Tuesday, May 21, 2013
My 22nd book was published today! The Lost, Book 3 of the Beth-Hill (Wild Hunt) series. (Formerly titled Scarecrows for those of you following my blog.)
Almost sixty years ago, Darkbrook opened its doors to students of
*different * natures, sending out letters of invitation to the elves,
the dragons, and... the vampires. The three who responded banded
together despite their differences, and vanished only weeks later, along
with an entire class of students and their teacher.
Someone summoned a demon to Darkbrook and trapped that demon in a
body the shape of a human boy. That demon is still in Darkbrook after
sixty years, and all he wants to do is go home.
The Wild Hunt has healed, and grown closer together, keeping
the forest safe and secure for those who live there. Malachi has adapted
to Josiah's spell, but when the demon boy disrupts this new-found calm,
the Hunt--and those they protect--are thrust into a struggle that should
have ended almost sixty years ago--when a vampire, an elf, and a
dragon--among others--vanished into the Mists.
Jennifer 8:07 PM
Monday, May 20, 2013
So I'm out in the garden this morning, preparing for planting. I'm snapping off branches of the turnip tops that have gone to seed and hanging them from the redbud outside my side porch to dry. The branches that are still standing, I'll leave to dry naturally, because I've also been eating the leaves (they aren't bitter!) on my salads and sandwiches.
What I'm also doing is raking up the dead nettle remnants and the wild morning glory abundance and uncovering luscious black dirt and lots of worms. It's not terribly difficult work. A couple of hours and I could have the whole garden finished... but I doubt I'll get finished today, because I have a long list of stuff to do.
But for now, I'm out in the garden. And I have no other place I'd rather be.
Jennifer 10:13 AM
Sunday, May 19, 2013
So... in the back of my mind, I'll admit that I went to Burlington today specifically looking for a hand-crank Singer sewing machine. For under $100. I thought I was safe, because the only other one I've ever seen at Burlington had a price tag of $275.
I thought I was safe, until I found this for $75:
(Note: the front one, not the back one. The back one is also a 99k, but it's electric. And from 1953. I also have one from 1918 upstairs.)
The nice thing is that they all take the same bobbins, of which I have plenty. The extra nice thing is, it's non-electric, and not so heavy that I can't be portable with it, either.
It needs a bobbin plate, which I bought from Ebay for less than $10, and it didn't come with a key, which I had already from the 1918 Singer 99k. So... yeah. Sometimes Lady Serendipity grants wishes, even though they aren't spoken aloud.
I did buy a couple of other things. A tenor recorder made in Germany, which I haven't been able to find anything out about online, two crocks for Dundee Marmalade, and a set of Tappan salt and pepper shakers, which originally came with my stove. :) But the sewing machine was the highlight of the day!
The even nicer thing about this is that I sold the 1820 spinning wheel, the Pfaltzgraff canister set, and the quilt I brought, plus a lot of $2 items, so I'm actually still out ahead. Which is good!
Jennifer 9:12 PM
Saturday, May 18, 2013
|Finding a nice place to nap.|
|The peas, after the rain.|
|The chives are starting to lose their color.|
|But they're still pretty!|
|Baby Wolf River apples.|
|Another baby Wolf River apple.|
|Raspberries are blooming.|
|The Rosa Rugosa is blooming, too!|
|Isn't it pretty?|
|What the snails and slugs did to the caraway. Who knew caraway would be so popular? (Luckily, I have more.)|
|Currants are getting larger...|
Jennifer 2:24 PM
So I'm off the week after next, which is the first week I've taken off since February of 2012. It's not that I haven't taken vacation days--I have, in excess, really--but those little long weekends here and there really don't help when I have so much to do around the house. Last year, I didn't take my traditional May vacation or my October vacation or even a November vacation. I took one in February, and that was it.
I... can't do that again. I need those weeks off to get major stuff done around the house; to concentrate on what I want to do versus what I have to do and to renew my mind and my body as well.
Luckily, I now get 5 weeks of vacation a year. So I can say for sure that will not happen again. :)
Jennifer 10:05 AM
Sometimes I look at an item I own, remember how much I paid for it, and wonder exactly what was going through my mind at the time. Was I temporarily insane? Just crazy in general? Did I give in to the 'wants' instead of listening to the 'needs'? Obviously, I can't change the past, and I can only hope to do better in the future. Hopefully I have learned a lesson with all of this financial stuff. I never want to go through this again.
My purchases--those not needed, at least--will have to be measured in tanks of gas for my car. If a spindle costs $40, well, that's one tank of gas (approximately, considering the price keeps going up and down), and I probably need to keep that money just in case I run short somewhere else. A purchase under $25 isn't a hardship, but I'm going to try not to make many of them nowadays. (And most of those purchases will be fiber, because I have enough spindles. But I don't have a lot of fiber to spin.) I have a roof to pay for, after all, and not quite enough money saved up (but a decent amount, at least! And more coming, via ebay and possibly a spindle destash. Do I want to have enough money to pay for a new kitchen roof or do I want to have over two dozen spindles? You get the picture, I'm sure.)
I have one payment left on one credit card before it's Gone Forever (Yay!) and then two more remaining. One is on a pretty decent payment plan per month, so I'll leave that alone for now. The other is current, but needs to be paid off ASAP because I don't want to think about it anymore. I have one personal loan that needs to be paid as well. Starting in June, I will actively begin paying that back.
I had expected to only post ebay auctions for the roof money, but then I got to thinking; I've made about $150 or so on the stuff I've pulled out of the Junk Room so far. The next yard sales are in July, so I'll be boxing stuff up from that room for the next round of yard sales, and also boxing up what I can bring to Burlington. But I'll also continue ebay auctions, perhaps not every week, but if I have enough stuff, maybe so. If I can live off of ebay auction money during the week (gas, eating out once per week, and possibly even cat food/cat litter and maybe even groceries) then the rest of my money can go towards regular bills, paying off the credit card and the loan, and saving up my money for the next expense. (Which really should be the gutters on my front porch, or Doing Something about my shed.)
So I'll also be working up a financial plan for the rest of the year (I have one in parts, but not a whole amount) and we'll see where I am come fall with everything. One of these days, I hope to run out of stuff I want to sell. Really, truly, I do. :)
Jennifer 9:54 AM
Thursday, May 16, 2013
So I've been busy this week. Posting auctions, mowing the lawn (the whole thing!), potting up seedlings, and just enjoying the weather. While it did get a bit warm yesterday, the temperature was down a bit by evening, and it was just a fabulous evening to sit outside and enjoy listening to the mockingbird attempt to imitate a crow.
I baked a loaf of sourdough bread this week as well, from my sourdough starter that I hadn't refreshed since October. It's definitely back to life now!
This Sunday is Burlington again... I will be gathering stuff up for that tomorrow evening and Saturday. I have one bin to fill. Hopefully I'll be able to fill it up.
Jennifer 8:16 PM
Sunday, May 12, 2013
I went down the basement in search of potential auction items (and I wanted to go through a bit of the bins of NotGarbage down there anyway) and... oh my. I uncovered a lot of stuff that just needed to go away a long time ago. The small purse I used to carry around--for years and years--fake leather, perfectly OK, just not my type anymore. The kids Nature Company backpack I used after that, with multiple repairs. And more, and more, and more.
I think what I really just need to do is take up one bin at a time and go through it. What doesn't go into a rummage sale/yard sale box will end up in the garbage, because there's some of that in there as well. But I did manage to pull a few interesting items out of bins before I stopped. I'll revisit them again sometime soon.
(There's also an entire 20 gallon bin full of cassette tapes down there. Yikes!)
Jennifer 5:09 PM
Back from the Mother's Day lunch--it was very busy at the restaurant, but also nice to see everyone together (except for Ethan, who couldn't come.) I potted up the sage and caraway, thankfully it was warmer in the greenhouse than outside. It's a bit nippy, even though it's quite sunny! (And the temperature inside is one degree warmer than the temperature outside. Since it's 58F outside, that's not much help!)
The basil's not quite ready to pot up yet, and I'd like the thyme to get a little bigger before I tackle it, and the oregano is teeny yet, so I might be done for the day, at least potting-wise. I do have to gather some additional stuff for auctions, write them up, and then, this evening, sit and put everything on ebay.
I dug my sourdough starter out of the fridge to see if it's still alive; it looks promising so far. If it's alive, I'll try my best to keep it current.
I don't want to go to work tomorrow, but what's new about that? Not much, truthfully. Although I will say this: I have nine working days until I'm on vacation for a week! I can't wait! So that's something to look forward to.
Next weekend is Burlington again. It seems like we were just there. But that also means that next weekend is the end of the every weekend stuff; I have one family thing on the 26th, but since I'm off that whole next week, I'm not even going to bother counting that.
Jennifer 4:02 PM
There are a few blogs I've followed for quite a few years now, whose writers have suddenly decided (I'm sure after much deliberation) to not allow comments. Some of the writers have done so after enabling comment moderation, which usually meant that anyone who did not agree with them did not get through to an actual posted comment.
To me, the whole idea of having a blog in the first place is to share a bit of your life with someone else. To do that without allowing that 'someone else' (whoever that someone else might be) to comment seems a bit self-centered to me; it's like someone posting "Hey! Look at me!" without caring or considering who might wish to commiserate, share their own trials and tribulations, or just post a word of encouragement or warning. To me, comments are what makes the blog more of a community effort and not just some stranger on the other end of a computer posting their thoughts and convictions without allowing input from anyone else who might read them.
Granted, most of these blogs have email options. But I have to wonder if the writers behind these blogs just don't want to hear what their readers has to say--whether it be good or bad--or if they are so convinced of the rightness of their own words that they need no critique from anyone else.
I'm not really sure why it bothers me. I wasn't one to comment much at all, just read. But I liked the fact that the option was there. And now that it's gone, I've found myself not wanting to read what they've written or keep up with their blogs.
And that makes me a bit sad, truthfully.
Jennifer 10:32 AM
Saturday, May 11, 2013
I've been back from the Bethel Arts & Music Festival for about an hour, eating supper and recovering from a long and rather cold day.
But a profitable one, nonetheless!
I have money to raise for the rest of the cost of my new kitchen roof, and so I'll be posting auctions nearly every night for the next two or three weeks (I'm actually going to schedule the postings throughout the week instead of attempting to do it all at once on the day the auction needs to be posted) so that I won't be freaking out about the cost.
The materials have been purchased, but not paid for by me yet, and I want to have a bit of leeway as well. So money will be tight until the roof is done. But that's OK; I feel a lot better about it all after today's sales!
I had intended to bring two spinning wheels, but forgot an integral piece (the wheel posts) for the 1820 black painted one, so I set up Eliza, who I'd decided to sell. I later went back home to get the missing pieces, but the black wheel did not sell. It will go to Burlington next Sunday (again) and hopefully sell there.
The reason why I decided to sell Eliza was twofold: I really, honestly don't use my spinning wheels very often. And when I do use them, I use Sophia or Gloriana. I kept Eliza originally because she's nicely portable and easy to bring along to shows. But in all honesty, I don't really go to many shows, and don't intend to start going to more, either. And if I did, I'm more likely to bring spindles than wheels. And if I wanted to bring a wheel, Gloriana is a lot more showy. (I'd hesitate to bring Sophia many places, just because she cost a lot of money.)
Happily, Eliza sold, so I only had to bring one spinning wheel and the yarnwinder back with me. So I now have a significant amount of the money I need for my roof. This morning, I was starting to think I wouldn't be able to raise that much money, but now I think the possibility is there!
(I had enough money for the roof not two months ago. However, I was offered a settlement on one of the credit cards I really couldn't refuse. So that took most of the money I'd saved up. But that credit card is now gone! I will be paying another one off at the end of May, leaving two to get rid of hopefully by the end of this year.)
So if you're in need of anything, click on the link above to check out my current auctions!
Jennifer 7:01 PM