Playful kitties & the shop gets a wood stove

Monday, January 18

Bor–ing is the only way I can describe the day. Work was so slow I thought I would go nuts. There were only a few emails in my Inbox that needed addressed and since it was a holiday for some that meant that no one got back with me. Unfortunately for them, holiday or no holiday our deadline for this week’s paper was still at noon. The only ‘excitement’ for the day were two last minute ads that came in after the deadline which resulted in some quick shuffling and re-figuring. The prospect of money was the catalyst so we made it happen. Once that was all settled I spent the rest of the afternoon laying out some pages. By the end of day the editor and I had half the paper laid out giving us a nice jump start on tomorrow.

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I spent part of the evening up in the sewing room working on my new mask. The only thing left are the ear pieces. The pattern author recommended using strips of t-shirt to tie the mask on. CountryBoy has a thoroughly stained gray t-shirt and I’ve a mind to use it. Once I cut the strips then it’s just a matter of using a large tapestry needle to feed it through the channels on the side of the mask. Overall it was a fairly easy pattern however I found that I had to ponder some of the steps before tackling them as they weren’t spelled out enough for this rookie. Nonetheless, I was able to figure out the gaps and if I make another one it should be much easier. The rest of the evening was spent scrolling through Instagram and just sitting in front of the fire with CountryBoy.

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Farm news: Mabel did NOT leave her pen as we thought she would. Not even to get some of the chickens’ cracked corn. She wanted breakfast in her warm bed of hay – forget going out in the cold!

Tuesday, January 19

Since half the paper was already laid out it didn’t take us long to finish it up. We had the approval from the printer before noon. Typically we leave shortly after we get the approval but instead I spent the next two hours working on a billing project for a co-worker then prepping my ad schedule for next week. I called it a day at 2:00.

Since I was home early and the yarn I need for the second commissioned baby blanket was on sale this week we decided to head to the big town. I was thrilled that there was enough of the two colors of yarn I needed in the bins – yay! Now to get started on it because the deadline is fast approaching. Guess how I’m going to spend my evening?!

At some point during the day I lost one of my earrings. I discovered it on the way to town so there’s no telling when or where I lost it. I was so upset. They were simple copper earrings made by a local artist so I’m hoping it’s on the floor somewhere at work. I’m also really just hoping to find it no matter where it’s at. If not, maybe I can get a replacement even if it’s a custom job of just one earring. Fingers crossed the rogue earring turns up somewhere.

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Farm news: 12 eggs

Wednesday, January 20

It was a long, miserable day. I couldn’t wait for the day to be over. I scrolled through Instagram then made the mistake of wasting a few minutes scrolling on Facebook. HUGE mistake. It only made the day worse. I ended up crocheting a few more rows on the baby blanket then calling it a night.

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Farm news: 16 eggs!

Thursday, January 21

I woke up with a headache. Every Thursday, it seems, I wake up with my shoulders extremely tensed up and a headache. Since there’s a lot I need to do at work Thursday mornings I took an ibuprofen. Thankfully I was almost headache-free by the time I left for work. I’m not really sure what the pattern is but there’s got to be a reason. I mean, it’s too consistent. I’ll have to pay closer attention and look for any similarities from week to week.

As usual I was swamped with emails requesting ads and a few other questions; counting the money from the counter sales for both papers; and doing the billing for the week. (Thank goodness my headache was gone!) I managed to get caught up by lunchtime and then nothing. Absolutely nothing came in the rest of the day. I did manage to stick it out until quittin’ time.

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The lost earring was not at work. sniff. There’s no telling where it might be.

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Farm news: 15 eggs including a turkey egg. CountryBoy had taken some homemade bread out to the chickens this afternoon and he said that Mabel came busting out her door to get some too – yay! After he was finished tossing the bread out he went to feed her and she came busting back through to get her supper. I’m SO glad she’s figured out that she can get in and out now. yay Mabel!!!

Friday, January 22

It was a good day. I had a few ideas in mind that I wanted to accomplish today. Some of them I completed – some I did not.

While CountryBoy was whipping up a BLT + egg sandwich for breakfast I potted up some Cilantro that I had picked up at the grocery store and also threw in a Wandering Jew to the container that I had rooted in a small vase in the upstairs bathroom. I’ve not had the best of luck with Cilantro but I really like it and am determined to successfully grow some.

After that I decided to tackle the kitchen. Originally I was wanting to clear the countertops, give them a good cleaning and then only put back a few necessary items, then decorate them with functional items. Do you know how difficult it is to functionally decorate? Our kitchen is so small that sometimes everything winds up on the counters because we really do use them a lot. But, then there’s no room to actually work and it’s just not visually appealing. I just know there has to be a happy medium between functionality, clutter-free and inviting. So, that was my original intent – to find that happy medium today. What really ended up happening? I decided that I couldn’t concentrate on the countertops knowing the mess that was underneath them. Wood shavings from the drawers above and mouse turds from a former rampant mouse in the house. sigh. I knew it was time to completely strip the cabinets, vacuum, scrub the non-skid liner, get rid of what we never use, then put it all back. So, I dug in. Rather, I sat on the floor and vacuumed, pulled the liner out and vacuumed again. Later on I got back down on the floor and scrubbed the cabinets. It was a big job but now that it’s done I’m really pleased with the results. We got rid of so much stuff that we can now find what we’re looking for at a glance. Maybe tomorrow I can concentrate on the countertops.

While I waited for things to dry (I washed everything before putting them in their new place) I spent a few minutes outside. It was another wonderfully sunny day (shame I was working on such a huge inside project) and I sat on the porch steps watching the birds and playing with the kitties. They have gotten so big but are still so playful. Here’s Missy attacking my hand…

… while Sissy lays in the grass and cleans herself…

Never ones to stay put very long they decided to sit under the bird feeders…

One of these days they’re going to get pooped on!

Although the sun was shining it was still a little cool so I went back in to finish what I had started. I finished just in time to start supper – Spicy Shrimp and Pasta.

Meanwhile CountryBoy officially installed the wood stove in my Dremel shop…

He had it temporarily set up and hasn’t minded working on a project in the barn now that he has a warm space to work in. He’s actually kind of taken over the Dremel shop since I haven’t had the time to do anything out there. That’s OK. At least it’s getting used.

In between all that we had three different egg customers drop by. The first one bought all we had – six dozen. The second one took a couple dozen that we hadn’t cleaned yet. The third was a neighbor and we gave him all the eggs we had left – seven. It was a good day for buying and selling eggs apparently!

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Farm news: 12 eggs which are already gone

Saturday, January 23

We woke up to a really cold house which is probably why we slept in a bit. I mean, who wants to crawl out of a nice, warm bed and put on cold clothes in a cold house?! I turned the burner on the stove top to get the coffee heated and percolating, took care of the house animals then started working on getting a fire going in the fireplace. There weren’t very many embers left so it was like starting from scratch. I guess that’s what we get for sleeping in a bit! While I worked on that CountryBoy headed out to the barn with a pail of water to take care of the barn animals. To knock the chill out of the house while waiting for the fire to get going I turned on the gas fireplace (which is on the other side of the wood burning stove. Within the hour the house was feeling a little more comfortable so I turned the gas fireplace off. We enjoyed our coffee, had breakfast then slowly started the day. Another gloriously sunny but still cold day. Having sunny days during the Winter months makes all the difference in the world.

There wasn’t enough laundry to bother with so I just washed the sheets. After throwing them in the dryer I headed out to the barn where CountryBoy was already working. He had fired up the wood stove in the shop and was in the process of sealing off the open side into the barn with barn wood. As each piece was hung the shop got a little bit warmer. Once he finished with the wall he added some wood to the exterior corner where there was a huge gap.

Meanwhile I started doing a light sand on a wooden tray we had up at the cabin. It was not sealed so it had acquired some stains while being up there. I was able to sand all but one off then I sealed it with polyurethane.

Sealing it really brought out the grain of the wood and it will now be protected against spills and stains. Once it’s dry I’ll put the handles back on and use it either on the dining table or the kitchen counter. I haven’t decided yet. More likely the dining table because we really don’t need anything else on the counters.

Speaking of counters, I wasn’t in the frame of mind today to try and figure out the happy medium of functionality, clutter-free and appealing kitchen countertops. There will be another day when the ideas will flow.

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We enjoyed little breaks off and on to warm up. While sitting there I thought how cozy it was…

Since heat rises and was escaping through the gaps between the ceiling boards CountryBoy had the idea to use the vinyl siding he had stacked above the shop to help keep the heat in. He spread it out covering the gaps thus keeping the heat in. With each gap and hole sealed off we could feel it getting warmer. There are still tons of gaps but the big ones are sealed off to keep the wind out and I think the rest of them will actually help keep it from getting too hot in there.

While he was spreading the vinyl I swept the cobwebs off the ceiling over the wood stove which made it much more inviting. CountryBoy came back in when he was finished but I had stirred up too much dust for him so he went on to the house. We had no idea what time it was and we had guests arriving today. It was a good thing he went to the house because it was almost 2:00 and we still needed to mop the cabin, turn on the gas fireplace and take up the banana bread and water. After his shower he headed up and took care of everything while I washed up the kitchen stuff I had culled from the cabinets then boxed it all up. It feels so good to be able to immediately see what we’re looking for when in the midst of cooking. It feels good to get rid of stuff! I’ve heard of retail therapy but I think get-rid-of therapy is much more satisfying!

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This morning when I was heading out to the barn one of our regular egg customers drove up. I told her we didn’t have any but would have two dozen for her Sunday afternoon. She said she’d be back tomorrow!

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Farm news: 10 eggs. If we don’t get 14 eggs tomorrow we won’t have the two dozen we need. yikes! Come on girls – give up those eggs!

This afternoon I spent some time with Speckles and the chickens and even coaxed Mabel out of her pen to get some Vitamin D. She was so cute going through her door! We are definitely relieved that she knows how to use it.

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