Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Looking for ideas...and my view on changing what you eat

Dear Readers,

I love those blogs that tell about how to do stuff related to country life, farming, homemaking and so on and so forth.  I would love to write about those things too.  There are so many topics to cover, I don't know where to begin.  So I will ask you, my readers, to share with me what you would like to read about.  I don't want to be just another country bumkin blog - I would like to put a different spin on it.  So offer up your ideas and I will see what kind of twist I can put on them.

One thing I think is very important is knowing about what you eat and where it comes from.  I haven't always been that way.  It wasn't until that last few years that I really started learning about the hazards of GMO's, toxic plastic, sugar overload, gluten problems, added hormones and antibiotics, etc.  I have even gotten my family to open their eyes to the peril that the American people are in regarding their food.  Stop and take a look at what the ingredients are in the foods that you buy.  Do you really want to put something in your body that you can't even pronounce?  I don't.
All those fun, sugary cereals and sodas that we consumed growing up are now related to obesity, diabetes and scores of other problems.  I am dealing with my own health problems related to this as well. I know its not just cereal and soda, its chemicals, fast food, lack of strenuous exercise and basically - not being aware of what's going on.  I am trying to change that.  No, my cupboards are not full of organic this and organic that, but we are trying - one product at a time, to make sure we are eating better.
I've said before that we are trying to grow our own food and we shop at farmer's markets.  We have almost completely quit eating out - especially fast food.  Every now and then, I look forward to someone else cooking the meal and doing the dishes, though.  I think Chipotle's has the right idea by showing on their menu what is GMO and what is not - that way the consumer can decide what they want.  I wish more places would do that so when we go on vacation or something, we know that we are doing the best we can to eat right.
One thing I am tired of is when I post/share something on Facebook about the dangers of GMO's and pesticides/herbicides and artificial crap, the cynics who have to have a smart ass comment back about how yummy it is.  Listen, dork, I put the information out there for people who really want to change how and what they eat.  I put the information out there so people who want to be GOOD parents can read and educate themselves and not poison their children.  If you don't like what I post, unfriend me, don't read it and keep you stupid ass comments to yourself.  I am doing this as a public service for people who really care.
     I care about my friends and family and if I can help just one person change their eating habits, then my goal has been accomplished.  If they choose to share what they have learned, even better.  I know for a fact that I have helped two of my friends become more aware.  One friend told me she reads everything I post, but was so overwhelmed with all the information, she didn't know where to start.
Start with just one thing.  For her, it was cutting out soda - diet and regular.  Huge step for anyone, especially if you have been drinking it for years.  Take a look at what is in your fridge and pantry.  What are you about out of?  When you make your shopping list, pick one or two things that you normally purchase and choose organic instead.  This is especially important with veggies and fruits.  Work this into your budget.  Next trip, pick a couple more things and so on and so forth.  Pretty soon, you will realize that you aren't eating as much 'filler' and you are getting way more fiber and nutrition.  Keep going.  You are doing great!        Choose meat that is grass-fed, free range, cage-free, hormone and antibiotic free.  Don't like your choices in the supermarket, find a farmer that will sell you a side of beef or pork or some chickens.
Ready to make a huge change? Try going vegetarian or vegan.  I, myself, am not that far yet.  We do eat more vegetarian meals, but (Sorry Jason!) I still like chicken and beef.  I was raised that way.  On a good note, though, we have a huge bowl of fresh fruit salad in our fridge and I have started a vitamin water jar in the fridge.
In closing, I just want to say that what you eat is up to you. Educate  yourself.  Do the research.  If you can see through the garbage and realize that most food in the supermarket is, well, artificial crap, then you can make better choices.  You can tell the grocer that you want better choices.  If you can grow something, do it.
If you get stuck and need help - ask someone.  We are all here to help each other.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Saying Good-bye...

As my last day at my current job draws near, I have had some time to reflect on my time here.  When I started here in 2011, I knew very little about coins.  In nearly two years, I have learned so much more than I ever thought I would.  My boss calls me the foreign coin expert, though I don't think I know all that much.  I can look at most foreign coins and tell you if they have been devalued or if they contain any silver, but there is still so much more out there.
I am really kind of glad to be leaving here.  It seems to me that with the turmoil in the stock market and the fact that gold prices are lower than when I started here, the stores can't stay open if people aren't selling scrap jewelry.  I heard the boss saying just this morning that he was probably going to close the Pendleton store because it has been so dead for over a month.  He also closed his booth in the nearby flea market.  I had to pull all the jewelry out of it today and reprice it for the other two booths he has.  He also claims he is going to keep me on part time to keep those two booths filled with jewelry and other miscellaneous items he gets in now and then.  I'm not holding my breath, but the extra cash would come in very handy.
As far as the rest of the company goes, Tony is going to work out of the Fishers' store after I leave.  In my opinion, he'll pull his hair out trying to answer questions about coins as it seems those folks are a little more educated about collecting coins and Tony is not.
Bad Billy is going to continue to work out of the Anderson and Fishers (maybe some Pendleton until he closes it).  Weave will still work at Anderson and maybe Pendleton until closed.  Boss is going to work out of the Indy store mostly since he's putting Tony in Fishers and I won't be around.  Sherry is going to continue to work out of the Anderson store and do running for the company like I used to.  The last employee, whom I won't name, is looking at jail time for a past crime.  I also found out he's on the sex offender registry list for sexual misconduct.  Nice.  That would be the 3rd one Boss hired.  I am glad to be going.
Boss is going to sell the car that he let me drive for the last year and a half.  He thought is was worth way more than it really is.  Of course when you think it is one model with features it doesn't really have, that kinda changes things.  It's still a decent car that will make someone a nice ride, but has some issues like no dash lights at night, an odometer that can't be read, it uses oil, it's been wrecked (NOT by me), it has lots of rattles and vibrations, cigarette burns all over the place (again NOT by me), but it runs and will get you where you need to go.  I thought about buying it just for a fuel efficient option over my big white truck, but I really can't justify another payment and added insurance costs especially since I only have 2 more years left on my truck.
Do I feel bad that because I am leaving, Boss is having to completely re-evaluate his operations?  A little bit. Why?  Well, he let me in on his dream and because I essentially changed my mind about participating in his dream, he's not going to be able to go forward.  He's already talking about selling out this business and revisiting the cigar store/smoke shop business.  He's a smart guy, he'll figure it out without me.
It's been a trip, sometimes fun and sometimes sad and a lot of bizarre, but it was worth it.  I've learned a lot about myself, coins and buying scrap gold.  And no, I would probably not ever open this kind of business especially since the powers that be are constantly changing the rules that govern buying scrap metal.  I'll still sell whatever I find at garage sales though.

And now, on to my future....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The rabbit and a hare....

On May 14, 2013 our red San Juan rabbit gave birth to 9 baby bunnies.  I was so excited.  I just love baby bunnies.  On May 15, I found 2 dead in the cage.  On May 16, I found the last 7 all over the place - on the floor, in neighboring cages and some had bloody bite marks.  I tried  to put the babies back in Red's nest but she wouldn't have anything to do with them.  2 more died that afternoon.  Now, I have fostered puppies, kittens and chickens, but never bunnies.  I knew hand raising baby bunnies was usually not successful, but being the person I am - I just had to try.  I removed the last 5 from the nest and took them inside the house.  My husband just about flipped his lid, but one look from me and he shut up.  He knows better than to stand between me and animals.

I parked the them in the pantry because is has a door to keep the kitties out.  I put a heat lamp close to the nesting box to keep them warm but not hot.  I heated up some kitten formula that I keep on hand for just these kind of emergencies.  I started feeding them with an eye dropper.  Things seemed to be going well for a couple of days, then tragedy - 3 of the 5 babies died.  I was so sad.  What was I doing wrong?  Off to surf the Internet to figure this out before I lost the other 2.  After reading information from several different sites, I was able to determine that I needed to add heavy cream or half and half to the formula.  I didn't have exact measurements so I just eyeballed it.  It must have worked.

The bunnies are happy, healthy and full of spunk.  At the time of this writing, they are 44 days old.  They are eating pellets, carrots, grass, organic lettuce (I had some extra and thought I would share) and celery.  They also love the herb/weed known as plantain.  They are growing so fast!  Everyday, they get play time in the master bathroom. Why there?  It has tile floor (easy clean up of bunny messes) and I can close the door to keep stalker kitties and rough-housing doggies out!  They can run and jump to their hearts content without fear of being pounced on or used as a chew toy.

 I had to move them from the cardboard box they called home to a larger, better secured bird cage.  Now it seems it is time to move them to a more permanent home.  They need a hutch.  I don't have a hutch.  I am not going to buy a hutch because I think they are way over priced so I guess that means I am going to have to build a hutch.  It is going to have to built this weekend or next because I fear that they are going to get too big to get out of the cage!  I have to keep the cage door wired shut (unless it's play time or feeding time) because they can push it open.  Going to surf the net again to get some ideas then go raid the scrap pile to see if I have enough supplies.  I want to see if I can do this without spending ANY money.  I will post pictures of the bunnies as soon as my phone quits arguing with me.

Oh and the bunnies have temporary names Scratch -because of the terrible wound on his neck and his damaged right paw when he came inside. (which has completely healed and he has full use of his paw now.) and Spaz - I think you can figure this out.  My son and I want to change their names to suit their personalities, but they will still keep their nick names.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cha Cha Cha Changes....

Yep, things are changing.  I applied for a new job much, much closer to my home and I got it!  I had the 2nd interview yesterday which lasted for 45 minutes.  My new boss also mentioned seeing me on television.  I was embarrassed, but hey - it may have helped me!  He asked me what would make me stand out while he and his boss were going over the resumes.  My answer - "I'm the lady who isn't afraid to tie on the apron and get her hands dirty."  He was still giggling when I left!  I start July 8th.

This is kind of bittersweet though.  I had to face the fact that I had to tell my current boss I was leaving.  I know, I have complained about work for months, but I do like the work I do here.  Oh - I'm not getting wishy-washy - I am leaving.  I just find it difficult to tell someone who took a chance on me that I am moving on.  I thanked him for giving me a job, car and free jewelry, but also that it was time for me to move on.  We talked for about 20 minutes and he did tell me that because I told him in a professional way, didn't tell any of the other employees and that I was a good employee, I would be more than welcome to come back if the new job doesn't work out.  How nice was that.  No wonder I shed a couple tears.

As much as I dislike how he runs things and sometimes treats people, he has been a pretty good boss.

I am looking forward though, not back.  It is time for me to move on and that is exactly what I am doing.  I think it will be tough at first, until I learn the job, but I know I can do it and be good at it.  Thanks for the positive thoughts and prayers.  I am sure they helped me get this job.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Feeling a bit nervous

I am having a CT scan tomorrow morning.  I am a little bit nervous about what it will show and what will happen.  Will I have to have surgery?  Is is bad?  Is it something I will just have to live with?  I guess most people have these thoughts when faced with the medically unknown.  I am hopeful though that whatever it is will not be terrible and if necessary can be fixed with a minor surgery.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  I know I need to stay calm and just let be what will be, but that is much easier said than done.  I'm a worrier.  Always have been.

And why are so many people in Germany reading my blog?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Are things looking up?

Well, it has been a few months since my last blog.  Just haven't been in the mood to type anything.  Since February, we did take a cheap vacation that didn't turn out so well.  My husband did get a job - that he absolutely hates - they treat him like poop.  He's been in the hospital with a serious bacterial infection.  We adopted 3 horses.  I had a job interview on June 10th and made it to the 2nd round.  That round won't happen until a certain person gets back from vacation on Monday.  I am so hoping I get this job.  It is only 6 miles from my house and it's 8-5 most of the time instead of 10-7 with an hour commute each way.  This company also offers full benefits - which means hubby could quit his job and go into the hay cutting business that he wants to do.  I know - a lot of risk, but it could be worth it.  He and a neighbor are working on the detail.  We took our 12 acre field out of the CRP program - wasn't happy with the requirement to spray Monsanto's Round-up products - they make enough money poisoning our food supply and I'm not going to help them.

We are currently babysitting a friend's puppy while they are vacation for the 2nd time this year.  He's a sweet puppy, but he keeps pooping in my bedroom - even after we take him outside.  Frustrating - thought I was past the puppy phase of having dogs!

I am currently bottle feeding 2 orphan rabbits.  Their mama is a Red San Juan mix, but refused to care for her litter of 8.  These 2 are the only ones left - they are almost 4 weeks old now.  Starting to reject the formula because they are eating grass, pellets and carrots.  I have installed a water bottle for them, too.  I guess I am adding 2 more pets to the herd as I told my hubby that they were not getting sold and they were not going in the freezer.  He just frowned. I've worked way too hard to keep them alive thus far. Going to try to figure out to build a hutch for them with scraps and a little farmgirl ingenuity.  We'll see what happens.

I failed miserably with my seed starting this year.  Oh - it started out great, until I put them outside to harden off and I forgot about them until about 2 weeks later.  They were certainly crispy.  Oh well.  We have direct sowed many other seeds and things are growing.  We have some volunteer pumpkins coming up in some very strange places, too.

Hubby built 4 raised beds for me.  He also built 2 stalls in the barn and we are going to start on a 3rd one this weekend.  My 2 year old horse is at the trainers for the month and so we have put off building it.  We put the 10 year old in his stall and the 15 year old in her own custom built stall.  She's only 28 inches tall so everything had to be built to scale for her.  Seems to working.

That's it for today - getting ready to head home from work.  Yes - I did this while at work.  I can do things like this while at work because we are a very slow store.  As long as we help customers when they walk in, the boss doesn't really care what we do.  That's one thing I will miss.  See ya' next time.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Looking for change.

The last few years have been a bit difficult for me to deal with.  I am learning to cope and move on, but one thing I am having trouble with is change.  I understand the importance of change - it is necessary.  However, after many, many years of being beaten down emotionally, I am having an extremely hard time.  I want to make a change, but I am scared.  I realize everyone gets scared when change happens, but this is more than that.  I am scared to even take a chance.  I constantly ask myself what it would hurt to try.  I get a sick feeling in my stomach even considering it.  What if I make a change and I don't like it or it doesn't work out? What if I don't make the change - will I regret it for the rest of my life?

I am currently holding on the the hope of getting a promotion.  At the same time I am not happy here.  I feel like I am the punching bag for someones personal attacks and shortcomings.  I have been trying to weigh the pros and cons of staying and going.  I keep telling myself that it's time for me to move on and I believe it, but I haven't actually put in the effort.  I have searched and I found a few things that I think I could do, but then I think I might not be good enough, after all, my current boss calls me the worst executive assistant ever.  I don't even know why.  I do everything he asks.  I keep the stores clean and tidy.  I wait on customers even when I am in the middle of something he's asked me to do and other employees won't budge from their chairs.  I keep three flea market booths stocked to supplement his income.

I also want my husband to get a job.  He thought he could supplement our income by doing shows and flea markets all the time, but they haven't been successful.  I have convinced him to apply for a local factory job in hopes that it will lift some of the burden from my shoulders. I am hoping that after he gets a job, I won't feel so tired all the time.  I want to be able to start sewing more and selling more of what I sew.

Last night I got home from work and had to fix dinner because he hadn't thought about it.  After I fixed dinner, I went in my sewing room and started cutting squares to make corn hole bags.  I cut several, the got so tired I couldn't do anymore.  I was so mad at myself for wimping out.  I also knew that if I kept cutting, I would probably make a mistake.  So I finished up what I was in the middle of and then cleaned up the kitchen and put on my jammies.  I ended up going to bed by 10 p.m..  That worked out because Puma, my kitty, was going in for surgery this morning and had to be kept away from food.

I have been trying to set up a budget we can live with, but there just doesn't seem to be enough money right now.  I have also been trying to move things around to make it work, but the honey pot is nearly empty.  I have to break it to my friends that we won't be going on vacation with them this year.  It just isn't going to happen.