Over the fence chat for 1-20 thru 1-26-02

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Well, I am home and all went remarkably well at the daughters. She has 5 more days and will go off all the meds etc. and they will see if she goes into labor. I keep telling her about the women we had when I worked Labor and Delivery who we hospitalized etc. to stop labor and then ended up having to be induced when it was time. (she was not particularly happy to hear that but I sure didn't want her to think that as soon as she went off the meds we were going to have a baby!!! The doctor told her the same thing so I am safe there ;>) )

Both old goats (husband and doe) are fine, no kids and husband is very happy over that. First thing this morning I went out and checked her and she appears to be in very early labor so I would imagine some time this afternoon she will kid. (I have said that before and it was 24 hours.......there is nothing predictable about this particular doe)

I has been very cold here and the snow is squeeky.....my favorite winter weather. January seems to be flying past this year and I have all the seed catalogs out to prepare orders. We didn't get a Stark Brother's catalog this year and we need to order some fruit trees so I need to get on line and get that going. I hope that everyone has a great week.......hugs

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2002


diane, glad to here all is going well. By the end of the week, maybe you'll be knee deep in kids and grandkids.

I finally got my kitchen situated as I want it. All my cast iron cookware pieces now have places on the walls accenting my trivet collection. I found a red/white checked tablecloth with clear vinyl spill cover for the table and made a wall sconce for a deitz lantern to accent the room from the arch way that leads off the living room. Hope to make another for the other side of the archway. My goal is to make it look homey and manly at the same time (yes, I'm passing on the Amish blues and ducks at this time :>). I want to achieve a kitchen that has a singles milieu similar to that shown on the telivision series "Bonanza".

Started making drawings last night of my next "big hobby project". I want to make my own oak roll top desk as I am appalled at the high prices being asked for them and I know how to do dovetail and hinged tongue-in-groove construction. May take me a year or two, but I'll save a fortune on the cost, have fun and I want to make it lighter than the average reproduction through use of concealed wood mixes.

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2002

Hi all.Its very cold here.-18c yesterday.Thank God for stock tank de- icers.We are keeping both woodstoves going and there is a breeze across the floor still!!Diane ,so glad she is hanging in there ,every day counts.Jay,you make me tired.It took me 3 hrs to mop my kitchen floor,thats my big project this week.I delivered my nephew on Wednesday night,7lbs 9 ozs..Iam really excited ,I may be going to Tenessee,to "the Farm"" for some midwifery workshops this fall We are in thinking through selling 70 acres of our land .We are to the point where the family can not all get to the table at one time,and we are comfortable on 4 acres that we would be keeping.We would put an addition on this house and a new wee barn.I will soon have grandchildren and we have no space to be hospitable which is my nature.My kitchen counter is two foot long,and yes I am whining.Selling land that has been in a family for 150 years is not a pleasant thought,but we must be practicle too.We still would cut wood from the bush on the property and have enough for our stock etc. Did I see a post somewhere on what I would put in my kitchen?I will go look there for some ideas. wishing you a week of seed catalogues and spring dreams!!!!Bbrrrrr!!!

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2002

Thanks Jay. Now I have the theme of Bonanza running through my mind only where there music gets real strong and loud and you could fit Bonanzaaaa! when you are singing I have "Its Jay's Plaaace!"

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2002

C'mon over, Ali, and I'll yodel the Bonanza song with you!! (That'll teach 'em, by Golly!)

Jay, your kitchen sounds neat! I've always liked red in the kitchen; mine has a lot of reds, greens and yellows - I need the brighter colors to get me up and going. Blue just makes me want to go to sleep.... Are your trivets all cast iron? No ducks here, either - just lots and lots (and lots and lots!) of chickens!

Hope everything is going well for both the Mama's, Diane; and I'm certain that both the old goats are delighted to have you back home with them!

Teri, you are a much braver person than I - OB is the one place I WON'T work; babies scare me silly! Is the Farm still in operation? Let us know what it's like if you go there!

Talked to Sharon on the phone a bit ago; they had 6 inches of snow. I was shuddering while she told me; picturing those curvy mountain roads - Brrrrr!! Cold chills; and not from the cold weather either!! Guess I am just destined to be a flatlander forever!!

I've been using my new pressure cooker about 2 times a week - it's addicting!!! Tonights grub was a chunk of ham, 'taters, carrots and cabbage; only 10 minutes under pressure. Mmmmmm - tasted so good I wanted to keep eating when the belly said "NO MORE!" Anybody else use a pressure cooker on a regular basis? I used to use one frequently a few years back; until we had a little incident with a plugged steam vent.... I'm afraid most of my recipes were in my head; and for some reason, my data retrieval system isn't working as well as it used to!! If anyone has any recipes to share, I'd surely be grateful!

Kim, I've been thinking of you! Hope this weather didn't hit you too hard. Any new babies? Sending you thoughts of spring and sunflowers...

I've been wondering how our northeners are holding out - Marcia and Julie; EM and Joy and Jim as well. Tho, I imagine that we'uns here in Illlinois and Sherri over there in Indy at about the same level may have gotten hit harder with the weather - you get snow, Sherri? What's it doing out west, Sheepish? Talked to the Unc in Wenatchee (what day WAS that, anyway?) and he had rain. They get quite a bit of snow out there ususally. I know they've been worried about the potential apple crop for next year. Anybody heard from Kirk lately? Or John? I like to go online to weatherunderground.com and poke in the zip codes of family and friends to see what their weather is doing! Hubs finally gave in and spent the $7 to buy a new thermometer to replace the one that gave up the ghost in November - now I don't have to get online to see what it is doing outside my front door!!

I don't know that is the matter with me - I just can't seem to get my garden plans laid out on paper this year. I'm ready to get out and shovel poop; but can't think of where I want to put what. Unusual for me; I usually have it planned out to the last seed! Finally unearthed my Square Foot Gardening book - I had hoped it would tip the scales and get me in the proper mood; but since I am back on OT, I seem to fall asleep every time I open it! Sharon said they had some seeds started; 'course, they're in zone 6. Anybody else got started yet? I know Jay has, but he's probably even in a better zone than Sharon. I find myself daydreaming of cherry red radishes and bright golden sunflowers and dark green broccoli.....

I e-mailed Phyllis to see if the kids were going to order 4-H chicks again, but I haven't heard back from her yet - need to pick up the phone and call, I know!! Maybe I'll work with her Hubby tonight and I can ask him! Hubs and Pop are of the opinion that I don't NEED anymore chickens. Hmmmph! What do they know!?

Well, I've got to go call work and see if they think they need me on the med/surg floor for sure tonight; if so, I need to grab a quick nap before I go in. You folks all take care; and have a good week!

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2002

Gosh everyone of you guys is an incentive to me. We are fine. We have been iced in for 2 days but it has pretty much melted now. All the critters are ok. Kids are cranky because they had weekend plans we had to cancel but ......that's living in the mountains. Managed to start on painting the bathroom. Have the top coat on and will work on the sponge painting during the week.

Happy Martin Luther King Day - we seem to celebrate it late in Arkansas.

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2002

I love this thread!!! I like hearing about what everyone is up to. Glad things are going well with you Kim, think of you often. Done the alone with kids and homesteading thing before and know that it can be difficult, even when you know that they are coming back.

My old girl kidded yesterday, right at chore time. ONE huge buck kid :>(. I was so hoping that since she was pregnant that I would get a daughter from her. I am really grateful that she is o.k. and she sure handled the kidding better than I thought she would.

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2002

We got about an inch of snow on Saturday, 2 inches at the most. By Sunday it had pretty much all melted. I think they got hit worse farther south.

Diane I'm glad that the kidding went ok, and I'm sure that the grandkidding will be fine too. :)

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. SAD is really kicking my ass this winter and nothing that I've used in the past seems to be working. Just for a little variety my brain has decided to throw in some anxiety attacks along with the depression. Only 2 more months until spring...

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2002

Poor Sherri. I have been really being careful to remember my medication this time of year and trying to get outdoors for some natural light. I hope you find the right combination soon my dear. We have been discussing plans for this ol' place. The success of selling chicken, turkey, lamb and pork last season was fine but in the being competitive mode and pleasing customers I found I had to compromise my own personal agenda which was what got us into this lifestyle in the first place. Whats great is Richard is agreeing with me and my ideas and is supportive. Last year was our first year with critters. I practice organic methods in my garden and was planning to continue this into the livestock realm. The whole idea is to have better than we could buy commercially and feel environmentally responsible..you know..all that tree hugger hippy crap... Anyways, when a person who had asked to be put down for a side of pork started griping that the organic feed was going to push up the price of the pork I started with the regular pelleted feed from the feed store. It didn't feel too good. Initially, we thought we did a good job and planned on doing 4 pigs this year in a small paddock. I feel like I have come to my senses though. its like I said to my Richard "This is not what we got into this for!! Our ideal was to grow healthy food for ourselves and have less dependence on other sources. I want to do it my way. Whats the point otherwise?" So, the end of it is that we will use organic feeds when ever possible but won't be considered totally organic because I can't find certified organic hay (not that we need certification for our own use..). Now if a smart consumer comes along and wants to partake of our product and is willing to forgo the extra cost, so be it. Gosh it feels good to try and be true to your ideas and dreams!!! When my current feeds run out I will be using my dollars to support the organic movement here at home, perhaps my small contribution will help in the turning of the tide toward more sustainable agricultural practices in this world! At least I won't be scared to eat right out of my garden or dig into a pork chop. Whew..its some high up on this soapbox!!! I's gittin' dizzy.......:o) The garden list is begun. Corn, cukes, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peas, beans,......whats missing?? Any suggestions? Maybe I'll get some raspberry canes and a couple more blueberry bushes planted this year too.

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2002

Sherri, are you getting full spectrum light exposure to your pupils?? How many hours??? I need a minimum of two hours every other day or I start thinking about pushing up daisies.

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2002

What hectic, sleepless and basically screwed up four or five days we've had here!!! Still having power and phone problems after the outage we had a week ago. My poor webtv keeps disconnecting and reconnecting. At first we were blaming it on our isp, but then we found out that the phone co. had done "quickie" repairs and over the last few days had been trying to make permanent repairs. Sure is frustrating, though!! And we've awake throughout the past few nights mopping up water coming in upstairs from the ice damming again. We had carpenters come in late last fall and put down an ice/water shield under our upper shingles on our gambrel roof, but there is still one area that dams up. We WILL be getting those carpenters back here!! Seems like ever since we moved and started homesteading here, we've had water problems. First it was the leaky 8x30 ft. trailer we lived in for two years...then we built our 24x40 ft. cellar and capped it off with (stupidly!) a flat roof which leaked almost continuously...replaced that roof with a slanted roof...then the "water-proofed" walls started weeping...finally built our log home on top and the damn ice dams up!!!! Does it ever end??!! Supposed to be getting another 5 or 6 inches of snow this afternoon and tonight. And I don't mind that...I do like the snow and the change of seasons here...I just don't want anymore leaks!!!!!

Diane...congrats on your new "kid"!! Will you be keeping him? Teri...that's really neat that you delivered your nephew. Love the way you casually slipped it into the conversation---between the mopping of your kitchen floor and selling your property :-)!!

I have about two weeks to go before the arrival of my first kids (Feb. 8th). Then more will arrive on the 17th and 19th. Can't wait! I'm getting so sick of not having milk with my cookies!! I hate store milk. You're not the only one, Polly, who hasn't done the garden planning "thing" yet. All of the seed catalogs I've gotten in the mail so far are sitting in a pile in my den! Why? I don't know!!! I think I've been really stressed out with getting our business books in order for our accountant. Finally got all the quarterly reports and forms finished...and caught up my Dome book! Getting the W-4's done now, but they go pretty quickly once the payroll section of my book is caught up. I hearby swear to NOT let my bookkeeping get behind this year!!!! You all are witnesses!

Cheer up, Sherri...we're on the downside of winter. Pretty soon there will be all sorts of cheerful spring signs...baby chicks, kittens, birds singing! I start checking my goats by the middle of Feb. to see if they've started shedding yet. They give me the strangest looks when I go in with them and started yanking on their hair muttering "shed, damn it!".

Hope everyone is doing well, especially those we haven't heard from lately!!?? Have a great week.

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2002

Whew! Boy, lotsa news! Lotsa birthing news...be it human or be it critter. I hope everyone is doing well. Sherri, this has to have been the low point of the year (last weekend!) Everyone I know was feeling bummed and tired. I personally took naps both Saturday and Sunday and did nothing except dig a small ditch to catch runoff from our pond and go to church on Sunday...believe me, the Sunday a.m. thing is tough. Why can't we worship on Monday nights or something!?

Snow tonight. Got maybe an inch...just enough to be a major pain driving the 25 miles home from work. We live at nearly 500' and it's sea level about 4 miles from here. Toss in a little snow, and you can see that with the windy, curvy, steep roads, it's a nightmare drive. Plus, of course, we natives aren't accustomed to much of the white stuff anyway. I must say...it's really beautiful tonight, though.

Mr. S. is at a meeting in town (sea level). Since he has the Ranger with 2 wheel drive and no weight in the back, his Colorado driving skills will come into play tonight! Or else he'll just park it and walk up the hill (probably easier in the truck!) At any rate, I hope he's safe. I won't even scream at him for leaving me with no kindling (so I got to chop it in flashlight light in the snow) tonight!

My garden planning is kind of stumped! What about all these winter vegetables that are in the way of my spring plantings? btw, I FINALLY got brussels sprouts! Hooray...I will have to eat 'em and report back. Nice to have fresh stuff in January. Still have kale, broccoli, carrots, beets, chard, (and probably not after tonight) spinach. Oh and yes, of course, turnips...maybe snow cones? giggle..

Hope you are all doing well and staying warm!

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2002

Thanks, everyone. It's nice to know that there's people who understand what you're going through. Keith has been a real dear this past week, I think that it frightens him when I get like this but he's very good at just soothing me rather than making me feel bad because I'm feeling bad.

I am a tad bit cheerier today because I now have my first real massage customer! It started out as a barter exchange, she agreed to accept 2 massages in exchange for the tuition fee for workshop she's teaching on Saturday. I did the first massage last night and she liked it well enough that she wants a standing appointment for once a month for the rest of the year! I'm on my way! :)

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2002

Yeah Sherri!!!!!! Good for you!! I had my first spinning session tonight. Jeez louise its harder than it looks but by the end of the night I was starting to understand how it works. Coordination is not my strong point. I just had to share the happy news with you all!

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2002

Wish you were closer, Sherri! The closest place to get a massage over here is FREEZING in the winter. Can't get a very good massage when you're bundled up in your woolies and shivering! What type of massage do you do? And, if it's not too tacky to ask; what do you charge? Do you do them at a certain place?

Ali, I'd like to learn to really spin. We were at one of those historical things at Nauvoo this year and the lady who was trying to give the spinning demo was having trouble (new at it). She let me try and it was really a neat feeling - relaxing! I could keep the tension okay to keep it nice and smooth; but I had a heck of a time adding another - what do you call the piece of wool? - to keep it going. It was set up for a right handed person; and I do just about everything except write (thanks to the nuns) with my left hand. Just felt awkward!

Marcia, you sound like you've had a hell of a week!! Want me to send you my secret chocolate stash? You sound like you need it worse than I do!! Hope everything gets straightened out and dried out! HUGS!

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2002

Hooray for more spinners! I liken it to learning to ride a bike. A little tricky at first, but once you get it, you just never forget it. What a wonderful thing to do, imo.

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2002

Polly, I agree that getting a massage when you're cold just doesn't work. Regulating the temperature in the massage room is a tricky thing. The client wants the room warm so they don't freeze, the therapist wants the room cool so they don't work up too much of a sweat while giving the massage. One of my classmates has a table heater, it looks like a mattress pad and works like an electric blanket. It's heavenly!

I don't have an office so I carry my table with me and go to people's homes to work on them. I got really lucky with my current client. She does reiki and reflexology so she already has a massage table set up in her office. It's so nice not to have to lug my table around and I give her a price break in exchange for using her table. I do plan on having an office in the future but I didn't want to invest the time and money right now when we're planning on moving in a couple of years.

Right now I'm trained in Swedish massage. That's your basic relaxation-type massage. I'll be learning some more advanced techniques like trigger point therapy and sports massage when classes start back up again in March. I tend to like the lighter techniques better than the deeper ones, so I'd eventually like to study cranialsacral therapy and lymphatic drainage techniques. The going rate here in Indy for a 1-hour massage at the therapist's office is $60-$85. Since I'm still learning I charge less than the going rate, and as I mentioned I also give a discount if I don't have to bring my table.

-- Anonymous, January 23, 2002

That's pretty close in line with pricing here, Sherri. We're a little less (but, of course, we're rural); and the 3 people I know of that do massage charge by the half hour &/or hour - $30/half hour or $45/hour. I need to have one when I'm awake sometime - seems like I've always just gotten off work, or haven't gotten enough sleep so I fall asleep and don't get to know that I'm enjoying it!! I guess that any time my body gets to be horizontal, it thinks it needs to snooze!

One set of folks have a booth in a tanning salon; another comes in to a chiropractors office by appointment. I don't know of anyone around here that travels to a home or business. 'Course, I don't know anyone who would want to drive clear out here, anyway!

-- Anonymous, January 23, 2002

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