April 30, 2005 – When will Spring Come Back?

Another freeze last night – record low on this date was 33 until last night’s 31. Most of the day was in the 40’s and windy again. Got two tanks full of water distributed so all the pine trees got watered. We use water off the roof of the barn that goes into a big tank.
water tank
Here’s Emma helping water the trees out in the field.
emma watering

We got just a few more things planted in the garden before the wind sucked the energy out of us.

Girls went to a a dog show in the morning and earned money for their 4-H club by scooping doggy-do from the show rings. This evening some friends from the farm class came over and vaccinated and turned the boys into no chance of being daddies.

April 29, 2005 – Getting Ready for Raspberries

The wind finally stopped blowing today, so this afternoon, I had a chance to prepare the ground for next year’s new berries. Rather than fight with digging up sod, or spraying it, we first put heavy paper over the grass.
Next, we put some old hay we scavenged from a nearby farm.
By next spring, the ground will be ready to plant. These two rows will probably contain fall raspberries and blackberries. How much many more rows to do???

April 28, 2005 – Goose Egg

Our “guard geese” have been laying lately. Opening the egg is like trying to crack a bowling ball. Although it is hard to see via this photo, here’s one egg filling up a frying pan with a knife for scale.

We got the geese after we started losing a chicken or so every other night. After the geese arrived, we have not lost a chicken to night predation.

Had a humorous e-mail at work. It was from an EVP to the sales force. Here’s a sample line: “You might think I’m a numb nuts” In addition there were references to “moving this puppy” (not talking about young dogs). And “This will P.O. (HR wouldn’t let me write this out) a lot of people” I wondered how “pissed off” wasn’t ok but “Numb nuts” was? So we thought we perhaps needed to change the tone of the writing we do to match. Here’s what we came up with for a standard “How To” in a new, less formal style.

OK numb nuts, I know you want to check the latest mortgage rates, so just shut up and listen. This puppy is a picky beast and one wrong click and you’re liable to refinance the loans of over 2 million Wells Fargo customers instead of just the Joe Blow in your office. When this mother of a screen opens, ignore most of the b.s. and just type in their name and social security number. When you click “Refinance Now,” this bad boy may take a while to chug, just chill and start reading all the legal mumbo-jumbo while the mother updates.

April 27, 2005 – The “Upstairs Basement”

Shortly after Martin learned to talk, he referred to the attic as the “upstairs basement.” I thought that was a great way to describe what an attic is if you don’t know that word. It contains virtually the same stuff as the basement. I wonder if any grad students out there have done any studies on the likelihood of certain items being stored in the basement or attic.

At any rate, today was another lousy cold, windy day (but it would be a great day to have a windmill). Martin and I took a load of scrap metal to the landfill for recycling (old bent fence posts, old woven wire, pots, lamps, fence bracing). It’s always nice to get rid of that stuff and think you’re not on the slippery slope to junky farm.

As it looks like we may be re-roofing and adding a dormer to the attic, that means it is time to clean out the attic. It’s one of those tasks that you can work for three hours and an untrained eye would see virtually no difference. For all the attic voyuers, here’s a peak into ours.

attic 1

Martin was occupied playing with old toys and looking through old photo albums. There is one nice part about the existing attic – the old handrail around the stairway. It is nicely finished but the attic is not. Did they give up?
attic 1

I brought down all the framed photos we took off the walls in the main room before we remodeled last summer (It may be time to put them back up).

April 26, 2005 – Brother Kraig

I would be remiss if after featuring sister Julie, I did not follow-up with brother Kraig. A huge Wilco and Brother Trucker fan, he’s hooked on trout fishing in Iowa (that is a sport, not a band), and his job with CHEP managing reusable pallets.

Kraig also has a passion for fine wine. A worldwide search for the finest viticulture found him in the Burgundy region of France, Rhine Valley in Germany, the back corners of Austria and Hungary, a scan of the Australian landscape, a look at the emerging vineyards of Chile – before finally discovering his all-time favorite reserve variety at a Rochester, MN Hy-Vee store.