July 3, 2017

Weekend Chores...

Moving Wood To The Shed

Saturday was certainly a productive day at Hickory Hill Farm. Andy and Shelly came down with their tractor (which Andy has been driving since he was seven!), and helped us move our big farm wagon out of our pole barn and over to the wood shed. We purchased this wagon, loaded with wood, when we bought the property.  The wagon has been in the barn all winter, and we wanted to get the wood and trailer moved out to make more room in the barn.

Because of the location of the wagon in the barn, it had to be backed out, with someone holding and steering the trailer by the tongue on the front. As they were backing it out, the tie rod on the wheel gave way under the weight of all the wood on the front of it, but it didn't take long for Andy to affect a repair and get the load under way again. Once they were clear of the building, he then hooked onto the front hitch and drove it over to the shed.

Emptying The Wagon

After the trailer was backed into the shed, even their grandson, Eli, got down to helping unload the wood. I was stacking wood, too, until one of our builder friends arrived to bid on replacing our wraparound porch.

I took him back to the house and we discussed removing and replacing the existing porch with new boards, rails, and trim. We may even replace the pillars to give the front and side of the farmhouse an updated, authentic (true to the original) look before the snow flies. We may not get to enjoy it much this year, but it will be ready for ice tea and rocking chairs next spring.
Room For More Wood

By the time I was finished up at the house, our dear neighbors and Handsome had finished unloading and stacking the wood, and the wagon was empty and clean. I was actually a little disappointed that I couldn't have done more there. I was actually having fun stacking wood!

I can certainly understand how (and why) pioneer families helped each other raise barns, sew or quilt quilt in each others homes or shared meal preparations. More hands lighten the load, and deep and lasting friendships are formed over such chores. There is no way that Handsome and I could ever have moved that trailer load of wood without Andy and Shelly. Again, we're grateful for their unselfish help, and we've come to genuinely love them more each day. 

Making Vegetable Stock

When I came back to the house, I pulled a bag of frozen vegetable trimmings I've been accumulating out of the freezer, and popped them into my big stew pot. I topped them off with water, and added a little salt.

I let the contents simmer the rest of the day, and before dinnertime, I strained off all the liquid and set it aside to cool. I tossed all the vegetable waste for the compost pile, and in the end, had a quart of homemade vegetable stock to put in the fridge. I'll use it this week for a nice soup on one of our wonderfully chilly nights. Nothing makes me happier than being able to grab a light sweater or a sweatshirt in the evening. Wisconsin evenings are perfect for that.

Banana Nut Bread, Fresh Out Of The Oven

I made two large loaves, and four small loaves of banana nut bread while the vegetables were simmering in the pot. One loaf went up the hill to Andy and Shelly; one small loaf went down the road to our dear neighbor, Mary Jane; two small loaves went home with Mom Grace's daughter, Deb (who I call "Sis"); and we kept one large loaf here.

I've shared my recipe with you Here in a previous blog post, and it's our family favorite. I added my own touch (homemade vanilla) to the recipe, along with Georgia pecans I picked up on my trip north from Florida. These loaves never last long at our house!

Dirty Dog
Oh, I had one more task for the day on Saturday. Handsome let the dogs out before I came downstairs Saturday morning. After I grabbed my cup of coffee, I headed to the dining room to greet my dear husband and thank him for my morning brew. He was already outside in the barn, but this was the sight that greeted me.
I found out after I went outside that a certain short-legged corgi, who shall remain nameless, decided to take himself down the lane in front of our house. There he found more goopy nastiness to roll in, which he did with a thoroughness that would be admired in all of Dogdom. I, on the other hand, was not quite so impressed.

After I finished my coffee, and before he stunk up the whole house, we went outside to the garden hose - dog shampoo in hand - and gave him a thorough cleansing. I can tell you that water was numbingly cold, too. It came straight up out of our well, a brisk 55º. Serves him right. (I add here that no corgis were harmed by this activity. He ran around like a crazed beast after I rinsed him off, and then rolled in the clean grass. He was just fine.) I'll need to brush him today. He's looking a little "blurry" with all the fur that needs to be combed out. 
I'll also be making homemade laundry detergent. It's that time again. Here's the recipe I use in case you're interested. (The link to the actual recipe is in that blog post from July 2014.) This is my favorite laundry soap now, so while I purchase the ingredients to make it, I no longer purchase the name brand detergents to wash our laundry. I prefer this instead.
All in all, we had a pretty wonderful weekend. There's just something about working out in the yard that has become so satisfying to me. I'm more tan (albeit a "farmer tan", meaning I have tan lines from the shorts and tops I wear, rather than swimsuit lines.) than I ever got in Florida. Handsome says it's because I spend more time outside here than I ever did down south. I guess he's right. I prefer the cooler weather we've had here to the steaming heat in the Sunshine State. Absolutely no complaints from this girl here. Rain or shine...nothing beats our days (and nights) here at Hickory Hill Farm.


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Createology said...

I love how Hickory Hill Farm is taking you back to the good roots of this country. Hubs and I were just discussing the olden days when communities got together and people took care of one another and celebrated together and there wasn't room for violence or extreme poverty vs uber wealth. Your neighbors are truly a Godsend to help you. Stacking wood is not my favorite pasttime. Tag looks a little forlone. Yum to the vegetable stock and baked breads. It is too hot here for the oven so I had hubby "bake" shortcakes in the BBQ...they were edible. Last week he baked pizza in his BBQ. EnJOY your days my friend. Happy and Safe Fourth of July...<3


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