Category Archives: Bob

Canna tubers are in because of Bob

My canna tubers came out of their basement quarantine yesterday. They seemed to have survived winter pretty well. I’m not so sure about the dahlias though.

I have never been very fond of planting spring tubers because, in this Wisconsin climate, they have to be dug up in the fall to keep them from freezing to death.

I prefer perennials. They return in most years without a problem.

Anyway, these tubers are back in the soil again. I felt I owed it to Bob to do this.

Last fall, Bob helped me dig up the tubers just before our early winter arrived.

Bob also helped dig up our potatoes, too.

As I planted the cannas, I thought of Bob.

Those cannas are lucky. They have a new life this summer all because of Bob.

Now I wait for rain and new sprouts from the fields and from my flower beds, and more memories of Bob.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Looking out the window

About this time last year, Bob was starting to feel better. It was the first year in his life that he didn’t farm. Instead, he watched our renters working the Sunnybook Farm fields he had traveled since 1978.

Bob with his old tractor and planter.

Yesterday, I watched the same family working in the same fields.

The renter working up the soil for planting.

As I watched them, I thought about Bob.

I felt him looking out the window with me.

Big changes have come to our farm, none of them easy.

Bob’s spirit is still here. He planted a bit of himself into the soil each year, as did his dad, and other farmers before them.

I continue on today with Bob in spirit, even if others are doing the farming.

Such is life.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Dream a little dream

My dream last night was about Bob. Usually, when I wake up, my dreams fade away, but not this one.

It started with me looking up at our home. In the dream, it was a brick home, though we had never lived in a brick home.

There were a few loose bricks at the corner of this house and Bob was going to fix them.

But fixing two bricks wasn’t on Bob’s itinerary. In my dream, my husband had a sledgehammer and was banging away at an opening in the wall, making way for a large window–if there was a job to do, Bob could always make it bigger.

Bob at work on his combine.

All I remember thinking in the dream was that he shouldn’t be working so hard because he was a sick man. Still, I let him bang away because working made him happy.

Memories of Bob pop up often, now especially. It’s spring planting season and farm machinery is moving up and down fields. I expect Bob is watching from above, cheering on our neighbors and hoping for a better season than last year.

Well, that’s my little thought for today.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Late-night visitor

For the first time this year, I set up our critter cam. It was one of Bob’s favorite ‘toys’ and brought back many good memories of him.

What I hoped to capture was the black bear who pooped in our front yard Friday night–Bob had always wanted to see that wandering bear, but though neighbors had seen it, Bob never got a glimpse.

Well, it finally came close enough to our house to touch, yet I had no photo. The critter cam was still sitting on Bob’s desk, waiting for me and for new batteries.

These are a couple photos the critter cam snapped last night:

Squinty the cat looking for supper
Raccoon heading up to get bird food

I knew there was a raccoon visiting. I had seen it before, eating leftover cat food.

Two visiting raccoons

I didn’t know two raccoons were coming for late-night snacks.

No bear showed up last night, at least not on camera.

Later, I’ll take a look around for more bear scat. Maybe it visited the other side of the house.

No matter, I’ll go outside during the day, but after dark you’ll find me indoors.

I’m not going to take any chances surprising visiting wildlife at night. It’s the smart thing to do.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Visiting Country Critters



I was looking through videos I have on youtube.com and found one of Bob releasing a raccoon into our woods. This was back in 2011.

Bob captured this raccoon in a live trap after it was poking around our chickens. Here’s the link. Copy and paste the whole link to see Bob release it……………………………………. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI7_r7P9sdU

A different raccoon on our front porch

I haven’t set up the critter camera yet this year, but I’m thinking about it. Bob loved the critter cam so much. He wanted to snap a photo of the bear that moves through our area. He never got that photo or saw the bear, I’m sad to say.

When the raccoons come up to finish cat food, they can be very quiet or they can make a lot of noise, moving the metal food pans around.

If I have to go outside in the dark I make a lot of noise so the wild critters know to scatter.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved