A visitor on the Farmlet!

It isn’t often that we get visitors here on the Farmlet, and when we do it is a very big event!  Recently, I enjoyed the company of Lori, of  Day by Day the Farm Girl Way!    We have been following each others blogs for some time, which led to corresponding via emails, and now most recently a week-long visit!

I found Lori to be a down to earth, true blue friend.   Why, she was willing to jump in and help with anything and everything here on the Farmlet from washing dishes to pulling weeds!!!  I tried to stop her, really, but she would not be dissuaded!

While she was here we continued our shopping for Farmlets.  She has a very cool head when it comes to the purchase of a property.  Her outside observations, and expertise in hobby farming were very enlightening and much appreciated!    You see, I often get myopic about a place and its potential.  So much so, that I fail to really see beyond its fence lines, or structural flaws.   (By the way,  this little flaw of mine can drive Bob nuts!  😉 )

We all agreed that this one was really nice,

thr ultimate farmlet

but too expensive.  😦

This one she did not see, but it is a good example of my myopia. 

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Check out the neighbors living just over the fence…

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The day I took Bob by to see this place he didn’t even slow down!  There was a big flatbed truck parked halfway into the lane with another rickety shed on the back, and up by the fence between the properties were about ten scary looking types drinking and playin’ cards on a giant, wood, cable reel…  It was about 9:30 in the morning as I recall.   They own 5 acres of this junk!

😯

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PLEASE NOTE:   Most of the following photographs in this post were taken by Lori unless otherwise stated.  (Thank you Lori!)  I am afraid I was far too busy conversing talking her ears off to really notice and take pictures of anything.  Sad to say, but true!

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We also took in some of the sights in Huntsville. 

Moore- Rhett Mansion 1826

We walked for hours looking at antebellum mansions which were survivors of the Civil War,

On the Alley

and other homes built later, but equally as grand.

Harrison Brother's Hardware

Stepped back in time at Harrison Brothers Hardware,

Monte Sano Park

enjoyed the view one late afternoon at Monte Sano Park,

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  and visited the pre-Civil War, Maple Hill Cemetery. (A must see if you ever find yourself in Huntsville.)

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However, the best part of visiting, for me at least, was sitting in the kitchen.   Here, talking over coffee or a meal, we shared our histories, our lives, and our dreams for our futures.

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Do you ever read someone’s blog and wonder if that is really what they are like in person?  Well, Lori is exactly as she portrays herself on her blog pages.  Energetic, engaging, and honest, she says what is on her mind and in her heart, and I find that refreshing.

Lori and Co

Please click the photo to be taken to Lori’s post, and the source of her photograph.

I look forward to our continued friendship and perhaps a few more visits along the way!

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This and that.

The application for the mortgage is in.  Now we wait.

The chickens are back to laying again! 

Fresh eggs anyone?

(!!!)

Late last week it got down to about 23 degrees overnight.  It has taken me five years of living here to figure out to fill the water buckets the night before, and then just break the ice the next morning!  WAY easier than hauling three gallon water buckets from the bathroom out to the goose run.

Recently, my friend Lori of Day by Day the Farm Girl Way wrote a post about how water freezes and its delicate nature  HERE

Well, there is certainly nothing delicate about these 3 x 3 inch quite pointy formations, now is there?  😉

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How did that happen? 

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Polly has a secret.  Shhh…

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And Frellnick is a very overprotective father to be!

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He looks so threatening, doesn’t he?  But he is all show with me.  Georgie on the other hand has been getting his ‘tail feathers’ whupped this past week. 

Sadly, I have had to separate them again.  😦

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In the meantime, I have finally calmed down from the excitement of new Farmlet buying.    So now I wait for a house appraisal, thoroughly CLEAN the aforementioned house in preparation for a very special visitor (who flies in for a weeks stay next month) and watch for Polly to begin setting in earnest!

So much is happening over the next four weeks! 

Don’t you agree?

 

Fits and Spurts

I have been busy working on several projects in my studio.  All of them working up my courage to complete a project for a dear friend.  You see, the perfectionism gene I inherited from my father would not even let me begin this project unless I could make it perfect

It is sad really, this letting myself stress and hold back, when the very thing that would make my work better is to dive in and GO FOR IT.

“Enough stalling!”  I told myself.

The job is now complete, I am not perfect, and though long overdue on a promise…

Here it is!

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Julie’s apron!  

I chose the fabric for her because it reminded me of peacock feathers and mandalas.  A mandala is a circular emblem, often with spokes in its design.   It can be found in many cultures and its designs are infinite.

It is said to:

“[Represent] the universe itself, a mandala is both the microcosm and the macrocosm, and we are all part of its intricate design. The mandala is more than an image seen with our eyes; it is an actual moment in time. It can be can be used as a vehicle to explore art, science, religion and life itself. The mandala contains an encyclopedia of the finite and a road map to infinity.” 

Quoted from The Mandala Project, and found HERE.

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I hope she likes it.

The pockets are fully lined,

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the hem is deep to cover the raw edges of the blue stripe, and it is invisibly stitched.  The waist ties are extra long so they may be tied in the front or back and the little stitching at the waistband is also invisible!  I added a bit of quilters batting into the pocket bands, and the waistband to help give them a bit of substance, and for flair I added some beading on the pocket bands and to one of the mandalas!

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This was fun!

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Linked to: “Just Something I Made

Sunday Shorts (OK, I know it’s late!)

The Value of Family

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When Christine had shown up from Florida, I knew I wanted to take her everywhere and show her all the things that made SoCal special to me.  The Claremont Colleges having been my old stomping grounds in high school were on the list for sure.  Where else could you get that feeling of being back east in California?  Then there were the natural elements that made the area so wonderful.  The mountains that surrounded the valley I had grown up in, and just a couple of hours to the north or the east would bring you into the desert lands where the silence could swallow you up.   However, on that day it was the beach that was my priority.

Problem!  Mom was making me take my younger brother and sister with us.  I resented her for making me take them.  After all, Christine had come to see me and the sights, not help babysit my two youngest siblings!  Angrily, I loaded them both into the back of the station wagon with their things, and pulled out of the driveway.  About half the way there Christine looked over at me and noticing I was still pouting, she said, “It’s OK, they aren’t misbehaving and I really don’t mind.”

On hearing her say that my attitude brightened and I suddenly felt we would have a great day.

Now I had always found it odd that it could be sunny and hot in our inland valley and yet a drive to the beach could find you ten degrees cooler and facing a cloudy and overcast day.  Such was the case this day and I was disappointed.  Well, there was still the cave to be seen, and later in the after noon found us scrambling over the rocks to investigate!

As we rounded the last rocky outcropping I noticed that the little bay was a bit too small.  I realized that the tide was coming in and we needed to take a peek at the cave and then get out of there before it was too late.

I told Christine what was going on, and then yelled to the kids to stay close.  We walked into the cave, gave the requisite shouts to hear our echos, and then came out to go back.

We had only been there what seemed a few minutes and already the waves were crashing against the lower rocks.  Scrambling up the lower formations we were being sprayed with the fanning water as each wave broke.  We were screaming with each wave, and then laughing because the water was so cold.  We had become drenched!

Suddenly, a very big wave rolled in and instead of breaking like all the others it just continued to roll right over our pathway.  There was now about two feet of fast, churning water hitting our shins.  I froze.

Quickly scanning the outcropping for my brother and sister, I saw Alison and Christine bolt for the cliff face and grab on like crabs in their effort to not be washed away.  Clinging there their faces looked so pale against the wet and darkened rock.  The wave broke against them, and then began to retreat.  The force of the retreating water was causing me to me lose my footing.   When I looked back I was panicked to see Aaron being swept over the edge of the rocks and out to sea.

It is amazing what detail your mind can store in a situation where you face so much trauma.  I was once told by a doctor that the adrenaline in such situations will cause your brain to go into overdrive, and instead of getting just the general information from the situation, your brain records every single millisecond of detail and it plays in your mind like slow motion…

Aaron was floating over the rocks, his face white, looking terrified.  There was no screaming of “HELP!” like in the movies, it was just terror and scrabbling to find something to hold on to.  Breaking from my frozen state I tried to run to him and catch him if I could, but the four feet between us might just as well have been forty.  The ocean had garnered a prize that day and was not going to let it go!  I lunged for him but missed my grasp.  In my mind I was hearing myself explain to my parents how I had allowed my baby brother to be killed that day on the cliffs, and I knew they would never forgive me.  Never.

I see my brother dig his fingers into the holes on the rocks edge, the water is dragging his legs and body straight out behind him and then seems to let him go.  Straining, he pulls his body back to the rocks.  I see the muscles and tendons in high relief along his arms, his legs and feet are pistoning against the razor edges of the rock bluff, and then, he is free.   Laying there, his chest heaving, he begins to cry.

By this time Alison, and Christina are at my side.  We help Aaron up and quickly get off the rocks.  Safely on the sand we carefully check Aaron to assess the damage.  He has a few scratches on his arms and legs, his shorts are shredded and so is the end of his left big toe!  (I will spare you the details, but just know it was horrific looking!)  We took him to the first aid station where they patched him up, and then we left.  We’d had enough of the beach for one day.

That was forty years ago, and every time I remember that day, my selfishness shames me.   Remembering the terror on those rocks, when I thought we’d never come back from that one last wave,  is when I realized how much my brother and sister meant to me, and that it could have all ended so differently.

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This is not my picture, but it is where the above events took place all those years ago.crystal_cove

Professor Tom Morris, who teaches Environmental Biology at Fullerton College, posts this photograph with the admonishment to “Go at low tide.”

Hm…  YA THINK?

NOTE:  Please kindly click the photograph to link back to its source and view the many other amazing photos Professor Morris has posted to his website.  Thank you!

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From The Daily Post  who gave us this line to use in our writing today:

“I thought we’d never come back from that one.”