Riding out my first Derecho

I am thankful.

About noon today a severe storm system that nobody saw coming  (at least not initially) ripped a wide swath of destruction across Eastern Iowa.

Son and I were just starting to pour a footing for a retaining wall when the homeowner came over and asked if our phones had alerted us to a major storm that was heading our way.  It hadn’t.    She pulled up the weather channel , it said we had about 30 minutes before it would be on top of us.

It was packing wind speeds of 100 mph (160 kilos).  Not to mention, the neighborhood we were working in was surrounded by large trees.

We were able to finish the pour, and get on the road about 10 minutes before it hit.

I have never in my life experienced anything quite like it.

Found out tonight this kind of a storm is called a Derecho (which means straight in Spanish/ as in straight line winds.

We pulled next to a gas station and watched power line poles snap,  shingles get ripped off the apartment building across the street.  The winds lasted at least 45 minutes, and when it came time to try to get home,  most of the streets in the area, were blocked by downed trees, and power lines.

Saw two of these large metal high power lines in a twisted heap,  with wires across the highway.

Photo compliments of google

Once we finally got out of the city, we saw (3) overturned semis, metal grain bins, twisted and blown onto the highway, and lots, and lots of mature trees down.

The cornfields in the path of those winds were a total loss

(grabbed this off FB tonight):

Neighbor said she’d heard 40 some cell towers were down in our area.  I can believe it.

Pulled this off the news channel this morning:

We were working about 45 minutes away from home, and our town was in the path of the storm. I told my son, that if our place was hit, there was no doubt in my mind, the 3 bee hives were going to be blown over.  I have one of them cinched together with a strap, and the other two smaller ones, just have a large rock on the top to keep the lid from blowing of.  No way in the world they would have been able to withstand  a 100 mph sustained winds.

As we got closer to home, I could see, some of the corn fields had been spared, and by the time we were within 10 minutes of home, I was pretty sure  (somehow) the storm had went around us.

Talk about mercy…

As we passed our third overturned semi we saw a deputy directing traffic.

I looked at my son and said,  

And to think there are people who want to dismantle  law enforcement….

“They are a  bunch of dumb a@#’s!  

I have an interview I would really like your thoughts on but…

But rather than me post it here w/o your permission, if you’re interested in watching it, I would e-mail the link to you directly.  (It pertains to current events related to the virus (and more)  This interview has  been blocked on Youtube and restricted on Facebook.

If even 25% of what this Doctor said  turns out to be true…

What it did for me was connect some dots on  things have been happening.

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I am friends with a local MD, she messaged me a couple of days ago, really distressed about a data base she has subscribed to for the past 30 years…  Won’t go into it any further than that, but it ties into the interview I’m talking about.

 

I think the whole interview is about 45 minutes long.  No pressure.  Let me know.  I look @ those of you that are regulars as extended family, and because of that, I respect you too much to just stuff things into your in box.  All of us are so bombarded and saturated by information, the last thing I want to be is that person in your life.

Rumblings

I had a friend do some welding on my truck this morning.

I’ll call him Dave.

While we were working,  Dave was reminiscing about the time  he worked for Harnishfeger.

(Harnishfeger  was a local manufacturing company that built cranes)

Dave worked 2nd shift.  He worked in their experimental lab building prototypes.

Their shop was several hundred yards away from the main plant.  Company had an old pick up truck the guys used to shuttle back and forth to the main building. Guys were always playing practical jokes on each other, and one day, Dave had this brilliant idea of parking an excavator next to the shuttle, resting the bucket  in the bed of the truck, then hiding the keys.

Well, things got busy, and the whole prank slipped his mind until next day when his shift was walking out to the lab.  Someone came up to him (and the rest of the crew) and said, “Whatever you do, don’t say anything, even if you know who did it…. The shift foreman is livid, The hydraulics settled overnight, and the bucket of the excavator punched a hole right through the bed of the truck.  When they find out who is responsible, that person is probably going to loose his job.”

I said, “Then what happened?”

“I went directly to the foreman and confessed the whole thing.  Took complete responsibility.  Told him I had no intention for things to get that far out of hand, I was just stupid.   I owned it.”

Dave got his butt chewed, but didn’t get fired.

Two months later, Dave was promoted to foreman of that 2nd shift.

Lesson there. 🙂

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Had this story (and other ones) rumbling around in my head the past while.   They don’t seem to quite “fit” my farm blog, so I decided to take this blog out of cold storage yet again. 😉

I have to be honest.

There have been several times I’ve  wanted to give voice to something , but squelched it because, I knew I would rustle  feathers.

Life is too short to get into pissing matches, on line or in person…but especially on the Internet.

So I keep my thoughts to myself.

I used to get together a couple of times a month with a self professed anarchist.  He was a few years older than myself.  Did a tour in Vietnam  and came back angry.  Long story short, he and I were on opposite ends of the spectrum politically, spiritually, etc.  yet we shared a common interest in history.  He was articulate, and I honestly wanted to understand his thinking when it came to current events…

It worked.

Over coffee, he and I would get into the most robust conversations and I think we both came away richer for it.

I love conversations like that, if they happen in the context of mutual respect.

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Currently I am sleeping like a baby.

Even in the midst of the current craziness.

Some of it has to do with my job.

There is an old saying  “The laborers sleep is sweet.”   

Most days, I come home physically spent.  So that’s part of it.

Another big part for me is what I’ve been taking into my mind.

I have become even more ruthless (and selective) if that’s possible, when it comes to staying informed.

I refuse to spend my life going from one “crisis” that consumes me to the next.

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There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience.

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Thanks for stopping by, on this 4th of July 2020!

Take care. DM

 

 

 

To everything there is a season….

   ” To everything there is a season, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…

A time to speak and a time to remain silent…”  

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Been thinking about putting this blog in the archives for a little while  now.

90% of you that are regular readers know I also have a “farm” blog, which I do plan to continue to use.  Rather than just up and disappear, I wanted to put this little notification out.  If you don’t know that website, and are interested,  leave me a comment and I’ll send it to you via e-mail.

I’ll probably leave this blog up for a couple of weeks, just to make sure any regulars  know how to find me, and after that I’ll put it in the can along with my other blog.

Take care, DM

 

True…That

 

Yesterday morning on my way to work, I passed through the town of XYZ.

A young friend and former co-worker lives in this town, and sometimes I will  call (or text him) just to let him know I am thinking of him.

That happened yesterday,  🙂  I texted him once I got to the job-site.

Several years ago he  played the part of the tailor in the play Fiddler on the roof.

Remember that story?

I texted him:

“Blessings on your head, mazel tov, mazel tov.”

Forty five minutes later he replies: “Morn’n Tevya!”

To which I said: “If I were a rich man…”

An hour later he replied:“Ah, but you’ve been blessed with beautiful daughters, (and son) plus that pesky fiddler on your roof!”

His words made my morning.

Made me think about my four kids…

I am a rich man.

I am thankful for these relationships for several reasons.

When I was younger (and they were young) I didn’t “get it.”  I poured too much of my time and energy into other “good things”.  ie helping other people, youth group, work,  instead of cherishing the ones closest to me.   So I am thankful for the relationships I do have.

I am thankful for each of their diverse personalities.

I am thankful for the  adult version each of them has turned into (in spite of us as parents feeling like we were flying by the seat of our pants, the whole time.)

I am thankful I get to work with our son currently.  He has his own masonry  and commercial business, and I have my own construction and remodeling business.  Some days, he’s the boss, and other days, I am in charge.  What a blessing!

 

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How about you.  Tell me something (somethings) you need to be more thankful for.

You know me, I love details…..details.

If you can’t think of something right now on the spot, give it some thought, and come back.

 

 

Keeping the peace

One of my main goals when I started blogging was to keep it real… I have no interest in projecting a sanitized version of myself to the world.

I’m more of a velveteen rabbit/ skin horse sort of person.

Love it when I meet someone who is keeping it real…so on that note, I came across this picture this morning:

I’m posting it as a reminder to myself.

Virtual hugs and clink of my coffee cup with each of  you. DM

 

Checking In

How are you doing this morning?

What’s it like locally where you live?

I was telling my wife this morning over coffee, one of the harder things to deal with (for me) is getting accurate information,  trying to sort the crazy rumors out from what’s really true so we can make good decisions.

I stumbled across a fresh source of news on Thursday I have good feelings about.  It’s called the Epoch Times.  They are currently running a special.  First month is only a $1.00, then after that, it’s $70 something for 6 months.  What impressed me, well one of the things that really impressed me was their coverage on the Covid-19 (the coronavirus).  They have an ongoing data base that is updated every couple of minutes with statistics on number of confirmed cases, number of deaths, broken down, by country, and state.   Crunching the numbers myself, I saw that in Italy for example the rate of death was over 8%…which is crazy.  When it comes to accurate information from China, I absolutely do not trust the information, from them or the mainstream media in our country.

Got this off their website:

    “The Epoch Times was founded in the United States in the year 2000 in response to communist repression and censorship in China. Our founders, Chinese-Americans who themselves had fled communism, sought to create an independent media to bring the world uncensored and truthful information. We are free from the influence of any government, corporation, or political party—this is what makes us different from other media organizations. Our goal is to bring our readers accurate information so they can form their own opinions about the most significant topics of our time.”

I’ll let you know in a month, whether or not we chose to subscribe.  It’s a little steep, but knowledge is power as the saying goes.

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On a local front here, I have a full morning.  Dropping off a couple of dozen farm fresh eggs to one of our regulars,  then stopping by my mom and dad’s for a cup of coffee.   Their in their 80’s so they are laying low.   At 10 I am picking up our 6 year old grandson.  He get’s to hang out with grandpa today (me), going to show him how to start tomato plants from seeds.   Then as they mature, send several of the plants home with him for him to plant and take care of and eventually show him how to save tomato seeds for next season.

After our seed starting workshop, we are going to pick up beer cans.

Home Schooling PE class at it’s finest. 🙂

Get some exercise, clean up the environment, hang out with grandpa and make money at the same time,

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Here’s a link to the Epoch Times, in case you are curious:

And finally, I’ll leave you with this…I shared it last year:

Take care. DM

Growing up on a farm

Write about what you know they say…..

Growing up on a farm shaped me in ways  I didn’t realize at the time.

Seeds were  planted that didn’t germinate until years later.

Like when you have to borrow your neighbors tractor make sure you top off the gas tank before you take it back.  And if by chance, something breaks, you  get it fixed. Take it back better than when you got it.

Everybody thinks that way, right?

Found out a few years ago, that is not always true.

We invited a young person stay with us for three months, a musician who was trying to get their bearings.  We didn’t have a spare vehicle, so I put the word out  amongst my people to see if anyone would have a spare loaner car?    Well, a few months turned into almost a year, and when it came time to return the car, our guest was incredulous that I insisted we needed to take it to the shop to get some things fixed that had started to act up.

What was I thinking?   Our guest didn’t have any extra money, plus that was a risk my friends had taken when they originally loaned the vehicle out.

Absolutely no way my guest was responsible for any repairs on that car!!!

No way.

Wasn’t going to happen.

They looked at me like I was nuts.

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I moved to the farm when I was  9.

Left the summer I graduated high school and didn’t looked back….until 19 years later…

At that point, we were in middle of raising a family of our own,  things were not going to well.  We decided we needed  to find  a place  in the country, even if we had to rent, to regain control of our lives.

It worked.

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I’ve spent several weeks again  this winter, working on our family history.  I’ve got most of the important names and dates established, going back 4 generations  and in some cases, multiple generations more. My next goal is to flesh it out with stories.  That’s  probably where some of the stirrings for this post came from.

Several of my ancestors were farmers.

Unless you grow up on a farm, you probably never gave much thought to what it is like to milk a fresh heifer (fresh heifer = young female cow who has just had her first calf) by hand? Especially when it’s fifteen times your weight,  has no interest in getting milked, because it has a case of mastitis.

Can you say RODEO?

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Ever had an old rooster come after you?  Not sure about other animals but a mean rooster can sense  if you’re afraid.  Chickens really do have a pecking order and the rooster is usually @ the top of the flock.   Depending on the bird, they may either try to fly up into your face and peck you, or grab you by the leg and rip you with his spurs.

I tell them to bring it on.

Roosters are like bullies.  You just have to let them know who is in charge.  It’s all about boundaries.

 

Dad and I with three of his roosters.

All three of them came after me that day.

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Well, I feel a nap coming on.

Definitely did not learn the art of napping growing up on the farm…just the opposite.

“Better is one hand with quietness, than two fists full, with  stress  and the chasing after the wind. ”  3000 yr old proverb.

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I have a couple of stories about  buffalo I want to write about next.  We raised them until the bull got loose.

Later!  DM

Brother and I back in the day holding a couple of farm cats

I was a little skeptical, but…

I just finished watching the following.

Call me skeptical.

I am a child of the 60’s.

I can still remember the sweet smell of DDT.  We used to chase after the mosquito spraying bug truck on our bikes as he went through our neighborhood.

That explains a lot 🙂

DDT was 100% safe, until it wasn’t.

So was smoking

Agent Orange

Round Up

Vaping…

Come to find out the experts didn’t know squat…..

That’s all I’m going to say…

Give her 5 minutes, and if you’re not hooked, I’d be very surprised.

Learners corner

Got a phone call  at 7:30 this morning from my sister-in-law.  She was standing @ the contractor’s desk at Home Depot, trying to order materials for their basement remodel.  She told me the other day when we were talking, she was starting to “get it”…as in the lingo, construction lingo..the difference between studs, and plate material, white wood, treated,  types of insulation, the purpose of a vapor barrier..fire blocking,  etc. etc.

She still has questions but I have been amazed at how quickly she has picked things up.   Heck I still  run into situations all the time that I’m not familiar with and I’ve been around it for over 40 years.   Life lesson: Better to speak up and ask, than bluff and pay the piper later.

While we were on the phone,  My mind went to  an article I’d been carrying around in my wallet since October.  We’d spent the weekend at our daughters watching the grand kids and an article from  American Hunter magazine caught my eye.  It was about a young home schooling mother and her 10 year old daughter who hunt moose for the tribal people in Alaska.  Fascinating story:

“When a seasoned mother-daughter from Alaska visits our man in Idaho, for some turkey hunting lessons,  the line between mentor and pupil becomes blurred”

The writer talked about taking this mother/ daughter turkey hunting…something totally new to them (even though they hunt for a living.)

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My new friends Martha and Elli  came to Dancing Springs Ranch at the start of last turkey season.  Neither had ever seen a turkey in the wild, and they knew precious little about shotguns.

     “I have a Mossberg youth model pump 20-gauge that should fit you guys pretty well,” I announced, thinking this would impress them.

 “What’s a pump 20-gauge?” Elli asked.

 “You don’t know what a pump 20-gauge is?”  I didn’t really say that, but that’s what popped into my head.  Isn’t this typical for experienced hunters?  We assume everyone should know this basic stuff and being human, we leap at the opportunity to show off our “superior” knowledge. 

Wrong approach.

We win no converts by intimidating or insulting them.

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Having been in the learners corner myself multiple times, I’ve experienced both, great teachers and condescending, arrogant  twits,

My memories are still fresh.

(I tried to get my CDL class A semi drivers license a couple of times a few years go…that world is full of twits, and I still don’t have my license. 😉

Same thing happened when I went to a local gun shop a few years ago.  My ability to talk the lingo is still limited.  Some of the guys behind the counter I encountered were awesome, and one in particular was a class A twit.

When I was gearing up to teach a college level construction program, it was a steep learning curve…but the school I was working for was a class act.  I was surrounded by patient people.)

So the next time you find yourself talking to someone with little or no knowledge of some area that you do know, think before you open your mouth, and get impatient. Think about the person in front of you and the last time you were in over your head in a new area of life.

Be nice. 🙂

Someone will love you for it.

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What areas of life do you have a working knowledge? (You don’t have to consider yourself “an expert.” Maybe it’s a hobby you dabble in, so something you used to do for a job…  really the list is endless… But if someone came to you with a question, you know enough to at least point them in the right direction? 🙂

I would love to get a list of the areas of interest represented in this readership.

Once a few of you have commented, I will add my list in the comment section.  No brag/ just fact.  DM