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July 14, 2011

 Close your eyes- throw a dart- and that is where you start.


   I have to put together a load of hay and get it out this morning. I am selling it to make room for the better hay that is laying in the field waiting to be teddered and baled. We produced more than we have room for this year. That's a good thing. Bad thing is I have to go do it now instead of write. I am also trying to get this farm cleaned up from four years of repairs that must continue. I must also find a job. Preferably driving. I want to check into the gas companies around to see if they have shuttle drivers. I need to be here but I need to be able to pay for the repair work being done. Hubby has a decent job. Now that the renters are out of work they are struggling to make the rent- which now has us falling behind. The unfortunate reality is, the banks don't give a damn about helping folks out, so we in turn can not help out the renters. We have to make the mortgage or none of us have a roof over our heads. We are now shy $45o dollars to make the payment until they pay us. Which means the paint for the trailer roofs and the beams for my tack shed will have to be set aside. It means a whole days work of putting these bales together goes to make up for it. It's sad because I see this young man is struggle to put food on the table, doing everything he can get his hands on to do, but, by helping out one individual all the work my hubby and I did to make the hay and part of his pay check now has to go to the bank. We work just as hard and we have to maintain and upkeep this place.

    We can not support others. If I could get SHELBY uploaded to Kindles then I would have the extra money to hire work done which would help others out- that is if the book sold at all. I feel like a dog chasing its tail. I need to get focused and just do it. Put everything else aside for one day, get all the jargon and fine print studied and upload the thing. I mean it only took me twelve years to compose the book. It's sitting unread. If someone steals my work, that might make a story that could put me on the Oprah show. There we go. Everyone knows that if you get on Oprah your life changes, right? I mean all these big publishers get the rat's eye shine and the doggy dribble at the corner of their mouth. Look, fresh meat, tenderized on Oprah and sprinkled with an established website and four completed books and several more outlined.

   Guess the part I hate in all this is the public exposure. The critic. Especially the critic. Writers are very sensitive and the truth be known, this is the real reason I'm not all gun-ho about getting published. Then there's trying to figuring out how to get advertised without the big back-up of a publisher. The time involved in this process. The going to News Stations to talk about myself, the radio, the newspapers. All this requires getting the farm cleaned up, the lawn mowed, the house cleaned and I'm overwhelmed already.

    So there's my vicious circle. I have a passion for writing. What I really need to do is get rid of everything, buy a camper and the only thing in it is the hubby, the computer, and a good steak on the grill. All my life's complications would be gone and I could at last focus. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    For now, I'll stumble out to get some coffee, drag a grouchy achy hubby out to load seventy-five bales of hay and drive it over to Grimes Hill. He will stay behind to tedder our hay on the ground: which means I get to unload it by myself. What's new when there are only two people trying to blow life back into a dying 76 acre ember? I'll try to read through the fine print for Kindle's tonight- but it's looking bleak.

    Here's a raw clip of Project Clean Up I did last night. Good thing I stood in one place and didn't walk around the farm, I would have went back inside and played Farmville with my friends! Which is another problem I've gotten into. Online gaming is a bad, time consuming thing. I've really had to pull rein on it, but I may have to quit playing all together. It's extremely addicting. Hours go by and I could have put those hours to better use. I do enjoy it, but I want to enjoy my horses. I have not set a brush on them in two weeks. I can see where the game effects me so I've forced myself to limit the time and pull away from playing it so much. I guess when you are overwhelmed and depressed it is real easy to escape into a pretend world. For me it is having a weedless farm where I never have to muck out a barn or throw a hay bale. It doesn't cost me anything but my time to breed sheep that have glowing coats and little foals to give away to my friends. Perhaps that is the true appeal, the feeling of being connected to my friends. The community project where everyone gets along without fighting because you can't hear or see your neighbor- just chat if you wish too.

    I just finished the background picture for this web page. Just softened the colors to the words stand out better. Have to upload it to the server. Deciding on what to name this whole idea. At first it was Writer's Notes. That seems a bit generic. Then I thought of The Queen's Diaries. That is a bit too personal. Besides my true thoughts are too depressing and no one would come back to read them twice- not even you Aunt Barb- lol. So how about if I call this- The Queen's Notes. I'll stink on that for a moment- as my friend says.

    Well, it's nine a.m. and I must go throw some bales and get out of here. Enough thoughts for one day. Must play Farmville at eleven, deliver hay, job hunt, work on Project Clean Up, and try to focus on this Kindle's stuff this afternoon. I did find an encouraging article about John Locke becoming the first person to sell a million copies of his book without the back-up of a huge publisher. A million books- even if I could make fifty cents a book that would pay off the farm and leave me more than enough room to help a few folks struggle to their feet- and help me out so I would have time to write more books!!! Well- it's a dream anyways. That's where you start- with a vision. A single dart.


   Wow!!! Lady- the pom-pitz I've had for twelve years just broke wind. Good thing I'm at the end of this entry 'cause I have to evacuate the room now. Whew! that's killer. Quit laughing Crystal and Samantha- (my daughters) Oh, that was so unLadylike. Dog!!!



Okay- I couldn't go to bed without adding this passage. We got the hay loaded on the truck and the wagon to take the guy who we sold it to. Looking down we noticed the rear tire was low. Don went off to get the air compressor and the renter who lives near the barn came out to strike a conversation. He quickly noticed the tire was dry rotted. So I pulled the spare out of the weeds and realized I had forgotten the tire was not on the bead. Our air compressor was not strong enough to "pop" the tire on so we put a tarp in the front seat and I had a passenger to accompany me to the tire shop.

    Don went to the house for the tire gauge and found three goats in the lawn. These three were the ones we wanted to sell but could not catch easily as two of them were wild like. Meanwhile I made the discovery that someone had stolen all the copper out of a barrel I had slowly been putting it in for three years. The renter was gone all weekend and his family came home to tools missing, chains stolen and his jumper cables cut- the clamp ends tossed in the yard. No, I'm not making this up. I just simply can't and the day is not even started. I will have to call the police in the morning and have them come in the evening tomorrow because the hay is down and I don't have time for this.

    Well, Don comes down to tell me the goat news and I tell him the the good news. Now he is fit to be tied and I got three escape goats to tie. Using a bucket of corn I lured the billy into my baby goat's holding pen- the one- as you know I've been bottle raising for three months. I got him and tied him to make a long story short. While he ate feed, the doe- who's name is Cat- hem hawed around about going in. With some careful herding she finally decided to take her and her baby inside. All three goats I had been wondering for weeks how I was going to get hold of were inside the pen. The billy goat rubbed up against the doghouse I had for the baby goat and flattened it- as it is a plastic model. I went in and pulled it out before he could do anymore damage to the flimsy thing. Well, I called the guy who I was getting ready to deliver hay to. I told him my goats were out and I was going to have to come in the afternoon. Recall project clean-up includes a yard sale. Well, all the yard sale stuff was on the horse trailer. I grabbed a renter who is currently unemployed and employed him to help me pull everything off. With an empty trailer it was time to pump up the flat trailer tire and turn my attention as to how to tackle Cat. Another renter was driving up the road when I hailed her and commissioned her into our game of goat tag. About that time the hubby comes out of the field and I suddenly had a team. Game on.

   Leaving her two year old outside the goat pen my renter, Peggy, stepped into the playing field. Unfortunately her mini fan cried foul and commenced to wailing because he couldn't get through the fence to Peggy. Effectively the two year old's protests kept the half-wild goats far far away from the gate. Good going little guy. With a screaming baby stomping around the herd fled to the corner of the pen and we closed in making plans. I warned, "She's fast. We have to get the mother first. I've seen her take a four foot fence and not think twice. Go for a rear leg and watch the horns." The herd veered to the right, faked to the left, back to the right. There was no hole for an escape, The big billy made an effective block by which my hubby quickly reached around to grab Cat's leg. The renter, Jack, grabbed her horns. Cat let out a bawl that was heard half a mile away. She was all Cat, twisting and turning while I put the rope around her neck. The hubby lifted her back legs off the ground and I took her horns.

    Jack made for the baby, which used the young locust tree growing in the pen to its advantage. Around and around they went. After a dozen laps the buckling was obviously winning so Peggy stepped up to the plate. With a player on each side of the tree the buckling was in a dilemma. Jack got a leg and a whole lot more fight than he bargained for. Buckling and Jack hit the ground and Jack had his hands full trying to pin the screaming kid. At four months the little guy was a hefty fifty pounds of dynamite. Finally coming to his feet with a very pissed off arm full of goat Jack led the way. The buckling bawled and his mother bawled back. The two year old was pouting at the gate with big crocodile tears running down his round, flushed face. Meanwhile the hubby and I "wheel burrowed" Cat down the hill. I'm sure to a stranger my team was quite a sight, but, the goal was achieved. Cat was safely tied into the trailer, her bawling baby cowering behind her and the old billy goat, well past his prime, was grumbling under his breath. He stank so of urine that everyone stepped back from the trailer with a comment. Way too much pee-fume, Billy!

    Well, once the day starts off there is nothing to do but ride it out. The hubby picks up the pig tail to hook up the trailer lights and realizes he's bought the wrong adapter kit to match the "new for us" Ford F-250. It's a 1989 beater with a dump bed I bought from my Uncle. I took one look at him and said, "So, you are following behind me on your way to work, right?"

    "Looks like it," he says. "By the way the chickens need fed and watered and you'll have to finish the flattest part of the field to tedder it."

    "Great," I say to myself and off we go.

    At the auction I did my best to tell the guy the nanny was wild and the baby more so. Well, there was a rodeo and a whole lot of cussing, but, them three was out of my hair at last. I took a big sigh as I pulled out. I pulled out and stopped at the edge of Route 21 and waited patiently for traffic when it happened. The truck stalled. Being a standard I didn't think nothing of it. Well, that is until five minutes later I'm still blocking the auction exit. Unbelievably, a truck with a cattle trailer pulls up to the opposite exit and breaks down. I'm not making this up. I got witnesses. So, there we both sit. Cars trying to go around us.

    At this point it dawns on me that I should have half a rear tank left and I am pretty sure the same people who stole my copper also stole the gas out of my truck- both tanks. Well, the hubby steps up the sidewalk waving that he's been waiting for me. Being half deaf he can't hear what I'm saying so I make some hand signals of my own at the truck and I can hear him say, "You are shitting me."

    If the story could only get shorter. Don goes to Waynesburg lumber to buy a gas can- because with a hundred trucks around no one has a spare can- of course! While he is gone my friend who is like a sister to me, Candis, drives by. Now what are the odds of this? In the back of her seat- as her trunk latch had busted and she can't open it- is a full can of gas! She pulls in and can't believe my morning so far. We pour in the gas. I try the truck and the news is not good. It won't start. Don pulls up and pours his gas into her can- it's not her can but a neighbors so we can't just swap of course! I swear to you as God is my witness this is all true.

    Don tries the truck. Meanwhile the auction guy shows up and hooks a small chain on the bumper- holding up traffic which later the police cruise by to check out the reports they must have got. Thankfully they just left the whole scene alone as both pit crews worked on their trucks.

    Now out of the gate we decide to try and jump start it. Out of the all the dozens of trucks, short of making an announcement inside the building, none had cables. Down to Waynesburg Lumber Candis and I go and sure enough they have jumper cables. Imagine that. Ought to put a damn sign out every Thursday for the stockyard sale. "Special: We got your gas cans, jumper cables, electrical tape, duct tape, wire and Bondo right here folks. It's here and that makes it special!!!"

    Anyhow, no go on the low battery. Candis and I go up to the local yocal garage and there's no hope there either for suggestions. At this point its time for the Tow truck. Have I mentioned that every vehicle we own has had a tow trip ride this year? Apparently the vehicles all think this is some kind of new amusement and having been left out of the experience the "new to us" truck just had to give it a whirl.

   So we bury Candis's groceries that could be damaged by the ninety degree hot sunny day's heat deeper, to the floor of her car, I was really hoping she had ice cream. I could get two plastic spoons from the stockyard's Cafe and I was really wishing for Rocky Road. No go on the ice cream, however.

   While I'm telling AAA my predicament I repeat to her they can't tow my horse trailer, I didn't take out the RV plan!!! Ha-ha-ha and I'm not joking. So she whips out her phone and starts making calls. In the meantime all those trucks sit useless in the parking lot because everyone is inside trying to outbid each other for the stuff that the guy the week before outbid some else on and decided he didn't want it after all. From across the parking lot the other team rub it in by pulling out with their truck and trailer. My next truck is going to be a flatbed. Errrrr.

     Candis gets hold of her hubby and he is on the way. Meanwhile Don is off to work. When Henry arrives we dump the five gallons of gas in his truck because he's now running on fumes. It's decided once the tow truck arrives he will take me home and I will give him a twenty for five gallons of gas with a buck left over for a soda. He has to refill the can or his neighbor is going to be pissed because he won't get to lawn mow in the morning. They live in the sticks where it's ten miles to the nearest gas station, and it's closed half the time.

     Well, the tow truck is told the wrong place and with all the horse trailers in the way we never saw the guy sitting up the road. He does finally come along, while we are unloading the hay on the bed of my truck into the trailer. It was decided that with my luck someone would steal it or it would rain. You'll recall I am suppose to deliver the hay. By now the garage I need to get to is getting ready to close and the truck won't even get its hood popped open until noon tomorrow. Which reminds me, it is two-thirty in the morning and I just remembered I was suppose to call and set up a time. You know it's just been one of those days.

     Anyways, the truck gets dropped off. The guy delivering it worked with Henry at one time and they were just tickled pink to talk for awhile- of course. Once home I untangled the baby goat from around a tree, let the dogs out to pee, then took the four-wheeler around to see if anything else was stolen. I locked and shut up every gate and door. Dropped in to tell Jack the load of scrap metal he was to help me load was now put on hold. The scrap came from a trailer he tore down- long story there and I ain't explaining- but he's helping out. He told me there was a pile of aluminum right next to the road. I thought to myself I'll fix this after I get the field teddered.

    Well, getting near dark I realized billy goat had flattened my baby goats house and stunk up her pen some. So I fed and watered the chickens then drug over another house I had just cleaned out. I went inside the house to gather some things to put in my car for the aluminum issue when I heard her out there bawling. So I went out and the grass was very heavy with dew so I figured the inside of the dog house must be, too. A goat hates to be rained on. So I went to the shed and got a leaf of hay which I put in the bottom, scratched her budding horns and she went quite content into her new little hut and curled up.

    To finish my night I drove the car up and put it right next to the tin. A pillow and a blanket in the passenger's seat, which lay all the way back. A flashlight in the driver's seat. The stock of a rifle the hubby had broke down sticking out from under the blanket. On the dash a copy of Pennsylvania Game News and a book "101 ways to Fix you're Finances" and a plastic yellow box with the word "Bullets" in jet black- filled with bullets of course. Satisfied I made my point to any who drove by I walked home in the dark, knowing two of the renters had loaded their rifles and were ready for bear as I walked pass. I'm pretty sure that pile of metal will be just fine.