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


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


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.