June 30, 2006 – Martin/Daddy Matching Tractors!

Today is Martin’s 5th birthday. Many of his loved ones went together to get him a battery-powered scoop tractor, just like dad’s!

He’s having great fun helping around the farm – moving mulch, carrying tools, straw, or whatever else needs to be hauled.

He has not yet mastered the art of backing up with a trailer – maybe another day.

We also got for more lambs today.

Here’s Emma with one of the lambs. Now we have a total of six.

June 28, 2006 – Grain Grinder

A few years back I bought this grain grinder on E-bay.

It works great for small quantities and grinds a range from coarse to flour. We use it occasionally, like today when we need some creep feed for our bottle lambs and all the feed in the farm store was laced with anti-biotics. So, we have to make our own.

Here’s a sample of the coarse grind. It takes about 15 minutes to grind up about 50 lbs of corn.

June 27, 2006 – Early Summer Garden/Musings

It’s now officially early summer. Here’s a view at some of the garden.

It’s much easier to focus on what’s going wrong or not according to some plan, so today, I celebrate the things that are on track.

I suppose we’ve all got those mental lists of things to do – fix that, organize those photos, clean that. But amongst all those things, kids get raised, good work gets done, and the world is improved little bit by bit.

I’m paraphrasing a quote I heard a few days ago – I think it was attributed to an old Cherokee saying:

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”

This goes along with a magazine my mother dropped off this weekend that I had not yet seen – here is the philosophy of Countryside magazine:

“It’s not a single idea, but many ideas and attitudes, including a reverence for nature and a preference for country life; a desire for maximum self-reliance and creative leisure; a concern for family nurture and community cohesion; a belief that the primary reward of work should be well-being rather than money…and a taste for the plain and functional.”

These are eerily like our wedding vows (we celebrated 17 years last Saturday). I like to think of it as our mission statement as a couple – I like to re-read them at least once a year to see how we are doing. So here are the thoughts that were read at our wedding – our wishes for ourselves concerning our marriage and life 17 years ago.

“First of all, we wish for you a love that makes both of you better people, that continues to give you joy and zest for living, that provides you with energy to face the responsibilities of life.

We wish for you a home–not a place of stone and wood, but an island of serenity in a frenzied world. We hope that this home is not just a place of private joy and retreat, but rather serves as a sacred place wherein the values of your life are generated and upheld, We hope that your home stands as a symbol of humans living together in love and peace, seeking truth and demanding social justice. We hope that your home encompasses the beauty of nature–that it has within it the elements of simplicity, exuberance, beauty, silence, color, and a concordance with the rhythms of life. We wish for you a home with books and poetry and music–a home with all the things that represent the highest strivings of men and women.

We wish for you children–children who will not be mere reflections of yourselves, but will learn from you your best traits and will go forth to re-create the values you shall have instilled in them. We hope that you will give your children the freedom to find their own way, that you will stand aside when it is time for them to seek their personal destinies. But we hope you will pass on to your children the concept of family, not as an economic unit but as a transcendent force which brings people close in time of joy and in time of need.

Finally, we wish that at the end of your lives you will be able to say these two things to each other: Because you have loved me, you have given me faith in myself; and because I have seen the good in you, I have received from you a faith in humanity.”

So how are we doing regarding the children finding their own way?

I’m not sure I would have selected “Bob the Builder” underwear as a hat – but so be it!