Monthly Archives: April 2012

Quiet week

It’s been a quiet week, with not a whole lot going on. I read The Joy of Pickling, which was delivered last week, and I’ve decided that I really want to try some pickled eggs at home. I’ll have to stock the spice cabinet, though. There are a lot of holes in what we have already.

My seed potatoes came! I’m really excited to get those started growing. I’m thinking that I’ll try two different tower methods to see what produces more: Layers of plants or “hilling” inside the cage.

I met with a couple of our acquaintance who are willing and able to take some of my Gentleman’s Cabinet products to WisCon over Memorial Day weekend. Take a moment to check out Traditional Treasures in the vendor room and say hello to Betsy and Warren as well as check out my goods.

My OCD is asserting itself loud and clear, which is aggravating me to no end. I’m fixated on getting the potatoes in, but can’t do that quite yet. The disconnect is frustrating, though I know that it’ll be coming to an end in the next few days.  I’ll be able to get the fencing soon in order to build the towers for the taters.

I got a textbook from American Military University for one of my classes starting on May 7. I tried to read it. Oh. My. Goodness. 10 line paragraphs that consist of a single sentence. Terribly convoluted sentence structure. I would have not passed my writing class with essays like those presented in this book. I just hope that the class discussion is more understandable.

That’s the highlights from this past week. Like I said, not a whole lot going on, but things are making some progress. Slowly. Oh, so slowly (tears hair out) This coming week should be a little more productive, I hope. At the very least, I start working on thursday, with orientation. Having a paycheck will help my state of mind.

Stay tuned for the latest developments! :D 


Happy windfall FTW

You never know when something will fall out of the sky and make your life just that much easier for a little while.  That happened to me today. I got a check for my unused vacation balance from the old job.

I ve about where the money to rent the garden tiller was going to come from, as well as where the cash to put into the potato towers to get them ready to grow. Then there is the consignment order that I have for the end of May that I need to fill to get Gentleman’s Cabinet off on the right foot. A friendly couple that we know will have a vendor table at WisCon over the Memorial Day weekend and they have expressed a willingness to take some of my goods to try to sell. Look for Traditional Treasures if you’re there and say hi to Betsy and Warren!

Anyway! The funding for these projects was not clear or obvious, but it is not a problem now. I’ll have the funds available for use next Monday (After Kristen and the kids get back from ACen) and will be able to order a number of things that I need early next week. Yay!

It really takes a load off of the mind, knowing how I can make the garden work soon. I can rent the tiller and get the garden prepped and some seeds sown. I can make some products to hopefully sell them over Memorial Day weekend. And, I can buy some canning stuff in order to be able to preserve some foods. I may even have enough left over to get a small pressure canner, so that I can put up some vegetables from the garden some way other than just pickled. Not everyone in the house likes pickles.

In other news, I have orientation at Target next Friday, and hopefully I’ll be able to start working soon after that. I need to be doing something that makes some progress, since most of my plans, like the garden, are mostly on hold at the moment. Once that money gets into my hands, things can progress. I can finally get the garden started, too, which will make me feel less useless.

Have you ever been in a situation that a windfall of some sort turns you right around? I’d like to hear your experience!


The Joy of Pickling

The Joy of Pickling - Revised: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or MarketThe Joy of Pickling – Revised: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market by Linda Ziedrich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very large selection of pickle varieties, and better yet, most of them are small batches!

Some of the pickles in the book are ready in as little as a few hours (“Quick pickles”) and some take several weeks to get to be ready to eat. I’m new into the home preserving game, so this book is a God-send. The directions are simple, the ingredients are readily available, and it sounds like most of the results will be something that my family will devour.

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Light weekend reading

While Kristen was out running errands with Kirk and Katie, the mail came. However, I wasn’t paying attention, so they brought it in when they got home.

Side note: Kristen is starting to get freaked out by the numerous packages that are arriving with my name on them lately. Fortunately, there are only a few left pending. One on Monday, which is my water bath canner, and one that will ship on May 5, which is my birthday money from Barnes and Noble.

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Screw Stay at Home Moms!

That got your attention, didn’t it? Before you blow me out of the water, give the first paragraph a read.

My wife and I were lucky: I made enough money that she could choose to stay at home, raising the kids and taking care of the house. When we met, she was a working mother, and the “lifestyle” that she was able to “enjoy” was less than stellar.  She would leave the house before sunrise to drop the kids off with her grandmother (who watched them for years) and was not able to return home until long after sunset after running the normal errands that a family needs, like shopping. After we were married and I was working at a good job, we were in the position that it would actually cost more to put the kids into day care than she could make at her job. That’s notwithstanding the fact that the kids were then in school, so they would only need daycare for a few hours each every day.

These were the rocking and rolling days of the early to mid 90’s when there were jobs available more or less for the asking. Once I was established in a career track, she and I sat down and crunched some numbers, and came to the conclusion that it would cost more than she could make in a week if we put the kids all in daycare. Therefore, it was as much an economic decision as a personal preference that she stayed home with them. She didn’t WANT to be a working mom, she wanted to be a stay at home mom. I was all for that, since that’s what I grew up with, and saw what some of my peers with two working parents had to go through.

Before I go any farther, let me say that I think that the working mom/stay at home mom decision should be left up to each family, and I think that both of these choices are valid and good. One is not necessarily intrinsically better than the other, but each has it’s pluses and minuses. Which one is more appropriate should be left to the decision of each family unit. But it should be an actual choice, not a forced one because of economics.

That being said, there is a recent Gallup poll that shows that stay at home moms tend to have lower family incomes and lean toward political independence, rather than either liberal or conservative. Both of these are not surprising to me, since I’ve seen the economics of the “work/raise kids” dichotomy. I also think that it’s fairly obvious that, since they live the reality of the situation (as opposed to an idealized view like Anne Romney has), most moms who stay at home would tend to be more moderate and pragmatic. Anne Romney has had a better-than-average family situation, especially after her husband started bringing in 6 figures per year or more.

The Gallup poll also indicates that more stay-at-home moms tend to have a lower over-all education level in addition to a lower over-all economic level. This is definitely NOT to say that stay-at-home moms are incapable of either. However, I firmly believe that it’s a compound problem: Some moms start with a lower level of education (no degree), meaning that they are not able to find high-paying work outside the home. Because they can’t find high-paying work, they are not afforded the realistic choice to work outside the home, since the cost of child care is roughly equal to or higher than the income that she could gain at her level.

All this is my rambling way of saying that I think that Anne Romney had a great option available to her, and that option is not one that all of American women are afforded.  I also think that Hilary Rosen put her foot in her mouth big time, saying that Mrs. Romney, as a SAHM, hasn’t “worked” a day in her life or is out of touch with her family economy.

I approve of women being able to have the option of raising their kids at home, regardless of their income level. Even those on public welfare should be afforded the opportunity (if they have a working partner) to raise the kids, rather than being forced to choose between maintaining their benefits or raising their kids. I firmly believe that a big social problem is that there are not enough available role models available for the youth of America because of the requirement to work if you want benefits.

Related:

Mitt Romney: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits
No privilege for most stay-at-home moms


NOAA, FEMA hold NAtional Severe Weather Prep Week

Force of Nature icon

Severe Weather Preparedness Week, What We’re Doing to Prepare

 

 

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Planning on potatoes

Today’s goal is to develop a plan to grow somewhere around 60 – 80 pounds of potatoes in a staged or staggered harvest.

The idea is to start three or four groups of potatoes with a week or two between each, so that they have a chance to mature in sequence and we don’t get a too-large harvest all at one time. Since the spuds can take a lot of space, I won’t be planting them in the prepared beds, but rather in some sort of potato tower or (new) trash barrel container.

At this time, I’m thinking that I’ll be doing three or four stages of growing, so I’ll need at least the same amount of barrels or towers.

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Mustache wax? Let’s try!

On the suggestion of a friend, I decided to start experimenting with making a decent mustache wax. I am in the midst of growing a handlebar mustache (though SWMBO is not fond of the idea) and have tried several different mustache waxes that are available online.

None of them are “perfect” so I figure I should try my own design.

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UBP12 Twitter party

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

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I can haz a something!

That something happens to be a job!  Well, assuming that I pass both the drug test and background check (which I have no doubts about), I’ll be working in about a week or so.

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