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Thursday, October 29th, 2009
5:58p - On Construction


DC, the contractor, told my brother he felt like a movie star. It is all my brother's fault. He told me he wanted a video record of the entire project from start to finish.

I took him at his word. I should have shot the front of the trailer before anyone got here, but I goofed and did not. I may have it on some other video, by accident... I THINK I have something from when it first got set. Maybe. No idea where, of course.

Amishmen are shy. I've heard that they don't like their faces photographed, so I tried to stick to hands, backs, or total body shots... Nobody complained, (at least, not to me...)

No job was too tiny to escape my lens. At the end of the third day, I had shot three 60 minute tapes, and am running out. I wish I'd had the video camera with me as we came home from Des Moines -- The creek was still out of its bank. By the time we got unloaded and the mandatory calls made to order the dumpster box and set up the pre-surgery physical for my cataract surgery on Tuesday, it was dark. That full creek and the puddles would have been perfect additions to the "rush job" that kept the Amish hard at it until 7:30 last night.

DC had promised me the night before that before they left Wednesday, I'd have gravel between the collapsed south wall of the trailer where the last three supports were within inches of slipping into the pit, and the newly poured, but uncured cement wall. When I reminded him of the cement slab under the stairs, he also filled in that wall with gravel, so it would not settle and crack the slab. He "made it so". I now have no yard or pasture grass left at the top of the hill, and semi-smoothed over ruts that were 6-8" deep earlier, with machine tracks every which way. This is the way it will look all winter until spring planting rolls around.

Yesterday at sunset, one (H) politely knocked on the door and asked for a trouble light (work light that will clip on just about anything, with a long cord. Generally, men are lying under a vehicle with it clamped to some part of an auto frame, in my experience...) Not being male, I don't have one.

He removed his shoes and climbed into the front door from the ground. (I was impressed!) He crawled behind my end table and unplugged the wire I wiggled, so he could use my tall new thin pole lamp. V's boy (a fourteen year old live wire who looks about 10) draped himself over the wall and held the lamp upside down, several feet from the floor while H smoothed the cement.

I talked them into accepting soup, using the old "feed the working field hands" analogy I grew up with. I took out a family sized can of creamed chicken soup, and H and ? approved it. I stirred it forever before it came to a boil. By then a carload had arrived to retrieve the boys, but the job was not quite done. I offered more bowls and spoons, but everyone else professed to be "fine". They ate their lunch boxes dry at noon, and the smoothing was not finished until 7:30. I sent out a third bowl with two different styles of crackers, Benton's and saltines. One each of the Benton crackers disappeared but over half the stack of saltines disappeared into hungry maws. Both soup bowls and the pan came back empty (but not licked clean...LOL).

H, who'd been working while the others ate, philosophically said, "I don't need to eat." He's the one I talked into accepting the food. These guys are workaholics.


current mood: amused

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9:43p - Good News, Bad News Department


Good news - Bad news department:

Now I'm all depressed when I want to be totally hyped! I don't believe in coincidences, but, I'm tempted to start after my eye doctor appointment Oct. 24 led to today's pre-operative evaluation... IT IS TIME. Unaided, the left eye could discern only the large E at the top of the eye chart. The right eye is also now also operable, but in far better shape.

The good:
Last May, my brother agreed to build my LIBRARY over a basement next to my mobile home so I'd have 1) a storm shelter 2) room for all my books sometime this summer. But the rains came all last year and continued into this one, so all the cement workers are YEARS behind. The contractor said, "June, maybe, July more likely." He came in mid-October. Wednesday, he called my brother and gave him the "the cement will be hard enough by..." date. My brother called me at 6:30 this morning and said he'd arrive late Saturday night OR EARLY EARLY (as in 2-3 am) SUNDAY with three Central Americans to help. Once a week, I send him the weather predictions. I hope those warm climate workers have LONG JOHNS! Bet they get to see snow deeper than a quarter inch...

I have NOT told my brother I'm doing a NANO novel. I'm supposed to fix them three squares a day while they build, build, build and tear off old shingles and install new...

So, the basement is hardening, and that is SO GOOD to see after trying for three years to get it done...

But, last spring, I lost my ScriptFrenzy ability to the recovery from eye surgery for macular degeneration in my left eye. The earliest date to go after the cataract that always accompanies it (if not removed beforehand -- mine were not severe enough beforehand - is six months to a year.

This morning, I had the evaluation for the pesky left eye. Surgery is TUESDAY. Right eye, Nov. 12. So, my goal may be shortened to what is do-able under the circumstances... Last year, with the benefit of being retired, I got to 80,000+. No way, this year...

That first week is shaping up to be a real doozy.


current mood: depressed

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