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Monday, May 25, 2015

Those Wild Dreams

I have had two recurring dreams in the past year.

One is a common one for a lot of people. I dream that I'm back in school because I'm missing one credit hour to graduate. I've already got my diploma, but for some reason I feel compelled to take this class anyway. 

I'm always frustrated because the administrators and teachers keep wasting my time with paperwork, or they send me to the wrong class.

My other dream is about snakes. I dream about snakes a LOT. For some reason I also run into snakes all the time in real life. 

Greg has accused me of being a Parselmouth. For the life of me, I can't understand why I keep running into snakes. It's like we travel in the same social circles. 

I've stepped on them. I've found them in my office, my bedroom, my back yard, and the chicken coop. That last one is understandable. Snakes love eggs.

I've run into rat snakes, rattlesnakes, water moccasins, and a few exotic snakes that I've never identified. Knock on wood, I have NEVER been hurt. 

To my exasperation, even though they scare the crap out of me, I don't run away either. I'm so afraid they'll hurt one of the dogs that I go out of my way to relocate them, or kill them if there's no other choice.

It's the same way in my dreams. I'm never hurt, but I'm always frantic to move them out of the house because I don't want them hurting or scaring anyone.

I blame my father. When we were little, we visited his mother's grave. To keep us kids in line, he told us that if we wandered from the stone path in the cemetery, snakes and alligators would swallow us whole.

Yeah. Good times. LOL! I suppose that's bad parenting to modern eyes, but by golly, it worked. We were the quietest and best behaved heathens you've ever seen.

Supposedly, there are five different reasons why people dream about snakes. Most of them are good signs, or at least not malevolent.

I can't pin down why I keep dreaming about snakes. It's always in different settings. It aggravates me that I'm always the one who has to remove them. Just once, I'd like someone else to rescue me. LOL!

Do you have a recurring dream? Have you ever tried to figure out what it meant?

PS  I'm taking a couple of weeks off from my blog. I got hurt recently (not by snakes) and I need time to recuperate. 

I'll live. Just a mangled finger. Seeing the doc today in case I need x-rays. Looks bad. Feels worse.

You'll probably see me on Facebook later in the week. Less typing. :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mini Movie Reviews and Some Introspection

It's been so rainy lately, there's been talk of building an ark. I won't complain. We were under drought conditions for four years. This year our lakes are back to normal.

With the weather so bad and my allergies holding me hostage, we opted for a marathon of movies.  

We went out to see the Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Good flick, but a little long. I was thrilled to see James Spader and Paul Bettany in the cast. Those two never disappoint. I'd read that while they were filming, the cast was so impressed with Spader's performance they applauded him after his first take. How's that for peer validation?

Lots of back story in this one. Normally, I like back story, but with so many characters, it got unwieldy. I won't say more so as not to spill spoilers, but if you like the franchise, don't miss it.

At home, we finally watched Battleship with Taylor Kitsch. I was shocked at how many people panned this movie. Some hated it with a passion citing that it was a confusing mess. We must've watched a different movie because other than the slow lead up to the action, it was a classic popcorn movie.

Aliens come to Earth with bad intentions. The aliens create an impenetrable force field bubble between a piece of Oahu, Hawaii and the ocean where three of our warships are separated from the rest of the fleet on Naval exercises. The aliens are trying to create a communications base and it's a race to stop them before it's too late.

Both sides have vulnerabilities and that's where it becomes interesting. Why so many reviewers said they couldn't follow along is beyond me. I'm generally very easy to confuse but even I could figure out what was going on. 

Supposedly, it's based on the old board game, Battleship. Maybe it's generational. I've never played the game, but I understand the concept. My favorite part is that they included real wounded soldiers and WWII veterans in the movie as valuable assets to the story. 

Definitely a popcorn movie. Watch it for the fun, and leave the nitpicking for something else.

We also saw Lone Survivor with Mark Walhberg. All I can say is that it was intense and pretty depressing. Not my kind of movie. They say it's based on a true story which only makes it sadder. I don't recommend this movie unless you're a diehard military film lover.

Finally, we re-watched Meet Joe Black with Brad Pitt. This is another movie where reviewers either loved it or hated it. The haters called it boring. Disagree entirely. Maybe they were looking for a lot of action and car chases. This movie is very cerebral in a metaphysical context. 

There's a scene between Joe Black and an old Jamaican lady that brought up an odd, old memory, something my mother mentioned once.

She said when her brother died, she'd had a vision of him. He told her he was all right and not to worry. Behind him were two other brothers and two sisters who had died before him. All of them were smiling. Behind all of them was her mother. She couldn't help thinking her mother looked sad.

This troubled me. I love my grandmother. I didn't see her often but she was one of those people who had a profound influence on me. I don't like to think of her as sad for any reason. 

I inherited my love of gardening and homesteading from her. Born at the turn of 1900, she was a true pioneer and one tough lady. I'm hoping what my mother saw as sadness was instead introspection. My grandma was like that--always thinking.


At least ten more days of rain. Looks like we'll be watching a lot more movies.

Have you seen anything good lately? Anything you'd like to recommend?

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Garage Sale Report

No matter how much time you spend preparing, it’s utter chaos once you open your doors to garage sale hounds.

I was thorough, pricing (almost) everything, sorting, grouping, and even staging certain pieces together so people could see how they could be used.

Despite living in the middle of nowhere, we were mobbed. Some people returned several times a day and even the following weekend. 

It was just as well, even though we moved the overflow outside, there was still stuff in the back that we didn’t bring out until we had more room.

The photos can't do it justice. By the time I had a chance to take a few pics, half the stuff was already gone and disheveled once again.

There were two comments people kept making throughout the sale.
  1.  Our prices were incredibly low.
  2.  We had the most unique assortment of things they’d ever seen.
What can I say? We’re eccentric eclectic collectors. 

Eventually, we did have a few book buyers, but most of them went for nonfiction. (Is that a hint for me?) The other popular subject was military historical novels. That’s what Greg reads. Only one person picked up a romance novel.

What went first?

Almost all of Greg’s stuff. Chain saws. Mowers. His mountain bike. All our camping gear. The other big sellers were housewares, gadgets, small appliances, and plastic storage containers.

Some of you might remember when I did a post about changing out most of my plastic containers for glass.  

I finally got my chance to get rid of the excess. I sold stuff by the box load: Christmas, overused canning jars, and plastic. Then I marked the whole box for a dollar. Those things literally ran out the door.

D├ęcor moved the slowest which surprised me because everything was pristine. The kitschy pieces went first and then the more traditional stuff.

We had a few pieces of antique furniture that sold to the same person. We still have two sideboards and two dining tables in the house I need to sell, but I’ll put them up on Craigslist.

What didn’t sell? Two glass and iron end tables. I thought they’d be great indoors or out, but no one wanted them. 

…and just as I’m writing this, I got a text from a lady who took our number. She wants them. Huzzah! 

Nobody wants me!
Still, the lone albatross was an exercise machine, priced at a steal. As Mike Keyton rightly pointed out on Facebook: Why do I even own an exercise machine?  

Good question, Mike. Good question.
Loved this. Wish I had a spot for it.

Anyway, it all went well, though that hard-earned money might have to be donated to the vet today. Iko hasn’t been feeling well. We've had some severe storms lately, and he chews when he’s nervous.

This time he chewed up his dog bed and ate a lot of the stuffing. I’ve been treating him at home, but I’m considering taking him to the vet just to make sure he’s okay. Impaction can kill a dog, and I like my Iko alive. 

Have you ever had a garage sale? What was your experience like?

By the way, I wrote an ebook on garage sales if you're interested in getting an insider's secrets. It covers both shopping a sale and holding one. It's called Garage Sale Bible.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Descendent of Job

I'm beginning to think I might be related to Job.

Every time I think I've got a handle on things and we get some forward momentum, something disastrous, costly, or dire knocks at my door.

We had our garage sale to great success. That's the good news. We didn't sell the furniture because most of it was too big to move and we were so busy I didn't have time to make a sign in case anyone was interested. I think it'll be better if we sell it on Craigslist or a Facebook group.

We did sell tons of stuff though. Before we opened, I couldn't even make a path between rows of tables--we were that full. I had to move the overflow outside. Now with what's left I can keep everything inside and easily walk around the tables. 

There's a neighborhood sale this week. If the weather is decent we'll open our doors for a few hours to see if we can sell what's left, otherwise, it gets boxed and shipped to Goodwill. 

People kept commenting on our low prices. I wanted that stuff gone. The bigger it was, the cheaper it was. It wasn't coming back in the house. I'll try to write a separate post on the garage sale later.

the twins

During the sale, my other two does had their babies. That's when my troubles began. First, it was Heidi's twins. They're still scrawny but they'll eat if she lets them. 

Lucy is the one I'm really worried about. Her udder is terribly full. We try to milk her a couple of times a day but she hates being milked and it's always a struggle. She only had one baby and it is finicky! She nurses when SHE wants to nurse. Leading her to the teat is futile. 

Lucy meanwhile is hurting with all that milk. I haven't had time to sterilize jars so I've resorted to using any old bucket and feeding the milk to the chickens. They think they've gone to heaven. I've since ordered a milking machine in the hopes it'll be faster than me and less painful for her. Poor girl.

Lucy with her baby

So the final score is two males and two females. Prince Albert is looking quite magnificent. I'm hoping his cousins will catch up soon.

The owls and hawks have been cruising by their pen in shifts. I need those babies to grow big soon before those predators get wise.

In other news, we had to rush to Casa South (the house we're selling). We've had a LOT of rain down there. The grass was nearly knee high and I had to give the ground enough time to dry off. This was my only window of opportunity to mow the property.

Meanwhile, the top half of a tree had fallen on our power line. Fortunately, it didn't knock it down, but we had to pull that tree off and that was a job and a half. 

Then we walked inside and found the parquet floor in the front room had buckled. During periods of high humidity, (it's semi tropical there) you must keep the AC on. The power had gone out at some point and the AC was off when we got there. That had created enough moisture for the wood floor to expand and buckle. 


We're alleviating that problem by removing most of the wood floor and having carpeting installed. At least if the wood expands again, what's left can move freely against the carpet.

There's more, but I'm trying not to sound like a soap opera. That's just the highlights.

It's a juggling act, but I'm trying to look on the bright side. The house still looks nice and will look nicer still when we install the carpeting.  The babies are all alive. The mama goats look better than they did a few days before.

In time everything will work itself out, but I'm exhausted. I'd kill for a solid day off with no worries.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a cute picture of Prince Albert sticking his tongue out. It's a little blurry but it was too cute not to include.

A big hug for Greg. Through it all, he's been a real help to me, helping to wrangle goats, nurse babies, and milk Lucy.  It would've been so much harder without him.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Update, Sorta

Goats: Everyone is born but the twins are struggling. They were born during the garage sale so I REALLY had my hands full. We had four babies born all together.

More later. I'm so tired I can't even think straight.

I'll try to post on Wednesday. There's so much to tell you. Right now I just hope all my babies make it.