16 November 2010

Local Color (?)

I think I have made you wait long enough for the big reveal. The painting is not at all near done and, with a series of storms due over the holiday weekend, it isn't likely to be finished any time soon. The old, poorly applied, white paint is being replaced with a soft green. the trim will remain while, albeit a richer, more interesting, warm white. I suspect that in spring and summer the house will almost disappear when viewed from the hay field.

14 November 2010

No Tellin' What's Up With That One

Mr. Fuzzy likes to accuse me of being addicted to The Machine and Facebook. He may be right but he's more enamored of his computers than I and I can prove it by the number of PayPal lines on my Visa bill. Some days, though, I'm just having too much fun to sit up here in my sunny window seat and fool with the electronic demons. Yesterday was such a day. Didn't get on for even one minute!

I was attending my first meetup of the Old Dominion Blacksmith Association at David Tucciarone's SunRise Forge. About 25 smiths, some younger than me (I think) and a few white-hairs, attended. The group was very welcoming, convivial, and helpful. Usually when I try out these sorts of groups I feel like the one young freak, the one female freak, or an intruder into a private fiefdom. None of that was in evidence... just a bunch of really lovely people who wanted to help each other learn about a craft that all, clearly, loved.

We learned lots of interesting tidbits... beginners and experienced both.... as David demonstrated several easy Christmas gift projects for last minute makers. Projects included a tea towel holder with brass finish on the leaf finial, a double coat hook from an old horse shoe, and a wall sconce with match cup that looked like a little flower. Put your orders in for 2011! I'm psyched up to start making stuff.

PS These aren't my photos. They are by a lovely gentleman by the name of Curt Welch. My battery died.... how typical! Also means no reveal on the color of Stratheden House until tomorrow.

12 November 2010

Bye Bye Whitey!

This is Dave, our new best friend. He's a wonderful guy who moved to Check from DC a few years ago and runs a one-man remodeling & painting company. Mr. Fuzzy was most impressed with the quality of his work when Dave recently painted the Floyd Masonic Lodge so he asked him to come out and give us a quote. Considering it's a big house and the gable ends will require the use of a cherry picker he is very reasonable!

Our house has been plagued by the curse of being the ultimate boring color for far too long so Dave is helping it change it's clothes. The trim will be a more pleasing shade of white. You can see it on the windows in the picture... but in what color have I chosen to dress Stratheden House?

Hmmmmmm....... Maybe I'll tell you tomorrow. Maybe not!

PS that's Dad's flag hanging from the porch. He served in the Army in Germany about 1956-58.

11 November 2010

Armistice Day

Today marks the anniversary of the armistice that ended the War to End All Wars, also known as The Great War or World War One. We are flying my father's boyhood flag in honor of those who served and those who fell.

07 November 2010

Sunday Doings

Today we toddled over to Vesta Fire & Rescue in Meadows of Dan for their annual fundraiser meal & gospel sing. As is usual at these things, the food was lovely and the music simply outstanding! Mr. Fuzzy took photos & videos.... maybe I'll be able to cajole him into uploading some.

06 November 2010

The Sound of Fire, Contained, for Man's Benefit

Yesterday morning we decided it was time to fire up the old furnace now that the weather has turned properly cold. We're due for temps around the high 20's early tomorrow morning.

I am sure you know where we're going with this... no no heat output.

Our heating guy couldn't make it out this weekend and his recommended heating guy hasn't called us back. PANIC! We were worried that the pipes in the mechanical room could freeze.

Then, about 6 PM, Mr. Fuzzy decided to fiddle the system one more time and he got it limping along enough to be confidant about our pipes until the furnace guy can come out and take a good hard look at it. No doubt, at 21 years old, it will need replacing.

05 November 2010

Local Color

True story told to Mr. Fuzzy this week while enjoying (?) plain bologna sandwiches after his Lodge meeting:

About ten years ago, in the next county west of Floyd, there was an elderly man of the storyteller's acquaintance who was pulled over as a part of a sobriety roadblock operation. He, like everyone who happened to be traveling that stretch pf road that night, was stopped and asked to show his "current driver's license." The elderly gentleman said to the policeman, "I don't have one, Sir." To which the policeman said, "Well, then, may I see your expired license?" Again, the elderly man apologized that he had no such thing. The policeman, being a kind person, replied, "When was the last time you had a driver's license?" The elderly man looked at him quite straight faced and said, "I've never had one, Sir!"

Now, Virginia has had a licensing requirement for an awfully long time... even here in the sometimes lawless mountains... but the policeman was really rather intrigued so before taking the obvious course of action he just had to ask, "Why did you never get a license, Sir?" To which the elderly man replied, in that somewhat excited tone of a person who cannot hardly believe the answer wasn't heretofore obvious....

"Well, Sir, I never needed one until tonight!"

And if you don't believe the story to be true just remember..... we PERSONALLY know the woman at the center of the "glitter on the washcloth" e-mail you've all gotten at some point.

04 November 2010


You know, dear friends, I write these things in my sleep then wonder where they've gone to the next morning because I was SURE I'd posted something for you before bed. Oops! I now subscribe to myself using Google Reader just to see if I've really posted.

Autumn is, indeed, upon us. We have had a couple frosts... enough to kill the tender summer plants... and the autumn rains are upon us. This is a good time to be adding ripped newspaper to the compost pile because the rain mashes it down a bit and makes it less likely to blow away later. I don't add it very thickly this time of year because it will become impenetrable and stop the composting process. Come summer, when our black soldier flies are working overtime I'll add heaps of paper as it helps keep the piles dry. BSF composting leads to a LOT of liquid!

Since I'm embarking on a Total Garden Overhaul over the next two years I'll be using all the "non-compostable" sections and Chiristmas catalogs to block weed growth in the paths between beds.

Dear T. I thought of something else to tell you about soaking your oats. It's best to let that happen at room temperature as they will ever so slightly ferment which makes the B vitamins, especially B-12, more available. Also, don't be afraid to soak in more milk or water than you think necessary, the oats will swell and give off its mucilage to fill the allotted liquid. More mucilage = more creaminess.