Solutions?

Because of the disasters, including our furnace, we’ve been burning up our wood supply, which is good. Not so good is that we were real close to using it UP this week. A neighbor can help us out if need be and DH found ecobricks, like wood pellets for a pellet stove, but made into brick form.

Another ongoing problems has been bed sheets. DH doesn’t like the sizing and/or feel of the high density polyester in many poly/cotton sheets. I want to buy just a single flat sheets. They’re insanely expensive for good ones and not many show up at the thrift shops which are big enough. I decided long ago I should either 1)Buy hotel supply ones or 2) Make my own.

I’ve been trying to find  84″ wide sheeting material for some time. I think I found it, at theatrical supply companies. Huzzah! As a former theater major, I’m dismayed it took me so long to think of the muslin they use for flats, etc. as a possibility, but it may just work.

The older I get,  the less I’m willing to pay for “designer” names and prices on basic goods. Sheets are basic. Got along for decades without colored, designer sheets. If I want them dyed, I can do it or have it done. One place sells colored muslin, so maybe I won’t even have to do that.

My big “bitch” is that I really only want flat sheets, or to buy ONE and you can’t. I resent being held hostage to the department stores or manufacturer’s financial needs. I have my own: functional first then frugal, always. I don’t care what the neighbors think or much of anyone else, only my husband!

Disasters

One car needed its CV joint replaced, had the appt, it failed 3 days before that. About 2 days after we got it back, the other car developed a problem, check engine light running rough and all. Between the 2, there was not quite $1,000 worth of work.

Okay, the furnace? We had it worked on pre heating season, for a large chunk o’ change. It has an intermittant problem, now. We’ve had 3 service calls and it works fine, for while, then doesn’t.

Today? Today I was taking a shower before going off to my bosses to deliver papers, and the shower drain is apparently leaking, downstairs.

Sigh. April is usually the month for disasters. I can hardly wait for April, I mean there’s nothing left to fail, right?

J

Been Working on the Living Room, some more

we need to paint it, next month. I’ve unpacked 4 boxes of books (about 200) in the past week. Many of them are gone, either to the antique booth or donated somewhere. (DH took 2 bags of books away today.)

We’ve had a frustrating and expensive couple of weeks: the CV joint went on one car, the other car has acceleration problems and a check engine light on. The furnace was repaired, worked, quit working, got repaired (3rd time) then quit working reliably, again.

Because of the above, we’re both grumpier with each other than we’ve been in a while, which of course doesn’t make anything go more smoothly.

I got the contract for the 4th anthology in the mail, we had one story for the previous book that might apply to this one.

I have a work backlog that is truly massive: research/writing, form designing for one job, helping mail 200 pcs for the 2nd, the memoir revisions are ongoing and we’re trying to CLEAR the living room so we  can paint it in April. The contracts need to be signed/returned for book 4. And I’m not sure if anything still needs doing for book 3, I hope not!

My goals this year are to

  1. Get the house clean.
  2. Get rid of the storage unit.
  3. Get the memoir edited and formatted for people to read on a computer.
  4. Start the marketing plan for the memoir.
  5. I’m sure there’s something else, I just can’t think of it right now!

I have been focusing on other things and i really need to hunker down and CONCENTRATE or I’ll never get this done!

None of this is hard, just time consuming!

J

Ongoing and Herbal Frugality

I’m getting rid of stuff, amongst other things, like using stuff I already have. None of this is new, but I’m FINISHING things, and that IS.

I made two new rugs for our bathroom. I have to finish C’s rug, work on the living room rugs, etc. I have finally confessed that I have a hobby: I make rugs.

In the course of this and that last fall, I didn’t grab any parsley, or enough, I ran out. I usually have LOTS, in fact more than I need, but this last fall, I didn’t dry herbs like I usually do, so I ran out.

The price(s) of herbs in the market are just INSANE! If you don’t do any other gardening, growing your own herbs is one of those things that will definitely pay for itself. Herbs cost more than meat per lb, a lot more!

So when I went looking for parsley, I was outraged at the prices I found. The best I found was $41/lb, and that was an unknown brand. What to do?

A bunch of parsley at the same time was .99, so I got 2. I used one in the recipe I needed it for and took the other and put it in a brown paper lunch bag, hung it on a hook in my kitchen and dried it. We’re having pizza tonight, I wanted parsley on it, so I got the bag down.

After I stripped the leaves off the stems, etc. I had 5 grams of parsley flakes, for .99. I have NO idea how to frame this as an equation to figure the $ per lb. I know it can be done, and I should be able to do it, but my brain is just not up to it this second!

Five grams = .011 lbs by the way. So, roughly speaking, it costs about $100/lb to dry your own, bought in bunches from the supermarket, at a guess. Hmm. I would have figured it would be about 1/2 at the most of buying it in little bottles.

Huh!

I joined and then quit, within 24 hours . . . .

Joined a site for abuse victims. To do this, you have to call and be interviewed. Fine, I get that, did it.

Today the password I thought I’d set up didn’t work and I asked the woman who sponsors the site to remove me from her membership, without ever going to the site and actually seeing for myself what was there.

Why? Because the woman who interviewed me was so off putting. . . nearly . . . abusive. It was largely me – me – ME! I wrote the books, I invented the terms, people are stealing my intellectual property, I do good-good-good!, yada yada. I got off the phone feeling like I’d just been through a long telemarketers’ spiel. I get  being an entrepreneur, I did that for how long? I’ve been in retail for about 30 years now. But she was selling me a product which should have sold itself. Not telling me about books 1-5 (book 6 coming out this year!) and her experiences on TV and how she’s the real expert and, and . . . .

Dad was an expert, world renown. If you read the book they gave him of letters from his 40 years of students at Caltech, it’s obvious he was. His students became CEOs, Generals, Admirals, Senior Engineers, Consulting Engineers, etc.  You can’t train people at that level unless you know what you’re doing, and the letters were positive.

I’ll never forget what happened the day he got that book. We were at the post office, and he didn’t know it was coming, it was supposed to be given to him at his retirement dinner, but the binder goofed and mailed it to dad. He opened it and started flipping through it and lifted filled eyes to me, nearly crying, “They liked what I did!”

I think I said something like, “Dad, they wouldn’t have kept you at Caltech for 40 years if you weren’t any good!”

He said, “But the students liked it.”

Real experts don’t have to give you a sales job, their competence and expertise speak for them. The lady with the website and books probably went through hell. I know writing books is a lot of work. I give her kudos for doing the work, but I don’t want to associate with her, no matter how wonderful her work may be. I may or may not borrow the books to read if available through the state library system, or buy them used, but otherwise, I think I’ll stay a long ways away!

Next?

The squares are all stitched together, the border started on it, and I got bored. Especially since I have no intention of keeping the thing.

I need to wash the big ball of yarn and put it and the remains of the other up for sale. If it doesn’t sell, it goes to the swap shop or a thrift store. That original 4″ square I still have, and I probably will keep it. But the rest? Nah, ain’t interested.

My big news is that in the course of working on the bedroom yesterday, I found where I’d filed the printout of the memoir with the editor’s comments from the last edit. I managed to get through 66 pages of the thing; no flashback. Writing  and editing it have been harder for me than actually living through all the events. It’s a condensed “bad parts version” of my life: one after the other. Because of that, instead of being like handling a stick of dynamite every now and then, it’s like being given a box, with a fuse lit, at least for me.

Yesterday, when I was done, I could feel it at the back of my throat, BUT I DIDN’T GO BACK! No flashback!!! If I knew how to do such things, I’d insert a gif of fireworks in here — that’s how it feels. I’m 60 and I maybe, finally, really might, just might be able to get past my crappy childhood — maybe.

Anyway, my plan is to get through the other 60 ? pages today. Then I have to make the changes to the file; then it goes to the Beta readers. But first I have to read it again and the editor’s comments.

I guess I just needed some time away from it?

Dunno.

J

Finished, well partly

I made that square, then made another. It ended up being 4.5″ wide, so it had to be also 4.5″ long to be square, yes?

The cold hung on. Ice cubes regularly went down my back. It has taken me two or three days, but I finally have 9 squares all 4.5″ . I’ve decided to stitch them together, enough knitting for the moment.

The 8th one, yesterday, I started to cry, then stopped. I really have no idea what this is about?

The ninth? That took 3 tries,but I got it done.

So, tonight I’m typing “w” for WordPress and the “about” for my 43things.com account is the top item on the auto fill,and I started to cry.

I have  lost the true, first family home I’d ever had. Many of the people I’m still in contact with, but facebook or other sites somehow just aren’t the same. There were various people working on pirate sites or lookalikes, I hope they make it.

The site had been damaged by the folks running it trying to make it into facebook 2 or such instead of embracing what they had that worked. I would have gladly paid to have an account there, but they didn’t try that, but supercheers, a book, a few other things, the spammers, from wordpress mostly invaded, and things just got worse and worse. For months I’ve avoided thinking about 43t being unavailable to me any more. But up until 12/31/14 a snapshot of the site was still available. But that’s gone now too. So this batch of tears surprises me not at all.

The knitting? All I can tell from having done 9 more squares is that I think whatever it is concerns or happened during my casting off. The second stitch of each row was stressy, I shook more, dropped that stitch more often, or what have you. The last square, I was still slightly cold between my shoulders and if I thought about what I was doing, I’d get clumsy, drop stitches, etc. I just knit the 8th one, except for the tears. The 9th as I said, took a few tries. Then I put it aside. I need to stitch the squares together, then make a border and the back. It’s a couch pillow!

I’m sure it will be embarrassingly bad to anyone who knows really how to knit, etc. but when I get this thing done I will be damned proud of myself!

Postscript: DH and I talked about it. The yarn, although still in one of my favorite colorways still is a fuzzy acrylic that picks up anything near it, hair, dust, etc. I don’t really want to introduce/keep such a thing in my home. The house we’re in came with plenty of built-in gotchas for cleaning: crud in the water, ledges in the walls, etc. (I talked about this previously. I’ll add a link at some point to that blog.) I don’t need to add more hard to maintain stuff to my home. So here’s what I’m going to do: clean the other, larger ball of yarn, finish the pillow, and take a pic of it. Then give away the pillow and the yarn. I don’t need to keep the things, but it is important to me to honor myself, I found something that was awful and I made myself get past it. THAT counts; the item in question doesn’t! 1/14/15