Saturday, July 18, 2015

Still too hot

It is so hot still. I cannot believe how hot it is, especially with the heat index. Even with all the windows open, the fans all going, and the improvised swamp coolers going, the house is still dang near 100 degrees right now. No wonder the cats are all finding the coolest spot possible and guzzling water to stay hydrated. No wonder I have a heat headache. Definitely time to sit down for a bit and cool down. I have been running since 10 AM and just now got home and got everything indoors and groceries put up. I think about all I will do now is get into my swimsuit for comfort and get bare feets going around here for a while. Chores like making the bed, putting away laundry, gathering and burning the trash, can all wait. Even the litter boxes for a couple more hours. It is just too hot.

So what got done today? Laundry is done and hung to dry. Staples got bought and brought home and put up. Water is refilled again, though I need to get a few more sturdy jugs, as several of the gallon water jugs (like milk carton type jugs) have gotten old and either sprung leaks or the heat has actually made them collapse on themselves so they are unusable. I am thinking of getting more of the kind like I have on the back of the kitchen sink for hand washing. It holds about 1 1/4 gallons, has a big fill mouth on top, and when set on it's side, has a little spigot to use as a tap. (Makes for easy hand washing. Loosen the cap for air flow, turn on and wet hands, turn off, soap up, turn on to rinse, turn off, tighten cap.) Garden got watered good before I left, but I may have to do it every day for a while till it cools off and rains good some more. Got every throw rug in the house out on the outdoor line early this morning to let fleas die off them out there. A few days of no kitties or us to feed on and they'll be good to take to the laundromat for a thorough cleaning before coming back and going back on the line for a while until the fleas die back or die off.

Also met up with one of my old friends from the plant who no longer works there, and his wife, and gave her a bunch of my business cards. She started looking at things on her phone, and oohing and aahing. I told her too look at things on a computer, she could see them better and see more stuff. Her eyes got big, she asked for more cards, and I gave her all I had. Told her to contact me through email and send me her address, and I would mail her a bunch to pass out. I am hoping that this could be the beginning of good things.

Time to relax a bit more in front of the fan/swamp cooler and do some serious cooling off. I know this won't last forever. Thank goodness. I need a break from this. We are supposed to get thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday, but then it is mostly dry and hot again through the end of the month as expected forecast. Ugh. Hugs and love, all. Time for a siesta of sorts while doing some work of some kind to feel like I accomplished something besides sitting for a couple of hours and dying in this heat. Whew!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Far too hot

Phoo ... the heat index is low triple digits. Despite swamp coolers (the off-grid setup is nowhere near big enough for even a small A/C yet) and fans and all the windows open for every bit of breeze possible, the house is still in the 90s and I have cats panting. Thank goodness I am a cat mama who keeps plenty of big bowls of water out all over the place for the furkids to stay hydrated! I refill twice a day and boy do they guzzle, but worth hauling the water in the house for them. Going to have to haul a lot of water home the next few days to fill the house cistern for showers and such. Whew! I will be glad when things turn around enough that I can expand the solar system so I can have A/C for summer heat, and get that deep well submersible solar pump. That will be a big project. The well is drilled and cased, but we need to get the pump, a couple batteries for it, lines to come to the house, and build a small well shed over the pump and well caing. Whew!!! That bailer bucket is getting a lot of use this summer. Takes forever to fill a jug but worth the effort, when you can have a short Navy shower near every day in this heat to cool off. Might take me an hour to haul up water for the day, but worth it. We supplement with filling jugs at the gas station and getting them in the house, too. Sometimes, homesteading is not all it's cracked up to be!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Itchy time tonight

Earlier, just as it was getting dark, I went out and finished tying up the "house tomatoes," the ones by the house I use for summer salads. Despite the rain making things difficult for them, I still have around a dozen golf-ball sized beefsteak type tomatoes from three varieties coming along. I am salivating copiously at the thought of that wonderful bite in my jowls in a few weeks when I bite into them. Heck, I can feel that bite now. I did, however, get eaten up some by chiggers and mosquitoes, though Calamine got slapped on fast.

Thankfully, the itch has died now, and I need food. Ate a bit earlier but not much. Made an open face sandwich type thing - ham, bacon, swiss on bread, just nuked the whole thing open and then folded the halves up and ate that way. I think I want sloppy joes tonight. There is some in the freezer, just need to nuke to thaw after peeling off the foil. I am a major tightwad - I save all tinfoil and dry for reuse, as long as it has not touched meat. I think I have reused this piece four or five times, haha. But it has packed meat this time so it will get wadded up and go into the small can for mixed scrap metal, and thus to the scrappers for some chump change and reuse again that way. This homesteader doesn't let much of anything go  to waste!

Scrap material? Saved for stuffing small toys for pets and kids. Yarn scraps? I save those for plant ties in the garden, and then bag up the crappy ones at the end of the year. Mark the bag "bird yarn" and the next spring, I sprinkle it outside on the trees where the birds can get it to help with their nests. (Also helps me spot songbird nests around here easier so I know where NOT to disturb while woodcutting.) Leftover food? I either make a very mixed stew with it or it goes to the compost heap or the chickens. If I can find a way to make it useful for at least one more step, I will.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fun homesteading

It's been so busy lately. High summer is probably one of the busiest times on a homestead, especially if you work off-farm as well, as I do. The boys did not get done back on Monday, as I  got to the bottom of the road with them and the serpentine belt came off the car. A bit of finagling got me and them back home, and they got rescheduled for this Monday, the 13th. As I have a solid ride this time, they ARE getting done, no question about it, this time!

Now, don't let anyone fool you into thinking homesteading is not fun, and is nothing but hard work, before I tell you what my day has been like. It is tons of fun, but it is also a ton of hard work. Nothing gets done as fast as you would like, but even if it is done in bits and pieces, it does all get done eventually.

The MAM afghan strips got finished up back on Monday while I watched a couple of movies, so they went in the wash today. The wringer for the home laundry station arrived the other day, so we could get the tubs and piping at Home Depot today. Still no piped water to the house, but we do have the cistern up and going again, so I can go out and fill buckets or jugs from the hose which feeds down the hill from there to haul inside and fill the wash and rinse tubs now. Today made our last trip to the laundromat. I even got some good eye bolts and clothesline today at the store, so I can put up indoor clothesline in the dining area now (since we don't really use it for anything), and if the weather is bad, I can hang stuff up in there to dry. So the laundry tubs are up and going and I just need to put up an indoor line for bad and cold weather drying.

We made a payment on Quentin's new Ariat boots for work, and I need to find me a pair of rubber boots for work Monday while the cats are at the vets. My sneakers are disintegrating again, because the chlorine water on the floors at work just eats the glue away holding the sole to the uppers! We had lunch at the Chinese place we like and hit up Wally World for things we can't or don't make ourselves, like cat food, a box of the topical flea treatment to stock up for the next round on everybody, and some children's Benadryl. The vet said that with Bouncer's flea allergy and how much he licks and chews his fur off, and with how much he is trying to dig himself raw, that 1/4 teaspoon 2 to 3 times a day of the stuff should help with the itching and irritation for him, so it won't be worse than a normal flea bite would be. It will still annoy him, but not so badly.

We went with the liquid so I would not have to grind up pills and hope that he only got 1/4 tablet. A quarter of a child's dose should do it. Quentin loaded up the oral syringe that the pharmacy gave us, pried his jaws open, and shot the dose right down Bouncer's throat. Kitty had no choice BUT to swallow, after which he made all kinds of dirty looks and funny faces that pets will do with that. I will do anything I can afford to do so that Bubba is more comfortable with his blasted allergies to the flea bites, especially since he will not let anybody bathe him. Quentin and I already agreed that if the vet wants to give Bouncer a bath prior to neutering so that he will be more comfortable, and it does not cost a small fortune, that we will do it so he will be better for the snip job.

I also washed the bathroom counter, tub and the bath mat to get rid of the mildew trying to build up. A gallon and a half of water and a half a gallon of bleach made for a strong solution to put my hands into, but it will help kill the mildew. The bathroom now smells much nicer. Bleach is stinky, but it smells so much better than the mildew building up from all the recent rains! Then dishsoap and water to clean my hands and some aloe lotion to soothe the slight burn from that strong bleach water. I also had to wash the bottom sheet and put it on the outside line to dry. Despite putting the tarp on the bed before leaving, one of the kittens got UNDER it and pooped for some silly reason.The litter boxes all got fresh litter the other day and were cleaned prior to leaving for errands, so there was no excuse other than sheer bad behavior. Not the first time I've slept on a bare mattress, and likely won't be the last. The afghans all finally are outside on the grassy weeds near the parking area, getting aired out prior to going to the laundromat (okay, so today wasn't the LAST time, just the last time for CLOTHES) and being put up until cold weather hits. I keep putting it off and putting it off, and it only took five minutes. I'm just really good at procrastinating sometimes! (Especially when it comes to winter-smelly blankets!)

I still need to put away laundry tonight, though I need a break first from everything. The temps were in the mid-nineties today, and I am rather exhausted! Tomorrow I need to clean out the Escort, as once Bill gets a decent 4x4 in, that problematic car is being taken back and traded in against a 4x4. I also need to tie up the tomatoes again. I have three small golf ball sized ones on one of the Arkansas Travelers already, and I think I spotted one or two on the Georgia Peach. The four Red Beefsteaks are not blooming yet! And that's just what is up at the house!

Overall, life is good, but I need to relax. Hugs and love, all!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy early Independence Day

I have not been writing much lately partly because of the rush to get things done in the morning before I leave for work, and partly because it has just plain been too hot. Today was a holiday from work, paid day off, so I took advantage and got all the errands done and run today instead of fighting all the traffic tomorrow. I have Monday off as well for a vacation day, but I will be up when I should be sleeping because Bouncer and the boy kittens will be going to the vet for "the little snip." I will get a bit of a nap in possibly while they are being neutered, or maybe will go to McDonald's with the laptop. I am unsure at present. Then there is what would normally be my workday, when I will more than likely rest if I don't while the boys are at the vet's, and get other things done, and just generally enjoy the day. Getting the boys done before the girls ever go into heat gives me a bit of breathing room to save up to get the girls done, and that is a good thing. The older litter is now a bit over five months old, so the girls will be starting to go into heat in a few weeks. I just need three days, and I'll be okay while saving up to get them done.

Needlework is going to be a major project this weekend. I have nothing to catch up on through Hulu, so I will likely pop in a DVD or three over the weekend and work on some embroidery, knit myself a pair of socks, and work on more weaving in ends on the MAM afghan strips. It will be a busy time for my needlework! Also for the webstore. The Facebook page for the store is almost to 100 likes, and when that hits, I will come up with a weekly special on the page only. ... I kept the old page name marker when I had it as the farm page, but it evolved into the "gift shop"/webstore page, so I changed the name of the page, but it is still mine, haha. Visit and like so it can get to 100 likes AND start doing weekly specials!!! There will be sales, there will be discount coupons, etc., etc. It will be busy!!

But hey, chores are even done today, yay me! Laundry is put away, bed is made, groceries put away, and the best chore of all, if you can call it that - loving on my kitties!!!! Hugs and love, all. I am off of here to play some games!