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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Repotting--first step

Note: I wrote this yesterday. It is noon now. I must get my hair cut at 2:00 p.m. Want to bet I will not get this all done?
Not long ago, this would have been one sweaty, difficult afternoon in the high heat and humidity. All would be re-potted in one afternoon. Not so anymore. I can no longer attain the lofty heights I once could.

I acquired two more plants--boxwood basil and a pepper plant in addition to the flowers I purchased for a dime. These were more pricey--$1.75 apiece but still less than 1/2 the original price. The jalapeno already had one pepper about four inches long.  So, I am out about $10 so far. None of my seeds have been set to germinate. I may just stick to herbs. Everything must be in pots this year.

The drill is for drilling holes in the bottom of those decorative plastic pots. None of these pots cost me over a quarter. I have accumulated them over a few years from garage sales. I had to salvage them from under a bush of wisteria that has decided to grow in the flower bed. I wondered where all my pots had gone. I stacked them in the end of the flower bed last fall when there were no wisteria or plants.
Unfortunately, I did have to buy potting soil. There is a compost pile full of roots! I have a heap of rotting and rotten leaves. Roots for scuppernong have invaded it, so I cannot dig it up. Ex bf will be here on Wednesday, so he may get some for me to mix with this. The potting soil is expensive, so I may just add some of the leaves not quite gone to soil. It will work to increase the volume of "dirt" to fill all the pots without purchasing anything else....promise.

On Tuesday, I must clear this away so I can actually work on the table.  But, this was Monday's work and supplies gathered. I did water all the plants with a nozzle I bought last year that has a really easily-turned adjustment for the type stream of water. Tomorrow, I must round up more pots I just remembered.

Your turn
Have you been forced by your health to alter the way you are able to work in your garden or pots of plants?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pear tree--victim of tornado

peartreetornadoThis was a huge tree, at least twice the height it is now. It was twisted off at the top. The city has gotten all the top cleared away.

The clump of green to the right is all that is left. Well, there is the small clump of limbs to the left. Sad for the tree and sad for me and all the other people who pick the pears. My hens always got the fallen and split pears.

Sure, we may still have pears, but there will not be the abundance for everyone that there was before. I wonder if this trauma will allow it to bear pears at all this year. Will it die?

Your turn
Have you lost a beloved tree, especially one that gives fruit to the fury of Nature this year? Or, at any time? I am in mourning for this tree. I will be looking for another source of pears. This tree was so near to my house.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

COWS in town

COW=Cell On Wheels

After the tornado on April 27, 2011, we had absolutely no way to communicate in this town and county and surrounding counties. See my cell tower, all twisted and bent to the right of the three COWS? That twisted tower was the ATT tower or whatever you call it. Now, the COW does the job and not very well, if you ask me. I should not complain. 

There are three towers mounted on trailers, driven to this location. I don't know what services the other two provide. Okay, I thought this was interesting and a new concept I learned.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Small economy: Stressed plants

Midnight flowers

Today, May 25, 2001, at Lowe's I shopped for stressed flowers, hoping something in the markdowns would suit me. Lo and behold! I found three white wave petunias and five marigolds marked a dime apiece because they were stressed. They were/are in three-inch pots. That's 80 cents for all the yellow and white flowers in the wagon.

The Pink Wave Petunias were calling my name. They looked stressed but were not marked down. Another $3.98 gone to the Pink Wave Petunias in the wagon. 

They all looked much better at midnight when it was cooler and a storm was coming. I still have not watered them, but moved them from the wagon to under the porch. I was afraid the wind would batter them further and they would be floating in water in the wagon in the morning.

My credit on a Lowe's card for a return covered most of the flowers today, so I didn't feel I was overspending. Shhh...I have to justify this purchase somehow.

Look at this!
Remember the Wave Petunia that reseeded where I dumped the dirt from the pot? Today, I went out and was shocked to see another plant outside the perimeter of the large rocks.

See the lone petunia at the bottom of the picture? That sprang up over night. I will definitely have to  dig it up and put into a pot. Otherwise, the weed eater will devour it.

Okay, so it takes so little to thrill Sure, I don't have all the lovely plants early. I cannot/will not pay the price. If I were rich, I would be the rich old lady, dripping in diamonds, shopping for dime plants....LOL, no diamonds in my plans at all.

Okay, today is May 26, 2011, and the stressed flowers are perky. They look even better than they did at midnight night. Just a few short hours out of the sun, AND with no extra water, not even the rain, they have all perked right up. I am amazed and would encourage others to try this route. For ten cents, one can afford to take a chance.

Today, I returned to shop stressed flowers and buy hardware. However, the electric cart gave out halfway to the garden center. Someone pushed the cart the rest of the way to the markdown/stressed plants. I found another Pink Wave Petunia for a dime. I did not take a picture of it. Then, I left (kid still pushing) because I was not going to ask anyone to push me around the store to shop. If Lowe's would keep the carts plugged in, this would not happen.

Okay, so a dime purchase made me happy. Are you chuckling? I am.
Signed, your happy, parsimonious gardener.  

Your turn
Do you purposefully look for marked down plants? Found any lately? Mine always survive unless I further stress them with neglect. Do yours survive?  What is your best or favorite find in cheap plants?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Small economy: Free dental floss


I need to save every dime I can. Do you? Every small economy helps me.

Dental floss is something that will not be cut from my budget. Finally, a light bulb moment occurred. Ex bf does not floss. He claims he cannot get any floss between his teeth. "Just keep trying" is my thought. He is a grown man, so I don't argue this point with him.

Light bulb moment? I asked him what he did with the little samples of floss he gets from his twice-each-year-to-the-dentist visit. He has a drawerful, he said. Since he smoked then, I did not want smoky floss. He now leaves it in the car and gives it to me. I asked.

One he gave me had 3 yards; the other has 5.5 yards. Let me see--8.5 yards is 25.5 feet. That is about 28 flossings if I only floss once a day. No, I floss more often.  I don't save much, about $0.65 each month. That is about $8 each year. But, think of what you can buy with $8. And, all you would have to do is use the dental floss someone else does not use because he cannot floss or she does not like that brand of floss. I don't know anyone else well enough to ask for floss. Okay, I do, but they all floss.

I don't mind saving $8/yr by using floss that is not my preferred brand. A few years ago, I would have scoffed at using anything but Glide. Now, as long as I don't injure my gums, I will use any free dental long as it is waxed.

Well, we were thinking of all the things we can spend $8 on--bananas for about 6 weeks, a splurge on two magazines, two gallons of gasoline, a sweet treat of some kind. Or, this could make the difference in having gas to go to work, lunch money for a child for several days, fixings for sandwiches all week for a brown bag lunch.

About half my dental floss for this next month is free. Swell.... Sure, I can only be assured of one month of free floss, but it counts to me.

Another bonus: this is the perfect size to put in your purse cosmetic bag or pocket. You can use it to carry in your suitcase for short trips.

Yes, I know this wastes. More plastic to the landfill is not my desire.

Your turn
Is this small economy anything you will try? Why not?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Feral Cats and Wave Petunias


First, let me show you  the Wave Petunias. They have grown so much during the last month. From now on, I dump dead plants in hope of their reseeding the next year. I saved about $7.

This, below is what they looked like on April 23, 2001. Haven't they grown?
Feeding Feral Cats
Railroad bridge and way to feral cats
For years feral cats have lived along the embankment in the railroad cut underneath the bridges that go over the railroad that runs through town. Like many towns, the railroad ran through the middle of the town. Unlike many towns, the railroad is still central. The town grew up on both sides.

As I understand it, a cut is made to keep the train running level or something like that. Eventually, bridges were erected so citizens would not have to wait at every crossing in town. I am sure it is was for safety, also.

Feral cats have been living under these bridges for at least 40 years that I know of. They may have been strays at one time, but now are feral.

People feed them all the time. I am not sure if this is good or the right thing to do. But, we do it anyway.

Leftover meat
 After the tornado I ate from food supplied by churches in their parking lots. The civic center supplied food in the dark auditorium. Even though I had a refrigerator, I had no stove. Sure, I could have cooked on the grill. But, I was so exhausted all the time, I could not have stood to do so.

Consequently, often the food supplied was heavy on meat. I had a plate of meat I could not face, so three weeks later, I carried it to the feral cats. If I had gone later, I would have gotten pictures of them coming out, darting, snatching and running to safety.

I threw the food down the embankment. If I had only placed part of food in sight of the car, I could have gone back later, put out more. Eventually, I could have taken pictures of the cats. Oh well. The food is about ten feet down.

Some people feed cats in the park or outside university buildings. This is our version of library cats. They are train bridge cats. Some people even add houses for the cats in parks and nice pet feeding bowls.

Your turn
Do you feed cats in a park or near a building in town or at a university? Does it make you as happy as it does me? Or, are we deluding ourselves that this is a kind act?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Shelf Life Clues

can dates
look hard for the date I wrote on the front of the bottom tuna can
I sometimes peruse prepper sites, reading their scary takes on the future of the world (they may just be right), gleaning good information even if I am not much into the extreme prepper mode. This site has two links for determining shelf life of food.  Read Del Monte's advise. This link is from a government source.

This time, I made certain I gave credit where credit is due, since I don't want to just glean from other bloggers and post to my site. Yay for me!

In my cabinets are foods that have complicated codes that I cannot decipher. Calling the company is a drag, but I do call so that I can date all cans.  Then, I write the code decipher in a book so I don't have to make the same call next month or whenever.

My dating is marked on top and front with a thick indelible marker. I absolutely hate having to pick up a can in a box to see the other end or the front where I marked it. Also, I hate have to remove a can from a shelf to see my date that I have put on the top. I am tall, but most of my shelves are taller.  Worst of all is just relying on the small, dim lettering used by companies on the bottoms of cans. That requires that I not only pick up each can to see the bottom, but that I always look for items with a flash light or move to a better light--not fun.

Storing dates farther out on the back is ideal, but it's not always happening with some things I have stored in boxes. Also, I date toothpaste so my children will be reminded of the almost-invisible embossed date on the end of the box. Besides, if I send toothpaste in the box with gifts, they may just have several stored and not grab the oldest tube first.

Of course, Best used by and use before and packed on are all dates with meanings all their own. Mostly, I am concerned by the use by date. Most foods without bulges or bugs are safe to eat. They have just lost some of their nutritional benefits or don't taste like the manufacturer wants them to taste.

I think I did not post my best photo after edits!

Your turn
Do you ever re-mark your stored food in order to determine at a glance what needs to be consumed first?

Great blogger posts

Check out The Power of Minutia written by Katy, one of my favorite bloggers. Okay, she is not on my bloglist, but I get her posts in my email. Someone needs to explain to me her "rubberband on eggs" statements.

Hello It's Me has a great post on hand sewing and a challenge a non-sew accepted--hand sew a pair of linen pants. She is in a discussion elsewhere about lost arts and trades. This post should be of interest to all of us. Since I sew, it is of particular interest to me. Sewing is the subject but not the focus of her post. Making shoes is about the only skill I lack when it comes to dressing myself in safe and warm attire.

Over at Root Simple, you can see a Hippie Heart today. I really want a hippie heart. Unfortunately, I am just hippy. I really need a Mr. PP to make these things come true.

Brokeback Mother over at I Am the Working Poor is having a hard time of it fiscally and physically. She reminded me of me last week. Except I had a prescription for the swelling in my knee that made me want to sleep 18 hours each day, and left me staggering about when I resisted sleep. She has many relevant ideas in her blog chronicling life working in Florida.

Molly on Money~One woman and her cashflow issues, has a picture of The Blind Chicken & Her Bandaid. Molly is always so interesting.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sand for safety--year round

confused yet?
Winter safety purchase
Every winter, just before predicted icing of roads and walkways, I rush out and buy 40 lbs of play sand. I should prepare earlier because very few bags of sand were left this fall. Someone at Lowe's loads the horrendously heavy bag into the car, of course. I can still manage to drag the bag from the car and down into my little red wagon. Later, I have to find someone to put it into a five-gallon bucket. I can fill the bucket, one scoop at a time if I must.

Preparing for ice
This bucket stays right outside the side door I exit. Inside the bucket of sand is a butter bowl or yogurt dish. That way, I can sprinkle sand down the five concrete steps to the bottom only as I need the traction. At that point, I can get onto grass and not slip. On the bottom step I keep a yogurt bowl full of sand. If it is icy when I try to get back up the steps, I just sprinkle enough on each step to put a foot. I safely work my way upwards this way. 

It will ruin concrete, shoes, and eventually cause runoff that will cause barren ground. I do not want to deliberately ruin my chances of getting grass or even weeds to grow.

Spring safety with sand
Each spring, I dispose of the sand by using it to fill holes in the yard. Some of the holes or depressions are a foot across. Others. like the one in the picture, are just three or four inches wide and deep. Either way, they are always out in the deep St. Augustine grass, where I cannot see them.

These holes cause me to become off-balance, stumble, or turn my ankle. I have fallen, but not in a few years. That happened this morning as I was at the clothesline. I stepped backwards into a hole that only held my heel. I was momentarily off-balance, but the wrenching myself aright hurt my knee that needs surgery, my lower back, and the shoulder injury that may be a torn rotator cuff.

Consequently, I decided today was the day to fill that hole and others. Okay, maybe just that one.

The problem with islands of sand?
Cats think I have prepared multiple litter boxes for their comfort stations. No no no, silly puddy tats!

The solution?
Red pepper sprinkled liberally keeps cats away. As a matter of fact, I sprinkle red pepper around plants when I plant them in the ground. It discourages the many cats in the neighborhood. Of course, the pepper must be reapplied after the rain. It takes very little pepper, just two or three shakes. Also, sometimes heavy dew dissipates it. This sounds like a daily chore, but you can keep the outdoor pepper handy by leaving it outside. Besides, the cats just don't bother to come after a few days. I still try to keep it on the sand most of the time. I do fail at that.

Too expensive?
Yes, it is at most stores. I found a 2.75 ounce bottle of 5th Season Ground Red Pepper at WalMart for 50 cents. I only use it for sand preparation, so it will last for years.  The container is about 5 inches tall, so there is lots of pepper.

Your turn
Do you ever prepare your outdoor walking places with sand? Keep sand handy like I do? Do you ever use red pepper to keep cats from your garden?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Homemade soap recommendation

This is wonderful soap. I received this from an Internet friend who makes soap and sells it. We made a transaction that involved money and barter. The flying pig shape was more distinct before I used it.

During my five days without hot water following the tornado, I used this exclusively. Having to wash in the bathroom sink with a washcloth and icy cold water did not lead me to use an excess of water for rinsing. In the past if I have not not rinsed soap properly, I got all itchy. Since I was only washing the necessary parts during my five-day ordeal, I was not keen on excessive rinsing with ice water....or itching. Emily's soap works. I did request unscented, I think.

My flying-pig soap did not need lots of rinsing from my body to make me feel it was gone from my skin. I don't know what the difference is, but I highly recommend Emily's soap. I have very sensitive skin and only use Dove. I just wish it had been a setting hen soap.

In the event of any crisis where soap was unavailable, I am stocked up on Dove. This also free Dove soap is the perfect price. However, I am rethinking this stockpile. Four bars of Dove is a good stockpile since I only use about one bar every six months. Actually, I have eight bars. No, I don't let the soap free range in the tub or sit in a pool of soap dish water between uses. So, it lasts me forever, taking one bath each day and sometimes two.

My bar soap is not for hand-washing. I use a pump with various shampoos that did not work out for me or I acquired free. Dove is not wasted on hands. Hence, a two-year supply consists of four bars.

Back to Emily's soap. Try it; you will love it. So the spammers don't get her email address, contact her at this address, just change it to address form--thayerbooks2002 AT Yahoo dot com.  I thought she had a blog, but she does not. Emily sells used books on Amazon, too.

Your turn
I know I am late coming to this realization, but have you found that homemade soap is easier on sensitive skin?

Guest post on a favorite blog

Check out one of my favorite blogs, Food Storage and Survival. Okay, okay, so I am the guest blogger today! Is it just me, or do my pictures look better on her blog? The post yesterday on making syrup from sugar cane was full of great pictures and information.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My "to do" list for today


Some days are all plan and no do. Actually, I did more than is on the list: sat in swing for a bit, ate leftovers, sorted papers, etc.

The list

*Write and hand deliver a business letter. Written and resting until tomorrow's edit.
*Take donations to thrift store. They are in the car, at least. That is the hardest part.
*Pack books and seal in boxes. Two done.
*Return a blouse that has a seam coming out. In the car.
*Take meat not saved during the tornado to feral bridge cats. In the car
*Take a picture for my blog.
*Get rid of soup. On the curb for free.
*Box up two items that are in the way. Don't have right size boxes!
*Wash two loads of clothing. Done
*Hang two loads of clothing. Done
*Bring in clothes. Done. One load was a rinse only of three pair of black pants.
*Fold clothes
*Crush cans
*Drop videos in library drop. Does it count if they are in the car now, ready for tomorrow?
*Call Tupperware to replace cracked seals and bowls Done. And, it took over an hour.

Okay, so I write an ambitious list. But the day is not done yet. It is only 6 pm.

The blouse, old meat, donations, and videos are in the car. That should count for something. I want to make one trip for all that. Damned can crusher. I feel obligated to at least make it pay for itself. Folding clothes is for movie watching time. The first draft of the letter is written. Tomorrow, I can revise and print.

For some reason, I cannot take a picture of a crocheted item without the item looking blurry. I have taken similar pictures before, so I still should be able to do it again.

I am eating leftovers today, not driving much, and not using the ac--all to be parsimonious. Tonight, I will return blouse, videos, and feed the bridge cats. Really, I hate waste! Even if I were wealthy, I would still keep to my not spending ways.

Tomorrow, I can deliver the letter, make cold call, and deliver the thrift donations. And, I still have leftover chicken and roast for the weekend.

As usual this time of day, 7 P.M., the chickens need their dinner cooked and cage lined with newspapers.

The chickens have been in for three hours and I just finished the call to Tupperware, a post in its own right.

I function better with a visible list. Then, I can scan and prioritize. At the end of this day, I am exhausted but happy I accomplished so much. Okay, some things are only in the car yet marked off. Some days, getting things to the car is the hard part.

Your turn
Are you a veteran list maker like a am, chronically held, addicted by the need to list?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Growing more onions like the celery

Over at hello its me there is a post today similar to the one I had planned. Remember my post, Celery--free plants to grow ? Well, onion technique is similar to the celery technique. Only, you don't need celery roots. I would suggest maybe just cutting the tops of the onions as they grow, sort of like cutting basil and leaving the onions in the soil. Maybe not!

Either way, you will buy fewer onions by replanting the onion with roots. And, you can raise it for yourself and make yourself more self-sufficient.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cleaning day the hen house way


First a lovely petunia wave. This is one of my favorite flowers and the only annual I will purchase. The potted ones spread to three feet. I wait until Lowe's forgets to water them and buy a marked-down pot. This was the case last year. Later, I just dumped all the dirt onto and between the rocks covering a rotting stump. It's been rotting deep into the ground for about 26 years. I covered the hollow stump with rocks because I could not afford a stump grinder service and did not want anyone falling in and getting hurt. These rocks are where I place flowers and herbs in their pots. It was such a lovely surprise when the flower above came up between the rocks.


Usually, my ex bf comes up on Wednesday to help me with things that I cannot physically manage. Above, we are in the midst of washing, raking, and rearranging. This week, he said he would come on Tuesday if I did not mind. I had a doctor's appt and he came with me. It looks like I will have a endoscopy and colonoscopy two weeks from today. It sounds like a fun day.

Since we were both exhausted, him from work and me from three hours sleep last night, we took an unplanned nap and then got busy. While I put on a roast, carrots, potatoes, onions and celery, he started cleaning the hen's pen. I forgot the steam the broccoli when we ate!

The winter water heater was replaced with a plant stand. Hopefully, the hens will not knock the stand over or the waterer off the stand. The waterer for the pen, their outside water bowl, my red wagon, and their night cage for in the house were all hosed down and washed by me with Dawn and a holey knee sock. Of course, I managed to soak myself. The night cage for inside my house is the dark blue, upended thing to the right of the picture.

The hens have several "watering holes." The metal waterer is in the pen. A pretty bowl is near a bench in front of their pen. They think the bird bath near the swing and picnic table is for drinking. Then, there is a bowl of water near the back door.
I bought the bowl above because I was breaking antiques by leaving them outside. This was a $2 bowl about 14 inches in diameter bought at a yard sale, cheap to begin with, so I was sure it would not last long. It has been in use for 2 years.
Can you see the three-legged, metal plant stand on which it sits? It must be off the ground in order for the water to stay reasonably clean since their scratching throws trash in it. One day, a robin was having a lovely time, bathing in the water bowl.

He got out all the vegetables they don't eat and put those in the compost hole by the fence. They scratch all the leaves out the pen, so those went over the vegetables in the compost hole by the fence. He hosed out their Rubbermaid boxes and put fresh, dry leaves in there. The ladder is for their amusement. There is a tree stump with short branches that they don't appreciate, just lying down in the picture. The blue garbage can he is using to transport leaves is for them to sit in when it lies in their pen. When it is windy or especially rainy, they hunker down in there amongst the leaves put in for them. You cannot see the holes the hens have dug in the floor of the pen. Neither will I be able to see them and will just stagger around in the pen when I go in to check for eggs or deliver food and water. So far, I have not fallen down in there! I just look drunk.

At the left of the picture in the background is the blue tarp over my generator. Anyone want a generator full of

I watered my two squash plants in the pink box behind him. So far, that is my only garden. I am sort of demoralized about having more garden since my life seems in flux right now.

I had to stop typing in order the line the hens' clean box with paper. They whine and fuss so when they are ready to come into the house.

Your turn
I am averse to buying annuals but am often surprised that they return from seed the next year. Do you have a favorite annual that you cannot resist, no matter the cost? If one must clean a hen pen and nest boxes, today was a lovely day, full of sun and fluffy clouds, and a mild temperature. What does your hen house or pen cleaning consist of?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Ides of May: condemnation of my home

For those of you who are just positive that Ides are only in March, let me offer you this comment in the next paragraph on Ides or ides. I learned this in Latin class in 1960, but have been challenged on this point for over 40 years! Yes, there is an Ides of May. I just wanted to get this out of the way so you could concentrate on the real purpose of this post.

(pl.) early 14c., "middle day of a Roman month," from Fr. Ides (12c.), from L. idus , a word perhaps of Etruscan origin. The 15th of March, May, July, and October; the 13th of other months. Read the whole entry here if you like. The soothsayer who warned Caesar of impending disaster has made March ides famous. Every month has its own ides.

Condemnation of my house
For those who follow who are detractors (yes, I know who you are), you will love this. I received a letter from the city stating that unless I fix certain things before May 30, 2011, the city will began the condemnation process in court. From roof rafters to paint inside are on the list. On Monday, I will get the code and see if the city can demand one must have paint on the walls of fresh sheetrock. I think not.

Still, I cannot afford the other repairs.

1) I divorced a prominent man who smeared my name to city, courts, and children.
2) I have refused affairs with prominent men who then told others I am a lesbian. I am not.
3) All this has created for me with some entities an aura of the bad woman in town.
4) Workmen have not been allowed to work on my home by their wives over the years.
5) Churches have openly condemned me to others in church for divorcing a minister.
7) I have refused to marry men that have proposed just to gain my security in the world.
8) People to whom I have turned for help also have the most to gain by purchasing my property before the condemnation procedures. Or, they have speculators and investors to whom they are loyal and can alert their friends to my misfortune for their own gain.
9) Now, no one is listening to anything for me because of homes ripped asunder and scattered by the tornadoes that came through here. Over 900 homes and businesses were destroyed completely.
10) Some of the people who were going to help me find sources for help were themselves victims of the storms' destruction.
11) Church groups that do this type work are concentrating their efforts on tornado damage.

As you can see, there are things that have worked against me for years. No, I was not going to move to escape the talk that ex continues to flame. He is so determined to "get even no matter what I have to do and if it the last thing I do" (his words), that he would cause me problems whereever I had gone.

I am liberal and outspoken in the past. This does not work well for getting any

My position
I need ideas. I am a single female, senior citizen, permanently and totally disabled. No, I did not think a person could see, hear, think, and be able to walk and drive a car and be totally disabled. No, the house is not too big for me to handle.

What I have checked
1) A person from the Amish came by some time ago, talked with me, heard I divorced a minister, left in a huff and refused my calls.
2) A church group in town was going to send a roofer to solve my problem. He came and started cursing me, saying I still owed him $500 from 20 years ago. My ex left town without honoring the divorce decree about paying all bills made before the divorce.
3) Churches around here say, "Have you asked your own church?" My church declared I was going to hell for divorcing. Just for a loan of less than $200 for two weeks, I was told the church did not have to help me because my children did not attend their church. Okay, from a thousand miles away, how can they? They all did go to church where they lived. Other churches have people who want to continually talk of the divorce and ask about my husband. I cannot worship in those conditions.
4) FEMA agreed I did have additional damage beyond what the condition of the house was before the tornado. But, the letter said that I was capable of  fixing/paying for the damage myself. No, they would not help with the additional expense of a generator!
5) Habitat for Humanity does not do repairs in this county. Other Habitats cannot cross county lines to repair.
6) No, my children or family cannot help me...that's a final word on that subject.
7) To do a reverse mortgage, the house would have to be repaired. If I could do that, I would not be writing.
8) Friends who could help are too old for climbing on a roof

I have heard of groups traveling around helping others to rebuild. But, I don't know the groups. Besides, there are people who think it is foolish for me to worry about my own house when theirs is damaged. Well, mine is damaged and I will be forcibly removed if I cannot pull something from the hat.

Please don't suggest I move or sell the lot. I already know that option. I have lived here since 1977 and want to live in my own home. I really don't need lectures or detractors at this moment. I cannot afford to rent or buy elsewhere. This house is paid for. Living in an apartment would be worse than death. If you have something less than the kind of help I am looking for, or want to criticize me please write No, I don't think there is a millionaire in my small audience. And, I hope not to drive any of you away with what seems like "downer" posts.

I guess you all may think I have too many problems. I do, too, and try to keep them to myself. I guess this is a last ditch effort to get something going and see if I can get the city to relent. A friend is working on getting her church to sponsor me and handle the money under their 501(c)3. There is already a fund that I cannot touch started, but no money so far.

If you want to recommend me to a group that can help, I welcome that. No, I don't think you all have the answer.

Try not to hate me or leave! If you want to be less than helpful or want to criticize or suggest I sell, please comment at Yes, I know I am repeating myself when I give you my email address.

Oh, I got the internet back today. Want to read some other trivia about kalends, ides, and nones? This is one of the unofficial sites about info, but seems to have it all straight. I love trivia.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Is it live, or is it Memorex?

Okay, I thought these were real peas, dried peas. I ate them with relish. It was amazing how crunchy they were. After I had tasted them, I read the ingredients. Rice was sort of unexpected. Sooo, that is why they were sort of coated in a powder--rice powder. Once, about half way through the bag, I decided to look at the cross-section of the bitten pea. Hmmm, and where is the pea-ness inside? These had the look of a baked good with air pockets. Hmmmm?

Look at the pretty package. Doesn't it look like I bought dried peas? Maybe I wished they were dried peas?

I examined the ingredients: Green peas, corn oil, rice, salt, calcium carbonate, ascorbic acid. For a bag of snack peas, all dried out, that seemed like an okay treat--not good, mind you, but okay and sort of healthy.

No way. They just mushed peas and rice and baked it. Since I was still so drained from the tornado and aftermath and becoming feverish, my best judgment was lacking when I grabbed these.

Do you want to read more? Check out:  or  to see what is up with this new garbage food that pretends to be healthy. Are these pea chips in pea form like potato chips are made into potato slice form? I think so.

Have I been green washed? I do eat junk food, but at least I am aware of the fact when I take the product home! The Snapea Crisps are not nutritionally recommended.  The 3.3 servings were downed in two sittings and in less than 8 hours. If they dare publish the Nutrition Facts, check them out. Right now, BAM is going to close soon.

Your turn
How have you been fooled about processed food lately? Have you bought without really checking the facts and been shocked at what you brought home and consumed?

Friday, May 13, 2011

A movie moment and good and pps

Unedited at all, still in Books A Million.

Last week a fluid was leaking from my car when I parked. It was green and rainbow looking. A guy nearby put his finger in it, rubbed it with his thumb, smelled it, and declared that he believed it was antifreeze. That statement struck fear in my heart and pocketbook. Another guy on another day told me the same thing.

Today, feeling ill, I slept 13 hours and got up at the crack of noon. (I put the hens in their yard at 8am and returned to bed.)

Yes, I was taking antibiotics and they made me feel really horrendous. But, I braved the chill sprinkles and headed out to Jack's Radiator Shop on Convent Road. Yes, there is a convent there. Jack's is the best radiator shop around, but I have to head out in the country (zoned city).

Thankfully, I don't visit Jack's Radiator Shop often, but between the rain, feeling ill with a temperature, and the not-totally-familiarity, I turned on the wrong road. I realized it immediately and was going to turn around in the first driveway about an eighth of a mile down the road. But, I saw a truck about a quarter of a mile away, coming toward me.

I stopped in the road and waited for the truck. I rolled down the window and waggled my hand for him to stop. He kept coming at 90 to my nothing. That sorely disappointed me. As he sped past, a brown wave rose up. I had stopped on a gravel road and there was a mud puddle next to my window.

The brown wave sloshed up from the road and time crept by until the brown wave hit me full in the face! When I saw the brown wave, I let out a little squeak with open mouth. As I spit and sputtered, trying to see through mud, the driver of the truck backed up and apologized. When I asked them if they had anything to dry my eyes, the driver handed me a wad of napkins. I swabbed my eyes. I swabbed my face, neck, hair, and both arms. I patted my left sleeve and chest. My pants were soaked--thigh level and calf level. Later, I realized my panties were wet.

As I spit and sputtered and swabbed myself, trying to removed muddy water, the guy kept apologizing. NOW, I could see their faces. They must have been injuring themselves in places I could not see in order to keep from laughing because both guys had the smallest glimmer of a smile at the corners of their mouths. Their faces, otherwise, were inordinately serious.

Well, not to be outdone by muddy water in the mouth and up the nose, I asked them if I was on the right road to get to Jack's Radiator Shop. No, the guys in the Richard's Electric Truck had no idea. The guy kept apologizing profusely, saying he did not see my hand until the last moment. Yes, and the smile tried to creep past the corners of his mouth into a full mouth grin.

As it turned out, I needed to go one street further to get to the right road. I had several stops to make later and had no pick to use on my hair. Besides, it stayed wet for a long time, just plastered to one side of my head. Only one half the bangs were plastered to my forehead. The blouse and pants were both on their first day of wearing. But, both need the mud removed now. Maybe the Alabama dirt will not stain this pink blouse.

The guy at Jack's radiator shop declared all fit under the hood. I am to return in two weeks for him to look again. And, I got muddy to hear that. I had cancelled a doctor's appointment in Huntsville because of the leak I thought I had.

But, this was a Meg Ryan moment. I am not cute like her, but I did the whole gasping, holding the breath for a moment, and the shocked-into-immobility bit.

I had brought a tall plastic cup and milk and cereal to eat. After the soaking, I ate it. Then, I realized the shoes on the seat beside me were soaked and the cup was wet as I held it. Sigh...I ate muddy water. I am not dead yet.

The liquid was water from ac that mixed with something else dried on the pavement. The dry day and my drip made it appear I had a problem.

Cautionary tale
Never leave the window open on a muddy road. Okay, I bet you all knew that! Actually, I grew up before ac was common in cars, so I "knew" it, too. If the truck had slowed and stopped, I would have been safe. Okay, the moral is don't trust the truck. AND, close your mouth and eyes when you see a brown or any other color wave coming.

Your turn
Who's happy for my car's apparent health? LOL. Have you ever received a complete sloshing like this? No, I don't mean in a water park.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Let there be light!

I had heard that people used the solar yard lights for instances where the electricity was out for whatever reason. I marched myself to Lowe's on the day after the tornado and purchase two. One lasted for two hours that night. The other had given up sometime during the night. Since there is no way to turn the light off, short of taking out the battery, I had just left it burning all night. Lowe's traded the cheaper $2.98 light for a $5.98 light since the cheaper one had sold out during the intervening day.

Putting the light into a bottle and setting it in front of the kitchen window had two advantages. First, the light was high enough to shed light on much of the kitchen. Second, the light reflected from the window panes, adding additional light.

Someone, somewhere said that some of the solar lights on stakes had an on/off switch. That would certainly be handy. I have not seen any.

Solar lights now grace my yard.

These are 2.4 something...lumens, maybe. The brighter ones that are 7.5 can be aimed at the ceiling and will illuminate the whole I have been told. These were $15.

The ones I bought had batteries that did not seem to last long. So, I replaced them with Duracell. I think it was a dumb, uninformed move. The batteries in the solar lights said "rechargeable." Another stupid move almost took place as I considered putting them in my recharger after the lights came on. Since they are "solar rechargeable," there would probably have been a small explosion!

In the kitchen window (pic above) in the Aladdin's lamp, I keep a box of matches and two tea candles. These are the first move after the lights go out. They sit on foil, one on the stove and one in the bath tub.

Okay, so my daughter just called while I am working on this post. Now, I have less than five minutes to get out of here.

Your turn
Have you ever used these solar lights when the electricity goes out?

Monday, May 9, 2011

No post today!....sort of

Okay, so this is a post.

My daughter only calls me when I am with others or like now--at BAM. I can wait for a promised call for days, but she makes good her promise to call when I am at dinner or with friends...grrr. Yes, I put off all to talk. She works hard.

I even had pictures to post of something besides the tornado!

Your turn
Aren't children perverse with their timing?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Helicopters and ambulances and sirens

I may have mentioned that the night of the tornado devastation I heard ambulances all evening and at night in bed. The next morning I awoke to helicopters and chain saws. The window ac usually drowns out all noise and distractions since I have a hard time sleeping.

Since then, helicopters are still in the air. Usually, I hear one each weeks or so. Ambulances are running more often. Is this my imagination? Possibly. Only two people were killed in our county. I wonder if people are suffering from stress-related or stress-exacerbated problems so that there really are more ambulances with sirens blaring. Or, am I extra sensitive to the sounds that were accompanying the disaster? I wonder.

Every Wednesday at noon, tornado sirens blare over the whole county. This last week, one week after the tornado, the "practice" sounding of the sirens was cancelled. I do believe that the well-orchestrated sirens and constant information about tornadoes helped us the have a low mortality rate. Plus, in the last 40 years, many people have been killed in our county.

Any tornado in the area of Smith Lake follow highway 69 to the City of Cullman. Sometimes, the tornado takes a path a little to the north of the city; sometimes the path is a bit to the north. In either of these instances, it rarely touches down.

The last tornado in 2008, I think, hit an entirely different section of town, a bit to the north and in an area with less affluent residents. This time, the more affluent areas of town were affected.

I was thinking today that our preparation, maybe over-preparation to some, accounts for the lack of a high death toll. Maybe it is like many things in life, preparation makes the difference between a poor outcome and a less traumatic outcome.

Your turn
Does your area, your family, and you take seriously the preparations and warnings for your local or area natural disasters?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

No cooking yet! Amazing cleaned clothes

No editing or spell check.

I was cooking when the tornado hit. I have yet to clean up all that! I did put a load of dishes in the dishwasher. It takes me a long time with my several problems to empty it. So, I am not going headlong into my regular routine of cooking.

Oooops, I lied. I did manage to wash a Corning Ware casserole dish and put in a bag of baby carrots, two peeled and diced potatoes, and sliced cabbage into it. With the addition of frozen, diced onions, cooking was all that was necessary. The ONLY reason I did that cooking was because exbf is diabetic. I was going to treat him to lunch at the Civic Center and dinner at the Church of Christ. Thinking they might be heavy on foods he should not have, the vegetables were for a backup. He took two cups home, and I have eaten from the rest.

The CoC has full meals, not just meat, bread, and sweets like many of the other places have had. This is not a complaint by any means. Fresh fruit was scarce, but I took it and consumed it.  There were usually the little fruit bowls like the ones sold in the store. Only one time other than CoC did I find vegetables other than fries.

Sheer exhaustion still reigns in my body!

I was in a minor dilemma. Dirty clothing (panties, wash cloths in hamper and dish cloths in the kitchen)  were sometimes damp. The wash cloths I used for my twice daily ablutions  were damp and not drying. Dirty panties were sometimes damp from being with the wet wash cloths. Usually, the wash cloth would dry on the towel rack or on the side of the tub. I could then put it in the hamper without fear of mildew. Now, I had no heat, no air, no means to encouraging drying.

Finally, I just hung on the clothes line panties, wash cloths, and dish cloths used before and during the power outage. I left them out for a day, then they remained overnight. It rained on them during the night, and part of the next day. So, I left the soggy items on the line for a third day, all hanging by one clothespin. On the fourth day, I finally had power and part of my sanity back. I went out and took down the dirtyt items. The wash cloths no longer smelled of Dove. The dishcloths did not have the dirty dishcloth odor. Amazingly, the panties smelled as fresh as if laundered with detergent.

Yes, I actually stuck my nose in my panties to make sure I was not missing an odor. The panties were rained on for 14 hours, at least. The sun shone on them, drying them once, and drying them after the rain. If I had the opportunity and anyone had the interest, I would have loved to see if these items were as sanitary as they seemed. Being a civilized person who finally had electricity once again, I did wash with vinegar, detergent, and borax.

The three pair of gray pants I washed/sloshed in vinegar in a pot on the table outdoors were fresh, and so were the black ones. I usually only give them a rinse in vinegar in the washing machine and hang them.

But, drying the wet, dirty clothes to prevent mildew was my only goal. Hanging them on the line outdoors was just to dry, not to clean or sanitize. That was a happy surprise when they smelled so fresh.

To all the preppers and survivalists, is this a technique recommended for "washing" clothing? If I were desperate with no electricity, little water and less motivation for washing, I might try this as a last resort. I suppose the rain and sun took away ammonia smell and deodorized the panties.

Your turn
It is sort of embarrassing reporting on this finding. But, what is your opinion on this "cleaned, sanitized,  and deodorized" by the sun and rain event?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I don't care if I kill a tree and spread chemicals

Usually, I am frugal when others are not. Usually, I care about how products use chemicals. Usually, I try not to be a consumer and am very parsimonious.  I am an old tree-hugger.

It is not that I quit caring. I have suspended my parsimonious ways when it comes to paper products and bottled water. My consumption of commercial paper goods and bottled water is up while my spending remains flat.

As some of you may know, I use no paper products in my home. Wash cloths take the place of toilet paper. Dish towels and dish cloths take the place of paper towels. Sewing scraps or cut up clothing are for nasty jobs where the rags can be thrown away.

I don't use bottled water. Not only is it expensive, more so, it wastes fossil fuel to make the bottles, ship the bottles, and recycle the bottles. Check out the article on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Okay, until this last week I did not use bottled water. Rarely did I buy a bottle when out and about.

The tornado changed everything. 

I put away the washcloths and used toilet paper. Yes, I keep it for company. I never looked back. There was talk of two weeks without power.

The day before the tornado I received two rolls of paper towels to test. I was reimbursed for the initial interview. I will test the paper towels and fill out another survey. For that I will receive another check. For six days, I have used only paper towels for the kitchen or whatever. I dry my hands on them, clean the iron skillet, wash counters, and do not touch cloth.

Still, I need to test the paper towels for a few more days. Then, they will be stashed so I will have them in another emergency and will not feel compelled to buy more.

For an emergency I had one gallon of water. Everywhere I go, volunteers push water. I feel like I am floating because I have drunk so much. A woman asked me if I wanted water. I thought she meant she would bring me a bottle to the car while I carried my lunch. She brought two 24-pack cases of water. The friend who wrote "everything" got two more cases in the trunk. When I saw Dasani, I caved and allowed 24 bottles to be put in my car. At this point, I am the owner of 10 dozen bottles of water. This will be my emergency stash for next time. Of course, I will probably have a bottle now and then.

The volunteers really push water. It is good that no one will be without. I observed six cases going with one family. I will not be going out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner like I did this past six days, so I won't be near water giveaways.

The messages on the potability of our water were mixed, so I drank only bottle water.

Your turn
Have you found that your consumption of commercial goods like paper products and bottled water increases during an emergency?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

People out after the tornado

No editing here either--work with me.

Of course, people swarmed right after the tornado. Some had businesses to see after. Others came to help friends. Families came to sight-see. So did I. However, I was stunned at the sight. The next day, as I went out in the car for legitimate business (searching for generator) and was continually rerouted, I was even more stunned at the destruction. (There is no phone service here and then there was no cell service either.)

Thursday--Families with kids and strollers were out to get food and water at a nearby church that had set up massive grills, coolers, and generators. Church tables were brought out and the members manned the massive operation they had staged. Runners were still running. Walkers were out briskly walking. Bicyclers were out in force, not only the ones who bike regularly, but everyone who owned a bike, it appeared.

Four wheelers and golf carts were obviously legal for highways in town and all roads. This was a strange new world for me.  I hate to say it, but their was almost a carnival atmosphere.

The church where I observed this was giving away canned food and clothing. People were carrying both off in large garbage bags and huge boxes. Sometimes seven or eight people were loading up one pickup truck. I heard the leader of one of these groups say that this would make a great yard sale, all the stuff they got yesterday and today...all four days the group operated. Hmmm...a little extra water, okay. But, clothing for a yard sale?

The parks were full of all sorts of people. Since school and most businesses were closed, whole families were present. No one had electricity, so there was no internet or tv. No texting was taking place. The kids must have been in shock.

There are quite a few apt complexes nearby, so when they emptied, there were more people than would have been available in my residential neighborhood.

Did I tell you? Four women were using space to recharge their cell phones. They continually answered their rings and talked. Some just decided to pick up their phone and make a call. None of their loud conversations were to assure relatives they were alive. Others patiently and impatiently awaited their turn to plug in their phones for a charge! I casually mentioned to the women that if they turned off the cell phones that they would charge sooner/faster. "How will I know it is charged if I turn if off?" "I cannot talk if the cell is turned off!" Another turned her wrath on me and accused me of complaining. Oh well!

This area managed by the Cullman County Extension had signs on the table stating that only DSL users should limit their used to 30 mins. But, cell charging could take over two hours...?

The elderly woman volunteer was ineffective at managing the area. I whispered to her that cells turned off would give others a chance to recharge. She had heard the women and just weakly shrugged. She was afraid of them after their outbursts towards me. I just turned around and ignored them. They looked the type to beat me

I decided BAM was the place to go. Someone leaving always allows me to use their card number. I have no phone service in my home, hence, no DSL.

Today, it is pouring rain, so no one is out walking, biking, running, or just sitting on the porch. The few restaurants that are open are full. I have taken full advantage of meals served. My stove was full of pots where I was cooking. The sink was full of dishes. Then, tornado. My energy for two days was spent getting the funds, getting the generator, and hooking it up. Then, I had to search for a station with gas, then for money to buy gas. THEN, I had to move the freezer and refrigerator to unplug the generator and replug them into the wall. I had left them sitting partially out from the wall. It is sooooo much harder to plug into the wall than to snatch the plug out!

My left knee that definitely needs arthroscopic surgery keeps buckling. Today, the right knee is buckling, also. Yes, that makes for difficult The house is a wreck and I don't think I have energy to do anything. Even sitting here is tiring, so I will go to the Civic Center for lunch and go home.

This morning, I let the hens out at 7:30. Thelma obviously had an egg to lay. She ran as fast as her hen legs would carry her. When I went out five minutes later to feed them, there was a nice warm egg, already laid by Thelma. As a matter of fact, all three were in the pen, taking advantage of the partial shelter from the rain.

As I have been in Walmart and Books-A-Million, there have been swarms of people buying lots of DVDs. I wonder if people are reading much. There will probably be a baby boom nine months from now.

The restaurants that are open are full.  I would like a salad and hot vegetables and a sit-down meal, but I am too frugal, besides being I never eat out and won't start it now.

This morning, I went out to get a free, hot breakfast. A friend was manning the table and wrote on a card and handed it to someone. I got my own hamburger with cheese, a glass of orange juice, and a bottle of water. When I returned, my car was full of things for disaster relief.

A 2.5 gallon hefty zipper bag held:

2 large, nice, blue hand towels
8.2 oz tube of Colgate
3 toothbrushes
22.5 ounce bottle of shampoo
2 large bars of Dave, my favorite bath soap
box of 60 bandaids
fine-toothed comb
nail clippers

In another bag were three rolls of tp

A 24 pack of Dasani bottle water was in the car.

There is a box of food that I have not looked into yet.

Where are the free massages? LOL

I knew none of this, I heard my friend say "everything," and did not question in the stupor I seem to have fallen into. It will all be used, eventually. The hot, freshly-grilled cheeseburger was delicious, even bare of condiments. There is never any Miracle Whip.

I hope this is not boring.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Electricity is on

I have a full generator now that I don't need it. Financially and emotionally and physically, this has been devastating. So, I am leaving BAM and going to bed. I have things to say and to tell you, but I am drained.  Five (5) days is a long time.

Tornado videos--aftermath and tornado in air

I recognize all this. Pictures I took from the ground do not show the destruction of the court house and First Baptist Church. My pictures are nothing compared to this.


No power. No money for gas for generator. I am looking for source for money. Gas is abundant.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tornado on Wednesday--Sunday

Okay, the pics are not visible and no one in BAM knows how to get into them. The woman in BAM yesterday said she knew how to do it so you could see a link. Obviously, she does not. I welcome directions about how to make the folder clickable. I can put them on one pic at a time, but am too exhausted and pressed for time to do so.

Now that I have a generator and gas can, it seems I cannot afford to feed the generator. No place in town is helping with gas. It is all for sale. Ice is plentiful and free, thanks to Walmart.

I hope I am not repeating myself below.

On Wed, my friend Donna called me begging me to take cover. She is 70 miles away and heard a tornado was heading for Cullman. According to her and the radio, it was still 20 miles away, so I did not panic because no one really knew or said it was heading here, not on local radio. I was stirring food in the kitchen when I heard the roar, horrible, terrifying roar and knew that was the "freight train" sound. I ran as I heard the radio announcer yelled frantically--"Take cover, take shelter, we can see it out the front door of the station. Take cover now. It's right on Cullman, downtown, whereever you are, take shelter now. It has hit Cullman, take cover take cover NOW. "

I snagged my purse as I ran and could see the computer screen was blinking on and off, along with the lights. I burst into the bath where exbf was taking a bath after doing some work for me. As I put my hand on the wall, I felt the walls of my house vibrating. physically, I am not afraid of much in my world. I live in a safe town, safe neighborhood, and stay out of bad places. I suppose fear keeps me in safe

When he got out of the tub, the first thing I did was bathe and wash my hair. Good thing--today, Sunday, I washed my hair for the first time since Wed, and in cold water. That was the last warm water to touch my body anywhere.

(Why I always have exbf here. He is not husband material (58 and never married or really close to a woman until me) and dumped me.  LOL...and I did not know anything was wrong.  But, he said he would help me as long as I needed him. He is basically a very good man. He comes and bails water from swimming pools where roof leaks and has for ages. He carries things for me, mows yard, cleans up around outside...generally does heavy things. It sounds weird to always say "exbf is here." At least, that is what an internet friend told me. I just wanted to explain.

Yes, any soul on earth who was in my safe room/bathroom doing anything would find me bursting into the bathroom, my safe room. He endured it and sat there as the tornado roared over. I had him put his hand on the wall and feel how my house was vibrating.

I ran to see if the hens were dead or sucked from their pen. All was intact. I wonder where they went twhen the wind came. They have an overturned garbage can and to hide in and two rubbermaid boxes, stacked. They did not seem perturbed.

We left in the car to see what happened, and were both shocked. Courthouse, ambulance service, half dozen churches, old German bank, and many, many historic buildings are gone or beyond repair. All of a sudden, police appeared and ordered us back.

That night, it was so dark, as I mentioned. I listened to ambulances. Many times after dark, I had the thought that I needed to turn on a light and reached for the light switch.

I will start putting pictures on at the end of this blog.

Sunday--Yesterday, unexpectedly, the electricity came back on in the North part of town. Unfortunately, it was about six blocks west of me and six blocks north of me.

This morning--as I went to feed the hens, I thought the generator sounded especially loud. I looked up in my stupor and saw what appeared to be a utility truck. I staggered out to the edge of the retaining wall and peered through the growth. I told them I was not trying to hurry them at all, but was wondering if I would have electricity soon. One guy said--let me go see, I'll walk around here. While he was gone, I asked the guys where they were from--Texas. The other guy came back in one of our utility trucks. He said there was lots of damage just around the corner from me, so I would have to wait. He apologized. I tried to sound cheerful and said--okay, just curious. take your time.

What these guys see--There is my raggedy house, raggedy yard, and then raggedy me. I had slept in  pants with huge holes and my hair was matted. The dirty, nasty hair mat that comes in the morning when hair desperately needs washing. I suppose I was a fright. My hens don't care as long as I bring food and talk with them and let them out into the yard. Just call me the hen lady.

Now, to see if I can put on pictures. Well, I know I can, but there are so many and I am soooo tired.

The three gray pair of pants are dry. Today, I gave two pair of black pants a vinegar soak in the pot outdoors. It is supposed to rain tonight, so they will need to be brought inside.