Tired of Waiting
October 29, 2012, 4:21 pm
Filed under: October 2012

Char and a few of her 10 babies

                                                October 29, 2012

     I guess the babies got tired of waiting. They came into the world last night. Mom and all ten little ones are doing fine. I do wonder though, why do the mothers always use the soiled bedding for their nests? I just leave it to them, they know what they are doing.

     Fresh bedding was added to her pen. She will shred it and make a big straw blanket for the piggies to nestle into. They will be snug and warm next to mom.

     Char is a feisty mom. She would like to take a bite out of anyone, even the fat guy who feeds her 😮 I think we sorted that out today. I like a good mother and protective instincts is something I look for in my herd moms. Ornary, contrary moms are sent to freezer camp, but the ones who look out for their babies are cherished.

     Another sow waits in a large pen nearby. Her time is also short for playing the waiting game. I am sure in the next few days, more babies will be born on the farm … until then…..  we just wait.


Ready for Steel
October 28, 2012, 7:21 pm
Filed under: October 2012, Uncategorized

The wash-house ready for steel siding

                                                            October 28, 2012

     I snapped this picture early this morning. The wash-house stands ready for steel siding and roofing. We just have to wait on the weather. The rain from “Sandy” is supposed to soak us for the next week. We will wait and rest easy, because all is ready.

     The rains have been falling since last Friday evening. The ground is getting saturated. Our back pond is full. Water is spilling out the overflow for the first time since last May. Our drought is officially over and harvest everywhere near us, has ground to a halt.

     I stumbled around in the dark this evening looking at things that must be done before winter. I feel pretty good, but there are a few jobs that must be attended to before the puddles become ice.

     Our momma pigs are very pregnant. I think the upcoming storm coupled with the full moon, ought to be enough for them to deliver their babies. There is a damp chill in the air, making everything on the farm start to think about winter.

     I am hopeful for just a few more warm sunny days before the winter wallop that is sure to come. Some of my jobs will surely be done this week in the rain, but some will wait for better days…. hanging steel is one of those jobs 😮


All In A Day’s Work
October 24, 2012, 10:21 pm
Filed under: October 2012

The wash-house framed in

                                                  October 24, 2012

     After a good early start and a finish at sunset, we got the wash-house framed in. It was a tiring day, but satisfying as well. The prep work we did in the rainy days of last week paid off big dividends today.

     We had pre-cut the wall studs last week. Justin was in charge of that job. He took it serious, was careful and did an outstanding job. We had the stud walls up just after lunchtime. The ceiling joists and rafters took us until sunset.

     Much of this lumber was milled from our white pine trees. We did buy a little bit of hemlock lumber, but the rough cut wood worked out very well. The costs savings will be added up later. It does take a little longer, because you have to square up every board before using it. One end gets squared, the other gets cut to length.

     I will say, that by the end of today, I am glad for the strength of the 2×6″ lumber… but sore from lifting it all day! There is still much to do, but the project is well underway. I hope to have it closed in before the bad, winter, weather hits.

     I’m tired, achy and satisfied…and it’s all in a day’s work 😮


It’s just a little mud
October 23, 2012, 10:38 am
Filed under: October 2012

King … the yucky creek wader!

                                                 October 23, 2012

     The other day, King had to go to the vet. He was due for all of his booster shots. He is a little over a year old now. I bathed him the night before with pet soap and a little “Skin-so-Soft”. He looked and smelled great.

     We went to the vet’s office, where King got great reviews and all of his shots. He is a ham there. They gave him lots of goodies and treated him like royalty 😮

     Once we got home, it was off to the fields for chores and work. King raced ahead and ran quickly to the small creek, that is the back ponds overflow. There is not much water there, but wow, is the mud deep. King walked up the creek, then promptly laid in the mud. His side, not in the picture, is covered in black sticky goo.

    When I called him over to take a picture, he wanted to rub that creek slime all over me!  I settled for the photo that you see. I rinsed him off with a hose, as he looked at me the whole time, like a little boy … as if to say, “It’s just a little mud!”   Jeeeze!



I’m Still Tickled
October 22, 2012, 6:29 am
Filed under: October 2012

The sugarhouse

                                                   October 22, 2012

     I don’t care how many times I look at the sugarhouse, I am still tickled. It was a dream that took a long time to come true. I had a lot of folks pulling for me and a deep sense that I must have one. She stands like a testament to love and hard work. I am proud of her.

     This past spring was our first production year for this sugarhouse. The amount of syrup we made was small, just over fifty gallons. The memories we made are too many to count. I know that I have several tucked away 😮

     The sugarhouse stands for much more than a building to me. It is a pathway to the past. Some of my fondest memories involve a sugarhouse. The smell of the boiling maple sap brings those memories flooding into my mind.

     My parents and grandparents would be so proud of this part of our farm venture. I think that is why I feel so good every time I walk by that building nestled against the hill, next to the woods.

     It is a lot of work making maple syrup. I can honestly say that the feeling I get, is one of pure pleasure. There is no work for me at all. I enjoy it so much, it is like a vacation. The hot steam takes the place of a sea mist. The white snow covered landscape is like a sandy beach. The peace that fills me could not ever find me anywhere other than when I am in that sugar camp… yep… I’m still tickled!


Pathways and Short Days
October 21, 2012, 6:05 am
Filed under: October 2012

Maple sap path covered with leaves

                                                  October 21, 2012

     It’s hard to believe, that in just four months, it will be maple syrup time. The leaves are falling at a quick pace now. The trees are almost bare. The days are getting shorter. Soon the landscape will be a blanket of white.

     The time change has been moved to November. I wish they would just simply leave it alone. All that springing ahead and falling back makes me dizzy. I don’t think it makes much difference anyway. It just adds one more layer of confusion for no reason. The children get bussed to “bigger and better” schools now. They have to leave in the dark no matter what the calendar says.

     The shorter days and leaf covered walkways remind me of my days back in school. I had a good time, learned in spite of myself and couldn’t care less about what time it got light outside.  It seemed the evenings were always too short to get all my playing done before dark anyway.

     The state of Indiana doesn’t change their time. They don’t have to spend two weeks or more a year switching milk cows from daylight savings time to eastern standard and then back again. They just go with the flow. I think there is a lesson there.

     It can be said that I am resistant to change. I agree. I farm with horses, enjoy hard work and need to be in touch with soil. When something gets changed just for the sake of doing something different, I don’t like it.

     The seasons will change. Here in Ohio, the time will change, the leaves will keep falling and the snow will come. I will adapt…but I probably won’t like it 😮


Talking Turkey
October 20, 2012, 6:32 am
Filed under: October 2012

Two Toms in the Speltz field

                                                  October 20, 2012

     Okay, it’s the wrong holiday, but no one told the turkeys! They were having a great time out in the speltz field until they spotted our dog. Then they ran for the gate, but couldn’t figure out how to get through.

     It was funny watching them run back and forth as they tried to figure out how to get on the other side of the fence. One of them must have suddenly remembered that they could fly. All of a sudden, they were in flight and gone.

     Autumn brings everything out looking for food. They are trying to lay in some extra fat for the long cold months of winter. The squirrels are busy gathering nuts and wild geese glean fields for any bit of dropped grain.

     I have to get my building projects completed so I can spend a little time hunting the white-tailed deer. I enjoy hunting. I am glad that soon, I will get to spend some time engaged in that pursuit.

     Spring turkey hunting is another favorite pastime. I think I may even get a little of that done, next year too. All you have to do is sit quiet in camouflaged clothing and make noises like a hen turkey … Now, that is really talking turkey 😮


The Inspection
October 19, 2012, 6:27 am
Filed under: October 2012

Connie and King inspecting the progress of the wash-house

                                                   October 14, 2012

     Yesterday we finished the block foundation of the wash-house. It went well, took a while, but was worth it 😮 Now, I must get my butt in gear to get it closed in before bad weather sets in for the year.

     It is nice to see this dream of mine coming true. It will be very nice to wash muddy vegetables in a big stainless sink instead of making a mess in the kitchen. I look forward to having a place out of the weather, with running water and a drain, for butchering and meat cutting.

     I can’t wait to taste bologna and wieners made in our own smoke house, or the smell of bacon smoking in the shagbark hickory smoke. The wood from our farm, adding a great taste to the meat raised right here. Now, that is just plain neat.

     I can see myself opening my farm to guests who want to learn how to butcher, cure and smoke meat or make a batch of bologna. Perhaps they just want to learn to butcher broilers or rabbits. I am open to creating classes around a persons needs. It will just take a little time to complete the building and then the lesson plans.

     There is much work still to do, but the project is well started and has passed the first of many inspections. I am more excited about this little venture than I was twenty-seven years ago, when I tackled a bigger project that almost sucked the life out of me. This time it is pure fun!

Hello Walls
October 19, 2012, 6:26 am
Filed under: October 2012

Wash-House block walls complete

                                                October 19, 2012

     The walls are up…well at least the first four feet anyway. Still plenty to do, but progress is steady. The wall lumber has been milled and will soon be cut to length. Construction for the rest of the framing will begin soon.

     Yesterday we moved animals all around the farm. The sheep and cows got moved to new pastures. The last expectant sow was given a space of her own. The horses returned to the barn last night to protect them from a cold rain that didn’t come. The baby chicks got a windbreak installed around their pen too.

     The leaves are falling off of the trees at a great rate. Many are already bare. Soon icy rain and snow will dampen the fallen leaves and many spirits. I am trying to motivate myself to get the hoses in, the lawn furniture put away and the fountain drained..before ice rules the day!

     It is fun to be building and seeing the progress. The walls rose up from the ground and a building will soon follow. Old man winter, however, will make things miserable if I don’t keep one step ahead of him. I guess I better tend to those small and insignificant things before they become big things…. the walls will wait … for now.


I got my eye on you!
October 17, 2012, 8:04 pm
Filed under: October 2012

Duke.. honest as the day is long

                                              October 17, 2012

     A horse’s eye will tell you a lot of things. You can see their mood and their temperament if you know what to look for. Duke has honest eyes with no fear in them. They are soft, as is his compassionate nature. He is a good horse and a great friend to me.

     We have a sow that is almost ready to give birth. I have been checking her often. I am sure she will have the babies when I’m not around, but I still check on her anyway. I sneak up to the pig barn and look into the window quietly. So far, no progress, just a pig doing pig things.

     The night before last, I went out after dark to check on momma pig. I crept up on the pig barn and the sleeping pigs. Just as I took my last step … BAM. I ran into a 2×6 that I had been using for scaffolding. I smacked myself in the right eye, cut my nose and lost my glasses.

     I did find my glasses in the mud, unbroken. My nose was cut, but just enough to make blood run for a minute or so. I am now sporting a nice “shiner” and puffy cheek….. all because I didn’t want to wake a pig…who has nothing else to do but go back to sleep!

     I need to get back to my building projects. I am waiting on a few construction items so as to get back at it. The pig barn windows finally came, lumber should all shake out by the weekend. The metal quote came in today, so it’s just a matter of time before I am busy and then some  ;o)