Thursday, June 30, 2011

July's Event

Not long ago, Kevin said, "Those monthly Events you're having sure make time fly."

How right he was!
Yes, another month has flown by, and it's that time again!

July's First Friday & Saturday Event is this week.
July 1 & 2.

ALL regular priced items will be 20% off both days!!!
A door prize.........


Framed Billy Jacobs print. Retail value $29.99

 And a change will take place this month...........

We've been having Event Bucks - the chance to earn Bucks depending on how much you spent at the Event. They were to be used later in the month just like cash.

But.........

They didn't catch on.
 I have friends on a business forum in other parts of the country that did something similar.
 They used them at Christmas, calling them Frosty Bucks, or Snowman Bucks.
 They had great success with them.
I thought it was a great idea to use at my Events.

I thought wrong. (Not the first time! Probably not the last time!)

My customers just didn't "get it".
 I probably didn't explain them well enough.
 And, as far as I know, it's a new concept around these parts.
Very few of the Event Bucks came back in.
 The customers who did bring them back in
really didn't understand what kind of discount they were getting.

Sooooooo, no problem. Time for a change.

Now, instead of Event Bucks,
 I'm switching to Thank You Coupons.

If you buy anything at one of the Events, you will get a Thank You Coupon.
 It will be good for 20% off a single item anytime the rest of the month.
 (excluding sale items & gift certificates)

Much simpler!

Hope to see you this weekend!

Friday 9:30 - 5:00.
Saturday 9:30 - 2:00.

Closing early Saturday due to the holiday. Jessica & Brian are coming home. Yayyyyyyy!!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And the farming adventure begins

Remember yesterday when I said we bought something
 that would reshape our summer?
Well.....here it is..................


If you're like me, you're saying, "ummm, what is it?"

I'll show you the other side of it, maybe that will help.....


I can just hear you, you're saying "Oh! That's a...a...  Oh for Pete's sake, what is that thing?"

Ok, ok, I'll tell you. It's a self feeder for hogs. See those metal plates at the bottom? Whenever Mr. or Ms. Piggy gets hungry, he or she can just saunter over to the feeder, lift up the metal plates with their nose, and help themselves to feed. How handy is that?

As you can see, the roof has seen better days, and will be replaced. The rest is in pretty good shape, even though it seems to have been made with whatever scraps some farmer had lying around - which explains it being 3 different colors.

And how is that going to reshape our summer?


Well, see that spot just to the right of the rake?
Against the trees?
 Before the summer is over, we plan to have a 3 sided lean-to in that spot.


Or maybe in the spot closer to the right of this picture.
We're still working out the logistics.

And what will be in the lean-to?
Does the self feeding hog feeder give you a clue?

Yep, a couple pigs will be taking up residence.

The lean-to will actually be divided into 3 sections.

On the left will be a couple pigs.
The middle will be for machinery.
The right will be for a couple steers.

We've thought for years that it would be nice to raise our own pork and beef. Or, at the very least, buy a hog and/or steer at the fair to put in the freezer. For various reasons, we just never did it.

Then Kevin grew up, and so did his desire to farm. Or more accurately, his PASSION to farm. I told him he's one of the lucky ones, most people don't really know what they want to do with their life. He does - he wants to farm. Passionately.

Where did this come from? Not from me. Sure, I'm a country girl, but on the small farm I grew up on, we raised a vegetable garden and Christmas trees. I think our cats and dogs would have been offended if we had called them "livestock".

It had to have come from his dad, who grew up raising sheep, and a steer or two as FFA/4-H projects.

It also came from every one of his grandparents, all of whom had farm backgrounds.

Farming is in his blood. It's who he is.

And, he's lucky to have a farming neighbor who is teaching him the ropes.

He would love to farm full time, and I suspect that someday he probably will. Right now, he's only lacking 2 major things........money and patience.

In the meantime, he has re-awakened our desire to raise our own beef and pork. Knowing what is in our meat is very appealing - as is knowing what isn't in our meat!

Kevin had planned to have hogs and steers this spring, but between the rain, too many projects, full time jobs, and the need to actually sleep once in a while, it just didn't happen. He had pretty much given up on doing it this year, until.......


Funny how life works! George and I and a friend were out "antiquing". We noticed what looked like a yard sale, and decided to stop on our way home if it was still open. Our day of "antiquing" didn't bring as many treasures as they usually do, so we had lots of room still left in the truck. We almost missed the yard sale on the way home, but pulled off just in time.

And there it was. Though I had no idea what it was. But George did, and the wheels started turning.

We paid for it, then the skies opened. We waited out a long rain storm, then the fellow we bought if from helped George load it in the truck. And what had been casual plans became full fledged plans.

It's probably too late this year to get livestock, but we'll go ahead and build. We may run across something, and if not, we'll be ready next spring.

Last summer, Kevin built a chicken coop, with help from his dad and cousin.


The chickens are living large in their cottage! We just need to train them to use a paint brush so they can finish the trim. Or maybe we'll just do that ourselves, if we ever get a dry day or two. That might be easier than teaching a chicken to paint.


They are very content in their surroundings, and we are anxiously awaiting their eggs. They won't start laying until September or so. If you live locally, and want fresh eggs, let me know. I don't think we'll be able to keep up with eating eggs from 39 hens!

Well, actually, there's not quite 39 hens. Seems a couple of them aren't hens. They were all SUPPOSED to be hens. But if you lived closed enough to hear them, you would know that there are a couple (at least) of roosters in the mix. They are getting quite good (and loud) at cock-a-doodle-doing!

Let the farming adventure begin!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Country life = Busy weekend

Busy, busy weekend!

Friday was spent looking for antiques. We didn't find as many as we had hoped, but did manage to pick up a few things. I could show them to you - but I forgot the camera.

We found something for our personal use that will re-shape the rest of our summer. I'll try to remember to get a picture of it tonight. What is it? Here's a hint......think COUNTRY.

Saturday was spent in the garden. It's been a rough garden year. Lots and lots of rain made for late plantings. Right after we planted, it got dry for several days, and we had to water. Now, we're back into heavy rains again. Saturday was the first day the garden was dry enough to step into for a week and a half. Any idea how many weeds popped up in that time? Geesh.

The unexpected upside to how much hoeing I've done in the garden this year? My normally aching back is feeling much better!

When we were driving through the countryside on Friday, we saw many big fields that didn't get planted this year. Instead of corn, or soybeans, they were empty, except for mud and water. Farming relies on the weather, and this year has not been kind to the hard-working farmers in our area.

Sunday morning was spent in church. Obligatory.

Sunday afternoon I took a nap. Bordering on obligatory.
(What is it about Sunday afternoons that makes one lazy?)

Sunday evening Kevin and I made plans for the personal thing his dad & I bought that screams COUNTRY. More on that to come..........

How was your weekend?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More auction goodies

We're still getting things on the floor from that big auction we went to several days ago. Some more of the goodies we found...........


No idea what this is - something to do with dairy. I did spend some time on dairy farms when I was a little girl, but since I was afraid of the cows (so big!), I didn't pay much attention to the equipment either.


This is a big, heavy scale of some sort. I don't know what it would have weighed. It is really cool looking!


The back of the scale. I going to leave it as is for a little while. If no one is interested in it in it's present rusty condition, I'll give it a paint make-over. My first thought was black, but then I thought maybe red. What do you think?



Remember the other baby buggies from the auction? This is the third one. How cute is that? It doesn't have a "floor" in it. You could put one in easily enough, or use it as is in a flower garden, letting flowers grow up through it.


This old bird cage was very hard to get a picture of. It needed a good backdrop, but the store is too full right now to find a good backdrop. Not that I'm complaining - just sayin'. The stand it's hanging on is around 5 feet tall. The cage is wood - very fragile. I don't know how old this is, but I'm guessing it goes back a ways.


Same with the parasol laying on the chair. It's paper! And very brittle. And very, very, cool. When you open it, it creaks a bit. I'm afraid to open it all the way, for fear of breaking it.

As for the chairs, there are 6 of them. I'm selling them individually, or as a set at a discount. You can see in the photo, one has a missing knob on top.


If you look closely at the pitcher and bowl, you'll see what happens when you're at an auction, and you bid without looking first. The set is in bad shape, lots of cracks, and even a chunk out of the pitcher. Someone along the way glued it together, and really, they did a good job. It's nice and solid, though the cracks still show.


A couple trunks. They aren't in the greatest shape, I admit. But, they do look better than they do in the picture. I soooo need to get a new camera!


It doesn't show well in the photo, but 1942 is stamped on the inside lid of both trunks.


The 2 bottom boxes are tool boxes. The top one is luggage.....I think. If only they could talk!


Corn planters. A bit on the rusty side. Ok, ok. A lot on the rusty side. We actually have a corn planter hanging in our kitchen. Yep, we're country.


This has had folks stumped. The auctioneer said it's a flax card. When we used to have sheep, we had wool cards, but the individual spikes weren't nearly this long. Basically, the cards are used to comb out the wool. That's after it's sheared, not while it's on the sheep!

We still have a few more things left from this auction to clean and put out on the floor, including 2 mantles. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Country Life = sssssSnakesssss

Last Saturday, George and I sorted a pile of barn wood that was stacked in the edge of the field below our house. We knew some had rotted and would need to be burned.

We also knew what else we would find in the pile. Any time there is a pile of wood or something similar in the country, there are also...

Snakes.

Shudder. I know, I know. Black snakes and garter snakes and their other cousins are harmless. And they are great to have around for mice control. And, and, and....

We still don't like them.

Earlier in the day, we had been looking for something in the shed. All at once, George said,

"Don't move Barb"

And just a few feet in front of me, a BIG black snake was slowly slithering down a pole. He tried to get it, but it got away.

A little later, I was weed-eating behind the same shed, and I hit another snake with the weed eater. I don't know if it slithered away and died, or just wished it did. But it disappeared into the ground.

So, when we started moving barn wood, we knew to be prepared. We had 2 garden hoes nearby, and as we worked our way down thru the pile, sure enough, we encountered snakes.

3 of them. Who met their demise with a hoe.

Later that evening, at a picnic, the conversation turned to an article that had been in the newpaper. It told of a house that had been built on a snake den. The new owners were going to have it torn down because there were dozens of snakes in the house, hidden in the walls etc.

And we thought we had a snake problem. That story certainly put ours in perspective! So far, we haven't seen any near the house. Just in the shed and the barnwood pile.

Where we keep a hoe handy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

West Virginia

George & I were born and raised in West Virginia, and we love our beautiful state.
Today is WV Day, when we celebrate becoming the 35th state on June 20, 1863.


I often think of the strife that surrounded that day.
We were born of the Civil War,
when the War Between the States literally tore the state of Virginia apart.

WV school students have our history drummed into them, especially in 8th grade, when all across the state, 8th graders study for the Golden Horseshoe Exam. We may not remember every detail later in life, but I think most West Virginians can come up with the basic knowledge of our history, thanks to the many great WV teachers who pass their pride in their state along to all those youngsters.


Maybe it's because we studied hard, and know our history so well
 that we get a bit peeved with this question from folks from other states......

"Oh, you're from (name any city in WV). Is that near Richmond?

Umm, no. Richmond is in Virginia. We live in WEST Virginia.

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.
 Almost Heaven, West Virginia.

And no, we don't go to the beach every day.
That's in Virginia too. Not WEST Virginia.

Oh well, we may not get the proper recognition
we deserve in the rest of our great country.
That's ok. We West Virginians are a proud lot.
We love our hills and valleys, our mountain ranges, and our scenic views.





Montani Semper Liberi
Mountaineers are always free
  
We hope if you aren't a West Virginian, you will come and visit.
We're a friendly bunch, and we like to show off our great state.
Come and sit a spell!

Just remember - you're still several hours from the beach.
Forget the bathing suit......bring hiking boots.
We have many mountain trails waiting for you!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers

I've been thinking a lot about the role of fathers (and mothers) this week. It's not an easy lot in life! But for those of us who have been given the opportunity, it's truly the greatest blessing we could have ever hoped for.


The photo is of me and my dad in 1969. I was 7. It was a little scary at the base of Blackwater Falls in WV, but I knew I was safe with dad's arm around me. Not too long after that, they fenced off the area, and now you can only see the Falls from a boardwalk. Every time I go there, I stand on the boardwalk, and remember when daddy took me down to the river's edge.

I wish he was still here to put his arm around me. He died suddenly, in his sleep, in 2009.

Was he perfect? No.
Were there times we didn't see eye to eye? Yes.
Were there times I was mad at him because he wouldn't let me do what I wanted to do? Yes.

But.

I always knew he loved me. When I was rebelling, I didn't always want to believe that he loved me.
But I knew he did.

And, once I had my own children, I understood much more clearly why he made the rules he did.
And, I'm glad now that he made them.

My mom grew up without her dad. He died when she was quite young, and she only had a couple memories of him. She always stressed to me how important it was to have a father, or someone who could fill that role if the biological father could not be there. How right she was.

If you are lucky enough to still have your father here on this earth, thank him for what he's done. If like me, your dad is no longer here, but is now a memory, smile as you remember him.

But then, he's not just a memory, he is very much still a part of my every day life.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some of the auctions finds

It's taking longer to get the latest auction finds out on the floor. Life has a funny way of taking over sometimes. The following photos are a good sampling of the types of things we bought.

This was definately a farm auction. What do I mean by that? Lots of rusty crusties!


Like these. What are these you ask? Autoclaves. I think.

And what is an autoclave? A sterilizer. I've sold these before, and that is what I thought they were, and what I've been told they were. But one of these says The Toledo Cooker. So, now I'm confused.

Doesn't take much.
 

Rusty barn lanterns.


An oil can and some other can on the left.


A milk can and some other can on the left.

See how knowledgable I am?


I do know these are kraut cutters.


And these are metal dishpans.
I wouldn't recommend using them for dishes at this point.


I like this cubby/organizer/desktop thingy.


What is this? Any guesses?


Does this help?
Old baby buggies for baby dolls.

The first one is just, uh, missing something.
But, I think the frame is cool.


An organ stool.


The color didn't show well, but these are pink.


I was about out of crocks, so I was happy to find more.


Little childs rocker. Nice and solid.
A cool green, that also didn't show well in the photo.


Some wheels. Already sold the biggest one before I got a picture of it.


They called the thing on the left a waterer.
The 2 round wood pieces are hat molds.

There's still lots to bring in.
Some of the coolest pieces are still waiting on the water hose.
Stay tuned!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gingerbread wreaths

It's going to take a couple days to get the antiques that were packed into the truck plus a trailer out on the floor. About 3/4 of them are cleaned up so far. Now comes putting them in inventory, pricing and tagging them and finding a spot on the floor to display them. Auctions create lots of work!!!


The day before the auction, I made some gingerbread wreaths........


These locally made fabric gingerbread and wood spoons are crafts that I've had for a good while. I had taken them upstairs for the Clearance Sale, and some sold, but there were still a few left over.


I decided they would be perfect for these little twig swirl wreaths. Add a piece of torn fabric and a few pips, and they made a cute wreath for the gingerbread collector.


I try to carry gingerbread all the time, because I have several customers who decorate with them year round, and they tell me they have trouble finding them except at Christmas.


Many people do think of them as a Christmas decoration, but as long as they aren't "Christmasey" looking, why not use them year round? This one got paired with a handmade flag and some red berries. There are many ways to use them in your every day decorating.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Auction jackpot...and an anniversary

Yesterday's project?
Going to a large, 2 ring auction.


Today's project?
Cleaning!




I saw a man & woman looking at a table of things at the auction.
He was sifting thru boxes.
She said, "how can you touch that dirty stuff?"

Guess she wouldn't want to come help me clean today.

I smiled at his answer..."It's good dirt."









Before we left, I told George...
"Don't buy any horse gear."
"I don't want any horse gear."


So, guess who bought almost all the horse gear?
The auctioneer found it quite amusing.

Today is also my mom & dad's anniversary.
They were married on this date in 1948.


This photo was taken in 1945.
Look how happy they are!
I miss them so much...

I was truly blessed to have good parents,
who had a good marriage,
and who put God first in their home.

How to Peel Farm Fresh Hard Boiled Eggs

I just posted a tip for peeling our farm fresh eggs when you hardboil them on our  Facebook page , and thought I'd share it here as well...