Nice October Weather

Today’s post comes from Ben.

Sure has been a beautiful fall so far.

GDU’s, Growing Degree Unit’s are 529 above average for the Rochester area. Average is 2702 GDU to date giving us 3231 this year. In 2020 we had 2914 GDU and 2019 was 2800 GDU’s to date.

A little unusual we haven’t had that killing frost yet. Lilacs are blooming again. Weird.

Neighborhood reports are that soybean stems are still green and making it hard to combine, but the beans themselves are almost too dry at 9% or 11% which leads to them shelling out of the pods too easily and that means ‘header loss’, meaning they pop out before they even go into the head of the combine. Can’t cash them in if they’re on the ground. A lot of time is spent adjusting the combine settings to capture as much of the crop, as cleanly as possible. (Mind you, I only partially know what I’m talking about here; I don’t have a combine) The rotor and separator are where the crop is separated from the cob or pod. It’s adjustable of course; bigger for corn, smaller for oats or beans. Large fans blow the chaff and debris out the back of the combine. It’s *quite* the deal. There are all sorts of YouTube videos out there. Google it if you’re interested. Most guys are done with beans and working on corn. Corn has reached ‘physical maturity’ or ‘black layer’. Meaning all the milk has dried out in the kernel and there’s actually a black line that moves down the kernel and now there’s a black spot down at the tip. That doesn’t mean it’s dry enough to store without drying, just that it’s done growing. Again, no freeze and this warm weather is helping it dry further. All good things. My beans are still out there. They’ll get to them when they get to them.

I don’t see many fields between our house and the college unless I take the long way around. A trip to Plainview for parts gives me a chance to see what the neighbors are doing. And that works all year round.

A while ago I removed that broken gearbox off the brush mower and took it to John Deere. I was up there for other parts last week and the shop foreman showed me a bad spot in the gear box meaning it wasn’t worth repairing and I should probably order a new one. Sigh. I had ordered the shaft already for $750. Labor on replacing it was going to be at least that same amount. And now I’ve got a 10 yr old rebuilt gearbox. So, for another $800 I could get a new one. It’s only money… I ordered a new one. Haven’t gotten it yet… any day now.

I spent some time working on the grain drill one day. Got several things put back together and a few more things apart. “One day” I hope to have time to work on it again.

The ducks are expanding their area and this morning were up around the house. They are getting calmer when I throw corn out to them. They don’t panic and run away so much; they’re figuring out I provide food I guess. There’s a hose that I leave out to fill buckets and a large puddle for the ducks. Over near the water hydrant, the hose has a pin hole in it, and I get a little cold water shower as I take corn out. Some mornings that thrill is a little more exciting than other days. I could walk around it, I could patch it, I could just turn the hose over… but sometimes that little thrill is a good way to start the day, you know?

The last two weeks I have been busy with theater. I’ve lit ‘Evil Dead – the Musical’. It’s a total spoof on the horror movie genre. “Five College kids at an abandoned cabin for the weekend. What could go wrong?” It’s pretty fun. I don’t like horror movies and I’ve never seen this one. But the spoof is fun. And it’s a musical! Between that and the remodeling at another theater, it’s taking up my time. Plus, construction at the college for our show here. “Women” by Chiara Atik– a spoof on ‘Little Women’. Keeping me busy.

Kelly and I had a ditch date the other day. That’s what we call it when she helps me pick up garbage from the township ditches. Took the dogs along too. This was a couch and at least it wasn’t a sleeper. I stopped at the townhall to pick up some stuff in the building to take to the recycling center and there was one of those 55 gallon cardboard barrels we wanted to get rid off. Empty other than some newspapers from 1977. It seemed too good to throw out so I left it on the side of the road by the townhall. You people in town have it so easy with the boulevard exchange thing. This morning the barrel was still there. I think I need to put a $5 sign on it. Or maybe people are afraid to see if there might be something inside it.

I’ve gotten some good stuff off the boulevard. Or out of the ditch. Like my winter ‘ditch jacket’ and an air compressor, and a large wicker chair down in the theater furniture storage area.

They say to scare yourself every day. What are your daily thrills? Talk about things you’ve found on the roadside.

122 thoughts on “Nice October Weather”

  1. About your barrel, Ben . . . I’m famous for not worrying about stuff I should worry about, but one of my irrational anxieties is being the poor schlub who discovers the body of some drowned canoeist or murder victim. I could never, ever peek into a barrel in a road ditch.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. Well, there’s the local story from Bloomington where the body of a 23 year old woman was found in the dumpster of an apartment building. Also, a few weeks ago there was yet another body pulled from the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul. This happens at least a couple of times a year, it seems.

          Then, there’s the ongoing story of three dismembered bodies found in a dumpster in Forth Worth, Texas. Some lunatic thinks he has been called to make human sacrifices, and apparently there have been several more.

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    1. You’re right. Ten or 12 years ago, a few miles away in another township, the guys picking up the ditch found some bodies. We’re all a little more hesitant now when we find bags or things. I’ve called the deputy to open a few things.
      Just this past summer, one of our guys got a call for a cooler full of rotten meat. Deputies were already there and they had called the medical examiner. Turned out it was not human so then they just left it to our guy to dispose of. Gee, thanks. And I’m not sure what exactly it was. Irresponsible people dumping is what it was.
      I get called to pick up dead deer from the side of the road. Sometimes it’s August and they don’t know the deer is there until they smell it. Often I’d call son and tell him to bring the truck and meet me. After picking up one particularly ripe one, he said to me “I don’t want to do this anymore.” Yeah kid, I don’t want to either.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. At college he looked into the medical field. He even did some cadaver work. I’ll take the credit for that.
          Grandma really wanted a doctor in the family…

          Liked by 1 person

        2. It’s not really relevant, but I was going to to be a doctor. I didn’t admit it though, but I did think it looked bit difficult. Mum got me a medical kit with a card to hang out, saying Doctor somebody-Smith or Jones or something. We changed it to Doctor Fenton. I got home from school and Mum said, Mrs Seldon had cut her finger and come over, and was very disappointed you weren’t here to put it right. Maybe that’s when I decided to be a farmer instead.
          Still looking for the right farm, by the way.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I think I scare myself everyday by waking up and facing the world. All of #45’s term left me living in fear for our democracy. Listening to the news for 15 minutes left my heart beating rapidly. I hope we have left that behind us. This week I took on a fear I have been avoiding—I revised my will and changed some minor things. After watching my mother’s decline this summer I made some changes to my health care directive because I do not ever want to experience what she is experiencing. That scares me to think of it, so I avoid it which is not what I need to be doing. But I hate thinking about this because I feel scared.

    I cannot remember finding much of anything along the road. But one of my cousins made a major find that had many of us roaring with laughter at a family funeral years ago. She was driving her pick up along in NW Iowa several cars behind a turkey transport truck. One of the doors flew open launching a full size adult turkey under the wheels of the vehicle behind the truck. The bird was flopping around on the side of the road. She pulled off, ran back to the turkey, wrung its neck, then threw it in the back of the pick up. When she got home she plucked it, cleaned it and had that bird for supper.

    She is a valiant farm woman.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I know it’s anxiety producing to be planning for your eventual demise, Jacque, but I highly recommend B.J. Miller, MD and Shoshana Berger’s “A Beginners Guide to the End” to assist you through the process. It’s lighthearted without being flippant, and it has loads of very good information and resources. I found it to be a very useful tool in sorting through issues I hadn’t even thought about.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Yep. 2022 Trumpists take the House and Senate. Also key state governments go all Trumpian.
      2023 Trump confirms his candidacy and gets the GQP nomination. Trump wins in 2024. 3 more Supreme Court seats are Trumpian picks.
      Scary

      Like

  3. When I am in the apartment and I first hear the sound of the combine, it takes a bit to identify the sound. There is a tinge of fear in that, the mystery and implied threat of not know what THAT sound is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OT: this is a big day for me. My daughter and her husband bought a home and moved into it several months ago. I’ve not seen it, mostly because to enter that home one ascends a set of stairs. And we just don’t know if I am up to that challenge.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. It’s a lovely day, so even if you can’t manage the stairs you’ll be able to enjoy the ride, and perhaps a nice visit in a lawn chair.

          Like

    1. Go, Steve, Go. Give it a try. If you cannot enter, at least you can see the house and admire it from the outside which they probably need to have you do.

      Good Luck.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. This house has (I’ve heard two versions) six or seven bedrooms. You might ask why my daughter, with one child, bought a home with six or seven bedrooms. The answer is that she tried to buy a home with two bedrooms–tried three times–but couldn’t afford it. So she bought the big place.

          Liked by 3 people

  5. I’ve had several panicky moments in the past few months, and in retrospect they were all due to some new situation or challenge that I did not know how to deal with. As soon as I learned, in one way or another, what I was expected to do, I was just fine. Then I could either do it, or I couldn’t and would have to call someone for help. Not knowing who to call for help could instill further panic.So now if someone teaches me some new thing, I make sure I know who to go to for an assist if needed!

    I have been known to stop the car and throw something from a boulevard into the back end of the car – lawn chair comes to mind, but I know there’ve been others.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Last night when I went out to do chores and I called the ducks, they all came scrambling over. Fun to see them realize they know I will be throwing out corn. And there was a little bit of flight too. A couple of the mallards did a short flight over there.

    I checked in with the neighbors and they say once the weather straightens out again (meaning sunny and dry) they’ll be coming for me soybeans. I’m not sure it will be today or even this week… but should be soon. Yay!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m surprised the ducks have taken so long to figure out that you were the bringer of food. I guess I assumed ducks were smarter than that and would have figured it out sooner.

      Like

  7. When I was a kid people routinely chucked stuff out of car windows, especially in rural Iowa where gravel roads are flanked by weedy ditches. The most common object thrown was beer cans. I remember we could stick a hand down in any ditch anywhere and come up with a beer can. This was back before we had Iron Eyes Cody weeping at the sight of garbage in ditches. My parents were as guilty as anyone before we wised up and began keeping trash in a car until a garbage receptacle was available.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. If they hadn’t made the mess- no need for the implements of destruction.

          And then the guy went in there corrupting people who were only mother and father rapers to start with. Probably turned them into serial litterers.

          Liked by 2 people

  8. Getting control of our stuff is sort of like finding things in a ditch. Under our bed, a very dusty box of 500 business envelopes. Gathered up from our storage locker upstairs and from boxes in closet and on display, found 20 of my mother’s quilts.
    10 years ago on weekdays I would ride out to the Sakatah trail almost always through industrial park. One day when I took another route a body was found along the trail I rode through the industrial park.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Just remembered this: 40 years ago community organized a cleanup. The grade 8-12 students were included, each homeroom assigned a different area. A few kids and parents objected, almost all for sound reasons, such as student had a health issues. Nobody forced students to do it; most liked the idea anyway. Next school board meeting was packed with angry adults, a few parents, most not. They had reasons like could pick up a disease or be injured or it was slave labor. Another reason: what if students found a dead body. Never happened again, sad to say.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I realise now the irony of having bought a good quality bar, about three times the length of this one, several years before. I did a little job in a village outside Holsworthy in Devon, and know exactly where I left that bar. Within a week or so of buying it. I don’t know that it would be there now. 23 years later, at a guess.

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      1. And THAT reminds me that I left an eighteen inch, good quality Stillson (pipe wrench) outside my garage door, in a quiet, but not by any means deserted, little square. There’s a short cut right past my door. Twenty six hours later I noticed it there, untouched.

        Like

  10. Stepping on the weight scale is scary.
    Taking my blood pressure isn’t as scary as it was a few weeks ago. Losartan is working.
    I found a small safe and at another time counterfeit money. Each time, the items went to the police.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Wasband and I, while driving in the countryside near Cheyenne, stopped along the road for me to pick some wildflowers. It was in the middle of nowhere, no houses or ranches in sight. As I was walking along I became aware of a faint meowing, and when I started looking for the source of it, found a tiny kitten that someone had dumped. We took it home with us, couldn’t just leave it there. That’s the story of how we acquired Linus, and as a consequence had leave our basement apartment on Talbot Court. Luckily, finding another, more attractive apartment above ground, that we could afford, and that allowed us to have pets, wasn’t that hard to do.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Put it like that, we have found two bunches of three kittens down by the bins at the bottom of the hill, and a brother and sister across the road from here, in an abandoned building. Though those latter were already feral, it’s true. Our original “bin babies” Emma, Blackie and Tigger, were actually in the bottom of the bin among the bags of restaurant waste (think, Ben’s son, hauling out yet another rotted deer), and their dead mother. Fun lifting out the reeking bags, then getting mauled by a deadly black supercharged windmill of a kitten.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. A distant cousin of Renee’s, Tom, is in the “business” of capturing and rehabbing stray cats and kittens in the small town where he lives. It’s not an easy path to choose, but I’m so glad there a people who do it. Thanks, Fenton, for your efforts on behalf of these more or less feral cats.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. My baby sister is also a serious TNR person. In addition to her pet sitting business I think the TNR takes up most of her time.

          Like

        3. PJ, shucks. As I’ve told you, we’re working on it from the wrong end. Jane was going to get the latest trio adopted if possible. We all laughed, and have been proved right, so we have sixteen now. I said, we need to catch the street cats and sterilise them, she said, we can’t afford it. But we can’t afford not to, we’ll have standing room only here before long. Luckily, a neighbour who has money to burn has already worked out a deal with a vet and has had at least ten cats sterilised in the last year or two. We’ve arranged to at least provide transport to and from the vets, and in return she’ll cooperate in catching more. It will never end, as cats will always move in from the rest of Spain, as soon as a gap appears. But that’s no reason to give up.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Linus was so named because he suckled the tip of a blanket. Sweetest little black and white kitten that, no doubt, would not have survived had we not found him. Lucky day for all three of us.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. By the way, the header photo is part of the township road leading to our driveway. We call it ‘The woods’ as in “Some jerk dumped some trash in the woods” That’s where we found our yard art ‘Joseph’ several years ago. And it’s a section line; section 28 on your left, section 29 on your right. Most of our farm is in section 28.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I was in a state of perpetual, near panic attack in Denver due to the altitude. I don’t react well to it, and my heart works so hard it feels like I am having huge anxiety. My ancestors came from the Low Lands in Northern Holland and Germany. We are bog people, not peak people.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Landscapes affect us in different ways. One of my interesting discoveries was open, bleak, featureless prairie. I had friends who grew up in a place like that. They adored forests, but could only stand being in a forest for three days or so, then they’d flee back to open prairie.

        Once I joined a party of guys walking open prairie, the kind of country where all you see is sky and grass. At some point a fellow from Iowa began screaming at the rest of us because he was experiencing a panic attack. Over beers that night he apologized and confessed that he had never been in a place where he could not see anything made by the hand of men, and it caused him to come unglued.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I like trees and green fields and streams. A rolling hill or two, NOT mountains.
          Pretty much what we don’t have here.

          Like

        2. Have you read PrairyErth by William Least Heat-Moon, Renee? It’s an exploration of the tall grass prairie of Chase County, Kansas. I found it interesting and fascinating, though a bit long. Not a quick read.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Two years ago when I went to Peru and Machu Picchu, I was really worried about the altitude and in fact got meds from my doctor just in case. I really didn’t feel the altitude at all but the whole three days we were up there I was doing self assessments all the time. How is my breathing? How am I doing? Am I more tired than usual? Pointless.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. So glad you have the tools to do so. I also like to think that the baboon community helps in some small way. It feels good to belong to a troupe of caring individuals.

          Just tonight I read a plea from someone on Nextdoor to keep an eye out for her brother’s newly acquired Toyota RV which had been stolen from in front of her house. She gave a description of the RV, complete with color, vintage, and license plate number. Within a few hours a neighbor reported that the RV was parked in front of a house on Iglehart, giving the house number. She even went so far as to go check the license plate number and confirm that it was, in fact, the stolen RV. Police was called, and in short order the RV was reunited with it’s rightful owner. I just love stories like this; neighbor’s keeping an eye out for, and willing to do a little extra for their neighbors.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Which reply reminds me that an unnamed person I know well, had his van stolen, and I had to get a taxi in a hurry for an important appointment, as he now couldn’t come and get me. I picked him up, and the taxi driver showed great concern for his plight, and said he’d put the word out. Those guys can have an extensive network.
          I took my friend’s seeming lack of concern to be linked to his general “oh well” attitude. It wasn’t to do with his “property is theft” idealism, because that’s never seemed to apply to his own property.
          The van was supposedly nicked from outside his house in Barnstaple. So when it was subsequently found in Weston – Super – Mare (did you go there, Steve?), with a wrecked engine, the whole thing became apparent. My mistake, not Weston. I can’t remember the name of the place, but it’s en route to Bristol, where our hero had only just been, visiting friends. So it was an insurance scam. Our buddy had just put another engine in the van, our kid had been impressed with the performance and driven flat out on the motorway, and the engine hadn’t really liked it. He limped it into that place, it’s just past Bridgewater, what IS it called? I’ve collected stuff twice there. Anyway, he dumped it, not meaning it to be found so soon. Didn’t work, did it?

          Like

      1. Fenton, I participate in two groups of therapists who meet for consultation. In the form of therapy I do, this group is meant as “Therapy for the Therapist” so the therapist gets feedback about how they are doing. Sometimes we tell each other “you need a break,” or “time for a vacation”. You are correct that the work takes a great deal of care from other therapists and ourselves. My garden and artwork are the activities that regenerate my ability to do this.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I’m glad to hear you have a support system, Jacque. When I was a Samaritan volunteer, I suppose we supported each other a lot, but more informally. Not to compare the two things. We had the luxury of doing a three hour duty and then washing our hands of any further responsibility, and not having to provide “answers.” A lot different to what you do. I really don’t know how you do it.

          Like

  14. Found a Dutch oven with lid once. It had something burned on the bottom, but it cleaned up pretty well. I still have it. but don’t really need it, so I should donate it somewhere one of these days.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Some neighbors were moving out and had rented a container to dump their unwanted stuff in. Husband went dumpster diving and came home with a really nice, heavy duty, stainless steel skillet that had something pretty severely burned onto it. A little elbow-grease and soaking later, it was promoted from trash to our favorite small skillet. He was a camera man for a local TV station and she was an opera singer. We think of them every time we use that skillet.

      Liked by 4 people

  15. So, Steve, how did your visit go? Were you able to get inside, or did you just enjoy Molly’s new home from her front lawn? Hope you had a nice visit. I’m wondering if it included a drum solo by your grand son?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Steve, this is delightful news. Glad you liked the house and were able to get up the stairs, then enjoy the gathering. The memory of this should keep you in a pink cloud of joy until the next gathering.

      Liked by 4 people

  16. I saw Ben’s quote about scary yourself every day and that didn’t ring a bell for me but then it dawned on me that my equivalent phrase is to figure out how to live beyond your comfort zone and try and do something every day is a challenge as you’re only doing what you’re comfortable with go ahead and stretch a little further out into something that makes you a little uncomfortable and I’ve done that for many years

    what did surprise me was when I was delivering groceries they would give you an order and a time limit to buy the groceries get them run through the cash register into the bags into the car and delivered to the persons house and on many occasions stuff came up where food was missing or the customer wanted you to go back and do something differently or change the order or add something to the order that would make you late and what happened to my body when I was put in the situation that I was almost certainly going to be late made me laugh it was so amazing to watch the transformation of going from a perfectly fine human being who is doing a task to a crazy person whose body was turned inside out and nodded because of the criteria change

    i noe know i’m succeptable to that and will deal with it differently

    i’m a head case…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tim, I would get in that kind of situation regularly in the transport business, and my way of dealing with it was to eventually leave with great relief, when I was 65. The memory of it still apparently caused me to miss out some of the punctuation here. But I’ll leave
      it at that.

      Like

  17. I’ve just been watching YouTube videos by a thoughtful man who has discovered the key to happiness for him is self reliance. But we’re all different. I learned from my work experience that it is critical for me to work on projects where I have a lot of control, projects that eventually produce a tangible product like a book or magazine. I could never do what Jacque and Renee do, trying to help people without ever getting positive evidence that my work had brought about the effects I hoped it would. Or maybe J and R do get that kind of validation; I wouldn’t know.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. For Steve, Barbara, and me.
    And maybe others

    “A Prayer”
    Let me do my work each day; and if the darkened hours of despair overcome me, may I not forget the strength that comforted me in the desolation of other times.

    May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over the silent hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of a quiet river, when a light glowed within me, and I promised my early God to have courage amid the tempests of the changing years.

    Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded moments. May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit.

    Though the world knows me not, may my thoughts and actions be such as shall keep me friendly with myself.

    Lift up my eyes from the earth, and let me not forget the uses of the stars. Forbid that I should judge others lest I condemn myself.

    Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path.

    Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.

    And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life, and for time’s olden memories that are good and sweet; and may the evening’s twilight find me gentle still.
    Max EHrmann

    Liked by 7 people

  19. I do not feel the need to scare myself every day. That’s not to say that I don’t have fears and I don’t scare myself but I don’t do it on purpose. Yesterday’s scare was not a big one. I rented a reciprocal saw from the hardware store to finish trimming the lilac tree. (The beginning of the trimming happened when the tree guys came out to take out the two ash trees from the back of my yard a couple of weeks ago. In order to get their truck up they said can we trim some of this lilac bush which hangs over the driveway?). And of course the job They did was minimal and not very pretty. So I finished up yesterday. No mishaps or even near misses, but I was thinking about it the whole time that I had a dangerous tool in my hands.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. But the “boulevard exchange.” There’s a bin (dumpster) almost within sight of my garage, beside which a fairly good trade goes on at times. I deal there in both directions, and across the road is the building where some of our household companions are obtained. That’s a one way traffic for us, though.

    Like

    1. Is ‘Dumpster Diving’ illegal over there?

      One of the theaters I work with is getting a lot of neighbors trash put in our dumpster. Adding a lock too it means an extra $60 / month.
      Back in January, with the situation in DC and I happen to watch one day as a guy parked on the street, took his garbage into a parking lot and put his garbage in another buildings dumpsters. I watched him do it and when he came back he said to me “Stare all you want” and got in his car and drove away. I was SO MAD! I was already mad with the events in DC and here this guy is FLAUNTING THE LAW… why, I could just spit! But that wasn’t my dumpster, it wasn’t even really my problem. But it pretty much summed up everything wrong with people today.
      And now when we throw stuff away, the next day we know people are digging through it. Heck, we don’t have that good of garbage… if it was any good I’d put it on the boulevard!
      People sure can be frustrating…

      Liked by 1 person

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