In The Mood

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

Well, guess its winter; my 1940’s music station has been replaced by Christmas music. Bah. I changed that one to the Sinatra station. I like 90% of the 40’s music. I only like 53% of Sinatra’s music.

Orion is back in the night sky. I sure enjoy seeing him. I talk with him a lot.

Some of us have snow, many of us have cold, almost seasonal, temps. Some of you may have had a hurricane or two. It is November after all. I’m still fairly optimistic we’ll warm up again here in Minnesota. After all, I haven’t got the snow fence up, the corn out, or any fall tillage done. It *has* to warm up! Well, it would sure be *nice* if it would warm up. Yes, I’m pushing my luck on that one.

Corn crop is still out there. Feeding and hiding all the deer from the hunters.  I did hear the neighbors were hoping to get over here this week for their corn. And we didn’t have any severe weather as predicted the other day. Whew. Got a little rain, but really not enough to hurt anything.

Last year the corn was taken out on November 9th. Most years it’s mid-November. So, we’re still on target. Many years it’s the weekend of Thanksgiving that Kelly and I are putting the snow fence up. Usually we can find a nice weekend with calm winds and temps in the 40’s to do it. Only once have I actually had to kneel in the snow to do it. A few times I’ve been colder than others. I remain optimistic.

I put diesel fuel conditioner in the truck and the one tractor. This is the stuff to prevent diesel fuel gelling in cold temperatures. I added ‘Stabil’ to the lawn mower and put that away last week. Took off the outdoor faucet and picked up all the hoses. Closed the door to Rosie and Guildy’s pen; not sure if they’ve still been going in there at night, but they’ll have to find a new place in the evening. And I cleaned the chickens heated water bucket and moved that inside and filled with fresh water. (I haven’t plugged it in yet, but it’s there and ready, and will need to be plugged in soon). It probably holds about 6 gallons and as I carried it the 100 yards from where I scrubbed it to where the pen is, I thought to myself how far I’ve come since the shoulder surgery 10 months ago and I wasn’t carrying anything. And I thought to myself, in a few months I’ll get to celebrate doing this again, but for different reasons. (The knee replacement). I got the garage cleaned out so Kelly can park her car inside. I got the hay rake put away that I haven’t used since July. I’m not really sure why I let that sit outside all summer… wait, yes I do. Both small tractors that I would normally use to move that have been having issues all summer and I can’t get either started at the moment.

I took a wagon load of straw over to Firefly Berries so they could cover the strawberries. He said they lost a field of berries to grubs this year. Strawberries this year were probably the worst he’d seen. But the grapes were one of the best. So it goes.

I did get part of one of my summer ‘to-do’ jobs done this week. There’s an old shed where I park my car and the truck. It has old wood sliding doors but the tracks and wheels for the doors are shot and the wood sill plate is rotted out and it has all been falling off for a few years. But one corner of the doors sat in the dirt so it wasn’t really “going” anywhere. I finally got them off this week. Took all of about 5 minutes.

While I was out with the tractor and loader, I moved this piece of metal I dropped in the yard a few years ago. It was an old metal forage box, and when I pulled the front off, the roof and sides just collapsed onto themselves and I’ve been working around it. I hate it when I do that to myself. Put something down and then work around it. This is why I need to just put things away in the first place. It might be a thingy that goes to the basement, but I set it on the bench in the entry way and that’s where it sits for weeks. It might be the broken gear box from the old mower that I replaced and pushed it out of the way at the time. Yet it’s not in the scrap iron barrel, a year later and it’s still laying over there! I used a rubber mallet this summer as I fixed a window screen. Then it laid by the back door for two months. Then I moved it to the mudroom counter, and it laid there for a couple weeks. I finally remembered to take it to the shed this morning. Golly gee whiz I hate it when I do that.

So I picked up this mass of sheet metal and thought about where to move it, and caught myself, and said, ‘JUST PUT IT ON THE TRAILER! DON’T YOU DARE DUMP IT SOMEWHERE ELSE AGAIN!’. And I did! And added a few more things to the trailer. The plan was to get that hauled in this week. Or, Well, maybe next week. I have a large pile of things to haul in… scrap metal prices are pretty good. I need someone else to work my day job so I can stay home and do this job. I haven’t done any accounting in a few months either. Oh well.

Rosie and Guildy went in the pond this week! I happen to see them over there near it and the other ducks. And as I watched, they jumped into the water. Yay R&G!

Thanks to all the veterans for your service.

DO YOU PUT THINGS AWAY? WHY DON’T WE?

69 thoughts on “In The Mood”

  1. Well you are just begging for someone to post Glenn Miller. I don’t know how to, but I bet Wes was going to, even before he read this. Or maybe he’ll catch us out with something else.

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  2. Don’t worry Ben, it’s “going” to warm up. In June.
    I love your stories this week. I have a friend like that, but you look to be the king of mess, and I admire you.
    I put a few tools on top of the stack of two freezers we were keeping in Isaac’s “game room.” I needed them there because I may not have finished the job I was doing. I can’t remember what job that was, so best to leave the tools in case.
    But Isaac decided he didn’t need two rooms. He sleeps in his game room now, that’s how I got a spare room to put my vinyl. We moved the freezers in there too, so I put the tools on my mother’s chest of drawers on the landing. The cats spend time on that chest, so if I see that cold chisel heading slowly towards the floor, I have to push it to the back again, save it landing on another cat’s head. But I need to leave those tools until I’ve finished the job.

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  3. I leave things out because they have to be put away properly. Maybe I’ll have to give consideration to the best way of using space, etc. That could take time and mental energy which I will have much more of some other time.

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  4. I am constantly putting things away, except when I don’t. I love having everything back in its place so I can have it when I need it. It’s just that there are so MANY things!

    There’s always a little pile of things on the down stairway, that need to be taken to the basement. I usually wait till I’m going down there for some other reason, but now I need to just make time to take a load down AND PUT IT AWAY, which sometimes involves finding the other like objects and making a place for them. That’s one reason I don’t put things away.

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  5. I live alone is the reason I don’t put things away as often as before. But to avoid humiliations galore, I will now commence to folding up and drawering a week old laundry basket of drawers.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. We got all the soaker hoses and other water hoses put away in big tubs in the basement. Out garage and house are total disasters as the bathrooms remodel is in full swing. We hit a lull in progress as the carpenters are waiting for the plumber to do his thing. The blizzard didn’t help things, as the plumber has to come 100 miles from Bismarck. There are 6 sheets of very heavy drywall propped up against my bedroom dresser so I can’t get things put away and my clothes are all piled up in the guest room. All of the things Husband had in the master bathroom are in tubs piled at the foot of the bed or else in the other bathroom on the main floor. The basement is in disarray as we had to move bookshelves so the carpenters could gut the basement bathroom, and the beds in the two bedrooms in the basement are all disassembled so the carpenters can eventually repair the drywall in the ceiling that was damaged last December when we had a leaky pipe. I will be so thankful to be able to put everything away when it is all done in the next few weeks.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I do put things away. If I don’t I cannot find my stuff. I don’t like to spend my time searching for my belongings. I want to grab whatever, and go. When there is a mess laying around, I feel confused and irritated. Visually, I can’t pick out a single item from a cluster of stuff which stresses me out. I have noticed that I often cannot find the hidden figure in puzzles that feature that challenge. Everyone around me sees it, and I never do. That must relate to this visual challenge.

    When I was young, living with my parents, I loved to keep my room in a mess with clothing in piles on the floor and papers everywhere. I did this to defy my mother’s expectations of neatness. The minute I moved out of the house into a dorm, I kept my things put away where I could find them. That was a power struggle that she instigated (she functioned this way with absolutely everything) that was unwise.

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  8. I am not in nearly the state of unrepaire that Renee and Chris are, but there are three projects going on right now that are causing me stress. They are all YAs projects. And like a lot of us, YA likes the planning process and starting process but then sometimes gets bogged down in the middle. Once a project gets close to an end, then she ramps up again. So she started painting the ceiling in the breakfast room, and then started painting the ceiling in the kitchen And this is on top of the front porch. She’s gotten past the lag in all three of these projects, but hasn’t quite finished. I expect the kitchen and the breakfast room will probably be done this weekend. But what it means is that we have painting stuff in the breakfast room, painting stuff in the kitchen and of course the front porch is still in disarray. Since I am a relatively neat person, this drives me a little nuts.

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  9. As I read your post, Ben, I thought we are more alike than I knew. I have a tray and basket of beadwork on the dining room table. It has been there for over a year. I’m going to get back to that beadwork. If I put it away I’ll never get back to it.

    I quit my job in October and paid off my mortgage. By the end of October I had launched myself into the biggest project I’ve had yet – finishing the basement. It has never been done and I have the smell of cigarette smoke in the basement in the winter, it seems worst when the wind blows from the north. I had a sheetrock guy, Tyler, come to look at finishing the sheetrock. There is sheetrock on some walls but not others. There is no sheetrock above the rim joists, just pink insulation. Tyler looked at my 300-square foot, L-shaped basement, and said it would be a huge job due to all the pipes and wiring. He also said he didn’t think it was up to code. I lost a little respect for Tyler at that point but I need him. He suggested a few things and told me to let him know what I decide to do. I called the City Building Inspector due to Tyler’s comments about the code. The City guy came and was concerned about a large crack in the concrete but he said it was indeed up to code. Tyler had suggested spray foam insulation in the spaces between the joists but the City guy and a spray foam insulation contractor both said the spaces aren’t deep enough for spray foam. Other contractors won’t even call me back. I scheduled a home energy audit and “blower door test” with Xcel Energy for December 1. I hope to find out where the cigarette smoke is getting in. I can’t tolerate that. So I’m trying to keep the momentum going while I wait for the energy audit. I decided to tackle the basement stairs.

    The stairs are bare boards. I think they’re 2x10s or 2x12s. I didn’t measure them. When the sheetrock was done along the sides of the stairway, it was sprayed with white paint, probably primer, and some of the spray landed on the stairs, as well as some adhesives of some type. So I used CitraStrip to remove that paint and the adhesives. Then I used mineral spirits to remove the CitraStrip and clean the residue off. It worked but it’s been pretty smelly in here this week. The next step, starting today, is sanding the stairs to prepare for primer.

    This long story is meant to describe the array of painting tools, pans, cans, trays, bottles, brushes, the sander and sand paper, screwdrivers, scrapers, and miscellaneous stuff that has gathered at the bottom of the stairs. I have stuff all over. It’s a small space and I don’t have room for everything. I’ve been moving stuff out of the basement and into the garage. I have a lot of canned goods and dry goods on the shelves at the bottom of the stairs which all needs to be moved and I haven’t decided where to put it. Once I get the stairs done I can put the painting stuff away. Then I can move everything out and get an epoxy floor kit and treat the concrete floor. But I can’t put the painting stuff away until I finish the stairs. I’m stumbling over it at the bottom of the stairs but that’s my motivation, see?

    I’m absolutely TERRIBLE at this kind of thing. I detest painting. It is messy and I make it even messier. I thought I had really messed up by using the mineral spirits on the bare wood stairs but the smell is gradually fading now. I need to get the shop vac ready for cleaning up the sanding dust then I can finally paint the stairs with the primer.

    I just want the basement finished and the smell of cigarette smoke out of here. So there’s stuff all over. I won’t do it if I put it away and nobody wants to work on such a small basement, so it’s down to me. If I have to step over it, I’ll get going on – theoretically. It’s really nice here by the fire…

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      1. Yes, and that’s probably what I will end up with. That’s what my sheetrock guy Tyler wants to do. I’m more concerned about where the cigarette smoke is coming from and sealing up any cracks or gaps. I thought using sheetrock would seal it in better, but I do understand that it will be much more challenging than a suspended ceiling.

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        1. You are in a townhouse, aren’t you? The cigarette smoke has to be coming somehow from next door. That’s got to limit the possibilities.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Yes. I have neighbors on three sides. East side smokes, west side doesn’t. I don’t know about the guy who lives behind my north wall. I think he does smoke. There are no shared ventilation systems but it appears that some copper pipes do cross between walls. There is a large crack in the poured form on the north wall. I guess it’s settling and will have an impact on the entire structure (12 units). I’m going to try some spray foam in that crack if I can squeeze behind the water heater! Many other owners have their basements finished. I don’t know why mine isn’t. The main problem is the cigarette smoke. The city inspector could only guess at it.

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        3. My next question was going to be about shared ventilation systems. Unless one of your neighbors is smoking in the basement so as to not befoul the upstairs, it’s hard to understand why you would be getting so much drifting into yours. The trouble with tobacco smoke is that you probably won’t be able to tell right away when you’ve solved the problem.

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        4. My neighbors to the east do smoke in their basement. I’ve always suspected that it was them. The rules say that they must smoke within their own walls. No smoking on decks or on the outdoor community areas. They started smoking in their basement when those rules went into effect. They used to smoke on their deck. Unfortunately I think the guy behind my north wall smokes too. It’s always when there is a north wind that I have the smoke in my basement. It can get really bad. I asked the management company about it and they simply said that my neighbors have the right to smoke in their own units. It’s frustrating.

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        5. Once you do get the leaks patched, you might want to look into renting an ozone generator for a day. Realtors sometimes use them to neutralize the air in a compromised house.

          Liked by 3 people

    1. You might also want to talk to Mark Canfield (Mark Canfield Design and Construction) in Northfield. He did sheetrock for me in the upstairs. He’s a good guy and may have some useful suggestions.

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  10. I used to help a postman who worked on his little farm in the afternoon. The yard there was one of the two messiest I’ve ever seen. Ben will know of the conveyor chains that the old fashioned manure spreaders had. They had a steel slat fixed to them, every couple of feet, about a yard or so long. I watched Bob back a load of hay into the barn, over the pile of these chains and slats which had been lying one side of the doorway for years. I was trasfixed as the tactor’s back tyre went over the end of one slat, which was already bent, and was lying on the other stuff in such a way that the other end of the slat reared up and went straight through the side of the tyre. I don’t remember what we did about the situation, but Bob had another tractor, so I suppose we just got on with carrying bales.
    Next week, when I came over, he hadn’t moved a single slat or chain from the doorway.

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    1. Now this I would have only done by accident. When I leave a pile of junk, it’s mostly out of the way. The biggest problem seems to be when something doesn’t have a spot for it. That’s when it gets “left” there.
      I even have more cabinets to put things in… I just don’t have a place for the cabinets.
      And this is why I need a bigger shop. 😂😂😂
      Hahahahahahahaha

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      1. Shops, by definition, need to be bigger. Jane has a way of thinking that if I had a building such and such a size it would be “all I need.”
        “Stuff” should not be limited by availability of space, it makes no sense. We need more stuff.

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  11. OT, Cats!
    We’re in business, we’re going to start picking up cats in earnest now. Chelo and I spent an hour or so securing the half way house, then a third cat absconded from it, nearly as soon as our backs were turned. Jane has her surveillance camera operating successfully at last, and we’ve been watching various shenanigans, for example the two white kittens bobbing in and out of hiding, yards from where Chelo and I were working. We thought they were outside the fence. Every cat we’ve caught, bar one, showed up last night. And I know the other one’s around. So suddenly, we have the faith to carry on. I’m glad we built the pen, and will eventually make it secure. It will come in handy for some unforeseen circumstance. But for our current business, Jane and I vote thst we bring cats back, let them get used to their surroundings,maybe for an hour, and let them go. They are outdoor, feral cats, and have been trapped for 24 hours in extremely unfamiliar circumstances, and crazy to get out. Once they’re out, they’ll calm down, find the food we’ve left them, and meet old friends almost immediately. Ones they’ve probably already sensed are there.
    I know Chelo a bit better now, and she’s not the twittery idiot I thought. Very perceptive and intelligent, in fact. She’s OK, and we’ll be friends.
    We’re not so sure about Rafael now. That’s a pity.
    Rafael is from Alicante, 80 km south. Axelle, his wife or partner, is Belgian. They lived in Belgium for a while, then sold their house, bought a camper, and went travelling. They ended up in Palomar’s European award winning campsite (I really do wonder how a patch of bare gravel won any kind of award, never mind Best of), and like the occasional other, inexplicably fell in love with the place. You know, this place is a pile of rock and rubble. Jane loves it too.
    Axelle is friendly, funny, good hearted, you name it. And likes to party. Jane wants to be her friend. Axelle wants to be Jane’s friend. And the whole thing seems like a good idea to me.
    Rafael drinks too much, according to Jane. He’s very practical, OK to get on with, though his mood can vary. Not at all on the same wavelength as me, as far as a close friendship goes, but I’m difficult anyway.
    Well, OK, this is what it is. We had the cat biscuits in a plastic box under the shelter that Rafa himself constructed the first day. He didn’t see that Jane’s camera was was pointing straight at it. Well, we know that, because it filmed him just missing urinating on it. We forgive that. We’re not so sure about him filling up a bag with our cat biscuits and exiting the premises with them. Thosde biscuits have been bought by kind donors, us for instance, for feeding cats in the field. All of us feed street cats, but not with biscujts from the field, thdy are sacrosanct. We’ve said nothing about this, and probably won’t. But we think Axelle got him to do this, and now we’re a bit wary. As I say, a pity.

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  12. I just rolled and fried 60 sheets of potato lefse. It is important for Lutheran women to get this done before Christ The King Sunday, which is next Sunday, because it is a messy endeavor, and now it is done and I can focus on baking Dresden Stollen, Julekage, lebkuchen, pebbernodder, Serenakakor, Speculaas, and all the other Christmas cookies my family demands of me.

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      1. YA and I have made the decision on what cookies we’re going to do this year. And I have made a list of what ingredients I need but I don’t start baking until the day after Thanksgiving.

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  13. OT- Project Updates. ALL THE PAINTING IS DONE!!!!

    Now, all of the various painting accoutrements that are all over the house need to go down to the basement. I have been wanting to clean and organize the tool room for a while, so I think all of the tools will just go down in a big box so that I don’t have to empty out the cabinets quite as much when it’s time to clean.

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