Friday, April 18, 2008

The week in pictures

4/15/08 Tuesday
It’s 1:00 now. I’ve been out working since eight this morning. Fact is I’ve been bustin my butt for days now. The new tiller is getting quite a workout along with my body. Things are finally beginning to take shape with this farm and it feels good to see some progress. Despite that I am under the gun to get seeds in the ground. Fact is most of this stuff should have been done by now and I should be caring for young plants. Actually the potatoes are coming up and looking good. They are my first plants for the season to come out.

I think that the first batch of seeds I’ll be putting in the ground are the sunflowers that we will be planting on the south edge of the farm. This is a ridge that runs along the dirt road that goes to our neighbor’s barns. Over the decades the wind has deposited enough dirt to raise it five feet above his field. I tilled up where we want to plant them. This is where we put seventy five of the Afghan pines for a wind break. It will look great we think. As you approach our house from the south (where the interstate is a mile and a half away) there will be a wall of yellow when the flowers are in bloom.

Each white stake you see holds up a pine. There are seventy five of them here

The Afghan pines are not all doing well. Gophers or some other little critters are scrapping the bark off at the bases and have killed three so far. Cherie wrapped cloth around them last week. Hope that helps. I haven’t had time to take the gopher poison and put it in all of the little holes that are showing up all over the place. For that matter I don’t have time to do so many things around here that need doing. If I had the money I would hire Tommy to help out when he’s free. Tommy is one of the two guys who stay with Chuck and Lillian. There’s a story there but I don’t think I’ll tell it now. He’s the kind of guy that makes a lot of people uncomfortable but he doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve been so many places and seen so many things that there is not much that bothers me. Fact is that Tommy is a good man with a well developed sense of integrity and the kind of person I can trust.
Cherie watering the strawberries. She's a farmer now. See what I did?

Anyway, I’m getting side tracked. The wind is blowing hard now, running at twenty miles per hour or so. Fortunately it’s not kicking up too much sand so I can still get some stuff done outside. If it gets worse I’m thinking I’ll clear out some space in the garage and see if I can put that greenhouse together where it will be protected from the wind. Once together it won’t be hard to carry out and put on the frame. I’ll have to run straps over it and stake them down or the wind will rip it off the ground out here.
I climbed on the roof to take pictures of what I'm doing. You can just make out the outlines of a couple of the plots I'm tilling.

I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard. Sunday I had a slowdown but I kept going despite of it. It started out as one of the mild ones but after two or three hours I got to where walking was a difficult task and I had to be careful not to fall down. By that time it was hard for me to formulate sentences so talking was a chore. I quit because it was time for dinner and I was done for anyway. Yesterday’s seizure was the kind that came on quick and after a two hour nap I was fine and going again.

There is a lot more I should write but there is too much to do. I came in at 11:00 to rest and fixed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before laying down. It’s 1:52 and I’m rested up now. So are the puppies. They came in with me and crashed out on the bed too.
3:12 – About an hour is all I can handle on that tiller at a time. If I could raise the handle eight inches it would help. As it is the tiller handles are below counter top level when I’m running at it’s full depth. Raising the handles won’t be easy. I’ll look at that later. Regardless the tiller is a Godsend. It’s got using a pitchfork beat all to pieces. I can just come in and lay down for fifteen minutes and the muscles in my back relax and the pain goes down. Besides I need to drink something every hour in this heat so it all works out.
4:40 – I’m in for another back break. I sure do miss being able to go online at times like this. For that matter I just miss being able to go online whenever I need to. Eventually we will get a satellite internet hookup that will solve all of this. Till then we just have to work with it. Cherie should be home in about a half hour. She took care of the poop scooping for me. That saves me the time and money of going to Midland but not going means I don’t go online. There is too much to do around here anyway. I guess I’ll take a pain pill. I’ve been real careful taking them but now that my doctors appointment was moved back nearly a month I must really stretch it out. That’s because he must renew the prescription before I can get anymore.

4/18/08 Friday
Don’t have time to write much. Here’s what I journaled since last Friday. And pictures which tell much and help me remember.


Amy # said...

Bob, I talked to my FIL, who is in his 70's and a farmer his entire life. He suggested the next time you plant any trees, or if you want to dig up these saplings to line the hole with metal flashing. He said the gophers/moles will tunnel and hit the metal, and when they can't go around it they give up. Apparently, they don't think of going down further (in most cases). Works wonders with fruit trees especially. We are doing this with our fruit trees, and the Christmas trees I will be ordering in November. We will be planting five acres in Christmas trees, as part of our future business. Next year we will plant 1000 trees on 1 acre, and then the same amount each year until the acres are full. This way we will stagger the trees being ready for sale.

Glad to see you are doing great! Love, Amy

Jeff said...

Bob, great progress, and great sunsets ..... thanks for sharing.