Hard Facts

Today’s Farm Report comes from Ben.

Have you heard the phrase “If you want something done, ask a busy person”. That’s been in my head lately. I heard it a long time ago and I think it’s true. The reasoning behind that must be that a busy person will fit something else into their schedule. Good time management I guess… when it matters anyway, maybe not so much when it doesn’t (as evidenced by how much time I spend watching YouTube.)

I found out on Monday, that the two slabs of concrete I am expecting this summer, the indoor slab will be coming Friday. Uh…. Crap! I mean GREAT! I spent Tuesday moving machinery out of the shed. I pulled out the fertilizer wagon and that will have to sit outside for a while. I condensed the 5 boxes of crap my dad put in the shed when they moved out of their house, into one small tote worth saving and the rest went to metal recycling or garbage. Sorry Dad. I put some pallets out and sorted lumber into nice piles, and I moved some down to the barn where there’s another pile of 6×6 posts and left over Trex Decking.

I moved all the machinery out, moved the two smaller tractors out, moved the lawn mowers out, moved the 100 gallon oil totes, then started replacing machinery in such a way I can still get to the seed wagon, and have room for the corn planter and soybean drill and still be able to get them out, while keeping the North end of the shed clear and open.

There was a lot of smaller stuff to move yet. Wednesday I moved Ladders, storage racks, jacks, wood blocks, the old oil barrel stand, and cut 4’ off the end of the work bench.

FYI, I have a LOT of wood blocks.

It’s always surprising to me how many wood blocks I have. They are one of those things you just never know which one you’ll need, or how many of what size, so we have lots. It might be out in the field and the ground is soft, so I need multiple long blocks to make a base, then a few to support the jacks. It might be blocks to support four corners of a wagon box while I change the running gear under it. Sometimes that’s a 6×6, sometimes it’s a 4×4, and sometimes it’s just a 2×4 to block a tire. It’s crazy that I have this many blocks. Perhaps I won’t put them all back. Bet I will.

As the day went on, I found myself spending more time sitting in the tractor, ‘thinking’,  when I moved to the next job…I’d sit there for several minute before I could get myself out and moving.

Keith, the man who was Best Man at our wedding in 1990, stopped to visit. He lives out in Stamford New York now, but had a business meeting in Minneapolis, so he spent an extra day and came down. We hadn’t seen each other since about 1995. It was really nice to see him. And he helped me move some of that extra stuff.

Circa about 1990 and 2023.

As the day went on, there was less ‘sorting and stacking’ and more just tossing it out of the way. Like any home remodeling project, I won’t be able to find what I want for the next month…

There’s been a pheasant strutting through the yard like he owns the place. The dogs lie behind my car and watch him. We hear a lot of pheasants calling not too far away. They don’t come out for corn anymore like they do in winter. And I’ve seen some out in the fields that don’t seem to be too scared of me or the tractor. But this one in the yard, he’s strutting his stuff and he doesn’t seem to care who sees him.

Saw a couple Sandhill Cranes in a field. Saw the Northern Lights on Sunday night. Happen to look down between the back door and the deck and discovered 30 or 40 chicken eggs.

Shoot. Someone is gonna have to shimmy under there and get them. Come July, I don’t see this being a good situation. I blocked the hole on the side of the deck that I suspect is where the chicken(s) was getting in. Maybe that also explains why Bailey hasn’t eaten her food in 3 days and I found an eggshell in the front yard.

I got the road graded using all three hydraulic options on the blade and it was very nice. Tilt, angle, shift. I cut down the edges so rain water will run off the road, pulled in gravel from the winter, and I unintentionally pulled in a lot of dirt too. Left it all on the edge of the road to settle for a few weeks, then will grade it all back onto the road.

One of my former work study students from the college stopped to visit with her 2.5 month old baby girl. That was a nice visit. And Krista made the egg run and it was good to see her.

Last of the college shows this weekend. Music concert at the college next Thursday with Choir, Band, World Drum Ensemble, and a new Chamber Group. And then it’s onto Commencement. I’ve been coordinating, scheduling, and doing paperwork for that. We’ll hang a few lights next week before the stage is placed.

I don’t know about farming this week or next. We shall see what we shall see.

Doing some local straw deliveries too.

One day at a time, one day at a time.



46 thoughts on “Hard Facts”

  1. I saw the photos of you with that former work student’s baby on FB. I also saw, and noted, her comment. Confirmed what I already knew about you, Ben, though we have never met. For the benefit of those baboons who are not on FB – or those who are but didn’t see it, here’s her comment: “This past Wednesday we got to see the best work-study boss Ben Hain!! The one who broke my fear of heights, taught me to build sets, program lights for shows and anything your brain could possibly imagine he was there, we have built a long time friendship over the years since 2015. It was great seeing you!! We think the world of you! 🥰🤗❤️”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. There is so much to love about today’s blog, Ben. Thanks for starting off the weekend for us on such a positive note.

    I love that you not only saw the Northern Lights, but actually captured them on camera or a phone. I wouldn’t be surprised if you viewed this as Mother Nature giving you a run for your money in the lighting department?

    And the before and now photos of you and Keith are priceless. I know from photos taken at Steve’s “Tree Cutting Party” that you’re of “average” height. Keith must be quite tall? You two look like you really enjoy eachother.

    The idea of that pheasant strutting his stuff in your yard with the dogs looking on from behind your car strikes my funny bone. As does the notion of the some chicken running a self-serve buffet of raw eggs for the dogs right under your nose. Considering the price of eggs today, you have a small fortunate stashed away there.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I know of people who have fasted for health reasons, and a couple who do it with some regularity. I have fasted only in preparation for surgery other medical procedures that required it. I get headaches if I don’t eat – I know that sounds like an excuse – but that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I love your posts, Ben. You sure do work hard! You must use the bucket on your tractor to move all that stuff in your shed. It makes me exhausted just reading about everything you do!

    I saw the post of you holding the baby. It was a touching photo and it did say a lot about you.

    I guess I’m waiting to see about spring. Even though my gardens are only in clay pots these days, I’m starting to get kinda itchy about getting my hands in some soil.

    Yes, I have fasted and I have found it to be a very good way to jump start a new diet. The last time I fasted was in January and I have not had any processed foods or foods that are made with a high sugar content since then. I have been able to stick to whole foods, or those you can recognize just by looking at them, or those with fewer than five ingredients.

    I’m off to meet VS at the Co-op for egg delivery!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. When I got to “As the day went on…” my jaw dropped open – you mean that was all in one day? You’re making me tired – must feel very satisfying to have done all that.
    Also fun to see your “before and after” photos with Keith.
    Back later to do questions…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m waiting to see the outcome of some criminal investigations and trials…

    I’ve fasted a couple of times back in my twenties or thirties. At least two days, probably more like four. Two doesn’t seem significant enough.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m watching those trials with interest, too. Talk about someone strutting his stuff and perpetually thumbing his nose at everyone and everything, including the law. It would be really satisfying to see him convicted. I realize, of course, that even if he is convicted, the possibility exists that we’ll never see him in an orange jumpsuit. I’m hoping that enough of his dirty laundry will have been exposed during these trials that even his ardent supporters will realize what a truly despicable person he is. Alas, I’m not holding out much hope for that to happen.

        Liked by 6 people

  7. We had such a shed, Ben, gravel floor was good enough. In a back corner we had piles of blocking. My father would help people level up floors, rarely for pay. there was never enough, you are right. When he moved in 1965, a company from Duluth came and bought all the blocking and his 8 or so track jacks, railroad term for the old screw jacks used to lift heavy weights.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That was Clyde . Thumb slipped. Grand daughter got good pictures of northern lights on her phone in Brookings. I have meant to do a fast/retreat but taking the time away . . .

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Screw Jacks. Yes, I moved three of them out of the corner. One is about 3′ tall and takes two hands to move. The other two are a little smaller. They’re kinda neat.
      I remember Dad using them to support the old Grainery when he had a new foundation and basement wall put under it. He borrowed a few from neighbors to go with ours.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    In a few minutes we are leaving to pick up our puppy—much like Renee months ago. But our breeder is right here in Minnesota. So that is what I am waiting to see about. Bootsy is going with us, but she does not know yet what she is in for. But this morning I dropped my phone and it does not work, so when we arrive back here I have to see about that. This seems to be a week of tech problems.

    I have fasted for various tests and surgeries. I never enjoy that process, but it must be done. The worst is the fasts, then the process for a colonoscopy. But my grandma died of colon cancer so I never, ever talk myself out of this.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. The first night was what I expected—lots of whimpering and crying. But she also did that in the car when we had her in a kennel. She does a puppy howl which is so darn cute I can’t stand it! We have her on our heated porch because it has a hard floor that is easily cleaned. It is also at the other end of the house from our bedroom so we could not hear her. She is settling right in at this point. She loves to be held.

          Bootsy is remaining aloof, but is allowing sniffing and a little bit of interaction which is better than I expected.

          Liked by 3 people

  9. 1969 and 1970 high school proms.
    I took the same gal. She was much, much, much “older”, a freshman and then sophomore at Moorhead State. Great dancer.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I related this to Baboons year’s ago. My date was little younger than teachers we had. Rose was hot, I was (and remain)not hot. She taught us all line dance in 1969 before there was such a thing.
      Here is song to which the whole class strutted their stuff.https://youtu.be/lNeP3hrm__k

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Annual meeting went well. Now I am waiting to see where we are going to go out to eat to celebrate, probably Golden China, where we haven’t been in years.
    I am also waiting to see when we finally get spring…

    I’ve only managed a health-oriented fast for a couple of days, and then I did have fruit or juice, I think. More successful was the cabbage soup diet – not a fast by any means, but if felt like it.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I can’t think of any strutting on my part. But wouldn’t that be the case? That the struttee sees it that way but the strutter is oblivious?

    Fasting – once in college, I signed up for a week long fasting experience. We fasted all day and then got one big bowl of rice at the end of the day. I’m pretty sure it was a “spotlight on world hunger” kind of thing, but I’m not sure. I assume it was difficult but I don’t really remember it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. There was a suggestion going around in the 80’s that people fast one entire day once a month, and donate the estimated money they would have spent on food to a charity that was addressing world hunger. The point was partly to raise the money, but also to make people more aware of how we take food for granted.

    I tried it, and it was very unsettling. It wasn’t so much that I was physically hungry, but eating is a really ingrained habit. I did okay as long as I was working or otherwise keeping myself busy, but as soon as I got home and had leisure time, the thing I most wanted to do was eat. I was accustomed to accompanying the evening activities with food, and it just felt like something was missing. Pretty sure I only did it once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never really been into snacking, so this notion of always having to be stuffing something in my mouth or otherwise keep my hands and mouth connected, is foreign to me.

      That said, when our friend Jon was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and was unable to eat or drink, I discovered how closely I associate food with love and caring. It was extremely hard just visiting, talking and listening, it seemed like something was missing. I now have another friend who is dying from that same dreaded disease, and the sensation is the same. There is no way I can “help” in any way, all I can offer is my presence, and it just doesn’t seem enough.

      Liked by 1 person

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