Moving Men
July 4, 2016, 3:33 pm
Filed under: July 2016 | Tags: , , , ,


July 4, 2016

Our grandson is spending most of the summer with us. He is from Montana. He is fifteen years old. He is learning all sorts of things like animal husbandry, field and forestry management and moving round bales with the skidsteer. He moves bales, while I move a boy closer to manhood.

He will be good for me. I explain things as we do them. I forgot how many questions a young man can ask, but so far I have been able to keep up. We are accomplishing things in short order. I am looking forward to teaching him more things. We will get acquainted with the small square baler next week. He thinks it will be great fun because of some “farm app” on his phone. I will not push too hard, but let’s just say the work is much different than a game on a phone.

After that the woodshed will get filled. We will have a lot of fun with that, because we make a game of it and invite lots of friends to help. Sure we work, but we do have a frolic while doing it. The summer will fly by, much too fast, but we will have a great time. I have had the good fortune to make a positive difference in quite a few young men. I am proud of all of them!

A Tale of Two Kitties
Milo and Otis

Milo and Otis

July 7, 2015

My granddaughter got to pick out two kittens from our recent litters. I suggested in jest that she should have a kitty and to my amazement, her dad thought so too. These kittens are cute, like all kittens, but they are borderline wildcats. I pick them up from time to time when they are small, but as they grow and crawl out of the box, I pet them much less. Kittens need little boys and girls to tame them, keep them calm and love them.

These two baby “tigers” were hiding in my workshop. It took three adults and two children a half an hour to catch and contain the little darlings. The kittens were delighted. I could tell from their squalling and hissing that there was nothing they’d rather do, than to be held in the arms of a child. The children paid no attention to the jaw snapping sweeties, but they did wrap the one with the biggest claws in a baby doll blanket for a while 😮

In no time at all, much to my surprise, the kittens were purring and enjoying being held. “We must name them.”, my granddaughter said. So all of us started to come up with names for the two male kittens. I used traditional oxen names like Bright and Lion, Star and Tiger, Cuff and Link, Boone and Crocket, but my granddaughter was not having it. Finally I said, “What about Milo and Otis?” She loved the idea.

After a few minutes, she asked me, “How will I tell them apart?” I looked them over and in my best grandfatherly advice I told her, “Milo has an “M” on his head….and if you lift the tail on the other one…there is an “O” for Otis!”  She was not amused…..

Mom and Dad
November 10, 2014, 9:40 am
Filed under: November 2014 | Tags: , , , ,
Hello little one!

Hello little one!

November 10, 2014

Yesterday morning, we had a new calf born. He is a big little guy. He is doing well and had no trouble finding the dinner plate. Yesterday afternoon, I went to check on him. What I found was something I had not seen before. There in the meadow, in a clump of grasses, the little boy was resting. His mom and dad were licking his head and body. Sure, I’ve often seen moms attending to their babies, but to see our big old bull tenderly licking his son, was awesome!

I don’t know why I found it so amazing. I love my children and worry about their safety. I check in with them often and follow their progress on their life journey. Some, I watch from afar, but I do watch and worry and celebrate every little thing. Last night, I held my youngest grandson for a while. He grinned and cooed and delighted me to my core. So, I guess as I think about it…big old bulls can be tender to their offspring 😮

As I think about it, all of the men in my life are like my bull. My dad, grandpas, uncles and my great grandpa too, watched after and looked out for me. They still do. I don’t remember them licking my head, but there was no doubt how they felt about me. I will go out on a limb here and say that no matter what separates a man and his son, love conquers all.

A parent’s love is like no other. It is neat to see your children become parents…then they start to understand many , many things. We even become wiser….. well… at least we become older 😮

Woodland Stewardship
June 14, 2014, 6:29 am
Filed under: June 2014 | Tags: , , , ,

Ruts repaired, erosion minimized

Ruts repaired, erosion minimized

June 14, 2014

A few days ago, I posted a picture of some terrible ruts I made getting our maple sap this year. Well, those ruts are now history! I fretted for months on how to make them all go away. Then I met a man with a small bulldozer who has many hours in the seat. He fixed all those bad places in less than half a day and the best part… it cost less than 300 dollars!

He did an awesome job. He was very careful around the trees. He shaped the roads in places, creating small ditches for the water to drain. I still have some work to do, but what a difference already. I feel much better about my woodland stewardship efforts now. 😮

I can see that maintaining my roads will always take some effort. We are on them during the spring thaw and wet season. Care must be used to protect the streams and woodland, using the horses to draw the sled, has the lowest impact. I have roads we have used for over twenty years with the horses, that resemble hiking paths…the tractor created a mess in just two very short seasons…never again!

Never again will I tear things up like that. I vow to use my horses and horses only. When I am too old to drive them, I will still insist that its horses or nothing…lucky for me I have grandsons 😮 Now, to just get them to think like me… of course my ideas come from my grandpa’s, so there is hope!

Making maple syrup will be a part of this farming operation for as long as I can run it. Using horses will always be part of it too. These two things go together like peaches and cream …they are simply made for each other.

Much Better!

Much Better!