My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cool and wet summer in central Illinois

And the river goes up really high, some roads flood, the river goes down a little, it rains some more, the river goes back up, those low road areas get closed again....and so goes our summer.
The neighbors are NOT watering 2x a day, they have a watering system with timer and from spring until freezing, they have watered, even if it is raining.  This is the first summer in 10 years of owning this house and living here that they have not poured water through their sand.  
So, either the price of water per gallon, now that we pay for it by the gallon or the fact that we are getting plenty of moisture finally got them to shut off their automatic system.  They over water, but when water was so cheap, it was easy to do.  And this summer I am not hearing the pump system on their above ground pool running 24/7, that makes a nice, quiet change I am liking.
The potato vines at Clayville.org have rotted, and the onions are following fast, the weeds and grasses are growing faster than anyone can keep up with but our heirloom squash are doing great, the corn is tall and making corn, the drying beans are ready to start drying and saving enough seed for next year.  And since no one kept the green beans picked, I will be drying my seed for next year on them also.
The doll sewing is making slow progress, I am doing a sales table at a cyber convention with 1 of my on line doll groups, it should be fun and get my label out into the world some.
The budget is stretched but livable, the plant keep working and we keep getting information about the coming change of ownership.  So my little life keeps working, 1 day at a time.  I am not out riding my Rebel as much as I would like but weekends are either too wet or I am trying to get stuff done here or I hurt a lot.  But I do ride some, it is paid for and mine, and I will be keeping it.
Not dating still works very nicely in my life, and I like knowing my off work time is totally mine to do what I need and what I want, in my time frame, for my reasons and what works for me.
The small complaints in life seem to be where the script writers left me hanging on season 3 of "Longmire", the Internet in the attic when I am trying to stream Netflix to my attic north tv so I can see silly programs while I sew or knit or just hang out up there.
Life here works at my pace most of the time and I really like that.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Progress, human progress..

And it keeps happening, it is why we are spread all over this planet and are even exploring that outer space stuff.  And it happens, and will keep happening.  
There are very few humans now who live a totally hunter/gatherer life style, and modern tech and modern products are pushing into those lives, changing them.
We keep changing things, call it progress, call it the sin of mankind, call it what you want, it is a part of being human.
So, if we go back far enough, trains were a new idea that was never going to work or happen.  And trains did work, did happen, tracks got laid, freight and humans moved farther, faster because of that change, those trains put a lot of stage lines and horse/mule/oxen drawn freight wagons out of business, along with impacting the jobs and income of those raising that livestock, tending that livestock from freight stop to freight stop and all those building and maintaining those wagons, and those drivers.  Everyone adapted, like it or not, adapting is what humans do and can do well.
That horseless buggy was never going to be more than a toy for the rich, cars, trucks and buses are everywhere now, and even farm equipment, and that again changed how we did things, put people out of work, into new jobs, changed our lives, we cannot and would not change them back.
And again technology, humans thinking and creating had changed our lives and the world.  The Internet, and portable Internet using devices, has changed the world.
And we will see renewable energy changing the world, impacting those in the fossil fuel industries, we will see fewer and fewer coal mines, a slow down in crude oil development, a slow down and shut down of coal fired power plants.  It is happening now, and will continue to happen.  It will and already has impacted towns and people in coal mining areas, around the world, and is is shutting down coal fired power plants, and impacting those jobs and those towns.
It will keep happening, people need to look to the future and accept that they might be able to slow down those changes but they cannot stop them.  Fighting to keep those changes from happening might slow them down, but it does not help anyone look to the coming future and plan for it, find ways to work with it, find other strengths that can bring other jobs to their areas, find ways to look at dealing with the coming changes instead of fighting them.
I am not really fond of change, but I know fighting it only makes it harder for me long term, so as our plant changes ownership, I too, have to adjust to changes and plan to deal with how they impact my life, my income, my future.  I expected to retire from my current employer, but they are selling, not only our plant, but their entire pork division, so many will be dealing with this change,vat least 5100+ employee in our plant alone.  So, I am not alone in this coming change, and most of us will cope, adapt, adjust and keep our lives working and moving on, in this changing world we humans keep changing.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Changes I did not expect but will be dealing with.

     I learned last night that our company has sold the pork division, including our plant.  It wilł be several months before we are transferred to the new owners, regulators get to inspect every aspect of this sale before it can be completed, which gives everyone time to adjust, bitch, whine, or find a different job.
But the buyer wants all the employees, from the bottom to the top management teams.  And I like the sound of that, I do expect most of us working here to take the job offer when it gets to that point.
     But I expected to either retire from this plant and employer or be out on disability, not to change employers at 59, I am getting a bit old and it will mean locking this pension and not being able to work for the new company long enough to build up any retirement.  I do hope we can roll over our 401K plans, I have 2 currently and hope to have them continue to grow for several more years.
     Between our river trying to flood and this, I want to just escape, no where to run to, no funds to run away with so I will escape into my dolls and sewing for them, reading or watching something I enjoy that makes me feel good.
     I really do not like big life changes so I am glad to have several months to adjust to this one and to work on getting debts paid down and so forth, I need to be really practical about money, get busy with some sewing and put doll outfits up for sale to help support by bad doll habits.
     It could be worse, we are not being laid off, we will keep health insurance, vacation time and seniority, but I have no idea if we will stay a union plant once the current contract ends in a year.  Having a job is what matters to me, I am not ready to be on disability, I need less debt and more done on this old house and more built up in savings and investment, that will take some time, more time than the time before this sale closes and I am changing employers, or hoping I am.  
     I do expect the new company will screen us, and I am not terribly worried about that, but know I can not pass any sort of physical, I can pass a drug test and I have a very good attendance record and so forth, but know my aging body is old and has hand, shoulder and the leg/foot damage sure does not help.  It sure could be worse, and it could get worse, but I will hang on to my good attitude and good work ethics and keep being glad I have a job and all that gives me.
     Our 3 day weekend should allow me to get a few things done, the mowing is done now, I will tackle some house work and sewing tomorrow, and my iPod Touch gets picked up by Fedex to return to Apple for damaged LCD screen, fees already paid but if they determine the problem is flaw, instead of owner damage I might get my fees refunded.  The glass screen has no sign of crack or scratch, I have no idea how the LCD could have gotten damaged without the outer screen being cracked but it sure is.
     And I still owe close to $1000 on medical bills, only 2 left to pay, but they are both big, I will try and put as much on each as I can afford and know I will be relieved to see them paid off. And I will change clinics and hope to get better and smarter and more affordable medical care than the Taylor Clinic and hospital in Rushville.
     This afternoon/early evening I spent time pulling weeds in the lawn and feeing sorry for myself, want to go out for pizza and the budget can't afford it and I have no pals handy with good conversation and brains to go with me.  I don't often feel sorry for myself and it never lasts long, but between the plant changes, the finances here and the river, ya, I am feeling a bit of self pity.
     But I am still glad I ended the dating with Larry, I did see him last night, up on the sea wall overlook, watching the river, I had to drop something in the mail box and he was there.  I didn't have much to say, the river is high but so far we have not been flooded out, don't know a thing about the plant being sold, and I actually did not, read about it after getting home and going on line.  I don't want to gossip with him, I don't need to gossip and he can find something to talk about with his coffee pals without my help.  And I am not responsible for his lonely issues, that is his life, and his job to fill the spaces or gripe or whatever, it was not my job while we were dating and sure is not my job now.
    But a bath or shower sounds good now, hot and sweaty from work and the mowing and then I fed the blood sucking, biting insects while I pulled weeds so am itchy and filthy.  A shower might also improve my frame of mind or at least help me sleep better.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The longest day of the year

      And it has a really good weekend, got the mowing done Friday after work and started on my laundry.  Saturday was sunny all day, the clean laundry actually got put away for a change and I even made it to Clayville.org to work on weeding in the Inn garden with Ben to help.
      Sunday was cloudy with storms coming our way, again.  But I got the bird cage cleaned, dishes washed, cinnamon bread made, counters cleaned up, and some floor sweeping done along with getting the bagged insulation down into the utility area and out of my bathroom wardrobe area so now my shoes actually can be tidy and not something I trip over.
      And I pulled some weeds, started a pair of socks for me, had some movie time, enjoyed my quiet house and am ready for another week at work.  Saturday night I enjoyed a long soak in a tub with Shadow and music for company, I like having the music but thought Shadow could have found a better place to nap than right against the bathtub.
      Now, I am looking at having another good week at work, a choice I make, every day, think and believe it will be a good work day and it usually is.  No work place is perfect but I have worked at far worse places for less pay and less or no benefits, and I like those benefits.
      My life has a lot of poor or bad choices and a lot of time picking up the pieces, dealing with the problems my own choices had made or had brought into my life but the last 10+ years have had a lot of stability and good choices.  This old house still needs a lot of work and it has taken a lot of money and time but I am still better here than if I was renting and a lot happier.
     The decision to end a dating relationship was slow in coming, guilt trips about abandoning the man to be alone, but I had to keep reminding myself that he could change that, it was not my job or place in life to be miserable so he had company.  But as I go into this summer, it is an easier summer, my time is mine, when I am not at work and what I do with it is my choice.
      I want more involvement with Clayville.org but know that has to be weekends, at least as long as I am working and I want to work as long as I can.  Not only is that financially smart but I like working, and I like all that it gives me, from paycheck to benefits to some order, routine and balance in my life.  
      This is the first weekend I have not had doll sewing to get done or that I was pushing myself to do, I needed this break, and the house needed the attention, the kitchen needed the dishes caught up, the counters needed to be cleaner and I really needed the floors swept better before the place drove me insane.
      I need to work harder on financial discipline and will have to push myself harder for that but I am managing to stay afloat, the slush funds are not growing and I would be happier if I saw a bit of gain there, even a tiny bit but the medical bills are getting paid, July should put me down to just 2 accounts to pay on, I think there has been a total of 8 or 9, so that is progress.
      Dolls and doll support sucks up far too much of my money and I need to work on that, and consider selling a doll or several.  And work on making clothing and putting it up for sale, I have the skill and ability to do that, but wil not push myself enough.
     All in all, it is a good and stable life I am building here and the choices keep being good choices for my life, and I am making sure I remember that it is my life and keep it at way.  I am done with building a life for the benefit of someone else or building my life around someone else.
     
      

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Slow progress on the old house

     All the rain has everything green and growing but it makes weeding the Inn garden at Clayville.org next to impossible so I stayed home today instead of running the Rebel to Clayville and doing some garden work. 
     The budget had room for 1 sheet of moisture proof drywall and I already had all but the light switch to start the wiring work in the future attic bathroom.  With the help of son Ben, I now have the first ceiling drywall up in that space and the light installed and will do the work in the breaker box tomorrow so that light will be a working light.  Not a lot of progress but some and every bit of drywall up in my attic space makes it that much more energy efficient and that much closer to done.
     I leaned of the death of a friend, someone I dated and managed to build back a friendship after the romance didn't work out for either of us.  A heart attack, not a huge surprise that, his overweight, high blood pressure and a few other things.  He and his new gal pal went to Mississippi last summer to marry and stayed there.  
     It saddened me some to learn he had died, and I doubt if his Judy has been left in stable financial position, but I hope their time together was quality with a lot of love and happiness.  There is no coming back to Cargill now, the plant/company went to a No rehire policy several years ago but they knew that before they left.
     I know my life here has some rough spots now and then, the old house still needs so much work and money, materials to do the needed work cost money, and what I cannot do costs even more money to hire the work and pay the materials costs.  The car accident of more than 5 years ago means pain every day, a foot and leg that can make me miserable and sciatic nerve issues to join that pain.  
     But I have a stable job, and benefits, a slowly growing 401K, not a lot there but it will help pay off my debt load some day and I am working on paying down the debt load.  Waÿ too many dolls, way too much money squandered on things I do not need but I am not letting some man spend it or using what I earn to pay some man's debts.  And I have done that stupid stuff in the past.
     I do like my silly little life here, and know that it works for me, it doesn't have to suit anyone else, they are not living my life or paying the bills for that life.  
     The roads we each choose to walk are our own, no matter the reasons why we take those roads, make those decisions, good and bad.  At least here in the USA, we do have so much ability to make our own choices, and we live with those choices, my debt load is from my choices, for my reasons, and my responsibility to pay.  
     And the old house, again, my choice, along with the work that has been done here and that will be getting done in the future, yes, a lot of money and work has gone into this old house, that still needs a lot more work and money, but my home works for me, and is mine to care for.  And mine to enjoy, including my attic area, with my sewing space and my retreat.
     The scooter and the Rebel too are mine and I paid the cost, and continue to support those rides I enjoy.  The old truck that won't impress anyone. It gets me to work and home and to the places I need to go, I don't need fancy wheels to impress anyone, in fact, I just don't need to impress anyone.
     It took a very long time for me to grow and mature into the person I am now, a rough and hard road at times with plenty of poor choices, bad decisions and problems to deal with but I am doing ok now, staying stable, making tiny bits of progress, maybe not measurable on the scale others use, but I learned a very long time ago to not let myself be measured by values and the opinion of others.
     So, now, I hope and pray that Darrell's soul moves on to a better life, that his Judy has the ability to make her life work out, and that I continue on that road that has been working so well for me these past years.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Gearing up for our Festival

      The past week was warm, enough I needed the air on here at the house but we have our Spring Festival at Clayville.org this coming weekend and the weather is cooled down some and it looks like a damp and cool Festival again this year. I will wish for a warmer shawl and a winter petticoat if so, but I will hope for a warm Saturday, I have a doll club meeting Sunday so will be there for cleanup after the festival.
     I have to work on the doll club stuff after work, every night, until I have finished what I have here.  I don't know how we will get the entire lot done in time for the convention but I did not commit our club to making 200 sets of bedding for the event we are sponsoring.  I do have experience in cutting many small pieces from length of fabrics, do that making quilts and I have some doubts about the material making the amount someone think it will.  But I can cut some of the blankets so the fold is at the end instead of the side and that should help.  The length that came home with me made 26 blankets, 36 pillow cases and 40 pillow bags, which still need the poly fill cut and stuffed in, the ends sewn shut.  I was originally told 1/4" seams and top stitching on the blanket, glad I only top stitched 1 as it seems the written information says 1/8" for that top stitching.
      This week is city cleanup so I will finally get rid of the old bed frame and mattress and box springs, it will be nice to get it into the truck after work today and haul it over for disposal.  I am seeing very slow improvement on this place but it does improve, a tiny bit every year.
     And I am tent wishing this spring as I no longer have a tent and want to go camping some.  I also want something that could be loaded on the Rebel for taking the bike and running away for a day or so, the scenic river roads, small and quiet out of the way corners, that escape and unwind stuff I like to do but have not for way too many years.  
     But life here is doing ok, I am content for the most part.  I fuss over a varment in the upper garden, by the Inn at Clayville, it has a tunnel/doorway in my beans and I want the critter removed...  And I fuss about the doll bedding but will do my share and more, our club reputation is on the line here and that matters to me.
      My debt load is way too high for my comfort zone but I am working it down, tiny gains every month but I will soon be rid of most of the medical bills, and the credit card debt goes down a bit every month, my savings gains a bit every month.
     Work is going ok, pain but not more than I can cope with, and it pays my bills.  I am glad I learned young to work, to stay working, and to have good ethics and values.  They are part of that foundation I have built my little, quiet life around and they keep making my life workable and in balance.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Already May

     Time seems to fly for me, my to do list does not shrink much but know I stay busy.  Work takes a lot of that time but it pays the bills, and as long as I can work and earn a living, I will keep working.
     Things at Clayville.org are picking up, I am working Saturdays to get the garden planted by the Inn and to work on the herb garden.  And I am also doing a bit of working on my wardrobe for dress up days there, festivals and occasionally when I am tour guide.  My first day cap is done, not the best but from the first I know what I want to tweak with the pattern to make a better fit for my head, and am using low budget fabrics for the first few.
   My white shift is done, and I like the fit and feel better than the first one, and I finally have 2 aprons done, white cotton and 1 in heavy canvas.  The white one is now in the washer and once it is dry, I will get it ironed and have all my outfit ready the the festival this month.
   The scooter still needs an oil change but I did the Rebel today and then took it for a short run.  We are warming up fast now, but it seemed like a cool and slow spring.  The winter was not as cold as last winter, and plants outside wintered much better, so did all the weeds.  Ben is helping a lot with clean up and such outside, and with cooking meals here and some of the housework.
     I need to get some more sewing done for our club's UFDC event and such, I hope to get a blouse cut out and started tonight, the skirt is almost done but I need the blouse for final fitting.  And it looks like Doonell and I will be making most of the 200 sets of white bedding for that event, but we have plans/hopes for a workshop the end of May and hope some of the other club members have time and are willing to help cut, sew and press.
  And I am taking 2 vacation days and going to Galesburg to help Donnell with a BJD event for the club up there, it will be a fun mini vacation for me. Time with a doll friend I enjoy talking with, time away from home for just a short bit and dolls, a tight budget but I can afford a motel and the meals and so forth.
     I do like my life, and know my very tight budget is choices I made and I am working on getting that debt down and making wiser choices on doll and other not necessary spending.
     I am working on trying to stay healthy and accept that iron tablets and probably electrolyte will be part of my daily routine for the rest of my life but I am not having grand meal seizures now, and not having many small glitches, now and then, yes, but that is part of my normal, or at least is now.
     Like my right foot and lower leg, and the right shoulder, the left hand and arm, between the car accident and work in meat packing plants, pain is also a part of my normal.  I may not like it but I am learning to live with what I cannot change and make my life good, my way.
     I am very content without a dating or significant male relationship, I am calmer, happier and get done what I want done, and less stress and irritation over small and petty issues.  So, now that I am fed and still have a some time before I need to tuck into bed, I will get the load into the dryer and go play in my sewing space.