Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking past the trees...

I reckon it eventually happens to all of us.  You know... getting in the middle of a project, and no matter how convinced you are that you have everything you need to complete it, you suddenly find that you're short one item. 

Normally I would just wait until the next time I'm going to town and pick up the blasted thing then.  But since I was already smack dab in the middle I figured I'd better load up and make a trip to the hardware store.  For many folks, the trip would be no big deal... jump in the vehicle and head around the block.  Well, for me it's a little more intensive. 

I  had two choices once I was behind the wheel.  I could drive 20+ miles to the larger town of 13,000 people and fight the traffic... or I could drive the same distance to the smaller town of 494 folks.  Now many would think that the bigger place would offer a better selection, but I happen to know that in the littler (yes, that's a word in my personal dictionary) town that the grocery/hardware/lumber store has pretty much anything that a person could want... and more.

So grumbling as I drove out of our gate and the next mile and a half of dirt road, I turned on to the pavement and headed toward the smaller of the two.  As I went only a short distance I noticed how crystal clear the sky was and such a deep blue.  The sun was shining with that glow that we only see in the winter.  Looking off to my left I saw that there was no haze across the mountaintops and down through the valleys.  Rock bluffs jumped out in stark contrast in the distance, lit up by the sunlight. 

I took a deep breath... then smiled.  I was reminded of why we had moved to this area in the first place... the beauty is awesome in all seasons.  The drive carried me on for the next 45 minutes along the winding roads.  Around each turn I saw one thing after another that made me smile even more... turkeys in one field, a cabin nestled far down in the valley that goes unseen all other times of the years and hidden by foliage, and the couple of vehicles that I passed during the entire trip were occupied by people smiling like me and waving back.  After buying what I needed and heading back... once again being awed by the scenery around me... I returned to my project and finished it up with a lighter heart than when I began. 

Some people might look at this as a wasted trip that a little pre-planning on my part would have prevented.  You're correct... I should have prepared a bit better.

But a wasted trip?  No, it wasn't wasted.  It was a free mood enhancer that was 100% organic and good for me.  In fact, the effects have carried over to this morning... 'cause I'm still grinning.

So from here on the mountain, I wish you a Happy New Year, and that you have time to look past the trees to live country.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas on the Mountain

The gifts have been opened and the oven is going non-stop.  The air is filled with smells of ham, cinnamon and spruce.  It is Christmas Day on the mountain.

And from our family to yours, we want to wish you a beautiful Christmas filled with the ones you love and a glorious New Year.  No matter if you live in a crowded urban area or deep in the rural backroads, may you find joy and seek out ways to live country.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Let it snow... let it snow... nooooooo!

Yes, I'm aware that it's December.  I'm also cognizant of the fact that some folks have been buried in much deeper snow for some time now.  Which makes me pretty certain that those same persons will have little sympathy for me concerning the snow that arrived last week here on the mountain. 

It all started with the weather man hinting that we might possibly see some flakes of the white stuff.  Of course that resulted in me sending the poor fellow evil thoughts and wishes that all those flakes land in his boots rather than in my yard.

I remember a time long long ago when I was excited to see the merest sign of snow, for it meant time out of school and days spent playing in the pitiful excuse of southern snow that usually wasn't deep enough to even cover the shortest grass.  That was, of course, the days before I became an adult and had to work outside in ice storms or other bitterly cold weather.  After that, snow days lost their appeal... meaning only frozen toes and nose and everything else attached.

Anyway... back to the weather man and the curses placed on him.  They didn't work.  Right on cue it started... and boy, did it start.  I slogged my way to the mailbox, muttering unmentionable things about the forecaster, notwithstanding that he truly had no control over it.  Looking back toward the house from the front gate, I was met with this sight...

Now yes... I'll admit that it looks quiet and peaceful.  It was.  And yes, it's pretty.  Ok, so maybe it's not all bad.   But I still didn't tarry getting back to the house because it was also cold; which is reasonable considering it is snow.

Before you think I'm the only one on the mountain that is a winter wimp... this is the greeting that I received when I got back to the porch...

The little one was soon distracted with playing with her siblings and I completed outside chores.  Once inside, it would take an explosion to get me back out in the white stuff... at least until it was time to do chores again.

So how to spend my time indoors... hmm.  Well, it is close to the holidays; and I do have the ingredients for some of my recipes.  I also have a jar of juice in the icebox that needs turning into jelly.  It sounds all very creative and is at least warm, and in short order I had everything in the kitchen dirtied up.  The stove heated the house and gave the furnace a rest.

And just like magic, before long I had a table of offerings.  Dark chocolate fudge... tender, flaky shortbread cookies... and jars of sparkling elderberry jelly.  I had even worked in time to sing and dance (praise be that there were no witnesses to either) to Christmas tunes while pulling cookies out of the oven.  I'm not sure how impressed Chubby Checker would have been to my rendition of the "Twist" while singing "Run Run Rudolph", but I was warm, happy and able to prepare items of love for family and friends. 

So though the snow has melted here on the mountain now, the image of the soft flakes and the joy of the season brightens the heart and lifts the spirits.  And sharing that joy is part of what it is to live country.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Yep... It's that time again.

You know what time I mean.  That time of the year where folks roll around in the floor over items that are most likely broken by the time they get through scrapping over them.  The time of year when despite the questionable economy, plastic is flashing around like there ain't no tomorrow, and the bills will still be in the process of being paid off five years from now.  When shouting matches get started over "stolen" parking places, and you may get pepper-sprayed while waiting in line for a video game.

Whoa!  Wait... what?  Isn't this supposed to be the season of good cheer?  Of brotherly love?  Of caring about others more than yourself?  Does that not exist anymore?

I see all these things on the news... people shooting at people and spraying them.  Punching others in the face for a $5 waffle maker.  What in the dickens is wrong with folks?  Is the world going to halt if you don't get that cotton-picking waffle maker?  For goodness sakes... make pancakes instead of waffles if you've just got that much of a hankering for something with syrup on it!

Now me... come about mid-November, I make myself scarce in town.  I get what I need for groceries about twice a month, and then get the heck out of there.  Any Christmas shopping left to be done can be done at most places via Internet; even most of the smaller mom-and-pop places have websites now.  That means while others are wrestling over the last whoop-te-do CD, I can wait for the friendly delivery driver to pull up here on the mountain and bring me mine.  Even most places have free shipping this year... so what could be better?

Some people might snub at the thought of buying on the computer rather than getting in there toe-to-toe and head-to-head with the rest of the teeming masses.  Me... well, the way I figure it... I have better things to do than bust my knuckles on somebody's head because they just yanked my favorite whassit out of my hands. 

But just to finish off with a spirit-lifter... not all in the world is chaos and disharmony.  Here on the mountain, folks still know how to treat each other.  My neighbor stopped by my work yesterday to drop off a jug of elderberry juice so I can make some jelly.  In turn, I dropped some boxes off at her house later so she can mail gifts.  We've got plans to dig up some elderberry sprouts around her place to transplant at mine... and I made her copies of a bunch of jelly recipes that she'd like to try.  And so it revolves.

Now is that so hard?  Being nice is a whole lot easier than being nasty... and don't hurt as much cause somebody pops you in the mouth.  Nope, here on the mountain we treat each other like family... and that's what living country is all about.

Until next time... cook pancakes. ;)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shortening Days

We've made it past the zenith of summertime, and now the sight of yellow school buses and shortening days are a reminder that the summer of 2011 is winding down. 

This summer has been quite an event.  The springtime had brought the heavy rains, but boy... when summer came, it came with a vengence.  The rain stopped.  The sun came out, and the mercury climbed until it looked like the thermometer might need stretching to have room for it all.

I had waited to plant my garden because it had remained cool and tremendously wet until late this year, and then once I did get it in the ground, it fried under the relentless searing it took.  So, out those plants came and I put in a late garden... then reverted to watering each day to try to keep everything alive.  I'm certain that I've spent more in water than it would have cost to have bought them from the store; but with my plants, I know they have not been exposed to any poisons or nasty stuff that would eventually end up in our meals. 

Now my tomatoes have marble to golfball size fruits... the okra are about two inches long... the bell peppers are getting good size as well.  Also, the canteloupe and watermelons are coming right along, with little fruits scattered all over... rivaled only by the pumpkin vines that seem to be competing with the others.  The only plant that never seems to hesitate is my zucchini.  It grows and grows; spitting out squash right and left.  Some may turn up their nose at zucchini, but I love them because to me there's few things more versatile than a  zucchini squash.

After piddling outside in the garden, pulling up a chair on the porch is a fine way to spend an evening after the heat of the day has passed.  The ducks paddle around on the still pond... and bats start their nightly patrol.

Wait... off in the distance the clouds build.  Could it be... is it possible... ?  Ah yes, stormclouds rising and painting the sky with an ever-changing canvas.  I believe I'll fix me a cup of coffee and lean back... then just enjoy my view from the front row seat. 

Ahhh.... living country. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Roasty Toasty...

Yep, all those folks that were complaining a few months back about wanting it to hurry up and get summertime... I hope you're happy now! 

With triple digit heat, and the index suspected of getting over 110° today, everyone is grumbling and looking for a cool spot out of the blistering rays... muttering phrases like "I'll sure be glad when winter gets here".  There's no pleasing us, I reckon.

But despite the warmth, there are still things to be done outside; chores that won't wait until the temperature decides to take a dip.  The garden still needs tending to... and if you're like us, it needs daily watering because the rainfall we were getting earlier in the year seems to have vanished as mysteriously as the lightning bugs.  There are all those outside things that need doing before the calendar pages flip by and we find ourselves in the grip of Old Man Winter again.

So how DO we stay cool during these scorching days other than hibernate inside if we're lucky enough to have air conditioning?  Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and as the mercury goes up on the John Deere thermometers... folks get more and more creative. 

Since living country requires us to head outside, we find ways of cooling down inside and out... and those ways can be downright... well, cool!  Here's a few of the ways we use to battle the heat during the heart of summer...

Keep a pitcher of cold iced tea or lemonade made up.  I use fresh mint leaves for making mint tea as well.

Watermelon kept chilled to perfection for a cool treat in the afternoons.  The leftover juice I even add to my mason jar of tea for sipping.

Wetting a towel, rag or old sock to drape over heads, shoulders or around necks when working outside.

Drinking plenty of cool water... even from the hose if necessary just to stay hydrated.

Is there much that can beat a batch of homemade ice cream?  Especially if it's made up from ripe in season peaches?

Fixing up meals that can be eaten cold... and even better, meals that don't require cooking and heating up the house.

If you don't HAVE to be in the sun, locate a shady spot to work from outside.  No need baking if you don't have to. 

Squirt yourself with the hose if you need some extra moisture and try to find a  good breeze. 

Even outdoors, if you have to set up a fan where you're working, air movement is good.

There are many many more ways to take a break from the roasty toasty dog days of summer.  And if you have suggestions, you're welcome to comment and share them with us. 

Meanwhile, I think I'll take advantage of my favorite way of beating the heat... I'm heading to the swimming hole!  Until next time... live country!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summertime... Summertime...

It has been quite a while since we've last visited.  The snow has long passed and the sweltering heat of summer makes us forget that we once prayed for warmer weather to return.  Now, after days of upper 90s and even one day touching 100 degrees, the thought of cooler weather is often dwelt upon.  There truly is no way in making us happy.

However, I am smiling widely as I write this.  After weeks of dragging the water hose around to provide a drink to all the grateful plants in the yard and garden, I won't have to do this today as the heavens open and give us the much needed rain.  The temperature of 68 degrees is also a welcome relief and we won't complain about it at all!

Remember all those dreams of gardening and the poring over catalogs that was occurring while I was in the grip of winter?  I am happy to report that I now have at least a start on my dream of one day having a yard that is completely filled with flowers, herbs, trees and vegetables. 

A raised rock bed was the first project, and once finished was filled with dill, rosemary, mint, sage, thyme and onions.  Partially shaded by a towering oak, it perks along merrily and provides wonderful flavors to our simple menus.

For now, until I can get more raised beds built, my garden is a conglomeration of beds, tubs, buckets and tires... all filled with vegetables and flowers to please both the palate and sight.  Each day I take great pleasure in tending to them, though I must say it takes little effort as there is no weeding to do. 

The insects are controlled by  the ducks that took over one of the tires as a nest; scooting out the cauliflower plants in the process.  But I can sacrifice a few cauliflower in exchange for the ladies that pluck beetles and crickets from the leaves each day, as well as give us fresh eggs.  Not a bad trade-off.

I promise it will not be so long before the next post... that time will not get away from me as it has.  I enjoy sitting with you a spell and hope to do it again soon.  Happy living country!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Country as cornbread

Country as cornbread.  A term to mean that somebody is pretty dang country.  So if I were to describe myself... I'd have to say I'm as country as cornbread... and milk.

Yes, that's right.  Cornbread and milk.  And if I have my druthers it's not just any milk, but rich tangy buttermilk.  And in the absence of buttermilk, I'll settle for sweet milk.  Now for some of you, this may all sound as alien as time warps, black holes and crepes are to me.  So in order to catch you up on what I'm talking about, let's go back to the beginning which is always a good place to start.

As a child, my mama always cooked either biscuits or cornbread for every meal.  As much as I loved her cathead biscuits, my favorite of the two was the cornbread.  I'll eat cornbread with anything.  You could put a gourmet meal on the table in front of me and a plate of cornbread; I'd go for the cornbread first.

Now, as with most food, there is debate over whether white cornmeal or yellow cornmeal is better.  Just like with my grits, give me the yellow stuff.  It may all be in my head, but it just tastes more like corn to me and I like corn and I want my cornbread to taste like it's made from corn.  Makes sense... to me anyway.

Sugar or no sugar.  Again, this is a matter of contention and the basis of arguments as heated as those concerning whether to salt or not salt red ripe watermelon.  To me, the answer is simple.  Do you want your cornbread sweet or not?  I like mine unsweetened, but that's just me and I've eaten it both ways.  Some folks even put honey in theirs... it's just a matter of what you like.  And if other people don't like it, that means more cornbread for you.

Something I refuse to be swayed on is the use of butter or bacon grease.  I've seen cooks use vegetable shortening in their cornbread, and if I wanted my cornbread to taste like white greasy stuff, then I'd be happy with it.  But I want my cornbread to have that buttery or bacony taste that goes so well with cornbread.  Face it... if you make corn on the cob, do you smear it with shortening or butter before eating?  I like mine with butter, so into the cornbread  it goes.  And of course after it's done, more butter spread on the finished product. 

Another thing I will not do any other way is to use anything other than my cast iron skillet for the bread.  There is no substituting for the taste and crust obtained from that heavy seasoned kitchen staple, the iron skillet.  I'm sure there must be an ancient curse for somebody that tries to cook cornbread in anything but this magical cookware.

Once the cornbread is done, some people like to eat it piping hot in their milk.  I like mine cold in cold milk... but I have to say that I do not possess the patience to wait that long.  Crumbling in a bowl or large mug, with the buttermilk poured over the top or if necessary... sweet milk. 

But please... I beg you... if you're going to follow the time honored tradition of cornbread and milk, please don't use blue john.  What's blue john, you ask?  That's the term we used for what folks now call skim milk.  I know we're trying to watch our waists and all the rest of our curvy parts.  Seriously though... you're eating ground corn cooked with gobs of butter, egg and milk.  So do you really want to skimp at the end by offending the cornbread's sensibilities by pairing it with blue john?  Go for it... sweet milk or buttermilk.  It's good for what ail's you... I promise.

Now excuse me.  I need a refill on my bowl of cornbread and  milk.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Is THIS global warming?

It should be plain to any that have read my previous posts that I'm from the South, and you would be most correct.  Born, raised and spoiled to the temperate winters that we're so fond of flaunting to our Northern friends when they're in the grips of deep winter.

Of course, it's not unusual for us to get the occasional flakes and the freezes that we bemoan when it comes for days, not considering those that must endure it for perhaps months out of the year.  But, that's just us... we like our warmth.

So when snow falls... and then falls... and then falls again, we begin to grumble and groan, complain and moan, totally forgetting that when those summer temperatures exceed 100 we'll be repeating those same actions in reverse.

Last week I witnessed more snow on the ground than I have ever seen other than on an Alaskan documentary or a Christmas card.  To people accustomed to it, our two feet of the white stuff was most likely laughable; but to us it was at first a marvel, then an inconvenience and in the end, was a downright pain.

Now I'll admit as long as I'm inside looking out, it is beautiful.  However, when horses, cows, cats and dogs are gazing back with that "and you think you've got it bad" look in their eyes, you just have to sigh with guilt, put on warm clothes and go offer them what comfort you can.  The ducks tried to cross the yard, moving only a couple feet at a time because they were in essence swimming in snow.  Poor furred and feathered children.

After tromping around... and when the snow was up to my knees, it was most definitely a "tromp"... in the cold, with frozen fingers and toes (and everything else nipped as well), it is time for REAL hot chocolate.  No no!  Not that stuff out of a box that tastes like powdered stuff and water.  Honestly, I'd rather just drink the hot water.  No, I mean a sweet rich hot chocolate made with thick condensed milk and cocoa that makes you just say "ahhhh" as you stretch out with your flannel pajamas and a mug of this warming beverage.

Creamy Hot Chocolate

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
6 1/2 cups hot water
Mini marshmallows is desired

In a large saucepan, combine condensed milk, cocoa, vanilla, and salt, mixing well.  Over medium heat, slowly stir in water, heat through, stirring occasionally.  Before serving, put marshmallows on top.  A good sugar peppermint stick is nice to add as a stirrer.

And that is how you kick up the heat without throwing another log on the fire.

Speaking of logs on the fire... my barbecue pit is waiting sadly for the Spring thaw.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Wishing for Warmth

Turning on the television this morning resulted in the latest news of an incoming winter storm system headed our way.  Predicted is 6 to 12 inches of snow with the possibility of freezing rain arriving first.  So... there's only one thing to do.

Pull out my stack of seed catalogs.

I'm not certain how the rest of the world handles news of cold weather, but for me there is only one cure for the winter blues.  Okay, maybe there's two... because a cup of hot tea, coffee or cocoa is also not bad in the way of lifting my blahs.  But compared to my masses of seed catalogs, those steaming cups are amateurs.

Those rays of glossy paged sunshine begin arriving around November and I think I get every publication from every nursery that exists in North America.  My spouse shakes his head at my fasicination with the pretty pictures and the detailed descriptions of each variety.  I can curl up and pore over them with the intensity that I also give another favorite read of mine... cookbooks.

I find my most favorite spot on the couch and gather the stack of shiny magazines around me.  The rest of the day will be lost to juicy tomatoes, sugary sweet watermelons and bright blossoms.  There will be grand dreams of what could... should... would... be come warmer weather.  I'll make lists and check them twice... change them umpteen times... then in the end they will be lost or thrown away or new lists will replace those.

Regardless, I will while away the hours... smiling, hoping and planning for the future... which is what it's all about anyway.  Because now that I think about it... I don't think I've ever actually ordered anything out of the catalogs. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's in Your... Cabinets?

Most of us have seen the television commercial with the catch-phrase "What's in your wallet?".  Looking in mine, I find three pennies, a gum wrapper, a piece of lint and some seeds I found in a large pod that I think I've identified as belonging to a Honey Locust tree.

However, it's not my wallet that I am looking at this morning; it is my kitchen cabinets.  I have decided to get an early start on Spring and begin my cleaning early.  Thinking that the kitchen cabinets would be a logical place to start, I stand before them and take stock of what's in them.  I've made the determination that I will not have to worry about any major magazine coming  to take glamor shots of the contents unless they are doing a piece on how not to decorate if you like fancily matched glasses and tableware. 

Staring at my eclectic blend of mason jars used for summer tea glasses, plastic cups and mugs, a mixture of pottery plates alongside outdoor picnic plates, and storage bowls that are a mixture of reused sour cream containers and "disposable" containers, I take a deep breath and wonder if everyone's cabinets look like mine.  I'm pretty sure they don't, because I know they don't look like any of the glossy photographs I see in the magazines.

I make a resolution that I'm going to change this, and begin by emptying the cabinets to the kitchen table.  Now, I've accomplished uncluttering the cabinets and making my table look like the free table at a yard sale.  Where to begin?  I think I'll toss out everything that doesn't look like those in the photographs.  After several moments thought of which things go first, I again reach a determination...

If I toss out everything that doesn't look like the photographs, we'll be eating out of our hands and storing leftovers in ziplock bags.  Insert heavy sigh here...

There's only one thing left to do. 

Replace items back into the cabinet, but trying to fool myself into thinking that by making it appear more organized would somehow magically change the items and make them look more... presentable.

Ah well, maybe next Spring...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Farmer's Almanac and Persimmon Seeds

The news comes on and the headlines drone past.  Bits of interest are made note of while supper is prepared, but when the weather comes on... all activity ceases.  The prediction of how Mother Nature will affect our lives are read off by well-educated meteorologists and highlighted by fan-dangled high tech gadgets meant to impress and emphasize the message being delivered.  Despite all this, most of the time the forecasts are still wrong as nature loves to pull pranks.

Growing up, I was taught the art of weather predicting by my daddy.  No... no state-of-the-art equipment was needed; only the signs from Nature itself and the use of a simple paperback book found in any feed store... "The Old Farmer's Almanac".  He swore by it and used it for the weather as well as when was the best times for planting, fishing, hog killing and even cutting hair.  Obtained in December, by the following December it would be stained and well-worn from the use it would endure.

I must confess... I am my daddy's girl.  All these years later I still buy my Almanac and read it over and over, referring to it for much of what affects my daily life.

So armed with the knowledge in this helpful resource as well as the warning from harvested persimmon seeds back in Autumn, I haven't been surprised by wintry weather yet.

"Persimmons?" you may ask.  Why, yes... persimmons... or rather, their seeds.  It's a process that was used by my ancestors and still used by me as one indicator of the type of winter we'll have in the coming months.  Seeds are carefully halved on the sides and within you'll see one of three shapes in the center... a spoon, a fork or a knife.  A spoon means a heavy winter with lots of shoveling, a knife means bitter cold and the fork indicates a light winter.  Every seed I opened this past Fall had a tiny shovel inside and so far, we've had three snows in the South, which is plentiful for those of us down this far.  Between the persimmons and the Almanac I know we may get another snow or two before the weather takes a turn and we can look forward to a promise of Spring.

With the book in hand, my decisions are made with confidence that the best of the wisdom of our predecessors will keep me on the right track.  Oh... and according to the good ol' "Farmer's", the day the hogs are to be put in the freezer are the perfect day.  Thanks, Daddy...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sharing in the Country Way

Sharing.  It's a simple concept.  One that we were encouraged to follow from early childhood.  However, if it is so simple, why does it come so difficult for some? 

It is a concept that wasn't only taught to me in words, but deeds by parents who readily shared excess with neighbors, family and friends.  It is also an act that continues on here on our mountaintop among my neighbors.

Several days ago, one of them showed up at my door with a milk glass candy dish, her sugar cookie recipe and a good sized pumpkin.  A relative of hers had shared a pumpkin windfall from overproductive vines and after she had baked up 44 loaves of pumpkin bread, decided that she would share the wealth.

Not one to turn away good food, I eagerly accepted the pumpkin and waited for a cold day.  Yesterday was just such a day, and early in the morning I began.  While the oven heated up to 275F, I halved the pumpkin and scooped out the insides.

Because of the size, I was only able to fit one half at a time.  Onto a baking pan and into the oven they went; each half cooking 50 minutes until soft.  Removing and cooling, the baked flesh was easily scooped from the rind and filled my colander.  Within a short time, I had 8 cups of fresh pumpkin packaged and nestled into the freezer for recipes to come.

While the pumpkin was baking, I removed the seeds and cleaned them thoroughly.  Several were put back to dry and will be planted come Spring.  The rest were put into a mixing bowl with a couple tablespoons of oil, salt, red pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin.  When the pumpkin had finished, I raised the oven temperature to 375F for the gingersnap cookies I was going to bake.  The seeds were spread into an iron skillet and roasted for 15 minutes; stirring once during the process.  A nice crunchy treat and nothing was wasted out of the pumpkin because the rinds and scrapings then took a trip to the compost pile.

With a single gift from the generosity of a neighbor comes a stock of fresh pumpkin, a snack, an addition to the compost and seeds to continue the process again come harvest.

Now I will be taking my neighbor gingersnaps to express my gratitude... and the cycle of sharing goes on.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What "living country" Means

Living country... the  meaning is as varied as those who do it or dream of it.  For me, it is not just an activity I dabble in, but a lifestyle and tradition ingrained in me by centuries of a culture passed down by those that have gone before.

Born in the Southern US, in Western NC, and then from my teens growing up in the pineywoods of East Texas, I come from a long line of "country folk" who first arrived on this continent in the 1640s.  These ancestors learned to use the resources around them and rely on their ingenuity to carve out not only an existence in this new world, but to create lives and ways that would be carried forth by their descendants proudly.

With this blog I hope to pass along some of those things to others; to share those things handed down to me before they are lost. 

It is my wish that this blog bring you smiles and a desire to "live country".