What is a "tiehacker"?

"Tiehacker" is a term originating in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri. It referred to a class of people from WAY back in the hills that made a living cutting trees into ties for the railroad. I first heard the term from my wife shortly after we married. I had been working outside all day and was dirty and stinky. She had learned it from her father, and thought it just meant "a bum". Never having heard it before, I looked it up. Although I am not really a bum, I thought it was interesting, and I do have a life-long love affair going with the Ozark hills, so ... there you have it!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Health updates and new stuff

Well, 2015 is off and running. At least no one close to me has died yet this year. Whew!

Some good news on the health front. My leg is healing quite nicely. The hard-core oral antibiotic regime of amoxicillin seems to have done the trick, making the short-term side-effects worth the hassle. There is still a little ways to go, but it is mostly healed up. Still have to use the mupirocin antibiotic ointment and keep it bandaged, but not for much longer.

The Debster's knees are coming along quite well. Her doctors and therapists are quite pleased with how far she has come so quickly this second time around. Won't be long and she'll be chasing me around with a rolling pin and/or frying pan, and probably catching me fairly easily. (I'm thinking I probably need to invest in a safety helmet soon.)

Not all the news was good, though. I have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic; my blood sugar numbers and other indicators are just a hair below full-blown diabetic levels. So my doc has me on meds, diet, and exercise, with a follow-up in a couple months with an endocrinologist.

Also have a pretty bad fungal infection in both feet. Doc thinks it may have contributed to the cellulitis, in fact. Podiatrist appointment later this week to begin work on that mess.

There are other issues as well, including weird hemoglobin and platelet levels. Hematologist appointment coming up for THAT. 

Geez. More doctor appointments now than in all of the last 10 years combined. The price of getting older and, more to the point, not taking care of myself to begin with. Let that be a lesson to ya!

Moving on: I've said this before, but I really mean it this time (ahem .. cough cough). Need to work on preparedness levels.

I've come to realize that I can think and talk all I want about "getting/being prepared", but if the Debster and I aren't on the same page, it's going to be tough sledding. My wife, simply put, does not think the way I do about this stuff. She was born and raised in the Great Nanny State of Illinois, and has the mindset that the government, or "somebody", or just "they", will take care of us if push comes to shove. Needless to say, that attitude makes me crazy. 
[An aside: why do people say "needless to say", and then say it anyway? If truly "needless", then don't say it; if has to be said, then don't say "needless". Nevertheless ...]
So I guess that before I get all involved with planning for long-term food storage, extensive gardening, saving money and resources, reducing dependency on others, and all that, I need to work on getting the Debster more willing to back me up. Not that she is fighting me on any of this. She is not. She simply doesn't understand the need for it, and has no real enthusiasm for it, nor much interest in active involvement. And her active participation is crucial to any serious advancement in these areas.

There are a lot of resources out there, both in print and on the Internet, about homesteading, rural living, home-farming and ranching, and the like. But so far, I haven't found much that would be of great help to us in urban preparedness. As I have mentioned before, the "bug-out" scenario, or even moving to a rural homestead, is pretty much a non-starter for us. Any prepping we do, at least for the foreseeable future, will involve a strictly urban environment, in a fairly small house on a very small city lot surrounded by homes, near major arterial roadways. Not the ideal "prepper"-type location, ya know?

Tip for saving money: don't spend loose change. Break a bill if you need to. At the end of each day, toss your loose change in a jar or can. You'd be surprised how quickly it adds up. Every so often, take a few minutes to count it. A pint-size mason jar holds $60 in loose mixed changed easily. And you know those larger prescription pill bottles, about 2" in diameter and about 2-1/2" tall? They will each hold $10 in loose change, with a little room left over. Let it pile up, and then once or twice a year, take it to the bank to exchange for folding money that you can put in your home safe or lock-box with the rest of your cash stash.

Well, that's enough for now. As always, thanks for reading!
God bless you all
Ron (& the Debster)


  1. Hi Ron,
    Thanks for the medical update. Glad to know some things are healing for you. Good luck with the long-term savings plan. Hope I can publish this time.

    1. Published just fine, Buddy. Tell Angel and the family we said hello. Hope to see you again soon, under better circumstances.

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