RicelandMeadows


Had a Little Help
November 25, 2017, 2:40 am
Filed under: November 2017 | Tags: , , ,

lilwheel

November 25, 2017

Today, my grandson helped his daddy clean the horse stable. I am itching to help myself, but progress is slow on the new knee. I couldn’t help but snap a picture of his little wheel barrow ready to head for home, once the chores were done.

I remember helping my grandpa with things, sometimes even when he didn’t ask. I remember using and losing tools as I fooled around making his job easier. I probably dropped nails in the driveway or put things away that he couldn’t find for weeks, but I was helping! This little guy pays attention to detail. He knows where things go and doesn’t like to see anything out of place or gates left open.

Another grandson is helping his daddy catch the raccoons that mob the corn fields. They have been successful too. It truly is nice to be getting the help I need while I recover. My dear wife too, has taken on additional chores. I hope that I can at least take over for her before the bad weather sets in. The chickens, cats and dog appreciate her efforts as she is their main caretaker…along with the daily water tank filling.

So, the farm continues to run, thanks to everyone helping out.



Watching and Waiting
November 19, 2017, 9:11 pm
Filed under: November 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

kitblinds

November 19, 2017

Thanks and hats off to a friend of the farm, “Justin” who came and hung our blinds back up. This small job has been on my wife’s wish list every since we had the windows put in the house. I am not much of a finish carpenter anyway. Looking up through my bifocals makes any job tough and I simply chose not to do this one. (sorry honey)

I did make coffee, offer advice and encouragement while watching the young man work. I leaned on my cane for part of the time and iced and rubbed my knee for the rest of the time it took to hang them. He. Justin, also completed a small roofing job. He weatherproofed one of the overhangs. These were both awesome jobs to have completed.

Our sons keep stepping up to do chores and such. Our youngest does the daily stuff, which even though reduced, is still a bit to do. The last two days of rain has everything wet and flooded. The animals even spent some time looking out from their sheds watching it rain relentlessly. Our late season drought is surely over. Our ponds are all almost overflowing again. The woods and fields have been sufficiently watered…. just in time for SNOW! I guess I will watch that too!



Here We Go Again!
November 8, 2017, 8:35 pm
Filed under: November 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,

leftkneereplacement

November 8, 2017

After a crazy summer recovering from right knee replacement surgery…you guessed it…Now, I am recovering from left knee replacement surgery. I had hoped to put this off for several months, perhaps even a year, but my knee was too bad to wait. They tried several things to get me by, the last attempt was a sort of stabilizing gel. They say it works for 7 out of 10 people, but I was one of the other 3 I guess. I wore through that gel in seven weeks.

This recent surgery also required lots of extra work thanks to my waiting a bit too long. I had ground down the joint to the point where my leg was crooked, the cartilage was gone and the only constant was the re-occurring pain. Hard to walk a furrow behind a horse drawn plow or dang near anything else!

The farm is ready for winter, but I still will be relying on family and friends to keep everything running smooth. I am thankful for my support group including the doctors, nurses, aides and farmhands. I am especially thankful for a patient and loving wife.  This journey has been a bit longer than we first thought, but the destination is in sight. Even as I recover today, just three days post surgery, my knee is more stable than it has been in years. The pain currently is a bit rough, but I know in a few weeks the pain that I have endured for years will be much improved.

A life of hard work, carrying beef on my shoulders, rolling logs, walking rough ground, running stairs and walking on concrete took a toll on my joints. I wouldn’t have missed a single day of the life that I have chosen so far….but I do look forward to wearing out this new set of “pegs” by farming and working horses, playing with small children and walking arm and arm through the rest of my life.



Dressed in Autumn Colors
October 29, 2017, 10:30 am
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

sugarhouseautmn2017

October 29, 2017

As I was hauling compost the other day, I snapped this photo of our sugarhouse. She is draped with the colors of autumn, framed by the lush pastures left from summer. Winter will follow soon, but spring is only four months away. So, we get to see this color followed by a blanket of white, leading to the “sweet” days of spring!

Winter, if you let it, can be a long season. Sure, it has it’s downside, but focus on the beauty and fun instead. Take a sled ride, go look at Christmas lights, spend time with family and friends drinking hot cocoa and winter becomes much shorter. In just three weeks, the days will start to get longer again! So fear not Spring is just around the corner.

 



Log On
October 18, 2017, 8:46 pm
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

101_0941

October 18, 2017

Yesterday, we were filming for RFD-TV. My son Jake drove the horses in the video. In the photo above, he drives Knight and Hoss, put to the logcart skidding some red oak logs four years ago. They all performed like stars then, just like yesterday.

We hauled out some pine logs. I couldn’t take a picture, as I was cutting trees and logs. The logs we brought out yesterday, will become siding for a wall on the back barn addition. The filming went well. I made and corrected a mistake while felling the first tree. It was good to catch it on film and show what not to do! It’s easy when everything goes right, but we all learn from our mistakes. I know that I do!

The filming took all of yesterday and much of today. We shot enough footage for several episodes for “Rural Heritage” on RFD-TV. The shows will begin airing in early 2018. I’ll do my best to keep you all posted. We had a good time. Miss Abby made her film debut and looked stunning in her black coat. She was joined by a cast of many, even Sgt. Pepper got introduced. It was a great couple of days.



What and Awesome Deal
October 1, 2017, 12:57 pm
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

drillshop

October 1, 2017

After a very frosty morning, I found myself in my old “stomping grounds”. I went to see a man about some old antique equipment. He was pretty sure he had want I needed for my forge shop. I am outfitting the shop with old refurbished equipment from the last century. I like that old stuff and giving it a new life for the purpose it was designed, pleases me.

I took a similar drill to trade. Mine worked, but a broken gear prevented it from being 100% accurate. This one that I traded for will work perfect once I give it some tender loving care. I negotiated with the treasure man for this awesome piece of our history. He looked over the old pieces of steel, but he looked deeper into my soul. He could see that I was genuine. He knew that I would care for the old drills for the rest of my life. He too likes the old stuff.

We talked a bit about this equipment and a couple of other pieces as well. Our discussion wandered over the space of time and events, as we talked of days gone by. It was a great visit. It was fun to see him again. The negotiation went well thankfully, because this man taught me how to negotiate. I didn’t have to match skills, he simply took care of me. I am grateful for my new treasure. They will make a good addition to my forge room. The visit…well, that was priceless.



Farm Wife
August 25, 2017, 10:59 am
Filed under: August 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

farmwife

August 25, 2017

My wife grew up in Mentor Ohio. She was a city girl who had moved out to this rural area where we met. She has learned all sorts of things from this country boy. Over the years she has milked a cow by hand, helped castrate animals, deworm and tend to medical animal emergencies. She gardens and processes our food. She is an almost expert parts runner and flashlight holder. (Where I’m looking, he says!)

Where she excels the most is nurturing all creatures, two-legged and four-legged. She closes and opens gates. She hand feeds, bottle feeds and forks hay. She has shoveled more than her share of manure and turned the water off to overflowing water troughs way too many times!

The remarkable part to me is that she does all of those things while keeping a clean house, washing a mountain of clothes, cooking, dish washing and nest building, making our house a home. She keeps her finger on the pulse of our family. She keeps tabs on Facebook, remembers birthdays and such and keeps all of us covered in her homemade quilts.

On Sunday August 27, we will celebrate twenty-five years of marriage. I am not an easy guy to love. I come with baggage, strange smells and a menagerie of farm animals. I can be abrupt to a fault and very bossy. She takes it in stride choosing to look past my faults and into parts of me that I can’t see.

So, today, I will use this public forum to say thank you for not only choosing me, but for staying with me after learning all my faults and shortcomings. Thank you for loving me and my whole brood. Thank you for helping me blend our crazy group even when it seems the wheels have fallen off. You are my hope, my love and my best friend. I ask that you continue to hold my hand as we walk through life. Wherever and however far our journey takes us, together forever no matter what…I will love you.