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VOLUMES 227 & 228 -------- MAY/JUNE 2021

Uploaded: August 13, 2021

Hot enough where you are?

Dry enough where you are?

As I finally get to this edition of the newsletter, we continue to experience extreme hot and dry weather as wildfires rage all around us.  Washington, as well as Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, and our neighbors to the north in British Columbia are experiencing record breaking drought and heat with resultant wildfires and the smoky, unhealthy air that goes with them.

Fortunately, so far, no fires have threatened our immediate location but plenty of idiots continue to exhibit stupid behavior like throwing lit cigarettes out of cars.  In one case a young person believed to be homeless, was attempting to start a fire along the road about 4 miles south of our place.  Only rapid and efficient response by our area fire departments have prevented some of these incidents from becoming disasters!

Another potential disaster was discovered just recently when some 'squatters' were discovered camped in the timber on adjoining property to the West of us.  They had moved in a camper trailer and tents and camouflaged the old logging trail where they gained access.  The property owners had no idea they were there until a neighbor discovered them while on a walk one morning!

The property owners made a report to the Sheriff's Department and ran the people off.  The two caught at the sight claimed no knowledge of the old trailer or its owners, so only took away the tents and their other belongings.  Of course they were lying, but this leaves the owners with the expense of towing away the trailer with no hope of recompense!

As one of the property owners told me, "It's seems trespassers have more rights than we do!"

As reported before, we are having our property logged for multiple reasons: Mitigation of wildfire fuel, preventing potential windstorm damage around the buildings, and improving forest health by thinning and marketing some of the mature timber.

Our loggers were within a week or so of finishing the cutting and hauling, when Washington Department of Natural Resources called a halt to all logging activity because of the hot, dry weather and resultant extreme fire danger.  Seasonal autumn rains will hopefully allow continuation by the end of September.  If the rains don't materialize, we may have to wait for winter snows!

On the tractor hydraulics front, after more than three months, our local Kubota dealer was never able to get the parts to add another set of rear hydraulics and a third function kit with which to operate the ordered grapple for the tractor loader.  Since the new stump grinder was delivered, and I couldn't use it, I began a search for the parts myself.

Took me about three hours!  A call to Coleman Equipment Company, located in the Kansas City area, and a visit with Rick Ledgerwood in their sales department, resulted in a callback in about an hour saying they had the third function kit in stock and the second lever rear hydraulic kit was available from a warehouse in Georgia!  (As an aside, it turned out the local dealer had ordered the wrong kit for the rear add-on anyway)

After giving the go-ahead, I had the parts in hand in about ten days!

I then had the Kubota dealer in Coeur d'Alene, ID install the parts.  Buying the parts myself, and having them installed at the dealer's regular shop rate ended up being about the same cost as if I had gotten the parts from the dealer.

Anyway, the stump grinder is now operational and I'm in the process of learning the finer points of operating it!  More on this next time.

The grapple for the front end loader is still not here and I'm told there is no firm delivery date.  Some phone calls and further research on this front has revealed that some dealers within a 200 mile radius have begun receiving some of the same grapples I have ordered, so we may need to have another serious conversation about why my dealer can't seem to get one!

May end up requiring a 'road trip' with the trusty GMC pickup to a dealer in another town!

Speaking of road trips, Ann and I did make a quick visit to Missoula, Montana last Thursday and returned on Saturday.  First time being that far from home since COVID first hit.  (180 miles, one way!  Whoopee!)  We had a good time, did some shopping for clothes, and had some good eats.

Our Missoula stays have usually involved rooms at the Best Western Grant Creek Inn, but we decided to try a new location this time.  The Stone Creek Lodge was chosen as the alternative because it is fairly new.  That was a mistake.  The facility was not nearly as nice and the price about the same as the Grant Creek Inn.

Talking about the lodging in Missoula brings to mind another topic.  Do you ever feel like 'Big Brother' or someone else out there knows way more about what you do than you would like?

Let me put forth some examples.

First the Missoula lodging.  My internet searchs for various hotels, amenities, and prices almost immediately generated a spate of advertisements for Missoula lodging  on ANN'S FACEBOOK PAGE!  Keep in mind here that I do not Facebook!  I have no account and do not even look at Facebook unless Ann shows me something that might be of interest to me.  (Usually dirty jokes)  Facebook is never viewed on either of my computers.

With the need to remove many stumps after our logging, I searched and ultimately purchased a stump grinder for the tractor.  Stump grinder ads on Facebook!

I looked for, and purchased some non skid paint for the flatbed trailer deck.  Non skid paint ads on Facebook!

My pressure washer motor shot craps and I looked online for a replacement.  I guess someone thought Ann needed a pressure washer as there were suddenly several ads on Facebook.

As indicated above, I have a grapple on order for the tractor loader.  My research for that apparently generated a need for someone to make sure that Ann's Facebook kept her informed of the many grapple choices.

I know that others know exactly what we are doing online and reacting to that.  I ain't smart enough to know exactly how they do this, but it obviously has something to do with the IP addresses from which our internet activity occurs.  I don't understand it and I guess it doesn't do any real harm, but it still pisses me off!

Gonna change gears a little here.  Last Christmas, Jennifer gifted Ann and I with Storyworth.  Storyworth is a service that sends out a weekly email asking for a story about a subject of their choosing, usually involving something in family history.

Ann and I have been faithfully doing those stories every week and now have over 30 of them on record.  We alternate between having fun with these stories and groaning about being late getting them in.  Anyway, I had a question recently that brought back fond memories and thought I would share it here.  The question was:  Describe the first date with your spouse.  Here is my story.

In answer to the question about the 'first date' with Ann, I'll use a term that described courting a girl in the mid nineteenth century and earlier: 'Walked Out With'

In the mid 1800's that was a common term for when a gentleman caller came to a girl's home and asked to take a walk to show his interest and have a bit of privacy from the rest of the family. In our case the circumstances were somewhat different, but the terminology fits.

First some background:

For several years my Brother Ed and I entered our registered Brown Swiss dairy cattle in livestock shows near our home in Hatfield, MO. The highlight show and usually the last one of the year, was the Northwest Missouri State Fair in Bethany, MO. (The prize money was much better than other area shows too!)

The ritual included staying at the fair, night and day, for most of a week to care for the cattle we were showing and keeping our area nice and clean for the fair goers who perused the livestock barns. Keeping our cots and sleeping area looking nice along with raking, sweeping, and sprinkling the walkways, and of course, keeping the poop scooped was a matter of pride and competition among the 4H and FFA boys. (It was mostly all boys in those days)

The year I was 14, I began to figure out why the teenage girls of the time suddenly developed an interest in livestock as they paraded through the show barns preening and giggling as they did so. (Any questions about the cattle, Ladies?)

As the Fair progressed that year, I 'Walked Out With' a girl or two who visited our barn.

Ann visited the Fair with a friend one evening along with her friend's parents. Ann and I 'walked out', touring the MidWay and taking in the sights and sounds of the Fair's games and carnival rides.

At one point, we rode the Ferris Wheel. I particularly enjoyed the stops at the top of the ride as cars were loaded and unloaded. (I think we held hands at times and I might have put my arm around her shoulders during the ride!)

Later in the evening, I walked Ann to her friend's parents' car as they departed.

Well, I guess that 'Walk Out' stuck as we are still together some 65 year's later and will celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary next February!

I had hoped for some pictures from last fall's Missouri deer hunting from nephew Jason before publishing this newsletter, but haven't received them yet.  Since I'm so late anyway, I think I'll go ahead and get this uploaded and hope I can put the hunting pics up next time.

This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from FrontierTexas.com describing some Texas Slang:

"All Hat and No Cattle" (someone who is boastful without any substance.)

Well, it's time to shut down here, so. . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!

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