Thursday, November 30, 2006

This is now the fifth try to publish with this PC card we got through Alltel. Not at all happy with thie $100.00 purchase.

On the way to Midland I was charged up thinking about the possibilities with Green Power’s distributorship. It was one of those times that my mind was in top gear, running at a nine on the Bob scale. We went to Home Depot and then Lowe’s to price water heaters. It looks like Lowe’s has the best deal. The brand they carry is Whirlpool which we know and trust. It took a while to get someone who knew enough about them to give us some needed advice. I’ll have to crawl under the house and see about routing the 240 volt wiring to the area the water heater goes. I knew I’d have to go under there sometime. Oh well.

After we did all that we had lunch at Rosa’s Grill. Boy, I’d love to open this franchise up in Toledo. It’d go over great out there. Then we went to Barn’s and Noble to go online. It cost four bucks apiece for us to go online for two hours. I got the E-mails from Green Power and started to look at them. We were seated in the Starbuck’s kiosk for this. There were two businessmen seated at the table next to us. I wasn’t able to tune out their conversation and focus on what I was reading. This is not unusual for me. There are times when I can’t tune out even simple things most folks don’t even notice, such as air conditioners or even the hum of fluorescent lights. They left after talking about rebar, epoxy, and a myriad of other things that I heard every word of. Then a couple sat there and talked about stringing beads and how much money could be made.

As all this was going on I was getting depressed. I was faced again with the problems from this brain injury as I was unable to focus and process what I was reading. How can I run a company when I can’t even do this? Self doubt rose it’s ugly head and stole my enthusiasm and daydreams of again becoming a successful businessman. It was and is demoralizing. The distributorship requires a $5,000 investment plus more. Can I risk that? Do I just stay safe? This is hard.

It was a rapid change of attitude and with the stress I slowed down. We were going to stop at WallFart afterwards but by this time I just wanted to go home so we did. That was it. Done for the day.
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11/30/06 Thursday
Lots has happened. The biggest thing in my mind, actually all I remember right now, is getting our cell phones and the PC card that allows us to go online. Cherie said it was like getting out of a locked room. It had a dramatic affect on her and I heard some laughs I haven’t in a while. Great stress relief.

We looked at hot water heaters and it looks like it’ll run a couple of hundred bucks. I’ll have to run a 240 volt line to the closet that contains the water heater. Lowe’s said they would install the water heater for $245.00 which is more than the heater itself costs. I don’t get my disability check till tomorrow and after getting the cell phones we may not have enough to get the water heater. We’ll just keep heating water on the hot plate till we can work this out.

As I write I am remembering more of yesterday. Actually the pictures I took and just downloaded brought it up in this mind. Wait till you see this. Again it’s the house Mickey Mouse built. Much of the construction is masterful but there is plenty that is scary. You can see the foundation under the office area has shifted or something. There are one by fours (I think) that have lifted off the two by six board that rests on the dirt. These are part of the support for the floor. Fortunately the office is small so the floor joists are only nine or so feet long and sit on the cinderblock that is the main exterior foundation. I know I may not be using the right words for all this but don’t know a thing about construction, or at least not much.

Now we get to what we’ve labeled as the back room. I think this was added to the original house later and the office was put on after that. Big difference in how they were built. This is a much bigger area and the floor supports are sitting on bricks, which just lay on the ground. No wonder the floor squeaks so much. Even more scary. As I studied construction stuff online I read that sandy soils like ours are fairly stable and don’t require as much as some others but this can’t be good. Right now I am thinking about pulling all the plywood floor up and doing this right. Living on this small disability check means we must be careful about what we do.

I was astounded when I saw the hive where the Africanized (Killer) bees had been. Whoa! This bad baby is at least seven feet long and that is all I can see from the tiny crawl space access hole.

If I hadn’t lost twenty five pounds over the last two or three months I never would have made it through. It’ll be interesting to see what’s there when I pull up the floor. No wonder it was so hard to get rid of those bees. Had to throw bug foggers down there a few times. The honey bees came into the other side of the house later.

I had two main motivations for going down there. First was to see the plumbing. When we get the new water heater we want to put a sediment filter on the water line coming in. It will filter out the sand and some of the minerals. We don’t want to use a water softener. Too much hassle and don’t like the salt it adds to the water. We plan on putting a three part filter with charcoal for the kitchen and bathroom water. It’ll take some serious rerouting of the pipes to do all of this. Because the filters have to be changed, especially the main sediment filter, I can’t have it under the house. Running the PVC pipe is something I don’t think I’ll have a problem with. The more I think about this the more I see that pulling up the floor is a good idea. Make it allot easier to access this. Still can’t tell where the septic tank it. That’s just another mystery to be solved.

Another reason I went into the crawl space was to see if any of the wiring was down there. NOPE, not a wire. Of course I saw all the old gas line but we have pretty much decided to go all electric. Fishing through all this to find a leak is hard enough but when you consider that if there is one leak another may not be far behind it doesn’t sound promising.

After this I ventured up to the attic for the first time. After seeing the crawl space I was afraid of what I might find. Surprise! Surprise! It looked great as far as my inexperienced eye could tell. I saw the 240 volt line that ran into the back room. I think this is on the breaker marked “Freezer” but will trace that down later. There was lots of other wires laid across the ceiling rafters, joists, or whatever you call them. Probably not the best way to do it. All of it that I could see was the two wire ungrounded type that I’ll need to replace. This house will end up no longer being the house that Mickey Mouse built but the one that Bob and Cherie built. It may take a while but it’ll be something we can take pride in.

We have an outside cat now. He’s still a kitten but not for long. We named it Skittles because it is quite skittish. It’s been out in the wild and bears the scars from some unknown attacks. Could have been coyote’s, hawks, or some other predator. Regardless Skittles keeps an eye on everything and is quick to dash for cover at any perceived danger. He is slow to get close and trust us each time we see him but then rubs on our legs and eats up pets. We feed him a little now and set up a place in the garage for him.

It went below freezing for the first time last night and will go down to the teens tonight so we put old blankets and a heat pad Cherie had in for Skittles. We also have been busy weatherizing the house for us. All we have for heat is two small space heaters. Fortunately this house is well insulated. Got some of that plastic film you can shrink with a hair dryer and put it on the office and bedroom windows. We hung blankets on the open doorways to trap the heat in the bedroom and office and to reduce the flow of cold air through the house.

The wind was howling as the cold front blew in. We did our best to seal up the windows in the living room. All we use that for currently is to store the unopened boxes of our stuff. The front door wouldn’t stay closed at all so we ended up bracing a bunch of boxes against it. All night we listened to things banging around outside. It had Cherie scared the metal roof was blowing off. That actually is a possibility out here and I will go out to check it in a while. All of our tumbleweeds are gone now. Figured that would happen. Allot of other stuff has been blown around. Even the wheelbarrow was blown over and across the yard. At least it’s still here.

The heater in our bedroom kept the temperature at 63 degrees. It wouldn’t go any higher but that’s ok, we can handle it. Snuggle a bit more and stay under the blankets. Tonight we will probably put the electric blanket on cause it’ll get down into the teens’. Hey, we’re from up north so can handle it. Just dress warm in the house. I’m not really affected by the cold because of the brain injury. Heat is different. That’s just one of the many strange changes that came with waking up.

Today I’ll stay in the house and get stuff done here. Think I’ll go online with our new PC cell phone card now. Got lots to catch up on. It’s nice to be able to do that now.

1 comment:

ByronBring said...

Sounds like things are really starting to come together now!