Tuesday, June 28, 2011


When roadblocks, locked gates, and unexpected turns sprout up along the path we've mapped out, we can quit on the spot and progress no further. Or we can build a new path and follow it in whatever direction our imagination takes us. For those who dream, the choice is simple.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summertime and the living is easy I mean busy. The chiclets are almost too busy for words. Between sports, friends, sports, social activities, and sports....well, there hasn't been too much time for just being a bit lazy.

Lately I think they just like me for my wheels and my semi-full gas tank. Oh...and the funding I supply.

This week marks the Kentucky state trap shoot and a little break from softball. So, hopefully things will slow down just a bit.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Dear Clothesline....I Love You

A couple of days ago I was reading a post by Birdman about hanging clothes out on the line to dry. Each day, since the chiclets and I have been off for summer break, clothes have been on our line. I think there are two schools of thought on this practice. Some, eco-minded folks, like the option of using less electricity for this daily chore. Others prefer that fabric softener scented clothing that comes straight from the dryer.

I have become one of those eco-minded folks who like using less electricity. I also like that our clothes come from the line smelling like no fabric softener can make them smell. Sheets and pillowcases from the line are my personal favorite.

Hung correctly, clothes can also have less wrinkles. Hang pants from the waistline to allow the legs to hang freely. Pin shirts upside down, or at the bottom of the shirt, to avoid clothespin marks and allow the wrinkles to literally fall out. Hang dark colored clothing inside out to avoid fading and allow white clothes to stay right side out and get the bleaching effect from the sun.

If you feel like your clothes are not soft enough after hanging on the line, make sure you give them a good shake, (so you get that snap), before pinning them on the line.

Clothes that are line dried have a much longer life than do clothes that are dried in a dryer. That lint filter is actually full of fibers from your clothes..... The heat can also damage elastic as well.

I admit that all I learned about drying clothes on a line I learned from my Gran Lucy. She taught me well....even if my kids do complain that our towels feel a bit crunchy from time to time.

Do any of you line dry your clothes? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chainsaw Magic

While at our local fair last week, we ran across a demonstration by Jason Emmons from Bear Hollow Wood Carvers. He is part of a team that creates sculptures from logs using a chainsaw.

He started with just a log.

Then came the head design.

He refined the body.....

and then added some details and paint.

Here you have his finished product that took an hour to make.

Mr. Emmons stayed at the fair for two nights and did two demonstrations each night. His sculptures were auctioned off at the end of the week with proceeds going to the fair.

I hope you will check out the link. Mr. Emmons, and his team, are truly some talented gentlemen. Galleries of their work are on their web page.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For Secret Agent Man and Mr. B

"When I was a boy of fourteen my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But, when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

Mark Twain

This Father's Day I would like to take a moment to thank Secret Agent Man....the driver of the go-cart and the cruise director of this ship....when I am not trying to direct it myself.

The wood cutting, girl's softball coaching, gentleman farming guy who is the dad to our two kids and my husband for twenty-three years. Thanks for all that you do, for all of us.

And, a special thanks to Mr. B for being my dad and a grandpa to my kids. I also appreciate his sense of humor such as this photo of him wearing this wig from the granddaughter's dress up box.

I hope you take a moment today to recognize the dads in your life.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The County Fair

"A small town is a place where there's no place to go where you shouldn't."

Burt Bacharach

Yesterday we took in the enormity that is our county fair. And it was all that it could be and more. I passed up the daytime pig catching contest to attend in the evening.

Ominous skies prevailed as night drew upon us and it was quite lovely.

I came across a llama and pronounced that I would need one for my birthday. Secret Agent Man pronounced that he needed a hay baler. I think he and I have struck a deal.

As the night came to a close we rounded up the chiclets and headed back to the farmette.

Another year must pass before we do it all again. The candy, the rides, the queasiness....

Toots is not sure she can make it that long.

*On a special note I would like to report that I saw a, "gentleman", with a t-shirt that read: "Trust me...I'm a doctor".

Trust ME when I say he was most certainly NOT a doctor.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Small Town Truths

The closest mall is over an hour away.

A day spent fishing is better than any day at the mall....even if the fish is itty-bitty.

Most people go by a nickname.

You don't bother washing your car because it is always traveling a dirt or gravel road.

Directions are given by the stop light as a reference.

Cows getting out of the fence is cause for a photo op.

The whole school went to the same party after graduation.

You know what 4-H means.

What people think you are up to is infinitely more interesting that what is really happening.

People know you by name....and your momma, and your daddy.....and so on and so forth.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

All Grown Up

After our little Chipping Sparrow eggs hatched on our front porch, they didn't live very long. My daughter, especially, was very disappointed. However, one week later another nest appeared on our porch with three little sparrow eggs nestled inside.

Only one egg hatched and here is that tiny baby almost all grown up.

He has been out of the nest hopping, and attempting to fly, all over the place.

He seems to like Toots and the mom didn't mind a bit that she visited with him....or her.

As soon as he hopped down, his mom was right next to him. He continued to flap his wings and hop all around the yard. In a day or two I am sure he will fly off on his own.

It has been nice to see him grow up.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Beautician is Martha Stewart

Here in Smalltownland I visit my beautician for my monthly coif and she does a bang up job.....every time. Not only is she famous for her hair skills she is also the quintessential gardener. This is just a mere peek at her skills.

Her beauty shop is in her home and each spring I look forward to her garden, as do many other people.

She dispenses garden advice for free and the inside of her home is just as fabulous as the outside. She is her own Martha Stewart.

At my latest visit she counseled me on my paint choices for some summer projects.

Yes, she owns her own paint samples.....

Somehow I doubt she will actually do the painting for me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Straw Bale Gardening Update

With this straw bale gardening update I am giving you a full view of our garden arrangement. A couple of years ago, Secret Agent Man divided our garden into quadrants with a walkway. At that time we were thinking maybe a couple of raised beds and two quadrants for regular garden plots. However, this year three sections are being used for straw bales and the one regular section is currently growing sunflowers, sweet potatoes, standard potatoes, lettuce, and corn.

Although this photo makes things look so barren, I can assure you everything is sprouted and on its way. And, yes that is a bottle tree in the middle! If you want to know more about bottle trees you can read about them here and here.

The sprouts have been doing well considering we have had temps in the low to mid 90's each day....with no rain. I have been providing water nightly, but nothing beats a good soaking rain.

The watermelon and pumpkin bales seem to be doing the best.

The only problem I have had is that my tomato seeds did not sprout as expected. They were heirloom varieties, so I searched our area and found some heirloom plants. Now we will have pink, yellow, red, and striped tomatoes.

And yes....I am using these crazy metal, swirly poles to stake my tomatoes. Secret Agent Man thinks that real tomatoes don't grow on things like this. We shall see about that.

What about you? Success or trouble in your garden this go around? Do tell! And don't leave out the gritty parts...you know....worms, snakes, bugs, or Jack Russell Terriers who want to walk across your straw bales......

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A New Beginning

This weekend marked a new chapter in life for my niece. A mandolin pickin', guitar strummin', song writing, scholarship winning, and all around prodigious young person, who graduated from high school with honors.

Here's wishing her a life filled with much joy, little sorrow, and bountiful opportunities.

May she continue to be a person of consequence as she ventures through life.

Proceed and be bold!

We love you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Man And His Machine

Behold the tractor....

Parked under the shade tree, next to our house, instead of in the barn. Where I think it should be. Secret Agent Man often parks it here and hoses it off....like it is a delicate instrument.

The tractor is quite beloved by Secret Agent Man. He loves to do all sorts of chores with this machine. It is his farming companion.

And then.....just the other day....it needed hydraulic fluid. And, being really kind of a city girl, I thought that sort of thing came in a smallish can.

But No!

It comes in this five gallon bucket. I have so much to learn.....

Here is the gigantic funnel we had to use.....

Seriously, I had to hold the funnel.

Job completed and I am so glad that when it needs tire repair the tractor guys come out to the farmette to complete the job.

I am just not up to that kind of work people.

**I should let you know that I actually took one of the smaller tires into, "town", one time to get it patched. Took it to a man named, "Slobber". He did a fine job..... You can't make this kind of stuff up people. **