A Phone Conversation

Today was the day I was supposed to call the pharmacist to discuss my bioidentical hormones.  I called on the cell phone and after a few minutes, he said “you’re breaking up really badly” so I told him I would call him back on another phone. I called back on the Magic Jack, which goes through the internet and it’s not Magic Jack’s fault . . it’s the fault of this sad internet service. The pharmacist said “Oh, that’s better. I can hear every other word now!” I’m thinking . . we’re not going to make decisions on my meds based on you hearing every other word of what I’m telling you so I told him I would come by and see him the next time I’m in town.

There are some folks a mile or so down the road and they have a booster on a tall tower and my understanding, which may be totally wrong . . is that there’s a company in town that gets their internet from a company in Brady, about an hour southwest of us. The Brady company needed to boost their signal so they put a “whatever” on the neighbor’s tower and they will sell us internet so they’re coming out Friday to see what they can install here.

Maybe a phone conversation is in my future . . where I’m not standing out in the pasture and hearing “you’re breaking up!”.

Wish us luck!

Venting!

Believe it or not, I try very hard not to gripe and complain on the blog but this is definitely a whining, complaining blog post. I’m not looking for solutions . . just sympathy!  :)

I keep telling myself that it was my idea to live out in the country. I knew there would be snakes, raccoons and possums trying to get my chickens and their eggs. I knew there would be deer eating everything not fenced off. I knew there would be little to no police or fire services. What I probably never realized is that there’s almost no internet out here. Almost every time I try to use the internet, I find myself saying “Calm down! It was YOUR idea to live out here!”

We pay about $80/month for 4 Mbps. Just about 5 miles north of us, they get dependable 10 Mbps for $40. The cost doesn’t bother me . . well, I’d rather pay $40 but I would pay $200 if I could get dependable 10 Mbps. Almost since we’ve been here, we’ve paid for two services (yes, that’s $160 per month) in the hopes that one would be working at any given time. One of those services got so bad that we cancelled it in January and then the other service, that had been fair, got sold and it’s just awful. They’re lucky that when the service goes down, we can’t use our phones or they would have heard from Vince every day for the past month!

Vince wrote the other service yesterday and said “Has your service in our area improved?” The guy wrote him back and said “Check back with us in a couple of months!” and I take that answer to mean no . . we’re no better but maybe at some time in the future.

Not only is it frustrating when I’m trying to do a blog post, but we don’t have cable and we watch (or try to watch) Netflix and lately, you can forget that.

And, our phones . . we have Magic Jack for the home phone and our cell phones work off a microcell and without internet, we have ZERO phone service. Yesterday afternoon a friend called. It was someone I hadn’t talked to in a while and she was checking on us after hearing about the crazy weather in Texas. I had to put on my boots and walk about 100 yards to one spot in the yard where I can get a weak cell signal. I truly feel like Green Acres and am wishing I had a pole to climb so I could talk on the phone! I guess I should put the poddy chair out there so I’ll at least have a place to sit while talking on the phone!

Lawn Furniture

I guess after so many years of having dependable service, I never thought that there were places that have no service. It’s funny because there’s also zero Verizon service here. Friends visited from Kansas City and they had no service for about an hour before getting here. I don’t think folks believe me when I say “If you don’t have AT&T, you’re not going to have cell service here”.

Last night I told Vince . . let’s just get a land line, and dial up and forget about high speed internet. He said “I don’t think you’d be very happy with that” and I know he’s right but it’s so frustrating that about 90% of the time we try to make a phone call, we have to wait or go traipsing through the woods to get to a spot where, for some crazy reason, there’s cell service.

Vince said “In Nevada (MO), we had great cell service but horrible water with outrageously expensive water and sewer bills.” I added . . and the red tag guy! And here, we have great water and  sewer and water are both free, but no cell service. Pick your poison.

I guess when you think that Chad and Nicole are in MO, I’m tempted to say “Let’s go back!” Who am I fooling? I say that every day!

Feeling sorry for me yet?  :)

Garden Update

For those of us who believe in God or any higher power, sometimes we have to stop, brush away the tears and frustration and know there’s a reason that we may never understand but accept that it’s all part of a plan that we also do not understand.

That’s where I am with my garden. It’s a bust this year. We so desperately needed rain but I don’t think anyone hoped it would rain every day for a month. As frustrated as I am with the garden, I remind myself that there are folks not very far from me who lost their lives, their homes, or most of their belongings to the flooding. In that light, losing most of my garden is nothing. I am reminded that not too very long ago, in my grandparents’ days, a failed garden meant a lean and hungry year for the family. I am thankful that (1) I can afford to go to the grocery store and buy food and (2) food is readily available in our grocery stores.

It’s a hard reminder that no matter how much we plan and work, some things are just out of our control.

Yesterday I pulled out a bunch of the potatoes that had rotted, and most of the sugar crunch peas. The green tomatoes have mostly rotted on the vines so I pulled them off and I’ll see if the tomatoes bloom again or if their roots may be rotten too.

I think I can replant okra, maybe some warm weather peas. Normally, I wouldn’t expect a frost here til after November 10 but this year has been so crazy. We were late getting the garden planted because we kept having ice so late. Once the ice melted, we had rain and it was too wet to get in there and work. I guess a wiser gardener would have figured out that this was going to be a bad year! 

So, I’ll trust that we’ll have a normal first frost date and plants that can take the heat, like okra and peas, I should have 5 months left to grow them so . . we start over.

Corn

Corn

A few positives – the corn looks good. The squash is producing like crazy. The cucumbers don’t seem to be suffering but I’m not sure if too much water will affect the quality, which may mean pickles won’t be good.

The garlic is almost ready to harvest but I’m getting it’s all going to be a soggy mess when I start pulling it up.

The good news is . . there’s always next year!