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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne


Good Monday morning to ya!  (Okay, I know it's *your* Wednesday morning, but it's *my* Monday morning.)

I spent much of my Saturday (your Monday - is everyone totally confused now?!) working here at home on a new website for a client.  The deadline we set is tomorrow (end of March), and I'll have a couple more hours to spend on it today.  Then I'll be ready to present it to the client and meet with her tomorrow.  I'm happy with the way it's shaping up.  Definitely a step up from her current site's design.

I know that it's natural for me to say that the (MY) new design is better than any old one, but that's not always true.  Case in point, I'll be starting a new one next week, and when I had my initial meeting with that client, I honestly told her, "I don't think I can make a new one look much better than your current one!"  But, it wasn't an updated look she's going for:  it's ease of use.  The way the current one is built, she can't even access it to make changes!

Many web designers do that on purpose so that THEY can always get the customer's business when it comes to changes / updates.  HOWEVER, what ends up happening is that the client DOESN'T bother them with those changes / updates (either because they're so minor and/or they don't want to suffer high fees for the edits) and just ends up getting more and more frustrated and unhappy.

The platform *I* use for designing the sites allows me to hand it over to the client once the guts of it have been built.  Then (if they wish), they can take over the administration of it.  Of course, if they WANT to keep me on retainer to make the edits, I'm more than happy to do that.  Just seems to be easier, on so many levels, to make the website user-friendly.  And that, in turn, makes customers happier, I think.

Geez, soapbox much?

I spent lots of saddle-time in the car yesterday.  Had a check-up with my shrink who informed me that I'm going to be one of the rare few who only need to check in with her annually . . . unless I "need" her before then, of course.  It gives me confidence and confirms my good / solid? mental state when that happens (especially given these last two - four weeks).  The same happened, years ago and following the realization that I couldn't have kids, when my once-a-week-for-a-year therapist (prescribed by above shrink) told me that I didn't need to reschedule for the following week.  I laughed and asked, "What, you think I'm cured?"  She, a relaxed Brit raised in Ireland, smiled her gentle smile and said, in her wonderful lilting tone, "Yes, luv, you are."  :)

So, three hours in the car down, and three hours in the car back.  Saw 3 adult bald eagles, 2 juveniles, and another which was either a huge hawk (I'm horrible at identifying them) or a small, immature baldy.  When I told my folks that last night while picking up the dogs, Mama Pea asked, tongue-in-cheek, "How did you know they were juveniles?"  Picking up her meaning, I responded, "'Cause they were drinking and smoking and flying recklessly."  Yuk, yuk, yuk.

Anyway, since I've been a Single here on the homestead, my big city trips have been more sensible:  either I'll schedule an overnight to get everything done (and not drive home in the wee hours of the morn', exhausted) or I'll make shorter trips.  Plus, with my folks being Maisy & Tucker's doggie day-care providers, I don't want to make the days too long for them (meaning my folks).  So, I only did minimal running around yesterday after my appointment, and got all the way home here to Swamp River Ridge at 6:00!

There was plenty of warm sunlight left, so, while I was out doing chores, I tackled the job of cleaning out the bee hive.  This winter was the first I'd tried to over-winter honey bees here, and it wasn't a successful venture.  The colony was alive and well during the mid-February thaw when I popped the hive open for a look-see but then the cold snaps following did 'em in.  They didn't starve to death:  there was still uncapped honey in 9 of the 20 frames.  They froze to death.

Bee keeping up here is a fairly losing prospect, but the rewards are so great that we keep at it.  The key is over-wintering.  And no one has discovered this key yet, unfortunately.  But, hopefully, with time and trial-and-errors, we'll* figure it out.  (Mind you, I really know NOTHING about bee keeping.  I just do what Papa Pea tells me to do!  But, I hope to gain knowledge & experience as the years pass and I keep at this new aspect of homesteading.)

* Year-before-last, a few folks got together and organized a very informal local bee association.  While the core group remains the same, more and more people show interest in joining each year.  Also, there's a new documentary coming out about the environmental importance of honey bees and the wide-ranging (world ranging!) Colony Collapse Disorder.  Anyway, go here to learn about the documentary, Queen of the Sun.

Now for some pictures.

I put a bungee on the sunflower seed can last night, but, as you can see, it did no good.

Raccoon, 1 / Chicken Mama, 0.  I'll devise a better plan to foil him/her tonight.

The view of downtown from my office building door.
This will be just the second but last picture for today.  I've spent too much time here on my arse and need to get ON WITH IT!  I took the above on Sunday.  Still lots of dirty snow in town although it's melting every day.  Here at Swamp River Ridge, there's still TONS of snow!  Heck, my folks (who live just outside of town) even have grass showing!  It will be WEEKS before that happens here!  I'll take some pictures outside today to show you that Old Man Winter is still holding strong.  :)


  1. Oh, heck, Chicken Mama, we could have told you that all your marbles are intact and in excellent shape! Nice to know you are still out there - you had me going with that, today is "Monday" business. One Monday week is WAY enough for me! A lot of us lost our hives this winter, too. Too cold, too long, etc. We just keep trying.

  2. My bees didn't make it either...also froze, leaving a lot of honey. This spring is another year...

  3. Jeez, cured? That's a lil' scary, huh? Hee hee, I quit seeing my "counselor" a couple years ago. I adored him, loved talking with him, he gave me great tools, prob is I won't/can't use 'em. So, I stay on my anti-depressants (which of course the insurance refused to pay for the ones that were working, so now I'm in the throes of changing meds) and work my recovery program. I ain't perfect, but I'm better!

  4. Sorry about the bees, keep at it though, when it works it is so worth it! Speaking of smoking and drinking and being reckless, I'm picturing your raccoon on your deck while you're gone during the day... he's out there, legs kicked up on a stool, having a smoke and a cocktail after his meal, thinking "bungee cords, HA! That Chicken Mama is a funny girl..." :) Check your mail at work Friday or Saturday, a little something to help you through Sayonara Sunday! Juvenile bird, hehe still laughing...

  5. Susan (#1), I *love* Mondays! It's the start of a fresh new week! That said, I wasn't a fun of 'em when I was working a "normal" 9-5 M-F job! ;)

    Susan (#2), are you a friend of Val & Kathy's?? I see, from your Blogger profile, that you follow their blog!

    Ruth, yeah, that's the point I was at with my therapist, too: for the last couple of weeks, I'd realized that our sessions were little more than visiting . . . or me just talking about myself! :)

    Erin! Sayonara Sunday: I love it! :) And, a little something to get me through? You are too, too sweet, my friend. :) xo

  6. Oops! "I wasn't a fun of 'em . . . ?!" WHAT THE . . . ! I THOUGHT I'd written "I wasn't FOND of 'em"!


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