Monday, August 31, 2009

Start of another week

8/31/09 Monday
It’s the start of another week. The weather has cooled off some with the high today predicted to be only 90. I’m feeling lightheaded this morning and went through that yesterday as well. It might be connected to using the tractor to disc up more weeds, thus stirring up clouds of pollen and seeds that I inhaled. Probably should wear a mask. I had a bad headache afterwards and developed an ear ache as well. Don’t know if that’s related to the pollen of not but the throat feels a little raw this morning.

Another potential factor in the lightheaded thing is that I am weaning myself from the seizure medicine. I talked to the doctor about this when I saw him last week. He said take it slow and careful and that if I had a seizure to get back on the meds. I haven’t had a major one for about five years and that was the only one we know of for sure. But it’s possible I had others while homeless or living somewhat isolated in St Louis and just don’t remember. I remember waking up with furniture knocked over and cuts and bruises on me with no idea of what happened. Regardless I desire to be off medications as much as possible. I talked to the doc about my concerns regarding the Acetaminophen in my pain medication because of the FDA’s announcement that it causes liver damage. Having had TB and Hepatitis C in the past, plus doing some heavy drinking, my liver is a big concern and something I desire to protect as much as possible. He said that all the pain meds without Acetaminophen listed seizures as a potential side effect so didn’t want to change my prescription. That sucks. The pain meds absolutely allow me to work and have a degree of quality of life.

So I plan on a busy day, as I always plan. I’ll be running into Midland to see the missions director at First Baptist, where I’ll present Dr. Ron’s information packet. He said I didn’t have to make a special trip and could just mail it but I replied that it was important to me and I would make a special trip. He will look at it and take it to Pastor Dyer, who must approve the speakers for the Wednesday services. Hope it works out.

Friday I donned my fisherman’s headlight and picked blackeyed peas till 2:00 in the morning for the Saturday farmer’s market. I managed to pick about eighty pounds before I hurt too much to pick any more. Wish I could have because I sold out in 21 minutes. We earned nearly two hundred dollars but I could have easily sold three times that much. A lady saw I was overwhelmed and helped me bag them for the customers. I was grateful and gave her all the cantaloupe she wanted. She only took two and wanted to pay for them. One of these days I will get it together and perhaps can afford some help harvesting. There’s good money in farming but it takes money to make money.

I also hope the light head, headache, ringing ears thing clears up and doesn’t turn into a slowdown. Plus I’m tired, which doesn’t make sense as I slept well and it’s early, only 9:30. But for now I’ll attack weeds. See ya.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wanna be impressed? Read the bio at the end

(click to enlarge)

8/28/09 Friday
3:41 – Just came in from running the tractor, disking as much of the five acres as I can. I ran it for about four hours, until it ran out of the five gallons of gas I put in. That kicked my ass. I have a big headache now and sitting in that hard tractor seat for so long didn’t do me any good either. Walking is difficult now. The paralysis of my right leg is evident as it usually is when I get tired or sit for a while. I wonder if the headache is connected to the clouds of pollen and seeds the tractor kicked up as I drove through the three foot high jungle of weeds. This stuff kept getting in my eyes, making it hard to see. While out there I found some renegade watermelon plants that had sprung up from seeds left when the dogs broke open melons last year. They must have sprung up when we got those July rains. It was a surprise. I didn’t disk them up so will go back out and see if they are ripe. There was only two or three that might be but everything is drying up now.

This is a killer headache but I have things to do. Top of the list is to pick as many blackeyed peas as I can for the market tomorrow. We’re pretty much broke now and Cherie won’t get her check till Monday. It’s a poop scoop day and we must by dog food as they are all the way out so I’ll be running to Midland after I cool off and the aspirin hopefully reduces the headache.

I’ve been working to get Dr. Ron some speaking engagements or at least meetings with churches to get support for his ministry. Here’s a copy of his bio. It’s something else.


Married to wife Paula in 1971.
Two sons—Brad is age 34 and is a carpenter & missionary to Latin America; Ronnie is age 36 and is a teacher in California . They are both married and have a one son both born in 2007.
EDUCATION
Rhodes Scholar designate
President Lyndon B. Johnson National Merit Scholar
Ph.D.—Ancient History
Ph.D.—International Relations
Th.D.—Historical Theology
PROFESSIONAL
-Author of numerous books:
+ Street Walk’n was named to New York Times Best Seller’s List as well as Best Seller in the Religious Division of New York Book Review.
+ Street Walk’n Again is a continuation of Street Walk’n that approaches the subject of follow-up more in depth.
+ The Search has been reviewed by AuthorHouse and by New York Book Review as, “the most extensive and exhaustive research sources on the life of Jesus in the past 100 years.”
+ Milk to Meat new believers discipleship course is now being taught in numerous Bible Colleges and used as new believers discipleship training course in hundreds of churches in America, Latin America, Europe, and Africa.
+ God’s Hidden Mysteries details through archaeological evidence and historical research some of the great mysteries of the Old Testament. Among these are the beginning, the great flood during the days of Noah, the days of Peleg, the Tower of Babel , the sacrificing of Abraham’s son, the Exodus, the fate of Jonah and many more.
+ Perfection in Stone explores the construction of and the mysteries of the Great Pyramid of Geza.
+ Along with the above mentioned, Ron has authored travel and tour manuals, travel guidebooks, educational courses, essays, educational and archaeological periodicals, and university instructional manuals.
-Recognized by Cambridge as one of the “One Thousand Greatest Americans.”
-Served as Albanian representative to the European Trade Union talks in 1994, 1995 and 1996.
-Awarded “Friend of Albania ” Medal by Albanian Prime Minister (the only westerners in Albanian history to receive such an award).
-Serve on the Board of Governors of Cambridge’s Biographical and Historical Centre
-Former member of the Board of Directors of Pacific International University.
-Member of the Board of Directors of Final Frontiers Foundation
-Director of Middle Eastern and Islamic Expansion of Final Frontiers Foundation
-CEO of the CUBIT Foundation
-CEO of the Friends of CUBIT Foundation of Switzerland
-President and CEO of the HEBRON Humanitarian Foundation
- Conducted archaeological excavations and historical explorations in 6 countries.
-Lead university educational and archaeological tours for numerous universities to 9 different countries.
-Lead humanitarian efforts and refugees support and rescue efforts in 3 different countries.
- A member of the 1990 Mt. Ararat exploration and Search for Noah’s Ark expedition, sponsored by USA , Turkey and Russia .
-Member of the 1991 expedition that discovered “fiery furnace” of Babylon , as mentioned in the book of Daniel.
-Appeared on National Geographic’s “The Incredible Search for Noah’s Ark ” documentary. This documentary was also aired on Unsolved Mysteries, the Discovery Channel, and on the History Channel.
-Appeared on Discovery Channel’s, “The Mysteries of the Bible” documentary and on their “Secrets of the Ancient World” documentary. Both of these documentaries were also shown on The History Channel and the Disney Channel.
-Appeared on PAX TV’s, “The Search for Historical Jesus” documentary. This documentary also appeared on Unsolved Mysteries and on the Hallmark Channel.
-Appeared on the History Channel’s “The Shroud of Turin” documentary. This documentary also appeared on PAX TV.
-Appeared on PTL and on the 700 Club.
-Served as a civil engineer for 12 years
MINISTRY
-Senior pastor for 14 years in Ohio and Georgia
-Planted two churches in USA
-Planted churches in Albania , Turkey , Egypt , Syria and Sudan
-Traveled to and ministered in more than 50 countries
-Served as missionary to Albania for 6 years
-Content writer for Larry Burkett and Christian Financial Concepts
-Internet content writer for Crown Financial Ministries
-Financial counselor and budget counselor with Larry Burkett at Crown Financial Ministries.
-European co-coordinator for Final Frontiers Inc.
-CEO of The CUBIT Foundation –Providing humanitarian aid, shelter, education, in Egypt, Europe, India, Qatar, Sudan, South America, Mexico and America.
If I'd done one tenth, no one onehundredth of what Ron has I'd be a happy man.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Throwing a life preserver

8/25/09 Tuesday
I’m exhausted. Picked peas till one in the morning and got up at 5:00 to make it to the Big Spring farmer’s market. Didn’t sleep much in between. The market was pretty dead and the guy set up next to me said that Tuesday are always slow. I was worried about even selling enough to cover the thirty dollar sign up fee till a lady stopped and bought forty dollars worth of peas. It was nice to meet new people but I won’t make this a habit. Now I have fifty pounds of blackeyed peas sitting here that will spoil fairly quick. I must take a nap. Was falling asleep driving home. Then I head to Midland. It’s a poop scoop day and I want to work on a lady’s garden, to help her out. There are things in her life I wish to help her sort out but it’s a difficult thing. When you see someone drowning you want to throw them a life preserver, but they may not accept it. But my problem is I’m not even sure I know what life preserver to throw out there.

So pray for wisdom for me. It’s nap time.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A GIANT step forward, and killer bees

8/23/09 Sunday
The bees came back. Only this time they are aggressive and probably the Africanized ones they call “killer bees”. I went out the door and wasn’t even close, about ten feet away, when several came at me and one stung me on the face. There is a crowd of them buzzing where they get through the rotten siding to the crawl space under the house. Tomorrow I’ll go to the store and buy some bug foggers to throw under the house. I’ll have to be real careful and am debating whether or not to do this during the day. That is when they are most active. At night the bees all settle down and you don’t have to worry about getting swarmed, at least not as much. I’ll have the hatch in the floor open to do this and it wouldn’t be nice to have them swarm through that into the house. Ben and Gretchen, our two outside dogs, are staying clear of the veranda, which is where our kitchen door and their food is, along with being near to the bees. So life in West Texas remains a constantly changing challenge.

Good news! We bought a disc. At the Farmer’s Market yesterday our booth was next to the rancher who sells beef. We got to talking and I told of how I do everything by hand but have a tractor now, only nothing to use with it. He said he had a couple of discs he would give me a deal on. So we drove to his ranch after church today. Skyler said he had barely used the one that was about six feet wide. If so then it’s been sitting a while. He made sure to tell me that they go for about nine hundred dollars new and I replied that the Mahindra dealer had new ones for six. So it was time for me to make an offer as it was clear he wasn’t going to. Hell I don’t know. Don’t have a lick of experience regarding used farm equipment, other than being taken to the cleaners with the tractor. So I looked and looked, not sure what I was looking for. Finally I offered $300. He accepted the offer right away. Makes me think I could have got it cheaper but it doesn’t matter. Cherie has money socked away and we made a few dollars with the blackeyed peas so we could swing it. This is a big step forward for us. Our first piece of farm equipment and probably the most important one. The tractor may not go in reverse but it sure will pull forward and that is the only direction you need to go with a disc. So finally I have a chance at the sticker grass. It has gotten real bad in the back two thirds of the five acres. Now I can disc it up every two weeks or so and get a handle on the weeds, break the cycle of them going to seed and propagating. Plus it makes preparing areas to plant much easier than doing it all by hand.

Another big happening here with us is that we have succeeded in getting our friend, Ron Charles, scheduled to appear on GLC television. They will be here September 14. Ron is the creator of the Cubit Foundation, or at least the president. I get fuzzy on stuff like that sometimes. Regardless he is a man of God who is dedicated to serving the needs of others, particularly the moslems who have converted to Christianity in moslem countries. These people, moslem by birth but Christian by choice, are under a death sentence and severely persecuted. Many are killed, as in thousands, every year. Both Ron and his wife have received serious injuries while overseas in these countries. Mostly from accidents involving horses and camels. An occupational hazard I suppose. I can’t go into details too much because of the dangers and problems dealing with moslem controlled governments.

Here’s something that gets me. I know of churches that have only a couple or three hundred members attending services who’s new pastors demanded six figure incomes when these churches interviewed them for the position. Ron travels the world and puts his, and sometimes his families life at risk, enduring great hardship. He hasn’t received a paycheck since April, putting all the money raised into the ministry. He supports his family, provides housing and food, through the love offerings given where he speaks on behalf of the ministry. At least I think that’s how it works. But he truly lives in faith, trusting that God will meet his and his families needs. We have seen this miraculous provision in our lives on an almost daily basis. And I’m no man of God by any means. Here’s an example. On August 12 I posted that I need new boots. August 21 I have them. They weren’t just given to me. The farmer next to us told me I can pick his peas and that earned us the money needed to buy boots, and also to contribute to buying the disc.

But my brother Ron has deeper needs. When they come here they will need a place to stay. I’m going to ask a friend if they have extra flyer miles that Ron and his wife can use to fly here from Dallas. We’d let them stay with us but she’s highly allergic to cats. But as long as they are here I’ll be the chauffer and drive them everywhere they need to go. Ron is an old friend. He was in our first wedding and was my mentor as I worked to be a minister. I was there as he founded a church from scratch, starting with a bible study and growing it till we built a church. He was there when Cherie and I got that divorce that never should have happened. It broke his heart as much as ours. Ron will be available to speak on Wednesday September the 16th. If any of you are involved with a church that has a heart for missions and particularly persecuted Christians, email me at bobcarver2@yahoo.com I can tell you things that I won’t publish on this blog. Plus if you would like to help them out in any way I’ll direct you where to do so. In fact just go to his website at www.cubitfoundation.org

Friday, August 21, 2009

Scam in the name of Jesus

3:53 – Just got back from delivering more peas. On the way home I stopped at Walfart to pick up some creamer. I also picked up a handful of plastic bags we can use to put peas in. Tomorrow is the farmers market so I’ll be picking peas till it’s dark out. I harvested some cantaloupe and sold them to the folks buying peas.

The “Christian” fundraisers were out in force at walmart. First was a booth set up at the entrance for a group called Tower of Power ministries or something like that. There was a table full of cheap wooden crosses they were selling. I stopped to check this group out and asked a few questions that I already knew the answer to. “Are you guys from around here?” was the first one. Of course they aren’t. I was just talking about this kind of thing with one of the folks from our Sunday school group. It’s a typical formula. They find people who are in desperate straits, who are at the bottom of their ladder, and recruit them. With this group they are taken to the headquarters near Austin and put to work manufacturing the crosses. Then teams are sent out traveling to sell them. In some cases these may be, or at least started out to be, legitimate ministries. But ultimately they are programs that take advantage of the poor and downtrodden to line the pockets of others.

So after I purchased my items and went to the truck I saw a different group. These guys were roaming the parking lot with large plastic jars that had a piece of paper taped to the side that had been printed off a computer and had a crude logo and picture of Jesus on it. There were different kinds of candy in the jar that they were hustling to get donations for whatever they represented. I didn’t bother to ask. This format was more familiar to me as it’s the same as an organization in Toledo that I had a run in with while homeless.

It’s a story. I was thrown in jail by the Volunteers of America organization the courts placed me in to insure I was cared for after they extradited me from St. Louis. There were no charges placed on me at all. The VOA did this to get rid of me because of how I was acting, behavior directly connected with the brain injury. That was basically having no social skills nor the mental tools that prevent one from saying what they shouldn’t. At the time I was just blunt and honest, saying exactly what I thought without regard to the consequences. The Toledo VOA basically is a halfway house for people getting out of prison and it was rife with all kinds of evil. They were cooking crack cocaine in the microwaves in the dorms and having women meet them for sex in the parking lot. The staff was stealing pain medications from the locked medicine cabinets and if one of the people who was supposed to be getting it complained they were set up and sent back to prison. So I go to the director of the VOA and tell him he’s running a crack house and that I was going to write the paper and expose it all. Next thing I know I’m being handcuffed and taken to jail. So I’m in jail for several months with no charges at all. Everyday I would ask why I was there and every day the guard would call down to the desk and tell me they didn’t know.

Finally, on my birthday, I went on a hunger strike. When the meals were brought up I would hand my tray to everyone and make sure the guards saw me do it. On the forth day I was told that if I could find a place to go I would be released. So the place I found was one of these scam outfits. They were registered with welfare as a place of refuge for the homeless or really down and out. I was quickly driven by a sheriff’s deputy in a county van to their location and dropped off. Cool, I was out of jail. Instantly I was told that I needed to sell candy to stay there. When they learned I had food stamps they were taken from me on the pretense of it being my contribution to the “Ministry”, especially since they figured out I was in no shape to be taken out and sell candy at that time. Three days later I was told I had to leave. I asked for my food stamp book back as it was a months worth of food worth, $219.00. “It’s all gone” was their answer. I didn’t even have any shoes. They gave me a garbage bag for the two t-shirts and one extra pair of jeans I had, all I owned in the world at the time, and walked me out the door. But I was free! I could go where I wanted, when I wanted. That felt good. But I got lost just walking away. At that time the short term memory and effects of the brain injury were really evident. It was the beginning of another adventure, another one in a long series that ended with my finding Cherie again and ultimately to where we are now on this farm.

So I have a dim view of these types of organizations.

Picked a new pair of boots

8/21/09 Friday
Well, I picked me a new pair of boots, quite literally. Yesterday I spent most of the day delivering blackeyed peas we picked the day before. It earned us enough money to buy the boots I so badly needed. Hard work and the grace of a neighbor allowed me to get a new pair of boots. So here they are. You can bet that I’ll try my best to wear them out again. With winter coming they should last a little longer but I plan on working harder through the winter to be prepared for spring planting. Learned my lesson from being unprepared this year.

Cherie and I went to see the Texas veterans rep about the disability dispute. He looked at everything and explained that the bureaucrats with the VA were so swamped they don’t do a good job. He was nicer about it than me because I know that VA offices that deal with disability across the country have been busted by federal investigations for just throwing out, or conveniently misplacing thousands of applications for disability and that some soldiers applications have been “lost” up to four times. Anyway, he will appeal the decision and resubmit the paperwork. So when all is said and done it will be a lot better.

That’s it for now. I’m not real speedy and have a new pair of boots to put some miles on so see ya next time.
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Here's something else I wish I could go to. Unfortunately it is down near Houston and would cost $170 bucks plus whatever it cost to get there and find a place to sleep. I'd be happy to take a tent and camp out. Education is what I need most when it comes to building this farm.

September 17 & 18, 2009 Brenham, TX
Hosted by: HOMEsweetFARM
Join us for this two-day event designed to help new and experienced growers get the job done. Network and meet with experts in the field for technical discussions and then experience hands-on farm tours and training to deepen your understanding. Lunch includes seasonal surprises prepared by some of the leading Texas chefs promoting local food…
Dr. Joe Novak Dr. Joe Masabni Pam Walker Patty Lovera
Pamela Hornby John Ferguson Ben Godfrey Brad Stufflebeam
Classroom sessions with technical discussions on diversified vegetable farming, disease and pest controls, propagation techniques, marketing, variety selection and more from experienced experts in the field.
Technical Farm Tour will be in the field at HOMEsweetFARM, a 22 acre diversified CSA vegetable farm serving the Houston area. Demonstrations covering tractor and horse power on the farm, greenhouse production, bed preparation, soil amendments, cover crops, rotational grazing, irrigation, equipment, planting techniques, distribution, customer care and much more.
Includes a local/organic lunch filled with seasonal surprises prepared by Chef Joe Apa of T’afia, Houston and Chef Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due, Austin
Do not miss this unique event.
For more information and to register online visit www.homesweetfarm.com
Call 979-251-9922 Email info@homesweetfarm.com
Made possible by… HOMEsweetFARM.com

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blackeyed peas

Hey folks, I've got access to forty acres of blackeyed peas that will soon be plowed under. (because of ridiculous USDA rules) Cherie and I picked about 75 pounds yesterday and plan on getting as many as we can before they are gone. We are packaging them in two pound sacks at $2.50 a pound. I will be delivering them to Midland and vicinity today after 2:00 and probably tomorrow if there are enough orders. It's a forty mile round trip so won't make the drive for just one bag. email me at bobcarver2@yahoo.com. I'd post my phone number but don't think that's advisable considering this is read throughout the world. But let me know and tell your friends. It would help us out a lot and allow us to earn the income. I will also mail packages anywhere in the country with no guarantees on quality upon arrival. That will require you pay postage and you can use paypal to pay for it.
If you've never had fresh off the vine blackeyed peas you've missed a treat. They are great raw on salads along with being cooked. Have the dried ones peat all to pieces.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Climbing a moving wall

8/18/09 Tuesday
Lately it seems like every time I take a step forward something blocks it. It’s uncanny, one thing after another but they are mostly connected to my body. Yesterday it was the scary chest pain thing. I’ve had that before but not with the headache. This afternoon, right now, it’s a major slowdown. I had spent much of the morning answering emails and chatted with a friend in Arizona and my youngest son in Michigan. It wasn’t a long chat with him. He doesn’t write much, usually short words. Said he was missing his friend Ty. I don’t know who Ty is or much of anything else going on in his life. This brings great sadness as I once again am reminded of the great gulf between us. Always I face the consequences of bad decisions yet it is those bad decisions that reunited me with Cherie.

I am slow, about a four on the bob scale. Typing is a tedious process as I work to find the words to put my thoughts on paper. Paper being this laptop. Then to add to it is the headache that is pounding. This sucks and just frustrates the hell out of me. I want to work, want to get things done, and need to as well, but it’s like there is a wall erected in front of me, a barrier that keeps shifting to be in the way. Part of me knows that laying down helps with the headache, that turning off the lights eases the pain. Part of me wants to do that, just hit the bed and do nothing, hide from the headache and frustration. But I refuse to. I don’t know what I’ll do but I’ll be damned if I’m going to lay down. Working outside probably won’t happen. I was out earlier and got quite confused trying to decide what to do. It’s noon so I’m supposed to eat. I’ll do it but don’t want to. Feel like I’m wasting time when I eat.

My father on one of the fighter jets he trained in. He was a Korean war ace and later a test pilot who flew experimental aircraft with top secret classifications. Eventually I hope to learn more about him, to know who my dad is. The walls between us are crumbling so this hope may come about. This is an old picture I found in my mothers stuff

My sister emailed me to give me an update about my father. He’s doing as good as you could expect under the circumstances. She said he’s displaying some short term memory issues from the brain tumor and chemotherapy. That I can relate too. He was glad to get the card from me. I sent some old pictures we found but he didn’t recognize anyone in them. Robin told me that my brother hasn’t bad mouthed me to my dad. That would be nice. Unfortunately I’m not confident of that but hope it’s true. I wrote Robin back but now worry about what I said. I’m just honest and say what I think.

Also I did some Facebook stuff. This is new to me and burns up a lot of time. But it helps me talk to a lot of people. I talk to the world with the blog but they don’t often talk back. Facebook is different. So I communicated with Cherie’s nephew in Toledo, Jimmy Patterson, the reporter who did a story on us in the Midland paper, Malkie, the Orthodox Jew that found me through blogging friends, and I can’t remember who else.

What I did that I feel is important is contact GLC about scheduling Ron Charles to be on their station. I hope that works out.

These slowdowns always just suck the energy out of me. I’m having a hard time staying awake as I type. So I must find something physical to do in order to keep going. I guess that would be fixing something to eat for now. It’s so frustrating to be me at times like this. I want to move the world but can’t hardly move my ass.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The wonder of restoration.

8/17/09 Monday
Paying the ticket went fine. No questions or problems at all. It looks like my court date will be September 30th on the speeding portion. I’ll meet with the prosecutor beforehand, as Sharon, the attorney in our Sunday school class, advised, to see if he will dismiss it. That would save everyone a lot of time and money, me, the court, and the state trooper who would have to take time off to come to court.

It’s hot out again. Imagine that, hot in the desert. Go figure. I did some work on a plot I hope to plant soon and ran the tiller over some of the drip irrigation hose. That made a mess that I must now fix. Today it’s hard for me to think, to decide what I will do. I’ve had lots of good clearheaded days so this is a disappointing return to previous states. It’s not too bad, not a major slowdown or anything, just hard to figure out what I need to or should do. It’s so strange to be me. I’m brilliant one moment and a moron the next. Like I’ve said before “I’m either the smartest stupid person, or the stupidest smart person you will ever meet. It just depends on what moment you meet me”. That’s my attempt to find humor in the situation. Better to laugh than cry.

I’m getting involved with this Facebook thing. Never did it before despite registering way back at the request of Jacob the Jew (See the link to his blog on the right) It was just too confusing for me then. I’m better able to not get lost and confused when I attempt to access it’s gimmicks and methods of communicating. What is simple for others can be a great source of frustration for me. But the fact that I am able to do so now is a good indication of how my mind is improving and further repairing itself. Despite that I have my ups and downs, but more ups nowadays.

The motherboard I ordered for my laptop is on backorder. Hopefully we will get it soon. When we do I will be able to access my hard drive and thus information I gathered for the business plan. Providing I’m able to put the totally dismantled laptop back together again. Kind of like Humpty Dumpty. We’ll see. Because I can access picture by picture instructions to do so I don’t think it will be a problem.

On another note, one of the new friends I met on Facebook has an eight year old child who has a rare form of cancer in his throat. Another friend is going through a divorce and she just had a baby last month. How heart wrenching these things are to hear. Then there was the mother of three who had to leave her husband because of severe abuse. She was homeless without a car or even a job with all three of her children along. She wasn’t accepted at Fair Haven’s because she didn’t meet the qualifications so she went to another place with the word “Safe” in it’s name. She didn’t feel safe at all so left. I just learned she moved back with her husband. I mention all of this because no matter how bad it seems I see that there are many who have much more on their table. One of the goals I have with the vision for this place is to provide help for those in the community. I can’t help everyone but if we can help just one, we’ve done something. It’s my heart to help others. Always has been as long as I can remember going back to childhood.

It appears that Cherie and I will have a chance to tell our story, of the miracle of our marriage being restored and for that matter the miracle of my being alive at all. This will be at a luncheon at First Baptist Church in Midland. The date is tentatively set for September 28 but may change. We will have a half hour to share about this wonder of restoration with all who attend. I’m putting together a series of pictures to augment this testimony. Cherie and I will take turns speaking, each telling of our view of the events that led up to the divorce and then the ones that led to our finding each other again. When the date is set in stone I’ll announce it. This will be open to the public so all can come.

Here's Ron and I in the lobby of the church he founded and built from scratch. I had the honor of being there and being a part of it all.

Geeze, I just looked at the clock and can’t believe it’s already 2:00. I think I’m done outside for now. Just too hot. But there’s plenty for me to do inside, mostly writing. One of the tasks now on my agenda is to see if I can get my friend and mentor, Dr. Ron Charles, scheduled to appear on the GLC Christian television network. So with that in mind I’ll post this and call it quits. As soon as that’s done I’m contacting GLC so see ya latter. Got things to do.
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As I worked to post this, looking up pictures to put on, I started having chest pains. It’s happened before so I took two aspirin like I always do. Now the pain has traveled to my right temple as well. I think I’ll lay down a bit. Ears are ringing.
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3:09 - This is different. Ears are still ringing and now have a bad headache. Feeling a little dizzy too. Plus I’m tired, just exhausted. Got me worried a little.
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I'm better now. Took two more aspirin and laid down. It passed.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Great pictures

8/16/09 Sunday
It was 103 today and I felt it. Didn’t do much outside at all but had to do something. Couldn’t just stay in all day after church. So I weeded the strawberries and repaired the damaged drip line I discovered there. Then I ran the tractor scraping weeds till the reverse stopped working. That doesn’t take long anymore. As soon as it gets hot it stops popping into reverse. Frustrating. I’ve got a $3800 dollar machine that I can only use for short periods of time. It’s starting to hesitate going forward some now. We just noticed that the Mahindra tractor dealership changed it’s name, indicating that Ronnie no longer owns it. Still would be nice to get one of those but not possible. I learned of an International I can pick up for six grand but right now we’re having to save up to buy me a pair of boots. Having to pay the ticket doesn't help. That costs more than the boots would.

I got some great pictures of a thunderstorm yesterday. Damn thing went around us so we didn’t get a drop of rain. I’ve learned how to get all of one of these big pictures in, more or less. I make a video and pan across the scene. What ya think?

It took 28 tries to upload the video. Ended up reducing the quality and sending it as Quicktime.

First thing tomorrow I must run to the constables office and pay the ticket for not getting the truck inspected. It was due Friday but we forgot all about it. Hope there isn’t a penalty or something for being a day late. We’ll see. Hell they might have issued a warrant for my arrest. Doubt it but you never know. Can’t blog from jail so if you don’t hear from me come make my bail, OK?
in video

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Heard from my sister

8/15/09 Saturday
I just heard from my sister. Dad’s MRI’s showed that his tumor has shrunk a little. That’s good news. She just got back from Houston and took him to the nursing home he has to stay in during this ordeal. It was good to hear from her. I’m always nervous when I communicate with her, worried about saying something wrong and also about what she thinks of me. I always worry about things like that and in addition the fear that my brother continues to bad mouth me is prevalent too. Whether that fear is legitimate or not I don’t know, but it has a foundation of his past performance. Past performance is a good indicator of future behavior.

It’s hot already. I planted the castor bean plants way out beyond the five acres we cleared. Looks like four, maybe five, will make it. I planted them so far away because they are extremely poisonous. That’s why I’m growing them, for the poisonous beans. They are perfect for killing gophers and gophers are our biggest pest when it comes to furry things. Hard to believe that’s where castor oil comes from. You have to wonder who in their right mind went to the trouble of figuring out how to make castor oil, and then tried it, out of something poisonous like that. Come to find out castor oil is healthy. Go figure.

So that’s done. I was going to the farmers market but there is just too much to do and I don’t want to waste the morning when it’s not yet near a hundred degrees. That’s why I’m sitting here on this stupid laptop wasting time? OK, got to get back out, kick the tiller in gear and start playing in the dirt. Then it’s hoe time in the continual fight against sticker grass. By the way, the bees are gone. Just left. That’s strange. But I’m not complaining. Bye.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Got some rain

8/14/09 Friday
We just got some rain. It’s 8:20 in the evening. It isn’t coming down hard at all and looks like it will pass over us pretty quick but we’ll take all the rain we can get. There was this rainbow that came with it. Too bad I don’t have one of those wide angle lenses or I could have gotten both sides of it. So I got two pictures, one of the right side and the other the left. I like how it shows the oil well and in the background you can see the wind turbines generating electricity. Click to enlarge it and you can see them on the horizon. Two forms of energy that West Texas generates.

Mostly I ran the mower today. Pushed real hard this morning to get as much done while it was cool as I could. That was good exercise for sure but wore me out pretty quick. You know your mowing hard when you get short of breath, or that you’re out of shape. Perhaps both.

I have been having great conversations with the orthodox Jew I met online. I love to learn and there is much this person can teach I think. We talked about Moslems and the fact that world leaders are kissing their asses and selling Israel out in the process. Along with selling their own countries out as well. That includes America. It’s all about hate and oil. What’s fascinating is that this is all unfolding just as the prophecies in the bible predicted. It’s like the bible is a roadmap for the end of days. Just uncanny how accurate it is.

That’s it. Not much to say today. Enjoy the pictures.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I cried? Oh, guys don't cry.

8/13/09 Thursday
10:40 – I got out to work by 7:20 this morning. Boy was it nice, there was a nice breeze and it was cool, maybe 75 degrees. So I fired up the mower and again attacked the three foot high weeds. I have to lift the front of the mower way up to push the weeds back and then slowly go over them so the mower won’t stall. I’ve been trying to avoid the sticker grass as the clippings are getting put in the soil where I’ll be planting soon. There will be plenty of sticker seeds in it no matter what I do but at least I can reduce that number. What I plan on doing later is taking the hoe to the sticker grass. I was mowing it to catch the stickers in the grass catcher but decided that wasn’t the smartest way to do it. I had noticed stickers flying all over the place when the mower went over them. So what I did all day yesterday was scrape the sticker grass loose with the hoe and then rake it all up. My burn pile of sticker grass is three foot high and six foot long now and there’s plenty to go. One of these days I’ll have the equipment to keep all the ground tilled all year long. That will break the cycle of weeds going to seed and making more weeds. There will always be weeds but this will get a handle on them.

I had to come in, not only because my back pain was getting way up there but I was once again getting light headed and had a hard time figuring things out. Right now writing takes some effort. Plus I’m getting one of those headaches. Hope it doesn’t get too bad. It’s warming up pretty quick so I’m sure that contributes to all this. I can’t take a pain pill till eleven but that’s only four minutes away now so I’ll go ahead and do so. Then I’ll lay down in front of a fan after I post this and after a bit go back to work.

I got an email from my sister yesterday. She said my dad was glad to get the card I sent and actually wrote a letter back. Right now he can’t write so she transcribed it for him and put it in the email. I cried a little when I read it. Not much mind you cause guys don’t cry you know. He said he looked forward to visiting with me though he is too weak to do so right now. That’s the part that got me, that’s a breakthrough. Dad goes for his MRI in Houston today. This is when they see if the chemotherapy has done any good. It is a crucial moment. Please pray. There is so much in my life that is being restored. These are miraculous things to me, things I never thought possible. My remarriage to Cherie is an undeniably amazing set of events that just defies all the odds. Here I am struggling with my belief in God being there but these things, many more things than this, sure indicate there is an unseen hand putting my life together. And it’s still going on. I feel a sense of direction, a sense of destiny.

While in the hospital, waking from the coma, I remember telling the nurses and staff to remember me because there was a reason I was alive, something great was going to come of it. Was I delusional in the confusion of my damaged mind struggling just to comprehend the world around me? Beats me but the evidence is building up. Where this came from I don’t know. I remember when, after they taught me how to walk and then allowed me to do so without someone holding my arm, struggling to the chapel down the hall. There was no one inside. I went up to the altar and sat down because I didn’t have the strength to keep standing. There I prayed “God, are you there? Do you exist? If you do forgive me for turning my back on you. Help me do better. Help me be the kind of person you like. Help me do good things and not go back to what I was”.
I carved this in St. Louis as I recovered from the accident that killed me. It is the creed I live by. (click to enlarge)



Every day I wake up is a good day. Sure I have my ups and downs but I am always grateful for life. Always. What was important to me at one time means little now. What I can do for others means much.

I’m tired again. Will go lay down so I can get back to work. I know that sounds strange, lay down to get to work, but that’s how it is. A half hour to forty minutes rest refreshes and allows the pain to go down to tolerable levels. Of course the pain pill helps also. So that’s it for now.
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2:27 – I should do that twitter thing seeing as I give regular updates, sometimes. But I don’t have time, don’t need to add to all the things I must do as it is. Anyway, it’s officially hot out now and I’m done for a while. Pushed as far as I could. This would be a good time to work on the business plan. After I get done dripping sweat all over that is. I’m going to get a towel to dry off and sit in front of the fan. First I think I’ll pour some cold water over my head. That will help me cool down.

Whoooo, that felt good. Now I’m tempted to go stand in front of a water sprinkler but won’t. I’ll lay down for a bit and let the back relax, then I’ll get to work on the business plan. I think I’m on my second gallon of water for today. Not quite but I’ve drunk a lot of tea.
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The bees are back. It seems to happen every year. They are attracted by the smell of honey from the old bee hives under the house. With the wood siding rotted in many places they have no problem finding a way in. Once one discovered the honey it told the rest and now we have hundreds of bees flying all over the place. When you walk out the door you can hear the droning buzz. Nuts. I hope they don’t try to move in like before, that they just steal all the old honey and be done with it, but that’s wishful thinking. It really upsets me to have to kill them, but there’s no other way to get rid of them that I know. We can’t afford to have a bee guy come in and move the hive. I guess they grab the queen and the rest follow. Besides that I doubt he would crawl into the crawl space underneath the house to do it. It’d be nice if I could set up a hive outside. We plan to eventually have honey bees but that won’t happen soon. That comes with the apple and peach orchards.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wish the wind would blow

I think these boots are six or seven months old. I'd have to go back in this journal to check but regardless they are pretty much worn out.(click to enlarge)The sole is even cracked through. So it's time to get another pair and we've been watching for sales because money's always tight. But it shows that I work hard. I guess I'm proud of that but don't think that's wrong.

8/12/09 Wednesday
I wish the wind would blow. There’s a gentle breeze that comes and goes but it doesn’t do much to cool me off. Hard to believe there isn’t a wind out here. After all this is West Texas where the winds blow hard and fast much of the time. With the humidity at 40% or something like that the heat really makes itself known. If there was a wind it would evaporate the sweat from my soaked t-shirt and really help. It’s 11:00 now and I just came in. Didn’t get out to work till 8:30 this time. I liked it yesterday when I was out before 8:00. That really helps me get more done. So I’ve got the fan on high as I write this and it’s doing a good job considering I’m soaking wet.

I’ve been using the hoe all morning, chopping down weeds in one of the plots that is planted with the hay before I turn the water sprinklers on. As I work I always think but unfortunately I have a hard time remembering what I came up with when I come in. That’s getting better, my ability to remember, as time goes by. There is always much on my mind and this morning it’s mostly my brother, but my dad and…well something else that I won’t talk about right now. It’s an old issue that I need to resolve locally. In all three cases it involves writing. What to write to my brother, what to write to my dad, and what to write to the other situation. I run scenarios through my mind as I try to extrapolate the possible ramifications of different ways of saying, or not saying things. I’ve made so many waves in the past with my blunt honesty that I’m learning to think before I speak. That’s hard because of my belief in being honest, of saying what I mean. But I’m figuring out that it’s not what you say but how you say it that’s important. I’m a little gun shy now I guess.

On Facebook I’ve been hooking up with a lot of the Jews who are connected with Jacob the Jew, who’s link is on the right. This is exciting to me for a complex reason. On GLC (God’s Learning Channel, channel 42 if you use an antenna like we do) there are many teachers of the Torah, which is the old testament to the Christians. I’ve developed a great interest in this and the historical Hebrew language and alphabet. Plus I have an affinity with the Jewish people, nation, and history that has always been there. It is the root of Christianity. Jesus was a Jew and all the writers of the new testament were Jewish as well. To learn and understand the language and cultures of biblical times great enhances your understanding of what the bible says. The biggest area of that interest for me is the prophets. Here I feel I can find the confirmation I seek for the existence of God. It’s a strange thing to believe in God but not “know” for sure He’s there. I’ve wrestled with that ever since I woke from the coma. This is directly associated with the brain injury and is such a common problem for us survivors of TBI that there are whole websites devoted to that. There is an area of the brain called the Amygdala that is at the base next to where the memory centers are. Because it is where the brain connects with the spinal cord this is an area that is hit hard as the head, and consequently the brain, is rocked back and forth during a damaging head trauma. Scientists have dubbed this the “God center” of the brain because it’s the area that lights up the most during religious activity. This is also why memory problems are a principle symptom of traumatic brain injuries. So I choose to believe in a God I don’t know is there and I pray to a God that I don’t know hears me. Is that the definition of faith? I just trust He’s there without knowing.

Enough of that. I have a headache but it’s tolerable. There is much writing that needs to be done but lots of farm work as well. It’s unfortunate that doing one means the other gets neglected. I’ve cooled off though my t-shirt is still wet. But it’s lunch time so I suppose I should eat a piece of the chicken that’s in the fridge. I’m tired but I’m always tired at this time of the day. But a short nap does wonders for me. I hate to take one because every hour it gets hotter out. It’s always a case of checks and balances when it comes to deciding what to do in this scenario. I think I’ll eat and lay down for a half hour or so. That will give the pain pill I had to take time to kick in.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bugs in the headlight


Met Cherie for dinner after she got off work. We went to the King and I again but things seemed to have changed. This happened at Moon Garden too. Perhaps we just caught a bad night in both places but the food just wasn’t the same, as in it got bad.

The heat was getting to me today. I was getting pretty light headed and had a hard time thinking clearly. But it might not have been the heat, it could just be one of those spells I go through. The heat certainly was hard on me either way. I could only stay out working in it for an hour at a time. Last night I donned the fisherman’s headlight and kept working after the sun went down. It was still hot, in the 80’s but that was better than 98 degrees. The problem with that headlight is it attracts bugs. With the rains we had there are a lot of bugs flying around. Imagine what it’s like to have a light on your forehead that’s bright enough to light your path and have hundreds of flying things attacking it. All of them brightly illuminated as they smack into the light and your face, the rest flying frantically in front of you. I toughed it out till about ten. The bugs won. I quit. I’ll probably do it again but don’t think it will be tonight. There’s just so much to do and so little time to do it, especially when I can’t work straight through the day.

Already tired

8/11/09 Tuesday
It’s 9:00 and I’m already tired. Got out to work a little after seven. Still running the mower. Right now I’m mowing hay and putting the clippings on the rows I’m preparing to plant on. I’ll till it under later. Today is a poop scoop day so I’ll be going to Midland. Went to mail a card and the DVD of the news story channel seven ran on us a while back, but forgot to take my sister’s address so I’ll try it again. That’s it. Breaks over so back to work.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Scratching at the earth

November of 2007. In an attempt to cover over the rye seed I'd sowed with a fertilizer spreader (next picture) I made a harness to pull the three foot wide landscaping rake. I put a sack of sand on top to give it weight, thus helping it bite into the ground a bit. You can see there was a lot of ground to cover and that's only part of it.

8/10/09 Monday
It’s another start for another week. I’ll be mowing all day long, or at least for much of the day. Much of the mowing will be focused on where the sticker grass is in order to capture as many of the stickers, ie seeds, as possible before I till it under. There will still be hundreds of stickers buried in the dirt but at least thousands won’t be. All of that goes into a growing pile, where once it’s dried I’ll burn them. I’ve already worn out two lawnmower blades and am working on the third. When I say worn I mean worn. The last one was almost paper thin and had been reduced from two and a half inches wide to less than an inch on the ends. The constant sand is a contributor to this, kinda like mowing sandpaper where the sand coats the bottoms of the weeds.

The areas that don’t have too much sticker grass I’ll take the clippings and put them in the soil I’m preparing for fall planting. The fall planting I need to do NOW but haven’t gotten to with everything else that needs to be done. Yesterday I was wondering if it would do any good to plant as I worked through another bout of depression. “Why plant if I can’t even pick the blackeyed peas that are on the plants now” I would ask myself. I’ll have to push past this. It’s so frustrating to not keep up with what I’ve got. The recent rains overwhelmed me with weeds. The hay I planted is doing great and helps choke out the weeds. But unfortunately much of the seed had gotten wet and was no good. There wasn’t much anyway as it was only one fifty pound bag. If we had the money I would have bought seven hundred pounds and planted it everywhere. It only costs about eighteen bucks a fifty pound bag but that adds up. But I don’t have a disc or other equipment that’s needed to do this right. I’ve done it all by hand the last three years now but it took something like two months to do that way. This year I’d been able to use the old man’s disc and that helped immensely but I won’t ask to use it anymore. That’s because he wouldn’t let me fix it when the bearing froze up. If I can’t fix what I break I’m not comfortable using it.
Spreading rye seed

Anyway, all the rye I planted by hand early this season, six hundred and fifty pounds worth, didn’t make it because of the drought. Eventually I’ll have the equipment and resources to farm, till then it’s scratching at the earth and wearing myself out. In October we get our yearly CRP payment. If possible I’ll use it to go to Ohio and pick up the disc or plow or whatever our nephew has obtained for us up there. “If possible” being the key phrase here. At the least we’ll be able to buy another six or seven hundred pounds of rye or winter wheat to plant. I’ll get in the ground however I can. In the ideal scenario it will compete with the weeds, thus reducing them, and then get tilled under to continue my quest to turn this sand into better soil with the organic matter that is a necessary ingredient for soil health. One of these years I’ll be able to actually harvest the grain.

Enough talk. That’s what’s on my mind for the moment but there’s work to do and heat to beat. Gotta take advantage of the relative cool of the morning.
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I thought it was around eleven or twelve but it is 1:00. Regardless it’s time to come in. Haven’t started the mower yet. Got to hoeing the weeds around the melons and guess that’s what I’ve been doing for three hours. I did repair some irrigation stuff earlier. I’ve got that faint feeling that tells me the heat is getting to me plus the back pain is up there. Unfortunately I have to wait another hour before I can take a pain pill. That’s just the way it is.

While I was repairing the drip connections on the side of the house I heard what I swore was a rattlesnake rattling. Sure enough there was a four foot snake in the cannas plants. By the way Jen, they are doing well, thanks for the gift. So I had to work real hard to get the snake out to where I could kill it. When I finally did I saw that it was not a rattlesnake, though it looked a whole lot like one. It didn’t have any rattles at all. The sound it made sure sounded like one along with a hissing noise. I suppose it’s an imitation of a rattler’s sound as a form of self protection. Plus it has markings similar to a diamond back’s though a little different. Don’t know what kind of snake it is but once I saw it wasn’t a rattler I picked it up by the head and took it to the edge of the five acres and released it. Took it to the far corner where there are gopher mounds. Maybe it will eat some gophers.

I’m heading into Midland this afternoon. Have to mail a DVD to my sister that we’ve been meaning to mail for over a month now. The DVD is a copy of the news story channel nine ran on us. Plus I have another card for my dad and want to get that out to her as well so she can get it to dad. I think I’ll print up a picture or two to include with it. Then I must do my laundry. Should have done it last week but that didn’t work out. Can’t remember why but it’s not done.

Wish I wasn’t tired. It’s terribly inconvenient. Ate a couple of pieces of chicken for lunch and drank a huge amount of tea

Friday, August 07, 2009

God isn't always love and peace

8/7/09 Friday
Hard to believe we’re a week into August already. Seems like yesterday it was the first. I’ve been busy, busy, busy, but it’s all good. Haven’t had any bad slowdowns and my mind has been sharp and clear for days now. What an encouragement that is. It’s 11:30 now. I’ve been out working since 8:00 and came in a half hour ago to take a pain pill and lay down in front of the fan. Rascal and Trixie always like this as they come in too and lay on the bed with me, along with both cats. Usually Carman kitty sits on my chest and begs for pets and purrs. It’s such a peaceful time. There’s a new spirit in me, a renewal of my hopes for the future, my confidence that things will come about. It is good to have and helps combat the frustration I have in being unable to keep up with the physical requirements of this farm. I spent the morning with the hoe attacking weeds. This afternoon it’s time to get the tiller out and till under weeds in the plot I intend to plant fall vegetables in. I found some old castor beans and after soaking them planted them in some small containers filled with potting soil. Didn’t have a lot of hope they would come up seeing as they were old seeds but so far five of them have. Castor beans are highly poisonous and an effective means of combating the gophers that plague us.

I made a lot of progress on the business plan yesterday. What I’m doing is painting a picture with words of my vision for the place. Writing is a gift I have and by doing this I can better convey what will be. “There it is daddy!!!” Jim heard his young son exclaim when he recognized the Westbrook logo with two distinctive intertwined hearts” is the opening line. From there it describes the experiences this family has as they visit the farm and explore it’s charms. This visual depiction will greatly enhance the details of the business plan as potential investor/partners read through them. I talked to Cherie about whether or not to post this on the blog and she agreed with my hesitance to do so. I’ll reveal it to specific individuals when it the right time. Pray for us in this venture if you’re the praying type. If you’re not the praying type give it a shot. Can’t hurt and could well do you a lot of good.

This is a poop scoop day. I’ll also stop by Mrs. G’s to mow her lawn and do any other chores she may have. I dropped by there earlier this week and took her some of the basil we have. She loved it but loved having the company and someone to share her troubles with more. She told of her granddaughter. What she shared was a heavy burden. It reminds me of the things Genelle, a friend from church, has and is experiencing. I think I should introduce them because they have so much in common. Mrs. G’s granddaughter is in her thirties now but was molested as a child. She jumped into a marriage as so many abused girls do and is married to a…well I won’t use the word I want to but he’s a real piece of work. There are two children in the marriage and they are psychologically abused if not worse. He’s mean and lazy. Not just a little bit but in a major way. Mrs. G asked “How do I pray about this”. She’s got such a sweet spirit and tries not to say or feel anything bad about people. She told me that she had prayed for God to show her just one good thing about this man and looked for it for one year. She couldn’t find anything.

They had come to “visit” this week. Actually he brought them and tried to pressure Mrs. G into letting them move in. He won’t work and Geneva’s granddaughter has lost her job so things are tough. She’s supported the whole family for years and he lays on a couch and barks orders like “Bring me my food woman”. He pretends to be disabled but regularly forgets which leg is supposed to not work well. He was in a car accident and headed straight to a lawyer but the lady who hit him had no insurance and no money. Regardless the guy won’t even look for work. I was glad to hear Mrs. G tell me she refused to let them stay. When it came to how to pray I told her that God isn’t always love and peace, that He’s a God of vengeance and judgment too. I told her of a scripture where, I think it was Paul, said he was praying for the destruction of the flesh of someone who was causing serious trouble so that their soul might at least be saved. When it was time for me to go I prayed with Mrs. G that God lay his hand on this man to deal with the situation, to perhaps wake him up. Or if nothing else to deliver the granddaughter and her children from this horrible situation. I hope not to meet him because I don’t mince words and will most likely tell him exactly what I think, especially if I see him yell at or smack one of his kids. All of them, from the wife to the kids, are afraid of him. I have no problem asking God to smack him down.

I keep getting notifications of seminars and conferences that would be a great asset to attend. But we just don’t have the means. One of them is a farm and food leadership conference in San Antonio that lasts for two days. Here’s their opening statement about the conference “Be part of an exciting gathering of non-profit leaders, farmers and ranchers, farmers market organizers, local foods activists, and more! This two-day event will feature speakers on issues critical to both farmers and consumers, including:” There have been other conferences and seminars that are educational regarding how to grow and market produce that would have been of great benefit. After all a lot of what I do is learn about what I’m doing.

The other conference is of even more potential benefit to us. It’s on RV parks, a big part of our business goals. Here’s their description;

RVParkStore.com, the nation's largest website devoted to investing in the RV Park industry, has announced that it will be holding an RV Park Boot Camp in New Branfels, Texas (Between San Antonio and Austin) on the weekend of October 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

This event will cover all aspects of owning and operating RV parks, including finding, evaluating, negotiating, doing diligence on, purchasing, managing, operating, marketing, financing and selling RV parks. It will look at the full spectrum of RV parks, from 1-star gravel road parks to 5-star parks with pools, clubhouses, miniature golf and live entertainment. This will give attendees a feel for the many different types of RV parks, so they can decide what works for them.

The course is based on classroom instruction and field study - walking around real RV parks and seeing what the business is like in a real world perspective. It is taught by Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds, who have owned and operated over $100,000,000 in Mobile Home and RV Parks. There experience is augmented by several expert guests, and many real RV park owners.

So there’s two items on my wish list. I know where I want to go but getting there requires a lot of work.

Speaking of work it’s time to get back out there. See ya.
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Just got back from Mrs. G’s. Mowed her lawn and helped cut grass burrs out of her Pomeranians. I took Genelle over there and they hit it off pretty good. Talked for the hour or so I was working on the lawn. At the end they exchanged numbers and promised to talk again. That seems good. Getting home I just remembered that I totally forgot about poop scooping. Hope Steve and Janie don’t get upset. I’m tired now. It’s almost 8:00. Cherie’s fixing dinner and it’s likely I’ll call it a day.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

That unseen hand

Click to enlarge

8/6/09 Thursday
Finally finished mowing the old store. Took three days mostly because I was using his mower and it had no gumption at all, so I mowed an inch at a time to keep it from stalling out. That plus the heat and running out of steam myself. This morning I loaded up my mower and finished the job in short order. Short order being three hours. But it’s finished. There’s so much to do. I was talking to Cherie about it yesterday and said that even if I was in full health I wouldn’t be able to keep up. There are things I have neglected to do others but now I have to prioritize and decide what is most important. Writing a short piece on the business concept is urgent for it is time to generate interest. “It is time” has been a thought ringing through my head for days now. There is a timing factor that is critical. That factor involves people and available funding access. That unseen hand is pushing me forward. (Yeah, I know. Sounds a big schizophrenic. But to some so is believing in God)

Last night I was up till 1:00 looking online for a motherboard. Found one used for $124.00, refurbished for $227.00, and new for $399.00. I think we’ll go for refurbished and hope for the best.

But I am tired. Grabbed a burger at Sonic despite not liking them and not wanting to eat unhealthy crap like hamburgers. It was expedient and saved time. Plus I could get one of those 44 oz cups that I use so much. Keep them filled all day long as I work outside so I can always have lots to drink. The last one got “nasty” (Cherie’s words) so Cherie threw it out.

Went out and shaved down the end of the handle for the hoe that I broke yesterday, carved it to fit the sleeve on the hoe. Then I turned off the water that had been running since this morning and chopped down some weeds around the drive. All the while I’ve been thinking on how to write this one section of the business plan. It’s the least business part of the plan, basically painting a picture with words of my vision. With this picture in mind people will have a much clearer idea of what will be as they read the rest. Actually I think it will inspire a few to help me develop the plan. God is putting in place those He’s chosen to help.

So nuff said. Got to write.
A recent sunset. Last night or the night before I don't know. Left my camera outside on a fence post and just had to go find it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Need to focus on what's important.

My father holding me.

8/4/09 Tuesday
I got out and to work when Cherie left for her job. As much as I need to be preparing beds for fall planting I’m constrained to fight weeds, as always with particular attention to the sticker grass. If I don’t they will once again take over. Everything is going to seed now so tilling it under just plants the seeds. There are areas of weeds that haven’t gone to seed because they are areas I had recently mowed or tilled so the weeds are still young. Three foot tall young in some cases. However I have two obligations to take care of today, along with some other tasks that are also time sensitive. First of all I need to mow the acre of land at the old store. Like everywhere weeds are thriving and need to be dealt with. That’s part of the promise I made to the old man when he made it available to me for a farmer’s market. I haven’t used it at all but still must keep up my end of the bargain. Plus it’s a poop scoop day. Last week I totally forgot about that until Cherie asked “Did you poop scoop?”. I’m so glad she reminded me. Also it’s time to do laundry so I’ll squeeze that in, maybe. In addition I want to visit Geneva, the sweet little old lady I met a couple or three weeks ago. She called last week to say thanks for the blackeyed peas I dropped off but mostly to let me know she would love for me to stop by. I’ll pick some basil to take to her.

Despite all the things I need to do outside I must focus on something else. I always plan to do tasks like work on the business plan, and now write a letter to my father and my brother also, when I come in from working outside. Unfortunately, by the end of the day I’m exhausted and don’t think as clear as I do in the morning. Because of that these things don’t get touched. Despite the fact that it is still cool, or at least not hot, outside I must write the letters this morning. Otherwise they won’t get done at all. That means I’ll be out in the heat of the day and the heat has returned. But I’m out in it anyway. So it just means I won’t get as much done.

Monday, August 03, 2009

What is a man?

8/3/09 8/3/09 Monday
It’s 4:24. I’m done for now. Been out working all day and the heat has gotten to me. The bitch of it is that it’s not that hot out, maybe in the low 90’s. At least I think that’s what the weatherman said. But it’s gotten to me. I’ve gotten weak where it was hard to lift my foot to check the boot for mud before I walked in the house. That surprised me. It doesn’t seem like I’ve gotten much at all done. I’ll drink a ton of tea and lay in front of the fan.

As I worked I’ve pondered the words of my brother and written many replies in my head. I’ve debated how to approach him so we can resolve our differences but also thought about the many reasons he has to avoid me, the light I might shine on him, the things I might expose.

But I’m tired and must lay down.

Larry seemed real sensitive about being a man. "Don't you dare question my manhood" he said, perceiving a slight that wasn't there when I said "I'd like to think you're a man that..." So I went online to find some definitions of being a man. Here's one I particularly like and agree with.

Relationship
Men teach and learn from others. Men coach and encourage. Men compliment. Men are peacemakers and negotiators. Men mediate, arbitrate and facilitate. Men comfort and nurture. Men enjoy solitude and companionship. Men are good friends. Men can keep a confidence. Men are faithful, sincere and decent. Men take pride in their achievements. Men try to make their community safe. Men are philanthropic and generous. Men are helpful, kind and thoughtful. Men are compassionate and sympathetic. Men cheer people up when they are down. Men are tender and gentle. Men are loving

Men debate and discuss. Men like fair play. Men like joking with others. Men entertain others. Men protect and rescue others from harm. Men sacrifice themselves for their family. Men sacrifice their lives for the greater good. Men co-operate. Men are good parents. Men lead others. Men are patient. Men are honorable. Men are honest. Men create laws to protect others. Men are tolerant and accepting of others. Men are good listeners. Men counsel. Men work together in a crisis. Men respect themselves and others. Men value all life and appreciate nature

Action
Men are decisive. Men get things done. Men are practical. Men are organizers. Men transform. Men like to fix things. Men motivate and inspire

Expression
Men are exuberant. Men are free-spirited and playful. Men are charismatic. Men like to celebrate. Men are spiritual. Men have deep feelings. Men are open and expressive. Men communicate directly. Men are witty. Men move people with their words. Men are passionate. Men enjoy sex. Men are artistic. Men create and build

Thought
Men question and seek knowledge. Men search for meaning in their lives. Men are resourceful, adaptable and flexible. Men try to create order in a chaotic world. Men are wise and understanding. Men like to know how things work. Men invent and innovate. Men like intellectual games and rules. Men hypothesize and solve problems. Men are analytical and strategic. Men are philosophical. Men are planners and forward thinkers. Men reason logically. Men are smart. Men keep things in perspective. Men hope for a better world

Strength
Men are responsible. Men provide security and stability. Men are self-reliant and independent. Men can endure great pain. Men can restrain themselves. Men are calm in a catastrophe. Men are resilient. Men are dependable and trustworthy. Men are courageous and heroic, Men stand up for what they believe. Men are solid, stoical and firm. Men fight for a good cause. Men are disciplined. Men admit to their mistakes. Men work with danger, dirt and discomfort. Men have stamina, drive and determination. Men focus and concentrate. Men are hard workers. Men use their power for the good of others.

Later I plan to write a short essay on this, to express what I think it means to be a man. Knowing me that might or might not happen. We'll see.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Time's a'wastin

July 1rst

8/1/09 Saturday
Man! It’s hard to believe August is already here. Saturday, what to do today? I got out and ran the tractor, leveling and scraping some of the plots I plan on planting soon. That will make tilling them much easier. What a blessing that tractor is, despite it’s age and many failings. On the way to do something I again saw how bad the weeds are in our “lawn?” (LOL) So I just started pulling them. Here’s a before and after picture. The first one was taken July 1 and I just went out and took the second one a few minutes ago. Thirty days, four weeks, and look what’s grown. Cherie said it brought back nightmares of when we first moved here. There was lots of rain that year and the weeds were over six feet tall in some areas. That’s over my head. Our church family came out and helped cut them all down then blessed us with a lawnmower and a really great weed wacker that I was able to get a fitting for that cut heavy two inch thick weeds. With those blessings from those great friends and examples of Christianity I can generally keep up with the weeds. It just got harder. Keeping up with weeds is easy in a drought. Even they need water to grow. A little rain and…well you can see.

There’s hundred degree temperatures on the way so I’m gonna bust my but while it’s still cool. Of course I bust my butt when it’s hot too but the heat busts my butt right back so I don’t get as much done. It’s a good thing I like to work. If I’m up to it I’ll probably wear the fisherman headlight tonight to keep going and try to get ahead of these weeds. Plus it’s time to get fall crops in the ground. I didn’t get much planted at all this spring and really am unhappy about that so hope to be more diligent this fall.

My brother’s words are still ringing in my head. I know he meant for them to hurt and they do, but not that much. Actually Cherie and I are having lots of fun with the “Severely Psychotic” statement. “Well, you know Cherie, I’m severely psychotic” I’ll jokingly say as we talk about different things. What hurts is to see his heart, how much anger and bitterness is there. But I suspect that he has an underlying purpose for saying this. When we would come to visit Minnie Lee (my now deceased grandmother) we learned that Larry would tell everyone he met that I was “not in my right mind” and crazy. This continued after her death. He even told my grandmother that and tried to make her afraid of me when she was alive, insinuating that I would harm her. Larry knows that I know this and that I know about a lot of other things he has done. So he may be trying to manipulate things so that no one would believe what I have to say. You know “He’s crazy and making this up” kind of thing. Part of me wonders if he purposefully instills this kind of thought in my father to keep us apart. I hope I’m wrong. These are just things I ponder on. I don’t really know for sure what’s in his heart and what his motives are, just know what I know and that would be what he’s said, who he said it to, and when.
My brother and I at my first wedding to Cherie. We both had a lot more hair back then. (1979)

So times a’wastin. Got to get out and attack weeds.