Sunday, October 23, 2011

Absolutely no excuse!

I know, it's been awhile since I've been here and I have absolutely no excuse, except. . . LOL.  Actually, last year was just crazy with Nick and the girls living here and I just plain didn't have time or energy to blog or do much of anything other than enjoy their company.  In addition, although I don't much express personal "feelings" etc. on my blog, since August I've been in the worst depression I've ever had to battle and I'm not willing to state out loud, just HOW bad it has been.  Who, why, what, where,  and when etc. don't really matter to anybody but me, and I think I'm finally winning the battle.  It was a close call, there, for awhile, but I've forced myself to just keep plodding along and I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.  So, what am I doing to pick myself up and keep going?

My house is clean, for me (I'm not much of one for dusting and such, we live in the middle of a corn/bean field, with 5 grain bins right next door to us and dust is a constant force of nature that I choose not to fight).

We've been busy getting "the farm" ready for winter weather, we've got the pool covered and ready for winter, the 5th wheel is winterized and awaiting our April trip, we've cut down some dead trees (and had some delightful cookouts with the wood, LOL, I just adore roasting those new HUGE marshmallows, LOL).  We've been working on getting the barn/garage cleaned out so we can park the cars in there this winter, and getting the chickens ready for winter weather.
We already have a heater to put under their water buckets, but Mr. C is such a softie; he doesn't want the chickies to get too cold this winter, so he's installing a couple heat lamps for them.

We have the nicest and prettiest little flock of chickens and the prettiest rooster we've ever owned and he's even a nice rooster, hasn't ever chased me at all, LOL.  Here he is crowing to call in the other hens after I tried calling them all to me for a picture.

I love living in the country and being able to have my chickens, pool, no neighbors, peace and quiet (except during harvest when the dryers on those grain bins in the photo above are whining 24 hours a day!!!)

But, there is a downside to living in the middle of nowhere, too.  We didn't really notice it when we were lots younger, more fit, thinner etc.  But there is a lot of work to do to keep this place up and we've decided in the past year that it's just getting to be too much for us.  I'm not sure if we're just getting lazier or just getting older, but we poop out a lot faster than we used to.  So, we've been discussing some retirement options and have started making some plans towards our goal of full-timing in our 5th wheel for a few years and seeing some of this beautiful country we live in.  This includes "selling off the farm", LOL and all THAT endeavor entails.  We've lived here for 22 years and have accumulated LOTS of junk.  I'm a typical polymer clay/general crafting/sewing/scrapbooking hoarder, which means making some hard decisions as we downsize into living in a 5th wheel trailer.

I'm not complaining about the 5th wheel, it's the nicest house we've ever owned, it's honestly a modern condo on wheels, but it's like going from a 3 bedroom farmhouse with a den and a huge storage barn to a one bedroom "apartment".  Some of it will be given away, some of it will be put in storage as someday, when we are "forced" to give up the road, I'll want it and won't want to reinvest in it.  Some of it will be sold, hopefully, but we aren't much for garage sales  (I'd really like to find some way to sell all my stained glass equipment and glass, but it's extremely heavy to ship, so I have to try to find somebody fairly local to take it away, LOL).

So we have a 5 year plan to downsize and get the farm sold (good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise, and the economy doesn't get much worse, but all these things make it a questionable venture, LOL).  In many ways I'm looking forward to it, but in others, I dread it.
So, in the meantime, I've forced  myself to get going on clay work, and have recently reopened my Castle's Corner eBay Store .  The  hot summer is over and we feel we can safely ship canes again.  It isn't completely filled yet, (I've been very busy, LOL) but at least the Christmas Poinsettia canes are in there (do you realize that Christmas is only 62 days away???  Crafters have to get busy NOW, LOL).  My tiny Play Clay Group has managed to meet twice this month and are getting our rusty skills polished up again.

 In addition to caning, I've come up with several sculpting ideas (oh no here I go again, trying to sculpt, and not only trying to sculpt, but trying to sculpt very, very small, as in miniature, LOL).  No, no, NOT just TRYING, that isn't positive, I have PLANS for some very small sculptural scenes, and WILL be sculpting in between new canes.  The arthritis in my hands and wrists is giving me a bit of a problem with the cane work, but hopefully they will get stronger as I use them more.  I've even written a story for my first sculpture and it will be on-going for the small scenes I am planning.  My first book is nearly written, I just need to get the photos ready to go for it.  Bits from the small sculptural scenes will be able to do double duty as part of my second book.  I'm even considering a children's book illustrated in clay to go along with the story I've written.  So you can see, I'm moving on and moving forward.  I still am a bit "fragile" and fighting to stay up rather than down and to keep moving upwards (why is it so much easier to get down?) but I have a wonderfully supportive hubby and Mr. C just keeps believing in me, even when I don't believe in myself.

I also can no longer say I never win anything.  My wonderful friend, fantastic quilter, (and former sister-in-law) was having a give away on her blog for MyMemories Software and I WON!!!  That should be something fun to play with during my coming cold winter hibernation.  Tracey makes beautiful quilted pieces (from wall hangings, to baby quilts, to runners, to full size quilts) and has an interesting blog, Mad for Quilting.  Here is one of her most recent Halloween pieces:  Her blog isn't just about quilting though, Tracey writes about many of her interests and has a very interesting job that she sometimes blogs about.  She works for the Jaguars.  When her mother first told me about her working for the Jaguars, I thought, wow, that must be interesting to work for a specialty car company. . . (yeah, so not sports oriented, here, LOL).   She wasn't blogging back then, so I had nothing to go by, other than the name.  I think it was about a year before I realized she worked for a  football team.  It never dawned on me, before her job, that professional sports teams would have to have an office staff to handle all the stuff that goes on "behind the game".   Anyway, Tracey writes a fun and interesting blog and does beautiful quilt work, go take a look at her blog to see for yourself.

So, that's my story and since I'm in the middle of reducing another cane, I'd better get going and get it finished.  I hope you're all having a wonderful Fall (or Spring, depending on where you live, I guess).  The weather here has sure been beautiful, although our colors aren't as vibrant as usual.  Have a Happy!!!  Sue C

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