Friday, June 22, 2012

Running a race

6/22/12 Friday
          Always a lot to do and some days more than others. One of the ladies we serve has let us use her car until we can get the trucks up and running. On the way to her house, where I needed to investigate why her water pressure had dropped to just a trickle, we ran out of gas. We were in Cherie’s truck that does not have a working fuel gauge and in all the commotion had forgot to check the mileage and put gas in it. I got the other truck towed to where Cherie works so it can be worked on safely. Meantime I am pushing to get that model AA truck running. The electronic ignition came back from the manufacturer after being tested. It was working just fine so the problem is somewhere else in that old truck. Hopefully it was the generator that I replaced with a custom built alternator made just for the six volt positive ground systems in the old Fords.

          We will need to replace the pressure tank at Mary’s place as that was why the water was not running well. Hopefully the constant on and off that her well pump was subjected to because the pressure tank bladder has a hole in it hasn’t caused permanent damage. It had shut itself off several times now. When she has funds I will put a new tank in for her, but those cost over $260.00 and she has to scrape to find that much. I am working on building an irrigation system for the 26 pecan trees that have barely survived and show just a touch of green. It will consist of circles I will make from some of the irrigation tubing someone donated to us for the farm, each with an appropriate number of drip emitters to supply to the root systems.

          Meantime there are ears of corn forming in our corn patch and I need to make the time to administer mineral oil and BT, a bacteria that attacks the corn worms that destroy so much of the crop. That is a painstaking process that involves squirting the oil mix directly on the tassels at the top of each ear of corn. The watermelons are growing well but most of the cantaloupe has been destroyed by rabbits. I never quite found the time to create more wire cages to protect them from attack.

          We are looking to find investors and help to create an RV park on this farm. That would provide the badly needed income that would allow me to purchase essentials for farming and to hire some help. There is just more work to do here than one man can handle, especially when I am working other jobs elsewhere to help pay the bills.

          It looks like we will lose that job we made a company for to secure and maintain properties for banks. They called yesterday and asked if I had obtained the required liability insurance yet. That had been waived when I started because I wasn’t sure if there would be enough income to justify the expense. Well there isn’t and because we do not have that insurance they will no longer give us work. We didn’t make a lot and it was a constant battle to get paid for what we did but it was work I can do on my schedule. No worries, God will provide.

          If we can build an RV park that would solve so many problems. 20 spaces would provide $120,000.00 a year and 40 would gross nearly a quarter of a million dollars each year. It would cost about $8,000 a space to build and I am confident that it can be done for much less. This would be an investment that could be paid off in two years, with interest.

          I have to hit the road folks, so that is all for now. Here is a thought. It is not starting a race that matters, or even how you run midway through it, though both are important. It is how you finish that matters. There are many who have started well, and were impressive as they went, but faltered as the cares of the world and personal flaws they decided to keep, led them off the course. There are many who are now striving for the wrong finish line and the end is not going to be good. So keep your eye on the prize before you and examine your hearts to insure you are not running in vain.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

One of those days, and a fire

6/20/12 Wednesday
          You ever have one of those days, where everything falls apart? That was today for us. Cherie called as she drove to work to tell me the noise we have coming from her truck was getting much worse. I had already decided that the truck needed to go to a shop to have the front end looked at but had forgotten all about it. So, with that reminder, I headed into Midland to get her truck worked on. When I got to where she works I looked at the tire and saw that it was so out of line that the rubber had worn all the way to the thread underneath on the outside edge. No way around it, we needed a new tire before anything else. But first I decided to take Cherie out to lunch, even though the budget is tight. We can eat at the Thai house for under $20.00 and seldom eat out. Besides, Cherie was a little stressed out and needed a break.

          Lunch was fantastic as it always is at the Thai House but when we got done and got into my truck it refused to start. This is a problem that has been occurring on occasion with that Chevy diesel, along with it suddenly speeding up too. So I cranked and cranked but suddenly it kind of kicked back. Nuts. Then it stopped cranking and the battery connection went bad, another problem that has come up before. This one I knew how to deal with so tightened the cable connection on one of the two batteries the truck has. It now had a good connection but now the starter decided to not work. It just spun and would not engage the motor.

(Some of the wind carved sand on the farm)

          Wonderful, that meant that both of our vehicles are out of commission and we are stuck in a shopping mall parking lot. I got the phone out and the first call I made was to some friends we have from First Baptist Church. We just needed a ride back to Cherie’s work, where her truck was sitting. It was in dangerous shape but I was confident it would make it to a tire place. Wally, (the friend we called) said he would follow to make sure I made it. We had already spied out a tire place that said they could get to it fairly quick. Come to find out the front end needs major work and the mechanic said he would insist on us replacing the power steering hose that leaked so bad it soaked him when he examined the truck. This I knew about and we have just been pouring power steering fluid in every other day because we did not have the funds to fix it. We have some help now to pay for these badly needed repairs and are grateful for it.

  (You can see on this fire how the wind is blowing it to the north, not at all in the direction of that church that shows right next to the road)

        However my truck is still sitting in a mini mall parking lot, where I must work on it to remove the starter and hopefully be able to repair it. That may be quite an adventure as I must crawl under it while avoiding others as they pull in to park in the spaces next to me. All of this inhibits my ability to get out and work on the 1929 model A Ford as well as mowing lawns and stuff for the asset management company, thus it will cut into the income we so desperately need. I know a starter for my diesel truck will not be cheap either, and I hope that is all it needs.

          In other recent events, there was a nasty fire near the church we used to attend, the same one that kicked us out because of gossip and a jealous pastor. About half a football field length from that church was a bank of what the call tank batteries. These are used to store salt water and crude oil. One of them blew up and of course set all the others on fire. What was strange was how the flames managed to wrap around this church despite how far away it is. The lawn between the church and tank batteries is still green and unburnt. Makes us wonder if this was the hand of God in some way bringing judgment on those who were so anxious to judge and reject us, all the while purposely disobeying the very scriptures they claim to follow.

          I harvested my first watermelon for the year the other day. It was from one of the many renegade plants that came up by themselves from seeds strewn about by wild animals last year. Did not know what kind of melon it was until I cut it open and found it is a yellow meat watermelon.

          In the morning I will drive Cherie to work in her truck. They were only able to replace the tire and can’t get to fixing the bushings and stuff until next Tuesday. So we are down to one vehicle and it is limping along for now. Hope it doesn’t wear the new tire too badly before we can get it fixed. I am wondering if we can somehow tow my truck out of that mall parking lot and perhaps take it to where Cherie works. That is only a few blocks away.

          So the adventure continues. I was up at 3:00 this morning and thus am making this blog post. Suppose I will get out when the sun starts coming up and do some work on the farm and then drive Cherie to her job and start working on fixing my truck. Bye now.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Responsibility for lives and is it a bat?

6/14/12 Thursday
        "I think we have a bat!" Cherie exclaimed as I walked around the corner. She turned on the porch light and hurried inside as I investigated.  It wasn't a bat but this moth. It's wingspan is as big as the barn swallows that also live on the veranda. If I spread my fingers apart they would not quite equal how big this baby is. Not sure what kind of moth or butterfly it is but it is quite impressive.

  It has been busy so let me catch you up on what has been happening. We have made the time to visit with and help the two widows that God has brought us to. Spent a good part of the weekend at Geneva’s doing some stuff around the house while Cherie took her shopping. They came home with a puppy that was being given away for free. Of course the puppy is cute, like all puppies are. This will be good for Geneva because it will give her something else to focus on other than problems with budget and family. It will also be a nuisance for her too as this puppy gets used to living in a new home and misses it’s litter and parents. Such is the way of new puppies.

          The other sweet little lady we have the privilege of visiting with I haven’t seen in two weeks or so. Unfortunately she had fallen last week and bruised her face pretty badly. That is a real concern for she has been having fainting spells or something where she gets dizzy and blacks out. At her age, the potential for serious injury is definitely a concern. I intend to spend some more time over there, now that much of the farm work has come to an impasse.

          There is still much to do on the farm but at this point I don’t see much of a benefit for planting more melons and the other areas are so overrun with sticker grass and weeds I don’t think I can do much. If I disc it under all I do is plant the sticker seeds, making things much worse I the future. I wonder if I can scrape all them into a pile with the back blade I got from Mary and burn it. Dealing with them by hand with a hoe is a daunting task.

          Right now I am focusing on harvesting wheat and rye grain. Spent a lot of time painstakingly cutting wheat stalks by hand with the sickle and then tying them into bundles. Later I will rig up a device to thresh the grain out of the heads. Meantime I will keep plugging away at it. I plan on getting the mower out and using it to harvest more rye grain. Unfortunately I have literally driven the wheel off that mower and it currently just wobbles on the axle with much of the plastic where it rides broken away. It smokes badly now and I must regularly pull the spark plug because it fouls up with the oil. This is the only mower I have that has a grass catcher on it, which is extremely valuable for this farm. Not only do I use it to harvest grain but also to collect grass clippings we use to make compost with.

          The tomatoes are just hanging on, not doing well at all. Most of my cantaloupe was eaten and destroyed by rabbits. I am not sure if it is worth the time to replant again because it is so late in the season. I must make more wire cages to protect plants from being ate by critters. I did get to pick 3 cayenne peppers yesterday. Cut them up and put them in my chili. Made it a nice and spicy meal but then rubbed my eye, not something you want to do after handling hot peppers.

          Went to the jail Tuesday. Two people there decided to turn their lives over to God. With that comes a serious responsibility for me. Neither one of them seem to have a background with church and have little or no knowledge of God or what it means to be a Christian. To lead someone into our faith and then abandon them, hoping it all works out, is a dangerous way to do things. It is like leading a horse to water but not allowing it to drink. This has been the way of many churches, more interested in bragging about numbers than caring for the children they make in Christ. “We got so many saved this day” type of talk. Jesus said to make disciples, not converts. To make a disciple requires you sacrifice your time and life to show them the way and carefully teach them about God. In the lazy convenient Christianity of today so many have no desire to sacrifice any time or effort for such things, and in doing reveal their true hearts and total lack of understanding regarding our faith. There is a price to pay for that, a price I desire to avoid at all costs. Jesus said that if someone causes the least of His little ones to stumble and fall, it would be better if they had a millstone tied around their neck and were flung into the sea. Jesus died a horrible death so that we can have life, and did it because He loves us. We are to love others as Jesus loved us, but that often is inconvenient and not a lot of fun so many find excuses to not get involved, failing to understand the cost of such an attitude.

          So I will spending more time at the jail teaching these men and will make myself available when they get out of jail. They are in there for tickets and stuff so won’t be in jail for long.

          I have much to do so must go now. Be good and take care folks, remember that God really does love you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Whoa!!! What is going on???

What is amazing to me is that no one seems to be speaking out about this. These are the actual Executive orders that Obama has created and signed into law. It is not a joke, it is not some conspiracy theory, these are real and are there waiting to be put into action. But not a word has been said by our major media outlets, or even by those running for president. Think about this, think hard. Why are these orders needed? What is the purpose, the ultimate goal of these executive orders? Why hasn’t there been an outcry? All of these orders have the provision that they will take effect the moment the president declares as state of national emergency.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates theof all persons. Postmaster General to operate a national registration
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.