Blog - Ron Tanner's site for readers and writers
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Mid-Winter Improvements at the Farm

We've been hunkered down, waiting out the cold, but not hunkered down as much as our eight barn cats--they're almost in hibernation mode, piled on top of each other in their cat house cribs. Still, work continues for me and Jill inside the house, where...

How I Spent My Birthday: the Big Shed Move

Jill and I are restoring an historic farm. Towards that end, we've been looking for a few old sheds to fill out our array of outbuildings. By "old," I mean a shed about 70-100 years old. Moving a building, even a small one, is not...

Our Third Autumn On the Farm

Jill and I have just learned how to can fruits and vegetables. You know, you put lidded, Ball jars into a big pot of boiling water? It was intimidating at first but all you have to worry about is that the jar-tops seal: they'll let...

A New Roof for the Barn

The craftsman who put the metal roof on our house is so good and so busy, we sat on his waiting list for a year when it came time to re-roof our barn. His work is worth the wait. He's old school, one of...

Summer Update from the Farm: the Kitchen Garden

Let me say flat out that Jill and I know nearly nothing about gardening. Given that we've bought a farm and are now obliged to cultivate it, our ignorance should be cause for some concern. But, heck, we don't have time to fret--there's too much...

Spring on the Farm: Flowers and Snakes

Earlier this week, I was working on the third floor of our old farm house, while my plumber was working in the basement. He phoned me and said, "You might want to come down here." "Is there a problem?" I asked. "Two snakes." He sounded agitated. "One...

I Worry About the Lady Bugs

When it gets warm--even in the midst of winter--the ladybugs come out. I find them in the windows, crawling up to the sunlight. I didn't know this but lady bugs hibernate, hunkered down in the crevices of windows, usually windows on the warmest (south-facing) side...

My Bout With Kidney Stones

I say “bout” because dealing with kidney stones is like stepping into the ring with a brutal opponent. If you’ve ever been punched in the kidney (prohibited in boxing) you got a hint of how vulnerable that organ is. Most of us are familiar with the...

One Year on the Farm

It’s deer-mating season. “This time of year, deer do strange things,” my neighbor told me. “A buck that’s been skittish and hard to track all year will suddenly walk right out in front of you like he doesn’t care about anything.” Anything, that is, except...