Today’s post comes from Ben.

The end of another year, pretty fitting that it happens on the last day of the week. It just fits the calendar so nicely and it feels so right that the last day of the year, the last day of the month, also ends on the last day of the week. And then we begin another month, another week, another year on the first day of the week. No open squares, it just all seems better that way.

The end of the year, all the old hackneyed, banal phrases of closing out another chapter, turning the page, another chance to try it again. But they still apply.

On the farm I will collect mileage from all the vehicles and the hours on the tractors and the lawnmower, the four-wheeler, the gator, and even the total gallons on the diesel barrel pump. I put all the data in my spreadsheet to compare with the other years. (At one point I believe we had to report the mileage to our accountant and there must’ve been a deduction for farm mileage or something. Now it’s just all under the standard deduction but I have always enjoyed keeping track of things like that). I also have our farm balance sheet that I will spend the next month working on.  It’s fun for me; I like compiling the data and seeing the changes, adding pretty colors, and formatting it. 

During 2022, I kept track of how many dozens of eggs I moved out of the house. It was easier keeping track of the dozens going out then it was the eggs coming in. The last few weeks I haven’t actually moved very many, so counting the eight dozen I have on the counter now, I moved 320 dozen eggs. That’s kind of impressive. That’s 3480 eggs. Which averages 10 eggs per day for an entire year. Back in October I only moved about 10 dozen, while between March and August it was upwards of 30 per month. If you count all the chickens around here, which is somewhere between 40 and 50, 10 eggs per day doesn’t seem like enough. I never said I was looking for efficiency, I’ve always said it was a chicken retirement farm.

I’ve also been getting crop inputs finalized for next year. Prepaid some fertilizer, locked in prices on some other products, and finalizing my seed orders. It’s discouraging that fertilizer and chemicals are as expensive this year as last. Hope for another good year of crop production and prices. I expect prices will have to crash and we’ll all take a loss one year before things will come down again.

A lot of the stuff we do before the end of the calendar year so that I can take the financial expense this year. There’s also typically a discount on pricing when you order sooner. My seed company discount goes until mid-January, and I expect to be driving again by then so I will get that done at that point. We paid off all of this year‘s crop loans, paid off another small loan on my truck, and paid a good chunk of an operating loan. Also, at the end of the year the equity checks come in from the various co-ops that we belong to. March 2023 will be 19 years since I sold the milk cows. The dairy co-op that we sold to, AMPI,  has a 20 year payback on their equity and so for the last 18 years I’ve been getting a check for a few hundred dollars from the dairy co-op even though there has not been a milk cow on the farm. The check this year was for $200. There’s $2.48 remaining in my equity.  Seems to me it would’ve made more sense to just add it on too this year‘s check. But whatever, one more check from the milk cows. 

We are all glad the weather has finally warmed up. The ducks finally got out of the pond and actually came back up in the yard. Chickens, squirrels, pheasants, and lots of birds are out and about and enjoying it. The show has melted off the deck so I can go out there and walk around a bit.

I am getting along very well on my knew knee. (Gnu G-knee!) And the 37 staples were removed from the incision on Thursday. The doctor gave me a good report. A few days prior to that Kelly took me out for a ride in the gator, it was just nice to get out of the house. She even took me over to the shop and I got up in the tractors. Just to say I could. Again, after all the trouble I had the spring and summer, I didn’t really think this would stop me, but it still felt good to get in there. I sort of expect to be driving again this weekend and I may have to take over snow clearing duties soon.

Prior to the surgery I had to remove the two earrings that I wear. I asked daughter to put them in. She doesn’t have pierced ears, and she’s never done earrings before and I thought this would be good practice for her. As a guy, I can’t get them in myself, I generally ask Kelly. Daughter got one in and Kelly got the second one.

Years ago when I was giving a farm tour to some elementary school kids, a little girl asked me about the ear tags that I put in the calves ears. I was kneeling down and face-to-face with her and I told her it was like getting your ears pierced. I have a very vivid memory of her looking to my ears at the same moment I Iooked to hers. I had earrings, she didn’t and I thought to myself, this is a fascinating little discussion and I wondered if she’s going to go home and ask to get her ears pierced.

One of the movies I watched this week was ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’.  One of those movies I’ve heard about and seen bits of, but never seen the whole thing. I enjoyed it. I also watched ‘All That Jazz’ for the 349th time. I was home alone so I had it loud to make it the best it could be. And I picked some new bits out of it. I never get tired of that movie. 



63 thoughts on “Revolutions”

  1. Fun post, Ben! I love Gnu G-knee, and it’s good to know someone else things about how nicely the calendar squares fit this year.

    For people everywhere – I resolve to not believe in conspiracy theories.
    For Husband – I resolve to make one meal a day, and help more keeping the house clean.
    For Husband and me – We resolve to walk several times a week, and go to the workout room at the Sr. Center.
    For my neighbor across the alley – I resolve to actually use the scaffolding that’s been in the front yard for a year and a half, and scrape and paint the house.

    Oh, and now I have to watch All that Jazz again.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. When I was a sophomore in college I came home for Christmas and was feeling unwell. I had swollen glands on both sides of my neck. My mother phoned the doctor, who told her to take me to the clinic, but to go in the back door in case I had the mumps. (I already had the mumps when I was 10). The doctor took one look at my neck, then my earlobes, and told me I was having an allergic reaction to my earrings which had surgical steel posts, and that I had to stop wearing earrings. Forever. I was very allergic to any metal. I haven’t worn earrings since.

    I had become sensitized to metals when I was an infant and had an umbilical hernia. My parents taped a coin to my abdomen to hold in the hernia before I had surgery for the hernia when I was 9 months old. I guess that was something people did then.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. A resolution on behalf of someone else is missing a key ingredient: the will and commitment on their part to make the change. Truth be told, that’s most often what’s missing on resolutions made on my own behalf, as well.

          Liked by 6 people

  3. No tattoos or piercings for me–EVER.

    To the general American public: Resolve to become more financially and politically literate and educated. Stop spending your income just because you have it. Start voting for politicians because you actually believe in what they stand for (assuming they all do that “no lie” resolution and we learn their true political leanings (i.e.–who they take campaign contributions from and are therefore obligated to vote for bills that further than donor’s agenda).

    To my wife: Resolve to give up the Catholic guilt that has plagued you for most of your life. It keeps you from fully enjoying what has truly been a wonderful ride together with me for almost 50 years (counting 5 years of dating).

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Ben, I was so happy to see the picture of you back in the tractor cab—wearing slippers, of course, the only appropriate footwear in a tractor! It appears your knee recovery is just what you wanted. My metal knee tells me about weather changes, which my orthopedist says, “just happens to some people.”

    When I was a senior in High School having pierced ears was just another topic of conflict between my mother and me. So at a slumber party when our friend, Diney, was piercing ears with a needle, an ice cube, and sliced potato (all sterilized with alcohol), I lined up for this procedure. She would freeze the ear lobe with the ice cube, hold the potato slice behind the lobe, and push the needle through the ear lobe. When it was my turn I jerked when the needle went through my ear lobe, and I knocked over the uncapped alcohol bottle onto our host’s dining room table, running the finish. Her mother did not kill me, so I survived this procedure, and the holes are still in my ears. Eventually my mother pierced her ears, too.

    I resolve for #45 that he will become an effective and profitable business person who actually makes a profit and is transparent about his finances. Hey, miracles happen. Hahahahahaha.

    And for Ben, VS, and Renee, I resolve that I will express my affection and gratitude for keeping this Trail open.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Husband has resolved to grow more Alcosa savoy cabbage and no kohlrabi this summer. He says the decision is “liberating”. (I have no idea what he means). We also are growing more parsely root, no chimayo peppers, more sweet peppers, and both bush and vining butternut squash varieties. Same peas, spinach, chard, parsely, Hidatsa shell out beans, and tomatoes. Husband is also doing turnips.

    Same peas, beans, bush cucumbers, and spinach for the church garden, and no cabbage or squash for the church garden since they get stolen.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, vegetables that are removed by persons unknown before they are ripe are considered stolen as far as I am concerned. We grow the veggies for the local food bank, and if people take them as they have been taking them. it keeps those legitimately in need from having fresh veggies. We try to think charitably of those who remove the veggies, but that they take them even before they are ripe is very hard to forgive. They only take things that are easy to harvest. They never take the sugar snap peas or beans. They only take the squash and cabbage and canteloupe, things they can grab and run with. If we allocate more of the raised beds to beans, peas, and spinach, the hungry in our community get more to eat.

        I used Husband’s decision to not grow kohlrabi as a resolution since he has this weird connection with growing kohlrabi. That he decided to not grow it next summer is a shift in the universe.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. If the people who are taking the veggies are hungry, they can come to the church office for referrals to the food bank or other social service agencies. We also have a Little Free Pantry box near the garden for anyone to access. There is a furtiveness about the removal of the veggies that is disturbing. It only occurs at night. It only occurs when no one is at the church. The garden is on our church property.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Or ignorance. Unless the thieves are kids, one would assume they are taking the food to eat. If they are taking it to eat, you might assume that’s because they need it. Otherwise that’s a lot of trouble to go to for a cabbage.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. Oh, I agree Bill. I have driven around the block and alleys to look for smashed veggies, which is what kids would do. I haven’t found any. Husband wonders If the harvestors are meth users trying to grab for their families whatever they can.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Our church vegetable garden consists of six, waist high raised beds, 4 feet by 6 feet in size. so that people in wheel chairs can help garden. It is part of a contemplative garden called The Garden Grace named after a young child in our congregation who died of cancer. It is along side the parking lot. We only have limited space for veggies, so any that go missing are sorely missed.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Another way of looking at the church garden: perhaps you should grow more of the veggies that people steal or help themselves to? Obviously there’s a need.

      We have a couple of community gardens – private initiatives, and all volunteer efforts – here on the West Side. Anyone, whether they help in any way, or not, are encouraged to help themselves to whatever is growing there. Additionally, these wonderful neighbors host a Sunday afternoon free garden vegetable exchange: bring what you have excess of in your own garden (if you have one), and pick up whatever is available. The intent is building community and addressing a need of neighbors who may be new to the neighborhood, or who otherwise don’t see themselves as being part of the community. It’s an outreach effort that is slowly reaching communities of color, and it’s really wonderful to see how they are being encouraged to participate at whatever level they feel comfortable.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Last night my son and his wife came out and accompanied us to the Arboretum Winter Lights show. It was so much fun. Then they came back and we had hot chocolate spiked with Baileys, AND I stayed awake until 11:30pm. If I stay up til midnight tonight,that would be two nights in a row. Last night the dog was already upset that we did not do the usual routine. Can Ireally upset her that much two nights in a row?

      I doubt that we stay up to midnight.

      Liked by 5 people

  6. There’s still time!! Italians believe that if you don red underpinnings, eat lentil soup, and throw away an old unwanted item at midnight, you will have good luck in the New Year!
    Buonna Fortuna!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bed at 9:30. Lady time I stayed up until midnight on NYE was Y2K. Not from anxiety, more from a “I told all you so” curiosity. Of course once it hit midnight in other times zones and nothing happened, that took some of the fun out of it.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hans went to bed at about eleven. I enjoyed another long hike on my passive leg exerciser (4200 steps) and went to bed at 12:20 AM. And here I am at 7 A.M. taking more steps because the pain in the knee, the old one, makes it impossible to rest comfortably. Happy New Year, baboons.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Happy New Year, Baboons. It appears 2023 will start with another dose of snow. I have a new jigsaw puzzle to work on—butterflies. Happy day for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I am feeling a bit at sea without Barbara Walters in the world. She and Nancy Dickerson were the only two women on TV that represented something non-traditional for a woman.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am also of the age that pierced years was a battle in my household. After a fairly egregious fight with my father (in which I said things that I still can’t believe) he relented and said, if I lost a certain amount of weight, I could get my ears pierced. I basically didn’t eat for two weeks straight and lost the weight almost immediately. And of course, after all that arguing and fighting, my mother also eventually got her ears pierced. I saw that is a great moral victory on my part.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Like Bill, I don’t make resolutions and agree with the “it’s just a decision”. Using an arbitrary date to make a decision never seemed like that great of an idea to me. However, for a few years, when YA was younger, I used to buy flash paper every new year: we would write habits that we didn’t want to take into the new year on the flash paper and then burn it up. It was fun for a few years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How have I lived this long and never known about flask paper? At this point I can’t really think of anything I’d do with it, but it pains me to think of all of the opportunities I might have missed.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. The latest twist in WP unexplained weirdness. I just posted a “snort” in response to Bill’s definition of flask paper. For once, WP didn’t make me sign in. Then I got an email from WP telling me that Anonymous had responded to Bill’s comment, but when I looked at our blog, the comment isn’t there. Guess the 2022 WP gremlins are still with us.


      1. I learned about flash cotton before flash paper. If you knew more magicians you would have heard of it sooner. It’s a fun gag. Buy some just because.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. i went to orchestra hall new year’s eve performance it was wonderful stayed til midnight and slept til 8 this morning with no deliveries going on
    nice to sleep
    someone else’s resolution the us shall only allow products that are made in countries that exhibit respect and integrity toward peopoe and planet
    in usa we address companies in an individual basis with a to do list to get back in good graces
    internationally make it a nationwide mandate and let them police from within

    piercing has not happened yet but i’m ready

    probably not nipple piercings but never say never

    lots of tatoo ideas

    i’m gonna get some me time this year

    happy new year baboons

    i love the trail

    Liked by 5 people

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