Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Take it easy

From the past, via the future. August 10, 2016.


And it's now the season of easy living.

We had a very cold December and January, followed by a warmish February, then a normalish March and April, and finally, a chilly, damp May.

Calving is all but done. We like to have 80 percent of the cows calved out in the first six weeks, and we did that and more this year. It was a very good calving season. It was a lot of hard work, mostly because of the weather.

That dampish, coolish March-May period really slowed the arrival of the season of easy living. I was finally able to turn my furnace off last week, and Sunday was the first night I was able to leave the windows open overnight. Ahhhhh. Finally.

Carpenter, Honey, and Sweat bees.
They appear to be drunk on the sweetness of spring nectar.
The roses bloomed two weeks late this year.
But now I'm behind on out-of-doors nice weather work. I've got a feces load of fence to fix, a shop to clean and organize, metal junk to load out and sell, stock tanks to drain and scrape and caulk and refill, and a bunch of other fun stuff to do.

But first, it's time to garden. Ah, gardening! What a way to waste money! I'd hate it if it wasn't so enjoyable.

This year (over the last two days, actually) I built some raised garden plots out of railroad ties...

You can never have too many railroad ties.
A well loved and trusty gardening tool.
Work in progress.
...and installed a couple of tractor-tire mini-gardens. Mostly for Mom, so she doesn't have to do as much bending over. Not that I won't benefit as well!
Shaping up.
Peppers and tomaters.
And melons and squash.
It's a lot of work, building those frames and filling them with earth. As I get older, railroad ties and dirt get heavier. But it's a fun project and it'll be interesting to see how it all works out. In theory, I can make the soil more perfect than in a regular garden, so I'm expecting a bumper crop. Or perhaps a crop failure.

So hard physical work, stinging sweat, aching muscles and joints. Part of the joy of spring. Love the smell of creosote in the sunshine, love the stinging tingle it gives when ground into sweating pores. That's livin'!

And of course the dogs help out. They know when I need to take a break and play ball.

Hey human! Quit larking about and get on with the serious stuff!
So the tire gardens are now planted, and the frames are ready for seed. Guess I'd better get to it.
Almost done (and other lies).
You can't have too many bobcats, either.
Soil sauce!
Almost done (really).
A little dihydrogen monooxide...
And here's a June 7 peek at Herefordshire...


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. Watch out for that "Play Ball" request. That ball is WAAAAYYYYYYY down there on the ground. Although, between the pain meds and the muscle relaxant, I've been sleeping pretty well....and often!

    1. After reading your post I was very careful to use good technique when lifting those ties. I had the back thing once, years ago, and hope it stays away.

    2. That is a job for an end loader!

  2. I had a small John Deere utility tractor, with an end loader. End loaders do make life easier, you can do so many thing with them, use them as fork lifts, carry firewood with them. use them as work platforms, I am told you can even move earth with them!

    The grille guard on the Chevy, here in Wisconsin, that would be called a deer smucker. Is there a Nebraska term for it?

    1. I have the strength of many, because my heart is pure but mostly because of the internal combustion engine.

      We call that metal on the front a parking aid.

  3. Nice to see you are having a good beginning to summer! Right you are, one cannot have too many RR ties.

    Have you ever tried straw bale gardening? It would be kind to your mom's back.

    LOL, we call them cowcatchers, but as I am fresh out of cows
    I'm borrowing your parking aid designation.

    1. Never have tried straw bale gardening. Maybe I'll give it a try. I cringe at what straw bales are going for these days though.

      Heh -- we Nebraskans are aggressive parkers. :)

    2. As opposed to nosy parkers...