New Filly !
April 7, 2017, 9:16 pm
Filed under: April 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,


April 7, 2017

On April fourth, we welcomed our newest granddaughter. She is a spirited filly, of good stock and well bred. Her lineage goes back all the way to Scotland, Wales and Ireland on the grandsire’s side. On the dam’s side she traces back to England and eastern Europe. She is a beauty and a joy to hold!

We have many farm babies at the moment. Spring on a farm is a wonderful thing. New babies, any time of year, in any household are a blessing. I tell you true, we sure are counting ours! Farm work has paused. The weather makes us all wait. This little one came as we stood waiting on the rain. She chose to come when there was no field work to be done…no matter, we wouldn’t have missed her arrival for anything!

February A Time Of Waiting
February 1, 2017, 10:58 pm
Filed under: February 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,


February 1, 2017

Today marks the first day of February 2017. Early February for me, is a time of waiting. Its time to see if the groundhog sees his shadow. Its almost maple syrup time so we work and wait. There isn’t much work for horses, so we work at easy jobs. I don’t mind waiting for the spring work to start, but I confess, waiting for syrup season is like waiting for Christmas.

It was a cold day in February when I got the sad news that my grandparents had been killed in an accident. It was too much for my ten year old brain to comprehend. I stood in our kitchen and started to shake, then in the arms of my mother, I cried until there were no more tears. My whole world was forever changed.

After the funeral when we went into grandpa and grandma’s house, along the wall of the basement were the neat rows of maple sap buckets. My grandpa was waiting for the season to start, by washing the buckets. I stood and looked at the pails along the wall and I realized that maple season, for me, would always be a dear memory.

Even as I write these few lines, I have a catch in my throat. It is wonderful to have someone love you so much that in the short space of my ten years, I would think of them always. I especially feel bittersweet at this time of year as I get the sugarhouse and all the equipment ready for maple syrup season. Perhaps this is why I love this season so much?

The horses and I will work and wait. We will get things ready, including ourselves, for the work ahead. I am sure that I will pause every now and then, so my mind can wander through my memory to a snowy woods almost fifty years ago. These are favorite memories of mine. Where steam, laughter and the smell of horses can be found, I will be there too…even many years after I am gone.

Off to the Woodshed
November 10, 2015, 8:05 pm
Filed under: November 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
Headed for the woodpile

Headed for the woodpile

November 10, 2015

What a rainy day today was. It drizzled all day, forcing me to work inside. I got a whole bunch of little things done. I got my oil changed in the log splitter and I fixed a piece on Duke’s harness. We also fabricated a way to get my smokehouse up to a higher temperature. (I will share tomorrow) These things took me until afternoon, so my garage still needs order restored to it, but I will keep it on the list.

Tomorrow I will be off to the wood pile. I need some horse time and wood getting is great work for all of us. My log cart and wagon are ready to go. I have logs ready to bring out of the woods. Dead trees, mostly ash make up the majority of the wood. I will be glad to have them hauled out and put in the pile. Further cutting and splitting is easy once the wood is in a central location.

I am reminded of my grandpa Rice every time I work on firewood. Some of my favorite memories revolve around him, his horses and bringing in firewood. Sometimes we helped with “sugarwood” for the sugarhouse, but usually it was wood used to heat the house. I remember him sawing and splitting big chunks. He would load the chunks onto the wooden sled and head for the house. He had a big pile where the wood was unloaded. I don’t remember him stacking it anywhere except by the old wood furnace, but I do remember how warm the house was from the wood heat and the love of grandparents.

Grampa Rice
November 30, 2013, 11:19 pm
Filed under: November 2013 | Tags: ,
Making Memories

Making Memories

November 30, 2013

   Today, we celebrated Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful time. After dinner I hitched the horses and took everyone for a sled ride. It was crisp and cool, but everyone had a very warm heart 😮

   I am reminded of Thanksgivings long ago, when I was a boy. I couldn’t wait to go to my gramma and grampa’s house. It was a wonderful place with animals, great food, big draft horses and my grandparents lived there! Oh how I loved that place.

   It seemed every year, back then, it was cold and snowy. The wood fire heated the house while gramma’s great cooking filled our bellies. Once the meal was finished, grampa would have to go do chores. I begged to go along. Every once in a while, I was allowed to go, it was awesome!

   I have many great memories of my grampa Rice. Almost every one of those memories involve horses or some other farm animal and of course, making maple syrup. I do miss him so very much.

   Today, it dawned on me, that I am grampa Rice. I saw magic in the eyes of my grandchildren today. It was heart-warming as I saw memories dance in the eyes of the little ones. Our great grand children were here today too, out newest, a baby girl, rode in the sled while sucking a bottle. I doubt that she will remember today, but I vow to be her grampa Rice as long as I live … and even long after, in her memory.

   We hitched three horses just for fun. The bells echoed across the farm as the harness bells chimed. The snow made everything clean and the sun blessed our day, shining brightly, in the afternoon sky. The little boys held the ends of the reins and had a big time.

   The youngsters were not the only ones with magic in their eyes for I too had a certain shine in mine. I spoke to the horses and guided them around our farm and I could feel my grampa, my great grampa and my dad riding along with us. We made magic and we made memories and I am real sure that my grampa Rice would be proud!