Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Anyway, living where we do, there aren't very many places for getting glasses. I've already decided not to go back to where I went last year, so that's one out. Another needs membership, which I do not have, so that's two out. Leaves me with 3 choices. When checking their websites, they all say, "Walk-ins Welcome". So I did just that: walked in. Guess what? I wasn't welcome.
Grrrr... I guess with such a few choices, all the places are busy, not like in the city with plenty of alternatives to go to. But still... I managed to slip away, leaving the kids at home with Daddy, hoping to get new glasses, and come home with the same old crooked ones.
I'm particular about the lenses. I like glass. They don't scratch like the plastic ones, even the scratch-resistant plastic ones. I know you're supposed to use those special lens cloths, but sometimes, when I'm wrangling a kicking and screaming 2-year old, trying to change a poopy diaper and I get a smear of god-knows-what on my glasses, I can't exactly drop everything and use the fancy-schmancy lens cloth. I just grab the bottom of my shirt and clean. These old ones I'm using, more than 8 years old, and not a single scratch on them. I have several pairs with plastic lenses and they look like a road map with all the scratches in them.
Did you know that there is only one lab in the whole area that makes glass lenses for glasses?? They can do plastic lenses on the spot, in-store, in under an hour, but glass lenses have to be sent away and takes 10 days or more. So frustrating. Am I really part of such a small group of people that prefer glass lenses that in-store labs have done away with the equipment needed to cut glass lenses? Really?
I have an appointment now, for Wednesday, since walk-ins are apparently not welcome anymore.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Needless to say, the sunroom needed a BIG clean up/out. While the kids played outside, I cleaned. Cleaned and cleaned and cleaned! High chair? Out! Box of too-small shoes Percy peed on? Trash! Empty plastic bags? Gathered together and recycled! One by one, things got sorted, cleaned, put away, trashed, lost and found or moved to the pole barn. It no longer smells in there now. One can walk in there without tripping over something. And best of all? I finished in the nick of time-- the kids were starting to come in and out, in and out, looking for excuses to come in and plop somewhere, tired from all the outdoor play.
Before and after pictures? Are you crazy? I'm too embarrassed to show any before pictures of the sunroom (yet I can tell you how filthy it was!?!) and after pictures are nothing to toot my horn over. It's not a pretty room-- gray fake-wood paneling, faded tan linoleum floors cracked and ripped and worn through in some spots, drop ceiling panels and florescent lights, and black fake-wood plastic trim. I have plans for that room! Oh! Can you just imagine ripping out the drop ceiling and finding exposed beams, staining the wood in warm rich color and adding lights and replacing the cheap-o windows with new triple-paned windows, adding real bead-board wood to the walls and wood, maybe tile flooring. Losing a couple of windows and putting in cabinetry in it's place for better storage and turning it into a fancy-schmancy mud-room slash laundry room. ~sigh~
Who knows what that drop-ceiling is hiding, probably lots of spider webs and nothing but nails poking through the roof. I bet we'll find the walls are not insulated and we might find termite damage in the framing. There's even an old 80's speaker-phone speaker on one wall. We've already ripped out the main radio/speaker-phone thingy and other speakers from the rest of the house and patched the holes in the drywall. The sunroom is the only one left because of the fake-wood paneling and hanging a picture over the resulting hole just won't do, it's too close to the door frame. Ah well... one can dream. At least the sunroom is clean now.
I don't know about you, but this time change thing really knocks me for a loop! I wish I could be like Archie the cat up there and just flop on top of the truck and go to sleep. Ok, maybe not on the roof of the truck, but flopping on the bed sounds good to me.
I'm already tired and sore from all that cleaning from Saturday and it sure doesn't help that at 8 am this morning, my Aunt and Uncle came over to visit. That's early! It's really 7 am if it wasn't for that time change! Why?! Who gets up at 7 am?? Oh well, I slap a smile on my face, hug the relatives, nosh on the doughnut holes they brought and enjoy the company.
And we did have a good day, too. I took my Aunt with me to the stores for my Sunday morning shopping. She's a coupon queen, too, and we've never coupon-shopped together before. I told her to bring her coupons and we could go together while most people are in church and we can have the stores all to ourselves. She comes from the city where everything on sale gets sold out the first day and she couldn't believe it when we pulled into the empty parking lot and nobody else was there but us.
It's so funny to watch her after we got in the car from making our purchases and see her scan the receipt and cackle at her success and her lucky day when the cashier gave her a better price on the coupon and she made a little bit of a profit when I gave her a higher-value coupon to use instead. I could tell she was watching me shop, too, and my mom told me later that she was impressed with my shopping skills and that I knew what I was doing. I'm not looking for validation, but it does make me feel good to hear that.
The kids have so much fun when my Aunt and Uncle are here.. Great-Aunt and Great-Uncle to them. Aunt brought over a tube with 10 different colors of nail polish in it. Do you know what nail polish does to little girls?? It makes them squeal with delight and beg to get their fingers and toes painted! It's even more fun when Auntie has her digits painted in different colors, too!
I get to pick Uncle's brain about farming and gardening and chickens and he takes the kids outside and pushes them on the swings and walks in the woods with them. It's good fun and the kids are sad to see them go at the end of the day. On the bright side of their early arrival, the kids are tired and hardly any protest at going to bed.
Speaking of bed... I'm headed there right now. ~snore, snore~
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
We knew of the place, in fact, we'd been there before. It's a digger's heaven! They sell everything from marked-down food, yard sale items, those cheap-o tools you find at flea markets, furniture from salvation army with the sale tags still on-- the price crossed off and an even cheaper price written in, and boxes of stuff outside, under a roof that you are free to dig into and get your hands dirty. Beware, though, we found out the hard way, there is only a port-o-potty and no place to wash your hands, so better bring wipes with you!
Anyway, he told us they sold barrels for $7.50 each. Really? No, really??? I envisioned rusty, dirty barrels with films of grease or oil, all dented and banged up. I imagined I'd be half inside scraping out stuck-on bits of black tar and trying to figure out where to dump the chemicals. These barrels were nothing like that. They were clean, in good shape with minimal dings, and once contained fruit juice concentrates. Labels still on them ranged from lemon, lime and apple concentrates. Food grade metal barrels with lids and bands for $7.50? And clean?? What a bargain! We paid and then walked across the street and picked out 4.
We are giddy with excitement at all the possibilities these barrels give us. There's so much we can do with them! We picked these green ones because they are creamy white inside and easier to see if they are dirty and if we decide to use these for food storage, we can see better if there are bugs or rodents in them. The lady we bought them from said she uses them for rain barrels, but I'm kind of hesitant to use metal barrels as rain barrels. We do have a plastic barrel that we plan to use as a rain barrel and sure would be nice to have a 2nd rain barrel but not metal.
I want to go to the local grain mill and see if they will make a custom chicken feed for me and usually to do that, most mills need to make it in batches of 500 pounds or higher. These barrels would be perfect to store all the chicken feed in and that would mean no more almost weekly trips to the farm store for chicken feed.
They would also make good dry food storage barrels for surplus bags of flour, sugar, or rice. Keeping them in the basement in a dry, cool area and we'd have plenty of food to last awhile if the sh!t ever hits the fan.
With some of the less-than-perfect barrels, they could be used in the pole barn for holding farm tools or as garbage cans. They're better than those cheap-o plastic garbage bins. Bigger and sturdier and no worries about cats or other animals getting into them. You could even cut into one and turn it into an outdoor wood stove.
We're already planning to go and get a few more-- we want to replace our cheap-o plastic trash cans and I'm thinking I can take one of the sturdier plastic ones and use that for a rain barrel. No sense in tossing a still good trash can, even if it is cheap-o! The trash can-turned-rain barrel can be the one we use for garden water and I can cut out part of the lid and replace it with a screen to keep out debris and mosquito larvae. I'll use the other plastic barrel by the house for watering the herbs and rhubarb patch, also for refilling the water bowls for the cats and chickens.
My mind is just going crazy with all the possibilities of these barrels!! They had 2 colors-- the green with the white interiors or all blue inside and out. To keep them from mixing, I think we'll get blue for trash and pole barn/farm use and save the green ones for food/grain/storage use. The lady at the store said they go fast in the summer and hard to keep in stock, so we'd best go back soon while there were still plenty to choose from and we can afford to be picky.
Any other suggestions on what we can do with these barrels??
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Meanwhile, back at the coop...
Mama Buff is still sitting on her eggs/chicks. I checked and she now has 3 chicks.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I check her eggs daily, since other hens squeeze in with her and lay eggs and she collects them underneath her. So I marked her original eggs and pull out the unmarked ones. Yesterday, one of the marked eggs I pulled out had cracked and upon closer inspection-- a beak came out!
I ran for the camera and you can see there's a baby in there! I checked the other eggs but no movement on them. By nightfall, still no baby out of the shell.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Maisie is showing off her mad climbing skillz. The pile of firewood, standing over 5 feet high, is now twice this size and still more to go! We still have a fire going just about every other day, but usually doesn't get started until evening, when the temperature drops. Our goal for next winter is to fill up a quarter of the pole barn with wood, which should be plenty. We're planning to clean out the pole barn and stack the wood nicer in the back and keep going until 1/4 of the area is filled and then some. As of now, stuff is piled in there all willy-nilly and we're not making good use of the space. Too many unfinished projects in there that need to be weeded out or completed.