Thursday, December 29, 2005

Back and hands are better. Lets get back to work.

pictures of the bathroom after the grocery sack wallpaper. I got these backwards, sorry.
another after
We all enjoyed Coyotes gifts.
I think maybe this archery thing could turn into a family hobby
Pictures of the kids bathroom before.
and before
Oops, and before again, it won't come off.

I have finished both the book about working with stone and the earth oven book. I learned a lot about stone and how to build theo oven as well as some interesting things about making bread that I didn't know. The earth oven book also taught me to make my own yeast and I am going to start a batch today.

I would like to build an earth oven with a Russian chimney attatched. I don't know much about them though. I've seen diagrams and could probably duplicate what I saw. The problem is figuring out how to attatch it to the oven.

Sunday in the falling light of evening I moved dirt. A small amount. Bear is still no condition to help. He is still recovering from being sick and I don't want him to risk re injuring those muscles in his chest. My wrist and the irritated syetic nerve in my back have both gotten better, although I have to be careful not to re injure them .

I don't think we will be done with the foundation when spring arrives though. But that's alright because we probably won't have money for bags by then anyway. I told Bear I think we should build the wood burning oven first, that way we can build the walls around the chimney rather than leaving a hole for it. I can also start digging the foundation for the dining room and the little sunken patio for the back door we have been planning. Both the dining room and patio will have walls of cob with metal roofing and a wooden frame made of the thinner logs we have cut recently. All of those can be done before the house begins. And if we are delayed to long I can even go ahead and cob the outdoor pantry by the property line that I was planning.
Bear decided at about 10pm that he wanted me to mix up a batch of wallpaper paste and we would work on the kids bathroom some more. Not exactly what I had in mind for 10pm at night, but I did it anyway. We took turns tearing and pasting pieces of grocery sacks to the wall.
One of the features that makes a mobile home look like a mobile home are the walls. They are basically a type of thin wall board or particle boarded covered with a vinyl wall paper or wall covering and have wooden strips covered with the same type of wall covering nailed over each little section. I am told this done because it allows the walls to move without cracking while the home is being transported. To make the inside of the house look more like a typical site built home you pull those trips off, knock any remaining nails into the wall board with a hammer and fill in any cracks or gaps with joint compound. If your going to paint them then its a good idea to use that mesh tape before covering it with joint compound and those metal lathe things should be used on corners. For wallpaper you can usually just paste right over it. Unless you have a large gap to cover.

""recipe for wallpaper paste""
2 cups of cold water
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of sugar or salt

Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook on medium heat until mixture resembles wallpaper paste or gravy. Use immediately. When it cools it becomes gel like and lumpy.

Tuesday Bear worked on the wallpaper a little while I was at work and then we worked on it together when I got home. He also gathered nautical items from all over the house to dress it up as well. It already had nautical items in it but he added a few from other rooms. There was a canoe shelf from the office and a copper music box in the shape of a ship and some nautical looking lanterns. Everything we decorated the bathroom with was free or bought at garage sales . . . Except the oars which came from a hobby lobby store in Conway 4 years ago (back when we still had money).

I've been thinking of frames for the bathroom mirrors. Using bundles of twigs comes to mind, hot glued to the mirrors and spray painted gold. But that's another project.

Domanic has only been able to give Bear on day of work since the week before Xmas and that one day had to go to put new front tires on the explorer. We were hoping it would wait until the grant money came in, but one of them blew the other day. There used tires too, I'm not sure how long they will last. With it being the holidays Domanic doesn't have any work to give, but swears he is booked solid after the first of the year. In the mean time i have been working all of the overtime I can get to make up for it. The mortgage for December was finally paid Tuesday, this Friday I will have enough to pay the electric bill before its late, pay the small payment of Coyotes clarinet, and pay 50 dollars on my car. I can't afford to keep sending 200 to the remaining balance on it right now. Then next weeks check will pay the furniture payment and I get to start scraping for the mortgage all over again.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Owe my hands, owe my back!!!

I did not realize what good exercise chopping wood was. My back is sore, my arms are sore, my butt is sore, my thighs are sore (sorry but I can't talk about my butt in small letters, something that large deserves large letters).

I also got out and worked on the back of the property today for the first time in several weeks. I finally smashed through that compacted section we kept walking over and rolling the wheel barrel over and started working on the looser dirt. I moved a pretty decent amount and if I am not to sore tomorrow I plan on finishing that little section. I worked an hour and a half and by then the cold started to feel like it was sinking in a little to much and I went home. Just in time to shower and get ready to go to Mom's for Christmas. Shortly after showering my hands began to ache really bad. Has it been so long since I did any hard physical activity.

While back there today enjoying the sky that couldn't seem to decide if it wanted to be cloudy or sunny I saw the golden eagle again. I think she may have been after one of the cats. Patch came running down the trial about the same time I saw her and she swooped awful low through the trees when she flew over. Then she crossed the little valley to the east, turned north, and disappeared over the mountains.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

glowing gift boxes

A friend of ours made these. There glass blocks with holiday lights and ribbon around them. we bought a few as gifts.
My favorite part of the holidays is decorating the gifts, LOL. That's wired ribbon picked up at a garage sale during the summer, a home made bow, and raffia. The glitter is held on by spraying the package with hairspray before sprinkling it
Coyote's gift. Red velvet ribbon cut into poensettas, fake snow, and newspaper wrapping.
acorns, silver paint, raffia, silver ribbon and a store bought silver bow. And ofcourse a can of snow
Bear decorated this one. It was harder than he though and he wouldn't do anymore.
ribbon dug out of a garbage can at a near by cemetery
Moms gift. 3 different types of odinary store bought ribbon and some raffia, snow, glitter, newspaper, and a couple of gum balls from a gum tree outside.
The snow.
Looky Looky I finally learned how to make bread!!! They rose, browned, and even tasted good.
Here is a picture of mouse on the couch giving me a dirty look because I am taking her picture.

The shorter days and cooler weather have seriously slowed down the digging. The cold weather I don't mind so much. Anything above 40 degrees really doesn't bother me at all. I'm surprised by this. Although I developed tolerance for the heat I figured it would take just as long to adapt to the cold, but it hasn't. Just one cold day working outside and I seem to tolerate it just fine now. Maybe its the result of breaking out of the climate controlled environment we humans have tried to encase ourselves in.

Here is a recipe I make a lot of. Its easy and quick. Just throw your ingredients in the crockpot in the morning (or solar cooker in the summer) and leave it all day while you work outdoors. Serve it over pasta when its dinner time and sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese.

The recipe for chicken pepper pot. . .

1.5 pounds chicken cubed (peel it right off the skeleton of a whole one, it doesn't matter how you get it as long as you got it)
1 1/2 cup garden grown bell peppers (you can use store bought but home grown has much more flavor because its allowed to ripen on the plant instead of being picked before its ripe)
2 cans condensed tomato soup undiluted
1 can of water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tbsp fresh or frozen basil
2 tbsp fresh or frozen rosemary
2 tbsp fresh or frozen oregano
1 tsp fresh or frozen sage
1 dried bay leaf (or use fresh if you have a bay laurel)
1 tbsp white wine worchestier sauce
Combine all ingredients but the chicken in the crock pot and stir. Then add the diced raw chicken, put on lid and cook. The longer you cook the more tender the chicken. Ten hours is the best setting, but 8 or 6 will work to if you didn't get up early enough for 10 hours.
You can use dried herbs if you don't grow your own. You can buy them to if you want to spend the money on fresh herbs from the store. But it seems silly to spend that much money when you can grow them yourself.

Oh how I hate my job. The radio in my vehicle has quit working, at least working properly. There is a short in it that causes the volume to go all the way up to 30 and when it reaches that point all of the buttons freeze up and you can't turn it down, change the song, turn it off, nothing. All that works is hitting a button that causes the front of the thing to pop open like a door. We asked our friend Mike about it. He can do electronic repairs, he said it simply isn't worth trying to fix it and I will just have to get a new one. Fat chance of that happening anytime soon, lo. It aggravates me because some of the best parts of my day when I work are driving along the interstate at 60 miles an hour, watching pissed off drivers pass me as I sing at the top of my lungs along with what ever music I happen to be playing.

We were bragging about Mike at a party the other night. You got to love a Techie that comes over to work on your computer and refers to a computer virus you have picked up as "cooool". He kept looking for what he referred to as a signature. He said "No way someone is going to create something this good and not sign it somewhere".

A girl went into labor at work yesterday, at least she thought it was labor at first. She is only 7 months along. She came out of the bathroom and told our big supervisor Tina she thought she was having contractions and wanted to call her mother to come get her. She went into the break room to make the call. A short time later Tina went in to check on her and said she was already bleeding through her clothes and hurting pretty bad. She was in a lot of pain and the pain was constant, not like contractions are. They called and ambulance and wheeled her out. We never heard any news as to what had happened. I will probably find out when I go back to work Friday.

I have eaten so much sugar this week. If I'm not careful I am going to put back on all of that fat that I lost. I come home and Bear is baking the stuff we intend to give the neighbors. (I had also planned to give jars of mint jelly but will have to wait until next year I guess). Its hard to resist that perfect fudge of his and the buckeye recipe that I ran across a year ago that is so good. The at work yesterday they lay out boxes of shortbread cookies with icing on them and hot caramel and apples for us.

There is a heavy heavy frost on the ground today. When I came out of work yesterday I had to scrape a light frost off of my car and found I was loaning out my ice scraper to those who didn't think to put one in there cars. I woke to a world covered in ice this morning and even though its 10am its still frosty outside. Bear left with Dominic this morning so it will just be me and the kids and I can get started on the grocery sack wallpaper in there bathroom. At some point I need to go down to that place where the man who has a mill set up at his house and take a couple bags of sawdust to store the bulbs and tubers that I dug up a few weeks ago. There just sitting in bags in the pantry right now and do best when stored in sawdust.

11:15 finds the frost gone from he ground. The air still feels cold but with enough clothes its comfortable enough. Keeping moving doesn't hurt either. There is laundry hanging on the lines and sunlight shining through the skeleton branches of trees to help dry it. We need fire wood. The chain saw is full of diesel, an accident, LOL, and Bear as has not cleaned it out yet but strangely enough seems to enjoy chopping the firewood with an ax. Hahaha, who woulda thought it. Just this spring he made me wait until he had a new blade for his chainsaw before cutting down some saplings that were standing in the way of my digging. They were so thin I could circle there trunks with my hands . . . And I have small hands.

there's hope for him yet I guess.

I drag some thin logs from the woods that are pretty dry and rotten and smash through them with the ax myself. They will burn, just not very hot. The greener your wood, the hotter the fire. There is also a black cherry Bear cut down in late summer. I know its a cherry because the bark grows in a circle around the trunk instead of straight up and down and is spattered with white and silver splotches. The bark also contains a sedative which effects a persons lungs and is helpful in relieving coughs caused by bronchitis. I use it to make cough syrup.

The ax is dull, but I still manage to chop through the thinner end of the cherry and add a little bit of greener wood to the decaying pieces I drug up from the woods. I manage to stack up a pile of thin logs that may burn for the night before stopping for some water and a break. The next load of laundry is done and needs to be hung. I decide when I go to my mothers later I will snag some wood off of dads pile. He sometimes complains to my mother when I do that and can't understand why we would have to take any of his wood when we live in the woods. We spent so much time digging throughout the summer that we didn't bother to cut any wood for the winter and now find we have to cut it as we go. Injury, illness, and time are all factors we have to work against now. Its a good thing one of us is strong and healthy this winter.

Bear is sick. He has a fever and his cough is persistent. But a lack of funds has forced him to quit smoking, for he moment anyway. Were also out of cough syrup but I stored up plenty of medicinal herbs before winter came. I have pine needles stashed away as well as cherry bark harvested during blooming time which is when its supposed to be most potent as well as oak bark from the ancient white oak in the gully and echincacea leave harvest in mid summer from plants I grew from seed myself which is stashed in the freezer. I will use a combination of these to make a good cough and cold syrup for him today. Feveryew is needed for his fever, but unfortunately I was never able to find it growing wild and never secured any seeds. Miterwort in another I would like to have a supply of, but once again none found wild and I haven't been able to buy any seeds. Motherwart is excellent for treating PMS and painful cramping during a woman's period as well as excessive bleeding. Tonight I will build a hot fire and recommend that he try to sweat his fever out tonight. Fever like most things in nature does serve a purpose. The body raises its temperature in defense of what ever has invaded it. Our bodies know that the excessive heat although miserable for us can kill what ever is making us sick.

By the way Coyote recorded a very cute movie at my mothers house that I really enjoyed. Its called Ella Enchanted. And it has nothing to do with Ella's fairy god mother being named Lucynda like me either ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A rainbow around the moon

I saw it earlier in the week and warned Bear it meant snow was coming. Always does. But the rainbow didn't last a long time so I didn't think there was much on the way. Its been spitting snow all morning.

The party was as expected. We drove through the hills to an enormous house in the middle of a huge field surrounded by those plastic looking white fences. The house was all strung with lights and those pointless spotlights were all over the yard lighting up features of the house and features in the landscaping. We pulled up near a 3 car garage and parked in the grass. The inside of the house would have been perfect to someone who didn't know better. I counted 3 entrances to the downstairs and all three of them had large grand foyuers. One of the foyuers even had a fireplace. There was a huge living room and two dining rooms, a breakfast nook and a kitchen with although small was decked out with expensive stainless steel gadgets which looked as though they had never been used. Later in the evening I commented on the kitchens size and said it must be difficult to cook with so little counter space. Our hostess admitted she and her husband rarely eat at home.

To be honest she looked like she rarely ate at all. She had breast implants and a skinny body and probably spends a lot of time in a gym, but strangely enough she didn't even have the strength to uncork a bottle of wine by herself.

Its was decorated with all kinds of expensive things I have seen in shops all over town as well as an abundance of crosses. I found myself wondering what kind of reaction I would get inviting her to a home decorated with pentegrams. Everyone complimented her on her beautiful home (except me ofcourse, LOL) I wasn't impressed.

The food was good and so was the wine. I listened to a female Dr talk about a baby she had delivered earlier in the day. Apparently the mother was 18 and had every venereal disease you can imagine. I enjoyed the wine so much I asked her what kind it was and she blushed and said "Its that really cheap reunitie stuff, I am ashamed to admit I like it a lot better than the more expensive brands." I didn't ask her why she should be ashamed to admit that. I told her I like Arbor Mist, its cheap to but it tastes really good.

At one point I excused myself and used a bathroom down the hall. It was full of the same expensive decorations. There were expensive name brand soaps on the counter and expensive name brand shower gels in the shower. Out of curiosity I opened the doors under the sink and to my surprise found they were well stocked with Sauve shampoo and conditioner and bar soap.

Our friend the Holly's were there to. I got a kick out of it when someone asked Squirrel what he did for a living. He is a garbage man. A very proud garbage man. He went into detail about his job, even explaining the differences between the maggots you find in really old garbage, LOL. We excused ourself at one point so Bear could smoke outside and Tammy commented on all of the stuck up people at the party. i just laughed and said "I'd like to see them poop in a bucket full of sawdust ." Bear later told me he laughed so hard when I said that he nearly peed his pants.

Anyway, enough about the party. I still have not found time to get out and dig. The shorter days and colder weather area really slowing us down. Bear mentioned that I did say when it got to cold to work outdoors I would do somethings indoors, such as wallpapering the guest bathroom with old grocery sacks. I've been collecting them for a few months. I should get started on that. It won't be long before I will be starting seedlings indoors and preparing for spring planting. The days will start getting longer and the weather warming.

There is a chance of snow Saturday night and a slim chance of another white Yule/Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Shhh, Bear doesn't know I am here

I got off a little early today. Not that I was scheduled to begin with, I replaced a girl who couldn't find a sitter for overtime today and then accepted an offer to leave an hour and a half early. I knew if I didn't sneak out there was no way I could get over here and blog today.

I am really sick of my job at the moment anyway. The mail slows down so bad this time of year and people keep calling wanting to know why we haven't received there mortgage payment yet and some are convinced we have this magical control over the postal service and its all our fault. I had a record number of 6 requests for supervisors yesterday (I usually only have 1 or 2 a week). Not that I mind those types of call, I just hand the head set to the sup. Once I flag him or her down and sit and listen while the person argues with them.

Yesterday we got a call from the customer service center "legend" Linda Cambell from . . Somewhere. 3 years ago her insurance company accidently faxed us a cancellation notice instead of a renewal and we put forced placed coverage on her account because we were under the impression it had been canceled and she had not replaced it. Well she calls one of the 6 customer service centers every single day and has for the last 3 years since this occurred. The problem has been fixed but she still insists we are scamming her. Keeps saying her lawyer is going to call (after 3 years I think he would have called by now). She is going to the radio station with her story. Calls from her are usually several hours long and she never allows the service rep to speak, ever. Once she became very paranoid and told us that if her doctor called we were not to believe anything he said because he is a quack and says she needs medication. We all have realized by now the woman is seriously ill, especially when she began threatening to burn her house down if we didn't pay back the 95 dollars she thinks we owe her from 3 years ago. But its still amusing to get calls from her in our center.

Mouse had a girlfriend spend the night to long ago. I was delighted because she never has friends over. It didn't take me long to figure out why the girls were friends. I never thought I would meet a little girl as bossy as mouse is. She was not happy about the fact that we did not have cable or a telephone though. I heard them talking in the kitchen the next day about how at her house they can watch what ever comes on TV and they don't have to watch movies all of the time . . . Then she is quiet and looks around for a bit and says "Our house is never this clean though." Hahahahaha.

Tonight I am to go to a Christmas party we were invited to. I don't think we have ever been invited to a Christmas party, but I am still not looking forward to it. This is a lady Bear knows from Church. She lives in an enormous house near the Big Piney River Bluffs and her husband owns several "Commercial" farms. She drives a white Mercedes, wears way to much make-up . You guys know the type I am talking about. I hate women like that.

Well I am off. I want to put up some laundry before the party.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A gift idea from "Crystal Woman

Not much to post about today, which is fine because I don't have much time after spending an hour reading everyone else's blogs ;). But the most recent exciting events are as follows.

1. Bear got hit by a car yesterday, total unharmed, but hit hard enough that it threw him onto the trucks hood. It was an old man driving, and after Bear got off of his hood he just kept on driving, now even a "I'm sorry." or "Are you ok." And ofcourse not a cop around anywhere when you need one.

2. Our friend with the carpet cleaning company who has been letting Bear work for him part time is going to leave us a cell phone. Apparently he is allowed 5 on his plan an giving one to us won't cost him anything. He doesn't like the fact he can't call Bear when he needs to. I will be as glad to have a phone back as I will be to have internet back, but its been interesting learning to live without one. Once again another crutch I have learned to live without.

3. My eyesite is improving. For those of you who don't know I had my eyes checked and got new contact lenses shortly before Bear had to have major surgery, spent 6 weeks on medical leave, lost his job, and we went into the downward financial spiral we have been pulling ourself out of since. Well my new contact lenses did not fit correctly and I couldn't afford to 30 dollar followup visit. I tried to make do with them but the longer I wore them the worse they got until I was reduced to putting them in while driving and suffering with scratches on the surface of my eye afterward. Then one night I forgot to put them in until I was half way home and realized "Oh my goodness I am driving without corrective lenses!!!". I have since cast them off completely. Back in October as I gathered kindling by moonlight I stood barefoot in my front yard, looked up at the sky filled with racing clouds, moonlight and lightening and realized that the fuzzy white ball I usually see had some pale grey splotches on it. I noticed it again last night to when I got off work, and those splotches seem a little clearer now. What this means is when I first threw away the little plastic lenses all I could see of the full moon was a fuzzy white blob. But I am beginning to see the pale grey craters on the surface of the moon and I couldn't see them before.

4. Mom took me out to lunch, first time in a while and we sat and talked for an hour.

5. Bear may be getting his grant money for school early. However he won't have work available for the work study program right away either. But we can pay off whets left of my car and eliminate a 200 dollar a month payment, get the internet and phone turned back on adding 125 dollars in bills. We can also get his front tires replaced before they blow our and get the balbearings on the explorer fixed as well. He is still working for Dominic though and with these vehicle problems fixed he can drive to Conway to work with him and make more money by doing so.

Now for a Christmas gift from the "Susan Weeds Wise Woman Forum"
porous stones soaked in essential oils.

Most of the porous or soft stones will hold scent for a very long time, as will organics like bone, coral, shell - these can be soaked for up to 4 hours. Harder stones like quartz that have cracks, fractures, calcite or striated stones like tourmeline, topaz, emerald all have much smaller pores so need to soak for 24 hours. Just about the only stones that don't absorb oils easily are tumbled stones that have a very high finish waxy coating polished onto them and the really hard stones like diamond, sapphire, ruby. And that's because their pores are too tiny to allow the oils to soak in easily, so you have to let them sit in oil for 3-4 days - it helps if you warm it while they're soaking. Some stones you don't want to soak in oil because they may dissolve include pyrite, crysocolla, natural pearls, apophyllite, celestite - but you can lightly brush the oil on to the outer surface and let it sit there for 20 minutes then wipe it all off. Another technique for the very soft stones or stones that have fragile, tiny needle-like crystals is to wrap it in tissue paper that has strong scented EO on it, and wrap that again in plastic wrap so no air gets in, and let it sit like that for 3-4 days. Sometimes I will let a stone soak in full-strength EO if it is a very delicate scent. Very strong scented EO's I'll dilute with some other non-scented oil. The amount of oil you need for soaking would be just enough to submerse the stone. If the oil is very scarce then massage a few drops of the oil into the stone with your fingers and repeat 3 hours later. Soaking stones in oils will heighten the colors and intensify the details and patterns of the stones, give them a wet look. But they usually need to be re-soaked or have a fresh application brushed on after 4-6 months. After your stones have soaked long enough use a cloth or tissue to gently wipe away excess - remember to keep the cloth for scenting very fragile stones in it.

You know, down on the beach by the river there are some porus white stones and its easy to find them with natural holes in them. I bet I still have time to make a few of these.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Good things from bad

Bear and I were discussing our plans or lack there of for New Years Eve. We are usually either going to a party or throwing one ourselves. But with no money this year we decided to keep things quiet and simple. Bear was still not happy about not having any alcohol though.

Well it seems last weekends tornadoes destroyed a liquor store in Morrilton. They ordered a dumpster from the garbage company our friend squirrel works for. They went to pick it up Monday and discovered it was full of unbroken liquor bottles. The bottles had water damaged labels or torn labels and had been thrown out by the store owners. Well squirrel called his wife and had her bring her truck up and called his dad and had him bring a truck up. They spent several hours picking through that dumpster. Afterward he brought his truck over to our place, pulled back the tarp covering it and said with a big smile "Weren't you guys complaining about not having any alcohol for New Years Eve. Squirrel and his father filled there homes as well with plenty to spare.

I haven't gotten much digging done. The center of the foundation is done and were now moving back the piles of dirt to widen it. I worked one day in the cold. My recent weight loss and decrease in exercise encourage me to eat less and in doing so to eat less healthy. Since the late part of last week I have been cursed with a cold, a yeast infection a bladder infection, and now have a painful stye under my eye. That was my fault. I should have known better.

Last night we received our seasons first snow. Snow is always a cause for worry in the south. We get it so rarely that no one really knows how to drive in it. With me working 45 minutes from home I had a lot to worry about. We all spent the day looking anxiously out at the cloudy skies. People camera in to work with stories of sleet in Fayetteville, flurries in Russellville. Morrilton got its first snow at 7pm. It was light and stopped before I left. But as soon as I reached the interstate I heard the distinct sound of ice hitting my windshield. It turned to large snow flakes by the time I arrived in Russellville. This morning there was an inch on the ground. The roads were clear and the buses ran but we kept the kids home anyway.

The power went off at 11am so we lit the fire and settled down around it to read. I went to the library Tuesday and picked up a couple of books. One called "Pioneer women" with fragments taken from the journals of over 800 different pioneer women in Kansas. Another one called "pebble mosaic" which began inspiring ideas for stone floors and patios and other creations, and yet another about home schooling which I haven't had a chance to pick up yet. I heated up water to make tea with for my bladder infection (blackberry leaves gathered in the summer) by sitting the glass close to the fire. In 30 minutes the water was so hot that it steamed and there were bubbles on the sides of the cup. I also made a big bowl of snow ice cream

I have been a little aggravated lately about not having an ice scraper for my car. I tried letting the defroster melt it off one morning while my car heated up only to discover that I used a lot more gas that day after doing that. I've been using a CD case I found in my car, but it shattered this morning. We got a letter from a new bank that opened up recently. They sent us a guaranteed free gift. I turned my nose up at it figuring it was a ploy to get us in there so they could try and make us open a checking account or something. Well I brought it in, we had to pick a key from a glass bowl and open a wooden trunk with it and it was full of envelopes. I opened the envelope and sure enough it had offers of "we will buy your old checks, free checking account". I was about to tell the teller exactly how I felt about that free gift when she said. "There is another one in there." It was an offer to choose a free gift off of the table. It included a manicure kit, a little flashlight, a bank of the Ozarks pen, and a bank of the Ozarks ice scraper. Its staying in my car. Bear took the old one I had.

A few weeks ago I mentioned someone stealing my green sweater while I was at work. Well I discovered who it was when I saw it hanging over the back of her chair. I mentioned it to the boss who said since I didn't have any proof that it was mine he couldn't make her give it back. Well she left it hanging on the back of her chair one night after she left and I stole it back.

Well Wednesday morning I went looking for the leopard print scarf my sister made for me for Yule/Christmas year. I never found it so I went off to work. Later that evening I saw my scarf having over the back of the same girls chair. A 75 cent garage sale sweater is one thing but that scarf was a gift from my sister!!! I crossed the room and bent over her chair and said "Is that your scarf?"
"Yes, I got it at wal-mart."
"No you did not! My sister made me that scarf for Christmas last year. There isn't another one like it anywhere. Its mine and I am taking it back. And nothing else better disappear off of the back of my chair either!! So I took it off the back of her chair and wrapped it around my throat and strutted back to my seat. No one said a word to me about it. Of all the nerve, stealing something from someone and then wearing it in front of them!! Did she think I was to nice to say anything!!! Ha, she just happened to steal from he while I have PMS, bad move sister!!!

Coyote got some new arrows for Yule/Christmas. We wrapped them up in 6 t shirts before we put them under the tree so he couldn't figure out what they were. Well he did anyway. So Bear pulled him aside and said "We looked all over town for arrows, but its hunting season and there all sold out until Spring. Maybe for you birthday we can get you some."
It reminds me of the year we bought him a BB gun for Yule/Christmas. He figured it out right away. I had made it known that I did not approve of buying a 5 year old a BB gun so we when he declared he knew what it was I put my hands on my hips, gave him a nasty look and said "Chris you know how I feel about that. Do you honestly think I would allow your father to buy you a BB gun!!!>" His head and shoulders fell along with his expression. Then ofcourse what does he find under the tree Christmas morning but a BB gun. He stood up and shouted "I knew it!! Lucy you big fat liar!!!". hehehehe

Now for the bad news. I wrote a long post a few days ago about how we have finally been able to catch up the bills and even get a small amount of money put back and even get the kids a few gifts for Yule/Christmas. Then last night I came home to learn that Bear wasn't going to be getting anymore unemployment checks. The people at the office kept saying he could collect it for two years, but they never told him there was only a limited amount of money for him to collect and it ran out. So much for being caught up. My income doesn't pay for everything and the work Dominic provides isn't regular enough to rely on. Not to mention that he can often forget to pay Bear for a week or more at a time. And ofcourse Bear starts school in January. 3 and 1/2 weeks away. What is he going to find to do for 3 weeks. To make matters even worse even though he will be in a work study program at school and will get a large amount of money (anywhere from 3 to 4 k after tuition and everything else is paid) he won't get it until the first of Febuary. We now have to figure out how to survive until Febuary 1st on my income and what ever he can come up with between now and school starting working for Dominic and working as a temp.

If the goddess can fill our cabinets with alcohol for new years even and surprise me with a free ice scraper and those women on the Kansas plains can survive drought and blizzard and grass hoppers eating everything in site (including leather horse harness, clothing, and curtains) than surely I can find a way to keep my head above water until Febuary. I keep reminding Bear "We've seen harder times." His response is "We've seen enough hard times."
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