Monday, November 30, 2009

Need wisdom with money

11/30/09 Monday
There is lots to do before I leave for Toledo. The flight leaves Midland Wednesday morning. We are still waiting for the funds to transfer from the USAA account to our bank. Unfortunately we can’t reserve a rental car or even the hotel room until it shows up because the companies instantly put a hold on your account when you make a reservation. We expect the funds to arrive today so making the reservations is on my to do list as soon as it shows up.

I’ve been mulling over what to do with the money and debating what is wise and what’s not every day. One of those debates has been whether or not to spend the extra money to get a Mac computer or PC for half the price. Last night this laptop showed the “Blue Screen of Death” when I opened it up. The same screen that’s appeared when it’s crashed irretrievably before. Fortunately I was able to recover it, partially because of what I’ve learned from the past crashes. This helped me make up my mind. Our computers are valuable tools that will become even more essential as the farm begins to take shape and become an operating business so it will be a wise long term investment in our future, just as my going to Toledo to buy equipment is. So we’ll get a Mac book pro laptop and maybe a Mac desktop computer too. Now the question is “Do I get one used or new?” because there are used ones at half the price online. I think probably new.

Today I want to finish up sowing the rye. I quit when the tractor ran out of gas yesterday. What’s left is the small plots I have to sow by hand but I can use the tire drag to cover them with for part of it. We didn’t get the rain or snow that was predicted but there is a possibility of some tomorrow. Getting this rye in is important for next spring as I will till it under to enhance the soil. Actually I didn’t finish yesterday because I had one of those real bad headaches that shut me down. So when the tractor ran out of gas I did to. There’s plenty to do so no time left to spend writing. Gotta go.

preparing for Ohio

11/29/09 Sunday
Preparations for my trip to Ohio are high on the list. Reassuring Cherie is a big part of that. She caught some sales and bought clothes for me to wear up there and made the strawberry shortcake she knows I love last night. Sure wish I could take her with me but she can’t get off work. So I want to make sure she’s as comfortable as possible while I’m gone and that everything’s taken care of. At least everything I can do. To that end I’ll cut and split a log from our mulberry tree that I cut down two years ago. Much of the firewood we have for this winter was given to us but is old and partly rotted. It burns good but still has some bugs in it and some of the pieces are pretty big and hard to handle. I got a lot of wood from Midland that is still not fully dried and seasoned so am saving it for the end of the year. The mulberry wood is seasoned and I’ll cut it into pieces that are easier for Cherie to handle. Tomorrow I’ll make a run to the landfill where I’ll dump the garbage and get rid of lots of other stuff that’s been accumulating.

Last night I was out on the tractor with a flashlight trying to see where I was going as rushed to finish covering the rye seed. That didn’t work out. The flashlight wasn’t strong enough for me to see where I’d already passed and needed to go so I guessed a lot and just zig zagged to cover as much as I could. Went out this morning after the sun came up to see how I did. Not too bad but missed some spots. Running this tractor beats me up and then frustrates me. It will run well until it gets hot and then quit so I must let it cool off to start up again. Add to that things like the power steering doesn’t work, reverse quits working once it warms up, the gas tank leaks so I only put a gallon or two in at a time, thus it runs out of gas regularly so I must carry the gas out to were it stopped, and that I must press so hard on the accelerator that my leg wears out you can see how physically demanding it can be. But despite that the tractor is a blessing and makes work much easier. I was reminded of that when I pulled the seed broadcaster by hand to sow rye in plots too small for the tractor to go. Didn’t take long for me to get out of breath. Hard to believe I did the whole five acres by hand before.

Friday, November 27, 2009

This, that, and the other

11/27/09 Friday
It’s almost 11:00 now. I’m frustrated, as I often am. It’s not just the headache and the fact that I’m slow that frustrates me. There is so much to do and I’m having difficulty doing it because the tractor again refuses to go into reverse. It used to be I could coax it to do so but now it gets to the point where it won’t back up at all. I did manage to plow some furrows before it warmed up to the level reverse stops working. I can’t hook on to the disc if I can’t back up to it and that’s a tool I need to use. There’s no way I can drag it to the tractor. Maybe later I can drag the device I made by bolting tires together and chaining them to a three point hitch up to the tractor so I can use it but that is doubtful. Perhaps after the tractor cools off reverse will work again. I don’t know but will find out. We may get rain or snow this weekend so I really want to plant the six hundred pounds of rye seed that are sitting in the garage, but that will require using the tire drag to cover the seeds over. I was considering hooking the broadcast spreader to the tractor behind the disc and spreading seed but now I think I must pull it by hand like I did last year. That took days to do and then weeks to rake it all under by hand.

I so hope to buy a better tractor when I go to Ohio. The flight is scheduled to leave Wednesday morning. There is lots I need to do before I go. I must bring in firewood so Cherie will be able to keep warm while I’m gone. I’m pretty nervous about being away that long. And I’m uncertain if I can find the deals I hope for. When I looked at the vehicle list for the auction there was only one 2003 truck and a few 2002’s but the rest were older and all of them are fleet trucks that are being gotten rid of by companies. That means that most have been used pretty hard but we’ll see. There are probably some good buys there but I don’t want to buy a problem. I have higher hopes when it comes to getting a tractor and farm equipment. This is where I have to trust in God. It’s hard to be all positive when it’s all a big unknown to me. We don’t have much money and need to be careful. As I worked outside this morning I thought on all the things we need to do and could use, then added things up in my head. It didn’t take long to see that the inheritance won’t last long and needs to be spent wisely. So while I’d like a 2006 truck it might not be reasonable. Ultimately we want to create a working farm that will produce an income so the money will be spent to achieve that goal.

I wish this headache would go away. Cherie was up and out at 5:30 this morning to go shopping. I’m happy not to go, not a real shopper. I want to tell of what happened Wednesday. I met Cherie in Odessa as we both had to be there for different reasons. We met at the GLC bookstore and then decided to find someplace to eat out. After getting directions from someone at the store we headed out with Cherie following me. I got lost not being able to read the signs due to the sun setting in my eyes so just pulled into the first place I found. Walking in there was no one to seat you and I could see everyone was in the lounge, which was a smoking area. I walked through the dining room but saw no one so we were about to leave when a patron came out of the bar and said he’d find someone to help us. Ok, so we’d stay then.

The waitress encouraged us to sit in the lounge saying there was full service for meals as well as drinks so I explained that both nicotine and alcohol can trigger seizures because of my brain injury. When she learned of that she told us about her niece, who had sustained a traumatic brain injury last year. I remember hearing about it on the news, she had hit a tree while riding a four wheel ATV. She wasn’t expected to live and is in a facility that helps TBI and stroke survivors learn how to function. We told the waitress about the multiple brain injuries I survived and how they had tore us apart and then brought us back together twenty years later. It brought tears to her eyes, as telling our story so often does. I gave her the blog address and encouraged her to have the niece and her family read it and get in touch with me. It always amazes me how many people we run into who know someone who is a TBI survivor. She told of the hardships her niece is overcoming and about how well she is doing. I think seeing and talking to us encouraged her, at least I hope so.

Yesterday we were invited to John and Cindy’s for thanksgiving. They are good friends from our Sunday school class. We were happy to be invited and Cherie cooked a green bean casserole to contribute. There were others there as well, John and Cindy’s daughter, husband, and three granddaughters in addition to Ed and his wife and another woman who’s name I can’t remember. The food was wonderful of course and lots of it. But we enjoyed the conversation and fellowship the most. It’s nice to be around people and also interesting to experience a different culture from what I’m familiar with. The granddaughters were adorable little girls and one played some hymns on the piano, another recited some poems, and the third one, the youngest, was encouraged to sing a song. She was pretty shy and had to be coaxed. Then we all sang some songs and Ed read a psalm that required group participation. It was all very different from what we have experienced and refreshing too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's a cold morning

11/25/09 Wednesday
I visited with Geneva for about four hours yesterday. There were some tasks around the house she needed help and advice about but mostly she needed someone to talk to. I looked at her financial stuff and it didn’t take long for me to understand that I don’t know enough about it to give good advice so I’ll ask around to find someone who can help her with it. Part of the problem is that she is a victim of the chaos that came with the financial crisis. The first company was AG Edwards, then Wachovia, and it appears that Wells Fargo bought them out because the statements suddenly bore their name. And somehow Met life is part of it. Seems that she had been talked into buying a variable interest annuity despite telling the salesman she didn’t want that kind. He told her that his whole family had purchased them from his grandparents down to his children to convince her to buy it. A month later he was no longer employed there. What gets me is that she gave them $80,000 for this investment and now it is valued at only $44,000. This boggles my mind and I fail to understand why or how that happened. So I will seek help from those who know more than I.

I’ll be helping the old man again this morning. Did some digging and stuff for him yesterday. Paid for that later. Geneva could tell I was hurting and feared it was because of things I did for her so I reassured her it wasn’t a big deal and just a daily part of my life. I forgot to poop scoop yesterday so will run to Midland and do that. It just slipped my mind despite the fact I went to Midland to do it. Guess I had a “bob” moment. It’s definitely cold this morning, about 24 degrees out. Time to go.
It’s noon now. I finished laying the tile for the old man’s septic system on the new building he’s putting up. I was going to do more, perhaps work on the chairs I’m restoring for him, but the pain level is up there so I called it a day. Went and picked up mail and bought some tacos for lunch. The transmission on the truck has been rough for a while but on the way home it wouldn’t shift out of first without a lot of coaxing. It’s been shifting from first to third lately and begins to slip in drive so it needs help for sure. I hope to get another truck while in Toledo but still want to keep this one running and have it around as a spare. I think I’ll replace the filter and see if that helps. I had questioned whether I should get another truck so this helped answer that question. I need to go to Midland and do the poop scooping I forgot yesterday plus we need to buy some bottled water. The water we got from the Stanton water station is salty. That’s not comfortable. They had a sign up regarding having been shut down for repairs and thanking you for patronizing the place but getting twenty gallons of salty water is unsettling. Especially when the city has been cited for the level of nitrates in their water recently. Nuts. So I’ll be buying water in Midland. But for now I must lay here till the pain pill starts working and my back relaxes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I've been negligent.

11/24/09 Tuesday
There is much on my mind. So many things to consider and make decisions on. This morning I’ll help the old man do some things and this afternoon I plan on visiting that sweet little old lady God brought us to. I had neglected to keep up with her, got busy and never made the time to drop by and see how she was doing. She had lost our phone number and in desperation went online to look up the blog and left a message for me. She had had car troubles and taken it to a mechanic, who took her to the cleaners in no uncertain terms. Not once but several times for thousands of dollars yet he never fixed the problem. Then he directed her to another mechanic who also took advantage of her but didn’t fix the problem. It was a popping sound and the smell of burning wires, among other symptoms. Finally it happened on the loop and she pulled over and had to bail out of the car because of the smoke. Now she was forced to buy another vehicle and the dealership only gave her five hundred dollars for her car as a trade in. Odds are she paid too much for the Mazda they sold her and she can’t afford to make the payments. I feel bad, and guilty, that I wasn’t there for her to help and prevent others from taking advantage of her. There are issues with an investment account she was sold that I will try to address for her. The guy who sold it to her got fired a month later and definitely misled her. Now she has lost thousands of dollars in that and they (Wachovia) are telling her she needs to pay them $7500 for money they moved into an account that wasn’t supposed to be moved. She had called about it and the person reassured her it was ok to use the money to pay bills. It wasn’t so now she must pay it back plus a penalty. I’m sick about it but uncertain if there is anything I can do. It’s not an area I’m familiar with, money and investments. So pray for wisdom that I can advise or help in this. Today I plan on looking at the paperwork and taking notes to insure I understand things. Then I hope to get advice from those who know more than I do. That’s a whole lot of people you know, those who know more than I do.

That’s it for this morning. Gotta go.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Plenty to do

11/21/09 Monday
I’m slowly getting my laptop up to speed. Everything they recovered from the hard drive is jumbled up. There were hundreds of temporary files just for the journal that I had to go through, one for each entry it looks like. Then I’ve had to download the software again, such as my windows office programs. That process will continue as I find things I need. The computer wouldn’t recognize or work with documents until I verified and registered works, or publisher, or whatever program originally made the document. So we had to find the original software packages and get the numbers off of them. But I have my laptop back. Now I need to try once again to activate the security on our Linksys wireless router in order to prevent others from tapping into the system and running up our time.

I’ll work for the old man this morning and then there is lots to do here. Now that I have my laptop back I must find the documents related to the business plan and gather them into a folder. That’s part of the problem with the backed up info, none of the original organization exists anymore. But at least the information has been recovered. So there’s plenty of work to do. I've got about ten thousand pictures to organize too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Find beauty under the ugly

11/21/09 Saturday
I got my computer back. They said that the data was successfully backed up. I’ll find out for sure later. But with that done I was able to successfully install a new operating system so the laptop works fine now, with the exception of the fact that the new battery still won’t work. I’m sure that this is due to my not doing something write when I put the new motherboard in. Either that or the new motherboard is defective or perhaps the new battery. I need a new computer but we’ll have to wait and see exactly what the inheritance from my dad will be. With the new operating system installed I basically have a blank computer just like it was when we bought it six years ago. So now begins the process of finding and installing all the software programs that were added over the course of that time. Right now I’m putting the spyware program on. Yesterday the first thing that happened when I went online was that it checked for updates with Microsoft. You can bet there were a lot of them, six years worth. That took hours to download and install. Eventually I’ll start the process of manually downloading all the files and information that the computer place was able to recover. In the meantime I’ll continue keeping this journal on Cherie’s laptop.

I dug up some of the old wood that I was able to recover from my old warehouse in Toledo, stuff that people didn’t recognize as valuable so didn’t steal. The reason I dug it out was that the old man wanted to look at it to see if he would like to use it as a mantle on his fireplace. So I got the big sander/grinder out and removed the rough surface off of some of it so that you can see the beauty hidden underneath. The fact that you couldn’t and that it looked so rough is the reason it wasn’t stolen. Few people would have any idea that this is black walnut. Not just regular walnut, which is valuable in its’ own right, but black walnut, a much rarer variety. I so much love finding beauty in ugliness and in bringing it out through hard work. This helps inspire me to get back into the woodworking I love. I need to clean up the garage in order to access the woodworking equipment I’ve been blessed with.

I’ve been working on bolting these tires together and then will attach them to the three point hitch with some chains. It’s been killing by back but I’m used to that. As I worked on it this morning I had a slowdown so took a break (thus I’m writing this) Cherie took Carman kitty to the vet this morning. She is stressing badly about my going to Toledo. I love her and don’t want to be the cause of that. Her fears are legitimate and not totally unreasonable. I understand and actually share some of them. I would prefer taking her with me as she provides a security for me just as much as I do for her and I know that with her at my side trouble is less likely to find me. We must trust in God.

I fired up the tractor and worked some on making a drive. I found a source of caliche, which is a white rock that is used on roads and stuff like that around here, so I want to prepare some places to put it. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long before the tractor doesn’t like to go into reverse and this time it’s worse than usual. I managed to back it up to the plow I put together so I hooked that up, anxious to see how it works. It works great. Only took a few minutes to do what used to take days. But the tractor is giving me fits so I finally gave up and parked it. On the way I knocked over a fence post. The bar that holds the plow blades sticks out from the side of the tractor so I’ll have to get used to that. On Facebook there’s a farm game that people play where they go through different kinds of scenarios in the process of building a farm. I get to play it for real. Little by little I’ll have a working farm. It’s a shame we got taken on the tractor so we’ll have to find a different one. But even this one is a big improvement on doing it all by hand.

I’m exhausted. Had a slowdown in the middle of the day. Can’t believe it’s only 5:00, feels like it should be 9:00. The back pain is high from working on the tire drag thing. Don’t want to lay down as it’s so nice out and will be dark in an hour.

Friday, November 20, 2009

We need to wake up

11/20/09 Friday
Just a quick note before I head out to take advantage of another beautiful day. It’s chilly but that works well with hard work. I watched with sadness the infomercial disguised as the news this morning and it reveals so much about our country. It was on ABC’s Good Morning America, the only national network we can pick up. They spend a large percentage of their time “reporting” on this new cruise ship that is the biggest ever built. It’s so obvious that this is a paid for promotion, at least to me. This is normal for the show and probably for the other networks as well. Are they just reporting on what they think America wants to hear? Or are they purposely designing to just feed us fluff and keep American’s uninformed, misinformed, and filled with a false sense of security in this ever increasingly volatile world we live in? Do most Americans desire to bury their heads in the sand and choose to hide from and ignore ugly truths? I don’t know the answers to these questions for sure but have a good idea of what the truth is. “We” want to be entertained and distracted. And I believe that there are forces in the world that are increasing in their control and influence and use that to blindfold us and lead us like sheep where they wish. We need to wake up and take back our country.

That’s it. I’ve got a farm to build.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Toledo danger on my mind

11/19/09 Thursday
I lost a chunk of yesterday but cleared up and got a second wind towards sundown. So I put the fisherman’s headlight on and worked after it got dark. This morning the pain in my bones was high so I suspect a front moved through. It’s gorgeous out there so I want to get moving and take advantage of both the weather and a clear mind. There is a slim possibility of rain tonight so I will work on sowing the rye seed. Part of that project requires that I bolt together the old tires and chain them to the three point hitch I took the plow blade off of. This I will use to cover the seed after it’s sowed and will be a lot quicker than raking five acres under by hand.

Cherie will fax the paperwork over that will transfer my inheritance to us. Not sure how long that will take but it should be available when I go to Toledo in the first week of December. Cherie is stressing real bad about that. I wish she could go with me just for her assurance. I’ll call her every day. She’s not good about being alone and I am a great source of security and comfort for her. Last night she asked “Do you want to know what I fear?”. I already knew but also know that she needs to express it and needed my reassurance. The nearly twenty years she lived alone after our divorce were hell on her so I understand that fear of being alone and losing me again. The fact is though, that Cherie is also my assurance and having her in my life is a primary factor preventing me from even wanting to return to my old life. So I will take Cherie with me in my heart when I go to Toledo. Cherie and God will be my shield against all the temptations Toledo offers.

When I go it will be a whirlwind of activity. There’s the auto auction and farm equipment sales, which are my primary reasons for making the trip. Then I hope to help Suzie obtain the life insurance from her mom’s death. There are lots of emotions to deal with there and Suzie’s emotions are the reason she hasn’t done this. I want to spend some time with my two sons, another source of great emotion. I’ll visit with my ex and see if she still wants to give me the wood burner that sits unused in what used to be my house. I hope to work through lots of the garbage that’s connected to that divorce. Not so much for me as for her but she can help me fill in some of the blanks in my memories of that time. We were able to talk on the phone a week ago without too much bitterness coming out.

Plus I have so many friends to visit, people I lose touch with over the miles. My friend, Sonny, died a few weeks ago so I will drop by and see his brother. There’s a long list of old friends and people to check on. Odds are I won’t see them all in the week I’ll be there, but I’ll try. Then it’s hopefully going to be a long drive back to Texas with a new truck pulling a trailer full of farm equipment. I’ll stop in St Louis on the way back and visit the people there who helped me so much as I recovered from the accident. People who loved me despite being in bad shape, or maybe because of it. People who gave me clothes, food, and a place to stay. Along with that a visit to the Brain Injury Institute that helped me so much before I was yanked up and extradited to Toledo.

So there is a lot on my mind. Time to go, got work to do.
I kept busy and suppose I got a lot done, but nowhere near what I wanted to do. I’m worn out now. Didn’t realize how tired I was till I came in and laid down for a minute while Cherie got dinner ready. When she brought it in and I went to sit up it hit me. Sitting up hurt and was a chore. I’ll go to bed early tonight. Got some good sunset pictures so here’s one of them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another beautiful day

11/18/09 Wednesday
It’s another beautiful day, weather wise. Sure it froze again last night but it’s already T shirt temperature and it’s almost 10:00. But I’m comfortable in a T shirt when it’s fifty degrees out. There is always so much to do. I got a lot done yesterday regarding what was on my to do list. I need to make another list this morning to help me keep focused and get the important stuff done. Cherie and I start our days out with prayer now and often end them that way too. This is all a sign of how my faith is being restored step by step and little by little. I am becoming more aware every day as my eyes are opened to what surrounds us, aware of spiritual things and of the directions the world is heading. And it renews an urgency to get this farm going, to put together the business plan so we can establish the self sufficient, self sustaining center of agriculture that I’ve had a vision for since before we even inherited the farm. At the prayer luncheon I spoke at a man told me that he had the strong impression that this would become a place of refuge in the future. It verifies what I’ve known in my heart. Things are happening and change will come rapidly folks. Our securities will disappear and we will learn to lean on God.

Don’t know where that came from. Well, actually I do. Anyway, there’s much to do so I must order my day to get as much done as possible. Cherie’s computer is a mess. I went to restore it and there are no longer any restore points, they have all disappeared. Whatever is causing the trouble is connected to the Mozilla Firefox browser because when I use Explorer I don’t get the interrupting program trying to contact the internet. Spysweeper can’t find a problem but one of the sites I looked at said that program misses lots of stuff and only detected 10% of spyware and viruses. Of course they were trying to sell their spyware so I read that with a grain of salt. I took mine to a computer place next to the old Mervyn’s store to see if they can recover the information on it. They said it might take a week to do because they are so busy. I’m so tired of this constant fight with viruses and the other stuff that messes up our computers. The guy at the computer store said lots of the problems come from “drivers” for different hardware and software programs, they often have a hard time working with Windows. He didn’t encourage me to get a Mac computer but he doesn’t work on them so that’s to be expected.
I got the two plows put together yesterday. Or maybe the day before, can’t remember accurately. I had to go buy bigger tools to do it. Previously I’ve been able to get by with a 3/8 drive socket set and a couple of wrenches but this farm stuff requires bigger ammunition. So we ran to Harbor Freight where I picked up some ¾ inch stuff and a bigger crescent wrench. Got a ½ inch socket set too. The two plow blades aren’t the same depth but it’s the best I can do and better than nothing. Don't know how close or far you're supposed to put them. Like most things I'm just guessing. I wonder if the tractor is even able to pull them both.

Looks like I’ll be going to Ohio in early December. There’s a car auction and then a big farm sale then that Nate told me about. We’ll see. Cherie can’t get off work and I know she’ll worry herself sick about me being gone that long and in Toledo as well. She knows, as I do, how much trouble Toledo can offer and that there are dangers there for me. I’ll have to be real careful when I go. If it works right I’ll fly up and drive back with a new truck, tractor, and trailer to haul it and whatever else I get with.

I seem to have fixed what was wrong with Cherie’s computer. It appears to have been the software for the external hard drive we use to back up with. That’s one less headache.
I was having a problem figuring out what to do. It’s frustrating when this happens. Went outside and just got kind of confused as I struggled to choose something to do. So I went inside and laid down, turned on the TV and there were only judge shows, judge Judy and Alex. I sometimes like to watch them but there were stupid people on with selfish problems that were a result of their life styles and decisions. I’ve seen plenty of that in my life and for that matter did plenty of stupid selfish life choices myself. So it was generally disgusting to watch and sad as well. But it makes me glad I’ve left those lives behind and helps me appreciate where I am now. Plus it helps me see the benefits of morality, of practicing the principles of honor and integrity, of choosing to do what’s right even though I know I can get away with doing other things that would provide some personal gain. It’s long term thinking versus short term.

So I turned the TV off and went back outside. Just hate to waste time when there’s so much to do. But it was still confusing and frustrating. Makes me feel stupid, like some kind of idiot that people laugh at. So I came in and called Cherie. That’s when I figured out I was having a slow down. I could hear it in my voice as I struggled to come up with words and to interpret what she said. And I have a headache too. These things often come together. So I’ll dig up fence posts and focus on simple tasks. Cherie is going to do the water exercise at the Midland pool so won’t be home till late. She was going to skip it and come home when she heard how bad I was doing but I told her not to. She really likes the water exercise program and it’s something she can do without causing a lot of pain. Plus it’s healthy for her and helps her lose weight. So I encouraged her to go. It would be nice if some of her friends could join her, then there would be a group and that’s always good because they would all encourage each other. I’ll pray for that to happen. When I pray things happen, I think. I’m pretty slow right now. Will probably read this later and wonder what I was thinking. It’s hard to think. Like being on drugs without the drugs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Had to break the ice

11/17/09 Tuesday
Geese, the month is flying by. There is so much going on and so much to consider that I must make lists to sort out what needs to be done when. Yesterday I carefully drained the farm water system and turned off the valves in preparation for the freeze we had last night. I always figure out how I should have done something after I did it the wrong way. Unfortunately I had installed the valves in the wrong place. As a result there are five water spigots that I’m unable to turn the water off. This is bad because if anything should happen, like a pipe freezing and bursting, or me running it over with the tractor (did that earlier this year) then I must turn the well off and that means there is no water anywhere, including the house. So I carefully wrapped each one with insulation and covered them all over with plastic drums. Today I might install a cut off valve in a better place. I say “might” because there is so much to do that I can’t guarantee getting to it.

I had to break the ice on the dogs water this morning and can tell by how thick it was (one inch) how hard of a freeze we had. Then I had a thought. I never checked the water in the tractor to see if it had anti freeze in it or not. Nuts. If it doesn’t and froze the odds are I have a cracked block on it. So checking that is now first on my agenda. It’s an old beat up tractor but it runs and is all I have so I need to take care of it.

Here are some of the things we are thinking carefully about. I have a few thousand dollars coming as a result of my dad’s death. It’s not money he left me, it’s the inheritance my grandmother on his side left me in 1971 that dad had control of but never released to me. I don’t know if dad had a will or not. No one has mentioned it to me if he did. He did tell me on the phone, during the one conversation we had before his death, that he “Hasn’t forgotten me” and that he would “Take care of me”. I don’t know what he meant by that. He had a hard time talking at all and the conversation was short due to his health. I so much wish and regret that we weren’t able to talk further, that we weren’t able to complete the reconciliation that had started.

But we’ll be getting the money and some stocks I inherited nearly forty years ago. The stocks are with a Canadian oil company and had unfortunately taken a nose dive when Obama became the president. It’s not a lot of cash but it is significant in what it can do for us. But we have to be wise and careful with it for I know how fast money can dissipate into nothingness. So here’s a list of things we are thinking on.

I need a new truck (Not “New” mind you, just one that isn’t as beat up)
We need a new water well.
We are thinking about upgrading my laptop.
A better tractor is a definite need.
Implements and tools for farming.
Would like to build a henhouse and start raising chickens.
Need to build more storage space by adding on to the garage.
Possibly build a greenhouse onto the side of the garage.
Need to put up fencing around various garden plots.
Create a vegetable stand with the old school bus.
Our bathroom needs some serious work. The plumbing is stopped up from mineral deposits, among other things.
I would like to pay for some labor and help around here. There is so much I can’t do by myself and having a little help will make a huge difference.
Buy seeds, fertilizer, and irrigation parts for next year.
Buy and plant windbreak trees, complete with drip irrigation.
Find better internet access.
There are of course many other things but that’s a quick off the top of my head list.

Working on the business plan is something I must refocus on. Today I will take my laptop in and pay to have the information recovered from it. I had hoped to do so myself using the knoppix CD Eric downloaded for me but come to find out it doesn’t work well with Windows XP. Besides that I get lost and confused to easy with that stuff. I called around yesterday and found a place that will back it up for $40, way cheaper than the $100 that Best Buy wanted. That will help me get back going on the business plan.

So we’re off again. Time to quit dilly dallying and get to work. Need to run spysweeper because something called maxbackserviceint keeps trying to connect with the internet and is disrupting things. So it looks like Cherie picked up a virus or something. I've got pictures to post but can't with this thing interrupting every few seconds.
There weren’t any viruses, at least not that Spysweeper could detect. Seems that the program that was incessant to go online is connected to our Seagate external hard drive. This stuff drives me nuts and will probably be the motivator when it comes to deciding whether or not I get a Mac when we get a new laptop. I can but two pc’s for the price of a Mac but the headaches we’ve been getting from Microsoft products have cost us dear so… I’m frugal but there’s the total cost to consider and what price do you put on frustrations and lost data? I’m leaning towards Mac right now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I am Blessed beyond measure.

This morning's sunrise

11/13/09 Friday
Friday the thirteenth, the day my youngest son was born. He’s not my son by blood but because I had the privilege of raising him since he was about three or four years old. I got to talk to him a couple of days ago. I think it’s been a year or two since we had a conversation other than my dropping an email or message on the internet. It was good to talk but always a little strained when I do. That’s because of the distance between us. Not the physical distance but the one created through my divorce from his mom eight years ago. I talked to her a few minutes as well and that too was uncomfortable. But that’s to be expected all things considered. She helped fill in some of the many blanks I have in my memory but they weren’t necessarily good blanks to be filled in that they aren’t good memories.

However, the truth, no matter how unpleasant, is a good thing to know. Barb told of just how lunatic I had become in those closing months before the accident, telling of how I had been carrying an axe and baseball bat talking about hearing sounds and being paranoid. I let her know that the doctors discovered I had had a stroke during this time and showed Cherie the MRI that revealed it. Coupled with depression and drug use I was beyond left field by then. Oh, how far I had fallen. What a long way it was from running the two companies I had built from scratch that had employed 127 people one year to later being homeless wandering lost.

The car wreck truly saved me life. What an irony and scriptural metaphor that is. I was pronounced dead at the scene and am still listed as a fatality by the state of Oklahoma but in being brought back to life was given a chance at a new life. With the brain damage I was kind of “born again”, having to learn how to walk and talk and then learn how to function and get along with people. That part is an ongoing process you know, learning how to get along. In the Bible it speaks of how we must die to our old lives in order to be born again to a new one. My new life is so much better than what I had before. It’s peaceful and quiet, more or less, but mostly it’s with Cherie, my first and only love. Talking with Barb helped me appreciate that even more.

So today is a new day, as every day is. There was a wonderful sunrise that I had to get up and take pictures of. Love to share these with you just as I love to share what God has and is doing in our life. Work to do so enough chit chat.
Click to enlarge.

11:30 – Time for a break. I’ve been cleaning up the back yard in preparation for eventually leveling it out and planting Bermuda grass. Shouldn’t plant it till mid spring according to what I read so will work to get it ready for then. It will be nice to eventually have a real lawn instead of weeds and blown in sand. There are lots of rocks and other things that have accumulated back there over the three or four years we have lived here. I worked till my pain level told me to take a break, as I usually do. I can tell time by it for the pain medication begins to wear off about 11:00. One of the things we look forward to with the inheritance from my father is that I will be able to hire someone to help me do so many things that need doing. It will be a night to day difference around here with just that little bit of help. There is so much to do and so much potential for this place that just a little extra help will work wonders. I so look forward to next year regarding this farm, especially after not doing much of anything this year. I’m really disappointed with myself regarding that. Seems like I just sat on my ass and didn’t accomplish anything. Can’t let that happen again.

I fixed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and took a pain pill. The dogs are all passed out on the floor here in the office with me. It’s peaceful. Trixie had another tick on her. We can’t seem to get rid of them but they don’t seem to be on any of the other dogs. I don’t understand that. We gave them all the frontline treatment at the same time so maybe I somehow missed her.

Today I’ll pick up the disc Eric downloaded for me so hopefully that will allow me to get my laptop up and running again. One of the investments we plan on making is a new one for me and with the inheritance I might go ahead and get a Mac. But in the meantime I’ve got the pc and it’s got everything on it so getting it running is vital.

Perhaps we will be able to afford to build a henhouse and start raising chickens. That will be another big step forward toward our goals of building this farm into a profitable enterprise. Good eggs and meat from organic farm raised chickens are a delicacy that are healthy and beyond what you can get at the grocery store. But that will require a lot of education and work to accomplish. Plus we’ll have to figure out what to do about the dogs. I can assume that Gretchen will see them as a meal, having been a stray, and Ben too.

Then there’s Rascal and Trixie to worry about. Rascal spends his days chasing all the birds around and is fixated on them. He’ll sit below the power lines barking at the sparrows and dove sitting on them above. When the fly he scurries after them. The barn swallows play with him on purpose, flying slowly near the ground just in front of him to get him going. Then they go into a tree and laugh, teasing him incessantly. If he stops barking I’ve watched them fly down at him just to get him going again.

So the chickens could be a problem and we will have to keep them locked away or something. I plan on using the chickens to help prepare garden areas so will have to build something called a chicken tractor. It’s basically a rolling cage that allows you to confine the chickens to specific areas and then move them easily to another. They will scratch up the dirt well, eat bugs and weeds, and of course provide some “natural” fertilizer in the process. If we get some guinea hens that will be even better. Chickens will tear up a garden area and destroy good plants along with weeds. But guinea hens will go through a garden area and eat the bugs but leave the plants alone. So they are a natural, non poisonous, pesticide so to speak, and can be a powerful tool when it comes to growing organically. Plus I can make money selling them so that’s good business. After all a farm is a business and making a profit is important.

It’s 12:23 now. The pain meds are working and it’s time to get back out there. I lost a big part of yesterday work wise. I kept out trying to work but didn’t accomplish a lot. Today I’m doing well so don’t want to waste time writing when I can do other things.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm deciding to have a good day

No pictures because internet connection is too slow
11/10/09 Tuesday
It’s going to be a beautiful day, weather wise. And it’s going to be a good day because I say so. That has a lot to do with it you know. We all choose what kind of day we have by our attitudes and decisions we make. Of course things can always come up that weren’t planned or predicted but even then the attitude dictates a lot. I don’t always have that good attitude and when things like depression rear their ugly head it can trash an otherwise good day. But I’m deciding to have a good day.

I’ll try to download that knopix program again, providing the internet connection and speed are good. No sense in trying if they are not. Today’s a poop scoop day so I’ll be going into Midland. I’ll look at external hard drive enclosures again. Best Buy has one but it costs fifty bucks. Called around to some other computer places and they don’t have any in stock at the moment.

Got another call from a law firm in Ohio. They had sent a nasty collections letter a month or so back and when I called told me it was for workers compensation payments I owed for one of my companies. When I inquired about details they didn’t have any so contacted the state to get them. Come to find out it’s for the year 1993. “Are you kidding!” I told the lady. That’s eleven years ago. “Isn’t there a statute of limitations on that?” I asked her. She didn’t know the answer, and she’s a lawyer? Then I explained that I had been sent to prison in 1992 and didn’t get out till 1995 (There’s a heck of a story on that too) so the companies had all been closed down. Plus it was an “Estimated” amount of money due, they estimated what I would have owed based I guess on previous years in business. And Cherie and I had filed bankruptcy in 2004 so I presume that covers workers compensation payments but really don’t know. So I’ll send a notarized statement to the law firm, who will forward it to the Ohio Attorney General, stating that I was in prison. The problem is that my ex took over the companies when I went to prison so they operated for a short time before she pretty much trashed them and squandered any cash and value that was there. I have no records or ability to say what happened when.

There’s always something happening, isn’t there? Oh well, I won’t worry about it. Won’t do any good. So the state of Ohio wants me to pay an amount plus interest and penalties on an amount of money they “estimated” I owe. Fun fun. Kind of like a colonoscopy from the government, looking through the bowels of my past life for whatever they can find.

Today I’ll mail a birthday card to my youngest son. I sure miss them both and wonder what his life is like. I talk to the oldest on occasion so keep up with him, but Adam is harder. He’s learning disabled and has a hard time writing. Unfortunately writing is a main way I communicate. I don’t talk on the phone much, partly because I have a hard time remembering the conversation, though I’m much better now.

I’ll crawl back under the truck today and look at the U-joints. Something isn’t right as the drive shaft is still vibrating badly. It’s an aluminum drive shaft and they are notorious for getting out of balance so I hope that’s not what happened. The U-joint had been bad for a while and I nursed the truck along for several months so I may have damaged it. But I’m thinking I might not have put the U-joint in right so it may be off center. The other U-joint seemed to be fine so I didn’t replace it.

There’s work to do so time to go.

Trying to open up my blog tells me that the internet connection is still moving at a snails pace, slower than dial up. Yesterday I totally disconnected our wireless router and hooked Cherie’s computer up directly to the satellite. That way there is no wireless for others to tap into and use up our time. With Cherie’s computer being the only one working right now it’s not a real inconvenience. Eventually I’ll need to figure out how to put the password security on the wireless router. Tried several times but got lost and confused so gave up.
It’s 1:00 now. I went to the old man’s this morning and worked on refinishing his chairs. They are in bad shape and need a lot of help. He came out and we talked a bit about this and that stuff. I like talking to him but wish I could be more comfortable doing so. I worry too much about saying something wrong I think. It’s hard for me to talk to many people because of that. I come from a different world so there is little to relate. Back on the East side of Toledo I do just fine. Unfortunately much of that world isn’t good for me and is a world I chose to leave behind. But it was home and where I was comfortable and fit in.

My pain level is pretty high right now. So I took a pain pill to go along with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I had. Thought about getting a hamburger at the drug store but hurt so bad I’m not walking well and have a headache on top if that so decided to come home. I’ll have to lay down a while.

I’ll be running into Midland today and have plenty to do. It’s a poop scoop day so that’s part of it. Then I plan on shopping for computer stuff I can use to fix my laptop. I need to ask someone if they can download that knopix program for me and burn it on a CD. I’ll call Eric cause he’s good at that stuff. If Cherie’s wi fi worked I could take her laptop in and download it at Janie’s while I poop scoop. Actually I might take her laptop with me and see if it works on Janie’s wireless. That would verify whether or not it’s Cherie’s laptop or our wireless router that doesn’t work.

The internet is still crawling. It’s been five minutes now and I still haven’t been able to read my first of three emails I have. Just looked again and it’s a blank screen that says “Transferring data” at the bottom. Now it says “Oops, can’t load your email, please try again”. I’ll check Cherie’s computer for viruses again to make sure that’s not the problem.

Finally I can read my first email. Then I’ll try to get to my blog and post this. After that I must lay down and let the pain pill take affect. In about an hour, I’m guessing, I’ll be able to get moving again.

Monday, November 09, 2009

All is well.

11/9/09 Monday
It’s a cool cloudy morning. I see that I haven’t made an entry since the colonoscopy so should report that all is well. I replaced a u-joint on my truck that was definitely bad but it still vibrates badly. Nuts. I’ll crawl back under it today to see if I did something wrong. If I can’t find anything I’ll just keep it under 60 mph like I’ve been doing for a couple of months now. It’s got a lot of miles on it, kinda like me, so needs to be babied.

I called my friend Wayne up this morning. He’s the guy I met at the homeless shelter that has MS. I helped him get his disability approved and found housing for him. We became good friends. I also heard from my other friend, Allen. He still fights severe depression so needed to talk to someone. We talked for almost an hour. Depression I understand see how it’s something I must fight regularly. Got an email that set me back a little this morning. It fed my doubts and worries about something that I won’t go into here. I’ll have to put it in God’s hands. My faith in people was damaged long ago through seeing the reality of how some act so it’s hard to trust. Honor and integrity are values everyone claims but not so many practice. This is a difficult place to be in mentally, dealing with these doubts and fears with little information to go on.
I’m frustrated. Been trying to download a program called Knopix that I could burn on a CD and use to open my laptop. Then I can back up all the data that’s on it so it wouldn’t get lost when I install a new operating system. Our internet access out here in the country is through satellite dish. We have the lowest cost service, which works fine but has a drawback. It’s a little slow but we are only allowed to transmit a limited amount of information within each 24 hour period, or some period of time they set. When we exceed that the speed slows down to a snails pace as a penalty. One of the problems we have with the wi fi broadcaster is that people pull off the road and tap into it, going online through our satellite and using up our time. So I’m trying to download 680 mb of data. It won’t do it in one sitting and keeps cutting off at 30 or so mb. Now everything’s slowed down and when I started to download again it showed that it would take four days to do so instead of the two hours it said when I first started trying to do this. I so much want to get my laptop up and running as the college is waiting on me for the business plan and the info is trapped on it. Now I have a hard time checking email in that it takes forever and I know posting this will take forever.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The festival begins?

Got some great sunset pictures yesterday. As always it's hard to decide which one to post. This isn't the prettiest or clearest one but I like the road going off to someplace unknown. Oh I know where the road goes but for someone who doesn't it adds to the flavor.

11/6/09 Friday
Let the festival begin? I had coffee and apple juice for breakfast. My stomach has been vociferous to say the least. Cherie could hear it growling across the room. Not feeling the sensation of hunger comes in handy at times like this. Cherie will take off work early because she will have to drive me home due to the anesthesia they will use. It won’t knock me out but will make me drowsy and relaxed. I wonder if I will be able to watch as the procedure is performed? That would be cool as I am eternally curious and would like to see me from the inside. Perhaps I’ll get a clue about who I really am on the inside? Nah, that’s just me trying to be funny. I already have a good idea who I am both inside and out and unlike some am rather transparent with no pretense.

The wireless on Cherie’s computer has stopped working. It had been getting weak in that it showed that the signal from our wi-fi was low, even when I put it next to the unit. So either her wireless device in the laptop has gone bad or our wi-fi router has. With only one computer working there’s nothing to compare it to. I don’t think it’s hard to replace from what I remember when I took mine apart to replace the motherboard.

I’m anxious to get done with this medical stuff because there is so much to do. I’ve got a bath run so will hop in and clean up. Then I think I’ll work on getting the wood stove hooked up. Not much to that, just have to cut a pipe to fit. Then there’s some caulking to do but I need to find some black caulk so it looks good. Or perhaps some that I can paint. See ya.
I had to redo part of the stone floor. One of the stones didn’t sit flat so rocked when you walked on it. That broke all the mortar loose and I knew it would only get worse, especially because the stone was the one right in front of the wood stove so would be stepped on the most. So I pulled it out along with the adjacent stone and put mortar underneath to make it sit flat. It sits higher than the other stones now but is secure so I’ll live with that. Next time I know to put down stuff like my brother uses for tile work so everything lays better and secure.

It’s been difficult. I get dizzy easy when I stand up so definitely know I need protein. But that’s the way it is. Cherie informed me that I might not feel like eating after this procedure is done due to the anesthetic. I’ll need to eat something I’m sure. We leave in about an hour so I think I’ll lay down.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Expose darkness, scurry back under a rock

11/5/09 Thursday
This not eating for three days is not going to be fun. (Duh, state the obvious bob) The VA was supposed to overnight directions for all this colonoscopy stuff but it never came. So I drank two bottles of the laxative stuff they gave me with the predictable fun fun results. I’ll spare y’all the details. I feel weak and a little dizzy this morning and it’s only been one day. But there are things to do and the weather is nice. I’ll focus on the stone floor this morning but I also need to do some work on the old man’s doors. Perhaps I should do that first because once I mix up mortar for the floor I won’t be able to stop till it’s done, or else the mortar dries up and turns hard. So that’s decided. See how I figure things out as I write? Writing helps me organize my thoughts and puts them down so I can go back and recall what I came up with.

My thoughts have been on my family a lot lately. I need to email my sister just to keep in touch, to keep the door of communication open. And I wonder about my brother, how he’s doing and about the bitterness inside him that he projected towards me. My thoughts are that this is a screen put up that he can hide behind for fear I will expose what I know about him. The truth is something that so many people seem to fear and hide from, exposure to the light that brings all things out and makes them visible for all to see. Jesus said that there is nothing done in the darkness that won’t come to light. A simple statement and truth that makes many uncomfortable. And I understand this well, having lived in the darkness for so long myself. In nature there are those creatures who’s normal habitat is the darkness, who live under stones and debris. When the stone is lifted you can see them scurrying for the cover of darkness that hides them and keeps their lives hidden from view. For these creatures it’s a protection mechanism and the way it should be for them to continue life, but for humans it is different. We weren’t made to hide under the cover of darkness but to be out in the light. And the lives we lead should be such that we fear not exposure but indeed welcome it and can bask in the light for the world to see without shame. This is a goal I strive for and part of the creed I live by, “Love Life, Live a life you can love, become a person you can be proud of”. It’s a continuing process with ups and downs. Living publicly through this blog for the world to see helps me accomplish this. You know how it is, we all “straighten up” when we know someone is watching us. When you see a police officer with a radar gun you check your speed and make sure you use the turn signals. When your mom’s watching, you watch your p’s and q’s. (that’s one of those interesting sayings I wonder about, where it came from and how it came to be)

Some idiot put ad’s for boots on about 20 of my blog posts. I don’t know if they developed a computer program that figured out how to bypass the thing where you copy down the malformed letters or did it by hand. So I had to spend a lot of time deleting them.

So I’ve had my coffee with honey for breakfast and need to get going. Don’t need to be as close to the bathroom for now so will go to the old man’s and put some clavo’s or whatever they are called on a door. They are these big hand hammered rivet looking things that really enhance the rustic look of the doors. Bye now.
I got the stone floor done. Didn’t have a clue what I was doing so did this and did that till something seemed to work. I’ll know more after it dries. I guess it’s warming up because I worked up quite a sweat doing it. Of course I was in a hurry because I didn’t know how long it would be before the mortar started setting up. Had to add water to it as I didn’t mix enough in the first time. But it’s done and now I can hook up the wood stove.

I’ve got one of those headaches. Unfortunately I can’t take aspirin because of the upcoming colonoscopy. I can take all the pain pills I need but no aspirin because it makes things look like they are bleeding or something. Too bad the pain pills don’t touch a headache. I found some chicken broth in our pantry so heated it up for lunch.

Bought another plow from the old man today. He was going to pay me for the work I did on the doors and I offered to trade what he owed for the plow. We went out and looked at it and he said “I think I’d be getting ahead on that deal”. I explained that I wasn’t worried about that and would be happy to trade the twenty hours I worked for it. He gave me the plow and some cash along with it. I’ll take the plow blade and put it with the other one to make what they call a “Two bottom” plow. Then I can make use of the three point hitch to make other things I can pull with the tractor.
I screwed up. Was supposed to drink the last two bottles of laxative at 2:00 and totally forgot about it. So I drank them a few minutes ago, at 6:30. That means I’ll be visiting the bathroom till late at night. Crap, pun intended. I will be so glad when this is all done and over with. That will be tomorrow. Is it tomorrow yet? Is it? Ah, come on. Like I said before, fun fun.

That ugh boots idiot is back and put another batch of ads on my comment section. Spysweeper says they lead to a known attack site. Great.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Luncheon today

11/4/09 Wednesday
It’s the start of the fast for this colonoscopy thing. I’m supposed to drink two bottles of some stuff they sent me but I decided to hold off on that because I remembered what the nurse said. She said to make sure I was near a bathroom when I did. That didn’t really register at first but I got to thinking about it last night and realized what it meant. This stuff is to “clean” out my colon. Considering that I must drive about forty minutes to get to Odessa, where I’m speaking at a luncheon that will last an hour or two, and then drive back, I figure it would be wise to hold off drinking this stuff. So for breakfast I had coffee with no creamer, only a little honey. Cherie and I also started a routine based on a book a friend gave us to read. It’s sounds strange but we are going to drink a little apple cider vinegar every morning. It’s supposed to help the body’s ph be less acidic and more neutral or alkaline. This helps bring things into a proper balance and fights cancers and other problems. Can’t hurt. We mix the vinegar with water and a little raw honey. It tastes nasty but not too much so. Healthy is always fun. I’m waiting for the healthy ice cream diet.

Come out to the luncheon and meet me. It’s at the Red Sun restaurant on Ben Sheppard in Odessa and starts at noon. I plan to get there early and relax. Not really a get there just in time kind of guy. This morning I’m working on the stone floor where our wood stove will be. That and praying and studying.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

We voted today

11/3/09 Tuesday
It’s 11:00 now. I just got back from the old man’s where I worked on sanding down some old chairs he wants to refinish after checking on the doors. We went and voted this morning. I had a hard time with it because I didn’t quite read the instructions right. I pushed the “Ballot” button thinking that was how you chose the yes or no box so that meant I voted without picking a single thing. They showed me how to do it right so I made sure to vote on the eminent domain issue that was important to me.

The VA finally got around to scheduling my colonoscopy. It will happen Friday, which means I stop eating Wednesday and can only have clear fluids. Figures, Wednesday is the day I give my testimony in Odessa at the all you can eat buffet of the Rising Sun restaurant. I’m not keen on buffets in general because I really don’t like the idea of food that’s been sitting out all day long with lines of people pawing and breathing on it. I will still eat at one but don’t favor them.

I seem to be awfully tired and a little slow right now. Cherie made some killer meatloaf yesterday that would make a great sandwich but one of those hamburgers they cook at the Stanton drugstore sounds awfully good too. I’m going to eat good today to stock up for the three day fast I must start on tomorrow. As much as I’d like the hamburger I think I’ll fix meatloaf because I’m really tired and foggy. Perhaps I must take a short nap. Strange how this comes up so fast.

I tried to order the part I need to run the hard drive once it’s removed from my laptop but they demanded the phone number from the back of our credit card in order to place it. There is no number on the back of our credit card and it won’t proceed without one. So that ended that.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Start of November

Already? It's almost the end of the year and winter is on the way. This winter I plan on spending lots of time preparing the soil and plots for next spring. Today I'll work on the old man's doors some more. I'm not real happy with what I've done so far. It's frustrating to know I used to do this kind of work and used to be very good at it but now struggle with it. But it's like so many things from my past, I have to relearn what I once knew. So I've made some mistakes that I wouldn't have in the past and now must spend time trying to fix them. I told the old man that I wouldn't let him pay me for fixing what I mess up.

I went to Best Buy to get the device that will let me plug the hard drive from my laptop in to another computer but they want fifty bucks for what I can get for $25 online so that will have to wait. We looked at Mac computers and were shocked at how much they cost compared to a PC. Sure they might be better but we live on a budget so probably won't get one.

I'll be speaking at the Red Sun Restaurant, 3001 John Ben Shepperd Parkway, on Wednesday. If you want to attend they have a special price for their lunch for it. Starts at noon but some people get there early to visit.

Got to get to work
I am disquieted. There's nothing I can put my fingers on but my spirit is uneasy. I jumped in the truck and ran to the old man's to check on the doors I finished with this morning in case it was something there. They are ok except I saw a few drops of finish that had run and wiped them up. Took the dogs with me to the landfill this afternoon and checked mail. We got a letter from my mom in reply to the thank you card I had sent her with a letter explaining how grateful I was for the clothes and my dad's watch. It was good to see the reply. The paranoia makes me worry about things so getting the letter relieved some of that. But I can't shake the feeling that I'm missing something, that there is something I should be doing or forgot about. And on top of that my ears are ringing and I have another headache coming up. So I'm going to push on, think I'll work on cleaning up the garage for now. Hope there's not a slow down coming. Don't get as many of them as I used to but it still happens and ringing ears are often a precursor.
I guess I'm inside for a bit. The headache is another bad one and sunlight is just painful. I tried to research stuff regarding m laptop but it's hard for me to comprehend what I read with this headache pounding. Plus I may be a little slow but can't really tell. I'm typing ok and that's usually an indicator. It's one of those "Sucks to be me" moments. The weather is beautiful and I so much want to work. Even indoors the sounds of traffic are deafening, another result of these types of headaches. Kind of like a hangover except I don't drink. I guess I'll have to close the drapes and lay down till it subsides. Don't even want to watch TV because of the sound. When I'm like this you can't turn it down low enough.