We built a wooden box for our raised garden bed and got it filled with dirt. We have our seeds and will be planting them tomorrow morning.

What we need to do now is make a scarecrow.

I dug around in Sunshine’s work clothes for a long sleeved shirt and managed to find a hideously ugly orange one. I donated my snowflake patterned pajama bottoms. I also donated a cloth reusable shopping bag to make the scarecrow’s head. I also dug up a couple of old scarves I never wore and they will be used to make fluttery streamers to keep the birds away.

Now, I just have to get my ass up early in the morning so we can get these seeds planted before A) it gets hot and B) the rain sets in for the weekend.

Hopefully, in a couple of months, we will be picking our own veggies!

DIY upholstery

Sunshine started bitching the other night, pounding away on the backrest cushions from the couch.

Part of me wanted to bitch at HIM, but that’s generally pretty counterproductive, so I just told him I’d fix them if he would take me to the big box craft store in the nearest decent-sized town.

I looked around at my options at this craft store, and finally settled on a five pound box of poly fiberfill. It was the most cost effective option, really. It was also made of recycled polyester material, so I win bonus points (or something).

Here is the box, with Mollie and my size 7.5 shoe for comparison.

I was very afraid to open this box, because as big as the box was, I knew that this fiberfill had to be greatly condensed to fit in there. For fucks’ sake, it says right on the label that

you can MAKE

AT LEAST 25 six inch stuffed toys

AT LEAST 5 fifteen inch stuffed toys

AT LEAST five eighteen inch pillows

AT LEAST one medium petted

AT LEAST one 30″ floor pillow

AT LEAST one pouf

And last, but certainly not least

AT LEAST forty square feet of snow or cloud scapes.

That’s a lot of fucking fiberfill.

I emailed my crafting partner in crime that she better pray that this fiberfill didn’t expand so much that it devoured me, Mollie, and most of the magic bus when I sliced open the inner bag that contained the FIVE POUNDS OF FIBERFILL in this little tiny box.

Well, my fears were grounded in reality.

expanding fiberfill

This is a pic taken a few seconds after I slit open the bag. In just a few seconds, the bag had swollen to twice the size it was in the box. That bag of fiberfill between my knees is sitting flat on the floor of the magic bus, I am sitting on the couch that sits on the raised slideout portion of the living room. The bag that is sitting on the floor a couple of inches lower than the floor on which the couch rests has swollen so tall that it was now as high as my waist in this picture. And this was after only a few seconds of expansion.

side note: Why was Sunshine bitching about the cushions? Because they were lumpy. Why were they lumpy? Because Sunshine treats the couch (in combination with the coffee table) as if it were a chaise lounge or hospital bed or some shit. He slides his ass toward the front edge of the couch which slides the ass cushion forward so far that the backrest cushions slide in the gap but don’t tell him I said that because according to Sunshine the fucking ass cushion just slides out all by itself, Sunshine props his feet up on the coffee table, and then he wallows his neck head and shoulders on the backrest cushion that has been smooshed into the gap behind the ass cushion causing all of the stuffings to compress into lumps.

compressed stuffings

Photograhic proof

So there I sat, with lumpy old stuffings all over the place and an ever expanding bag of new stuffings. Mollie ran for her life and hid on the bed, which makes her much smarter than her mummie.

I took advantage of the mess of stuffings that were taking over the living room and had a talk with Sunshine about how he couldn’t continue using the couch (in combination with the coffee table) as a chaise lounge or hospital bed or whatever it was he was doing to make the ass cushions slide forward and the backrest cushions compress into the gap behind the ass cushions. This was when I was informed that the ass cushions just slide forward of their own volition with no help from Sunshine.

side note: I’m guessing that those ass cushions slide forward of their own volition just exactly like my car drove forward in the garage and pushed a bicycle through the wall all by itself with no help from me and my sister, but whatthefuckever, Sunshine. You tell yourself whatever you have to tell yourself to feel better about borking up the couch cushions. It didn’t work for me with the car/bicycle/garage wall incident, but maybe it’ll work for you now.

I finally got the cushions restuffed and good as new.

Now all I’ve got left to do is figure out where in the hell I’m going to store the remaining new fiberfill stuffings, which is STILL bigger than the box the original five pounds of that shit came in.

final note: simple living ain’t always easy. This project was a pain in the ass, but we can’t afford a new couch just because Sunshine insists on borking up the cushions and then telling the world that the cushions are borking themselves of their own volition with no help from Sunshine. That also isn’t very environmentally friendly, and is is entirely too consumerist for my taste. We also can’t afford to pay a professional upholsterer to restuff these borked up couch cushions with smooshproof memory foam, so here I am trying to figure out where to hide the leftover fiberfill (and dreading taking the vacuum and chasing the errant bits of stuffings around the house).

Power tools are cool

Sunshine and I built a wooden box for our raised garden bed we are going to try this fall.

I have to say, I’m really proud of how much we didn’t have to buy to build this box. We used some of his old scaffold boards for the sides, and some of the 2X4s he cut off of the janky old back porch became the wood we needed for bracing. We used some new screws that were left over from some random project we had already completed.

The coolest part was the power tools. I’ve long known how to use a cordless drill as a screw gun, so that part wasn’t particularly exciting for me. I did get to use the cordless skil-saw to cut some boards, which was all exciting and new for me.

Since we’ve gotten here, I haven’t been allowed to use power tools that often.

I was given a sawsall to use on the catcus plants, probably because Sunshine got tired of me fucking up his hatchets and axes and shit.

I was allowed to use his small electric sander to try and sand some slices of cedar tree (great natural moth repellent–gotta protect those ridiculously expensive sweaters I have). I say “try” because the damn thing died on me. Sunshine and I went to our local pawn shop and got a good as new sander that has a larger sanding surface area, so I went back at it with the cedar slices after we got done with the box for the garden bed.

I also got to use the cordless drill as an actual drill this week. We bought some remnants of PVC pipe to use to make fire logs out of junk mail and other old paper. We originally found this recipe for fire logs through a video on one of Sunshine’s survivalist-prepper-black helicopter sites, and it involved two five gallon buckets. One of the buckets had holes drilled in it because this recipe involves soaking the junk mails in water for a few days then using a specially fabricated attachment on a drill to turn it into a puree of sorts. Well, Sunshine had the brilliant idea to use PVC pipes to get a uniform size and shape log on a consistent basis. So we bought the remnants of the pipe from the local hardware store, and I was handed a drill and allowed to go to town drilling holes for the water to drain out of as we dry the pureed paper fire logs. I still haven’t been allowed to use the big badass saw that cuts the PVC pipe and cedar tree slices, but after seeing what that saw does to anything that it accidentally grabs hold of, I’m OK with that.

If I had known that I would get to use power tools more often, I might have agreed to this simple living shit a long time ago.

Weekly Progress Report

It’s been a busy week here in the middle of buttfuck nowhere.

Sunshine had an outpatient test/procedure on Wednesday up at the tribal healthcare center. Everything looked OK from what they could see, so we’re good for a while on that front. They did extend his treatment protocol from 4 months to six months the last time he went to that doctor, so we are not quite halfway through. The good news is that he has found a rhythm that works for him, and he is somewhat closer to his old self again.

He has finished the installation of the three-basin commercial sink. He poured the concrete pad, built the lean-to roof over it, and did the plumbing all by himself (with only minor occasional help from me to move large things). It was nice that he wasn’t having to work in 112F heat, but it was raining on him the whole time, so it was still a miserable experience for him.

side note: what the hell is with the weather here lately? We’re experiencing highs in the low 80s (if that) in AUGUST, FFS. I don’t get it at all, it’s almost like it’s the #endofdays or some shit.

We’ve done our research on what to plant for a fall garden, hopefully he will be able to start building the boxes for the raised beds this coming week. Now I just gotta get busy learning about preserving food so we can put some aside to help us get through the winter (or what passes for winter here in Texas).

I’ve managed to keep the laundry going all week; it’s been a never-ending stream of washing the sheets, towels, and clothes daily, all to try and keep the ringworm from spreading while we try and get rid of it. It’s exhausting having to completely strip and remake the bed every single day. All that bed-making was the part of working in hospitality/housekeeping that I hated the most. Hopefully it will be over in another week or two, and I can go back to only doing laundry every couple of days.

Sunshine has yanked down a lot of the offending, warped, poorly installed lattice off of the back deck on the pink house. Something about Mr. B needing pictures of the back of the house without all that crappy shit hanging in midair, I don’t know. I just know that Sunshine is now spending today cleaning up the mess he made ripping that shit down late yesterday. Lovely, since he apparently burned the last pile of debris yesterday while it was raining and everything was wet and the fire danger was low. Here we go again, building up the next pile of debris removed from the pink house. Who the hell does shit like this to a house? I would really love to straight up kick the guilty party in the taco (or franks & beans, whatever the case may be).

I’ve managed to make a small dent in the hoard of craft supply stash that was taking over the living room. Now I have to start thinking about where to hide the finished products until we get ready to go set up at the trade days. The pink house is almost completely out of the question because Mrs. B has taken over most of the house with her office, her sitting room, and untold boxes of stuffs and things from her house. Now, in Mrs. B’s defense, I’m sure a lot of the boxes are just sitting there waiting to be sorted and dealt with, but until then they’ve kind of taken over. The new girl has also got her room reserved in the pink house waiting for her to finally be able to actually move out here. The one room that hasn’t been taken over by people’s stuffs and things is the living room, which I can’t turn into my own personal storage locker since I’m pretty sure people will be wanting to use the living room for something like, oh I don’t know, maybe a living room? All of our basement storage compartments on the magic bus are full, so that’s out of the question. I’ll figure something out, I’m pretty creative when I need to be; I’m just wondering where I’ll find the energy required for “getting creative”.

side note: another reason I need to start figuring out the craft stash? Our neighbor is cleaning out the home of her former employer, and was telling us about the unbelievable hoard of sewing supplies and fabric. When I asked if the woman had any yarn, the neighbor lady told me she would bag up all of the yarn and knitting supplies and bring it to me. I gots to find somewhere to stash a new stash!

Now, I’ve got to jet because today is book study at my sponsor’s house, and that’s a 3+ hour drive from me.

final note: I’ve spent so much fucking time in a car this week that I’m kind of nearing the point of never wanting to see a car again. Not now not never.



Lost shoes

That lost shoe (that I did find in the end) from the coyote scare the other night is still rolling around in my mind.

I’ve lost a lot of shoes in my day. It happens when one has a propensity for getting annihilated drunk or completely smashed on whatever substance comes through on any given day. I’ve lost whole pairs of shoes more times than I care to think about.

The shoe loss that bothers me the most is the one lost shoe that never turned up.

I was wasted (as usual), riding around in a friend’s car, in the back seat. I never got out of the car. Somehow, I managed to lose ONE shoe. Just one. We searched the car thoroughly, more than once. That one missing shoe never turned up. That one lost shoe has haunted me since then.

Finding the shoe I lost while trying to save my baby Mollie from the coyotes feels really good. It almost feels as good as keeping my head straight enough to save the little baby doggie. Really, the two aren’t even close, and yet–there it is.

Maybe it’s just gratitude for my recovery. Maybe I’m just grateful that, today, I’m not the kind of person who loses one fucking shoe in the back seat of a car.

Whatever it is, I’ll take it.


Food preservation

I can remember all sorts of harvest related activities from my childhood. We picked vegetables, shelled peas, canned things, froze things, and dried things.

Sadly, I don’t know HOW any of these things got done.

Well, that isn’t exactly true, I do remember how to dry apples; that memory is irrelevant since we have a commercial dehydrator that will make jerky and dry apples and so on.

However, beyond the drying of apples, I don’t know how to preserve the food that is so abundant at harvest time.

Why is this relevant?

Because the neighbor came over and talked to Sunshine about plowing up an area for a garden. That discussion got Sunshine to thinking about how much garden he and I alone could realistically manage alone. I think we have decided to go with a couple of raised beds to try and have a small fall garden.

I’ve been researching what will grow here and when we have to plant it.

I guess I’m going to have to go and research what the hell to do with it if it the garden beds actually produce some food.

At least this simple living experiment is proving to be an educational one.

Cats are nasty little critters

We’ve had a good laugh at my expense after the Things shitted in the kennel and had to get bathed.

If that were the worst of the nasty I’ve had to deal with thanks to the cats, I could probably get over it.

Mr. B recently sent me home with a bushel crate full of kittens. The little buggers spent their first night hiding behind things in their own shit and piss.

If that were the end of the nasty I’ve had to deal with thanks to cats, I could probably get over it.

Mollie and I now have ringworm.

I officially hate cats now.

All of the cats except for the pregnant one are now banished to outside. I don’t care if they all become coyote snacks. If we wind up with no cats, I’ll just go get a Jack Russell terrier.

Cats are nasty little fuckers.