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Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 24 Feb 2023...

Hey Y'all! Happy Friday!! This is my 69th blog publication and it's Fast-Jet Friday! So much to discuss... First, a tribute to the Fighter Aircrew, past and present, of this great nation. Pics 2,3, and 4 are the Mighty F-15E Strike Eagle, who Shelley jokingly calls "the mistress" due to the number of photos I collect, the love I had for flying that machine, and how much I miss the time I used to spend with it (her). A tribute to the way it used to be, when aircrew used crude humor to help deal with the pain of the loss of squadron mates. When politically correct was not demanded from the nation's warriors. When it was expected and anticipated that on Fridays the squadron, in its entirety, would gather in the squadron bar for roll call, stories of bafoonery, celebrations of upgrades, drinks, jokes, and crude songs prior to the squadron push to the O'Club. So, in this momentous blog, a tribute to 69...the perfect number.

Good morning from Free Missouri! The 18 degree windchill felt especially cold this morning after the past few mild sunny days. It quickly became obvious that this was going to be one of those days. First thing, a duck was out of the yard, quick fix. The lambs and hogs were all good. On our way back to milk, we heard one of the beef cows bellowing. Upon investigation, her 7 month old heifer calf was on the wrong side of the electrified high-tensile wire and she was NOT happy about it. We literally ran circles with the calf for about 15 minutes before she decided to follow Shelley through the open gate back to her mom. We allowed Holly, the orphan calf that is now with the milk cows, to get out of her small cage last night to run with the milk cows. We feed her a bottle after we milk, 5th pic, and while Holly was eating, Happy, the full grown Jersey decided to go into the cage, bottom pic. We were quite certain there was no way she could squeeze her fat self through the tiny gate but we were wrong! The issue became trying to convince her to back out of the tiny opening while it was pressing her hips on both sides, but she finally squeezed (squoze?) her way out. We decided to come in and eat breakfast and unroll hay later. The top pic is me and one of the farm barn cats. We don't talk about them much, but they are an integral part of the farm. Mice are prolific in our fields and the shelter, warmth, and endless supply of feed in the barn draws them from everywhere. These cats are amazing mousers and it was really cool to watch the mother cat teaching her kittens to hunt. The other option to cats is to put out poison, which is a no-go for us due to the possibility of a farm animal eating the poison or a poisoned mouse.

Last year, my mom and dad moved their RV onto the farm so they have a place to stay when they visit. Currently, they are hanging out with us for a while and yesterday mom spent the day making cheese while dad worked plumbing and trim on the bar. Today is more of the same for them. Shelley and I worked business stuff most of the day. We shipped a container of pork and lamb, inventoried products, and worked the website/webstore. We chose WIX as our website generator and domain host. It is a great platform for building websites with many features that work really well. One area that we continue to struggle with is the online store. It is not really set up for what we are trying to do so we are continuously having to work around one issue or another. One of the biggest issues we are having is that it will allow a customer to put something in their cart and purchase that thing without our interaction. In most situations, this is an amazing automated result. In our situation, it means we have no ability to weigh the products selected, to chose what size insulated container we should use (different sizes cost different amounts), to calculate shipping costs, etc. We get a happy notification that a purchase has been made. We then scramble to figure out how we are going to make it happen. We want the customer experience to be nothing short of flawless, but we also want our business to stay afloat. There are other platforms that have amazing farm-to-fork online stores but they cost about 10 times more and their website generators are lacking. So, we continue to make small adjustments in our attempt to find a happy medium. All that said, we will continue to work on the website today and hopefully finish inventory.

Shelley's YouTube Short today is: Milking the Jerseys. Be sure to subscribe and share on your social media, we are almost to 100 subscribers!

Local Farm Report for 23 Feb 2023:


34 Chicken eggs

5 Duck eggs

0 Goose eggs

5 3/4 Gallons of milk


1 pound of ground lamb **First lamb sale**

2 ham steaks

2 pounds ground mild sausage

2 packs ham cutlets

2 packs rib chops

1 pound of bacon **last of the sliced bacon**

1 pork loin roast

Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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Feb 28, 2023

Is that ... wait for it... a Tomcat? 🤣

Replying to


Actually, the top pic is a tomcat!

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