Today’s Farm Update comes from Ben.

Snowed overnight. About 5” wet, sticky snow. Gave daughter a snow day. I started waking her up, kept looking out the window at the snow falling, talked with Kelly, and we decided, life is too short. Covered daughter back up and turned off her light. She wasn’t awake anyway. Can you say ‘teenager’??

I made a quick path up the driveway and back. Will do more around the yard later with Kelly so she can refresh how to drive the tractor and work the blade. Header photo is halfway down our driveway.

I finished meteorology class. Got 57/60 on the final (which the teacher opened early for me), and I submitted the final lab assignment (on water usage in our homes) and got 10 points of extra credit for doing another test. Don’t know my final grade yet as the teacher hasn’t graded three assignments, but I’m expecting an A. Three credits closer to getting a degree someday.

I won some items in an online auction this week. This auction is open for about 8 days. And if someone bids on an item in the last 5 minutes, the timer resets for another 5 minutes. I was bidding on some heavy-duty pallet shelving. Did some research on new stuff, and it’s about $600 for one end and 2 bars. Typically, you figure half the price for used. So, these three auction lots were three uprights, six bars, and a bunch of cross pieces. There was three lots and I bid on two. Got one lot for $725. Couldn’t afford the second, but still a bargain.

Also got a set of 6’ fork extensions to put on the pallet forks I use on the loader. I remember first using forklift extensions as a stagehand and sometimes there was larger, awkward cases that needed a longer reach than normal forklift forks.

These will be good for picking up branches, or scrap iron. I thought about taking my trailer to pick up this stuff. But my trailer has sides on it, about 1′ tall. It’s great for hauling straw. It’s not so great when trying to load something from the sides, like pallet shelving, because a forklift can’t set it down with those sides in the way. I may have to buy a flat trailer too, because… you know. Toys.

I hauled in the scrap iron I dumped on the trailer a few weeks ago, plus a couple other things I had tossed on there. It weighed 1000 lbs and scrap was a low price of $50/ton. I never check the price; I just haul it in. Sometimes scrap is $400 / ton. Obviously, more people are hauling their scrap in when the price is high. I learned from the salvage yard guy that when they scrap cars, they drain the fuel out of them, and they save the good fuel and use it in their own cars. He did admit it’s a little like Russian roulette. But the machine they use to drain and filter the fuel has a site gauge and you can see bad fuel and divert it. It also costs them $4/gallon to get rid of old fuel.

This week at the college I’ve been working on lighting our holiday concert. My friend Paul creates the decor. I light it up. One night only, so I can tolerate that. We have ice mountains and a giant Nutcracker.

And this is my view from the booth.

After Paul finishes building the set, he leaves some bit of decor in the office. This year it was Version 1 of the Nutcracker’s mustache.

I was outside the other day and suddenly the chickens all made a racket and they headed for shelter and the dogs started barking and ran around trying to figure out what was happening. And there was a red-tailed hawk right next to the house trying to get a chicken. It flew away. No blood, some feathers. It might have been after one of the roosters; Number 3 was missing some neck feathers. Seems pretty ambitious for a hawk. Or desperation.

And some of the ducks are bathing in the water tank down by the barn. Nothing wrong with that except they spill a lot of water and it’s making an icy spot. Won’t be my problem in a few days.

Here’s some chicken and duck photos. The last one is Rosie and Guildy.

Hasn’t been any particular music this week. Just trying to keep the Holiday earworms away.

Next week is knee surgery. Yippee!


31 thoughts on “Snowed”

  1. My ambitious goal just popped up in November – to gather our UU Choir again (with one other person) and prepare something for the two holidays – our Thanksgiving one went well, but we may have bit off more that we should have for Christmas – I’ll find out at our last practice tomorrow night. I feel like I have no business doing this, don’t know what I’m doing, etc. But once we get there, I seem to know somehow what to do… so far. Yikes.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. RIse and Shine, Baboons,

    Ambitious? I am not sure how ambitious I am anymore, which is really saying something after having been fairly ambitious most of my life. That lack of ambition is reflected in my goal which was/is to lay the groundwork to fully retire in 2023. Now I have to go meet with my financial guy and fill out paperwork to start drawing on an annuity. I just barely survived the wrath of my Social Security Representative 3 years ago when I told her I had trouble understanding her Russian-accented English, so I made a mistake indicating what I wanted in that system. Wish me luck!

    I did complete a Master Gardener Certification class for Food Preservation Specialist in 2022, too. So now I can boss around people who want to learn to preserve food. Next up is a class, again Master Gardener, for Therapeutic Horticulture. On Monday those who manage such classes through the Arboretum and the University of MN released the curriculum, so I can start it.

    As I write this, snow just started to fall—big flakes and no wind so it is coming straight down, gently. I will make a short video and send it to my Arizona Grandchildren who are fascinated with snow.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. My ambitious goal has been to write all of the assigned readings of the Revised Common Lectionary into songs. I’m about half way through (further if you note that the Psalms get re-used for special feast days). Maybe I’ll have all 3 years done by the end of 2023. Trusting that nobody is going to use them anyway, I have a light hand on the copy editing.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. I can imagine, Ben, how much your various teachers at the college appreciate having an adult in their class. I was twenty-six when I started at SIU, and it was not unusual for professors to comment on my papers, at the end of a quarter, how much they had enjoyed having an adult in the class.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the instructor who taught my two sculpture, metal-smithing classes. He is just a few years older than I am, and back then had trouble gaining the respect from my younger classmates. He claims I was instrumental in him not abandoning teaching as a career. It makes me feel good that I somehow made a difference simply by being who I am. Very often that doesn’t feel nearly good enough.

    I’m betting you’re going to get an A in the class, but the important thing really isn’t the grade, it’s the fact that you’re wanting to learn. Life is too short to measure accomplishments in grades or degrees.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Reminds me of the time two houses ago when we were getting ready to sell and had been spiffing things up. The utility room in the basement, where the somewhat elderly forced air furnace was, also held my small office and a small darkroom and was sheetrocked and painted. We had laid carpet, mostly to cover up some old cracked tile and freshly painted the walls. I was doing a little vacuuming in the corners with my shop vac and I got it into my head to vacuum out the decades-long accumulation of soot I had noticed in the heat chamber of the furnace. What I didn’t notice was that the soot, being too fine for the shop vac to capture, was spewing out the back and spraying across the freshly painted walls and new carpet. The house must have been going on the market the next day because I remember having to rent a carpet shampooer and cleaning the carpet and repainting the walls late into the night.

      The moral: some things are too fine for the shop vac and pass right through. It would be a mistake, for example, to vacuum out a fireplace.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. My father in law tried to dispose of the Christmas tree by burning it up in the fire place. The carpet caught fire from the sparks and they were displaced for months due to fire and smoke damage.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Husband ordered an electric snow blower yesterday. It may not arrive at Ace Hardware before the storm hits on Tuesday, but his goal has been to simplify snow removal.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. What that means is that we have an assortment of really goofy snow shovels that take up space in the garage and don’t work all that well. I insisted that he get rid of about 4 of them in preparation for the arrival of the snow blower.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Ben, an impressive array of photos: only you can cover that range. Been in debilitating pain since Friday night. Good luck Tuesday Ben.

          Liked by 3 people

  6. my ambitious goal this year has been survival
    long hours and the definition of insanity
    i keep doing it but it only covers the bases nothing to allow me to get to level two
    i just threw my hat in the ring in two of my other arenas to force change
    here goes

    good luck with quick knee repair ben
    hang in there clyde

    holidays are sneaking up
    i do like this season

    enjoy all

    Liked by 4 people

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