Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010!

Just want to wish my friends, family & the whole world a Happy New Year.

2009 was a tough year here but we got through it ok and had a lot of laughs, lots of tears and many enriching experiences. I also noticed that there were many rainbows in southern Oregon during 2009 which is never a bad thing.

It's raining like crazy right now, about your typical Oregon day.

Have fun & take care. See ya in 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

not good news

Ah, what a bummer. The CT scan says dad's tumor got bigger. Up to about 3.4 cm now. Their gonna speak with his doctor next week & maybe drop the Xeloda and begin the Eloxatin drip again.

Personally I think the new swelling is from all the holiday sweets & sugar we've been eating for the last 3-4 weeks. It is his pancreas, after all.

Of course as dad always says, if it weren't for the what the doctors tell him and the chemo he'd feel great.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

snow

about 1 inch on the ground & still coming down. Looks freakin' awesome, oh so glad I don't have to work in it. My toes are cold! from getting firewood.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day after Christmas

Had a terrible lazy morning eating bad food, way too many cookies & too much fudge & peanut butter balls.

Spent the afternoon pruning grapes, helped dad work on his tool center then brought in firewood. Nose, toes & feet tingling cold makes me feel alive!

Fire's goin' great. Warming up the basement. Smell bacon cooking upstairs. Gonna do a little reading before dinner.

Have a great evening.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hooray! Christmas Eve

Happy Yuletide greetings to everybody! Just back from a delightful trip with dad to do our last minute shopping. Breakfast at Burger King then off to Wal-Mart. Bought mom a nice sunbeam mixer to replace the one that burned out. Dad got her a snuggie at Rite-Aid to top it all off. Now I just gotta wrap a bunch of stuff. Be well!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Well Winter Wishing

Took some calms forte last night and had a good 8+ hours of sleep.

Got to visit with my niece Cass yesterday so the weekend was good. Today's a little bit heavy, dad's going in for a CT scan.

I've got to start wrapping gifts! Enjoying smooth jazz & warm tea now.

Today is winter solstice. Just about 40 minutes from now actually.

Merry Christmas each and all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy holiday season morning

Decent night's sleep, foggy morning. No rain at the moment. Enjoying a warm cup of coffee, some smooth jazz and the Xmas tree again. Sparky's making little sleeping puppy noises in his bed under the heat lamp. It is a bit chilly. Hope you have a great day.

Monday, December 07, 2009

another frosty morning

16° ! Covered in frost but at least I got the defroster in the bird's water yesterday. There's a 6 inch opening where the birds can get a drink. Monday is here & now we gotta work again. Rock on.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Frozen foggy autumn morning

27° !
Gotta get the defroster put in the bird bath.

We've been pretty busy in this dry weather. Days are short & it's hard to get out in the cold mornings but we've got plenty to do pressing on us.

We brought the 3" aluminum pipes home yesterday & I pulled a muscle in my back doing it, argh! We did that as part of moving our operation back to the old farm. Decided we just don't make enough money to justify running the extra land & moving the outlet back here will dramatically diminish the labor overhead on our sales outlet. Will have to advertise more but we'll also drop a bunch of those troublesome customers who just pull off the road. Still not what I'd prefer to do but change is inevitable & better to go with it than to fight it.

The fog & frosty landscape is quite lovely this morning. Haven't got the curtains pulled yet but can see out through the gaps. Brrrr!

Wishing you warmth & comfort.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

So many things to be thankful for I can't even keep track of it all.

Hope you are all having a fine & comfy day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

bare trees in the rain

Lovely rainy day. The first blush of snow on top Mt. Fielder. The birds are enjoying our feeders, gonna take them a block of fresh suet shortly. Mom & dad are running errands in GP. Sparky is sleeping next to me & Samcat is purring on my lap. Smooth jazz. Have a great day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

cloud, sun and mountain

Sun's starting to burn through the cloud, lighting patches of Mt. Fielder. Been just tinkering around the place today. Getting stuff moved, cleaned up, plans fomenting in the back of my mind about what tasks to pursue next.

Hope your weekend is joyful and satisfying.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cloudy with a few showers

Another chilly, foggy morning. Gotta run errands in Rogue River this morning. Drop off library books, get mail, etc. Kinda bummed this morning, missing my summer energy. Hope you're all feeling good & happy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

work under rainy skies.

It's all rainy here today, inside clean-up I suppose or maybe a little software work. Plenty of work in barn, garage and greenhouse.

A special thanks to our veterans for making life safe so we can get on with our work.

And a good day to you too.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

strange rainy fall day.

Ran mom & dad around Medford on errands today. We had lunch at Hometown buffet. Not as much to my liking as TinTin but still really good.

Spent the afternoon reading, fiction mostly.

Hope everyone is finding happiness in life's little escapades.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

autumn roundabout

Back from farm#2, left dad disking the fields to bring a bunch of equipment home to refurbish for next year. The sun is warm & bright now, a lovely and enlightening change to the day. Gotta get back to work, have fun.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

autumn sadness

quiet day at our house. Helped mom run errands in GP this morning. Now mom & dad are listening to the singing at uncle Milton's funeral over the phone. I'm listening too while catching up on a chore. It's a lovely fall Sunday, hope you're all enjoying it with friends & family or alone :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

pleasant Sunday

did a few minor chores today, shoulda picked apples. Only 6 days left in our sales season! then tear down & field prep for a couple weeks but no more set schedule. Will be nice to have a little time to enjoy the season. Good luck with your week.

foggy relaxed Sunday morning.

Tiny bit of sun is burning through up on Mt. Fielder's rugged slope. Mom's running errands in town, dad's canning beef, Todd just dropped by to borrow some acetominophen for Robin & I'm being a major slacker general. Still in my pajamas, sipping tea, listening to smooth jazz. Have a super Sunday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cool Sunday

Having a cool Sunday morning. Dad's snoozin' in his chair under a blanket after doing the dishes & sweeping up. Mom is running grocery errands in GP. I'm gonna go pick some 'maters in a bit.

Sorry I've been off the blog so long, just real busy with pumpkins etc.

Hope you've all soaked up lots of relaxation, sports, entertainment, family fun, etc. this weekend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn music

Crickets, crickets, a cacophonous orchestration of crickets. Tuning the autumn night into impromptu harmony. One plays beyond his purpose, seeking perfect harmony. He strives and strives. Somewhere a star rejoins the sky.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumnal Equinox

47F this morning. Reached 99 yesterday, supposed to go over 100 today, bummer. And of course no water in the ditch. Equinox today! Fall tomorrow. Smoke from the Ashland fire is turning the rising sun into a rosy glow caressing Mt. Fielder. Hope Tuesday treats you well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Summer's end

Brrr... 45F here this morning. Cold as a February morning but they say it'll be in the upper 90s later so gotta really jam the work this morning. Last day of summer! Cherish those rays & have a great day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Peaceful Sunday happiness

A peaceful, cool Sunday morning. Sparky curled up next to me, a blue-jay screeching & scriching in the distance. The sky a tapestry of thin cloud & pale blue, Mt. Fielder a solid mass of tree & rock beyond the big oak in the front yard.

Dad's reading the "Messenger of Truth" & mom is napping.

A relaxing & inspiring day to you.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Summer wonder Sunday

Had such a wonderful nap! with Sparky asleep, his head on my leg. We felt so safe. Then I went out and perched on the ladder to pick a case of pears & plums. Todd's gonna BBQ some London broil, I've got squash ready to steam & mom made peach pies w/ ice cream to top it off. Happy Sunday.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

21 days to Fall

beat & tired. Busy day at the stand. Only takes a few unpleasant customers to make for a real tough day. Anger is exhausting. Glad to be home & filling my belly with some of Todd's mighty fine BBQ chicken. Actually had a great day at the stand, sold lots.

Hope you're relaxing & having fun.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Height of summer

Had a good day at the stand, sold lots of corn & melons. Mom & dad went into town running errands for tomorrow, it's dad's 72nd birthday!

Getting ready to crash, did the dishes & cleaned up the backyard a bit this evening. About all I can take.

Aching joints & muscles tell me a story of many hills climbed, the time I spent the night in an iron mine, wind & spray at the coast on top the big rock at Harris Beach.

Hope your day has filled you with happy stories.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cool summer morning

having a lovely cool morning. Dallying around before knuckling under & going out to the field to work. Listening to Ken Navarro on the smooth jazz channel. Dreamt about strange cities last night. Take a few minutes to reflect & have a happy Saturday. Off to work I go.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

busy summer day

finally got water back in the ditch this morning. Furious last night as the water wasn't in the ditch at mid-night. Half a day lost to the greedy bastards in the 6500-6800 blocks.

Business has been pretty good. Lots of melons coming in.

Anyways, hoping for a good day, it's a bit cooler this morning.

Wishing you all a great day.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Cold summer morning

Brrrr.... a wonderful cold morning, 48F. Only 1.5 buckets of melons though, to cold to ripen. Which is fine, need to clean out yesterday's pickings. The blue jays are complaining, must need to set out some seed. Sparky's curled up one the rocking chair. Hope you all have a comfortable, fun day.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Temperate Thursday

and a moderate morning. Just lovely here today, we've all been working well & getting lots done despite our casual approach today. Clouds are still blanketing the top of Mt. Fielder and it is sooo comfortable after last weeks extreme heat & humidity.

Lots of melons, corn etc. have been coming in from the fields. Randi and Kevin have both been here helping out today.

I am exceedingly grateful for such a fine day spent in profitable pursuits with my family and friends. Wishing you each and all the same and more.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Civil Sunday

Hoping your all having some fun & relaxation today.

It's much cooler here today, 85.3 but very muggy, downright sticky. Lots of thunderclouds blowing around, a few sprinkles every half-hour or so. Sparky is very pensive with the distant rumbles, so am I. Fortunately the storm damage from last night was bad but not as bad as I feared.

We just sampled one of our cantaloupes, oh-my-hod it was awesome! Sweet, juicy, cold and oh so delicious. I am renewed.

A fine & civil day to you too.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Savage weather

Storm giants just came blundering through our neighborhood. Shaking hail & rain from their hair while bumbling into each other with thund'rous crash & boom. They took a terrible toll 'pon my now sad garden. I would estimate at least 25% of our year's income shredded from existence. Great big chunks of hail about the size of 50 cent pieces. Not a full carpeting but enough to perforate a sizable number of plants. Woe!

Oh well, in the scheme of things I'm sure it's no big deal, just another messed up day on spaceship earth. Geez, at least I'm not living under islamic rule too. We'll buckle up, start mopping and push through another big challenge.

Y'all be happy with me to spite circumstance & the merciless universe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

106°F

Hot! Here today. No water in the ditch, Mr Beyers is the big piggy upstream, he's got 12 sprinklers running in a big weed field. No grass, no cattle, just wasting water. And Albert at High Tech Service Inc isn't much better, he's got about dozen sprinklers running in empty pastures below his house. I suppose it makes the bull pines grow well but after a full day of running the water just escapes anyways. Thank goodness we got the corn and melon fields relatively well watered before the water went out.

We're hunkered down in the cool house. I've got plenty to read.

Hope life is keeping you cool & happy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obamanation

Man! doesn't Obama ever shut up? Turning past his steaming pile of bull just about ruined my lunch. Reminds me of that old adage, "How can you tell when a politician is lying?"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hooray! Grants Pass Irrigation District

Just found out GPID will be delaying their work on the pumps until after this weekend's near record hot spell. Whew! that is a huge weight off our shoulders.

Resonance

Had water come in around lunch. Left dad here to irrigate while I sent mom home from the stand for the afternoon. Later, as I was packing to close, I was struck by the impression that I was where I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to do & that it was good with the world too. A very pleasant sensation.

Hope you are in harmony & tuned in to life's music.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

minor miracle

Had water in the ditch for about 6 hours today! We were able to get quite a bit of water down which is particularly helpful in light of this weekend's outage. We really leveraged the water with some 3 inch pipe we hadn't yet got back to farm#2. Flood irrigated a couple rows of tomatoes. Also managed to pull 2 extra rows of drip tape over to the green beans and really soaked them.

Not a total salvage of the situation but sure to help.

Going off to dreamland soon. Hope to see you there amongst the orchard trees & balmy breeze.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday pursuits

Back from a trip to Medford getting supplies for opening tomorrow. Also stopped & cleaned up the stand. Green beans won't quite be ready yet but will have summer squash, slicing cukes, lemon cukes, transparent apples, red potatoes, sweet onions, baking onions & garlic.

The wind is picking up a little making it look nice outside but I know better. It is Hot! out there.

Gonna take a nap I think.

Happy Sunday to you.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moved the water at farm#2, got my library books & bag ice for mom from the lovely little city of Rogue River. Now it's afternoon break time.

Sparky is stretched out on the hardwood floor in front of the tv & I'm chilling in the fanstream.

I'm kinda moody again today probably because summer planting is almost done. Forces me to face how fleeting time is.

Hope your day is slow paced and peaceful.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

hot & busy

Gearing up to open around the 20th. Many squash, cukes, and green beans rapidly developing towards ripeness. Corn should also be ready by the end of the month.

It's getting to be real hot, supposed to reach 100s by Thursday. Hope water stays in good through the weekend. Going to be getting up early the next couple days.

Y'all have a great day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday contentment

What a delightful Sunday it has been. Cool weather and plenty of relaxation.

We're just back from another delightful visit to TinTin buffet in Medford. Oh! so stuffed. Lotsa shrimp & General Tso's chicken. The spicy chicken was Really spicy! and the sushi was really nice too, probably because I found the wasabi paste this time.

Hope this summer Sunday has blessed you each and all as well as it has me or better.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

moving water

picked cukes this morning. Then moved water, moved water, moved water, moved water. Heading back to farm#2 to ... move water.

Then a quick trip into the delightful little town of Rogue River to drop off my library books.

A lovely day to you all.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Milder summer day.

Done with the work day. Dad and I Fertilized & planted corn at farm#2 before lunch. Then went back over to control weeds while dad did a bunch of clean-up with the tractor.

Spaghetti for dinner then more work cleaning out my room in the barn. Melancholy memories in that task. Thank god (or whoever/whatever you prefer) that it was cool today.

Hope you all have a great evening, a good night's sleep and many enlightening dreams.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

5th of July

Got sprinklers moved, took a short walk with mom, dad and Sparky. Now enjoying the aroma of frying sausage and pancakes. A lovely Sunday to you all.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

4th of July work day

Had a fun brief visit from Lenny, Jenny & family.

Moved irrigation a couple more times, added a few more sprinklers & shut off the lower drip system to provide a little extra pressure. Really hot out there but the breeze sort of saved my life.

Todd's not gonna make it for steaks, he's not feeling good.

Sending you each a little extra piece of my left-over fun.

Happy Independence day

A great day to reflect on liberty & all the good it brings us. Also a fun day to just enjoy that same freedom without too much reflection or thought. Pursuit of happiness.

Hoping you all find that happiness in abundance.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

No Water!

After today's power outage Grants Pass Irrigation District's new 40 million dollar pumps have failed us. Aren't we all glad that the federal government spent this money here rather than providing for education to our children? What a wonderful turn of events those oh-so intelligent environmentalists have brought us. Fortunately we can go back to burning coal to pump water as soon as they get this fixed.

back to corn

planting that is. Kyle mowed the walkways while dad & I planted the 2nd to the last field. Set the water & came home to work around here some more. Got the last drip system almost finished too. Would've got the corn planted yesterday but there was a huge wreck on Rogue River Hwy. that kept us from heading to farm#2.

Aunt Ann & uncle Vince made one final stop yesterday morning & we had 1 final fun visit. Kinda blah today but we'll tough it through.

Went to the library in the heat of the day then went back to farm#2 to move the water. Big power outage interrupted the process but Charley said he would turn it off later for us.

Hope everybody is having fun & finding well being on this lovely summer day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

partings

Such sweet sorrow. Uncle Stan is probably about half-way home by now.

We had a lot of fun at the creamery yesterday sampling cheese & at the chocolate shop next door. Uncle Stan took home some Oregon cheese & mom sent him a couple pieces of the chocolate she got. Dad topped it all off with a little bag of Bing cherries. Hope it all stays cool enough to get home in good shape.

Just finished having lunch with Ann & Vince. They'll be here for dinner & then we'll face the let-down tomorrow.

Dad & I got fertilizer put down this morning on the yellow corn here on the old farm. Sprinklers set too.

Hope y'all are having a great day.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday solicitudes

Had a really fun Sunday yesterday. Mom. dad, Todd, uncle Stan, aunt Ann, uncle Vince & I went out to the Galice Cafe for breakfast buffet. It was a really pleasant meal besides the Rogue River.

Took mom & aunt Ann shopping at Walmart while the others took a different route home.

When evening rolled around we had a hot dog roast. Shelly, Rodger & Randie, Amber & her girls showed up but Robin came down with a migraine just as we got the fire going. Homemade ice cream topped off the meal with some birthday cake for Todd.

Have had a cool morning. Visiting with uncle Stan, waiting for aunt Ann & uncle Vince to show up. Gonna go to Rogue Creamery for some cheese tasting later. Hope everyone's Monday works out well.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

involved Sunday

had breakfast at Galice with my aunt & uncles, mom, dad & bro. The Galice cafe has a good Sunday buffet. Mostly it's about the atmosphere though. Took mom & aunt Ann to Walmart while Todd, dad & the uncles went home a different route. Finished setting water while mom, dad, aunt & the uncles took a nap. Just now helped mom start the homemade ice cream, low-sugar so uncle Stan can enjoy it too. Everybody have a Funday Sunday!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

busy fun day

Had such a fun day visiting with uncle Stan from Mississippi. He went with dad & I to farm#2 and they set out the big sprinkler gun while I finished spraying the most recent corn planting. Dad was tired after that so when Stan & I had a little snack we went into town with Bro while dad took a nap.

Then this afternoon aunt Ann & uncle Vince from New Mexico stopped by & we had even more fun.

Wishing that you're all having as great a weekend or better.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

brief entry

Ahhh... another decent day. Hula-hoed the melons this morning, ran mom&dad into town, got the tire fixed @ Les Schwabs, saw my nephew Kevin there. Then home & ran errands in Rogue River, got a hair cut, & pushed the Scorpion around the corn field while dad prepped about 2/3rds of the 2nd to the last corn field. Enchiladas & ice cream cake for dinner with golden summer sunlight on the mountains rounds it out nicely.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

43rd trip around the sun

It's my 43rd birthday today, woo-hoo!

Had a great day. Started out planting corn with dad at farm#2. Then while mom & dad went in for dad's blood panel I did the dishes, watered a bunch of stuff and took a delightful nap in the cool, cool house. Thank God & Grant Gustafson there's water back in the ditch, it was out from Saturday night through Monday morning.

Yesterday we had a visit from dad's friends Roland Unruh, his wife Jo & her sister Wilma. We took them out to Shari's restaurant in Medford. It was a delightful meal and visit.

For dinner today we had enchiladas made by Mrs. Tracy Kessell; it was so sweet of her to save mom the trouble of making a meal. For dessert we had ice cream cake from the Dairy Queen sent home by my sister.

Just now finished a little nap, gonna go out and do a little hoeing maybe. Or maybe not.

Wishing you all this same fine contentment and more.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

being busy

Dad's feeling lots better & we are very busy. Weeding, watering, fertilizing, planting and all the other details of good farming all happening at the same time now. Thank goodness we didn't plant a lot of early crops or we'd be harvesting too!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rainy Saturday evening

Falling far behind in corn planting due to the weather. The ground is just too wet to push in seed and more storms to come today and tomorrow. My apprentice did good work with the hula-hoe today, cleaned up the white corn and pulled all the weeds in the early melons.

Headed over to the stand for a spot of work on tables with dad. Got back ahead of the storm. Mom made (frozen)pizzas for dinner. Rain's been coming down for a bit on and off.

Hope everyone is finding happiness amidst life's challenges.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Busy, busy

and some showers to slow things down.

Fertilizing and planting corn today. If dad feels up to it he'll be helping a bit today. Nice to see some improvement in his condition but he's mending slowly.

Hope you're having a great day.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Daylight

Mom & dad are snoozing after supper. Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes & corn: yummy. I'm summoning courage with a cup of coffee before doing the dishes. A pleasant, homey scene with spring sunlight gilding the oak tree.

Appointments

Complex day ahead. I'm taking mom to get X-rays of her hand, Todd is taking dad to see the oncologist. Neither health org wanted to schedule a different time. Mom gets her cast off today & we'll find out if she gets a pin or half-cast.

Mt. Fielder is covered in fog, looks like something from Peru.

Be Happy!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

So busy

I'm completely overwhelmed. More work than I could possibly hope to do and no help in sight. It has also been unseasonably warm for the last week. Makes it really hard to keep water on everything although I am really happy with GPID, they've delivered water very well for over 2 weeks now. Only 1 day where the upstream neighbors used it down and that wasn't our water day anyways. This next week is supposed to cool off but fear of thunderstorms damps my enthusiasm.

Gotta go back out under Ra's blazing eye and struggle with just a few more things before taking an afternoon siesta.

Wishing you a fine and felicitous day.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hame again, home again

Mom & dad are home. Dad is feeling much better, temp at 99.3, keeping down food.

We're 99% sure it was the higher xeloda dosage not an infection. He's off that now & we're gonna tell the oncologist he's going back to the lower dose or none at all.

Just glad everything is trending better but feel bad for them and Rodger & Shelly. At least they had fun on the drive.

Y'all have fun too.

hard night

Had a bad night.

Mom called around 11pm from Boise to get the oncologist's number. Dad got pretty sick a couple times on the way there and was running 101 fever. This morning the fever is down to 100.2 but they're still coming back home.

What a bummer, no Yellowstone for them and it'll be tough to get all the schedules, timing etc. lined up to make another trip any time soon.

Shelly says "everything happens for a reason"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lonely day on the farm

Got the sprayer repaired this morning, put on the 2 tires dad & Todd welded up and tightened a lose worm-gear fitting. Then sprayed the latest corn field. Got home around 11, had lunch and mowed the orchard.

The place is mighty empty without mom & dad around. Sparky has been pensive all day. Right now it's a bit too hot for him & me to be out working. Set a couple sprinklers about an hour ago will have to move them in another hour. Then when it cools a bit more I'll drive stakes, stretch wire and push in at least a couple more rows of watermelons, cantaloupes, winter squash and pumpkins. However many time allows; will get the rest in the next couple days.

Been reading "Care of the Soul" by Thomas Moore. A very fine book, has helped me regain an equilibrium which I have been struggling without. Hope it persists.

Really missing my complementary opposite. That's a delightfully analytical term for someone who could share such wonder with me. I'm sure she's out there somewhere, my struggles a reflection of her's. I wish we could be together to share family, friends and challenges but for some reason fate has other designs. I really wish she could meet my dad before that damned disease takes him away. But that isn't for us mortals to determine and I am grateful despite it all for every day under the open sky.

Wishing you challenges touched by wonder and gratitude.

Cool morning

Just sent mom, dad, Rodger & Shelly off on a 4 day trip to Yellowstone. Blessings upon their journey.

It's a bit early and cold but I'm gonna pack out to the field and start my work. Thousands of hungry people waiting in the future for the yield of my pain and efforts.

Hoping the day blesses you with comfort and smooth travel.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Great family Sunday

Had breakfast with the whole family at North's buffet. Then bought 160 more tomato plants at Greenleaf. Got home and gave Kyle a bunch of my old computers and robot parts; met his friend Shawn and shot the breeze with them for a while. Worked with Todd & Robin cleaning up the barn. This evening we roasted hot dogs in the orchard. A full, lovely day. Hope you were similarly blessed.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary mom & dad

Today, Saturday May 23rd is mom and dad's 52nd anniversary. They're heading in to town to run errands while Kyle and I will be planting melons this morning.

Hope y'all have a mighty fine day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Good day's work

Sixteen 300 foot rows of corn in today. About 120 melon plants transplanted: Crenshaw, Collective Farm Woman & Juan Canary. Hope to get the Jumbo Hale's Best Muskmelon & other melons planted tomorrow.

Strawberries & Logan berries are flowering. Dill is sprouting & the green beans are starting to swell.

The frogs are a horse chorus in the pond and I am quite sleepy. Hope you sleep well and dream better.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Water in the ditch

Water in the ditch, water in the ditch. Praise the Lord there's water in the ditch!

We're way busy today, had to run into Medford to buy some stuff for planting corn. Now gonna go till the seed bed and then seed corn if we have time.

Hope you're having a great day.

Friday morning status

8 hours of decent sleep. No distressing dreams & not too much discomfort in my right hand (an injury or a bit of arthritis has sored it up pretty bad.)

Dad & I will be pulling more plastic mulch rows today. Weather looking good.

Dad's doing good despite his chemo. He got lots of sleep yesterday and last night so that helps.

Wishing you a mellow, easy day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy noon before the rain starts

A few showers just starting to sprinkle down.

Just back from feeding the nursery greenhouse with peter's plant food. All the little plants are so happy, now I'm happy too. Passing some plant happiness on to you.

troubled waters of the mind

Facing another melancholy morning. Mom & dad are going in for his blood panel/doctor's visit so that makes it a lonely, worried time at home. I'll put on some smooth jazz and wash dishes and it'll be alright. Sparky & Sam are keeping me company. Sure wish I could call my lady this morning. Sending her, and the rest of you, a lovely day of life's little wonders.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spring progress

Ran errands with mom this morning then spent the afternoon working on the sprayer with dad. We got the corn field spraying done by about 6:00. Was a lovely day in the field. Getting pretty tired now.

Hope you are all finding happiness and satisfaction amongst life's challenges.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

05,09,2009 family weenie roast

I have other pics but they need more processing before I can put them up. Too tired today. Click to enlarge. We had loads of fun yesterday afternoon and today too.

Happy Mother's Day

And a lovely spring Sunday to you too.

We had a great time yesterday with the aunts and uncles who are out visiting. My brother's and sister's families all showed up except for Cassie who had other plans. We roasted weenies and made smores and spent a lot of time talking, telling stories and laughing. The little girls and babies were especially a joy.

Today Todd, Robin and Cass stopped by for lunch and we had more fun. They just left a while ago to go to a barbecue at Robin's parents. We're some barbecuin' fools around here.

Wishing you all a happy Mother's day and lots of fun and ice cream besides.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spring weekend with family

Loading the 35 gallon tank to go water tomatoes in the greenhouse.

Aunts & uncles should be along shortly. We had such a nice visit last night. We're gonna do a weenie roast this evening with some dry apple wood if everything works out.

Wishing you all a super fine Saturday.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Spring melancholy

Had a good run into town with mom getting supplies for the weekend visit. Met Shelly's assistant manager Stephanie, what a sweety. Her husband is a lucky man; gotta wonder if she has a sister about my age.

I've been in a melancholy mood all morning. Lots of weird, heavy dreams last night always leaves me feeling a bit spent and concerned.

Dad's feeling pretty good, if he and I have the ambition we will be planting corn later today. Lots of chores to do here first. Mom is having a bit of a tough time with her arm in a cast. It just really tires here out to do stuff like today's run into town. So awkward and it makes it hard for her to sleep too.

But all things considered it is a lovely day and we really don't have a good reason to feel sorry for our selves. Life in this land of the free can be sweet indeed.

Wishing you a day of sweet freedom and productive liberty.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Peaceful Sunday after the rain

Had a great day yesterday working with the apprentice. Got wires tied and tomatoes planted in the greenhouse. Will have to discuss a small matter with Kyle about his work but am moderately satisfied with his progress. The tomatoes are looking pretty good, it got a little hot this morning before we put the sides up but they should be fine now.

This morning's breakfast was excellent: pancakes, eggs and bacon.

Todd & Robin stopped by about an hour ago and we had a great visit.

Hope y'all are having a fine and peaceful day of rest too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Frosty spring dawn

Had a good night's sleep but woke up with frost on the ground, durn weatherman was wrong again. Dad was already out ahead of me putting propane burners in the greenhouse. Looks like we managed to just squeak by.

Eggs & hash browns for breakfast; preparing them our little family ritual.

Wishing you a fine day with only pleasant surprises.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sleep knits the ravelled sleeve of care

I think that's how the phrase goes...

Had a wonderful night's sleep. Hard work and a good tired makes for good sleep. Finished reading "The 5 secrets you must discover before you die" by John Izzo last night and I must say it is one of the most uplifting books I have ever read. I greatly recommend it to you all, get it at the library, buy it or whatever but read it as soon as you can, you will be glad you did.

Now I wish you all a day as beautiful as the mountain outside my window.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Glorious spring day

Had such a great day working in the cornfields with dad today. The sun was warm but the westerly breeze was cool. On the way there in the pickup dad said "It's so weird, just sitting here like this I feel just like I did three years ago." I count that as a good sign but any good day with dad is a blessing. We still have to add the Xeloda tomorrow morning so we'll see how things go after that.

Dad finished dragging the field while I mowed the drives and parking lot behind our stand. Then we laid out our first irrigation pipes for the year and got to see the glory that is spraying water under a bright spring sun.

It was dinner time and mom called just as we were getting ready to leave the field. I don't know how she does it, she had fish sandwiches and tater medallions prepared when we got home and with only one hand!

Hoping you all find the same glories and wonders in the small things of your life.

Blessed with good sleep

Great night's sleep! Full 8.5 hours and no sleep aids except a little melatonin and some Tension Tamer tea. So nice and not even any disturbing dreams just 1 nice one. Waiting for the air temps to get up so we can put the first sheet of plastic on the early tomato greenhouse. That's taking so long I might have to drop the "early" but still well worth doing to protect & improve the crop.

Wishing you all a fine day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Good day despite the bad

Took mom and dad to the oncology infusion room in Medford for his new chemo, an eloxatin drip and xeloda pills which he starts on Saturday morning. So far so good. The side effects look a bit worse with these 2, neuropathy from eloxatin (oxaliplatin a platinum compound) that is to say sensitivity to cold or heat, numb or tingling hands and feet. The Xeloda can increase mouth sores, cause redness or blisters on the hands or feet. So dad will have to take it a bit easier for a while. I'm going to research and see if we can use astragalus and some of the other herbs to help keep him feeling good. I know we aren't supposed to use strong anti-oxidants or herb concentrates but these are all food grade and should be ok. Will check Sloan-Kettering's "about herbs" page to be sure.

We were going to go to Tin-Tin chinese buffet afterwards but when dad stepped into the cold wind blowing outside the oncology building he instantly got an ice-cream headache so we just stopped at Jack-In-The-Box and got some chicken sandwiches and tacos.

Had a book along called "5 secrets you must discover before you die" by John Izzo and it is an awesome book. Didn't solve any of my problems but helped me get back on an even keel. It's a short book and I read most of it in just a couple hours. My favorite line was "live the moment" which I am working on diligently. Can't change the past or control the future and life is short so make the most of this moment.

Anyways, hope you are all feeling good and doing good. God bless you all and take care.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Maunderings

Our mistake was we get our hopes up. 2 weeks back dad's tumor markers were down so we slipped up and let ourselves hope, despite what we know about pancreatic cancer. Now the worry is, how will he respond to this new chemo agent? Will it diminish his quality of life? Will he still be able to work (which he enjoys...) I think our finances are ok to cover the deductible etc. but all of these are uncertainties weighing down on an already emotionally exhausting situation. There's a whole list of other things which I'm not going to go into at the moment but all of them are tiring while also removing one's ability to rest easily. The last few months we could slip back into old routines and play out some of our usual winter indolence which was in retrospect the right thing to do for sure as it was very comforting and allowed all of us to regain some strength. Now we're shaken up again and once more pressed for time.

Sorry to get melancholy but it helps to vent a little. Thanks for the concern, at least enough to read of my worries. I hope life brings you something different and better than this which occupies me right now. God bless you all.

Another tough day at the Savage Creek Farm

Mom got a proper cast put on her hand this morning.

After that they ran in to see dad's oncologist to review last week's blood panel and CT scan. Neither came back good. The tumors have grown, though she didn't say how much and the blood panel showed more tumor markers. So she's going to change to a new chemo course, a combined series of an injection every 3 weeks and oral pills daily. I'll go along tomorrow because mom can't drive and we don't know how this new stuff will affect dad. Plus this way I can get the stats on this new stuff and run it through my info filters to see if we can improve effectiveness.

The only other thing we can do is enjoy life, tighten up our diet again. We were slacking with eating to much sugar and fats. And of course we will thank god for every day we have together.

Y'all have a great day. Don't let this news get you down, that's the last thing we want. God bless and thanks again for all the cares and prayers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tough turn of events

We had a poor night. Mom took a spill when we were walking in the evening; tripped on a lizard. Towards midnight her hand swelled up & really started to hurt. Ran her into the hospital & she'd broke a bone in her hand. She's all splinted up now & doing better but they said it'd be 6 weeks. I told her "the upside is you don't have to do dishes for 6 weeks." She laughed. No walking today but when they put a cast on it tomorrow she'll be back getting her exercise again. Activity is good medicine. She's napping right now.

Dad and I are a little frazzled from lack of sleep but work will go on.

Just Back from hand watering the onions again & planting Boule D'or melons. Whew! it's hot out there, 78 on the digital thermometer. Gonna take a little break & then go mow or work on the greenhouse for a while.

Hope you are doing well; watch out for lizards.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hot Monday

Had a fish sandwich for lunch, yummy. Dad & I got the wire on the top of the greenhouse & the first sheet of plastic laid out. Getting too hot now, dad's going over to the 2nd farm to disc and drag the first 3 corn fields. Might plant after this weekend's rain or earlier if the pump is in. I'm gonna run bills & books into Rogue River.

Hope you are having a wonderful day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Dinner

Mmmm-mmm-mmm !! The Red Dragon comes through again with one of the finest take-out Chinese dinners we've had in a long time. My Kung-Pao chicken was perfectly hot. If you're ever driving through Rogue River at dinner time stop in across from Ray's Food Place and treat yourself to a fine meal.

Spring Sunday afternoon

Just back from watering the onions by hand with 5 gallon buckets. Sure wish the Grants Pass Irrigation District would get off its butt & start pumping water. Glad I did it though cause the onions were really hurting. All wet & happy now.

It's 79 degrees here right now, supposed to be 91 tomorrow. Hard to believe we might still get rain, cold or even snow. But it is spring after all.

Tomorrow should see us just about done with the early tomato greenhouse. Gotta spray the weed sprouts in there, cut slats and put the plastic on. Also try to get our corn fields ready at farm #2 but might put that off until Tuesday.

Wishing you much happiness on this fine spring day.

Spring day of rest

Had a good night's sleep. Biscuits & gravy for breakfast. Lazy Sunday ahead. Maybe just plant a few more cucumbers, that's not really work, it's fun. Hope you all have a fun & spiritually nourishing day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Springy

Sun, clouds & a few showers. Just through planting a tray of lemon, pickling and marketmore76 cucumbers. Also 8 mixed summer squash in 5 inch pots. Dad is dragging the bottom field we finished plowing yesterday. Mom got back from town about an hour ago, she's napping now.

It was very hot in the greenhouse.

Hope you have a sweet and mellow day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More ground breaking

Spent yesterday afternoon plowing. Wish I had some way to really share the experience with you. Hanging on to that smoke belching, roaring, steel and rubber feral beast of a tractor as the 2 bottom plow heaves and shatters earth. Burying disease, insects and waste debris in a pulverized wave of soil. Very powerful and wholesome being nature's hand.

It's another lovely day, will be back to plowing the last half of the field below the grapes in just a bit. Just got through watering the strawberry patch.

Mom and dad are going in to Medford for dad to have a CT scan in the next couple hours. Probably do some shopping while there too.

Those darn wild turkeys have been tearing up our black plastic mulch for the early tomatoes. Got the post-holes dug so should have that taken care of by the weekend.

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ground breaking

Had a great Easter Sunday. Lots of fun seeing the twins crawling around Shelly's floor.

Yesterday we started breaking ground at the corn field. Dad laid out the field then I did the first third while he came home and had lunch and got a mask (don't want him breathing in any stuff from the soil & corn debris) then he took over around 3 and ran until 5ish. If the snow showers will hold off for the rest of today we'll probably finish it soon.

That's right I said snow, it snowed here for quite a while this morning. Probably turn into rain showers now so we're waiting for the radar image to clear up a bit and for temps to rise before heading back over.

Hope y'all are having a super day.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Early tomato greenhouse progress.

Made some good progress on the early greenhouse this week. Still have to put in posts, plastic, plants and wires. Hope to have that all done before next weekend.


Happy Easter

though your people walk in the valley of darkness,
no evil should they fear;
for they follow in faith the call of the shepherd
whom you have sent for their hope and strength.


I've never been a terribly religious man and I'm not prepared to go into my assorted beliefs, ideas and doubts here. But this day has always had its special place in my life, from the Easter baskets of my childhood to egg dyeing with my nieces to the quiet contemplation of my advancing age.

I hope you all find peace and contentment in your hearts and life, today and all days.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Warm spring Sunday

Bright warm sunshine and gentle breezes are making me anxious. Feel like I need to be out working even though it's a Sunday. Was going to do some grafting, that's more like fun than work, but it's actually going to be too warm today and tomorrow. Will wait until the showers return later in the week.

Having some tea now, was reading a bit this morning. 3 really good books, "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, "God Laughs and Plays" by David Duncan and "The pleasure of finding things out" by Richard Feynman. All really good and very good counterpoints to each other for reading simultaneously. Not at the same time of course, I read a chapter or two of one then a chapter or two of the next etc.

The barn swallows have returned and were hanging out near me when I took a walk a bit ago. Funny how close they'll get. Beautiful little bird.

Mom & dad are napping, think I'll go back to my books and/or work on some website design stuff. Peace and contentment to you each and all.

Journalist Jargon

Haven't had time for political commentary lately but watching a little news channels this morning. Not going to comment on the politics of the day, but I am going to echo my buddy Gary & talk about the jargon being used. Does this list sound or look familiar?

1) "Jump start" you can't jump start something that is already running. Defibrillate maybe but not jump start.
2) "Ramp up" we use ramps for loading equipment or changing oil. What does it mean to "ramp up" something?
3) "Ratchet up" a ratchet is a one-way device, usually a wrench, jack, strap, cable or binder. Where is the one-way element in hosing out stimulus money?

These mentally enticing semi-visual elements are vague enough to serve any purpose while not really telling us anything.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Showery spring Friday morning

Lots of little showers blowing around on Mt. Fielder this morning. It's a bit dim and gray today but still quite beautiful. Lots of varied thrushes have been showing up and the purple finches are hitting the bird feeders pretty hard. My little hummingbird buddy is flashing his coppery throat at me from the trumpet-flower shrub which has just started to leaf out. He'll be really happy when it flowers but in the meantime the hummingbird feeder seems to be acceptable.

Gotta go uncover the tomatoes in the greenhouse soon. Lots of other garden stuff hanging in the wait but I'd also like to finish some more of Tracy's web pages. Got the 2 index pages for jewel-toned items just about done, starting on the item pages by tonight, I hope.

Mom and dad are running some errands in Rogue River and making a fun run to the Dollar Tree in Central Point. Hope they have a really good time, they deserve it. Will be fine if they just don't have to hassle with any jerks but would be especially nice if they ran into some of the cool people that live here. I guess going to town is a little like a box of chocolates ;)

Well, better get on with things. Wishing you each and all a peaceful, lovely day.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Such a lovely day

Really need to be about my work, but so much beauty is running loose today that I had to try and share it. The sun was out earlier but in these pics it was shy. Still a really nice day in the fields and mountains. Some showers blowing through but I'll get some gardening done anyways. I-5 is really rumbling again today, I always feel good about that. Progress and economic activity as it were.


Hope some of the same glory finds a place in your life too.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Turned out good

Didn't get a lot done but the day turned out pretty good. Dad got the coulters on the plow fixed up finally, took him about 3 hours to bang those into shape. I got the recycled-tire strawberry planters put together and the first dozen strawberries planted before dinner was ready.

Dad's blood panel was good today, only a tiny bit of anemia. So another infusion tomorrow.

Hope y'all are feeling good and doing fine.

Spring Wednesday before the showers

Had a great night's sleep. Only a few dreams and those weren't terribly distressing. Yesterday was a pretty good day in the fields, got all the plastic mulch and pipe rolled up. Then dad ripped and dragged the bottom field and dragged the top field which I had already roto-tilled on Saturday. Rain is supposed to show up tomorrow so we hope to get at least the top field plowed today.

Now I'm going from up to down. Mom and dad just left to get his blood panel taken and visit with the doctor. These days are always a bit of a bummer. Me & Sparky and the cat alone. It doesn't matter how up-beat you are, when a loved one is troubled it weighs on you. Add to that the tax and medical bills that are starting to show up so long before the summer cash flow and things can seem down right bleak at times. My final complaint is that I'm falling behind in my reading too. Darn library doesn't give me enough time, only 4 renewals ;)

I-5 is rumbling with some serious traffic, lots of big trucks. So at least something good is going on out there. Kinda puts a lie to the whole "economic disaster" meme that the media is always putting out.

Going to go do the dishes for mom now. Always try to do some clean-up on these going-to-town days so that isn't staring them in the face too when they get home.

Hoping your day is full of rewarding pursuits and challenges that grow your spirit.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring getting sprung

Really busy now, we've gone from being too early to do things to being behind schedule in just a couple days. Blame it on the weather. Plus we're still recovering from all the medical stuff we had to do in January and February.

We've been rolling up plastic mulch and prepping ground so far. Rain supposed to be in on Thursday, just in time to keep us from plowing again. We've got to get the tractor over to our second farm but that thing is a beast to drive on the road, poor brakes and the steering ain't great either. Only 2 weeks until we should have corn in the ground and our early tomato planting is rapidly becoming not so early.

Dad's transplanting tomato sprouts right now for our second field. Eggplant are sprouting too. Melons and cantaloupe will go in the greenhouse shortly.

Dad's been feeling pretty good, still a little tired from the chemo. 2 more treatments in this series but no one will explain what if anything comes next. Pfizer has a new pancreatic cancer drug called "Sutent" but I'm afraid to even even bring it up with our oncologist because of the price and because she probably hasn't heard of it yet. Sometimes doctors get on my nerves.

But at least it is a lovely day with many fruits trees in flower and I-5 is rumbling with traffic. A good sign that business is still happening.

Well, gotta go feed mom's birdies. Y'all a have a super day.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A warm spring Friday

Had great weather today. Kyle was here a bit before 10 so I've been pretty productive today. Surprising how much better my day goes when I'm motivated by having to keep someone else busy. I ran the tractor through last year's tomato field, using the ripper to loosen black plastic mulch. Kyle had the delightful job of getting filthy pulling the plastic the last little bit out of the dirt.

The chemo really hit dad today, a little dizziness while we made breakfast for starters. "Chemo brain" a mild form of confusion set in a while later as he was working on one of our trailers. Then he had a couple of heavy surges of fatigue before lunch. As mom and I told him, he just kicked back in his comfy chair for a while. After lunch he got his legs back under him and proceeded to work on the greenhouse for the rest of the afternoon. We'll just chalk this down as the price the medicine exacts and be grateful it is mild so far.

The setting sun is painting Mt Fielder a golder shade of green. The plum trees at the bottom of the field are bright white with flowers, they smelled so good this afternoon when I was running the tractor down there.

Wishing you all nature's splendor and the happiness that goes with it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Acorn woodpeckers

These are like the clowns of our bird neighborhood. Click the pic for a bigger view.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Almost spring

Had a delightful visit with uncle Jerry & aunt Carol yesterday. Looking forward to the same today. Turned sunny in the afternoon looks like it'll be sunny today as soon as the fog clears.

The ground is too wet to do anything with now and it's too early to sprout too much in the greenhouse so we're sort of in a holding pattern. Good time for the visit fortunately.

Tomorrow is the equinox! So hard to believe it's arrived. Seems like we didn't have a winter at all, not that it wasn't cold. Just too busy to pay attention.

Not much else to report. Y'all have a great day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring busy

2 days out from spring, starting to get real busy now. Tomatoes are warm out in the nursery greenhouse. Will probably need to do some work on the tractor soon, before we start working corn ground.

Uncle Jerry & aunt Carol will be stopping by this morning. They'll be here for a couple of days and thank goodness the weather is pretty nice.

We're all feeling pretty well. Dad still gets little bouts of fatigue but this week should shape up nice with no doctor's appointments.

Wishing y'all a super fun day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rainy Sunday

Acorn woodpecker at the tall feeder. The birds have been really active in the front yard.

Dad put the propane burner on about 3 hours ago out in the new greenhouse and we just went and checked. It was a nice warm about 80 degrees. So we won't have a problem keeping the nursery plants happy. Dad's downstairs planting a few hundred more tomato seeds to make up for some that got burned by a little over-zealous fertilizing. Gotta watch that miracle grow on little plants.

I've been trying to get my winter reading finished, only about 6 serious books I'm working on, 10-12 I don't care if I finish or not. Going to get a lot harder after the 20th.

Here's a pic of the new greenhouse:

Hope y'all are having a great day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Oh! what a lovely day

So nice and warm and sunny for a winter day :)
Got a pile of slash and trash burned up quick, the back wall on the nursery greenhouse and now dad's working on the door. Just the small east wall panel to cover and the door/west wall panel and we'll be ready to move the tomatoes out there tomorrow.

Wishing you all such a fine and finer day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Suspended Wednesday morning

Mom and dad just left to have dad's blood panel taken. I'm working a little on some more website design for Tracey. Gotta do the dishes in a bit but I'm, like, so lazy! Short about an hour of sleep last night so I might take a nap before I dig into chores. Also need to do some reading this morning while it is still cold, however I'm not really in the mood for deep thought right now but I'm also out of any good fiction. Probably still enjoy "The will to believe" but not sure if I have the energy for philosophy. Maybe after a short nap?

Anyways, hope everybody out there is feeling fine and finding happiness today.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mundane Monday

Got started outside late due to the cold temps this morning. I got some good website design done on Tracy's Chicy Hair-Ums site. Still trying to get the cat collar page done, maybe before tonight is out.

Once it got warm enough dad and I started on the greenhouse sprouting table. Still to windy to get the plastic on, plus we were waiting to see if mom could find a clearer grad of poly in town. No luck there. We'll have to go with what we have and lose a little quality on our sprouts I'm afraid. Should be fine.

We finished the afternoon cleaning up and pruning in the orchard.

Just now finished having dinner, leftover chinese take-out from yesterday, yummy!

The mountain is covered in patches of mottled, subdued and bright sunlight shifting with the clouds and the evening glory. So lovely, I wish I could share it but I doubt even a good digital camera would capture the effect.

Wishing you each and all a full belly and a contented mind.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lonely in the house

It doesn't happen to me very often, most of the time when I'm alone I am centered. But mom and dad took off for his infusion this afternoon. I took a nap with some smooth jazz playing and when I got up I just couldn't help but feel a bit lonely. Winter often gives me these little challenges of depression.

Dad and I got the rafters finished on the nursery greenhouse this afternoon. Just wires, plastic, door and tables left to finish and we'll be done with that. If the weather stays good we should have it done no later than Saturday. 3-400 tomatoes already sitting in the sprouting room downstairs waiting to go.

When dad and I came in from working on the greenhouse he was pretty fatigued but we both perked up because mom had fresh peanut butter cookies warm from the oven. It was even better because we came in just as it started to shower.

The acorn woodpecker just took off from the tall bird feeder. He's such a lively clown like character. My stupid black cat tried bringing in a junco he'd killed. He's got at least 2 kinds of food to choose from but he still has to snack on our poor little feathered guests. Fortunately not very often and I don't mind so much because at least he eats them straight away instead of just playing with them.

Got a little reading to do then I think I'll wash the dishes for mom. Always like to lighten her burden a little when they have to go into town.

Hope everyone's day has a dash of sweetness and light.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sort of a melancholy Wednesday

Just the classic rainy day blues.

Afraid I wasted a good day getting little work done. Read quite a bit and did a few chores but my body knows it didn't work hard enough. It rained quite a bit today but that's just sort of an excuse. I shouldn't second guess winter, it was a good day for reading after all. Some days I just feel a little anxious I suppose.

Dad had a good blood panel again today. So he'll get another chemo dose tomorrow. The doctor was happy with all his stats, so that's always a hopeful thing. He even gained a couple of pounds, hooray!

After mom and dad got home we had lunch, they brought home Burger King. Yummy but often gives me an upset stomach. After that we all took an awesome nap, it felt so good. Then we got up and took a 3/4 mile walk. It's raining pretty good again right now.

Well, not much else to report. Hope all of you had a fun and productive day.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Busy Monday

Kinda got a late start. Had a good breakfast and all of us feeling pretty good after a lazy but solemn Sunday. The weather was heavy enough to keep us in all day yesterday. I spent a good chunk chatting with old friends and family over at Facebook. Thanks again to Rae Ann for inviting me over there. It's really neat to feel the unfurling of once dormant connections. Friendships renewed, old slights forgiven & forgotten, family routines weaving their own rhythm &etc. An illusion on some levels I suppose but better than nothing at all, and genuinely touching at times. But also sometimes just plain silly! What is life, if not a jest?

Today dad and I got the greenhouse blown up again. Then after lunch we noticed that the dirt in the greenhouse was dry enough to use for tamping in the posts. So I carried 2 buckets of dry tamping dirt from inside the air inflated greenhouse to the site of the nursery greenhouse (only about 40-50 feet). We installed the 10 post (thanks again Travis!) and dad tamped them in while I shook dirt from the buckets. Another short break for walking with mom and a drink and we went back to install the extensions for the back of the frame. That means we're well past 1/3 finished on that greenhouse!

So now I'm kinda tired. Feeling good though as I'm pretty sure everyone here is. Wishing you all that same good feeling and a little jot of happiness besides.

catching up after the weekend

Had a good weekend. Kyle came out to help Saturday and really was useful getting wires untied from the tomato poles. We finished that huge job and then he, dad and I rolled up the first 2 rows of wire. There were several hawks, osprey or vultures in attendance high in the sky. I know at one point an osprey was working the area 'cause I could hear his cry.

Sunday was lazy and lots of reading. Dad didn't feel well, maybe had a low grade infection but his fever broke overnight and he's feeling good this morning, thank goodness. His chemo went well Thursday but as expected it beat him down pretty bad. Made him pretty fatigued.

The greenhouse was down this morning, looks like a puddle formed on the plastic over the air inlet and blocked the fan so I just unplugged it around 6:30 and we'll get out there to fix it in a bit. Going to work on the small wood-framed greenhouse again today. We made the mistake of not putting the poles in immediately after Gary dug the holes so now everything is so wet we can't tamp them in. We'll probably have to go with stakes for the frame instead. What a hassle. But like mom says, shouldn't expect anything to be simple or easy. Our own fault for procrastinating.

The sun is playing tag with the cloud shadows on the hillsides. I suppose I should get out there but my natural inertia is slowing me down.

Hope y'all have a fun and productive day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rainy winter day

Many showers blew through today. (For my friend Del, I should say "Many showers blew threw today")

But we still managed to get some stuff done. Mostly just clean-up in the shop and my barn. I hope to rip through the mess in that barn and get it prepared as a nice space for visitors, but that's probably wishful thinking. Then again, inspiration sometimes manifests amazing things.

Didn't get the big greenhouse blown up today, too much wind. Takes a fairly still day to safely erect an air-inflated greenhouse.

Well, not much else to report. Hope y'all had some laughs and good food today.

Sad morning, rejoicing

Been listening to Uncle Dennis' funeral from Dumas, Ar. and I'm reminded of just how lucky we are to live in a country where we're free to worship as our souls are called. I think it was my uncle Ben speaking and he reminded us that even in sadness we have reason to rejoice.

It's a lovely morning here, a few clouds brushing the top of Fielder mountain. The congregation in Dumas are singing sweetly and mom's birds are busy at the feeder.

I'm just through with my first little chore, did the dishes so mom and dad could take it easy when they get back from town. The weather's good so I suppose dad and I will tackle some more greenhouse work after they get back. I'm gonna take advantage of the short lull to get some reading done. Can't decide if I want to go with "The Triumph of God's Love" or "Doubt". Maybe a little of both.

Hope your day is touched by sweetness and light.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good night, good morning

Got a full 9 hours of sleep for once, nice! A good, healthy breakfast and a little reading sent me right out to prune apples. Dad was cleaning up the shop when mom came out for a walk. I joined them and Sparky for about a 3/4 mile stroll. It was really nice, a tiny shower caught us half-way through but stopped shortly. Pruned a bit more then came in for a short tea break.

Trying to figure out what is pressing to do next. Kinda wish it'd rain again so I could get some reading and computer work done. Dad is sorting through some of his old possessions, deciding what to through away, give away or sell. Mom has her leg up and some heat on her knee, she needs to do that on these showery days to keep her arthritis in check.

Hoping y'all have a great day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday showers

Just got back from a quick jaunt down the road with mom, dad and Sparky. Big raindrops started splattering down right at the end.

Dad and I broke out the seed boxes and started sorting for type and age. Had a real score when we found a box from last year with 1000 big beef tomato seeds, eclipse zucchini, lemon and slicing cucumbers. Another small box had all the watermelon seed and we also have most all the cantaloupe type seeds we need. We've still got to spend about 300$ on corn and a little more on a few other assorted things. Still we saved a bunch buying all that other stuff last year. Unforeseen foresight. Little things like that can really improve a guy's mood.

Looks like I need to fill mom's bird feeder. Maybe I can find a hole in the showers.

Hope your day brings you luck and joy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rainbow Sunday

A lovely rainbow just appeared over our vineyard. The shower is gone now but the beauty of it lingers in my mind.

Been struggling a little with my peace of mind this morning. Questions and confidence hover in a willful suspension of comforting platitude. Realities cold hand prods me with eventualities I seek to avoid and obligations I have postponed for too long. Conflicts of immediate interest and planning tumble over my natural lassitude and dedication to other pursuits of mind and purpose. A short night of sleep probably doesn't help either.

We lost Uncle Dennis yesterday. My prayers are going out to comfort Aunt Bonnie and her family. I suppose I should be more focused on that and less on my mental drama.

My cousin Phil and family will be stopping by later today for a visit. Wish they didn't have to drive so far. Bad enough they had to fly from Mississippi to Spokane but that's a long haul to make from there to here and back again in a few days.

Hope all of you find the day peaceful and fulfilling.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Great day's work

Worked hard enough to make my back ache, hoorah?

We got a lot done today despite the late start. Cleaned up the back yard some more, rototilled part of the early garden. I pruned and sprayed all 3 peach trees. Well, 1 is a nectarine technically. Dad had a great day, only 1 or 2 spells of fatigue. We'll each sleep well tonight.

It was just lovely today, with the sun warm enough to make me crave barbecued hot dogs. The ol' Osprey has returned, shrieking around the neighborhood for a couple hours while we cleaned up. The smell of bark and chainsaw oil brought the scene together for a perfect Oregon moment.

Hope you all had a day as fine or better.

I'm still a slacker

Was hoping to start getting an early start but it's cold and frozen out there and nothing is really pressing today. So I'm nerding out on the computer. Thanks to Rae Ann I tried Facebook this week and it is really wasting my time! but I love getting in contact with old friends.

Today's work will be pruning and spraying the peach trees, pruning apples, more clean-up probably saw up some scrap wood for the woodstove. We might get really lucky and blow up the air inflated greenhouse. If so I'll put up a pic of that, it's so cool. Never the same in photos but I can't resist trying to capture it.

Gotta go try and baby-step my way closer to actually being a man and doing my work.

There's a world of wonder around us always ready to dazzle and amaze. Let the good things come to you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great day, so-so work

Didn't get as much done as we'd hoped but it was a lovely day. No sun but no rain either. Gary came by with his 1 person pots-hole digger and "we" got the holes for the greenhouse finished. Way easier than using the tractor mounted one. Especially since Gary did all the work ;-) Big thanks to him.

Dad and I also got a lot of clean-up done again. Dad finished his 5th tray of tomato transplants. That makes about 350 plants in all, not a bad start for the year.

Not much else to report, I'd usually summon the energy for a political rant or find some interesting link to point out right about here but my biorhythms are probably off right now.

Y'all be heartful of peace and mindful of happy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Work day vacillation

Pretty good work day, got started late because everything was frozen outside. Dad transplanted tomatoes into pony-packs while it was cold. Looks like he'll have three 72 packs finished shortly. A good start to the tomato season, if all goes well we'll be picking by July 1.

Rolled wire next, finishing that job in last year's late tomato field. Still about 14 three hundred foot rows to go (by 12 wires per row) many miles of wire actually.

Then we came in to hook up a harrow to rip our early tomato field. But the tractor wouldn't start. Dad's heart just sank, and it wasn't great for mine either. We spent a half hour running it down to the fuel pump. $1200 or so to fix that. Before we gave up, we checked one last time to make sure the fuel wasn't leaving the pump by removing the out line. As we cranked it, a bunch of air escaped the pump and suddenly the engine started! Hoorah!

Now dad is out ripping the early garden (cukes, squash and other stuff too will go there) so we can 'til it tomorrow.

A good day, all in all. Hope you all have one as fine or better.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

insomnia

Well, I haven't really tried to go to sleep, but it's still insomnia.

Had a great day, got 5 old cars hauled off from the farm here and did a bunch of clean-up in the backyard. Dad was in rare good form, only got fatigued once right around lunch. A good nap took care of that while I was running errands in Rogue River.

Gonna crash soon, just doing some last minute computer stuff.

Y'all have a delightful and refreshing night full of wonderful dreams.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

how beautiful

Ol' Mt. Fielder was really lovely today, just had to share a pic.

Good night's rest

Gratitude for a good night's sleep was the first thing on my mind this morning. It is absolutely amazing what that does for the body and mind.

I was out at Mark and Tracy's until about 10 last night. Wish I could say it was all work but we talked for a long time. I am so lucky to have such good friends. We also did make some good progress on Tracy's website. Go here: Chicy Hair-Ums pet Jewelry to check it out, especially if you forgot to get something for your girlfriend's cat or dog on Valentine's day ;-)

We're all enjoying the beginning of a lazy day of rest here. The weather looks right for a burn day in Jackson county but when I mentioned it mom said "No! we're having a lazy day today." And no one disagreed.

Sparky is asleep on his little bed under his heat lamp. His nose is twitching just a bit. Some dream of sniffing out cats or squirrels probably.

We've decided to set our alarms tomorrow morning and start on our early farming schedule. So many things to do, every hour earlier we start is less crush come the May 15th start of transplanting, not to mention the April 15th corn planting date.

The sun is out and a cloud shadow is blowing across the lower ridge of Fielder Mountain. Just a lovely, lovely day.

Peace and happiness to you all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good day after all

Didn't get a lot done today but did get to see the nieces, Charley and Randie. They brought hand-made Valentine's gifts from Charley's daughters for me and "Grandma & Grandpa chicken". Cute little luv-bugs made from pixie-sticks, craft paper and pipe cleaners.

Kyle worked out great today. We didn't have a lot for him to do but we got a lot of wires untied and rolled up. For those who don't know, I do some website design for Kyle's mom and I went to school with his dad, Mark.

Dad and I spent a lot of the day talking while we rolled wire, hashing out stuff. I'm massively overwhelmed by the threat of having to run this farm by my self but mom and dad both keep reminding me to have faith and know that the lord won't ask more of me than I can do. It was easy to have faith last year, or at least confident purpose. Now it isn't such a simple thing. It isn't just doing the work, it's all the details and drive and purpose that dad provides which I have inner doubts about me being able to do.

Thank god dad is still feeling well. We'll take every day we can with deep gratitude and a flowing love for life. What else can we do?

Y'all have a good evening, a refreshing night, and sweet dreams.

Happy Valentine's Day

Somewhere in this world is a lady who I could love and share my life with. For some reason we haven't met yet and we might not ever. But I will still take this opportunity to tell her I love her and to have a happy Valentine's Day. Sorry I don't know where to send the card. Be well, lovey.

Tough night last night, bad dreams and only 6 hours of sleep. Stress from the last couple weeks catching up with me. Funny how well I slept in the RV when we were in Portland. But I was using sleep aids and exhaustion then.

Hoping to have a good day of work ahead today. Maybe if I get physically tired enough I will sleep well.

Mom said that dad had a rough night too, weird dreams etc. probably a lot like mine.

Sorry to be such a downer, will wish you all a fine day and hope to write later when I'm feeling better.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday whew!

Strangely tiring day. Emotionally stressful. Not really sure why.

Had visitors from Scio this afternoon. Tom Hamlin and his wife. Nice people.

Got some of Travis' good dry madrone burning in the stove. A little comfort goes a long ways towards soothing the aches of the day.

Didn't get much done today. Some research, a little clean-up. Had a great 40 minute long conversation with my brother. Dang! If only I'd realized sooner that he's great to talk to.

I'm just sort of achy and sore. 42 years starting to remind me.

Kyle is coming over to help around the farm a bit tomorrow. A chance at a little impromptu education. Fortunately there's plenty of work for him to learn from. If I'm really lucky Travis might show up too and then we could split into teams of 2 and really get some stuff done.

Praying you all a wonderful day and a healing night.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Strange Thursday noon

Well, it's almost noon. Feels strange, maybe because I'm home alone. Or it could be the Easy Listening music too. {*} There, switched it to smooth jazz. "September" is playing.

It was a short night last night, went to sleep late and got up early.

Had a great breakfast at Powderhorn Cafe with Del this morning. Biscuits and gravy! And of course more encouraging conversation. Keeping my eyes open for a higher power.

Nephew Travis dropped off some firewood a little while ago. Had a couple chuckles with him. Mom and dad left for dad's infusion around then and Travis took off too. So my chores are doing the dishes and stacking some firewood. I suppose I should feel lonely but I really don't.

Momentarily suspended on the software/webpage design front. Gotta make a visit before the next move manifests but I'm having trouble arranging a break in the action around here.

No rain but no sun either here today. Kinda gray but still lovely.

Everybody have some happiness! Despite it all...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What government is good for...

"Maybe Too Little, Always Too Late" is a funny article which points out that "the economy will improve even if the government does nothing."

I would have to qualify that as "especially if the government does nothing" but hey, that's just me.

Melancholy morning

Woke up feeling a little down this morning. Some weird dreams I don't recall well, that often leaves me feeling out of sorts. I think that some of our future financial challenges are weighing on me. Right now things are ok, but I'm just aware that more medical bills will be coming in. There isn't a lot of software work right now and it's quite a while until the farm can produce any sort of cash flow. On top of that, we'll have to spend a fair amount of money before we can even get the farming operation rolling. But I suppose that's why they call it "having faith" otherwise it'd just be knowing.

The land is mottled with snow this morning. Sis is probably stuck at home because the Sexton summit pass is closed. Trucks are backed up all the way to Barton Rd. Sure hope she got to sleep in, it'd just be good for her.

It's pretty out there but it's also really cold. Don't feel much like walking or doing any chores in that mush and slush. Deeply and profoundly grateful that I have the choice at the moment. Will have to take out some compost and do a little clean-up later but it can wait now. Think I'll read for a while.

Y'all have a super day and find happiness in the trivial things.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Doing the math

800 billion dollar stimulus package divided by 300 million Americans (approx) equals about $2,600 dollars each. That is both what it will cost us and what we would each get if the stimulus money were divided equally between us. That means a $5,200 dollar swing across the board. Lost sales and unrecovered taxes.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Sunny Monday

Still lots of clouds and a little frost around but the sun is definitely making an impression.

Dad and the uncles went off to see our old homestead at 222 Ewe Creek Rd. The A-frame my father built. Mom was busy making lunch and I just didn't have the courage to go see the place where I grew up. Plus I've got a number of my own chores to look after.

It's been real neat hanging around with the uncles. I'm hoping that the sun will stay out and that before they leave we can blow up our air-inflated greenhouse. It's just such a fun structure which I think they'd find lots of potential use for.

Anyways, gonna go do some of those chores I was bragging about.

Y'all have a fine and felicitous day.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Saturday report on Sunday

Had a great day of family visiting yesterday. Bro, sis, bro-in-law, uncles, dad, mom, cats and dog. We sent the post hole digger home with sis & her hubby. That was fun loading it, almost safe for once with 5 working men coordinating the action. Gotta love a really slow moving tractor for having to work around. Still dangerous but almost entirely avoidable and stoppable.

Friday, February 06, 2009

It never rains but it pours

For my sister anyways.

Tough enough having health problems on this side of the family, she's been faced with the failing health of her father-in-law as well. He's a lot worse off then our dad is, mesothelioma got him bad from when he worked in the W.W.2 shipyards. He's suffering now and the medics aren't being very cooperative either.

So if anybody's got a spare prayer, send it my sis and brother-in-law's way. Just a little peace and grace will help them a bunch.

Love ya sis. Be well, sleep well. And a big hug to my biggest brother.

And all you other folks, strength and peace to you too.

I just had to

I suppose the ladies might like this more but I just found the idea so appallingly silly that I had to try it. Teenage girls will mostly enjoy this service, it's called cornify and it will rainbow-and-unicorn any page you want it to. Just drag the bookmark link into the top of your browser and then cornify any page you want.

You can try a sample here with this link:
Cornify

Hit it repeatedly for dense silliness.

Pancreatic cancer Twine

Twine is an interesting new collaborative search site. I've put together a bunch of pancreatic cancer cure sites there, if you're interested check it out here:
Pancreatic cancer cure Twine

Thursday, February 05, 2009

fine evening

We just got through eating some delightful fish that mom fried up for supper.

Dad's infusion went well but took longer than expected. Dad's white blood cell count was down a bit but that just proves that something is going on. If it drops again when they take blood Wednesday then they might skip a chemo treatment.

Uncle's Arnold and Doug from Mississippi are coming out to visit tomorrow night through Tuesday. Should be a load of fun.

Y'all have a good night now.

lovely day, no rain

Just got through speaking with my friend Del. Trying to figure out when we can arrange breakfast again. Kinda hard to guess with my disarrayed schedule.

Mom and dad are running late from their chemo infusion appointment. Mom left me a message that they had to see a doctor (probably about the new port-a-catheter) and give blood so they didn't get started with the infusion before 3:15.

Heading back out now to move the tractor and clean-up a little more. Dad and I spent a good chunk of the morning pulling up plastic in the field where we plan to plant early tomatoes in a greenhouse before spring. Dad got a little breathless, but that was probably from just being out of shape not anemia from his chemo just yet.

The sun is poking through clouds and lighting our big oak tree with patches of gray, white and green.

Praying you all a day of peace and happiness.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Another good day

Despite the gray.

It was cloudy after a short bit of sun for our morning walk. Dad and I got started on some more clean-up. I ran the bush-hog and dad rolled drip tubing. I felt much, much better once I started working. My fears and worries receded into the necessity of good, honest work.

Some folks who were in service with mom and dad at Rancho Cucamonga in L.A. stopped by to visit. Delbert and Lilian Unruh from Scio. Sweet, sweet people. They brought us a giant cinnamon roll from Heaven On Earth bakery near Glendale. Wow! was it good, we decided that pretty much ruined our dinner. So we're gonna just pick and piece supper tonight.

Tomorrow dad goes in for his second chemo. So far he still feels really good so despite the reality a tiny grain of hope keeps surfacing. We'll see how he feels after this next round. One thing is sure, he's got a lot of prayers coming his way. Thank god for such wonderful people. It doesn't resolve the issues facing us but it does give comfort in the face of tough times.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hard times ahead

Yesterday was a great day. We got dad's first slug of chemo put in and he handled it well, little or no nausea or discomfort. He's looking good and feeling good. We stacked firewood that nephew Travis brought over and moved a little furniture around in the house, put mom's new chair in her usual spot.

It's been really tough with our usual plans all awry. I'm hoping and praying that things will go well and that with the support of friends and family we will be able to get the farm open to sell produce again this year. What will happen with dad will happen, it is in the lord's hands now. We will cherish every day we have together.

But I've been remiss in making better plans for the future so now I've got a lot of catching up to do. It is frankly very overwhelming but I believe the lord will help me find the way and that he won't burden me beyond my ability.

The alternative, if our finances can't be kept in line, will be to sell the farm and buy a small place for mom and dad (and me) to live in. I'm really hoping that the community we have served for 20+ years now will help us keep that from happening but it might be part of the bigger plan so I will accept what comes.

Sorry to be so melancholy so early in the day. I'm still finding my way back into my faith so the peace of heart I see in so many of my aunts, uncles and cousins is something I'm still not familiar with.

Hoping you all find that same peace in your hearts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fragged is the word

Derived from "Fragmented"

Had to cancel breakfast with Del tomorrow because we've got an appointment to view educational material at the oncologists office. The more I look into the chemotherapy they are suggesting for dad ( gemcitabine ) the less I like that option. As options go it's all you've got and the cure is only slightly better than the disease.

I'm heavily leaning towards alternative treatments based on some of the well researched agents which are found in foods and herbs. Things like resveratrol, apagenin (found in celery and parsley), curcmin (from turmeric) and many similar therapeutic agencies. The nice thing is these things are so safe that they can be used concurrently with just about any chemo agent. So this option is open to dad no matter how he feels about his first chemo treatment. That should be happening on Thursday.

Oh yeah, Tracy (a lady I'm doing some website design work for) liked the word "Fragged" so much, she declared it the word for the month. So that makes it official.

Wishing you each and all peace, happiness and hope.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So glad to be home

Got back around 4pm. All Very tired but all feeling good. I got a little wired on some strong coffee I got for free (with 10$+ in gas) at the Sutherlin Shell station. If your travelling along I-5 in Oregon, the people there are really cheerful. And their coffee rocks!

Oops, I gotta go throw a log on the fire. Good evening to all.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

unpleasant diagnoses

Well, they got the biopsies back in a hurry and the spots in dad's liver were cancer. So we're gonna pack up Sunday and head back home. We'll do the chemo in Medford.

It's been an exhausting, long day of patience and waiting. I'd like to write more but I just don't have the juice.

Y'all be well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Patien(t)ce

Spent most of the day at OHSU's center for health and healing. Filling out paperwork, reviewing procedures, submitting blood samples. Dad's holding up in good humor. Doc explained a change in plans. Tomorrow will be just the biopsy procedure. For best quality the results should be returned by Monday. Then either the full surgery will be scheduled in the proceeding weeks or we will pack up and take the struggle home again.

So we will maybe be in Portland for another 3 weeks. Fortunately we found our way to this Jantzen Beach RV Park which has been just a super place to stay. Some other people on the net complained about the noise at this place from the airport but the paths are mostly north of here right down the Columbia. I think it's really cool being able to see all those planes coming in. Especially at night. And the sound hasn't kept me up not even once in the last 4 days. Also I've got to say that Joseph, Erica and Marylynne have been very helpful. I also like how close all the essentials like groceries, restaurants & etc. are.

Got a fair amount of the family in the loop on what's up now. 12 brothers and 4 sisters in my dad's family so that's taking a while. Hope nobody who gets info last doesn't feel slighted. I'm usually the last to know anything in our little branch of the family but I suppose ignorance is bliss after all and it's never really bothered me.

The driving in Portland sucks and so do Google maps. Of course I love google maps and earth but their driving instruction don't always match the physical expression. Which is both dangerous and frustrating.

Gotta go sleep. Happiness and health to you all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dad's next surgery

Day after tomorrow. Sorry to my blog-crowd but things got hectic there for a while. I will now proceed to fill you in.

Dad was diagnosed with a tumor on his pancreas about December 8th shortly after his gall-bladder surgery. He was still jaundiced after that and they did 3 endoscope plus 1 interventional procedures to get a stent placed in his bile duct. 7 biopsies later and still no clear-cut designation of "cancer". What they have found is "cell abnormalities". Doctor Billinglsey, who we have complete confidence in, says (after a more state-of-the-art CT scan) that is is almost certainly cancer and that it may have spread to his liver, they'll do another biopsy of that region on Thursday and if it hasn't spread they'll do a modernized version of the Whipple procedure on him shortly after the biopsy. If it has spread then they'll go the chemo/radio route and avoid the surgery due to the physiological expense of the procedure. The surgery will all be happening at the Oregon Health Sciences University hospital. Recovery time is about 10 days and 2 months of recuperation.

That was all determined last week. We got someone to watch the house and farm back home. My big bro asked his good (and wonderful!) friends Jesse and Darcy to loan us their RV and we found a great little park called "Jantzen Beach RV Park" where we could stay. The people here have been great. They even have a wireless router so I can stay virtual.

For the last 6 weeks we've been making sure that dad gets plenty of great cancer fighting foods and as much physical activity as he can take. He has recovered from the procedures so far very well. He is in no pain and only a little discomfort from the stent and gall bladder operations. He's feeling good, looking good and doing good. If it weren't for the diagnoses and CT scans this would just but an awesome RV vacation for us.

If we're lucky and the operation goes well I'll be here long enough to get a chance to visit with an ol' classmate and some other friends.

It's late, I'm rambling and I need to go hit the sack. Up around 5:30 tomorrow morn to go fill out paperwork and to meet the anesthesiologist for some EKG work-up.

Y'all be well, eat well and keep and eye out for beauty.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The tail of an outing

Mom and dad and I went into Grant's Pass yesterday, just to run some errands and get out of the house.

We were having fun until I discovered my wallet had fallen out of my pocket somewhere between Fred Meyer's and Wal-Mart. I was pretty sure I'd had it at Fred Meyer's so I quickly retraced my steps while mom finished checking out at the very busy WalMart.

Went into Fred Meyer's and talked to the lady at the Customer Assistance counter. She asked me my name and when I told her she said "well I didn't pronounce it right then..." Turned out a lady had found it and brought it in. However (!) it wasn't there, they had seen my SOFCU (southern Oregon Federal Credit Union) card and the lady who found it said "Oh! I bank there, I'll just drop it off there on my way by"

With that little reprieve in place and after picking up mom, we went and had lunch with my sister at Dairy Queen on Redwood Highway. What a delightful visit that was.

There are 3 branches of SOFCU in this vicinity, so we went to the nearest one and after considerable wrangling with account numbers and ID the nice young lady, Staci, there found out my wallet was at the north branch. Like I said to her, "You should be able to feel the relief radiating from me." So we went and got my wallet. As I told the manager at Fred Meyer's "Thank God for good Americans" I still don't know who returned it, but I really hope some good stuff comes her way. And I'll be sure to keep my eye open for an opportunity to pay this forward. I'm also gonna sew some velcro into my sweat-pants pockets!

As I always tell mom and dad when they head off for town, "Keep your eye out for beauty" and have a great day.