Filed under: October 2014 | Tags: Autumn leaves, draft horses, pigs on pasture, soup time, Spelt
October 1, 2014
Wow, it is October already! After a very long month that was September 2014, I am about to enjoy some needed time off from work. The extra shifts are winding down and I am very ready. I missed almost all of those wonderful dry, late September days we just had. Sadly, my speltz are not planted yet, but much of the prep work is done. Looks like a rainy period coming, so I hope to get the seeds in the ground in the next day or so.
Even with lots of extra shifts under my belt, I am pretty much caught up, but without deep drive, I could easily “Fall” behind as autumn closes in. The corn is ripening and the sow herd is enjoying falling nuts and crabapples, along with their grain. I think they enjoy the woodland pasture and fresh air as much as the feed :o
The leaves on the trees are starting to turn and the chill is in the air. Apple cider and hot tea are my favorite drinks this time of year. Very soon it will be flannel shirt and soup time, talk about the comforts of home…that is it for me! Autumn horse sales are starting and I am resisting…I do not need more horses. (repeat several times a day!)
Folks all around are cutting corn and making silage as the harvest is underway. I will be picking my corn, so I will wait awhile for it to dry down more. Work is everywhere that I look, but so is the beauty of autumn. I vow to stay busy, but take some time to enjoy life as I go and nothing stirs me like fall foliage…unless it is the beauty of SNOW …and that will be here soon too!
Filed under: September 2014 | Tags: apple pie filling, pushing myself, Small Farming, Spelt, speltz
September 23, 2014
Well, after several days of missing some sleep and battling a sore back, I have eight acres plowed for planting speltz. I worked at it until it was completed. My son Jake gave me a few hours of his time too. The week ahead looks good for working ground, so hopefully I will have it ready to plant by the weekend. A twelve hour schedule doesn’t allow for too much other stuff, unless you miss a meal or sleep. Those who know me know that I choose to miss sleep. :o
The dirt was too wet to work today, so I worked from my list. I ran a few errands, visited a sick uncle and helped my wife with the canning of apple pie filling. I do the heavy work. She does the tedious part. I still think I have the better part of that job!
Yesterday, we put doors on my machinery shed. I have waited a long time for those doors. I bought the material, then traded labor with a friend who built the doors. My shed is now much more usable, weather tight and even looks good!
Chores are almost all done and several items got checked off my list. It pays to dig deep now and then. I hope I can continue to find that push, as I work like a “beaver” to get those speltz in the ground!
Filed under: September 2014 | Tags: breast feeding, Draft horse, new-born, Promise, splendor, sunbeams, sunlight
September 22, 2014
When I was a boy, I read in a copy of Reader’s Digest, a story about a man who related a story of his childhood. He had heard our National Anthem and in his mind the words “dawn’s early light” were melded into the words “daunserly light”. That kind of light, he reasoned was for extra special things like the sun on a new-born baby, or the afternoon hue that engulfs a new bride. Our flag, bathed in sunlight at the end of a long battle, was of course that kind of light.
I read that story in the Reader’s Digest and laughed out loud, because for years I had made that same observation! Surely, there must be some divine light know as daunserly! It simply had to be that way…after all they made a song about it, that thousands of people sing. I belted that phrase out many times in my childhood, never knowing I was doing it wrong.
In my adulthood, I still believe that there is such a light. Perhaps there is a different name for it, but I still see that doggone daunserly light! When the preacher is preaching and light through the stained glass bathes his face, Is that not daunserly? For sure it must be that light, when a new-born babe suckles his mother’s breast, as the early morning sun shines on them from a window. Or how about when the sun breaks through the fog in the middle of a forest and sheds light on a tiny seedling? Perhaps it is the hype, or maybe the beauty, I don’t know. I guess for me it is the splendor, the wonder and the promise of something great found on the sunbeams…. All I know is; that I love it!
Filed under: September 2014 | Tags: draft horses, farm work, patience, Tie stalls
September 21, 2014
As I write this post I am reminded of a man’s saying at work. Pete will come with a couple of work orders and say, “I have to do this….but first, I have to do that.” He calls it , being…”but firsted”. I can’t help but think just how many times that happens to me. I will ask one of my sons to come help do something. He comes prepared to do what I asked. Then I say, Thanks, we need to do that…but first……” It makes good help hard to get :o
This month of September has found me working extra shifts at my off farm job. I still need to re-bale some big round bales into small square ones. I must get my speltz planted. The window for speltz planting will soon close. The weather must cooperate too, by holding off the rain. Then lastly, a mountain of firewood still needs to be cut and split. So, with all of these farm jobs at the top of my list, I realize that I am free to wade into those jobs…. BUT FIRST….I have to complete my work obligation.
I can see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. I will soon get several days off as I take an autumn vacation. I will be free to do as much farm work as I want. I can hitch horses everyday as I click jobs off my never-ending list and smile while I do it…. But First…I have to get to those days off!
Filed under: September 2014 | Tags: acorns, apple crisp, candy corn, childhood, memories
September 16, 2014
Nothing says fall to me, like oak acorns and candy corn. I remember waiting for the school bus under a big white oak tree. The ground was littered with two things, colorful leaves from the maples and scores of acorns. I just loved the look and feel of them. The acorn nuts with their little beret hats, cracked me up… pun intended, it’s a nut joke :o
My mother would also get us kids candy corn. We loved it, or at least I loved it. We didn’t eat too much because candy was a luxury. I would look forward to it all day long at school. I have been known to carry an acorn or two to class, but the candy corn never even survived the school bus ride! So, now I am all grown up, but when the air turns cool and the leaves start to fall, I go on a quest to find acorns….and usually with some candy corn in my pocket.
The simple times of childhood, when your biggest responsibility was to feed the dog, were made sweeter by mom’s apple crisp, her hugs and the little orange and white candies. The candy and apple crisp were seasonal. Mom’s hugs were forever. Every time I see an acorn, I think of those cool mornings and waiting for the school bus. When I eat apple crisp, I always think of my mother. When I eat a few pieces of candy corn, I remember all the sweet times of my childhood. Those are the best memories!
I remember getting the sweet treat in my trick-or-treat bag on Halloween. I can see my cousin making buckteeth out of a couple of pieces or even playing Dracula. I like the way it melts in your mouth, as you chew it up. I also like it that it is a seasonal thing. It tastes so good, those first few pieces of the year. I still am not sure if it’s the candy or the memories that please me so, because both of them are sweet.
Filed under: September 2014 | Tags: Clan Davidson, Diana Gabaldon, Love, out of wedlock, Outlander, Outlander series, Scottish
September 7, 2014
Yesterday, my bride and I , attended the Highland Games in Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. We had a great time watching the events and especially listening to the bagpipes and drums. We will, for sure, go again next year.
My wife has been reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Connie has been enthralled for over five years. I told her that I am of Scottish heritage. She giggled and thought nothing more of it.
Now, the “Stars” network is running a mini series, called Outlander, based upon the books written by Ms.Gabaldon. The series has taken the world by storm. Many women are looking for a Jamie of their own!
The premise is that a lady touches a stone, like those formed at Stonehenge, and falls through time to the same place…but 200 years earlier. Where she meets a band of Highlanders. The lady, Claire, has to fit in, while also trying to get back to her home and in her time.
The story has everything, romance, excitement, blood and guts and appeals to both men and women alike. I admit, that I too am a fan!
I did a search through family tree and the internet. I found my Scottish lineage and the clan from which I came. The story is fascinating to me. It shows once again, that I barely made it here today. My Scottish clan is Clan Davidson. We were almost wiped out in 1370, barely escaped the Battle of Invernahavon.
I know my clan tartan (plaid of my kilt) and my family crest, a stag’s head. I embrace my heritage, through my mother’s father. It explains a lot about me. I am stubborn. I like the status quo. I am resilient. I, above all else, believe in freedom and all the joy that comes with it.
So, here I am today. I survived the Battle of Invernahavon. I was conceived out-of-wedlock, yet kept by my young parents, at a time when such things were not talked about. I am hoping all of this history was not in vain. That I have made, and am making, a difference in the world that I touch.
It is funny to me that my mother’s people descended from the Highland of Scotland, on the shores of Loch Lomond. She found love in my father, whose people came from Appalachia. They too were of Scotch-Irish decent, with a little German mixed in. Yep, we’re a tough lot!
August 30, 2014
Being cooped up isn’t always bad. Our new hens are being penned up so they learn their new home. It is a safe place that protects them from weather and wildlife that might not be so kind to them. Very soon they will be allowed to free range. They will stay out much of the day, returning home whenever they want, but especially at night to roost.
There have been times when I was cooped up, not allowed to roam freely. One time that comes to mind is boot camp in Fort Knox Kentucky. :o Even that was good for me…or so my Drill Instructor said.
The kids are almost all back in school. They are cooped up during the day. They too come home to roost…at least for a little while longer. One day they will roam about freely. The hope is that they learned to make their way, but didn’t forget where the roost is located.
At work, off the farm, some days I too feel penned up. I guess it is to make being home that much better. Work provides the means to live. So, work to live…don’t live to work. Spend time at the roost with the ones you love and enjoy your time together. You can always make more “money”…but “time” is gone forever!