Over the Fence Chat January 2004

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Hehehehe I'm back! Our computer died the week before Christmas and we ended up buying a new one this past Saturday. I lost all of my bookmarks but fortunately I have this site bookmarked on my work computer too. We're probably going to put a new hard drive in the old computer and then give it away.

Wow, where did the time go? My Christmas was so-so. It was just us and my sister's family. My parents stayed in Florida and my youngest sister took off with her new boyfriend and no one knew where she was. I remember back when I was a kid, my Grandma C would have a huge family gathering the Sunday before Christmas. It was a major event. My mom kept up the tradition for a few years after grandma died, but it's just fallen by the wayside now. With all the divorces and remarriages the kids are being shuttled here and there so that they can open presents with all their various parents and step-parents; it makes it hard to try to plan anything. My nephew Evan has made up an imaginary "other dad" because he's the only child in the family that doesn't have both a dad and a step-dad(s).

The basement is still progressing. The drywall is finally finished and yesterday I started painting. I wanted to get the first coat of primer on all the walls before the Colts game started and I made it with an hour to spare. I sure am sore today though. :)

The house sale is still in limbo. The buyer is going through one of those assistance programs for low-income minority first-time homebuyers so there's a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump through. We had a closing date set for Dec 31st but the paperwork didn't get finished in time. As long as the sale doesn't get cancelled again I think I'll be ok.

I've been doing a lot of knitting lately, so much that I think I've given myself a repetitive use injury! The knuckle on my right ring finger is sore and so swollen that I can't get my rings on. It doesn't look bruised but it feels like a bruise when I touch it. So far I've made 3 scarves, a baby afghan, and now I'm working on a baby's hooded bathtowel knitted with kitchen cotton. As soon as my book order gets in at the library I'm going to start teaching myself how to use the drop spindle. I've been posting on the Fiber Arts forum at Today's Homestead and one of the ladies there is giving me an entire Jacob fleece! All I have to do is pay her for the postage. She said that when she was first learning to spin she was intimidated and afraid to experiment because fleece is so expensive, so she's giving me a fleece so I can play to my heart's content. Right now I have no idea what to do with an intact fleece but I guess I'll learn! :)

I only have one seed catalog so far, it's from The Cooks Garden. I'm not sure if the post office will forward catalogs or not. I think I'd better go off to the Johnny's Seeds and Pinetree Gardens websites and update my mailing address. I need to start planning, it will be spring before you know it! :)

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2004


Been swamped!! If I've not been working, I've been pulling stupid people tricks like carrying a couple hundred gallons of rain (laundry) water in to the house - 5 gallons at a time - in the middle of a cold downpour (yesterday's trick). Sheesh - does sleep deprivation cause brain damage?! It must - 'cause I've been working extra off my unit lately - "Oh boy! Let's go mingle with sick people during flu season!" Dumb, dumb, dumb!

Other than that, we've not been up to much out here. Did end up at Uncle Ivan's on New Year's Day - ate my corned beef and cabbage, and my black-eyed peas too; for good luck. So far, this year is a vast improvement over the last one! 'Course, it IS only the 5th of January; but I can still hope, right?!

Pop and Hubs and I have gotten into the habit of clearing off the supper dishes and then sitting back down to play games on the evenings that I am home. So far, they've whipped my butt at Triominos, rummy, gin rummy and bump (marbles). I don't know what game to try next! Monopoly? Takes too long - Pop goes to bed at 8pm. Yahtzee? Nah - too noisy. Scrabble? That's out - they are both very inventive spellers! I'll think of something!

I've been getting fat and lazy since Hubs has been home; what with him doing most of the cooking and a lot of the house work. I may never let him go back to work!! Too bad he got cleared medically for that janitors job today - reckon I'll just have to lock him in the closet until he forgets all about it! But then, there isn't a stove in the closet, so I'd have to cook my own supper; and it is only 16 hours a week - guess maybe I could let him out of the house that long, ya think? Besides, the Old Farmer's Almanac (y'all read where that's a terrorist tool?!) says January 14th, 18th and 19th are good days to start a diet; and the 22nd and 23rd are good days to start a new project - so I guess I'll start di...die...quit eating so much; and maybe plod (glowering and snarling at the world) a while on the treadmill while I'm at it. Gawd, that sounds like soooo much fun. Not. But then again, I thought the ER staff was going to have to code me the other day when I ran down three flights of stairs to get to a code speed.... And it was DOWN stairs, for pity's sake! That wasn't much fun either. What a choice!! Oh well, I need to get in to shape (What? Round isn't a shape?!) anyway, because....

Garden porn (seed catalogs) continues to pour in - and I continue to doze off every time I start paging through a catalog. Sumpin' bad wrong here boyz and goils, when I can't even make it to the tomato section without snoozing. Maybe I just ought to turn garden planning over to Hubs too?! Nahhh...

Well dang - it's nearly 10 pm and I haven't even had my bedtime snack yet (It ain't the 14th yet!!) Leftover peach cobbler calling my name from the kitchen; can you hear it?! Reckon I'd better get in there, before Hubs thinks it's calling HIS name instead!

Take care, stay healthy!

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2004

Glenn has claimed the basement for himself. He is so funny because he's been collecting knick knacks that he likes from all over the house and bringing them downstairs. (He'll move some of the other stuff over so I don't notice but the dust marks are still there) The stool I gave him for his workshop he decided will look better by the bar (that he finally will be able to use because it's down there) along with a light and a matt behind the bar to catch any spillage from pouring drinks(never mind the fact we never intertain)

Oh, you should have seen the look he gave us when he came home and Gary was working on a messy school project down there. He kept vaccuuming and vaccuuming (we even got a new vaccuum cleaner because of the basement. Never mind I've been asking for an upright with bristles for a couple of years now) Any time I'm looking for him now, he's downstairs watching TV. It did turn out well.

One of my young goats got sore mouth. Really looks like the name. Poor thing. Doesn't seem to bother her too much. I really should move the buck too but it is so much easier keeping him with the girls. Now that everyone is out of season, he no longer stinks. But he really isn't nice to them when eating. (He still has horns) I was going to keep him until next year then get a new buckling each year again. I was going to sell him for meat but I want to see what he can do first.

Hey, here is something. My boss gave me a $200 Christmas bonus. See, I am appreciated. Gary got $50 and he only works one day a week. He said not bad. NOT BAD, that was pretty darn good there kid!

Last week it was really nice here. High 50's but now it is starting to get cold again. I wasn't using the woodstove because of my cough but I lite it tonight. I love this cozy feeling. I do hate waking up in the middle of the night to add a few logs though. It was snowing alittle before but not alot. I guess we still have Jan and Feb to get some more yet. Man, do I hate winter...

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2004

I found a spinning guild that meets just a few minutes away from my house one evening a month! Last night was my first meeting. It was comedy enough to make a cat laugh! I started out with my drop spindle and I kept getting the twist too far up so it was trying to grab all the fiber at once, and then it wouldn't draft anymore. After struggling with that for a bit I decided to take a break and try out a couple of spinning wheels. First I tried just treadling on a single- treadle Ashford Traveller. It took a little bit to get used to it but before long I had it going in a pretty good rhythm. Then I moved over to a double-treadle Majacraft Rose and all heck broke out! I'd get the wheel about 3/4 of the way around and then Slam! it would start going the wrong direction. So I tried again; 3/4 around and Slam! wrong direction again. Third try; 3/4 around, Slam! wrong direction, and then the drive belt popped off. I struggled this was for a few minutes, then Susan sat down at her wheel to make sure there wasn't something wrong with it that was causing me the problems. It works just fine for her, so it's not the wheel's fault. I tried treadling with shoes on, shoes off, feet high on the treadles, feet low on the treadles, everything short of standing on my head and treadling with my nose, and still couldn't get the blasted thing to work! After a good 20 minutes of experimenting I finally got it going in the right direction for a minute or two, but as soon as my concentration would waver it would be back to Slam backwards and off pops the belt!

I'm not giving up though! After I got home from the meeting I got the drop spindle back out and practiced for another half hour and the drafting went just fine this time. My cats thought the entire process was facinating, especially when I experimented with spinning the spindle by rolling it up my thigh and almost knocked the lamp off the table. :)

The state spinning guild is having a spinning retreat the last weekend of February. I'm going to be locked in for the weekend with 25 - 30 spinners and I'm not coming out until I can spin! The worst part is since the retreat is being held at a monistary I probably won't be able to cuss. The good news is that I'm going to do chair massage for the ladies in exchange for a discount on the registration fee.

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2004

Anyone besides me have trouble getting on the past few days?

Sherri, I had to laugh at your spinning description; but I sure do admire your stubborness! Locked in a monastary with recalcitrant spinning wheels and unable to cuss - that WOULD be a problem! (Can I come watch?) Let's see if we can help Sherri out here! Ummmm - Dagnabit...Rats...Drat...Blast...Heck...Shucky-durn - anybody got any more to add? I've also got to laugh - on another forum that I go to, they talk about spinning, too - only they're talking about some heinous form of exercise, which, as far as I can tell, consists of riding an exercise bike really fast. I could be wrong - I tend to skip the gory parts when I read! I think that - no, I KNOW that I'd rather read about you spinning!

Dee, hope you're feeling better - that cough seems to take forever to go away. What is it with men and basements? Sheesh, Hubs has got junk (read: weights, etc for his weight bench) piled right in front of my bookcase to where I can't hardly plop down another sack of books that need reshelved - it's like the man doesn't understand what's important! I fully expect to wake up some day and find all my books and stuff crammed into Jessie's old room. Not that this would be a BAD thing, especially if he put it all away.....there I go, dreaming again!

It's been the same old, same old here. Work and laundry, more work and more laundry. Weather was awfully nice the past few days tho - so if you'll excuse me for talking, once again, about laundry - I hung my sheets out on the line Sunday and Monday! Gotta do some more laundry today - where in the heck does it all come from, anyway! - and will hopefully get to hang part of it out as well.

I still haven't made a bit of progress on my garden planning. I was thinking of maybe taking my 12 4x4 beds and making little mini gardens in them, just to show what all can be grown in a 4x4 space, but I don't know if I've got that much energy; or patience to fuss and bother with it. Jeez, did I just say garden and bother with it in the same sentence? Quick someone, take my temperature!

How many of you folks have had to go through the Meyer Briggs personality testing stuff? I've done it multiple times before, but now our department at work is going through it. I was pretty steamed - on the entire back of the answer sheet, it had more questions - are you married, single, divorced ect... what was your age at your first marriage... is your partner the same or opposite sex... how often do you exercise... what is your income... gender...

EXCUSE ME?! My employer is giving me a form to fill out that asks these kind of questions? NUNAYADAMNBIZNEZ, howzat for an answer?! I asked the facilitator, "So, did you run this past legal before you passed it out?" "Oh, you don't have to answer those questions if you don't want to" she said. "Yes'm, you're absolutely correct - I don't. And won't."

Probably the old ESTJ sneaking out there, ya think?! The boss thinks that this will help everyone to understand how we all think; and therefore make us a more cohesive team. Yeah, right. And the man was a psych nurse before he became dept manager - he ought to know better.

Well, let's see...I've talked about work, laundry and gardening - did I leave anything out? Pop's doing fine, Hubs likes his new job okay, Jessie is Jessie - I alternate between wanting to hug her and pull her hair out, critters are fine, I'm still fat....yup, got it all covered!

Take care all, talk to you soon, I hope!

-- Anonymous, January 13, 2004


Great!! I remember the first few times I tried spinning on a wheel. I completely forgot about that part where the wheel goes backward on you! I swear that spinning is like learning to ride a bike...hard to get at first, but once you get it, you GOT IT. Glad you are knitting. If you have questions about the fleece, feel free to email me (real email addy..I'm learning to not be paranoid....after the "Joel" stuff on the old Countryside forum, it's not quite easy).

I was sick for a couple of weeks, but back in the world again....doing the treadmill, light free-weight workouts, and cutting back on kCals.

Not thinking too much about veg. gardening this year. I'm going to concentrate on flowers/shrubs/trees. The big veg garden will be fallow (under mulch), but I'll put a few things in the wee veg garden. We're going to be in E. WA a lot, so I don't want to overcommit (hahaha, as Kirk would say) this year.

I'm really interested in meal planning and preparation. Any good websites?

Happy New Year (a couple of weeks late, I guess).

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

I bet I didn't post that I was going on vacation! That's where I am, coming back on Sunday, first chance I've had to get near a computer. I tell you about it when I get back! But . . . just wanted to let you know, I'm not buried in a snow drift somewhere!


-- Anonymous, January 16, 2004

Joy I hope you are having a awesome time!!!

Talking about vacation Sherri I'm going to Salem!!!! Yea!!! my parents knew we wanted to go and just didn't trust our car (me that is everyone else said are you crazy go go go) so my Dad went to Mike and said "I'm thinking about going to Mass. at the end of May after school is out how about ya'll going so you can show me around!!" We are so happy. Mike just to see Beverly where he was raised till he was 19 and I get to see the North and Salem!!! Should be interesting to see people look at me funny with my southern accent!!

Sherri I envy you and learning to spin. I've always wanted to learn but there's nothing around here like that no classes etc, so I'll just buy the yarn I can get. I'd love sheep but in the heat here in Florida I've been told it's very hard on them. I did find 1 sheep farmer and he had an AIRCONDITIONER building for his sheep,can't imagine that being profitable!!!

We are planting some mustard today and peas. Its lightly raining so I hope it stops long enough for me to plant them it can rain all day. Mike is excited about planting this is his first garden so he'll get excited then all the weeding will be me and Michelle mostly Michelle because she loves to feed the animals the weeds out of our flower beds!! and as lond as she likes doing it I'm not about to stop her!!!LOL

Polly those test are about as stipid as the people that give them. They are everywhere in Florida seems every job you go to they have some fashion of them!! As far as I can say I give them the answer they want!!!!Glad I've only had to take 2 in my life!!LOL

Well ya'll have a great week!!! Hugs, Sandy

-- Anonymous, January 18, 2004

Hello from the cold and frozen Northeast!! Actually...the past week or so we've been having a "heatwave" :-)! It's been in the 20's and came close to 30 the other day. We really don't mind the single digit temps...it's the added wind that's a killer!!!

The past three weeks have been a "b****" for me! BUT...it's my own fault. Every year when I start all my bookkeeping, I tell myself to keep up with it each month or so. But do I??? Nope! So each December and January I'm rushing trying to catch up on all my Dome book entries so we can get it to the accountant for payroll! Finally I'm finished...til next December :-)!

I am so glad the holidays are over. It really wasn't too bad, but not really much "fun" either! Although, the Saturday after New Year's we had a couple over (our carpenter friend who's been working on our upstairs rooms and his S.O. the herbalist) for a get together. His parents also came over. We spent most of the night playing Uno! Hadn't played that in YEARS!! This was the version where the little machine spits the cards out at you instead of you having to draw cards. I tell ya...after a couple of drinks we all got to laughing and joking and couldn't figure out just who the machine was throwing the cards at!!! Well, anyways...it was fun! The "older" folks left about 1 a.m. and our friends camped out on our living room floor rather than drive home. Speaking of card games...has anyone here ever played Mille Borne?? We used to play that quite awhile ago and that was a riot also.

Well, breeding season has come and gone for me...and my girls remain unbred. This will be the first spring in almost 15 yrs. that I'll be "kidless"!! I really felt that I (and we!) needed a summer off from the schedual of bottle-feeding, shots, weaning and milking...etc. I'm expecting that one or two "spur of the moment" trips to North Carolina will be coming this summer and dairy goats make that kinda difficult. Also, Harry and I really want to take a couple of overnight cruises in our boat...maybe down to Cape Cod!! So this year I'm planning on raising extra meat birds and turkeys, plus two pigs. And of course...our garden will be unbelievably perfect!! Guess I'll be giving up homemade butter and cheese for a year or so :-(!

Sherri...I agree with Sandy and envy you having the ability to spin!! Geesh...I look at any kind of sheep and all I can think of is lamb chops :-)!!! Mmmmmm good!

Hey Sandy...you really should be brave and head to New England right now!! I'm sure you'd love our "balmy" temps :-)! Just keep thinking to yourself while in Salem..."they never burned any witches at the stake here!" Really...it's all heresay! If you get as far as Maine give me a hollar!

That's about it for now. And it sure looks like I have some reading to catch up on here! Later folks....

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2004

Hey Marcia I would love to come up now but only have vacation time during the summer months (I'm a bus driver) and besides ya'll wouldn't won't this southerner that's never driven in snow before do ya!!! LOL

Hey closer to that time I'll let you know if we can make it to Maine!! Hubby can't wait to give me a lobster from up north says they are better than the shipped in ones we get at the fish market!! BTW what are gonna do without homemade cheese?? I've found a place within a 2 hour drive (and near relatives) that sell their homemade goat cheese. My family says it's delish!! Going soon to try it just may have to get me some goats and the heck with store bought!!LOL

Hugs, Sandy

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2004

Sandy...We're only 4 hrs. away from the MA./N.H. border and Beverly is about an hour or so drive from N.H....so let me know if you want a really fresh lobster. We'll pull one from our traps and meet ya somewhere :-)!!

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2004

Marcia Mike says if we can get the old folks to go we will come see ya!!!!! The closer it gets I'll email ya!! Thanks so much Sandy

-- Anonymous, January 27, 2004

Really really cool, Sandy!!! I'll be waiting to hear from ya!

Well...just to let you all here know, I've been living a nightmare (well...almost!) the past couple of weeks! Harry is trying to quit smoking....AGAIN! He had already quit several years ago, but when his dad passed away, the stress of that plus dealing with his mother sent him back over the edge again. I finally convinced him to check out an online discussion group for folks who are trying or already have quit smoking. He had always told me that he did NOT want to talk about his problems with strangers but....now he "talks" to them daily and it has truly helped him!!! He's made lots of friends there that understand what he's going through. It's a webtv group that's firewalled against computers so he's very comfortable there. He just passed his two week mark of no cigs last night and I'm soooo happy! I really think he's gonna do it this time! Last weekend he celebrated and spent some money on a new guitar and amp. He hadn't played since high school and he's really enjoying himself now. I also "celebrated" and bought myself a 40 gallon fish tank with all the "fixins'". I've had it set up for the past couple of days...maturing the water...and hopefully, Harry, me and our grandaughter will go to the pet store this weekend to pick out the first couple of fish!!!!

Hope all is well wih everyone here....!!!

-- Anonymous, January 27, 2004

Anyone see the "interview" last week with Judy Dean? Diane Sawyer made an ass of herself; you'd think from the stupid questions she asked and condescending sexist statements that this was the 1950's. I thought both Drs Dean handled her with grace, certainly more than I would have been able to garner.

The Unacquisitive Girl

-- Anonymous, January 30, 2004

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