Cry Me A River

Put on your rain slicker, tune out, quit reading or whatever if you’re not up to hearing my whine.

Bottom line. I'm discouraged.

You know, I really, REALLY wanted to win this 90 Day Challenge, but frankly, I don't see any way in the world I'm going to win. I'm so far behind it's pathetic. And why am I behind? I can sum it up in one word... weekends.

The 90DC doesn't take weekends off. The tasks are set up for 90 consecutive days, no time off. And most of the tasks so far have been quite time-consuming, as I’m learning how to do each thing. Yes, I get better and faster, but I’m not done learning tasks yet! I’ve still got at least two major new things to learn, one being another new piece of software. I hate learning new software at the best of times. Oh, I know, eventually I’ll think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread sort of deal, but while I’m learning new stuff everything is slowed down to a crawl.

So. I’m behind. I still need to learn new tasks. Things aren’t going to speed up for a while yet. And weekends are close to a loss for getting anything done.

Why? Well, interruptions happen. Doing laundry happens. Baking pizza crusts happens. Ironing happens. Helping men find or do things happens. Cleaning the bird cage happens. Fixing lunch happens. Oh, and did I mention the frequent interruptions?

And misunderstandings happen.

Why is it in today's society that if a woman tries to focus on a career, she's self-centered, but in a man it's considered commendable? Why is it okay for a man to talk about his work, but who wants to hear what a woman is doing? What makes a man's work interesting, and a woman's so totally boring?

And guess who won last year’s 90DC? A man. Now, this man had to quit work due to disabilities. In fact, he has a rather inspiring story of going from making big bucks, to living on disability, to improving his income by using this system. He worked a lot of hours in order to win. He had to battle with neuropathy in his hands, and sometimes his wife even had to type for him.

Did you notice that? His wife HELPED him do stuff. Bet she also encouraged him. And further, I’ll bet she was also doing the household chores, cooking the meals, and all the other necessary tasks while he focused on this one thing.

Well, forgive the whine, but I can’t focus on just ONE thing. Someone has to do the farm chores. Someone has to cook. Someone has to clean up the kitchen. Someone has to do the laundry. Someone has to finish boxing up all this wool. Someone has to… well, you get the idea.

And who is this someone? You guessed it, ME.

The men go off to work. They go off to socialize, to church, whatever. I go to the doctor and the grocery store, and once a week to a restaurant. And I work at home.

Like everything else in life, working at home has its good and bad points. Sure, it’s great not to have to get dressed up and drive somewhere to work. Sure it’s great to be able to somewhat set your own hours. But somehow, if you’re working at home, people don’t seem to get you’re really WORKING.

You can stop for a minute and do what else needs done right?

Well, in not one, but two of the courses I’ve taken recently, interruptions in the work flow were talked about as one of the major productivity problems. Every time you stop to check your email, get something you need, answer the phone… whatever, you typically lose at least 20 minutes. That’s not counting the time it takes to do whatever you interrupted your work to do, that’s the 20 minutes it takes to get back into the flow of whatever you were doing BEFORE the interruption.

Further, the highest productivity comes from at least one, and better two, hours of uninterrupted time, focusing on the task at hand. No wonder people go to the office early, or stay late, trying to get something done without constant interruptions!

Interruptions, sick days, other responsibilities, learning new stuff, having other stuff to do on weekends -- it just seems to be a constant struggle trying to focus on one thing and get the work done for the 90DC.

I can’t win.
But I’ll keep trying.

Break Time

I’m not sure if I’m referring to taking a break, or breaking down. Either one could be true.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I wrote much here. There’s a reason for that. Have you ever noticed there are only 24 hours in a day? And sad to say, but you lose some of those hours because gosh, eventually you have to sleep a little!

Seems like to me 24 hours just isn’t long enough. After sleep, only 18 hours left, and that definitely isn’t long enough. Maybe it would be if a person could focus on one thing, feel good all the time, and didn’t mind working every waking minute. Unfortunately, I can only do that sort of thing for so long, then it’s… break time.

This morning I took a little break time after doing critter chores and wandered along the paths Jess keeps mowed in the bottom pasture. It was a beautiful morning – still a little cool, still some dew on the grass, and lovely light. Oh, what a difference light makes when you’re taking pictures! You can make adjustments to compensate, but there really isn’t a substitute for interesting light.

I took several pictures, then deleted most of them once I got a good look at them on the computer. The push button for taking pictures came off my camera. Jess glued it back on and it works… but it takes a little more pushing which causes a little more wobbling which equals more blurry pictures. I shake enough without that problem.

Automatic cameras can be a pain when focusing anyway. They want to focus on the biggest object, and it’s not always what you’re trying to focus on. I wanted to focus on a spider on a web, the camera wanted to focus on the plant behind it. Blurry spider, sharp plant. Nooooo! My older camera is easier to focus in such cases, but it has a 1” screen, and my vision won’t handle such a small screen anymore, so I rarely use it.

Such is life.

There’s always potholes on the road of life. (How’s that for great philosophy?) I’m busily working away on my 90DC. Every time I get good at something, it’s time to move to the next phase and I’ve got to learn something new.

Then there’s computer glitches. For instance, I was working merrily away on my laptop when all of a sudden up pops the dreaded message: “Memory is getting low. Try deleting old programs.”

Okay, I don’t remember if that’s the exact message, but you get the idea. That meant I had to stop work, open “My Computer” and dig around to see what was on there I could delete. Oh, look, a bunch of pictures from Alaska! Go check the desktop computer and make sure copies are there, then delete pictures. I finally cleared enough space to keep the Computer Memory Gods happy for a while (I hope).

I won’t bore you with all the trials and tribulations, but I will say this. It sure helps to grow up your own tech support. I have excellent tech support in Canada, but sometimes it is difficult to figure out problems when you can’t SEE them, and even harder to tell me how to fix it. Fortunately, my in-house tech support (aka Jonathan), has been able to help with most of my recent glitches. Not that I have many, ha! (That was sarcasm, just in case you missed that.) Here’s a couple of the bigger ones:

* Two websites needed Wordpress updated, which I was a little leery of doing after Rural Ramblings got messed up when Go Daddy updated Wordpress for me. Jonathan did one and showed me how to do it, then I did the other, and what do you know? They both worked perfectly! (Knock on wood!)

* Speaking of Rural Ramblings, he’s the one who fixed the mess there, and resurrected most of my old posts from a back-up database he found.

There’s been LOTS more little odds and ends, and I’ve found that if I’m having trouble understanding how to do something, it’s good to holler for tech support. Saves me no end of time since he usually goes, “Oh yeah, here’s what you need to do”, and zip, zam, zowie! Shows me how to do it. Sometimes I go, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” and other times I think, “How in the world was I supposed to know THAT?”

I know this is getting long, but hang in there, just a few other updates:

Jess is still working. Some days he actually has work, other days he has to employ “time users.” (Randy, you know what I mean!)

Jonathan had a root canal earlier this week. He was there from 2pm until 4:30pm. Ouch. He'll get a permanent crown in place in a couple of weeks.

I went to my doctor for an annual check-up. She wants me to get some fasting blood work, mammogram, and have a couple of pre-cancerous patches burned off. Are we having fun yet?

Couldn’t get a mammogram scheduled until Nov. 17th (okay, that’s a lie…. they had a opening earlier in November, but it was during the time the Canadian Contingent is supposed to visit, so forget that!). And also forget this going to Huntsville 3 separate days to have all that done; I called and rescheduled the first two for Nov. 17th also. Works better for me. Instead of wasting 3 days, only waste one, and it’s after the 90DC is over.

And I’m still boxing up wool. I think I’ve got about half gone. One quick story there, and I’ll close…

I’m sure you’ve noticed my email is tardis@

If you’re a sci-fi fan, you probably understand that. If you’re not, it’s from the Dr. Who series, and it's the name of his time machine, an acronym for "Time And Relative Dimensions In Space". At any rate, one of the ladies wanting wool first called me “such a nerd” when she saw that email, then later asked, “Tennant or Eccleston”?

I sent her a note telling her I was going to give away my age… and she already gave away hers! She has to be a young chick to think there are only TWO Doctors. The boys and I started watching the series on PBS when they were just kids, from the very beginning with the first Doctor. Eccleston and Tennant are Doctors 9 and 10.

And in case you’re wondering, hands down, my favorite Dr. Who was the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker. Gotta love that wild hairdo, long striped neckscarf, and wacky sense of humor!

Ellie having a swinging good time!

Richard sent me a couple of cute little videos of Ellie this morning (yes, ALL videos of Ellie are of course cute, but some are even more so than others!).

I picked this one as my favorite because
  1. She looks like she's having such fun swinging!
  2. I love those cool sunglasses, and
  3. Best of all, she said hi to ME, "Southern Grandma"!!!

Doesn't get any better than that.... at least until we get to visit in person!

I'm sooooo tired...

That seems to be my mantra lately. I’m just sooooo tired.

It may have something to do with the fact I’m trying to live 3 lives at once. There’s me, who does the writing and photography and working on websites and trying to start a business, and myself that does the cooking and laundry and inside work, and I who does the outside chores on my own most of the time, and tries to do other farm work like trying to get all this wool packed up and ready to ship.

It helps that Jess takes the boxes of wool with him to work and takes them to the post office. But I’m getting into bigger boxes now with 7-10 fleeces in them, so I set up an account with UPS. They’ll come pick up the boxes. It costs $3 extra to have them do that, but I figured I’d spend that much for a gallon of gas to drive the truck to Fayetteville and back.

Other news - the clock is ticking. I finally officially started my '90 Day Challenge' this week. It’s been one thing after another causing me to postpone starting, waiting for that perfect 3 months to work on it. I finally realized it was crazy to wait any longer, even though the tail end will be during time we’re going to WV and then visiting with Richard, Chrystie and Ellie. I’ll just have to do the best I can.

I figure my life is never going to be peaceful for 3 months at a time to be able to spend on one project. Broken fingers, sick relatives, sick me, visits, farm projects… there’s just always something! So I went ahead and started this past week. I figured it would be easy to remember the date, August 12th, because that’s Richard and Chrystie’s anniversary. (Happy #8 guys!)

I keep learning new things and then realizing I need to learn yet another something to make it work. And have you ever been really immersed in something, but have no one who’s interested in hearing about it??? Fortunately, I have a good friend who doesn’t mind my rambling on and on about what I’m trying to do via email! She may not understand what in the world I’m talking about, but if her eyes glaze over, at least I can’t see it, ha!

Speaking of eyes, I got a postcard telling me it’s been a year since I had a check-up. My vision is giving me some problems, but too bad. It’ll have to wait. The dentist wants to see me too. Once again, too bad, that’s going to have to wait a while. It’s bad enough I have an appointment for a yearly physical with my doctor soon. But I’ve had that appointment for months so guess I’ll go.

Wow, aren’t I cheery! Okay, here’s the deal. It’s taking me a while to get the hang of things, but the second site I put up I got done in half the time I did the first. So I’m progressing. And we have a roof over our heads and food to eat and the bills are getting paid.

I’ve got a poem by my kitchen sink that says it all:

Thank God for dirty dishes,
For they have a tale to tell.
While others are going hungry,
We’re eating very well.
With home and health and happiness
I shouldn’t want to fuss:
For by this stack of evidence
God’s very good to us.


Today is Richard's 32nd birthday! (Wow, I'm getting old!)

Here's how he looked at 1 year of age:

And here he is today:

From panda bear to showgirl in 30 some years, guess that's about right!

But now here he is with his REAL girls...

First we have Richard and Chrystie in Las Vegas a few weeks ago:

And more recently, Richard and Ellie at a nearby attraction in Canada.

That's what I like to see!

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICHARD! and here's my latest ---


  1. He loves his wife and works on keeping a good marriage.
  2. He loves his little girl and is a super good daddy.
  3. He loves the Lord (whole lot of lovin' going on here!).
  4. He grew up to be a responsible adult...
  5. But at the same time, he didn't forget how to have fun.
  6. He helps me when I get in a bind with computer stuff.
  7. He takes great pictures of Ellie and other interesting things.
  8. He's a talented woodworker and makes beautiful things.
  9. He makes great games and accuses me of warping his mind with sci-fi in the credits (sure did, & proud of it!)
  10. And last but certainly not least, he makes me proud to be his mother!


Catching Up Is Hard To Do

As the saying goes, I’m so far behind if God waits for me to finish everything before calling me home, I’ll never die. Since we know everyone dies, guess some day I’ll leave behind a lot of unfinished business. Sorry kids, guess then you’ll get to work on whatever’s left that needs done.

But for now, I’m still plugging away. Right now these things are tops on my agenda:
  • Packing up and mailing fiber orders,
  • Taking care of peafowl eggs and newly hatched peachicks,
  • All the other usual farm and household chores, plus
  • Catching up on my health food blog,
  • Trying to get some work done on some of my other blogs, and
  • Starting work on my 90 Day Challenge.

The last is a matter of starting to put up websites and following the outlined plan. At the end of 3 months I’m supposed to have 12 income-producing sites. Of course, there’s a time lag and you aren’t supposed to expect any income for the first 30-60 days. Then the older the site gets and the more you work on it, the better it should be at producing income.

We’re not talking mega bucks here, but it’s the first leg of the tripod I’m building for making money. My goal is to have 3 income streams, so if one goes bust, there are still two others to produce money.

But one (or two) thing(s) at a time.

Right now my biggest frustrations are time and computers.

Time. As in there’s never enough of it. Productive time. Not time I’m so tired I can’t think straight, like this morning after scant sleep. Some idiot called at midnight last night, just about the time I was going to sleep. No one calls here at midnight, so of course I was thinking something dire happened! It was a wrong number, but after that I was so jazzed I had trouble getting to sleep, so my brain wasn’t fully powered this morning. (No smart aleck remarks please. I get enough of those from the SA’s around here.)

Anyway, I keep trying to figure out ways to manage my time better, and looking for places to cut back on other things I’m doing to make more time for “work work.” I’m not having much success in finding ways to cut back though.

And I waste a lot of time with the computer. No, I’m not talking about surfing the internet or browsing blogs. These days I barely keep up with the half dozen or so blogs I used to read regularly.

No, the problem is my prehistoric laptop. Sometimes I think I could chisel stone quicker than my laptop wants to process input. It’s really frustrating waiting for seems like an eternity (okay, it’s only seconds or minutes in reality) for the computer to do a task the desktop computer would complete instantly.

So why don’t I use the desktop? Well, first off, the sound isn’t working on it, and sometimes I need to listen to something. Secondly, I can only sit in that chair for so long before I have to get up and move elsewhere.

For now I’ll keep plugging away on the laptop, trying to find ways to make more time for work on the computer, and pretend every once in a while I’m sleeping or resting or gee, even just goofing off.

But for now, writing on my personal blog is about as close to goofing off as it gets.