Monday, November 17, 2014

A New Beginning

I have been absent from Blogger for several weeks now and have an announcement to make.  O Wise One and I have been down South purchasing a new home and will be moving in the future. Hickery Holler Farm has been sold to a new owner. A young man who has grown up in the area and wishes to return to his roots with his wife and young family. O Wise One and I made this decision some time ago. We felt that we have gotten to an age where the everyday chores and upkeep of this amount of house and acreage had become a daily struggle. We no longer need 3 huge gardens as all the children have left home but Baby O and as she prepares to go off to college it is time to downsize. We no longer want to mow grass all day just to keep the grass down and do not require acres to sustain us.We once filled this 3,000 square foot home with children but alas they have all grown and married now and have homes and families of their own. We do not need to rattle around in this huge empty house and have elected to purchase a smaller home further south and with milder winters. Not so far south as to have to endure those scorching endless summers but far enough to not have to shovel snow for the entire winter. 

We have decided to move to Tennessee.  We return to my Southern roots.

We have purchased a small 1400 square foot single story brick home to downsize into.

 It has a beautiful shaded yard with towering oaks.

It also has a one acre FLAT fenced yard and is out in the country but not far from a small town. Lots of room for the dogs and some backyard chickens and a smaller garden. Closer to doctors and medical care. 

Instead of all that mowing we are going fishing! And investing in a small couples camper.

I will keep the blog but will not be posting often to give us time to move and get settled in. This seems sudden I know but we did not even get our home up for sale and it was sold. We had not one but three people offering to write us checks in the driveway. It had gotten out by word of mouth into the community and was sold within 48 hours of having it appraised and sold for the full asking price.  I will keep the Hickery Holler name because Hickery Holler is not a place but people, my people,  and a way of life.   I will still garden and can produce but on a smaller scale.  I hope to quilt more and maybe find a quilting guild that I like. 

The farm now belongs to new and younger owners, our new house has been purchased and we are simply waiting on the paperwork to be completed. We have started to go through our belongings and started giving things to the children, donating to Goodwill and packing the remaining belongings that we will be taking with us.    

Even more exciting is that I will be reuniting with my childhood friend Shelia. We have been together since third grade. I was maid of honor in her wedding and her in mine. All these years we have visited regularly and kept in touch. We will again be living near one another to share our lives and families. 

For us it is a new beginning as we approach the next chapter of our lives. We look forward to starting a new garden and learning to garden on a smaller scale. New fruit trees and asparagus and strawberry beds. We hope you will all wish us well and visit often once we are established and blogging again. I will leave all content up because I know so many refer back regularly for recipes. 

See you at the new Hickery Holler Farm!

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lots of Apples

It's been a busy week or so here in Hickery Holler. In the spring we watch for the apple blossoms to return and hope that the frosts do not come late in the spring and knock all the blossoms off. 

During the summer we watch with bated breath and pray that the rains come regular and there is no drought that year. We try our best to keep the deer away from the trees and watch for pests. And if we are very very lucky come fall the temperatures start to cool and the leaves start to fall and we are rewarded with a bounty of apples. This year the weather has been kind and the trees are heavy with ripe fruit. 

We just heard yesterday that our neighbor who is in his 70's is in the hospital after falling off the ladder picking his apples. He broke 6 ribs. We are trying to be careful with our picking. 

O Wise One has kept the apple peeler whirring peeling all that fruit. 

And we have managed to pretty well stock up for the year and have shared with several neighbors and friends. 

Lots of apple sauce for the grandchildren. 

And apple pie filling for those winter pies. 

Now we are working on keeping the walnuts picked up. The mower is back in the shop and we are sure glad that the weather is cooling and the grass not growing very fast. 

And lots of apple pies to go around to everyone. 

How's your apple harvest going?

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Friday, September 19, 2014

Another Year

This has turned out to be a long and full week. My produce is stored that was picked before frost. The onions are either dehydrated or in the freezer. The peppers are all frozen and safely tucked away. We have been doing some pruning and I have sat aside some willow and will also save some grapevines because I want to make some wreaths and crafts during the winter. O Wise One, Baby O and myself have got half the porch painted and will continue to paint on Monday. Tomorrow ( Saturday) I am taking off because  you see it is my birthday. They have a dinner planned and the painting can wait.   

Now for all you prayer warriors out there I have a little birthday request. Please lift my boys up in your prayers this weekend. They lost a dear friend this week and are devastated. A young man named Chad who was hit while surveying a road. Chad has known my boys since grade school. They all attended the same religious parochial school together and went on to high school together. They were Cub Scout brothers and soccer buddies. These boys became men together and good men all. Chad's laughter will be missed and his presence never forgotten. May his parents and family also somehow find peace after such a senseless accident and the loss of such a young life.  

Please I ask that you all remember to slow down for those surveyors and workmen that work along our highways and roads. 

Well on a happier note I am feeling naughty so I am going to post a poem that I got in the mail today from a girl friend tucked inside a birthday card. All us old women can understand : )

There was this couple who had been married for 50 years. They were sitting at the breakfast table one morning when the old gentleman said to his wife, "Just think, honey, we've been married for 50 years."
"Yeah", she replied, "Just think, fifty years ago we were sitting here at this breakfast table together."
"I know," the old man said, "We were probably sitting here naked as jaybirds fifty years ago."
"Well," Granny snickered, "What do you say...should we get naked?"
Where upon the two stripped to the buff and sat down at the table.
"You know, honey," the little old lady breathlessly replied, "My nipples are as hot for you today as they were fifty years ago." "I wouldn't be surprised," replied Gramps. "One's in your coffee and the other is in your oatmeal!!!"

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


California Wonder Bell Peppers fresh from the garden. Some I allowed to ripen to a complete red and others are still green. The red ones will provide my seeds for next year. 

Huge blocky traditional peppers.

And lots of them. Normally earlier but with our cooler temperatures this year they are a bit late.

Some are dehydrated

Some are stuffed and frozen for winter meals. 

These will be thrown into pastas and added to casseroles throughout the year.

No special preparation needed. Just wash and slice as desired then freeze and bag.

Lots of slicing but well worth the effort when I look at the price of peppers in the grocery store. Peppers are simple to grow and I have saved seeds from this variety for years now. 

I personally adore the red ones in my pickles!

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Monday, September 15, 2014

Early Frost

Well here it is Monday and I am back with you again. We enjoyed our visit with family last week and had a little surprise from Mother Nature as well. For us our first frost here is about the middle of October but Jack Frost decided to visit early this year. Friday night September 12th we had our first frost of the season. A month ahead of schedule! We had a small cool front move through dropping those temperatures to the low 30's. We spent most of the day Friday picking what we could from the garden before the frost. 

So with mounded bowls of produce on my tables and porches, I guess you can all guess what I will be doing for the coming week. It is a job washing, sorting and processing this much fruit and vegetables then preserving it. Normally I can somewhat take my time and concentrate on one crop at the time. SO this Monday morning as I drink my coffee I am serenaded by the soft whir of the dehydrator running.  The roaster is full of tomatoes and I think every tray I own will be in the freezer with some sort of vegetable freezing on it.  

The girls in the hen house are extremely happy with all this garden goodness coming their way of peelings, seeds and excess. 

So as we enjoy the cooler temperatures and dig out those sweaters we hope that you all are enjoying  the goodness of the season. The garden still has potatoes to be dug and the mustard greens and turnips are loving these cool days and growing like bad weeds. 

I will not tarry today as I have lots to do but instead wish you all peace. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

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