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ctw1949
Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass

December 19, 2016
Well, I didn't get writing yesterday. It was rainy and windy. I did get up, dressed and decided to stay indoors and watch online the last few episodes of the Sopranos. I had never been a subscriber to cable or HBO, so I started from the beginning, since that is the only way to watch a series like this. I had been watching it online for about a month. Since my friend Dean has basic cable, HBO has decided there are some episodes you can't watch unless you pay for HBO. Or maybe vice versa. Anyway, there were many episodes unavailable to watch online, including the last episode. A visit to the library will fix this.

I did get myself up to get to the grocery store (Sunday at 5 PM is a pretty good time) and did some food shopping. I shop at Market Basket because they have the best selection of fresh, organic produce along with the best prices overall. But you need to know your prices, too. It was interesting to see the prices of organic (I mean USDA certified) chicken. Drumsticks were $1.99#. Thighs were $4.99#. HMMMM...Doesn't add up, or maybe it does? I opted for a conventional, pre-cooked chicken. No organic broccoli or cauliflower, but there was a special on conventional cauliflower, the green type. I bought. And cooked for supper along with a fresh greens salad. The cauliflower was super tender and very tasty. I will buy that again...or maybe grow some. I washed dishes and went back to my camper at around 10:30 PM.

I have been plagued by the newest diagnosed side effect of taking pain killers...that would be constipation. Seems many patients taking oxycodone have been having problems in this department. I have noticed sometimes, after taking my Rx, I have had some problems. It has been increasing, even tho' I have reduced my intake dramatically. For example, I took 1/2 pill on Wednesday, had problems till Sunday. That's a lot of backed up crap. I did some research online and was reinforced in my thinking that my intake of fiber and water have not been adequate. So, I ate a LOT of raisins since I had no prunes in the house. That helped somewhat along with a stool softener.  I know this must sound gross, but this is a serious situation!

On my list at the grocery store, I had prunes and I bought. While online, researching my problem, I discovered that, of all things, prunes will help with calcium uptake, assisting in reducing bone loss (I am Caucasian or mostly, past meno and smoke). Research says a couple of stewed prunes every night will help reduce bone loss. Another HMMMM. So, last night, I stewed some prunes & raisins. This morning, I made up some Bob's Red Mill steel cut oatmeal and added the prunes & raisins. I will resume my regime of oatmeal every day, enhanced with the dried fruit. In the past, when I was eating like this, I didn't have any problems. Of course, my doctor says there is a pill for this...just what I need or want! NOT.

When I got into my car after grocery shopping last night, it wouldn't start. I may have mentioned my car has had a problem with starting, or rather, hard starting. Sometimes, it will fire right up, but if you aren't ready to give the gas, it will stall. Other times, it turns and turns but won't fire for a bit, then you have to be ready to give the gas. This is very unusual in Volvos, since there is an automatic choke and the instructions (and experience) says never give gas before the car fires and starts. Otherwise, it will flood the engine. Well, I missed my chance and the engine flooded. I sat for 20 minutes before I could get the car started. When I got back with groceries, I told Dean (who has been telling me he would replace the failing part on my car)...and he promised to get my car into the garage this week.

I spent $400.00 on car parts the end of November. The part that is failing sits in a box for two weeks now. The snow on Saturday kept me from driving around b/c I don't have my snow tires on the Volvo yet. I gota get on this car situation!

This morning started as usual. I got up, made fresh tea, got online. I have to return some coats I bought BB the dog since they are too big. Also, got a muzzle for Dean's terrorist dog Jake so he can go for rides on the ferry to the Vineyard when Dean goes with John. John has a house on the Vineyard. He goes monthly to check on the house since it is empty in winter months. Dean goes with John and would like to take Jake. Jake bites EVERYONE and cannot be trusted. Hence, the muzzle.

Back to the returns...I downloaded the return form and attempted to print the information while on the computer. Didn't work. So, I printed the blank form and will fill it out later. Maybe I can scan it and then fill it out? Will see. Probably faster to just hand write the information.

Today, I head over to Shirley's. Remember Shirley? Her tenant left the apartment rental in a real mess. Tenant never let dogs out and they pissed the living room rug & pad up to the point of saturation. The new carpet will be installed on Wed. I have a thumb drive with 97 pix I took of the yard & interior of the rooms. What a freaking mess. They had rabbits in the apartment and the urine ruined one of the wood floors where the rabbits were living in two coops. Can't believe it...Shirley is looking at over $2,000.00 damages in the apartment. I know a guy who rents apartments and he has a good lease agreement. I got a copy for Shirley and will take it over to her today along with the thumb drive.

As I was just starting to update this blog, I heard Jake terrorist dog barking outside my door. Dean was back from his daily trip to Scramblers. He always lets Jake terrorist dog out to do his business. Jake knows I have cookies and always comes to be sure he gets his due. BB is in bed (or was in bed) till Jake started barking. From there, my day went on a different path than the one I had earlier designated. BB was hanging off the bed while I got my coat, neck warmer, hat & gloves on, Timmy drove up. Jake terrorist dog ran over to Timmy's truck to commit suicide by tire, Dean was yelling, BB was barking. So much for quiet. I went out to walk the dogs with a hand full of cookies. Of course, the cookies had to be exhausted before either of the dogs would address doing their business. Then John showed up, somehow Dean was in his truck, they took off, leaving Timmy behind. Dean said to lock the shop. Timmy & I went into Dean's house, I was just firing up the woodstove and had put some chicken bones on to boil down for stock. Timmy hadn't had any breakfast, so I heated him some soup, gave him some bread & butter and addressed the kitchen and wood stoves.

With everyone fed, dogs too, I now can get washed up and dressed. I had wanted to be off to Shirley's early, but it is now 10:45 and I am still in my jammies. Well, it could be worse...it could be snowing again.

Enough for today.
Dec 17, 2016
Well, I have decided to try to write every day on my blog. The past weeks are a blur of sorting my camper out to convert from summer to winter clothes (and other projects). In the process, I have misplaced my winter boots. Not my puddle jumpers, but the boots I wear when I go shopping, etc. I have had them since 1998. They are Dexter boots and I like them very much. Guess I will have to search further to locate them. Or buy another pair, but Dexter is out of business, I think.

The past few days have been very cold with gale force winds. Thursday, I picked up more bungee cords to reinforce the holds on the tarp that covers my camper. I had been using some 1 gallon jugs filled with water hanging off the grommets but the wind kept them banging against the sides of the camper. Late in the afternoon, I removed the jugs and fastened on the new bungee cords. It was much quieter during the night when the gale force winds came in at about 10 PM. It was so noisy, I tuned in Utube and watched The Traveling Willburys & Tom Petty for several hours to drown out the wind. My camper was shuddering in the wind as I tucked into bed, BB the dog already snug in his blanket next to me.

Friday morning, the temp was 4 degrees. With the windchill factor, I guess the temp was about -15. BB wore his coat when he went outside, but wanted to roam around, searching for Vixen scent. I had thought it was skunk he was sniffing, but after reading up on foxes, I realized it was the Vixen scent he was so interested in.

BB likes to lounge on Dean's couch after his morning constitutional. I get Dean's wood stove going and use the toilet. It is so nice to not have to deal with the porta-potty since I have come to stay here. So much less stressful to not have to empty it every week! To be able to use a toilet is a wonderful thing! The things one misses when they are homeless!

Yesterday, the cat "Max"s water was frozen in the shop...he lives in the shop since he was rescued from an abandoned apartment in nearby New Bedford. The tenants moved out and left him behind. He has adapted well to the shop, taking over one of the office chairs as his throne. I bought him a new microfiber rug for the chair and he loves it. He sits in the chair till someone comes in to visit Dean, then he harasses them until they allow him to sit on their laps and gets his "pets". He will sit all day on someone's lap if allowed. Max won't come into Dean's house b/c of Jake, Dean's maniac dog. The other kitty gets no attention from Jake when he comes inside the house. Mr. Kitty, as he is known, is a younger cat with double paws. He is so nice, you can maul him repeatedly when he sits on your lap. He kneads his front paws all the while he is mauled, and drools to make sure you know how much he appreciates being mauled. He has a very nice personality and feels the entire house is his to explore. He opens the cabinets and hunts for mice under the counter spaces. He likes to help make meals, trying to taste whatever is on the counters. Sometimes, I have to put him outside till I get the chicken into the oven!

In the mornings, sometimes Dean comes to my camper door, yelling "Williamson" are you in there? My surname is not Williamson, but Dean delights in calling me that. Don't know why, but he does. Behind him will be the two black cats. Waiting at my door is Jake...wanting cookies. Jake comes right inside and waits for cookies. BB is in his blanket in bed. Sometimes, he comes to the edge of the bed for a cookie or two, then he heads back to bed. BB is a bit sleepy in the mornings. If he knows it is raining, he will sleep for hours. He hates the rain...loves the snow. Go figure.

The parts for my car arrived two weeks ago. I have been waiting for the shop to open up so my car can have the new parts put in. The most important one is some fuel line vacuum thingy that will assist in my car starting faster. Some diaphragm in this part has failed and the fuel mix isn't right. Since the part is original (265,000 miles later), I figure $104.00 for the part isn't much when you pro-rate it since 1991. You do the math. I also bought some new light bulbs that should light up the switches in my dashboard, but some don't work...at least the switches don't work. The bulbs are just fine. I wanted to get all the switches to light up when headlights are on. Not going to happen, I guess. Oh, well, the car is 25+ years old, what do I want?

Last week, I spent two days following my friend's tenant. They were evicted (the tenants) and owe my friend a LOT of back rent. They didn't give a forwarding address and my friend wanted to know where they were moving. So, Saturday & Sunday, I spent the afternoons following them as they moved. I was successful in locating their new place, surprised that they didn't figure out I was following them. My car is one of two that are the same color and make in the area. I drive a 1991 240 Volvo Station wagon, silver in color. At one point, I got right in the middle of the three vehicles as they were moving stuff from the old place to the new. Makes me think about paying attention to your surroundings! Anyway, after locating the new  place, I went into the "empty" apartment with my friend to take pictures. There was so much stuff left behind!!! A leaking kind-size water bed, twin mattress and box spring, so many toys and children's clothing. Food left in the pantry, in the fridge (what a mess that is), the stove & oven will need a serious cleaning. The bathroom (all tile with new shower surround) will take some work. Even the toilet seat was cruddy. The wall-to-wall carpet in the living room was used by the tenant's dogs as their toilet, the carpet & pad have been removed, the carpet was all pissed up. Some of the sub-flooring may have to be replaced. I told my friend she had about $2,000.00 of damages against this person. I have seen some bad tenants, but this one is about the worst I have seen.

The biggest news in MA is: it is now legal to possess pot. A person is allowed to carry small amounts on their person (not exactly sure how much, but seems less than an oz.), allowed to own up to 10 oz., grow up to 6 plants in their homes. It isn't legal to sell pot, seeds or any pot itself, but someone can "gift" you pot. The law enforcement in the state is in a quandary since there are now laws on how to deal with the whole issue. Voters decided to legalize medical pot some years ago and past November, decided recreational use of pot should be legal. There has been a lot of talk radio chatter on this subject, to say the least! Anyway, users of pot can now light up at home and not fear arrest. One still can't smoke while in public or driving, but there is no test to prove if one is "under the influence" of pot while driving. This is just too funny...retro back to the 60's & 70's! Bob Marley lives on, if only in smoke.

Returning to the weather. Yesterday, it barely got above 20 degrees all day. Clear and windy, chill factors were pretty low. At 7 PM, the ambient temp was 8 degrees. Sky was mostly clear, but there must have been a haze since I couldn't see all the starts, just the brightest ones, Orion was visible. By 10:30 PM, the temp had risen to 17 degrees. This morning, I woke to 3" of snow on the ground, it was 28 degrees. By 9 AM, it was 34 degrees and changing to freezing rain. Shortly after, it began to rain. Temp is now (9:45 AM) 37 degrees. 29 degree change in temp in about 12 hours. The saying, "If you don't like the weather, just wait an hour (or 12) and it will change" proves to be true here on the MA south coastal area.

I mentioned I ordered some car parts for my Volvo. I splurged and bought a new set of wheel covers (the ones on the car are (once again) original). One
cover has broken, so I am driving around with one missing. Really diminishes the look of the car...which is beautiful, by the way. Wish I could send pix, but haven't figured that out yet. Well, upon examination of the brandy-new wheel covers, I find one is chipped. Well, one could argue that they are going ON THE TIRES AND WHO WILL SEE IT, but that isn't the point. The point is I paid $68.00 for new wheel covers (that works down to $17.00 per). I don't want to sound cheap, but as the woman who can make a penny scream, I want brandy-new, not chipped wheel covers!!! I emailed the company and am waiting to hear the solution. I would take a discount on one wheel cover or return the damages one for an exchange. But I WANT COMPENSATION! They included decals to put on the middle of the wheel cover, but they are not the same as the original. I have a friend who makes signs, I am going to ask him to replicate the lettering on the new covers to match the old covers. Maybe this is a bit anal, but I guess calling a spade a spade is the right thing to do in this case...besides, the car deserves NEW,, unchipped wheel covers, don't you think? If a car can exist for so many years and still look so good, it deserves nice things. I also bought new pockets for the doors where I can keep my ice scraper, tire air gage, maps and always a clean rag for emergencies or checking the fluids...and an extra pair or two of disposable gloves for whatever I need them for. Such as changing a tire or taking a dead animal out of the road.

Well, the rain is coming down and I guess I ought to get my arse in gear. TTYL. One of these days, I will tell you how I met Dwight McCoomb...keeping a turtle from becoming a dead animal on the road...remind me.
About the Vixen
I did some research on foxes. I was surprised to find that sometimes, foxes will have the same mate for many years until one dies. I had thought they were unspecific, but seems that isn't true. Also learned the dog (male fox) helps raise the kits (baby fixes). Foxes are like puppies, in that they are born deaf, blind and pretty hairless. The male fox brings food for the vixen for the first three or so weeks so she can keep the kits warm & fed. After about 4 weeks, the kits start to emerge from the den (sometimes a woodchuck or other animal's abandoned den). The parents bring small animals (mice, chipmunks, squirrels, etc) for the growing kits. I am sure this is when they learn to actually kill, for the small prey could still be alive. During the summer months, the kits hone their hunting and survival skills. As the fall comes on, they leave their parents and search for their own place in the wild. Less than 50% of kits survive, seems man is their worst predator, either by actively killing them or by car. Sad...they are a beautiful creature.
Friday evening after Thanksgiving
I know I said I would update my blog...but I haven't. No excuses, just haven't. But I must relate what just happened outside where I am now staying in Fairhaven. It is pretty urban here, close to a fair-sized mall just across the street and pretty built up along the state route that runs about 250 feet away from my camper. I am lucky in that the guy who owns the place where my camper is parked lets me inside his house when ever I want. In exchange, I have been doing some badly-needed house cleaning for him. Bachelors! They never clean anything. And I cook every evening a good meal for us both. Plus, I have gotten his dog (Chihuahua monster) on a good diet as well as helping him out with his two stray cats...both black as coal.

I have heard stories of the fox who hangs around here, have even seen her one morning really early. She is a red vixen and very pretty. Also very fearless...as I saw tonight. As I usually do when I leave for my camper every evening, I walk BB (my dog) around for his nightly constitutional and pee. Lately, he likes to go over towards where the winter's wood was split but was removed last week. There is still a couple of piles of split wood for next winter and a load of pine wood piled up, waiting to be split. The leaves are deep on the ground from the Norway Maple and the chipmunks have been running around that area. I figured BB was sniffing them out tonight...when I see a pair of eyes dart towards BB. A cat, I figured. NO! The FOX! Ran right up to him...and had no fear of me, only 15 feet away! Just too much!  I ran towards BB, the fox ran off towards the stone wall and stopped, came back towards BB. I think she was HUNGRY! In case you don't know, BB is a Shi Tzu. He is black/grey brindled and very hard to see at night, so I just bought him a dangling blinking light for his collar so I can locate him. He has selective hearing, can only hear me say "Cookie"...not "Come here". Well, the fox came pretty close to us before she hightailed it over the stone wall. I rounded up BB and headed towards my camper. I had my headlamp on and saw a pair of eyes about 50 feet in front of us...the fox had run up the stone wall and out into the yard. She was headed right towards us again! Of course, I am nervous since BB is such a softie, never would be able to defend himself. BB spots the fox and runs off on the chase. I had my laptop under my arm, so I put it inside the camper and got the keys to the Volvo so I could get my good flashlight out of the car. I turned the flashlight on, looking for BB. There he was, about 100+ feet away, hanging out where the boats are stored for the winter. Just then, the fox ran towards BB...I yelled, fox didn't flinch! Didn't deviate it's path, ran towards BB! Got right up to him, was SNIFFING him!!! I started to run towards them, yelling "HEY, HEY". The fox turned when I got within 15 feet or so and ran towards the stone wall...stopped and looked back at me and actually SAT DOWN! I had to get to BB to round him up. He is totally unfazed, unaware, unconscious of what might happen. I had to herd him to the camper. I shined the flashlight back towards the stone wall, there was the fox, SITTING ON TOP OF THE STONE WALL! Twice I turned and looked back at the fox, both times she was sitting on the stone wall, watching to see what we were doing. She took off across the field and headed out towards the housing development on the north side of the neighborhood. I put BB inside, he took a drink of water, totally unaware that he had come close to being fox supper...

What do you think about that!!??
Early November
I've been busy outside in the last days of good weather. I am sorting out winter/summer clothes and putting the warmer weather clothes away. I moved my high-priced storage unit contents into a more affordable space. I have been trying to get over to sort, photograph and organize the contents of the "new" storage space so I can move the second, more expensive storage unit contents to the less expensive space. That, along with yearly physical, eye exam and the nice weather have kept me busy. Too busy to write in the blog.

The property has closed. My final pay-off was so little, I am in shock. Not enough to buy the nice motor home (price was $10,000.00). Then there is the challenge of cashing the check and not get kicked off disability, which will be very difficult to get back on. Our governor has ordered an audit of everyone on disability, so I expect I will have my audit soon. That will be interesting!

I was at my friend's auto shop last week, he had a van up on the lift. I was walking over the cords, air hoses, watching my step and managed to walk right into the tire on the van. I heard every bone in my neck go "CRUNCH"! That was a week ago Thursday afternoon. My chiro is in office only Tuesdays & Thursdays, so I had to wait till Tuesday to see him for a neck straightening. I was pretty sore, but he has helped. Saw him again on Thursday and am hopefully on the mend.

Weather here has been rainless, to say the least. We were promised rain earlier this week, we ran around, getting ready, covering things, bringing things in from the wet. We had some sprinkles. Drought severity has been reduced for the Cape Cod area, but the mainland is still severe. This is a very dry November so far.

Catch up soon!