Category Archives: Games

Could Be Worse

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

At least it’s not ‘Lake Effect’ snow.

I’m kinda grumpy about this weather. It feels like January and it’s only November.

I was feeding the ducks the other morning and while I was in the feed room getting another bucket of corn, I noticed a couple of them fly up to where I had spread the corn. Of our 10 ducks, only a couple are actual mallards that can fly, the black and white ones, (The Swedish breed) and the poufy one can’t fly. And then I saw Rosie, the new black duck fly in! I didn’t notice if Guildy can fly too, but Rosie sure did. And they do have a sleeker look than the other non-flying ducks. What interesting cross breeding is what I thought. And good for them! Can’t you just imagine their delight and surprise when they figured out they could fly too?? How cool.

Driving around town the other day I saw a car with a headlight out. And I thought to myself ‘PI-DIDLE!’ only I was alone and didn’t have anyone to kiss, so it had to wait until I got home. Are you familiar with the term ‘Pi-didle’? Meaning a car with one headlight? And then you kiss your date. Or that’s how I heard it. When I googled the term, I got a few other definitions, including some not suitable for this website. Most include touching the ceiling of your car and / or punching someone.

I thought that was only when you saw a ‘slug-bug’.

This (clean) site has some official rules for the pi-didle game:

https://www.angelfire.com/pa4/mjr300psu/pididle.html

Got any other local colloquialisms about cars?

They are just starting to harvest my corn as I write this on Friday. The corn would have been out earlier this week if the weather wasn’t so crappy. (Sweeping generalization on the weather) Because mine goes to the elevator and theirs they take home, they plan to do mine during the day when the elevator is open, then work on theirs in the evening. Couple days they’ll be done. When he and I spoke earlier this week I was optimistic I might yet be able to get some fieldwork done. With the temps the last few days, I’ve kinda given up on that. Although I just put a couple driveway markers in around the yard and the ground wasn’t frozen here. So…. Maybe?? I’ll give it a try tomorrow.

The corn kernels themselves are not sensitive to picking up moisture like soybeans or other crops are. But the snow on the leaves gets inside the combine harvester and makes everything wet and then things plug up and it just makes a mess. So we either need warmer weather to melt the snow off, or colder weather to reduce the moisture in the snow. I guess we opted for colder.

Normally I’d wait for the corn to be out, then mow the roadsides down so they’re clean and won’t catch snow, then we get the driveway markers installed. Always a fun day when daughter and I ride in the gator or 4-wheeler and she pounds the fiberglass markers in. Every time, as she readies the hammer, she quotes Homer Simpson, “Steady…. Steady…” You’ll have to google that if you’re not familiar with it. Anyway, all that is more fun when it’s 40°F than it is when it’s 20°F. I may be doing it myself at 20°.

There’s a local guy named ‘Machinery Pete’.  He’s been reporting on farm auctions since 1989 and he’s very well respected for that. His name is Greg Petersen and evidently he’s a pretty good golfer too.

https://www.machinerypete.com

On his facebook page, it seems this year every post starts with “New record high price” for that particular piece of machinery. Should we blame Covid for that too? Well, sort of. The usual material sourcing issues led to shortages on new equipment, which led to demand for good quality used equipment, which lead to higher prices. Plus crop prices are high, land values are high, so…everything is high. But I have to laugh that there’s always a new high price. “Fourth record high price on 1992 tractor!” Is fourth record high a thing?

I haven’t filled my diesel barrel yet. I order 500 gallons which will last a year for me. I read of a large dairy farm out in New York, he said they got 7000 gallons delivered on Sunday and that would last them 25 days. Yikes!

Today, I took the day off ‘work’ work to get a few things done here at home. I’m gonna go mow the roadsides. Maybe that will blow the snow off the road too. Or I’ll hook the blade up and scrape off this couple inches on the road. Time to get it in the shed I guess.

I stopped at one of the local theaters today to check on some things. Someone used an orange extension cord to plug in an artificial tree onstage. It’s an unwritten rule that you only use black or dark green cords onstage. Orange cords on the stage drive me bonkers. Why doesn’t everyone know this!!?? How many times do I have to tell you this??

I know what I’ll be doing Saturday. Fieldwork.

WHAT WILL YOU DO THIS WEEKEND?

The Game’s Afoot

This chess game has been ongoing for a couple of years – in the front yard of a house about 15 blocks up from my house.  I’ve always been intrigued by it, mostly because I’m not a big “decorations in the yard” type of gal. 

The other intrigue has to do with the fact that my natural instinct is to say “the cat is going to crush the dog”.  My second instinct is to say “why is the bird watching so intently?”  Personally I think watching games like chess and GO are akin to watching the proverbial paint dry.

Personally I like dice games because if you lose, you can always blame it on bad luck with the dice.  Aggravation, Sorry, Parchesi, even Monopoly.  I know the rules of chess and GO but haven’t played either for years. I’m also fond of trivia games.

Do you think cats are better chess players than dogs?

Dish Drainer Jenga

I saw a funny picture on Facebook last week – dish jenga.  I laughed because it’s true – at least in my life.

Usually it doesn’t come to this but on Monday, it was the perfect dish drainer jenga storm.  YA took the last brownie to work – an empty Tupperware.  Cooked down the last of the raspberries into a sauce. Made a bundt cake – mixing bowl and then bundt pan.  Three jars of pesto – that was a biggie as it uses the salad spinner and most of the food processor and accessories.  Then add in the dishes from breakfast as well as all the measuring cups, spoons and spatulas for all the morning endeavors and I was well and truly jenga’d. 

If the dishwasher were working I suppose I could have filled it up instead and if I’d been willing to get out a dishtowel to dry, I could have put things away as I was working.  But for some reason, while I am willing to stop between steps of projects to wash things, washing AND drying doesn’t seem like a good use of time when I know dishes will dry on their own.  I’m guessing this is the kind of thought process that results in most folks who end up with dish jenga.

I’ve never liked the actual Jenga game very much.  The groups I’ve played in haven’t managed to keep the game going very long and it’s not that much fun when you are constantly having to pick up all the pieces.  And life-size Jenga is terrifying; I only played it once on the beach in St. Thomas and it gave me nightmares.

What are your favorite board games?

Learning How To Fetch

Our puppy is a delightful little fellow who never misses an opportunity to teach us new things. These past couple of weeks he taught us to fetch. We didn’t even know it until recently.

Kyrill loves to play with balls. He rolls them around and chases them. They often roll under the sofa and love seat in the livingroom, and the space is too small for him to retrieve them, so he barks and we get them for him.

I became suspicious of the sheer volume. of balls that were going under the furniture. I draped blankets in front of the sofa and love seat to block balls from rolling under, and then I noticed him roll the balls under the unblocked ends of the furniture. He was doing this on purpose! This was a Terrier game!

The Cesky Facebook group told me this is typical of the breed, and they all have yardsticks close at hand to retrieve all the toys their dogs like to shove under the furniture. Who would have guessed?

What are you favorite and least favorite games to play. What have animals taught you? Who has been the most successful getting you to do what you don’t want to do?

What’s My Line?

Wednesday night, husband and I attended a meeting at church for the people in the congregation who volunteer and serve most often. There were about fifty of us there, and the aim of the meeting was to brainstorm to identify and recruit more people in the congregation who could also do what we do. Our pastor is worried about burn out for us. There are about seven hundred active members in our church.

There are a lot of committees and groups that are essential for keeping our services and programs running. At the meeting were the ushers, people from the altar guild, the assisting ministers, the musicians, service committee, and Wednesday School teachers (we have Wednesday school instead of Sunday School). Husband and I are primarily assisting ministers and musicians. I was fascinated to observe how the jobs we volunteer for at church seem to fit our various personalities.

The folks in the usher group were the most gregarious in the meeting. Ushers like to meet and greet, and we had to keep shushing them so we could hear what the other participants were saying. Husband and I were in the group that was coming up with names for the assisting ministers. I I noted our group was made up of all professionals and the most educated of all the participants. We were also the most serious. The assisting ministers serve communion and read the lessons, which can be sort of sobering.

The altar guild makes sure the front of the church looks perfect before services, and that the altar cloths are wrinkle free and even, the wine and wafers are all ready for communion, the candles are lit, and the decorations and banners are seasonal and tidy. While the rest of us were seated haphazardly in the meeting room I was tickled to see that the members of the altar guild were all seated perfectly evenly spaced around their table.

The money counters were the quietest participants. They come on Wednesdays and count the Sunday collection and bring it to the bank for deposit. It seemed to me that as a group they don’t want to draw a lot of attention to themselves with the money in their safe keeping.

The service committee decorates the rest of the church that the altar guild doesn’t decorate, and provides and serves the food at funeral lunches and church potlucks. They were more likely than the rest of us to see congregation members in venues outside of the Sunday services, and seemed to have the low down on the names that were suggested for various committees. “Don’t ask Marlon to be an assisting minister. He won’t want his wife to sit by herself during the service,” and “They can’t help as youth mentors unless they have childcare. They have little ones at home, you know”.

I suppose it isn’t surprising that people are drawn to activities that suit their temperaments, but it was just delightful to notice now blatant were the differences between the groups.

Are there tasks you are drawn to or repelled by in the groups or organizations you belong to? What old game shows did you watch when you were a kid?

Retiring? Who Me?

Photo credit:  Aaron Burden

The announcement about my retirement has finally been made (took my boss and her boss about three weeks to try to talk me out of it).

One of my co-workers, in a very serious tone said “but what are you going to do with all your time”.  She wasn’t joking (although I had assumed she was).  How could she not know me after working in the same department for 20 years together.

Without even a thought I rattled off:

    • Reading
    • Gardening
    • Cooking/Baking
    • Crafting
    • Walking the dog
    • Volunteering
    • Home improvement projects
    • Travel
    • Hang with friends

I put an app on my phone that is counting down for me.  Kinda fun.  Right now as I’m typing it’s: 1 month, 18 days, 15 hours, 53 minutes and 32 seconds.

Anything I’m missing on my list?

 

You Didn’t Want THAT To Happen!

Often times in my play therapy room, a toy is inadvertently broken. The child almost always feels horrible, and my stock response is “You didn’t want THAT to happen”, and there is no scolding and we move on.

Saturday, our three year old grandson and a female friend the same age were pretend sword fighting in the family room of our son’s house. Our grandson likes to pretend he is Darth Vader. (He has never seen a Star Wars movie, but knows about Vader.) His friend inadvertently wacked the large screen TV with the wooden block she was using as a sword, and the whole screen shattered. That girl packs a good punch. I am glad she wacked the TV and not our grandson. Our grandson announced at Christmas that he was going to marry her.

Son and DIL were having friends over for a Super Bowl party yesterday so a new TV was hurriedly purchased. I think that any future sword fighting will take place outside. We don’t want THAT to happen again.

What do you remember breaking as a child? Did you ever have any serious accidents? Have you ever participated in fencing or the martial arts?

Is a Puzzlement…

YA and I both received jigsaw puzzles for the hoidays.  Since I had several days off, I thought it would be fun to get one of them started.  Of course, I should have realized that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree where jigsaw puzzles are concerned.

We started the puzzle about about 1:30 p.m., on the card table in the living room.  We finished the puzzle at 10:15 p.m.  With short timeouts for refreshing a beverage or making a quick sandwich, we both sat at the table until we were finished.

Sitting with her for that length of time I began to see some differences in how we approached the puzzle.  I like to go through all the pieces one by one at the beginning to find the edge pieces.  YA just like to sift through looking for edge pieces.  I tend to look for a piece that fits a particular spot.  YA likes to choose a piece and then figure out where it goes.  (Her method was seriously aided by a large fold out picture of the puzzle – which she hogged most of the day.)

The next morning my friend in Chicago texted me a photo of the puzzle she and her husband were working on.  They have all the pieces sorted by color and instead of assembling all the edges first, they work on sections by color.  It’s fascinating to realize that there are probably many other ways to work on a puzzled that I have never encountered or thought of.  I’m pretty sure that this realization will not change how I like to do puzzles although this will be tested out soon.  YA’s puzzle is made by the same company so I’m assuming it will have a large fold-out picture.  Maybe I can hog it when we sit down to do hers!

Any method to your madness (puzzle or otherwise)?

Buy Me Some Peanuts & Cracker Jacks

You all know I am not a big sports fan.  In fact, I think I’ve probably only been to 10 baseball games in my life.  Maybe 15.  I do enjoy the games when I’m there, but like Monday night, I come away with more questions than answers.

    • Why so many huddles? Visiting team did this six times.  Six!
    • Why don’t the outfielders get to huddle?  Don’t they feel left out?
    • Why is Hansel Robles called Caballo Blanco?
    • How many times can you actually hit a foul before you’re out? Seems like way more for some than others.
    • What’s with all the fidgeting on the pitcher’s mound and on the plate?
    • Why don’t relief pitchers get much of a chance? Four relief pitchers for home team, each only pitched 1 inning each.  Visiting team sent in one relief – but at least he didn’t mess around on the pitcher’s mound and just threw the ball!
    • Why do much spitting?
    • Why do they need to replace the bases halfway through the game?
    • If the game is tied at the bottom of the 9th and the bases are full when you come to bat, why do you keep swinging? Why not just hunker down and let the pitcher walk you?  Especially if you’re not all that tall?
    • Why do people go wild when they see themselves on the big screen?
    • Why, after paying so much to get in and then paying a boatload more for food, drink and merchandise galore, do so many people depart before the game is over?

Obviously none of these are burning, social-issue kinds of questions (well, maybe the spitting), but clearly not everything makes sense to me.  However, questions aside YA and I had a great time even when it went into overtime.

What is the meaning of life?

 

Summer Camps

Today’s post comes to us from Steve, who is at the extreme left above, petting the dog.

The pattern of sending kids off to summer camp is much stronger in the East than in the Midwest, but summer camps seem increasingly popular here. Kids from cities like New York or Boston might be shipped out to spend the whole summer in one or more camps. The Midwestern pattern is more likely to let kids live at home, perhaps attending one or more camps in the summer.

Camps used to be very traditional and outdoorsy, much like Boy Scout camps everywhere. Kids would play outdoors, swim, do crafts and have bonfire picnics. Modern summer camps are increasingly educational, perhaps teaching computer skills or a foreign language. My daughter has fond memories of Artward Bound, a camp that encouraged kids to engage with the visual arts. Alas, it no longer exists.

My first camp was Camp Matigwa, a Boy Scout operation. I was at an awkward age, shy and reclusive. They taught me to make a lanyard, which later made the Billy Collins poem all the funnier. We were supposed to swim once a day, but the water was cold and I was delighted to learn I could spend that hour at the camp’s “canteen” eating Baby Ruth bars instead.

I wore shorts on the day we took our first hike. I contacted some stinging nettle, which hurt like liquid fire until one of the counselors found some jewel weed, a plant whose sap canceled the nettle’s poison. The obvious lesson was that we should learn all about plants. I now suspect that our counselors staged the whole thing. They obviously knew where the nettle and the jewel weed grew, so I was the dupe they maneuvered to blunder into the nettles so they could showcase their expertise.

My favorite camp experience came in the summer of 1956 when I spent two delightful weeks riding horses at the Larry-Jo Dude Ranch near Boone, Iowa. We camped out, sang around a bonfire, groomed horses and took two trail rides each day. On my faithful horse, Margarita, I twice won the water relay event at our end-of-camp rodeo.

But the big event from that summer was when we played hide-and-seek on horseback. Pardon me for telling a story I’ve told before. We rode south of the ranch to a patch of woods. I had been assigned to ride Diablo, a large white mare that was the fastest horse in camp. But Diablo was lame that afternoon. When we divided up to go hide ourselves, I was stuck riding the largest, whitest, slowest horse in camp. I dismounted and led Diablo into a little gully where we could hide under some overhanging shrubs.

It was so exciting my heart still races when I remember it. Horses thundered all over the woods, kids screaming and tagging each other. I knew enough about psychology to know that time passes slowly when you are hiding like that, so I kept squelching the impulse to come out. Then the noises stopped. After what seemed an eternity, I ventured out of the gully. The woods were empty. Everyone had gone back to the ranch house, obviously unaware they were one buckaroo short.

As a courtesy to my lame horse, I held Diablo’s reins and walked her for half an hour back to the ranch. When I got to a hill overlooking camp, I saw three cop cars near the corral, their red and blue gumball lights madly spinning. And I understood: the town’s cops had been called in to find me.

The camp’s managers were delighted to find me perfectly alive and unharmed, but they infuriated me over and over. They kept calling me “the lost camper.” That was outlandish. I knew exactly where I was every minute of that day. They saw me as the lost camper although I saw myself as the hide-and-seek champion of all time.

Do you have any summer camp memories to share?