My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Life in this old house

It's the end of another year, more than 2 years now back at work after that life changing car accident, almost 3 years past that nightmare and getting close to 10 years of employment at this plant.
Both of my youngest sons are now here, again, and I am down to 2 windows left to replace, the attic space I once dreamed about is here, far from finished but usable.

The winter has turned cold, all the work that has been done here to lower the utility costs here has helped.  I know there a lot more to be done but it's nice to know progress has been made.

Webs has some great sock yarns on sale and I got yarns for sweaters for both Jake and myself.  Mine is started and will be a fun knit for me, lots of different textured patterns to make a Gansey.  Jake will have a very wearable and washable sweater in a blue-green that he chose.

My world has balance and value and works for me, and there are no dreams of building a life with someone for a partner.  There was a time when I thought that would be a reality, someone who loved and accepted me for who I really am.  Now, I am content with a quiet friendship with a man whose company I enjoy and who understands that I cannot or will not consider sharing a home.

There is so much good in my life to appreciate and be thankful for, and don't want to whine or cry about lost dreams and disappointments, looking back gains me nothing but sorrow so instead I will look forward.

Watching Star Trek and looking at my knitting projects, tucked in my attic nest, a good work week and a Sunday spent with my friend Sharon to look forward to.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving again

and a lot to be thankful for, a job that pays my bills and buys a few extras in life, a house with a dry roof, a small town that I love being a part in, some great friends, Jake home and working a part time job he really likes.
A co-worker left last night, leaving me to put in close to 11 hours, but her home was on fire with an electrical problem being the likely cause.  Today I am replacing the main disconnect, our utility company found the problem before it created a fire and took my house.  The house does have good and safe wiring, but that disconnect below the meter I would have never worried about, knew all that stuff was part of what was replaced/redone when the house was re-wired, due to an electrical fire.  So, I never worried about it or those wires from it into my breaker box.
I am going to be replacing the box outside and the wires coming in today, Ameren will come do a temporary disconnect so I can safely do the work and son Ben should be here to help make it an easier job.  We are going with #2 wire coming into the  house, should easily hold the load even when the heat, or air cond is on and we have tv going and so forth.
It could have been my house, but it wasn't and she has insurance, which not all here do.  And everyone got out safely. 
Jake is heading back to college and he could be called back into the Marines, but for this weekend, he is home, here for chili and corn bread tomorrow after he cleans the sale barn, and then to his dad for a few days to be well fed and have some quality time with people who matter.
People on the east coast still are a long way from recovering from Sandy storm, many still with no electric, heat or jobs.  I am a long way from that with a slowly improving house, a stable job and my power outage today will be so I can make the house safer, not because I cannot pay the bills or because the house is gone or so badly damaged I no longer have a home.
I think of my only daughter, her 38th birthday is Sunday and I hope and pray her life is going well and that she is happy. But I stay out of her life, and out of the lives of her children, love them all but know the conflict does no one any good.  I am not perfect but her childhood was not the nightmare she has created in her mind and I am not to blame for the direction and choices she has made as an adult.
I think of Mike, and hope he is doing better, both with his health and his finances.  Time has eased some of my hurt, and I have found a lot of good memories to look back on.  I hope this Thanksgiving finds him surrounded by those who love him and whose life makes his richer.
I still relish and treasure my way of living, still dating that guy 8 blocks away, still glad I live in my own home and the only men who have lived with me have been ones I have given birth to, for more than a handful of years.
So far this fall our weather has been mild, and I have 1 more window replaced and the east and west soffits replaced or repaired, small bit of progress but at least I am making progress.
Yes, this blog is very much I and me, guess because it is mine.  But my life and world is not all 'me' stuff, it is a more stable and richer life than it was a year ago.  So, yes, I have a lot to be thankful for this thanksgiving season.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Hunting for cables

I own 1 and only 1 usb to usb cable, and have loads of almost every other kind of cable for tech devices.  That 1 and only 1 cable was last seen here and in Jake's hands and now we have NO idea where he set it down.
I need it to connect my laptop to my desk computer and move all my music files to the desk computer, Jake is getting my laptop so he does not have to replace his non working one at this time.  But I do not want to put all my music in the other computer, 1 cd at a time and spend days doing that, days setting up the files I have already set up in the laptop.
I probably also want to move a bunch of photos.
So, that will not get done today, probably will not get done tomorrow and I will probably buy a portable, external drive and move stuff into it and then move it again into the desk computer, and I need 1 anyway.
So, I am starting to put my music, cd by cd into the desk computer, oh, such fun...
But I did get out and vote, and on the way home last night I made the Wal-Mart run so now my bamboo shoots are in a small glass pot with glass pebbles and up where I can see them from the kitchen table and they will get light from the east window and from the plant light up there.
Rain and gray today and I am so glad I have a dry house, a warm house and a job with good benefits that pays for all of that good stuff.
Jake fixed split pea soup last night, so it's done now and I will sneak some into a container and into my lunch bag for work, he won't mind, he 'sneaks' off with my cooking too.
And hats seem to be the knitting projects, using up some small amounts of yarns that are great for hats but not enough for much more.  Jake asked for a knit cap and so that got it started, now I am close to done with #2 and have plans for more, along with a scarf for Larry, he asked and I have yarns that will work and some great patterns for men's scarves. 
Things here are good, even on my blue days, and I can replace that cable, will order one when I order that portable hard drive, already have 1 on a wish list.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunny and dry in central IL

We have had good weather here and watched Sandy pound the East Coast.  I've been watching this storm from before it hit Cuba and Jamaica, Haiti and so forth and knew it would be the worst storm to hit the east coast.
There are hundreds of people now homeless, and jobs that might never come back, small businesses that might not be able to start back up, homeowners that will find their insurance will pay very little and a long battle to get that, renters who find themselves up the river, and winter coming in.
I keep them in my thoughts and prayers and I am so glad I have never had to live through such a terrible event and hope I never have to.
Here I fuss about small things but know I have a good job with good medical/dental/optical insurance and a stable paycheck.  I come home to a warm home with solid metal roof, good foundation and progress on paying down my debt load.
I have yarns to knit, fabrics to sew, books to read and cool tech devices to enjoy, the power comes on, the phones are working, I have internet and the laundry is drying.
I get to complain that I can't play Farmville on my Apple iPad and that the dog takes up too much space some times, he and Jake are a huge obstacle in doorways some days.
My co-workers some times have me thinking they need to grow up, but they could be far worse and we manage to get our jobs done every shift, and I like them for the most part but am very glad my job has me working down the hall alone over 1/2 of my work shift every day.
 Yes, I need to get more done up in the attic, yes the soffits need repaired and that is on the schedule for the 2nd weekend in November, and yes, drywall up in the attic is on the list but not the budget, maybe after the first of the year.
But my home is dry, my vehicle is not flooded and my place of employment is very stable with long term jobs for all of us, and my world is really stable and I keep working to keep it that way.
Ben is working, and I think he and his gal pal, and her little boy have moved into better housing, Jake is working on his math skills before he takes his college placement tests and has a part time job he really likes, the important people in my life are doing ok, and so far we have had a mild fall.
I will do what I can to donate to aid for the east coast, and keep them in my thoughts and prayers, know this will slow down our economic recovery even more, the jobs it creates will come at a high cost, billions of dollars of loss that has yet to be added up.

Friday, October 19, 2012

That old house I live in

We are finally getting rains and I sit in my attic and grin, listening to the sound of rain on my metal roof, and think back to bailing water out of plastic bins, of coming home to my bed soaked and of running a dehumidifier all the time to try and dry out this old house.
I finally pulled out the old window in the north bathroom wall and Jake helped me put in a new double paned one and now the bathroom is not the coldest room in the house.  I will be busy with finishing up that job and putting the house back into better order but I love the new window and it has an insulated window quilt to help shut out the cold even more.
This old house still needs a lot more work and money put into it but I will be tucked in warm and dry tis winter, window quilts so that the cold glass doesn't cool down my warmed air, a very energy efficient window to replace my worst window, a job that pays me enough I can afford to heat this old house, a winter to budget and plan and dream the future progress.
And if the overtime continues, less debt load and maybe even sheet rock on the ceiling and walls in the attic space.
And I won the raffle quilt from New Salem this year, it warms me too

Friday, October 05, 2012

moving on from the past

I'm 56 years old now, live in my own house that I have been working on repairs and improvements for over 7 years now, and still have a long way to go.  I have worked at the same pork processing plant now for over 9.5 years and am more than 2 years back to work after a very serious car accident.
Emotionally and financially I am more stable than I was 20 or 30 years ago, or 40 years ago when I was 16.
  I know there are a lot of mistakes in my past, way too many stupid decisions and bad choices.  But I have grown a long ways from the girl I was at 16 or 20 or 25.  And I cannot change the past, no one can.  It is done, you learn, you live with the changes and the growth, and you work to keep growing.
     I am not as self centered or narcissistic or devious as I have been accused of being by my oldest son but his message to me on Face book did have me doing some hard and long thinking about the past, and where I am now with my life.
     I am very glad I do not let the poor choices and mistakes I made 30+ years ago be the choices and mistakes I make today.  And I am glad that I no longer let anyone try to guilt trip me or tear me down with my past. 
     2 immature, badly suited people got married, made each other miserable for a few years and had a child, that marriage ended before that child was even walking on his own.  Both of those people have gone different directions and locations in their lives over the years.  That child is an adult and has been one for many years.  And the choices he makes in his life are not the choices either of his parents have made for their lives.
     I do know I was a better parent for my younger 2 children than I was with my older 2 children.  I was also more mature, more financially and emotionally secure and had learned that I was far more capable than I was raised to believe that I could be.  So, I did a lot of 'growing up' and my younger 2 children benefited from that.
     But my older 2 children got the best parent I could be, at that time, and over the years they have also benefited from the more stable and 'improved' person that I was growing into.  So, they didn't get cheated, and they didn't get abused and I was not the terrible parent that they tell others I was, nor was I perfect.
     Now, I have 4 adult children, all of them capable of supporting themselves, and living with the decisions they make in those lives.  I am enjoying having my youngest child back home after 4 years of military service, he's heading to college when the spring term starts and he and my over sized and very active dog have really bonded.
     I cannot change anything from the past, and I do not hate my older 2 children, I want them to have lives they are happy with, and I want them to have quality of life, but my idea of quality of life does not have to be theirs and is far from the lives they lead or want to lead.
     I am content in central IL with my old house, a debt load I am working down 1 month at a time, a dull job in a pork processing plant, and a very quiet dating relationship with the same man I have been dating for over 20 months now.  I have some solid friends, a job I like going to every day, most of the time, a financial situation that I can live with and that works for me.
     And I won't fight with my adult children over their choices in the past or mine or their mistakes, in the past or now, their lives and their right to live those lives.  I also will not pay for the results of those choices, and I don't expect them to be paying for the results of my choices.
     I am not blaming them for the distance that is between us, nor am I taking the blame, it is a choice of their making and mine.  I do choose to step back, to choose to run my own life, my way and to pay my bills and not hand them money, they are adults and will do what works for their lives, by their standards and are not subject to live by mine.
     I like having a steady job with insurance benefits and I like knowing I can keep the roof over my head and the heat bill paid, especially as it's cool and wet today, I love that new metal roof and the insulation and I like knowing the last window on the north side of the house is waiting to be installed and will be this month.
     I like having the same address and same phone number for years, and seeing that old house slowly improve and my debt load creep down a tiny bit at a time.  And I like having wonderful windows up in the attic space to look out, to let in great light, both in my north studio area and my south 'nest' area.
    I admit I am very fond of my iPad and my iPods and my knitting and dolls and the latest book by David Weber.   I like living alone or with my youngest son, while he gets started back to school.  And I like not having to live up to any one's expectations of who I should be.
     Yes, this post is all about me, and this is my blog, and on Face book, it's my 'page' and gee, if that makes me self centered, ok, so I am self centered.  I can live with that and I can live just fine with being called shallow.
     Yes, I do have the newest iPad and also an Apple tv device I am still making payments on, I also have a 2013 Honda Metropolitan scooter I am making payments on and a vintage 1981 Honda Passport scooter that I am going to be working on this winter.  I do 'waste' money on books, yarns and dolls, and I can afford to turn the heat up when I am cold or the air up when it's hot.
     I have never been arrested or done jail time and I do not have bill collectors looking for me, I am late with a payment now and then, my accident or carelessness and I have over-drafted my checking account in the past 6 months but am working on getting back to keeping my finances in order and my check book back to being used and balanced.
     I don't flirt with men at work and it is not my business who is playing with who. at work or elsewhere.  I am not in charge of values or morals for anyone except myself, nor am I willing to push my values and choices on others.  I also am not willing to clean up the messes they make.
     It has taken me a very long and very hard road to get to where I am in my life and to grow into the person I am now, today.  I am not going back, I will not battle anyone over my past or theirs, nor will I let anyone drag me down, over the poor choices and bad decisions I mad 30+ years ago.  And I will not indulge in petty, nasty head games. 
     I don't even know if any of my adult children read this blog, but they can, it's public.  I do know I keep them all in my prayers and hope they are happy in their lives, I am in mine and like who I am and want that for everyone.  But I do know it has a lot to do with choices and living with the choices, fixing the results of poor choices, so go live and prosper in your choices.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Petty annoyances in life

Lately there seem to be far too many small and petty annoyances in my world, most of them are work related or at work.  From the overtime opportunities in my department belonging to just one person to    a lead who does not engage her brain sometimes and who thinks there are magic elves who do part of my work so I can help with every one else work.
So, the person with the late punch in time gets most of the overtime in our dept., not a normal Cargill set up but something that I cannot get changed at this time, no rotation and no getting the overtime opportunities more equally shared.
And my lead does not listen well, does tell me to go do something and then is not happy with the results of that.oh, well, life is not perfect, neither am I, and I just have no desire to be a very good team player at this time.
But I come home to my house, to my attic nest and my little world and shut out all the ugly and mean people for a little while, they and the issues will be there to fight with another day.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Making Progress here

Upstairs/attic bathroom is framed in except for the door wall, and some of the drywall is on, it is currently very needed storage area for construction tools, and I have the entire attic for my space.
Jake is home, he and Kris had a great time for almost 2 weeks and then he returned her to her home and came back to start all that 'civilian life' stuff he needs to do.
Ben moved in with pals about 4 blocks north and all or most of his stuff here is stored in the utility area for now, and tidy enough to suit me.  It is a very limited space so tidy means a lot.
Jake has helped me with some cleaning and organizing in the kitchen and we are starting now in the living room, it is great to have good help, and the house is making progress.  I am storing stuff that should have been stored long ago, I don't use the electric wok right now and I do not need 2 small roaster pans in the kitchen or the mini muffin pans I never use.
Kid loves having Jake here but is not sure what all the moving things and cleaning is about but is learning to get out of the way fast.  Both Jake and Ben have worked with him some, he will now lay down on command, once he is sure you mean it, LOL, and Jake takes him for long walks and runs which they both love.
Today Jake is headed out to his first job interview at Job Services, one in Timewell where they make tile and tubing for drainage.  He is nervous but will do ok, and he needs to practice with that stuff so even if he does not get or want the job, he needs to start doing these things.
I am working on getting finances back in order and working on the attic order, stuff moves up there and then I deal with it as I can and have time, and the birds now are up there and adjusting to the change.
My week of vacation was good, 5 days spent camping at Spring Lake, and then 2 days alone here to tidy, lazy and just enjoy my place.
It is turning cooler and Jake has done a lot of the outside clean up for me, we will soon be scattering more grass seed and then watering every day so it has a chance to start before it's freezing.  I do want to get starts for buffalo grass and also some basin wild rye plants and hope I can afford them before it's too cold to plant them and also hope to get more hedge roses for my privacy along 12th Street and the south side of my house, it would be nice to have a taller and thicker hedge so when the curtains are open I feel more private in my own home.
Larry is feeling better most of the time now that it is cooler, that is nice for both of us.  He now has no neighbor problems on the west side as the 2 lots and trailers have been purchased by someone who is having the property turned back to empty space and removing the rental tenant problem.
Jake does most of the dishes here and is now working on practicing some crock pot cooking, it's nice as I get to eat and don't have to cook as much.  We also have the sour dough jar going so have pancakes every morning for breakfast, and that too is nice.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

House invasion all too soon

I am really glad to have Jake coming home, I just expected him to return in mid-September, not the end of Aug., and my long list of old house stuff is not even started, Ben is living in the attic space and there are no funds for materials, no time for the work on that list.
We will manage to survive it, and maybe Jake can be carpenter help for some of that work in the attic, and we will figure out who sleeps where and whose stuff goes where.
Ben is working and has a paycheck and works days, I am working and 2nd shift so that has worked out well, Jake will be busy too so that should help, it is a very small house with a lot more work needing done, not enough space and way too much stuff for the amount of space.
But I will make some progress on something in the next couple weeks, even if it only means getting some clothes thinned out, some cleaning done, we will survive, we will thrive and we will be glad to have Jake home and Kris to visit.
And in the meantime, I have a busy week with a committed weekend so no time for much progress on the house projects today, but I will get something accomplished before heading to work. 
And the dog is not feeling well, he up-chucked all over the house last night, I cleaned up on the ground level, kitchen, my bedroom, the bathroom but didn't know he also got the floor in my sewing space in the attic so that got dealt with this morning early while Ben was getting ready for work.  I don't know what he has eaten or done but he's sure not wanting much to eat today and is napping, not ready to run out the door every time I get close, that is a change but I don't want to run out and walk around the house every few minutes so I can be ok with the resting dog stuff.
Work is ok, glad to have all 5 of us there this week, no overtime and my old and hurting body is glad of that, extra money in the paycheck is great but i sure gain a lot of pain also and then get less done here at the house and sleep badly.
It is also rag weed season and meds for that make me moody, sad, easily irritated and will be talking to pharmacy about something over the counter instead of doctor appointment to get renewal of the prescription medication and hope for less side effects and same or less costs.  Insurance is good but I am still working on paying my yearly deductible so would see a $40-50 bill to pay and part of the meds costs.  Ya, over the counter should work this year.  With our heat and drought the weeds have not flourished either so that does help some.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Small Claims court Win

Friday, July 27, 2012, I won a judgment against C.L. Campbell Construction of Jacksonville IL, their suit for dog damage to his truck was dropped, as a fraudulent claim for damage he could not prove existed, and as he knew the dog was there, had played with the dog when there, he should have known the dog would come run to greet him and possibly jump up on his truck.
And it was easy for the judge to determine that the contractor had broke the contract, that the contractor did not do the job he had contracted to do and is to refund me $2725. the judge also let the contractor know if my lawyer and I had asked for a larger amount, or submitted some information differently, the amount he would be required to refund from my original $5000 deposit would be larger.
Now I will be able to turn this over to Better Business bureau and the IL state license board for roofing contractor license. 
I am also posting information about this contract default on area public forums so others might not have the problems I have had or the huge costs I have paid.
He and his lawyer have been sent traceable letters requesting payment in full and in a timely manor, so if the sum is not paid to my lawyer's office by the end of Aug. I can turn it over to the state's attorney for Contempt of Court charges. 
Maybe he will think twice about defrauding someone, but I doubt it.  But getting the word out, notifying both the license board and Better Business bureau can hurt his business and that might help him learn something he needs to know about being honest.

Monday, July 23, 2012

hot, dry, busy, July

We are breaking heat records here but a lot of areas are doing that, I water so I have grass to mow instead of tall weeds to clip off, a few scattered weeds do not hold down my sand and silt, worth the gas and time to mow to have something growing, at least until I ahve to pay for water by the gallon.
#2 son is back here, working day shift so that works well other than he is not into mornings and has some problems waking up well.  This is his 4th week so is improving and the dog helps, he wants out early for bathroom call so makes sure some human here gets up to let him out.
This Friday I finally have small claims court with the blasted roof contractor from last summer and we have 1 out on vacation for 2 weeks, had 1 out all the prior week so by the time we are all back at work I know I will be beat and ready for some down time.
Finances are ok, not great but staying workable, I still nave not gotten new tires for the Passport and it needs tubes and the rim liners also but think I will order and pay for part of that list and then the next, break it up over several paychecks so it works better.  The tires are 30+ years old so I sure don't feel bad about needing to replace them.
It has been too hot for Larry to want to go camping so I get other stuff done on my weekends, like the weeds and grass in the front flower beds and some time with the gal friends.  Sharon is starting her first sock and Julie has plans to learn to knit lace and her first lace scarf or shawl.  I spend time today finding free patterns on line for that and now really need printer ink so it's on my list for this coming paycheck.
My Summer Solstice Mystery shawl is making slow progress, I had socks for Julie that I wanted done and they now are, and a pair for Larry that I have been working on some, simple knitting that I can do while reading or watching a movie on tv.
Central air is great, attic space is hot but once the area has drywall or paneling that will improve, lower level is good with air set at 77 and utility bill this time is the same as last year this time with 5 degrees hotter and more area I am cooling so think that is really good. 
I do not miss having window units running, it is so much quieter and more of the house comfortable, well worth the cost last summer and it will keep being a huge improvement for life in this old house.
I have some stuff I need to do for Jake and make up a packet to ship off to him, will probably break down and buy printer ink before the weekend so I can get that done and off my 'to do' list here.
Pain levels have been very low, most of the time or the hands hurt more than the ankle and leg so it doesn't seem bad at all.  The brace has made a huge difference in my ability to work and my quality of life.
So, off to get a few things done before I start getting ready for work.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Turning 56

Happy birthday, me. Hot day, bills are paid, normal Friday stuff, dishes are washed, some weeds removed, and I am putting my feet up for a bit. Annoyed with myself, with my finances and with my wanting to do something to tank all the progress my hard work has made on my credit debt. I go though this attitude stuff a couple times a year, and win the battle to stay on track almost all the time. I did buy the iPad and it is getting closer to paid for every month, I just did a pre-approval for credit at Honda and want, Do Not Need, a new metropolitan scooter. Love my little Passport, but can't pass the damn test for motorcycle, still have just permit. My balance is screwed up since the accident, maybe more practice at that skills test would resolve the test problem. But today I want to pout and feel sorry for myself. That never lasts long, I love my life here, like my old house, love that vintage bike and know the mood swing will not last long, it never does. I am not going to tank my finances just to get a quick fix for a small blue spot in my stable little world. And I am not buying myself a new doll, more yarn. I might go ahead and order the Apple TV device and get Netflicks. I could then drop my Dish Network account, and once device is paid for, the Netflicks bill is 1/3 what my basic Dish bill is. I am not saying this is the right time to do the change, but I will say I am seriously considering it. I would like my IPad paid for first, and have auto insurance to pay on soon. Thinking about this instead o wanting a new scooter is smarter financial dealings, and I know it. So, now to work on my silly little head, get ready to go to work, get happy about the small things in my very good little life.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Heat wave

Getting hot here, will be interesting to see how hot the attic space gets and how much the central air runs, know my electric bill is lower than past summers here and house more comfortable and much quieter. Loads of work to do still here but hope to make some progress again this summer, despite a very tight budget. Shipping cookies and socks off to Jake today, and it's Library day for me also, suppose that means I should wash the dishes before I leave. Work is ok, the issue about overtime is still not resolved, lead is still playing favorites but have lived through that before and will again. Production gets their bonus next week, we do not as hourly management does not get bonus. Have most the plums off the trees and am just starting to have Japanese beetles, hope to spray a lot and not have so much damage from them this year. Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl is started and so far ok, plan is for it to be a Christmas gift so want it to turn out nice. Well, need to find food, pack Jake's box and wash those dishes, will need those cookie sheets again soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Solstice and rains

Yesterday was the summer solstice and I am in a knit a long for a mystery shawl, so got the first clue yesterday and hope to cast it on today.  The yarn is Heritage Silk sock yarn in a dark blue teal and I bought 2 skeins as I don't want a tiny shawlette thing, I want something bigger and hope to use it for a Christmas gift this year so need to get it done.
We had a great rain Saturday night, and I had the mowing done, I mowed yesterday again, already and it looks like it might rain today.  But I am watering and do have green grass and most of my plants look ok.
the plum trees are loaded and ripe and I hope I have people coming this weekend to pick them.  The ground doesn't need them, I can't use them and I sure do not need people on the property to damage my trees.

The latest utility bill came yesterday, still lower than past summers, the house is more comfortable and I have gained the attic space, which is often hot now but it's still very rough.  Walls and ceiling covered with paneling would help with that heat issue and I hope to budget some of that later this summer.

The debt load is going down a little at a time and I will owe less than 1/3 of the total cost of the new iPad Friday, and I really love having it.and use it alot.  But I did finally find a way to use my Thrive tablet, I downloaded an alarm clock app and now have it set up so I can use it that way, would like a clock app that would keep the screen on all the time but at least this is using a device I paid a lot of money for last year and managed to crack the screen in a corner this winter, with it in a case.

It slid off the sofa upstairs onto the floor, with that corner hitting the floor, just a freak accident that normally would not have caused any damage, but if I didn't have a screen protector on, the damage would be worse, LOL, the screen protector is holding the broken piece and chips together.

And that is why I was quite willing to pay $100 for the AppleCare+ for the new iPad.  And it has a padded case but I am also being a bit more careful about the iPad than I was the Thrive, just figured it was safe from most damage with that case I had it in.

Work is going ok, Barb and Ana are working hard and fast, what a change and I have no idea why but doubt if it will last.  I do expect management to require that the late punch in on our shift to be rotated and the overtime to be better offered equitably.

Some overtime would help me pay down the debt load faster and give me a bit of slack.  I'm doing ok, I managed to afford the yarn for the knit a long and I could afford the parts I just ordered for the bike. The property taxes are paid for the year, the city utility bill is paid, the next house payment will be made tomorrow and I will pay on that iPad debt, next week will be the phone bill and on some of the blasted credit debt.  

It's a stable life, and I am making it work one day at a time, limiting the amount of pain reliever I am taking, doing what I can to take care of this old body as best I can, and knowing my limits when it comes to what I can do and what I can't keep up with.

Still date that Larry guy, and still tr to balance my needs and what I want to do with time spent with him, some times I would like more of my weekend for just me, the house and things here I want to do, but I work out what works for both of us, he would like me there more and accepts that I do have this house and my job and friends, stuff I want and need to do.

Today is library day and I am taking the laptop and working on adding my cassettes into the music files with the tape player the library has, might bring it home as I can be allowed to check it out.and will take the truck as it looks like a chance of rain.  and I need to get moving.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Time for new photos

There is a mountain of clean laundry on my bed to be taken care of, knitting to work on, kitchen floor needs mopped and instead I am adding photos to my blog.  The laundry and floor can wait a bit. 
Larry and I have gone camping 2 times so far, the first was raining off and on, a quiet trip to 'shake down' our camping, check for any problems with the camper, and make lists of what all we wish we had brought or would want on future camping trips, like a potato peeler and fix the leak at hot water tank. 
The knitting always goes, first trip I was working on some wild socks for Jake, the second trip I don't remember which socks went but I also started knitting a market bag from some crochet thread I bought boxes of at a yard sale.
Cargill work has some issues, the overtime and who is getting most of it, I am dealing with it up the ladder and hope to see it being offered more fairly, which translates in the late come in slot on 2nd shift needs to be available as a weekly rotation as that is where the stable overtime is every week.  It's against company policy if only person holds it and none of the rest of us are given the chance to rotate that late slot.  We do not bid into certain 'jobs' in that 2nd shift frock room and until about a year ago, it was mandatory that the late come in was rotated so the overtime it brings was also shared out more evenly.
Our nights are still cooling down and days under 90 now, we had higher earlier but it didn't last long, good for my electric bill here and the plants outside.  I am working on watering at night after I come home from work as I have new roses to settle in and have all that new grass in the old garden area to keep alive.
And watering means mowing more often.I am not griping as grass sure beats weeds and sand which is the other option, no watering and no ground cover here.
This summer I am doing my first mystery knit a long, a shawl and I have the yarn and needles but need to knit up the gauge swatch,  We get the first of the patten on June 21 so I have some time, and will work on getting progress made on the 2 pair of socks I have going.  1 pair is for Jake and the other is for pal Julie, just did a pair for pal Sharon who might start knitting socks soon, she does knit but has never done socks.
Well, it's time to take the dog out and water a couple plants with plant food, my only tomato is in a planter and needs fed,

Monday, May 21, 2012

4 day weekends

I ended up with 8 paid vacation days to use before the 1st of June so took a 4 day weekend to enjoy some camping time with Larry and catch up on some things here at home. We had a good time and good weather, did the festival at Clayville, went to New Salem, and came back Sunday. Then today I dealt with some paperwork, finished the socks for Sharon, got the mowing done, pulled a few weeds, and did some time with my feet up. It's dryer this year than last so I am watering the new roses, the ones I moved and the grass seed that the birds missed. The garden space is growing weeds and grass, I keep pulling weeds and watering so hope the grass seed that I scattered and the birds missed will root well and grow, spread and I manage to control the weeds and with mowing, keep them from going to seed. Now I'm watching tv up in the attic, something I have not been able to do for weeks, it is warm up here but I will not turn the central air down and freeze downstairs to cool off the upstairs. I do have the windows open up here for now and it has cooled off outside so the ceiling fan should pull some cooler air in from the dormer window. I also have 1 of the north windows open. Tomorrow I need to deal with the colon test stuff, it is part of our preventive care and is paid for so now I am getting the appointment set up. And starting a pair of Jake socks, will also cast on a pair in a cotton blend for pal Julie, have a market bag in process, since I bought a lot of crochet thread at a yard sale, friends who needed the funds, I now have to find a way to use the stuff or a way to gift it and have it gone. So, crocheting and knitting market bags will help use it up...or so I think right now.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

May and we are getting April's rains

I thought it was 'April rains brings May flowers' but we seem to be getting rain and rain, which we actually need but it makes it challenging for me to work on weed control in flower beds.  But, then, the grass seed I scattered and that the birds missed finding is starting to grow.
The shake-down camping trip was quiet, not too many people out camping where we were, and the others were at 1 of the other camp sites, there were 4 different sites and we were at the one above the lake dam so had that area to our selves except for people coming down to fish.
I could have been content to just stay there the entire time but Larry found reasons for us to jump into the truck and run to town several times.
We did have some rain, were glad the camper has heat and have a new 'need/want' list for this season, including charcoal and container for it.
This weekend I have 4 days off and hope to get a lot done outside, some done inside and manage to be lazy too. Foot and I are getting along better than a year ago but it will be glad to not be in the brace for a few days.  that brace sure makes a difference for work but I won't say it's ever very comfortable.
And since I am paying for it on a monthly basis, I am very glad to say I still really like and am very glad I bought the newest iPad.  It gets used far more than the desktop or laptop computer but I have decided my 6+ year old router needs replaced with newer and faster one so I can get news and YouTube videos to load better for watching.
Jake's back in Japan but I'm not sure for how long, I plan to e-mail and Facebook him long lists of "mommy wants' but don't expect him to fill them, I keep asking for a new Honda Cub motorcycle and tell him the guys can spread the parts in their gear and then put it back together once they are stateside to resolve the shipping issues.  He's not willing to go bike hunting for me.
His jeep keeps improving, every time I drive it I end up putting some $$ into something, last week it was replace the light bulbs for the license plate since the very nice town police stopped me on the way home from work to let me know they were out.  I also did my truck which I would not have even thought about checking if I had not got stopped with the jeep.  So, no ticket, no warning and jeep has working license plate lights now.  I think windshield and back window wipers was the last time I drove it.
Today I have Crafts and Hand work at the Library this morning so I better get showered, bag packed and go play at the library. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday and a 3 day weekend coming

Today is cool and gray but I will have pulled pork for lunch, it went into the slow cooker after work so I just need to run get some bread and salad stuff to go with it, I can't find the Aspercream stuff I know I own, it should be somewhere in this house and my hands would greatly appreciate it.
The flower beds will get attention this long weekend off and I hope to spend some time working with my vintage motorcycles and at the library being free labor. 
Last night the parking lot at Wal-mart had more than the usual number of semi tractors and my thoughts went west to a man there and time 2 years past.  Dreams and a hard crash into reality for both of us, it's the real world we have to live in, but those dreams helped get me through some of the hardest days of that very long accident recovery.
I am doing far better physically than was expected, I have worked hard for all that recovery and there is a long list of what I can never do, but I am dealing better with that and with finding ways to accept the limits my body now has.
I just can't do as much as I did in the past so I won't have a garden for now but will work on the planting beds and lawn, would be nice to have fewer weeds and more grass for a lawn, would be nice to get my planting beds to look better so that will get attention instead of trying to divide my time and energy between the weeding and watering those planting beds and a large vegetable garden.
And I don't feel guilty or as disappointed in myself if my body needs a rest day instead of getting done all the stuff I have on my 'to do' list.  Being able to stay at my job for as long as possible is the long goal here, to get my debt load paid off, the house paid off, work done on the house and paid for, and so if body says it needs rest, I am not being lazy or moody, I am letting my body get the needed rest so it can keep going to work  and doing the job I am being paid to do.
And there are getting to be more days I don't take anything for pain, so far they don't usually outnumber the days I do need something for pain but that is huge progress from this time last year.  And some times that over the counter pain med is for my hands or for a blasted sinus headache.  The tree pollens have been terribly high this spring and there are a couple I react to.
It's a quiet life for the most part, work, time with the man I date, the library and friends there, books and my small corner of the world but I am ok with it.  I know I made the right choices when it really mattered, have worked hard to correct the poor/wrong/stupid choices from the past but I don't regret the dreams.
I will admit that I miss the friendship I felt I had with Mike, but know it can't be fixed.
For now, I will work on what I do have here, and that means getting something to go with that pulled pork I have in the slow cooker waiting for me today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vacation days

It seems I have 8 vacation days to use up in the next 6 weeks, and then we start over again.  And several others in our small dept. have vacation time to get used also so we've been plotting it out on the calendar,.
With only 5 of us we do have to plan and work with each other for that vacation time to work smoothly and to get along.
It also explains why I have worked 4 weeks now with cracked bones in my left wrist, we have 4 weeks of someone on vacation and getting the arm in a cast and not working was not possible, and as the fall happened off work I only needed nursing to look at my arm, bandage the scraped areas and determine I could work.   I would not say we have the most competent medical personal in our plant.

I did manage to space out my days so I can use and enjoy them, hopefully catch up on the outside work needing done here and have some quality time with Larry also.

And as we are also starting to do our vacation days for next year, with a vacation year that goes from June 1 to May 31, I did some looking on the internet and planned for early 2013, like Good Friday, and the first event of the camping season at Clayville, and Friday of Memorial Weekend.   I also grabbed Friday of this coming Labor Day weekend, that is what calendars are for, looking ahead and planning ahead and with 20 days to use, and only 5 of them have to be taken in a group, I can spread them out better than I have this past year.

Most of our dept had put in some vacation slips before I started so I'm ok with the fact that not all are happy with my planning.  It's up to them to look and think about next spring as part of the coming vacation year and as it is not done by seniority, the first request for that date is the one that gets it.

With no vegetable garden here this year to deal with I hope to get the property looking better and have more quality play time with the man I date.  And less stress.   I also do not have a house with a leaking roof and a dishonest contractor to deal with and add to the problems and stress.

And with all that vacation time, I am taking the day we have small claims court off as 1 of my paid days.   I have not yet gotten a copy of any invoices for materials and labor break downs that we requested at the last court meeting, his lawyer is to have furnish that to us in a timely manor...gee, that has been a couple months now, wonder what happened to 'timely manor'.  And in the meantime I do make payments on a huge legal bill that I hope ends up going to the contractor, or at least in part.

Time to eat something for breakfast and then see if the dog and I can remove the spark plug from the mower, empty the oil out and make a 'parts run' so we can get the mower running and I can get some of the mowing done here.  Kid loves to be 'truck dog' and go for rides with me.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Working on Living

Tomorrow would have been my mother's 76th birthday, she passed away just over 13 years ago, my grandmom also passed away just before the start of April 20 years ago now.  So, I do look back at this time of year, at their lives and at what I got from them, that inside stuff.
Grandmom raised me most of my life so she was the bigger influence, my mother I got to know more as an adult but it was not the close relationship she had with my younger sisters.  She raised them, that was part of it, and my jealousy of that was some, and my being a living link and reminder of a past time she wanted to forget added to the mix.
But she taught me to sew and knit, she made me rip out poor quality work, mistakes and do it again until I got it right so I learned a lot that i use all the time from her.
Grandmom gave me my ethics and values and cooking lessons, cleaning lessons and gardening love.
I looked at the problems in my mother's life and what choices my Grandmom made to help guide my life, and to help me try and make better choices.
Now I draw on the strength they gave me to keep working on my life, to keep fighting for what is right, to keep liking my life and liking living my life, despite the challenges.
This time of year is not about eggs and bunnies and all that stuff for me, it's a time I look at the 2 strong women that gave me a lot of who I really am, their lives, their example and their guidance.  A time I look at both the positive and negative qualities of those women and look at who I am, what I do with my life and where I want to keep it going or what changes I need to make in that direction.
Spring is a time of renewal for me, and of renewing my direction and goals and beliefs.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life and living it

I am working on trying to put my life and my house into better order. That damn accident has made so many things harder for me to do or keep up with, and I have used it as an excuse to let thing go, like the mountains of clean laundry that grow and grow before I finally put it away. The shoes live close to the bed, another untidy mess I am now starting to deal with. But I need to have part of them handy so I decide which pairs live just under the bed and where the others go and then put them away. And I need to work on finances, will sell part of the vacation days I still have, won't use 8 days between middle April and the end of May so selling them soon will help put the finances into better order. I should not have gotten the new iPad but sure like it and am using it a lot. So, sell some vacation time, pay down the bill for the new toy and keep a tight budget until I have some bills paid off. I'm finally almost done with re-caning the Lincoln rocker I picked up last fall. I let it sit for months but finally decided I wanted it done and usable and would not wait until it was warm enough to work outside. It is a wet job and many long hours. I will have over 30 hours into re-weaving the cane seat and back once I am finished but it really looks good and is worth far more than the $35 I paid for it.

Friday, March 09, 2012

It's really Spring here

and this year I won't have a garden but I will put more time and work into the landscaping and dog dug holes among other things.  I started clean up outside today, will work on it Saturday and hope to burn some rubbish if the wind will allow, it's been too windy to burn lately.
It's also time to get the little bike ready for the road and start working on the blue one to see if we can resolve it's issue and have it running also.
Kid is enjoying the time outside with me but he's not staying in the yard, he's not helping me clean up and he is chasing all the feral cats that neighbors keep feeding.
Work is ok, changes in what needs done, how it's done but I am working out a schedule that gets my job duties done and doesn't drive me up the wall.
My big fun this past week has to be Apple and the new release, LOL, have watched Apple for years,own a few Ipods and love to see their ads, their gadgets and what edges they are pushing, and the new Ipad2 that was so hot this time last year, 'its so 2011' and the original Ipad, it's so history, lol.
Apple keeps changing how we do so many things, and what gadgets we think we need.  And I still rarely use that pre-paid Net 10 cell phone, expect people to call the land line, leave a call back number If they want me to call them back...and own a Kindle, a Toshiba laptop, a Toshiba tablet, a Dell desktop computer and will have a new Ipad, back engraved with my name coming when it's shipped, the case for it is already on the I need a new tech toy.
My boys bought gaming systems, 1 was not enough, and I admit to buying them some of those things too.  I buy dolls, yarns, fabric on occasion and tech stuff.  But I still don't need a smart phone, still don't own a mixer, still knit my own socks and do most of my own old house work.
the budget did not need my adding the payments for that Ipad, but as the back will read, My tech toy and my bills to pay.  
and now I need to go earn some of that $$$ I need to use paying all those bills I have

Friday, March 02, 2012

March already?? I hadn't got my list for January done

And now it's March, the ground is wet, the moles are running tunnels like crazy through my little bit of turf, the dog is digging like crazy when and where he can, the place looks like a land mine field.
But I still have a dry roof and a great attic space that needs a huge amount of work and $ but is my hideaway and my sewing space.
We have a local 'bug' going about, stomach/entire digestive tract kind that cleans you out and dehydrates you if a person is not careful.  I shared it with that man I date, who is recovering slower than I am but he wasn't as sick with it, he just doesn't bounce back well.
Foot and I are getting along most of the time, on a 'we tolerate each other' level.  I don't think I will do much garden this year, some is the work, some is wanting more free time for other things and some is that so much doesn't get harvested well.  I seem to have bug battles and hate to use so much insecticide as know with our sand it's soon into the water going down river.
Living alone still works well for me, it's not that I don't think about how life could have been different but I am able to accept what I cannot change and move on with my life.
Jake's enjoying most of this deployment, he's been in Japan, he's been in Thailand, he's met so many people, seen so much, learned so much, grown so much, but still wants mom to knit him socks and bake him bread and cookies when she can.
People are one of those things in life that you can't change, they are and will be who they are, they might try to be different for a while but it doesn't last, or they might build a false image of who they want you to think they are but it does fall apart sometime. 
So, I pick up the pieces of my life and work on building my life, and now and then I look back at that past, or I stumble over an old memory, a dream tucked away and wonder why he wasn't honest about stuff that would come out in time, why when I did find out, he didn't see I was asking him to be honest and give us something we could fix and make work. 
Now, I don't make space in my life for anyone who could build a life with me, there is no place for long term, make a team stuff, there's this workable 2 single people who share time together, as we can and will make the time.  Not a future together thing, but a today thing and for Larry and I, that is what works, we care about each other but we have our own homes, our own lives and patterns and we work that well.
And I have my old house, my dolls and my creative arts, my few friends and my dig and silly loud parrots and I have peace.  Not problems other people have drug into my life, not financial disasters that I have to help dig out from. 
And not the dreams I once had, and some days I miss that having dreams stuff.

Monday, February 06, 2012

witing on the IRS

Still no sign of my tax refunds but they will come eventually.  In the meantime I go to work every day, spend quality time with Larry, do stuff at the local library weekly, and am enjoying my attic space.  The knitting goes slowly, but a pair of socks are on their way to Jake and I have started another 1, that is not a pair, it's 1 sock, I did not divide the skein into 2 balls so will be doing first 1 sock and then the mate. 

I did design and knit a doll sweater, or more honestly, I cast on, ripped it out, cast on, knit a bit, ripped out and cast on a 3rd time, knit the body of the sweater and then started to write the pattern out.  It did not make sense to start writing anything down until I had something that worked.  I'm currently 'playing' with my Goodreau dolls, I have 2 that are 16 and 17 inches tall, long slim teens or so they look and I hope to get some outfits made for both of them.

It is being a mild winter here so far, better for me than last winter.  I make progress, the old house makes progress, the debt load goes down a bit, the mortgage goes down some.

And for the most part, the pain is livable, the life is pretty good and I am content. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

crazy weather and taxes

It has gone from 60 down to 17 in less than 20 hours here, the trees and shrubs have no clue what is happening and the creeping charlie just keeps growing and spreading every time it's above 32,  Great weed but not the ground cover plant I really want here.

I am waiting for the next utility bill so I have a closer idea to what my heating costs are running this winter.  With the attic space to heat now and only insulation up I am expecting a rise from last year this time but I am not running that dehumidifier 24/7 so know that should help balance it out some.

And it's tax time, my state is filed, my fed should be if I have the # from last year's adjusted gross right, I ad it off by $2 and was rejected so this is the 2nd time to send it.  I should have double checked with the paper return and not just trusted the software.  The paper return was in the file just 2 feet away so there's no reason for being that lazy.

Friend Julie has hers done and is mailing them in, no fees to pay that way and I am NOT covering fees this year for friends who use my paid for software and my printer and paper and ink, which I need to buy again. Tax time uses up a lot of ink and so does printing out free doll knitting patterns.

Jake's taxes are started and Jake is on my tax bad list again this year.  His state with holding is still MO and should have been IL last year and this year and he needs to change that with his command or pay office.  It is NOT something Mom can fix but Mom gets stuck with dealing with the tax filing fun it creates and I don't find it loads of fun.

I do have a list started for my tax refunds this year, new glasses as my work insurance does not pay the full cost and I need them replaced and new exam.  Pay off Lowes and put ceilings in my attic space, that does include the sloped/angled parts too so that's a lot of paneling to buy and pay for some help to install but it should go reasonably fast.

I do have wiring work that needs done first, the wiring for south baseboard heater needs in so I can panel the south wall and the ceiling lights need at least wired even if I only buy cheap fixtures for now.  The breaker and junction box have been up for years, I have most or all the materials so there is NO reason to not get it done but being lazy.

Foot and I are getting along most of the time, got up this morning with it not wanting to support me, that is not real abnormal but sure sucks to start the day that way.  I expect to end the day that way but don't usually start the day with that much pain and handicap issues.

I have several dolls on that tax wish list and am not sure any of them will get bought, but am having fun looking on line after work, don't have a book I am reading so it's look at dolls on line and look at prices.
In the meantime,  I have a job that pays the bills here, date a really good man, can afford to heat my little old house and like my life.

Friday, January 13, 2012

that Springfield trip

I found a great new friend but Larry didn't thing we could sneak him out or get him into my truck.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Starting the New Year

We went from warm to cold and now back to warming up some. It's a weather crazy winter here and I've been hit with my 2nd cold this winter and spent most of Sunday sleeping, taking cold meds and drinking fluids before sleeping some more. Finances are snug but livable, debt load is going down a tiny bit at a time, old house isn't making much progress this winter but part of that is my putting off work I could be doing. I am content here, and like my life and job. That goes a long way to help balance the days that have a lot of pain. All the passive solar gain upstairs sure helps warm that area up, I take my oatmeal up there most mornings to eat in the sunshine and enjoy my space. Have stuff I need to get done today before I head to work and time is going by so fast, but I am gaining on that blasted cold, know I got it at the plant so will be taking it back to the plant. Sure glad I spend most of my time there tucked away in my own space and work at my own pace.