As I sit here and look at my year in review, I am filled with a bunch of laughter, some gut wrenching heartache, and some over all goodness.
The year started a little rocky, Momma was in the Nursing home doing Rehabilitation after being in ICU for about 12 days. Momma, participated with vigor, and determination. Momma got to come home about the first part of March. The Farmer and I entered a new chapter in our lives. Stage 5 Parkinson’s was here and we have dealt with the changes, and just the over all nastiness of the disease. Momma, she just keeps plugging along.
The Electrician, who had been working on the road away from home, after about a year and a half, came home and started working at home. He’s been laid off and then back to work. We had trials and tribulations with the Wind Farms that he worked on all summer long. I don’t think, I have ever not liked a job as much as this one. He risked his life daily in unbearing heat to complete a job, that was to me, scary from the beginning. I waited every day for a phone call to tell me he was down from the tower. Many people suffered Heat stroke. (The Electrician did twice). I was very scared. I did not understand the love for his family, I do now. I have never had a man who would put himself at risk for me. I have been to the towers and seen them close up. Between my claustrophobia, and fear of heights, forgettaboutit….
I have accomplished 2 things on my bucket list this year. I have always wanted to go on a cruise. In fact, when I met the Electrician, I already had paid for a cruise to take with my cousins. But due to being “in love” and wanting to take my first cruise with him, I waited. May I now say I was right?
At the beginning of the year, the Electrician and I, along with his sister and parents, went on a 7 day cruise, that totally rocked my socks. We were both a little nervous, and the fact we went with his family, was in hindsight, totally awesome. The ship (or boat, as I called it), was like a travelling city. The food, out of this world, the company, was so much fun, and the sights? Even better.
One of the other things on my bucket list, was to eventually Zip Line. Yea, sounds crazy, considering all of my “phobia’s”. Guess what? My Sister in law was game, and was looking forward to it, as her and me time. Boy, did we have it. This is something I will never forget. From screaming my head off, simply because she made me go first, (something about age before beauty), to the Jamaican guides, and our whole crew that went. Part of the fun was, the rest of the “crew” saying that her and I made the whole day fun. (Uhm.. me and her together mean trouble….just sayin…)
Fun times with my family throughout the year, to celebrating Birthdays to just having conversations with my sons. To welcoming a new Daughter – in-law to the Family… It’s been a pretty good year. Our family is growing and they are all welcome to join our crazy bunch!
I’ve lost a bunch of loved one’s this year, and that touches my heart. It just seems the older I get, the more of the “older” one’s are going to rest at home. One that really reaches me. My Cousin Dick passed away this year. One of my memories that stands out to me, is 3 generations of Veterans, standing at Attention, when my cousin Burt passed away. I stood proudly with My Father, Cousin Dick and myself all at Attention and gave the final salute. I was unable to do that at Cousin Dick’s funeral. I was unfortunately sicker than a dog for that one.
I also have one bright spark in my day, no matter what I am dealing with, no matter how I feel, there is one little person on this earth, who gives me more joy than I could ever explain. I am simply…Camsgranny. I am one of many who loves this little dude, more than any of us could explain. I have seen him grow all through out his 2 1/2 years. I’ve helped, and have been his BFF on occasions. But this little dude is all boy….He loves all of us but I think between his Momma and his Papa, well…. ya know….
This year, I have found a bunch of joy, I’ve found a bunch of new friends, that truly do not even being to imagine how much they mean to me. I’ve found a bunch of heartache. I’ve found that doing what I do, has some good times and bad times. But I think I have found out, that’s what life is all about…….
I have also found my faith, Thanks to all who have brought me back to it, because I sure needed it. The rest of year in review…… I hope you enjoy my pictures…..
Folks, I do have a post, but I thought I would share my blog with the Electrician. First, because I am very proud of what he is doing right now. Secondly, he has conquered his fear of heights, and claustrophobia at the same time. His post is in pictures and they tell what he does.
These are the new wind farms that are being place on 49 North, off of I-74.
The view looking up before entering the “tower”…enjoy the climb straight up!
This is the control panel, mainly the feed that controls and powers the turbine, come on in.
We are now on level three, looking down the hoist hole after climbing over two hundred and something feet, I never have counted the ladder steps…why?
This is the view and each deck is the same til you get up to the saddle and the cell. In side the box is the cable tray that we install, the white bags are the butt splices (lugs) we crimp to the cables. the room is about 10 feet in diameter.
This is the cable tray after being installed and the cables that need to be spliced together on each section of the tower. This is not a layed back take your time job, while putting this rack together, materials, crimpers, electrical cord for power are being lifted thru the hoist rope that has been dropped by workers above me. No not by the hoist. We all have to get on the rope and pull up all these “bags” by hand, we are not allowed to use the hoist.
These are the splices after being crimped, you have to be very careful that you crimp the lugs to the correct cables, screw it up and you then get the grinder, remove the lug and start again…haven’t done it yet and pray I don’t! You can see the heat shrink tubes below the lugs that we have to shrink over the splices, don’t forget to put these on either, I always double-check each cable…mistakes is more time inside this hot tower!
This is the finished product, after you heat shrink the insulation (2 of them, one small and a larger shrink tube) and then bundle and tie wrap them to the rack.
This is a look up to the fourth level and one of our crew workers moving 2 of the two ground cables over to make room for the nine cables that will be dropped down from the saddle to the first level. These cables are also being dropped while we are working on the cables as well, you have to feed these cables to the next level and be sure they do not wrap around any other cables, so you have to multitask as they tell us, so much going on at once. One of the larger cables I take on my level and do a figure “8″ in about 8-10 layers. The weight of the cable is too heavy to drop down by itself, I then flip the figure “8″ cable over, once they have feed my enough to then feed it down the rest of the way. This cable is not easy to flip over, they gave me help the first view days then told me i was on my own!
The rope and the power cord going up to the fourth level is where I have to go after finishing the 3rd level and start all over again…I am always ready to get down by this time, they never let me though…up we go again!
This is the finished product and a long day, all wired and ready for the propellers…only 125 left to go!
Over 300 Feet in the air looking at the next two we are working inside…next week.
The view of one of the three propellers extending out, these propellers are 150 feet long!
This is the FAA light that is on top of the cell, the cost of each light….$5000.00, you do not want to drop one! Oh and now times that times 134 turbines…$670,000.00!
You can see the roads they cut in the fields to get to each turbine.
A view across the Wind Farm, As far as the eye can see.
The feeds coming from the bottom of the tower to the top of the cell. The 3 sets of cables to the left are for the stators of the turbine and the next set is for the rotors. The two cables after that are ground cables, the last bundle of cables is low voltage cables for lights, receptacles and communication.
Suffering from some burns with the heat shrink , I’m getting better, but that stuff does get hot….
Enjoying the view from the top!
This my friends is the Electrician’s workday. Climbing up 300 feet and working with electrical. Me? I will keep my feet on the ground and be perfectly happy.
Apparently these “wind farms” are going up all over the United States and the company that the Electrician works for, has strict rules and timelines. The first couple of weeks, the Electrician was not happy. But it appears, that since he has conquered his fears (claustrophobia, and fear of heights), he is actually enjoying it. It’s tough work, and he works 10-12 hours a day, but he is really enjoying it, so I will keep making his lunches and worrying when he is up in the tower.
But I think it makes a difference him being happy, than him being unhappy. But ANY way you look at it, Camsgranny is proud of her Electrician.
For those of you that read my blog, you know the Electrician has been laid off now for about 4 months, (to the day tomorrow). Well, Thursday night, he called the job line (he is a Union Electrician), and there were a couple of different calls for Electricians for his Local Union IBEW 538. One of the calls was for 4 Electricians to go work on the Wind Farms that are popping up everywhere. The Electrician made the call and put in for the job. (I can’t explain how the “job call” works because I really don’t understand it myself, sorry).
Anyway, yesterday morning at exactly 8:04 am, he got the call and he starts work on Monday. While we celebrated Mr. Cam-Man’s birthday yesterday evening, both the Electrician and I were thanking God. For we are blessed.
We took a drive today, to find out exactly where the Electrician would be working, we timed the drive, and it is exactly 28 minutes from my door to his job site. While it might not sound that exciting to anyone else, for me I’m thrilled. The Electrician can go to work and come home everyday. (The last job he had been 2 1/2 hours away and he left on Monday and came home on Friday).
While we were at the job site we took some pictures,
I was reminded of the trip we just took where the oldest Son proposed to his girlfriend and we passed about 250 of these wind farm thingy’s. Who knew the Electrician would be working on them? Although he has been taking classes on how to work on them. These things are 300 feet up, and well, let’s just say, I’m glad it’s him and not me.
The Electrician has been attending classes about how these things work, and, to say the least I am very proud of him. When we pulled up to one today and we both got out of the Rav4 and looked at it, he stated, “It doesn’t seem that bad, I think I can handle it”. My loving Electrician has conquered his fear of heights. The only thing he is worried about is maybe claustrophobia. But like we both talked about in the car on the way home, was I think he can do this. When he was in class, he said climbing in the tower the first time, he was nervous, but climbing the second time was ok.
The best thing about this job is, when he was on the road, he shared a house with some other Electrician’s. Two of those guys, he went through the apprenticeship program with , and they were “study buddies”. Every Sunday the Electrician would leave and go over to Indiana to Jimmy’s house and study while sitting next to the Wabash river, sometimes on a boat in the river. These guys went through the program together, and were “room-mates” at the last job. And now they are together again, because his 2 ”study buddies” are on the job with him.
Folks, I’m just happy for him, because My Electrician is most happiest while he is working, and the fact he can be at home while he is doing his thing, makes me happy. The fact he is going to be working with his “buddies” makes both of us happy. Plus the fact, this job could go into December but maybe even longer.
Hey y’all, I know the saying goes, if Momma ain’t happy, nobody is happy. In MY house, if the Electrician ain’t happy NOBODY is happy. Folks, my House is a HAPPY place right now.