Friday, May 30, 2008

Lawn mowing and scything

We have a reel lawnmower that our Amish neighbors had gifted us quite a few years ago. It was patented in 1885 but I'm not sure when it was manufactured. The handle has been in rough shape for a while and it finally broke completely so we began searching for a replacement handle. Many of these old fashioned tools are being sold for scrap, exported to China, melted down, manufactured into something else and sold back to us. Well, we had no luck on the handle so we decided to check out the local flea market. We found 4 reel mowers there and brought the best one home. We spent $25 dollars on a beautiful piece of history that will never need gas and best of all, it's quiet! That is a major criteria for us; a machine's noise can be what helps us make the final decision about whether a thing furthers our goals or not. I can't stand noisy things. One exception to this (unfortunately) is my grain grinder, it is horribly loud. I have a love/hate relationship with it, I love grinding my own grains but I hate the ear shattering racket it makes. The one I really want costs $800 though so I'll just have to make do with what I have. Our other recent purchase was a scythe at a farm auction. It is really beautiful! Mr. G is sharpening it so that we can put it to use. Our two pigs, the Admiral and Sophie, are in a poor pasture so we cut grass for them twice daily. THe other four pigs have a better pasture so they cut their own grass.

On another note, Mrs. R's bees left for Wisconsin last evening and arrived safely this morning. I'm glad the move went well and am happy that she can begin her bee keeping

Friday, May 23, 2008

What a fascinating modern age we're living in

I guess we've finally entered the 21st century; at least in this aspect of our lives! We are a decidedly old-fashioned family in many ways. We live on a farm, have 8 homeschooled children, watch almost no television, eat organically, dress modestly and strive to give our children an idyllic childhood. A magical (in the best sense of that word), wonderfully innocent childhood. The kind in storybooks before they turned into trash like "Elmo Visits a Crack Den" and "Hanna Montana Does Rehab". In the introduction to "Ox-Cart Man" by Donald Hall (a children's book that meets my innocent/sweet standard) they say "Donald Hall has created a gentle story, evoking a quiet time in American life that is irrevocably past." I had to smile when I read that; that life is alive and well here. ;-) Life is very good and in some ways I wish that I could stop it right here. Katie is embroidering a sampler with the first verse of To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time by Robert Herrick.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying:

And this same flower that smiles to-day

To-morrow will be dying.

That's a cheerful thought, isn't it? No really, my point was that time goes *so* fast. The days are long but the years are short.