Monday, August 8, 2011

Special Farm Visitor - June Brown

In the background of this picture you see in White paint 1942 and the initials NJB.
I met NJB, June Brown last weekend. I have no idea her first name as I am realizing right now but I do know that she didn't remember putting her initials on the barn. 1942 is when the barn was last painted. June is 84 years old and she was born in my room. Her room was where our bathroom is now and her grandfather who was blind died in the room that is now our kitchen.

She basically lived in the basement as that is where the kitchen was and our backdoor was her front door. June raised Pekin ducks and her father milked 6 cows by hand each day. They milked and then put the milk in the spring house which is still across from the house.

The cherry and apple trees she remembers are gone but when she told me there were daffodils in the corner of the property I nearly fell over. Those daffodils still come up in the same place after 80 years. Next spring I'm going to invite her back to pick those daffodils.

The fascinating thing for me was to imagine life 80 years ago. No car, no car insurance. No electric bill, no cell phone bill, no water bill or gas bill, no tv bill, no internet bill. June told us how her parents used the horses to till the fields and to help pull the hay up to the top part of the barn. She said one of her favorite things was to take a pie her mother had made and sit in the grass next to the house and eat that entire pie with her father. What a beautiful image. I think we're going to have to make a pie this weekend and have a family pie picnic.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


No time for posts-- maybe I'll start posting again in October or when I go on a business trip and have time in my hotel room and am bored.

I am BUSY!!!
I can make buttermilk (with a starter and the real buttermilk left after making butter)
I can make butter.
I can make a whipped cream that will make you cry. My favorite quote from one whipped cream taster was "can I get a direct IV of that stuff?"
I have made a hard cheese (without cheese wax-- cheddar- just to see how it's done)
I'm learning sour cream-- haven't gotten it right yet.
Made yogurt but didn't like the culture- need a yogotherm bucket I think.

I can milk a cow by hand or with a vacuum pump, pasturize milk and separate it with cream separator in my sleep.

I can also throw stuff away and rearrange my house every week so that we can build closets. After 200 years or however old this house is-- we are building closets!!!!

We met a woman who grew up in this house in the 20's, 30's and 40's--- our back door was her front door. I'll write about that later but it was fascinating to view our house from her perspective.

I have so many potatoes and thank god for potato digger attachments.

I hate squash bugs-- but I love that the tomatoes are starting!!! Fresh salsa!!!
Enjoy your summer! I'm enjoying mine.
Gotta go....Making twice baked potatoes to freeze for kids-- great way to use extra potatoes!