Sunday, December 31, 2006

I've been tagged again. 6 weird things about me. Hmm. I won't have any trouble populating this list.

1. My favorite thing to wear is a blanket wrapped around my waist.

2. I love walking in the dark.

3. I like to cut up old worn out or stained clothes and make something new with them

4. I think I could be really happy living in a tent until the house is finished.

5. The worse my 8 year old car looks the more comfortable I feel driving it.

6. I have very fond memories of the month we lived "without" electricity after moving here.
This is not my property, this is my neighbors at the bottom of the hill. its a man made pond and there is a water running into on a pretty regular basis from one of the streams that runs through my property. I'm hoping my neighbor cleans up a bunch of this undergrowth when he finally retires and moves here from Oklahoma. The pond is surrounded by thin saplings, honey suckle, red sumac, blackberries, green briers, all in a big tangled mess. I really hope that our pond will eventually be this color. We plan on damming up the second stream on the back of the property overlooked by the building site and letting it flood the tiny little valley there. The water will be the color of mud at first. Bear and I have tried to come up with different ways to keep the dirt from being stirred up to badly once it floods. We've actually thought of trying to cover the bottom of the pond with sand or gravel before it fills with water.

Happy New Years everyone!!!!!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

AAuuurrgh

Well that crazy lady that tried to ruin the Halloween party is here. She showed up with her son last night. We tried to brush her off and get her to leave but it didn't work. She got her son to ask if he could stay the night with Coyote and unfortunately when he stays somewhere she refuses to leave! She has been here since 7pm last night.

Well I figured I might as well take advantage of having her hear so I asked her to drive me to the grocery store this morning to get coffee before I started work. I will never do that again! She drives 30 miles an hour no matter what the speed limit is. Its 60 miles an hour crossing the lake and she is putting at 30 miles an hour. She is weaving all over the road and what kills me is she can't seem to hang onto anything. She dropped her cigarette 7 times in the car on the way there and back. And what really pissed me off is I told her I had to get back to the house and go to work and she stops at the gas station to get cigarettes and is talking to the lady in the drive through for 10 minutes. Then I get my groceries and get back in the car and she is standing in the parking lot for 2 or 3 minutes in a daze before she gets back in it to take off.

I get back to the house and there is a wet spot in the floor I hadn't noticed earlier. Its orange soda. At some point she had a glass of orange soda and dropped it on the carpet Bear just shampooed last week. She broke one of my glasses at some point and didn't clean it up all the way and I ended up with glass in my foot. I'm sitting back here wondering if she drank all of the damn alcohol while we were asleep. I haven't look in the cabinet yet. She isn't acting drunk but I wouldn't be surprised if she isn't on something the way she is dropping everything and the way she was all over the road. I've also noticed that she doesn't appear to have eaten anything since she showed up last night or this morning. This woman is nothing but bones as it is. She has no calf or thigh muscle to speak of, no boobs at all, and you can see her tail bone through her bluejeans which means she has no butt either. Somebody really needs to do something about this woman before she gets in an accident and kills herself and her son. I would really hate to call her ex husband. He makes her life hell as it is but I find it hard to believe she would be that thin and not eating and acting the way she is acting and not be on something she shouldn't be. She does not need to be driving her son back and forth to Little Rock on the weekends if she is still doing serious drugs and I suspect she is. And if she doesn't have a wreck and kill herself she is going to end up starving to death because I don't think she is eating. I told her not to smoke in the house. I don't want a freaking hole burned into my carpet. What really pisses me off is she is probably going to show up for the get together were having tomorrow night. We really don't want her around but she is a basket case all of the time and we don't have the heart to tell her she isn't welcome.

Well now for some good news. That company that hired me a month ago finally got around to training me today. The work is easier and they pay more and there rules are very lax. Another good thing is they pay on the 28th. The company I work for now pays on the 15th. If I work part time for each company I can get two paychecks a month instead of one and make Bear a lot happier.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The most amazing feeling

Have you ever woke up with a stuffed up runny nose and its running down the back of your throat and it feels horrible and then you sneeze and just blow everything out in one big huge sneeze. Oh what a feeling!

My sore throat has turned into a runny nose. My sinus's feel swollen. A little bit of icy hot rubbed across the top of them is helpful. It also clears then up really fast. Especially when its near your nose and you can breath in the fumes, whew! Thats some stout stuff.

Even though I wasn't going to start Coyote's home schooling until the end of Christmas break I have already started a few things. I had both of them what a program on the history channel last night about asteroids. They came into the kitchen or bedroom (where ever I was afterword) and we discussed what they had seen. I didn't tell them to they just it on there own. Tonight there watching a very interesting program called "Hell: The Devil's Domain" at 8pm central. It looked very interesting. Since one of them is Pagan and the other a Christian I think it would be interesting to see what they get out of it. There is also Nostradamus: 500 Years Later: , Last Days on Earth: , Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way: Marijuana. , The Real West: Sitting Bull and the Great Sioux Nation. Those are the ones I think would be interesting. There are some other after the weekend I am thinking about. I will see if Coyote wants to watch them. There mostly about food for some odd reason. They have one whole episode dedicated to the history of hot dogs, ha ha. Oh yeah and there is this one UFO Files: The Pacific Bermuda Triangle. There is one on home brewing that would be interesting but I will ask Coyote before I make him sit through that.

The only problem I have found is that these programs are two hours long and Coyote is pretty sick of them after 2 hours. Mouse came up to me after they watched in and said "I thought I knew a lot about space before I watched that but I know a whole lot more now!

I think I've seen the Bermuda Triangle one. Recent studies indicate that the occurrences there might have been caused my large amounts of methane gas released on the ocean floor. Coyote was learning about Methane gas before I took him out of school and liked to irritate the teacher by calling it Booty Gas. Rather than explain that "booty gas" is created by other sources the teacher just sent him into the hallway. So I used a recent example. Coyote went swimming in a pond at the top of the mountain we live on. Because its on top of a mountain there isn't a lot of fresh water running into it and its pretty nasty. I never got it through his head why swimming there was not a good idea. He talked about stepping on the pond floor and the bubbles that came up. So I explained that those were methane gases created by bacteria breaking down the stuff on the bottom of the pond. When he stepped on it it released the gas. He kept trying to make a joke of it and then all of a sudden it clicked in his head, he got a disgusted look on his face and said "ewe" and didn't talk about it anymore.

Maybe I should create a homeschooling blog. Otherwise I might be clogging this one up with a bunch of home schooling information.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Falling Trees

Last night I dreamed of a strange storm. There was lots of wind and lightening. I had a bad feeling so I moved my car. A tree fell six inches from my car after I moved it. The lightening sounded strange. I didn't hear thunder at all but a strange crackling and popping sound. I turned around and found myself looking at my Uncle Troy's old house (he lives in a different one now). They had a back porch they had just fixed and a tree landed on it. Behind me was another house with a chain link fence in the back yard and a very large tree had been blown over on top of it. I haven't had much luck finding a symbol for the fallen trees. What I did find suggested that the trees were me which would suggest that something blows me down.

I did have a phone call I didn't like this morning. It seems that my mortgage check hasn't arrived. I called Bear who called the bank and sure enough it hasn't cleared. If we put a stop payment on it it will leave us with about 10 dollars in the account. Bear gets paid tomorrow but we have an electric bill to worry about and I don't know how big is check will be. He wanted to give it a little bit more time before we cancel it, but I am pissed at him because he didn't send it priority mail like I told him too. It Christmas after all, the mail is terrible this time of year and he knows that.

I picked up kindling in the woods this morning. We usually make the kids do it but Mouse it getting over a bad cough and Coyote developed one last night. My own little bug seems to be under control, although it hasn't run its course yet. I parked the wheel barrel down next to the stream and walked through the woods picking up dead limbs as I went.

Its about two more weeks before the grant money arrives and we can place an order for supplies so Bear can start selling again. I am really pleased with this new supplier I found in Missouri. The last guy we chose because he was cheap and we didn't have much money to invest. I don't know what the hell he sold us but it wasn't what we asked for. Bear sent this guy the formula we wanted and he called back and suggested a few changes and then sent us a sample. Its really good stuff. Better yet it comes to us in sealed bottle with our named silk screened on it and in boxes with the name printed on them. I will never forget those 1000 dollar weeks he used to have during the spring and summer in fall. After just 3 or 4 days worth of work sometimes.

That was our original plan when we moved here. He was selling cars at the time but the bottom was starting to fall out of that for us. This was shortly after 911 when the car dealers started coming up with those really great finance deals to get people to buy after the disaster on September 11th. Bear got into selling cars right after that because people stopped buying cleaner. That was a great year when he started back. I was working at home and making just about enough to cover our bills all by myself and everything he made was extra. Then in August the company I worked for laid everyone off and the season was slowing down. Sales always slow down in winter dramatically and now I didn't have any income coming in and he wasn't making crap and well it started going down hill from there. By the time summer returned I was still sick and Bear was barely working at all. Its been a struggle to hang on since then. But I am finally working at home again and maybe things will work out this time. I don't think there is any chance of this company laying its employees off anytime soon. They hire new people every single month.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Well thats what I get!!!

I have been visiting madcaps blog way to much I guess, ha ha. I seem to have gotten her bug. I think someone else's son had strep, maybe I have that. I don't know. I woke up with a sore throat at 2:30 am. I gargled with mouth wash, a good way to cripple it before it gets to bad. It does feel better, but my eyes are burning and my head hurts a little. I just got a glimpse of a magnificent pink sunrise while I worked.

The kids did something cute today. My kids are always making deals and breaking them with each other so I have made a rule that no deals can be made unless I approve them first that way I knows who is supposed to do what. Well I have been working unusually hard today and the kids didn't want to bother me so they sat down and wrote out a contract, ha ha, it reads like this.

I Sharon Riley agree to do Chris's vacuuming for him and to do it to Lucy's standards. In exchange Chris Riley agrees to play two games of cards with Sharon Riley no matter how long said games last. If the vacuuming is not done to Lucy's standards this contract is then null and void. Signed, Chris Riley, Sharon Riley.

The pink crayon was my favorite touch.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Rain all day

According to the hour by hour forecast on www.weather.com this rain will end sometime this evening. It says around 7pm now but this morning it said around 5pm. When I saw this morning I mean 4:30am because that's when the animals in the house started to wake me up. First it was Irish. He showed up for his once or twice a week visit yesterday. He found his usual hiding spot under out bed at bedtime and stayed there. At 4:30 he wanted out but didn't want to go out into the rain. Then Snowy decided he wanted out too but didn't want to go out into the rain either. Then they started meowing and getting me out of bed every 15 minutes until I stayed up and decided to feed them. I guess they had to go potty bad enough then that they were brave enough to do it in the rain. Patch came in when I let the others out. She is supposed to be an outside cat but prefers to be indoors. I lay on the couch and let her snuggle up with me after I gave her a nice bowl of milk. She always has been very cuddly.

I lay on the couch with her and watched an episode of "House" I had recorded until the dog decided he had had enough rain and wanted in also. Then I finally fell back to sleep on the couch.

The kids opened there presents last night and slept until 10:40 which is when I finally rolled out of bed. Coyote went and woke bear up and told him we wanted bacon and pancakes for breakfast.

I am so glad Christmas/Yule is over!! Finally life can get back to normal. I can start thinking about beginning my garden. peas are the first thing on the list and need to be started right away. Potatoes too from what I understand. I don't know when the stores will be selling seeds but I can always get them off of eBay.

As for today, there will be the usual cleaning. The kids will probably park there buts of the couch all day and Bear in front of the computer playing poker. I will work on my denim skirt and hopefully get it finished today. That's about it.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Everything i did yesterday


The Cinnamon and Apple sauce and glue dough for making Christmas ornaments. I've sprinkled gold glitter on the dough and rolled it in with the rolling pin.
I used my oak leaf copper cookie cutter to cut out the leaf shapes.



I used the dull side of a butter knife to "press" in the veins of the leaves.






I got 19 leaves out of that batch. I have decided just to give each person one leaf. I think I may re do the garland on my fireplace with these ornaments next year.


A poor woman's parchment paper. A sheet of newspaper with shortening on it. Actually this is the parchment paper of a woman who forget to go to the bakery store and buy it on Friday when they were open. It works about as well as wax paper does. But I didn't have any wax paper either. Brown sugar and butter. The only two ingredients in English Toffee. Boiled to soft crack stage. Which is hard enough to form a hard candy but not to hard that it breaks your teeth when you bite into it. My candy thermometer cracked during this process so I found myself having to use the old fashioned method. which means I had to drop a tiny drop into cold water to check and see how it was hardening.


Organic pecans picked up in my mothers front yard.
The finished product but into the casserole dish to cool. While still hot you sprinkle chocolate chips and chopped pecans on the surface


I mentioned a few days ago that I didn't decorate the Christmas/Yule presents like I usually do, I also mentioned that one one had mentioned even missing the decorations so I wasn't planning on doing it. After a day of baking bear says to be "You know, I really miss seeing the decorations under the tree and i think you need to decorate them before we taken to your moms tomorrow night.



Fortunately I still had those fake Poinsettia's I dug out of the trash can at the graveyard during the spring. They made it go a lot faster.

I must have a hundred yards of that red velvet ribbon.





And of course its very easy to walk out into the woods and pull a few sprigs of evergreen off the trees.


I get a lot of wired ribbon out of the trash cans at the graveyard also. I just want everyone to know I did not pick out that white wrapping paper with the little green holly leaves on it. Bear had these wrapped at Ace Hardware and they just used what ever they didn't sell last year which was the ugly stuff, ha ha.

After all of that I told everyone they could make what ever they could find in the house for dinner. I finished up a pile of ironing in the bedroom and I went to bed.

I didn't do as much as I usually do. For example I just about always make Buckeyes (which are that state desert in Ohio, which is were Bear is from) and I usually make cookies and Crystal Candy and Bear makes a couple of batches of fudge. I was about half way through everything and Bear calls me up and said Ace hardware is having a big sale and he has just bought everyone Christmas/Yule gifts usuing his discount and the sale discount.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Yes I know its sideways. I am posting pictures of this shredded red cedar because its on the edge of what will be the location of the bedroom dome and I am not really sure I know what shredded its bark. The damage extends 7 feet up the trunk of the tree. The interesting thing about cedar bark is you won't ever see a claw mark in it because when a claw is dragged across it the bark shreds into wood fibers. It takes a lot of pressure to get through to the white part of the tree from the red part.

A possible paw print at the bottom of the tree. Bigger than Commodores foot. Besides even if Commodore was after something in the tree he can't jump 7 feet. Everyone who has seen these pictures and that I have described the damage to thinks its a Bear. Not the Bear, ha ha, but a Bear. Another sideways picture. Sorry i did flip them before I pulled them off of Picasa but I don't know why they didn't stay flipped. I thought this one was kind of peaceful.

You may be wondering why I am putting close up pictures of dirt on this page today. I've noticed that on the pile of dirt we dug out of the foundation if there was a rock laying flat on any surface the dirt underneath that rock didn't erode away. It left tiny little towers with stone roofs all over the piles of dirt. MMMmmm, Perfectly risen french bread Snowy and Coyote and his Snowy's unusually way of sleeping. I suspect he sleeps with his upper body elevated because he can breath easier that way. But I have seen him sleep normally also.

Mouse cleaning out the fireplace. I don't know why I took this. I guess I think she looks kind of cute cleaning out the fireplace. I really need to find that paint recipe and paint that mantle though.

This morning there is light frost of the ground but it will melt off soon. Its cold enough for the leaves and walkway to freeze but not the surface of the goldfish pond. Its already 9:17 and I need to get moving. I have to work today and start baking gifts also. We usually make fudge and crystal candy and English toffee and cookies and give that as gifts to all of the adults. I'm thinking about making some gingerbread men ornaments and giving those as gifts and just doing less baking. I still have time to decorate them with acrylic paint. But can I make 3 dozen of them. I have two nephews I have to do something for. I can't give them ornaments because they don't decorate trees, they still live at home. Last year I gave them sweaters from a second hand store. I know its cheesy but I hate buying things new! I had planned on making everyone pairs of crotchet slipper socks but I never found a pattern that really worked online. Maybe I will just buy them second hand sweaters again.
In the mean time I have to run to the store and buy chocolate for the English toffee and applesauce for the ornaments and find my white glue. I have a feeling I will be up very very very late tonight getting all of this stuff done. bear is working tonight and tomorrow and will be very little help.
I could just to oak leave ornaments I guess and sprinkle them with superfine or white glitter. I have a copper oak leaf cookie cutter. I have a maple leaf one to and I wouldn't have to spend hours decorating them.
I looked up the significance of the bear symbol and this is what I found.
Black Bear is to the West on the Medicine Wheel. Just as the bear goes into its cave to hibernate through the winter months, black bear medicine tells us to go within. The West on the Medicine Wheel is the point of "introspection," or the "looks within" place. The symbolism of bear is connection to the earth. Black Bear hibernates through the winter months to digest the years experiences. Hibernating bear is connected the dreamtime or Other-Than-Conscious mind, the subconscious. Meditation is a practice of the West medicine.

If Bear is showing up in your life, the message might be to use discernment. Take time to think through your present situation. The advice given is to "go within" to find your own truth in harmony with the vibration and rhythms of Mother earth. Answers will become clear.
I don't know if black bears claw up trees like this one did. I have read the Grizzly bears will do this. I don't think there are any in Arkansas though. At least there isn't supposed to be. But there aren't supposed to be black panthers in Arkansas either. I don't know about everyone else but I have grown up hearing stories about the American Black Panther and my husband swears to this day he saw one cross our back yard. Several other people living in rural areas say they also have seen the big black cats. From what I understand Grizzlies are very territorial so I hope its not one of those.
Speaking of animals that aren't supposed to live here. The golden eagle I saw two summers ago while hand digging the foundation has not returned.
If the above link doesn't work here is the actual link http://www.wtblock.com/wtblockjr/BlackCat.htm

Friday, December 22, 2006

Today's to do list

Well I had pictures to upload but blogger isn't letting me do that this morning. oh well. I was hoping to get opinions on the shredded bark of a cedar tree I found on the back the the property yesterday

Wrap up and get what I sold on eBay this week addressed.
Wrap Dad's Present.
Work.
Walk.
Take dinner out of the freezer.
Get some stuff listed on eBay.
Hopefully take Coyote to the Library.
Sort laundry laying on red couch.
Go to post office.


Whats sad is I used to post to do lists on here that were a lot longer and managed to get them all done, but I don't think all of this will get done. Its work that takes the longest. I try to get work done before Bear gets home from work so we can spend time together but by doing this everything else gets put on the back burner and some things just won't get done.

Bear feels I shouldn't start Coyotes home schooling until the end of Christmas break. Oh well I guess his brain could use a rest. Not that it was working that hard in public school to begin with. The first thing on the agenda is getting the wheels in his hear turning. Learn to think for yourself. Independent thought. When we worked with him on the back of the property for the first two hours he simply did what we told him to do. Then the wheels began to turn and he started finding easier ways to do things, finally. I find jigsaw puzzles are a good way to accomplish this. I have found hundreds of them online and they will Improve his picture memory and his problem solving skills I think. Spelling is also a big issue. He is a terrible speller. His skills like his sisters and his dads lean more toward math. I think word games will help with this and lots of reading. Last night as I worked and his dad worked late he say on the computer and played world of War craft. He can't use a messenger when he uses this game and i guess he friends don't like typing to each other so instead he talks to them on the phone. I walked out there last night and he has the cordless phone up to his ear, my cell phone up to the other ear and on the cordless phone there are 3 people there talking in a conference call. Can you see me rolling my eyes right now.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I haven't really done as much for Yule/Christmas as I usually do. Usually we string lights up all over the house and we didn't do that. It could be because half of the icicle lights were dead and we weren't really in the mood to buy new ones, but bear didn't put lights on the deck or bridge or around the pond or anything. Maybe its because we have yet to clean up the falls leaves. But I usually decorate the gifts after they have been wrapped. I make wired ribbon bows and sprinkle them with glitter and spray them with fake snow. I glue acorns to them and pine needles and pressed cedar leaves and oak leaves. I didn't do any of that this year. I just wasn't in the mood to do it. It doesn't seem to have bothered anyone. After all no one has said "Lucy it just doesn't feel like Christmas because the gifts aren't decorated." We ended up taking the Christmas village down early. Snowy decided that he really liked sleeping on the cotton we used for snow. No matter how many times I sprayed him in the face with water he would hop right back up there again. I once heard it compared to the story "Gulliver's travels". He knocked all of the people and trees down, tore holes in the cotton, and destroyed a set of our gas street lights so we just took everything down and put it up.

I finally got to work on the web cam platform yesterday. It wasn't as busy as I was led to believe. She never really told me it was busy I guess, just that she needed people. Since I was the only person I saw working on it last night I guess she was right. I can run the program in the background and work on the platform I usually work on as well. It will give my fingers a break. Although I find carrying a conversation on with some of these people difficult. The first person I talked to was very hard to understand. I guess he was from Scotland or something like that. I don't know what version of English he was speaking, ha ha, but it wasn't one I spoke. I didn't have that much trouble with any of the others though. At any rate its a good way to supplement what I am already doing, but it won't replace it. I just take the amount of money I make there, divide it by what I make per text and add that to what I already do. It makes my numbers for the day move up faster.

There is fog outside today. The sun is starting to burn through it so I am assuming the sky above the thick haze is clear. Unfortunately I've already done all of the laundry so it won't matter anyway.

I'm starting to think of gardening. We have yet to get that tiller that my dad gave us. I hope he still has it. According to what I read online I can plant lettuce and peas and leeks right now. I love leeks. creamy leek soup is my favorite. And we eat lots of peas. I hope my garden does better than last year. Last summer I ended up with stunted corn, a bunch of yellow pear tomatoes (I had no idea when I planted them they would only be 1 1/2 inches) and a lot of lemon cucumbers. My regular tomatoes did nothing. I had one squash off my vines and it wasn't the kind I planted. A few pathetic and bitter bowls of lettuce. 1 wimpy little raspberry off of my vines and some mushy strawberries. oh and a few very small bell peppers.

I have identified and solved a few of my problems this year but I think this post is to long already so I will discuss that later.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I've been tagged

First time ever. i am so honored :).

Five things you probably didn't know about me.


1. I hate Doctors but I really love the TV series "House" which is about a brilliant doctor who is also an asshole.

2. I went to a Christian school and wore a little plaid skirt, a white ofxord blouse, and a bright red tie everyday!!!

3. I'm shy!!!

4. I really really love wearing fake fingernails.

5. I secretely hope that someday I can afford breast implants and maybe those new injections that disolve the fat on your body instead of having it sucked out.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A new beginning

For Coyote anyway. He is thrilled about the idea of home schooling. Mouse took the idea of staying in school while her brother home schooled surprisingly well. She sees it as doing something better than her brother because his grades are poor and hers are not. I also reminded her it would man not getting to play with her friends as often if she home schooled. She didn't argue in the least.

Coyote was very excited as we discussed what he would be learning. I plan to buy one of those study books for the GED and he will study that until he is able to take the test that will count as a high school diploma and other than that I will be letting him learn about what he wants to learn about since I feel that this is the biggest part of his problem in a public school anyway. He has no interest in what they are trying to teach him. He would learn best if he was excited about what he is learning. He has expressed a huge desire to learn about herbalism and how to work with leather, from the raw stages to the finished product. I know just the book he needs to read. Its called Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness). I just looked it up on Amazon and despite the fact that it was printed in 1974 its still priced at 24.95.

Maybe the library will have it. From what I understand getting the brains to do the tanning is fairly easy. Finding hides for him to work with will be more difficult. Bear and I don't hunt and I'm afraid if Coyote tried to trap anything he would end up trapping cats.

Sunday we cut more trees on the dig site. I talked about that in Mondays post but thought it was worth mentioning again. Its looking a little bare to me on the hilltop. I realize it only looks that way because we are removing trees where the domes will actually sit and it won't look so bare once the domes are actually there. But it still bothers me. Enough to be pickier about what I let bear cut down.

I walked back there yesterday and walked around on the hillside that slopes toward the creek. We will be slowly working out way down hill cleaning up saplings and dead trees and muscudine and greenbrire vines that are as thick as my arm. There are lots of dogwood trees down here too. There are to many for me to leave them all so we've determined that were going to cut out the ones that are not already blooming. Its easy to find out which ones these are in the winter because there already forming buds. I really should mark them so that Bear won't get chainsaw happy and cut them down anyway. He is notorious for doing that.

I have a new washing machine. My mother bought it for me. I tried to refuse. I insisted several times that I could continue washing my clothes by hand. But its hard to resist when your sitting there rubbing hands that are still aching from the mornings load and trying to type with them at the same time. The squeezing the water out might not be so bad for some but I have had this problem with my wrists and hands for years. I have trouble uncapping a bottle that's just slightly stuck. It was delivered this morning and the first load is in it.

I'm looking at the http://www.weather.com/ right now and it looks as though it might be safe to hang some things up. I will have to take them down this evening and they won't be dry but it might help them dry out a little bit before putting them in the dryer. After all if the washer is gone I am sure the dryer won't be far behind it.

Speaking of weather were currently sitting at 46 degrees compared to yesterdays 70 something. The average temperature for this time of year is 50 degrees

A new beginning

For Coyote anyway. He is thrilled about the idea of home schooling. Mouse took the idea of staying in school while her brother home schooled surprisingly well. She sees it as doing something better than her brother because his grades are poor and hers are not. I also reminded her it would man not getting to play with her friends as often if she home schooled. She didn't argue in the least.

Coyote was very excited as we discussed what he would be learning. I plan to buy one of those study books for the GED and he will study that until he is able to take the test that will count as a high school diploma and other than that I will be letting him learn about what he wants to learn about since I feel that this is the biggest part of his problem in a public school anyway. He has no interest in what they are trying to teach him. He would learn best if he was excited about what he is learning. He has expressed a huge desire to learn about herbalism and how to work with leather, from the raw stages to the finished product. I know just the book he needs to read. Its called Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness). I just looked it up on Amazon and despite the fact that it was printed in 1974 its still priced at 24.95.

Maybe the library will have it. From what I understand getting the brains to do the tanning is fairly easy. Finding hides for him to work with will be more difficult. Bear and I don't hunt and I'm afraid if Coyote tried to trap anything he would end up trapping cats.

Sunday we cut more trees on the dig site. I talked about that in Mondays post but thought it was worth mentioning again. Its looking a little bare to me on the hilltop. I realize it only looks that way because we are removing trees where the domes will actually sit and it won't look so bare once the domes are actually there. But it still bothers me. Enough to be pickier about what I let bear cut down.

I walked back there yesterday and walked around on the hillside that slopes toward the creek. We will be slowly working out way down hill cleaning up saplings and dead trees and muscudine and greenbrire vines that are as thick as my arm. There are lots of dogwood trees down here too. There are to many for me to leave them all so we've determined that were going to cut out the ones that are not already blooming. Its easy to find out which ones these are in the winter because there already forming buds. I really should mark them so that Bear won't get chainsaw happy and cut them down anyway. He is notorious for doing that.

I have a new washing machine. My mother bought it for me. I tried to refuse. I insisted several times that I could continue washing my clothes by hand. But its hard to resist when your sitting there rubbing hands that are still aching from the mornings load and trying to type with them at the same time. The squeezing the water out might not be so bad for some but I have had this problem with my wrists and hands for years. I have trouble uncapping a bottle that's just slightly stuck. It was delivered this morning and the first load is in it.

I'm looking at the www.weather.com right now and it looks as though it might be safe to hang some things up. I will have to take them down this evening and they won't be dry but it might help them dry out a little bit before putting them in the dryer. After all if the washer is gone I am sure the dryer won't be far behind it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Justice Prevails!!!!!

The bus driver has received a reprimand and Coyote is no longer in trouble. The driver has also been advised to pay closer attention to what happens on his bus or he will be terminated.

He told me the whole story when he got home from school. The Superintendent went to the middle school and pulled Coyote into a private room. He showed him the bruises and explained whats been happening to him and then they viewed the video tapes together.

Coyote said the man was really nice and he really liked him. He said it was also very nice to finally have someone listen to what he had to say for a change and not be accused of being the one who was doing something wrong.

I am still going to home school him though. This entire problem started because Coyote was branded as a trouble maker while in grade school. (He was living with his biological mother during this period). Is a bus driver is doing this to him then I know there are teachers doing it as well. I'm not about to make him endure 6 more years of being picked on by authority figures.

The straw that broke the camels back.

This morning Bear went to talk to the bus drivers boss. The cameras on the bus will be pulled and the man is going to go to the school and have a talk to Coyote about whats happening also. He wouldn't let me go with him because I as still really pissed off this morning and would have probably made a scene.

I'm not concerned about the cameras being pulled although it did occur to me that Coyote may be lying. I told him repeatedly about the cameras on the buses and if he was lying he would be caught (although with so many kids saying he was telling the truth I didn't really think he was). He kept saying "Once those cameras are pulled everyone will know just how bad of a job that man is doing."

Well I went down and talked to the school superintendent today and found out what I need to do to pull him out of school and teach him at home. It was surprisingly easy. She did make it a point to tell me that standardized testing is required at the end of each year but since they have no way of knowing what kids are being home schooled they have no way of enforcing it, lol.

Bear and I are actually kind of excited about it. Sunday we worked in the woods on the back of the property and just kind of experimented with it. We jut started teaching him things as he worked with us. I've also been looking over the National Geographic website while I work this afternoon. There is lots of good stuff there. TLC looks like a waist of time. The survival Zone on the discovery channel looks interesting. There is also either a show or a series coming on called "Planet Earth" that could be good and there is a wealth of information both websites. Including an good interactive section on the Salem Witch trials on the national Geographic website. I'm going to have to get him his own library card.

Anyway, enough of that. Work has been kind of slow for me today. even Reminder notices are going slow. I'm not on the video site yet. I have been trained but I am not on a schedule and I'm not sure if they just want me to just log in or not. The Supervisor running that one is off today so I can't ask her.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

That cat I couldn't kill

Had a negative symbol in a dream last night. My daughter produces a cat that's missing half its body but is still alive. I attempt to put the cat out of its misery (I couldn't believe it was still alive in the first place), but it refused to die.

Well to have this occur in a dream is not a good thing. My dream was full of other positive symbols. Seeing a kangaroo as I pulled out of a parking lot, Time travel and such are all good signs.

Well I am in the car with my mom and I get a call from Coyotes bus driver. He has been complaining about this man for several weeks. Coyote is loud and annoying and has been branded a troublemaker by just about everyone so all it takes for someone to get him in trouble is go up and say "he did this to me". For the last few weeks coyote is coming home with bruises on his arms and legs and one particular day with a nice swollen jaw. He says he goes up to the bus driver and tells him that kids are hitting him and picking on him on the bus and the bus driver tells him shut up and sit down. Well ,this bus driver calls me up and proceeds to tell me that Coyote is running up and own the isles on the bus, hitting other students with his drumsticks, getting into other students book bags. This sounds like Coyote on a sugar high, not when he first wakes up in the morning or on his way home from school. So I turn around and ask his sister who is siting next to me if he is doing these things. She will get him into trouble at any opportunity. She is quiet for a minute and looks at me with what I call her "Oh My God Lucy!!!" look on her face and then says "That bus driver is lying Lucy, Coyote isn't doing any of that stuff".

Well its time to do a little investigating. I start going around to the houses of everyone I know who has kids who ride the bus. I first ask them how Coyote acts on the bus. "Loud and annoying" is always the first thing that comes out of there mouth. Well I know this because Coyote gets on my nerves too. So I ask them if he is doing the things the bus driver claims he is. Every single one of them has said no! So I ask them if the man tells Coyote to sit down and shut up when ever he comes to him with a problem, "Yes!" they say. I soon learned Coyote is not the only one who is being told to sit down and shut up when he comes to this bus driver with a problem. A woman who lives down the street tells me she is having the same problem and that her son is also coming home with bruises on his arms.

So Monday I will be making a trip into town and speaking to the mans boss. I am sure the woman is already upset with her drivers. Wednesday of last week an 8 year old girl was raped on the back of one of the buses so I imagine this superintendent is already in hot water.

I really really want to take Coyote out of school at this point. He would learn so much more being taught at home. Bear doesn't want to take him out because he is afraid Coyote won't learn anything at home and won't go to collage. Then I have to point out that with nothing but D's and C's on his report card he isn't going to go anyway!!!!

I told Coyote he has to keep his mouth shut though. He is not allowed to warn the bus driver that his mother is a practicing Witch and what happened to the last person that really pissed her off. Ha ha. "No Coyote, its not appropriate to go around threatening bus drivers with Witchcraft." First we will go to the mans boss. If that doesn't work then I will go to the Mayor. Then if that doesn't work I hex his ass!!!!!!! A Witch that can't Hex can't Heal or that's how the saying goes anyway. I have cast some nasty hexes though. I always make it a point to only return the evil that has been done to me with the force I was intended to receive. I am always surprised at the results though. I am always aware the person is trying to do evil to me but I guess they were trying to do more than I thought because the results are often a lot bigger than I expected. I could go into detail on that but that would take a while, ha ha

Friday, December 15, 2006

New work, same company

I have been asked to work on a new platform by the same company I have been working for. The new one I was supposed to start working for has yet to train me. The manager is "never"online. Its very irritating. For the company I currently work for there is always a supervisor and a manager and a handful of moderators on line at all times.

My current one pays .08 cents for ever message I send and I send between 70 to 120 an hour. This new platform uses a web cam and a microphone. All I have to do is sit there and talk to people and I get .29 cents per minute when ever someone is viewing the camera and talking to me. That calculates to 17.40 an hour for sitting in front of a camera talking to people. That would be really nice if its busy. I don't know yet how busy its going to be. They were sending out messages yesterday for someone with a camera and training to log on because there were to many people and not enough operators to talk to them so i have hope. I'm told shifts have to be at least 2 hours long but they haven't told me what the average shifts are. A typical shift on this service seems to be 3 hours long. Most people work 2 shifts a day and then log into what ever other services they want to work on the rest of the time.

The only thing that sucks about it means I have to fix my hair and put on make-up. Back during my modeling days I learned that you have to put on very heavy make-up or the camera washes you out! I really hate the idea of covering my face with what amounts to a heavy layer of greasy, colored dirt that costs to much money. If I'm going to have dirt on my face I would rather be digging it out of the ground.

Lately every time we work on the back of the property I am reminded of the summer we spent digging out the first part of the foundation by hand. Swinging that pick ax. Hauling buckets of dirt out of the hole. Working loose large, flat slabs of rock. The heat and humidity weighing down on me. The distant sounds of thunder almost every day. Dirt on my skin and under what was left of my nails. Grit in my teeth. Oh yeah! Bring it on! I do miss it terribly. I can't wait to get back out there and start digging in the dirt again. Hopefully this time it will be to load it in bags and stack it into walls.

This morning was like any other. Got up at 6am to get the kids out of bed. Knocked on the door at 6:20 to tell Chris he had been in the shower long enough. Straightened up the house after they left. No one cleaned the kitchen last night so I had to do that. I took yesterdays laundry off the lines, and carried today's laundry in and washed it in the kitchen sinks again. I haven't hung it up yet but I will. I have the basket sitting sideways over the sink to help drain off some additional water. Yesterdays laundry was still damp so I have to put it in the dryer for 15 minutes. At some point today I am going to have to fill the bathtub with water and throw some towels in and turn the jets on. There just to big for me to wash in the sink. I may wait though. I have a big denim skirt I was going to wear today and that's to big to wash in the sink too.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm sure i will get tired of this.

I washed clothes by hand again this morning. A much bigger pile than yesterday. I washed my pajamas this morning and for some reason Mouse had 4 dirty shirts from yesterday and that made a big difference. I also found two pairs of dirty socks. The kids will be grilled as to why Mouse has 4 dirty shirts from yesterday and why Coyote has 2 pairs of dirty socks.

I still don't mind doing them by hand although I hate wringing them out. My wrists are not worth a crap anyway and the wringing is painful if I squeeze or pull to hard. I need one of those things with the rollers on it that squeezes all of the water out for you.

Actually, I suspect by doing them by hand I am using less water and less soap to get them clean. But I can't wring the water out very well, and it takes a long time for even a very small load to dry in the dryer. There all on the line today since the lines were empty this morning. It didn't take me that long to do either. Maybe 45 minutes to wash and hang everything. Although the basket is a lot heavier now because the clothes have more water in them. But when your balancing it on your head anyway it doesn't matter.

I will probably continue washing by hand after I get a new washing machine. Its not really all that bad and I think I do a better job. I will just save the washing machine for larger items like sheets and comforters and Bear's Bluejeans ;). Besides this will be a good way to make Coyote stop going through several pairs of socks everyday and a good way to make Mouse stop changing clothes 3 or 4 times a day too. Maybe it will even break me from the habit of wearing a different pair of pajamas every night too.

I don't talk about this often because I haven't really had to chance to do it very often, but when we go through our clothes and I find something that a thrift store will throw away rather than resell I put it aside in a big pile and when I find the time I cut the seams out of it and make it into something else. I have taken old stained shirts and shredded them into one long 1/2 inch strip and crotchet things out of it such as broad stretchy headbands and even a few rugs. Right now I am taking several pairs of old bluejeans that were badly worn and had holes and stains in them and I'm piecing them together in a long heavy denim skirt. I love these because they look so trendy. I sew them by hand because I don't own a sewing machine and I put the seems on the outside so that they will unravel like denim does. I've pieces together three panels out of the 4 and sewed two panels together with plans to attach the third one tonight. I am not using a pattern for this.

Bear has some khakis in his closet that are going to have to go soon. There are several pairs that are stained and need to be replaced. I am rubbing my hands together waiting to get my hands on those. I'm going to sew them together in the same way and use fabric paint (the puffy kind) and paint things over the stains. Things like flowers and butterflies and maybe some peace signs or something.

A woman who works for the same kind of company gave me hope yesterday. I applied for a company that offers the exact same kind of work I am currently doing at a much much higher pay. And when I say much higher I mean 3 times as high as what I'm getting right now. It would mean getting paid 155 dollars a day for the same amount of work instead of the 40 dollars I'm getting now and no more working 7 days a week. They will only higher people with experience and now I have experience. Because they pay so high they have a very low turn over on employees and a dreaded waiting list. This woman who works for that company told me that she applied for them and it took 3 months before she heard from them and got hired. So I will keep my fingers crossed and maybe even pull out my spell book to hurry things along.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Washing clothes by hand

Well I knew it was bound to happen sooner rather than later. My washing machine kicked the bucket a few days ago. I do two loads of laundry just about every day just to keep up on it. We are a family of 4 and the laundry can build up pretty fast so I wasn't all that surprised when it did quit. 2 loads a day for 7 years is a lot. If it were my dryer it would not be such a big deal because I prefer to hang my clothes on the line anyway. The dryer is only used when I've run out of room on the lines or there is something that needs to be dried right away. That thing will probably last me another 10 years as little as its used. The washing machine really hurts though, because I do do so much laundry every single day. Its not a total loss yet. We can take it to a small engine repair shop in town and see if they can fix it and before we do that Mike is going to come out and look at it also. Mike usually just repairs computers but he can also fix TVs, VCR', and other electronic devices.

Last night I finally broke down and took the clothes over to my mothers. I cringe at the idea of taking laundry matt because it costs so much. It took me 3 hours to wash everything in her washing machine. I really don't have 3 hours out of every 3 or 4 days to spend sitting there waiting for her washer to wash my clothes so I might be making trips to the laundry matt after all. At least there I can put my clothes into separate machines to get them done faster. I still take them home to dry them. Last night I hung 2 loads on the lines to dry and dried to loads in the dryer.

I am going to try hand washing and see how it goes. I hate the idea. I've always hated having the hand wash anything. But this morning I walked around and gathered up socks and underwear and T shirts and two pairs of the kids blue jeans and washed them in the kitchen sink. The clothes on the line now won't be dry until this afternoon so I had to put these clothes in the dryer.

I was really shocked at how dirty the water got. It made me wonder just how good of a job is the washing machine actually doing. After all its just a big tub of water with an agitator churning things back and fourth.

I came up with the idea of throwing the clothes into a bathtub of hot soapy water and just turning the jets on. I would have to hold my hands over the filter to make sure it didn't suck anything up against it. I felt like this was a pretty good idea. So did my mother when I told her about it. Bear seems to think the detergent would mess up the motor though. Well I may try it anyway and just use shampoo.

Yesterday was Bear's day off so we went into the woods to cut some more trees since the weather was nice (to nice for December, it was 68 degrees). It just finished raining for two days so trying to get a fire started out there was like trying to raise the dead. I usually use a small slip of twisted paper, stick it into a pile of dry leaves and light the end. This doesn't work when everything is wet. We ended up just pouring gasoline on it to get it lit.

We mostly just cut up trees that were cut down last week into firewood and cleaned up limbs and branches that were laying on the ground. He did cut down a few new ones though. The 4 skinny pines that were growing where the bedroom dome will be built were cut so that when the back hoe comes in a few months it will be able to get in a little easier and so Bear can turn his Rav around easier. We also used the hand snips to clean up some muscudines and green briers that were trying to take over on the north facing slope.

When we work back there I feel like I do most of the work, although I know dealing with the chain saw can't be easy either because your bent over with a heavy object in your hand sawing the trees into chunks. My job usually includes dragging the limbs cut from the trees over to the fire (often up hill) and using the hand snips to cut them into small enough pieces to put on the fire. Its the walking up hill and bending over to pick them up that kills me. After 6 hours of bending over to pick things up and dragging them uphill the backs of my legs and calves are sore and have this weird stretched feeling in them. Then to come in afterword and load several heavy baskets of laundry into the car did not improve me mood any, or carrying loads of wet laundry back in the house.

Bear and Chris cooked supper while Mouse and I took care of the laundry though. They made a big fat sugar cured ham that some mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese in them and a can of corn. It was a nice meal to have after working hard all day. Plus there is plenty of ham left for a few other meals. Tonight we will have "Ham and Cheese Braid". What I do is I make some bread doe and roll it out into a flat rectangle. Then I the longer sides into 1 1/2 inch strips leaving a 3 1/2 inch wide section down the middle. On that section I put small chunks of ham and pieces of American Cheese. Then I fold the cut pieces on the sides over the top of them in a criss crossing pattern than resembles a braid. I let it rise for a little while and then pop it in the oven until its golden brown. My favorite bread recipe is one used to make croissants. its always a big hit. There is never any of it left at all.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Frustrations


Bear gave me my Christmas/Yule present early. He never can wait until the 25th. It doesn't matter because I can usually guess what it is anyway. I've known for weeks he was getting me an ipod nano. I wanted just a cheap Mp3 player but this is supposed to be better so he got me that. I have to admit it is pretty awesome. Its a lot easier to keep up a good pace and get your heart pumping on that morning walk when there is a nice techno beat thumping in your ears. I got a great work out. I also discovered a stop watch on it! So now i can time exactly how long I walk. Not only can I time it but it also gives me the option of timing individual laps and it keeps a record of them so I can see how long I walk each day.

It wasn't hard for me to figure out how to download music on it. Its pretty much a drag and drop kind of thing. But I am having a hard time with the Itunes sight. It won't let me open an account. It keeps saying that my session has timed out and my computer won't let me register my Ipod either. When I click the register button nothing happens, it just sits there. If I can't register it then I can't find a way to get into it to delete music off of it if I want to. Although it hard to imagine ever needing to take any music off of it when it holds 600 songs! That seems ridiculous to me. But I guess its a good way to store music you like. After all Cd's get scratched and computers have to have there hard drives dumped every now and then. But I am sure these things break eventually also and that makes me wonder how hard would it be to get the songs off of my Ipod and onto my computer again if I needed to.

Other than my frustrations with Itunes I had some more problems yesterday. I like to listen to Internet radio while I work. I like the new age stations the best. Every now and then I hear a song I like and I used to be able to go to MSN downloads and buy the songs but there not doing that anymore. So this time when I clicked it it sent me to a website called Rhapsody. which would have been fine. I can get unlimited downloads for like 1.49 a month for a year or something like that. But, it says that its system is not compatible with Ipod. it does say that any music you buy can be stored on an Ipod by putting it into Itunes. So why should I pay 1.49 a month if everything I download for free can't be played on my Ipod. I wondered if I could drag and drop music I download from there onto Itunes but I can't find anything that answers that question. I also can't find an email address so I can send them that question.

The song I was trying to find by the way was "We Rest" by a person or band called witchcraft. The CD its on is produced by a label called "Dragonfly" of all things but I can't find it on there website either and apparently the people or person that made the song doesn't have a website of there own!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saterday

Well, we managed to get rid of both kids Friday night. It was Coyotes turn to stay the night at my mothers and Mouse's friend Devon called her and asked if she could stay the night.

I made homemade Sloppy Joe's for dinner and when I say homemade it means I made the sauce from scratch. Bear and I then settled down to watch the Butterfly Effect 2. The Butterfly effect one and 2 is about a man who has the ability to go back in time and correct mistakes he made during that time frame. When he comes back the the present the new reality he has created bombards his head and causes a degree of brain damage. So each time he comes back he finds himself laying on the floor in agony with a bloody nose. The problem is the alternate reality he has created is not always what he would hope. The first time he does it things seem to turn out well, but then they start to spiral downhill. Each time he goes back things get worse. I won't ruin the endings for you.

This morning bear went off to work at his new job. The commission he makes as I predicted is not as high as he expected it to be. It is higher than I expected it to be though. Its actually going to average out to 75 dollars over his hourly pay instead of the 50 I originally predicted.

What interesting is he is working in the plumbing and electrical section which are the two things were going to need to learn more about when the walls of the dome start to go up.

We don't plan on the job being a long term thing. He has made a connection with another custom blender of and bottler of chemicals and plans to go back into business for himself in February when his next allotment of grant money comes in. The main problem with Bear being in business for himself has always been what to do between December and February because there are no sales during that time of year. But something else happened yesterday also that might solve this problem. I'm really looking forward to it. He will have more time to work around here and be bringing home a "LOT" more money.

Yesterday I received an email from USA Chatlines informing us that they have assigned Bear an extension number and he can login to begin working on there psychic hot line at anytime. Of course they would do that the very day he starts his new job. He plans to keep the extension and work an hour or two each evening. There only requirement is that he log in at least once a week and take a few calls to keep his extension active. It will come in handy when sales slow down in the winter.

He is a talker so I think he will do well at it. The main goal is to keep a person on the phone for at least 15 minutes.

Tonight I am thinking Tuna Helper and maybe so homemade French Bread.

I've been sitting in this office the last few days looking at this newspaper wall paper. Its a funky yellow color and its coming loose. Its time to pull it down and redo the whole thing. I know a lot more about making my own wallpaper paste now so the next batch will probably last a lot longer. I always thought it was the cooked flour that made it stick, but its not. Its the sugar. The more sugar the stronger the paste.

If your interested in that recipe here it is

Wallpaper paste
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup or sugar (double that if your wallpapering a bathroom)
1 1/2 cup of water

Cook all ingredients on medium heat until a nice paste is formed. Use while still warm. It gels up and gets lumpy as it cools. This recipe makes a small batch that can be used up in a short amount of time.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday

No one set the alarm last night after Bear moved the clock so I didn't get out of bed until 6:30am. The bus runs at 6:50. Fortunately Coyote is passed out on the coach six as a dog and not going anywhere today so I only has Mouse to drag out of bed. Luckily she hasn't reached the age where it takes her an hour to get ready to go anywhere. She brushed her hair and her teeth and threw on her clothes and staggered out the door half asleep.

Coyote has been leaving his coat at school, convinced that's the cold weather won't bother him and he can go around without a coat. Well standing at the bus stop in nothing but a long sleeved shirt when its below freezing and now laying sick and miserable on the couch is hopefully enough to convince him he's wrong.

Bear starts his first day and yet another new job. He left an hour early this morning to go to the gym. He won't have to get up at 4am to go work out before work and classes anymore. Were both happy about that. He is excited about his commission pay but I told him I don't think he should be that excited. He only gets 1% and its not like people spend a lot of money at Ace Hardware. They spend it at Lowes. I think his commission might be 50 dollars at the end of the week if he's lucky. He thinks its going to be higher but I doubt it.

I went for my morning walk in the woods. Wearing my pajamas, a blanket wrapped around my waist and socks on my feet under a pair of clogs. I had another blanket wrapped around my shoulders, a pair of gloves, and a scarf around my neck. I was accompanied by 4 grey cats and my Great White Pyrenees Commodore. We startled a couple of white tailed deer that went bounding off into the woods and a big fat wild turkey that went sailing silently off into the woods. I'm surprised we don't find more wild turkeys dead in the woods because they've smashed into trees or something like that. I don't see how such big fat clumsy birds that clearly can't fly very well manage to maneuver there way through the woods.

It was really cold this morning. Its currently 22 degrees and I think it got into the teens last night. Its unusual for it to get that cold. An ordinary winter night in Arkansas is usually only a few degrees below freezing if its even that cold. There is water in the wheel barrel behind the house with 2 inches of ice on it. I need to remember to empty that out after it thaws later today. Todays high is 42 degrees so it will thaw. The ground is so cold it crunches under my feet when I walk in places that were really wet before they froze.

I did some research this morning about crops I could start in the winter. I read I can start peas in January in Arkansas. That doesn't sound right to me. But they can tolerate light frosts and we rarely get heavy frosts. I'll ask dad what he thinks about that. I don't ever remember him growing peas though. From what I read I can also start a Kale, Lettuce, Radish's, Turnips, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Onions, Potatoes, and Chard in February outdoors also.

I read about a method of growing potatoes in old tires. I might try this if I can get my hands on some old tires. Apparently what you do is fill the inside of a tire with dirt and plant 1 or 2 seed potatoes in it. When you have 4 or 5 inches of plant on it you add another tire and start adding dirt around it. This method has been reported to yield 11 to 35 pounds of potatoes per stack of 8 tires.

That method would safe me some space in the garden.

I hope I have better luck with my garden this year.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Shinning White Horse

Last week I posted about a dream I had. One with a lot of symbols in it.

The entire thing has taken place.

Bear being injured was part of the dream. This means some type of problem for him. Well, he returned to work after his back injury healed at the early part of last week and they fired him. They gave a very lame excuse. We've heard lame excuses before. Usually what this means is someone over him is feeling threatened and thinks they need to get rid of him. This has happened on more than one occasion.

My husband is the only man I have ever met that gets fired for working his ass off and telling the truth! They had a new regional manager who pulled all of the salary managers into a meeting one day and tells them that from now on everyone who doesn't work 50 hours a week will only be paid hourly for the week. Well you can't do that. Its a violation of Arkansas labor laws. Apparently this man did not realize each time he did that he was going to be costing the store a 10000 dollars fine. Thats 10,000 for each infraction. Well, Bear spoke up and told him that, unfortunately he did it in front of all of the other managers and made the guy look like a complete idiot. Surprise surprise a week later the guy fires him.

I was pissed when Bear took that job in the first place because its 50 hours a week and it means late hours and late nights away from his family. Plus he hates working in management. He only took the job because it paid more money and we could catch up on our bills faster.

Well I have been wanting him to find a job he could do at home like tarot readings or something like that but that requires a phone line. Our ground line was turned off when Sonic fired him while he was on medical leave (this was after discovering his boss at the time was embezzling large sums of money from the company). I started doing some research and learned that our old ground line was only hooked up in Bear's name, not mine and if your below a certain income level you can qualify for a discounted rate. Well with only one of us employed we were below that now so I went down to century tell and applied and got our phone hooked back up. I applied for several companies and have been waiting for an answer. Still waiting for that answer from any of them. This was a lot easier when I did it the first time.

That could have been the shinning white horse. Or it could have been when Dominic (our friend who cleans carpets for a living) calls Bear up and wants him to help him sell carpet cleanings to businesses. Now Dominic still owes us money from the last time Bear worked with him. So although Bear was excited about this I told him I felt it was unwise to rely on Dominic for income. I was right. 2 days later he calls us and says to hold off on selling anything because his machine was broken and he had to take it to get it fixed. This would be the shinning white horse with the broken leg. The horse with the broken leg pertained to a set back caused by a friend.

Today bear got tired of waiting for anyone to call and went out and looked for a job. He found one in 1 &1/2 hours. He now works for Leonard's Hardware in sales. Its not as high hourly as he used to get but its still enough and he gets commission off of what he sells. He also only has to work from 9:30 in the morning until 6:30 at night. They pay once a week verses every two weeks. No more late nights, woohoo. He only missed about a week of work and were not behind on anything. We have a ground line that I would not have had turned back on because if he hadn't lost his job I wouldn't have bothered to do the research. And better yet my level of frustration over him loosing his job sent me looking
for a higher paying texting company and I found one! The pay is not that much better, but it is an improvement. Its on a platform I am already familiar with and I can keep my job at my current texting company while I work with them.

Now as long as Bear can avoid making anyone else look stupid or doesn't discover someone stealing money maybe he can keep this one for a while.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Slumber parties and Snow




I heard it called an Artic wind on the news but I have always called in an Artic blast. Anyway it started early Thursday morning. It rained and rained and rained. Before Bear left the house he told me to go to my dads to get some firewood because we didn't have any. So in the pouring rain I ran back and fourth through my parents flooded back yard in the dropping temperatures to get firewood. I took this picture in mid afternoon. There isn't usually this much water in this stream. But it has been a lot worse. This was taken in 2003 or 2004. I'm not sure which. We got more rain that morning than we have in a very long time. Even more than we got from hurricane Rita.
The same picture pointing down stream
" Dillon, Dude, its snowing at my house. Oh gee its not at your house. Could that be because were on a mountain and your way down there in the valley. Who me, nooo, I'm not rubbing it in at all. I just wanted to let you know its snowing up here."


It didn't snow for long. Maybe 3 hours. We got an inch and it was gone by noon the next day. That happens a lot in Arkansas. As the snow started to fall and the temperatures dropped to there coldest I suddenly remembered by cold sensitive Canna lilies are still in the ground. My rare Bengal Tiger and my beautiful grown from seed Black Night. The kids and I spent the next two hours digging them all up a clump at a time, carrying them into the house, and washing the mud from there roots so we could store them. We had mud all over the place and we were freezing and tired when we were done. The ground was waterlogged so they came out of it easily, but all of the water in the dirt made them very heavy.


I dug up 6 grocery bags full of tubers from the Black Knight Canna. Once again it doubled in size. And I gave away a lot of it last year. I think this spring I will be trading for some rarer ones or maybe selling some of them on eBay.

Mouse had a birthday this month. She is ten years old and she decided she wanted to have a slumber party. Bear made 10 invitations and she had 4 girls show up. She was kind of disappointed but I reminded her that her party fell at a bad time of year and usually when you have a party you can expect half the people to show up that you invite. I don't think I could have handled 10 on them anyway. They had a great time. The little girl with the brown hair was the first to fall asleep and they used purple lipstick to paint her face purple. She woke up and washed it off but looked like Violet from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory after she turned into a blueberry before she did.

Here they are blowing out the candles.
They stayed up until 4am. This looks likes the morning after a keg party doesn't it. Bodies sprawled out all over the room and everything in a mess. Bear and I stayed in the bedroom and let them do what they wanted for most of the party.
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