October Already?

Today’s post is from Ben.

Kinda quiet around our farm. The neighbors are all busy and working like crazy, but it’s quiet at our place.

The stuff I write about our farm, it is exactly that, just ‘Our’ farm, it’s certainly not how everyone is doing things or the way anyone else does things. I had someone at the theater comment that they figured I’d be busy farming. No, since I have the neighbors combine my crops, I just wait for them to get here. I try not to get impatient about it. That works best when we have these nice fall days. If the weather starts to crash I have to work harder to stay patient and remind myself it’s out of my control. The neighbors have been doing this for years; they’ll get to it when they get to it. Might be a couple weeks yet if the weather stays nice. Might be November if it’s not.

Corn can stand out there for months without too much damage. Oh, the deer and raccoons get more, but some guys leave it stand until Spring (if they don’t have the animal pressure). But soybeans aren’t so tough. They need to be harvested before we get too much snow. The stalks will break and, depending on the weather, they may not dry out again. The big farmers are going hard on soybeans now, and I know some have already finished and moved into corn. Because you never know when this nice weather will end.

Soybeans go fast; yields are generally 40 – 80 bushels / acre. They don’t need to be dried, so two combines in a field, one dump cart, a couple trucks, haul, dump it in the bin, back to the field. Nothing too it. (Fingers crossed and it all goes well).

Corn takes longer; yields might be over 250 bu / acre. More trucks, more hauling, usually drying time and expense, and it’s just more involved. And if it’s raining or the fields are muddy or something breaks down, it takes longer yet. You just never know. And that’s why the big guys are rushing now even though it seems early.

I have so few acres, they’ll finish my beans one day and corn another. Sometimes my guys fill all their stuff at home, then come over to my place late in the day, fill all the trucks and carts, and finish the next morning.

Sometimes I wonder if I should have my own combine. I saw one at an auction once that sold for $2000. But I’d still need a bean head and a corn head and trucks or wagons. And time. That’s the biggest thing, time. So, I’m really OK waiting for the neighbors to get it. They’ve never missed a crop. One year it was so wet and muddy they had to wait for a freezing cold day to come back and get into one field which was too muddy otherwise. But they always get it. Good neighbors’ matter. (I saw three combines sell at an online auction this past week; a 2005 model sold for $36,500, a 2000 for $34,000, and an older, well used one for $7,600. No heads included. Those sold for $15,000 for the corn head and $12,500 for the bean head. Add another zero at the end for brand new stuff. Roughly.)

As we were talking about enjoy fall on the blog, lately Kelly and I spend some time in the evening sitting on the steps outside the garage. We play with the dogs, watch the chickens settling in, watch the ducks, and just generally enjoy the quiet and the smells and the time.

Kelly tries to get a walk in after work. It’s getting harder as the daylight shortens. The dogs though, they love the walks more than Kelly does. Just once she’d like a walk by herself. The three dogs go nuts when she starts off. Barking, fighting (playing), knocking over the little old Granny dog, Allie. It’s a little bit crazy they’re so excited. And if Kelly lets them out the front door, then she sneaks out the back door, it’s only a matter of time before they sniff her out. She could be up around the corner and out of sight, but they’ll find her. Last night they were circling the house making sure they didn’t miss her. She said it was like being stalked by wolves.

Anything you’re anticipating?

Do you like to walk? What’s the farthest you’ve walked? Got the app showing your steps?  

66 thoughts on “October Already?”

  1. I used to not dislike walking. In 1975 I decided I’d just set off walking. Funny how it happened. I rolled up some food in a blanket and left Barnstaple, I think it was one of the times I lived there. It was afternoon or early evening. I stopped in the White Hart at Bratton Fleming and had a quiet drink, only time I’ve been in there. I saw Joe Penfold, who broke tractors for parts, he must have wondered what I was doing with that blanket. I slept in a field, and next day, a hot day, I walked to Porlock, and watched the people in a pub I forget the name of. At the bottom of the hill, I think. There was a Larger than Life Blonde, and an Oscar Wilde. They were together, interesting to watch for a little while. He looked more tortured than witty. I slept in a different field, and walked home.
    I knew the song, but it never crossed my mind at the time, about a fox or stag hunt. “Bratton to Porlock Bay.” They chased it on horseback all the way, if the song’s true. The fox or stag ran. I only walked, and it was hard going in the heat. 40 miles, I believe.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dad said that he would do that when he was young. No place in mind. He’d get up beside a haystack and bull some hay down over himself and sleep, well he’d sleep anywhere, any time. I’ve slept on and in hay, and it’s overrated.
      Renee, another time, why not ask, “What’s your best and worst haystack?” I’ve got a worst one,anyone else?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks Barbara. Some places there that I know. Drove a truck out of a farm/haulage business between Bratton Fleming and Blackmoor Gate. Neil and I put up a fence near Wistland Pound Reservoir, and not for the last time, pictured a big future for us as fencing contractors. We always worked well together, but things never happened, for various reasons. To my regret. While doing that job, we left the Black Venus pub at Challacombe on my Triumph Speed Twin, and performed a silly stunt which failed. We tried to make work fun, and succeeded at times.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ben, back to my farm childhood. Our house sat about 11 feet higher than the barn. So our farmyard, marked by house, barn, woodshed, and workshop each on a side was sloped. We had a high stoop on the back of the house overlooking the yard, some of the pasture, cattle yard, and the valley beyond at one point visible to 14 miles away and to a distant hill 22 miles to the north. In evening we would gather in the yard, parents sitting on stoop and Cleo and I beside them or sometimes us two plus our much older brother playing kick the can with us. My father would smoke his pipe, he an my mother getting one of their few brakes in their day. Dog and cat(s) would join us. The chicken would be out doing a last scratch through the yard. Ducks when we had them waddling around. Sometimes we had a hen with chicks. Got fun of it when had a clucky hen parents would let it hatch a brood for the fun of having them around. This was about as “pastoral” in the artistic sense as our farm ever was. In later years a room was added on where high stoop was. Then we sat in Adirondack chairs, but stoop was a grander view.
    By the time we moved away Sandy and I walked trails in every North Shore park, Gooseberry and Split Rock many times. Split Rock has some wonderful short trails. Otherwise once it began my barber buddy and I would hike the Superior Trail. We did many miles of it. Then my leg issues began, I moved south and took up biking big time.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons, I am headed south to Iowa today, through the brown soybean and corn fields. Time for a visit to Mom. I cannot say that I anticipate the drive, but it is fun to listen to a compelling audiobook on the road, which makes it so pleasant.

    I will stop several times to walk and stretch. I am making slow progress rehabbing my right hip. If I do not walk it stiffens up and is impossible to walk without limping. Then there is stretching and PT exercises. After this experience I can understand how sedentary life styles are destroying people. 5 weeks off my feet to heal my left broken foot and I am consigned to months of rehab. I love to walk but I am needing to go all out to maintain my ability to walk. I suspect there will be a hip replacement coming, but I would like to delay it awhile.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Heck, I forgot the duck update! The three older ones have fully moved in with the younger ones and it’s almost hard to pick them out some days. It makes me laugh that the one older white duck has a smaller poof than the younger ones. Do ducks go bald?
      And there was one short, low, flight one day, about rivaled the Wright brothers.
      Other than that, they are just hanging out.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. 25 miles from Hendrum to Moorhead
    Not walked for love but the challenge in 1969.
    All in one day. Why it took Edwin Starr three days and two lonely nights needs some explanation. Maybe he was actually much farther from home and this was the last leg of the journey. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
    My footstep app says I’ve walked from London to Paris since early July.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’m anticipating spending more time in the garage for a while. The fields I wanted will soon be someone else’s, and I’ll have finished messing about down there (I suppose it’s not clear to anyone what I’m actually doing, but I keep busy for an hour or two, most days.) We’ll finish bottle feeding the youngest kittens 24 hours a day, quite soon now. I find plenty to do in the house, with Jane working, and Isaac being 12. I suppose I anticipate him causing more work and mess every year, come to think of it.
    But I’m sometimes allowed out. If I haven’t got someone’s garden to work on, or the occasional house move or dogsit, then I can go in the garage and mend weird objects. Maybe make a few. Maybe even start looking into the last Royal Enfield disaster, it’s been standing there six or seven years now.

    Now I am starting to anticipate that.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m not sure the longest walk ever done. A couple of years ago I had one of those Fitbit things during state fair and one day I logged almost 20,000 steps. But I don’t know how far that is, probably not as far as other peoples 20,000 steps because I have little short legs. I did do a charity walk once from Saint Paul to Lake Harriet. I also don’t know how far that was.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I once did a Vietnam war protest march that started at the U of MN campus, went to the Sculpture Garden, then back to the U. I don’t know how far that was in miles. I was tuckered at the end. Our treat in Loring Park was Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

      With a bunch of writers I once walked a long time over South Dakota grasslands, which is rolling hills. I asked someone how far we’d walked that day, and they thought it was at least 15 miles. That was in early September, with the heat somewhere above 90 degrees all afternoon.

      When I hiked the Superior Hiking Trail, my longest day was over to 12 miles. That was rugged terrain, either steep uphill or steep downhill. I marched up and down over 16 rivers that day, and I sure slept hard when it was over.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. I do not walk enough. We walked a lot more when we had our Welsh Terriers. That is one more reason I want to get a dog when I retire.

    Daughter has been dealing with lower back problems, and wisely went to a physical therapist, who determined that the problem is her very flat feet and weak ankles. She was straining her back protecting her feet. She is doing PT exercises and getting massages and walking a lot to loosen up her tight leg and ankle muscles and to strengthen her core. She has to walk every 2-3 hours and not be sedentary.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I also have one hip higher than the other but not by 2 inches. I have always been a walker and over the course of the pandemic, my distances have increased from 1 -2 miles to 3.5 – 5 miles nearly every day. Once winter weather arrives, the distances will most likely shrink until spring shows up. I also do calf and leg stretches to stay somewhat limber. At my age, can’t afford to be lazy.

          Liked by 4 people

  8. I missed a paragraph to the blog today, which is what referenced the walking question. Here’s the missing bit:

    “Kelly tries to get a walk in after work. It’s getting harder as the daylight shortens. The dogs though, they love the walks more than Kelly does. Just once she’d like a walk by herself. The three dogs go nuts when she starts off. Barking, fighting (playing), knocking over the little old Granny dog, Allie. It’s a little bit crazy they’re so excited. And if Kelly lets them out the front door, then she sneaks out the back door, it’s only a matter of time before they sniff her out. She could be up around the corner and out of sight, but they’ll find her. Last night they were circling the house making sure they didn’t miss her. She said it was like being stalked by wolves.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve just never liked walking that much. When I was in elementary and jr high school, the school bus dropped me off at the end of the driveway and I had to walk home; about 3/4 of a mile. I usually got a ride up in the mornings, or I rode a bike or snowmobile, but often walked back home.
      And there was a lot of walks out in the pasture to get the cows or checking fence. I didn’t very often enjoy that, it was just a chore. I don’t have any reference for distance for that either.
      My dad would talk about walking into town when he was a kid. I find it hard to imagine doing that. And at the same time, I think it would be neat to have walked all over the area like he did.

      My phone records my steps these days…usually I average 5000 a day just at the college. Being in the tractor or cutting grass adds a lot of steps so that makes it look impressive. The foot and knee issues these days still don’t make me like walking that much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. About .85 mile walk to and from bus. Uphill both ways. And downhill. Up and over a hill. Jake’s Hill local people called it. Now Grandview Heights. Walk to bus in morning brought us to top of hill overlooking Two Harbors, the Wisconsin shore, and a very large sweep of Superior. Even as I child I appreciated that grand view. But Jake’s Hill should have endured. Maybe you would have liked that walk, Ben. One of the reasons Cleo and I were so close. Wish we still were. Those shared walks. And along the way many days Charlie would be out his marvelously masculine cabin. My apartment is becoming much more masculine. Clearing out stuff and most stuff is Sandy’s. Anyone want a bunch of serving dishes? About 15 decorative pillows?
        I have been gathering like objects together from closets and storage room. Still have 15 of quilts hand stitched by my mother plus 24 other quiltings by her. Wall hangings, table coverings of various sizes and sorts.
        Every summer evening my mother would ramble over the hill. Her reward for the day: I would usually walk with her often to look at progress of her gardens and apple trees. Then we would join my father and sister at back of house.
        On patio in winter coat drinking coffee and listening to Vespers, which of course is wrong time of day for it. Wish I were walking.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. my dogs Vinny and Nalle grew up initially in a electronic fence 2 acres spread where they ran and ran and ran and then we moved to a spot with a small fenced yard so we could let them out during the day but their favorite activity turned into the evening walk which was along the paths and trails nearby that house the house that I live in today has a good size fenced backyard where the dogs run regularly but the highlight of their day is still that 6 o’clock 7 o’clock walk we don’t
      try and do it during daylight hours it just. Is a seasonal clock we’re coming up shortly it’s going to be in the dark and then all winter it’s in the dark but during the spring and summer it’s daylight hours the dog start getting antsy about five letting you know that the walk is coming up and that’s always a consideration if we need to be out of town or away from the evening walk as to how to get that dealt with because that’s a major issue for the dogs


  9. I’ve got mixed feelings about walking dogs. In Southampton, a place I hated, I’d have to be up three hours before I was due at work, to give time among the other chores, to walk Connie, a cCollie/Labrador cross. Back then it seemed necessary to throw balls or sticks, and you know, I find that SO boring. I’m quite happy to just walk, and that’s what we do now when we take our three up to John and Sandra’s, and walk their two along with ours.I’d be happiest of all if no one was on a lead, but one or two have to be. It’s just great to see the free ones run.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I like to walk, if one or the other of my hips doesn’t “talk” to me.But I just don’t seem to do it without a mission, errand, or destination. Having a dog would be a great way to get more walking in, I realize.

    Back in the 70s, when my dad was doing things like going up Longs Peak in Colorado, I probably went with him on maybe an 8- or 10-mile hike, but it sure hasn’t happened any time recently.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’ve never really thought of walking as anything but a pretty basic mode of transportation. As a kid I went everywhere on foot or bicycle. That, of course, limited my range, but it wasn’t something that I thought about back then. That said, we’d often go for walks, just for the sake of getting some fresh air, don’t think we ever thought of it as exercise. It was just something you did.

    When I think about all of the miles I’ve put on these two feet, there’s no wonder I’m weary, and a bad hip pretty much has put a stop to hiking just for the fun of exploring the neighborhood. I’m grateful to have had my share of wonderful hikes in the woods, mountains, along seashores, and around lakes.

    This song popped into my mind. I’m sending it out to the memory of Edith at whose memorial service we sang it:

    Liked by 5 people

  12. It occurs to me to mention the walking that goes on here. People of all ages do it, at various speeds, and mostly do three laps of the village, there are roads right round the edge. So if you happen to think,”wow, who was THAT? Haven’t seen her before,” don’t worry,she’ll be round again. Twice.
    Sandra says, they’re not walking, they’re posing. And it’s true a lot of people seem to spend a lot of money on sports clothes for walking. For the gym, tennis practice, etc, different clothes are needed for each specific activity.
    I walk enough just in the course of my life. I’m not going to do that. But I would show them style. I suppose at least it would be an excuse to wear my teddy boy gear. And my proper teddy boy saunter.
    Style tip: to make putting your hands in your pockets look good : you need a long, “drape” jacket and a certain amount of care. This has to appear accidental. With your jacket undone, hook your thumbs into your trouser pockets. Do NOT look down at what you’re doing, remember that this will ruin the casual effect. It’s not easy to get this right, you have to practice in private, at least a small amount. You have to rely on peripheral vision. Spread the fingers of each hand so that you “accidentally” curl the corners of your jacket outwards, and keep them there as you chat casually. That’s all you do. It’s one of those things like, resting your arm along a mantelpiece, except that seems to be something upper class people do. Doesn’t look nearly as casual as this.
    As I say, it’s not easy to do without looking as if you did it on purpose, which is obviously pathetic. Try it on your next power walk. You’ll stand out already in that getup, but this will make you really noticeable.


    1. I didn’t know there was so much involved! Someone told me once I walked with a swagger. I think they confused that with the gimpy walk I get from the bad foot, leg, and knee issues…


  13. OT: Sunday YouTube channel post. When my television set died two days ago, I scarcely missed it because I use YouTube to amuse myself these days. Here is a sample of storytelling on YouTube, a story that is interesting because it presents the James-Younger raid on Northfield in a fresh way. You’ve all heard about how the Missouri gang was shot to pieces when they tried to rob a Minnesota bank. But did you hear about the gang’s boozing? Did you hear about how Minnesota Nice might have misled the outlaws?

    It’s a good story.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. My great grandmother was a teenaged girl when Jesse and his gang were active. I think she grew up in Missouri. I remember her telling me, “Jesse James warn’t such a bad feller.” I’ve always wondered why she felt that way.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. OT health. I’m reluctant to talk about my health issues, but feel a certain responsibility to do so.

    I did everything prudent when covid-19 emerged as a threat: I wore masks, got vaccinated and I practiced an extreme form of social distancing. But when I had surgery in May, I became vulnerable. The virus found me. I only survived because of the vaccinations, and it was a close call.

    I now struggle with what is called “long covid,” which in my case is a combination of my former medical problems and new threats from the virus. The most prominent symptom has been my inability to walk more than about twenty feet, after which I need to pant and recover before trying to walk further. It is challenging to live while barely being able to move from one room to another. Other symptoms include insomnia and extreme fatigue.

    It is strange. My doctor has no idea of how to cure me. There is no medicine for this, nor are there any therapies. We cannot know if somehow my body is regaining strength or if the virus is destroying organs (especially the heart, lungs and brain). Like other long covid sufferers, I make medical history each day.

    The grip of the virus varies day by day, even hour by hour. I was encouraged in August, then suffered a crushing setback. One reason I’m writing this today is that I’m thrilled again by what feels like new strength. Tomorrow has a chance of being a good day.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for sharing Steve. This virus certainly has some hard side effects the medical professionals are still figuring out. I have a 40-year-old niece who had Covid this spring and she is also still fighting some symptoms like her sense of smells and fatigue.
      I hope you have a better day.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I miss being able to wear cowboy boots… I’ve got some really nice ones. Maybe I should just wear the left one. (The brace on my right foot doesn’t let me wear that one).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Great one Ben! When this came out we’d never seen or heard anything like it. Her one great song. She supposedly wrote it for her husband of the time, Tommy Sands, and he said he was shocked at his sweet doormat of a wife coming up with something like this.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Nothing is OT for me when it comes to birds.
    TcM is now showing THE Birds. Mine are cool with my continued survival and my work on their behalf.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The Birds purchased by Melanie Daniels ARE love birds! After watching the movie many times, I finally am paying attention to the species shown. The pet shop scene was neat.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. ben i love the updates

    i am anticipating the next chapter…. i am writing it now and the details are exciting as they sort themselves out

    i am driving for grub hub and uber eats delivering restaurant food and while it’s not life fulfilling the money is good and i get lots of time for books on tape and 15 minute blips of thought which is about my attention span anyway

    my ideas are being formulated and new business plans later our while i’m in process

    i know delivery is not going to be the center of my life but it’s a great bandaid

    when i was doing my shipping gig at target for shipt i was getting in lots and lots of walking and i loved it. it took months to build up enough upper body strength to crank those full grocery carts abound corners and i was elated when that stopped being an issue

    i had a walker app but it couldn’t give me real numbers because it worked off the motion of your phone in your pocket not gps and when shopping the phone gets held palm up and doesn’t jiggle so i’d walk 7-8-10 miles a day and it would measure 1500 steps
    i had a different app and found on a quiet day i walk 3500 steps and an average busy day is 40000 steps

    last week son spencer and i went up to north shore and walked clyde country

    i was thinking of what it would have been to grow up there 60 years ago and what a character building experience it would have been
    monday arrived at 12 set up tents and hiked til dark
    campfire taters and onions and a game of cribbage and off to bed
    tuesday eggs and taters and off hiking about 8 what marvelous trails up and down til 630 dinner cribbage bed
    wednesday breakfast tear down hike until 1 head back and thursday pay for being out of shape for the tuesday long day of beauty

    friday back in the treadmill of city life thankful for the time with my son

    walking is not plugged in but workout is #1 item on to do list

    Liked by 6 people

      1. it is meeting workers at target store more than customers

        shipt is a good company to work for
        i did something that got me banned and they won’t tell me what ( i’m thinking it was smoking cigars in the delivery car and a customer complained )

        meet people at target stores

        also target here is hiring people to stock shelves for the holidays

        if you want to meet people see if meetup.com is a thing where you are at

        it is a wonderful way to find areas of interest
        then you stick your head in and decide if it’s for you or not
        much easier and less commits than signing up for a class or a club

        just check out birding and they will have people with similar interests.
        or wood working or art or medevil history

        what you are interested in


  18. I walked 22 miles in a walkathon once, as a teenager. I don’t have that kind of stamina anymore.

    I did have a nice walk today. I walked downtown to the farmers’ market, and then stuck around for the fall Art Crawl. Made the rounds of all the studios in Lowertown. Then walked home. I love this time of year; the cooler temps make walking easier and more enjoyable.

    Liked by 5 people

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