Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Event Weekend for September

I haven't had time to take photos to update, and a post seems so drab without photos! I've been busy making more fall crafts - if something stands still long enough, it gets a pumpkin painted on it.

Reminder - this Friday & Saturday is our Event weekend.
Storewide sale!
20% off regular prices!

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

I had planned to have the Saturday hours till 5:00 on Event Weekends, one comes in after about 2 or 3. Since it's a holiday weekend, I'll plan on closing at 2.

However, if someone comes in with a fistful of cash that they are just dying to spend, I'll stay open. Seems like the least I can do to help someone in need.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fresh eggs. And I do mean fresh!

I'm supposed to be painting pumpkins right now. I had lots painted, and was going to get pictures of them in the shop to post here. But, they sold before I got the picture, so I'm painting more to replenish. Well, to be honest, I've spent the last hour in the chicken coop. Fascinating creatures they are!

I walked in the coop, and saw these 2 hens trying to use the same nesting box.

The line was forming.

 The clucking was getting louder.

The urge was upon them!
It was time to lay an egg, even if there was no more room in the inn!

Ok, this was getting ridiculous.
We have a 3 story inn, they were only using the ground floor.

So, when the second one would get in with the first one,
I'l gently pick up the second one, and move her to the second floor.

Now girls, isn't that better?

A bit more relaxing?

My helper seemed to think so.

I noticed one hen start gently convulsing............

Then I was very excited to see the egg come out!
How cool is that!

I only saw the one come out, but others did lay while I was there.

Oh, the funny shaped eggs are golf balls.
Since these are young hens, just learning the ropes,
the golf ball helps them get the idea.

It's comic to watch them jump in the nest,
and gently move the golf ball around before they lay on it.

"hmmm, I bet I can do that too!"

Every day, we find one egg on the floor in the corner.
I discovered today who the culprit is....

I so wanted to see her lay her egg since she had her backside toward me.
I had the camera pointed at her, and knelt on the floor
till my legs about went to sleep.

I finally gave up, and went outside for a couple minutes.
When I stepped back inside, there it was...

I had just missed it. Oh well.

It's so neat to pick up the eggs just after they've been laid.
So warm in your hand!

We're getting about 13 to 18 eggs a day now.
 If you're interested in fresh eggs, let me know.
We're selling them for $2.00 a dozen.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


No pictures, except the ones in our minds of the earthquake we felt today. Believe me, to have felt that much of an earthquake here in WV is memorable. Just not what you expect when you get up in the morning!

I was in the store, where the lovely construction work on the street outside is on-going. I heard a big bang, then the building started shaking. My first thought was that the construction crew had hit a gas line, and that the entire street was going to blow. I felt the building shake, saw things start moving on the walls, and I high-tailed it out the back door. I stood in our parking lot, looked at our building, and could visibly see it swaying.

When I realized it was an earthquake, I was relieved. That didn't seem nearly as frightening as the entire street blowing up!

The quake was centered in VA, near DC. Jessica and Brian live in VA - Brian works in DC, Jessica works in nearby Arlington. As you can imagine, the amount of swaying and shaking we locals felt was nothing compared to what they felt in DC.

They of course felt it very strongly while at work, then went home to find crooked pictures on the wall, and things knocked off shelves. Ummm, isn't that supposed to happen on the OTHER side of the country?

This makes the 3rd earthquake I've felt here in WV in my lifetime. The first (several years ago) was barely noticeable, lasting a few seconds. The second ( a couple years ago) was stronger, lasting a few seconds longer, with a stronger feeling as well.

This one? Ok.....this is as strong as I care to go!

California, you can come pick up your earthquakes anytime.
We've experimented, and we don't care to keep them any longer.
Thanks for sharing, but really, we don't want to play anymore.

Oh! In case you're wondering what the big bang was I heard just before the building started was just coincidence. Those construction workers make LOTS of big bangs!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend harvest

Last weekend we played.
Too bad we can't do that every weekend....

You might say this weekend was a harvest, of sorts.
Well, it was on the tomatos......

Yesterday, they turned into salsa, with enough left to make more salsa.
Or maybe spaghetti sauce.
Or pizza sauce.

As for the rest of the weekend harvest, well, you wouldn't want to bite into any of it. This is just a smidgeon of the fall crafts I was working on last week...

Hey, want to see some fun special effects?

Ok, ok, back to work I go.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Country life = too close for comfort

Yesterday, I was walking toward the chicken coop, when I noticed something odd on the door. At first I couldn't tell what it was, then I got closer. OH NO!!!

Believe me, a slithering snake is NOT what I want to see on the coop door! Or anywhere near the coop. Or anywhere in the yard, the field, the woods, the valley, the state, the nation, the.........well, let's just say I don't care for snakes.

Naturally, I was home alone at the time. I bravely got a hoe - I have managed to kill a snake or two in the past when the need arose. I didn't want to swing at it while it was on the door though. I'm not that co-ordinated; I could picture glass flying and the snake would still slither away.

It started down the door, and I hoped to get a good swing at it on the ground, but it was too fast, and it got away under the coop.

It's going to be a bit nerve-wracking now to feed the chickens and gather the eggs!

On another note: the shop is closed this week. I have pulled a muscle or something in my leg - it's a loooong story that you really wouldn't be all that interested in. Suffice it to say, my leg gets better, then it gets worse. Funny how it gets better when I rest it, and gets worse when I don't.

And, since the shop is extremely slow right now because of the construction nightmare, it seems to make sense to close for a few days and try to get my leg healed up.

While I'm home, I'm working on fall crafts for the store. And, I will be cleaning up a wood pile, that may be the home of the snake. The hoe will be handy!

Oh by the way, I know all about how good it is to have black snakes around. We still don't want them. But if YOU would like to have them, by all means............take ours!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Country Life = Weekend fun

It's been a busy weekend! On Friday, George & I bought a new toy. Now that our kids are grown, & we don't have to buy their toys, we can afford one for ourselves now and then! We really bought it for farm work, but who says you can't have some fun once in a while too?

Friday afternoon came the work. Friday evening came the fun. It was a perfect summer evening weather-wise, the heat has finally broke. George & I, along with Kevin and family friend Katie decided to take a ride, and we drove the back roads to our destination - Rosby's Rock.

This rock is huge! I've included an article at the end of this post that tells the official story of the rock. What it doesn't tell is why Rosby's is spelled wrong. It should only have one B, instead of two. As the story goes - the worker's celebrated a little too much when they joined the track of the B&O railroad together. In their drunken state, they spelled Rosby's wrong, adding an extra B.

On Saturday, we picked up Jessica at her mother-in-law's house. She & Brian came home to help his mom get her house ready to sell, since she is in the process of buying a new home. Jessica, Katie & I went to a baby shower for our niece, then in the evening we, along with George & Kevin decided it was time to play on the bikes again. Unfortunately, my camera batteries died, but suffice it to say, it's hard to beat a cool summer evening in the country!

After church today, and a quick picnic, we attended a somewhat surprise 25th wedding anniversary party for George's sister and her husband. All in all, a very enjoyable weekend!

More about Rosby's Rock - taken from

Rosbys Rock is located in Marshall County about seven miles southeast of Moundsville on Big Grave Creek Road. It marks the spot near where on Christmas Eve, 1852, the last spike was driven to complete the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from Baltimore to the Ohio River, the first rail line linking the Atlantic coast to the Ohio Valley.

Although there was no golden spike, there was a great celebration a few weeks later in Wheeling to commemorate the completion of the railroad and the arrival of the first train. To mark the spot where the final spike was driven the following words were carved upon the rock: Rosbbys [sic] Rock Track Closed Christmas Eve 1852. The stone itself is a huge sandstone rock of 900 cubic yards, about 64 feet long and 20 feet thick.

The nearby village, also called Rosbys Rock, greatly expanded with the advent of the railroad. Eight passenger and eight to 12 freight trains passed through every day at the height of service. The last passenger train made its final run through Rosbys Rock on October 26, 1957. After the final freight runs in 1972–73, the line was abandoned and removal of the tracks and bridges began in 1974.

With the railroad gone, Rosbys Rock returned to being a small town with only one general store and a few homes. Now even the store is gone. But the village and its great rock remain, reminders of a busier time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Construction nightmare

Want to see what our little world looks like in front of the store right now?

The street is being torn out for a sewer line project.

They have fenced the street off, and took over.

Keep in mind, this is the main business district.
With lots of shops.

Shops with business owners who depend on their sales for their living.
Shops who employ several people.

Shops who have have very few customers these days.

Because the construction has shut down the entire street.
Which of course has shut down parking.

Sidewalks are open, and city parking lots are open.
But - most people don't want to have to walk so far.
Or - for health or age reasons, they CAN'T walk so far.

Gotta love this particular machine.
Every time it goes by, the whole building shakes.

I realize this project has to be done....but it seems like it could have been handled differently. Surely there's a way it could be done without devastating the businesses. An example? The first week the fence was put up, there was no work done! The street was blocked for a week for nothing.

Do I sound a bit bitter? Probably because I am, as are the other business owners. I heard this morning that one of the stores business is down 60%. That's probably the case with everyone, but he was brave enough to crunch the numbers.

This is the 3rd week, it's supposed to last till October. I heard a rumor that they are running into problems, and won't be done till December. I certainly hope that is just a rumor that is wrong. Time will tell I guess.

For those customers who have braved the mess and the noise and came in........I sincerely thank you! All of us along Jefferson Avenue could use your support.

I keep reminding myself of my mom's wise words when bad things happened....
This too shall pass.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Country Life = An unwanted invasion

Want to see some really, really cute animals?

Aren't they sweet?
Aren't they innocent?


At our little farm, we feel like we've been invaded. We complain about damage from the deer. Let me tell you, deer are not nearly as destructive as raccoons!

Last year, our peach tree was loaded. We froze peaches for a couple dozen pies, we gave lots away, we shared with the deer, who would come up every evening and nibble around. There was plenty for all of us.

This year, we won't be getting a single peach. The raccoons took them all. Every last one. Before they were even ripe.

One evening, we came home late, and George walked up to the front door to unlock it. In the darkness, he heard something growling at him. He backed off, and we went in another door, then flipped on the light and looked out the front door. It was a raccoon who had been growling at him.

Saturday, none of us thought to gather the eggs from the chicken coop. George went down early Sunday morning to gather them, there were none. In the dust we saw why - raccoon tracks. We've been getting 8 or 9 eggs a day, the raccoons ate them all. Luckily, they didn't bother the chickens on the roost. It must have been a baby who wasn't big enough to tangle.

So what are we going to do about it?
Well, let's just say war has been declared.

And we intend to win.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August First Friday & Saturday Event

Another month has rolled by! It's time for the August First Friday & Saturday Event.

Remember, this features a 20% off sale on all regular priced merchandise!

And if you buy anything during the Event, you'll get a coupon to use anytime during the rest of the month that is also good for 20% off.

And, you can sign up for this month's door prize:

The winner will get both laundry pictures, a $30 value. No purchase necessary. The winner will be drawn Monday morning.

Jefferson Avenue is under construction due to a sewer line project. It's being done in sections, and right now, the street in front of our store is tore up. As in....holes. Big holes. And equipment. Big equipment.

So, much of the Avenue is blocked to vehicle traffic. But, the sidewalks are open. And the city parking lots are open.

If you buy something too big to carry a bit of a distance to your car, you can pull in the back lot behind us to pick up your purchase.

The construction has been hard on business for all the shops on the Avenue. We really, really, really appreciate the folks who are coming to see us despite the construction.

We hope to see you this weekend!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cabbage revelation

I've discovered something about cabbage. I'm sure the curiousity is killing you, so I'll get right to it.

During the winter, I buy the bagged cabbage that is already shredded. I mix it with slaw dressing in the morning if we want to have it for supper in the evening. But if I'm cutting up my own cabbage from what we grew in our garden, it's better not to add the dressing till just before we eat. If I add it in the morning, it gets a bit runny by evening.

We were wondering why the difference, then it occurred to us:

The bagged cabbage is older, and somewhat dried out. It needs all day to "soak up" the dressing.

Our fresh cabbage still retains it's moisture, so if it sits in the dressing all day, it gathers too much moisture and gets runny.

Another reason to grow your own, or support your local farmer's market if you have one!

We're going to experiment this fall by growing late cabbage. In the past, we've only grown it in the spring. We had lots this year, and are still eating some of it. We left it in the garden as long as possible, then picked it and put it in the fridge. It will keep quite awhile if you cut off the outer leaves, then just put the head in a plastic grocery bag. When you're ready to eat it, just remove a couple layers and the inside is still fine.

We all like coleslaw, but George LOVES coleslaw. He could eat it every day. Most of the summer, we've been having it a couple times a week, but we're getting close to running out. I think we only have a couple heads left. He may go into withdrawal! We better figure out quick when to get the fall crop planted!

Switching Gears to an Occasional Shop

For a loooooooooong time, I have wanted to switch our shop to an occasional shop. Until yesterday, we were open 5 ...