Showing posts from July, 2011

End of July... Beginning of Travel

Well, it's the end of July... and it's the end of our summer stay in Wisconsin for 2011. If I don't push myself along a little and get this short post published in the next hour or two, there's a danger it'll be my first August post instead of the last July post. Hmmm... there's that dang time thing again. I always find saying "good-bye" to family (and friends too) a hard thing to do. And tonight was no exception. We had a very nice dinner and family get-together... we laughed, told stories, feasted on delicious food, commented on current events, and bantered about until the inevitable time came and we had to head back to the bus-house. Then long hugs, deep emotional eye contact, and a touch of more humor to ward off the welling tears as we slowly backed out the driveway and into the next chapter in our sabbatical. We may not be back for almost a year... but heck, at our age... a year goes by in a flash. Earlier today we prep'd the bus-house fo

Christmas In July

Both Dar and my families come from Wisconsin. We both grew up here. Our parents, all four of them, still live here. And despite the ravages of Winter, cold sub-zero temperatures, icy roads and sidewalks, piles of snow we lovingly refer to as "banks", and the love/hate relationship most of us have with salt (it melts ice on the roads, but it also "melts"... perhaps corrodes is a better word... the metal bodies of our cars and trucks)... despite all that, most of the family still lives here. Sure, some have escaped.  Our own two kids have escaped to the west coast... other nieces and nephews are scattered about the USA... my brother Bill traded all this for Bozeman Montana, which quite possibly has an even longer and more brutal Winter than Wisconsin (go figure!). Dar has a brother that traded Wisconsin for the Upper Penninsula of Michigan... so questionable decisions have been made on both sides of this conjoined family. Because Dar and I are on this "Sabbat

Midwest Holiday Corn

The first week of July has been good for us. And the weather has been marvelous. First the 2011 Corn Report:  Last year, 2010, was an unusually good growing year around south central Wisconsin. You may or may not remember that I took a photo of myself with the corn in the field right next to the bus-house on the 4th of July... testing the old adage of "knee high by the 4th of July"... which was blown away by the reality of 7 foot high corn that had actually "tasseled" on that very day. It was an amazing thing. This year started much slower. A cold and wet Spring slowed fieldwork and the planting process for most farmers, and was weeks behind last year's pace. But by July 4th, good moisture, some warm days, and those amazing corn hybrids farmers are planting these days produced robust corn plants that were almost 6 foot high. I did daily measurements for a few days leading up to the 4th... and found these things were growing between four and six inches per da