The Gales Of Novembre’

The gales of November came early. And the corn blew down. What wasn’t already blown down. Back when I was a kid there were many years the corn stood out there all winter damn near and never blew over. The tops would be blown off after the corn bore had hollowed out the upper stalk. But the bottom stem up to the ear would stand fast. Now they have genetically manipulated the seed to produce a toxic fungus that kills the pests. So the whole plant stays intact. So the wind has a lever. So the corn levers over. Progress, they say.

The gales of November had a tornado embedded. The whole pleasure train came complete with a snowstorm caboose. Nice little way to top off a disaster. Burn you with a tornado then freeze you out with a blizzard. At the height of the blowing snow I got a call from the stay at gone mom to come get her. She was done cutting hair and ready to be picked up. I had her van because my pickup was up on a jack while the tire was replaced. With none left in stock they had to order one. Nothing like driving in a snowstorm to make you a stay at home person.

That was all forty acres or so ago. Today we had a half inch rain overnight and breezy mists all day. Not very conducive to picking downed corn. But I dumped the six wagons I stayed up till 10:30 last night picking. It takes longer in downed corn. But it’s a chance to sell some dirt. At corn prices. Rooting around in the downed corn with the corn snoots on the corn head causes some of the tangled tops (still attached thanks to genetic engineering) to go in upside down one row over and it yanks the whole plant out roots and all. Some of the dirt from the root balls gets knocked off into the corn. Progress(ively worse)!

So the landlord gets to keep some of my corn. I get to sell some of his land. Not by the acre, not by the square foot, by the bushel. Fair trade. FM? In this case the foreign material is free mud. Complete with fertilizer and good humus. I try to take good care of my soils. Trust me, it’s worth more than the $3.40 per bushel the corn is bringing. But then so is the corn. I have over $4.00 wrapped up in it as I speak. Plus interest.


My harvest song for the rest of the run.

Where the downed corn grows …….


Two Sents

Two hits. Views. I get more likes from my poems than I do from my regular blogging. For some reason I don’t get anymore views. Does that mean folks are liking but not reading? If that’s the case this might be the write thing to do. Adding my two “sents” every week or so to remind myself from the future what I’m working on today. Providing I can find my way back.

I was looking at some pictures today that the stay at gone mom found going through tubs of old papers from the last twenty five or more years. They were shots of older projects I had almost forgotten I’d done. Not to mention old enterprises I’d long since moved on from. Back then I didn’t blog. I never had a journal. I would (and still do) write timely things that needed noted down on a calender. If the day couldn’t be condensed down into one little calender square I’d(‘ll) use a neighboring square of no significance.

For a while I thought this was as good a place for such things but have lost enough in cyber space to know better now. If it’s important it gets a calender square or two. An in real life back up. Also known as two chances to loose it. Which I can and do. That’s where here may prove as good or better. If you tell one other person it’s no longer a secret. Once a secret’s out it’s out. I’ve never heard of a rumor getting lost. By adding a “sent” or two the secret becomes rumor.

At least that’s what I heard.



Sprung II

More geese. Calm cool mornings and warm dry days. Not a trail in the air. Two Robins kicking the living crap out of each other. Fighting over nesting, foraging, breeding rights most probably. I kept looking around for the Peta people or the local animal shelter folks to show up and put a stop to these two Robin cock’s fighting. Just a couple cocks doing what cocks do. I was wagering on the large one winning but secretly rooting for the little guy. You gotta feel sorry for small cocks don’t ya? I caught my breath sitting on one of the last few logs to need split up for firewood. I headed in to see if I had a connection yet. That seems to be sprung too. Provider says it’s my router. The Stay At Gone Mom says we can buy one cheaper at Best Buy than he’ll sell it to us for. But what if that’s not it? Wouldn’t we be trapped into owning a new router?

I had a connection so I did a quick study of commodity price history on the web. Near as I can tell we are within close proximity with where everything was situated about five years ago. So the last five years were just a dream. We’re suppose to be able to pay back all those extra trillions with no more money than we had before the trillions were created. In other words all those trillions have simply disappeared. I guess maybe the Fed is magic after all. Look over there, we’re printing money ……. while the traditional wealth generators are shredded as fast as the money comes out of the printing presses. Silly fools, there’s no such thing as a safe investment. How much are you willing to pay to keep your money safe? So far a few percent. But in a runaway deflationary vortex simply having money at the bottom will generate tremendous effects. Buy low, anyone?

Already bought? Whoops! Don’t worry the trap hasn’t sprung yet. Go big or go home they like to say. They are going to spend a while gathering in the foreign money. A pint’s a pound the world around. This strong dollar will attract tons of foreign capital to our shores. Above and beyond the traditional imbalances of trade. Called a flight to “quality”. absurdly enough. The need to be in the strong economy that’s appreciating as apposed to the weaker ones that are depreciating. That demand for dollars is one reason they are appreciating. A huge amount of those dollars will be parked in stocks. Once they’ve loaded up on our stocks the trap will spring. You didn’t think they’d only pick on us did you? Remember how much overseas money they raked in on the sub prime trap? It damn near broke Europe. It still might. Especially after this trap is sprung too.




& never more employed …….

The holidays are over so I suppose I’d better get back to work. Even though I officially retired years ago. Farms ago. Three farms ago to be honest. I retired but my neighbor and my old man kept giving me the opportunity to farm another farm. If asked I will farm. It’s what I do. I retired a herd or two ago also. Oh, I had a herd when I retired and I had no intentions of getting rid of them. I had every intention of eliminating the work that a herd can become. I quit vaccinating. I quit implanting with growth hormones. I quit catching and tagging the calves when they were born. I quit turning the bull in and only letting them breed for the two traditional months around here, I let him stay with the girls year round now even if it means winter calves. A cow that can calve successfully in the winter is a keeper, just ask her calf. I kept the herd but jettisoned the bullshit. Overboard and out of mind.

I was going to farm the two farms I had rented on 50/50 share crop leases, run my little herds of cows and pigs (oh yea, I had pigs back then), watch the kids when the stay at gone mom was in road gear, and enjoy the rest of my life. Less than twenty cows and less than twenty hogs was retiring compared with the huge herds I had worked on for other people. What I was retiring from was working off the farm to make ends meet. That I did. I eventually got rid of the last few hogs. My last sow’s litter was only one pig. I was amazed when the son in law of a neighbor lady stopped by wanting to buy one forty pound pig exactly when the little shit hit forty pounds. But then I stopped at another neighbor’s lane one day when he was unloading a pickup load of cockle burs to burn in the road ditch and told him if he rented me that farm instead of the guy he had rented it to that I would make sure he never had to cut cockle burs again.

That led to a larger combine …….

Then the government came up with a freedom to farm farm program that allowed us to be in the program without having to maintain the governments base acres for each program crop. My old man said,”If I read it right that law says I can force you boys (two of my brothers and I) to farm it right!” Then he added quite conciliatory,” This won’t hurt you will it, it’s those other two birds I’m gunning for but I have to be fair and do it all around.” I told him no it wouldn’t hurt me to sow it all half down to hay even though it did. I had no real hay tools and had been hiring that done for the little bit of hay I had.

That led to buying a mower, rake and baler …….

Eventually it led to a larger herd after getting stiffed on a hay sale to a neighbor that went belly up. (He says he still intends to pay me but it’s been over ten years) I decided to feed it to cattle myself and use the manure to build up weak spots in the soils around the farms. I will feed it in big round bale feeders right on the spots where the soils need built up. I will only move the feed rings a little way over each time until the whole hard pan area is covered with cow manure. I have been able to get twice the crops on these areas in the years after “treating” them with cattle scat.

That led to doubling the herd …….

Then I had an older brother move to Arizona for his heart and Dad offered me his farm. I was reluctant to take it because up till then no one was renting more than one farm from Dad. How would the rest of the family feel if I rented two of his then three farms? I still had one brother whom never farmed and two who weren’t currently farming. Plus I had an older brother who was farming but hadn’t ever rented from “the folks”. (It was in Mom’s name) After Dad had convinced me no one else in the family needed the farm I agreed to farm it. But I didn’t have enough cattle for the increase in pasture and hay. It was already half sewed down and the freedom to farm program was still in effect.

That led to a newer combine and redoubling the herd …….

After that Dad foresaw the zero interest rate debacle looming on the horizon and he cashed out his CD’s that were paying compound interest in the teens and he converted the cash into farmland. He bought two just as they started to take off from the last high point before the great farm crises of the 1980’s. One he never actually bought. He had taken title to it (again in Mom’s name since she “forced” him into it) when my older brother borrowed funds to get the farm out of hock to another farmer he’d borrowed from. Dad only charged him interest (real interest of 4% not the zirp the banks are on) each year and he had the option of paying it all off whenever he wanted, so long as Dad was still alive. If Dad died (and he did a few years after) the option to buy it back died along with him. So the only brother farming who wasn’t renting from Dad was/is and I’m renting three from “him” for six or seven years now. (two from his trust, one from Mom)

Which leads to doing more work than I did before I retired …….



Guard N

Fresh garden tomatoes. Cucumbers and squash. Oh and cherry tomatoes, great on a salad. My little brother is such a suck ass. He bought an acreage a few years back and they’re growing a garden this year. It sounds like they have produce coming out of their ears. It never works that way for me.

I married the stay at gone mom because she said she was a gardener. She said her and her dad used to grow one. The first year after our oldest daughter was born I disked her up a nice big strip alongside the lane so she could plant her garden there. I can’t remember how much we spent but the garden turned out to be a strip of foxtail and other weeds. She grew no produce. Said something about the baby not allowing her to get much done.

So for years we never mentioned it again. Then when she sold the building we had converted to a beauty shop so she could be a stay at home mom she said she wanted to grow a garden. This time I paid attention to how much she spent. Around four hundred dollars. The cost was higher she said because she had to till her plot this time. She still won’t tell me how much she spent last time. The patch of lambs quarters, pig weeds and wild hemp that took over the plot this time did look a lot healthier than her first weed patch. I was even able to rescue two pepper plants that had refused to die and each one put on a couple of peppers. One hundred dollar peppers. I don’t think she can compete in the market.

But she can grow weeds. Maybe we ought to move to Washington State or Colorado. Weed’s legal there I hear.

But that may take a little more guard n.