Thursday, June 30, 2005

These are two rocks that came out of the growing pile next to the building site. As I dig a nice chunk out I toss it over the piles of dirt and into a pile. The flatter ones like these will be my floor tiles while the larger rounder d ones will probably go into the fireplace. When they are put into the floor they will be covered with several coats of linseed oil to make the floor waterproof. This will leave a "tacky" surface when dry that will be covered by a natural pine resin finish. I don't currently have any linseed oil but I did scrub the dirt off with a fingernail brush and coat them with veggie oil to bring out there color. I think its a gorgeous color. Golden yellow, rusty orange reds. The smaller one has some blue grey colors mixed in with the rusts that are not easily visible here. Posted by Picasa

A little something creepy on "Creepy Trail". Posted by Picasa

224 ft and counting

Today in a heat index of 105 to 110 I dug 25 feet. And with the skinny trees in the center of the circle now gone I did it in full sun. I had to stop periodically while digging. I would manage to scoop out 4 feet of dirt and then be forced to stop because I could literally hear the blood pumping in my ears. And I literally mean hear it pumping, not hear my heart beating. The sound reminded me of the way water that's full of sand sounds when its being pumped through a tube or running over a hard surface. I would sit sweating in the shade listening to that noise until it stopped imagining all the while that anything that might have been clinging to my arteries was ground into nothing, just as rock is ground into sand by swift moving water.

Every now and then the mother would bless me with a breeze. One of them felt so cool on my sweaty body that it reminded me of standing in front of a refrigerator when the door is open.
I got a little burned. I could feel it happening, but there was no shade, and I must dig. I'm rosey across the cheeks, across the back of my neck and on my shoulders.

I'd like to go back out there this evening when the sun get low in the sky and the temps cool. Dennis needs to burn the sapling trees he cut from the circle before the snakes decide they are home.

There is a chance of rain tonight. Only 20 perfect, but 40 percent tomorrow. While standing in the sun I was occasionally given a little relief when a heavy thunderhead passed over. There are so many trees its very difficult to see the sky.

We need the rain. The ground is very dry. My hands are in it nearly ever day so I should know. When it comes to rain spells I seem to be unusually talented. I've been hit by lightening before as well. I'll never forget the first rain spell I did. Every I didn't do the spell for just rain, I did it for a thunderstorm. The tornado warning sirens went off every day for a week after that spell. Now I stand outdoors with my arms stretched out and to the full moon salute. Then as I bring them down I reach out the the west (which is the direction rain usually comes from). While doing this I close my eyes and wish for rain for several seconds and then stop. That's usually all it takes.

Regarding Dennis and the incident with his now ex boss. He has filed charges with two committees. One is the labor board for violation of the labor all and the other is the one is for violation of some time of medical leave for disability act. The doctor has still not released Dennis from medical leave which means he was terminated while on medical leave and they are canceling his insurance.

He has also contacted the corporate office regarding his bonuses which were mysteriously small compared the the amount of money the store made. There was a mysterious amount of people that seemed to draw money out of the store. We have suspected embezzlement and have been documenting all of the ins and outs of the stores bank accounts since Dennis second month as manager. All of that will be turned into corporate and they don't take defrauding there managers lightly.
But I refuse to dwell on the issues. I refuse to let myself get angry or bitter. And since James got demoted I have even stopped having fantasies about slipping a little poison hemlock into his drink when he is not looking. We will turn in our evidence, file our charges, and continue to live our lives. We will eat, we will sleep, I will go to work and we will dig!!!! And hopefully by the end of august we will be building.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Karma is just the coolest thing

The easiest way for me to get through it is to remind myself I am off tomorrow. LOL
Once I was finished digging yesterday I actually started to feel a little lazy.
Speaking of digging, I dug 27 feet yesterday and I wasn't worn out for the rest of the day and the only part of my body which is sore is my back and that's because I have to use the bucket as I move farther and father away from the edge. I am now at 199 square feet. I have exactly 35 feet left to dig before the second quarter is complete. It will be done before the weekend is up and I should be moving into the third quarter.
Now for some interesting news from Dennis' end. We thought they were going to demote him when he came back to work, forcing him to quit because we cant pay bills and pay for gas on what he would be making. As it turned out they didn't. They fired him!!!! Hahahahaha. You might be asking why I am laughing about this. Its because he now gets unemployment for the next twelve months. I know he has to look for a job while he is unemployed, but there is nothing that says he has to take a job. He can basically get paid to work on the house. But that's not all, hehehehe.
His boss got demoted. He was making a good 6 grand a month as a regional manager. I think I posted about going over to his house and seeing his three new vehicles in his garage (3 vehicles and he is single). His new SUV, he convertible mustang, a brand new motorcycle. He just redecorated his entire house with expensive furniture, using credit cards, plus on top of that he has to pay child support for 3 kids out of that money.
Now Mr money bags who likes to screw people when they are sick and can't do anything about it is going to get to learn what its like to live on Dennis's pay and have to spend 400 dollars a month of gas (He lives as far from the store as we do). I wonder what he will have to sell first.
The real smack in the face for him however is that his boss replaced him as regional manager with his son. The reason that's a smack in the face is his son is a lazy Sob who will periodical just decide not to go to work for 6 weeks because he doesn't feel like it.
Now I was a good girl through this whole period of events, just like I was when that woman was sleeping with the boss to get the promotion that was rightfully Dennis' last year. Both times I did my best to release my destructive feelings of anger and simply concentrated on the events taking place during my morning rituals. I didn't put any hexes or curses on anyone or wish bad things ob them, as tempting as it was. I behaved myself and left Karma take its course as a good witch is supposed to do. But I got the results I wanted both times. And the amazing thing is we wanted them to fire Dennis because he was planning on quitting anyway.
I also found a source for misprint burlap bags at 20 cents a piece, and we can order however many we want each time. Its not the 14 cents a bag they were paying in the Earth Bag construction book, but its still cheap. I can get 500 bags for 100 dollars. . . ofcourse we are estimating needing 2000 to complete the first dome.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My first 12 hour day

It was really not so bad. I didn't feel the urge to take off running for the door at 5pm like I expected and instead of getting that "I am really tired of this crap and I want to go home" feeling at 3pm I got it at 7pm, LOL.
And my stats did not begin to fall after 10 hours like my floor manager said would happen. That was the main reason they didn't want to give me a 12 hour 3 day shift. They were positive my work performance would fall. I think it actually improved.
Dennis has decided to apply for the wal-mart distribution center in Clarksville. His friend Donny works there. Its also a 12 hour 3 day shift and he can car pool with his friend and another guy to save on the gas money.
He would be making the same amount that he did running the restaurant, except that he won't be required to put in a six day 50 hour work week and won't be spending 400 dollars a month in gas either. It was the cost of gas that was killing us. At the end of the month after we paid all of our bills and paid for gas there was nothing left (and that included only spending 50 to 75 dollars a week on groceries. Ever try feeding a family of 4 on 50 to 75 dollars a week. It sucks!!!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Another day

Well its nearly 5pm now. I spent a small portion of my morning in the garden. I planted the tomato plants Dennis got at the mission last week and the remaining 6 pack of flowering tobacco. There are probably 40 more tobacco seedlings in a small terecotta pot I just haven't had time to separate. I should just divide the darn thing into 6 clumps of plants and stick them in the ground. The rest of the morning I spent digging.
My hands are so sore its difficult to type. I have a blister on my left hand and I am wondering if I should take the effort to learn to swing the pick ax on my right side as well as my left. I added another 16 square feet to my foundation bringing it to a grand total of 172 square feet.

Its amazing to me that I have actually dug 172 square feet with a shovel, a bucket and a pick ax, but what's even more amazing is that after looking at the calendar I realize that I have done this in a span of 3 weeks.

Dennis came out to the building site when I was finishing my last two feet. He found another large rock on the edge of the hill and rolled it up to his fire pit. Then he decided that was enough work for one day. If he doesn't pick up a shovel soon I am going to seriously start razing him about it. It was one thing when he was still recovering from surgery, but he isn't anymore. If he can roll a big ass rock up a hill he can at least empty my bucket for me.

We sat down after that and swatted the weird green gnats that like to sting us when were sweating in the shade and discussed the placement of windows and doors and the fireplace (each dome will have its own fireplace). Dennis mentioned that my mother came and picked up the brats before he came down here. We sat in silence for a moment after he mentioned this and then he suggested exactly what I was thinking "Why don't we drive to Jerry and Kathy's and go swimming?"

Jerry and Kathy have been friends of mine for the past 10 years. I met her when she worked in the same beauty shop I did . Jerry is an engineer at Nuclear 1. And they have a swimming pool in there back yard.
I must admit after two days pounding at the earth with a pick ax that swim felt awesome. I think the best part was the fact that could move without feeling any kind of impact on my sore muscles.

A pick ax

I am digging the second quarter of the first layer now. I'm well into it despite how little I dug last week. I went down to the site at 10:30 yesterday carrying the pick as in one hand and a jug of water in the other. That 1000 foot walk from the house to the site can be a long one when your carrying two heavy objects.
The pick ax made the work go a lot faster. Unfortunately its weight and the need to swing it instead of stomping and jumping on it like I do with a shovel also gets the blood pumping a lot more. Its actually a good thing because all of the aerobic activity will make me loose more weight and a bad thing because it means that I may be digging for shorter periods of time while using it.
I dug 16 feet yesterday over a course of 5 hours. And the reason it took 5 hours is because Dennis joined me on the home site yesterday. He is finally healthy enough that he can get out and do some desperately needed yard work. He used the weed eater to cut the tall grasses growing along the trail. He also weed eated al large portion of the home site before stopping to take a break. At that point I dropped the pick ax and used the weed eater to cut the rest myself. After he had rested a bit he cut down the remaining sapling trees that were growing inside the circle of the first dome.
That area looks a lot bigger with those trees gone. I was getting concerned about the side and wondering if everything we needed to fit in the dome would actually fit. But After looking at it without the trees on it I have decided that not only will we have enough space for the kitchen and dining area but a little bar space as well. I was also getting concerned about the kids rooms being large enough, but I don't think that will be a problem either.
I am now at 156 feet.
Another advantage to digging this sucker myself besides saving money is that the little weight problem that has crept up on me since starting my boring desk job is slowly melting away. I put on a pair of kakies after digging yesterday and noticed that I can pull the waist band and extra inch away from my body. And as I stood in front of the mirror looking at myself before taking a shower yesterday I noticed my arms which used to just look flabby now have a streamlined look to them. Not muscular . . . Just . . . Well . . . Streamlined is the only word can think of to describe them. My back also has taken on a muscular look . . . . I still have a big ass though :S

Saturday, June 25, 2005

another unusual earthbag construction. They don't all have to be pointed domes Posted by Hello

a tranquil earthbag oasis Posted by Hello

An interesting window in an unplastered earth bag home. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

What have I done

I have done something to my blog to cause my profile and list of entries and my favorite blogs to all go to the bottom of the page. I have no idea how I did it or how to fix it. I may have to reload my profile completely.

I did not get to dig yesterday either. Dennis made a video to enter that contest where you win an orange county chopper and we all had to wait for his buddy Donny to come over with the video camera. So we waited and waited and waited. He finally showed up about 10:30. ofcourse it was dark by this time. I'd lost an hour of digging time. Yes I am very frustrated. I''VA only dug 14 feet so far this week and its very aggravating. I could have been nearing the finish of the second quarter.

But despite this while I waited for him I got the bathroom clean (which has not been cleaned in a while) and a large chunk of laundry done, as well as the ironing left from last weekend. So the night was not a total waste. Now I am off again. I want to take water to the hostas I planted last weekend on Creepy Trail.

Oh and I can't forget to post about the large harvest of hollyhock seeds I pulled off of the stalks yesterday. I got a half a cup of black hollyhock seeds and 1/4 cup of double pinks. I will be posting them on the Russellvile Freecycle site. I have wanted to post wants on there for some time, but they insist your first post be a give away.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dennis night out

Dennis won concert tickets on the radio last week. Well we didn't have the money to make the trip up there. Its a country band and I am not really into those so his best friend Donny came up and said "If you take me instead of your wife I will pay for the trip, your dinner, and even try to get you drunk." So Donny and Dennis went to the concert.

Donny is a single dad and his daughter spent the night with us last night. I went o the back of the woods to dig while it was light out, taking advantage of the longer period of time I could spend back there. My mother came to visit while I was back there so I stopped for a bit and talked with her. She left me feeling a bit hurt when she left. I left a link to the explanation as to why. I don't have time to post it here.

With my extra time back there spent talking to my mother I only got 10 feet dug. But I have finished the first quarter of the first layer and I am well on my way to starting the other as you can see by the picture below.
I then came back to the house, showered and learned that the audio book "The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe" which I added to my warez download page a few days ago finally downloaded. I was planning on doing a full moon ceremony but I fell asleep listening to that instead. I am short on time today so if I am going to water the seedlings, do a morning ceremony, and not be late for work I have to get going.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

pile of rocks

the pile of rocks I have dug out of the foundation. Most of these are flat and thin and will make perfect floor tiles. They are a beautiful rust color when cleaned and oiled. The larger ones will go into a fireplace. Posted by Hello

the foundation. A couple of people have asked me to post a picture of this. As you can see it is only 1 foot deep so far. I plan on going at least one foot deeper. I have finished the first quarter and as you can see I have already started the second quarter. Doesn't that patch of pines and cedars behind the dirt pile look dark and forbidding. Creepy trail leads through that before you reach the house. Posted by Hello

The gully behind the trailer. Our property is 250 feet wide and 1650 feet long, shooting straight back into the woods.We finished thinning out this area last spring so we could get a nice view of the creek in the bottom when there is water in it. We have also never planted a blade of grass here (although we do weed eat the slope once or twice a year). This is all slow growing native grass which seems to fall over before it gets very tall and a sprinkling of wildflowers such as black eyed Susan and scullkap. Posted by Hello

a reason to go braless

A few highlights of the history of research on bras and breast disease:
1. In the 1930s a paper was published making a connection between corsetsand increased breast cancer rates.
2. 1978 An M.D. in California pubished an article in a medical journallinking bras with elevated breast temperature, and he suggested that thismight have a connection with breast cancer. He studied several hundredwomen in a medical practice and also observed that the heavier the bramaterial, the hotter the breast, and that bra-free women of all sizeshad cooler breasts. (The Lancet, November 4, 1978, P. 1001 Dr. John M.Douglass, Department of Internal Medicine, S. Calif. Permanente Med.Center Los Angeles, California) see also item #8 for more about breasttemperature.
3. 1991 Researchers at Harvard University publish a medical journalarticle on breast cancer risk. As a side issue of their paper, theymention that the women in their study that did not wear bras had a 60%lower rate of breast cancer than the women who wore bras.(Hsieh, C.C. and D. Trichopoulos, D. Eur. J. Cancer 27:131-5, 1991"Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk")
4. 1991 Researchers in Japan pubished a study on bras and sagging, inwhich they proved that a bra can actually increase breast sagging, ratherthan the opposite. This effect was most noticeable in larger breastedwomen. They compared bras to foot binding in their discussion section.("Breast Form Changes Resulting From A Certain Brassiere" Journal ofHum. Ergol.(Tokyo) 1990 Jun; 19(1):53-62. Ashizawa K, Sugane A, Gunji TInstitute of Human Living Sciences, Otsuma Women's University, Tokyo,Japan)
5. 1995 Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer of the Institute for the Studyof Culturogenic Disease published their book, "Dressed to Kill: The LinkBetween Breast Cancer and Bras," (Avery Press). Their study includedalmost 4600 women, half of whom had breast cancer and half of whom didnot. They found that the more hours per day that a bra is worn, thehigher the rate of breast cancer and that women who do not wear bras havea dramatically reduced rate of breast cancer. Singer and Grismaijer havea website at:
6. 1995 through the present. Many women, who had concerns about breastcancer risk and/or breast pain, quit wearing bras and then found thattheir pain and cysts of fibrocystic breast disease was dramaticallydecreased or eliminated. Several of these women wrote their own personalcase histories, which appear on the web at:
7. May 1999. A landmark study was published in the prestigious Britishmedical journal, The Lancet. This study showed that pre-menopausal womenwith fibrocystic breast disease have an almost 6-fold higher risk offuture breast cancer. This study firmly refutes the advice of somedoctors who have said that fibrocystic carries no increased risk.In all, there are now over 30 published medical and scientific researcharticles showing a connection between fibrocystic and increased breastcancer risk. (Lancet 1999 May 22;353(9166):1742-5 "Risk of breast cancerin women with palpable breast cysts: a prospective study." EdinburghBreast Group. Dixon JM, McDonald C, Elton RA, Miller WREdinburgh Breast Unit, Western General Hospital, UK.")
8. 2000. Two British breast surgeons conduct clinical trials at twobreast clinics in England and Wales. They study 100 women to see if goingbrafree (a more positive term the physicians used for braless) couldlessen breast pain. Their study concluded that the majority ofpre-menopausal women found decreased pain during a three-month bra-freestudy period. The women were instructed to not wear a bra for threemonths, and instead to wear a loose and non-restricting camisole if theydesired an alternative undergarment. For comparison, they then returnedto wearing bras for the another three months. For additional studycontrol, another group of women did the reverse and were bra-wearers forthree months, then bra-free for three months. A half-hour documentary wasfilmed in conjunction with the studies and was shown on nationwidetelevision in England in November, 2000 on Channel 4 UK. Several of thewomen were interviewed and discussed the life-altering improvements intheir breast health, such as being able to now pick up their children orhug their spouse without pain. (Simon Cawthorne, M.D. surgeon at FrenchayHospital, Bristol, England and Prof. Robert Mansel, M.D., Surgery Dept.Head, University of Wales Medical School, Cardif, Wales.)Doctors interviewed in the film commented about how breasts inbras are hotter than bra-free breasts and the possible connection of thisbreast heating with breast cancer. Prof. Hugh Simpson discussed hispublished research, which has previously proven that pre-cancerous andcancerous breasts are both hotter than normal breasts. The documentaryincluded video thermography of women with and without bras, proving thatbras cause localized heating of breast tissue.
9. 2000. A group of researchers in Japan published their studies showingthat wearing a girdle and bra lowers the levels of the hormone melatoninby 60 percent. (Chronobiol Int 2000 Nov;17(6):783-93 "The effects ofskin pressure by clothing on circadian rhythms of core temperature andsalivary melatonin." Lee YA, Hyun KJ, Tokura H, Department ofEnvironmental Health, Nara Women's University, Japan.)Melatonin is intimately involved with sleep cycles and is used to preventjet-lag. Numerous published studies have suggested that melatonin hasanti-cancer activities, that it is an antioxidant and can prevent DNAdamage, and that it is intimately involved in the immune system and canbind directly to T helper cells. Researchers in Spain have published anarticle outlining the possible use of melatonin in breast cancerprevention and treatment (Histol Histopathol 2000 Apr;15(2):637-47).Recent research (J. Hansen, "Light at Night, Shiftwork, and BreastCancer Risk" J Natl Cancer Inst 2001; 93: 1513-1515) has shown thatnighttime exposure to light is associated with increased rates of breastcancer. This builds upon previous research that showed that light atnight suppresses melatonin production.
10. December 2000. A medical doctor published his findings on shoulderpain treatment in women with large breasts. In this five-year study, itwas suggested that patients remove the weight from their shoulders for aperiod of two weeks, either by going braless or by wearing a straplessbra. Only one woman chose a strapless bra and all the others wentbraless. quoting the article, "Long-term outcome was presence or absenceof muscle pain and tenderness. Seventy-nine percent of patients decided toremove breast weight from the shoulder permanently because it renderedthem symptom free." (Ryan, EL, Clin J Pain 2000 Dec;16(4):298-303,"Pectoral girdle myalgia in women: a 5-year study in a clinical setting.")

When it rains it pours

Dennis went to the doctor to get the strange mole under his eye removed yesterday. He expected to come home with it gone, but does anything ever go simply for us?, LOL, no. It turns out he has to see a Dr in Little Rock to get the mole removed and it has to be done in layers because of the type of skin cancer it is. And even after its removed he has to see a doctor one a year for the next seven years. The money is no longer an issue because we have met our deductible for the year (not that that even makes a difference because we can't pay either). But it will mean even more time away from work for Dennis.

He can't go back to work for his old employer because there going to demote him, and we can't afford to pay for bills and gas and buy groceries on what we were bring home before because the gas to drive up there is 400 dollars a month. Dennis says there is no way we can get together the supplies to put together to sell. I think he is wrong, but he is convinced of this.

A girl I work with came up to me today and said there is a landscaping position open here in town that pays 14 dollars an hour with someone who has experience. She thought of me when she heard about it. She though of me because I can grow pretty much anything :). But I have no landscaping experience. Dennis does though. He is going to go around to the different green houses and land scaping companies and see if they are hiring. He says he would enjoy that. He income would be low enough to qualify for food stamps so we wouldn't have to worry about buying food on the lower income or paying for 400 dollars a month in gas. We will only have a few hundred left over each month if that's the case though, so any extra things are pretty much out . . . Again. But when the time comes we could scrape the funds together to buy bags with.

I had to go cash my check at a grocery store yesterday because we are overdrawn at the bank and need every dime right now. This took longer than expected because Dennis wanted to stop and talk to his boss (who got really nervous when we showed up, Hahaha)l. The bastard would not admit that Dennis won't have his old job to go back to. But I can read body language. He was lying. Nothing makes me more angry than to pull up in his driveway and see his brand new motorcycle sitting there, a new gas guzzling SUV, and a convertible mustang, and then lie to Dennis about his position still being there. One thing I do love about visiting is that man will "not" look me in the eye. He knows I am a Witch and he is terrified of me, LOL.

Sigh. Well like I keep telling Dennis. We have been through worse times. And nothing can stop me from digging.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Well, its Tuesday. Another day at work.

I didn't dig Monday like I planned. My body probably needed the rest after digging 40 feet this weekend. I came home and everyone was watching a movie and wanted me to watch it with them, which I did. Then Dennis went into the kitchen to make dinner and we got into an argument. Apparently he was having a mild midlife crisis today. He suddenly realized he is 36 with no career to speak of, broke, nothing really to show for his past 36 years of except for his two kids, seven acres, that's not paid for, and a trailer. He freaked out, said he wanted a job he could be proud of and make a good living at, but he wouldn't find it in Arkansas. A friend suggested he join a management program at Car Mart which trains people for management. The problem with this is after training he would be required to move and I refuse to move. I am not going to leave all of this work behind. Then he started freaking out about moving into a single dome with only a kitchen, the bed in the dining room, and no running water or electricity.
I never said no running water. Not having a steady supply of water on hand can make life even more difficult than what I want to put up with. But Sunday he was gung ho about finding ways to do without electricity. We talked about using latterns and candles for light. Those brief case types of solar panels to run small appliances. He mentioned when he gets back to work and can make some money selling again that he was thinking about starting top buy solar panels, one at a time. We talked about internet options. Although many people are able to get rid of this completely we both find it extremely valuable. Its a never ending supply of information. Not to mention the poker tournaments.
Then he admitted he had had a bad day online. I reminded him that it happens. I also reminded him of how very little we would need to live on each month once we moved into the dome, and how all of this stress he was experiencing was because we were broke and he could do nothing but sit at home and complain about it. I reminded him of how he wouldn't have to stress about the bills because there would be very few and they would be small. How the important ones like the electricity and the water would be a thing of the past because our water and electricity would come from other sources that wouldn't be shut down. How we wouldn't have a mortgage payment hanging over our heads every month because the dome would be debt free.
He apologized and said he was just freaking out a little
I guess the thought of going off the grid is a little more difficult for him to swallow than me. I've been fantasizing about it for years.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Sundays entry

I know I made an entry for Sunday, but it seems to have disappeared.
Well to sum up the weekend. I dug a grand total of 30 feet. 30 Saturday and ten Sunday.

I overdid it Saturday, bad. My back, my shoulders, my butt, all hurt. Parts of my hands have raw spots from scoping up the loose dirt in the bucket with them. The blister I got the first day I started digging which should be a scar now is peeling up in weird triangle shaped pieces of skin that look and feel like hang nails. I have a piece of medical tape over it now. I did not get the first quarter finished. I lack about 10 feet from that so there is no doubt Sharon and I will finish it today. We are currently at 118 feet square. Definitely not bad for a week and a half.

I pointed out to Dennis Saturday that since the doctor said its time for him to start getting more exercise now he should start helping the kids and I dig. He said "Hell no" at first. He has a habit of saying hell no to everything I suggest that's not in the norm first. But Sunday I brought it up again, and how it would go much faster with 2 adults and two kids working, rather than 1 adult and two kids. He finally agreed. He also surprised the hell out of me the other day. I found out that rather than pee in the toilet he has been using the 5 gallon bucket outside the back door. That shocked the hell out of me. That's one thing I never thought he would do it pee in a bucket to water the flower beds with. He is so unbelievably freaked out by his own urine. I guess when I suggest something strange to him I just need to give him time to get used to the idea first.

He also surprised me Saturday afternoon as we were walking back from looking at the home site. He doesn't go down there much since the surgery and I wanted him to see what we had done. As he was walking back he admitted "Lucy, I used to make fun of you in my head with all of these strange things your asking us to do. Things like my crazy wife and her dirt bag house, peeing in a bucket making tea from flowers. But after all we have been through with the surgery, being flat broke and having things shut off for the third time in 5 years, and everything going on in the world around us like it is. I'm starting to see just why this whole thing were doing makes perfect sense. The whole world could go to hell, but we would be back here in these woods, safe and secure, and very few people would even realize we were here."
Well me reasons for doing this have nothing to do with the world going to hell. But being safe and secure, unaffected by rising gas prices, losses in pay due to illness or bad weather that won't let us leave the house were exactly what I had in mind. If your home is paid for and the taxes are extremely low, its going to be very hard for someone to take it away from you. Here in Arkansas our property taxes average around 300 a year for an average home. It will be interesting to see how they decide to tax an earth bag home. There is a million dollar home a few miles from here with property taxes of 5k a year. But its a million dollar home with 100 acres of lake front property as well.

But he goes to the doctor for his eye cancer today. So he may come home with a big patch over his eye and digging would be out of the question then.

He is winning at poker more and more. He has hit money rounds several times lately. Not the grand prize but money rounds. If we had more money to spend I think he would be investing in higher paying tournaments. The tournaments he plays in don't pay much, unless you win first prize (which he has done before). But they only cost between 1 to 3 dollars to enter.

There are some people making a lot of money at online poker. There is an area that shows you who cashed out there account (deposited money from there poker account and into there bank account) and some of these people are cashing out between 5 and 15 grand a month average.
That would be nice wouldn't it. Live in our earthbag home with no bills and Dennis can play poker all he wants, LOL. I could quit my job. 5 grand would last a very long time in an earth bag house.

I did more than dig this weekend though. I planted the remaining basil plants and some more flowering tobacco watered the garden with a urine water mixture

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Our friend Roddy

A friend of ours in an ex comedian and he did a gig at a friends church today (Christian church). He had us a little worried. . . He is not always tasteful and said he was going to pull out his arsenal of Jesus Jokes. . . . But our friend Kathy reported to us recently that he did just fine and didn't insult or offend anyone.
My new schedule is not starting this week. I am a bit disappointed, but oh well, its another 9-5 week for me.
As far as a financial outlook. We have to borrow 400 dollars from my mother to make the mortgage and my car payment. Were still waiting on food stamps and getting food from the local mission. The Dr will be releasing Dennis to go back to work on the 30th, but we learned recently from a manager that was beneath Dennis that the regional is not letting him come back as a general manager. So he has decided not to go back. The first six months Dennis worked there we struggled on the lousy pay they were giving him, eeking buy when we were used to what he made while selling cleaner. So we will now have to scrape up the money for cleaner supplies. Also the local charity will be paying our electric bill, so it seems. Thank goodness because it is getting "hot" out there.
The rain we had Friday lasted for several hours, drenching the earth. It also made the digging on the foundation a lot easier. Sharon and I dug another 10 feet Friday and this morning I got up early and under the cover of a beautiful fog dug 21 feet. I plant to go back out there when the sun gets a little lower in the guy and dig at least another nine. That will make 30 feet and I will have reached my weekend goal of thirty feet in one day (at least if I can dig another 30 feet tomorrow) and also finish the first quarter. Not bad for a week and half.
I am on my 3rd and a half week without using shampoo on my hair. I have to scrub my scalp with my fingertips every day instead of every other day to keep from getting dandruff, but it doesn't smell at all and looks nice and healthy.
The rain and clouds cleared up yesterday before I even got home from work. Later in the evening after talking to the manager Dennis worked with I got really pissed off . . The kind of pissed off where you;'d like to hand his bastard regional manager a drink with a little hemlock sprinkled in it (I don't get that mad very often). I reminded myself I have to release these violent destructive thoughts and as much as I would like to poison the bastard I would also not like to spend the rest of my life in prison. So I went outside and walked in the moonlight. The night was cool and damp and the grass wet. I had one one of my long "slouch skirts" as I like to call them which are so long they touch the top of my feet and brush the grass as I walk (made them myself) . I walked through the woods enjoying the night sounds. The only insects that were out in the cool night were the fireflies and they were like a dance of light weaving in and out of the moonbeams. I walked to the home site and wrapped my arms around the trunk of a giant cedar tree, inhaling its heavenly scent and listening to the forest. There are no visible street lights back there, at all (although you can occasionally here the distant sound of a passing car). I could have lain there on the forest floor and spent the night if it weren't for the fear of being eaten alive by ticks and mosquitoes.
Also this morning after spending two hours digging I came back home with a terrible headache and a pain in my neck (I have a sore neck quiet a lot so it did not come from the digging, it just happens). I have had some cayenne pepper soaking in a bowl of oil for several weeks now. I've read about its abilities to sooth sore muscles and assumed it came from the heat the plant could put off. But when I rub the oil on my skin I rarely feel anything. This morning I rubbed a little oil on my neck and left side of my face and over the left side of my eye and although I felt no tingling on my skin and very little if any heat the pain did stop. I guess it does work, it just doesn't feel as dramatic as icy hot or bio freeze or any of the other stuff you buy in the store.

My favorite of all of my daylilies . . . well, the pink and yellow spider lily is a close equel. This lily is the only one who's name i can remember, except for the blazing hearth lily that didn't bloom this year. Its called "Cast a Spell". Posted by Hello

I have a visitor. Hello little froggy Posted by Hello

Flowering tobacco. Mine tend to get very tall and fall over my other plants so i have to cut them back a few times a year. These are the flowers from the ones I cut back friday. Posted by Hello

There are sensative ferns. i found these growing in my back yard and happened to notice them before dennis cut them down with the lawn mower. Aren't they beautiful Posted by Hello

some interesting mini roses i stole from the yard of a vacant home last summer. . . I get a lot of plants that way. Posted by Hello

This daylily said in its description it was a silvery lavender (still looks more pink to me).  Posted by Hello

The front step. Those are red lucifer canna lilies in the background along with double pink hollyhocks and shasta daisy's. Posted by Hello

more beautiful white echincacea  Posted by Hello

This is also a daylily, but not one I picked out at the daylily sale last year. This one was growing in a clump i bought which was suppsed to be silvery lavender. But what a beautiful bonus. Posted by Hello

my goldfish in the goldfish pond. we bough t these fat little fellow last summer at the bate shop for six dollars a pound. There is a half pound here  Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

A rainy morning

There is a wonderful soaking rain moving across the straight this morning. It was pouring when I woke up at 6am (probably not for long since rain that heavy generally doesn't stay that heavy for a long time). Since I could do nothing outside in this kind of weather I set my alarm for seven and went back to sleep. I woke up at seven to find it was still raining . Not as heavy but enough to let me know it had been raining quit a lot for some time. But its a good thing because we really needed it. It was getting very dry, the garden needed the water and I really hate having to pull out that water hose (once again money flying out of my pocket on little black wings.
My poor gorgeous tom cat Irish cot attacked by an animal last night. It was dark so were not sure if it was another tom cat or a critter trying to have him for dinner. What ever it was took off when we opened the front door to see what the hell was going on. Irish is fine. He has a couple of small puncture wounds on one of his hind legs and a patch of hair missing on the back of his neck but he is ok. The rest of the family thinks it was another Tom cat but I am not convinced. Irish was very frightened after the attack and I don't think another Tom would have scared him that badly. He hissed when I picked him up and growled as I took him into the kitchen to check for injuries. Then growled continuously when I carried him back to the bedroom (He always curls up and sleeps with me as I drift off in the evening). Last night I put him under the bed where he could feel safe and calm down, which he eventually did. He has a very very slight limp this morning but is ok, and has been bugging me for the past 30 minutes to let him outside. He doesn't realize its raining. He is such a big beautiful boy.
Dennis won two poker tournaments last night. Well, not the grand prizes but he was in the money rounds. The first one he made 14 dollars in and the other 4 dollars. He would have made more but the power went off just as he entered the money rounds . The winnings seem small, but he has 70 dollars in his account now and is hitting money rounds more and more often in these tournaments. If he can get into money rounds nearly everytime he plays he says he is going to start playing the tournaments with bigger entry fees which have larger prizes. Some of them cost as much as 50 to 100 dollars to enter, but being in the money rounds means you've one a few thousand dollars and you don't even have to win the gramd prize which can be several thousand dollars. As much as 25 thousand or more. Living in our earth bag home we could live on that for a long time.
Speaking of which both kids went to help me dig yesterday. I strategically places Chris on the big stump we dug around yesterday. Its not a simple round stump, but one that has several trunks shooting up and a mess or large roots underneath. Chris was kinda mad he couldn't help Sharon scoop the dirt away as I dug, but I explained to him I put him there because he is good at complicated puzzles, and digging the dirt away from the roots so the stump could be more easily burned out was like solving a puzzle. He didn't complain after that.
We dug ten feet yesterday. The digging is getting more shallow at this end, There is a slight slope to the hill. Dennis estimates its possible 10 inches, more or less. My foundation is for the most part, level. Although I haven't been using a level to help with my digging. I've been using guess work. I have a feeling now that he is getting closer to being able to help he will be out there with a level soon, checking my work.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Loosing my motivation

Well I'm losing my motivation to go to work anyway. I usually have enough to last Monday and Tuesday and at least through Wednesday. But yesterday I was so bored with my work I let my stats go to hell on purpose. I just did not care.
I think I start my 3 twelve's next week. I think having a day off in between each one will help keep me motivated.
The last two days I have been tired when I wake up and don't really want to get out of bed. I've been going to sleep later though. Even though last night I made it a point to try and go to bed early . . . It didn't work.
We dug another 8 feet yesterday and are now at 69 feet square. I hope to be done with the first quarter by Sunday. . . If I can get a quarter of the circle done every two weeks I will be done with the first foot in a month and a half and can start on the next layer. I have decided to go ahead and take the foundation at least another eight inches.
I saw an eagle Sunday. A golden eagle. Someone on the weed forum says seeing an eagle is a symbol of your connection with the creature. That makes a lot of sense since we just started the foundation for our earth bag home.
Dennis was able to start the weed eater yesterday and he weeed eated a bit. The Dr said it was time for him to start trying to work out his stomach muscles a bit, so he is starting to do work around the house a little at a time. Since he was able to start the weed eater it means he can start the chain saw as well and cut the remaining trees that are still standing in the foundation of the first dome. They are small skinny trees. I can wrap 1 hand around there trunks and touch my finger tip's they are so small.
Its funny, its almost as if the woods new we were going to build a house there. Any large trees that were growing in the areas we plan to build have been dead for some time. The ones that are growing are very small. I can't wait to get out of this grid dependent house. We've worked hard on it and its beautiful, but every time the air conditioner comes on I can see my pitiful paycheck flapping away on black wings.
If it were just me living here I think I would probably just flip the switch and turn everything off, but its not.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Another day, another 8 feet

Were now at 61 feet square and I just dug around my first large stump. That was a bitch. Most of it had to be hand dug. Sharon came out and helped me today. She argued at first, wanting to use the shovel, until she saw how I had to jump on it to bury it deep in the earth and realized she did not have the muscle, nor the weight to put behind it. She then gladly excepted the job of scooping loose dirt out of the whole with her hands.
All the while she commented on how peaceful it was back in the woods and how you couldn't hear any cars or anything, only the sounds of birds, and about how nice and cool the freshly turned dirt was. I explained that the dirt past the 12 foot point stays a constant temp of 58 degrees (average) and that it was that cool temperature that would keep our house cooling during the hot summer months. I wasn't sure if her 8 year old mind would grasp this, but she then said. "That means we won't have to have an air conditioner and pay a higher electric bill during the summer." By George I think she's got it, LOL.
Chris didn't join us in our digging. His summer project is building a solar cooker. He plans to cook some meals in it, but once he found out the temp can reach 400 degrees he is convinced he is going to make clay pots that I can store more herbs in (I was complaining the other day that I was running out of glass jars to store them in and I DO NOT like using plastic). He got the bottom of the box painted black and the newspaper insulation packed tightly in. Now he just has to paste the tinfoil to the insides and wait for his dad to pry the glass panels loose from the old screen door that a storm ripped off of our house last year. Then he will be cooking.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Its surprisingly cool and windy outside. I sat on the back step to drink my coffee this morning and then stood in the back yard near the edge of the gully and did my morning ritual, which I have been missing lately.
Yesterday I added another 8 feet to my 1 Ft deep foundation and began digging around the first large stump. It was a bitch to. I have some cuts and splinters to show for it, but I did start digging around it.
My schedule of 3 twelve's got approved. I can now take that class at the adult education center I wanted to take, which teaches skills for getting a better job. I noticed that a lot of the promotions that come on the board at work require skills with particular computer programs I don't possesses and this class will teach them to me. I'm not really sure if I will pursue something further with ICT or find a place closer to home to work. There is opportunity for advancement with ICT group . . . If only it weren't a 40 minute drive from home.
But now the really difficult decision. Spend an entire day in class there, or spend an entire day working on the foundation. Maybe I can just take a few hours of class a day.
Sigh, It would be nice to have the opportunity to work at home though. Its tempting to give psychic readings another shot. But unfortunately I don't have a ground line.
I walked through my garden today as well. My flowers are so amazing :). How I love those daylilies and liliums and my flowering tobacco, oh my gosh. Its amazing what we can do with a little knowledge and gifts from the mother.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A pink and yellow spider lily from the garden. Posted by Hello

Sunday I added another 15 square feet to my foundation. It took me two hours. I took a bottle of water with me and stopped to rest occasionally and drink to keep myself from becoming dehydrated. I drank 40 ounces of water in that two hours. Several times I considered stripping out of my clothes and doing the work in my underwear.
Its Monday. Sigh. Back to work. Each and every call is a reminder of a circle that I am putting back breaking work into to avoid.
So many times as I listen to a person complain about there payment increasing or there taxes going up or there home owners insurance going up or worse yet being canceled I am reminded how badly I want to avoid such things.
My earth bag home will not be mortgaged. Nor will it receive public works of any kind (at least that's the plan). Plus the home will be hurricane proof, tornado proof, flood proof (not that hurricanes are an issue in Arkansas and a flood that would reach the top of that hill would be a major disaster) and there is testing being done now that indicates these homes might be somewhat earthquake proof. I would want insurance, ofcourse, but what would I need to insure it against . . . Theft maybe. Although being 1000 feet off of the main road a break in is just as unlikely.
I told Dennis when its finished he can work one day a week selling cleaner or something and spend the rest of the time playing online poker. As long as there isn't something around the house that needs to be done, obviously. And with 3 more domes that will need building after the first on is complete I'm sure there will be a lot to do.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Its bright and sunny outside. The sky is a painfully bright shade of blue (no doubt due to yesterdays thunderstorms, rain cleans the air). Its hot though. Hot and humid. Well according to the weather bug its only 79 degrees, but the humidity is at 78 percent which makes it feel much hotter.
Yesterday I dug ten more feet and even deepened the current whole by 4 more inches. Today I plan on digging further than 10 feet. Though. I'm also writing my progress on the calendar. It looks like this
June 7th, expiremental hole, 1 foot. June 8th 5 ft, total 6. June 9th 6 feet, total 12. June 10th 8ft, total 20. June 11th 10 feet, total 30.
Its very motivating to see my progress.
I did a lot more than dig yesterday though. I planted some seedlings that were way past due being planted. This included basil and lemon cucumbers. I Also put down some wet newspaper over some areas where the grass came up really bad this year and covered them with leaf rot. I need to finish adding leaf rot to the sloping garden behind the house. But I can do this all summer long. I'm in no hurry to get it done.
My garden certainly is looking magnificent though, isn't it. Overflowing with bright colored flowers and herbs. Much of what I am currently growing will be moved to the back of the property over a period of time or divided in half. Yesterday I trimmed up a sedum I think of as kinda creepy looking and pulled up a little dew drop sedum and added it to the borders of "Creepy trail" (as I have come to call it). Maybe I will call my home site that. "Creepy Trail Hill" or "House on Creepy trail" or "Creepy Hill House".

Saturday, June 11, 2005

bright red liliums growing next to yellow coriospsis Posted by Hello

dew drop sedium growing along the dry stream bed Posted by Hello

mauve yarrow. I use the leaves of this plant to make a relaxing tea Posted by Hello

rock roses Posted by Hello

white cone flower Posted by Hello

standard orange ditch lily Posted by Hello
Web Counter
OfficeMax Coupon