengers: Age of Ultron), but we will both have fun this way without wanting to doze off in mid-movie!

My mood is not really that much better sadly, but at least not I do not want to sound off as a Negative Nellie! So I am off for the day, folks! Hugs and love - SO much to get even just a little done on them and I need to get busy!

Oh yeah - do not forget that the webstore, small as it is, does have a coupon starting today and running through the 17th for 10% off orders of $20 and up! Use code MEMDAY2015 for the discount!!!! I have added a bunch of new goodies (crafts and small decor) and more is being added (almost) daily! Go here:

Homestead Crafter