Thursday, March 29

Garden protection. Chickens. Yard grass.

We had a pretty good day yesterday. Although the playday with our homeschool group at the park was canceled due to their sickness, we decided that we would go anyway. We had a small, one dollar kite that we wanted to try and fly. As it turned out, we got what we paid for because it wouldn't fly. That piece of crap! So we just talked, swung, I shot a few hoops with the basketball, and the kids rode their bike.

Once we got home I decided that since it's time to start planting in the garden, and we don't want the chickens in there, that I needed to at least try and discourage them from flying in. So I put up some stakes around the gate and compost bin to do just that. Hope it works! :-)


And of course I thought that just because I spoke of what the garden needed protection from, that I would show you so you could have a better mental picture. *smile*


Other than that, Rain raked up some more of the leaves, branches and pods that've fallen off of the Poplar trees. Then the kids put everything she had raked-up into a wagon and took it to the brush pile, which is growing by leaps and bounds. We're still undecided about whether to just keep the brush pile growing for wildlife or to have a bonfire. As much as I like the idea of a bonfire, just putting the branches and stuff into the brush-pile is less work. *grin* Day before yesterday we got one of the HUGE branches that had broken off of the Oak tree cut up. Got quite a bit of wood, that will eventually need to be split.

Speaking of grass... what a difference a couple of weeks make! It went from being mostly spotty, yellowish, and brittle, to now needing mowed. Which means it's time, once again, to spend 15 dollars to get 5 gallons of gas for the mower. (gas is now at $2.49.9/gal)

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Monday, March 26

Celebi. Light bulb. Bankruptcy. Birthday


This is Celebi. I'm tellin' ya, if there's a box in a room, a cat will find it and try to lay in it even if it may be too small. *grin* Of course he's not the only cat that has been in this or the box behind him, it's just that he's the first one we've photographed :-)


For the longest time after the light bulb in this outdoor security light burned out I didn't know how I was going to be able to get up there to change it. Well, we got an extension ladder from our grandmother before she moved out of MO a few months ago. Really wasn't sure if it would extend high enough. But as it turned out, it did. It got me up to the roof of the shed that this pole is by, and the top of the shed was high enough that I could reach the bulb. Had I known that, I would've climbed onto the roof even before we had the new-to-us ladder. Oh well, live and learn I guess. Now that there's a new bulb in there, we can move the kids' trampoline over closer to the shed so the kids can jump at night if they want to and still be able to see where they're landing.

Other than that, we haven't been doing much of anything because the weather hasn't helped us be motivated. Meaning it's either been cloudy and windy, or cloudy and rainy. And when we did have a nice, sunny day a couple of days ago, because it hadn't been like that for a few days, we spent it enjoying the weather rather than working in it. We actually discussed cutting some more of the fallen limbs today, at bedtime last night. But I was outside to take the picture of the light and it was starting to sprinkle. I don't know, I suppose if it's not raining when my wife gets up from her nap, it would be nice and cool enough to get some work done. We shall see!

Wife did some research on bankruptcy over the weekend. She did find out that it has changed from being able to file every 7 years to having to wait for 8 years. Luckily it has been 8 since our last one was discharged. Now the problem is coming up with the $200 to do the filing. We also need to figure out if we can easily file ourselves since the rule changes or if we need to save even longer and go through a lawyers office. Obviously we'll do it ourselves if at all possible. We're pretty sure the last time we filed for chapter 7 and retained our house in Colorado. Pretty sure we can do the same thing in MO, but need to do more research. Just looked it up and it looks like chapter 7 is the way for us to go (follow the above link).

It was my wife's birthday yesterday, and she says it was a happy one. YAY! Although it was technically her first day to start a week of getting up at 7 a.m., I got up an extra day so she could sleep in. After she had breakfast, she opened her presents, then a little while later we partook in some chocolate frosted chocolate cake - YUM! Later in the evening, after supper had digested a bit, we drank a bottle of wine which was also pretty tasty, called Strawberry White Zinfandel.

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Friday, March 23

Errands, birthdays, and rain

Got a few errands ran today. Oh, things like getting gas ($20 worth, or 8.3 gals), lunch, and some grocery shopping. And since my lovely, beautiful, ageless wife's birthday is coming up on Sunday, a few b-day presents :-)

While we were in the grocery store it started raining. When my wife took the groceries out to the van it was still raining (she took them out so the kids and I could shop without her prying eyes, although she told us what we could get her). It took us about 10 minutes to get our gives for her. What took the longest was getting through the "20 items or less" checkout line. I guess since the store wasn't *too* busy, the checkout lady let the older lady go throughout her lane, which when it was all said and done, her cart was FULL! *grr* Oh well, we weren't in a big hurry anyway, but it's the principle, ya know? :-)

And now that we're home, it's still raining and thundering, I've got laundry going.

Bye for now!

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Tuesday, March 20

Slept in. Family services. Mom. Oestara.

Don't know what to write, as always. I slept until 12:30 this afternoon (went back to bed around 8) because I couldn't think of anything better to do. Sad, huh? The weather is cloudy and threatening rain. Actually, this morning, around 7:30, it was raining a bit, but not too bad, besides, we were only out in it for about 10 minutes. It's been overcast for the passed 3 days, which in and of itself is kind of depressing. Although, we went outside to burn the trash yesterday afternoon and it was quite warm. We spent some time in the yard spinning. Supposedly doing that on a daily basis helps center your chakras, gets you healthier, stronger, improves your balance, and gives your vitality a boost. Don't know if that's true, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to try, right? Besides, it's kind of fun. *smile*

Got a letter from the Department of Family Services yesterday saying that if my wife didn't go to an employment workshop in Springfield next week that they would be cutting our food stamps :-( That's right, about the *only* help they give us, they're threatening to take away. Apparently they're having trouble affording $50 a month for a family of four :-( The problem is that we can't afford to buy gas for the van to GET to Springfield next week because payday isn't until the week after. So, I guess it's either buy groceries to feed the kids, or buy gas to go to a required seminar :-( So, unless "they" can help us buy a car so that Rain can afford to drive back and forth to work, it looks as though we're going to just do without the $50 of food stamps each month. It's not like DFS actually gives a crap about families anyway!

I talked to my mom the other day on the phone. Was kind of a weird conversation because we didn't have much to talk about because both of us lead pretty uneventful lives. *sigh* But I did find out she's feeling better since her hip surgery and is getting better at walking with her cane. I told her that one of our ducks got taken by a predator so our male duck is a loner and not enjoying it. We asked for a female duck on Freecyle, someone said they had one, but when we wrote and asked for directions we never heard back :-(

We blew the innards out of several duck eggs yesterday, and now we just need to color them. Not sure what you're supposed to do with them then, but we'll thing of something I'm sure. I'm told we're going to hang the prettier ones on ribbons as decorations. Since tomorrow is Oestara, we're going to hide some colored plastic eggs we bought on Sunday and eat a few hard-boiled eggs that are turned into deviled eggs. Plus the kids will get a couple of small gifts. And that's our entire Oestara celebration, welcoming in Spring Time :-)

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Friday, March 16

Cute cat. Vice installation.


I was sitting on the sofa when this cat (Airie) came and climbed onto me. She was just in the crook of my arm for a while, but then she decided to be cute and curl-up in my arms with her head on my shoulder. Well, my wife was at the computer with another cat on her lap so she couldn't come and see, so I had my daughter take a picture for her. *smile* Don't know what the hell has gotten into them lately, but several of our cats have been extremely cuddly lately. I'm not complaining mind you, just an observance. *grin*

Haven't been up to anything special, hence why you haven't read any blogs since the last one, before now. Got more branches cut and stacked in the wood-shed. See? What did I tell you? Last week I did get the vice mounted to a table in the shed, but hadn't used it for anything until today. I plan on using it when I'm ready to sharpen the lawn mower blades when it's about time to start mowing. Anyway, today I was able to get the filter housing removed from the old filter holder that was attached to the water-line in the pump-house. Luckily, the new attachment was able to operate in "by-pass" mode so the filter and housing didn't *have* to be installed. I was able to get the housing off and then installed in the pump-house on the new attachment today. Now we once again have filtered water! Woo-Hoo! *smile* Well, that's all the "news" I've got. Bye.

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Monday, March 12

Basketball, drugs, and (not) notes

Had a pretty good day yesterday, although I didn't get squat accomplished. Actually, that's about all I DID do - squat on the sofa watching basketball and other television shows. LOL. Much to my happiness, the Denver Nuggets won the game of the Sacramento Kings. I know, isn't that just awesome?! :-)

Not much else to say. I'm stopping one of the medications that the doctor prescribed to help with my fatigue problem (Amantadine) because it makes me sleepy. Kind of defeats the purpose, don't ya think? Not sure what to do. I was on Provigil samples over a year ago and they worked, but because it's considered a controlled substance (I think) we think we'd have to get a new prescription every month. That would be a pain because we're an hour away from the doctor and don't know if he could give a prescription for that over the phone each month. I suppose I could call him and ask, but that's a long distance phone call, although I do need to get my antidepressant dosage raised. *sigh* Speaking of the doctor, I called him last week and asked if he could write us a note stating that my wife should stay home with me and the kids, so that DFS would bug her all the time about getting a job, and so they wouldn't reduce our already meager food-stamp allotment of $50 a month for a family of four. We had gotten a note from a previous neurologist's assistant last year, but my current neuro wouldn't do it because he said I'm not bed-bound. Which is true, but sheesh, it's NOT like we get money because my wife is considered a 'caregiver', which is why my previous neuro wouldn't write one and why we went to her assistant. I *really* shouldn't drive, so thought because of that we would qualify to get another note, but nope, they said no, that if I needed her to drive me somewhere (like an appointment) that she would just have to take some time off of work (she doesn't currently work outside the home). And the reason she doesn't work outside the home? We're 20 minutes from the nearest town and our van only gets 10-13 MPG, plus she's nervous about driving the van because it pulls when I step on the brakes and we can't afford to get it fixed. We can't afford to buy a car unless she has a job, but can't get a job if she can't afford to drive the van back and forth. Yep, it's a catch 22! :-( Oh well, screw 'em!

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Saturday, March 10

Tomorrow's another day

...and it's going to be MY day of rest. Got basketball (NBA) to watch, don't ya know. *smile* Got some more branches cut and stacked in the shed. I'd say all together we've got close to a half cord of wood just from the branches. We still want to take down at least 5 trees (Poplars), so we *should* have enough wood to get through Winter 2007/08 :-)

We also got the house trash burned. Our daughter *finally* got her *first* magazine from "Teen Vogue". She got the free gift for signing up for a year about 3 weeks ago. So now she's a happy camper. *smile*

I don't know if anybody from the Four Mile Road area in Long Lane, MO ever reads my blog, but if you live in this area, don't have DSL but want it, PLEASE call Centurytel and tell them you want it and to put you on the list. The more people that call, the faster they get it to us. Please?

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One, two days ago, and today's plan

Had on 'okay' day yesterday. Got a few errands ran. And what I mean by "errands" is just that we went to the bank, out to lunch, and to the grocery store. While we were there we got our money back on a GameBoy that was the wrong color, and then bought one that was the right (different than brother's) color so they could tell them apart. *grin* Since it was raining or drizzling pretty much all day yesterday, we didn't get any more branches cut-up. Will probably do some of that today since it looks like the sun is trying to break through the clouds. Just got an alert on Weatherbug saying that we're in a dense fog warning, but I know that's not for us in this area. It's actually for the Marshfield area (that's the nearest weather station).

Two days ago we got the apple tree pruned a bit. Let me tell you, apple tree branches are HARD to take off because little branches weave their way through the big ones. So you have to basically dissect the branch you want to remove so it can slide out through all kinds of twists and turns. The tree still needs a bit more pruning, but I've heard you don't want to prune fruit trees too much if it's been a long time since the last one. If you do, you can send it into shock. And since it's been over 6 years since the last pruning, we didn't want to overdo it.

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Wednesday, March 7

Playin', runnin' around, and choppin' wood


This is all the wood, from the downed branches, that we've cut up so far. Still a *lot* more to do.

Today we went to the park to meet with other homeschoolers, but one family had something come up at the last minute and couldn't make, the other one that went to *a* park, went to a different one than we did, so we didn't see them either :-( The kids swung for a little bit while Rain and I watched from the van. *grin* After a few minutes we got out and went to the swings after the kids went to the spinny thing. I actually stopped at the pull-up bar first, and found out I cannot even do one. *sigh* When I was in middle school (back when it was called junior high in the late 70's), I was able to do 20 pull-ups without stopping or touching the floor. Ah, those were the days! Then I went to the swings and sat down while Rain spun the kids on the spinny thing. After a little bit of that, we decided to go ahead and run some errands in town while we were in the area. We went and picked up my prescription and bought a couple of lottery tickets. Then we needed to get a refund for a game thing that my daughter bought and then found out she couldn't play the same games that her brother could on his Gameboy. So, with the refund money and a *little* help from us, she now has her very own Gameboy. *smile* Afterward we went to lunch at Mickey's, then to the driver's license place so Rain could get a new license, and then to Save-A-Lot for our monthly meat purchase. After we got home the kids of course played on their gameboys, Rain took a nap, and I messed around until she got up (checked for program updates, ran a couple of scans, read some email). Once she was up and awake, we went out and cut some more wood. And THAT was our day... so far. By the way, I thought the males on American Idol sucked last night! I really hope the girls give better performances, which I sure they will, just like they've done for the whole show so far. Take care!

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Tuesday, March 6

Taken care of wood stuff

Got more of the tree debris cut-up and put into the wood shed. Some of the stuff, like the Sassafras was pretty dry already. I think they've been without life (dead) for a while (before the ice storm). The bugs had definitely got to them. And we got quite a few of the Oak branches cut as well. So I think we'll have enough wood to make it through the rest of Winter. YAY! Once we get all/most of the branches (some of the Oak's are huge), we'll have a good head-start on next Winter's wood. Awesome! :-) In fact, we're thinking we'll only need small morning fires the rest of this season (crossing fingers) :-)

Other than that, it's been another uneventful day. Got the trash burned and the dishwasher ran and emptied.

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Monday, March 5

Our weekend...

...was pretty good. Didn't do anything all that exciting. Just things like a few loads of laundry, a few loads of dishes got ran through the dishwasher, split enough wood to have fires a couple times a day. Well, actually, we only had one fire on Saturday and one on Sunday in the mornings. We're *very* low on wood, so we're trying to limit the amount of fires we burn in the stove. We *think* if we can limit ourselves to only one fire per day that we'll have enough to get through March, providing the daytime temperatures don't stay cold for very long when they happen. Mostly our weekend was spent indoors watching television, playing video games, and being on the computer surfing the 'net, reading & responding to email. Today we plan on getting outside and cutting some more of the downed branches into firewood. In one area there's a tree that fell that was dead before it did, so that will provide some wood that's already dry, for the most part. There are some Oak branches out back that have been down for a while (since the ice storm), so hopefully they'll not be too 'wet' and we can burn them if we *need* to. Have a nice day! :)

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Saturday, March 3

Doing better. Survivor Fiji. American Idol

Well, I hope this finds you doing well today. I am doing better than I was when I posted yesterday's blog. Could be that I slept it off, but I think it's more that I told somebody and just getting it 'out there' made me feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Whatever it was, today is a better day. Although, it's cloudy, windy, and cold outside, it's nice and toasty inside. Guess that's where I'll stay a while then, until I take the trash out to burn it. That'll probably happen around the same time that I go out to feed the chickens, around 4:30 p.m. Could happen sooner if I get a wild hair, or if I get totally bored. *smile* That's very possible too, because in my not so humble opinion, Saturday TV sucks! So what else is there to do? Well, email, blogging, and searching the Internet for things that pop into ones head. I've done all of the new email, I'm now blogging, and I can't think of anything to do a search on. I guess I could read a book, nah. LOL.

One thing that comes to mind is "Survivor". I *really* don't like the way they've separated the teams this time. I think it's *totally* unfair and has gone on long enough. They've proven that people who don't have to struggle to find food and shelter do better in challenges than people who're starving for food and comfortable sleep (DUH! I could've told them that). I think there needs to be another "twist" and the have nots need to switch places with the haves and see what happens. Also, I think the show needs to do away with that stupid immunity idol. It's been a waste of time now for 3 seasons. Enough already!

And then there is American Idol. Well, IMHO, the male singers suck this year, except for a couple of them. But by far the women are MUCH better, and I think the next idol will be a woman.

And last but not least, we have new neighbors. I haven't met them, we just know that the for sale sign has been taken down and there were lights on after dark yesterday evening. Will more than likely go and introduce ourselves and welcome them to the neighborhood in a few days (or sooner).

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Friday, March 2

Poordum sucks!

I don't have anything to report. We did get our monthly shopping done today, so we should only need odds and ends the rest of the month. It was windy all day, and because of that it felt pretty chilly.

All I've got to say is that I'm depressed because Being Poor Sucks!! My sister and brother in-law are going to be 2 hours away, on vacation, in about a week, and we can't afford to buy the gas to make the 3 hour roundtrip :-(

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