Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Civil War

I was recently reminded of the fact that many wars that are important to our country started in April.  The two most notable of those is the American Revolution and the Civil War.

While working out at the club while here in Florida I noted that Netflix is offering the original Ken Burns Civil War series so I decided to watch it again.

This particular historical program is in my view a work of genius.  There is of course no video.  Everything is done with pictures and speaking parts by noted historians and writers.  In fact it is narrated by famous historian David McCullough.   Burns did an unbelievable job capturing the enormity of the event in a moving and informative way. 

It seemed fitting to me to watch this now because our nation is at a crossroads in my view.  Seldom have we lived in such divisive times.  The reason is of course because of Donald Trump.  Since announcing his intention to run for president he has preached nonstop hatred, bigotry, racism, exclusion, intolerance and violence.  He's doing exactly what he meant to do, i.e. make America hate again!

Everyone should watch Burns's program on the Civil War. We need a nonviolent rebellion.  That takes place in the voting booth.  Will people get the message?  We'll see in November.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

End of heating season update

OK. So we're not in FL yet.

Update:  In my constant effort to reduce our dependence on expensive home heating oil, I burned approximately 4 cords of wood this past heating season.  We now have 4.6 cords under cover with another 2 cords or so to be split and added to the stack for seasoning.

When everything is split and under cover I estimate I'll have at least 2 more years.  I'll be adding more to the mix by the time I'm done with spring clean up so maybe I'll even be pushing 3 yrs.

By then I'll be 78.  I don't know how many more years of this I'm going to be able to handle so we'll have to see.

In terms of oil use I've been burning wood since we moved to this house in 1986 at which time there were 6 of us here.  My mother, my aunt, Pete, Becky, Sandi and me.  Even burning wood I used over 800 gallons of oil for a 2400 sq. ft space.  I suspect hot water was a big part of that as it is now.

Over the years people have left the house and we've improved insulation and made hot water production more efficient.  There have been only two of us for the past almost 20 yrs.  Oil use is now less than 300 gallons.  The prices have fluctuated wildly  from over $3 per gallon to my last fill up which was $2.40 a gallon.  That represents quite a savings over a 30 year period.  Especially considering there were very few times when I had to buy wood and when I did buy it, it was unsplit, unseasoned and in bulk so it was relatively cheap.

Here's how it looks today.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Spring At Last!?

I think spring is finally here. The temperature today is 60 and the coming week looks very nice. We'll be in Florida but look forward to returning to even warmer temps.

As usual, spring brings with it not only flowers blooming but a mess in our yard.  On top of that I have a huge pile of wood to split from efforts over the past few weeks. 

Speaking of wood, last heating season we used almost 4 cords of wood.  We have 4.6 cords on hand and another at least 2 more to be split. The rest will go to my daughter's.  That would be another 2 cords.  So if next winter is normal, I'll  end up having about 2 yrs worth.

On another note, my granddaughter has been sending me lots of bird pictures.  I have taken many also.  I post most of them on my web site and Brooke's web page.  Be sure to check it out. When you get to the photo gallery page you'll see mine.  To see Brooke's click on the link to her web page.  There are some great shots.

Next blog will be from FL.  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Pet Peeve Number...(I lost count)

From time to time I post in this space a pet peeve, aka a frequent occurrence that annoys the hell out of me.

This one involves messaging-whether it be text messages, Facebook messages or comments and emails.  The problem is the number of misspelled words people let go through.  Sometimes I get messages from people that literally make no sense whatever.  It's bad enough I have to try to figure out Internet shorthand language, i.e. LOL, SYL, LMAO, IDK, etc. Now I have to proofread a person's misspelled message and try to figure out what they mean.  Actually I don't do that anymore.  I usually ignore it and wait for them to jostle me at which time I reply I didn't understand the first one.

Why is it so hard to proofread and then correct auto correct?  Well, it's not hard. It's just time consuming and people are in a hurry.

So there's my pet peeve for the day. I can assure you, there will be more-not that I'm becoming a cranky old man or anything.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Who wants to be a farmer?

 I recently saw  on Facebook where a person posted pictures of her two young children petting a calf on a local farm.  She labeled it "two future farmers."  In my humble opinion there are few more important callings.  In this area at least there are a few vegetable farms and even fewer dairy farms.  Agriculture has been pretty much taken over by large corporate farms making it nearly impossible for smaller, individually owned farms to thrive.  The reason is simple.  The meat and produce provided by larger operations is cheaper.

However, there are many people who would be willing to pay more for home grown, organic vegetables and dairy and beef products. Not really enough to earn one a good living but it is possible especially where a farm and it's buildings and land have been passed down from one generation to the next.

It's too bad.  But farming is a tough life.  I used to spend part of my summers on my uncle's dairy farm.  It was up early and then work all day.  I don't recall him or his family ever taking vacations.  Yet by the end of the day even though you're tried there's a good feeling that you did important work.

I hope the mild interest being shown in farming today continues and gains strength.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Happy April

Better late than never-Happy April. There's a lot of history in the month of April.  Wars started and ended during this month.  To learn more about April, click here