Farm Update!

Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

It’s the first part of May when this posts and I’ve got some corn planted and we had some rain finally. But in farming blogs, we are still back in early April and I’ve got one field of oats to plant yet.

I worked at the college, had some meetings and changed three house lights in the theater. Went out about 7 o’clock at night to work up the last field to be oats. The new LED headlights on the tractor are fantastic. Such a white color and so bright, they are awesome. Only problem is, it is so dry, there is so much dust behind me I can barely see. No breeze, so it all just hung with me.

The new LED interior light is really nice too. A nice orange to light up the controls, it’s very bright and really nice.

Rain predicted for the last two days has not amounted to anything. Sprinkles last night, about noon today it rained enough to make the cement wet. Still talking rain overnight and scattered showers the next two days. We did get .4”.

The day after the rain I did plant part of the last field of oats. Well, I started and tried. We’ve gotten just enough rain the dirt is a little bit sticky. Dirt sticks to the press wheels of the drill and builds up. (There are blades which cut a track the seed drops into, and then the ‘press wheels’ cover it up.) It’s a problem when dirt builds up on them, because that affects the depth of the seed. I planted ¾ of the field before I ran out of seed, but I really shouldn’t have been planting in these conditions anyway. But they’re talking more rain so I’m trying to rush and that is rarely helpful. I swapped a press wheel that seems to be dragging. Left the crescent wrench lay on the drill and lost it in the field somewhere. Dang. It should be easy to find; it’s shiny and silver laying in black dirt. And it should have fallen off the back so not run over or anything, it should just be laying right there. I walked the field, I drove the field with the gator, and the 4 wheeler. Multiple times. I cannot find it.

Three weeks later I found a crescent wrench in the bottom of the tool box. Hmmm… was that wrench always down there? Did I somehow put the wrench from the drill down there? Or is this a different wrench? It’s a mystery, but since I still haven’t found one in the field, maybe…? 

Most every farmer carries some tool with him. As I grew up, the multi tools, like Leatherman or Gerber, weren’t popular, or maybe not even invented yet so Dad and I carried pliers. Dad wore the pants with a plier pocket built in. I didn’t like that; I wore a belt with a pouch for the pliers and a pouch for a swiss army knife. The pliers are on my left side, knife on my rear right, cell phone clipped to my right pocket. At the college, if I’m wearing my tool belt, all the tools, including the pliers, are on my right. I have to move the phone to my left pocket and my hammer hangs on my left side too. I’ve tried wearing the hammer at my back like the professional carpenters do… still working on that; it’s not natural yet.

It takes a day or two at each place to remember where my pliers are. I’ve tried swapping the pliers at home, but they’re heavy and they pull the belt out of the loops when undone and then the pliers fall out. So that doesn’t work.

Dad wore his belt buckle off to the side, like after the first belt loop. I never understood that. He just said it’s how he learned. Maybe because he was lefthanded.

How ambidextrous are you? What do you always carry?

34 thoughts on “Farm Update!”

  1. i am pretty ambidextrous being a lefty
    i eat and write left handed and do most other things right handed
    i’ve heard if you do anything left handed you’re left handed
    right handed people do everything right handed left handed people are pretty much forced to do stuff right handed because the world is set up that way
    in china they see i am left handed and act as if they have seen a special occurrence and always comment that because you are left handed you have a special brain

    Liked by 5 people

  2. i carry my phone my wallet and a pen
    my keys and change are the variable

    i am trying to focus on putting the keys in my right front pocket mow that driving has turned into a primary activity and i don’t like going through my 14 pockets looking for them
    i am always amazed at the stupid choices i make on where to put my keys left to my own devices
    back pocket ? breast pocket on my suit coat? what the hell?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Decades ago, the chiropractor I’d been using gave me the best “therapy”: Put your wallet from the back pockets to the front.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Not very ambidextrous – I tried brushing my teeth recently with left hand, and it’s amazing how I have to concentrate. Husband before I met him had trained himself to do several things with either hand – will have to ask him about that.

    My purse holds the usual writing implements, and a nail clipper. I always try to have a Swiss army knife in the glove compartment. Comes in handy every once in a while. And a corkscrew.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m sort of like Tim but I call myself “bi-dextrous.” I write and eat left-handed, kick with my left foot, use left-handed scissors. I do almost everything else as a righty except tennis. For some strange reason, from day one of my first tennis lessons, I determined (or the teacher determined for me) that I should hit serves and overheads with my right arm, groundstrokes with my left arm. Needless to say, I never had a future in pro tennis.

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’ve had a big purse with a lot of junk in it for years and years. But during pandemic I rarely took the purse anywhere. If I left the house I just took the wallet or sometimes just the credit card if I was going to stop and buy something. Sometimes just the phone. So when I noticed that the purse strap was disintegrating a couple of months ago, I ordered a new purse online and decided on a much smaller version. When I moved stuff from the old purse to the new purse, I got rid of a lot of things that I carried around that I obviously don’t need. Band-Aids. Nail Clippers. All kinds of junk. Of course the small purse sits in the same place where the big purse used to sit and I still don’t take it out of the house much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carrying a purse is one of the few things I do on my left, and years ago, after recurring back problems, my chiropractor suggested getting a smaller purse and carrying it crossbody, i.e. with the strap on my right shoulder and the purse on my left hip. The weight of all the stuff I was carrying on one side was pulling my spine out of alignment.

      I have carried a much smaller purse ever since, but carrying it crossbody just looks and feels goofy, so I usually don’t do that.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I tend to be very regimented on some things. I think it goes with my feeling of wanting to be in control.
    Pen and pencil in left shirt pocket (shirts should be cotton w/ two pockets).
    change in left front pants, car keys, micro-leatherman (because it has scissors), and nail clipper in right pocket, wallet in left rear. Nothing in Right rear because that’s where I stick my gloves or tools.

    I cannot do much of anything left handed…”Ambisinister”- A new word! Thanks Bill

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know the whole lack of pockets in womens clothing is an issue… even in costumes for plays. Sometimes the request for a pocket is a big deal.

      I talked about what I am carrying in my pockets, but I realize that’s just my ‘go to town / college work’ clothes.
      At home I have the pliers and swiss army knife. But in the last few years I’ve had to start carrying some keys in my left front pocket. Gates, Fuel barrel, shed, house. and a small ‘AAA’ battery flashlight in my right front pocket. I am a flashlight snob. I have a very expensive, very bright one that I carry for ‘work’ work. And now this little one when farming. It’s much easier to hold in my mouth than a cell phone flashlight. Not to mention, the cell phone light points the wrong way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Husband has one of those lamps that strap around his forehead for working in dark places. In fact, he has several of them. They leave his hands free for whatever task is at hand, and also permits him to bark orders, requests, or pleas to his hapless assistant – whoever that might be – as needed.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m right handed for most things but can kick with both feet. I just use whichever foot is closest to the ball, or seemingly whichever one wants to kick. It’s like they have minds of their own sometimes.

    I always carry sunglasses which gets annoying because I don’t have many pockets so I end up just wearing the sunglasses or carrying them by hand.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Oh, I am right handed. Husband writes and eats left, throws balls and golfs right. He also kicks with his right foot. The foot you kick with is a better indication of brain laterality than the hand you write with.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. My purse contains too many grocery receipts. It is a medium size. I never wear sunglasses. I don’t wear makeup. I try to keep spare keys to the van in my purse, since I worry I will lose my ring of keys. Chapstick. Blank bank deposit slips. My pocketbook. A hair brush. Pretty dull.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I have overloaded pockets most days. Keys, money, credit cards, Kleenex, receipts, dog treats, masks. When I am doing things around the house, I sometimes tie on an apron with pockets so that I can carry a utility knife, a small scissors, rubber bands, twist ties, string, and a pen.

    A pliers would be a good addition to the tool apron. Small needle-nosed. You never know when you might need it.

    I sometimes carry a cell phone, but not consistently. Haven’t yet embraced it as a necessity.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ditto here as regards the cellphone. Next to my billfold, the cellphone is the heaviest thing in my purse, if I remember to take it with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I have only once in my life picked a pocket, and then (perhaps through some absent-mindedness) I picked my own. My act can really with some reason be so described. For in taking things out of my own pocket I had at least one of the more tense and quivering emotions of the thief; I had a complete ignorance and a profound curiosity as to what I should find there. Perhaps it would be the exaggeration of eulogy to call me a tidy person. But I can always pretty satisfactorily account for all my possessions. I can always tell where they are, and what I have done with them, so long as I can keep them out of my pockets. If once anything slips into those unknown abysses, I wave it a sad Virgilian farewell. I suppose that the things that I have dropped into my pockets are still there; the same presumption applies to the things that I have dropped into the sea. But I regard the riches stored in both these bottomless chasms with the same reverent ignorance. They tell us that on the last day the sea will give up its dead; and I suppose that on the same occasion long strings of extraordinary things will come running out of my pockets. But I have quite forgotten what any of them are; and there is really nothing (excepting the money) that I shall be at all surprised at finding among them.


    Such at least has hitherto been my state of innocence. I here only wish briefly to recall the special, extraordinary, and hitherto unprecedented circumstances which led me in cold blood, and being of sound mind, to turn out my pockets. I was locked up in a third-class carriage for a rather long journey. The time was towards evening, but it might have been anything, for everything resembling earth or sky or light or shade was painted out as if with a great wet brush by an unshifting sheet of quite colourless rain. I had no books or newspapers. I had not even a pencil and a scrap of paper with which to write a religious epic. There were no advertisements on the walls of the carriage, otherwise I could have plunged into the study, for any collection of printed words is quite enough to suggest infinite complexities of mental ingenuity. When I find myself opposite the words ​“Sunlight Soap” I can exhaust all the aspects of Sun Worship, Apollo, and Summer poetry before I go on to the less congenial subject of soap. But there was no printed word or picture anywhere; there was nothing but blank wood inside the carriage and blank wet without. Now I deny most energetically that anything is, or can be, uninteresting. So I stared at the joints of the walls and seats, and began thinking hard on the fascinating subject of wood. Just as I had begun to realise why, perhaps, it was that Christ was a carpenter, rather than a bricklayer, or a baker, or anything else, I suddenly started upright, and remembered my pockets. I was carrying about with me an unknown treasury. I had a British Museum and a South Kensington collection of unknown curios hung all over me in different places. I began to take the things out.


    The first thing I came upon consisted of piles and heaps of Battersea tram tickets. There were enough to equip a paper chase. They shook down in showers like confetti. Primarily, of course, they touched my patriotic emotions, and brought tears to my eyes; also they provided me with the printed matter I required, for I found on the back of them some short but striking little scientific essays about some kind of pill. Comparatively speaking, in my then destitution, those tickets might be regarded as a small but well-chosen scientific library. Should my railway journey continue (which seemed likely at the time) for a few months longer, I could imagine myself throwing myself into the controversial aspects of the pill, composing replies and rejoinders pro and con upon the data furnished to me. But after all it was the symbolic quality of the tickets that moved me most. For as certainly as the cross of St. George means English patriotism, those scraps of paper meant all that municipal patriotism which is now, perhaps, the greatest hope of England.

    The next thing that I took out was a pocket-knife. A pocket-knife, I need hardly say, would require a thick book full of moral meditations all to itself. A knife typifies one of the most primary of those practical origins upon which as upon low, thick pillows all our human civilisation reposes. Metals, the mystery of the thing called iron and of the thing called steel, led me off half-dazed into a kind of dream. I saw into the intrails of dim, damp wood, where the first man among all the common stones found the strange stone. I saw a vague and violent battle, in which stone axes broke and stone knives were splintered against something shining and new in the hand of one desperate man. I heard all the hammers on all the anvils of the earth. I saw all the swords of Feudal and all the weals of Industrial war. For the knife is only a short sword; and the pocket-knife is a secret sword. I opened it and looked at that brilliant and terrible tongue which we call a blade; and I thought that perhaps it was the symbol of the oldest of the needs of man. The next moment I knew that I was wrong; for the thing that came next out of my pocket was a box of matches. Then I saw fire, which is stronger even than steel, the old, fierce female thing, the thing we all love, but dare not touch.

    The next thing I found was a piece of chalk; and I saw in it all the art and all the frescoes of the world. The next was a coin of a very modest value; and I saw in it not only the image and superscription of our own Caesar, but all government and order since the world began. But I have not space to say what were the items in the long and splendid procession of poetical symbols that came pouring out. I cannot tell you all the things that were in my pocket. I can tell you one thing, however, that I could not find in my pocket. I allude to my railway ticket.

    – G. K. Chesterton

    Liked by 4 people

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