Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quick Takes - the Sunday Version

For blog writing ideas, there is a group that does "Quick Takes," which is 7 quick thoughts of what has been going on in life or what they are thinking about.  I'm too lazy to find it right now, but it's done on Fridays.  So, you can see what life has been like, when I'm doing one, my way, on a Sunday morning.

So, here goes:

1. Had a campfire with the neighbors last night.  It was the perfect night for it, even if it was a little too warm to enjoy the fire.  So, we hauled the chairs back a little and braved the heat to make campfire food.  We made pizza pudgy pies with the great homemade Italian turkey sausage they made. We made reuben pies with my Mom's homemade sauerkraut, their sausage, and thousand island dressing. Then, we made cherry cheesecake ones for dessert with some of the smores chocolate in there - cherry pie filling, a slather of cream cheese, and chocolate.  Might have had a few too many drinks, but just enough to feel good, and it was in our back yard.  Took a shower last night, but still have the campfire scratchy throat and stuffed up head this morning.

2. I've made the decision to take some classes at the local technical college. However, it's amazing how many hoops they make you jump through, even with a college degree.  Ok, most of it is me not deciding to do this until last week, when fall classes start on August 16.  But really? I have to get my high school to send them a copy of my transcript and have to go in for placement tests.  The program I want is either all online or self-paced, where I would only have to go in to the local center a couple of times.

3. Gack, I'm rethinking the program when I looked at how much books cost.  For this semester, courses for the 15 credits cost $2400, the darn books would cost $1006.  Seriously, that's how much books cost!  I realize that most people wouldn't even think twice about that, but I was lucky enough to attend college for my bachelor's degree at a school that rented us our textbooks for $100 total a semester, and you could buy them at the end of the semester, if you wanted to.  So, I was suffering some serious sticker shock.  And it would figure that the only books I could find online at to rent, are the ones that say I need them for future classes, so I would need to buy them.

4. Why, oh why, have I decided to do this, after 15 years of being out of school?  Well, I really love working for my Dad doing the farm audits.  However, to get my own contracts with the government, I have to have an accounting background.  It helps that I've done credit for 13 years and that I've been working with Dad doing the actual work for two years, but to get my own contracts, I need the classes.  I thought about University of Phoenix, but they irritated me.  I just wanted to go for the Accounting Certificate program, and they kept pushing me towards the Masters in Accounting.  That might be something I consider in the future, IF I like the Accounting classes.  So, the local Tech college it is.

5.  I've been reading The Hobbit aloud to the kids all summer.  We will probably finish it this week.  We haven't read it every night and sometimes it is only a couple of pages.  All three girls (usually) stop to listen to what happens to Bilgo Baggins and the dwarves.  I've read it before, but reading it to them is like reading it for the first time, since they just experiencing the magic.

6. December 14th, for Bob's birthday, we ARE going to opening day of the movie THE HOBBIT.  I even have been putting it in people's brains as an idea that they are going to babysit the girls that night.  I don't care that it's a Wednesday.  As soon as tickets are available, I will be online to get them.  We went to opening day for each installment of The Lord of The Rings, and we will do it for this movie.  Ditto for the 2nd half that opens December 13, 2013, right on Bob's 39th birthday.

7.  It's going to be a busy week for farm appointments.  Right now, I have one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and three on Thursday.  After supper tonight, I will try and call for at least one for Monday and one more for Tuesday.

There, I've been crazy busy and it's not going to slow down.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Huge Sigh of Relief

Carmel, the goat, is okay.

Why, you might ask, is this important?

Because we had a very scary early evening yesterday.

We have yet to build a bigger fenced in area for the goats to eat more browse, so have been tying them out on dog tie outs in a different part of the overgrown yard for the past week or so and putting them in their pen at night.

Last night, I was just getting ready to go milk her, when the kids accidentally let our dog, Marley, out.  Now, Marley is pretty much a moron, a sweetheart, but a moron, as in her brain stops working as soon as she's off the leash.  Last night was one of these nights.  She realized she was loose and made a break for it.

The neighbor's dog, Mason - a BIG BLACK Lab, saw her running and dashed across our yard.  He is usually very good and stays in their yard.  However, the opportunity to chase Marley was more than he could handle.  (It's worked to my advantage before, because he has caught Marley and kept her in one spot until I could get the leash back on her.)

Last night, this was not a simple game of chase and hold.  Last night, it turned scary.

Carmel, our little doeling, is an escape artist.  She gets out of the pen and she can get her self unhooked from the tie out.  Has never been an issue, because she hangs out around mom and comes right to us.

Well, last night, with Mason (95lbs+) chasing Marley, Carmel freaked and ran.  She was off her tie out, so she headed for the hills, or in this case, the back wall of their fenced-in pen.  Mason couldn't resist this tempting little morsel dashing away from him and screaming.

It only was a minute tops for us, but I'm sure Carmel thought it was a lifetime.  The kids were screaming and crying that Mason was killing Carmel.  I RAN (even with a sprained ankle) to get the poor baby away from Mason.  I was screaming at the BLEEP dog, yelling at the kids to get Marley on the BLEEP leash, and trying to carry Carmel away from it all to check her out.

I was crying. The kids were crying.  I thought Carmel was a goner.  When I had picked her up, she gave the mose piteous bleat ever and I thought for sure I was carrying a dead goat.  The dog had only broken the skin in one spot, and I think it was just a tooth.  Her neck was worked over and so was her belly.  When I was feeling her neck, I just about screamed when I felt something hanging out of her neck. I forced myself to look and thank God it was just one of her wattles.  God, that was scary.

I was really worried about her, because my poor baby had no spunk and was just shaking like crazy.  I spent over an hour outside with her and she just wanted to snuggle with me. 

I was SOOOO worried that I was going to go outside this morning to a dead goat.  Luckily, that didn't happen.

She still doesn't have her normal nutsiness and spunk, but she actually jumped into the window sill in their pen this morning and was trying to steal Mom's grain, so I think she will be just fine.

Mason was lucky that I had to carry Carmel, otherwise I would have beaten that dog.

The neighbors felt horrible and the dog is grounded. 

So, the darn goat has worked it's way into our hearts and we'd be really sad if she wasn't okay.  Extra treats for the next couple of days and extra snuggles for the poor goat.

Monday, July 23, 2012

It Started Out as a Normal Day

Surely, "normal day" was already a misnomer, so that's where we headed from there.

Woke up early to take care of the goats.  First thing that I noticed, was that Carmel had gotten herself out of the pen and couldn't get back in.  Obviously time to wean little miss greedy guss, because most mornings I've only been getting about 1/2 cup of milk.  This morning, I got almost a full QUART of milk.

Then, I took them out to their tie outs for the day.

Came in the house, strained the milk, and went to wash my hands.  This is where the day went down hill.

No Water.  NOT EVEN A DROP came from the faucet.

Hmm.  Bob had just gotten water for his coffee and had taken a shower this morning.

So, now we are waiting for the plumber to come.  No breakers were flipped, but there was a buzzing by the pressure tank, so the over-the-phone diagnosis was the switch on the pressure tank is kapput.

Good thing, just got a call from the plumber and he's on his way over.  Yeah, hopefully on our way back to water.

edited to add:  Plumber was here and gone already.  The relay and the capacitor on the pressure tank had gone kaplow, but they are fixed now.  Now, waiting until we get the bill....  but, we have water.  And he also told me that the amps on the well pump were running a bit high.   which means?  that sometime, might be soon, might be 5 years, we'll have to replace the well pump - which means digging into the well.  Guess it's better to know about it now, so I can start squirreling some money away for it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ugh - It's going to be hot and then hotter

We're back into the 90's for the weekend with high humidity.  There is the possibility of storms this afternoon and tomorrow.  We need the rain, but not the storms.

According to the local weather, we've already had 16 days of 90+ weather this summer.  Today through Sunday are supposed to hit 90-92 and then it's showing 95 for Monday and Tuesday with high humidity for the whole time.


We've watched more TV this summer when it's too hot to go outside than any other time, otherwise, we've basically been on a TV hiatus.

To beat the heat, we've had water hose fights, wet sponge throwing, and had the kids drink lots of water and koolaid.

I've also raised the temperature of the AC (still going to go broke with this electric bill) and have a fan running besides the ceiling fans.

I hate being hot.  I don't do well in it and then I feel sick.

Here's hoping the heat breaks and I can kick the kids outside, so I stay sane.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hard Lesson Learned

or Water and a Crust of Bread.

Since that is was K got to eat Saturday night after lying to me.

I asked if she had watered the goats.  "Yes, their water is full!"

Fifteen minutes later, I had to go outside for something else, so went to talk to my goats.  Their water was completely empty.

I'm hoping that the dinner of a half cup of water and the heel of plain bread (more than I WAS going to give her) made an impression on her that our animals DEPEND on us.  If we don't take care of them, they don't live!  They don't have any way to turn on the hose to get a drink or a way to get the hay, unless we give it to them.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weaver's Friend 45" Floor Loom

My husband is awesome!

After 2+ hours of tinkering with the pieces of the loom, we HE figured out how it went together and I can picture it working.

Not many people would have let me get this thing, let along let me set it up in the living room, of all places.

And, to top it off, we could only find 4 pictures of this loom on the internet, so a lot of putting it together was conjecture and guessing and seeing where the pieces were worn and try and put things together that way.

Now, I need a threading hook to run the warping thread through the reed - the part that you pull forward to make sure that your rows are tight and even.  The correct term for this is sleying the reed. 

Not only do I have to figure out how to do this stuff, I need to figure out what this whole new language means.

So, I have to sley the reed, thread the heddles, and warp the beam.  Yep, I don't know what any of that means, either!  Guess I have a lot to learn.

on the plus side, since having it in the living room meant clearing a space for it, the hated exercise bike that has been a jungle gym and clothes hanger for the past three years, is now moved to the deck. I plan on putting a Craigslist ad for someone to come and get it for free, possibly for scrap.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Day of Firsts and Did I Really Do That?

It was a day of firsts around here.

Weather finally calmed down to below 90, so we had to give the goats their CDT booster.  It was due to be given about a week ago, but I refuse to stress animals when it is that hot outside. 

So, today, we gave them their CDT booster shots.  No biggie, except when I was pinching the skin on Bell's neck, I accidentally shoved the needle through both sides, so we lost some of the medicine.  oops.

Another first was that Bell's hooves NEEDED to be trimmed again.  They were trimmed last time, as far as they could be, but she had to be worked on again.  I wish I had someone who really knew what they were doing coaching me on that part.  The internet is great, but this is when I would prefer a live person with hands-on know-how.  I really worked on them and they look better, still wouldn't be ready for a show, but we're not showing her, so just need to get them decent.  Guess I can work on that once a month or so and keep them in shape.

Carmel also got her first hoof trimming today.

p.s. The end of the brand new hoof trimming shears are really sharp, but as the girls say, "I'm okay."

Then, on to the Did I Really Do That portion of the day.

It's a really good thing that I have an extremely tolerant husband.  I really love him and he MUST REALLY love me, because he puts up with an amazing amoung of garbage and weird ideas from me.

So, when I went to the local Amish store a few weeks ago, someone was trying to sell their floor loom.  K loves to weave and we had been looking at loom for her, but even the small table looms start around $800.  When I saw this, I wrote down the information and hemmed and hawed about it for at least 2 weeks.  I wasn't going to do it, of course it's gone already, etc...

Bob is actually the one who told me to call.  So, I called on it last night.  Yes, they still had it and the husband knew nothing about it.  The wife called me this morning and I got her to knock $50 off what she wanted for it.  Should have started lower!  I should have backed away from it when I asked if she could help me get is set up and started.  Her answer was, "My first husband bought this for me 30 years ago, and it's been in the basement ever since."  Gulp. 

I didn't back away.  I am now the proud owner of a Weaver's Friend 45 inch floor loom, that we can't get up the stairs to the spot that would be perfect for it, because it won't fit up the stairs.  It has definitely been loved.  It's from at least from 1930.

That led to another first today. I learned what the heddles are and how to put them back on the frame.  Now, instead of 501 pieces, the loom is only in 10. Gulp.  Gotta go help try and figure it out. 

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Musings - July 2, 2012

Right now... 7:09 p.m. and we're watching an interesting show on the history channel on Modern Marvels about rice.  Lots we didn't know about rice.  Bug is trying to read a book and Fixit is "bugging her", so we had to avert a fistfight.

This weekend... was hot and sticky.  We had temperatures in the middle 90s with high humidity.  Yuck!  Saturday, we had the memorial service for my Aunt Anita and my Uncle Dan that passed away in February and March.  It was at least 90 degrees at the cemetery.  After the ceremony (thank you Father John for the short ceremony), we all headed back to my house for the meal.  We got a nice pit ham sliced at the deli along with sliced cheese.  We also had some of my Mom's homemade sauerkraut and some locally made polish sausage.  Not the way you want family to get together, but it was still a good celebration of their lives.

Some plans for the week...  It's supposed to be in the mid to upper 90s all week.  Ick.  Today, I had 2 farm visits for work.  One ended up a little more forceful than I like, when I have to leave a message and tell them that I was showing up at a certain time, but it worked out well.

Tuesday, I have 2 more farm visits, trying for a third, but no one is answering me. 

Wednesday, is 4th of July, but the only thing special is that Bob doesn't have to work.  We have been so dry for the last couple of months, that we have a total burning ban in effect, so no fireworks or fire in the backyard.

I can't schedule anything for Thursday and Friday, because neither of the girls that I get to babysit are available.

If I can find some time for myself, I will . . . Try to get to the library and exchange some books.  I've recently finished two good series Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan and Children of the Djinn by P.B. Kerr.  So, I need to find something else to read.  I've been reading The Hobbit at Bug and K are really enjoying it.

I am grateful for . . .  my Dad providing me with a job that I enjoy, but is also funding 3 major things this year:  propane contract that is already paid for, school for the girls at the local Catholic school which the money is in the bank for, and property taxes - which are also in the bank.  Everything beyond that is to sit in savings and hopefully give us a little for next year.