RicelandMeadows


Christmas 2021

December 24, 2021

It is here, Christmas 2021. This month has been a whirlwind. All sorts of things were out of sorts. My wife got Covid. We spent two weeks away from folks and her under the weather for many days. Thankfully, all is well, but man did it shorten the “getting ready for Christmas” time. I am very thankful that we were healed. I lost two friends due to this illness in the last couple of weeks. My heart goes out to those families.

Our three “main” horses that power our farm, all got their shoes reset. This makes sure their feet are trimmed and they are ready for the coming icy drive and laneway. Hank is coming along good. He took his shoeing and feet trimming all in stride. He will turn 3 next April. He is growing well and fills up the shoeing stock pretty well already.

He continues to be a gentleman who works well with his mares. He is still a youngster, but will soon be a very valuable part of the inner workings of the farm.

We are working our way through the animal harvest, as we butcher and store the meat we have raised this past year. Beef, pork and chicken grace our shelves. We are thankful for those blessings. We even butchered our old laying hens. They gave us eggs for over a year and now will continue to keep us healthy with chicken soup made from their golden broth.

One of my last remaining jobs for 2021 is to finish filling the sugarhouse woodshed with wood for boiling. In most years, I am done by mid summer. This year however, due to all sorts of excuses, bad weather including lots of rain, I am nearing completion of the job. Hats off to a couple of friends who helped me this week to finish the splitting.

This will more than finish filling the shed. It will also give me a head start on next years wood. We use 12 to 15 cords of wood to make our maple syrup. Wood cutting, hauling and splitting takes a while. It is just part of our labor of love to make great Ohio maple syrup, but to me it is worth it!

Our horse-drawn dump cart works very well for this job. The horses and I will get the shed full and this job finished before we ring in the new year. They are all ready now for sure, sporting their new shoes!

Merry Christmas everyone from our farm to yours!



Lights and Smiles
December 7, 2019, 4:31 pm
Filed under: December 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

christmas2019

December 7, 2019

Last night, we finished decorating our tree. Our youngest son and his family helped us get the decorations to the living room. They set up our tree and even stated decorating it. The grandkids were smiling from ear to ear.

After they went home, my wife and I continued with the job. We put the ornaments on the tree, often commenting on one that has special meaning. There were several that made us smile. Tis the season!

It’s a little early to be putting up our tree. We usually wait until the middle of the month, closer to my birthday. This year however, we welcomed the help. My wife has been nursing a sore hip and I am limping around after having a disagreement with a bull.

The bull wasn’t mean. He just decided that he wasn’t going to go where I wanted him to go. He and I squared off. I crowded him with a gate. I stretched out and pushed with all of my strength. He simply pushed the gate backwards and me with it, like he was moving air. I stood in disbelief wondering where my strength had evaporated?! The bull weighs in at 1400#. He stood there wondering why I had even tried to “muscle” him. He even shook his head!

The bull is now where I wanted him to be. Patience, along with some tasty grain, paid off. He is with a new group of ladies flexing his muscles and laughing at me over the fence. My new friends are ice and rest, but my heel tendon feels better every day. Christmas is coming. I’m sure I will be all well by then.

The lights on the tree and the smiles on children’s faces light up my life. The animals all in their places getting ready for the cold winter are content. The bull has the biggest smile of all. I’m not sure if it is due to his new girlfriends or his knowledge that he is the king of the farm? One thing I know, is that pepperoni and salami make great holiday treats, along with some cheese. Every time I walk by the bull, I remind him of that!



Do They Really Talk?
December 24, 2013, 2:39 pm
Filed under: December 2013 | Tags: , , ,

Pigs in a blanket?

Pigs in a blanket?

December 24, 2013

   The sows in the photo are all nursing babies right now, but they were sure enjoying a little slumber when this photo was taken 😮

   Tonight is Christmas Eve. They old timers used to say that, “The animals talk at midnight on Christmas Eve!” Many times over the years I have tried to witness this fact.

   I can tell you that if you sit on a hay bale in the barn, waiting for midnight, it doesn’t work. The animals know that I am there and they won’t say a word. I have also missed it before, because I fell asleep waiting on the midnight chime…they probably talked that night, but I was in dreamland and missed it!

   You can’t sneak up on the stable in the crunchy snow either. The critters have good ears, they hear you coming a mile away. You can’t cough or trip over the dog…both will alert the animals. They are crafty beasts with an ancient secret…but I believe, they do talk at midnight on Christmas Eve!

     Christmas is about the magic of Love. “Unto this world a savior was born”, I believe that too. As a boy, Santa filled my imagination, but as an adult, I realized that Santa is more of the magic of Love in action! I know my stable is a wonderful, magical place, at midnight on Christmas Eve.  The Peace and Love found there, lives in my heart all year 😮

   I will close with a quote from Dale Evans who said, “Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” 

   As for me and grandma … We Believe!