Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Explaining your plans to a kitchen designer

My husband and I both enjoy cooking and lately dinner has been a family affair. While visiting a building supply store recently I ran across a display of cabinets that I fell in love with. They have an interesting dark grey finish on them and that "beat the hell out of" look as I like to call it. A designer would call it "stressed". As luck would have it that old medieval "beat the hell out of" look I would so love to have in my kitchen isn't cheap. Min. 25k to do a kitchen in it. I told Dennis its only going to happen if the lawyer wins a big case against his ex employer.

Well we went to the store to have a second look and spoke with the kitchen designer working there about it. She gave us a book from the manufacturer (the company clearly likes the beat up rustic look as well as I do). Then the inevitable question. "What kind of place are you building?".

I explained earthbag construction to her and she seemed to think it was interesting, but as I was wasn't sure about hanging cabinets on round walls. The I told her about my idea of a floating flat wall with a space in between it and the round walls. This sounded more reasonable to her.

If she thought we were nuts she was good at hiding it,LOL. We didn't tell her the foundation was being hand dug. But she may have figured that out at some point. Probably when I showed her a gnarled lumpy piece of wood featured in a display in the catalog and I said "I dug up something that looked like that a few weeks ago!". And ofcourse the fingernail on the finger that was pointing was short and worn and not exactly clean, LOL.

While in the store I also saw a mantel on a fireplace which I adored. It featured what I refer to as "worm tracks". The easiest way to describe this is to pick up a rotten log in the woods. One in which the bark is decaying and pulls away from the log easily. Underneath you will find an interesting "squirming" combination of rounded grooves carved there by termites (at least I think that's what causes those). The fireplace mantel we saw was made of a log like this, stripped clean of rotting bark, left unsanded, and a clear finish placed over it.
Dennis finally understands what I mean by using decaying logs from the forest floor in the house.

Dennis spoke with the lawyer again today and even though he hasn't sat down and actually talked with us its starting to sound like he might be pursuing a "class action" suite. We won't know for sure until we have an actually meeting with him though.

Once again I try very hard not to think about it. It just takes me back to the hell those crooked bastards put him and our family through. He did above and beyond what should have been required and all they did was stomp all over him. The one thing he did that they didn't like was question the end of month reports (which the lawyer finds even more fishy than we did). So when doing my morning rituals I will mention the matter briefly and then brush it from my thoughts the rest of the time. But Dennis is getting excited and talks about it a lot. I really wish he wouldn't get excited. I want to see them get what they deserve. Then hopefully they will understand you can't treat people like they treated Dennis. But I don't think "profit" should be on his mind so much.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Another weekend

Friday was a long long day. Dennis got heat stroke doing a pool install Friday morning. That man has got to learn what his limits are.

He is now working for the pool and spa place for free since he is collecting unemployment. He told the owner (Chris) that if he can afford to pay him anything then do so, but he wants the business to succeed so he can have a job he enjoys when the unemployment runs out and will work for free to help make that happen. Friday the poor man was ready to throw in the towel. The rent on his commercial building will be coming due soon and he didn't have the money to pay for it. He made a trip to the liquor store and when he returned he was surprised to discover than Dennis had just sold a 31000 dollar item. That one sale, including the instillation saved the business, for a little while anyway. Chris has invited us to a barbecue at his house on Sunday thrown in Dennis honor, LOL. And also said we can take all of the rock off of his 100 acres in the mountains that we need for our house.

My own day at work was not quit as eventful, although a few interstice things did happen. It was about 3 in the afternoon, I had 6 hours left of my day to go. I was tired and bored and annoyed at my job and I got this lady on the phone yelling at me for something another department had done. I tried to explain to her I had to transfer her because I couldn't handel her request but she just kept on and on and on. Finally I lost my temper and yelled at her through the receiver. "Ma'am as I explained to you before we do not handel those loans in this department and we are not responsible for anything that department has done either, I will need to transfer you". So I clicked her onto hold without asking permission to do so which your not supposed to do and transferred her.

I have to admit that is one thing I like about my job, If a person is being mean and nasty with me I am allowed to get mean and nasty right back as long as I don't cuss at them.
Then later that evening I was transferring another customer and accidently dialed a phone sex hotline number, LOL. The recording was talking about hot steamy things and for a moment I thought it was a restaurant I had called. Then I heard the recording say "Please enter your credit card number now." Hahahahaha. Boy my face was red.

Today I will harvest and freeze mint. This morning I pulled a single orange bell pepper off of the plants. No more cucumbers yet though. I found a recipe for mayonnaise and I am on the lookout for recipe's on other things we buy in plastic containers instead of glass. I found one for ketchup, but I will have to actually grow tomatoes next year.

Another very bright note I went to the public library last week (not the tech library because the Tech library will not borrower books from other libraries for no students)and got a new card (I haven't been in that place since I was 12). They are borrowing the book "Oasis" for me. The book talks about grey water recycling.

I also went garage sailing today. I didn't find much, but I did find a beautiful cream colored silk shirt for Dennis, a turquoise lay around the house or wear with khakis T shirt for me, and a cute red shirt for Sharon with the phrase "Funny Monkey" in glittery silver letters for Sharon. The reason I bought this for Sharon (she has more than enough clothes thanks to our neighbor) is because her brother has gotten into the habit of calling her a monkey. He has learned about the theory of evolution in school and says "If anyone in our family descended from monkeys its Sharon". I also got a pair of loose comortable looking shorts to dig in since one of my pairs is getting holes in it from sitting on the ground.

While garage saling I drove through a wealthy neighborhood where a lot of construction is taking place and noticed several sites have piles of brick laying by the road. Broken bricks that can't be used. I think if Dennis and I have a day off together this week I may drag him out to go salvaging at these places.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Our digging becomes that much more impressive when you see The backs of the piles of dirt we have created.

The second layer of the foundation,beginning the outline for the next quarter.

A view from the other end,we are turning the corner here and digging toward the center of the circle. We are digging through heavy red clay and at this point smashing through a large flat rock that is to large to dig up all at once and must be broken into pieces with the pick ax.

A picture of the sky at sunset on Tuesday. There was a storm near us, but not over us, and these high windswept clouds took on a fiery color at sunset. Dennis thinks they looked creepy. I think they are pretty awesome when looked at through the forest canopy.

The lemon cucumbers were awesome (finally picked them) and the Italian tomatoes I made and canned look great as well. Its been so long since I canned anything. I told Dennis when I went to bed that night that we have to find a good garden spot and grow a decent amount of veggies next year so I can can them, LOL.

When I as growing up my mother canned everything, green beans, tomatoes, peas, corn, jellies. And what was not good when canned was frozen. At various points we raised chickens, pigs, rabbits. My parents weren't trying to be self sufficient, they simply grew up in very poor families. They weren't rich themselves, they were actually middle class. They simply kept doing what they were raised to keep doing without much thought of doing it differently. My parents were not known for there deep thoughts or strong political points of view. I suspect I get it from my grandmother on my mothers side who married a native American when it was considered bad to do so and at one point bootlegged moonshine back when alcohol was illegal.

Chris kept asking me what I was cooking. When I do stuff like that I usually try and explain it to him. We had dug a lot that day and I was so tired though. Usually when I try to explain any activity involving self sufficiency I get a comment like "Lucy your weird" but as long as he lets me finish the explanation I know its going to stay in his head. Ofcourse I am constantly grinding into his head that mortgages are bad and he should build something earth friendly and mortgage free like we are. He is sick of hearing it, but he also sees us struggle without payment during good times and bad. As he gets older and starts thinking about moving out and getting a job and such he is going to remember that.

The situation I had with my mortgage never resolved itself last month. I told Dennis repeatedly to stay on top of the issue and ofcourse he just argued with me and wouldn't listen. Now my parents have a mark on there credit and unless we can get it resolved soon there going to have another one. The charity that was going to pay 300 dollars to our mortgage never got the paperwork back from the mortgage company they needed and for that reason the charity never paid the 300 dollars. We were not notified until Monday. Dennis has been trying to resolve it but the letter of authorization was with the paperwork and they won't talk to him. I told him to just call my mother, get my dads info and pretend to be him and he won't do that either, now he tells me to take care of it, and then he ran off with the phone this morning!!!!

I would much rather be on the back of the property digging than messing with this crap. While sitting at work yesterday I had a few moments between calls and the pretty Mexican girl that sits next to me now asked me about my digging. I talked about how difficult the red clay was, and Tuesday we hit a huge slab of rock that ias to big to dig up and must be broken up and removed in chunks with the pick ax. She said when I talked about it I had a "driven" sound in my voice.
The truth is I do feel driven. Like something invisible is pulsing in my brain constantly repeating "dig dig dig dig". If it weren't for that thing driving me I probably wouldn't dig when the heat index is 110 for 5 to 6 hours at a time.

I sat there for a moment and thought about what she said when she had to take call and found I was reminded about a movie I saw a long time ago. The two heroes in the movie were a city cop and a country cop from the mountains. They were chasing a killer through the mountains and the country cop was to be a guide. They hit a snow storm. The camera showed them walking up a hill in the storm, the wind howling around them. Suddenly the country cop sank to his knees and began digging in the snow with his gloved hands. The city cop sank down next to him and shouted over the wind "What are you doing?" The country cop grabbed him by the collar of his coat, shook him and shouted, "Dig or were going to die!!"

When I am back there digging, pushing my body until I can feel my heart beating in my chest and consuming 24 oz's of water every few hours and sweating so much of it out that I don't have to go to the bathroom and I find myself thinking about how to get light back there at night, torches of a lantern, maybe a few candles, anything to provide enough light to allow me to keep digging when the sun goes down. Everything I yell at Dennis for not helping me I guess I feel kinda like that cop who grabs his city slicker partner and shakes him and says dig now or were going to die. I've had all of the snow I can take and to survive I have to get out of the storm.

I have gotten into the habit of reading my tarot cards a few times a month. It was something I gave up on a while back because I had the habit of trying to manipulate the cards to my favor. But somehow I have just quit doing that. Today's reading, is mysterious.
The first card is the card of hope, which is accurate because I have a lot of hope for the future. I am crossed by justice, LOL, that's an easy one. The card of nightmares is in my past . This card indicates there were things I was afraid of that were not truly there, such as loosing my home, loosing my car, exc. I guess maybe I was never truly at risk for loosing these things. I knew my mother would give me the money I needed, I just had to ask, even though I hate asking. The 5 of swords is in my immediate future indicating a time of quiet in which I can build strength for what is to come. It looks like I may need it. The next card is the moon. This is a card of confusion, fluctuation, and uncertainty. This is where I will find myself. The card of the moon is a lot like a newborn in its mothers stomach, its dark and there are only muffleded sounds and you have no way of knowing what lays ahead of you. You can only wait in the darkness. Although the view of others is the hanged man, indicating things are in suspension and the next card indicates I am still afraid of battling financial woes my final outcome card is the high priestess. On this card is Persephone, the daughter of the earth mother, indicating unknown forces are at work. I have suspected these forces were at work since I began to dig. Actually since febuary when I when into the woods and began to clear my home sight after my husband and I agreed to wait . . . I have been following, something, blindly guided in every step I have made.

I guess we all reach a point where we have to plug our ears, close our eyes and walk forward with only the hand of the earth mother to guide us. When this all began I certainly never dreamed I would be capable of doing what has been done.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Thunder in the distance

Its a sound I have been hearing a lot lately. The sky will be bright blue with only a few puffy clouds floating above me and in the distance I will hear the sound of thunder. Being on top of a mountain such as we are sounds from far away carry to us while the sounds we make ourselves go unheard unless the one doing the hearing is within a 50 foot radius. For this reason I will hear the storm long before I see evidence of its existence.

Dennis joined me in my digging this afternoon after visiting the lawyer. We have received our "Right to Sue" paperwork from the EEOC and have been given the go ahead. The lawyer and his assistant are very excited by what they have seen so far the PNL reports Dennis got copies of before going on medical leave in May. He was also awarded unemployment without his former employer contesting it. This is something else the lawyers find strange since they have contested the unemployment of ever single employee they have had that did file for it since they went into business. The EEOC found it odd as well.

Well once again that is something the lawyers will handle. I refuse to think another destructive thought about it, except ofcourse during my full moon ceremonies during which I will pray that they will decide to settle, LOL.

While reading another persons diary earlier this week it was brought to my attention that plastics are made with petroleum products. I did not know this. So when I went to the grocery store this week I ordered my husband to only buy items in glass containers, not plastic. I soon discovered that those in glass containers are often twice as expensive as those in plastic containers. I can't afford that. My solution to this problem was to try and make as many of these products ourselves as possible and by doing so we wouldn't' t have to buy them in plastic or glass containers and would save ourselves money as well.

Dennis threw another temper tantrum over this. "But Lucy, I like 'Helmans' mayonnaise!"
"But Dennis, the mayonnaise I make will taste better and be healthier. Remember how much better those homemade salad dressings I used to make were?"
He didn't say anymore after that.

There are two young female collage students behind me snickering at my floor length hand made gingham skirt, LOL, there young I can forgive them.

Were getting more rock out of our hole in the ground. Large flat pieces, much larger than what I was getting out of the first layer. The most interesting thing about them though is that they are "red" just like the clay I am digging them out of. I am thrilled with the change in color. This means our floor and fireplace will be an interesting combination of greys, yellows, and fabulous reds.

My basil will be ready tp pick again by this weekend. I have been filling the pee bucket I keep behind the house with free sawdust instead of just collecting straight urine in the bucket. I have found the helps keep the smell down. It smells much worse when its been sitting for a day or two, but not when soaked into the sawdust. I then just put the sawdust directly around the base of my plants. I did this to the basil after harvesting it and it grew like mad. I did the same to my slow producing peppers and got the same results. There is a green one ready to pick, an orange one ripening, and two small white ones have made an appearance. I also finally picked the lemon cucumbers. Instead of waiting until they were completely yellow like the picture on the seed packet showed I picked them when they were half way yellow. This turned out to be perfect.

I have a collection of tomatoes out of the fridge I plan on turning into Italian tomatoes and canning. I have to get a jar from mom, but I have an abundance of the fresh herbs required to make them.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A stunning blanket flower and a stunning sky

A stunning blanket flower. I have never seen any that are this big before. 4 inches across. This picture was taken a sunset when the light is golden.

Hot and humid, but the sky is painfully blue and full of puffy white clouds. Not as hot as its been though and not very hot for this time of year. The weatherman said it will be 70 degrees tonight so I may have Dennis open the windows. Usually his biggest complaint when it comes to opening the windows is that thanks to our Pyrenese jumping through them we no longer have screens to keep the bugs out. But I got to thinking a few days ago that we have a role of that black mess screen stuff in the shed and we could always cut out squares of it and tape it over the window, that way Commodore wouldn't be destroying something expensive when he decides its a doggy door (To replace all of the screens on our home it will cost 80 dollars).

I spent the morning digging the 3 inches of silt that the rain washed into our second half of the foundation out along with another inch of red clay. That red clay is such pretty stuff. After I am done with this I will go back and start digging again. Tomorrow Dennis doesn't work so he will help.

He sold an above ground pool today and his Boss sold a spa. They have another couple coming back Monday who they think will buy one. Today's grand opening brought them a lot of business.

The owner of the store has learned that he can't press charges against his girlfriend for stealing the 6k in his bank account, but he can sell all of her stuff which is in his storage building. That includes her refrigerator, all of the furniture from her home which she sold to move into his, and 5000 dollars worth of jewelry and a lot of other stuff. According to the cops since that building is his and she does not have the receipts (he has them) there is nothing she can do to stop him. So he might be able to sell all of her stuff and make back the money that she stole from him and since he has made some sales he might be able to keep the business open.

Dennis hopes so, he really likes his boss and loves the job.

Those damn lemon cucumbers are still not ripe. I thought surely they would be by now. And no more peppers either :(. But at least the basil produced nicely.

More basil, this time it all came from my garden. The river valley where my mother lives is a lot hotter than the mountains where I live . Hers have shriveled and mine are thriving.

I gave half of this to my neighbor Sheri, the one that gives me the eggs. I had Chris take it over and he said she found out what it was and was jumping up and down in her kitchen shouting "Oh its fresh Basil. I can make . . . And began shouting a list of the things she can use it for, LOL. She just moved here from CA back in the late fall and get very excited over things like that I guess, LOL.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

4 days of rain

yes indeed, lots and lots of rain. Enough to fill the above start to the second layer of our foundation wit water, twice. I bailed it out Tuesday only to have it fill up again Wednesday. This picture was taken Monday night after work.

This picture was taken Tuesday morning before I began baling. The water level had already dropped a foot. I carried a large metal wash tub I had been using as a water garden back there and filled it up with water before dumping the rest on the ground. I can use that water later for washing off the rocks that will go in our floor. The mud in it will settle eventually.

I couldn't resist this one. A sunrise on the back of the property, the sun shining through a thick layer of haze in the sky (humidity) and looking bronze colored. Do love being back there.

This morning began like all other mornings do for me. I take what ever load of laundry I started the night before out of the washer and hang it on the line, then I put in another load and go about my daily duties, whether they be going to work or digging. I didn't get far this morning. Even though the water has been bailed out our hole is still muddy and nasty so I decided to try starting a new whole at the top of this particular quarter and work my way down. Starting a new hole instead of cutting away at the edges of the new one is very hard work and I didn't get to far. But I did pull out a huge chunk of rock. A nice thick slab which was completely flat on one side and probably 2 to 2 1/2 inches thick and a foot and a half across. I'll go back out there when the sun is behind the trees and dig some more. Its only 93 with 50 percent humidity, but Dennis has been swearing the heat index was 115. He likes to exaggerate about those sorts of things.

After I finished digging I walked around in the shade a bit enjoying the feel of the cool damp ground under my bare feet and the light breeze blowing up the hill. I stood there for a few minutes very still, just listening and then heard a rustle down the hill to my left and to my surprise two tiny deer walked out of the trees. They were busy eating and didn't notice me at all. I guess the wind kept them from smelling me as well. The flies certainly could smell me. They were driving me nuts while I tried to stand as still as possible and not scare the deer. They were beautiful little things. About six inches taller than my pyrenese with gleaming red coats. They walked up the hill toward me slowly, never noticing that I was there. I am guessing they were standing 25 feet away when one of them finally noticed me standing there. It looked at me for several minutes and then took a few steps closer sniffing the air as it did. Then the breeze stopped and I guess they finally figured out what I was and made some high pitched snorting sounds and ran back down the hill.

Dennis went to work at the Pool and Spa place today. His employment is only part time but with the mortgage to pay and everything turned off except for the phone, electric, and water our bills are only a few hundred dollars over what I make so were actually catching up a bit. He and the boss went to a persons house to set up an above ground swimming pool sold last month and came back to find that the owners girlfriend had cleaned out his bank account and headed for the hills. All six thousand dollars in his account. He has 5000 in checks outstanding right now so Dennis may be job hunting soon, LOL. I think he is just going to go ahead and file for unemployment. According to the unemployment office he only gets 6 months worth (I always thought you got it for at least a year when you applied) but that would still be 6 months during which the bills would be paid for a change and six month in which we would be building. He can dig when I am at work and when it comes time to bag he can bag without me.

The Pool and Spa place has there grand opening this Saturday and the rent is paid up until the first of the month so he is going to try and stay open until the first of the month. Who knows, the sales me makes at the grand opening could very well pay back what he owes the bank and keep him in business. I really hope he makes it. Dennis and I really like him . . We liked her to until she ran off with all of the money.

I have been giving a lot more thought as to what to do about hot water. Heating in with the sun doesn't seem like an option considering the trees around it and my lack of desire to cut them down. I ran across a tankless hot water heater online and this looks like it might be what we need. It heats using natural gas. We don't have natural gas available where I am at but I am sure I can keep a tank of it around and keep it hooked up. The gas is turned on by a computer than only turns it on when hot water is needed. Since we only need hot water for showers, laundry, and dishes I don't imagine we would use that much gas.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Its been 5 days I think since my last post and a very interesting period of time within that 5 days.

I had an pretty bad argument with my father over the weekend which has caused me to decide to not attend any family functions for a while. He said some pretty nasty things about my husband, blaming him for our current financial situation and actually told me to leave him because he is having a difficult time with work right now. Since I currently don't want to be anywhere near him at this point in time I will be making my posts at the tech Library until I decide I am not mad at him anymore (no telling when that will happen). But I really don't want to muck up my blog with issues over my dad. We have never gotten along and I don't see that changing, ever.

August 14th,
Yesterday I stood in the heat near my garden watering my wilting peppers and looked up at the blue blue sky. The most beautiful billowing thunderheads were there, drifting across the sky. They were stacked high and the bottoms were dark and heavy looking. I looked at my wilting plants and the dusty dry ground under my bare feet and tried to remember the last time it had rained . . . I couldn't' t remember. I spread my feet apart and crouched on the ground. I put my hands flat on the dusty clay and then raised them up, standing in the goddess pose and mummered an incantation to summon rain.

I have only done a true spell for rain once. And when I say a true spell I mean I cast a circle in my sacred space, called the quarters, lit the appropriate candles and used the appropriate herbs and elements. That spell had the tornado sirens going of in town every day for a week straight. Since then I don't do true spells for rain. I simply raise my hands in the goddess pose close my eyes and without ever opening my mouth I wish really hard. Its never failed me yet.
Well, within 5 minutes of mummering my incantation I was standing in the gully taking laundry off of the line and it began to rain. It was a brief shower, probably all the thundered above us could muster. It wouldn't have watered anything but it felt good on my skin just the same.

Then today as I worked on digging around a large ash root while my family attended church I heard the distant rumble of thunder. I looked to the north east where the noise came from and smiled to see the large fluffy white tops of storm clouds drifting in our direction. I continued to dig. The ground was hard and dry and dusty. But now that I am deeper I can sit in the hole and scoop up the loose dirt the shovel can't seem to get to and feel the cool of the earth drifting around me. Dennis has commented on the cool coming from our whole in the ground when he stands in it as well. The same cool that will keep us cool without air conditioning in the summer.

The thunder grew closer and the clouds in front of the storm blocked out the sun. I could see it through the trees in the distance (not that much can be seen through those trees) and noticed that the clouds were "black".

The dog, the cat, and I walked quickly down Creepy Trail as the storm winds began to blow in. I was half way to the house when a chilled breeze hit us. I felt the temperature drop a good ten degrees and new this was the cold that had clashed with the summer heat and created the storm that was approaching now. The first drops of rain began to fall as we entered the gully near the house. They were cold and felt so good against my hot and dirty skin. The I realized I still had laundry on the line.!!!!

I walked to the lines and pulled them off as quickly as possible, leaving the clothes pins on the lines. The drops of rain were fat and heavy, falling on my skin in small bursts, as though the storm were giving me small pushes to hurry me.

I gathered the last on the laundry and headed for the house, noticing as I did that my animals had waited in the trees while I gathered the laundry instead of running ahead to shelter. Again the big drops fell in small spurts, not soaking us but letting us know it was time to be indoors. I pushed the cat under the house with his family and Commodore and I headed inside. As soon as we got the door shut behind us the clouds burst with a crash of thunder and it began to poor. It rained heavily for an hour. Maybe longer. I'm going to let it soak a bit before I head back to the dig sight.

The rain began as Dennis and the kids were heading home from church. Dennis said he saw the same black clouds I did as he drove up Mill Creek road. It appeared to him to only be raining on the mountain.

It rained again in the evening and again Monday and Monday night. The ground should be good and soft now.

Dennis and I discussed floor options again since I am now concerned there won't be enough rock to cover the whole thing. I have learned through my reading on the Coblist forum that without a thick capillary break from the ground to your adobe floor (4 inches of gravel) the ground moisture will come up through your floor and cause mold to develop anywhere your furniture touches. Dennis isn't sure how we are going to get gravel back there. The dump truck would make it to the entrance of creepy trail and have to stop there. It would then have to be hauled back wheelbarrel by wheelbarrel. It would also cost us roughly 100 dollars to buy a dump truck load I think. Adding to the cost of my home and not using materials that are already available.

Then I remembered and idea I saw in this months southern living magazine. It was a patchwork patio made of found materials. Gravel, brick, rock, all salvage of piles of left overs at construction sites and completely free.

I suddenly pictured this in my home, lying in direct contact with the ground and the area where I have furniture raised a few inches off of the floor o wooden platforms like a deck, only indoors. The raised platforms wouldn't mold, and that way the ground moisture could still come into the house. This would be beneficial during the winter months when the fireplaces and other heat sources dry the air out. Its the dry air that causes respritory illnesses.

The wood will probably be more expensive than the gravel though. Or it might not. I could always lay down free wooden pallets and cover them with cedar planks. That wouldn't be expensive at all. Just a dollar each for the cedar.

I mentioned the idea to Dennis and as usual his first reaction we "Hell no". Then I mentioned it again a day later and explained the reasons why I thought this would work out better. He said nothing and I can once again see his wheels turning. I swear those wheels always seem to need a jump start!!

Nowhere is an example of the reasons I have decided to stop using financial institutions, for everything. This happened at work Monday evening.

Tonight I spoke to a man 3 months behind in his mortgage and in active foreclosure.
Out of desperation he tried to refinance his loan which is simply not going to happen at that stage in the game but no one at the refi company he was working with informed him of this. The woman he was working with asked him for a 300 hundred dollar check to pay the appraiser. He informed her point blank he did not have 300 dollars to spare and if he gave her the check she shouldn't cash it and he would just pay her out of any money they got from the refi. Well he wasn't approved for the refi (no surprise to me but apparently he was clinging to the slightest thread of hope) and the woman he was working with went ahead and cashed the check to pay the appraiser even though he told her when he wrote it he didn't have the funds to cover it. He sent us a payment before this occurred to try and keep the house out of foreclosure which bounced because she cashed the check along with the checks he wrote for his utilities.
So here he sits, his house in foreclosure, overdrawn at the bank, shut off notices in his hand and the only thing I can tell him is that the company I work for will attempt to draft the check he sent us 3 times before we stop which ofcourse only racks up more INSF charges.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


today I am depressed. I am guessing its a hormone thing because I can't honestly think of a reason to be depressed. My period is late again. I have been spotting for days with no real results.
But on a better note Dennis has run out of excuses and his helping me on the back of the property. The only problem is I seem to get more done on my own. He gets tired so quickly.
He started his new job yesterday and seems to enjoy it.
We got the saplings we cut down a month ago burned as well as the piles of roots around the outside of the circle. Today the digging for the second half of the foundation will begin.
Dennis seems to think going all off the grid for our electricity is a good idea, but is still refusing to consider the idea of harvesting rain water.
Our average water bill is 40 dollars a month while my mothers inside city limits is 12 dollars. Now tell me were not getting ripped off. His first reason for wanting to go with city water was Arkansas doesn't get enough rain. . . . Yet we average 48 inches per year. I have read about places that get a lot less rain where people are harvesting rain water.
This morning I had cucumbers for breakfast because we are out of eggs and there were cucumbers on the vine ready to be picked. There were also male pumpkin blossoms that I could've fried but I forgot to pick them before they closed. I have a few bell peppers to harvest as well today. Also I plan on seeding onions, The Countrary Goddess seeds them in early august for winter eating and I have a package of seeds in there. Eggs are pretty easy to get around here. My mother buys them from a patient at the clinic and our neighbor Sheri raises them as well. I would rather get them from Sheri though, she gives them away.
I must admit I am jealous of her harvest. She has much more garden space than we have. After all I am still growing herbs and veggies in my flower beds. I definlty have to find a good space to clear so i can growa decent garden next year.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A blanket flower, grown from seed. The first one to bloom. Isn't it beautiful. I the seed came from a package of mixed varieties. I hope to have a couple of different variations.

Surprise Lilies, also known as naked ladies. I believe they come in both red and pink. I didn't realize I had these. I stole the bulbs from a vacant home a few years ago and this is the first time they have bloomed.

august 5th
Its Friday . . . Payday. However most of my paycheck will go to pay our 180 dollar electric bill and what ever is left will go into our gas tanks. I will be so so glad when we don't have these bills hanging over our heads anymore.

Dennis got a new job. This time he will be selling pools and spas at a new store in town. They are paying him 7 dollars an hour plus commission. The most expensive item in the store will make him 300 dollars. Definitely not a job he will get rich on, but the bills will be paid and his place of employment is less than 2 miles from our home.

We were surprised the other day to receive a letter from DHS indicating that we have been awarded Medicaid for the entire family. Which means I can finally get some glasses.
Its interesting we would get this letter two days after I decided to give up on my contact lenses. My one remaining lens is in such poor shape that I can only wear it a few hours before it begins to irritate my eye. I didn't think I could drive without it, but the other day I took off to moms without realizing I didn't have it in and was half way there before I realized it. Then Monday night I made a patch for one eye and drove home with it covering the eye that had the contact lens in it. I can't read the writing in the street signs, but I can see well enough to drive on a familiar road. I keep that one contact lens in a case in my bag in case I need it. But I suppose I could do the same with my glasses. Its a nice feeling, knowing I have thrown away yet another crutch.

Yesterday I dug 25 feet in roughly 2 hours. I think back to when I first started and realize it used to take me that long to dig 6 feet. And that was while the ground was wet. Its hard and dry now and I can still punch through it faster and longer than I did in the beginning.
Some rain would certainly speed things up a bit though. The ground is so hard and dry. When I come back from digging I blow my nose and there is mud on the Kleenex.

August 6th

Dennis and the kids are going to church. During this time I will go and see if the tech Library is open, if so I will make my entry there and check and see just how fierce this storm is going to be. If not I will go to Moms. Roddy, who lives in Harrison (further North than we are) said its really something in his area.

If the storm is not going to be any worse than what it is I will go down to the site and dig. A little sprinkling of rain doesn't bother me, but a storm does. You guys know about me and my issues with lightening. Some people have told me my little phobia is silly. After all what are my chances of getting hit by lightening twice in the same life time. My response is what were my chances of being hit the first time!!! I stood back there today as the storm blew slowly in. I could only hear thunder and I didn't see any lightening so I felt safe. I stood beneath the canopy watching the trees sway above in in the storm winds and listened to the thunder. There was a black cherry tree near me and dried cherries kept raining down with each burst of wind. They sounded like heavy rain drops falling on the ground.

Besides, I didn't get to this morning because I had to go garage saling for some school clothes for Chris and I absolutely must dig!! . Chris had a grand total of 2 pairs of shorts that still fit (And they are not fit to be worn in public), 3 stained t shirts, 3 pairs of blue jeans, and 1 sweater that will probably be to small my the time the weather turns cold.

Dennis pissed me off Friday. I came home and he proudly showed me the new school clothes he bought for Chris. There not brand new, he got them at the goodwill. But he still spent 40 bucks on them. It turns out the bastard pawned his wedding band to pay for them. I told him I was going garage saling today!!!! But now including what I bought garage sailing and what Dennis got a good will Chris has a closet full of clothes for school. That wasn't all that made me mad though. He moved the red couch from the formal living room into thefamily room and the brown couch from the family room into the formal living room. I have the family room painted green to go with the brown couch and the formal living room painted dark grey to go with the red couch. Now to move them into opposite rooms and it just does NOT work. I threw and fit and he says he will move them back.

I still have to go through Sharon's closet and dresser drawers and find what doesn't fit her anymore. Then neighbor across the street keeps her very well dressed. She gets all of her hand me downs. (I suspect there garage sale purchases as well) What ever I find I will try and donate to the Mana house. I remember when we were there to get our electric bill paid someone came in to get school clothes. At least if I give them to the Mana house I will know they are going to someone who needs them rather than going to someone who is just after inexpensive clothing. Dennis said while he was at the Good Will yesterday he saw a woman walk out with a bag full of clothes and get into a Cadillac Escilade. And if the Mana House won't take them I will put them up on Freecycle. I feel like they might have a better chance of going to someone who can't afford to buy there little girl new clothes for school, kinda like we were with Chris.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The last quarter is nearly finished. This will mark my half way point. Once this little area is scooped out I will then began to dig down another foot.

Mom let me download Picasa and Hello onto her computer so I could upload my pictures. I was having some serious picture posting withdrawl. As you can see I have made quite a bit of progress since the last time I posted pictures. But once again the ground is drying and getting very hard, making it harder and harder to dig. This picture was taking before the digging I did this morning. I cut another 25 feet off of that chunk of dirt and roots in the middle. There is no longer any room to put a chair.

Once I cut this little section out (which I plan to have finished this weekend) I am going to spend a couple of days cleaning up around the dig site. There are some sapling trees that need to go, there going to be in the way once we start bagging. Plus there is a ring of tree roots on the outside of my ring of dirt piles. When I pull out the chunks of tree root I have simply been throwing them over the top of the piles of dirt. The sapling trees Dennis cut from the dig site are still laying there as well. Its been very dry so any burning I do will have to be done in very small fires. Posted by Picasa

The dig site with with 3 quaters done and the 4th one outlined. Ii have found its easier to dig out the middle if the outline the area you are working on. Posted by Picasa

The dig site with 3 quarters done Posted by Picasa

My pile of rock, getting bigger and pigger all of the time. As you can see the rocks I am digging up are getting larger to. I am invisioning a fireplace made of dry stacked stone. What do you think? Posted by Picasa
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