Monday, October 30, 2006

We Made It!!!!!

10/30/06 Monday
We made it !!! Right now I am writing this from the Best Western hotel in Big Spring. I put a new alternator on and sure enough that was the problem. Got that done right at the twelve o’clock checkout time so we packed and hit the road. We are now showered and preparing to head to the farm after breakfast. The first stop will be at the Stanton post office where we will pick up the mail that has accumulated over the last three months. After that we will go to the farm. We are wondering what we will find. Worrying might be more accurate. Did someone break in?? Are the killer bees back?? Will the pipes leak when the water is turned on?? For that matter will the pump at the well work?? Stay tuned for updates.
Cherie called me on the CB when we had not gotten a mile from the hotel “Honey, my battery light just came on. The temperature thingy is climbing way up and it’s hard to turn the steering wheel”. I know what that means, she lost a belt so I had her follow me off the next exit to a truck stop. We parked the car and when I looked underneath the hood, sure enough the serpentine belt was gone. We cleared out a space on the passenger side of the truck and after getting permission to leave her car we went to the farm.

You can tell it had rained from how much the jungle had grown up. Now these are tumbleweeds when they come up higher than the hood of the trunk. I got out the weed wacker and cleared a path for the truck and then to park the trailer near the front door.

Cherie went to sweeping while I cleared brush and then we unloaded the truck. With that done we have come back to the hotel where we can make some of the necessary calls that have to be done. High on that list is the well company so we can get some water at the farm. As soon as we have water we will move in.

I can’t quite describe the emotions we both feel as it begins to sink in. HOME, this is HOME. We don’t have to go anywhere else, we don’t have to answer to a landlord, this is ours. Cherie and I went out in the road to take pictures and I told her “We’re gonna bring this place to life”.

6:20 PM – It just keeps getting better. We called Ledford Pump Service and Leroy, the owner, said he lived in Greenwood which is close by so could come right over. We had just gotten back to the hotel room and were going to go fix Cherie’s car so dropped that and made the twenty mile drive back to the farm.

Leroy was a nice guy who I would guess is around seventy years old. We drove back to where the well is and he began to poke around. It was a mess with all kinds of half ass things done like wrapping old blankets and fiberglass insulation around the tank with electric and duct tape to hold it in place. That had long since rotted and it is evident that over the years they would just put another layer over the previous one. As Leroy poked through this looking for switches he jumped back.

“Did you see that snake?” he asked. No I didn’t but Leroy started digging around the hole the snake went down. Oh yeah, there are snakes. A whole nest of rattlesnakes. We killed three of them and kept digging around the well where the snakes were. There is no casing on the well which is not a good thing. When we got to the big snake who Leroy said was probably the mama I got it’s head with the shovel but it fell down the well.

Leroy had checked the well and the pump was burnt out. But he said it wouldn’t be a good idea to use the well because it would be contaminated due to the snake. The pump motor was only a ¾ horsepower which he couldn’t believe was what had been put in. Considering it had to pump the water a half mile to the house it was way to small. That is a reason my grandmother kept on having to replace the pump because it was too small for the job. The more he looked at the well the more of this kind of thing he saw like piping that was too small and electric tape being used as a gasket material. It would seem that her well service guy had been taking advantage of her for decades.

It looks like we will have to drill another well. That’s gonna cost a grand or more. Cherie is checking our finances and we will call the lawyer up in the morning to see what is left of the inheritance if anything and when we can get it. We gotta have water so that’s the way it is. Things will be tight for a while now.

I’ll work on Cherie’s car later. We got it back to the hotel so it’ll be safe. Leroy has a friend who will come and cut the weeds and stuff tomorrow morning. At least things are moving. Leroy may get the well drilled tomorrow also. Cash is the issue now.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oklahoma City, repair time

10/29/06 Sunday
The weatherman said it will get up to 80 degrees today. We are up and moving and I’ll get to work on the truck as soon as I can. At $80.00 a day plus tax it would be nice to get it fixed by the 11:00 check out time. Regardless we are forced to stay till it gets done. Cherie went online and transferred the rest of our money from the savings account to the checking. It’s getting tight. I’m gonna hit the shower, go eat our “complimentary” breakfast, and go find a parts store.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

At Last

10/28/06 Saturday
We are finally on the road. We are in Rolla, Missouri as I write this. Of course the final days were a mad dash to get things done and figure things out. I called Calvin to see if he could help us get our furniture carried down from the third floor and loaded. He not only could but brought his cousin and Suzie’s sixteen year old son. They worked for four and a half hours to get this done. The trailer, truck, and Cherie’s car are all packed to the gills. We loaded the trailer and seeing it all wouldn’t fit took it back to the storage unit and unloaded what was least important. We have a whole load to come back and get later on.
Here's Cherie's sister, Cathy, with some of the stars she put on the trailer. She wanted to do more of them but time was getting short.

It has been a pretty lousy drive for the last two days. Rain and more rain. The truck is doing a surprisingly good job pulling this overloaded trailer. It struggles to make it up hills but gets there. I am really glad I spent the money for the electric brakes cause otherwise I am sure we would have had a wreck.

We just got online this morning. The hotel wireless wasn’t working when we checked in last night which added to an already high frustration level. Had planned on getting the blog updated and I wanted to E mail everyone we knew about the move but couldn’t. When I checked my E mail I was saddened to see a short message from my son, Adam. I had tried to contact him and my other son, Bruce, so I could say goodbye. I didn’t hear from either one and didn’t push because I feel like I just make them uncomfortable. So I let them know and waited. Yeah it breaks my heart but what can I do? Most of this is a result of my actions five and six years ago when their mother and I were splitting up.

The weather is going to be great for the rest of this trip. We will get home today barring any unforeseen events. Just saying “Get Home” feels good for now we have that place of permanence where we can put down our roots. We are both looking forward to distressing but there is tons of work to be done at the farm so I am sure some stress will remain.

We stopped by the folks house and said our goodbyes. Cherie’s dad got emotional and cried as he told me that if I didn’t take care of his daughter he would look me up and kick my ass. As he stood there hanging onto his cane and trying to look intimidating as he said “I’m serious. I’ll make you regret it” I tried to assure him. It was kind of cute to see his small frail self threatening my big fat ass but was the wrong time to laugh. We had a good send off and here’s a picture of the whole gang together.

We look forward to pulling into the farm but are wondering what we will find. Locked the house up before we left but who knows. Relatives broke in before but they had a key then. Time to hit the road folks.

That was this morning. It is now midnight in Oklahoma City. We were making good time and wanted to at least make it to the Texas state line before we knocked off for the day. Didn’t happen. As we were approaching the city my battery light came on. It would blink on and off so I kept tabs on it for the next ten or fifteen miles. “Cherie, I think we need to stop in Oklahoma City so I can figure this out” I told her and we started looking for a hotel. Unfortunately it seems that Oklahoma City doesn’t like or approve of billboards so we weren’t able to use that as a way to locate a hotel. As I watched my voltage gage go down I realized I was running on battery power. Being dark out I was running my headlights so knew it wouldn’t be long before the battery died.

“Look! There’s the airport. There’s got to be some hotels around that” I exclaimed and took the exit. NO HOTELS Visible anywhere. I kept on driving towards the airport with the vain idea this was a logical place to find a hotel at. The lights kept getting dimmer and I could barely see the speedometer. When it also quit working I knew the end was near so turned off the highway to find a safe place to land. The truck died right when I got it off the road. I had Cherie call AAA and with some difficulty got some help. Because we needed both the truck and the trailer towed they had to call for a bigger tow truck to haul them both. The driver was a great guy and quite good at his job. He towed us to this Best Western hotel where we will stay till I get the truck fixed. I hope it’s the alternator cause I can change that out with no problem. If it’s a short in some of the extensive wiring I did to put in the electric brakes, trailer lights hookup, and CB radio, that may be harder to trace down. Especially if it’s buried behind the three tons of stuff we’ve jammed into the trailer.

Tomorrow I’ll get started on figuring this out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Clear cold morning

10/24/06 Tuesday
It’s a clear cold morning with the temperatures right at freezing. The high is to be 45 degrees if we’re lucky. I got quite a bit done yesterday, at least for me it was. Should be able to finish this up today. Cherie bought me a sweatshirt yesterday to help keep me warm. Yesterday I quit around 5:00 because the wind was picking way up and the temperature took a dive. The stress of all this is taking a toll on both of us. Cherie has her moments where she must get out of the house to get a break. She is worrying about things that really won’t be a problem, imagining the worst case scenario’s. I try to assure her with mixed results. Overall she is handling things like a trooper but we all have our moments. Her sister, Cathy, has a badly infected tooth that is to be pulled today. Hope it turns out OK cause she’s got a lot on her table as it is.

Here’s the latest picture of the trailer. Now I feel like I’m being watched.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Still going

10/23/06 Monday
It’s snowing lightly this morning. The temperature is 36 degrees and with the wind the weatherman says it’ll feel like 27. I quit at 6:00 yesterday because of the cold, wind, and being slow on top of it all. Felt guilty about quitting so early but wasn’t really getting much done. I did mostly finish up the fiberglass work on the nose of the trailer but ran out of it with about ten inches to go. That’s tough. I’ll finish it at some point in Texas. Odds are it’ll be next year sometime. It’ll be fine as the structural support I needed is there.

With that done I can finish painting the nose. There is a little sheetmetal work to finish but not much. I got most of that done yesterday. Next is to put loads of silicone caulk in every place that may leak in an attempt to waterproof it. Then I will put on the wood sides. Will need some help from Cherie with that.

Cherie fixed a nice breakfast. Picked up a Jimmy Dean skillet breakfast we had seen advertised by the “sun”. Cute ads and the breakfast was indeed good. I’m going to run to Harbor Freight to pick up some sanding disks I need to prepare for painting the nose. We are now aiming for Wednesday to leave or at least load the trailer. Should be doable.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pushing through?

10/21/06 Saturday
My pain level is way up there. It’s been four days since I posted and it’s been four days of bustin my butt. Unfortunately I’m bustin butt at Bob speed, which ain’t to fast. The large number of returns I’ve made at the many stores I get my supplies from is a good indication of my decision making skills. Keep making mistakes. All the bending down and stuff is the main source of pain I fight everyday. That and the fact I am badly out of shape. Getting out of bed is an exercise that is difficult right now with sitting up being the hardest and most painful challenge. The left knee has a sharp pain that shoots up when I try to get off the ground.

I went to Lowe’s and bought some saw horses and a portable table to reduce how much I have to bend over or sit on the ground. That helped a bunch. Was able to put the plywood I was painting at a working level as well as have tools readily available and easy to reach. There is no question now that I will equip our house in Texas with hand rails. If I have to make several tries to rise up from a low seat now what will it be like ten years from now? Gotta plan ahead.

I’ve made some progress but not nearly what I feel I should have. Asking for help is something that I don’t seem to do well. When Jeff and Cathy asked what they can do I wouldn’t have an answer because I don’t think fast enough. Later I see what they could have done.

This morning we take Cherie’s car to Jerry’s CB shop to get her CB radio installed. After spending an entire day getting mine installed I give up and will pay to have hers done. I’ll also have them check mine cause it doesn’t seem to work well.

We keep setting days we would like to leave and keep having to push that up cause I don’t have the trailer fixed.

10/22/06 Sunday
It’s been tough to push on. The weather has been unpleasant and unpredictable. I wore the poncho to keep from getting too wet. Then I had a bad slowdown yesterday. Cherie said it only lasted six hours. Not too speedy today either. Got stuff done but feel like I’m moving in slow motion. I’ll post some pictures when I can.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wearing down a bit

10/17/06 Tuesday
Not keeping up with this well. I am sore today and had a hard time getting up and working on the floor. I did this while I cut the cardboard to box my carving tools cabinet. It is a for sure thing that I will equip the house with hand rails to make it easier to get around.

I busted my ass yesterday I guess. That’s what Cherie and my body tell me. I didn’t stop till I ran out of fiberglass yesterday and was ready to call it quits by then anyway. Here’s some pictures of the fiberglass work.

This morning we took a load to the storage unit and then went to Anderson’s to get fiberglass and something to drink. Then we came home and I moaned and groaned as I worked on boxing the tools. With that done I got real tired real quick and laid down. Cherie just went to Lowe’s to get a razor knife and packing tape.

It’s been pouring down rain all morning so I stayed in and didn’t get much done other than lifting the shelf unit off the top of the file drawers. Was going to take it apart but after an eternity of deliberation and discussion with Cherie decided not to.

It has cleared up and there have been little peaks of sunlight so I need to get out and finish this fiberglass job. If it isn’t dry where I need to apply more fiberglass I’ll get Cherie’s hair dryer and that will take care of that dilemma. I’ll post this and get moving.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Progress and more goodbye's

Yesterday's sunset

10/16/06 Monday
Yesterday we got a whole lot done. I piddled with small stuff like wiring the lights I removed for Allen’s sheetmetal job back on the trailer until close to noon. Unable to reach Nate or Cathy by phone Cherie and I loaded the truck with another batch of packed boxes and took them to the rapidly filling up storage unit. Then we stopped by her parents house to see if there was room for me to bring the trailer for the welding it needed. There was a crowd of vehicles as both Nate and Jeremy were working on them. Nate said something about this being the last day he’d be working on cars in the driveway so I’m sure he’s trying to finish up some projects. Don’t really know but I know he was busy but still made room for me.

Learning that I called Wayne to let him know I would be picking him up if he still felt up to doing the welding. He did so I grabbed him and we went to the apartment and picked up the trailer. This was the first time I had taken it on the road since I installed the electric brakes so it was a test run also. The brakes worked very well. I got accustomed to how to set them which wasn’t hard and am generally pleased that I got this right.

Getting Wayne to help is one of the best ideas I’ve had in a while. It took a few seconds for him to get it moving, especially because of the paint and crap he had to weld through. It didn’t take Wayne too long before you could see his hand was giving out and Nate jumped in to help. It was cool to see how Nate worked with Wayne to further his sense of self worth. While Nate did a big part of the welding Wayne imparted some of the know how he has from decades of welding. All of this helped Wayne feel useful and valuable. BIG BIG plus. When a man looses that it feeds a depression that is debilitating.

They worked on the trailer quite a while, welding up a storm. I did some more wiring figuring I’d pretty much just be in the way of them. Don’t interrupt busy men while they’re working.

Cherie and I had gotten a hold of Eileen and agreed to pick her up at six. Wayne and Nate finished at a perfect time for me to get Wayne home, the trailer back, and for Cherie and I to go pick up Eileen.

We visited in her home some before leaving for the restaurant. Things continue to be tough for Eileen. The relationship with Mick seems to have gotten a little cool which is sad to see. Eileen had been so happy and excited about that renewal of an old love but now it’s a source of sadness. She is seriously considering letting her son, his wife, and the four kids move in with her. This may or may not be a good idea. If they can all get along both sides would get a great benefit. It would help greatly with both of their financial hardships. Eileen has a hard time just meeting basic needs and Bobby and Nancy pay an outrageous rent for a dilapidated house with a leaky roof. I had lived in that house for a short time so I know the landlord is an ass.

The dinner at Red Lobster was fantastic. It took a while to get Eileen to relax and not worry about how much food cost. The first thing she had done was look at the prices and both Cherie and I had to work to convince her it was a gift and money isn’t a problem. When you’ve lived most of your life scrimping and just getting by it’s hard to do. Taking Eileen out was a revelation on just how isolated from the outside world she had been. The outside world I refer to is anything that’s not on the East side. The East side is it’s own world, populated with the largely Irish blue collar workforce who drink and fight hard. Like all poorer sections of a city drugs and crime are rampant and it is looked down on by those more fortunate.

The very thought that the restaurant would bag her uneaten food to take home was so novel to Eileen she just beemed and thanked the waitress who put it in a box for her about fifty times. Eileen had only been to a nice restaurant one time and it was at Red Lobster some ten years ago. When we gave the waitress a $25 dollar tip (That was 20% plus a little bonus) Eileen’s jaw just dropped. We hid how much the meal cost but couldn’t hide the tip. The tip was more than what she would have ever paid for a meal with three people. The smiles we put on her face were worth every dime.

Eileen cried a few times during the evening telling me how much she’ll miss me. “I can’t believe you’re leaving me” she said. We have invited her to come to Texas anytime she wants and in fact said she could live with us. For those of you reading I suppose I should explain who Eileen is. Eileen was my secretary and worked for me longer than any other employee. The stories she holds of the years we worked together are something else. She spoke of several events that are not in my damaged memory at all. I encouraged her to write them down or perhaps get a recorder and tell them. These are stories of both good and bad things that happened. Her help would be invaluable in writing my book, in fact almost necessary. So much to tell and such a fascinating life that I am amazed when I hear these tales. Of course for me they are often totally new and my comments last night often were “Really? I did that? Wow”. It is so strange to hear what you did and not have a shred of memory about it. Sometimes the memories come but the ones most damaged by the brain injury were the later years when Eileen worked for me. That was since 1992 by the way.

It’s supposed to rain later today but is fine now so I need to get moving while it’s good. When it rains I’ll come in and take furniture apart. Cherie whipped up some eggs to make sure I eat something and is already busy packing. She’s been busting her butt for days now.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A perfect working day

10/15/06 Sunday
6:00 in the morning. Allen made it out yesterday. That’s both good and bad. I just came inside from looking at the trailer again. Cathy came over yesterday. Of course I didn’t hear her coming so she gave me a start when she said “Hi”. I don’t remember what I was working on when she got there but when she asked what she could do I don’t think I had an answer for her. It takes me a while to formulate an answer to a question when I’m focused on something else. I did ask her to go to the store and pick up some screws and paint brushes. I forgot she did that and bought another paint brush later on yesterday.

I called Allen at 12:00 to see when he was coming over. He was just getting up so I told him to wake up and come on over. He did so but it was hours later. I had just talked to Cherie about picking up a hamburger so asked Allen if he’d like one. I ran upstairs to tell her and after a brief conversation we went outside. Allen was under the trailer with my drill and socket wrench messing with something. “Allen, what are you doing?” I asked and he started going on about getting a nut on a bolt. Come to find out, in the few minutes I was upstairs he had decided to drill holes and mount my floorboards. In doing so he screwed up my plans for this. I tried to tell him and he argued not really listening to what I said. I finally got through.

Allen was here to do sheetmetal work. It was his concept and he is Mr. Union Sheetmetal Worker by golly so I need to get him working on that. The strange thing is that now Allen is depending on me for direction. He’s supposed to know what he’s doing but it’s like he is lost. I’d ask him something like “What do we need to get this done?” and his answer would be “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”. AAAND WEE’RE OFFF!!! How quickly I forget how hard Allen is to work around. Finally I get tired of this and say “Damn it Allen, Your supposed to know what your doing and I don’t know squat about sheetmetal so I’m depending on your expertise so WHAT DO WE NEED?”.

It was still confusion but at least we started moving. I helped Allen hold up a strip of the metal as he marked where he would need to cut. I had figured he would start with the nose of the trailer so it would be covered with a single sheet but he started at the back. I ran upstairs to get a fresh battery because, despite us talking about it he had not brought his cordless drills he was so proud of. When I came back Allen was fastening the sheetmetal with the side I painted facing out. I had painted it as protection against rust and was going to put that side facing in because I planned on painting the outside with a bright chrome finish. Now it’s bare metal that is guaranteed to rust thus it will streak the sides with rust stains over the years.

It’s going to be a perfect day to work with little or no wind and the temperatures climbing to nearly sixty. I had thought about pulling off the sheetmetal and painting it but that’s allot of work and time is of the essence. Instead I will mix up a batch of fiberglass to fill the gaps in Allen’s sheetmetal job and perhaps wire the dome lights in. Gotta get moving.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Might get allot done today

10/14/06 Saturday
I’m doing much better this morning. These partial seizures are usually fairly short lived. (as in a couple of hours or so) Yesterdays was very physical in addition to effecting my mental ability to make good decisions and follow through. I am going to jump outside to paint the sheetmetal we’re going to wrap the top of the trailer with. Tried desperately to do that last night as it takes the Rustoleum paint some twenty four hours to dry but was unable to do squat because of the slow down. It won’t get totally dry today, especially with the temperature being in the 40’s.

We may have a gang helping on the trailer today. Cathy called yesterday at five or so saying “I heard you need some help”. It was during the early stages of my slowdown so I was pretty much done. Nate and Jeremy surprised me when they stopped by and let me know they would be at home pretty much all day today so I could bring the trailer over to get the welding done.

After checking with Nate I called Wayne and asked if he would like to do the welding. Wayne was a certified welder who has decades of experience but my main motivation for asking is to help him feel like he contributed and is still able to do things. One of his big sources of depression is just like mine. That would be the inability to do what we used to, the feeling that he has lost his value because of what the M.S. has stolen. He may have difficulty because he has lost some of his ability to control his hand. Writing is difficult for him. Restoring even a shred of confidence will go a long way for him. The flip side is the possibility he won’t be able to do this but I’m confident he can.

Jeff had indicated a desire to help when Cherie and I met him for breakfast yesterday. I had Cherie give Jeff a call to invite him to help. He has a busy day but said he might have a couple of hours available. Tomorrow he said was a free day.

Adding to the potential crowd is Allen. I called him yesterday because I greatly appreciated his sincere apology and know that by telling him I accept it he will not add this to his list of failures that feed his depression. Not doing so and leaving town would be cruel. By letting him come and help he will feel like he’s making up for what he didn’t do before. I suppose that even in leaving I’m trying to help others though this time I get a direct benefit from it.

Fred asked if I could take a thermometer to Barb yesterday because she thought she was running a fever. I was more than glad to do so and besides wanted to make sure I said goodbye. Barb has lost some forty pounds since I last saw her. I don’t know if that is good or bad cause I know she was trying to lose weight with the encouragement of her doctor. I ran to the store for her cause after just having major surgery she’s not going anywhere.

As you can see I had a busy day yesterday. Right now I’m going to jump in the shower and get going. Cherie fixed a wonderful sausage gravy and biscuits breakfast this morning. Time to get moving.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Another cold blustery day

10/13/06 Friday
Well we are not even close to getting out of here. Yesterday ended in frustration over the CB radio thing. Hopefully today I will be sharp enough to figure this probably simple problem out. I called Jeff this morning to see if he would like to meet for breakfast as we used to regularly do on Friday mornings. He did and both Cherie and I went because we wanted to say goodbye. We did and enjoyed the time with him.

I took the sword and letter I wrote to Allen yesterday at 7:00. Called him at 5:18 and left a sarcastic message that I hoped it wasn’t too early. He called back an hour later so I made sure he would be there. When he answered the door I handed him the sword and letter. He said “You can keep that (referring to the sword), I have a couple of gifts for you”. “You don’t have anything I want now” I replied and walked away. Driving home my cell phone rang. I knew it was him so didn’t bother to answer. I listened to his message when I got home. Allen apologized half a dozen times and said that if I still needed help he would even get up early, ten or eleven o’clock. That’s early for him. I haven’t bothered to call him back despite the fact that I desperately need the help. Can’t trust or believe a word he says and absolutely won’t depend on him. If he bothers to call again I’ll give him a chance but won’t hold my breath.

This morning it is again bone chilling cold with the thirty mile wind cutting through the clothes and delivering the cold straight to the skin. There is painting I need to do on the trailer but the label on the paint says it must be over fifty degrees to do so. It might reach 48 degrees by three this afternoon so I’ll give it a shot then. I’ll also work on making the back door but first have to decide how to do so. This morning I’m going to return the CB radio antenna with the hope that the clerk who knew about this stuff is in.

I can’t believe how tired I am. Cherie says it’s all the emotions I went through yesterday. “That takes allot out of you” she said. I think I will work on dismantling some of the furniture this morning to avoid the cold or at least let it warm up some. Got to post this and get moving.

The day is ending rough for both of us. Cherie has a major toothache. She doesn’t have a dentist here in Toledo despite having lots of bad teeth. That is mostly because she hasn’t had money or insurance to cover that expense. I am having one of the worst slow downs I’ve had in a long time. Got so weak my arm got tired holding the cell phone to my ear. Simple things became very difficult and I was starting to make mistakes so I packed up and quit. Even walking is hard to do as the right leg is extra numb and doesn’t always go where I want it to. Tomorrow I may complete this entry but right now typing is hard much less trying to figure out what to say. Cherie is sleeping despite it only being 7:30 and I think I’ll join her. Goodnight all.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Going away party and we're not gone yet

10/11/06 Wednesday
I am not even in a good mood right now. Just got off the phone with Allen. Boy do I feel like a sucker. For three years I’ve been there for him. I helped him when he was recovering from blowing himself up in the fireworks accident, took him to the hospital, I’ve worked to get him approved for medical help from the state, got him on foodstamps (there’s 150 bucks a month in food), started the application process for disability, cleaned his place, busted my ass helping him get his garden together every year, and on and on. Now, the only time in three years I asked for help all I got was talk. I called Allen at 2:00 figuring he might be up and left a message on his machine. Called again at 3:30 and left another message but he called me back. “You need to stop doing that shit” he tells me. That shit is calling him more than once. “Oh! I’m sorry I inconvenienced you” I told him and hung up. I am tired of his whiney ass and at this point really don’t care to listen to crap. He can sit in his basement and have his one man pity party. He never followed through with any of the stuff I tried to do for him. Just sat on the forms he was sent from the government for disability and never filled one out. His life is a direct result of the decisions he continues to make and I tried my best. I’m done.

10/12/06 Thursday
Can’t believe it’s already 11:00. Yesterday ended in a real positive note despite my anger at Allen still resonating in my mind. We took Cherie’s family out to eat at the Mango Tree as planned. They were all able to be there including Nate

That was a question because of the big job in Detroit he was working on getting and the fact that his dad was in town. Glad he could make it. Here's Nate and his mom. She'll kill me for posting her picture.

We had an uproariously good time, laughing and joking and generally driving the other patrons of the restaurant nuts. The picture is of Joshua, Cathy's youngest. It was so much fun I wish we had done this before. I made sure to encourage them to order any and everything they wanted, that this was our gift. The food was fantastic but the fellowship was better. We took lots of pictures.

Cherie had three glasses of wine which is a lot for her (actually it’s allot for me anymore as we don’t really drink) so giggled and laughed just about nonstop. We all had a good time.
Here's Mom and Dad

It was 30 degrees out this morning and will only get into the forties so the cold weather is here. It’s going to be another fun day working on the trailer. Don’t know when we will leave but it’s nice to not be pressed. We will leave when everything is right. I wrote a letter to Allen to tell him what I think. I’ll have to wait till he gets his ass up to get it to him. Talking doesn’t work because of my emotional control issues so it wouldn’t take long for me to go off so the letter will be better. I just won’t leave with this crap on my heart. That’s the way I am.

Got to get moving now. I’m going to look at Cherie’s car again to see if I can get a CB radio in it. Not much space in her little bitty car. Then I need to figure out how to mount the CB I got for the truck. Got much more to do on the trailer also so despite the cold I’m going. At least it’s sunny for now though clouds are moving in.

It just started snowing. First snow for the year. Not much and it won't accumulate but coupled with the thirty to fifty MPH wind gusts it'll make working outside fun. I think I'll help packing inside some. Run out and work and come in to warm up.

Oh yeah, it’s cold out. Not bad until you get in the wind but until I make a back door for the trailer the wind blows right through. I bought a CB radio for Cherie’s car. It costs twice as much as the one I got for the truck but has a remote hookup so all she needs is a place for the microphone to hang. Cost a hundred bucks but you can’t put a price on safety. To be able to talk during the long drive will help us both a ton. Not as worried about talking to the truckers, in fact much of their chatter I won’t want to hear but it will be good to be warned about road conditions up ahead. I’m not at all worried about where the “smokies” are. I think that’s what they call the cops but can’t be sure. I used to have CB’s in the 70’s but can’t rely on my memories of CB language. I’m sure I’ll get an education when I turn the thing on. Right now I am confused about how to hook this thing up to the antenna. The magnetic base one for Cherie’s car is straightforward but the other one doesn’t have a co-axial cable, just two wires. Didn’t notice it has lights in it until I got home. Now I’m going online to the website listed on the antenna package to learn what I can.

I hate it when I feel stupid. Can’t understand or deal with CB stuff now. Slowing down, perhaps from trying to sort this out. There was nothing on the manufacturers website about how to install the antenna. All kinds of stuff about SWR meters but I don’t need that, just want to understand this one antenna. I’m really slowing down bad. Not a good time to talk to anyone at the store. Think I’ll call Nate.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Another hard working day

10/10/06 Tuesday
It was another long hard working day. At least for me. I got going about 8:00 this morning. Thought rain would be hear shortly after noon but as usual Toledo weather is unpredictable, at least for the professional weathermen. Each channel had a different forecast and they all changed as the days progressed. Now the snow and freezing rain is predicted to arrive Thursday with major rain storms tomorrow. I was rushing to beat the rain that never came. Got allot done including painting the blue part of the trailer. I love the HVLP sprayer that I got at Harbor Freight. It was a contest with the wind to spray but it all came out fairly good. I did some sheetmetal work as well, covering some of the massive rust holes in the trailer. Also used up a tube of silicone caulk sealing many of the potential leak points. I’ll have to redo some of the fiberglass work I did yesterday but will get to it later.

Allen called and it was no surprise when he said he couldn’t make it. This was 3:00 and by then I was already so tired I had to push myself to keep going. By 4:00 I was done and also had a slow down. That was it. As much as I wanted to keep going I was done so packed things up. Cherie came home from the errands and shopping she was doing right when I was just finishing putting everything away. I crawled into bed and pulled the covers up because all of a sudden I was freezing. Cherie fixed dinner and then asked if she could get a fifty dollar skin treatment thing she’d had her eye on. Of course she can. Hell she can have pretty much anything she wants. She did pick up a ring for twenty or so bucks that looks like a wedding ring. That’s something I need to do and planned on doing when we got to Texas. Buying wedding rings that is. When we got married the budget was real tight. Paying rent and buying food were priorities at that time so rings were not a real option.

I got out of bed to write this and will now post it and check my E mail. That’s pretty much it for me as I’m going back to bed after I get done. One of the things that got me up was more kids moving in. Yelling and arguing seems to be a routine with these folks. Glad to be leaving. The new apartment managers are rushing to rent out this nearly empty apartment building and so far it’s kids who look like they’re just out of high school. Feel sorry for Fred cause I know this won’t be good for him. Oh yeah, Barb had her hysterectomy today. They were going to keep her three days but now they released her a few hours after the operation. That’s how it is when you’re on Medicaid. You get the bare minimum. Eileen is getting that treatment also. They kicked her out of the hospital because Medicaid won’t pay for her to be in Intensive care after so many days. The doctor didn’t want to release her and said she needed to stay but has no choice in the matter. He told her to go home and wait 48 hours, then to go back to the emergency room and check back in.

I’m going to crawl back in bed now. See ya next time

Monday, October 09, 2006

Another busy day

10/9/06 Monday
It’ll be another busy day preparing to go. The latest weather report predicts snow will come in Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday look nice and sunny. We may not leave till Sunday because I don’t want to be loading our furniture and stuff in freezing rain and snow. We may load up Saturday and leave early Sunday morning or perhaps Saturday. It’s nice to not be tied down to a date.

Cherie may quit her job tomorrow or perhaps even today. She is in worry mode so I spend a lot of time assuring her things are going to be fine. I told her to relax perhaps a dozen times this morning. Of course my level of frustration yesterday didn’t help things. Just called Bobby to let him know I was heading his way. He didn’t sound real hot so I asked if he was OK. He said he is tired but I know he was drinking so is most likely hung over. It is sad to watch his alcoholism erode away his life. Got to go.

It’s 7:30 now. Been a long day and we got a lot done. Bobby was a big big help. When I went to pick him up he was still fighting with his wife, Nancy. They were fighting yesterday by phone while Cherie and I were visiting Eileen in the hospital. Bobby had just gone out to get a pack of smokes so I talked to Nancy about it. Bobby is accusing her of fooling around cause she went out with friends and didn’t get home till late. Nancy said she was only gone an hour but Bobby said she didn’t get home till 1:00 in the morning. I tried to guide both of them to get this fixed and how to make things better for the long term. Bobby’s drinking is a big factor in this. When I paid him for his help I said “Don’t drink this up”. He doesn’t take offence to this cause he knows it’s a problem and also knows I’m not putting him down, just giving some well intended advice.

Anyway, as you can see there is some progress. Bobby took the sander to the roof in preparation for painting and then masked everything that I didn’t want to paint blue. I painted the interior white while he did that and then cut the ¾ inch plywood for the floor on the front section of the trailer. That was a challenge. The original rusted out floor that I used for a template didn’t work because the circular front had been bent out of shape from years of abuse. It took over an hour to get it to fit with me putting it inside and marking what needed to be removed. Then I would try and put it in and find another area that had to be trimmed. Bobby also painted the wood for the sides with the clear protective coating I got for that purpose. Anyway I am worn out.

I called Allen and unleashed my pent up frustration. Not the friendliest conversation. He waffled about telling me his view of what happened. Of course he was the hero and I was wrong to be upset. I laid down the facts for each excuse he made such as he lost the number of his friend at the sheetmetal shop. “Allen, that’s bullshit. He’s less than a mile away and his business is in the phone book. Why didn’t you just get in your truck and go over there?”. He had no answer. I was angry and told him “BYE, I’m going to Texas”. He called me back fifteen minutes later and apologized, offering to come out tomorrow to help. “Allen if you want to come help call me and come over but I’m not going to depend or count on it” I told him so we’ll see. Fact is he doesn’t usually get out of bed till 3:00 and by that time I’m already worn out or at least need to take my nap. It’s so strange to me to need to take an hour or two nap in the middle of the day. I used to run a twelve to fifteen hour day at my companies and then go work in my woodshop to unwind.

Cherie has been contemplating quitting her job to have more time to get stuff packed and ready to go. Of course she runs this by me to get my approval several times and I told her it would be fine with me and in fact I thought it was a good idea. She let them know today is her last day. This wasn’t a surprise at her work as they know we are moving and she has been training her replacement.

Now the weather report says that Wednesday and Thursday will be the rainy crap days but Friday is still going to be freezing. Of course that could well change by tomorrow. I’ll get the painting done tomorrow while it’s still nice. (Providing it’s still nice) I am pretty worn out and the pain level is up there so that’s all I’ll write for now. See ya next time.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Five days? Maybe six. depends on the weather

10/8/06 Sunday
The weather on Friday (Our projected launch day) is predicted to be the first snowfall of the year. Might not be the best day to leave. We’ll play that one by ear. That Saturday looks like it might be a nice partly sunny day.

I called Bobby this morning to see if he could work today. He can’t because he is going to work on his mom’s house and arranged for things needed for the job to be delivered. No problem, he said he’s free tomorrow. They have no car right now so I will go pick him up. This is a plight of the poor one I am familiar with. You buy a car for a couple of hundred bucks and drive it till it dies. Fixing it and keeping it running is the challenge and because you can’t afford a mechanic you learn how to do the work yourself and friends come to help. When I was on the street it was the poor people who helped me the most. They did more for me than my brother when I was in St. Louis, and he’s the one who brought me there form the hospital.

We will go visit Eileen in the hospital today. Yesterday her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend came to visit. They got into a big fight yelling obscenities so loud the door had to be closed so the entire hospital didn’t hear. Just what Eileen needed. Not.

I plan on fiberglassing the trailer today. That will seal up the rust holes in preparation to put on the sheetmetal strips that will secure the top to the trailer. I’ll paint everything before I put the sheetmetal on because it will get a coating of some shiny metallic chrome stuff I saw in the store. Should make a nice contrast to the red white and blue color scheme.

I’m going to post this and check my E mail with the hope that my two kids replied to my invitation to get together before we leave. Our estrangement will always lay heavy on my conscience. You reap what you sow. Time to get moving.

This has not been fun. Fiberglassing is not my forte. My anger level is getting up there. Driving to Home Depot was a lesson in cussing every idiot on the road and there were lots of them. I am snappy and that makes things hard on Cherie. Called Allen a few times with no answer so I left a message. The last time I called, got his machine, and called again, figuring he was asleep. He answered and asked me why I kept calling and not leaving a message. That set me off as I am already pissed at him. For three years every time he called and needed help I would set things aside to be there. Then for the first time in three years I asked for his help and got nothing. Pretty much why I called him was to go down there and let him know how I felt. I don’t hold things inside. If I’ve got something to say I say it.

We went to visit Eileen. She is in ICU step down which I suppose is where you go after intensive care. She was on oxygen when we came in but otherwise didn’t look to bad. Come to find out she has been in and out of the hospital for going on two months. There are lots of emotions here. We talked and laughed and relived some of the past. Eileen told of how she would check on me during what I call my slide into madness. It is sad to hear just how bad I was. She would come in the morning to see how I was doing and sometimes to make sure I was alive. I had shown her how to slip the lock on the door in case I was not responding to her knock. This was when I had moved out of my house into the warehouse. Sometimes when Eileen came in she would feel my forehead to see if I was ok and cover me up. She mentioned that one time there was blood on my arm from the drugs I was injecting.

I was sad to hear that she is not doing well with her relationship with Mick. She had been so happy when they got back together. Mick was her first love and they had a child together. Unfortunately it died shortly after birth and they went their separate ways. When he came back into the picture after Glen died she was remarkably happy and positive about life. He has become less involved and hasn’t even visited her in the hospital. That is always hard.

Eileen said she would like to visit when we get settled in Texas. We told her she was more than welcome and if she wanted to she could stay with us. We went with her for a walk outside where she snuck a cigarette. Eileen had a hard time walking and I had to support her on the way back. The hospital has hand rails everywhere which she hung on to. I told her we planned on making the house fully handicap accessible with hand rails and doors wide enough for wheelchairs.

I told Eileen that we are going to take her out to eat before we leave and she could pick the spot. She said she would love to go to Red Lobster. That works so we will probably take her Tuesday. Wednesday we take Cherie’s family out to the Mango Tree restaurant. Tomorrow I will pick up her son Bobby to help me with the trailer. I finally got the fiberglass work done though it was an experience.

I am tired as I seem to be often. It is 8:30 and I suspect I will be asleep by 9:00 if I lay down soon.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

six days?

10/7/06 Saturday
It is a bright cloudless day. We are six days away from our projected take off date. This morning Cherie and I worked on lists of things we need to do before we leave. The check from the department of agriculture came yesterday. When Cherie showed it to me she said “We can leave now” and started crying a little bit. For her this was a great relief and one less potential problem to deal with. Mostly it gives us the funds we need for our move and initial living expenses. It appears that the taxes on the farm are only about $300.00. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised of something else comes up but we’ll see. We paid Larry $37,000 for his half of the farm and the Department of Agriculture checks will cover that expense in fifteen or so years. Of course we plan on making this a working farm which will provide a significant (for us) income. Even if that doesn’t happen my Veterans disability check will allow us to live comfortably considering we have no mortgage to pay. We are already good at living frugally and our biggest frill is going out to eat at a nice restaurant once a month or so.

This morning I am much sharper than I was towards the end of yesterday. I hope it lasts all day but as always have no clue. It is hard to go from sharp where I function with excellence to slow down to the point where making a decision whether to use a rivet or screw becomes an ordeal that takes me a half hour to make. Then I make the wrong decision. These times may only last an hour or two or all day long. The blood pressure medicine that the VA neurologist prescribed for my migraines has worked very well. I still have some but not nearly as often as before. I think the slow downs (Partial seizures?) have increased because of the added stress moving to Texas is causing.

We will take the check to the bank this morning. I hope that because it is a government check it won’t take ten days to clear. Another “We’ll see”. I just called Wayne to see if he could use the computer table we don’t use anymore cause we gave that computer away. He said yes and reminded me to bring all his paperwork. He should be getting his first check from Social Security before too long. Just has to wait on the government to process the paperwork. I can’t remember if he has the final approval but know the judge ruled in his favor. His first check will cover the two plus years he has been fighting for this so it will be a chunk of change. I had hoped to be here to make sure he spent it wisely but won’t be able to.

Cherie and I just got back from depositing the check and eating breakfast at the Waffle House. It was in the high thirty’s this morning but is warming up fast. Supposed to reach sixty degrees today. There is almost no breeze so it will be a good day to paint. We both have a busy day scheduled as we will have all week. I am going to buy the tools I need to cut the wood this morning. Should call Nate because he usually knows where the best deals are.

Nate wasn’t answering his phone so I called Cathy, his mother. She let me know that Home Depot was having a sale and Lowe’s has tables with discontinued and display items for sale at drastically reduced prices. Gotta go now.

It’s the end of our day now. I got the a circular and jig saw at Home Depot. Got a good deal on them. I dropped by the storage unit to pick up some boxes. Wayne called and asked if I could pick up a package of hotdogs for him. I did and took them along with the glass chess set I promised him. We visited for a short time and I felt bad about not staying longer but there are things that need to be done.

I stopped by Mytee Muffler to see about getting a high flow muffler for the truck. I negotiated a price for both the muffler and oil changes for both the truck and Cherie’s car. I called Cherie and we dropped the truck off and went shopping for CB radios. First we stopped by mom and dad’s to see if Nate was in. They were all in the back yard cleaning up the debris left by a guy who cut down a dangerous part of a tree. We visited for a few minutes and set a date for us to take the family out for our going away dinner. Over all it was a good visit. Jeremy showed up and I couldn’t resist making a comment to him about calling the mayor a horses ass when he showed up at the house with his entourage. It seems that a neighbors daily calls finally got to the mayor so he came out personally. Turns out Jeremy didn’t say it directly to the mayor, just to a cop near enough for Carty (the mayor) to clearly hear. Not the brightest thing I’ve heard of. Not exactly what is suggested in the book “How to make friends and influence people”. Ought to get a copy for Jeremy.

We left then to continue our shopping. I called Eileen to find out she is in the hospital with pneumonia. Need to visit her soon. Bobby’s (Eileen’s son) wife was there so I talked to her about the CB radio’s Bobby had. She gave me his number so I called him. He has two radios that had belonged to Glen before he died. One was new in the box and he said it cost $500. Had all kinds of fancy stuff on it like a switch that changed how your voice sounds. All I want is a simple, basic, and inexpensive unit so Cherie and I could talk as we drive to Texas in separate vehicles and call for help in case something happened. Not worried about knowing where the cops are cause the only way my truck hauling a seventeen foot trailer can break the speed limit is going down hill.

I might get his other CB that is cheaper and used. He wants too much for it but is out of work and needs the money. Bobby used to be one of my employees who put in some years with both of my companies. When I heard he needed work it was a godsend. I have needed help on this trailer and will need some when we load up our stuff for the move. That coupled with the fact that I know him and his family makes it a no brainer. He’ll start working for me probably tomorrow. It’s a win, win situation. He needs work and I need help. Plus his mom is practically family. I’ve always taken care of them.

We picked up the truck and got Cherie’s oil changed by 5:00. I haven’t worked on the trailer all day despite it being a perfect day to do it. We dropped by Wendy’s for a quick cheap meal. Cherie looked at me and said “I can see your really getting tired”. It was true. I just wanted to go home and sleep. Just came down on me that fast. Nothing unusual there but still frustrating as all get out. It bothers me that I didn’t get anything done on the trailer today. Hope to make up for it tomorrow. I can never predict what kind of shape I’ll be in but pray it’ll be good.

The new tenants downstairs are high school or just out of school age. Last night at one in the morning they were partying and one of them was outside yelling F—k and throwing his cell phone. Not good. If they party tonight I’ll have to go down and have a little talk with them. Personally I don’t care cause we’re out of here in a few days but I want to check them hard for the sake of Fred. Let them know they need to be considerate of others in the building. Probably won’t do any good but I’ve got to try. Fred was bitching about them yesterday and I told him that at 89 years old everyone is a kid and kids will be kids. “Fred, you need to be around people your own age. Things aren’t going to get better here” I told him. His reply was that he’ll hold out as long as he could. Hey, he’s lived here some forty six years so I understand the emotional security that is attached to his apartment but he needs help and assistance.

Good night all. Be back tomorrow.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Seven days and counting down

10/6/06 Friday
Seven days till we hope to leave for Texas. It’s crunch time. So much to do but I am concentrating on the trailer right now. I know it is redundant for the readers but that’s how it is. I must focus on one thing to get it done and it’s been the trailer. There are many other things going on. The stress of not knowing what will happen in the first few days. We plan on getting a hotel room but it must take cats. I’d just sneak Carman in but Cherie doesn’t do that so that’s that, we find a hotel that takes cats.

Then we must get the power turned on at the well and see where the pipes leak. Electricity we already have in the house so we only need water to move in. We had considered renting a house or apartment while we fixed up the house but that’s allot of money. I am figuring that we will get a loan with the land as a security to rebuild the house. They are ambitious plans for the house and may well not happen but we will see how it works out. I think it will be better to see how our finances settle out over a month or three before jumping into things. Slow and careful is the way to go but judging from how long I work on the trailer I may be too slow. Cherie is talking about getting a part time job but would like to start her own sewing business at some point. I’m going to concentrate on the house, yard, and garden. Plenty of work to do there.

In the meantime there are the effects of stress to deal with. Actually we do quite well with that. We laugh all the time. We have a hard time kissing cause there’s always a laugh to suppress. Hard to kiss when your cracking up. Of course I’m a clown all the time so that helps. “Why do we laugh so much” Cherie would ask and my reply is “It’s got crying beat all to hell”. Despite that there are moments when it all bears down. Cherie has the hardest time with this. It is her nature to examine everything to see what could go wrong and then chew on that till it gets bigger. I assure her all the time, turning her focus to the good things ahead. Now I don’t want to be all mushy and stuff but this is how I feel. It is our love for each other that makes us strong. When we worry over things the statement “We’re going to be together for the rest of our lives” just blows the worry away like a gentle breeze and makes any potential hardship pale in comparison. We still get all googly eyed and tear up on a regular basis as we look at each other with amazement and wonder at how we found each other after 25 years.

The weather is going to be great for the next few days so I should finish up the trailer. Need to get moving now so I’ll post this and avoid looking at E mail.

I went back out to work on the trailer. I was slowing down so deciding whether to use a rivet or sheetmetal screw became a major task that was paralyzing to me. I would constantly go back to that internal debate and rehash it. Trying to use a rivet didn’t work so I tried the sheetmetal screw. That became difficult as I drilled holes in the wrong space that ended up being the wrong size. As much as I could have used his help I didn’t call Allen. For three years I was there every time he called for help but the one time in three years I asked him for help he didn’t keep his word, sat on his butt and put me in a bind. I learned I can’t depend on him so I will not depend on him.

Cherie came home from work while I was going through this. I knew I was slow but when I talked with her it became apparent just how slow I was. I gave up on working and came in. Cherie had fixed dinner and suggested I go lay down and relax. She is a sweetheart. Right now Cherie is at her parents house as Connie, her youngest sister, had driven up from Columbus to visit. I didn’t go because I don’t like to be in public when I am like this. Don’t function too well in social situations at these times. I am tired so will go back to bed. It's 8:45.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The days go by in a blur

10/3/06 Monday
It looks like a good day to be out working so that’s good. I have to figure out the wiring on the brakes first, then I want to go to the sheet metal shop Allen took me to and finish what he started.

10/5/06 Thursday
The days just seem to roll by in a blur. It is hard for me to keep up with all I have to do. I know Cherie and I set a tentative date of Friday the thirteenth to leave for Texas. Of course that’s flexible. Has to be knowing us and the uncertainty of us getting done in time but at least it’s a goal to shoot for. Besides that, for some reason we both feel that Friday the thirteenth is an appropriate date to leave Toledo. Good town to get out of. The news a few days ago was “Nine murders in nine days”. Then it was ten murders in twelve days. Not going to miss that. I watch the news and always see if I recognize the latest criminal to be profiled. I knew many who lived in that world.

OK, here’s an update on the trailer. I did get the brakes figured out. That took hours as I would test a wire with my voltmeter and forget what the result was so would test it again later. Wandering from task to task like this for quite a while I got frustrated. I know I should have gotten a pen and paper to map and record what I was doing like I was shown at the Brain Injury Institute at St Louis but I didn’t. Finally I just started switching wires around on the plug going from the trailer to the truck and then starting it up to see if it worked. On the third try I got lucky. Trying to figure out and trace the wires didn’t seem to be something I was up to. It’s hard to believe that at one time I was the chief engineer at a radio station, responsible for all the wiring. Now I have a hard time figuring out where six wires are supposed to go. Brain damage sucks but I don’t quit.

I got all the sides hung on the trailer. Don’t remember if I wrote about this already so I will anyway. I had stored the three bad tires I had inside the trailer in response to the management’s complaint. When I was taking them out to make room to work I held one against the wall and it was just about the perfect height to support one of the fifty pound sheet metal panels so I could attach them. Cool. I used the tire that had gone flat as it let me press down till the holes on the panel lined up. I got them all up by myself, surprising both Cherie and I. This is one of the things I had needed help with but help hasn’t been there other than Cathy and her son Joshua who came out and helped a bunch. We bought them ice cream at Baskin Robins as a think you but I wasn’t doing well so we didn’t stay long. Thanks Cat and Josh.

Allen of course called me right when I was balancing a panel with one hand as I drilled a hole with the other. Putting the drill down I reached around and got the phone. “Allen, I have my hands full right now and don’t have time for talk” I answered knowing it was him from the caller ID. He asked me if I still wanted that sheetmetal and I told him “No”. He argued that he would pick it up for me and didn’t seem to comprehend I didn’t want it anymore. I didn’t tell him that I had already gotten it cause I wasn’t in the position or mood to talk and cut the conversation short. “I’m busy Allen. Got to go” I told him and hung up. Allen has shown that I can’t depend on him so I won’t depend on him for anything. If he wants to get off his ass and come out to help fine but he is more focused on sitting in his basement feeling sorry for himself and being depressed. I’ve done what I can for him but we leave in eight days (Hopefully) so I don’t have time to baby him anymore.

What else?? Can’t think of anything right now. Woke up with a bad headache and sensitivity to light and noise so that’s getting into migraine territory. Lots of muscle aches from lifting those panels two days ago. Yesterday was a crappy rainy day so I didn’t get much of anything done. The weather is supposed to be great for a few days so I hope to get the trailer finished. I’ll get the plywood today and the filler pieces for the floor. Hope this migraine clears up. Cherie has a doctor’s appointment this morning so she did not go to work but she plans on going after lunch.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Got the wheels on. Brakes??

10/2/06 Monday
I could have sworn I wrote in this journal since last Tuesday so I may have lost it. I’ll go online and check the blog cause that’s where it would remain if I lost it off the laptop. Had trouble getting it to shut down a little while ago and it was working so hard everything was slowed to a crawl. I need to buy more memory for it but our money is getting real tight. Put allot into the trailer. Speaking of that, it’s going to rain around noon according to the weather man so I need to get out there and run the wires under the truck for the electric brakes.

It’s 11:00 now. Just came in from working on the truck and I’m soaking wet. Sure enough the rain came but I kept working figuring that being underneath the truck I would be dry. Nope. As I worked on running two wires the entire length of the truck I had to crawl out and go to the other side. Besides that my legs were usually outside so between the rain and the collected water dripping off the sides of the truck staying dry wasn’t an option.

I thought twenty five feet of wire would be enough to run two lengths of wire but was way off on that. This is not unusual. One of the strange affects of the brain injury is great difficulty judging distance or volume. Picking the right container to store or prepare food is often just a guess. I’ll piece together enough wire to get the second wire run but the brake control wire I’ll leave one piece. That’s the one that is vital. The other wire is just to supply power to the overhead lights I’m putting in the trailer so that’s not critical at all.

The weatherman said that this rain will be coming and going till maybe 3:00. There’s lots of thunder and lightning outside right now and it doesn’t look like it’s letting up. Cherie just called to say she wouldn’t make the drive in this weather just to eat lunch at home and give me a kiss. I had some fun with her on that. I knew from the ring it was Cherie calling and I knew what she would say so I answered the phone “That’s a good idea honey. You’re right. Just grab something to eat out there. Don’t drive home in this weather”. There was a long silence as she tried to figure out what I said.

2:53 – I got the wire run under the truck and all hooked up. Hope I got them right. I’ve made quite a few mistakes during this whole process so we’ll see. The cardboard I had been using to lay on, thus keeping dry, was soaked so I’m wet again. All that’s left to do is attach the controller on the dash and hook it up. Then I get to learn how to use the brakes. There is no instruction manual on how to break them in though there is a mention of a need to do that on the one page installation sheet that came with the brakes.

I fixed one of the jalapeƱo cheese bratwurst we like so much for lunch and to get out of the rain. Actually the rain let up but there was a wicked wind that would come out of nowhere and throw things around. My hat took off to the nearest puddle of water so that protection from the rain was done for. The cardboard I would lay on would take off when I moved off it. One time the wind closed the drivers side door, the door to the tool section of the cap, and the hood on the truck, all at once.

It’s eased up a little. After I go online to see if there are some lost journal entries on the blog I will go back outside to get some work done.

Yeah, I did lose some days out of this journal. Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are posted on the blog so I’ll copy them and put them back on this laptop.

Well I got all the wires connected and the controller mounted. YEP, I HAVE BRAKES. It’s just that they are on all the time. They work great as the wheels just screeched as they refused to turn despite my dragging the trailer five feet. OK, not good. I unplugged the connector from the truck and tried to pull the trailer again. This time it works fine so the brakes weren’t just catching or something. I’ve got something hooked up wrong so I have to figure that out. That’ll have to wait till tomorrow. Of course it’s supposed to rain.

Don't want it to sound like I'm doing all the work. Here's Cherie packing. She has been doing this for days (Actually weeks off and on) and been busting her butt.

Isn't she pretty!