Hey Hay Dude! You are SO wrong.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Whether you have horses or not, I'm pretty sure all of you will relate to this one way or another. We spent a large portion of the past week shopping for hay (yes, you read that correctly). We are down to the last three rolls from the hay we purchased in July. Sadly, our little corner of the state is running a close second to Texas with this terrible drought (so we've gone through far more hay than planned). In any case, the man we bought the hay from lives right up the road - literally (in Southernese "right up the road" can be anywhere from a couple of miles to: gosh I hope you packed a lunch ;o) Anyway, when we told him we would need about 30 more rolls to get us through the winter, he said he'd be glad to put us down for that (he was trying to presell as much as he could) and he would give us a call as soon as he made the next cutting. He and his wife own a local business and have a very good reputation in the area, so it was a huge load off my mind that we wouldn't have to worry about hay this winter. 
DH drove by the field earlier this month and noticed that they were in the process of cutting it. I called our new best friend (herein anonymously referred to as "Hay Dude") and he assured me that he had not forgotten about us and would call me back in a day or two as soon as they had finished in the field. He mentioned that someone had already stopped by with a flatbed wanted to buy the entire field, which caused my heart to thump painfully. Thankfully, he told the man that he could not sell it all because he had already promised some of it to two other customers. Relieved that he was not going to go back on his word, I thanked him profusely and we hung up. Well. After several days passed without a word, I got twitchy and called him back. Uh-oh; voice mail. I left a message. When a few more days went by without a word, I began to get this terrible sinking feeling. You know the one? I called again and this time left a slightly panicked message, even though I had already surmised what had happened. Sure enough, he finally called me back a day later full of apologies and explained that the man with the flatbed had returned and offered him enough money that he just couldn't turn it down. Sold him the whole field. Surely I could understand (um, no dude, actually I don't; you shafted us). So here we are with temperatures dropping rapidly and without any winter store. I think (I hope, I hope) we may have found someone else. The hay is more expensive than what we would have gotten now that winter is looming large, but that's how it goes with supply and demand. Now the only thing left to do is to repent all of the very ugly thoughts I have had about Hay Dude. This is one of those things that makes it hard to remember I'm supposed to be a Christian. Workin' on that forgiveness thing. Since he's supposed to be a Christian too - and don't even get me started on that part - I can't help but wonder if it means there's a free slap in there for me somewhere (I mean wouldn't "turn the other cheek" mean I'd get to take another whack at him?). Okay, I'm sorry. I forgot I was supposed to be repentent here; the whole thing just really frosts my cookies, is all. I'm slowly working my way toward forgiveness; but since I still have the overwhelming urge to haul off and slug him, I may have a little ways to go yet...*sigh*
I spent more time than I care to admit yesterday, paintstakingly reinstalling all of the bazillion fonts back on my PC. I suppose I should go ahead and confess: I have a font fettish (it's just terrible :o) I love them! If you remember the sunrise maze book I made for my friend (this post), you may have noticed that each of the quotes was done in a different font. I love little touches like that; it makes things just a little more special - you know what I mean? Anyway, I'm sure all of you know about DaFont (here). They have fonts for just about any occasion you can imagine and they are grouped categorically, which is great. Some of the names are funny and some alarming. I got a kick out of "Girls Are Weird" (which I'd already had), and laughed out loud when I found the new follow up font of "BoyzRGross". Somebody's got a good sense of humor. *grin* Now I just have to find my Creative Lettering CDs which are AWOL. Bet most of you know about that, too (here).
One of the things you may not know about, however, is a marvelous little program called Font Wrangler. If you are a Fontophile (and yes, I just made that up ;o) you'll love it. You can print out this handy-dandy little reference list of all the fonts - complete with typeface sample - that are on your computer in alphabetical order. Now I have a pretty good idea of most of the fonts in my system, but when you have over 500 of them (and eek! Do I really have THAT many???) it's hard to remember the name of every single font. Most of the time, I use this little printed list when searching for inspiration and/or the appropriate font for a specific task. It's really been a lifesaver, though, when I am hot and heavy into a creative bender and have the perfect - but nameless - typeface pop into my head. For me, it's far easier to grab and scan this printed list than it is to try to scroll through every one of the fonts on my computer. You can download a free trial (which is what I did for the second time yesterday after I'd finished reinstalling all the fonts) through Cnet here if you're interested.
Well, I finally caved one day last week, and threw my camera in the car before heading to work. It has been killing me every morning to head east and see God's glorious handiwork in the sky over and over again; and me without my camera. I just couldn't stand it any more. Although I left extra early to compensate, I was (of course) late for work. It was the second church steeple that got me. I did manage to get some wonderful photos to share with you though, would you like to see them? These are straight out of my camera; I haven't even erased the date stamp yet.
Here's the first church steeple; it was just before the sun crossed the horizon and the sky was absolutely unbelievable (isn't it beautiful?)
Below is the second church steeple, after the sun broke the horizon. It's kind of weird that the blue stayed almost exactly the same, but the rest is dramatically different. This is the shot that made me officially late, but you can see why I just HAD to stop, can't you?
I think I will add some scripture to either this one (or the first one) from Isaiah 60:1 "...and the Glory of the Lord is risen upon you."
The last one I shot on my way home; it's a field of cotton. I used the poster setting on the camera which adds a slightly surreal quality to it. Although I really miss the first snow each time winter rolls around, I've decided to look at it from another perspective. I'm entitling this one "A Southern Snowfall" (or something like that - ideas anyone? :o) This is as close to snow as this misplaced Yankee is going to get, I think.
That's all for this week; 'cause now I'm late for church. *slaps head* Have a blessed week everyone!

Git 'er Done (doggone it)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Have you ever noticed that the more balls you toss in the air the more likely it is that things will go amiss? Invariably those that fall (which is usually way more than half) seem to bonk you squarely on top of the head before crashing to the ground - or at least they do me. This post will likely be a day late, as I am now having technical difficulties with my monitor; which is now sporadically cutting off (arrgh!). It's kind of hard to finish a post when you can't see what you're doing. *sigh* While we are making progress of a sort with some things, NOthing seems to be going above the speed of sloth (the tree one; that moves like one foot every three hours *rolls eyes*). DH and our favorite volunteer Mr. Ron managed to finish framing out the restroom last week and get the outside walls up. Although DH has declared it "ready to use", I've opted to be a bit picky about it and wait until he actually hooks up the water (and puts up a DOOR! ;o) The pipe you see sticking up out of the concrete by the outside wall will be where we put the sink. I figure we'll be washing up and using the sink a whole lot more than we'll need the rest room, so it seemed prudent to place it on the outside where it's easier to access. Don't you think?
Somehow, in the next month or so I am going to give it my best to get a large number of "unfinished projects" completed. They seem to be everywhere. The prayer shawl on the right is finally finished; it's for a friend that had a stroke and is now wheelchair bound. Now I just have to figure out how to get it to her on the sly. The next thing I need to finish is the little angel I posted last week (you know, the one for the giveaway? Sheesh). Some days I just want to do the mad scientist routine; barricade myself in the house, rip out the phone, turn off the TV and run around like a crazy person in a frenzy of activity until I can GET-IT-ALL-DONE. I don't know about you, but I seem to have trouble with constant interruptions. Then of course, I forget what I was doing and go off and start on something else; just pitiful. Meh :oP Last week's big distraction was sponsored by Pleurisy (yep, really). It has been three weeks since Walk-In doc gave me the all clear (he did say if it didn't go away to go see my regular doctor) and it has been getting steadily worse instead of better (breathing has become quite an interesting challenge). My regular doctor took another xray (which was still clear), then gave me a whopping dose of steroids through the hip (and oh goody, a shot) on Tuesday, but things were no better by the follow up on Thursday (and they should have been). Happily (?) I already had my regular checkup scheduled with the Rheumatologist for Monday (today), so we'll see what he says. It is not viral, and since the steroid didn't work, he cannot treat the pleurisy until someone figures out its cause. Whoopee. In the meantime, just call me Wheezy. Wait. Maybe we should make that "Wheeza" after Shirley McLaine in Steel Magnolias (this IS the South, after all...Ha ;o)
Now to the moment you have been waiting for (unless of course you skipped straight to this part; and how rude is that? *laugh*). And the winner is... Daisy. Woo! *Applause*Applause* Congratulations! If you will give me a bit of patience and your mailing address, I'll finish up my your unfinished BC angel and get it out to you as quickly as I can. Thank you so much to everyone who left a comment (you know how much I love them!) That's it for now. Except for yesterday's sunrise, which was gorgeous:
Have a blessed week everyone!

In the pink (well, mostly)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm baaaack! I cannot believe it has taken me over an entire week to get everything technologically reassembled but it has been quite the adventure, let me tell you. Sometimes, even when you are careful you can get got - and boy did I ever. Check out my lovely error message to the left. *rolls eyes* "This should never happen", Ha. Yeah, tell me about it. Seems Firefox had some sort of a hiccup and Trend Micro was scrambling over some heinous new Rootkit virus (and leave it to me to get the latest and greatest there *sigh*). Managed to not only sneak past my antivirus protection, it also disabled the antivirus software without shutting it down; it still appeared to be working fine right there in my taskbar. Put the word out to fellow nasties (the Guard Online Virus winning in the "Most Obnoxious" category) and they were all partying hardy on my hard drive. Grr. Two days going back and forth with Trend Micro's tech support and the final answer was "you have to do a system restore". Now, system restore is supposed (key word there) to let you go back to a specific time; as in say, a month or two or three before your computer was infected. You are not supposed to lose any files that were saved prior to that point. Uh-huh. So you say...
Well color me paranoid, but I asked DH for a portable hard drive just in case (happy birthday, Merry Christmas, yadda yadda to me) ;oP Office Depot had this nice little Western Digital drive - that is only slightly larger than my cell phone - on sale for $89.95 that holds a TB (and holy cow!). Pretty nifty little gizmo, isn't it? I spent the large part of a day manually copying more than 20,000 files; 23,421 to be precise. You should never use the automated system backup when a virus is present as it will backup the virus right along with everything else on your hard drive. The portable drive turned out to be a good call, as Windows never even bothered to ask me to what point I wished to restore my system; it just wiped everything out and sent me clear back to the original factory settings. Do you know how many updates there were to Windows between 2006 and now? I'll give you a hint: it was more than 200 plus two ginormous service packs. That took another two days of updating and rebooting (and geez whatta pain!) I am [I think/I hope] in the clear and back up and running, although I have an awful lot left to do. I'll give a big thumbs up to Malwarebytes who was able to actually tell me I had a Rootkit virus about a nanosecond before the virus shut it down. Great shareware program, if you're interested in running a free scan click here.
As I'm sure you've noticed, I have turned the blog pink for this month. I'm happy to say that this is a whole lot earlier than last year when I spent what seemed like half the month trying to figure out how to change the header ;o) I'll add that the new format is definitely easier to navigate (note:  No bad words were uttered in the updating of this header. *laugh* I'm also happy to say that I am going to try <--operative word there) to have two giveaways this month. The first will be a couple of hand made (by moi) pink ribbon items that you can keep for yourself or share with a friend (or family ;o) This crocheted angel is still on my pinning board and missing the pink ribbon, but here 'tis:
I will be poking around in my stash to see what other little goodies I can find to tuck in there and let you know when I do the next post. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment. Preferably something nice; like how much you missed my smart mouth regular post last week (ha). That's all; it's been complicated enough around here recently ;o) Giveaway will run through Saturday, October 22nd and the winner will be announced in next weekend's post (Sunday).
My craft table is now 90% complete, and 100% useable - WOO! I have one last series of shelves for the front and we could really use a coat of paint, but other than that I am done (and thank goodness!) Want to see?
I added a shelf along the back that ran the entire length of the counter top to accommodate my scrap booking cubes. I had to make it slightly raised to allow for the counter top's thickness. Even though the table will be 3 feet deep, the cubes would have eaten up 14 inches, and I'm a space hog (I wanted every square inch I could get for my creative benders *grin*).
While I still have to put on another coat of paint (this is primer), I didn't bother to paint the top as it won't show. Below picture is where we are right now; I just have that last set of shelves to install (by the arrow).  The wire rack intruding rudely into the photo on the left will ultimately go in the Epic Farms room (when we finally have one ;o)
I love those organizer cubes! I've been buying about one a year for the past few years (when they went on sale for half price after Christmas) and had just enough to go the distance - yay! 
One last thing. Ann, Ann are you listening? This is [for the record] completely your fault *laugh* for being such a crafty bad influence... I just couldn't stand it anymore, so for the first project on my craft table I made a Maze Book. Click here to visit Ann's post (but don't forget to come back!)
Some great two sided paper let me resolve a pet peeve - how to tell the back [L] from the front [R] - without detracting from the charm of the book :o) A friend who was having a pretty tough week was also having a birthday, so I thought this might lift her spirits a little. She loves sunrises and sunsets (and those of you who've been here for a bit know how addicted I am to those sky shots *grin*) so I thought I'd use a few of them to try and brighten her day:
Some relevant quotes typed in a fancy font, yellow and orange reversible paper to match my sunny theme (I'm just a teensy bit OCD ;o) then put it all together and...TaDaaaa! What do you think?
Gosh that was kind of a lot; sorry. It has been awhile though, and what's a chatterbox to do after all? *laugh* Have a blessed week everyone - I missed you!

It is and it isn't

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Welllll, my next post will have to wait until (if and when) I can get a nasty little virus cleaned off of my computer. Technically this is my next post, but since it isn't what I'd planned to talk about (at all) I'm not counting it. Rotton little virus managed to get past PCcillin which is a pretty good anti-virus program; and make a mess out of my hard drive. Got the "blue screen of death" a few times too which almost gave me heart failure. Somebody's idea of funny (and wish I knew who, as I'd be more than happy to give them a free slap *scowl*). Since it's a replicator, I've turned my computer off until I can figure out how to get rid of it (it's already compromised my CDrom drive, so I can't just pop a CD in with another anti-virus program to get it. *sigh* I'm going to try using a flash drive this afternoon to see if that works. Hope so (I miss my 'puter *sniffle*).

I have a really hard time typing on DH's laptop for any length of time, and (being idiotically optimistic) I'm hoping that I'll be able to get back to my own computer soon. Hopefully I'll be back on here before you know it. Just thought to let you all know I wasn't dead. *grin*

Have a blessed week everyone!

- Jen

Dominos and Doctors

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'll start by making profuse apologies to everyone for my delay in posting the giveaway results (not to mention my delay in actually doing it :oP Although I did indeed "nod off like grandma" Friday night, I also spent the late afternoon/early evening hours in a quasi-catatonic state. You see we had a reward day Friday for close to 300 students. Translation? Basically, everyone over 5 and a half feet tall got punished ;o) I spent far more time than was wise standing out in the blazing hot sun Friday afternoon maintaining order at one of the activities (I was waiting for someone to come relieve me, which they didn't). I finally managed to find someone to fill in as things were beginning to fade in and out. Not good.
There is a health-related line that I try so very hard never to cross. Having an autoimmune issue (Dermatomyositis) means that I am stuck with a pathetic immune system and am far more susceptible to medical issues than most folks. I know where the line is, and most of the time I can get pretty close while remaining on the safe side. Sometimes, though, circumstances give me a little push and I wind up on the wrong side. This causes a domino effect of things going wrong one after the other. Most annoying. Ordinarily, when I've overdone it, I fix it by going to bed super early and getting plenty of rest the next day, but Saturday was yard sale day. I wasn't about to miss the chance to raise a little money for church and Epic Farms, so I sucked it up and shot out the door at 5:15a.m. to set up. 
While moving a table with DD, my back suddenly twinged (okay, TWINGED) on the right side underneath my shoulder blade. Nuts. We set the table up, and I snarled at myself for whatever it was I did this time (sometimes it's too much to keep up with, you know?). Well, I woke up this morning feeling like dirt and unable to draw a full breath (uh-oh) with both the right and left sides of my back hurting. I spent half of today at the walk in clinic (always such a joy :oP was x-rayed to check for Pleurisy, had a blood count, got a shot (which I took) and some pain meds (which I did not). The doctor told me that if the pain does not go away after a few days I may need to have a bone scan done (to make sure the Big C has not pulled off a sneak attack on the old ribcage). There's a happy thought, right? Personally, I think I'd much prefer the pulled muscle behind Door #1.
So now that I've finally finished splainin' my tardy self (hee), I'll get to the drawing. I only ended up with three entries (if there were more, they forgot to come back and leave a comment because comments and GoodSearch supporters were where I got the names). Congratulations to Bethkay! Please email me your address, and I'll pop your goodies in the mail as soon as I can (yay for you! :o)
Hopefully you won't forget that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (I'm definitely aware, as you well know *laugh*). Please say a prayer for all of the women [and men too] who are out there fighting this awful disease. I'm trying to hurry and finish working on an extra special little giveaway for you this month. Hopefully, this one will go the way I'd like it to and in a timely manner. I guess you never know though, right? *rolls eyes* Have a blessed week everyone!

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