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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 morning!

For a day, anyway, we're back into the normal temps for this time of year:  the 20s.  And, since I turned off the Central Boiler a week or two ago, that means no heat in the house save the wood stoves . . . none of which I've yet taken the time to get a fire goin' in this morning.  So, as I said, brrrrr!  The sun's trying to poke through, tho, and that will help - provided it wins over the clouds.

I've got the Long Distance Guru coming today for the electrical system.  The main purpose of his visit is to bring a couple who are building on the road to the west of me - about 9-13 miles away, as the crow flies.  They'll be off-grid, too, and want to hear The Straight Skinny from someone who lives it.  While the Guru is here, though, he'll switch out yet another battery that has gone bad and reduced my electricity (when the generator's not running nor the sun charging through the solar panels) to 'bout nil.

I was trying to get the house in decent enough shape to visit with them in here, but the limited amount of time coupled with my general exhaustion these days means that it's still a disaster.  PLUS, it's so cold!  So, instead, I'll head out to the workshop in the garage soon to work on that (which needs to be done, anyway), and we'll meet out there.  Plus, it's getting heated right now from the generator running, so it will be quite comfortable in there.

As far as the latest news on Swamp River Ridge goes, I'm still in final negotiations with the credit union, so I can't say what the final agreement will be yet; but, at this point, it looks like I'll be here through September.  And, whew, THAT will take the pressure off (some) regarding getting all my ducks in a row, eggs in one basket (i.e. cleaning this place out, finding storage, etc.)!

Now that I've started tearing things apart in here and (very) slowly but surely packing, the temptation is to do NOTHING but that on my days off, but I'm VERY behind on business work (web, graphic design & the photography), so I've GOT to devote this afternoon to that (once the visitors leaves).  MUST do, MUST do!!

There's hardly ANY snow left - even the hard-packed snowbanks from plowing are melted - and I'll try to get some new pictures up today.  I drove the "summertime road" home on Friday night, and the usual shaded, protected spots where I ordinarily still have to bust through the wet snow were COMPLETELY open.  Weeeeird.

OOOOOH!  I just noticed the date!!  Today is Tucker's 6th birthday!!  Happy birthday to Tucker, happy birthday to Tucker, happy biiiirthday to Tuuuuckerrrrr, happy birthday to Tucker!!  And with that goes out the HUGEST props and thanks and love to Tucker's "birth mom", Jean!  She is the BEST dog breeder in the entire world!!!  This means that I'll have to get into my old home computer and dig out pics of Tucker through the years to post!  I've been needing to get to some info on that computer, anyway, so this will provide the impetus I need.

Just tried to take a picture of the Birthday Boy:

Uhhh.  Okay, Poopy, stop being excited that Mama's calling you and asking you to look at her!

Ahh.  THERE we go!  :)
Finally, encouraged by others who are doing the same thing, I'd like to offer incentive for reaching 100 followers (I'm at 93 now).  When I hit 100, I'll hold a drawing.  Whomever wins will get a jar of Swamp River Ridge Raspberry-Blackberry Syrup for their pancakes or the delectable Raspberry-Blueberry Thicker-Than-Syrup-But-Not-Thick-Enough-For-Jam for their ice cream, waffles, whatever.

So, with that, on with the day.  I'd love to say that I'll be back again later today for another update, but, well, you know what happens whenever I promise that!  ;)


  1. I can testify that Chicken Mama's Blackberry/Raspberry/Blueberry/Whatever syrup/jam concoctions are DEE-LISH-US to the utmost! If you "win" some of the stuff it will be a taste-tickling sensation for the whole family (or any friends who might be lucky enough to taste it)!

  2. Tucker, what a beautiful dog. What is her breed? Sorry, I don't know all of them. She looks so soft. You must have just been changing your Lady Homesteader photo when I tried to comment, because i couldn't and then I looked and that great photo of the stairs to a "house and time gone by" was also gone, replaced with hilarity! Glad to hear you can stay til September!!!

  3. Sounds like you are keeping your head on straight, despite the chaos of the situation. Keeping you in prayers as you go through this transition.

  4. Happy BDay, Tucker! And I'm glad you can stay awhile at Swampridge. 'So love the Maidenform header; yikes, I'm old enough to remember those ads!Hmm..I wonder if that model was loaded with wood ticks after that photo shoot! ;)-"M"

  5. Happy Birthday Tucker from Grandma Jean

    Glad you are not letting the CU push you .
    Hold your ground sweet friend

  6. oh,I can't wait for the drawing,should we be promoting or something?

  7. Happy Birthday Tucker! I'm glad you have the whole summer to get organized and pack, you have enough stress as it is!

  8. Do these cold temps mean we might get lucky with bugs? I'm hoping at least some get killed off so we won't have to cancel our Memorial Day week trip!

  9. Another question: if it was in the 20s when you woke up, and no wood fire started how do you stay warm even when you're still in bed? And is the central boiler run off solar? I really don't know much about this stuff but am interested.

  10. I hope the cold temps will totally ZAP any of the bugs that already came out!!


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!