Thursday, December 20, 2012

A lighter shade of blue....

I am trying so hard not be a downer this Christmas but I'm finding it very difficult.  I keep telling myself to be thankful for everything and everyone.  I am trying to look forward to what the new year might bring, but those depressing thoughts keep shoving their way in like rude Black Friday shoppers.
It doesn't help that I am so completely congested and stuffed up, I can't see straight.
Hubs is sick - could be bronchitis don't know.  He can't cough very hard because of the nerve damage in his back so he chokes a lot.
Son has strep throat.  He went back to school today after being home for 6 days - he had to be on antibiotics for that one.
My friend in spending her birthday and Christmas in the hospital because of cancer.  I want to go visit, but I know better than to go up there like this.  That's the last thing she needs.
My grandpa doesn't know what day it is, then he does, then he doesn't.
My brother had to have a CT scan today because of a mass in his lungs that the doctor noticed when he did a chest X-ray for pneumonia.
The person who gave birth to me is psycho.
I have 3 lumps/bulges in my mid section that no one can seem to figure out what they are.  Comforting.
The young lady I call my 'foster' daughter is living in a garage.
I still owe the contractor money.
I am heartbroken about the families who are enduring way too much heartache in Connecticut.

I try to replace these negative thoughts with better ones.
I am sick, but I am not in the hospital with cancer.
Hubs can still walk even though his legs give out without notice.
Son is getting over the strep. He will have the next 2 weeks to fully recoup.  He is also spending the night Saturday with his grandpa(my dad) for the first time ever.
My friend is still alive when this cancer should have killed her already.  I am glad she gets to celebrate another birthday and Christmas with her family.
My grandpa thinks its 1947.  That's a good thing since things were better back then, harder, but better.
My brother's mass may just be related to the pneumonia, but if its not - hopefully they caught it early enough to fix it.
The person who gave birth to me is still a psycho and there's nothing that can be done about it.
My step-mother is going to check the lumps/bulges on Saturday when we go visit for Christmas - she's a nurse.
My 'foster' daughter is living in a garage and not on the street.  She has a job and is starting a better one in January.
I have a job.
I have a car that my boss pays the fuel for.
My house is done and we are comfortable in it.   I will make arrangements with the contractor to pay off what we owe him.
I have my son to hug.
I got a kitten for Christmas and just in time - her sister was hit by a car the next day.

I'm blue, but it's a lighter shade of blue.  I need some sunshine and a vacation.
I promise I will keep trying to think better thoughts, but its so hard sometimes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


     Christmas is almost here and another year is almost over.  Recent events have made me stop and take a moment to reflect.  The most important thing in life is family and friends that you make your family.  I have very little of both, but I love them dearly.  After the tragedy on Friday, December 14, 2012 in Connecticut, I love them even more.  How anyone could murder children is beyond my comprehension.  It was reported that the gunman had Asperger's.  My own son has Asperger's.  I've talked to him about guns and his favorite video games which usually involve soldiers and shooting.  We've talked about how in the video games, when someone gets shot, they magically come back and can play again.  That doesn't happen in real life.  He is insists he knows the difference and he would never shoot a real person.  I hope beyond hope that he holds true to that.
     Guns are a part of our life.  We hunt and we like to target shoot.  I even have a pink gun.  No one is going to take my guns from me without a fight.  I have that right.  Guns don't kill people - people kill people.  The NFL player that killed his girlfriend and then himself could have used any manner of things to do the deed.  There was a Chinese man that slashed a bunch of school children with a knife.  We don't need more gun regulations  -  we need more openness about mental health.  People need to feel like getting help for emotional problems isn't wrong or bad.  Maybe that would prevent people from snapping.
Bring God back into schools and work and wherever He is needed.  If the Atheists and naysayers don't like it - tough - don't go or don't listen or don't participate.  Saying 'Happy Holidays' isn't the answer.  Christ is why we have Christmas and Easter.  Corporate greed is why we have gotten away from the real reasons.  It's why we've become numb.  Look at Black Friday - I hate Black Friday, which now begins on Thursday.  5000 people want 5 t.v.'s for $100.  Why - because marketing says we need to fight over it.  I don't need it and I won't buy it.
     People can also do evil in other ways.  When someone needs help or needs to be taken care of and they just stand by and watch is evil.  My mother is evil.  Some might say that is a terrible thing to say.  It would be if it weren't true.  She is evil.  My brother and I have been trying to get her to put him in a nursing home because he needs help.  He is 96 and shouldn't be living by himself.  He told me on Sunday (12/16/12) that he fell down the other day and hit his head.  He stumbles all the time and can't see very well.  He doesn't cook anymore and only eats what is in the fridge - no matter how long it's been in there.  He has internal health issues like rectal bleeding and explosive diarrhea.  Gross I know, but that's why he needs help.  He can't always make it to the bathroom in time and makes a mess.  She doesn't want to do anything because it might cost some money - money that would come out of her inheritance.  She's greedy and always has been.
She was out there on Sunday and was getting mad because she had to pay some of his bills, with his money and his checkbook.  She had to WRITE the checks and was mad.  She also got mad because I fixed Grandpa's coffee pot.  She said she had already fixed it and that he just wasn't trying hard enough.  Really? - He's 96, he shouldn't have to try very hard.  He didn't care who fixed it, he just wanted a cup of coffee.
     I'm also a little bit upset with my boss.  He's having a Christmas get-together at his house - his really big house in his really exclusive neighborhood.  My son is ill, but taking meds.  He doesn't want my son to come because he is ill.  I told him the nurse and the doctor said after 2 days on the meds, he wouldn't be contagious anymore.  He doesn't want him to come to his house because his girls might catch it.  I guess I'm not going to to go because I don't have a sitter and I don't want to leave him at home at night be himself.  I have left him alone before, but I won't do that at night.  Even though he is 12, it is still scarier at night.  Merry Christmas, Mr. Boss.
     I am trying to look forward to the new year.  We are planning our garden and how we can make some money from it.  We are planning on adding two or three new hives for the bees.  We are planning on getting a goat or two so that we can have milk to make things from and sell.  We are looking forward to the arrival of our chickens in January.  We are looking forward to Lliam actually going back to Alexandria Schools and trying to lead a normal life instead of going to school in a hospital.  We are looking forward to our little farm store actually getting off the ground and bringing in a few bucks.  We are looking forward to earning some money from starting beagle pups on rabbits and also selling rabbits.
     There's a ton of things to look back on and wonder why, but there's even more to look forward to and wonder why not.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Having a rough day

In the midst of everything that is going on right now, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I want to cry, but can't. I sit at work trying to focus on work, but can only think about that for a few seconds before life creeps in.  I am stressing about hubby's health - his diabetes is out of control. So much so that we made the trip to the ER to let the doctors try to help.  His back is getting worse - which makes his legs not work right.  He has other problems too, but he wouldn't appreciate me speaking about those.

Lliam is having more problems with attitude and fighting at school.  We are reluctantly trying a new med for him.  Something has to help.  I can't deal with him refusing to go in the school and me having to try to wrestle him in there.  My back still hurts from Monday's episode.

The construction is a little behind right now.  We were supposed to be painting by this weekend and now it looks like we won't be painting until next week.  The contractor is also saying we are closer to the budget than we originally thought.  I still can't figure out how since just about everything we ordered was way under the budget limit for that particular area.  I am still trying to decide if I picked the right colors for each room.  Some rooms I am certain the color is right - others - not so much.

My mother is still being a pain the backside.

My brother got mad at me because I didn't tell him that Grandpa made a trip to the hospital (he never goes), but everything was fine so I didn't think it was necessary to tell him.  Then he didn't bother to tell me that an aunt was diagnosed with cancer.  She passed away 2 weeks after the doctors gave her 6 weeks.  On top of that, he didn't even tell me when the funeral was.  I wasn't able to go.   When I told him I had taken Lance to the ER - he didn't ask if he was ok.  Really - kiss my backside, pal.

And then there's work.  I like my job - don't get me wrong.  I just got a small raise, a car to drive and boss pays the gas, insurance and upkeep including car washes.  I guess my issue is I work my tail off, do everything boss asks of me and I rarely get time off.  He's let me have most of the days I asked for - Jessica's wedding, a trip to Ohio to sell at a flea market, things like that.  But I don't have a regularly scheduled day off.  He knows I need the money since Lance isn't working anymore, but come on.  I NEED A DAY OFF!  OR two or three when I don't have a single thing scheduled.  I need a break.

Speaking of breaks - give me one from hearing about how much natural talent his children have.  Of course they do great at whatever sport they happen to be in that week.  He pays for them to take lessons from very expensive trainers and coaches.  He knows it annoys me to hear about it because I don't have extra money for Lliam to even play in a school sport.  Hell, he can't even join the Boy Scouts because I don't have the money to pay the dues.  Jealous you say - yeah probably a little.  I worked at a job where I made nearly $17 an hour and that job was eliminated.  I started work here at $10 an hour about a year ago and that was after 2 years of looking.  I am making more now, but I still have the bills I had from the good job.  That job had regular days off, vacation time, health, dental, and vision insurance.  This job has none of that.  Be grateful I have a job -  I am.  If I didn't have this job, we would have lost the house altogether.   I get that he's the boss and has money, but he doesn't have to flaunt it every single day.  Just today he was talking about the upcoming family trip to Disney, and the Christmas-time trip to the Bahamas.  He was actually complaining about having to stand in line at the post office to get new passports.  Boo hoo.  I don't even have a passport.  My son has never even been to Canada.  I want to take Lliam to Florida to see where he was born, but I don't even have the extra gas money for that.

What did I do wrong?  What curse has befallen my family that I can't even take a vacation?  Who did I piss off so much that my son can't play in a school sport or join the Boy Scouts?

Yeah, I had a pity party for myself just now, but I am so freaking frustrated I could explode.  I work and work and work and still have nothing extra.  I have trimmed the budget as much as I could.  We are even trying to sell my truck and the old plow truck to bring in some extra money.

I know there are thousands of people out there with less than I have.  There are people in Florida dealing with floods, Colorado dealing with fire, all over the country dealing with drought and hoards of unemployed people.  I am sorry for them and I hope things all work out for them.  But Damn it, I work hard and deserve the chance to relax once in a while.  I shouldn't have the fear that if I ask for a day off, I might lose my job.  I want to look for more gainful employment, but if the boss finds out I am looking, I will not even have this job.  I feel like I am stuck.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sometimes in life a little heartbreak....

My grandfather is 96.  Four years from a century of being on Earth.  I knew it would happen sooner or later.  No, he hasn't passed on.  He's losing his memories.  June 9, 2012, my beautiful niece was married.  After the wedding, we stopped by Grandpa's house to visit.  He seemed to be doing just fine.  We were carrying on a conversation like usual.  Then it happened.  He looked at his 12-year-old grandson and said "And who is this fine looking young man?"  Lliam, being the sensitive type, burst into tears.  I kept cool, but I think I was in shock.  I suggested to Lliam that he go outside and try to find some rabbits.  I sent his daddy after him to try to explain what just happened.  Grandpa looked at me sort of stunned and asked "Did I say something to offend him?"  I said no, that he had just had a long day with the wedding and all.  He asked who got married.  I explained it was his great granddaughter.  He thought about it for a few minutes and asked again who the boy was that had been sitting next to me.  I had to fight the tears.  I explained it again.  Then I changed the subject.  I asked him if he wanted to send Jessica a check for a wedding gift.  "Who's Jessica?"  I explained it again.  He decided he had better send one if she was his granddaughter.  I wrote the check out for $50 and let him sign it.  I also wrote a note explaining who, why and how much so when my mom visited next, she could explain it to him again.  I also balanced his check book and wrote on the bottom of the check "wedding gift" so he wouldn't think someone had just coerced him to give them money that he didn't know.

I had been given a warning about what was happening earlier in the day, but it didn't register until that moment.  My brother had explained to me that when he and his son were out to visit the day before, the exact same thing happened with his son.  It's heartbreaking when someone you love with all your heart doesn't have a clue who you are.

On the ride home, Lliam was still weepy so I tried to explain in a way that he might better understand.  Here's what I came up with on the fly.  "Lliam, you know when it is really, really foggy outside and you want to pull back the fog like curtains so you can see better?"
"Well, that's kind of how it is in Grandpa's mind.  We are all in there somewhere, but he can't find us. It's sad, I know, but it happens to most older people.  Sometimes it happens way before this age, but it does happen. He's losing his memories in the fog."
"You know what else I think?  I think that when he goes to heaven to be with Grandma, he will remember every single thing that has ever happened in his life.  I also think that when he remembers something that involves you, that's when you think of a fond memory of him."
A small smile appeared.  "Dad, can we go fishing when we go camping?"

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Choices - Good or Bad - We've All Made Them

Yesterday at work was not such great day.  Why?  Our sign carrier verbally exploded.  Let me back up a few and give some background on this issue.  When the company owner was in the process of opening his fifth store, his maintenance guy happened upon a homeless fellow that was looking for work.  Mr. Fix-it was all about the company  owner hiring this guy.  I questioned it.  Don't get me wrong, I do not have a problem with someone who is down on their luck getting a boost from those who can give.  However, we knew nothing about this person, where he came from, his criminal history (if he had one), his mental state, etc.  In this day and age one can't be too careful.  This wall comes from working in law enforcement for almost 10 years.  I've seen and heard about an awful lot of well intending people getting hurt by those they are trying to help.  Mr. Owner hired the guy to carry the sandwich boards advertising our business. Let the drama begin.

The first few days weren't so bad.  Mr. Signs got paid daily at the end of the day.  After a few days, he started asking "Can I have an hour or two for lunch money and cigs?"  Mr. Owner obliged him.  Mr. Signs is supposed to be walking from 10 am until at least 5 pm.  We close at 6 pm.  Mr. Signs might work until 3 pm then come in and tell us he was done.  Reasons?
1.  It's too hot.
2.  It's too cold.
3.  Going to a ball game.
4. His girl was giving him trouble.
5. His girl was in trouble - needed to go to another town to get her.
6. Had to go to court.
7. It's raining.
8. Tired.
9. Had enough of people making comments.
10. Got in a fight.

Really?  One day last week another employee and I were looking at a video online of a dog riding a rocking horse - it was hilarious.  Mr. Signs comes in and wants to be clocked out because he has something to take care of.  It just so happened that at the same time he asked that, we laughed because of the video.  Mr. Signs went postal.  He started screaming at my co-worker.  The f-bomb was flying out of his mouth every other word.  He made threats to my co-worker, telling him he was going to rip his head off and ^&*( down his throat, f-this-f-that m-f.  I tried to intervene by telling Mr. Signs he needed to take it down a notch and stop making threats.  He looked at me and said "They ain't threats, they is promises."  I told him that was enough and he needed to leave.  After about 5 more minutes of belligerence, he screamed that he quit and stormed out the door.
Just so happened that Mr. Owner pulled up and Mr. Signs went over and started yelling at him.  Mr. Owner got him to calm down and insisted that he come in and apologize to my co-worker.  Mr. Signs did that, but I was not convinced.

A few days later, a couple of younger people came in saying that Mr. Signs was trying to start a fight outside and some woman was trying to restrain him.  I went out to see what was going on.  It's not good for a company representative to fight with the general public.  The lady was still with Mr. Signs and insisted that the two people who came in the store started the whole thing.  Mr. Signs apologized to me for losing his temper and throwing the sign on the ground.  I informed him that if I got another complaint about him-whether it was his fault or not, he was done.  He protested, but I calmly explained to him that as a business we cannot have this much negative activity going on as it would hurt the reputation of the business.

Moving up to yesterday, it was near the end of the day when a fellow business owner entered the store.  Mind you- Mr. Signs clocked out around 3:30 pm and this happened around 5 pm.  The business owner was obviously very upset about something and wanted to speak to Mr. Owner.  We informed him that Mr. Owner was not present, but was there something we could do to help him.  He claimed that Mr. Signs was in his business parking lot soliciting business right out from under him.  We asked him to explain.  He said the guy in the blue shirt was telling his customers to come over to our store because we paid more.  He expressed his disapproval of this practice to Mr. Signs.  He then told us how Mr. Signs got mouthy and started yelling at him.

I told the business owner that it would be dealt with appropriately.  He said he didn't want any bad blood between the two businesses, but he couldn't let things like that happen.  I told him we understood, that Mr. Signs was currently off the clock, and it would be dealt with.

At about 10 minutes to closing, Mr. Signs came in the store asking if we bought a ring.  I told him no one came in to sell a ring.  I then asked if he had been at the antique shop.  He immediately went on the defensive- yelling and screaming at me.  Throwing the F-bomb every other word.  Accused us of being hoity-toity rich people living in air conditioned homes, driving nice cars, taking vacations and eating out all the time and that he lived in a tent.  I looked him square in the eyes and told him he was where he was because of the choices he had made and continued to make.  He called me a bitch. (not the first time I've been called that - I dealt with angry truck drivers as an inspector - it's part of the job).  I told him that was his opinion and that it was his choice to express that opinion.  I told him that Mr. Owner had explained to him how to get a new ID card since he lost his and he chose not to follow Mr. Owner's advice.  I told him that if he had followed Mr. Owner's advice about the ID card, he could have started the process of looking for more permanent living arrangements.  I could tell by the look on his face that he was getting madder and madder.  I suggested that he go to his tent and chill out for the evening.  To that he said "F*&$ YOU, F*&$ this job and I quit."  I said "That's your choice."

This morning when I drove in the lot, I could see Mr. Signs sitting on the embankment watching me.  Creepy!  Before I could get inside the building, he was right beside me.  He was begging for his job back.  I told him it was out of my hands.  He begged some more and again I told him it wasn't up to me.  I unlocked the door and went inside as he walked away, mad.  He then started calling the store phone.  At first I didn't answer because it wasn't time to open for business.  At about 2 til 10, I answered it.  He wanted to talk to Mr. Owner.  I asked him if he saw Mr. Owner's truck in the lot.  He said no, but he needed to talk to him. He begged me to call him and ask if he could have his job back.  I said if I talked to Mr. Owner, I might say something.

I did indeed talk to Mr. Owner.  I expressed my concern about Mr. Signs verbal abuse to my co-worker and me, his unstable state of mind, his paranoia, his explosive behavior, the fact that he can't follow direction, gets defensive with constructive criticism,  and - most of all-doesn't know when to shut up.  I also expressed concern that Mr. Signs made me uncomfortable and that it creeped me out how he watches us all time.  I told Mr. Owner that it was my opinion that someone who was that violent with words and was ready to fight anyone at anytime could cause harm to me or my co-worker or worse - the customers.
I now worry that Mr. Signs will start stalking us.  He has said previously that he was an Army Ranger.
I pity him too.

Now before anyone gets their feathers ruffled - I don't have a problem with homeless people or people who have had a run of back luck and are currently down and out.  However, don't judge me because I have a job, a house and a  couple of cars.  I have worked hard to get those things and even harder to keep them.  I know about losing a job, being without money, being within a payment or two of losing everything.  Then I lost my home to a fire.  Thankfully I had insurance - that I work hard to pay for.  When I lost my job, I lost a few friends as well.  They couldn't handle having a poor person hanging around.  Not such good friends.  During this dark time in my life that began in 2009, I went through so many emotions.  The depression was the worst and it almost consumed me.  BUT I MADE A CHOICE.  I chose to keep fighting for what I worked so hard for.  I chose to get off my butt, get a job and get back on my feet.  I chose to take responsibility for caring for my family.  I chose NOT to ask for welfare or food stamps. Yes, I got unemployment for awhile.  I was entitled to it.  I've worked since I was 16 and I earned it.  If we didn't have the money to buy something - we didn't. At Christmas, my husband and I didn't buy any presents for ourselves and used what little money we had to buy a couple of toys and some clothes for our son. We didn't go beg for toys at the toy drive.  If the groceries ran low - we made do with what we had even if it was only rice and beans. We didn't go to the food pantry and ask for hand outs.  It wasn't fun, but we muddled through. When we lost the house to the fire, I chose not to wallow in sorrow and self-pity.  I went to work the next day - no sense in sitting around thinking about what happened.  I couldn't change the fact that everything was gone.  I was going to have to start over, again.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How's the house? Oh- going glamping, too!

Well, the house looks more like a house these days.  It has felt paper and ice/water barrier, it has windows, doors and duct work.  The electrician has made his marks for rough in.  The plumber will be out this week or next to mark rough ins for plumbing.  The roofing material should be arriving soon as well as the bricks.  The porches need to be built, as well.  I am getting more and more excited as it moves along.  How soon to move in?   Could be end of summer, but most likely just before Thanksgiving.  Let's hope for the earlier!  I really hate moving in the winter.

We have decided to paint the interior ourselves along with a few friends?  (Anyone else want to join us?)  Free food and beverages along with good conversation will be the pay!  Thanks to all of you who are going to help! We love you.

Taking a break this weekend and going glamping.  Yes, I said glamping - google it if you don't know what it is. I can hardly wait.  We are going with our good friends Amy and Aaron and their two boys.  All told we will have 7 people and 5 dogs - what a herd.  Campfire cooking, s'mores and gold panning.  Sounds like fun!  We don't really expect to find any gold, but it's fun trying.  Hopefully the rain in the forecast won't last to long and the creek won't come up too much.  (Calling for an inch or more tonight into Friday)  Biting my nails.

Hubs is at home trying to get the fishing gear ready - he's had more than a month to get prepared, but true to his nature, waits until the night before.  I have just about everything else ready to go, just have to pack it up.  Everything is staged in the corner of my bedroom.  Looks like a campers garage sale waiting to happen.

Speaking of garage sales - going to have one when we get back from glamping.  We've accumulated at bunch of stuff a auctions that we just don't need.  Those of you who know where we are living - watch craigslist for the dates.

In other news, today is hubby's last day of work at Traderbaker's Vendor Mall.  He's fed up with it.  He's going to set up at flea markets and such to make up for his piddly lost income.  Hopefully he can make a few bucks here and there.  Biting my nails, again.

Not much more to add.  Just about time to go home from work.  It was a pretty slow day today.  Having company dinner tomorrow evening - Red Lobster - bosses choice.  Yay, shrimp.

Have a great weekend and see you next week!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Here's the latest photo of the house.  The front door looks like it has a post right in the middle of it, but that is a porch post about 5 feet out.  The funky box next to that is the chimney.  The room that sticks out funny is the pantry/1/2bath and laundry room.  I am hoping the workers were able to put the black paper on the roof today.  The contractor said they should be starting the brick any time.  We meet with the electrician on Tuesday for electrical placements.  The doors and windows have been ordered. Paint and trim has been picked out.  I have to go to the home store to pick out paint for the exterior doors.  Thought they were going to be stained, but was informed they were not!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stressing a little bit...

Stressing a little bit about all this building stuff.  We have just about everything picked out - still need lights, outlet locations and paint colors.  The plumbing budget made me sad.  I couldn't get the faucet I wanted for the kitchen, but found one I can live with.  I am getting a really neat one for the master bathroom.  Looks like an old pitcher pump type.
We haven't decided on all the lighting yet, but need to get a move on so it's ready when the electrician does the rough in.  I found a really neat ceiling fan for the back porch that is actually cheaper than having two (like before)  We've decided that just about all the lighting can be pretty plain (cheaper) except for the living room ceiling fan and the lighting in the kitchen.  We also picked out 2 lights for the porch and side entry that are reasonably priced for the style.  As far as the ceiling fans go in the rest of the house, we can get plain ones now and later on pick up some prettier globes after we live in it for awhile.  You can't go wrong with black metal and darker wood tones.  To me, these are classic and don't go out of style like shiny brass or decorator colors.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Still mad, but token has been returned.

I guess my husband telling the job boss that he didn't want to tangle with me paid off.  The token has been returned, albeit in a different spot.  No questions were asked, but they were warned that if anything else was stolen, the law would be called and everyone of them would be accessories to theft, regardless of who took what.  Let's hope they have enough sense to leave our stuff alone.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Sorry if that offends, but someone has done the ultimate dirty deed.  Remember that token that was place in the concrete for my son?  SOME JACKASS STOLE IT!  My husband and son went up the farm to day to check things out.  The workers were placing the foundation blocks and Lliam was watching them.  Lliam walked over to the area where the token was and he noticed it was gone.  His rock is still there, but the token is GONE.  Lance called the guy who is in charge and point blank said "I want that token returned or there's going to be a huge problem."  As of this posting, we have not heard anything.  I cannot believe  someone would do this.  How would they like it if someone stole something that belonged to their child?  Honestly, I hope they choke on the damn thing.

Hard Labor

Hard Labor is good for you.  On Sunday evening after work, the hubs and I went up to the farm to continue moving limbs from the cut down trees.  He got the little tractor out of the barn and we piled up limbs, wrapped a strap around them and hauled them to a spot in the woods. We got one entire pile cleared in about 1 1/2 hours.  In the process, I knocked over my iced tea, got smacked in the side of the face and in the mouth by unruly limbs and found a hole with my right foot and ankle.  Good time, good times.  Lance had an episode with a limb that could have been a winner on America's Funniest Videos.  Let's just say it might have felt better if he had just done the splits.  He had to take a lengthy break afterwards.  I cleared off the patio area of huge chunks of wood and the saw dust.  We then moved the outfit to the north side and started in on that pile.  I received some scrapes on my arms and Lance tripped a couple of times.  We mostly just piled all the limbs up against the fence to be dealt with later.  We still have several branches to move and 4 HUGE logs, but mostly everything is out of the way for the contractors to get in there and do their thing.  They were supposed to put the concrete block in on Monday, but for some reason it didn't get done.  Hopefully they were out there today working.  

At the end of the evening, my severely arthritic knees were screaming!  My feet ached and the skin on my hands was practically raw.  I couldn't wait to get to the house to take a shower and go to bed.  I am still a little bit sore, but overall, in good shape.  And the yard looks pretty good too! Now if we can just get that house done.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Here forever....

This is a Star Wars token and a polished black rock that were found among the debris after the house was demolished.  The person who found the token is who poured the concrete.  He thought is would be neat to put it in the cement footer.  
The same day, Lliam found this polished black rock from his rock collection in the dirt and Buddy said he could put it in there too.  I think it is awesome for Lliam to be a part of the construction process on the new house.  I know he's been struggling with losing all of his possessions.  He's had a hard time wrapping his mind around the fact that 'things' can be replaced.  Take his 'Pooh Blanket', an item he's had since day one.  After the fire we couldn't find it and figured it was lost forever.  I got it in my head to try to find another blanket that looked just like it and I did.  I even found the binding I had used too.  I wrapped it up and gave it to Lliam for Christmas.  He nearly cried and so did I.  He loved it, but said it wasn't the same.  I told him I knew it wasn't the same, but at least he had something tangible to hold on to when he wanted to remember his blanket.  
Then, last week, a minor miracle occurred.  During the demolition of the house, Lance and Lliam went up to watch.  During one swipe of the bucket on the backhoe, a flash of pastel color appeared.  Instantly Lliam knew what it was. He waved his arms wildly and yelled for the equipment to stop. Lance had to hold him back until the workers could get it shut down. Lliam sprinted up to the pile.  There among the rubble was his beloved 'Pooh Blanket'.  It was slightly burnt and had smoke damage, but it was intact.  He was so happy!  So am I.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Constructions is underway!

The footers have been poured, the crawlspace dug out, and tomorrow they start laying the foundation.  Today the 3 selected trees are going to be removed.  It was supposed to be done Tuesday or Wednesday, but it was a bit too breezy!  Today is a perfectly calm day.  The sun is shining and the sky is a brilliant blue!  I hope to get up to the farm on Friday to see the progress.  I haven't been there since Sunday.  Lance will be up there today cutting up trees after they are on the ground.  Saving a bit of money that way.  Yay!
The saw dust will be scooped up as best we can to put in the compost pile.  The large limbs will be put in the beagle starting pen.  The logs will be cut up to use as fire wood and the teeny little sticks and branches are going to be used as kindling for bon fires and such.  Nothing will be wasted.  One good thing about cutting the trees down now is these 3 particular trees haven't leafed out as of yet.  At least we won't have that mess to clean up too.
As for the house, I wrote the second big check this morning and Lance is going to deliver it to the contractor today.  It was strange to write a check that big!  Kinda scary, too.  I will try to get some more pictures to post as construction progresses.  I want to get a picture of one of the footers as well.  Why?  Well, Buddy, the guy who tore the house down and poured the concrete for the footers, found one of Lliam's Star Wars tokens in the debris and stuck it in the top of a footer.  Then while Lliam and Lance were up there checking things out, Lliam found one of the rocks from his collection (that was lost) and stuck it in there too.  I thought it would be neat to have a photograph for Lliam to have later in life.
When I was up there on Sunday, I found one of my strappy sandals in the dirt - I wonder if they could put that in the concrete too - lol.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How do you depreciate the value of a pet's life?

When our house burned down, I never thought dealing with the insurance company could be so blood boiling.  I've mentioned how we have to write down everything we can remember that we lost and how much we paid for it.  Then the insurance company will depreciate it.  After that, they send us money to buy the item back, but things cost more these days.  If it costs more to replace than we paid, they supposedly will send the difference.  Ok so our sofa cost about $2,000 when it was new 5 years ago.  I don't know how to figure the depreciation, but say they will send us $1,000 for the sofa.  How are we supposed to repurchase the same sofa with only $1,000?  I don't understand.
Well, how in the hell do you put a price on the life of a pet?  Are they going to depreciate his value because he was 11 years old and a cat can live for more than 20 years? Is he less valuable because we adopted him? Because he was declawed? Because he was neutered? WTF?  I just don't get it.  He can't be replaced.  Zeke was Zeke.  Every pet is different their own special way.  His life was priceless.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

The house is no more!

Well, it's gone.  There's nothing left except the old foundation and some concrete steps that we didn't even know were under there!  We are also going to be removing 3 trees that were a little to close to the house.  The tree in the picture right above this paragraph with orange paint is one of them.  It was burned severely as it stood right outside our bedroom window.  I hate losing any trees, but sometimes its better that way.  Besides, we are going to be planting the entire 12 acres in trees and native grasses very soon, so I think that will more than make up for it.
Much of the wood from the trees being removed will be used in one way or another.  Since we are going to have a wood burning stove,  the larger chunks will be cut and cured to use as fire wood.  The other limbs and debris that is left will be put in the starting pen for the beagles as obstacles for rabbit hunting training. We want the starting pen to resemble actual forested areas where the dogs would be hunting.
I also lost a Red Bud tree in the process.  It's sad since they are so pretty!  They were able to save one of my favorite trees though.  It's also in the above picture, a little more to the right side.  I want to put a bench under it for a place to rest and reflect.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Raining

Okay, so its raining. Big deal right? Well this rain is a good rain. It's gentle, albeit heavy at times. Still it's not blowing and its not cold. I like this kind of rain. Its a good soaking rain, which is great because we didn't have that much snow in Central Indiana this year. I had planned on planting early Spring veggies this weekend, but I don't think that's going to happen. The ground will be to wet. Bummer on that. I'm not too worried though, since the almanac says we might some more snow in mid-April. I just hope it doesn't hurt the trees. They are all flowering and leafing out since we have had such warm weather.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Close Call with a Window!

Lance was up at the old house today trying to collect as much scrap metal as possible before the dozer comes in. He was ripping down gutters when a scary thing happened. He was on the boardwalk on the south side of the carport trying to yank a gutter down. He put his hand on the window for balance and the window shattered! He jumped back in shock. He looked at the window then down at this hand. Somehow he didn't even get a scratch! How's that for luck? He didn't finish pulling down the gutter. Said he's going to wait until Saturday when I am there so that if he does get hurt I can help him. No sense in getting injured over a few dollars worth of metal! Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Teaka, the English Shepherd

Even though I just wrote about losing a pet, I wanted to share another picture of a beautiful girl we adopted on Valentines Day 2012. The other picture I posted was kinda dark and didn't show how pretty she really is. So, without further adieu, I reintroduce TEAKA.

This was Zeke. I adopted him in 2004 from an animal shelter that, at that time, only charged $10 for any animal. He was fixed and de-clawed. The shelter thought he was about 4 years old when I got him. He was skinny when I got him and he never didn't gain any weight even thought I left the food bowl full all the time. Zeke was very independent, unless I sat down. Then he was all about being held and loved on. He was a snuggler. This picture was taken in 2010 shortly after we brought little Albert inside. At first Zeke would have nothing to do with him, but Albert was persistent and Zeke finally caved in. He really was a big softy, he just didn't want anyone to know it. We had him until October 7, 2011. I am not certain, but I think he perished in the fire. Lance said as he was running out of the house calling 911 and kitty, kitty, kitty, he thought he saw Zeke running the other direction. Zeke looked confused. I hope his death was quick and he didn't suffer. We have never found any trace of him. I know it sounds gross, but I would like to know for sure. It would mean closure for all of us. Some friends have suggested that maybe he did get out and is hiding somewhere. Even is he did get out he wouldn't have survived the winter. Zeke hated being cold. He always slept in front of the wood stove when the weather was cold. I miss him.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Down one hive.

Lance went out to check the hives yesterday. One of the hives has collapsed. Not sure why. There were bees flying in and out last week. He opened the hive to check on it and all the bees were gone except for a few dead ones in the bottom. He's not sure if he can save the honey or not. The other two hives are doing pretty well.

I hope to be able to buy him some more bees for his birthday, but they are somewhat expensive. That and the fact that we would have to drive over 2 hours to pick them up. For some reason, the USPS doesn't like buzzing packages! We've even offered to let other beekeepers who are looking for hive placements to put their bees here. No takers yet.

The apple trees will be in bloom very soon and the bees will be happy about that. They love those old apple trees. I am hoping to have a big wildflower garden this year as well. I had a small one last year and they loved it. I have ordered seeds and am hoping they will be here soon. I don't want to plant too early even though we are having a wonderfully warm Spring so far. I was looking at the almanac and it said that there is a chance of snow in mid-April. Blah!

Well, that's all for now. I will have a update on our house kitties. Someone was asking about them, not knowing we lost one in the fire.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Banks, Schmanks

Well, we got the first insurance check 3 weeks ago. We took it to the bank to deposit it so we could get started on the rebuild. The bank had other ideas. They decided that since they have an interest in the property, they had to keep the check for 3 weeks to make sure it wasn't a fraudulent claim.
The bank employee we usually deal with sent the check with some other paperwork to the home office in Ohio. Then we waited, and waited and waited some more. I finally lost my patience and called to find out what the problem was. I found out that they had "forgotten" to send it back. They would have to find it. Really? Mind you, it was sent to them via FEDEX. They finally sent it back, fully endorsed, via USPS. Can you believe that? They sent a fully endorsed check through the mail!
So we rushed to the bank to deposit the check since the letter stated that there wouldn't have to be another hold on it since they had already verified it. I got online today to check and low and hold - there's a freakin' hold on the damn check. Now I'm really ticked off. I am so sick of this bank! You had better believe that as soon as all this is done, we are taking our money else where. This is ridiculous.
I just want to be able to write the first check so that the contractor can start demolishing the old house. We are missing out on a lot of beautiful building weather! I am telling you, the less you have to deal with banks, the better off you'll be. Curious about what bank it is? Well, it starts with a K. It ends with a Y and there is an E in the middle. I do not recommend this bank.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What was that about?

Lliam will soon be 12 - less than a month away. Our usual tradition is to spend the night in a hotel so he can go swimming. This year, he mentioned that he wanted a backyard bug safari party. So like any good mother, I have been looking into ideas for such a party. It shouldn't be too terribly difficult.
He had also mentioned that he really liked a certain BB gun he saw at Traderbaker's. Well, we went ahead and bought the gun. We were going to save it for his birthday, but decided to give it to him early. Now my husband just bought the gun today and was going to give it to him this weekend. Why would we give it to him early? Well, he's been through so much lately, including having to change schools in the middle of the year. Hard enough for a regular kid, almost impossible for a special needs kid who HATES changes. He's been doing very well and we thought we would just reward that awesome behavior.
When he was picked up from school today, he asked if the gun was still at the store. His dad told him someone had bought it. OMG....the world just ended. Lliam started crying and blubbering about stupid people and he never gets anything. Lance was trying to get him to calm down and finally shouted out that HE had bought the gun as a surprise for him. Lliam calmed down then said he didn't want a birthday party and didn't want to stay at a hotel for his birthday this year.
Now I ask, was this a statement of stubbornness or was he feeling guilty for blowing up and acting out?
He called me and said he didn't want anything for his birthday. I asked him why several times, but he would only say he didn't know why, he just didn't want that this year. Is he finally realizing that people can do nice things on other days besides Christmas and birthdays?
I hope so, because we do nice things all the time for him. Take the new dog for instance. She wasn't in the budget right now, but she seemed like a perfect fit for him. I rearranged a few things and came up with the money for her. I don't know. It seems like to me that he doesn't always see the nice things, just the times he doesn't get what he wants. That's when we hear what terrible parents we are. How nice. Oh, I know, every parent gets told at one time or another how horrible they are. It's inevitable. It's part of growing up and finding out there are rules and limits to everything. All I can do is hope that someday he sees the light.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Indiana Sunsets

Some Indiana sunsets as seen while driving home.

Still deciding

I have been looking through all of my seed catalogs and even looking online, but I have such a hard time deciding what to grow. I plan on growing all the usual things like green beans, corn, onion, beets, carrots and tomatoes, but I can't decide which kind to plant. I love trying new things, but I like the old standbys too. AND my time is going to be severely limited this year due to already discussed issues.

I had saved a bunch of seeds from last years harvest, but they were lost. I found a few still in the jars, but I have no idea if they will grow or not. I am going to plant a tray with a few to see if they will even germinate. Hoping to do that this Saturday in the basement. Still trying to figure out a way to keep the felines out of the mix. I have one kitty, Albert, who is especially nosy. He's a handful that's for sure.

I was talking to my husband last night after watching part of a show on Nat Geo about "preppers". I told him we needed to at least think about a disaster plan. And since everything we did have stored was lost - we have to start all over. Here's what we came up with. We are planning on putting metal trash cans inside plastic trash cans to store some things like matches, candles, lamp oil, you know the basics. Why the two different cans? Well the plastic ones will keep out water, but since they can be chewed thru - the metal will keep out the critters. The plastic one will keep the metal can from being exposed to water and thus rust. I want to have a supply can in every building on the farm. That way if one is compromised, we have a back up. Always good to have a plan b. I am hoping that I can get a few extra seeds this year to start a survival garden if needed. It wouldn't have done us any good to store the seeds in the freezer like the guy on t.v. last night because of the fire. We will keep on researching and learning about storing viable seeds. Water would be our main concern. We have a well, but the only way to get the water out is with an electric pump. We are going to look at installing a hand pump for emergencies. Rain water is currently an option, however, if there should ever be nuclear fall out - it would make the rain toxic. It's scary to think of all the things that could happen!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Waiting for Spring to arrive.

I am at work today looking out the window. It's been raining most of the day. The wind is making the trees dance and clouds swirl. My husband is at home watching the Big 10 tournament. Yep, its March in Indiana. I am ready to play in the dirt of my garden. I love planting things and watching them grow. I love to eat fresh veggies right from the garden. I enjoy watching the butterflies and bees on their daily flower visits and listening to the birds sing. I can hardly stand living in town - I want to be back on my farm. That house won't be done soon enough!

I long to be outside with my son watching him explore the world of nature and learning from it. He'll be 12 very soon and not too long after that he'll be out in the world on his own. It chokes me up just thinking about it. Have I done everything I can for him? Have I taught him well enough to make it on his own? Have I made him understand that I will love him no matter what? That he can come to me with any question and I will help him find the answer?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Let the Demolition Begin - Well not so fast!

Well the insurance company finally sent the first of 2 checks for the rebuild of our home. After some banking issues are cleared(we have to set up a separate account), we will begin.

Hopefully in the next week or so, the contractor can start tearing down whats left of our burned out house. He is optimistic that we will be able to use the existing foundation. He'll know more once the old structure is removed. He said he will have the building inspector out there to look a the foundation and make sure it is sound.
After the debris is removed, they are going to dig out the crawl space a little more. That way we have more room to move around if work needs to be done under the house in later years. As it sits, it is extremely tight. I went under there a couple of years ago to try to find a leak and ended up in a panic attack because I thought the house was going to fall on me. Claustrophobia sucks!

The contractor was trying to decide on the best place to put the circuit box. It has to be 3 feet away from any water source. I suggested putting it in the guest room closet. We don't have many guests and it would be out of the way, yet easy to get too. It would also be on the same side of the house as the main line from the road. He's considering that. He wanted to put it with the furnace, but the water heater and water softener are going to be in there and its not a huge closet area.

We know we are going to have a least 2 pocket doors. They are kinda cool and don't take up any room like a swinging door. Don't have to worry about punching a hole in the wall with a door knob either. Yay!

I can hardly wait to have a real pantry. I was looking at doors that say pantry on them last night in some catalogs we picked up at the home improvement store. I know that custom doors can be pricey, so I suggested we get a plain glass door and etch it ourselves. Then we can put whatever design and graphic we want to on it. There are so many cool door designs. We can't decide on a front door. Wood, fiberglass, steel, stained, painted - what color.... so many choices!
The kitchen cabinets are going to be a tough choice too. Of course we have to stay well within the budget, but there are so many styles, colors and finishes to choose from. It's overwhelming to say the least. Laminate counter tops to allow for a granite (or other similar type) island top. What color? NOT WOOD GRAINED! Had that in the last house - looked terrible! Hubby was even picking out the appliances he wanted for "his" kitchen - whatever! He's lucky I liked what he was looking at.
Then we went and looked at lighting. Indoor, outdoor, ambient, task, ceiling mounts, drops, wall mounts, yard lights, porch lights, OMG!
Move on to kitchen faucets - narrowed it down to brushed nickel or oiled bronze - ok that wasn't too hard. What style? Definitely goose neck. Not too fond of the pull down sprayer type - all the displays seemed to be broken - is that a sign? Looked at sinks as well. Looked at one type that said "Heat, crack and chip proof" Looked up at the display model - cracked in two places! Really? Not very good for advertising. Might want to take a look at that again - sink people!
Moving on - what about the 3 toilets we have to pick. Are they all going to be the same? Oooo that one is neat - easy to clean base - no nooks and crannies - hey that one has a slam proof lid! Cool! Dual flush? Supposedly saves water by using less to flush liquid and a little more for solids. Can't they say poop? Everybody still poops right?
What about flooring? Absolutely No Carpet! How about laminate for the living room, kitchen and bedrooms and tile or slate for the bathrooms and laundry room.......

Friday, February 24, 2012

Buying in the USA...

As we get ready to start building our new home, we were talking about all the problems with imported building materials. Things like drywall imported from China is substandard to that manufactured in the US. Ours might be just a bit more pricey, but I would rather pay a little more and know it's going to last. The same goes for steel. I keep reading articles about low quality steel used in buildings that have since collapsed. When the steel's path was retraced it came directly from China. I understand that builders are trying to save a buck to make more profit, but is it really worth loosing integrity and respect and money if everything you build falls down?

Our builder said he would evaluate our budget and do his very best to by US products. He did say however, that it would be nearly impossible for him build our house with 100% US made due to costs. He has agreed to consult with us on what would be acceptable and what would not. Here are a few things that we know are going to be Made in the USA: the bricks for the exterior, the lumber, the drywall, the paint, and the windows. We are currently looking into bath fixtures, kitchen fixtures, appliances, local cabinet makers, furniture, and flooring. Also checking out light fixtures, outlet covers and wiring.

We have also adjusted the size of the house to try to allow for more USA made materials. I am going to do my best to purchase accessories and such at local flea markets, garage sales and auctions. There's still a lot of really neat things out there that were made in the USA a long time ago.

I challenge you to buy American next time you go out shopping!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Welcome Home, Teaka!

We just adopted a registered English Shepherd. She is 10 months old and has already attached herself to my son. Her family posted her on craigslist on over the weekend and we brought her home on Tuesday. Her family said they were moving to Colorado and would not be able to take her with them. They had hoped she would go to a farm family. I guess wishes can come true. We told them that we had a farm, but were currently living in town due to the fire.
She's adapting well to our family and our cats have never even acted like they were afraid of her. See - not all dogs have to come from shelters to be rescued! And yes we did pay a "re-homing fee".

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Buzz on Our Bees

My husband is a beekeeper. He's been at it for a couple of years. The first year we left them alone to make enough honey for themselves and to get properly established. The last couple of years, we invaded the hives. I shouldn't say we, as it was all him. I am allergic to bee stings. I watch from far, far away! After he raids hives, he filters the honey in the garage to remove debris and any unfortunate bees. He then brings the honey in the house and we (I help with this part) put the honey in jars to be sold.

We still had a bucket the had approximately 65 lbs of honey in it last fall when the house burned. We lost it. We lost the honey that the bees had worked so hard to make all summer. My husband was devastated. We going to jar up the rest of that bucket the weekend that the house went up. We had all the jars and labels ready. We had the bucket set up high so that we could just open the nozzle and let the honey run. It just wasn't going to happen.

As this winter proceeds with the roller coaster ride of temperature, we are hoping the bees make it though okay. I am going to be sure to plant even more flowers around the place so that they don't have to fly as far to get pollen and nectar.

I even bought them a bunch of new (used) hives at an auction. We are in the process of cleaning and disinfecting them. When that is done we will paint them very bright colors in non-toxic paint, of course.

Good luck, girls!

New Seed Catalogs

I can hardly stand it. New seed catalogs are spread around on the floor near my chair in the living room. I am getting overwhelmed by all the choices I have. AND there's even more choices online! What's a girl to do? I am going to have to narrow it down quickly so that I can get my seeds ordered. The sooner they get here the sooner I can start them in the basement. It's cool down there, but warm enough for germination. I am going to have to get another grow light. I had one that I bought last winter, but it was lost in the house fire. Bummer.

My biggest problem is going to be getting the 2 cats to stay out of my indoor green house! Last year I started seeds in the kitchen on the table that we never actually ate at. I had the UV light mounted from my hanging pots/pans rack. Talk about a redneck set up! I had little mini greenhouses made out of the covered trays that come from Subway (yummy!). I snagged those from work when they bought our dinners from time to time.

However, there were a few baking pans that didn't have lids and the kitties jumped on the table and ate whatever was sprouting like it was their own personal salad bar! I tried planting cat grass in a pot in another room to try to keep them away from my plants. They ate that too.

This year I think I will use one of the those multi-level drying racks for sweater and things. I can put plexi glass or something over the slats to keep things from falling thru. Using clear material will also allow more light to filter down. I will have to rotate planters to keep things growing evenly. I can then cover the whole thing with a clear drop cloth or plastic to keep the furry beasts out.... Sounds like a whole lot of work to me. Oh HONEY.... I need you to build something for me!

Meanwhile I will continue to dream about my garden to be. I can see it now. Rows of green beans, peas, carrots, radishes, more green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, corn, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins. Don't forget about the flowers and herbs. A complete kitchen garden and a perennial flower bed that borders the house! Oh wait, there isn't a house yet. Okay so the flowers may have to wait until NEXT year. I can dream can't I?!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shocking.....but not really

I blogged recently about only buying seeds from company's that honor the "Safe Seed Pledge". Well after doing some more reading and research, it has been discovered that they do indeed sell some products that have come directly from Seminis, a subsidiary of Monsanto! OMG. I'm shocked, well not really. Does this really surprise anyone that a company would hide behind a "pledge" just to have the ability to say "Gee, I didn't know"? In this day and age, it's more about the almighty dollar, not honesty. I will be doing better research next time. For now I will be limiting my purchases to two companies that I am pretty sure are honest.

Seed Saver's Exchange and Baker's Creek. I am sure there are others who are completely honest and truly believe in the 'Pledge", but until I am certain......

Good luck with seed buying and may you have a bountiful crop.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why are Dogs so hard to adopt?

Keep in mind that this is my opinion and if you don't like it - you don't have to continue to read it.

Now don't misconstrue that question. I understand that the rescues and shelters don't want people adopting hoards of animals only to get them back later. Can someone please tell me though, why do they have to make it so damn hard? I am on the lookout for a good companion dog for my autistic son. I want a larger breed, but not too big. He want s a dog to wrestle with. I also have to keep in mind that we have 2 other small dogs and 2 cats. I know, too, that I will probably be doing most of the caring for this animal. I was on a pet finding website today like many times before looking at pictures and reading descriptions. There were so many stipulations - it made me not want to get a dog from a rescue or shelter. Here's my beef with the whole thing......
Most places do background checks to make sure you can afford to care for the animal.
They want a visible fence in the yard - not invisible fence
They want proof of vet visits - even years later - Hello - ever heard of Holistic Pet care? You don't have to go to the vet for everything.
Some limit the number of people and animals in the home. - Hello? If someone has the money and time and love for animals - who cares?
The applications are very personal. They want to know your utilities, rent/mortgage, ins, grocery expenses - I'm sorry that's none of your freaking business!

Oh and there's the outrageous adoption fees. I understand that caring for animals is expensive, but to charge $250 or more for a dog that no one wanted - then complain about overcrowding? I have no problem with charging a fee to help cover food, overhead and what not, but some of that is just greed. Then to whine and beg for more money because they have too many animals! These places need to make adopting more appealing to the masses. Do the math.
Adoption fee $250
Vet visit $150 or more depending on your location
Food 1st bag $30 also depending on brand could be $15 to $100
Misc toys $50
Treats $30
Heartworm $75 again depending on breed of dog
Flea prev. $40 " "
Your already at $625 and you don't even have the dog home yet! Don't forget the leash, collar, crate and, if you do this, clothing! Your looking at close to a $1000 just to bring a dog home!

Now in my area, we have 2 kinds of vets - ones that charge for every little thing and one, only one, that will only charge what needs to be charged to cover costs and not try empty my wallet. The one vet wanted to charge me an office visit for each animal even though I was bringing them in all at one time. That was $120 just to walk in the door with 4 critter. Then it was $40 for this, $30 for that, $60 for that, $50 for the other. Oh and $180 for neutering an 8lb dog. $480 just for shots, testing and a minor procedure.
The less expensive vet charge $50 for all the testing and $70 for neutering. $120 vs $480 - where do you think I'm going to go? Unfortunately that vet is getting on in years and won't be around a whole lot longer. I am saddened to think that our community will lose a great country vet and be forced fed overpriced vet clinics.

Like I said before I have two dogs. One is a purebred mini dachshund that we paid a huge AKC price for. Then the breed ripped us off by never sending the AKC paperwork. Wanted another HUGE price for that! He's a sweet dog, but not very smart. Our other dog is a Finish Spitz/Chihuahua mix shelter dog that I adopted in 2007 for a whopping $10. He's the sweetest, smartest, most loyal animal I have ever had. As for the 2 cats (we had three but lost one in a house fire), they are barn cats that tugged on our heartstrings so much we had to bring them inside. The cat we lost in the fire was a shelter cat also. I adopted him in 2003. He was about 4 years old then. I'm guessing he was 11 or 12 at the time of the fire. His adoption fee was only $5 from a city shelter. His name was Zeke, but I called him my "Lil' Old Man". He loved to snuggle and if I sat down for more than 5 minutes he was in my lap.

So you see - I don't have a problem with shelter animals. It's the crazy demands and processes it now takes to adopt an animal from them. That being said, the next animal I take into my home will not be from an overpriced shelter, but from a free ad in the paper or on craigslist or something.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I've been away.

Wow, it has really been a long, long time since I posted anything. I guess I kinda got lost in life. Its been a rough couple of years. I am hoping the last major snafu will be the last for a good long time. We lost our house in a fire in October. Undetermined electrical was the cause. What a nighmare. Thankfully we are all ok. We did lose a much loved kitty named Zeke though. He was about 11 I think. An adoptee from the Anderson animal shelter, he was a good kitty. We'd had him since 2004. My husband said as he was running out of the burning house calling "kitty, kitty, kitty" he thought he saw Zeke run back in. Poor critter was confused. Our other 2 kitties were secured after the fire in the garage. They lived in there for 5 weeks while we lived in a hotel room with the 2 dogs. We are all now living in a rental home until ours is rebuilt.

This has been a long process and won't be over for months. I never ever thought in a million years that I would have to actually list every single item in my home. I'm not kidding. Insurance wants to know how many rolls of toilet paper we had to how many magnets were on the fridge. Really? I don't know! My husband and I have spent hours trying to remember. Why is it so hard you may ask. Well you have to understand that I am a collector. (hubbs calls it borderline hoarder) Without looking - can you say how many pairs of socks, undies, bras, purses, jeans, pants, shorts, shoes, belts, bags, makeup brushes, q-tips, bandaids, tea bags, spices, plates, cups, forks, spoons, knives, pens, pencils, buttons, spools of thread, kitchen gadgets, utensils, cleaners, rags, towels, sheets, blankets, pillowcases, movies, cd's, notebooks, stamps, pins, scissors, quilt fabrics, paints, brushes, earrings, necklaces, etc. You get my point. Its not easy.

Did you notice how scattered the list is? Well that is what happens in my head when I am trying to list stuff. I will try to focus on one room - say the kitchen- when all of the sudden something will pop in my head and off my mind goes to that room, then on to the next room. Before I know it, my brain is ready to explode and I have to walk away. Been at this for 3 months.
Insurance also wants to know when we bought/aquired it, how much we paid, and current replacement cost including tax. OMG! Some stuff will never be able to be replaced. I had a lot of discontinued quilt fabrics, antiques and pictures. HELLO!!!!!!!

I had a bunch of vintage trade blankets from the 1930's and 1940's. I've been collecting them for years. I recently checked an online auction site - WOW! I didn't pay anywhere near those prices!

Oh and my pink leather jacket. I found what was left of that in the rubble. I haven't found another one yet.

Why am I not thinking of things right now instead of posting? Well, it's time for one of those breaks. Thankfully I have the kind of job allows me to do this kind of thing. After all, there's not much I can do until a customer actually walks through the door.

Stay tuned.