Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Took a while

This is just one of the staples that went through the power cord ran to replace the blown out circuit.
11/24/06 Friday
The House That Mickey Mouse Built. That title fits this place. Just looked at the fried wall outlet in the office. All the plugs in the room are the three prong type but there is no third ground wire. Some of the workmanship here is top quality. What is poor is some of the repairs and things done later. I suspect my brother, the professional contractor and drunk, did most of that.

11/25/06 Saturday
I put this laptop on the dresser next to me to remember to write in this journal. When we lived in Toledo I would usually write in the morning after Cherie went to work. Now I am up and working on this house at sunrise and am worn out come five o’clock or so, so I don’t write much if at all. That’s bad not only because this journal serves as a memory but also because it is how family and friends follow our lives here.

I got the floor finished yesterday. It looks great. I used the lessons learned from doing the kitchen so this should be a better job. The subfloor is a particle board underlay and when I read the instructions again I saw that this is not recommended. It said to prepare this and concrete surfaces with a sealing primer so I ran out and got some. It was a good thing that Walmart had it cause everything else is closed because of Thanksgiving. This morning I will put on the baseboard and we can assemble and move the office furniture in. That’s a big plus. It is the second room finished and will go a long way in helping us get organized.

Cherie went shopping yesterday, joining the throngs of frantic black Friday bargain hunters. What an insanity. Unfortunately, caught up in the frenzy, she almost drained our bank account. When she came home I made her go do the math and, seeing what she’d done she started crying. This move to Texas has been traumatic for her. In Toledo she had a job and was in the place she grew up so there was a form of security. Now she is in a different world. There are snakes and spiders, sand in the well water that is not drinkable, and the only income is my small Veteran’s pension check. Plus she doesn’t really know anyone and that doesn’t help. Add to that mix the emotional rollercoaster of menopause and it is tough.

Here's the wall of tumbleweeds I made the other day. The wind will blow most of them away.

I support her the best I can but am stressed a little myself also. Between the partial seizures and high levels of pain my emotional control is stretched. I don’t fly off at her but when I break something she can hear me cussing outside. The other day we stopped by the carwash in Stanton. As I washed the truck I felt something slimy on my hand and looking down I saw the hose was coated with globs of crude oil. For those of you unfamiliar with crude it is nasty stuff that is far worse than grease. Doesn’t wash off and soaks into the skin leaving a stain that is hard to remove. I went off. As I ranted about going to a car wash to get dirty and how I would love to find the inconsiderate son of a bitch who did this a guy waiting to wash his truck put his wife in the truck and drove off. Usually I am positive and work to keep Cherie’s spirits up but these moments are hard for her. They don’t happen as often as they used to when I was still in the initial recovery phases of the brain injury but still occasionally crop up.

This was in the old chicken coop. I remember using it years ago.

We are still discovering the secrets this place holds. When I cleared out the back yard we found where Lee’s old garden beds had been as they were lined with the stones that are native to this area. I also found an old hospital bed, gate, saw horses, fencing, and a fifty five gallon burn barrel among other things. There are more mysteries to come. Out by the garden there was a metal dome sticking out of the ground. I figured it is where the water line from the well comes in and is tied to the house so dug it out to see. Under it was a large glass jar about twelve inches around. When I lifted it I found the bottom was gone and that it covered a piece of PVC pipe. I pulled that up to see it was broken. There was nothing left but dirt so I got the shovel and started digging. Got down to about three feet without finding anything so gave up for the moment. I’ll continue that later when other more important things are done.

It’s 1:57 now. I am in the middle of a slow down. Also have a migraine ramping up. This is the first one I’ve had since we got to Texas. I got the center desk put together along with the hutch. It was an adventure, pretty much like putting a puzzle together. Some of the fasteners had broken when I took it apart in Toledo. This is standard for Sauder furniture. When I had the liquidation company I wouldn’t buy it because it’s impossible to move without breaking it and carefully taking it apart wasn’t cost effective. If it was part of a lot I bid on at auction I’d just leave it behind. That was then and things are much different now so I’ll get it put together one way or another. Time for some southern engineering and glue.

I had Cherie put the blanket we use for a curtain over the window because the light is hurting the eyes and aggravates the migraine. Am laying down for now. Hope this goes away soon. The partial seizure is not too bad, I’m running about a five on the Bob scale, the headaches killer though. Took some aspirin and one of the Tramadol I’ve been hoarding. There’s about a dozen left. I think I’ll try to take a nap now so be back later.

11/27/06 Monday
Yesterday Cherie called out “Honey, we have no hot water”. I checked the water heater and seeing the pilot wasn’t lit tried unsuccessfully to light it. No luck there as there was no gas. I got dressed and grabbed a flashlight and went out to check on the propane tank. It was empty. We had just spent $175.00 for a hundred gallons two weeks ago. Not good. I don’t know if there is a leak or what. Cherie said she had smelt gas the other day so it doesn’t look good. Wish she had let me know.

I spent allot of the morning digging where the gas line goes from the tank to the house. Pretty painful so I only got about seven or eight feet dug. Just laid down for a bit after eating the great lunch Cherie fixed. Will go out and resume the digging. When I would get tired or hurt too much I am putting tumbleweeds and other debris into the burn barrel. I got that uncovered yesterday and set it up where it will burn safely. At $35.00 a month to have our garbage collected we will be using the burn barrel allot and haul what won’t burn to the landfill. Every penny counts right now.

Yesterday was a good day up till we discovered the gas was gone. Went to church and saw Darryl Bradshaw. Actually he saw us and I heard a voice say “Hi Robbie”. I didn’t recognize him but I seldom recognize anyone unless I see them all the time. Darryl is a cousin or something. I’m never sure how that works. We didn’t get to talk much because he had to sing in the choir. The pastor and his wife came up to us after the service and we talked a bit telling them the short version of how we got back together. I always get choked up when I talk about it so Cherie had to finish it.

Cherie went into Stanton to check our mail. We got the deposit back for the apartment. That is a blessing that came just in time. Cherie has been stressing about money quite a bit so this helped. Time to go dig some more.

I’m done, worn out. It is frustrating to be this weak. I am digging about a foot at a time. It doesn’t take much to have me breathing like I was running a marathon. My life has been fairly sedentary since I woke from the coma but that has all changed now. It’s been a month but I can’t see where my stamina has increased much if at all. Seems like I’m in my seventies or something. When I was writing the last entry both my arms started tingling like they were falling asleep. I took two aspirin. Got a headache anyway but figure the aspirin will thin my blood, which is good for circulation I’ve heard.

Cherie went shopping for curtain rods and material. That will be good as the only window with any kind of curtain is our bedroom where we have a blanket over it. It will also be good for Cherie as she loves to sew and it will give her a sense of accomplishment.

So far the gas pipe I’ve uncovered looks good. Hard to find a leak when there is no gas in the line. When I get done uncovering the pipe outside I’ll have to crawl under the house to inspect that area. Fortunately the bees are gone. I sealed up the crawl space a few days ago when I saw that fewer bees were coming around. Figured they had got most of the honey. They looked for a way back in for a couple of days and seem to have given up. Good. Don’t feel like being in a tight space with a few hundred bee’s. Who knows what other critters are down there. We already had a scorpion crawl out of the bathtub, from the hole where the lever for the drain plug used to be.
Here's just some of the nails that have worked their way out through the years of wind vibrating the house.

We are going to look at getting an electric hot water heater. Not sure about the wiring but there is a circuit breaker labeled “Freezer”. The freezer has disappeared. Don’t know when or where or who got it. Another little mystery. Spending another $175.00 for gas is not really something we want to do, fact is we can’t really afford it. We are anxiously waiting for all the bills to come in. This will give us a handle on what it will cost us to live here. Then we can set a budget and have an idea what we can spare for fixing up the house each month. Of course we will keep a cushion for the surprises that seem to come up regularly. So far every time something comes up that need seems to be met by something out of the blue. This $440.00 check that came in today from our former landlords is just one example. Gas goes out, check comes in. There has been so much strange stuff since I woke up. Cool stuff like the miraculous reunion of Cherie and I. Of course there has been some not to cool stuff like being extradited and kicked out on the street by the Toledo court system to wander homeless with partial amnesia.

11/28/06 Tuesday
We’re off. It’s a beautiful day out but a cold front is on the way. It will get here tomorrow. They’re talking about temperatures going down to 20. That’s nothing new to us northern folks but with only two small electric space heaters we’ll be wearing coats inside. Maybe not, this house is surprisingly well insulated but we’ll wear sweaters for sure. We’re going to find some window stuff today to seal them up and reduce the drafts.

I saw an ad for distributorships for wind turbines and solar energy products. This is something I’ve been looking at for the farm so I called to see what’s up. They’re a Canadian company that is just expanding into the U.S.. It’s a ground floor opportunity for sure. They are using the name Green Power in the states. I’m going to put in an application. With my marketing and sales background I know I can do well, or at least think so. I often purposely forget about this disability. Keep fighting to get beyond it. With Cherie’s help I am confident we can do this. Their systems range from $14,000 to $80,000 retail. My cut is half of that. He said distributors average three to four sales a month. One a month would far exceed my veterans disability pension and I could drop that. Who knows what will happen. I always dream big. It doesn’t hurt to stretch. If accepted they will work with us to put a system on the farm to be used as a sales tool.

Time to go to town. We are going to pay the subscription at Barnes and Noble to use their wireless. It will be nice to be able to go online whenever we want. Sure it’s a twenty mile drive but that’s ok.

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