Stormy Weather

We spent a couple of hours without electricity tonight, from about 9-11pm. Thankfully, it's warm out, so it doesn't trouble us to be without a working furnace and heat.

Of course, it being in the 70s in February is why we're having thunderstorms and tornados!

However, I will admit I don't like sitting around by candlelight or oil lamps. I'm afraid I am NOT pioneer material.
Of course, pioneers wouldn't be sitting around letting their laptop and Gameboy screens light up the living areas. . .

We are such geeks.

Unfortunately, we aren't out of the woods yet weather-wise. We have heavy winds and tornado warnings, not to mention heavy rain. I'll stay up until the weather settles down so if I need to roust Jess out of bed and head for the basement, we can do that before we get blown away.

I guess thunderstorms are better than snowstorms. At least better than ice storms. Just whatever the weather, don't mess with the electricity. I don't like playing pioneer!!


I think I need therapy.
I think I'm probably a good candidate for the "Hoarders" show.

I'm taking a break from cleaning my office. The couch has been piled high with stuff for a while, because I got on a reorganization binge, then discovered I didn't have the file folders and other stuff I needed, then got busy doing other things, then...

Well, I need to consolidate my "offices" pronto. Right now I have piles of stuff on the living room couch, and that's my office where I use my laptop when I get tired of sitting in the office chair in front of my desktop computer.

The trouble with my satellite office in the living room is it's right in the middle of the traffic pattern for Jess going from his den back through the house to bathroom or bedroom, and for Jonathan coming up and to the kitchen. There are a lot of distractions when you're sitting in the middle of the house.

Most of the time I get by, but I have a BIG writing project I need to finish, and SOON. So I need to get my act together and get in the office where I can shut the door and make myself FOCUS on the task at hand.

All that for the why I'm cleaning my office. As for the why I'm a hoarder... well, some of the stuff I'm sorting out in the office is OLD.

Here's an example. I had a stack of little magazines from the public tv station in West Virginia. They were dated from 1987 to 1989, during the time we lived in Eureka. Now, I did have a legitimate reason why I saved them in the first place. I'd taped several episodes of "Dr. Who", and these magazines had the program schedule and told about the episodes.

And I do still have those tapes. But do I watch them these days? No.
Could I get the info about "Dr. Who" episodes off the internet if I needed it? Yes.

So why am I keeping these old public television guides?

Cause I'm a hoarder. A pack-rat. A "I can't throw that out cause I might need it" and "I've had that forever and it just seems wrong to toss it out now" kind of person.

But it's time to let go. Jess has already carried the first big bag of trash out to the garbage can for me and that means the old public televisions guides are in the trash.

Darn. I was going to take a picture of them to go with this post.... see, I knew I'd need them if I threw them away!

Have I mentioned I need therapy???

A year ago today I was in Florida. . .

Yep, I noticed on my calendar that one year ago today I flew to Florida for the first time of several times in 2010. It was the first time I got to see Ellie after her surgery. And now here it is time for her to go for her one-year checkup in Vancouver. Chrystie is flying there with Ellie while Richard holds down the fort at home. Unfortunately, insurance only pays for one parent's ticket, and at $800 a pop... ouch. It will be interesting to hear what the surgeon thinks of Ellie's progress.

Here on the home front, things are much the same as usual. We're in a warmer spell right now, which is very nice. Dreaming of spring but not so thrilled about the coming heat of summer. I'm not looking forward to the heat anyway... I don't think it bothers the guys so much.

We've got plans for a good sized garden this year. In a couple of weeks I'll be starting some tomatoes inside for later planting outside. Supposedly Jess will be retiring sometime this summer so he can take care of this garden... we shall see.

In the meantime, I'm working like a madwoman trying to build the business up so when Jess retires we can continue to live in the style to which we've become accustomed, ha! I need to finish clearing out my office this weekend because next week I need to hole up in there, without distraction, and research and WRITE. LOTS. I've got a pretty big project I need to get done, and SOON.

It's a continual learning experience. I'm not used to dealing with minions. (I know, I watch "Despicable Me" too much.) I did have two working part-time, but one had some changes in her circumstances, and had to quit. For the moment I have one full-time helper. Training someone to do stuff is time consuming, but should help me in the long-run. But it keeps me on my toes planning and making sure I have work for her to do that is USEFUL and fits in the business plan.

Jess has taken over doing morning chores, going out before he goes to work. That helps immensely. I've cut back on posting to the farm blog also, which frees up more time. It's a nice blog but it's not where I make money. Right now, I need to work on the ones that make money!

At least once every month or two, though, I hear from someone wanting to know if they can use a picture from that blog. Someone asked just last week if they could use one to make a painting. That's about the 3rd time I can recall off the top of my head that's happened. Paintings, 4-H projects, flyers... and who knows how many people have used one of the pictures without asking. The only people who ask are the ones who are either a) honest, or b) need a copy with better resolution (or possibly both).

And I recently got a check for the elk picture the company is going to use as part of redoing the Oconaluftee Visitor Center of the Great Smokey Mountains area in North Carolina. Turns out it is against park policy to use the names of private citizens in displays, so they had to send along compensation for not being able to give me a "byline" as was part of the original contract.

I'd like to be able to hire someone to clean the house at least a couple of times per month soon. Otherwise, I'm afraid we're going to end up on some "Hoarders" or "Tornado Aftermath" show. But I still have to pick and choose, and right now the business comes first when I'm spending money. (Though I did just order a pair of shoes tonight... my work shoes are held together with duct tape so maybe it was time...)

Another project this spring is stocking the farm pond. Jess picked up a flyer today with information about fish available, what mix and numbers are good for the size of our pond, and the prices.

And it's not all work around here. At lunch or some other break times when I need something different to occupy my brain I'm alternating between reading about energy healing, and at the moment, a historical book on The Orthodox Church. Fascinating stuff, but making me stretch my theological terminology and perspectives a bit.

Jess has taken over the Netflix queue for his entertainment when he's not watching sports. Jonathan watches Netflix movies too, but he streams his through his Wii to his tv. He's still working pretty much full-time and more. They often send him home earlier on Sunday because he's hit 40 hours and they try to pay as little overtime as possible.

As for this year's travels... I don't think we're going to travel near as much this year. We'll see how things are going come summer time, but for the first half of the year, well, I need to stay home and "get 'er done"!!!

And that's the way things are down on the farm!