Woodworking woes? Oh, say it isn't so!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

But first things first:
PLEASE don't forget about the giveaway! I've figured out GoodSearch (and it's powered by Yahoo so it's a "regular" search engine - hooray!) To enter the giveaway this week - or just help us out - join us on GoodSearch. If you entered last week, doing this means you'll have your name in the hat two times (yay). Simply select Epic Farms as your charity and download the toolbar or the plug in (it adds GoodSearch to your existing search box if you don't want another toolbar). Be sure to set GoodSearch as your default search engine, and voila! you are helping us out every time you search the internet. GoodSearch donates a penny to us with each search you make, and you can follow our progress. You can even track your own progress and see how much money you've raised for us (pretty cool, eh?) We're up to a whopping .84c right now. Obviously we could use quite a bit of help. *laugh* And if you shop online, there are tons of coupons for all kinds of stores through GoodShop (same site).
Even better? When you shop through GoodShop and have Epic Farms selected as your charity, the store will make a donation to us too. Hot diggity dog! Is that awesome or what?!? This is a numbers thing, so please ask everyone you can to use the search engine under Epic Farms. As you can see on their page, the big well-known charities are raking in thousands in donations. But even just 100 people searching for us generates around $700 in donations a year. To an itty-bitty charity like Epic Farms, that's HUGE. Boo-yeah. Plus, it's a great way to enable people that can't afford to donate to help a good cause. Should I say that about us [good cause] or is that tacky? 
Well anyway, it's a piece of cake (a nice, big frosty one ;o) Yum.
I'm just sure that I will be glad to have my office done and monster craft table completed to use for all my creative benders. As a matter of fact, I know I will. But right now I am tired of wood, of flooring, and paint. Definitely the paint. Painting stinks (literally). I opted to paint outside on our "almost patio", which is probably why we got some rain (hooray!). *laugh* Had I known that was all it would take, I would have found something to paint outside weeks ago. Because I'm building in sections and pieces, I ended up having to number all of them so I could keep them straight. Here are just a few I laid out on the table to paint (didn't I tell you I could complicate anything? ;o)
The back piece is the only really long piece (below). I thought it might be prudent to have some serious support on the back side since my scrapbooking cubes will be back there (and they are pretty heavy). The black on the bottom (above) is felt; I am SO not messing up that brand new floor!
DD used the router on the 2x4's for me (between that and the paint, I hope to cut down on the cheesiness factor - like the word "stud" which is stamped all over everywhere ;o) Whaddaya expect on a poverty stricken budget, right? I guess these are the ones that were not worthy of becoming Christmas trees (says DFIR in the little triangle, which I assume means "Douglas Fir"). Weird. We have, as you can see from the photo below, made a spectacular mess. I am distinctly UNexcited about cleaning this up... particularly since I seem to have misplaced the doggone dustpan. *sigh*
I'm getting there...but it's taking FOREVER. Swept up all the stupid sawdust with a broom and piece of cardboard; not the way to go. Had dust wafting everywhere and sneezed my head off. Oy. I've figured out that I am currently on Phase IX* [9] of my Monster Craft Table project. Here's the rundown:
Phase I: A great big home made craft table. This is going to be SO awesome; I can't wait to get started! *bounce*bounce*bounce*
Phase II: Hmm. Okay, this is a little harder than I thought. Why doesn't everything fit right on the plans?? Nuts. I need to get some more wood.
Phase III: Ai!! My checkbook! How can cheap lumber be so expensive?? Okay, okay, I just know this will all be worth it in the end. *whimper*
Phase IV: Mid-project clean up. I had it, I know I had it...where the heck did it go?? There's sawdust everywhere and I can't find the screws I dropped all over the floor - whatta mess! Where's that doggone dustpan? Raspberries. Found it... right after I finished cleaning it up by hand. ARRGH!
Phase V: Start marking and/or assembling section pieces. This was NOT supposed to be this much of a pain in the patootie. *scowling*
Phase VI: Why did I ever start this?? Remind me to NEVER do this again.
Phase VII: I hate painting. Now I need more paint. Who knew that particleboard could suck down an entire pint of primer for two measly shelves?? Geez! *bangs head on partially completed table*
Phase VIII: Changed name from Monster Craft Table to Project from Hades. Personal remarks withheld due to "G" Rating on blog. *snarl*
I am here-->*Phase IX: Painting, painting, painting. I hate painting. Not enough hours in the day. Hallooo...what's with the stupid brush? Have you never heard of spray paint you ninny? Why do I not think of these things until AFTER?!? *slaps forehead*
Phase X: Lug remaining pieces into the office/craft room for assembly. Hit all walls enroute with long back piece. Drop on toe. Stomp around to locate craft supplies stashed and stacked all over the house to put them in their [finally finished] new home. Solemnly swear NEVER to do this again. Ever. Idiot.
Phase XI: Admire finished project <--apologize for swearing (using the "P" word).  Renew vow to never do this again (better yet, recite as litany). Shake head at massive self-inflicted stupidity. Post photos to blog as proof that the nightmare is finally OVER. :oP
Well, that's where I've stopped work this morning; painting. Not to worry, there LOTS more left to do...Meh. Thanks so much for visiting, and have a very blessed week.
And don't forget to enter the giveaway - or just join us on GoodSearch - we really need your help!

It's a glorious day for a giveaway

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Read carefully ('cause you will never see this again)
I got to wash dishes yesterday!! I'm soooo excited!  Woo-Hoo! We have a sink We have a sink We have a sink. An amazing one with a handle, and running water and everything. What joy! Happy-happy-happy :o) Sorry, couldn't help myself...YAY! Okay, I'm done. *laugh* Have you ever noticed how often we take things for granted? If you haven't, it's probably because you have been unusually blessed with all things functional. I mean, I never really considered how handy legs were for taking you where you wanted to go until mine didn't work anymore (and talk about your attitude adjustments, right? ;o) Same thing with the kitchen sink; just one of those things that you don't really pay attention to until it's out of order. Then it'll make you crazy. A week and a half doesn't sound like a long time, but it sure did feel like forever to me. As much as I absolutely detest washing dishes, I could not wait to scrub something... and how wrong is that??. Pretty darn wrong if you ask me.
I don't know about the weather where you live, but here it's still dry as a bone. Looked like Texas was finally getting rain; at least in some places. Could you please send it our way when you've finished with it? This has been a super strange year for weather, don't you think? I mean chunks of the country are all but under water, with massive droughts burning up other parts (literally). Outside of a winter frost, I'm mostly sure that grass is not supposed to have a crunch factor. Sounds like potato chips in our pasture. Taya came down to supper the other day with what looked like a tumbleweed wannabe stuck to the end of her tail. Geez. Looks like it's time to bang [trim] her tail anyway; it's dragging the ground and collecting stuff. Meh.
We signed up for GoodSearch, and were approved the week before last. That was supposed to be my grand plan for the giveaway  - to ask you to help us by using it as your default search - but I just didn't have time to get there and figure it all out. Rats. *sigh* So we're going with Plan B (which I came up with about 37 seconds ago - Ha). Visit just one - or more than one to be entered more than once - of my lenses on Squidoo and leave a comment there, like it, blog it, tweet it, tell a friend, call your mom, or post a link to your Facebook page and then come back and tell me which one you visited, what you liked, and where you shared it. Participants will be pulled from the blog comments here, so if you visit multiple lenses don't forget to list them all! This is not nearly as complicated as I just made it sound. *scratching head* Huh. I don't know why that sounds like a lot, 'cause it isn't. Okay, well, hmm. Anyway, there should be something to interest everyone here (I hope :o)  
Since I'm kind of into everything, my topics are pretty much all over the place. Life is short, what can I say? *grin* Ready? Okey-doke, here goes...
1.Horsey folks might be interested in Equine Body Language (here);
2.Hookers (bwah-ha-ha-ha) might like the lens on crochet (here);
3.Scrapbookers might like to try heritage scrapbooking (here); OR if you are just starting to scrapbook or like handy tips (4.go here);
5.Cooks can get some unique ideas for fall treats (here);
6.Readers might like our kid-friendly summer reading list lens (here);
7.Dry humor lovers might get a giggle out of my ConnieCrankpot lens (here);
8.Family historians may like my genealogy lens (here);
9.Parents with nosey kids (like mine) can get some sneaky and fun gift-giving ideas (here);
10.Curious about parenting a deaf child? Visit my Momography lens (here);
Hopefully, you found at least one lens up there that interested you enough to visit...That's 10 different lenses to choose from. If you didn't or would like to see a complete list of all my Squidoo lenses and what each one is about, you can go here. So what are the giveaway goodies, you ask? I went for some smaller items this time, because I almost had apoplexy when I paid the postage from the last giveaway (heavy stuff at just under $9-yikes!). *laugh* Sooo, how about a cute little canine zipper pull, a fun pair of felines for your footies (knee-hi's), a pretty pair of sparkly handmade dangles just in time for fall, and (because I always get carried away) a $10 gift card for PetSmart. Here's a look-see:
Don't forget to come back and leave a comment. Just tell me which lens(es) you visited and where you shared it!
Drawing will be on Friday, September 30th so you have almost two weeks to do this; until 8p.m. CST Friday (unless I doze off like grandma on the sofa again, in which case you'll have until about 3a.m. CST the next morning). The winner will be announced in that weekend's post (on whichever day I get it done ;o) Good luck!
In the meantime, guess what DD and I have finally gotten around to working on again...(pray for us, will you? ;o) I've manage to unearth (okay, shovel out) the last corner in my office/craft room to do the rest of flooring - remember the banquet table that was buried under a ton of craft supplies (right behind the paper avalanche - here). I have just a few more vinyl tiles left to do and then we can finish up the work on my craft table. A helpful hint for anyone that plans to lay vinyl tile: spray adhesive. It will keep the tiles from sliding or shifting while they set. Sure wish I had known about that when I did the kitchen floor way back when. There are a couple of small gaps between some of the tiles near the stove where DH walked across the floor too soon. The tiles shifted and then stuck fast. The gaps constantly trap dirt and drive me nutso. Hopefully I'll have finished photos of this project by the next post, because that will mean we got it DONE! Here's a shot of the plans (the salvaged and pretty countertop from the Habitat store is visible underneath)...I know it looks like the whole room on the graph paper, but that's actually just my monster craft table. Trust me, I can complicate anything. *grin*
Since I like to start the day with a smile (I try anyway), I thought I'd share this one from yesterday:
I've got to say Bella makes the BEST yawning faces. Megaweird, at the very least. Wouldn't you agree? Here's hoping it gave you a smile, and maybe a giggle as well. Have a blessed week every one!

Insanity is everywhere...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Including the kitchen sink. ARRGH!
Ever have one of those days? How about weeks? You know the kind I mean: The ones where just about everything you pick up flies out of your hands like it's a slimy bar of soap (and if it's heavy enough to qualify, the rule states it's gotta land on the toes... Yeesh :o\ Well I'm just so there. Even the garbage can has had it in for me this week. Everything I've tried to put in the trash has been thrown away twice; it's like there's a force field over it or something. Stick to the hand and/or pop off to the left; fake right; whatever it takes to land on the floor. I've had enough birthdays - I call 'em the annual moving of the ground, since it seems to get farther (further?) away every year - that it's gotten a lot trickier to bend over and pick all that darn stuff up. Looong way down there. Umpf. Last Saturday, while I was at the grocery store, DD burned a pot of Ramen Noodles (thank you FaceBook) and decided to dump them down the drain; never do this. The garbage disposal does not cut them up, as they simply bend around the blades and remain whole. If you're lucky, they'll go straight out through the pipes. If, however, you are us, they will fuse to the pipe en mass and become a big sticky blob just past where the water exits the house; thus backing up your sink quite thoroughly on both sides. Lovely. The plunger and Liquid Plumber had no effect (and we have to be careful there, as we have a septic tank). DH eventually got it unclogged; it took him 3 days amid his overcrowded work schedule to find the problem and fix it (it had to be done by running something down somewhere from the roof). 
While working to resolve the clog, we discovered that the mixer on my lovely waterfall faucet (the 3 pipe thingamajig in the photo which gives water to the spigot) had a small hole in the hot water side and was leaking behind the sink. No way to patch it either. Joy. Whatever it started out as (probably a pinhole) was not noticeable when the faucet was installed, but obviously grew larger over time. No idea. Because we use mostly cold water, there wasn't enough of a leak to be noticeable. DH went all over town trying to find a replacement part, and I looked online, but no dice; it was discontinued.  The good news? Delta faucets come with a lifetime warranty (they'll replace the faucet for free). All you need to do is send them a copy of the owner's manual and a photo of the faucet in your sink. The bad news? The filing part of my office/ craft room was (is) still a total disaster area and the owner's manual was buried in one of about 500 different file piles somewhere in this house; not kidding. *head thuds on desk* That tri-folded piece of paper was suddenly worth about $250 (the cost of a new faucet). Let the hunt begin. Oy.
I found it I found it I found it!! And it only took me 3 days. *rolls eyes* Whew! I am eternally grateful to our plumber pal, who talked us into coughing up what we considered a small fortune to put in Delta faucets way back when. The customer service guy I talked to was super nice and told me to email a copy of the manual's front page along with a photo of the sink. Hopefully, we'll have a new faucet within a few days - I sure do miss my kitchen sink! It's already been a week, and unbelievably annoying to be without. Ask me how many pointless trips I've made to the kitchen sink to wash my hands only to snarl at the spigot, turn around, and stomp off to the bathroom. (I'm a creature of habit :o)  So, now that I've said all that, hopefully you will understand why this is all I have for a post this week. I have done nothing but go to work, feed the horses, and stand by to help DH under the sink. Then it was off on a 3 day "treasure" hunt to try to find that stupid piece of paper leaving me no time to do my planned post or figure out the giveaway doggone it. *sigh* Would you believe it turned out to be in a dining room pile underneath a large stack of prescription receipts? Yep, medical stuff. Definitely the first place I shoulda looked for a faucet manual *rolls eyes*.
I did take a picture of this um, "horse ad" for you. It was on the board at the Farm Center and Jeffers - highlighted no less (wow). I'm thinking it really stresses the need to study your spelling words in elementary school, although I will say that it definitely captured my attention. What do you think?
Oh my. Have a blessed week everyone!

Lumps, bumps and down in the dumps

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I bought the cutest horse stamp the other day from Getting Hooked on Etsy. Since it's me saying this, I'm sure all of you know that means she has great prices in addition to wonderful items. She hand carves her stamps, which I think is absolutely awesome. I thought the funky shape would make it slightly awkward to use, but it actually made it easier. Girl knows her stuff. *grin* She has giveaways on her blog, also called Getting Hooked, (for those of you who like to win free stuff - Woot!) For some reason, even though I don't drink coffee, I just love the cute little coffee grinder stamp she made (here). Maybe it's because I'm an antique junkie and have an old coffee grinder as a cookbook bookend in my kitchen. Please be sure to visit her shop to see all of her wonderful stamps and don't forget the blog (you can tell her I sent ya ;o)

I don't think I've actually blogged this, (though I know we have a blurb on our home page) but Lady has something called Sarcoids. These are non-cancerous growths that can cause a variety of annoying problems and are fairly common in gray horses. Lady's Sarcoids are Nodular, and pretty tough to spot amongst the freckles (I only found hers because I run my hands over the horse's bodies on a regular basis). While we have some fairly effective, very expensive medicine (Xxterra  $75/oz) to treat them, it's on standby in the event another one ruptures (it took the better part of a year to get the one on her tummy under control - it ruptured on its own). The reason the vet suggested we monitor is because if we medicate prematurely it will cause a rupture (and instigate a medical version of world war III). She's up to 5 of them, but they are all small and don't seem to bother her in any way. 
You can see in the photo below how hard the one on the left is to see; it's just visible above my thumb. The one on the right is basically unnoticeable; even with my finger right there:

In addition to Sarcoids, gray horses are also subject to something much more troublesome: Melanomas. According to experts (people lots smarter than me) approximately 80% of gray horses - particularly Arabians - will develop Melanomas after the age of 15. Peachy. I've been watching Lady carefully over the past several years (she's 20), and found the first dreaded Melanoma under her tail the other day. [photo inset] It's not very big (maybe 1/4") so I suspect it hasn't been there very long. Unfortunately, I also noticed several more small, but suspicious looking, bumps underneath her tail (oval on the right and small circle on the upper left). 
Although melanoma is not deadly in horses like it is in people, it is still a very big problem as they can multiply quickly and often grow out of control, causing considerable misery for the horse. If you're really curious, you can search images for "equine melanomas", but only if you have a strong stomach (some of the photos are terrible to see). Lady was an awfully good girl, standing still (at liberty) for me to inspect the underside of her tail and take some photos to share.  I was sure to give her lots of praise and a treat after, and had the (belated) presence of mind to hope that my neighbors were not outside. Pretty sure the sight of me holding Lady's tail in the air with one hand and a camera with the other - all up in her *ahem* personal space - while praising her lavishly would have worried them considerably. Oh my.
Upon closer inspection, I found that she actually had quite a few larger lumps along the hairline of her tail too. To be honest, I felt them before I saw them. Oh dear. I took several photos but never could get the right angle for them to show up so you could see. Tough to spot, but I circled some of them for you:
So now we need to decide what to we're going to do about it. There are a number of options available, most (of course) pretty costly except for the "do nothing" one (which I am not going to go with). I suggested a biopsy - even though I know what it is - since I'm not a vet but DH seems to think my diagnosis was good enough to act on (again I say I'm not a vet). We're still debating. It seems, even that initial step [biopsy] comes with a risk. Depending on who you ask, attempting to biopsy and/or remove a melanoma can release the cancer and cause it to spread rapidly. EEK. I know this can happen with people from my own cancer (if memory serves, it's called "epithelial seeding of the cells"). I'll Google it later. Anyway, my hope right now is to find the balance between responsible horse ownership, proper [halfway affordable] treatment, and minimal suffering on Lady's part. I am researching our options to see what the best course of action is for all of us. 
My regular readers (non-horsey but still much loved ;o) may wish to skip this part, as I am going to list our treatment options to help anyone else out there faced with this decision:
1. Oil Therapy - Frankincense oil, applied directly, has been shown to reduce melanomas. Looked like a fairly inexpensive proactive approach while we are trying to figure out our next move. I ordered some this morning for $15.74 (including shipping) from Edens Garden (here). I'll letcha know.
2. Biopsy/Surgical removal - May (or may not) resolve this particular melanoma, but comes at the risk of triggering more and/or causing metastases. Factor in, too, that Lady has all those others popping up along the hairline. To try to remove them all would probably turn her tail into swiss cheese. Meh.
3. Cimetidine - A tumor shrinking medication also used for ulcers. Lots cheaper than other options, but often stops working after a period of time which would bring us right back to the point we are now. Not sure if there are negative results (like colic) from reducing digestive acids unnecessarily. Anybody know?
4. Laser therapy - This is not available around here; we'd have to haul her up to Auburn for treatment. Not just this time, but again and again as tumors pop up and become troublesome (probably not the best plan financially).
5. Radiation - See answer to #4.
6. Gene Therapy - Cool, but not available yet (they're working on it though!) Probably way out of our price range anyway.
7. Nublada's Formula - at Earth Angel's Herbs (here). Found a couple of positive comments off site, but not a whole lot of info out there. It's unclear how much it costs: the site has $129 for a 2 month supply, but doesn't show shipping. The 4 month supply appears to be $199. Thoughts anyone?
8. Robert McDowell's Herbal Treatments - A two fold internal/external approach (which appeals) to treatment using Bach-based flower remedies (which also appeals). Pricey at $112 for the internal treatment (5 weeks worth) and $23.50 for a melanoma ointment (here), but probably less dangerous than surgery (and likely around the same cost involved). It would also potentially address any and all melanomas instead of one at a time. Since it's in Australia, the shipping is outrageous (looks to be between $20 and $30 - ouch). I did find a pretty good amount of positive info on this stuff (off site) some of which sounds too good to be true - that's a worry. Anybody out there familiar with him?
**If you're reading this, Clancy - do you know anything about McDowell and his herbal treatments? I don't know if he's near you or not down under, but maybe you can ask around your barn. Would you mind?**
Seems Sarabear had some technical difficulties with her fly mask yesterday. *giggle* Doesn't she look cute?

I didn't forget about the giveaway, either. I'm going to post it next time. I'm waiting for a very special task to come through - we've signed up for "GoodSearch" (we're just waiting for their approval - Woo! :o) For those of you unfamiliar, it's a search engine that donates to charity each time you search for something; I'm hoping this will generate a little bit of money coming in anyway (it's a numbers thing, so the more the merrier!) Can you guess who popped up to see what Lady dropped in the water trough over there? Yep, Charity. She's finally stopped spending so much time at the bottom of the tank and is back to zipping around full time with Faith II and Hope II. I'll try to get a shot of those two; they have grown quite a bit since you last saw them :o)
I guess that just about wraps it up for now. Wondering about the "down in the dumps" part? Well, that would be me. Seems I have Shingles (again), and they are in my eye (again). *sigh*. This is why I am publishing my weekly post this Sunday morning instead of sitting in church. I had all these plans for working with Max and taking videos too doggone it, and they are out the window for now. Raspberries to that. 
Thankfully, I know just what to do in such a situation. I'm going to take my medicine, slap on some more Calamine and pout. Good thing I'm fully prepared for a nice sulkfest: 

Well whaddaya want? It was right there next to the Pharmacy :o) Have a blessed day everyone!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...