My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Apple whine, old house gripes.

     I keep looking for anything on line about Apple and a new iPad, it getting that time of the year and early next month we are hearing a new iPhone will be out.  Not that I am really complaining about my iPad, 3rd gen, battery went bad and I have a new refurbished one in exchange, along with some money, and it works great, I have case, stand, cords, but I have had this model for 3+ years so am dreaming of an upgrade.  I don't have the funds so it would add to the debt load unless I wait unti tax refund time, but I can drool.
     And I am looking at new bed frames and dreaming about moving downstairs, back into my bedroom.  And that is going to stay a dream, with the room being storage for my sons, unless I buy a storage building or demand/force things.  
     The ceiling still needs repairs, the walls need some repairs and I want to reprint the room, but I am looking at beds and wanting to be back downstairs, it has been 3 years since I moved up to the unfinished attic area.  That space has made progress, but the futon I sleep on is not designed for a long term bed, and the huge dog takes up a lot of it.  And my bladder thinks it is a long way downstairs some times.
     So, maybe instead of saving up for that bed, I need to be looking and pricing storage buildings, looking at long term, something that I can store garden/yard tools, the mower and the bikes in, at least once Jake moves far enough away to move his things.  I don't need a big building, and can always use it, as I don't have much storage here and it would be nice to have a place for the mower and winter storage for the bikes, so I will start looking and thinking about that.  It is the only peaceful way I can gain back my downstairs bedroom in the next year.
     And I am getting my work brace, support boot replaced, see my orthopedic guy tomorrow, and I hope he is very pleased with how foot and I have progressed, he has not seen us for close to 5 years, at least.  
     JBS is starting interview process for our plant supervisors, so that is a step closer to the changeover.  I am not dancing for joy about the sale of our pork division but it is not our decision, we keep our jobs, and that is what matters most for me right now.  Some things will change, and I am hearing gossip about that, uniforms instead of our own clothes with white frock or shirt provided by the company, a few other things.
     It is rag weed season and I am taking Zertec again this year.  It worked well for me last year, but was on sale so the price is going to make me cry, $20/30 days, and I can expect to need 3 months worth of tiny white pills, but they work, the side effects are not as bad as script stuff, no messing with doctors, which I hate doing here, Taylor Clinic does not meet my needs/demands/quality issues so I am again changing and hunting for better, smarter medical care.
     But other than small issues, which I can deal with, life here is good.  I am getting some much needed cleaning done here, and getting ready for winter, finances are tight but I keep putting into both bank savings and 401K plans, and those will roll over to the new employer's plans and keep growing, the stock market has taken a drop so that has dropped my investment funds some also but it will come back up, and I will keep putting in, and keep paying down debt load here.
    

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Vacation and plans

     Like normal, my vacation week is here, and I thought, for some strange reason it was the 3rd week of this month.  So, I am not exactly prepared.
     I have 3 workshops planned at Clayville.org but since the first was yesterday, and I was there and somewhat prepared but no one showed up, I worked on weeding, hauling and then gathered dried bean pods to shell and put the dry beans in a jar for next year's planting, the not dry enough ones on a tray when I need to sort and put in storage jars next chance I get.
     Today's plans are for installing the support under the west side of my floor joices as the west sill plate is rotting away from the too high concrete pour, done many years ago, on the front porch.
     Since it is raining, that project is on hold but the 2x8 pressure treated lumber is marked for cutting, and I will start putting the floor jacks together, they are adjustable, 2 pieces and a long bolt to put together.  And I can put the plates on the 2x6 boards that will run below the joices for their support.  So, once it is dry enough to cut lumber outside, and I can start working, I will see if I can get my help to show up.  I will deal with the sill plate problem later, the first part is getting the support in and then start slowly raising that west side a very tiny bit at a time.
     I have hopes to run to Springfield on the Rebel tomorrow for some personal business I want done, and I hope to play a bit.  I know finances are tight, and I don’t have any amount of play money but I can afford gas in the Rebel and a meal out. 
     And I will get the lumber for today's project set up so the job goes faster.  The boys have been here, and will be back later. 
     Shadow thinks he is neglected and is pestering me, whining and being a brat.  I don't think rainy days suit him, nor does my using the laptop in the living room, knitting, eating, or anything else.

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.