Over the fence chat for October, 2003

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Hello all! So nice to see folks posting again! (What? Is it winter already?!) (No, it just felt like it last week!) Iím cranky and tired and feel as though Iíve been beaten with a stick. I think itís because Iíve been wearing shoes again! I recall wearing ďrealĒ shoes - those with thick soles and laces and whatnot - only once during my vacation; and I only wore them because I was using the fork to dig onions. The rest of the time, I was barefoot, or wearing those terribly inexpensive slip on sneakers with the paper thin soles. Poor, poor tootsies!

Well, EM; you were right - the boss did call me in on my vacation. At least he left it until the very last day! So I pulled three 12ís in a row - nothing like easing yourself back into the job! Jes is really liking her new job there; and everyone seems to like her too. She had a month off between jobs, so she was worn out by the end of the first week as well - poor baby! I think sheíll get used to it soon enough.

At least Iíve only got to work a month now before I get some more time off! And Iíll have to wear shoes - darn it! Hubs and I are heading to Columbia, MO on the 5th of November for the 11th National Small Farm Trade Show and Conference, sponsored by Small Farm Today magazine. We went last year and really enjoyed it - when we werenít freezing to death! I got a little smarter this year, and booked us rooms in a hotel with an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna; and with a Jacuzzi bath in our room as well - so at least we ought to be able to thaw out when the day is done. They have lots of great seminars this year - Iíll be attending a 3 hour class on Biointensive Mini Farming that will be taught by none other than John Jeavons, author of ďHow to Grow More Vegetables on Less LandÖ..Ē Iíve had his book for over 20 years, and it was one of the catalysts for the way I garden now. Hubs and I will also be attending talks on: self sufficient mini-gardening, cost effective renewable energy for the small farm, innovative use of solar power on the farm, seed saving (by Jeremiath Gettle, the young man who started Baker Creek Seed Co (www.heirloom seeds.com) when he was in his teens), diversifying with alternative grains, oilseeds and legumes, grapes, poultry, worms, hogs, beef, selling what you grow, slow foodÖ.Now, if they could just get Gene Logsdon over there to speakÖ Anyhow, itís a really nice time, and there are lots of booths set up with folks selling things - new books, used books, tools, chicken pluckers, milking machines, hoes, chicken tractors, small farm tractors - heck, you can get an education without attending the classes! This is where I picked up the lilac soap that kept me sane all last winter - sink in a nice warm tub, close your eyes, smell lilacs, convince yourself itís springÖAnybody want to join us!? At the trade show, that is; not in the tub!

Jack - Iíve printed off the directions to your place and put them in the vacation folder for next year. We took 95 south from Mt. Grove, MO and then picked up 5 for the rest of the trip down to Mt. View. Maybe you can give me some ideas on places I shouldnít miss when we make our next trip down. I have a friend/co-worker who is planning to relocate to the Conway area within the next year - she keeps telling me to get my AK license and come with her! Itís tempting, but Iíd be deathly homesick within two weeks - the farthest Iíve ever lived from home was 12 miles! Are land prices and taxes reasonable down around there? How about water? Ah - ambivalence!!

Sherri, I went out to gather your flower seeds this afternoon and got ran back into the house by the ladybug plague. Saturday there were a few, Sunday there were several and today itís a freaking horror movie waiting to happen! Stinking, biting little varmints! The banties and guineas have been running around gorging themselves, so I guess itís not all bad. Speaking of guineas - I came home from work this morning and found those idiot birds perching on the side porch rail! Reminded me of the story Pop likes to tell about a Sunday dinner at his grandmotherís house - back in the days when window screens were a rarity. Seems it was warm weather, so they had all the windows open. There they were, all sitting at the dinner table when I big old hen flew in through one window, right across the dining room table, and out a window on the other wall. Humphh! At least I keep MY chickens in the guest room! (Only the baby ones!) Oh yeah, we got class! Anyway, Iíll get your seeds and send them out as soon as the bugs settle down a bit!

Well, I guess the biggest news at our house is that Hubs quit his job today! Iíve been telling him to do so for quite a while, and he finally did it. We got back from vacation and he went into work and discovered that his boss had decided not to pay him vacation pay. (Meanwhile, the boss is vacationing in Australia.) Hubs left his toolbox at the shop and told the parts guy to give him a call when the parts came in for the bikes he has apart and he will go in and finish them; then heíll load up his tools and bring them on home. Looking at the economic situation, this is kind of a scary time to be quitting a job; but we can make it on my paycheck, and of course, I can pick up extra hours easily; so Iím not particularly worried. Heís not going to look for anything else until we get back from the farm show in November. In the meantime, one of his friends took a race bike to the shop today, and when he found out that John had quit, he loaded the bike back up and brought it out here to the farm for John to fix instead. Between race buddies and my honey-do list, I think I can keep him occupied until after the farm show! We sat out in his shop and talked for a while after I got up this afternoon, then came in the house and worked on fixing supper together and preparing some chicken in broth to put in the freezer for later meals. We had a nice leisurely supper of Chicken Biscuit Stew (like Chicken ala King, but the biscuits are on top), broccoli salad, sweet corn from the freezer and baked apples; and now heís propped up in here on the guest room bed, reading the new issue of Countryside that came today. Itís kinda nice. I could maybe get used to thisÖ

Iím going in to work for a four and a half hour shift tomorrow afternoon; gotta stop on the way and pick Jessieís coat up from the cleaners, and then try to pick out some paint chips for the utility room. Iím having a heck of a time deciding what color to use! The room is down in the basement, in the north west corner - one window, plus the door from the outside stairwell has a half window in it. Pretty gloomy. Also has a doorway from the family room, which is pretty dark. Iíve got oak cabinets, an avacado green stove (free), white washer (mine) and almond dryer (Popís), neutral bluish/gray/white lino, and a large set of bifold doors on one wall. And we need to move the wringer washer in (white). Now what can you match to that conglomeration, I want to know!! It really needs to be something bright, but not cold - yellow, maybe? A warm tan? A faux finish? Something cheap, whatever it is! I might paper one wall, or put a border up, if I can find some clearance paper. The lino can go (but not immediately) so I donít need to consider it too much. Any ideas will be most gratefully appreciated!

Well, this has turned long-winded again, so I guess Iíd better stop and get it posted before I think of something else to say! You folks all take care out there, enjoy this fall weather!

-- Anonymous, October 06, 2003

Answers

I've got a cold and don't feel too great. It's hard to breath. The worst is that my nose doesn't run so my sinuses just get thicker and I can't get it out. Vicks on the chest at night but I end up breathing through my mouth then my throat gets sore. Grrooaannnn....

Polly, it's simple, get your husband to work for himself in that shop of his. No overhead, hours are his own. And if he really does do as good a job as you say, he'll get business by word of mouth alone (already started, right?) Only thing I'd be worried about is him getting his tools back. Some bosses can be real asses and claim that they are his or time is owed or something like that.

I HAVE GOT TO PLANT THOSE PERRENNALS!! We have had a frost here for a few nights but they seem to be okay so far. I finished the wall where I am going to put them, put in round stairs (looks nice)on the side and brought up some black dirt from the horses' pen. I think I'll put some hay around them after planting to keep them warm. What do ya think? Good idea or no?

Gary's lizard had worms but other wise is doing fine. He's been taking good care of him but I think now I shouldn't have given it as a present and let him buy the supplies and dragon himself. Maybe he would have appreciated the value more. I can't help it, I just spoil that child and I know it's not good for him.

My girls came into heat last month when I expected it so I will be ready to breed them this month. I got a smelly buck rag to see if they were ready and boy were they but I didn't want February babies. Too cold. Now I have to decide if I want all the babies at once or spread them out over two months. I kinda like the spreading so I'm not as rushed but having it all done and over at once is nice too. Then making sure the bigger babies don't pick on the littler ones. I'll have to think about it.

Well, I think I'll get some work done before my chiropractor visit (he is usually late so I spend all day there) It's suppose to get into the 70's on Thursday and wouldn't you know it, I have to work. I should really take off a week (or two) and just get everything done that I need to. Oh, never mind, wood cutting and splitting will start soon. Sigh...

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2003


Hi all sounds like everyone is busy!!! My hubby is working extra hours so instead of me coming home after I'm off I have to sit around his shop and wait on him,I get off at 4:15 and he works till 6:00. I can't see me coming home then going back. I wouldn't be home very long and can't see spend the gas money either. He works in a machine shop and it dirty so I can't work on any projects. I've brought books but with the noise it's hard to stay focused!!!

Polly thats funny about the chicken flying throught the house. One of my Uncles is kinda out "there" and he would let his chicken's roost in his and his wife room just over there heads on the head board!!!! You would go over there(not much I might add couldn't handle all the animals in the house)and they would go in the room and eggs would be layed in the closet or the top of the bed!!!!!LOL Can you say backwoods hillbilly!!! One time they were letting their goat in the house(not because it was small,sick or cold outside)he would just mosey on in, they would leave the door slightly open and he'd come right on in!! They could care less if it smelled worse than a barn!!!!

I just put on some pintos for supper tonight,When I leave to go back on the bus I'll put them in the crock pot and put some sausages in them when I get home. It's so hard trying to think of things to cook that can be in the crock pot without it looking like "stew" Again!!! Some nights I just say the hell with it and say it's can soup and sandwich night and not eat a dang thing!!!LOOL

It's funny how sitting for and 1:45 can make you so tired!!! I was planning on walking but the neighborhood where he works is "crack heaven". One of the ladies in the office took mail down to the mail box and few buildings down and was approached trying to get her to buy crack!!!

Take care and have a great Day!!!!

Hugs, Sandy

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2003


Hey Sandy, I can relate to the neighborhood! Today when I came out of the shop, next to my car there were a pile of clothes, including sox. I looked around but couldn't see a naked man walking about, thank goodness! I threw them in the dumpster, but someone keeps cutting and taking our dumpster padlocks so I suppose he can retrieve his clothing tonite after he has cooled off enough and comes looking for his clothes! Was kinda creepy and funny at the same time.

We spend saturday painting the side of the building over our (hopefully) initiation graffiti. Had several colorful characters come chat us upa about it, claiming to know who dun it. I don't really care, just would rather they stop! We plan on trying to get a grant to pay local community artists to paint murals on this nice canvas that is our building. Hopefully that would help protect it from vandals somewhat.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2003


Polly, I forgot. About your laundry room. First paint it white. Then get a sea sponge (I bought one at Walmart for the shower real cheap...sorry EM) and sponge spot avacodo green is some places. Then sponge it all with the beige.

My house is a modular. The contractor used the thin wall board while the modular use thick and they didn't match (needless to say) and kept cracking no matter how often I tried to fix it. Finally, I put chair-rail on the cracks, painted slate. The walls were white. I got a nice boarder and put it inbetween the chair-rails (there were two sets of cracks). The bottom half I swished with the slate (used my fingers) that matched the boarder. My husband told me I was making a mess. I thanked him. Then I spashed on red (actually looked like I killed someone) to match the boarder. Then sponged a lighter slate on the whole thing. Looks GREAT!! Just like wallpaper.

Sandy, I'd take that opportunity to read. Need any good book suggestions? I'm reading the Clan of the Cavebear over again since I finally got the softcover now.

EM, do you think you could ask the kids that are messing with your building to do some nice work instead of paying someone to do it? Make a competition out of it? I don't understand something. Are you selling local out of your building or are you selling to stores or mailorder?

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2003


Dee, we are not retail. I wouldn't run a retail business in this neighborhood. People here don't fit my business' demographic: too poor, just struggling to survive. And the crime rate is still too high for retail traffic to be an attractive option.

The people who wrote on our walls are unknown to me, but there were some gang signatures, from what we are told. Although I am a bleeding heart for the most part, I ain't no social worker. I don't have the training, am not familiar with gang culture, and would make (and will, I'm sure) lots of mistakes if I tried dealing directly with those who express themselves by vandalism. Gang members are not just kids out on a lark; they are gangsters,they can be very dangerous, and I doubt many of them would be interested in any volunteer work I might offer! :)

We think the best way to deal with it is to solicit the help of folks in the community who know what they are doing,can help us learn to be a help and not a hindrance, and hopefully eventually become a respected member of the community. I want artists who live in the community to do the artwork, to get paid well for it, and for the murals to be an expression of shared values.....like bright colors with traditional ethnic patterns from African, Chicano (and so forth) cultures, interspersed with portraits of heroes we might all share: leaders who live(ed) their lives fighting for justice and freedom, for the rights of workers and the empowerment of the common people. I think chances are good we can get a grant for something like this.

Bren has been trying for more years than I can count to apply for a grant for SOMETHING OR OTHER. I have mostly poo-pooed it, not liking the strings usually attached. But this time I think it might be a great idea.

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2003



Oh my, what a dreary, dismal day! The temperature is in the low 60ís and the sky is a monotonous grey - itís tedium broken only by a few high, scudding clouds. Itís raining, alternating blowing gusts that rattle like shot against the window pane, with a steady drizzle - the kind that doesnít seem like much from inside the house; yet still manages to soak through your jacket during a brief walk to the chicken house and back. The dogs, sensible creatures that they are, are snuggled down in their house of straw, little red dog curled with her nose tucked into big dogís ruff of fur around his neck. The banty chickens are sheltering from the rain under the blue spruce - itís branches are so thick that the ground underneath is fairly dry, and there are plenty of needles to scratch around in. The guineas - idiot birds! - are walking around in the rain, hollering their fool heads off. Do you suppose their caterwauling translates to ďThe sky is falling, the sky is falling!Ē? Thereís a collection of cats snoozing in the tumbled cushions of the porch glider - Mom Cat and Tom Cat and the two kits - all yellow striped; and Bob, the odd man out with his grey fur peeking out here and there. Boo-Boo, the old black house cat, is keeping an eye on them from a perch on the windowsill - studiously ignoring me as I scold him for slacking off on his job of keeping my feet warm as I type.

Bent on proving to Pop, once again, that I do have enough sense to come in from the rain; I looked around for an inside job to do today. Oh, itís not that I had to look hard to find one; just not so easy to find one that I wanted to do!! Hmmm - 6 bags of groceries sitting on the guest room floor. Back out into rain long enough to go to the storeroom in the shed and dig out a couple of old, small bookshelves. A bit of soap and water, a healthy dose of elbow grease, and they were ready to take up residence on the back wall of the pantry. Poor, poor Hubs - he got a large dose of my obsessive compulsive behavior as I then had to move everything in the pantry all around so that like items would be grouped together. At least I didnít alphabetize the canned goods this time! There were a few surprises - the pleasant discovery of 9 big bags of chocolate chips, 43 jars - count íem, 43! - of spaghetti sauce, and an eye opening ďWhat do you mean, thereís no mayonnaise?Ē Letís see - two big tins of olive oil, eggs in the chicken house - no problem! Seeing all the food lining the shelves is a continued reassurance that we will get by fine with Hubs not working. (I still think we need a goat though!) I wonder if I went hungry in a previous life?! Food seems to be one of my major comfort items - and I must have needed some comfort today! We had one of Popís favorite meals for lunch - pork chops browned and put in a cassarole dish, dressing around the outside edges and a can of diluted mushroom soup poured over all, baked at 350 for 45 minutes. A jar of home canned carrots heated and tossed with butter and brown sugar, and some fried apples completed the meal. Yum! Tonight is ďclean the fridge nightĒ - letís seeÖa serving of chili, and one of taco meat; one helping of Chicken Biscuit Stew, two helpings of broccoli salad, a baked apple and a bowl of banana pudding - sounds like supper to me!

I really need to work on my menus soon, but thatís hard to do when your tummy is full! Maybe Iíll save that for 3am at work this weekend! Iíve got some other things to do, anyway - I sorted through some tubs of clothes in the store room the other day to see if I could find Jessie some of my too-small britches to wear to work. I found some things for her, but also found a lot of nice winter clothing that I think Iíll take over to the Senior Citizenís thrift shop next week. I also found a couple of dresses and skirts that have a lot of fabric in them; Iím going to take them apart and send the larger pieces up to Aunt Susan (Uncle Ivanís wife), as her church group is making quilts for Project Linus and she had asked if I had any cotton or poly cotton scraps. I need some new napkins for the table, so I will use the dress bodices for that. While we were at the Ozark Folk Center, I picked up a quilt pattern for a bow tie quilt that is made with all square pieces that Iíd like to try; so maybe Iíll save out a few scraps to put back for that. I also have a bushel and a half of dry beans that Pop, Bailey and I picked the other day that need to be shelled out. Maybe Iíll just sit up here and play Free Cell instead!

Dee, weíve often talked about Hubs starting a shop here on the farm. The sticker is liability insurance - itís priced out of sight. And weíd have to have it - thereís no way in hell Iím putting the farm at risk - this is my family home and I simply wonít risk it. While I have full faith in his work, itís an unfortunate fact that people sue - whether the problem was actually caused by something you did or not. One guy over here sued the shop after he lost an arm in a bike accident - he and a buddy were riding Ďround and Ďround the interchange circles on the interstate as fast as they could, which was pretty damn fast on those crotch rockets. He lost control and slid into a guard rail, losing the arm. Heíd had the bike in for some brake work a month or so before, so he and his sleazy attorney decided to sue the shop - had to be the mechanics fault, must have been something wrong with the work he did on the brakes, couldnít have possibly been that he was being an idiot and screwed up. The insurance settled out of court even though they couldn't prove the work was at fault; they said if it went to a jury, the loss of his arm would make the jury feel bad and so he would get an award. Grrr. I trust the racers, so I donít care if he does their work out here; tho I should probably be more careful about it, even.

I liked your idea of sponge painting the utility room; but Iím not sure that Iíve got enough energy to go over the room with paint one time, let alone 3! Can you use the same sponge for both colors? Would it be washable - the paint job, that is - not the sponge!

Sandy, do you drive, or take the bus to Hubbyís work place? Is there anywhere nearby you could go - a library, or mall or something? Iím not good at sitting doing nothing either! (I donít care what Pop tells you!) If itís not safe to walk in the neighborhood, is it safe to sit in the car and work on crafts? Or is the weather not conducive to that?

Re: MealsÖ Have you checked out the once a week or once a month cooking sites? Just type that in to a search engine and youíll have lots of ideas for fixing stuff ahead for fast meals that you donít have to mess with much when you come home tired. Hereís one of Jessieís fast favorites - split an English Muffin and spread it with seasoned tomato sauce (Hunts, with basil, garlic and oregano is good), top with whatever toppings you have handy - peppers, onion, left over meat - sprinkle some cheese on top and pop in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Serve with salad-in-a-bag, fruit and a glass of milk. Any time I take these to work, I have to take a couple of extra ones for my co-worker Annie! I also keep freezer cartons of already cooked hamburger and sausage on hand for fixing fast pizza, goulash, spaghetti, tacos or sloppy joes. I make ahead casseroles, cook them almost all the way, and put them in the freezer in those tin foil pans - take it out the night before and put it in the fridge to thaw; then pop in the oven when you get home - by the time you go take a shower, itís ready to eat. Leftover beef stew, or beef or chicken vegetable soup (or canned, for that matter) can be used to make a quick pot pie - pour into an oven proof skillet and let heat up while you mix a box of Jiffy biscuit mix with a half cup of milk. Preheat the oven to 375*. Once the skillet is bubbling, drop the biscuits by spoonfuls on top, pop in the oven and bake until the biscuits are brown. You can even use biscuits from a can or unrolled crescent rolls. Rice a roni with chunks of leftover roast, steak or chicken, plus sliced carrots and celery makes a quick main dish. Mash those left over pinto beans, spread them on a flour tortillas laid on a cookie sheet. Top with veggies and cheese, then pop under the broiler to melt the cheese. Plop a roast into the crock pot in the morning with a package of onion soup mix and a quart or so of water - when you come home, shred the roast and add a jar of pickled hot peppers and the juice to make Italian Beef; or a bottle of BBQ sauce for BBQ sandwiches, or bring the broth to a boil and add a package of noodles and let it cook while you fix some potato flakes and another veggie. Of course, it all depends on what kind of foods you like to eat!! These are just some ideas my family will eat.

Sheepish, why are you selling your loom and some of your sheep? No time or lack of interest? Iíll bet it is hard to find someone to take care of them while you go hiking, though. Gee, whatever are we going to call you, now?!

Jay, when you made your spoon, did you do any fanciful carving on it with your Dremel? I got the new issue of Backwoods Home today and they have an article on a home-made mount for a dremel, if you donít have one already.

Well, time to go heat those leftovers and go do something productive! You folks all take care,

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2003


It's been in the 80's here all week! Gorgeous! My mother is complaining it's too hot, but I loves it!

I have been working for days on trying to replicate the wonderful orangeness of my orange muffins without having to include the very labor intensiveness of using fresh-squeezed juice and fresh-grated zest, and I ain't havin no luck. I've tried doing all sorts of things to dried zest, using concentrate, using commercial real OJ, blah blah, till I'm getting sick of orange muffins. I even tried using extract, but it seems like cheating, and to get enough orange flavor in em, they started tasting kinda boozy! I'm trying to find if there's such an animal as a commercial zester, but no luck so far. Bren and I were imagining a little gizmo like a bucket chicken plucker, that gently bounces the oranges around a little container lined with grating knives, but it would probably end up including too much bitter white. OH well.....think I'll work on pizza today; I need a break from muffins!

-- Anonymous, October 10, 2003


I thought it was about time that I checked in here at an OTF chat. I've been very bad about keeping you all posted on what's been going on in our lives up here in Maine!!

Well...basically the garden was a "semi"-flop. We got what we really needed and then we let the weeds take over. Just didn't seem to care about it this year. Since we didn't plant broccoli this year, I've been buying lots of it at the local grocery store and freezing it. Maine is a broccoli producing state and at this time of year we can buy it for .69/lb. or less. We're also buying extra potatoes, onions, squash and cranberries...all locally grown. We keep telling ourselves that next year's garden will be the best EVER!!(??)

Our boat is coming out of the water this week. Sad...since this seems to have been the "summer that wasn't"!! We have some work to do on the inside of the boat and have to clean out all our "stuff" then we'll have it shrink-wrapped for the winter. Our lobster traps will stay in the water for several more weeks. Our total catch of lobsters this summer has been 32...with 10 of those released (either they were females with eggs or too big). On Sat. we caught a good-sized one...4 lbs. Been eating lobster salad sandwiches for two days :-)!! We took our granddaughter out on the boat Sat. and she had a great time catching some mackeral. Then she spent the night at our house last night and I'm still recuperating! Geesh, she sure wears me out, but I sure appreciate her!!!!

The latest news about my mom is not the greatest...but it's not really bad either. She had to have another thoracentesis procedure (on both sides of her chest) and just this morning had a tracheotomy. The breathing tube was really aggravating her and she was trying constantly to yank it out of her throat. Can't say as I blame her, I guess :-(!! She still has a feeding tube in her throat, but that seems to be more tolerable for her. She seems strong (vitals are pretty good) and her mind is sharp. She has taken to writing down most of what she is trying to say. We all don't know how long this will go on...but I'm still hoping for the best!! All of her "kids" except for my lost younger sister, have been with her and I think that makes her very happy. I don't think there's much hope in finding my younger sis. Her son is not in the service anymore and I've been running up against dead end after dead end searching for her!!

Fall has been beautiful here and hopefully Harry and I can get away next weekend (peak foliage) for a road trip. I have to get my two does bred soon, also. I prefer early babies instead of later. I've had kids born at the end of Jan. before and they seem to have no problem with the cold...although I do keep a heat lamp in the barn for them for the first few days! We butchered our turkeys yesterday. Had five all totalled and gave two to a neighbor who came over and helped us with the butchering, skinning and gutting. We should be getting our side of beef soon also.

Ya know, I sure do appreciate these forums!! With all that seems to be going on in my life right now they seem to keep me "grounded". When I'm having a particularly bad day and I go outside to either the garden or the barn, sometimes I just feel like saying to myself that I don't care about this lifestyle anymore!! Then I come in and read about what you all are doing (and those on a few other forums I've recently found!) and I feel much better. Thank you all soooo much!!!

Have a good week everyone!

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2003


EM. Matthew Lesko says that there's just billions of dollars out there just waiting to be grabbed up. For only $69.65 he'll tell you all the secretes! All we got to do is buy his book! Cheap price to get billions, isn't it? Bought one of his books once and in the front, the first thing it said was something like how stupid I was for purchasing the book because all the information was public knowledge and I was just too stupid and lazy to find it! Taught me a lesson!

Polly, you're certainly welcome to visit and we hope you do, but if you try to put me on your schedule and work my butt off, I'm kicking you off the place. We're pretty laid back here. We don't try to put 20 hours work in a 10 hour day! More like the other way around. Land prices just depend on where you buy, like every place else. Some's dirt cheap but inaccessible. Taxes? I'm not sure. We do have personal property taxes here but they're not bad. Didn't have them in Texas but then we couldn't afford the taxes on the place we had either.

Marcia, 22 lobsters? You're the envy of my family.

Wildman, (hungry for lobster. Cooked already)

-- Anonymous, October 13, 2003


Hi folks,

I'm SO busy. This 5-credit class is a lot of work, plus I seem to be working extra hours at the office.

I'm just reducing the size of my flock...trying to get closer to a dozen instead of 2 dozen. ALso, trying to find good homes for the rams (so far, found 3 out of 5 good homes...still looking for the last 2). Sold the loom b/c I don't use it (I have 3 others that I also don't have time for!). I have 2 spinning wheels, one of which I would love to spend time using. I'm going to sell my treadle sewing machine, too. Trying to focus.

Mr. S. and I are planning our E. Washington house; selling a piece of property here in W. Washington to pay for it; just really *busy*, get this, *simplifying* our lives. (actually it's working). Less clutter, more peace.

I miss you all and wish you well (sounds like health problems going on, as I scan this page). Blessings to you. I'll write soon.

-- Anonymous, October 14, 2003



Ha! A reprieve! I was supposed to go in and work from 3p-7p this afternoon, but census is low so they donít need me. Guess that makes up for the 4 hour shift that turned into 8 yesterday, huh? Census has been low for a few weeks now; all over the hospital. I wonder why? I worry for Jessieís new job if things donít pick up; tho Iím sure they can find another area in the hospital for her to work in. And there are always other nursing homes if it comes to that.

Marcia, Iím glad to hear that your Mom is holding her own. Sheíll probably soon learn to talk by putting a finger over the trach opening; but itís great that sheís able to communicate. Before I went in for my thyroid op; the doc told me I might not be able to talk for a while post-op r/t swelling. I made a set of flash cards to help me communicate just in case - words like ďpee nowĒ ďpain shotĒ ďyesĒ ďnoĒ ďdrinkĒÖand my co-workers helped me out with a few more. (Maybe help isnít the right word!) I didnít end up needing them, but I used the idea later for stroke and Alzheimerís patients (reading ability seems to stick around longer than other ones).

Yup, Sheepish; it is hard to simplify some times. Wouldnít I dearly love to get rid of some of this junk!! So that I can get more, undoubtedly! Iíd like to get rid of my treadle machine as well - it has the long bobbin, and Iíd rather have one with a round bobbin instead - but I hate to get rid of the one before I get the other, soÖ. Iíve got a folder of plans for the ďGrandma HouseĒ; the one I plan to build when I get tired of the ďbig houseĒ, or if Jes wants to move in to here when she has kids. An all season porch with windows all around with window seats under them that slide out like camper beds to make bunks for the grandkids, and have storage underneath. A wood cook stove on the porch for heat/fun. Wide steps and ramps, bathrooms up, down and in between (Hey, I live in the next town over from the famous 2 story outhouse; I bet I can figure out how to build a three story composting toilet!) A cistern and grey water system; a raised bed garden that ďstepsĒ down the hillside; a walk-out basement with built in cold cellar. Grape vine ďshadesĒ to block excess summer sun. Big, big pantry. A closet with shelves for all my fabrics. Solar panels - possibly hooked up to old fashioned metal radiators for heat; and to power the house as well. Bookshelves everywhereÖoh yeah; ideas I got plenty of!

My friend Jan has a loom, but it isnít set up right now. She used to make those rag rugs; and would let me weave occasionally. I donít think that Iíve got enough patience to do whatever itís called when you put all the threads on. Right now, Iím trying to talk Hubs into making me something that looks like a giant potholder loom. Iíll take old t-shirts and cut ďloopsĒ off the bottom parts to make rugs - We use so many rugs - they get dirty so fast, and the ones at the stores are either really ugly or really expensive. I figure it would be a good use of old shirts; and a good ďbusy workĒ project as well.

Wildman, I promise if I come to visit that Iíll bring something with me to keep my hands occupied so that I can do some porch sitting! Maybe a bag full of those t-shirts or some quilt blocks or something. Then again, you could just put me to work! Land prices around here are about $1750/acre for poor farm ground; $2000 for good black dirt. Our property taxes were about $3200 this year on 30 acres, house and shed. Uncle Charlie tells me that if I plan to live down there (he lives in Mt. Grove, MO), that the first thing I need to do is buy some dirt moving equipment - dozer, backhoe - so that I can build a lane and flatten out enough space for a house and barn.

Well, I havenít gotten much accomplished today - been sitting around on my butt since I got up around noon. Its been raining and chilly all day again, so I canít work outside on cleaning up the garden like I need to do. Still gotta get those walnuts raked up and shoveled in to baskets - Mr. Moffat (the older fella that I swap strawberries for garden goodies and flower seeds with) usually takes most of them; he picks them out and sells them to a lady that makes black walnut taffy - mmmm!! I do save a few for cookies and the like. I put out some frozen cinnamon rolls to thaw and rise when I got home this morning; they just got out of the oven a little bit ago, so the house is warm and smells soooo good! EMís got me hungry for orange muffins now, so I brought home some orange peels from work; and then I went down to the timber and picked up some hickory nuts that day I was pitching a fit - just as soon as they dry a bit, Iíll pick them out and then go shake down some persimmons and make some of Great-Aunt Ollieís persimmon cookies; can you tell Iíve got plans to keep the oven going this winter?! When I have those vacation days next month, I need to make up some bags of cookie fixins - since $$ will be tight this holiday, Iím going to make cookie trays for my co-workers instead of buying gifts. I can make most of them ahead and freeze them, then pull them out and make up the trays in one day. If I can keep Hubs off work until the first of the year, I might even make some candy to go along with them!

I got a half bushel of those dry beans shelled out the other day - now all I have to do is separate them for type! I want to save some for seed; the others I will put in with the navy, kidney and pintos when I make a pot of bean soup. So far, Iíve got 7 different kinds - and Iíve not gotten to the basket with the limas in it yet! I popped open one pod that gave me 4 of the prettiest beans; they are tan on one end, dark blue on the other, with blue speckles on tan in between; but I only found one pod so far - you can bet Iíll be saving out those ones to grow next year! Iím not getting very far on garden plans for next year, but Iím sure Iíll get more enthusiastic when the seed catalogs start coming in. I wasnít very pleased with my tomatoes this year at all - but no-one around here had very good tomatoes, so maybe it wasnít something I did wrong (for a change!) The ones in the row garden were no better than the ones in the raised beds. Iím just no good at trellising the darn things, which is probably what I need to do. Iíve also got to figure out something different for the sweet Ďtaters - this old clay ground is just too hard for them to grow in, I reckon.

Well, there I go, rattling on with nonsense again! Iíd better post this and go bring in that other bushel of beans, or put books on the shelves or something - to work off that 2nd cinnamon roll Iím going to have here in a bit. You folks all take care,

-- Anonymous, October 14, 2003


I had to visit the doctor again. Woke up one morning and my eye lid was glued to my cheek! It was all red and swollen. Now, I know that doctors are told that something like 90 % of their patients will get better if they don't screw them up so I've adopted the attitude that if I don't go to the doctor, then 90% of the time, I'll get better. If "I" don't screw me up! So, if I follow that logic, the doctor doesn't make me worse and I don't make me worse, then I should have pretty close to a hundred percent chance of getting better, right?

I diagnosed it as Pink Eye, but Sandy (bless her little heart) got me an appointment because it was Thursday (and she probably doesn't trust my diagnostic abilities) and we knew if I couldn't get an appointment that day or Friday, I'd have to wait until Monday or go to the Emergency Room if it got worse instead of better. Since it's my eye, the one with macular degeneration, we didn't want to take any chances.

Since Sandy's brother and sister-in-law both have this doctor, we have a rapport with the doctors nurse and have talked to the doctor on numerous occasions but he doesn't know me like his nurse does. I saw the nurse in the waiting room and told her to tell me I had Pink eye and that it would get better in a few days, go home and call if it didn't. She looked at me and said I didn't have Pink Eye but some thing that started with a "B" and was really long and unpronounceable. I know it was unpronounceable because she couldn't pronounce it.

The doctor came in and I told him that I'd already diagnosed it and it was Pink Eye and his nurse disagreed and he should fire her. I told him the only reason I was even seeing him was because I was a good patient and was getting a second opinion. He looked at it and said that it was Bells Palsy and I had developed a secondary infection in the eye lid. I told him that often mimicked Pink Eye.

He had the nurse give me a shot and just as she stuck it in my arm, I told her I wanted it in the butt! She said it was too late. Told him to fire her! Not patient friendly. She said I wasn't having a very good day because she wouldn't agree I had Pink Eye, the doctor wouldn't agree I had Pink Eye, Sandy wouldn't agree I had Pink Eye, the doctor wasn't firing her and she wasn't doing what I told her to. Wonder why I even go there?

While the doctor was writing on his little script pad he was sitting in a chair and had his head down and I told Sandy that I'd forgotten my list. When she asked what list, I told her the one that the voices told me to ask the doctor about. Now, the doctor stopped writing in the middle of a word, didn't move his head but cut his eyes towards Sandy (Hey, me be the patient, over here Doc) and asked her, quietly, "voices?". Sandy said she didn't have any idea what I was talking about. I told her that she did too. It was those voices on the television that kept telling me to ask the doctor if this drug might not be right for me and I had been keeping a list so I could ask him, next time I saw him. I told him that it wasn't the voices that scared me but the fact that they knew my medical problems and thought those drugs might be right for me. You could just see the tension drain from his body! Hee, hee. He knows me much better now! I told him I was pretty sure the Pink Eye would go away in a few days. Wonder why I didn't get a follow up visit? Didn't matter, I don't do follow ups very often. I figure that if I'm better then let him work on sick people. No sense in sick people sitting in the waiting room while I'm in there being told I'm okay. Besides, the eye lid is getting better. Pink Eye is clearing up.

Had a good storm with a lot of thunder, lightening and wind come through after midnight. I was up until after three comforting the dogs. For some reason, they were really nervous about it. They were beginning to make me nervous. Then this morning Sandy went out the back door, the wind slammed it and broke the lock. She was locked out the back door and when she knocked, the big bad dogs were ferocious! I asked them if they'd forgotten about earlier this morning when they wouldn't stop shaking. Didn't seem to bother either one of them! Must be a short memory thing.

Loaded up the truck this afternoon and took a load over to the flea market. Got a couple of shelves put up and some of the stuff put out. It sure is nice to see it missing from the shop area but it'll be nicer to see it missing from the flea market.

Polly, don't worry about the weather too much, I sent the weatherman a scathing e-mail this morning so things should straighten out soon!

Wildman, (getting better)

-- Anonymous, October 14, 2003


And a wonderfully fine job you did too, Wildman! Beautiful day! High 50's moving right on in to the 60's, just a little bit of a breeze, sunshiney - my, oh my - you can yell at the weather man any old time you want to!

Hubs and I took a two mile walk this morning - down to the end of our road (.9 mile), then north up a hill to the next neighbor's drive (.1 mile) and then back home again - dee-lightful! (Though my thighs might be arguing with me later this afternoon!) We got back and started a pot of veggie soup, and set some rolls out to rise. He pulled a cherry pie out of the freezer when he took the swill out to the chickens, and it's baking right now, so I think we're set for supper. Now he's down puttering with the water system and furnace - change water filters, run softener, drain and rinse water heater, wash furnace filter. As soon as the timer for my eggs that I'm boiling goes off, I'm going to go out and get the washer filled so I can do a couple of loads - gotta work 4 - 12's in a row so I gotta make sure all my dresses are clean! Then I'm going to stuff Bun's hutch and the chicken house full of straw - I don't know where it all goes! Hubs and I plan to work a bit on garden cleaning (and compost pile turning) when he gets done with the basement jobs; and then I'm down for a nappy-poo before I go in to work. It sounds like a busy day, but I'm looking forward to getting outside and working in the sunshine after the past day or so of rain and gloom.

I think I'm going to save back a pint or so of that soup to take with us when we go to the farm show. There is a microwave in the room I've got reserved. I've got gumbo and chili on the menu as well before show time, so I'll package some of it up too; and make some hot rolls to take with us. They serve some pretty good sandwiches at the farm show, so we'll have lunch there; but by the time we leave for the day I'm usually frozen and just want to get warmed up - soup and a hot tub - sounds like a plan to me!

Well, there goes my timer - I'd better get to work! Take care, all..

-- Anonymous, October 15, 2003


Yippee! I'm getting a bunch of compact fluorescent light bulbs for free! I'd been meaning to switch from the regular incadescent bulbs for years but the cost always held me back. My new hero Jason (of snake relocation fame) works for Campus Environmental Services at the local university. They have the compact fluorescent bulbs in all of the lamps there and even though the bulbs are guaranteed for 5 years they routinely replace them after 3 years. The "old" bulbs get sent to the recycling center and if a few manage to find their way into the employee's pockets no one cares. He's getting me some that are equivalent to 60 watt bulbs and some that are equivalent to 100 watt bulbs.

I went to the dentist today for the first time in almost 3 years. I had so much tartar buildup on my teeth that she only did a partial cleaning today and I have to go back in 3 weeks for her to finish. Maybe I should start chewing on some Milkbones. :) She has this new tool that uses a high-pressure stream of water to blast the tartar off your teeth, kinda like a WaterPic on steroids. I felt like I'd taken a shower by the time we finished.

Wildman, when I was a child and went to the doctor he always said the reason why I was sick was because of my mom's bad cooking. It sounds like you and he were cut from the same cloth. He's long since passed away though. My great-grandparents loaned him the money to go to medical school.

-- Anonymous, October 15, 2003


Hey all! Howís everyone getting along out there? I finished up a 60 hour week this morning and am looking forward to 2 days off. Hubs was off to the motocross race already by the time I got home from work this morning (he just came in a bit ago with a 3rd place plaque) and Pop left soon after to spend the day with friends. I did the chores, then did a minimal amount of house work - vacuumed the kitchen and living room floors, took the trash out, ran the dishwasher, and cleaned main floor bathroom - just so I wouldnít be embarrassed if someone stopped by. Having bowed to my anal nature enough by all that, I crawled into bed with ďLiving at Natureís PaceĒ by Gene Logsdon and read until the book fell forward and bonked me in the nose.

I finally managed to crawl out of bed around two this afternoon and spent more time than I should have pacing around the house, swilling coffee and glaring out the windows at the swarming Asian ladybugs. Mutter mutter grumble gripe. The lure of a brilliant fall day outside was finally too much for me; so - after considering and then giving up on the idea of crawling out the bathroom window to avoid the swarm on the porch - I gave up and dashed outside. Only to discover that Iíd left my gloves lying on the kitchen island. Drat. The bottle of Sevin that I keep hidden from Pop in the attic of the shed was almost too much of a temptation, but I managed to talk myself out of poisoning the little buggers and made the dash back in to grab my gloves. Only 6 million little buggies on the kitchen ceiling now. :oP

I took a short walk around the 2 acre patch just east of the house where the garden, strawberries, sunflowers and sweet corn patch are located; and made a mental list of all the jobs that need done before winter. I like to try to put them in some sort of logical order!! The small potatoes that I left in the ground have sprouted and are 3- 4 inches high, so I am going to just put a layer of mulch over them and let them go until next spring. I doubt that they do anything, but one never knows until one tries! The birds have pretty much decimated the sunnies, so Iím thinking about asking Hubs to mow and disk them down. Theyíd provide some cover for wildlife through the winter, though, so I canít decide. If I procrastinate long enough, I guess I wonít have to! The walnuts have finally all fallen, so I thought about finishing raking them up, but I wasnít that energetic, so I grabbed my hoe and cleaned weeds and grass out of 4 of the 10 rows of strawberries instead. I wanted to get them done before we got a hard freeze, so that theyíll go under mulch clean and ready for next spring. Still havenít gotten all the garden clean up done; and then thereís the field, and the shed, and those trees that are growing up under the windmill need cut andÖ

And plenty of inside jobs too!! How many more days Ďtil we go to the farm show?! I need a break! It says on the promo materials that there will be a soap making demonstration this year - wonder if the ladies that I bought the lilac soap from will be the ones that are doing the demo? They had some wonderful bath salts, too; Iíd love to get another jar of them. Iíve been carrying in rain water to wash my hair with, and since I love that lilac soap so much, I was wondering if I could make a shampoo out of it somehow? I was thinking that there was someone on this forum with soap making experience, but I canít remember who, offhand. If anyone knows, would you please share your knowledge?! Thanks!

Well, I suppose that Iíd better get this posted - I keep yawning, and Iím starting to get sort of hungry, so I guess Iíd better go round up some grub and then crawl back in bed with my book - gotta get some rest, got laundry on the agenda for tomorrow again! You folks all take care this week,

-- Anonymous, October 19, 2003



Hi everyone!! I had some good news today. I actually TALKED to my mom on the phone!!! She sounds good...a little weak, but good! The tracheotomy was definitely a good thing :-)!

Well, just had to share this with you all!

-- Anonymous, October 21, 2003


That's great news, Marcia! My dad's doin better too; walking around the house without his walker. They both came to see our building yesterday; it was fun, now that they are being so kind and all. Ordinarily I would have expected them to see how many things they could find wrong with the place, but they were quite positive. Although my mom continually made comments about this being 'too much work' and that she's too old to even think about it. She said the same thing about the farm. Do these people expect us to sit in rockers and rot just cuz we're over 50? Whats the point of stickin around if one is not doing anything fun with their days?

Back to my kitchen..........keep smilin all........

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2003


Gosh E.M...that's so great!!! Just have your folks coming and checking out your new "enterprise" is a step in the right direction! They might not have alot of positive things to say...but at least they were there.

Hell...I'm not planning on sitting around in my rocker all day when I get old (I'm already over 50!!). I'm just waiting for the day that Harry retires so I can "chase" him around the house all day :-)!!! That's gonna be my "fun time". I'm thinking about buying stock in Viagra :-)!

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2003


Marcia - great news about mom! EM - great news about dad! :)

My mom's feet are still really bad. The physical therapist told her she was just wasting her money with PT because the only thing that will help her is surgery. She's got herself so worried about everything that her blood pressure is getting out of control again. My parents may be coming into a little bit of money at the end of the month (they sold my cousin 5 acres on a land contract and he said he's going to pay it off at the end of the month, but he's said this before and not done it) and since the insurance company is still refusing to pay for the surgery she may just get it done and pay for it herself.

Still no offers on our other house. I'm a worrier just like mom, but where she manifests her worries as high blood pressure, I manifest mine as migranes and depression. Guess it's time to pull out the St Johns Wort.

Sandy, did you go to Salem yet?

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2003


Sherri, have you considered renting it out?

I'm so sorry to be such a ditz, but I forgot what was wrong with your mom's feet?

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2003


I may have been the ditz and forgotten to mention it. She has plantar fascitis in both feet. Her insurance company told her she can't have surgery for it until she's had at least 6 months of physical therapy and worn orthotics, but they won't pay for the PT or orthotics either!

We've talked about renting the place out but we're afraid that it would just get too run down and kill the resale value even more. People just don't seem to want to take care of property if they're just renting.

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2003


Isn't that heel spurs? What kind of PT are they doing for that? Bren had that, but it went away. Can't member what all we did for it; I'll ask her. Has she been adjusted by a chiro?

We rented out a house we moved out of in LA years ago. You can find good renters, but have to be very choosy, and yeah, it is a risk, especially if the 'hood is goin down the tubes.

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2003


I had plantar fascitis too. I went to a chiropractor and got orthotics (which I still wear, as I have a higher-than-average arch). Also a heel spur on the left (which is where the plantar fascitis started). They didn't tell me about any surgery option, and I probably wouldn't have taken it if they did. I was told that they don't REALLY know why it comes on. I was told that cortisone injections were an option, but it didn't have much of a success rate (I opted not to have those). Nothing the podiatrist did helped much.

The orthotics made my feet feel better, as a general thing, but far from "normal". But . . .eventually, the left got better and the right started hurting. At the same time, I kept seeing stuff about back pain and how to cure it, a book by Dr. John Sarno. This is hard to explain, but his position is that untractable pain for no medically-descernible reason is something that the brain causes. This is important, read carefully -- it is NOT "all in your mind". The pain is REAL, the inflammation is real -- what can't be found is what is causing the inflammation. Dr. Sarno's position is that the brain (subconscious, whatever) sets up the conditions that lead to the inflammation, which causes pain; it does this in an effort to alleviate some other problem (such as stress). Please understand that this is my inexpert paraphrasing of how I understood the book. And that he says these are his theories. The important thing is that he's had success with treatment that uses his theory as the basis for pain. {Also, he doesn't say that ALL pain is caused by this "mental pattern".}

Most people think I'm a loon or nuts or something when I tell them this, but I made the pain go away. I acknowledged that there might be some reason that my brain/whatever was creating the conditions that were leading to this pain. I made a conscious effort to tell myself that I neither wanted nor needed the pain. Within a day the pain was getting better, which was not conclusive, of course. Within two weeks the pain was gone. Yes, I've had brief flares, but the pain essentially vanished about as quickly as it came on (it started with getting out of bed one day to big pain in my foot where there had been none the day before).

So, I suggest to your mom that she get the orthotics and that she read Dr. Sarno's books. Virtually all libraries have a copy. If they don't, they probably can get it another library system.

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003


good story, joy....I don't think you're nuts. in fact, i'd go ya one better and say i think all illness is caused by/allowed to happen because of our improper thinking.Yeah, I know, I'm nutz. :)

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2003

Dreary day here. We are childless this weekend. Ali is staying with friends and Lo is in DC at the peace rally. Bren and I are going to one of the many concerts/jams being held tonite in honor of the Wellstones.

I think we have our pizza labels designed for the most part. Bren has been doing most of the actual work on them of course, and put in many hours doing so, but I know she loves it. Has kept her distracted from her regular job a bit too much! Will start working on the back labels next, with UPC code, ingredients, cooking instructions, and nutritional facts.

I finally submitted my orange/chocolate chip muffins for my mom's critique. I never have to worry about her pulling any punches or making nicey-nice, which is what I want now. The truth. So she loved them! I know they're good now! (I already was pretty sure, since whenever I bring any home, even though they should have been getting sick of them around here, they were gone in an annoying flash, often without the comparison tasting I brought them home for). I think Matt ate 8 of them last Saturday, and he eats like a bird. so its a good thing.

Next is blueberry, but that shouldnt be so difficult to perfect. I'm using sour cream as my fat; organic butter is so expensive, and nothin else works as well.

Smiles to all!

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2003


Hi all! Sure hope this note finds everyone's families feeling better! Joy, I do agree that a lot of pain is in the mind; it doesn't sound a bit off to me!

I'm feeling a bit disconnected today - kind of like I'm just floating along. I worked a day shift yesterday - that's probably what has got me feeling discombobulated! I got up way early and did the chores this morning; and checked out the internet for a while. Then Hubs and I finished shelling out that bushel of dry beans - that took the rest of the morning; but we spent the time chatting too, so that was nice. Jessie stopped by just as we were finishing up (how does she do that?!) to pick up some groceries and stayed for lunch and visited a while too. She had her calico kitten Janie with her so I got to have some fun blowing soap bubbles for kitty to chase - between blowing the bubbles and laughing so hard, I nearly had to go searching for my inhaler! I napped for a few hours this afternoon, so now I'm awake, but not in much of a mood to do any work; thus I'm hiding out here on the net!

Hubs and I have plans for a busy morning tomorrow, weather permitting, so I do need to do a few things tonight. We are going to take the old farm truck and head to Shelbyville (12 miles); we need to pay the last installment of the property taxes, pay the $1 tank rental on our propane tank, check to see when the rural water line is scheduled to come past our house, drop off several boxes of winter clothing (been cleaning the storeroom again!) at the Sr. Citizen's Thrift Shop (and maybe do a little shopping too!), price some "garage keepers" insurance in case Hubs decides to do some work out here, and then stop by the sale barn on the way home to pick up a load of poop. Since top speed on the truck is 45 mph, it may take us a while! I've got boxes and tubs of clothing scattered all over the family room right now, so I need to get downstairs and get them finished up and carried upstairs ready to load tomorrow. Maybe later. Maybe tomorrow!

It's been really wonderful having Hubs home - I don't think that I want him to go back to work! I even got him to agree to consider getting a milk goat whilie we were talking this morning (betcha he'll be looking at those milking machines at the farm show next week!). Haven't made any headway at all on pigs, tho. I'm hoping that he's still off in the spring so that I can get those bottle calves I've been wanting - hey, something is gonna have to eat that 4 1/2 acres of hay we've got growing! He's done a lot of work cleaning in the garden and around the farm - the big misc. junk pile back of the shed is gone now; tho I think most of it's just been sorted and stashed elsewhere. I figure I could keep him busy on the south half of the shed for weeks - that's where the enclosed store rooms are where Pop and I put all of our stuff after we tore down the old house. We made a start on it the other day - went through a half dozen or so boxes.

Hubs has taken over the cooking on the days that I work, too - it's sooo great to get up to a nice hot meal before I have to head in to work! Best part is, I'm losing weight because I'm not stopping to pick up Chinese or eating junk at work because I'm too tired to pack a lunch before I go! I am suffering from MSG withdrawal tho! We're probably getting healthier too, as he likes to serve veggies! I picked up a Delicata squash and something called a butter squash at the market last night; guess we'll have one or the other of them for lunch tomorrow with some pork chops, brussel spouts (Unc's garden) and baked apples. He made chicken pot pie last night, but between a crisis at work that left me getting off an hour late, and me stopping to pick up Jes's groceries on the way home, I didn't get home 'til after 10 pm, so I was too tired to eat more than a bite or two - I made up for it at lunch today tho! We're also walking on the days that I'm off that the weather is fit - down the road since the bow hunters are in the woods - and that's helping with the weight as well. Hmmm - maybe I'd better not get rid of all of those outgrown jeans, ya think?!

I've been reading all my Gene Logsdon books again, and making plans for the farm for next year. More OP corn, for sure. Unc's got some sheets of steel siding down there at his cabin that are beginning to look an awful lot like a roof for a corn crib to me! I'm not making a lick of progress on the garden layout, tho I have started a list of what I think we ought to grow. Mostly just the basics.

Sherri, I've got all your seeds packed up but the morning glories - the darn weather hasn't stayed dry enough to harvest them; they tend to mold if they are the least bit wet. I'll send everything out as soon as it dries up a bit. Are you going to plant veggies as well? Would you care for some blue speckled pole limas?

Well, I reckon I'd better get off here and go on downstairs and get at those boxes - I've got a whole bag of shirts and skirts to cut up into quilt blocks and napkins; plus a bag of stuff to cut up into rags as well. Now, where'd I put that button jar?! You folks all take care this week,

-- Anonymous, October 28, 2003


Joy, I've often wondered how many cases of cancer are caused by the cigarette advertising on television, radio, etc. How many cases of asthma, prostrate problems, etc., is caused because the thought is put in peoples head that one out of three, one out of five, are going to get this disease or that disease.

My doctor said he's seen more allergy cases this year than ever before. I wonder if it's because of all the allergy medicine advertisements? They almost convince you that you're not normal if you don't have an allergy.

I don't think either one of you is nuts.

Wildman, (still sneezing and happy about it)

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2003


Does anyone else have problems keeping up with the conversations? It seems like if I miss a day or two, it's almost impossible to answer each thread if there are more than a couple going.

I get so far behind sometimes that I feel overwhelmed. Especially on the long threads like the Chat. I lose track of what's going on.

So, if I answer a thread and miss mentioning someone or commenting on something that was said, it's not because I'm ignoring you or trying to be rude but I guess we can blame it on memory or the fact that both eyes don't point the same way so I might miss something.

Wildman, (confuseder [ not in my spell check] )

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2003


Sherri said "Sandy, did you go to Salem yet?"

Nope!!!!! We are having some problems right know and taking a week off work isn't the right thing to do now!!!We are now looking to the summer!! I have the whole summer off with pay and he will have vacation pay then!! So I still can't wait!! But just putting it off for a while.

Hugs, Sandy

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2003


Sandy, I'm sorry you're having problems right now but I'm glad that you have't gone to Salem yet because I still want my refrigerator magnet! :) BTW, you should have a PM from me over at HT.

I'm just taking a mini-break from work to vent about my co-workers. Most of them are nice but a few are just gossipy troublemakers. Our dept. secretary is one of the nice ones. Her cube is next to mine and we are always joking and teasing each other. Today she had a Santa Claus doll sitting by our mailboxes and I told her that she was traumatizing me by having Christmas decorations out when it's still just October. So she said that she'd put it away until Monday because then it would be November and I'd just have to deal with it. We were just joking around. Well, one of the nosey nanners overheard part of the conversation, and now she's going around the dept. telling everyone that we can't put up Christmas decorations this year because I complained that I was offended by them. What a troublemaker!

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2003


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