Monday, October 11, 2010

I've been gone, but good things have happened.

Below are my list of goals from December 2009.  I happy to be able to report good news on many of them.

1.  Find a new permanent job.  DONE!  I have a new exciting job working in a new and exciting place, and doing new and exciting work.  I am very, very grateful and happy!

2. Increase and improve my food production.  I have increased my food production, but not nearly enough!

3. Find ways to make money at home.  Haven't worked on this so much, been too busy getting/learning the new job.  I have begun fighting varmints in a big way and will continue to improve on my methods more here later.

4. Improve water reclamation system.  I have done very little to improve this, but I have still had a really good return on the work I had previously done.  I have used very little city water this year even though it was a hot summer.  The water that I have collected has worked very well for me.

5. Learn a great deal more about solar power and ways to use it.  Still working this, and still determined.  I have noticed a small 12v collector in an ad for outdoorsman apparel, I haven't checked into this yet, but it is on the list of things to do.  IKEA has a solar lamp (see above) that I am going to buy as soon as I have received my first full paycheck!

6. Increase my knowledge of webpages and their administration.  I have a new website to take care of at work.  Yeah!  My earlier learning has come in very handy.

7. Have a party.   Not for a while.

8. Clear out significantly more clutter.  Have done so, am continuing to do so, and I am amazed at how much there is.  I intended to clean out my bedroom closet this weekend.  I use the past tense because I haven't completed the job.  One old fashioned, non-walkin closet, filled my bedroom with stuff.  Most of which has found a new more appropriate home and some of which has hit the trash, but there is still a little more to go before I can consider that complete.  Unbelievable how much can come out of one closet.

9. Convert the dining room into the office and the den into seed production and breakfast area.  This goal has completely changed.  As I think I have mentioned earlier, I built a green house for my plants last year.  I did not fully complete that goal because I could not afford the plastic for the walls and I just used plastic sheeting that is often used for painting drop cloths.  It worked, sort of, but it wasn't expected to last and it hasn't.  Meanwhile, I have decided to downsize.  Downsize!  you say!  Yes, I am down sizing within my own home.  I have determined that I do not need two living areas.  My den was my living room and my living room was my just for company room.  Well, not any more.  My den has a concrete floor, while the rest of my house is pier and beam.  My den has access to the front yard, the back yard, the garage and the kitchen, AND has two 6ft by 9ft windows in it.  The curtains have been removed, shelved have been put in place and my den is now my greenhouse.  My second bedroom will continue it's roll as large closet and storage area.  I will be using the rest of my house as a small apartment within a small house.  I have already converted my dining room into a second seating area and I moved my computer into the bedroom.  The space left outside where the greenhouse was will become another growing bed. So far it's all good.  As more clutter moves out more options open up.

10. Learn, learn, learn  I have begun my Healthcare Software Analyst Certificate training.  And, of course there is plenty to learn in my new job, so this goal is covered!
Well that's all from Powell Cottage for today!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Okay, a little more about me. Augh!

Now that I have two blogs.  I guess I am going to consider this blog my more personal blog and Ideas on Living as my more public blog.  What that means...I have no idea.   But onward ~

I have another idea for my garden, my financial picture and my food production for this year.  No new stuff, other than maybe seeds if necessary.  I am going to try to grow my garden using only things that I already have, that I find, or that I may be given.  For example, I found a package of 4"x4" square netting about  6' long and 4' wide in my garden shed.  Still in the package.  I decided last year that it would have been nice to have larger openings in my netting for my peas and beans because the 1"x1" netting that I was using made it very difficult to get the peas/beans that grew inside the V.  With this new size netting I will at least be able to put my hand in one side of the V through to the middle for easier access.

Yesterday beautiful, 74 degrees and sunny I worked in the garden preparing a bed for something I am not sure what yet???   Bad planning I know, but I will get there.  It could be my new tomato bed or squash and cuke bed.  We'll see.

My electricity bill has lowered significantly this last couple of months, and I think that it is truly due to my conservation.  Believe it or not!  I have been more vigilant about turning off lights when I leave rooms, and making sure that everything that can be is turned off.  Such as, the computer, the printer, the speakers...etc.  I have unplugged the TVs since I only use one of them for DVD/VCR watching and I can warm it back up on my own time when I choose to watch a movie or something...which is rare.

I am a bit ashamed of my wastefulness in the past.  I don't think I even thought of myself as wasteful until I saw the drop in my bill.  I look at rooms now before I leave the house to see if anything is on...anything.  In fact as I sit here writing I am thinking about my microwave...(and you wonder why my writing is so disjointed--you should see my brain).  I am going to look for a surge protector or something similar that will allow me to turn of my toaster oven and my microwave after use.  I don't need a microwave clock, it's never on the right time anyway. :o)

As I look down the rest of my list I see that this was not a very productive week except for getting the new blog up I haven't accomplished much else.  Under achieving this week here at Powell Cottage.

Progress has occurred!


I have been working on a new project for making money and expressing myself.  It's another blog that I am going to partner with a friend on.  I finally got it up last night.  I am proud of it because I used alot of new knowledge to put it together.  I have been reading Google Blogger for Dummies, I do not love a title that insults me upon reading it, but as it turns and out it is a pretty good resource and all the library had to offer.

I will use some of this new knowledge on this blog as well, so look for changes soon.  On the progress front:  I had a second interview for the position I am trying to land and it went very well.  No blathering this time.  Thank goodness.

As far as food production goes I have tons of seedlings sprouting, this weekend after I do the taxes, I will spend alot of time getting the seedlings set up in the greenhouse and getting more planted.

Moneymaking, well hopefully the new blog will help and I am thinking that a garage sale if imminent. 

Nothing has happened on the water reclamation front, but if I get a real job then that is a basic priority.  Meanwhile fixing the leak in the toilet will have to be my water reclamation project...I think I can afford that.

Solar power -- does opening the curtains count.  Less gas heat is used!  It's the best I can do this week.  I have seen a magazine that I am interested in called HomePower, I think.  I don't see it on Amazon, but I have seen it on the web somewhere and I think I even saw a copy at the library.  The more I keep this kind of thing in front of my face the more progress I make on it. 


Party...not for a long time to come.

Decluttering - nothing so far this week, but this weekend!!!

Dining Room / Den conversion...we'll see.

Learn, learn....that's what I am trying to do here at Powell Cottage.  Hope you are too!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Progress, never as fast as you want it to be.

Hello, from gloriously snowfilled Dallas.  Not today tho', the snow passed us today.  It has been a beautiful.  We had our first white Christmas in years and years and then we had a record snowfall in February.  I can't complain, it feels like winter...some winters down here don't.

Reporting on my list of things to do/improve on in 2010.

1.  Job search - I had a job interview, the person was very nice, I feel like I blathered all the way through it tho' so... I will be disappointed if I don't get it, but not surprised. Ugh! The longer it takes to get a job the more nervous I seem to be in the interviews that I do get.  Gad!

2.  Food production - well even tho' we are having a real winter this year, I sat on the floor, with seed starter, seeds, a permanant marker and small plastic cups AND started planting.  I have lots of south facing windows. And even tho the snow on the greenhouse roof fell off onto my hot beds and broke all the glass I will not demur.  I will plant my seedlings inside this cold winter and replace the real glass on my hotbeds with plexiglass (better for hail storms - which we have many more of than blizzards).

Lots of things have sprouted:  chard, lettuce, collards, broccoli and brussel sprouts!

3.  Water reclamation...who knew that I would want to shovel snow to reclaim the water, I didn't but I should have :o)

4.  Solar power, except for sprouting seeds I have done nothing in that arena.  I have no excuse except cold and laziness...but when I am lazy because it is cold outside I do get a lot of knitting done.

5.  Webmastering - So far so good.  I have been able to do everything on my clubs website that I have been taught how to do plus some!

6.  Party --  this one is a long way off.

7.  Decluttering - funny about this one, I seem to have slowed down, but I have definitely not stopped.  I think cold weather and gray skies just slows me down in general, because the other day when the sun came out I perked right up and got a lot done.  I spent this weekend working on the kitchen as priority and I would say that I am only about 1/3 through.  I feel motivated tho'.  I really have plenty of space space as I declutter I keep finding more.  I just have to get it organized in a way that I think I can consistantly keep up with.

8.  Dining and Den conversion...this is still in the thinking stage and it will probably stay that way until I see how this summer goes.  If I find that I would rather be on my computer in the dining room this summer than in the den I will move forward.  Probable will, but you never know what other bright ideas I might come up with!

9.  Making money at home - I have been discussing another blog to partner with a friend of mine on.  She has just figured out exactly what I am talking about and is considering it.  I might go it alone if I think it is a worthwhile idea.  Maybe I can make money that way.

10.  Learn, learn, learn!  I am feeling behind on this one.  I ususally am learning stuff all the time, but the last few days I have been low on that score.  I think that I will go to Google Reader and read others blogs, just to see what I can learn!

It's not snowing here today, but I hope that you enjoy the snow pictures from Powell Cottage!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spring is about to POP!

We should be awash in yellow blooms soon, here at Powell Cottage

Friday, January 29, 2010

The pond should be frozen again this time tomorrow~

Our email system is down, so I have a few minutes to write.  I started a new knitting project last night.  It is a blanket for my brother and his wife.  They just redid their den/kitchen so that they are now more of one big room then they already were (sort of).  Anyway, I am happy to be into a new project.  After my tragic affair with my sweater, of many stitch types, that turned out to be the size for a linebacker with pads on.  I have frogged that one and now have a large store of maroon yarn that will make something some day.  In my greif I knitted kitchen towels out of pure cotton.  It's what I do until I am struck by another must do project.  Enter the Harvest Blanket from Bernat, being done with Vanna's Choice solids.  It is multicolor/patchwork.

I am trying to fit this blanket into my goals for this year.  For which my updates are sadly lacking.  Guess I will expound on those below, but as for knitting.  It seems like a good indoor sport for a sustainable type such as myself.  Another hobby by which I end up with something useful, and that is my goal.  Spend my time and my money only on things that are useful!  Oh, yeah, or chocolate. Funny how I come to that now!  I could have used this kind of inspiration a few years ago, but then progress comes in its own time. 

Okay, onto the years goals...what were they again???

Oh yeah,

1.  On the job front I have put in several more applications since my last update.  I have also communicated with my supervisor at the temporary job that I have now and she says their are things on the horizon for me to apply for. So that's good.

2. I have nearly finished the veggie bed in the front garden.  It just needs a little more compost and it will be ready for planting. 

3.  I have sold a couple of things on eBay this week.  Not enough to really brag about though.

4.  Nothing on the solar power front.

5.  I did get another lesson from my website guru for future website administration.

6.  Clutter.....I have cleaned up some things, but I don't think anything new made it out of the house.  Maybe that will be a priority this weekend.

7.  The switching of the dining room with the den.  That is the low man on the priority list, so not even the vaguest thought about it has passed through my mind this week. 

Plans for this weekend:

1. Laundry, laundry, laundry ..... ugh!
2. Clean up the bedroom and the bathroom, and then do some laundry.
3. Knit, while doing laundry.
4. Send eBay items to auction winners.
5. Work on DOGC website.
6. Go to the library.
7. Clean up the living room and the den.

Just a great list of stuff for a cold weekend indoors here at Powell Cottage.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

10 Things I Like About My Home

I was reading a post from Melissa @ Inspired Room called 10 Things I Love [about Farmhouse Style].  I decided to post about 10 things I love about my home.  It's not a Farmhouse, but it is my suburban home and I feel like celebrating it.

My house in general.  I fell in love with it when it had nothing but grass and dark brown trim.  I love it more even now.

The stone my house is built out of.  The first thing that caught my eye and the best part of the exterior of my home.

 My dining room wallpaper.  20yrs old and I still love it and all its color.

My kitched even with its old fake butcherblock formica counter tops I still love it.

My bathroom tile.  The '50s weren't kind to many people regarding bathroom tile color, but they were great for me.  I love my blue tile.

My mantle was hidden under many things when I came to look at my house for the first time.  I was so pleasantly surprised when I moved in and saw how terrific it really was.

My front beds, very new to me and a terrific addition to just plain grass.  I am grateful to friends who showed me that a front yard can be more!

Hotbeds, not quite yet finished, but I have high hopes for the increase in production these should add to my garden.

My water reclamation system.  Some working and some standing by.

And to finish off these 10 things, cuz there are many others.  I love my access to public transportation.  That sign post two yards away near the curb is how far I have to go to catch the bus!

Well that's the first 10 of may tens of things that I love here at Powell Cottage!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Garden on the Horizon

According to the calendar it is time to plant Carrots, Leeks, Leaf Lettuce, Parsnips, Radishes, Shallots and Spinach here at Powell Cottage.  The Leaf Lettuce and maybe even the Spinach will be going in the new veggie bed in the front yard...which means I had better finish it!  Carrots, Leeks, and Shallots will go in the bed with the newly planted Onions. 

I am going to mow the yards this coming weekend.  No, the grass hasn't grown, but the latest set of Red Oak leaves have fallen and I am going to use the mower to cut them to bits before using them as mulch.

I need to put start some seedlings in my hotbeds, too.  They aren't too hot right this minute, but they will be soon. 

The new greenhouse has been somewhat of a success, but I am still going to have to use the windows to get all my seedlings started.  It's mid January and I need to get a move on.

So much to do, so little time here at Powell Cottage.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Peas and plumbing!

The onions and the peas are in, yeah!  It was a beautiful day to plant today and clean up a little bit around the garden.  I transferred compost into the new veggie bed out front.  It is 5:24p and the sun is still above the horizon so that's a good thing. 

Today I read more about an outside shower.  I am giving it serious thought.  A 5 gallon bucket painted black and a little construction doesn't seem to difficult.

Time for an indoor shower right now tho.

It's sweaty work being an urban farmer here at Powell Cottage.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Worms in the Compost! What could be better?!

Today, I decided to start using all of the precious chicken manure I have built up in the chicken run to give the new veggie bed a little push.  To my surprise there were a load of worms in the most composted area of the run.  And in one of the pictures you will see actual worm holes in the chunk of dirt I dug up.  Very cool!

Okay, for the working on goals report:

1.  I put in about 8 job applications between the middle of last week and the end of the week.
2.  To increase my food was the coldest week in a while here, so I only got outside just today and the worms will have to do for this goal.
3.  Ways to make money at home.  Augh!  I haven't done a week!
4.  Improve my water reclamation...nothing...not really the right kind of weather for that lately.  Unless you consider that I should have saved the water that dripped off my frozen window when the thaw occurred!
5.  Solar energy:  I have a few books from the library and I requested a Harbor Freight catalog, aaaannnnddd I have going to do more internet research.
6.  Increase about my knowledge of webpages I have further training scheduled with my website guru and I did work on the Dallas Organic Garden site and my work was successful which makes me very happy!

All the good here at Powell Cottage.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A couple of pictures of the new bed in progress.

The results are in.

The results are in to my new year's beginnings and they are:

1. The frame for the new vegetable bed in the front garden is there tho' not yet held together with anything. and most of the ground is covered by cardboard and hay.

2. I bought 60 small plastic cups for growing seedlings in @ $2.89.

3. I went to Harbor Freight, but now I am going to see if they have a catalog, because they did not have as much solar stuff as I was expecting.

4. I did nothing to switch the den and the dining room, but I was sick all weekend and I am going to use that as my excuse.

5. I did clear out more clutter if you consider trash clutter.

6. I did laundry, but three loads really hasn't made a dent.

Things that I did this weekend that weren't on the list.

1. Reduced the dogs floor space to just the den. No more going into the kitchen unless on their way to the bedroom. What freedom I felt cleaning the kitchen without dogs under feet!

2. I put up the poles to the trellis in the back garden.

3. I cut out this week's coupons.

4. I looked for a book about solar systems (enery, not universes), but didn't find one that satisfied me.

That is it for results here at Powell Cottage.