10 December 2009


This summer I was introduced to facebook. This has been a wonderful connection to old friends, and to family that live far away... unfortunately, it has sucked every spare moment of time I used to devote to this blog, my online memory of times gone by.
I so enjoy going back to see where I was at a year or two ago for the same month. See what was going on, what was important, and what challenges we faced. Looking at last year during this time we were in a very difficult situation. The ice storm was in full swing. We were in the middle of a nearly two week power outage, had trees, and wires down all around, generators were a hot commodity and we worked day and night to make sure everyone had a warm meal a warm place to sleep, and if possible helped make sure their pipes didn't freeze.
This year we have a good foot of snow on the ground from a couple of storms, but it was a very warm November and December is quite pleasant so far. We had a successful year with the fire department. Only one house fire and the house was not a total loss. They have rebuilt the portion lost and are back to life as normal. After the ice storm it all seemed to be downhill.
My job at the town has intensified over the last year. Our selectmen have been "giving back" by using town fund reserve to keep taxes low. Unfortunately, they have "given" so much that now we are facing cash flow issues and I am called to the floor (along with others) to try to stop the bleed and keep us from having to borrow money. It is all very political and I am trying to make my point without choosing sides and trying not to get involved in the petty he said she said debates. I have a wonderful new deputy. The old deputy was fifty years older than I was and was having health issues, at 88 I'd say she's doing well, but still... She stepped down in June and I asked a long standing member of the community to help me out. She has been wonderful!
The shop is the usual roller coaster ride. Never a dull moment. We finally stopped paying rent for our warehouse and were able to buy property. We are using it as warehouse space and may move the store there eventually. We learned a lot buying commercial property. There was so much more involved between getting planning board approvals, town permits, site surveys, etc. etc. We moved in at the end of August after renovating and paving more of the parking lot. Our business flow is quit the opposite of last year when we were on allocation and could not get anything fast enough. This year people are mad that things were so slow last year, and prices were so high. Oil came down a little bit and pellets stayed the same which didn't really make sense to anyone. People are very sensitive to that sort of thing. Plus it has been really pretty warm this year. Our guys are doing great though and we have not had to let anyone go (knock on wood) so I guess we are doing ok still.
It has still been a learning year with the chickens, bless their little souls. We had dog issues, fox issues, rooster issues, and more fox issues. Alas, we have two original girls still- Abbie and Dorrie, one Rhode Island Red from the last batch- Rhonda, and four new beaks. Two Cochin Bantums- Frank and Cuddles, as well as Two Banty Frizzles Little Miss Sunshine (Sunny), and Lou Lou Roo.
Arts sweetest Zoicite passed away after a a tough year. She was a doll and we miss her every day! She was one of a kind, and it will be a long cold winter without her on our laps!
We do have two spunky new kitties in the house though. They are sisters, and they have energy! They are still working it out with my Blizzadora but they are getting better. Thalia is super smart and I think she has an inner snuggle-bug that will come out when she gets a little older. This smarty can turn on faucets, open doors, and is a great big tattle tail! Calista is Art's cat. She is the original smelly cat. We took away the forever feeder because she would just pack food into her tummy so she felt rock hard, and tooted her way through the day. Now they eat twice a day and the fatties have left the building!
We traveled an incredible amount (again) this year. I think Art is going to be at 70 nights away from home and me just a few days behind. We do have a few trips for the coming year but I think we are both a little burned out and plan to stay closer to home. We got a new tractor (yes a Deere) so we are getting excited about getting the yard and fields in order. Damon had a rough year growing because of all the rain and how cold it stayed through the summer, but we are excited for next year. We have ha Art's cousin's daughter coming a few weekends this fall and she was a huge help in clearing and maintaining the raspberry patch. We also hope to plan a few more fruit trees along the stream behind the pond. We also have a lot of work ahead of us at the new property getting it cleaned out and updated.
We are getting near the home stretch with home projects. We re-did our upstairs bathroom this year, and did a few more windows. Just a slider, a few more windows, and a screened porch and the house will be ready to start over with painting and maintenance! We do hope to tear the cottage down this year and put up another garage with a workout room loft. We can then bring the Porsche home and put the Bobcat in there as well as get my exercise bike out of the middle of the living room! The other exercise stuff we don't really use since it is in the cottage which had a huge tree limb fall through the roof last winter leaving it damp and cold in there...
Family has been up and down as well this year. Art's Mom started walking a big again so that has been wonderful! Not sure she will ever totally give up the wheelchair but she can get to and from the car, bathroom, etc. which is huge! Art's Dad had a scare with a blood vessel popping in his eye. He seems to have leveled out but still has blood pressure issues... They did buy a house down in Tucson so they are excited about that. My Grandmother went into a nursing home this year and is currently not doing very well. I am sometimes sad that I didn't know my extended family very well but I know my cousins and Aunts and Uncles are taking good care of both her and my Grandfather.