Saturday, March 31, 2007

Another day

3/31/07 Saturday
It’s the weekend, hooray. Actually it is just another day for us. The weather says it’s going to be nice for the next couple of days. I won’t complain. As you can see I never did get around to putting the pictures on the blog. Not unusual for me, especially towards the end of the day. That’s when I often just run out of steam and nothing much gets done. I’m a little slow this morning, running a six or so on the bob scale. Now that I’m back working on the garden the pain level is up to the point I must take the pain medicine.

I am having a hard time figuring out what to write about so I’ll quit for now.

Thought – After foundering around for days I finally figured out what I have figured out hundreds of times before. That is too focus on just one thing. I was going to focus on building the garden but the array of things to process such as what to grow, where to plant, how to plant, and many more pretty much was more than I could process. So I just picked melons and after sorting them would select just one. That way I only had to learn about one plant and could keep the package and it’s instructions with me. Thus I could keep referring to it when I forgot what I read five minutes before. So I have melons planted. Tons of them. I’m sure I went overboard with this but that is not unusual for me. Besides that many of these seeds were packaged to be used in 2005 so they may not come up at all.

Today I’ll do lettuce. After reading the packages I see that most of them do not do well in the heat. Should have been planted much earlier. I don’t seem to be keeping up with this well.

It’s almost three now. Been out working on the garden since eleven. It only looks like an hours worth of work to me. When I came in for the lunch Cherie fixed for me I told her that I was getting that strange dizzy feel in my head that sometimes is a precursor of a partial seizure. After eating I went back to work outside. It’s a wonderful cloudless day with a cool wind. Great day to work on the garden. Long story short the seizure is here. For those of you unfamiliar with this my seizures are not the kind epileptics get. What I have is…I’m having a hard time formulating this so will break till it comes. It is like my brain going from the fastest Pentium computer to an old 286. Everything slows down and it is harder for me to process what is going on around me much less thinking something out. They vary in intensity and are often undetectable to others. Cherie has become adept at recognizing them after being with me nearly four years. In fact I came in to talk with her as it is then I know how bad it is. I’m getting lost here, not keeping my train of thought. We were going to Midland to get stuff for the garden and I wanted to take Cherie and visit Leroy or Carroll Yater. Not going anywhere now. Running a three on the bob scale. Of course a big headache is coming with this, wouldn’t be a good party with out them all here now would it?

Just read the first entry for today and see that I started out slow. It’s a push through it day.

I didn’t clear up till around 7:00. With a clear head and new energy I worked on stuff until nearly midnight. Lost most of a day. Hate when that happens.

These are the beds I made for herbs and spices. They look like graves don't they. None of the herbs and spices we tried to start came up. That is partly because the seeds were given to us and most of them are out of date.

The other reason I think is this potting soil. It is Miracle Grow potting soil. Look at this crap, mulch in the soil. Not just a little as you can see. Stuff doesn't grow well in wood chips. Stay away from Miracle Grow potting soil.

Things are greening up now. Here is the spot of winter wheat we struggled to get past the birds so the seeds could start. Now I have a lawn to mow. Yeah, I know, it's only a four foot square but it's the closest thing we have. Unfortunately we don't own a lawn mower. We may not have grass to mow but there is a world of weeds coming up fast that need to get cut down.

Speaking of that, here's the mower I found at the landfill when I took our garbage in. It's missing the spark plug and the carburetor is full of mud but I'll try to get it running. Other than that I'll have to cut the "lawn" by hand swinging the sharp edged tool I call a weed whacker.

The lawn

The pecan tree is just starting to come out. They seem to start late.

These are the garden beds I made yesterday. I know it doesn't look like much at all but it's the best I can do by hand. If I had a motorized tiller the whole place would be ready and planted. My tools are a pitch fork that I use to turn the soil, and a hoe. This whole area is planted in melons of every type.

Here I am on my portable throne. It's the toilet thing they had for my grandmother to use in her last days. For me it is great to sit on while I plant seeds and stuff. Sits fairly low and reduces the bending over that causes so much pain for me. I suppose that if we lived in a more remote spot I could use it as a toilet as I work. Yeah, I know, that's a unpleasant picture. It is handy though as I can keep tools and seeds in the pot portion.

I didn’t clear up till around 7:00. With a clear head and new energy I worked on stuff until nearly midnight. Lost most of a day. Hate when that happens.

Ah, there's a picture of the love of my life. The woman not the cat OK. Ain't she cute?

Friday, March 30, 2007

What a day yesterday was

3/30/07 Friday
What a day yesterday was. There is so much that happened after the end of yesterday’s post. Sorry to leave y’all hangin on that but by the time the day ended I was pretty much done and didn’t have it in me to finish. I suppose I could have but just wanted to go to bed.

I suppose I’ll start with today and then fill in the rest of yesterdays sudden turns. Right now it is raining pretty hard. There are lots of thunderstorms rolling across the prairie, some small and some not so small. This one will be short but the one east of here is a giant. There were lots of tornados last night but the were mostly to the north of us.

I just let Cherie know I took a pain pill. It’s important that I do that because of the short term memory loss. I can take a pill and five minutes later not remember and take another one. Repeat that process a few times and you got a problem. “Did I take my pills?” is not an uncommon question here. The pill organizer helps as I can look and see if I did or not. Still forget to take my medicine sometimes, often getting distracted as I go to take it. That doesn’t happen much as the seizure and blood pressure pills are part of my routine. Routines are an important part of compensating for short term memory loss.

With the pain it is different because I choose not to take the Hydrocodone every six hours as prescribed. Instead I take it when the pain level gets significant. I’ll decide it’s time to take one and on the way to do so will see something to do and that’s it. The thing about pain is it will always remind you so I’ll get back on track but be unsure if I have already taken the pill. So there’s a little snapshot of life with this common part of traumatic brain injuries.

The rain has ended so I think it’s time to write about yesterday. I took lots of pictures and they serve to bring up the memory attached to them so I’ll run a bunch of them with narration.

Cherie saw this folder among the old company records I opened up the other day. I heard her laugh hysterically and when I went into the office to see why she was holding this folder marked "Humor". "It's Empty. All the humor is gone" she said with great mirth. How well that exemplifies that period of my life.

Yesterday continued – I went into the garage to just sit down and process all of this. Just piddled with stuff as I imagined possible scenarios involving confronting the neighbors. I do that you know, imagine conversations with others where of course I always am clever, well usually. As I was doing that I heard a vehicle pull in. It was the older deputy sheriff. I don’t know if you’re supposed call him sheriff or deputy. “Sir” usually works good.

Anyway, I was surprised to see him this quick. He already knew who, what, when, and where. I think that would kick Dick Tracy’s ass. It seems our neighbors are Mennonites but not the real religious ones, the term unorthodox probably fits. Sheriff (He told me his name but of course that’s gone so I’ll just call him Sheriff for now) told me that the mom wears the long dresses and stuff traditional Mennonites are known for. The kids however apparently run a different course.

The kid who admitted shooting the well said he was just firing at some brush. That’s crap cause there is no brush at all. Sheriff said he had a SKS weapon. I’m not positive but I think that is a high end assault rifle, quite a toy. Apparently they are here on a work visa from Canada or Mexico, Sheriff wasn’t sure. Regardless they aren’t supposed to have guns. “So, are they going to pay for this?” I asked. “Ohhh, they’ll pay” Sheriff drawled seriously.

We rode back to the well where Leroy was still working. In fact he was just leaving so we met about halfway and all got out to talk. Leroy told him about the nest of rattlers we had to deal with the first time he worked on the well, so we all discussed snakes for a few minutes and then it was back to business. Leroy was able to get the pump exchanged on warranty. When the dealer took the pump apart he found that the shaft had actually snapped. This was probably from the pump turning on and off repeatedly but they had never seen or heard of this before so odds are there was a defect and this would have happened eventually anyway.

Sheriff asked Leroy for an invoice or something stating the damages. I just gave him my copy of the bill Leroy had prepared. $837.99 it was and it would have been $700.00 more if the pump hadn’t been exchangeable under warranty. With that Sheriff said he’d be seeing me later when he finished dealing with this. He said the younger deputy was doing the paper work and would handle things. And he was off.

Leroy and I talked for a bit along with his son who had helped in all this. Leroy is quite a guy, real friendly, which I’m not used to. It’s gotta be strange to be uncomfortable when someone you don’t really know being nice but I’m not used to it. Folks aren’t this open and trusting back in Toledo. He handed me another copy of the bill and asked for a check. “I can’t give you one right now, we don’t have any money. Can you wait till the sheriff can get a check from these guys?” I asked worriedly. Leroy didn’t have a problem with that at all. In fact he invited me over for coffee proclaiming he had the fastest coffee maker in Midland. “That sounds good” I said as I agreed to drop by. Leroy made sure I knew how to get there and took off, following his son who had left a few minutes earlier.

So I went back into the garage and sat down to think through all this stuff. Kind of organize it in my mind so I could be sure I knew what was going on. Hadn’t been sitting more than five minutes before I heard another vehicle pulling in. “Man, we have never had so much traffic before” I thought as I got up wondering who it was. It was Deputy and he had two others with him, one an older guy and a kid that looked twenty or so. He was the culprit.

Deputy (he also told me his name) brought them up and explained that they would pay for the damage but the kid needed to apologize first. The kid said it was getting dark so he didn’t know what he was shooting at. I knew that was bullshit because he had told Sheriff he was shooting at brush but at least he was admitting to doing this so I let it go.

I asked the older guy if he was the kids dad but he said he was his cousin. I asked if they lived at the house the shots had come from but they didn’t. That was another cousin. “When you see your cousin why don’t you tell him to come down and talk with me, get to know me. Things work better that way” I told the older guy. Deputy was nodding his head in agreement. I had a few choice words for the kid regarding his use of a firearm. “You shoot you make damn sure you know where that bullet is going. My wife and I live here and if I even think there is a stray bullet there will be hell to pay” I said looking him in the eye. “The gun’s gone now” the older guy said. “You got a job” I surprised the kid by asking. “Yeah, I work for my cousin” he said as he nervously indicated the older guy next to him. He evidently owns the junkyard here in Stanton. It’s always good to know the junkyard guy, at least for me.

I complimented the kid for taking responsibility for his actions telling him that doing so was part of being a “Man”. That changed the tone of everything. I think he appreciated that observation. It was universally agreed that this would never happen again so the older gentleman pulled out his check book to make things right. I asked for something to cover the electric bill that will be hiked up from the pump running nonstop till it killed itself. He made the check out for $900.00 after asking if that would work. That’s fine with me, I’m more interested in the long term instead of taking advantage of the situation because this where we intend to spend the rest of our lives.

I looked sternly at the kid and said “Fifteen hundred dollars in damage is felony level. If I wanted to be an ass you’d be in jail looking at prison time now.” Deputy said he had explained all that to him. I’m pretty sure they read the kid the riot act to impress him to behave. I just wanted to make sure the kid knew I was being nice. Sure I wanted to smack him upside the head but can’t do that. I’ve spent much of my life trying to help others straighten there lives out. I’d rather cause change for good. Like it says on the plaque I carved my creed on “Money and things can vanish in a flash. What has real, lasting value is the lives you touch”. With that they were on their way. Hope that’s the end of it.

With the check in hand the first thing I wanted to do was pay Leroy so I called him to let him know. We agreed that after I ran into town and deposited the check I would meet him at his house, set down, and enjoy a cup of coffee.

When I got there Leroy greeted me warmly and immediately started me on a tour of his world. Didn’t say a word about me paying the bill. Another thing I’m not used to. In my world we always took care of business first and then might be sociable. You know, get the money first. Much more laid back here, or at least with Leroy.

There is a lot in Leroy’s world. (That’s what I call a persons realm so to speak, their house, jobs, people they know, ect.) It had already been a quick moving day where I had a lot to mentally juggle but I had managed pretty good. Now however I was having a hard time keeping up. Leroy would show me something, explaining or telling a story about it and would move right on to the next thing. I was able to make comments and stuff so that I don’t think he could tell that I was having a hard time absorbing all the information. This I feel bad about as he had lots of good things to say and it would be nice if I could retain it.

He showed me his tractor, the race track he built on his land for the neighborhood kids and mostly for his grandkids of which he has a lot. They ride their ATV’s and dirt bikes on it. His wife raises Dachshunds and there was a crowd of the noisy suckers behind the fence. She also does lots of canning and makes jams and jellies. Their garden is impressive. He uses the drip feed type hoses to water his plants, which is the way I’d like to go whenever I can afford it. I learned a bit about growing out here in West Texas when I saw how he had put plastic pails with the bottoms cut out over his plants. This is to protect them from the wind. Out here when it blows the sand usually is raised only six inches or so where it can cut a young plant down. His tomato cages were wrapped with plastic for the same reason.

Leroy took me inside. That’s when I really got lost. The reason for that was his walls had hundreds of pictures on them. Talk about family. Leroy married his wife right after she reached fifteen years of age. He tells that story many times. So he had lots of kids, I’m guessing about five but don’t really remember. Talk about success stories, Leroy would point to a picture and recount how that person was doing. One makes something like three million a year and of course has all the things that go with that like yachts and big houses. One owns an oil company and…well that’s all I can recall right now.

Then we moved on to the wall that has his life’s documents on it. Things like his military discharge, diploma’s, and other achievements. Seeing he was in the Air Force I let him know I had been a crew chief on B-52s. That started a conversation where I could sit down and follow, even participate intelligently with, doing more than saying “Wow, that’s something”. Oh, he had some stories to tell. Seems that Leroy had been in special armaments where his job was to load nuclear bombs. One of them decided to fall out of the bomber (I think he said it was a B-36) as it approached landing. That kinda caused a ruckus. He showed me a newspaper article about it. It’s a good story. Maybe I’ll post it later but probably not. It’s a two page article and hard to copy.

What I was most impressed with was that he was a twenty five year veteran of Midland’s fire department. He was proud to show me his plaque and commendations but he really didn’t go into any details about it, no stories from that part of his life though I know there are some. Many veterans of the military or of occupations such as law enforcement or fighting fires, who have seen the death and heartache that often go with that don’t talk much about it.

So I met his wife and several grand kids who evidently spend a lot of time there. One of them or someone in the family had found this blog, probably back when Leroy first put in our well. By the way, I think I forgot to mention that the well is fixed yesterday and we have water now. So back to Leroy. They home school the grandkids. Seeing all this family, this close knit group of people, brings a sadness touched with a tinge of jealousy. What family I have are strangers at a distance. My sister talks with me some though I have been remiss in reaching out to her. That’s my fault. I’ve been meaning to send her an E mail for months now but never remember to when I am online. Leroy even is their driver’s ed. teacher. I love it. The twelve year old grand daughter came driving up an a Yamaha four wheeler that looked like a golf cart on steroids. Had everything a car would except license plates and a windshield. Seat belts, stereo, all of it. By the time she reaches driving age she’ll be ready to go.

I’ve been working on this for four hours now. I know, I’m slow but that’s the way it is. Kinda running down so I’ll take a break. Cherie is getting ready to run into Stanton and take care of business. I’ll go ahead and post this on the blog but will probably have to put most of the pictures on later.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Stormed hard

3/29/07 Thursday
It stormed hard last night. Lots of lightning and wind along with heavy rain. The power went out for a while but was back on when we woke up. When Cherie turned on the faucet for water there was nothing. Not good. Did lightning take out the pump? How can we afford to replace it? Now the worrying starts as we consider the ramifications of this.

I got clothes on and jumped in the truck to go look. There is a big hole where the rain washed away the dirt around the well. Not good. I checked the power, redoing the breakers hoping that would solve the problem. Nope, not going to be that easy. I called Cherie to let her know and hopped back in the truck to go back to the house. Made it about fifteen feet before the truck sunk into a soft spot and got stuck. That’s where the truck is still at now. I’ll run up there with a shovel and see if I can get it loose.

I walked back to the house and called Leroy at Ledford Pump to let him know we had a problem. It took a bit before Leroy remembered who we were but he came right out. I rode with him to the well where he checked things out. He said it appeared the pump was fine but suspect that a pipe is broken somewhere. Regardless it is covered by the warranty so that was a big relief though we have yet to get down to the problem. Leroy said he needed to wait till it dried a little before he could get into it. That might be a couple of days.

Leroy looked at my truck and let me know that if I was unable to get it free he would come out with his four wheel drive and pull it out for me. I’ll try to dig it out in a bit but if I can’t it would be greatly appreciated. I reminded him about him saying he would bring his tractor out and plow an area for our garden but I don’t think he remembered that, he didn’t say a word. Not an issue for me at all. Leroy is somewhere around eighty years old and probably stays busy with his well service business so I understand.

So we will be without water for two days at least.

Cherie’s interview seemed to go well. Joe, the guy doing the interview whom Cherie would work for, got here at 6:00 and stayed till 10:00 talking with the both of us. Nice guy. The job seems like it would be about perfect for us. It’s part time and the work comes in spurts as the USDA needs to gather different kinds of data. There is work every year but you never know how much. Lots of flexibility here so Cherie can work it around the sewing business she wants to start. If she gets the job there is a two day school in Abilene she needs to attend. Keep your fingers crossed. There are no health benefits but the USDA is a big government agency so it’s not going anywhere.

I’m going to cut this short, grab the shovel and go try to dig out the truck now.

We were so glad to leave Toledo, to get out of the city where things were so hectic, where you always had to watch your back because of the high crime rate, where there were already ten murders for the year before January came to an end. Gang bangers and drugs were prevalent. We left all of that behind and looked forward to a much quieter and sedate life. Well…

I heard Leroy’s trucks pull in while I was writing the previous entry. He had brought his four wheeler and his helper with him. I hopped in Leroy’s truck and we drove out to the well. He started filling in the hole and I worked on uncovering all the insulation I had wrapped everything up with. Most of that was on the pressure tank. When I pulled that off I saw it. Had to look twice. “That’s a bullet hole” I announced. Someone had shot our tank and the bullet came directly from the house that is at the end of our property. That is maybe fifty yards away.

This is the house were we’ve had a problem with people riding their ATV’s on our land. I’ve been up there twice to ask them not to do so, the last time just two weeks ago. The kid (He looked twenty or so) was nervous, fidgety, and looked like he was high. I asked his name and could swear he said “Porno”. He looked away when he said it and kinda coughed it out. I figured I didn’t hear it right so left it be. I again asked that they not ride on our land and came back home.

The bullet hole made the pump run till it burned out. I’m sure we will have a whopper of an electric bill for this month. I called the sheriff as I really don’t want to go talk to some people who shoot things in retaliation for something as small as being asked to not ride on our land. I’m too much of a hot head and can see things getting out of hand quick.

Two deputies came out in just a few minutes driving two police pick-ups. I met them and we rode back to the well where Leroy was still working. We showed the sheriffs the bullet hole and all. He asked if we could get the bullet out of the tank so Leroy pulled the bottom off of it. It looks like the bullet is in the pipe that leads to the house for you can see where it punched through one side and didn’t come out of the other. Couldn’t find it. They asked if I knew who lived in the house and I had to explain that I didn’t have a clue. He let me know that there was little he could do without firm evidence. While it is clear where the shot came from there is no way of knowing who fired the shot.

There is fifteen hundred dollars worth of damage. The pump cost $700 and the pressure tank $450. Leroy said he may be able to exchange the pump under warranty but there is nothing he can do for the tank cause the bullet hole makes it obvious there was no manufacturing defect. This is going to hurt real bad. Odds are the sheriff won’t be able to do much about it. Now I really want to get a gun out here for protection, not just for coyotes but now from people who may be a danger. Yep, Welcome to Stanton. So much for a nice, quiet, sedate life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Open a can of worms

3/28/07 Wednesday
If you’re going to open a can of worms you might as well make it a big one. Yesterday I started putting the various boxes and things we probably won’t have an immediate use for if ever into the trailer that has now become our storage unit. One of the boxes was marked “Business records recovered from River East”. What a heavy box that was. No, it didn’t weigh much but the contents of the box weighed heavily on my mind.

To help you understand this I must explain the history of this box and how I was able to obtain it. As the title on the box suggests the box contains some of the business records for two of the companies I had founded along with a few other bits and pieces of my life.

These records are keys that help unlock the memories hidden deep inside my mind and thus help me remember and understand them. When I made it back to Toledo a year after I woke from the coma I was able to remember I had owned these businesses so I walked to where they had been located. What a heart wrenching time that was, to look at the remains of the once successful enterprises and understand I had destroyed them. Walking into the building, which was a business incubator and houses many companies, I ran into Mary Ellen who was at the time an employee of River East whom I rented from.

All the pictures of this stuff is in the area that had been my 8,000 sq. foot woodshop. The other eighty thousand square feet I had rented has long since been cleaned out and the remnants thrown up here

Talk about shock, I was supposed to be dead yet here I stand. There was some definite panic involved at this moment. The maintenance guy, Joe Pena, tried to start a fight, telling me to walk out back with him. Why all this emotion? Because when they heard I was dead they were quick to loot what was in this warehouse I had once called home. Joe had been stealing out of here even before this happened. I was quickly told that I was not allowed in the building and that there was a restraining order against me to that effect. I later learned that was not true, just another in a long list of lies. This was part of their scrambling to cover up the thefts and the possibility of criminal charges being filed.

I would occasionally sneak up there to look at the mess left behind by the many people who took what they wanted and threw the rest where ever it was convenient. As I did this I would see how things would continue to be looted. The whole area had been left wide open since I had been gonev`, allowing everyone who wished to take what they wanted. I could do nothing about this as I watched this stuff disappear.

This was when I was homeless and living on the street. Actually I snuck in the building and slept there for a few days till I was discovered. Here I carried everything I owned in a garbage bag. That was another pair of jeans and a couple of T shirts and underwear and I was watching what remained of my former possessions steadily walking out the door. I legally owned this stuff but was powerless to do anything about it. Even if they said I could have it I had no place to put these items.

Then came the time I was featured on the local ABC television station as Toledo’s John Doe. That changed everything. Now I started trying in earnest to gain access to these remains so I could recover what I could find. River East resisted this in every way they could, ignoring the letters I sent and repeatedly threatening me with jail if I was caught on the property. That continued till I contacted another TV station that had one of those programs that exposes wrongs, especially if the offending party resisted making things right. That worked. Woke them right up. Even then I was only allowed to go through this stuff with one of their employees supervising. Cherie and I went up there together to go through these things. Cherie always went with me on anything that was stressful to protect me. I needed her support for at this time I was still in pretty bad shape and under stress would either freeze up or lose emotional control, which is a fancy way of saying I would either explode in anger or cry.

There wasn’t much left of any value, in fact pretty much everything of value had long since disappeared with the exception of what was too heavy to move or some of the wood, such as that plank I just made a table top out of, because they didn’t have a clue what was beneath the weather beaten surface. What was there were some personal mementos that no one cared to steal. In that Cherie found many old pictures of our wedding twenty years before and some other things related to that time we were together. Despite having gotten remarried I kept all this stuff for I never stopped loving or thinking about Cherie. It was a sad and happy thing for Cherie and I to discover these memories together.

So here is this box. I have not gone through it at all and didn’t know what it contained. We had just hastily thrown everything into boxes for there was a time constraint on our access of these things. Now I had to look so I took a break from loading the trailer and opened it up. That break lasted the rest of the day.

Who I was, that’s what the box contained, glimpses of the person I was before the coma. There was a lot more these documents unlocked, tons more. As I went through the stacks of checks and other records I would see names of people who had worked for me and with many of them would come memories.

These records go back to 1991 though the earlier ones are sparse. Here was another part of my history where I destroyed everything because of foolishness and drinking. I had just signed a contract with Owens Illinois for a hundred thousand dollars so took my employees out to the bar to celebrate. After spending eight hours in the bar I was obviously sloshed but drove anyway like I always did drunk back then. I didn’t have a wreck, at least not with the car. In a celebratory drunk stupor I broke into the fireworks stand a block from my house and piling up cases of fireworks in the parking lot passed out before I could light them. For this I was sentenced for two to ten years in prison. I had been offered probation but it came with 90 days in jail so I turned down the deal and decided to fight. Stupid. I lost and paid for making the court go through the expense and hassle of a jury trial. The judge gave me the maximum sentence allowed under Michigan law.

So I put the second wife, Barb, in charge of my two companies and we were going to keep things running. She was going to be there to run things and I would be involved from prison, writing proposals and giving instructions where needed. That didn’t last long. The bank records I was looking at that revived the memories of this unpleasant showed clearly how bad this worked. I was sent to prison in early 1992 and the February bank statement for Westbrook Marketing showed sometimes twenty five thousand dollars a week coming in and going out for payroll. By December the months receipts were $3700 and part of that was borrowed from Corporate Liquidation, my other company. By this time Barb had long since stopped taking calls from me in prison and had been in a relationship with some guy she met in the building. I could see the money she took out of the company for this and Eileen, my former secretary, filled me in on many of the details. No need to go into that now. It’ll be in the book, maybe. Haven’t decided yet. Regardless, when I got out there was nothing left but the files she had dumped on the floor in her spiteful anger when she shut everything down. I got a job to provide some income and started both companies up from scratch again. It didn’t take long as I had developed an excellent business reputation in the years before this. Besides that few folks knew I had been sent to prison.

Such memories, such sadness and so many regrets lie here in this box. I told Cherie that I would be a while as I delved into what these pieces of paper revealed. I was, hours worth of a while. This was coupled with periods where I would go to the back and, sitting in a chair that faced the eighty acre back yard, just process what was going through my mind and think. In fact that is how I ended the day, watching the sun set as I pondered these things and savoring the peace that this setting helps impart.

“Oh, How you have fallen, bright and morning star” are the words that run through my head as I contemplate this portion of my past. They come from the Biblical passage in Isaiah Chapter 14 and in that instance were referring to Lucifer but the concept holds true for me. Daniel chapter four contains another story I can relate to. It is the story of how Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, got proud of his accomplishments and was struck down so to speak because of it. He just lost his mind and was out in the fields eating grass and whatever as he lived in the wild like an animal. Here I was, king of my world and seemingly on top of it and the next thing you know I’m living on the streets and wandering in a sort of daze as I struggled to understand and remember.

I have no one to blame but myself. My life is the result of the decisions I make and the saying “You reap what you sow” is a truth no one can escape from.

So on to today. I will be working on cleaning things up to make it look better here when Joe, the guy coming to interview Cherie for the job, comes here. The wind is whipping out there.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Life is what you make

3/27/07 Tuesday
Second day of the week and that leaves only three days till the disability check get here. We did good on the toilet paper conservation thing. Won’t have to use paper towels or newspaper. Actually we still have a few bucks left so Cherie will go into Midland to get milk, bread, and any other vital necessities we need. Next month will start out tight as we must pay the overdraft protection money we took advantage of to makes ends meet. That’s about three hundred bucks which takes a huge bite out of a nine hundred dollar check. That’s ok, we’re good at being frugal and will be fine.

Yesterday I tried to post the days closing thoughts and some pictures but blogger and my computer were not cooperating so I gave up and went to sleep. So here they are.

Cherie got a phone call this morning about the job she is hoping to get. I don’t remember if I mentioned anything about it in previous posts (typical for me) so I’ll go into it a little here. The job is for the National Association of State’s Departments of Agriculture and entails Cherie going to farms that appear on aerial photographs and inquiring about what they will grow this year or other pertinent information. That would be such a perfect match for our long term plans. It will help us meet and get to know the local small farmers. If I ever can open Carroll Yader’s building on I-20 as a farmer’s market it will be invaluable. At least in theory. It is a job that comes and goes in that they only work when there is a project or something like that going on. Then she will go like gangbusters for a few weeks till it is done. Then there will be a period of time, which is unknown to us for now, where Cherie will have no work till the next big push. That will fit in well with her desires to start a sewing business. Anyway, the guy will come here to the farm tomorrow at six or so to interview Cherie. Suppose I’ll be cleaning up, which I am working on anyway (for the rest of my life).

So here’s the pictures. I'll start with the last part of yesterday's entry that never made it on.

It’s 2:00. I just took a break to eat the lunch Cherie fixed for me. Not tired like I usually am at this time. I’ve been busy cleaning out where I will set the plank up as a table top. Sweeping wasn’t working as it tossed up clouds of dust I didn’t want to breath. There is sand up to an inch deep on the floor from the sand storm they had while we were in Ohio. Stuff is all over everything. OK…this is it, I’m getting out the big guns now. Time for the big shop vac. I got my dust mask out and switched the hose to the blow side. Time to make clouds. This let me get sand out of corners that were blocked by things stored there.

Here is a picture of a kinda clean floor. Look good cause it’ll be gone with the next wind.

This is one of the supports I made to hold the table top up. I decided to hand cut the joint on this, mostly to help regain the old skills I used to have. The first two I did came out pretty crappy but this one looks good, especially when you consider I didn't have the right tools. Unfortunately, in my concentration to do this well I put the joint on the wrong side of the board.

This was only part of the typical errors I encounter as I work. Mostly they are the result of my not remembering what I had planned on doing or some other detail. The end support you see here was placed on the wrong wall stud.

I downloaded the pictures on my camera and learned some of what I did. This is the corn on the best patch we have. You have to look hard to see the little one or two inch sprouts mixed in with the broken glass and debris that is a part of the soil on this part of the farm.

That was yesterday. Here are some other pictures we took then. There was a fantastic double rainbow that showed up as the sun went down yesterday. Took lots of pictures so here are some of the best.

Of course I had to get my favorite tree in on this. The lone pecan tree.

So here is the rainbow of my life. (that would be Cherie) She is talking to her sister Cathy. Mom is doing much better folks. They got her moved out of ICU into her own room. The staff infection is still there but losing strength. They gave her a test to see how well she swallows after having tubes down her throat for so long. She didn't pass it so they will give her another one today. If she passes she will be able to eat real food. Thanks for the prayers.

Finally here is yesterday's sunset. I could have sworn I posted this last night but it didn't show. Can't rely on my memory anyway. I told Cathy I would post this for her as we tried to describe it over the phone. That is like describing how chocolate tastes.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Another week starts.

3/25/07 Sunday
We are late getting moving this morning. We will skip Sunday school. I went out and checked for any signs Skittles has been around but there are none. The corn looks about the same as yesterday, not a lot of new plants showing up if any. I am not totally up to speed and have a mild headache. Hope it gets better.

Note; didn’t take a pain pill this morning.

3/26/07 Monday
Yesterday was kinda strange. It was like someone had stuck a straw in us and sucked all our motivation out. Neither one of us was moving fast and we both felt like crawling under the covers and going to sleep. Other than the headache I didn’t have the pains that have plagued me for the last few days and I was glad to not take a pain pill. Don’t need one this morning either.

We had lots of rain overnight. That is always good out here. Today, Lord willing, I will work on making more garden beds for the vegetables we want to grow. None of the seeds I planted in the seed starter flats came up with the exception of one bean. I probably didn’t do something right but most of the seeds were gifts and are old so they may not be any good anyway.

Skittles just showed up at the door. His ear is a little chewed up. That cat is using up all his lives. If we get some money we’ll have him neutered. Perhaps he’ll stay around then.

Time to get moving.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The storms rolled by

3/25/07 Saturday
Six days and counting. That’s how long till my disability check gets here. Things are tight but it is good to learn how to be frugal. We only have one and a half rolls of toilet paper so there’s an area to be frugal with. Just a few less squares a day keeps the newspaper away.

Well the storms rolled through this part of Texas and all around us but other than wind and a few spattering’s of rain drops we saw none of it. The wind blew sand through every little crack and crevice it could find so Cherie has lots of sweeping to do. I will continue loading the trailer and clearing out the garage so I can start working on building Cherie’s sewing table and stuff.

Pretty sore this morning. The muscle stiffness I don’t mind but it’s the pains deeper in my bones that bother me the most. Lately my hands have been a new source of pain. They haven’t seen work like this since 2001 and now it is in the joints, knuckles, and wrists. Allot of that comes from hanging onto the shovel and hoe as I coerced them to do my will. I don’t know much about arthritis and wonder if these pains are a harbinger of things to come.

Cherie fixed me a bowl of oatmeal and coffee so I’m gonna take a break and consume that along with taking my medicine. That includes my seizure pill, pain pill, aspirin, and blood pressure medicine. Sometimes Cherie throws in a few vitamins.

We haven’t seen Skittles for a few days but now have irrefutable proof he is still around. That came in the form of a headless rabbit and rat laid out in the back corner of the garage. This is where I found a equally headless rat yesterday. I suppose he will show his face sometime soon but he won’t be happy when he discovers his delicacies have disappeared. I won’t go to the landfill till Monday or later so I think I will throw the carcasses in the burn barrel, which I’m going to ignite today, that way we won’t have to endure the smell of rotting flesh.

Lots to do today as there is every day. Best get moving. Looks like we did get some rain last night, that is always good news out here.

I don’t seem to be doing well today. Can’t concentrate or stay on track. My thoughts go from one subject to another as I contemplate what to do and what is going on. On top of that my energy level isn’t. There is a slight headache but nothing of consequence. At least not for the moment. Running at a six on the bob scale, which is just a little below average. Yesterday I had the first partial seizure I’ve had in a while so I hope that isn’t the sign of another wave of slow downs.

Gotta keep moving. Need to find a way to set up the long plank as a table in the garage. Part of that will require me cleaning off this bookcase so it can be moved into the house where Cherie already has plans for it’s use. Lots of knick knacks that need to find a home. There is a growing list of things we need to give or throw away. Wish I wasn’t so tired. Just want to go back to bed.

It has been a rough day for both of us. Gee, we just decided to conserve on toilet paper so what happens? Cherie gets the runs. Her stomach is not feeling well at all and I could hear it growling across the kitchen. I went through something similar two days ago so it may be something we both ate.

I had a bad slow down. Just reading the previous entry foretells of what’s coming. This one knocked me down to a four on the bob scale, almost stuttering level. It affected the part of my brain that controls the right leg so walking became a shuffle. Pretty much looks like an eighty year old with a walker only I don’t have a walker. Just can’t rely on the right leg and not sure were it will go. Didn’t get much done at all. Maybe in the morning I can write more of today but I’m done for now.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Gonna storm?

3/23/07 Friday
It is a bit chilly this morning and the temps probably won’t get much above seventy. There are serious thunderstorms with the possibility of tornado's and large hail predicted to come across this landscape latter in the afternoon. Next week will be our tightest ever. The check doesn’t get here till next Friday. That is because the first falls on Sunday so they issue the direct deposit earlier. Yesterday Cherie bought milk and cereal in Stanton. She went there instead of Midland to not use so much of the gasoline that has become a precious commodity. In retrospect the prices of groceries are so much higher in Stanton compared to what we can get food for in Midland that it is worth the extra gas. Cherie will put five bucks worth in her car today for she is running on empty. That works out to about two gallons of gas. She will run into Midland this morning, before the storms get here, to buy some essentials. All of this is particularly hard on Cherie. Very little to help create a sense of security about your life. Depression is something we both have to fight but Cherie has a harder time with that than I. Her mom's open heart surgery and complications just adds to that.

Went for my walkabout this morning as I often do. I check for problems and looked at the corn patch to see if any more of it has come up. Just one. A big motivation for me going out was to see if Skittles made it back. He has had some problems for a week now. First he disappeared for two days and when he showed back up you could tell that either he got into something or something got into him. The whole underside of his chin was matted up with some kind of yellow stuff that could well be from the infections where the skin was broken. Skittles worked for days and pretty much pulled the hair out of his chin as he scratched and licked it. He seemed to have a fever and was drooling and you could tell he was pretty weak. This scared us so we called the vet. Because we had vaccinated him she wasn’t concerned it was rabies, which was our fear. Now that he is starting to get better the little booger has been gone for two days again. Hope he’s OK but that is the way it is with a feral cat. He may or may not come back. There is no question that life is dangerous out there, at least for a cat.

Today I will get as much done as I can before bad weather hits. Took some pictures of what I think is a mulberry tree out front. It is moving quickly while the tree next to it seems to be struggling. Be back later today with more updates.

It’s 9:00 now. There are thunderstorms and some reports of tornados on the TV. I’m pretty worn out now. Had one of the first slow downs I’ve had in a while. It wasn’t a bad one, only took me down to a five or so on the bob scale.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


3/22/07 Thursday
I just came in from doing my morning walkabout. Bob Woodruff is on the Ellen show. He is another survivor of a traumatic brain injury. As he and his wife talked about the problems and quirks that come with a brain injury I walked with them, remembering the nearly identical issues I had and still have. Things like mixing up or inventing words as you talk. It is so strange to be talking and hear not what you wanted to say but a word your brain picked out. Sometimes these words start with the same letter or are close in meaning to the word I intended to use, sometimes not even close. I think I usually catch it. Cherie and I have fun with that quirk, lots of laughs. There have been some doozies come out of my mouth.

Watching this generates a lot of thought on my part. He is doing much to bring awareness of brain injuries. That is something I try to also do. Part of the reason for this blog. Brain injuries are very different than most others because the effects are so diverse and sometimes can’t be seen. The hell I went through after I woke up from the coma is a good example of the ignorance of government and social agencies about TBI. Actually that lack of understanding extends to most of the people we met. I was best understood and accepted with the Multiple Sclerosis folks I met through helping Wayne. That is partly because MS causes a degradation of the brain which results in many of the same issues I have such as short term memory loss. The difference was that I was improving while they slowly get worse. So I’m thinking of sending my story to Bob Woodruff and the Ellen show. Maybe they could use my story to help others understand.

It’s drizzly outside. I will do stuff outside during the breaks or light points of the rain. It looks like there may be two corn plants just peaking up through the dirt. I’m gonna take the camera out and take a picture of them. Actually that’s what I came in for when I saw Bob Woodruff on the Ellen Show. Then I wanted to write about it so here I am. Now I need to get back moving so there I go.

Notes – Cesspool, write and learn about

Well the garage stinks from Skittles marking his territory. I closed the garage doors because of the misty rain that blew in. That wasn’t going to work. Nope, not staying in here. This concentrated the acrid ammonia like smell and there was no escape for it or from it. So what to do? I know, I’ll plant seeds in the flats we bought for that purpose. Going inside with that idea in mind I walked up to Cherie who was working intently in the living room. “How would you like to plant seeds in here?” I asked with the smile that says “I think this is a great idea”. “IN HERE?” Cherie responded as her hand swept slowly backwards indicating the living room that was in disarray because Cherie had been hard at work rearranging and sorting out for storage.

Message received. After a three second negotiation I decided that the table out on our veranda (or whatever you’re supposed to call it) would be a great place to plant seeds. I’ve gotten the trays all filled but when I looked at the box full of maybe a hundred different kinds of seeds I realized I had never listed the seeds we have, nothing written down. That is what I am working on now. Then I’ll need to go online and learn how to grow each one. Cherie has looked up some of the plants and downloaded the info so I’ll need to see what she has first.

Oh, the note about cesspools. When we went to the weekly church dinner I told Darryl about the “septic system”. “You mean cesspool?” he asked me quizzically. I’ve heard the word cesspool used to describe many unpleasant things but really don’t know anything about them. At least with septic systems I had advertisements to teach me a little.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Good morning

3/21/07 Wednesday
Good morning folks. Cherie couldn’t get to sleep last night so got up and went to the office to piddle around. I was exhausted and had long since announced that I was going to slip into slumber. After she got up I ended up wide awake. By the time she came back I was on this laptop updating the blog I had earlier decided to put off till the next morning (this morning). I was up till two this morning.

Of course I have the standard pain I usually wake up with but the consequences of the physical work of the last few days are added to that. No big deal for me. I’ve endured pain of one type or another pretty much most of my life. The pain pills are a big help with this.

I’ve noticed, as I go back and read this journal, that I haven’t been having many slowdowns lately. That’s the way it usually goes. These things seem to run in patterns like the ebb and flow of the tide. They start back up slow and increase in frequency and severity for a week or a month or so, then reside again. It would be nice to find a way to stop these petite seizures all together. That is why I have requested to be looked at by the neurology department of the VA. I’ll have to travel to Albuquerque because that is where the nearest neurologist department is. Hope we can afford to go when it happens. Right now we are down to our last twenty dollars and that has to last us till the end of the month, about ten days. That money includes the three hundred dollar overdraft protection on the bank account. It costs thirty dollars to tap into it and we are using it like a thirty day loan. It’ll be paid off when we get my disability check.

Today I will finish filling the septic tank hole back in. The next thing on my to do list will be to load the trailer with all the stuff we must store. That will free up my garage which will give me the room to make Cherie’s sewing tables. I need to buy hinges for that job but it will have to wait till the check comes.

It looks like a great day out there though the weather man said there was a chance of thunderstorms and hail. Hail we have yet to experience here in West Texas. It is not uncommon out here. I wanted to build a carport to protect the vehicles from potential damage but that was when we expected to have twenty thousand in cash from the estate. Not going to happen now, at least not for a while.

Cherie fixed me a bowl of oatmeal, which I have forgotten about till this moment. When you don’t feel the sensation of hunger it is easy to forget to eat, at least for me. That is why I try to eat by the clock. Not feeling hunger was an advantage when I was wandering homeless and was lucky to get a dollar hamburger a day. Now it’s just another symptom of the brain injury I must compensate for.

Time to get moving.

1:36 – Here is how far I’ve gotten refilling the hole. I know it seems like a lot of work but I don’t regret it. Good exercise. I wanted to make sure there was no danger of someone falling through and was greatly relieved to see that it was still good. I don’t know how much rot is in the railroad ties though there is certainly some that was visible on the surface. It stunk, I was tired, so the hell with close examination, I’m covering it up. I know that this old tank will need to be reworked and sucked out sometime in the future but it’s working now so I ain’t gonna mess with it.

Right now I’m taking a break. I went in with the idea of laying down for a while to relax the back but quickly discarded that idea. I’m sweating so bad that it’s dripping off my forehead much less my back being soaked. It don’t take much for that to happen with me. Anyway, there was no way I was going to lay this sweaty head that was soppy again moments after being wiped with a towel on my pillows, much less the blankets. There are so many toxins this body is exuding through the sweat that it is unpleasant smell wise. That’s being nice.

So I decided to go back outside where there is a breeze that quickly cools one down when it hits the wet. Oh yeah. Here’s the chair under the pecan tree. I always try to keep a chair near wherever I’m working. Notice the chair way in the back. That is where the corn is planted so I dragged that heavy rascal from the front yard. It had ended up there when we cleaned the bus. I figure I’ll be doing allot of work in this corn so the chair will probably be there a long time.

OK, back on subject. Right now I am sitting in the shade of the old pecan tree. There are no leaves but the branches still provide some relief from the sun. I can’t wait to see this place leaf out, turn green, come to life. Think of the wonder and awe a child experiences when seeing something for the first time and you can taste a little of what this is for me. Since I woke from the coma life consisted of a long series of “Firsts”. So much memory was gone that much of what I experienced was as if I had never done it before. Imagine tasting chocolate for the first time. And tiramisu, and so many other things. A lot of these first time experiences are from visual and taste memories.

Point is this will be the first spring I’ve experienced in West Texas, so to speak. Haven’t been here in twenty five years on top of that. How do I describe this….It’s like being born again. Not in the Christian sense, though there are some neat parallels, but in the sense that much of the world is only six years old to me for that is how long it is since I woke up from the coma.

The born again analogy holds true all the way back to the moment I started coming out of the coma. I had to be fed, I had to have my diapers changed, then I was taught how to talk and walk. Then I had to learn everything else all over again. Things like social skills. Because of the Asberger’s my social skills have never been good but there is more to that. All of you react to people and situations based on your past history and experiences. These memories are a vital part of your ability to judge people or situations and without them you can be an easy victim.

So I’ve been learning about the world since I woke up. Perhaps I could call that time period A.C. as in “After Coma”. Everything before the coma could be called “B.C.”. Isn’t that cute. Probably won’t happen. I’m rested up so back to shoveling.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blog of the day award?

Blog Of The Day Awards Winner

Wow!!! Look what I found on my comments from yesterday. It was not a busy comment section day but I don't have many of those. I won the prestigious Blog of the Day award. Whoo Hooo. Was this a result of thousands of readers voting, is it a nationally acclaimed and recognized entity? Nah. At least I don't think so. I'm pretty clueless about these things. I ran into it on another blog. I think it was "Two Dolphins". Yeah, I went and checked, it is. Anyway I clicked on the button and went to the awards site. Looked interesting so I decided to nominate myself for an award. Now I have one. Thanks to whomever visited from the Blog of the Day Awards and thought so much of my meager efforts.

What do I do with this button? I'll just put it here. I am curious if this sends allot of traffic my way. Who knows. Just another step on our way to fame.

A digging day

3/20/07 Tuesday
Good morning. It looks like I’ll have to do most of my writing in the morning or it might not get done at all. All through the day I formulate things to write, often narrations to go with a picture I took. Then when the sun goes down and I come in for the night I can’t remember what I had come up with. Perhaps I should keep this laptop with me as I work so that when I take one of the many breaks I have during the day I can put down some of these thoughts. We can’t seem to find the digital recorders I had in Toledo. Hopefully we will find it in one of the boxes that have yet to be unpacked.

So what happened yesterday? I’ll go look at the pictures to see. Oh yeah, here it is, the great archeological dig as we learn more of the secrets this place holds. There was a piece of metal roofing that had been exposed during the windstorm that came while we were in Ohio. That’s not good and a trip hazard for any walking by so I decided to dig it up and remove it.

You never know what you will find when you dig out here. What is this? I see a hole and what looks like a big piece of wood. Could this be the septic tank that Charles Lewis said Rudy and his dad had dug by hand? I think it is, so I proceed carefully.

This thing is huge. I think a whole platoon could use this and not cause a problem. However there is an issue. This tank is covered with old steel roofing, which is rusted through in a few spots. I can picture the ground giving way and dumping some poor soul, probably me, into six feet of crap. It is not convenient and is certainly a lot of work but I must think long term here. The septic tank is a vital part of any house so it is wise to insure it’s integrity. So I will dig till it is all exposed, then I’ll have a better idea of what I need to do.

Here is a picture of the buds forming on the mulberry tree. It is aggressively coming to life. Love to watch this.

I wanted to note that oil drilling activity is dramatically apparent. Huge pieces of equipment are regularly moving down the road in front of our house. One of them was an oil derrick. There was a semi in front pulling it and another semi at the rear of the long drilling tower. That’s the one that caught my attention for it was facing the other way, running down the road backwards. The reason for this became apparent when they came to the intersection a quarter mile from the house. The truck in the rear helped swing the derrick around to make the corner. At night you can see the lights of the drilling rigs all over the plain. They will be at one spot for just a few weeks and then disappear. After that you see a gradual development of the site as they prepare to put in an oil pump along with the tanks and stuff that go with it. In addition they often put in a pipeline to one of the several storage tank junctions where tanker trucks steadily come to pick up their precious cargo.

That’s it for this morning. I’m gonna be digging and digging today. I’ll go like gang busters for a few minutes and then rest a short while before going back at it. At least that’s how I start out. It doesn’t take long for me to steady down to a pace I can handle though it doesn’t take much to get me breathing hard. That’s good for these old abused lungs. Haven’t smoked in two going on three years but the thirty five years of smoking before that I am sure did some damage.

Had a great sunset last night so I thought I would share it with you.

I don’t think this is going to work. I brought this laptop out with me with the thought of being able to write when something comes to mind. All during my day I think of ways to write about a particular moments, composing in my mind with the goal of helping y’all see with my eyes. Much of our life happenings will be boring as heck to some and certainly not as exciting as they can be for us. So how to convey this marvel of life Cherie and I enjoy so much? I think of many ways and by the time I get to this journal they are gone.

Maybe this will work. At first it was hard to see the screen in the full daylight but I brightened it up and at least can read this now. Anyway I just took a break. This is as far as I’ve gotten so far. I shovel at a steady (slow) pace and make it about five minutes before I sit down to catch my breath and let the heart rate go down. It’s been down for a while now so I’m gonna get back at it. There are clouds rolling over my head at a steady clip pushed by a fifteen or twenty mile wind. The weatherman said there was a chance of thunderstorms and certainly some rain the rest of the week. I need to bust butt on this septic tank, just have to be careful not to fall in.

This is how much I can get done before I must rest. Not much but little by little amazing things can be done. You know, it would cost good money to get this kind of a workout in a gym. I get to work out for free!!! Actually it pays. Can’t wait to see the corn come up. We have two flats of seeds we are starting. Nothing’s made it up yet but should soon. Gotta get the beds for them ready.

The wind is picking up and I need to get back to work again.

1:45 – I just came in. Had to for a bit. I usually run out of steam and need to lay down or take a nap around two in the afternoon. Sure I’m tired but I also have a headache coming up and laying down will ease the pain in my back. I took another pain pill a few minutes ago. Lately I take one in the morning with my other medicines. That’s pretty much the way the doctor wanted me to take them but I’ve been waiting till I hurt pretty badly before I take one. Now, with all the work I’m doing the pain level is up so I am grateful to have medication that helps me keep moving. Still worry about dependence on them.

4:37 – Finally, I’ve gotten the septic thing uncovered. Don’t know what to think, mostly because my knowledge of septic systems comes from television commercials. Doesn’t quite cover it here. I am half afraid to pull one of these tin roof sections up to see what is hiding underneath. I just came inside to go online and learn more about septic systems so took this moment to update the journal.
Moved allot of dirt on this one.

Learned about septic systems. Don’t like what I learned. Evidently they are only designed to last thirty years. They must be pumped out on a regular basis. I saw how septic systems are laid out. We have a hole in the ground. This may not be fun. There is already the predictable odor wafting from the many holes in the tin roofing so I am not looking forward to opening that monster up. Gotta do what I gotta do.
One of my favorite movies is “Cool Hand Luke”. I suppose that is partly because of the many jails I have had the dubious pleasure of residing in. If I recall right there is a scene where Paul Newman is told to dig a hole. After working on it all day he was told to fill it in. That pretty much sums up my day. I dug a hole and now must fill it up. Actually that is good news. My fear was someone could fall into the septic tank. Once I raised the tin roofing I could see there were railroad ties tightly set over the tank so that is pretty solid.

When I lifted the first piece I got quite a start. There was a four foot long snake that was surprised and slid between two railroad ties into whatever lies beneath. It was a pale yellow, so pale it was almost white. I have to wonder how it got down there, how long it’s been there, and what does it eat? I quickly put the piece of tin back. I went and got Cherie so she could take pictures of it when I pulled the tin roofing off. No snake to be found. Nuts, I was hoping to catch it.

Night all.