Archive | September, 2012

Curious Cat

September 27, 2012



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The Hopeful Rise of the Entrepreneur

September 27, 2012

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I read a news article today that New York State is in $300 billion dollars in debt. $300 BILLION! It’s an unfathomable amount, absolutely horrible. How on earth do you ever pay something like that off? Truly, you don’t. You just pass it along to the next generations. It’s a form of slavery.

I have been traveling throughout New York State recently, chatting with small business owners at the establishments we visit. The conversations are all very enlightening. Here in New York, it’s notoriously difficult to do business. Much of the business environment is heavily regulated, and tight-fisted lenders are loath to part with their cash for cash-strapped companies. For the past 60 years, larger corporation have been leaving the state for fairer opportunities, too. That leaves us with no manufacturers, no big corporations. The demographics of the prosperous 1950s has completely turned over. There are no more big companies who will hire a person for life and give them employment perks like pensions, investment opportunities, health care and the like.

So we adapt. We create our own small businesses, and we diversify. Many of the small business owners talked about the necessity of diversifying their businesses and talents. For example, a motor inn can no longer support itself with business from that motor inn alone. It must also run a restaurant, hire out for snow plowing, and even join the ranks of eBay sellers to sell extra equipment or home-made crafts.

On top of it all, the recent economic downturn was hardest on the small business. Banks refused to offer loans to what they deemed as frivolous or small ventures. But that’s the only way the small business can cope! With so many avenues closing, small business must turn to online lenders for their online ventures, such as Kabbage. You can read CrunchBase’s write-up of the company at the link. Very interesting.

I like to watch patterns and movements. There is a distinct change in the small business demographics as more and more owners are diversifying their talents and going online for their resources, and to reach a larger market.

How is the business environment in your area? I tend to think that many regions are starting to suffer the similar downward spiral that afflicted New York n the late 1990s. I hope they don’t sit on their hands like NY has done. I guess the politicians believe in magic, that somehow spending more and more billions will generate income… It’s not going to be the politicians who get us out of this mess, but — as always — the small business owner.

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Our First Venture Canning Food

September 19, 2012


Correction: The daughter‘s first venture canning food. I stood back and watched. šŸ™‚

We ordered 50 pounds of organic beefsteak canning tomatoes from She finished the job a few days ago. I don’t know how many quarts and pints of tomatoes we eventually got, but it was a lot! Three days work!

Canned tomatoes

The only reason we only canned tomatoes is because our garden was a dismal failure this year. The barrage of flooding we suffered last year (THREE floods) really took its toll on the property. I’m just getting too old to work full time, renovate a house AND clean up the yard all day long. Whew. The kids do help out a lot but they also have their own stuff to do.

Next year, Lord willing, we will have a garden full of green beans, yellow squash, tomatoes, rutabagas….

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Find the Kitty Friday: Well She Tried

September 14, 2012

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She’s not a baby anymore! *sniff*


Everything was crammed into the corner as we are working on the bookcase units. She just loves the excitement, and always has to be “in” on the activity. I have no idea why she crawled underneath her cardboard scratchy-toy-thingy. She actually got stuck, believe it or not! LOL

The project is coming along, slooooowly. It’s not very fun, sawing and hammering in a finished living room. The dust goes everywhere and the sawdust gets into the area rug. I think we’re do for one of those fancy
round rock texas upholstery cleaning” jobs, too.

Well, it must be done. I still have to build our little fireplace/mantel unit before it gets too cold. The summer just flew by!

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Built-In Bookcases Project – Halfway There

September 12, 2012

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Here’s the progression thus far:

Before photo. There’s a lot of wasted space along this wall because of the doorway and the narrow width between that and the wall (13 inches). I’d had a fleet of cheapo Chinese particle board bookshelves there, but they were ugly and starting to flex. Plus, two bookshelves are not nearly enough to hold all our books! I have boxes of them stuffed everywhere in the house.

Living Room before 2

I purchased inexpensive unfinished wall cabinets. They are narrow enough to fit in the space (12 inches) but are not tall enough. So I built a simple 2×4 frame for the cabinets to sit on. The frame adds height and provides a toe kick beneath the cabinets, too. I secured this sucker to the floor and the wall studs. This bookcase is not going anywhere!


One cabinet installed already.


The wall has a few outlets and I did not want to conceal them behind the cabinets. So the trusty daughter (who does all my measuring) drew the outline for the outlets.


The son got to use the jigsaw to create the outlet holes.


This was the day’s work!


I have since installed oak plywood counters on both cabinet units, and everything is finally stained and sealed. I didn’t get a photo yet, but trust me — it looks great.

Next — the shelves!!!

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Find the Kitty Friday: Livvy’s Greatest Fan

September 7, 2012

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