Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Roses Put to Bed

November 20th - Wednesday 46 degrees

Lou and I took advantage of the warmer temperatures today.  Lou had purchased a bale of rye straw from Walter  Sampson and we thought it would be a great afternoon to put the roses to bed for the winter.  It was 17 degrees last night and was the perfect temperature to secure the roses for the winter.  I was glad to have the job done before my surgery and before hunting season started.  I believe this completes our outside jobs.

Lou used the heavy nylon ties that the straw was tied with to tie up the bittersweet vine that we trimmed this fall.  I had tied it up with string, but it wasn't strong enough for the wind that we get  here in the valley and it broke and down came the newly trimmed vine.

While Lou was gone getting his hair cut, I got the garage vacuumed up, rugs washed and put back down and Christmas decorations put on the back deck.
Back Deck
Before he got back I was able to get a few things out in the house, I have never decorated before Thanksgiving, but think I will be glad later that it is done.  Now, I have had my shower, have my dinner ready for tomorrow night, will do my nails and I will be ready to go to the hospital in the AM for my surgery.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Still Baking

November 19th - Tuesday - Windy and Cold

I am busy getting the freezer full of goodies to help Lou out while I am confined to a sling for two weeks and decided that I would make some sticky buns for a friend for his birthday, as he doesn't get homemade baked goods.  I finished cleaning up the house today with the exception of the kitchen floor and want to do that tonight after dinner.  Then tomorrow, I want to get a few Christmas things out, as when I took time to count up the weeks that I would be confined, I would miss my decorating days and I can't have that.  I had already decided to forego the outside decorating.

Krista and Matthew came down Saturday afternoon and we got all of the wreaths ready for the cemetery and Lou and I delivered them yesterday, so that little job is all taken care of.  We even took straw to cover the newly planted bulbs that we had planted, so they will be kept warm this winter.
Wreaths are ready
Matthew is getting old enough to know that his grandparents live next door and when I walk in the door he goes for his shoes and he is ready to go with me.  Last week he wanted to come down and I couldn't take him and told him that he could come the next day after his nap.  It was cute, when he got up in the morning, he got out of bed, put his boots on and told Krista "go".
Matthew wearing his new hat and mittens that Krista crocheted

He loves to be outside and is content doing nothing or just walking around watching us do whatever needs to be done.  Loves to watch the birds, bugs, and anything that is moving around outside.  Very inquisitive.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Getting Ready

November 112th - Tuesday - 27 degrees, snowy and windy

I was a little late getting my breakfast this morning.  This was the morning that Lou meets with his retired buddies from Schweitzer and he was up and out early, so I followed him out and cleaned the sidewalks and decks.  It didn't take long before I realized that the snow shovels were still down in the barn, I tried to use the leaf blower to blow the snow off, but it was frozen down, so it took a little longer to complete the job.  I even had to use salt on part of the drive way, as it really wasn't safe to walk on some of it.  Hope this isn't a sample of what is to come.

I was glad that last night before I went to bed, I did something that I used to do when the kids were still at home.  I put oatmeal in my small crock pot, added a chopped up apple, some cinnamon and brown sugar and let it cook all night, so I had hot oatmeal when I came in from the cold.  Certainly tasted good.

I spent yesterday in the kitchen preparing food for the freezer to enjoy after my surgery.  I made a double batch of bread, sticky buns and cinnamon rolls with raisins.  Froze five quarts of applesauce, did apple slices in a sauce that our family is very fond of, two pans of apple dumplings and a double batch of white bean chicken chili.  Thanks to Krista, I had to borrow several ingredients from her, as my baking supplies were low, but she is always well stocked.  Certainly seemed good to be able to spend time doing those kinds of things.  Now that my house is clean, I feel like I can do the things I enjoy doing them.  I did a double batch of gingersnaps as they are Lou's favorite cookie.  I still want to do chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles, but need to get to the grocery store first.

I am baking a ham for dinner tonight and have asked my brother to eat dinner with us then I will have the ham to do several casseroles that I can freeze for later.  Jerry is still having a rough time, and it seems like everyone thinks he should recover from the death of his wife quickly and those of us that have been through this know it takes a long time and actually I don't think you ever "get over it".  You just learn to live with the loss.

Yesterday when I went to Krista's to borrow new yeast, Matthew went to his room and got his shoes and brought them to me, he wanted to come home with me, this was new for him, so he came home with me and played while I baked my bread and stayed for about an hour, and he was ready for his dinner and I walked him home after dark.  I had rearranged our living room and put a toy chest out for him with toys for him and he was delighted to find all of his things ready for him.

Lou received many phone calls on Veteran's Day, all to wish him well wishes, which he certainly appreciated.  One was from his grandson in Afghanistan, actually that came on Sunday, and he was able to talk to Spencer for over an hour, then we brought up his location on google maps and Lou really enjoyed being able to see exactly where he was.  Lou is recovering from a fractured rib, so he has been spending his time inside working on his slides.  He had a mishap while cleaning the spouting on the garage.  It is a touchy subject, as he wasn't supposed to clean it, as I always do that one, and we had made a deal......  Steve had offered to help him on Friday, but no Lou would do....... did someone mention stubborn???

Yesterday we saw something that I have never seen before, we were eating lunch and watching the birds in the feeder and looked at the flat behind the barn and saw a huge flock of birds eating where Jerry had corn, usually they are blackbirds, but they looked to be the wrong color, I told Lou they looked like Mourning Doves, we went out on the deck for a closer look and that is exactly what they were, as far as we could see.  The field is seven acres and it was covered with Doves.  Never thought of taking a picture, just was amazed at the sight!!  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Mixtures of Visitors

November 5th - Tuesday PM - Cool and Windy

We have had a busy week since the last posting and I will attempt to bring you up to date on the happenings at our house.  I will work backwards as that seems to be how my mind works best at this point.  My good friend Trish, from Louisiana has been here for almost a week and what a pleasure her visits are.  I always look forward to these special times.  She is the type of friend that just takes up where we left off.  This time was very rewarding, as it looks like now she is finally going to be able to relocate to our area and I can't wait, as we seem to enjoy doing a lot of the same things and always have a good time together.  She found a home that she liked and will order it this spring so now it is forward we go!!

Prior to her arrival, Krista and Michelle had each taken a day to help me with some fall house cleaning.  I now have the living room and the guest bathroom to finish along with the hardwood floors to accomplish.  Of course, the hobby room will need to be done; however, Lou is still working on his slides and I can't do that room until he has that project completed and that won't be for some time.

Lou was able to get the lawn tractor all winterized, the mowing deck off, cleaned, repainted and the blades sharpened and everything put back together.  He has gotten the water to the barn turned off and put to bed for the winter.  Tomorrow afternoon, we want to get the spouting cleaned out and the garden finished up and perhaps some pine put in the plant boxes.

The little buck that has been spending the summer with us is still around and calling on us.  The guys in the hunting camp were up for bow season and I cautioned them about his and Ed told me that they wouldn't shoot him, as he was just too dumb, the poor little guy, he just doesn't seem to realize the danger of man.
He comes daily and eats the grass in our yard
On Halloween we had visitors also, but can only include a few of the pictures.  It was great to have Wyatt, and so good to know that he and his family will be back in our area to live after the many years his daddy has been in the Marines.
Lou, Travis, Noell and Wyatt
Krista and Matthew were down early on Halloween, as they were going into Wellsboro so that Matthew could go with his cousin, Nick he had a better idea of what Trick and Treat was this year, but he can't have the majority of the candy due to his allergies, do Lou picked out a little truck for him and I got him a book on potty training, that flushes and he thought that was pretty neat.
The Soldier - Matthew
Now to bring you up to date on the MRI of my shoulder.  I had a return appointment with the orthopedist on Monday and was told that the surgery I had in February was not successful and that I also have a fresh rotator cuff tear that needs to be repaired.  No wonder I have such severe pain.  I am scheduled to have my preadmission testing tomorrow and the surgery is scheduled for the 21st of November with the possibility of it being moved up to the 14th of November.  I will be at least two weeks in a sling, then six to eight weeks of physical therapy.  This is much more extensive surgery than I had done in February, so I am going to be a busy person to get ready for the upcoming weeks ahead.  Need I say more!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Last Rose of Summer

October 24th -  Thursday -  Chilly with a few scatted snow flurries in the air

Finally with a threat of frost in the air, I decided to pick the beautiful red rose that was Al's favorite rose.  I had thought we had lost the bush this year, but hated to give up on it so dug out around it, gave it an extra dose of Perkins fertilizer and and watered it frequently and it did come back and did well.  It was planted by the back sidewalk, so he could enjoy it as he came in the door and Lou and I have certainly enjoyed it over the years and it is a beauty, aptly named Black Velvet.

My plans for yesterday got changed due to illness with the great-grandchildren, so I took a chance and got an appointment with the orthopedist physician and he thinks I am going to need to have additional surgery to my shoulder, which did not please me, but I do realize that I have to do something about the constant pain that I have had since the last surgery.  He sent me to have a MRI and it took five tries before that could be accomplished as the shoulder has spasms due to the pain and they are hopeful that they were able to get some shots that will show the problem.

I am now going to tackle my fall housecleaning as best I can in preparation for the upcoming surgery.  I started on kitchen cupboards this morning.  Thankfully, the majority of my work is done outside and I can assist Lou is what needs to be done outside now that we have had or will have a killing frost.

With the cooler weather, I have the urge to have an oven dinner, had Lou bring in an large chicken last evening and am going to bake that this afternoon while I clean cupboards and do a sweet potato casserole and a new cauliflower recipe that I just found that has fresh cranberries in it.  I called my brother and asked him to come and eat with us, but no luck again, can't get him to come out, think I will just fix him a plate and give it to him tomorrow.  I remember those days all too well and we keep praying for him.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Cows

October 21st - Monday - Beautiful Fall Day

With the "S" word in the weather report, everyone is anxious to get last minute things done before the weather turns cold.

My brother got the rest of the corn harvested from the flat behind our barn and hooked up the electric fence and got the cows out there to pick up the corn that was missed and did they ever love it, as did the turkeys and the bear.  All of which had to come and have a taste.  Jerry told me that he kept seeing where something was digging under the fence and today noticed that there was black hair in the fence and saw where the bear and sat and enjoyed the left over corn and a neighbor said he had to wait for the bear to cross the road the other evening.  As I was talking to Jerry we noticed two deer that had eaten all that they wanted and laid down for a snooze.  One of the many things that I love about living in the country.

Our former pastor called us today and he relayed to us how much they are enjoying living in the country without any close neighbors other than the animals that they watch each day, the solitude of retirement is certainly a time to enjoy God's creations. We certainly miss Pastor Keith and Kathy but are happy for them and so glad that Pastor Keith is getting some relief with his health problems.

Lou and I went to Carlisle on Thursday and picked up our three month's supply of medication, went to the PX and commissary, stopped at Ollies and  Sam's Club on our way home, made a long day, but we were able to do a little Christmas shopping at the PX.  Friday we had lunch with friends that we hadn't seen in many months and we spent the entire afternoon catching up with them.  Lou's friend is having tractor problems again, so he has spent time with him and finally had to ask another mechanic for help and has spent several evenings working on that.  Seems like we take this project on every year just before cold weather, hunting season and going to Florida.  Hopefully, it will be solved quicker this time.

Think I finally have all of my flowers cut off, even though still haven't had a frost, in fact, I picked green beans tonight and pulled radishes and we still have tomatoes ripening, probably this week will be the end of the garden and then I can start on my fall house cleaning.  I am hoping the doctor can do something with my shoulder so I can clean, as of right now, I use my left arm for everything.

I am looking forward to Wednesday, as I am going to Maegan's house to do crafty things with the great-grandkids that aren't old enough to go to school.  She mentioned white sugar cookies, turkeys from construction paper and leaves.  Noell, and Sue are going to join us also, sounds like a fun afternoon.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Purchase

October 15th - Tuesday

I finally took the plunge and purchased a Bose Wave Music System.  I have wanted to do this for a long time, but hated to spend the money.  My stero system died months ago and I haven't been able to listen to my Sirus/XM music in the living room in so long nor have I been able to get my favorite Christian radio station in so long.  I started to do some research into Bose and talked to a rep. and found that perhaps with an FM antenna it might do what I needed it to do, so I ordered it.

It arrived and we played the CD that came with the system and wow it was amazing the sound that came from this little box.  I tried to play my Sirus through it and the connection wasn't right, so I called Krista and she and Matthew came down and she said that she thought she had what I needed and sure enough she did, and it worked.  Family Life was having their Sharathon this weekend and I got to listen to it, I have supported their work monthly for years, but this was great to finally get to hear it first hand again.  Once again, I am listening to Focus on the Family and Christian music.  I am blessed!!

I will also be able to play my favorite CD's along with Sirus/XM, i-pod, internet music, etc.  Think it was a good purchase and probably should have done it much sooner.  We can even play the television through the speakers.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Corn Harvest Time

October 14th - Monday

This is a picture that I took on  Saturday of my brother harvesting the corn that has been growing on the flat behind our barn.  He was able to plant it early in May,  hence it is ready to harvest earlier than most of the fields around us.  We have enjoyed watching it grow this summer and some days it seemed like we could really watch it grow during the day.  The only thing bad is we miss seeing the creek.

Today it was been cloudy and not the best of weather to work outside, so I have been cleaning out the registers and closing up the central air conditioning for the season and thinking about Scott and how much I miss him this time of the year, as he always loved this time of the year and as I walked through the kitchen I looked out the kitchen window and as I did there were two deer enjoying the lush green grass along the freshly harvested corn.  I quickly grabbed Lou's old camera and snapped a picture of them, but you really have to look hard to see them.
The deer are between the post on the deck
On Saturday while Jerry harvested the corn, Lou and I worked on putting up a new trellis for our bittersweet vine to travel along on.  Dale Martin planted it for me about seven years ago and it has grown well, but it has really out grown its spot and we didn't know just what to do, as it has broken over a post that was holding it up, so it was a major undertaking. We started early in the morning and when the sun went down we still had not accomplished the job, we have the new posts in place but have not gotten the trimmed bittersweet tied back into place.  Will have to wait for a nice day to complete the job.
You can see why the post broke off
I had suggested to Lou that we use the chain saw and cut it all down and let it come back up new, but he wanted to just cut out the old stuff and keep the new and he methodically cut and separated it so once it is completed it will look nice.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall Garden

October 9th -  Wednesday - Sunny and  Beautiful

Today is a day that brings back memories that never leave.   Today marks the sixth year since Al passed away and Lou and I both agree, we never forget those dates, but we have many wonderful memories and we are always sharing those memories with each other.  We noted today that Al's favorite rose is ready to bloom again and the year that he died, it bloomed in time for Krista to made a  boutonniere for his suit that he was buried in.

October has always been a very special month for me.  My oldest daughter was born in October, and I met Al in October and my first date with Lou was in October.  Plus fall is my favorite season of the year.  This year, I decided that I would plant a fall garden, as I knew we were going to be away for the month of August, when the summer garden would be coming in.  I am so glad that I did.  I planted everything just before we left, and today I harvested the first of the green beans and they were delicious tonight.  I also picked Swiss chard and cooked that for dinner to go with our stuffed pork chops and baked apples.  It all tasted so good.

Today was a day of accomplishments.  I was able to finish up cleaning the garage, it turned out being a two day job.  Lou finished up the sidewalk and got all of the spent flowers hauled away, after cutting the grass.  Such a good feeling to know those big jobs are crossed off our list for fall.  The rest of our jobs won't take several days to accomplish.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Day with Great-Grand Daughters

October 7th - Monday - Rainy

Yesterday was a very special day for Lou and me.  We had the privilege of keeping three of our great-granddaughters.  They arrived at 8:00 am and attended church and Sunday school with us.  Our lesson was on faith and they made trees with bird seed on them, showing that we have faith that the birds would come to eat the seeds.

After church we went to Perkins for lunch/breakfast.  It was a delightful time and the girls didn't take long to decide what they wanted to eat.  They are all good eaters and ate all of their food and enjoyed every bite.  We came home and changed into our "play clothes" and the first thing they wanted to do was to go to the barn and see the pigs.  My brother raises pigs and beef cattle so we saw the pigs first and the girls were anxious to pet them and the piggies were only too eager to please.  Uncle Jerry was at the barn and ready to put the cows into a different pasture, so we got to watch all of the cows pass by us and that was a special treat.  After seeing all of the cows we walked down to the creek and watched the fish.

Our next stop was the Catlin Hollow Cemetery where we wanted to plant bulbs in Al's and Joanne's graves and to put fall arrangements at my parents.  The girls looked around for all of the Goodwin and Compton's markers and we talked about how they were all their relatives.
Catlin Hollow Cemetery
After we finished at the cemetery we came home and scrubbed our hands, put dinner in the oven and checked with Krista to make sure Matthew was up from his nap and went up to their house to play while dinner baked in the oven.  Krista painted the girls fingernails with cute designs for fall and Halloween.  We got down on the floor and played "little people" with Matthew and that is always fun.

Back at our house we enjoyed our dinner and for dessert I had baked an old favorite "Old Witch Cake" and while the kids enjoyed their cake, I read them the story that went with the cake.  Just as the kids were finishing their dessert, their mother came to pick them up.  It was a wonderful day and we all enjoyed it.  If you all remember, their parents ask that we not post pictures of the girls so that is why there are no pictures and it is really hard not to do as I really had some cute pictures.  Good memories were made today!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Catlin Hollow Methodist Church Doors

October 6th - Sunday

Today is an appropriate day to post the final picture of an ongoing project of our doors and to tell the story behind the "doors".

They are indeed the original doors from the Catlin Hollow United Methodist Church that was built in 1854. The church was originally named in their charter The Methodist and Baptist Union House for the use of Methodist and Baptist Churches.  It was built by joint stocks of $10.00 per share.  The Methodist were allowed to use it half of the Sabbath each week and the Baptist used it the other half of the Sabbath.  The next week they switched times, giving each party equal time.

They elected a President - Henry Bailey; Vice President - Dexter Catlin; Treassure - Edward McInroy
Wardens were:  Cyrus Catlin and Joel Catlin

The lot the church sits on in Catlin Hollow was purchased from Cyrus and Maria  Catlin for the sum of $25.00.  It was interesting to me to find that each family purchased two pews the reason they purchased two pews, was that the women sat on one side and the men on the other side.

Moving along, it was noted that the church and land and out building which now included sheds was later deeded to the Catlin Hollow Methodist Episcopal Church for the sum of $50.00 and this happened in 1891.
At this time Rev. A.W. Decker was the minister and with his help and with the support of the members many improvements were made.  Nathan  Austin supervised the carpenter work and did much of it himself.  He and Floyd Erway replaced the low ceiling of the church with the beautiful woodwork that is still in place today.  Mrs. Nathan Austin was president of the Ladies Aide and they raised money to purchase new pews, made the addition for Sunday School rooms.  

In 1950 under the leadership of Marion C. Finch we began the preparation for the rededication of the church for the Centennial celebration.  The men of the community met to paint the church buildings.  It was a known fact none of the men wanted to paint the bell tower, finally Daddy (Burt Goodwin) said that he would paint it and I remember a huge hurrah going up as no one wanted that job, so Daddy climbed the tall ladders and up he went with the paint pail in hand and did the job and honestly it didn't seem to bother him.  Other men prepared the lawn, planted shrubs, and trees.  In 1953 the interior of the church, including the sidewalls, floors and pews were refurbished and the church stood ready for the rededication ceremony.

Just to bring back memories for local people these are a list of the people that were active members at the time of the time of the dedication:  Dwight Austin, Floy Austin, Harold Austin, Gladys Austin, Dorothy Austin, Clara Austin, Mrs. Loren Bell, William Compton, Myrtle Compton, Truman, Compton, Verna Compton, Fred Compton, Irwin Clark, Elwin Ely, Agnes Ely, Mary Ely, Daisy Ely, Addie Ely, Charles Ely, Waunita Ely, Edna Fuller, Floyd Goodwin, Delilalh Goodwin, Buirt Goodwin, Ethlyn Goodwin, Dora Gilliland, Edytha Keeney, Margaret Kimball, Doris Lyons, James Meckes, Mary Meadows Grant, Robert Mattison, Nate Niles, Edna Niles, George Paris, Mrs. George Paris, Sybil Reese, Beverly Stafford, Fred Smith, Emily Spencer, Kenneth Spencer, Barbara Spencer, Catherine  Wilcox, and James Wilson.

The many hours that I have spent stripping the paint from these doors I have remembered so many things about different people from the 20 years that I attended this church and the years of memories of these dearly departed people, I could write a book about each and every one of them, all of them are a part of who I am, because we lived with them they were a part of our family growing up.  Fred Smith was my Sunday School teacher and what a sweet person and I continued that friendship throughout our lives and he recently passed away, but I know that I will visit with him again in Heaven as I will all of these folks.

I need to tell how I came about these "doors".  I knew that some one had purchased the church.  It had been a hunting cabin, then someone had purchased it for a home, and as I drove past each day on my way to work I noticed that the doors had been taken off and placed to the side.  I kept thinking I wonder if I could buy them from him, so one night I got up enough nerve to stop and ask, and he didn't know, but perhaps.  I told him that I had the history of the church from the beginning to the end, if he would be interested in it along a picture of the original picture.  He then told me he would trade the doors for the history and the picture.  I was delighted.  The next night I took my end of the deal to him and he had some of the stained glass from the windows for me along with the doors for me.  He even delivered them to me.  I was delighted with my new treasure.  They were solid and heavy.  Krista and Steve helped me carry them to the back of the house and we propped them up and I painted them.  Yea!, I was so  happy, but every time we had a storm they would fall down, finally, I put screws in the hinges to hold them in place.  That worked for a bit, but the doors were so heavy that caused problems, so Lou has redone all of that for me along with recaulking the restoring them, so it has taken the summer to get them back into shape and I am so pleased with the final results.

Beginning to scrape the paint

Lou taking over with a new tool Brion and Janet gave him
Inside all donw
Caulking and restoring 
Getting ready to paint the inside

The church closed in the 1960's.  I was the last person to be married in the church and Rev. Finch came back to do the ceremony.  At that time the attendance was very low and there was talk of closure then.  The church was sold for $5,000. and the money was given to Whitneyville Church and was used to help built their current parsonage.  Many of the people mentioned in the above post are buried in the Catlin Hollow Cemetery.  The church building will soon be 160 years old.  The doors are sold wood and were hand made and beautifully made.  I would love to know what craftsman's hands made them.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Week of Many Accomplishments

October 4th - Friday - Showers off and on

This has been a beautiful week to accomplish tasks and we have been very busy doing just that.  If I had been working, I always scheduled my vacation for the first two weeks of October.  Fall is my favorite time of the year and I always enjoyed my two weeks of vacation to the fullest, even though I would be busy every minute of the day and most of the evening.

As you can see from the picture.  The barn has been painted!! Yeah.  Krista, Steve and Michelle came to our rescue and we used two paint sprayers and the brushes and made quick work of it.  I did all of the shutters the next day and got everything put back into place.
Steve and Lou working on the north side of the barn

Krista working on the south end
We thought it took Krista and Steve longer to clean out the sprayers than it did to paint the barn, but they did a good job and they are ready to use the next time.

Michelle started out keeping Matthew happy, but ended up using a paint brush

Matthew ended up with his own paint brush and had a great time and had a "little" paint on him, but after a huge lunch he enjoyed a three  hour nap.

Lou repaired out potting table and now has a fresh coat of stain.

The next job that Lou started was filling the cracks in the driveway and he has gotten them all filled in and then he tackled the sidewalk.  It seems that the ground cover is overtaking the sidewalk, so he decided to pull out the edging along the sidewalk and re-position it, found it was a bigger job that he thought it was going to be and he didn't get it finished before it started to rain.

We had company for most of the day today, so didn't back to it today, so will have to wait until next week to complete it, as we have an open house to attend tomorrow.  We enjoyed visiting with friends from Arizona today and I can't share pictures, as I left my camera outside and it got wet, so have to order a new camera.  Thankfully, all of the pictures that I had taken are fine.  Was an expensive lesson!

Our special thanks to Kris, Steve and Michelle for the help on the barns, yes, I forgot to mention that we were able to paint both of the barns, now am just waiting for Jeff to get new boards on our little barn by the house and I can get that painted and we will be in pretty good shape again.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Blessing

September 29th - Sunday -

Off to church and hope all of you are doing the same thing.  I am the scripture reader today, reading from I Timothy 6:6-19

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Taking Advantage of the Beautiful Fall Weather

September 28th - Saturday - Beautiful Fall Day

We have had a beautiful week here in Northern Pennsylvania and Lou and I have taken full advantage of  every day.

Isn't this mum just beautiful?  Our granddaughter brought this down to us last Sunday.  She always remembers her mother and me when it comes to the fall and how we always purchase mums to decorate with and this year, she bought us huge mums.  It is so nice to have her at home and attending college close to home.  She has been helping me do an album through Shutterfly.  She gave up her Sunday afternoon and then again her Wednesday afternoon, but by golly it is all done and has been ordered.  She worked this into her school schedule along with her play practices and her studying.  I am a fortunate grandma!!  Lou and I went to see the play tonight and she did a very good job playing Effie Goodwin.
Michelle working on the Album

Lou and I have washed the house down and washed the windows along with washing the garage down on the outside using a power washer.  Once that two day project was completed, I set about getting my fall decorations out and now it looks a little more like fall at our home.
 Faux window decorated

Display in the back yard that is lite at night

Front Entrance

Back Deck
We have been eating lunch on the back deck with this view.

Lou was finally able to get the grass cut, we had let it go to get repairs done to the barn in preparation for the painting job.  I have also cut down some of the spent flowers and need to get the ones on the other side of the driveway.  Hopefully, will be able to get that done this week.  

We spent one day with Donnie trying to get a couple of his jobs out of the way and decided that he would have to hire someone to complete one of them.  Now to get someone to do the work, that seems to be a problem for everyone.  Krista and Steve met us at the barn to install new wipers on the RV and I just had to snap a picture of Matthew as he perched on a block of wood
He is telling us the sound the tractor says........

Sunday, September 22, 2013

a Little More on Woolrich

September 22nd - Sunday

When I did the post yesterday about our tour of the Mill at Woolrich  I didn't include any pictures that I had taken during our short walk to the factory.  I had not realized, or even thought about how the town of Woolrich developed around the industry that Mr. Rich had started in 1845, when he expanded the industry to the present location.

The Factory that is used today.  This is where the tour took place
They had everything they needed within a city block.  This is a picture of their church and it is still used today.
Behind the church are a bowling alley, recreation center and something else that I don't remember.
This was the original store, you can see the additions  that were added over time.  We were told originally the front of the store housed an appliance store, grocery and clothing.  Purchases would be deducted from your weekly paycheck.

The School that was used, not currently in use

The store today houses the regular store, an outlet store and a cafe.
Woolrich Store today

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Our Tour of Woolrich

September 21st - Saturday -  Rainy

Today was the day for Lou and I to tour the Woorich Woolen Mills.  Lou had noticed a blurb in the Williamsport Newspaper where they were going to conduct tours today for the last time and asked me if I would like to go, that was a "no brainer" for me.  At one time, I was secretary/treasure for the Tiogo County Sheep and Wool Growers and Woolrich used to buy our wool, so I was all for watching what they would do with our grade A wool.  I called immediately for tickets and was able to secure two tickets so we were off this morning.  It was a rainy day, but that didn't dampen our spirits.

Woolrich is the oldest continuously operating vertical woolen mill in the USA.  Starting in 1830.

I am going to post pictures that I took with an explanation of the pictures, after a little explanation.  Woolrich's tradition of custom-designed woolens dates back to their founder, John Rich.  In 1830 he constructed his first woolen mill in Plum Run, PA.  From his mule cart, he sold his quality fabrics to loggers, miners, rivermen and trappers.  By 1845, he expanded the mill and moved to what is now Woolrich, PA.

Over the years, eight generations of his family have lived and worked amidst the same rural landscape of north central Pennsylvania, not two miles from where John Rich erected his first woolen mill.  We were able to see that bales of raw wool still come in one end of the mill and after a good deal of work, exit as superior fabric.  We were able to see first hand why the products that are made here in Woolrich cost much more than products made in China or elsewhere.  We were very impressed by the hands on.
Raw wool as it enters Woolrich, the lanolin has already been removed.

As we moved down the line we could see how they dyed the wool in huge pots of dye, they called it cooking the wool, although they were careful not to boil the wool, as they would then have felt.
Dye pots

Then on to the point where they would dye huge skeins of wool and they did it about the same way, with the exception the yarn was on spindles or spools

They could do up to 150 spools of yarn at one time.

Cone Winding

Here the spun wool yarn is placed on cones.  Cones are conical shaped bobbins made of plastic or paper.  The speed of the bobbins is controlled so that a yarn with a soft even slub is ready for weaving.
Spinning Machine
It was hard to get a picture of this machine to show how it worked, this machine was very long and it takes the raw wool and "spins" it into a single fiber.  Note the red fiber.  This will be used for the USA-Marines.  All of our Marines have Woolrich fabric on their uniform.  All of the red is from Woolrich, PA  I thought that was very interesting.
During this process a single yarn is formed by twisting together two or more single threads.  This yarn is then wound on a twisting tube in preparation for the next process.

This is called Warping:
This is the  front of the picture where the yarns come together

The cones of the various wools that are going into the blanket above
The warp is the yarn that runs lengthwise in a woven fabric.  During this process the yarns are arranged in parallel order on a beam in preparation for weaving.
Warp Tie

During this process yarns are prepared to be placed on the loom for weaving.  The yarns are combed and straightened so that the proper weave is produced.  This process is used when new warp with the same weave pattern is p lace onto an existing weave loom.   Red going to the Marines.....
Fabric awaiting Burling/Mending

Burling/Mending Station is the removal of loose threads, knots, slubs, burs and other extraneous materials by means of the burling iron, a type of tweezers.  The trick is to remove the impurity without damaging the fabric.  After weaving and prior to finishing any lumps, or burls, knots and loose threads are removed by hand.

One of the many foot operated sewing machines placed throughout the factory

We asked what model the machine was and we found that all of the equipment in the factory had been made in the USA and the sewing machines were made in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts  We all applauded!! 
The Pulling Machine

This step really surprised me, all of the wool fabric is pulled and stretched, washed and dried before it is prepared for us.

Napping is a finishing process which raises a nap on the surface of the cloth.  The wool is stretched rightly and passed over rapidly revolving cylinders covered with wire which prick the treads thus raising the nap.

Shearing Machine
Shearing machine is used to mechanically trim fibers from the surface of the woven wool.  The cutting action is  provided by a roller which has several spiral mounted steel cutting blades attached.  Shearing is practically always done on woolens and the amount of shearing can vary depending on desired finish of the fabric.

I hope I remembered the facts and haven't made too many goofs, it was a very interesting day and Lou and I enjoyed our day.  After the conclusion of the tour we had to go shopping, each of us were given a coupon for $10.00 off any purchase and Lou found a rain coat to replace one that was about 30 years old from Woolrich.  I was able to find three blouses in XS that will be perfect for the south this winter, all of our items were on sale.  Like I said a great day.