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Possible good news

Friday, November 02, 2012

I don't like to throw things out into public view until they're certain, but this is a decent bet, and I need you guys all crossing your fingers for me.

An old friend with a crafty-sort of business just received an award and is expanding into a bricks-and-mortar retail presence. I called said friend for a month or so, and he just got back in touch with me today (just got back in the area yesterday.) At first he wasn't all that sure, but I gave him my mini-sales pitch (art-y, *lots* of retail experience, web-building experience, etc), and he's going to go over things with his financial person and get in touch with me Tuesday - start off part time and segue into full time, probably opening the retail store.

So it *is* possible to make money working at something you enjoy with people that you like!

(Of course, this could all fall apart at my feet, but I don't think so. I'm confident...but just in case, please keep me in your prayers.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    It sounds perfect for you! I hope it works out.

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    Sounds like a great opportunity. Great you knew a way to get in on the ground floor.

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GRAMMACATHY 11/5/2012 1:07AM

    Keep up the positive thoughts and bring your desires to you.
Waving my magic wand for you. emoticon

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MNNICE 11/4/2012 1:08PM

    Way to not be afraid to put yourself out there and sell yourself. Hoping it works out even better than you expect!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/4/2012 12:09PM

    I'm praying like mad!

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HIPPICHICK1 11/4/2012 9:33AM

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLPEASE 11/3/2012 8:21PM

    My fingers are definitely crossed for you. I hope everything turns out just the way you want it to!!!

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BUNNYCATS 11/3/2012 10:28AM

    Sending heaps of bright and sparkling, sparks, bubbling with enthusiasm for your new endeavor. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 11/3/2012 9:55AM

    Prayers are here. This sounds like a great opportunity for you!

Comment edited on: 11/3/2012 9:55:52 AM

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HOLLYM48 11/3/2012 9:23AM

    Good luck, I hope it all turns out great!

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DOKEYOKEY 11/3/2012 9:07AM

    Oh, wow! I'm hoping this fall right into place beautifully! I'm sending positive energy your way!

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VALERIEMAHA 11/2/2012 11:43PM

    OH YES! Got the mantras churning. Sounds so "you!"

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AUTUMNBRZ 11/2/2012 9:02PM

    Crossing my fingers and toesies for you!

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JANEDOE12345 11/2/2012 7:07PM

    It is wonderful to sense your uplifted spirit. I am sending good vibes your way.You may as well plan for this to happen, with so many of us messaging the Universe on your behalf.

emoticon Things are looking up!

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BETHGILLIGAN 11/2/2012 6:42PM

    Keeping my fingers crossed (and my toes!). This would be a great opportunity for you!

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SLIMLILA 11/2/2012 6:12PM

    HOpe this comes to fruition... we could all use a job doing something we like... emoticon emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 11/2/2012 6:10PM

    I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you. It sounds like it would be fantastic! Best wishes!

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SOULFISH80 11/2/2012 5:31PM

    Wonderful! So excited for you......and prayers and blessings from me to you!

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NORASPAT 11/2/2012 5:17PM

    Sounds Fabulous and right in your line. Way to go I am rooting for you. HUGS Pat in Maine.

That would be so perfect for you !!!! (((((((HUGS)))))
emoticon emoticon

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KRISKECK 11/2/2012 3:51PM

    That sounds very cool! Keeping fingers crossed for you!

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SLIMMERJESSE 11/2/2012 3:50PM

    Will do. I have a good feeling about this not only working out, but also becoming quite a
nice situation. I am really seeking the
same type of thing. I don't want to settle

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November and October wrap-up.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

So, let's see how I did with my October goal list:

- showing up on SP every day.
Well, maybe I didn't make it every day, but I was definitely around more often than not. No check, or maybe a check minus.

- impose some sort of order on my work schedule.
Okay, check...sort of. I finished all the independent work and the CSA is finished for the season. Now I am completely unemployed and dead broke - but my schedule is wide open! :)

- become firmly established below 200 pounds
Believe it or not, check! 197 and holding (more or less, depending upon Our Friend Sodium)

- blog (here) 2-3 times per week
Nine blogs in four weeks - that's pretty good. I"ll give that a check.

- remember to wear the FitBit and get in my 10,000 steps per day, plus a couple days (like 2-3) of semi-serious lifting
No check here - not even close. Although I did figure out at least part of the problem. I keep the FitBit clipped to my bra in the center and a lot of times when I'm just around the house, I don't wear one. Lousy excuse, I know, but a true one. Maybe if I'd get dressed all the way every day, I'd do better with that. The other part is that I just plain forget. The lifting I demand a check for, though - all that firewood has got to count for something.

- make the "daily" household chores become, in fact, daily, rather than waiting until they reach calamitous proportions
No check here, either, although there has been some minor improvement.

- set aside time for daily meditation
Nope. It goes in streaks, then I forget for days on end, pick it up again, then lay it back down.

SO for November, I'm going to try the same set of goals as last month and see if I can get the missed ones shoved into line.

I was going to do NaNoWriMo again, but I'm not sure...anybody else doing it this year?

EDIT: Oops. Sorry. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel writing Month (I think...) and challenges you to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. Some people do it every year, some people do it several times a year, some people (like me) have yet to get beyond a certain point. (For me, that point is roughly 31,000.) Here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon job on the list.
Personally I don't expect that much from myself.

I am sure you do we'll at whatever you put your energies toward.

Keep up the good work.

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RAINBOWFALLS 11/5/2012 11:38AM

    emoticon No novel writing for me - I love the goals you have set for yourself. I need to get on a roll and do some serious goal writing!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/4/2012 12:09PM

    You're doing great, and that log lifting should count for a TON!

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DONNACFIT 11/1/2012 11:53PM

    Great blog!!

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_UMAMI_ 11/1/2012 11:41PM

    Try as I might, I can't come up with a name for blogging on SP every day in the month of November.

NOSPABLOMO kind of makes me think of Nostradomo.'ve had a GOOD month, by my calculations. I think, in fact, you had so many checks, you could probably stand and cry BINGO!

Yeah, I need to go to bed.

One thing more, though...I love that the things that you do, and the way that you live your life is seasonal. I think the meditation and quiet "fixes" will come with the slowing of the outer world. Right now, you still *need* to be busy, right?

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 11/1/2012 10:11PM

    You've done a fantastic job!

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    You got a bunch of em checked off which is better than many of us. Good luck this month! Let's have a good one.

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BETHGILLIGAN 11/1/2012 6:12PM

    I say you're doing pretty good!! Lots of checks or partial checks. And, I'll give you credit for good excuses (no bra!). Hang in there; you know what you want to do!

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NORASPAT 11/1/2012 4:18PM

    I too enjoyed seeing you more often this month.
I think you did quite well on your goals, many went well and the others you are aware of' will get better.
I was happy to read you are in the "onesies" now, I am wondering how tall you are, I have a mental image of a tall women. HUGS Pat in Maine, I will be looking for you. I keep my members blogs all checked in but sometimes the subscription expires and that means this old brain has no reminders till I see the lovely OWL once again. HUGS Pat xoxoxox
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/1/2012 4:21:38 PM

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SLIMMERJESSE 11/1/2012 4:01PM

    I doubt I'm doing it since I haven't a clue what it is! (smiling) I've enjoyed seeing you more frequently. Your blogs really help me.

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JUSTDREAMN 11/1/2012 3:59PM

    I can so relate! If we just keep trying and add to what we have already accomplished eventually we will check off more than we leave unchecked! emoticon

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Unexpected bad thing...

Friday, October 26, 2012

This is the time of year when all the leaves fall from the trees ... and you discover just how close you were to that wasp nest - all summer long - without ever knowing.

(This isn't my photo - mine still has a few active wasps.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UNIQDRGNFLY 10/29/2012 9:40AM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!...gotta love nature! emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 10/27/2012 11:48AM

    I love finding things like that! So cool to see the inner workings of a hive.

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AWESOMECAROL55 10/27/2012 8:08AM

    Yikes...I've been stung before...I don't like that at all!!


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CHERYLL1949 10/26/2012 9:36PM

    Thats huge! emoticon

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JLPEASE 10/26/2012 9:35PM

    Wow -- that's a huge one. Pretty scary!

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/26/2012 7:23PM

    Yikes! And we are having a San Diego-wide infestation of black and brown widows. Yikes again!

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BETHGILLIGAN 10/26/2012 7:07PM

    Holy Moly!!!

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VALERIEMAHA 10/26/2012 6:31PM

    Oh my.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/26/2012 5:55PM

    My hubby collects hornets nests. He loves them and finds them at this time of year. You have to harvest them right when the hornets die and before the nest deteriorates.

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SLIMMERKIWI 10/26/2012 5:48PM

    A few years ago I discovered how close to a wasp nest I was when I went to shift my goat. I reached down to undo the chain and got whacked on the neck and head. I had been on top of un underground nest! Only problem was, I am ALLERGIC to them! I ended up on a strong dose of antihistamine all week-end, setting my alarm to wake me for the next dose :-(

I bet when you discovered it your heart was racing enough that you could have gone in the Indy 500 without the car!


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PUDLECRAZY 10/26/2012 5:25PM

    Oh yes! We just found one at school. Yikers!!!!

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NORASPAT 10/26/2012 5:25PM

    Gave me the shudders just looking up at it. We have only encountered one in our ATTIC. I went up there using a flashlight and could hear buzzing. I thought something was wrong up there. There sure was. It was a huge wasp nest. I had noticed them flying in to the attic vents and just never thought about them, That was a long time ago but I still dislike going up in to the attic even though we now have a light up there and screens on the inside of the vents.
I hope by now you have been able to get it down, I hope it was an abandoned one. Did you ever get stung? emoticon . HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 10/26/2012 5:22PM

    Eek! But at least this tree isn't so leafed out that the Frankenstorm will uproot it.

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Wood part 2 (with photos)

Friday, October 26, 2012

This is for whomever it was that requested photos.

This is the beginnings of the pile next to the wood-eating furnace:

This is the big pile of logs - the ones with the tags or paint are sold to a lumber company - the ones with the Xs will be chunked up and split to burn:

Here you can see where the already cut bits are. See them in amongst the logs? I pull my Saturn Vue around to the logs, load the cut pieces into it and drive them around to the wood furnace. I've discovered this is much easier and more efficient than using a barrow.

Any chunks that weigh more than about forty pounds will be split. I can easily lift more weight than that if it's a suitcase or something, but logs are ... different. First, there's always the possibility of dropping the accursed thing on your foot, but mainly, since I usually wind up filling the furnace the moment I get up (and frequently in the middle of the night) I don't want to have to deadlift and toss a sixty pound log. It's not the lifting so much as the tossing.

I admit that it is a good workout (I lost another two pounds, thanks to wood) and you build all the muscles, including the little connecting ones when you do work as opposed to stationary exercise. I also begrudgingly admit that it feels good to be independent of other sources of fuel (although it does require electricity to push the hot air around in the house.) Just some days...particularly when it's especially cold and therefore the furnace has to be filled more often (physics - please don't ask me to explain)...when I'm outside at 2:00 a.m., watching for zombies ... I long for the time when I could just turn a little wheel on the wall and warm air would magically come pouring out.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOXYINMO 10/27/2012 8:39PM

    Nice! I hear you on the dropping wood on the foot bit! OUCH!

My wood stove is the old-fashioned, air-tight, in-the-livingroom type.

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AUTUMNBRZ 10/27/2012 6:48PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DANLENO1949 10/27/2012 9:42AM

    Wow, you must have muscles like Popeye !!! LOL emoticon

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NORASPAT 10/26/2012 10:37PM

    Heavens to Mergatroyd, you will have strength training daily. no wonder you lost 2 pounds. Hard labor for sure.

That is a monumental chore. I am happy to read you try to keep it as less labour intensive as you possibly can by learning more efficient ways to move them. Even then it has to be a drop in the bucket since that bucket has to be a rain Barrel.

Take care please. No point asking you not to overdo it, since it has to get done. HUGS, you have my admiration for sure. Thanks SCOOTER for the photos, Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 10/26/2012 3:50PM

    Very impressive! There is so much beauty in your pictures, yet I know that I have the luxury of not having to deal with wood so I can see it as an art form and not a chore.

Best wishes!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 10/26/2012 2:10PM

    Energy independence can be worth it. How many logs (split) does it takes to fill the furnace?

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/26/2012 1:21PM

    Does it smell like woodsmoke in the house when you use it? My hubby and the neighbors love that smell but I don't. I guess it is a nice idea if you have a lot of access to free wood like we do.

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VALERIEMAHA 10/26/2012 1:03PM

    As they say here in the south, you are too much for JEEEEEEEEEEEEE-sus, girl!!!

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/26/2012 12:58PM

    Lots of work, for sure. But totally great to be independent. How about solar panels as well?

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Wood. (Warning: may contain adult language and lots of whining)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

3 down, 67 to go.

No, not pounds. Face cords of wood. That's how many I will potentially need if we have a bad winter and since last winter was ridiculously warm, this year may well be equally ridiculously cold and snowy.

See, three years ago my late husband decided we shouldn't be dependent upon foreign oil, and bought an exterior wood burning furnace. We do have a good-sized woodlot, but in my grimmer moods, I suspect that he died purposely to avoid the task of getting wood together for the winter.

Anyway, having sunk $13,000 into the accursed thing, I'm determined to a) use it and b) use it for free. Wood around here goes for about $65/face cord delivered, and there is no way I'll spend $4500 on wood simply for the pleasure of filling the damned thing twice a day, even if I could afford to do so.

My neighbor, a professional logger, is cutting trees for me - both to sell to a ... log... place... and for me to burn in the furnace. Even though I took a chain saw course in the spring, I have no business felling trees in the forest (and neither do you, unless you, too, are a professional logger. Even they get killed on the job quite regularly.) So I buzz the furnace trees and branches up into manageable chunks and then split them if necessary. I have a lovely large, powerful splitter that is my Autumn Best Friend. Then I trundle the wood over to the furnace and stack it neatly. This is an incredibly loud, tedious, difficult job, but I'm doing it anyway.

I figure the break-even point is somewhere around three years, so after next year (I bought a lot of wood the first year) I may be willing to dig the damned thing up and sell it to some other off-the-grid fool. Maybe install a windmill. Or solar panels. Or something. Everyone has all these great suggestions, but every one of them is either labor-intensive or up-front expensive. All is know is that I'm not doing this every year for the rest of my life.

My FitBit proclaims that I get in my 10,000 steps per day doing this - along with whatever else I may be up to - and heaven knows it's muscle building (and occasionally back breaking.) I try to look at it as free and unscheduled strength training.

So that's my Wood Rant. It seems familiar - I may have posted the same general thing last autumn, and if so, I apologize. It just surprises me every year to be doing this. Sometimes I kinda miss my Louboutin heels and my Coach bags, long ago and far away. Other times, I couldn't be happier to be where I am, doing what I'm doing. The older I get (and nothing brings out the old like lugging wood), the more I'm willing to just shrug and release the Roads Not Taken. Still, I wonder what lay at the ends of some of them...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AZIMAT 10/27/2012 8:16AM

    Ah yes,I remember those wood splitting days up North. Yes, Florida is a great option. We have about six weeks of winter here in the Panhandle, heat with natural gas, and don't miss the wood one bit.

I would go ahead and sell the %^&*$ stove for whatever I could get for it. Life is short. Really.

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BETHGILLIGAN 10/26/2012 7:19PM

    Well, I would just have to freeze to death if it were me!!! That sounds miserable--I hate that kind of work!!! You definitely can't keep that up forever!!!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 10/26/2012 10:19AM

    I understand your husband's concern and why he bought the wood furnace but, as all men do, they somehow think they are invincible and can ALWAYS handle the work involved in those projects.

I too am a widow and we installed the fireplace and wood stove when we built the house for many of the reason I am sure you husband did the wood furnace. Only now he is gone and it is now up to me to handle. Fortunately I still can. However, as I age lugging wood to the basement or for that matter going down the steps to feed the wood stove may become difficult. So I am now in the process of thinking how or what I can do to solve the problem later. I could move or buy another wood stove and have it attached to the fireplace as an insert. Lugging wood from the garage wood be easier.

I usually buy a cord each year which lasts me all winter. However, I use the wood as a supplement to the heat pumps. I am looking into solar but the costs upfront are staggering and all those "rebates" and "tax write-offs" are fine as long as you EARN enough to qualify for the deductions. If I only pay say $2,500 in taxes and the tax write-off is for a percent of say 30% of the cost of lets say initial cost of $18,000. I could not get the $5,400 cost back because I only PAY $2,500 in the tax. So no real benefit for the low income earner who really needs the full tax write-off. And rebates are quirky. Unless you get the exact thing they want you to get forget the rebate. I went through that when I replaced my heat pump. I could not get the larger one my house could not handle it! So I was stuck.

The good news is you are getting the exercise you need, if not want. emoticon

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SOXYINMO 10/26/2012 10:16AM

    Ha, ha! This sounds so familiar! Last year we had to get wood from a friend and pay for it (but very, very cheap!) because Al was recovering from his burst colon and I have yet to take a chain saw course emoticon It's still walking over, picking up as many pieces of wood as possible, walking over to the truck, stacking it in the truck, walking back to the pile, and then, of course, the reverse at home.

I envy you your log-splitter, though, because splitting wood is some hard-core work. Everyone asks what I do get get such big biceps. Um, Split wood and carry feed! Even when I was FAT I had nice upper body strength.

Even though it seems the wind blows well here, we've been told that it's not ideal for a wind turbine, and whoever built this house built it faceing east, so we were told solar panels in the yard is the way to go. Um, no. Sorry, no.

All of this by way of saying "I hear ya sister!"

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HIPPICHICK1 10/26/2012 8:12AM

    I like _UMAMI_'s idea, "Chop wood, sip Scotch." Although don't take the whole bottle with you. We don't' want you reporting any missing digits!

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WONDERFUL2BME 10/26/2012 3:48AM

    This guy I knew was chopping wood in his 90's. He said the secret to a long life is to work up a sweat every day. If nothing else, it warms the body up!

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_UMAMI_ 10/26/2012 12:16AM

    I think, in your case, the inspirational quote would be modified to
"Chop wood, sip Scotch."

I do admire your independence and determination.


I need photos.

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DESERTJULZ 10/25/2012 11:21PM

    At least it is a good workout!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 10/25/2012 11:15PM

    Wow! I didn't remember reading about your wood situation before. That's quite a lot of work. I just taught "Out, Out" by Robert Frost to my students and the menacing buzz-saw can indeed kill. And you made a Frost reference. How connected is the world. I am in awe that you do as much as you do. Keep safe!

It this Arthur Rackam wallpaper? Spark has positioned an (possibly ironic) ad for Nike FUEL on the side of the page.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/25/2012 10:59PM

    I wish you lived closer. Hubby and I felled a bunch of trees last year and they go to waste as we don't burn wood. Hubby would love to have had one of those stoves. We have a neighbor down the road with one.

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ACIMPEGGY 10/25/2012 10:15PM

    Wow! What a lot of work! It might be easier to move to somewhere with warmer winter temperatures.

You sure have a great fitness plan going, dear, that's for sure!

I hope you can keep up without overdoing it your injuring yourself.

Let us know how it goes! emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 10/25/2012 9:58PM

    We heat with wood, too. No central heat. I have a love/hate relationship with this. Good rant for this time of year.

Comment edited on: 10/25/2012 9:58:54 PM

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NORASPAT 10/25/2012 8:50PM

    That is definitely hard labor. Our Plattsburgh son uses Kerosene but it is not very healthy. He ,lost his job and they had a wood stove so they bought wood through a help program. It was delivered split but DH and I helped him stack it. What an awful back breaking job. Definitely ST for sure.
Our son wants a windmill he is so in to environmental issues. When he worked for GP he was always talking about Zebra mussels, he should have been an environmentalist engineer but being in Maine the paper company helped him to get a scholarship and he became a process engineer in paper mills. It was too bad we had very little money to help him with college but He did that on his own. Neither DH or I knew anything about colleges and universities, In the UK in my youth colleges were no where near as expensive as here some were even free. I wanted to be a SAHM I should have worked outside the home but I never saw my mother so i vowed I would stay home. NO regrets I loved having a house full of kids.
I hope you are able to get all of this done at least enough of it done before snow flies. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/25/2012 8:45PM

    I've been thinking of getting a FitBit. You like yours?

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BOBOBOBBI 10/25/2012 8:31PM

    We have a wood stove-- so I am not stranger to the cutting and splitting wood! Even though i absolutely hate doing it-- it is great exercise (that i wouldn't wish upon anybody!!)

Best of luck in your journey!!

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SUZYMOBILE 10/25/2012 8:22PM

    I was wondering about the wood. Good Lord, Karen. I can't tell you how much respect I have for you!

Have you thought about a lovely place in Florida?

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