Tag Archives: community

A busy week

This was a week of swim lessons for Gdaughter that lives here.  She is a little 4 year old fish.  Because of her lack of fear and the skills she learned last winter, they put her in a class of 6 year olds and up and she held her own.  Fearless to go under water, jump off the diving board toward a waiting instructor/catcher, swimming crawl and backstroke in a life vest and flippers.  I think she will be swimming well by the end of summer.

Today was a craft/vendor show for support of the Newport Volunteer Rescue Squad.  It was sponsored by their auxiliary that set it up in the Volunteer Fire Department building and served hot dogs, lemonade, and baked goods.  I have to consider my booth fee as a donation to the squad, because the event was not well publicized, was not well marked, and there were only 6 vendors.  Three crafts folk and three catalog sale type vendors.  The traffic was nearly non existent and I didn’t sell enough to even make my $35 booth fee in 5 hours.  I ended up with the full space that one fire truck parks in to set up my booth and though I knew that I wouldn’t sell knit goods in the summer, I still set up my newly homemade stand with shawls, hats, and mitts on it.  Many skeins of yarn, and a table full of soaps, lotions bars, healing salves, and men’s beard products were displayed.

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I finished the skein of yarn that I was frantically trying to get spun and plyed, but didn’t have time to wash it.  I skeined it up and took it anyway as it was lovely shades of green and not the reds, blues, and naturals of most of my yarns.  It didn’t sell, none of the yarn did, though my spinning on the drop spindles to pass the time attracted a fair amount of attention.

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Since it came home with me, I will wash and dry it before I put it in the shop.  It is about 180 yards of worsted weight with a bit of texture due to the Mohair carded in with the Longwool and Romney.

When I got home and unloaded, Jim and I drove to town to pick up a chair that I had ordered.  The furniture store was having a July 4 sale and I was able to pick up a chair I had wanted for about half price.

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Though I am a tall woman, my height is in my torso, so most chairs are not comfortable for me for any length of time as my back doesn’t touch the back of the chair in order to put my feet on the ground.  This chair fits me perfectly and allows me to recline or put my feet on the ottoman, or move the ottoman and spin from the chair.  It required assembly once home, but I haven’t moved from it in an hour.  It is so comfortable.  This is my new spot and I am loving it.

The young chicks are all escape artists.  Being so, they cause the hens angst and then they too manage to get out.  I have moved the netting around, expanded the pen, opened the meat bird pen to them which allows the chicks out through the fence, but keeps the hens in and still they escape.  There is still one sitting 10-12 eggs and another that wants to be broody, but as I am only getting 1 or 2 eggs per day right now, I won’t let her sit.  I am hopeful that if we get a few from this next brood that there will be enough birds to expand my flock a bit and still have enough for the freezer without buying day old chicks and raising them in the garage brooder this fall.

Tomorrow, I am going to take the large cardboard box that held a desk for my stepmom, that we hauled across the state with the table and chairs, and the box and packing cardboard from my new chair, and it will be laid to the path and just outside the garden fence to start the prep for next year’s perennial bed around the vegetable garden.  I am still trying to decide whether to remove the garden fence and return to electric fence and to use the fencing to create a large chicken run around the orchard for them to have more space to range.

Last night we drove up to the hill above our house to see if we could see where the logging noises were coming from, only to discover that they had clear cut the woods immediately behind our neighbor’s fields.  We think that there is land between it and us that is owned by someone else and are hopeful that they don’t breech the hill we see to the west of our lower field. While up there, I took a new photo for my header shot.

House

Still loving life on the our mountain farm.

Earth Day

Litter

Mother Earth should be treated more kindly, not just on Earth Day, but everyday.  We try to do our part, recycling (even in our rural area), composting either in the compost piles or through the help of the chickens, keeping our property and the road front clear of litter, combining errands to reduce the carbon footprint by driving less.  Planting trees in the non pasture parts of the farm.

Many rural folk have a different mindset about trash, I have blogged about this before (http://wp.me/p3JVVn-l3), but in addition to keeping junk and making trash piles, there is the roadside litter; empty soda and alcohol cups, bottles, and cans, fast food containers, cigarette packages (there are a lot of irresponsible smokers in this county).  Periodically, someone will take it upon themselves either out of civic duty or court imposed community service to walk down the beautiful mountain road and collect bag after orange bag of litter and leave them for the county services to collect.  When we lived in the city, we would see some of this too, along with the ashtray dumps in the street gutters where all of that nastiness washed down into the storm drains and eventually into the river and ocean.  Before retirement, we lived in a coastal city and often took our kayaks into one of the hundreds of canals, creeks, rivers and bays available.  After the first trip or two, we began to each carry a large garbage bag in our kayak and would collect as much as we could on a trip.  I guess this shows that it isn’t just rural folk, they just have city ordinances that prevent the larger collection of yard junk.

How difficult is it to keep a litter bag in your car?  To hold on to the fast food bag until you reach a trash receptacle.  To think before  you throw your butt or ashtray full of butts out the window.  Recycling and anti litter are taught in schools as soon as children begin school.  This is the responsibility of all of us.  Do your part, be responsible.  Don’t just celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree, make it an everyday commitment.

 

Almost Heaven SW Virginia

My apologies to John Denver, but this is a beautiful area.  For reference, this county abuts West Virginia and we live only a short handful of miles from the border.  The county is rural, agricultural; raising mostly beef cattle and Christmas trees with a few horse farms in the mix.  I have often posted about our homestead farm, but today I am taking you on a photo tour of our “town.”

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The county boasts 3 standing covered bridges all crossing the same creek that runs about 2 more miles beyond this bridge owned by the town and then it disappears into the earth to resurface in the New River that traverses 45 miles through the county.  Two of the bridges are privately owned, this one and one private one are closed to driving across them.

The town once had a population of about 5000 people, complete with hotels, taverns, businesses and homes.  In 1902 there was a tremendous fire that destroyed all but three buildings of the town, which was  never reconstructed as it was before.  The actual town now has a hardware store, a small restaurant, a general store/gas station, a post office, about 3 dozen houses, a heating contractor and several churches.  On the fringes, there is the old school, now a community center, the rescue squad, volunteer fire house, a plumbing contractor and the Ruritan Park.  The entire county only has about 15000 residents.

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The farms are mostly old family homes, many built several generations ago and remodeled to add modern kitchens and indoor plumbing.  The variety of barns is a source of beauty to the area.

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This gravel road leads through a pass and at the top of the pass, the Appalachian trail crosses the road.

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This is the remains of a Civil War era house that though abandoned and having no windows remaining, was still standing when we moved here 7 years ago.  Time and weather have taken it’s toll and this last foot and a half of snow two days ago brought it almost to the ground.

The top of our mountain has one of only two natural lakes in the state.  This one is surrounded by a conservancy that owns the grand stone hotel featured in the movie “Dirty Dancing” that was filmed mostly at that location.  There are many hiking trails in this conservancy and the Appalachian trail crosses again only a couple of miles from the hotel.

The area is beautiful at all seasons, but especially now covered in snow.