Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Go to pre trial today

9/30/09 Wednesday
The business plan writing seminar didn’t add to our knowledge much but it did let me know that the university takes an active role in helping people create them so that we will definitely make use of. They’re having a seminar next week on marketing but I asked if it was going to be at the same level (teaching wise) as this one and she said it would so we’ll skip that. This seminar was geared at a grade school level it seemed, just touched basics. I could teach the marketing class and then some.

Today I go to pre trial for the traffic ticket I got a month ago. I hope to talk to the prosecutor and get it dismissed because I wasn’t speeding and know the radar picked up someone on the interstate thirty feet over.

This morning I plan on getting back on the tractor and doing as much as I can before it gets hot. The ticks are back again so I’ll vacuum and spray the house first. Found one crawling up the wall and one on a sock I’d just gotten out of my drawer. Ears are ringing a bit but that happens a lot. Have a headache rising up as well so it’s another typical day. Will take some aspirin and get moving.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An uncomfortable moment

9/29/09 Tuesday
I’ve been out on the tractor all morning. Don’t think I mentioned it but I got the tractor running. After all the frustrating attempts to remove the starter and taking other parts off to try and figure out why it wouldn’t start I had a brainstorm. Kind of. “What if the starter works just fine?” I questioned myself after discovering one part wasn’t connected to anything at all and hadn’t been for years. There is a myriad of wires all hard to see and impossible to tell where they came from. So I took a piece of high voltage house wire and attached it to where the main cable came to the starter. Then I took the other end and Jammed it into the positive terminal of the battery. It worked. What you are looking at is my new starter switch. You can see the scars where I jam it into the battery terminal. It’s not pretty but it works. So I have a tractor I can use again.

I had an uncomfortable moment yesterday, something different for me. As many of you know I’ve been struggling with faith ever since I woke from the coma. This is not unusual for survivors of TBI, a common problem with brain injuries. It’s just been hard to believe in something I can’t put my hands on and touch. But over the years, as I seek God earnestly, this faith is being slowly restored. Oh, I still have a long way to go but I’ve come a long way. So I was going to put a comment on a friend’s blog and found myself hesitating to talk about God, to even mention the name. The thought came that I would be seen as one of those religious zealots who talk about God all the time. You know, the kind of person that folks want to avoid. This is strange because up until now I’ve upset a lot of people because I say what I think without worrying about what people think of me. Suddenly this is a problem? I live in a world where everyone (Alright, not “everyone” but lots of people) wants to conform, to fit in with the crowd, to be popular and accepted. I see compromise and hypocrisy all around me where folks actions don’t match what they say. And now I’m hesitant to talk about God? Then I remember reading where Jesus said that if I was ashamed of Him before men He would be ashamed of me before the Father. So am I becoming a religious zealot? I search for God every day. I seek the truth. Either God is or He isn’t. No in between. If God is then nothing else matters but what matters to Him. Like it says in the book of Revelations, “I would that you were either hot, or cold, but because you are lukewarm I will spew you out of My mouth”. That’ll sit you back and make you think.

So there’s a glimpse of the struggle within folks. Got to get gas for the tractor and pick up mail. This evening we go to UTPB and take a free class on writing business plans.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Working on the testimony

Click to enlarge

9/27/09 Sunday
We went to church and now we’re spending the rest of the day getting ready for tomorrow. Cherie ran to Midland to pick up some blank CD’s I can put pictures on for the testimony we’re giving tomorrow. I need to run out and start a fire to smoke some ribs on so be back.

I’m not to sure how that’s going to work out, considering I really don’t know what I’m doing and don’t remember the lessons learned from the last time I tried to smoke meat. But we’ll see. I think it turned out fine before.

So back to the testimony, There’s an open invitation to all of you readers of this blog. First Baptist of Midland is at the corner of Louisiana and Garfield. The fellowship hall is at the north side of the church. Lunch starts at 11:45 and only costs $5.00. If you want to skip lunch and just catch us we start talking at 12:30. It’s a fantastic story that we live every day. I am still amazed when I look up and see Cherie standing, or laying, next to me. Just blows me away. So come and see a living miracle.
The car I was killed in. Flung out the back window and declared dead at the scene

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reaching through clouds

This is a real rough day. It’s like reaching through a cloud and trying to grab something you can’t see. I have a headache too and that doesn’t help. I’ve gone out to work on the tractor a few times now but don’t get far. I tried to work on the business plan with the same result. I ran to town for mail and picked up a couple of burritos. Just sitting there listening to the people making the food was like being in a cloud where I had to struggle to follow the conversation. It’s frustrating to become so stupid, where simple things become hard. Hope it passes. Suppose it’s part of the brain injury. But I’ve been so much better. Don’t want to go backwards. Just want to fall asleep and wake up better. Hope dad’s ok.
I went out and took another piece off the tractor. Just couldn’t stand not doing anything. It was hard to reach and hard to see. As far as I could tell it was a central part in the electrical maze/system that I was certain I saw wires leading from it to the starter. After finally getting it off I discovered there were no wires connected to it at all, at least not any more. That there had once been is certain but in the years of southern engineering this tractor has gone through since then it had long since been bypassed. Another moment of frustration as I reach through clouds. I put my tools up. I had left them out in the rain so they were getting rusty. One good thing about working indoors on the business plan is that I haven’t needed to take any pain pills for days. But I hurt now. It’s not hot out but I seem to be getting sweaty and warm, then cold.

Strange day, Dad's not doing well

9/25/09 Friday
Strange day, lots on my mind. My dad isn’t doing well. Physically he has stabilized but the doctors put him on anti depressants because of the deep sadness that has come over him. My sister said that he doesn’t always make sense and is hard to talk to. I emailed her and asked if I can come down and try to cheer him up. Considering that I am probably a source of his sadness that might or might not be good. So I will plod on out here. Work on this, work on that, and think.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In search of God

9/24/09 Thursday
I went out to work on the tractor but it’s raining. It isn’t supposed to rain. This means I work on the business plan. Whether it’s a painful toe or now this rain it seems that I am constrained to focus on this and my writing. I have a big problem with people who interpret every little thing as a sign from God, who spiritualize everything. In doing so they often go down wrong paths. For me, I continue to seek God. This morning I read Ezekiel 16 for my morning bible reading. Ezekiel is a graphic book to say the least. The chapter is a prophesy to Jerusalem and in it I see parallels to my own life. In Jerusalem’s youth she followed the ways of God and then, after growing older and wealthier she became the “harlot” and chased after all the world. But in the end God restored her, and did so because of the promise He had made in her youth. Atonement was the word used in the last verse, atonement provided by the Lord. And Jerusalem was ashamed because of her past. These things I can relate to. I was a minister, a pastor, and I turned back to my old ways only was worse because I was successful and had the means. So now I am ashamed and pay a price for those life choices. When I went to pray my dogs both came to me longing for pets, licking my face and putting their heads under my hands. In this I see how I long for God too. I pray and plead for His touch but am uncertain if God is there. But I will continue to seek Him no matter what my rational mind says. And things continue to come together in a way rationality can’t explain. Yesterday a stranger gave us a $160.00 check. I haven’t met him, the check was delivered by someone else we know from church. We don’t ask for money or advertise but when things get tight or there is a need funds appear or the need is met. This came when we needed it, out of the blue and without warning. It reinforces in my mind that God has a plan for us, a specific plan and path He mapped out long ago. And He is guiding us on that path despite my ignorance and doubts. So it’s muddy and rainy out thus I will work on the business plan and write instead of working outside.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cherie and I will be telling our story

9/23/09 Wednesday
Today I’ll be working outside, mostly getting things cleaned up for when friends come over to fix the wall. The big toe doesn’t hurt as bad so that helps. Still don’t have a clue what that’s about. Someone on Facebook suggested it might be gout. I’ve heard the word but have no idea what it is and don’t care to look it up right now. Too much to do as always. I’m dizzy and having a hard time deciding what to do outside, and my ears are ringing more than usual. Not unusual. I made some progress on the business outline. Can’t really call it a plan at this level so outline is more accurate. I’m going to try and attend a business plan writing seminar at UTPB. Someone on Facebook sent me the info after reading my entry there. I’m not sure what the “T” stands for but it’s University xxx Permian Basin I think.

I’m kind of slow this morning. Hope it clears up. Regardless I’m pushing through. By the way, on September 28 Cherie and I will be telling our story at a prayer luncheon held at the Midland First Baptist Church. We’d like to invite all of you to come. There will be photographs displayed during the presentation to help illustrate the miracle of our life and what we’ve been through in order to get here. They will serve lunch at 11:45 and it only costs $5.00. If you plan to come leave a comment or drop me an email at That will help them make sure there is enough food in case a thousand of y’all decide to show up. Cherie and I will begin giving our testimony at 12:30 so you could wait till then to show up if you want. It’s a powerful story folks, a wonderful testimony of God’s mercy, grace, and love that shows how He can raise a man and marriage from the dead and restore life. This will be the first time we have done this and we are looking forward to it. Another ministry recently asked us to share our story also. So maybe it’s time for that. But you are all welcome to come. It will be in the fellowship hall on the north side of the church. Email if you need more info or directions.
It’s a struggle. Hard to concentrate. We were woken at 4:30 by coyotes howling and I went out to make sure Ben and Gretchen didn’t go out and become victims of them. Never made it back to sleep. I’m frustrated by how hard it is to do something simple like clean and sweep the veranda. My thoughts are going everywhere but here. Came in to get something to drink. Didn’t want to do that for fear I wouldn’t get back out to work. It’s seemed like something has been fighting my every move for weeks now. If it’s not one obstacle it’s another. What I want to do I don’t and what I don’t want to do I do. Is it a spiritual thing? That’s another area I struggle with, my rational mind against that which is irrational. So I pray for answers. Always. Some of this is remnants of the brain injury making themselves known. I’ve come so far. There was a time where everything was confusion and deciding to go to the bathroom was a task. Hope this passes soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm not going to answer the door

9/22/09 Tuesday
It’s cold. The first day of fall came in with a chill wind and a dramatic drop in temperature. Yesterday it got to 94 degrees and last night dropped to 45. Today’s high will only get up to 64 or so. I’ll need to dig out the electric space heaters now. Fall is only a couple of months long before winter comes so it’s time to prepare. I was going to remove the wood stove in order to make room for those who were going to repair where our wall burned two years ago but am glad I didn’t get to it now. It doesn’t look like that will happen and that I’ll be needing to fire it up to heat the house before too long. I do need to locate more firewood if I can. There was a place that had piles of it from where trees had been cleared but every time I stopped by no one was home. I left notes but got no reply and now the wood is all gone.

My toe is still painful, making walking a chore. Don’t have a clue what caused it, just hurts down in the bone or joint real bad. If it’s not better in a few days I probably should go see the doctor at the VA hospital. But this is causing me to concentrate on the writing I need to do so that’s good. I’m starting my days out with prayer and reading the bible now as I continue to seek God. There is such a conflict inside when it comes to that.

I need to run to Midland today and plan on getting Cherie’s truck while there. With it I can transport a big box of old video tapes to a friends house so he can pick out whatever is there he might want. Then I need to get a load of horse manure from the old man. That will be tough with this bad toe but needs to be done. I never planted any fall crops. Just gave up on that after learning how bad the water is. But despite that I’m still collecting manure to condition the soil. Why? Hell, I don’t know. I refuse to give up but lost my enthusiasm. That makes it hard to keep going. Now the tractor won’t start and there’s a lot of work it needs to do. Sounds like depression is knocking at the door but I’m not going to answer it. Once you let depression in it’s hard to get rid of. That’s a fight I’ve been battling for years now.

Got to go.
I had to get a flannel shirt out and put it on as it’s getting chilly. All the animals are on the bed with me so that makes things cozy and warm. If I can get one of them to lay across my feet it would be perfect. I heated up the last cup of coffee but that didn’t last long. By the way folks, Rascal is recovering well from his leap out of the truck. He had us worried for days as he wouldn’t get up or go anywhere but once he started going outside he picked right up. Poor Trixie was depressed and lonely till then as her brother is her main play (and fight) partner but she sure perked up when Rascal started going out. The bond between Rascal and I is deep so it perked me up too. Nate’s (Cherie’s nephew) dog, Maple, is in bad shape and may need to be put down. It’s a hard thing and hard on Nate as well. I can sure feel for him on that. I’ve had several dogs in my life that have passed on due to old age or other causes so it doesn’t hit me quite as hard now, though it still “hits”, but this is Nate’s first dog. I hope Maple pulls through Nate, Ok? Will pray for her, best I can do from here.

So it’s back to business plan work.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Someone stole our melons

9/20/09 Sunday
I woke up with my left big toe hurting real bad. Can’t remember hitting it on anything, the only thing I can remember is stepping on stickers. Cherie said it looked swollen. I am no longer taking the seizure medicine and can’t detect a difference. I still have periods of ringing ears and lightheadedness and at times have a harder time forming my thoughts. But that’s no different than when I took the medicine. However I feel like I’m more clearheaded in my thinking, not doped up. Wish I could figure out this toe. Makes walking real painful. Is this God’s way of making me stay in and work on the business plan? Doubtful. It seems that everything I want to do is blocked by something, that there is always a distraction or obstacle in the way.

Last week Cherie said she thought she heard voices outside at around 11:30 at night but I was sleeping so she didn’t want to wake me. I wish she had now. Seems that someone stole every cantaloupe and melon we had, both ripe and unripe. They just cleaned it out. We hear the dogs bark all the time and are so used to it we ignore them. Plus they aren’t the type that will attack anyone. I got Cherie’s gun out and cleaned it up to see if it would work any better. No. It still jams up. But at least you can get one shot off. Cherie is unable to jack the slide back so I now leave it ready to fire with the safety on despite my training that this is wrong. It doesn’t do any good if she can’t fire it and the whole idea is for her to be able to protect herself out here in the country. Having people sneak on the property and steal doesn’t sit well. Eventually we need to invest in a gun that works. A shotgun would be nice, something small that Cherie can operate.

That’s it for now.
I took the trash to the landfill and picked up mail. After that I ran to the courthouse, turned in the jury summons paperwork, and explained to the judge that I had to appear in Midland court for a traffic ticket on the same day I was to appear for jury duty so he excused me. Then I picked up a hamburger at the drug store and came home. The toe is killing me for certain, but despite that I figured I’d climb on the tractor and disc under some weeds. Not going to happen, at least not now. The battery was too weak to start the tractor and even after I put jumper cables on it from my truck it still won’t start. Some would say things like this are the devil trying to stop you or even God. Beats me. I just know that I want to work and can’t seem to. But I do need to focus on the business writing. There’s an urgency there that I shouldn’t ignore. Just having my foot down makes the toe pound so I am laying back in bed with it up. The pain pills don’t seem to be doing much at all. I left the truck running to charge up the tractor battery so will go see if that’s helped any.
It looks like the starter has gone bad. It doesn’t even click now. Hope starters for 1959 Massey Ferguson tractors aren’t too hard to find or too expensive. So I’m in for the day. I have lots of writing to do. Ron encouraged me to get to work on my book, mentioning that memories fade with time. Strangely enough my memories seem to be coming alive. The REO concert brought back a whole lot of them. They started out at the University of Illinois in Champaign during the early seventies and mentioned that several times. That’s when I was stationed at Rantoul AFB in Illinois during my training. We would all go to Champaign on the weekends to party. I don’t remember seeing REO but I did see Foghat in concert there. Those days were a self induced haze as I did every drug I could get my hands on in addition to drinking like a fish. In fact I would buy LSD made by one of the university lab students in Champaign. There are some stories from that time for sure.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's back to work time

9/18/09 Friday
After totally removing the wiring harness from the rear of Cherie’s truck and going through everything several times I discovered that the light bulb began to work after I wiggled it in the socket. It wasn’t a moment of over joyous elation. By then it was getting dark and I was done working on anything so I put everything back together and went inside to eat the pizza Cherie had heated up earlier. The brake light still doesn’t work on that side but at least the turn signal does, or at least it did when Cherie left for work this morning. I can run a company, or at least did and think I still can, but fixing a light on a truck was a chore.

Spent a lot of time this morning digging up some pictures I had taken of my friend Allen’s legs when he blew himself up in a professional fireworks accident four or so years ago. He’s the one who suffers chronic pain is one of hundreds of those who’s doctors have been run out of town by overzealous DEA agents who have been harassing them because they dared prescribe pain medications for those who actually need them. They seem to think that any doctor who prescribes pain medications is a criminal and even followed Allen’s doctor’s family around in marked cars riding their bumpers to intimidate them. For months they did this on top of search warrants and contacting all of the pharmacies and hospitals he was related to. So Allen is desperately searching for another doctor and can use the pictures to verify his injuries. I talked to Suzie a couple of weeks ago and she told me that many doctors have been fired because of this and that the whole area is in turmoil.

I suppose I should eat. Tried fasting yesterday but it didn’t work well. I can do the praying part of it but get pretty lightheaded when I don’t eat. Kind of lightheaded now. It’s going to be a busy day. I need to see the VA guy this afternoon so will run by there when I go to Midland to poop scoop. Then it’s pea picking time. Money is real tight as our car insurance is due. I think we pay it twice a year or quarterly, don’t know but it’s a chunk. Plus we spent some when Ron and Paula were in town so that crimped the budget some. So we’ll pick peas for the farmer’s market and that will help. Cherie’s going to help me pick some when she gets off work. It hurts her to do so but she’s like me and won’t let a little pain stop her. I like the fact that I can earn the money. It always bothers me when some we know assume that we are asking for a handout whenever we call or email them. It reveals a perception or judgment of us. Once someone develops that perception it colors or stains every contact they have with the other individual. There doesn’t seem to be much I can do to change that. I just hate to be seen as a mooch.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our friends are gone

9/17/09 Thursday
Our friends are gone now. It was with great sadness I saw them off at the airport. But it was sadness mixed with joy. There is so much to say. I’m starting a private journal where I can record thoughts that won’t be shared with the world. Been needing to do this for a while.

Ron Charles was Cherie’s Sunday school teacher so that’s where the connection began. Many of you know the story of how Cherie and I met and fell in love at Christ for the Nations Bible Institute, for those who don’t follow the “Love Story” link on the right. Ron was in our wedding, that would be our first wedding. I had the privilege of being a founding member of the church he built. He would take me out street witnessing to the drug addicts and prostitutes in downtown Toledo. Pretty much the real deal, nothing fake about Ron then or now. So we built a church that’s still there now, New Life Assembly, in Oregon, Ohio. Ron was there as our marriage was torn apart by forces we could not control. It ripped his heart out as bad as it did ours. There was so much pain and heartache during that time, so much. So Cherie left town and I left God. Now, over twenty years later, things are being restored in ways I could never have imagined. These last three days are another chapter in that restoration. Hearing the things Ron is doing for the Lord, the sacrifices he makes along with his wife Paula as they minister to Muslim’s who have converted to Christianity is helping to restore my faith in the God I once served. That is the last and largest restoration that needs to be completed.

I am tired now so will rest.
I’ve been working on Cherie’s truck all day now. Her turn signal and the brake light on the passenger side quit working when Ron and Paula came but we were too busy with them for me to fix it. Well fixing it isn’t coming easy. The light bulbs all work just fine so something else is wrong. I’ve pulled the wires loose and tested them with the ohm meter but don’t understand how to interpret the readings. Then I found a light bulb that was burned out in the front and hoped that was the source of the problem. Nope, not going to happen. Then I thought that perhaps the trailer lights plug I’d hooked up was the cause so I cut it off. I had the lights on when I did it and all the lights on the passenger side turned off, the ones in the back. The front lights still work. So I’m stumped. I came in, fixed a piece of bread with peanut butter and honey on it and laid down to think. I hadn’t eaten lunch before thinking of fasting as I sought God but wasn’t doing too hot as it was so ate. Now that I’ve sat back for a bit I’ll go work on the lights again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Too much to do

9/14/09 Monday
Ron and Paula’s flight is scheduled to arrive at 1:45 today. We are too embarrassed about the condition of the house to have them over but have been cleaning anyway. We’ve had lots of rain over the last few days. Always welcome. That’s it. Too much to do to write.

Ron and Paula will be here tomorrow

9/13/09 Sunday
Ron and Paula are arriving tomorrow so it’s panic to get ready time. Paula is allergic to cats so hopefully won’t want to come in the house. This is hard on Cherie as she is embarrassed about how not picked up things are. I guess this is normal for most women, to worry about things like that. I don’t have any room to talk because I’m cleaning things up outside too. Been having more slowdowns. It seems that about a half hour after I take my seizure meds I get the dizzy disorientated feelings that come with a slowdown so have to wonder if it’s the meds themselves. I’m just about weaned from them so this will be my last day.

It’s cool enough that I had to wear a long sleeve shirt. Winter’s on the way and fall is here. I haven’t gathered enough firewood for the winter yet so that needs to be raised up on my agenda. My pain level is pretty high right now, partly because of picking peas for the market. After the farmer’s market we went to the Southwest Museum’s art festival. It was nice to find a taste of what we were used to back in Ohio. Walking and standing for the two or three hours we were there was hard on me too and adds to the pain level today. I’m still a little slow, thick headed is a way I put it when like this.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11, Satanic religion, cocaine

Storms coming and already here. This picture of yesterday's rains sure fits this post.

9/11/09 Friday
This date requires an acknowledgement of the attack on our country and our beliefs. So I bow in respect of those who died and are now dying in our battle against Islamic extremists. With that said I must express my thoughts on them. Islam is a religion of hate and intolerance, period. Even in it’s “mild” forms the foundation, the teachings in it’s Quran advocate death to all who disapprove and do not submit to it. Deceit is also a tenet of this religion and one of the attributes proudly espoused about allah is that he is “The great deceiver”. All forms of Islam publicly and openly advocate taking over the world for their religion. But they often put on a face for the world to see of peace and love and hide the truth. Except the extremists, who openly hate and kill even each other. It boggles my mind at how the world closes their eyes and refuses to see what is openly right in front of them and chooses to believe lies. It is scary to see how countries are easily bought and manipulated like foolish children by Islamic countries that control so much oil. It’s like a heroin addict who will do anything for his drugs.

Islam is satanic. It is a psychotic deranged religion that fosters mental illness as it’s converts (it’s the fastest growing religion in the world) delve deeper into it. In this case mental illness is a communicable disease spreading from one to another. Fact is that just by saying this I am to be killed, would be under a death sentence from the extremists. Fear is one of their weapons and it seems that the leaders of the world tremble. The best way to fight this isn’t with guns, though that is necessary, but with the truth to expose the lies it teaches to all who listen. Fight hate with the love of Jesus Christ.

So with that said, it’s a pea picking day. There’s rain coming this afternoon and it’s forecast to rain tomorrow. The forty pounds of peas I picked Sunday are now rotted. Twenty of them were for someone who ordered them online. He said he had to take his wife to the hospital so perhaps that’s why he didn’t keep his word. It didn’t set well with me regardless for picking the peas was the course that led to Rascal’s getting hurt so bad. He’s surviving but in great pain. Plus picking peas is painful for me and I picked them specifically for this guy. But pain is a part of my life and something I refuse to let stop me, though it certainly can slow me down. So I’m heading out now to pick peas for we have bills to pay. Hope the market does well tomorrow morning despite the chance of rain. Let me encourage you to come, not just for my blackeyed peas but for all the other great stuff you can find there. It’s at downtown Midland on the corner of Texas and Marienfield. The market starts at 9:00 and runs to 1:00. Get there early if you can cause I usually sell out quickly.

I talked to Suzie yesterday. For those of you who may not know Suzie is Eileen, my former secretary’s daughter. Eileen was murdered last year. She was the closest friend I had and her family is like my family. I do the best I can for them though being fifteen hundred miles away makes that hard. Suzie told me that her brother, Bobby, is doing cocaine. How I wish I was there to knock some sense into him. Bobby is an alcoholic to start with and has three kids. The alcoholism already made life miserable for the entire family and his wife has joined him in it so it was a sad sad situation to start with. Just tears your heart out to watch.

Now there’s cocaine. Who knows how long this has been going on but it doesn’t matter. They constantly have the electricity and other utilities being turned off due to non payment of the bills and often don’t have food on the table for these young children. The only way Bobby can be supporting his drug and alcohol addictions is through criminal activity. How I wish I was there. Suzie hasn’t done what she needs to in order to collect her mother’s life insurance. I don’t want it to sound as a put down but Suzie doesn’t have the mental or emotional capability to do so. She can’t read and can’t handle the emotions created by bringing this up. Her ability to deal with others is worse than mine was immediately after my brain injury so sometimes has difficulty even mailing a package at the post office. My hope is to be able to afford to go there around thanksgiving when we get the CRP check and help them work through that. Talking to Bobby will be tough and I probably won’t get through to him, but I have to try. Maybe he will try to get help for the sake of his kids.

It’s already 1:00, or at least will be in twelve minutes. It took me a good part of the morning to finish writing and posting the blog along with facebook, email, and other internet stuff. With the power jack on this laptop being well worn it slips out easily. Because the battery no longer works at all that means it shuts the whole computer down and I lose anything I was working on. That happened this morning and doesn’t take long for it to get old. So that slowed things down. I get done and head outside to pick peas only to find that it’s raining. Then, to top it off, I’m having a slowdown. Seems that the cycle of slowdowns is on the upswing now. That’s how it goes. I’ll go for a while with none and a gratefully sharp mind and then it’s a series of these events. It will probably last for a week or two. There doesn’t seem to be a change based on my reducing the medication but we are carefully watching.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Will Dad die before we talk? It's close.

My father, holding me

9/10/09 Thursday
I got a letter from my sister last night. Dad has pneumonia, this time in the other lung from the one he had it in last time. Really not good. He is already incredibly weak and has been bedridden for some time now from the last bout with pneumonia and then the chemotherapy. It is hard. After thirty years we finally are starting to talk. Well we had one short conversation on the phone. But there is hope of restoring the relationship between a father and son and the real possibility exists he may die in the next few days before this can happen. So pray. You know I am for sure.

There’s not much else important to me right now. We’ve had lots of rain and there is more on the way so that should help clean the soil. I might put some seeds out, I might not. Weeds I’ll chop for sure. Today I must run to Midland and drop off some stuff to the Texas Veteran’s guy for our dispute with the VA. There was something else I need to do while in town but can’t remember right now. Oh yeah, I must get canned dog food that I can mix Rascal’s medicine in.

I’ve been thinking on things of God a lot lately. Reading the old testament about the history of Israel and their constant need to separate themselves from the evils that surrounded them. How they would let the habits and practices of the people around them creep in and become a part of their lives. This would always lead to a separation from God and to destruction. There are some really not pretty pictures there.

So I will work and meditate today. Think on these things as I chop down weeds.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Anger, corruption, cancer, death

I haven’t picked peas or worked on the business plan. Instead I’ve been researching Dr. Burzynski, who’s breakthrough cancer treatments have been severely squashed by our very corrupt FDA. I heard about him on GLC’s housecall program featuring Dr. Scott. Because my father is dying of brain cancer and that the chemotherapy is so devastating I latched on to their mention of this treatment. What an incredible story I found of the greed and heartlessness of the mega corporations who make billions in the treatment of cancers, and have placed their people in key positions of the government. Thus they have literally sent children to their death by denying, no forbidding under penalty of the law, them treatment from Dr. Burzynski. Folks, this is OUR country, the FDA and other government agencies ostensibly work for us. Obama and congress say they are fixing health care but choose to be blithely unaware of these activities by those who are immune from criminal prosecution. God this makes me mad as I learn of these things. Please check this out and if you can make it as public as you can. It is through publicity and our voice/vote that these things can be changed. When you shine a light and expose darkness the rats run for cover. Here’s Dr. Burznski’s site

Here’s just one of the many testimonies of this issue.
I encourage you to look into this as deep as you can, especially if you know someone battling cancer. one will break your heart

More links

Another short post

9/9/09 Wednesday
Fixed the power supply. It was another short in the cord. One less thing to worry about. We had more rain yesterday and it looks like there is some coming around Saturday as well. That’s good of course. I sure wish we had it set up to capture the rain water but like everything that will have to wait on funds. Speaking of that our money is real low again so I’m planning on picking peas and setting up a roadside stand in Midland to sell them. I’ll need to go to the FSA office and look up who the farmer is that has the fresh peas near us to get permission to pick them first.

The weather is cooling off as fall arrives. I never planted fall crops, just lost my enthusiasm after learning of the water being bad. Besides that I haven’t been keeping up well, probably due to fighting depression. But at least I made progress on the business plan synopsis. I’ll focus on that today again though I need to take a pain pill and pick peas so we can pay some bills. Sure wish it didn’t hurt so much to pick them but that’s the way it is. It’s another short post so bye.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rascal's gonna be fine

The doc says we got lucky with Rascal. No doubt in my mind about that. He doesn’t have any internal injuries, mostly some badly torn skin. The worst spot is near his anus. Pardon the vulgarity but Rascal pretty much tore himself a new A—hole. That part is where any potential danger lies because of it’s proximity to the fecal matter he defecates. Because of that the chance of infection is high. So we have antibiotics and some stuff to clean the wounds with, along with a hefty vet bill. To bad the guy who ordered the blackeyed peas that Rascal jumped out of the truck after I got done picking, didn't buy them. Sure could have used the extra money. She had to totally knock Rascal out in order to inspect and clean the wounds. He evidently hit the dirt road ass first and dug up some dirt in the process. Doc had to make an incision there so the pocket created can drain. But, other than being sore and stiff, he’s ok.

It looks like rain outside. Sounds like it too with lots of thunder. I went out to check and if we’re lucky one of the storms will make it over this farm. We had rain a couple of days ago too. This will help me a lot when it comes to fighting the sticker grass and weeds. “How so?” You might ask. Well, strangely enough I want the weeds to grow and the millions of seeds they have made to germinate. Once they get going I can disc them under, ideally before they make new seeds. If I can do this a couple of times I’ll have a big start on getting rid of the sticker grass. If the funds are available I’ll try to put in seven hundred or so pounds of grain rye before winter gets here. This will go a long way in competing with the weeds and also for enhancing the quality of the soil.

It rained. I’m slowing down pretty hard right now. It’s 6:07. Trying to formulate these sentences is a challenge.

This poor old laptop is giving me fits again. It totally died while I was typing the previous paragraph. Kind of like it did when I lost the motherboard. Fortunately when I plugged it in to Cherie’s power supply it works so evidently mine is at fault. I’ve repaired the cord in three places where the cats or dogs chewed it. So far I’ve replaced the hard drive, LCD screen, and now the motherboard. The case is bent, the latches no longer work on the top, and the finish has worn through where my hands rest on it. Oh, and the batteries been dead for a year now. It’s had a hard four plus years but keeps going, with a lot of maintenance. It scared me when it shut down. I lost about an hours worth of writing on the business plan but was able to recover most of it.

Cherie’s having one of those days at work and called me to say she didn’t know when she would get home so find something to eat in the fridge. Tuesday’s are always her hard days as that’s when she must get the church newsletter or bulletin out. Not sure what to call it. I’m sure the labor day holiday didn’t help.

Hope I clear up. Don’t have too many slowdowns these days so this one is more frustrating because of that. Got a headache coming on as I write. All part of the picture. So that’s it. Going to grab a bite to eat and lay down, after I pet Rascal some.

Taking Rascal to the vet

9/8/09 Tuesday
I’m taking Rascal to the vet at noon today. He’s not eating or drinking and can barely get up. Not good and we are worried for sure. I’m working on getting speaking engagements for my friend, Dr. Ron Charles, while he’s here to appear on the GLC Christian television network. He will be speaking at the Community Prayer and Share luncheon at 11:30 in the Red Sun Restaurant, 3001 John Ben Shepperd Parkway in Odessa. This will be on September 16th, which is a Wednesday. We will have a reception for him at a friend from church’s house Tuesday night. If you would like information on Ron and his ministry drop me an email at

So this is a short post. Still working on the business plan thing. It’s not really a full plan but a sort of synopsis of what can be. I’ll have to run to the landfill this morning and get rid of our trash. It’s a shame Rascal can’t go as this is one of his favorite things to do.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Had a scare

9/7/09 Monday
It’s labor day. Doesn’t mean anything to me other than the landfill and post office are closed. But Cherie does have the day off so that’s always nice. It gives her a chance to catch up on housework and stuff in the office.

We had a scare yesterday. Someone sent me an email asking for twenty pounds of blackeyed peas so I took Rascal and Trixie when I went to pick them. I’m getting peas from a different field so we had to drive to get there. On the way back we passed the Mennonite’s house that’s on the corner of our property and their dogs started running alongside the truck barking. This kind of thing always get Rascal and Trixie riled up and they go spastic barking out the truck window. I usually only roll the window down about four inches because they once broke the side mirror as they strained and bounced to reach whatever creature got them going. But this time I rolled it down a little more, not all the way, about twelve inches. Knowing the Mennonites dogs would be out there I was driving fast. Rascal jumped out the window in his enthusiasm. I’m guessing I was moving forty miles an hour or more. Suddenly he wasn’t there. I slammed on the brakes, sliding to a stop on the dirt road, and heard him yelping in pain. It was dark as I’d picked peas till I couldn’t see them anymore so I didn’t dare back up for fear of running him over. Jumping out I ran to where he was struggling to move in his pain. The other dogs ran away when they saw me coming. I picked Rascal up carefully and carried him back to the truck.

He’s skinned up pretty bad with several places where the skin was peeled back and the flesh underneath torn as well. Rascal has cuts around one eye too. What we’re worried about is possible internal injuries or broken bones. He has a hard time walking and one rear leg obviously hurts more than the others. We put him on the bed so he could be comfortable and close to me, consequently there are blood stains all over the bedspread. That’s not important to us compared to our concern for Rascal’s health. This morning he’s obviously stiff. He drank some water and pooped, which are both good signs despite the fact that he pooped in the house instead of outside. So we’re keeping an eye on him. There’s really no money to spare for a vet visit unless it’s urgent so we’ll watch and hope he’s ok. I’m pretty sure he’ll be fine, just pretty sore for a few days.

I talked to Robin yesterday after talking with my dad. She assured me that he didn’t think the only reason I was reaching out to him was for money and explained that he’s been deeply depressed for a week. That’s perfectly understandable all things considered. The chemotherapy shrunk his cancer but didn’t get rid of it and now he’s too weak to take any more treatments, at least for a while. Then there’s being bedridden, unable to eat real food, and not having your friends around. That by itself is demoralizing. But facing the real possibility of imminent death is the real demoralizer and the kind of thing that generates all kinds of thoughts. These are times most, or perhaps just many, people review their lives, think of their successes and failures. I let Robin know that anytime he wants or anytime she deems appropriate I can be there in a matter of hours. If I could I’d stay at his side every day. There’s nothing here that can’t be put off or delayed. It’s not like I’d lose my job or anything. I’m not worried about the cost of being there because our needs are always met, God is faithful even when I’m not, and has provided for us at every turn.

I ordered two of the old Jackie Gleason Honeymooner’s DVD’s, that I’ve been wanting to get for dad, yesterday. He should be getting them in a week. Of the good memories I can find of my childhood dad’s laughter as he watched these old shows stands out. So this should help his spirits during this time of turmoil. Picking the peas and selling them at the farmer’s market provided the funds for that.
It sure hurts a lot to pick the peas but that just makes it more valuable in my mind, makes it something earned and paid for with a price. Easy money is often bad money and brings more harm than good. I’ve seen it happen so many times in so many lives of people I’ve personally known over the last thirty years that there’s no question about it to me. Like it says in 1rst Timothy 6.6 - But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

It happened!!!

9/6/09 Sunday
It happened, my dad called. It was right after Sunday school had ended and I was talking to Al about our well water. The phone rang and I handed it to Cherie to answer. When she told me it was Robin and she was with dad I let Al know that I had to take this. Robin asked if this was a good time and of course it was so she put Dad on. The first thing I said was “Hi Dad, How are you?”. Dumb question to ask a man with cancer. Dad’s voice was hard to understand, for one reason was that he’s had to use a feeding tube because of difficulty swallowing. The conversation didn’t last long as I am sure dad is weak and speaking was difficult, but it was good. Dad repeatedly said “We haven’t forgotten about you” and then said “I’m going to take care of you”. This puzzles me. I told dad that I was doing fine and didn’t need to be taken care of. As Cherie and I think about this I think he might have been referring to his will or financial aid. I told dad that I just wanted to get to know him and that what was important to me along with his health. It would bother me for him to think my concern or motivation in reaching out was financial, it would bother me a lot. If that’s the case I have to wonder where that thought came from. I know I worry too much but it’s been thirty years. During that time my dad’s sources of information about me were not favorable so who knows what picture he’s developed of who I am. But regardless, dad called. If we are given the time all misconceptions can be corrected but till then I will take joy in whatever contact we have.

So pray for us.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I'm a pea picking fool

9/5/09 Saturday
I won’t know till we get to the market and start weighing them but I think I may have as much as 150 pounds of blackeyed peas. They came with a cost. The peas next door are about played out and it took forever just to find twenty pounds of them so I went to the farmer’s field that is on the other side of our farm. We met him once before but don’t remember his name, nor do we know how to get a hold of him, so I wasn’t able to get permission to pick. But we know that these farmers aren’t allowed to sell the peas and that generally they allow folks to pick what they want so after much deliberation I decided to go ahead and pick out of his field, hoping I wouldn’t cause offense. The peas are much younger and having been planted later had missed a lot of the July rains so each plant was only twelve inches high, but they were loaded with peas.

I picked yesterday afternoon till about 3:30 when I needed to head into Midland to poop scoop, do my laundry, and hoped to visit my friend. That didn’t work out. I actually didn’t get to Midland till after 4:00, much later than I planed. I took some cantaloupe and peas for Janie as well as her neighbors, who have done a lot for us. They are the ones who rented a trencher and bought the pipe and faucets that are now the integral part of my garden, enabling me to get water to the plants. We visited for a while as they inquired as to how things were going. Cherie called at 5:00 when she got off work. We decided to meet for dinner and went to Logan’s steakhouse. I realized that it gets dark sooner now that winter is approaching and wouldn’t be able to visit my friend and still have time to pick the peas needed for the market so we hurried through our dinner. I called Don and spoke to his wife to let them know I wouldn’t be able to make it. Didn’t feel great about that. And after hitting Walfart, where I bought eggs and picked up some extra bags to package peas in, raced home.

Then it was back to peas and that was a race too as I watched the sun get lower and lower. I took my fisherman’s headlight with me so I could pick after dark. One of the things I learned in prison back in 1975 was how to work through pain. If you do a search of the blog with the word “prison” you should find a description of that. I was nineteen and was in real bad shape having lived on the streets for a while so the hard Texas prison labor was quite a shock to my system. I’ll try and look that up later but have a market to get ready for. In it you can read how there was blood running down the handle of the hoe I was using in a line of about twenty inmates that came from blister that had burst and then what was left of my skin literally wore through as I worked without gloves. Point is bending down to ground level and up to twelve inches high picking peas was excruciating on this back that was broken and damaged multiple times, but I had peas to pick. Could barely walk when I got home. This morning is rough as I expected it to be but I can take a pain pill. I won’t take them after 7:00 at night no matter what cause they keep me awake.

That’s it for now. Have to get things loaded for the market. By the way, my dad didn’t call yesterday. If he was released from the hospital and able to go back to Georgetown he could well have not been up to calling anyone. I waited for the phone to ring all day but when it did it was always someone else. That’s ok, he’s willing to call so when dad’s up to it he will.

Friday, September 04, 2009

From depression to elation

9/4/09 Friday
It’s the roller coaster of my life, going from depression to elation. First there was the good news that the poisonous build up of chlorides and salts in the soil isn’t permanent as I feared for it can wash out with some good rains. That is a big relief. But this is nothing compared to my next bit of good news. I got an email from my sister last night. She told me that my dad received the card I sent well and when he talked of writing me back she suggested he call and talk to me. He agreed!!! Folks this is a big big step forward in the renewal of our relationship, the restoration between a father and son whom had not talked in decades. He’s to call today. There’s a chance he will be released from the hospital today as well, which I assume means the infection is under control. Robin, my sister, said they will try to find a place in Georgetown, where dad lives, to place him. He needs constant medical care and is currently bedridden so going to his home isn’t an option currently. But this way he can be close to his friends and of course his wife. This goes a long way to helping keep ones spirits up and maintaining a positive attitude is a key to healing.

So pray folks that when he calls the conversation goes well. Mostly that I can be wise and controlled in what I say for that is the problem, my mouth. I am better at the social skills needed to get along but still have tendencies to express myself without thinking it through. But this is huge to us, a milestone that has taken decades, and life threatening illness, to happen.

So nothing else matters in comparison. My fight to build this farm goes on but in that regard there is another potentially major milestone that has showed up. I learned, through the Organic Consumers Association, about a USDA program that is tied to the Obama stimulus package. A letter dated August 26 put out by the deputy secretary of Agriculture outlines the details of this grant/loan Rural Development program. It fits exactly into the plans I have for this place and makes available millions of dollars to accomplish these goals. There’s even grants available to study and create business plans and qualify for the other grants and guaranteed loans available. The money is sitting there waiting to be properly asked for. My goal has been to first attract some who would help me put this together. This document I think will go a long way in encouraging some to do that, to join me in this wonderful business venture by providing the comfort and safety that comes with the government guaranteeing 80% of up to five million dollar loans, along with grants that don’t have to be paid back. So it’s get off my butt time and focus on this. I’ve been consuming tons of time exhausting myself fighting weeds, building beds, and picking peas to pay for small needs like new boots and at the ends of the day didn’t have any energy left to work on the business plan. So I need to focus.

However I’ll be picking peas all day in preparation for tomorrow’s farmer’s market. I picked peas yesterday evening for about an hour and half and it about killed me. The peas are almost all dried so there are few nice green ones left. In all that time I only got about a pillow cases worth of peas, maybe twenty pounds. As much as I need to focus on the business plan and moving that forward there is still the need to pay for everyday bills and needs. Plus it will be a busy day as in addition to hopefully picking a hundred plus pounds of peas I must do my laundry, poop scoop, and hopefully visit a friend I’ve neglected. The weeds and other things around here are just not going to get done.

Times a’wastin so enough chit chat.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Depression is hard

Depression is hard. I went out and saw so much to do that it just didn’t seem worth it. So I came in. Now I’m going to work on transferring data from Cherie’s computer to mine. I talked to the extension agent and he had some encouraging things to say. It helped just to talk to someone. I really don’t have anyone I can generally talk to about stuff. Oh I’ve got Cherie for sure and she’s a lifeline but other than that no one, not for anything deeper than “How’s the weather”. The extension agent talked to me about the problems with the water in this area and that some farmers, including himself, have much worse water than I. Certain crops, such as cotton, can tolerate the high levels of salts and chlorides, which evidently are a form of salts, better. He did say that the chlorides and salts wash out of the soil when it rains. It just doesn’t rain much. So we shared information and I told him of my hopes and dreams for this place. Then I came home and looked at all there was to do.

But I’m in much better shape than others. A friend of ours down by San Antonio is going through her own hell. She just had a child last month and her husband left her a week or two ago. Plus she just moved onto the land they bought and plan to homestead and is living in a storage container they were converting to a house. So she’s alone with two young daughters, a son, and a newborn baby on an undeveloped farm. Her prize goat just died last night…and on it goes. I’ve got no excuse to be depressed. Not a good one at least. So it’s time to buck up and keep going.

Keeping my head up

9/3/09 Thursday
I’ve decided to put off planting this fall. Maybe I’ll put some stuff out and hope for rain but the fact that irrigating contaminates the soil and that the contamination doesn’t just go away makes irrigation a bad thing to do. Sure I can eek a little out of it and the first year would be not terribly bad but I’ve already seen the results in the second year with our blackeyed peas. The peas I planted in the same rows I planted last year were noticeably worse despite all the compost and careful fertilization. I put lots of compost on two rows and that made a difference. The reason being the compost wasn’t contaminated with the chlorides and also nitrates so was essentially fresh soil. The nitrates are another thing that went way up, from 4.1 in 2007 to 26.3 this year. This is from all the fertilizers that percolated down from the surrounding farms. Amazingly the sulfates were almost cut in half in that time though they are still beyond recommended levels.

I took more pictures of the Morning Glories as they are out in the morning, hence the name Morning Glory. What’s striking is how different the color of the flowers are. All these come from the same plant. So I must conclude that the difference is because of the water. You can see how some of the leaves are burned on the one vine with the lighter colored flower. Plus there are few flowers on it at all. Seeing this makes me question the quality of produce that comes from this water and I worry about potential health issues. That’s something I need to research.

Today I’ll just chop weeds. No more installing drip irrigation till we get it figured out. So I’ll clean up and maybe organize the garage. Yesterday I didn’t even walk beyond the house other than to get in my truck and pick up mail. Just didn’t want to look at everything, at all the work I’ve done for two years that may have been in vain. I’ll call around to some well drillers and see what I can learn regarding what can be found water wise under this place. And get an idea of the cost. Depression will again be a fight and I’ll have to work to not let it bring me down. But I don’t quit easily and have been fighting my whole life to overcome that which holds me down, those things that would destroy me if I let them.
Just the difference in the number of blooms tells a story. With vegetables each flower represents a fruit so the fewer the flowers the less they produce. Water is life out here and the quality of the water influences the quality of life.

By the way, my dad isn’t doing well right now. He has an infection and they put him on an IV drip antibiotic to fight it. He’s too weak to continue the chemotherapy so that’s put on hold. It’s a tough fight he has to face, far worse than me for sure. So pray if you could.

I do want to take this time to thank the person who made a donation through the Pay-Pal thing on the right, to help with Ron Charles and his wife coming down to be on the GLC Christian television network. We appreciate it and every little bit helps. Thank you.

That’s it for now. I’ve got to keep my head up and get out of this house and get busy doing something, anything.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The laptop works!!!!

12:43 – I’ve got my laptop back. Praise the Lord. This is the first entry in the journal since May 4th, which I suppose is when it died. The first thing I did was update and run the Webroot Spysweeper software. It found something called “Winmoniter” that was a program that allowed someone to follow every move I made. Glad I found that and wonder if it had something to do with the crash. So that’s done. I’m going to run a Microsoft program that will go through this laptop thoroughly to triple check it. That program takes several hours. Then I need to transfer the three plus months of work I put on Cherie’s computer back to mine, that will include a lot of pictures.

Motherboard, water, picking

9/2/09 Wednesday
I’ll be working on the laptop and hopefully will get it put together and, even more hopefully, it will work. I’m having the lightheaded dizzy ears ringing thing going on this morning again. I wonder if it’s from the medication I’m weaning myself off of. Was just fine when I woke up and took half of the pill instead of a whole one. The lightheaded thing showed up at about the time that medication would be getting in my system.

I plan to see the water board (There’s an official name for them but it escapes me) and the county extension agent about our well water today. Almost totally forgot yesterday was a poop scoop day till I was talking to Cherie when she was about to get off work. Keep planning on going early so I can visit a friend but it never seems to happen.

They haven’t plowed the peas under next door yet and there has been a steady stream of cars coming to pick them. They often run down the road in between the field and our house and that drives the dogs crazy, especially when people stop next to us and get out to pick. I don’t like it because I worry about potential theft and having someone spy something they might want to sneak back and steal. That’s the paranoia I would guess, but the fact is the Martin County paper said that there is a big increase of thefts from farms lately. I like the relative isolation this farm provides compared to the city life we had in Toledo.

Picking peas kills me but it has earned some badly needed money. After having about a hundred pounds go bad a week ago because we didn’t sell them at the Big Spring market I am real hesitant to go pick more. I would if I knew I could sell them but to watch all that work rot and get moldy in two days is discouraging. If they are still there Friday I’ll get out and pick till I hurt too much to pick, like I always do, because I know I can sell them at the market.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Poisoned well water

9/1/09 Tuesday
Yesterday I was an ass. Got upset at Cherie for something trivial. I don’t do this often anymore but it was a problem when we first got back together. It’s one of those things that comes with a TBI though people without brain injuries do it too. I know the TBI was a contributor in my case because it’s improved as my brain continues to heal. Part of that healing is learning how to act, sort of reprogramming the computer after it crashes. This is an ongoing process that works better with others input, having them point out errors in thinking so that I can recognize them. So this doesn’t start Cherie’s day out well as she was still hurt this morning. I apologized but don’t know if that does much good. Not the best way to start a new month.

The weather is cooling off quite a bit lately with the mornings cool enough we have to turn the fan off. Winter’s coming and I need to gather more firewood to heat the house with. I’ll take the chain saw to the landfill where there is a section for people to drop off all their brush and wood. Some if it will be hard to get to but there are several trees that are in there.

Here's a good comparison of the effect of our well water. It's hard to tell but the bottom part of the picture is some Morning Glory vine that sprung up along the fence. It gets no water except rain water while behind it, on the top half of the picture, is the vine we planted that has drip irrigation and is watered regularly from the well. If you click on the picture to enlarge it this is easier to see. The wild vine has well over a dozen blooms. They open up in the morning so aren't very visible. The vine around our veranda has almost no blossoms at all and the leaves are a paler green and many of them are dead and brown. Despite having just been watered yesterday they are wrinkled and limp, unlike the wild ones that haven't had water in days

I’m feeling depressed, mostly because of upsetting Cherie but we got some bad news about the well water. The levels of chlorides are very high. I’ve noticed that our plants don’t thrive when watered from the well but whenever it rains there is a marked difference. After I got the report back from having the water tested I went online to research the results. Things like the edges of leaves being burned I had attributed to the high heat but it’s a symptom of high chlorides. A big concern is that the chlorides can poison the soil, making it hard for seeds to even germinate. This can be a death sentence for the farm. Chlorides is a general designation that covers hundreds or maybe thousands of different elements in the water. Sodium chloride is just one, then there is sulfer, magnesium, and all kinds of others. Some are actually good and even essential to plant life, but in low quantities. When the levels get high they become toxic.

So far I haven’t found any easy or cheap fixes for this. You can’t filter out chlorides with activated carbon or charcoal filters at all. Chlorides are naturally present in underground waters to different degrees depending on location, but they are also a result of drilling for oil and we are surrounded by oil wells. The only way I’ve found so far to get them out of the water is by reverse osmosis or distilling the water. Both of those methods are expensive and require lots of equipment along with storage tanks to hold the water once purified. Our other hope would be to drill another well and hope the water it finds is sweeter. That’s a roll of the dice that costs either way. It appears that there might be two water tables to tap. One is shallow and probably what our well gets because it is only about a hundred feet deep. Then I think that if you go deeper you can hit the Ogallala aquifer and that is supposed to be better water. But I don’t know these things for sure and was told that only someone that drills for water in the area could tell me.

Now I’m not even sure I want to plant the fall crop I’ve been preparing beds for. I’m putting in the drip irrigation everywhere but if all I’m doing is poisoning the soil for next year I am doing more harm than good. I was astonished by the difference in the blackeyed peas the farmer next door planted versus the ones I grew with irrigation. All he had was some good July rains and his plants are every bit of three times the size of mine. Now I understand why. I’ll need to send a water sample in to Texas A&M University for deeper testing as the water district test isn’t very detailed. We knew the water wasn’t fit to drink but I have to wonder if it’s even safe to bath or wash our dishes in. This isn’t good and could kill any hope of making a real farm out of this place. There are of course things that can be done and harvesting rain water has always been a plan but all that takes money we don’t have.

So it’s hard to drum up enthusiasm this morning. Still beating my head against the wall.

The motherboard for my laptop finally came. So now comes the task of putting back together what I forgot how I took apart. First step is to go online and find the instructions I followed to dismantle it and follow them in reverse to reassemble.