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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

It's a Jungle Out There!

Good morning!

$125 (which I don't have to spend) later, I was able to finally pick up my repaired lawn mower last Saturday!  Whoo-hoo!  I got about an hour of mowing done on Sunday before the biting flies (not black flies) drove me in.  Man, those suckers bite HARD and are impossible to get!

Sunday's progress across from the garage.
It was bloody hot both Monday and Tuesday, but I got a bit more done before having to quit due to near heat-stroke.  Tuesday, I was actually to the point of starting to see pinpricks of light in front of my eyes:  DEFINITELY time to stop!  I was going to take a picture of my purple face to show you . . . but then decided that I'm just a little too vain for that.  ;)

Here's the 'before' of the jungle.
And an 'after' shot.  I also spent a good deal of time on Tuesday trimming back the plantings that line the two walkways to the side and front doors.  In the 'before' picture, you can see that the walkway to the side door had become almost completely covered by the trees.  I filled the back of the pick-up with all this debris plus some large branches from a downed spruce and hauled them up to the winter burn pile in the to-be barnyard.

Like the title of this post says, it was a jungle out there!  And, there's still much to do, but at least the yard doesn't look (entirely) like it belongs to an abandoned piece of property anymore.  And that feels good!

I'm also back in love with my washing machine again - whew!  And, I've almost caught up on the laundry . . . but that also means that I now have baskets and baskets and baskets of ironing to do!  And, because of the huge electrical load the iron requires, I limit that to days when it's sunny out or times when the generator is running.  For example, I felt like ironing when I got home last night, but it was already dark . . . and so I knew that task would cause the generator to go on.  If I didn't do it, though, the power stored in the batteries would get me thru 'til morning, and the generator wouldn't run.  So, no ironing got done.

I'm far enough past the washing machine debacle that I can happily talk about the fact that it was simply the pump's filter that was clogged.  If this is SUCH a common problem, tho, why don't manufacturers TELL US this when we buy it?!  Like, "BTW, should your machine begin not emptying properly or re-running cycles, pop off the bottom panel and pull out the pump filter to see if it's clogged."  I know now that my machine has NOT been working well for MANY moons (re-running cycles).  A 1:25 cycle would take . . . oh, quite literally, about 4 hours!  And that, my friends is both aggravating and NOT energy-efficient!  But now, I am AMAZED at how quickly I can do a load of laundry!  ;)  Who knew?  ;)
And this is what a clogged pump filter looks like!  Yep, that be pretty well clogged!  The serviceman told me that he often finds paper bills causing the clogs, but I'm always good about checking pockets before anything goes in to the machine.  What I DO use, however, are color-fast / blocker sheets if I'm washing something with new fabric that might bleed onto the rest of the clothes . . . and THOSE are what obviously squeeze through the tiny holes and spaces of the drum and find their way to the pump filter!  Note to self:  check filter after using one of these sheets!

I went to a laid-back BBQ for just a couple of hours last night.  It was at Baby Girl's house:  her auntie and baby niece were visiting from Washington (state).  I was definitely the oldest one of the crew:  lots of new parents . . . but that also meant lots of baby time for Bopee!!!  :)  We women got a kick out of the fact that the three littles who were still nursing all decided to eat at the same time, so we had three women in a row breast-feeding!  And, what perfect timing:  this is World Breastfeeding Week!  It also didn't escape my notice that parties like this end a LOT earlier now that most of the group is made up of parents with little ones (who need to go home and to bed!).  Although, I must admit that I was tired, too, and cut out just after all of them did . . . even though the young, non-parents were gearing up for an evening around the campfire.  It was a short and sweet visit for me - just perfect.

In that same (child) vein, I have noticed some Terrible Twos behavior (or, wait is she THREE and a 1/2 already??  Yes - ack!) from The Peanut.  She feels a bit proprietary over Bopee, and, in situations where she's had to share me with others, she's refused to say hello to me or hang out with me.  Kind of like if she can't have Bopee to herself, she doesn't want her at all!  Last night, though . . . whoa, doggies! . . . and, I suspect, because I was holding and cuddling lots of little ones OTHER than her . . . and she's still struggling with having to share her loved ones with her now-3-months-+-old brother . . . I got "I don't like you, Bopee."  WELL!  And then she bit me once, too!  Little twit.  We had a few stern words after that one, and, soon after, it was time for her to go home!  Bopee's no fool, though:  if The Peanut can't be polite and handle herself properly, she'll get no attention from yours truly!

I'd filed a tax extension in April and f-i-n-a-l-l-y sent the very last additions / edits in spreadsheet form off to my accountant yesterday.  I had all my personal info together in decent fashion, but my big, old desktop computer (where my Quicken file is) went belly-up before I could do the business portion.  So, the majority of last week was spent slaving over that.  And I do mean slaving.  As in, going through each receipt, each paper file, each invoice one by one by one.  No computerized information for me.  This is how my FB statuses went during that time:
Chicken Mama @ 5:07 PM on July 28th:  "There will be NO rest for me tonight until I've got the paperwork for my extended tax deadline FINISHED!!!"

Erin @ 5:14 PM on July 28th:  "Good luck! It will feel so good when you're done :)"

Chicken Mama @ 5:17 PM on July 28th:  "It will feel even better when (NOT if!!!) I get that computer back in working order! "When computers fail . . . go back to the old-fashioned way, I guess?" Piece . . . by . . . piece."

Chicken Mama @ 11:07 PM on July 28th:  "Okay, i finally gave up for the night and just ate dinner. More fun and games in the AM."

Erin @ 9:48 AM on July 29th:  "Are you back at it again today?"

Chicken Mama @ 9:52 AM on July 29th:  "That'd be an affirmative. I WILL drive it into town today to drop it off! "I think I can, I think I can . . . !"

Chicken Mama @ 4:59 PM on July 29th:  "Annnnnd, DONE! That was a gawd-awful job. Now for the clean up. And a beer. Guess which is first??" 

Since it was 5:00 PM by the time I finished on Friday, I didn't drive it into town but, instead and even better, realized I could just send the files in PDF.  So, I did.  I was in town on Saturday, though, and found a few more receipts and invoices in my office so made more adjustments on Monday and sent in the edited files.  Yesterday, my accountant had only two questions / clarifications for me, and then, finally, my portion was DONE!  Yayyy!
Here is some of the fallout from the project:

The wicker basket was full of papers I had to go through one at a time.  Now, the box in the forefront is one full of previous (to 2010) years' receipts and paperwork not pertinent to this particular job.  Reminder to self:  TRY to stay on top of billing / receipts!  Enter 'em as they come in!

And, my work area at the kitchen table.  I didn't think to take a picture at my (home office) desk where I had three monitors and two computers going at once!

Thankfully, aside from the clean-up, it's all done now . . . for another year.  I hope to be more organized come NEXT April . . . or July.  ;)


  1. You accomplished miracles! What a difference between the "before" and "after" pictures. It's a shame, isn't it, when weeds and non-weeds don't have the common curtesy to hold back until we can deal with them? And congrats on your washer - it stinks to be without one. Unless you have one of those cool non-electric jobbies and lots of time on your hands.

  2. Glad you got those taxes done! Holy cows (yes, plural!) what a difference in that yard, you must have been an exhausted sweaty mad mess after that! Our yard looks awful and with the daily 100 temps and nightly rain I think it's going to infiltrate the house if someone doesn't brave the heat and skeeters and mow it soon! I'm not surprised Peanut is showing those tendencies, everyone I know, myself included have come to the conclusion that the "terrible 2's" rarely happen at age 2, but age 3 is bad! Awesome news on your washer!

  3. Susan & Erin, wellll, I dunno if I accomplished miracles, but what I did get done sure felt good! What a relief it is to either get home at night or look out the front door in the AM and NOT be faced with a jungle! :)

    And, yeah, I was a sweaty mess afterwards! Erin, GAWD, see . . . it could be worse . . . and it IS for you! ;)

    I think I'll be seeing The Peanut's mom in these next couple days, and I'm going to bring her attention to the "I don't like you, Bopee" so she can be aware. Ah, yes, the stages we ALL go through! :) The Peanut's 15-year old cousin is to the age now, too, where she's not too keen to go on the annual extended family camping trip this weekend (which conflicts w/ her own important-at-that-age schedule). I suppose things like that are inevitable, but I'll bet it really bums out Nana & Papa!

  4. "its a jungle out there"---every time I come back to comment that darn song comes back into my head see ya not to much TMI TODAY

  5. I feel your pain about the lawn mower; I've had trouble myself over the years and finally got a new one.


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