Saturday, October 31, 2009

computer's down

Well I'll be without my laptop for a bit so there won't be as many posts. Took it to Best Buy and they let me know it was probably a corrupted operating system. Said it would cost a hundred bucks to have them try and copy the info on the hard drive. I was going to do that but decided to go online and read up on it. Looks like I can buy a device for $30 bucks that I can plug the hard drive in and then copy the contents onto our desktop computer. We don't use that one at all now a days because it needs a new fan. So I'll do that and hope it works. There are some other things I found that can be done but they are more complex. I could take the hard drive out of my laptop and install it in Cherie's to access the info but don't want to take the chance of messing her's up. There could be a virus of some type that caused this. Most of my info was backed up on the third of September so I won't lose much. I can restore the operating system with my restoration disk but that would erase everything.

Been working at the old man's for the last few days refinishing an old desk and finishing some new doors he has for his new building. I really enjoy it and it takes me back to the years I did a lot of this kind of thing. But I'm relearning things I used to know, making mistakes I realize I had once known not to do. That's cool though.

Got an email from a lady who's writing a book about someone who woke from a coma with amnesia. She came to the blog as she researched traumatic brain injuries. It was nice to see that, lets me know my story helps some understand TBI issues. I almost deleted her email as spam because I didn't recognize her name and there was no subject but felt an urge to look at it for some reason. I normally don't for fear of catching a virus as has so often happened.

Speaking of TBI things here's another tidbit of bob life. We watched two of the Charlie Brown cartoons the last two days. You know, the old ones with the pumpkin patch Halloween stuff. Now I know I've seen these many times in my life but here's a benefit from losing your memory. They were brand new to me, so it was like I'd never seen them before. And it was refreshing to find something on TV that wasn't offensive, that wasn't full of crap about sex, gays, murder, lying, cheating, and all the other things that "entertainment" seems to focus on. It's strange, I guess, that here I am, an ex convict, former drug addict, alcoholic, and a whole lot more and what the world finds entertaining I find uncomfortable and unappealing. I like simple and more pure things now and am grateful for the changes that have brought me here. That would be God, you know. When I woke from the coma I truly stared a new life though it was a hard row to walk for a while. But I am blessed, grateful to be alive and for the life I have now.

I will be speaking next Wednesday about that in Odessa. It will be at a Christian luncheon that meets every week there. I'll get the name of the restaurant for you later and announce the time in case any of you want to stop in and meet me or hear it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Found a rainbow

10/29/09 Thursday
It’s a wonderfully cool morning and the high is only expected to go to 57 or so. Don’t have time to write much but I do want to share this wonderful rainbow we found this morning. Don’t you love it when you “Find” something like a rainbow? Maybe it found me. It was working on being a triple or quadruple rainbow but didn’t quite make it. It was a huge bow so I took a video in order to get the whole thing in. Probably won’t post the video as it takes so long to upload. Today we go to UTPB’s seminar on website design.

Oh, and tomorrow (Friday) folks, I give my testimony at the He Brew coffee shop on Illinois Ave in Midland. It’s right across from the high school. Starts at 12:00 and there will be lunch available for a small fee. So that’s an invite. Come and hear what God can and does do for someone. Someone who was trying to figure out if God is there and running from Him at the same time. That was me.

Time’s a’wastin so enough chit chat. Enjoy the rainbow.
Everything went to hell fast. The old man came over to pay me and look at some wood I have so I put the dogs in, the dogs being Rascal and Trixie. Evidently they went spastic inside trying to see who was outside and trashed a whole tray of bulbs Cherie had been trying to start, dumping dirt all over the place. So that set me off, never a good thing. I called Cherie and let her know the dogs had made a mess with her bulbs and mostly ranted about them. Not what she needed to hear in the middle of her work day. So I went to write on my laptop and found that it had once again turned itself on. It refuses to go into hibernation mode and has been acting all kinds of strange for weeks now. I've restored it several times and ran the Microsoft program that digs into things. It said it found a problem that it couldn't remove and then when I ran it again it found no problem at all. So I decided to restore the computer to a much earlier time. Now the laptop won't start at all. Crap. So I must take it into the shop. More money for a used up computer that's had everything replaced, motherboard, hard drive, and screen. So it's turning into a crap day. The cold front rolled in and it's raining out. That's the only good news.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chemical spill in front of our house

10/28/09 Wednesday
We evidently have a large chemical spill right in front of the house. Heard a loud POP and the dogs barking yesterday afternoon and went out to see what it was. There was one of those raised up farm tractors designed to spray chemicals pulled over on the side of the road. I didn’t see anything obvious from the kitchen door so waved to the farmer who got out of the tractor. Later on we found a huge puddle of whatever spilled from the tractor that covered both lanes of the highway. It looks like oil at first but when I checked everything is dry or hard, not slick like oil would be. This has us worried as the cotton farmers are spraying defoliants so I suspect that’s what this is. Agent orange was a defoliant used in Vietnam and there are still repercussions for the veterans who were exposed to that. We live here and have no desire to be next to a toxic waste dump. What was the chemical? Can it get into our well water? The tractor guy just drove off and that’s it. I don’t know what or how to move on this or if we are worrying about nothing. So I’ll call the police to see what they have to say.
Sheriff John came out with the Texdot guy and looked at the spill. They came to the conclusion that it was likely a Roundup mix that had spilled because of the smell and texture. They reassured me that this posed no hazard due to Roundup’s short life span and the fact that it had all spilled on the pavement so none got into the soil. That’s good to hear. It was nice to see John Woodruff again. We certainly voted for him when he ran for sheriff. He’s one of the few who spent the time to get to know us, and that was before he thought about running for sheriff so it was an indication of what kind of person he is.

Time to run to the old man’s and work on his desk and doors so I’ve got to get the dogs in and go.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Frost this morning

10/27/09 Tuesday
It’s going to be another busy day, I hope. I’ll be sanding and perhaps staining at the old man’s this morning. Then it’s a poop scoop day so I’ll make a trip into Midland. At some point I need to crawl under the truck and check out the U-joints. Something is vibrating bad, especially when I get over sixty MPH.

There was frost on Cherie’s windshield this morning so it froze last night. Good thing I covered the pipes. I need to figure out a way to drain the irrigation system pipes for winter. Perhaps I should put in a shut off valve where I just tied into the well. I put in two valves when we installed it but there are two spigots prior to where the valves are and that’s where the potential problems are. Those spigots rise over a foot above ground so would be vulnerable to freezing, cracking, and spewing water all over the place with the only way to stop it turning the well off. That would cut off water to the house. So it wasn’t the best planning when I put it all in, but that’s how it goes. As I write I figure things out so the decision was made while I wrote this. I need to dig the pipes back up I just installed and put in a shut off valve.

That’s it for this morning. I’ve got to run the old man’s in an hour and there are some things I want to do before I go so bye.
2:30 – I’ve still got more stuff to do at the old man’s but called it a day. It’s a poop scoop day so that needs to get done. It’s frustrating to get this tired in the middle of the day. So I’ll lay down for an hour and get moving after that. I know it’s part of a brain injury and read all about it but it gets me that I need to take a nap in the middle of a day as if I’m ninety years old or something. Plus I often don’t need to take a nap but it sure is hitting me today.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good news, bad news, it's raining

I took this a few days back when we had the fog.

10/26/09 Monday
This computer’s driving me nuts. Had a whole post written when the power cord slipped out. Because the new battery doesn’t work, for some reason that I don’t yet know, that shut everything down so I lost it all. Frustrating. So I start all over again.

It didn’t rain last night but it might rain this morning. I’ll take all the rain we can get but it won’t be convenient this morning. The old man called and would like me to do some work this morning. Of course working in the rain wouldn’t be fun but I’ve done lots of that here on the farm. You know, do what you’ve got to do when you’ve got to do it. I disked up ninety percent of the land but haven’t gotten the rye seed sowed yet. I want to fabricate something I saw online to do that with. Spreading the seed I’ll do with the broadcast spreader as I’ve done before but instead of pulling it by hand I’ll figure out a way to pull it with the tractor. Then I want to tie a bunch of old car tires together so I can drag them behind the tractor and thus cover the seed. Looks a lot better than raking it in by hand. I need to check the tractor over and see if I can get it to run smoother. It’s raining now, I can hear it outside. Praise God for rain.

That’s it for now. I need to email stuff to the UTPB small business development people regarding our business plan so best get to it before I forget.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Glad I checked weather online

10/25/09 Sunday
I’m glad I went online and checked the weather. It said rain and wind tonight with a chance of thundershowers in the morning. I felt something was coming in my bones and with the wind I can hear outside. When I let Cherie know she reminded me that I had six hundred pounds of rye seed setting out. I’m glad she did and threw on some clothes so I could haul it into the garage. I’ll be glad when I get a storage area built so I won’t have stuff laying out. Hell, I need a barn. But I do the best I can with what I’ve got. I’ll build a barn later.

We went to see Bridgette Gabriel this evening at First Baptist, Midland. She’s one of the foremost experts on Islamic extremists in the world. What an eye opener that was. Bridgette was born in Lebanon and endured the massacres of Christians when the extremists took control of that once peaceful country. For seven years as she became a teenager she hid out with her family in bomb shelters and other places as they scratched for food and to survive, expecting death at almost any moment. She founded the ACT organization I’ve been a member of for a month or so now. I’ve published some of their reports on my “What about Bob” blog.

The tractor worked better without the load of dirt in the bucket. But it was spitting and sputtering towards the end today. I’ll have to go over it tomorrow or whenever the weather clears to see if there’s anything I can find that might help it run better. It's gonna get cold tonight and the high is only going to be 59 tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tractor's giving me fits

10/24/09 Saturday
Having trouble with the tractor. Been out running the disc and things were fine but all of a sudden it doesn’t want to pull well. The rear tire on the left spins and digs a hole. I’ve tried this and that but to no avail. Here’s where having no background with tractors at all becomes a problem. There are all kinds of adjustments to turn and move but I don’t have a clue what they do, or even if I do I don’t know if that’s needed. So it’s frustrating to say the least. I’m halfway through and everything has been fine till now. I greased all the bearings again but everything was spinning just fine. There’s something called a “Draft control” on the tractor next to the control that lifts the three point hitch. What’s a draft control? Do I need it?

I’m tired. Been on the tractor for about five hours. Just want to take a nap but won’t. There’s five gallons of gas, well a lot less now, but I want to run it till it runs out of gas because otherwise it all leaks out anyway. And I hate to waste. So came in to grab a drink and think this through as I write. Thinking’s done and haven’t figured anything out. This laptops bothering me. It’s been turning itself on by itself. Ran spyware but haven’t found anything.

I went out to take some pictures and saw that the bucket was full of dirt on the tractor. That made me feel pretty dumb. I’ve been fighting this tractor for hours wondering why the rear wheels no longer got traction and would just spin. You can’t see the inside of the bucket when you’re driving it so I had no idea it was full. There’s a few hundred pounds of dirt there that lightens up the rear of the tractor. So odds are that was the source of my problem, at least I hope so. It’s dark out now so I’ll have to find out tomorrow after church. Tomorrow will be a busy day. There’s a presentation on radical Islam at the church tomorrow night that we definitely want to attend.

Had a busy day today too. Ran to the farmers market to pay for the other disc we are getting. On the way home I got a call from the old man. His wife called to let him know about a fair amount of firewood that was being given away. She knows we heat the house with wood so wanted to let us know about it. I went on home to grab a pair of gloves and let Cherie know about it. She went with me to get the wood. There’s a lot of it but some of it is in pretty bad shape having been out in the weather for years. It’s all elm wood, which isn’t the best wood for a wood burner as it smells bad and causes a lot of creosote buildup in the chimney, but it burns and makes heat. So we loaded up Cherie’s truck with the wood. It’s so nice when people do things like that, simple things like remember we heat with wood and give us a call when they see some we can have.

There was a great sunset tonight. Took a bunch of pictures. The hard part is deciding which one to post. So here’s the winner.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reinforced enthusiasm.

10/23/09 Friday
I loved the meeting with UTPB yesterday. It reinforced my enthusiasm and belief in what we plan to do with this farm. The guy I met with got excited when I unveiled my concepts to him. It’s a complex plan to say the least that involves several businesses tied up into one. He gave me a list of things to do so I’ll get on that. He also pointed out that the RV park and campground would produce an immediate revenue stream so suggested that should be an initial focus. Considering that it takes five years after planting before most fruit trees begin producing harvestable crops it’s a good idea to have that source of income. There were many other areas and suggestions that came out during the meeting. I’ll talk about that later, maybe.

In the meantime I’ve got work to do. I bought six hundred pounds of grain rye seed yesterday, along with ten pounds of Bermuda grass seed. They had two types of Bermuda, one for lawns and the other for pasture that grows taller. I got the lawn type and will go online to learn more about it. One thing I want to know is when it should be planted, now or in the spring.

Plus I got the parts I need to tie in the irrigation plumbing so that needs to happen. Then I’ll be on the tractor disking up the land in preparation for the rye seed. Today the Farm Bureau is having their yearly banquet/business meeting so Cherie and I will go to that this afternoon. I’ll dress nice. Used to be I wouldn’t bother dressing nice thinking “I’m a farmer so my clothes get dirty every day. If they have a problem with that, tough”. It’s all part of the social skills that I continually learn and improve on. Never been one for putting on a front but I’m learning that what people think of you is important and, wrong or right, they do judge on outward appearances.

So it’s work time folks. Enough chit chat. Bye.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Today I meet with UTPB business development

10/22/09 Thursday
Today is the day I meet with the University of Texas small business development center. That happens at 2:00. I’ll spend some time this morning printing up material to take with me. It’s a shame the new battery for this laptop won’t work because it would be advantageous to take it with me. The battery is fine and shows as fully charged but doesn’t seem to be able to power the computer. I haven’t come close to replacing all the research lost when the other hard drive crashed but I’ve done a lot.

We got a half inch of rain yesterday and another quarter inch or so during a brief intense rain last night. That’s all great and means I need to get the tractor fired up and disc everything up again. It would also be a good time to plant the grain rye, I think. I’m never sure about stuff like that. The weather is nice and cool so it’s a good time to get out and work. But this morning I’ll focus on business plan stuff. Gotta go.

By the way, check out my "whataboutbob" blog. I've made a few entries concerning the rise of Islam and what they are doing within our government, or at least trying to.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

End of the day

6:10 – It’s frustrating and amazing at how sharp and clear my mind is now. Frustrating because I lost several hours out of my day, time I sure could have gotten a lot of things done. But I’ll do the best I can with what I’ve got so there is no time for TV or anything else that is frivolous. I used to call these periods of heightened mental acuity “Prime time” and they were rare moments that were always greatly appreciated. I am blessed with longer seasons of increased cognizance these days. Remember those anti drug ads that said “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”? That takes on special meaning for me these days and despite the frustrating times I am keenly aware of how blessed I am to be able to even write this.

For years I spent my days high and drunk, all in the name of having a good time. What the hell was I thinking back then? Beats me, I pretty much wasn’t thinking, but it sure is good to be free of those things that had enslaved me. When I saw my brother those three days at my dad’s funeral it really brought that home. Many of his buddies from college days were there and it was sad to hear the conversation. The subject of a girl who had attended A&M came up and mom mentioned how she had gotten her degree in three years. “She didn’t have enough fun” my brother joked and laughed with his friends about how it had taken him an extra year or two to graduate because of how much he partied. In his mind it is all rationalized and justified, he’s turned the drinking into a joke in an attempt to make it a positive thing. We have our problems but he’s my brother and I love him, I just know and see how alcohol has held him back and damaged his mind after forty years of heavy use. He got upset with me about calling him an alcoholic claiming that he is a professional and gets together with his buddies, who are also professionals, to have a good time. Denial is the biggest and first obstacle to overcome with this and any other drug problem. Alcohol has been the bane of some of the greatest and most successful minds throughout the history of man.
10/21/09 Wednesday
It’s raining this morning. Praise God for rain. We’ll take all we can get. It’s supposed to clear up this afternoon so I’ll spend the morning studying wells and ways to hook them up to determine what I will do with ours. I talked to a well guy yesterday and he wasn’t too enthusiastic about my idea of putting a booster pump in to help move more water through the system. So I’ll study.

Cherie looked at her calendar and discovered that there is a conflict with my giving my testimony on Friday. Friday is also the day that the Farm Bureau has their yearly dinner and business meeting. So I’ll have to put off giving the testimony till later. Feel bad about that last minute change and hope it doesn’t cause too much of a problem.
It’s 1:35 now. I studied online how to drill your own well, chatted with my oldest son, Bruce, via Messenger, and called a well drilling guy in Odessa to get a quote. Then I fixed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After that I went outside to work. This morning, before Cherie left for work I could hear a slowdown in my voice, in how it changes my speech. Didn’t think much of it. I am real slow now. Didn’t realize it till I went outside. And I have a headache too. This sucks but fortunately it doesn’t happen as much as it used to. There were times when I had several slowdowns in a day. Headaches have been bad lately but that may be because I stopped taking the blood pressure medicine they gave me for headaches, not high blood pressure. Just don’t like taking too much medicine, especially for high blood pressure I don’t have. Hope this clears up soon. I’ve got things to do.
4:01 – I’m feeling a little better so will go out and try to work. Will dig a trench to connect the garden water system to the well. There’s other things to do but I think it’s best if I keep it simple and focused.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A friend died

10/20/09 Tuesday
Yesterday was a roller coaster day with lots of ups and downs. But it ended well and that counts. I got the stove vent hood installed. Cherie is thrilled with it. The old one stuck out and had sharp edges so that, despite being a short person, Cherie had hit her head on it. The new one of course looks better and completes our kitchen renovation though I still have some pieces of trim to put on. We thank our friends who contributed so much to this and are always grateful for their help. Cherie loves the fact that we now have a light over the stove. That helps a lot and it’s nice to be able to see what you’re cooking.

I just learned that my friend, Sonny Gray, died on the 12th of this month. They already had the funeral last week. It’s frustrating to be this far away and out of touch. Someone told my son, Bruce, that I might know a Sonny that died and he just let me know this morning. Sonny was one of the people who responded when ABC ran the “Toledo’s John Doe” news story on me and helped me get off the street by letting me stay there and sleep on his couch. He was an old friend and we’d had lots of good times together. I’ll miss him and had looked forward to visiting the next time I made it to Toledo. We were on a pool league together and shot pool all over the area. Sonny was a biker and belonged to a world I’ve left behind but still miss. He had just gotten a kidney transplant from his brother a couple or three years ago and had been doing well last time I talked with him. I guess it’s a part of getting older that more people we know die. I’ve been to more funerals since I was reunited with Cherie than I can recall for the rest of my life. When I make it to Toledo next time I want to spend more time there, looking up and visiting friends I haven’t seen in years. The last few times we were up there were rushed. I preached my secretaries funeral for one visit and spent the time with her family and the other time we went Cherie and I attended her family reunion so spent time with her family.

So I’ll work around the farm today. Need to buy seed and fertilizer but I need to prepare a place to store it. Plus I still need to figure out what to do with the water system before a freeze comes. I guess that should be first on the list.
It’s 4:46 already. I’ve been busy but can’t think of much I’ve done. I poop scooped, met Cherie for lunch, went shopping for stuff to fix the plumbing, figured out I need to come home and take measurements. Bought Frontline for ticks for the dogs, wrote on the blog and Facebook, read email. Got one from Ron and Paula. They are going to be able to tape some programs for GLC, too cool. Got one from Cecil, who oversees the Christian group that meets at the He Brew coffee house on Illinois Blvd in Midland. I will be giving my testimony there this Friday. Y’all are welcome to come but let me know so we can make sure there’s room and enough food. Starts at 12:00 I think. Food and stuff comes after the prayer and fellowship and my testimony.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Strange, Depression rolls in like a wave

It’s strange. I went out to work and depression just hit like a big wave. This happened so fast and I can’t think of a reason why. It’s like some kind of attack. With it came less tolerance for the dogs always being in the way. I looked at all the things to do and saw no reason to do them. I know all the reasons to do them but it seems like a waste of time. This is unreasonable I know, I can identify that and recognize it is depression but the feeling of futility is hard to overcome. So I came inside and am writing. It’s getting pretty warm out so I think what I’ll do is get to working on something inside, something other than writing. I’ve got plenty to write and do on this laptop but I think getting physically involved with something would be better. Something to distract my mind. Writing helps me work through these feelings though. This emotional instability is like being on drugs but there are no drugs. Depression is always made worse and often created through drug and alcohol use so I’m glad I’m free of that. This is the time I would grab a drink or pop a pill to make me feel better, and it would, for a short time. Then it would wear off and the cycle starts up again. I know what I can do, I need to install the overhead stove vent Steve and Janie bought us a while back. That will keep me distracted and working on something, besides it should have been done a while ago anyway.
4:21 - Now I’ve got a killer headache. The depression has gone but this headache is taking it’s place. It’s like being in the boxing ring and getting hit again and again. Too weird. I called UTPB and set up an appointment to meet with them Thursday at 2:00. So at least something is getting done. It’s a push through day for sure. Then there are internet distractions fighting to waste my time now so I'll resist that. It’s time to exercise discipline, to take control of my mind, to force myself to focus on what is good and pure, to keep moving forward with what I know needs to be done, to not allow this crap to bring me down. But the headache is rough. I’ll take some aspirin, close the blinds, and keep marching.

Now what do I do???

OK, Now what do I do??? I dug this hole about five feet deep thinking that I would find the feeder line here. Why would I think the feeder line would be here? Because someone in the distant past took the time and effort to drive an iron pipe that deep into the ground and then made sure it was protected with a piece of plastic pipe over it. In my pseudo logical mind I assumed someone went through all that effort for a reason and I deduced that the reason would be to mark the location of something buried deep under the ground, something like a water pipe. I didn’t find anything except what looks like a gopher tunnel a good two foot deep. I’m sure there’s a pipe somewhere but I’m not inclined to dig a five foot deep trench until I’m lucky enough to find it, not when I can backtrack from the water spigot.

Which is what I did. The feeder pipe looks like it’s a two inch or more size tube. That falls into line with what Al told me while they were helping fix the wall. I’d mentioned that I thought the pipe from the well was 3/4 inch and he expressed his doubts judging from the water pressure at the house. I don’t know where I got the idea it was 3/4 inch, but once that thought was in my brain it stayed. So in this picture you can see where it angles in, from the direction of the highway of all places, and is reduced to a smaller size. It then feeds into the water spigot. I’m anxious to know where the water feeds into the house so I dug on the other side of the spigot and found evidence of a pvc pipe heading out from it. I’ll assume that it’s the one going to the house despite the fact that assuming has gotten me into trouble before, especially where it comes to how this house is put together.

So I know what I want to do. I just don’t know how to do it. I have three water pumps that I recovered from the landfill. Two appear to have been for swimming pools and the other is a “jet” pump. I’m not sure what a jet pump is but think it might have been attached to a spa or a hot tub, something with a whirlpool type feature. I haven’t tested the pumps to see if they work but I know the motor is good on at least one of them. Plus one has a big filter attachment that I'm hoping to use to filter the water before it goes anywhere. My thoughts are to install one inline in order to increase the water pressure so I will be able to run more than one water sprinkler at a time. This will go a long way to enhancing my ability to irrigate. In order to do this right I also need to get a pressure tank so that the water pressure is maintained at the correct level and to prevent me from blowing things apart. That costs money and we have the CRP funds available. I just don’t have the technical knowledge on the proper way to put all this together. So I’ve got the pipes exposed but am not sure what to do next. Nuts. Hell, it’s lunchtime so I’ll grab a bite to eat and think about it.
Don’t know anything more on a full stomach than I did before. So I should seek out some advice. Won’t be hard to find someone who knows more than I do.

Sticky situations

10/19/09 Monday
It’s Monday. Ok, so what am I going to do? I need to start buying supplies for next year’s farming. There’s fertilizers and soil treatments, organic pesticides, irrigation materials, seeds, and other stuff that I need to start making a list of. I should pick up some more manure from the old man. Then there is continuing the project of locating and digging up the feeder pipe from our well. Once I do that then I need to do lots of plumbing to hook it up and also install a booster pump and pressure tank. And there is the continuing work of preparing beds for spring planting. Plus I need to plant rye seed over the entire five acre plot, but that’s not urgent and can be done later, I think. I also want to build an extension off the garage, which is what the two telephone poles are for. This will provide badly needed storage space.

There’s so much we want and need to do but the resources aren’t here. As we consider these things my thoughts naturally turn to the possible release of funds I inherited from my dad’s mother that he had control of prior to his death. “How much is there?” I wonder and also wonder when I might get it. I know there was at least ten thousand there from correspondence I had from my brother in 2003. But there’s the paranoia I must deal with, paranoia that is based on my brother’s past actions, so I wonder if those funds are still there and worry he will devise a way to steal them. Paranoia is a nasty thing to have plague you and dreams up scenarios that are unlikely. Like Dr. Phil says “Past performance is a good indicator of future behavior”. I’m beginning to understand why he’s been such an ass, at least I think I do. That’s because I have written documentation and proof, even in his own words in the emails he sent, of how he stole not only from me but from our grandmother. So I think Larry is being this way because he doesn’t want his lies to be exposed, the big false front he puts up, and he knows I know the truth, and that I’m no longer the brain damaged easily manipulated person he picked up from the hospital. So he's afraid of me and blusters to keep me away. However I'm more than willing to let it go in order to gain some semblance of a family again. It's a sticky situation.

But in the meantime we consider things we can do with a few extra dollars, things like drill a new water well and get needed farm equipment, things that will help us build a thriving farm and business. It would be nice to have some cash to take with me to Toledo because we can buy equipment up there right now at robbery prices due to the economy. But I’ve got work to do outside so that’s it for now.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Doing what doc said not to do

10/18/09 Sunday
I’m frustrated. We bought a new battery for this laptop and it seemed to charge up just fine, but when I unplugged it so it would run on the batter it went dead. No power at all. It shows as being fully charged but there’s no juice available for the computer when I unplug the AC. This laptop has a new hard drive, new motherboard, new screen, and now a new battery, so I’ve been nursing it along pretty good. I think the problem may be with the motherboard but will have to go online to learn how to figure that out. When I put the motherboard in I presumed the battery was no good because having no power was the issue before it died. I don’t know. Perhaps it’s time to think about getting a new laptop but being frugal I’d rather see if I can fix this one.

We work hard to be frugal and also to not ask too much of others. Despite that some have judged us and distanced themselves. That hurts and was exactly what we worked hard to have not happen. We’ve been blessed greatly with other’s leftovers in many cases and are grateful for all the help that so many have loved us with. But there’s an uncomfortable line there, a line that is hard to see and a line that different people draw in different places so you don’t know when you cross it. And of course they don’t talk to you about it but you can perceive the change in attitude. I worry about that, perhaps too much, and probably in worrying cause the problem I wish to avoid.

Friday I went to the place that someone emailed me about regarding firewood. Nate, Cherie’s nephew, had put an ad in Craigslist about our needing firewood and someone let us know where people in Midland can take their brush and tree limbs. It was a great tip and there is lots of wood there. So I took the chainsaw and cut and loaded wood till I hurt too much to get any more. One of the pieces probably weighed close to a hundred pounds. That’s the one that did me in. I’ll unload the truck today. Then I'll cut and split the wood and stack it so it will dry quickly. There's plenty of wood already dry and ready to burn so by the time that's gone the new stuff will be seasoned. We decided to skip church to catch up on all the stuff that needs doing.

Yesterday I cut the hose that feeds our irrigation system while I hoed down weeds so that precipitated me doing a job I’ve needed to do all year. That’s digging till I find where the water line from the well comes in so I can tie into it, thus getting away from using a water hose, a real weak spot. So I dug. Then I soaked the dirt with water to loosen the rock hard clay sand mix and dug some more. Water soaked dirt is real heavy you know, so it took a toll on my back. I dug till I couldn’t dig any more and called it quits. I hurt so much that it was hard to reach over to the dresser from the bed and pick up this laptop. No problem. It’s what I do all the time.

And it’s what I’m doing this morning. I’m in a digging mode and there’s plenty of digging to do. So I dug the holes for the telephone poles I’ve been intending to do all year. Putting the telephone poles in the ground hurt a lot more than digging the holes for them. They are pretty heavy, one a lot more than the other as it was fresher and still full of creosote or whatever that black stuff is. But I inched it up higher and higher to my shoulder and then walked it higher still till it slipped into the hole. Then I came in and laid down, grabbing this laptop and discovering the battery won’t work. I can’t take a pain pill till 11:00 so have to wait, but now that I’ve laid down for an hour I can get back to work. Still lots of digging to do. There are so many things that the doctors told me I shouldn’t, or in some cases, couldn’t do. But I don’t listen very well and I refuse to lay around and do nothing. So I do what I’m not supposed to do all the time. That’s been the story of my life anyway so why change now. I’ve always enjoyed beating the odds. Time to work.
It’s a high pain day. I’m paying the price for working hard. It’s 3:00 and I came in to take a pain pill and lay down. Feels like I’m wasting time. Plus I’ve had lots of the headaches lately too. They’ll stop me quicker than this back pain does. They’re not migraines technically but are common with brain injuries and sure do hurt as much or more than migraines. Pain pills don’t touch them but aspirin often helps.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I am bothered.

I am bothered. Turned the TV on and started to watch the show “Flash forward”. We had started watching it before and it was one of the few shows on TV that we could find any pleasure in, but not today. As I watched my thoughts turned to world events and the things happening in this country too. I get regular updates from many watchdog organizations that keep track of everything from agricultural issues too the spread of Islam, and it makes me aware of just how deep corruption has spread within our government and around the world. So sitting and being entertained makes me feel like Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Only I’m no Nero and he caused the conflagration he fiddled too. But the world is a slow fire and our country is being eaten from the inside with a cancer fed by greed and power. It seems that the people of America are being lulled hypnotically to sleep, distracted by mass media entertainment that feeds us lies and half truths and keeps our minds on what is not at all important. But that is nothing new, it is the entire history of mankind and the result of ease and wealth mirrored over and over again by every great civilization that has existed. But this time it is following a predicted path. The prophesies of the bible are becoming clear like objects revealed as a fog lifts. The countries and governments, along with religious systems have been called out by name and they are becoming evident as they rise to through the mist. So while this happens we worry about our jobs and positions, about what others think of us, and about having a good time and being entertained.

So I turned the television off. God isn’t interested in that. There are more important things to do than just vacate my mind in front of that box that spouts ideologies I don’t agree with, yet accept because it’s on the TV. I find myself laughing at jokes I don’t think are funny, and find myself being corrupted by it, being fed that which I object to. It’s a powerful medium, a pulpit that many now use to preach their “gospel” through. Their “gospel” is death in the eyes of God. But it’s just what the bible said, “In the last days men shall call evil good, and good evil”. So where’s this coming from? These thoughts I’m having? I’m an ex-con who’s seen and lived a life that touched on all these areas of decadence so why now does it grate against my spirit so? When it comes down to it what is really important? Is it how much money you make? Is it how many people look up to you? Or is it what God thinks of you and what honors and pleases Him. That last sentence wasn’t a question. We will all stand before God naked and take only our deeds with us to present Him with. Our deeds and the thoughts of our hearts. It’s not what you do but why you do it that matters.

U TPB wasn't there

3:00 – It’s been a day already. When I loaded the trash for the landfill on the truck I noticed this strange line of clouds on the horizon. By the time I had the truck loaded and was on the way the line had gotten much closer and I could tell it was moving at a pretty good clip. So I had to take pictures. I took Rascal and Trixie with me to the landfill. They love it. The storm, or front I suppose you would call it, was interesting to be in. The clouds were twenty feet off the ground and moving at quite a pace just above our heads.

I picked up Cherie’s truck to drive to the college seminar in Odessa, leaving mine at her work. Getting to the UTPB Center for energy and economic development building I went in with my notebook, eager for the class. I checked with the information desk and several individuals but no one had a clue about the class. NUTS!!! So I went out to the truck and called Cherie to have her go online and see if she could figure it out. She looked and looked and finally, in a comment section, saw that the seminar was not at the CEED building but on the main campus. This was not mentioned anywhere in the online communication I’d had. I’ve never been to the campus and had no interest in driving around lost when I was already going to be late so that ended that. Real frustrating. The other events had all been at the CEED building.

I picked Cherie up and we went out to lunch at the La Mission restaurant we both like so much. She’d just got her paycheck so it was our go out to eat something nice moment. We had a great time. After I dropped her off at work and picked up my truck. Then it was off to Lowes with the hope of finding the same style stone after three years. We are in luck, they still carry it.

Came home, checked mail in Stanton. Our CRP check came so that’s always good. Cherie and I will sit down and determine how to spend it. But I’m tired right now so will take a nap.

Going to UTPB today

Here's another of the foggy morning pictures I took yesterday. Do you like this one or the one from yesterday of the pump jack better? I guess it's vote time for your favorite picture.

10/15/09 Thursday
It’s going to be a busy morning and, for that matter, a busy day as well. There’s not a cloud in the sky and the temperatures are low, with the high maybe making it to 80. I had hoped to disc the entire five acres while the ground was still wet but it was pretty much dried out by yesterday.

I’ll need to buy some more of the paving stones to complete where the woodstove goes. We bought the stones three years ago, I think, and hope Lowes still carries them. If they don’t I’ll figure something out. Worked on trying to piece what I had together for a few hours yesterday before I gave up. Only need two more stones to finish the job.

At 11:30 I’ll be going to Odessa to take a class at UTPB on how to do business with the State of Texas, and perhaps the federal government too. This is a vital class for us and what we plan to do with this farm. Still need to make a run to the landfill too so am debating doing that this morning or waiting till after the class. Probably should do it this morning because odds are that after the class I’ll be worn out. So that’s it, time to get out to work.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Foggy morning

10/14/09 Wednesday
It’s a foggy morning. I see that as a photo op so got out and took some pictures. Made sure to get some of the pump jack because our friend, Janie, said she’s taking or collecting them. It’s also going to hit ninety degrees today so I won’t waste time this morning writing and will get out on the tractor and get as much done as I can. That tractor is such a blessing despite being as old and beat up as I am. I’m not really old, being only 53, but sure am beat up. I can do in an hour with the tractor what would take me all day to do before. Yesterday evening I disked up where the apple trees used to be, before the gophers killed them. When I came in I discovered my wallet was no longer in my pocket. Nuts!!!. It was dark by then so I grabbed a flashlight and went searching. Fortunately it had worked it’s way out of my pocket and fell behind the seat of the tractor. Otherwise it would have been plowed under the ground. So I’ll take it out of my pocket before I get on the tractor and hopefully will remember to do that in the future. Should get a biker wallet with the chain that attaches it to your pants, but that’s not always convenient with my dressing styles.

So I’ll post some pictures and get out to work. When done outside I’ll come in and work on the stone floor where the woodstove sits.
11:58 – If I didn’t quit working I wouldn’t know how tired I am. It’s so strange how that works. I’ve been out on the tractor all morning and didn’t have a clue how late it was till the tractor stalled and I looked. Seeing it’s about lunchtime I climbed off and came in. That’s when the tiredness washed over me like a gentle breeze. That’s also when I became aware of my pain level as well. It’s easier to ignore when your busy. I suppose I’ll get something to eat because it’s that time of day. I need to make a water run into Stanton and get twenty more gallons of our drinking and cooking water so I’ll probably grab some taco’s at Carrols roadside stand and check the mail as well. Rascal and Trixie came in with me and are crashed next to me on the bed. Only takes them seconds to do that. As much as they love to go for rides I’ll sneak out and leave them behind. They get too rambunctious when I take them into town, barking like crazy at everything. But I also need to take the trash to the landfill so they can go with me there. I took my afternoon pain pill so that should kick in, in about thirty minutes. I’ll just rest here till then and do some quick online stuff like post this and check email.
4:32 – I ran the tractor till it ran out of gas. Burnt some piles of weeds and hauled dirt into the backyard where I’ll use it to build up the soil over where the cesspool is. I guess it made it to 90 degrees, or at least it seems like it. Haven’t worked on the stone floor inside yet, just stayed focused on what I was doing outside. Now it’s lay down and rest time. It’s been over four hours so I can take another pain pill. Cherie should be getting off work in a half hour, as long as she doesn’t have to work over. I’m wiped. Probably will take a nap as I just nodded off.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's good to have friends

10/13/09 Tuesday

We had some decent rain last night. Not a lot, only about an eight of an inch showed up in the rain gauge, but it’s got the ground wet. So I’ll be running the tractor disking up the soil in preparation for planting grain rye. Al and Wally spent the whole day working on our house and the more they discussed what to do and how to do it the more grateful I was for their help. They understood things that would have never occurred to me. It was a long day and they didn’t quit till 4:30. Today they plan to come back and finish up the inside of the wall after Al goes to his doctors appointment. It is so good to have friends like this and we are grateful for them and all the others in our church family in Midland. God has blessed us in so many ways. Evidently Al put the water system in for the Stanton church so we talked about that a bit. I still reach out to them and always will till God is honored.

Someone sent an email regarding a place I can get firewood in Midland so I need to go check it out. It’s late in the year to get wood as it needs to dry and cure but we’ve got at least a cord already so it should be fine by the end of the cold season. Even if it’s not there’s plenty of dead trees I can access for firewood so we won’t go cold. Regardless I’ll cut what I can cause if I can’t use it this year I sure can next winter.

They used "concrete" siding to repair where the house burned. It's interesting stuff and fireproof, in addition to being inexpensive. Eventually we will have to reside or do something with the house as the siding is old and in some places rotting. This looks like this would be good stuff to use for that. Being fireproof has a definite appeal to me. So does being inexpensive and the fact that it lasts a long time. I wonder if it can be put right on top of the existing siding? We're thinking of using some inside to protect the wall from the heat of the wood stove.
Posts are short lately. I suppose that’s because I’m busy. See ya.

Friday, October 09, 2009

What I feed on

10/9/09 Friday
It’s a chilly morning with a breeze and humidity to drive the chill home. Cherie’s knee was extremely painful this morning and she had a hard time walking to the truck so that has me concerned. God will heal. The cold front coming in brings out all these pains in both of us. We start our days out in prayer now. This is something new and a sign of my renewing faith. I’m enjoying listening to bible teaching on GLC this morning. This is also indicative of the restoration of my faith. We both prefer to have this type of programming on the TV versus much of the other crap you find. I’m tired of feeding my mind that which is not positive. It’s all who killed who and how along with who’s screwing around on someone else and lots of other really not wholesome happy stories on much of the television. And that’s entertainment? I’ve experienced all of that in real life and am tired of it. Peace and quiet are what I crave and joy is a wonder I enjoy more than ever before, as in my entire previous life. Life is short even if you live to be a hundred and I choose the life I have, as we all do. So I choose to feed on what is enlightening and healthy and avoid that which sucks one back into an unhealthy environment.

So there’s my morning thought processes. There’s work to be done always. The task of the morning is to choose what is most important to do and plan my day to accomplish those goals. I will contact GLC on behalf of Ron Charles this morning, thanking them for having him on and inquiring about what it takes to be a regular programmer on the station. That would be good. Then I need to contact the Texas Rehab lady and make sure they didn’t drop the ball again regarding getting me assistance in starting this business up. There’s plenty to do outside but I don’t have to get out and “beat the heat” because the weather will be nice. So I’ll spend the morning writing and emailing. That works well because my mind is generally sharper in the morning versus after spending a day out in the heat doing physical work. There are so many times I think I’ll come in and write after working outside only to find I’m exhausted and in pain so don’t.

One of the things I am forced to do is to recover everything I lost when I tried to upgrade my blog and add the “Follower” widget yesterday. Every link I had is gone along with other things like “Statcounter” and the Blogflux button. It will take me a while to figure out what’s gone and recover it. This kind of stuff is frustrating and stressful for me as I work to comprehend what I’m doing.
I picked up mail and some burritos for lunch. Took Rascal and Trixie with me cause they love to go for rides in the truck. We got more cards from people expressing their thoughts regarding the loss of my dad. We’ve gotten a lot of these and it’s touching. I’m not used to people caring this much. After coming home and eating I cleaned up around the house some, then went outside to work. That didn’t last long. I’ve got another bad headache and can’t blame it on weeds because I haven’t been around them today. So I’m back inside where it’s not so bright. I got the space heater out this morning. It’s the first time we used it this year. It’s been pretty cold the last couple of days. Carman kitty comes and lays on my chest all the time because it’s warm. He’s getting pretty old so the cold gets to him more. Right now all four of our inside pets are on the bed with me. This headache is not at all convenient.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Muggy day

10/8/09 Thursday
It’s muggy out. Lots of moisture in the air and lots of clouds. There’s been a chance of rain circulating around us for days but we haven’t gotten any of it. It sure would be nice to get some rain, we sure could use it. I suspect that the headache I had was triggered by the weeds I was chopping down. When I thought about it I’d had one the last time I messed with the weeds. Oh well, there’s more weeds to chop so that’s the way it is.

We had a surprise come in the mail yesterday. Someone who follows the blog and we’ve not met sent us a nice letter telling of how she grew up on a farm and understood the trials we go through, especially with this old house. She included a check that she asked go towards fixing things on the house. Cherie cried and I almost did too when I read it, but I’m a strong man and men don’t cry, right? I suppose I debunked that theory years ago. There has been plenty of crying since I woke from the coma and it’s good to cry, a little.

I haven’t worked on the business plan much the last few days but need to get back on it. I will call the UTPB business section, the one putting on the seminars, and set up a time to meet with them. They help people do this and I can use all the help I can get. But today I think I’ll keep working outdoors, at least this morning I will. I want to buy some Bermuda grass seed but need to research what kind to get. There are many different varieties. One of them will work best out here with our soil and dry conditions so I need to figure out which one and where to get it.

I’m drawing a blank as far as anything else to write about. I did email my sister and she emailed right back. This is always good news with me, communicating with my family. Pray that the wall between my brother and I gets broken down. That will take some work.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Evidence of God

I am constantly amazed at how things seem to come together. As I hoed down weeds a white car did a u-turn and went to the field next door, where I saw someone get out and start picking peas. Rascal and Trixie kept barking and heading over there so I finally had to put them in the house. I had an urge to go over and meet the people and decided to follow through on the thought. So I introduced myself to the African-American lady who was picking peas and we started talking. She was there with her mother and they were on their way to El Paso for a church conference. She told me she was from Snyder, a town not far from here, and had picked peas from this field twice before. Of course I told her our story, as I am prone to do. Come to find out her husband had a tumor in his brain and is currently undergoing rehabilitation for the damage it caused. This is the amazing part. Before my injury I can’t remember running into situations with TBI (traumatic brain injury) many times, except a former boxer who had obvious issues. Since I woke up I find TBI survivors and caregivers for them everywhere I turn. So we talked and shared. In my quest to find God things are lining up in ways that can no longer be excused as just coincidences. It becomes more apparent as I go that there is an unseen hand guiding our lives, and thus I find evidence of God and His love. It is my daily prayer and it is answered. I told her the blog address and it will be interesting to watch what comes of this.

Who do you think I am?

10/7/09 Wednesday
It’s a chilly morning. Winter is on the way for sure. Today I must see the VA representative as he wasn’t in his office yesterday. I did get the discovery request in to the court yesterday. Cherie brought home another wonderful meal from our church family. We’re getting spoiled with these fantastic meals and are looking forward to eating the leftovers. Especially the chicken casserole we had Monday. We’ll need to inquire about the recipe on that one.

I’ll go back to chopping weeds and preparing garden beds for next year. Learned the hard way that I need to spend all winter getting ready for spring planting. Not doing so put me way behind this year and I never caught up. We are anxiously waiting for the yearly CRP check as that allows us to purchase seed and supplies for next year. Plus it’s when we pay all of our taxes. There will be some inheritance money coming from dad’s estate. Actually it’s from my grandmother on my dad’s side of the family, funds he had control of regarding it’s disbursement. I don’t know how much for sure but know about an amount that he had offered years ago, through my brother Larry. I refused to sign for it unless I could talk to dad in person so never received it. My desire to talk with dad was more than my desire for money despite the fact that I was homeless at the time. It was a confusing time with the effects of the brain injury much greater then. I carefully asked my sister about that, terribly afraid it would be seen as a greedy selfish insensitive thing to bring up.

I am perhaps overly conscious of my image, of how they perceive me. But I know that for the most part I am a stranger to my family, a stranger with a precarious history. Even though I lived in St Louis a year after my brother picked me up from the hospital, he never took the time to get to know me, and even if he had I was such a mess from the brain damage it wouldn’t have given him a true picture. I so want to be accepted and liked by my family. And I so want to dispel notions and perceptions that I suspect exist that I am walking on eggshells. A problem is I only suspect these notions and perceptions but don’t really know what is really there. So it all could be an overworked imagination coupled with a touch of paranoia. What I do know for sure is what my brother wrote and said, and that wasn’t good, so I have to think he relays that to the rest of the family. I’ve got my work cut out for me, to erase a lifetime of mistakes and non communication. Plus I’m still restoring memories. I couldn’t remember many good times in my childhood but when mom showed me the models dad had built it brought some back. Dad had taught me how to build models and it was a joy we shared. I would build model boats, he put in steel shot for ballast, and we would take them to the farm and float them on the lake, where Larry and I would shoot them with the 22. We had a lot of fun on that farm.

So it’s back to here and now. We hope to drill a new water well with any funds we get. The transmission on my truck is starting to slip badly so that needs to be replaced. Then we hope to travel to Toledo where I can catch up on my two boys and many friends, particularly my former secretary’s family. Perhaps I can help Suzie access her mom’s life insurance. Also, Toledo, or northwest Ohio, is a great place to pick up used farm equipment at fantastic prices so I hope to get things vital to running this farm.

That’s it for now. Always work to do.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Life renews

10/6/09 Tuesday
It’s a busy day ahead of both of us. Cherie is real busy at her job as the new pastor is in and with that comes change. She’s an administrative assistant at a church, by the way. Tuesday is always a busy day for her as it’s the day the church newsletter gets put out. There is rain on the way so I want to be ready for it and put out about seven hundred pounds of rye seed for winter. I worked on chopping down weeds, that look like trees because I haven’t kept up with them, yesterday. It was a 94 degree day with high humidity. It quickly reminded me of how out of shape I am and I didn’t finish the section I was working on. I’ll hit that today. Also I plan on writing a request for “discovery” to the court for the traffic ticket. That will ask for evidence I need to fight the ticket such as the type of radar unit and the officer’s training, among other things. Also I’ll drop off information to the Texas VA representative for our dispute with the VA over the disability payments they want back. Plus it’s a poop scoop day so I’ll be going to Midland for sure.

Our church family has been so supportive during this time of sorrow with my dad’s passing. We got lots of cards and a few phone calls too. They are supplying dinner for us starting yesterday and I think ending tomorrow. We had a chicken casserole last night that was wonderful. We also got a full pan of brownies and an apple dish that is rich and good. I love it but guess we’ll put our diets on hold a couple of days.

I’ve been thinking about dad a lot, guess that’s normal. With it comes a lot of worries, and hopes, about the future with my family. My brother is a big concern and I ponder how to approach him a lot, wondering what will work and what won’t. Regardless I won’t sit and do nothing. That’s not me. If you let wounds sit and fester they just get worse and the infection spreads.

Time to get to work.
It’s noon now. The cold front blew in and sure makes it more comfortable to work out there. With it came dry air. I’ve been working on the blackeyed pea plots, tearing down the weeds and rolling up the drip irrigation tape. I was going to leave it in the ground but learned from a farmer that he always rolled his up. He knows a lot more about stuff than I do so I’m following his advice. I typed the subpoena for information on the ticket up this morning so that’s done.

3:00 – I’m getting ready to head into Midland. A comment made on Monday’s post made me aware of something God wants me to deal with. This is a season of restoration for me, and I am now seeing how God’s hand is miraculously bringing things about. That awareness came as I pondered the comment and all the other things that have been occurring the last few weeks and months. The more I thought on it the more I was able to see the hand of God bringing things about. My dad’s death came with a moment of reconciliation that I will be eternally grateful for. So now it’s time for some restoration and forgiveness here in Stanton. At least I hope it is. This has been on my mind for a while and I started writing a letter for that purpose but never followed through on it.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Last nights sunset. A wonderful greeting home from God

10/5/09 Monday
It’s good to be home, but things aren’t just the same. Oh, I’ll get back into the routine of building this farm but my thoughts are on my dad and family now. There is so much I wonder about in my insecurity. How did I appear to them? What do they really think of me? Was I able to dispel wrong concepts they had? Hell, I don’t even know what concepts they have so there may not even be any wrong ones. Overall it seems to have gone well. I asked Robin if I did ok and she uncomfortably told me “Yes”. I’m sure the question in and of itself was putting her on the spot and caused the discomfort.

So the task of restoration continues. When it comes to my brother there is something going on. Anytime I mentioned trying to talk to him everyone stiffened up. As long as no one talks things don’t get better. I wish I knew what their perception of this is, what has been said by him. I tried to talk to Larry but he ran and pretty much shut down every attempt. He did mention this blog regarding that. To the best of my knowledge there isn’t a word in it that isn’t the truth but that doesn’t mean there can’t be errors. One of the things I hoped to convey is that a common problem with traumatic brain injuries and the memory loss that goes with it is that the TBI survivors must try to fill in the gaps of memory and often comes up with memories that aren’t accurate in doing so. You can read about this in the survivor’s stories on the LA Publishing link on this blog. So I could well be wrong in many of my conceptions of what happened. The problem is that if no one talks to me and shows me these errors I have no way of correcting them. My interest is in the truth, seeking and learning what it is in all areas, not just my own life.

I can so understand the awkwardness of this weekend. One thing I acknowledge is that a man reaps what he sows so most of this is my fault, the result of a lifetime of errors and mistakes. I can’t blame anyone for this but myself. Many people have the habit of blaming others for the mistakes they make and often look for someone else to place the blame on, denying their own culpability. I try not to do this and accept my mistakes, not hiding or running from responsibility. But the flip side is that I expect others to have that kind of honesty and perhaps that’s not reasonable? So in trying to navigate these psychological relationship pitfalls and not trigger negative reactions I must let others maintain their perspective, I suppose. This is where forgiveness comes in. This is where forgiveness becomes the key to unity and restoration. To not to call someone out on a wrong, to not demand honesty, perhaps that is what’s necessary. It’s been 8 years now since I woke from the coma and I am still learning social skills.

So I hope and pray that I made a good impression and that my family is beginning to learn who I really am. I didn’t put on a front for them, I don’t put on a front or false image for anyone. But I did try hard to not cause a problem and say things without thinking them through. There is such sadness here. My dad has died and my mom lost her husband of over forty years. So it’s not all about me. Everyone there lost a dad or friend. Mom held up pretty well, all things considered. She said she was glad to see me and wished it was under better circumstances. There’s the sadness, or at least one of them. We had just started the journey to reconciliation between me and my family when my dad died. But I have received grace in that, because I was blessed with a letter and a short phone call from dad before he passed. That means so much to me.

Mom asked what size shoe I wore and then my shirt size. Much of what my dad wore will fit me so she asked if I would like any of his clothes. I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to be anything like what I’d seen in my grandmother’s relatives, who’s greed for things drove them to ransack this house and steal what they could even before she was dead. That disgusts me still. But I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. I’m so worried about how I’m perceived that it ties me up some. But dad had nice clothes and his tastes are very much like mine except I prefer button up shirts. I suppose as I get older and working buttons get harder that will change. So I was grateful for the gifts of clothes and shoes. My personality is such that I won’t take something, even if it’s nice, if I won’t use it. Some people just take because they can and end up with tons of things that never get used. I was honest with mom and told her I wouldn’t wear all the shoes but knowing she had closets full of stuff she needed to find a home for offered to take what I won’t use to our church or a ministry that distributes to the poor.

What she gave me that has the deepest value to me is my dad’s watch. It’s not an expensive watch, just a nice Timex, but it was my dad’s. I didn’t have a watch and had looked at getting one before so it’s something I’ll wear and use all the time. What makes it valuable to me is that every time I check the time it will remind me of my father. I have a silver dollar on my key ring that belonged to my grandfather that does the same thing. It provides a link to them, a path to a memory, and provides a sense of closeness that I had always desired for with my dad.

Dad’s hobby was building and flying radio controlled airplanes. This is another area of common interest that we could have pursued together once we reunited. Mom offered the planes to dad’s friend who shared this passion with him. I asked her to show me the planes so she took me out to the garage. There was a P-51 Mustang just like the one I had started to build before I had the wreck. Looking at it and the other planes just amplified the sense of loss. As much as I would have liked to have them and would thrill to fly these planed dad built I didn’t dare ask. Again I don’t want to appear greedy or come off wrong. Besides I had heard her offer the planes to dad’s friend at the funeral so it wouldn’t be right. I think I’ll ask my sister for the friends name and address and offer to buy them from him. I think that would be politically correct but am not sure. It would be sweet to have them. I would make a runway here on the farm and have 80 acres of land to fly them over. And each time I would think of dad.

I have a farm to build and it’s the first day back so enough writing. We did come back to a tick infestation. I suppose eggs hatched while we were gone. There were ticks all over, crawling up the wall even. So we stripped the beds, vacuumed everything, sprayed the dogs, and sprayed the carpets. There’s always lots that needs to get done. I have to harvest Basil seeds before the birds and ants get them and…well tons of other things. So bye now. Thanks for your prayers my friends. We appreciate them greatly.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Today's the funeral

10/3/09 Saturday
It took seven hours to drive to Georgetown. Georgetown is roughly in the center of Texas and we don’t live on a far edge of the state. It reminds us of how big Texas is. It was an 8 hour drive from Toledo to St Louis and that took us into four states, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. So we were tired by the time we got here. Unfortunately we were too late to meet my sister and family for dinner. That was a real disappointment. I didn’t have a clue how far of a drive it would be. It was a rush to get what we needed (Including a new dress shirt) and have all the animals set for our absence so we didn’t leave until 1:30.

My sister had read the blog and called me. She explained that the “all of us” was her and mom so I didn’t feel as left out as I did. She also is worried about how my brother and I get along during this, as I am too. I tried to assure her that I have every intention to not be a problem, that my concern was my brother based on the virulence of the letter he wrote me a month ago. It had really surprised me and revealed much of what he thinks so has me wondering. So I’m still worried. I had and have no intention of causing any problems. It’s my dad’s funeral. At least I got one letter, that my brother helped write, from dad, and one phone call before he died. I am grateful for that. Very grateful. But I’m nervous, afraid I’ll say something wrong or in some way offend during this hard time. I’m not used to being afraid of anything. So we’ll pray before we go and I’ll appreciate your prayers as well. Pray for peace.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Heading to the funeral

10/2/09 Friday
We’re getting ready to go to Georgetown for my dad’s funeral. There are lots of thoughts running through my head regarding what we’ll find there when it comes to my family and stuff. I’m a stranger to them all and most of the information they’ve had regarding who I am and what I’ve done came from unfriendly sources such as my bitter ex wife. Then there’s my brother, who also displays open bitterness. My sister is the bright spot and the only one who has talked with me, but those conversations have been rudimentary via email. So none of them really know us. Robin told me that dad passed peacefully with “all of us there”. It hurt to not be included in the “all of us”. I had made sure to tell her I was ready to get there at a moments notice in case this happened. So I’m real unsure of what we will find there, especially with my brother and his influence. So pray for that.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

My father died

9:32 – My sister Robin just called. Dad passed away. In response to my statement that I wished I could have sat down and talked with him just once that he wasn’t really there for the last week or two so it couldn’t have been. We will leave tomorrow for the Saturday funeral and need to make arrangements for our animals to be cared for while gone. I’m sure I’ll write about this later as writing is a way I have of working through things but right now I just want to work on things and think. We were so close to becoming a father and son again, so close to restoration, so close. Now I wonder what happens next. What happens next regarding my relationship with my brother and the rest of the family. My experience with deaths in families hasn’t shown much good coming out of it and when my grandmother died it seemed to bring out the evil in others as their greed and selfishness became visible. I pray this will not happen.

Already October???

10/1/09 Thursday
It’s October already. Geese, where’s the time go. It’s going to hit about ninety degrees today and the humidity is up there, in the 80’s so I want to get as much outdoor work done as I can before it gets too nasty. Cherie had a nightmare last night that made her real sad. In it she married someone else. She’s had some rough days at work with things, like copiers, not working right so that’s stressed her out. We are beginning to start the day with prayer now. This is something new and another result of my seeking God and the slow restoration of my faith. I sure have a long way to go but at least am pointing in the right direction.

I’ll finish up the tractor work this morning. Just have a few more area’s to disc. We have some breathing room financially so I plan on buying rye seed to put down for fall. I never planted fall crops, just lost my heart after learning of how bad the water is. Our friend, Al, is in the water softening or treating business and tested our water while he and Wally were out looking at what it takes to repair the wall. He said that he has clients who’s water is three times worse than ours is. He primarily deals with the house water that you drink and cook with. We use bottled water for that. Our concern is farm irrigation and the long term effects of chloride buildups in the soil.

I want to drill my own water well and have devised a mental plan on how to do it. Before the invention of the drilling head that Howard Hughes patented they used to drill oil wells by pounding a bit through the ground. It was primitive but it worked. You can see an example of this at the petroleum museum in Midland. Just a pointed heavy piece of steel attached to a rope that was raised and dropped, thousands of times, and thus hammered its way through the dirt and rock. So I’m thinking I can set up an old windmill tower and hook up a rope and pulley at the top. Then I need to locate a piece of metal pipe and a solid chunk of steel that comes to a point. Finding that will be the hard part. I’m not in a hurry and really want to get in shape so figure that if I can just pound down three feet in a day I’d have it done in a year or so. Our current well is 91 feet deep so I’m guestimating that at the most I’ll have to go 120 or so feet deep. By the time I’m done I’ll look like some kind of body builder. This will probably not happen but it would be fun and interesting to try, plus a good work out. Besides it would save the three to four thousand dollars it costs to drill a well, and there’s no guarantee you’d find water if you do. If any of y’all have some old steel lying around I could use drop me an email.

That’s it for this morning.