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Dogwood Ramblings

Have you noticed the musk thistles?  I see them as I drive to town, some in fields and some on the roadside.  With this drought much of the ground is bare and an excellent way for the thistle seeds to get started for a new crop.  We had thousands upon thousands of thistles a few years ago.  We used a hoe to uproot so many of them but the flowering heads got ahead of us so we cut them off and burned them.  Just using a brush hog won’t get rid of them.  If the plant is not uprooted it will come back and if the flowering heads are not burned, they will continue to make seed heads and spread in the wind.  They are a bane for cattle as they won’t graze near the thistles.  We already have feed sacks filled with thistles to be burned but now, it is too dangerous to burn anything.  So, if you have thistles anywhere, please get rid of them properly for yourself and for your neighbors.  About 20 years ago we acquired a beetle that thrives on musk thistles but for them to survive there must be water nearby.  So much for that idea.

Well, it has happened again.  Another dog has arrived, this time a Border Collie mix, and one worth keeping I think.  Again, no collar but top side of his back has been shaved.  If he stays here it will mean a trip to a veterinarian as I won’t put strays in with my other dogs until they have been checked and isolated for awhile.  If you know anything about this dog please call 683-4229.

On July 4th, Ron, Arlene, Rex and Reanna came for the evening.  We put together a pretty good supper of burgers, dogs, potato salad, topped off with ice cream.  We played Pinochle for one game and then relaxed in the living room and just visited.  Learning Pinochle is slow for Reanna but then, she is only ten years old.  Regina and her son, Justin, will be visiting from Oregon the first part of August.

We are now at the stage of filling water tanks for the cattle, and praying the well can handle this volume.  They are also on full hay and mineral tubs.  I don’t recall it being this bad since about 1978.  Ray Donnelly moved to Missouri in 1970 and he says this is the worst drought in all that time.  During the day the cattle fortunate enough to have a wooded area are hiding there.  They can’t cool off in ponds as they are dry – and if some water remains it is most likely hot and mostly mud.

Today’s Lesson:  The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.”  Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves. This ends today’s lesson.  Anonymous

So hot on Sunday I opted not to fill my gas tank.  On the way home I was remembering way back when (60 year olds won’t recall) gas was about 25 cents a gallon.  When one pulled in to the gas station at least two people hurried out to fill your tank, wash the windshield, check the oil and check the tire pressure, always with a smile.  They took your cash and returned with your change.  Now, that was service and they were called service stations back then.  It is said in some circles that America has become a service nation – must be referring to fast food places.  Very few businesses give the service of years ago.  Many of the new appliances have a lifetime of about ten years, on purpose.

Hey!  Hey!  We received one-fourth of an inch of rain Sunday evening and Monday morning the grass didn’t crunch under my feet.  Thank you Lord.  We appreciate every drop.  Not to be too greedy, Lord, but we wouldn’t mind a repeat performance (or five or ten repeats).

So be it. It’s down to the people now — as it should be. But, meanwhile, a little less deference to judges wouldn’t go amiss. The U.S. Supreme Court is starting to look like Britain’s National Health Service — you wait two years to get in, and then they tell you there’s nothing wrong. And you can’t get a second opinion.” - Mark Steyn

God bless, be well.

The duty of government is to leave commerce to its own capital and credit as well as all other branches of business, protecting all in their legal pursuits, granting exclusive privileges to none. – Andrew Jackson 

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