RicelandMeadows


The Things We Do For Love
April 5, 2018, 10:23 am
Filed under: April 2018 | Tags: , , ,

easter2018

April 5, 2018

I do not care how tough or cool you are….when an almost 2 year-old tells you to put on Easter bunny ears…you do it!

As I write this post, I am reminded of how love makes the world go around. Of course there is love of family and friends, that goes without saying. I also think jobs like birthing baby animals, mucking stalls and making maple syrup are all labors of love. There is not a lot of profit in any of those jobs, but there is joy in all of them…at least for me!

When I drain a tractor rut in such a manner where the water runs across the grass instead of washing mud quickly into a stream, it pleases me. When I pull fallen tree limbs out of a small stream or cut a big undesirable tree, releasing saplings of hard maple or oak to thrive in the newly opened spot, I am also pleased. I know that I am doing things that will in time offer big rewards.

When I play with a small child or teach them something new, I can also see the promise in the future. We took two of our grandchildren to a movie last week. Our eight year-old grandson held the door for us and some other people as well. Both of them said please and thank you. I was very proud, not only of them, but of their parents as well.

All of us need guidance and love. When it is my turn to provide these things, I do my very best. Reaping the seeds of what you have sown can be a wonderful thing. I feared that I worked too much when our kids were little. Seeing the generations from the children we raised, makes my heart soar. Apparently, I spent enough time to show the way, offer advice and live by example. None of the time was wasted.

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to blend a big family. I didn’t always do things right, but I never quit trying. My wife and I are surrounded with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They are our labor of love. They are worth every minute that we spend with them! This farm anchors us all. I hope to continue to show, teach and share with all of them…how life truly depends upon six inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains….. All that love stuff is the fun parts!



Fire in the Forge
January 20, 2018, 9:00 pm
Filed under: January 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

fireinforge

January 20, 2018

The weather warmed up today. My uncle and I spent a few hours hammering around in the forge room. We had a fun few hours, laughed a lot and made a few memories. He brought me a bucket of treasure. It was filled with broken saw blades, chunks of steel cutoffs, a lawnmower blade even some lengths of stainless steel rod. I don’t have any idea what they may become, I only know it will be fun to sort it all out.

My uncle is my mother’s older brother. He has always been there for me. He is a busy guy with his own family to look after, but always found time to help me, encourage me and basically watch over me. His younger brother also keeps a close eye on me. I can never thank them enough for their gifts to me…the best gift of all…their time!

So, as we spent time today, it meant a lot to me. We talked about all sorts of stuff, including how much my mother would have enjoyed the hooks we were making. I’m sure she got a kick out of us being together…even today. I know that I sure did.

As I get better at this forging and fabricating stuff, I can see one day I may be able to make some money doing this. I feel as though an ancient Scotchman holds my fist, as I strike with the hammer. I am sure that in my bloodline from the Highlands of Scotland, a blacksmith reigns. This skill comes very easily to me. I can see the finished product in the white hot metal as it comes out of the forge. I am intrigued. I am amazed and I am blessed.



Forging into the New Year
December 31, 2017, 1:12 pm
Filed under: December 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

forgesetup

December 31, 2017

What a year 2017 has been for all of us here at the farm and around the country as well. I, of course, have been outfitted with two new knees. The farm has three new building additions. The feedlot was expanded. The female animal numbers have been increased for future breeding prospects with the sheep and cattle…and Abby the Percheron too I guess. The forge shop is all set up for useful future projects and a little fun too. These things make me happy, but one of the most wonderful things that happened in 2017, was having all of our family present at one time, to break bread and make memories! It was awesome and will be repeated at least annually from now on.

We got the forge shop all set up last week. I warmed the chimney and built the first fire in the forge. My sessions are very short, but positive none-the-less. Yesterday, I played around and made a tiny cowboy hat paperweight.

cowboyhat1

It was fun to make this little trinket. I have much to learn, but I had a good time. I even felt a little productive!

2018, will be here in a few hours. I wish for all of my readers a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! I pray that you can fill it with family and friends. The older that I get, the more I realize that family and friends are what truly matters in life…everything else is fluff. Sure, we need jobs and we have to make a living…but don’t get so caught up in making a living that we forget to make a life!            Happy New Year Everyone!



And So It Continues…
December 23, 2017, 10:35 am
Filed under: December 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

hammeringjohnny

December 23, 2017

As a small farmer, especially one who uses draft horses for much of our farm’s power requirements, it is thrilling when a son, grandson or any family member asks me how to do something. I get asked questions about gardening, animal husbandry, woodlands, and many things relating to the vocation that I love. When my grandson John asked me about forging, I was pleased.

I can’t really do too much yet due to my recent knee replacements, but I managed to sit in the shop and guide John as he made some hooks out of horseshoe nails. I got him a hammer better sized for him. Pliers took the place of a set of tongs. Our heat source was a propane torch. That small torch supplied ample heat to make the thin nails red hot, much to the delight of my grandson.

In no time at all he had mastered the skill of hitting a target with the hammer multiple times in the same spot. He is a fan of the television show, “Forged In Fire”. He was sure hammering steel was an easy task, he soon learned differently. As his skills improved, he moved on to using a pair of needle nosed pliers to scroll the hot metal into hooks. After just a couple lessons from me, he had it. He did a great job for a seven year old boy who had never set foot in a shop.

I am sure that we have discovered a “thing” to do. Sure we will talk about metal and projects, but we will also talk about how to treat a woman, the value of giving and keeping your word, the power in an honest man’s eye and that thanks to God above, men as well as steel, get second chances. I hope to guide him as he becomes a man.

I am so blessed to have been able to bond with many, in special relationships. I have taught skills, exposed some to unknown adventures that became life passions and kept a few from doing bad things. I am grateful for these connections. I look forward to passing on my skills, my experiences, my advice and my lifestyle, especially to lose I love and who love me back. The fact that I get to share with folks outside of the family is a wonderful thing as well.

I am elated when I get a note from a friend who has just butchered his first farm raised pig or ate a meal from their garden. I like it when someone lets me know how much they appreciate me helping them make a plan for their woodlot or lay out a farming plan. I gathered my knowledge over time and from folks who could stand the questions from a little boy, and trialing those things in my own life. It is my life’s mission to share these things as often as I can…..and so it continues!



Bird’s Eye View
December 22, 2017, 12:03 pm
Filed under: December 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Dronefarmblds

December 22, 2017

Last October during a family harvest party, our grandson Jonathan brought his drone and took pictures of the farm. As I look at the pictures, I am very pleased. The harvest is complete. The compost has been spread on the fields where needed. The speltz crop is up and growing well. The pastures have all been clipped and stand ready for winter.

I am very thankful to family and friends who helped to get the farm ready for winter. My knee replacements are healing and doing well. It helps me mentally to know that things are well, jobs are complete and the promise of spring can be seen all over the farm.

The back of the farm too shows the work that has been done and the beauty that is this farm. A pile of lumber in the photo, is now a barn addition that houses the last of the equipment that once had to sit outside all winter long. Again, friends and family pitched in to make this all happen.

drone 2

As we close in on Christmas and the end of the year, I am very happy to share the gift of this farm with everyone. We are blessed, I, most certainly am! I pray that this farm and the example I set here, helps not only the people closest to me, but reaches out to others too. These photos are not meant to brag, but rather to say thank you to many and to show that anything is possible….Dream, Believe, Achieve!



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!