My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Getting ready for Friday and the weekend

Friday starts with usual morning stuff, dog out, dog and birds fed, lunch bag ready and off to McDonalds for breakfast and then to work.  Swing by the post office to mail anything needing to go on the drive to McD's, so that is off the list.
Work and hope no pigs try to land on me, had that happen today, it was not a good day in pig land for me.  So, put in 8 hours or so, then off to the bank and make the house payment, stop by city hall and pay the water/trash/sewer bill and home to take dog out for potty, in for food and get off those work boots and brace.  Check the answering machine, check the email, check Facebook, find something to eat, enjoy the house, tv, maybe, watching "House" on Netflicks, when the internet and time allows, makes for easy entertainment while I do hand work on my sewing projects.
Saturday is spent at Clayville, this weekend I need to start raking the area where we will be planting flax, we are hoping to learn, with internet help, how to not only grow the flax but also gather the seed for next year, rett the flax and then all the prep work to turn it into a spinable and usable fiber, no promises about making any linen, but we will start with seeing if we can get a decent crop of flax for a start.
Sunday will depend on weather and energy levels, I need to start making my petticoats and linen skirt, fabric is waiting, and I have stockings I am knitting that have made NO progress this past week.  I have plants that need moved, retaining wall work to finish and contractor coming next week to do the patio pour.  
And I already need to start cleaning weeds and grass out of the front planting beds.  And out of the south bed along the house, and the roses, and I need the place mowed but no longer have a mower so will make a call and see if a friend is mowing lawns this summer.  
I ended up with poison ivy problems from my planting native day lilies last Saturday so now I am trying to keep it from spreading from my right arm to any where else, the plastic arm guard I wear on that arm at work is not helping at all.
It has just started to rain so Shadow is doing the ditzy dog thing, I have moved a curtain in the living room so he can look out and see that it is just rain, no, I am NOT going to open the door, no, I am not taking you out right now, calm down, it is just rain and we are in a dry house, and it is even a warm dry house.
And that accident settlement paid for the metal roof, the central air, spiral stairs, a lot of the attic materials but this week I have wondered how long will I be able to keep working, how much pain can I tolerate, what if I have a bad fall, what if next time the pig doesn't land at my feet but on top of me.
It would be great if I could work until 65 or 66, but I know I will be doing great things if I make it to 62.  
So, I fret the old house repairs and my stupid credit debt, and work on managing my money better, on not buying on credit, packing my lunch and not spending money in the cafeteria at work.  
I know life here is pretty good, I know I hurt some, ok, lots now and then, but I am managing, and my life is working ok.  The old house is slowly improving, the debt load is shrinking, not very fast, but it is shrinking, not growing.  
Most of the time I am not angry about the car accident, I manage to keep a good balance in my head, most of the time.  But this week a friend asked why I don't look into disability, and that seems to have me on the prod, ready to fight and mad.  Not at the friend, she cares and knows I have hurt a lot this week, helped by that pulled muscle in the left thigh.  But at the changes this car accident has made in my life, in my working ability, and in what I can no longer do.
I know every week I work, every month, makes a positive difference in my financial stability, so it is worth the fight, the hurting and I would hate to be home now.  Maybe when Jake moves out to continue his schooling, then I could enjoy home a bit more.  I love Jake but this house gets very small and I am very territorial, so it is far easier to share when I go to work every day, he has class and work and time he spends off playing or visiting.
It is not my living room, it is more Jake's space now than mine, and the entire lower level is shared space, I gave up my bedroom so I could keep the attic as my space.  It was and still is a better choice, but my dolls are on shelves in that downstairs bedroom, my house payment book lives in a dresser drawer in that bedroom.  
So, I will keep working, and watching for bids on day shift, kill/harvest floor that I could qualify on, do well and not be rotating in and out of places where pigs like to try and drop on humans.  Jake talks about moving out this fall, or after this fall semester, I might have the house paid off with the next tax refund, months and months away, but not too far to think about.
My work goals, first was to make 6 months, then a year, and now it it to work until the house is paid off, then I set the goal at 62, and if I make that date, I try for 65.  Before the accident, I expected to work until I was close to 70, and didn't see any reasons that was not possible. Now, it is small steps, a few more months, another year, see what my body can tolerate, not berate myself if I come home hurting and tired and do very little, or if I spend most of a weekend napping and reading.
Over 4 years now, some very long and hard weeks and months, but I kept pushing myself, and I will keep pushing myself, maybe not as hard as those first months, or that first year, but I am not going to easily join the disabled, I will go kicking and fighting.  
Part of that is the poverty thing, I am able to give myself a better standard of living, part is I am afraid I would be screaming bored and too poor to do much.  Right now I would go crazy and drive Jake up the wall, so it is a very good thing I keep working and a good thing that I have joined Pleasant Plains Historical Society, that helps get me out to play with other like minded people every Saturday, and once I can run the bike most of the time, the cost to play goes way down.  That gas stuff is getting expensive.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

So, about that phone message

It seems I have won a 52 inch tv, from the PIC event we had at the plant last week.  The 1 where I snagged a hot dog, and talked to someone about insurance and filled out a card, thinking price checking on insurance for the bikes and vehicles might be a good idea.
It will be living in the box for some time, but will be nice to have in the future, once it has a place to go in my over crowded living room.
But it is not as great as the yarn bowl, made by someone who has always mattered to me and who I will always keep high on my prayer list and who knew I would use the bowl and appreciate it.
And I will not start watching any amount of tv, or DVDs, and I will not be getting any cable or dish service, again, not something I want or need in my life.
But the event was right there, as I was walking out the gate, and I was hungry so the hot dog came on handy and I am not really pleased with my insurance agent so filling out the card for contact about insurance was smart.  I just didn't plan to win a big tv that I now need to make space for and making tv space is not on my 'want to do' list any time soon.
But moving some plants is on that list, and so is working on my underpinnings and skirt, apron for Clayville, and figuring out just what I am going to do for a bodice.  And working the patterns for stays and core head coverings into the budget is on that list.
But the Basin wild rye seed is ordered, a full pound and I will be tucking seeds into the ground near all my pampas grass plants, the ones that still show no signs of life.  
Tomorrow, after work I will go up to Rushville and get my photo taken and also take the paperwork from both auto and bike insurance and see about prices with a different company and come home with a new tv, that will probably go up to the attic, box and all, for at least the next few weeks.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A good Saturday

It started early and going good, got a bit rocky/scrambled/off track before the coffee was made but I decided to just ride out the waves, get done what needed done here at home and then take the Rebel to instead of the truck.  Could 'blow away' the stress and issues and make the day a good day regardless.
Not a big crew working clean up today but the Calvary were there for their spring muster and it was nice to have company while we worked.  Every bit of area we get cleaned up is 1 more area done and 1less to get done.  Windy so no burning but plenty of piles to haul off to the back 'lot' where it can be later turned into mulch, firewood or burned.
At home the scooter took me to Save-a-Lot so I could buy tea and some sausage to go with the potatoes and fresh chives I planned for supper.  Ran into a neighbor, they also had property survey this spring and a very nice wood privacy fence installed.  They have more income for such and Lisa said they are now really able to enjoy their back yard and are working on landscaping and getting better lawn growing.  They have had a lot of our local sand loving nasty burr growing plants for the most part and not a lot of luck getting rid of them.
I will not envy them, know her husband is railroad and good, solid income, she works the local Video store, and they have no at home children but now are up to 2 dogs.  I will be glad to see my patio get poured but have no date on that as of yet and I will be glad to start fencing.  
I might go ahead and get a post hole digger and the first 3 end posts, it takes 3 for the north side, each end and where the fence across to the north west corner of the house goes, it will get a gate also.  The south side will have the fence run east from the corner to past our auto parking area, corner and then go to the south property line and on east to meet the east line.  That area gets double gates at the bike patio and a smaller gate at the path up to the patio.  I can see some of that in my mind, but cannot yet see the landing coming out the kitchen door.  I think once the patio pour is done and I can see the height from it to the kitchen door, I will be able to 'see' what I want for that landing/steps down from the kitchen door to the patio.
I need to get flax seeds ordered so we can get them planted at Clayville, it would have been normal to have grown flax and made our own linen and wool items back when it was settled, there were very limited amounts of 'store bought' fabrics available and communities grew their own fibers, and turned those fibers into what they needed, wove and knit both.
Doll club meeting tomorrow, the Kish doll and clothes I made go to Donnell who might add to the wardrobe between now and the UFDC convention, she is going.  I had hoped to do more sewing but I come home hurting and beat tired so often.  Not much gets done once I have taken the dog out and then fed him and me, gotten the work boots off and again, taken something for pain.
But I have a good paycheck and my debt load is going down, my old house makes creeping progress but any progress matters and I love my life here.
Being in the Pleasant Plains Historical Society and involved with is something I have always wanted and now am doing that, sewing for the proper wear for the person I see myself as 'could have been' back when that small stage coach stop and inn were alive and a community.
I am chasing information on line and learning a lot about the actual lives of people who lived in those times, and will be able to share that with our visitors as I do tours or demo skills from those times, some which we still have and use today.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Empty spaces

We lost another long time employee at the plant, a part of that rather small circle of people who brighten my work shift, stay on my prayer list, in general, have value and importance to me, somehow, some why.
The space won't fill, it was Dan's space, I will miss him as I know his daughter and grandson will, and I know an aunt will, she also collects dolls, and his mother might still be living.  He 'did, for his aunt, and I think for his mother.
Life moves on, I know that, but now and then I look at the small empty niches in my 'important people' space, there in my head and heart, some still living but no longer part of my life but still missed, still thought of, still on my prayer list.
As I go into spring, and what all I have to do, want to do, plan to do, I miss being able to share my life with these people, hear their voices, their laugh, and their view of what is going on in my small world.
I will make today a good day in my life, for all of you, those who have moved on and those still living, because each of you had a part in helping me become the person I am today, and that is a good thing.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Sewing progress

I have joined an area historical society and their preservation project, so now am working on the proper under garments for that time period, 1820-1850.  And this means sewing and fitting patterns to my body so they are comfortable and fit correct.
One starts with drawers, so prototype #1 is/are done, the pattern tweaked and #2 cut out, the machine work started.
Let me tell you, my grandma's great grandma would have used the electric sewing machine if she could have, and modern cutters and rulers to make quick work of cutting out some of those large pieces.  
As I sit here, in my house built in 1900, I am certain the first people to live in this house would appreciate the electric lights and the central air and heat.  I am sure they would have liked the hot and cold running water, the shower, washer and dryer and indoor toilet.
Metal roofs were around then so my new metal roof probably would not have seemed so wonderful to them as it does to me.  But I lived with a badly leaking roof for over 3 years and every time it rains, I appreciate this metal roof and a dry home.
I have a lot to learn yet about this area, central Illinois and when white settlers first came and started building homes, clearing for farms, draining swamps and bogs.  But this is my home now, and I am becoming a part of the community.
I now have 11 years at this plant and 9 years of living in this house.  I am working on the house and grounds/yard this year, the survey is done so I can now fence the east/back area so the dog has more freedom, once the fencing is done.  The contract is signed for the concrete work for the kitchen patio so I hope/expect to see that done before the end of this month and the money for that is set aside.
I have landscaping work to do, plants to move, areas to add a bit of great Beardstown sand and fill the low spots some, a bit of grass to try and get established and plenty of grass to get out of planting beds and weeds to fight.
And I will find time for sewing, doll things, a quilt or two, and clothes for wearing at Clayville, so I am correctly dressed when I am there, guiding tours or showing how to do something, from caning a chair to spinning and knitting to quilting.
I am very blessed in my life here.  It is not perfect, work at Cargill is very hard but I keep working and keep paying my bills and fixing on my old house.  I have some solid friends, and Jake is doing good.  I am reasonably healthy and the dog often thinks I am great.  
Things are not perfect, but some things will change with time, for the better, some things I can live with and some things are just not my problem.  I might have to remind myself of that now and then, but I am getting much better at knowing when to step back, keep my mouth shut, tell myself it is not my job to fix, and a long list of things I used to let stress me.  
Both at work and in my personal life, I did not break it, I do not have to fix it.  I work at doing my job to the best of my ability, how other people work is not my problem, unless it directly impacts me and then I do what I can to reduce that impact.
In my personal life, all my children are adults, they make their own choices and live their lives, I do not clean up after them, do not fix the mess they make or pay their bills and I work hard to not give advice unless asked.
And I am not anyone's entertainment committee nor am I responsible for their happiness or their problems.  That is a big step for me, not feeling I should do what pleases someone else before what pleases or suits me.  But, I am single, owe no one any duty or obligations and I plan to keep it that way, and I do not need or want anyone to take care of me, live for me, build a life around what suits me.
So, the prototype underpinnings will be orchid and lavender, because it is fabric I already own and cotton sheeting which is correct for underpinnings, I will buy white cotton some time in the future, and by then I will have the patterns tweaked to my liking and own several changes of drawers and chemise, quite wealthy, in fact for that time period and being among the early settlers.  It is a very good life for this old woman.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cold and windy weekend again

It seems like winter will never leave this year.  We are back to cold and windy again, hard to get the outside clean up work done with this sort of weather but I got a lot of the raking done after work this past week, when it was nicer.  
The survey is done, and paid for, think both myself and the neighbors north can live with where that line between our properties actually ended up being and hopefully they will agree with the fencing I have hopes/plans for on that side.
I do have most of the pampas grass cut down but will need to cut back the roses, think they all suffered winter kill almost to the ground with this past winter.
I have patterns ordered for underpinnings appropriate to 1820-40's and will start sewing as soon as they come and I have time to trace off my size and cut the fabric.  Now that I am finally able to attend meetings and get more involved with Pleasant Plains Historical Society and I want period appropriate wear for when I am there.  It will be open to the public in mid-May so I need to get busy.
We hope to do the needed outside clean up but the weather is working against us this weekend.
I need to make a few calls about the kitchen patio, should see 2 bids coming from the contractors that were already here but I would like 3 or more.  Once that is done and paid for I expect my savings to be empty or almost.
It will be slow and nickel and dime progress on the fencing, kitchen landing, steps and door replacement but any progress matters.  It is my place and I am working on taking care of it and on improving it.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A great spring Saturday

Shadow had me awake and up early, usual schedule for us now that I am working day shift.  But it gave me time to start graphing out my property, I need to plan the fencing so I can get costs of it by section/area.  And I start with graph paper and drawing it out.  I have marks where the house is but cannot draw that onto my map until the survey is done.  Then I draw in the fencing, measure and write in the distance from each corner post to next, figure spacing for posts, gates, how much chain link it will take.  And the easy part is the paper, the hard one will be the cost.  It will be a case of getting some posts, setting them, filling in the needed posts between 2 points, then the chain link fencing, and then the next section.
Jake went to Springfield with me, we walked the entire quilt show, saw every quilt, walked by every vendor and then went to Lowes to get the bike patio pavers and wall blocks.  Out to eat and then leave me for the doll club meeting while he ran where he wanted to go.
He took Shadow for a long walk while I started taking down the retaining wall so we could dig back another 16" by 11 pavers long.  Most was done before I came in, I did hit some ground that was still frozen, but the hope is, regardless of weather, I will get the area dug out, the new patio pavers set in where they go, the retaining wall built back up and rake some.
The first contractor will be here Monday after I get home from work, I need that bike parking area done so his measurements can be close to accurate for his bid, and I want my bikes back where they belong.  I will worry about the south end of that retaining wall and planting bed later, it moves back far enough I can walk between it and the fence, once the fence is installed.
I hope this is the last time/year I add to or change that bike parking space, it had grown a bit every spring, but it did resolve several problems for me, the sand washing down in front of the utility space door, a solid place to park my scooter, a shady corner to sit out and enjoy some fresh air.
I want to do a small patio in the front, on the north side of the porch, partly is better drainage and a place for the trash container but it would be nice to have a bit of a sitting area on the west side of the house that did not feel as public as the higher and more visible front porch.
I have been invited to attend a meeting of the quilt guild in Springfield, it meets monthly on the 2nd Monday of each month so I will try and see if I can make the meeting next month.  I miss being in a quilt guild and now that I work days I can start doing some of the things that have been on my waiting list for so many years.
Bikes were out today, and I am putting off buying that wind screen for the scooter until I have the survey and the concrete patio job paid for.  I really want it and to be running that very cheap on gas ride to work as soon as I can, the wind screen will make it easier to ride in cooler temps so run to work mornings sooner, thus saving gas and miles on the truck.
But the big projects outside are first, and the fencing costs need to have priority and importance and I will not put the windscreen on credit. Rats, rats, that financial discipline stuff I am working on. Good for me in the long run but not so much fun to live with in the here and now, want it now world.
I have to remind myself how very fortunate I am, all the nice goodies that I already have, the amount of credit debt I am paying interest on because of some of that want it now.
My dental work, the big jobs on my truck that went on plastic, the air conditioner for the attic, those things are not my credit problem, but a doll, or tech device, a few other things, those are the stuff I need to absolutely Not put on credit, and that includes bike stuff, gifts for others, music CDs or any DVDs.
It is getting better, I am getting more stable each month, I have the funds for my survey and the patio pour, and neither are small cheap jobs, the additional materials to make the bike parking larger is also paid for, the bills will all be paid this month, and there will be food in the house.  But I will not be adding even 1 cheap $5 cd to my music collection, I will not be adding any new plants to my planting beds, books to my collections, or doll patterns, fabrics, yarns....
Any one who knows me well, knows I have plenty of dolls, patterns, books, fabrics, yarns to keep me entertained and those who know my place here in Illinois know I have plenty of work outside to be done this spring, lots of pampas grass to get cut down, lots of grass to remove from planting beds, roses to clean up, dog poo to keep on cleaning up.
I will be fine with a strict budget, I will not feel sorry for myself or think I am abused and a year or two from now, I will look back and see just how much I gained.  A lower debt load, a nicer property that I do love and want to take pride in, and dolls with lovely clothes I have made, maybe another quilt or two to put on a bed or gift, knitted things that money cannot buy.  All gained by strict budget and working on what really matters long term to me.  But I still want that $159 before tax and shipping wind screen.  It will still be available when it will work into the budget without cramping me or causing a delay in what really needs paid for first.