Tuesday, October 30, 2012

300 Milein Dolrs

I came in the house last night from doing chores and a piece of paper was on the table.

It read:  300 Milein Dolrs Sid By S.  (Translation 300 million dollars signed by S. (Bug))

"Hey, Bug!  What's this for?"

"The Betty Book!"

The 'Betty Book' is my Betty Crocker cookbook that I have scribbled in, written extra recipes in, crossed things out or added, dribbled various foodstuffs on....a.k.a. THE Cookbook.

My children have been laying claim to MY cookbook ever since we told them that you can leave certain people certain things in your will.  (We are going through an estate settlement after my Aunt and Uncle passing away.)

Now, her quick, happy response of "The Betty Book!" had me a bit worried.  Was she holding MY cookbook ransom for 300 Milein Dolrs?

So, very tentatively, I asked her, "What is this for?"

Her response, accompanied by her extremely evil, movie-quality witch cackle, was, "I paid you for the Betty Book, so now it's mine. mwa ha ha!"  (To make this even more funny, when she does her witch cackle, it is embellished with her hands held out and curled into gnarled witch hands.)

You know, for 300 Milein Dolrs - that book is hers!

I called my Dad to tell him that I was now RICH!!!!!!  He was laughing and told me to ask Bug (6) if she could make the recipes in there.

Her reply was priceless, "Probably, if not, I'll just wing it!"

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yarn Along - Oct 17, 2012 First Spinning & I Can't Count!

Ok, it has been a LONG time since I participated in a Yarn Along but I actually got my butt in gear and did it.

Here is the back of the first item that I have ever attempted to make myself, besides hats.
I love the yarn.  It swtiches from the cottony peach and white to a satiny copper and bronze.  I got a great deal on enough of it on Ebay to make myself something.  The decreases worked great, I had the stitch count I was supposed to.  I just added a few rows to it, just so it's a couple of inches longer. 

This, THIS, is the start of the second half:

Yep, that totally uninspiring two rows that I have RIPPED OUT at least 5 times.  WHY CAN'T I count to 97?

Seriously, I do the chain row, do the foundation row of singles, think I'm fine.  I do that first row of double crochet and I've lost a stitch or two.

And that lovely book (er - grumble) is my school book, which is all I have been reading right now.  I working on some accounting classes, but at the tech school, I have to take Microsoft Word & Excel.  I'm really good in those programs, or used to be, but I had never worked anywhere that used the 2010 version, so I have to do the classes.  ugh.

This is what I did last night:

It's terrible, it's uneven, I felt like swearing the entire time I was watching YouTube and trying to figure out how to use the drop spindle to spin.  I had to give it a try, because my husband made me the drop spindle. (Isn't he sweet!)

I don't know if my issues came from the fact that I was using predyed roving that I got a couple of years ago for my needle felting and it really seemed to stick together and I couldn't get it to draft.. I don't know if I'm just a complete idiot and will never figure it out.  It just frustrated me.  I don't know if I like it.  Now that I have it on the drop spindle, I don't know what to do with it.  Right now, it is not giving me the feeling of satisfaction that I imagined. In fact, it's making me rather cranky.

Guess that means it is a perfect time to do schoolwork, grumble.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

God has a Sense of Humor

This is the only possible explanation that I can find for why he made male goats act the way they do.

A divine sense of humor is the only thing that can explain why a female goat would think that:

1. Blowing raspberries
2. Curling back your top lip and going, "na na na na na"
3. Peeing on your own face

is any way attractive, let alone, remotely sexy.

Hey, big fella.  I really like the way you stutter when you get excited.  And man, those little raspberries you blow in my ear....But, the most attractive thing you do, it's gotta be showing us how you pee on your face.  It just gets me in the mood.

Yeah, right!

Seriously, my little brother (who isn't little anymore) peed on his face one time when he sneezed and was going to the bathroom at the same time, and we thought it was HI-LAR-I-OUS!  So, I cannot see why girl goats think that this behavior, more akin to middle school, is attractive, but they do.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Why am I going back to school?  Why am I doing this to myself?  Why am I doing homework at 9:45 p.m. on a Saturday? 


Ok, if you haven't guessed, this is going to be a whiny post, and since I'm pretty much writing to an audience of one, a.k.a. myself, I get to be as whiny as I want.

AM going back to school for a very good reason, even if that reason escapes me.  But honestly, that reason is so that I will be eligible to bid for my own government contracts, instead of having to subcontract through my father.  WHY is this a big deal?  If I can get my own contracts, I can set my own rates. If my father decides to truly retire, then I don't have to make sure that my Dad has a contract that I can work from.  And to be eligible to bid on my own contracts, I need to have experience (which I have) and accounting classes (which I don't have.) 

Hard to believe that after 11 1/2 years of corporate credit experience, that I have never - and I'm pretty sure that includes High School - I have never had a single accounting class.

So, obtaining my Accounting Assistant certificate, and possibly my Associate's Degree in Accounting, from the local Tech College does have a very realistic end purpose.

Why am I complaining then?

Well, you see, even thought I already have a Bachelor's Degree, the local TC has their own requirements.  This involved having to take bullsh.. reading and math placement tests - oh yeah, passed those with flying colors and higher than they had seen recently.  The benefit of passing these classes is that the Accounting Assistant certificate at 30 credits dropped to about 16 credits.  Unfortunately, 3 of my credits STILL had to be Microsoft Office 2010 Word 1, MS Office 2010 Excel 1, and MS Office 2010 Excel 2.  Technically, I could have tested out of these classes.  However, since no place I have ever worked was technologically advanced to be on the latest version of Microsoft Office and I had no experience with any of it, that wouldn't have been pretty.

So, that is why at 9:45 on a Saturday night, I am working on homework.  The kids have gone to sleep. The husband is in the kitchen watching a movie on his computer, that might have been a side benefit - not sure if he went in there to avoid me or annoy me.  Not going to question, because I could work on a 50-page lesson.

All three of this semester's classes are self-paced.  This means that I have to motivate myself to do these stupid assignments before the deadlines.  And to throw another wrench in the works, I won't be able to go in to the testing centers on any Saturdays, since I start teaching CCD next week.  So, the only day I can go to turn in my homework and take the stupid tests, are now Monday nights.

I need to finish 3 more lessons to be able to take the final in Word 1.  That still means I have to finish Excel 1 and Excel 2 by December 10th and take the finals in those classes by December 15th.

I didn't do squat on these lessons until the beginning of October, even though school started August 15th.  WHY did I procrastinate?

It wasn't even procrastinating, ok, some of it was, but I was still working for Dad during August and September.  Most of my work was in Excel 93-97.  I didn't want to install the new Office software on my computer and it change my formatting on my work documents - that would have been a nightmare.

It is now 10 o'clock and I think I'm done whining.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ugh - Back Hurts

I've been dealing with a sore back for over a week.  The kind where your neck and shoulders are so tight that you have a constant headache and the muscles in your back tighten and spasm.

I'll stretch.  It'll get better.  nope

I'll ice it.  It'll get better.  nope

I'll go to the chiropractor.  It'll get better.  nope

I'll have my husband give me a backrub.  It'll get better.  nope

I'll smell like a BenGay factory.  It'll get better.  nope

I've even tried to lie on a tennis ball to try and focus on the point.  nope, didn't get better

I think I'm to the point where I HAVE to go to the doctor and get a muscle relaxer and real pain pills.  If I could sleep decent for even one night, I bet I would feel better.

And, NOPE, I'm not sure what I did to it.  I first messed it up about 9 years ago, when I tripped over a footstool and instead of landing on my butt, which would have only hurt my pride, I twisted to try and save myself.  Ended up in the ER for that, because I couldn't move I was in so much pain.  Then, about 3 years later, I was stressing out while my husband was deployed and ended up back in the ER.  So, really it's about a 3 year cycle, because it happened 3 years ago, too.  I don't like this cycle. 

This cycle is when I get so stressed over life, put on a little weight (on top of the too much I already have), and move just wrong.  The moving just wrong was probably picking up our new sheep on Sunday to bring it home.

Yeah, I have to go to Insta-care and pray they will give me the good drugs, so I can sleep and things will finally ease out of there.

I haven't been able to do schoolwork, because more than 20 minutes at the computer hurts.  No crafting, because that hurts.  ugh

Friday, October 5, 2012

Seasonal Determination

This is how windy it was yesterday (today, too, but definitely not as warm today.)

This is the pile of leaves that my children managed to rake up and play in.  We live where it is pretty open, so we never rake leaves because we have to.  They usually blow away.

It might look like a pretty sizeable pile, until you realize that Fixit who is now 4 and a peewee is covering the entire pile and it's about 2 leaves thick.

That's why it is seasonal determination, because they were determined to have a leaf pile, on a windy day, when we don't have many leaves.

This is the raker.  She tried so hard.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What to do with Picky Kids????

Picky kids.

Wait, that is not exactly true, as I only have one PICKY kid.

That would be Bug, my middle child, my sweet child, my "don't-let-my-food-touch" child.

She likes Daddy's homemade bread, but not mine.  (His is better, but it's almost the same.)

She doesn't like weird vegetables like brussel sprouts - wait, neither do I.

She doesn't like homemade stuff, unless she helps homemake it.

I was making homemade goat's milk ricotta last week, which actually turned out very well. I was offering everyone a taste of it and this is the conversation that I had with Bug:

"Try this."


"But I made it."


"Why not?"

"Because I know where that milk came from.  It came from the 'gutter' on our goat.  I'm not eating it. I only eat stuff from the store."

"Where do you think the milk from the store comes from?"

"The store."

"Milk from the store comes from cows.

"I don't see the cow or it's 'gutter,' so the milk from the store comes from the store."

(I didn't tell her that the lasagna we had used most of the ricotta I made from goat's milk.)

Monday, October 1, 2012


Chickens.  Chickens???

Why would anyone care about chickens? 

If you don't have them, chicken is a meat often found frozen at your local store, already taken care of and in it's respective pieces - not much thought needed, except for what else you need at the store to cook said chicken.

If you have them, the birds, that is, chickens are a whole topic on to itself.

Really??? you might ask. 


We were lucky enough to get 9 hens and 2 roosters from our neighbor, who is the process of slowly getting rid of all his animals.  So, beggars (us) can't be choosers.  You take what you can get (for free!) and make it work.

This, of course, was another situation of us getting animals and then building fence, and it is pretty sorry fence. (Good thing the birds were used to being in fence and respect our chicken wire that doesn't always hit the ground and is tied to the fence posts with baler twine!)

And because it's Autumn, greatest time in the world to worry about how you're going to get water someplace all winter.  Not!  Of course we were happy to get free chickens, even if some of them look older than dirt.

When we got the chickens, we were getting about 3 eggs a day - which with older birds, heading into the darkest time of the year, was not too shabby.

Then, life changed.  Another neighbor had too many chickens and didn't want to butcher any of her birds, so asked if we wanted some.

Sure!  More (free) chickens.  Of course, we'll take them!

These 5 hens have proven to be much more trouble than they are worth, especially as skinny, egg-laying chickens.  Thes little bas...... buggers are EGG EATERS!  We went from 3 lovely brown-shelled eggs a day, down to maybe 1.

The nice neighbor neglected to tell us that she THOUGHT she had some egg eaters.  There should be some sort of recourse for knowingly giving away...wait, there is that little matter of free and giving away...  Sigh.

The only recourse we have is to butcher those little buggers before they teach this HORRIBLE habit to any of the other birds.

So, we butchered two birds the weekend before this one.  Hoping that we had managed to catch the culprits.

Alas.  It was not to be true.  So, this next weekend, we're going to have to take care of the other three.

To top it off, these darn birds are not meant for meat, so had very little to give up.  I gave one to the neighbor for him to make soup and I roasted the other one, pulled all the meat and cut it up fine - it was tough!, and cooked the carcass with veggies for a great stock.

I guess even miserable little egg-eating chickens have a place.  The smile I get when I think about it, is when I realize that the best place for them is my freezer!