Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Back to Writing

Pretty much throughout the winter and spring I have been in drawing/ painting mode and been letting my writing slide, but i think that starting up this blog kinda threw me back into the writing mode. This became quite evident with the spewing forth of a story a couple weeks ago (which all my friends seem to love), which I posted to facebook here. The great thing about writing an awesome and then getting positive feedback is the natural sort of high that comes along with it, and I love that because it can bring on so many other ideas for a stary, or book or whatever you want to write.

But there is a negative, and that is the coming down from the high, and that pretty well sucked. It always seems to happen to me that way, I get all psyched up about something i wrote, but then I get started on another thing and start getting the doubts about it and my writing stalls.

By now you are three paragraphs in and wondering what that graphic is all about(created by the talented Mr. Joris Ammerlaan), and I shall tell you. Way back in November I participated in NaNoWriMo, which challenges you to write a 50, 000 word novel in 30 days without thinking, just writing. NO editing breaks, no stopping and plotting, just writing. A bunch of my friends participated and won, but I only managed about 30,000 words(mainly because life suddenly went crazy that month). Even though I didn't win, it was a great experiance and I managed to write way more than I would have had I not participated at all.

You are still wondering what BuNoWriMo is? As I mentioned, I have a few friends who take this writing thing fairly seriously, and they have a writers group that they call the Burrow, where they get together for writing projects. They have decided to do a version of NaNoWriMo in the month of June and I have joined up.

I will be writing a new novel, not finishing the one from November, that I have already got a good sense of the plot and my main characters. It will be a mystery/comedy and hopefully very fun to write!
If anyone is interested in joining this madness, just let me know and I can hook you up (by setting you up with someone who can actually hook you up).

And on to something different
You may have noticed that I have been slack in the blogging area of late, but that is due to some health issues with my husband and a general lack of time as I have taken a second job helping out my in-laws on their farm in the early mornings, which also takes away my evening time since i have to sleep sometime. A general air of harried-ness follows wherever I go. I am hoping I can actually squeeze enough time out of my afternoons to write a novel, but it will be tough.

Yesterday I spent most of the day at the hospital in a waiting room(freezing my butt off) waiting for the doctor to finish up an emergency surgery before he got to my husbands surgery, which was supposed to happen at 2:00, so we arrived at Noon, but then had to wait in the prep area for 2-2.5 hours after they put him in his hospital gown and shaved his leg. It was boring. Luckily there were no problems other than the delay and we got home safely by 9pm. He is pretty much just moping around today, though, so I don't have to do any intense caring for him and thus have time to write. (huzzah!)


(p.s.: If you want to join BuNoWriMo let me know so I can get you an invite to the group on facebook!)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Skid Steer of Doom

Anyone that has worked with me should know better than to let me near any farm equipment that is more complicated than, say, your average push lawn mower. No doubt this lack of ability on machinery stems from my poor vision, lack of confidence, and general clumsiness, but it would appear that my boss (the guy in the driver seat up there^) is a brave man and has allowed me to take on the task of scraping out the free stall barn on a regular basis with the skid steer.

While driving a skid steer isn't actually anything new to me (at my previous job one of my tasks was washing and parking the skid steer everyday), the one that I use now is bound to be my demise. Getting it started is by far the biggest challenge, what with the pre-heat button (that has to be held for a certain amount of time [which changes every time]), the bad solenoid in the starter( which freaked me out the first time I tried to start it and nothing happened because the thingy was sitting wrong for it to work, because I thought I had killed it by doing something wrong), and just the general idea that I could possibly break something by pre-heating, over-cranking, or by flooding the fuel line.

{Funny story sidebar: So on Saturday the boss had to leave for a meeting, so he had the neighbor come over to spread and run the barn cleaner. I wanted to get the free stall barn cleaned and got all set up before i went and jumped in the skid steer. I dutifully pre-heat, and give it fuel and then turn the key. Nothing happens. This is nothing new, bad solenoid and all, just have to keep trying the key until it hits right and then it usually starts up. So I keep trying, stopping and re-pre-heating the fuel every few minutes in case it does find the right spot to start, but after fifteen minutes or so of this crap, I get pissed and jump out and go get the neighbor guy to see if he can start it. So he jumps in, and same thing happens to him, but he gets this idea in his head that it's a switch gone bad under the seat that senses when you are sitting and shuts the engine off when you stand up, so he starts bouncing around on the seat and turns around, pulling on it trying to see if he can see the wires. No go, so he sites back down, and meanwhile all his bouncing had rocked the skid steer enough that it was back in the spot where it could catch and fired right up for him after more pre-heating and holding the button down while turning the key. So i was able to get the barn cleaned that day.

So today the boss went to start up the demon device and it was being stubborn again, so I told him he had to be like the neighbor and bounce around to make it start. And so he did. I had to wander away so I could giggle quietly to myself after watching it.}

Another demon of this particular skid steer is that it has bad parking brakes so that when you do have to get in and out of it when it's running, it creeps along, veering to the left so that if you stand too long in front of it,or are switching drivers, you are likely to get run over by it.

In reality, I am not that bad on the thing, I just get nervous when i have to go along the wall because I would hate to be the person that scrapes out a two inch deep gash in the brand new cement wall, or the one that backs into a gate that would probably cost several hundred dollars to replace. So far I have only broke one thing with it, but it was already a little broken to begin wit so i am not overly concerned about that.

Heaven help me though, if I decide that I should learn how to run the spreader, that could be a disaster!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Busy Days

As you can see, keeping up on this lasted all of a week, but this week has been jam packed with stuff going on. We started out on Sunday picking more rocks at my in-laws farm. Monday ,hmm, well I can't remember Monday. Tuesday though, I remember Tuesday; there was cleaning with the skid steer, rock picking and then a trip up to the Clover leaf lakes to go fishing with Heidi (even though we didn't get so much as a bite, we had fun) and then back to work(more on Tuesday below). (Oh, now I recall, Monday was clean the whole dang house day.) Wednesday I mowed the lawn at work, which is a rather large lawn, but I'm glad I got it done because the weather has been terrible ever since then. And also on Wednesday some of my relatives came out from New York for a visit and will be staying with my parents until Monday, so I will be doing some visiting this weekend. Thursday was just plain unproductive, (well not entirely, I got some calf huts cleaned and drove skid steer some more, but nothing that isn't done every other day anyways.) .

And the biggest news of the whole week was the birth of my newest niece, Baby Lu, on Friday. Unfortunately there were complications and my sister in law is still in the intensive care unit, but is doing much better and is scheduled for release on Monday. We are all keeping her in our thoughts and hoping for a swift recovery. The worst thing about having a brand new niece, is that she lives in Italy so it will be a long time before I get to meet her!

So Wisconsin has the strangest weather in Spring this year. We went from high 70's last week back down to 30's and snow last night! (That's in Fahrenheit for the Europeans, so high 20's and back down to 0 in Celsius) Just as I put away all the cold weather gear too, so I am hoping it warms back up again soon since we just got about half of the corn planted and it needs to be warm for it to start growing.

Tuesday we had gorgeous weather all morning and afternoon, but as soon as I got back to work the sky clouded up , and started threatening to rain while I mowed the lawn, and then as soon as the last of the cows got into the barn the sky opened up and we had an awesome display of nature. It didn't last very long and then the sun came out and I was hoping to see a rainbow, but being stuck in the barn, this is the best view of it I could get.

And so that was this week. Crazy, and cold, and hopefully not repeated for a good long while.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Seeing Things In the Spots

It is generally agreed upon that milking can get a bit boring. It's pretty repetitive; wipe, strip, milk, dip, wipe, strip,milk, dip( you get the idea, right?) So it should come as no surprise that the mind will wander far and wide as the cycle repeats and the imagination will take over.There is one thing about milking Holstein cows that makes them slightly more interesting than the others, and that is their spots. Most cows have boring spots, but last night there were a few that jumped right out at me including this shark (which is eating a swarm of fish, but since I took this on my cell phone, it's not as clear as it should be) on the back of a cow.

And then there was this dog jumping up to catch a piece of meat being dropped to him. Such an athletic dog to be hiding on a cows side!

Lastly, here we have a bunny rabbit standing next to a tree, no doubt searching for his hidey hole so that the dog doesn't come find him when his steak is done.

(actually there were two other cows that had cool spots, but the lady I was working with kept looking at me funny for snapping photos of cow spots. There was a hippo and another bunny (that was diving into his hole, clearly being chased).

And so that is my Sunday post and my housework is to be delayed since my husband has just called for me to go pick stones for the afternoon.