June 6, 6 Tuesday
What a spring it's been. Our Lawn Crew just can't get the grass
cut with the rains coming at just the most unlucky times, but finally we're
on a schedule. Lots of Yellow Finches. Not much of a tulip
bloom this year. Iris also seems shaky but the peonies are really out
today! Took some in the house.
May 26, 6
Tenters tonight. Lots of fun! Not for me however, I
like being on this side of glass and screens ;-)
May 10, 5, Tuesday: It seems to be staying
overcast! Even down to 29 tonight predicted, hope not, guess I have to
bring the strawberries in one more time. Lawn needs mowing now, and
we've got an acre more to go over this year. Sharpen the blades.
May 9, 5, Monday: It smells so good outside!
You just want to go out and take big gulps of air! More rain forecast
which we don't really need but as long as it comes without any storm I guess
we'll take all that's sent our way.
May 8, 5, Sunday: Mothers Day! And my day
to cook a soup supper at the church (all campers invited). We do it
the 2nd Sunday of each month. Just a time for about 20 of us to get
together, have some great soup, fellowship, and fun. FINALLY at 7pm
the rains came. Only a little more than an inch, but just what we
needed to bring together the seed and the underground moisture!
Incredible lightning shows into the evening.
May 7, 5, Saturday: Windy, windy, windy.
Grain is all in, beets are all in, and soybeans are ready to start.
Overcast today but 66 by noon. They say T-storms are on the way.
GREAT we need the rain. One of my boys was here working
yesterday, cleaned up all the tree parts that the electric co. had trimmed,
along with a lot of other outside work. Cement truck was supposed to
come today, but alas ;-( now it's scheduled for next Friday!
May 6, 5, Friday: We say goodbye to Zach as he
moves on to another job in a town north of here.
May 5, 5, Thursday: Finally a little rain, not near
enough but some, perhaps the trend is changing!
May 4, 5, Wednesday: Welcome what should be the
last frost morning. Now the big push will be on to get the beets
done and start on the soybeans. (they can't take any cold). I'm
going to leave the strawberries out from now on!!
May 3, 5, Tuesday: Frost again.
May 2, 5, Monday: Frost again.
May 1, 5, Sunday: Welcome a new month. This
is traditionally the day when there will be no more frost, but not this
April 30, 5, Saturday: Still taking the
strawberries in and out each day. Hope that will end soon but every
night is freezing. Farming is such a gamble. The sugar beet seeds
can do fine in the ground as long as they haven't sprouted, but the little
growing seedling can't stand any freezing temps. So we hope those that
have been put into the ground just sit there till conditions improve.
April 29, 5, Friday: Finally a NO PRESSURE day to
just relax. On Tuesday past I also hightailed it down to Fargo, ND to
have a little elective surgery. Well they say "little" but it
was a 7 inch cut. So there was lots of stress. Fortunately a
lady friend went with me so we were able to do a lot of talking about her
different projects. She is a grant writer/horse woman/entrepreneur and
so provides me with lots of mental stimulation as we weave our way through
her various projects. She's opening an antique store in Crookston some
time this summer. Watch here for it's opening and info.
April 25-28, Monday-Thursday: Worked as the
morning man at the big radio station in Grand Forks for these days.
The 30 year veteran went off to play golf with his brothers in Colorado.
Getting up so early reminds me of the 80's and doing morning radio as a
youngster. Course then you could skip sleep for days at a time...3 to
5 hours and you were at it again the next day. Now I got to be
sleeping by 8:30 the night before or I'm draggin' all day! Great to
see the moon and stars and because of the cool (hey it was COLD) temps the
skies were clear. And....I made it all the way over and back without
hitting a deer! My insurance agent was so happy!
April 24, 5, Sunday: Pretty uneventful day, but still the freezing
overnight continues, what was predicted as an early spring is moving into a
April 23, 5, Saturday: Well we got through the
freezing night and now at 11am it's 45, but they predict another cold one
tonight so the strawberries will stay in the porch. They have gotten
such a good start that I don't want to risk them now! Sunny day and
the planting is going full speed ahead. It seems they'll have all the
grain in before the sugar beets, which will go ahead of the soybeans.
Beans are the most sensitive on both ends of the season. In the fall,
if they haven't firmed up and dried up to a certain point, and if there's a
frost the crop is lost. I'm constantly amazed at what a gamble
agriculture is, and then when the people in Washington who are supposed to
support you, seem to do nothing but work against you it takes away some of
the satisfaction of "tilling the soil." I'm the MC for the spring
Barbershop concert. The last night is tonight. They did 4 nights
this year instead of 2 and it seems to have been a good idea. We've
had 3 big audiences. It's a lot of work with all the comedy and
physical stuff that I end up doing, but it's for a good cause and the
Chordsmen are a great bunch of guys! Next week I'm filling in for a
morning man on one of our radio stations who is going to Denver for his
annual "play golf with my brothers" trip. So I've got to be up at 4:30
each day to get there and get ready by 6am. Might as well have some
cows to milk ;-) It was a full moon when I got home last night about
2am. A great reminder of why I live here!
April 22, 5, Friday: Noon and only 37 degrees
outside. They say 24 by morning. Going to cover the strawberry
plants, but everything else will just have to trust in the warmth of the
ground to get through the evening. Then predicted about at freezing
for Sunday morning. Hope the frost is officially over for the year.
Trees have such nice leaves about 1/2 out. If it freezes to hard
they'll drop off and then it takes a lot of energy for them to start again.
Yard is a lot firmer, the tractors are able to drive through without leaving
any groves. Just a quick rain shower about 8am but didn't
continue. Dark/overcast windy day.
April 21, 5, Thursday: Just a wonderful day today.
Did some walking and some outside work. We got the sand all tamped
down in the new building. Now we're waiting for the plow that will put
the electric heating cables about 6 inches down into the sand, then another
tamping and we're ready for the concrete. Philipp Reitmeier (who's
visiting from Bavaria Germany) arrived back at the farm after taking Amtrak
trains from here to Chicago, then New York, Washington D.C., New Orleans,
Chicago and then back up here. He's here for 3 days and then off on a
train circle that takes him all the way to the Pacific Ocean and around that
great circle. Strawberries are already starting to push shoots up,
can't wait for that first bowl!
April 20, 5, Wednesday: Chilly again this morning
about 36 but they're predicting a high in the 60's. Finally saw some
heavy motor homes moving through town, I guess the season is starting.
Maybe they were snowbirds moving on north to Canada. We welcome
Canadians! I worked and lived in Canada from '71 till the fall of '74.
Worked for Yamaha Canada (the music side) in Winnipeg and also traveled the
west in a band called, "the New Canadian Downbeats." It was an
offshoot of Bill Coulter's Royal Canadian Downbeats. Does anyone know
what happened to Bill? Dougie Day was a friend of ours from eastern
Canada. Heard he passed away last year. Also wondering what
happened to Dale Payment and his wife Claudia. They had a group called
Power, not to be confused with the group called "the Power." I was in
a band for a while called the Incredible Laughing Band with Guy and Randy
Markie, can't find anything about those guys on the internet. Anyone
got some news? Please email me! Some of those folks must be
retired and getting around in motor homes by now.
April 19, 5, Tuesday: Wow, what happened?
Yesterday it was as hot as summer can get and right now we're probably at
today's high of 52. More traditional "end of April" temps expected for the
coming week. We need rain but with the men just starting in the field
it's hard to know what to pray for. The equipment is so huge now, tractor,
cultivator, drill and seed tank all in one loooooong chain! Amazing to
watch it completely do the planting operation in one pass. Planted 25
strawberry plants in pots yesterday. They're the little berries, not
those big New Zealand ones in the store. Hopefully they'll be sweet
like what we used to pick at my aunt's in Fosston back in the 50's. I don't
like jam and jelly, just fresh strawberries and cream. Three blueberry
bushes are coming later in May. Got all the dirt moved away yesterday
and about 1/3 of the sand put in so the swimming pool look is now
gone...looks like the worlds most expensive sand box now. Come and
April 18, 5, Monday: Well its going to hit
88 today, actually 84 as of 2:38pm and it could go warmer. STRONG
winds all day. We're open for business but still building. The welcome
center building is up, at least it looks like it's done. The outside
and top are mostly finished, but inside it looks like a swimming pool.
We're going to have a cement floor with electric heating cables and so right
now it's dug down about 2 feet, and then they put a plastic liner on the
sides and the bottom. Then this really heavy pink foam that will not
only support the 4 inches of concrete, but 12 inches of sand which will hold
the electric heating cables. The electricity is on at each site
and we're going to fire up the water tomorrow. Today is taken up
moving the 12 cubic yard pile of dirt that we took out, and putting the 12
yards of sand in the new building. John
April 17, 5, Sunday: Another warm day. It
seems that spring is officially here. I can't imagine that it's going
to come any kind of winter again this year, but Dad (who is 90) reminded me
about the years that spring came and then strong winter again. I think
we're in a warmer period however. The cats sleep inside all day and
then are out for the night. They're not hungry when they come in so
I'm guessing they're finding lots of mice. John
March 05: Cousin Paul says he's got a Golden Eagle
hanging around his place but I have yet to see it. He's quite an
outdoorsman so he knows his eagles. We often see smaller eagles (yes
even some Bald) and the lack of bunnies in the area seem to be proof that
the predator birds are much more plentiful than anytime in my life.
March 7, 5: I spent most of February in
Germany. It was almost as cold there as here in Northern Minnesota.
Building out that page, got to get the pictures added, but between the Help
Desk business, and the building project, and the regular winter duties, it
seems that many things just get pushed to that "tomorrow" that never comes.
Then the surprise while I was in Europe that my Aunt Barb passed away
without warning. It was a roller coaster of emotions. I couldn't
make it home to carry her casket, then they extended the days till her
funeral so that I could get back for it, then the first Major snow storm to
hit Amsterdam in 30 years, so I didn't make it anyway ;-( I'll miss
her! She was a night person and used to bring her laptop over,
sometimes at midnight for me to fix it for her. She had just been down
3 days before I went on my big trip. We had a long talk, solved all
the worlds problems and then she was off into the night, laptop tucked under
her arm. John