Thursday, February 16, 2006

Spring Rituals in Winter (and other stuff)

Yesterday I began one of my homestead spring rituals. I plugged in the incubator and set chicken eggs for an early March hatch. Normally, I try to shoot for a St. Patrick’s Day hatching, but this year they’ll be about a week earlier. Sometimes you just have to get the eggs when you can and since I’m down to two roosters in the flock, I had to beg eggs off one of the neighbors.

Listening to this weekend’s weather prediction, it’s hard to believe that spring will be here soon. They are calling for a ‘possibly’ major ice storm and more snow. Today will be spent filling water jugs and buckets, just in case we lose electricity. Cooking is never a problem as we can use either the woodstove or the firepit. It’s forecasts like this that make me glad we heat with wood. J

I now have tomatoes and luffas started in tiny peat pots. Maybe at some point this afternoon, I’ll do hot peppers for containers later. I am so ready for a big garden and fresh veggies again.

We are again a family of four as two of our adult children have moved back home. This should get interesting, as the rules that applied when they were teens no longer suit the situation. Not that there won’t still be some rules, i.e., helping with household chores, etc., but curfews will no longer apply and I promise I won’t be up waiting for them to get home. I think that’s going to be the biggie…can they come and go without waking us up at night? After all, we’re the early to bed (8-9pm), early to rise (4:30am) type. Daughter Dumpling is already good at this, now we’ll see how Son Child is. (See, MichaelM…they might go off to college, the military, etc, but they always come back)

For now tho, it’s time to go fill water jugs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Taxes, Snow and Other Realities of Arkansas Living

Last week, I could put it off no longer. It was time to do the taxes. First things first, download the final versions of TaxAct. This program is the best thing since sliced bread for doing both personal and corporate taxes. I’ve used them for about five years now and truly prefer them over any other tax software on the market.

Now back to where I was. Taxes. Spent two days, checking and rechecking the numbers. It was time to hit e-file. Then comes the waiting to see if the submission was accepted. Twenty four hours later, I get the confirmations from both the IRS and the state. I’m a happy camper. Done. Now just wait for the money.

The big surprise was that the state has already paid. Less than a week. How cool is that????

The other big news of the week was snow last Friday. We only got an inch or so, but that was enough (and cold enough to turn to ice quickly) that Kevin took a long weekend. Now they are promising more ice and snow this weekend too. So much for working at the sawmill.

I remind myself…this is the Ozarks and it is wintertime still. Yet, that’s not stopping me from starting tomatoes in tiny little peat pots this afternoon and placing them in a sunny window. Spring is, really, just around the corner.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Last Couple of Weeks

It feels good to be back. The last couple of weeks have really been a blur, with things happening that I hope I don't have to experience again any type soon.

Last week, we had to make an emergency trip to Houston. Kevin's brother-in-law (married to his older sister) died of a heart attack. He was a day away from being 59.

Trust me, this was no way to have a family reunion. While it was good to see everyone again, tears are not the way to do it. I felt so bad, just truly a terrible ache in my heart, to see his sister so devastated. They had only been married for a little over eight years having tied the knot the summer after Kevin and I.

We got back late Thursday afternoon and basically just did nothing over the weekend.

Monday, I was ready to go back to work. Did my morning net runaround and be darned if I didn't pick up a half dozen viruses before 10 am. And yes, I DO have virus protection, I DO have adaware, and I DO have spybot. How those pesky little devils got thru is beyond me, but I think it had something to do with a few pop-ups that got past both yahoo and google pop-up blockers.

They're gone now and I've gone back to Firefox as my browser. At least on the laptop, my work computer. Darn hard to send email writing assignments until you know you're clean.

But, I'm caught up now. Updated The Sawmill Project today also with a new article and more pictures. The weekend is almost here, so we'll be off building a shed or something.

With any luck, I'll be back to daily posting next week.