Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Emma Girl

The other day... last week, I decided I wanted to take a walk after dinner. I thought it would be a good idea to head up to the spec house and check on the progress. I was curious to see how far the framers had gotten.

I also thought it would be a good idea to take one of the dogs with me. I didn't care which one, so I decided the first one to respond to, "Who wants to go for a walk?" would be the one that got to go.

Turns out it was Emma. Not surprising.

The next time I get a good idea... remind me to think again.

Oh, it was beautiful. A lovely evening for a walk.

It was also 10.4 miles, one way, mostly up hill! Okay, it's not that far, but it felt like it. Whew!

As we approached the house (though, actually it was still out of sight...)

( we only made it as far as the fire pit),

we both discovered that the guys hadn't left yet; we could hear their air guns echoing off the mountains.

At first Emma was curious.

She slowed her pace... then she stopped. She stood tall and her ears perked up.

Then in a flash she turned and lunged toward me. She stood on her hind legs, with her front paws digging into my shoulders (she's that tall when she stands on her hind legs) and attempted to climb me with her back legs, as if to say, "Pick me up! Pick me up, mama, I'm scared!!"

Poor girl (I had to laugh, though, she was so funny!). I settled her down and we abruptly turned and headed in the opposite direction.

When we were far enough away from the scary noise, I had her rest for a bit.

She was tired and panting, and probably wishing I had brought some water.

"I'm still a little nervous, mom."

"Can we go home now?"
Well, that was fun. I wonder if she'll be as eager to go next time?! (Of course she will.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Allow Me To Introduce Bob Thomas

...affectionately known by Joe and me as Mountain-Man Bob. We count it a privilege to have made his acquaintance and now deem him a friend.

Bob grew up here in this beautiful region of the country, as did several generations before him, and he is a wealth of invaluable knowledge and information.

When Joe and I were reeling from the car-struck wild turkey episode (remember that one?!), Bob is the one who wisely advised us it's not a good idea to eat meat that's been hit... "at least he never does," he said. You see, when Joe went out front to see whether he could save the turkey or have to put it out of it's misery, several trucks came by asking if Joe was going to keep it because they wanted it. Most passed it up claiming they didn't have time to clean it, but the last guy... the one who ended up with the turkey, again asked Joe if he wanted it and, of course, Joe said no. The guy then said, "Well, wring his neck and toss him in back." Joe said, "I'll toss him back - you wring his neck!" And off the guy went with what we supposed would be the evening's meal. We were dumbfounded.

It was also Bob who told me that anti-perspirant is the best thing to clear up poison-ivy. Just spray it on and "it'll dry it up right quick." Well, remember those awful pictures of my blistering, weeping, poison-ivy-ridden arm? I was skeptical then, but I later learned that I tried it too late. You need to use it right away, when the red, itchy bumps first appear. Ohhh! I have since done it numerous times...and I'll be darned if he's not right! Immediately the itch disappears, and within a couple of hours the bumps are gone as well! No kidding.

Of course, in the Cherries and Berries post, you know he's the one that advised me on the cherry-picking. He also told me the tree isn't producing like it should because it doesn't get enough morning sun. Well, nothing I can do about that...

Recently, he brought me a huge tomato from his garden. It's called a Big George and when you slice it for a sandwich, it's bigger than the slice of bread! Oooh, it was tasty. He told me how to keep the seeds so I can plant them next spring and have Big George tomato plants of my own. The plants he's enjoying these days came from plants of his father's decades ago! And where did his dad get his seeds? Get this! From the wife of the man who rode the last horse and buggy mail route in the United States (which was right here, of course... Bob's family was on the route)! 1940s. Seriously. And now I have some.

Last week he brought me a handful of buckeyes. I thought they were chestnuts... they look just like them. But he said, "No, these aren't edible. They say you just keep one in your pocket and they're supposed to bring you good luck."

Joe, too, highly esteems him. As newcomers to this area, we have so much to learn about our surroundings, and I can't tell you how much Joe appreciates all he has learned from Bob. For example, he was helping Joe identify the myriad trees on the mountain; not from their leaves, but from their bark. Joe was so impressed.

Joe knows his way around an engine pretty well, and Bob's knowledge of the engines on his heavy equipment fascinates Joe. He says there isn't anything Bob can't fix himself. He also enjoys how quick Bob is with a story or a joke... has a new one to tell every day!

His fame is stretching far and wide! The other day Kristiina and I were discussing a peculiar vine in her yard. She's not sure what it is and bottom-lined it by exclaiming, "I could just take a picture and send it to you to show Mountain-Man Bob." {grin} Yes, and he'd probably know what it is. As a matter of fact, Kristiina, I mentioned it to him and he says it sounds like gherkins.

There is a short biography written about Bob Thomas in this book, published in 2000.

In it, the author quotes Bob on the history and the future of the logging business. That was interesting! It speaks of his sons and grandsons, and how the business is a "family affair" that also includes his brother and cousins. (It astounds Joe that even the little guys, his grandsons, know how to use, and use well, the big, heavy equipment!) It tells the story of how Bob met Billie Sue, his wife of 45 years. We so enjoyed reading it... of course, we know the "cast of characters" and that made it all the more pleasurable.

Bob and his crew (family) are the ones who planned and cut in all the roads in the mountain development across the street that I keep referring to. Goodness! It takes such skill to do it right and not just hack it up... of course, they take such care because they respect and appreciate the land and trees. They're over there now working on the third phase of the development and it looks beautiful.

Here, Bob is busy pulling pork at our recent "Pig Roast Picnic" for the property owners, while Rick, our Construction Manager, looks on.

And here, he's discussing our home models with one of the owners.

Almost daily, I enjoy the pleasure of a laugh or a lesson... or both ...from Mountain-Man Bob. And sometimes they're accompanied by those precious little gifts; like the tomatoes, buckeyes and the gourd (yes, Mary, I got to keep it). He's a treasure... so interesting, and completely humble and unassuming.

He's quite a guy, that Mountain-Man Bob!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sounds Like A Blog Post

... since it's full of true confessions; such as dogs eating off dishes, talking to myself and using southern slang!

This past Monday I, and a few select others, received an email from my mom with a newsy update about how she spent her Sunday.

I responded with this...

"Sounds like a fun Sunday! I can't believe Zoe [her dog] and what she's willing to eat. You know how I always let Dexter lick my plate clean (sorry to those that think it's gross... I promise I wash it real good after - he's my pre-rinse!)... well, I've decided he's definitely a "meat and potatoes man." I've known that he won't eat anything out of the garden if it's raw, and he's fussy about it if it's cooked. I have just learned that he doesn't like avocado, either. Saturday, I diced one up and ate it plain with salt and pepper... my favorite way to eat avocado! Dex totally snubbed his nose at the tiny remnants on my plate! Even though it's produce, I figured he would have gone for it because of the softer texture. Nope!

Anyway, my Sunday was nice, too... church in the morning, then home for lunch. I had some green peppers and broccoli I wanted to use up so decided to throw them in a pan with olive oil, added some garlic, added a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce), threw in some oregano and powdered onion... lots of fresh basil. Tossed in some cooked whole wheat rotini, sprinkled it with parm cheese. Mmmm, mmm. It was kinda like a vegetarian goulash, and I liked it! I told myself, "You did good!" (Since Joe's not home, I talk to myself when I'm not talking to the dogs! Me and the dogs... we're good company.)

Then I dusted and vacuumed the house. In the evening I went back to church for a concert. The Joy -something- Quartet (men). They were good. I kept thinking of dad, remembering how he used to appreciate good harmonizing. I think he would have liked it; I'm not sure how he felt about southern gospel, but I know he would have liked the singing. They were a little too southern gospel for me... Gaither-ish, and I've never really cared for the Gaithers. I still enjoyed it though... you know, when in Rome... and it sure beat laying on the couch watching TV."

Then a few minutes later, I had a follow-up:

"Mountain Man Bob was just here... He brought me a gourd with a neck on it 3 feet long! He thought I'd get a kick out of it.

Here's the thing, though... I was chatting with him and used "I'm fixing to..." in a sentence!

Yes, I did! I can't believe I did that. It must have been last night's toe-tapping, hand-clapping, shoulder-to-shoulder southern-ness rubbing off on me...

Oh my goodness."

And following is my comeback when she said I'm turning into a true "suthun" gal:

"Yeah... well, I'm comforted by the fact that I still use the term "you guys" (very Syracuse) when addressing more than one individual... even if it's a group full of women.

If I start saying "y'all," "all y'all" or "yuns...(youins)" I'm in trouble!!"

And I'll never say "I growed up..." Goodness, that's so common here. No one grew up; they all growed up!
- - - - - - - - - -

Besides that, check out these two pics I took on Saturday...

Does this look like October, or what?!

Is anyone else experiencing this kind of leaf changing yet? They say it's not even happening like this in Vermont yet! I don't get it! Candy doesn't understand why it's so early, either.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Did I Say That?

Did I say that after Vogel State Park it was time to call it a day?

Ooooh, no, no, no.

We stopped at home, let the dogs out... I think we scarfed some leftovers for supper (Mountain Man Bob would be so proud... I said supper, not dinner, because dinner is what one would eat at lunchtime... at least that's how it is 'round these parts! :) )... we grabbed our sweaters, and headed for Buck Bald to watch the sunset.

Here's a big surprise:

We took lots of pictures! ;-)

Whoa, but it was windy and cold up there. As soon as it dipped, we were out of there!

Then {big sigh, and a heavy heart}...

Morning came and it was time to go to the airport. Time always goes too fast.

Aaaand, that's a wrap.

About Me

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18