My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Need to clean out 'junk'

    So, today I a charging up several rather worthless cell phones so I can try and wipe them and then drop them off somewhere that takes such things, small things but there is no reason for them to litter my house, as they are now 3...
     And I am doing similar sorting and cleaning out as I come across things, either use or get rid of for some stuff, way past time to do some of that sort of clean up work.  I don't need a bigger house or more storage room, I need to better use what I have and some of that means getting rid of what I need to get rid of.
     It looks like a hot and dry summer, we are not watering much here, Ben is now working and pays the city utility bill and has no reason to want to pay for grass that we then need to mow more often, and I need to pay off a medical bill that isn't in the budget so that will eat up any extra money I might have thought I had.  And I have credit debt that I absolutely need to work down as fast as I can, that interest isn't helping me get more financially stable.
     It looks like I am getting my autoimmune issues and sciatica under better management for now, any progress is positive, and I am accepting that my body demands more rest if I want to be able to stay employed any length of time, and with the debt load and with the house needing the work and money that takes, I need to work as long as I can, every week, every month, every year more is important.
     The Vespa is waiting for a part, some under warranty work, once the part is in, I will take a Saturday to run down, early to St. Louis and get the work done, and take the major, faster roads down, not the old river roads I enjoy far more that take longer to get there.  But what matters is having the work done and getting the scooter to the shop as early on that Saturday morning as I can.
     Life here is good, not perfect but very livable, I am terribly unhappy with our political situations which will not be getting better very fast and with the serious financial problems this state is in, and the fact that the problems are NOT being dealt with, which means the debt load grows by leaps and bounds....makes Illinois a place to move away from, to not come visit and to not consider moving to, not good for the state, and not good for those of us left living here.
     Well, it's time to go check on my laundry drying in the sun, saves running the dryer and heating up the house, the attic has been getting warm, way too warm to suit the dog, LOL, but it's not as bad as it could be, and we are slowly improving the energy efficiency of this old house.
   

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Secrets, lies, things taken to the grave...

     My mother's sister is still living, so the fact that my grandparents lied to her and to my mother about adopting my older sister, myself and my younger brother is a lie that they took to their graves, and that I am still keeping secret.   Telling her there never was any adoption, no custody papers were filed that I could find records of, not in Michigan, where I was born, not in Colorado, where I was raised.  
     And she never knew I have curvature of the spine, it's genetic, it's a born with thing, and my grandmother was a very competent nurse, who was certainly close at hand when I was born, and raised me, had to know--but I just found out this month--and I turn 61 next month...  Another secret..one that genetically is passed on, as recessive, at least in my 2 younger sons, and I sure never noticed any abnormalities in my older 2, and hope if there were any, I would have been informed.
     But people still hide abnormalities, lie about 'defects' in themselves or their mates and children...  And back when my grandmother was growing up, those thing were hidden away, and when I was growing up, well, she sure didn't want any of us kids labeled 'crippled' or handicapped...  
     And it's never been a real problem, yes, I have known my spine is'weird' down where the crack of my bum starts, it's always been that way, and some seats in cars are miserable, as they sit me so that my weight is on those damn out of line bones, and after looking at the highway pegs and my Rebel, I know those pegs would shift my weight enough to put pressure on those blasted bones..no highway pegs...would love a longer stretch for my longish legs but it has to be a downward stretch, not forward.
     And that damage to my right leg/foot has me shorter on that side--so that tilts my pelvis, ya, right about where that blasted spine has it's kink.  And those bones are the ones that take the jarring when my feet slip and I land hard on my ass...  which all probably contributed to the arthritis from there down I now get to enjoy and that is about where that lovely sciatic nerve branches out to go down the legs, oh, you can see where this is going.....
     Learning all I can, figuring how all the parts go together, and what I might be able to do to have less problems and less pain is the long term goal.  Being annoyed at the long dead for their secrets is just something I get to deal with, work my head through and then go on with making my life work my way.
     And since I have 2 weeks of vacation, and plenty to do, and some great weather and 2 awesome bikes to ride, an old house needing work and plans, I will not spend much time with what the dead knew and took to their graves or trying to figure out why I was never told.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Already the middle of May

     I don't know how time goes by so fast and I seem to get so little done.  I keep working and keep paying bills, but everything else seems to be on a 'to do' list that I don't have the energy or time to get to.  Maybe it will get better but I am not betting any money on it.
     I am battling with some autoimmune disease issues and chronic anemic problems, joint pain and always being tired.   The old house projects are so far behind schedule, the sewing and knitting never gets done and the house needs a lot of cleaning.  But I do manage to get laundry done and usually put away.
     Jake has finally graduated college, history for his major and is working on going on to Army officer training, He has worked hard these past 4 years, both to support himself and with his classes, and a very long drive back and forth for the past 2 years for those classes.  Now, he's moving towards the next steps in his life and his future.
     Ben is living here, takes care of  things that need done and takes care of me on the days I seem to need someone to make sure I eat or get to bed.  He doesn't seem to have a direction or drive to chase much for his life and his future.
     I don't know what my life will be in the future, but I know I will make the decisions and it will be what I need and want far more than what someone else wants.  I spent way too many years of my life living to suit and please someone else and being often treated badly for the effort.  So, now it's my funny little life, in my funny old house, working my labor job in a pork processing plant and being the person that works best for me.
     Now, I will post this and at least I have managed to get that done, along with a lot of updates to Windows...and the laundry.
     Another work week to start and get through, another city utility bill to get paid tomorrow after work, the small things that are parts of my normal little life.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

That old house progress

     Well, I've owned this place now for 12.5 years, lived in this house for 12 years, worked the plant for 14 years and I might be working on this place all my life.  But I am seeing progress on the attic expansion, the north/studio area only needs some painter's caulk around where the floor and walls meet, work around the windows and then trim and woodwork installed.  I am putting trim up on the south/retreat side, and have my doll nook almost done, a bit more caulk to seal up the wall/floor joint, touch up the paint and add some trim will finish that area up.  
    Today I washed up the tins that I bagged up in MO in 2004 and stored here.  I have now put some on the shelf on the quilt rack, that was a yard sale buy last summer, it needed a bit of work, and I painted it white.  I will fold a quilt over the bar on it today...
    The entire month has been gray and wet, February was nicer but  we don't get to pick the weather, we just find ways to cope with it.   I had the Rebel out in Feb., and hope to see both bikes out now that it's finally April.   
     Last year my entire tax refund and some paycheck money bought my little shop building, so the bikes have a winter home and I have moved the wood shop equipment out there.  And it's become storage too, someday I might get it cleaned up and tidy.
     This year the tax refund has gone on bills and into this old house, the new mattress and day bed for my retreat, the new lights, the trim and such.  But it's been a god investment, I know I have a long way to go, the front porch is next, and siding and eaves on the dormer, then the downstairs bedroom.  I will get as much work done as I can, but not add a lot of debt load.  What I put on credit has to be paid off before I can go on to the next project or I have to have the money.
     But I keep thinking I have a really good life and that's important

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bike shows and taxes

     I took a friend and we went up to Chicago Friday for a overnight play day.  A yarn shop visit and meal out, a stay at a nice hotel and then to the Motorcyle show.  Hundreds of bikes, lots of vendors, hundreds and more humans.  Some-ok, a lot of awesome show bikes, plenty of new bikes to look at, sit on , sign up for a ride or to buy.  Lots of walking and seeing and a new helmet that I needed.
     A trip to Ikea to look at beds for the attic retreat, which is not done yet but after looking on line I needed to see the actual day beds I was interested in to decide which would work best for my space and needs.  Great weather and a nice time.
      Today was mud work, drag the clean laundry out of the dryer and battle with my federal and state taxes, which are now done.  I did not owe IL taxes this year, they owe me a few $$ but very few.  Federal return is smaller than last year but I made more, so imagine that is some of that, higher income probably put me just over the line for higher tax bracket this year.
     We are having a mild winter still, and I am not griping about that, I still have a long way to go before this house is really energy efficient, but I do make some gains and a bit of progress every year.  Getting the attic expansion finished will help, insulation, siding and closing in the eaves on the dormer will gain some more but I think a lot of foam in the space between the insulation blanket and the house framing/foundation in the crawl space and utility area will gain me the most in the near future.
     But I know I have a good life and many blessings.  I whine some but I do realize just how good my life here is.  I know I do the work and make the choices to have that job and this house and all the other stuff, none of it came easily or free.  But yes, I do live in a good place, in a good country and am fortunate to be born here.
     I don't like the political problems right now and am not very sympathetic with those who voted for Trump and the Republicans when they start feeling the pinch from the policy changes.  Today it was someone I have known and cared for most of my life, and the subsidy that has helped keep diabetic testing strips affordable.  That was part of that government waste she wanted cut so bad, along with preventing abortion and making America Great again.
     Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases/health problems in America now, and the policy that helped keep those very needed testing strips more affordable was not something she thought about loosing with her voting choice, but I don't think it will be the only thing that changes and hurts her and many others. We will all suffer with the policy changes, while those making the changes profit and get richer.
     I don't like it but I also know that her choice and her vote helped take away that subsidy, from her and from everyone else that needs those testing strips, no matter what party or who they voted for.
     So, we can all suffer together, or we can stand up to our government and we can tell them that we do need an Affordable Health care plan, or a national health care plan, that we need to be more environmental, we need to work towards more renewable energy and get farther away from fossil fuels.  We need to have sensible immigration plans that work, we need to have refugee programs that work and we need to get a plan that helps bring the undocumented in this country out of the shadows and into being part of the legal work force and into having a reason to respect and work with the legal system.
     I think we are in for a few rough years, and it's not my idea of fun in my old age.
 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Old houses and attic conversions

     It was the summer of 2004 when I bought this house, and late August before I got possession, filthy, stinking and crawling with cockroaches. But is was once a solidly built cottage for a working family, in 1900.  And the framing was locally grown hard oak, the carpenters worked hard to build a good home.
     It's now January 2017 and I am seeing drywall on the south end of that attic conversion.  The north end got drywall finished and painted last winter.  I don't make fast progress but it is also paid for materials and my labor and that of my son Ben, for the most part.
     The north studio is a mess, but that is how it goes when you do renovations in a small house you are living in.  Everything moves from 1 space to another and back and around and gets dirty and drywall dust gets everywhere.  But it's improving and I have my lowest winter heating bill yet, despite gaining about 600 more square feet of living space.
     And I keep working in that pork processing plant, making a living, paying my bills and taxes and liking my life as a single woman in an old river town.  I live a good life, my own life and my way.  I am not happy with the newly inaugurated president but until he manages to get himself impeached, I guess we are stuck with him and with the Republicans doing all the damage to us they can.  And it looks like they will be doing a lot of damage to everyone but the very rich.
    And I will find a way to survive, and get by and keep living my life.  I will fight what I can, do what I can and hope we as a country survive the madness we seem to be descending into.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The end of 2016, the start of 2017

     Hard to believe that 2016 will be ending in just a few hours, it's just past 7 p.m. here in central IL, we (the plant) put in just over 8 hours today and I came home to play with the drywall mud in the south end of my attic project that seems never ending.  The north end got finished, except for trim work, last winter and this winter Ben is helping (some) me get the south end and the dormer/stair well done this winter.  I have 3 days off and 2 are paid, so I hope to get work done to the point of painting the southwest end and being able to move the plastic draping and all the stuff so the south east end can get finished.
     I am still dealing with the problems with the 401K rollover and Roth funds.  But most of the money has been sent to me, an 'interesting IRS issue' is now the current problem, like some idiot did not look over the check and paperwork before putting it into the Fed-Ex envelope and send it off to me.  Roth funds are post tax and taking out state and federal taxes again should have been easy to catch and correct--if someone whose job including looking over every detail of that--had actually looked it over....I did tell him to fix it and that I had no problem calling his boss's boss on his private work line to leave a message again--which I had already done, per his request, If there were any problems..the taxes out again and the check short was reason enough...
     But I am making old house progress again, and I am working down the debt load some, and have too many knitting projects going at the same time.  But my new winter tam will soon be done, using up some wools that were my mother's stash. I am slowly working on the re-knitting the sleeve to the purple gansey that Shadow damaged a long time ago.  1 of my new stockings has a heel, the other is ready for that, and then I work long, long legs.  But I also have yarn coming for a new sweater for me, and it will be here next week so I better get busy with a few other things.
     2017, wow, I remember when I was 17 and thinking that 2000 was so far off.  Now that's way in the past, that damnable car accident is almost 7 years past, me and this old house have been  making slow progress since August 2004, and I am getting old fast.  I am not happy about who won the Presidential election but we will see how that goes, Not a lot I can do about who has that position but I can sure raise my voice, write and keep track of what our elected and not working for us senators and congress are doing.
     JBS is a harder taskmaster, and they have changed how our clock/work time is figured, which has managed to short me for some of the time, every day that I am working.  I don't know if I will be able to get it corrected but I will now keep track of when I punch in and punch out and meet with the union if it does not get resolved.  It's not my supervisors doing, but corporate has some interesting ways of keeping a tight budget and a few other things.  We got out 1 day this week to have JBS work rules in print, pages and pages, on the hallway wall going out, in English, French and Spanish, and a lot of rules, and all are a 2 strikes and out the door, so any 2 can get you walked out...
     I had plans and hopes of those Roth funds doing more, going farther, paying down more debt but I won't complain about what I did with the money, some went into savings for my vacation plans, some went to pay on that iPad mini I wanted but did not need, so now owe under $200 on that account.  I bought a good floor jack and some other tools, and I bought some yarns, and paid on bills early.  And some bought the needed drywall for the attic project and that newest bucket of drywall mud.  It bought the car the $51 light housing for the center brake light so that can be fixed once it comes.
     And so far, I have not gotten me any new dolls for a while, but I have a lot of doll debt on my PayPal account that I had hoped to pay down with those Roth funds and that didn't get done.  But I am making some progress paying off debt, I know a lot of my Chase debt, both cards, are putting work on the car and truck on plastic, and a not trustworthy shop..  So now Ben and I are we did doing all the work we can,   We did the tie rods on the car an the windshield washer reservoir and will replace that light housing when the part comes, and we replaced brake lines on the truck and put new shocks on the front.  I did the valve adjustment on the Rebel this fall too.
     I don't want to be mean or nasty, but part of my life being so good is my being single and not dating and owning my own life and my time.  My finances are more stable, my emotional health is far better and I am happier.  I like this old  house, despite all the work and money it has taken and it still needs and I like where I work, the town I live in and who I am.  Life without some man wanting my time, trying to control my life or money is very workable for me.   Yes, it has drawbacks but I will keep the drawbacks and stay single and happy.