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My return

I'm back and man am I sore. I guess that's what happens when you do some real work over the weekend. I just love three day weekends too. We had to get down to the farm early on Friday because we were taking Deb's 15 year old cousin down to meet with Deb's father so they could all drive to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 race. When we met up with her dad, he offered to take us to dinner and we agreed. We went to a local radside cafe and had good stick-to-your-ribs stuff like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Sometimes I just love living in the midwest. Afterward we went out to the farm and had a message on the answering machine from Deb's cousin, Pyro wanting us to come in for a bonfire and a keg of beer in another friend's backyard. It's just one of those redneck things to do ya know. Build a big roaring fire in the backyard, everyone pulls their trucks in backwards and sits on the tailgates and drinks from this big keg of nasty old Busch beer 'cause it's cheaper than Budwieser. So we did that until 1 am and everyone pretty much went home.

Saturday morning we had planned to go fishing but the first light of dawn showed a sky full of clouds and lots of rain so I just went back to bed with Deb and slept until about 10 am. Man that felt good. We got up and realized there was no food in the house and since I had to run errands in town anyway, I told Deb I'd bring stuff back to eat. She was just happy to have a fresh pot of coffee at that point. I've had a terrible run of luck with farm implements of late. Nearly every machine I needed to use was broken down in one way or another. So I went to the John Deer dealer and got a new drive belt and battery for the riding mower. I also told the owner, who happens to own 13 acres adjacent to me that we were planning on building a 3 acre pond in August that would butt up to his ground. He didn't seem to mind. Then I went to the farm machinery repair shop and got the tire for my Cub Cadet riding mower fixed and also got a new battery for my Ford tractor and had both chain saws sharpened. I also stopped off at the bakery and got a fresh blackberry pie...must have blackberry pie whenever I can. Then to the hardware store for a roll of aluminum window screen to replace the screen Jake ripped when the neighbors dog who is in heat got loose and got in our yard. Then to the nursery for a truckload of mulch for my landscaping as well as $100 worth of bedding plants, impatiens, daisies and the like.

Finally to the grocery store which was like a madhouse with people buying stuff for the holiday weekend. I settled on smoked pork chops and t-bone steaks for the main meats and about $50 worth of other groceries. Then because it continued to rain, Deb and I sat around on our butts and watched TV and relaxed all day. That evening we went into town and had dinner and drinks with Pyro and her husband. Another of our good frinds stopped by and brought beer and movies so we all sat around and watched movies. It was kind of a bittersweet evening because the freind told us he was changing jobs and leaving the area soon. That's happened to about 4 of my friends lately. It's a sign of what they high gas prices and heating costs are doing to the economy. This guy is leaving a job he's had for 10 year to go drive a semi. Pyro's husband just last week quit his job as a mechanic and went to work on a road crew. Anotehr friend had to leave his job running a pet store and go to driving a truck for the state. I'd like to think I'm OK job wise but hte truth is I may not be far behind these guys.

Sunday we went fishing at dawn and caught about 72 fish by 11 am. We had a "real fun" time cleaning all those fish but they made 6 pounds of filets. I told Rob to give me a yell if he wanted to go fishing that evening, not expecting him to call. Then I went home and got the chainsaw out to cut up a fallen elm tree I had dragged up int othe barnyard and which was now in the way for me to mow. I loaded the wood and took it to the guy who had the bonfire so we could have anotehr one that night. Then I went back and fixed all the mowers and tractors and coomeced to mowing the barnyard, field roads and pastures with the Ford tractor. On the Ford, I sit about 7 feet tall and the grass was brushing the tops of my knees so it really needed mowing. I was about 3/4 of the way done when the tractor started to overheat because all the grass seed and dandelion fuzz had gotten into the radiator and wouldn't let any air through. I was driving it up to the gate when Deb comes out and waves to me. I shut the tractor down and got off. She told me Rob had just called and wanted to know if I wanted to go out to the lake and set some trot lines for catfish. I readily agreed and put the tractor back in the barn. We both went into town so Deb and Pyro could have fun together and Rob, his cousins Chad and Scott and I took off with the boat for the lake.

Kerr lake is right adjacent to the Illinois river so whenever the river floods, it dumps a bunch of catfish in the lake and they grow to monstrous size. It's a privately owned lake so not many people get to fish it. Rob and some of his buddies recently leased the lake for hunting and fishing so this was to be our first attempt at catching some of the really big cats. Once we got there, Chad's uncle Sam was getting his boat ready. He said he had put out trot lines that morning with 300 hooks and if we wanted to check the lines and rebait the hooks, we could have whatever was on there. It took us 1/2 hour by boat to get out to the spot we wanted. We set out two lines with a total of 100 hooks all baited with hotdog slices. Then we went and checked Sam's lines an got 187 catfish off. The bottom of the boat was quite literally swimming with catfish that all weighed between 3 to 5 pounds each.

We went back to town and they were having another bonfire with the remains of the keg and a couple bottles of this and that so we went there and warmed up and cleaned fish for 3 hours. At 10:30, we went back and checked our lines in the dark and got anotehr 60 fish. Plus we saw a huge 6 foot long water moccasin. At 6:30 Monday morning, we were out in the boat again checking our line and rebaiting. We got another 30 fish on that trip. So needless to say, our freezers are now full of catfish, bass, bluegill and crappie. Can't wait for our fish fry the third week of June. We also got to see a small heard of deer swim across the lake yesterday morning. Something you don't see everyday.

Monday afternoon was spent planting the rest of my vegetable garden and then Deb and I worked on my landscaping until nightfall.We didn't want to leave but finally made it back here at midnight all tuckered out.

And here I am back in the office today and look, it's lunch time. Man am I working hard today.




( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 29th, 2001 03:57 pm (UTC)
*wants blackberry pie*
May. 29th, 2001 04:10 pm (UTC)
Hey I'm just about to make a bunch of jam. Want some of that? Strawberry, Peace, Apricot, Mulberry, Blackberry and grape.


May. 29th, 2001 04:48 pm (UTC)
Mmmmmmmmmm. Blackberry. I really have to get to the farmer's market this weekend.
May. 30th, 2001 07:21 am (UTC)
I've got a huge blackberry patch out back. My very own farmer's market. I noticed the other day the mulberries are getting ripe. Byu the second week in June all the birds will be pooping purple!


May. 30th, 2001 03:30 pm (UTC)
*makes mental note to lock Wander in a box and steal his blackberry patch*
May. 30th, 2001 03:32 pm (UTC)
Oh and I've got raspberries too. You and Dragoneer really need to make a trip out here. Free room and board!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Wander aka StoneBear
Bear Dancer Studios

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