Thursday, March 27, 2008


It has now been over a year since my first shoulder operation, and nine months since my second one, and today, for the first time I worked like I used to in the yard. Now don’t get the impression that I’ve lost a bunch of weight, ‘cause I’ve not, but I do have some stamina again, at least for a couple of hours work.

First though, I had to change my bed, and make a couple of phone calls. Judy and I applied for early Social Security online this week, and mailed in the documents they required. I got a follow up email from the SS Admin office in Tampa, and they wanted me to call. So, while I was changing the bed, I kept hitting redial. Each time I heard them say “All agents are currently busy. Please call back later.”

Yes, they didn’t mess around with putting me on hold or asking me to leave a message, just “call back later!”

I finally got through and that’s when I found out I did not have to mail them my original documents or any documents at all. I’m not sure why the instructions tell you to, but they do, and I did! However, I was told they would mail them back to me.

Then Baylee (my dog) and I began work on the lawnmower trailer. The Knights have this old trailer frame that we share. Steve was the last to have it and the deck rotted away, so I picked it up and brought it home last summer. Ron and I planned to work on it together, but, as you know, he and I both had a little surgery this past year and we haven’t been able to get the job done.

So, today I did it by myself, with a little supervision from Baylee, and Judy who held two bolts that I could not reach until I tightened them. The trailer was stored sitting over on one side, so I just put the plywood up against the trailer frame. I held it in place while I drilled the holes with c-clamps, alternately shifting each end until I centered the 4X8 sheet of marine plywood on the trailer. The only bolts I could not tighten were those I could not reach over or under and hold with my other hand. That’s when I went and got Judy away from Dr. Phil!

Turns out I completed the little project in about an hour. I had thought it would take much longer, but it did not. I plan to use the eye-bolts (shown) as anchor points for my tie-downs, which should hold the mower firmly on the rig.

Then the real hard work started.

Two years ago I put in a rainwater drain at the top of my driveway. Then about a year ago they started a new house about a hundred yards from the cul-de-sac where the drain is. Oh, they put up the required plastic barrier and straw like they are supposed to, but it did not keep the mud from stopping up the county drain and threatening my supplemental drain. I should report them, but I don’t think the EPA is too concerned about local housing construction too much!

My drain was already cleaned and clear, but the county drain was completely stopped up. I dug through about 6 to 8 inches of dark topsoil, in about a 3-foot square area until I found the grate. Surprisingly, the drain box was clear of dirt and debris…just the grate had clogged and allowed several inches of soil to be deposited on it, rendering the drain useless, and forcing storm water further down the curb to my little drain, which constantly gets clogged with leaves and overflows down my driveway.

So, I finally got, after having to make Baylee move several times, she loved the dark damp earth and wanted to lay right where my shovel was supposed to go, the grates out. I bashed them against the pavement and cleared off the dirt and roots, and then put them back in place.

I have much more digging to do along the curb of the cul-de-sac, above and below this drain, but that hour was all my old body, especially my back, would stand for one day.

I got on the mower, which I used to carry my implements of destruction up the hill on, and took them back down to the basement door.

Before putting the mower up, I ran several rounds in the front yard, knocking down the wild onions, and mulching up the tiny limbs that had accumulated over the winter months.

It was a good day, even though I hobbled back upstairs from the basement in pain.

After a hot shower, I was pleasantly surprised by a wonderful meal Judy had waiting – ham, mashed potatoes, peas, and some fried onions and apples! Man that was delicious and hit the empty spot in my stomach, which by then had begun eating itself!

At least I know now that this year has the potential of being a much better year than last. Come on warm weather…I’m ready!


The_Mrs said...

Hello there.

I just stopped by because quite honestly, the name "Mushy's Moochings" caught my eye.

I was curious as to what a Mushy was and why exactly, he was Mooching. :)

I had a black chow years ago I named Mooch. She was a lovely dog, but a mooch, nonetheless.

Regardless, I really dig your blog. I'll have to come back when I'm not as loopy tired and can read in order. :)


Mushy said...

Welcome, welcome The Mrs...I thoroughly enjoyed reading your Dirty Little Secrets blog post today. Thanks for letting me know you are out there.

David Sullivan said...

Yard work piles up quickly. When I am out there picking up branches, raking and seeding this spring it'll be comforting knowing that you will be just as miserable as me about 1000 miles due south.

Glad your getting back out there, must feel good.

Jose said...

Man, has it been that long since the surgery? Time does fly. Glad to hear you are able to do more physically than you could before. Oh, and I could use that trailor to haul my Harley. lol

pat houseworth said...

Good move to apply for SS early, Hell brother, it may not be around for long, so best to get your fair share....I plan on doing the same in 3 years, if I kicking and it's still solvent.

Scott from Oregon said...

SOme advice. Slap some paint on that trailer. And use the dirt collected around the drain for potting soil...

Glad your shoulder is better.

Mushy said...

Good tip Scott!

I've done my's time for the other two to pitch in! Ha!

Misty Dawn said...

Now I'm extremely hungry after looking at that picture!

My husband and Tag (his dog) had very full days for the past two days. Now, Tag is sore and hardly moving - it breaks my heart.

Mushy said...

It is sad to see their days coming to a close...mine is getting white around her face...I remember having to put another one down and dread the day coming again.

However, I'm pretty sore too...did more digging today, so I'm moving about as slow as Baylee!

Buck said...

Judy and I applied for early Social Security online this week...

I applied at my local Social Security office last year and was VERY pleasantly surprised at the experience. I took every single bit of documentation I thought I might need (and some I didn't) to my appointment, along with a huge sense of dread. I needn't have worried. The interview was over in about 20 minutes, my case worker (for lack of a better term) was well-prepared, courteous, and knowledgeable. Better than that... my first check was deposited on schedule. In other words: Absolutely NO hassles. None at all.

Amazin', ain't it? ;-)

Mushy said...

I suppose the smart thing for me to do in June is cut back on my IRA withdrawals equal to the amount of SS...otherwise the tax man will hit hard!

BRUNO said...

Next thing you know, you'll be changin' your own oil, and admit to owning a grease-gun!

Of course, just remember to stock-up on the first-aid supplies, for those skinned-knuckles you'll be gettin'...!

Mushy said...

I've found it's just as cheap to take her in rather than do it myself!

...and I do own a grease gun, but it's for the mower.

Luckily, I remember to wear my gloves both I didn't do my usual trick of leaving some blood on the implements of destruction!

david mcmahon said...

Good on ya, Judy, for rewarding his efforts.

Mushy, I'll check out that blogger you told me about - before day's end here in Oz. Many thanks for that.

*Goddess* said...

Peas on your mashed pataters? I thought I was the only one who did that! I also make a Gravy Lake when I have gravy:)

Baylee's sweet:)

Anonymous said...

Yes, peas and mashed potatoes. I used to add "loaf bread" (which is white sandwich bread for those not acquainted with the above term) torn in pieces and mix it all up before I ate it. Belton Belle

Anonymous said...

definition of frustration ...dealing with any government agency....:))

Bradley's Mom said...

Hi Mushy:

I have really been enjoying your blog, since being sent over from David.

Your writing is EXCELLENT!

My husband and I both really loved your post about Leaving Viet Nam. He, too, served our country in Viet Nam, and that post brought back lots of memories for him.

Thanks for what you write!


Debbie said...

Well I am so glad your shoulder is finally healing and you can get back to some activities that you enjoy. (No excuses for not doing 'honey-do's' now though, ha.

Your supper sounds great. I used to love to cook, no more. It's not fun. Hubby is diabetic, counts carbs, wants to eat as few carbs as possible. Doesn't leave much to eat and takes away all the creativity for me.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Mushy said...

Linda...thanks so much for the make it worth while.

Lin said...

One hour on the trailer rehab is excellent time given all the usual unforeseens. A bloodless coup - even better!

Wow, if there was a lunch like that waiting, I bet we would both get more done around here. I am not going to ask if we can hire Judy away from you since I already know the logical and wise answer. I'll just contact her in secret. Yum!

Mushy said...

Ah, she come cook just to get to look around the area!

Lin said...

Whoo-haw - she has a deal then! You can come along if you promise to make black and tans and Mushy burgers, of course.

GUYK said...

Thanks for the info on the shoulder. My doc allows that it will be nine months to a year before I am back to anywhere close to 100 percent and I reckon that is the norm for everyone. Frustrating but what the heck, I couldn't do anything with it anyway.

I pulled out at 62 and started getting my socialable security..figured it was the smart thing to do. I am having to dig up taxes on it because it put me in that so called high income bracket where the tax the half of socialable security that the employer paid in..okay except for most of it I wuz the employer and paid that unreal payroll tax right off the top.

But what the hey! Someone has to feed those folks in New Orleans..they ain't gonna feed themselves..

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Hey, I'm late, but I got here. I love to see you getting more active. Maybe you won't punk out on me when I get there wanting to go hiking. Seriously, It's great to see you getting back to the old you, at least a bit. Keep it up brother. We all want you to be around for a long time to come.