Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend continued...

Ok, so I had to split it up a bit.

Escaping dog... Cammi got out Friday night. I couldn't figure out how she did it! Well, I found out on Saturday afternoon, when I heard a particularly pathetic squeal outside. Oh yeah. She was stuck. Apparently she squeezed through a space under the gate that I'd never have imagined she could fit through. Perhaps she had too much kibble for breakfast, because she was well and truly stuck. Hee hee! Mystery solved, disaster averted. LJ would be very upset if she disappeared, so I blocked up the hole under the gate. Cammi is quite disgusted with me.

It was too stinkin cold to work outside on Saturday, so I spent the afternoon in the shop with the heater, working on fun unnecessary projects. Built a birdhouse and a feeder out of scrap wood, and sanded for a while on the old oak plant stand. Very relaxing, and I finished off the night on the couch with the cuddle pup and a few episodes of Spartacus.

Sunday was more fun unnecessary projects. I painted two wicker yard chairs (bright red), a little wood table to go with them (blue), the bird feeder (also blue), and the birdhouse (green). I managed to get overspray on my glasses, phone, AND iPod. I am sooooo on top of things. Finished the oak plant stand. Finally gave up on trying to get all the old paint out of every crack and crevice. It got a coat of stain, and actually looks pretty good, considering that it had about 5 coats of paint on it when I bought it for $5 at a yard sale. Gave me an excuse to buy and repot another fern. Our house is becoming a jungle.

Other stuff... The chicks are growing rapidly, and their little wing feathers are coming in. They are awfully cute, and Henry is still sure they'd be tasty too. I started my peppers this weekend. Perhaps a little soon, but ah well. Felt the need to plant something, and everything outside is too frozen to mess with.

Another great weekend, if not as productive as most. I had fun!

(side note: I am going to try and get some pics on here soon. Blogging from my phone is very limiting, but satellite Internet is expensive!)

Cold weekend, new friend!

Whew! What a weekend! It was COLD, at least for where we live. 9 deg on Saturday morning. Of course, right when I had slathered my hair with conditioner, the water ran out. Very very cold pumphouse. LJ got a heater going out there, while I rinsed my hair in the sink with water warmed on the stove. Fun!

I managed to get out of the house on time with Henry in tow, heading into town to meet up with Paula, who also blogs (though her posts are educational and interesting, as opposed to my random ramblings). :) We had figured out that we lived rather close, and decided to head out to One Green World in Molalla OR to get Paula some strawberries and get me whatever struck my fancy. I was a bit nervous, as I don't generally get along with women... I think my avoidance of makeup, high eewww tolerance when dealing with critters/blood/etc, liking power tools, and willingness to get dirty all offend most women. Don't know why, but that's been my experience. Well, no worries. Paula rocks! Had a great time (and Henry made a new friend)!

We took the truck out to OGW, and I spent more than I planned, which I expected to do, so maybe I did plan for it. I came home with 4 bareroot trees (pear, 2 asian pears, and a plum... don't remember the varieties), a hop for LJ, and a Meyer lemon for me (yay!). Henry had a fabulous time hollering out the window to other dogs while we waited for the dude to pull my order and bring it out front. Paula kindly tolerated my embarrassing dog and did not request earplugs. Other dogs get Henry all sorts of excited, and he yelps, barks, whines, trills, and yodels. You know those 6 legged dog/hyena things on Avatar? Yeah. He makes that sound too. Sigh. This embarrassing dog is practice for future embarrassing children.

We rounded out the trip with a stop to pick up straw bales for Paula. What good is a truck if you don't use it, eh? We got them to her house and loaded into the garage. Big bales! 4 of them filled the longbed. Nuts! Had a nice visit, and it was time to get the furry yodeler home. Was a great way to spend a Saturday, and I'm stoked to have made a new friend up here! (Henry was too!)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Chilly, but gorgeous!

Traffic yesterday was a breeze! It appears that most people stayed home yesterday rather than brave a couple inches of snow. Works for me! We had about 4" at the house, and Henry had a lot of fun racing around the yard and eating snowballs. Woke up this morning to a clear sky and an outside temp of around 16 degrees. Awfully chilly today, but sunny and gorgeous out. Loving it! Always prefer a cold clear day to a warmer rainy one.

Should be a fun weekend. Heading to One Green World tomorrow and will likely spend more money than I plan to part with. Ah well. All going to a good cause. That cause being the new place. Need more plants! Ok, WANT more plants, but it's all the same to me. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Please don't snow...

Please don't snow, please don't snow, please don't snow... At least until I get home. And be melted when I have to go to work tomorrow... Is that too much to ask? It doesn't even need to stick to foul up traffic. One person sees a snowflake, and the freeways stop. I've never before lived somewhere that people abandon their vehicles... in 3 inches of snow... in the middle of the intersections. Scary.

(Please don't snow!)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Getting there!

What a weekend! Sure feeling it today. Got lots and lots done. Saturday was pretty nice out, so I did some outside work. Spent a couple hours moving a huge brush pile off the back lawn and raking up all the sticks and bits scattered everywhere. It's almost time to start mowing again after all. I even got one of the two garden sites cleared, and filled in some low spots with mole mound dirt. :) Also found time to finish gluing and clamping an old oak umbrella stand turned plant stand that I've been refinishing. A final sand and stain, and I have an excuse for another plant. I'm thinking I need another fern.

Sunday was another reasonably nice day, and I spent it clearing brush. Heck of a workout. Lots of raking up sticks and berry canes, hitting the ground with the clearing saw, raking again, repeat as often as needed. Managed to take an area that used to be an impenetrable wall of saplings and thorns down to bare dirt. Even leveled out some of it. Oh, how I dream of a tractor with a brush attachment, AND a box blade. Split a good bit of wood at the end of both days to round out the workout, and I'm pretty sure I lost about 5 lbs doing so.

LJ and I both had the day off on Monday. We scavenged 2 plastic drums with lids, and a bunch of PVC pipe from our friend's parent's place. Wilco had some good sales going, and we had some coupons on top of that. So, we got a charger, t-post insulators and hotwire for our hog fence, and a new pair of suspenders for me. Suspenders are sooooo much better than a belt. A buddy loaned us his auger, and we set the first post for our driveway gate. Woohoo! We finished off our afternoon pounding in t-posts for the pig fence. Even got part of the field fencing up.

All in all, a very productive weekend. I can rest easy at work this week, knowing that we're a few steps closer to taming our wild property. Chicks arrive tomorrow, and another bit of the adventure begins. Oh, and get this. Apparently we are getting 6 pigs, not 2. LJ asked all his coworkers whether they wanted to get a pig. Idea is that they pay for most of the feed, thus offsetting our costs. I'm not that worried about the costs. I'm worried about the time and energy we'll need to put in to take care of 6 pigs, let alone that we'll be responsible for several other people's investments. Deep breaths... I will not have a panic attack. Won't won't won't... ok, maybe a little one.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday miracle!

No, seriously. I have the day off work, it's a Monday, and it's sunny. That all adds up to a Monday miracle. LJ has the day off too (even better), and I'm putting him to work. We've got a Wilco 40% off coupon and we're going to get another fence charger. Hoping to also get the stove moved from the old house. I miss my glass top stove! May also make a trip out to a friend's parent's place to get more random farm stuff. Their parents moved cross country, and they've been cleaning the place up. We've scored gates, fencing, firewood, and lots of other goodies. Should be fun!

LJ ordered a dozen Buff Orpington chicks this weekend, and we pick them up on Wednesday. Thus, we've also got to get started on a coop. Lots of fun!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Industry changes

I learned today that I'm losing another one of my good vendor reps. :( This has happened far too often lately. Companies are trying to cut costs by pushing out their experienced reps, the ones that make more money, and bringing in college kids that they can pay a pittance. The rep I met with today has been handling our account for 24 years. Another recent loss had been our rep for 15. Next thing I know, I've got kids cold calling me. They're my age, but as far as the job and our needs are concerned, they are babies. They don't know what they are doing, and have absolutely no product or industry experience. Worthless!

Cold calling... Horrible horrible practice! I don't mind if they call me on the phone and politely ask for an appointment to introduce themselves. That's respectful. These new guys, though, just drop in. As if my time is worth nothing, and their product and pitch should be my reason for living. Needless to say, they almost guarantee that I will have nothing to do with them. Unless they wise up and take our secretary's advice, leaving their card and calling to make an appointment, they've effectively shot themselves in the foot. What are they teaching these people?!

My industry is full of old timers, and is very service based. We don't deal in tech, for example, where there's largely a younger crowd. My folks deal in grease and machines, and most of them began their careers when service meant something. They want to buy from a person, not a company. They want the vendor relationship, not a website. A knowledgeable rep is worth their weight in gold. They can troubleshoot a machine. They know their product line inside and out, and know the best solution/application for any given problem because they've seen it before. They take care of their customer, because their customer takes care of them, because there is a personal relationship. When I buy tech, I buy best price, because there is no rep involved. When there is a good rep involved, price isn't the only variable, because that rep's service and knowledge add value to the end product.

Just the other day, LJ called a local company to get an attachment for our new dryer. He was prepared with the model of our machine and description of what we needed. The sales guy pretty much refused to help him without a part number. They had the means to look it up, he just couldn't be bothered to do it, and thus lost business for his company.

I've dropped long-time vendors when I've lost reps, and gone with someone else, because their service/price package was better. I've also given new kids a chance, if they come in the door with respect and a good attitude. I'm sad to see the changes. Sad to see how good service is becoming a thing of the past, not just in my industry, but everywhere. I'm keeping in touch with my lost rep. Providing he lands with a competitor, they just may find a new customer.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shiny new appliances

Very very happy girl! Our top of the line LG washer and dryer were delivered on Tuesday! Shiny and new and not leaking oil all over the floor like our old washer, or threatening to burn the house down like our poor old dryer. The washer doesn't have the agitator post in the center, which is weird, but it works REALLY well. They are also HUGE! I threw a king size nasty dog kennel blanket in, and it looked so small down in the bottom of the monstrously huge washer. The high speed spin cycle spun it nearly completely dry (can't wait to test out the extra high speed function!). Both the washer and dryer even tell you how long the cycle will take. I never thought doing laundry could be so much fun!

Other fun stuff... LJ got chicken stuff and a book on chicken coop designs for Valentine's Day and his birthday. Really romantic, I know. He also got a Home Depot bucket full of manly goodies. He's determined to get a mess of chicks in the next couple weeks. They are going to be HIS chickens, and that's me talking. I'm not amped about chickens, at least not right now. My idea of chickens is a bunch of eating chickens that we only have to take care of for a couple months before they go in our freezer. LJ, on the other hand, wants layers. Sigh. I envisioned an army of ducks to eat the slug hordes, but chickens it is. I'm sure there will be a post in the future where I rave about how awesome the chickens are... For now, though, ugh. Chickens. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why I LOVE my bogs boots

I've recently read a handful of blog testimonials regarding farm boots, and figured I'd throw my two cents in. I absolutely LOVE my bogs boots. I think the model I own is the classic high. Rubber boots with soft waterproof tops. Great for crossing creeks, slogging through mud and wet grass, fishing, hunting, yardwork... Awesome!

LJ bought me my first pair of bogs a couple years ago, during a particularly cold and snowy winter. I think he got tired of my jeans being soaked to the knees. :) I loved the boots. I could tuck my jeans into them to slog through the snow to work. The traction was great. When I got inside, I could roll down the tops so they'd be a bit cooler. Perfect! They officially became my favorite boot during the next hunting season.

LJ and I were way way way up in the clearcuts outside Molalla, driving the logging roads, about 30 miles from cell service. At about 2 pm, my truck's battery light came on. Showed a good charge, but the warning light came on. Strange. We decided to head back down to civilization. We were just getting over the mountain (where it had been snowing at 5 that morning), and my truck went haywire. The radio died, and the gauges redlined. LJ immediately shut the truck off. Turns out that the alternator was dead. We were stranded a couple thousand feet up in the middle of nowhere, truck windows down, not one bit of power. Awesome.

After tinkering with the truck for a bit, we gave up and started packing for a hike out. Blankets, snacks, water, guns, rope, first aid kit, headlamps, glow sticks... I'm always well prepared. A satellite phone would have been nice, but no such luck. Everything we didn't pack got locked in the truck box. I crossed my fingers that, when we came back, my truck would still have tires and I wouldn't find a bear in the front seat. We'd seen no other tire tracks during our scouting up there, which was good and bad. Truck was probably safe, but we wouldn't likely hitch a ride out of there. Ugh. So, LJ in his hiking boots and I in my bogs began the hike to the river at about 3:30 in the afternoon.

It was a beautiful day, and the hike out wasn't that bad. My pack was heavy and awkward, but my feet were surprisingly happy in my bogs. We didn't see a single person or vehicle on the hike down to the river. We hit pavement about 10 miles from the truck. We did another mile on the road without seeing a single vehicle. We finally gave up around 9pm, exhausted and frustrated, and set up a temp camp on the side of the road. LJ's hiking boots had turned his feet into so much hamburger. My bogs had been good to me, and while I was foot weary, I wasn't footsore. Woohoo!

We used a large garbage bag (like I said, prepared) to keep our bed off the wet grass. A short way down from us, we threw some glowsticks and hung a red led flasher, hoping to flag down a passing car. We hunkered down to wait for a ride, and perhaps get a bit of sleep.

Not 10 minutes went by, and I heard an engine. Tired as I was, I still flew out of the blankets and out to the road to flag them down. Get this. The jerks flashed their brights, tapped their brakes, and kept going. Girl by the side of the road, flashers and glow sticks, middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, and they didn't stop. Jerks. About 10 minutes later, miraculously, we heard another car. This guy actually agreed to give us a ride to a camp he had seen a couple miles down the road. We climbed in the bed of the truck, only to have him shout out as we got under way, "Hold on tight! Cuz I drive like a bat outta hell when I'm drunk!". Lovely. A couple terrifying miles later, we were walking down to a hunting camp, and yet another drunk dude. This guy was very very nice, though. He offered us food, booze, and water, and let us kip in a spare tent. At 6am the next morning, he drove us all the way home, 45 minutes away, even though we just needed to get a few miles down the road for cell service. An incredibly nice man, and we made him take a very nice tip. Running on just a couple hours sleep, I tried to call in for a day off, but my boss had the flu and couldn't come in. So, very fast shower, and I made it to work with just minutes to spare. It was a few hours before I realized that I had worn heels to work. Heels! My out of shape body was very very sore, but my feet were just fine. Let's hear it for my bogs! Not made for hiking, but they sure did get the job done. Love them!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Smells like home

So, I am a smell person. I experience very strong nostalgia from certain smells. LJ doesn't get it but that's ok. It's one of my charms. :)

I picked up the best jasmine oil the other day. Auracacia jasmine in jojoba. A few drops shaken with some Epsom salts makes for a nice bath. Mom has jasmine planted all around the house. I planted star jasmine at the old place, and still need to put some in at the new house. Heavenly smell. Smells like summer, childhood, and home. Makes me think of crickets, freshly mown grass, and playing hide and seek in the dark at the ranch.

Lilac, lemon blossoms, horses, and saddle soap also smell like home. Yardley lavender soap, gardenias, and eucalyptus remind me of grandma and her ranch. Crepes, maple syrup, and sage remind me of Ceska, my mom's nana. Old Spice, burnt metal, and PVC pipe glue are dad smells. Racing fuel and burnt rubber take me back to nights at the Redding drag strip. Pigs smell like softball practice (our field was next to the ag barn). The fair smells like the horse shows we went to when I was a kid. Cow manure isn't an offensive scent, as I grew up between two dairies. When pig and cow manure have positive connotations, it puts a whole new spin on aromatherapy, don't ya think?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Got a text message from LJ this afternoon, telling me that he now knows why my finger was so messed up last week. A couple of weekends ago, I battering rammed my hand into the diamond plate tailgate of his truck. I was loading large rounds from a tree we had cut down, was tired, and didn't lift high enough when heaving the round into the bed. Well, apparently there is a big dent in the diamond plate lip on the tailgate. In the diamond plate! Can't believe all I did was break my finger. I have knuckles of STEEL!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sleepy kiddo

I really need to get internet at the new place so I can post pictures on this freaking thing. Sigh. Anyhoo, just a comment on how cute and fabulous my dog is. Henry normally sleeps in with LJ in the morning, while I'm up and out of the house in the dark. Well, LJ got up before me yesterday, as we both needed to leave early. I fed Henry while I got ready for work, only to come out and find the little beastie back in bed, under the covers. Beastie. I rousted him out of bed, and shooed him to the door so I could put him in the kennel. He sleepy stumbled to the door and down the stairs. I turned around from locking the door to see a furry butt disappearing around the side of my running car, instead of towards the kennel. I followed, and found Henry sitting by the passenger side of the car, asleep on his feet. Literally. Eyes closed, head sagging towards his chest. Poor pup thought he was getting dragged out of bed to go for a ride. I finally got the sleepy beastie in his kennel. He took his cookie over his shoulder with his eyes closed, and went into his doghouse. I heard a big sigh, as he flumped down. Note, this dog doesn't lie down, he flumps down. Poor sleepy beastie. It's a hard life. :)

**ok, trying to load a pic from photobucket, but it keeps previewing in gigantor size. So NOT "small" size. Grrr. I give up.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sweet sweet Friday

I love Fridays. I have so much work to do this weekend, and it was in the back of my mind all day. The list ran over and over in my head... Install towel bars tonight, paint bathroom trim, recaulk around both tubs... Old house- KT and I will tackle the garage and the upstairs of the house, set up for the sale we hope to have next weekend, price stuff at what I hope are reasonable prices, move the metal roofing, finish the yard borders... And I LIKE my list. I'm looking forward to the physical work, so different from my job. I love my job, and my new boss is actively trying to add value to my job so I can make more money, make a career. But my job is a sit at my desk and spend most of the day on the computer and phone type of job. I love my weekend work more. My get dirty, get tired, get sore but hopefully not hurt work. Weekend, here I come!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fewer pets!!!

Basil the boa is going to a new home! Woohoo! I got an email response from a reptile rescue that I had emailed about him. They're gonna take him this weekend!* I've had him so long (11 years) that I'm a little sad to see him go, but he just doesn't get enough attention anymore. Additionally, we're really trying to not have animals unless they serve a purpose. So, Basil goes to a group that will either use him in reptile programs (like they do for schools) or they will find him a suitable home. Win win! Woohoo!

*Got an email back that it will need to be sometime next week, not this weekend. Ah well, still happening! :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Oh yes. I get to wear sunglasses today. Really should have taken the day off of work! Gonna head by the old house later to do my taxes (while we still have internet there) and load up some more stuff. Maybe we'll even move the stove! Also may have someone lined up to adopt my redtail boa. Really hope they take him. I just don't have time for him. It will be sad to see him go, but it's got to be done. Fingers crossed!