Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Peacefull start for the day

1/30/07 Tuesday
It’s 4:30 in the morning. I woke up when Carman kitty crawled up between Cherie and I purring. I wasn’t deeply asleep and probably dreaming so he may have thought I was awake. I am now. He purred, snuggled next to my head and as I petted him licked my hand and forehead. I listened to Cherie’s gentle but broken snoring and looked at her face in the soft light filtering in from the nearly full moon. How pretty she is. The sleep apnea is always kind of disturbing as I hear her stop breathing for a few beats. I thought about having her roll over on her side as that usually helps but chose instead to lay there close against her warm body. Carman did it for me when he got up and walked over her head.

Lying awake I reached for this laptop and turned it on, knowing I won’t be going back to sleep anytime soon. Did so as quietly as I could so as to not wake Cherie. She woke anyway but Carman had already started that process. Now she has gone back to sleep and I am typing on these keys carefully to make as little noise as possible.

I opened up the calendar in this computer to see what day it is. That is not unusual for me but gone are the days I would wake up and not even know where I was. The short term memory is much better now. Of course waking up in the same place every morning helps. When I first moved in with Cherie it was days before I could wake up and not be totally bewildered as I looked around a room that was totally unfamiliar to me. Imagine the confusion I endured when I was wandering homeless, seldom waking in the same spot. What a turn my life has taken now, what extremes I have known.

So I am resisting the urge to go out and start bringing in the stones for the woodstove and manufacturing the straps that will secure the chimney to the house. Instead I am constructing them in my head, designing and deciphering the engineering required. What stresses to compensate for, the constant forces of the wind that will rock this continually for decades, working fasteners loose and fatiguing the metal. How to support the weight of fifteen feet of stove pipe running twelve inches away from the wall in order to clear the eave where the roof comes in. I think I have it properly over engineered now but we’ll see. When I go to put things together that I have designed in my head I often discover some vital area of miscalculation.

Suppose I’ll go online and post this. One of the greenhouse manufacturers I contacted sent me a list of websites that I can access to study and educate myself about this area of agriculture. This was exactly what I had asked him for, telling him I wished to develop a business plan for when the land becomes available in 2011. The five acres we are pulling out next year will just give me some practice room and a chance to develop the infrastructure for when the other seventy acres are opened up. The most important part of that is water. We’ll get another well drilled and install the windmill along with a large storage tank, something that will hold fifty or a hundred thousand gallons. I’ll figure out how much as I educate myself on this stuff.

We took the cats to the vet we met at church. I wasn’t going to go with Cherie because I wanted to work on getting the stove working. After getting Carman in his cat carrier we put Skittles in a cardboard box and taped it up tight. I went inside and heard Cherie honking her horn before she could leave. Coming out the door I could see Skittles out of the box. The little bugger is an escape artist. With that I figured I better go with Cherie in case he got out again. He did. I held him on my lap all the way to the doc.

Doc checked out Carman first. He has a bad heart murmur. Not good news. We already knew he was fat and that doesn’t help. This is hard on Cherie as he has been with her for his whole life, about ten years. Doc Law said he has congestive heart failure. Time to put him on a diet and some exercise. We’ll have to spring for the more expensive cat food instead of the cheap stuff we’ve been getting. Skittles was in better shape. She said he was two years old which is much older than we thought. They both got their shots so that was it and we came home.

It was a hard day after all. As much as I wanted to I didn’t get the woodstove operational. Got the stone all laid out and it looks good. When we get some more cash we’ll pick up a few more pieces and finish it up. Just fill in the spaces in the back. Getting the stove pipe put together was a frustrating pain. I am sure there is an easy way to do it but if there is it’s lost on me. Each joint was a fight to put together. The frustration had the effect stress always has on me. I began to slow down. Thinking became a chore and now everything was confusing. I would try to decide what to do next and after that had to decide all over again. Wasn’t sure about anything and proceeded slowly and carefully.

I had to run to the store to get some sheetmetal screws. I used them to screw all the sections of stove pipe together. Even this was difficult for me. The cheap cordless drill I bought at Harbor Freight has been on it’s last legs for a while so wasn’t doing well. Screws broke and stripped out and my language illustrated my frustration. Not fun at all. I finally got all that done and went on to trying to fabricate the brackets I will need to hold the chimney up the side of the house to above the roof. It was pretty cold out and I was getting in increasingly bad shape. Cherie tried to convince me to call it a day but I am stubborn. I was at stuttering level and having a hard time keeping my balance. Finally I conceded and came inside. Now, four hours later, I am doing fine, just needed to distress. It’s so frustrating to be so…weak? Delicate? Incapable? I don’t know what to call it but it pisses me off. I used to rule my world and ran two companies along with an active social life. Now what would have been a simple task drives me nuts. Enough whining, Bob, shut up.

These are the pictures of what I managed to get done. Maybe tomorrow I’ll finish it. That’s when the hard part is. I’m not sure how I’ll put twelve feet of stove pipe up by myself but I’ll figure it out. Probably will need Cherie’s help. Climbing ladders is particularly hard because of my difficulty controlling the right leg. Actually climbing isn’t too bad but coming down is much harder. Don’t ask me why but walking down stairs can be tedious as I must look to make sure the leg is where I want it to be.

We’re about done for the day. Cherie is playing with Carman to get him some exercise. I’m just going to veg in front of the TV, enjoy the two and a half stations we can get in. (One comes in when it feels like it, which isn’t very often) I don’t count the two Christian stations that come in better than the others. They’re curious and I’ll watch on occasion to see who’s selling Jesus for what. Occasionally there’s something I like, usually dealing with ancient history. Really miss not having any PBS stations down here. At some point in the future I’ll move the antenna that’s mounted on the garage and run the wire to where we can use it.

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