The cabinet guys come on Monday so I’ve been slowly but surely emptying the kitchen and breakfast room so they can do their work. In the breakfast room, along the windowsill, I found one of those temporary hooks filled with face masks. Various designs, although a preponderance of black. This kind of “put up a hook and hang stuff of it” is right up YA’s alley so the only surprise was that I hadn’t noticed it earlier. This is in addition to various other places we have masks, including a little pocket of them in my car.
Then later the same day, an Amazon package got delivered and YA came up stairs with two boxes of covid tests (I almost typed COVID-19 because that was the protocol at my job but now I don’t have to, do I?) When I asked YA why she got them she said “we’re running out”. There was a lot of testing around here when YA had covid in July and then we were seriously exposed the end of August, and then the first weeks of December to make sure my cold was really a cold.
In the last two weeks I’ve been to the theatre and to a concert. The concert required a mask and the theatre recommended (and I complied). YA and I mask on planes.
The new normal feels like it has snuck up on us, although considering we’re 3 years in, it’s kind of a silly way to think. But if you stop to think about it, most new normal do sneak up on you. I could never have imagined today’s technology and medical advances when I was a kid.
Anything you never thought you would ever get used but eventually did?
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.
Kyrill, our Cesky Terrier pup, was neutered on Tuesday. He was really good at leaving his incision alone at the Vet Office, but started licking it once we got him home, so I got a cone from the vet.
Kyrill hates it. It is made even more awkward by his shape. Kyrill has a long snout, so he needs a good sized cone to keep that long snout away from the incision. His legs are really short, though, so unless he holds his head up high, the cone drags on the floor. The cone also pushes away or obscures things he wants to pick up. This makes eating and drinking difficult.
We tried a soft cone that looks like a life preserver, but it wasn’t wide enough and allowed access to the incision.
I considered a dog recovery suit just for this purpose, but I couldn’t find one in town, and if I ordered one, it would take too long to get here. I also didn’t relish the idea of wrestling him into an infant onesie every time he needed to go outside. We can’t crate him easily with the cone on, so he hangs with us and looks miserable. We hope for quick healing so the cone can go away.
What are your experiences with the cone of shame? How do your animals handle being under the weather?
Boy, If I was gonna pick a week to stay inside, last week was the week to choose. Although 5 months ago when we set this up, I wasn’t expecting this weather yet. I think there’s some record of the second week of February being historically the coldest. I do remember February 1996. Daughter was born in 1995 and that February she was in the NICU with a bad cold. Kelly spent nights there with her. I was still milking cows and doing chores and it was -42° one morning. That’s the coldest I remember. An owl spent the night in the garage it was so cold. And some yahoo went 4-wheeling with his truck in one of our fields and got stuck and came into the barn looking for help. I wasn’t very nice to him, but I did pull him out. Eventually.
This cold weather is also a helpful remind that I didn’t turn all the heat on in the house this fall when it first got cold. Because we have electric heat, all the rooms have thermostats and individual breakers. I turn them all off in the summer. When it started getting chilly, I turned on some of them. They’re not all labeled, so I only turned on what I thought were the important ones.
Then later we started saying ‘It sure is cold in the living room’ forgetting that I hadn’t turned everything on. Until last week. I managed to get my knew knee (I know that’s wrong, I just enjoy the alliteration) down to the basement for several things, including going in to check that breaker panel and oh. Yea. Only about half are on. We don’t use the basement for much, so I set those all to about 50° and turned on all the heaters. Boy, there’s nothing like the smell of dust burning off a heater.
Got my grade for Meteorology class. ‘A’. I don’t take classes spring semester; too much other stuff going on.
The ducks are spending all their time in the pond with this cold weather. Maybe to stay warm, maybe to keep it from freezing. It has shrunk up a little bit as the stream of water coming into it is pretty light. We seem to have picked up a couple stray ducks. One flies away when Kelly approaches, but there’s still an extra in the pond too. Alumni? Possible. And the chickens don’t have much interest in coming out of the coop either. Kelly opens the doors and throws out corn for them. But no Thanks. We’re fine. They do have water, corn, and egg layer ration in the pens. No reason to come out if they don’t want too. The guineas come out a bit further, but even they don’t go far.
I’m getting around pretty well on the knee. Better than I would have expected at this point. It’s still uncomfortable due to some swelling, and it’s still all sorts of colors. I get a little stiff in the shin and calf. Takes a few steps to get the muscles and tendons loose and moving. Using a cane 50% of the time and walker 25% and nothing 25%.
I’ve hit the BDDT phase of recovery. ‘bored, discouraged, depressed, and tired’. Hard to sleep at night just cause I have a hard time getting comfortable. And eventually, lack of sleep just makes me grumpy. But I’m surviving!
Did you know there is drone racing on TV?? On NBC! With fancy lighting. And drones, which I don’t care so much for, but the lighting is cool. Found a lot of old B&W movies on these new TV channels (new to us. Something called ‘Pluto TV’ which I haven’t quite got all figured out). Jack Lemmon in ‘Operation Mad Ball’. Spencer Tracey in ‘The Last Hurrah’ (with Basil Rathbone and John Carradine. Man, what a long face he has! And he sure could scowl!) ’12 Angry Men’ and things like ‘The Professional’, and several versions of Pink Panther movies. Plus, ‘St. Vincent’ on Netflix. Highly recommended.
Kelly continues to be my rock star. Not only doing all her work, but my work too. She really has never liked cold weather, so extra accolades on her for getting up early and going out to collect eggs and feed everybody. The day she spilled water into her boot I thought she’d quit. But she’s almost starting to enjoy driving the tractor and plowing snow. Almost.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH A WEEK STUCK INSIDE?
Husband has always taken great pride in his leather belts and favorite buckles. For Christmas he asked for a black braided one with a silver buckle. His old braided one is wearing out.
Husband is very fussy about having what he considers just the right belt with just the right trousers. He is concerned, though, about the increasing difficulty he is having keeping his trousers up. He is turning into a skinny old guy. Pants and belts don’t fit the way they used to. He is thinking seriously about investing in suspenders.
He is worried that with suspenders, his shirts won’t stay tucked in the back. He used to wear suspenders in college in the 1970’s, considering them a badge of hippiedom and free thinking Now they are an old guy’s solution to drooping drawers.
What articles of clothing are you particular about? How do clothes fit differently now than in the past? Ever worn suspenders?
For twenty years I have been using various kinds of activities to ease my pain, especially rhythmic activities, which is why I rode a bike for so long. Which is why I drew/painted with pastels. I still don’t know if that is drawing or painting. I guess painting. However aging has taken both of those activities away from me. Life has added monumental stress and a diagnosis of migraines, which my neurologist says I have had for 30 years at least.
So I went back to art, at a much more forgiving level, sketching, in other words, at a level where I can accept the sudden jerks of my hands and my poor close range eyesight issues. I can be in a severe headache and force myself to sketch, get lost in the process, and then realize 15-30 minutes later how much lower my pain is. My neurologist is surprised by this. I pointed her towards the medical literature on it.
I sketch from photographs, some as old as 75 years. I get lost in the memory of the people, places, and events. Among my favorite are travel photographs, which I group together. So I thought I might spin off VS’s game. So can you identify, despite my poor hand where I was? Some are specific places, such as 1, 6, and 7. Or maybe you can identify the area or a similar area in 2, 3, 4, and 5. Two places should be easily identifiable to two Baboons, but then there is my weak art skill. A hint: I have only traveled in 46 states and four Canadian province.
December is proving to be a hard load to carry. How does December go for you?
Our puppy went to the groomer today. The groomer said he did splendidly, and was easy to work with. She did a really good job with him, and studied the photos and literature I gave her on Cesky terriers. She did a really good job on his beard today. His fur is turning more and more platinum. He started out as completely black as a newborn.
He has been so happy and relaxed since we got him home. I guess he liked all the attention and cossetting and brushing. It was a spa day for him. I have never been to a spa. I have never had a massage or a pedicure or manicure. I don’t know how I would react having someone so close and personal.
Kyrill told me that he was so handsome now that I should sign him up on a dating site so he could get a girlfriend. I told him that wasn’t going to happen. He gets neutered next week.
Have you ever been to a spa?What do you think it would be like to go to one of those spas in Baden-Baden, Germany? How would you describe yourself on a dating site?
Twice a year I take all my bedding off my bed – quilt, pillows, shams, allergy covers, dust ruffle – give it a thorough hot water wash and a long hot dry before putting it all back together again. This is part of my allergy abatement policy. I struggled for years before my adult-onset allergies were diagnosed and even 25 years later, I remember how miserable I was. So I take my allergy precautions pretty seriously.
The sheets get changed every Saturday in addition to my twice-a-year routine and as I was choosing which sheets tro use, I decided it was a good time to organize the linen cabinet. I discovered that all of YA’s sheets (yes, we have separate sheets; I like patterns, she likes solids) were all messed up with bottom sheets on different shelves than the matching top sheets.
When I asked her about it, I got the rolled eyes and a comment that she has only used bottom sheets for years and why was I just noticing it now. Then I asked about WHY no top sheet and she said that it’s a waste to get two sheets dirty instead of one and recommended I look it up. Apparently it’s a trend; you can even purchase just a bottom fitted sheet instead of an entire set.
If you don’t want to get a top sheet dirty, then aren’t you worried about getting your blanket, duvet, quilt dirty? Seems way easier to me to wash a top sheet than a duvet cover or quilt. Just one more thing about which I am clearly behind the times.
To add insult to injury, I like to put the top sheet pattern down so that when I get into the bed, I have pattern on all sides. Based on what I see online, I’m in the majority on this (it is apparently controversial), although I was dismayed in my online search to see Bedding 101 by Martha Stewart in which she walks the reader through how to make a bed. Seriously?
So what about you? One sheet or two? Pattern side up or down? Need help from Martha making your bed?
Husband had a dental filling on Monday. He came home, mouth and lips still numb from the anesthetic, and ate a slice of bread and laid down to take a nap.
I came home at 5:00 pm, and was shocked to see Husband’s lower lip. I exclaimed “You look like you were in a fight! What happened?” His lip was terribly swollen. He didn’t know what I was talking about at first, as his face was still numb from the dentist. Closer inspection revealed a gash on the inside of his lip, suggesting that he had bit his lip while eating the slice of his homemade sourdough loaf, and didn’t feel it because of the anesthesia. We iced it, and by yesterday it was much reduced although still red and sore looking.
One of my coworkers told the story of her husband the day before their wedding deciding to eliminate a hornets’ nest and getting stung on the eyelid, causing his eye to swell shut and turn all sorts of lurid colors.
Got any fat lip or black eye stories? Ever given anyone a black eye or a fat lip?
Yesterday the Fargo Forum reported that bar patrons in Maddock, ND, who were in the Maddock Bar the night of September 6 needed to be aware that they may have been exposed to rabies. It seems a rather intoxicated woman came into the bar holding a racoon she had rescued days earlier from the side of the road. She was asked to leave the bar, but not before she walked all around the bar showing people her racoon. The racoon was reportedly injured when she found it, and she had nursed it back to health and was keeping it as a pet. It is illegal to keep racoons or skunks as pets here due to the threat of rabies. They are still looking for the woman and her racoon. The bar employees say they are going to dress up as racoons for Halloween,
When I was about 6 years old, I tried lifting a friend’s rather fat beagle into my father’s fishing boat that was stored along side the garage. The beagle was not amused, and bit me on my face. It was just a nip, but my mother was panicked about it. The beagle’s owners refused to lock the dog up the required number of days to see if it was rabid, so I had to have a series of rabies shots. I got the shots under my shoulder blades. It was painful. I wouldn’t want to go through that again. The beagle wasn’t rabid, by the way, and he and I remained friends.
Know any good bar jokes? What animals would you like to see in bars? What are your experiences with rabies or rabies shots?