Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lightening last night.

7/10/07 Tuesday
Had an impressive lightening storm last night. It blew through right around midnight. After closing the window in the puppy room I had to go out and watch it for a while. As it got closer the wind picked up and though the lightning strikes seemed like they were just a few fields away the time it took for the thunder to arrive told me they were a few miles off. I stayed out till the rain started coming, impressed as always at how powerless we are when compared to these displays of nature, with hundreds of thousands of volts striking the earth every second that passed.

So we got rain. That frees up about two hours out of my morning as I don’t have to water the garden. I think I will chop weeds that are outside our bedroom window first and then go get some rocks for the landscaping in the driveway. That way I can finish the border I planted monkey grass on. Janie wants to see a picture of that but I want to finish the job first.

Been thinking a lot about getting not just a tractor but many of the other things needed to make this a working farm. Goats are a reliable source of income but at a minimum we need good fencing and pens to put them in. Ronnie says that a hundred dollar goat will produce a hundred dollars every eight months. That is from them breeding. Then there is milk, which draws a high price, and possibly cheese and the soap many homesteaders make, but again that requires an investment in equipment. I’ve been researching drip feed irrigation. A Texas A&M study used drip tape covering an acre of land that they grew Bermuda grass on as forage for goats and hay. It cost a little over $800 an acre but would last fifteen to twenty years. There was no question that it was a good long term investment. Drip feed for the orchards is almost necessary out here in the desert for otherwise watering the trees would be a gigantic labor intensive chore when we get fifty or more. Besides that the USDA will provide trees for free with the installation of a drip feed system. Whether those are fruit trees or not is a question I need answered.

All of this takes money. As usual it takes money to make money. I’ve got five acres to use next year and seventy more available in four years. Goats are an easy answer and I’ve learned truck farming is good for small plots of land for the buyers will come out and pick their own. For you city readers truck farming is where you grow something like beans and sell it direct. I was talking to Ronnie and others and heard them say “Truck farming” so had to ask what that means. To finance getting this farm started I could take a loan out with the land as collateral but am not excited with that idea for fear of losing everything. There are guaranteed loan programs through the Farm Service Agency and probably USDA and Texas agricultural entities. I just need to learn about them and how to apply. That’s what is hard for me to do. Wading through this stuff can be confusing to normal people but with the brain damage and short term memory loss it is a challenge. Hell, I can’t read a book because I have to start it over every time I pick it back up for I forget what I read the day before. After a while it stays and I can eventually complete it. I have several books I bought because I really wanted to read them that are now sitting unread. I just gave up. I used to devour two or three books every week and could tell you in detail what they said.

Time to get moving. It’s to go up to 97 degrees today and with the rain last night that means it will be a miserable hot humid day so I need to get out there while it is still cool. After talking with Janie I will go collect the rocks I need to finish the driveway first. See ya.

I’ve been “tagged”, which I guess is a blogger thing. Don’t have time to respond right now but will when things settle down.
1:20 – It’s hot and humid as predicted. I came in cause this sun and heat beat me up pretty good. Wanted to finish the monkey grass border but it wasn’t in me to get it done by now. Went to Chuck and Lillian’s to take them the squash and also scavenge some rocks out of the many piles taken out of the fields. Thomas and the other guy, who’s name I don’t remember, came walking up just as I was going to get back in my truck because no one answered my calls. Shortly after Chuck and then Lillian drove up. Between them and Miracle, their two year old girl, there are five people living there. With no running water going to the bathroom is a problem. I haven’t seen an outhouse but I imagine there must be something resembling one somewhere out there.

We talked a bit. I let them know that I have a window air conditioner they can have. In fact I said that I would trade it for some rocks. Deal! They left for a cleaning job and I headed home. I am so tired I keep nodding off as I write this so will post it and take a nap.
The puppies woke me at 4:30. My cell phone’s ringing probably woke them. It was Cherie trying to call me. She had gone to see the chiropractor and wanted to ask if she should pick up something to eat. I called her back and she was already heading home. She told me that she went ahead and paid for the chiropractor herself cause she hadn’t talked to Janie about it. I expressed my thought that Janie would have felt better paying and reminded her how good it felt whenever we helped others. Janie will read this and I am sure will talk with Cherie herself.

So I took Cherie to Herman’s, the restaurant in Big Spring we had liked so much when we first came here. I don’t know if they are having a bad day or changed hands but it was no where near as good as before. The steak was much thinner and tasted so old or odd that I sent it back.

So we came back home. Let the puppies out and they were ecstatic to see us as always. I came in the bedroom and got on this laptop to check E mail and stuff when I heard Cherie’s shrill panicked voice screaming “the puppies are across the highway”. When I heard the tone in her voice I instantly jumped out of bed with adrenaline going and rushed outside in my socks. Unfortunately this laptop was in my lap and my feet tangled in the power cord as I rushed out so it went flying and crashed to the floor.

The puppies were happily scurrying back across the highway as I rushed out the door and soon learned I was pretty pissed. I yelled, I picked them up one by one and took them to the edge of the road, then I yelled some more and smacked their butts as the ran back to the house. We need to figure out something here. It would break our hearts to lose these two new members of our family, our two kids if you will. I don’t have a pen to put them in and we can’t afford the shocker collars or perimeter thing we’ve heard about. I just can’t leave them locked up in the house all the time, it’s not good for them. But we don’t have the time to baby sit them the entire time they are outside. We will figure it out somehow.

So the screen on this laptop got trashed in the fall. It looks like a piece of broken glass with lines running every which way and black spots all over. I called Steve and Janie as they are our advisors on where to go and what to do in so many areas. Steve suggested going on E bay to buy a new screen. They run around $175 bucks new but there was one with a starting bid of $29.99 that is used out of a guy’s fried Toshiba he is parting out. Steve will check it out for us as I don’t have an E bay number or anything else having never done anything with them.

Not the best end for a day. I was just going to put the first bible study together for the new blog I am starting “Balaam’s ass” when all this broke loose. I suppose I’ll get to it later. Night all.

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