Thursday, May 01, 2008


(Click to enlarge. It really makes a difference, shows the details that makes it a cool picture)

5/1/08 Thursday
I could have sworn I wrote in this journal more recently than last Wednesday the twenty third but there is nothing there. Perhaps it got deleted on this computer or something. If so I hope I posted on the blog as I can recover it then. I don’t know, part of the daily confusion I go through.

OK, I looked at the blog and see that I didn't even post Wednesday, so here it is.
4/23/08 Wednesday
Set the alarm to get up early again. I can’t remember what I did yesterday after posting on the blog but my pain level is high this morning so I’m sure I worked hard. We were able to watch the news last night but it is once again not viewable this morning. Don’t know what’s causing this but I hope it goes away. Watching the weather last night brought out a good example of the kinds of problems my memory causes. In yesterday’s post you can read how I thought there would be three days of possible rain. “The next three days however show a good chance for rain.” is how I put it. Actually there were three days of possible rain shown but they are not in a row. Saturday and Sunday show a possibility of rain on top of yesterday evening. My memory recalled three days of rain but jumbled them together. That’s how it is, I can remember some things but there are often pieces missing from the puzzle. This can cause problems as you can imagine. My bustin my butt to get seeds in before the rain isn’t a big problem but I could have relaxed a little and done some other things that need doing. Now I realize I have a little breathing room but not much.

So we are off to a start. Cherie had a sharp pain on her left side so had to lay back down this morning. She’s doing a little better now but I told her to take it easy today. I’m going to see if I can find the program in this computer that will allow me to draw a map of the garden plots. If not I’ll draw it out by hand.

So what happened since last Wednesday??? I don’t know. There are some bits and pieces I can get from pictures I took. One shows the hundred or so video tapes I recovered from the landfill There were several thousand piled up there that some video store dumped. The word had gotten out and there were several out there gathering up as much as they could. I didn’t feel like picking through lots of titles to get what interested me so I just scooped these up. Figure Cherie and I can go through them later and throw out what we don’t want.

We found some ticks on the dogs. Actually I saw the first one crawling on my leg. I suppose that’s part of it getting warm. We’ll be buying some kind of tick shampoo or something for them today. Fortunately today is payday when my disability check comes in. It’s always real tight at the end of every month. Cherie and I went through all of our bills and set up a budget. When the income tax rebate comes we will be able to get some badly needed things like new glasses for Cherie and some work boots for me. We’ve been getting cheap shoes that aren’t full boots and it doesn’t take too long for me to trash them so I suppose it’s smart to spend the eighty or so bucks to get a good pair.

I’ve been working my fingers to the bone so to speak. They get so dirty that no matter how hard I scrub I can’t get it all out. Mostly it’s in the deep cracks and crevasses that have developed as I build this farm. That's them in the picture above. I’ll put lotion on many times during the day but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I suppose age is a factor too.

black-eyed peas

I’ve gotten two of the main plots planted so far, along with the large black-eyed pea patch and a corn patch that is separate from the others. That’s because I’m growing at least three different kinds of corn and they need to be two hundred and fifty feet or so apart to prevent cross pollination. The peas and corn so far are all that has come up, but that’s because I planted them first.
the corn that's coming up. It was getting dark when I took this. I usually am out working then because it's cooled off some.

I am so far behind on all of this. When I get seeds in the ground it is important that I spread mulch over them to help the soil stay moist and protect them from the intense heat of the sun baking the soil. Mulching is going slow. I have to mow down some of the rye to make it. I capture the clippings in the grass catcher that is on the lawn mower Wally and Jen gave us. That is a really important piece of equipment for this farm, doing far more than mowing the lawn. Fact is we don’t have any grass out here anyway, just weeds. I mow them down and put them in the composter. Turn a problem into a benefit that way.

Several rows of stuff planted. Cherie is careful to mark them because I can walk away and forget what I just planted.

One of the problems with mulching out here is the wind. Yesterday it was twenty or thirty MPH winds with gusts to forty five. I was trying to put mulch on the sunflower seeds I planted last week but it would blow out of my hand without hitting the ground I was putting it on. Finally I took a roll of that fencing I got from the landfill and would unroll it as I laid down the mulch, thus preventing it from blowing away. Only got about fifty feet done of the three hundred feet or so planted with sunflowers. My concern is that I am too late. There was a rain last week and if that was enough to germinate the sunflower seeds they may all be dead now. That would be because I wasn’t able to water them and there was no mulch to protect the young tender seedlings.

More of the afghan’s died. I finally unrolled the tubing we bought to make a drip feed irrigation system for them but I still need to buy more parts for it and find the time to put it all together. That will probably take a whole day. It is frustrating to watch investments of time and money go down the drain because I can’t seem to keep up. Setting up ways of getting water to the plants is the critical key out here. Dragging the multiple sections of garden hose around to run just two sprinklers doesn’t do it. For one thing, on windy days much of the water blows away and what does make it to the ground soon evaporates. Every month I will buy more soaker hoses and I have managed to find a few at the landfill. The only area I got set up with them is where the potatoes are growing.

Oh yeah!!! The potatoes are coming up too. See, I forget so much stuff. Just a few paragraphs earlier I said that peas and corn were the only plants that have come up. That’s just how it is all day long, every day, with me.

I finally got the Rubik’s cube greenhouse put together. Just need to put on the corner braces and fix the broken hatches that go on top. Then we wait for a day that isn’t windy and Cherie and I will try to walk the thing out of the garage and put it on the foundation. I’ll have to stake it down real good with straps or something going over the top so the wind won’t blow it away. That will be a big test on this structure.

Today will be another hot windy day. It got up to ninety six degrees yesterday. Working on the greenhouse in the garage was tough because the temperature inside was well over a hundred even with the door open. The sun beaming down on the steel roof with no insulation does that. Working out in drains me pretty fast. Thank God for the air conditioner Janie and gang blessed us with last year. I’ve been getting up early to get out there before it gets too hot but this morning decided to take the time to update the journal. That’s because I know that by the time the day ends I’m too pooped to write anything. But it’s 11:00 now and I need to get to work no matter what. Cherie has gone to Midland to be able to go online and take care of our banking as well as get some groceries. She tried to go online in Stanton this morning but wasn’t able to. The Wi-Fi connection there isn’t always working.
There is a big grass fire not too far away. We can see the smoke from here and they closed down the interstate for a while. Our power is out, which I presume is connected to the fire. Who knows how long it will be before it is restored. The winds finally died down. That will help the firefighters with the fire but means I am unable to run the water. Things were so bad earlier that I couldn’t work outside any longer so came in. Now there’s nothing much to do. The battery on this laptop will only last just so long unless I take it outside and charge it with the truck. I suppose now would be a good time to go into town. There I can go online and also get the full tank of gas I get at the first of every month.


Amy # said...

I LOVE the pictures of your hands Bob! I am going to copy it to my blog, along with the words of the song we played at my dad's funeral titled "Daddy's Hands". I wish I had the music to share it with you. I have always loved that song by Holly Dunn.

Jeff said...

Awesome photo at the top of the post, Bob! Thanks for sharing.