Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hot Date on the Road

Yes, here we are in Jonestown, PA at our favorite place...DQ.  opening his truck door, he muttered, Nwhat kind of Blizzard do you want?"

My response..."something gooey".

And the Pres came out with this.....because we just heard Brian Williams tell his followers...I mean viewers...that chocolate is GOOD for you!

...:)  JP

Goodbye Gravel Road

It was dark as the garage door closed behind us.  Yes, today we are towing the Wrangler up to CT.  Yes, my fully loaded Jeep will stay in CT.  It will not travel "the gravel road" or climb the hollow's mountain again.
However, don't be sad as it's adventures are not over...not if I have anything to do with it!
...:)  JP

Road Trip

If you're reading this and it's Wednesday, the Pres and I are already on the road, heading to Connecticut.    I'm not quite sure of what to expect when we get up there because as of this writing, some of our kids are still without power.  Last week,when we talked to our builder, he told us that he postponed pouring the concrete  because of Irene.  However, when I spoke with him Monday, all was well with him and the house, which made it through the hurricane unscathed!

We're staying with my MIL and then driving out to meet our builder.  Anxious to see how the house is progressing we also have to set aside some time to pick out a few more building materials for the next phase. 
If things went according to schedule, the painting is complete, the doors have all been hung and the trim has been competed.  They were, as I mentioned earlier, getting ready to pour the concrete for the garage, walks, and steps so perhaps they'll have started that.  The granite has been reserved for the bathroom vanities, the kitchen and the top of the boot cubby (that's another one of our builder's signatures) which is located by the front door.

Hope you all fared the storm as well as we did in the Hollow! 
We only got about forty droplets of rain and a beautiful breeze that lasted for two days.  However, I did loose power several times over the weekend.

P.S.  I scheduled a few posts to last a few days until I return and I didn't bring my laptop with me since I have no connectivity at my MIL's.  Of course, that means I'll have to play catch up when I get back.
 Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thanks to Irene...Northeast Connecticut

I just wanted to let you all know that our son and his family who just closed on their house last week had no damage form the rain or winds.  He never lost power either.  My youngest step daughter and her family lost power on Sunday but it was restored Sunday night around midnight.  My oldest step daughter and her family, along with my daughter and Angel, have been without power since Sunday. 

My MIL and other in laws are doing well. 
The new house?  It survived unscathed..."not a drop" according to our builder!

A Special Place



Go dig in the dirt
And have some fun
Grow something special
Out in the sun
Care and love is all it takes
Something new emerges each time you wake!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good TImes



Call Buddy, I said.

And so he did.   And so the three of us sat on the stoop of the shed and had a drink.  Well, actually we had more than one.  To tell you the truth, we had two pitchers of thirst quenching Frozen Margaritas.  As usual, the trading of stories began.  Stories about him living in West Virginia, stories about some of folks out there, stories about folks around here, stories about folks to stay away from who would kill you without blinking an eye!

  Then the subject of our moving was brought up.  Feeling the tears well up in my eyes, I changed the subject immediately and moved on to yet another topic.  Both the Pres and I will miss the stoop of the shed and Buddy A LOT.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Regulars


This doe has been coming around the Hollow for a long time.  She's a regular.  As you can see she has truly unique markings on her face.  This year, she's decided to introduce us to one of her young ones.  It seems that the bucks are far more skiddish than the does.  This time, I went in the house, got the camera and walked right up to the fence as I continued to play Kong with Copper.  They were so distracted by us playing that snapping a few pictures was a non event.

Happy, happy dog!

Mom, can you get that for me?


P.S.  Bringing this over to Nancy's today...come join her!
A Rural Journal

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Got Him!


This may not mean much to you, but to me it's priceless!  This is one of the two vehicles used by the Post Office to deliver our mail.  They wiz (and I mean wiz!!) by...just like in that Chevy Chase movie...driving right in the middle of the narrow, curvy road.  For some unknown reason, when one of them drives by, I just want to holler....YEEEEEEEHAAAAAW...which I've learned to do quite well...

 for a Yankee, that is!

After eight years, I think I'm going to miss the sounds of their engines roaring up and down the mountain. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Waiting for...

The Conversation Corner
Nearly every afternoon, I head outside to go sit in the shade.  Well, that's what I say to the kids anyway.  "Lets go sit in the shade!"  Usually I grab my water bottle and then open the door.  To my surprise,  the kids had already gone to our spot and were just waiting for...

Gosh, I love my dogs!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Japanese Giant Hornets

Found on Wikipedia
The Japanese giant hornet is large and fearsome, but it is not particularly aggressive unless it feels threatened. It has a venom which is injected from the 6.25 millimetres (0.246 in) stinger and attacks the nervous system and damages tissues of its victims.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Japanese giant hornet
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Vespidae
Genus: Vespa
Species: Vespa mandarinia
Subspecies: V. mandarinia japonica
The Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica), is a subspecies of the Asian giant hornet (V. mandarinia). It is a large insect and adults can be more than 4 centimetres (1.6 in) long, with a wingspan greater than 6 centimetres (2.4 in). It has a large yellow head with large eyes, and a dark brown thorax with an abdomen banded in brown and yellow. The Japanese giant hornet has three small, simple eyes on the top of the head between the two large compound eyes. As the name implies it is endemic to the Japanese islands, where it prefers rural areas where it can find trees to nest in. [1] In Japan it is known as the Oo-Suzumebachi (オオスズメバチ(大雀蜂、大胡蜂)?, literally "Giant Sparrow Bee").


Found here in the Hollow
 Although I've seen these before here, they haven't been around in a few years.  I think it may have something to do with it being such a dry year.  I hate them and try to keep the dogs away from them.  The Pres was once stung by one on the top part of his hand.  It was swollen and numb for days!  They have been savoring the sugar water for my Hummingbirds as well as the sap on the apples.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Swear to Goodness...Blender Pie

Coconut Cream Blender Pie
YUMMY!!!...:)  Thanks mybabyjohn/Delores
A real keeper!

Simplify


If you remember this sign, a gift from my Sister, has been hanging in the living room for years.  I love it and what it means.  Today I made a pie.  You're probably asking yourself what does this sign SIMPLIFY have to do with baking a pie.  Well....

My friend, Delores creator of The Feathered Nest posted Easy this morning and I decided to give it a shot.  This pie is made using a BLENDER...swear to goodness!  So now you see why I associated the sign with this.  Go see for yourself.  Of course, it's still in the oven as we speak, so I'll have to stop for now and do a...

to be continued

Joe's Home aka Earthquake

Yesterday's earthquake had everyone in a talkative mood and today sharing their stories.  Here's ours:

The Pres had gone into Roanoke to run to Sam's, get his tires rotated, do some shopping and then hit the grocery store.  After all, it was like any other Tuesday, Senior Citizen day!!  Meanwhile, I was here in the Hollow in the home built in the 1800's, a home that was apparently built to last!

The apple butter was cooking in the crock pot, I'd weeded the front walkway and watered the potted plants and hanging ferns and I'd just finished laundry.  Going into the walk-in closet in the master bedroom to put clothes away when I heard and felt the closet "talk" to me.  Looking up at the ceiling where the walls connect and hearing noises...clicking, creaking, I wondered what critter was up in the attic.  I felt the floor and ground quiver and said to myself laughing, I've got to tell Joe that his Dodge diesel is so loud that it makes the house shake when he pulls in the driveway. Heading out into the garage to meet him, there was something wrong.  There was no Joe...no red diesel truck in the driveway.

Then about a half hour later, my daughter called from Connecticut to ask how we were because of THE EARTHQUAKE.  My response to her was, "Earthquake?" " Mom," she said, "turn on TV.  Tracy's phone just got the weather alert on her phone."  My son called to see if we were okay.  My eldest stepdaughter sent me a text message checking on us.  Sharing the closet story with each of them, we laughed about the noise and vibration that is made by the Pres' Dodge!  After all, humor is a healer.

Oh, the Pres made it home safe and sound and we put groceries away then sat down to watch all the media coverage on the Weather Channel.  And the rest is history.


Family Portrait

Silly as it sounds, making Apple Butter is the easiest thing ever since the Pres and I found this recipe in the paper a few years ago.
It's done in a crock pot and it effortless with exception of growing the apple trees, caring for the apple trees, harvesting the apples, peeling/coring/slicing the apples with my magic LLBean apple corer/peeler/slicer that I've had for years.

APPLE BUTTER
This recipe is for a crock-pot or slow cooker!

12 cooking apples (14 cups), peeled, cored, sliced and placed in pot
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg


Stir in sugar and spices.  Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours.  Uncover, stir and cook on high 2-2 1/2 hours more or until apples are very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Cool at least 1 hour (or cover and refrigerate overnight).  When cool, process in blender or food processor in batches.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fun in the Sun


This morning, with the temperature now sitting at 64, I decided to spend as much of the day outside.  The humidity was gone (for today anyway), so it would be a perfect day to just "chillax," as my best friend puts it.

As you can see, Moon had the same idea!  She is my kindred spirit.
...:)  JP

Barn in the Hollow


Although she has some scrapes and scars,
Her sides are filled with many stars.

My Barn

I thought that before I leave the Hollow, I'd pay tribute to my barn and introduce her to Barn Charm!

Blown Away

It seems like all I've been doing lately is shopping, shopping and more shopping!
There are a lot of sales going on now and since the economy needs to be stimulated, we went to look at ceiling fans.
Of course, the four fans are for the new house and will soon be on their way to CT.  For now, they sit in their boxes, stacked in the garage, awaiting the undivided attention from none other than the electrician.

P.S.  Kitchen and bath faucets also selected.  Learning from experience, high arc faucets were on the top of the list.  Our builder will get them up there and have them installed.  The concrete is slated to be poured for the garage, pad for the generator, steps and walkway the end of this week while painting begins today!  I can hardly wait to see it.  Of course, since hurricane Irene may be paying us a visit this weekend, our trip up was postponed.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Paint for "Plain Jane"

Walking into the store, I knew I was in trouble.  I hate picking out paint.  
There, before me, along the entire rear and side wall, were the rows upon rows of paint samples and textures.  Approaching them slowly focusing on the neutral shades, I let go of the Pres' hand enabling me to pick up samples.  An employee came over immediately, asking us if we needed any assistance and then answered the few questions we had.  Then he left us to browse, discuss and decide. 

Did I ever tell you what a "plain Jane" I am?  That's what my Aunt who raised me used to say.  In fact, every time we went out shopping for any type of clothing (including my wedding dress) and I picked out what I liked, that was the comment I got when I came out of the dressing room.  "You're such a plain Jane," she'd say.  To tell you the truth, that did a number on my ego for a long, long time until I finally realized that although I may like plain and look plain, my personality is filled with color!  Ask anyone who really knows me and I'm sure they'll agree. Anyway back to the paint.

Within no time, much to my surprise, the decision was made.  Muslin, part of the Rustic Refined Collection, would be a perfect choice.  The warm yellow tone would enhance the open feeling of the kitchen leading to the great room as well as the arched doorway leading to the sunken dining room.  It would be light and airy, expanding the sense of space, yet give a natural feel and a great back drop to my darker hues of burgundy, green, blue and black.  So a big thanks to the "Paint Store" (aka Sherwin Williams) for making the selection process so easy.

And so it was.  The decision was made by myself and the Pres.  Now it was on to Home Depot to look at the selections of granite and quartz for the counter-tops, as well as kitchen/bathroom faucets.  Other items like ceiling fans, front door hardware and ceramic tile and light fixtures would be saved for yet another day.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just Plain Corn

Taking some time out from regular housework today, I gave the Pres a hand.  It was time...not to make the donuts...but time to make the corn.

Did you know that each strand of silk on an ear of corn goes to just one kernel for pollination?  Did you know that the ends/edges of the field typically do not get pollinated as well as the interior of the field?  In this photo the ear on the left is pollinated poorly and the ear on the right shows you the direction in which the silk falls.

Poorly pollinated (left) & Well Pollinated (right)



Shucking the eight dozen ears was step number one.  Then it was time to get the water to a rolling boil before placing in the first batch.  The corn is then boiled for about five minutes 







The corn is then placed into the cold water bath where it sits for about another five minutes.


The next step is to remove the kernels off the cob.  The Pres does this part because my hands are too weak.  However, don't think I'm sitting resting somewhere.  I begin the bagging process as soon as there's enough in the big blue pot. 

While doing this, the Pres made a suggestion.  Next summer, the kids can come over and we'll all do this together.  That will be fun!




Using one of my old antique scoops, the bags are filled with a pre-determined number of scoops, then after squeezing out the air and zipping them up, they are labelled and stacked in the freezer.  We got twenty two bags added to the existing supply of twenty.  Not bad for just plain corn.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Well?...Bring Cookies!

As I picked up the phone, I couldn't help but notice the Caller ID displayed.  It was our builder!  Talking to him several times a week has been such a rewarding experience as he is one of THE most personable young men I've met in a long time (aside from my son, of course).  He is an absolute "luv muffin"!  And so today, after him telling us that the wells are in and were dug successfully, I knew then that I needed to do something.

  I decided to make  my Oatmeal~Craisin cookies which are, of course, a family favorite.  Since we are planning to scoot, once again, up to Connecticut again, just for a few days, I'll bring those and the Chocolate Chip.  I think they'll be a nice welcome to the family for our builder and his crew! 

The Pres was happy about the well digging and if the Pres is happy, I'm happy.  The first well, which was 350 feet, will be solely used for the vertical geothermal system,  Drilling the second well, which will be used to supply the house, they hit a vein at eighty feet with more than sufficient water and pressure, but drilled down to a depth of 250 feet to give us that "additional reserve". 

The builder then told the Pres that the sheet rocking and taping was nearly complete and they would be painting next week.  Hoping, of course, to get pictures when I'm there because to tell you the truth, I was so excited and overwhelmed when we went there the past two times, that I didn't even think about the camera!!!
But I will next time...:)

Finding "A Quiet Corner"

I can't even begin to tell you about the number of houses that we looked at.
As I mentioned a while back, the Pres was really impressed with the young builder when we met with him that day at the building site.  Since the Pres built houses in between "playing firefighter" back in 1802, he really has the expertise and know how when it comes to construction, so he knew what to ask and understood all the answers. 

When he learned that this house had Architectural Shingles compared to Standard Three Tab, he knew that we would be "golden," since they are typically good for 30-40 years.  When he learned that this house had six inches of insulation in the walls and twenty inches in the ceiling, he knew we would be "golden," and protected from the elements.  When he learned that the heating and cooling system was a Geo Thermal Vertical Ground Unit with it's own well, he knew we would be "golden," being extremely energy efficient and cost effective.   The list was not only initially endless, but also continued to grow each time we spoke to the builder.

Red Oak flooring throughout the house, with the exception of the two bathrooms, which will have ceramic tile, was part of the original specifications as well as many other unique trademarks which are the builder's "signature".  This  builder has worked in the industry since he was fourteen, which is when he began working with his father.  He is President of his company, which is renowned for energy efficient home construction.  Both the Pres and I knew that now that we are in our "golden years," we would be safe, snug and secure in such a home.

The offer was made.

 
Our focus had been on the Northeast corner of Connecticut all along.  Once the offer was made, I "Googled" the county and town in which the house is being built.  "...known as "the quiet Northeast corner", Windham County is primarily known for its serene countryside and abundant dairy farms..." That, my friends was AFTER I'd changed the name of my blog from Home in the Hollow to "A Quiet Corner."  Isn't that just too coincidental?

Here was the pot of gold we'd been searching for...right here at the end of the rainbow.  We had struck it rich and finally found a place where, once again, a house would became a home and where, once again, adventures would evolve!
The offer, including some "upgrades" as the Pres calls them, was agreed upon!!!
Yes, this will be our new home.
A Quiet Corner has been found.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Packing 101

Feeling the urge to begin packing and knowing that it would be inevitable, there was was no doubt in my mind what should be packed first...the China. 
 
I never owned one piece of China until I after I was married to the Pres, primarily because I couldn't afford it and secondly, I was always more down to earth and not into fancy delicate things...being a tom-boy and all.

However, while living in Connecticut back in 1802, my daughter and I came across this China by Johnson Brothers called Friendly Village. It reminded me so much of the holiday China that my Aunt had when I was growing up.  I always loved it so, making me feel safe and warm for some reason.  I imagine it's because it made me feel special.


And so it was.  Every year for Christmas, pieces of the set were given to me and added to collection which was conveniently stored in my pie safe.  Using the pieces religiously for both Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as whenever we had company, it always gave me great pleasure.  So, the first thing packed was the China.  It's ready to go back home with me to serve some of my warm apple crisp topped with whipped creme as well as many other favorites!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Home in the Hollow

Saying "good-bye" to the Home in the Hollow is not an easy thing to do However, it is time.  The dream about making this a house a home for myself and the Pres was a good one, however, it is time to move on and pursue new dreams.  The Home in the Hollow will never be the same, not with out us.  However, new owners, whoever they may be, will hopefully love it as much as we did and keep it alive.


Although it was a difficult decision to make, one of us had to face the truth...we were getting older and needed less work now that we were approaching our "golden years."  Weighing the options, examining the pros and cons along the way, and shedding many tears along the way, I knew that another place was waiting.

.  The Pres and I needed to be closer to family and friends and selling the house was the only way to accomplish the goal.  Needing to scale back, downsize...whatever you want to call it...was another very important thing to be considered.  A smaller place would be easier to clean and maintain especially considering I am a "Dolly domestic."  We would find the perfect place, closer to those we love. 

"We humans have a deep need to belong—to connect with others in close, supportive, intimate, caring relationships," says David Myers, who ardently believes that people need each other rather than things. "People who have such close relationships are more likely to report themselves 'very happy.'"

"Some changes look negative on the surface
but you will soon realize
that space is being created in your life
for something new to emerge."
~ Eckhart Tolle


 And so it is...a new house awaits...
a house that will become a home...
"A Quiet Corner"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to Nature


When walking the mountain this morning, I snapped a few pix, wanting you to see how Mother Nature alters the course we often take.

The "gravel" road is literally sitting on top of solid rock.  The recent driving rains we've had has unearthed the bedrock that lies below the gravel laid by man.
The lesson here:  Be yourself
...:)  JP

Let's Get Physical

Shifting into sixth gear while driving South on 220, it dawned on me that this would be my last "annual check-up" with the doctor and staff.   Although a sad feeling had come over me, it subsided as I pulled into the facility for my appointment.

Once inside and taking a seat in the waiting area, I noticed I was early as usual.  Not five minutes passed and a voice all too familiar called out my name, greeting me with her broad grin as I entered and headed down the corridor.

Peeking into the lab as we passed, I said hello to the other gals.  I adore all of them and have gotten to know them quite well over the years.  We "talk" personal stuff, if you know what I mean.  Readying myself for my
visit with the doctor, I felt anxious...nothing new for me.  The gals all knew I was moving since I'd chatted with them extensively ten days ago when I had blood drawn.  However, today I would be telling the doctor.  Suddenly, that light knock on the door then the movement of it opening exposed her smiling face.

Getting right down to business and reviewing all my blood work item by item, she told me to keep up the good work then said something that made me feel awesome.  "Judging by your test results, it's hard to believe that your sixty three."
Wow!  I was beaming with pride and she knew it.  Now on with the physical.

Typical exam, going along just fine as she checked eyes, ears, nose throat, glands.  Placing the stethoscope on my chest she whispered, "deep breath."  Listening to my heart and lungs as the deep breathing continued.  Then, as I lay back on the table and I filled her in on the entire sequence of events and results of the three colonoscopies, I'd had earlier in the year.  She was all ready to begin checking organs (feeling my stomach and pelvis) when the guilt took over.  Suddenly I blurted out, "I have to apologize for all that extra belly fat Dr, I ate an entire cherry pie and seven Dark Chocolate Hershey Bars over the past two weeks."  Glancing at my records displaying on the PC screen, she said, " You're weight is fine." 

The silence then broke as she tossed her head back, laughing.  She then quipped, "Make belly fat with pie...what a great bumper sticker!"  We both broke out in laughter.  When she asked my about my exercise habits, I told her about the ongoing Y workouts along with the early morning walking of the mountain with the dogs.  Telling her that I'd just read an article that people who exercise have more energy than those who don't.  "Do you think I should slow down given my high energy level?"

"No, but I have another bumper sticker saying that would suit you..."NO ESPRESSO FOR ME!"  We laughed so hard that I could feel my face turn beet red.  We talked about my wanting to kayak when I get settled, wearing a life vest and continuing a healthy life style along with the New England snow.

Instructing me on how to obtain my medical records to take with me, my appointment ended with my doctor.  I will miss her.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Leaving Behind

These Crepe Myrtles were purchase from the "Help!  Save Me Now" table at Lowe's several years ago.  Not knowing what a Crepe was, they were planted following instructions to the letter.  However, they were never babied or catered to.  They were left to make it on their own.  

As you can see, they proved my neighbors wrong who were at the house, the day after I'd removed the nearly dead plants from their small black plastic pots.  They will be left behind when we move as the Connecticut weather is too harsh for them.  I will miss them in all their vibrant color lighting up the middle of the yard. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Look Closely


Wandering around the yard, I arrived at the bird bath I made.  (Did I ever tell you that one?...Remind me.)
There was an awful lot of movement in the water which I assumed was mosquito larvae.  Yet I knew that here in the Hollow, we don't get mosquitos.  It's becasue the water from the creeks is constantly moving and fresh, being replenished by the icy cold mountain springs.   Craw fish, a snake or two...yes...mosquitoes...NO.

Anyway, stooping down for a close-up, I saw that they were poly-wogs...oodles and oodles of them!  In fact, lifting the dead leaf that was floating on the surface caused about fifty of the little guys to set off their sirens like submarines before they dive.  Down they went, taking refuge in the sediment on the bottom.

Do you remember last year's posts?
 
It just so happens, I happen to have it handy for you
(as I have been told I'm a "people pleaser"
which I own and proudly, I might add!)
 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A "Hot Date"

Watching TV, I lay on the couch and the Pres was parked in his recliner, I said, " Boy, I could really go for an ice cream."

Hearing the recliner go into a "sit,"  I then heard, "Let's go...I've been craving one since four o'clock." 

And so, the whole family (that includes Moon & Copper) went out on what we call "A Hot Date."  We were out the door faster than you can say "D Q" which is where we're heading.

Remind me to tell you how good it was!

...:)  JP

Making Some...

Not knowing how to spell it, and not being able to find it via Google, I wish I could say I'm at a loss for words.  But, I'm not.  Not on your life!

Phonetically it sounds like Gi am baut.  At least that's how the Pres' Mom pronounces it.  Her first name is Bella...case closed!  Trust me, I've learned to never mess with an Italian...:)

 First, you picka da veggies.  You picka da greena beansa and da yellow squasha, da zucchini and da tomotos...lotsa tomotos.  You scrub ana washa zem alla gooda 'til nicea ana squeaky cleana.  Thena youa cuta dem up ina smalla pieces.  Geta da big onion and cuta it upa too.

Geta the biga pot and puta some olive oil ina da bottom.  Adda all da vegetables anda cover, cooking on medium high heata until alla area nicea and softa.  I also adda some crushed red pepper and a cana of Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilis.



P.S.  Did I ever tell you about Uncle John?  When the Pres and I got married, the Pres' Uncle John came up to me and hugged me tightly calling me "Denise."  Looking him in the eye, I told him that my name was not Denise to which he replied, "Yeh, youa Denise."  Pointing to the Pres, he said, "He'sa da nephew and youa De Niecea."  I hug Uncle John tightly each time I see him...:)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Time Change??

If these are called "FOUR O' CLOCKS," why do they bloom in the early morning hours??

...:)  JP

Friday, August 12, 2011

Who's First?

This morning, after I gave the kids their breakfast, we walked up to the barn as usual.  After they "did their business" on the hillside, Moon bolted out of the woods with the speed of a bullet, racing back down to her food dish for a few nibbles before we walk.

But where was wonder dog (aka Copper Lucas Aspen)?

Why he, being such an inquisitive and effervescent natured pooch, was onto something more important...well, at least to him it was important....digging a bigger hole in the bank!

Did I ever tell you I sometimes refer to him as bonehead?

Did I ever tell you how much I love him?   It's not that I feel sorry for him, because he's not the brightest bulb in the box, nor because he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.  I love him because he simply loves life and takes it all on eagerly (excluding the few nervous twitches when bees are around him).

Looking at this picture, I can clearly see that he was literally deep in thought and up to his ears and eyes in work.   So, before too much time lapsed, I hollered out, "Who's first?"   That's the prompt to head to the back gate and whichever dog gets there first, gets their halter and lead put on first.

As usual, we were off, two leads, two dogs and me...to walk the gravel road.



Something Special

Listening to the birds singing as I sat in my wicker chair Tuesday afternoon with my feet up on the small table, I saw the mail carrier head up the mountain to the neighbor's place.  Jew a few short minutes passed and she was at our mailbox.

Within moments, the envelope lie on the wicker table, along with the sweet note found inside the book's cover.  It was a handwritten note which read, Enjoy the book, my dear...Delores.

You see, last week Delores spoke of this book and was kind enough to offer it to the first person who made comments.  I didn't even pay attention to that part, to tell you the truth.  The book, written by Geoffrey Moorhouse, uses his imagination and reconstructive talents delving into many unanswered questions about the monks who inhabited a "rock" called Skellig Michael, off the coast of Ireland. 

Reading Delores' blog daily, I never know what to expect from her which is why I adore her so.  She has a lot to say about...well, just about everything!  Sometimes she is humorous, sometimes serious, sometimes clever, sometimes serious.  Visit her for yourself.  She can be found at 


P.S.  Delores, I'm cruising right along and love it so THANK YOU!  I told you I was intrigued by anything Medieval!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Peek-A-Boo


Two young bucks wondering what the heck I was doing as I climbed the small hill.  Have you have tried to remain crouched and climb a hill while dodging from one apple tree to another to attempt concealment?

It wasn't easy let me tell you.  What made it even worse was hearing the snickering from our neighbor and the Pres watching me from the deck!

Suddenly the two males picked up their heads and remained focused on me until the noise startled them off.  Running onto the well treed perimeter, they were gone.  Gone...all because of the noise made by none other than Mountain Moon.  Once she saw that I was approaching danger, she made a bee line for the fence, barking, telling them to get lost!

Moon has become quite the companion lately.  In fact, the other day the gentle woman who loves down the road was jogging by with her dog.  I went down the driveway to chat a bit and the next thing I knew Moon was out of the fence and barking, fur up along her spine, at my friend's dog.

Where did she come from?  How did she get out? I asked.

My neighbor responded, I saw her climb the fence.

I guess this little Shepherd Husky that strayed into the yard seven years ago has become attached.  She scaled a four foot fence just to protect me from the mean jogger and her dog!  I'm definitely taking her with me.  She'll fit in nicely up in Connecticut.  Have you ever heard of the UCONN HUSKIES?


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Blue Duck

Once upon a time there was a Little Blue Duck.  Being sad didn't make him blue.  He was naturally blue...the prettiest shade...almost a Robin's egg blue and he was tiny, very tiny.  

Imaging his life, I surmised he lived on a small farm with other "little" animals...horses, cows, pigs and maybe even a chicken or two.  Life on the farm was grand because they all gathered, after spending their day in the sunny barnyard, in the old cozy barn each evening to be together.  They told stories of their adventures there on the farm.  They talked about seeing the farmer riding the tractor and cutting the hay.  They were not afraid when the woman of house came to collect eggs, as she was a kind, sweet person.

Then one day, one of the little boys, who also lived at the farm, took the Little Blue Duck with him for a ride in the car.  The little duck had heard horrible stories about other masters taking their pets for a ride in the country and returning by themselves.  He was afraid that he was about to experience that same fate.

As he was clutched tightly in the little boy's hand (because that's how tiny the Blue Duck was...small enough to fit nicely into a little boy's hand), the pickup truck (or perhaps it was the blue van driven by the sweet woman) hit a huge bump in the road.  The little boy's arm flew up in the air and the Little Blue Duck fell from the young boy's hand right out of the open window. 

But don't worry, the Little Blue Duck was found by a nice lady and her two dogs as they walked to the top of the mountain one hot humid morning.

Will the owner of the Little Blue Duck please come by and pick him up.  He is here...safe and sound in A Quiet Corner.


Holy Moosepoops!  I forgot today is Tuesday and time to head over to Angela's at West Virginia Treasures' Tuesdays Show & Tail...:)

Aromatic

On Saturday, the Pres canned what he calls "sauce."  It is really like a tomato base that we use when we make tomato sauce as the only spices that go in it are whole basil leaves.  He'd picked a five and a three gallon bucket of those red ripe juicy tomatoes and cleaned them all while I worked inside. 

I didn't even stick my head out into the garage until around eleven.  Asking him if he could use a hand, he told me to wait about twenty more minutes.

That was just enough time for me to gobble up a nice tomato sandwich with lots of mayonnaise (yep...the full fat kind!).

We got ten quarts and one pint on this batch.  Next week, we'll do another.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Goes Around

Winding up the worn leather leashes that belong now to Moon and Copper, I thought about Kiera, my German Short Haired Pointer that passed away eight years ago.

She would have liked living here at the base of the Blue Ridge.  She,like Copper, would have liked chasing squirrels.  She would have loved walking the gravel road to the top of the mountain and stopping to gaze out into the distance.

The leather leashes, now used by my two newer companions, were still hers...as was I, I suppose.
Sometimes remembering the past makes your heart swell with pride and joy, even though your eyes fill with tears.  Life has been good to me and still continues to be.

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