Sunday, November 18, 2018

20 years


Last spring marked 20 years of us living here. A lot has happened in the last 20 years. A lot has changed.  When I look in the mirror I see a much older, much more experienced man looking back at me.

20 years ago I was a jumble of emotions, with all kinds of extremes, excitement for a new adventure, happiness that a lifelong dream was finally coming true, a sense of freedom, and then there were all kinds of fears, hang-ups and anxieties.  Mixed emotions! Our kids were still pretty young then.  How was I going to support our family? I didn’t have a real job.  I worked for a short time through a temp service working at just minimum wage, hardly enough to support us.

During that stint of working for minimum wage, which was a hard pill to swallow after having left a $20+ an hour job before we moved, I would imagine that I could make more money doing just about anything else on my own, for instance I could mow lawns.  I never did do that, but I was confident that I could make more money than minimum wage just mowing peoples lawns.

As God’s providence went we got into the garbage business in the year 2000 two years after we’d been here. We are still currently in the garbage business after 18 years.  It’s been a long hard journey, but I still wouldn’t trade my life here in this place for anything else, except heaven of course.

My favorite place on earth right now is out at the beaver pond on our land. I love sitting out there watching the ripples on the water and hearing the sound of it as it flows through the dam.

Our kids are all adults and Kelli and I are now grandparents. So far 2 grandsons and 1 granddaughter.  We love this newest season of life of being grandparents.

Our married children still live in Wisconsin, but not close by.  Its 3 hours to one and 4 hours to the other.  One daughter is still home with us.  We cherish the times when we can all be together.

In 2017 we finally had to make a decision. We had 3 businesses going at once, the garbage collection, the log cabin rental and the road side vegetable stand dubbed the “farm stand”. We just couldn’t keep being spread so thin so we decided to stop doing the thing that was least profitable for us and that was the farm stand.  

Kelli and I never were real good at it.  It was always kind of a miracle that we ever had any produce to sell at all.  There were things about it that were enjoyable but the truth is that farming is not either mine or Kelli’s strong suit.  We are better at simply “homesteading” and not attempting to make a business out of it.  We want to always have animals and a small garden, but to try and raise enough to market; we know that’s no longer for us.

So now for income we are just concentrating on the garbage business and the log cabin rental and the cabin rental has really been taking off the last few years. If we can ever get the funding we’d like to build 4 more cabins and that hopefully will be our retirement and then get out of the garbage business which is so labor intensive.  I’m almost 55 and am hoping and praying that I’m not still throwing garbage at age 60.

My current dream is to get a saw mill, build more log cabins and a little “HEATED” wood shop, and harvest timber off of our land and create things with the wood.  Notice that I emphasized the word “heated” wood shop, after 20 years I’m still doing all my work out in the cold in this often frigid northern climate and a little heated shop is something that I REALLY long for.

With the extra income from the log cabin rental we were able to purchase more land.  We acquired another 80 acres giving us a grand total of 200 acres.  This works real nice with the log cabin rental because our guests have a lot of places to explore here as we have and maintain miles of trails all throughout.

The terrain here is like no other I’ve ever seen, there is something very unique about it, with its mixture of open pasture, high and low land, woods, swamps, ponds and creeks and rolling hills.  We knew it had everything we wanted when we first laid eyes on it in the fall of 1989.  We purchased the original 120 acres in January of 1990, way back in the last century! Ha,ha Sounds so long ago!

But even after nearly 29 years of exploring this land we are still finding little hidden secret places that we didn’t even know were here known only to the woodland creatures like deer, rabbits, squirrels, porcupines, raccoons, skunks, weasels, muskrats, bears, fox, coyotes and the occasional wolf to name a few. There’s more!

I’ve pretty much given up on blogging, but I’ve been meaning on making a post to commemorate our 20th anniversary of living here on this land.  Maybe someone will happen by and see it then again maybe not and that’s alright. It’s written down here and will be here as long as this current digital media lasts (who can know how long that will be), maybe my grandkids will read it and get a kick out of it if it’s still here.

Until Next Time,

Russ      


Friday, March 31, 2017

Lokum pics 3-30-17


Lokum is adjusting well to his new home! 


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Adopted a new Kangal Dog

 

 

This is Lokum our new Kangal Dog. Our third Kangal. 

 

 First one died prematurely from getting out on the highway and the second one Sarah is doing great.  Sarah is a very great live stock guardian dog.  Sarah is now about 8 years old. 

 

 We adopted Lokum through a rescue in Southern IL called "Howlin 4 Help Rescue" which was working in conjunction with the Kangal Dog Club.  Thanks to Jerry, Liz, Christine and Mary for making it a smooth transaction!  All great folks to work with! 

 

 Lokum is 2 years old and apparently he was too much for his original owner to handle due to some unforeseen circumstances in her life being left as a single mother.  Lokum does require a strong arm as he is 120lb to 125lb and has LOTS of energy. 

 

 We drove down to southern IL on Thursday picked him up on Friday and returned to northern WI Friday night. 

 

Yesterday which was Saturday I took Lokum out several times and brought him in the house to meet the family and took him out for walks on a 6' leash.  Took him for a long walk of just under a mile.

 

 Today I did the same with several short walks brought him into the house for a couple short visits to see the family and one good long walk this time over 1 mile.  We have 200 acres all together so can walk for miles and never leave our land.

 

 On the long walk I had him on a 30' retractable lead which gave him a lot more exercise than yesterday on the short 6' leash where he mostly walked at heel the majority of time.  With this 30' retractable lead he got lots of opportunity to run around and burn off some energy. 

 

 This is only the second full day here at our farm and he is already doing so well I think he will be a great asset to our operation. 

 

 Sarah turned out to be a fantastic dog but she is aging.  Still doing great as a livestock guardian, but large dogs do not live terribly long so maybe we will have a few more good years with her so it is nice to have a younger dog on hand to move into her role once she is no longer as effective. 

 

 

 This is Sarah in the house for a visit just over a month ago. 

 

Comparing Lokum to Sarah, Lokum is built way better in the way he is put together he moves way more fluidly than Sarah.  And he is way more muscular with a bigger head and neck.  Way more capable of going up against a predator if he had to.  However the idea is that the deter the predator rather than go up against them toe to toe.  I would never want any of my dogs to have to actually physically encounter a large predator like a wolf or bear but if it did happen I would want my dog to have a fighting chance. 

 

Our first dog Arie had a nice build and moved with fluidity like Lokum.  If I were breeding Kangal Dogs I would breed for good movement like that.  On the other hand Sarah is great in that she isn't high energy and she is a real "home-body".  She never tries the fences and never wants to be far from the livestock.  Whenever I take her out for walks or a visit to the house she gets restless and wants to go back to the animals and her place.  Time will tell if Lokum will turn into a "home-body" as well. 

 

Arie was not a good LGD in that she was a hunter and very "gamey" she wanted to hunt everything that moved.  That's what got her killed as I think she was out chasing deer.  Looking back on it and having pondered what happened with her for years now I think Arie climbed out over one small portion of fence that was not electrified.  It was about a 6' x 6' section that I never got around to putting electric fencing on because it was on the other side of a gate and connected to a building.  Arie would have been a fantastic "hunting mastiff" one that someone could have taken wild boar hunting. 

 

Well any way this post is mostly about Lokum, but with him being our 3rd Kangal I can't help but compare him to the others.  It's only been a couple days now, but I think he's got the making of a great dog. 

 

See my Kangal Dog blog for history on our first two Kangal Dogs. 

 

http://livestockguardian-kangaldog.blogspot.com/

 

Until Next Time

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

How To Sharpen A Knife | Wranglerstar





This looks like a pretty nice knife sharpening system. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Happy New Year!



 

 

I haven't made a post in a long, long while, but I just wanted to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all
and make a mention of my new favorite show, which is called Wranglerstar

On the Wranglerstar You Tube channel a Christian man named Cody records himself and his family while doing all kinds of interesting, fun and sometimes dangerous things on their homestead in the "rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest".  I've really been enjoying his video's so far this winter. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"He's Alive! - Don Francisco"


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Snow!



These are the scenes outside our house at 6 o'clock this morning.  Spring time was here, the snow was 80% gone, we were boiling sap and this week spring has disappeared, its back to winter again! 

This is the weather advisory that was posted on weather.com for our area. 
... WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM CDT THIS MORNING...
* SNOW... HEAVY AT TIMES... WILL GRADUALLY TAPER OFF ACROSS FAR NORTHERN WISCONSIN BETWEEN 8 AM AND 10 AM... THEN TAPER OFF.
* ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES WILL BOOST STORM TOTALS TO 8 TO 14 INCHES... WITH 14 TO 18 INCHES IN NORTHWEST VILAS COUNTY.
* REDUCED VISIBILITIES AND SNOW COVERED ROADS WILL RESULT IN HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS FOR THE MORNING COMMUTE.
* THE HEAVY SNOW WILL CAUSE SOME DAMAGE TO TREES AND BRANCHES... LEADING TO POWER OUTAGES IN SOME LOCATIONS.

I measured the snow on our deck and it appears we got at least 8 to 10 inches so far.

I was disappointed that I missed the lunar eclipse the morning of the 15th.  I was keeping up on it and was planning on seeing it but I got the time wrong.  I had in mind it was April 15th so in my mind I was thinking night time on the 15th but I was too late, it already occurred in the early morning hours on Tuesday.  I did see a great big full moon setting in the west when I got up, that's what tipped me off that I missed it.  However I did get to see the lunar eclipse from years past and that was neat seeing the eerie red glow, some called a "blood moon". 

But, I guess I'll get a few more chances to see it again later this year and a couple times next year as I hear it's supposed to happen 4 tines in 2 years.  Some are saying the it is a sign of possible calamities that could be coming like a bad omen, signs in the heavens type stuff.  While I believe if we look around us there are plenty of other indicators to tell us things in the world are shaking up but I do believe the bible when it says that God made the celestial bodies for signs and seasons. 

Here's a picture someone made to indicate the dates of the four lunar eclipses and apparently a couple solar eclipses as well and how they supposedly land on certain Jewish holidays.  It would be remarkable if this is exact, but I don't know, I'm not well versed on the Jewish holy days.   

bloodmoon

Some are saying that what the bible describes in the last days as the moon turning to blood is nothing more than a lunar eclipse.  I've been a student of end times prophecy practically my whole life and I know people have jumped to a lot of conclusions over the years so I am always cautious what I believe. 

I believe the bible say that the "sun will be darkened and the moon turn to blood", but I always imagined much more of a super natural scene than something like this with a naturalistic origin so I don't know about this current theory that's going around and catching like wild fire.  However I certainly keep it in mind pondering what it all means, while trying not to be caught up in other peoples over active imaginations.  I just want to know and believe the truth. 

We've had a pretty tough winter here in the Northwood's of Wisconsin.  It was cold and snowy and everywhere I've gone people have been complaining about it.  On Monday I was picking up someone's garbage and we had just gotten some snow, this old fella who often comes out to say hello greeted me with a "Happy Easter" and in the next breath he cursed saying "Jesus Christ isn't this ever going to end!"  I wish I was the type of person with a quick whit but I'm not and afterwards I wondered how I could have used that moment to represent the Lord.  The Easter Holiday and Jesus Christ certainly go hand in hand but this old timer didn't quite have it right when he combined the two in such a way!  I always cringe inside when people use the Lords name in vain.

But it seems the world is experiencing unusual weather everywhere.  For us it is common to get some snow toward the end of April but this kind dumping is very unusual.  Usually we have green grass by now, and the winter was unusually brutal as I indicated already.  So I take these kinds of things to heart, what is God telling us in all this I wonder?  When things are difficult lots of people everywhere want to curse about it.  This reminds me of what the bible says about the end times how people will curse God because of all the calamites rather than to repent of their sins.  I do believe that in Gods grace he is giving us all time to repent of what ever it is we need to be repenting about.  This is a theme that has been heavy on my heart for some time now, and that is to repent.  I mean some unprecedented things have occurred all around the world, some very serious stuff, like earthquakes and tsunami's, floods and fires, violent storms and economies of nations crumbling to dust and still people curse God rather than repent.  When it's all over it's back to life as usual, but what is it going to take to wake people up?

I believe that God is calling everyone everywhere to repent.  I won't take the time here to list all the vile things that people  are doing in this day and age, we all know what is going on but whatever it is we need to repent of this is the time to do it. Now is the time of salvation.  After we take our last breath it's too late, for "it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment".

Until Next Time