Monday, December 17, 2012

349 Christmas is the best of times.....

I will soon be dreaming of a White Christmas thanks to all the wonderment seen here...A roaring fire, a well stocked firewood cart a gift from Sharla and Jeffrey and this new leather recliner a gift from my gal Susan...yes I heard bells this morning and it was the door not sleigh bells as I first envisioned. But regardless Santa has come early to Wyandotte Road this year, at least at this address.

This chair looks like the makings of some great TV watching, fireplace staring, or just taking a nice nap as the fireplace burns and the noise of the TV leads me into dreamland.  Sometimes my dreams are affected a little by what I am hearing. In that case hopefully it is something soothing and not John Wayne telling some Pilgrim that he may just have to blow him away if he don't drop his gun and right now.  But most of the time, I dream good stuff about nonsense that really makes no matter and does not take much matter to dream about it either.

Couple all of this with a good movie on TV or the  newspaper, maybe a glass of my prize bourbon on ice and say Bing Crosby singing his very best version of "White Christmas" and you have the "best of times"....
Oh and even better yet sweet pea curled up on the love seat nearby and then we are definately entering into the Best or Times....Christmas time is a good time of the year..Although sometimes it seems to come a little to often, it really does not.  We do need to be reminded each year the real reason of Christmas...It is rather ironic how the media for the most part likes to play up or dwell on the commercial aspect of the season instead of the Christ childs coming and serving us all...But its up to each of us to sort this out and to know why and how to make it a good event each and every year....Merry Christmas to all.....

Monday, December 3, 2012

348 Tony Snow June 1,1955 to July 12, 2008

I recently came across the writings of Tony Snow on Death...I think it is a significant peice of work and worth the time to read..I hope you will take the time also. I liked Tony Snow maybe the best, fairest news man in recent times...Jack

Tony died July 12, 2008. Tony Snow did an interview a year before he died, where he explained what he thinks about his cancer and how it effects him and others. You can read it here, called Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings - by Tony Snow.

Blessings arrive in unexpected packages—in my case, cancer.
Those of us with potentially fatal diseases—and there are millions in America today—find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God's will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence What It All Means, Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.
The first is that we shouldn't spend too much time trying to answer the why questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can't someone else get sick? We can't answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.
I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It is what it is—a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.
But despite this—because of it—God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don't know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.
Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and friends. You fidget and get nowhere.
To regain footing, remember that we were born not into death, but into life—and that the journey continues after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction that stirs even within many nonbelieving hearts—an intuition that the gift of life, once given, cannot be taken away. Those who have been stricken enjoy the special privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and faith to live—fully, richly, exuberantly—no matter how their days may be numbered.
Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension—and yet don't. By his love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.
'You Have Been Called'
Picture yourself in a hospital bed. The fog of anesthesia has begun to wear away. A doctor stands at your feet; a loved one holds your hand at the side. "It's cancer," the healer announces.
The natural reaction is to turn to God and ask him to serve as a cosmic Santa. "Dear God, make it all go away. Make everything simpler." But another voice whispers: "You have been called." Your quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you love, closer to the issues that matter—and has dragged into insignificance the banal concerns that occupy our "normal time.

There's another kind of response, although usually short-lived—an inexplicable shudder of excitement, as if a clarifying moment of calamity has swept away everything trivial and tinny, and placed before us the challenge of important questions.
The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing though the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes (Spain), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.
There's nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue—for it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do.
Finally, we can let love change everything. When Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion, he grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried for Jerusalem before entering the holy city. From the Cross, he took on the cumulative burden of human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness on our behalf.
We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us—that we acquire purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God's love for others. Sickness gets us partway there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two people's worries and fears.
Learning How to Live
Most of us have watched friends as they drifted toward God's arms not with resignation, but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated Christ by transmitting the power and authority of love.
I sat by my best friend's bedside a few years ago as a wasting cancer took him away. He kept at his table a worn Bible and a 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. A shattering grief disabled his family, many of his old friends, and at least one priest. Here was a humble and very good guy, someone who apologized when he winced with pain because he thought it made his guest uncomfortable. He retained his equanimity and good humor literally until his last conscious moment. "I'm going to try to beat [this cancer]," he told me several months before he died. "But if I don't, I'll see you on the other side."
His gift was to remind everyone around him that even though God doesn't promise us tomorrow, he does promise us eternity—filled with life and love we cannot comprehend—and that one can in the throes of sickness point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.
Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it.
It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up—to speak of us!
This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.
What is man that Thou art mindful of him? We don't know much, but we know this: No matter where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how bleak or frightening our prospects, each and every one of us, each and every day, lies in the same safe and impregnable place—in the hollow of God's hand.

Jack again, "Somehow I just know that if we have a news show in Heaven, we will be watching none other than, Tony Snow".......

I just googled "Tony Snow", and found that there are no less than 89 pages of comments on him...unbelievable but not really he was quite a guy....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

347 My New Cheverolet Truck, and how they did it.

Well it all started so innocently last week.  I recieved in the mail an invitation from Chevrolet to come in and drive a new pick up truck just like I already had.  And here is the big motivator they would give me a visa card worth 50 dollars. So I thought to myself, you know it would really be dirty pool so to speak to do this to them.  I just changed oil on my truck the day before. I had a few months yet to go before I needed new tires and my truck was perfect in everyway.  But then I reconsidered that hey this is probably some extra Obama money they had lying around and what the heck I could use the 50 maybe for my next oil change and lube job. So the next day which was last tuesday I stopped by the dealership in Lafayette Indiana. I walked in and headed up to the front desk and they of course asked if they could help me.  I said, "yes if you want to, as I got this offer in the mail yesterday to come drive a new truck and they would give me 50 bucks"..."I assume", I said, "that Chevy wants to increase your showroom traffic with this mailing, but I can assure you I am not the least bit interested in trading, just getting the 50 bucks.  They said they understand and appreciate my stopping by and being honest. The sales manager said, "will you drive a new truck"?  I said, "yeal I will just to make this an honest venture".  So he asked a salesman named Matt Ellis to go out and get a Silverado and bring it up for me to drive.  I did that, took it for about a 4 mile trip around the block and decided it was driving exactly and looked almost identical to my 2008 Silverado.  It was 5 years newer was all.  Got back to the dealership and handed them the keys. They said did you like it and I said sure it drove just like the one I got. He said would like to know what it may cost to trade up. I said not really but, hey I have come this far, yeal go ahead and tell me and it will give me something to think about maybe in days ahead...I still was not interested just curious I guess.  They gave me a price of something like 13,000 dollars which to be truthful did surprise me.  I thought it would be more like 16 or 18,000 I guess...I told them thank you and that before I left the dealership that I would walk around their inventory and just look although I really was not all that excited about the thought of trading.

Well while I was out there I ran across this little diamond white truck with a beige leather interior. However it was about 4000 more list price than the one I had driven. I asked when I went back in how much more that one would be and I think he gave me a price of about 16000.  I left and went home figuring yes it would be nice but give it a couple days and I will let reality sink in and have this behind me.

Well after a couple days the new car bug must have bitten me and I thought to myself I would go back in and see how low I could maybe get these guys and how bad they really wanted to sell a vehicle.  So before doing that I decide to stop by the GMC dealership as their trucks are identical to the Chevy's and built on the same assembly line.  They were a little more professional than I liked, taking way to much time to appraise my car and get the info to me I needed. They took maybe 3 hours to do what the Chevy people had done in 30 minutes. Their price was considerable higher but tempting me with a possible lower price if that is what it would take to sell me a truck.  I really like the Chevy emblem on the front and back a lot more than the GMC for sure so I headed back over to Chevy Land.....

All said and done you can see above what happened.  My beloved Silver 2008 Silverado got surveyed, (a Marine terminology for traded) and I now am the proud owner of the Diamond White 2013 Silverado.  I moved up to leather and many cool things like bluetooth for my phone, adjustable peddles, back up beeper,  remote starting, and much much more...I am having a few more options added to the truck later this week.  When I arrived to pick it up today they surprised me with yet another 500 dollar discount they had almost forgotten about...that impressed me a lot, so I decided to add some more cool items and repay them with extra business.  I think some dealerships would have by hook or by crook kept that 500 in the deal and not passed it on to me...One thing new I like is they are now using sythentic oil which can go longer between changes and makes your engine last even longer.

A happy proud Chevy owner tonight I am......And all because some clown at Chevy decided to give me a 50 dollar Visa card....And I went for it....So in this case maybe obamabucks did stimulate the economy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

346 Obama somehow re-elected....

Well eight days have passed since the election. It has been a tough eight days for a lot of us. Personally I still am hoping to wake up from a dream, that what has happened has not happened.  That somehow Obama did not get re-elected.  I find it hard to believe, actually I kidded about it but I actually with Obama's record I figured one of my pet ducks, could have beat him.  I really thought the country was smarter than this, but it now apparent that they are not. I guess someday maybe I will be able to fathom what took place. How this could possible have happened.

I predicted that Mitt Romney would win by a 54 to 46% of the vote majority.  I kind of understood the first time it happened as he had told tremendous lies about what he could do if he was President.  But people are real gullible at times so they bought into it and it did happen.  But to repeat the process, knowing the record of this guy is just beyond me. 

It is going to be a long hard four years I fear.  The guy knows not what he is doing, but it appears not to matter at all...The loyal liberal media and his loyal worshipers just think whatever he says or does is almost saintly.  I have no great advice on how to cope with the next four years at this time...Maybe later but until then I know that God has for some reason allowed this all to happen and will just trust that the reason will become apparent in due time...

Friday, October 26, 2012

345 The mighty Ducks of Dafodil Dam

My granddaughter Haylee Lahrman has been raising ducks lately in her 4H club projects the last couple years. Last year she kept some ducks long enough to lay eggs and hatch out baby ducks. She kept these 4 ducks till they were about half grown and brought them over to my pond late in the summer. It has been fun watching them grow up and become what I call semi wild ducks. There is three males I have named Hewey, Dewey and Louie and there is a female I call Martha. Actually it was funny but when she first left them here they actually were afraid to get into the water, can you believe it a duck afraid of water? And they did not fly yet either although they could if they wanted to. So one day I saw that they had found the dock that we have going out into the pond. So I thought maybe I would teach them to like the water at least and maybe fly, so I herded them to the end of the dock and shooed them off. They all jumped off and quite scared they were semi flying and kind of running on the water all at the same time. They got to the bank and sat there, kind of recovering. A day later they were close to the dock so I herded them back onto the dock for another lesson. They got shooed off the end again and this time they actually flew about 20 or so feet into the air to the end of the pond. By the third day they were on the dock as I walked by, I guess wanting to make a game of this so I walked them to the end and this time they got even higher into the air.
Well they are full grown now and the three males heads are very dark green. Martha is just a nice brown color and they have all become semi wild. I can not get close to them and they do not walk up to me anymore. I give them shelled corn occasionally but they seem to do well on just eating stuff from the pond. Not sure what maybe moss or algae but they have their heads down in the water a lot looking for stuff. I don't know how they will fair this winter when the pond freezes from time to time...Sometimes for a long time but we will just have to see...My son John brought a little dog house over and it has straw in it but so far they don't really get into it...Maybe they will maybe they will just fly away or to Florida like snow birds do. We will see.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

344 I Bombed my well this week.

But it was a good bomb everything is better now. You see for the last few months I have been noticing an odor from my water when I get a glass to drink. It is weir too as it was just a couple faucets not all of them. So it finally came to me that maybe I have a bacteria or fungus of some sort down in my well. Maybe it just needs a good bombing.

So I got me a full gallon on Clorox bleach...the good stuff maybe the same as the cheap stuff but I wanted the very best for my bomb. I shut the power off to the well as I knew I needed to leave the stuff purculate in the well for about a day. I knew that my pressure tank full of water would provide me with good water for at least maybe 25 gallons or more. Enough for a few toilet flushes and keep the ice maker full and get me a drink if I needed it.

Then I removed the cap from the well and poured the clorox bleach down the well taking care not to pour it on the wiring that was visible there at the top of the well. After about day I decided it was time to kick the well motor back on and start the flushing process to eliminate the bleach from the well. But while I was waiting on the bombing to take place I thought of some neat things to do with the first maybe hundred gallons of water that I would pump out. First thing I thought of was running some through my three shower heads and of course the toilets. But the best effort I think was filling the bath tub with cold bleachy water and then circulating the pump through the jets in the tub. I could imagine that over time they could also pick up bacteria and fungus in those tubes and pump. Also while I still had a pretty good smell of bleach coming out the cold water side I decided to fill the fresh water tank on my motor home and then drain it a couple hours later to also attack any bad stuff in there.

After maybe a couple hundred gallons of water the bleach odor went away. The water at those faucets that were yucky are now very odors, water taste great...

I think it was a good effort and am in the process of doing Susan's well this weekend will go over there and flush it later today. If you live on a well you may want to think of doing this little trick as well...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

343 Grafted Nut trees in Kentucky

Took these pictures in a park on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington this week. I was kind of taken by how they used trees like shagbark hickory and black walnut for the base of these trees and then grafted other type nut trees on the top. I have been reading some stuff on google about grafting of trees. It really does not look that hard to do with a little study or training I think I could be doing it...May contact Purdue forestry dept and see if they ever do classes on grafting trees. I bet they do and it would be a thrill I think to master it and then actually see you work turn out good.
I think the main trees that get grafting done on them are nut and fruit trees...and I guess most trees we buy at least fruit trees are the product of grafting. I just thought it was a really neat subject and picture to see the different textures and bark color where the two trees meet. I guess from the reading I have done you always use a smaller tree to graft on to a larger one thus the bottoms end up the biggest which does seem quite logical.
I notice these trees when Matt, Jill, Susan and I walked through the park last fall and just had to return to photo them for a small blog story. Sure if I learn and get into grafting there will be sequels ahead. Well maybe not if do not have the nack for doing this work...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

342 County Fair 2012

Spent the last two mornings at the Tippecanoe County Fair. Granddaughters Haylee and Brooklynn had goats and Haylee had a duck, and Brook had a photography entry that she enjoyed doing. This chicken looked pretty funny to me. Could not help adding him to the blog...He seemed anxious to give me his best shot. Not sure who does his or her hair but it is awesome.
Ran onto this fine lad at the fair today. He is my great grandson John Capecci...His parents Ryan and Lilly also spent some time at the fair this week. I think John is headed to be a 4H member some day ahead. We were hanging out in the Goat Tent waiting on the various judging events to take place in the Chicken and Duck barn.
I always enjoy going at least one day to the local county fair. As I was once a 4H member showing pigs and also having forestry, garden and soil conservation projects, I always enjoy a trip past those current project and reminising about those days gone by. It was good training as it did develope much interest in trees and in soil conservation. The pigs well, I tried those but it did not jell for me in my farming so I abandoned them. But Soil Conservation is something that most all farmers are interested in, sooner or later. I remember one of my first years of it in 4H was to collect a fruit jar of water running down a steam after a big rain. And it was amazing when it was allowed to settle to see the silt or soil that the water contained. It has made me prone to waterways that slow erosion on the land I farm. Trees I have enjoyed planting for windbreaks and beauty. I have always enjoyed planning tree plantings and my plan usually is saying to my self while doing it how would these have been placed maybe if God was doing it. Maybe he gave me insight and maybe not but they have turned out well. No nice straight rows except maybe in windbreak plantings but randomly placed like nature or "God" may have done it.
Haylees duck seen here after the show. This is the female she also had a male subject in the next cage. I think the plan is to release them to the wild here at my pond next week...trying to get them to adjust is a major problem here...they usually just fly away which is not to smart since we usually try and feed them for a few days till they get on a bug catching diet.
Note the little gal Ella to the right side here...Susan's little granddaughter, who experienced here 4 month shots today...I guess a little crying happened and some real disappointment on that face as you can see...

Monday, July 16, 2012

341 Whats' happening now....

Well things are not improving on this drought that the nation is stuck in, here in 2012. As I look back on it now this drought actually started last summer and fall as we got dry and had a very early harvest if you all remember. And then with the mild warm winter and extremely warm spring, this thing has not let up at all and continues. So we will soon have a year under our belt on this one. I read where they say the sunspot activity will not end until next year sometime. So this could be with us for a while. But we have not had a wet fall to contend with now since 1974 so we are even more over due for that than we were this drought. That could happen also as things do have a way of averaging out each year with temps and moisture levels...I am giving these two options a 50/50 chance of happening...that should be a safe bet...I will win one of them possibly....

Looking forward to watching the two political conventions this summer. I recall watching these as a kid in the 50's and they made for some pretty interesting viewing. But there was not a lot to watch back then and as I recall the networks relied heavily on these for their content during these conventions. So folks did not have the options they do now..I doubt if I will be in the majority watching these two events..But I did get hooked on them as a young person so I will watch but may not enjoy as much as I used to....

I posted a little offering on the USMC political forum website about the creation museum from last weekend. I was surprise in that I had 498 views of this and the replies counted 67 in all. I did not think Marines would take up the matter in the way that they did. I would estimate that about 2/3rds of the replies were in unison with the creation theory, and that about 1/3rd sided with the evolution theory. To me that was very interesting.

Spider mites have started to appear in large numbers in several of the soybean fields last week. I sprayed a couple fields and may do the rest in a week or so if I see damage. Spider mites are a spin off from drought conditions in the midwest. As the grass I think they usually are happy living in browns off they then move to other vegetations that have some life in them. These guys poke holes in the underside of the leaves and suck the life blood right out of the plants. The chemical kills them and stops the process for about 3 weeks. Rain would also stop the process by washing them off the leaves down into the ground..I sure hope that happens soon.

One hopeful sign is the sweet corn crop is not huge and far from healthy but there is say a 75% crop of sweet corn. This encourages me that we may have at least some corn to harvest this fall...But not sure on that but in past years I usually assumed that a good sweet corn crop meant a pretty good corn crop as well....we will see.

Hopeing that Mitt Romney will find his "campaign legs" real soon. He has a lot of work to do to defeat Obama who of late has been successful in diverting peoples attention from the miserable job he has done as President, to questioning Romneys past record..It is pretty sad that he has gotten away with it so far. But when you have all the liberal press awarding him trophy's in every thing he attempts to do, it appears just to be so hard for them to look at the full picture. I think Mitt will find his pace soon and ignore the ignoramus and step up to the plate to win this race.

OK Lake Wobegon here is down by about 3 feet and I am being successful in keeping the moss somewhat under control. But outside of moss control and jerking a few fish out for dinner now and then, that is about the news from here....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

340 The Creation Museum in Kentucky

We came south for the weekend. Camping at the Indian Springs Campground near Lawrenceburg Indiana. Our destination was the "Creation Museum", just across the Ohio river bridge at Petersburg Kentucky. Arrived Friday afternoon and then drove to Lexington to visit little Ella Tutt and her folks. Had dinner with them and then came back to sleep here in the Motor Home.

Saturday we went to see the Museum. It was interesting seeing arguments for believing in Creation over the growing atheistic view of evolution. Which boils down really into suggesting that there is no GOD. Well I don't know what I expected and I guess I was hoping for some iron clad prove of creation, but it really does not happen. But at least having a museum that does present its case for creation is helpful..I went away feeling a little down I guess that I did not find that. But telling myself that, "hey, I know personally by having seen the complexities and the miracles of this world that there has to be a God that designed it all. I have no doubts but for absolute proof here, I can not give it to you..

We went back again Sunday afternoon, because we had missed some of the theaters that are available in the museum. The dome theater with narratives about the stars was very interesting. It explained the solar systems very well and I would strongly recommend attending those for sure. We also attended a movie about the Mt.St.Helens in Washington State which happened in 1980. It was also interesting in relationship to how changes in the earth can happen very quickly that appear to have taken perhaps thousands of years instead, that was interesting. All in all it was an interesting visit to the museum. We saw some water plants in the gardens area that we would love to have for the pond someday...Thinking about stopping back at the museum in a few weeks when they may have went to seed and try and pick up a few seeds. Motor Home running well and kind of getting over the memories of the nightmare trip from hell we had a couple years ago coming home from Florida.

Click on title above to take you to the website of the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

339 Trimming Trees now and then in a drought.

I read recently where farmers who are experiencing a drought become rather anti social. I think I understand that in some ways as it is rather unexciting to see your good efforts of raising a good crop kind of go up in smoke. But this is not my first of these events, it happened for me first in 1977 and it was my worst one I think...The first and the worst, as it did not rain from May 2nd on my farm and the surrounding areas until Aug 9th and we got 3 inches of rain...way to late for the corn crop but the soybeans which had yet to finish blooming did well on the 9 inches of rain we got on the 9th 10th and 11th of August...The beans made 30 and the corn made 20...Yes the beans which usually yeild about a third of what corn does actually out yielded my corn crop.. It happened again 1983 and it was very hot and dry and the effects were about the same, but a little better yeilds as I recall..
Then again in 1988 it was an early drought and the corn stalks leaves were very close together. Stacked up on top of each other very close and the entire plant was not 4 feet tasseled out and the silks came out but it was so dry we feared it was over. But it rained pretty good about 10 days later. The old timers said it was too late to help the corn but low and behold it put on an ear about a foot or two off the ground and when they hung down they almost touched the ground. But that crazy corn crop actually made 100 bushels to the acre..about 100% more that most of us thought was possible. No bad droughts since then until 2012 and here we are. It is very dry and very hot so I have been busying myself cutting limbs off of trees around my home and farm pond.

And as I was doing that last evening I remember the two terrible droughts that my father had in his farming career in 1934 and 1936. And I recalled his telling me that he cut a lot of limbs off of trees those two summers also. But I need to share we done it for two way different reasons. You see I am doing it to improve my property and relieve stress I guess. And mostly to improve the property as I have crop insurance in force that will assure me of about a half of my potential income for a fee that I have been paying for that service since 1973. All three of my droughts were covered by this insurance or I would not have been able to continue farming. But for Dad there was no such thing and he had lots of cattle to feed and there was no feed to feed to them. So each day he would take a ladder and handsaw and go to the woods where he had his cattle. He would climb into the large trees and cut off limbs that had lots of green leaves on them. They would crash to the ground and he said as soon as he would cut the first one off he would hear the cattle come running to the site. He told me they would eat every leaf off of these limbs just to stay alive. He would cut several limbs each day as long as the droughts lasted. It worked he kept his cattle alive. That fall and winter he went back and cut the limbs up to firewood to heat the house with. So here we are 80 years later both having spent the summer of droughts cutting limbs but for two way different reasons.

Having not been born until 1938 I am glad that the cattle did not knock my dad's ladder down while he was up those trees. Had they I may have never been born who knows...and you would not be reading this story...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

338 New Kids on the block "Dale and Willie"

My granddaughters Brook and Haylee have new baby goats. As you can see they are very cute and quite at home with their new surroundings. They spend a lot of time out in the goat barn playing with them. They are fun, to watch them eat about anything you put in front of them. As you see in this picture, Haylee allowed them to play in the lawn for awhile and they took to eating the new growth off of the pine trees...It must be real good as they ate several. Then we picked a few leaves off the tree nearby and sure enough they loved them also. Back in the barn later they very much enjoyed some good alfalfa hay....Goats will just about eat anything. Reminding me of a story my brother in law used to sing while picking his guitar. I think it was called Ole Billy Goat and it went like this. Ole billy goat was feeling fine, ate three red shirts right off the (clothes) line. His master swore he'd break Bills back, tied poor ole Bill to the rail road track. A mighty train was coming fast and poor ole Bill thought he's seen his last. Then I forget how the next line goes but the last line was that ole Bill Coughed up those shirts and "flagged" that train....I guess you had to be there...But Glenn Cornell could sing it pretty well and we enjoyed hearing was our favorite....
The next picture here is Brook's goat, his name is Dale...they both are pretty cute and they will have a lot of fun showing them at the fair this year. They also have two other goats from last year. They are in a different pen from the baby goats. The girls dad, my son John does a great job building the pens and allowing the girls to enjoy these goats. Check out the eyes here on Brook's goat Dale...Haylee also has a duck operation going on in another barn...the mother duck has like 15 or so eggs...if she hatches them it will be interesting and I may end up with some of them here at the pond.
In this pic you see a proud Haylee with her and Brooks is fun to watch them jump around and beg for attention while you are with them...Haylee's goat's name is Willie....

Friday, April 13, 2012

337 Friday the 13th a good day to farm.

Well, today I decided to go ahead and plant half of my corn crop even though the conditions to do so are less than optimal. It is dry but there is some moisture down there, so maybe it will be enough to germinate the seeds even if it does not rain. However the weathermen are saying we could over the next 3 days get an inch or more of rain. I sure hope we do as I did go ahead with some planting today even though it was indeed Friday the 13th. Proving that I am not into that sort of witchcraft at all. It could turn out that today was not a good day to plant but it certainly will not be because of the date and the day. I think this may well be my last year of farming. My dad quit farming when he was 65 on his own and moved to Lafayette after selling his farm. I have farmed 8 years longer than that. But let me tell you he worked twice as hard at farming as I have, maybe three times as much effort. He was as tough as nails so to speak. He did continue to help his son's farm for maybe another 10 years after retiring and moving to the city. But in my case, I think I am just finally getting enough of it. I thought maybe I would keep it up for a few more years but I am starting to ask myself, "What for"? And I am not coming up with very good reasons to keep this up. I think that with the rent I can collect on my few acres that I may make at least half of what I do now maybe more. It will be good I think to just have to take care of my home and my lawn and the pond and maybe do a little more travel and camping than I have till now.

Susan is also starting to talk about retiring so if that happens she could then also travel with me if she desires. We could see lots of stuff together. Why with her sharing some of my expenses we could maybe afford to buy the diesel fuel for some longer trips maybe out west...Or maybe to the east coast or Canada who knows or maybe just stay right here at home...Practicing our marksmanship in case Eric Holder the worst attorney general in our history comes calling to collect my guns. I see today he stated that we should not have guns...the guy needs to be impeached, he goes after innocents and lets assholes run free...what a country...well I have rambled quite enough for a Friday the 13th....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

336 Condo Sweet Condo

My second blog story about the new condo in Naples Florida. When both my tractors broke down at the same time and both were hospitalized at the Case dealership for at least a week, I decided I should drive back to Florida and spend a week and see what Condo living was all about. I did that and while I was there I changed the lock on the door of the condo. I feel good about having done that as who knows how many old keys there are floating around. This top view of me standing in back of the condo behind the pool. Our condo is directly over my left sholder in the center of the building upper floor.
A better view here of the backside of the building and the pool area. My first couple days there were spent shopping for bed sheets and pillows. Laudering them and making up the beds. Cleaning the kitchen up washing the dishes in the dish washer and just generally getting to know the place. Each day I did take the time to spend 2 hours at the pool getting to know some of the residents there a little better. In the third photo you see the pool area from inside the condo. I love the view from there. It is pleasurable to set there maybe sipping a cool drink and reading a good book. The area is extremely quiet and that is worth a lot to me. It is also extremely well lit up at night time adding good security for all of us.
I was there about a week in all before heading back to Indiana to start the farming process. I tried a little of that today but I feel the soil is just to dry for good germination, so I will wait for rain to add some before planting anymore. It is early yet and so waiting just may be a good choice at this time.
The last picture here is of the dinning area inside. It all is in good shape and needs nothing at this time but TLC and that I hope my family and Susan and I will give it lots of. I hope my kids will all have opportunities to use it and have relaxing vacations in Naples. Maybe even some grown grand children will also be trusted with a stay there, but it could be a little boring for the younger crowd. Although it is just a short 6 mile drive to the down town Naples beaches. So we will see....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

335 Farming here we come.....

Well this weather is nice, almost to the point of being boringly nice. Here it is mid March. Should still be getting cold spells and a few hints of spring. Instead they are predicting 70 and 80 for the rest of the month. That will take us to April when farmers start to plant crops. So I am thinking planters will roll come next week. Why not? If it going to be warm till April it probably will go right into spring...Yes I think we will see corn and beans planted this month and starting as early as Monday. We will see but if I have to I may just plant a few beans myself just to prove my point. I remember a farmer planting beans on March 14th about 20 years back and they did real well...and I am sure corn will be in the ground next week also in many area's of our state.

This surely is my favorite time of the year. I love it when winter dies away and things start to grow and green up. Buds come out on the trees, flowers bloom, grass grows and mowers roll. The smell of new mown grass that first time over, there is just nothing like it..Well for New York City people maybe not, but for Hoosiers that is where it's at for sure....

I remember as a kid getting out for the first time and walking along the little stream that wound its way through our farm. Just looking at things in the water. Maybe launching a few short sticks that were pretend boats and watching them work their way down stream. It don't take much to entertain and Indiana farm boy you know.
But it was great especially those early days of spring. Frogs would start to make their froggy sounds that are so familiar but don't ask me to reproduce it. We had a swampy area about a half mile west of our house. I remember lying in bed those first nights you could open the windows and listening to those crazy frogs. There must have been thousands of them all competing, finally putting me to sleep.

Today I saw a pair of ducks on my pond. I hope they are about raising a family here, as I have not had any baby ducks here to watch for maybe 6 or 8 years. I keep hoping, I saw them come out of some tall weeds before they went into the water, maybe they were making whoppee, we will see in a few weeks. And the pond does provide a few of the froggy guys to help me reminise of those early years. I got a few giant bull frogs and they are fun to listen to.

Anyway glad that spring seems to have sprung here in the midwest, I think farmers will be about the farming business real soon..the pictures above are what I will be doing next week with the farming and also a pic of a nice white crane from 3 years back in my pond...and that is about it from Lake Wobegon for tonight, where the women are strong, the men real good looking and all the children are above average.....

Monday, March 12, 2012

334 The Florida Condo, yes I did....

Gosh it has been awhile since I have been on here. A couple folk have pointed that out to me so tonight by golly by hook or by crook I am going to say something on here.
The main reason I have been absent has been during my stay in Florida this year and a year or two before this year I have spent a fair amount of time looking at Florida property. And this year before I left I did in deed make the plunge and purchased a small condo in south east Naples. I love the location, it is not gated but it seems very secure and safe. Is well lit at night with really nice decorative street lights. Driving in at night almost reminds me of a movie setting or maybe Christmas time maybe a combo of both. If you click on the title above it will take you to the site of the condo and then click on photo's and you can look it over...both the exterior which is dead center in the building and the upstairs unit..And then there is several inside shots of the furniture. Susan and I hope to use the condo next winter as much as possible. And we hope to share it with the kids from time to time also. And maybe some relatives and special friends also.

It has a nice golf course running through the neighborhood of which I don't have to support with any type fees, which suits me fine as I am really not a golfer at all. I play maybe once a year if somehow that happens...sometimes it does not. But the course playing through the condo's is attractive and I am glad it is there. Probably won't hurt the resale value at all. The roof was replaced on the building just last year and that is a plus to me also I think. Probably won't need it again in my life time and if it does I probably won't be cognisant of it happening. The unit is located about 10 miles from the Marco Island beaches and about 11 miles from the Naples beaches. So not a far drive to both of which we will probably just flip a coin when we feel it is beach time as they are both very nice beaches. Also a really sweet swimming pool just out the back of the condo in which am sure we will use a lot.

I had looked at a couple other units in this complex and my realtor Kathleen was very much on the ball finding this unit just 5 minutes after it was listed. We looked at it the next day and purchased it on the spot. It was priced in the low end of the range for this area so we did not dilly dally around...I am happy with it all and have no buyers remorse at least at this juncture.

Sorry I have been lax on blogging of late, but homework on real estate is very time consuming and I am glad I did all of it because it is because of that that I am confident in this endeavor...But from here on maybe I won't have and excuse so you may be seeing me here more often ...I hope so...

Friday, February 17, 2012

333 We could loss the nation in November

OR SOON AFTER.....Actually we will probably last a year or two after Obama is sworn in for his second term. But with his social adgenda, it won't be long and it will all catch up with us.
You just can not continue to give people "things" and not tax for them...And on the other hand you can not tax for them, the money they cost and continue to give the money away. We are headed for bankruptcy my friends not for each of us but for us as a group that group being the tax payer of the United States.

I am totally amazed at how people are willing to give this guy a pass on his socialist ideas. Just plain look the other way and smile and ooh and ahh as he holds his many news releases. Just utterly amazes me that after 4 years people still don't get it at all...the thought of providing for each and every American in their major needs is such a great idea, IF we were not already over spending...Already we spend 40% more that we take in with taxes. Can anyone please just say "MATH"?

Do this America just for a few months...spend 40% more than you make...and when your credit card bills come just make the minimum payment....add up the interest you pay out for you overspending that you did not have the money with that number think of the nice things you could have had for that money instead of nothing....

Think it this stuff...go ahead pull an Obama and just do the fun stuff you know you will enjoy. Do it before November if you could help save our nation......

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

332 The Process is working...Go Santorum

Wow Rick Santorum won all three states in last nights causcus elections. Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri all had Caucus'es last night. I don't even understand and can not explain what that even means...But I am glad to see the election process is working. It will be really interesting now to see if Santorum picks up more financial suppport as we go forward here. I truly do like Rick Santorum. He seems like a real square shooter to me. I think he would make a great President and a great Comannder In Chief for our military....I hope he can pick up a lot of financial support now with these wins in these three states...Who knows Romney may end up with the Nomination or maybe Newt or maybe Santorum...Any of the three would be fine with me....

Looked at a condo today on Marco Island...would love to own something like on the title above and it should come up....

Friday, January 27, 2012

331 Proud of our Election Process

I am becoming one of those "swing voters" I believe. After last night's debate I am swinging both ways. One way more to the moderate side with Mitt Romney, I think he may now be the eventual winner to go up against the socialist liberal Obama. He may be our best shot. But I also am swinging yet and I also liked last night Rick Santorium, he was very strong with his more conservative ideas. The things that ring true to me and I wish Rick had the resources that Mitt has, and the name recognition

So here I swing back and forth between these two and you are asking what the hell happened to your man Newt? Well I think my man Newt may have slipped here in Florida on a banana peel or maybe a squished starfruit and smacked his head hard and somehow lost the vision of a smaller more responsive government. I learned last night that after he promised Naples the winter white house which was fine, he went on to Titusville and promised them a moon colony in 10 years and then in Jacksonville a new naval base? Sorry Newt we don't have the resources for those kind of promises. Your looking to much like a politicion for this voter. I love the way he took on the media and he won my support in doing so but now I find myself leaning more to the candidate to his left and to his right...

But what the heck, I am only one voter and I will bow to the wisdom of the voters here all across our great land. We do have a great process of electing our leaders. I am proud of how we can watch these leaders tough it out in these debates. I have watched all but one of them and I did watch the highlights of it after the fact. This will all come out alright, we will make good educated researched choices in the comeing weeks. As these state elections take place, "we" will decide and the choice will be good..I hope all four of the candidates hang in to the end...they are all good men, all have good ideas to add and in the end we will have a candidate worthy of setting in the oval office and guiding our nation to a smaller more frugal government. I just know it...I love and believe in this great land...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

330 Newt's Winter White House....

Newt's bus came to Naples last night. I went 4 hours early which should draw some interesting remarks here on the forum, but I wanted to see and hear him in person. So I took my lawn chair a book called Killing Lincoln and some tea and cheese and headed to the city park...

A rag tag band showed up an hour later so on page 30 I gave up and just enjoyed the music and the fan fare going on. I had a great spot 20 feet from the podium...They gave Newt the key to the city and he said he would hang on to that because they like Naples and it seemed to him that this would make a great "winter white house".

You nay sayers can have your say but this farmer was watching the other night when Newt fielded the loaded question from the CNN reporter about his past. The farmers gut feeling is that this may just have been a "defining moment" in this election process...People are totally fed up with biased reporting of the last few years.

Win or lose I am glad I have donated Newt's campaigne a small amount of bucks, I feel good about all root and toot for your guy who ever it may be...but I hope to be able to cast my vote in the Indiana primary for Mr. Gingrich and again in the fall....

By the way the unscheduled event drew the biggest crowd ever recorded in Cambria Park in down town Naples..Estimated at 6000..Jump in front of Newt's bus if you dare but maybe at your peril.....Oh Newt looks 20 pounds lighter in person, yeal could loose another 20 (like me) but he is healthy and ready for this run....

It was a fun afternoon, not sure how this election will all come out but looking forward to maybe taking in the other candidates if they show up here....I think any of them will be fine in the end...

One more PS here. Many have declared Newt has Billiance but has baggage....
MY thought on this is when this nation is in trouble, who cares about baggage, its the billaince we need....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

329 Guest blog today...from Ryan Capecci

It is sometimes unreal that just 2 ½ short years ago Lilly and I made the ultimate commitment to each other for the rest of our lives and were moving in to a 200 square foot garage apartment starting our married life together. Now…. 2 ½ years later here were are, both finished with school, working full time, raising a great golden retriever, and exciting for another new beginning in our life. Lilly will be 23 weeks pregnant tomorrow and is due on Mother’s Day, May 13th. Lilly has been doing really well throughout the pregnancy. She has her ups and downs but has been so strong and is such a wonderful mother. We had the ultrasound performed a few weeks ago and were able to surprise our parents for Christmas with the ultrasound pictures. It was a great surprise. It is an exciting time in our lives and we are definitely ready to take on the challenge of raising a child. Our greatest concern is how Brees is going to react to having a baby brother in the house. Brees is.... i guess you could say SPOILED with the amount of attention he gets from Lilly and I, but people reassure us he will love our little boy as much as we do.

We do have a name picked out.... John Louis Capecci. We both like tradition and we both have/had a grandfather named John. John Griffin is my mom’s dad. He was my only grandpa I was able to meet here on Earth but I know both of my grandpa’s are watching down on us smiling now. Lilly’s grandpa Lahrman…. John (more commonly known as Jack) is the other reason we are picking the name John. He is a great grandfather figure for us and we can’t wait until our little John can go for rides on the tractor with him and sit around the pond castin a line. We will do another guest blog in a month or two with an update on how Lilly is doing and maybe we will even have a picture of the crib that we will be building

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

328 Paradise Found and now another Harvest

The last couple nights I have spent with my motor home in the Sam's Club parking lot in South Fort Myers Florida. It was great pulling in Sunday night as they were closing the club at 6 PM. I always circle the parking lots and choose a place as far away from the front door as I can possible get. That way the store does not ask you to move. I guess Sam Walton made it known before he died that RV's would always be welcome at his stores I have heard. It must be true as in all my travels and stops at Sams and Walmart I was only ask to leave one time and that was in Arizona, a large town that had a city ordanence against RV stoping in store parking lots over night. If you have a RV that is more or less self contained you can "dry camp" we call it for a day or two or three if you lucky with out running a generator or anything. I have 4 large storage batteries that provide power for quite a long period of time. Not for air conditioning but for microwave, coffee pot, TV's etc and of course the water pump. I carry 80 gallons of fresh water and have two 40 gallon holding tanks for black and grey water. It all works real well and I am glad the RV industry came up with these amenities for us who enjoy travel and really don't enjoy carrying luggage in and out of motels every day. And of course the real luxury of it all is driving down the road and having a cold drink and sandwich or other snacks served you as you motor down the pike...Life is good...
Anyway today I arrived Naples/Silver Lakes RV resort snuggled in between Naples and Marco Island. I had renters still on my lot and did get to meet them...They were from Chicago and wish to come back in April after we and my next renter leave, so that is good. My first job each year is to get my hose hooked up and wash down the lot before I pull on it. I enjoy cleaning the cracks where they sawed the concrete to keep it from cracking and washing all the crud that collects there each year. Ants like to hide in there so I give them a bath they will not soon forget and then tomorrow I will add a little ant poison to those cracks also and that should then let them know that Jack is back and that means they need to move maybe to the lot next door...Jack is Back
Well the second pic as you can see I have a harvest to take care of here. My blog title of Corn, Beans and Naples one farmers rotation has truly become just that. Up north I harvest the corn and the beans and now my farming down here has begun to pay off also. Starfruit tree is absolutely loaded this year. I may have to spend a little on shipping and send some of these puppies north...I would guess there is over 200 on the tree with about 50 that had fallen to the ground already. My corn and beans were not anything to write home about this year but my south 40 is really producing this year...40 feet not acres but who's counting.
Are they beautiful or what? God had such an imagination when he made stuff for us did he not?.. I surely think so anyway and I bet when Adam named this one it did not take a lot of thought. It is surely a star...And they are very good, I have eaten three of them tonight...It was 75 maybe today..still at 730 it is 69 degrees...Paradise has been found....

Friday, January 13, 2012

327 On the road with Jack

I am on my way to Paradise, that being for me at least my RV Lot in Silver Lakes. Located between Marco Island and Naples Florida. I had time to kill this year as my renters of my lot kind of like the place...which is good as it bring in bucks for help pay for the taxes and maintenance cost of owning such a garden spot in Florida. I went down I 65 all the way to Atmore Alabama to check on a friend I met on the USMC website called together we served...I met Pete on the site as I liked what he posted on the forums. So we became friends through the years. I visited him in maybe 2005 or so on my way back from Florida just to check him out....He was genuine so we stayed friends....My wife died of cancer in 2007 and his wife died of cancer shortly after that.

So we had that in common and I decided this year I would stop by since not pressed for time and see how he is doing. Thus my first pic here of Pete's home in Atmore Alabama...We went out to dinner after a visit to his home...Went to Dave Catfish house...then back to his home....I visited with Pete for a short time and then went back to the motor home for a good nights sleep.
Today I left Atmore headed for Naples Florida...The RV rentals called me today telling me my current renters would like to stay till Tuesday of next week...They have been good renters so I decided to slow my trip and accomodate them for their stay on my lot...So I slowed up a bit..I was on I-10 heading for I 75 when I got the I decided to slow way up and take my time getting to Naples...I got off the Interstate and headed down US 19/27 am currently holed up in Perry Florida....At no less a Walmart seen in the second pic here...So here I am just finished a double martini and a steak and baked sweet is good....Walmart has been accomodating and has not "run me off" so I am thinking I may just sleep here in the coach and see what tomorrow brings...On the rode with Jack...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

326 OH OH its "Cycled Seasonalality"

Wow, it has been nice here in the midwest. I went outside today to do a little yard work as it feels like springtime here. And sure enough this little guy who usually greets me in late March sometimes early March, has gotten a bit confused....He is gonna get his butt froze good very soon. It will be interesting though to see if he does this again in March won't it...will have to report on that to you if and when it happens...My money say's it will, but I more than not bet the wrong way, so we will see. I can report this, this is not global warming, this is just "cycled seasonalality". I can almost guarantee we will pay for this as yearly temps seem to always average out by years end...We may have a fridged late Jan through even some of March or we may not and then experience a cool summer with frost in July even but somehow this will even out. Its just weather, we get it all the time, every day. And rest assured the guys that can not predict what it will be 30 days from now have no better record or knowledge of what it will be 5, 10 or 100 years from now. So just enjoy it and don't fret about it...It is just "weather"....a great start to a good year...The year we turn our nation from upside down to right side up...Yep, it is gonna happen, I just know that more than half the people will wish it to....

Enjoying the many Republican debates. They are gaining stature and knowledge of what it will take to be a good President and Commmander In Chief of our Nation. What it will take to Lead us back through the mine field we have entered...I really believe this will be a good year for us all...