Saturday, January 24, 2009

Too good not to share

Normally I don't make two posts in the same day, but I just HAD to share this one, even though it's not something I would usually post about.
It was in the local paper, and I found some pics on the 'net. A couple used 12x12 pavers to make this outdoor Scrabble board in their backyard, how cool is that?????????????? The husband made the letter tiles from plywood, painted the letters on, and sealed each one. There are pics of them playing outside at night even, lighted by tiki torches, LOL.
Since Lisa LOVES to play Scrabble, as soon as she saw this, all I heard was "I WANT ONE! I WANT ONE!" hahaha if only I could come across that many 12x12 pavers that were dirt cheap.....
I had to take a break from the paper shuffling for a while, I was starting to get cross-eyed!

Random thoughts of the day and a little puzzle

OK first the puzzle part of today's post: Who is this guy on the left????? anyone? anyone?

This morning I visited with my parents for a few hours, coming home with the usual bag or box of things they feel that I need. Today the haul included a metal grater, (we wanted another one for grating soap bars), another 2 oil lamps, (mom can't use them in emergencies anymore since dad is on oxygen), an old book mom's had for years on Greek mythology, a nazi SA dagger that my great uncle brought home from WW2, and my great-grandfathers shaving mug, brush, and straight razor. I plan on using the mug and brush, but I still have to admit that a straight razor scares the hell outta me! I just think that my great-grandfather would be happier knowing I was using it rather than just setting it on a shelf.

Sometime when the weather starts to warm up, mom wants me to come help clean their attic and see if there is anything I may want. I'm not really looking forward to this since my parents are both notorious packrats, and there are boxes upon boxes of useless items tucked and stored away for no apparant reason. Dad wants me to take all of his fishing gear, which is great, other than the fact that there are probably 2 truckloads of it scattered throughout the house, along with most power and hand tools that he can no longer use. He still laughs about the gun cabinet when I look into it, saying that he'll either be buried with all of them, or have them "modified" for me before he dies.......todays big dad joke was the "snubnose .222 remington" I would someday inherit. Yea, his jokes are bad, but I laughed anyway. He knows I will baby each and every one, especially the Colt Frontier Scout and Marlin 39a Mountie...both my favorites since I was little. We talked about the "old days" when he and I hunted all the time, and told each other the same old hunting stories that we have for years. He mentioned that it's been years since he's had any good fresh game, and cooncidently Lisa was at home making some pheasant breasts. As much as I love the stuff, I saved one for dad, which she is dropping off to him as I type since she is going to her sister's 10 minutes from my folks. I hope he likes his surprise.

Around here, not a lot is going on other than more prepping and seed orders. Next week we are ordering ten 5 gallon food-grade buckets with lids, which we'll be filling with everything that we can. For now we'll use some for flour, sugar, and rice; but I have a long list of things that we buy in smaller quantities that I plan to buy in bulk now that we will have the buckets. I'm also looking into large or several small containers for water. I've seen clean 55 gallon drums, but they are quite expensive. For now I am going to get a few 5 gallon containers to put away, maybe 3 or 4 a month till I decide to get some drums. I figure with the loss of the $115 cable bill each month starting in a week, we can use that money (for now) to do more prep. I want as much on hand as possible now more than ever considering our economy and the still looming though of a layoff.

All of our seed orders are yet to go out, but the last from Seeds of Change will go out this week sometime. The order has been changed, added to, and changed again at least six times now, but I think that it's FINALLY ready to go. All of the seeds we have ordered are organic/heirloom varieties, which makes us both happy, plus I'm hoping that this year the local homesteading group I moderate can start our own seed exchange. We're trying several new things, as well as making a quite large herb garden which we hope to use to create our own spices and also medicinal herbs. We're both excited about this year's garden!

I made a decision on the chicken coop. For now, I'm going to use the 8x16 carport frame and cover it in chicken wire for their run. It's just over 8 feet tall, but I plan to cut it down to around 6 feet just to save on fencing. (I don't really want it any shorter, remember I'm 6'3" lol) I'll make a house to sit outside of it at one end, and a door at the other. We planned on something bigger and better, but again with the possibility of a layoff, I'm going as inexpensive yet functional as possible. I'm also going to go visit with my uncle next weekend and ask him about building another one at his place for meat birds. We just simply don't have any more room here, and he has the 8 acres that he doesn't use at all. I mentioned it last year and he said he would take care of them, so I want to ask again. It would be still fairly close (20 minutes), give him something to do, and I would give him all the chicken he would want. I talked to mom about it today, and she said she would even go over and help with them since she is less than 5 minutes away. We'll see how that one goes, all considering his answer and the cash on hand to build another house and run. If he says yes, I seriously thought about tossing a few pheasants into the mix, but that's just a random thought.

Tonight while Lisa is gone, I am FINALLY organizing all of my notes and folders. I have things written in books, pads, tucked away in files, stuffed in folders, and stacked on shelves; all on misc subjects; that desperately need organized. I have things on homesteading, chickens, preperations, food storage, homemade cleaner recipes, soap recipes, hide tanning, rabbit raising, and every imaginable subject that peaks my interest or that we use here at home. It's far beyond time that these countless pages of notes and pages are organized by subject matter and filed away. The kitchen table is cleaned off, the coffee is perculating, and the empty file folders are stacked and ready. Hopefully I can get them all condensed and seperated by the time the snow melts!!!!!!!! Wish me luck.

For those of you who tried to guess who the finely dressed young gentleman in the photo is................... It's none other than Ronnie James Dio (Elf-Black Sabbath-Rainbow-Dio-Heaven and Hell) circa 195? in his first band-Ronnie and the Redcaps. Ronnie still won't give his actual age, but the general guess is in the 65-67 range. Thanks for playing, and if you guessed correctly, you have won a years supply of corn husks, a slightly used Yugo-complete with donkey pulling attachment (you can't tell me you actually thought it still RAN!) , and any of the neighbors cats of your choice! (state and federal taxes apply and are paid by the winner) ..............c'mon, it's only 3 cents.............

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trying to make a rotten day better

Today has sucked so far, no if's and's or but's about it, it's sucked. I woke up late, forgot to make coffee, got to work and froze, tried hanging 225lb pieces of pipe around 5 other guys on ladders, found out the fire inspector is having fits, ran out of concrete anchors, then had to pick Lisa up at 1:00. She drops me off so she can go somewhere with Holly and I head for the garage. The one bantam hen has went broody for a few days, so I seperated her. I come in the house, and see it TOTALLY trashed. The dogs somehow broke the gate we contain them in the living room with, and went wild. Trash all over the house, they ate the stale bread that was in the dehydrator, they ate about a half pound of coffee beans, they got in the cupboard and ate a container of chocolate frosting, a bag of egg noodles, shredded the bathroom trash, got in the trash down here, and ate probably a good 5 pounds of potatos from storage.

I toss their furry asses outside, clean the mess, get them back in and locked up, and grab a coke to sit, relax, and check my email. Guess what? No internet!! I walk upstairs, grab the remote and turn on the tv and cable. "this cable box is not authorized for use"!!!!!!! $%&@^#&*^!@ I get the last bill, sit on the couch, go through that stupid automated computer BS, then get stuck on hold for almost 20 minutes to talk to a real live person. The bill is in Lisa's name, so I have to run and find a paystub of hers since they need the last 4 digits of her social before they can help. After waiting for all the info to come up, they tell me it was disconnected for non-payment. BS!!!!!!! I paid $116.24 on Friday. Here comes the kicker........since the payment was late, there was a late charge, and that was considered "past due". YEP........they shut off my cable for a giant grand total of EIGHT DOLLARS AND SIXTY FOUR CENTS. I asked the girl-"are you kidding me????", to which of course she replied with "well........ummmm...ahhhhhh....". Forget it, just put 10 bucks on the debit card and turn my cable back on. After nearly an hour, I'm finally off the phone, walking through the kitchen and staring at the half bottle of Gentleman Jack I've had for a year........."wonder if I can chug that????" Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (should I mention that my cell phone provider did the same exact thing to me last year for TWO DOLLARS?????)

I've had enough of this, that was the last straw. The cable is going off at the end of the month. I've talked and talked about it, but never really did it. We always have an excuse, but no more, I'm done. Write me up for saving $113 a month. I can't wait to walk into that place and hand them the cable box and modem.

37 random things

I got this from Divahick's blog, and figured what the hell, I'll post it with my answers. Feel free to do it yourself, it's actually kinda fun. I just noticed there is no #17, lol ok then make it 36 random things.

1. Do you like blue cheese? Oh yea
2. Have you ever smoked? Yep still do, though I'm smoking a pipe more than cigarettes lately
3. Do you own a gun? "A" gun??? hahaha
4. What flavor Kool Aid is your favorite? I hate the stuff
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? naaaa
6. What do you think of hot dogs? gimme 3 footlong coney's with lots o' onions please!
7. Favorite Christmas movie? The Ref
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9. Can you do push-ups? yep
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? my wedding ring, then the ring I have that dad wore when he was dating my mom.
11. Favorite hobby? wayyyyyyyyy too many to list
12. Do you have A.D.D? look a chicken!!!!!!!! what was the question???
13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? glasses
14. Middle name? John
15. Name thoughts at this moment? deciding on cleaning the chicken coop or cleaning the kitchen
16. Name 3 drinks you getting layed off
18. Current hate right now? pretty much most of the american society
19. Favorite place to be? oscoda, Michigan...fighting a 25lb salmon
20. How did you bring in the New Year? a smooch with Lisa and Jason and the Scorchers live!
21. Where would you like to go? Ireland, Alaska, Montana, Germany
22. Name three people who will complete this? not a clue
23. Do you own slippers? nope
24 What color shirt are you wearing? black
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? nope
26. Can you whistle? Yep
27. Favorite Color? black
28. What songs do you sing in the shower? The Lumberjack song
29. Would you be a pirate? lol no
30. Favorite Girl's Name? never thought about it
31. Favorite boy's name? Magnus
32. What's in your pocket right now? pocketknife, lighter and an allen wrench
33. Last thing that made you laugh? Lisa telling a story from work....the docs she works for are going to kiss a chicken if the 4 offices generate $1000 this month for Childrens Hospital
34. What vehicle do you drive? Pontiac Torrent
35. Worst injury you've ever had? Dirt bike vs tree-I lost. Cracked skull, broken nose, 6 teeth smashed off at the jaw, burned thigh and man parts, bruised man parts, gearshift twisted and penetrated behind my kneecap
36. Do you love where you live? no
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? one

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I had Lisa snap this one with my cell phone, lol. Apparantly, Austin couldn't resist the smell of my pipe again. He'll get right in my face to smell it, like he is now. He's gotten in the trash to get at what I clean out of the pipe, and Lisa has caught him several times trying to eat it out of the ashtray! He's not the brightest dog I've ever had by any means, but how can anyone resist that face???? He'll be 9 this year, old age for a bloodhound whose life expectancy is 10-11. We've talked a lot about him and the breed, and when we lose him, we'll have another one. Not a chance we'll EVER have 5 dogs in the house again like we do now, but we'll have another bloodhound for sure, and definitly a beagle. I've had beagles my entire life, other than during and right after my 1st marriage. (about 4 years) Yep, 39 out of 43 years I or dad had beagles, and I'll never be without one. What can I say, we're definitly "dog people"!
Lisa is out shopping again with her Daughter today. She got a few gift cards for Christmas and wanted to get herself some work clothes, and since she hates shopping (especially for clothes) , she took Holly with her. I'm spending the day catching up on laundry while getting some smaller things accomplished that needed attention. I'm really getting used to using this homemade laundry detergent, and have came to love the smell of it. The simple mix of washing soda, fels naptha soap, and borax work great, even on my filty work clothes. We've been making and using it for almost a year now, and have started making and using other things as well, like household cleaners. I'm going to sit here for a bit, enjoy a cup of coffee, and find more resources for homemade cleaners, shampoo's, and hopefully a hair conditioner for Lisa. This is just somewhere for us to start on not buying things packaged in plastic. Sure; shampoo, conditioner and cleaners are cheap at the dollar store, but for each one there ends up being one more plastic bottle in the trash or recycle bin, and thats what we want to try to eliminate. Along with the plastics, we're trying to get rid of any chemical type cleaners and go with simple solutions like using vinegar, baking soda, and others as ingredients. We're going to try the toothpaste one from barb & steve at The Big Red Barn later this week. If anyone has any suggestions, ideas, or recipes for anything, pass 'em along and we'll try it out!
I responded to Tammie's email today about some new birds, and we'll be taking at least one Delaware and 2 Americauna's. I think a flock of 12 will be just fine for us, even though we get more now than we can use. Now that some people at Lisa's work are hooked on fresh eggs, we're going to start selling to them at $2 a dozen. I don't see any of them hesitating on spending 2 bucks on eggs when the stores around here are getting well over $3 a dozen for brown eggs. We're not going to make our fortune at 2 bucks a pop, but it will help absorb the cost of feed, and that's the only concern at all. $13 a 50lb bag at the feed store only works out to selling 6 1/2 dozen eggs, and that will NOT be a problem. We'll just make sure to put a "chicken feed kitty" in the kitchen, and keep that cash there for nothing else. Above and beyond buying feed, the money can go to new coop materials since I'm still uncertain about the layoff my boss mentioned. Though we're concerned about it, we're trying to not let it get to us yet.

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