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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wm G Owsley's Obit.

Here is my father's obit, I am not sure who wrote it but it looks like, his widow, Rebecca, writing style. It sums up nicely a well spent life.

William Gardner Owsley, 83, passed away peacefully at 4 o’clock Sunday, January 27, 2008, without regret, surrounded by family, at his Point Lookout home near Au Gres, Michigan .

Bill, also known to some old friends as “Owl,” was born July 28, 1924, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Merritt Miner Owsley, a Montana born-rancher in Mud Lake, Idaho, and Ada Heath Owsley, of Ionia, Michigan.

Bill returned to Ionia with his mother to enter school, often summering in Idaho and working with his dad. He graduated from Ionia High School in 1942. At I.H.S. he was a member of the track team, and as captain of the struggling football team once inspired his teammates by playing most of the game with a broken collarbone (they lost anyway).

He entered University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he completed his first year of college as a philosophy major before joining the Marines in February 1943, spending most of his World War II service as a radio operator in the Pacific Theater. He served for a time with a member of the Navaho “code talkers.” He never forgot the Morse code he learned and used, and often amused children and friends by tapping out their names or funny phrases.

After his discharge at the end of the war, he returned to the University of Michigan, where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. In 1947 he married Marjorie Rutherford, of Lansing. Upon earning his undergraduate degree, Bill and his new wife took the accumulated savings from his service years and spent a year in Paris, France, hanging out with other Americans in Paris (including Art Buchwald and William Styron), and soaking up European culture. After returning from France, Bill embarked upon a program in Fine Arts, studying art history and painting, completing a master’s degree in Fine Arts in 1953.

Daughter Margaret was born in 1950, and son Scott was born in 1955 after Bill began teaching at Monticello College in Alton, Illinois. He later taught one year at Berea College, in Berea, Ky., before beginning his career at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, teaching more than 30 years in the architecture department. Daughter Lucy was born in Oxford in 1963.

To family and friends, his students, colleagues, total strangers, and especially children, Bill was a storyteller, playmate, mentor, challenger, talker, animal lover, and first, foremost and always, a teacher to all. He was a prolific painter, and continued to create and show his work throughout his life. In all his relationships, he guided individuals to discover the delight in their own creativity, of whatever sort. In addition to his classes in the architecture department, Bill taught several large sections of a popular art survey course to thousands of students. This meant that eventually Bill encountered former students everywhere he went, all over the world.

In 1971 Bill married Rebecca McNamara, bringing together his children and her son Stephen and daughter Heather (and two dogs, three cats, a couple of gerbils, a tank of guppies, a newt, and ultimately a horse) and sharing an historic 1867 house that was perpetually under restoration. Summers were spent at Point Lookout in the AuGres area, near where Bill always had vacationed as a youth with his family. In 1964, he purchased the property that would become his home after retirement in 1989.

Although he traveled extensively during these years, it was at Point Lookout where he and all the family always returned and felt most at home. The open-door policy at Point Lookout welcomed dozens of visitors over the years, from friends of the children and grandchildren to former students to fellow travelers and former colleagues and neighbors.

The last decade of Bill’s life was spent cultivating his pleasures and passions, old and new. He re-built the family cottage to include the heart of the original structure which housed so many memories, and to accommodate new experiences as well. The rooms were never big enough to hold all the books, but always big enough to hold everyone who wanted to be there. He loved summers swimming and sailing Lake Huron, and quiet winters of cross country skiing around the Point. Did a summer day ever arrive on the beach at 4 p.m. when he didn’t say, “Well, the sun’s over the yard-arm somewhere. Can I get anyone a beer?” He loved the walks, and the woods, and the sounds of the wind across the water, his family and friends and continuing interest in ideas. He loved life. He only half-jokingly requested that his tombstone inscription be, “Lucky Guy!”

He is survived by his wife, Rebecca, his children Margaret (Richard) Marting, Scott Owsley, Lucy Owsley (Eugene) Goodman, Heather McNamara (Greg) Seaman, and Stephen McNamara, and grandchildren Caroline Marting, William Marting, Coolie Calihan, and Brenna Seaman.

Visitation with family members will be 2-5 and 7-9 p.m. Friday at R.O. Savage Funeral Chapel, Standish. There will be a memorial service Saturday at Grace Episcopal Church, Standish.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation consider The Point Lookout Memorial Fund or the Miami University Art Museum Sterling Cook fund.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Weather Rodeo

We had a weather rodeo last night. It was around 55F/13c at 9pm last night when the cold front rolled on through complete with heavy rain, thunder and lightening, possible tornadoes about 75 miles to the west and 60mph winds. Remarkably other than many row covers getting shredded and hanging on a fence and the grain bins being on their sides this morning, we had very little damage. None of the hoop houses were hurt, the roofs stayed on all the buildings. All good things.

What did happen was either a car hit a power pole or the pole hit a car about 1/2 mile north of us causing the power to go down for 10 hours (9pm to 7am) and a big traffic tie up with lots of emergency vehicles with their festive lights. I guess there were live wires all over US 127 causing southbound motorists to flash their lights like crazy at the northbound motorists. After 7 minutes I noticed that a state trooper had arrived on the scene and 20 minutes after that 2 ambulances and 2 fire vehicles arrived. one of the fire trucks was stationed just north of Kayler Rd in an attempt to stop more traffic from driving up near the mess and being stopped there for hours. For a while this worked until 2 semis were put into the mix.

There is no good way to turn a semi around by us. We have seen Kayler Rd stop many a semi that happened down the narrow lane. they could use our driveway/parking area but the last time some yahoo tried that he left some really swell deep ruts on our property and hit one of the cars (very lightly so there was virtually no damage and the car is ancient, but still...) so we are not trucker friendly at the moment. The truckers seemed to sense that so instead of taking the easy way out and turning around in our drive one of the truckers backed down the 40' pitch and up the other hill and curve. He had to be channeling my Dad who loved to drive backwards and told me he had many a dream where he was speeding down the interstate in reverse. When this trucker got to the valley between the hills he encountered another semi who saw the first backing up and decided whatever was up at the top of the hill was to be avoided so he got in the southbound lane and put his truck into reverse as well. It was quite a sight seeing two semis backing up 127, I gotta tell you. the other semi at the top of the hill decided to back onto Kayler Rd and turn around that way and was successful. He went down the hill encountered the two backing trucks as they had almost crested the second hill and turned off on 726. This obviously made a light bulb go off in the head of the second trucker (who was not doing a good job of reverse driving-he was not channeling my father). I saw the truck jerk as he hit the brakes and threw it into a forward gear and than the lights came on and the guy also drove off north on 726.

After all that I went into the dark house, blew out the 4 candles we had lit for light and went up to bed. I had just hit the pillow when I heard a truck coming up the hill fast and than hitting the brakes hard. He came within inches of hitting the fire truck and probably the two fire folk. After that I lay in bed with Eugene listening to the heavy winds make the metal roof boom and thunder. A rather unnerving noise. Eventually sleep came

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another Death in the Family

A picture taken by my uncle Scott Rutherford a couple of weeks ago of Dad and Rebecca

My father died this week after a short bought with cancer. I will miss him, he was a good father and great man. He went fast. He was diagnosed with Cancer in Late Novemeber and Jan 27th he took his last breath at 3:55pm (est) surrounded by family at home. Not many people can say they died at home surrounded by family. Most of us will die in a hospital somewhere.

My dad was a artist and a college professor. He touched a lot of people during his life. He was beloved by many.

The funeral is Saturday at 11am in Standish, MI.

I'm doing okay, all things considered. I miss my father but I was prepared for his passing so I am not distraught, sad yes. He lived a wonderful life and that should be celebrated.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Got Me a New Gold Tooth

For well over a year I have been dealing with getting an implant in my mouth. It all started with a badly infected tooth that also had a couple of cysts that was causing me all sorts of health problems such a sciatica and a lot of other inflammation. Tooth gets yanked in June of 2006 and my body almost instantly gets a lot better. See Baby Teeth for all the poop on the extraction.

After getting the tooth pulled I had a gaping hole in my lower jaw and Dave the dentist suggested I either get a bridge or an implant. So being the Taurus I am I did not make this decision quickly. I did a fair amount of on line research about my options and decided to go with the implant. In March of 2007 I finally got the implant process started. Went to Mark Silvers, the periodontist who removed the periodontal disease from my gums back in 1998/99 (I was 35 and had the mouth of a seventy year old woman). He drilled a hole in my lower jaw. This was not at all painful. He said my jaw was as hard as oak which was very good for an implant but made drilling a slow process. Inserted a titanium screw and sent me away to heal for 3 months and allow the bone to grow into the screw. I came back to be checked for healing and I was ready for step two which was to remove the hardware in my jaw and replace it with the things needed for the Veneer (the gold tooth). What I ended up with was a silver colored post with a phillips end.

I than lived with this metal shaft in my mouth until yesterday when my gold tooth was sized and cemented onto the metal shaft. And now for the first time since June of 2006 I have a tooth in that part of my mouth and it feels weird. It felt far weirder yesterday and by tomorrow it will be almost normal. For a variety of reasons I have not chewed much on the left side of my mouth for probably 4 years and I am finding I have to consciously chew on that side and tell my self it is no longer painful to do so.

I am glad I had this done even though it will take some getting used to and was not cheap

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Milk Allergy

It seems I am lactose intolerant, at least as far as milk (raw or pasteurized) is concerned. For the past couple of months I have been getting some bad indigestion and heartburn. At first I was not paying attention to what was causing this but in late December I realized it was happening after I either drank a glass of milk or had milk on cereal. I knew for sure when I went up to see my Dad 2 weeks ago and had no milk for 3 days and all my digestive problems vanished and than came right back enforce when we got out 2 gallons of milk from the herd share

I love drinking milk. Few things are better than a warm homemade brownie or chocolate chip cookie and a nice glass of cold fresh milk. I love cream in my coffee. The tradition of peanut-butter malts made with chocolate milk at the Tuesday Farmers Market is over for me (I will have to go with sherbets from now on or frozen yogurt). No more cake and ice-cream. Damn.

I have been in denial. I when I really think about it I have spent probably a decade disbelieving that milk and me do not mix and suffering for it. After I finally started believing that I can no longer drink milk I started looking at the symptoms I have been having-chronic ear infections, yeast infection, digestive problems. And now that I have been milk free for less than a week all of these are either gone or abating.

The good news is I can eat fermented milk like yogurt and cheese (though cheap Kroger Mozzarella was a bit hard to take). Milk in things like biscuits and pancakes does not seem to bother me. So the plan is to keep getting 2 gallons a week and start making butter, yogurt (already make 3 quarts a week, will make more) and cheese. I have made cheese once and it was good. Now I can get better at this art.

I am finding that I don't miss milk as much as I thought and I still have yogurt, so all is not lost. I find few things better than yogurt and muesli these days.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

SSE New Forum

The seedsavers mailing list at ibiblio is now available to those who want to subscribe.

This list will help those interested in developing and
using a seed saving and seed exchange network.

The list is open to everyone and the message archives are open for public viewing.

Monday, January 21, 2008

SSE: Where Boulder Belt Stands

I was looking at my Google Ad-sense stats and noticed that the past couple of days have seen a rather large increase in traffic to this blog (but sadly no increase in click on the ad sense ads, c'est la vie). This got me to check out the website where my blog stats are logged and I found that over 110 people came to this blog because of the Post I have on the upset at Seed Savers Exchange. This is THE STORY of the year for us green thumb folks, it seems. It certainly is a dramatic story no matter which side you are on.

Now what side is Boulder Belt on? neither at the moment. It is simply too soon to be able to tell what is going on. Right now SSE is saying as little as possible. Just about every gardening forum and email list has some sort of conversation going on about this and there is a lot of emotion and conjecture being tossed around with very few facts. Lots of people are boycotting both SSE and Johnny's Selected Seeds (Rob Johnston, founder of JSS, is on the SSE Board of directors). I am not boycotting either. I just sent in a $300 order to Johnny's for seeds and plants. They are about the best in the business and I see no reason to withhold my business from them just because Rob is sitting on the SSE board and was involved in Kent Whealy's termination (which may or may not have been justified). I intend on putting in a much smaller order to SSE in a week or so. I want to buy nipple fruit seeds from them and there is likely a few rare heirloom veggies I will decide I cannot live without.

Learn Thru Reading

I listed a bunch of new titles you can buy from Amazon. I have read only one of these books but that does not mean they are not worth reading

This list has several anti GMO food titles including Jeffrey Smith's Seeds of Deception which is a critical look at the GMO industry and how they have introduced new food crops to the world and have engaged us all in huge uncontrolled feeding study. This is bundled with another title by Mr Smith, The GMO Trilogy. I have not read this so have little to say about it.

Next we have GMO Free by Mae Ho Wan who is a scientists (geneticist, I believe) who has done a lot of research that has led her to question the use of GMO crops. I have not read this book but have read several of her abstracts and papers and she does do her homework

Everything I want to do is Illegal by Joel Salatin is not about GMO's but rather about all the state and federal government regulations that have been instated (and geared towards the one size fits all industrial mega farms) that is making it very hard for us small diversified farmers to keep on farming. This is another book I have not read but in Acres USA they had a long interview with Mr Salatin about this book and the government's attempts to shut Joel down. If you want to learn more about the hoops we farmers are told to jump through just so we can stay in the business of farming read this book

To Buy or Not to Buy Organic by Cindy Burke. Boulder Belt is one of the Farms profiled in this book. It is a nicely done overview on the pros and cons of buying organic. There are a ton of helpful charts and diagrams in the book as well as many well written farm profiles. If you are just getting into organic food buying and eating you really should add this to your library.

Finally we have Jane Goodall's Harvest for Hope, another one of those books I have not read but should, it got great reviews

Every book you buy from this list contributes to this blog and Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

Winter Market Woes

It's cold here and has been since early Saturday morning which meant we missed a farmers market. We have a policy on outdoor winter markets, if it is not going to get any warmer than 25F than we will not attend. This is because 2 years ago we stood outside selling produce at a winter market where the temps started around 11F and got up to around 20F by the end of the market. We were freezing and not happy but got even more unhappy the next day when we discovered everything we had taken to market had frozen at market and now was only good for compost. So we composted all our remaining potatoes, carrots, turnips and winter squash that year and did no more winter markets that year because we were not set up for winter growing and had no greens thus nothing to sell.

This year we do have hoop houses set up and things growing in the houses but still decided not to go and lose a bunch of produce in miserable cold windy weather. Fortunately we did not harvest much for this market as we did not think we would go to market until Friday afternoon when the weather prophets changed the forecast and implied that the cold front had slowed down and would not be hitting the Miami Valley until mid morning or later Saturday. They were quite wrong on that and by 8am Saturday it was around 15F and dropping. I believe it was a few degrees warmer in Oxford where the farmers market is held. But not warm enough to keep produce from freezing.

Such are the problems of trying to have a winter market out doors-too often the weather makes it hard participate. It sure would be sweet if the Oxford Farmers market Uptown board got the money and resources together to build an indoor year round market. We could easily do two markets a week in winter and it would be nice to be able to go year round without worrying about losing product to the cold

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shake Up at Seed Savers Exchange

Yesterday I got an email from an organic gardening list I subscribe to saying Kent Whealy had been fired from SSE and felt wronged by the abrupt dismissal. I was told there was an 8 page letter written by him and sent to all the listed members in the SSE yearbook. I was intrigued. What was in the letter? Why was Kent fired? What will happen to SSE? I spent a lot of yesterday and today trying to find a copy of the letter and someone finally posted a link to the letter over at Alan Bishop's Forum (a really good farm/garden forum, if you like participating in such go there now and register and get involved). I downloaded the pdf of the letter and now I am pissed off about this whole thing

Here is the pdf link here of Kent's letter. Read it and weep.

610kb file.

also, here's the latest response from SSE...

"To anyone looking for a response in this forum to a recent letter that was sent to SSE's Listed Members:

There are legal issues, as well as PR issues, involved in responding to Kent's letter, which has made an immediate response difficult. SSE is preparing a response and it will be available within the next day or so, both on Seed Savers' website ( and here on Seed Savers' forum ( We appreciate your understanding and patience in the meantime.

Steph Hughes
Seed Savers Exchange"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Prevent New “Naturally Raised” Label

Passing this along from our partners at the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. For more information, see:

Help prevent USDA from developing a new “naturally raised” label that would mislead consumers and undermine the vibrant markets created by sustainable livestock producers!

Please submit comments opposing USDA’s proposal by the January 28th deadline.

If USDA’s proposal goes through, livestock producers could label their meat USDA verified “naturally raised” without any concern for animal welfare or environmental stewardship and without the animals ever necessarily stepping foot on pasture. Producers would only be required to certify that their livestock were never given antibiotics, hormones, or animal byproducts.

While these proposed requirements address very important concerns, this could more simply and accurately be signaled through “no supplemental hormones added” and “no antibiotic used” labels USDA had previously proposed in conjunction with the recently approved grassfed label, and another label claim under review for “free range” and “pasture raised.” Feeding of animal byproducts could be addressed with a “no animal byproducts fed” label claim.

We support labels that are easy for consumers to interpret and that producers could use in appropriate combination to communicate with their clientele. However, should USDA’s draft proposal for a vague and non-comprehensive “naturally raised” claim proceed, consumers will be confused and consumer confidence in all USDA verified or certified labels would no doubt decline. In addition, the integrity of the markets that took decades for sustainable livestock producers to create, and upon which increasing numbers of consumers rely, would be seriously jeopardized.

It’s easy to submit your comments:

Letters: Send written comments to Naturally Raised Marketing Claim, Room 2607-S, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0254 or via fax to 202-720-1112.

E-mail: To submit electronic comments, visit and type “naturally raised” in the “Comment or Submission” field. Select the “send a claim or submission” tab under the naturally raised claim title.

Important - Please Note: All Comments Must Reference “Docket No. LS-07-16” by writing at the top of the letter or email “Re: Docket No. LS-07-16”

Also: Be sure to include your name, address, and if appropriate, affiliation(s) and/or interest(s) in the issue.

Remember: The public comment deadline is January 28, 2008.

Some possible talking points to choose from and put in your own words in your comment letter to USDA:

The proposed “naturally raised” standard fails to address many of the high standards consumers expect from sustainable livestock production, including animal welfare, access to pasture, and conservation and environmental requirements. Quite simply, the “naturally raised” label as proposed would not mean what consumers would think it implies and should be abandoned.

The naturally raised label claim would completely defeat a very important purpose of providing the label in the first place -- to provide clear and reliable signals to consumers who want to make informed, environmentally-friendly, and healthy choices about their food purchases.

Hormone and antibiotic supplementation, and the use of animal byproducts as a feed source, are extremely important issues that should be succinctly and accurately addressed through individual labeling claim standards. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service had previously proposed the development of “no antibiotics used” and “no supplemental hormones used” labels, both of which would provide clear and reliable signals to consumers. USDA should move immediately to issue these clear and unambiguous label claims rather than issuing a misleading and vague naturally raised label claim.

The implementation of a “naturally raised” claim would further mislead consumers who are already uncertain and skeptical about the meaning of the “natural” label claim currently overseen by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The natural claim refers to processing of meat whereas the naturally raised claim refers to the production of livestock. The implementation of two distinct claims, both using the term “natural” yet addressing completely distinct issues and administered by two separate agencies, will create confusion for consumers and farmers alike.

Please personalize your message and include any additional points you would like to offer.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

the Mystery of Lester's Diner


Coming back from Michigan last Monday Eugene and I got on US 127 in Celina and wanted to eat at Lester's Diner. We drove up and down 127 and could not find the place. We even asked some locals and they had never heard of it. We were mystified

And for good reason, Lester's is in Bryan, OH about 1 hour north of Celina

We ate there when we went up to see my father in October before it was known he was sick and dying with my sister Maggie. On that trip we drove up 127 to Jackson, MI and thus drove through Bryan, OH and stopped at Lester's.

On this most recent trip we got it in our heads that Lester's was in Celina and if not Celina than Van Wert. Wrong on both counts. I emailed a farmer I have met via the 'net who lives in Van Wert, he did not know about the place but his wife had heard of it. I wanted to email my friend Julie who grew up in Van Wert but I lost her email when I lost my old Mac and have not regained it to this day. Finally this morning I did what I should have done days ago. I Googled Lester's and there it was in the top three hits

We liked the food and ambiance enough to want to stop again on our way home but with no luck. But there will be a next time and when it arrives I will know that we have to drive all the way to Bryan to eat there.

Web Politics

I am looking at the ElectionVine Polling Place widget on this blog and I am noticing that Kucinich is still on top but losing ground to Ron Paul quickly and that Hillary Clinton hasn't even made the cut.

This is not a reflection of non-Internet political reality which has Obama and Clinton going head to head whilst Kucinich is lagging far, far back in the pack. It also has Ron Paul at 28%, not the 10% he's garnered in one caucus and one primary.

I see why pollsters take the data from the web with a big grain of salt. It seems there are a lot of netizens who love voting in on-line polls but when it comes time to disconnect from one's computer, go outside, and get over to the polling place to cast a real, legit vote too few ever exercise their civic duty to vote in state, local and national elections.

What would happen if all these net voters got registered to vote in real elections and than actually did so and people like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich won the race for President (or at least the nomination in their respective parties). I mean, what if 99% of the registered voters went out on election day (and there will be two national elections in every state-the primaries going on now until June and the national election in November) and voted for their favorite (not the person they feel can "win" based on who the corporations want to see in the Whitehouse-which ain't either Paul or Kooch). I believe we would see a much different political landscape in the country and a government that is closer to the ideal of by the people and for the people, instead of our reality; by the corporation and for the corporation.

FYI I like participating in on-line political polls and forums but I also am registered to vote and vote in most elections, even the local ones with only one issue or candidate on the ballot. This is a civic duty I take seriously and I wish far more people in the USA would too

Friday, January 11, 2008

E-mail Woes

For the past 3 days I have been dealing with a big clog of digital information in my email pipeline. Before I went up north one of my e-mail buddies, Prosser, sent me a huge 10m file of a really funny advertisement for Aussie Beer. In turn sent that out to several folks and apparently clogged up a few email boxes by doing so. Those accounts bounced back to 10m email to me thus filling my box with a lot of useless digital information.

Okay, that was bad enough.

Than, while I was away, our buddy Wyatt (who was farm sitting so knew we were away) sent me a lot of 2m mp3 files (many I was able to download to I-Tunes, though I have no idea what percentage of the files he sent I was able to download). Oh yeah, and than there was the Redneck Innovations from my friend Amanda and few large items from my Bro-in-law, Dave.

All this became such an information clog that I was not even able to access my email account via my ISP's website. Okay, that's a lie, I was able to access the account for a couple of hours yesterday and I was able to delete around 1200 emails from that account and around 120MB as well. The problem was the account still had over 420MB of information on it (why I do not know as the limit to the account is 25MB). After deleting those emails the account froze up and told me I had nothing in my email or trash folders (I knew better) and nothing would download to my email client I use on my Mac.

It now looked like the only solution would be to call my ISP and have therm manually remove the offending emails and this morning that is what I did at 5:30am. And now the problem seems to be fixed. Emails are trickling into my email client and I have complete access to the Core Comm email account where I am happily deleting all the old emails while enjoying a cup of fair trade coffee.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Trip Up North

Sorry I haven't posted anything here for a while-I have been busy.

This past weekend Eugene and I rented a car and drove up North to see my dad. That was bittersweet. He's in bad shape and definitely getting closer and closer to Death's door. He can barely walk, has lost way too much weight so he is now much smaller than me. He does not eat much at all. he's ready to die, it seems. At least his mind is still sharp and we were able to do quite a bit of talking the 2.3 days we were there.

His wife, Rebecca is doing amazingly well. She is doing really wonderful care giving and seems to have her shit together. Still I worry about her, this if hard on me, I can only imagine what it is doing to her. Losing a husband you love is not something I want to go through but if I do I hope I have her strength.

The trip was not all death and depression. My brother, Scott came up with a mutual friend, Sven Johnson, whom I had not seen since my wedding, 11.5 years ago. It was good seeing Sven I have always liked him. He was visiting to say good bye to dad, who was one of his most important professor's at Miami University. It was great seeing Sven. I hope it will not be another 11 years before we meet again.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Adventures on eBay

Our new (to us) coolers

A few weeks ago I was surfing eBay and decided to see if any commercial refrigeration was for sale at a price I could afford and within driving distance. And there were two, count them two, glass front commercial coolers in Shelbyville, Indiana for sale with a bid well under $300. So I put in a bid and was out bid and did this over and over again until I hit $500. That was not immediately topped but eventually it was and I did not know this until I had about 3 minutes left to bid. I tried to put in a bid but my dial up connection was too slow and I lost out. Bummer.

Than yesterday I was looking at my emails and there is one from eBay saying the winning bidder could not pay for the fridges and they could be mine for $500. Realise to buy these fridges from any other source would mean paying around $1200 for each (probably more). If they were new we would be talking $3500 or more each.

And now they are. Just have to borrow a truck in the next few weeks and get over there to get them. I am so excited!

We really need a glass front cooler for the store and we have been chronically in need for extra fridge space in August and September and now we have all we should need.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's a New Year

It is the new year. Looks like most of us made it through 2007, good.

This being the first Boulder Belt Blog post of 2008 I will use it to set the tenor for the rest of the year. I am not looking forward to this year as I already know it will not be my favorite year in my life. You see, my dad is dying of unknown cancers and will likely be dead by spring (I figure around my birthday in May. His initial diagnoses happened on my brother, Scott's birthday in November). I am very sad about this fact of life (death) but I, the farm and life will go on as they always do after a person dies.

I am very glad that I got to see my Dad in October as he came down with bad symptoms a day or two after we all vacated Point Lookout. That was my last chance to see him as a whole person. Granted, even than was losing his strength but hey, the guy is 83 years old. I hear from my siblings and him that he has lost a lot of weight, is almost too weak to walk, has quit eating more than a couple hundred calories a day and sleeps 20 hours a day. All the signs of a dying animal.

From what my sister, Maggie, tells me he is ready to die and wants no one to get in his way. He's on a journey towards Death. Apparently if you go to visit him and ask "Bill, how are you doing?" he will respond brightly with "I'm dying" for years if asked about his health/life he would respond with "I'm still circling the drain". Well, it seems he is almost done with all the circling and he is okay with it.

I hope I approach my death as well. I also hope I don't have to cross that bridge for another 40 years