Flashback Friday and a few other tidbits

Monday, August 17

Morning coffee in the clean and groovy greenhouse watching the sun rise above the mountain is always so nice and peaceful. We like a slow, quiet start to the day which was a pretty good day today. CountryBoy stayed busy bush hogging the hillside behind the house and he mowed up at the cabin. There’s a sweet smell about the farm from the bush hogging. He also made eight mini loaves of banana bread using up the recently purchased ‘old’ bananas from Save-a-Lot. I’m tellin’ ya, use extremely ripe, almost mushy bananas and your banana bread will be moist with loads of banana flavor. After all that he picked some green beans, snapped them and cooked them up for supper along with pork chops and mashed potatoes. Mmm, mmm good! I washed the dishes while he went to the neighbors to pick up a few things that were offered us before he moves in a week or two such as some saw horses (one can never have too many saw horses especially’ round here) and some PVC pipe. We can also never have too much of that it seems.

Work was good. The morning was steady but on the slow side of steady. While at lunch is when it became rather dicey. Someone called and needed to run a legal ad – a list of delinquent taxes, yikes! STOP THE PRESSES! I got it in even though they called after our noon deadline. My previous two pages of Classifieds suddenly went to eight. I spent the majority of the afternoon formatting the ad and conversing back and forth via email with the client. I finished the new Classified pages around 3 o’clock. After that I laid out a few pages of the paper which gives me a head start for tomorrow. I decided to leave thirty minutes early as there wasn’t much else I could do at that point.

By the time I got home the guests had already arrived and left. They were headed to the Red River Gorge. I did get to meet them as I was coming back from gathering the eggs when they pulled in. I like getting to meet the guests, even if it is brief, just to know who’s staying in our cabin.

After I washed the dishes I did a little sanding on my nightstand. And I mean a little because sanders are so noisy and sound travels in our valley so I didn’t want to run it long for fear of disturbing the guests. I’m finished with the 40 grit…

Next up will be 80 grit. Then 120 and finally 220. After that I will clean up the edges a bit then apply several coats of polyurethane. I’m already ready to see and use the finished product!

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Farm news: 27 eggs

The recently planted seed potatoes are popping up through the ground. I’m really curious to see how well they do this time of year.

Tuesday, August 18

What an unbelievably beautiful day for the middle of August! There’s a cool breeze in the air, the sun is shining with marshmallow white clouds scattered here and there and it’s in the low 80’s. In AUGUST!!! This has been, by far, the BEST August since we’ve moved here.

As I’m typing this the clouds are rolling in, it’s getting quite dark and thunder is booming in the not so far distance. My flower garden could use a good waterin’ and the pond still needs to fill up. It’s now sprinkling, yay!

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Work was a quick three and a half hours. We only had twelve pages this week and half of them were laid out yesterday. I’m OK with that. I came home and CountryBoy was just getting started on the trim around the greenhouse windows. I helped a tiny bit by removing the hardware (eye hooks & latches, handles and a few window stops) but other than that I mainly concentrated on washing, drying and folding the cabin sheets and towels.

Speaking of cabin, there is no one up there for the next two nights. Well, for now. Someone could book last minute for tomorrow and that would be OK as we’re ready.

CountryBoy was able to trim out five of the fourteen windows in the greenhouse before running out of the rubber window sealant he’s applying to the trim. It’s a start. We’ll pick up some more the next time we’re in town. It also looks like we’ll have enough of the wood that he bought and is splitting to make the window trim to cut in half and make some baseboards for the one side of the greenhouse that didn’t have any. (We reused the trim that was already down on the one side.)

When I went to the barn to gather the eggs I fed Mabel and then sanded the nightstand top with 80 grit before gathering the eggs. Bit by bit I’ll get it done.

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Taco Tuesday! CountryBoy whipped out some tacos for supper while I was foolin’ around in the barn. Gotta love that man o’ mine!

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We enjoyed a really nice rain from the comfort of our front porch. Rain always makes CountryBoy sleepy so between the rain and not getting a very good night of sleep last night he went on to bed. Maybe he’ll get a few good hours during the rain. Meanwhile, I need to go lock the chickens up and say good night to Mabel.

On my way to the barn…

The mist enraptures me every time!

‘Raindrops on Roses (of Sharons)!

And a view of the night sky from the upper part of our driveway…

I must say it was a delightful trip out to the barn this evening.

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Farm news: 27 eggs

Wednesday, August 19

One year ago today our Mountain View Retreat cabin arrived in a huge crate. The crate was opened, the pieces were counted and sorted and section by section we hauled it up the hill and began creating the cozy little cabin that has become a hit with the hiking and adventurous type. Thankfully there are quite a few of them around. We gave ourselves a year for it to get off the ground but right off the bat we had guests booking here and there – even in the dead of winter. We were shocked! Then COVID hit. We had a month with only a handful of people and then people started wanting to come to simply get away from the news and the bookings picked up. Now people are getting back outside again and wanting to enjoy nature. So in less than a year our little retreat has taken off and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The friends that suggested we have an Airbnb at the farm were our first guests last November and they said we had a gold mine up there. I thought they were being polite and encouraging but they were right. It seems we are in a very central location for people traveling, others are loving the ‘step-up’ from tent camping and many are enjoying the challenges of off-grid and/or tiny house living even it is only for a day or three! And we have been more than happy to share our little piece of Kentucky with them.

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Work at the B&B was good. I finished the sheets around 1:30 then worked on the rates page for about an hour then was on my way home. CountryBoy quickly showered and we were off to Lowes to get some more weather-stripping. Of course, the buggy quickly filled up with other goodies such as a couple plants and a beautiful ceramic pot that had been discounted and several plant bases for my pots that didn’t have any (certainly don’t want water running all over the nice, new floor!). I also grabbed a new bird feeder as I had dropped one of them trying to hang it on the wire and the plexiglass broke. again. CountryBoy had glued it back together but I didn’t want to fool with it. We’ll see how long it takes the birds to get used to the new feeder. They are such silly creatures! After our trip to Lowes we treated ourselves to a delicious meal at Red Lobster. Those treats are rare but so enjoyed!

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Farm news: 24 eggs

Thursday, August 20

It was a chilly 50-some degrees this morning during coffee in the greenhouse. In August! This really has been the best August ever. July and August have been typically hot and miserable here in a house with no central AC. This year, however, August has been anything but typical. Of course, this entire YEAR has been anything but typical. Nonetheless, we have welcomed the cool air with open arms. It has also been a relief knowing that our guests would not be too uncomfortable in the sweltering heat of summer. Hats off to the ones that booked in July and survived!

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Work was good. A tad slow in the afternoon but I managed to stick it out until quittin’ time. Our guests had already arrived but I was able to meet them when they came back from a quick trip to town. Shortly after that we drove over to a friends to pick up an old door. We were thinking about dismantling an old log cabin on their property and rebuilding it on ours for use as a guest house. While looking it over to determine the amount of work that would be necessary CountryBoy found a couple of doors in the upstairs portion of the cabin. We decided against taking the cabin but asked if we could have one of the doors. We’re thinking about replacing our back door with it as that one has rusted out on the bottom and there’s no way to attach any weather stripping. Of course, measurements need to be taken to see if it would work so I’ll let you know.

While we were picking up the door an enormous downpour came through. The windows in the house were open but thankfully no rain came in. We spent the rest of the evening sitting on the front porch enjoying the sound of the rain on the metal roof.

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Farm news: 28 eggs

Friday, August 21

It’s been raining off and on all day today. Not a hard rain just a nice, light rain. It stopped long enough in between so that we could venture outside and do what needed to be done. It’s also been a day to work on the greenhouse some more stopping only to take breaks or to clean the cabin. Sealing up the greenhouse is coming along. We still need to finish the windows. After that I can put the plants back in place. Slowly but surely the it is shaping up.

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Our guests arrived right after we sat down to supper. Good timing!

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The weather has still been quite nice. We’ve not had to run the window A/C and have been able to open up some windows and only use a fan at night. Tis truly unheard of in August. However, we’ll take it!

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The pond after all the rain…

it’s just about to overflow!

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The birds are now acquainted with and trusting the new bird feeder. Big birds, little birds, they’re all over it now!

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Farm news: 25 eggs

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY

Today’s Flashback Friday is definitely pre-muck boots and permanently stained clothes!

We both worked at the AT&T Microchip Plant in Orlando which is where we met. He worked for a sub-contractor that had a long-standing maintenance contract at the plant and I was doing Word Processing creating all the official documents for AT&T Bell Labs who had offices at the plant. When they moved out I began working in one of the laboratories taking water samples in the clean-room and counting the bacteria in each sample. I helped in other areas of the lab but science was not my background. While I was working in the labs I was going to school for Graphic Design. My boss had a vision for the future of the plant and its relationship with the local science community and the I-4 Corridor that he paved the way for a Graphic Design department within his organization. So, while I was in school I began working as a Graphic Designer (leaving the bacteria counting to someone else) and acquiring equipment that would aid in production and output of my designs. And I mean really cool equipment such as a large-format printer where I printed posters I had designed and ‘checks’ mounted on foam board to be presented at community events. I had a 3-D scanner. In fact, when CountryBoy proposed I scanned my engagement ring on my hand and emailed the photo to my parents. They loved it! I had the first color printer in the whole building. Not only did I create posters, flyers, ‘checks’, brochures and whatever else a customer requested I created lots of PowerPoint presentations. The engineers loved to talk using a PowerPoint presentation so I stayed busy. So busy, in fact, that I was able to double the staff in the new Graphic Design department and hired a friend of mine. She didn’t have any graphic design experience but she was creative and I knew I could show her the ropes. She picked it up quickly and even with the two of us we had a hard time keeping up with the demand. It was so fun though. The whole place was fun and such a good work environment. Don’t get me wrong, everyone worked hard but the management was top-notch and even though it was a large plant it felt like a small community.

I worked closely with the Public Relations department and in so doing I was invited to a lot of work-related highfalutin’ shindigs. In fact, our first date was one of those shindigs and we’ve been together ever since!

As I mentioned earlier my boss was big on promoting the sciences, STEM to be exact – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and so we worked closely with the Orlando Science Center, UCF and other like-minded organizations. I was fortunate, being the non-scientific creative one of the department, to even be in a department that was chock full of scientific minds but it allowed me to go to many highfalutin’ events. Below is yours truly and CountryBoy at the Orlando Science Centers’ premier of their IMAX theatre…

Goodness, that was many years and many pounds ago, ha!

Those days and events were fun and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to attend them. But now? We have traded in evening gowns and tuxedos for muck boots and comfy clothes and we wouldn’t change a thing!

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