Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Snow! And Stuff.

I was so glad to finally see snow this winter. It really hasn't felt like winter at all. Well, except for the cold or flu or whatever it was that made the rounds here. Tom was the first to get it and missed all last week of college because the pinkeye basically blinded him. He kept in touch with his teachers and they gave him his assignments so he wasn't behind in his work. Now hopefully I'm nearing the end of it myself, although last night I was up coughing most of the night. Andy has it a little but mostly just feels really tired and icky. When you have a cold/flu, icky most definitely is a word. Thankfully I only got a touch of the pinkeye and it cleared within a day or so, and Andy never got that at all. I had Tom wash his eyes with chamomile tea using an eye cup and it cleared quickly and his eyes felt much better. It probably would have cleared sooner but he wouldn't listen to me - he couldn't get past putting tea in his eyes! I knew that antibiotic drops wouldn't help because it was viral and not bacterial. Finally he was desperate and said that he'd try anything and lo and behold, in 24 hours it was gone. Sometimes ol' mom knows what she's doing. Not often, but sometimes!

The quest for a grain mill has been put on hold at least for a little while. Tom just started a new quarter in school and was just told what books he would need, so my eBay funds will be going to pay for those first, before the grain mill. For the most part things have been going smoothly selling, but I have had a couple of unfortunate experiences this time around. They both involved people who had never used eBay before and didn't know how to use it. There is plenty of help and information on the site to show you what to do and how to do it, but evidently these people weren't into reading instructions. Nor were they into reading my full listings where it says that PayPal is the only form of payment that I accept. One man had clicked on the "Buy It Now" button for one of my books and thought he was at a regular store. He actually called me on the phone (that was kind of creepy) and told me that my "store" wasn't working because there was nowhere to put his credit card information. *Sigh* I told him that he needed to register with PayPal but he didn't understand what I was trying to explain to him. Then I didn't hear from him for several days, so I emailed and told him that if I didn't hear from him by noon the next day, I would have no choice but to relist the book. Well, the book is relisted and currently has two bids on it. Now I am waiting to hear from the person who won the Wii game. The auction ended Saturday. Ebay automatically sends an invoice at auction end but when I didn't hear from the winner by Sunday night, I also sent a copy of the invoice and asked them to acknowlege that they had won the auction. First thing Monday morning I received an email stating, (and I am typing this exactly as it was written), "hey this program won't take my card or something how can i pay you is there another way? *sigh* *again*. I wrote back and asked what "card" he was referring to, and reiterated that I only accept PayPal. I didn't hear back from him, so last night I wrote and told him that since I saw that he was new to eBay (he just registered the day he won my auction), that maybe he wasn't familiar with the workings of it, so I told him that I would take a money order this time, provided that I received it by Saturday, and I gave him a few pointers on being a good eBayer, for the future. I asked him to write back as soon as possible and tell me how he wanted to handle paying for this game. Well, as of now I haven't heard from him. I am going to write to him one last time and let him know that if I don't hear from him by noon tomorrow that I am offering the game to the next highest bidder or relisting it. I realize that I risk negative feedback this way, but SHEESH! This just gets exasperating!

I have been sneak-reading "Nourishing Traditions". Yes, I know that The Giant Killer is next on my list but the book arrived and I couldn't help sneaking a peek. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is definitely an eye-opener about food that is supposed to be good for you. Ever wonder why if everyone is eating low fat and low cholesterol that we have the highest rate of heart disease ever? This book will really make you think. After reading the section on dairy, I decided that I definitely wanted to find a source of raw milk for us (as in fresh-from-the-cow). I had been looking for the past couple of years anyway because I wanted to try making cheese, but I couldn't find any (and we just don't have room for a milk cow out back!). It turns out that there are laws that make it illegal for farmers to sell their cow's milk without it being "factory-ized" first. That's pasteurized and homogenized. I read in one of my Countryside magazines how people were circumventing this by buying "cow shares", wherein they buy a share of a farmer's cow; the farmer houses the cow and feeds it with the money you provided, then once a week or so you go and pick up "your" cow's milk products. Technically the law states that if you own the cow, you can drink it's milk; hence the cow sharing. Well, turns out that cow sharing is illegal in Maryland. Gotta love this place. Anyway, to make a long story short (kind of late now, I know), I found a co-op where I can order stuff weekly directly from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania and I pick up my goods every Thursday evening. Well, actually Tom is picking them up on his way home from college because it's right on his way. Our first order will be in this Thursday and I'm anxious to see REAL milk! I also ordered some REAL eggs and REAL ham steaks. Well, the meat we're kind of used to because for the past two years we have bought our own cow and pig for slaughter, but we've never had REAL DAIRY before! In order to protect the farmer though, all of our items have to be marked Pet Food. Oh, well. I've been called worse!

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