Friday, February 22, 2013

A tough week

Let's just list the crap pile that was my week. They are in no particular order of crapitude but some are worse than others.

1. I can't wear my wedding & engagement ring because I bashed my hand against something doing chores and bruised my finger. Every time I put the rings on I get a burning pain.  Great.  

2. My Hubby got his hours cut, again. Now he's down to 30 and we're scrambling to cut budget and/or make up the loss in funds. 

3. Which leads me selling plasma. I'm all-around healthy, so it's not all that difficult. I DID find the 4 hours spent there yesterday and the 30 mile round trip to home and back to get a marriage certificate to prove I changed my name to be almost too much to endure. And all that for 20 bucks..........

4. I was sitting down in the garage on a bale of straw cleaning the fog off my glasses when my left lens fell off into a pile of straw.  Think of it as trying to find a needle in a haystack, blind.  We have had all of us out there trying to find it with no success. I searched and searched and searched, then I just lost it.  This is not the time to be dealing with having to get a new pair of glasses, WE HAVE NO MONEY FOR THIS!!
I'm wearing a pair of Alex's old glasses that are about 90% correct for my eyesight.   I go to Wal-Mart on Monday for an eye exam and to order new glasses (bifocals this time, welcome to old age!)........which will take another week to get here. Had I the $$, I'd get them at Lenscrafters and get them in an hour, but that costs about 4 times more than we can afford.   Poverty sucks y'all.

5. Dave takes his van in for a tune up? 200 bucks, that's it.  Had an issue w/it missing because of old spark plugs.  My car throws a main belt twice and I get stuck with 400+ in bills. Oh the car now runs ...just as shitty as it used to. There are times when I remember liking to drive somewhere and not just spending the whole trip hoping that my craptastic car will make it.  ~Sigh~ Those were good times. 

6. The only job offer I've gotten is for warehouse work 45 hours a week, days.  Which would mean I would have to quit school again. And again, it's not because I can't do the work, but funds.  That would be the 3rd time that happened.   I told them no. Yes, I turned down a job because I want to stay in school.  Besides, it's a temp job. My luck I'll quit school and work the job only to be laid off in a week.  Then I wouldn't be able to file for unemployment, be forced to repay my loans NOW, and have no school and no job. Yes, my luck is definitely that bad.

7. Got to spend Wednesday night driving home in my crap car during a snowstorm. I couldn't see the road, I couldn't see that far ahead of me and I had someone else's glasses on. A trip that usually takes me 20 minutes took me almost an hour.  I'm SO ready for spring.

8. All those projects I was going to finish for Lent? I frogged all but the Aidez.  With our income cut again, there's no money for buying the yarn to finish those projects.  The Aidez has enough yarn, the others don't.  I frogged them - including the gawdawful featherweight cardigan in hunter's orange.  I'll redye the yarn red and make a shawl from it. I'll call the the "piss off ye grotty wanker" shawl. 

9. I fell twice in the ice.  Good thing my ass is padded. URock seems to find salting and/or sanding slippery areas just too difficult to handle. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Lenten Sacrifice has found me

I went in search of some undyed roving in my stash today.  That led to me finding oh, about 6 projects that are unfinished in various totes and bags in my 'she-cave'.   So I think this will be my sacrifice; to finish up these projects and get them off the needles.  Three of them are sweaters, which is my bane.  I cannot finish sweaters for anything.  This is going to be a challenge for me, so to do so during Lent should give me new perspective.
1. These mittens are 2/3 done.  That should be my first goal since it will give me a sense of accomplishment quickly.  The yarn is Malabrigo worsted; which I would love to buy a million yards and just sleep on it. It's so squishy!

2. The  Dockside Cardigan is a funky knit sweater that starts on the outside and moves to the inside.  That's why it looks like a jumble of crap right now.  I'm on the back and from what I remember, the issue was that the textured pattern was giving me fits because it's hard to see on the white yarn.  I need to get more Lion Brand Sock Ease for this.
3. the Icarus Shawl  is something that I've been working on as a mindless project for meetings and such for a while now.  The interesting part of this one is the fact that the yarn is a Goat Down yarn spun and sold in Russia.  I think I got this stuff from Betsy. 

4. the Aidez Cardigan has been marinating in a bag for a while now.  A few weeks after I started Spring Semester, I started the back and put the sleeve on a holder until I work out the bind-off for it.  It will be a while for this one to be completed, but at least over 1/2 of it is done already. 

5. A sweater of cables that I've designed myself. I need more Cascade 220 for this one and then I must figure out how I want to work the sleeve openings.  I had contemplated using a steeking technique...

6. A sweater made from some Vanna's Choice that I don't recall much of at all. Looking at what I have done, I'm on the back and I've bound off some for the arms.  What pattern I'm using, and what to do next will be the biggest challenge.  For the yarn choice, I think I'll make it into a cardigan.  The ability to wash it would be a good thing. 

Wish me luck!  I'll update when I can. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Duck duck goose update

It's been a while since I've talked of the animals.  Oh they're still here, but well, things are pretty much on hold with animals during the winter.

Struggles with ice, water, feed and keeping them warm take a lot of time.  The outside faucet froze in the last big freeze, so I ended up schlepping 10+ gallons of water from the house to the front of the garage every morning. Yeah, that adds another 1/2 an hour to chores.   I had 6 geese and 4 ducks who were also ticked about not getting a daily bath.  Hey, they're waterfowl, can you blame them?

But the water would freeze in their pools, which required 10+ gallons just to fill. It got so there was no way to keep up. So I bought one of these:
A shallow rubber pail meant to feed horses hay. It only stands about 1' high and it's called a Tubtrug. 3 gallons of water and boom, bath!  Of course, a full-sized goose has issues with being totally in the tub, but they get clean and everyone's happy.

Ever since we put the geese in with the ducks, the fighting between them has diminished a lot. Now we have another issue: Buddy's been courting a female duck. I don't know if she's pitching woo back, but he's spending much more time with the ducks than the geese.  Poor little fella just wants some love!

No worries, guys, it's only for a year.  We're getting girls for you, honest!

And on another topic: my %$@^^^%$@$-ing car.  Twice within a week that stupid thing has popped the main belt right as I am leaving school. The mechanic has scrutinized that thing 10 ways from Sunday and there is no valid reason for it to pop off; the belt is fine and there's no play in the pulleys.  But still, I drive out of school and BOOM, no power steering. Well **&**&)~!!!  First time I tried to drive it home - 15 miles away and got 1/2 way there before all my warning lights came on.

Second time I said F it and just drove it into the gas station parking lot and called the dealer again.  They're replacing the belt and tensioner today.  Hopefully that fixes it.  Because if it doesn't I'm driving that effing thing off a cliff. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I DO get to interact with nice people -just ones who don't know me

I guess that's the jist: If someone knows me they like to treat me like shit for some reason. Odd, right?

So..........last night I was leaving school.  It was windy and the school for some reason has a phobia about putting down salt on sidewalks. Maybe they think the kids will rust or something.  I'm trying my best to find a spot that ain't slippery when I get to the front parking lot.

I see this older lady (yes, older than me. It happens) struggling to stand up using the door of her car. "Ma'am, please be careful. It's very slippery here." I warn her.  But for some reason my brain will not just let that woman struggle to where ever she goes. Maybe it was my upbringing, maybe it was that cane I saw on the passenger side of her car.  She admits that she's only changing seats, but I refuse to let her fall even for that short walk.

  I offer her my arm for support and we walk to the other side, exchanging pleasantries.  Nice lady. We took it slow and got her seated.   By the time I got to my car, whomever was going to drive had gotten there and they were gone.

Then I hit Kwick Trip for gas and bread.  Spoke pleasantly to the lady who checked out my stuff. She was very patient when I mistakenly wrote the check short.  I whipped out the debit card for the extra buck + that was still on the bill. We smiled and wished each other a good night.

So I don't know.  I like people. I like talking to people, getting to know them an all. It's just that perhaps the concept of respect goes out the door with some.  Those are the ones that put you off all others: That customer who belittled me when working at the fabric store, "Do you know any math? This is not the price on the wall" (yeah, I know math, I know freaking Calculus. I also know when to shut the fuck up and be nice too. I want YOU to memorize 1000+ prices and remember which ones are on sale, bitch),  That last memory of my MIL when I said to her, "Honestly, we don't think you're stupid," but she had this pursed-lip strained look on her face that told me without words that she does think we're stupid (because some dude on tv said so, right. it's gotta be right! Never think with your own mind!) Those are the ones who ruin it for others.

Which one are you ?

Monday, February 11, 2013

How to tread on a very touchy subject? Eh. Let's roll!

I'm on that quest to cleanse my soul, so here's another chunk of miasma for you: I've learned not to like people these days. And as each day progresses on, I dislike people more.  It's gotten to the point where I just don't want to be around others.

People have become nothing more than hateful, spiteful, narcissistic asshats.

Hell, Even my In-Laws' refuse to behave for two fucking days.

They have to make my Christmas *just that more horrible* because some person on TV told them to hate their own kid. Their own child! Someone they've known since birth! Their ability to be swayed into thinking the worst of their Son simply because someone on TV told them so, shows how really moronic they are. That concept in itself shows me how shallow their real intelligence is.  It's superficial, meant to dupe others into giving them respect, but not an iota of respect is shown the other way.  And they are not the only one; millions do that every day.  People I used to regard as intelligent aren't really so: They are easily swayed by charlatans and those with an agenda.  Those people have never met those on TV, but they follow them as blindly as those who followed Jim Jones to their death some 30 years ago.  And those TV stars tell them to hate...hate hate hate.

People have nothing good to say about anyone and anything. They can't even gin up enough good emotion to fake it. There's no real interaction any more between people anymore. When we get together with others, all I hear is how their lives are going, but no give-and-take.  Me me me...And that's the polite ones - those who can pretend long enough to be with you.

About 23 years ago, I had an experience that was pretty much a microcosm of this entire subject.  A new person had entered our little world at my job, flashy with all kinds of energy.  I became friends with her, not knowing that she'd manipulate me and the situation so that when she deliberately destroyed her family, she publicly blamed me for that destruction.  It got to the point where she destroyed my life and turn all others against me, just so she looked like the 'victim'.  I was left with nothing; no home, no job, no boyfriend, no hope.

What destroyed me more than all that is those friends of mine who knew me for years all of a sudden turned against me, believing every bit of bad news this chick told them about me.  Of course none of it was true, but they believed it anyways.  They KNEW me, or at least I thought they did.  People who knew me for a long time believed the bitch who came in only 6 months ago.

I was incensed, frustrated and very depressed.  How could all those people think so badly of me? They KNEW I could not do what she said, right?  Oh no! They scooped up all the bad that this bitch said about me and BELIEVED IT without even asking me. Eventually, I went into therapy, worked out my problems and dealt with those so-called friends.  And I learned a cold, hard lesson about  people: They will believe anything you say about another just because they are so stupid as to not use their minds to logically work out that the things are not true.

Is there a solution? Yes, but it requires people use their brains, logically think out stuff and to deliberately turn their backs on the charlatans.  It's work; "it's hard!" and so no one will do it.

I have no hope for the future of this world, as long as lazy dumasses refuse to even acknowledge they are being played like cheap hookers.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Why I am missing this years' Knit In

or AKA: I need two tickets to San Diego, please.

Every year the Janesville Area Knitting Guild holds a Knit-In.  For the last 4 years, I've been their door-prize coordinator. I was every excited to learn they were going to move the even to Lake Lawn Lodge and get bigger stars in the Knitting world.  I saved up my $$ for a room and was ready to go.

Then I got some news from my Son, who finally made up his mind on the whole military ~~~~thing~~~~.
He signed his paperwork two weeks ago and is going to enter the Marines.  Which was kinda a surprise from his Mom, considering the efforts to join the Air Force.  He's an enigma when it comes to expressing himself on issues like this.  I've learned more from his friends on what is going on than what he tells me.

That's a photo of our son, who does not like his photo taken.  He's decided on going into the Intelligence field. So in a sense he'll be doing the same thing my Niece and Nephew do in the Air Force, but in a different uniform.

His boot camp starts in May/June depending on whether or not he passes the 'intelligence test.' I do not forsee any problems with that.  He is currently working out 3 times a week with his recruiter so he's in top shape for Boot.

Which is in San Diego.

And there ain't NO WAY this Mom and Dad are going to miss his graduation from that!  So the $$ that would have been spent on Knit-In is socked away for the trip, along with the $$ from a few other events that we would normally attend.  Small sacrifices.

I do need to get in touch with the Fairy Yarn Mother though, as I need some more of her lush Red Roving to finish off my hat/mitten/cowl ensemb. I usually meet with her at the Knit In and at The Sheep & Wool. I'm definitely going to miss her...........and the rest of the group............and Franklin Habit.............and all the rest of the group.  Ah well.... I keep reminding myself, Small Sacrifices.

Did I mention how proud I am of my Son? It brings tears to my eyes, but I am proud.  He's made this choice on his own, and with a good amount of deliberation.  He's going to make a great Marine.  HOO RAH!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Farmer

Hands-down the best commercial of the big game.  Transcript below:

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.
"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.
"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.
To be sure, I don't do the plowing around here, but Dave does.  Two gardens and probably a small field of oats for the poultry to chew on will be going up in the spring.  Dave planted some seeds in the grow box downstairs in anticipation of spring, and I'm working on ideas for movable shelters for the poultry.  I'll post a picture of one of them as soon as I am sure that it will work.  It's made from recycled plastic bags and bamboo garden stakes.  If it doesn't work, Dave gets more garden stakes!

Dave fixing the mailbox.  The snowplow driver aims for it every winter. 

We finally ended up putting the geese in with the ducks +chickens in the coop. It was a mounting struggle to pen them up in the garage every freezing day; there's still 2" of straw/poop/ice that needs to be taken out of the garage, but it ain't moving with it being frozen.   There was some struggles that first night.  All 4 of the ducks were head-first into one nesting box, blood showing on their wings.  I'm guessing one of the geese tried to pull them out of there. 

The outside faucet is also frozen shut, so I get to schlep 10 - 20 gallons from the house to the coop and the garage every day.  I'm getting some strong shoulders!

The ducks in the coop before the addition of the gate. 
We also took out that roost on the right as Sissy's 
blind in one eye and will bump into it a lot. 

So Dave took the front gate off the old pen and put it across the coop.  Now they are segregated and doing much better.  The geese didn't want to go in the first few nights, and Buddy gave me no end of grief running all over the yard.  Now, they go right in with little coaxing.  It's warm in there, and the water doesn't freeze in their heated buckets (yes, that's when you know it's BUTT-COLD out there!)

But the day ain't done when the animals are inside.  Slippers are knitted along with more mittens, cowls and blankets. The ladies at church are discussing another round of  'dresses for Africa' next month during lent. I'll need to dust off my sewing machine and check my supplies before then. 

A look northward from the coop.  Ducks in the middle, the pump-house (now a garden shed) on the far right and the big pool up to the left.  We were worried that the animals might find the pool and get stuck in there, but they don't seem to care.   I think one of the reasons is the steps.  They hate steps. 

This is a small-scale farm, but we experience that kind of life every day. I sometimes feel bad for those who are so disconnected from ...oh nature, the earth, seasons, the cycle of things....there's that rhythm that ties you to the earth.  You cannot live above it, because it smacks you in the face constantly. So instead, you live with it and giggle at those who insist you do otherwise.  Yeah, dude...try living that kind of life out here!