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Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 17 March 2023...

Hey Y'all!

Happy Fast-Jet Friday!! I'll start today's blog with reflections. The top pic is me and Shelley after my fini-fini. The next pic was a few seconds prior to the top one and captured the celebratory 'hosing-down'. When you leave a Fighter Squadron, there is always a celebration for your final flight in that squadron--your fini flight. For me, 24 April 2014 was my final fini flight--my fini-fini. Looking back, I wouldn't change anything. All of our life decisions brought us to this very specific place at this time. Exactly where we want to be. That said, I sure do miss flying that jet. I continued my USAF career for another 7 1/2 years after that fini, but spent that time outside the fighter world, with the last 5 spent inside the halls of the Pentagon. (I do NOT miss that commute!!) Shelley looks the same, but my hair and beard have silvered a bit, ok a lot--but the Pentagon will do that to a person! I reflect back on my USAF career with very fond memories. Most of the best memories involve people, lifelong friends, brothers and sisters through combat not birth. A few amazing memories are of specific flights, low-level through Loch Ness, a sortie or two in Iraq and Afghanistan, supersonic low-level over the North Sea and the range at Nellis. The bottom pic is from December 2012 and is a snapshot of us 10+ years ago. By the way, that long-haired beautiful teenager behind me in that pic is now a steely-eyed killer whose office chair is that very front seat of the F-15E! We chose a post-military retirement life that doesn't leave a lot of time for reflections but I think a moment or two is healthy.

The animals are great today! The temps were below freezing and are supposed to dip to below 20 degrees in the morning. Hopefully the next two mornings of hard freeze will bring the worst of winter to a close. Holly is becoming increasingly more stubborn when it comes to taking the bottle. We are discussing moving her to a different pen where we can slowly wean her while still getting her some grain to help her rumen develop. Betty's teat seems to be getting better the longer we have Holly separated so we have no intention to put them back together. We made the trip to Springfield yesterday and got new elements for the hot water heater. We replaced them and all is now back to normal. We recognize the issue with an element burning up only 8 months into its life. We are discussing a water softener to remove the minerals that are building up and causing the damage to the appliances. We love our water and neither of us like soft water, so we are reluctant. For now, we have hot water again and we will continue to consider our options. The beef chickens and layer chicks are both doing very well inside their brooders in the garage. We are able to keep them warm even with the low temps outside. The beef chicks should be able to move outside onto pasture in about 3 weeks. We will continue house projects today and make a few pounds of cheese. This evening we attend a meeting to discuss the Farmers Market in Ava that starts in two weeks. We are excited for the market to start! We're off to unroll hay--Have a great day and weekend!

Shelley's YouTube Short is another in the Farm Sounds series: Guard Goose Needed Attention!

Local Farm Report for 16 March 2023:


29 Chicken eggs

15 Duck eggs

1 Goose egg

6 Gallons of milk


2 Gallons of milk

3 Dozen chicken eggs

1 Dozen duck eggs


Psycho & Shelley

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