27 June 2012

Catching Up...

 Life sure gets busy, doesn't it?

Since I last posted, there have been plenty of things going on, although not directly 'homestead' related. 

I helped a friend move his stuff to Dinky's Auction for his big antique sale.  The sale went well for just about everyone.  The seller got a good price on many or most things, some so-so prices on some, and a few went cheap.  On the average, he was pleased.  He had a lot of collector items, old cast iron Griswold skillets, quite a few Redwing and Uhl crocks and jugs, about a dozen glass butter churns...and on and on.  One thing I thought was noteworthy was the little half-pint blue mason jar that someone stole from a table before it went up for sale.  The owner simply said that they must need it worse than he did.  Below are several photos of just some of the items that were sold.

Some good old cast iron skillets and pots

More hand tools
Lots of crocks, jugs, and churns

Lots of tools

A nice kerosene stove

All of these kettles were ready to use!


I also had the opportunity to help with the neighbor's threshing.  We forked shocks of spelt up onto the wagon to the stackers.  I learned that there is a knack to doing that and you don't want to poke the tines of the fork too far up onto the wagon, rather give it a flip and let it fly off the tines and onto the stack.  That will help keep the guy who is on the wagon stacking from becoming a 'forkee'.  After we hauled in a couple of tall wagon loads of shocks, they fired up the thresher or 'separator'.  That was a 1946 Keck-Gonnerman thresher, an "Indiana Special".  It is powered by a pulley on a stationary tractor and once it gets going, it is simply a clattering, mechanical symphony of moving parts!  The kind of ingenuity required to design and build a machine like that seems to be in short supply these days.  The machine was a pleasure to watch and I was shown the various operations it performs.  Simply amazing.

As the spelt was forked into the thresher, the stuff moves through, the chaff is removed, the grain goes up and into the wagon and the straw is blown out the back.  Afterwards, the farmers back a baler up to the huge pile of straw and just feed it into the baler.  I didn't get to photograph the operation this time, as the folks I was working with preferred not to be photographed.  No problem, I left the camera in my pocket.

I didn't get to spend as much time there as I wanted, but there is more to come at another neighbor's so I'll get to help there too!

On Monday night, we went over to a friend's for supper.  Good Amish cooking!  The meal of fried chicken, dressing, noodles, slaw and fresh corn was followed with homemade rolls and strawberry jam.  It was all washed down with sweet tea.

After the meal, we all visited for a while.  The three young girls and their momma play harmonicas and treated us to several good old gospel tunes and some toe tappers as well.  Generally, the harmonica is the only instrument that the Amish are permitted to play.  These ladies really could play!  Then, they all sang some songs with the young girls picking up the harmonies just right.  The girls are 5, 8, and 9 and their mother is sure teaching them well.  It was a good evening with some good folks.

One of my daughter's friends came rolling in this evening.  She is visiting from Florida and dropped us off a big bag of huge Georgia peaches she picked up on the way through!  I couldn't resist, and cut one up and added it to a big bowl of homemade ice cream left over from the weekend.  Pretty good!

The garden is pretty well just languishing in the heat, but Patti picked an ice cream bucket of green beans this evening.  They should be coming on in earnest really soon.  We have a few tomatoes getting ripe, but everything is suffering under the high heat and low humidity.  The weather we've had the past several days reminds me of, say, Nebraska or South Dakota...pretty hot in the afternoons, cool and pleasant at night and humidity in the 25-35 percent range.  That's due to change tomorrow, though, when it may reach 103-105 degrees and the humidity is forecast to start creeping upwards.  It's interesting that last night we came within 2 degrees of a record low and tomorrow may be a record high!  I gave all the garden and fruit bushes a good watering this evening.  Hopefully it will carry it through for a day or two.  There is no rain in the forecast.

1 comment:

  1. i stumbled upon this blog and i have enjoyed reading it..i am a mississippi homesteader, for the last twenty plus years...i would not trade this life for all the gold in china...it is hard work, but there is a lot of satisfaction in being self reliant. we have five acres ten miles from civilization at any given direcction. nice and peaceful. we do not have any animals other than two good dogs that are my constant companiions. i love growing things so have plenty of various gardens scattered about with veggies, fruit, and of course flowers. it is indeed very hot...we reached 103 by late this afternoon. i am watering everything twice a day this past week. a good three day soaker of rain would surely be a true blessing.