I Didn’t Want That Bush Anyway


The goats have been super busy cleaning out my gardens of everything living except for the mint. Of course. The mint could use some pruning, but they aren’t helpful like that. Hopefully, I will finish the fencing I want to get done before the summer is over so that in the future I’m not letting them roam quite so freely as I am now. I’ve been letting them out every morning to graze wherever they want, which of course has included grazing down my rose bushes–which weren’t doing very well anyway–and this large bush that is blocking the path of the tractor to the upper pasture.

I’m planning to have all those bushes torn out, along with the two (unused) satellite dishes. Those dishes and that large bush need to go because that is the only path to take the tractor to the upper pasture. The goats might as well enjoy the bush while it’s still standing.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the gardens around the house and studio since I moved in. They’re a little high maintenance for my tastes. I finally came to the conclusion this year that I would tear them out and start over with something that suited me better.
I think the goats are really enjoying this plan. Though they might not be so happy when I get the new super-tight fencing installed in their new field between the barnyard and the house!

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Thoughts at the Auction


Morgan’s been working Saturdays at a nearby auction house in Clendenin.

“I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Just kidding. Morgan always knows what she’s doing. I’m the one who doesn’t really know what she’s doing. She works in the back, organizing or something, connecting the tags to the buyers after each item is sold.
Her boyfriend works for the auction house full-time. On auction days, he’s one of the guys holding up the heavy stuff during the auction. The rest of the time, he works cleaning out houses and moving the auction items.
He’s to the right, standing by a chest in the above photo.

I took a little drive over there with Morgan’s dad on Saturday to check out the auction and see Morgan and Justin at work. The day’s auction was from the Huffman estate in Hinton, WV. It included all sorts of antique furniture, glass, collectibles, quilts, and so on.
The first thing I saw were these old canning jars.
I reminded myself that I didn’t really need any more. There were also a lot of old glass medicine bottles.
I don’t know why I like antique glass things so much, but I have to restrain myself around it all the time.
My mother had a mink stole and when I was a kid I would open the coat closet just to look at the little feet. I was fascinated. I don’t think these kinds of stoles are really in style anymore….

Hide the children’s eyes!
This old camera was really cool.
These quilts were going for from $30 to several hundred dollars each.
I loved the antique couch.
I was very tempted by this pie safe.
In the bizarre category, there was this electric chair that someone bought to put on their front porch.
I didn’t even get an auction number and wasn’t there to buy, but if I could have bought anything, it would have the Franciscan Desert Rose dishes, which were already gone by the time I got there. When I was growing up, my mother had a set of Franciscan dishes–in the Apple pattern. Franciscan dishes were handcrafted and very popular particularly in the 1940s, which would have been around the timeframe that my mother was setting up housekeeping and stocking her dish cabinet. We ate every meal (other than holiday meals, when she got out the china) on those Franciscan Apple dishes. You can see pictures of the dish patterns here. There’s also an Ivy pattern that is pretty, too. I always loved the Desert Rose pattern the most, and they are close enough in style that they remind me of those Apple dishes. One of these days, I’m going to get a set. They just speak home to me, as did a lot of things at the auction. It’s one of the fun things about going to an auction, even if you don’t buy a thing. It’s like a little walk back through time into your parents’ or grandparents’ homes.

Makes me think of that song, If heaven wasn’t so far away. It may be, but the auction isn’t. And if you make sure to not let them give you a number card, it won’t cost you a thing!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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