Friday, January 30, 2009

Railroading Night at The Grafton 123

I know I have some cross-traffic over here from The Grafton 123 site and from The Taylor County Blog Project, but I also have a few folks who visit here regularly that don't read The 123 goings-ons.
SO- today I will call attention to The 123 goings-ons:

Tonight is Railroad Night
Tomorrow night is Live Music.

Go over there and check it out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's Still Cold....

...and other babbling....

I think of a ton of things I ought to be blogging about, but if I don't write them down, they're gone.
Or if I lose the paper I write them on, they're gone, too.
Yes, that happens more often than I like to admit.

We are beginning to see the effects of the economic slowdown in our sheltered little corner of the world.
The one that hit me the hardest was my coffee roaster (my West Virginia coffee roaster) closing down. No, that's not true; the one that hit me the hardest was PC losing his job. After PC losing his job, the coffee roaster going under (with no hope for coming back up) hit hard.
Now, our coffee costs have gone up more than a dollar a pound and we now have to pay way more than 5.99 for shipping. Way more.
All of our syrups & sauces have increased in price.
Smoothies have increased.
Everything has increased.
[If I'm talking about the Coffee, why am I not posting this over at The 123? Because this is supposed to be a post about the economy getting personal, not about The 123 losing an important supplier.]
AGC Flat Glass -an automobile glass plant here in Taylor County- closed.
Everyday I have at least 1 person ask for a job. Somedays it's as many as 3 or 4. Everyday I hear someone personally tell me they got laid off and that they're looking for a job. It's not fun. I'm working to make more, but it's not an easy -or fast- thing to do (Yes, The 123 is now taking applications. For a short time. Call me at 304-672-6490).

It's snowing today. Again.
It's not the nice fluffy stuff we've been getting, either. It's sharp and hard and piling up fast. The roads are terrible and school was called off. I've shoveled the sidewalks. Twice. So far.

No, there is no cohesiveness to this post, unless I really stretched and said the cold is the perfect hibernation weather and our economy is doing just that.

I warned you I was babbling.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Cold is relative.
This morning it is a relatively balmy 25F degrees.
Last week I would have told you that 25 is cold, but after the cold snap this weekend, it really doesn't feel so bad (except when my glove fingers freeze to the shovel handle after I've pulled my hands into fists to keep them warm enough to clean the walkways and sidewalks).
Friday morning our thermometer at home said -2. Here in town it was zero. I think it made it up to about 10 degrees.
Saturday morning it was -11 at home and -4 here in town. That is cold.
Unless you live in Minnesota, then even those temperatures could feel relatively balmy.
I remember reading a book when I was a child that said if you spit at 40 below, it will freeze before it hits the ground. I never thought I'd put myself in a situation to see if that were true.
And then I grew up and moved to Minnesota.
Yep. It's true. You can hear it crackle as it freezes.
However, at that temperature, any exposed skin is not safe. Nothing is safe.
It was so cold, propane gelled in the tank. If it stayed that cold and you had to have the propane to keep the furnace going, you'd have to shovel red hot coals underneath the tank to warm it enough to be usable. Fortunately, we kept our coals in the wood burners (yes, plural - we had 2 of them) and kept feeding them. We went through about 7 cords of wood in a winter. 7 cords of good wood and we were still wearing sweaters in the house.
At that time, PC worked at the sawmill in our little community - about 3 miles from the house. The cold didn't stop them much. If it were 20 below or warmer (who would've thought you'd ever see '20 below' and 'warmer' in the same sentence?), the sawmill ran. At -21, the old man would grunt and the sawmill would stay idle.
Driving on the lake was a new thing for me, too. We lived about 2 miles north of Mille Lacs Lake. It is not a small lake. In fact, I believe it's one of the larger lakes in a state known for its lakes. Not long before Christmas, little icehouses would start appearing far out from shore. The little sheds on skis that sit along the water's edge all summer long were just waiting for the freeze. Once the ice was thick enough - about 3 feet- it was safe for a full size vehicle to drive on. The icehouses are hooked up like trailers and pulled out onto the lake. Whole little communities pop-up. Roads are plowed and the little shacks become homes away from home - one way to battle cabin fever.
In the floors of these little shacks (usually with a plywood bunk or two, a small heater, and a chair) are trapdoors. You pull the handle and it opens up to reveal the surface of the lake about 6 inches below floor level. You use an ice auger to drill a 6" hole. When the ice thickens, you use an auger extension (I am not making this up) to reach the water.
The fishing is good some days, not so good others: like any other fishing, I guess. (If you don't catch anything, you can hook up your house to your truck and move.) The walleye tastes wonderful, but if you're lucky, you catch such a big one you can't pull it in (I'm not sure that's lucky). And they have big, sharp teeth. Lots of them.
Living up there, I certainly saw things you'd never see around here.
That's okay with me.
If I ever feel the need to keep the ice open around my fishing hole, I know where to go.

It worked; I feel warmer already :).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Grafton, New Hampshire

On our way to Vermont, PC & I intentionally drove through Grafton, NH.

Grafton, New Hampshire is much smaller than Grafton, West Virginia. However, it's incorporation is much older:

Can you read that? It was incorporated in 1778.

The Grafton, NH VFD:

The Country Store:

The Liberty Rock:

And, where we all end up, The Cemetery:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Robert Frost Trail

PC & I met in Vermont. (I won't tell you how many years ago, but it's been a few.)
This past summer when we went on the New Hampshire family vacation, PC & I took a day to revisit the place where we met: the Green Mountain National Forest.
Here are a few pictures from the Robert Frost interpretive trail (I don't think this was here when we were there - it's been that long):

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A New Victory Garden - The Who Farm

The White House Organic Farm Project is a "is a non-partisan, petition-based initiative to respectfully request that our 44th President oversee the planting of an organic farm on the grounds of The White House, our nation’s First Home, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC."
Visit the web-site to learn more and sign the petition:

I first heard about this in this post over at The Reluctant Soil blog.
I found her blog through a blog I've been visiting periodically for at least a couple of years: This Old Crack House.
What the hell am I reading, right?
It's not as weird as it sounds. It's a giant old house in Dayton, OH that the blogger is rehabbing into a home.

Anyway, I thought the WHOFarm was pretty cool. It would be a great representation of what we hope we elected.

Other links:
Wikipedia's Victory Garden

The Victory Garden - a site dedicated to the backyard garden's revival

Monday, January 12, 2009

My (Fashion) Opinion

The day after the Golden Globes or the Oscars or the Emmys or whatever other award show Hollywood is having at the time, there are 'Best Dressed' lists and 'Worst Dressed' lists and 'Point & Make Fun' lists.... You know what I'm talking about: It's plastered all over the internet and the TV; it's impossible to avoid.

Here's what I really think:

The pictures of the women who won best dressed honors always look very much like the women who won worst dressed honors.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weird Load - Critters

I love these pictures!
This is getting the 'Traffic' label; I love the traffic here in Grafton.

I was at The 123 (imagine that) and looked down the street.
What are those critters?

A closer look:

This is the best close-up that I was able to get: a llama, a goat, & a calf!
I'm pretty sure there was a sheep in there, too, but I didn't get his picture.

I love weird loads!

These are the last 3 pictures that were thrown into this blog's folder.
But don't get your hopes up - there are other folders of unposted pictures.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Warrior Boy

Yes, these pictures are still a part of the series "...but I'll post them anyway..."

This is my youngest son:

An eight year old tending the fire and preparing for the hunt.

He didn't know I was taking these pictures, but after I snapped a couple I made him go put some clothes on.

That makes me the party-pooper (yes, kids, I know).

I hope I didn't ruin his fun, but it wasn't that warm out and he didn't even have shoes on (now I really sound like the mom, don't I?).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Sometimes I just don't feel like moving my arms..."

I've seen this before, but I just watched it again (PC just sent it to me) and I was cracking up, so it's gotta be worth posting:

" into our customers gaping craws..."

Too funny.

I think this might fall into the odd sense of humor category...

...but I'll post pictures anyway IX - Almost Finished


I'll keep my eye on them:

Here's a few more pictures of that hay truck, Granny Sue:


Monday, January 5, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

...but I'll post pictures anyway V

OR Billiards & Barstools:

Crab hermit:


Squirrel Butt:

Coffee Classroom:

...but I'll post pictures anyway IV


Sillet Sign:

Pastry Case:

OR City Hall:

OR Main St espresso:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

...but I'll post pictures anyway III

Coffee Shop Inside:

Looking for another Skunk:


Sibyl's Legend of Mammy Jane:

Books & Dog: