Exercise and Poetry

One of my patients had a little paper pamphlet of poems in her room titled “poems for brother donald”. Before long another one showed up, this time jacketed with orange paper rather than yellow and titled “meter for mama”. There were little pen illustrations in both pamphlets beneath some of the poems. With permission i opened the pamphlets and began to read and immediately fell in love with the poems. They were simple and sweet but many of them very clever and the author had a signature way of closing the poem off with something witty or humorous in the last line. The poems which described nature were beautiful but ernest and deep, not flowery and puffed up like most poets of the day. Her poems had a certain heart to them that made you want to read them twice. “Who wrote these”, i inquired? My patient told me that the author had been her late sister in law. She said, “oh she would be so tickled that you liked them. Her goal was to be a published poet you know.” My patient said she would ask her family members if she had any extra copies of the pamphlets and if so i could buy one from her. I overheard her children telling her she only had two copies and those pamphlets were made for the family, not mass produced. I told my patient the pamphlets were special and they needed to stay with her but i would come visit daily and read the poems to her while she exercised if that was okay. It was okay with her since her eyesight made it difficult to read the poems with fluidity. Every time i came to bring her exercise i thumbed the pages and read her poem after poem as she exercised. Sometimes she would describe her sister in law to me. She would say often that she had been a beautiful and independent young woman. Upon finally seeing a picture of her i agreed. She said she used to take walks in nature by herself. She said she wished she paid her writing more attention when her sister in law was alive. I told her i was sure her sister in law could see her from heaven and it was never too late to read poetry. One day a book appeared near the pamphlet. “Rustic roads and other poems”. I leafed through it and found a collection of exquisite little poems in there. My favorite of her poems was in the little yellow pamphlet but my second favorite source for them was this rustic roads book. I googled her and realized there were two copies of her book for sale at this time, one on ebay and one on amazon. The person who had listed the book on ebay wanted $50.00 for the book. The person on amazon was asking $22.00. I ordered the book from amazon. It took nearly a month to ship from where it was in the united kingdom. When i received it i noted that on the inside of the book on the top corner of the first page, something had been written in pen, “St Josephine Mc R” and then beneath it, “The Priory”. I was delighted to have the book in my possession. It would be a treasured gem. It would be well appreciated. It would be loved. My favorite poem of hers so far is called “The Cowboy”. There is something about a poet who writes from their soul and thinks of what it is that they have to express, not what it is others would pay to hear.

Visiting Blue and an Agricultural Safari

Not everyone is fond of dogs, especially giant ones, and so my beloved Blue would not become a therapy dog for the residents as originally planned and she would no longer be making weekly visits. My love for this giant puppy was endless and sincere and i was devastated at the idea that i might not see her again. My coworker said, “you can come to the house and see her anytime.” I asked if i could come on friday after work and he said yes. And so the visit to my coworker’s homestead was on the books and i was about to see my precious Blue again! He said i could also see his cows and the calf which was just icing on the cake.

My main objective was to see Blue but there was this other thing, not to be glossed over…my coworker lived in an area where every property was a homestead. It was miles and miles of homesteaders. Everyone had livestock and trees that were hundreds of years old. The further from the city of fredericksburg i got, the more cows and sheep i saw, and the less buildings and more trees and rolling hills there were. The sun shone more golden here. The trees were taller, the sky bluer, the clouds more lazy. It seemed i was in a different world. I passed stone houses and wooden houses, with wrap around porches and rocking chairs. One property had a yard full of alpacas and a tiny grey wooden house. The house had a wrap around porch and on the steps sat a girl who might have been 2 years old if even. She wore a dress and bare feet. Her blonde hair was barely long enough to reach her neck. She had a bowl full of berries and was eating them on the porch while the alpacas grazed. The front door was slightly open, i assume so her mother could watch her from inside. She looked content, barefoot on the steps, sun gracing her arm. This was a different world.

I was driving, took a look at the gps, lifted my head, and there was a big black cow standing directly beside the car. she was shiny. There were 3 more standing nearby. One came over to see what my car was about. I pulled gently forwards. The further i went the more houses there were and the more different kinds of cows i saw. Finally i arrived and i saw my coworker and blue jumping off the porch and running to greet me. “Blue!” I shouted. I couldnt get out of the car fast enough. My coworker seemed so different from how he was at work. He seemed content…in his element. He wasn’t poking at everybody and anything, trying to get a rise out of everybody and be the comedian. He was still, quiet even. He had a content and relaxed expression on his face. He seemed happy. I could understand this. It was utopia with all the giant ancient trees and the little stone house built generations ago. The property was home to cows, dogs, and cats. What could be better company? I met the cows but Blue, being the puppy that she was, was barking and chasing the cows around and mama cow was not having any of it with her new calf nearby. Blue was in very real danger of getting a kick in the head to match her eye scratches at the hands of the barn cats she was so sure were dogs. My coworker sat down on some bare metal swivel chairs that looked like they used to have cushions. To answer my inquisitive expression he stated, “Blue ate all but one of the cushions so i just took the last one up.” I smiled thinking, “Ah, the puppy phase…”. That phase when you cant have anything nice and you’re always cleaning or preventing certain disaster. I was unbothered by the fact that she had eaten the cushions. They werent my cushions. I was Blue’s auntie. My coworker was her parent. Two very different roles. I pulled Blue onto my lap and held her like a 35 lb baby. I rocked her in the metal frame of the swivel chair for over an hour while my coworker enjoyed a beer on his porch and his teenage son hunted his friends in the woods with air rifles and camouflage suits. Its a rare privilege to see someone content. I was glad that he had this place where he and his family could be away from the city. I didn’t take any pictures at my coworker’s house. It seemed a private place, a piece of wilderness to be experienced, not photographed.

Meat and poultry had been removed from my diet during childhood and i couldnt digest it by the time i wanted to add it back in during adulthood. However, i had never eaten deer. My coworker told me he’d give me a tiny piece of deer meat to try from his freezer. He was curious if i’d be able to tolerate it since it wasnt a prior known protein for my system, it would be new. I was unsure but i agreed to conduct the experiment on a weekend, when i had a stretch of time to be sick without interfering with work if need be. I thought he was going to give me a tiny piece but he ended up sending me home with a whole vacuum sealed bloody piece of deer that either he or his son had undoubtedly shot.

Two of my coworkers were really bothered by the fact that i used a gps. They kept running through what if scenarios in which the gps would be unavailable to me and asking me what i’d do. I didnt think my use of a gps was as horrible as either of them did. I used the gps to get places the first few times and then once id been there a couple times i just memorized the route. They were heck bent on teaching me to navigate without it. Im a visual thinker so i cannot associate “china street” with the stretch of road it pertains to because there is nothing china-ish about it. Pecan rd also doesnt have pecans or pecan trees on it. None of this system makes any sense, and certain roads just become other roads and at what point exactly this morph happens nobody knows…im also too near sighted to read the street signs until im nearly passing them at 40 mph. Forget it at 75. Its just smarter to use the gps rather than nearly cause a traffic accident 6 times on the way home. But it seems really important to these guys that i navigate without it. Most of the time i push back because there are reasons i use the gps and just because i take steps to be as functional as i am… i guess what im trying to say is ive found coping skills and adaptive ways of doing things that work for me and render me highly functional and its not fair to ask me to have a meltdown and behave like a child for my peers to believe that the adaptive measures have a requirement and a purpose behind them. It is as if a marine biologist is telling a crowd, “no, fish really cant breathe out of water, they need water in their gills to breathe, but we’ve put these fish in a shallow pool so you can see them and interact with them and they can still breathe. And the crowd crosses their arms and sarcastically exclaims, “well i guess just never try new things then. You stay doing exactly what you’re doing and never grow and never try new things.” It is implied that the fish are being ridiculous and stubborn refusing to leave the water and try dry land. And then when the marine biologist puts a fish on land to demonstrate that it will suffocate the crowd gasps and goes, “geez, what a scene that you are making!” To the fish. I dont believe i should have to demonstrate a panic attack just to prove the ways in which i have adapted over the years to be high functioning are necessary and serve a valid purpose. people should have enough decency to take my word for it and not need to see a flopping fish to conclude it cant breathe out of water.

However, today my coworker offered to draw me a map. I took him up on it, realizing that i am a visual thinker and if he could make a visual rendition of the route he wanted me to take home without the business of a thousand colorful tangled lines on a road map, i could probably follow it whereas his auditory instructions might as well have been spoken in Portuguese. He was a bit caught of guard. He hadnt expected me to take him up on that and now he had to make good on his offer and learn to draw. It took him a while but he did make a drawing of the route he wanted me to take home, labeled with street names. He said i could call him if i got lost. I did end up calling him. Effectively i traded the voice of the gps for the voice of my coworker. So, no closer to tech-free apocalyptic survival navigation skills, but i did get something out of it. The route he had given me home from his homestead to mine was all back roads through undeveloped homestead country. There was a spirited creek with a very low concrete road it was being sucked under. Then there was a sign that said loose livestock. The rest of the way home was just hours of homesteads, loose livestock, wrap around porches on tiny unique houses, and fenced fruit trees. It was like a safari where you could get so close to the animals in your car, except the animals were cows and beautiful shiny dark brown horses, peacocks, goats, sheep, donkeys, and of course deer. Every operation was unique. Every house was different. Every shed was different. You could tell things were built with whatever was on hand. The animals were shiny, big, and healthy. Some had babies with them. The horses were magnificent. I saw a truck bed garden…something id always dreamed of when i lived in apartments. The speed limit was 35 mph on these winding roads up and down through the hills and past creeks. Oak wilt was visible everywhere. It had killed all my coworker’s 300 and 400 year old oaks. It had killed a lot of these peoples’ oaks and was working on the rest. It made me feel not so alone in my plight, watching my own oaks die with nothing i could reasonably do about it. Then, without warning, i broke through the tree cover and was at the top of a hill. I could see over all the other hills. The view was of miles and miles of hills and the setting sun stretched over them with long horizontal rays. It was a breathtaking view. I felt on top of the world, and then i dipped down into the trees again and crossed another creek. It was the most relaxing beautiful drive i had ever taken in my whole life. It was the closest thing to a spiritual experience i have had. It was like the whole world fell away and i was somewhere else. I only saw 1 car and 1 human for over an hour.

It spit me out at the flea market in my town and i knew where i was for the first time since i had left my coworker’s homestead. I folded the map he had drawn and tucked it under my viser. i would at some point undoubtedly visit blue again, and i intended to re-drive this route home. It was quite the experience. I wondered how many people knew that there was a farming version of an african safari where you could see cows instead of zebra? “Loose livestock” is the best sign in existence and the day i got to see Blue and drive through all those different homesteads for over an hour…was one of the best days of my life. Definitely one for the books.


This is my beloved Blue, a puppy i consider myself an auntie to. She belongs to my coworker. She is half pitbull and half burmese mountain dog. she is going to be huge. She sleeps all day and her favorite place to be is tucked in your lap. If you pet her while she snuggles against you she will make a snorty breathing noise that lets you know she’s happy. She is so content to be loved on. She’s just the best fur baby ever, and the most wonderful part of it is she’s chewing up and peeing on all my coworker’s stuff, not mine. Being a dog auntie is the best sweet spot of enjoying a puppy.

The Greenhouse Tenants

My main objective here is not to grow food. If food results that will be lovely but ultimately i want a room where i can be surrounded by healthy thriving greenery and after a hard day of peopling, i can go in there and just be with plants. So i have selected food plants and if they produce they produce and if they dont they dont. Its all a bit of an experiment when you are deviating from the norm. Who knows if there will be enough sun or if i will be a formidable enough substitute for the best pollinators, the bees. its all an experiment. The only way id consider it a failure would be if nothing at all grew, if all the plants withered and returned to the dirt.

Spaghetti Squash
Dill, garlic chives, onion chives, cinnamon basil, basil
Snap peas and butter lettuce
Cucumber and Cantaloupe
I like to separate the sprouts when they are tangled together so that each one may live rather than the strongest overpowering the others. This means detangling and sometimes breaking roots. I make sure each one has a large enough portion of the roots for survival. They wilt immediately but over time they stand back up. They are resilient and then i have 4 okra vs 1 from each container.
Squash and Zucchini
Butternut Squash and Lemon Cucumbers
Japanese Eggplant

I have since added some green beans, black beans, navy beans, and lima beans to the garden but they are so little at the moment there’s not much to photograph. I’ll have to add them in to this post later when they’ve grown a bit.

50 Bags of Dirt

I had to buy plants before i had the greenhouse ready or the boxes set up because the nurseries only sell certain plants during certain weeks and they really only have vegetables at all for the month of april. By may 1st everything is gone and its back to flowers. So i had some plants sitting in tiny little containers and i really needed to get the greenhouse up and running if they were to live. I had holes drilled in all the toy boxes but they were empty. I figured i would need at least one carload of dirt. I wanted someone to load it for me so i figured i couldnt do walmart. It had to be a hardware store so they’d put all the bags in the car. I was already going to have to get them out. No sense in doing it twice. I drove to the hardware store and told the staff member that i wanted to fill the car with as many bags of dirt as would fit and then charge my card for that many. They said no. The bags could not go in my car until i paid for them. I asked her to send a staff member out to look at the bags and look at my trunk and decide how many they thought would fit and i would buy that many and give it a go. If they wouldnt all fit i would just ask for a refund for what i had to leave behind. She agreed and called for a lot attendant to come to gardening. They sent a teen in a mesh vest. I explained what we needed him for and he followed me to my trunk. Once at the trunk he took a look inside and said, “with the seats down, i’d say, 50.” I was surprised. I said okay, lets go. He got called away for something else while i was paying and then once i had paid for fifty bags of the dirt they called for assistance again and the teen showed up with a friend to help him load. The other teenager said, “whooo, you told her fifty? In this car? Fifty, he says. Fifty.” He shook his head. The first teen told the second teen to shut up. The second teen talked **** all the while that they were loading and i was counting. When the first teen heard me say, “29” he said, “hold up you said 29? Okay yeah its gonna fit.” He seemed quite sure at that point. I had no idea so i just kept counting. As they loaded the bags i heard myself say, “47, 48, 49…” the first teen wedged a bag sideways against the window and closed the trunk “50”. I shook his hand, “im impressed. I gotta hand it to you, you estimated well. Exactly 50.” The other teen that had been giving him such a hard time for his estimation skills was silent. I told him thank you and to have a good night. Now the first teen was giving the second teen **** about having faith in him and his abilities. They walked back to the building. I got in the car and suddenly realized i had 50 bags of dirt in the back of it. I had made the car quite a bit heavier than it had been. I tried to quickly do the math of how many lbs of extra weight would be in the car if i had 4 200 lb passengers riding with me. I decided that no matter how i worked it out in my head this was probably more weight than was supposed to be sitting on the tires. The car felt very heavy and i had to push harder than normal on the accelerator pedal to make the car move. I drove very slowly and carefully all the way home. Upon arrival my immediate thought was that i had to get all this extra weight out of the car. I backed up to the greenhouse, jumped out, and unloaded the 50 bags onto the ground one at a time. Once i had the stress off the car i parked it and turned my attention to what to do with all the bags of dirt i had stacked next to the greenhouse. I carried them two at a time into the greenhouse and ripped them open at the top with my hands. 6 bags filled up one container. I carried and ripped, carried and ripped until all 50 bags were utilized. It was just enough dirt to fill all of the containers. I then planted the sprouts i already had as night fell.

Painting the Greenhouse

Most of the interior of the greenhouse is done with boat paint. It has a rubbery feel to it and any water that gets on the walls or floor will not sink in and rot the wood. Well, the plan was to prime all the particle board looking surfaces, then paint them, and stain the wood beams with water proof stain. I underestimated how long this would take. From sun up to sun down this project took me 3.5 days. I called in to work and asked if i could come saturday instead of monday so i could finish painting before the guy arrived to spray for carpenter ants at 6 pm on monday. Work said yes. I finished painting at 3:30 pm and they sprayed at 6:15 pm. This project was murder on my arthritic joints but it all comes down to how badly you want something. If you want to finish by the deadline you’ll ignore the pain and power through. Several of my perfectionist friends have pointed out that if i used tape on my surfaces the lines would be neater. Yeah, duh. No time. Going for functionality here not elegance. Is it water proof and is it done are the only two questions i have.

Once finished with the priming, painting, and staining i grabbed the toy boxes and flipped them upside down in the grass. I drilled holes in the bottom of each box for drainage and then placed them on top of their upturned lids in the greenhouse so the lids would act as a tray to catch any excess water.

Building the Greenhouse

Ever since i realized grasshoppers were an insurmountable obstacle to gardening out here and 70 mph winds tear down any traditional greenhouse i erect i’ve had this idea that i would turn a tuff shed into a greenhouse by putting climate control insulation in it and customizing it to have windows all the way around. I figured i would water proof the inside and leave the windows open all the time. With the screens, the grasshoppers couldnt get in, and id have a space i could garden that would be protected in my absence as i worked in healthcare. I tried to add a skylight but they would only make them out of glass and we get baseball sized hail sometimes. I wanted a plastic one and they said no, so i nixed the sky light. It means less light and slower growing plants but hail proof was a must. Glass facing the sky was a dealbreaker. I dont care if it never produces vegetables, as long as it grows something green. The garden has always been stress relief for me and i am suffering without that safe haven of peace and freedom. The grocery has food. Im not hurting for that, but the inability to grow anything green…that was leaving its mark. One day my coworker asked me when i was going to make a garden and i realized i was working 12+ hours a day at that time and i just decided to pull the trigger on designing a custom tuff shed as a greenhouse and put it on a payment plan. I would have 6 months to pay it off without interest. I would need to work my butt off getting those hours in but it seemed like now was the time to do this.

I will preface this by stating that my struggle to get a refrigerator and laundry units to the homestead already gave me a crash course on what it is to have something done by a third party contractor, and by that i mean, its ****. No accountability. No reason. A fight. A third party contractor is invisible. They’re not worried about their reputation and so they conduct themselves in a less than respectable manner and they do a less than respectable job, because at the end of the day, its not their name on the work.

This crew showed up without nails, screws, two metal beams, and missing half the wood that goes beneath the roof that wasnt even coming to texas until the following day. They broke this news to me upon arrival. They introduced themselves to me. One man asked me where i wanted the shed and which direction i wanted it facing. He put a coffee cup down to mark where i wanted the back of it and just eyeballed the direction i wanted it facing. Then one of his two comrades began to back his pickup and trailer over his coffee cup, which i wasnt sure why he was doing if that was where the build would be, so the first guy moved his coffee cup. They never reconsulted me as to whether they got the placement of the tough shed right, and they hadnt. Not only had they put it too far forwards, they had it facing the wrong direction by maybe 30 or 35 degrees. Unfortunately, i noticed this after they had erected most of it. The first thing i noticed was that they were doing a lot of one sided arguing. One guy would bring up points and the other guy would ignore him. And then there was the third guy, clearly high off his ***. I will say, he could have been smoking hand rolled cigarettes, but the fact that he’d just stand there facing a random direction with a tool dangling from his limp arm and knees bending, swaying slightly until one of the other two shouted, “eh, what you doing?” …he was either high or experiencing captain jack sparrow syndrome. They didnt really let him do much. Once he tried to put a wooden beam on the porch to hold the roof up and they told him, “eh, turn it around.” He had it facing backwards. He was just there. They let him paint stuff, which he insisted upon doing without a drop cloth and got paint everywhere it shouldn’t be. The dynamic between the two main guys was what i found very unsettling. The guy that sat in the truck smoking the whole time appeared to be the boss. I say this because he didnt lift a finger to do anything physical. He sat in the truck. Every once in a while he came out and told the guy who was actually building the structure that he was doing it wrong. Then the guy building it looked right at him, nailed the thing in place exactly as he had it, and the first guy shook his head and got back in the truck. Now, this was unsettling to me because i wasnt sure who was right, the guy in the truck or the guy building the thing, but i felt they had some unfinished business between them that they were working out at my expense and for over $11,000 that i was going to have to pay off over time, i did not want the thing built bass ackwards because them two were having a marital tiff. So i did the only two things i could do. I tried to get them to talk to me. I asked what was going on. I asked what was missing, how we could acquire it, how long it would take, and where it would be coming from. The men were decidedly general. The only one who spoke to me was the one who owned the truck. He kept the conversation very minimal when it came to the build. He was down to talk about all sorts of things that had nothing to do with the build but they didnt want to share much of their plans for how to shift this sideways build back onto the tracks. Then i called tuff shed and listed and photographed everything they had done so far that i felt was iffy. I told them of the dynamic where they argued about which way to do something and then man # 2 just nailed it in place and man # 1 got wordlessly back in his truck after shaking his head. I told them of the times the guys were out there stating the roof wood was cut wrong and they didnt have enough plywood to cover the area under the roof. They kept turning it sideways like they were going to find a way to make it work and i was demanding that for the money i paid, the pieces actually be cut to fit the roof so it remained water and critter tight. I told them of the conversation in which the man was standing there saying to the other man that “you did this on the last job too. This is why it always comes out wrong because you put it on the outside and it goes from the inside and now the measurements are all messed up.” The other man said no he did it right and the man from the truck said no he did it wrong and he did it wrong on the last two jobs too. These guys did a lot of standing around and trying to figure out what had gone wrong. I was mortified. At this point, i wanted them to take the shed away and give me my money back, but it wasnt an option. The company would have to make it right or i wouldnt sign off that i was satisfied and the build was done. I was very vocal about my concerns because i understood i had a small window of time to pull this into something functional and once i signed those papers whatever was erected was my problem as is. Tuff shed finally admitted they used third party contractors, unlike in 2019 when they had sent a professional and efficient crew out to build a bigger shed in one day flat and it was perfect and had held up beautifully. They said they would send a tuff shed employee that had worked for them for 12 years to supervise the third party contractors and he would come out and address all the things on my list and make it right.

Let me just list some of the sloppy rookie mistakes these men made not because they didnt know better but because they just didnt care. Tell me if you would be a bit peeved if the people building your $11,000+ investment were doing things as careless as this. They didnt line up one piece of wood flush against the other before nail gunning it in place. They wasted a shit ton of nails because the guy in the truck told them to conserve because they were running low so they put twenty nails in one board right next to each other while looking right at the guy in the truck and then ran out and had to wait for a guy in a tuff shed pickup to bring more. They were told to make sure there were not gaps between pieces of wood before nailing and to measure to make sure the two sides were symmetrical. They purposely didnt do anything the guy in the truck said to do. So i watched them nailgun boards of wood into place when i could fit my fingers in the gaps they were leaving and then they cut off the excess wood on the backside. They placed the posts crooked because they didnt use a level. The one guy had one post backwards before the guy in the truck corrected him. They got paint all over the wood porch. They walked all over the pieces in the yard. They broke a corner off one of the metal window frames. They left the rubber stoppers that keep the glass from jostling on the drive over in the small windows so you couldnt slide them open or closed easily and tried to tell me they were just cheap and lighter than the bigger windows and supposed to be like that. They cut one of the porch pieces of wood in half for some reason and then realizing they needed the whole piece, left space between every board of wood to accommodate for their mistake. They could not figure out what the door trim was for and they kept trying to make the door fit the whole area without the trim by raising and lowering the hinges as if that was somehow going to make the door bigger. I mean it was real amateur hour over here, and whatever was going on between those two men was definitely getting my shed built worse.

The guy from poteet came and supervised them while i was at work. He made them jack the shed up and roll it on logs until it was facing the right way. He made them use the right pieces and do things the right way. The two guys tried to sass the guy from poteet the way they had sassed the guy in the truck and the guy from poteet didnt take it. He gave them a stern look until they complied or he invited them verbally to try again. When i arrived the jack sparrow guy was painting and the truck guy asked him if he would like a drop cloth. He said no. The poteet supervisor came and stood so that his boot was right near his head and asked him with a stern face if he would like a drop cloth. The guy said yes and the supervisor gave it to him. The guy from poteet saved it. He made it water tight, upright, and actually looking like a shed. It was functional, but it was constructed sloppily. I had to take what i could get having already signed the contract and put down roughly $3,500 and charged another $8,000 to an interest free home depot card. It had gone from “what the **** is this” to “looks like a shed”, so, i had to decide what i could fix on my own and what i couldnt. I could finish nailing all the nails they only hammered half way in. I could finish screwing all the screws they only screwed half way in. I could plaster the spot where they broke the corner of the metal window frame off. I couldnt move the shed to face another direction, make it water tight, or render the windows functional. I needed them to do that. So when they got it half way functional i decided to call it a day, get them off my property, and run damage control.

The supervisor from poteet left before they finished the shed completely and it went right back to arguing and rejecting drop cloths as soon as he left. He kept asking them where the jack was and they said around the back of the shed somewhere but nobody volunteered to put it back in the guy’s van. So when the guy left they all shook his hand, thanked him, and waved. One guy called him a gentleman and a scholar. Then as soon as he had backed out of the driveway mr jack sparrow there threw his hands up in the air in celebration and quietly exclaimed, “we got a jack!” The other guy asked if he’d really left it and jack sparrow nodded excitedly. They did a little victory dance around the yard. They had stolen the tuff shed guy’s jack. These guys were more than a little shady. They had been trying to convince the guy to give his level to the third party contractors and report to tuff shed that he’d lost it. They told the guy tuff shed would surely buy him another. So the guy didnt let his level out of his sight the rest of the day and they nicked his jack. I stood not ten feet from them in the yard watching as they did their victory dance like i wasnt even there.

When it came time to do the walk through the guy from the pickup asked me if id be willing to give them a thumbs up if i liked the final result so they could show their boss i was happy with the job. I understood what he was asking. I wasnt happy with the job, but i was happier than i had been. He was asking me to essentially close the case. Once i thumbs upped i couldnt claim anything was wrong or needed fixed. Realistically, i didnt trust them to touch the final project and thought they were more likely to break it than fix it at this point. I didnt plan to have them back out. If i didnt find anything major wrong i would thumbs up for them and they could take a photo. I guess this answer surprised him. Im really not a raging bitch. I just wanted the shed that i paid for. I guess he figured that out in that moment because he dragged the guys out of the truck and made them fix all the things they had sabotaged because they figured i wouldnt give them a thumbs up photo at the end anyway. So, i guess always be kind because i wouldnt have known they messed with the door latch otherwise. He had them fix a bunch of stuff and then i stood for my thumbs-up photo. If you find that i have called corporate on you, you need to examine your life because im a people pleaser and i like to handle everything myself so if i had to call corporate, you were doing something wrong. I hope they examine their lives but who knows if they will. A lot of the wood used was chipped, cracked, or broken, because they were just careless. Ive had to make peace with this. It is what it is. This is a post pandemic structure. They are using third party contractors and shoddy materials. I know because i have a tuff shed from 2019 about forty feet from this one. You cant expect anything to be done well these days. Take what you can get and move forward. Im not sorry i commissioned this shed now in 2023 because it seems it will only get worse as time goes on. I dont for-see this getting any better. That was exhausting and im glad to be done with it now rather than trying to do it in five to ten years.

Vegan Oreos

They’ve done it! They’ve finally done it! After two decades of anticipation they’ve manufactured gluten free, dairy free, egg free, sugar free, corn free oreos, and they are to die for! The cookie is dry and crunchy like a real oreo. The thing can be twisted apart and the cream center can be scraped off with one’s teeth. They are delicious and addictive. I ate the whole box in one sitting the first time i tasted them and it comes with 18 cookies. Now i portion them into ziploc baggies of two each until there are 7 baggies. I eat the remainder and then the baggies are for each day of the week. i still cant believe that i am finally enjoying a version of my beloved oreo that i can eat.

The Dung Beetles are back

I kept trying to examine Sili and Cashew’s turds while they were sick so i could gage what state of recovery they were in and the turds were just disappearing…all of them. it appeared that the dogs were going days without pooping. I knew this was not the case for what goes in must come out. I just couldnt find their turds. I walked around for half an hour looking for them one evening. I finally found one. To my surprise, the turd was moving. Then i recognized a familiar little figure. The dung beetles were back. They were rolling all the poos into symmetrical little balls and carting them away somewhere. No wonder i couldn’t find the turds. They were taking them.

No more Tomatoes for me

After my first time having Covid in march of 2020 i developed rheumatoid arthritis in every joint. There was a stretch of time this year in which i didnt buy tomatoes. I just wasnt craving them at all. my arthritis seemed 90 percent better than it had been but i didnt connect the dots as to why until i began getting a prepacked box of assorted veggies at the red barn produce company. It was mostly tomatoes. My pain was 1000 times worse. I couldnt sleep. It hurt to exist. Life was miserable and nothing helped. I finally connected the dots and stopped eating tomatoes again. The pain lessened dramatically. Vegetables like mushrooms, cauliflower, and asparagus seem to add to the pain as well but on a much more minuscule scale. With my diet as limited as it already is i cant afford to be cutting out all these vegetables so i cut out tomatoes. Raw tomatoes, cooked tomatoes, tomato sauce, catsup. It all had the same effect and it all had to go. As it turns out, tomatoes can greatly increase uric acid production and for some reason or another, this quadruples my joint pain. So, thank Covid for nixing tomatoes for the rest of my life. I threw the catsup out. I gave my tomato plants to my boss to take home and put in his wife’s garden. They can still eat tomatoes and they are well nurtured plants. They will provide plenty of fruit for them.