Two steps forward – one back

Today’s post will be a rambler, so bear with me…

But first, how about a little music from my youth to set the mood?

~ Donovan‘s First There is a Mountain ~  

With deepest apologies to Donovan…

Look  upon my Farmlet there’s been a thief, that’s what it was.
Look  upon my Farmlet there’s been a thief, that’s what it was.
First there was a trailer, then there was no trailer, then there was.
First there was a trailer, then there was no trailer, then there was.
The caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within.
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within.
Ah, my-my.


It would seem that sometime between Wednesday afternoon’s roof inspection, and yesterday’s work session, that someone took it upon themselves to *liberate us of our little trailer.  It is only big enough to carry the lawnmower.  Hence, without it we would have to leave the lawnmower.

Now that there had been a theft we no longer felt confident to leave it up there!

The locals say that theft is rare up on the mountain, but like anywhere else it can happen.  So, after making a police report, there was nothing for it but to go off to Tractor supply and purchase a new one.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that our model was on sale and this saved us $100.00.  Still, the money spent was money we don’t have for other needed things this month.


Our morning was now shot, but we set to work in the hours we had remaining.  Bob began the puzzle of building bones for the crooked wall in the bathroom, and I went out and finished the mowing around the house.  Everyone that comes to the Mountain Farmlet to work admonishes us to “Keep that grass cut short around your house and outbuildings so the snakes will stay away!”  Ah!  Now I understand the old adage about “A snake in the grass”  but I guess mowing doesn’t work on the two-legged kind.

When I was done I checked to see if Bob needed my help.  He said “No.”  So I went to the woods with the dogs in tow.  Because the land is a very long piece of property I estimate the trail’s loop to be one half to three-quarters of a mile when you walk it.

The trail is little traveled for the moment and always full of spiders.  On previous treks I had tried using a stick to rid the way of spiders, but their webs are hard to see and very strong!   It is very creepy to try to pull them off of your face and out of your hair, so I devised a tool to use.  I took an old, rather large umbrella and removed the fabric from it.  Now when I walk I hold its spines out in front and they catch the invisible webs, spiders and all!   This is a strange but true fact:  When I am done I hang it near the trail and when I come back the spiders *and all the webs are gone!   Weird, but nice.  I love a self-cleaning tool.  😉

Returning with the dogs, I then put them on the back porch and grabbed my camera.  Before I left for the second walk I told Bob to ring the old farm bell to let me know when he was done and ready to go.

I have been here three times and never saw this bell until I took the previous picture!

Love that old farm bell!

Found along the way ~


  1. Apparently, the high protein substance of spider webs is a high energy product to produce.  Therefore, many spiders eat the silk to conserve energy for production of the next day’s web.
  2. *Hickory Tussock moths carry a poison substance in the barbed hairs on their backs.  It is said that it can cause a serious irritation in some individuals.  I did not want to test this, and therefore left the little beastie on the side of the trash bin. 😉
  3. The little trailer was heavily cabled to the car port structure… so they had to come back with bolt cutters!  😐
  4. And yes, even at the furthest point on the trail I could hear that bell.  Simply old-fashioned and wonderful!

Curiosity killed the cat.

And satisfaction brought it back.

In the old homestead on the Mountain Farmlet, there was a wall that had a funny bulge.  The bulge was very firm and would not budge.  However, just to the left side there was an odd caving spot that was very movable.

One day while there alone my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to investigate…

It was like peeling an onion. 

Off came the chair rail, then the paneling.  Underneath of the paneling there was scrap wood, foam board, cardboard, chip board, seven layers of ancient wall paper, and some cotton fabric that had been soaked in mastic and applied to a rather large void.  On one side of the void were large 12 and 14 inch planks, and on the other side was tongue and groove wood siding.  The top of the fabric nearest to the ceiling had been opened at some point in the past, and so…

I removed it to reveal this!

What-was-insideIf you do not recognize it, then I will tell you.  It is the northwest corner of the log cabin that was built in 1840.  The odd cut length of the log’s ends are why the wall bulged in this spot.

I was so surprised to find that there was no mold or mildew under all that old paper.  But now what to do about this uneven wall?

It was suggested to me by the Octogenarian’s daughter-in-law that I might put a viewing window here.  I think she may be right.  It will require us to do a bit more revealing,  some brushing and vacuuming, and the hole will have to be framed out and some plexiglass installed as well, but I think it will be fun to leave a portion of the original home open to view.  Don’t you agree?

In other news  we must report that we are at a standstill as to what we can do to the house to repair it.  We have to wait for the foundation man and the plumber to work their magic first.  Then we can call in the electrician to fix the wiring.  It is going to take some time.

So yesterday, with intentions to work in the yard, we arrived with shovels and rakes, work gloves and boots, only to succumb to a mild summer day and a blue sky with big white clouds.


We walked in our woods, then sat on the bench on the front porch to eat our lunch.  We observed a Carolina Wren building a nest in the newspaper slot under our mailbox and watched the butterflies and bumble bees sipping nectar.

Later we walked by the pond


Buddy found a *rat snake near the ravine, and Bob finally got to go exploring!  He makes me smile every time he says:

“It still hasn’t sunk in that this is really ours.” Or, “This is such a beautiful place, I wonder if it is for sale?” 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh yes, and something is missing in this picture.  Do you remember what it was?

NOTES on Rat Snakes:

Rat snakes (aka: chicken snakes) are really maligned!  I went looking for a picture of one for you to see and everywhere I turned there were rants about them.  You know, they will eat your chickens eggs if they can get into your coop, but hey!  Secure your coop!!!  There is a reason they are also called RAT snakes,  and they can be very helpful in rodent control if you keep animals and feed.

I am not above touching one of these farmyard visitors… when, and if, the need arises!  LOOK HERE

Besides, the last time I saw a “chicken snake” on the farmlet, well, the rooster and my 15 hens were chasing it off the premises!  😉

Visitor--Black Rat Snake

Visitor–Black Rat Snake (Photo credit: cotinis)

A phone call and an invitation…

Last night the *Octogenarian called with an invitation to visit the new property on Friday!  She said she wanted to show me around the gardens before all their spring loveliness was bloomed out!

Isn’t she lovely to think of that?

She also said she had some photographs of the old place for me too.

Is it Friday yet?


*NOTEFor those who wonder why I call her the Octogenarian.  I do it to protect her anonymity.   I didn’t want to put her name out there on the net, lest she run into it and not appreciate my bandying it about!