Farm Life and Our Desperate Need of Governing

One thing is for certain on a farm: No one can do it alone. If I had to do the farm chores every day by myself, the way I must do them when my wife is off on business, or to a family reunion, or in the hospital, I would soon collapse. There’s the sheep […]

Merry Christmas Fellow Aliens!

Dearly Beloved:

We do feel guilty that we are taking the shortcut this year of posting our Christmas letter on our web site. But, “needs must,” as they say in jolly old England. Connie is still in a big boot and still in therapy after an ankle replacement operation at the beginning of October. So that […]

Misplaced Apocalypticism

[A form of this post appeared in the Daily Chronicle newspaper on 12/10/2019]

Apocalypticism, the belief that the end is near, is helpful only to get oppressed people to tomorrow. It encourages them to hang in there.

 

It is less helpful, and can be destructive, in getting through today.

 

Listen carefully and you will hear many citizens excusing […]

Abbie's Death Leaves a Hole in Our Hearts

Yesterday we put down our beloved Abbie. It has left a big hole in our hearts!!

Of course, if you are part of the human race, you have already flinched, because you have the pain stored in every cell of your body. And, if you are among those who share with us a special fondness for […]

Gordon Watt Returns April 23 to 26, 2020

Mark your calendars for our next Gordon Watt clinic here at Heatherhope: Thursday through Sunday, April 23 to 26, 2020.

Gordon moved to the US from England several years ago. Before that he lived on the Isle of Man and was born in Ireland. He and his father before him were lifetime shepherds, and Gordon has […]

Say It With Your Body

“Lean on him!”

That’s what Gordon Watt used to say when I was working my young, excitable dog, Zac. It has taken me years to understand all that was bound up with that tiny bit of advice.

Gordon Watt (r) demonstrates how to get a dog in the “zone” with body language. Photo by John

We just completed […]

Another Snowy, Character-building Gordon Watt Clinic

It happened late last April. It happened again this Halloween. Our semi-annual Gordon Watt clinic here at Heatherhope Farm is getting to be the kind of thing that builds real character. It was in 1895 that we last had an October snow like this—with three or five inches of the stuff and a good stiff […]

Should We Buy a New ATV?

Reflections on Luke 12:13-21, the Gospel reading for the 8th Sunday of Pentecost.

Almost every day on the farm we are faced with quite consequential decisions. Today it is about our ATV. Most days we use it several times for all sorts of jobs. But now it is squeaky after 17 years of hard use. Now […]

Dare I Share This Photograph?

A child reminds us of the beauty of the life God has given. Photo by Rebekah.

I can’t help but share this photograph, though I have strong reservations. Yes, I know people use their smart phones to share countless pictures every day of their precious children. But it’s also no secret that there are not-so-nice folk […]

A Brother’s Death and Thoughts of Home

My big brother, Jim, died last week. So I drove, alone, to Louisville for his funeral. Connie and I couldn’t make the arrangements for the care of the animals on the farm with the storms and coyotes and a bitch in heat. And so I drove alone.

My big brother, with a big heart, Jim. […]