Friday, June 17, 2016

Thoughts of My Child

My Child

There are times I look at my child,
And think of the pain of a lonely pregnancy;
how unsure I was of myself,
how scared and alone I felt.
I see my little boy,

wishing he had a father,
to help him fix a toy truck;
to teach him to hit a ball,
to make him be good.
And I wonder did I do wrong?
have I hurt my child?

I remember feeling resentful,
for bringing him up alone;
for being tied down,
then feeling guilty,
for feeling this way.
Then I look at my son
looking at me full of trust,
smiling, saying he's happy;
that I did no wrong,
that I haven't hurt him.

I look at my son,
and he clutches my hand,
and he tells me his secrets;
I hold him - and I know he'll be fine,
and so will I.

- For we have each other.

This is a poem I wrote long ago, when my son was very little. Still a baby, in fact. Now he is 46 years old, all grown up. Time passes quickly. I am not posting this for his birthday or any special day. Just that I recently spent some time with him and realized that everything turned out okay after all.

Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, April 08, 2016

Straying From My Low Carb Food Plan

Crustless Spinach Quiche Low Carb Version

"This time, I am NOT straying from my low carb food plan!" How many times have I said that? How many times have I strayed from it? How many times have I regained those lost pounds? How many times have I said "I will just eat this ____________ (pizza, ice cream, candy, doughnut, whatever) one time only?" Why? Why do I do this to myself over and over? I cannot understand this thing I do to myself. I REALLY love my low carb food plan, which is what I call it. It is actually Atkins that I follow. When I think of all the times I have sabotaged myself by eating just one little thing that starts me off on not following my plan for weeks, it makes me sick. Have you ever done that? I have learned by doing this to not dwell on my setbacks. Instead persevere by getting back on your plan, no matter how many times you slip off it. Get back on it immediately. 

The biggest benefit of following Atkins, for me, has been my health. I just feel good on it. I can sleep good. I can walk better. I feel good about myself because I know I am doing this for myself. Although at this time of my life, at 63 years of age, I am not taking any prescription medications or over the counter ones either. I haven't taken any in many years now. I don't catch colds, rarely have a headache or ever feel sick in general. I don't use pain relievers of any kind. This is not to say that I am in perfect health. Nope. I have very bad painful knees. Some days, I can hardly walk at all. I use a cane if I go anywhere. In the house, I don't need it so much. 

Garden in 2014

Even so, I do a lot of work at home. including working in 16 raised beds in my garden. I can a lot of food every year, all year long, not just fruits and vegetables. There are a number of chores I used to do, but unfortunately, are unable to do any longer. Those chores have fallen to my husband, adding to his already long list of chores he does every day. Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family on both sides. Bad knees too, on my mother's side. So switching to low carbs is more than just losing weight for me. I have to admit after just three days of starting induction (first phase of Atkins consisting of only 20 carbs daily), I always feel great.  I have been back on it for a few weeks now and see myself doing more chores and not tempted by the bad carbs so much. 

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Copyright 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Start Selling Your Clutter On eBay

Earrings I am selling on eBay

One of the activities I have been doing is trying to sell a lot of my own possessions on eBay. I just have too much stuff! Many times though, I take pictures and get it all ready to list and then my sentimental side takes over. Back in the box it goes. I know though, that eventually it will have to go in a listing. I am surprised that more people do not do this. I see posts on different forums and Facebook pages about how everyone has so much clutter and don't know what to do about it. I say, "take the bull by the horn and get started on eBay!"

Christmas Coasters selling on eBay

So where does one start? First make sure you already have an eBay and PayPal accounts! Very important first step because you cannot sell or buy on eBay without it. Yes, PayPal is very safe to use and I feel safe and secure using it. They have protected me many times over the years. Yes, you will have to connect your bank account to PayPal, but if you do not want to do that, open a new bank account just for online transactions. Transfer money into that account when you plan on buying something to make sure it is covered. Simple!

Camera Lens for my old camera sold on ebay

Now to sell on eBay the first thing after your account that you will need will be feedback. So get to work buying some cheap items in order to get some. My best advice on this is to buy things you need. Like shipping supplies. You will need various types of shipping supplies to send your buyers packages to them. Use them to get your feedback built up by making separate purchases over a period of time. If you buy a lot of stuff from one seller at the same time, it will only count as one feedback. You want more than that. Stock up on bubble mailers, bubble wrap, poly mailers, boxes, tissue paper, fragile labels, etc. You will also need a digital scale, a label maker, labels to go with it and of course, a printer, paper and ink for it. That could take awhile acquiring that amount of supplies. But if you want to make serious money on eBay, you will need it. Plus it will give you more feedback.

Lot of vintage crocheting needles I sold on eBay

The reason feedback is so important is because buyers won't buy from someone with less than 100 feedback. And if they do, they will be nervous about the transaction. To make them feel comfortable start your sales with small cheaper items until your feedback is up to 100. I know for myself, when I buy on eBay, I always check the feedback if they are less than 100. Sometimes I buy, sometimes I don't.

Copyright 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, February 01, 2016

Planning Our 2016 Garden

We are having a beautiful February first here in New York state. I am amazed that our weather is so spring like in February! It is not normal at all, and I expect it to take a turn for the worse any day now. My husband likes it because he is not having to do so much shoveling this year. Of course, this year he bought the new Snow Wolf, which is a new type of shovel. He hasn't had the chance to use it in a really heavy snowfall yet this year. I figure though, that day will come.

Today I am studying my seed catalogs over. I have plans for our homestead garden this year. During the fall my husband took down four trees. One was our heirloom apple tree that was really old, but gave us a good yield every year. Last year was its best. The apples even tasted better than previous years. One whole branch was dead and had dried up leaves on it. The rest of the tree was covered with apples and we had plenty for us and our horses. One morning we looked outside and it was on the ground!

After it was gone, I was liking the openness of the area without it. We had just been talking about taking down the dead branch and the cherry tree next to it. So Larry took down the cherry tree but it was a complex chore. The tree was huge and had two parts, almost like having two separate trees. The roots of the tree had grown under our house and since we fixed that, didn't want it to damage it again. Besides we were afraid it might grow toward the well and damage that. If that happened, we'd be in BIG trouble! So down it came.

Once that tree was down, the backyard had a whole new look to it. I loved it! Now the garden would get a lot more sun. We discussed how we can make changes back there to improve our garden. Soon Larry took down the clothesline so he could take down two other trees back there. Both of them were in the raised bed I call the "snake bed" (due to its shape not the snakes). It is more open now, not only allowing more sun on the raised beds, but the big trees were blocking wind from reaching our wind turbine. The turbine is now producing even more power for us. We can really see a difference.

Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Getting On With Life

I am dreaming of this life,
on the other side of the fence.
As they say, the grass is always
greener on the other side of it.
Thinking life will be better,
in another place beyond, the place
I am in right now.

When I get to that new place,
how come I miss the old place?
Instead of being happy here, I miss
the old familiar rituals, people and ways.
Now it is too late to return and I am stuck,
forever in this new place.

Time to put the past behind,
get on with the new...
New routines, new friends, new ways,
after a period, this becomes my life.
Soon I start dreaming of a new life,
somewhere on the other side of the fence,
where the grass will be greener.......always.

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Once A Month Income

The Binghamton Press, January 5, 1939
Look at those prices! 

It sure seems like life goes by in a flash. One day you are a young man or woman, the next thing you know, you are at retirement age. I remember my father always saying that it seemed like he had just graduated from high school. "Where did the time go?" he'd ask. Indeed, that is how I feel now. Right now my business isn't making enough that it affects my Social Security check. Some day it may. That is okay with me, because that means I'd have more money to live on. For now though, times are tight.

How do you stretch the money when you get paid once a month? Actually it is not once a month, but some months it is will be four weeks until your next check, and then some, five. Those are the killers. The months that you have to wait to get your check after five weeks is really hard. I don't know how we'd do it if I did not grow a garden. In the summer we have fresh vegetables that are basically free, if you do not include our hard work. The seeds are heirlooms that I save every year.

Our grocery bill is basically dairy products, meat, some fruit (bananas for Hubby and Rabbit, our house pet and berries for me in the off season that I can't pick them) and vegetables we like that we do not grow. I stock up on bulk buys often. Meat especially. I can it and the broth from it. Part of our supply is ingredients like oils, nuts, flax seed meal, almond meal and butter, seeds, baking supplies from a low carb perspective. I buy organic NON-GMO as much as possible.

The coffee we buy and love!

We also buy organic fair trade coffees and teas online. Items that we had no way to buy before are available online now. That has helped me a lot in changing over to an organic diet. Do you think it is a lot more expensive? Not at all. Do you know why? Because when I stopped eating high carb and processed foods, I started using that money to buy the organic foods. I buy what we eat at meals and don't spend a lot on snacks or things like.

I am not saying it is easy to stretch that money. It isn't. When you live with your own electric system though, that is a big help. Electric bills are a big part of those pay checks. I don't know how people do it anymore. There are so many bills that others have to pay that we do not. I am glad for us, but feel bad for everyone else. Now Christmas is almost here and everyone will be scrambling to buy presents. We don't celebrate it any more than just having a bigger dinner than usual that day. If I had to buy presents though, I' d be giving everyone gift cards to their local grocery stores. Our life in the forest, somehow just seems easier when compared to what most people living on once a month income must be going through.

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole