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Posts Tagged ‘gardening in SD’

What a great evening Wednesday night!!!  It was 43 degrees outside with very little wind so of course (since it’s April) I was gardening.  I was gardening in my winter coat and stocking hat but I was still gardening.  I have always figured if you can stand to be outside for more than half an hour without your coveralls then it must be time to start gardening.  That’s South Dakota for you.

The first thing I did was spray some weeds.  Tell me, how is it possible that the snow has just finally disappeared and there are already a bumper crop of weeds?  It’s just not fair.  I never spray chemicals in my vegetable garden but anything that rears its ugly head through the gravel of the Wedding Garden is fair game.   Guess what we have coming up in there – oats, lots and lots of oats.  Of course it’s because we threw oats instead of rice at the newlyweds so it’s my own fault.

 

Ahhh – memories…

After taking out my frustrations with a spray bottle of herbicide I spent the rest of the evening planting onion sets and cleaning up inside the little greenhouse, turning over the soil and getting it ready to plant.  I worked until it was too dark to see.  Thank goodness turning over soil is not difficult work and since it was pitch black when I decided to head to the house I was also thankful for the solar lawn light I happened to have close by.  I’m sure I looked like the Statue of Liberty coming across the garden to the house holding the light by the ground spike over my head.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of…  sickly plants…”

It’s true – I’m a very patriotic gardener.  It was a touching moment but when I stepped into the kitchen I forgot all about that because I saw something on the corner of the kitchen table that I thought you might like to see – Hubbys record book. 

If you live with a rancher or farmer you already know what a record book is.  Every rancher keeps one.  Most men will choose a new one every year, like the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace it is a ritual worthy of much thought and planning.  Most record books are small notebooks that can fit into a shirt pocket – like the proverbial ‘little black book’  but for ranchers and farmers they can be any color – except pink – I have never seen a pink one.   And because all ranchers and farmers are cheap, almost all record books come with advertising on their imitation leather covers.  You might see ads from a feed store, seed company, the power company or even the neighbors annual bull sale.  Those are my favorites.

 Ranchers and farmers write down everything into these small books – weather conditions, cattle health records, the phone number of a guy with hay for sale and I’m betting there are deep, dark secrets in there too.  I have never really checked out this theory but I’m pretty sure it’s true.  In my line of work I have had access to many ranchers record books and I have been watched like a hawk from the moment I got their book into my grubby little hands until I have carefully handed it back.  I guess it would be like me handing over my journal – it would make me nervous too. 

I have seen grown men literally tear a house apart looking for their misplaced book and if the absolute worst should happen and the book goes through the washing machine you might as well pour yourself a stiff drink and start thumbing through the yellow pages for a good divorce lawyer.  It happened to me once.  I was horrified to open the washing machine and pull out the soggy, mangled pages of Hubbys record book.  There was no hope of salvaging it.  The only thing that saved our marriage was that it was in January and he hadn’t had much time to write important stuff in it yet.  It was a close call.

Most men I know carry these small books with them where ever they go but occasionally, they have been known to forget their book and then what do you do?  You make do with whatever you happen to have on hand. 

Hence, Hubby’s logbook.

 

I know – it looks like an ordinary pair of dirty old leather gloves, but look closer.

Those are ear tag numbers from calves – it’s a regular register of new babies.  Remember #53 the mini bull with attitude?

Yep – There he is.

I only count 16 tag numbers on these gloves but I know there are many more calves than that out in the field so I guess Hubby must have remembered his record book most of the time but everyone has had a few of those days when you leave home without the things you need.  On those days – you must adapt.  At times, you even have to be a little creative and believe me ranchers are very, very good at this.  If you don’t believe me just check out this fence repair job. 

 

You can’t see it very well from this photo but that old wooden fence post is totally rotted off at the bottom.  The only thing holding it up is the steel fence post – well, that and the fact that the wind generally blows from the west most times.  It is a modern marvel of engineering that has been standing like this for at least 4 years (that I know of)  and with the way things go around here it’s probably going to out last the rest of the fence. 

I have seen artwork in galleries with $30,000 price tags that aren’t as fascinating to me as this simple fence post.  I’m not sure why that is – perhaps it reminds me of the ancient conflict of mankind, depicted by the use of both old and new medias that makes me think of the old rancher, weathered and knarled, reluctantly turning over the reins of ownership to the next generation.  Or perhaps it’s the symbol of strength portrayed by the single metal fence post that supports not only the weight of the old wooden post but also the fence lines running in two different directions.  Steadfast and without complaint, it holds everything together – supporting the weight of the world on its rigid frame. 

It could be…

But more than likely it reminds me to send a prayer toward heaven for the strength – like that fence post – to hold things together for just one more day.

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