December 28, 2009

2009

I know that I haven't been able to really post here lately. Slow internet and lack of motivation are the problems. Well I guess that would be wrong. I have motivation just had this overwhelming feeling that I had to do 10,000 things - all RIGHT NOW and of course the never ending urge to buy more xmas things. Yeah that has kept me busy since about mid November. ~BLAH!

But I know a lot of people sit and think on what all has happened in the last year during this week, especially here in blogland, so I figure why not? It shouldn't hurt too bad to do this  =)


2009
We started off the new year with good friends in a very luxurious place (read: costly!) and woke with a terrible hangover. In hindsight, I think that's what doomed the whole year! It was nice to be able to do something like that at least once though.

January was spent in constant limbo between Darkside working 6 days a week and us trying to get running water in the house once again. By the end of the month we had finally got some water going and in the process decided it wasn't worth it for Darkside to keep the job. All that money isn't worth it if you can't have life's basic necessities. This month is also the peak of my most hectic time of the year - tax time. Darkside turned 32 this month - although we barely had a chance to notice.

February was TAXES, TAXES, and more TAXES! If I wasn't throwing around numbers, I was spending money. I have such a love-hate relationship with this time of year. I love doing the figures but I also hate having to make year long decisions in a quick amount of time - and of course NOTHING can wait. We made the decision to stay where we was for the year (Iowa Falls, IA) and buy 2 new vehicles, 2 new computers, and a new TV. We also paid old bills and fixed the cat. This month #3 turned 11 years old =)

We started out March firmly set with staying in Iowa and by the end was when we decided that we made the wrong decision to stay put. I thought it was best to decide quickly rather than deny and wait. In hindsight, we could of waited a little while longer, but things probably would of ended the same. Spent most of the month sorting and packing - getting the house ready to move and sell. We went back to Jacksonville for a visit to see how things would go for 2 weeks. When we showed up SR had bought 6 chicks. Honestly I spent most of this month crying and believe that this is when a "depression" set in.

In April we headed back up to Iowa to get the house listed and things moved. I spent my 30th birthday in the house with a beautiful snow storm going on outside. We was very busy with even more decisions - from do we really need this, that, or the other bauble to what price do we list the house for. There was a trip down to Jacksonville and back when the house closed near the end of the month. We closed and cleaned out the rest of the stuff in the house by the last day of the month.

Sometime in April or May we were hit by buffalo gnats. We lost 6 chickens in 2 days. This whole experience was very aggravating.

May seen us as now full time Illinois residents once again. Now that we were sure to be staying proper living quarters were in order. This is also the same time we realized that we had NO money - not that we could find any place to rent or buy that met our needs. We decided that staying with SR is the only option for now. So we got to work on building an additional room and getting the garden started. It was nice to have my brother help out with this work. This is also when we bought the 2 rabbit bucks (Butterscotch & Oreo), 4 meat chicks, and 5 already started laying hens. We also acquired 2 baby turtles during this month -- a snapper and a slider.

June came in quite busy with all work on the garden to do. This is also when I hit the 2 deer with my car -- which led to more work. #2 turned 13 this month and finally got an official internet name - Princess of P0P - and a Myspace. We also started going to the bar this month, which led to me buying new pretties to pretty myself up with. I decided this month that my makeup style is DRAG QUEEN (and yes I purposefully capitalized it! LOL).

July was no quieter really. The garden and canning kept us really busy. We made the trek over to Missouri to buy fireworks for the fourth, although because of the weather wasn't able to fire them off till a couple days later. Boy did we get a show when we did because of them falling over! The rooster started to crow this month. We also continued to go out every weekend. This month my dad, if still living, would of been 70. Darkside's mother, if she was still living would of been 62 and also this month marks the 13th year since her death. I think that these dates spurred SR into being an ass all month - which is understandable as he loved her dearly, but made him difficult to live with. This month was our 11th anniversary - what a long time that is! But it's been GREAT =)

I spent most of August sick, so did most of the rest of the family too. Kaos King had a job doing yard work this month which resulted in him getting a severe allergic reaction to something but gave him enough money to get a new MP4 player. Gardening, canning, and coupon-ing continued. Also tried to incubate some eggs. We actually slowed down on going to the bar this month - money is at a premium from Sept to Jan, extras are not an option.

September is always a busy month for us with two birthdays to celebrate and one death to remember. Kaos King turned the grand 16 and got his very first electric guitar and amp. #4 turned 6 and has firmly stepped into diva town =)   This is the month that we mark the death of my dad, this year being the 23rd year. We also dealt with the killer hornets, the 7 day challenge, and continued with gardening.

October is always Darkside's month - he loves Halloween, this year was not a good one for him. We didn't get to decorate at all. We did keep ourselves busy with designing costumes though. This month was so rainy that we did very little outside at all. We did start harvesting carrots which was neat. While trying out some of the hundreds of things canned this year we found out that 3-4 dozen jars of salsa were no good. Must try a different recipe next year. Experienced a roller coaster of emotions while trying to get moved into our old place and in the end didn't get to. Had a computer work job go bad - really don't think I'm cut out to be a ruthless business person (why can't everyone be honest?).

November led us to many changes - we moved, Darkside got a job, child support was cut and we now have bills. The main bad parts were we had a fridge & stove then neither, then we had a fridge, then we didn't - UGH! Thanksgiving was done out at SR's and we didn't go to any black friday sales, although I wanted to - needed new bath towels. We finally harvested all the broccoli and carrots -- boy were they good!

December although not yet over has been hectic in thought but not in actions. We have been thinking hard on what all we want to do come spring, including what we are planting in the garden. We had a GREAT xmas and are on the way to having a FABULOUS NYE. During this month and xmas we gained more pets - 10 fish (guppies & goldfish) and 1 black bear hamster named Spike.

I have learned so much this last year and wouldn't trade it for anything - I just wish there was an easier way to learn! All of us believe that this year went by way too fast - it literally feels like we were just here! (here being late Dec)

later...

December 26, 2009

Xmas 2009

This is all being posted after the fact, but who cares? I like to know it's here even if it's 3 weeks late =)

---------------------------------

Xmas 2009 was spent in our "new" rental house, we've not even been here a month yet! Here's how things were -

We hung all our normal decorations through out the house almost immediately.







By Xmas Eve we still hadn't found our 'Twas the Night Before Christmas book. It has been tradition for one kid to read it to the others on Xmas Eve for the past 6 years, we had to skip this year. Just like the traditional Xmas picture hasn't been able to be done for 2008 or 2009. Sometimes when life throws curve balls you can't recover everything. But on Xmas Eve they did get in front of the tree and I was able to snap this picture (I'm not sure why #3 looks so blah, but I told him I'm skinning him if he does it again! LOL!) -



After the above picture was taken we got everything ready for Santa - a cookie from each kid who really believes, a big cold glass of milk (w/ a lid!), enough carrot pieces for all the reindeer (that we grew!), and a Coke just in case he's tired of milk. See -


This year I tried something that I've been wanting to do for years - make fabric bags to wrap gifts in. I hate spending so much money on wrapping paper and it just getting thrown in the trash. I know I could be a little an@l and sit and fold up and save all the wrapping after the kids open their gifts for the next year but do you really think it's feasible? I don't! Plus let's faced it, that takes more work than I would EVER do! LOL!

So with a little help from a re-acquainted school friend's fabric stash (thanks again!!) I was able to make a little more than half the bags necessary this year. I still have fabric to sew up some more cause things just wasn't in place enough for me to sew more than what I did this year. Here's some of the bags -
 
Something we are going to do different for next year is save up paper bags so that the presents can be wrapped in something that can be torn off. We never realized how much that sound is a part of Xmas for us but it truly is! I think every year I'll add in a few new ones so that we'll have all kinds of fabric and sizes.



It's no secret that this year Xmas was a little harder than others to get enough money to get the things we wanted for the kids and each other. Actually last year wasn't easy either (oddly Darkside has worked both years too). But one thing that stood out to me is what #3 said on Xmas morning after all the gifts were unwrapped and the kids were sitting there taking stock of their new things. #3 said, "This is the best Xmas EVER! WAY better than last year! If this is what it's like being a poor Xmas then we need to be poor more." We laughed so hard! It made me feel good for a number of reasons. Don't get me wrong, he was just happy we got a nerf gun LOL! but I understood what he meant.

We was able to pay all our bills - next month is another story because of Darkside's check having 2 short weeks on it (holidays w/no pay). But this year I got to thinking. I always say we're going to cut back on money spent on Xmas and we always spend about the same amount - no more than $400, usually about $300. I realize that most other people spend more than that, but I'm still not comfortable spending that much. So during this next year I'm going to make myself go to the second hand stores and yard sale so I can do Xmas for MUCH less, like $100. (I don't count anything bought before Thanksgiving into my Xmas totals but do count wrapping paper, tape, etc..)


Oh and Santa obviously knew that my kids were great this year and BELIEVERS cause they all got gifts! His choice for the Princess of P0P was NOT called for, thanks so much for making my life hell! He must of thought she was extra good? I didn't see it! He brought her the first Twit-lite book - can you guess how my life has been since?  blah! =S

later...

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November 16, 2009

bad luck or timing

Well I'd like to have a pity party, if you please. Rampant whining ahead! Update with pictures at the bottom.

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Since being homeless -which technically we are currently- I've not had the ambition to do things I normal would. I also am WAY more stressed than normal over things that shouldn't be THAT stressful. This has led to many things happening that normally wouldn't.

First there is the child support papers that I didn't fill out back this spring. I've filled out I don't know how many of these stinking papers. I fill them out with what seems to be the EXACT same info every time and mail them off. Nothing happens. Well earlier this year we got two of them, like one in May and one in Aug. I didn't fill out either of them. I was going to but never got around to it and figured what the hell it won't hurt anything.

Unfortunately I was WAY wrong. Apparently had I filled out these normal papers then things would of stayed the same (side note - it would of showed little to no income). Since I didn't they used Darkside's last income x3 to equal out a year's income BECAUSE he voluntarily quit his job. So now the child support is cut down from $270 to $95.

We can contest it ourselves in 24 months - which by that time the King of Kaos will be past the age of 18
-or-
ask for them to contest it in less than 24 months if there is a change of that income of more than 50% and not voluntarily like before

Also, Darkside was sent some papers to include himself in a lawsuit against Casey's for lack of payment for work that was done that the company made them do off the clock. I've done these for him before for other companies, nothing ever happens. So I figured I'd fill the out eventually but nothing would happen.

Never did get around to filling those papers out. The deadline was Aug. 3, 2009.

My sister-in-law also work at Casey's and received the same paperwork. She filled hers out. She figured it was like wishing on stars too especially since she had worked there only for a couple months during the time period they was suing for.

Guess what she texted me on Friday? Yep. She got a check in the mail for $78 and the letter included said there would be more payments coming. That's nice. GREAT.

Here we are needing to collect up as much money as possible and always needing more than what we got and what do I do? LOSE MONEY! The child support loss will be $3849 if we can't get it re-adjusted. And from my rough figures for the loss from the lawsuit is $806 so far. We could of really used that right now!

The lawsuit money really hurts because we've been trying to get up enough money to get moved before the holidays which for us started with the month of October. Plus let's face it we all know that the fact we EVER got any money in child support is AMAZING on it's own. Let alone the amount we've got over the last 4 years and all the back support from the same 4 years that's still coming!

------------------------------------------------------------------------

We finally caved and Darkside accepted a job at the local plastics factory. He's on his second week now and just got switched to an easier job - forklift operator. It's a physically easier job just about all around. Now he don't have to spend 12 hours standing, bending, and lifting anymore - with a forklift job you pretty much sit. Plus they only run 8 hour forklift shifts, those hours will be so much easier on us.

This is the week we are supposed to find out if we are to be accepted or not into the housing. We also have had a rental house being held for us since Nov. 1st. Either way we just can't come up with the money to move in yet.





Harvested the broccoli finally. Learned that I waited too long HAHA! We had BIG bunches from nearly every plant.

As I was cutting it up so I could freeze it I learned that we had broccoli worms - O YEA! That was educational let me tell ya! Got that all taken care of by soaking the broccoli, no biggie really. Blanched it all and got it into bags and the freezer. Got 4 half full gallon ziplocs out of it so far, which has more than paid for the seed =)









Also we continue to harvest carrots. Here's our biggest so far - also in the picture with the broccoli. Everyone really likes them too =)






We just keep getting these weird ones that grew funny. The are quite comical at times!! Here's two of the most recent ones.


Well should probably save the rest of my energy, got to go to the laundry mat later today to dry clothes *BLAH!* But it rained all day yesterday and plans to rain for the next four days. No way to dry clothes in this weather except in the dryer. fun, fun

later...

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November 14, 2009

new recipe!

Ok, Thursday night I decided that I was going to do an "end of the month" supper. You know it's the end of the month and you don't really have enough of any one recipe item -- oh and you have a half hour before supper time LOL!

Here's what I did.

Anne's Alfredo
¾ box spaghetti (hint bottom)
1 stick margarine
1 small onion
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
¾ c. Parmesan cheese
1 can cream of potato/any
1 can evaporated milk

Cook the spaghetti - try to time it so you don't need to wait to add the sauce. Melt butter. Then add the onions and garlic, cook till tender. Add the Parmesan, cream of ...., and evaporated milk. Cook till it kinda comes together - then dump and mix with the spaghetti. Done!

Ok now to some hints for this.

Spaghetti noodles first. I've been taking the boxes of spaghetti I've been buying breaking them in half then putting them into wide mouth quart jars. I just kinda eyeball it till it's plum full. I used one quart jar for this.

You can use cream of anything for this. I just thought cream of potatoes would be nice. Just like any other ingredient on this list - completely possible to switch them any which way you want =)

We thought this could of used MORE sauce. Don't cook the spaghetti too soon and then add oil to it so the noodles won't stick -- makes it too oily. Might of also been the butter? Darkside thought it could use come cooked chicken. I think this would be a great recipe to put some breaded chicken strips on top of it and wal-la! a meal =)

this could be all done with food storage which is great!

later...

November 8, 2009

From this blog that I read all the time =)  ...i'd like to see what I have to be prepared


Under $20
Small first aid kits - NEED
Flashlights for the whole family - NEED
Jumper cables - NEED
Fuel for your camp stoves or grills - NEED
water storage containers - NEED
spices and herbs - DONE
work gloves - DONE
seeds for the garden - half done
bottles/jars for canning - need more, always!

$20 - 50
Water purifiers - NEED
good-quality sleeping bag - DONE
Dutch oven - NEED
Solar-powered radio (or solar radio/flashlight combo) - HAVE HAND CRANKED
Wheat grinder (very small, hand cranked - useful if you lose electricity!) - NEED

$50-100
Ready-made 72-hour kits - NEED
Wheat grinder (small - hand cranked or automatics) - NEED
Pressure cooker (small) - NEED
Dehydrator- DONE
55-gallon drum for water storage - NEED

$100-200
Rotating shelf systems (small) - NEED
Wheat grinder (small electric) - NEED
Good quality electric or hand-crank wheat grinder - NEED
Pressure cooker (large) - NEED

$200+
Rotating shelf systems (small to large) - NEED
Good quality electric wheat grinder - NEED
Pressure cooker (huge) - NEED
Good quality, large solar oven - NEED

$500+
Generators (for information on these, read a Popular Mechanics article here) - NEED



I really ain't got crap! Makes a person feel secure -- NOT! But I do have a substantial food supply going here along with plenty of bathroom cabinet type supplies. So that makes me feel a little better. Oh and the other day we did pick up quite a few clearance Altoids tins to used for our 72 hour medical kits.


later...

November 5, 2009

A Fareway in Jacksonville would be nice

Here's a map of the Fareway in Iowa Falls, IA. Fareway is kinda like Mason's in Murrayville, IL or Meehan's in Roodhouse, IL or even Dave's in Mt. Pleasant, IA.



They always have great fresh fruit & veggie deals and an awesome meat counter that can be beat in any large chain grocery store!

November 4, 2009

everything is CRAP!

Why is it every time you try to do things the "right" way it's unbelievably hard and nothing ever works?

If I could just make myself lie,cheat, or short changing someone then life would be easier!

For the last four and half years we have spent our time doing the right thing and yet NOTHING has went right. It sucks!

While in Iowa at the beginning of the year we realize that without cheating we were going to be in big trouble financially. So we did the obvious thing and moved back home where we would be able to have some help from family and friends and knew where to get help from via relief offices, etc. We figured with the sale of our house and help from family we would be more than able to rent an apartment and get everything set up - job, etc.

What happened? Well we did the right thing and didn't mooch off anyone for anything -- paid it ourselves. Our money --which was short because the realtor and buyers of our house shafted us-- lasted a WHOLE MONTH. And that folks, was without an apartment!

Technically we used our savings for the first month and then the house money for the second month.

But at the end of that time we were supposed to be thankful because we was able to move our most treasured and needed household items with us and it was a safely (although stuffed) in a rented storage. Oh, yes we was thankful, but jeez!

And then we were at the mercy of family and friends for anything we needed. And since I had already showed off our very minimal lifestyle for 2 months no one protested. Then troubles started.

Why? Because others don't CARE for our lifestyle - they think it's wrong, ALL WRONG. Here's the list:

  • conserve water - wash dishes 1x daily
  • conserve water - bathe 2-3x weekly
  • conserve water - wash only full loads of clothes
  • conserve electricity - open doors, curtains & blinds during daylight hours
  • conserve electricity - open every available door, curtain & blind during high temps
  • conserve electrivity - unplug things when not in use, like radios, etc.
  • conserve gas - taking the time to make sure you can do 2 things on a trip instead of just one
  • conserve gas - shutting off pilots of appliances that aren't being used for long periods of time
  • conserve gas - turning down temp on water heater
  • conserve earth - recycling everything possible
  • conserve money  - cut all coupons possible and then use them!
  • conserve money - search for the cheapest price available on ALL items, then buy there
  • conserve money - take advantage of customer loyalty programs
  • conserve money - make or do it at home if at all possible, food, drinks, fun, etc.
  • conserve money - keep a budget, even if it's just writing down how your going to spend that check
  • conserve money - cut out anything that isn't being used enough to make it worth it, like cable
  • conserve money - take advantage of all benefits you've earned when applicable, like car insurance
  • conserve money - replacing/updating items when funds allow which can save you money on utilities
  • conserve money - regular maintance on self, car, home, household items
  • conserve money - don't loan to anyone, pretty much EVER!
  • conserve money - if an item your wanting to buy conserves time then get it cause time=money
  • conserve money - before you buy anything research it thoroughly and then wait at least 1 week
  • conserve money - if you can afford to stock up while an item is on sale then do so
These things were all WRONG to everyone here obviously, though I don't see why. So out went my monthly budget of $1000, which should of only been about $600 while living with someone and having to pay no bills (their choice, not ours).

So I figure, ok they want things a certain way they must be able to afford it -- NOT! For the last 2 months we have gotten more and more flack for no one being able to help us because they can't AFFORD to. And since everytime we get money we buy things needed --which HAVE to be xyz brand only!-- or that we believe need to be done, we have no money accumulated to get the hell out of here!

We are literally just a little short. Which makes this a sad situation all around.

We had an idea to go and get a loan from one of those "money quick" places today. Except we just can't make ourselves go in there and lie. Lie because we don't have the ability to repay something like that. The interest rates are outrageous.

Plus borrowing money period is against everything we are.

Just like lying, cheating, and short changing people.



Constant internal moral conflict.

And that's what led to this terribly long post.

later...

November 3, 2009

What my clothes say about me

What my clothes say about me

- comfort is MOST important
- a little on the warm blooded side
- that my door is locked!! LOL!
- I miss my mouth sometimes
- need better detergent!


All of that is usually true of my clothes except - that my door is locked! I normally wear bottoms when I go outside & the kids are up! LOL!


later...

secret about me

Opening logo to the :en:Star Wars filmsImage via Wikipedia

Believe it or not, I haven't seen any of the 'Star Wars' 
 
It's never really interested me, still don't in fact. I have over the years seen tiny clips here and there. Also I do know what the movies are about, but .....

later...

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October 29, 2009

you know something I don't get??

I don't get solar panel output 




No matter what I can't fully understand how to accurately calculate solar panel output, needs, etc. ARGH!! It's so aggravating I am starting to get mad right now just talking about it!

Just when I think I got it down, I realize that I somehow forgot something -- @*%$#@!!!


later...

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October 28, 2009

my top of the list money-saving tips

Although this is quite lengthy - here are some of my favorite top of the list money saving tips.


shop @ DG
If you have only 1 place you can shop at then go to Dollar General. Overall their prices are compare-able to Walmart on most items. When things are listed at other stores "on sale", you can normally buy the same thing or a generic of the same at Dollar General at that same price everyday!



There is only a few things I can think of that are not a good price there -- chips, snack cakes, and anything out of the refrigerator cases. These things tend to be as high as buying them in a gas station.


shop @ Walmart
If you can only go to 2 stores then Walmart would definitely be second on the list! Anything that you can't get a DG, you'll be able to get it at Walmart. And the plus is it'll be cheaper than anywhere else!



Yes I know that Walmart plays havoc on the local small businesses, but let's face it - if you don't have money, you don't have money! And in life there are certain things you still need, money or not. And I still can't think of one place in this town that is family owned and ran that sells toilet paper!



And I have priced Walmart on many different things over the years, they are ALWAYS cheaper than anyone else! Don't forget they price match with local stores too.


use coupons
If you have a certain item that you use regularly that is name brand then ALWAYS be on the look out for coupons for it! Even if you need to buy a Sunday newspaper - do it!



We love A1, Lipton tea bags, and Folger's coffee -- these are coupons that I break my neck to get. And sometimes I find coupons while looking for these brand's coupons that I use combined with sales. Most of the time this is when we get to try new things or get FREE items.



And NEVER buy anything online without searching on Google for a coupon code or a cheaper online source! I have literally saved thousands by doing this.


buy generic
When you can buy generic. I completely understand and agree somethings can't be replaced by a generic. I know I mentioned a few above, but another one I can think of is Worcestershire sauce. I can not use any other brand beside's Lea & Perrin's for my chex mix!



And something you have to remember is EACH store has their own generic brand. Although you may not like one store's generic spaghetti sauce doesn't mean the next store's will suck too! And every couple years re-evaluate the ones you don't like because store's DO change their blends.


home/hand made
You can save the MOST money (usually) by doing it yourself. Most things that people buy anymore are for convenience not because they necessary "need" that particular item. Examples - bread, instant rice, and disposable anything.



No I'm not saying everyone should do all these things all the time! Because sometimes it's worth it to spend that extra to save time, which you can use to do something like spend time with your family. But if your strapped for cash in one way or another then there are small things you can do yourself to save here and there.



If you Google "easy crockpot rice" or "easy way to cook rice" you'll save a couple of dollars a week -- if you eat rice in alot of meals. (rice is a cheap meal additive to help spread out a meal)



If you use a dish towel instead of paper towels you could save anywhere from $2 a day - $2 a week. But I'll tell you now sometimes a paper towel is almost necessary -- like when soaking up grease. (coffee filters or paper will work too)



Making your own clothes will not save you any money - period! Most everyone anymore can access a thrift store of some sort and if you had to buying at Walmart would still be even cheaper than making your own clothes. If you or your family is a special fit in some way then start learning how to alter clothes, it's usually quite easy! There are also so many easy ways to personalize your second-hand finds that you should always be original without much effort.


October 27, 2009

been working

I've been working lately. Well not just me --- Darkside & I both have been working doing computer repair.

I'm pretty sure that the last one we did we're not going to end up getting paid. The guy came by while we were still in bed and SR went ahead and gave him the computer and didn't collect any money from him! UGH! How can you just hand over the computer with no money in your hand??

I've only done that one time and that was for a friend. And I don't plan to see that money anytime soon.

That's just what happens - it's life.

You really need something -- someone gives it to you with the promise you'll pay later -- life gets in the way -- days/months/years later still you haven't paid them. That's why I always pay right when I do something, or I don't do it.

That's alright, we're getting pretty slick at these things now =)   Dude may have his computer back now but since he was an idiot and screwed up his whole operating system we had to put a new one on. Well it's not like we have the funds to buy os's for everyone -- so we put Linux Ubuntu on it (free). He has no clue because he didn't wait to talk to me, oh well! And on top of that, he don't know what the username/password is for it.

We might just get our money! LOL! Sabotage is GREAT!



Also, after seeing a flyer in a gas station I realized we are WAY to cheap on our rates too. There is a guy in town that is charging $30 an hour! WOW! I think we might be able to raise our rates some =)  We'll think on it some before we do.

later...

October 26, 2009

carrots



These are carrots that I had pulled up tonight to use for preparing egg rolls (supper tomorrow night). Our carrots!! Isn't that cool?! To give a size comparison/idea this bowl is a salad bowl - it's large enough to hold 1 whole head of lettuce (ripped) and various other salad type things. (This is such a cute salad bowl, btw!)

See the little deformed one on top? No clue what happened to that!

We planted 2 different types of carrots, a short type and a "regular" type. Also we used a mix of bagged soil that was lighter and airy so the carrots would do a little better. We still have MANY more out there to pull up!


later...

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October 25, 2009

Here are our plans for Halloween costumes 2009.
#4 is wanting to be Cinderella and a crazed doctor similar to these - **pics removed**


**I removed all the pics because I was getting crazy high hits from google because of them. Probably because I had hotlinked them from google - bad Anne, I know. Oh well - I will think twice about doing it again LOL!** edited 10/30/10



later...

October 24, 2009

update

Well it's been awhile but I've been here =)

Everything is done in the garden except leeks, broccoli, peas, oregano, thyme, parsley, and sage. Although I bought and timed our fall garden for a perfect last minute harvest - it didn't happen. Seed germination took longer than I expected - which makes sense, germination depends on warm temps. And we are having unusually cool weather this year here.

And that brings me to my next problem - I don't think my broccoli is going to make it because it's in an area of the garden that floods when there is excessive rain, which we have been getting. BLAH! Last night I spent about $7 drying clothes at the laundry mat because we've not been able to hang them out. =(

We also discovered that out of 3 dozen jars of salsa we canned a couple months ago we only have about 9 jars that are any good. I'm not sure what happened to the other ones but they are fermented and had to be tossed. And we have implemented a daily "ration" of pickles and jelly LOL! We have TOO many and this I think is the only way we will be able to get through all of them in the next couple years. Yes -- YEARS!!

Also we had planned to be moved into our new place by now - not happening. We went and talked to the guy who owns the place where we used to live in Roodhouse about 2 months ago. He was very happy to let us move back in, even resume payments pretty much where we left off. Except he thought that the place was empty because he was renting it and the lady stopped paying - he figured she moved out. She hadn't. Why he has all of the sudden stopped checking on this piece of real estate is beyond my comprehension. So he tells us to do whatever we need to get her out. Key word -- US.

He for some reason is not wanting to do anything to get this woman out -- this is so unlike him! I think age has taken it's toll on him because he has also sold a house in that same town for less than a third of what he bought it for. And he also recently changed his store hours to only being 5 days a week. He's been open for 6 days a week for more than 40 years!

Because of city codes in the town this property is in, we are not able to transfer the property into our control so that we can kick the lady that is in there out. Well we can BUT (there's always one!) we would need about $5000 - $6000 -- oh yea, got that in my other pants LOL! And although the man who currently owns it is more than happy to sign anything or call anyone, he isn't willing to actually go somewhere (like 2 counties away) to go to court.

So after a roller coaster of emotions over the last 2 months we have decided to hold off on trying to move into this place till we either have ALOT more money or he is successful in evicting this person. In light of this decision we are planning on another addition to the addition and we have also applied for an apartment that is based on our income. Then at least we won't have to worry as much about job losses and how it effects our place to live.

We also in the past 2 weeks have been dealing with child support - UGH! They are doing a review and are wanting to reduce our current amount down by a third. It is very aggravating because they are using the income that we had while Darkside was working that GREAT job -- that job only lasted for 4 months and it was 9 months ago!! They are attempting to say they can use it because he voluntarily quit - WHAT?!?! Did they not notice that after he quit that job we moved a state away? Oh that's right their computers don't compute in things such as that. There is supposed to be a person behind each one of those computers doing this paper work.

And I'll post tomorrow with all our halloween costume ideas =)

later...

September 29, 2009

fall/winter garden

Not at my computer right now and found this helpful link and want to remember it for later -- http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3268/frost-and-the-fall-garden   I was starting to get really worried about my plants since it got down to 42 last night. After seeing this page I realize that I had nothing to worry about.

later...

September 26, 2009

new stuff

Well this last week hasn't been the best for me. I had a "re-lapse" of sorts, sorry for my lack of better wording! It's my mental problems -- I go a little overboard sometimes with the paranoia sometimes. But this morning I got up and decided - TO HELL WITH IT! I am making myself snap out of it.

So on to some news =)

We have been processing things like crazy. Got pumpkin all done -- Darkside was sad about that (did I already post this??). Still have about 1 batch of apples to do, have put that off forever.

Started getting the following from the fall garden: baby carrots, zucchini, green beans, and raspberries. We have about 5 tomatoes on 1 new plant (green) and the peas are flowering. The broccoli looks promising. The other new tomatoes, tomatillos, and corn don't look so good.

In the summer garden things that are left seem to got their second wind. The tomatoes have even greened back up and have new flowers! The peppers are all putting out like crazy. The eggplants really need to be ripped out -- they never did anything. And the cabbage seems like it's stunted? They all only have softball size heads. Oh well maybe next year.

Also we haven't had any luck with the 2 dozen eggs we've tried to incubate in the past 2 months. I think we need to wait till spring to give it another shot. Plus the bater needs a good cleaning and tuning, in my opinion. Now whether SR agrees or not that another story!

We're still debating on whether or not we should get some does or not and start up selling baby rabbits. Our 2 bucks are HUGE and mean as hell. Well probably not that bad, but not exactly tame to handle and that's how I wanted them.

We are also excited to say that next week we may be in our new place. **cross your fingers!** I really hope that things go smoothly. We are making a big circle - cause we're going back to the place in Roodhouse. But things did seem to go ok there before. We at least had room and freedom there. Hopefully it's in the same or better condition than when we left there.

So now we're scrambling to store up some firewood for this year and might as well work on next year, right? So we're busy cutting and stacking wood.




Yep coming around full circle pretty much. But that's ok - we got a little smarter on the curves! =)

later...

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September 23, 2009

local news

This has been all over the news, it just saddens me. And since they don't want to say if it's just a random crazy or someone who knew the family, it also worries me. But I am a worry wart, I'll be ok........


Authorities mum on Beason slaying details - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

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September 21, 2009

I used to head to CR's for my favorite sandwich

I never had more than one or two of the other sandwiches offered there and I can't remember them at all. But the Mushroom Swiss Burger



MMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm............



They were just heaven! All ooeey and gooey! Makes my mouth water thinking about it!



That's where Darkside and I went for our wedding night supper. Not very romantic I know, but we already did the romancing part of our relationship. ;) We stopped in there and got our sandwiches and then headed to the Holiday Inn to celebrate. (side note - somehow we didn't even get charged for them!!)



But sadly, CR's is closed now. Maybe I'll have to re-create that sometime =)

September 19, 2009

the hornets

Finally I get a chance to tell the story about our problems with the hornets this year.







We first noticed them early this summer. We didn't think they would be that much of a problem. They didn't seem to care that we were there at all -- no big deal, right?  

(picture of the hive in july)




But then in the beginning of August they started getting real vicious. Um, not cool!
And then there was a bad storm that went through. The hive fell to a lower branch. Which was fine the hornet now were completely hateful and did NOT like us -- but they somewhat re-attached the hive to the new branch.









Then the inevitable happened. Another storm came through earlier this month and knocked the hive to the ground. Now the hornets are loud and pissed!








We spent one day thinking - you have to go about it a certain way or else get stung ALOT! The next day we bought 5 cans of flying insect spray, the kind that goes 27 feet. So Darkside, SR, and the Kaos King went out right at dusk and sprayed the heck out of it.

The next day we seen that there were STILL some alive! So they went out with a old dish towel, soaked it in kerosene and put it on the hive and lit it up. It burned forever!

The next day we seen that the hornets had decided to go back to a piece of the hive that was still attached to the limb on the tree. GREAT! ugh! So we decided to torch another dish towel and raise it up to the little hive on the branch.







the tree got burned when we burnt the hive ='(















here's the huge burn spot on the ground















 if you look close you'll see the dead hornets and the larvae!














here's one of the hornets -- they are called bald faced hornets











Now they are all pretty much gone thankfully! Although we have seen a few here and there I don't think there are enough to cause a problem again this year. If we see one next year we will definitely be on top of it!

Oh yeah we also had huge problems with them attacking our dog - who used to love to sleep under this tree. Thankfully he didn't have a bad reaction to being stung by them!


later...

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