Saturday, June 09, 2012

A stark reminder

6/9/12 Saturday
          I am 56 years old now. Cherie reminded me I had a birthday yesterday and I had to ask her how old I was because that is one of those little blanks my mind has, remembering how old I am. Oh, I know approximately how old I am but am often off a year or two. It really isn’t important to me, birthdays or how old I am, but it is hard to believe that in just 4 years I will be 60. All in all I am amazed I made it this far, considering all the times I almost did not and how I walked on the edge of the precipice for so many of those years. But I am blessed today in so many ways. I am blessed to have my marriage with Cherie so miraculously restored and I am blessed to have my faith in God also restored. In those miracles of life there have been so many attacks of negativity as well, often by those whom we trusted and looked up to. We have learned to overcome these negatives, to refuse to allow a root of bitterness to come in. There has been anger at the blatant hypocrisy of the ones who talk of God but only walk their talk when it is convenient. But that anger has quickly turned to great sadness because we understand that we all will kneel before the judgment seat of God and must answer to Him for what we have done. There are so many who have hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks in their pride and arrogance, and are apparently totally unaware of the danger they are in, or at least refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing. Caring more for what people around them think than for what God almighty, who sees the darkest thoughts of their hearts, will say on that final day we all must face.

          I had another stark reminder of the continuing struggles with my brain injury yesterday. While looking for the sickle I had sharpened to harvest wheat with I found a box that had long since been covered with other stuff. “What is that?” I wondered as I opened it. It was a box of drip irrigation parts and also a device to feed fertilizer and the bacteria that eats the salt and mineral deposits that comes with our hard water into our water system. The date on the invoice I found was October 2011 so the box has been here a while.

          Once again I had totally forgotten about its existence and in fact was frustrated because so many areas of my drip irrigation were damaged and I did not have the parts needed to repair them. We had finally received some funds from that job securing homes for banks and I was just going to order these parts. Come to find out they had been here for nine months and long forgotten about. I know that many people we share with say “we have that problem too” because everyone forgets something now and then, but with me it is a serious and constant, even daily, problem that effects nearly every aspect of my life. But then I remember other things clearly and seem unable to forget them.

          On television there is a big stink being made about a guy on one of those music reality contest shows. He has made claims concerning being wounded in combat in Afghanistan and perhaps Iraq, which, according to military records, are evidently not true. As I watched the many stories and interviews with and about this man I recognize instantly the effects of a traumatic brain injury. The one thing that shows on his military record is that he did suffer a blast injury while overseas. One of the common problems that comes with TBI is that often there are blanks in the memories and it is not unusual for the victim to fill those blanks with memories that are not factually correct. So while all these media people and others scream about this guy being a liar they are missing the fact that this is a common problem with TBI survivors. If you go to LA Publishing’s website you can find many stories in their forum of survivors that have had this problem. This can be an opportunity to help others understand the problems that come with a traumatic brain injury but so far it is being used to vilify the poor guy.
          I have been harvesting wheat and have lots of it to get to. This is a slow painful process as I use a small hand sickle to cut a little at a time. It requires me to bend low to cut it close to the ground, rough on a bad back. One of these days I will have machinery to help me do this. Meantime I do the best I can with what I have. I am still not sure how to thresh this wheat, how to go about knocking the seeds out of the heads of wheat. Have been looking at the stuff laying all around to see if there is something I can use to create a threshing device. The lawnmower worked ok on the rye because it was only ten or twelve inches tall but this wheat is three feet tall so quite a different problem. I will run the mower over the wheat just to see what happens but don’t have a lot of confidence in that methodology. There is the big brush hog that hooks up to my tractor. It has some possibilities if I can figure out a way to capture the seed. I am debating making something with a fan blade and feeding the wheat into it slowly by hand as well. It is one thing to grow a crop but does no good if I am unable to harvest it.

          Will be another 100 plus degree day so enough writing. I will go out and cut wheat while it is still somewhat cool out. Gotta go.     


1:26 – Came in for lunch. Cherie fixed Kale and apples with stuff she got from the Bountiful Baskets program we participate in. They have lots of good fresh farm produce for great prices. We are working on being more healthy with what we eat so this works good. I don’t think I have ever had kale before but it is full of good stuff.

          I cut myself pretty good (or bad I suppose would be the right way to say it) with the hand sickle I am using to cut wheat with. I keep it real sharp with Cherie’s knife sharpener as I cut so it didn’t take much to take a bite out of my finger. No big deal to me, just an inconvenience to run to the house and bandage it up, but it sure didn’t make Cherie happy. However Cherie has toughened up remarkably since we moved to Texas and this once would have thrown her into a panic tizzy.

          This picture shows the results of about two hours of working on the wheat. Not a lot of progress, especially when you consider how much there is left to do. I saw a video on you tube as I researched ways to harvest and thresh wheat that showed a guy using a scythe to cut wheat. You know, one of those grim reaper kinds of scythes. Pretty impressive as I watched him make gentle effortless strokes and at the end of each one the wheat was laid down in a neat little pile. It would be nice to have one of those for sure. I wonder how hard it would be to make one. Sure would make this job go a lot quicker. I so look forward to the time we have more resources available to farm and live with. God will provide but until then I think we are being tested and trained for what is to come.

          Well, my break time is over and I have lots of work to do, always. Time to get back into the heat and to work.

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