Saturday, September 17, 2005

Saw A Camel On The Way To The Store!

Today my friend and I went to the store from her house and saw a camel in a farmer's field. Not something you see often around here. Usually they are in a zoo or animal park. Interesting!

Copyright © 2005 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2005 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Solar Panels On The Homestead

Having just added another solar panel to our array of panels, I am experiencing the joy of having more power. We operate our home now on 180 watts of power from the panels. I just can't imagine that people would rather pay the electric companies those big bills that keep going up. Our system we add to little by little until we get it to where we want it.

Recently on a forum that I belong to, someone commented that he lived for 12 years off the grid, but now is more than happy to pay the power a $50. a month to take care of his needs. He did not like worrying about how much power he used or how much each appliance used. So he would rather pay for the option of the electric company taking care of him. I like to take care of myself.

When the power goes out around here, I don't even know it until a few days later if someone mentions it. My computer can be on all the time if I want, as that is the main thing I power. Of course, I don't need all the "comforts" that the "yuppie" world needs. I love my life the way it is. Every morning I can wake up and get my coffee, go out to feed my horses, walk with my dog and browse in my garden. Then I go in to get on my laptop and get to work.

It all ties together. Being a "homesteader" these days, means making your living at home, but not necessarily selling produce or livestock. But you can make products such as goats' milk soaps or lotions, woodcrafts, do sewing, word processing, internet research, paralegal, even secretarial skills from your computer and telephone - but you do it from your own homestead! And you are there to take care of your daily chores or to make your products. It's a great life. 

Copyright © 2005 Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, August 12, 2005

Pets' And Horses' Personalities

One of the things I love about working at home is that when I am working on my computer, I can see my garden. I love seeing those corn stalks gently moving in the breeze. This is the first year that I have planted corn here. As I told you before, I have raised beds now. So I planted my corn in them to see how they would do. One thing I know I did wrong was to plant them spaced too far apart. I forgot. They hold each other up if they are closer. I noticed that in the farmers' fields they were really close. Mine will be closer next year.

Tomorrow, my daughter in-law and her daughter are coming up for the day. Her daughter is at the age when girls are so horse crazy. She loves to ride my horse, Tawny. Tawny is half Thoroughbred and half Shetland Pony. She's the most loving horse you could meet. She will rest her chin on your back if you're working in the barn or in her paddock. And she loves to lick you.
But looks can be deceiving. She tried to kill my pet chicken once. And we were right there. She went right after her and tried to stomp her to death! I had her go after our cats and our dog, who is a good sized dog. But I think it may have to do with the fact that she is the low horse on the herd totem pole. She can be in the barn and the cat will rub on her face from the stall gate and she's fine with that. But if they are out near her, she'll go after them unexpectedly. I punish her every time, so eventually she'll learn not to do that I hope. My other two horses, aren't like that at all. And they are the spirited ones!

Animals are sometimes as sneaky as people! Our tortiseshell cat, Callie is very affectionate and not afraid of anyone or anything. I saw her chase a big dog out of our yard once, and she was right on his butt hitting him with her claws, as he ran yelping toward the road. The thing is that if cats would learn not to run from a dog, the dog wouldn't chase them. She doesn't run from them, but toward them. One time, a stray dog, came to our house and she would not allow him to come on the porch.

My friend and her boyfriend, have 3 little dogs. Callie plays with them and is usually the winner. One of the dogs, barks at her, and she'll go right up to her and rub her face on hers. That dog doesn't know what to do or what to think. Of course, Callie is used to living with our dog, Nikita who is a big lab mix. She picks on Nikita all the time. But she has known her since the day she was born and sometimes, I think she may think that Nikita is her mother.

My husband used to work at a barn  training horses. One of the nice things about that job is that he could take me and our dog to work with him. Nikita loved all those barn cats that she would chase as soon as she got there every morning. Then one morning, they were waiting for her. This one cat, Sawdust didn't run, he went after her instead. Then they all chased her together! It was as if they planned it. After that, there would be times I'd find her cornered in a stall by a cat. And of course, that is where my cat, Callie was born!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Hot Dry Summer This Year

This is the driest summer we have had since we've lived here on our homestead. The ground is so dry and brown and crackles as you walk on it. Even when other people used to talk about having a drought, I used to feel thankful that we didn't have that problem.

It's scarey to me because we live in the middle of almost 4,000 acres of state forest land. We have three horses and if there was a forest fire we would have to get them out of here. At this time, we don't even have a horse trailer. But we have discussed finding a used three horse trailer in the future. That way, we'd be able to drive them out of here - probably kicking and screaming the whole way.

But neither one of us would ever be willing to leave any of our animals behind to save our own skin! We have a commitment to all of them. And we are working on solving these type of problems, before they are a problem. Then if something does happen, you know what to do immediately. We do not have a horse trailer but that is what we'd need. It would have to hold three horses at the same time. The only other thing I could thing of would be for my husband to ride one horse out and lead the other two out with blind folds on. And the horse he'd have to ride out would have to be our littlest, Tawny. She part Thoroughbred but is more Shetland than that and she is one tough cookie. So she'd be the most dependable. The other two would be nervous wrecks if there there was a fire around them. Very nervous girls.

Hopefully we will never have that problem. But it could be a realty with all the things that keep happening in the world around us. Praying that it don't.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Horses Eating Grass On Our Lawn Today!

One of the best things about living out here in the state forest is that you can basically do what you want without neighbors complaining. We have no neighbors, at least no full time ones. Most of the houses around us are hunting camps. And we like it that way!

This past week, we have started letting our three horses out in our yard to mow the lawn. They do a very good job. They even trim around my stone bed that I have potatoes planted in, and they don't nibble on the plants. It's pretty strange to be sitting in the house working on my laptop, and look up and see a horse looking in the window. I think they must have always wondered what we do in the house. My one horse, Georgie Girl has always paid alot of attention to the house. Even where she lived before here, I'd see her looking over the fence at their house. She is extremely smart, and is the "boss mare," so I am not surprised if she wonders about such things.

By letting them out in the yard every morning, we have been able to cut back on their feed. Now they don't get the morning ration, and don't seem to care. They just want that grass. Their paddock doesn't have any, though this year some has started growing for the first time. And we have cut way back on their hay. So it saves us alot of money just on that.

But the big savings is that we don't have to buy gas or oil for the lawnmower, or waste that time mowing, when we can be working on the computer. And we have never had good luck with a lawnmower, they always break down. Even when you buy a good one. They rarely last for a few years. So maybe we will never replace them!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, July 22, 2005

Selling On eBay

People seem to be so interested in the fact that I sell on ebay and in fact, have my own store on ebay. I am surprised that not many people, I know, sell on eBay. Many people are buyers, but everybody says that they don't know how to sell there. Yet, ebay makes it so easy. I started by having my girlfriend sell a menu I had from Windows On The World Restaurant, which was the restaurant at the top of The World Trade Center. I used to go there with my first husband and for some reason, I saved my menu and it was signed by the Captain. So my friend sold it on ebay for $90. - not bad for something I had setting in a trunk. Now someone who really wanted it, had it, and I had some cash.

The store fees are not that bad, when you think you are running a store that has a world wide market. Where else could you sign up for a store and open it the same day? And maybe even have a sale that same day? By using Paypal, I even can take credit cards or e-checks! Don't have to have a merchant account for that. I love it!

My husband says "it's like a paycheck every day." Well, not always. There will be days with no sales and then all of a sudden, I'll get four or five right together. The stuff I have been selling, so far is just things I already have in my house. When that is all gone, I plan on going to garage sales, thrift shops, etc. to get more items. You kind of discover what sells as you do it. Sometimes a certain item is hot for a while, then it dies down.

Whatever you do, do not buy a book on how to make lots of money on ebay! Just go to the Discussion Boards on ebay and lurk around for a while. If you have questions, that is where to get the answers! I have learned most everything I know from the knowledgable sellers on the Stores Boards. And I might add, they are also the nicest. Some of the boards treat you like a escaped convict!

Talk to you tomorrow.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Hard Times Even On A Homestead

It's hard for me to write this for you this morning. Things are not good here at Peaceful Forest. I'm not sure how much longer I will be able to keep up with writing this. Stress leads to depression and once you get to the point I feel that I am at, it's down hill from there. I have given all I could and I have no more left in me.

So I wonder what happens to a person's pets and other animals when they die? Are they sent to live in the city with somebody who thinks they want them because they were your's and they loved you? Or your animals were so unique that they want them for that reason? So they make a dog who has never been on a leash or chained or had to watch out for crazy traffic live in the city? A dog who lived in a house in the middle of the forest most of her life? And before that, when she was a puppy, she lived in a house that used to be part of a farm, and wasn't even on a road. Or does she end up in a shelter, waiting for someone to adopt her? Living in a cage with a bunch of other dogs? My dog would just die.

I guess three of my cats could be just left to go wild. They know the woods and could probably survive. I don't know how they would make it through a winter out here though. During the winter, they are used to a warm, cozy house, heated by a big woodstove. My other cat, being 16 and suffering from Hydrothyroidism would probably be put to sleep. Even though, she is a Siamese cat, very beautiful, and pretty active. Enough so, that she goes outside daily, but doesn't go too far.

Then it finally comes down to the final three animals we have. Horses. Everybody loves horses. My horses are very beautiful and at first look, everybody would want them. My stepson rides my one horse, and at first he would probably want her, and knowing him, the other two also. He has a very kind heart and especially for those three. But as all horse people know, horses are not easy. Or cheap. And these three, are very spirited girls. So he wouldn't have any where to keep them. And he wouldn't be able to afford them. He can barely take care of his own dog. How would he manage with three horses?

And I feel very strongly about the fact that I don't want them separated - ever. Especially, my two big horses. They are so close to each other, and I just wouldn't want to do that to them. They have some emotional baggage from where they came from. They are all three related to each other. I promised them, that they would never be separated, and I have to keep that promise. They trust me.

So my guess would be, that if you knew you were not going to live, the best thing would be to just go out and shoot all your animals. Cats and all. Then you could bury them too.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Homesteading In The Modern World

I consider myself a "homesteader", even though I am not at the point where I could say that I am a accomplished "homesteader". It has been my dream since about 1995. We have been accomplishing things little by little. It's a on going process. Finding a house was a big thing. What we had planned, was to buy land and build our own home, but to live on it in a camper or something. Instead, we found a house that was used as a deer camp since 1923. It is a wood framed house with fairly new vinyl siding, that was built in the 1850s. So we didn't need to live in a camper after all, and that was a big plus. It does need alot of work and we will do that as we can afford it. But the first thing that we are trying so hard to do, is to finish our barn.

You see, my husband was in a accident at work three years ago, and had his right elbow crushed. He worked for the local highway department and they didn't think it was necessary to fix the brakes on their road roller. My husband was new on the job, and the guy he replaced had refused to drive it. Anyway, my husband was almost killed and thought he would be. It was a dramatic ride for him backwards, down a hill, at a fast speed on a machine he had no way to stop.

He managed to steer it into a yard, where it through him off and his arm ran into a pipe that stopped the momentum of his body. Good thing, as the roller went right over him, and crushed that pipe. If the pipe hadn't stopped him, he would have been under that road roller.

But in New York state you cannot sue your employer. Nice law, huh? Protects employers from having to face the music for making employees operate faulty equipment. Now my husband is facing the fact that he may need a artifical elbow, which he does not want. And he is also suffering from Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, which sometimes can get pretty bad.

So some of our projects are on hold. And I am working on the internet trying so hard to make a living to finish some of the big things, such as the barn. I am not asking for donations or a free ride. Just for people to purchase items they would normally be purchasing from my website. I have friends that will give me money, but why won't they go to my site? I can never understand it.

 Talk to you tomorrow.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Pets Rule Our House!

I told you the other day that my stepson had brought his dog to my house, and we found he was infested with fleas. We had him come pick the dog up, because we did not want our animals to get fleas. He was not happy with us, and said his dog did not have fleas and there wasn't a flea in his house. Come on! His cousin who lives with him has a little puppy, and they are very susceptible to fleas and worms. Also he did say, when he brought his dog to our house in the beginning, that he had just been treated for fleas.

So I guess my question of if a cat could get fleas from a dog is yes. Because one of my four cats, Patches has fleas now. She has long hair and also is a very sensitive cat. She will only eat one brand of dry cat food (Purina) and that is all. No canned food and definitely no people food! Patches is my biggest cat, but she is the most shy. Most people that come regularly to our home, have never seen her. Most of the time she hides upstairs. If a car pulls in, she growls and runs upstairs. If she is outside when they arrive, she stays hidden in the woods until they leave. My best friend has never seen her and she has been here many times.

If our dog, Nikita barks at anything, Patches growls and goes upstairs. Luckily, Nikita is not a barker. She likes the element of surprise. A big black dog, she would walk up to anyone during the night and they wouldn't know she was there until it was too late. So if she does bark, all our other animals go on alert. The horses come running up to the front fence, and one of our mares thinks she is a stallion, so she intimidates also. We are well protected.

My problem with the fleas is that I will not use the chemical repellents. I am very much against chemical use in animals and the home. I am trying to rid my home of chemicals, aluminum and plastic. But that is easier said than done.
Talk to you tomorrow. Have a great day!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, July 11, 2005

Living In The Present Depression

I think we are presently living in a depression. We do live in a bad time. But then again, people all through time thought they were living in a bad time and it was the end of the world. It is getting closer to the end of the world, but only because mankind has destroyed it. Just look around and tell me what you see. Look at how much destruction people have caused, just in this country alone. Not only have they destroyed the trees, plants, animals, the birds, the fish, the land, the water, but the people - yes, look at what was done to the ancestors of our own Native Americans. That's the nature of people.

It seems to me that all people care about is having things fast and easy. They all want everything done now and done in the easiest way possible. And that is why our earth is being destroyed. People have to get everywhere the fastest way possible. These are the people who work in factories, building the items we purchase. They are suposed to work as fast as possible so you can see why nothing lasts or is broke right from the start.

I can't get over how proud so many women are of the fact that they do not know how to cook. How could you even say that? My son could cook when he was a child. All you have to be able to do, is to read a recipe! I receive a newsletter from a woman who is suposed to be a "affiliate marketing expert" and makes an extraordinary amount of money. She wrote about not knowing how to cook and how she ruined everything she tried. The fact is, that if she wasn't so rich, she would have had to eat the food that was burnt or not so good. And she would have, and so would have learned as she went along how to improve her cooking skills. Until one day, she would be able to be considered a good cook.

My first husband always considered it a status symbol to say that the best thing I could make was reservations. I always resented that remark as I made many good dishes and was improving. Now, the man I am married to, would rather eat at home any day, than to eat in a restaurant. We have found that whatever we order, I could always do it better. And do. I can't remember the last meal I had in a restaurant. And I like it that way!

See you tomorrow.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Today, I discovered the blueberries are ripe! They can use a couple more days to ripen more. But they tasted so good today. This is the first year we've had so many. Our house was surrounded by the forest. And I really mean surrounded! So there were lots of berries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, elderberries, hawthorne berries and of course, the blueberries. Blueberries are by far, my favorite. My grandmother had about 100 acres of land and half of it was blueberries. We spent alot of time out there picking those berries.

Our berries though, when we first moved here were hidden by the woods, and just didn't get any sunshine. As my husband has cleared our land for our horses and our yard and gardens, the blueberries and strawberries have been showing up more and more. Of course, they are wild, so they are the small ones. But they are still good, and there is just something, about knowing, that food is growing, that I didn't have to plant.

Now the blackberries were never shy about showing their face! I love to eat them as I pick them. But I have a love hate relationship with the blackberries. You see, I just have this feeling that the blackberry plants are alive - more than just a plant growing in the ground. Have you ever tried to grab a handful, and reach over some plants to get it? Those other blackberry plants will stick you with those thorns so fast and so hard, you will start believing like I do. I have to fix fences and trim around them. So the bushes get me a lot. I admit it, I get so mad at them that I cut them right down, and burn them. But on the way to take them out, they always get you one more time!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Buying And Selling On eBay

The weather is cool and rainy here in upstate New York. I guess we are feeling the effects of hurricane Dennis. But I am thankful that we aren't having the actual storm. I grew up in Florida and lived through many hurricanes. So I feel for the people that do have to put up with up with them. And I pray that you will all be safe. And your animals too.

I have mentioned on here many times that I have a eBay store. I love eBay and I have shopped a lot on it and for the most part, I have been happy with what I bought. But there are some buys that were just horrible. One of them was a mountain bike for my husband, a Tank bicycle. It was made in China. I don't know if that is good or bad. I think it don't matter where things were made, it's by who they were made.

My husband rode the bike pretty easy. We live on a dirt road and have some really big hills. And our dog, Nikita goes with him. So he wasn'tjumping things like the kids do or even going very fast. It just kept falling apart. The eBay seller did send us a part that was missing. But it wasn't even ridden a month. It didn't cost very much, about $130., but it is a pretty bike. And for some people, $130. is a big chunk of money.

Now I plan on buying another bike for him and one for myself and wanted two extras for when others are here visiting. But I will not be purchasing them at eBay or anywhere on the internet. Used ones probably would have been better.

One of the other things we purchased on eBay was our laptop computers. Mine is a IBM Thinkpad. I bought it from a "Powerseller" who states in his listing that he only says it will arrive working - after that you are on your own. At first, it seemed good, so I gave him good feedback. He never gave me any feedback, even though I paid him through PayPal immediately.

But right from the start I have had trouble with it. The modem had to be replaced, the Windows program has never been right. My colors don't come in at all, the text is always LARGE and ugly. But for the most part, I love the computer itself. I just think it was worn out. It was used. So I will be buying a new laptop as soon as I can from IBM directly. I want it new and in perfect working order. This one also will just go black when you are in the middle of something important.

My husband purchased a used laptop also on eBay, a Dell. He hated it from the start. He had to completely wipe everything out of it. It gives him a headache constantly and still does. The guy who had it was moving to Japan, and he loved it so much, that he wrote all kinds of things to remember about taking care of a computer. It was and is a piece of junk. But it's what we have for now.

I'm not saying all our purchases from eBay were horrible. But these were the worst ones and the funny thing is that they costed the most money. That is probably why some people will hate eBay and others will love it. If you think buying from a "Powerseller" makes a difference, that is a misconception. Sometimes, you find that the so called "Powerseller" is too busy to give good service. And the new seller is careful to give very good service and sell quality items because they want that positive feedback number to go up so badly!

I got my first and only "negative" feedback from a girl from Canada (don't sell international anymore!) who bought a erotic book that in my description, I told that the book had loose pages that had come out, but were still all there. It was a old book, but it was hot on eBay. I sold it for a very low price and the price was reflective of those facts. She NEVER contacted me and said she was unhappy with it or anything. Just gave me a negative. Of course, she was new and I was her first purchase (lucky me!).

The other bad feedback I received was from "desperate husband" in Arizona. He gave me a neutral. For a record that I played at home and was fine and by the time he got it, it was no good. I knew he was going to be trouble before I even sent that record to him. He wanted it mailed in a box instead of a padded envelope (which is how I always sent records out, and all the way to Italy with no problems). So I had a Priority Mail box and I sent it in that. But I did not know they had a flat rate of $7.70 as I had never used it before. He had "postage due" and boy was he mad! I refunded the money for the extra postage and apologized (sometimes you have to eat crow). But he still left me a nasty neutral feedback instead. Never emailed me to tell me he didn't like the record or anything. He is now blocked from my eBay sales.

So you can see that sellers or buyers can be a problem. People are the real problem. I think that people are not as nice as they used to be. They used to help each other out. eBay shows you a good example of the cut throat society that we live in. I think my problem has always been that I try to be nice to everyone and then I come across someone like the girl from Canada, or "desperate husband" and I have a problem dealing with them.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, July 08, 2005

Living At The Good Life Center

I have just received my new issue of Home Power Magazine. There was a story in there about "The Good Life Center" changing over to solar power. The Good Life Center is Scott and Helen Nearing's homestead in Harborside, Maine. Can you imagine people living in your home, years after you have departed this earth, carrying on your homestead for you? Two resident stewards are chosen to live there for the year, by the board who runs it. I think that would be fantastic! Especially if that meant my animals would just stay there and go on like usual. Maybe they would miss me and wonder where I went, but they would be in their own barn and paddock. I love that idea.

Looking at a magazine like Home Power Magazine makes you see what the future will be like. Maybe our families consider us "old fashion" because we moved into a house that had no electric hooked up to it. Because it had a out house and because we use kerosene lamps and a pitcher pump for water. But by looking at Home Power Magazine you can see that people do buy homes like that and then gradually make changes to them. That way you are not in debt.

One man in the new issue, built his home in New Mexico out of the rammed earth, which was 475 tires (saved from destroying our earth!) that are packed with dirt and weight about 300 pounds each. His home is really nice and I think most anyone would want that house (if you don't mind the climate). The room looked calm and cool. What our backward families don't realize is that this is the way of the future. People are building houses out of straw bales, cordwood, the earth and tons of other new options daily. Our house is just a regular wood framed house. But it's still different because it is off the grid and secluded. Not secluded enough for our taste though.

My husband's family lives on a very busy city street. Cars go by bumper to bumper at the times people are going to work or coming from work. Sometimes you cannot even get out of their driveway without waiting a very long time. Their neighbors are so close on one side that you can see right into their kitchen! And behind their backyard is someone else's yard. The people all bicker all the time about this and that. After a afternoon of visiting there, I need the whole next day to recover!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Building Our Barn

Today, I have alot of things going on. One of the things I am very excited about is that we are swapping our old truck for metal roofing for our barn. My husband has been building our barn, little by little as we could afford it. Building supplies are pretty expensive these days. Our three horses have been so patient. But they badly need the barn, as they need to be inside during the cold weather. Thoroughbreds don't do so well out in the windy cold weather we get around here. They do have a three sided building, we call the lean to. And they use that. But the barn is what they are all waiting for.

The barn is completed as far as the sides go, using rough cut wood from the local sawmill. The front is logs. And the upstairs floor and framing is up. But we need the roof! So with this trade, we are getting used metal roofing that came from a octagen barn and is in good condition. We are going to look at it today. Plus we will be getting rid of our old truck that we didn't want around here anyway.

Last night, my stepson brought his dog over to let him stay for a couple of days. He said, so that he could get some exercise out in the country. But after he left, we found out the real reason was because he is infested with fleas. I think he probably thought we wouldn't know as we have animals and they probably have fleas too. But our animals have not had any fleas since we have lived here. We have bare floors and fleas have no where to hide.

Our dog, Nikita has very long hair and I just dread to think of her getting infested too. I think that cats don't get dog fleas and I'm hoping I'm not wrong on that. As my Siamese cat, Nutmeg is 16 years old and suffers with Hypothyroidism and could be susceptible to them. Why would someone do this to us? Thinking that we would not know that he brought the fleas into our house? His dog is a good dog and I don't blame him. It's not his fault. It's his owner's fault. I think, people think, if you have some animals and you live in the country, you must naturally have a flea problem too. Well, I think the people that live in cities, towns or even neighborhoods in the country where the homes are close together are the ones with the flea problems. They infest the ground too.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and see you tomorrow.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

"Know It Alls" Get On My Nerves!

Have you ever noticed how everyone is a expert these days? What ever you are doing, somebody knows more about doing it than you do. Even if it is something that they have never done before. Something that gets to my husband is how people who have never done whatever it is before, will tell him how to do it. And many times, he has done this before and is very good at doing it.

One of his friends stopped by when he was putting insulation in our kitchen walls. We had dry wall standing close by, stacked by another wall. His friend started telling him how you have to spackle it. Goodness! He didn't even have the insulation in, or the dry wall nailed on yet! We did have a brand new container of spackle that we bought for that purpose. The funny thing about this incident is, that this guy has never even done this kind of work himself. And my husband has done houses before, and I even had done spackling myself. But our friend didn't know what we knew, and we certainly didn't ask for his advice. So why did he offer to instruct us? Who knows?

We both listen to people do this all the time. People just like to tell you things even if they are wrong. Sometimes I will argue. I sometimes wonder if it is a test and they are waiting to see if I catch it or not. Other times I am just trying to be polite to someone and not prove they are wrong or stupid. Sometimes it is something that I would think is common sense or common knowledge. Many times, it is our own family members who tell us things that we already know or planned on doing, but haven't gotton to it yet.

I love to go to some forums. But I have found that you have to be careful what you talk about. Don't discuss horses or what to feed dogs. Those are two subjects that have so many "know-it-alls" that I would rather not join in those discussions. So many people, on forums and even in every day life think they know everything about horses. I admit it, I don't know everything and I don't claim to.

But my husband can ride most any horse, even the ones other people are afraid to ride. And he does not use any force. Horses just love him. And most other animals do too. All those so called horse experts can give you all kinds of advice and try to sound like they know everything and still not know a thing. I have a friend who pays a trainer to help her break her horse. My friend does not know alot about horses, and is even a green rider. But her trainer, made her get on the horse for the first time. Must be the trainer was afraid to. But don't you think she would have been the one to get on the horse first?

Once before, the same friend, had a driving horse and was paying another trainer to train the horse to drive and to teach her to drive the horse as well. They were out on a track with the horse and the horse took off, what do you think her trainer did? What all good trainers would do, I guess. She jumped out, leaving my friend in the cart with the horse racing around a race track!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, July 04, 2005

Cutting My Clutter Back!

Happy Fourth Of July! When you work at home, it just never seems like it's a holiday. It's like every day seems the same as any other day. Or maybe I don't appreciate holidays any more. When your children are all grown up and on their own, then holidays don't seem so special. Unless you are one of those people who like to celebrate for any reason. But I don't do that anymore. I liked making holidays special for my son while he was growing up. Now, I don't even see him on a holiday.

I have an extensive collection of music cds. So since I decided to simplify our life and get rid of useless things, I have made a page on my website for used cds and I am going to sell them there. When you get to a certain point in your life you start thinking about what will happen to all your stuff when you die. I have a son who is disabled and lives in a small apartment. He doesn't have the same tastes as I have and probably would not appreciate my collection of music. So my plans right now, are to empty my house of all my extra things. I have a store on eBay and am in the process of selling off other things, such as books, knick knacks, household items, etc.

The other way to simplify that I am in the process of doing, is to replace all aluminum cookware and plastic (such as Rubbermaid, Tuppleware, ect.) with glass. I have come to the conclusion, that neither one is good for you. So I can make room in my pantry by getting rid of them, plus it will make me a little money also. I always loved my Tuppleware bowls. But I had put all the plastic tops in a container that had a top on it. And when I went to get one, all I could smell was that strong plastic smell. That can't be good for you!

For eating meals, I have decided the only dishes worth keeping are the Graniteware plates and bowls. I keep them in the top of my warming oven, so when you are ready to eat a meal, they are already warmed up. And we have way too many glasses, mugs, plates, plastic bowls and containers. It is best to store leftovers in the refrigerator, right in a wide mouth canning jar. They take up very little room and the top fastens securely.

I have no cupboards in my kitchen. I had them taken out. If everything is kept in the pantry on open shelves, you can see what you want to get in an instant. I am not very tall, so I always had the problem of not being able to get things out of the top cupboards without standing a stool. It don't matter how tall you are if you must get something out of a bottom cupboard, way in the back! All that is wasted space. Whatever you keep there, you sometimes you even forget you own it. It's too much trouble to find and get out.

But now it's time to cut all that excess back. There is only two of us living here. And only very rarely does anyone come to eat with us. I never do fancy entertaining. A Thanksgiving or a special Birthday might be it. And then it would only be three more people at the most. Usually, if anyone comes here for a meal, it's a outside meal cooked over a open fire. My plans do include having a outdoor kitchen. But almost all my cooking is done in cast iron pots anyway.

Talk to you tomorrow and hope you have a safe fourth.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole