First Annual Friends-Giving

We invited a bunch of folks from St. Patrick’s over for our first annual Springfield Farm Friends-Giving this past weekend. My brothers Mark & Steve came over Friday to “prep” for the first day of hunting.

On Friday we set everything up, cleaned out the barn, setup a big screen TV with chairs, kerosene heater, etc. and gave it a tryout Friday evening.

We all went out on the UTV and gathered downed wood to use for our usual large bonfire.

We started frying the turkeys at 10am with a target guest arrival of noon. This was the first time I’ve fried turkey in at least 5 years but all went well with Patty prepping the birds and my brothers assisting with the frying operation.

Folks started arriving at noon and very quickly it became quite busy, kids riding scooters and bikes on the driveway, hay rides, chowing down on a very large amount of food, folks brought some delicious dishes. And of course the bonfire, cuz, well, we’re all pyros at heart. Below are pictures of a large number of minivans parked, and people generally chowing down.

One of the hay rides before heading off.

I took a bunch of guests on a tour of the property, trying to give a flavor for the local history and the family that owned the property for so long. Here are a few pictures from the game camera of the tours.

Looks like Matt, Rob and their wives & kids had a blast riding the ATVs.

When it started getting dark we lit up the Christmas lights for the first time.

By the time it got dark we were pretty much gathered around the bonfire. My wife tells me I fell asleep before everyone left, but I’m pretty sure she is wrong.

Patty’s 57th Birthday

We celebrated Patty’s 57th birthday today. All but Emily was able to make it, the star of course was grandson Harvey. Tried out the new 10×20 cabana pool side, shade was just right.

Hung out in the pool catching up with the kids. Ace showed off his new swimming skills chasing a ball thrown into the pool.

Did our traditional happy birthday song too!

Rifle Sight-in & Pool Party

What originally started as a meet-up with St. Patrick’s friends to sight in rifles thankfully blossomed into a full-on summer pool party with a number of wonderful families from St. Patrick’s church. Big thanks to Ryan H. for helping to organize.

Late Friday afternoon I thought it was just going to be Ryan and one family, but it seemed to quickly escalate that evening, which is fantastic. We’ve been talking about doing this all summer and we just never seemed to be able to get our act together. Friday night Patty asked me casually how many people were coming, I said, well, I think at least 3 or 4 families and I’m pretty sure they have a minimum of 3-4 kids each. That perked her up! Us guys were planning to just order pizza or the like, but the wives pretty much took over the food and got sandwiches, chips, drinks, etc. Much better than if the guys had organized.

Rifle site-in went well, although a little hot. Found out Ryan has an incredibly steady shot!

It was a big surprise to see Adam W. and his family come and make an appearance with baby Alphonsus, who was literally just released from the hospital!

Unfortunately neither me or Patty took pictures so I snagged some shots off the security cameras, click, to enlarge. You can see the pool was a big hit, but so was “atv tour”, and the bonfire.

We’ll have to do this again the weekend before we close the pool.

Snowblower Arrived

I concede that I will likely not use this very often, but I want to be ready when I do need it. The driveway is 1/2 mile long and if it isn’t cleared there is a valid safety concerns if 911 ever had to get to the house.

I purchased a WoodMax SB-72, a 72″ wide PTO driven blower made in Buffalo, NY. Here is the link:

Delivery company said it was going to arrive last Friday but of course it didn’t arrive until after the storm. Trucking company left it on the pallet at the gate. The package weighs in at almost 1000 pounds so in addition to the pallet forks I put on my bush hog for some counterbalance weight.

By the time I was done I had move three front attachments and two rear attachments in order to get at everything I needed and put the tractor back into snow clearing mode. With a strong northwest wind blowing I’ll wait a day or two to assemble this beast.

Burn Baby, Burn!

Just as the snow started I started lighting up the four piles of brush. Three of them really burned well, the fourth not so much. I called the county EMS first to notify them in case any neighbors started calling 911. Three of the piles were mostly cedar trees and really burned well, after I splashed them with a bunch of diesel. Aside from making sure the fires don’t get out of control, the biggest task with brush piles this big is constantly pushing the burning pieces into an ever smaller pile to keep things nice and hot and maintain the burn. Even though it was snowing quite heavily and then ended up raining the piles were still smoking the next morning. I spent all day pushing the piles up. Temperature outside was 18f most of the day and by evening I was spent.

The Clock is Here

My Mother & Father bought this USMMA commemorative clock in December of 1985, the year I graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Pt, NY. Over the years my Dad always told me from time to time; “when we go to ‘boot hill’, I want you to have this clock“. I always replied, “OK Dad”, thinking that day would never come. Well, they aren’t in ‘boot hill’ but they are both in memory care with dementia. Me and the brothers went through their home over the past few weeks and today we all met to resolve who gets what and to start removing items.

The clock is here at the farm now. It seems to run fine and keep time but the chimes aren’t working properly, I’ll get a local clock expert to come out and give it a tune-up,

What a depressing day.

USMMA Commemorative Clock