Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I wish I had some good news to report about the house or something but things just seem to be rolling downhill right now. I really don't like to post about down stuff but since I haven't posted in a while I thought I should put up something in case there are one or two out there that might be wondering what's going on.
I haven't been feeling too good this past week and have missed a couple of days at work. Just really tired and some other problems. My long time readers may remember that I occasionally have a little problem with my heart that I was born with. Just a minor arrhythmia but it bothers me sometimes. Feeling worse than usual though I went to my doctor Monday to see what he said. Oh, it's some other thing going on; not your heart, he assured me. But we'll run an EKG just to see. Afterward, I was supposed to go and have a chest X-ray but they suddenly told me I needed just to go have a seat in his office for a minute. In his words, the EKG results were consistent with a lateral myocardial infarction. It took me a few minutes to realize what he meant. I've had a mild heart attack. No, no, they said this wouldn't happen. I'm only 40. My heart beats strong, they said. It's just a minor arrhythmia. It skips sometimes, that's all. So, I'm barred from going back to work for now. I go have another test in the morning. One good thing is that the blood work came back fine. No damage to my heart. Well, anymore than what is normally wrong with it. This kinda sucks.
So, I don't really even know what to think about things. Just going to do this next test and see what they say after that. I swear I'll try to have a happier post next time. My garden is doing well, at least.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hair Of The Dog

Meet Ernie. He's not my dog though. Ernie just showed up around here a few weeks ago and Allen took him in. He has always wanted a bloodhound and now he's got one. It seemed that someone had shut Ernie up and starved him. Whether that was entirely intentional, I'm not sure. He didn't have any sores or signs of abuse on him (other than being starved) so I wonder if his owner might have died suddenly and no one knew about Ernie or what. He is actually filled out some in this photo, due to intense feeding for about a week and a half and his claws have worn down to a normal length now since he gets out and runs around. He's very sweet but he is definitely a hound; always hungry.

So, sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I just have so much on my mind I don't know where to start sometimes. One good thing is that I think my work is actually going to hold out longer than previously thought. The Man From 12 Years continues to struggle at times with things. It's not just the issue of dealing with grief over his wife or even his brother also, as most people would think, usually after they tell him he just needs to "get over it" already. To say he has had a rough life, even from childhood, is like saying the Titanic was a big boat. His wife helped him overcome so much that to have her taken away has left him lost. Then , his brother was about the only one of his family that truly empathized with him and tried to help, and he dies 5 months later. The Man has basically starved himself for months and has now gotten physically worn down, making his recovering even harder due to the fact that his body and mind lack so many much needing nutrients to function correctly. One good thing is that he will do most anything I ask him, so I have him on a high protein drink with high potency vitamins and supplements to try to restore his functions. He will eat when he is with me but usually not much of anything if he is alone. He keeps trying though. He has an occasional bad spell where he gets really down for 2 or 3 days but I think that is normal at this point. I think if he could get his nutrition level built back up he could better deal with his grief. I have explained this to him and he seems to agree and tries hard to eat and take his supplements.
I guess most people would say that I should run screaming from such a situation but that I just can't see that. My sister says that anybody that comes to you and asks for help is just looking to use you. I don't think that is always true and he never approached me with that attitude anyway. If I turn away from him to save myself grief and he doesn't make it, then I have that to carry the rest of my life. If I try everything to help him and he still doesn't make it, I still have that hurt but know that, at least, I tried everything I could. I don't know. So many of the issues he has are so similar to things I have gone through in my own life that it really makes me wonder. I can completely empathize with him. Neither of us could ever be accused of being saints but we would both like to just have a simple life and love one another.
Sometimes it seems like I have always had to struggle so hard for anything I've ever gotten in life. College, work, this house and I wonder why, is it just my imagination? Lots of people say I'm a very strong person but it really doesn't seem so right now!
So, that's what is going on with me now. There is a lot more to it really but that is the main issue. I only hope and pray that things begin to really turn around for him soon. He has made progress in a lot of ways and tells me that I am a tremendous help to him but I wonder what else I can do. Collective good thoughts are appreciated; I think they make a difference. I'll try to post a little more. Maybe even something about the house.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Dawn Coming

Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate. Either way, may we all grow a bumper crop of hope and charity this year. Peace to you and yours.

*Cowboy Junkies

Friday, April 10, 2009

Stormy Times

I don't know if you can really tell anything from this photo or not. The storm clouds are lower down in the sky and just starting to creep up over the trees. It's been on and off like this all day. Thunder and lightning acted as my alarm this morning. I had the day off as it is a company holiday. That has been nice. I haven't really done much. I intended to plant another grape vine and do a little work in the garden but the reoccurring storms have put that off.
The recent hard frost did not hurt any of the emerging flowers or garden plants but it did, it seems, kill most of my baby plums despite the efforts I took to prevent that. This is a native violet that grows very abundantly around here. It is hiding under another native wildflower. We call them black-eyed Susans. They are perhaps a type of coreopsis? I'm not sure.
This is bee balm or melissa as some call it. It is native also and this particular variety has really pretty dark pink flowers. I put my hand in there for size reference. This batch is just getting started; it will grow quite tall. It makes a nice tea.

My spring cabbage seems to be doing well. I need to spray (my organic!) bug control because I noticed one of the plants had been chewed on some. Hopefully these will do better than my fall attempt.
The onions are doing really well. I intend to follow karl's lead and dry much of these. That sounds like a very good way to store them for long term. They are a yellow variety.
Work has gotten so bad in the state that The Man From 12 Years is having to go to Louisiana to work. He must be there Monday morning. They don't give us a lot of notice. I hate to see him go and he is really upset about it but doesn't see much choice if he wants to keep working. I may only have this next week and then be out for work for a while myself. At least if I get laid off I can go visit him a little. It all just figures. He was finally starting to see a little break in the clouds that have been on him for so long and now he has to go away. I believe we can work it out but I worry about him and he worries that I will forget about him when he leaves.
Most people in the business are saying that they don't believe things will get better for us until about the end of 2010. I could see that happening. My company does have a couple of jobs here in the state but they are very slow to be starting. I hear it will be well into summer before they are far enough along to need carpenters. So, we'll see.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Just when we thought winter was finally over. Hopefully, this little cold spell did not do any real damage but I have doubts about the state of my baby plums now. I covered the tree but they still seemed to have been bitten pretty hard. This is catnip and it usually recovers well from a little cold.
I had a doctor's appointment first thing this morning so I went in a little later. I actually got to see the sun come up at my place instead of some warehouse. I have a nice patch of strawberries and hope they fair well. They really had not even started blooming yet so I think they will be okay.

This is just some weeds but I liked the patterns that the frost made on their leaves.
I also hope I have time soon to write a longer post. Work is a big issue now, for me and others. Just when other things are starting to go well too, something happens to throw you a curve. I think it will all work out fine though.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Say Hey

I think Grendal has grown to enjoy posing for photos. She used to run when I got the camera out but now she hams it up for me. Maybe she's reading the blog while I'm at work and now realizes her world-wide fame.

Well, not much news to report from my parts. I have worked on the house some. Not nearly as much as I need to but sometimes there are just some other things more important. I did go by and price some cabinets the other week. Just the base cabinet for my pantry would be $2,000 if I order it. I knew it was going to be expensive but didn't think that much. So, looks like I may be building all or part of the cabinets myself. I will probably build the cabinet box and order the doors. They are generally affordable.

I'm not sure what my work situation is right now. We are getting very slow. I have just a couple of short projects to finish this week and then may have to take some time off for a while until we get more work. I hate to say that I would like to be laid off but could certainly use the time on the house. Of course, I can draw unemployment but that is miserably low here in Alabama so probably would not allow me to buy any materials for the house. But even that's Ok as I have some materials stored up and can scrounge quiet a lot.

It continues to rain heavily here every couple of days and all the trees and plants are sprouting like crazy. The dogwoods are starting to bloom. The onions I planted are growing well and the brussel sprouts have picked up production. I hope to be able to harvest much more food from my gardens this year.

I'll try to get back soon with some more posts. If the rain will hold off today I am going to try to run a little more exterior trim that The Man and I primed and readied yesterday.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Do you see them?! Little, baby plums. Everywhere! Now, if I can just get them to grow and the bugs or cold not get them.
A Japanese print. To me.

A little group of seahorses.

I just don't recall ever seeing a cluster of trillium before.

A new oak leaf hydrangea.
Thank you all for your recent comments and well wishes. The morning after I asked for your thoughts, The Man From 12 Years did receive some information that he had been waiting months for. I think it will help give him some closure.