Okay, this is not about the virus. You can go ahead and read it. Just a story of two simple, old people grappling with life on a farm. Supposed to be funny, and I depend on Larry to provide material. He’s really good at it.

Last night I overheard him tell someone the phone: “no, we’re not doing much. Just hanging out. Reading.”

This from a man who spent the morning stringing wire between posts of the rail fence in order to prevent the new baby calves from wandering out onto Llewellyn. See, on Tuesday night a calf was found wandering on the road. A passing motorist and a neighbor managed to get the calf back behind the fence, and called our neighbor Terri, who called us. Who called Ryan, who didn’t answer. So, we’re it. And it’s raining. We’re not experienced at stringing wire, of using a “come-along” to tighten the wire. But we managed to string enough so that any calf who escaped up- stream from this work would still be confined to our property by the entry gates.

This from a man who weeded the daffodil bed in front of the orchard. Who planted 50 onion sets and 30 lettuce and cabbage plants, in the rain. Who cleaned the chicken coop.

See how funny he is?

This morning we decided to walk down the road in lieu of working out in our garage gym, and were surprised to see that our herd had doubled overnight. How did we fail to notice? And then there he was, a black calf wandering along our driveway. Oh man. If he turned left when he ran from us, we’d have a chance of getting him back behind the fence where his mother was mooing at him. If he turned right, he’d be out in the field where we’d never corner him.

Luckily, he went left, but in his haste to get away from us, struggled through the 2nd and 3rd strands of barbed wire governing that section. Ouch! We counted the newcomers and find we now have 28 animals:

Down at the barn we found a guy from Integrated Recourse Management, here to plant trees and shrubs along the creeks. His company is hired by Benton County, and he planned to plant 950 stems over two days. Wow! We had significant loss over the winter from the 6600 planted last year, so this was welcome news. I took a photo of his list, for my own benefit because I want to learn these plants. I’ll talk about this later.

Larry wanted to finish up his work load for the day (cleaning the gutters!) and then go play golf over at the school course. Alas, they’re closed, of course. If only he had listened to Charlie and built a couple of golf holes on the property. With golf off the table, he decided to go burn the 5 piles of slash down in the north east corner by the road, which we’d generated last fall from a tree fallen across the fence:

A reasonable exchange of entertainment. Who doesn’t like a good fire?

What I wanted to say about the plant list: I’ve been counseling myself that this is a great time to work on the many self-improvement projects that have lined up:

  1. Practice my 5-string and memorize a set-list against the improbable day when someone asks me to play something.
  2. Practice my piano and learn some credible songs. I don’t care if anyone asks me to play because who would?
  3. crank up my Pimsleur French tapes and spend a specific amount of time each day at this.
  4. keep studying Africa.
  5. And look up, study and learn the plants on the list I mentioned. I could make a folder of them, then check on their progress through the year.

If any of you would like to choose one of the above and take it off my back, it would be a big help. Because, remember, I have to clean my own house now, cook three meals a day, help Larry with fence, burning, planting, and other farm-related chores.

Keep in touch. Write to me! I’d love to hear from anyone who reads this — I don’t know how you leave a comment on the blog, but you can always reach me at

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