My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Winter blues and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!

     I had a really great summer, did a lot of riding, both on the Rebel and the Vespa, even went to a scooter rally and had an awesome 3 days down in St. Louis, playing and learning my way around.  So, I have no valid reason to gripe, it's not even really bad weather yet.
     I have a warm and dry house, a job that pays me enough to live on, plenty of fabrics and yarns to play with and all the needed tools for that play and then some.  So, I can sew and knit and enjoy my studio, my tech devices allow me access to the world and communications with others with similar interests and hobbies.
     There is food in the house, the parrots are being quiet, the dog is being good, at least right now and I am reasonably healthy, all my normal aches and pains are being reasonable, so I do realize just how fortunate I am.  But, I am not getting things done that I should be, a baby dress to finish up, before Alice outgrows it, tabi sock I am working on an working up the pattern and I need to get some work done on them, I am not happy with them and am already figuring out tweaks to my pattern, but I want at least part of the foot of each done before I start another pair and tweak that pattern some...toe area shaping ideas that will possibly improve the fit and the look...
     I have a doll dress cut out, still need to cut the bodice lining and then get busy sewing it, but I don't seem to get much done after work.  And I should be doing notes an research for the doll club talk I am giving this next meeting, which will be here very soon and I am not very ready.
     Finances are tight, and that's all my doing, I use credit when I should just NOT buy the non-essential 'goodie' that I am wanting, and I know that.  Some of the credit debt is from auto repairs, and that was needed at the time but very costly and not getting paid down or off very fast.  But the doll/yarn/tech debt stuff is absolutely me being very self-indulgent and I need to do far less of that and far more paying down debt and keeping a tight rein on my bad spending habits.
     It's late, I need to eat and get to sleep, 4:30 am comes very early and I actually do work hard at that job I have, that earns the money I spend on everything, from house payment to occasional candy and chips.   I need to count those blessings and appreciate more what a really good life I have and do a lot less grousing and grumping.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Damn thief at Work

.    That orange, short steel came from the prior employer, this plant has never stocked/used/had that color/size/type of sharpening steel--so whoever stole it today, after I moved from the bung table to get boxes for stomachs or to help finish packing the last of stomach production, took a very easy to identify piece of MY personal work equipment--getting caught with it could end their employment at the plant.  I was screaming mad when I was done and went to get my scissors guard and steel and found the steel, which was attached to that scissors guard, gone.  I reported and make sure 3 different 2nd shift kill/harvest supervisors were aware of what it was, how to identify it and who it belongs to, where it was stolen from and also the 2nd shift supply person, in case it gets turned in to them.
       We are short a lot of people, vacation, medical  and call in, so it was a long 11 hour day for me, my usual set up work, then to bung table to work there all day, then back to stomachs to help them finish up.  And the ex-husband's cousin had to keep telling me I was lying about taking the Rebel Saturday and going to St. Louis.  Stupid ass, there's no reason for me to lie about that, yes, I did run down there, breakfast at McDonalds, it was 47 degrees when I went to McDonalds and not up to 50 when I headed south out of town, past 'Dosh and down the old road, through Bluffs and a right turn to head west, over the drawbridge on the Missouri and through Detroit and then Pittsfield and over the Mississippi River and into Louisiana MO, head south on 79 and get gas, pout as the bridge out of town is being replaced, NO traffic allowed through, back to 54 and detoured to Bowling Green, county roads back to 79 and on south.   Gas again just before 79 blends into I70, east this time and watch for crazy cars, big trucks and the sign for 270 south, and down, Off at Page Street and hunt for the hotel I am booked at for the Missouri Loves Company scooter Rally in less than 2 weeks.  Found that and also found a sigh that read "caution, duck crossing".  And learned that a few blocks east on Page Ave I would find Waffle House. That solved my breakfast early worry, so off to find state highway 100, and Flying Tiger Motorcycle, our rally meet up/sign up location.  From there back west on 100/Manchester to Steak N Shake, which had free wi-fi, our up in this neck of the world do not.
Then to go find Knitorious and see what they have, drool, drool..came out with a beautiful skein of Ancient Arts sock yarn in a amazing brown--and generally don't buy brown yarns/fabrics/clothes.
Easy directions, just follow the same street I came down the other direction, it changes names and it would take me to I64, and gee, there is the Ikea store, I do know where I am!
On I64 east and over the river, turn off for state highway 3, the old road up along the river, and from 1 old road to another and on.  Gas again in Grafton and put the liner back in my summer jacket.  And head north on roads I know and love running.
    Gone about 11 hours, over 330 miles, about 4 gallons of gas, temps from 46 to over 80 and then coming back down to just above 70.  Hours of time alone, of feeling free, winding roads, sun and shadow, trees and old buildings, seeing part of the older St. Louis, just me, my ride and my peace and balance.   No, I don't lie about that, both bikes and my car were here at 8 am, and again were all here about 8:30 pm. But that little silver Rebel was long gone by 9 am, me and the Rebel and the road.
    I now can find that Red Roof in the night, and know where I can get breakfast at 4 or 5 am, I can find the Rally meet up location and feel that I will be safe alone at that hotel.  That was the reason for the trip, my stay is booked but I have time to change it if I was not comfortable with the hotel or the ride from there to the Rally meet up.
      And I don't lie about buying very expensive resin dolls or high priced yarns, I don't have to.  I pay my own bills, earn my own living and have been single for over 12 years now.  I don't answer to my adult children or any one else.  My life is mine to live my way, and that includes long solitary rides on the Rebel or my Vespa.  And it was a really, really great day.

Monday, July 31, 2017

August already?

     And I have no idea what happened to most of July---- but that central brick chimney is finally removed and I have a vent installed into the studio, not a lot of cool air but some and enough to make it livable up there, or at leas so I can sleep better at night.
     But our heat wave is over, for now, nights are dropping into the 60's and I put the insulated liner in the rain liner for my summer bike jacket, thought this morning that would be a good idea.  And I need to sew 2 patches onto the heavier jacket before it's cool enough to need it.  1 is from the St. Louis Zoo, the other was part of my birthday gift from Ben, he got me 2 patches from Girl Genius, an on line comic we both follow, so now I have Oggie to watch my back and Agatha will go on the other jacket.
     I don't know where my after work time went tonight, it's almost 9 already and time for bed....

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Need to clean out 'junk'

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

Saturday, June 17, 2017

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

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

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Already the middle of May

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

Sunday, April 02, 2017

That old house progress

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bike shows and taxes

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Old houses and attic conversions

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