Creating

Sometimes my need to make things takes a different turn. Here are some things I’ve made  or am making in the past few weeks:

Eventually this will become a shawl. I swear…

I even bent the wires around the bead charm on this one.

A gift for a friend and awesome co-worker. I did NOT bend the wires on this charm


A little something I made for my mother

Can you find the flaw/asymetry?

my goofy attempt at a 1920s cloche… plus another bead necklace.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with this.

I did finish this after taking the photo.

I didn’t make this. I only captured the photo…

Yes, I have been busy, in a fashion. 

A Call To Action

Maybe you genuinely like one or both of the main party candidates this year. Feel free to move along and skip this post if you are thrilled to support either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the fall election. But if you are in any way or shape “on the fence,” or even if you have just felt yourself “holding your nose” to vote in a prior year’s election, please read and consider…

I am a Bernie Sanders supporter who felt that if enough people wanted to elect him, it could happen. Ideally, this is true, but I happen to suspect that some shenanigans occurred in the process of the DNC primaries. That’s another topic , though.

My call to action is this: I would like each and every United States citizen who visits my blog to check whether the Green Party and the Libertarian Party will be listed on the ballots of the November election in your state. If not, PLEASE consider starting or signing a petition to get them on the ballot.

Why? And why am I asking you to do this even if you have no intention of voting for their candidates?

We need more choices. 

In most states, to vote in a primary, one must be registered in that party. Closed primaries. The excuse? If you are registered as a Libertarian, for example, you can vote in that primary to choose your candidate. But if you are planning to vote for the Libertarian candidate, you may be surprised to discover that Gary Johnson is not on your ballot in November. That makes it unlikely many people will vote for Gary in your state. So he has little chance of winning those electoral votes.

As of July 10, 2016, the Green Party was only on the ballots in 22 states, making it virtually impossible for Jill Stein to win the election.

http://www.gp.org/ballot access

The Libertarian Party is faring slightly better, included on the ballots of 36 states. 

https://www.lp.org/2016-presidential-ballot-access-map

Remember that the two parties in power make the rules, and they have every incentive to make it difficult for an outsider to win an election.

They win. We the People lose. We lose out on choices. We lose our ability to vote our conscience. We lose our best representation.

Someone in a Facebook group in which I belong was criticizing a “Bernie or Bust” person who said she would be writing in Bernie or voting for Stein. The critique told her she had “already had her opportunity to vote” in the primary, and that she should simply vote for Hillary now that her candidate did not win the primaries.


So, her voice only counted in the primaries, and after that, tough shit? What about the people who didn’t get to vote in the primaries?  Democrats and Republicans want your vote in November, but not in the primaries if you are going against their established candidate of choice.

I choose to believe that my voice still matters in November, and that I should be free to vote for a candidate in whom I have at least some measure of faith. That is not HRC or DT. I don’t trust either of them as far as I can throw them, and bear in mind I was put in “Remedial P.E.” with the “special kids” back in elementary school.

Act now, vote later. Act now so you CAN vote as you like later. Remember, in a free-market system, better choices are available. Why, then, are we giving two political parties a monopoly on running our government and making the laws that bind us?

That is all.

[Steping off my Soap Box so I can wave that “Vote for Jill” banner…]

Is it too much to ask for the moon?

I don’t have much “me time.” That’s okay – I appreciate having a job, and having a family to come home to after that job.

But I enjoy the moments of peace, and I enjoy the opportunity to recharge. One of my “me” times is actually the drive to and from work, especially on days when I don’t have any kids in the car who are tagging along to go meet up with friends in Gainesville, or go to the library to use the internet because our connection at home is so bad, I actually named the WiFi “Worthless Connection.”

This morning, I left the house in the time window that allows me to make it to work on time without excessive speeding. I did so AFTER trying to wake my oldest, who had planned to come along. When asked if he wanted to get up and come along or do it some other day, he groggily deferred getting up. My daughter was awake and on the couch, having slept there a couple of hours before waking and spending the rest of the night hogging what little bandwidth we have watching movies on my laptop.

Back story: my oldest son had a fit last night, because he has misplaced his wallet, which contains his driver’s license. He also kept me up helping him search for said wallet.

So… I am driving to work, enjoying the colors around the edges of the sky as the sun begins to rise, a recording of Sarah Chang playing the opening strains of “Carmen,” when I suddenly notice the full moon in all its glory, sinking over the horizon. Magic.

An iPhone camera simply cannot do the moon justice…

I was musing on the beauty all around me, and appreciating the fact that for now, at least, we have some small measure of peace in a world quickly falling into chaos.

Then the phone rang.

I couldn’t understand what she was saying, I only knew that it was my daughter, and that she was screaming. The cell phone was cutting out, either because of our lack of connection where we live, or because her shrieking was causing the microphone in her phone to malfunction. Really, it could have been either.

The series of phone calls that followed was anything but peaceful, as I tried to discern what had her worked up, followed by trying to reach both my husband and my oldest son. The calls lasted for about 20 miles of my 50 mile drive, and at one point I looked down and realized I was hitting 80 mph in the 60 mph zone. Eek.

I don’t really want the moon, it is best kept in its rightful place. No asteroids need to knock it any closer, like in the novel “Life as We Knew It”, (read it if you haven’t yet!!! Susan Beth Pfeffer will have you hoarding canned goods…)

What I DO want is a few minutes of sanity. I like to arrive at work at peace, not flustered. I want my kids, who are almost adults, to learn how to remain calm and solve problems for themselves. I’m tired of putting out other people’s fires.

I love my kids, but on some small level, I am missing their annual trip to visit their father.

Moment of Mom-Guilt…

Thousands of Words

Sadly, I am returning to form in my inability to keep up with the blog. So much time is spent putting out fires or working on home projects, and my internet SUCKS at the house. 

Not these types if fires…

Nevertheless, I love so much about living in relative seclusion. So I am going to post some photos of everything from Sunrise drives to work, to the chicken coop building project, to the animals, and some of the jewelry making projects which I hope to turn into a little extra income at some point in the future.

The hens should start laying in the next couple  of months.

The colors, though…

Storms brewing while I was running errands in Gainesville…

Snowball the white puffin Silkie chicken
Prince the bantam Golden Phoenix rooster
Somebody can’t wait to meet the chickens…
They are all convinced that they are parrots…

Jewelry making…

Adam’s friend Geoff, building the amazing coop and run…

A non-abandoned building in Williston. I have gone out photographing abandoned buildings on the way home a few times.

I will try to do a better job of staying in the loop. I was thrilled to be able to read a few of the blogs I follow today, and I hope to read more in the days to come! Word Press peeps are amazing. 

In My Back Yard

Life is never perfect, but there are moments that come pretty close. My only regret was not grabbing the bigger zoom lens, but at least I thought to grab my camera.

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Once I sat down and he settled down and realized I wasn’t going to hurt him, I didn’t want to get up and spook him.

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Rocky likes the cat food (purchased for ferrets, but now we have real ferret food again) and Honey Comb cereal.

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He’s a little shy, but did come for a closer look. And yes, those are cigarette butts in the grass, too. (Adam smokes, and has a bad habit of leaving cigarette butts on the ground.)

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Next time, I’m bringing the zoom. I may not need it, though – Rocky is only a little afraid of us.

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He doesn’t seem to mind having his photo taken, either. Or she doesn’t mind… I’m not sure of Rocky’s gender, and I don’t plan on getting that close…

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So, while our internet connection is horrible, our nature connection is pretty good.

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Waiting out the Storm

Tropical Storm Colin may be hitting us this week. We’ve already had some pretty big electrical storms and rains this week, including some we’ve driven through and the one that hit and knocked out the power for a while this afternoon. Fortunately today’s storm arrived after I made it safely home.

In a sense, I feel we’ve been waiting out a storm for a while, though – the financial $hit storm that hit when my ex-husband lost his job and had to very much scale back child support payments. The good news is that he starts a new job next week, and that he will make more money at that job. The bad news? It will take a month for him to get paid, and during that time he will lose his unemployment, so I’m not sure when he’ll make the next payment.

The dark voices in my head tell me that it’s pretty sad that over 50% of our household income is from child support. Even though the costs of raising the children exceeds the amount of child support I receive, that little judgmental voice whispers that I should be independent of the ex, and that I am somehow “less than” for struggling. I keep telling that voice to shut the f#ck up, because I do work full time, and sometimes even work overtime, and I do a lot of other work-type but not-paid stuff, too.

So, the struggle should ease soon, but hanging in there and battening down the hatches is still difficult, because I’m still struggling to come up with funds for car payments on one of our vehicles, outrageous cell phone bills from times when our cable was off due to not being able to pay the bills on time, and gas, gas, gas and more gas for the 100 mile a day + round trips we’re making every day. When the kids finish school, that will be cut down to five days a week instead of seven, except when I still have to go to Gainesville to take my daughter to appointments.

Our chickens are growing, and in a matter of months the eleven or twelve hens (we have two or three roosters in our flock of fourteen) will probably start laying. Hopefully the raspberries and grapes, peppers and tomatoes we planted will grow, blossom, and bear fruit as well. As we have more income, we’re planning to plant more, get the chickens settled outside (right now they are wrecking an unfinished room in the back of the house) and maybe, in a year or two, get some teeny tiny dairy goats.

So we’re living “in the country, on a farm.”

That hundred mile round trip? Yes, it can be a nuisance waking up before six in the morning to drive to work. Yes, it costs a minor fortune in gasoline. But there is something about watching the sun rise over fields of green with oak trees, cows, and horses interspersed that makes me happy.

When I drive Adam’s car with its built in GPS, some days I take “alternate” routes home and find different roads.

One of these days (over the summer?) when I’m not carpooling with any kids I plan to bring my camera, and I’m going to make some stops. Not to capture the sunrise – I simply don’t wake up early enough for that – but to photograph some of the abandoned structures along the way, and some of the farms, and random things that beg to be photographed.

The clouds are clearing, and the sun will come out soon.

Sometimes I Feel Like MacGyver

The name keeps popping up, which is funny, because when I talk about something or someone, they have a way of showing up. But I swear, I had MacGyver on the brain before I heard that there is a MacGyver reboot in the works, and also before reading this fun post about plot twists.

What made me think of the Richard Dean Anderson series that I didn’t really even watch from 1985-1992? Moving, of course…

I’ve been in a month-long process of getting my crap out of a rental house and moving said crap into the house that belonged to my mother-in-law before she died last December. One of the things that did not make it onto the moving van was my daughter’s day bed, which she no longer wishes to use, and we’ll be replacing (along with my younger son’s platform Captain’s bed) in the next month or two, with bunk beds that can be separated.

The sleigh bed didn’t make the first trip because the kids had trouble disassembling it. It requires a Hex wrench (which we had) and another type of wrench (which we couldn’t find – to hold the nut in place when twisting the hex bolt) to undo the bolts and take the bed apart, a task necessary to get the bed through the bedroom door.

The other day, I accomplished the task using the Hex wrench and… a waiter’s cork screw. I used the flip part of the tool to hold the nut in place, something that only worked from one angle. I did it sans lights, without air conditioning, and with lots of fleas attacking me. Because I’m freakin’ MacGyver.

I think I’m going to create a comic book heroine. A waitress who is grossly underestimated, who frequently saves the day with her wine key.

Maybe I should start drinking.