Posted in Musing & Stories

When the Wind Blows and Your Plate Overflows

Know that you aren’t alone. Life’s branches are being unruly. At least they’re still on the tree.

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A joyful moment.

This week is a wind-swept mess. I’m trudging ahead. Are you?

It doesn’t matter how much work I have on my desk; for several weeks now,  life will drag me where I’m needed more instead.  So to compensate I’m composing past midnight. Not eating well, either. Appointments: Husband’s driving foot is laid up so he’s missed 3 days of work. Daughter has the flu. My dog has terminal mouth cancer and goes back to the vet tomorrow.  {Been making him smoothies} And because I’ve neglected myself; I’m starting to loose track of time and some online work. At least I remembered to walk the dogs, check in on Dad and make some cash on micro jobs.

I feel terrible that the house is a wreck. And that ramps up my anxiety.  {And I’d rather gripe about it than go tidy and mop. HA!} Also signed up for a few online courses, both free and paid. And I even started a couple. Thankful I can restart them later, because I can’t retain any new info just now. And I’m aggravated about that, too.  For now, I’m hanging onto and snapping pictures of, those little daily joyous moments.

Limitations and reminders. I got ’em, I give ’em, Friends and Confidantes! – Grandma Auburn – Tries to muffle her swearing in mixed company.

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Posted in Musing & Stories

The Pigeon Made Me To Do It

Were you ever so stuck in your life that you just hoped a sign would fall out of the sky? One day last summer, it did.

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Rescued Racing Pigeon & Ivy in Mugs

It was during a bout of mentally dark weeks. Felt like I had an invisible Eeyore as my shadow. I was tired of thinking and trying. I’d sit on the porch in pajamas, with my Dad, but that was about the extent of it.

One morning, there was a thud, thud, thud…. and a racing pigeon tumbled off my porch roof, onto the steps. Dad and I looked at each other as the stunned bird walked around the yard, then hopped to the edge of the rain barrel.

We let him get his bearings, but before long I realized he was lost or exhausted. And he took to crapping on my porch rail! So, like any good hostess does, I fed him a big meal.

I called pigeon racing central, but no one could help identify him by his tag number. Via Facebook, I found a guy who would come get it the following evening. By nightfall, I knew this bird needed saving and the Universe knew I need something to save.

I’ve rescued many animals. Never a bird. So the second day, we gained each others’ trust. I took my tablet outside and typed. I wrote. He cooed. When I stepped inside for coffee, he perched next to my keyboard. “Oh, great,” I thought “He’s a word bird! HA! Maybe an editor in a previous life.” I admired his bars a bit before opening the screen door and scaring him back to the handrail.

My husband helped me make a figure four trap and I caught him the next afternoon. Part of me wanted to keep him… Ok a lot of me want to; but it was still an unforgettable experience.

  • Lessons from the pigeon:
  • Just because you’re exhausted or lost; doesn’t mean you should give up entirely.
  • You don’t have to go far; to form a new bond or a create new piece.
  • Care for others, even if you can’t care for yourself.
  • And don’t read other peoples’ drafts when they aren’t looking- HA!

Well, Friends and Confidantes, ask for a sign, but pigeon-proof your porch 🙂  – Grandma Auburn- Sits on her porch often, tends plants and writes drafts.

Posted in Homesteading, Musing & Stories

Flashback: Foraging Morels -Indiana

TRADITIONS!

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Picture: LaPorte County – Circa 1997 My Dad teaching shroom hunting to my daughter, the ginger, and her BFF.  – Now at 85, ‘Papa’ will soon be teaching his great-granddaughter as well.

  • Cut ’em; don’t pull ’em
  • carry a mesh bag
  • toss the paper bag back in the woods
  • soak ’em in salt water

#oldfarmers #shrooms #foraging #traditions #Indiana

Picture 2: Last year- my sister took our Dad. 2018 – Hendricks County, IN.

Northern IN, I think, is much better hunting ground than Central Indiana. – Grandma Auburn #greys #teachtheoldways

Posted in Musing & Stories

View from the Truck- Pictures pt. 1

Samantha - our navigator - says "100 miles to Indy!" YAYA bit of background. My husband drove 53ft dry van OTR [Over The Road] for two years. [This was the second time for him. I stayed home the first time to raise our daughter.] We put everything in storage and I rode shotgun. I didn’t drive, but he called me his ‘Nag-a-vator” [instead of navigator! HA!]  And I learned real quick how to stand outside the truck and back him into a spot; without getting run over.

We came back roughly every 4 weeks- for 3 days. Homebase was my Dad’s back porch. Those were some trying times. But we had some good adventures, too.

I have so many pictures and stories from around the USA… I thought maybe you’d like to see my scrapbook. PS: If you are contemplating trucking as a career and want some ‘no nonsense’ guidance, feel free to ask me in the comments. Also, the forums on truckersreport.com is a good start.  #truckerswife Trucking for 15 years.

Thanks for stopping by today, friends and confidantes- Get used to seeing that side view mirror –oh, and cats ears, too!- Grandma Auburn

Posted in Musing & Stories

Saving Money to Move (with totals) and More Nostalgia

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Photo by Mateas Petru on Pexels.com

Moving & Saving: Part 2 – In the 70’s there was a gas shortage in the U.S.  “The line is around the corner.” Mom said to Dad as we three sisters sat quiet, unbelted in the back seat of forest green Dodge Dart. (Back then, if you needed belted, Dad would do it. HA!)

Though the folks both worked, we also stood in line for butter and  cheese in the early 80’s. Mom was creative in many ways, but not so in the kitchen. The staples were boiled potatoes, gravy made from the grease of the meat she fried well every time, and fresh or canned veggies. (depending on the season) As far as spices, we were true Hoosiers; salt, pepper and ketchup. 😉 We camped and fished. Wandered the woods. Dad taught us to till the ground and care for plants. Taught me to drive at 14… an old blue Chevy half ton, with a load of fresh cut firewood in the bed. 

—Some time later, my husband and I taught our daughter to appreciate country life, too. But we’ve missed it for over a decade. Now, after clawing through 5 rough years, we have a sense of direction and a time frame. 

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

-> Finally, a homestead!! 10 months to a year away hopefully.   (and 10ish years until retirement.) As the budget gets tighter, I’m researching economical Prefab home kits under $35K here.

Money Saving Totals:  These are some examples of consistently cutting back, in the past 80 days–

  • $24/mo. Husband found a shorter route to work.
  • $12/mo. I’m making all DIY household cleaners.
  • $78/mo. Groceries/Eating out: Cut our trips in half. Found closer places. Continue to use coupons & sales ads. Used GoodRx app at Kroger.
  • $20/mo. Stock Up: on frozen veggies- which we seem to eat more and waste less than fresh or canned.
  • $40/mo. Fewer Gifts- giving & receiving: With extended family, we are pitching in to give gifts that are longer-lasting, durable and functional. We’ve asked for restaurant gift cards in return. (b/c we don’t need more ‘stuff’)
  • $40/mo. General Purchases: Secondhand store first. (clothes, office chair) Spending freeze on Amazon & home improvement stores.
  • $12/mo. Utility bills: We light & heat the room, not the house. Smaller lamps.  Shorter showers. Unplugged cords not in use. Lightweight laundry dries flat or in front of the heater.
  • TOTAL $226.00/mo. additional savings so far this year. Not too shabby!
  • Mindset & Replacing Old Habits: Enjoying free or cheap activities together-  Crafts, games, books and movies we already bought. Take walks around the neighborhood.  We hold planks together on the living room floor.  We’re also trying new cooking styles & spices. He helps wash dishes and cooks on Sundays.
  • Things we decided NOT to do… to save money: Didn’t pick up gym memberships in January. Didn’t buy state park passes. No bikes, appliances or fancy boots. Decided not to get cable TV or buy a new recliner. No vehicle loans, but maintained the 2 that we own.

It’s encouraging to see that incremental numbers DO add up over time. Saving 3 bucks a week doesn’t seem like much by itself. But get a little momentum going and it becomes $2500+ a year toward debt, retirement, or a replacement transmission sometime down the road.  (HA!)  –Have patience and be thrifty, Friends and Confidantes -Gma Auburn