Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We're still here

It has been so long since I posted, I think of things all the time but can't seem to get them on here. We made it through the winter fine, with the work Jim did on the windows and the wood stove things were much more comfortable. We actually paid off the
last of the gas bill last month, last year we were paying all the way into the fall.

The weather has been very unpredictable this Spring, lots of
still standing in the fields. The farmers were very late getting crops in and my garden is a shambles. I will be harvesting late into to fall at this rate. I have planted tomatoes 3 times and had something just clip them off. I keep working on the fence around them and hope I have it this time. My fence building skills are limited at best,lol. My friend cleaned out her greenhouse so I have plenty of plants so can keep replacing, but they won't mature until late summer. I have taken lots of compost from the piles that have been ripening for a couple of years so hope that will help some. The Raspberry plant I put in a couple of years ago has taken over the strawberry patch and oregano bed and is heading for the horseradish. Time to move the monster, just have to figure where.

The Hollyhocks are rampant and I love it now that they are in bloom. They make me think of when I was small and we lived in UpState NY. There were some
hollyhocks out back and I thought they were so pretty. Then when we lived in WI our neighbor Connie had some so now they make me think of her. A friend brought me some seeds for a dark burgandy Hollyhock, so am going to plant some and see what I get. I have such plans for the yard and property so keep plugging away.

Things are now going to get really crazy, I am going to start some new classes for a new client. I will continue working with AAA until I am sure I have passed everything. The best part of the new client will be that I will not have to work on weekends. So 4 hours a day will be spent in classes and then trying to work the job and take care of Husband, house and critters. Instead of being paid by the call it will be by the hour, so I am thinking money should be about equal. During busy spells could make more with AAA but there are those quiet times when you only answer a few calls an hour. I am also thinking less stress, as I have enough from everyday type things.

So still pretty much at the same point, Jim is working but making less then half what he used to, I am bringing in a bit but not nearly enough. Still moving at turtle speed at getting my shop together. Selling a few more eggs which pays for chickens feed and going to try taking them to farmer's market. I just hate being behind the 8 ball and at this age it is scary also, don't want to be that old lady eating dog food to get by.

Best to you all,


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

In my last post I was so happy because it was warm and plants were coming up. Well that soon went away and we have had snow and rain and gloom for ages. Today was back to Spring time weather and I finally have some daffodils blooming. I was able to work in some of the flower beds for a bit which made my day. Worked for the rest of the afternoon and evening and soon off to bed.

Each year the yard gets a little easier, I figure this grass and weeds have been here for hundreds of years so it will take me a while to tame it. In the vegetable garden the garlic, chives, horseradish are showing up.. In the basement there is lettuce, peppers, basil, tomatoes, pumpkins started and more to come. Hope for many more vegs this year. Was reading that the extra produce is good for the chickens. I did d
iscover that the goats and chickens love pumpkin so any extra I will store next year.

Hope all had a good day and enjoyed your selves.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I think it may just be here, for a few days at least,lol

I actually have a window open!! and went outside in a tee shirt. Ah heavenly!! The daffy dills are poking their heads up and last night we had a little rain and now there is some green in the grass. The chickens and goats are out enjoying the sunshine as are the dogs. Now we can take longer walks so they can sniff and run and enjoy. I know this nice weather will not last so will enjoy what I can.

Work is going ok, lots quieter right now as the weather is not bad and
people are not traveling that much. As soon as it gets nicer it should
pick up and more people will be out on
the road.

In the next week or so I will start working on my shop so that hopefully I will be ready for some cake and catering orders this
summer. Which hopefully will be the start of some good things.

So wishing everyone well, nice weather and all good things.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's Getting Closer!!

My friend Shelly in Wisconsin saw some Robins and I have seen a few flocks of Canada Geese flying over. We actually made it into the 40's today and now things are a muddy mess, still lots of mounds of snow but getting better. I keep looking at my Daffy Dill bed and trying to see if anyone is peeking up. Have planted more flats in the basement, some spinach, cabbage and bell peppers. Will be planting tomatoes soon, hoping the seeds I saved from last year will come up.


This is a shirt I painted as a gift for a friends husband for Christmas last year. She is such a sweety and posted this picture on her blog. I really love doing things like this and wish I could do more. I keep working on my space and trying to make it calm and organized as when things are crazy I just find it so hard to create. His puppies are just so cute and I am so glad he liked the shirt I made for him. They are such a wonderful couple, loving and supporti
ve of each other and just all around good friends.

All is well with the critters, oh and we have another one show up a beautiful little gray tabby with green eyes. Such a lover but have no idea where he came from. The dogs are a muddy mess and keep me busy sweeping up after them and washing their blankets. I try to dry them off when they come in but with Gretel that is an exercise in futility. Here are the 3 babies being abused,lol.

So best to all, keep your eye out for Spring and send it my way!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring?? hummm not here,lol

Jim moved my other computer up the my office so that now I have two monitors to have info up on while I work. The picture is not completely accurate as I had Jim move it around again but you get the idea. This will allow me to keep my maps and some other sites up on one and the business items on my business computer. I am trying everything to make this all work. I so hate having bills hanging over my head and hope this will aid me to be faster and there fore make more money.

We had a couple of days of warmer and you could actually see the grass and then yesterday afternoon it started to snow again and all is covered again. Just a few inches, nothing major but makes spring seem even further away. I was surprised to see Red wing blackbirds at my feeders, that's a first. I also have far too many grackles which I dislike as they chase off my other birds. It always seems as if Winter lasts so long and the Spring and Summer zip past.

Right now it seems like every thing zips,lol. Must be the age thing, I know I got a medicare card in the mail and that put a damper on things, was not ready mentally for that. Just saw that a friend from high school lost her husband and he was my age. Last month received a phone call letting me know another old friend died. A tad depressing! Not a whole lot one can do other then try to take care of ourselves and keep plugging.

I think I have decided on a color for up here, right now it is a grayish blue which was fine for a boy but kind of gloomy for me. I am leaning to a cream color that will make it lighter and brighter up here, think that will work. I will go from top to bottom as this will be the easiest to paint, will have to keep my eyes open for some mistint in the right color. Can usually pick up 5 gallons for only a couple of bucks.

Hope all are well and enjoying life. Renie posted some pictures of her daffydills on Facebook which was a pretty site. Spring is slowly working it's way up.

Be Well all,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I promised a few friends that I would get back to my blog. I guess I am always surprised that anyone reads it or wants to see more so kind of let it slide. I think of things all the time to share but then sometimes I feel as if I am in a rut. So, here I am back again with same old things and new things and life goes on.

Jim seems to be enjoying his job, working with a great bunch of guys. What I like the most is that he is out interacting with people and also getting great workouts. The place is huge and he does a lot of walking which is wonderful for his health and something that I could not get him to do on a voluntary basis. I know he is sleeping much better no thrashing around, so I am sleeping better also,lol.

My job has slowed down a bit after the holidays and no bad weather in my area. I feel much calmer and confident most of the time, what I struggle with is to be faster on the phones. It is hard for me to be curt and cut people off which I think is how lots of the people manage to be so quick. I usually try to find them the phone numbers they are looking for or help them as much as I can. I do now try to direct the conversation to the facts and not let them rattle on about the whole situation. I hate to do this, but am tired of the notes that I am not fast enough. I am keeping my eyes open for another client that might be more along the lines of Lands' End where you are not penalized for trying to help people.

The chickens are thriving and with the warmer weather laying more. The young ones will start laying in a month or so and the egg business will increase. I had to raise my prices a bit as the feed prices are going up. My plans are to take them to a farmer's market this summer where I will be able to get a much higher price for them. Hope to also have herbs, peppers and some produce to take also.

The office area is pretty much together, still some more filing to get done, I have tons of papers to go through, I am making up for years of shoving things in boxes and moving them from spot to spot. Now I will finally be able to clear so much stuff out and it will feel so good. I am also making progress on the craft side of the room,have even come up with what I think will be a nice color scheme. I am thinking cream colored walls and some sort of border. It currently is a bluish with a baseball border so need to cover that. Of course once again all this depends on Jim getting the roof sealed and a new ceiling in. I have so many plans and it drives me crazy to have things all up in the air. With no place to put things and clutter everywhere it keeps me off balance and cranky.

I am determined that this is the year things are going to get done, I hate to be a nag but will if that is what it takes. Jim just has no interest in things being organized, he is a piler. I clear off tables or counters and he busily fills them back up. I keep tearing out pictures of colors and curtains etc. If need be I will pay someone to come in and patch holes etc so I can paint and paper. Having grown up with women who made a career of nagging I will not be able to do much of it as it makes me even more upset.

I have been busy planning out the garden, so many catalogs coming in I want it all,lol. We have a larger area planned and that should work out very well this year. Piles of compost to use and I think it will be successful. Time will tell.

My goal is to make this all come together and be successful. I also have help coming in the Spring so that this will also be the year my shop gets done. I have quite a few people who want to have me teach them and also others who want to work with me. I am going to make this happen so that we can back on track with the finances. I am going to be smarter about things and not try to do it all myself as I have in the past. Watching the cake shows has really helped me to plan things out better, all of them have several people working with them that do the "grunt" work. At my age I need to be more in the planning and less in the physical. With very little overhead I have a real shot at making this work and being successful. My job will provide the money for supplies and also I need a bigger mixer. My two Kitchen Aids are very old and have done a wonderful job but I know they will not last forever.

So plans are made and God willing and the creek don't rise it should all come together.

Love to you all and thank you for all the wonderful comments, they mean so much.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happiest of New Years!!

Greetings of 2011!! Another year gone and a new start , new opportunities abound. Jim is once more employed which is a very good thing for his psyche. While having him home allowed many things to be repaired I do not feel it was good for him to not be able to find anything. He is working for Winnebago in the maintainence department, much like he has done in the past but this time as a mechanic rather then in management. In some ways this may be a relief for him , he will be able to go in work his shift and leave with no worries other then doing what is assigned.

I am still working at home and it is going well, there is quite a bit of pressure more then I anticipated. They want talk time down but require you stay on the line for transfers etc so it is a constant battle to be within the guidelines. You also have the uncertiny of who will be on the phone and what the problem will be. I am thinking that when my 6 months are up I may look for something different. In many ways it is easy so we will see, I am not a quitter so tend to stick with things maybe longer then I should.

Jim was able to get many things done around the house over the past year, things like redo
ing all the old windows. He took the glass out, put new caulk and points and now the windows are as good as new. People keep saying "oh, you need to put in new windows" wrong! The few windows that were replaced by previous owners are terrible. I read in This Old House that the older windows properly maintained are just as energy efficient at the new expensive ones. So here is proof, windows that going on a hundred and now have no leaks or rattles.

We had a quiet holiday, just enjoyed each other and the critters. The tree and outside lights were were up, not as many as I wanted but still pretty. That is one of my favorite things about the holiday all the twinkling lights. I do not miss all the pressure or the feeling that I need to buy tons of stuff, couldn't anyway,lol.
We did what we could and sent out love which has no price.

So again I wish you a wonderful New Year and hope to spend more time in blog land in this exciting new year. Here is to our goals being met and our understanding that "things" do not bring happiness we do that for ourselves.

Best to you, Barbara