My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Monday, September 08, 2014

Back to work

A week of vacation went fast with a lot of it spent working on this old house, and not getting very far on the list of what all I had hoped to get done.  But I made some important progress in the kitchen and that was high on my list.
And I am refinancing the mortgage, for the new kitchen windows and door and to do a proper, good quality kitchen here, finally.  The paperwork has been signed at the bank to refinance, the house inspector has been here and I have contacted several people about the kitchen job, 3 have been here to talk, look and measure, the 4 th is Lowes.
I want to see rough plans/ideas and rough estimate of costs and then will decide who I will work with for the job and want a contract. 
I know some of what I need and want, but until the windows are in, some measurements will not be valid.  The east facing window can really change a few things with cabinets and I plan to whine but move the water and drain for better kitchen sink set up.
It may be months before I see a finished kitchen but having coped for 9.5+ years here with what I have! I will manage until the new kitchen cabinets and counter are installed and I have everything put away.
Temps are dropping and we have a chance of seeing our first frost some time in this coming week.  It will drop pollin counts but I am not wanting winter to be here early and if fall comes early. I can expect winter to be right behind.
Off to bed as I am beat tired tonight.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Old house progress

I am finally replacing the last 2 windows and the damaged kitchen door.  And since the financing rate is so high and my current mortgage almost paid off, I went and started the process to refinance and get a real kitchen done, cabinets, counters, wall cabinets, real storage area, real food prep area, be able to wash dishes and put them in the drainer without dripping water all over the floor.
So, this week, while I am off on vacation, I have had son Ben down here to help and we are working on some of the kitchen projects I want done.  The old windows are out and so is the door, I still have the sub threshold there to replace but the windows are ready for the new ones.  We tore out drywall on the wall between the kitchen and living room and have the shelf units made and painted, will be setting them in place between the studs tomorrow and working on the wall between the kitchen and the laundry area.
I have talked with 4 different kitchen people as I want some choice and to try to get not only the best price but the company who will work best to give me a kitchen that works for me and meets my needs and wants.
The house is a mess, normal for renovations in a small space but much easier to live with when I am living here alone than with Jake living here also.  He is helping some with the work, and learning a bit with each job he is helping work on.  And I am not beating the heads together when they do hat sibling crap and antagonize each other and me.
This is the biggest house project I have financed here, and I want to make sure I make good choices and invest wisely in this old house and my being comfortable here for many years to come.  I like this place and am almost always content and happy here.
But it is a long week and has been a dirty, hot, frustrating week including truck problems to add to the load, cost and problems.  I am glad to be looking at putting the dining corner back together tomorrow and work on the clean up construction debris so I am able to go back to work with the place in better order and ready for the door and window contractor and crew to come and do their install, the kitchen people to show me their plans and costs so I can make a decision there and get a solid contract and start date and end date.
Slow progress on this old house, I have lived here with make do for a kitchen for 9.5 years now and am so looking forward to a real working kitchen, done to suit me, chosen by me for my needs and wants.
This place is slowly becoming very much my place, I am putting my stamp on it, and a lot of my income and sweat equity.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Feeling sorry for myself

I try and not do that very often, feel sorry for myself, wallow in self pity, or even think I have a rough/hard life because I know I have a good life, despite a few problems, some pain issues, too much debt load, old house needing a lot of work and money.
I have a good employer and good supervisors to work under, good co-workers to work with, a very short drive to work, a scooter that is paid for and in good shape and gets great gas milage for that short ride to work.  A lot more things to be thankful for and to appreciate but there are still times I feel sorry for myself.
And envy, ya, that green eyed monster stuff shows up now and then too.  But then I remind myself that I might not have gotten that cute bjd (ball jointed doll)that she got recently but I do have central air that works and a great unit up in the attic that makes a huge difference up stairs and I do most of my own home repairs.
The landing framed  up well, my sons were good help but I was the one who had it planned out and made sure it was done and done right, and I will get the needed step built this coming weekend, and the decking will go on next weekend.
So, I can't afford to go to the 40th year class reunion this month, I can get by in life without going, and so, I have not done as well with my life as some of those I graduated with.  I can live with that, with the choices I made and the mistakes I have made and had to deal with. 
The flax I planted at did well this first year and now is field retting, I ripped it last weekend, which means I removed the seed pods and I am slowly cleaning them, along with leaves and dirt, hopefully I will get it all sifted out by the end of this coming weekend and have some mature seed to mix with what I will buy next spring for re-planting.
I did get a pair of mittens done and the next pair started and have a lot of yarn to enjoy, stockings I am knitting for my 1820's clothing for Clayville and a sweater started I need to find time to work on, and bobbin lace to play with.
My life is pretty good, our weather has been cooler this summer so that has helped things grow with little watering and my grape vine put out it's first grapes this year, concord, not enough for much but eating but they are picked and Jake will help me get them eaten.
Ben managed to loose a key off the keyboard for my Nexus 7, I am not happy about that, but Ben is the kid that looses keys and it is not the first time a keyboard has lost keys with his help. I doubt if it is ever found, if it hit the floor and the foolish dog found it, he chewed it  up.
So, I can whine about that or I can be glad I have my iPad and my Nexus 7 and all the other goodies I enjoy, even the ones that don't get used very often.
The company picnic is at Knight's Action Park and I signed up 4 guests and plan to take Ben, Jake, Darcy and maybe Larry.  But I want 2 vehicles so I can leave the kids to play and escape when it suits me.  So, another thing to appreciate in my little life, the perks that come with where I work, paid vacations, paid play, and ok paychecks.
I dream about what I would do with lottery money but know it would create a mess and lots of problems, fun day dreams while working a labor job but it is only day dreams, not reality and I can get by with what I earn.  But funds to pay off the debt load, and to contract out work here and get this house done, like I dream of having it sounds good any day.  Little by little I am making improvements, and I accept the reality that I might never have this house finished before I die.  Discouraging thoughts but very possibly the real future here. 
In the meantime, I keep working on things, and enjoying living here and liking my life, and work on not feeling sorry for myself when I know how good my life really is. 

Friday, August 01, 2014

Catching up some

The plant is working 4 day weeks some this month so I put my paperwork in for a paid vacation day so  the paycheck would not be too short and then put today to good progress on the landing between the kitchen door and the new patio.
Ben and Jake were great help and the landing is waiting for decking and I hope in 2 weeks to have the funds to buy the needed lumber for that part.
This does not make the kitchen door a working door but it is getting closer, and I like how our little landing is looking.  It will need 1 step between it and the patio to pass any insurance inspections but that will not be a hard build.
And the boys went off to the movies so Shadow and I enjoyed a quiet house.  I got the tools all put properly away and then a shower, played on line some, hunted down some doll clothes to try on a doll from the recent UFDC convention.  And I knit on my mittens, watched some DS-9, put a few things away while I was looking for some of those doll clothes.
Finances are tight, will stay tight but life here still feels pretty good to me. The old house has made some important progress, my debt load creeps down a tiny bit every month, I keep working and life keeps being good.
We had a bit of rain this evening and so far this summer few of the nights have been very warm so the attic space has stayed comfortable also, and I hope to see a reasonable utility bill again next month.
Way past my bedtime now.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Polar Vortex

Yes, it is back and NO, I am not impressed. Cool (chilly) damp morning rides to work on the scooter, cool enough after work that I am not heading to to pull weeds and get the flax bundled to dry.  I will be doing that Saturday.
We are running short days, and had 2 short weeks before this so paychecks are smaller and my budget is tighter, translates to not starting the landing from kitchen door to patio yet.  But I have hopes for Jake's rent money, minus what will pay my 1/2 of our vehicle insurance going to landing materials.
But cooler temps do mean less power consumed by the air conditioning here.  So, count my blessing where I find them.  And I had the house to myself, with parrots and dog, for most of last week.  Jake and Ben left Tuesday evening for MO and to be with their dad while arrangements were made for their step mother's viewing/visitation and so forth.
Her stroke in early February was bad and then in early June developed heart issues from colony of staph bacteria on her heart valve.  About a month of slowly dying in the hospital and then home for a day before she passed away.
I need to get paperwork done so NO One tries to keep my body alive and my soul in a prison instead of letting me go once I no longer have quality of life.  For me, the body is just a 1 time use house for my soul, and hanging on, trying to keep that house alive after quality is gone is wrong.  Every one can do what works for them but I want no hanging on to a dying body, no stone or services, scatter the ashes and let what I did and gave and shared, taught be what is left behind.
My living is what matters, and what I do with each day, who I am and how I live, how I believe, and live those beliefs, not the body my soul lives in.  That is just temporary housing for this time, not forever.
But I do understand Sam not wanting to loose his wife, James, not wanting to loose his mother.  And I do understand my sons rejoicing that a woman who hated them and their mother being gone.
Life here keeps working at my pace, and as solitary as I can keep it.  I have found peace and balance, value and contentment, it took a very long time but I won't be letting it go or letting anyone make many waves in my little quiet life.
And the old house, my creativity and Clayville are high on that list for my time that is not taken up by earning a living.  I don't want to go camping and I don't want to sit and watch tv and idiot commercials.  I don't need gossipy people in my life, nor do I want to cater to any one else.
This work for me, this Cargill day shift and being involved with a local historical area and the group that supports it.  My sewing, knitting and dolls, my learning to do bobbin lace, my old house and the tiny bit of sand it sits on.  Time to ride the bike and time to pull weeds, play with my grill and my other entertainments.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Catching up

      Well, I don't seem  to  be doing well trying to use my Nexus and the fancy case with keyboard.  but I finally figured out the app, and know where the blog post goes. 
      All our rains are really helping things grow and stay green this year.  Including all the weeds, both at Clayville and here.  I put some time in there yesterday and today I will get the mowing finished and work on all the grass in the front flower beds.
     I came home to a quiet house yesterday and managed to find enough charcoal to use the new Kamado grill I bought Thursday.  I started looking at grills in January, when I knew I could finally get the patio pour done.  Now I need to get the landing planned out, materials bought and work on replacing the kitchen door. 
     My bag of lump charcoal never got out of Jake's jeep so was gone.  But I had some briquets sitting in a bag, that had been in the way but never tossed into the trash here and so used them.  The potatoes were good, I split them and put in butter and chives before wrapping them in foil, the pork loin chops got a bit over done but that is better than not cooked.  It will take some time to learn how to use this new grill but I am going to enjoy having it.
     And a quiet house allowed me to finally finish the bobbin lace bookmark I had started.  Then I made the pricking/pattern for the next one I want to work with.  Each of them helps me learn the skills for bobbin lace, step at a time.
I need to do some sewing, caps and bonnet for and some sewing cases, needle books and a 2nd case for lace bobbins as I now have 2 sizes and too many for the case I made.
     I had 3 weeks up at the head line, the last 2 spent on the job I bid for but I was not able to qualify so will be going back to the dressing line and the pigs to shave and pull toe nails.  I liked the job but it is much harder on my hands than what I was doing, but not as physically tiring.  It will be 6 months before I can bid again, but I don't own any jobs on the dressing line so they can move me about and train me on other jobs.  The crew missed me, as did the bosses so they will all be glad to see me back and a few will miss me where I was the past few weeks.
     It made me feel like I had failed and my Saturday started blue but I sorted out the head problem.  The Rebel got the needed oil change and we went off to Clayville for a while, on to Springfield for cheaper gas, a stop at Lowes for some grill things, did not find the cover for my grill or the smoking stone thing.  A stop at a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian I have admired for years, they have a train shop in the basement and it was open, and very slow day so I got to chat and visit with the man tending shop, the gardens are as beautiful as the house and next Sunday they plan to run the outside trains, weather permitting. 
     I have plans to be at Clayville for our 3 day weekend so if the weather allows, I should be able to run up there for a couple hours Sunday afternoon, it is only a few miles and with the Rebel, it is easy on gas and doesn't take much effort to find a place to park.
     I think Sam is still living down in the cardiac ICU family waiting room, Cynthia has more brain damage, her liver and kidneys are not working well, I have not heard how much damage the lack of oxygen has caused to fingers and feet, but loss of digits was expected.  And the debate still goes on about taking her remains, after she dies, back to the Philippines for burial, with Sam, when upset, calling Jake and having him upset.
     I do understand how very hard this is on Sam, his wife is dying by inches, there is nothing he can do to make her better, the stroke this winter, the staph infection on her artificial heart valve, the whole list of medical stuff, it is done, it cannot be reversed and it is not his fault, it is NOT my fault, and she is only 50, and their son is 14.  And it is Jake's dad and they are close.  I am not jealous, Sam has gone far to make this marriage work,  he did not with ours and he would not compromise, it was his way or I could get out.  I worked hard to make it work his way, to be happy with his way but I could not even have my own political or religious views or different opinion on anything. 
     Ok, so we know I had them, and tucked them away, and more and more of the person I really am was tucked away and hidden, locked down so it would not be verbally and emotionally beat down.  And I supported his way of life and his choices, even when I had doubts.  I showed no backbone and chose to be his door mat.   So, when he needed a strong partner to lean on, he had not confidence in me, and no belief in my abilities to make good choices, and he moved us to Missouri, making that choice for all of us and hated it there and blamed me every day for his choice to me miserable.
     I got over feeling like I failed, and I worked hard, with plenty of mistakes, on rebuilding my belief in my self and in liking my life.  And I wanted his remarriage to work well and to be happy for both of them.  In part, so I could feel I was free of the prison I let him build around me.  So, his 2nd marriage financially broke the ranching operation, had them moving to her home country, that project failed, she came back and then Jake lent his father $ so Sam and James could fly back to the states. 
     So, now she is unable to work, Sam is 68 and they share a home with her other son, his woman and their child and after Cynthia dies, Sam has no idea if he and James still have a place to live, her son is part of the push to bury his mother in her home country but he is not going to help foot that bill. 
     And I think my life is a mess because I could not qualify on a job that would probably have me with far more damage to my hands, far more pain and what was I thinking?  I will go play with the pigs, enjoy the pals that are very glad to have me back, torment the supervisor, I think he should reward/bribe/console me with coupons for free Blizzard's at Dairy Queen.  And I make him laugh, he does appreciate me, which the supervisor over trimming snouts does not.  I am too old, the wrong color, and so forth.  Which is fine with me, really, I had no problems with the supervisor but he didn't value me, and I was not able to do my share and then some, which he needed.  I might have in time, but he did not have to give me another week or 2, which he could have, if he wanted to keep me in his department. 
      There is plenty of flex for supervisors to keep someone they want, regardless of job skills, after over 11 years there, most of it in production, I know how the game is played, and I am ok with going back to the other end, start a bit earlier, laugh more, and like life as well or better. 
     And I did not trade my big tv that I won for the new grill, so it is still in the closet.  Menard's put the grill I wanted on sale, and I have waited a month for the man at work to buy my grill choice and trade it for the tv, a very good deal for him but he didn't get it done and once grills sell out, very few will be available and I wanted the Akorn Kamado grill, and the model with the inner upper rack.  So, yes, I added to my credit debt, and went to town with Jake, Ben and the girlfriend, was up way too late, had too much caffeine, made my digestive system unhappy and still have no working kitchen door or step down to that patio. 
     But my scooter has the new air filter, an oil change and is back to being my ride to work, the Rebel has an oil change and still lifts my spirits and helps blow away my blues, the old house is still my favorite place to live, the attic is still my dream in progress but working well for me and this life is so good, rough spots included.
     I feel sympathy for Sam and his dying wife but know it is not my doing, not choices I forced on them, and not my job to try and fix.  I did get Jake the paperwork for getting a passport, but it will be up to Jake to get that photo taken and go to some place for the next step.  And he can do it in Rushville or Virginia so it is not like he has to go far, and he can pay $60 extra to have it expedited, but that is his choice.  Jake is not wanting to spend his money to go with his dad to bury a woman that boy still hates.  But he is better about it than Ben, who has yet to forgive his dad for letting that woman shove him out of that house, and for letting that woman abuse him. 
     And I quit having issues with her when my sons were out of her reach, and once I moved to Illinois, life for me got a lot better in many ways.  I missed being with the boys, but was back in MO most weekends for several years, and they grew up, with Ben moving to IL and Jake graduating and then joining the Marines.  Now, I have both those boys in this house and pray for quiet and Ben to go back up to Rushville and Jake to go see the girlfriend, go to work, sleep late and leave the tv and computer game shut off.
    So, the dog is quiet this morning, Jake and the girlfriend are still sleeping and I am going to start working on that grass in the flower beds as the lawn is still too damp to mow.     

Friday, June 06, 2014

June and the growing list of things needing done

No matter what I get done, that 'to do' list seems to grow faster than I can mark things as done.
I still need a lot of drywall up in the attic area.  And the lawn needs mowed again, but that is paid for. I have yet to draw up the building plans for the landing, cannot price materials until I draw up the plans.
Laundry always needs done, sewing projects have mad no progress in the past few days and I have not knit a stitch on anything.
The kitchen table is a disaster area but I did wash what dishes were left, Jake had done part before I got home, and he took the girlfriend back to her home and left her there, for a change.
The scooter needs a new air filter but the old one is out and tomorrow I will go get a new one.  And the friend that is doing my mowing will also help build that needed landing, once I get the materials.
I don't think I will manage to trade that 55 inch LED flat screen I won for the grill I would rather have, rats, but at least I gave it a shot.
And at work I got hit, again, by another falling pig.  And I am starting to really hate dead pigs, but I did win a bid to the other end of the kill floor, trimming snouts where I have no chance of being hit by falling pigs but some chance of being hit by fork trucks.
I am having problems getting Jake to accept that I absolutely object to housing other adults.  I will house those I gave birth to, for limited amounts of time, for specific reasons, his being education.
As I was working and helping pay my own way, and pay for the roof over my head since the summer I turned 17, and have worked minimum wage jobs, crappy, lousy jobs, hard, dirty jobs, and even 2 jobs so I could pay the bills, keep a roof over my head, and the heads of others, yes, I do think other people can live with their parents or get their own place, not stay at my house.  
Call me mean, or selfish or say I just do not understand. Yes, I do understand, you want her here, tough world, you can move out and get your own place, she can get a job and her own place and you can move in, but I have reached the limit of being willing to tolerate another adult living under my roof, at my cost, and yes, it is at my cost, even if you are buying the food you 2 eat, paying me a small amount of rent and you both help with house work.
The world is a hard, tough place, and it does not look like it will get any easier, the sooner a person learns to carry their own weight and be self responsible, the better their life will be.  That does include providing their own housing, not camping out at my house, sharing my son's bed.  I could care less about their sex life, that is their business, it is all the occupying my house stuff I object to.  I want MY turf back, and I want people to understand No one has any business pushing their choice of companions into my life, and having them here at MY house most of the time.
Go Home, get a job, fight with your parents, run away and join the French Foreign Legion, do what works for you AS long as it is not be staying at my house.
This is not a free hang out for young women, or young men, or stray dogs, cats, you name it. I do not want to provide a roof, or anything else for anyone else.  I am having enough challenges trying to take care of my own life and my own responsibilities, do not add to them, and staying in my home does add to the cost here, my stress levels, my sour attitude, and in general ticks me off.