Shapes and Sizes

The Last Supper

Practice Makes Perfect

From my desk upstairs tonight, well past midnight, I heard a ruckus going on in the side yard, near the barn.  This farmer’s wife knows the sound of livestock in trouble.  John had gone to bed so I, quick, grabbed his Kimber 45 with the laser grip, popped in a clip, racked in a shell and turned off the safety.  Whatever it was out there, it was gonna die.  Good thing I did some target practicing last week using an old campaign sign–kind of poetic, eh?


John made me laugh as he shot up his own sign. Love his tee shirt, too. That’s my man!

A heavy drizzle was coming down, creating ghostly shadows against the barn lights.  There was a small LED flashlight in my rain gear which came in handy as I neared the chicken coop and saw some of my girls running around outside in the dark. Chickens are blind at night and roost; this could only mean trouble and an unhappy ending for the trouble maker.   I was surprised that an intruder got through the coop’s electrified fence.

I killed the power, opened the gate, and peeked through the pop hole. The glassy eyes of a big ‘ol egg eating opossum stared back at me.  That explained the frantic cluckers and all their squawking.  The only good opossum is a dead one and this one was going down.  You can mess with a lot of things on my farm, but NOT my girls.

He found a hiding spot in the corner of the coop and it was a tough shot.  I put a red bead on his body and fired.  He began to drag his carcass out of the hen house and I could see yellow egg yolk all over his face.  That dirty ‘ol egg sucking bastard.  Opossums will eat the eggs first and the hens next.  My mind began to flash with movie quotes from Al Pacino in Scarface:  “Say hello to my little friend.”    I couldn’t believe the thing  was crawling right at me, almost over my boots.   “Oh, so you want to play rough.”  I popped another cap into him and thought “For a green card I would carve him up real nice.”

People think farms are happy places where the sun shines and the sheep,  pigs, and horses graze.  In reality, there is a lot of carnage as we try to protect the lives of our animals who can not protect themselves.  We worry about coyotes, skunks, and especially raccoons.   I did what I had to do and laughed to myself that my big, strong swamp buck hunter of a husband heard the shots and rolled over in bed, confident that The Farmer’s Wife had taken care of business.


Brother, can you spare a dime?

Getting Even


Two thumbs up to my sister-in-law, Kathleen, for posting this on Facebook.   It only costs a dime to get rid of the Michigan State Bird.

You will need:

  • Two Liter Pop Bottle (That’s right, we call ‘em pop bottles around here.)
  • Razor or Scissors
  • Glue
  • One Teaspoon Yeast
  • One Half Cup of Sugar
  • Some Luke Warm Water



Cut the top off of the bottle, invert it, and place it inside the bottom of the bottle so that both cut edges are up.  Glue the raw edges together.   Click your heels three times and add the yeast, sugar and warm water to the bottle.

The sugar feeds the yeast and carbon dioxide (mosquito crack) is released.

Babe, the Blue Ox and The Weenie Wagon

Ain’t she saweeeet, see her rolling down the street. You sang that, didn’t you?   Babe leaves a thick cloud of choking black smoke behind her each time the hammer goes down.  This is especially handy when passing innocents standing at a bus stop or rolling past folks caught in the act of putting their trash cans out on the curb.  Babe’s whole mission in life is to bring a smile to Adam’s face each time he “scores.”

The old girl just spun 200,000 miles.   She’s a 7.3 liter Diesel F250 long box with a five speed, manual transmission and leather seats.  I’m told she really only has two gears:  fast and faster.  Adam spruced her up with a $10 caution light from Home Depot, a borrowed tool box in the bed, and some new rubber all around.  She’s an Ox because her purpose in life is to haul Adam’s 14,000 lb. boat up north, survive getting whip-tailed by extreme loads on the farm, and she needs to keep her throaty, jake brake sound when decelerating .  It was love at first sight, the minute Adam laid eyes on his Babe, the Blue Ox.

Last month I left him and Bryce alone on the farm for two weeks while I went up north to aggravate some fish and build a campfire or two.  Thinking that Babe would be enough entertainment for the dynamic duo and thinking that they had enough farm work to do, I didn’t think twice about surprises.   Then my phone rang.

“Hey, Ma, I made a Weenie Wagon” Adam declared proudly.  I held my composure as he described his Weenie.  It was long, held about 1,600 gallons, and was strapped down safely.  Best of all, it could go 60 mph and spray with force because he hooked a pump to it.

A Thousand Gallons at a Time

In all candor, I’m pretty proud of Adam’s Weenie.  It’s purpose is like a pumper truck for fires…only it carries water to refill the spray rig.  We spray our fields for weeds with a truck rigged with 60′ booms and since many of our fields are 15 to 20 miles from our water supply, the Weenie Wagon saves us fuel and time.  I like the way he thought of everything…the ladder on the side, the water pump in its own housing up front and re-purposing our auto-hauler temporarily.  Somebody was using their noodle.




Last time I left town he figured out how to get his jon boat and four horse outboard engine down to the lake using “Saki-Saki”, our Mini Truck.  I have to admit if he is nothing else, he is a clever little devil.



Saki-Saki, our Mini Truck

Hitched up, ready to roll.


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