Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday, May 31st….Tomorrow into June already!!!

This is what we waited for all winter long as the cold winds blew and drove snowflakes into every part of your life that needed shoveled out later. I remember shoveling paths to the car so you could get in without getting snow in your shoes & on your clothes while thinking….. Ohhhhh, how I long for summer, when you can sit on the porch, sip coffee, smell the summer smells and see the animals in the yard, then feel the warm sun on your face. Well, now it’s here……AND sliding by at a pace close to that of a speeding jet plane fleeting across the skyline……soon to be gone into fall and then winter again. Enough of this dastardly pessimism… we have all summer long to enjoy first….. Optimism……Yes!! Don’t worry, be happy!!

The barn is coming along and again we find ourselves ahead of schedule (I think……I hope!!!) with the things we need to do to be ready for the framing & roofing guys from Jersey. We have the board and batten materials to do the outside walls on the lower level, but need the T-111 siding for the top, flooring for the top and the 2x4’s for the framing on the top. All the roofing materials are here, including rafter materials, hangers, perlins, steel roofing, trim and ridge caps. At this point, I need to do exact positioning of the floor joist beams, plate them there and cut the ends flush. We will then be ready to put the steps up into the stairwell opening and start the flooring of the loft and office. After getting to that point, we might start framing out the loft and office walls. We will check with the Jersey boys first though.

Today is supposed to be a rain day and it’s starting to look like one. I hate to give up a day, but we need the rain to bring the water table back up to normal. Our pond is about 12” lower than usual. It is also not good for the fish when the water stops flowing, because they have a hard time with the diminished oxygen level in the water. We will have to pull cords and run a pump to create bubbles and help replace the oxygen usually created by moving water. Last year, we had a problem with the fish coming to the house and carrying buckets of water back to the pond, which they filled out of the garden hose, just so they would have some water in their pond. Thatwas when we were in the middle of the drought and the pond was almost 24" lower than normal. The fish really start to look pale (loose their coloring & stripes along their sides) when the oxygen level drops in the water. They also get very sluggish……as would I, if I were asphyxiated too! I’msure a good day of rain would take care of all this and return everything to a healthy, happy, natural state.

Yesterday Sweet Vicki got a little eager to do too much and had some back and leg pain last evening. I was constantly telling her about not overdoing it and that helped to stifle some of her activities, but she is a little head strong and very independent and will do as she will do! I think she now knows and understands that the mind continues to want to go when the body just can’t do it. It reminds me of a little kid, prancing along, saying “come on, come on, lets hurry” while the decrepit old man limps along, puffing, trying to move faster as he says “ok, I’m hurrying”. The actual agenda’s are too far apart now. If you try to keep up with the mind, the body pays. I know because I’ll go like a barn on fire one day and then crash the next. This is what happened yesterday. I hustled all day Thursday to get as much done with the loader as I could, then crashed yesterday. We didn’t even make it to Rich & Robin’s for Friday night dinner. I hope they know how tired and sore I was and understand I needed to crash. I think it was good for Vick too. She would have been in a lot more pain if we had gone. Today she will be better and won’t care to do as much, and then she won’t ache tonight.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday May 30th… 4:45 pm…An Awesome Occurrence!!!!!

There was a blood curdling squawk and then a scream-like noise that could be heard for 10 city blocks, as the rest of the chickens and ducks began to squawk as if a busload of foxes just arrived at the brooding house where a McChickies sign hung over the door. The dogs chimed in and the neighbors came running like the Amish farmers did when Farmer Lapp rang the bell in the movie “Witness“. I was taken aback as I snoozed in the Lazy boy couch recliner in the living room and Vicki was watching The Beverly Hillbillies on TV. I jumped to attention and started to run before I was fully awake, expecting to find a knife stuck in Vicki’s back and a burglar ready to do me in, but before I could protect her or myself, I fell headlong over the dog that had jumped and started running also. As I picked myself off the floor and continued looking bewildered, Vicki screamed “It came from the hen house!” and I started running again……this time watching where I was going. When I arrived at the hen house……all the birds were standing at the open door looking in as if they were a mob of city pedestrians that gather at the site of a murder and just gawk at everything . As I pushed past the mob of chickens and ducks peering into the hen house, I saw a hen leaning against the wall, her head laying upon her outstretched wing which was supporting her weight as she leaned against the wall and nesting box……her other wing slowly fanning air across her face and waddle, giving one the impression she had or possibly was going to faint. I finally got the picture of what had happen and why she had squawked and screamed such a blood curdling scream. Just look at this egg! It has to be 3½” Long!!

The egg in the center is an average sized egg. Now this is the "long & short of it"!

We have received miniature eggs before, but this is the first super long egg of this kind and probably the last that this young lady will ever lay!! Tomorrow we’ll be serious! Honest!!

The end!

May 30th….. Vicki to the Dr.’s office and doing Great!!

Well this morning is another day of improvement for Vicki. She is able to traverse the steps and walk further and further each day and sleeps every night, almost all night long with little or no pain at all. Now the challenge is to keep her from overdoing it since she has waited so long for the pain to subside. You know she is feeling better, because she sat outside yesterday, on a pillow, on the John Deere garden tractor as I placed beams on the barn with the skid steer. She was my eyes as I was busy maneuvering beams on the top of the posts and rails. Now today when we went to Rite-Aid to pick up her two prescriptions and renew mine for my blood pressure prescription, we had to go to GNH and she bought a new Dewalt heavy-duty 12, double-bevel sliding compound miter saw on a beautiful table. I might add at this time that she is the “Tool Lady”………..just like Tim Taylor on “Home Improvements”…….. I always have to drag her out of the tool section in every store we go into. She would stay and drool over every tool in every isle if I didn’t yank her outta there.

She has a point. There are a bunch of boards to cut when we start covering the walls with board and batten and this will positively make the job easier and quicker and with the tailstock end of the table holding the board you’re cutting….. it is a gem to use.

I’ll have to send out two emails here shortly to find out what Spencer and Bill think of the super neat photos of the painted turtle laying eggs along the bank of the pond. Now here is something you don’t see everyday and we captured it on film, so to speak. (it’s digital….but a photo)

Took a day off from the barn to rest. I’m beat from muscling the beams around while standing on the ladder, making sure not to push or pull while in the wrong position, anyway, the skid steer might place them on top, but you need to move them into position by hand and lock them down by pounding 20 nails in metal plates and 8 screws in two angle clips per every beam put up. That’s a big beating for old hands and arms that have done more than enough heavy labor in his time, so a day is definitely needed to rebound. Tomorrow, I’ll be ready and willing to dive into it again………..but not today.

I’m thinking’ shower, TV, relaxation and then bed for the remainder of the day.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

May 29th…. What a day! Vicki much better, Beams Up!!

We made monumental headway to the barn today! We got all the beams up except the last 3 short ones on the outside which I can do anytime. Tomorrow, after Vicki’s dr. appointment, I will start to position the beams, lock them into place and cut the ends off flush, open up the stairwell to place the steps into it and be ready to install the upstairs floor. We are now checking to see if rough cut plank is going to be cheaper than plywood for the floor. Anyway, we will be doing the floor next or the board and batten around the bottom or both at the same time since we have the lumber here. The bottom line is this…… we are on schedule again and will be ready when Matt and Mark come on June 27th.


All the beams are gone! I love the look!!!!!

All the beams but 3 are in place ready to lock them down.

The flooring goes on top of the highest beams.

Some beams run one way....some beams the other way!

This will be the office floor on top of these beams.

The other ones are the loft floor area.

We decided to go to Paul’s in Coxsackie for a nice dinner, so we rounded up the ducks before we went. To my surprise, as we went out the pond banks looking for the ducks, I happened onto a painted turtle……….LAYING EGGS IN THE BANK!!!! Below are the pictures of a seldom seen event in nature!

Moma turtle digging an egg hole!

She just shot the first egg into the hole.

She sits down, grunts and pulls her head in and an egg flys!!

A hole full of eggs. We'll continue to watch for them to hatch!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

evening...May 28th… Vicki better…Barn improving…all’s well.

We worked on the barn a little bit this morning, afternoon and into this evening. I’m ready for the skid steer with forks tomorrow morning I got the big beam up and bolted to the other one in four places with thru-bolts. First thing in the morning, I’ll set the 8” x 12” beam for the office floor, then all the other beams in the loft area.

This big beam is ready to go up first thing in the morning.

Looking more and more like a barn

The stones make it look different.

The stones level everything out and give it perspective.

There are more stones to go down later.

Here the beam is bolted to another for extra strength.

Ed Pooters Jr. of Middlefield Lumber Company, delivered ½ of the board and batten lumber for the ground level wall covering. He also delivered part of the perlins for the roof and is planning on delivering the rest of the order tomorrow morning. The skid steer will make it simple to unload eds trailer tomorrow. He can just swing in and I’ll snatch it off the trailer wholesale and set it down on the ground.

The Boards and batten strips. Perlins are piled behind them.

Vicki is a little sick in the stomach this evening. Don’t know if she is catching a bug or what. I wouldn’t be surprised being at the EmUrgentCare virus & bacteria storage area. (waiting room with pink eye, colds,flu and God knows what else that the people there don’t mind passing around to unsuspecting victims!) We wash with alcohol wipes and Purell liquid to try to get ahead of the bugs, but I think airborne stuff is just plain caught by breathing it. Anyway, Vick is perched on the couch feeling sick. (She can’t seem to catch a break at all!)

I purposely quit a little early this evening so I could snap a few pictures of the chickens and such, because we had a explicit request for animal & bird pictures. Well they are here tonight, along with the barn.

An afternoon Siesta La Duck!

The others on the move.....they saw me!

They're grouping......for something big!

The Intermediate chick pen. They're getting BIG!

The Intermidate Section again! Soon they'll move on to the adult side!

The Barred Plymoth Rocks! Cuties ehh? about two weeks old.

The young adult section. Soon they will move on to the chicken coop!

Bunnies.....quiet, clean and sweet as sugar!

Look at the albino eyes!

This is one of the little Dwarf Rabbits.

The turkeys.....Young Adults putting and purring.....

They are getting their colors.....Beautiful as can be.

They are Standard Bronze Turkeys. They'll look like wild turkeys.

Again.....The Cluckin' "A" Dogs.....always watching over things!

May 28th…. Over the hump & on our way to recovery!!

The last two nights Vicki has been able to sleep the entire night…. the night before that, she slept ¾ of the night. I think we have turned the corner and she is on the mend! Dr. Lee is convinced we should treat this with rest and maintain correct position of the affected disc with minor adjustments as the healing process takes place over the next few weeks. The important thing is to keep the disc in perfect alignment while everything heals so it is perfectly positioned where it should be when the healing is complete. The inflammation is decreasing and the pain associated with the inflammation obviously decreases proportionately. That is evidenced by Vicki’s ability to walk, still slightly guarded, but at least now she can walk. Now we must make sure she doesn’t over do it since she is feeling better and is raring to go. The barn, sitting out there……uncompleted……… beckons, along with the animals, flowers, fishing and everything else dear to her heart that she would rather be doing than lying on a couch watching TV. I must constantly remind her of the following equation: 1 wrong move = reversal to day 1 and a restart from zero all over again. We are two weeks into this healing process of a total 5 weeks or so……..we can’t go back and start all over for a stupid mistake now….. the summer will be gone if we do that! So I watch her….and I remind her!!!!!

Thursday We will get the skid steer loader from Windham. It will be delivered in the morning hours and I will start cutting beams to length and place them as soon as it arrives. By days end, I would guess we will be ready to place the steps and get plywood from Lowe’s for the loft flooring. I still feel we are on schedule for the Jersey boys on Friday, June 27th. Vicki and I must make a trip to New Jersey sometime in the next two weeks to visit Sally before she departs for Slovakia late in June. Sally, Matthew and the kids, Nickolas and Bryan, are returning to be with family and I think Matt’s brother Mark will be going too. Sally and the kids are leaving late in June while Matt and Mark will stay here an additional year to work, bank their money and then finally before they leave, sell their house in New Jersey. We will miss them dearly. Matthew is one of the two that did the expansion of the upstairs for us and without Matt and Jerry, we would never have been able to afford to do the expansion. We will forever be indebted to them for such a kind, terrific favor.

Now Matt and his brother Mark will complete the upper level of our barn and do the roofing before they leave, and then we’ll maybe never see them again. How sad to lose good friends even though they will be going home. We’ll still miss them even though we want them to be happy. Anyway, we must go see them before Sally leaves for Slovakia.

More Later. Gotta see what today brings!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

may 27th…. Evening….Back from Dr. Lee McGunnigle!!!!

We went to Dr. Lee this afternoon and he gently adjusted Vicki’s back at the L5 disc which is herniated, setting on the nerve bundle which is causing the severe pain. This now looks like the 2nd week of the 4 to 5 week healing process for this classic injury. Vick is now happy that it is a classic injury experienced by 85% of the adult American population and not a mystery pain that no one can find the cause of. She has the same pain……but now she knows why and will deal with it. Before…….who knew… could have been cancer or chronic spinal disease, etc., etc.

She also has an appointment with MaryLou Murrock for Friday this week to cover and discuss the condition. We want to keep her in this loop, so the injury is not a surprise to her and it gets added into Vicki’s medical chart with her.

Monday, May 26, 2008

May 27th… Little changes but the date…..

Ever wonder why people place demands on you when you owe them nothing? You're barely in their lives....seldom do they call you or offer any help..... yet they demand you give them what they would never think of giving you! Strange how people justify their thoughts and actions. Stranger yet that they think you will forever tolerate them as they continue to blindly place their demands.


One good thing happened today. Vick received an email from her Son and a phone call from her Grandson….both of which cheered her up immensely! They, along with her cousin and family have been calling regularly to find how she is doing and trying to cheer her up. Long Island must be a loving, caring place!!! (thanks means a lot to her that you care and are thinking about her) Those who remain close to us, we love and enjoy…..the rest need to be healthy and live a long life.

The shot of Toradol Vick got yesterday did nothing, the Toradol and Lyrica pills from Rite-Aid did nothing either. I think the only thing that worked a little was the Zanex she took. We’ll hopefully go to Dr. Lee tomorrow and contact Mary Lou Murrock, Vicki's family Dr. for an appointment tomorrow at the Greenville Family Health Care office in the Bryant’s Mall if we possibly can.

We are going to rent a skid steer from Windham Equipment Rentals instead of using Dick’s equipment, because his boy’s need it this time of the year for their construction business and the trailer, skid steer, forks and time all would need to be available at the same time, let alone work with the weather, so we will just rent it from Windham. We understand that they are all very busy now and we were actually going to rent from Windham until Jeff said to rent from his dad.

I got the long, miserable, boxed in, 2nd long beam up and nailed into place today. I will next, drill the holes, countersink them and install the four threaded rods and nuts to bolt the two beams together before setting the eleven floor joists.

It’s going slow for sure, but we’ll get it completed on time for the animals to inhabit this fall. By the way, Here are the updated picture of them on the rear deck yesterday.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May 25th…Took Vicki to the EmUrgentCare Unit!!!!

Took Vicki to Coxsackie to the EmUrgentCare clinic along route 9W. They gave Vicki a shot of Toradol, which did absolutely nothing for her. They also gave her two prescriptions. One was for more Toradol tablets and one for Lyrica, which is a nerve medicine. We dropped the prescriptions off at the Greenville RiteAid, where we went through the drive thru window, and told them we would go home and eat lunch, then come back to pick up them up. We pulled in to the drive thru window at 5:02 and the window was closed……which prompted me to go to the prescription counter which was also closed. They closed at 5:00 pm and although the pharmacist was still there, they would not give me Vicki’s filled prescriptions which were sitting in a pickup box behind the counter. Greenville is filled with more asses than a public toilet, so tonight, Vicki tries to sleep without her pain medication again, because we were 2 minutes late at the pharmacy. They didn’t post an early quit at the drive through window or have the decency to mention it when they collected the prescriptions or the payment for them earlier. We will finish our current business with them tomorrow morning and then never go there again. There are other places to spend our money outside of Greenville. We originally wanted to support local businesses, but if the businesses cannot serve us, why should we support them. We’ll live to hear them complain that no one from Greenville shops here, they go elsewhere.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 24th….Vicki didn’t get better as the day wore on!

Here we are in the evening with Sunday, then the holiday on Monday to go before we can get some medicine from the doctor on Tuesday that will cut the continuous ache Vicki is experiencing. She slept very little last night and I have no reason to believe tonight will be any better either. She cannot find a position to being relief and the medicine she has amounts to aspirin.

There is very little to report and blog about. Things aren’t really very exciting when you sit on a couch all day long. Tomorrow I will get her to sit outside in the sun while I work on the barn. We’ll see.

May 24th…. Vicki seems a tad better today!!

After a really nasty night, Vick seems to be in better spirits today……Not that she doesn’t have pain, but is tolerating it much better. She said it is like a constant ache, but tolerable. Who knows what today might bring!

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23rd…. Vicki jumped through the hoop!!!

We made the appointment at Greene County Imaging today and had the CAT scan of Vick’s spine and found that she has a herniated disc at L5 which is setting on a nerve, causing the severe pain. Now Dr. Lee can treat her with the confidence he likes to work under. It will now be a matter of time and a few rules. Dr. Lee will work his magic in the next few weeks. Finally, good news…’s treatable.

Tomorrow morning, I will probably work on the barn a little to be in a position of being able to have Dick’s skid steer here Monday only. If I don’t get the last 6 low beams in place and locked down, I’ll have to take the time to do them with Dick here and we will not complete the job in one day and I don’t want that. I want to be ready for him with the long beams ready to go up for the loft floor and office area.

It got really cold this evening when the sun went down and supposed to get down to 45 degrees. Burrrrrr! Maybe we can have snow for Memorial Day!

May 23rd… Vicki the same…. on her way to CAT scan!

We have an appointment with Greene County Imaging today at 1:45 for Vick to jump through “the ring” for Dr. Lee, after which, we hope to see the reason for her constant excruciating pain. When someone whimpers without end…..constantly…..non-stop…..except to breath from midnight till dawn and beyond……SIX SOLID HOURS! You know they are definitely in pain!!!!!!!!! I feel terrible I cannot do something to stop it. It makes me feel that she thinks I don’t care because I fall asleep at times, but most of the time I just lay there and listen. I would take the pain upon myself in a heart beat if I could, but I cannot. She takes medicine all night long, at intervals, and it does nothing. I certainly hope they find it today…..I don’t know how much more she can take and I know she is scared about not walking and her legs appear to be getting weaker. Please God….today!

I may place a few beams today before we go if I can. I would like to get the 2nd long beam in place and bolted to the first one, so we are ready for the eleven office beams to be set on Monday. If I could get the 6 right hand beams set and the long bolted beam, I would be ready and happy for Monday. If I could get the 14’ 8”x12” front beam set also, I would be ecstatic!!! We’ll see what happens till Monday.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22nd…. Vicki had a miserable night…All Night!!!!!

Vick slept from about 10:30 until around 1:15 when I was awakened by her constant whimpering and crying… sometimes in her near-sleep, which lasted until around 5:10 this morning. She has a constant pain that doesn’t even allow her to find a spot where the pain is lessened or relieved. I feel so bad, because all I can do is rub her back and head which makes her feel like I am close and trying to relieve the pain, but I know it doesn’t ease it, even the smallest amount… It just shows I love her and feel her pain too.

She just got off the phone with Dr. Lee, who has arranged for a CAT scan at 2:00pm in Catskill. He believes he see a slight bulging of the disc on her old x-ray, but discs do not show well on x-rays, not like they do on a CAT scan. Looks like we are finally onto something!

Whaooooo……… Vicki was to call Greene County Imaging and confirm the appointment that Lee had faxed the script for, but they didn’t receive the prescription. When Vick called back to Lee’s office, his wife said the fax was broken this morning and Lee thought he had fixed it and faxed the script to Greene County Imaging, but obviously the fax didn’t work properly. Just another little obstacle….we’ll sit tight and wait for the resolution and then make the appointment. Again……When it rains, IT POURS!

It is now 11:41 and Lee is still in a meeting. He will need some time to get the script to Greene County Imaging, so we are not counting on a 2:00pm CAT scan today. We'll post when we know.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21st….. The Dr. just left here….Vicki still down!


Dr. Lee just left the house after examining Vick and making sure she was still aligned. He is ordering a CAT scan, possibly for tomorrow if he can get her in. He is concerned because of the roving manner in which the pain is moving. He checked her muscular function, the hamstring, the SI joint and the other things we first suspected, but ruled all those things out. The Sciatica appears to be coming from something and now he is suspecting the nerve bundle of the horses tail and possibly a bulging disc in this area which would account for the migrating pain she is experiencing. If it were straight Sciatica, she should be able to find a position to lay in that affords relief from the pain, but there is no such position for her. And the way the pain moves, could only be caused by a bulged disc rolling across the different nerve endings of the horses tail bundle. Now that is the best I can explain where we are at this moment and I will update when I hear more that I can relate. (if I even related this much correctly. My memory isn’t worth a poop!)

As soon as we are done with the Dr. stuff, I will get Vick out by the barn on a comfortable chair and I’ll work on the barn. At least we’ll get a little closer and she can get some sun and fresh air. She can even watch the geese with their little ones. They come really close when you’re out there with them.