And already recuperated. I actually took a nap. Two days in a row! It may be hell to get old but a little rest is heavenly. Before you get too judgmental I am over fifty. You know, old? As a certified hayseed a nap is not anathema. It’s highly recommended. Call it a power nap if you must to satisfy the illusion of a work ethic. Call it siesta if your Mediterranean. I’m calling it over now that I’ve woken up.

Now, on to cattle. Or more specifically away with cattle. If it’s a bull it’s time to pull. The same with cull. Hamburger calls. Which brings up something I’ve wanted to talk about ever since I heard on the news about it. A-1 Steak Sauce. According to the report A1 Steak Sauce is dropping the word Steak from their name. From now on they will simply be A1 Sauce, like they were when they first came out. A1 Original Sauce. Beats the heck out of ketchup. And a notch or two above the lowly salsa. For your steak burrito. Or was that burrow steak?

The company is trying to put a positive spin on the decision to drop the word steak. They will play it like the sauce is good on everything. They’re expanding their market reach. That America has this divergent amalgam of exotic foods and they must extend their appeal to the variance of tastes. Not the true reality that the sauce makes the dogfood poor Americans can afford palatable and they’re sensitive to the customer’s feelings of downward mobility. They may be shooting themselves in the foot though. Having that word steak on the bottle may have been some sort of ghetto status symbol around the hoods. Many may have thought the sauce was made out of steak, it was steak brown in color.

Fifty years ago they had added the word steak to appeal to an American market back when America was affluent enough to afford to eat steak. Back when I was a child. Back when a country’s wealth was measured in protein units available to eat. No wait, it still is. According to what they are writing about China and other developing nations. Today they are becoming more affluent. Today we are not. Today Americans are considered fortunate if they can afford hamburger. Let alone expensive cuts of butcher’s beef. A chicken in every pot is all you can aspire to here in the land of former opportunity. Maybe a crawdad or a catfish if you have the skill. Devolution. We have once again become the tired and hungry. We have reverted to the huddled masses yearning to breath free. We thought we were change but the spots have leoparded back on. The steady decline of the American Reich. Fries with that?

In a word, Done.

Then, there …….




The Final Countdown (The Last Patch)

Last Field. Last Farm. I forgot to call last farm the other day, yesterday.  It was the other day I hit last farm but I took two off over the Holiday week end. Yesterday in my post I should have called last farm. Today I did. Last Farm. Did I mention I’m planting my last farm? I have fifteen acres left. Yesterday’s fifteen acres turned out to be more like twenty five. I was only finishing up in the twilight. I was exhausted so I came in the house (This last farm happens to be the home place) to check the radar. I had seen a thunderhead blowing up in the far distant south and I didn’t want to stop if we had rain moving in. Even if it meant starting this last patch in the near dark and running most of it in the dark.

Yesterday I ran after more openers and ordered more packer wheels for the grain drill from Lindeman’s Tractor. I had a Silly Philly at The West Side Diner in Atlantic, Iowa and headed home to fuel up the 1466 and fill the two seed boxes on the drill. I headed out and muscled up the dual rim and what was left of the hub that broke off running down tile line dirt humps and unloaded it up by the shop. Did I mention the wheel falling off the other day? That’s what I get for running on a Sunday. I sent the stay at gone mom into town after the last of the seed and headed down across the creek to finish that patch. No major breakdowns happened. But like I said, there was about ten more acres left to plant over there than I thought.

This last patch is the one I drive by every time I leave or arrive at the home place. It lays right alongside the driveway and the road.  There was no rain on radar until Kansas and that wasn’t blowing up larger or moving north so I crashed hard and heavy. Almost as if I was already done. This morning I checked the net for a 16 day rain outlook from NOAA and they have us down for between 5 and 10 inches of rain by the middle of June. This will be the last chance to slug soybeans into the ground until the last half of June. Literally the final countdown on planting. I couldn’t be happier. There’s no feeling like working the last patch.

Except maybe being done.

Until I am …….



May Day III

Titan Machine in Avoca had a man on post. He could muster up a parts man who would come in and make a hose. I was back together after a few hours and rained out by five o’clock that afternoon. We had had a shower that morning but not enough to stop planting. It had sprinkled on and off all afternoon as storms brewed up and worked around me. And right as I could see the western skies clearing and brightening up a steady shower caused my wheels to slip so I called it a day. Overnight we had a general rain. I needed a rest anyway. So I took two.

This morning however I need to get back to it. Last night as I was out mending fence and watching the backside of a thunderstorm that somehow missed us I noticed it was almost getting dry enough in the soil to go again. And I have more fence to move this morning. I’m cleaning up the winter quarters. The cattle’s winter quarters. I need to move two hay rings into the barnyard. I need to wedge the third bale ring the cows tore up into a gate hole. I’ve been shoring up the messed up gate that their grandparents tore up with pieces of destroyed bale rings for years. If it’ll turn a cow …….  Iron’s second life.

I never did get any extra parts for the Great Plains drill. I’m down to my last spare packer wheel. I’m out of spare disk openers. With only thirty acres to plant it’s tempting to make a run for it. But I know better. So I’ll make a run to town instead. A step back inside of society. Maybe I can get some vittles while I’m at it. Give the soil a little more drying time.  The weather folks say the rain may hold off the next few days but then there’s a chance every day after so I better get rock en. See ya then, see ya there.



Cloud 8.9

I’m broke down. A hydraulic hose blew last night after dark. I was able to plant another 85 acres yesterday.  I hope I can find a hose on a Sunday during Memorial Day weekend. Super moist overnight but no real rain. Some mists around midnight and so much moisture in the air you can see/feel it. Cloud Nine. Less than fifty acres to go. Hope well for me. Hope well for you.