Monday, December 30, 2013

End of the Year Bitchy Post....

Just gonna lay all the gripey things that have been bothering me out there on the line.

2013's most annoying things for OzM:

1.  Family knowing that other family members are struggling, heartsick and just having a rough time in general but turning a completely blind eye to the issue and remaining self-absorbed and ignoring their own obligations to said family member(s).

2.  The "my shit don't stink" people.

3.  Having your intelligence questioned because you don't believe the way someone else does (on any number of things; not necessarily religion).

4.  Waiting and waiting on karmic payback.

5.  Finally:  Those that forever scam the system but come out smelling like roses regardless of how many levels of crap they've dove into while those that follow the rules and do the right thing are forever being screwed over....and over....and over. that that hissy fit is over (brought to you by so many things)....what are your plans for 2014?

Still working out the bare bones of ours.  Budget is being worked on as incoming numbers have changed in the past month.  Outgoing numbers are relatively the same but we're upping the amount paid in on the vehicles in hopes of wiping that out sooner (especially since the Durango is just a very expensive yard decoration right now...see gofundme goo to the left and if you feel the need to help out, thanks...if not, still thanks).  Credit reports are being pulled at the end of January and being gone over with a fine tooth comb as I've be remiss and not done that since some accounts were paid off.

Oh and nagging will commence soon....Tanker has not been as active in jostling the VA over treatment delays as he should.  That will be he is constantly in pain, despite meds, and has "numb" episodes more and more often.  Not exactly conducive to healing.  I kinda figure since we fall into some sort of gray area where we make too much for help, but not enough to do more than bail out the leaking boat with a teaspoon, and he's not rated at 100% (which is a requirement for most of the aid programs out there) that the VA should at least get him going to the point that pain isn't an issue holding him back from getting back to work (which is what he wants).  Gonna be rough on him though as they want him to go back through physical therapy (because it worked soooo well the first time...note the sarcasm).

And I'm on the j-o-b hunt again (still but upping the search).  Positive thoughts there would be greatly appreciated.

Alas, such is life.

Here's to hoping the next year is kinder to us all!

Friday, December 27, 2013


I don't really do well with them, so I tend to not make any that are vitally important.

This year, however, I am making a resolution to strengthen my resolve.  I do well with things at the beginning of the program but as time lags on I'm easily distracted....oh, shiny!....I'm hoping this year will be different.  I'm hoping that having a "plan" will help me stay on track (ha!) and that Tanker will call me out on any straying from "the plan."  Because I would really, really love to write next year's New Year post from a farm of our own.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happiest of Holidays....

A challenge:

turn off the TV, turn off the news, take a break from the sources of information on the interwebz that bring you stress.

Spend the next 3-4 days focusing on you and yours.

Take the time to tell them that you love them. (Even if they intentionally drive you bat shit crazy.)

Take the breather, refresh your spirit and make your resolutions (if you do) for the next year.

Come back into the fight swinging.

Much Love,


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Reassessment Time....

a move is in our future...again.

Don't get me wrong...we really do love the house, mostly.  There have been several issues pop up over the last month however that go to show us that the landlord had his crew rush to finish...and they finished badly.  All issues that he will be fixing, eventually.

The big thing for us is lack of land and selling price.  We sit on a half acre lot and have use of the adjacent half acre lot.  Unfortunately, the landlord is suffering under the delusion that the property is worth a lot...I'm sure it was, a couple of years ago.  But now, with no less than 5 homes for sale in a half mile radius...all for less or equal the amount he's asking (and the equal amount ones have way more land attached and more amenities)...his asking price is too high for us to say for sure we'll be buying at the end of our lease.

There are dozens of other properties, with large amounts of land (LARGE amounts...cannot stress that enough) that are in the same price range as this one.  We're talking double digit acreage...with a home....with streams/creeks/river frontage, barns, sheds, etc.  Of course, none of these fit our needs (ability to lease) when we moved back to KY...they still don't with the whole leasing thing.  But when the time comes to buy....they'll fit nicely in the bracket we intend to spend.

Naturally, we are aware that they likely won't be available (maybe...depends) when we're ready to buy...but we can hope.

Most will require a move further north in the State...not much further but some....a few are actually considerably closer to the School for the Deaf (which we are still assuming the eldest will need...assessments still pending there).  I do hate to move the screamers to yet another new school...their current one is ranked right up there with their last in how eager and willing they were to work with us on the eldest screamer's IEP.  Thankfully, my spawn are made of willow and bend with the wind.  Good thing since the wind tends to blow us a bit of everywhere.

So we begin with the whittling down of luxuries (not that there are a lot) to quicken the growth of our personal down payment fund (as the one the landlord is supposedly building will be null and void with our decision to not purchase...note that I am seriously doubting he is actually putting any percentage of our rent into any kind of account except his own personal one) along with saving up to get the junker Durango fixed (still so beyond pissed over that) because we just can't take the hit to the credit that trading it in on another vehicle (and getting a new loan) would give.  Thankfully....we've got time.  Not much...but time.

We hope.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Be Thankful.....

for the freedoms you still have, the roof over your head (shelter from the storm), the food at your table (no matter how much or how little), the family (not always blood relations) and friends that hold a space in your heart and the opportunity of tomorrow.

Remember there are those that have not a one of those blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Well Then...

Life's curve-balls are never ending it'd think I'd be used to it at this point!

Alas, I am imagine my surprise when one day after forking over $500 to get the Durango fixed (supposed bad flywheel...I now have my doubts) it up and kaputs 45 minutes from home, resulting in not only a DEAD Durango but also a $265 towing bill.

As of now, it is looking a bit like we threw a rod...not 100% on it as we were on a jaunt to MO when the demise occurred and we were required to unpack said dead beast and try to cram it all into a Kia Spectra (yeah...go on...I'll wait while you figure how we managed camping gear and clothing for a week, two kids and two dogs in that).  If that is in fact the case....well...good-bye $5k for a new engine and the labor it will take.  That'll take a few months to gather, so in the meantime we are down to just the Kia and the beast is occupying a space strategically located near a tree that is dead and teetering dangerously.

So I've taken to finding paying gigs on the net...mostly copyright reading goo, survey junk (that I've done before and I know pays) and this news reading thingy (so far it's been mostly celebrity goo but I did learn about a new species of hammerhead shark).  The j-o-b thing for me is currently out of the question with one vehicle as said vehicle is currently employed in Tanker's school journeying (and VA journeying as he restarts physical therapy...yippee).  So it's penny-pinching to the max around these parts.  Nothing new.

I loves death.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dreaming Again...

weirdly enough.

The past week my sleep has been broken and filled with strange, decidedly dread inducing dreams.  All are somewhat post-apocalyptic in nature; a world once again based on small communities attempting to carve a life out of the surrounding countryside.

Normally I wouldn't find dreams like these dread inducing...normally they don't happen every single night...normally when I wake and then fall back to sleep the dream will change to something else.  This has not been the case.

My own personal demons coming through?  To much anxiety?  Possibly.  It certainly isn't from reading too many post-apocalyptic novels (haven't read one in months).

Perhaps my unconscious mind is reacting to the uncertainty we currently find ourselves in (personally, nationwide and worldwide).  Perhaps it is a sort of wishful thinking.  Or simply a personal prod to action as I've been disgustingly lax the past 3 months in making sure we are as prepared as possible for the coming year since it is our first here at the lake.

So in the weeks to follow I will be throwing myself into finishing unpacking, taking stock and making lists.  I know for a fact that we have entirely too much stuff (again) and quite a bit will be making the short journey into town to be deposited at either a consignment shop or the local thrift shop (which donates to Veteran charities).

In the meantime, I dream.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


on the 'shutdown'.....again.

I broke down and wrote my 'reps' again today.

I let them know that despite the probability of our losing out on VA pay this month, I'm good with a 'piecemeal' approach to getting the .gov moving again.


Because that's how we (people that have to budget) have to do it.  We have to go line by line and decide what is important enough to be kept and included in our budgets and how much we are willing to pay out of our limited funds for those things that aren't necessities.

I also let them know that the 'my way or no way' approach is really unacceptable...meaning I don't much like the idea of Mr. Prez saying that he's willing to negotiate IF the debt ceiling is raised and the shutdown ends.  Um, that's not really negotiating...from my understanding of the word negotiate that is.  I guess I should study up on the dictator's dictionary to get the correct understanding.

The frustration I have is from the blatant lack of disregard for the opinions and desires of the American public by our 'elected' officials.  But that will unfortunately not change anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


World still turning, political games still being played, wind still blowing, sun still shining, food still growing (in the ground, on the wing and on the hoof)....still breathing and capable of thought/action.

It is not TEOTWAWKI.

That's all.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Everything Else in the World...

is too big for a quick I've chosen one, highly annoying and mind boggling, thing.

History, ladies and gentlemen, is written by the winners, right?

Looks like someone thinks they've won.

^Out of Texas.^

I'm just flabbergasted.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Past Month...

has been a lesson in what's really important and preparedness.

Losing Dad was...not devastating.  I know...weird, right?

You see, I've been preparing for it since December.  Survival rates of SCLC patients can't/shouldn't really be called survival rates...more of  "it's possible that you might make it this long" rate.  There is no takes you eventually.  End of story.

So the past month has been more of a helping others deal with it (screamers...particularly the eldest...have been strongly affected.  They adored their Pawpaw.), helping Mom go through years of hording (more of that to come later this month) and finding a "new normal."  Fighting the urge to call Dad and tell him about the hilariousness that is our house, seeing something online and thinking "I should tell Dad about that" and, today's challenge, getting his FB pages (yeah, he had set to memorial.  New normal.  I don't like it.

But it's not my job to like it.

The past month has also brought about massive changes to our lifestyle...huge.

Smoking is done...the particular brand of SCLC that Dad had has never been found in non-smokers...and just his having it moves my chances of having it WAY on up there.  No thanks.  Quitting with the tobacco will take the risk down a bit.

Dietary changes...we had fallen into the horrible habit of convenience foods again.  Eating junk and feeling like crap.  No more.  We're back on track with food and dropping weight again.

Fitness changes...we take the screamers and four-legged fiends on nightly walks now.  Anywhere from a mile to 2 on steep, hilly terrain.  We'll do that for a few more months, adding length to the walks and eventually tossing packs on our backs too.

Time changes...there is considerably less time spent online, watching TV and playing video games.  We're spending time with each other, reading and, STILL, unpacking.  We're planning for next Summer and trips we intend to take, this Fall's camping expeditions and a mess of other things.

We're redoing our wills, looking at doing the whole pre-arrangement thing and redoing that lovely paperwork organization so that finding anything of vital importance will be as easy as opening a drawer.  Basic things that pretty much everyone I know just tends to put off and not worry about.

It's been a month of changes...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


My daddy passed on earlier today.

I'm thankful for the time we had with him after the cancer diagnosis...and will miss him terribly.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Tanker surprised me the other day by saying he was happy that I was happy about the move.  I asked him why....

T~ "Because I was worried you'd be sad to leave."
Me~ "Missouri?  Why would you think that?"
T~ "This is your home."
Me~ "Um, babe...we moved to KY when I was 4.  I was gone from MO for 23's where we visited.  Not where we lived."
T~ "I still thought you'd be sad."
Me~ "Not really.  It'll still be here.  Growing rocks and all."

To be honest, though we've tried to settle in and make it a place to live, we haven't.  We've not tried hard to make it home...probably because somewhere, deep down, we knew that we'd go back to KY someday.

Thankfully the screamers take after me and have very few issues settling in somewhere and making friends (though there is an initial shy period in both...a gift from their father).  They get the 'take me as I am' part from me which does tend to make them a little strange to other kiddos at first but they get along alright in the end.

Tanker has psyched himself up for school, which is good...he's tired of not being able to work.  It's a different kind of drag from not being able to FIND a job, this whole being told he CAN'T have a job because he doesn't have training in a field that is not incredibly physical.  Hence the going back to school part.  Don't get me wrong...he'd LOVE to have a physical job; his body doesn't particularly care for the idea.  And since he's already been told by the VA here that they won't do anything for his back until he's at least 50 (he's apparently too young...whatevs; like it's going to get any better on it's own over the next 13 years he'd be waiting) he's hoping that the VA down there will be more, um, helpful.

Me, I'm going to attempt to find something work-wise and then go back to school next spring.  Hopping into the medical field that my family so loves and I've avoided as much as possible.  Inevitable.  But it's okay...I've found a field of study that I'm interested in.  Unfortunately, it's first a less expensive bit of training that will let me work at least.  All goes well and I'll be done with the first bit in a year.

As it is now, we are living life in boxes (literally) and are eagerly awaiting next Wednesday morning (as early as possible) when we begin the trek back to the Bluegrass State.  I don't relish the drive trapped in a Durango with 2 boys, 2 cats, 2 rabbits (gifts), an English Cocker with separation anxiety and a Boxer....but I'll manage.  Though Tanker may end up with an animal or two joining him in the moving truck.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Tons of goodness today.

Got the go ahead to pick up the keys to the house a day early!  Had a decent bit of rain hit (of course, I had watered the garden early this morning).  Made some killer salsa with all the goodies from the garden.  The pinto, white and black beans are already starting to 'brown out' as we call it, so we MIGHT get the benefit of those plantings before we leave.  The black-eyed peas are doing the same.  All the plants I've transplanted from garden to pot are thriving which means we get to take at least some of the garden with us.

And finally....we've sold EVERYTHING we were wanting to sell except the trailer.  No biggie on the'll sell; either here or there.

The moving countdown is officially under the two week mark and boy are we ever ready to go.

In other news, started the $5 jar and paying via cash only on Tuesday...there's already 1/10th of our goal in there.  Tanker commented on how he disliked the rapid decline of total cash in his billfold when he dumped the fivers but he likes that the balance in the jar is growing.  Give and take, Tanker, give and take.

And so, I leave you with a picture of what caused the screamers to squeal like teenage girls at a boy band concert....they insisted we look for the end so they could have the pot o' gold.  Unfortunately, the operator of the camera didn't double check the settings, so the picture just doesn't do this one justice.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

$5 and a Big Pickle Jar...

So we have a few of those industrial size pickle jars (don't judge our love of pickles) and I read somewhere (probably Pinterest) about a lady that takes every $5 bill she get and puts it back.  In something like 7 years, she amassed over $20k...just sticking back every $5.

Pickle are about to become an experiment.  Starting sometime next month, the pickle jar will become the $5 jar.  A second one will become loose change jar.  (Note:  I should probably put one in my car as there is currently at least $4 worth of change hanging out in just the door pocket thingy right now.)

Since we will be transitioning from using debit for everything BACK to cash (with the exception of bills that are already set to be paid through ACH/Debit) only, we're sure to land on a Fiver now and again.  And change, oh boy...that will always be a given.  Tanker is down with the plan.  We both have noticed that we spend considerably more money paying via cash only and saving every little cent it is (literally).

Call it an experiment in curiosity more than anything.  We know what we spend via debit (it's there for me to see, download and pour over anytime I want).  Now we want to see how we'll do via cash only.

Confession...we aren't used to having the income we have now.  We're used to living on half the amount.  We went through a period of not knowing what to do with ourselves and wasting money.  It became easy to see it, want it, buy it.  And we found the screamers coming down with serious cases of the 'gimme' disease.  No more.

Spending like that didn't make us happy or make us better people.  It just gave us more crap to pack up and move or sell.  A flippin' headache.

Now, we're pretending that we're bringing in what we're accustomed to.  I don't check the balance after all the bills are paid and we have a set amount each pay period budgeted for groceries, gas and entertainment.  You know what, this month has been a good month for us.  Hopefully it's a preview of the new norm.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sometimes There Are No Winners....

In the hour plus since the verdict was handed down, I've seen my FB and Twitter feed blow up with the opposing sides attacking each other with relish.

Zimmerman was given a 'not guilty' by a jury of his peers because the prosecution failed to impress upon them an actual murder took place.  Murder implies intent.  They did not prove intent.  They apparently did not even prove manslaughter (an option for the jury).  Trial complete, sentence handed down.

The boy is still dead, the man is still alive.

Stupidity to begin (or re-surge...take your pick).

I've spent a little (very little) time reflecting on this.  My thoughts are as follows:

If you don't like how the system works, change it.  But change it the right way.  A revolution is needed, yes.  A revolution in thought.  We have evolved from a country of innovators, doers and thinkers to a country of people with their hands out, waiting for someone to do for them and asking "when I gonna get mine."

Have we (me and mine) been on the receiving end of others work?  Yes.  We have.  But it was used the way it was meant to be used.  As a hand up, not a hand out.  We busted our asses to get to the point that the hand up was no longer needed.  That's how it should be.  We need to impress upon our children and grandchildren that the world is not here to do for them...that's their job.  The world owes them nothing.

The system works only as well as the parts.  Our parts have become sluggish and dependent on someone else to work for them.  New parts, that should be moving in to take place of well worn ones, aren't fitting the way they should.  They are weak (mind, body and spirit) to the point of breaking.  They do not pull their weight in the the machine of the Nation.  And so it falls apart.

You want a system that works...then work for it.  Work together.  Do not depend on a few to do the work that was designed to be done by many.

Friday, July 12, 2013

19 days....

It seems like an eternity!

In 19 days we will be keys in hand Kentuckians again.  The house is pretty well packed, utilities (that we're paying) set to be moved, important paperwork in hand, address changes put in.  All that is left, is to wait.

The house down there is ready...but we've budgeted so tightly this month (paid off a few extra things that we normally would just be making payments on) that the extra rent for a half a month is not available. is available, we just opt for August to not be as tight as July is in the fundage department and will stay here unless there is some magical windfall that appears.

In the meantime, we hang...doing research on schooling for me and Tanker.  Getting finances lined up for that and such.  Discussing which places to apply the extra that will be coming in from the GI Bill (that won't go toward school) in an effort to finish off all remaining debt before we buy the new house.  There will already be a sizable amount to put down on the loan, but we want more...less to pay off, less monthly debt, less interest going to "them."  The plan is to have it paid in half the time anyway...doable, even on the income we have now.  Even more doable with any kind of increase in the income; which means even if I pick up just a part-time gig somewhere the extra $$ will be put straight up on principal of any debt incurring interest.

Alas, I must be off...tomatoes are starting to turn, blackberries require picking and a cobbler be in the making.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Findiing Joy.....

today I was reminded that even though I don't think so all the time, my life is good.

It is good because I was fortunate enough to be born in a country that (for now) allows me to speak my mind without fear (which I'm likely to do anyway, Right or no).  I've got lights that come on at the flip of a switch to read by (candles on standby should I choose that route).  I've got clean running water that appears at the twist of a knob.  I've got a roof and walls to protect me from the elements, bugs and beasts of Nature.  I've got a man that loves that love me most of the time (dang that whole being a parent and not a best friend).

We don't have a lot of money, but we do not want for anything.

Life, here in the Ozarks, is good.

And I'm grateful.

The Cash Bonus I Totally Forgot....

Ever sign up for something and forget you signed up for it?

I've done it a lot with "trial" stuff in the past, not so much anymore.

Ever forget you signed up for something that paid you in cash?

Totally did that.

I forgot that I had signed up for Ebates about a gazillion years ago...until they finally got tired of trying to send money to a PayPal account that doesn't exist anymore and they mailed a check.

Oh hey...I have an Ebates account.  Kick in the butt for all the money I could have gotten back whilst online shopping since before we went to Germany.  Seriously.  All that cash.

Oh well, I remember now...and will hopefully not forget again.  Even if it's just slightly over $100...that's a lot of canned goods.

Lesson learned.  If you don't have one and do a lot of online shopping....go get one.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Birds are Gone....

For the first time in what seems like forever I won't be traipsing out to put up birds at dusk.  Feels weird.

Still have Momma Rabbit and the bebes, for another 3 weeks; they (well, momma and 5 of the bebes) will be off to some friends.  Two of the bebes go to KY to be pets to some sweet kiddos.

Plants from the garden are slowly being assessed, dug up and repotted in their new container homes.  Grapes, kiwi and thornless blackberries will come up in about 2 weeks to be repotted.  Fingers crossed that everyone survives and thrives.

We've shown the current place to a couple of potential buyers for the landlady...not sure anyone will buy at what she's asking without A/C (folks are sorta set on having it).  I'm probably a little too honest about the place to promote a sale though.

Next week begins phone calls to schools, paperwork gathering, faxing and getting everything in line for the screamers to start on time.  First day is August 7th down there, so have to get on it if the new school is going to be set to handle the eldest screamer's "needs."  Paperwork required to get the screamers insurance through the State must be done (the kind we still pay for but at a lower rate than private...Obamacare before it was Obamacare...KCHIP if you're curious).  Transfer stuff for the VA...change of address for bills, checking/savings accounts and mail in general.  Transcripts to be ordered for Tanker.  Options to be explored for me (school will likely be put off until next Spring for myself however).

Most of the house is packed...Tanker is in a hurry despite the fact we still have approximately 24 days here.  Most of the big items that needed to be sold are sold.  I've had a hard time dealing with the freebie seekers trying to lowball prices...but have decided to start asking them if the lowball price they're offering is what they would accept and why.

Alas, that is the life here at the moment....not terribly interesting, but not boring either.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Its Official

By the first of August we will again be Kentuckians.  Land size is smaller, but that just means back to container gardening for some biggie.

Pics will come once we get in permanent...none were taken this trip because flooring and the likes are being finished up.

A busy month ahead...lots to sale, pack and get rid of.  Wish me luck!

Friday, June 21, 2013


Your first option becomes your only option and turns out to have been the best option all along.

At least that is the hope we carry along to KY on our scouting trip.  It's been very difficult to find properties where the owner is open to lease purchase.  The first place we stumbled on happens to be one of those places with a VERY good deal on the lease (% down, % of monthly going toward purchase price and availability).  Said owner has at least two properties that fit our needs, possibly three.

All three properties are within driving distance of the School for the Deaf (yes, it will be needed for the eldest screamer) as well as a technical college and two 'regular' colleges (for me and Tanker).  They're also within walking and/or driving distance to some most excellent fishing.  They are NOT in city limits, they have room to run and grow a garden.  The hardest part will be deciding between the 2/3 as all of them have what we want AND are in our price range.

Hence the trip.

In person judgement with no real worries about vague answers (aka current landlady) about the condition of the home because....THEY'RE NEW.  Yup, I can totally handle that.

So here's to the scouting trip....may it turn into a 'keys to a NEW home' trip.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Every Single Penny Counts....

As I sit here in pain (whole 'nother story related to a cat and a swimming, not at the same time) and watch Tanker pack everything like we're moving next week, wondering exactly what his plan is when we need something he's shoved into a box, I'm reminded how great of a man I'm married to.  He's a provider (even as broken as he is), a supporter of many a mad scheme dreamt up by yours truly, a loving father and husband.  17+ years together and he still gets me.

Where does all this lead?

To a plea...for help...for a friend.

mmpaints could use a little boost.

Every cent counts...go boost.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Well Don't That Just Beat It All....

The other morning I was chatting with Mother Dearest and mentioned that we needed to separate out our New Zealand rabbits because I thought we had one of each vs two does but I didn't think they were old enough to breed.  Literally 10 minutes later I walk out to check food and water...guess what?

I was right AND wrong.  Oh yeah...there is one of each.  Oh no....they are old enough to breed.

Eight (EIGHT) little, wiggly white kits in the bed box.

Separation now complete.

Now, I guess I'll be moving Momma Bunny (aka Susan) and the kits with to what to do with every one flippin' clue.  First step is to double check everyone else and make sure the he's are he and the she's are she.  Although we already know for sure about "Suzette" and yes, he is now named A Boy Named Sue.  Thanks Sue....our rabbit population tripled overnight.

Not a bad thing IF we weren't going to be packing house and changing States in the next 45 or so days.  I guess the upside is that I know we'll have meat to stock the freezer with.  Thank goodness we've got the hutches for it!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Little Too Quiet Lately...

I know I've been.  Still here, still kicking...but things on the homefront are about to be packed and moved again.

Yes, you read it right.  Stay here and watch Tanker slowly spiral into nothingness or move on back to KY and have some semblance of a life.  KY it is.  Too many factors to bother to explain, just understand that it's something that needs to be done and I'm surprisingly okay with it.

Keep in mind that despite all the work we've done to this still is not in any kind of shape for the VA to approve a loan.  Another approx. $12k would have to be thrown at it before that would even be feasible.  Why do that when we can have brand spanking new at the same price (with less acreage, yes but still) in KY?  Just one more check in the 'pro move' column.

Other than the above craziness, my silence on all that is going down in the .gov should really speak volumes.  SHTF to follow; in what way...I don't know.  All I know is that I'm driven to get this move done and us settled as quickly as fact, it's literally almost a panic driven thing.  If we could up and go now, we would be gone.  I'd camp out in a tent, living out of the back of the Durango and trunk of the car at this point just to be done with MO and in KY.  Those that have hung here long enough know that means this 'drive' is bad.

I'm sad to leave the garden and the work we've put into the place thus far...sad to leave the friends we've made...but ready to be gone.  Ready to start yet another new chapter (I swear, I was a gypsy in a past life).

As sparse as it's been around here, look for more scarcity as we gear up to get moving.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


oh, no.

We have a little bird house hanging out on a corner fence post, behind the crepe myrtle in the backyard, that apparently contains the tastiest eggs/baby birds/whatever.  Two days ago, Tanker killed (with his 12 gauge) a 5ft black snake going into the birdhouse.

Today, this happened....

"Hmm you not see the blood on the fence from one of your kind's previous visits?"

"No human...and I don't care; I'm not scared of you."
"What's that shiny thing in your hand, Human?"

"What a world, what a world...."
Tanker likes his 12 gauge ('cause it puts distance between him and the scaly things).

I prefer my kukri.  Thanks again Ernie!

Friday, May 3, 2013

From Tank Tops to Carhartts....

in 24 hours.

Ma're killing me...and my garden...and the chicks that New Momma stupidly took out in the rain today.

Early spring, late spring, lots of rain, no at a time I can deal with.  All at once, nope.

Alas, I dread the worst has happened but happily have more seed on hand to restart.  That's alright Ma Nature...I got this.

S/N:  Sometimes cooperating with Gov't agents gets the neighborhood Meth Cooker you didn't know about out of the neighborhood.  Just sayin'.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

After a Week Off....

due to extreme germiness...I head back in to work tomorrow.  And find myself thinking...thank goodness it's only a temp position.

That's bad, isn't it?  After all the hunting, searching and practically begging whilst in the market for a job I am now grateful that it's only temporary.  Touched in the head, I swear.

But in my defense, there is A LOT to get done around here before the VA will back us for a loan...Tanker can not do it all alone (nor do I want him to even attempt it).  And we're not really hurting for money...but I do dislike spending money on stuff to get it fixed when the 'Stead is not yet in our name...BUT we can't get it in our name until certain things are fixed.  Damned if you do kinda thing, ya know.

I only have to push through 'til the beginning of June (I think...gonna have to double check that) and then the position is done.  I was saving my paychecks for a new fridge but they'll sit in savings as part of the required down payment for a bit...gathering tiny, itty bitty bits of interest.

Got nothing done on the 'Stead today as we opted to make use of our season passes and took the boys to Branson for a bit....note to self:  No more weekends if it can be helped.  Huge crowds do nothing for Tanker's non-existent PTSD.

Off to sleep it is for me...meds have kicked in (along with all of today's activity) and I suppose I should attempt to be human for work tomorrow.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

So There Was...

an incredibly thick carpet of leaves (like 5 years worth or more) covering a 'gully' in the tree line behind the house.  Since the banks of the 'gully' were pretty steep and the chickens are on the other side of it, I decided I want a small foot bridge there (small being about 12-15 ft to cut out the whole up-down thing).  In order to do that, I had to clear out said 'gully' of leaves so I could find the right spots for supports.  Imagine my surprise when the little gully that would hold water after the rain became something more akin to an actual running creek.

I'm assuming it's a wet weather creek (a few days of no rain will likely confirm that for me) but that baby is running like it means business now...and I've not even got it cleared all the way up to the 'source' yet!  There's also a small (read maybe 8 ft across) pond that needs a little digging out to make it useful for the ducks (they didn't care that it was only 2 inches deep today).  There are several little deep pools in the creek, deep enough that eventually crawdads will enjoy them and the chickens thoroughly enjoyed digging through the HUGE piles of leaves I pulled back to get after worms.

Today's work on that area was only the beginning...but I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the sound of those mini waterfalls in the quiet of the evening.  I see a hammock under the oaks and cedars out there in the very, very near future.

Around the bend and to the 'pond' (still a lot of work to be done with clearing of leaves):

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This Month....

has played hell on me.

Budget all out of whack, body all out of whack, brain all out of whack.

The budget was an easy fix...stop fixing things until the 'Stead is in our name.  The rent on this place is nearly twice what our mortgage payment is going to be (go figure).

Body, not such an easy fix...some kind of bug has taken up residence and is refusing to budge.  No, not been to the doc because right now the insurance has my PCP as some doctor that's 3+ hours, no.  So just battling on as I can, missing work off and on...good thing it's just a temp job right now and my sales numbers are good or they'd boot me.

Brain...well, that goes along with the body.  Just tired.  And when it's time for bed, wired.  I really need an off switch installed up there.

In other news, the garden is coming along nicely...I sold a bunch of chicks and adults....hatched out more heirloom seeds in today...strawberries are in the ground (mostly)...orchard is popping right along.

I leave you with last week's pic of a row of peas....straight lines are overrated.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Broodies and Garden Beds...

The 'Stead is full of both.

Spring has sprung in Ozark country...still some nippiness to the wind and I'm sure there will still be cold nights (as Ma Nature is a bit bipolar) but as it stands everything is popping out.

Fruit trees are budding beautifully, garden beds are filled with dirt and awaiting seeds/plants.  A few things have found their way into the beds already...not so much that a hard frost would wipe us out and cause a restart but enough to offer a view of the future.  And I love it!

I've settled in fairly well to my temp job at Lowe's...I really enjoy it there.  I'm up in the air about trying to get on permanent though...I like the idea of seasonal work.  It gives a bit of extra cash but doesn't tie me into a year round thing that digs at my desire to be able to up and go when I chose.

Life on the 'Stead goes on...the new additions to the chicken flock mean that in a few months some of the older gals (and probably a couple of young roos) will be facing the butcher block.  I'm still hatching out babies, but only the Easter Eggers as they will sale better at swaps than my hardy Barnyard Mutts...there's no accounting for peoples' tastes.  My mutts outlay the purebreds consistently but can't fetch a fair price for their extreme abilities.  As it is, I'm selling all the extra eggs we have (and we have a lot) to neighbors.  Even bothered to set up a mini-web page and a Facebook page for the 'Stead.

If the coop ever gets moved, I won't be so up in arms over the number of birds (it's a REALLY big shed) because they'll have all the back acreage to range in.  Right now they're right up on the house and 40+ birds wandering the front yard gets a bit tiring.

I'll leave you tonight with two of my EE roo, Pretty Boy, taken in January...the other of his boy, Attack Chicken (aka A.C.), taken last week.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I Feel...

that the worst thing the world (or even just as an individual) can do is to dismiss threats as little and not dangerous.  Many, many factions once considered non-menacing are now considered such.  Even the smallest of pebbles causes a ripple that spreads.

To turn a blind eye, to remain unprepared for the possibilities, is to remain ignorant and dependent on those that may not (and do not) have your best interests at heart.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Steubenville, OH...

the town that should be utterly ashamed at itself, its people and the lack of morals that has been passed on to yet another generation.

I want to say so very much on how this little town has ruined itself with the way it merely turns its head in the face of illegal activities all for the sake of holding on to a little pigskin glory.  I want so much to express my disgust over how authority figures made sure that these children wanted for nothing (legal or not) and felt comfortable running rough-shot over the rights of others (oh look, little politicians in the making).

It is beyond disgusting that so many saw, witnessed what happened to that 16 year old girl...yet NONE stepped forward at any point in time during the night to put a stop to it.  NONE.  An entire generation belonging to an entire town...numbed and dumbed...unwilling to stand up and do the right thing.

Shame on you Steubenville.  YOU have ruined YOUR children.  Not just the two found guilty in a court of law.  All of them.

Shame on the MSM.  YOU have laid sympathy with CONVICTED rapists (whose social media activities and own friends testimony convicted them) because they are young "promising" football players.  YOU have victimized the victim all over again in so many ways.

Shame on our Society as a whole.  I've seen some incredibly disturbing posts all over the internet today.  Blame being laid on the victim for drinking too much.  Sympathy for the poor young rapists that their lives are now ruined by the conviction.  So much more that makes me wish for days without instant news, instant access and instant ability to post the most idiotic thing a person can post for the entire world to see.

Stop the Planet...I want off.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

After This Weekend...

the real work begins.

This weekend is frivolous fun weekend...a day trip to SDC to break in the season passes...then a day of "rest" aka putting together (FINALLY) the table and benches I've been working on (off and on) for a couple of weeks.

Then Monday, the real work begins.

In addition to a new j-o-b for me (Lowe's...infinitely better than slinging burgers for drunks and minimum wage...even if it is just seasonal) there is plenty to be done around the 'Stead.  Topsoil delivery means the raised beds will finally be getting put to use...but that also means shoveling, shoveling and more shoveling along with putting in some PVC hoop frames on a few of them so they'll be useful sooner this spring and longer this fall.  Cherry trees and blueberries need to go in the ground...strawberry "patch" needs to be worked out as the coop has yet to be moved and the area I WAS going to put them in happens to be the chickens' favorite place to take a dirt bath.  If the ground ever dries out enough in the spot we've got to cross (natural wash out area...small raging stream while the rain was melting the ice/snow last week), we'll get the coop moved...IF.  I'm thisclose to just building a new coop.  Seriously.

We'll also start work on the rabbit shed...right now the chow dogs are in small hutches next to the house.  Tanker wants them out further, next to where the coop will eventually be.  Oh and a small barn/shed/whatever is in the works for future cow...whenever she is able to be bought.  Prices have started inching back up on dairy cattle, so looks like we'll be waiting a bit longer on that.  Sigh.  I'm beginning to think just putting up a small barn would be a better choice.  May be chewing that one over with Tanker soon...before any serious building is begun.

And now...I'm off...chicks to attend upstairs and sleep to be had.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Have Come to the Realization...

(and it's not so shocking of one but I've finally decided to put it here, on the interwebz where it will forever echo through space/time/whatevs)

that our nation is toast.  There is no turning back.  Those of us that try to stand firm will be swept away by the sea of stupidity that has come to rule.  We are few, they are many.  The only thing that we can do at this point is look to ourselves, our families and those of like minds.

I do not believe that technology will be abandoned...there is too much control of the masses in it to let it go to the wayside.  Communication via interwebz, cell phones, etc will remain available (but probably at an unnamed cost) so that the masses can be "informed."  We are a world connected and they'd like to keep it that way.

I'm thinking a future that is a mash up of "Idiocracy" and "The Hunger Games"...keep them down-trodden, but keep them informed with messages you want them to see and keep them stupid.  Control what they see, what they eat, what they drink, how they educate, how they work....

I don't know if this is burnout, irritation or what.

All I know is that I've been watching closely the direction this once great nation has been taking for several years and the past two, in particular, have been one hell of a roller coaster ride...we're reaching the end...that last big climb before the final, bone shaking, terrifying drop.  The brakes are out, the safety belts are broken and there is no one minding the controls anymore.

"Maybe in three years we'll be able to get back on track."  That's what someone said to me today.  I wanted to reply that there was no more track left.  It's been nibbled away, piece by tiny piece, until we see nothing.  There is nothing there anymore that is familiar folks.

I'm not that old (under 40) but I see the massive differences in this nation from when I was just entering adulthood.  It cannot be blamed on ONE party, ONE group or even ONE person.  It is OUR fault, as a nation.  We let things become this...we let it happen because it was the easy way out.  It was easier to take the path that had been cleared versus the path with a few bumps and snags.  It is our fault.  And we will pay the price.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It Looks Like...

a construction zone around here!

Tanker built the first of his rabbit hutches today...I built a pen/brooder for the first set (bought/given) to move into and will likely be building another tomorrow for the set peeping away upstairs (they need to go on outside but still be warm).  The raised garden beds are built and treated, some seeds started, fruit trees awaiting permanent homes, pecan trees on the way.  Inside we are stripping away old carpet from the stairs, putting up new ceiling fans (will be needing those this summer for sure), painting, hanging doors and have two windows to replace (well, more than two...but two at a time is all we're doing).

We're making this place our own that Tanker has settled his mind on staying.  Which is a good thing because I'm not ready to be moving on anywhere else just yet.  The gypsy in me is quiet for the time being...better enjoy it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Getting There....

Today was a day for outside work.

Separated out the new fruit trees for the soon-to-be orchard.  Started my herbs and cold crops in the greenhouse.  Hatched more fuzzy butts (current count as of this very second...26).  Found a clutch of eggs hiding in a brush pile (left them...who knows which gal laid them and how long she's had that particular hiding spot).

Tomorrow is a run to Lowe's and the local hardware store, a run to the Fort and a run to my now ex-job (will be turning in uniforms tomorrow)...gas jumped nearly 50 cents in two weeks here, completely negating my working so far from home.

I'm still going to do the job hunt thing...just hunting closer to home is all.  In the meantime, I'll be getting crafty...I suppose...and probably throwing some stuff up on Etsy...maybe.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Some Fuzzy Butts...(Image Heavy)

sometimes patience does pay off...6 so far:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Toys...

got some in the mail today and they are simply superb.  They're preps that I've wanted for a good long time.  I've never, ever in my life held something quite so lovingly made and perfectly balanced as this:

Honey Gatherer (for me)

and this:

Blood Kukri (for Tanker)

Ernie (his blog, Bunker Index, is over there in the blog link section btw) has a gift.  Words simply cannot describe it, so I won't try.  Let me just say that if you ever find yourself wanting a piece of useful art...hit up Ernie.  It is worth every single penny.

Now, onto other stuff....I have dancing eggs.  Yep, a smattering of dancing eggs in the incubator right now.  They're set to hatch on my birthday or as everyone else knows it, Thursday.  So hoping for a decent hatch, but understand that this being my first time incubating casualties are to be expected.

If all goes well...peep pictures will be coming soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Little Political...A Little of Life...

still don't think the .gov is rolling over anyone and anything in its path?

Tell that to Morningland Dairy (local).

Sad and wasteful...our US Government...aren't we proud.  Amerika.

Now on to life on the 'Stead...

I came home with another dozen and a half hatching eggs (already 2 dozen in one incubator) and 10 new chicks (to add to the 4 I had here already), the original plan was to just get rid of some extra roos.  Plan fail.

Don't make fun of the Turken...Killer was free (before the new ten and before the loss of the puny one up front there):

And when I got to the coop, I found poor girls hadn't gotten down out of the rafters for days because of the obscene amount of roos we had around here....problem no more!!

With the extra roos gone, the girls are happily out in the yard pecking around...without fear of having 6 guys jump them at once.  Here's to hoping that production picks up (which it should since tomorrow I'm adding 4 or 5 more hens...hehe).

That's my prepping for the week!  Now, off to fix some chicken noodle soup for dinner...youngest screamer requested it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Not Quite Spring...

but things around here are hopping along like it is!

Hens are laying, roos are crowing, some random bulbs are poking through (despite the chill in the air).  I spent the past few days scouring reviews on nurseries and decided on two for our much desired trees and berry plants.  Wood for the raised garden beds has been bought, as has a greenhouse...seeds bought and charted for getting them started at a (hopefully) good time.

The screamers even have a touch of spring fever...tomorrow they will be burning off a lot of that excess energy.  Whether they like it or not.  We've all been cooped up inside for too long.

How about you?  Spring fever bug bit yet?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

So Long...Farewell....

no, no...not you!

Said 'Adios' to ALL of our credit card debt...put the cards AWAY (i.e. I remember where they are right three days, probably not so much)...and have absolutely no intentions of using them unless the purchase can be paid within a week of being made.  There will be no more balances carried, no more cards carried.  Any purchases to be made with them will require pulling the cards out from their hiding spots.  That means no more impulse buys on credit.  Went from 5 cards to 3...none with a limit that would require more than my paycheck to pay off if maxed out.  Good deal.

Also paid some extra on the principal on both vehicles...our new budget has extra wiggle room that we've not been privy to previously, so can be done with little effect on the bottom line there (but the bottom line on those loans are shrinking nicely).  The extra wiggle room is also allowing us to make some much needed improvements here at the 'Stead...especially important as we have decided moving back to KY is not really what we want.  We're good here, with wonderful neighbors and the most excellent school the kids could have.

And bonus:  A few of my feathered ladies have begun being the lone female banty I have but she's so darling and lovable I'll forgive her the tiny eggs, lol.

Off to sleep now...these overnights, though I love the folks I work with, are really messing with my sleep!
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke