On Friday

NOTE:   I promised Linda to post this on Saturday, but was simply too worn out from Friday to actually accomplish the task.  I admit to some feeling blue about the listing for sale of the Mountain Farmlet, and to a bit of inconvenience  after my hand surgery.  My hand is very much better now!  So here it is Monday and I am posting to you after a month-long blogging hiatus.   Thanks for the nudge, Linda.  🙂

About Friday

I got up with Bob at 3:30.  He’s been getting up that early to do my chores, and then kept it up even after I was able to do them myself so as to beat the heat here.  His shop is not air-conditioned and it has been sweltering there!  (110 deg. on one day) And why did I get up so early?  To go up to the Mtn. Farmlet and clean floors before a potential buyer arrives at noon.

So I got ready and let the animals out at twilight.   Trust me the geese were very confused!  Then I got the dogs into the car and was driving away.  Only I forgot to lock the front door.  Normally I would have turned around, because it is the sensible thing to do, but being so early I didn’t want to disturb my neighbor by using her driveway.  So I backed down the street.  Great I thought as I slipped of the pavement and missed the barrier that keeps others from doing the same to us in driveway that was and is no more.  (Yes truly and it was once a night with high beams into the bedroom window!)   Anyway, I began turning the wheel to get the truck back onto the street, I really should have pulled forward, and instantly I heard the horrible sound of metal on metal.  I FORGOT THE MAILBOX!   Now I pulled forward.  Needless to say the pole is a bit tilted, the box is crushed and I now have a three-foot, blackened scratch over the wheel well and leading to the back of the truck.

So at least the 100 mile drive there was uneventful.  🙂

At 8:30 I parked out front under the shade of the big oak, grabbed the house keys, put my purse on the seat, told the dogs they would have to wait till I unlocked the house, my hand is still too weak to handle them and unlock the house, and then I would be right back for them.  I punched the lock out of habit and slammed the door shut.  Old habits die hard.  Now my purse, my phone, the truck keys, My AAA towing service card and the dogs are safely locked up inside the truck .

Looking for a phone I hiked a quarter-mile up the hill to see if my closest neighbors were at home.  Nope.  So then I walked downhill for about 3/4 mile to see if any other neighbors were home.  I finally reached a neighbor at the bridge who was home and she let me call Bob long distance to let him know what had happened.  He didn’t answer because he didn’t recognize the number.  However, he did get my message.  I hung up and called the sheriff to see if they could help and let them know my dogs were locked in the car.  The dispatcher said she would send someone out…  It is now about 9:00 by the clock on the neighbor’s wall.  I thank her for her kindness and leave to make the hike back up to the truck.

I wait for a very long time.  I’m getting very hot sitting in the shade of the font porch and keep checking the dogs to see how they are doing.   The are sleeping but wake up when I get to the truck window.   They are panting but their tongues look good; *not turning dark.  I am getting panicky because it has been almost two hours and no one has shown up yet.  I’m looking for a big rock. 

I hesitate, find a rock that looks like it will work, hesitate, think of the best window to break, hesitate again, and then hear the roar of a very large vehicle coming around the bend.  “Tow truck?” I thought;  It was!  It is now 11:10, the dogs are saved, the window is not smashed and I am ready to do battle with cabin floors.  On the back porch I let myself in and I ear a man’s voice shouting hello.  It is the Sheriff!  I tell him that AAA had just left and that everything is now OK.

“OK, Mam”, he said and turning he left.

I was not prepared for what I found.  Because there are no kitties left up there, and because we have not been there for several months to work… the rats came.  I will not go into details, but  gloved and armed with broom, mop and many fresh buckets of bleach water I set to work.   I finished about an hour and a half later and was bringing a large lawn and leaf bag of stuff out to the garbage cans, when I saw the people who were there to view the property.

Yikes! I was glad I got done in time, but I was a sight.  My shirt was sticking to me, my hair was hanging in wet strings, and my face was red, salt streaked, and over all I was just dirty.  I was a hot mess.  Oh well, I thought, they didn’t know me from a cleaning service and besides they came to see the property not me.  Right?

Up pulls the realtor and getting out of the car yells over a friendly greeting to me, “Hello,  I see you’ve met the [viewers] already!  Maybe you could show them what you’ve done to the place and what your plans were for it.”

I smile, “OK.” I said.

I told them about the house, some of the more interesting trees on the property, the deer that pass through regularly in season, and about the lovely neighbors.  In my mind I am thinking that anyone who buys this place will take a bulldozer to it and start new, but once they sign on the dotted line it is theirs to do with as they will…

Hot, sticky and tired beyond imagining,  I load the newly hydrated dogs and myself into the car and head for home.  Two hours later I pull into the drive, look at the tattered mailbox,  sigh, and let the dogs out before locking the door.  Bob greets us on the porch tells us that he called AAA for me.  I smile and think, what a sweetheart.

After a good hot shower I go out to gather eggs and found this.

smiling-egg

I think one of the chickens has sent me a message.  I take her point and cheer up.

~*~

And because you should know this – here are the

12 Signs of overheating in dogs:

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/06/08/pet-overheating-symptoms.aspx

 

 

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The elephant in the room…

It has been far too long since I posted regarding the Mountain Farmlet.

So here is why…

 

  • Due to our health issues we are no longer able to do the work that needs to be done to make it livable for us there.
  • Also due to our health issues we have no money to pay someone else to complete the work for us
  • We are planing to sell the property.

Bob and I are realizing that our little acre here is about all we can manage.  We are making plans with the folks who own the property behind us to lease it so I can have my pygmy goats, but that is at least a year down the line.

Bob has greatly improved since his diagnosis of COPD and resulting treatments, but working wears him out entirely.   He still enjoys it, but needs more breaks.

Me?  Since my knee surgery my arthritis has taken over my life!  Thankfully, my knee has healed enough that I was able to get some of my raised beds planted this spring.  Going out there each day puts a smile on my face to be sure!  However, some mornings find me hitching and lurching just to get out to take care of Polly, Fredric and the chickens.

Due to an old *injury to my thumb when we moved here eight years ago, I am now having to go in for surgery on the  22nd. to remove bone and build a replacement out of restructured tendon at the base of my left thumb and just above the wrist.  The swelling and pain find me dropping things unexpectedly throughout the day, and also limit what I can do in the studio, ergo fewer posts about my quilting and sewing.

I find it hard to believe that at the time we decided to buy the property in Tuscumbia we were both in seemingly great health and now we realize that we just have to let it go.

Anyone want to buy 25 acres with an antique home that needs lots of TLC?  It has a new tin roof!  🙂

So I am certain that most of you know this old joke, but I’ll post it anyway:

know how to make god laugh?

just tell him your plans.

Today will be spent unpacking the boxes I packed three years ago when I thought we were moving, and the rest of the week will find me busy with setting the guest bedroom back to rights.

are we sad?

yes, who wouldn’t be,

but we are also realistic about what we can handle.

Last week Bob was off work all week and we put another 13 Stay-Puffts into the freezer.  I got smart this time and cooked down all the bits and bones to make soup starter for this winter.  So now that too is all packed and waiting for us when the weather gets cold.  We now have plenty of chicken for the next year (meaning the next 12 months).  We also purchased bulk lamb (for Armenian sausage) and pork butt to make sweet Italian sausages for this next year .  It was a joy to be able to season them with mint and herbs from my garden!

Our freezer is full and we have a roof over our heads.

Life is good!

OK, lots to do before the 22nd.  I am going to get to work now.

These were taken this morning.  As always, please click for better viewing!

*When unpacking the moving van a 45 pound box of books fell onto my hand and pinned my thumb down onto to my arm.  It took several attempts before my brother-in-law and I could manage to dislodge it.  😯

Look closely and see the sheds and farmhouse in the distance.

I went walking…

What did I see?

 

I traveled up the hollow to a neighboring property and was able to see the hundreds of acres that were once owned by the builder of our cabin home.  Turning in place gave me a 360 degree view of the furthest tree lines which, as I understood it, were the *boundaries of his domain.

He put in a lot of work to make the oak woods his home.  As we work on our little 25 of the original acres, I wonder at the strength and stamina of a man who built a home of hewn logs, on the furthest west bit of territory he could find.  It seems hard for us to imagine now, that this place was the wild west in the early 1800s.

He lived here a long time and we now have the honor of refurbishing his legacy.  Do you see the green tin roofs in the last photo? The trees follow the little creek that is our east property boundary.  That is our Farmlet home in the Freedom Hills, of Alabama.  So much history!

I will share more history of our area as I discover it.

~*~

*I was able to locate by plat number the area in which he settled, but sadly, his recorded deed history was lost in a fire in the late 1800s.  😦

This view?  Gone.

Nothing is certain…

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Benjamin Franklin

~*~

It can be added that you can’t fight the Tennessee Valley Authority aka: the *TVA.

~*~

Very recently we went back up to work on the Mountain Farmlet to find that the TVA had been there to clear for the power lines that traverse the length and breadth of our property.  We knew they would have to come sooner or later because the trees had begun to grow through the lines.  We further knew that this is a dangerous condition, a safety hazard for our property and the folks who live in and around our hollow.

Knowing this did not prepare us for the reality of what they did.

PLEASE CLICK THE FIRST PHOTO TO READ THE EXPLANATIONS/CAPTIONS

This can be made to look good again, but it will require a tremendous amount of work and a tractor which we do not have and cannot afford at the moment.

Things that I have found out in my research are mind-boggling.

  • Loss of timber is not reimbursed to the landowner.
  • The TVA can clear out anything you plant there if it is not on their list of approved plantings (and in some cases they cleared it anyway).
  • You can hire someone to do the work of trimming, but because they can’t count on the homeowner to “… keep it up.” they may still mow it all down anyway.  Your loss for hiring of the tree surgeon.
  • They can come in and spray **chemicals to keep the plants from growing back.

The TVA, as I understand it, is supposed to do the following:

  • Notify you of their intention to cut down and remove the growth on their right of way.
  • Protect animal habitat.
  • Protect Native American artifact sites.
  • Allow you to plant their preapproved list of native plants.  (this is iffy)

They have had the right to many of the rights of way for as far back as 1933.  If you are a home/land owner the onis is on you to research the legalities of any right of way through your property.  It is opined that you should go back at least 100 years.

Nobody tells you this stuff.

Our thoughts to ease the look of this harsh gash through the property is to hire a tree buyer to come in and cut down much of the pine.  I will have to interview the tree buyers to find one I can trust to not just mow as he goes!  And, although most of it is non native and should go anyway, I will have to do some bushwhacking over the next two years to mark the trees I want to keep, and of course, ALL the hardwoods stay!

I want to keep the largest of the native pines in stands and eliminate all the dense saplings that are constantly rotting and falling down due to lack of sunlight.

My ideal is to have lovely pasture, surrounded by native woods that have been thinned for their health.  I wish to keep our walking path around the outside of the property and to use one of the gashes as an access road to the new pasture in the middle.  I hope that the tree buyer will do his work for the cost of the trees he removes.  Some will, but I still have a trust issue about how they will accomplish the job.  At least now they have an easy access route to get into the woods and do the work. (read that last line with deepest sarcasm)

This will take a very long time.

In the meantime, I am heartened to know that the deer are apparently happy with the TVA’s new super highway they made for them; tracks are everywhere!

Want to know more about the TVA and their zero tolerance policy on power-line under growth? 

Look here:

Activist Larry Silverstein’s Battle With TVA’s Tree-Cutting

TVA Frequently asked questions

FERC –  Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Help: Tree Trimming and Vegetation Management Landowners

Filed under Cr@p – This just in on TVA tree removal policy… Grrrr…!

* The TVA has about 15,900 miles of transmission lines and services about 9 million people in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

**At this time the TVA says they can spray “Environmentally safe chemicals” (their assertion as to the safety) onto the right of way to keep the growth from growing back.