A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE

Would it be okay if I shared a little about our visit to Ohio for our anniversary a few weeks ago?  We spent a night at THE ORCHARD HOUSE in Granville, Ohio, a Bed & Breakfast about a half hour from The Longaberger Homestead.

The Walden Room
The Walden Room at THE ORCHARD HOUSE

There was great significance in choosing this room for me.  One of my favorite authors is Henry David Thoreau!  Obviously, my husband put a great deal of thought into this trip.  It was perfect!

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.  —Henry David Thoreau, Walden, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For”

He was not only a philosopher and poet, but he also embraced a sort of civil disobedience and there’s something about that…  well, it appeals to me.  :-/
Driving from Kansas to Ohio was in itself an accomplishment.  We were weary from travel and ready to move around.  Sitting in one spot except for the occasional potty break at the truck stop makes my old bones stiff and sore.
As we drove up to The Orchard House, I could not help but notice the long, narrow drive leading up to the house.  I think the last time I saw a driveway like that was in the movie “The Bridges of Madison County” I knew this would be a very romantic evening from that moment.
There are twelve acres, most of it wide open spaces, perfect for walking and talking – and holding hands.  On the back of the property are farm animals to see.  We found goats, chickens and one sheep with a ton of wool and very long horns.  There was also an alpaca with the funniest little smile.
 We meandered toward the front yard and discovered an apple tree.  I guess that’s why it’s called The Orchard House.  The apples were green and not fit to eat, but I did find a horse in a field across the driveway who seemed interested in eating it.  Somehow I get the impression I’m not the first person who has fed him an apple.  It’s as though he was just standing there waiting for the notion to occur to me.
As the sun was setting in Ohio, we sat in comfy wooden chairs in the front yard.  It’s strange, the house was full, yet it was as though we were the only people there!  It was so quiet – all I could hear was the sound of locusts.  That’s not something I’ve had memory of hearing since I was a kid.
I felt as though we were being a bit Thoreau-like in our journey.  Our hearts and minds were open to every new sighting.  Maybe we were just so grateful to finally be outside instead of stuck in the truck – traveling.
This world is but a canvas to our imagination.  – Henry David Thoreau
Inside the house there were all sorts of good things waiting for us.  In the dining room there was a glass footed cake plate with a lid, filled with slices of homemade banana bread!  There were little conversation spots throughout the house where we could sit and watch TV or just talk.
The atmosphere invited us to relax and breathe.  To be honest, shortly after the sun set, it invited us to crash and sleep!  But isn’t that what we need to do after driving so far?
I enjoyed looking at the lovely antiques and soaking in the sense of calm around me.  I packed my laptop and took it to the room, but to be honest, if I would have taken it out it would have ruined the vibe – so it stayed packed up! 
 Breakfast was amazing!  Every Bed & Breakfast has their own specialty, and the special recipe at The Orchard House is Sweet Potato Hash.  It is sautéed onion, red bell pepper and diced sweet potato (skin on), with African spice.  It is so addictive and very healthy!  We have made this recipe for breakfast, lunch and sometimes supper so many times since we’ve been back home.  Along with the hash we were given a farm-fresh fried egg and thick-sliced bacon.  Ah…  it was so good!
I’m reading Walden again…  it’s better than ever now that I’ve been to The Orchard House.  🙂
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FARMER-CONSUMER AWARENESS DAY

TL 9-12 FARMER-CONSUMER AWARENESS DAY

9-12 THAT OL' BARN

Today the farmers in Quincy, WA are bringing farmers and consumers closer together.  Quincy’s FARMER-CONSUMER AWARENESS DAY (FCAD) started in 1981 when Dennis Higashiyama was listening to the radio. He heard a story on the Paul Harvey show that illustrated how farmers and consumers had drifted apart – leaving many people with little or no understanding about how food actually arrives on their grocery store shelves.

The farmers show off the fruits of their labor and demonstrate the tools and techniques that they use in their work.  The public has a great opportunity to learn about where groceries come from and talk to the farmers.  Through the years the even has grown successfully with tours of area processing plants and farms, displays of farm equipment, informational and commodity booths, and a farmer’s market.  There’s also a Grand Parade, a car show, cook-offs and the Farm to Market Fun Run.

I was fortunate to grow up around farmers so I appreciate the hard work involved in getting food to my table.  Sadly, all I have left of the farm is memories.  I wish I could have a piece of barn wood to hold on to, but the ol’ barn down on Granny & Grandpa’s farm is long gone now. What started out as a big, brand spankin’ new bright red barn with white trim, slowly faded into a less than attractive building with holes just large enough to let the wind howl. It held a combine and some hay for a while, then one day it blew down to the ground. By then there was no need for a barn. Grandpa Frank was gone and Granny was in a nursing home. The barn had served its purpose and collapsed from exhaustion. Poor thing.

Barn wood is very popular these days.  People just love to get ahold of something old and make it new again.

9-12 BARNWOOD

Barn wood is used for all sorts of things like picture frames and trays.

Etsy is my go-to source for what’s hot in décor. Turns out, barn wood is a money-maker. I saw a piece of subway art on barn wood for a cool $150 and a reclaimed piece of barn wood made into a church pew for almost $1,000. There were some barn wood boxes for $38 a piece and a barn wood bed for… well, you get the idea. Makes me feel sick when I think of how my family set the ol’ barn on fire and watched it burn to the ground – well, what was left of it.

I’m glad there are farmers who share with consumers in an effort to keep the lines of communication open.  We appreciate the work farmers do.

Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice.  – Henry Ford

I like the idea of something old being given a new purpose. Barn wood gets re-born to live a new life. I was like an old piece of barn wood, just all used up by first one thing then another, until God found me and set me on a straight path. Then I was all reshaped and was given a new purpose in life. This ol’ barn is sure thankful to the Master Carpenter for all He’s done!  😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (29)A

MY GIVE A HOOT

The closest I got to having a pet owl was buying a FURBY. :-/

We all have one… I’m talking about a GIVE A HOOT. Mine has been less than enthusiastic lately, but today it completely flat-lined. Why? Well, it could be the mild temperatures and almost no wind we have enjoyed the past couple of days. It could be something else. I don’t know and dare I say… I don’t care.

Even though I don’t give a hoot right now, I must admit that owls fascinate me! They are nocturnal creatures – like me!

When I was little sometimes I stayed with Granny & Grandpa on their farm. At night those ol’ barn owls would stir things up. I know some people would be frightened by it, but I wasn’t. I always felt very safe and secure at the farmhouse. Granny LaVella used to say that the barn owls are better to have around than a cat because they eat mice and other critters. She made a brush pile and scattered seed on the ground to attract the mice, which in turn attracted the owls. Owls don’t like bird baths, but they did like to go to the horse trough, I guess because it was deeper.

Of course the barn owls nested in the barn, but they also enjoy the dense mature trees with good limbs to roost on during the day. They don’t like direct heat either and will seek out a shady place to spend their daylight hours. There were plenty of hollow trees on the farm and the owls seemed to be attracted to them. There were also a couple of special places in the loft where the owls nested. Owls nest in January or February, earlier than other birds. Little owlets are so cute! Awe!!!

So even though my give a hoot seems to be a little disheveled at the moment, I think owls are very cool and I definitely give a hoot about them! 🙂