My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Winter is Coming

     And not just in Game of Thrones, it seems to be hitting Illinois now too.  The wind chimes on the front porch sing all night, the wind howls and I am so glad to have done as much work as I have gotten done to make this old house more weather tight and energy effective.
     But life here is pretty good, I've been single for over 11 years now, have not been dating anyone for about 3 years, maybe longer, it just really doen't seem important.  I am really liking my life, who I am and what I am doing, most of the time.
      There is nothing wrong with being in a relationship, making that work, but I've really done badly at it and now, I'm 60, and I can enjoy the single life without feeling I owe it to someone to let them take up my very valuable off work time with their wants and needs and demands.
      Winter plans are for lowering debt, getting more interior work done here in the house and better order to my chaos, and plan for and save up for a vacation up to Canada, about 520 miles each direction, not counting all the play I do, for the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally, being held in London, Ontario Canada in late June.  I will need wet riding gear, a passport, a map of where all the yarn shops are between here and there I want to visit--  and my old truck, my new Vespa and I will, all by ourselves, make my very first trip out of the country, my very first real vacation.
      And I am still not happy with who our President elect is, or all the hate and anger and racism this long and ugly campaign season has brought out, or all the nasty attitudes it seems to have opened the doors to.  But I am vowing to stand up against such, every where and every time it rears it's ugly head, including at my place of work, a very racially mixed, immigrant heavy location, and that mix of people suits me well.
     And I am still battling with Windows 10 and Microsoft, and my silly iPad refuses to let me use my blogger app to post on either of my blogs.  But knitting is going nicely at the kitchen table while I use the iPad to watch Netflix and The Crown, my current knitting entertainment.
     I am considering my managing to escape several things to be a God given blessing, and I am now starting to remind myself to take my own advice-don't rise to the bait if you don't want to be the fish- especially when it comes to stuff on Facebook.
      Yes, it is a rather solitary and self centered life, but I am solitary by nature, most of the time, and I am paying for that self-centered life with my own hard work and earnings, which are mine, then, to do with as I see fit or want to.  I don't owe it to anyone else to make their life better, easier, nicer, happier and I don't expect them to do that for me either.
      If it suits me to do things for someone else, that is my right and my choice.  I do get to pick who I let into my small. personal life and time and who I will do things for, spend money on and so forth.  That again is my right, and being related by blood does not make any obligations.
       And now it's time to eat my breakfast and head to the plant for a 8+ hour Saturday once again.  

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Busy life

     I tried to start this several weeks ago on my iPad and had problems so nothing was posted.  Now I am trying again with my laptop but also chasing a doll sale on line, trying to clean up my attic north end, the sewing area, my current sleeping area and get started with finishing drywall work on the south end.
     I spent the summer playing when I was not at work, the old house got no work done, no doll sewing was done, not much knitting was worked on but I put about 3000 miles on 2 small motorcycles and really enjoyed my off work time.
     So, now that the plant is working 6 days a week, and bike riding season is about gone, I will try and deal with the attic disaster/mess, the south end not being a finished area, not enough time, hurting a lot and needing a place to sew.  Today is the start-and Ben is still living here o I do have help at hand, and I can afford any needed materials with all the overtime we are making!
     This old house is important to me, it's my home, my shelter from the weather, and from the world, my sanctuary from all the ugliness out there some days.  But, since I live here with just my parrots, dog and occasionally a son, and I don't have much company/visitors, it is easy to just put off or avoid all the work that needs done to have a weather tight, easier to keep clean, looks nicer in the eyes of others, home.
     So, this summer I put a lot of miles in riding, on my 2008 Rebel which I've owned 4 years now, and I traded my small Honda Metropolitan in for a Vespa LXV 150ie, which was new, fuel injected and runs like a dream.  We've spent the last 2260+ miles getting to know each other.
     I've gone on 2 different runs with people from the St. Louis MO area, both times to Hermann MO, the first was with people working for or who have also bought 'rides' from Moto Europa, the shop in St. Louis where I bought my LXV.  Much bigger, faster, more powerful bikes but I had a great ride and proved that little 150cc LXV could really and that I could ride.  The most recent run was with 30 DSG out of the St. Louis area, a scooter group.  And it was the coldest ride I have made, so I learned I could do that 57-67 degrees stuff but sure would dress warmer next time and my chaps would be on me, not at home.
     Now, it's November, the day is sunny and nice and I am staying home, the laundry is done, I am started working on the south end of the attic area and my little bed now has clean sheets and the quilt is on the bed, still not tidy or tucked in but at least that is started.
     And I will work on cleaning up and making some order here in the north sewing area so I can gt some needed sewing work done, before the doll club meeting and before the Doll Club Christmas party the very first Sunday in December, which is now less than a month from now.
     The Presidential election this year has become a very ugly campaign season, I have a lot of concerns about this election and who is running, neither candidate is a really good choice but 1 is a far worse choice than the other.  But the hate and ugly attitudes that have come out all over the country, including in my place of work have e wondering how we, as a nation, can recover and men those torn down fences and walls.  Hate, once turned loose, is very hard to get caged back up once again.  But I can refuse to be a part, and I can work to keep my heart and soul in good order, to avoid people filled with this ugly hate, racism and nasty attitudes.
     I have made some really poor, crappy, stupid choice in my life,and have worked hard to fix the mess and problems.  It has taken me a long hard walk in life to have this life I live, and I keep working to keep it the life I want and I like.  I keep a job and I keep my bills paid, My credit rating is good, not excellent but I can live with good credit.  I don't need excellent credit, and i am working on paying down that long term, high interest debt I have built up on those damn credit cards I have been too careless with.  My debt, my decisions and my job to pay them down and accept paying that money eating interest while I work those debts down.
      There are no words that really explain how I feel, where I am at with my life, and so I will just say that this life works well for me and I am content.  Or I am able to do what I want when it matters, I can afford what really matters to me and no one else runs my life or makes my decisions and I am not making decisions to make someone else happy.
     When I was a young woman I lived my life to make a young man happy, all decisions were based on what he wanted and what worked for him and what pleased him.  Today I can honestly say that he is part of why I can ride a motorcycle as well as I do.  Because he made me learn to ride the bike and not the brake.  His pushing me, his criticism made me learn a skill that I use and enjoy now and has others complimenting me on.  Now, he's a burned out, discontent, petty and lives a poor and miserable life.  His choices have created that life, and all the best of the man he was back when I was 17-20 are, as far as I can see, the parts he threw away or wasted.
     But the best of what he taught me is part of the good parts of me, of the woman I am, of the life I enjoy.  My choices, my decisions and my taking my life back from him and his influence and becoming smart enough to finally just stay away from him.  He's not around to watch and say, with pride, "I taught that gal to ride when we were both young and crazy."  That's a bit sad, but it's also how life goes, people need to be cared about, appreciated, important and when getting stoned is more important than a relationship with someone, in time, if they are smart, they go away and never come back.
     Gifts are sometimes the skills we help others learn, my life is so much richer from the skills someone cared enough to teach me, pushed me to learn, forced me to help them so I learned on the job.  I carry that with me, the memories, both good and bad, and I use those skills for so many things, from cooking to knitting to working on my own vehicles and my 'rides'.  I am a better person for those skills but some came at rather high prices and I spent a long hard time emotionally paying for those skills.
     Yes, I have sympathy for those with problems, but I know those problems had some help getting in their lives, choices, we just have to make choices, it's part of being humans, and you can't always see where that choice will lead you or what it might bring into your life.  But each of us has to work on our own roads and life, I can't live my children's lives, or the lives of their children.  I can't and sure don't want to live the lives my coworkers have.  It's not a shoe that fits me, and not what works for me, some have really solid, good lives, some don't.
     So, here I sit, the first drywall mud is on in the baseboard heater area, the fan is going, Ben helped me get up the plastic sheeting to close off the south attic area so drywall dust won't filter through the entire house, or at least make it harder for that to happen.  And I will keep the power off on the attic baseboard heaters until the 1 on the south end is back on that wall.  That means the drywall area finished, primed and painted.  Both heaters are on the same breaker so having 1 off the wall and not safely usable means having both shut off.  Yes, incentive for me to get off my lazy bum and get the work done today.  I don't have to do a huge area, but I will do the immediate area and do it correct and so it looks nice before that heater is attached where it belongs and the power back on.  I have a couple small plug in heaters and 1 is running now here on the north end, to keep this space tolerable for me to be in.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fall once again

     And I am not ready but have a week of vacation and plan to get some things done around here.  But I am not making good progress today.  I did turn the dried chilies into chili powder and have named it Toxic Waste Chili Powder, and it is way stronger than any I have had/grown in the past.
   And I am making progress on a pair of socks for Ben, but not much else.  But I am crying over anything and everything, not just it being 9/11 once again.
     Yesterday I was screaming mad most of the day, and today it's tears over nothing, and ya, I know the cause and it will continue 9 more pills and some time to flush some of that anti-inflammation drug out of my system.  I wasn't this impatient to take any medication in my life, not even pain drugs at any time with the car accident.  Wait, I was desperate for them to put me under when I had the perforated appendix and was sick and miserable with pain and getting septic from all the poison leaking into my system, ya, I begged them to put me under fast and get the surgery done.  So, now it's 9 more pills and 6 hours apart.  And the sciatic nerve in my left hip/leg is doing much better so the drugs are doing their job.  And I will work harder with yoga stretches and hope to not have sciatica flare up so bead ever again.
     And I am on vacation so that gives me time to heal up and get some things done, and I know I am ok, this is a common and normal side effect from this med, which the doctor let me know I would possibly get to deal with and he wanted to know if I would have any problems with it.  No, I go through that weepy stage some times with over the counter meds for seasonal allergies, first week is weepy, the next is just sad and blue and by the 3rd week I am more 'myself' and hoping the trees quit shedding pollens in the spring or that we get a hard, killing frost in the fall and I am rid of rag weed pollen and I look forward to rains that lower the pollen levels.
   But life here is pretty good, despite the moods and not getting much done today.  And I will probably get more than pjs on soon and go outside for a while.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Cousin Envy

     I don't have a lot of family or relatives and the ones I do have and stay in contact are very important to me.  And I watched my aunt's children grow up and marry, and really like them.  They have had far more stable lives and made better choices than my siblings and I have, at least, what I have seen.
     1 of my cousins is just very awesome, she had to overcome hip problems when she was a baby and spinal problems that had her in a huge, ugly brace through most of her high school years.  And she married a local guy, 1 I went to school with, from a solid ranching family.  And that has been a good marriage, 3 adult kids that turned out pretty well, and a happy life.
     My aunt made some crappy choices when she was young but she got her head sorted out and her life on track, met and married an awesome man who wanted to be the Dad to the 3 children she brought with her to that marriage.  They have grown old together, and made their life work well, and showed their kids how to make marriage work.
    So, now here is my cousin, the ranch wife, with the long term husband, making plans for a vacation to Yellowstone.  I have been there, both to their ranch and Yellowstone.  And I have envy issues this week, oh, not so much that great house or ranch, or that awesome way of life.  Not even really that vacation to Yellowstone.  I envy that marriage, that still together, still really like each other, not just love, but like and accept each other, see each other's faults and have been living with the faults and the pluses and want to keep doing that growing old together stuff.
      I didn't make the right choices, made a mess of my life several times, didn't give my kids the good foundation my aunt gave her kids, my cousin and husband have given their kids, and I know I can't change that.  No going back and doing a 'rewrite' on life, but I have come to terms with me, my choices, worked through some head problems and make better choices now.
     But my life is solitary, no one to grow old with, no one who really knows me, all the years of my life, or most of them.  Not even my adult kids know me well, so ya, I am really private and solitary, far more than people realize.
     And my cousin has solid, church attending religious beliefs, I have solid beliefs, but they follow no church and they have me walking a solitary life.  Most of the time I am very ok with that, and I really do like my life, now, and the person I have grown into.
     No, I don't want to trade lives, no, I don't want to be my cousin, it's just a twinge of cousin envy, and it's ok that I look at her and her life and am so very glad she has that husband, and life, her family and friends and I really hope they have a great vacation as I know they have worked hard and earned a holiday.
     I have a week of paid vacation time coming up this month, old house chores that need done, and taking the Vespa to St. Louis for the first oil change.  I work at that meat packing plant so have stuff my cousin doesn't, like affordable health insurance, paid vacation time, money to spend on yarns, fabrics, dolls and motorcycles.  My cousin doesn't want the motorcycles, really doesn't collect dolls and isn't into yarns but she sews and quilts and does awesome work with fabrics.
     My cousin has had high colesteral for years and has some weight issues, her doctor would like to see her drop at least 25 pounds, so that's something I don't have and sure don't envy.  And I have been known to do awesome things with both fabrics and yarns and I like those bikes and dolls, so that works really well for me.
     And I have financial stability that does not depend on someone else, so that has to matter, if her husband died, I don't know if her life would stay as good and stable, it's always been a family ranch and I don't know what that situation is and it's not my business.  But I do know she's not been employed much and so has not paid into that Social Security system any amount, so she could see draw on her husband's but I don't know if she has much built up on her own account.  I also have a pension locked that I can start drawing in just under 5 years, from a prior meat packing plant, and a 401K growing, good credit in my own name, and the house is in my name, it's my mortgage.  
     Those vehicles and the Rebel are mine, no liens against them and I have 35 more payments on the new Vespa, unless I pay it off early and I probably will.  So, ya, I have that stuff, credit cards and the worldly goods that my wages have bought me.  So, I am doing ok and no one makes the decisions in my life or how my paycheck gets spent.  Bills first here and then groceries, then if anything is left, those extra things, which includes meals out.
       And I really like being single, and don't even want to date, don't have a lot of time, seems I am busy or I have things I want to do with my time and my life and I don't want to share, not the time, not the house, not the rides, and not the paychecks.  So, really good reasons to stay single, to not date and so, despite a twinge of cousin envy, my life is working pretty good.  And I don't want her vacation or house or husband, think I have sorted out that envy and am ok with the fact that I have/had a bit of cousin envy.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Attitude and age

     I turned 60 this week, and as I do believe in reincarnation, feel I have lived before but never to this age.  Yes, I am liking this living and aging, yes, I do have pains and aches and am aging, but I love being alive and doing the living.
     I have made mistakes, poor choices, trusted those not worth trusting and been a fool, but I have grown, and learned and loved and laughed too.  This is my life to live, for the reasons I am here, even when I am not sure what those reasons are, I know God has purpose for my being here, alive at this time and for my being the person I am.
     So many choices, over the years, good choices and bad ones, appreciate and enjoy the good choices and learned from the bad ones and accepted the clean up job to put my life back in order.  That matters too, that I accept responsibility for my decisions and the results of those decisions.
     And I am not, and never have been the failure that my only daughter has told the world I am, I did not fail her, and I did not look the other way or allow anyone to abuse or molest her, ever.  I am not why she is the way she is, that is her life and her choices, not my fault, and not the fault of her children or their father.  Her decisions and her choices, no matter what she says, it is hers and hers alone.
     My days are good, and that is my choice, no matter what problems we have at work, no matter how tight the budget is, or how cold it is, how much pain I have, my days are good, because I choose to make them good and worth having days.
     I know my choices and how I choose to live just doesn't work for some people, but I am not living their lives and I am quite willing to let them have their life the way they want it or the way they make it be.  They are not running my life, earning my paycheck or paying my bills, so I don't worry too much if my choices are approved by them or not.  It's a working system for me.
     Yes, I am riding this weekend, and probably alone, and old highways that follow the rivers, slow old roads that get me down south, at an easy pace and with not a lot of traffic, most of the time.  My day to enjoy my life and my peace.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

New Rides

     Last Saturday I took some old roads down to St. Louis, new rides for me and the trip down on the Rebel was to look at new rides also, at the Europen bike shop, I am trading in the Metro for a Vespa, bigger, a bit faster, and I can afford the payments.
     I might have a local buyer for the Metro, we shook hands on a firm price, paid in cash today but the man has tried, again to get me to agree to a lower price than the 1 we shook hands on, that will not happen and I have no problems trading the Metro in on the new Vespa, bike shop has no problem with that either so truck is ready to go down, and the Metro is ready to load.
     That sort of stuff annoys me, I do not do it to others, once a price is agreed on, I pay that or I don't buy, if I cannot afford something, I accept that I don't get the item, and if I am not willing to pay their bottom price, I accept that they have that right, and since my original price for the Metro was below book, dropping it 20% was a very good deal and the man knows it, and can afford it but thinks he can push me to accept a lower price.  NO, and no I am not telling him what the bike shop will give for trade in, it is none of his business, if he wants my Metro, he can pay the agreed price, and I will not mess around after work, bike shop needs to know before closing today, that is 6:00 so I will be calling before then and loading the scooter by then.  
     And stuff like that is why trading it in is so much easier, and no one coming back, after they mess up the little machine and wanting their money back cuz the ruined the little scooter...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Flying time and old vehicles

     It seems like time has escaped me, and it is finally warm enough to pull the cover off the air conditioner and turn it on, to change the oil in the Rebel and get the battery in that and a few other things that needed done around here.  
     But the list of what still needs done is very long and my time goes by so fast.  I have spent the past week with both the car down and the truck down.  The car had transmission fluid leaking last Sunday and was towed to a shop near Pekin, the problem being the cooling lines in the radiator for that transmission fluid, not the lines to and from it but inside it.  It is now fixed and waiting for the bill to be paid and someone to go up there and get it.
     Jake has been using the truck, never a good thing but I have also neglected to keep up with maintenance on it.  The brake hoses, connecting the brake lines have gone bad, 1 started leaking and broke before Jake got the truck back home last weekend.  Ben, with some help from me, has changed 2 of the 3 hoses, replaced a very rusted brake line that broke while we were trying to get things apart but it has brakes now, we have the part to replace the back hose and that will get done once the car is home.  
     And I will be buying shocks for the front of the truck, the ones on it are very, very badly rusted and are not really road safe.  I am very glad it is warmed up enough I can plan to run the scooter to work and errands here in town.  
    My drywall work in the attic is not done, so I will have a very hot attic and we will start getting the work done soon, I know every seam sealed and every bit of insulation covered with drywall helps with the heating and cooling here but I have not put enough effort after work evenings on getting stuff ready so we could start working in the south end.  
     I keep thinking I am getting the finances in better order but now vehicles are putting me back deeper in debt, $500 on the car, not counting the trip up and back to get it home, and now the brakes and shocks on the truck.  But Ben is doing the work and I am buying the parts and some tools at Auto Zone so the costs are a lot lower than if the truck was in the shop and I know what is done.  
    The car was in the shop 3 times this winter, when I first bought it and knew it needed some work, that bill cost me more than I paid for the car, but I did also have new tires put on, and then 2 more trips back to the shop over a brake problem, which ruined a new tire and gave me another shop bill.  IF things had been done correctly and with all new parts on those rear brakes there would not have been 2 more trips into the shop and a ruined rear tire.
   Which is part of the reason I did not consider having the car towed down here but had it taken to a shop in the Pekin area instead.  And that is why Ben is doing my truck work as I buy parts, he might drive me crazy with dragging out the work some but he does live here with me supporting him and I would rather he did the work than pay for the shop I have used for over 13 years and wonder what they did not do that will become another shop trip and another shop bill that messes up my budget.
    But I did not think about those rubber brake hoses and needing to check them, nor had I looked at the shocks or such for years on the truck.  My neglect and my problems, but I will be looking over brake lines and hoses on the neon once it is home and also on the shocks so that if they need replaced, we do it before they are in as bad a condition as the ones on my truck.  
      But work is ok and stable for now, a bit less time on the clock right now so a bit smaller paychecks, but I have paid down some of my debt load and I am working to be more careful about my wasting money so I can get the debts paid down faster.  I had hoped to put some more on debt this week but instead I have added to that with parts and will add more with the shop bill up north.  
     So, I will hope that Ben and I can keep the car and truck road safe and repairs done for a while and that weather will let me run the scooter to work a lot and not put wear and miles on the vehicles or burn as much gas.
     I need to tidy up in the sewing room again, and that is another place where I seem to be dragging my ass and not getting things done, I read and knit and shut out reality far too much in the past month or so, pain levels with my hands and right foot, but the foot seems to make some progress, anti-fungus cream seems to be resolving the skin growth or whatever that is putting so much pressure on some of those damaged bones I stand on all work shift.
     But life here is quiet and calm, no huge battles or other issues, I might still not be happy with the political games and who is running for office but there is little I can do about that and I know my quiet, single life is working nicely for me, despite the vehicles having mechanical issues and sucking up a lot of money.