Back in the day…

July 18, 2018

Had a great visit with Dad yesterday and we talked almost the
entire time of things that happened on the farm. Some before my
time, some I remember, and some I heard for the first time.

Of course the Great American Heat Wave of 1936 came up, which
is when the average temperature in Iowa was 108 degrees in July,
and set a record that stands today. It was even hotter than 2016
when the gloom and doom crowd cried ‘Global Warming’.

It was also the year the first tractor arrived on the farm as
the horses wouldn’t work in the daytime heat and all work that
involved the horses had to be done at night when regular folk
would be sleeping on their porches. They slept on the porch
because it was cooler than the house.

Then the winter of the same year came up when Iowa set the
all-time snowfall record of 42.9 inches and the average
temperature for the entire winter was 12.6 degrees and this
combination left over 100,000 Iowa farms isolated for seven
weeks.

We talked of the horse-drawn manure spreader that sat by the
barn and how us kids used to get in so much trouble playing on
the old machinery. My sister attracted a bull that got loose
while wearing her red sweater and I got stung by a nest full of
hornets that was hidden on the spreader. Until I found it.

We ended up with barns. Ours was red and Dad’s caregiver said
the farm she grew up had a white barn. And the memories of
painting the old barn came flooding back. For our red barn a
mixture of linseed oil and rust, mixed to perfection, ended with
a perfect red color.

Way back when there weren’t many paint choices and paint was
too expensive. I ventured that the white barn was painted with
a mixture of the linseed oil and lime. When home I checked and
it was milk and lime added to the linseed oil used to make the
white.

When paint became more available, and cheaper, many farmers
would choose red paint to honor the tradition. Don’t know if
paints back then sealed as good as the linseed oil and don’t
care enough to research it.

So our stroll down memory lane was actually walking the rows,
but we all had smiles on our faces when it ended. Enjoy our
Wednesday as it’ll be about a week before we get another.
Comments are always welcome.

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Choices

July 10, 2018

Had a good visit with Dad this morning and talked of many
things. The farm, the fair, the weather, getting older, and the
fact his sister, my Aunt, is going to visit the town nearest the
farm and probably the old farm also. He thought it odd that
after all the years since she left she now wants to return after
70+ years.

Things have changed in the little nearby town, but the land
seldom changes. Near big cities farmland can become housing
developments and in the more rural areas large corporations can
buy up farmland so enormous buildings can be erected to make
their product, but for the most part the land remains able to
produce food to feed the world.

If she really wants to see the old farm, minus the farmhouse
and outbuildings, I hope she gets to. For her to venture from
northwest Montana to southern Iowa and visit the old homestead
at 90 would have to be a trying experience. Yet I have a
feeling she’ll make it and have a huge smile on her face the
entire return trip.

We all have choices to make and there are times when people
take the easy way out. But there are times when the choices are
the hardest and the hardships many that have the biggest effect
on who we are.

Now I need some coffee and a Snicker’s to make it until pizza
time. Enjoy our Tuesday as we will.
Comments are always welcome.


Fond memories

June 19, 2018

The picture above is of the gift we got Dad for Father’s Day.
When he saw it we began a walk down Memory Lane that meandered
through 220 acres of the old farm. And it was quite a walk.

We talked of how much different things were back then with no
running water or plumbing in the house, a 60 foot walk to some
water from the well, and the upright piano in the parlor. Of
course a trip to the outhouse was about the same distance in the
other direction.

The down mattresses and feather pillows, the Hoosier cabinet,
the mudroom, and the big pantry were also talked about along
with the willow tree where we cut off a switch to get whooped
with when we misbehaved. And how the house was hot in the
summer and cold in the winter.

A crick (creek) wandered diagonally through the farm and we
even had a wooden bridge so tractors and other vehicles could
reach the other half of the farm on the south side of said
crick. The barn, the pig pen, chicken coop, and stable for the
horses, even the machinery shed which held the tools of the
trade.

Of course that took us to the John Deere Model A which Dad
claims had the power of a 4-cylinder and a distinctive pop. That
thing would idle so low us kids would swear it was going to just
up and die. It never did. Some today can’t imagine living like
that yet to us it was our little slice of Heaven here on Earth.

Enjoy our Tuesday as here on the east coast of Iowa we have a
few cool days ahead. Now I need some coffee to keep this smile
on my face.
Comments are always welcome.


Enjoy our day

June 17, 2018


Crazy day

June 6, 2018

I jumped up out a sound sleep when our burglar alarm went off
around 5 am this morning and went in search of an intruder. None
were found but I did find out our power went for a short time and
the alarm goes off when the lights come back on.

Then the wife got home from work and it was obvious she didn’t
feel so hot. She had a doctors appointment so went there. About
a half hour after she I got a call from her saying she was
driving home so I could drive her to the E.R.

Three hours later the hospital decided to admit her for a few
days to get her back on par. We did find out she doesn’t have a
kidney infection about 15 syllables long and impossible for
someone not in the medical profession to pronounce or spell.

Since she was nodding off from the medications and being up all
night I chose to come home to grab some things she needs and a
bite to eat, call her Mom to let her know, and check the
critters. As soon as this is finished along with some leftover
pizza, I’m on the road again.

So posting may get sporadic again until she’s home but I’ll
make an effort to at least post a short update. So enjoy our
Wednesday as we will. The wife will some rest and will be back
to normal self in no time. Now to finish my pizza from last
night.
Comments are always welcome.


Birthdays

June 3, 2018

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Dad’s birthday is tomorrow and he had a different take on this
one. He said if anyone wants to get him a gift or a card he’d
take it but he wasn’t adding any more years to his age. He says
he’s staying 92.

When I go over for a visit I’ll ask him how that’s working out.
At least he’s exited about his birthday. I’m sure he’ll have
tales to tell when we get together. Happy Birthday Dad!

Saturday is our daughter-in-laws birthday. We hope she has a
good one. We’ll celebrate the day when we cruise out to Idaho
later this year. Until then, Happy Birthday Nicole!

The last birthday I’ll mention belongs to the lady who follows
me around, a.k.a., the wife. Today I wished her a happy birthday
and she looked at me like I was crazy again so I added “in one
month and 4 days”. I also told her I would wish her a happy
birthday every day until the day arrives.

She looked thrilled, not really, but didn’t mention buying a
shovel either. The countdown begins. Unless I check the trunk of
the Fusion and find a new shovel and plastic over the carpeting.

With all this going on I still managed to mow part of the lawn
and take my camera out for a walk. It was slim pickings for
Kodak moments but the wind will die down and the critters will
come back out of hiding.

Enjoy our Sunday as some of you have to work tomorrow and the
rest of us are retired. Now I need more coffee and leftover
pizza.
Comments are always welcome.


Just an average day

May 30, 2018

I woke up feeling pretty good for a man my age, made some
coffee and had it quickly squirt out my nose when I read a post
on the wifes facebook page. Here are the first two sentences

Please pray for my hubby…

He got stung by a bee in the forehead and he’s in the ER. Now his
face is all swollen and bruised and he almost died.

Well that woke me up! I thought I was having the most
realistic dream ever. Then I read the last line-

Luckily I was close enough to hit the bee with my shovel.

Ok, that’s when I got it. I knew it was a joke because the wife
doesn’t own a shovel.

So went outside to do a critter check and ran into this little
squirrel giving me the look. I had just put out more cracked
corn, what more does he want.

I heard this noise that sounded like a pissed off eagle
was ready to pounce on my back that turned out to be a blue jay
barreling toward me. He stopped where I had set the cracked
corn and proceeded to dine.

Then this cardinal flew down, the blue jay and squirrel ran off
for parts unknown, and said cardinal strutted around like a
rooster. But he did get his cracked corn.

So I’m not in the hospital but am allergic to bee stings and
don’t like getting hit with a shovel. I can’t mow yet as
the lawn isn’t dry from last nights rain yet. Guess I’ll just
have to keep taking pictures.

Enjoy our Wednesday as nothing unusual is happening around here
today. Now I need more coffee and a couple pieces of leftover
pizza.
Comments are always welcome.