RicelandMeadows


Donkey Diplomat
February 12, 2018, 2:25 pm
Filed under: February 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

selfdonk

February 12, 2018

Our donkey has been with us for about six months. I had no idea just what awesome critters these guys can be. He is the sweetest, most loving farm animal that I have ever encountered. He is a gentle guy with patience that resembles “Job”. He follows me around, but knows exactly what the daily routine brings. He doesn’t like change much at all!

I will not say that every donkey is a sweetheart, but I can sure say that this one is. There must be a few donkeys that demonstrate the “stubbornness” they are rumored to have. I’m guessing that it has more to do with them not embracing change. They have a tendency to shout out and even lock their heels at new things. Hmmm, I show some of these exact tendencies myself when it comes to change. I am guessing that is why some folks see me as an ass……That’s ok with me…as long as a few others see me as a lovable, patient, gentle man.

I like the status quo. I can do change when I must, but am sometimes the one shouting loudly and locking my heels. At my advancing age, my tolerance for bullshit….also know as change…is just about zero! I think its almost time to separate my self from a place where constant change rules the day…It’ll be much better for everyone involved. If that makes me a donkey…so be it…. just call me a donkey diplomat!



It’s One of Those Days
January 30, 2018, 8:10 pm
Filed under: January 2018 | Tags: , , ,

101_1319

January 30, 2018

Yep, yesterday our landscape was brown and green. Today, 10 to 12 inches of new fallen snow covers everything! I plowed us out, did chores at both ends of the day and sat and read the newest Rural Heritage magazine. I almost felt guilty….but all I had to do was look outside!



Best Time of the Night
January 25, 2018, 7:56 pm
Filed under: January 2018 | Tags: , , , ,

bestimeofnite

January 25, 2018

I like the time of evening when the chores are all done. The animals all have clean dry beds and full mangers. I sweep the floor one last time, then I just pause to listen to the animals chew their supper. The cows are all starting to bed down and are quiet too. The kitties climb up to the hay mow to find a place to sleep. My dog waits patiently, to follow me to the house.

I walk slowly as I head towards the house. My supper is waiting, but I like to look at everything one more time. The sheep are where they are supposed to be. The lights have been turned off. The gentle thump of the pig feeder doors disturb the evening just enough for me to know that all is well in the pig barn too. Nothing but quiet comes from the hen house as I walk by. The ladies inside have all gone to roost for the night.

I look out across the fields and a contentment fills my heart. The day’s work is done. Soon spring will come. First with maple syrup season, followed promptly by spring field work. Baby lambs will be born as I am plowing for the crops. Then the long days of summer will fill our days, followed by harvest. For now, however, the work is mostly done. Just daily chores, a list of repairs to make and rest. All of us get to relax. My new knees appreciate these days of leisure.

As I reach for the doorknob to go in for the evening. I say a prayer of thanksgiving, for what we have been blessed with. It is for sure the best time of the night and all of us farm critters will enjoy our evening meal and a peaceful slumber.



Fire in the Forge
January 20, 2018, 9:00 pm
Filed under: January 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

fireinforge

January 20, 2018

The weather warmed up today. My uncle and I spent a few hours hammering around in the forge room. We had a fun few hours, laughed a lot and made a few memories. He brought me a bucket of treasure. It was filled with broken saw blades, chunks of steel cutoffs, a lawnmower blade even some lengths of stainless steel rod. I don’t have any idea what they may become, I only know it will be fun to sort it all out.

My uncle is my mother’s older brother. He has always been there for me. He is a busy guy with his own family to look after, but always found time to help me, encourage me and basically watch over me. His younger brother also keeps a close eye on me. I can never thank them enough for their gifts to me…the best gift of all…their time!

So, as we spent time today, it meant a lot to me. We talked about all sorts of stuff, including how much my mother would have enjoyed the hooks we were making. I’m sure she got a kick out of us being together…even today. I know that I sure did.

As I get better at this forging and fabricating stuff, I can see one day I may be able to make some money doing this. I feel as though an ancient Scotchman holds my fist, as I strike with the hammer. I am sure that in my bloodline from the Highlands of Scotland, a blacksmith reigns. This skill comes very easily to me. I can see the finished product in the white hot metal as it comes out of the forge. I am intrigued. I am amazed and I am blessed.



Snow Buddies Business
January 16, 2018, 9:16 pm
Filed under: January 2018 | Tags: , , , ,

snowbuddies

January 16, 2018

I let the horses and donkey out to play this afternoon. They are fun to watch as they run, jump and roll in the fresh snow. I guess they get bored on these cold snowy days just like we do. The boredom will soon pass. I am healing well and very soon will resume winter farm work. I will be careful. I will have help, but I will soon be working horses again and I can’t wait!

The donkey has bonded with the draft horses. He much prefers to be with them instead of the sheep. He still patrols the sheep pasture, but stays with the horses. He has his own “stall” which is just the spot where he eats his grain, but he goes there every time! He makes me chuckle. I like the little guy.

I actually wonder if he will follow us while we work. I think it will be much easier to take him along, than to have him lonely in the barn. It will be a hoot for sure but time will tell. If I would have known how sweet these critters can be… I would have had one a long time ago!



Winter White
January 15, 2018, 6:54 pm
Filed under: January 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

snoplay18

January 15, 2018

Today, the calves were having a ball, running all over the feedlot. The snow covered lot actually looks great. I scraped everything clean thanks to last week’s warm-up. The slush and manure was like cleaning up applesauce, but I did manage to get it all cleaned up. That was one job I was very happy to complete.

The manure collected will compost along with the daily horse droppings and bedding. It takes a while because the cold weather slows down the rotting process. I’m fine with it because the reward of the compost is worth the wait. I also like the look of the feedlot clean and currently covered in a blanket of white!

The cows are not paying much attention to this cold winter weather. They are fed, bedded and content to just chew their cud and wait for spring. Perhaps there is wisdom in what the cows do. The young ones run and play. The rest of the herd simply takes it all in stride. There is much to be said for a full belly and a warm bed. Watching the snow pile up is just a bonus I guess.

winterlot



Cold Snap Warm Bed
January 4, 2018, 11:56 am
Filed under: January 2018 | Tags: , ,

nitenitecows

January 4, 2018

We are in the midst of a cold batch of weather. The weatherman said that we haven’t had two weeks of consecutive cold days such as these, at this time of year, since the 1880’s. All that I know is that it has been cold, both day and night!

The animals are snug in their barns and sheds. They still get to romp and play outside every day, but most are ready to come in at suppertime. The best way to make four legged critters comfortable is to keep them dry and well fed. The cold bothers them much less that way. Their digestive tracks working on extra hay or food, generates heat. I think it also helps with boredom, eating that is. I know I munch more when its cold!

We have been spoiled by several warm winters in a row. That makes this one tougher on us. I like winter. I think it kills the bugs and resets Mother Nature’s clock. I like mittens and it feels good to sleep under a pile of quilts! So hang on folks it’ll be spring in about 70 days….shortly after that, folks will be complaining about the heat!

So, bundle up and enjoy the winter spectacle. Play in the snow, take a walk, sled ride with the kids….but wait a day or two until the temps get above 0 degrees F. In the meantime, drink hot beverages, watch the snow pile up from inside. If you have to go out, dress warm, be safe and look for the good. It’s out there!