Saturday, January 13, 2007

Winter is here.

1/13/07 Saturday
It’s cold but not too bad, at least not yet. Tomorrow is when things start getting ugly. The temp was 48 degrees in the kitchen when Cherie went in to make coffee. We know cause the space heater we have on a long extension cord so we can take it from room to room has a thermometer on it. It’s thirty one degrees outside and will only get up to thirty four today. Tonight they say it will go down to eighteen degrees. That’s when we have to worry about the pipes freezing in the house. I don’t think they will cause all the faucets leak providing that small flow of water that can prevent freezing. Speaking of that, I need to go empty the containers under the sink that catch the leaking water.

Got that done. We empty them every night and then again in the morning. The smaller pan overflowed this morning. It only holds about a gallon of water so I will put another of the large stainless steel units under that part.

So what will we do today??? I will work on getting the scraps of carpet seamed together in the hallway. Last night I was researching for the farm. I mentioned in an earlier post the possibility of planting date and olive trees so I Googled that and found some great information. Yes we have the ideal climate for both of those. California is the current king with both of those crops raising pretty much all the olives commercially grown in the states.

Dates are even more fascinating. Lots of varieties as with olives. In looking at them I found other palms that have edible fruits and some with medicinal qualities. I am leaning more to addressing the growing health conscious market. There is big money in us baby boomers who are getting older and more conscious of our mortality. It is just plain good business sense to find a need and meet it. I may have brain damage but that doesn’t mean I’m stupid, though some seem to presume that. A farm is a business and business is about making money. So we are looking at producing an eclectic variety of products for the U-Pick concept that will make this a fascinating place for the public to visit with something for everyone. I’m talking apples, pears, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, pecans, grapes, herbs, spices, dates, olives, anything else that strikes our fancy, and also a greenhouse/nursery operation. It is a vision of a place for family outings, a place to take your kids to where you can pick these delightful fruits and enjoy the time together. In my minds eye I see a large open structure with a parking lot where you can get pies, jams, jellies, canned veggies, and other delights made from the produce we grow. Our experience up north with these types of operations involved festivals focusing on whatever product was coming due. Usually up there it was apples and strawberries and the farms mostly focused on one product.

How much of this will actually happen only time will tell. I still don’t want to accept that my abilities may be diminished from this brain injury and perhaps am not in tune with reality but damn it, I’ll push on anyway. Regardless I will take care so we won’t jeopardize losing this farm. No big loans we can’t repay. That’s where learning how to access the government and private foundation grants comes in. All of this will necessitate a decent size work force which will mostly be seasonal. With my former marketing company I had 122 employees one year (the best year) but not all at the same time. It was a high turnover situation with us having to hire for projects as we got contracts that were often short term. Many of my employees liked working for me so much they would quit another job to come back for a project. Not always the smartest thing to do but flattering non the less. Even when I came back from the coma and was still pretty lost they would ask when I would start my company up again so they could come to work.

I went out to feed Skittles. He is cold to say the least. Wanted to come in the house in the worst way. Cherie and I both wish we could let him but not until we can afford to take him to a vet and get him checked up and fixed. I turned up the heating pad and made him go into the den I made where it is to get his pets. His water froze so I got some more from the house.

It’s 10:38 – I have the dizzy ringing ears thing that often precedes a petite seizure so remembered I didn’t take my medicine. It’s getting harder to put these words together but that won’t stop me. I know what I want to say, it’ll just take longer to say it. That’s the power of writing for me. I discovered it in St. Louis on the rare times Larry let me use his computer. While I have a hard time keeping a train of thought, especially back then, with writing I can always go back and read, thus taking up where I left off. One of the things I had been thinking of, as I discussed what I’d like to do with this farm, is Mark Sherry. Mark is a professor who was given a chair of disabilities studies at the University of Toledo. He was an attorney in Australia exposing corruption when he was run down in an assassination attempt. This resulted in a coma and a traumatic brain injury. He experiences thirty to fifty petite seizures every day and has a dog trained to detect them with him at all times. Despite that he is a teaching professor who heads up a whole section of a college. He just needs assistance to accomplish these things. I draw inspiration from this as I dream of building a future here. Like him I can’t do it by myself but with my wife by my side and the help of others I can do what some might view as impossible for someone like me.

That took an effort. The headache is on the rise so I’ll take some aspirin. Might need to nap but will resist that as long as I can still get something done. Cherie is working on taxes right now. I’m going back to researching for the farm and must organize what I already have found. Organizing is a key cause there is stuff all over this computer and in notebooks that I forget I have, thus doing the same thing over and over again.

WOW!!! Cherie was going through her old bankruptcy stuff and found this old poem she had written around January 1999, a short time before she left Phoenix. This was an emotional time as she had filed bankruptcy, lost her car and everything, was deeply hurt by the church she attended, and everything looked black, a real dark time in her life. It is a poem about me. I was still in her thoughts despite our divorce fifteen years prior.

I’ve been playin’ with this pain
for way to long
and findin’ out I’m really not that strong.
To fight the lonely darkness
Of this place
What I wouldn’t give
To see your handsome face
When the mountains look like walls
It’s time to go back home
To the cities and the prairies
That I know
And if I could find a way
To find the love I threw away
I wouldn’t have to be this
Rolling stone

I had walked into the office to get a kiss and saying “Look what I found” she handed me a small piece of paper with this on it. When I read it I just started crying. She was too. We hugged and kissed and were again amazed at the full circle life had gone. We are blessed.

Cherie just called home and talked to mom. They are doing ok but were of course concerned about us with this cold snap we are in the midst of. The ice is building up slowly but steadily. There is a light mist coming down that is like a fog and sticks on whatever it touches. Hope the power lines hold up cause if we lose power it will get rough.

I'm not sure if Skittles is in the warm place we set up for him. He stayed in it all afternoon but wasn't this evening. Cherie saw him heading around the front of the house after I fed him and put some water in the box we set up. Think I'll go look despite it being pretty damn cold. If he's not I'll see if I can coax him out from where ever he is by calling his name. If he don't come that's too bad. Won't go looking for him. Time to post and crawl under the covers now. Here's some more pictures of the ice as well as Skittles penthouse.

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