Over the fence chat for September?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Beyond the Sidewalks : One Thread

Hi all! Wow - itís so great to have time to sit down at the computer again! Well, okay - time, and enough brain cells active to do anything more than play a couple of games of free cell before dozing off!

Iíve been working bunches of hours - as usual. Double shifts (16 hours - 3pm to 7:30 am) have been fairly common recently. The new psychiatrist has been keeping things busy. Iím still not real sure about him - there have been a whole lot more drunks and geriatrics admitted lately that in the past. I like mentally ill people - schizophrenics, etcÖ and I donít like doing detox. And while I donít mind working the Alzheimerís unit at the NH; I have a problem accepting that our unit is appropriate for them - being lumped in and dumped in with the mentally ill population. I guess itís a lot like working med/surg tho - I like the belly patients, the COPDers and the CHFers - and hate taking care of the cardiac; but youíve gotta take care of everyone, whether you like it or not!

The one good thing about the situation is that the boss has decided to listen to our pleas and is hiring 5 CNAs to help with the work load. He wanted nurses, we wanted CNAs. And Jessie is one of the CNAs thatís being hired - sheíll work day shift tho. Sheís really exicted; and Iím delighted - I wanted her OUT of that NH before she picked up any bad habits that could hurt her once sheís a nurse. With the heavier load at the hospital, I havenít had time to work at the NH since the middle of August. Iím looking at maybe moving to a different nursing home if things slow down at the hospital again.

I had the problem with my computer being swamped with e-mail also - thought I had that worm virus, but my wizard bud said no. No actual familiar names in my in-box; just bastardizations of familiar names - a letter or two, or number or two off. In any case, I was without my computer for almost two weeks - as David was swamped with other computers to de-worm before he could get to mine.

Well, on to more pleasant subjects! I know the calendar says that itís still summer - for another 10 days or so - but you sure couldnít tell it around here! The corn harvest is in full swing; and the haze in the air from cutting the corn has given us a golden harvest moon with this full moon. The cottonwoods and sycamores have been losing leaves since we went without rain for a month there in July and August; but now the walnuts are following suit. No leaves have started changing colors yet; I hope we do get a pretty show this year! The weeds in the garden are loaded with wooly bear caterpillars - all dark, or with a dark stripe down their backs. The hummingbirds have slowed waaay down in the past two weeks or so - they usually donít start leaving for another week; and last year it was well into October before they headed south. Iíve not seen any geese winging over yet, but the squirrels have been very busy lately. Iím wondering if itís going to be an early winter, and a hard one at that?! Iíve got cleaning my pantry and doing my big winter stock up shopping on the list for my vacation time - reckon Iíd better load up on the comfort foods!!

Iím going to be canning tomatoes tomorrow, I hope. Ours did lousy this year; and they are about done for in any case, so I am going to go buy a couple of bushels from these young folks over near the hospital. They planted a big truck patch this year, but I donít think theyíve had a whole lot of business yet. I kept looking for an ad in the paper, but didnít see one; and they had only one sandwich board type sign right across from their house. I hope they do well enough to keep it going. About all we have left in the garden right now are watermelons, lima beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Iím hoping to get the potatoes harvested this weekend - if the weather cooperates, that is!

We did real well with our oats this year - over 500 bu from the 4 Ĺ acres. Uncís Amish friend Joe bought them all, so now all I have to do is get rid of part of the straw. Shelbyville has a festival each fall called Scarecrow Daze, so I am hoping to sell some over there for yard decoration before the festival. I had actually thought about placing my ad in the paper as: ďStraw Bales - for sale or rentĒ; offering delivery of bales; and then pick-up of them after the season. I could then use the straw to mulch my berry patch. Now, howís that for a ďcake and eat it tooĒ scenario?! Wish I had some corn shocks and pumpkins to sell with it! Next yearÖ..

Unc is planning to come down this weekend, and we are going to go out and check on my open pollinated corn that we planted this year from seed that I got from Ron Macher, the publisher of ďSmall Farm TodayĒ magazine. Weíll save the best ears for planting next year - a much bigger plot, I hope! Heís going to mow off the hay field; and then weíre going over to talk to Neighbor Mike about some ideas for temporarily modifying his old chain drive manure spreader into a strawberry row mulching machine. Pop is out mowing off the weeds in the berry patch as Iím typing this - we went out earlier this morning and I cut the giant ironweeds out with the loppers, and then carried them to the row ends with a pitchfork, while he tilled in between the rows. Poor patch was severely neglected this year with me working all the extra hours and Pop not being able to do as much as in years past! Hopefully, weíll get it all cleaned up while Iím off work. Iím also going to expand the garden with 4 to 6 more raised beds - and then it will be finished!! The row garden out in the field this year was weed city and also a pain to get planted with all the rain we had this spring. So Iím going to add 4íx12í beds (or 3íx12í - canít decide yet!) down the east side and put everything but potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, pumpkins and melons into the garden proper next year. So many plans - so little time!!

Pop and Hubs and I are going to take a trip the middle week of my vacation. Weíre having the family out on Saturday the 20th for a weenie roast; and then on Sunday, weíre going to head down to Kinmundy; the town where Pop was born. There is this crazy little old lady down there that went around and salvaged a bunch of original log cabins in the area, and moved them on to a piece of ground that she owns. Pop remembers several of the cabins from when he was growing up; and can tell you about the families that lived in them. Every fall, they have a festival down there with old time crafts and the like, so itís a nice way to spend the day. Then we think we might head over to Berea for a couple of days; and then circle around to Missouri and Arkansas. Pop hasnít been able to play his mandolin or guitar since the stroke - his left fingers wonít do what he tells them to, so he canít chord. I want to see if I can find a dobro while weíre down there for him to try out - it has a slide bar so you donít have to chord. If he likes it; weíll find him one for Christmas.

Jessie and her friends are going to stay out at the farm to do the chores while weíre gone - already theyíre fighting over who has to take care of the chickens!! Joe the Amishman keeps hens for eggs to sell at the bulk food store - 900 of them; and was getting in his new layers, so wanted to get rid of the past yearís layers. I bought 20 of them off of him for 50 cents each; sight unseen. When Unc brought them down, my first thought was that I got took!! They were the poorest, most pitiful looking fowl Iíve ever seen in all my born days! With some TLC and lots of feed, theyíre starting to look a whole lot better; and we are getting a minimum of a dozen eggs a day - so I reckon that Iíve already made back my investment! I also bought a 20í grain bin off Joe for $75; weíre going to try to get it down here the last week of my vacation. Donít know yet if weíre going to bring it down here in one piece; or cut it in half to make 2 Quonset type shelters. I could use the shelters as well as the bin; so it really doesnít matter much to me which way it comes down.

Well, I need to stop typing and go hop in the shower. I have a few errands to run before I go in for my 3pm-7:30pm shift this afternoon - only 4 hours! I wonít know what to do with myself! Iím already plumb giddy with anticipation of my vacation!! (Iíll probably need to go back to work for the rest, by the time itís over!)

You folks all take care; talk with you soon

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2003


Glad you got your computer straightened out, Polly. It's been just a wee bit quiet around here without having your "adventures" to read about :-)!! As usual...I'm exhausted just reading your post. Do you EVER have a quiet season?? I'm also happy to hear that Pops is able to get around pretty good. It's going to be fascinating, I'm sure, to hear the stories he's going to tell about those log cabins. Elderly people are soooo interesting sometimes.

E.M...How's your Dad doing???

I really don't have much going on. We've spent most of the past 4 or 5 days getting the business and the livestock "in order" before we leave for N.C. around 2 a.m. Sat. Today we went down to our boat and secured everything...just in case that hurricane (Isabel) hits here and our harbor master has to get the boats on dry land quickly!! Who ever heard of going south during hurricane season. Geesh...talk about dumb :-)!!! It's really weird, but I've been in this frame of mind that I feel I just have to have everything in the house neat, clean and in order before we leave. I keep thinking that what if we don't come back (alive!!) and do I want someone going in my home if it's dirty??!! I even swept the cobwebs out of my barn! Is that "anal" or what!!! And...I'm most definitely NOT a religious person, but while straightening out a bookcase in my bedroom I found an old bible that had been given to me back in 1961 by a minister. I've had the strangest urge to put it in my suitcase. I know I'll never read it...but I feel I should pack it!! We're traveling in a '98 Dodge Town & Country van that was loaned to us by a Baptist minister. Is that coincidence or what!!??

Enough of that weird sh**!!! I do know that I feel VERY comfortable going down with a printed out version of the suggestions that you gave me, Polly!!! I wont feel so lost and helpless with them :-)!

See you all in 10 days or so!!!!!

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2003

Have a safe trip Marcia! I don't think you're strange for wanting to leave a clean house. It's so depressing to come back from a trip and walk into a dirty house. I used to work with a woman who always bought new underwear before she went on vacation. She said that if something happened to her, she didn't want the people who would finally pack up her belongings to see that she had ratty underwear. LOL!

I think I just need a computer attached to my brain. I think up all sorts of things that I want to post, usually when I'm driving in the car or doing something else away from the computer. Then when I finally get on the computer I can't remember what I've posted and what I just thought about posting, so I end up not posting anything. If I had this forum attached to my brain that would eliminate the problem. :)

EM I hope your dad is doing better. Remember when I posted a couple of years ago about my friend Jim being so sick that I though he was going to die? It turns out that the medicine he was taking for his congestive heart failure and the medicine for his high blood pressure were enhancing each other and basically dropping his blood pressure down to zero. What you wrote about your dad passing out reminded me of that. BTW, Jim is doing much better now, he's getting married this weekend.

We're just about finished with the destruction phase of the basement and ready to go on to the construction phase. Keith's dad is supposed to come out sometime this weekend to help us figure out how much lumber and drywall we need to order. We managed to save most of the studs, except for those that were too termite-eaten to save, so that should help keep the costs down a bit. I think whoever finished that basement originally wasn't quite right in the head. In some places it looks like they framed one wall, drywalled it, and then poured the concrete floor.

We had a tree service come out yesterday and take down a couple of dead trees that were too big for us to handle. I couldn't get my arms around the base of either trunk. Both of them were oaks. We just had the tree service drop them, we're going to cut them up ourselves. Plenty of firewood for the winter! Keith's sister has a fireplace at her house too so we're going to see if she wants to pay for renting a hydraulic log splitter for a day and we'll pay her back in firewood.

It's almost quitting time here at work. I'm taking Monday and Tuesday as vacation days so maybe I'll post more then.

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2003

Marcia, have a good safe trip. You'll be fine.

Sherri, you may not be able to use those tree this winter, too green. I usually like to season for a year, it's better. Glad to hear the house is coming along. I've got a kid goat for sale...

Hey Polly, what vitamins do you take? Have a nice vacation.

Em, how's the building coming along?

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2003

Bye bye Marcia! Try not to have a sucky time! :)

Glad to hear you're finally taking some time off, Polly, although if you don't end up working a stray day here and there when they beg, I'll be hornswaggled.

We are getting to know our building (Betsy, according to my weird Ali). Still have lots of stuf to do, but it's fun, when we arent arguing!

I went up to Duluth to bring my dad home Wednesday night; he's still got a very sharp pain in his hip (not by his spine, where the injury is supposed to be!) whenever he sits, which sounds to me like a nerve is involved. I don't think its supposed to be that painful; he has to keep pumped up on painkillers and his appt isnt until wednesday. I'm trying to get another opinion on Monday. somethin aint right. Am helping out though; try to get down there (they live about 45 minutes from here) every day to give mom some relief. he's never needed this kind of maintenance before; like a baby, he's so helpless cuz he aint mobile. Hard to take, but he's a tough and optimistic ol bugger.

Saw lots of relatives I havent seen in years when up north; we have lots of em up there. Lotsa love to go around. Funny how differences fade away when someone you love is hurtin. Even have another dyke in the family! My cousin, an attorney about 15 years younger than me, dont know her well, lives with a woman and they just had their first baby! Ha! NOw my folks arent they only ones! way cool.

Keep writing everyone; I need to hear what you're doing or I miss ya!

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2003

Finally slowing down on the gardening and worm ranching for the winter and starting my cartooning and website building again for the winter.

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2003

Winter? Yíall have winter down in Alabama?! (Teasing!) Come to think of it, I donít recall that Iíve ever been to Alabama, winter or summer time either one. Hmmm - maybe Iíd better plan a trip to Alabama - Iíd sure hate to miss out on something!

EM - glad to hear your Papa is at home, sorry to hear that he is still in so much pain. Make sure he keeps hydrated, with all those pain pills. Family can be a pain sometimes, but isn't it wonderful when they remember that they are a family and all pull together?!

Dee - sublingual B complex, when I think of it, which isnít often. Otherwise, I rely on caffeine! Helps that both my parents were/are workaholics - musta come down in the genes! That, or an early childhood impression formed while playing under the kitchen table and hearing one of my Momís friends talking about how she asked the doctor for some ďmotherís little helpersĒ and he hired her to work in his office instead - told her she needed to keep busy and then she wouldnít have time to be stressed! I notice that the more I have to fuss about, the less time I have to worry; so it must work!

Well darn - the tomato people werenít home yesterday so I canít can tomatoes this morning; and Pop is getting ready to mow out by the garden, so I canít hang clothes on the line, so there goes the idea of doing laundry. Whatever am I gonna do with myself this morning?! Guess I could go ahead and get everything set up for canning; Iím going to run over to town later this morning and try again on the tomatoes. Then I plan to meet John for lunch and weíre going to go look at a water tank to put in the basement so that I can move my wringer washer inside for the winter. After that, weíre going to go pick up the boards for the garden beds. Pop should be done mowing and the dust settled by the time we get home, so I can do my washing then; and John can get started burning the stuff thatís been piling up in the shed. We can start peeling and shredding the tomatoes once the clothes are on the line. Sounds like a plan to me!! Reckon Iíd better go get at that counter top!

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2003

Just popping in for a minute while taking a break from painting...

Dee, the trees were dead so they're pretty dry, in fact some of the wood is junky/rotten. We also had some limbs that were overhanging the house taken down. They were alive and they're oozing sap as we cut them, it looks like they're bleeding. It's vaguely unsettling but we only took the limbs that were dangerous so I don't feel too guilty. The green wood is being sorted into a different pile so it can season.

Oops, Keith just looked in the window (he's outside splitting wood) and saw me here at the computer so I'm caught! Better get back to work! :)

Has anyone heard from Denise lately? I have her phone number around here somewhere, I may give her a call this weekend just to make sure everything's OK.

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2003

Gary wanted to go to the movies today but I really didn't want to see anything (except Pirates again..hubba hubba) and we missed the time sooo.... We ended up emptying and cleaning my fishtank to get it ready for the new addition. I got some of the stuff that he will need but my boss didn't get everything I ordered. He forgot. So Friday I went in and looked up all the stuff I needed. (It worked out better that way. But I ended up answering the phone and helping some customers while I was there. Can't help it I guess) I'll end up giving him what I did get and tell him what is on order. I am looking for a private breeder (since I've been looking I have seen some really nice looking red Bearded Dragons.) We were going to have a party for him but it seems like everyone can't make it. My mother- in-law said she wants to take all of us out to a steak dinner to celebrate. (He loves steak) SIXTEEN!!! Where has the time gone?

Funny thing, Glenn comes home and says, "Oh, you've taken down the fish tank?" Duh!! That was the deal, get rid of the fish for the lizard. He was mad that the radiator got rusty from the tank. We then spent a couple of hours scraping the rust off it. Fun, fun...

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2003

Hi all !!!!!!! We have been having DSL hookup trouble!! I've not been on line but a very little in the past week, then only when it work all of a sudden work!!! We live so far off the road we have to pull from a line on the street behind us which is almost as far as from the front street so they thought we needed a booster so they put that in on Friday used it some Friday went to come on Saturday and it was so slow then it just stopped working at all! They came out today and put in a new modum and it's been working wonderful now!!!

Sherrie have fun splitting the wood for the last 2 years we have done this to help pay our property taxes and a good 4 days later we had it knocked out and plenty wood for the season. We sold ours for $10. for 20 pieces and it sold like crazy.

EM hope your Dads doing better. I hate it when my Daddy gets sick it really breaks my heart cause I'm the worlds biggest Daddy's little girl!!!!LOL

Hope everyone has a great week and keep an eye on the hurricane.I'm praying it doesn't come this way!!!!! We have been lucky,the last big storm was in the mid 60's. My Mom said it was pretty bad!!! I guess that's what we deal with living in the Sunshine State!!!!LOL

Blessings and love, Sandy

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2003

Hi all,

EM, hope things are going well...and of course, to the rest of you wonderful folk,too!!

We just got back from a 9-day camping trip around E. Washington. Whew. Now I'm picking in the garden and trying to get caught up on laundry, animals, etc. We had a good time...I'll tell you some of it later. Sure felt like fall coming on, tho, at higher elevations, bow hunters out, leaves in color, and coolish temps in the a.m. I'm so excited to be home to eat decent food, too! We went bare knuckle this time...didn't even take a cook stove. I want fresh vegetables!!! (tired of bread, cheese, wine, and Mr. S....well, NOT Mr. S., really).

SO great to read so many posts again.

Polly, glad to hear that you're busy and that Jessie is getting hired there! I'm thinking of adding some CNA training (as well as a cert in Med. Scheduling). We're really serious about moving to E. Washington some time after Mr. S. gets his Rad Tech cert and up and running (one more year..he's still got 4 qtrs and clinicals ongoing). My transcription cert may help, but I might want a foot in the door sooner than later. There's several hospitals around where we want to live. The pay is HALF of what it is around here, though. Good news: way cheaper to live and no traffic jams. 8-)

Anyway, have a good week all! Bye for now.

-- Anonymous, September 15, 2003

I've been busy and cranky. Haven't felt like posting anything. Not sure I feel like it even now, but oh well, going to try anyway.

First the bad news: My dog yanked me off my feet, I landed on my right side/shoulder and damaged the shoulder and arm. Nothing broken, but I have ligament/tendon strains, probably a muscle tear in the upper arm, and I had a whopper of a bruise on my side. The weird thing is that I was holding the leash in my left hand -- so how did I land on my right?

The fair part of me says it was my own fault -- I didn't take the 5 seconds to put on her "Gentle Leader" head halter, then got distracted moving the hose. The vindictive part of me blames the dog entirely! :-/ We were only going to be out for "a second" so she could pee . . . got distracted with the hose, then along came a neighbor walking her little dogs, and Blanca (my dog) went nuts. She jerked me off balance and before I could recover, hit the end again and I went flying. I knew that I should let go of the leash handle (Flexi-leash), but that would mean she could get to the little dogs and probably eat them, so I locked a death grip onto it. I probably did more damage to myself that way. I got dragged a few feet too.

It hurt so bad I couldn't catch my breath, the dog is barking and lunging, the woman is hollering "Are you all right?!?!" and I'm lying on top of the hose. When I could get enough breath, I managed to get Blanca to come to me and lie down (and shut up!). Then I laid there awhile, though I told the woman I would be okay in a minute.

I finally got back up when lying on the hose became more uncomfortable than the pain in my arm. The neighbor went off to try to find the condo manager, but he was out walking the grounds, nowhere near us -- of course. I was up walking before she got done trying to find him. I was sopped from neck to toes, except for a few tiny patches on my shirt, and covered in mud.

Now I NEVER take her out without the Gentle Leader. Both my shoulders were strained, but the right is by far the worst. It's getting slowly slowly better. Had to do nearly everything left handed for a couple of days, and the left arm still does anything heavy or reaching up high.

We FINALLY got rain and a decent amount, too. Rained for 2.5 days, and we got 3+ inches. Nine weeks without significant rainfall -- yuck!

The trip to Vancouver Island for our triennial family reunion was, overall, a good one. Of course, there was the usual situation of hating to leave some folks and being impatient to see the hind end of others! ;-) We stayed at Parksville, at a motel right next to a miniature golf course. We had a tournament morning. We mixed up our groups so that we had to play with distant relations and get to know them. That was a good idea and fun. It sounded dorky to me, but once we got to doing it, I think it was a good idea. We even went and played again one evening. I think the families with kids spent more time there too!

We had a sandcastle building contest one day too. That sounded dumb because I didn't think anyone else would get into it (I like to build sandcastles or sculptures, whatever), and the day started off kind of cold. But it was fine, there were 8-9 "entries" and of course, each one won some kind of prize. Three hours later the tide was in and the sculptures were gone. I liked that better than coming back and finding that someone had stomped all over what you had built.

The gastronomic highlight of the trip, for me, was a smoked salmon clam chowder that we had in a restaurant in Tofino. That was so good! I think about it nearly every day, wishing I could get more. {sigh} The restaurant was The Schooner, just in case any of you are ever in Tofino, BC. :-) Yummy!

About the only other things to say about the trip are that the scenery was great and the food was good and I had a pretty good time. I hate large airports, and don't care if I NEVER see Sea-Tac again! Probably not any worse than any other large airport, but I'm used to starting and ending in small ones. Then when I'm at a big one, like O'Hare, I'm already "behind the scenes" and don't have to deal with all the security checks.

I was riding along with my cousins from Hawaii (the ones I go visit), and we came across to the US from Victoria to Port Angeles so that we could drive down the Olympic penninsula. We made a visit to Evergreen College (or is it University?), as my young cousin is thinking about going there. Now it doesn't matter where he ends up, I will always picture the campus as looking like Evergreen. Unless of course he were to go to one of the college campuses I attended and know. My goodness that school is politically active -- sort of like Madison, but all in one small campus!

Now I am trying to keep up with my garden with only one arm working properly. I'm hoping to get up north at the end of this month or early October. I have to get Mom online -- she's had the computer since May, but hasn't gone online yet. Perhaps with the winter, she'll become a computer addict too! ;-) First things to do, though, is update all her virus protections and operating systems. And then, teach her all about using it! Gak! Why do I let myself in for these things? Julie trying to teach her is a BAD idea, so I guess it will have to be me.

I'll try to be "around" more. Nice to "hear" from you all!

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2003

Jeez, Joy; I'm so sorry to hear of your fall!Did you go make sure nothins broken? I'll light a candle for quick healing. Big dogs can be dangerous!

I sure hope that Marcia isn't on the coast of NC!

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2003

Joy what a bummer about your arm. Have you been to the Dr? I hope you can get some physical therapy or massage so you don't get too stiff.

Jay, what sort of cartooning do you do? There's a couple of on-line comics that I enjoy, they're both kind of warped. One features a 25 year old boneless hairless cat named Choo Choo Bear. :)

Keith helped me out with the laundry yesterday and accidentally put his wallet through the wash. I feel sorry for him that it happend but I'm so glad that he put that load in and not me! :) I helped him dry out everything and he didn't lose anything important. Today is his birthday. He gets to be the same age as me for 2 months and then I go back to being the older woman. I'm making turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner, and apple crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert. We're going to the Ohio Renaissance Festival on Saturday so I'll buy his birthday gift there. If he doesn't see anything that he likes then I'll get him this really cool wolf sculpture that I saw at the flea market. Since the basement is going to be "his" we're decorating it with a wolf theme.

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2003

Hi all - wow look at all the people - glad to hear from you.

Sorry to hear about all of the troubles, happy belated birthday Keith.

Nothing going on down here - just work, lots of rain (finally) and kids growing up stuff. Pretty ho hum.

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2003

Well, I have just really been enjoying this week off work! I managed to get some things accomplished, but I also made time to look around and remember what it is that I work so hard to support. Them darn hummingbirds, eating me out of house and home, thatís what! Nah, not really; but yeah, thatís part of it.

Saturday, Jes and I went over to the open house at the company where we buy our propane - got a free lunch and some trinkets (shoulda gone for the fly swatter instead of the change purse, darn it! Got lots more flies than money!) In the early evening, Hubs and I went to the tomato place and picked a bushel and a half of tomatoes; then went out for supper at a restaurant we hadnít been to in a while - it used to be a teen hangout, with car hops and the like, when we were little kids. Both of us remember our babysitters dragging us along with them there, so it was a nostalgia trip - and the chili mac is as good as it was back then, too!

Sunday, I canned tomatoes most of the day. I feel better now, with enough chili fixings in the pantry to last the winter. (Must be part squirrel, díya think?) Still havenít made any salsa though - and since my co-workers have all informed me that they expect it for Chistmas, I guess Iíd better think about getting some made! Hubs and I took a walk around the farm - well, around the edges of the timber - in the early evening. Unc and I are hosting the annual weenie roast this Saturday, so Hubs and I were on the lookout for fallen or dead trees to cut for the fire. Between Uncís old woodpile and falls, we arenít going to have to cut any of the standing trees - unless it rains, that is - since then the woodpile and falls would be a pain to get burning.

Monday, I went over and had my eyes checked - I thought my vision was getting worse in the right, but the doc told me it was the left. Guess the right eye was working harder to compensate, and thatís why it was achey, ya think? Met Jessie for lunch at the Chinese buffet, and then went looking for a pair of work shoes for her - no luck. Her shoes from the nursing home are terrible - could easily be used as a weapon of mass destruction - a nasty, seething mass of miscellaneous microbes - yechhh!! (Ya know itís a slow day at work when nobody pees down YOUR legÖ BTW - didja hear about the body they found floating in the lake?! The police havenít been able to identify it yet, but they know it was a nurse. How? Easy - belly was empty, bladder was full, and the butt was half chewed off! Sorry, nurse humor there. Iíll quit now.) Anyway, Iíve been trying (unsuccessfully, BTW) to explain to her in a gentle, non- confrontational way, that the hospital is just a little bit classier joint to work in than the nursing home, and that the NH shoes just wonít look goodÖ.so I offered to take her shopping and buy her some new ones. She couldnít find any she liked. My next step is to go get the damn NH shoes and burn them!!

I stopped on my way out of town and did a bit of my fall stocking-up shopping - picked up part of the paper products and some toiletries. Then I came home and cleaned the pantry so I could put the stuff away. Note to self - ďDear Self, next year - clean the pantry FIRST you big dummy!Ē Iím going to do the stocking up in bits and pieces this year instead of trying to do most of it at one time. I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what we use and what we donít; but I really messed up on some things. Iím having to buy a lot more veggies this year, as I just didnít have much time or energy for canning. I am sooo ashamed!

Tuesday, I celebrated my birthday by doing 8 loads of laundry and hanging them on the line. I did some cleaning in the shed - and hauled out a trailer load of stuff to burn - and then went in the house to do a bit more. While digging though a tote bag that I found in the guest room closet, I found an unopened bag of those Hersheyís coated chocolate Easter eggs - and yes, they were still good after 6 months in hiding - and some books that I didnít remember reading before! I went out to meet the mailman when he pulled up, and he wished me a happy birthday - 8 cards in the mail, what a haul!! Jes came by with a card and a big bag of Smarties candy, Pop brought home a card with some $$ for shopping on vacation, and then I got up from my nap and saw that a friend had been by and left me a big yellow mum, an old gardening book and a chicken picture that she had painted. Hubs came home from work with a card, flowers and a gift cert to the used book store - Candy, Flowers, Books - hey, it works for me!!

Wednesday, I did some more house cleaning; with frequent breaks to read trashy books and drink flavored coffee that Iíd found hiding in the back of the pantry. See, cleaning is a GOOD thing - chocolate, books and coffeeÖ.hmmm, wonder what else is lurking around here?! Well, winter clothes, for one thing. I pulled out all my sweaters - and boy, am I glad I did, since it has cooled off at night here in the past week - been in the low 50Ďs when I get up in the morning! I got them aired out and hung in the closet; then packed away some summer things that I donít think Iíll be needing for a while. Maraca puppy had gone home with Jessie on Tuesday for a sleep over; so I went to town to pick her up and stopped at the store on the way to stock up on veggies that were on sale. I did some cleaning in the chicken coop; and refilled the nest boxes with clean straw. Hazard killed one of my new chickens after it flew out of the pen, but the other 19 are looking much better than when Unc delivered them. Iím getting 14-17 eggs a day; all large or extra large, and at least 4 double yolkers a week. I donít know what it is with Haz; the banties are free range and walk right in front of him and he doesnít even twitch, but he will nab any large hen that gets out. I figure the damn chickens ought to stay in the pen, so I donít do much more than yell at him when he grabs one. Unc has 20 more banty eggs in his incubator; and was talking about bringing me down a big rooster from the sale barn so that we could hatch some full size ones too. I informed him that Cogburn ( one of the banty roosters) was enamored of the large hens, so not to bother - who knows what might hatch out!?

Yesterday, Unc came down and topped the hay field to knock down the weeds. He also mowed down the sweet corn patch and cleaned up around the edges of the fields. I did more cleaning (spring cleaning in the fall, anyone?) and got poíd in the middle of it and went to town to buy a new (used) vacuum sweeper. I got an Oreck, and I must admit that I am pretty impressed with it - I donít feel like Iíve been in a battle the way I do when Iíve fought the 30 year old Hoover! Gee, maybe Iíll vacuum more often now! Or maybe not. I started to take down the hanging plant buckets on the porch, and found a praying mantis working on an egg case in one of them, so I left them up. I did a little work in the garden and was simply amazed by all the critters - big yellow and black garden spiders, loads of butterflies, industrious beetlesÖ.Unc was impressed by all the butterflies out in the clover field, too. He even came to the conclusion, all by himself, that it was because we werenít spraying and were using mostly natural soil amendments - HA! Another convert to natural farming!

Today, Iím lazing around, swilling coffee. I need to go pick up my new glasses, pick up food for the weenie roast, and hit Aldiís for a few more stock up items, then stop by the used book store to stock up for vacation reading in the car. We still donít have our trip figured out - I reckon weíll just wing it. Quite a difference from last yearís trip with a three ring binder stuffed with itineraries and print outs from this attraction and that hotel!! I just want a slow paced trip with plenty of time for porch sitting, listening to music, and good food! This afternoon, I need to dig some potatoes and make up a big batch of potato salad for the weenie roast. Iíll also get the hamburger patties formed, boil some eggs, and set out the other non-perishable stuff on the counter so it will be ready to go. Hubs and I will drag the wood up to the yard tonight, and get the fire ring set up; then Pop and I will get the tables set up in the yard and string the lights in the morning. Then all weíll have to do is fix the baked beans and apple crisp; and try to find all the weenie forks. Or give up and go cut some willow branches!

Well folks, Iíve rambled on enough - donít you think?! I reckon that Iíd better get off my butt and head for town. You folks all take care this week,

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2003

Hi everyone! I've been meaning to post for awhile. I've just been really busy with non computer activities. Thanks for asking about me Sherri! I 've sort of kept up with you a bit here and there. I'm so happy that you 2 are in your new home. Sounds like you have lots and lots of projects. Congratulations! Sorry about your arm Joy. Everyone sounds so busy.

I'm still working out regularly. Still following a moderate carb lifestyle. I'm sown to 110 and 20% body fat. My newest love is power yoga. I'm having a great time with that. What a work out! Kids are doing well although still struggling with oldest daughter...

Oldest will be 18 in 1 month. I can't wait. I think I'm more excited about her 18th than I was about my own. I love her but I want to be officially finished with my responsibility where she is concerned. Just when I thought we were going to make it to her birthday unscathed, I got a call that she was arrested the other night. It could have been much more serious. But it's still a pain and it's a court appearance for me even though she'll probably be 18 when she has to appear. BTW the complaint against her is for minor possesssion of tobacco. I'm more upset with her because she is still lying to everyone to suit her purposes. She wasn't where she was supposed to be. Her plans were to be out all night with some new boyfriend when she told my sister she was spending the night at a friend's. They were pulled over for a broken turn signal, searched the vehicle (found cocaine), searched my daughter's purse and found 5 packs of cigarettes.She had just bought them. Neither was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. I don't approve of her smoking but my goodness she's nearly 18! She has only known this boy for a week and said she had no knowledge of the cocaine. I believe her on that because of the amount of time she has known him. Maybe I shouldn't though. They were also out after that community's curfew. They were just passing through.

I said let her face the consequences (probably community service), but then I found out that she wasn't read her rights, was questioned without a parent or attorney present, and kept in handcuffs for 2 hours before anyone was called. This will show up as a class 4 misdemeanor on her record on the same level as mj. I think that's kind of crazy. I am waiting to be scheduled to go see the tape from when they were pulled over next week.Seems like the are trying to put me off. If indeed she wasn't read her rights, I think they have to let this go. They also didn't call me but called my sister and released her to my sister which is also a no no. I didn't hear about it until almost 24 hrs. later.

I don't want to be one of those parents that gets their kids off when they are wrong but I think it's unreasonable to put possession of cigarettes on the same level as mj. Her record will be sealed but it will still show a class 4 misdemeanor as a juvenile.

What do you think?

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2003

Nice to see you Denise, but . . . . yikes!

I can't say what I think, because I don't know what mj is! Marijuana? If so, it's kind of hard to say . . . 'cause I don't think marijuana is as bad as it's made out to be. If cigs and alcohol are legal for adults, I think marijuana should be too. I don't think it's any worse. But that is just my opinion.

I am having problems over my dog. Got a call from the condo manager, about ten days ago. Some of my neighbors have "expressed concern" that she's dangerous and/or that I can't control her. >:-( I can control her IF I put the Gentle Leader on her (which I ALWAYS do, now that she yanked me off my feet). I talked it over with the manager, and he seemed to accept my explanations. Now, tonight I got a call from one of these people (I can tell it's one of them because he repeated something that the manager had told me about), wanting to meet with me and "bounce around some ideas". I agreed, but on contemplation, I think I'll insist it's some time when the manager can be present. If then make trouble about the dog, I want to have him witness everything that was said. The guy was nice on the phone and I was nice to him, but I know how fast that can change. On the other hand, it will give me an opportunity to explain and demonstrate the Gentle Leader, and to make my point about people who allow their yappy little mutts to scream insults at my dog and then are shocked when she wants to kill the little yapper. Unfortunately, she also barks ferociously at the quiet dogs too. {sigh} I think these people are afraid of her for themselves, not just their dogs. If possible, I will have them meet her without their dogs in tow, so they can see that she's nice to people.

Some people (usually ones that I can tell are fearful) have reacted strongly to the Gentle Leader -- they think it's a muzzle, which to them equals dangerous dog. It is NOT a muzzle, although I can close her mouth and stop her barking, but the effect of it is like that of the alpha in the pack (me) grasping her muzzle, which signals her that this is not okay behavior. It is no more than a restraint device -- no one freaks out because you use a collar and leash to walk your dog. Okay, enough about the hound.

I am very excited because I am FINALLY going to get to see the Eagles in concert in October! Whee! Yay! They are my all-time favorite group (and I like a lot of their solo efforts too). The week before I'm going to see John Sebastian & Roger McGuinn in concert (together). I don't know if I can stand this much culture!

I saw an ad for a new movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" with Diane Lane -- looks good, want to see. I think she is a great actress. Haven't gone to see Seabiscuit yet either.

Julie and I were having fun earlier this evening thinking up scary stuff for Halloween. Perhaps I will make it up there this year to help her frighten the stuffing out of the kids! :-D

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2003

Yes, I mean marijuana. I agree. I don't see it any worse than cigs but many people do because it's illegal for everyone. I'm just afraid a future employer or prospective school counselor may see that and think of it that way.

I have never heard of a gentle leader before. Sounds like a good idea for your situation. My Mom owns a condo and I think so many of her neighbors don't have anything else to do but meddle in someone else's life. Just a bunch of busybodies if you ask me.

That's really cool about the concerts. I'm envious.

We're probably going to one of the fall apple festivals around here this weekend. Next weekend is a Celtic Highland Festival at Coney Island. Sherri, have you ever heard of it? It's a little expensive for all of us to go. Do you know if it's worth it?

Well talk to you all later!

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2003

Computer's acting up this morning and Keith's sister is due any minute now to pick up some firewood and I still in my pjs so this is going to be quick......

Denise!!!!!!! What day are you planning on going to that Celtic festival next weekend? I'm almost certain that my friends Jeani and Jason are going to it on Sunday. They'll be here later this afternoon for Mabon so I can ask them then. If you're also going on Sunday then I'll catch a ride with J&J and we could meet up somewhere! That would be so cool!

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2003

Hi Denise!! I've been wonderin what happened to ya! Don't have time to post now but just wanted to say howdy!

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2003

Yikes. A LOT to read (thankfully). I'm going to print and read later. Joy, looking forward to reading your thoughts re: the Pac. N.W. (I baredly skimmed).

I sold some sheep today. Been really busy (like everyone else). Happy Equine Ox (what a hybrid)...or as Mr. S. thinks: Equal Nox (equal nights?).

Got zucchini?

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2003

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