Monday, November 7, 2011

Where has Nebraska Dave been?

Well, folks it's with a sad heart I write this post today. Two weeks ago my sister called with a message that our Dad of 87, who fought the good fight against bladder cancer all summer was beginning to slowly deteriorate. The cancer was in remission but the chemo and radiation wore down his strength.  She suggested I come for a visit. He lives in Las Vegas and I live in Nebraska. My daughter and grandson decided to tag along to see their grandpop. Upon arrival we were told that he had taken a turn for the worse and was now in a semi comatose state. When we arrived at the Long Term Care facility, I immediately went to his room and talked to him. He opened up his eyes and looked at me intently for five minutes as I talked, then closed his eyes. It was to be the last conversation I had with him. Five days later he passed away peacefully.

Dad started his life in a small town in Nebraska and lived all his youth years on a farm. His school education was 9th grade but he just had a way of knowing how to fix things, build things, or come up with solutions for a problem. He was a self taught truck mechanic and had his own business for over 20 years. He retired at 55 and moved to Las Vegas where he and Mom worked as trailer park managers for many years. His attitude for positive living influenced all those that knew him and his humor kept all entertained. He was indeed my hero and a great Dad.

While in Las Vegas I took Bradley fishing at a small stocked city pond close to my Dad's long term care facility. We didn't catch any fish but he had a good time throwing out the plastic fish and reeling it back in. The weather was good most of the time but one day it did rain .... well, they call it rain. It got the street wet. They have a term there they call dry rain. That's when it actually rains but because the temperature is so hot it evaporates before it hits the ground. That happens during the summer hot months.

There's not been much activity with projects or gardening the last couple weeks. All that's left to do is to dig up the potatoes. The broccoli and carrots are not going to reach maturity but the Mesclun salad greens are still growing like weeds. (pun intended). I haven't heard anything from the new property yet but I expect to hear something any day now.

My daughter was in a car accident right before we left for Las Vegas. Someone cut across three lanes of traffic on the Interstate and then slowed way down. She was able to get slowed down but the car behind her didn't. The car hit her so hard that neither the trunk nor the two back doors could be opened. It blew out the back window as well. It's a blessing that Bradley was home with me as he would have been in the back seat. Now we have to go car hunting. I'd rather take a whipping in the town square than buy or sell a car or a house. I'm just not good at wheeling and dealing. It's a good thing that I have a friend in the car business. Oh, yeah, Lydia had a few bumps and bruises but she was OK.

Remember the storage room project of last winter? Well, it's about time to start working on that project again. Maybe, just maybe I can get it finished this year. :0) I still have hopes of working on the backyard patio project but the weather is starting to get cold with the threat of freezing rain and snow. So it's time to move the working projects inside for the winter. Does anyone else have winter projects planned? It's only about a month until the first of the seed catalogs come out. That's always a joyous time for me. How about anyone else? Which seed catalogs do you like and order from?

I've been working on the GRIT garden planner program for the new Terra Nova Gardens property. Whoa, I can have a lot of garden beds there. The beds will be 4'X8' but without board or rock borders. They will be raised just by natural tillage. I will have four foot pathways between the beds. Each row of beds will be six deep so for every 32 feet I can have 18 beds. The area in the video that's flat is about 50 or 60 feet wide. I can have about 35 to 40 beds without too much hard work. I want to work on some other things before get into gardening on that scale. A ten by ten patio in the back of the beds with a simple fire ring will be one of the first things on the list to be able to burn the brush and weeds.

Then there is the water issue. I see another gravity feed system in the planning stage. I have a source to acquire 55 gallon barrels that could be ganged together and store as much water as I wanted to store. I would put the barrels as high on the back bank of the property as I dare without being visible from the street. That would give me at least a 45 to 50 foot drop to the gardens. That should give me a good amount of hose pressure just from gravity. Water for the garden would have to be hauled. I figure my little Ford Ranger (Ranger Rick) would be able to haul 110 gallons at a time. At 8.34 pounds per gallon for water it would be about 917.4 pounds which is about the load limit for Ricky. If I pull off the road on the street above the bank, gravity would feed the water into the barrels for the garden watering.

Where would the water come from? I will be beefing up the rain water system from my house. The total roof area is 800 square feet and with a possible .62 gallon per square foot rain collection for every inch of rain, it would be a total of 496 gallons for every inch.

Whew, big plans with a lot of work. I expect this will be a work in progress for the rest of my life. What do you think? I haven't even thought about the fruit trees, berry bushes, or bee hives yet. My mind is spinning with the possibilities.

I really need to go now. I need a coffee break after thinking about all that work. Ya'll have a great fall in the yard and garden.


  1. First off, so sorry about your dad--sounds like he was a pretty good guy. You have good memories and that's the most important gift any parent can give.

    Between that and your daughter's car accident, it sounds like a pretty rough month. Hopefully, with winter coming on, things will go a little better. You have some good projects lined up to keep you busy and out of mischief (LOL).

    I do want to say that I live in an extremely dry climate--we go weeks and weeks with no rain in the summer, and I've gotten by with very little water in my garden by simply heaping on mulch after a good rain. I know you guys get lots of summer storms down there, so I don't think you will have too much of a problem keeping things moist if you add mulch (I use the grass clippings)

    Have a great winter!
    (end of novel!!-LOL)

  2. My thoughts go to you for your great loss. I know that you will treasure the time and the memories.
    You are a busy guy! Wow. Water catch system. I have been busy here, planting some trees to give my modular some much needed shade in the summer, it will be a while until they grow bigger, and have been busy inside painting walls and painting floors to get us by until we can lay vinyl next year.
    Take care and have a very busy week. Hope you don't get too much snow, it has seemed to miss us here in NP.
    Denimflyz in NE

  3. My sympathies concerning your father. It is nice that you were able to talk to him still when you arrived. May he rest in peace.
    Thank goodness your daughter is well after such a scary accident.
    You have some major projects to keep you busy planning all winter. I've never know anyone who used GRIT's planner before. Sounds like it is really helping.
    Always projects here. After the holidays, we'd like to give each of the bedrooms a facelift (new paint or polyurethene on every surface, crown moulding, new closet doors, etc.) We're slowly doing each room in the house. Bedrooms are next. Bathrooms are done. I think we'll pay someone to do the bathrooms if they need major help in the future. We're still married but boy did they take a long time to do on our own! Take care.

  4. So sorry to hear of the passing of your father. It sounds like he was a great person, father and lived a long life. He will always be with you.

    Boy, what a few weeks for you have had! I'm glad that your daughter was not seriously hurt in the accident. A car can always be replaced.

    It sounds like you will have a lot to keep you busy this winter. I have garden planning to do, a quilt or two to make and also some holiday goodies for gifts. I'm also planning to go back to work for awhile, maybe short term or maybe a couple of years. We shall see what I come up with.

  5. Hi Dave,
    I'm sorry about the loss of your dad. I'm glad you got to talk to him that day. I hope your daughter finds a good car soon. What a scare!

    I like your ideas for the water, but don't totally understand them. All that space for gardening sounds exciting.