RicelandMeadows


What a Thanksgiving!
November 27, 2019, 8:48 pm
Filed under: November 2019 | Tags: , , ,

KHandJakes

November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving, a day, set aside, for giving thanks. What an awesome time to pause and reflect on the past year. My list is long and filled with memories, people and things. In the photo above, our youngest son drives our horses giving his children a ride. It is things like this that makes my heart soar.

We have family close and far. It is a wonderful thing to think about each of them doing what they love to do. We have a few family members that have gone to the eternal table above. We remember them fondly too.

November comes to a close with family and friends gathering to eat, meet and talk. It is my hope that all of them will give thanks and share a memory of what they are thankful for. I am most thankful for my family. We have quirks, ripples and rifts along with faults and shortcomings, but I love and am thankful for each and every one of them.

Let’s all find the good in every day. Celebrate a little all year long for the little things…like a beautiful sunset 🙂

sunset112019



Pumpkin Patch Plowing 2019
June 1, 2019, 6:40 pm
Filed under: June 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

pumppatchplow1

June 1, 2019

My younger sister, age 55, passed away yesterday. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer just two weeks ago. We are all in a state of disbelief. I choose to remember her just as the last time I saw her, healthy and full of life. I took a day to grieve. I decided that she would want me doing what makes me happy, so, I continue to work on plowing for our sweet corn and pumpkin patch.

The autumn that my mother passed away, she was fretting over me not getting our spelt crop in the ground. She was very happy the day that I told her that the spelt had indeed been planted. My sisters both remind just how important that job is to complete every fall, taking over where mom left off. It seemed only fitting, to honor my sister in sort of the same way. As the seasons on a farm come and go, so do the seasons of our lives.

pumppatchplow2

We till and plant. New life is born. We grow and nurture. The sun and rain refresh us as we grow. We reach harvest and bear fruit. Then we, like the crop are cut down. Our seed continues the process while we rest. The cycle of life is a cold hard fact, filled with warm moments that touch our soul. The cycle is an endless, wonderful, magical thing!

pumppatchplow3

As I plow, I zig and zag a little bit. In life we also waver, but eventually find our way. My sister and I share many memories. I will always remember her smile and laughter. I will think of her now, when I am plowing, for the rest of my life. My sister liked things neat and tidy. I try to plow straight, when the soil is just right. I know she would approve.

Gone too soon, but not forgotten. Rest in peace, in the arms of God, dear sister.



Nite Nite
December 3, 2018, 12:15 pm
Filed under: December 2018 | Tags: , , , ,

niteK&H

December 3, 2018

As a dad, there isn’t any feeling much better than tucking your children into bed at night. It is wonderful knowing that all is well. Everyone is safe and warm in their beds. As a farmer, the same holds true for animals in our care.

I like the barn at night. The animals chew their food and a calm fills the barn and barnyard. The cattle move to the overhang to lie down in a warm dry bed. The calves follow mom. All of them rest and chew their cud.

nitenitecows

I don’t know what they dream about, but I know they are comfortable and at peace.

The hogs too, nestle down in warm beds of straw. Their bellies are full. Their bodies are warm. No stress enters their lives or thoughts. They can slumber along with the other animals, snug, warm and safe.

nitenitepig

I choose to raise animals. I choose to work and be a good steward of the land. I chose this life almost at my birth…in fact, I think God chose this life for me. He knows that I am content, taking care of his animal charges.

Isn’t that what we want for our children? That they find their life’s work, that contentment follows them all the days of their lives and they never forget our love for them?

As a hush falls on the farm and nighttime makes us sleepy, I give thanks for the peace found here on this farm. With a glad heart, I walk to the house filled with gladness, knowing that my animals are tucked into bed. I am reminded of those times, not so very long ago, when sleepy voices whispered, nite, nite daddy…I love you.



Harvesting in Many Ways
September 9, 2018, 12:09 pm
Filed under: September 2018 | Tags: , , ,

caitlynpep

September 9, 2018

We are started with the fall harvest. Our first order of business was to make and preserve memories as most of our family joined us for a reunion. Our granddaughter Caitlin, made friends with Pepper in the photo above. City relatives enjoyed the farm and its animals, as much as we enjoyed seeing them all again. A water balloon fight, pony rides and a walk in the woods were highlights of the day.

The pantry is filling up as the garden is producing in high gear. It looks like we will soon be pulling up the plants and preparing for a fall cover crop, putting the garden to bed for winter. I’ll be glad to click that off the list. The field corn for cows is ripening fast and will take up my attention soon. The first order of business however,  is to prepare and plant the speltz grain for our horses.

sweetcornshock

Sweet corn shocks, cut and tied for decoration. Our son Josh and his family grew pumpkins, squash, gourds and such for a fall roadside stand. They are getting all set up and open for business. Our granddaughter Rachel is selling bouquets of wild and cut flowers. She too is harvesting and gleaning not only plants, but memories as well.

I am inside today as rain falls steadily, the remnants of hurricane Gordon. The rest is good on this sleepy Sunday, as we all prepare to hit high gear very soon!



Creatures From The Black Lagoon
June 25, 2018, 7:45 am
Filed under: June 2018 | Tags: , , , , ,

mudface

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!

seahair

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!



The Lives We Touch
June 21, 2018, 1:48 pm
Filed under: June 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

kinfarm

June 21, 2018

My granddaughter was playing farm with Grammy, while her daddy, older brother and I sorted sheep. She set up a corral and placed the animals as she wished. The next thing she did, was give each one a bale of hay to eat. I guess following us around the barnyard feeding chickens corn and such, makes her understand animal husbandry.

Once the sheep had been sorted, my grandson joined his sister in the farm play. He built a feedlot. If you look to the lower right-hand of the photo, you will see a block sitting on top of the others. That block is the gate. Each animal had to walk through the gate. Again, understanding the movement of farm animals is not an easy task, yet my not quite 4 year-old grandson , “get’s it”.

lilfeedlot

I hadn’t really thought about it much, just how often other’s learn from us. I was helped by my other son’s children load chickens into the trailer for a trip to freezer camp. They were gentle. They were quick and they understood perfectly where the chickens were headed. They had raised the flock from chicks. The connection of farm to table is firmly embedded in their daily lives. I am very proud of them.

I try to goof off a little too. In the photo below, three generations of Rice’s catch polywogs in the water trough! I can remember my sons at four years old doing the same thing. Life is short. The days are long…but the years are short.

polywogs

I am blessed to share my life and my stories with my family and folks all over the world. Thanks in part to TV, the Internet, magazines and books…but nothing is better than face to face interaction. I hope to always be positive and kind, because the lives we touch are precious! The time we share is priceless and the memories we make last forever.



Spring Chores
May 8, 2018, 2:04 pm
Filed under: May 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

hammeringJohn

May 8, 2018

Our spring continued to be evasive. Long hours and too many days at my off farm job has caused delays in getting into the fields. It’s no big deal. The soil is just starting to warm and dry enough to work it anyway. I am spending time with family, especially the little ones.

My grandson continues to like blacksmithing. He is coming along very well. He started banging and bending horseshoe nails. He has now moved up to steel stock. He likes the coal forge and turning the blower crank, but hammering hot iron is his favorite!

Two of our grandchildren live here on the farm with us. They live next door, but seek out Pa-pa and Grammy often. They like feeding the chickens ear corn. They would shell corn until the chickens burst, but understand why we don’t.

sissychick

So spring is here…finally. The horses and I will soon be in the fields. The animals are grazing spring pastures, but are still munching a little hay. The leaves on the trees are starting to pop. Most of the shedding winter coats is a memory and garden planting looms on the horizon. I can’t say that I have wasted one minute…but it is sure time for Spring Chores.