Thankful

Thanksgiving Day

On Thanksgiving we had goose.  Yes, I finally did it.  We were thankful for food on the table.

Our plan was to put it in the smoker and 6 to 7 hours later have a wonderful savory feast.  Our plans were interrupted when Bob found a starving and dehydrated opossum trapped in the smoker.   We haven’t a clue how long he had been in there.

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Apparently, having gotten in through the little adjustable air vent on the firebox, he then got into the smoking chamber.  In doing so, he dislodged the small grate and trapped himself.  (We walked away and gave him a chance to get out.  When we came back he was gone.) 

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Weak and filthy with soot, we are certain he was thankful too. 

Having no time to pressure wash the smoker and disinfect it I had to go to plan B.  Roasting the goose in the oven.  I hate doing that because of all the greasy mess and smoke, but I tried it a different way!  Dragging down the big, blue, enamel, roasting pan that once belonged to Bob’s mother, I put the goose in, put the lid on, and Voila!  No greasy smoking mess!  I am thankful.  😉

Bob came in later in the afternoon and smelled the goose in the oven…

Oh man, this smells so good!  I’m glad we had to prepare the goose in the oven because it smells like the holidays when I was a kid!

He was thankful for the memories of holiday gatherings and his family.

Fast forward to yesterday…

Which found us at the Mountain Farmlet and working feverishly.  Bob was inside doing demo, and I was outside moving and storing the (possibly) useable planks of lumber from the demo.  In between I finished cleaning out the sheds, and then went walkabout in the woods.

I took myself directly to the bridge to look at the creek.  The creek and the bridge define the southernmost tip of our property.  While I was there, the neighbor lady came over and introduced herself.  We talked for almost an hour and got to know quite a bit about each other.  She seems so nice, and I look forward to being up there full time and having her as a friend.

We have a ‘date’, she and I, to go down into the creek bed and explore, “when it isn’t too hot and there won’t be snakes.”    She’s never been down to the creek!  We have to do this, and when we go I will make sure she won’t have to go bush-whacking like I did to get there.  There was lots of *saw vine. YIKES!  No wonder she’s never been down to see it!  😀

I went down and followed the creek for quite a ways in both directions.  It was lovely.  Here is what I found…

Later, I went into the woods and forging off of our trail this is what I found.  If you are not Lori of Day by Day the Farmgirl Way you may not appreciate the significance of these last photos.  😉

Evidence of life

I was told by the Octogenarian that the deer no longer come here.  Well, they do!  You just need to know the signs.  Thank you for teaching me, Lori.

So thankful!

*NOTE:   The locals call this plant Saw Vine, but it goes by Cat Briar, greenbrier vine, or its botanical name of Smilax bona-nox.  To see where it grows look HERE.

Saw vine information can be linked to by clicking on its name above, but an awesome image of the plant can be found on Steven Schwartzman’s Portraits of Wildflowers  by clicking HERE

An Estate Sale

Yesterday we went to the Mountain Farmlet for the Octogenarian’s Estate Sale.    I found myself agog, and later aghast at the prices that her household items and antiques went for!  Example:

Hoosier Cabinet in pristine condition:  $40.00  Even the auctioneer was a bit peeved over that one.  (I didn’t purchase this because I already have one.)

Let it be said that I was surprised at the prices we paid for the items we purchased, but remember, we were the highest bidders.  Oddly some of the least of the items went for more, and the expected higher priced items went for less.

Items we purchased:

  • Vintage folk art stoolA much painted, sturdy, small, and built to last bit of very cute!  ~ $8.00
  • Vintage miscellaneous garden toolsLots of them.  $20.00
  • Newer, pink upholstered chair.   (Nobody wanted it, and I will slipcover it!)  ~ $1.00
  • Five Vintage maple dining chairs and one upholstered ottoman.  These will be cleaned, joints tightened up, and refinished or painted.  The ottoman will reupholstered.  $5.00
  • Four Assorted antique/vintage Hanging Chairs  ~ $5.00 for all.  These hang off wooden pegs on the side of the log cabin’s wall.  They needed to stay there.
  • Set of Fireplace tools.  ~ $7.00
  • Set of Living room furniture in excellent condition. My guess?  They were kept slip-covered since purchase.  Upholstered settee and two upholstered chairs for our highest bid of $15.00!
  • Antique oval entry table (altered to coffee table height). This item was the subject of a bidding war between an older fella and me…  I started at $5.00 and the auctioneer asked for $5.50, and so on.  At about the $15 dollar range I just held up my card and looked at the auctioneer and left it there.  The auctioneer kept adding in 50 cent increments and the Old Fella and me were staring each other down, friendly like you know, but when the price jumped by a dollar to $27.00, I felt my head tilt ever so slightly and my left eyebrow arch up.  He gave me a look I can only describe as incredulous and dropped out, so I got the table for $26.00.  The quarter sawn oak is unbelievable.  The table has a few issues with chipped veneer at the sides, but when you see the base and the top you simply overlook the flaws.    (see an example below)
  • Seed Planter.  This is what I originally came for, and it was also a hotly bid after item.  $45.00  New ones, see sample HERE, cost about $125.00 so still a good buy!
  • Antique harrow.  $25.00  I could only find one picture out there of this man-powered torture device, and he wasn’t sharing, so here is the link  HARROW    Mine has wooden handles and no wheel on front.  I don’t have any idea what I will do with it.  I don’t really want to leave it out in the elements, and of course, it is not appropriate for inside use.  LOL!  Do you have ideas for how, and where I might use/display this item? 😉
  • One medium sized Bench vise.  $9.00  We left two or three of these behind in California, and I have regretted it on more than one repairing mission!  The new ones are cheaply made,  fall apart easily, and are unbelievably EXPENSIVE!  I had to outbid several Old Fellas for this item!
  • Two Bench Grinders (one working one not) These were also items we left behind in California.  Anyway, if I recall correctly, they were supposed to be $12.00, and apparently were free, because I don’t believe we were ever charged for them.  oops!  😳

Having experienced my first auction I must say that it is a good way to find things you really need for a price you can really afford.  That said, I don’t think it is a good way to sell off your lovely treasures!

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Most embarrassing moment?  It was my first time at an auction and I was new to the rules of the bidding… At one point bidding on the seeder I thought someone outbid me and I raised my card again…

The auctioneer:  “Mam, you’re bidding against yurself, and I can’t charge ya twice!”

The crowd found this hilarious.

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coffeetable2finishedThe table looks very similar to this, but that beautiful tiger stripe you see on the side is all across the top too!

I will have pictures for you of the home and the fun stuff we bought later this week!  😀

Visiting the Mountain Farmlet: into each life some rain must fall

It rained on Friday.   I don’t do well with rain on the road since my accident in California in the rain.  I totaled my car and permanently injured myself.  Anyway, I no longer spontaneously burst into tears at the sight of a wreck in the rain (It’s PTSD the Dr told me way back then) but OH-BABY I don’t usually go looking to drive in it…  EVER.

That said, I had an appointment with the Octogenarian to see her gardens and I was going to get there!

So, I bundled the dogs into the car, brought plenty of water and a bowl for Tucker, dropped Buddy off for the day at the groomers, stopped 5 times in 80 plus miles for the Little dog to PEE (I couldn’t leave him home all day in his condition now could I?)  paid for insurance on the new Farmlet, transferred the water into our name, found out I need proof of ownership and $160.00 to transfer the electric into our name, and that the trash service office is only open for business for one hour a day (because it’s a one man office and he wears four hats, and three of those hats require him to be out of the office!!!) and somewhere in all that I ate the ugliest lunch in history (normally I would have asked the cook to try again, but under the circumstances I don’t think it would have helped and I was really hungry, and it didn’t poison me) and then it was nearing 2:00 PM and time for my visit!   

In short it was a busy day!

(Insert a rather long inhale here)  😉

I arrived on time and she came out onto the porch to greet me.  We then proceeded to go inside because it was still raining cats and dogs!  He daughter was visiting, introductions were made, and we sat round the table in the breakfast room, drank coffee, and visited for two hours or more!

As we got to know each other better I was struck with the thought, that it was sad that we couldn’t be neighbors.  She is such a lovely and sweet woman.

Later when the rain let up and the sun pretended to burn through the clouds, we peeked at the gardens from the back deck and from the front porch.  Even with all the pelting from the heavy rain, the flowers showed me their potential and it was amazing!  Lilies, roses, iris, and so much more await me when we finally move up on the mountain.  And get this!

Even though she is moving away in a few short weeks, she and her daughter spent quite a few hours out in the garden weeding it!  (I understand this, and probably will do the same before we leave our current Farmlet.  🙂 )

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Now, about that rain.  This was the spent version of the rain that had caused the bad weather in the Midwest earlier in the week, and although we didn’t have severe weather, it was coming down in buckets nonetheless!

This meant that the gardens were tattered and puddled.  I’ll say no more except that I promised you pictures and I am delivering on that promise!  😀

Click the photo to enter the Mountain Farmlet…

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PLEASE NOTE

This post was scheduled to be shared over the weekend, but with all the commotion the severe weather has caused over the past two weeks, I just didn’t have the heart.  In retrospect, my annoyances pale in comparison.

I know very well how awful these storms can be because we lived through them in April of 2011.  The devastation is incomprehensible.  There is seeing it on television, and then seeing if first hand.

INCOMPREHENSIBLE!

My heart aches for all who have suffered the loss of life and property.  God bless these people, heal their hearts, and give them strength.

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Be still, sad heart, and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining; Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall…

from The Rainy DayHenry Wadsworth Longfellow

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A visitor on the Farmlet!

It isn’t often that we get visitors here on the Farmlet, and when we do it is a very big event!  Recently, I enjoyed the company of Lori, of  Day by Day the Farm Girl Way!    We have been following each others blogs for some time, which led to corresponding via emails, and now most recently a week-long visit!

I found Lori to be a down to earth, true blue friend.   Why, she was willing to jump in and help with anything and everything here on the Farmlet from washing dishes to pulling weeds!!!  I tried to stop her, really, but she would not be dissuaded!

While she was here we continued our shopping for Farmlets.  She has a very cool head when it comes to the purchase of a property.  Her outside observations, and expertise in hobby farming were very enlightening and much appreciated!    You see, I often get myopic about a place and its potential.  So much so, that I fail to really see beyond its fence lines, or structural flaws.   (By the way,  this little flaw of mine can drive Bob nuts!  😉 )

We all agreed that this one was really nice,

thr ultimate farmlet

but too expensive.  😦

This one she did not see, but it is a good example of my myopia. 

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Check out the neighbors living just over the fence…

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The day I took Bob by to see this place he didn’t even slow down!  There was a big flatbed truck parked halfway into the lane with another rickety shed on the back, and up by the fence between the properties were about ten scary looking types drinking and playin’ cards on a giant, wood, cable reel…  It was about 9:30 in the morning as I recall.   They own 5 acres of this junk!

😯

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PLEASE NOTE:   Most of the following photographs in this post were taken by Lori unless otherwise stated.  (Thank you Lori!)  I am afraid I was far too busy conversing talking her ears off to really notice and take pictures of anything.  Sad to say, but true!

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We also took in some of the sights in Huntsville. 

Moore- Rhett Mansion 1826

We walked for hours looking at antebellum mansions which were survivors of the Civil War,

On the Alley

and other homes built later, but equally as grand.

Harrison Brother's Hardware

Stepped back in time at Harrison Brothers Hardware,

Monte Sano Park

enjoyed the view one late afternoon at Monte Sano Park,

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  and visited the pre-Civil War, Maple Hill Cemetery. (A must see if you ever find yourself in Huntsville.)

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However, the best part of visiting, for me at least, was sitting in the kitchen.   Here, talking over coffee or a meal, we shared our histories, our lives, and our dreams for our futures.

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Do you ever read someone’s blog and wonder if that is really what they are like in person?  Well, Lori is exactly as she portrays herself on her blog pages.  Energetic, engaging, and honest, she says what is on her mind and in her heart, and I find that refreshing.

Lori and Co

Please click the photo to be taken to Lori’s post, and the source of her photograph.

I look forward to our continued friendship and perhaps a few more visits along the way!

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