Snow vember?
November 11, 2011, 10:06 pm
Filed under: November 2011
Veteran’s Day Snow 11-11-11

November 11, 2011

     Happy Veteran’s Day… a heart-felt thanks you to all veterans for your service time and your sacrifices for our freedoms.
     It snowed like crazy last night, after a very nice day. They said we could get some flurries and we sure did! They are piled on our patio table as you can see. It did make for a nice landscape this morning. Everything was covered in a pristine white.
     By the afternoon, everything was sloppy, slushy and wet. The melting snow made for a usual November day for us northeast Ohioans. I am not yet ready for winter, but this little shot, makes me hasten to get that way.
     The sheep paid the snow no mind. The cows didn’t seem to care about it much either. The chickens stayed inside until late in the day, but my dog loved it 😮  He played like a small boy, excitedly running and jumping in the white stuff.
     I spent part of my day with one of my uncles. He is a veteran and one great guy. I too am a “vet”. I served in peacetime. I joined when the Iranians took a bunch of people hostage. I was married and in my early twenties…I do not regret it for one minute. Freedom is not free and I was ready to pay for mine, if I had been asked.
     Many folks are going crazy today because of the numbers 11-11-11. I don’t see what all the hub-bub is about…next year I will understand…12-12-12 will be my birthday.. Let’s celebrate 😮


Learning New Things
November 9, 2011, 9:35 pm
Filed under: November 2011
King 63.2# 19 weeks old

November 9, 2011

     Things are not always as they seem. Sometimes I let myself get all worked up over something that is only unsettling in my own head. I talk myself into being mad over something. I next fret and fester until it all but consumes me …… But .. Then I sit down, think it through, separate the facts from fiction and usually I see it was all for nothing.
     Take my pup King. I talked him into getting “tutored” today. Actually he got neutered, but I just couldn’t tell him. I am sure he knows by now, but doesn’t seem to be holding it against me. He definitely found out that things are not always what they seem 😮
     Cloudy day today, but the rain held off. I spread the last of the compost on next years corn field. It was a bit too wet, but we will be plowing anyway, so the ruts won’t matter as much. The manure holding area is empty now and ready for this coming winter’s addition.
     We worked at getting many of the farm tools put away. I inventoried and made notes as to which ones will need some attention this winter. There is a 2-row horse-drawn John Deere cultivator that needs a shovel added. A garden cultivator needs a new handle and the corn binder needs a new wooden swath board.
     It will be nice to have a warm dry place to work this winter, out of the wind on just such jobs. The move to the machinery shed with the horse-drawn machinery is complete. It turned out better than I imagined. I am pleased to say the least.
     Tomorrow I hope to complete building the new horse mangers. The horse barn is all but ready for the horses. I will get that last job out-of-the-way, so that I can begin to pick corn. I want to stay at that job once we start. The first will be picked the old-fashioned way …. by hand! If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the entire six acres will be picked that way…… Come on sunshine!
     I have a small flock of “Freedom Rangers”. These are a breed of chicken that is raised for meat. This breed is supposed to be bred for pasture raising. They are more athletic than most meat breeds. They are doing well and have adjusted to the mobile coop. I am thinking the first of December or so , they should be ready to butcher… YUM  😮
     The garden got its annual amendment of compost. The whole thing is plowed and now waits for next year. I usually plant a winter cover crop, but this years rains prevented my usual plan. The soil will freeze and thaw over winter making a friable, tilthy mix by early spring… just what the seeds want!
     Lastly, today I built a new bed for red raspberries. It is near the new orchard and close to the house. The bed is a raised bed without any border. It too has been covered with a thick layer of compost to be worked into the dirt in early spring. The young raspberries should get off to a rip-roaring start.
     King rests comfortably in his crate, contemplating that whole new learning  thing. I am making ready to enjoy the restful sleep that comes from hard work. This day it is real work, not the kind that comes from jumping to conclusions or struggling with self-made problems 😮

My Little Buddy
November 6, 2011, 10:16 pm
Filed under: November 2011
King, not quite 5 months old

November 6, 2011

     King continues to grow. He is still my little buddy, but he takes up more room each day on my truck seat. A favorite game is to fetch the bone in the kitchen. It won’t be long until we may have to suspend that game…our kitchen seems to be getting smaller 😮
     The weather has been great these last few days. I have been so busy, that I fall asleep before I get a chance to BLOG. The horse barn switch is going well. The corn is drying fast. I will begin picking the ends of the rows very soon.
     My youngest son mowed our grass for the last time today… He mowed it so he could then borrow our mower. I still think it was a good trade! It is one more job done before winter. Now, I just have to get the equipment all stored away.
     A project that a friend and I are working on has had many set backs. Today, a brand new valve that I purchased, leaked like a sieve. I did get another one, but ran out of time to be able to try it. This is just one example in a long series of events..that has me thinking I may have well just bought the dang thing we are trying to build!
     I got a spot in the raised bed all ready for some spinach and Swiss Chard seed. I even have the seed, but I got sidetracked before I got it planted. I will do it first thing in the morning. It is neat to get an early start on next years garden.
     Well, my little buddy and I are bushed. The time changed, but we haven’t yet…………….  Good Night all 😮

A Rose from a Sweetheart
November 3, 2011, 8:29 pm
Filed under: November 2011
Mother’s Day rose blooming for all it’s worth

November 3, 2011

     This rose was a Mother’s Day gift to my wife from her daughter. It was blooming nicely on Mother’s Day. I planted it on the east side of our house. It shuddered for a little while until it got it’s feet buried in our soil. The rose then took off. It has bloomed every day since then. Today is November third and the little rose is still a sweetheart of a plant.
     I don’t know the variety of rose, but I am sure it is mostly blooming from love. It was given on a wonderful day. It was meant to brighten my wife’s day and it sure has done its job!
     It was a little cloudy today but warm and dry. The farm is starting to dry out. Farm work will be back on the agenda for tomorrow. The horses, long rested, will work with me tomorrow too. I have a long list of things to do before the winter snow covers us … so tomorrow will be the start of that dash to beat the weather.
     A few plants need dead-headed. There is compost to apply to the orchard and new strawberry bed. The hog pens need cleaned and bedded and the chicken coop could use some new straw. I may even get to put compost on the garden by evening if the warm sun stays out along with the gentle, drying  breeze.
     I can start picking the ends of the corn field by hand. That corn would otherwise be run over by the picker and the ears wasted. I don’t like to see that. The horses stand quiet as I pick, so its no big job, in fact it is a fun job. The corn field is still very wet, but the ends are not too bad because the grass grows there.
    I am enjoying the Indian summer…I would even say it is a sweetheart of a deal 😮

Fading Glory
November 1, 2011, 12:47 pm
Filed under: November 2011
South end of the house

November 1, 2011

     November is upon us and winter not too far away. The south end of our house flower bed is still a colorful display. It makes a guy feel good. I know it won’t last much longer, but it is sure pretty while it does.
     Funny how the growing season is like life itself. As we reach the November of our lives, many of us are still vibrant, colorful and easy on the eyes. We know that we are mere shadows of what we used to be. We don’t let that change us. We keep blooming, fighting and shining as we begin to fade away.
     I like to think of myself in my September years 😮 I am not what I once was in terms of physical strength. I am often disappointed by this fact. Once in a while, I even hurt my back because my muscles won’t cooperate. I will say that I am stronger in other areas, that I will call inner strength. I now have greater control over my temper. My tolerance for “crap” is lower, but it doesn’t rile me up like it once did.
     I have a confidant, friend and fellow farmer whom I have known for twenty years. He is soon to be a octaganiarian. He farms everyday. He has farmed every day of his life. He, like me, enjoys the simpler things and is a spokesman for sustainable agriculture. He got news recently that he has a skin cancer. It is slow-moving and treatable, but a concern just as well.
     My friend is blooming greatly. He farms, tells the world of his experiments. He shares information at every opportunity. I would say that he has reached a pinnacle, that I can only hope to reach, before I begin to fade. My hat is off to my friend. My hoe is raised in celebration of his accomplishments.
     He expects a slow down this winter as the doctors treat his illness. He has a great attitude and is planning for the 2012 growing season. The doctors tell him it will probably go into remission and he will continue on as usual. I hope God gives him the gift of letting him die one day, many years from now, out in a field on his farm, surrounded by his sheep…. I hope for the same thing for me one day.
     I know a lady who volunteers for the Historical Society. She has done many things to move the organization forward. She has done it all, late in her life. Just one more example of fading glory. I don’t want to sit and grow old wishing I would have done more. I want to plow through life, sowing smiles where I go. I want to impart happiness and learning as I share the fruits of my labor. I want the world to reap from what I have sown.
     The sun shines brightly even though the fields are a sea of mud. The November sky is blue and filled with promise. The growing season is over, but there is still plenty of fading color and beauty … you just have to slow down and look for it. Be the sun or be the late-blooming flower. Shine or bloom for everyone to see. You will be enriched beyond words and rewarded beyond belief.