My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Filling time

I am working on filling time, I have another week before my doctor appointment, so far no more tests that are scheduled so I am working on cleaning up the house and working on the sewing space.
 I now have 2 quilts done that were in the pile of things needing attention and 1 more to repair.
And then I can work on the pile of doll things that are part done or cut out and not yet sewn, the knitting that needs done, socks for Ben, repair a sweater of mine, knit on a sweater I started several years ago and really want to wear.
The weather has been mild this past month, that helps the utility bill, and I am watching my spending as the paperwork for disability pay is no longer part of our FLMA or rather we just have a lot more hoops to get that contracted benefit my employers say they have for us.  
But the FLMA has been approved so I can quit calling in every day, that is a nice change.
    Well, now it is well into the new year, 8:23 am in my kitchen, music playing, working on a pair of socks for my son Ben, checking Facebook, and email, a few other things and staying home.
    I do not have money to waste, nor gas, I still have days until I see the cardio doctor, and I do not know how soon he will release me for work or how much more paperwork and hassle it will be to get my disability pay but I know from others at the plant, that it has become far more hassle and often not all of it paid.  But it will get my medical co-pay made, if and when I get all the kinks worked out.
I managed to get through all the hassle and paperwork from the car accident without any money going to a lawyer so think I am capable of fighting this fight also.
      And I will win the battle with depressed, gloomy, discontent stuff too.  I have plenty here to play with and stuff coming that was ordered weeks ago, tracking seems stuck or else stuff is not moving, tracking is not being updated as stuff moves... But the ordered bird food did come and is put into storage jars, I don't have to worry about keeping those kids fed for a couple months.
If I ask, Jake will buy Shadow a bag of food, chews and biscuits but he is not good at buying toys for the dog child who loves toys.
   I am glad to have 3 quilts back on the blanket shelf and out of my 'to do' pile in the sewing space.  I also emptied a big tote and the plastic tub, so they are now down for Ben to use with his stuff.  I need to plan starting to remove the damaged ceiling tiles in the downstairs bedroom this winter and that means the room cleaned out enough for me to do that work and not have a huge amount of filth to clean up off stuff that is currently on shelves and about the room.
     All my dolls and such will need boxed up and moved out, Jake's stuff will need moved, covered, gone.. And Ben will need any and all his stuff out of the way and protected from the dirt, dust and general filth the job will create before the work can get started.
And my being off work is a real hinder to progress here, both with getting the work done and with the financial issue.
    I want to go play at the mall in Springfield, shop some of the sales, be out of home for a while.  I want to buy a good shelf board to go above the futon in the south end of my attic space, replace the deck board I put up there for a temporary shelf.
It did get the dolls up and out of my way so I could sew and I did get all 3 quilts taken care of, so at least I gained something.
    My plans for the next couple years were not for time off work with medical issues, and I know being pissed off at my own body, at my heart for something it did not deliberately do will only add to my stress, which does not help the heart.  
     So, I adjust the plans, and I appreciate all I do have, and that a medical condition has been caught early.  I work on things here at home that are started and not finished, I can find a mountain of doll things that fall in that category and I have a sweater started and 1 I am repairing, and quilt blocks my mother made that need something done with them.  
      There are dolls who could use some attention and plenty of patterns and fabrics for both doll clothes and quilts, a warm house to live in, food in the house, an area I dreamed of and worked for and will continue to work on for my books, fabrics, dolls, sewing, knitting, designing.
     I am in my own home, not dependent on a man for money, or the roof over my head, the clothes on my back or my sense of value.  A lot to be very thankful for, and plenty of reasons to step out of my blue and into the day and make it a good day.  I have that ability, and I will use it.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Adjusting and trying to be patient

Well, first weekend since the abnormal EKG and start testing.  The echo sonogram thing was done this past Wed. and I have yet to be notified about the stress test, it is the next one, so the medical team tells me.  And no appointment with cardio dr. to learn results of echo test.
So, no diagnos at this time, no idea of treatment or when I will be back to work.  And that will bug me but not something I can change at this time so I better cope.
I did fix the webbing on the little antique love seat and put 'dead cloth' on the underside.  Really, that is what it is called, and I ran out of upholstery tacks for that, they are actually cheaper here in town, where I bought the first 3 packages so I will pick up another and get that cloth covering finished.
The knitted doll dress is done, photos next and post on line with a price, have plans to do some doll clothes for sale while I am off and trying to not go screaming insane.
I have dog chewed holes in my purple gainsey so ripped back a sleeve and am re-knitting it and just found a second hole low in the body so will be ripping back the lower body next to reknit that.  And I need to make sure my clothing is far away from that dog, work on training that dog better, we are working with vinegar in a spray bottle for discouraging him from the antique love seat and I will do that with fabrics and wood.
Jake allowed the dog to destroy a lot of things, socks, shirts, wood, ect., and now Ben and I are working on some retraining so I can cope and enjoy living with Shadow.
I need to get the beadboard backing up on the peninsula here in the kitchen, the counter guy will be here again Monday for a final measurement, and the costs are now on my Lowe's card so I can get an appointment with my loan officer and roll all this kitchen project over into a mortgage and I will go Monday am and get that appointment set up.
Finances will be tight here, this time off work is coming at a very bad time for me, the leave papers are started, but the disability pay is not what I bring in a week, it does not start the first day off unless I am hospitalized that first day so I can kiss going to the UFDC convention this summer "goodbye" as my tax return will be helping fix the financial problems caused by this time off work.
And financial issues get me depressed fast, as does being home, off work for medical reasons, as does dealing with getting medical tests and appointments scheduled, but at least my kitchen has improved and I will push and nudge Ben, who is living here again, to help me get a few things done up in the attic, so I have it cleaned up and my sewing area usable.  Right now it is the catch all for wood trim, drywall scraps and what not.  But we can work on getting that trim up and we can get some of those small pieces of drywall used in the dormer and the rest hauled to D&D for disposal.
I have yarns, mending and fabrics, stuff started that can be finished, plenty here to play with and keep me busy while I get through this down time and the blasted heart problem found and dealt with.
But I am not enjoying being off work, nor am I enjoying having my financial stability shook up again.
So, maybe I can make a bit of money with doll clothes sewing, and I need those quilts mended, re-bound, and in the usable bedding shelf, that clears up space.  So would finish mending the antique crocheted bedspread, machine quilting the quilt that has been waiting for me to machine quilt for several years now.
So, all and all, I am or should be able to get through this down time better than the last time I was off for major medical reasons.  This is not like the car accident, I am not laid up and in a lot of pain and my house is in better shape, I have more space to live in and play in, am very mobile which I was not last time, and I will get some things done that are needing done.
Both Ben and Jake are handy if and when I need a bit of help, and I have friends and good neighbors so that will also help.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Resetting my goals and direction, some.

It looks like my heart will be deciding a lot of things in my life for a while, and right now I don't know what I will be doing, when I will be back at work, or how I will manage, emotionally or financially.  But I will get there, and this afternoon I will see the cardio guy and go from there.  Ben will get his driver's license renewed as once again I need to know I can depend on that son for any help I need with transportation needs.  
And I will manage, no matter what or how this quirky heart thing plays out.  I know there is only so much pushing, physically, I can do with this.  It is not like the car accident damage and pain issues there.  But I will manage and I will cope and I will stay strong and independent, because I need that.

Friday, December 05, 2014

That kitchen renovation stuff

The cabinets are installed, except for the end of the peninsula which had to be reordered as the wrong base cabinet was ordered and I refuse to even consider making it work for my needs/wants.  3 out of the 8 base cabinets were NOT what I wanted, 1 end panel was for the wrong side, or it was for the cabinet that should have been ordered for the right side of the stove.
2 out of 4 upper cabinet doors have to be replace, 1 is scratched and not fixable to my satisfaction and the corner unit has 2 doors, or a bi-fold door and 1 matches the rest of the cabinet doors, the other is the same cherry finish and similar style but not the same style.  That one is a factory screw up and has a funny side.
The crew delivering the cabinets to the house were 2 younger men and 1 managed to steal my 32G iPod Touch 5, from the new charging station by the kitchen table, where I left it, in a bight pink  iPhone 5 case, they are the same size and the shock case was good priced and protected my iPod from drops onto hard surfaces, like all the floors in my old house.
I doubt if the delivery company compensates me at all and I will stay bent out of shape over it for probability the rest of my life.
But I do now have the old microwave stand moved across town, along with the old television housing I turned into a storage unit around 15 years ago.  The old kitchen table is still loaded with stuff to put away or was up and put away, it will come apart and store in my utility area until Jake or Ben have a home for it.
It has been a long and stress filled renovation project and expensive, but I will have a good, clean, workable kitchen once it is all done.  I have waited for years for this and will gladly make my loan payments, knowing I am coming home to the house I have worked to turn into a solid and comfortable home.
And this being single works so well for me, I have no time or interest in dating, too much to do here, too much I want to do and not willing to give up my time, share my house, put up with other people's problems, issues or bad habits.  That might make me a spoilt and selfish old woman or it might be, that at 58, I have earned the right to live my life as it works best for me.
I am glad to have the dishes done, they are drying in the dish racks, in the bathtub, but I know I won't be washing dishes in tubs, in the bathroom for too many more weeks, I now have scraps of plywood and whatever else I had on hand that would work for temporary counter tops so I am a lot closer to a working kitchen than I was yesterday.  
The house is a bit cleaner, and I know tomorrow I will get some more work done here, Sunday is the doll club Christmas party and I will be ready for that this year, and if it is dry, not snowing or raining, I can return the wrong cabinet and the toe kick I told the woman not to order to Lowes so that will come off my account.  
And Shadow is calmer, the house getting back into order helps him, but he misses Jake, who doesn't even have time to talk to the dog when he stops by here most times.  I knew the dog would become my dog, now Ben is helping me deal with the behavior issues Jake helped create.
But, like my kitchen, things with the dog will get there in time also.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

So much to be Thankful for

Really, despite the snags and hitches and issues that over time will become small, my life is really good and I ahve a lot to be thankful for.
The cabinets are here, the installer should be here tomorrow, the counter company and I have next Friday for measurements so they can start cutting/making my counters. 
Work is still there, as usual, harder in the winter but also more time on the clock which means more money to help fund this old life I enjoy.  And I work with good supervisors and good crew of co-workers, like where I work and know I have livable pay, good benefits and a short drive to and from work.
I have all the doll knitting done for the club Christmas exchange so now only need to work in yarn ends, sew seams, and do the finish work, wash and block so I expect to be ready this year.  I still need to do cards for everyone in the club, but will get that done too.
The house is still a renovation disaster, but last weekend Ben and I did some work on the front door and have really reduced that draft problem.  I just need 1 more section of beadboard to finish the laundry ceiling area, still need to use some caulk, and paint but it is a big improvement that has needed done for years.
There is a lot of drywall work to be done here, and I might actually make some progress on that today, dormer area, and I also will badger Ben into helping me haul some lumber from the attic eave where it has been stored to the utility area, except for the deck boards.  The deck boards will be used as bridging for working on the drywall in that dormer area, the stairwell creates some open space we cannot reach across to work safely. 
The studio is a mess right now but I will work on that this winter, some is the small pieces of drywall, I will use what is big enough to use on the dormer walls and then dispose of the rest.  I just need to get busy and do some work up there on a regular basis.
Jake seems to have settled in well up the street, moved in with a friend of ours but Shadow is staying here with me and Ben is camping here while I need help with old house projects or someone here for contractors.
The house is much quieter with just Ben, he has his faults but he also works better with my needs and wants for a quiet house to start my work mornings and to come home to.  And he keeps the volume down on things much better and has not taken over my living room.  I am actually able to use and enjoy my living room again, despite the kitchen stuff in here and the table saw and the dust.
My Xbox has moved downstairs and the big flat screen I won last spring is now is use, I watch movies, Netflicks and YouTube videos in my own living room and am enjoying that.Today I have videos going about re-upholstering furniture.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Still working on the kitchen

And the laundry space, the dormer area, the mess everywhere but I am seeing progress, 30 more feet of beading board to buy, prime, paint, cut and nail up and the laundry area will have ceiling, the left over board ends will do that lip/edge along the wall seperating the bathroom from the laundry area.  The stairwell opening left a small strip about 6" wide by 4 foot long, it makes a handy shelf as you enter the attic space, I even have an electrical outlet and the few house plants that struggle here live there.
The new kitchen door and windows are wonderful, will need trimmed out once cabinets and counter are in, and I sure have plenty of outside work to do.  But they are sealed up, and a bit of caulk along the inside bottom edge of the east one, should be snug and make a far warmer and brighter kitchen for many years to come.
I finally have the last of the wiring up into the attic, ran 2 lines for the future bathroom, so now have that last area of dormer eave wall closed up, the osb is primed and I did do a separate panel that could be removed to access the wiring junction boxes hidden back there and the covers of each has a label so a person can easily know which box is the baseboard heaters, the south outlets, the north outlets, the lights.
Jake has moved up the street a block but Shadow is staying here and right now Ben is camping in the bedroom, on the floor.  The bed and mattress were in such bad shape they went out the door, I will dispose of them in time, they can occupy space in the back by our parking for now.
I plan to start removing the rain damaged ceiling tiles from that bedroom this winter and replace them. It would be nice to be able to hire someone to come in, pull down all the ceiling tile, the old, damaged plaster, clean up, install and finish new, clean drywall ceiling but that is not affordable so I will take out 3-4 rows of that ugly staple up ceiling tile, replace it, and the trim, and paint the whole ceiling and be glad I have a home I can keep on fixing.
The new kitchen will be nice, not awesome, not huge but clean, very usable, very handicapped friendly and long lasting.  It took more battle with the bank than I expected for some of that and I am on a tight budget but I can work with that.  
Here I do a lot of the work, Ben and Jake help for free or very low pay so there is no huge labor bill.  The door and 2 windows were contracted out but the boys and I did the removal of the old ones and repair work for all 3 openings.
The cabinets are Kraft Made, a very good company and from Lowes, who will also take care of the installing, and the granite counters are also contracted through Lowes.  And a very dark green that reminds Ben of being up high and looking down into a forest or jungle floor.  I can see that, there is a lot more colors to them than I can explain but to me, the granite is very alive and active.  With all my natural lighting, white bead board ceiling, light, warm toned walls, I think it will work well, not create a dark and gloomy kitchen but really give it a nice wow factor.
Work is the usual winter stuff, harder to remove and a lot more shells/nails on the hogs and a lot more hair to shave but also more hours on the paychecks which really helps pay for all my old house improvements.  I keep working, take something over the counter for pain and keep thanking God that I have a job with good pay and benefits that is very close so I don't have a long drive every day.
The house here is changing, some of what I had wanted for years is now happening, the wall between the kitchen and living room now has open shelving so both spaces feel a bit lighter and bigger and it improves the air flow, which should help on heating and cooling.  I now have my pegboard shadow boxes in the wall between the kitchen and laundry area and a big part of my coffee cup collection is now out to enjoy and to use. The new windows are not much different in size than what was here when I bought the house but far nicer looking, cleaner and much more energy efficient which will make a far more comfortable kitchen area.
The upstairs still has a very long way to go, a lot more drywall to buy and install and then finish but progress has been made and I can now start the wiring in the future bathroom, and that means the first piece of water resistant, mold resistant drywall will go up on that ceiling this winter, once I get some of the wiring work done.
The new side by side means that I can take advantage of employee meat sales at work as I now have freezer space for that.  And the new stacked washer/dryer unit gives me a more efficient dryer and more space. Getting the ceiling up in there makes the space look cleaner and better lit instead of the dark hole it used to be.
And Shadow is adjusting to Jake not living here, he has some behavior issues that are slowly being dealt with, it will take time to teach him he is not a lapdog, he is not to paw me or nip at me but he is improving slowly.  
I am no longer dating/seeing/spending time with L.L, it just doesn't fit into my life, my old house needs the weekend time and attention, I don't want to be at his place, my allergies flare terribly, I get bored, and I just do not want to.  There just is no want or need for a male, or female, for that matter, significant, emotional, physical relationship in my life.  Call it old age, call it busy, call it just comfortable single and solitary, but I am just not willing to make time for dating, not willing to spend time being bored and wishing I was home alone instead of watching 'idiot' TV at someone else's place.
Life just works smoothly and contentedly for me right now, and I am working to keep it that way, like where my priorities are, where my goals are and love being home, like seeing the results of the work I am doing here, do not mind the money I am putting into this old house to see those improvements happen and I think I have finally found the peace I have long sought.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kitchen progress

This kitchen project seems to be moving very slowly but then, it has been more than 10 years since I ripped out what was in this house, trashed cabinets, damaged counter, rusted sink, leaking plumbing and so forth.
Now all the electrical outlets are properly wired, grounded and 2 new ground faults added.  The drywall is replaced and painted, the beadboard ceiling is finally getting trimmed out.  The wall between the kitchen and living room has been opened up and most of the trim work is up.
I now have put shadow boxes for my coffee cup collection in the wall space between the kitchen and laundry area and most of that is trimmed out.
There is a new side by side freezer/refrigerator due to be delivered this coming Monday and also a new washer/dryer unit that will be more space saving than my 17 year old set.
And the wiring has been run up the wall and to the ceiling area of the future upstairs bathroom.  So, a lot of progress, the door and windows in the kitchen have been replaced, the insulation improved, and I am slowly gaining on all the small jobs and cleaning up after the projects.
The cabinets have a delivery date, and the bank has agreed to refinance my mortgage so I can afford all this fun old house stuff.
It will be worth all the work and inconvenience and the financial costs to have the kitchen with very handicapped friendly cabinets, granite counters that will stand up to many years of hard use and the house more energy effecient than it has been.
I will be working my way up stairs too, and will try and get a lot more of the drywall up this winter so the house is cleaner and easier to heat and cool.  5 gallons of primer will go a long way and I will buy more joint compound and keep working on seams and so forth, a bit at a time.
The house is center to my stability and security, my shelter and my reason to go to work on the days I hurt a lot or am just fed up with things.  I need a relationship that has meaning in my life and I have found that with saving and improving this old house.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Almost mid month, again

It seems that time is flying by and I am not getting much progress done here on the current old house project.  But I do have the paint color and some is on the wall.  Tomorrow I will make some progress, and it will not be long before we have my jury rigg kitchen back in working order.
The installer has come and done his measuring, he will then fax the information to Stacy at Lowes and we will then be able to get the cabinets ordered.
I will work upstairs on the electrical and on the drywall up there while I wait for cabinets, once I have done all I can do in the kitchen.  I have a lot of trim work to do, and I will get as much as I can done so that there is very little to do once the cabinets are in, and then again, once the counters are in.
But the windows are a huge improvement, as is all the other work we have gotten done, I am sure it will make the kitchen far more comfortable, temperature wise, not as much heat loss in the winter, not as much heat gain in the summer.
And once the kitchen is done, I have a new mortgage and will work on the house as I can, both financially and energy wise.  I started this project in August and it might be December before it is done.  But I have waited almost 10 years to do a good kitchen in this, my last old house.  And I want it very handicapped livable, because I need that, now and in the years to come.
I have had some battles with the bank over getting the loan to do what I wanted with my house but it has been resolved for the most part.  I did not expect the problems but I am determined that I will decide what is done for my house, to my house and what I make payments on.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I finally got the bugs worked out with the bank for my house refinance and finally got my kitchen planned out at Lowes, all the pieces  I wanted, very handicapped friendly, in case I ever need that, and the granite I want. 
All the electrical issues have been dealt with, the new windows, door and drywall are in, Ben has been doing a great job with the mud work, seams are very good, many cannot be found.
The wiring has been run up for the future upstairs bathroom, I will need to add 2 more circuit breakers to the box but     I have the stuff to start the wiring work so hope to see at least 1 sheet of blue board on that ceiling this winter.
10 hour day tomorrow so it is about time to turn in here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Old houses and renovation

Inspection accepts New construction is all new stuff, new lumber, new wiring, new outlets and plumbing, usually clean and start from scratch, follow the plans and get the job done.
Renovation on old houses is very different, nothing is new or clean, there are usually ugly problems lurking beneath, behind, under everything.  No part of the job is simple and easy and you always need more of something than you planned on.
But today my old house gained properly wired outlets in the kitchen, 2 new ones were added and some older ones were replaced, all were wired properly, to code and done right.  But the kitchen sure looks worse than when we started.  New drywall, all the way up to the ceiling to go in and 2 new windows, a new door, floor tile to be replaced where it is damaged, and in time, cabinets and counters, good quality, handicapped friendly, a good paint job, trim work done, and then plan for the next job here.
A refinance to do a huge, expensive job and then nickel and dime the small jobs for awhile, the railing along the landing and patio so it is inspection acceptable and safer from falls down onto the bike patio.  Keep working on the drywall up in the attic, read up on bathrooms and showers so the new bathroom up in the attic can be sealed up from potential water damage, get the vent/light/heat unit and vent pipe to that done, get the plumbing roughed in, and the blue board and tile board in, at least on ceiling areas where there is the most heat loss/gain issue......and the list goes on.
But I am content, at peace and happy here in my old house, despite all the problems and all it still needs.  It will look better in a few days, and keep improving, and stuff will get back in order, the kitchen will become usable again, it will take some time but for now, the electrical is safer and that is a big step in the right direction.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Back to work

A week of vacation went fast with a lot of it spent working on this old house, and not getting very far on the list of what all I had hoped to get done.  But I made some important progress in the kitchen and that was high on my list.
And I am refinancing the mortgage, for the new kitchen windows and door and to do a proper, good quality kitchen here, finally.  The paperwork has been signed at the bank to refinance, the house inspector has been here and I have contacted several people about the kitchen job, 3 have been here to talk, look and measure, the 4 th is Lowes.
I want to see rough plans/ideas and rough estimate of costs and then will decide who I will work with for the job and want a contract. 
I know some of what I need and want, but until the windows are in, some measurements will not be valid.  The east facing window can really change a few things with cabinets and I plan to whine but move the water and drain for better kitchen sink set up.
It may be months before I see a finished kitchen but having coped for 9.5+ years here with what I have! I will manage until the new kitchen cabinets and counter are installed and I have everything put away.
Temps are dropping and we have a chance of seeing our first frost some time in this coming week.  It will drop pollin counts but I am not wanting winter to be here early and if fall comes early. I can expect winter to be right behind.
Off to bed as I am beat tired tonight.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Old house progress

I am finally replacing the last 2 windows and the damaged kitchen door.  And since the financing rate is so high and my current mortgage almost paid off, I went and started the process to refinance and get a real kitchen done, cabinets, counters, wall cabinets, real storage area, real food prep area, be able to wash dishes and put them in the drainer without dripping water all over the floor.
So, this week, while I am off on vacation, I have had son Ben down here to help and we are working on some of the kitchen projects I want done.  The old windows are out and so is the door, I still have the sub threshold there to replace but the windows are ready for the new ones.  We tore out drywall on the wall between the kitchen and living room and have the shelf units made and painted, will be setting them in place between the studs tomorrow and working on the wall between the kitchen and the laundry area.
I have talked with 4 different kitchen people as I want some choice and to try to get not only the best price but the company who will work best to give me a kitchen that works for me and meets my needs and wants.
The house is a mess, normal for renovations in a small space but much easier to live with when I am living here alone than with Jake living here also.  He is helping some with the work, and learning a bit with each job he is helping work on.  And I am not beating the heads together when they do hat sibling crap and antagonize each other and me.
This is the biggest house project I have financed here, and I want to make sure I make good choices and invest wisely in this old house and my being comfortable here for many years to come.  I like this place and am almost always content and happy here.
But it is a long week and has been a dirty, hot, frustrating week including truck problems to add to the load, cost and problems.  I am glad to be looking at putting the dining corner back together tomorrow and work on the clean up construction debris so I am able to go back to work with the place in better order and ready for the door and window contractor and crew to come and do their install, the kitchen people to show me their plans and costs so I can make a decision there and get a solid contract and start date and end date.
Slow progress on this old house, I have lived here with make do for a kitchen for 9.5 years now and am so looking forward to a real working kitchen, done to suit me, chosen by me for my needs and wants.
This place is slowly becoming very much my place, I am putting my stamp on it, and a lot of my income and sweat equity.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Feeling sorry for myself

I try and not do that very often, feel sorry for myself, wallow in self pity, or even think I have a rough/hard life because I know I have a good life, despite a few problems, some pain issues, too much debt load, old house needing a lot of work and money.
I have a good employer and good supervisors to work under, good co-workers to work with, a very short drive to work, a scooter that is paid for and in good shape and gets great gas milage for that short ride to work.  A lot more things to be thankful for and to appreciate but there are still times I feel sorry for myself.
And envy, ya, that green eyed monster stuff shows up now and then too.  But then I remind myself that I might not have gotten that cute bjd (ball jointed doll)that she got recently but I do have central air that works and a great unit up in the attic that makes a huge difference up stairs and I do most of my own home repairs.
The landing framed  up well, my sons were good help but I was the one who had it planned out and made sure it was done and done right, and I will get the needed step built this coming weekend, and the decking will go on next weekend.
So, I can't afford to go to the 40th year class reunion this month, I can get by in life without going, and so, I have not done as well with my life as some of those I graduated with.  I can live with that, with the choices I made and the mistakes I have made and had to deal with. 
The flax I planted at did well this first year and now is field retting, I ripped it last weekend, which means I removed the seed pods and I am slowly cleaning them, along with leaves and dirt, hopefully I will get it all sifted out by the end of this coming weekend and have some mature seed to mix with what I will buy next spring for re-planting.
I did get a pair of mittens done and the next pair started and have a lot of yarn to enjoy, stockings I am knitting for my 1820's clothing for Clayville and a sweater started I need to find time to work on, and bobbin lace to play with.
My life is pretty good, our weather has been cooler this summer so that has helped things grow with little watering and my grape vine put out it's first grapes this year, concord, not enough for much but eating but they are picked and Jake will help me get them eaten.
Ben managed to loose a key off the keyboard for my Nexus 7, I am not happy about that, but Ben is the kid that looses keys and it is not the first time a keyboard has lost keys with his help. I doubt if it is ever found, if it hit the floor and the foolish dog found it, he chewed it  up.
So, I can whine about that or I can be glad I have my iPad and my Nexus 7 and all the other goodies I enjoy, even the ones that don't get used very often.
The company picnic is at Knight's Action Park and I signed up 4 guests and plan to take Ben, Jake, Darcy and maybe Larry.  But I want 2 vehicles so I can leave the kids to play and escape when it suits me.  So, another thing to appreciate in my little life, the perks that come with where I work, paid vacations, paid play, and ok paychecks.
I dream about what I would do with lottery money but know it would create a mess and lots of problems, fun day dreams while working a labor job but it is only day dreams, not reality and I can get by with what I earn.  But funds to pay off the debt load, and to contract out work here and get this house done, like I dream of having it sounds good any day.  Little by little I am making improvements, and I accept the reality that I might never have this house finished before I die.  Discouraging thoughts but very possibly the real future here. 
In the meantime, I keep working on things, and enjoying living here and liking my life, and work on not feeling sorry for myself when I know how good my life really is. 

Friday, August 01, 2014

Catching up some

The plant is working 4 day weeks some this month so I put my paperwork in for a paid vacation day so  the paycheck would not be too short and then put today to good progress on the landing between the kitchen door and the new patio.
Ben and Jake were great help and the landing is waiting for decking and I hope in 2 weeks to have the funds to buy the needed lumber for that part.
This does not make the kitchen door a working door but it is getting closer, and I like how our little landing is looking.  It will need 1 step between it and the patio to pass any insurance inspections but that will not be a hard build.
And the boys went off to the movies so Shadow and I enjoyed a quiet house.  I got the tools all put properly away and then a shower, played on line some, hunted down some doll clothes to try on a doll from the recent UFDC convention.  And I knit on my mittens, watched some DS-9, put a few things away while I was looking for some of those doll clothes.
Finances are tight, will stay tight but life here still feels pretty good to me. The old house has made some important progress, my debt load creeps down a tiny bit every month, I keep working and life keeps being good.
We had a bit of rain this evening and so far this summer few of the nights have been very warm so the attic space has stayed comfortable also, and I hope to see a reasonable utility bill again next month.
Way past my bedtime now.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Polar Vortex

Yes, it is back and NO, I am not impressed. Cool (chilly) damp morning rides to work on the scooter, cool enough after work that I am not heading to to pull weeds and get the flax bundled to dry.  I will be doing that Saturday.
We are running short days, and had 2 short weeks before this so paychecks are smaller and my budget is tighter, translates to not starting the landing from kitchen door to patio yet.  But I have hopes for Jake's rent money, minus what will pay my 1/2 of our vehicle insurance going to landing materials.
But cooler temps do mean less power consumed by the air conditioning here.  So, count my blessing where I find them.  And I had the house to myself, with parrots and dog, for most of last week.  Jake and Ben left Tuesday evening for MO and to be with their dad while arrangements were made for their step mother's viewing/visitation and so forth.
Her stroke in early February was bad and then in early June developed heart issues from colony of staph bacteria on her heart valve.  About a month of slowly dying in the hospital and then home for a day before she passed away.
I need to get paperwork done so NO One tries to keep my body alive and my soul in a prison instead of letting me go once I no longer have quality of life.  For me, the body is just a 1 time use house for my soul, and hanging on, trying to keep that house alive after quality is gone is wrong.  Every one can do what works for them but I want no hanging on to a dying body, no stone or services, scatter the ashes and let what I did and gave and shared, taught be what is left behind.
My living is what matters, and what I do with each day, who I am and how I live, how I believe, and live those beliefs, not the body my soul lives in.  That is just temporary housing for this time, not forever.
But I do understand Sam not wanting to loose his wife, James, not wanting to loose his mother.  And I do understand my sons rejoicing that a woman who hated them and their mother being gone.
Life here keeps working at my pace, and as solitary as I can keep it.  I have found peace and balance, value and contentment, it took a very long time but I won't be letting it go or letting anyone make many waves in my little quiet life.
And the old house, my creativity and Clayville are high on that list for my time that is not taken up by earning a living.  I don't want to go camping and I don't want to sit and watch tv and idiot commercials.  I don't need gossipy people in my life, nor do I want to cater to any one else.
This work for me, this Cargill day shift and being involved with a local historical area and the group that supports it.  My sewing, knitting and dolls, my learning to do bobbin lace, my old house and the tiny bit of sand it sits on.  Time to ride the bike and time to pull weeds, play with my grill and my other entertainments.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Catching up

      Well, I don't seem  to  be doing well trying to use my Nexus and the fancy case with keyboard.  but I finally figured out the app, and know where the blog post goes. 
      All our rains are really helping things grow and stay green this year.  Including all the weeds, both at Clayville and here.  I put some time in there yesterday and today I will get the mowing finished and work on all the grass in the front flower beds.
     I came home to a quiet house yesterday and managed to find enough charcoal to use the new Kamado grill I bought Thursday.  I started looking at grills in January, when I knew I could finally get the patio pour done.  Now I need to get the landing planned out, materials bought and work on replacing the kitchen door. 
     My bag of lump charcoal never got out of Jake's jeep so was gone.  But I had some briquets sitting in a bag, that had been in the way but never tossed into the trash here and so used them.  The potatoes were good, I split them and put in butter and chives before wrapping them in foil, the pork loin chops got a bit over done but that is better than not cooked.  It will take some time to learn how to use this new grill but I am going to enjoy having it.
     And a quiet house allowed me to finally finish the bobbin lace bookmark I had started.  Then I made the pricking/pattern for the next one I want to work with.  Each of them helps me learn the skills for bobbin lace, step at a time.
I need to do some sewing, caps and bonnet for and some sewing cases, needle books and a 2nd case for lace bobbins as I now have 2 sizes and too many for the case I made.
     I had 3 weeks up at the head line, the last 2 spent on the job I bid for but I was not able to qualify so will be going back to the dressing line and the pigs to shave and pull toe nails.  I liked the job but it is much harder on my hands than what I was doing, but not as physically tiring.  It will be 6 months before I can bid again, but I don't own any jobs on the dressing line so they can move me about and train me on other jobs.  The crew missed me, as did the bosses so they will all be glad to see me back and a few will miss me where I was the past few weeks.
     It made me feel like I had failed and my Saturday started blue but I sorted out the head problem.  The Rebel got the needed oil change and we went off to Clayville for a while, on to Springfield for cheaper gas, a stop at Lowes for some grill things, did not find the cover for my grill or the smoking stone thing.  A stop at a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian I have admired for years, they have a train shop in the basement and it was open, and very slow day so I got to chat and visit with the man tending shop, the gardens are as beautiful as the house and next Sunday they plan to run the outside trains, weather permitting. 
     I have plans to be at Clayville for our 3 day weekend so if the weather allows, I should be able to run up there for a couple hours Sunday afternoon, it is only a few miles and with the Rebel, it is easy on gas and doesn't take much effort to find a place to park.
     I think Sam is still living down in the cardiac ICU family waiting room, Cynthia has more brain damage, her liver and kidneys are not working well, I have not heard how much damage the lack of oxygen has caused to fingers and feet, but loss of digits was expected.  And the debate still goes on about taking her remains, after she dies, back to the Philippines for burial, with Sam, when upset, calling Jake and having him upset.
     I do understand how very hard this is on Sam, his wife is dying by inches, there is nothing he can do to make her better, the stroke this winter, the staph infection on her artificial heart valve, the whole list of medical stuff, it is done, it cannot be reversed and it is not his fault, it is NOT my fault, and she is only 50, and their son is 14.  And it is Jake's dad and they are close.  I am not jealous, Sam has gone far to make this marriage work,  he did not with ours and he would not compromise, it was his way or I could get out.  I worked hard to make it work his way, to be happy with his way but I could not even have my own political or religious views or different opinion on anything. 
     Ok, so we know I had them, and tucked them away, and more and more of the person I really am was tucked away and hidden, locked down so it would not be verbally and emotionally beat down.  And I supported his way of life and his choices, even when I had doubts.  I showed no backbone and chose to be his door mat.   So, when he needed a strong partner to lean on, he had not confidence in me, and no belief in my abilities to make good choices, and he moved us to Missouri, making that choice for all of us and hated it there and blamed me every day for his choice to me miserable.
     I got over feeling like I failed, and I worked hard, with plenty of mistakes, on rebuilding my belief in my self and in liking my life.  And I wanted his remarriage to work well and to be happy for both of them.  In part, so I could feel I was free of the prison I let him build around me.  So, his 2nd marriage financially broke the ranching operation, had them moving to her home country, that project failed, she came back and then Jake lent his father $ so Sam and James could fly back to the states. 
     So, now she is unable to work, Sam is 68 and they share a home with her other son, his woman and their child and after Cynthia dies, Sam has no idea if he and James still have a place to live, her son is part of the push to bury his mother in her home country but he is not going to help foot that bill. 
     And I think my life is a mess because I could not qualify on a job that would probably have me with far more damage to my hands, far more pain and what was I thinking?  I will go play with the pigs, enjoy the pals that are very glad to have me back, torment the supervisor, I think he should reward/bribe/console me with coupons for free Blizzard's at Dairy Queen.  And I make him laugh, he does appreciate me, which the supervisor over trimming snouts does not.  I am too old, the wrong color, and so forth.  Which is fine with me, really, I had no problems with the supervisor but he didn't value me, and I was not able to do my share and then some, which he needed.  I might have in time, but he did not have to give me another week or 2, which he could have, if he wanted to keep me in his department. 
      There is plenty of flex for supervisors to keep someone they want, regardless of job skills, after over 11 years there, most of it in production, I know how the game is played, and I am ok with going back to the other end, start a bit earlier, laugh more, and like life as well or better. 
     And I did not trade my big tv that I won for the new grill, so it is still in the closet.  Menard's put the grill I wanted on sale, and I have waited a month for the man at work to buy my grill choice and trade it for the tv, a very good deal for him but he didn't get it done and once grills sell out, very few will be available and I wanted the Akorn Kamado grill, and the model with the inner upper rack.  So, yes, I added to my credit debt, and went to town with Jake, Ben and the girlfriend, was up way too late, had too much caffeine, made my digestive system unhappy and still have no working kitchen door or step down to that patio. 
     But my scooter has the new air filter, an oil change and is back to being my ride to work, the Rebel has an oil change and still lifts my spirits and helps blow away my blues, the old house is still my favorite place to live, the attic is still my dream in progress but working well for me and this life is so good, rough spots included.
     I feel sympathy for Sam and his dying wife but know it is not my doing, not choices I forced on them, and not my job to try and fix.  I did get Jake the paperwork for getting a passport, but it will be up to Jake to get that photo taken and go to some place for the next step.  And he can do it in Rushville or Virginia so it is not like he has to go far, and he can pay $60 extra to have it expedited, but that is his choice.  Jake is not wanting to spend his money to go with his dad to bury a woman that boy still hates.  But he is better about it than Ben, who has yet to forgive his dad for letting that woman shove him out of that house, and for letting that woman abuse him. 
     And I quit having issues with her when my sons were out of her reach, and once I moved to Illinois, life for me got a lot better in many ways.  I missed being with the boys, but was back in MO most weekends for several years, and they grew up, with Ben moving to IL and Jake graduating and then joining the Marines.  Now, I have both those boys in this house and pray for quiet and Ben to go back up to Rushville and Jake to go see the girlfriend, go to work, sleep late and leave the tv and computer game shut off.
    So, the dog is quiet this morning, Jake and the girlfriend are still sleeping and I am going to start working on that grass in the flower beds as the lawn is still too damp to mow.     

Friday, June 06, 2014

June and the growing list of things needing done

No matter what I get done, that 'to do' list seems to grow faster than I can mark things as done.
I still need a lot of drywall up in the attic area.  And the lawn needs mowed again, but that is paid for. I have yet to draw up the building plans for the landing, cannot price materials until I draw up the plans.
Laundry always needs done, sewing projects have mad no progress in the past few days and I have not knit a stitch on anything.
The kitchen table is a disaster area but I did wash what dishes were left, Jake had done part before I got home, and he took the girlfriend back to her home and left her there, for a change.
The scooter needs a new air filter but the old one is out and tomorrow I will go get a new one.  And the friend that is doing my mowing will also help build that needed landing, once I get the materials.
I don't think I will manage to trade that 55 inch LED flat screen I won for the grill I would rather have, rats, but at least I gave it a shot.
And at work I got hit, again, by another falling pig.  And I am starting to really hate dead pigs, but I did win a bid to the other end of the kill floor, trimming snouts where I have no chance of being hit by falling pigs but some chance of being hit by fork trucks.
I am having problems getting Jake to accept that I absolutely object to housing other adults.  I will house those I gave birth to, for limited amounts of time, for specific reasons, his being education.
As I was working and helping pay my own way, and pay for the roof over my head since the summer I turned 17, and have worked minimum wage jobs, crappy, lousy jobs, hard, dirty jobs, and even 2 jobs so I could pay the bills, keep a roof over my head, and the heads of others, yes, I do think other people can live with their parents or get their own place, not stay at my house.  
Call me mean, or selfish or say I just do not understand. Yes, I do understand, you want her here, tough world, you can move out and get your own place, she can get a job and her own place and you can move in, but I have reached the limit of being willing to tolerate another adult living under my roof, at my cost, and yes, it is at my cost, even if you are buying the food you 2 eat, paying me a small amount of rent and you both help with house work.
The world is a hard, tough place, and it does not look like it will get any easier, the sooner a person learns to carry their own weight and be self responsible, the better their life will be.  That does include providing their own housing, not camping out at my house, sharing my son's bed.  I could care less about their sex life, that is their business, it is all the occupying my house stuff I object to.  I want MY turf back, and I want people to understand No one has any business pushing their choice of companions into my life, and having them here at MY house most of the time.
Go Home, get a job, fight with your parents, run away and join the French Foreign Legion, do what works for you AS long as it is not be staying at my house.
This is not a free hang out for young women, or young men, or stray dogs, cats, you name it. I do not want to provide a roof, or anything else for anyone else.  I am having enough challenges trying to take care of my own life and my own responsibilities, do not add to them, and staying in my home does add to the cost here, my stress levels, my sour attitude, and in general ticks me off.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Almost the end of the month and my vacation

And my 'to do' list has had several items crossed off, several things added but it has been a good week off with very important progress made, both inside and out.
I like the new patio and now can look at building that landing so in time we can step out the kitchen door onto a 4 foot deep landing, then probably 1step down and then step onto the patio.  The paver patio on the south will need another row of blocks but I can do those a few at a time.
Finances are snug, debt load grew with the much needed truck repairs but it is still a better choice to repair than replace and have payments along with repair bills.
Pal Julie and I spent some time together yesterday afternoon, ran to Jacksonville to eat and brouse, we did very little shopping but I came home with new hand sewing needles, long and very find, 1/2 yard of era appropriate fabric that will go into my needed waist pockets and a new dish for my bug coils as the 1 I had managed to get broken, think the dog might have helped with that, but I want to be able to sit out and enjoy my new, paid for, patio that I had saved so long for and waited so long for.
I am to the ribbing on the tops of both of my period appropriate stockings and had Julie pick a skein out of my stash for socks for her.  I will get it turned into 2 equil balls before going back to work.  And the brace sock that Shadow chewed the toe out is now repaired and in the hamper for washing.
The furnace gets a clean filter today, the watering outside has been done, on line bills paid, and I priced thread for using in bobbin lace on line, not much chance to buy any locally and very little comes with the kit.
I got the bobbin lace kit for $21.50 including shipping and as it prices at $55, that is a good price.  Not the best quality but good enough to start with and I can add a better lace pillow later and more bobbins.  It comes with 24 bobbins, acceptable quality and a usable, needs covered with green or blue fabric pinning board and ok quality lace pins.
The sky is overcast with 30% chance of rain today and 60% for tomorrow.  I can live/work with that.
And I am still not sure what will end up fitting on the patio, it is not big, I have to plan for the space the landing will take and the dog house lives on the northeast corner.  There is the path coming around the north side of the house to consider and the path off the southeast corner to the parking, bikes and so forth to need free of stuff.
I do have my tiny round table and single chair there now and the $25 yard sale find glider, that no longer crowds the bike patio, was in the way of the utility space doors and made snow removal hard.
And I like the glider but think in time it will replace the wooden one that lives on the front porch.
A picnic table is high on my 'think will work' idea list, and I am looking at grills but no funds at this time for one and I am not willing to put it on credit.   Too bad I could not talk anyone at work into trading that 55 inch flat screen that I won for a new, reasonable priced grill.
The June meeting for the doll club is the annual trip down to the Edwards area, am undecided about going as know my funds for play will be tight, so if I go, it has to be a bike trip, and as it is on a Sunday, that limits the shops that are open, so there is a very good chance I will not go.  
I need to take apart the bathroom sink drain to clean it out again, this will make the 2nd time in 6 months for that job, which is double the number of times I have needed to do it in the 9+ years before.
It is small irritations like that adding up that have me hoping for the day Jake moves out.  It is not just Jake's use of that sink that is the problem, it is the living here too girlfriend that helps create the issue. And adds to the clutter, the higher utility bills, which is finally caught up, and the noise levels being a lot higher.  But she is in Jacksonville, working this weekend, Ben is here, and he and Jake game most of the time, so I have NO bandwidth for internet use, and as I pay that bill too, and AT&T Internet sucks and went up $10/month, I am glad the boys are asleep still and Shadow is with them.
Gripe, gripe, whine, whine, complain, but I do know my life is good and I like it.  And I am not going to let any one change it, this is working for me, I am gaining slowly on my debt load, the old house and tiny yard is gaining in needed work/repairs/cleaning and I will cope, tolerate, handle all that needs done or survived or fixed.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Vacation week and rambling

I had a great weekend, Saturday was cool at Clayville but I enjoyed the day there, Sunday was warmer, I gladly folded up my shawl and enjoyed not wearing it all day but didn't find my layers too warm unless I sat in the sun long.
I learned walking fast had my drawers wanting to wind around my legs, think my long wool socks helped this along so I either learn to walk slower or find a cure for the winding drawers.  And I sure wished I had already made my caps and bonnet, the purchased bonnet was just not a good fit and the fabric way too modern for an old woman in 1824.
Broadwell's Inn and stage coach stop/team change opened that year, so it is the time frame I picked for my period wear, the start of our new settlement, the early years of getting it open, trying to get garden plots and planting fields cleared and planted, getting a workable routine established so our days had flow and all needed tasks got done.
And today a friend who does mowing will come get my mowing done, I really need to replace my mower as I am happier when I have done the job myself, when I want/need it done and how I want it done.  Yes, world, I am very territorial about my little bit of sand here.
Sayer Designer Concrete will also be here, our vehicles are out of the way, the rebar and wire mesh go in and the concrete finally gets poured.  I will mention that last night the Weather Channel had us at 0%  for chance of moisture for Monday-Wedensday and early this morning it had changed to 30% for today.
Last week we had rain, and some more rain and every day, a bit of rain in this area.  Our river is not at flood stage but we are not short on moisture at this moment.
Ok, back, took a quick break to take Shadow out and get myself into clothes for the day, before the concractor's truck is here.  
I did some on line pricing for the drywall I am buying and forcing sons to help me get up in the attic, and i do mean, up, not just from the ground floor to the attic, but installed where it goes.  6 sheets is my goal for this week and Ben has agreed to help, Jake and his gal pal seem to live here and be between school sessions so they have no choice, if they want to continue staying under this roof.
My vacation plans are for work here, and this does include Jake's sewing project and cleaning up my attic space so I have order of some sort again, getting the mountain of clean work t-shirts folded and put away, jeans folded and put away, plants moved and the north end of the city parking strip filled in, leveled and some grass seed tossed in.
This weekend I learned that without strong control, I would become 1of those dreaded 'period correct attire police'.  Fortunately, I am well aware that while I will research, and sew for myself for Clayville, I have no right to impose on any others.  And financially, Pleasant Plains Historical Society needs all the venders, volunteers, friends, playmates, we can get, and what they contribute, do and are willing to give, both in time and donations is very important.  A 'period correct police' attitude would be like drilling holes in the bottom of the boat while we are a long way from shore.
But all the research I am doing is fun, I am learning so much, and what I am doing as a member does matter and is already making my life richer. I am a happy minion, and I want to stay a minion and stay happy, and continue to be the one who walks the drainage tubes to clean up human trash and plant growth needing cut back. The 1who tends the gardens, both during events and during those long weeks with no events so weeds have no chance to run wild.
I will keep working on my own wardrobe, maybe sew a bit for some others and be glad we have this group and this historic site for our 'play'.
I will need to post some photos here from our event, and get busy with my day.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

And my youngest sons are here, Jake's jeep is down with electrical problems and died at Auto Zone so he will have to get it towed to the shop down the street and wait for Bruce to get time to fid the problem.  Good thing his girlfriend has wheels and it is bike season so Mom can lend out her truck (again).
I want the first 2 corner posts set for the chain link fence, have the materials and a borrowed fence post digger, first hole was 22 inches deep when I quit last night, I want it 32" but that might be a huge battle with tree roots. The north corner posts both will be battles with tree roots but on the other side, the sand makes for very easy digging.
And it would have been nice to have the patio pour done and the patio usable, the glider on it and the bags of mulch off the glider and spread out, but it will happen, and I will get some more plants moved and some sand moved and the work on the retaining wall finished up.  Just not all this weekend.  But I have a week of paid vacation time in a week so will get old house stuff done here.
Shadow is going through another spell of obnoxious dog attitude, Kid did not have this problem so it makes a challenge and he is challenging the pecking order here.  But he will not be on the top of that pecking order, it is my home and I am top dog/human/boss here, and have that established with my human sons, I will have it established with the dog child too.
Period sewing is making progress but I need to take the hem out of 1pair of drawers and lengthen them a bit, they have a wide hem so it is a simple task, just some time and needle work.  The inner, privacy petticoat has the waistband done and now it is tack down the French seams and do the hem, it is already pinned up.
And I now have a full face helmet again so plan to put the gray helmet up for sale, it is the loosest of my helmets, too loose on my small head for comfort and does not give me as much eye and face protection as I like.  I was not planning to buy a full face helmet yesterday but it fits me correct and was on sale for under $50, and that worked far better than waiting, ordering, paying a lot more and then maybe having to send it back because it did not fit.
No one is quite sure how it works, layers of proper wear for pre-1830 and the Rebel for transportation but I am sure I can manage the shift from time zones, that 'pony' will get me there and home cheap, and I can keep my layers there, or most of them. But I want to sew my "Bernadette's Closet" label in them and have a fabric(so it breaths) clothes bag to store them in.  I am sewing to fit me, and I really do not want other people wearing my clothing, but I will sew for others in our Historical Society.
Well, my scones are eaten and I wants to get busy with my outside projects before the day gets hot off to play labor.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Well, no jobs to bid on again this week

So I will keep hoping I survive the one I am doing and be glad I have a job and a stable paycheck.  
And we are getting rains but not the flooding or tornadoes that other parts of the country are getting.  I moved some plants Sunday so the rain is helping them settle in. Part of the pampas grass has put up new shoots, part looks very dead.  It was a hard winter here.
And tonight I am knitting and reading but soon will gather up my sewing and work on the hem of that petticoat unless I decide cutting out and doing some of the machine work on the skirt suits my mood.  It will take machine work, hand work, machine work and then a lot more hand work.  Sounds stupid but I need to machine sew seams, hand stitch the back opening binding, hand stitch the waist pocket openings on the sides, put in gathering stitches, fit skirt to the waist band, sew on the waist band and then it gets that turned down and hand stitched and a hem.
I did a lot of thinking about my life, the past, poor choices, the direction I need my life to be going, and that sort of stuff while I worked today.  It has been a long and rough road, made longer and rougher by my own poor, stupid, foolish choices.  
I am working hard to make smarter, better thought out choices than I did years ago.  I am also a lot more confident of my own abilities to make good choices, to provide for myself, to earn a living and manage my own finances.
4/30 and now it is 5/2
Boy, that knowing I am capable has sure helped me a lot, and now, many years later I look back, knowing nothing in the past can be changed and know I live now, and move forward.
And the cold spring is a drag, and the patio pour is not yet framed up, part of the pampas grass has not yet sent up any new growth and my finances are a mess.
Shadow chewed the toe out of 1 of my hand knit socks, the ones I knit for wearing under my brace, and a wool/silk blend to boot.  I can fix it but I will stay irritated at that blasted dog for some time. He took it out of the dirty laundry hamper, from behind my back, while it sat here in the kitchen with tea and a book.
Left ribs hurt terribly this week, from pulling toe nails from dead pigs, and no jobs up yet for me to bid to so I hurt and get tough until I come home to whine and feel sorry for myself.
But my Great Basin Wild Rye seed is here and so is my flax seed from England.  The flax goes to Clayville, I hope to get it planted tomorrow.
But I am not going to the doll club meeting Sunday, will do work here at home that needs done and pay my dues instead of buying the gas for a trip to Springfield.  Thought about just dropping out of the doll club for a year or so but I don't want to do that, and finances will improve here.
I am forcing myself to live on my income and to pay all I can on the debt load, and to not buy what I want but to wait until I can afford it, using credit foolishly is a big part of why I have so much of that "consumer debt" and why this house is so far from where it should be after this many years.
My priority list has not been a long term healthy one and I am working on changing that, but it will be a hard road for the next year, and I will do some whining as I go and now and then, probably back slide just a bit.
But it is my life and my future stability, and the house, and that is my roof and my space, so if it matters to me, then I can make the hard choices and keep a tight budget, pay down that blasted debt load, put more time into the landscaping and weeding so I can be proud of my place.  I used to take a lot better care of my flower beds than I have in the past few years.
I am changing that, my place and being here, at my place is high on that list, this is where I like to be, and alone works well for me, I don't miss many people very much, and am not willing to become very emotionally involved with any man, there just is no space for that in my life, my heart, or my brains.
And I can sure live without the sex or the work men seem to take.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Getting ready for Friday and the weekend

Friday starts with usual morning stuff, dog out, dog and birds fed, lunch bag ready and off to McDonalds for breakfast and then to work.  Swing by the post office to mail anything needing to go on the drive to McD's, so that is off the list.
Work and hope no pigs try to land on me, had that happen today, it was not a good day in pig land for me.  So, put in 8 hours or so, then off to the bank and make the house payment, stop by city hall and pay the water/trash/sewer bill and home to take dog out for potty, in for food and get off those work boots and brace.  Check the answering machine, check the email, check Facebook, find something to eat, enjoy the house, tv, maybe, watching "House" on Netflicks, when the internet and time allows, makes for easy entertainment while I do hand work on my sewing projects.
Saturday is spent at Clayville, this weekend I need to start raking the area where we will be planting flax, we are hoping to learn, with internet help, how to not only grow the flax but also gather the seed for next year, rett the flax and then all the prep work to turn it into a spinable and usable fiber, no promises about making any linen, but we will start with seeing if we can get a decent crop of flax for a start.
Sunday will depend on weather and energy levels, I need to start making my petticoats and linen skirt, fabric is waiting, and I have stockings I am knitting that have made NO progress this past week.  I have plants that need moved, retaining wall work to finish and contractor coming next week to do the patio pour.  
And I already need to start cleaning weeds and grass out of the front planting beds.  And out of the south bed along the house, and the roses, and I need the place mowed but no longer have a mower so will make a call and see if a friend is mowing lawns this summer.  
I ended up with poison ivy problems from my planting native day lilies last Saturday so now I am trying to keep it from spreading from my right arm to any where else, the plastic arm guard I wear on that arm at work is not helping at all.
It has just started to rain so Shadow is doing the ditzy dog thing, I have moved a curtain in the living room so he can look out and see that it is just rain, no, I am NOT going to open the door, no, I am not taking you out right now, calm down, it is just rain and we are in a dry house, and it is even a warm dry house.
And that accident settlement paid for the metal roof, the central air, spiral stairs, a lot of the attic materials but this week I have wondered how long will I be able to keep working, how much pain can I tolerate, what if I have a bad fall, what if next time the pig doesn't land at my feet but on top of me.
It would be great if I could work until 65 or 66, but I know I will be doing great things if I make it to 62.  
So, I fret the old house repairs and my stupid credit debt, and work on managing my money better, on not buying on credit, packing my lunch and not spending money in the cafeteria at work.  
I know life here is pretty good, I know I hurt some, ok, lots now and then, but I am managing, and my life is working ok.  The old house is slowly improving, the debt load is shrinking, not very fast, but it is shrinking, not growing.  
Most of the time I am not angry about the car accident, I manage to keep a good balance in my head, most of the time.  But this week a friend asked why I don't look into disability, and that seems to have me on the prod, ready to fight and mad.  Not at the friend, she cares and knows I have hurt a lot this week, helped by that pulled muscle in the left thigh.  But at the changes this car accident has made in my life, in my working ability, and in what I can no longer do.
I know every week I work, every month, makes a positive difference in my financial stability, so it is worth the fight, the hurting and I would hate to be home now.  Maybe when Jake moves out to continue his schooling, then I could enjoy home a bit more.  I love Jake but this house gets very small and I am very territorial, so it is far easier to share when I go to work every day, he has class and work and time he spends off playing or visiting.
It is not my living room, it is more Jake's space now than mine, and the entire lower level is shared space, I gave up my bedroom so I could keep the attic as my space.  It was and still is a better choice, but my dolls are on shelves in that downstairs bedroom, my house payment book lives in a dresser drawer in that bedroom.  
So, I will keep working, and watching for bids on day shift, kill/harvest floor that I could qualify on, do well and not be rotating in and out of places where pigs like to try and drop on humans.  Jake talks about moving out this fall, or after this fall semester, I might have the house paid off with the next tax refund, months and months away, but not too far to think about.
My work goals, first was to make 6 months, then a year, and now it it to work until the house is paid off, then I set the goal at 62, and if I make that date, I try for 65.  Before the accident, I expected to work until I was close to 70, and didn't see any reasons that was not possible. Now, it is small steps, a few more months, another year, see what my body can tolerate, not berate myself if I come home hurting and tired and do very little, or if I spend most of a weekend napping and reading.
Over 4 years now, some very long and hard weeks and months, but I kept pushing myself, and I will keep pushing myself, maybe not as hard as those first months, or that first year, but I am not going to easily join the disabled, I will go kicking and fighting.  
Part of that is the poverty thing, I am able to give myself a better standard of living, part is I am afraid I would be screaming bored and too poor to do much.  Right now I would go crazy and drive Jake up the wall, so it is a very good thing I keep working and a good thing that I have joined Pleasant Plains Historical Society, that helps get me out to play with other like minded people every Saturday, and once I can run the bike most of the time, the cost to play goes way down.  That gas stuff is getting expensive.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

So, about that phone message

It seems I have won a 52 inch tv, from the PIC event we had at the plant last week.  The 1 where I snagged a hot dog, and talked to someone about insurance and filled out a card, thinking price checking on insurance for the bikes and vehicles might be a good idea.
It will be living in the box for some time, but will be nice to have in the future, once it has a place to go in my over crowded living room.
But it is not as great as the yarn bowl, made by someone who has always mattered to me and who I will always keep high on my prayer list and who knew I would use the bowl and appreciate it.
And I will not start watching any amount of tv, or DVDs, and I will not be getting any cable or dish service, again, not something I want or need in my life.
But the event was right there, as I was walking out the gate, and I was hungry so the hot dog came on handy and I am not really pleased with my insurance agent so filling out the card for contact about insurance was smart.  I just didn't plan to win a big tv that I now need to make space for and making tv space is not on my 'want to do' list any time soon.
But moving some plants is on that list, and so is working on my underpinnings and skirt, apron for Clayville, and figuring out just what I am going to do for a bodice.  And working the patterns for stays and core head coverings into the budget is on that list.
But the Basin wild rye seed is ordered, a full pound and I will be tucking seeds into the ground near all my pampas grass plants, the ones that still show no signs of life.  
Tomorrow, after work I will go up to Rushville and get my photo taken and also take the paperwork from both auto and bike insurance and see about prices with a different company and come home with a new tv, that will probably go up to the attic, box and all, for at least the next few weeks.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A good Saturday

It started early and going good, got a bit rocky/scrambled/off track before the coffee was made but I decided to just ride out the waves, get done what needed done here at home and then take the Rebel to instead of the truck.  Could 'blow away' the stress and issues and make the day a good day regardless.
Not a big crew working clean up today but the Calvary were there for their spring muster and it was nice to have company while we worked.  Every bit of area we get cleaned up is 1 more area done and 1less to get done.  Windy so no burning but plenty of piles to haul off to the back 'lot' where it can be later turned into mulch, firewood or burned.
At home the scooter took me to Save-a-Lot so I could buy tea and some sausage to go with the potatoes and fresh chives I planned for supper.  Ran into a neighbor, they also had property survey this spring and a very nice wood privacy fence installed.  They have more income for such and Lisa said they are now really able to enjoy their back yard and are working on landscaping and getting better lawn growing.  They have had a lot of our local sand loving nasty burr growing plants for the most part and not a lot of luck getting rid of them.
I will not envy them, know her husband is railroad and good, solid income, she works the local Video store, and they have no at home children but now are up to 2 dogs.  I will be glad to see my patio get poured but have no date on that as of yet and I will be glad to start fencing.  
I might go ahead and get a post hole digger and the first 3 end posts, it takes 3 for the north side, each end and where the fence across to the north west corner of the house goes, it will get a gate also.  The south side will have the fence run east from the corner to past our auto parking area, corner and then go to the south property line and on east to meet the east line.  That area gets double gates at the bike patio and a smaller gate at the path up to the patio.  I can see some of that in my mind, but cannot yet see the landing coming out the kitchen door.  I think once the patio pour is done and I can see the height from it to the kitchen door, I will be able to 'see' what I want for that landing/steps down from the kitchen door to the patio.
I need to get flax seeds ordered so we can get them planted at Clayville, it would have been normal to have grown flax and made our own linen and wool items back when it was settled, there were very limited amounts of 'store bought' fabrics available and communities grew their own fibers, and turned those fibers into what they needed, wove and knit both.
Doll club meeting tomorrow, the Kish doll and clothes I made go to Donnell who might add to the wardrobe between now and the UFDC convention, she is going.  I had hoped to do more sewing but I come home hurting and beat tired so often.  Not much gets done once I have taken the dog out and then fed him and me, gotten the work boots off and again, taken something for pain.
But I have a good paycheck and my debt load is going down, my old house makes creeping progress but any progress matters and I love my life here.
Being in the Pleasant Plains Historical Society and involved with is something I have always wanted and now am doing that, sewing for the proper wear for the person I see myself as 'could have been' back when that small stage coach stop and inn were alive and a community.
I am chasing information on line and learning a lot about the actual lives of people who lived in those times, and will be able to share that with our visitors as I do tours or demo skills from those times, some which we still have and use today.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Empty spaces

We lost another long time employee at the plant, a part of that rather small circle of people who brighten my work shift, stay on my prayer list, in general, have value and importance to me, somehow, some why.
The space won't fill, it was Dan's space, I will miss him as I know his daughter and grandson will, and I know an aunt will, she also collects dolls, and his mother might still be living.  He 'did, for his aunt, and I think for his mother.
Life moves on, I know that, but now and then I look at the small empty niches in my 'important people' space, there in my head and heart, some still living but no longer part of my life but still missed, still thought of, still on my prayer list.
As I go into spring, and what all I have to do, want to do, plan to do, I miss being able to share my life with these people, hear their voices, their laugh, and their view of what is going on in my small world.
I will make today a good day in my life, for all of you, those who have moved on and those still living, because each of you had a part in helping me become the person I am today, and that is a good thing.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Sewing progress

I have joined an area historical society and their preservation project, so now am working on the proper under garments for that time period, 1820-1850.  And this means sewing and fitting patterns to my body so they are comfortable and fit correct.
One starts with drawers, so prototype #1 is/are done, the pattern tweaked and #2 cut out, the machine work started.
Let me tell you, my grandma's great grandma would have used the electric sewing machine if she could have, and modern cutters and rulers to make quick work of cutting out some of those large pieces.  
As I sit here, in my house built in 1900, I am certain the first people to live in this house would appreciate the electric lights and the central air and heat.  I am sure they would have liked the hot and cold running water, the shower, washer and dryer and indoor toilet.
Metal roofs were around then so my new metal roof probably would not have seemed so wonderful to them as it does to me.  But I lived with a badly leaking roof for over 3 years and every time it rains, I appreciate this metal roof and a dry home.
I have a lot to learn yet about this area, central Illinois and when white settlers first came and started building homes, clearing for farms, draining swamps and bogs.  But this is my home now, and I am becoming a part of the community.
I now have 11 years at this plant and 9 years of living in this house.  I am working on the house and grounds/yard this year, the survey is done so I can now fence the east/back area so the dog has more freedom, once the fencing is done.  The contract is signed for the concrete work for the kitchen patio so I hope/expect to see that done before the end of this month and the money for that is set aside.
I have landscaping work to do, plants to move, areas to add a bit of great Beardstown sand and fill the low spots some, a bit of grass to try and get established and plenty of grass to get out of planting beds and weeds to fight.
And I will find time for sewing, doll things, a quilt or two, and clothes for wearing at Clayville, so I am correctly dressed when I am there, guiding tours or showing how to do something, from caning a chair to spinning and knitting to quilting.
I am very blessed in my life here.  It is not perfect, work at Cargill is very hard but I keep working and keep paying my bills and fixing on my old house.  I have some solid friends, and Jake is doing good.  I am reasonably healthy and the dog often thinks I am great.  
Things are not perfect, but some things will change with time, for the better, some things I can live with and some things are just not my problem.  I might have to remind myself of that now and then, but I am getting much better at knowing when to step back, keep my mouth shut, tell myself it is not my job to fix, and a long list of things I used to let stress me.  
Both at work and in my personal life, I did not break it, I do not have to fix it.  I work at doing my job to the best of my ability, how other people work is not my problem, unless it directly impacts me and then I do what I can to reduce that impact.
In my personal life, all my children are adults, they make their own choices and live their lives, I do not clean up after them, do not fix the mess they make or pay their bills and I work hard to not give advice unless asked.
And I am not anyone's entertainment committee nor am I responsible for their happiness or their problems.  That is a big step for me, not feeling I should do what pleases someone else before what pleases or suits me.  But, I am single, owe no one any duty or obligations and I plan to keep it that way, and I do not need or want anyone to take care of me, live for me, build a life around what suits me.
So, the prototype underpinnings will be orchid and lavender, because it is fabric I already own and cotton sheeting which is correct for underpinnings, I will buy white cotton some time in the future, and by then I will have the patterns tweaked to my liking and own several changes of drawers and chemise, quite wealthy, in fact for that time period and being among the early settlers.  It is a very good life for this old woman.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cold and windy weekend again

It seems like winter will never leave this year.  We are back to cold and windy again, hard to get the outside clean up work done with this sort of weather but I got a lot of the raking done after work this past week, when it was nicer.  
The survey is done, and paid for, think both myself and the neighbors north can live with where that line between our properties actually ended up being and hopefully they will agree with the fencing I have hopes/plans for on that side.
I do have most of the pampas grass cut down but will need to cut back the roses, think they all suffered winter kill almost to the ground with this past winter.
I have patterns ordered for underpinnings appropriate to 1820-40's and will start sewing as soon as they come and I have time to trace off my size and cut the fabric.  Now that I am finally able to attend meetings and get more involved with Pleasant Plains Historical Society and I want period appropriate wear for when I am there.  It will be open to the public in mid-May so I need to get busy.
We hope to do the needed outside clean up but the weather is working against us this weekend.
I need to make a few calls about the kitchen patio, should see 2 bids coming from the contractors that were already here but I would like 3 or more.  Once that is done and paid for I expect my savings to be empty or almost.
It will be slow and nickel and dime progress on the fencing, kitchen landing, steps and door replacement but any progress matters.  It is my place and I am working on taking care of it and on improving it.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A great spring Saturday

Shadow had me awake and up early, usual schedule for us now that I am working day shift.  But it gave me time to start graphing out my property, I need to plan the fencing so I can get costs of it by section/area.  And I start with graph paper and drawing it out.  I have marks where the house is but cannot draw that onto my map until the survey is done.  Then I draw in the fencing, measure and write in the distance from each corner post to next, figure spacing for posts, gates, how much chain link it will take.  And the easy part is the paper, the hard one will be the cost.  It will be a case of getting some posts, setting them, filling in the needed posts between 2 points, then the chain link fencing, and then the next section.
Jake went to Springfield with me, we walked the entire quilt show, saw every quilt, walked by every vendor and then went to Lowes to get the bike patio pavers and wall blocks.  Out to eat and then leave me for the doll club meeting while he ran where he wanted to go.
He took Shadow for a long walk while I started taking down the retaining wall so we could dig back another 16" by 11 pavers long.  Most was done before I came in, I did hit some ground that was still frozen, but the hope is, regardless of weather, I will get the area dug out, the new patio pavers set in where they go, the retaining wall built back up and rake some.
The first contractor will be here Monday after I get home from work, I need that bike parking area done so his measurements can be close to accurate for his bid, and I want my bikes back where they belong.  I will worry about the south end of that retaining wall and planting bed later, it moves back far enough I can walk between it and the fence, once the fence is installed.
I hope this is the last time/year I add to or change that bike parking space, it had grown a bit every spring, but it did resolve several problems for me, the sand washing down in front of the utility space door, a solid place to park my scooter, a shady corner to sit out and enjoy some fresh air.
I want to do a small patio in the front, on the north side of the porch, partly is better drainage and a place for the trash container but it would be nice to have a bit of a sitting area on the west side of the house that did not feel as public as the higher and more visible front porch.
I have been invited to attend a meeting of the quilt guild in Springfield, it meets monthly on the 2nd Monday of each month so I will try and see if I can make the meeting next month.  I miss being in a quilt guild and now that I work days I can start doing some of the things that have been on my waiting list for so many years.
Bikes were out today, and I am putting off buying that wind screen for the scooter until I have the survey and the concrete patio job paid for.  I really want it and to be running that very cheap on gas ride to work as soon as I can, the wind screen will make it easier to ride in cooler temps so run to work mornings sooner, thus saving gas and miles on the truck.
But the big projects outside are first, and the fencing costs need to have priority and importance and I will not put the windscreen on credit. Rats, rats, that financial discipline stuff I am working on. Good for me in the long run but not so much fun to live with in the here and now, want it now world.
I have to remind myself how very fortunate I am, all the nice goodies that I already have, the amount of credit debt I am paying interest on because of some of that want it now.
My dental work, the big jobs on my truck that went on plastic, the air conditioner for the attic, those things are not my credit problem, but a doll, or tech device, a few other things, those are the stuff I need to absolutely Not put on credit, and that includes bike stuff, gifts for others, music CDs or any DVDs.
It is getting better, I am getting more stable each month, I have the funds for my survey and the patio pour, and neither are small cheap jobs, the additional materials to make the bike parking larger is also paid for, the bills will all be paid this month, and there will be food in the house.  But I will not be adding even 1 cheap $5 cd to my music collection, I will not be adding any new plants to my planting beds, books to my collections, or doll patterns, fabrics, yarns....
Any one who knows me well, knows I have plenty of dolls, patterns, books, fabrics, yarns to keep me entertained and those who know my place here in Illinois know I have plenty of work outside to be done this spring, lots of pampas grass to get cut down, lots of grass to remove from planting beds, roses to clean up, dog poo to keep on cleaning up.
I will be fine with a strict budget, I will not feel sorry for myself or think I am abused and a year or two from now, I will look back and see just how much I gained.  A lower debt load, a nicer property that I do love and want to take pride in, and dolls with lovely clothes I have made, maybe another quilt or two to put on a bed or gift, knitted things that money cannot buy.  All gained by strict budget and working on what really matters long term to me.  But I still want that $159 before tax and shipping wind screen.  It will still be available when it will work into the budget without cramping me or causing a delay in what really needs paid for first.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

That book I would like to read

The one that is my life and go back about 4+ years! and see how it would go if a man had been honest about his finances.  I wonder what difference that would make, what roads we would have taken and where we would be today.   I know you cannot go back and change things but I have to wonder how that might have changed our lives.
With honesty, you can find a way to resolve things, make wiser choices, find a way to deal with stuff like major financial issues.  Without that honesty, some day the world will come crashing down, and every one looses.
Here, in this old house I make slow progress on stability, pay down debt load, fix a bit on this place, keep my truck running, keep going to work, and keep liking who I am and what I am doing with my life.
But it is spring, and as I start cleaning the outside grounds of my small place, as I watch plants come back to life, I wonder where would we be if just that one thing was changed.
I am finally getting the property surveyed and have plans to start fencing and I am hoping to finally get the concrete pour done for the patio off the kitchen and have the kitchen door replaced.  Yes, the house still needs a lot of work, yes, I will keep at it, probably the rest of my life.
Well, there is no way to change the past, and no way to fix some things, honesty would have gone a very long way to make a huge difference so long ago.  Now, I work on my life and hope that his life is going well and he is happy.
For the most part I am, oh, not with my lungs and the crud in them from my recent bout with the flu, or the annoying foot and ankle, but those are small things, most of the time I am very glad to be me and doing what I do with my silly little life.  
Do I miss him? Yes, but I can live with that too, I miss my grandparents and my mom, people that matter are never replaced, their space in your mind and heart is only theirs and when they are gone, no matter why or how, the space is still there, it just sits empty.  I dust it out now and then and go on living in the real world, not some book where I get to re-write parts and see what happens.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Rains and gray skies

I had hopes for some sunshine but got up to rains and the day stayed damp and cool.  But not bitter cold, not snowing and no winds whipping around.
So, instead of clean up outside, I did laundry, and cut out 2 doll dresses and got the machine work on them done, will work on the handwork tomorrow and watch movies, do not expect it to be nice enough for me to spend much time outside.
But at least I am making some progress on my UFDC project.  Shadow tried to help so now I need to retrace and cut out the back bodice pattern he managed to destroy for me. We had a quiet day for the most part with Jake off at work, the local radio station playing and just me and the dog here at home.
There is so much I need to get started with outside but I will not battle the cold and damp for a bit of yard work yet.  And the weather channel is already predicting another winter storm hitting this area mid week so I won't get excited about spring just yet.