Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fall is coming

This is a good thing and a bad thing, and there is nothing I can do about it,lol. This morning it is
54 degrees which is a bit chilly and nice as all the windows are open and I am serenaded by both inside birds and outside birds. The bad part is that all too soon it will be downright cold and when I get up I will need to put on layers of clothes just to be somewhat comfortable. All that being said there is no perfect place, some better then others but none ideal. A benefit of the internet are all the people who share bits and pieces of their lives with you. In a single day you get live weather reports from all over the globe, my son will im me and say it is 107 in Vegas. My other son or daughter in law will mention it is in the 70's or that they are having a heat wave in Everett, WA. Someone in England will mention their weather, I really enjoy hearing it all. If for no other reason then I can feel better about what I am experiencing.

The garden is producing a great many peppers, Jalapeno, Hungarian Hot Wax and Banana. I am also seeing some Poblamo ? and Aniheim. What I need to do now is take some time and make pepper slices and can them. I do like the Banana peppers on sandwiches so I can enjoy them as to the others now way. I do not do hot, hot , hot. I have sold several dozen to the local store and people seem to like them. My plans are for a much bigger garden next year so that I will have more to sell. Maybe put a little stand down by the road or take to the Farmer's Market.

My classes continue and my brain is going to explode with all I am trying to cram into it. Lots of technology and so many things to remember to ask and ways to accomplish things. What is amazing is the amount of resources we will have at our fingertips. So one week down and 3 more to go and then hopefully all will go well and I will once again be gainfully employed. I am really enjoying the fact that to go to school I just need to walk up to the attic and my space. It will be even more wonderful to go to work the same way, especially when the snow is flying and the wind is howling. I will not even have to leave home to get paid, it just gets put in the bank via direct deposit. So wish me luck and hope the brain does not develop a leak and let all this knowledge out.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

One of our barn kitties, so cute!!

We have been getting some Florida type weather and have actually turned on the air conditioners. Well, Florida weather for this area,lol. I know that the temps have been much
higher in the South even Washington state had some record breaking temps.

I have made it through 3 days of class and wow what a lot of information. Lots of very great technology that will make the job much easier. We are making great progress on getting my office space workable. Jim has been so super, he
figured out why my microphone was not working. The setting in the computer were turned off! Who , knew. He lugged the portable air conditioner upstairs for me, the attic was stifling. Just need to hook up my printer and I will be
up to speed. The phone pad and special headset arrived so will be ready to take calls once I finish the class. We are setting up buddies to practice calls with so that by the time we are on the
phones with live calls we will be comfortable.

So, life goes on, we keep making progress. Best to you all, Barbara

Friday, August 13, 2010

Making Progress

I am still on my journey to being able to work from home. I passed the tests from Arise and now will be starting classes to be able to work with the client. Then I will be the friendly voice at the other end of the line when you are stranded with a non working car. I will be in training for about a month so am looking forward to being live sometime in September. This is a good deal for anyone looking for some extra income without having to leave home. Tory Johnson, who is on Good Morning America quite often, has a company called Women for Hire. If you go to that website she has lists of legitimate work from home companies. None of those stuffing envelopes or making magnet rip offs.

So the garden is doing well, I think I am going to have a kazillion tomatoes when they start to ripen. Also have lots of peppers so need to start canning some of them. My pumpkins have started to really take off and I am seeing some fruits but they will have to do some quick growing to be big by Halloween. One of them has even decided to grow up a tree so I have pumpkin trees,lol.

It has been hot for a long stretch, heat warning, severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado watches anything to be exciting. Lots of rain and humidity but we can not complain as people further South are being flooded. I know that soon it will be getting cold and then I will wish for the heat, are we ever happy!! Jim is getting ready to replace two of the attic windows so hopefully it will be an end of the leaks in our bedroom. I love our old house, but because it is old it has issues, actually far less then some of the newer homes. You hear people with all manner of problems with their homes that were built in the last 20 years. This one is closer to 100 and is still holding up well. Most of the fixes are needed do to lack of care over the years, not due to poor workmanship or sub-grade materials. I am really looking forward to the end of installing insulation and patching leaks so that I can finally paint and paper. Aside from the living room I have everything else planned out, colors, curtains etc.

So not too much else going on. I have my computer, the extra phone line is in, Jim picked up
the cable to hook the puter up. About the only thing left on my list is the phone, do you know how hard it is to find a phone without all the extra features?? I may have to resort to ebay or paying $80.00 or so for one online. It will all be worth it in the long run, I will feel useful once again and be able to bring in a fairly decent paycheck and have money to finish my catering kitchen so I can get that up and running. I hope by next Spring the kitchen will be finished and I will be able to start giving some decorating lessons and booking some parties. I plan on training several people to do things my way so that I will not have to do all the work myself. I truly believe this will all come together, I have come so close in the past but been hindered by having to move. Just being in the right place will make a huge difference.

Best to you, Barbara

Friday, August 6, 2010

Another one bites the dust!!

My gosh, another month gone before you know it we will be shoveling snow again, yikes!!

So, what has been happening , lots. The biggest was my son's wedding in Madison , WI. We were for the first time able to use the motor home for some fun. In the past it has been a rolling apartment for Jim and myself, we lived in it for different jobs.

In lieu of a wedding cake the bride Mary wanted a cupcake tower so that is what I did for her. The cupcakes were lemon poppy seed and chocolate with a butter cream frosting. Jim helped cover the tower with white fanci foil and trimmed with red ribbon. I baked the cupcakes here at home and then frosted them the day of the wedding. With my back acting up it was a real challenge. Sure wish there were a cure for these muscle spasms as they really interfere with my life. Without Jim's help I would never have been able to accomplish all this. I did find that those stick on heat packs help some. After the ceremony we rushed over to the hotel and set everything up and were able to have it finished before the majority of the guests arrive.

I was a wreck with all the rushing around, in looking at the wedding pictures I look like a bag lady, yucky!! I forgot my scarf and did not have time to do anything with my hair, wrong hairband etc. All my carefully planned outfit down the drain, even did not have time to put on my new shoes. The ideal thing would have been to bring my clothes and get dressed at the church, oh well so it goes!! Of course the getting old and saggy part did not help much either. How come when we look in the mirror we don't look toooo bad and then the pictures come out,lol, not a pretty sight.

The wedding was very nice, loved the ceremony and the priest was excellent. The reception and dinner went very well also. I really think everyone had a great time, we left fairly early as we were pooped. Granddaughter Freyja came with us which was great. It was so super seeing everyone and meeting Mary's family who are a wonderful group of people. Erick and Mary came to the campground the next afternoon to pick up Freyja. Erick and Jim ended up going swimming with her and had a very nice time.

While we were in Madison we were able to go to the SWAPP for U of W where they sell surplus equipment. This has been our source for computer equipment for the last few years, wonderful bargins. We almost did not make it, on the way there we took a wrong turn and as we are going down the highway Jim looks out the window and says "Oh, No". He spotted a couple of husky dogs running up th
e on ramp, they were going full out trailing leashes. I pull over and he gets out and heads back in their direction and calls them. Miricles do happen, they came to him and he grabbed their leashes and broght them to the car. Once we loaded them in it was "now what do we do??" Shortly a car pulls up and a young lady says she knows where they came from and tries to give us directions, which are useless as we have no idea where we are,lol. So, long story short she goes collects the man and the dogs are reunited. Beautiful dogs, black and white with pale blue eyes.

All of this excitement of course throws off my carefully planned schedule as there are usually long lines to get into SWAPP. When we finally arrive at our destination there are about 30 people in line already so I am worried there will be nothing left. I needed a new computer in order to do my work from home business. I was also trying to find a laptop for a friend for her business. Lo and behold once the doors open we are in luck, they are having a sale and have a mulititude of computers. We were able to get a nice HP computer and a flat screen for $175.00 an
d got my friend a HP laptop for $80.00. The laptop needed a battery but had xp loaded and she got a battery for around $100.00 so she was very happy. For another $5.00 I got a keyboard and now am ready to set it all up in the attic. Now I have most everything I need to get going.

I have passed all the basic tests and now keep checking the opportunities to find which company I want to work for. So far the choices have been a cruise line which talk says the system is very difficult and the travel agents are rude and a major phone company doing sales. The sales job has requirements of so many sales per hour which I do not feel comfortable with. I am much better with the helping end of things so am keeping my eyes open for the auto club or bookstore, even the drugstore or home improvement place would be good. The phone company also often has jobs t
hat are more customer service so will also look for that one. If anyone is looking for a work from home job check out, they act as agents for many large companies. You do not work for them but set up your own business and contract through them. Tory Johnson who often appears on Good Morning America has a company called Women for Hire and she lists many reputable work from home jobs if you are interested.

Jim is still out of work and looking but so far the pickings are slim. If we wanted to move again he could probably be back to work next week. We are just trying so hard to stay here and never move again. He is currently taking a small engine repair course online, with his mechanical background we t
hink this is a good fit. He knows quite a bit of what he is studying but is also learning quite a few new things which is great. He was saying today that some of the current lessons are fixing compressors and outboard motors so he will be able to work on a wide variety of machines. So please keep your fingers crossed that something shows up soon. When he can get this small business going he will be able to work for a bit less, while we like where we are the pay scale is the pits.

We continue to work on the yard and gardens. The giant pumpkins are making huge vines but I do not see many pumpkins so not sure how many we will have this year. The tornado damaged many that I had planted and blew away flats that I had out to plant so anything will be good. Lots and lots of jalapenos, Hungarian hot wax, banana and Anaheim peppers. Spices are so so but tomatoes are taking off like crazy, will be able to make lots of spaghetti sauce and salsa. While we d
id not get the new area plowed this year we are going to try to plow in the fall so that it will be ready for spring. I will move the strawberries out there and then make the current area all herbs. The new area will be much larger and I can do more rows further apart which will make working out there easier. The plans are to do lots more herbs with the thought in mind to sell them either fresh or online dried. We will see how well that works. I am getting a nice clientele for our fresh eggs as all 30 chickens are now laying. The new guys eggs are smaller but over time that will change. They are now completely self supporting with some extra.

So my friends hope life if treating you well, the Clark Homestead is still chugging away and hoping for the best. Lov
e to all