Laugh tracks in the dust

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The Chase County Fair is next week and it promises to be hot one, literally. The heat index is forecast at above 100. It all starts tomorrow morning at 6:30 with the fair’s cleanup and set up day.

A whole slew of 4-H Club members and parents will converge on the fairgrounds to get all the facilities spic and span for the actual fair next week. I’m glad we’re getting an early start because, if history holds, we’ll be done by 10 a.m. and home before the scorcher of a day unfolds. However, I know from experience that no one will escape getting soaked with sweat.

Right from the get-go of arriving in Chase County more than a decade ago, I volunteered for the one job at the county fair that I am fully qualified for. I volunteered for garbage can duty. I take my UTV and trailer and help set out all the garbage cans on set up day and empty the smelly things on fair clean up day. It’s good to have a job that lets me reap the full benefits of my higher education at Bea Wilder U.

I’ll add that this year ol’ Nevah and I got drafted into another fair job that promises to be much more appetizing than garbage can duty. We’re gonna judge  the cookie jar contest before the cookie-filled jars get auctioned off in a fund-raiser. Ol’ Nevah is an expert in cookie baking and I’m an expert in cookie eating, so the job should be a snap.

As far as personal entries at the fair, I’ll enter some of my spuds in the horticulture show and, perhaps, some tomatoes if they ripen in time. So far, my tomatoes taste just fine, but lack the nice appearance needed for a fair entry. I think Nevah is entering a quilt she made.

Regardless of the weather, the County Fair is always a fun place to meet and visit with good folks I don’t see all that often.

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I’ve spend several hours this week mowing down the rank weeds growing in out-of-the-way places at Damphewmore Acres and at some of our neighbors’ farmsteads.

I took the tiller off the tractor and mounted the rotary cutter for the job. The sunflowers, sumac, and other assorted weeds were higher than my head on the tractor on the back side of our pond dam, but I’m happy to say they’re chopped to bits and baking in the sun right now.

One neighbor had a bind-weed thicket that bit the dust and still another friend had an overgrowth of broomweed in his cow lot that’s history also.

I always have mixed feelings when I mow weeds. It’s a good feeling to mow unsightly weeds, but I know at the same time that I demolished a lot of winter feed and cover for the wildlife. So, I always mow some and leave some for the critters.

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Speaking of critters. Nevah and I had a cute sight just off our back deck this week. A mother hen turkey and nine just-hatched turkey chicks made their leisurely way across our yard. We must have watched them for a half-hour before they disappeared into the native grass

And, if hearing pairs of bobwhite quail is any indication, this fall’s quail population will be the best in years. I’ve not seen any baby quail yet, but for sure there’s been a lot of nesting. One neighbor at our Old Boar’s Club Breakfast this week, reported seeing a newly-hatched covey of quail.

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I heard about a rural retired Colorado family whose home is remotely located. The home is so remote that several years ago, they installed an expensive home alarm system and joined the Community Watch Program.

But, now I hear they’ve come up with a much better and less expensive system of home security. They got three black ISIS flags raised in the front yard — two small ones at each corner and a huge one on the flagpole in the center.

Now, the local police, sheriff, SBI, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service and other agencies are all watching the house 24 hours a day, seven days a

week.  And, they say a military drone flies low over their home at least twice a day.

The family reports it’s never felt safer, plus it’s saving $49.50 a month!

It’s hard to get ahead of smart old farmers.

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I see the federal government has inserted itself into the ongoing fray about the political correctness of the name for Washington Redskins football team.

That’s a bit humorous when you think that our federal military uses Tomahawk cruise missiles, Apache, Blackhawk, Kiowa and Lakota helicopters, and used the code name Geronimo for its attack on terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Seems we need some consistency. Must be better ways to spend our money.

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Okay, the time for weekly words of wisdom has arrived. So, here goes: Money cannot buy happiness, but it’s much more comfortable to cry in a fancy new supercab pickup than on a bicycle. Forgive your enemy, but never forget his name. If you help folks in trouble, be assured they will remember you when they’re in trouble again.

And, finally, it’s true that alcohol does not solve any personal problems, but then, neither does milk or tomato juice.

Keep your sweating and sweltering to a minimum and have a good ‘un.

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