Category Archives: Special Touches

Stained Glass Window

This old window was installed on the east side of our old house in the attic where it was really not appreciated. When we razed the house about 4 years ago, it was one of many items we saved. Just now getting around to cleaning it up and bringing back to former glory.

Simple Coffee – Simple Breakfast

Daughter, Jessica, is always thinking of nice things to give others.  She brought home from Vietnam Simple Coffee Co, a couple sacks of delicious coffees grown and roasted in Son La, Vietnam.  She has since recently returned to Vietnam (quite the adventure in that – taking 52 hours and now in isolation!), so i’m enjoying the Forest flavor all by myself.  We shared Sunrise earlier in her visit.  Okay, now i’m going to cry because i miss her still. 😦  She’s been doing this international schools teaching since straight out of uni – you’d think i’d get used to her being gone.

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Roasted beans i ground this morning and pressed for a fresh cup.  Enjoyed one of my home made Applesauce Chia Granola Bars.

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Vietnam

Tanzanian Peaberry

Excellent roast.  My first cup was a bit of a surprise at how dark and strong Tanzanian Peaberry was.  After that, i adjusted the amount of beans i use for just the right enjoyment.  Although the description uses aromatic notes such as Sweet Brown Sugar, Black Tea, Anise, my first sniff reminded me of campfire cooking.  Salter Bros Coffee Roasters roast the beans you order AFTER you order.  Super fresh.

Looking forward to trying some of the other roastings by Salterbroscoffee.  A bag of Honduran medium-dark roast is waiting patiently in the cupboard.

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Brekky with a freshly made banana nut/oatmeal muffin.

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FLAVOR: Sweet Overall, With Lemongrass, Plum, Light Nougat
ACIDITY: Crisp
BODY: Rich Medium to Full Body
AROMA: Sweet Brown Sugar, Black Tea, Anise
ALTITUDE: 1,200-1,600 Meters
SOIL: Volcanic

 

Antique Farm Machinery

So, i didn’t find any buyers for the old farm machinery i found on one of my farms last fall, so i put it on display!  Crazy, i know, but it’s either that, or they go to scrap iron for 4 cents a pound.

The two smaller pieces were fairly simple to wrangle into place, but the riding one bottom plough required the use of tractor and front end loader to lift into place.  Son, Dallas, took care of that.  He also was the muscle behind getting the shaft on the big wheel rotated so that it would set level.  I applied liberal amounts of rust buster stuff as well as loosened the rust around the opening with maul and punch.  Thankfully, the set screw came loose easily.  Using an old wagon jack, i lifted the low side up, then we started with the big pipe wrench, then as the shaft moved closer into place, i switched to a smaller wrench and a cheater bar.  Like i said, Dallas put all the grunt into the actual move.

There is one more piece i plan to move into my antique garden – maybe i’ll have time next week.

Life on the Farm!

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My John Deere 267 horse drawn Stag Sulky looking quite lopsided.

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Looking very dapper in its level ride position!

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“John Deere never saw a green tractor
From the time he revolutionized the plow in
1837, John Deere continually looked for ways
to improve equipment to make life easier for
farmers. While steam engine tractors began
to appear in the 1880s, when Deere died in
1886, the world was still using the walking
plow as its main means of turning the soil.”  The Plowshare

 

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Antique cultivator

 

 

It’s ALIVE!

Sometimes life can be really depressing, especially at the end of a long, cold winter and everyone is exhausted, but then just little things can really brighten your day!  Last summer, we razed our old house, but before doing so, we wanted to save the old rose bush that had been sheltered in a southeast facing corner for perhaps 60 years or maybe more!  A long time ago, a visitor suggested that it was called a ‘seven sisters rose‘ so-named because of the way the blossoms cluster in sevens.

So, we moved it.  I had called Mendenhall’s Florists & Nursery in Brookfield, MO for advice and found out that it would be nearly impossible to move it in the middle of the summer and have it survive, but we had no choice.

Christian Finck and Dallas Powell discussing strategy -although it all goes through me.
Christian Finck and Dallas Powell discussing strategy -although it all goes through me. The first steps were to remove the support structure then tie all the canes together. This heritage rose is exceptionally thorny.

We just sort of guessed at how much of the roots we needed balanced with how much we could realistically chop out.
We just sort of guessed at how much of the roots we needed balanced with how much we could realistically chop out. The log chain was looped well below the surface level.

Christian carefully backed the tractor while we kept a close on how the roots were going to fare with such force.
Christian carefully backed the tractor while we kept a close on how the roots were going to fare with such force.

After the bush was loaded, I wrapped the roots in a wet towel and Christian hauled it in the front end loader to our guest house (in which we had recently moved)
After the bush was loaded, I wrapped the roots in a wet towel and Christian hauled it in the front end loader to our guest house (in which we had recently moved)

Dallas packed the entire bush to the hole  we had already started.
Dallas packed the entire bush to the hole we had already started.

Alas, the hole that had been started was far from deep or wide enough, so the boys dug it out more and run into a tree root from the old Mulberry tree we had removed from the front yard.  So that had to be taken out before the hole could be enlarged any further.
Alas, the hole that had been started was far from deep or wide enough, so the boys dug it out more and run into a tree root from the old Mulberry tree we had removed from the front yard. So that had to be taken out before the hole could be enlarged any further.

Well, a bit droopy, but there it is!  I kept it well watered all during the dry heat of summer and fall.
Well, a bit droopy, but there it is! I kept it well watered all during the dry heat of summer and fall. Later, I cut the canes back very short to encourage root growth.

TODAY - 22 Mar 2015!  These signs of life indicate this hardy rose made it through a rough transplant in the wrong time of the year followed by an extremely long and bitterly cold winter.  Hooray!
TODAY – 22 Mar 2015! These signs of life indicate this hardy rose made it through a rough transplant in the wrong time of the year followed by an extremely long and bitterly cold winter. Hooray!

Repurposing Lumber

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Assembling the tools and supplies usually takes longer than accomplishing the task!

Last summer, we took down the old horse barn behind our house and salvaged as much lumber as possible.  Built in 1899, it had far outlived its usefulness and had become, not only an eyesore, but unsafe as well.  Jeff McCotter used some of the planks and timbers to build a stunning platform bed, as well as, these beautiful picture frames.  I finally got around to taking some old glass to Hometown Hardware  and having glass cut for them, then i finally ordered and received the frame turn buttons to hold the photos in and the hangers, then finally cut foam board pieces for backing.  Then FINALLY, this morning, assembled the whole affair.  If you had frames made like i did, would you want them to come back with glass, backing, turn buttons and hanger already installed?  or would you prefer gathering the materials and doing those parts yourself?

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Turn buttons and hanger installed on one picture. I discovered that the screwdriver set for my DeWalt 18V power drill did not contain a driver small enough for these tiny screws. I ended up using a hand screwdriver which was probably the better choice for this job anyway.

Finished and hanging.  Might look better stained darker, but for now, i'll enjoy them au naturale.
Finished and hanging. Might look better stained darker, but for now, i’ll enjoy them au naturale.

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Hand crafted platform bed built entirely of planks and posts from our vintage 1899 horse barn from the Lamme Farm.

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Yerba Maté

My dear friend Ivis from Bolivia introduced me to Yerba Maté several years ago and I’ve been hooked on it since.  Described as ““strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” all in one non-alcoholic beverage.

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With a tiny spoon (souvenir size), I scoop in about four spoonfuls and fill with not quite boiling water. Some people add sugar. Be careful – the bombilla will get hot!

Be culturally in vogue with a gourd and bombilla to properly enjoy your maté,

Yerba Mate contains caffeine, so check out possible drug interactions and side effects.

Cultivation (from Wikipedia).  The Yerba mate plant is grown and processed in South America, specifically in northern Argentina (Corrientes,Misiones), Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul). Cultivators are known as yerbateros (Spanish) orervateiros (Brazilian Portuguese).