Leaving Off January

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

It was nice to see the Sun on Monday for a while. Feels like that was a month ago. Then Thursday it was sunny for a while. Maybe some sun coming…along with the cold. Man, February, I’m telling ya.
It was nice to see the Sun on Monday for a while. Feels like that was a month ago. Then Thursday it was sunny for a while. Maybe some sun coming…along with the cold. Man, February, I’m telling ya.

I signed a contract for concrete this summer. I’m excited about that and looking forward to it. It’s going to be really nice. I also plan to get new electrical service run to the shed instead of the rube Goldberg way it gets there now. (Thank you Dad) And then next year will be insulation and walls. But it’s gonna be nice.

I meant to start writing this well before I did. I went to get something, and I got distracted vacuuming the entry way and mudroom. That area is always dirty. Between the dogs’ wet feet and me and my boots bringing in bits of straw and chicken manure, plus dirt, and gravel (That’s why it’s the mudroom). Doesn’t help that our 15-year-old dog Allie is suffering incontinence and often pees down there. Good thing it’s tile and in floor heat. We’ve tried the doggy diapers; can anyone make them stay on??  We can’t. Put it on, turn around, it’s off. Maybe it’s the shape of the dog.

Anyway, after vacuuming the entryway, I realized I should vacuum the basement steps. I know I’ve vacuumed them once or twice before, but it’s been a while. Plugged it up with a big chunk of something and pulled out a LOT of dog hair. And that led me to vacuum the bathroom downstairs. I don’t ever recall vacuuming in there although someone must have at some point, and then it was full and I had to dump it out again after I was done. Then I had to mix up the next step of the Amish Friendship bread batter, and in a round-about way I finally got around to writing this.

Wednesday, I needed chicken layer ration and I drove to Stewartville to pick up it up. Stewartville is about 10 miles south of Rochester. Back when I was milking cows, it was almost a weekly thing to pick up bags of something for the cows. Protein supplements, soybean meal, trace minerals, salt, mineral barrels, something; and it was all in 50-pound bags and I loaded and unloaded many many tons of bags by hand over the years. So, when I called Elgin Elevator to order the layer ration and they told me they don’t carry bagged feed anymore, well, I was filled with dysphoria. When I was a kid, I’d go there with Dad to pick up feed. It probably had a few other names, and I recall picking up feed in Viola MN, and Zumbro Falls MN, but usually it was Elgin. There was a merger last year and I can only assume that’s why they’re not carrying bagged feed anymore. Or perhaps it’s so many people moving to bulk products instead of bags. And that’s how I ended up in Stewartville getting a ton of layer ration.

It’s so easy these days- they put it in the truck with a folk lift, and I use the tractor and forks to take it off the truck and put it in the shed. ‘Work smarter not harder’ they say. But it’s hard to build muscles that way, the weaklings.

I did get to drive some nice roads that I don’t often get on. Drove past Fugles Mill, over the Root River, and past the Root River Park. But getting around or through Rochester is such a hassle. (I know, try Minneapolis you say).

It was fun to meet Krista and Pippin and move some eggs. 36 dozen so far in January!

With the cold weather coming in I’ll have the wellhouse heater on for the next week and will be trying to collect eggs before they freeze and crack.

Doing chores the other day and I had a bit of a traffic jam.

Didn’t get a chance to watch any movies this week. Kelly and I are trying to watch an episode or two of ‘Orange is the New Black’ every night.

Music has been a random assortment of my phone playlist, Radio Heartland, the XM 1940’s station, or ModernBigBand on the Jazz channel. Although on the drive to Stewartville my playlist was various songs by the band YES. Roundabout, South Side of the Sky, Yours is No Disgrace, I’ve Seen All Good People. It was nice. Course I had the dogs with me. Humphrey just lays in the back seat. Bailey spent the first half of the trip with her nose in my ear, and the second half in the front seat staring at me.

One thing I forgot when using the snow blower last week; I forgot about how blown snow lands and packs harder than falling snow. Here’s me digging out one door with a garden trowel I had in the gator –

There was another door I was going to leave for Kelly, but I found a shovel and dug that one out and got it open. Yep; forgot that part.

Bundle up for a while now and be careful out there.

Traffic roundabouts. What about them?

56 thoughts on “Leaving Off January”

  1. An infamous roundabout. I’ve never driven a car in Europe but the ones around Ohio are quite easy to navigate. There is occasional profanity but not in French.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh man, it must take a certain mindset to drive in that kind of traffic.
      The first roundabout I saw was out in Boston in 1986. Thank goodness I wasn’t driving. My friend was used to it and laughed at me.
      Rochester added one several years ago and it was a pretty big deal. And now they’re all over the place here. But I still have trouble figuring out which lane I’m supposed to be in sometimes. And there’s not nearly the volume of traffic.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Driving in the UK, I first encountered roundabouts in 1990. In Wales in 2015, there were a lot of them. In addition to having to keep track of which exit to take, they circulate in the opposite direction. That takes some getting used to.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Driving on the left side of the road, and going through a roundabout clockwise would be bad enough. Add to that the driver’s seat being on the right side of the car, and the gearshift to the left and it’s an accident waiting to happen. Oddly enough, I recall bicycling in Ireland with my uncle George, and I have no recollection of it being any different than riding in Denmark, though it must have been. Maybe I was just more adaptable at eleven than I am in my dotage?

      Liked by 4 people

  3. First roundabout I ever encountered was in Mankato. There is lots of traffic on Madison Avenue and this one was at the intersection of Hwy 22 and Madison Avenue. I hadn’t been over there for a couple of years and I wasn’t expecting it. I went into it not knowing what in the world it was. It didn’t help that traffic was heavy and there was a semi in it with me. I was in the wrong lane so I couldn’t make the turn I wanted. I had to go all the way around and take a different street through the area. They seem to be popping up everywhere. I get it now but I still don’t like them.

    It was fun to meet you last Wednesday, Ben. All of the eggs have found homes.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I live fairly close to several roundabouts down on 66th St. A couple of months ago someone posted a rant on one of those neighborhood groups whining about the roundabout. This unleashed an ungodly number of responses over several weeks. And it was amazing that some people post just to hear their own voices. At one point a poster said they had just witnessed someone drive right across the middle of the roundabout at a certain intersection. I actually drove by there on purpose later that day, because I was pretty sure you couldn’t drive right through that one. There are bushes and little evergreen trees; not only would you have destroyed the roundabout, you would’ve destroyed your car. Sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. You either love them or hate them – I love ’em. I could write a book about this…

    Amazingly enough, we here in Winona went through half a year of road construction as the hwy. dept. installed 4 (four) roundabouts on the East end here – Mankato Ave. is in the thick of our medical complex AND most of the town’s chain stores. I can now drive out of town on Mankato Ave. without the former 3 stops at traffic lights. I love how smoothly the traffic flows, even the large semis.

    The first few times are a learning experience – you have to go slowly, and you REALLY have to pay attention. Our newspapers printed instructions on how to navigate. I’ve finally realized it’s a matter of being in “yield mode” the entire time, but with regular intersections we were taught to yield to the right-hand car. Here you have to yield to what’s coming (if anything) from the left.

    That Hwy 14 roundabout south of Rochester – is that what made you think of roundabouts, Ben?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re talking about the one by Eyota? No, It was the song ‘Roundabout’ that made me think of them.
      I have gone to roundabouts just to go around and around them. I’m a cheap date, haha.
      They’ve become prevalent here just because it’s better than a stoplight. There are several basically out in the country. And next summer they’re adding one on our main road into town, so I’ll have one. every. day. It’s by a high school, and two years ago a student was hit by a car.
      Now, I’m sensitive to the student who wasn’t seriously hurt, but it’s like trying to legislate stupidity. The school opened in 1998. There’s an elevated walk-way over the highway on a different road from the school, and obviously everyone needs to pay attention whether driving or walking. And I know safety has to be a priority. But still. Sigh. OK fine. Another summer of road construction that will send all the traffic through the residential areas I expect. Which won’t make them happy either. I know how this game works.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I dislike roundabouts – I just find it hard to judge how fast people are going, and there’s no way to know where they’re going to get out and whether their presence will be relevant to your entry or not.

    The other thing that bothers me is that if you have something in the car that is at all tippy, there is a side-to-side lurch you go through as you are entering, where you first have to veer right to enter and then immediately veer left. It always seems like anything I have upright ends up going over.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I grew up with roundabouts, and learned to navigate them on a bicycle, so they’re second nature to me. Most of the roundabouts I’ve encountered in our neighborhood, however, are much smaller, and oddly enough, I find them harder to navigate. Partly that’s because it’s so obvious that a lot of drivers approach roundabouts with a lot of trepidation, and it shows in unexpected stops and maneuvers. One nice thing about them is that if you’ve missed your turn, you just keep going till you get there the next time around, easy-peasy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do think that roundabout training should be added to drivers education. Because seems to me the biggest issue is that people just don’t know what the heck to do a lot of the time. Seems pretty straightforward to me. Or roundabout to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I meant to add that the largest of our four new roundabouts is where Highway 61 meets Highway 43. There had been, over the years, several fatal accidents at this intersection. One of the arguments for roundabouts is that traffic is slower, and while there are some accidents, they are likely fender benders rather than fatal crashes.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. My high school Spanish teacher studied in Guadalajara in the summers when she was in college, and said she and her friends would go watch the American tourists get stuck going around and around the enormous traffic circle, unable to figure out how to get off.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. There are three roundabouts on the major oil field highway north of here, and the oil field workers just hate them because they have to slow down.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. OT- we defrosted our largest upright freezer today and cleaned out a small chest freezer that Husband put pork in along with other things like sausage and slab bacon. . To my utter surprise, I discovered three legs of lamb in the bottom of the smaller freezer, in addition to the two legs of lamb in the big upright freezer. It is a good thing we really like lamb. Now we know what we have in those freezers and they are organized.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We found we have far less goat than we thought, and more lamb of various cuts. I am prohibited from buying any more lamb, and Husband has declared a moratorium on slab bacon and side bacon which he uses for grilling and sausage making. These chest freezers are absolute blind man’s bluffs because you can’t see what is at the bottom if there is any amount of things in it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. So, tonight we are searching for a Coleman Hawkins recording that may be an LP or a disc in a rotating cd holder. I guess that could be construed as a roundabout..

    Liked by 2 people

  13. i love ounabouts
    ad an article a couple years ago that told of added safety improved traffic flow an a win win scenario
    i sent a copy to my mayor and offered a fistful of possible intersections hat would be vastly improved

    crickets …. no retuned calls

    whenever the talk turns to roundabouts, I remember my brother moving down to Houston in the mid 70s and running into his first roundabout after an unusual Houston snow storm, and not being able to figure out how to get out of it and he ended up getting a ticket for careless driving for going around and around and around and not being able to figure out how to get off at the cop thought he was drunk or an idiot and my brother is like that I bet he hasn’t had three driving tickets in his life. He’s super careful and super meticulous but that roundabout sure got him

    so Ben you’re putting the concrete floor inside your existing sheds that should be great. Are you thinking about doing pallet racking or something around the perimeter walls to make your storage a little more organized you got a bunch of stuff in the shed is it you need to have access to imagine you’ll have less after you take everything out to pour the concrete,
    nice project
    insulation can make that usable space 12 months out of the year

    I laugh, remembering my experiences in the UK, landing in Limerick and getting in the car at the airport on those skinny little roads with the steering wheel and the traffic all on the wrong side, and having the people at the airport, laugh at me as I pulled out onto the street, scraping the car along the bushes and after driving the UK for a number of weeks I came back to the same area to fly out of Limerick back to the states, and was amazed at how wide the roads were and couldn’t figure out why I had such difficulty when we first landed. It’s all just a matter of getting used to. They had lotta roundabouts and like PJ said the steering wheel and shifter on the wrong side, made it interesting , I can’t remember does the gas pedal always go on the right I think it does but I was driving clutch vehicles with the shifter being done with the left hand. Luckily, I’m more ambidextrous than most being left-handed by nature.

    I went out this morning expecting it to be cold with a high of 8° and I was surprised that 8° didn’t feel cold at all later this afternoon when the wind kicked up and the sun was gone it felt cold but it is still quiet morning with no wind 8° was fine. I love it when your blood thickens up like that and 30 feels warm and ed doesn’t feel cold.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I was thinking about posting something from the Elvis movie, Roustabout but the only song I remembered was Little Egypt which was done so much better by The Coasters. Listening to some of the other songs from the movie didn’t impress me so it’s back to this. Also the Disney Roustabout song from Dumbo is sorta cute because of the animation.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh thanks, Renee, for saying that. I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out what connection Elvis or the film Roustabout had to today’s question. It wasn’t until you I saw your comment that it occurred to me that Wes was riffing on the word roundabout. Duh!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Well, Husband’s right arm is in a cast with a small fracture of the wrist. He fell walking the dog on Friday. The ice here is awful, and now the windchill is -30°.


      1. I am just glad he agreed to go to Urget Care after church. He was the Assisting Minister and realized he couldn’t carry a tray of communion glasses.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually learned something from watching that video. I have often wondered what that concrete pavement around the center of the roundabout was for. I now know that it’s an apron to allow trucks and buses additional space within the roundabout.

        Liked by 3 people

  16. We are safe and sound in AZ tonight. The worst part of the trip was getting away from the ice on 35south in southern MInnesota, then blowing snow in northernIowa. We witnessed a semi in front of us start to slide into a Jack knife, then he somehow pulled himself out of it. We stopped to visit my mom. She is failing rapidly now and losing a lot of weight. To my amazement she always knows who Iam, but she does not know her age. She told me she is 103 yo and the “COVID sisters” keep her from sleeping at night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you’ve made it to AZ safely. I hope you’re able to enjoy your stay, recharge your batteries, and just relax.

      Had to laugh at the “COVID sisters” keeping your mom awake; apparently they have no respect, even for 103 a year old woman.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. My moms phrase lately is “I’m not 9, I’m 97”. I asked what she meant by that and she talked about feeling lonely. Was she lonely when she was 9? I don’t know.


        1. I go over every Sunday afternoon. I’m lucky, there’s 4 other family members in town, so we all take turns. They’re all retired, and they travel, so we fill in as necessary. But Sundays are my regular days.
          I also monitor her Alexa so I can see what she’s talking about. And she calls all of us often. She called me four times on Friday. And when any of us leave she tears up and says to come Back again soon. But shortly after, won’t remember we were there anyway.
          She focus’ on getting her weekly menus filled out, she has to know where her two call buttons are, and she is trying to keep straight who’s leaving on vacation and who’s coming back. And that keep
          Her up at night.
          Everyone needs a hobby!

          Liked by 1 person

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