Cold Snap Warm Bed
January 4, 2018, 11:56 am
Filed under: January 2018 | Tags: , ,


January 4, 2018

We are in the midst of a cold batch of weather. The weatherman said that we haven’t had two weeks of consecutive cold days such as these, at this time of year, since the 1880’s. All that I know is that it has been cold, both day and night!

The animals are snug in their barns and sheds. They still get to romp and play outside every day, but most are ready to come in at suppertime. The best way to make four legged critters comfortable is to keep them dry and well fed. The cold bothers them much less that way. Their digestive tracks working on extra hay or food, generates heat. I think it also helps with boredom, eating that is. I know I munch more when its cold!

We have been spoiled by several warm winters in a row. That makes this one tougher on us. I like winter. I think it kills the bugs and resets Mother Nature’s clock. I like mittens and it feels good to sleep under a pile of quilts! So hang on folks it’ll be spring in about 70 days….shortly after that, folks will be complaining about the heat!

So, bundle up and enjoy the winter spectacle. Play in the snow, take a walk, sled ride with the kids….but wait a day or two until the temps get above 0 degrees F. In the meantime, drink hot beverages, watch the snow pile up from inside. If you have to go out, dress warm, be safe and look for the good. It’s out there!

Homemade, Handcrafted, Shop Made
May 24, 2017, 9:20 pm
Filed under: May 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , ,


May 24, 2017

Yesterday, I spread my fertilizer on the corn ground with my rig pictured above. The spreader is affixed to the axle out of an old Jeep and some small I-beam. My uncle did all the welding. My late friend in Pennsylvania figured the gear ratio. He took the distance in one revolution of the tires and told me what size gear was needed to weld on the shaft coming out of the axle rear end “pumpkin”.

My uncle welded the frame and centered the gear on the rear end shaft. A stub shaft made from pillow block bearings and fitted with stub ends from an old PTO shaft, completed the build. The spreader is just a category one, three point hitch model that I already had. Once the whole rig had been assembled, I tried it out. The horses walk about four miles per hour. My old friend Jonathan had it figured so the speed of the walking horses, turned the power take off at 540 rpm…exactly what the old spreader needed to work at its optimum.

My uncle’s welding days are behind him. My old friend has designed his last piece of homemade equipment. I think of the two of them every time I use this spreader. It gets used often during the growing season. We even spread grass seed on a football field for a community project, to help make a place for some young football players. Because of my uncle and my friend, I was able to “pay it forward” using inexpensive shop built equipment.

Many times in my life I have benefited from someone’s hand made or hand crafted object. The very first leather harnesses that I owned were a gift from my two grandfathers. They each contributed parts to get me a set that would work on two small ponies that I owned. One day, I should compile a list of all the folks who have shown me the greatest love by giving of themselves.

I have slept under homemade quilts all of my life. I still have the last one that my mother and great grandmother made for me. It is well worn and faded, but still held together by the love that made it. My wife quilts for me, our family and others. She works steady and almost tirelessly creating designs in cloth. The love she puts into them will be seen for decades.

I try to always meet people on the level and treat them square. I try to lead with a smile and follow with a good deed. One of the gifts I have, is that of managing the written word. I hope that I can impart a series of words that will touch a heart and stir a fond memory. I hope that long after I am gone, I will still be able to make folks remember a loved one, a favorite event or an old object made by hand with help from the heart.

My Wife is a Scraper!
March 29, 2015, 10:34 am
Filed under: March 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,
Some of Connie's handiwork

Some of Connie’s handiwork

March 29, 2015

My wife is a little sweet thing. It’s hard to believe that she likes to scrap. Okay, she’s not a fighter. She’s a quilter! She made the quilt in the picture all from scraps that she had saved from other quilts she has made. I can say, being frugal sure paid off! It is a work of art.

This winter was so long and cold with ice everywhere, my wife spent much of it in the house. While some would read or work on puzzles in between all the domestic chores like cooking and laundry, Connie makes quilts. I am the benefactor of many of her creations. I understand where the material and thread comes from, what still amazes me is how much love she sews in!

She makes quilts for daughters and sons, grandchildren of all ages and for us to enjoy. She puts thought into every one that she makes. She has the person who will receive the quilt in mind while she sews. She approaches this job with great joy. She loves this craft and it pleases her to make the quilts. Her talent is obvious. She works the cloth with skilled hands and a grateful heart.

Connie also sends quilts to wounded veterans, premature babies and cancer recovery patients. Her heart is big enough that it even includes strangers of all ages. “There are no strangers, just friends we haven’t met”, is a saying that she holds dear. I am very proud of her accomplishments, but more importantly, I am thankful for her love for me and all of our family!  ………… And that’s no cover-up!


Warm Quilts and Cold Nights
February 12, 2015, 12:13 am
Filed under: February 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
Our Barn Quilt

Our Barn Quilt

February 11, 2015

I have been lucky enough to have slept under homemade quilts my entire life. My grandmas, my mom and now my wife has made them for me. The sleep, found under a pile of quilts on a cold night, is like no other. They are warm for sure, but I think it’s the love quilted into them that makes you feel safe and loved. When I am wrapped up in them, I feel like I am being hugged. That is a very content way to sleep.

My farm animals lay down in beds of old hay or straw. They sometimes lay on a deep bed of sawdust or woodchips, but I do my best to keep them warm and dry. I can’t say that I love them, but I do take very good care of them. I understand just how important a good night of sleep is for man and beast. It keeps us happy, well rested and ready for whatever the world throws at us.

The temperature will dip very low this weekend. The wind will whip and the cold will bite at us all. My animals will lay contented, chewing their cud. A dry bed and full bellies will allow them to shrug off the cold. I will sleep much like them. My belly will be full, my body will be warm, because someone loves me  enough to take very good care of me. I don’t know any way to say thank you for such wonderful things, so I say I love you….and I mean it!