Senile Texas Aggie - comic relief for the rest of you

Senile_Texas_Aggie

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,487
Reaction score
4,274
Points
313
Location
western Arkansas
All,

We have been a member of BYH for about a month. I first joined after reading @Baymule writing about "I hate green briars!" and finding it so funny. Shortly after signing up, I then posted a thread about "What should I do with 100 acres of pasture?" and received so much helpful advice from many of you fine folks. After reading a couple of other folks' journals, such as @Latestarter and @Mike CHS , I decided I would read a lot more on this forum. I tried reading a lot of journals and postings by others, but after awhile I could see that there is so much information here that I could read for the rest of my life and still not be finished. So I will lay out the info about us and what we know (and especially DON'T know) and how you folks can provide the advice we definitely need. First, I will fill in the questions from the "For those who don't know where to begin":

1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like?
We recently (2 months ago) bought a farm 6 miles southeast of Booneville, AR, (30 miles ESE of Fort Smith) moving here from McKinney, TX (30 miles NNE of Dallas), after my retiring at 65.

As for climate, it unfortunately has the same heat that McKinney did!

2. How many people are in your family? Marital status?
It is just the 2 of us, no children. We have been married for 43 years.

3. How would you define your farm?
A very beautiful place that is at high risk of becoming a not-so-beautiful place because it is owned by someone who doesn't know what in the world he is doing.

4. What would you do with your spare time if you had any resources you needed?
I would try to get the pastures in great shape and clean out the overgrowth in the woods. Some day...

5. Have you ever built a house, barn , or other types of building? Do you want to?
I have only built 2 small structures since my wife and I have been married: (1) a small metal portable garden shed (funny story behind that), and (2) a dog house. Regarding the latter, after I finished and I brought our dog to it, he immediately hiked his leg and peed on it! I guess he was commenting on its build quality.

I would love to learn, but doubt I will ever have the chance.

6. Can you weld? Steel, aluminum, MiG, TiG, stick, Oxy-Acet?
No.

7. Who or what inspired you to be a farmer/rancher, hobby farmer?
We bought this place primarily for the solitude and the beauty. But now that we have it, I need to figure out what to do with it.

8 Is it a hobby or an occupation?
A hobby.

9. In what areas are you knowledgeable and in what areas would you like to learn more?
My wife and I am completely ignorant about living on a farm. Both my mother and dad grew up on farms during the Depression and World War II, and when my dad was able to leave and started working at the Red River Army Depot (RRAD, then called the Red River Arsenal) in Northeast Texas, he vowed he would never live on a farm again. So we lived in small towns (De Kalb and New Boston). When growing up, my wife also lived in a small town (New Boston), and her dad also worked at RRAD. When we married, due to my occupation, we always lived in bigger towns and some cities, until my retiring. Because of all of that, we never learned much of anything about farming.

10. In what types of farming will you never choose to do?
I don't know that we will automatically rule out anything, but considering that I will turn 66 in 2 months and my wife recently turned 61, and while we are in relatively good health, we definitely aren't getting any younger, so I can't see us raising large animals, such as cows, pigs, or even sheep. (We are thinking of perhaps goats.)

11. Are you interested in providing more of your own food supply?
We wouldn't mind trying. Our one and only attempt at growing a garden was 42 years ago, when we had been married less than a year. We managed to grow a lot more weeds and grass than vegetables, and what vegetables we had were eaten on by insects. But we are thinking about trying again.

12. Where do you end up when you sink into yourself, away from the outside world?
My wife is the more extroverted of us two, while I am strongly introverted and also an Aspie. But we both like peace and quiet. We read numerous books together -- I have loved to read as long as I can remember. It is our practice to have me read a book to her almost every night for 2-3 hours before going to bed, sometimes fiction but usually nonfiction. We are currently reading a book titled "Educated" by Tara Westover.

13. Can you drive a farm tractor or a semi?
Maybe and no. I drove a big John Deere tractor one summer when I was in high school on Blackmon Rice Farm northeast of De Kalb. I haven't driven one since.

14. Do you make crafts or useful items? Would you want to teach others how to do these?
No and yes.

15. Can you legally have all forms of livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds?
Yes. No. N/A

16. Can you operate a lathe? Metal, wood?
No.

17. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing?
Haven't tried since 1976 (see point 11). Would like to learn, though.

18. Do you fish? Bait or explosives?
I like to go fishing, but rarely go. When I was a kid, my dad and I would go hunting (usually quail) and fishing (usually large mouth bass). Then my dad discovered golf and became a fanatic about it ("the golf is always biting" he would say) and I took it up as well.

19. How much space/land do you have or rent? City farm? Country?
162 acres, with about 100 acres in pasture and the rest in timber. This was WAY more than we planned to buy, but it was so beautiful and the price per acre so low that we hated to pass it up.

20. Are you a Novice, Technician, degreed?
In farming / ranching, a novice. As for degree, I have both a BS and MS in software engineering for defense contractors. (Look up LSRS to see what I worked on for the last 15+ years.). My wife has an associate degree in nursing and worked for 40 years as a surgical nurse.

21. What is your farm specialty? Or what one would you like to learn?
None. Taking care of pastures and timber.

22. If you could create a degree and curriculum, what would you major in and what classes would you take?
Teaching senile Texas Aggies like me how to take care of the land we have.

23. Do you do wood work? framing, finish, cabinet?
No, but I would like to learn.

24. Are you interested in herbal animal medicine?
Maybe.

25. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be?
Some place that didn't get so damned hot in the summer, that would have snow for maybe 2 weeks, and otherwise be pleasant.

26. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking?
No. Our house has central heat (propane) and A/C and a propane fireplace. (Can you believe it? All of this timber around and no fireplace to burn it in!)

27. What would your ideal super hero/villain be?
Tough one...

28. Are your family or friends also interested in animals?
My wife's older brother keeps cows, but the remainder of her family and all of my family only have dogs and cats.

29. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? raw milk? farm fresh eggs?
I don't know about liking to cook, but I definitely like to eat! We are both interested in wholesome foods.

30. What was your best animal experience? Worst?
Both are of pets: my best one was owning a miniature schnauzer for almost 14 years. (He has been dead now for 9 years and I still miss him.) My worst experience was also from a neighbor's dog, who bit me on my right hand when I was about 6. It left a scar that took over 10 years to go away. I definitely avoided that dog afterward.

31. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs?
No.

32. What skills do you have that help you be more a self sufficient farm?
Basic electrical skills (I put up our self opening driveway gate) and basic automotive skills (my dad and I overhauled several engines when I was a teenager).

33. Do you process your own meat? Can or preserve?
No and no.

34. Do you use alternative energy sources on your farm? Would you like to?
A small solar panel to charge the gate opener. We would like to go solar but have higher priority items on which to focus our efforts.

35 What is on your to do list?
(1) Figuring out what kind of tractor (or even IF) to buy, along with implements. I have read some postings on BYH and received some excellent input on my post about "What should I do with 100 acress of pasture?". I also found a guy on Youtube, "Ask Tractor Mike", and watched all of his videos, so I have a better idea of tractors and implements, but still have a lot to do.
(2) Clean out the overgrowth from around the 2 ponds we have. My wife and I had managed to clear out about half of the growth around one pond. Then I saw how quickly someone was able to clear out some brush and trees using a grapple that we both lost interest working in the heat when a tractor could do a much faster job.
(3) mow the overgrown pastures.
(4) clear out a lot of the underbrush around the edges of the woods and around the property boundaries
(5) improve the fencing around the property
(6) maybe get some goats to raise


36. Have you ever lived completely off what you produce? Would you like to?
No. Maybe.

37. In what do you trust?
Reason.

38. Do you make and fix things yourself to save money?
Sometimes.

39. Has the experience with animals changed your attitude or habits?
N/A

Well, this will do for starters. I hope I did not bore you folks too much. I look forward to your commentary and also in providing comic relief to you folks as I continue to document our misadventures and learning experiences. (As my late dad used to say, "Live and learn, then die and forget it all.")

Senile Texas Aggie
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,487
Reaction score
4,274
Points
313
Location
western Arkansas
Thought I would provide some before and after pictures of the dam along the north pond (the one visible from our house).

Before (northern bank of pond)
20180801_082623.jpg

20180801_082628.jpg

After (starting at the northwest corner and going clockwise around the dam)

20180827_094024.jpg

20180827_094033.jpg

20180827_094112.jpg


The tree my wife is standing next to is easily visible from the front porch. The sun rose over the top of the tree when we first moved in April 17.
20180827_094150.jpg

20180827_094234.jpg

20180827_094354.jpg

20180827_094419.jpg


Senile Texas Aggie
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,487
Reaction score
4,274
Points
313
Location
western Arkansas
Hello, all of my friends on BYH.

I haven't posted for awhile because of a visit from my wife's next older sister and her husband, who recently purchased an RV and so wanted to pay a visit to us. We went to Branson, Mo, with them (their idea to go there). My wife and I had never visited Branson, so we were willing to tag along. I had the foresight to insist that my wife and I go in our own vehicle, as the idea of 4 people and 1 dog in a 34 foot RV with 1 shower and a hide-a-bed for my wife and me to sleep on, was not exactly my idea of fun. I am glad we did that, as Branson was not a place I would ever want to visit again. (If you don't like going to shows -- we don't -- then you won't like it that much, either.) We left after 1 night. My wife's sister and her husband stopped back by on their way back to their home in Texarkana, TX, for more visiting, so we have only been able to get back to our routine in the past few days. My tractor is still in the shop having the grapple installed and the FEL bucket tilt internal leak fixed, so not much work around the farm.

One thing I have worked on are the lights in the shop. At one time there were 6 mercury vapor lights installed, but by the time I bought it there were only 3, with the other 3 having been removed. Then 1 of those 3 quit working, so I only had 2 overhead lights working. I don't know about you folks, but I don't like mercury lights -- they take a while to come on, they flicker, and especially they buzz. I decided to put up LED lights instead. So I bought 2 LED shop lights at Lowes, just to see how they would work putting out enough light, intending on putting them in the middle section where there are no lights, and if those worked just fine, then add more, eventually replacing the 2 mercury vapor lights. When I went to install the first LED light, I turned off all of the light switches (I did not turn off the circuit breaker -- none of the breakers is labeled in the main panel), got up on my 12 foot step ladder, and removed the cover box to expose the wires. When I started to install the wires for the LED lights in the place where there was no longer a mercury vapor light, imagine my surprise when I touched the white wire with one hand while grounding myself to the metal circuit box -- I got bit! "What the <<insert appropriate expletive here>>?" I got my volt meter out, turned on the light switch for that light, and measured 220V from black to white. "Mercury lights are 220V !?!?" Yep, at least these are. So now I am not sure how to wire up LED lights unless I buy some LED lights designed for 220V circuits, or I rewire the circuit to be 110V and replace the mercury vapor lights all at once. Anyone have any suggestions?

Miss @Mini Horses and Miss @farmerjan, you 2 look like you are going to be impacted quite a bit by hurricane Florence. Do you think you will be OK, or will you need to evacuate? I was a bit worried about Mr. @Mike CHS but I saw elsewhere that he doesn't think he will be affected. I even wonder if maybe Mr. @Bruce will be impacted, should the hurricane veer toward the New England area. I hope all of you will be safe.

For what it is worth, I am currently lurking on one of you folks' journals -- I am about halfway through -- but unlike I did with Mr. @Latestarter, I will not say who it is until the end. But don't worry -- I am sure that the previous folks that I spied on, namely Miss @Rammy, Miss @goatgurl, Miss @Ridgetop, and Mr. @Latestarter, will be able to send to you the names of their therapists that they are seeing to recover from the lurking, who will be able to help. ;)

Bye for now.

Senile Texas Aggie
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,487
Reaction score
4,274
Points
313
Location
western Arkansas
Well, I thought I'd let you folks know what we have been doing in our spare time -- cleaning out the small creek (really, an overgrown natural drainage ditch) next to the driveway near the house. The woods were so overgrown that you could not see through them to the pasture, even though the grove was only 10 or so yards wide. Here is what it looked like on Sep 13:
20180913_085926.jpg 20180913_085950.jpg .

Then, after over a month of sweat and cursing green vines, etc., it now looks like this. The first picture was taken from the spot of the two "befores" above. The third picture shows two substantially sized pine trees we didn't even know were there:
20181030_105020.jpg 20181030_105115.jpg 20181030_105211.jpg

We have now started on the creek that runs through our property, on the west side of the drive toward the gate.

Senile Texas Aggie
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,487
Reaction score
4,274
Points
313
Location
western Arkansas
Miss @Sumi, please advise if I have violated the website's policies regarding the discussion of politics and/or religion. I don't want to do that. I have posted this in response to some comments that others made on another forum (mentioned below) as a bit of explanation, but I am not trying to provoke any kind of ranting, flaming, or any other such nonsense.

This post is to continue the conversation that was started on @CntryBoy777's journal (see https://www.backyardherds.com/threa...a-acres-adventures.34497/page-543#post-617615).

I know this forum is not intended for discussions of religion and politics, so I have tried to avoid mentioning those topics. Some of the other contributors have alluded to politics at times, but I have studiously avoided it. If there are two topics that get people's anger stirred up, it is those two topics. And sadly, when people's emotions get involved, it usually results in more heat than light. And I hate conflict when it can be avoid it. I wish we would all treat each other with politeness and respect as fellow human beings. Yet it seems that conflict is all we hear about these days, especially in the realm of politics. I will tell everyone a little about myself, and then if anyone would like to comment, you are more than welcome, or better still, we can do PMs to each other, where others won't be involved.

When Mr. CntryBoy777 mentioned about going to get some rocks, I mentioned in my reply about being surprised about rocks being in Florida, then mentioned glaciers and moraines. That was meant as a joke, as I knew there were rocks in Florida and that they were not deposited by glaciers; it is just that the rocks are buried beneath all of that sand! Mr. @CntryBoy777 thought I was serious, I guess, and mentioned that he believed that the Creation (which I took to mean the entire universe, including the Earth) was less than 6,000 years old. His comment was perfectly fine -- after all, it is his journal. I also mentioned that I once believed that as well, which leads me to my telling a bit more about myself.

Many years ago, shortly after the dinosaurs died off, I was a good fundamentalist Bible-believing Protestant Christian for many years. I attended church 3 times a week (Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday evenings). I prayed every day, read the Bible every day. I had doubts on occasion, but nothing serious. Then one day in 1983 I read two books (that are probably no longer in print) that really shook my world view. After having read those two books, I decided to read more deeply into science, including the theory of evolution and the age of the Earth and the Universe, this time reading the evidence for them. (I had read many books against evolution while I was a fundamentalist Christian, but never any books in support of it.) The more I read, the more doubts I had. At one point, some time in 1987, for months on end, I could not sleep, knowing the stakes were quite high -- my supposedly immortal soul. I asked God to show himself to me, make me see that He was real. I continued reading, devouring all the books I could get my hands on, wrestling with these topics. The more I read, the more the scientific and atheistic views seemed correct. Finally, in 1988, I reached a decision. I told God that if He existed, then any time He wanted to reach out to me, He was welcome to do so, but until that time, I was not going to worry about Him any more. I am still waiting.

My wife got to her atheism by a different path. She continued to believe in God and the Bible for many more years. I did not badger her, pester her, or otherwise try to convince her one way or the other, as I figured that was her own private business. Then in 1999-2000, she started having doubts. She decided to study how the Bible came into existence. We discovered the books and audio (now video) courses at The Teaching Company of Bart Ehrman, a professor at the University of North Carolina, who has written several books on the historical approach to studying the Bible. We both were surprised at what we learned. Finally, after about 2 years of learning, my wife also no longer believed.

So when Mr. @CntryBoy777 said what he believed, I fully understood, as I once believed that way as well. Whenever anyone else says something regarding Christianity, most likely I will have believed it as well.

This will be my one and only post about either religion and politics. This forum is not intended for either. There are plenty of other forums for discussing those topics. Others are free to post what they want on my journal or anywhere else about religion, politics, or any other topic. If someone wants to PM me about these or any other topics, I will be glad to do so, with one stipulation -- you must treat me with politeness and respect, just as I promise to treat you the same way. Otherwise, I will simply stop corresponding with you. You can recommend to me books for me to read, or videos to watch. I am willing to look at other points of view. I believe now that I was wrong before, and recognize that I might be wrong again. I hope that you will consider the possibility that you might be wrong as well.

I am sorry to posted such a lengthy post on such a volatile topic as religion. As I said above, I promise not to bring it up again, except perhaps in a tangential fashion. Now, back to goats and sheep and chickens and tractors and ...

Senile Texas Aggie
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
4,043
Reaction score
13,478
Points
498
Location
virginia
Oh my goodness, I have been sitting here laughing and nearly falling off the desk chair!!!!!!:lol::lol:

I used to be able to dance,:hit I was in a country & western dance club and we used to do demonstrations and go to competitions; two step, country waltz, some east coast swing... I miss it and it is great exercise. My son is quite good too. And I have never known a woman that didn't like a guy who could dance.:drool :thumbsup Whether I do the stem cell treatments and have some success, or I go for the replacements... I want to get back to dancing. In the club we did not drink any alcohol, so it was really nice. And everyone danced with everyone else's partner with no big "problem". Even when we all went out socially, there was not alot of drinking because you couldn't drink and execute some of the dance moves...:celebrate

And since you are trying to set me up you need to find a nice "workaholic" farm girl for my son!:gig Seems like all the ones in the 30's have several kids and exs that are a problem, and don't want any more kids, or are looking for a sugar daddy, or don't know diddly about cows; and either they need to have a real nice spread that is too good to be true, or else be willing to relocate here. :clap It is hard to believe the ones that are too immature, or too "money hungry", or too lazy to work & help and contribute. :hide

And we all KNOW HOW RICH WE ARE ALL GETTING HAVING ANIMALS.......:th:idunno:hu
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
19,316
Reaction score
47,887
Points
803
Location
Northeast Texas
I can understand that. Car salesmen as a group don't have the best reputation.
Wrong again. He had been in the same place for many, many years. His repeat customers went to the 3rd generation, where customers brought their 16 year olds to buy a (usually) used car, those kids grew up and brought their kids, those kids grew up and brought their kids...… He always had a drawer full of candy, while parents had their cars in service, the kids were in his office. The walls of his office were covered with kids school pictures that the kids themselves insisted on bringing to him. He mentored many kids, helping them and keeping them from going down the wrong path. He sponsored 4-H and FFA kids, they all hit him up and he never turned them down. A lot of kids thought of him as a second Dad. People came to him once to buy a car and after that, would deal with no one else. His reputation was sterling.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
19,316
Reaction score
47,887
Points
803
Location
Northeast Texas
Then why did it take you longer than it took him? ;) He does sound like a great guy.

Because I was married to a jerk whose girlfriends were uglier than me.... I had two kids, certainly wasn't looking for ANYONE, trying to get out of a miserable existence to a bi-polar certified crazy ba$tard who put me through the second worst divorce case my attorney had ever handled in her entire career. The first worst divorce she handled-the husband killed her client.

BJ cooled his heels and scooped me up at the first opportunity. And the rest is history. We have been happy for 22 years.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
19,316
Reaction score
47,887
Points
803
Location
Northeast Texas
They are a fun couple to watch... kinda like scrappy chickens in the barnyard. They love each other (obvious) but do have a go at each other as the need arises... Fun to hear them "discuss" things... :gig:hide
We are both VERY strong people, independent, bull headed, don't take crap from anybody and yeah, we clash......but always wind up laughing.
 

Wehner Homestead

Herd Master
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
3,491
Reaction score
8,412
Points
433
Location
S Indiana
I’ll add mine just because y’all will get a kick out of it. DH and I met showing livestock at the state fair. I had cattle and he had pigs. I was 14 and he was 15. His cousin had taken a heifer up with our steers and she was acting up because she was in heat and making our steers crazy. His uncle called him to come help walk them to tie outs because they didn’t want any of us girls leading them. He was telling a story to a circle of people when I walked up to my stall and he started talking to just me. Dated for 5.5 years, engaged for almost a year, will be married 10 years this Dec.

He was showing cattle his last three years of 4-H.

We went out to dinner at The Oak Room, a 5 star restaurant in Louisville. I was convinced it was a practice run because he didn’t have a ring yet. (Friends/family all worked hard on convincing me of that one.) He got up from his chair and down on one knee beside mine. I said “what are you doing?” and buried my head in his shoulder. He asked if I’d marry him and I said “Of course!” He was like is that a yes or a no? Lol
 
Top