His First Birthday
June 18, 2012, 11:00 pm
Filed under: June 2012

King destroying his new toy

                                                    June 18, 2012

      King turned one year old on Father’s Day. He celebrated by taking a dip in his beloved pond, chewing on some old bone he found and playing with a new toy that “mom” bought him. His new toy is a squeaky monkey. He played with it quite awhile, then unceremoniously, ripped the poor monkey’s arm off! He is hiding it under his foot if you look close 😮

      We made our first second cutting hay, right in front of a small, short shower. The baler went back into the barn, just as the raindrops started to fall. It is very nice hay. The pumpkin field continues to be a success.

      King was happy to be playing in the pumpkin field while I baled hay in a big hurry to try to beat the rain. He, like any small boy left to his own plan, found an old pig wallow in the high grass. He was a muddy, stinky mess. I am so glad that I saw him before “mom” did. I got him cleaned up before company came.

      Our little pup who came here at eight weeks old weighing eighteen pounds, now weighs over one hundred and thirty. He is a big boy who likes the farm life as much as I do. So , this was his first birthday on the farm. We are looking forward to many more 😮


A Father’s Day
June 17, 2012, 7:18 am
Filed under: June 2012

Uncle Fred, standing in the steam, watching over me

                                                       June 17, 2012

      My dad has passed away. My father-in-law is now gone too. My grandfathers are all waiting on the other side as well. I am the next generation. The next one to make a mark on the hearts and minds of my family. A mark that I hope will last a long time and be as sweet as the maple syrup that we make.

      My uncles are all from my mother’s side of the family. My dad’s side had only great uncles, old men who were brothers to my grandma. My mom’s brothers have been my uncles and my pals for as long as I have memory. They have looked out for and watched over me, for all of my fifty-three years.

      My mom’s baby brother, my uncle Fred, has always had a special bond with me. He is the father of two daughters. I am sure that he is close to them too, but I was here first 😮 He took me hunting when I got my first deer. He helped me out over the years on more than one project, I’ll tell you. Now, in his retirement years, he chooses to spend time here on my farm, sharing yet another dream with me.

      Our sugarhouse had been a dream of mine for a very long time. My mother enjoyed feeding that dream. My dad’s parents lit the fire in the dream way back in the 1960’s, when I was just a boy. To see it finally come true was a highlight and then some. It seems only fitting to have the steamy, blurry photo in today’s post. It’s like all my family was there that first boil, gathered in mass to offer me congratulations, while my uncle Fred stood by.

      On this Father’s Day, I will make some second cutting hay. I will visit the resting place of my father and I will take phone calls from my family. I am sure some will drop by to visit, even my grandchildren will call to say hello. I will call my uncles as well. This is a day for fathers and men who have helped shaped your life.

      I can think of many great men in my life. These men had no relationship other than to be mentors. I would love to call and say thank you to them, but it is way too late, for they too have passed away. There was J Elliott, my first boss, E Jordan, the best pony man I ever knew and of course Dr. Ernie Kazar a man among men.

      On this day, take time to reflect upon your daddy. Hold him in your thoughts and prayers for just a little while. It makes no difference if he is alive or dead… the fact that you remembered him is all that he would want.


So Far, So Good
June 16, 2012, 7:17 am
Filed under: June 2012

Pumpkins on plastic mulch

                                                      June 16, 2012

      The pumpkins seem to be doing well. The plastic is keeping the weeds away from the pumpkins. I do need to get the weeds cultivated in between the rows. Right now they are small, but soon will be menacing water stealers, that have to go!

      This experiment continues to go quite well. I am not exactly sure how much water they are getting, but they look good, with no signs of stress. The drip tape waters at the root zone, so it’s hard to see. One thing for sure, the tape is effective.

      The hay is now cut in the field around the pumpkins. They will soon be sending out their runners. This is the part of the plant where the pumpkins grow. I want to get the hay made and then apply composted manure to the green strips. I am thinking that when the runners grow out into that space, they will get nutrients from the manure too.

      I will soon have to treat the plants for powdery mildew and a few other plant diseases. These pumpkins are a little bit labor intensive, but so far so good   😮


Making second cutting hay
June 15, 2012, 5:58 pm
Filed under: June 2012

Mowed hay in the pumpkin strip field

                                                         June 15, 2012

      The weather has been perfect for making hay. I cut down the last of the first cutting this afternoon. I looked at the second cutting hay in the pumpkin field and decided to whack that down too. It was lush, tall and beautiful. The animals will really like it 😮

      The garden is calling me to weed and loosen the soil. I am simply too busy with hay to work in the garden for long. Maybe tomorrow morning I can do a little. The garden is doing real well despite not getting too much rain.

      I need to plant the late sweet corn very soon. It is near the top of the list … right after the hay. One must make hay while the sun shines! My wife even laughed a little today on how all-consuming hay making is for me. I just understand how small that window can be and I don’t want to waste a minute of it.

      I am amazed by the pumpkin field. It was grazed short by the sheep until May 15th. I plowed it then, making the pumpkin strips. The hay I cut today is about 60 days old. It looks like a picture, now if I can just get it baled and into the barn before rain … I will be one happy farmer!


June 12, 2012, 7:14 am
Filed under: June 2012

The babies playing together

                                                     June 12, 2012

      Yesterday I worked my butt off trying to get the hay up before the rain came down. Thanks to friends and family, the work was all done, the equipment back into the barn before the drizzle started. Thank you everyone 😮

      The first cutting hay making job is nearing completion. The weatherman says it looks good for the next several days. Hopefully we will be done before the next bout of rain. So far, it has been a perfect year for gardening and haying. It got a little dry, but timely rain came to delight everything.

      The raised bed garden is doing well, that trial will soon be declared a success. The strawberry plants are doing great despite being frosted out several times. Next year will be our first berry crop, but the plants are liking their new spot up off the ground. I am sure us pickers will too.

      The kitten and pigs have become fast friends. They play together a little each day. It’s funny how babies, small children and animal babies alike, find the good in each other no matter what. I think we could all take a lesson from them……….


Fountian of Youth?
June 10, 2012, 4:32 am
Filed under: June 2012

Connie’s Fountain

                                                      June 10, 2012

      My wife wanted a fountain for our patio. We found this one at a nearby concrete statue place. A guy and his brother took over their father’s cement business. They have found a way to stay in the business, grow the business and make money without over charging folks. Our fountain cost us just over a hundred dollars.

      I knew the man who makes the statuary, from when we were in grade school. His father had a small gravel pit and made cement. The place was fascinating for a young boy. We played on the stones and looked for fossils and arrow heads. I thought the place was neat back then. Now, with all sorts of statues and items made from concrete, it is still a very captivating place.

      We had to buy a small water pump and put it together, but the fountain came complete, minus the water. It adds an element of grandeur to our back patio. I don’t know if it will take any years off of our lives, but sitting and listening to it, does relax a guy.

      The place where we bought the fountain is named Frye’s Sand and Gravel in Dorset, Ohio. They don’t sell much sand and gravel anymore in bulk form. It all goes out of there in molded pieces of cement. My hat is off to the free thinkers who found a way to carry on a business that was started by their father.

      I guess that fountain does make you feel younger. If you sit quietly sipping iced tea, the rivulets of water will make you have to pee. Suddenly, it is as if you have no bladder space. I guess it will make you younger … well, at least it will ….. keep you going 😮


Kitty Litter
June 9, 2012, 4:29 am
Filed under: June 2012

Miranda the cat and her new-found friends

                                                        June 9, 2012

      Yesterday, our cat spent quite a while making friends with the new litter of piglets. It was comical as the strange bed fellows played in the straw. The piglets didn’t hurt the cat, who seemed to enjoy all the attention.

      This kitty wandered in here from some unknown place. She was very shy at first, but has become almost friendly. I can pet her, even pick her up, but she is still aloof to most others. I like it that way. She doesn’t rub my feet and trip me when I carry water etc.

         I mowed more hay with the mower last night. I fixed it from my recent wreck. A section of the cutter bar had broken. I didn’t see it at first, but once I turned it on… there was no missing it then! Things went smooth last evening. I will put the mower back on the powercart and mow more with the horses soon.

      Summer is in full swing. The hay is being cut, the gardens are growing, children are out of school and summer flowers are starting to blossom. Forgotten for now, are the cold days of winter and the ice and snow. The time when kitty litter helps get a car out of a drift…. unlike yesterday when little pigs were trying to get the drift…when kitty met litter 😮