Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Still too dry. Soon to be hot.

 Blessings Darlings!

We're heading into a little heat wave here - 4 days in the 90's, at least one currently forecast to be 98. And the rain forecast for today didn't arrive, of course.  The somewhat underwatered basil really really wants to go to seed.  I really, really want it to keep going so I can make lots of pesto.  OTOH, the Chubby Hubby HATES pesto.  OTOOH, the Spawn LOVES it.

I've watered the potted plants on the patio, but not the ones in the actual veggie garden and certainly not the herb garden. That's hose work, and the hoses are already tucked away because the mowers the management hired come tomorrow morning. So I'll water after they mow, I guess, tho' the day will already be getting hot by then.  

If I was in charge of mowing the lawn - I'd certainly not be mowing this dry grass that hasn't grown at all since we're in the middle of a drought.  But I'm not.

I've made more progress in my lazy way to expand the garden (I cover the grass with cardboard, the flattened boxes we use to carry our groceries home from Aldi's). I've covered about another 100 square feet - like a 4 foot by 25 foot swath. I don't know if I'll expand plants into it this fall or wait until spring.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Weed whacking.

 Blessings Darlings!

Holy Moly, it's amazing what I can get done around here when I actually have time!  The feral garden has been weeded and mulched, except for the area by the big Swiss Chard patch.  And THOSE darlings are feral and able to fight back/block the sun from any weeds that dare try to invade.

Today I started work on enlarging the garden area.  Being lazy . . . err, efficient I went down into the basement, started taking all the damn empty cardboard boxes that the Chubby Hubby has down there and never gotten rid of, flattened them, and am using them to smother lawn.  They are currently being held down by bricks I have that I'd INTENDED to use to make a really great Rocket Stove out of. 

See, witches?  INTENT isn't really worth as much as actually TAKING F'ING ACTION does.  Let this be a lesson to us all.  

Later today I'll be running a hose (well, two or three hoses in series) to the faucet by the barn shed and watering everything well.  Then I'll move the hose away from the gate by the faucet, and away from the gate by the garden, and leave it in place by the fence where it won't get mowed or driven over for all future use. 

Tomorrow . . . sigh . . . the Chubby Hubby wants me to start looking for work, because HE couldn't find work easily.  Mind you, HE was looking for a job in his little high-tech niche.  Once he decided to just get a 'job', it took him little time.   

Oh, yeah - I forgot to mention this.  Over the past week we've taken in 7 feral kittens, from two of the three barn cats.  The barn cats that are nieces of our cat.  They aren't feral any more - it's amazing how much they like getting fed and are willing to cuddle and purr in exchange.  They are of course inbred - I'm sure that their daddy was their moms' brother (he was killed by a car since then.)  

Summer feral fertility, going strong.  

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Cheap Pagan Bitching

Blessings Darlings!

So far with this unemployment I've been doing the usual stuff.  Looking at the finances to see how long before we have to start taking money from the emergency fund, moving money from the places I've already been taking surveys for cash, finally being able to weed the garden and get a big planting of green beans in.  

Today I move into 'Cheap Pagan Bitch' phase, and see how to live on less cash.  Obviously this is going to require plenty of garden work to get us fed.  And I suppose we might qualify for about $20 a month of food stamps until my social security retirement actually starts arriving.  (I didn't realize that their info 'you can apply up to 3 months before you want to start it' meant 'it takes at least 3 months to get you into the system.  Apply REALLY EARLY".)  

 So no one's getting more clothes for a while.  No paid entertainment - free concerts at the Amp, bringing picnic dinner is still a go. No buying more music, it's free radio apps.  And I quit smoking, which will save us about $30 a month.

Used books are allowed.  New books . . . so tempting!  So many of my friends are authors and I'm already behind on buying ALL THE BOOKS.  But I'll live without them.  OTOH, I'm NOT stopping the money for Patreon's I'm in.  

And, clearly, I won't be harassing Byron Ballard and Amy Blackthorn and all the others at Free Spirit Gathering. 

I can't change what we pay for rent (which is pretty low for the space we have) or health insurance.  We need the medications we're on (well, I might be able to reduce blood pressure meds soon, but we'll see.) 

 We have to eat, and we will reduce our spending on that with the help of the garden and cooking from scratch - but we were already spending relatively little on that.  I certainly will be making more food from scratch - all the loaf bread, egg roll and dumpling wrappers, all egg rolls and dumplings, maybe even all corn and wheat tortillas.  But not the English Muffins and biscuits - only the Chubby Hubby eats those and there aren't small recipes for biscuits.  I'm going to continue to buy those because I don't want to stand over a hot pan cooking English Muffins at this time of year (and I don't think we have the round things to pour the batter in.  I've done this enough to know that the thinner poured batter ones are better than the bread/muffin like cut-and-cook ones.)  Bread will be baked outside in bread maker.  Much baking will be done outside in toaster oven.  Air frying will be done outside in . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . air fryer. 

My husband will pitch a fit if I switch from good Chinese thin and thick soy sauces and go to big bottles of Kikkoman JAPANESE soy sauce.  He might just have to live with that.  You know how some folks have lots of different types of vinegars?  He's like that with soy sauce.  And a little bit with vinegar, too, really.  But I digress . . .

Cars - I could take my car off the road, rather than get new tags and pay personal property tax on it.  I probably won't, and just get 1 year tags instead of two year.  

Electric bill - Might go up a bit, with more home cooking.  AC is set at 80 days, 77 nights.  If the heat dome hits here the bill will go up.

Hell if I know what I'm going to do about propane for winter heating.  The tank is at 20% now, fine for the water heater.  The 'poor tax' for partial fills (the delivery charges, same if you get 100 gallons or 500 gallons or 50 gallons) is at least $35 per delivery.  I don't know if the cost per gallon is going to go up or down from where it is now.  And the company hides the cost it is per gallon now until you put in an order.  Snort.

We'll get by well enough.  I have assets I could sell.  I have a little money left in my IRA.  I'd rather not tap them at age 66, of course.   And I'll probably start very actively (vs the low-key stuff I've got going on now) look for a job in a few weeks, after I decompress.  Anywhere in Maryland (and I'm 2 miles from the border) pays more an hour than I've been making, which should offset increased gas cost in driving there.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Fire Away!

 Blessings Darlings!

Ever have a time/times in your life when you have . . . not visions, but recurring thoughts about things happening?  I've had one of those times lately.

The last time this happened was just pre-covid, when the thoughts were of lockdowns, closings, and the need to build community.

This time, it was about being shot, coding out, being shocked back to life, and re-building my life to focus on different things.

Welp.  To get shot, a gun gets fired.

Today I got fired.  The job was giving me panic attacks, so I'm really good with this.  As is the Chubby Hubby, who realized the level of stress I've been under.  And since I'd already been spending lots of time considering how I'd like to change my life (including some Quality Time with An Mórrigan) I know that it's time for me to do more writing and educating (myself and others).  I've got a lot of reading to do.  I've got a few books to write.  I've got this blog, to post on more often.  I've got a boatload of letters to the editor to get out on a regular basis.  And I should learn to play an instrument. 

I had already bought a guitar and subscribed to to more newspapers to try to read daily.  Now I'm going to actually have the time to read them.  The garden will be more important too, of course, since there will be some need to re-do finances and producing more of my own food will be part of that.  And I've already started going to go out to hear live music, a pleasure that Covid had stopped.

Alas, so will be quitting my beloved Marlboro Gold cigarettes.  Unlike tea, that's an unnecessary expense.  Oddly enough, I have been drying a lot of flowers and herbs for tea this year.  This is unusual for me.

I guess the 'action items' part of the message HAD gotten thru' in advance, even if the exact circumstances hadn't.

Frondly, Fern