Things have been moving along, out here on the lone prairie. Earlier this spring, I had an issue with my 70 year old 2N Ford tractor not wanting to start. I did what I always do, search out the Information Super Highway and educate myself on how to fix the bedevilment going on in my big blue lawnmower. Turns out, as it almost always does, to be a failure to communicate. Specifically, the distributor was not talkin’ to the spark plugs. That kind of thing happens after seven decades of bumping around.
My mechanic finally got it figured out and I got an education on running old iron. Now the tractor starts better than my truck. Shortly after that, I got the nightmare of old copper plumbing ripped out of the house, and re-installed with new fangled plastic PEX stuff. When I opened the main water valve for the first time, I cringed just a bit internally, on the assumption that, while everything looked good, quite often, like a buxom red head, looks can be deceiving. It was a useless worry. No leaks and lots of pressure where before, what came out of the faucet was a bit limp-wristed.
It is said, into each life a bit of rain must fall. Specifically, mist, from a pin hole leak, coming from the little bit of copper line going to the kitchen faucet. I had brought the PEX down to this small piece of copper line, because it would have been a pain to replace that 9 inches of 3/8 inch pipe going through the wall. The copper’s motto was, you can pay me now, or you can pay me later, but you’re gonna pay me. I guess all that additional happy water pressure was the culprit. I had to wait for the internet to ship out the things I needed, and since it was only the cold water side of the kitchen sink, the Mrs had to live with only hot water coming out of the faucet, for a week. As they say, it could have been worse. I could have closed up the wall and found the wee tiny leak in the wet and finished dry wall. When my parts came I ripped out old stuff, and now the only copper I have left in the house is about a foot of it going to the upstairs toilet. I am hoping to sell the house before having to replace that.
The combination of those 2 successes and one minor setback, caused my lower back to assert its dominance over all activities for the next week. Turns out mowing the pastures on a hard metal seat and working over my head while playing the part of a plumber, irritated parts of me that don’t much care for being irritated. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I was forced to chill as the warm summer days mocked me outside my window. “Come out and play” they chanted.
During this time, our mail man, an old rancher and native Kansan, would bring us packages of things we ordered online, plumbing bits, tractor bits, electrical bits and so on. We live 12 miles from town and that town, with the exception of one excellent business, well, the rest of the wide spot in the road is useless. You need to go another 12 or so miles south, or head the other way and go to Wichita, which is about 30 miles north from our home. It’s just easier to have the mail man to do the running around for us.
He knows we are fixing up the place, and when that’s done, heading north to the frozen tundra, where we’ll harpoon seal and try not to be eaten by polar bears, and live in igloos. At least that’s his idea of Minnesota. I must admit that I haven’t done much to dissuade him of any of his notions. He asked me the other day when we are planning to move. I told him my hope is to leave before the snow flies. He raised an eyebrow and asked if that was snow flying here or there. I told him there, and that’s usually around October, but odd years it comes as early as August. He just shook his head, shivered a little, handed me my package and drove off.
It’s no secret that I use the internet as a source of knowledge. Yes, you have to make sure to verify, just about everything, but most of what makes me handy is what I learned online. And as such, I ran across something a couple of weeks ago, that has virtually changed my life. In a online forum that I read, somebody mentioned that she used to be a power walker and very active. However, 2 knee surgeries later, that was no longer possible. She was dissatisfied with the level of pain just trying to walk was causing, did some research and found Turmeric capsules would help with pain caused by inflammation. She started taking twice the recommended dosage, and in her words, it was a miracle. Well, I started looking into it, making dang sure that Elvis wasn’t involved, and thought I would give it a go. The wife went to the grocery store and picked them up in the health food isle. She brought them home, I took 2 pills that evening and I while didn’t see an image of the virgin Mary in my morning toast or anything, I am convinced that I am on the receiving end of a miracle. Within around 12 hours, my back pain was gone. GONE.
And a couple of other perennial aches and pains have packed up and hit the road, too. I was incredulous at first, that such a simple thing could do what it did. I told my wife that I don’t care if this turns out to be snake oil and what I am experiencing is just a real top notch placebo effect, I am a believer. From my research, inflammation is the root cause of pain, at least for my back problem. And like everything else, your mileage may vary. Everybody is wired and plumbed differently. What works for me and my online friend, may indeed work for you, or may not. The doctors always ask you, on a scale of 1 to 10, where is your pain level. Mine, day in and day out, was a baseline of 5, edging toward 7, on those somewhat special days. On the extra special days, waking up at 7 and going higher, if you chose to grit your teeth and git’er done. The next day was the most special of all. If all this sounds like bunk to you, I am cool with that. I just know it works for me. I call it my “Lay your hands on the Indian (dot, not feather) spices and be saved, sinner” miracle.
Now that’s what I call real progress!