Sunday, June 28, 2015

No rest for homesteaders, haha!

Not that I am complaining, because I'm not. But homesteading is inherently an extremely busy lifestyle you choose, or that chooses you, and so sitting down for hours and doing pretty much nothing is not an option.

For a day of rest, this is going to be a rather busy day. There's a few chores to do yet, like putting away the nonperishable groceries (heading right out to the movies after we got all the running done and the perishables put up meant everything else waited), and the laundry to be put up, dishes to do, bed to remake, and I need to get out and tie up the tomatoes some more. They are growing rather tall and have many blossoms on them, so that is going well. The rest of the garden is either producing, blooming or slowing down in the heat (that would be the short growth period things like greens and radishes and the like). All the warm weather plants are going amazingly well, and I am enjoying the fruits of the bounty.

I have a few customers for the excess, always spoken for before I even get it to the plant to deliver and get my money on workdays. I pick one day, email my customers the list of what I have with prices and get emails back saying what they want. It sometimes takes a few emails for each customer, because let's say I have forty hot peppers ready to go, and someone wants half, and the next email they want them all. As I do first come, first served, customer #1 gets their twenty they wanted, and customer two gets the other twenty, having to wait until I have more ready to go in a day or two for the rest of what they want. Currently, I have backorders in line well before any new customers for many things that are established and producing. I wash and pack that night after I get home and have some supper, and tie labels on each bag so I know which bag goes to which person. They show up to work, give me the agreed-upon amount of money and they get their bag of goodies. I can hardly wait for things like potatoes and squash and such to set, and the fall garden of more greens and short season stuff. It isn't much money, but every little bit helps.

The webstore is doing well, though it could certainly be doing much better. I am so ready to have things pick up enough to where profits are enough to quit the plant job and just do what I enjoy doing. I would still have to go in five days a week during good weather to deliver veggies and all, but it would not be an all day thing anymore at that point!

And there is always the store to work on, and other things like my writing, so it is time to get myself in gear for the day. I am doing a bit better than yesterday, having conquered the depression by simply getting up and doing, so that is good. Hugs and love, all. Lots to do!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Doings

It has been a week to remember. Overall, not too shabby, despite Grandma's ill health and the resultant family drama. I've lost a lot of family as friends on FB due to being willing to stand up for Grandma (someone has to) as much as I can, and that's kind of sad, but I'll live. As to work, it's gotten worse on my job, and I am busting tail to make sure I go in every day no matter how crappy I feel, so I can get my points down that little bit more and get to where I can transfer out of the department. I don't really want to, but the way things are being done now, it's just not workable. The department I want to go to is run by a supervisor that I get along well with, and the lead is pretty decent, too. So I should be okay. Just gotta shuffle through the next few weeks as best I can and get to that day when I can put in paperwork!

So I don't forget, Happy Father's Day to all the married dads, the stepdads (bless you for stepping up to the plate when you didn't HAVE to!), the single dads, and the single moms who act as dads. Good job, all of you!

Homestead-wise, things are booming. The garden is in full growth, and I am not kidding when I say it is a small jungle out there. I keep having to pick, sort and pack near daily on extras, and email my customers (mostly at work) as to what will be available so they can shoot me a want list from what I have. It usually takes four or five emails per person to get things straight, because I might have a lot of stuff, but I sell on first-come, first-served, and if I only have forty tomatoes and someone buys twenty, and someone else wants all of them, the second person is going to be a bit unhappy but they understand. I don't usually come home with much of anything leftover from folks not showing up to pick up and pay for their stuff, lol!!

The webstore/gift shop is filling up more. Today is the first day all week when I have had some serious time to get busy on it, and since the balance of the chores are done, other than going out later and tying up umpteen more tomatoes that are rapidly trying to outgrow their stakes, my day is done.

The sand fleas are miserable this year. It's been far too wet for ticks, as their egg sacs are getting drowned out, but the fleas ... oh my gosh, the fleas are awful. The cats are all indoors cats, but we do tend to drag a few in with us from outdoors on our clothes, and they are all infested now. If it's not ticks here, it's fleas. I'd rather the ticks, as they are easier to control. We spent close to $50 yesterday cleaning out Wal-Mart and three dollar stores of flea collars as well as a couple of packs of the liquid stuff, since Cocoa and Smudge are hard to catch and would be near impossible to collar. On the other hand, they hold still well for the drops, haha. The other cats, Bouncer and ten of the kittens, all got collars and their curiosity had them all getting collared in no time flat. The flea meds did make Cocoa sick up a bit (on the bed on hubby's side, no less - though I'm not sure it wasn't partly the heat and humidity as well), and Fuzzy also sicked up a tad. In her case, she somehow got her mouth OVER the collar and was chewing on it, so she got some of the flea powder in her system and it caused her to blow chunks for a few minutes. No side effects on any of them so far other than that, and both Fuzzy and Cocoa are behaving normally, so whatever caused them to sick up, they are fine now. But I do know of horror stories with this stuff, so I am watching them closely to make sure there are no issues.

Hugs and love, all ... I need a nap in this heat.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Not in good shape today

Even if you are not religious, folks, please pray, light a candle, think good thoughts, whatever feels right, for my Grandma Betty out in Oregon. She is my Mom's Mom. I just got a call from Mom to wake me up, to tell me that Grandma Betty went in the hospital this morning with bone cancer that has also apparently spread to her stomach. The prognosis does not look good and she is in a lot of pain. Worse, none of us can afford to go to the funeral, so our only goodbyes will be in the privacy of our hearts. I am grateful for one thing in this. My Mom is a wreck from it, which is understandable. I am grateful that for whatever reason the multiverse decreed, that my daughter had to move back home with Mom (long story that is hers to tell, not mine) just the other day, so Mom will have someone there with her to help her through this. I don't know when Grandma will pass, but I do know I am going to be a basket case myself for a few days. Thank goodness for bereavement time at work, though I will have to talk to my GPM, Jamie, and see how to prove she's my grandmother when I can't even go to the funeral. The usual procedure is to provide a copy of the little flyer from the funeral, but since I can't go, I am hoping a printout of the obituary will suffice. What a way to start the day. Hugs and love, all ... I think this morning will mostly be gaming instead of working on the business, so I can concentrate on something simple. Homesteading and home-based business just has to be back-burnered for a bit.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ugh, it's Monday, y'all

I just can not do a positive and upbeat post today folks. Sorry. The evening last night was rough, and this morning is no better. Long and short of it, the cats are being cats and hubby is stroking out over it. I can do nothing but keep myself as calm as possible instead of going ballistic myself and telling him to calm down or get out until he does. I have no clue why, for the last few weeks, he keeps going off like this, and I do not care. Temper tantrums from a 40-year-old man are not necessary, and I'm pretty sure that most folks will understand where I am going with that.

In better news, the MAM afghan strips are done and I have gotten a few of them finished as far as getting all the ends worked in and snipped off so they are neatened up. I have a long ways to go on that, though. It takes about a minute or so to thread the needle, weave in the end, pull the yarn needle off, and snip the excess off and throw it out. Times about 150 to 200 ends to do over twenty total strips, that's a lot of time weaving in ends. But it is going to be so pretty when it's done that I don't care.

The webstore gift shop is growing like crazy, and I'm pleased with that, too. I am only semi-pleased with the weather. It's still hot and while I am not happy that we are looking at upwards of nine inches more of rain due to the tropical depression in the Gulf looking to track this way, I am happy not to have to water the garden for a while! So I am off to get a few things done before I have to head to work, so I can keep on trying to truck to get that other point back, so I can transfer off breast line. I love debone, but I need to get out of there, because if I don't, they'll just keep hauling me back over to "help," and the way things are running around there now, I do not want any part of it any more. So hugs and love, all. I will see you later!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sleepy Sunday

It has been a bit crazy the last several days. The heat has me tired enough, but the way work has been going with the changes they are "trying" on breast line have me exhausted much of the time. (By "trying," read as "Someone decided it would be a good thing and no matter how messed up it is, you are still stuck with it on a permanent basis.") So when I get another point back in a few weeks, I will be putting in for transfer somewhere else where the work is a bit easier on me. Apparently, so will half of breast line, because the "changes" are not working out well for the people who actually have to do the work. NOT good. I am not a robot, and I can not work like one. So it's off I go somewhere else, which possibly means working a lot of weekends instead of longer days and full weekends. Oddly, that does not wear me out near as much as 10- or 12-hour shifts all week do. Anyhow ...

The place is looking like a jungle. If I had reliable transport that I did not have to worry about so much (the Escort may be going back to the dealer and a different car coming home ... not sure yet on that one since we can't get a belt that fits it and it needs at least one new tire plus don't know what the engine light is on for), I would likely go back to first shift so I would have daylight hours in which to cut some of it down and back. You literally can not see the back trash trailers from the deck now, it has gotten so overgrown with no time to work on things.

At least it rained some yesterday, a good steady rain for a few hours, so the tomatoes got watered well. It is supposed to possibly rain again today, which would be nice. Breaks up some of the heat. I think I will head back to bed for a bit once I put this up, beause I did not sleep well last night for whatever reason. Hugs and love, all ... it's looking to be a sleepy Sunday!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vacation day - happy me!

So warm today that I am having to dunk the cats in water to soak them down and help them cool off. Too bad I don't work strictly from home, because I would gladly do it several times a day. Thankfully, the worst of the heat doesn't last more than a couple of hours, so they don't overheat badly. I always make sure there's plenty of water, and right now the fans and swamp cooler are going constantly to help keep things in better shape.

All the outside chores are done - did them while it was not too breezy and the heat of the day had settled some but before the bugs all came out for their evening snacking on me. Thank goodness for all the birds and bats around here!

Took some pictures today, too, along with getting some edited from a week or so ago at the end of all the rain we had for about a MONTH. Enjoy!

This was from the end of the rain in May. You know how I mention the shallow gully that crosses the road at the cow pasture, where the extra water from the pasture goes through to the seasonal creek? This is the water going into the creek.

This is where the water comes from the cow pasture and starts across the road. It looks like a lot, but it's pretty shallow - maybe an inch deep at the most. Mostly it just spread out this year due to a month of nearly unending rain.

The upstream side of the low-water bridge, near the area at the cow pasture where everybody parks when the road is unpassable (like the wintertime, unless you have 4x4 and tire chains and hopefully a winch just in case).

The downstream side of the seasonal creek at the low-water bridge. The creek here is about six feet deep all told. That it was this high was amazing. It so rarely gets this full, and usually is only about 2 feet deep. The county had to put the bridge in, by the by, because of all the elderly and disabled folks who live at the top of the mountain. It didn't used to be here about twenty years ago, and folks had to park at the bottom near the mailboxes and walk all the way up to the top (about three miles).

The first of the afghans is airing out, draped on the trailer in the yard. So on going out to burn the trash, I saw this little darling fanning itself on the afghan! I don't know what it is, but it is pretty.

Some of the daisies at the easement near where we park.

A different type of butterfly, sunning on one of the Black-Eyed Susans near the easement.

A patch of the Black-Eyed Susans near the easement.

The burn barrel smoldering up a storm as the trash caught fire good. Hubby and I keep the weeds well away from it, though we do need to clean up the cans from the old barrel in the back and take them to the scrappers. The black thing in front was the last of the trash to be burnt. I had to wait for the barrel to burn down to make room for it. In this weather, we keep the burn small, so the flames don't get above the top of the barrel. Takes a while to burn two weeks' worth of trash, let me tell you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It's a peaceful Tuesday

Hey, good news of a sort, at least job-wise! We got a full shift in last night! Barely, but a full shift. That helps a bit on the paycheck. The GPM is back from his vacation and says likely we will be back to full hours plus some overtime again either this week or next week. Thank goodness, because I need the money. All these short checks the last few weeks are killing me financially.

But I have tomorrow off!!!! Paid holiday! So JUICED about it, I can hardly wait for today to be over! I want tomorrow to drag. Lots to do, so it will probably rush past, but so much will be accomplished I know. Trash will get burnt so it will be caught up, the usual clean the cat boxes, do some light cleaning and organizing once it's dark that couldn't get done the other day from the heat, and a TON of writing and working on the store and working the afghan, and winding scrap yarn up into balls for later scrapghans, and ... yeah. It will be a nice, quiet, BUSY day, and an enjoyable one. Especially the late afternoon out in what garden there is that is busting out with life, because that is when it gets a little shady so it makes it easier to work in it, because there are some weeds trying to grow and I am going to pull the dickens out of them and get the mulch down (finally - yeah, it's been one of THOSE years in the garden).

I love homesteading, and all that goes with it. Always such a pleasure to do what you love. Hugs and love all, I need to get busy so I can do one more day of chicken fun before I get away from it for a day!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Yay, it's Monday

I sit here writing and wishing my supervisor had not been such a jerk over my vacation day today and insisted that I had to pick a different one because SHE overscheduled people to have the day off. Trust me, if I did not need the money, and was not working my points down, and was not such a nice person, I would call in and take a point without thinking twice about it, then take my paid day off Wednesday, too. See how she'd like THAT. But I am too nice a person, so as usual, I'm the one who has to suffers for it.

But on the bright side, the house got super clean yesterday, I got a lot of needlework done on rest breaks, and stuff is getting done on the store and on the book and on a bunch of other stuff. Woot!! So hugs and love, y'all. I gotta scoot to do a couple things and pull together for a not-so-lovely day at work.

Friday, June 5, 2015

It's a good Friday

So I haven't written anything in a few days, mainly because it decided to quit raining and get hot and muggy instead. Overall, things are going pretty decent, barring that I do wish work would give us more hours. Add in that they have changed up things on the boob line a bit to "help" us do our jobs better, and that takes away a lot of what fun there was there, but oh well. In a few months, I will be in a position to bid on better-paying stuff, and that's okay. I can deal till then.

The car is still down, but not for anything horrible. The belt still needs finishing up, due to two of the smooth pulleys for the serpentine belt being old enough that they have no grip left to hold the belt in place, and in hanging out under the car, hubby has discovered that the right front tire has a spot that is almost to steel belts, so no way am I driving it again till those issues are dealt with. I'll have to rush my mornings to ride with him for a bit, but I can deal. Not FUN, but I can deal.

Monday, the house will be getting cleaned after dark, and before dark I will be outside, doused in OFF!!! Deep Woods, and using my little chainsaw to cut down a crapton of brush for the woodpile. Also will be setting up the box fan and a pan of water for our cheap but effective swamp cooler for the summer, and moving the pedestal fan back down to the bedroom. Might even sneak in some extra writing and crocheting and such. Why? Don't I have to work or something? Technically, yes. But officially, I am taking my paid birthday vacation day on Monday, the day after my birthday. Boob line is shorthanded anyhow, but since both I and the lead will be gone, they are basically going to have a BAD day. Woops. Hey, the supervisor signed off on it! So I am outta here for now to get done what I can and go from there to work the last day of the week. Yay, me! Hugs and love, all!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday is here

The sun is out a bit, though it is still a tad gloomy. So glad to see bright light during the day instead of nothing but grey clouds. Now to just get out of this funky mood I am in. Things are progressing nicely, and at a steady pace, so I am okay with that. I did not get as far on the afghan as I wanted last night, but kitties wanted cuddles and that is just a tad more important.

Tomatoes did get the organic fertilizer granules dumped around them yesterday. I am hoping that perks them up quite a bit. I got a bit done on the store last night (you should SEE some of the goodies in the webstore - I gave away 234 copies of my book on making money taking surveys, which is pretty cool, and with luck, I will get some referrals from that which will make me some extra cash as well.

The second belt we tried yesterday actually did get the battery light to go off and the charge to come up on it, so that likely was the issue there. The check engine soon light is still on, however, which means next weekend, we take both vehicles and have the car codes checked at O'Reilly's and hopefully cleared. If nothing else, we will find out what is setting it off. That means that I still ride with hubby for a few days, but once the road dries out a bit more after all this rain, I can drive myself again. Yay. More work done here!!! Less tolerating nimrods at work!

Time to get some other things done, before I have to pull together for work and the early ride in with hubby. Hugs and love, all!! Have a good Monday!