Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Old Wives Tales, Folklore and Old Timer Talk

An old timer from our community told me to start planning on a cold, long winter last summer 2013, he said, “you see them darn hornet’s nest up there on that tree, “ well that’s a sure sign we are headed for some trouble.  Old timer was right; it was a winter that kept on giving….

I noticed that the yellow jackets are building their nests in the ground this spring of 2014 and this tells me, according to my old-timer, we might have a mild winter this year.... as last summer 2013, their nest were above ground and guess what type of winter we had!! - Awful. 

Now, here in the East Blue Ridge our spring/summer weather is starting out hot, humid and unpredictable, this week we received another 3 ½ inches of rain in one night -  now I am not one to complain about rain but I fear we might be in for a rough season.

What does it mean when it rains all spring and summer, does this mean a mild winter, low hurricane season, (less stink bugs (I can dream))?

I can’t find any tales or folklore on this – but I am a searching.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rearranging Hens Living Quarters.

Rearranged the coops, put the 5 little ones in the bigger and the 3 older in the smaller one. 

Since I rearranged the hen houses… baby chicks into the larger coop and the three big birds to the smaller coop…… the older ones are not happy… fussin, squawking and peckin… laying their eggs in the yard by the clematis plant.  They meet me at the gate each day I return home from work, telling me about how I wronged them.  Oh well.. Soon (hopefully and not next year) all will have their nice big coop to share and be all warm in fuzzy… On the brighter side…the hens have left my flowers be… my creeping phlox, lily’s and peonies.   –

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mother’s Day Treasures…

My most treasured mother’s day gifts are homemade, something as simple as a photo book with pictures that captured a holiday I could not attend - bring me joy still... I have a box of these ‘books’ that I have in an old hat box… I occasionally get them out – a gift that keeps on giving… My second is the wooden tray, where pictures were taken and made into a collage.   Nothing wrong with flowers, I love them too.  I wonder how many mothers have a ‘hat box’ like me?  Happy Mother's Day!

Letters, a handwritten thank you, howdy and good buys...

A group on Facebook had a letter swap recently and I thought about joining in on this.... but I was just not in the spirit at the time, now I wish I had…. I recently received this letter from a law clerk that left our agency for a job in New York City.

The letter Bruce wrote is a bit silly and unique, but so special and thoughtful.  Bruce took the time to write it and print it out… I think he would have hand written if time was not so scarce for him. 

A note I can keep and cherish! 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blooming in the Blue Ridge

Apple trees in bloom, this year I have put in place my pest control... Chickens...I moved my chicken area to where my some of our fruit bearing trees are... they have been hard at work pecking away around the trees.. I also have my new Apple picken Apron, Oh I can't wait to try this out.... Thank you Dolly!   I found a new group that discuses all things canning, freezing and preserving, so many things for me to learn.

Recipe: this is from Nesco..(the machine I use) peel, core and slice apples - I use a mandolin.

Place slices in a bowl, spray with a good amount of lemon juice I like to spray the apples vs soaking.. Helps in the drying.

Arrange the apple slices or dices on the dehydrator. Make sure not to overlap.

Recommended temperature for drying is between 125f and 135f. Dehydrating times depends in thickness 4 to 10 hours..

I  slice with various thicknesses, so I can use in various recipes. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Preserving - Alternative Method

Old Timers Method

While researching an alternative to freezing and canning - I wanted to share what mountain old timers who forged out an existence without electricity, running water and in most instances a limited cash flow.

Leather Beans:  Using a long needle with a strong thread, push the needle through the center of the bean, pushing the beans together.  Hang the string in warm air, not direct sunlight. Let them remain hanging until dry.  Store in a bag until ready to use.. I would think they used cotton bags...

Peas:  When ripe lay them in the sun to dry, after thoroughly dry, place them on a large cloth or sheet outside on a windy day, and beat the hulls off with a stick. The wind will blow the chaff away and leave only the peas.  Store the peas in sacks in a dry place.   Again, to store I think they may have used old flour sacks....

Not sure how they dealt with humidity or how they beat the peas, on the ground, or hanging?  I guess I will find out.

I will be trying the leather beans this year and I will update the post.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Learning Lessons

I started this blog to chronicle my existence in Hooterville...and only Hooterville...then my job interfered.  I work 5 days a week outside of Hooterville...but I start and end my day feeding hounds, hens and a husband.  I love being home tending to things.  Retirement is not that far off, thankfully.

I have been struggling with certain "other" coworkers, who inherited me, and "these coworkers" preferred method of help is to give correction and not direction...Plus much more crap.

I get upset, and try to figure out a way to deal, and I joke about ducking the flying monkeys and I hope I am out to lunch when the house falls...humor really helps!

On a serious note, I found myself feeling frustrated.  It started to affect me; how I treated my husband, how I reacted to things, and how I was dealing with life. I said to myself....this has got to end; I don't want to live that way.

See if you let some crappy coworkers, or anyone for that matter, assign your worth - they will - and you won't be worth much - I am so tired of dealing with bullies and unpleasant people.

My problem is still there, but my attitude has changed.  I don't want to be preachy, and I am no way a saint, and the Lesson Learned that took way too long to learn was ... "To let go and let God handle it".

No matter what we do, who we deal with, at work, the feed store, on the road...we will encounter nasty, unpleasant people - take a deep breath, and say God, this one is for you.  Wish I had learned...really learned this lesson years freeing this has been for me! 

A big smile is one my face as a type….and it makes me so much more appreciative of the opportunity for my home, raising the chickens, working the bloodhounds, and endless the possibilities for my gardens and cultivating an organic existence….