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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

After a Nearly 1-Month Absence . . .

After a nearly 1-month absence, I'm back!  For today, anyway.  ;)  Good grief, I don't think I've ever gone so long without posting in the nearly 8-year history of this blog!  (Eight YEARS?!  Holy moly, Rocky!)  Yepper, I started this little blog in May of 2005.  Wow.  I guess I have to give myself some credit for that - I really had no idea!

So, there's been no real reason why I've been away from here.  There were a bazillion times when I thought about posting but then either higher priorities took precedent or I just thought, "Meh," and shrugged my shoulders and went on to other things.

But, it's a BEAUTIFUL sunny day out there today.  After old snow covered by forest scrap and pine needles following a massive wind storm and most of us feeling very ready for melting and springtime, Ma Nature brought us a good dumping of heavy, WET snow last weekend.  Then, the temperatures dropped and the snow was here to stay, making everything clean and bright . . . which I love.  It's 29 degrees out now, but the sun will soon start the icicles dripping off the south slope of the roof.

Work was pretty boring and slow during February.  Lots of cleaning for me.  Which needed to be done but is also fairly monotonous.  Now, though, the spring stock has started coming in, and we're bizz-ee!  A good thing!  We had three semi deliveries yesterday.  Where to put it all?!  And, the spring-break skiing tourists have started coming in, so there've been shades of summer:  dealing with the little rushes they bring us as well as the misplaced items they stick wherever they were when they decided they didn't want it . . . and their garbage.  Yes, tourists seem to find it necessary to empty their pockets in whatever aisle they happen to be currently standing.  But, they still have the chagrin to try to hide the dirty kleenexes and candy wrappers . . . and chewed wads of gum . . . or cigarette butts . . . or the packages of their "electronic" cigarettes.  As the Doors said, people are strange.  And stupid.  And inconsiderate.  But, after mutterings and sighs (or a few swear words, depending), we clean up after them, knowing it's "job security".

All the four-leggeds are good, but Tucker's in desperate need of a trip to the groomer's.  I connected with J this week, asking her to put us on the schedule . . . but she's usually a couple of months out because, as is the custom (necessity!) in this county, she works a 40-hour a week job in addition to her what-I-really-want-to-be-doing job.  I am just a little worried about Bonzi, though, and am keeping a close eye on her:  she took a bad fall off the sleeping loft the other night - onto the hard floor 9' below.  She's the fat cat, and she landed HARD.  I know that cats can fall from 3-story windows and be okay, but I'm still concerned.  She seemed to be holding a hind leg a little funny right afterwards, but my poking and prodding and massaging didn't seem to bring on any pain.  She's had a watery eye for a couple of weeks, too.  It's an on-and-off thing but another "ailment" that I'm watching. 

As far as the feathered flock goes, I'm not happy with their environs.  It's too small.  The little roosting coop is 4'x4' and the "solarium" is 4'x8', but they won't roost in the coop, and so the outside enclosure is getting ALL the poop.  As soon as the ground is thawed enough to start pounding stakes, I'm going to start building an outside run for them.  I already have it designed in my head.  But, unfortunately until then, there's not much that can be done.  :(

Another task awaiting the warmer spring weather is building the compost piles for the critter waste.  Now, the cat litter is just piling up in bags.  Even though it's enclosed and frozen in a garbage can, I still cringe each time I empty their litter box and have to "store" the waste.  Knowing there are bags of frozen poop awaiting attention is just . . . gross.  Same goes for the bottom of the chicken enclosure:  if I had a compost pile for them (again, enclosed by sides so Tucker can't get to it) and IF (big if!) I could coax them all into the coop for the time required, I could pull some of their litter out and replace it with clean straw or shavings.  At least I know that everyone/thing will be healthier come building weather, and then we'll be set for NEXT winter!  That gives me a little comfort.

I'm not sure why, but I am more cognizant of my two days off being non-consecutive HERE rather than when I was at SRR . . . which is ironic since I gain two hours a day by the lack of driving to and fro.  It's a double-edged sword:  I don't seem to have the time (or is it the energy?) to tackle big jobs here, knowing that I'll have to be back to work tomorrow.  But then, being at a fairly mind-numbing / people-draining / on-my-feet-ALL-day-long job for 5 straight days in a row would be exhausting.  So, I'm still grateful that the most days I work in a row is only three.

And, back to stresses at work (which, I have to admit, DO affect me 5 days of every 7!), there's been a slight shift in ownership over this past year, and some of the changes (or threats/promises of change) are weighing heavily on all our shoulders.  And that causes snippy moods and just general tension.  AND, we're losing our acting manager, too, at the end of the summer.  She has worked there for (get ready for it) SIX DAYS A WEEK for the past TWENTY YEARS!!!!  Since her husband "retired" a couple of years ago, he's worked with us, too, for three days each week . . . and provided INVALUABLE assistance to us all!  Anyway, she hits 62 in a couple of months and so they've both given their notice to retire after Labor Day Weekend.  His position WON'T be replaced (which is NOT a good thing), while her position will be filled . . . but only in the capacity of someone taking over her area of the store.  NOT in the context of taking on ALL the extra, invaluable things she's done these past many years.  Therefore, we're all stressed at the impending loss of these two WONDERFUL people.  :(

Here at The Fork (in the Road) and besides dreaming about the things I want to get done once winter eventually departs, I've basically been spending my days off working on the inside of the cabin.  Namely, on shelving.  When I've complained to people about not having any space inside due to all the STUFF that got shoved in with the move, they don't understand why I just don't put it away!  Well, you can't put things "away" if there's nowhere to PUT them!  There aren't any closets in here.  There weren't any shelves or storage units (other than the single kitchen cupboard and single cabinet).  Though it would be more convenient to store my foodstuffs in the upper, wall-mounted cupboard, it makes more sense to store them in the cabinet on the floor, where it's cool/cold.  So, that's what I've done.  The upper unit is given over to pots and pans and kitchen necessities.

I had to take the door of the bottom cabinet off and switch it around:  it opened against the wall which was NOT handy!  Thought I took some pictures of that process, but I guess I didn't.

Shelf going up over door.  Half finished.

Shelf above door:  finished!

Shelf above kitchen window half-finished.

Poor quality, but a deer walking outside the kitchen window as I put up the shelves!

Kitchen window shelf finished . . . but I'm going to remove and replace some of the upper-bracket screws today:  they were of poor quality (for the job) and stick out a bit.  Because of that, this shelf still sits empty.

So, I've basically been putting up some version of shelving anywhere it will fit!  This little (only) interior room/closet was originally used as a bathroom with a porta-potty sitting in it.  Now, it's full of STUFF.  Eventually, it will become my pantry.  But, I put the little shelf underneath the window to the left and used a paper towel holder to create the little shelf at the top of the picture.  Toilet paper hangs off the paper towel bar.

I found a box of my own dishes (vs. the blue set which was here) - a major coupe!  So, I've been able to start filling these dish racks, and using my own dishes makes it feel more like home/normal.  You can see here that I added another shelf underneath the left, stained unit.  And, I mounted another paper towel holder underneath the raw unit on the right.

Okay, with (all) that, I'll sign off and get on with the rest of the day.  Thanks for hangin' in with me!

P.S.  I've been getting SO much spam (commenting) since I removed it that I've reinstated the word verification for comments.  For those of you who find commenting difficult with the word verification, I apologize . . . but I gotta do it.


  1. Good job with all the shelving. Going vertical is always smart in a tiny place. I stashed stuff under beds, wherever it would fit. Gorgeous views you have!

    1. Yepper, that, too: under-the-bed storage! My bed here in the sleeping loft is high, so I DO have lots stashed under it - and there's still more room. I'm going to put a twin bed up here once the 2nd story floor is finished (both for watching TV and for when My Girl spends overnights). I was going to just plop it on the floor, but once I starting thinking Small Space Living, I realized that I need to build a simple frame that will allow for more storage underneath!

  2. It seems everyone is getting spammed like crazy lately, such stupid stuff! I hope things don't get too shaken up at work for you. Do you have windows you can just put shelves across? My friend's cabin has gorgeous pine shelves that go right across the windows that she puts the "neat" stuff like dishes and it looks just beautiful! I know spring will bring more options for you when you can get outside and fix your chicken yard and other things :)

    1. Yeah, me, too (about work)! Everyone's a little nervous. And, yes, I've thought of putting shelving right across the windows, but I'm hesitant to cut off any more lighting. That's not to say it won't happen, though . . . maybe especially for houseplants once I get some again (I lost them all in the cold temps of the house during those many days when there was no heat near the end but I didn't have space to move them in here). :(

  3. So nice to hear from you again! I do check your blog daily.

  4. It's really starting to look like you are settling in well :) It's a process though, so take it day by day, no matter how long that is. You will get there :)

    1. Thanks, Stephanie: I appreciate the "OK" to "take it day by day, no matter how long that is"! :) I mean, I know *I* should be giving myself that "permission", but it's GOOD to be reminded of it!

  5. I love what you've done with all the shelves!!! Such efficiency! You should post your place on one of those tiny house websites.
    I haven't checked people's blogs for about a month, so the timing of your post worked perfectly for me!

  6. Claire is right; you should post on the tiny house websites. Tiny houses/apartments are all the rage these days. You and your mom are masters at finding vertical storage space and making it attractive. Glad that you are making a comfy home and finding your new rhythm in life. Kudos!-M

  7. Well, there you are! I hope Bonzi has recovered. Cat - they are always making you crazy! You have done alot with a little space. I like the dish racks - so much more functional than having them stacked flat. Looks like you have some lovely views, too. We can all do without the work angst, can't we? I alternate from - Oh, whatever, to Oh, my God, I hope they don't close our office! I hope things settle down for you so you can catch your breath. Keep in touch!

  8. With all the changes you've had I think your break was well deserved. Blogging is supposed to be fun not another pressure of "have to". Looks like you've come up with some creative solutions for storage. I imagine "unpacking" the cramped space is a bit frustrating figuring what you need VS what you want...then having space to place the extras till you can take them to storage. Spring is thankfully right around the corner to give you some outdoor space

  9. Thanks for sharing all that you did. Are you a carpenter also or does someone help you with that? And IF you are a carpenter are you self-taught? I'd love to make some house repairs w/out calling someone, but my Dad (may he RIP) never taught any of his four daughters the way around a toolbench--and he built all sorts of things. Maybe I would just learn as I went along (I have dry rot.) And about your chickens: I don't know much about raising them (although it's legal to have them within the city limits now, so I'm tempted) why won't they roost in the coop? Isn't that where they're supposed to be roosting and laying their eggs?

    Hang in there! One day at a time. You made it through a very stressful time with the move and trying to find your new home. Take a bow!! That is behind you now!


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