House of the Rising Sun

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

I heard the song the House of the rising Sun on the radio the other day. Why is that song so cool, so iconic? I know it’s about avoiding a life gone wrong, but it’s so fun. I love that guitar opening, the organ, the rhythms, and the harmonies. And there are so many bad covers of it. (Dolly Parton? Really? Really. Her version is barely recognizable.)

A busy week again. I did finally get concrete in my shed. It’s going to be awesome. We thought it would be last Thursday. Thursday turned into Friday turned into Monday turned into Tuesday and finally Wednesday before concrete actually showed up, but I have cement! Thursday they checked it out, Friday they excavated all the dirt. Monday rock was delivered and they moved that inside and packed it and put rebar in place. Nothing on Tuesday and then concrete delivered on Wednesday. Two trucks, 18.5 yards. Thursday they came back and took the forms off and backfilled the dirt. And Friday, yesterday, they plan to cut the lines in it. I shouldn’t drive a tractor on it for at least two weeks while it fully cures. Concrete is a fascinating material. Magnesium trowels smooth it out, but steel trowels bring the paste to the top. I don’t understand why that is. They had to go rent a power trowel and they bought a soft cut saw. They have a lot of this equipment, it’s just down in Florida, where the boss is starting a second branch. Business is good in the Concrete world. 

Barn swallows came back on May 2. The sandhill cranes have been around again. The pheasant is still strutting his stuff. All of those things remind me of Steve.

And unfortunately, the coyotes are back too. Bailey had a good eye out early one morning, and Kelly got a shot at one of them. Surprising, the coyotes ran a half a mile away, and made a second attempt. I fired again just to scare them off, too far away to think I could actually hit one. The dogs spent quite a while following the scent. The next day, the dogs chased them away again before they got so close and they haven’t come back since then. Yet. Good dogs, good dogs. Extra treats for you.

Kelly got a sore throat last Tuesday which turned into Covid by Thursday. A few days later I got a sore throat, but I’m still testing negative and other than a runny nose and cough, I’m doing OK. Thankfully. I have things to do. And I’m starting to get a complex. Back in 2019 I got through commencement and then I got cellulitis on my leg and spent a week in the hospital and wasn’t allowed to get in the tractor for a month. And then, of course, last year and everything. I’m starting to think it is commencement that messes me up. I didn’t have any issues in 2020 or 2021 when we didn’t have commencement ceremonies or any of this spring business. 

I put the outdoor faucet back on the well house and hooked up the hoses so it’s a little easier watering the chickens. This week at the college was the concert, just the one on Thursday night. Because band rehearsal is Monday and Wednesday and choir rehearsal is Tuesday and Thursday, I never see a full rehearsal of both groups so I have to make up a lot of stuff as I’m going. It’s just the way it is. Educated guesses are helpful. This is nothing new…it’s been the norm for a few years. But at least I don’t go to my office after the show and pout anymore. Or come home and drink.

Next week Monday and Tuesday is set up for commencement. Wednesday morning is l nurse pinning ceremony on the commencement stage, and that evening is the regular college commencement. It all comes down Wednesday night and Thursday I’ll see what else I can find to do. Takes me a few days to get everything put away at the college theater.

Haven’t had any ducks now for a while, even the two males that I had flew away I think. Chickens seem to be doing OK but they have started hiding eggs in random places so my daily collection is down. I have to check all the corners and dark places to see if there are eggs hiding in random places.

Still have seven guineas. Baby chicks will arrive June 1.

The oats finally started to appear on Wednesday when the temps got up to 60°. Finally getting that green haze that makes me so excited. Whew. Sure is nice to see it growing and know I didn’t screw it up. 

Got the snow fence down one day. It was kinda fun; between my knee and shoulder, the snow fence has been a pain. Literally. 

Watching corn prices, it’s been over $6 / bushel since last fall, and usually drops in the spring as this year’s crop acres are predicted. I had 2000 bushels in storage from last fall. I sold that this week; missed the highest price, but it’s sure better than when corn was $3 / bushel. Predictions for this year’s crops are 91.99 million acres of corn and 87.51 million acres of and the “experts” say they’re not worried about the late spring in the northern states.

I see a few people cutting grass. That’s coming next. 

I’ve done some fieldwork with my tractor buddy Bailey, and I’ve got the planter ready to go.

The co-op spread corn fertilizer late Thursday so I can start planting corn if the weather cooperates on Friday. Between my three meetings and a show Friday night.



50 thoughts on “House of the Rising Sun”

    1. Hey John, I don’t know if you saw yesterdays blog, but I have finally gotten around to starting Illusion. I’m not too far in, but I do have a question. Did the virus cause everybody to change immediately or did the virus change when they were born? I can go back and read it if I have to but I was wondering, did everybody change all at once when they all got the vaccine or was it a gradual thing over a couple of generations?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Depends on the definition of “gone wrong”, I guess. My dad wanted me to be a teacher, and I only lasted 4 years in that profession… ended up doing some office admin., but also a lot of bookselling jobs, which I considered a form of education, just in the “come-and-get-it” mode.

    I read the other day about No Mow May – waiting till June to cut the grass to help the pollinators – here’s one article.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Who has grass yet? Not me. Not that I have a lot of grass when I do have grass.


  2. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I also am doing “No Mow May” which Barb posted already. Thank you BIR. We had to re-seed much of the back yard following the damage done by tree removal equipment when we had our dead ash tree taken down. The company warned us this might happen. A lot of it we re-seeded with Bee Lawn seed which appears to be taking hold. In combination with “No Mow…” it should have a good start this spring given all the moisture in the soil. Then once you get it started and mow again, you set the mower as high as it will go to allow more flowers for the pollinators.

    Have I avoided a life gone wrong? Like Barb, that depends on who you ask. I don’t even know if I should post the rest of this paragraph because it seems like self-pity. I generally avoid my mother’s family. At one point I was my mother’s shame and I am still clearly the family’s black sheep. Mom has never known what to do with me. Becoming a psychotherapist did not help them feel more comfortable with me. However, I was pretty stunned by several cousins’ response to me recently. When I attended my aunt’s funeral last fall, my cousin Carol ran to me and hugged me saying she had missed me so much and that I am the bravest person she has ever known. That bewildered me because I don’t even know what she is talking about. Her older sister once tried to cast a hex on me after I asked her to leave my home. Yes, really. That was her post-divorce struggle and pagan years. I wish I was joking but I am not.

    This Baboon-ish Trail seems to fit me just fine. In my professional world I have not gone wrong and I have many people in that world who love and care for me, and value my contributions. And I pay my taxes, so the IRS likes me, too. But I am sitting here with an IRS letter saying I have to call them to provide identifying information. I dread that call, as well as the waiting required.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Linda (the aforementioned spouse with the sturdy work ethic) went no-mow until about a week ago. Wildflowers prospered, as did the bees. Our mowing service is champing at the bit to get started, so she carved out the strongest patches to be left wild, and I have to say it looks splendid.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I hope your mowing service isn’t one of those that are spraying whole neighborhoods with poisons to kill weeds. If it is, your “wild” area will be devastated in no time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Most of our yard is garden and flower beds. There is very little to mow, and we never water what lawn we have. We won’t mow for weeks.

    I could have made a wrong turn marrying someone with considerable baggage before I met Husband. I am so thankful I declined. It has always seemed to me that we are in exactly the right place out here where we are needed and where we need to be. When I retire, then we will move.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The empty lot next to me is planted primarily to keep the city off the owner’s back. He hires it done because it does not produce much of a crop. One year no one would plant it. It would have been wonderful for pollinators but instead it was sprayed a few times.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Made 3 wrong decisions in my life, no doubt about it, but the first two led to good things in my life, such as Sandy. The third was a big error driven by depression. But my whole life has been centered down here because of my children’s choices. So hard to imagine us back up north the last 25 years.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. We have not yet cut our grass. Last year someone offered us the mantra of “no mow may”, and I’m sticking with it, grateful NOT to reside on one of the Tulip lanes here in Holland, MI where yards are supposed to look nice for all the tourists this week.

    I used to think that it was good religion that saved me from a life gone wrong, but of late i’fe come to understand that it was mainly fear of “getting in trouble.”

    Liked by 4 people

  7. i always tell my kids to be sure not to miss the stuff i have to teach on what not to do . it’s some of my best stuff. i do look back and realize what could have been if i hadn’t chosen the path i did but in reality i would change more than 2 or 3 things … maybe 4 maybe 7

    i’m still hoping to hit my stride one of these days

    son in the basement took over lawn mowing and i’m not involved
    he has not cut yet

    he got fired last week , his boss lost his business in essence and laid off all 50 employees so the head office guy is out too
    he’s thinking about what’s next
    i’m betting he’ll be fine

    he’s learned not to jump in with both feet
    learned that from me in what not to do lessons

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Dylan put house of the rising Sun on his original album Bob Dylan in 1960 long before Eric Burton and the animals did it and he had to ask Dave van Ronk if it was OK because it was part of Dave’s regular deal and Dylan knew that Dave was thinking about putting it on an album as well. Dave told him go ahead and I enjoy the version very much but I don’t think it turned into a hit for him at all.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s not Dave van Ronk’s version of what happened. In an interview in the documentary “No Direction Home,” Dave gives his recollection of what went down. That version is also the story I’ve heard straight from Dave’s mouth.

      It is true that the song was a sort of signature piece for Dave, he had been singing it for years, and was planning on putting it on his next recording. He claimed that Dylan, unbeknownst to Dave, had already recorded Dave’s version of it, and it was released despite Dave’s request that he at least wait until he had recorded it himself. I might add that Joan Baez had recorded it on her first album, two years before either of them released theirs.

      Of course, this is an old song, the origins of which are of some disagreement. Many early versions of it have been released by well known artists going back to Roy Acuff, Lead Belly, and Woody Guthrie. The Weavers recorded it in the late 1940ies or early 1950ies. Odetta did a powerful rendition of it, as did Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone, so this is by no means Dave van Ronk’s song, but he had put a bit of a different spin on it, if you will. This was the source of some hard feelings between them. Now, I will say this, Dave was a great story teller, and he was not shy about embellishing them if it made for a better story, and this may be one of them.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Wow, PJ, lots of info there about the source of the song. Who knows. Maybe Shakespeare wrote it? Or one of these guys stole it from their wife? But I have never liked that song much.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ve always thought that it should be sung from the point of view of a woman protagonist. The line “It’s been the ruin of many a poor boy” has always sounded unconvincing to me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s because you fail to consider how many young men have squandered their lives on booze and loose women. (I’m not serious! Please don’t shoot me.)
          Now that I think of it, the song is pretty old; how many women were writing songs back then? The answer, of course, is that we don’t know, so it could go either way.

          Liked by 3 people

    1. I wrote about having the fields soil tested and done in a ‘grid pattern’ two years back. Lime was applied to half two falls ago, and the other half last fall. Agronomists figure soil samples are good for about 5 years.
      The co-op and I then talk about goals or problems and they figure out what I need. I thought they were able to do custom applications on rates then, but that’s more complicated than they can do in regard to more or less / acre. Not something I could do either. (Because the spreader only has two tanks and they’re applying multiple products. More time equals more money).
      Another example: I wanted to try a delayed nitrogen application. Some now as starter fertilizer, and then some later just before tassling when the corn needs a boost again. But it’s not economically feasible for me to have them do it. If I was able to do it myself, it might make more economic sense.

      I am trying a fungide this year on both corn and beans. Last year I did the beans and it really seemed to help. The neighbors have shown about 10-15 bushel / acre increase with that. (then figure price / bushel and the cost of the product and application / acre and see if it’s a win or loss).
      Application by air is cheaper than application by ground, so trying that this year.

      Liked by 4 people

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