Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Been a While…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. It’s been busy around here with little, and somewhat big projects. We’re not going to be able to move anytime soon. Thus, I’m trying to make the best of our situation. We have been busy working in the kitchen. We took out the pantry, and put up shelves.
The top cabinets out! It really opens the kitchen up. No pics yet. I still want to paint the walls and the bottom cabinets. We’ve got lots of other little projects going and coming up too. I’ll get back to writng as we go. In the mean time you my get to enjoy a few of my rants and general wanderings.

Hey, I’ve got to release it somewhere!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miles of piles

I love it when a plan comes together. The last couple of days we have been busy shuffling things around the ole homestead. The garbage can is full. There is still plenty of room in the back yard for more stuff. We are making an effort to keep it as organized as we can. So, right now it doesn’t look that bad. Even though we are far from done, the front yard looks a whole lot better. I’ve been taking pictures as we go. I will most likely put a little album together. I love before and after pics, but I think it will be a while before there is a real “after” situation.
It finally dawned on me why we get the most work done in foul weather. It’s the wasps! One of the days we were outside working, it warmed up, and those suckers were buzzing around like crazy! It was so bad we had to give up and go inside for a while. We have both been nailed a few times, and it’s not fun. So, I guess you could say I’m almost looking forward to more crappy weather.
We are making progress. I still have to be conscious of my attitude.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunshine! Well sorta...

Ok, the most sunshine was yesterday. We got a little bit today. Although, it was mostly rain. Randy was off today. So, I put him to work! I had previously moved a bunch of crap into the front yard thinking we were going to have a yard sale. Best laid plans and such. Anyway, we decided that we should give the assholes behind us something to look at (hee hee). Yep, we are going to pile that stuff up so that we don’t have to look at it, and give those meth-heads something else to steal. The other idea behind it is to block off the path in and out. Oh, it will be glorious! We are So not even done! It will essentially be a junk fence. Hah! Hell, putting all the junk in one place could help when we get the opportunity to get rid of it. I don’t know. Putting it somewhere that I don’t have to look at it is all the better as far as I’m concerned. Now, tomorrow is another day. Maybe, I can get some more work out of him! We’ll see...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Attitude Adjustment

No more back and forth over here, for now anyway. I have to keep in mind that it is only five years. Plus, it’s one full acre. That's a lot of space. I guess it’s a matter of perception, perspective, and all that kind of stuff. We are going to have to be a little more creative to get the things done than we would have liked. But, we are going to stay focused on working on this place for a while. So, I‘m going to concentrate on the positives.
The big thing that works to our advantage is that you can grow just about anything here. We already have a few neglected fruit trees (2 apple, 1 plumb, and 1 sad broken down pear). I don’t know if we can bring those poor things back or not. I have a few ideas about maybe taking some cuttings off of those and planting them in better locations. The other thought is to take one of the fruits and start from there. I’m going to have to learn some more about doing that and proper organic care of the trees and fruit. The people across the street have walnut trees. I know they take time to produce, but we can get free fallen walnuts and start from them. I would really like to get some nice trees (not Russian Olive trees) in the front yard. The less lawn the better! I’m already dreaming about next year’s garden. Right now, I’m going to go outside and fill up the garbage can. Tomorrow is trash day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Flip flop, tick tock.

It’s a daily occurrence for me. Everyday, often more than once a day, I go back and forth on what I should be focusing on. There was a time when I really liked it here. We had a garden. The lawn was regularly mowed. Randy and I were working really hard on cleaning this place up, inside and out. We were both thinking that we could make a pretty good life here. Although, the estate recovery issue was always looming in our minds. After about 3 years of hard work, and hoping the state would forget about this little place, it became a real issue. I have talked about this before, so I won’t go into it again. I think at some point in this process, we just gave up on staying here and making any more improvements. Every little thing that went bad became a Huge problem. (Ok, the van burning up really was a big deal.) But, even before the van incident, I had decided that any obstacle that came in the way of us staying here was some kind of sign to get out. And hey, maybe it is/was? I just don’t know. Crappy stuff happens anywhere you live.

Oh wait, it gets better. So, when the good stuff happens, and surprisingly enough, it does. Am I supposed to take that as a sign to stick it out and try to make this a better place? Here’s another one. Maybe we should be working harder on honing our off grid skills, as well as cleaning this place up. Then, when we do decide to head out, we’ll have good working skills and the place might be worth something when we can sell it. The only problem with that one is that we have to stay here another 5 years or come into a lot of money.

And there it is, I said it… Money. I know it’s not all about money. But, it sure can make things easier. You know how it goes. “If we didn’t have to spend money on this, then we could spend it on that.” “If we didn’t have to use the money to do this, then we could spend it doing that.” “If we had not spent it on this, we could have spent on that.” And so it goes. on and on.

It all makes my head spin. Or, is that the beer?
I’m sure I’ll be writing on this topic again. Because, as I said, I flip flop on this issue everyday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New resident?

The other night while I was waiting for the one picture to load up on the blog, Ruby starts freaking out. She was sniffing and scratching at the bottom of the screen door, high pitched scream barking, the works! I was sure something was out there. We have had a problem with skunks in the past. Don’t want to let her out if one of those critters is hanging around! So, I decide to take a peek before I let her out. Good thing. It was a big ole’ raccoon! It was the biggest, healthiest looking ‘coon I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if it was a big male or a soon to be mama. It seems we got a little lazy about picking up the cat food we leave out for the neighborhood cat, Thomas. He’s the only outsider Ruby lets hang around. No problem. We’ll just pay more attention, and pull the food in the evenings. As much as I like raccoons, I know they can be trouble. It will just have to find somewhere else to get free grub. Sorry, no pics. Hopefully, I won't get another chance.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The joys of fall in eastern Washington.

It seems like everyone is having weird weather in their areas. Ours isn’t too off. We had a long soaking rain yesterday. It is the first one in a long time. You might be wondering about the hole in the roof left after we took out the chimney pipe for the pellet stove? I was too embarrassed to say what we did as a temporary before. Well…We stuck an upside down bucket up through the ceiling. Don’t judge too harshly. Hey, it worked pretty good for a while. Plus, remember, Randy almost fell through the roof the last time he got up there. Anyway, we’re going to have to do something else, and soon. Of course, it leaked. But not too bad really. Don’t think I was kidding about the big blue tarp! I seriously do not want to spend any money on fixing this place up. Money would be better spent having the thing hauled off. Hell, I’d be happy with a FEMA trailer, formaldehyde and all. Open the windows, let that sh*t gas off. Then, sheetrock it. Oh, I don’t know. I’m just sayin’ …

Oh yeah, I was talking about weather. Usually when we have a front come in the wind blows like crazy. It does the same as it goes out. It’s funny like that here. I’m used to (in Houston/Austin) it getting breezy as a front comes in. Then it just kind of goes away. Today was a fun filled day of wind and little bit of a sand storm. See below.

That's not rain or fog. It's the middle of the day, very dry, and windy. After I ventured out and took this picture, my eyes were crunchy and I was chewing on grit in my teeth. Yuck! Finally, it has slowed down.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October ?!

What happened? Have I been asleep this whole time? Nah. It’s starting to get chilly at night. So, we’ve been doing a few things around here to prep for the fast approaching winter. It’s boring stuff so I haven’t posted any of it. I have however, been keeping up on the blogs I read regularly, plus a few others. I have also added a some that seemed interesting to me. I’m sure I’ll add more as I find them.
Given that we will be staying here at least until the spring. Things need to be taken care of in preparation for a long cold winter. So, we’ve been doing some long needed work around here. The last few days have been spent on working on the back porch area. The wind blows right through there, so there was a lot of sweeping, spider web abatement, and general organization. The porch is also the walkway to the shop. We worked on cleaning/organizing the shop a while back. It actually has stayed in pretty good shape. Unfortunately, when we were cleaning up the shop, a lot of stuff got shoved out on to the porch area. It’s been a lot of work.
Randy has more of a hard time getting rid of some of the stuff than me. I seriously purged a bunch of my crap before I moved here, and before I even knew Randy. My mom dumped a bunch of her stuff on us when she and her husband moved into their motor home full time. So, when they got a house, I returned the favor. Now we are having to go through what’s left of the things that were left here by Randy’s parents, his sister, and worse yet, all the junk his brother in law accumulated while they lived here. And, of course, not all of the stuff my mom left got sent back. It’s not as easy as they make it look on TV. At least, not without professional help. The majority of the stuff is truly garbage. Getting rid of trash isn’t free. So we’ve been pecking away at it, little by little, one garbage can at a time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting Back on Track

It’s time to get back to what this blog was originally supposed to be. A chronicle of how, on a limited budget, we were going to get down to West Texas and live off grid . That budget has gotten even smaller than when we started talking about doing this and bought our land in Terlingua. While we were trying to get it together, we were also fighting the state to keep this place. The hope was that we would be able to sell it and have a small nest egg to use to start over in Texas. As it has turned out, we can keep this place by paying the state $500 a month for the next 5 years. It doesn’t sound like much, but now, more than ever, I’m ready to get out of this evil place. There is no way we could make any of that money back. The place just isn’t worth that much. We agreed to the deal because, yes, it’s cheaper than rent anywhere else. The good news is that I’m not starting from scratch as far as research goes. I have a rather large binder full of info I have collected over the past 3 or so years. When I was getting started with this blog the best information I was getting was coming from the survivalist folks. The election and politics seemed to have become a distraction for them. I had my own thoughts about that stuff and was not interested in getting in any discussions nor reading about politics. However, I am going to list some of their blogs back here on mine again.
Can I say I’m getting back to my roots? Nope! I’m a Houston girl. I never minded roughing it on the weekends, camping, sleeping on the boat in foul weather, etc. But, doing it long term is something else entirely. I can say, I’ve gotten some experience living with less. Humans are very adaptable. Damn good thing!

A couple of notes:
I called the fire chief. Nobody is coming to check it out. We can get rid of it as soon as we want.
Ruby has gotten more spoiled than normal.
Oh, and nobody is talking to me as of yet. Maybe they think I have the bird flu, or whatever the newest pandemic threat is?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

No new news. The burned carcass of the van is still sitting in the yard. And it stinks!!! After not hearing anything from anyone, I sent an e-mail to the fire chief Thursday. He was the only one that left contact information. I’ll call Monday. I’d like to get that thing out of my yard soon. Seriously, every time I walk anywhere close to it I can smell it. It smells like it’s still burning. I get a knot in my stomach and have to walk over just to make sure. There’s not much they can do, but I want it written up as arson, not an electrical fire. I think I’m over the initial shock, but now, when I do sleep, I’m having nightmares. I know I’ll get over it. It was just a stupid van. I just want to move on and not worry so much that something else may happen, and that it might be worse.
As I said before, we’re taking this event as yet another sign to get out of here and head south. Now it’s just a question of when? Tomorrow would not be too soon enough for me! I think we’re going to have to spend another winter here. I don’t think we can get the funds and everything else together before it starts getting really cold (snow & ice).
I’m a little concerned about Ruby with the snakes and scorpions, but I’ve heard there are classes you can go to that teach them to stay away from snakes. I’ll worry about that one later. Right now the focus needs to be getting things organized and prepared for the big move.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ruby the Wonder Dog!

Well, Ruby, with all her annoying antics earned her keep this morning. At some point last night Randy let her out. She has a habit of barking at nothing. Usually, she’ll go out for a little while. Then, when she’s ready to come back in, she’ll bang on the screen door once or twice (the lower half is metal) . This morning I awoke to frantic banging and scratching at the door. My first reaction was a groggy “What the hell?” So, I get up to let the stupid dog in. I open the door and notice an orange glow. “Is it that early/late? Wow, that is some sunrise.” It was 3:00AM. “Oh shit, fire!!!”
To better understand, the view out my front door is the pod. About 30’ directly in front /along side is the van we bought from Randy’s work about 3 months ago. It was the van that was on fire, along with the super dry grass under and around it.
I ran back to the bedroom, got Randy up, shoes and shorts on, and out we went. As I ran out to get the full view of what was going on, I saw about 5 people standing in the road watching this fire. I was grabbing the hose while they were taking turns yelling at me to get away from it. “It’s going to blow up.” Pissed, and all adrenalined up, I yelled to Randy to turn the water on and get my gun. Ok, I hope you can understand, I was seriously freaking out. How the hell does a van in the middle of the yard catch on fire? And would you shut the fuck up! After this guy yelled at me that if the fire hit a fuel line it was going to blow up in my face I nearly lost it. I remember yelling back at the guy, “One more fucking time, ‘cause you’re not looking real good right now!“ (I was pretty sure he was from the gypsy camp behind us.) Needless to say, Randy did not get my gun. They all evaporated when they saw the flashing lights coming down the street. Gee, thanks assholes. Were they just out there to view their handy work? I don’t know. I didn’t get a good look at the ass-fuck that kept running his mouth. It was still dark and I was a little busy.
I knew that the van was a lost cause. What I was really worried about was the dry grass around it spreading the fire to the pod and/or the house and my car. So, Randy had the hose putting out the burning grass and I used up 2 of our fire extinguishers. Note: Those things are about worthless. But, I guess we should buy a couple more, just in case we ever have a nice small fire to put out.

After the fire was out, I was talking to the fire chief and sheriff’s deputy about what happened and what the cause might have been. That was interesting. The fire chief says it was a short in some wiring near or in the heater coil. Ok, so here’s my problem with that theory. We haven’t driven or even started that van in over a week. I don’t know much cars and electricity. But, if there was a short seeping juice from the battery, wouldn’t the battery be dead after more than 7 days? I guess that’s my big question. The fire chief almost has me convinced, but I’m still having trouble with it. Take a look at the pictures.
After looking at everything in the daylight, I’m pretty sure someone put something either on the tire or in the tire well on the passenger side to start the fire. We’re going to pursue this one. Fucking cock suckers! Oh sure, we’re taking it as a sign to get the hell out of here. But in the mean time, those assholes better lay low. ‘Cause this bitch has had enough!!!

The distance b/w the pod and the van. It's closer than it looks.

That fire was hot and movin' fast!!! (Looks like may date & time on the camera is still messed up.)

Doesn't look like a short in the enginge compartment to me.

Good dog, Ruby!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I’m melting…, I’m melting…

It’s Hot !!! Maybe not as hot here as it is elsewhere, but hot just the same. Not much is getting done around here. Randy has been working a lot of extra hours as of late. That’s good, since they had cut back his hours a while ago. As usual there has been talk about staying here or leaving. We’re both on the same page as far as getting the hell out of here. Now it’s just a matter of how and when. Shelling out an extra $500 bucks a month to pay off the DSHS lien is really putting a dent in our plans. The idea of staying here another 5 years is daunting, to say the least. At some point I said that we could do everything we wanted to here ( off grid, etc.). The thing is we’re really not far enough away from our neighbors as we would like to be. Every other day, if not every day, one of them is on their riding mower mowing their lawn. When they’re not doing that they are watering in the middle of the heat of the day. Most of the water is immediately evaporated or sprayed on the road or driveway. It’s ridiculous! This also causes the humidity to go up so much I feel like I’m back in Houston! I guess what I’m trying to say is these people are wannabe suburbanites, mixed with white trash and meth-heads, not country folks
Pardon me while I digress for a bit…
Ah, the joys of county living.
So you move into an area that you think is in the country. It takes 25 or even a little more minutes to get to the closest grocery store. Sure it seems rural enough. “ Hey, I can have chickens and/or goats. I‘m in the country now!” It seems like that. The problem is, so does every other dumb-ass in the country. “Hey, this would be a great place to cook meth without the po-lice noticing.” Living in the county isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So, you anti-tax paying, survivor guys, what exactly are you going to do when the real bad guys come a‘callin’? At some point you’re gonna run out of bullets. Trust me our government is not your problem. It’s not great, don’t get me wrong. But, there are others that are way more armed than you, and they are begging for riots in the streets. So ya'll go 'head on... In the mean time, me and mine are hunkerin' down.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I took another little break, (well, not so little) from my blog. I just haven’t had much to say. We’re still, slowly but surely, working on our remodeling. My computer station is no longer where it was, or even as big as it was. Since we are going to be staying here longer than expected, we went ahead and bought a cheap used couch off Craig’s list. Previously, our seating amounted to Randy’s dad’s broken down recliner and the little rocker that came in the pod. We moved the entertainment center where my make-shift desk was. The new set up works a little better. Plus, it’s nice having a couch. There is still a hole in the roof/ceiling. Fortunately, there have not been any really big rainfalls. I’m really not sure how we’re going to fix it. When Randy got on the roof to pull out the stove pipe, I was inside and watched the ceiling move. So, it may end up being me up there on my belly. Who knows? If worse comes to worse, we’ve got a giant tarp that can cover front to back of the trailer. I bet that would look pretty! A bright blue tarp bungeed over the middle of the roof. Ha! Our neighbors would really love us then!

Speaking of neighbors... The one across the street is adding another metal building to his already oversized workshop. Yes, of course, we're envious. Anyway, he asked Randy to help him put up a couple of the windows. It gave us a chance to look at the structure up close. It was pretty cool. I've been looking at DIY metal buildings as a replacement for this old trailer for a while now. I'm even more excited about doing something like that after seeing this one as it goes up. I have a feeling we're going to be over there helping with the roof and siding, so it looks like we may be getting some hands on experience at constructing one of these things. It should be interesting.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Some success...

The wall is gone, carpet down, and my new computer/work station set up! Don’t get me wrong, there are a few more things to do to finish it up. But, it’s getting close. No pics. My new desk is the door from the little room. The computer hook ups run through the door knob hole. It actually looks pretty nice. Ok, once I get the desk organized, I’ll take a picture. I did take a before picture. I always like before and after pictures. The hole in the roof is going to be interesting. No pics on that one at all. Maybe one day I’ll admit what we did to fix it. At this point, the less evidence the better. As long as hornets and birds aren't flying around, I'm happy. What we really should do is get an attic turbin thing to move air around. That's on the list. They're not as popular around here as they are in the south. I'm guessing because of the snow. Oh, we'll figure out something.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The lawyer gave the ok to go ahead and sign the papers!
It’s been really warm here lately, but there have been some sweet, cool, breezes. So, yesterday I looked around and saw some things to be thankful for. Randy’s mom’s roses. They are going crazy! We got lazy and didn't cut them back this last winter. There is really nice ground cover under them with pretty little white flowers. I forgot to mention that I am actually growing something! In the container are some little red potatoes. If they produce even smaller ones, that’s ok with me. The foliage is nice too. So, even if they don’t produce, I’ll have a nice little plant.

The dates on the pictures are wrong. I took these yesterday. The quality isn't great because I have to reduce it so that it only takes 10 mins. to upload each one. One day I'll figure out a better way to do it. I did change the date on the camera. That got screwed up when I changed the batteries.

I just wanted to get something posted and get back in the groove. There is so much to do around here, I'm sure I'll have much more interesting things to talk about now that the leagal issues are pretty much settled.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In celebration of being able to stay here, we took out a wall in the house! I call it a house. It’s really an old mobile home. The wall was between the living room and a tiny bedroom. The bedroom had become a big closet full of junk. It really increases the living space. The cats aren’t too happy though. They have lost their hidey hole. Too bad, kitties! As usual, this brilliant idea has turned out to be a bigger project than anticipated. That’s alright. We’ve got more time than money. There’s now a hole in the ceiling, and one in the floor where the pellet stove was. The stove is now against the wall, where the hallway was, awaiting a hole to be cut in the wall to vent to the outside. Randy says it will be better than pushing the air up the stove pipe. Sounds good to me.
Next…Old carpet out! We have left over carpet from when we re-carpeted the living room and our bedroom. Randy’s old boss gave it to us when they remodeled at his work. It’s kind of funky, but if it’s free it’s me! Plus, it’s heavy duty commercial stuff. Rubber backed, no pad needed.
Oh yeah, I think Randy’s dad dropped me an Indian head penny 1907 (face up). For those that don’t know, people that have passed on often drop coins. That’s what they say anyway. I found it in our pathway in the yard while I was talking to Randy on the phone. We’re going to go with the idea that it’s good luck. Hell, we can use all the good luck we can get!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ok, I'll quit bitchin'

Well, I really can't bitch too much about the weather anymore. It's been really nice the last week or so. No, I don't have the garden set up yet. Don't push me!!! We've been had our minds on other stuff, like if we're going to be able to stay here or not. To that, we got the settlement agreement from the AG's office. Randy dropped it off at the lawyer's office Thursday. Yes, it's too much, and it's going to hurt making payments, but it's a hell of a lot better than trying to set up in an RV park with a dog, 4 cats, and throwing our money down a hole. Not to mention, borrowing money from family. There have been a lot of choice conversations about how this could have been made easier, and at the price of a nice used car, but anyway... Now, we just have to give money to the state for 5 years and not think about what could have been. "Bitter much?" Yep. Don't worry, we'll get it done. And I'll keep posting updates as they come.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The weather around here has been bizarre! It’s near the middle of May and it’s still getting down in the 30’s at night. It gets up in the 60’s - 70’s during the day. One might think, “that sounds really nice.” And it is really nice. However, it’s also really weird for this place. You have to remember, we live in the armpit of Washington (not the West side). They call it a steppe. Ok, most of the time they (the media, which is a joke) just boast about the sunshine, forgetting to mention the volcanic dust that sandblasts any and everything in it’s path every time the wind blows. And it blows a plenty! But, this year, we seem to be getting a lot more moisture than usual. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about our weather this year. I’m just commenting on the odd weather that seems to be hitting everywhere. I don’t know if it’s global warming, a new ice age, or just the nature of the life of a planet. In the mean time, I’ll just be thankful that it has been pretty nice over in our neck of the woods.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Now the adventure really starts.

It looks like we are going to be staying here for a while longer. We should be getting paper work soon, and next month we will be making our first payment to the state. I guess it’s time to put up or shut up, and do some real work around here. To be honest I’m kind of excited about it. Now that we're going to have to make payments, anything that gets done will have to be accomplished on a shoe string budget. That’s how we’ve been doing things anyway. Plus, there’s plenty to do around here that will only cost some hard work and creativity. We'll be getting the veggie garden growing soon!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Still Just Waitin’

I haven’t written lately because there just hasn’t been much to say. Everything is still up in the air as far as whether we'll be staying here much longer or not. We may find out something a little more concrete later this week. Who knows?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Fever

Spring is springing here in Eastern Washington state. A few days of sunshine, then a couple with chilly wind, and a light shower or two. All in all it’s been pretty nice. Although, today has been a slow soaker. I’m debating on how to do a veggie garden this year. Container vs. in ground. Things grow really well here in ground. I’ve been looking at key hole gardening too. I haven’t gotten any seeds yet. Most likely I’ll get some locally. The one year I did a garden here (in ground), I bought some 10 for a $1 seeds at the Dollar store. It was late in the season. The only problem with that was, it gets really hot here in the summer. So, I lost some stuff to the heat. The peppers did great. And the tomatoes and herbs went crazy! Now that I’m writing this down. I could do both, in ground and containers. Anyway, I’m just distracting myself from thinking about how/if we are going stay here.
On that front:
We found and faxed a copy of Randy’s dad’s will to the AG’s office. I don’t know how much that matters. She won’t be back in the office until the 20th. I also took some really ugly pictures of this place to e-mail her. It wasn’t hard to do. Since I’ve lived here (5yrs) we haven’t done much to clean this place up. What would be the point if the state was going to take it anyway? That’s how long this has been hanging over our heads. This year has been the first time we’ve ever been offered some kind of settlement. We’ll most likely take whatever they finally offer, but I figure there’s no reason not to talked them down as much as we can. It’s going to take a lot of work to get this place back to what it was when Randy’s parents were alive and living here. I’ve seen a couple of pictures, and it breaks my heart. I can only hope we get a chance to do right by them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New developements, kind of.

The lawyer we talked to a couple of weeks ago suggested that we ask the state for some kind of payment plan. We’ve tried it before, and were told that the state is not in the real estate business. But, we decided what heck! Why not try again? The worst thing that could happen is they’ll say no again. Well, she didn’t say no this time. Wonders of all wonders! She told us to send an offer. So, we did. We based it on the $15,000 they had previously offered. The reply was nope, if you’re going to make payments we want $30,000. Ok, I get that $30k seems reasonable for a house on one acre. What she does not fully understand is that this place is not worth that much money. It is a 70’s vintage trailer that is in pretty bad shape. Plus, it’s kind of a funky neighborhood. We had a realtor out here about 2 years ago and she said she might get $20K. It could take another $5,000 - $10,000 to make this place worth much more than $15,000. And then, of course, there’s the economy to consider. So, we’re mulling it over. I think we’re going have to make a counter offer. We’re only at the beginning of this stage of the game. It’s exhausting, but were still in it! We’ll see what happens next.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is spring here yet?

The sun finally came out again!(still pretty cool,40’s-50’s) It was a rainy yucky week. This has been a really long and wet winter. When it does warm up and stay warm, I think bugs are going to be a real issue this year . Randy worked on cleaning engine parts to go back on the suburban and a little yard work. I made myself busy attending to my domestic duties, including laundry, dishes, and some experimental cooking. I made a really good pizza dough. I’m trying to get over my fear of baking bread, and I thought pizza dough would be a good jumping off point. The only thing about cooking from scratch is that it creates a lot more dishes. That’s ok though, I still love to cook and trying out new recipes is fun for me.

Just a note:
Ruby’s paw seems to be getting a better.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Busy the last few days

I took some time off from the blog again. Things haven’t been great lately. Lets see, the alternator crapped out on the Honda last week. Not so much of a disaster, just a pain in the butt, and another added expense. A new muffler and exhaust will be next. Randy is keeping that poor little car running with bubble gum and bailing wire. This past weekend we had to cut up a big tree limb that fell because of the wind. It just missed the ‘burb. Ruby got stung or poked on her foot between her toes and won’t leave it alone. We may have to put an E collar on her. Right now we’re just putting Neosporin on it and trying to keep her inside as much as we can. With all the little things to take care of, as well as the weird weather, it‘s been difficult to find time to work on the Suburban.

We were served the foreclosure papers a couple of weeks ago. So, I guess they really mean it this time. We visited yet another unsympathetic lawyer (a freebie). Randy is going to make some more calls and try again to wrangle something. I think we may be running out of rabbits to pull out of the hat. We shall see…

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ok, yes, I have lost my mind. Well, maybe...

I have been in an odd mood lately and it seems like it is running off on this blog. So, I shut it down for one whole day. I know, big deal, right? I could have just taken a day or two off, but as I said, I was feeling kind of funky. Like every woman, I have the right to change my mind. The content has been changing and will continue to, as my focus changes. I hope you stick around to see what's going on with us.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Ok, here are a few reasons why I have vegetarian sites here on my blog. Sure, you could call me one of those tree huggin’ GD-do gooders, whatever. Look, they do not test for mad cow in this country we all love. You want to get rid of the federal government? Well then, you’re an idiot. It needs some work, but if things were left to state and local governments, we’d be in even bigger trouble. The beef industry is one of many heavy handed lobbies that have been getting whatever they want for years. The rain forests have been decimated due to the demand for your cheese burger. Now a days they put beef in everything. It’s hard to find any kind of sausage without beef in it. Even pepperoni has beef in it. Oh, wait a minute, I forgot to mention that these same rain forests are being destroyed to grow soy to feed the cows. Ok, so now we are subsidizing farmers to grow soy and corn to feed cows? But I digress…

How about another thing for all you survival folks (that are still reading my blog) out there to think about when it comes to shootin‘ you‘re dinner… You may want to save yer bullets for the bad guys, whom ever they might be. Look, if it gets that bad, the last thing you need to do is waste your amo on some pathetic hungry animal. My suggestion would be to learn how to grow your own veggies and protect them from those attack bunnies, deer, and other rouge hungry animals looking for free and easy food, without shooting them. It’s only a suggestion. But, as Randy’s dad always said “There’s nothin’ more treacherous than a white man, son.” And this was from a blond haired blued eyed southern gentleman. Take it however you want. I just thought it was an interesting statement. Don't worry there's more to come...

Friday, March 13, 2009

A few new additions

I have added a few new blogs and links here. There is method to my madness. Mainly, it gets me to the things I’m interested in quickly. If you would like to peruse them, I’m sure you’d be welcomed. I especially like the field lab blog, as it has a bunch of info on living and building off grid.
I have taken off a significant number of survival blogs. The reason for that would be the politics I don’t agree with. The ones that are still there are because I don’t have a fundamental problem with their political views. I hope you didn’t get your feelings hurt if you got knocked off. I even took off some farm blogs because I don’t eat meat. There may be a few on here still, but I can’t handle a kid talking about eating parts off of a pig (or whatever) they named. It’s just icky. There will be another post on that subject soon. If you’re going to read my blog, you should have a better idea about what I’m about. I don't eat warm blooded animals, I think Bush is a war criminal, I beleive in god, and I think all organized religions are some sort of cult. there's more, but it's getting late...

Monday, March 9, 2009

A little sunshine always helps

We have had alternating rain and sunshine here the past few days. I’m glad because the on the sunny days it warms up a little. They have cut Randy’s hours back some at work. That’s no big surprise. Right now, I think everyone one is just glad to have a job. So, with Randy’s shorter hours and the better weather he’s had time to get back to work on the suburban. The weather getting better is also good for selling stuff and maybe (if I can work up the gumption) a yard sale. Yeah, we’ll see about that one. I’m not good at dickering back and forth on prices. I guess you’re suppose to mark them high and come down to what you really want. There’s a delicate balance though. If you mark them too high, they won’t even bother. Oh, I guess it doesn’t really matter. It's all got to go anyway. I guess I'll be working on that for the next few weeks.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Yipee! I'm back on line!

We've been going through hell and back on this computer crap. There may even come a time when we just let it all go. But, for now, I'm glad we've gotten it under control.

Ok, here are some of the updates:
  • We, as well as, some of the heirs have been served the papers for foreclosure. (It will take some time, and we're still looking at our options.)
  • The heads are on the suburban, but we still have to put everything else on. (Hopefully, with the weather getting better that won't take too long.)
  • We've gotten a lot of rain and some sunshine, so the bulbs are starting to sprout. (Hey, at lease we'll get some flowers soon.)

I sincerely appreciate the suggestions I got regarding our situation. We'll see what happens with that. In the mean time, you just have to keep on keepin' on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

To stay or not to stay?

This is a question I ask myself and Randy often. I guess it should be to try to stay or not. I talked to someone at the AG's office the other day. It looks like we may still have options. I don't know, and I damn sure know the lawyers we've talked to don't know. So, once again we're left hangin' in the breeze without a clue. What it really seems to come down to is money. We don't have much. This place isn't worth much. There is a signifcant amount of back taxes that we have just been keeping up with to keep the county from kicking us out. The reason behind that is, why pay them up if the state is only going to take the place? This is important because in the case of a sale of the property by the state, the county taxes gets paid first out of any money from a sale. Oh, and that doesn't include any court costs. What I'm trying to say is, they should take whatever we can offer them. If they don't, it will most likely be auctioned off for next to nothing, and they will end up in the negative.

I do understand that states are mandated by the federal government to come up with a medicaid recovery plan. It is, however, up to the states in how they go about it. With that being said... This is a well known welfare state. I have to ask myself something here. Do other people who find themselves in need of help from the state or federal government ever have to pay anything back? I guess old dying people and their families don't count. We're not talking about some rich jackass, or greedy kids here. We are just trying to keep what we've made our home. Randy and don't have kids. Hell, in this state we'd be doing better if we did, especially if we weren't married. I see it here all the time.

I've said it before, we could do everything we want to do here. We could live off grid here. We could do the rain catchment (even snow) here. It's only one acre, but we could grow more than enough veggies here. Hell, I bet I could talk our neighbor down the road into traiding us veggies for chicken eggs. I don't really know, but with things going the way they are, it's likely.

So, here we are. There are plenty of reasons why I don't want to stay here. I don't really feel like going into that. I will say, they are a plenty.

So, I ask, should we try to stay or should we go? Randy has lived here off and on for a lot of years. He also has a love/hate relationship with this place. I just don't know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


We finally got the computer back. It took them a week and a half to fix it. Needless to say, we won't be using these people again if we have any problems in the future.

Randy's half brother received paperwork from the AG reguarding the forclosure of the property we live on. Why we didn't get anything, I don't know. We just live here. I'm guessing it's so we won't take it to a lawyer. Or, they thought maybe he had some money to give them. Wrong. Maybe we'll call and try to find out what the hell is going on.

Anyway, I'm glad to have the computer back. I'll think of something interesting to write about later.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Computer woes

I'm writing on the laptop today. The big computer must have gotten a hold of the worm going around. I don't know. I'm getting a DLL error code. I still need to make some calls, and perhaps, take it somewhere.

In the mean time, I'm busy driving Randy crazy with mood swings of anger, depression and drunken silliness. Under the circumstances, I think it's appropriate. If he doesn't kick me out before the state does, I'll call it good. Otherwise, things are just about the same around here.
This is just a short post, as I need to go bug Randy some more. He's in my kitchen again!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fasten Your Seatbelts...

Ok, here we go. I got an e-mail from the AG's office this morning. They are starting foreclosure proceedings against us and the other heirs. I don't really know what all that entails, or how long it's going to take.

What I'm curious about is, where are all these people that are getting kicked out of their houses going to go? Are there going to be huge tent cities living outside of thousands of empty houses? Maybe those survivalist guys are right about the FEMA camps. The houses won't be distroyed, but no one will be able to afford to live in them. There are lots of people being layed off. So, they can't pay their morgages. Then, they lose the house. Let's pretend there were jobs to be had. Ever try getting a job without an address? This is a very slippery slope. In our case, it's not an unpaid morgage. ( This place was paid off a long time ago.) In our situation it's the state wanting money back for Randy's mom's care. I've gone into this before. Anyway, we have this travel trailer (a.k.a. the escape pod). So, I guess we'll be the ones with the fancy tent? Where we're going to put this thing is a whole different matter. Sure, we've got the land in Texas. I have to ask though, just how in the hell we are supposed to get it there? Oh, I know what it will take, money. We could stay here while Randy still has a job. But then we'd have to pay for a spot in an RV park with utilities, water, and sewage. We might as well move into an apartment if we were to go that route. Either way, there would be no way to get ahead enough to get to our land in Texas. Yet another slippery slope. And to think, this all could have been avoided. I've gone into the reason behind that before. I'd rather not do it again. There's a special place in hell for some folks. Hmmm, looks like I can still get mad. Maybe it's the sunshine. Too bad I won't be able to get that garden started. Apparently, now I have other things to worry about.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Adventure Continues...

We’ve had computer troubles for the last few days. Windows crapped out. The system recovery seems to have fixed it, this time. Fortunately, I had paid the on-line bills and even filed our taxes. We will be getting a little back. Most, if not all, will likely go to the vehicles. I really think we'll be moving this year. The woman from the AG's office called Randy's half sister before the computer went down. That poor old woman doesn't have any money to give them either. So, as it gets warmer we will be able to get a little more prepared for what's coming. The sun came out for about a day and a half, but I'm still in kind of a funk. It may just be the stress. I'm having trouble even getting mad anymore. That's worrisome to me. Well, that's it for now.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Birthday, another year gone by

I had a birthday a few days ago. Not a big one, 38. It got me thinking though. In the last year so much has happened. And yet, it seems like it’s stayed pretty much the same. This time last year we didn’t have a clue how long we were going to be able to stay here. That hasn’t changed. We came close, but no dice. I suppose we are more prepared for whatever may come now than we were a year ago. There’s always something else to do or worry about though.

I’ve decided to go ahead and plant a garden this year. I didn’t last year because I was just sure we were going to get booted out of here. Who knows what’s going to happen this year? If I plant and we have to leave, oh well. If I don’t plant, we may end up going hungry or get sick from whatever the next pathogen/toxin that hit’s the produce market. So, I think it will be worth the effort to plant.

Our last payment on our West Texas land is February. I’m looking forward to getting that little peace of mind. We’ve been working on this project for more than 2 years. Now it’s just a matter of dragging our butts down there and getting started on a little homestead. I see a lot more work in our future.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Here's a question

For any and all-
Anybody know what kind of lawyer you would go to about squatters rights ? Randy's been here long enough, but I'm not sure what kind of lawyer to go to.

Frugal living

Living frugal has become sort of a game for us. This week I made up a batch of lentil and veggie soup. It was a small batch, because that can get old quick. But, I did stretch it out an extra couple of days by changing it up a bit with canned tomatoes and a few spices. I've been reading that one needs to rotate their food storage. I've gotta tell you, we live off that stuff. We try to make it fun and a learning opportunity. I like cooking anyway, so it is especially fun for me. Randy remembers a little bit about how his mom cooked, so he is a great helper. We have a freezer right now, so I buy a lot of frozen veggies. I haven't jumped into canning yet. I still want to make bread. The only thing slowing me down is our tumultuous situation with this property. To seed or not to seed, that is the question...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back on Topic

I seem to have let myself get distracted from my original goal for this blog. The latest toxins in food, as well as Randy’s conversation with the woman at the state yesterday, have brought me back to reality. It’s looking like the only way you can get safe food is if you grow it yourself. I could run on about that, but I won’t. The woman at the state was, as usual, soo helpful. She told Randy that they now want twice the money they did before. And, she is still about to file the papers. I could go on about this bitch too, but, to maintain what is left of my sanity, I won’t. All that being said, it’s time to start looking/moving forward and focusing on the plan.

I have compiled a rather large binder of ideas, as well as things that people have done and are writing about on their blogs. Many thanks to all of those that have and continue to share what has worked for them and what has not. I also take a look at the links and blog lists that are posted on those blogs. Every little tid-bit of info that I can get and apply to our situation helps. This information has become invaluable to me in our efforts to move forward!

I’m still working on getting all of our ducks in a row. The most urgent issue we have, right now, is getting the tow vehicle back in running order. That’s going to take as much or more time and effort as it did in taking it apart. I’ll keep updating as things progress.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I get so tired of people bitching and moaning about the nanny state. “ I don’t want to pay taxes.” “ Why is the government always telling me what to do and what not to do, and telling me it’s for my own good.” “ I know what‘s good for me.” “I want to do whatever I want.” “ I wish they would just leave me alone.” Good God! It sometimes sounds like an insolent child. There are lots of reasons they are seemingly always telling you what to do. The main one is that people obviously Do Not know what’s best for them. Why do you think there are laws telling you to wear a seatbelt in the car, a helmet on a motorcycle, etc.? It’s not just because they are trying to keep your dumbass alive so you can keep paying their salaries. It’s because when someone doesn’t wear the seatbelt, helmet, or whatever, and manages to only end up with a traumatic brain injury, we all end up paying for their care for the rest of their lives. There are lots of other laws that may seem ridiculous. But people are stupid, and Darwin doesn‘t always take care of it. I know Uncle Sam doesn’t always know best.

Just a note on the new lead law. Sure, I’m sorry that some people will be financially affected. Personally, I think this country has enough problems without people buying products that will make our future generation stupider, by poisoning them with heavy metals. Maybe, we should start taking some real responsibility. It’s embarrassing how ignorant the people in this country can be.

Oh, and for those that don’t know, there hasn’t been lead in pencils since the 1500’s. Now, the one’s coming from different countries may have lead based paint on the outside. Who knows?

Monday, January 5, 2009


Ok, that's just weird. My blog list is working now. What the hell?

Posting just 'cause

I'm posting just because I feel like it. I don't really have too much to say.
I find the map thingy I installed pretty interesting. My blog list isn't working right. I don't know why. Everyone else's seems to be working. I'll work on it later, I suppose.
Oh yeah, it snowed last night, yippee! I think I may be getting cabin fever again. This place is driving me crazy! I wish my mom would have helped us buy it, so we could sell it and move to Texas with a little grubstake to get started. Anyway, didn't happen. I'm just ready to get somewhere warm!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Randy worked today and I wasn’t feeling so great. Not because of partying the night before. It was a girl thing. Maybe that explains my previous post. Don’t get me wrong. I meant it. It’s a worrisome group.
Anyway, one of my resolutions for the past 10 plus years has been to learn and be fluent in Spanish. I’m from Texas and have always felt like I needed to learn it. So, I took 2 years in high school and then a semester in college. At that point it was like taking an English class. Thus, I can read Spanish better than speak it. I speak Spanish almost as good as Peggy Hill (King of The Hill). In my efforts in this endeavor, I’ve been watching Spanish television shows. It’s sad but true. It’s always been an aggravation that when I worked for the state (Texas) that I couldn’t get one of those bilingual jobs. Here it’s worse. Apparently you need only to speak Spanish and not so much the English. Oh, and by the way, our new minimum wage has gone up to somewhere qround $8.55. Yeah, those immigrants are doing the work we Americans don’t want to do. At least in Texas you had to be fluent in both. It seems my mood has not changed much. Maybe in the next couple of days it will improve. We'll see...don't take any bets yet. With things going the way they are it's hard to imagine anyone's moods getting better.