That was a close one.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

We just dodged another bullet this week.  The West Fork of White River crested at 24.25 feet at Edwardsport early in the week.  It is now falling slowly.  That 24+foot river strongly tested our levee at the Nellie farm… one that we just re-built after last fall’s harvest.   So, it stood this first test!

Here is the White River report for today. This is from the reporting station at Edwardsport, here in SWIN. Our fields along US 50 are about 1 day’s flow below Edwardsport.

Brandon took some soybeans to Newburgh today, and John has had the MX290 through the shop.  The tractors are now ready for spring!

The MX290 Magnum tractor received a thorough servicing yesterday and today.

The 9360R was given the full service treatment on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is warm and windy out there today.  The sun peeks through every now and then.  Right now, the temperature stands at 56F (13C).  The wind is quite strong at 17 mph, with gusts to 25.   Gets your attention!  We are told it will go below freezing again tonight, with some snow.  Oh, boy!

HS BB season is winding down here in Indiana.  The girls’ tournament is in the 3rd of 4 weekends of play, and the boys’ have about 2 weeks left on the regular season.  Wow, that went fast.

Next week, we will attend a training session about the information system called FieldView.  They are calling it a ‘refresher’,but there will be some new things to learn.  Seems like the utility of this system keeps improving.

Brandon will be taking in the NFMS in Louisville on Saturday.  Hope he can get us some pictures of the new stuff…

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Grain moving today

Monday, February 11, 2019

Brandon is delivering corn to GPC today.  Three trips will make his day a success.  He says we will soon be clearing out our soybean inventory.  Ross monitors and responds to the grain markets.   Even if he is away for a few days, he stays connected to the markets.  It’s all part of the winter process.

You know, in a few weeks, (early March) we will be bringing back home the nitrogen application machine and the soybean air drill from their storage location at the Huey farm.  Those will be serviced and prepared for their springtime work.  It is the 3rd planting season for the air drill, and it will require a closer inspection and more precise attention to the settings on each row unit.

Once the soybean seed begins arriving at the neighbor-dealer, we will begin to write the planting prescriptions.  We will be increasing the seeding rate this year, while still trying to match the populations to the soil productivity.

Sunday brought us some nasty weather, especially in the morning.  The sleet/rain/freezing rain made the roads and parking lot and sidewalks a bit treacherous, so church attendance was affected dramatically.  Can’t blame folks for playing it safe and remaining indoors.  The temps have warmed today, and we’re receiving rain.  Another gray day.

To report about weekend basketball, our South Knox Spartans girls’ team ended their season on Saturday at the regional.  Those girls had a good and  surprisingly successful season.  The only local team to advance was the Rivet (1A) team, who will be playing in the Semi-State on Saturday.  If they win that game, they will go (again) to the State Finals in Bankers Life Arena in Indy on Feb 23!  Good Luck to Rivet.

Pat and I enjoyed our trip to Mackey Arena Saturday night.  Supper at the Beef House was just terrific, a great meal.  We arrived early and viewed the displays in the concourse.  A new highlight was the John Wooden (Purdue 3x All-American, 1930-1932) practice jersey that was purchased by Drew Brees for over $200K, and placed on display in Mackey.  The Nebraska team played hard and the game was often closer than we might have expected, but the Boilermakers pulled away at the end.  There was a spurt in the 2nd half that really got the crowd revved up.  The cheering was amazing:  I learned later that the sound rose to 114+dB!   What fun!  The trip home was not a problem, even though it was 3 hours…

The days move on apace, moving us toward #plant19.



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Another weekend

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The calendar is marching right along– January down, and already nearing mid-February.  Tonight, Pat and I are traveling to Purdue to see the Boilermakers play Nebraska.  Looking forward to the game, but it’ll be a late night…the game starts at 830!   It may be hard to get up Sunday morning, but it’s all good.

Th weather has made for a little bit of a crazy week here.  Last week brought us below-zero temperatures.

Reading on the pickup dash at -1ºF!

Then on Thursday, we hit 65ºF, and later that night it was 15!  Crazy weather…there was even a Category Zero tornado touch down in Knox County, south of Vincennes, on that warm day.  It also brought heavy rainfall, not an extraordinary amount, 3.3″ (84mm), but it came in about an hour.  Thunder and lightning accompanied the rain.  So there were many streets and county roads flooded.  You had to be careful where you traveled, and often there were times when you had to turn around and find an alternate route on our county roads!

I’ve been dealing with another man-cold this week.  It started Monday evening, and I eventually gave up to go to the doctor on that rainy Thursday.  At least it was warm outside.   After receiving a shot and 3 prescriptions, I am feeling better today.  I can breathe easy again!  I usually have the man-cold once per winter, but this year, I’m recuperating from my third bout with it.

Brandon has been away this week at a special horse show in Texas.  He had some success on his trip out there.  Grain deliveries resumed Friday.  Lots to get moved out this month.

John brought the sprayer into the shop this week for some maintenance– oil filter changes and lubrication.  It’s ready for another season of performance.   It is our most-used machine, covering our acres multiple times per season.   Its readiness is critical; some applications have mere hours for window of opportunity, so this one must be ready.

John replaces all the filters and services every item in preparation for a spring/summer of activity

Our South Knox girls’ basketball team won their sectional and are competing at the regional today.  Go Spartans!

Next week is the National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS) in Louisville, Kentucky.  Not sure if we will go this year, but it is always a great show.  Some day, I’d like to take in the Commodity Classic.  It’s in Orlando this year… and would give us a good excuse to visit WDW again!

Th sun is shining today, bright and beautiful.  The temperature is a chilly 28F, but with no wind, it is pleasant out there.

Have a good weekend, everyone.



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A good weekend, and then some other thoughts

Monday, February 4, 2019

The weekend had some special highlights.  Because we live in Indiana, most involved basketball.

First, our Girls’ HSBB team won their Sectional.  They played on Tuesday and Friday, with relatively easy games, but then in the championship on Saturday, they were ‘the underdog’.  The championship game was against the Thunderbirds of Eastern Greene HS.  The T-birds were state ranked:  #7 in 2A.  But our girls got off to a good start in the game, and never trailed.   They pulled off the upset, and brought home the sectional trophy.  Congratulations to our South Knox Spartans, Sectional Champions for 2019!  They move on to the Regional at Paoli, for the noon game.  If successful, they will play in the regional championship at 8 pm.  Good luck, Spartans!

Another South Knox team was a tourney champion on Saturday.  Our 8th grade boys’ team  won two games that day and became the Blue Chip Conference Champions.  The first one was a cliffhanger versus the Loogootee (pronounced “luh-GO-dee”) Lions.  It was one of their more difficult games of the year, but they prevailed.  Then, in the championship game versus the Northeast Dubois (pronounced “DOO-boys”) Jeeps, they won handily.   Our Youth Minister, Collin Mattingly, is an assistant coach on that team, so we follow those 8th graders even more closely!

At noon on Saturday, the South Knox Varsity and JV boys’ teams played home games versus Evansville Reitz. (a big 4A school).  The thing that made it special for SK folks is that it featured the return to SK of former Varsity Coach, Joe Patton.  I was on the school board that hired him, and two of our sons played for him.  He and his family were immensely popular in our community, and the boys loved playing for him.  Coach Patton was at SK from the 01-02 season through the 11-12 season.  He left SK to take a Math teaching position at Reitz ( where he taught before coming to SK), and to be closer to his parents.  Now he assists Reitz Coach Mike Adams.  It truly was a homecoming of sorts, for Coach Patton also had his family present.   It was so special to see and visit with his parents Don and Ginny and his wife Kathy, and his SIL Debbie.  BTW, Reitz edged out the Spartans 38-37, dropping our record to 13-4.  Our JV won in OT.  Still, having the Patton family back home at SK was sweet.

Saturday afternoon was the birthday party for our now 4-year-old granddaughter Molly.  It was a casual event, held at the Youth Building at church.  Molly had some of her friends over, and many family members were there.  She is into “planets” right now, so that was the theme.  According to Molly, each of us should have a favorite planet… hers is Neptune, because it is blue–her favorite color.  The kids had fun playing games and goofing around, and the grown-ups enjoyed the conversations.  It was a great day.

Sunday, we watched the noon game of Minnesota at Purdue.  Purdue had us biting our nails when they fell behind by 13 early in the second half.  But a nifty rally had us cheering along the with fans in Mackey Arena pretty soon.  The win came by 10 points.  There were some special blocks and dunks and behind-the-back passes that gave the game some ‘wow’, too.  So, as of today, our Boilermakers stand at #1 in the B1G, tied with the two Michigan schools.   We can’t wait to go on Saturday, even though the game is a 9pm start. After the game, we’ll still have the 3-hour drive home.  I’ll need toothpicks to keep my eyes open in Sunday School the next morning.

Also Sunday, it was a wonderful, full morning at Wheatland Christian Church.  Attendance was up a bit, and there were more kids in Children’s Church.  In the building that morning was our new Children’s Director, Ally Fink.  She formally begins her work this week, and we are eager see how the ministry grows with her sweet spirit leading the programming.  Brent’s sermon was especially moving, preaching from John Chapter 15, about the ‘vine and the branches’.  He called us to genuine connection with the Lord.  Worship time was meaningful, and uplifting.  All in all, a great Sunday morning.

Last week, my sister and BIL passed along a small book to me, “Un-offend-able” by Brant Hansen.  I’m a little over halfway through this paperback, and I must say I bristled at the first few chapters, not wanting to fully go along with the author’s premise.  But the farther I get into it, I am beginning to understand his viewpoint, and it is helping me refine my attitudes.   I have found Chapter 8, “Ain’t You Tired” and Chapter 13, “The Big Question: What About Injustice” to be especially enlightening.  And it is no coincidence that I read Chapter 15, “Nothing Left to Lose” today.   That chapter spoke volumes to me, on this first anniversary of the death of our 35-year-old son Philip, surrendering to cancer on this date in 2018.  So, I find I’m more at peace, and I’m learning again to trust God through every thing that comes our way.  I can assuredly recommend this easy-to-read book.

So, the past few days have been packed, and I’m grateful for it all.  Have a wonderful week, everyone.


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Cold is coming

Monday, January 28, 2019

This morning, it is 41ºF (5C), and cloudy.  They tell us that rain is coming today, and snow tonight.  But the biggest thing they are telling us is that bitter cold will arrive tomorrow night, and run through Thursday.  We are being warned of below zero temps on Wednesday.  It seems as if the folks on the local news or even the Weather Channel get really jazzed up by bringing sensational news.  Winter Storm Jaden has arrived in the upper Midwest, and it is on its way here.  Yes, it will be quite cold, but with all the warnings coming across the airwaves, you’d think we have never seen cold before.  Sure, we will take extra care when we are out, and we’ll even open up the cabinet doors under the sink.   But is it appropriate to be so dramatic about the forecast?  No, it’s not the end of the world… it’s winter in the Midwest.

We had a little snow Saturday evening.  It was pretty on the trees and blanketing the ground, but it did not stick on the paved county or state roads.  It’s gone today with the warmer temperatures.

Driving out the lane on Saturday evening.

There is not a lot going on this week, just some bin-sweeping in soybean bins.  It’s not the most fun job, usually kinda dusty, with some shovel work — cleaning up behind the sweep auger.  It’s another milestone during the winter months when we clean out grain bins.  Work will pick up again next week, as grain deliveries resume.  Bin number 1A got checked off the list today.  Mark it “MT” (empty).

Brandon has had the Vision truck in the shop for a couple days, polishing the chrome, and making it look ‘like new’.

The Vision has received some intensive polishing.

Tomorrow, the girls’ HS basketball tournament starts.  It is the first week of play, called ‘sectionals’ in Indiana.  We have 4 size classes of schools, and our school, South Knox, is in class 2A, (1A is the smallest school class).  The games will occur on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, with sectional champs crowned Saturday evening.  Those teams will move on to ‘regional’  day on Feb 9.  Those winners meet up in semi-state on Feb 16, with the State Finals on February 23 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.    A very similar format occurs for the boys’ state tourney in March.  It’s a hot topic of conversation around the state of Indiana for the next 8 weeks!   Our girls’ team was the sectional champ in 2017, but it will be difficult to win the title and move on to regional this year.  Two other schools are ranked in the top 10 of 2A, making ours one of the most difficult sectionals this year.  But we wish them all the best, and we’ve won it before as an underdog!

We were quite pleased with the week’s results of Boilermaker basketball.  We enjoyed two wins, one at Ohio State, and the other at home against Michigan State.  I’m hoping this will help Purdue move back into the rankings.  The Boilermakers ran out to a 23-point advantage over MSU, but Sparty came back to make it a little nerve-wracking.  Still, the Boilers held on and won by 10!  It was a pleasure to see both games, and we did not experience the DirecTV trouble that marred our experience of the Indiana at Purdue game on the 19th.   It would have been so much fun to have been in Mackey Arena for the IU or the MSU game.  We have tickets for the Nebraska game on the 9th.  It will be great to be there and cheer the Boilermakers on!

Be careful out there with the colder days and nights this week.

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Some snow

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Well, the weekend did bring us some snow.  It came from what the Weather Channel called “Winter Storm Harper”.  As the cold front moved south during Saturday, the all-day rain turned to snow about 5 pm.  John had been away that day, traveling to Purdue to meet up with his brother Ben and watch the big rivalry game with Indiana.  Of course, it was already snowy in West Lafayette, but the outcome of the game certainly made it worth the trip!  He drove home through a snowstorm, and the closer he got to home, the worse the roads were.  It was extremely windy, up to 35 mph gusts, that made it hard for him to see, and made the snow pile up in large drifts.  Highway crews gave up on clearing roads after dark.   He did make it home, thanks to having 4wd on his pickup.

I spoke with him as he drove home, and it got me to thinking about Sunday morning, and the folks getting out to come to church.  I conferred with another elder, and we thought it would be wise to cancel Sunday’s services…a very rare occurrence at Wheatland Christian Church!   We set about to get the proper notices out to the congregation by the email and text chain and the local media.

As the  light of day arrived Sunday, it was apparent that the cancellation was a good decision.  No, we didn’t receive but about 3-4 inches of snow, but the blustery winds made deep snowdrifts!  Local farmers and the highway crews didn’t start until Sunday morning to clear the roads, and the icy conditions underneath made it difficult to get them clean.   The roads were still in bad enough shape that local schools were closed on Monday.  They are in session today, but with a 2-hour delay.  For such a little snow, it sure had some big effects!  I guess it was the ice underneath that complicated things.

Here is the snow situation at the farm today. It goes “crunch” under your feet, as there is an icy layer under the white blanket.

We are pleased that the grain deliveries are caught up until February.  The trucks can remain in the shed, and not be out on the messy roads… at least not yet!

Speaking of the Saturday game, we had some frustration.  About 4 minutes into the game, the DirecTV picture went haywire.  We were watching on the Fox “local” channel feed out of Terre Haute.  It must have been the weather that glitched up the up-link out of the local station.  We tried to use our old antenna to see the game… but the signal was too weak to pick it up.  So, we listened to “the Cliz” (Larry Clisby, the voice of Purdue Basketball) on the local radio.  I hope it’ll get re-broadcast on BTN, and I can get it on our DVR.   That was one to remember.

This was our picture during the IU @ Purdue game on Saturday. The sound was choppy, too, making it impossible to watch the game.

High school basketball is in full swing in Indiana.  Girls will be wrapping up their season this week, with the tournament starting next week.  Boys play through February, with their tournament in March.  Last Friday night our South Knox Spartans played county rival Vincennes Lincoln.  The team name for Lincoln is quite unique:  “Alices” — it refers to an old novel called  Alice of Old Vincennes.  Wins against Lincoln are rare… our last home win vs them was in 1988!  But the Spartans prevailed on Friday… it started out looking like this would be an easy win, but it was a nail-biter at the end.  This makes two wins in a row against Lincoln.

Although not a sell-out, it was a good crowd at SK for the Lincoln game. It’s what we do in Indiana on a winter night!

The result was to our liking!

Another special thing happened on Saturday.  Fox Sports Network, in cooperation with the Indiana Pacers, presented what they called “Basketball Day in Indiana”.  On 2 or 3 of their channels, Fox Sports broadcast many high school games from across the state.  It was neat to see some teams from here in the county appear on national TV.  And it was especially great that teams from here in SWIN were featured, along with the big schools from around Indianapolis.  One of the girls’ games was the Vincennes Lincoln vs. North Knox contest, and two boys’ games from SWIN were shown.  Southridge vs. North Posey, and the locally famous “Buggy Bowl”– North Daviess vs. Barr-Reeve.   There is a significant Amish population in those two communities, hence the “Buggy Bowl” name.    The evening culminated with the Pacers’ game.   I hope Basketball Day in Indiana becomes an annual event.

There were HS games all day on the FS networks. It was really neat!

Rain is predicted for tonight, and tomorrow, with more snow coming tomorrow night.   It’s winter in Indiana.   As long as the power stays on, we’ll be just fine.

Have a great day!





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Gray, soggy day

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Well, it really is a gloomy day out there… gray skies, drippy drizzle coming down.  The weather folks are predicting some snow and very cold temps for the weekend.  We still have the snow blower hitched up to the JD 7130 tractor, in case we receive deep snow.   Last weekend, Winter Storm Gia promised us over 8 inches of snow, but we got about 3.  The snow blower just stayed in the shop.  Weather Channel is calling this event “Winter Storm Harper”, with 8+ inches of snow for central Indiana, but only about 1 inch for us here in SWIN.  We will wait and see what really comes…

This morning is wet and gloomy, but not terribly cold. 40F (4C).

Last Saturday brought us a pretty white blanket, but it only stuck around for about a day.

Grain continues to go out this week.  Brandon has been delivering corn and soybeans to ADM in Newburgh, Indiana.   Yes, the Pete with its new trailer is not spotless anymore, but I’m sure he will wash it again as soon as practical.  Soon, the sweep will have to go into the soybean bins.

The new trailer is wearing a little road grime

It has a couple view windows in the sidewalls

The trailer loads in about 4 minutes from our load-out bin #3

Whether you  have snow or rain or sun today, make it a good one!  Psa 118:24 KJV.


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