Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I know that I have been doing alot of sponsored posts lately..but I really need that water heater!
Anyway. This is NOT a sponsored post. But it IS a cool website.
SO you know that I am so in to sustainable living, homesteading and stuff like that, or you should if you have read for more than, like, oh, two minutes. Well the other day I was doing some research for a hubpages article I was doing and came across this site:
Homesteader Exchange Network. Very nicely done, and a great chat board, altho being new it is somewhat slow. A wealth of information though, i have learned alot since i have been checking it regularly.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I have decided to finish up the master bedroom. It doesn't need much; woodwork, curtains, that type of thing..but I think I need to make it into something romantic...for me if for no other reason. I so seldom really do things for me that the idea is a little weird and selfish feeling. You know, Marc would love it if it was done in red and gold with a bulldog theme... ;) I am going to try to do an estimate this week and work toward it.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

O.k..seriously ..I want this guy to come spend a month at my house. I am so ready to have all of the stuff finished on this house, you can't believe it.
How cool would it be to see Extreme Home Makover's Bus pull up outside the house and have them yell at us that we are going for a week in the Bahamas while they finish up this historical (hyterical?) restoration. I am thinking it would be pretty darn cool.
Lets see, in my fantasy I would come home to a kitchen with a commercial 6 burner stove, yet it would look vintage...soapstone counters please, and arts and crafts style maple cabinetry. Floors are pretty good as is...just a few new paint, and a windowseat in hte dining area would be nice....
Really, is that too much to ask for?
I love when it starts getting cold.. We have had a fire going in the fireplace for a week now. Yes a WEEK, so what?
Remember all those pesky trees that have come down over the past few months? Yeah! Firewood.
We are still without a water heater but I know that that is coming. Someday..sometime..somewhere....
I have been doing some baking..if you have checked out baking delights and apron strings you know that I have. I am also getting ready to launch a new blog for B5 so be watching for that ..I think it is going to be cool!
I am writing more for Hubpages..currently writing and article on learning manadarin chinese, which is looking neat, and also have published the one on buying organic, as well as really cool gifts... I will get back and post the links to those later.
Why all the writing? You guessed it. I really want a water heater. LOL! It is way too cold for these cold showers.

Faucets are a fashion statement. Well, a DECOR statement anyway. They didn't used to be, they used to just be handles that you turned so water would come out. But since we have had this house and redone bathrooms, and looking at redoing the kitchen faucets are pretty common conversation here.
I really like the oil rubbed bronze faucets with deco lines to them. To me it fits well with the house, the decor, and they are easy to clean. I used to just hate those faucets that we had when I was growing up in the 70's, the plastic ones that had all of the fragments jutting out, so the dirt got right down in the handle. Eww.
ANyway, Marc likes deco too, but the price tends to be one of the things that holds us back. If you shop around the internet you can usually come up with something that you like and that is affordable.
Grohe faucet is one company I hadn't heard of but when I went to their site I was impressed with the selection. The have the oil rubbed brass that I like so well and deco designs as well as more contemporary.
Have you seen those faucets that look like old fashioned pump handles? I LOVE those and i keep thinking that putting one of those by the kitchen sink would be the coolest.
I am pretty sure that when I redesign my kitchen I want to have one of those faucets that comes out of the wall over the stove to fill pans..but I always wonder...after the pan is full, and you have cooked your still have to move the pan OFF the stove right? So it only saves your back one way? I will have to look in to that.
Anyway. I will be so glad when we get all of the bathrooms done..and the kitchen. The rest of the house just wont seem that daunting, maybe. MAYBE.
This post was sponsored. But I still want new faucets. :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Buy Organic Online: The Top Websites

Eating organic foods is admittedly the best way to go. The problem is that it can not only be expensive, but it can be hard to find the items that you want in an organic form, especially if you live in a small town! Once again the Internet comes to the rescue with a dizzying array of organic websites willing to deliver your selections directly to your door. Even so, it can be hard to sort through the various online stores, what foods they carry, and, if you are new to organics, you may have questions about what you need or want. I have put together a list of what I consider to be the best sites to buy organic. Check it out and see if you agree.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

FEMA: The Rise and Fall of a Great Idea

IS FEMA just too big of an agency to do a good job? Deception and outright stupidity seem to be haunting this government agency this year. AS some of you know we dealt with FEMA a few years ago when we went through a flood locally that took out several of our neighbors homes and messed up our property. I was walking out horses out of our gate and up on to the street in water up to my arm pits at 3 a.m. Not fun! I learned a valuable lesson that night. Survival is about depending on yourself, your own resources, and God. A government agency can't do it. FEMA however seems to take ineptitude to a new level with their latest faux pas.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

How to have a stress free holiday! You can make almost any Thanksgiving dish ahead and freeze it if you know how. Imagine the day with little clean up or prep time. I have been cooking htis way for a really long time, and it has made a big difference to me in how I view the holidays. Check out the article and see if there is anything that can help you.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Al Gore Green: A Different Shade?

How can someone who is so hypocritical win the Nobel ? I will admit that he does do a good talk...but the more I researched his personal life, the way he lives the more irritated I got. The arguments and explanations just don't seem to make sense to me. Here is a man who has a ton of money, living in 3 houses, flying jets hither and yon, telling people what they should and should not be doing and yet he is doing almost nothing in his personal life..except I don't think that everyone should live in a 1000 sq foot house..I certainly don't. I do live in a large house by normal standards. 4300 sq ft of Victorian...But we don't use air conditioning in the summer. We keep the heat very low in the winter. We are careful with our resources, eating locally or homegrown as much as possible. We do drive a van but considering htat we have 6 kids at home perhaps we can be forgiven for that...And I am not telling others what they should and should not be doing. I am trying to encourage others by example. I am Christian. I have alot of issues with Christians that shove their beliefs down other people's throats and yet do not walk those same things out in thier own lives..Nothing different here. Someone telling other people what to do while not doing those things himself...eww.Noone is asking for perfection, least of all me. I am just saying, if you are going to tout yourself as some sort of eco-superhero then at least have the decency to live in a way that supports the environment like the rest of us do. Sacrifice is not about giving up Kobe beef ....maybe first class jetting around? How about downsizing? Maybe only 2 houses instead of 3? I am having a hard time not believing this is a big publicity stunt to precede a presidential run. Honestly, if he does it he has every chance of winning, sad to say. I used to say I wished he would get a I would be happy if he found a character somewhere.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A list of 10 sites for homesteaders. I think good homesteading sites are hard to find. I have compiled a list of my personal top 10.

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Leisure TIme? I have some suggestions for this guy...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Miscellaneous Stuff:
SO Kyrie cracks me up. She is 4. Her favorite time to chat is when she is on the potty..maybe it is because she is the eighth child? She doesn't like to go alone. And as I said somewhere else, it isn't enough that she lives in a family the size of a small nation..she has numerous imaginary siblings. So she is sitting there, chatting..and she asks if I am doing laundry today. I said yes. She said..can I help you fold it? I say (rather magnanimously) Sure.....she says, Well can I do it MY way?

I know how she feels. There is so much stuff I want to get done..but I dont want to take the time to do it the right way..necessarily..I want to do it my way. I am all about the idea of all of the personal satisfaction I will get in 20 years when I tell people i did it myself..but right now, with a million bucks, I would SO hire people to do it... I love this house, but I feel like I have never moved in, you know? I am praying for a kitchen. I htink that would make the difference for me.
If I ever do this again I am not going ot try to save money..I am going to spend it with a shovel and do what it takes to get things the way I want.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

As we get older our parents get older and there comes a point for many of us that we find ourselves in the position of parenting our parents. We have tough choices to make and it is often a lonely and thankless period in our lives. How do we cope? I went through this myself about 5 years ago. It was tough. Mom had always been the independent sort, and at 82 she was active, opinionated, and at times, cranky. When her health literally deteriorated over night Marc and I had some decisions to make. We decided that it was right for us to move her in to the down stairs bedroom..Our family dynamics changed. I found myself with both rebellious teens and a rebellious elder. I literallyunderstood the expression, "sandwich generation". With the pressure from two generational directions pressing the me I leaned more and more on my faith in the Lord and my strong relationship with Marc. Because of the two of them in my life I got through it and can honestly say that is was enriching and rewarding.Frozen-Music is about our work on the house, but it is also about all parts of our lives....this is an important part of mine. I hope that reading about it helps someone that may be facing or in the same situation. read more | digg story

Friday, October 19, 2007

Informed business decisions are what makes a business successful.
As I said in another post, had Marc and I had more counsel and research we would have probably, no, definitely, doen certain things different. It is hard though, when you are trying to think of everything to actually...well...think of everything. What we did not take into consideration was that while my particular Bistro Nouveau style cooking would have done very well in the historic district of the town twenty minutes south, here where we live the population clamored for more rib sticking, southern style foods. Not a bad thing at all, except I should have had the information before I opened! I had the mentality "if I cook it they will come".
Being in military intelligence I understand about intelligence gathering. Getting the most information possible about a venture ensures the success of that venture. Or it helps, anyway. In the midst of the excitement of opening a new business we sometimes forget that. O.k...well almost always forget that.
Business Intelligence Consultants is a company that specializes in just that. Helping you collect intelligence information on the business you want to start, or have started, and giving you what you need to know to be successful.
Let's face it. Most of us aren't specialists in more than one or two areas. There is no way to think of everything. Having up to date information on customer preferences, profiling, and trends helps the businessman or woman to stay on top in this very competitive market.
I do wish we had thought to access something like that. I just thought that many of you may be considering a business, and having been in that place, I felt this was good information to have. :)
I am going ot be cleaning up the pages of Frozen Music and revamping it some. There have been alot of changes in things, between Marc getting sick, and me getting overwhelmed, and on and on...I started doing the paid postings to help with expenses, bit apparently that blacklisted me on the Old Houses feed. I was informed that I was being removed.
O.k. Sigh.
Anyway...The ads that they provided me with are making me about 50 cents a month, where as the paid for posts are making me about 100.00 or more, and i am not doing many of them.
Think of them as food on my table.
So, in the next few days i think I am going to change the look of the site, pull off alot of the ads, and make it pretty again...and yeah, there will be the occasional commercial post.
I am coming to the end of the training I am doing, which i am not ready to discuss...and maybe never will be, ;) so hopefully things will start rollign again with my posting, the house repairs and the etc. of my life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Marc and I had our own business a couple of years ago. I swear, I will never do that again. I thought that because I love to cook, as evidenced by my various cooking blogs, I would naturally do well. Marc thought so too. And really, I did do well, and probably would have made a ton of money except for the mistakes I made in the business end of it. Honestly, one thing I would do differently is to become a corporation because we are still paying of all the junk that we ended up being personally responsible for.

But starting a corporation can be confusing. You have a ton of paperwork to do, and shareholders meetings even if the only share holders are you husband, your three year old and the cat. The IRS has lists and lists and lists of things they will want to see. Every year. Every single minute of every single meeting has to be documented. AND you HAVE to do the meetings, that is part of the requirements for being a corporation. When incorporate you should immediately have a meeting of directors and shareholders. You need to adopt bylaws. You should have an operating agreement.
Incredibly complicated, isn't it? That is why it is important to have help. I think had I thought to invest in some mentoring and such as that I would not have gone under. nevada corporation is a company that does just that.
They offer free forms as well as form packages starting at $25.00. That makes things much easier because you don't have to try to figure out what you need. The company has tax forms that you fill out for your tax i.d. or you can get them to fill them out for you for a fee. They have low priced corporate kits.
If you have questions you should go check out the FAQ page.
There is alot to know and understand. It is so much easier when you have help!

This has been a sponsored post.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Homestead Diva: A New Way To Recycle Plastic Bags

Fusing plastic bags together to create a sturdy fabric is the newest green fashion statement. I was amazed at all the possibilites as I checked out website after website with pictures of what people were making....There were clothes, bags, quilts...SO, I am thinking... Home Depot Curtains for the sunroom? I could do that, I sure have enough Home Depot bags around. Can you imagine that the very coolness of this thing is going to cause a run on plastic that there will be plastic bag junkies on the street corners digging through trash in search of the elusive Marshall Fields bag or Neiman's bag? A whole new opportunity will open up on eBay for people to sell plastic bags....O.k..I was sort of joking but seriously. This is cool stuff. I was amazed at the pictures of clothes that I would actually wear. I dunno, you may want to hold on to that Lowe's bag....maybe a nice, durable tool belt for the Mr.for Christmas?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coffee: An Eco-Friendly Cup O' Joe

By making choices we send messages to producers , suppliers, and retailers, about our priorities. Coffee production has historically been bad for the environment and bad for the people who work on the farms. More and more we have the opportunity to make the choices to be gentle on the environment and socially responsible. I drink tons of coffee, how else am I going to keep up with all the stuff I have to do on this house? Seriously. Anyway...I was reading an article about how the big coffee distributers in the US, like Folgers and Maxwell House, have alot of stuff in the coffee you might not want to drink...Big surprise. I am a dyed int he wool coffee snob. We had our own blend and roast created by a local roaster. Yeah..THAT much of a coffee snob. So we are not likely to give up coffee anytime soon, right? But I am concerned about things like the environment, and social responsibility. I mean, I know that I don't fit into anyone's camp here...A strongly conservative Christian, republican, right wing, war monger, Bush supporter, who is doing everything possible to go green, make socially responsible choices, and be a good caretaker of the earth, which is what we were told to do in Genesis anyway. Go figure. Maybe I am schizo. But I know that small decisions that we make every day make a difference in the long run. I know that when I paint one baseboard in the house, for example, everyday, it only takes a few minutes but eventually the whole house is my spare time. It is the rocks/pebbles/gravel/sand in a jar theory. We waste tiny bits of time that we deem unimportant. what you can do. That's the main thing.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Relaxing Is Hard

.I have a hard time relaxing..It seems that I am always working on something..either blogging, or school, or sewing, or cleaning, or cooking or the animals, or the restoration...So I have learned in all of that that I need to have relaxing hobbies that force me to sit still, and that keep me feeling like I am accomplishing something! Spinning is active but carding the wool to ready it for spinning is passive. I have to sit, and it does take alot of carding to get enough wool to spin! While I am doing that mindless job I am having down time in the only way I know how. I also love it because it is such a connection with the past. Women have been carding and spinning for thousands of years...just like baking bread it is a necessary skill that continues on, from generation to generation. I like the comfort in that. It is rainy today. I have an errand to run but once I am done I think I will card some wool...and maybe spin. Have a great weekend.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ma Kettle Meets Prada.
Having an old house in the midst of restoration (and really, does restoration ever end?)sometimes make it hard to find home insurance. I have to tell you this really hysterical story. When we first bought the house, I think the second year actually, when our insurance came up the company did not renew it. So we hunted around and finally talked to another company who was eager to get their hands on our 4300 square feet of potential. They said that they were sending out an insurance agent to inspect the house. Understand that not only do we live in an on-going restoration project, but we have six kids at home, numerous goats, horses, chickens, and, at the time, sheep. The minute I saw the car pull up I knew we were in trouble. Red, sporty...low to the ground..
Hey! Watch THAT.....ditch.
So the door opens and these long, nylon encased legs slide out. The legs were attached to spike heeled, designer shoes on one end and a designer mini skirt on the other...Above that seemed to be a well designed body with a coiffed head balanced on top. No doubt scented in an expensive perfume. From the other side of the car more legs, encased in more designer attire, slipped out followed by an exact copy of the body prior with the exception of the hair style.
I let out a long cleansing breath and tried to wipe my floury hands on my grungy jeans...and look fashionably aloof.
It was truly a case of Prada meets Ma Kettle. Do I really need to detail what happened next? The two huddled together in the kitchen doorway whispering and finally turned to me and said, in unison I think, "We will be unable to give you anyinsurance quotes on your home, Mrs. Audet" and they slunk down the wheelchair ramp, stopping only to untangle the spike heels from the gaps in the somewhat rotted wood.
Ha! You might be laughing but it was not funny at the time...Now, I wonder who I can call to get auto insurance quotes on the tractor?
This has been a sponsored post.

I am doing it. I am ordering the sweep for the front door today...And when it comes in I am going to pick up the trim pieces and finish it off outside and then run some silicone caulk around the edges. Maybe this way I won't have the entire north wind taking up residence in my reception parlor. It should be a hysterically funny repair..since I am just really not great with this stuff.
On a very very happy note, Marc is getting much better and maybe he will be able to start doing some of the work again. YAY!
I am dreaming of the day I will have my wide front steps, with baskets of mums lining the edges, and beautiful front porch....sigh...
I would probably get more done if..
1. I would stay off the computer after I get my blogs done
2. I would stop coming up with new projects and stick to what I have to do
3. I would win the lottery and just hire people to finish things up.
What I need is a contractor with a sweet tooth..who will work for dessert.

I have always really liked the idea of chicken tractors. I plan to get the kids to help me this fall and see if we can make some that are really awesome. I don't mind the lighter, cheaper ones but the raccoons in our area have internet access or something and they have ways of getting a chicken no matter what. I am thinking that sturdier is better. I like the idea of being able to keep the chickens on fresh pasture and have the contained at the same time. The chickens I have now are so much bigger than my wyandottes were that I think I am going to have to think in terms of giant pens rather than small ones! I am even considering having the kids compete to see who can come up with the best pen design. I would get at least 3 made that way and it would be interesting to see which of the older kids would come up with the most workable, the engineer, the artist, or the animal lover. :)

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Photo from The City Chicken

Monday, October 01, 2007

One thing I love about this house...

My floors! There is just something beautiful about the antique long leaf heartpine. I think it is the warmth of the color. I chose alot of the colors in my house to reflect the colors and tints of the floors. I love that I am reading that companies are bringing old growth pine up from the bottom of rivers where the logs were lost a century ago. I love that people are getting smart and saving the floors when they tear down a house. Around here the antique pine goes for about $40 a square foot. We have over 4300 sq ft of house! Not all of that floor is good..some of it (at least half) we have had to hide under a carpet because of the terrible state of it...tin patches, etc...I don't mind nail holes, discoloration and gouges here and there, it is part of the charm to me...but tin patches are a bit much!

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