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Stoskopf Diaries

September 15, 1997

Game Day! Julie's volleyball team hosted a tournament after school today. There are 18 girls on the C team so there were a lot of substitutions and the games took a long time. Julie did real well - served 9 in a row over the net!

Dean took time off to watch the tournament. The guys are hoping to start planting wheat by the end of this week so they're really hustling. One project is using a land mover pulled by a tractor to build up some of the terraces, especially near the ends where the terraces empty into waterways. If we don't rebuild the terraces, eventually the water will cut around the ends and keep washing away soil - rather than running into the waterway where the soil is held in place by brome grass. One saying is that 'terraces make running water walk'. In other words, on hillsides and slopes, terraces hold the water until it drains away, rather than letting it flow straight to the bottom of the hill, cutting channels in the earth.

September 18, 1997

More volleyball games after school. Julie didn't play until almost 6 p.m. and only got to cheer the second half of the 8th Grade football game. She was pretty tired when we finally got home.

September 19, 1997

The last few days, we've noticed at least 2 praying mantis near our dining room and office windows. Today, we watched the female praying mantis lay her eggs on the brick wall near the dining room window. We've marked the date on the calendar and hope that the eggs hatch and we get to see the babies.

The guys spent 3 hours chasing and catching our big bull this morning. He's gotten to where he won't stay in any pasture we put him in so, once he recovers from all the running around, he'll go to the sale barn. We really like the calves he's given us but we need to have a bull that will stay where we put him and not go running all over the countryside. The neighbors probably won't be sad to see him go!

The kids only had a half day of school today so we took off in the afternoon to go visit my folks. Dean stayed home to farm. I hadn't planned on trying to catch up with dad as I knew he would be busy farming. However, while we were visiting my mom at the nursing home, one of the neighbors told us that my brother was helping my dad plant wheat. Since Robert lives in Oklahoma, we don't get to see him very often so we tracked dad and Robert down and visited with them before heading home.

Dad's area is really dry. He ran out of grass and had to start feeding his cows two weeks ago. Robert helped him 'dust in' his wheat. It won't sprout until there's some rain. They are really concerned about the topsoil blowing. Dad jumped in and planted his wheat this early hoping that he would get some moisture and the wheat plants would get big enough to help keep the ground from blowing later this fall and winter.

September 20, 1997

It's showered enough that there won't be any field work today. Dean stopped in at the high school debate tournament to see if they needed any help with judging. He ended up judging 3 rounds and Julie went with him. They both came home all fired up.

Wayne and I worked on his 4-H records and awards applications all afternoon. Julie's turn came after supper. Everything is due on Monday. Every year, we say we're going to start early but we're still working on 4-H records at the last minute. While they don't like all the writing, the kids would soon forget all the things they've done if we didn't keep good records. They like looking back to see how their handwriting has changed and remembering different animals or events. Dean and I emphasize keeping 4-H records. I can still remember using my 4-H record book to fill out scholarship applications when I was older. The kids like looking at our 'old' 4-H books - especially at each year's school pictures.