Monday, October 31, 2011

Cold, Cold, Cold!

That's what it is in the house today...COLD!! Last Thursday we had a problem with the electricity. At first, I thought the computer had died. Then noticed that a light that had been on, was off. I started checking around. Some rooms had power and others didn't. Then two more rooms just seemed to slowly die.

It was totally weird. I talked to a neighbor and said I had a quandary for him to think over. Neither of us could come up with a brilliant idea. Eventually had to contact Clarke Electric Co-op to come out and do some trouble shooting. They had to call a second guy, so we might have a single service call of $125.00 or it might be $250.00. Frightens me to think about. it. It seems that an underground wire got perforated by a stone or contact with rebar. As it works out, the incoming electrical feed is triple strand, so only the part of the house being fed by the perforated strand lost power. But we can't run anything that is 220 voltage so, no heat.

With luck, today I will finish digging the new wire trench and start fishing the new wire through conduit. If my neighbor can find time to help me tonight then maybe we will have heat. He is going to come down with his tractor to pull the old wire out of the ground and out of the house. Then I will have the opening to get the new wire in. Then fish the wire through the foundation, under the floor, into the closet and then make the connection. I hope it is easier then it sounds. I hate those tiny space situations... putting your hands where you can't see. Usually nothing icky happens but my imagination certainly tortures me.

The worst is the cost. The kids helped. They always do... but they shouldn't have to. What we spent on the conduit had been earmarked for christmas. I had wanted to get Evelyn a Woody doll. I have my heart set on it. Evelyn is quite the Woody fan. Altogether there are about three presents that I need to buy. Other then that, it will probably be a home made christmas again.

It is always the money part that gets to me. That is foremost in my mind now. It didn't help that we had a bill collector from the Iowa City hospital call just minutes after the electricity went haywire. She was rather pissed off with me that we hadn't taken a loan out on our 401k. It didn't matter that we don't have a 401k. She told me that EVERYONE has some sort of retirement account and EVERYONE can take loans out against them. This rather mean woman left me with some pretty intense anger, that I can't seem to shake. Iowa City will now be the last ones in line for getting paid off. As far as that goes, I really don't feel like paying anybody anything until I can get my grand daughter her Woody doll. Screw them all.

It isn't just cold, cold, cold in the house... I'm feeling pretty damn cold in the regions of my heart as well.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Divorce Next Door

Our neighbor guy will be getting a divorce. I suppose I am fixating on it a bit. Maybe I shouldn't, but the neighbor's missing wife, Kathy, used to say that her husband and I were alike. We were "outdoors" people. She and Mac were alike..."indoors" people. I find myself looking back at all of the times that she said, "Boy! Mac, we are so much alike! That is exactly the way I am.", and it feels me with a bit of anxiety.

Yesterday, I helped the neighbor sort cattle. It was a new experience for me. His wife had helped him occasionally. Mostly he would have her stand in a key spot to influence the cattle and she was there to call the ambulance in case he got trampled , kicked, knocked over, rolled, what have you. With Kathy gone ( to Vegas with her boyfriend, no less!) I was there to step into the cattle lot spot light. At first, I was a bit scared, but I just kept thinking about all of the Parelli horse principles that I had been taught and knew that they should work, to some extent, on all prey animals. They worked great. We got more done in less time then my neighbor thought we would. Calves sorted from mamas. Cows back into the pasture. Four mature cows that had been over to get bred were separated and trailered back home. Calves trailered to the sale barn. All accomplished in four hours, including travel time.

I have to admit, I had a great time with the cattle, but the day left me with that little niggling fear in the back of my head. Kathy and Mac, so much alike. What would I do *IF*? Depending on how Kathy pursues the divorce she could put our neighbor out of his house... off the farm that he loves. That isn't going to happen to me.

Last night, Mac got home late after school conferences. I told him about my day. All of the news about cows and Kathy. And as I finished up, I said, "And by the way, if you ever take off for Las Vegas with someone.... you're not getting my land..... you're not getting a damn thing from me.... just so you know."

"You mean, if I ever take off for Vegas with my boyfriend?", he giggled. (which was a little disturbing)

"I really don't care WHO you take off with! Just making sure you know, I'm not giving you ANYTHING."

"What makes you think anyone would have me?"

"Well, there is that."


"You're welcome"


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Death Amongst the Tomatoes

Death amongst the tomatoes... I really like that title. Sounds like an organic farmer murder mystery. Which would be kind of funny. Ironic... because we all know that it is the corporate food system that is going to kill us. ANYWAY, I had another cutting from the "experiment" die. It also looked like it should have been trimmed better and that it had probably gotten an air bubble before ever getting put into the water.

The roots are coming on better now. Enough time has passed that I am starting to see some trends. The cuttings that are in glass jars instead of plastic are doing better. The ones that are in glass AND got some eggshell are doing the best, despite the fact that they were the worst looking cuttings.

I hope this turns into a brilliantly successful venture. I am needing some successes.

The fence is painfully close, but if winter starts and I can't finish.... close just isn't good enough. It needs to be done now! The horses need to be moved NOW!

The same is true for trying to get our mileage reimbursement from the insurance company. Went through Senator Harkin's office to try to fight for this. Then we were told they had to pay it. WE need to re-submit our claim.However we have a different criteria for submission now. We need gas receipts instead of mileage. Needless to say we don't have gas receipts. All of that work and emotional investment just to get screwed again. Can't think about it. It is just too depressing. We need the money so badly.

So, I turn to my tomatoes. Sometimes I rub the leaves the tiniest bit and release that smell that reminds me of spring... it is such a living smell! Pathetic as it is, I THRILL over every little white root shoot I find. Each bit of root is a step closer to life, a step closer to a success. No more tomatoes can die. If they do the next posting will be "Corpse in the Window", which will be volume two of the organic farmer murders series.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Noodle Elitist

I am of German and Irish descent. If you would put me against pictures of my Irish great grandmother, you'd think it was me dressed up funny. I suppose that is why I identify with the irish side more. That, and they seem to be the fighters. My german grandmother seemed to be a victim....

What I did get from the german side of my family was my elitist noodle attitude. I can't help it. Really, I can't. The problem is... I'm right! I make better noodles then about anyone else I know... actually, my mom and I make great noodles and everyone else's are crap.

I started my noodle apprenticeship as a small child. It was my job to lightly toss the noodles to make sure that none were sticking together. If they had clumped then I was to separate them. This went on for years and years. Eventually I was allowed to cut the noodles but only if mom was pushed for time. Even then I don't think I was ever told that I did it right. I rolled a few times. I was never allowed to roll to completion. Mom was never happy with my rolling job "You need to roll that dough until you can read a newspaper through it!"

Well, now I have more weight to put behind my rolling pin. I have a lot more muscle in my arms and, in general, more ooomph! While you may not in reality be able to read a newspaper through my dough, you can certainly tell there is print on the page! My noodles are rich and eggy and thin enough to take on the flavors of the broth. They are, in a word... excellent.

The thick, pasty, floury, under cooked noodle is the bane of the world! Those who dare should cry out against it. It should be stamped out whenever it is encountered... or at least, fed to the dog. The dog doesn't seem to care. The dog isn't a noodle elitist.


Monday, October 24, 2011

No Tall Food!!!

Yesterday I went to the ACTHA ride. I judged the "hat pickup" obstacle, where a rider has to pick a hat up from the ground while staying on horse back. Then helped the coordinator. Tried to be the steady Eddy, right hand man person. Made it through the two people bitching about the way they were judged. Drove an hour and a half to get home.

When I got home Mac was watching public television... a cooking show. I went out to see the girls and to tell them that someday the worst of the work would be over. Someday it would all be worthwhile. Someday we would be doing things together. Someday....

After they stripped away much of my irritation and weariness, I got started on a crappy supper. Mac was watching another cooking show. Saute this... glaze that. Julienne some veg. Make a sauce. Then the presentation. The food is arranged. It... what ever it is, is set so it is only two inches across at the bottom but about four inches tall. How do you eat that?! They should have just put it in an ice cream cone for safety purposes! The next dish is the same. How tall can food get? How much decorative crap can be hung on a food item?

As we sat there eating our very flat, cheap pizza, I told Mac,"This is just ridiculous"


"All this tall food."

"Why's that?"

"Look at that! How do you eat that? If they were cooking people they'd boil the meat off the skull and put it on the platter with posies in the eye sockets! I don't know.... that food has lost it's dignity. That's just not right."

He didn't respond right off as he was laughing at me.... "You did have a bad day, didn't you"

"Yeah, but I never did like tall food. That damn thing needs a buttress."

The laughter continued. Oh well, tomorrow is another day and I'll start it with toast... cause it's flat!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nothing Accomplished

Today will be one of those days when absolutely nothing will be accomplished. Mac will work half a day and then we will take off for Des Moines to see his regular oncologist. Not enough time to get anything done. Hardly any time to get myself sorted out and started on a project. Then I will work myself up to a bit of nausea, which I seem to do when ever doctors are involved. Then after the doctor, I will be famished and have a wee bit of a mental crash. Depending on how things go today, tomorrow I will either be invigorated or I will sleep off my stress.

So, what to do with my half day before we head to Des Moines? Well, hadn't better do anything that will make me smell. Better keep it calm. Calm is a good thing. I think I'll go count fence posts again and see if I have enough of everything to finish up the closest pasture lots. I wonder if that will be calm enough. Could start off a panic attack as well. This time of year can be so emotional... kind of like going through puberty on a seasonal basis.

I don't think I have totally made the transition back to normal from survival mode in a hospital. It is like being haunted. Every day when I plan how I want my life to unfold there is that little niggling feeling in the back of the brain. The question of how would I extricate myself from what I'm doing if I got the phone call. Always be ready to drop everything. Can I leave my life again?

Screw this... I'd rather have the fear of winter and not having the money to pay for heat , then to have the fear of doctors and hospitals. I need to go feed my girls and count fence posts. I'll choose my own poison.

Doesn't matter anyway... nothing will be accomplished today.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Breakthrough

I have a friend who went to a Parelli horse clinic this last weekend, Hilary and her horse, Susie. She has been sharing some of the things that they did together, some of the stuff they had trouble doing together, stuff they needed help with, followed by the BREAKTHROUGH! Must admit, I am a bit green with envy. Not necessarily the clinic part as much as what it feels like to get to the breakthrough. That moment in time when the look on your horse's face as well as the look on your own is..."Holy Cow! I get it!" It's priceless.

While I was reading my friends notes on her clinic adventures, my mind kept going back to a particular day with Pip. I had a different pasture set up then and was able to get Pip and Chloe into separate areas. It was too large of an area and it wasn't round but when I got Pip into the smaller lot at least Chloe couldn't keep coming up and biting her on the butt.

We had mastered getting the halter on. That had been a helluva task considering that her previous "halter training" had boiled down to trapping her and forcing the halter onto her head. I am not set up to trap. I can't wrap my mind around it. Pip has to willingly put her head into her halter. Nothing less will do. So after the halter, Pip had to re-learn leading. Then we played lots of friendly games so she could accept touching. Then on to what Parelli calls porcupine games. These are so you can move the horse in particular ways... maybe just backwards or a front end yield or a rear end yield.

Pip tends to plant her front end so we were going to start with an easier rear end yield. I started with my stick so I would be out of the kick zone. Placed the tip on the flank right in front of the hip bone and began steady pressure. Gradually the pressure increased. Then Pip got agitated and her first thought was to lean into the stick. Of course, that made the pressure worse. The stick was bending. She was going from one foot to the other, not sure what the answer was. Then I lifted her lead rope slightly. Her face was hard and her ears were back a little. The lift on the rope kind of looked like it gave her the idea that turning her head and giving me a good bite was exactly the answer she was looking for. But for her head to come to me, she had to swing her butt away. The second she stepped away, the pressure of the stick stopped. The stick dropped. I went into a relaxed posture, smiled and let out a breath.

If you aren't a horse person, then you think that a horse's face, is a horse's face, is a horse's face. But when you are familiar with them, you see the same realm of expression that you see on another human. I got to see several expressions in rapid succession on Pip at that moment. She got it. She had her "Holy Cow!!" moment. I was so excited, so jubilant and in that moment I was addicted to trying to get the expression back. I think she got kind of addicted too, probably not the same way as I did, but she seemed to think it was pretty cool that she could evoke that response from me.

Pip is an incredibly fast learner. A couple times through something and she has it. That is why I have been knocking myself out with the fence. It isn't just containment. It's about having the area set up to create puzzles and tasks, because once Pip gets it, we need to move on. Once we start, we are never going to stop again.

Our goal is never ending self improvement and with that in mind I have volunteered to be an obstacle judge on an ACTHA ride this next Sunday. I hope to bring home lots of ideas and inspiration. It won't be like a clinic. I'll be going alone so there won't be any "Holy Cow!!" moments for us, but it's a start. It's a direction. I want to be doing, not having anymore "green with envy" moments.

I'm excited.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Experiment

I have started the "experiment" for next years garden already. Last years did not go well. Last year I tried to make my own compost barrels. However I overlooked, in my enthusiasm, that the barrels I had access to were white. Stuff in white barrels will NEVER compost. The rabbits thought they made comfy dwellings however, and right in the garden.... how handy. So the barrels will get pulled sometime in the next few days and we will go back to an open pile, at least for now.

Anyway, back to the experiment that's working. A week ago I took cuttings from my tomatoes. I had four varieties... Rutgers, Mr. Stripey, Mortgage Lifter and Grape, which is a cherry variety. The cuttings were at different stages of growth. Some were newer and fleshier, which were the ones I thought would root the fastest. Some were stalkier. I pinched off any blossoms that were trying to set and also pinched off quite a few leaves.

Grape, the cherry variety, just looked like hell. It was about an act of desperation to take those cuttings. Very stemmy. They had been well chewed by the grasshoppers and out of four cuttings, only one had a leaf on it.

I have different stages of growth trying to root for three of the four varieties. All seem to be doing well. I have lost about five cuttings. One because he got hung up and never got into the water. The other four I think air bubbled and I should have trimmed them again before putting them in water. All the other cuttings look good, well, except for the Grape. They still look like hell but they have started to set tiny little leaves and they have all set new roots. Of all the cuttings they are doing the best with rooting.

I added eggshell to the water of some of the cuttings. It was an old gardeners trick I had heard of so half of the cuttings got eggshell. I expected that the half with the shell would root faster. That is not working out to be the case. Some are rooting, some aren't. Though the ones rooting have nothing in common. They aren't all stemmier. They didn't all have the same amount of leaf. They aren't all of the same variety. Go figure! For now I will be glad that they are all doing so well. They are all pulling water well. The leaves all look nice and fleshed out. Some are trying to set blossom again. This is happening just by setting them in containers with water. No rooting hormone or other additives other then eggshell. If they all survive, I will be starting my garden with about seventy tomato plants. I am a tomato glutton, so next spring I will still go ahead and order seeds for Riesentraube and Heinz 1429. I will probably also buy a few plants of Brandywine and Oxheart, but if this cutting method of propagation works well, I will very possibly never start tomato seeds again. This is sooo easy!!!

I will need to start looking at grow lights that will imitate full spectrum light. Just not enough sunlight in the house in the winter. I really hope they're cheap. While I'm hoping.. I hope the cuttings keep doing well. I would like to have a few success stories right now. What the hell! I hope one of the lotto tickets that I bought last week wins!


Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Coming!!!

I have been thinking about winter. Yup! even more then I was before. With the weatherman forecasting that night temperatures will hit 32 degrees F. this week, I am preparing myself for my annual event called...PANIC!!!!

The outdoor work is not even close to being done. So much time has been lost for one reason or another. It makes me sick with dread. I have several art projects that I really need to get behind me, and because I apparently like making myself miserable, I've been trying to start some christmas gifts.

The only explanation is that I must be mentally ill..... I'm a sick, sick woman.

It doesn't matter if I'm crazy or not... winter is coming. I'm not ready. In fact... I'm frozen in terror. At this time, I'm not even sure how to go about prioritizing. When it is cold you can't paint, you can't mortar and you can't dig post holes. It all needs done and it all needs done now. I sometimes wonder how my life gets so filled with hurdles. I sometimes wonder why I have to do every damn thing by myself.

STOP IT! This is a bad direction to be going with my thoughts.

What I have is... most of the fencing done on one section of pasture and the other sections started. I have the dishwasher running and the clothes washer will soon be started. I have the hamburger out to thaw to make meat loaf for supper. I have fence posts to drag out to the pasture for a round pen. I have mended the wheelbarrow tire and I just need to get air in it. I have enough hay for the winter. I have the christmas presents for my friends almost done. God knows, I could use some help, but at least, I have hope.

It's coming... so I'd better get moving.


Thursday, October 13, 2011


I have a neck injury and three herniated discs. So, about three years ago, when we bought a new mattress and box spring, we went over board a bit. This mattress, according the sales, person would do lot to help my back. I question whether or not this is true, but regardless, we have a HUGE mattress. It measures eleven inches tall. I have to buy sheets that have an eighteen inch pocket or they pop off. That makes the sheets pretty expensive.

We have had, and gotten by with, just one set of sheets for a bit over two years, then the bottom sheet kind of.... dissolved. I tried mending it but that was an extremely temporary solution. I just flop around too much for a mend to hold. Finally I decided to just do good enough and tried to find a bottom sheet only. It is getting harder and harder to find sheets that aren't in sets. The ones that you can pick up piecemeal are the cheap ones. Cheap ones don't have deep pockets.

I had to settle for thirteen inch pockets and I can't dry them in the dryer on high. Actually, I need to dry them on the line if I want to get them on the bed without giving myself a hernia. It was raining off and on yesterday so I took a risk in hanging the bottom fitted sheet on the clothes line. I kept my eye on the sky and when I saw a fresh bank of clouds coming in, I snatched the sheet off the line. Finished the sheet in the dryer on the air fluff setting and hoped that would be good enough.

It takes a process to get the sheet on the mattress. I have to do the head end first. Then go to the foot corner. Pull, pull, pull then put the third corner on. Go to the other foot corner and grab it and PULLLLL. I am usually hanging onto the corner and leaning back as hard as I can. Then try to get it over the mattress corner. Sometimes this process has to be repeated a time or two.

The good part of this is that out of necessity my sheets smell of the outdoors. The day or two after the sheets are put on the bed and have that terrific smell, I sleep hard. I dream good dreams. Last night, in my dreams I sat on a fence and watched clouds roll in and I was next to a friend. I was showing her pictures and in one picture I pointed and said, "That's my mustang mare."

It was a good sign. I'll store that one in my heart.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Better then You Ought...

I like to listen to Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Companion. He speaks a lot about midwestern sensibilities. About how we know how to shut up and muddle through. Nobody wants to hear you complain, after all. And when you go off to California and become a big star... well, don't be getting a big head, because we know who you are. We know your folks. Your mom went to school with my Aunt Dorothy and I could tell a story or two!

Just don't be thinking better of yourself then you ought!

Actually, I don't have to go so far away as Garrison Keillor. I have my mom. I remember when I was little and trying to whistle. I was told I couldn't whistle. My grandfather could whistle. He could sound like a bird. I couldn't sing. My brother could sing. He could sing like an angel. It seems that my personal forte was dragging home dead birds and having funerals for them.

I learned early just where I belonged on the "oughtness" scale. Don't flaunt what you do, there is always someone better. Keep your mouth shut. Muddle through.

I want something to change. At least, for the next month or two, I NEED to believe that I can make a difference. I NEED to change my world... to change my life. I need to be more then I ought. I need to have more talents then I ought. I need to be smarter then I ought.

If I can't be more then I ought, we will surely fail.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ups and Downs

Yesterday was a really tough day. I was jousting at wind mills again. I am still fighting the battle of trying to get our mileage reimbursement from the insurance company. The money, of course, is desperately needed. Isn't it always?

Originally, the insurance company said that it reimbursed gas so save those receipts. Didn't do parking. Did do a hotel, but you had to have the hotel generated receipt and not a credit card receipt... NO credit card receipts. Later we got another letter stating that they had changed the underwriter that took care of the reimbursements. New rules! No gas receipts, they wanted mileage. Of course I hadn't written down any mileage as I had been saving gas receipts. Now that we are going through this kerfuffle and went through Senator Harkin's office to try and get it resolved, we are back to... you need receipts, which , of course, I threw away because I got a letter......

Then again, we all know that the purpose of an insurance company is to take your money, deny medical treatment for at least awhile, with luck you will be dead, and then, just for good measure, drive the surviving family member to suicide. What can I say... it seems to be a system that works. Well, it works for them anyway, and as americans, it is our duty to allow corporations to have obscenely lucrative profits. Right now, I hate insurance companies. I hate doctors, especially doctors that say they won't treat a patient anymore until their bill gets paid.... the bill that is suppose to get paid with the money that you thought you would get from your mileage reimbursement from the insurance company.

We also thought that the reimbursement would pay for the house and car insurance. Kind of a "in the right hand and out the left" situation. But there is no right hand. Bastards.

Those were my downs.

My ups were going to my garden and finding remnants of four different tomato plants. I decided to try an experiment. I took cuttings from the tomatoes and set them in water to try and root. I know it works with geraniums and spider plants. Tomatoes will root along their stems where they have ground contact so we will give this a try. It will save money in seed next spring if it works.

The tomatoes helped my mind but it is the horses that give me my calm. I will be so glad when I can figure out how to get my round pen. Since there is no money, I continue to look at the resources at hand. I wish I were stronger... physically and mentally. Wish I could work longer days. Lift heavier loads. I wish things were better.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Emotional Fitness

The last three weeks I have turned into a great big, giant lump of WORRY. I haven't seemed to be able to get my focus back onto all of my pre-winter tasks. There is so much that has to be done and I am in an absolute mire! I have been thinking about money again. That always unravels me.

I start out thinking that "if I only had a thousand dollars" then I could get this thing done or pay that bill. The ante always gets upped. "If I had five thousand"...... "If I had ten thousand"... eventually it becomes, "If I won the lotto".

Pretty soon all I see is money, more specifically, I see money that I don't have. Then I start to get wigged out a bit.

It is a vicious circle. I can't get to work on my money making projects cause there is so much winter prep to be done that preys upon my mind. I don't get my winter work done because every time I try to accomplish something, I am so stressed out that I often have trouble breathing. Well, that is, I have had trouble breathing for the last three weeks. Sometimes I have chest pain just thinking about money. I live for the day that I am totally debt free. No mortgage. No truck payment. No doctor bills. No hospital bills. Just utilities and taxes and groceries. Then money will not hold sway over me any longer. I have come to hate money.

I need to get back to my place of emotional fitness. I need to lock everything out of my mind other then what I am doing at the moment. I need to see the goal instead of all of the shit and garbage that is wrapping itself around me as I try to wade through. This isn't how life should be. There is something better for me and I need to find it while I'm on this side of the grave.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Another Weird Dream

I typically have weird dreams. I suppose everyone does. I try to remember my dreams because I think they are one of two things. I do believe that dreams can be of the message or premonition variety, but more commonly, I think they tend to be a window to whatever demon we are fighting at the moment. Battles that cannot be waged by day, but instead, go into the shadows at night. Either way, I examine my dreams. It seems to be the thing you should do.

Last nights dream had the usual jumping around, from one scene to another. Then we arrived in another place. It was like a huge domed football field. I have never been in one but it is what I believe it would be like. Light and airy... translucent. I was sitting next to a person that was my significant other, or at least a date. We were looking downward and about ten rows ahead of us sat Mac... with a woman. I leaned closer to the person, that nondescript person, and said, "I'm glad he is happy. I'm glad he isn't alone and Oh My God!..." They had seen us and turned and waved. The woman was wearing mostly white. She smiled and stuck out her tongue. Not in a malicious manner but more like she had been a cheerleader for too many years and truly believed that everything she did was just so damned cute. With her white attire, her head and tongue just seemed to float in the light surrounding, and what a tongue it was! The woman had a tongue like a boxer. She could have conquered empires, acquired riches or gotten any man she ever set her eyes on with that tongue! I was gobsmacked.

Then the dream jumped us to the afterwards. We were in a crowd in the concrete corridors. We saw Bevin and she had my grandson, Edgar with her. Edgar came running and I swooped him up. "Edgar! I'm so happy to see you!" Then I turned to Bevin, "We are going down ( I can't remember where) next weekend, can Edgar go with us?" At this my nondescript person said "Oh great" under his breath and then began to melt away. I clung to Edgar as the whole scene began to shift.

Then I was back on my hill, walking the ridge with a wind catching at me as I went to my horses. Then I woke up.

So, now I am left with figuring this out. Should I stay out of football stadiums? Should I keep Mac away from dog tongued women? Well, actually, I think that should just be a general rule for any wife. Don't wear white? Whatever I figure out as my lesson from this dream, that woman's face will haunt me for at least the next week. And in the meantime, I want to put in a really tough day today, because I REALLY want to sleep hard tonight! No waking up with a dream tonight!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Slower Pace

I seem to be ill today. I am rarely ill since we have made our move to the country but things have been difficult lately. I had a pretty good chemical exposure recently that gave me a bad night. Took about three days before it felt like my bronchials returned to normal. Then heaped with lots of stress. Took Evelyn for several days. She is good for me but taking her home was another matter. I got to see her in full fit throwing mode.

Today I am resting and slowing down. Trying to get past the stomach that feels like a rock and extreme waves of dizziness. I keep looking out at the beautiful but windy fall weather we are having and kicking myself mightily over the time lost. I keep telling myself that I have a huge list of things to do before winter sets in.... again.

One of the things I looked forward to when we came to the little farm was the slowing down. But now that we are entrenched here without the hustle and bustle of town, I see just how fast time passes by. Each day of any season is not some stagnant event but a day that moves us closer to something and farther away from something else. Like the movements of the second hand on a clock.

With this slower pace, my perspective of winter has changed. Some people say that each season has it's rhythm. I don't see that. I see the principle of "go like hell cause winter will come around again". You only have so much time to breed, rear the young, accumulate food, reenforce your shelter and then hunker down. With luck, you will have the strength and the supplies to survive. Last year was a bad year when it came to supplies. With the intense heat the garden didn't pan out as I had hoped this last summer. I will need to find ways to compensate.

Tomorrow, dizzy or nauseous or whatever, it will be time to get back at it. Winter is coming and daylights a'burnin.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I am planning on being frivolous. Next July there will be a gathering of my friends in St. Paul for a Parelli event. I haven't gotten to meet up with my friends for around five years. It might be debatable whether or not I deserve this get away, but I will proceed as if I do.

I'm figuring that I will need around $400.00 to make the trip. One hundred per night for hotel. One nice meal with my friends and the rest crappy restaurants so $100.00 for meals and that last $100.00 for gas. I tend to want to spend some money at the Parelli tour stop. They have great sales! So, will want some extra money in the event that the universe should smile upon me.

I'm already feeling guilty... I'll do my best to over come it.

It makes me do farm math though.... $400.00. That would be four moderate difficulty couch size quilts...OR... two difficult quilts...OR... one over the top art quilt. Or possibly, forty bird houses.... twenty stepping stones?... maybe some totally awesome alpine gardens in little hydrotuffa concrete planters.

I'll think about it some more but in the meantime, I am going to relish the prospect of being frivolous with my friends next July. Can't wait!!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Plans

Well, so much for setting posts. Evelyn is staying with me for a day or two. I have concerns that post setting isn't exactly a safe endeavor with a two and a half year old. However we need to get out as soon as possible. I don't think children's television is safe for a fifty-three year old.

She is watching "Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That" currently. I question how this can be educational when it causes me to not be able to hold a thought in my head for more then about three seconds. Maybe this explains how children go to school with out the ability to sit on their butts for more then five minutes at a time.

I need to get some new plans for today and the first thing on the agenda is to GET ME AWAY FROM CHILDREN'S TELEVISION!!!!!

First things first.... feed the horseys! Then I think we will give building a bench a whirl. You can't start a renaissance woman too young. If all goes well, maybe we will start on clearing the garden as well. We will play it by ear. Anything! Anything at all, just so long as I can keep the television off.

Please Dear God, don't make me watch Dora the Explorer.

Can't think, can't think.... (gasp!) must escape....


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Open House

We have had house guests... kind of. It was a dismal failure. There is nothing like having others around to open your eyes. We are used to the place. We are used to the box of tools by the door. We are used to the stack of lumber on the stairs. We are used to the oven, still in it's cardboard box. Most of the projects around the place will take about $90- $200. to complete, so there they sit.... waiting.

It was a strange thing to see people sitting in my house with an "Oh My God!!!" look on their faces. But there was no denying it. There is was like a billboard. We had pushed them to come see our home. We were so proud of everything we had done. But that was the kicker... it wasn't done.

I have been stewing over how I could have changed things. I can't think of anything, except, I should have worked harder. Currently, I am waiting for my neighbor to come over and help me dig the rest of my post holes. That nonsense has to stop. Who knows when his schedule will open up again. I'd better just continue. Tomorrow I have some book work to do. Then I need to go set some fence posts. Better make up my mind on gates. I can sit here and wish until hell freezes over and it still won't make the money appear for me to buy gates. Better find another way... time to work harder.

Mac and I talked about it last night. We've decided that we won't invite anyone else out until the place is done. Until then, it'll just be the club house for us and the grandkids. In the meantime.... I work harder.