Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rehab progress 15

What about tomorrow?

Why am I working so hard to recover a bit of functionality?

Is it all just futility?

I don't know the answers. The future has so many uncertainties. I don't know if it will make any difference for me to continue trying. For some reason, I am compelled to do so.

Today I encountered another one of those stupid little things that absolutely defeat my every effort. I was trying to trim my fingernails.

Everyone knows the simple little instrument I am talking about. I just cannot generate enough power with the fingers of my right hand to make it work properly.

Everyone around me seems more aware of my limitations than I am. I discover new frustrations every day.

I was trying to apply some herbicide spray to the weeds at the neighbor's house the other day, the kind of work I am very familiar with, and performed routinely before I became so dysfunctional. He was very solicitous, asking again and again if I was feeling okay. Especially when I would stumble and almost fall down. After several precarious recoveries, he very nearly insisted that I retire, and resume the weed spraying another day. I must have looked worse than I felt.

Anyway, I keep trying, because I don't know what else to do with myself. I don't feel like a disposable commodity. But maybe I have outlived my usefulness. I don't think so, but I suppose the possibility is there.

I was talking about this nagging feeling with my dad as we worked together yesterday. I don't know what to do with the rest of my life, if the world has no use for me. I was imagining some kind of romantic relationship -- what it would be like, who I could find that would be a likely partner. I have to admit, I'm not a very attractive prospect right now. My dad suggested that I should give it more time, before worrying about things like that. But I am a lone and lonely man right now.

Last week I checked my email screening filter, and discovered that it had been filtering out from my inbox numerous offers for a matrimonial relationship with women supposedly from Russia. I must say, the idea intrigues me. Unfortunately, the proposals were all disconcertingly inappropriate for me. Most of them because the purported spouse was decades too young to be a good match for me. But it was thought-provoking.

In the past, I have tried several avenues for meeting women appropriate to my particular taste and inclination. I met with little success. Most are not able to even understand the intellectual pursuits that interest me, let alone complement that subject. I was seeking a mate that has at least a college background, and they seem to be in short supply as available date partners. Let alone a partner that would be anxious to help me keep my nails trimmed. Least of all can I imagine such a woman finding an interest in me, under present circumstances.

Ah, well. Perhaps there is not such a person. I will continue to keep my eyes open.


Jim Cobabe said...

Let me add, lest any should suffer undue concern about the marriage issue, that I can easily distinguish between "just friends" and some that has deeper interests.

I am friendly with a lot of women that I would never be interested at all in marrying.

I like it just fine that way.

Jim Cobabe said...

I have noticed in myself subtle change in perspective. Judging from the subjects of interest to me lately, I would say I am counting on surviving this experience with at least a longer period of life ahead of me. Before this time, for the last few months, I was thinking about the end of life, at least as much as thinking about living. It looks to me as though I need to devote most of my future thinking to solving the problems of living. Death can wait.

pgk said...

I think your interest in marriage prospects a worthy one. Especially if it gives you reason and determination to do the work you have to do. As you probably understand quite clearly, anything you want from now on you might to have to work a long stretch for, perhaps on the order of Jacob and Rachael.

You mentioned weeds in this post. Maybe you could tell me something. A county weed controller out spraying weeds in our neck of the backrocks this summer told me that we had napweed (knapweed?) in our yard and if we didn't get rid of it we could be fined.

I don't know what napweed is and why it's such a problem that one can be fined for having it in the yard. We inherited it when we moved into this house three years ago.

He suggested using Roundup. Is that the only way to get rid of it? We have so many small animals on the property -- lizards, toads, snakes, birds, salamanders in the rodent holes -- cats -- that I don't want to apply poison so broadly. Also, we have globe mallow, snakeweed, rabbit brush and salt brush that I really like and don't want to poison. I know that many of the critters have gone into hibernation but some won't go until November. I see lizards around here till mid-November, and the juncoes will start coming into our yard by then.

I don't mean to impose, but if you have some advice, I'd appreciate hearing it.

Jim Cobabe said...


Thanks for your note. I am happy to advise about weeds.

Please tell you county weeds guy that I said Roundup is NOT the way to control knapweed. There are better ways. Right now, the most effective herbicide is called Milestone. It was newly developed just a couple of years ago. Milestone is a systemic that is transported into th root system and it has fairly long residual action, so it is a good choice for permanent control of deep-rooted perennials like thistle and knapweed. Roundup is not a good alternative for weeds like this because it just tends to kill the tops, then the weeds grow right back from the roots.

Now is a good time to apply herbicides for knapweed. See if you can get domr -- if not, I have gallons of Milestone and would be happy to give some if you need it. Let me know.

Jim Cobabe said...

BTW, for those with and interest, there is a great deal of good information to be found on the internet regarding knapweed, and why it is such a difficult problem. Also you can google for Milestone herbicide, while you are at it.

pgk said...

Is poison the only way to do the job, Jim? We'd kinda like to use as little poison as possible on our 1 1/2 ac. But we've got a lot of knapweed.

Jim Cobabe said...


Chemical controls are about the only practical way to deal with knapweed. Of course you can pull it up by hand, if that is your preferred method. Be sure to wear heavy gloves -- it has lots of chaffy bristles that will irritate bare skin.

Uprooting the plants can work fairly well on a very limited scale, but it isn't practical for large spaces. And too, most wide open areas will be continually reinfested without constant care. You can get rid of the weeds that are nearby, but cannot eradicate on property that has limited access.

Mechanical tillage is particularly ineffective, since it only breaks up the rhizomes that propagate more of the weeds. Some suggest burning the weeds, but I think plants like knapweed are well adapted for fire ecology, and will grow back more vigorously after burning.

Of course, the best log-term solution is to encourage competetive plant growth that will limit the spread if knapweed and similar species. Get something else to grow, and the knapweed becomes easy to control.

pgk said...

Great advice, it answers many of my questions! I appreciate your taking the time.

I tried pulling some plants up to see what happened -- they invariably broke off at the roots.

What you said about tillage being ineffective is especially useful. That's standard operating procedure around here -- the answer to everything -- and folks have been pressuring us to do that since we moved in.

If I come up into your area and the Milestone offer is still open, I'll try to swing by. I have family in the Payson-Provo area I come up to visit and sometimes I attend other functions up there. I do know where Indianola is. I'll drop you a line if a fair prospect arises.