Sunday, January 31, 2010

Time to order seeds

Wow, it is time to order seeds again. For those of you who grow your own garden plants, I bet you already have some growing. I know the commercial growers have but the growers in the deep south have had a real struggle with the weather this winter.

Me, I like to deal with our many good plant vendors. They do some things with plants for transplanting I probably wouldn't get done.

I just ordered enough farm seed to go into the loan fund already. Many farmers spend many thousands of dollars on their farm seed.

First time ever, I am sharing my favorites:

Field corn, First Choice 58, excellent 109 day hybrid
Soybeans, Steritz Ohio Certified Jacob Soybeans but trying some Stine and CropLan Liberty Link soybeans this year
Wheat, hard to pick, they are so close but I chose Crop Production Systems 9122 from the AgriPro Breeding program to bump my favorite Ohio Certified Hopewell
Barley, Certifed Thoroughbred
Sweet corn, Vision White, Avalon Yellow, Providence BiColor, all great corns, never had a failure or dissatisfied customer
Green Beans, so many good ones, really like the Benton's I had but Blue Lake is a consistent favorite along with Top Crop
Tomatoes, probably Big Boy but so many good ones available!
Potatoes Russett but Kennebec is easier to raise here and who can deny Yukon Gold or Pontiac Reds.
Onions, yellow. I like all onions, Vidalia are favorites but I can't grow them here.

This list will probably get modifed before you read it or read it the next time. Seed selection is that difficult but stay with the mainstays, you won't go wrong. I always test out new varieties carefully. Takes 3 years to really decide, buy then there is a new great one out to look at.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quilts Again

This Quilt Barn thing is ramping up again in preparation of the Bicennential Open House June 12,-13. We just got the letter from the committee and realized we are the only farm without a designated non-profit to provide food and drink, displays, or something for the 200 year history of the county.
See, I always have myself in almost near trouble by trying to do all the things I want to get done. No wonder I liked that cruise so much. No one could find me and I couldn't do anything about it if they did.

Lots of details to work out for the tour. Some food and drink and displays we can come up with. Immeadiately we thought of the Newman's spinning and weaving, the Lavender Farm and Donna's art work, all close neighbors. Now, working out those details and satisfying the wants of the committee is another thing.

We could use the local churches, Lion's Club, FFA Chapters for our non-profit sponsor but we would have plans pretty well worked out except for food and drink our non profit could offer.
It would be so cool to have a pair of Percheron's like Grandpa's plowing, disking and planting corn. Wheat harvest would be a few weeks off yet but you get the concept. There goes my wild ideas that get me in trouble. But Lavender, weaving and artisitic painting is right down the road you might say, so that makes more sense.

I have no idea how this will come out, but we will do our best and I will try to keep you informed.

This barn project turned out too nicely to not get it to the public.

Ed Winkle

Wierd Weather

It looks like a wierd weather pattern again tonight. This storm is staying south of the Ohio again, like many did all last year.

I have already seen pictures of ice damage, and that can be devastating anywhere, especially in the south where it is happening.

This just makes the farmer what kind of year we are up against again this year? Will we still be in this wet pattern or will it stop before the crops are finished and be another drought year?

Agriculture and many industries are so highly dependent on the weather because the nature of our business. The local "plow boys" like snow so they can stay busy making money by pushing. You and I don't want to drive in it or shovel it.

Every good powerpoint I watched this winter showed the affect of weather on the farmer's bottom line and which is out of our control. It can easily determine half our profit for the year.

By the cycles, we are about due for another bout like 88 and 99 and 07 here.

It is really difficult to predict and recover from a downturn in income without shorting yourself if it doesn't materialize.

So, my budget looks a lot like last year with a little cushion for needed expenses or lack of income due to weather.

Ed Winkle

Friday, January 29, 2010


One of my friends just sent me a picture of his dog, Maxamillion. That is one beautiful dog. Sable is on the left and she isn't too shabby either.

I don't think I would want to be found messing around on my friend's farm when Max found you. You could be missing important parts in a hurry.

I wonder how Sable would take to him, she loves other animals, especially her own breed. That day she chased the dogs where we went 4 wheeling was a hoot, we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt.

He looks a lot like Sable's dad, Fausinlauf, old German breeding. Those dogs are such companions, they aren't happy if you are not in sight. Decades of inbreeding I guess, she will circle any car, truck or animal like she is herding them.
Sable stayed with LuAnn's K9 Officer friend last week, she is really settling down and getting her adult personality but she has to be right on my heel no matter what I do. When someone stops by and I don't hear them her bark even scares me for a moment.
I wouldn't want that dog hanging off my body and she has a death grip. 80 lbs of sheer muscle. I would guess Max around 100 lbs, maybe 110.
I tell everyone just to ignore her, talk to me and let her sniff you out. Some people just won't do that and she does not like it. We talk for a couple of minutes and she just goes about her business of watching the farm.
Randy fed her a little harder than I have and she bulked up. She hit me in the back with a love tap yesterday and almost knocked me down. I wouldn't want Max giving me a love tap.
Sable is building that reputation that will be talked about for generations, you don't see dogs like her every day. It is obvious Max is in that category too.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


"What kind of stuff are we going to do today, Pa? Well we have hay to mow, corn to cultivate and those calves really need to be weaned from their mama's. "

Sometimes I would call dad Pa like the story books and what became the Walton's on TV.

I was thinking what I have to do today and that old memory just popped into my head. Dad always had stuff to do and I guess I do too.

Pay Bills
Order fertilizer
Work on presentations
Finish IRS taxes, not allowed to work on that, LOL

Along as you are breathing there, is stuff to do, isn't there? Always someone with a hand out too, I see at least one each day.

Now dad always liked the critters because in his day you couldn't go to the store and get all your protein needs. I fell in love with crop critters because they don't require daily attention. Maybe I am the Lazy Farmer.

I see the Lazy Farmer went after Cooper Anderson, better known as Anderson Cooper. I called him Cooper Anderson one day and LuAnn asked who in the world are you talking about? You know, that gray haired stud on CNN. So now he is Cooper Anderson, probably a made up name anyhow? He sure has maxxed that name out but watch awhile and oh what folly.

These talking heads, oh my. I remember Brynn at the play her sister was in last year with a scary dog figure and grandma told her, don't be scared, he's nothing but a talking dog! So
Brynn started saying, he is nothing but a talking dog! The whole crowd in our area cracked up.

I like real people. Now there is how you get stuff done

Real people don't have time for talking dogs.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Karen Grainger

Karen Grainger grew up in Toronto, Canada surrounded by music. By the age of six, Karen made her television debut with an appearance on a youngster’s talent show singing “Delta Dawn,” accompanied by her dad’s guitar playing. Never quite able to get the entertainment bug out of her system, she was involved in music theatre and community drama groups throughout her high school years.

After much coaxing from a friend who persuaded her to audition for a gig at Canada’s Wonderland, Karen was delighted to land a role in the Country Show. The next year she was back at it again in Concert ’87. That same year, Karen joined a Toronto based vocal quartet. As the opening act for a Legends of Rock and Roll Show, all members agreed that Karen should sing lead on Reba McEntire’s “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?” The rest, as they say, is history.

Karen has enjoyed a very successful impersonating career as not only Reba, but Celine Dion and Cher as well. Karen’s “Divas Live” one woman tribute show will leave you wanting more. Audiences are spellbound by Karen’s skill at recreating these diverse characters, capturing their voices as well as their mannerisms. Karen’s portrayals have been earning her standing ovations from Bally’s in Atlantic City to Canada’s premier Casino in Windsor and from Japan to a U.S. Naval base on the Indian Ocean!

It was time to sink her teeth into something more challenging. Several years ago, Karen teamed up with comedy writer Larry Horowitz among others (Don Grainger – Karen’s husband turns out to be quite the comedy writer!) to create an amazing comic impression show called, “All In One!” Karen’s unique talents and versatility will not go unnoticed in this Entertainment Experience.

Karen uses a variety of props to create a hilarious visual and vocal illusion. The audience will be treated to such musical “Guests” as Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Shania Twain and Britney Spears…not to mention the men…Aaron Neville, Joe Cocker, Michael Bolton and Michael McDonald…to name a few!

“Divas Live” and “All in One” are two very unique and original shows. Without a doubt, whichever show Karen Grainger performs, you will know you have seen a truly outstanding entertainer.

We met Karen on the cruise. That lady is a hoot. The voices she can do is amazing.

Best thing though she is a real down to earth person and not haughty at all.

She does this one skit where she picks three people out of the audience and has them open their mouth every time she bops them on the head. She did this to Queen, we are the champions and the audience laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. I fell off the stool I was sitting on. It was better than The Three Stooges and the Chipmunks.

OK, I am old, it doesn't take much to entertain me anymore, laugh out loud.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Patrick Hughes

My friend Dutch in Seminole Texas sent me this unique story on YouTube.

The young man is Patrick Hughes, Louisville, Kentucky and it describes his magical ride through life. What his parents did to help him be all he can be is just amazing. It reminds me of my cousin Sheila and her husband Paul and how they raised their son Terry. We saw them all Christmas Eve again, a month ago!

"Patrick is a remarkable young man who was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk. Additionally, two steel rods were surgically attached to Patrick's spine to correct scoliosis. Despite circumstances that seem overwhelming to you and me, Patrick has overcome these physical issues to excel as a musician and student. Patrick started playing the piano at the age of only nine months, and also plays the trumpet and sings. He even participates in the University of Louisville School of Music Marching and Pep Bands with help from his father (Patrick John Hughes), who tirelessly maneuvers hiswheel chair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band. Patrick is usually a straight 'A' student, having received only 6 'B's' during his entire educational experience - up toand including his junior year of college (3.9 gpa).

A virtuoso pianist, vocalist and trumpet player, Patrick has won or finished very high in numerous competitions, as well as winning awards acknowledging the circumstances he has overcome to achievethese heights. He has been featured on ESPN, ABC-TV, Oprah, CBS-TV, The Ellen Show, Extreme MakeOver Home Edition, FOX-TV, CSTV, NBC-TV, Million Dollar Round Table, The Grand Ole Opry, People Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Star Magazine, and many, many others. Patrick has made appearances from California to New York and Chicago to Texas and Miami and countless points in between, even performing in Asia, Canada, South America and Europe. His first book, I AM POTENTIAL, is published and available around the country/world."

I just love stories like this. Do you have one?

Ed Winkle

Monday, January 25, 2010

Haitian Relief

I imagine most of us watched the Haitian Relief effort the past two weeks. It is nothing short of amazing but still seemed to fall so short.

Only 124 rescued and 111,000 buried so far?

We got to help a little bit with money and supplies. The Miami Diocese sent a courier with cash to the parish as cash rules in these troubled environments.

Royal Carribean has worked with Haiti for 30 years. I talked to some officials who confirmed this as they depend on that labor force and they are not afraid to give back in time of need.

This surely was a time of need. Our ship hauled 400 pallets of supplies to Labadee to be transported to Port Au Prince. We saw the UN trucks leaving with supplies Friday. Special collections were taken in our Marketing Group and the ship. Tens of thousands of dollars were raised on our cruise.

We all felt a little guilty stopping in Labadee but after what I participated in I have no guilt. Anderson Cooper, you don't know what you are talking about. You walk around dead bodies and don't help them? Hippocrit. I know you are a reporter but the neatest story I saw was when the Australian TV crew dropped the cameras and dug a baby girl out of the rubble. They said to heck with the story and made a better one helping these people.

The CNN media got on my nerves by the end of the week, you can well tell. To portray cruise ships as fat and lazy was wrong because the media did little more. Hippocrit. I saw the good we did, I can't see the good CNN did but raise money in their liberal media agenda.

My thoughts are it was a tragedy. There will be more as long as there is life. We have to make the most of life to get through these struggles. Every day I see the best in people and the worst. I like that better side and it is dangerous to hang around in that worst side.

This part of the trip was very eye opening and good for all who would observe.

I don't see how you could help but observe.

I've got some good pictures if I can get them downloaded to the computer and uploaded to the server.

By the way, Royal Caribbean donated every nickle made Friday to Haitian Relief.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

What a Week

We enjoyed a fantastic week working with the John Roach Cruising the Markets tour in the Carribean. We met another great group of American Farmers.

The worst part of the trip is it looks like we are have passed the highs of the grain markets this year. I know they will be tested but I don't see how then can be broken. Good prices and more profit are keys to any business, grain farming especially.

This may sound silly to you since we don't even have all the seed and supplies in yet to plant this year's crop.

Trip wise, it was just picture perfect weather, not too hot, not too cool, and plenty of sunshine.

I must admit it was hard to come home today because I am usually ready to come home.

Things seem to be in place. About that time though, everything becomes unglued so not bragging at all.

We just had a great week. New friends, new material, more learning, it all was good.

Our plane was vectored all around CVG but we still landed under advertized time. We could have made it 30 minutes earlier easily. I am glad I don't use that transportation for my living.

Budde, the Lazy Farmer has been busy. I liked those articles you wrote. You and my readers are asked to help again Feb 5 through Feb. 27. If I can't get an article up before midnight Pacific Standard Time, please write something, anything, it can always be changed but my goal is to have a blog each and every day.

One farmer came up to me on the cruise and asked me are you the Ed Winkle who writes on Crop Talk and your own blog? I said yes. He said I read every word you write, keep writing.

I've got more stories to share as soon as I can write them.


How to dry out your cell phone

Still no Ed Winkle.

I don't have that much to say. I could tell you about how I killed my 71 International truck, found a new engine, put it in, then how the auxiliary transmission locked up went I backed the truck out of the shop-but that is a depressing story. Although I did find another transmission today, so all is not lost.

No, today will be an informative post. One which we have all needed I'm sure.

How to dry out your cell phone.

First of all don't get it wet. I really have no idea how I managed to so silly as to drop it in the bathtub. I had it setting one the edge of the tub when I took off my pants. This was a pretty stupid place to put it. It just bounced right in.

First I removed the battery.

Then I said, "oh fiddle!' That helped quite a bit.

I figured it was dead anyway and why not just go ahead and enjoy a nice bath while the water is still hot. So I did.

What I should have done next was to use the vacuum cleaner on it. You should suck out all the water right away. Using heat can damage the electronic circuitry.

Instead I finished my bath and then wiped it down real well with paper towels. Then i stuck it in a jar of rice. That desiccant stuff that comes with cell phones and electronic stuff also works. But, I don't really save the stuff one pack at a time. I know it says do not eat of the package and so it somehow worries me that someone actually will eat it, so I throw it away.

Anyway, the rice will absorb the water and it is better than standing around for an hour with a blow dryer.

The next morning pulled the phone out of the rice. I put the battery back in the phone and pushed the "on" button.

The little chimes sounded and there was my phone, as good as new.

Another little success story...
If you drop your phone in water. Take the battery out right away. Suck the water out of it with a shop vac. Then stick the phone into a bag of rice and leave it overnight. There you go.

Ed and The Lazy Farmer

Friday, January 22, 2010

Life on the farm in 1996 for Budd E. Shepherd

I was looking through some back issues of the little paper I used to write. I found this story from 1996. It is hard to believe that was so long ago.
Hay baling season was off to a grand start with two new employees.
"Pinky and Pookie" who are not really twins came to work at the farm. One might say that the daring duo brought certain something to the other wise bland existence of the farm. The excitement started early in the season when the hay crew moved up to Gopher Valley.
Pookie, otherwise known as Luke, piloted one Haybine while Farmer Dave piloted the other. Pinkie (Rick) was the flagger.
This was all fine except Pinkie really likes to drive on the wrong side of the road. Also Pookie was stuck with the spare tractor, a 1964 Moline M670, whose power adjust wheels were significantly miss-adjusted which caused the tractor to pitch wildly from side to side.
Gopher Valley road is a narrow winding road which heads off into the hills. Everyone seems to live somewhere at the end of the road and they are all apparently related to A.J. Foyt. They see every trip as an opportunity to break the world speed record and will come hurtling by you at warp speed. Strangely enough most of them are also quite friendly and wave happily at you as your tractor bounces through the ditch.
The farm's entourage of hay harvesting implements soon picked up an following. This occurred right after Pinkie set off a handful of smoke bombs in the middle of the highway. One of the cars just happened to be a county Sheriff. Farmer Dave was able to run over the pyrotechnics and snuff out the smoke before attracting the attention of the law.
The other car was a beat up old Ford LTD. It was as big as a small house and piloted by a big lady, the local trailer house trash of Gopher Valley. She had it packed full of snotty-nosed little brats and dirty laundry.
The traveling hay circus came to the one straight section of road and since they are courteous farmers they pulled off the road. The lady wouldn't pass.
Pookie made really descriptive gestures indicating that she should pull on around. She made equally descriptive gestures indicating there was a police officer. Pookie made a gesture indicating she was an idiot. David drove on.
The Policeman got tired of driving 15 mph and turned around. The Ford LTD then rocketed around the entourage on a corner between two hills. She waved at every one as she went by. Everyone waved back!
It was the beginning of a long summer.
I can't find the rest of the story. They got in so much trouble. But we really got a lot done.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

St Maarten

We are in St. Maarten on the Celebrity Soltice for the Roach Ag Marketing Tour.

I learned I should have sold more grain before last Tuesdays big market adjustment. Oh well, that is farming for you. At least I sold what I have without planting a seed yet.

Thanks Budde for posting, keep this page going please, I will log in when I can. I found an Internet Cafe near the dock just now. $8 sure beats $100 on the ship.

San Juan was beautiful yesterday. We had a good time. So much history and so much to see Ponce De Leon is buried in the big Catholic Chapel in old San Juan on Del Castro street.

Today we had a taxi driver take us all over St Maaten, 1/3 Dutch, 2/3 French but most of the 95,000 inhabitants live on the Dutch side where the port is.

We just left the butterfly farm so expect to see some pictures of butterflies on this blog in the future. It is cloudy today so they aren't flying as much which is even better for picture taking.

The food in the cafes is better on Celebrity but the specialty restaurants are better on Norwegian Cruise lines. We have a a very nice suite close to an elevator, 200 square feet with a large balcony. We can be anywhere on the ship in no time.

It was interesting to learn about the Massachusetts Senate results this morning.. I guess I am not too surprised but a little.

Sure is nice in the French West Indies. I can also see why San Juan is called the Capitol of the Carribean.

More later, keep posting Budde. Curious what you are planting this year. Looks like a little more corn our way with this big South American bean crop coming. Many here are thinking more like $8 beans instead of the $10 we had last year. Corn looks fairly stable, too much wheat on stock but useage is up and acreage is down.

Have a good one everyone.

Ed Winkle

Is Ed on This ship?

Budd E. Shepherd comments...
The chattering classes are busy with the latest imagined offense against the struggling people in Haiti.
A CRUISE SHIP will dock at at private beach!
Although there was a mention that the cruise ship did carry relief supplies several passengers said they wanted to stay on board and suffer. They just couldn't be happy sitting in the sun and chugging umbrella drinks while people were rioting and missreading expiration dates on food packages, er, I mean suffering in Haiti.
(Ok, I can make snide remarks we donated money the first day...)
I just hope that Ed is on that ship. He will have them building up their soil pH and no-tilling in no time. Probably spark a whole new food growing revolution in Haiti.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Food for Thought

Hello fans of Ed Winkle. I am doing a couple guest spots for Ed while he is on his cruise. As a Lazy Farmer, I really never make enough money to go on a cruise. I suppose if I ever did I would be much to lazy to ever get around to signing up for a cruise. My wife is not lazy. She works very hard. She does not understand why sometimes I accidently call her "Mirandy," but then I suppose The Song of The Lazy Farmer is no longer widely read.
I would like to call Ed's readers to today's post at They are a small farm and are trying to make it selling good quality food. They want to make and sell or trade organic milk and cheese. They have run into a wall of regulations.
Then I would like you to read this report which comes from stories produced by the Northwestern University graduate journalism students it is called, "All you can eat in tainted food from China," by Lean Nylen and Greg Presto. It is from 2007.
While China is not supplying the majority of our agricultural products, they are the major importer and they are continually increasing their market share. It appeared to me that most of these Chinese imports could be replaced with US grown products without affecting prices to any degree. Now that is food for thought...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cruisin' The Markets

A year ago LuAnn and I were just sick of the cold weather and she said I don't want to go through another January like this. I am usually gone for the NoTill conference and she is stuck trying to keep the farm running by herself. So I booked a for this week on the Celebrity Solstice with John Roach's group from Boca Raton, Florida. Cruisin' the Markets will allow us farmers to go to class each day while the wives catch some sun.

And, LuAnn's birthday is the 19th and I couldn't think of a better birthday president. We booked so early we got upgraded to the 16th floor in a Presidential Suite, whatever that means. We have never even been on a ship with that many floors. It will be interesting to compare Celebrity to NCL, Norwegian Cruise Lines.

That all started years ago when our friends Allen and Shelly wanted us to cruise with them to dance to Spike and the Bulldogs. I reluctantly agreed and now here we are on my fourth cruise. That Alaska cruise was fantastic but this time I get to integrate my passion of farming into a cruise!

Then John asks me to share some of my notill wisdom with the group. My idea is good yields at less cost, maximize the marketing plan and make more net profit without renting or buying a lot more land.

The sad thing this cruise was to stop in Haiti so I have no idea what has taken place since the earthquake. We will find out this afternoon.

I'll be thinking of you in the sunny sunshine this week...


Saturday, January 16, 2010

More NoTill

I can never get enough no-till. But it takes so much to build a farm for maximum benefit of any style of tillage and planting.

I didn't name Dr. Beck as a top presenter at Dakota Lakes research farm near Pierre, South Dakota. He is.

He teaches the philosophy of no-till as well as anyone I have ever heard. He does it in such a fashion I call him the John Wayne of no-till. It's kind of like give 'em hell Harry Truman. Harry said I don't give them hell, I just told them the truth and they thought it was hell!

Dwayne gave a really down to earth, simple Power Point on why you should notil and rotate your crops through diversification. That just what my grandfather George Winkle did, and my dad Gerald. I diversify as much as I can but the market place has made it tough to diversify without a whole lot of work to stay economically viable.

It's hard enough just farming and managing that farm. Dwayne showed his corn yield in a rotation of corn soybeans and wheat. His numbers almost matched mine hundreds of miles away so yes, Dr. Beck, we listen to you.

He has a big following and many of his farmer students were there and even threw out answers to questions he would ask during his power point. That has to be pretty gratifying to Dr. Beck, I know it is to me.

Now how can I turn this into profit? I have as much soft red winter wheat and barley planted as anyone in the region. It was just too late and wet and cold to plant the seeds of diversification but we got it done. Wheat prices got near $6 once recently, I could have sold more at $5.65 Monday and today it is $5.00.

Yes, Virginia, it drops that quickly. Marketing is like a separate profession within the profession. It is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do on the farm. This week we will be working with John Roach and his Roach Ag Marketing crew of Boca Raton Florida. This group of farmers will try and master some more marketing skills to increase their farm profit. At least my friend Steve Berger told me he and his wife went last year and said it was a great experience for them. That gave me some incentive and reinforcement.

You can see through my writing that my connection with others is very important to my success. I couldn't do this without all of you and I thank you.

This farmer couldn't farm to his ability without a network of key people. Today's photo is Howard Buffett in cental Illinois and his connection to South Africa. Did you ever hear that name Buffett?

Do you have that network?

Have a great week,

Ed Winkle

I am pretty happy with my marketing performance this year but I want to do better. My network of people helps me in every facet of farming.

Friday, January 15, 2010


What a great National NoTillage Conference in Des Moines! Record crowd, too!

Top presentations so far:
Keith Schlapkohl
Steve Groff
Dr. Ray Ward.

Keith explained his notill system, focusing on plant nutrition. He is putting down nutrients on both sides of the planter row and using some chemicals some farmers never heard of like calcium nitrate or aqua ammonia.

LuAnn and I have been to his farm several times and we always learn something. His base program is an application of gypsum every year and he also spreads the product for many farmers. He has built a soil profile like I have seen nowhere else. His soil calcium is high and his magnesium content is down to manageable levels. It is not that way on most of the farms I work with. This is a great advantage for him and the farmers willing to adjust their soils over time.

Steve has set the world on fire with Tillage Radish. Huge benefits are being seen by working these into the crop rotation has a cover crop. Using them as a cover crop, farmers are getting better yields by nutrient relocation, less weeds, less insect and disease pests and many other reasons. They really reduce compaction better than steel through ripping etc.

Steve has become a really good farmer presenter. So many farmers do great things with innovation on their farm but can't present it to a large group of farmers. The first time I spoke to 1000 peers it was quite daunting and scary but now I have become more comfortable with it and even helped several farmers do a good job presenting their work before others.

The conference was improved because so many of us know each other, share ideas and make our talks connect with each yet showing our strong points. It is really neat to see how this conference has developed over the years.

Dr. Ray gave a real nice and simple Power Point going over the the basics of soil fertility, soil and tissue sampling of the 17 known nutrients. Let's see if I can recite them:

C H O N P K Ca Mg S B Cu Zn Mn Cl Ni Mo. Hmm, missing one. Not bad for 6 in the morning after a busy week but you get my point. My consultant and farm friends will get a kick out of this.

Dr. Ray's Power Point locked up in the middle of the talk but he kept his cool. Marion Calmer and another farmer came to his aid but he never lost his cool and kept on talking. I have had that happen and it can really mess with your flow of information by getting you rattled.

I sat back proudly has I have taught this information for 10 years at the conference. Dr. Ray's was better because that is his job at Ward Laboratories, Kearney, Nebraska and it was put together really nice.

Then we went to the luncheon Friday and I had worked with with two of the three winners of the Responsible Nutrient Award! Allen Dean was one of them and he has been a close friend since I met him in the now defunct Ohio State LEAD program in 1992. Wow, almost twenty years ago!

Allen built a system of notill wheat and soybeans in far northwest Ohio like none I have seen. He is really good in the shop and has modfied about every machine he uses. He and Shelly stay at our house and we stay at their house. If we don't see each other for six months, one is calling the other to catch up. Now his brother Tony is working with him and they are doing a great job together.

This is what the NNTC is all about. NNTC has become a group of innovative farmers who know each other, yet humble, who help and share and spur each other on.

NNTC is the best think tank for my interest of notill farming. We are all out for net profit and use a system that is kind to our environment.

Soon it will be time to move on to the next big thing in our lives.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

100 Pounds Lighter!

Good Evening, your guest blogging, hold-down-the farm, wife of Ed, here. No, I didn't make a New Year's resolution to lose weight in 13 days or less. My weight loss has to do with getting a major project done. I hand delivered a grant application to the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services today. I have been working on this complex project since last September and it is finally complete and the weight of the world was lifted. What a feeling!

I was able to keep to my task despite many obstacles because my deadline coincided with our "Cruising the Markets" trip next week. I downloaded a picture of a cruise ship and made that my computer background. Every time I opened or closed a file, I would get a glimpse of the glimmering Caribbean with a massive ship floating in my screen. How's that for a motivator?

Are you a plan it out, grind it out, project manager? Or are you a proscrastinator who functions best when down to the wire with a deadline breathing down your neck? In college, I could wait until the eleventh hour and crank out some of my best work under pressure at the last minute. As I have "matured", I now try to approach a project in a more orderly, balanced manner.

Why then is it MORE stressful despite my carefully crafted plan of attack and strict schedule? It could be that the stressors I face now havc greater consequences than whether I would receive an A or a C for my efforts. Today's stressors are more closely linked to the mortgage getting paid, keeping my job, or the fact that others are also dependent on the outcomes of my efforts.

In any event, it is done and I can sleep soundly tonight and turn my attention to other things in the morning. What a relief!

Speaking of the Caribbean and relief, please say a prayer for our fellow humans in Haiti. One cannot imagine the suffering and devastation in a country that has already suffered so much from natural disasters and violence.

Ed and I visited Haiti a few years back. We saw unimaginable poverty. I remembered today that my former parish back in upstate NY sends a 30 person medical team on a mission to Haiti each year. The simplest things like a cut can lead to amputation or death in a country as poor as this one. The relief workers, upon their return, told us stories of a warm, friendly people with joy, hope, courage, faith, and gratitude in the face of poverty and oppression.

We can only hope that the relief promised by nations around the world reaches Haiti in time to help alleviate some of the suffering. When I pray to the Lord tonight, I will say an extra prayer of thanksgiving for our many blessings and ask His mercy on those who are most in need of it this night.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Weather Records

This is on a local TV station today:

Place: Washta, IAYear: 1912
Event: Minus 47 degrees -- all-time low for state.

Where in the world is Washta, Iowa?

Hey, I have a friend there! NoTill Tom on AgTalk! Washta is in Cherokee County near Cherokee, Galva, Storm Lake and Holstein. Yes there is a town with the same name as the number one breed of dairy cow. Eat more chickin!

A neat view of Iowa is one of my favorite youtubes, where in Iowa is Jeff? His sequel is a tribute to the big floods last year.

Place: TexasYear: 1962
Event: Only 19 degrees at Brownsville; $17 million loss in fruit trees across South Texas. I think that one even reduced the citrus production from South Texas permanently. Too many lost everything they had.

I vaguely remember the winter of 62, I was 12. Floods of 63 wiped out dad's corn crop.

LuAnn and I headed for Brownsville one winter and the coast had a terrific storm so we turned around and headed north.

Lots of people have had bad weather this winter, probably some new records set like the above.

Everyone here is anticipating the 40 degree weather in two days!


Monday, January 11, 2010


It's time for annual National Notillage Conference again. 1000 farmers will be heading for Des Moines Iowa this week. I know most will be thankful for the improved temperatures.

LuAnn is. The last two years I was gone, she had to work overtime to keep the stoves going to keep the house livable, not warm, but livable.

They always ask us who we want to hear speak and I nominated my farmer friend from Stockton Iowa, Keith Schlapkohl. He thinks outside the box like me. Some of the best crops I have ever put my hands on were his.

I have seen honest 300 bu corn and 100 bu soybeans under his control. Go back a week and read my article on FGD and you will get a clue to his success.

The hard thing for me is helping these innovative farmers with limited speaking experience get their point across. I know they know the points but teaching it is a wholly different process.

He has a little experience now so I think he will be OK. He might be better than me and I hope he is. There is lots of enthusiasm for the conference again this year, I think the 18th one?

Sure, it is a money making deal for Lessiter Publications but he has the best notill conference out there. I know they aren't getting rich, just like farmers and they worked very hard to get here.

If your head isn't hurting after you spend the long weekend there, you are brain dead or its your own fault for not fully participating. I have never attended a bad one, some are just better than others.

I have helped many learn how to get their point across, and even how to develop one. I just got a Facebook request from a young lady I helped 10 years ago. At our FFA Banquet, she gave one of the most moving speeches I ever heard a student give.

So, it can be done. Some days I communicate fairly well on this blog. Other days, I fall short.

It's just like life. It's not always what you say but how you say it.

I bet that will happen this week in Des Moines.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Parish Kitchen

WKRC did a nice story on the Parish Kitchen in Covington. The Parish Kitchen has been open daily at noon for 35 years.

They showed and interviewed the homeless people to the fixed income people who need a hot meal. Of course their need has increased and they feed 1500 people per day now.

The pictures were taken six blocks away from each other, the have's and the have nots.

Covington is a pretty little town right across the river from Cincinnati. Homeless live on the banks of the Ohio. You wonder why?

"Molly Navin, Director: "That they could dress up, clean up and sober up and get a job, and that's a myth... they can't. They're stuck in a system that doesn't work, we're talking mental illness, chemical dependency, a lot of things that would be extremely difficult for folks to overcome."

How many times have you said if only they would.... they should get a job.... they shouldn't live like that....

They can't. They really can't. This part of the population has been here forever and it increases with the population no matter how many great programs you have.

Some are just "born in squander" like mother said and will never get out. I like the Kitchens sincere help to their local citizens. 35 years, can you imagine that? Some are called to do that when any of us could.

Your Father's Kitchen in Wilmington has a long way to go to match 35 years. I hope we don't need them that long but that will never happen now. It has been shocking to see our farm county's need for a homeless shelter and a soup kitchen. This county has been hurt pretty hard by our economy.

I planted way too much sweet corn the year we moved here and I ended up giving the excess to a local charity, HOPE Emergency, who is feeding hundreds of people per week. Many farmers are giving away their excess crop.

I heard the coyotes howling last night and thought wow I wonder how they survive through this? Then I thought of the homeless and really wondered. It's 10 degrees and your hand sticks to the doorknob.

These little kitchens keep them going one more day...


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hard Winter

It's been a hard winter across the midwest and most of the country.

It naturally makes you compare to the worst which was 77-78 in my neighborhood.

I was on this frugal kick so I bought a new Vermont Defiant woodstove to heat our house in Fayetteville. I liked saving money so cutting wood was natural to me. My timing was good.

When people struggled with no electricity, we had heat. I have one of those stoves heating our house right now. Lots of work but good excercise. I can't sit still so I have to keep moving. That is a good way to accomplish all those tasks.

Ole dad was so tired of cutting wood he exclaimed he would never cut another piece of wood in 58 when we moved to the new house on the then tenant farm.

In 76, I said, dad can I cut wood on your farm? Why of course, I can't keep the fence rows and woods cut up! That old farm still has 100 acres of woods and fencerows on it, we never made a dent in it.

There was dad, helping me cut wood after he had exclaimed he would never chop another piece.

I wonder how many cords I hauled out of there? I even bought an old Ford dump truck to make my work easier! Somedays I look back and am amazed at what I did.

In those days I could buy something for $500, use it and sell it for more. That got me through and helped my lifestyle.

I like to travel. That is expensive. We are starting a two month sojourn soon while I am still dealing with woodstoves and winter and planning on the 2010 crop.

Life is truly amazing.

You notillers need to look up Crop Talk on NewAgTalk. We had a very through discussion on why farmers switch to notill. I have a talk to give on my sojourn and one of the questions was why do you notill and I threw that out there and they were like Dobermans on a bone.

Got company coming from NY.

See ya,


Friday, January 8, 2010


CBS News got the farmer's ire up last night at 6:30 EST. The story was going OK but they were showing obese women crying because of their situation.

I am thinking, all our jobs were shipped overseas, you have a cheap food policy and wonder why Americans are obese. I have been to China and Europe, you don't see any fat people there to speak of. They still have jobs and they don't drive 20 miles to WalMart to shop.

Look at our freight transportation. Do you know many skinny truck drivers? They sit in the cab all hours of the day and night shipping our cheap food and foreign built items. They have little to do but grab a sandwich and just drive.

Then the story really goes south. They attack High Fructose Corn Syrup as a major contributor to obesity in this country. I don't drink pop but I am still overweight. It's more than corn syrup, a major ingredient in soda pop and many processed foods. It's our consumptive lifestyle that is the culprit. A lack of discipline and lack of hard work doesn't help either.

Then they really make me mad! They show that corn farmers get a measly 56 billion dollars for corn subsidies so we can have that cheap food for Americans who have no job that was shipped overseas! All in the name of profit, too.

Those people couldn't farm a day if they had to!

Our leaders just wrote bills for SEVEN TRILLION dollars and that 56 billion would save the country? Did these journalists have to study economics and if so, who was their teacher?

It wasn't Paul Friedman.

LuAnn asks why do you watch this trash when you know it is all wrong? I admit I can't stand Katie Couric, the NY princess. Charlie Gibson was no better. Brian Williams is smarter but is on a poor team. CBS has the team to portray their sales pitch in graphic form, like that crying, obese girl.

I like to see what others are seeing as they become brainwashed. Maybe I shouldn't watch.

"Field corn is the predominant corn type grown in the U.S., and it is primarily used for animal feed. Currently, less than 10 percent of the U.S. field corn crop is used for direct domestic human consumption in corn-based foods such as corn meal, corn starch, and corn flakes, while the remainder is used for animal feed, exports, ethanol production, seed, and industrial uses. Sweet corn, both white and yellow, is usually consumed as immature whole-kernel corn by humans and also as an ingredient in other corn-based foods, but makes up only about 1 percent of total U.S. corn production.

Since U.S. ethanol production uses field corn, the most direct impact of increased ethanol production should be on field corn prices and on the price of food products based on field corn. However, even for those products heavily based on field corn, the effect of rising corn prices is dampened by other market factors. For example, an 18-ounce box of corn flakes contains about 12.9 ounces of milled field corn. When field corn is priced at $2.28 per bushel (the 20-year average), the actual value of corn represented in the box of corn flakes is about 3.3 cents (1 bushel = 56 pounds). (The remainder is packaging, processing, advertising, transportation, and other costs.) At $3.40 per bushel, the average price in 2007, the value is about 4.9 cents. The 49-percent increase in corn prices would be expected to raise the price of a box of corn flakes by about 1.6 cents, or 0.5 percent, assuming no other cost increases.

In 1985, Coca-Cola shifted from sugar to corn syrup in most of its U.S.-produced soda, and many other beverage makers followed suit (see “High-Fructose Corn Syrup Usage May Be Leveling Off” in this issue). Currently, about 4.1 percent of U.S.-produced corn is made into high-fructose corn syrup. A 2-liter bottle of soda contains about 15 ounces of corn in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. At $3.40 per bushel, the actual value of corn represented is 5.7 cents, compared with 3.8 cents when corn is priced at $2.28 per bushel. Assuming no other cost increases, the higher corn price in 2007 would be expected to raise soda prices by 1.9 cents per 2-liter bottle, or 1 percent. These are notable changes in terms of price measurement and inflation, but relatively minor changes in the average household food budget. " from USDA

So little of our crop goes to syrup, though that syrup IS concentrated.

This makes CBS totally misleading the American Public once more.

Ed Winkle

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Sky is Falling!

The local TV news just interviewed the superintendent of Ohio's 7th largest school district. Not a flake is falling but they closed school for the day. Ohio gets five "calamity days" which used to be called snow days because that is about the only event that closed school.

Now they close at a whimper of any trouble. The newsgal asked the superintendent why they closed school with no school and he said because of the threat of liability.

He said this is not like when we were kids, 2 inches wouldn't close school. Now the threat of snow closes school!

Liability. What a huge issue in this country now. That goes back to my saying of too many laws, too many lawyers and NO common sense.

Now some fool could be texting while driving, eating, fixing their hair and the thought they might hit a schoolbus or the too many parents who tote their children to school everyday calls off school.

No wonder we are underemployed!

My goodness gracious sakes alive grandma would say. Such stupidity!

We need to haul grain, lots of grain. Yet that same liability issue might keep us off the roads, let alone frozen bins, frozen equipment and the other headaches that go along with it.

Two grain buyers called yesterday wanting corn and wheat. That is unusual. What is up with that? Is the supply that unstable or the demand that high? Or both?

I don't know, I just don't know. I have my opinions but you usually read them here first.

Closing school with no snow or not sending a truck out on the road is a whole new issue these days. We carry enough liability insurance you would think that would keep us running but just the threat of a problem and we back off our job of teaching students or hauling grain to the market.

I just don't get it. I am showing my age again, I guess.

Things sure have changed since my childhood!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The weather guru's are calling for more snow. It feels like it to me. After 60 years of observation you just get a feel for it.

They are calling for up to eight inches of the white stuff here which would pretty much shut us down. We have grain to move on "Jan" contracts. I wonder if I can make it to my speaking engagements next week? I warned them right up front that this kind of weather could prevent me getting to those remote places.

This feels like the 50's when I was a child and dad was splitting wood behind the house. I helped what little I could, mainly carrying small pieces, I was not big enough to swing an axe. Dad would pick a pile of wood in his arm after years of heating the house and harvesting corn by hand.

We always liked to help dad. He was always kidding around or telling stories to make the job go quicker. He was kind of mechanized but always in the stone ages as far as I was concerned at that time. You know you are always smarter than your dad when you are young. I know now he wasn't behind times, he just adapted as he could justify it.

So snow will slow things down to the fifties when things always went slower and more methodically. It will have an impact on us all, we just have to adjust.

I am glad I am not that guy trying to get on a plane while talking on a cell phone although next week I could well be him.

I really need to stay focused on the books and my presentations. That is where my money is regardless of the weather. These higher fuel prices will spike the grain markets until that South American crop comes in. Probably. Maybe. Who knows?

This is pretty much the type of winter I expected after last year, topsy turvy.

Our ability to respond to it will make all the difference in our attitude and our magnitude.

You have a good day now, you hear me?


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Here is an article than ran across the nation's papers around Christmas.

"In the midst of the push for environmental regulation in connection with the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared carbon dioxide — a substance produced by human respiration, among other means — a danger to public health. However, it appears that the EPA has a far more tolerant view to mercury, arsenic, and lead, since it is encouraging American farmers to spread these and other heavy metals on their fields.

According to a report in the Washington Post:

The federal government is encouraging farmers to spread a chalky(no, it is fluffy!) waste from coal-fired power plants on their fields to loosen and fertilize soil even as it considers regulating coal wastes for the first time.

The material is produced by power plant "scrubbers" that remove acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide from plant emissions. A synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, it also contains mercury, arsenic, lead and other heavy metals....

With wastes piling up around the coal-fired plants that produce half the nation's power, the EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture began promoting what they call the wastes' "beneficial uses" during the Bush administration.

Part of that push is to expand the use of synthetic gypsum — a whitish, calcium-rich material known as flue gas desulfurization gypsum, or FGD gypsum. The Obama administration has continued promoting FGD gypsum's use in farming.

Thus, the EPA intends that the substances carefully “scrubbed” from plant emissions for the stated purpose of keeping them from polluting the environment are to be spread around where much of the nation’s food is grown. Why? Because the waste is piling up, and they have not been able to determine another use for it.Amazingly, the same quantities of mercury, for example, which were apparently too toxic to release from the coal-fired power plants are suddenly less dangerous when they are scattered over farm fields. Again, according to the article in the Washington Post:

Field studies have shown that mercury, the main heavy metal of concern because it can harm nervous-system development, does not accumulate in crops or run off fields in surface water at "significant" levels, the EPA said."EPA believes that the use of FGD gypsum in agriculture is safe in appropriate soil and hydrogeologic conditions," the statement said.

But why, one might ask, should the plants go to the trouble of collecting and concentrating such hazardous substances in the first place if the government is simply going to encourage releasing them right back into the environment in the end? Would not the least dangerous disposal of such "insignificant" levels of heavy metals be to have as wide of an area of dispersal as possible, rather than compounding the toxins in a small area, and spreading them in the fields?Government programs beget more government programs. One government program sets stringent guidelines to carefully collect the toxins produced by our nation’s power plants, which, in turn, necessitates another government program to determine what to do with the collected waste. Presumably, in a generation or so, the EPA and USDA will develop another program to remove newly discovered "dangerous" levels of heavy metals from the soil of America’s heartland.One thing that is certain is that the program is steadily expanding:

Since the EPA-USDA partnership began in 2001, farmers' use of the material has more than tripled, from about 78,000 tons spread on fields in 2002 to nearly 279,000 tons last year, according to the American Coal Ash Association, a utility industry group.

About half of the 17.7 million tons of FGD gypsum produced in the United States last year was used to make drywall, said Thomas Adams, the association's executive director. But he said it is important to find new uses for it and other coal wastes because the United States will probably rely on coal-fired power plants for decades to come.

"If we can find safe ways to recycle those materials, we're a lot better off doing that than we are creating a whole bunch of new landfills," Adams said.(AMEN!)

The story between the lines of such reporting is that despite all of the supposed environmental concern over coal-fired power plants, the government is establishing programs that appear to assume a steady supply of waste generated by such plants for years to come. After all, if “cap and trade” taxation produces an entirely new "revenue stream" for the federal government.

Here is my bottom line:

Most soils need more calcium and sulfur

Ben Franklin painted the hills of Philadelphia with gypsum

This stuff is tested to death

We know more about it than some fertilizers

It increases soil and water movement 300% on many midwestern soils

It is a sin to landfill this tuff, like burying aluminum cans

I am tired of Sick Science that is used for propoganda.

Ed Winkle

Monday, January 4, 2010


Brenda Steinlage just posted a beautiful piece on her son's CarePage.

Posted 9 hours ago

Its hard to believe that 2010 is here, it has went so fast!! I think there are moments in life and certain things that happen in your life that define a person. I feel that 2009 was a year that defined our family and myself. Everybody is always saying that we are so strong and how we have a attitude like we have, and how do we do it. A year ago I was one of those people and nobody knows how they will be when they are put in a situation. I found out you just react and its not about me its so much more.

I give alot of my credit to my parents on how I have dealt with Rolan having this nasty disease. When I was 17 I lost a brother in a tractor accident, (he was 18) and the way mom and dad got us through that period in our life taught me that you can't hide, you have to be strong for the kids. My kids are what keep me going, (I think Loran will say the same). They are the ones leading the way and are giving us the power to live each day!! We decided early on that we weren't going to let this hinder us in moving forward and as hard as it is at times that is what we are striving for.

Now the mom side of me and watching my child deal with this does get the best of me at times. There are many times when I do question what I am suppose to be learning from this and why is it I have to learn what I am suppose to learn from Rolan. To me its not fair no kid should have to go through this. But yet he and other kids that I have seen go through an illness is some of the strongest people that I know. Maybe this is my lesson showing how strong our kids really are. Who knows I am sure someday it will be clear to me. So many of the kids that Rolan has meant down in IA City and started treatments around the same time are through their treatments and are in remission. I can't wait until that happens for Rolan. The aggressive part of the brain tumor scares me because nobodys seems to know what that means. Again I think Rolan is beating it this time, its just I hope the aggressive part of the tumor doesn't play a factor and we have to start another regiman of treatments.

I don't want to be negative, but reality is still lurking out there and it scares me. I know we will deal with it if we have too it its just hard to think about. I am hoping the end of 2010 finishes out better since the end of 2008 and 2009 weren't so hot. Loosing my aunt the week of christmas of 2008 to lukemia and living on the edge of our seats to get through the holidays without Rolan being in the hospital at the end of 2009.

We thank each and everyone of you for all of your prayers and support!! There are times thoughout the last year that YOU are the ones that pulled us through.

Give your love ones a kiss and tell them that you love them.( I just did that Brenda, thanks)

Love and Prayers


Talk about unfair, we have another friend Gary who was in prison twenty years for a crime he never committed, the new DNA tests set him free and he comes down with cancer. Talk about unfair!

But he studied the Bible in prison and started a wonderful prison ministry and had just become a great and powerful speaker, now he is an invalid.

You and I are here for a speck of time in the universe, a blink of the eye, it's that Eternity thing I am preparing for!

Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year, and on this page you know that means more than money!

Ed Winkle

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Eight Decades

One of the kids was teasing another one she is in her fifth decade. No I'm not, she blurted. Her brother piped in and said yes you are, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's and 10's. Oh my god she said! Then she looked at me and said you must be in your eighth!

It's all how you count the years. I count mine as blessed.

Yes we have our fears like everyone else but we paid our dues, learned our lessons and feel so blessed.

Took me 55 years to farm full time! You think that isn't an accomplishment? I just revel in it.

What would you do with eight decades or have you already done it?

I would farm, each and every day. I would love my family and do everything in my power to make enough money to make that happen.

But it really isn't about money. It's about feelings.

You have a good feeling doing what you like. It's just drudgery when aren't doing what you like. I often wondered why I was a teacher because so much of it was just drudgery when I could be out on a tractor doing what I loved.

Somehow I learned how to instill that in others. They, the students and their parents still thank me for it. Years of successful teaching or anything just rewards you with more years.

I am just considered as the old ag teacher now with a big family and a nice farm for years of hard work. It's like I really paid my dues!

I am just as fearful as tomorrow as you are but if I let that override me, it is just wasted time.

I don't have time to waste, do you?


Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Winkle Christmas

We had our little Winkle Christmas yesterday. The date worked out well since the kids were all off work and we could get together in peace.

You know we added three new family members this year. Those babies even had a good time. No crying, just in wonder with their older cousins.

We all enjoyed the Roast Beast, that is Prime Rib for you not knowing the family code names.

The children all waited while we opened gifts from the youngest, Caoilin, to the oldest, me. They were so polite and just enthralled. That made grandpa and grandma very proud of the whole family. Everyone is employed and doing well in a rough economy where others are struggling.

Our education is paying off. Everyone has a Bachelor's Degree and a few have a Master's Degree or working on it or have the ability to further their studies.

The three oldest cousins had their own dinner table, boy did they have fun!

Liam runs in and crashes on the couch. Those girls are after me, I am going to take a break on the couch! He says Brynn is coo coo nuts, but Madison says he called me an Angel! You can see the babies are watching and just growing to get into the fray next Christmas.

I bought a bag of Russet potatoes at KMart the other day for $2. What tasty mashed potatoes they made to go with the roast beast for the group of 13! Pumpkin bread is gone, applesauce from A&M farms is gone, beast is gone, potatoes gone, a little Jello, home grown corn, and fruit and veggie trays left. They will be gone today.

Everyone agreed it made a great day to enjoy the football games and even the Buckeye's won! Kevin couldn't leave the big screen TV, neighther could I. Sable was very well behaved, she is not the puppy she was a year ago. The grandkids aren't either and won't be next year.

I think we have a pretty good thing going here but we all work on it every minute of every day. Those little sacrifices produce great rewards.

I hope yours do, too.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Birthday!

This blog is one year old! And they said it couldn't be done, HA!

A nice fellow from Connecticut wrote:

" I became aware of your HyMark High Spots blog 'site on December 22 when I clicked on the link included in your Legacy Page comment in Portland (Maine) Press Herald re the obituary of 15-year old Eben Quimby of Albion, Maine. I am curious about how you came by it. Do you read the Maine newspapers as I do every day?

Also, after romping over your extensive and well-crafted blog site today I'm wondering how do you do it? Why... it would take me all day, and then some, to duplicate your efforts!"

You comments and email are encouraging. But when I don't make sense, tell me. That one yesterday about the clock ticking and me trying to make it tick faster, it just didn't flow for me.

When you write some, go away, come back you can lose your ebb and flow. I think that is what I did. Tell me when I do that. Some days the whole article just flows out like water. Other days, it is drip, drip, drip.

Anyway, we made it one year. Today is a brand new day in a brand new year. LuAnn asked me what my goals for 2010 was last night and caught me off guard. I have so many I was speechless so I guess I better get them on paper and start refining them.

My goals are all about being a better person, being a better farmer and helping every soul I can help. Faith, Husband, health, sharing, dad, grandpa would be keywords.

We had just dozed off in our winter's nap when I thought I heard rapping on the door. I thought oh no, someone ran off the road and needs pulled out. Then I heard more rapping. I finally realized it was midnight and the all neighbors were firing their weapons. Their must be some real firepower around here! That's a subject for a whole other blog.

Today we give thanks and will enjoy the day with the family around food and the Buckeye game.

And be glad we made it one(more) year.