Archive for February, 2012

Spiderman Ain’t Pleased About Another Little Interloper

Nope, Spiderman ain’t at all happy about another baby, particularly if that baby is another girl.

Zoe hasn’t said how SHE feels about having to share Mommy with another baby, but I don’t think she’s going to be very enthusiastic. Dylan STILL doesn’t like that idea at all. Perhaps he would let US keep this one. He wouldn’t let us keep Zoe or Jacob (grin). Jacob has become resigned to it and, indeed, is a very good big brother to and protector of Zoe.

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Monday Morning Music

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Sunday Happy Music!

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Maybe My Destiny is Knocking. Should I Answer the Damn Door?

I’ve often thought that I’d love to do some full-time gardening and chicken growing and egg selling, etc. HOWEVER, the pay is (very) low, the hours are very long, and who knows if I’d even make a profit? It’s waaaay more probable that I’d end up even broker than I am now which is pretty dang broke.

How broke is that, you ask? Well, SwampMan went and bought some cage-making wire, books about raising rabbits, and finally some rabbits. I had been asking SwampMan all week long how much money he had in the bank because the feed price increase and grocery increase and gas increase has done eat up my paycheck. (My bring home paycheck for two weeks with insurance and retirement and vacation days in the summer deducted is about the same as other peoples’ one week bring home pay. As a matter of fact, it’s about what my son earns in one and half days, and he didn’t even have to finish college for his paycheck.)

“Don’t worry about it!” SwampMan said in reply to my queries. “Just spend what you need.” Well, okay then. He must have hundreds stashed away, right? WHY in the name of All That Is Holy can’t he just tell me an amount? Now I have no gas, no feed, and no milk, and found out that he has all of $178. Only he doesn’t really HAVE $178 because I paid the farrier $40 from his checkbook instead of cancelling per his instructions. I bought some groceries ($80 some dollars worth) from Winn Dixie with his checkbook because mine was empty per his instructions. It costs us both $80 to fill up with gas, and I am out of feed which is @ $100. We will be eating fried eggs, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, poached eggs, egg salad without the salad, deviled eggs….well, you get the picture. We will also be having chicken and rice, broiled chicken, oven-fried chicken, etc. And lots of greens. Puppy is getting tired of eating eggs, so he’ll have to alternate with beef hearts. SwampMan got a case of beef hearts last week for Puppy, so he’ll have no worries.

*sigh* No, SwampMan ain’t no financial genius, that’s for sure. He thinks there’s something vaguely sinful about money, so he tries to get rid of it as soon as possible. He’s been very successful in that department.

Anyway, I’ve been worried about our finances and what our next step should be. It would honestly be very difficult for me to take on a second job or even another primary job because of my parents’ health and the ongoing need for me to take care of my stepdad when mom needs to make her doctor’s appointments. I’m also planning to take a month off when SwampDaughter’s fourth is born because she’s going to need help. A LOT of help, since Zoe will only be 18 months old.

So, former daughter-in-law called about opening a daycare. Some folks that I gave a dozen eggs to stopped by to tell me that they would buy all I had to sell, or I could sell them at their booth at the flea market. Hunh. Maybe between selling eggs, rabbits, lambs, veggies, flowers, doing spinning demonstrations, doing some odd jobs, heck, I might make it all the way up to the poverty line.

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This May Be Daughter’s OBGYN Office

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Well, It Could Be Worse….

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Job Hunting and Social Media

I do not have a Facebook page. There’s a reason for that. It is ridiculously easy to express an opinion in public that is contrary to the Official Public Thought of the workplace, so I have contented myself by having contrary thoughts expressed in a more private forum. I have LOTS of contrary thoughts.

It came as a surprise to me, therefore, to find out when reading a book about making life changes and choosing the life I want, yada yada upchuck, that NOT having a Facebook page could result in a company not considering me as a candidate because it would indicate that I’m behind the times and unable to cope with technology.

I’m not sure how a Facebook page with countless entries of “Swampie read 4 articles!” and “Swampie liked this book and this movie!” or “The Sheep Shearer is in town–hooray!” would make me more employable and, indeed, I think it could possibly cause an investigator to expire out of sheer boredom. “Hello, Ajax Widget Company? This is SwampWoman. I applied for a job as Kneecapper in the Collections Department and have not heard from you. Were the letters of recommendation citing my kneecapping techniques from the kneecapees insufficiently enthusiastic? I’ll give them a call. I’m sure they’ll be quite cooperative if you wish to contact them in person….”

“No, that will be sufficient, Miz SwampWoman. We had five investigators that do online research of our prospective employees and, after the fourth investigator died of boredom while checking your Facebook page, we decided that we did not wish to risk the life of our remaining investigator. We’ve decided to hire somebody whose Facebook page showed her drinking on the job and flashing her fellow employees who have obligingly provided films on YouTube. We believe that this shows that she is up to date with technology and she would be a kneecapper who would be lots of fun at the company picnic which could translate to great company publicity.”

Maybe I could make a Facebook page with me looking all professional (well, per the standards of whatever profession is hiring that week) and maybe throw in a YouTube video or two.

Okay, y’all, the FCAT is coming, so:

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Rising Oil Prices Gonna Put a Whole New Hurt on People’s Lives

It looks like it will soon cost me $80 per week to commute to my (low paying) job. If I were paying day care costs, I couldn’t afford to go to work now, for my pay before taxes is considerably less than what I was bringing home 30 years ago even before a college degree. Did I mention that sad sum purchases way, way less now? Oh, yes. I’m in the ranks of the underemployed.

Luckily, Swampman is adept at keeping my old vehicle going. Other people at work are not so lucky. Some people are depending on riding with others for they can’t afford to pay for repairs to their vehicles. This often involves getting to work two hours early and leaving an hour or more late.

What a lot of people that are struggling to pay their bills every month do not know is that they’re about to be hit by another round of disastrous (for them) price increases. Livestock growers are reeling NOW from the price increases in forage and grain for livestock. Hay is almost impossible to come by here. The pastures are dry. The cost of making eggs, farmed catfish, beef, pork, and chickens is skyrocketing here, and it will be passed on to consumers. The increased price of oil means that fertilizer prices are going to shoot higher. Grain prices will be higher. Produce prices trucked across the country (or from other countries) will be higher.

Last time this happened, there was a huge increase in defaults as people had to decide whether they needed to buy food, pay for gasoline, pay for daycare and clothing for their children, pay for transportation, or pay their mortgage. Think that will happen again this time?

I’m delighted to see that I, as a taxpayer, will be paying for Michelle’s transportation costs as she hits the ski slopes. Of course, I won’t be going anywhere for vacation again this year. I won’t be able to afford the gas. I had to buy Michelle’s.

Of course, this is all according to Obama’s Grand Plan:

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Brooder Chicks and Outdoor Temps

Some of all y’all know that I’ve got some chicks that I hatched in an incubator, some non-incubator-hatched chicks that I rescued from a duck’s nest (3), a couple of ducklings I rescued during a freeze from a duck nest where the mom duck decided to go for a swim and let the still wet hatchling and hatching egg fend for themselves in the freezing weather and then, a couple weeks later, 5 more newly-hatched bantam chicks from another duck’s nest. All of these were being kept in an overcrowded brooder, overcrowded because standard chicks grow BIG and so do ducklings. Bantams, not so much.

At the end of two weeks, I started putting the chicks outside in a covered pen on the grass for an hour or two every day after work while I cleaned the brooders, all day on the weekends. This was despite dire warnings from chicken experts that they were too young to be outside. Whatever. The rule of chick raising is, I believe, lowering the temperature 2 degrees every week until they’re @ 6 weeks old, at which time they should be sufficiently feathered to withstand outside conditions.

I left the chicks outside all day and overnight several days this week (three weeks old for the standards and ducklings, 4 weeks old for the older mixed bantams) with no observable ill effects. I loaded them up to bring inside this morning about 1 a.m. because the temperature was falling so low. They were all taking shelter in a nest box, the smaller ones and ducklings under the wings of the larger, more feathered ones, and they protested mightily about being brought inside. The five little bantam chicks still inside were happy to see them, though, and quickly scurried under the feathers of their surrogate “mothers”.

I put them back outside this morning when the temperature hit 50 but the wind was cold. Rather than huddle together for warmth, they immediately started foraging, scratching and pecking at the fresh grass that their pen had been moved to. I noted, too, when I put them back inside under the brooder lights last night, that they were much taller and heavier than before. That short time outside on the grass under the more natural conditions seems to have really accelerated their growth!

The week-old black bantam chicks would probably benefit from being outside, too, but they’re just so much tinier than everybody else! The ducklings pulled all the down off their backs when they were outside the last time, so they’ll have to wait until their feathers come in or it gets much warmer. I “think” the ducklings were preening them, not attempting to cannibalize them, as they had no bleeding wounds.

So far, about 30ish ducklings have been hatched by momma ducks this year. Of those, the only ones that are left are the two that I took inside and put in the incubator then the brooder. The rest have succumbed to predation (the hawks have hungry hatchlings!) and cold weather. Of the chicks that have hatched, the ones that I left loose with the mothers have all been snabbled up by predators along with their mothers.

All the people that want to abolish all chicken operations except for “free range” chickens are going to be very, very hungry. The foxes, dogs, racoons, possums, rats, snakes, coyotes, bears, and bobcats, however, will be quite well fed.

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I Haven’t Posted Any Dance Videos Lately….

So I believe it’s time to post more of my favorites.

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