Friday, December 27, 2013

Update, and Untimely Cigars

Quick update, before any more time gets away from me.  It's shabbat and I can't sleep.  I had heat exhaustion earlier today, at least I think that's what this is, even though the temps were in the mid 70s.  It was overcast and I had no idea I was soaking up all that sun, but boy, it did a number on me after several hours out at the farm.

If I don't feel better by later today (and a good night's sleep, hopefully?) I may have to break down and go to the doc.  But anyway...

Last week Jack chewed up the southern property line, all 660 feet of it, with a walk-behind bush hog.  It was not the bigger type machine he was hoping to find at a rental place-- in fact he was unable to find the kind he really needs anywhere.  Yet.  Knowing him, he'll keep on looking, because we really need something more substantial.  He had to wrestle that machine over so many palmetto roots that he was really sore and nearly sick from the physical exertion of it, and he's a pretty strong guy.  He was in temporary agony the night after that throwdown, muscle cramps and such.  I played nurse but he didn't get much relief those first few hours.

This week he dug all the holes for the posts along the front, the east side facing the roadway.  It's mostly sand, but a few of the holes hit palmetto roots and he has had to work his way downward slowly with a grubbing hoe/pickaxe thingy, which was also really physically demanding.  The first day this week, he used both the shovel and the manual post hole digger (clamshell type), but today just stuck to the shovel.  The posts have to go in about three feet and the posts themselves are 6 inches wide and 8 feet long.  We got about half the run in the first day and most of the rest today, and I painted the asphalt paint to coat them all (and, as usual, part of myself, ha).

We just couldn't finish up in time, but only a few are missing and we hope to get them in next week, weather and schedule permitting.

I began a new assignment at work and I just don't know how it's going to bode for the knee.  I was simply exhausted this week -- it was three consecutive 12 hour shift workdays in a row, and that's an awful lot for my knee, without being able to put it up at any point during those hours.  I was in such pain by the end of the third day I could barely walk.  It comes down to needing the money and needing to stay as active as possible.  I've decided that it will either work or it won't, but I won't know unless I try.  If the knee worsens, I'll have to try, again, for a different assignment, since on this one they won't allow just two days, for reasons necessary to the client.  Let's see.  I do miss being home those days.  But...we need the income.

I'm exhausted.  Going to head to bed now, finally.  I've been sipping lemon and water and such but don't feel restored yet.

I did get some pics of a beautiful wild muscadine vine loaded with fruit at the back of the property.  We see the wild grapevine sprouts all over the place, but have never seen any fruit yet all this time.  What a wonderful first!  I think this is the bronze variety of muscadine because the fruits at this point are a bright yellow.  I'll hopefully post the pics soon.

The wildlife spotted today was of course beautiful...a very large otter ran across the highway on our way in, loping along, black with a brown underbelly.  We heard herons all day and saw some fly over.  At one point there was a flock of thousands of swallows wheeling was neat!

No snake sightings today, but  a grim reminder was retold from one of the employees at Tractor Supply.  He's a local to our area and like us chooses to locate there because of the rural beauty and privacy and wildness.  I was asking about snakes and he mentioned he was struck by a large rattler/Mexican viper cross snake (which I've never heard of and am not happy to learn about) just this summer and barely made it in time to the hospital.  He was treated with antivenin and I think the treatment ran into the 20K price range.  Ewwww.  That kind of thing makes me want to slash all the palmettos flat to the sand and burn the duff and gnarled roots down to nothing...I confess.  We did pick up some handy tips from the man about local stores, rental places, and questions about getting Ag exemption status.   Which is all premature since we are frankly inching along with the fence, but we gather facts anyway.

We finally met someone from the property next door, the one that had the large encampment of people with offroad vehicles around Thanksgiving...and none of whom introduced themselves to us.  Till today.  A  younger friendly nephew of the owner and one of his friends came by on a 4 wheeler and chatted with Jack a few minutes.  We're pretty obviously a presence now on our property, fairly regularly, and it was nice having an introduction to one of the neighbors we share a boundary with, and letting them  know we do plan to live there eventually and are putting a perimeter fence up.  And he assured us their rifle targets will be positioned  safely (we didn't ask, but nice to hear it).  We also put up two of the No Trespassing signs, one at each of the front property corners.

A family also drove by, out looking for land and trying to locate some of the For Sale properties out there.  The signs usually go missing ,and it makes for a fun search for those willing to actually drive out that far.  We're hoping someone nice hangs in there and buys the foreclosure  home at the end of the road.

And, finally, a special moment.  Somebody upstairs has a real sense of humor, I'll just say...

When I know I'll be using the tar paint on the fence posts, I'll wear the "tar outfit" from home...a lightweight men's longsleeved shirt, my oldest pair of jeans, both of which are smeared with black tar streaks that don't wash out (and ruin the washer trying, so we don't...)   Well, it's a little humbling if caught in my full getup, but then I've never been a slave to fashion, and we don't get out and go into stores or anything if we're wearing something really grimy like that (and it is).  I thought maybe the exception would be the loading yard at Tractor Supply, since surely actual workers doing actual work probably frequent the place to pick up fencing and posts and things.  So Jack is helping load and tie down a number of 8 foot posts into our short truck bed, and I'm standing by, chatting with the two employees helping without a care in the world.

I'm off my game in the early morning...I've never been a morning person to start with, never will.  And that morning we had thrown some  last minute things into the vehicle on our way out.  The day was yet young.  (too young and not enough caffeine yet)

I was not aware enough to fully realize that the younger of the two employees was not exactly making eye contact with me as I chatted, and the old man had a bemused look on his face.  But I was too uncaffeinated to notice just then.  And then Jack decided to get more posts, went back inside to pay for them, and we chatted some more...sort of.  I was vaguely aware I was getting some odd vibes, but mentally dismissed it as my awesome tar clothing ensemble reaction.  Until Jack returned, we finished loading, and I got into the truck again and was putting on my seatbelt.

(I've debated whether to include this anecdote here or not)

Still in my early morning brain fog, I reached across to fasten the seatbealt, and then noticed what I had failed to notice all during the chatty little conversation with the two store workers.  I had earlier that morning grabbed what I'll delicately refer to as  "feminine supplies," stuck then in the front shirt pocket of my workshirt...and there they had stayed ever since.  Not concealed, noooo.  They were prominently displayed sticking halfway out of the pocket, like a handful of plastic-wrapped cigars, still in their rather feminine-supply-ish packaging, for all to admire.

And of course Jack never noticed.  And he had a good laugh over that, and still is laughing.

I'm sure I will get my sense of humor back one of these days.  ;-)

OK, that's all I've got for now...


Michelle said...

I don't think I'd ever be able to return to that establishment again…. ha!

Robbyn said...

LOL I'll stay in the truck next time!