My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Getting ready for the New Year

I did get the papers sorted and the tax software downloaded, have used TaxACT for many years and it works well for me.  Started the annual letter and so that made a good end to a day that started with 8+ hours at work.
Jake took his gal over to MO to meet his dad and to visit, Shadow stayed home with Mom and has been working on bad dog/good dog stuff.  He earned some time out on the chain run and it seems to have helped cool down that bad dog attitude.
I replaced the batteries in my electronic thermometer and the outside part.  I don't know how many years I have had it, but I think it was bought late the same fall my house got a new roof and I started turning that empty space below the roof into my studio and retreat.
We have cold weather once again but did get several days that warmed up into the high 40's or above.  I used the nice weather after work yesterday to clean up all the dog poop, owning a dog, and a big dog means there is a lot of poop that needs cleaned up on a regular basis.  Glad to have most of that cleaned up but it is like dishes, no matter how often you wash dishes or laundry, you always have more growing somewhere.
Work seems to have either lost more people this past week or people had single vacation days.  I know at least 1 person in my work area is out on indefinite suspension and probably will not be back. Using a knife to clean/ remove meat, work debris from clothing is not acceptable in plant.
I know I have work habits and home ones, and the 2 do not mix.  I might use a knife here at home in ways that would get me walked out in plant, but I do try to comply with all company rules.  It just works nicely for me, keeps me employed and makes my life easier.  I also have work clothes that I use spray stuff on before they go in the washer.  Works better than a knife with less problems.  I am also quite willing to use my very washable fingers to pick stuff off my clothes if needed.
So, the past year had some down spots, more up spots and some progress with the old house improvements and with the debt load.
This coming year I want to get more drywall up in the attic, and some wiring work done, and I am going to slowly change out light bulbs to LED bulbs.  They are more expensive than fluorescent ones but last a lot longer, use a lot less power for the same amount of light.  The lights that are on the most will be the first, and I know that over time it will be well worth the cost of the bulbs.
Well, the bread dough is risen enough to be worked again.  I cleaned the sourdough jar today and put some started base back in, need to buy something in a jar big enough to make a 2nd sourdough jar so I can move my starter into a clean container more often.  I started this base just before Jake got out of the Marines so it has been going and living since 8/12, that is the longest I have ever been able to keep a starter alive and healthy.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

That Christmas stuff

I am behind and did not get my annual letter done yet but will before the end of the year. will also clean off the downstairs computer desk and file papers so I can use that space better.
But as for this Christmas stuff, I am still not playing.  It is still a holiday that was adopted by the Catholic Church to help convert and keep converted those pagans I am probably genetically related to.  And it was turned into a big commercial thing to help stores make money and help guilt trip people into spending a lot more money. 
Yes, a lot of good things get done at this time of the year. People who will not otherwise part with change, will drop it in red buckets, or will write a check for a charity.  They will donate to food banks and other things and remember to be more polite and nice to their neighbors.
I just don't play any more than I have to.  I appreciate the 2 paid days off I now have, now that I am back in production, and I like food, but for the most part, I just want left out of all the merriment and so forth.
I finally got the sewing studio mucked out again, no more drywall leaning against the book wall, no drywall jack in the way so can enjoy sewing in there and I even have the rocking chairs cleared off so I can sit or a guest can sit there.  The south end, my retreat has most of the ceiling drywall up but I need to do part/most of the slope on both sides plus that area in the storage/doll areas and the entire south end.
The north end has more area done or rather the drywall up but it is a long way from finished and might never get done.  I will keep working on it as I have funds, energy and a bit of help.
Wish 1 and all a very good winter season, and so forth. And often thank God for the choices made, by myself and by others that has my life where it is and living how I live.
Jake has a 3.6 grade average this term and is enjoying the holiday break from class.  He spends time with the gal pal, and is putting more hours in at the livestock sale barn where he works.
That dog is almost 7 months now, and we know he spells Attitude in all capital letters some days.  And he is vocal about his displeasure, very funny but I would not have tolerated it in my human children.  So, yes, he is spoilt rotten here and knows we cave in.  But I am working on some issues with him and know he needs more structure (discipline) a firm view of Mom as pack leader to be respected and neutered.  Jake has that scheduled for this coming Monday, as he forgot, slept, had company, any of the above for missing the appointment I had made this past Monday.
Occasionally cross paths with someone I used to date, back when the house needed the waterline trench dug and the new line put in.  And religion was the issue there, but he is a good man and a nice guy and now married, retired from the plant so I cross paths with him at local stores.  He says hi, smiles and his wife looks like a not happy, not joyful woman.  But, hey, not my place to judge, and not my life.  And I am so very glad she is his wife and I am not.
Mike F. has posted a comment on my Facebook and an occasional google search has never pulled up an obit on him so I know he is still alive.  Still has not told me he deliberately lied and attempted to deceive me about his debt obligations but since I did find that foreclosure notice on line, and he sure was not honest about that, and the cell phone bill kept being unpaid or under paid and I kept paying on a cell bill that was not my usage.  Ya, I made a wise choice to call a halt to that.  Sorry we could not have found a way to be friends but I will toss that one his way.  I was not the one lying/using the other party.  Acknowledging,admitting, saying, 'ya, I screwed up, finances are a mess and I did not want to admit it' would have gone a long way.  I screw up and I sure hate to admit it, to myself and to others, especially to those that matter. 
But I also learned a very long time ago, that the only way I could fix things, make better choices, clean up my mess, was to start with admitting there was a mess, and that I had some or all the responsibility for that mess happening.  And I am still doing that.
Hey, it is my fault the water heater has some issues, hey, I am the person who should have been draining/flushing it every year since I put it in and ya, I am the person who will be dealing with it, and it is top on the list once the temps are staying getting a bit warmer and I have a day off work.  I will do what it takes to clean up the mess, I will buy the thing a new lower element and I will work at being more responsible about flushing the stupid tank yearly. 
I am honest about liking living by myself best, this old house and my own life.  I don't get bored often or lonely, just so much here for me to do when I do have time off work and energy to do it and I like my own company.  I am so glad I got rid of tv service, I don't miss that either.  I do have Netflicks and don't use that very often but don't mind the $8/month bill for the service. 
I like the man I date, better as we have been dating almost 3 years, but I like a lot more alone time in my own space than makes for a good relationship for him.  We manage to accept each other as we really are and enjoy the time together, but I spent all of yesterday holed up in my house, and glad when Jake and his gal-pal left so I could have the place to just me and the critters, Shadow the dog and my loud and vocal parrots.
So, anyway, I start the new year with my employer taking out 7% for 401K and I am not sure how much they match, but have decided I can afford that, already have an account they set up for me so will keep adding, right now it would pay off the house, next year it should be enough to pay off house and most of the credit debt if I keep working on both house payments and debt load the way I have. 2 years from now it would pay any remaining debt and do a bit more work on the house or vehicle. 
Looking down the years at the possibility of being disabled and not able to work until retirement, or having to retire at 62.  And it is not that far away, so ya, I need to think to my future and plan to have some stability and not be starving out or loose my home. And the coffee is made, I have scones I made yesterday to eat for breakfast and some sewing plans for this morning.  I go with Larry to a meal at his daughter's house today.  Would rather stay holed up in my attic space, play with my dolls, take my dog out for potty walks....

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Less than 26 more house payments

I pay extra every month so that pinches a bit off the last payment but it is nice to be getting closer to paid off home.
We are getting to enjoy a ice storm, I took Shadow out and coming back in the dog slipped coming up the steps onto the porch, he didn't think it was funny.
I hope to get Jake to help with some drywall work today as I have 2 sheets still that need used and out of the way, then I can tidy up and enjoy my attic studio and retreat for the winter and plan more drywall work later on.  It will be a long and slow job before the entire attic has all the drywall installed and then I still have to tape, mud, sand, prime, paint, but the materials are paid for and not another debt I have to pay off.
The credit debt is still way more than I like but I am working hard on more self control, putting more into my 401k and paying as much as I can on credit debt every month so it goes down, just not as fast as I would like.
Jake's grades this term were good, he is enjoying some well earned time off school but putting more hours in at the livestock sale barn. He has his gal pal here and we get along well, and she and the house wild dog usually get along.
I am much happier now that I am back in production and I do really like bing on day shift, bid on the job I am doing, came to the floor as a temporary but a permanent opening came up so I bid on the job. I know it is hard work and I know my hands hurt a lot, I sleep in splints every night now, once again and expect to all winter and maybe even longer.  But, I am happy and I am earning enough to keep the bills paid, food in the house and a bit extra now and then for things I want.
Right now I am waiting for 100 3/8" woven labels for Bernadette's Closet that I ordered, better size for the doll clothing I am making and a bit more class than the printed labels I have.  I did take advantage of a good sale but it still was 1 of those extras, along with some doll shoes, 3 pair are part of the wardrobe for the doll I will outfit and donate to UFDC this convention as part of their fund raising helpers.  A fellow club member will take it with her to the convention and our club get the credit and pat on the back for donating.  Now, I have to plan outfits and have boots, sneakers and dress shoes to plan clothing to go with but I will probably buy some of the things, undies, tights, socks.
I am hoping life is good for people I am no longer in touch with, when I see a semi tractor, especially blue ones, I think of Mike, and remind God that man needs watched and cared for, along with all his family, hope his life is good, happy and stable.
I know my life here works well for me, I make that happen, by my choices and my hard work. And the fact that God does take very good care of me.  I have some great friends, Jake, and a good job, a town I really like, an old house I am turning into the home that works best for me.
I am designing again and enjoying sewing, am making some progress in turning the attic space into a real working studio for my creativity with a retreat that is my nest.  In time I will have the downstairs bedroom back, once Jake is elsewhere and I have replaced that badly water damaged ceiling.
But, the attic south end will stay my retreat, my private space to tuck into and relax, with hand sewing and knitting and books.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hump day and getting stuff done

Well, it is now 12/18 and I finally made a vet appointment for Shadow to have his rabies shot and to be neutered, Jake will take him early Monday morning and then pick him back up that afternoon.
And I finally got around to setting up my on line stuff for my 401K, and tweaking how much I want put in weekly and the annual % to increase.  The change from hourly management to production stopped my weekly additions but I think by the start of the new year I will see money going in once again and I increased how much I am having taken from my paycheck.
Larry and I went to supper at Pizza Hut, my treat, tonight, nice to not fix a meal and to spend a bit of time with him.  We plan a very lazy Christmas, I have 2 days off and asked for a pot of soup and lazy time.
There are 2 jobs up for bids this week I plan to bid on, even though I am not yet back in the union.  I might be by Monday or by the time my name makes it to the top of either job bid list.
Making slow progress on gaining the job skills, and even slower progress on reducing hand problems but sleep in my splints every night.  I know it helps, as does my gaining job skill and strength.
It will be a long, painful and slow winter at work for my old body but I am happier back on the kill floor than I have been for a very long time at work.
I hope to get help from Jake and see drywall work done again this weekend.  I only have 2 more sheets of the stuff in the house, need a lot more but would like these up and then put my attic studio into better order and worry about more drywall work in the spring.  It goes slow and I spend too much money on other stuff so house funds are not top of my list often enough.
The bills stay paid, the house stays warm, we have food and I think both Jake and I are content most of the time.  
His grades were good this term, and he is enjoying his classes most of the time, still working all he can at the local livestock sale, and spoils that dog we share.  I like the gal he is dating and she seems comfortable here and with me.  
I think 4 out of the 9 of us from the frock room too the lay off, or will be 4 by the time our lead is released from her work injury.  I knew it was the wrong choice for me, could not get a better job and will not choose to go back to poverty if I can stay working and keep all my benefits but I do understand why a couple chose the lay-off, but not the 1 much younger than me with no job skills to market, kids at home still in school and a retired husband whose income is not very much.  
They came here from poverty with job recruitment, clothes stuffed in plastic trash bags and in the 8 + years or so, they have lived well, their youngest 2 have thrived and done great in school in this area, often on the honor rolls.  But she is lazy and did not want to go back to being labor, funny, she was glorified labor in the frock room.
I will and really am, happy to be working, like starting my Wednesday with looking in the company computer what my paycheck will be on Friday and planning out what I will do with it, bills first, food and then what else I can do or have.
Live a good life here with a lot of perks, nice stuff, play money and know pain is part of being labor in a meat plant, and so is paid vacation says, paid medical coverage, money in savings, paid for scooters and motorcycles, and tablets along with all the other goodies in my life.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Winter and Saturday chore list

The list starts with dealing with the water heater, I need to get it flushed out, know the bottom is thick in crud, know in have neglected it and know the lower element might need replaced before winter is done and that means draining the blasted tank first and that means getting it to flush out, drain out.
And I would like to see if I can get some of the drywall up as it will do me more good installed than it does being in my way.
I tried to pay some of the bills on line this morning and Chase and I had interesting computer glitches, so I have pending payments of duplicate payments on some of the bills and my checking account almost drained.  I did make a call and learned that I am not the only person with early morning banking problems and it should be resolved tomorrow.
Work is going ok, hurt but that is normal and I am now rotating on the job, it is a 3 spot/person rotation and it will take me soe more time to be reasonably good at all the jobs but I am making progress each day and I like being back in production.  I have far less stress and enjoy the work more along with making as much or more money.
Will try to keep on track with knocking the credit debt down as much as I can this winter, need to play with, sew for the dolls I have, piece a quilt top or two, knit, mess with my loom and not waste money on things I do not need.  
And early this morning I ordered some doll shoes on line, and now have no idea what shoes I did get ordered.  Guess I will find out when they get here.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Working through the emotional stuff

I called a friend in Craig, had her Facebook me info for area food bank, decided that doing flowers was a waste of money, sons need to do something, and a donation to the area food bank in Memory of their grandmother was workable for my head, and since it is actually my money and my check that got mailed off, it needs to work for my head too.
Have not seen the boys grandmother for many years, my guess would be 15 years or more.  She came to MO once that I know of, after Sam and I were divorced, remember it was when I was putting new decking on the front porch, with the help of boys, so that would make it over 14 years this past summer.  Ben was 12 that summer.
My sons never really knew her, we moved from Colorado when Ben was 7, boys did not spend any time around Sam's family, if and when we could prevent or avoid it.  Our marriage was not in their plans and neither was Sam having any children of his own to inherit what he had worked to build up.
Sounds so stupid, almost like poorly written fiction, family feuds and all the bitterness that was also a part of dealing with my husband's family.
Know the past year or more has been hard as Kathrine's mind has slowly failed, hard on her children living close to watch and deal with.  Hard for Sam as there was a lot of hurt and pain between them that has never been resolved.
I wonder what will happen now, she was the glue that held them together, and that helped keep their children, her grandchildren a family, with the exemption of my sons, the ones who not only lived away, but who were also rejected for being my sons.
I feel for their loss and hurt, but I am so glad we moved away, far enough away that my boys grew up free from the family issues and problems that ran rampant.
Now I do the correct, polite thing, in their names, and know my life here in central IL, despite the old house needing a lot of work, the huge debt load, the physical pain I have a lot more of with going back to production, I am so far better off a long way away from that family.
And I will not guilt trip myself over that being happy about how far away we are.

Death in the family

My sons grandmother passed away late last month, funeral to be held the end of this week.  That woman has actively hated me since she first met me, we will do appropriate thing, flowers and I will get the call for that made after work today.  Glad we are too far away for either/both of the boys to be expected to show up.
Does not chage my life any, may she rest in peace, my life has been free of her hate for many years and my sons were raised free of her hate and messed up head problems.  But I know their dad will grieve, despite the problems between them, he loved his mother and forgave her for many huge things.