Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Everything Old Is New Again!

While the temperatures are warming up here in Tennessee the rain is unrelenting. The area that we have moved to gets over 5 FEET of rainfall a year.  Here on the top of this mountain rain is almost daily right now. Not the pouring rain and spring storms that you see in spring in Missouri. Here it is mostly the slow and soaking drizzle for hours on end and sometimes all day long. O Wise One and I have decided that the good people of  this part of  Tennessee should have webbed feet. But we have to hope that this rain continues once we get our garden planted. 

In the meantime O Wise One and I have rehung our old door. Over a century old this door has cranberry glass  and is truly exquisite. It has hung in my homes for the past 20 years or so and has made the trip to Tennessee beautifully. Not wanting to put it on an exterior doorway because of the cranberry glass we have decided to hang it on the bathroom doorway and I will sew a curtain to go over the glass on the inside of the room for privacy. O Wise One ripped down that perfectly good and shiny new vinyl clad piece of junk from Lowe's that came on the house and put up our century old bunged up door that I originally purchased out of a farmers shed for a whole 12 pack of beer over 2 decades ago. 

Right now O Wise One is making wide door frames and base blocks and a beautiful molding cap to go on top of the door frame to more closely match the period of the door.

Our mirror over the bathroom vanity is a century old solid tiger oak mirror off an old dresser long discarded. And beside it sconces with pull chains. Anyone else remember those. We will add wide base molding and a crown molding up top to finish this room off.

Lots of bars for safety in the bathroom as we strive to prepare this house to grow old in.

And trying to tuck additional storage in every nook and cranny that we can. In the small homes that is so important to be able to have a place for everything. Trying to stain and sand cabinets inside is a real pain though.

So even though it rains almost daily right now we still have lots do inside to keep us busy. For two people so used to planting it is hard to wait. O Wise One has 6 raised beds started but we have not planted anything yet. We wait and observe what the climate will do and try to figure out a strategy in this almost temperate rain forest environment. So different from our prairie gardens of old. It will take lots of composting and soil building over many years to compensate for the shallow soil that this mountainous area is known for. O Wise One has already found a local rabbit grower and started collecting bags of rabbit poop for soil amendments and our first order of business was three large wire composting rings for leaves. As we start to see seed potatoes and onion sets in the stores we wonder if we won't be skipping the early spring planting season while we prepare beds for later spring and summer crops. Right now we watch the locals and study the environment and plan how and where we will plant what as we make plans for our future crops. Luckily our freezer is still full and our pantry has lots of jars left to carry us over until that first harvest.

Until next time....

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring Salutations

Well here I am back sharing with you all. At this time I am going to unveil the new view from my front door here in Tennessee at the new Hickery Holler here on the Cumberland Plateau. And just in time to wish you all a blessed Easter. It has been an eventful winter with a February ice storm that was unusual for this area and quite exciting. We sustained little damage other than a jump on next winters wood supply for the fireplace and lots of cleanup in the yard. We did however lose electric service for about a day and a half but with plenty of quilts and a fireplace we managed quite well. Many of our neighbors were not so lucky.

We have settled in nicely and I have my corner of our little cottage living room staked out. Right next to the fireplace and near a window for plenty of light.

I have used these winter months to teach myself to knit. You are never too old to learn new skills and I can crochet but never learned to knit. The Internet is such a useful tool when used constructively.

O Wise One has staked out the opposite side of the fireplace for his own space and has settled in nicely as well.

I have planted my first flowers at the new house but look forward to many more in the years to come. Nothing says Spring like a pot of pansies. Pinterest projects have also kept me busy this winter as you can see by the milk can. (I deliberately hid  the address)

And my new Easter wreath to welcome guests.

But with the warmer temperatures of early spring the daffodils are blooming and the neighbors trees as well. So in true Hickery Holler fashion O Wise One has begun construction of our first three raised beds. We will also be experimenting with some hugelkultur beds and straw bale gardening also. We have constructed three temporary compost piles for all the fall leaves. This area is notorious for shallow top soil so we will have to get creative with our gardening but think that we can rise to the occasion. 

O Wise One and I  take the time regularly to ride through the mountain back roads and have found the beauty of the area to be breathtaking. The people warm, welcoming and proud of their rich history. 

So as we take time to celebrate our faith we hope that you all have a safe and happy Easter.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

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

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