Friday, September 29, 2006

Sunny but cold day

9/29/06 Friday
It’s a beautiful but cold day. Was in the mid to high 30’s this morning. There are only a few wisps of cloud in the sky so there is plenty of sun to help warm things up. Yesterday I spent a lot of time getting things I need for the trailer. I was pretty slow most of the day so making basic decisions was difficult. I went to several stores and would walk around looking at things with the hope I will see something I needed. Much of the time was spent just figuring out what to do and how. While at Lowe’s I ran into Nate and Jeremy. It was embarrassing because I don’t like interacting when I am slow and I feel stupid. Nate asked some questions and made a suggestion or two that I can’t remember right now. I wasn’t able to really answer his questions well because I would loose my train of thought with every little distraction. Nate did answer a question I had about how to wire the brakes.

12:37 – Cherie just left to head back to work. She is a bit discombobulated with all the thoughts and emotions that go with this big move. It is hard to believe we leave in about two weeks. I have been working on getting the wheels reinstalled on the trailer. I spent a couple of hours getting a metal ring in good enough shape to hold a seal. It was something that had been made years ago to fix a problem on the axle. Over the years it came loose and rubbed against the bearing causing much damage. I had to carefully file ridges down and then started sanding with 240 grit paper. I worked up to 1000 grit so it should work. Right now I will run to the store and find an adhesive that will hold the ring in place.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Here's two days

9/27/06 Wednesday
The apartment managers called Cherie and told her I needed to get the trailer put together and moved, today. She was (and is) with her parents as they head to court for the crap that happened with the city a month or so ago. That’s not going to be fun. Earlier she took her mom to see the doctor. They went to the wrong office so had to rush to the right one. Mom’s doing fine and the doctor was happy.

I went out to the business the guy at John’s Trailers pointed me to for the electric brakes. When I showed him the wheel hub off the trailer he just gasped and said “That is old”. I carried the hub into Wheel and Rim and Doug, the boss, had to come out of his office to see this thing. Yes they had the new complete brake assembly that would just bolt on and everything was looking good.

Now they look at the seals and bearings. That’s a different story. Doug and his other guy hit the computers and parts books to find them. “They don’t make that anymore” was the statement I would hear a few more times. I had him check the bearings and he said they were fine for now but one of them was also discontinued. “Perhaps you can find this seal at an auto parts store” Doug offered as I paid for the brakes.

I went to NAPA because they can access hard to find parts. He had to search for it but he found a cross over number to another brand. He got on the phone and began calling stores to see if they stocked the seal. Nobody had it in stock so he had to order it from Grand Rapids, Michigan. “When can you get them?” I asked and he said “Tomorrow morning”. “Fine. Order them. How much do they cost?” I asked. “Wow!” he exclaimed as he saw the price. “Twenty seven dollars” he told me as he gazed at the computer screen. “Is that for them all?”. “No. That’s apiece”. BAM. I need four seals and this is a chunk of change. “I know you can do better than that” I wheedled and he did drop the price to $18.00. Still that’s eighty bucks for seals that usually cost six bucks each. Gotta do what I gotta do so they’re ordered. Clocks ticking louder and louder now. Time to get back on the trailer.

Here's one of the brakes.


9/28/06 Thursday
It looks like I get something written earlier in the day and after that I suppose I get busy and tired so don’t even go online to check my E mail. Allen had come out and looked at the trailer. He animatedly explained how I should sheet metal where the rust ate holes on the front and sides of the roof. Then he said it could be done in an hour and he would come out to do it. We took measurements and he carefully wrote them down so he could call his “Friend who has a sheet metal shop” and get what he needs.
Yesterday I called at 3:00 (Knowing he seldom gets up before then) to ask how much money he needed.

As Allen had been telling me everything he would do he said he would pay for the sheet metal as a going away gift but I’m not comfortable with that. His time is much more valuable to me than the price of some sheet metal. Anyway I woke him up. No he never called to get the sheetmetal and he didn’t seem to happy with my asking about it. I explained the new deadline because of the managers request I have it all put together and moved by the weekend. He argued that I didn’t have to fix the top before I move it. “No Allen. I don’t need the top ripping off as I go down the road” I settled that. Don’t think I can count on him.

Here’s the rub, I have made promises that I have been unable to complete. Part of that is because I keep thinking I can operate like I did before the crash and then again find I can’t. I suppose I’ll keep trying the rest of my life. In Allen’s case it is different. He has the ability, I just think he is uncomfortable outside his hole. It is hard to get him to leave his home. We’ll see how it plays out.

I’m going to get myself moving early this morning. Have to get my $80.00 seals and grease the bearings, then mount the wheels. The other thing I’ve been working on is figuring out the wiring for the brake controller. The truck has a plug in module under the dash for the controller and a fuse for the brake circuit under the hood but I can’t find any leads for it in the back of the truck. Even tracing the wiring is hard because I can’t remove the cover to the fuse box under the hood. I’ll probably disassemble a support bracket to get at it. Time to get showered and grab a bite to eat. I'll get some pictures up in a while.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

9/24/06 Sunday

9/25/06 Monday

9/26/06 Tuesday
Didn’t realize it has been basically three days since I wrote in this journal. I thought I did yesterday but no. I’ve been trying to figure out the electric brakes as far as how to wire it and hook it up. This morning I scrubbed the floor in both the kitchen and bathroom as well as vacuumed. This is spurred by my hearing Cherie wash the dishes last night. That’s something I should have done but didn’t. I can’t deal with multiple things to figure out well so I am just going to focus on the trailer. Think I’ll go on line and learn about electric trailer brakes.

Enough of that. Too much too look at and I can tell it will take up hours of my time searching through it all so I’ll just take it somewhere and pay someone who knows what they’re doing to do it. First I’ll have to either grease or replace the bearings and seals to put the wheels back on. I’m not sure on some of the bearings it they are good or not. That’s a shame because I used to know how to judge this. Hard to believe I was trained to be a crew chief on a B-52. Time to get the phone book out and look for a trailer brake person.
9/24/06 Sunday

9/25/06 Monday

9/26/06 Tuesday
Didn’t realize it has been basically three days since I wrote in this journal. I thought I did yesterday but no. I’ve been trying to figure out the electric brakes as far as how to wire it and hook it up. This morning I scrubbed the floor in both the kitchen and bathroom as well as vacuumed. This is spurred by my hearing Cherie wash the dishes last night. That’s something I should have done but didn’t. I can’t deal with multiple things to figure out well so I am just going to focus on the trailer. Think I’ll go on line and learn about electric trailer brakes.

Enough of that. Too much too look at and I can tell it will take up hours of my time searching through it all so I’ll just take it somewhere and pay someone who knows what they’re doing to do it. First I’ll have to either grease or replace the bearings and seals to put the wheels back on. I’m not sure on some of the bearings it they are good or not. That’s a shame because I used to know how to judge this. Hard to believe I was trained to be a crew chief on a B-52. Time to get the phone book out and look for a trailer brake person.
9/24/06 Sunday

9/25/06 Monday

9/26/06 Tuesday
Didn’t realize it has been basically three days since I wrote in this journal. I thought I did yesterday but no. I’ve been trying to figure out the electric brakes as far as how to wire it and hook it up. This morning I scrubbed the floor in both the kitchen and bathroom as well as vacuumed. This is spurred by my hearing Cherie wash the dishes last night. That’s something I should have done but didn’t. I can’t deal with multiple things to figure out well so I am just going to focus on the trailer. Think I’ll go on line and learn about electric trailer brakes.

Enough of that. Too much too look at and I can tell it will take up hours of my time searching through it all so I’ll just take it somewhere and pay someone who knows what they’re doing to do it. First I’ll have to either grease or replace the bearings and seals to put the wheels back on. I’m not sure on some of the bearings it they are good or not. That’s a shame because I used to know how to judge this. Hard to believe I was trained to be a crew chief on a B-52. Time to get the phone book out and look for a trailer brake person.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Gotta keep moving

9/22/06 Friday
It was a hard day yesterday. Hope I’ll do better today. Running about a 6 on the bob scale this morning. It’s supposed to start raining by this afternoon so I will get as much done on the trailer as I can. Cherie had a rough day yesterday and we had a brief spat which was mostly my fault because of the frustration built up by my day. We don’t spat often and when we do we both feel bad so fix it quickly. Both of us were up and down all night. I was so tired I went to bed at 7:30 but still couldn’t go to sleep.

I’m going to get moving now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Not a cloud in the sky

9/21/06 Thursday
It was 37 degrees this morning and the high is expected to just reach 60. There isn’t a cloud in the sky so the sun will help. I just got off the phone with Virginia. Called her about the check to see if she mailed it or not. She said it went in the mail Tuesday so I expect it should get here today, at least I hope so. She had mailed some paperwork and Lee’s death certificate in a large manila envelop a week or so ago and it came back with a note on it that was hard to read though it did mention a PO box. We have been having a string of new mailmen so perhaps one didn’t want to run the envelop up the stairs to our apartment. I know it won’t fit in the mailbox we have. It’s going to get rainy and not to nice weather-wise starting tomorrow so I want to get as much done on the trailer as I can today. If the check gets here that will help.

Here are some pictures of the trailer. As you can see there is a lot of rust. I am going to fiberglass this whole area so that will make the top secure. Hate to have it blow off going down the highway at 80 MPH.

I had to cut a groove in this center board because the center metal strip is higher than the rest causing the board to rock back and forth.

That took a bit. Would have been much easier with a router but at least I had this Japanese chisel with my woodcarving tools. It's one of the best chisels you can get.

These are the metal panels that will go on the sides. Two days ago I tried to install them but it was mission impossible. Each one weighs about seventy pounds and I needed to hold one up in place while I drilled a hole and then put the screw in. I tried for a couple of hours but quit when I dropped the panel just missing my foot. That would have taken a few toes off it it hit.

I'll be doing allot of painting today and need to get moving.
The check didn’t come. Virginia sent it and some other documents in another manila envelop. I didn’t catch the mailman so I hope he will not send it back like before. I talked to another mailman I saw as I was going to pick up Wayne. He suggested we leave a note on our mailbox to let our mailman know he can leave it at the door. That’s a good idea if I can remember to tell Cherie or do it myself.

Wayne called and asked if I can take him to get some food. I was glad to do so despite being in a crappy mood. I don’t know why but I am having a hard time keeping going. Everything is tired. Walking is like climbing stairs and stairs leave me taking a breather when I reach the top. It’s been like this all day long.

I got some stuff done on the trailer but just a fraction of what I should have. Cherie just came home from work. She got off early. Right now she is shopping and will pick up something for dinner. I am not doing well. Got a headache and can’t think straight. I think it’s time to lay down.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The sun came out

9/19/06 Tuesday
(That’s as far as I got with yesterday’s entry)

9/20/06 Wednesday
The sun came out so it may get dry enough for me to work on the trailer. Also it was in the forties this morning and is to only get up to 60 degrees today. Paint doesn’t work as well that cold. There was water in all the grooves of the trailer siding so I couldn’t paint at all yesterday. I went shopping to buy some screws and stuff but also to price out fiberglass and other things I will need to finish this trailer. Still waiting for the check to come from Virginia so I can get what I need. I’m going to buy some sanding discs at Harbor Freight and use the grinder polisher I got to sand where I need to fiberglass down to the metal. At least it’ll be ready when I can buy the fiberglass and stuff. If I don’t catch the mailman I’ll have to wait till Cherie comes home to see if the check came. If it doesn’t I’ll call Virginia to see what’s going on. Hate to bug her but this should have been finished long ago. The beeper just went off reminding me I have laundry going and need to check on it so got to go.

I’m back. Lets see, it was about 10:00 when I wrote the last paragraph and it is 2:14 now. I just came in to take a break from the trailer and found the coffee I poured earlier out of the pot I had just brewed. It is still lukewarm thanks to the insulated mug I put it in. The coffee maker was left on so the condition of what’s left is suspect. These are typical Bob moments and today has been filled with them. I’m doing laundry and using the timer to remind me to change loads as I do. It beeped so I went down and transferred the jeans to the dryer. Nuts, I don’t have enough change so I go back upstairs to get some quarters. I thought to reset the timer so did it right away before I got distracted. Then I got distracted. Don’t remember what I started doing but Cherie came home for lunch. That’s a distraction I always love. We talked about money, Oh yeah! I got a hundred dollar hvlp paint sprayer on sale for $36. Cherie checked to make sure our finances were OK and the timer went off.

Ooops…I came up to get change forty five minutes ago and still didn’t even put the quarters in my pocket. The jeans have been sitting in the dryer ever since I put them there. Cherie laughed when I explained why the timer was beeping and I ran downstairs to get the laundry before I forget. Multiply that by a hundred and you get a picture of a typical day. No, not really typical. Most days are better than that but when I have lots on my mind and have to make decisions I get scattered. There’s been allot of that the last four days.

I missed the mail man so don’t know if the check got here yet. Cherie has the key to the mailbox so I can’t go check it. I suppose I should get a snack. I scrambled some eggs earlier so ate. That makes Cherie happy cause she gets upset when I keep forgetting to eat. I actually felt hunger earlier but that’s gone now. There has been a resurgence of the attenuation of my senses. I was in a big store (Can’t remember which one) when my sense of smell spiked up. All of a sudden I could smell every little thing and distinguish them from each other. It’s overwhelming when this happens, especially if there are lots of bad smells. I suppose it is similar to what a dog or other animals can detect though not as much. Anyway, this hasn’t happened in a while but it didn’t last long.

I’m gonna grab a bite and get back to work on the trailer.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Catch up

9/17/06 Sunday
We are both up and moving. I’ve been focusing on the trailer for the last three days and think I got allot done. Getting allot done is relative for me. I would have finished this project days ago if I was in shape, like I was before the wreck. That is both physical and mental. Much of my time is spent figuring out what to do and how to do it. Then I see a task I need to do, often something I had started and didn’t finish earlier, and start on it, thus getting distracted. Then I might get back to the original task but by now (Five minutes later) I have forgotten how I had decided to do something so figure it out all over again.

Allot of what I’ve been doing on the trailer requires bending over and stretching out. Sure let me know just how out of shape I am and how beat up this body is. At first I was going strong but it wasn’t long before I began to wear down. I take allot of breaks as I work. Sometimes to rest up my arm that is working the paint roller. It doesn’t take long to feel like I’m lifting a heavy weight and the arm is too weak to control the paint roller. Most of this is due to my lack of physical exercise. I expect to strengthen up considerably at the farm because I’ll have plenty to do.

You know, the farm is about as perfect a situation for me, and Cherie, as we could order. It will get us both in better shape physically and the quiet steady life a farm provides is just what a doctor would describe for brain injury survivors. Of course that’s presuming things will be quiet and steady. I really don’t have a clue how it will be. I am sure the first year or two will be stressful but that things will settle down.

It’s 8:24 AM now. I think everyone is up so making noise on the trailer shouldn’t upset anyone. Of course there are only six residents in the building. Gonna head out now.
Here you go. Everything is Safety Red cause the gallon was reduced at the store and I need bright red for the color scheme I have in mind. Some of you can guess, nah, all of you probably can guess what I have in mind.

9/18/06 Monday
This is a crappy rainy day. I went out to the trailer twice to work on it but it was too miserable so I came back in. I feel like the day looks and can’t seem to motivate. I just turned off the TV cause silence seemed so much better. We are looking for the check Virginia said she was sending but it didn’t come in today. That money will help me finish the trailer. If the rain holds up I may go measure and drill the holes I need to mount the sheet metal on the sides of the trailer.

Eileen finally returned my many calls yesterday. She sounded pretty anxious and not to well. She said she was in the hospital and had her daughter checking her messages. Eileen wanted me to come right over but it was 7:30 at night and a bit late for me. We will go over to see her today after Cherie gets off work.

That’s all I’ll write for now. I know I haven’t been posting much lately but suspect that’s how’ll it’ll be for a bit as we approach our move date. Cherie is getting anxious too and has spent time looking at flowers she can plant in Texas. She’s never been able to have a garden before. For that matter she’s never had a house either.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Should be a good day cause I'm due.

Mushrooms. These show up once every year.9/15/06 Friday

Let’s see, what else did I do yesterday? The MS lunch was well put together as always. The nurse who travels several states to advise on MS issues was there again. There were several new people at this luncheon. We got there early so were the first and the room was empty. After a while we finally had company, a woman in her late forties came in. I could see the wear and stress on her face as she looked at the empty room and wondered if she came to the right place. “This is it. We’re the MS group” I said. We struck up a conversation. Wayne is anxious to let her know he has MS so the conversation started with his announcing “I have MS” to her.

Her husband has MS but won’t go to a support group. He’s one of those proud types that doesn’t want pity and “I Can do it myself”. She asked about it getting steadily worse and Wayne started a dialog of all the bad things that can happen, describing in detail Denise’s tremors. I had to reach over and tap on Wayne’s hand to get his attention as I saw a look of despair beginning to come on the poor lady’s face. He looked at me and, holding up my hand in a slow down gesture so the lady couldn’t see it, I whispered “Shhh. Tone it down ok”. He didn’t quite get it and continued his litany. Finally I said “Wayne” and he figured it out and stopped.

Several people asked when we were leaving and if they would see me again before then. I told them the odds were slim so one of them gave me a hug telling me they’ll miss me. It is nice to be missed and that is something I am not used to. There were so many that not only weren’t comfortable around me but rejected Cherie and I. Here at the MS luncheon that is noticeably different. Everyone here has a disability or helps others who do. That and the fact that many of the symptoms of traumatic brain injury are identical to those of MS as their disease deteriorates their brains. The difference is I am getting better as my brain rewires it’s self and they are in a decline. That’s a big difference. I have things to look forward to, a bright future. For those with MS or similar ailments it is hard, or at least scary, to even think about the future. Doing so is dangerous as it feeds the depressions that steal any joy from life.

Anyway it is good to be accepted and missed. One of the things that was touching about this group is how well they understand disabilities. One of the new guests is deaf and I loved how she interacted with others. They all know I can never remember any of their names so made sure to tell me their’s. I think the lady who did that and hugged me is named Cindy but I’m not sure. It started with a C.

Wayne could see that I was getting tired and probably was himself so suggested we go. That worked. I took him home. He had wanted to go cash his check and pick up a few groceries but I begged off and said I could do it tomorrow. (Good thing I wrote this cause otherwise I would have never remembered that. Gotta call Wayne now)

What else? Ok, I went to Home Depot and bought stuff for painting the trailer and then worked on that. Spent $68.00 which pretty much drained the bank account leaving maybe ten bucks. I put some stuff back to bring it down to that. (Good thing Cherie gets paid today.

Then I went to Allen’s. He hemmed and hawed but I made him get out the paper work from Family Services. Allen puts off taking care of these things and is afraid of doctors. To a great extent that is due to an intestinal problem that will require examination and perhaps surgery. I preached again to him the importance of following through on this so he could get medical help. Then I called his caseworker at family services. She returned his call and I told Allen to explain that he couldn’t afford a doctor so had no medical records to verify his condition and ask her advice. He had wanted to lie to her and say he never got the letter but I stopped that.

I got out of there and home by 5:00. Don’t remember the rest of yesterday right now so let’s get on today.

It is 9:12 and I am up and writing. It is good to have these times of lucidity though there have been fewer of them lately. I am sure that is because of the added stress that comes with our move to Texas in four weeks. I plan on getting busy quickly, which of course is a good idea because the brain is working. First I’ll shop for groceries. Probably ought to fix some breakfast but we’re out of eggs. Suppose I’ll hit McD’s on the way to the store. Got to make sure I eat. Cherie gets upset when I don’t but I do the best I can. Hey, I seldom feel hunger and forget quickly. I’ll think of fixing food and get distracted so the thought is gone.

After groceries I plan on working on the trailer. Oops, I still haven’t called Wayne. Perhaps I should pick him up and take care of him while I get my shopping done. Kill two birds with one stone. I think there is something else I should do today but can’t think of it now. Perhaps later. Just need to focus on one thing at a time so things get done.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'm back (Kinda)

9/12/06 Monday
It is 11:00 now. I just got back from Cherie’s work where someone she works with gave us about twenty new boxes. I was just dozing off when she called so it was good to get motivated and moving. I am not doing real good, running about a five on the Bob scale.

On the way home I stopped at the truck shop I found the trailer hitch at to see if they have the eye bolts I need for the trailer chains. They don’t but suggested Tractor Supply on Central Ave.

I’ve got a headache but don’t think it’s a brain injury one. Probably hay fever or something cause I’ve been sneezing allot lately. I looked at the trailer a bit when I came home but it is doing a constant drizzle out so I came in and fixed breakfast. I’m gonna take some aspirin for the headache and wait for Cherie to come home for lunch. Haven’t touched the blog but am not really motivated at all. Haven’t done allot of things. Need to finish up with Denise’s computer, need to get back on the business plan, need to see friends before we leave town. What I really need to do is smack myself upside the head and get moving.

I can’t work on the trailer right now because we ran out of money. I have had Cherie keep a close monitor of the money because there is much that needs to be bought to complete restoring the trailer. I want to get it done as fast as I can but I can’t seem to do much of anything fast. I’ve formulated a plan of what I’d like to do but will have to rethink it again when I start back on it. One of the things I know I will do is paint the trailer in a red white and blue flag theme. It would be easy to do.

Despite it raining outside I think I will go out and do some minor work on the trailer. Things like securing the wiring better and putting in a few rivets and stuff. Maybe I should take some of the cardboard and small boxes and organize the tool compartment in the truck. It’s getting kind of crowded with the tools and things I’ve bought for this trailer.

For me it is a significant mile marker to have tools. I used to have everything I wanted in an eight thousand square foot shop in back of my warehouse, then came the time I carried everything I owned in a plastic garbage bag slung over my shoulder. Now, on this wondrous restoration of life, I am able to have tools. I know it sounds strange but for me just having tools and something to do with them restores a sense of manhood.

You have to understand that much of that sense I lost from the accident. First I wake up in the hospital unable to even roll over so nurses would bath me and change my diaper. Kinda hard on the manhood thing. Then my brother takes me to St Louise and I find myself totally dependent in others for food, shelter, and clothing. Also hard on the “I’M A MAN” concept.

Next step is getting extradited back to Toledo and dumped on the street by the courts that didn’t know what to do with me. As I wandered the streets searching for who I was I again depended on the help of others to make it through. With the stress of being on the street my damaged brain basically was unable to understand what was going on around me.

Then I was on television as Toledo’s John Doe and that all began to change. Cherie and I got back together and it has been absolutely amazing since then. What a ride so far and we are just starting. It is good to be able to sit at this laptop and write again. Helps me think things out a little. Time to post this and go out into the rain.
(Running a 7 on the Bob scale)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cherie fills in the blanks

9/7/06 Thursday

9/8/06 Friday
I haven’t written in this journal for three days now. Wednesday I worked on the trailer all day to discover I put the wrong plug end on the end that plugs into my truck. I went to the store and bought one and got that fixed. Fred came out and watched and watched and occasionally said something. Finally it came time for me to back the truck up and plug the trailer in. I was confident it would work because I had gone through every connection twice. One of the overhead lights didn’t work but that was because I had broken the bulb and of course forgot to put another one in. Easily fixed.

The other problem was not easily fixed. At least not for me. The left turn signal wasn’t working. Nuts. Cherie had come home and was fixing dinner so I called it a day. It had been a long day because I had a fight with the memory and staying on task. I would ponder a dilemma decide how I was going to do it. Then I would see something else to do and forget what I had decided. Finally coming back to that task I would have to figure it out again. It made for a long day with me starting many tasks over and doing them again.

That was Wednesday. Now to yesterday. I got on the trailer as soon as I got off the net. What a time waster that is. First I checked all the connections with a glance and traced down the wires to make sure they were the right colors, green for the right turn signal and I think brown for the left. No its yellow. That was all correct. FINE THEN, What is the problem. Now I started at the rear of the trailer, working methodically down the line with the idea that would keep me from getting lost. Didn’t really work. I called Wayne to see if he would like to come out and watch cause I figure he could help me keep on track. He didn’t want to come, so much for that idea.

Now it is going down the line again, this time checking every connection carefully. I redid some just on principle and did find one that was bad. I plug the trailer in and still there is no turn signal. Damn, I know the connections are right But…”The wiring job I did to install the truck’s trailer hook up!”. Now I crawl back under the truck to examine that.

Again, everything is hooked up right. Time to get my volt meter out and see if there is power. Nothing. To make sure I was testing it right I turned on the right hand signal. Yeah I was doing it right. Even though it looked secure I cut the wire that I had hooked up to the left turn signal wire. Putting the meter on it I see the truck side wiring didn’t work. Now that puzzled my non mechanic brain because the turn signals worked well on the truck. Must be a problem with the factory wiring. What a pain in the ass it was to trace the wiring harness up to the front.

It went into a black box under the hood. Lifting the lid I see it is a fuse box with forty or fifty fuses. “Nooo. It couldn’t have been that simple” I say to myself. Alright, it’s time to get the truck manual out. Finding the fuses for turn signals I checked the and they were not blown. Back to the manual I looked at the diagram and find two fuses labeled “Trailer RT and LT”. I suppose that would be the right and left turn signal. Sure enough, I pulled the left turn signal fuse and it was blown. Never thought about it and of course with me starting at the trailer and working forward it was the last thing I checked. By then Cherie was home and fixing dinner so that was the end of that. I plugged everything in and it all worked. I had Cherie press the brakes and everything to make sure. Yeah!! Finally it’s done.

Now we’re to today. It is 12:00 and Cherie is just coming home for lunch. She called and asked if I had eaten and of course I haven’t. I had gone out to follow up on a suggestion Fred had made while he watched for what seemed like hours yesterday.

Sunday, September 10th

Howdy! Today is my parents 51st wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad! I guess I better go get a card or something………..

Bob has been incredibly busy, engrossed, swamped, and totally pre-occupied with getting the trailer rebuilt and the lighting re-wired for our move to Texas. He is also exhausted because he had to rent a couple of tools that he doesn’t have and had to make good use of them while he had them. He asked me to make en entry in his journal and for the blog – so here goes!

Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that in just about 5 weeks we will be leaving here to start the next adventure in our lives – building a life in the desert. From big city craziness to the slower pace of a country lifestyle. Last week I packed several boxes and we took them to the storage unit, as there is no room to stack them in our place. It seems that with every box I pack, I turn around and there’s more stuff needing to be packed! How did we end up with so much stuff? What am I supposed to do with all this crap!??! Some things I am actually giving away – the blue jars, some candles that I never used (they’ll just melt out there in the heat), some old junky clothes…………

Today is Sunday and much cooler than it has been. I welcome the change in temperature but I also worry – I’m a good worrier. When we took a load of stuff to Texas in July, we also took all of our winter clothes that I had packed away in the storage unit – oooops. Hopefully we will be able to make due with wearing layers and our jackets until we leave here. Here is the last entry Bob wrote a couple days ago.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Great weather

Quote of the day – “Don’t make him mad. He’ll just break things”
Question of the day – Why should someone be afraid in their own home?

9/4/06 Monday
Didn’t write a thing in this journal about yesterday. It was busy for both of us. Cherie packed her heart out and I stared at the trailer allot, occasionally deciding how to do something and start doing it. Then I would get distracted and start doing another job on the trailer till I got back on track. Of course I had to run to the store a couple of times. All in all I mounted the brake lights and took the side lights off. The brake lights aren’t even wired in yet.

We did take a load of the boxes Cherie had packed to the storage unit. After that we planned on picking up a quick bite to eat and getting back to work. Being close by we stopped in to see mom and dad. I also wanted to see if Nate was around and talk to him the trailer. Didn’t stay long, hadn’t planned on it. Mom and dad were looking up where fireworks displays were going to be. I suppose they were planning to go. Hope they weren’t upset about us not staying long.

We came back home and resumed our labors. Cherie packed again and I stared at the trailer. Had to remember where I had left off and what in the hell I had in mind. As with most things I started the process of figuring out what to do and how to do it, again weighing the pros and cons. That’s the frustration of a short term memory, always starting over again.

Cherie would come out now and then, bringing me a much welcomed cold pop and just checking on me. She is so thoughtful. As is usual we had many of our “I love you so much” moments. Still newlyweds I guess but I don’t think it will ever wear off. I am sure we will get settled into a routine but we’ll always be in love. Beside that we laugh, and laugh, and love life, living a life we love. It’s got other lives we’ve had beat all to hell.

Well, I’ve made a batch of bacon and eggs and poured dishwater. Cherie is out shopping. Seems we took all our winter clothes to Texas. They had been packed up in the spring for storage till winter so, being bagged up were easy to throw in the truck.
Gonna hit the shower and see if I can get the wiring done on the trailer. Hopefully this brain will work better than yesterday.

Online now. Checked the blog and see someone from Big Spring visited again. I wonder if my brother has come to visit Delmer there as he occasionally does. I wish I was where I could check on the house to make sure it’s all right. There were some storms down there a few days ago and Cherie pulled up some pictures of some wind damage.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

More to do than can be done.

9/2/06 Saturday
Yesterday ended well. I cleared up dramatically while Cherie and I were getting tires for her car. I took her out to eat while they did the work. We went to the Brewhouse restaurant. We’d never been there so that is always an encouragement cause we both like new experiences, at least when they’re good. After that we were stuffed so went home.

Allen had returned my call at close to five o’clock. I had called him at noon then every hour till three or so. He was just waking up and apologized for not returning my call. Allen had a rough night where he could not get to sleep at all. Part of this is because his head gets busy and won’t shut off. All kinds of thoughts on top of the pain. He has told me that he often contemplates suicide. As I wrote this it came on me how much of a hell this can be. I pictured the struggle in my mind. Imagine the thought processes. “I’m gonna do it. F--- it. My guns right over here. I’m tired. Just end it all, go ahead”.

Then the other side comes in, the common sense part that wants to live. These thoughts are of the many friends he has had that committed suicide, one with a gun he had just sold to. He had told me once that one of the things keeping him from suicide is he didn’t want to cause the heartache and pain they did.

He thinks of family and the few friends he has in the small little world he lives in. But with these thoughts come more of the pain that drives him. I’ve heard no mention of a father in the eight or nine years I’ve know Allen. Maybe some aside that I don’t remember. His grandfather was highly abusive and pretty much used him as forced hard labor, the consequences of which Allen lives with in the form of the arthritis that riddles his neck and back. Allen told me of being hit in the head with a hammer and other tales of horror.

I don’t know much about Allen’s mom through all this but it wasn’t pleasant either. She was strict and there was no television, nothing to occupy him. Now she lives in the large house on a lake Allen had pretty much built over the years for his grandfather, disabled from diabetes and gross obesity. There is an estrangement of Allen from his family. I haven’t asked about it because I generally do not delve into peoples personal matters. But he grew up in Maryland and only visits every year or so. It seems he is not in the inheritance from the grandfathers estate. Anyway thoughts of family don’t help Allen much.

So this is his hell, forever fighting this tiredness, this pain, both mental and physical, and this desire to end it all. I understand better why he is so anxious for me to stay. He is afraid of being alone, of the demons that come out when no one is around. That’s why he constantly has a movie playing. Always something to keep his mind occupied, distracted so he won’t go back to his hell.

I’ll probably run over there later today. We went to the Direct Buy showroom and spent three hours pricing things we will need. We looked at refrigerators, stoves, ovens, washers and dryers, and windows. Lots of stuff to sort through. We priced out some things and thought we’d have to pare down some. Then we remembered there was always a formula in back of the catalog that we use to determine our price. For most of the items we looked at it was half price or better. That helps. Changed the picture totally.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Got to get better

9/1/06 Friday
It’s got to get better. Cherie is looking forward to this three day weekend. She plans to spend allot of time packing things for our move to Texas. I plan on starting out this morning looking for the lost stuff I wrote for the business plan. I am sure they are somewhere in this computer but have no idea where I may have filed it. This is another old problem. I have gone through my folders and found things all over the place, some done three times as I forgot I had already done it so did it again.

I don’t know if it’s because I have so much on my plate I am unable to sort it out or what, just know I haven’t done what I need to do.

I’ve spent the last hour going through the confusion in this laptop. I suppose it is a good illustration of what goes on in this brain, of my day to day life. There are dozens of files and folders that are repeated and the same file can be found in three or four places. I am going through them one by one, examining them to see if they contain the same information and if so deleting the ones that are superfluous. If I am up to it I will attempt to reorganize everything so as to make it easier to find what I need.

I got showered and whipped up some scrambled eggs. Not real speedy mostly because of trying to sort my files as well as my thoughts. Still have lots to do with the files and still am looking for the lost farm stuff. I think I’ll try loading up on coffee again and hope the stomach can handle it.
9:47 – Damn it. That thick head dizzy thing is coming on. It’s getting old, no it’s been old for a long time. I keep trying to tell myself that despite this I am lucky to be alive and blessed beyond measure with Cherie as my wife but it doesn’t make this any better. Hard to keep my spirits up at times like this. I read back in this journal and see times of great hope and positive outlooks. It’s allot better to maintain that attitude but hard. Most of the people I am around are those I help with their problems. Sure it helps me keep things in perspective and understand I could be in much worse shape but overall it does little to keep me positive. Being around misery and despair you pick some of it up. It would be good for me to be around positive people. Tried to find them in the church but they rejected Cherie and I, a swift kick in the butt as they demonstrated the “Love of Jesus”. Pretty much did me in for the social club they call "church".

Did it again. Went online to post this last paragraph. Checked my E mail and sent a short note to Cherie and forgot. This is a daily occurrence. Now I’ll go back online and try again. If I go straight to the blog it should happen, if I look at anything else such as a notification I’ve got mail I may repeat this again.
I got some food shopping done. Came home just as Cherie was heading back to work from her lunch. We talked a bit in the parking lot. She is so beautiful to me and lightens my heart. I’ve been working on the trailer. Might be slow but beating out bolts with a hammer and chisel works well for me. I don’t have to think and can just concentrate on what I’m doing. Pulled the sheet metal off the sides of the trailer. This will allow me to get at the rusty frame and look at the possibility of mounting the sheet metal higher to enclose the trailer. We’ve gotta do something so our stuff won’t get wet during the 2000 mile drive to Texas.

Here's some pictures of the trailer. Got the side door to open. The wiring is rough. There were three splices within a foot and a half and they were just twisted together, coming apart as I removed the electric tape that they must have used a whole roll of.

I took the remnants of the rusted steel floor out of the front storage area of the trailer. One had been placed on top of the first cause it was rusting out.

The sheet metal I took off the sides is three feet wide. That is incidentally the width of the area we need to enclose. I think I will just put it on and figure out something for the rusted out sides.

Here is today’s sunset. Cherie and I had to go out and see it. We haven’t done as much of that as when we first got together. We missed most of it but this was cool