Monday, June 28, 2010

I am blessed

Here's a patch of Bermuda. Eventually, with care and fertilizing, it will be a lawn

6/28/10 Monday
The start of another week. First thing I need to do is make a list of what I need to do, or at least would like to accomplish this week. The quarter or half inch of rain we got yesterday spurs me to take advantage of it. It’s been dry for months now so this is a break I’ve been waiting for. I wonder if any of the Bermuda grass seed I planted over the last two months will now come up. There were only bits and pieces that germinated and they have barely survived. An exception is a place in the back yard where I would lay a garden hose that has a slow leak to keep it watered. That area has done well.

The raked out area between the posts is the pathway I sowed Bermuda grass seed. Eventually my vision is to have all the pathways lush with grass

I disked up the area I wanted to plant the Giant hay Bermuda in yesterday after church. I had some of the lawn grass Bermuda seed mixed with sand still in the broadcast spreader I’d used to spread it a couple of weeks ago and that got soaked by the rain so I had to do something with it. It was soaking wet so wouldn’t go through the spreader so I prepared an area and sowed it by hand. There’s no way I was going to let it go to waste and besides that I needed to use the spreader to get the Giant hay Bermuda sowed.

This is where the Bermuda hay seed was sowed. It will be interesting to see how it does. Don't have a clue what it looks like, nor am I sure what to do with it when, or if, it comes up.

There were dark threatening clouds to the south and not much daylight left so I pushed to get it sowed. Pulling the broadcast spreader through the disked soil fast enough for it to fling the seed out was quite a chore. Despite the rain the dirt was mostly dry because when I ran the disk it mixed the inch or so that was wet on top with about six inches of bone dry sandy soil that was underneath. If you’ve ever walked on a sandy beach you’ll know what I’m talking about. Only I was walking fast and pulling the broadcast spreader behind me, and had to maintain that pace without stopping in order to insure the seed was spread evenly. I can sure feel it this morning.

With a 70% chance of rain predicted today and more rain possible for the next few days there’s an opportunity for me to plant many of the seeds that I wasn’t able to before. I was able to I guess but learning that the seeds won’t germinate with the well water I lost hope and didn’t. So I plan on hooking the plows up to the tractor and once again attempting to plant crops.

Part of the problem I’ve had was losing that hope, being demoralized by the failures of almost everything I planted before. The other part is my inability to keep up with all the work that needs doing. The time are resources spent on tearing that barn down took a big bite out of it. All of that work required paid help and if that had been focused on this farm there is so much that would have been accomplished. Poor decision making on my part I suppose, but at the time it seemed right.

On the list of things to do is the ever present weeds. They grow despite a lack of rain and they grow…well, like weeds. When Mike, one of the halfway house guys I hired, came out to help finish the barn he was amazed at the weeds for what he had done for me before was chop them down. He couldn’t believe how fast and big they had grown.

That weed, behind my now defunct tractor (Transmission blew) wasn't there two weeks ago

The weeds are everywhere and huge. I’ve had to use the hoe like an axe to chop them down and worry that I will break it. I’ve broken several hoes since we moved here and this one was the biggest heaviest hoe I could find. The Toro weed whacker we were gifted with will not touch these weeds, even with the solid metal blade attachment on it. With this rain these weeds will explode. I’ve been focusing on hoeing the sticker grass and weeds out of the garden plots and haven’t even been able to keep up with that. There’s about three hundred dollars left in the farm account, so I’ll use it to pay Sam to come out and help. I earned about $400 working for a friend but that’s already been spent on labor, plus fuel and almost a hundred for flea and tick medicine. Plus I earned $150 cutting down a tree so I’m working to pay others to work here on the farm. That works for me just fine. I’ve always been a do whatever it takes to reach my goals kind of person and enjoy work. Work just doesn’t always enjoy me and comes with a price that I pay in this beat up body. Thank God for pain medication. As much as I despise it, it allows me to keep going.

I’ll call the halfway house this morning and see if Sam is available to work. It’s going to be nice and cool for a few days so that will help. Cool out here being 87 degrees, much better than the high nineties and over one hundred degree temperatures we’ve had lately, with high humidity on top of that.

(Click to enlarge) The plaque that hangs on my wall. I carved this while recovering

So that’s it for now. I’m blessed folks, no matter how things look. I have a loving wife and a house to live in, we have food to eat, so what more can a man ask for. Oh some people would ask for a lot more but with these simple things I am content. I’ve lived without a roof over my head and not knowing if I would eat that day so understand what it means to go without. I’ve wandered lost with sever brain damage, I was taught how to walk and talk, facing the real possibility that I would never be able to do either one of those things. I was dead, but now I live. So I am blessed and so much has been restored to me. I will strive to improve what I have and part of my motivation is to be able to help others, to provide for those who have less than I. That’s part of my creed, part of the code I live by. You can read it on this plaque, which hangs on the wall of our office. “Money and things can vanish in a flash. What has real lasting value is the lives you touch”. There is a God, and my life is proof of His mercy and grace.

Time to get to work.

2:30 – I got the brush unloaded from the trailer. Can’t remember when I took a pain pill last and I didn’t make a note of it, but the pain level is pretty high so I’m taking one anyway. My legs are a little weak from trudging around with the seed spreader for a couple of hours straight yesterday. Had a hard time climbing up on the trailer. Had to do that over half a dozen times and each time was an effort. But I got the job done and that’s the point. Moved the truck and trailer to where the big pile of future firewood is. It has the bigger logs from the tree I cut down on it and I need to cut them to the right size to fit in the wood burner. Plus I’ll pile the scraps from the other wood on the trailer as I cut it up and transfer them to the burn pile. I might have to think about that because it’s a big pile now and will end up being huge. It might be better to make a separate pile. When I light that sucker up it will be a pretty big fire and safety is always important. I can’t light any fires like that till the burn ban is dropped. That will require a lot of rain before it’s considered safe. Plus I must wait till the wind is blowing in a safe direction. Our house is old and the siding tinder box dry with the paint mostly worn off so a single spark could well cost us everything. I’m careful even when I burn the small piles of sticker grass.

Right now I’m inside with my constant companions, Rascal and Trixie. Mama’s not real thrilled about them getting on the bed but we’ve worked out sort of a compromise. We keep a sheet covering the bed and I work to make sure it covers her pillows but Rascal invariably works it off as he squirms around. Cherie’s not keen on dog hair all over her pillow. But they love me, especially Rascal, and he always desires to be next to me, especially when he knows I don’t feel well and need to lie down. It’s hard to say no. Whenever Cherie tells him to get off the bed Rascal comes over to me, looks in my eyes with that “Please let me stay” look. As Cherie persists in demanding he get down, frustrated at my lack of support in that, Rascal will lay his head on my stomach and snuggle in, always looking in my eyes. Sometimes he wins but mostly, having some semblance of wisdom, I side with mom and tell him to get down. This he does as if his heart has been broken.

But they are here with me and Carman Kitty has climbed on my chest, as he often does, purring and rubbing his head on my beard. Carman has a particular liking of my beard. Hey, it’s good to be loved. And animals do so without preconditions. Much better than people in that regard. I’ll let the pain pill kick in and head back out in about a half hour.

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