RicelandMeadows


Watching and Waiting
November 19, 2017, 9:11 pm
Filed under: November 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

kitblinds

November 19, 2017

Thanks and hats off to a friend of the farm, “Justin” who came and hung our blinds back up. This small job has been on my wife’s wish list every since we had the windows put in the house. I am not much of a finish carpenter anyway. Looking up through my bifocals makes any job tough and I simply chose not to do this one. (sorry honey)

I did make coffee, offer advice and encouragement while watching the young man work. I leaned on my cane for part of the time and iced and rubbed my knee for the rest of the time it took to hang them. He. Justin, also completed a small roofing job. He weatherproofed one of the overhangs. These were both awesome jobs to have completed.

Our sons keep stepping up to do chores and such. Our youngest does the daily stuff, which even though reduced, is still a bit to do. The last two days of rain has everything wet and flooded. The animals even spent some time looking out from their sheds watching it rain relentlessly. Our late season drought is surely over. Our ponds are all almost overflowing again. The woods and fields have been sufficiently watered…. just in time for SNOW! I guess I will watch that too!



The Cows Approve
November 13, 2017, 7:46 pm
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fedlot3

November 13, 2017

Today, as I watched out the window, our son Don finished the east side fence of the new feedlot. He worked in the rain some as he drove nails and cut boards, but he stayed at it. The fence job was all complete by the end of the day. The last thing he did was open the gate and turn the cows into the new space. They all approved and promptly christened the area with fresh manure!

It’s tough for me to watch other people do my work. In this case I could see from the window as I held on to my walker. My knee healing well, but still plenty sore, reminded me that it was a good day for watching! I can honestly say, that I approve too! Thanks Donnie

completefeedlot



Here We Go Again!
November 8, 2017, 8:35 pm
Filed under: November 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,

leftkneereplacement

November 8, 2017

After a crazy summer recovering from right knee replacement surgery…you guessed it…Now, I am recovering from left knee replacement surgery. I had hoped to put this off for several months, perhaps even a year, but my knee was too bad to wait. They tried several things to get me by, the last attempt was a sort of stabilizing gel. They say it works for 7 out of 10 people, but I was one of the other 3 I guess. I wore through that gel in seven weeks.

This recent surgery also required lots of extra work thanks to my waiting a bit too long. I had ground down the joint to the point where my leg was crooked, the cartilage was gone and the only constant was the re-occurring pain. Hard to walk a furrow behind a horse drawn plow or dang near anything else!

The farm is ready for winter, but I still will be relying on family and friends to keep everything running smooth. I am thankful for my support group including the doctors, nurses, aides and farmhands. I am especially thankful for a patient and loving wife.  This journey has been a bit longer than we first thought, but the destination is in sight. Even as I recover today, just three days post surgery, my knee is more stable than it has been in years. The pain currently is a bit rough, but I know in a few weeks the pain that I have endured for years will be much improved.

A life of hard work, carrying beef on my shoulders, rolling logs, walking rough ground, running stairs and walking on concrete took a toll on my joints. I wouldn’t have missed a single day of the life that I have chosen so far….but I do look forward to wearing out this new set of “pegs” by farming and working horses, playing with small children and walking arm and arm through the rest of my life.



A Job Worth Doing…
November 5, 2017, 8:05 pm
Filed under: November 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

wbpoop

November 5, 2017

How many times have you heard that a job worth doing, is worth doing right.? It always makes me laugh as I clean the barn…that is one job that just won’t stay done! I find it almost therapeutic. Cleaning the barn daily, makes it look and smell nice. I am sue the animals appreciate it too. In fact, I think they pay me with manure for keeping their beds clean.

I like the feeling of satisfaction I get as I apply fresh bedding and sweep the barn. It pleases me to know that all is well. The animals are in their stalls eating or have just been turned out to pasture as I clean. In any case, the clean, neat barn, gives me a sense of pride.

This wheelbarrow load of sawdust, old hay and manure is headed for the compost pile. It won’t get spread on the fields until next spring. This is the beginning of next years fertilizer. The pit is now empty waiting for the animals and I to fill it up again. The repetitive barn cleanings, just like daily chores, make up a farmers life. I love this life and wouldn’t change a thing!



Dressed in Autumn Colors
October 29, 2017, 10:30 am
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

sugarhouseautmn2017

October 29, 2017

As I was hauling compost the other day, I snapped this photo of our sugarhouse. She is draped with the colors of autumn, framed by the lush pastures left from summer. Winter will follow soon, but spring is only four months away. So, we get to see this color followed by a blanket of white, leading to the “sweet” days of spring!

Winter, if you let it, can be a long season. Sure, it has it’s downside, but focus on the beauty and fun instead. Take a sled ride, go look at Christmas lights, spend time with family and friends drinking hot cocoa and winter becomes much shorter. In just three weeks, the days will start to get longer again! So fear not Spring is just around the corner.

 



Stocking Up
October 28, 2017, 7:00 pm
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

bacon

October 28, 2017

The harvest time is upon us, in fact, its waning. Lots of woodland creatures are busy gathering the last of their winter stores. We keep working towards a full pantry ourselves. This smoked meat will provide many meals. It is made from our hogs slaughtered and processed here on the farm. The smokehouse ran for over twelve hours, but it was worth it.

bonelessham

We make our hams boneless. They cure well and taste wonderful. I de-bone them then inject a salt brine into thick parts. Next they soak in that same sugar/salt brine mixture for 6 or 7 days. I then roll and tie them with string. Once they are tied, I place them in the cotton nets seen in the photo above. The netting helps them congeal as they smoke and cook. This makes for a very nice product. They are very tasty too.

As I look around the farm, I am pleased with what I see. The compost has all been spread on the fields, making room for the coming winter manure. The farm equipment has been cleaned , lubricated and stored for the winter. The bull and ram are in with their respective ladies, the woodshed is full and the speltz are up and growing well.

The animals graze the last of our pastures. It was a great grazing year, with timely rains and fertile soil. The autumn leaves are in their finest color, though many have fallen from the trees. Winter is knocking. Soon, a blanket of white will greet us, but until then, we will continue to make ready.

A long time ago, my grandma read me a story about “The ant and the grasshopper”. I will never forget her telling me, “Be like the ant. Stay busy. Work hard and prepare for the coming storm”. I follow that advice. It gives me a great feeling and peace of mind. Thanks grandma Rice for setting the example and showing us all the way.



OMG Somebody Goofed
October 27, 2017, 7:44 am
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

penoops

October 27, 2017

Every now and then I see advertising that is funny, clever or even crazy. This week someone sent my wife a sample of pens to pass out for her business. I am not sure who’s in charge there for quality control, but I think this pen may have slipped through the cracks! I mean hey…. I’m not the one who quilts! That is Connie’s job 🙂

In all seriousness, it is breeding season here. I put the ram in with the ewes and our bull goes in with the cows and heifers later today. Maybe that is what the pen company is referring to? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure not many ladies want to whip out a pen to write a check in a department store, advertising “stud” service for anyone!

OK….nobody writes checks anymore, most folks don’t know what a department store is and my stud days are pretty far in the past too…but I still think somebody made a mistake!

The pen should have read, Riceland Meadows Quilting Studio …. I guess it does matter when we abbreviate sometimes!