Tuesday, January 30, 2007

W2's

You know whats really amazing. Here is is the end of January and I already have all of my w2's but 1. The one were waiting on is from Car mart and its probably the smallest company bear has worked for. Whats really amazing is the company I currently work for in the United Kingdom with hundreds of employees located all over the world got its W2 to me first. That little slip of paper arrived in the mail to me a week after the first of the year. Its frustrating because were waiting on the last W2 to get our tax return and move forward. Although we have the funds to complete the digging we want to wait until we have out tax return in case the man hits a snag and it takes him longer. We want to be able to pay him if it does take him an entire day instead of the half day he predicted. We are also waiting on that money to by bags and I need that money to buy lime to make natural mortar with for the stone foundation of the workshop and to mortar together the cord wood walls. Bear also needs a new chainsaw.

Its frustrating because I have waited sooooooo long. We spent the first two years here cleaning up brush piles and then started the landscaping on this house to try and make it more presentable. Then 9 months attempting to dig the foundation by hand and all of last summer working on that rock wall outside (which still isn't finished). Sometimes I turn on that new age radio station of live 365 and close my eyes dream of heavy curved hand plastered walls, a beautiful rounded living roof. Sometimes I swear when I do that I can smell fresh flowers. I don't know why.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lye water

Bear and I have been discussing the issue of "stumps" and what we will have to deal with once there pulled out of the ground. We spent out first 2 year after we moved here cutting into piles of trees and stumps that the bulldozers left behind. I used to compare it to untangling a huge knot of Christmas lights. Its not going to be as bad this time. I keep reminding myself of that. First of all these trees are much smaller and will have much smaller root balls. There won't be any large heavy tree trunks to deal with because we have cut those down and chopped them into firewood already. I mentioned last night I though it might we wise to start a fire before the bulldozer gets there and start working on them as he digs them out. I guess I could go back there and count how many stumps will be pulled out. That big ash tree we cut down a couple of weeks ago is really the only big one we will have to deal with and we cut through half of its root ball when we dug the foundation by hand (And that was such a bitch. Ash tree roots are close to the surface).

I just had to wake Bear up to get ready for work. He was all pissy with me. He is a real bitch to get up in the morning. But then again so am I when I wake up in the morning. Mouse is too. Coyote iS the only morning person her and he can't understand why everyone else is in such a bad mood when they get up. I will never forget the first time I had to wake mouse up early for anything. She rolled over in her bed and punched me in the face without even opening her eyes. I think she was 4 at the time.

I don't know if Coyote is doing school work or playing on World of Warcraft. I suspect its the later. I know he already read the national geographic news page, but he still has a program on TV to watch and he is going to work on one of those English websites today. bear is supposed to be taking care of the math end of his work. I'm terrible with numbers and didn't think it was wise to teach him those. The only problem is bear is not doing it. I guess I can go over some things in my head that I can teach him. I can show him how to write a check (not sure if that's a good thing) and how to keep a check register in order and explain why that's necessary. I guess I can also show him how interest and escrow on a mortgage loan or on a credit card works.

We watched that Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory thing today and let me tell you guys. What a weak bunch of theories. I was able to point out the holes in each and every theory they came up with before the narrator pointed out the holes themselves. Coyote has learned two things from this. #1, we really did land on the moon, #2 get all of the facts before you go around spouting theories about something that someone else has told you.

My lye water experiment is going really well. I am not using the method that I have read about. I'm using my own. I fill a cleaned apple sauce jar with hardwood ashes from my fireplace and then fill the jar with water. I let it soak for 24 hours and then strain the water from the ashes. I can't use a coffee filter for this, the particles in the ashes are to small. Instead I took my large glass mixing bowl and put it in the sink, then I lined it with a thick dishrag and dumped the ashes and water and all into that. Then I gathered the ends of the rag and held them together and then squeezed the water out of the ashes by wringing them in the rag. This method worked yesterday and the day before. However yesterday the lye water was so strong it sucked a lot of the moisture out of my hands and caused my skin to pucker almost instantly (like it does when your in a bathtub for a long time) . Today is stings my skin so much that I can't handle it comfortably. I will have to get some gloves to squeeze the water out of the ashes. I recently read that if you use heat to evaporate some of the liquid in the lye water you can make it even stronger.

I found a lot of information on this website http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_ashlye.html . Whats interesting is they actually recommend that you use this type of lye for making bio diesel rather than using the kind Red Devil used to sell (sodium hydroxide). I also learned that the best type of ashes to use are the ones that are really really white. If you have lit enough fires then you know that not all ashes are equal. But I didn't find this out until day 2. it didn't seem to change the results a whole lot, but I might have gotten a stronger lye if I had only used white ashes.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My back is killing me.

I'm really not sure what exactly I did to make my back this sore but its killing me this morning. I moved some rock yesterday. That might be it. I didn't move that much though. Not nearly enough to cause my back to be this sore.

When we dug the foundation we had to deal with lots and lots of rock. Some big and some small. Most of the larger rocks ended up going into the retaining wall up here by the house despite my objections. This left a big pile of smaller rock that will probably end up going into some rubble foundations. I decided we probably needed to move this before the machines came to finish the digging or they would end up mixed back in with the piles of dirt and that's not what I wanted. So yesterday I carried my two old beat up buckets back there and started filling them both and carrying them back and forth. I only moved about 12 buckets of rock. I made a small dent in the pile but not enough to make my back this sore.

I pulled out the disk with all of the old pictures I took during the digging on it. I uploaded them to flicker and tried to organize it, but I didn't have any luck getting them to stick. There still there, there just out of order right now. You can go look at them if you want to, there just not in any sort of order. Here is the link

Saturday, January 27, 2007

More rain today

At least its supposed to rain today. It doesn't look like it at the moment. The sky is full of patchy clouds, none of them dark enough to rain. Bear is working and I don't really have anything outside planned for today anyway. Its close to the end of the month and that means work work work work.

I found a way to get Coyote motivated to learn better grammar and spelling and writing skills. I should have thought about it before. I found this website Constant Content and several other site like it on WAHM.com . As far as I can tell people put requests on this website for specific articles and there are a whole bunch of authors there that write the article and send it in. They do blog and Myspace reviews too. I showed it to Coyote and told them what they payed and then explained that they only accept articles without any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. I also said he was going to have to learn how to be a much better writer if he wanted to do something like that because he writing skills really suck. He got excited about that and decided that that might just be worth learning those things. The helpful ladies on WAHM.com gave me these two websites to get him started with.

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/ http://www.efuse.com/Design/wa-more_better_writing.html

I wouldn't mind trying something like that myself. A writer was what I wanted to be when I grew up. I can remember being 5 years old and saying that. I know my grammar stinks but I can use those websites too. I can remember a program Bear used to use for his collage classes that corrected Grammar also, maybe he can download it again.

My Ashes and water are sitting in the kitchen. I tried draining it with a coffee filter but that's not working. I may have to let it settle and then try to drain the water off that way and then pour the ashes into an old rag and squeeze the water out of it. Its no were near strong enough though. I will probably have to repeat this process several times. Its supposed to be strong enough to sting your skin a little when a drop is placed on it. I might just be waiting my time though.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Conspiracy

Coyote has decided the moon landing was a fake. He gets this from a video he saw of the astronauts putting the flag on the moon. The flag appears to be blowing in the wind as he puts it up and there is not supposed to be wind on the moon. The National Geographic Channel has made a special on this subject. I told Coyote to needed to record it and watch it and then form an opinion instead of just going by what he "thought" might have happened.

I worked out in the gym again this morning. This time I spent 50 minutes doing Cardio. Why I was there a young woman came in wearing a backpack. It was loaded down with weights. She got on one of the treadmills and lifted up the incline so that it was really high and spent an hour on it varying her speed from a run to a walk. I guess she was training for cross county hiking. Her body was thin and wiry with almost no body fat at all and her but and thighs were hard as rocks.
Bear didn't go to the gym this morning either. He went once last week and once this week. I keep telling him he is going to put all of that weight he lost right back on again if he doesn't get his butt moving.

There isn't anything else going on in my life right now.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I made it to the gym this morning

That new alarm clock Bear got to replace our old one (which I got when I was a teenager) sounds like air raid sirens when it goes off. Its so loud it wakes up both of the kids too.

Bear is sick again. He came home early from work yesterday and said he didn't feel well enough to go to the gym again this morning. That made only 1 day we have been this week and 1 none at all last week and I was pretty pissed about it. He got a membership for me so we could work out together and now he is not going. So this morning I went by myself. The guy who has been walking me through my workout wasn't there and the the one in his place didn't know me so I did it on my own today. I finally got to do my 45 minutes of cardio, oh yeah!!!!!!! My feet are probably going to be hurting in a few hours though. That's OK though. They hurt when I stand on them for two hours to do ironing too. I think I will go tomorrow to. I'll be to sore to do any weights, but I can do cardio because my legs "NEVER" get sore. Not ever.

There were a couple of old ladies in there this morning working out giving the guy doing the training a hard time. He was trying to show him how to do the exercises and they kept talking about what a cute butt he had.

Well, he does have a cute butt!!

I came home and straightened up the house because it looked like a tornado hit it, made a cup of coffee, pulled some laundry off the lines that had been there for two days and started some more. I haven't done any in a couple of days but I think I will be going back to it.

Bear had me go back to buying store bought laundry detergent last year because he didn't like mine. I think he just sets it in his head that he won't like it because its home made but I think I am going to go back to making my own. I get six gallons of liquid detergent for just a few dollars compared to the 1 gallon I get at the store for 6 dollars. I'll just put a little lavender oil in it and hide the containers, maybe he won't notice. I used to make my own bath soap too and used the pieces that broke off of the big batches after I cut them in place of grated
Fels Naptha Soap but since Red Devil quit making lye I've stopped making homemade soap. I need to find some lye online somewhere though.

My homemade bars were soo cheap and the bars lasted forever. I also learned how to cure the problem of separation that occasionally occurs. When you mix your lye water and oils together you stir it for 15 minutes and then pour it into your greased molds and wrap it in the thick towels and wait 10 minutes. Then you go back and stir it while its in your mold and wrap it back up. Then you go back and do it again 20 minutes later, then an hour later if your still able to stir it at that point. This way you don't have to sit there and stir and stir and stir for 30 minutes. Every batch i have done like this comes out perfectly. It also helps to add a tiny bit of salt to the mix. I don't know why this works, but Pioneers that made there own lye using wood ashes added salt to there mixes to make hard soap. The had to do this because Lye made by soaking wood ashes is only strong enough to make liquid soap. I haven't tried making my own lye yet.

I have another tip for getting your lye water and oils the same temperature. Start your oils in the pot and heat until melted. Then go outside and mix the lye with the water. When the fumes stop bring it in the house and put it in the refrigerator. By the time your oil is the right temperature off the heat your lye water will be also. This speeds up the process a lot because I spend most of my time trying to get the temperatures the same before mixing the two.

I have two in office mystery shops today. I have to go to my mothers and print out the forms because my printer went . You know those cheap 100 dollar Lexmark printers???? Don't by them.

I actually have 3 left to do but one of my phone numbers wasn't right and it has to be called after 5 so i will have to wait until tonight. I signed up with a couple of more mystery shopping companies hoping to get some more work because it was FUN!!!!! Its not like there is a lot available in Russellville Arkansas. Although if I had the time to drive to Hot Springs I could make 175 dollars doing a shop in a department store. But I don't have time this week.

I did one that will get someone in big trouble. I made the call 20 minutes before closing time at there office and the lady on the phone was very abrupt with me. I told her I wanted an insurance quote on my car and she insisted I needed all of the information on all of the licensed drivers in my home before she could help me and would not give me a quote for this reason. I got her name and made sure i put everything she did down on the form, including the hurried way she sounded and the way she talked down to me. I have a habit of sounding very young over the phone. She could have always written me a policy and then I could have brought the rest of the info in later.

Well its neatly 10am already. I need to rinse off in the shower and get on my way. I might try making my own lye after all.

My colors and text are all screwed up today. I have no idea why it won't work right.



Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I don't believe it!!!!!

This stupid blogger thing finally logged me in automatically like it as supposed to. WOW!!!!!!

I have finally finished all but 3 of my mystery shops. 1 has to be done after 5pm and the other 2 have to be done in person. The guy who will be finishing out foundation (that I have nicknamed the digger guy since I can't remember his real name) will be her at 1 or 1:30 pm to look at the building site (Bear is home sick with a cold today). Coyote got up before I did this morning to wake up his sister and did all of his regular work without me having to tell him to do anything!!! The only thing he hasn't done is watch an episode of Ancient Discoveries I had him record last night and that's because he thinks he won't like it. The reason he thinks he won't like it is because he saw the movie "Troy" and didn't like that.

Last night he also watched an episode of Lost Worlds on the history channel. It was an Episode about the real Dracula that Coyote thought really was a vampire up until watching the episode. After it was over he got up to walk into the kitchen and said "Man, that guy was really messed up in the head, but the Romanians were really smart to put the shoes on the horses backwards as a way to help him escape his castle when the
Turks attacked, I probably wouldn't have thought of that. I don't understand why they would want a "sicko" like that to live though. If it were me I would have been standing there waiting to open the gate for the Turks when they got there."

There was also a section on it where they discussed the fact that "Lime Mortar" was used to build the mans castles and that's why there are no cracks in them because lime mortar has a flexibility to it that allows it to move and change as the ground moves and changes. I have read a lot about using lime in construction and I didn't know that.

After watching an episode of Naked Science this morning Coyote walks back to ask me a question. It went like this.

"Ok, according to the program it would take a message from another planet 100,000 light years to reach us and that period of time it how long its taken humans to reach the point we are now on earth from cavemen to present day. Well, if a society can evolve to this point in that amount of time isn't it reasonable to say they could have destroyed themselves in that amount of time too?"

I said well yes I suppose so.

"So why do we bother trying to reach anyone when their society could be completely destroyed by the time we get a signal from them and we could be destroyed by the time it got back to them. If so much can change in 100,000 years then it just seems like a big waste of time to me. "

I said I thought maybe they might be trying to send us something that might be
valuable to us that might allow us to send the signal back to them faster, if they were more advanced than us. He seemed to think that was reasonable answer.

Well, I still have texting to do and I was hoping to make it to the gym at some point today but I don't think that will happen.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ooooh yessss!!!!

Have you ever popped your neck and it popped so hard that you could have sworn you felt the other vertebrae in your neck vibrating. Oh what a feeling!!!!!

Bear bought some plaster home from work and some paint to finish our bathroom while the weather is cold. I was kind of mad at him for "buying" the paint when I have a recipe for it. Especially since there are chemicals in the paint that make me kind of nuts when I'm exposed to them for a long time. I'll just shut the bathroom door and stick a towel under it with the window in there cracked for a while. Hopefully that will help.

I didn't get to go to the gym today despite Bear saying he was going to go every day this week. My stomach is the only thing that's sore this morning and I was really ready to do some more Cardio.

Coyote was in rare form yesterday. I got him up at 8am because he has been sleeping later and later and not finishing his work until late in the evening which he was mad about. I gave him instructions on what he was supposed to do and I kept having to come out and tell him to get out from in front of the TV and do them. It took him 10 hours to watch 2 episodes of naked science (about an hours worth of TV) read 25 pages of his book, do his chore, and pick up kindling. After dinner he became such a pain in the ass I sent him to bed early.

He's learning a lot from reading the national geographic news and watching the naked science episodes though. So am I, ha ha. Today we both learned that black diamonds found on earth actually come from Super Nova's.

I'm going to have to work a little more on History though. I guess at some point today I will need to look at the history channel. Neither one of us really likes history, but we have to learn about it to keep from repeating it I guess. At least that's what they used to always tell us.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Survivor in Arkansas

Channel 11 is planning to do its own show entitled "Survivor: Arkansas ".

The contestants will start in Little Rock , travel up to Possum Grape and on to
Bald Knob. From there they will head over to Toad Suck and Paris and London.
They will then proceed to Magnolia, and Hot Springs, Mena, and then up to
Russellville, then over to Lonoke and Gethsemane and back over to Little
Rock.

Each will be driving a pink Volvo with New Jersey license plates and a large
bumper stickers that read, "NASCAR Sucks", "Go Texas ", "
Copenhagen is for Idiots", "Hillary in 2008", "Deer Hunting is Murder", "Say
No to Budweiser" and "I'm Here to Confiscate Your Guns."

The first one who makes it back to Little Rock alive
wins.

a busy monday

I have a lot of work to do today. I didn't realize it until I got home and reviewed everything. I have the work for my regular job as well as making phone calls for that shopper company that sent me work to do. I'm sure I can get it all done though. I will do my regular job most of the day and then then this afternoon make the phone calls I need to make. I can go Thursday to get the shops done directly at the Offices Thursday or Wednesday.

Bear and I went to the gym this morning after not going for a week. Bad weather, 3 days of being sick, and Bear going to Oklahoma Friday really screwed it up for us. I think I was being punished this morning. The trainer made me do a lot more on the weight machines that I did last time. I never get to do enough cardio though. At least not as much as I think I should be doing. I only do 25 minutes in addition to the weight machines and I really feel like I could do 45. Since my main purpose for doing this is to burn fat I don't think 45 minutes would hurt at all.

Bear has also decided not to go to Oklahoma Tuesday. I'm not sure what else he plans on doing. I have work to get done, that's a fact. He is probably going to clean the carpet in the living room and family room again. Coyote is supposed to be in charge of potty training the puppy but the isn't doing a very good job of it. Speaking of which he is supposed to be up and starting his work and its way to quiet out there for that. Time to pull out the water bottle and spray him in the face with it. That will wake him up.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

I don't know what to put here

Yesterday Bear took me out to lunch at Coltons. I haven't been there in a really, really long time. I absolutely love there loaded potato soup. Its the best potato soup I have ever had, anywhere. Bear had a bowl too. He didn't like potato soup until i got him started on it. He loves it too. He had big fat New York strip and I had this chicken breast with mushroom and cheese and bacon on it and its served with honey mustard sauce and Coltons French fries. It was sooo good. Then he surprised me with a new coffee maker. An expensive one. At least it would have been if he had to pay full price for it. He got it at Ace Hardware with his discount so it was a lot cheaper. Its one of those that has an internal brewing system so you just put your coffee under the dispenser and hit the button with your cup and it fills it.

At some point tonight I have to refill my barbecue sauce container and that also means making a batch of chili sauce. I've been having a hard time find a recipe for it that I like. They have all been to spicy. I'll try a new one tonight and see how I like it. I have to make it from scratch because it takes a full bottle to make a double recipe of Barbecue sauce. That makes it to expensive to buy in the store. I make to much barbecue sauce for that.

I also need to make some more salad dressing. My ranch recipe got lost when I rebooted my computer so I need to find another one.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Its going to miss us again

It looks like the snow and ice is going to miss us again!!!! Both today and tomorrow it won't fall below freezing. This morning we did get some sleet and I woke bear up and told him he may not have to go to work. Then he checked the www.weather.com and decided the sleet was not going to freeze to anything.

Maybe that means the the guy who is supposed to finish digging our hole in the ground will get to come out here and look at it tomorrow. I think Bear has to work tomorrow though. It isn't dark by the time he gets off work on Sundays anymore so "maybe" we can get him out here then to take a look at it. I prefer Bear to be here at the time. The reason for this is because if Bear decided to have someone come and look at the site without me being there I would be very upset about that so I try to make sure we are both there during things like this.

If you are beginning to wonder why I am not looking for someone to finish the digging who is more motivated to it it its because this guy is really really cheap. I haven't found anyone willing to do this for 50 dollars an hour. And besides I can't really afford to pay anything higher than that to do it anyway and I am not about to start digging the rest of it by hand again!

I did a big chunk of it by hand. I probably could finish it by hand now that I have had a years rest, but that pinched nerve in my back still hurts on occasion, my wrists are still not worth a crap, and Bear's back can still be injured by all of the lifting or worse yet that muscle in his chest he keeps pulling that makes him think he is having a heart attack. Whats funny it even though he has pulled that muscle 3 or 4 times now he thinks he is having a heart attack every single time!

Bear won 500 dollars in the tournament in Oklahoma yesterday. He was very pleased with himself and got a schedule of tournaments. They have one on Tuesdays which is his regular day off and he wants to go every week. I have a problem with this. First of all there is still work that has to be done before the digging is completed and we can only do that on his days off. There is also the issue of the workshop that we need to start work on. I'm also not naive enough to believe that he is going to win money every single time he goes either. I told him I would really prefer it if he waited until he is working for himself again before he does that that way there will be more free time and more money too. He wasn't happy about that idea but I am sure he will think about it like he always does and realize it makes the more sense. Not that he will ever admit I was right. It was really nice to see him walk in and open his wallet and count out 5 100 dollar bills for me to see. He used to do that when he had a good day in sales back when he was self employed. It was a good feeling to watch him come home and count out several hundred dollars all from 1 days worth of work.

I am so tired of just sitting here and not being able to do anything back there. Its been a cold, wet, miserable week. I've had to dry all of my laundry in the dryer and you know how much I hate that. I've got so much catching up to do before the end of the month thanks to the computer being messed up and being sick for two days that sitting here working is just about all I have time for.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Clustermap not working?

I have two counters on my blog. The cluster map counter and that little butterfly you see floating around the page. All week long cluster map has been telling me that I have 12 hits. But the Software Wings counter says differently. It says I had 44 hits yesterday and 39 of those hits were regular visitors.

I tried to link up to some webrings last week to increase the amount of visitors I was getting I was unsuccessful. I wonder if I messed up the cluster map code in the process. Oh well I don't have time to deal with it now.

Lately I have had two significant dreams. Both of them were a little wacky and most of what was in them was garbage that was floating around in my head at the time. In the first dream my boss was that actor that plays Dr House on the series House and he was leaving to start his own business. He wasn't taking me with him because he didn't think I was qualified but I wasn't loosing my job, I was just going to get a new boss. The second dream was more like a Harry Potter Scenario. In both dreams I was pregnant and that's the significant part.

Pregnancy
To dream that you are pregnant, symbolizes an aspect of yourself or some aspect of your personal life that is growing and developing. You may not be ready to talk about it or act on it. This may also represent the birth of a new idea, direction, project or goal.

I have no idea what that's supposed to be. I guess I will find out later.

A about a month or two ago. I can't remember exactly how long I signed up for some mystery shop websites and I finally have an assignment from one of them. Actually I got 14 mystery shops from them for 3 local insurance companies. I have until the 25th to complete them. I did two of them this morning. One of them I am still waiting on a quote from the the other I got a quote from right away.. I'll start on the phone call shops for them tomorrow and do the visits on Monday or Tuesday.

Bear left for his tournament in Oklahoma today. He is riding with a friends husband who also plays the game also. He was really worried that that bad weather headed this way would get here early and keep him from going.

I don't know how much of the game he is playing is based on luck and how much on skill. He seems to know how to play really well. There are a lot of factors that affect his game when playing online such as , is he rested, is he worried about anything, are the kids being to loud, am I trying to talk to him, ha ha. He doesn't get a chance to play with people very often anymore but when he does he just about always breaks even or brings home all of there money.

Coyote is playing that Sims game today. I looked at the game and i think its worth while. In the one he is playing right now he is the town mayor and has to run the town. He started the game and at first sat back and watched as the amount of money he had from taxes was climbing, then I had him check his approval ratings and he realized that everyone thought the town was to small and traffic was to bad so he made the town bigger and added some roads to solve the traffic problem. This made everyone happy for a while and then his crime rate when up to 82 percent. He is still trying to figure out how to solve that one. He added six new police stations and that didn't help. I told him I thought 19 percent in taxes was kind of high and he should lower it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The blahs

Maybe its the weather or maybe its this irritating snap of cold weather but I definitely have the blahs, or I could be laying an egg and just being hormonal. I'm starting to feel like my old self. The cold weather has kept our heat running a lot. I wouldn't let coyote build a fire yesterday. The firewood is running low and after recovering from my mysterious illness I had no plans to spend another day freezing to death in the office.

I've hardly left the house since the cold weather hit. I want those normal mild winter temperatures we usually have back.

I feel better today, although my throat feels very dry. I suspect its from the heat being on so much lately. I really hate the fact that it takes so much to heat our mobile home. I hate the fact that we haven't been able to do any work on the back of the property or that the man who will finish the digging on the first foundation still hasn't made it out here to look at the spot. I hate the fact that I am going to have to work like a dog for the next two weeks to make up for the trouble caused by the computer and the work I missed while being sick.

I'm not the only one feeling it. I've read a few blogs today written by people that are feeling it too. Maybe its the winter weather, who knows.

One of my fellow bloggers is building a 250 square foot cottage and plans on moving his family of 5 into it once its finished. I am kind of jealous. Mainly because there is no way in hell I could move our family of 4 into a space that small and keep them from killing each other. Living in a 1200 square foot townhouse was hard enough. Maybe its because we weren't really free to spend time outside like we wanted. We had horrible neighbors. Maybe its because they had been renting the places for over 30 years and no matter how much I cleaned it always looked dirty and smelled musty.

I mostly just feel jealous because of all of the things about living in this place that I hate dealing with are the same things he is going to be escaping by moving into that tiny space. And while he is making this move I sit here hammering away at this computer every day listening to the heat kick on a dozen times because this place isn't insulated for crap and knowing my future home is still nothing more than a big hole in the ground which currently has 6 inches of water in it from the recant rains.


Maybe its just time for me to brave the cold, wrap up in my blankets and take a walk in the woods. Its been days since I have done that.

By the way if your interested in reading about it its the Sugar Mountain Farm blog near the bottem of my list.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another day

I've been feeling really horrible since Monday night. I don't know if it had anything to do with freezing my ass off in my office most of Monday or not. I got a really horrible sinus headache and it wouldn't go away. Taking Tylenol or anything else didn't seem to help much at all. It was so painful that I didn't get a lot of sleep during the night. I got out of bed Tuesday morning feeling completely miserable. It was strange because other than the headache I couldn't find any other reason for feeling so miserable. My throat didn't hurt and I could breath, I didn't have a fever or anything like that at all. I just felt really weak and tired and everything I did seemed to take way to much effort.

Bear suggested I just stay in bed and rest and I wasn't about to argue with him. I got up this morning feeling a little bit better. I realized that the only thing I had eaten since Monday night was a grilled cheese sandwich so I forced myself to make something for breakfast. I made myself get out of bed later in the morning and go to the Beauty supply store to get Mouses hair color and I needed some gel. I'm about 3 months past due in doing her hair and it really looks terrible. If your wondering why I bleach a 10 year old girls hair its because her natural color is a really horrible mousy looking dark blonde and its natural state is oily and very flat. I have been pulling it through a cap and giving her heavy blonde highlights, but I have decided that we will just lighten the whole thing instead of putting her through an hour of torture.

I came home and sat in front of the computer and by the time I was done checking my emails I was exhausted. I gave up and went back the bed. I slept for a few hours and woke up feeling a little bit better. Coyote came in when I woke up and said "Wow Lucy, you've hardly gotten out of bed for he last two days. You must really be feeling bad. I'll make you something for lunch." I ate that and went back to sleep for another two hours.

Its 3 in the afternoon now. I don't have a headache at the moment. I still feel like I could go back to bed and sleep the rest of the day, but I am going to try and do some work. Between the issues the computer has been having (which are finally fixed) and being six for the last few days I have a lot of catching up to do.

Its still miserably cold outside. At least a lot colder than what i am used to. I don't think its been above freezing today. We were lucky that the temperature didn't drop until after the rain had passed. They predicted ice all weekend long and we got nothing but rain. Lots of rain but no ice. They are now saying this weekend were supposed to get a "wintery mix". I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. I don't care as long as Bear can get to the tournament in Oklahoma Friday.

Sunday night he won 100 dollars in an online tournament. It had 600+ people in it and he finished in 3rd place. He decided that he would use that money to enter into some higher stakes tournaments he usually doesn't play in. He usually only enters tournaments that cost a few dollars to enter and have prizes anywhere from 9 to 20 dollars. This one had an entry fee of 18 dollars and a first place prize of 7300 dollars. So he entered and played while I lay in bed six on Tuesday. It didn't take him long to get into the first place position. He mentioned a few times that some of the people he was playing against played really carelessly. Actually careless wasn't the word he used but its nicer than what he called them. He stayed in the lead for the first 2 hours. The number of people in it dropped from 700+ down to 200+ during that time. Then he made a big bet and lost on something called a "river" card and it cost him most of his chips. It was downhill after that. He hung on for a little while longer and ended up going out 112th place. He was soooo pissed about it. I think he was mostly just mad because if he had lasted another hour he could have still won over a thousand dollars, even if he hadn't gotten first place. I asked him if he was mad because he had made a mistake or taken a risk that he shouldn't have and he said no. He had the winning hand right up until the last card was drawn. He says it was just plain bad luck.

I told him to quit worrying about it. The site he plays on has a dozen tournaments a day with large payouts like that. Its not as though he won't have a chance to play in one again.

Monday, January 15, 2007

its really cold outside

About 31 degrees during the day is cold for Arkansas. Even in the Mountains. The inches of ice the weatherman kept predicting never arrived. Our steps and raised walkway were covered in ice this morning but it seems the only objects with ice on them were the ones under which air could move. The wind has picked up now if it weren't still below freezing I might hang some laundry up. Its going to be 16 degrees tonight according the the weather bug. Its extremely rare that we hit temperatures like that I have decided at some point today I'm going to drive over to pleasant view road and fill up a garbage bag or two of free mulch and lay it out on the Dahlias and Cannes that are still in the ground. There supposed to be cold hardy in my climate but 16 degrees in unusual in zone 8. By the end of the week its supposed to back to the low to mid 50's during the day which is our normal daytime temperature for this time of year.

The kids started a fire first thing this morning so my office and bedroom are already starting to get cold. What I would give for a fireplace back here. Even a space heater would be nice. Our home owners insurance becomes null and void if we use a space heater though.

Bear used this weekend as an opportunity to play in some online poker tournaments. He had a really good weekend and won 145 dollars playing online as well as winning a chance to play in a tournament that would give him a chance to win an entry in a satellite tournament in Vegas.
I have to admit he is a pretty good player. At least when he is not tired or under a lot of stress. This Friday he is riding with a friend of ours to Oklahoma to play in a tournament there. This friend he is going with has played in it before and according to him there is only about 50 people that play in it and the majority of them are not serious players. Bear does a lot better face to face than he does online so I am really curious to see how this is going to go for him. Especially since first place wins 8000 dollars.

Hmmm. I think I need to find some warm socks if I am going to sit back here and work this afternoon. Its getting really cold back here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My computer is sick again


Snowy sitting in the washing machine. You know his grandmother did this once. I didn't realize she was in there and put laundry on top of her and turned it on. She came digging out of there covered in detergent and soaking wet.
Lots and lots and lots of rain.
Its actually been fuller than this. i just think it looks so pretty when their is this much water in it.

This is the stream by the building site. Isn't it pretty :).
The building site facing south. Its still just a hole in the ground. But Bear thinks I need to take pictures of it now that we have more trees cleared away.
The building site facing north.
Odin on the bed playing with me. Give me those fingers mommy!!!!!!!

I picked up another damn virus somewhere and we can't get rid of it and it looks like were going to have to dump the hard drive again!!!!!! This one is interfering with my work. Its causing problems on two of the programs I work on and it turns out to be my two busiest programs. Bear is supposed to dump the hard drive but he hasn't done it yet.




They keep saying every single day that were going to get ice over night and it still hasn't happened. Lots and lots of rain, but no ice. I had to clean leaves out of the drain for the goldfish pond twice tonight. The water was so cold that when I came back into the house and got a Plum out of the fridge, it felt warm.
There isn't much else to say tonight. Its been raining all weekend. I've had to dry all of my laundry in the dryer since Wednesday. We've had a fire in the fireplace all day too which has made most of the house nice and toasty. Unfortunately with the master bedroom and my office on the opposite side of the house from the fire so its really cold back here. But on the plus side the heat hasn't kicked on all day long.
Bear made Chocolate Chip Cookies. Coyote, Mouse, and I were all trying to get into the cookie dough and to keep us way from it be put on the oven mitts and started brandishing a pair of tongs. Then he finally gave up and took the bowl into the living room with him while the first batch was baking.
I watched two recorded episodes of House. I love that mans eyes.
It also looks like two of the bloggers I link to are about to get divorced. I'm kind of sad about that.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

What happened to the ice

We were supposed to have ice and freezing rain last night. It never happened. It doesn't even feel all that cold outside. Not as cold as it was supposed to be. A look at the radar reveals that the ice and snow is still far to the north of us and dissipating fast.

This is a good thing, but, its almost a southern tradition to raid the grocery store everytime there is snow and ice in the forecast. We didn't hear about the forecast until 10:30pm and didn't get to the grocery store until 11pm. The shelves were already nearly stripped bare. The grocery stores must love it when that happens. I can see it now. The owner calls his wife and says "Honey there is snow in the forecast, you can go buy that new high dollar item you wanted."

We will be able to run water and electric to the building site this year. Its not going to be as expensive as we thought to get water and electric out there. The electric itself might not cost us anything. Apparently the first 3 poles they put on your property are free and that might just cover the 1000 feet we have to cover off of the main road. It will be hooked to the workshop first and I mentioned to Bear last night that maybe we could go ahead and stick a deep Freeze in it this summer. I'm sure the delivery guys at Lowe's are going to love trying to get one all the way out there. I'm not even sure if a delivery truck could make it out there. I really do miss having a Deep Freeze. It comes in handy in the fall before the holidays when meat goes on sale, not to mention when TV dinners and pizzas are on sale.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Rain and fog

Its a rainy foggy Friday here in Arkansas with unusual warm temperatures of 60 degrees. It was actually 60 degrees at 5am this morning when I was at the gym. I know its 60 degrees because the weather was on at the gym.

I felt much better after skipping a day to let my muscles recover. Today my stomach is nice and sore again. Tomorrow my arms will be nice and sore too. My legs are never sore. I guess its all of the walking up hill and stuff.

I was really disappointed to only have 25 minutes of cardio today. I like to do 40 minutes and I always feel like I can do so much more. I want to burn fat!!!!!!

I've picked up a virus that we can't seem to get off and its causing problems in my work so were probably going to have to dump the hard drive again soon. Hopefully this Sunday when Bear is home. Its going to be raining anyway.

Coyote finished the section of the book he was supposed to have been reading. Its a book I've read before so I knew what questions to ask him. He couldn't answer a single one so he gets to read the book over again. I told him he will keep reading it until he can answer the questions. He then went into one of his temper tantrums. He said he wanted to go back to regular school (where the teachers will let him get away with not reading the book) and insisted he wasn't learning anything. Well at dinner last night we all decided to sit in the living room and watch the latest episode of Naked Science on the National Geographic channel with him. I have been having him read National Geographic news in the morning and he pointed out the "Pillars of Life formation" they showed on the program to us because he read about them yesterday morning. He also managed to name a few things that they were about to talk about in the program before the mentioned them such as the creation of the moon which he learned about in a previous episode of Naked Science. Yet he isn't learning anything, ha ha. This morning he came in and told me about two types of Super Novas he read about this morning also on National Geographic news.

I also learned something last night that I did not know before. The episode discussed how water got on the earth, saying it came from a Meteor shower that brought ice to the planet. It also said this water would have been rich in iron at the time and our oceans would appear blue green until the oxygen created by bacteria turned the iron to rust. That's why the water in the mountains is blue green. These mountains are loaded with iron water springs. When you dig stone out of the ground around here its often rust colored or tinged with rust and if broken open you can see pieces of iron in the rock as well. The question I have to ask now is why is the water staying the color of iron instead of turning rusty. Could it be that their is enough oxygen breathing life in the water to keep the iron from rusting to quickly? I don't know the answer to that one.

My friend Kathy brought me over 3 boxes of new clothes last night. Kathy doesn't work and her husband is a head Engineer at Nuclear One. He makes a LOT of money and she really likes nice clothes. So I have a couch out there piled full of really nice name brand clothes I have to find a place for. There really pretty and there in my size. At least they are until I loose all of this fat and I'm nice and skinny again and that really is going to happen this time.

We had a visit from a friend the other night who's son is in public school. she was very upset and needed to talk to someone. Her son was being pestered by a bully and when this happens he is supposed to go to the office and report it which he did. The principle tells him he will take care of it, but doesn't. However, the bully already knows her son went to the principle. The next morning he is jumped at the front door of the school by ten kids. The poor guy had two black eyes, once of which was swollen shut, and when examined later at the emergency room they found bruises in the shape of foot prints on his back, sides, and chest along with cracked ribs. It turns out the little bastard that was bullying him organized this and told the kids that were going to jump him that the one that beat him the hardest would get an Ipod Nano.

His mother wanted to ask us about home schooling because the principle is only suspended the kids that did it for 5 days, except for 1 that's been in trouble so much he will be going to juvenile detention. She knows as well as we do that the moment they get that poor kid alone he is going to be beaten up again. He is old enough to be at home by himself and I explained that she could home school him when she isn't at work. She's going to think about it while he is at home recovering.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Another day

I didn't go to the gym today. We woke up at 4:30 and I yelled a few cuss words at Bear insisting I had time to sleep in (I do this every time I have to wake up this early). My stomach muscles are pretty sore and so is my back. The trainer at the gym had me doing this stomach exercise on a ball. You roll your self flat on the ball, look up at the ceiling and roll yourself back to a sitting position while still looking up at the ceiling. I felt my stomach muscles being worked and was pretty pleased with what I felt. By yesterday afternoon I realized that the exercise had reached the muscles in the lower part of my stomach (A place I have had trouble exercising).

Mouse was in rare form yesterday. She left the house yesterday without a coat. she had only a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. Something she obviously copied from me, but I don't wear that in public. She also didn't brush her teeth so she was in trouble for that too. Then she did a horrible job vacuuming and knew she would get in trouble for it. When she had to redo it she screamed and yelled and argued the entire time. She got mad because I wouldn't let her have crackers or buttered bread as a snack after school (given the choice she will eat nothing but potato chips, crackers, buttered bread, and macaroni and cheese).

Her biological mother and her grandmother have a history of heart problems. When her bio grandmother died she had had 6 heart surgeries and according to Mouses Uncle her bio mother had her first heart surgery 3 years ago at the age of 35. If her mother was obese I could see why but she's not. She's the size I used to be. So this is why I am so strict with Mouse about what she eats.

Well, after I wouldn't let her have what she wanted for a snack she refused to eat her dinner so she got to spend the night sitting at the dinner table poking at the cold food on her plate until bedtime. Then this morning she leaves the house without brushing her teeth again.

Another one of her chores this week is feeding the cats.. This morning I discovered that rather than put the food in there bowls like she is supposed to she dumped the whole container in one bowl and let the rest of it spill on the ground. I have a punishment for that too since its not the first time she has done it. She will eat her dinner sitting in the kitchen floor tonight. I would make her eat without a plate since that's what she is making the cats do but Bear thinks that's to harsh.

This is starting to look like she is acting out to get attention instead of just not doing what she is told. I just had to go pick her up from school with what appears to be the flu. I had Coyote put a fire in the fireplace while I was gone so she could have a warm place to sit when she gets back.

He did a pretty good job. There is a nice fire blazing in there now. Mouse can maintain it by herself.

I went through Bear's T shirts last night and we pulled out anything that is stained or torn and put it into the rag pile. I gave her some scissors and a few to start with and showed her how to cut the seams out of them. I told her when we had everything cut out I would make the two of us long skirts to wear in the summer. I guess depending on how she is feeling this weekend we can go looking for Narcissus that are coming up in vacant lots around my mothers house and bring them home to plant along Creepy Trail. There are 3 different species out there. We can also find lots of interesting Allium.

I wore the denim skirt that I pieced together out of old bluejeans to pick her up. I get some interesting reactions to it. No one ever says anything or gives me looks like "what a weirdo". They just look at it with curiosity. I could hear the ladies on the office whispering about it when I turned my back to sign Mouse out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Seeds

Well today I pulled out some raspberry seeds I traded for, put them in a wet coffee filter, and put them on top of the cable box. I went ahead and put the seeds for the strawberry popping corn that I germination tested into an egg carton. I haven't had good luck planting corn like this but I hated throwing them out.

I'm not sure if raspberry seeds have to be cold stratificated or not. butif they don't sprout I guess I will know the answer.

I also bid on some blueberry seeds on ebay. I absolutely love blueberries. There one of my favorite snacks. I got some once and didn't have any luck with them at all so I'm going to try again. After all if I can grow rosemary from seed and get as many plants as i did i can grow blueberries.

Bear has changed his mind about the living roof of the storage building which he insists that I call a work shop, lol. That doesn't mean he won't change it back though. He wants to put wooden shingles on it. I'm sure if I'll just remind him how the abandoned Dogpatch theme park looks now (and its buildings were covered in wooden shingles) he might change his mind.

Dogpatch was recently purchased by a man from native to the area who moved back here from California to retire. He bought what was left of the crumbling park and has been attempting to turn it into a biker haven.

I worked out at the gym again today and actually feel like I did something. I didn't feel that way the first day at all. Only my arms and inner thighs were sore.

Tuesday we worked on the back of the property again cutting down whats left of the thin trees around the foundation. We finally got the largest one taken out. It was a big ash tree, about 100 years old and it was growing in the exact spot that our cob oven will be in.

The man with the bulldozer never showed up to take a look at things. Bear said he is finishing up a job out of town this week and will probably be out on sunday.

whatever. . . As long as it gets done. We still don't know which project we will start first.

Spellcheck has not been working all day so this post will probably be full of mis spelled words.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

C.A.R.E

I was looking for information on floating vegetable gardens and look what I found.
http://care.ca/work/projects/story_e.asp?storyid=30

This organization taught people to use water hyacinth to create floating vegetable gardens. The water hyacinths were clogging local waterways and not allowing waters from yearly floods to drain. They kept farm land flooded and the villages could no longer provide for themselves.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I wasn't going to do this.

This is the skirt that I made by piecing together pieces of old bluejeans. I used to pull the stitches out of the seams but I soon found that this method takes a very long time and is hard on my fingers so now I just "cut" the seams out. This skirt makes me look kind off fat. I think its the gathering in the waist. It has an elastic waist. I have a real problem with clothing that puts any kind of pressure on my stomach. The last time I had surgery I had a lot of complications and had to deal with a lot of pain so I spent 3 months wearing nothing but loose fitting clothing and I got used to it. This is made from elastic I pulled out of another skirt. its actually a little to loose and needs to be shortened.
This is the back of the skirt that. I made it with the seams on the outside on purpose because I like the frayed look. The bottom of the skirt isn't hemmed and has been left to fray. I just go over it and cut off any long strings when I wash it. Its very warm and unbelievably comfortable.




Just the clear up any confusion the dogs in the picture I posted yesterday are not mine. Its a picture I found on the Internet and I thought it would be a good one to use to show how much bigger my puppy will get. I guess all I did was confuse everyone. I have only two dogs. My aging great white Pyrenees and the new black saint Bernard puppy.
I mentioned earlier that Bear was going to get a membership at the gym for me since I'm having a hard time exercising on my own. Today was my first day. I got up at 4:30am with him . I got set up on a program that includes mostly cardio. The program lasts an hour and a half. I felt really good afterword though. I was a little concerned about 5 minutes into the warm up when my knees started to hurt. But a few minutes later they felt fine. I expressed my concern with the trainer before we started about anything high impact because of the way my feet and ankles seem to hurt when I'm on them even for short periods. So he put together something that involved mostly exercising on a bike and to my surprise after an hour and a half in the gym my feet and ankles don't hurt at all. I plan on going six days a week. I don't think I will have any problem sticking to it since I ride up there with bear.
I also forgot that men could look that good!!!! There were only men there at that time in the morning, and what men they were, oh yeah!!!!!!!
I really need to get back into shape though. I can't help but wonder if this extra weight I'm carrying around is why my feet and ankles hurt so much. Plus mixing cob is very strenuous and I will need to be in shape.
I asked Bear about putting a living roof on the storage building. To my surprise he said he really didn't care as long as there was some kind of regular roof under it. I don't know what exactly he thought I was thinking. So I guess I might get a roof covered with red nasturtiums. I was shocked that he went for the idea so easily.
As far as what were going to do first. Well its between the cob oven and the storage building. The man who will be doing the bulldozing will be here Tuesday to look at the site.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday

Its hard to imagine something so small getting so HUGE!!!!




Its another day. Bear had to work today so I don't have to put up with him. I wondered if he remembered to get those steaks out of the freezer.




The puppy is doing what puppies do. He sleeps, he goes potty, he eats, and he plays. All in that order. Because he goes potty right after he wakes up from one of his numerous naps we haven't had to many accidents. This morning he woke me up in the living room whining miserably by a little pile of doggy poop. I guess he was upset because there was no one awake to take him outside.




He is definitely going to be Coyotes dog though. He sleeps with Coyote and plays with Coyote and when Coyote is on the computer he sleeps at his feet.


Bear and I had a big fight about the new house last night. he keeps pushing that extra 4 feet on me. we agreed last year to 30 feet and that's as far as we are going. And that was a compromise. He felt (after we had dug the darn thing it needed to be bigger and I agreed but only wanted to add 2 feet. He wanted to add 4 feet. We compromised at 3 feet. Now he is trying to get me to add 4 more feet on top of that and its not going to happen. He will ruin the look of the whole structure if he does that because the living room dome joines that one and its going to push it to close to the bedroom dome which is supposed to be connected to the living room by a wall of windows.


Bear doesn't see this though. He is just thinking size. He is thinking big and imposing, just like a typical American!!!!!


Well after we stopped arguing about it (I won) we discussed another issue that's been bothering me. The dome will be corbelled like this one.
Each layer of bags steps in a little bit and the amount it steps in increases as you get higher giving you the rounded point on top. The problem is I don't know how much to step in each layer since it increases and I can't find a way to figure it out by reading the book. The book is pretty vague on the whole issue. It shows you this compass contraption they put together to use as a guide but it doesn't really explain the measurements or a formula to figure out the measurements. I guess its time to send an email to the writers of the book and ask about that.
I found the writers of books like these to be extremely helpful.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Another mouth to feed!!!

Like I really needed another large dog. But Commodore is not exactly the dog he used to be. He won't be with us but for a few more years and he is really showing signs of his age now. When we had people over for new years eve the other night he didn't even realize there were other people in the house until he heard them talk. That means he never heard the cars pull up and never heard the front door open.
Believe it or not this adorable black butter ball is a Saint Bernard. I've never heard of one being black like this before, but I got on the Internet and did some research and found out that yes this is indeed very possible. Its just extremely rare. Its also not something the breeders like to see. A solid colored dog like this can't be shown in dog shows. Maybe that's why he was free.
Our friend Squirrel had a get together that we were invited to so we brought the puppy to show everyone and as it turns out there was a man there who has been looking for a black Saint Bernard for years. He said you will only get a dark solid colored puppy like this in every 50 or so litters. When we got home I did some more research on the Internet and really didn't find any information on the solid colored dogs, except that there not desired by breeders. I did learn that back in the 1830's the breed was cross bred with Great Danes and Newfoundlands (both of which have the same white chest marking this little guy has) which is where the dogs with the solid colors are coming from. There is a lot of debate as to why this was done. I read a story that said a lot of the original Saint Bernard's were killed in an avalanche and the monks that created the breed cross bread them with the Danes and Newfoundlands keep the breed alive. I read that it was done to give the breed strength and endurance and the a lot of the original dogs were killed off by disease and severe injuries. I also read it was done to give the dogs longer hair which later proved to be a problem because the snow and ice stuck to the hair.

Another interesting fact I learned is that the Saint Bernard still has a very strong "rescue" instinct and that a good way to play with your dog is to hide from it and let it find you. I thought that was pretty cool.

I am a littler upset with Bear for bringing it home without asking me first. We had already discussed getting two dogs when Commodore passed on but I had planned on being moved into the domes before this happened. We do have plenty of room in the mobile home so that's not really an issue either. Its the carpet that's an issue and potty training the darn thing. Saint Bernard's like Pyrenees are stubborn. It was a bitch potty training Commodore and I am not really looking forward to doing it again. From what I have read they are not as smart as Pyrenees though and that means I won't have to worry about him doing things Commodore has figured out how to do, like opening locked sliding glass doors or opening a car door to get the groceries in the back seat. You would be amazed at how fast something a Pyr is not supposed to have will disappear down his throat.

There are some advantages to having a Saint Bernard over a Pyrenees that was making me consider them in the first place. The barking! Pyrenees bark like you would not believe. They will bark at cars, animals they "think" they see, shifting air currents, low flying satellites, butterflies at 10,000 feet. Actually it was bred into Pyrenees back when they were used as herd dogs to bark when they are on guard so the owners would know there flocks were safe. Unfortunately they never learned to "not" do that.
Saint Bernard's do not have as much hair as a Pyrenees either. I have to vacuum every single day. I have one of those vacuum cleaners with the bucket on it that you just pop off and empty and it has to be emptied every single time because its full of dog hair! Six inch long dog hair.


There are a few disadvantages though. He won't eat anymore than Commodore does (not after the first year anyway) and that says a lot because Commodore goes through a 50 pound bag of dog food in about 6 months. Its actually very surprising how little they eat. But the first year he will eat 6 to 12 cups of high protein food a day because they grow very fast there first year. He will be bigger than Commodore (which will be a surprise for Commodore because he is used to being bigger than the other dogs) and when full grown will weigh in around 170 to 220 pounds. His instincts are not those of a herd dog but of a dog intended to rescue people. I can't really expect him to offer much protection to any livestock. He won't hurt them but he won't guard them like a Pyrenees either. They are not good guard dogs. A Saint Bernard wants to be every ones friend so if an intruder actually finds my new house and is not deterred by the animals size and bark the dog might just lead him straight to the family valuables.


Well, maybe instead of having two Saint Bernard's I will have a Pyrenees and a Saint Bernard. That might not be a bad combination. 1 dog to protect the livestock and one dog to protect the people (a Pyrenees will protect livestock before it protects its people.)
I don't know. I have a few years to think about it. Although Commodore is getting old he is still far from having to worry about putting him to sleep. He hasn't had trouble with his hips since last spring. The hip displasia will return, but for the moment he's fine.


Its a good thing I like the giant breeds.
By the way the new babies name is Odin. Odin is one of my deities. I don't think he would be upset to have the dog named after him.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Wonderful wonderful dirt!!!!!

Well I gave in last night and ate animal flesh. We had Beer Bratwurst for dinner and I couldn't stand it anymore. I was weak and dizzy and shaky and not thinking clearly. Once I had the meat though it was a very short time before I was feeling back to my normal self. Today I will start over again, but were having roast tonight and I plan to eat that with my family.

There won't be enough grant money left after catching up some bills to buy supplies for selling so were going to wait on our tax return which should be more than sufficient. This is not such a bad thing really since its better to start selling later in the year. The best time for sales is early spring through mid fall. There is enough money to get the digging done though. We have decided to build the Earth Oven before building the walls that way the walls will be formed around the oven itself. There will also be money to buy what few supplies we will need to build the Cord Wood storage building near the dig site. The most expensive part of the storage building will be the 4x4 pieces of wood for the frame. Everything else, including the brick for the floor we already have. These will come from the man on Pine Twist road (1/2 mile from our home) who mills cedar as a hobby. He sells them for 6 dollars a piece and they are absolutely stunning to look at. I love the site and smell of red cedar sooo much. I'm guessing what Bear wants to build will probably be 24 by 18 or something like that. He hasn't discussed the roof. I'm really hoping I can talk him into a living roof. He wants to build a cute little front porch on the shed that I can put potted plants and hanging baskets on and I have this vision of a roof covered in bright green moss and stunning red nasturtiums.

I'm going to suggest to Bear that we also use the building to store the cleaner he will sell also since the one we currently have is beginning to be a growing concern. We put it up 5 years ago. I told Bear it was in a bad spot and that water coming down the hill was going to run right into it every time we got a heavy rain. I was right. Everything we put in there has to be a foot off the ground to prevent being damaged by the 6 inches of water that fills the shed during every heavy rain. The floor in its completely rotten. The building itself is made of metal. It was one of those cheap prefab ones. it also has no insulation and we don't know if the new formula we will be working with can freeze. Bear has to ask the chemist about that. Our old one could freeze without the ingredients being altered but I don't know if this new one can. Sometimes the chemicals will separate.

There are still some trees around the foundation that have to come down before digging can be completed and one of Bear's bosses is going to loan him his chainsaw to do this with. It would take hours to cut them own with an Ax and I don't think either one of our backs could take that kind of abuse. Isn't that a wonderful thing for him to do.

I'm surprised at how anxious Bear is to get started on this. He mentioned the other day that he is looking forward to the days getting longer so he can work out there after he gets off work.

I walked back there today and gathered a lump of wet clay from one of the piles of dirt and made a ball with it in my hand. This is called a drop test and its to see what quality the dirt you have is. You make a ball with the clay and drop it from shoulder height and see what the impact does to it. It should stay in a ball shape with little crumbling or changing shape. I made the ball and dropped it front shoulder height, then as high as my head, then I threw it up in the air a couple of feet above my head. All with the same results. The ball is only flattened slightly on the side it hits the ground on. No breaking, cracks, or crumbling. We have such good dirt :)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

this is unbelievable

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16441559/site/newsweek/

This reminds me of girls I went to high school with. Even in private school I had to deal with spoiled bitches like these and most authority figures go right along with them. What I can't believe is according to the article the high school principle who allowed this to happen and is one of the parents of the girls in question was paid 75,000 dollars to resign and given a letter of recommendation. She should have been fired for allowing her daughter and her friends to act in this manner.

rain and fog

Its rainy today, and cold, and its been foggy off and on. I'm tired. I didn't actually get to bed until 2pm but I got plenty of sleep because I slept late. I am really not in the mood to work today but I am still plugging away.

I've been trying to not eat any animal products lately. Actually just yesterday and today. I don't know for sure if that's why I feel so tired or not. I'm not going to do this permanently, I just want to see if I loose any weight doing this. This means no butter, no eggs, nothing with milk in it. No animal fats. Nothing! There isn't much food in the house right now and I can't go grocery shopping until the 13th so its harder than it sounds. I have things to eat like instant potatoes without butter or milk (potatoes are bad when your on a diet) cabbage, canned corn (corn is supposed to be another no no), peas and green beans, onions, and beans. That's not really all that bad I guess. I just really prefer to eat fresh salads and fruits and things like that. I am starving!!!!!And I have to make my family meat for dinner, boohoo.

I finally finished the denim skirt, finally. A couple of days ago actually. It looks pretty good. At least I think it does. Bear doesn't like it. I do though. I took a picture of it and I would post it but I look really fat in that picture so I'm not going to post it. I'll take another later of the skirt laying on the bed or something.

Bear renews his gym membership soon and I'm going to join with him so we can work out together in the morning. I think it will be easier to keep up a steady work out in the gym. I really prefer walking but I can't go to the wildlife preserve because of the use in gas now and its hard to keep up a good pace walking in my woods. I'm to tempted to stop and look around.

I got a message from one of my boss yesterday. It was a mass message telling me that they have started advertising there services in Africa so i will soon be talking with people from there also. So far that's USA, UK, Australia, and now Africa, but not Canada. I can't help but wonder why were not advertising in Canada. Oh well more work and the same amount of employees means really good job security.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ok, so its after midnight and i'm posting.

I am still awake because I just finished work. Mouse goes back to school tomorrow (thank-you goddess) and she and Coyote were about to drive me batty all day long! its hard to work when there in there moods. I actually had to pull out the paddle and start making empty threats again.

Coyote had a screaming yelling temper tantrum (the first one in a long time) and it took me standing in the door way with a belt in my hand telling him he is way to old to be acting like that to get him to quit. Its amazing how just holding a belt will make him shut up and listen to reason. It reminds me of when I still had a horse. All the horse has to do is see you getting on her with a riding crop and they behave in a completely different way.

Coyotes big problem is he still thinks life is fair and he goes into these screaming temper tantrums when something happens that he thinks isn't fair. I can show him hundreds of examples of life not being fair and he is convinced that if a person tries hard enough they can make it fair. Its a nice thought, but life isn't like that. He doesn't have these fits as much as he used to though.

My mother gave me some seeds that I ordered several years ago and forgot that I had. There for strawberry popping corn and there 7 years old. I germination tested some of them in a plastic bag on top of the cable box and to my surprise I have 90% germination. Here I go feeling like a Krista from the movie Fern Gully with seeds sprouting in my hands. I can't even begin to describe the feeling I have when I unfold that damp coffee filter and see life.

I've been soaking some palm tree seeds I traded for back in early autumn for a few weeks and I have them sitting up there in a plastic bag now. I know there viable because they didn't float when I dropped them in the water. But what I've read tells me they can take as long as 9 months to germinate. These are cold tolerant palms and will look good growing near the future pond.

Good morning sun

Its a new day. A Wednesday. Mouse goes back to school on Thursday. If Coyote were going back to school it would be today and so his homeschooling can officially start. However yesterday we started having problems with the wireless router again and have lost Internet connection on PC2.

Well he did get his library card yesterday and was really excited to be able to go there and pick out a book. He picked up something called Pendragon. I was disappointed to see how small there young adult section actually is. I guess he can start reading books from the adult book section. There isn't anything good on the history channel today but I did find a series called mysteries of the deep that looks really good and tonight there is a series called "Naked Earth". One about the moon that I have seen and that is really good and another one about the birth of the earth which I haven't see but would like to see.

I picked up a how to book on primitive shelters while I at the library. We were working on the back of the property yesterday and bear mentioned he wanted to build a storage building for his tools. I made plans for one a long time ago and already had a spot picked out for it. Right up against the fence where a dead tree is laying. Its covered in green briers so thick nothing else has been able to grow there. The book up has a small building in it that's made of cord wood or "stack wall". This is essentially just logs cut into 6 inch chunks and mortared together like stone. It has a wooden frame and a typical roof. I showed it to Bear who really like the look of it and so that's what we will be using to store tools in. And probably flower pots and a number of other things as. well.

While we worked on the back of the property yesterday Bear tried is hardest to get me to add another 4 feet to the dome. I really wish he could picture things better in his head. 30 feet across is more than enough for a kitchen, hearth area and 1 upstairs bedroom.

The chainsaw has quit on us and its cheaper to buy a new one than it is to get it fixed. We worked with hand snips and an ax yesterday cutting down some really small saplings to the south of the foundation and hacking through muscudine and greenbrier vines that were as thick as my forearm. We also talked about where the electrical will come through at and Bear plans to talk to the electric company and get them to send so someone out to give us an estimate. I am guessing were 1000, 1200 feet from the road and I think I have read somewhere electric companies usually charge by the yard. If its to expensive we will have to look at other sources of power. Not that I would mind "not" being hooked to the grid.
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