RicelandMeadows


A Day for Me
October 16, 2018, 11:50 am
Filed under: October 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

knifeblankheat

October 7, 2018

I think it is very good for us as humans, to take some time out to do what pleases us. We need to take care of responsibilities first of course, but some time to relax is a necessity. I am guilty of working too much in the past. Life is short. There is no way to go back and spend time with people, see an event or watch a sunset from a comfortable chair. Those days are behind me and I have regrets for sure. I will try harder to spend more time on the things that really matter…and one of those things is just some time for me.

It is no secret that I have found a great hobby with forging. I like to heat the steel and make it move in my hands. I like to create. I like the solitude and alone time. I read somewhere, that men and steel get second chances. Its true. The metal can change, reshape, bend and harden. Men are the same way…it just takes guidance from a master to make it happen. Choose your master well…don’t choose money, work or pleasing others. Stay true to self and go forward following your heart.

I have been making blades from old files and rasps. The hardened steel has to go through fire before it can be made into a knife. They are very hard as tools. The fire restores flexible steel, reducing the hardened tools to malleable steel once again. They make fine blades with hardness restored in their cutting edges, while leaving the rest of the knife flexible enough to bend when put to a test.

Men too, sometimes need to go through a “fire”, for them to change. I have been through a few low points in my life testing my mettle. I did indeed change a few things. In the end I am stronger than before, but I can bend.

knifeblank

Slowly the knife blade takes shape. In men, maybe it is the loss of a job or failure in some way, that tests them. The birth of a baby or the loss of a loved one, will shape your life differently. It is not the reshaping that matters, it is the way you react to it. Be positive. Find the good in yourself and others. Change if needed, but at a minimum, learn from the new experience.

I stand at my forge and anvil. I hammer and twist steel into shapes. I make mistakes, but I turn out good stuff too. The joy comes not from the pieces of steel I bend and hammer, but from finding a skill that I didn’t even know I possessed! I wouldn’t allow myself to waste time on idle things…what a mistake!

So, the point of this post is to help my readers understand, the importance of rest and relaxation. We as humans need the down time to recharge and reset. The Bible tells us that on the seventh day, God rested. He was God. He didn’t need to rest…He did it because He knew that “we” needed it! This took me too long to understand, but now…I get it.

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Settled In
January 11, 2017, 11:21 pm
Filed under: January 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

nitenitepig

January 11, 2017

Tonight, after chores, I walked through the barns just to look at the animals. Stalls are cleaned during evening chores. I add fresh straw when needed. Usually I am on the run, feeding, cleaning, bedding and headed off to the next job…sometimes the one that pays most of the bills. Tonight, however, I took time to pause just to reflect on my simple farm life. I do love it so very much.

These pigs are almost ready to leave for freezer camp. They, of course, don’t know. They are just fixing their bed like every night. They had a good day eating, playing on the tire swing and rooting around. Now, it’s time for bed. They will continue to enjoy a stress free life. They are warm, fed and comfortable. I make sure of that, it’s my job, no…it’s my passion.

The results of my labors can be seen in my fields, my livestock and my smile. I appreciate this farm life. I thank God that he has let me find my place in the universe. I get to enjoy every single day surrounded by my animal charges and embraced with the love only a family can provide. So, talk about being settled in … I sure am!



Gone Fishin
August 10, 2016, 5:14 pm
Filed under: August 2016 | Tags: , , , ,

gonefishin

August 10, 2016

Our summer so far, with its lack of rain, has made it quite easy for me to be caught up with my work. Once we get some more moisture, the work will once again be plentiful, but in the meantime, I am finding a little time to goof off. The picture above was taken after the woodshed filling had been completed. The boys all went fishing, while several of us older guys sat in the shade and enjoyed a nice cool breeze.

I don’t sit very well. A long time ago, a man called me lazy. It stung me to the core. I vowed that I would not be thought of as lazy ever again. I carried hatred for that man for a very long time. Once in a while as I enjoy a cool drink in a shady spot, I call the man a son-of-a-bitch. He is long dead and my displeasure should have died with him. I even feel a little guilty for that mean streak that comes to light now and then. So, in the last year or two, I simply toast the man. I figure raising a glass in his honor, while I sit on my ass, would insult him more than anything. Somehow it pleases me.

I don’t fish because I put it in the lazy category as a boy. I don’t golf, or play any sport. I can only hunt when the work is all done. I do watch a little television after dark once the chores and the day is done. Perhaps that old man still has the upper hand? I don’t think so, but I am a pretty busy guy……One thing for sure… I am not lazy!

As we older guys sat in the cool shade visiting. My mind drifted to the fishing boys. They laughed and played. They even caught some fish, but I think it was me who had the best time of all. The work had been completed and though the boys caught some fish…. I caught up on some rest and a nice cool breeze….so mark me down as “Gone Fishin” 🙂



I think my sheep got “Leied”
March 4, 2016, 7:09 pm
Filed under: March 2016 | Tags: , , , ,

sheep necklace

March 4, 2016

I came out to do chores last night, and there stood one of my ewes with a hay necklace around her neck! I said, “Lamby Pie, is that ewe? Have you been to Hawaii? Where did you get the necklace?” She just stared at me like I was the crazy one. It is the little things that make me chuckle. This crazy sheep made me laugh out loud.

My ewes are near the barn. They share the feedlot at night. They eat their grain and hay, then rest on a straw pile over night. The are content and tame. They are all expecting lambs in about thirty more days. I was hoping that my little rouge ewe hadn’t been up partying all night….Even if she is eating for two or three!

Today, I made repairs to a piece of horse drawn equipment. I ran a few errands and shared a few cups of coffee with friends. I sat next to a wood stove and soaked up some warmth and conversation. I accomplished the task at hand, rested my mind and refreshed my soul. I was a great day…even if I didn’t get a necklace!



Enjoying a Break
March 3, 2016, 6:50 pm
Filed under: March 2016 | Tags: , , , ,
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Sugar Snow

March 3, 2016

After a little snow and cold over night, the sap has stopped running and we are enjoying a break. There is plenty of farm stuff to do, but the hustle, hurry and rush has settled down if only for a day or two. I like these days for planning. I do get a little extra stuff done, but sipping a hot beverage is a good thing to do on a day such as this.

I find a restful day clears my head. It allows me to coast a little and get inspired to write. My book continues to sell quite well. I am getting lots of nice compliments. I am pleased that so many folks are enjoying and reflecting upon their own memories, as they read about mine. Life is short. Knowing that I have touched a few people along my journey so far is humbling. I give the glory to God.

The horses and I will be hauling wood and manure in the coming days in between sap gathering. All of us need the work so as to be tuned up for spring. The soil preparation will begin soon. We will be plowing before I know it. The time changes soon and we will enjoy a later sunset. I guess it’s only fitting to take a break now… while we can.



What’s a Guy To Do?
January 22, 2016, 3:28 pm
Filed under: January 2016, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

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January 22, 2016

It’s cold and snowy outside. I have my chores done. I have been a bit cooped up these last few days. Yes, there is plenty to do, but I am enjoying being forced inside a little bit. I caught up on some reading. I got ahead on a few writing projects. I am keeping up with our family’s butchering projects and I am catching up on some rest.

I am about to start a shelf building project in the sugarhouse. I need them for a little more organization, since changing out the old storage tanks. The new tank has a spot of its own, but I lost a little bit of room for supplies. The new shelves should help with that problem. Cardboard boxes filled with new syrup containers take up a lot of room. I also like them in a clean, steam free, place. So, I hope my idea works out as well as I think it will.

I am gathering a list of supplies for the upcoming maple season. I need to run errands, but want to be sure that I remember everything. Filters, pre-filters, different sized containers, new spiles, sap bags and extra lids are items to start the list. A little ambition would help too, but right now I am enjoying the rest that comes with a big snow… What’s a guy to do? 🙂

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Is That Ewe?
July 26, 2015, 7:16 am
Filed under: July 2015 | Tags: , ,
4-legged lawn mower

4-legged lawn mower

July 26, 2015

What a couple of weeks this has been! I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror yesterday and thought to myself, “Who the heck is that?” My eyes are red with dark circles around them. Someone stole much of my hair and what is left is almost all gray. My face and arms are sunburned except where my sleeves and hat sat. I even thought I looked a little stooped over. The only ray of sunshine was the glimmer in my eye from satisfaction.

The first cutting hay has all been made. The grain has been harvested and yesterday, I baled all of the straw and got it put away. We made repairs to our combine, poured a cement pad and erected a feed bin after making a trip to Indiana. There were chores that were done, gardens were weeded, livestock moved and grease fittings pumped at  regular intervals. The push is over and we are all caught up……now REST…until the next jobs pop up  😮