Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pit Crew

pit crew /a farmchick definition/ ~noun~ 1) a group of people in your life who arrive at unexpected moments to provide encouragement 2) those who bolster your spirits in times of trial 3) people who ease your way through life
Several days ago I ventured to our smalltownland farm store. In search of dog wormer, it was not a glamorous trip. Little did I know that a member of my pit crew was waiting to see me.

Ms. E and her family have been running this store for many a year. Ms. E is locally famous for her chocolate chip cookies and you may often find a tray on the counter for customers to enjoy. I asked for her help in locating my item and while talking she discussed my blog and photography.

She provided me with bits of encouragement, praise, and support in an unexpected moment. It did more for my day, and week, than I could say. She also gifted me with a book, written by a blogger, about defining things with just four words. And therefore, pointing me into a whole new direction of thought.

What about you? Do you have a pit crew for your life? Have you been gifted with those amazing people who provide you with words of encouragement when you need it. Or more importantly, when you think you don't?

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Old Spring House

Our ancient farmhouse has a has three small waterfalls that are quite close to our front porch. At any given time of year you can sit on the porch and listen to the falls pour out from the hillside. A pathway has been worn over time that takes you right down the hill to this.
Small falls rush out of the hillside and form a creek with small pools of water that hold small creatures of all sorts. While walking and taking pictures I ran across this piece of dishware that I think it the bottom of a teacup. There is actually some embossing on it that didn't show up on camera.

The remnants of an old spring house are also in this area of our farm. In the corner you can see a small stream of water that flows from the ground. Looking for pottery shards is a favorite activity here in late spring/early summer. After that nature rules and tall weeds keep us from the area. Not to mention the crazy insect population. Searching for shards after a heavy rain is usually our best bet. The rain washes out a lot of treasures just waiting to be found.

We also have a cave on our property, which is quite common in our area. Typically the dog in this photo climbs up the rocks and runs into the cave. Then, he dashes back out about a minute later.

We have found a basketful of pottery shards in and around the old spring house. Pictured below are some of the larger pieces. Bits of dishes, glassware, mason jars, milk glass, and stoneware crocks have all been found. There is also a spout pictured on the right hand side of this photo.

On the day I photographed the falls I also found this heart shaped rock. That day was also my daughter's birthday.

A good sign I think.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

History and a Night Sky

I captured this unexpected shot during a moment of twilight while walking along on our historic town square. This building stands on an historic lot purchased in 1806 for a whopping sixty dollars.
The left hand side of this building is known as Allen's Inn. Notable for the fact that Andrew Jackson visited the facility on September 26, 1832. He recorded the visit in his diary while traveling from Washington to Nashville via the Lexington-Nashville Turnpike.
The right hand side of the building is known as one of forty independent banks that were chartered in 1818. The original bank vault does remain.
The entire structure was constructed of local limestone. The right hand section features a gable and a lunette window. The offset door and two bay front complete the non-typical design. The frame section, in the middle of the structure, was added between 1820-1830. It served as the main entrance to the inn and connected the two buildings.
The building served as a family residence for many years until 1944. Currently the right hand side of the building houses a beauty shop.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Double Digits

A certain girl in our house has officially entered the double-digits today.
She is a gregarious,


precious child who can talk faster than anyone I have ever met.

And, she totally knows how to work a sombrero.
Happy Birthday Toots!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Never Ending

"From breakfast, or noon at the latest, to dinner, I am mostly on horseback, attending to my farm, or other concerns which I find healthful to my body, mind, and affairs".

Thomas Jefferson
Here at the farmette it is a different kind of animal that gets everyone around the farm. Now that the weather is better, the chores have started. And, I find it so great that I have a young man around the house who doesn't mind helping.

when his good buddy is along for the ride.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Little Sass for the Week

A busy, busy week is in store here at the farmette. Not only do we have the regular stuff....orthodontist appointments, work, laundry, etc..., my daughter's birthday falls on this Sunday. This would mean that four girls will be sleeping over on Friday night.
Oh dear....
My son is already feeling outnumbered and has asked if he can have a friend stay over. I think maybe we need another dog just to round out the whole situation. I kid, I kid, so if you know me please don't drop one off at my house.
I put up a sassy little saying on my kitchen sign board a couple of weeks ago.
I think I will leave it up so the girls will know the Farmchick's in charge.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spreading Some Kindness

"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again".

Og Mandino

My daughter and I were in line at the grocery store this past week. She asked me for an extra quarter and as I dug through my purse, I realized I didn't have one. As she began to question me, an older lady standing behind us, handed my daughter the quarter she wanted. She pressed the coin in my daughter's hand and told her to go enjoy it. I started to protest, really because I wasn't sure she could spare it. Honestly.

Such a small token of kindness made an impact on the both of us. Although there have been times when I have helped I do it often enough? Do I take advantage of moments presented to me to be kind, and not just in monetary ways?

So, for this Valentines Day instead of buying gifts and focusing on the monetary, let us all focus on the kindness. Not people pleasing behavior, but genuine thoughtful words and acts. A random act of kindness every single day.

"Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle".

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Embrace the Snow

As my grandmother, Bird, might say....., "Lawd have mercy".
At least a couple of inches of snow fell on Smalltownland this past Wednesday. Combine that with the snow we received Monday night and that makes for a total of 1.5 days of school we attended this week. Although inconvenient, it is beautiful on our farm. I suited up in my teenage son's hunting clothes and took some pictures. I looked like the Michelin Man as I stomped and waddled around our property. Yes, I even wore his insulated boots.

I found deer tracks right next to our farmhouse.

Fence posts and blue skies. I love the combination.

The remnants of an old well.

We also have the remnants of an old spring house here on our farm. A natural spring flows out of a hillside on our farm, forming several waterfalls. Truly a beautiful place that deserves a post all its own and will get one in the near future. At this spring house the water flows in the left hand corner of this photograph. The chiclets and I have spent many hours here and found pieces of pottery, stoneware, canning jars, and dishes.

After an hour out in the cold, I finally made my way back to the farmhouse.

Anyone else out there get a deluge of snow?

Thoughtless Thursday...a Trifecta

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Church Lady Special

In Smalltownland you can always find a church selling a cookbook as a fundraiser. You know the type of cookbook....everyone contributes a recipe and the book is printed with a plastic spiral binding. All the ladies of the church typically contribute their best recipe and these cookbooks are immensely popular.

It is what I like to call, "Church Lady Cuisine". To me a good church lady recipe has several hallmarks. The first being real ingredients that are readily available in any typical grocery store are used. No fancy sauces or spices are needed.

Second, the recipe satisfies children and adults alike. It is hearty and no nonsense. Fit for church dinners, picnics, or a funeral, church lady food is very versatile.

Third, and most important, to the church lady mantra is the addition of.....drum roll please......

cream of mushroom soup.

It is the glue that holds all casseroles together. That, "certain something", that church ladies just can't cook without.

And so I shall now share with you one of my favorite church lady recipes. It is a great cold weather supper with the addition of a salad/vegetable on the side.

Potato Sausage Casserole
1 lb sausage (I like to use a hot/spicy version.)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (church lady glue)
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups peeled, sliced raw potatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Brown sausage, drain and set aside. Combine, soup, milk, onion, salt, and pepper. In a greased 2 qt casserole dish, layer half of potatoes, half of soup mixture and half of sausage. Repeat. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cheese, return to oven, uncovered for 2-3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Farm Auction

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."

Dwight David Eisenhower

Yesterday morning Secret Agent Man and I ventured just up the road from our farm to an auction that was scheduled to take place. Although we didn't get the light snow that was predicted, the weather was still unpleasant with gusty winds, cold temps and drizzle. We showed up early before the bidding began to check out the offerings.

A large family farm was being divided for sale as the heirs couldn't agree on its fate. Land, farm equipment, and the small farmhouse were all on the auction block. The farm had been divided into tracts with more than one tract being for more than seventy acres. Under the striped tent household items were being organized. Before the auction was over the tent had been flattened by the wind.

Only a few antiques were among the offerings. These two stoneware crocks were in the farmhouse and really caught my eye.

Before we left our house Secret Agent Man told me I would be fine in my fleece jacket. I believe his exact words were, "It's not that cold out there." I should have been wise like this farmer in the photo and put on a pair of coveralls. It was seriously cold.

The weather didn't deter anyone and even though much land was sold, a large piece of it is still with the family.....and those crocks didn't come home with me. *sniff, sniff*

Friday, February 4, 2011

Totally Random

Gentle Readers.....the following post has no cohesive thought nor flow. Due to the snow and cold weather I do think my brain has shriveled and is now incapable of true reflection. So, I decided to utilize my visual skills and sort through some older photos instead.
Here we have my own dear Toots really acting the part of a true ham.
A random barn shot....I do love them. And, there is the slightest sliver of a moon right above the roof line. A nice touch by Mother Nature.
A marshmallow fresh out of the fire. True summertime heaven on a stick.

A bad reputation as a weed, but beautiful nonetheless.

Trap shooting practice should be starting soon and actually I cannot wait for The Deerslayer to get back at it.

The weather forecast is calling for more snow. Seriously, I am going to turn into a flake before long.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And Now a Few Words From Mr. Frost....

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost
~the last stanza~