On Friday

NOTE:   I promised Linda to post this on Saturday, but was simply too worn out from Friday to actually accomplish the task.  I admit to some feeling blue about the listing for sale of the Mountain Farmlet, and to a bit of inconvenience  after my hand surgery.  My hand is very much better now!  So here it is Monday and I am posting to you after a month-long blogging hiatus.   Thanks for the nudge, Linda.  🙂

About Friday

I got up with Bob at 3:30.  He’s been getting up that early to do my chores, and then kept it up even after I was able to do them myself so as to beat the heat here.  His shop is not air-conditioned and it has been sweltering there!  (110 deg. on one day) And why did I get up so early?  To go up to the Mtn. Farmlet and clean floors before a potential buyer arrives at noon.

So I got ready and let the animals out at twilight.   Trust me the geese were very confused!  Then I got the dogs into the car and was driving away.  Only I forgot to lock the front door.  Normally I would have turned around, because it is the sensible thing to do, but being so early I didn’t want to disturb my neighbor by using her driveway.  So I backed down the street.  Great I thought as I slipped of the pavement and missed the barrier that keeps others from doing the same to us in driveway that was and is no more.  (Yes truly and it was once a night with high beams into the bedroom window!)   Anyway, I began turning the wheel to get the truck back onto the street, I really should have pulled forward, and instantly I heard the horrible sound of metal on metal.  I FORGOT THE MAILBOX!   Now I pulled forward.  Needless to say the pole is a bit tilted, the box is crushed and I now have a three-foot, blackened scratch over the wheel well and leading to the back of the truck.

So at least the 100 mile drive there was uneventful.  🙂

At 8:30 I parked out front under the shade of the big oak, grabbed the house keys, put my purse on the seat, told the dogs they would have to wait till I unlocked the house, my hand is still too weak to handle them and unlock the house, and then I would be right back for them.  I punched the lock out of habit and slammed the door shut.  Old habits die hard.  Now my purse, my phone, the truck keys, My AAA towing service card and the dogs are safely locked up inside the truck .

Looking for a phone I hiked a quarter-mile up the hill to see if my closest neighbors were at home.  Nope.  So then I walked downhill for about 3/4 mile to see if any other neighbors were home.  I finally reached a neighbor at the bridge who was home and she let me call Bob long distance to let him know what had happened.  He didn’t answer because he didn’t recognize the number.  However, he did get my message.  I hung up and called the sheriff to see if they could help and let them know my dogs were locked in the car.  The dispatcher said she would send someone out…  It is now about 9:00 by the clock on the neighbor’s wall.  I thank her for her kindness and leave to make the hike back up to the truck.

I wait for a very long time.  I’m getting very hot sitting in the shade of the font porch and keep checking the dogs to see how they are doing.   The are sleeping but wake up when I get to the truck window.   They are panting but their tongues look good; *not turning dark.  I am getting panicky because it has been almost two hours and no one has shown up yet.  I’m looking for a big rock. 

I hesitate, find a rock that looks like it will work, hesitate, think of the best window to break, hesitate again, and then hear the roar of a very large vehicle coming around the bend.  “Tow truck?” I thought;  It was!  It is now 11:10, the dogs are saved, the window is not smashed and I am ready to do battle with cabin floors.  On the back porch I let myself in and I ear a man’s voice shouting hello.  It is the Sheriff!  I tell him that AAA had just left and that everything is now OK.

“OK, Mam”, he said and turning he left.

I was not prepared for what I found.  Because there are no kitties left up there, and because we have not been there for several months to work… the rats came.  I will not go into details, but  gloved and armed with broom, mop and many fresh buckets of bleach water I set to work.   I finished about an hour and a half later and was bringing a large lawn and leaf bag of stuff out to the garbage cans, when I saw the people who were there to view the property.

Yikes! I was glad I got done in time, but I was a sight.  My shirt was sticking to me, my hair was hanging in wet strings, and my face was red, salt streaked, and over all I was just dirty.  I was a hot mess.  Oh well, I thought, they didn’t know me from a cleaning service and besides they came to see the property not me.  Right?

Up pulls the realtor and getting out of the car yells over a friendly greeting to me, “Hello,  I see you’ve met the [viewers] already!  Maybe you could show them what you’ve done to the place and what your plans were for it.”

I smile, “OK.” I said.

I told them about the house, some of the more interesting trees on the property, the deer that pass through regularly in season, and about the lovely neighbors.  In my mind I am thinking that anyone who buys this place will take a bulldozer to it and start new, but once they sign on the dotted line it is theirs to do with as they will…

Hot, sticky and tired beyond imagining,  I load the newly hydrated dogs and myself into the car and head for home.  Two hours later I pull into the drive, look at the tattered mailbox,  sigh, and let the dogs out before locking the door.  Bob greets us on the porch tells us that he called AAA for me.  I smile and think, what a sweetheart.

After a good hot shower I go out to gather eggs and found this.


I think one of the chickens has sent me a message.  I take her point and cheer up.


And because you should know this – here are the

12 Signs of overheating in dogs:








Hoo-Boy with pictures: think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts…

Today we went to look at a little place in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.  It is small, but just right for the critters of the Farmlet because it is just over two acres which is way more than they have now!   The house that sits on the land is just right for a couple thinking of retirement.  It is cozy, has a spare room for visitors, a basement and a screened back porch for enjoying the day, or evening, without being eaten by mosquitoes.

If you came for a visit…


(click the first photograph to open the carousel)

So now we pray, and wait to see if God says yes!

The Blue Plate Special

After several seasons of fighting legions of weeds in this humid climate I have finally come to my senses and begun installing raised beds!  Trying to grow food in this weed infested place is insanity without using RoundUp.

And you know how I feel about Monsanto.

So the logical and more safe solution for us is raised beds.  Bob has been helping me in the garden every Sunday for weeks now.  He has rototilled, and scorched baby weeds with the Red Dragon.

(this is not Bob) 😉

Please click the photo above to be taken directly to the Red Dragon site. 

This is NOT a paid endorsement!  We have had our RD weed burner for many years and just love how well it works.   Unfortunately, we can’t use it in and amongst the veggies…  Hence the new garden plan.

So, here is the layout.

Notations in blue show changes and planned additions.  We have the center and right side construction completed and half planted.  NOTE:  The rotation plan I am utilizing is to help with insect and disease control.  You can see the plan HERE

Want more?  Here is the Garden Organic website: http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/index.php

There is still so much more to be done here.  I have to add more soil, and lay down the wood mulch around the beds. 

The strawberries have been moved and replanted, and the asparagus arrives with the new orchard trees next month!


Hello beautiful!


What plans do you have for your garden(s)?  What strategies do you use to help you with chores and upkeep?



I’m so broke I squeek when I walk!

This month was one of the most expensive for fixing what broke in the history of our marriage.

  • New glasses for Bob and I:  $695.00
  • Claus got sick and had to go to the vet:  $250.00
  • Doggie Dental for both dogs:  $295.00
  • Bob broke a tooth and needs a crown: $350.00
  • The goslings got sick and that cost me $270.00
  • The dryer broke and the repairman will want a minimum $275.00 (you know I’m right!)


Something had to give.

So this week I fired the Maytag repair man.  He wanted $89.95 just to come by and give me his opinion about what could be wrong with my dryer.   Parts and his labor were of course going to be extra.  Oh, but wait!  After his visit if I didn’t choose to have him fix the broken dryer, then he would give me a certificate for $100.00 dollars towards the purchase of a new dryer.  How sweet, but…

I don’t think so!

Taking a deep breath I went to the internet to see how to “do it yourself” and found these guys!

PartSelect.com   http://www.partselect.com/

And once again I must clearly state that they did not pay me for this endorsement, they were just especially HELPFUL!

At their website I was able to figure out what parts I needed just by the description of the squeak my dryer was making.  They also had diagrams,  charts, videos, and even other customers instructions for how to take the dryer apart, replace the parts, and put it back together.

I ordered my parts, which by the way were exactly the same amount the Maytag guy wanted for his opinion.  Funny how that worked out, huh?

The parts arrived  in an unmarked box.   I began to feel my stomach twist.

“OK, enough of that!” I told myself.  “If Rosie the Riviter, could do this kinda stuff, then I can do it too!”

So, I cinched up my big girl trousers,

rolled up my sleeves,

gritted my teeth,

tried not to hyperventilate,



I mean what’s the worst that could go wrong?


A broken dryer, my trusty cordless screwdriver and my Cup’a Joe!

Pop the hood…



=: – O

Remove the front panel, and


Ever wondered how dryer fires happen?

Yup, that felt gasket is definitely not supposed to be stuck there…

I SPY: one computer screw, a straight pin, a lost shirt button, and one dime.   (must click and enlarge to play)  😉

I gathered my parts,

Assembled the drum bearing, inserted it and the new felt gasket,


Well OK, I did have a technical assistant…

What new skills have you ever challenged yourself to do?

(click image for Wikimedia photo credit)