August 12, 2014

This is what happens when you prepare posts for future publication

by Janie Jones

I’ve been having a dark time lately and losing interest in my blog, but feeling bad about it because blogging used to be so much fun for me and I miss that enjoyment.  So I was trying to recapture a bit of snarky fun with my blog.  The problem though is I hate having nothing to say that’s not rehashing all my same miserable complaints over and over.  So, I decided to download pictures from earlier on the season and had a few set to publish throughout the week.

Unfortunately there was this morning’s which was a bit off color and I’d forgotten I’d set this picture to publish.   Now with what’s going on in the Middle East and with the loss of Robin Williams when I opened up the blog this morning and I saw what I forgot I’d prepped a while back it made me uncomfortable.  And I’ve removed it.

Sorry to any of you who whom I may have upset.

Bad timing, poor judgement.

Sorry again.



August 11, 2014

An unusual observation

by Janie Jones

So there I was, in the dark, dingy, dilapidated laundry room doing laundry.  At first I spent as little time in there as possible as it stank to high heaven from having been the resident weasel’s toilet.  Shortly after I moved out to the farm I coaxed Leif into helping me remove everything from the room and I very literally hosed the whole room down.  Not to worry, the laundry room is built basically over wooden decking so there’s no basement or crawl space below and, as there’s a hole in the floor, what water I couldn’t mop up drained through the cracked linoleum tile out of the room and into what’s likely a weasel condo below.  After an equally liberal application of Pine-sol, the room was passably clean, but despite all that scrubbing I still only gave it’s ancient decor a cursory inspection.  It appeared to have some faded colonial/cottage-y wall boarder.

Then, out of the blue, yesterday, as I sorted laundry, it occurred to me that there were images of flying witches on the wall boarder.

Odd, I thought.

The more I thought about it the more odd it seemed that someone in the past would have decorated the laundry room with a witch wall boarder.   At length I finished sorting and stood staring directly at the boarder thinking, now why didn’t I notice those witches before?

So, I got on the step stool and got a closer look.

Blame it on my wonky eye, or blame it on the faded colors.  Or even blame it on the fact I just finished reading The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe, which I enjoyed very much by the way, but what I thought were witches flying brooms over a colonial New England town were actually angels with itsy bitsy nearly invisible wings in dark robes blowing trumpets.

Now I don’t know what’s more strange:  that I thought they were witches, or that someone would like wall boarder with the ugliest angels I could imagine.

I always say, there’s no accounting for taste, and this my friends is a case in point.

August 9, 2014

Curious and Curiouser

by Janie Jones

So I have started my glamorous new job as a tour guide.  As minimum wage jobs go, it so far doesn’t suck with the power of a black hole, but I have to admit that on account of being on the wrong side of 40 and having been pretty much completely sedentary for the majority of the last 4 years my thighs, hips and back are not terribly pleased with all the walking, stair climbing and standing.  Still the people I work with are pleasant, if a bit neurotic in that over caffeinated, college student sort of way and the tourists have generally been very pleasant too.  Time doesn’t drag too much and over all I don’t have much to complain about all things considered.  Imagine that.  No complaints.  You must be visiting the wrong blog….

Anyway, to get to the new job I have to drive down the gravel road a piece, turn on to the state highway and then 15 miles or so later I can get onto the interstate and cruise the rest of the way at 75 mph into work.  It’s a gas guzzling commute, but traffic isn’t bad and I’ve only had to endure it for 4 days so far so it hasn’t worn on me much yet.  But…  You knew there’d be one coming eventually didn’t you?

I have noticed something which strikes me as very odd.

So far I’ve spotted not just one, not even just two, but three different cars on two different mornings and one afternoon all pulled over at nearly the exact same place on the interstate all with flat tires.  Coincidence?  Yeah probably.  Still, paranoid much?  Yeah you bet.  I can’t afford to place a flat tire, nor would I like to put on the spare in my oh so stylin’ work uniform.

Seriously though, it does seem pretty suspicious to find so many cars pulled over with flats in the same place, doesn’t it?

July 27, 2014

Look for the silver lining

by Janie Jones

I’m sitting here this morning, having been up since 5:45 am when the dogs decided it was time to go out for their first constitutional of the day, listening to Gertie crow.  Leif was led to believe that Gertie was a hen, but time has shown that she’d have been more aptly named “Gus” on account that she’s not a she at all but a he.

While it may sound very liberal minded that we keep a gender confused chicken in these modern times, I still can’t say I’ve become very liberal minded about country life.  But there is one small silver lining that I’ve been clinging to these last couple of weeks.  You see, down the road a piece there is a tiny community that has a flea market every Sunday.  Being broke and being extremely unhappy and with summer school nearly over, I decided to do something.  Anything.  And so I got myself into the pseudo self employment business of running a flea market booth.

However, there’s just one flaw in this plan.  Does one go to an outside flea market on a rainy day?

And so I sit here wondering if it’s worth the $10-15 in gas to drive down the road and set up only to get soaked and make no money because no one comes out on account of rain.

I love flea markets and garage sales and resale shops.  So this really is a perfect way for me to focus myself, and hopefully make a few bucks.  But I swear the universe has a very dark sense of humor, saving the rain for Sunday, the one day I look forward to all week.

Earlier I posted about the good news of my blogoversary and how I am trying not to blog about depressing things or sound too much like a complainer.  So, here’s another small piece of “good” news. I won’t make the mistake of saying it’s funny, as I’ve been told it’s not. But I was offered a job on Thursday. It’s not likely to be a particularly good job, nor a resume gem, but it will get me minimum wage and likely more exercise than I want. Its a tour guide position at a historical mansion here abouts. Being desperate, I took it even though it’s a 40 mile drive each way. Then on Friday I was offered a second job. Slightly more money, probably a little more driving (but this one is directly on the way to Stickittoyou U campus so when school starts it wouldn’t be inconvenient), and while likely less walking would be involved, I don’t know if I’d really find it anymore pleasant. This second one is for a nursing home. So now I have a choice. Make less money doing my best Vanna White impression but not need to go to the gym, or make slightly more money but work in a very depressing environment. I think it’s funny that all summer I’ve been desperate to find a job, and once I decide to do something, anything, and I embark on something I really love, running the flea market booth, suddenly all these low paying jobs that I couldn’t get a few months ago are calling me up. I do indeed think the universe has a very twisted sense of humor.

We’ve been watching Downton Abbey Season 4 these last few days. You know, I really, really feel for Mr. Mosely.

Now, to flea market in the rain, or not to flea market in the rain.  That is today’s philosophical debate.

July 27, 2014

While I’ve been unmotivated life goes on

by Janie Jones

Greetings dear blog buddies who haven’t given up on me.

Life continues forward and I stumble along with it. Leif occasionally asks if I’ve updated my blog and I sullenly answer no, why bother when all I’d do is complain or be depressing.

Well here’s finally some news that’s not totally depressing. Thursday was my blogoversary. I forgot again this year, but WordPress was there as usual to remind me of the hallmark date.

4th blogoversary

It often feels like I’ve been blogging for longer, and then I realize that’s because I have. I had a different blog before this one, so altogether it’s been more on 6 years. And it occurs to me that  perhaps this last several months don’t really count as, WordPress puts it, “Good blogging,” as the blogging has definitely fallen off and when I do stumble myself to the computer what gets thrown up here is somewhat less than an interesting read. And, I really just can’t stand losing the small community of blog followers who I consider friends because my material is so unread-worthy.


If you are still out there, thank you for your ongoing support.

I am hoping that if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other one day soon I’ll find I’ve shuffled myself into a better place.  I hope you’ll still be there to share it with me when I do, too.


July 9, 2014

And once again I’m reminded of just how much it sucks to be totally, completely broke

by Janie Jones

I’ve been much too depressed to blog lately.  Mostly because I can’t think of anything to say that doesn’t sound like a complaint.  Unfortunately, I don’t mean to complain, it’s just everything is so crappy right now, that the simple facts sound horrid.  Well, they don’t just sound horrid, they really are.

Out on the farm we have not been able to take showers now for 6 weeks.  We take “pioneer showers” where we wash out of buckets.  Just this weekend we upgraded from having to draw the hot water for bathing and dishes directly off the hot water heater and carry buckets of hot water up from the basement to a single hot tap in the kitchen.  For about the last 5 weeks we have had no water in the bathroom, now we at least have one cold tap in the bathroom.  However, to flush the toilet we need to manually fill the toilet tank with a hose run through the back door from a garden spigot.  If we weren’t drop dead broke we could have had showers about 3 weeks ago, but there was simply no money to pay a plumber to fix all that’s wrong with the plumbing.  Leif is slowly fixing it on his own.

The bugs are so thick here that even sitting indoors you get eaten alive by mosquitoes and we’ve all been moonlighting as tick buffets.  I was lucky enough to contract Lyme Disease and have just finished 3 weeks of antibiotic treatment.

I have two weeks of summer school left, but luckily the on campus component is over so I no longer have to drive an hour and twenty minutes each way twice a week to class.  It is doubly lucky because the gov’mnet in their infinite wisdom decided that I no longer can be eligible for food stamps.  Not like I liked having to use them in the first place, but it did at least save me from having to stretch my nickel sized budget to cover a dime’s worth of bills.  The silver lining here then is when my food stamps got canceled I no longer had to drive so the gas money could be converted to food money saving me from having to make the choice of going to class or eating.

I managed to get probably 90% of the stench of weasel and chipmunk shit out of the laundry room, but when it’s really damp it still smells of mold, mildew, animal excrement, and a faint odor of cigarette smoke lingers in the rooms we haven’t pulled the carpet out of yet.  There is still a hole in the laundry room floor, but at least I don’t have to breathe in weasel stench to do laundry.  And, we finally got both the washer and dryer running, just the washer only runs on cold, and that, can you guess? has to be brought in via garden hose through the back door.

I’m still living out of boxes because 1.  we’ve run out of places to put our things 2.  I’ve run out of caring anymore.

So, without boring you with anymore of the minutiae of life since being exiled to the country, I’m struggling to find any happiness, or even any bit of hope, these days.

Poor Leif, now he’s gone and broke my heart and added a new layer of misery to my broke-ass existence.  What evil is this you might ask?  Today we escaped the farm to go grocery shopping and conduct some business in town.  Leif has been wanting another young dog to play with Vera and so he’s popped into the shelter a time or two to see if he could find a dog to adopt.  Today he says, “Would you like to stop at the shelter and see what they’ve got today?”  And like an idiot I said, “Sure, I’d like to see the animals.”  Can you guess where this is going?

Well, apparently on one of his previous visits he saw a middle aged beagle and thought  it would be a perfect dog for me and more sedate buddy for Rupert.  The beagle was still there, and Leif was right.  It was love at first sight for me.  He was well mannered and absolutely adorable.  He was found as a stray so he didn’t know his shelter name, but he knew sit and did the prettiest beg you’ve ever seen.  The shelter wanted a $275 adoption fee, and that’s when my heart broke.  I don’t have $275 and I had to leave the poor guy at the shelter.  But the whole way home I kept thinking about him.  Leif liked him too and said maybe it would be something for me to work for and cheer me up, but unfortunately it’s had the opposite effect.  I’m even more sad now than I was before.  See, there’s no way I’ll ever be able to adopt that darling four legged little guy.  It’s not just a matter of starting the “Bring the Beagle Home Fund” and putting aside some money next time I get paid.  I don’t have a job and won’t have any more income until I either get one or until I’m again eligible for financial aid in September.  By then my beloved beagle will likely have a new home, or worse yet continue to spend week after week in a shelter on a hard concrete floor enclosed by chain link walls.   Either way, it’s depressing to think about.

*Sigh*  If I wasn’t dead broke I could now be gleefully posting adorable photos of me and Rupert with “Bingley,” what Leif suggested I name the new guy.  You know, that name would suit him perfectly.




June 17, 2014

Well, that’s some good news at least

by Janie Jones

I just got word I was awarded a scholarship for Stickittoyou University.  It’s not a lot, but it will cover about a quarter to a third of my tuition.

Now if only I could win a scholarship or award that would pay for my housing….

Still one must be grateful for the little things, especially when they are all you’ve got.