Creatures From The Black Lagoon
June 25, 2018, 7:45 am
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June 25, 2018

The other evening our son and his family came for a visit. Two of the grandkids went swimming in our farm pond. Being the crazy kids that they are, they took mud from the pond bottom and covered their faces. It was “yucky” to watch, but they had a great time.

A childhood memory flashed through my mind as I watched them. My father and a group of family members were swimming in grandpa’s pond. My dad went deep to swim under someone. When he surfaced, his chest and belly were as black as my granddaughter’s face. I remember everyone laughing, just as I was laughing at my grandchildren. Making memories is what life is all about!


They even found “seaweed” to make long green locks of hair. The kids had a ball. My dog Cinch waited fairly patiently to play catch. I watched and laughed while reflecting upon the past too. A farm pond with its muddy bottom, just struck a chord in my memory. I am blessed to have had a simple childhood….it is good to see these children are too!

Four Stars
June 17, 2017, 7:40 am
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In order; Duke, Knight, Hoss and Abby


June 17, 2017

What a great morning. My babies came to meet me at the gate this morning. Talk about a four star morning!

I remember as a schoolboy, it was a great thing to get a star on a paper from a teacher. It was even better if that paper was a tough one, or from a teacher who didn’t usually notice me. I would rush home with the graded work and proudly post it on the refrigerator. Now, all these years later, I still like the look of stars. My horses all display them on their foreheads and I never get tired of looking at them.

It’s funny how things stick with us from childhood. My love of horses comes from my boyhood years. My grandpa Rice always had horses and I hope that I always do too. I like everything about a good draft horse. They are truly stars in  my book!

The Pages of My Life
Cultivating Memories...Hot off the Press

Cultivating Memories…Hot off the Press

November 15, 2015

It’s here! My book is finally done. This project of putting together a collection of short stories, to warm the heart and soul, Is done. I have been putting my memories and life experiences down on paper for over twenty years. This past January, I began to select stories and get them in order for this book. I write a column for Rural Heritage magazine and a few of these articles have been printed, but most of these 63 stories are original to this book.

My friend and mentor, Gene Logsdon, was kind enough to write the forward for this Reflection of my life. Bethany Caskey, from Iowa, illustrated the pages and cover. This work of mine is 235 pages of easy reading that will make you laugh and make you cry, as I tug at your heart strings. There are stories about love and life, farming, logging, horses and children. They are assembled from the pages of my life.

This book is available through the Rural Heritage website WWW.ruralheritage.com , here at the farm, or in Jefferson Ohio at The Jefferson Milling Company, J.R.Hoffestter Jeweler and the 4-H Extension Office….for the bargain price of $14.95 I invite you to come along, share a story, a laugh or a tear.

It is the simple things in life that matter. I will take you away from the stresses in your life, as you relax and take a mental vacation to my farm. I am not responsible for coffee or tea sprayed on your favorite chair as you bust out laughing, but I will take credit for the warm feelings that will be stirred in your heart.

Summer Fun? You Better Hurry!
August 6, 2015, 11:19 am
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Spray me with the hose mom

Spray me with the hose mom

August 6, 2015

Connie and Cinch play an almost daily game as she waters her flowers. Cinch loves to “chew” water from a hose. I caught the two of them playing in the water the other day and snapped this picture. He jumps at the water and gobbles up huge mouthfuls. He is funny to watch and I admit, I have to play with him too as I fill water troughs around the farm.

Summer is flying by these days. It’s hard to believe that the county fair is next week and school for children starts soon after. When I was a boy in 4-H, the county fair was the highlight of our summer. It was where we met up with old friends, rode rides and ate “food” from the midway. It was also a time for great responsibility. We had to care for, then show our animals. Unlike the daily care at home, we tended our stock 24/7, making sure city folks saw as little manure as possible.

We worked hard, lost sleep and fell in love, always with a farm animal nearby. I never out grew it. I am the most comfortable around animals. They are my passion. They put me at ease…no matter if I am working hard or tired from lack of sleep. As for falling in love, it still works! I fell in love for the last time, thirty years ago, but I continue to fall in love with new babies, boy and girlfriends of grandchildren and people who God puts into my life, always with a farm animal nearby.

The end of the fair week was bittersweet. It signaled the end of summer. It meant saying goodbye to friends from other school districts until next year. It meant saying goodbye to an animal friend raised and shown for it’s carcass. It meant school was just around the corner and the only thing to look forward to was mowing the yard. So, this time of year meant cramming as much summer fun into each day as possible. I still live by this creed.  So, if you find me squirting water at my dog, you’ll know that I am just reliving the wonderful days of my childhood!

Attention to Detail
March 26, 2015, 7:41 pm
Filed under: March 2015 | Tags: , , ,
Checking things out

Checking things out

March 26, 2015

In all you do, pay attention to detail. It truly is the little things that matter. I worked with a guy who always said, “take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” I finally figured out what he meant several years after we had worked together. In fact I even learned to “sweat the small stuff” because it’s the small stuff that matters most.

Let me explain a bit here; by small stuff I mean little things like saying I love you for no reason. Be kind to people, it costs you nothing…but the payback is without measure. Take time to watch a flower unfold, an egg hatch or a child grow. When you give of yourself you grow your heart and soul.

There is wisdom in the old sayings like; A stitch in time saves nine. It means fix the little thing before it becomes a big thing. So when your nagging brain asks you if you turned off the water that is filling the trough…go look! I waited way too long 😮

Childhood Favorites
September 16, 2014, 2:18 pm
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Candy Corn

Candy Corn

September 16, 2014
Nothing says fall to me, like oak acorns and candy corn. I remember waiting for the school bus under a big white oak tree. The ground was littered with two things, colorful leaves from the maples and scores of acorns. I just loved the look and feel of them. The acorn nuts with their little beret hats, cracked me up… pun intended, it’s a nut joke 😮

My mother would also get us kids candy corn. We loved it, or at least I loved it. We didn’t eat too much because candy was a luxury. I would look forward to it all day long at school. I have been known to carry an acorn or two to class, but the candy corn never even survived the school bus ride! So, now I am all grown up, but when the air turns cool and the leaves start to fall, I go on a quest to find acorns….and usually with some candy corn in my pocket.

The simple times of childhood, when your biggest responsibility was to feed the dog, were made sweeter by mom’s apple crisp, her hugs and the little orange and white candies. The candy and apple crisp were seasonal. Mom’s hugs were forever. Every time I see an acorn, I think of those cool mornings and waiting for the school bus. When I eat apple crisp, I always think of my mother. When I eat a few pieces of candy corn, I remember all the sweet times of my childhood. Those are the best memories!

I remember getting the sweet treat in my trick-or-treat bag on Halloween. I can see my cousin making buckteeth out of a couple of pieces or even playing Dracula. I like the way it melts in your mouth, as you chew it up. I also like it that it is a seasonal thing. It tastes so good, those first few pieces of the year. I still am not sure if it’s the candy or the memories that please me so, because both of them are sweet.

Corn is Planted!!
June 12, 2014, 5:38 pm
Filed under: June 2014 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Josh and Jonny Plant corn 2014

Josh and Jonny Plant corn 2014

June 12, 2014

My sons and my grandson helped to get our corn planted this year. I have been weighed down by a few extra shifts at work that keep cutting in to my farm time. The weather too has been a bit to overcome. It seems it rains on my days off, but no matter, we got it done!

My grandson rode on the tractor with his dad for a few rounds. We plant slowly, about 2 miles per hour. Johnny was bored quite quickly. Josh, on the other hand, enjoyed himself driving the tractor, planting the corn and learning farm stuff 😮

I was able to do a few other things while Josh planted. One of those things was to reflect upon my life and memories. It was not long ago that I was the youngster crammed against the fender. Then, I was the operator watching the equipment and keeping a close eye on my son as he rode with me. Now, I am the one needing help…wondering where the time went and thankful that I have sons nearby.

Summer is here and I have many projects underway. One of the ones that pleases me most, is having had that rut problem fixed on our sap roads. Field work and planting is almost complete, soon haymaking will be the order of the day. Pastures are lush and green and the baby animals are growing well on the green grass and momma’s milk. The strawberries are ripening and I am enjoying some time off!