MU Extension project helps 93-year-old farmer – Houston Herald

Farmers like 93-year-old Harry Keutzer don’t quit just because their body parts slow down.

His hens, cows and pets depend on him. So do customers at the Kansas City-area farmers markets where he sells produce, eggs and hand-loomed rugs.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project, through University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, provides aging farmers with information, referrals and a variety of resources to keep working.

Lincoln University Extension farm and AgrAbility outreach worker Susan Jaster carried out an assessment of accessibility at Keutzer’s Lafayette County farm and made recommendations on how to make the home safer and more accessible.

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Harry Keutzer

HARRY KEUTZER

MU Extension state health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch said AgrAbility helps farmers with disabilities caused by age, injury or illness to keep farming. The program provides research-based information and appropriate referrals to other agencies as needed.

America’s farm population has been aging rapidly over the last 30 years. According to the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, released in 2014, the average age of U.S. farmers is 58.3 years. There are now more farmers over 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44, Funkenbusch said.

Keutzer and his daughter-in-law, Stacy, grew 3,000 tomato plants in a high tunnel last year. They also planted a three-acre garden and put in a large plot of potatoes on a neighbor’s garden spot. Stacy picks all of the produce and Harry sorts it. Both wash and pack it.

Mobility is a challenge. When it rains, Keutzer has to stay inside and can’t work. But Keutzer’s energy level and stamina during the three-hour farm assessment surprised Jaster.

“He has the energy and deserves to be able to carry on his active life,” she said.

AgrAbility recommended a different type of scooter to reduce fatigue and help him maneuver around the farm over muddy and rough ground. The program also recommended a hydraulic lift to move pallets from the ground to make it easier to load produce onto the enclosed truck the Keutzers take to farmers markets.

Harry’s weathered hands are rarely idle and his mind remains active with farmer ingenuity. He finds it increasingly difficult to plant, so he and his son, Virgil, built a transplanter for their small tractor. It plants and waters the plant plug and lays weed-barrier plastic.

He uses his scooter to check on 100 chickens and takes buckets of water to livestock. He milks a three-teated cow that provides milk for two calves and a gallon a day for milk, butter, homemade ice cream and tapioca for the Keutzers.

He still enjoys cutting wood. He makes wine and helps his daughter-in-law cut fabric strips to make into loomed rugs. In October, he assisted a calving cow with a difficult birth.

Keutzer grew up working with his brothers on his father’s 500-acre farm at Creighton, Mo. He was so small when he started milking cows that his father had a special milking stool made for him.

He went to a country school until eighth grade. He said boys carried .22-caliber single-shot rifles to school, shooting rabbits and squirrels along the way to feed their families. And all boys had a two-bladed pocketknife, he says, to skin wild game and play “mumblepeg” at recess.

After school each day, he listened to 15 minutes of the Tom Mix cowboy show on the radio before starting chores. The radio wasn’t turned on again until 9:30 p.m., when the family listened to “Amos ’n’ Andy” and the news.

He farmed with a team of horses before buying his first tractor, a Farmall F-20. In 1942, Harry bought his second tractor, an Allis-Chalmers WC, at auction for $870.

He and other farmers anxiously awaited electrification through REA. On Jan. 7, 1945, he and his wife, Johnnie, celebrated her birthday in nearby Clinton. They returned home to a house lit with electricity, and their new Montgomery Ward refrigerator was plugged in and running.

He, his wife and a hired hand traveled the area baling hay from spring to fall. His wife drove the tractor as he put the 8 ½-foot wires into the baler. The hired hand tied the bales. It was hard work, but Keutzer and his wife made enough money to buy a new Kaiser automobile with cash.

In 1952, the Keutzers moved to southern Minnesota, where his uncles lived. He rented 320 acres on shares and was one of the first to plant soybean. Corn was selling for $1.25 a bushel under a government price-protection system.

Times were different then, Harry recalls. Farm implement dealers and oil companies helped young farmers get started by extending credit until crops were sold. He bought a four-row cultivator, planter, disk, a new corn picker and two new tractors – a John Deere 720 diesel and an IH Farmall 400 – on credit.

He and Johnnie also opened their home to 50 foster children during their time in Minnesota. The dinner table was often set for more than 20. He taught the children the value of rural life, hard work and being self-sufficient.

In 1959, his father quit farming and he returned to Missouri. Harry rented the farm next to his father’s and had 1,000 acres of South Grand River bottomland.

They farmed the home place until 1972, when Truman Reservoir took much of their land. They sold out and returned to Minnesota to a 45-head dairy farm.

His son met Stacy and married. She wasn’t a farm girl but quickly learned how to care for 45 bucket calves. They farmed there until Harry’s wife died, then moved to Iowa. He worked until he was 81 as a night watchman for Spee-Dee Delivery Services before moving to Napoleon.

Keutzer’s farming practices and lifestyle evolved as times and technology changed. He keeps current with technology by following farm auctions and news online.

Just as he learned to incorporate new farming methods throughout his life, he has learned to adjust as a farming nonagenarian.

AgrAbility gives him the resources to continue doing what he loves to do-provide food to feed America.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency of USDA, administers the AgrAbility Project.

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Brighten up your home – Waterbury Republican American

Gorgeous Bull Skull by Aureus Arts

CHICAGO TRIBUNENo need to break out the crayons. Beat the winter grays with bright stuff for your home. Here are some products to get you started.

1. Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders’ cheeky designs make clashing colors harmonious. His Herringbone carpet for The Rug Company is a case in point. $129 per square foot at The Rug Company, Chicago.

2. Primary colors and simple organic shapes mark the chairs from the Swedish design trio Claesson Koivisto Rune for Tacchini. The Kelly E Chair is $2,300, at Orange Skin, Chicago.

3. The Lindona Necklace from Songa Designs, an eco-friendly accessories line made by women in Rwanda as a way to establish their economic independence. Each handmade piece is made of repurposed natural materials such as banana leaf fiber, sisal plant, and cow horn. $48 at songadesigns. com.

4. Improve your mood by upholstering Vitra’s Mariposa sofa in a bold hue. Pick from dozens of colors including poppy red, grass green, magenta and lemon, pictured. $7,520 at hivemodern.com.

5. Four shades in different hues give the Tam Tam suspension lamp by Design Fabien Dumas a colorful personality. $1,093 at hivemodern.com.

6. Give time the attention it deserves with a clock that steals the proverbial show. Normann Copenhagen’s Watch Me Wall Clock is $50 at normann-copenhagen.com

7. Studio Job’s paper lamp for Moooi is inspired by classic lamps but draws on a crafty material. $1,703.00 at moooi.com.

8. Warm up any seat in the room with Maharam’s Millerstripe Pillow with fabric designed by famed 20th-century industrial designer Alexander Girard. The 17-inch pillow is 92 percent wool and 8 percent nylon and sports a cotton insert with a duck feather fill. $175 at maharam.com.

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High-yielding cow from Punjab loses market due to trade curbs – Business Standard

Punjab, the pioneer of progressive dairy farming in India, is struggling to retain its leadership in supplying high-yielding cows across the country. The state’s dairy industry has been limping along under the shadow of the stringent cattle protection laws  that curb the movement of cows to certain other states where cow slaughter is permitted.Inter-state trade of the high-yielding cow, Holstein Friesian, cross bred by the semen of progeny-tested bulls imported from the US has been hit, as tedious paper work and permission from the state authorities have dissuaded buyers from other states to procure animals from Punjab.Inter-state bovine sale is an estimated Rs 2,500 crore industry in Punjab and is the backbone of the state’s agriculture.Although Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, has in-principal agreed to provide permit for the cows sold at animal fairs on the spot, nothing has changed on the ground, farmers say.“Due to stagnant returns on milk and spiraling commodity prices, relying only on milk sales is not remunerative. A supplementary source of income from breeding animal is imperative. But the declining demand of cattle due to restrictions imposed on sale of cows has pulled down the price and it has become a loss making proposition”, said Daljit Singh, President, Progressive Dairy Farmers’ Association, Punjab. He added that the vehicles of traders were also impounded by the self-styled cow-protectors that has diverted the business from Punjab.“A cow breeder in Punjab incurs about Rs 80,000-90,000 on rearing a cow till its first pregnancy. Due to the high awareness level and availability of high-quality semen, small breeders mushroomed in the state during the last few years. On reaching the first pregnancy stage, Punjab cows earlier used to fetch around Rs 1.25 lakh per head or even more. But the average price has come down to Rs 60,000-70,000. Now a breeder suffers a loss of Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 per cow, while he used to earn earlier there used to be profit of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 per cattle head,” he said.According to Punjab Animal Husbandry department, Punjab contribute 5.16 per cent cow milk of India with only 1.27 per cent cattle population. The reason being higher proportion of cross breds and their higher productivity in Punjab.The dairy breeding has flourished in Karnataka in the last few years as Karnataka is the only alternative source of HF cows in India. The officials in Karnataka Milkfed informed that cattle breeding has been picking up in Kartaka. But cows in Punjab are fed on scientific meal where as in Karnataka, it is mostly fed on natural grazing so yield is higher in Punjab.A cow in a progressive dairy farm fetches 25 kg to 65 kg per day and in Karntaka Progressive dairy farms the average yield per day is 15-40 kilograms a day.The in breeding (breeding with in the family) in Karnataka also makes cattle less remunerative as this results into lower yield and genetic disorders.The premium quality of Punjab cows can be established from the fact that Uttar Pradesh Government under its Kamdhenu scheme for dairy farmers that provides 12 per cent interest subsidy to farmers for five years, the UP Animal Husbandary Department advises farmers to for only Punjab H F cows due to higher yield..

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Architect makes small flat a tranquil haven in heart of Hong Kong – South China Morning Post

When Francesco Sacconi and his wife, Katherine, bought a 1960s-era flat on busy Wan Chai Road last year their new neighbours were surprised.

“They asked us why we’d bought it [when] it was ugly, dusty, dirty, packed,” says Sacconi, a Milan-born designer. “But it had a lot of potential and was really adaptable, even if it was pretty small.”

Small is right – the space barely measures 450 square feet. Luckily, Sacconi’s training as an architect allowed him to see that it could accommodate his family of three, including the couple’s newborn baby, and a burgeoning art collection.

“We let the space speak for itself,” he says.

It told him to remove as many walls as possible, which revealed a simple, rectangular space bisected by a heavy ceiling beam. Sacconi used the beam to build what he calls a “suspended storage island”, an L-shaped structure that floats above and around the open kitchen.

“It’s so big, two people could sleep there,” he says. “It’s for winter clothes, artworks we don’t use, and all that.”

Sacconi, who has lived in Hong Kong since 2010, knew precisely what needed to be done.

“It’s really the perfect place to live. Your mind feels at peace as soon as you come back home”

Francesco Sacconi

“Everything was about finding the right balance,” he says. “We wanted to find a way to make the kitchen big without killing the proportion of the space.”

That was achieved by installing the suspended storage unit, which helps define the living area by creating a pseudo-corridor lined by cabinets. This passage leads to the sole, albeit spacious, bedroom with a baby nook on one side, the couple’s bed on the other and a double-sided bookshelf in between.

Next to the bedroom is a bathroom, which Sacconi reduced in size, lowering the ceiling to provide room for a split air-conditioning unit. He kept the original ceiling height in the shower to create a sauna effect. “It fills up with steam at the top and it’s very relaxing,” he says.

The flat is full of subtle space-saving features, such as a cutting board that fits over the sink, and a shallow work desk that stands alongside a wall. And while the sofa is small, it has a stunning view.

“If you sit there you can look across at the window, which is so beautiful,” says Sacconi, pointing across the room and out to lush podium gardens, traffic on Wan Chai Road and a row of elegantly restored shophouses on Mallory Street.

To maximise views and airflow, windows were enlarged as much as building codes would allow.

“In the bedroom, there are windows on both sides, so it creates a cross-ventilation effect,” he says.

Because the couple have begun to assemble an art collection, they wanted the flat’s décor to be as simple as possible, to allow the art to stand out. So far, works include small pieces by French and Italian artists, along with Gilbert & George, Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor. Two replicas of Ju Ming’s tai chi sculptures sit on a display shelf built into a living-room cabinet that Sacconi designed.

Despite the emphasis on simplicity, there are a few show-stopping design elements, many of which Sacconi bought while living in various cities in Europe. On the floor are a couple of cowhide rugs he bought in London, where he also found Eames dining chairs and a brushed-nickel pharmacy lamp that now illuminates the work desk.

“It’s really the perfect place to live,” he says. “Your mind feels at peace as soon as you come back home.”

On Wan Chai Road, that’s nothing to take for granted.

Styling: David Roden

Living room The sofa cost HK$8,000 at HMF (27/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 2553 2888). The cabinet was designed by Francesco Sacconi and built by Joinwell Multiplex (6/F, Siu Fung Building, 9 Tin Lok Lane, Wan Chai, tel: 2832 9022) for HK$30,000. The Aeratron ceiling fan (HK$3,800) was from Metropolis (34 Morrison Hill Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2893 8686). The cowhide rug (£300/HK$3,375) was from Bashir & Sons (www.bashirandsons.co.uk), in London. The Witex wood floor cost HK$400 per square metre from Unique Flooring (18 Hong Lok Street, Mong Kok, tel: 2267 6171).

Dining area and kitchen The walnut dining table (HK$9,200) came from Ovo Studio (1Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2527 6088). The Herman Miller Eames chairs were bought at Brick Lane Market, in London; in Hong Kong, Aluminium (www.aluminiumfurniture.com) sells them for HK$4,800 each. The Penta Up&Down pendant lamp cost HK$5,300 from ViA (3 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, tel: 3102 3189). Sacconi designed the kitchen cabinets and had them built by Joinwell Multiplex for HK$58,000, not including the black granite countertop (HK$5,000), which came from Jes Stone (211 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2156 9980).

Living-room detail Sacconi bought the Artemide Tolomeo lamp (€240/HK$2,100) from Danese (www.danese.dk), in Milan, Italy. The ottoman came from the Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen flea market, in Paris, years ago. Beside the sofa, the Tracey Emin print on fabric, The Beginning of Me, came from White Cube (www.whitecube.com), in London. Above the sofa, the 1942 etching, by Italian artist Felice Casorati, came from Dellupi Arte (www.dellupiarte.com), in Milan.

Bedroom (above and below) Sacconi designed the bookshelf, which was built for HK$6,000 by Joinwell Multiplex. The cot was a gift; the pouf was from a previous home; and the coat rack (HK$299) came from Ikea.

Living-room detail The desk (HK$2,590) came from Ikea. The brushed nickel pharmacy lamp came from Brick Lane Market. The charcoal sketch is by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas (www.fuksas.it).

Bathroom Sacconi designed the mirror and cabinet, which Joinwell Multiplex built for HK$15,000. The Hatria toilet cost HK$4,100 from Hop Lung Building Materials (300 Lockhart Road, tel: 2802 2274).

TRIED + TESTED

Split personality Francesco Sacconi had no choice but to keep the structural ceiling beam that bisects the apartment, so he used it to mask the split air-conditioning unit, which can’t be seen unless you look at it from directly underneath. “It works because the space is so small,” he says.

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Waikato farmer struck by cow – Stuff.co.nz

Cows were spilling out of the truck and trailer that rolled on a King Country road.

Cows were spilling out of the truck and trailer that rolled on a King Country road.

A Waikato farmer considers himself lucky to be unharmed after a cattle truck rolled in the King Country on Saturday afternoon.

Richard Jones told Newshub he was on his bike, pushing his cows up the race when he saw a truck and trailer, carrying 28 cows, coming towards him.  

“A cow clipped me on the top of my head then I rolled into the paddock and the gate that was on the corner there flew into my bike.”

The stock truck rolled rounding a bend at the top of Barber Road in Otewa just after 4pm. 

Jones said the trailer was turned on its side and cows were spilling out the top of it.

He said the driver is still quite “freaked out”, and he didn’t realise the truck was tipping until it hit the ground.

Jones considers himself very lucky to have come out unscathed after his close brush with death.

“I am going to go buy a Lotto ticket and a cold beer.”

Jones said four police cars and fire services attended the scene.

A fire engine assisted in cutting bars away to free trapped cows.

Jones also helped with his tractor, but unfortunately five cows were injured and police had to shoot them.

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 – Stuff

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More beef for your buck: Falling prices delight shoppers, but cattle business is hurting – Omaha World-Herald

Beef prices are back down to their lowest in two years, and they’re getting lower — just in time for grilling season to kick off this Memorial Day weekend.

While that’s a relief for shoppers and restaurants, Nebraska feedlot operators still are struggling with the effects of the price pendulum of the past two years. Ranchers are expecting lower prices for their cattle when their livestock head off to the feedlot.

Shoppers can celebrate, but “there’s so many people along the way that are having to make a living off that pound of beef,” said Nancy Peterson, a Gordon rancher.

The average price of ground beef in Midwest cities fell to $4.07 a pound in April, down almost 10 percent from a year ago, and nearly back to 2014 prices, the USDA said.

That’s a welcome relief from 2015’s record highs, though still not cheap, historically speaking. Ground beef about five years ago was under $3 a pound.

People looking for deals this weekend will see a wide variety of prices in the region. Some stores are promoting cheap hamburger, like a 10-pound roll for $1.98 a pound at Super Saver. Others are offering deals such as a buy one, get one roast at Baker’s, or free brats with the purchase of burgers at Hy-Vee.

Fareway Foods Chief Executive Reynolds Cramer said his supermarkets, known for their meat counters, try to pass on the savings to the shopper as the store’s wholesale prices fall. Customers should do the math to be sure they’re getting a fair deal as prices shift, he said.

“Most of our items we sell by the pound, whereas some of our competitors sell by the ounce,” he said. “We could be $9.99 a pound on ribeye, and our competitor could be $6.99 for 8 ounces — well, that’s $13.98 a pound.”

Prices are falling because the beef industry has been ramping up production after a lull. Ranchers culled their herds of cattle after drought in 2012 left them with scant grass to feed and pushed up the price of grain. The nation’s cattle herds fell to a 63-year low in 2014.

Now, “as we’ve increased that supply, and available cattle for market, prices come back down,” said Kate Brooks, University of Nebraska-Lincoln livestock economist.

Fremont Meat Market owner Chris Healey said prices are falling on some items but not others. Ground beef and roasts are down 5 percent to 10 percent. But he said packers and wholesalers are holding higher prices on high-demand Memorial Day weekend cuts like steaks.

“What we hope happens is, after Memorial Day we see some decrease in steak prices,” he said.

Late last week at an Omaha Aldi store, shoppers were on the hunt for a bargain.

Tina Ireland and sister Patty Olsen peered into the cooler Thursday: Ground beef at $2.29 a pound? A real stock-up price and a bargain compared with prices at this time last year.

But wait, they remembered, didn’t they just see a $1.99 sale on a different store’s weekly flier? They pushed their shopping carts on down the aisle.

Whatever the price, it seems shoppers want beef: Demand in fact grew during last year’s price rise, as shoppers proved willing to pay more, according to Kansas State University researchers.

Healey, of the meat shop, affirmed that: Even at the higher prices, he said, his shop has attracted new customers and seen business grow over the past year, which he attributes to the shop’s old-fashioned atmosphere, its practice of grinding hamburger in house and its growing array of homemade sausages and snack sticks.

Still, despite this year’s respite from rising beef prices, restaurant diners shouldn’t expect to see cheaper steaks anytime soon.

Johnny’s Cafe in south Omaha raised prices about a year and a half ago, owner Sally Kawa said, to compensate for higher beef prices and labor costs. But raising prices is tricky, she said: You don’t want to do it too often, and you try to raise prices as little as possible so as not to scare off customers, while not knowing whether costs will keep rising.

Kawa has just started to see beef costs fall and doesn’t plan to drop menu prices soon.

“We’ll be happy to see margins increase,” she said, noting that 80 percent of her food sales are beef.

Ranchers also are looking at how to cope as they face lower prices for calves, heifers and steers.

Peterson, in Gordon, said that after a couple of good years, she spent this winter at her Plum Thicket Farms building spreadsheets and studying different farm management choices. With low prices now for her products — cattle and grain — and high costs — such as taxes and lease rates — she said “the real trick is how to keep your losses minimal enough to live another day.”

This year, for the first time, she’s considering not selling cattle to a feedlot but rather growing them to a finished weight at home using her own grain.

Then she would try to find a market for her bred heifers and cows, or cow/calf pairs. Peterson also is trying to boost income by taking in other ranchers’ cattle, to graze on a “forage cocktail” of oats, peas, buckwheat and collards.

“We’re trying to use our farm ground strategically to increase the number of mouths we can feed with our cattle, to increase the productivity of our place,” she said.

Along the way from ranch to supermarket, other parts of Nebraska’s cattle business saw their fortunes shift because of the 2012 drought.

With normal market fluctuations, “there are times when the share is bigger for some than others” in the industry, said Brooks, at UNL.

The drought cut that share for feedlots, which in the second half of 2015 got into a pinch where they were losing money on each animal.

They paid a high price for cattle starting in 2014, when cattle were scarce because ranchers were keeping them home to rebuild their herds, said Jeff Stolle, vice president of marketing for Nebraska Cattlemen.

When those cattle were ready to head to the packinghouse, prices weren’t high enough for feedlots to cover their costs, he said. Making matters worse, Stolle said, weather this winter bumped up feed costs. Finally this spring, feedlots are again seeing a profit.

It’s a complex calculation that supermarket shoppers don’t often think about. But despite the wild price swings that have been a shock to the industry, said Abram Babcock, vice president at Broken Bow-based Adams Land & Cattle, the falling prices at the grocery store could end up helping the industry.

“If beef isn’t competitively priced relative to pork and chicken at the retail level, we’ll keep beef consumption suppressed and fundamentally hurt beef demand,” Babcock said. “With all that the industry is facing currently, it has been positive for us to see the lower beef prices at the retail level, especially with the grilling season upon us.”

That was so for the sisters shopping in Omaha last week.

Ireland, a special education teacher, said, “I buy more of it because it’s cheaper.” Her sister nodded: “I think this is the first time you’ve had steak in your freezer.”

Contact the writer: 402-444-1336, barbara.soderlin@owh.com

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MIDWEST GROUND BEEF PRICES 

Imagine a mammoth, 1-pound burger (it isn’t hard to do here in the Beef State!) sizzling on your grill. In April 2013, a pound of ground beef would have cost you $3.62. Unless you changed your budget, you might have gone a little hungrier in 2014 and 2015, when ground beef was 12 percent and 24 percent more expensive, respectively, than in 2013. The trend is more favorable for consumers in 2016, though April prices were similar to those of 2014.

April 2013

$3.62

April 2014

$4.05

12% less

April 2015

$4.50

24% less

April 2016

$4.07, 12% less

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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DAVID PANNELL: The Tour of Grease – Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

DAVID PANNELL

DAVID PANNELL

My wife’s cousin Lesa blew into town a few days ago from California, after a three-day drive in a Chevy truck with a runny-eyed chihuahua and a flatulent old beagle, both of whom were so relieved to be out of the truck that they immediately relieved themselves on a cowhide rug in our living room. Lesa hasn’t changed a bit.

Lesa is an old Haight-Ashbury hippie who’s spent most of her life riding a motorcycle up and down the high-rent hills of Silicon Valley, working as a pastry chef and a bus driver and Lord only knows what else. She never married or had kids or settled down. She’s a big-hearted, fun-loving free bird who kisses dogs on the mouth and cooks spaghetti for her chickens (an actual fact).

She was born in the malarial lowlands around Monette, Arkansas, but the mosquitoes drove her family westward, all the way to Los Gatos, California, near San Francisco. Los Gatos is one of those kale chip, mineral water towns where everyone is lean and sun-kissed and all the dogs are in therapy. You can get almost anything you want in Los Gatos – yoga mats for newborns, a legalized marijuana prescription for freckles, a Prius that runs on white guilt – but the one thing you can’t get is grease.

We decided that we owed it to Lesa to reintroduce her to the delights of lubricated food, so we put together a day-long, whirlwind tour of some of our favorite spots. I even came up with a name for it: The Tour of Grease.

We tried to avoid anything that was self-consciously cute or Southern, or tiresomely hip. We wanted irony-free food, made with love, cooked in grease. Our first stop was Johnnie’s Drive-In, on the east side of town. We sat in the same booth little Elvis sat in and ate the same hamburgers he ate as a boy. I maintain that it was the lubrication in these burgers that made his hair shine so bright, and enabled him to move his pelvis so freely and to such effect.

Our next stop was the Algoma Grocery Store out on the Tanglefoot Trail, a real-deal country store where you can still get a short Coke in a glass bottle, a sweaty piece of hoop cheese , and fresh balogna sliced right there in front of you. I realize that none of this is actually cooked in grease, but it made the Tour because it shows that southerners are resourceful, and we can find ways to eat grease without having to cook it. In a zombie apocalypse scenario, we’re set. I think it was Hank Williams Jr. who sang it best: “Country folks can survive.”

We capped the day off at the Friendship House, a world-class fish house out in the sticks in Monroe County, where we sat in folding metal chairs under the wide-eyed gaze of taxidermied deer and bass and worked our way through the “scrap plate”– which, in essence, is one of everything on the menu, battered and fried and cross-eyed fine. We ended the day on a reverent note, with their signature hot fudge cake with warm chocolate sauce, which is what I would serve the Good Lord himself if he were a guest in my home.

By the time you read this, the tour will have ended. Cousin Lesa and the dogs will be back in California. Wish I could be a fly on the wall when she tells everyone about the Tour of Grease. But I don’t think they have flies in California either.

David Pannell describes himself as “a recovering farmer and the reluctant pastor of Common Ground Christian Church in Wren, Mississippi.” Contact him at davidpan1963@gmail.com.

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Cow Bay home extensively damaged by fire – CBC.ca

A fire ripped through a two-storey home in Cow Bay Saturday afternoon but no one inside was hurt.

It happened on Autumn Drive around 2 p.m. 

Acting division commander for Halifax Fire Brad Connors says the damage is “quite extensive.” 

“Everybody got out of the house all right, no medical issues. We’ve knocked down the fires and now we’re checking for extension,” said Brad Connors, acting division commander with Halifax Fire.​

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One arrested on charge of thrashing cow – Chandigarh Tribune

Tension gripped Nayagaon after the alleged beating of a cow belonging to a local priest here.

The police have arrested a person, Akram, a resident of Vikas Nagar in Naya Gaon, after registering a case under Section 428 (mischief by killing or maiming animal) of the IPC and Section 11A of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, on a complaint of Tara Chand, a local priest.

In his complaint, Tara Chand alleged that the accused abducted the animal on Sunday and then beat it up brutally. “The accused, who lives with his family in a dera near the locality, abducted the animal. When we located it, they refused to give it to us, claiming that it was their animal. Later, they beat it up so brutally that the animal is now unable to stand,” alleged Tara Chand, who has kept the cow for religious purposes.

Residents of the area protested against the cruelty to the animal by the accused. The animal was taken to a veterinary hospital at Balongi. Inspector Samar Vineet, SHO of the Nayagaon police station, said the accused had been arrested. “Investigations are on in the case,” said the SHO.

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Lightning strike kills cattle in McCook County – Sioux Falls Argus Leader

About $45,000 worth of cattle was lost when lightning struck in McCook County Wednesday night, and the Moody County Sheriff’s Department is using it as an example to remind people the dangers of lightning.

A Moody County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page post Thursday showed dead cattle surrounding a metal bale feeder that was struck by one bolt of lightning, killing every animal.

“This is a very strong reminder of what lightning can do,” the post, which has since garnered more than 35,000 shares as of Thursday evening, said. “If you start to see lightning and hear thunder, you need to get out of the open.”

The post reminded people to stay off of lakes and golf courses and other outdoor activities if possible during severe storms and that standing under a tree is also not a safe place.

The National Lightning Safety Institute says when close to lightning to avoid water, high ground open spaces, metal objects including wires, fences, machinery, motors power tools and trees.

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Restaurant Review: 155 Bar & Kitchen – Luxury London

For those seeking interior design inspiration, look no further than 155 Bar & Kitchen, an all-day dining destination and design mecca on Farringdon RoadIn East London, concept stores-cum-cafés are a dime a dozen. However 155 Bar & Kitchen, with its Scandi-cool interiors, sleek retro furniture and modern British menu, blows everything else firmly out of the water. Located a stone’s throw from Exmouth Market, the sprawling 13,000 sq ft space is the gastronomic arm of independent design emporium Clerkenwell London, and easily one of my favourite discoveries of 2016.The bar and bistro is open for brunch, lunch and dinner, with award-winning chef Damian Wawrzyniak at the helm, producing stylish comfort food for all-day casual dining. Start with baked eggs, avocado on toast and strong coffee, and end with cocktails, Porthilly oysters and pork belly with zesty salsa verde. The restaurant also supports emerging producers, including meat by revered HG Walter, alongside sustainable fish and shellfish. While the food is impressive, the interiors are the star attraction, created by trailblazing London design firm Barber Osgerby (of Olympic torch design fame). A neutral colour palette is punctuated by mammoth, tropical cacti and plants a-plenty; Carl Hansen wishbone chairs, copper lightshades and parquet flooring. There is an adjoining Vinyl lounge which exudes 1970s retro-cool glamour; low slung furniture in green and mustard, sheepskin rugs and a martini bar. Downstairs lies a wine library, two private dining rooms and a slick ‘n’ sexy piano lounge area, decked out with marble tables, cow skin rugs and rattan hoop chairs. To top it off, a spa is also set to open later this year.  155 Bar & KitchenClerkenwell London images by Ed Reeve

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Cow killed in crash; Man injured – Channel3000.com – WISC-TV3

TOWN OF MONROE, Wis. –

A cow was killed and a man injured when his vehicle struck the black Angus in the road, according to a release from the Green County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were called at 11:07 p.m. Wednesday to the W6800 block of State Highway 81 in the Town of Monroe on a report of a vehicle versus cow crash.

Investigators said Nicholas A. Waelti, 26, of Monroe, was driving east on Highway 81 when he struck the cow.

Waelti complained of pain, and refused medical treatment at the scene. His vehicle sustained severe front end damage.

The cow was killed and had to be removed from the road. 

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