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Stoskopf Diaries

July 27, 1997

There were 85 at the Crawdad Feed last night - the smallest crowd for several years. Lots of families were on vacation and a local high school senior was playing football in the Kansas Shrine Bowl at Hays last night. It actually cooled down about 9:00 and sitting outside, talking to our friends, was really enjoyable.

Julie had to be in Hays by 10:00 a.m. to register for the High Plains Band Camp at Fort Hays State University so we couldn't sleep in this morning. On the way home, we turned off the highway at Liebenthal and took the "scenic" route home. Even though the pastures were all really dry, the canyons and hills were fun to look at and drive through. I'd forgotten about Loretto, Kansas, where the stop sign is right next to the church. The next town was Galatia, where we detoured at the grain elevator to look at the wheat still piled on the ground there (after the elevator ran out of storage during harvest). It's always fun to take different roads - even closer to home.

Since it looked like it might actually rain, we had to clean out the machine shed so Dean could put machinery back into it. It'll take awhile to wash and put away all the various things we used last night. We have to buy a new volleyball for our neighbors, too. Dean tossed it into his pickup last night so that our Black Lab wouldn't chew it up. With the windows rolled up, it was hot enough inside the pickup to blow up the volleyball!! No wonder the homemade ice cream tasted so good at the church's ice cream social tonight!

July 28, 1997

We had to chase cows again tonight. Actually, once they saw the pickup, they headed back to the pasture with Dean and our Australian Shepherd following behind. They knew right where to go - even though they had crossed the creek and ended up in the neighbor's yard before someone reported them. The pastures are dry and they reach thru the fences to eat green weeds or crowd together to swat flies. Either way, they sometimes stretch or break the barbed wire fence wires. From now until after milo harvest, it will be a constant battle to keep them in the pastures and out of the milo.

July 29, 1997

Last night's rains - from 3/4 of an inch to 1 1/2 inches - came just at the right time for much of the milo. Some of it was "shooting the head" or "heading out", which stresses the plant. The extra moisture from the rains reduced the stress on the milo plants.

July 30, 1997

There's a new project in our neighborhood. Actually, it's a very large project involving an underground natural gas pipeline that goes from Hugoton, Kansas to Chicago, Illinois. There are 3 parallel pipelines and the company is taking out the center pipeline. It was put in over 40 years ago and crosses 7 different quarters of land that we farm. In this area, the pipe is buried about 4 feet under the surface of the ground. After it was surveyed, the company mowed the path - right thru the milo, etc. Now, a bulldozer is taking off the top layer of soil - the topsoil - and putting it to one side. The bulldozer cuts across the terraces which were put in for soil and water conservation. They even put old tires on the blacktop roads to help protect the roads as the bulldozer just keeps on going in a straight line across the country.

Dean hurried around and they got the one alfalfa field swathed and baled before the pipeline trench cut the field in two. They had to move some round bales, too, that were lined up at the edge of the field but were in the way of the bulldozer. We moved some cows home from one pasture that will be affected. All the fences have to be cut so that the mower, bulldozer, and excavation equipment can go across country.

July 31, 1997

Wayne had a friend come out this afternoon. While Julie has been gone this week, even the 14 kittens in the old garage haven't been enough to keep him occupied. (They're from 4 different litters and 4 different mother cats, one of whom was killed on the road so her 5 kittens were raised by another mother cat - along with her own 4 kittens.) In the evenings, we like to watch the kittens come out to play. There are a few favorites that the kids can catch - Pinky, Mo, Shaq, and Pussy Willow. Julie & Wayne name them all - even the ones that they can't catch!

Wayne and his friend went up into the pasture and collected fossil rocks. At one time, most of Kansas was one big sea so there are lots of fossils in the limestone layers laid down as the water receded. Even in the fence posts made out of "post rock", you can find shell fossils.

August 1, 1997

Today was the big day for enrolling in school. Wayne will be attending a new school this year and he's both nervous and excited. In Hoisington, the attendance centers are divided so that Roosevelt School has Kindergarten thru 3rd Grade, Lincoln School has 4th & 5th Grades, Hoisington Middle School has 6th, 7th, & 8th Grades, and Hoisington High School has 9th thru 12th Grades. If everything keeps on track, Julie and Wayne will be in the same school only twice - his first year of school as a Kindergartner and her last year of school as a High School Senior. We went ahead and enrolled Julie and picked up her class schedule, etc.

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