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Over the rivers and mountains to the farmstead


Black Walnuts

Black walnuts

Two weeks ago I leaped at the opportunity to return to
Wisconsin for a second week on my farm there. I grew up there and plan to spend
my summers there once I have hung up my stethoscope. Last summer I did not get
to spend any time on the farm due to illness and so this year was a special
treat.

My husband has been diligently working on the old farm
house; it now has modern windows, two lovely additions including a breakfast
room with two bay windows, a wrap around front porch, reworked stairs, a planned
large bathroom with walk-in shower on the south side of the house—not the
north!, and a lovely overlook on the top floor. Of course the interior is
studwalls with extension cords draped across nails here and there with
carpentry equipment and odds and ends of lumber, nails, used caulking tubes
etc.

Pumpkins at Shihata Orchard

Wisconsin is a beautiful state but the fall is particularly
nice. The trees had just begun to turn and harvest was in full swing. Tomatoes
were still growing and I picked half a bushel basket of Romas and regular
tomatoes. My husband had carefully dried quite a few on a drying rack stationed
in the cab of his truck. Black walnuts were everywhere looking much like a golf
putting range—I got a bushel of those to bring home as I wanted to try making
some walnut ink this year.

Romas

I have a new phone that includes a navigation system—my route
there involved the eastern side of Oklahoma and a stay in the Charles Wesley
Motor Lodge in Broken Bow—very clean and only $45 for the night. On my way
back, I traversed western Arkansas and again spent the night somewhere north of
Mena with a large group of motorcyclists who like me did not want to drive on
the mountains in the dark—again only $45 for the night, a fill-in clerk who
nervously filled out paperwork—the room was clean—the only problem was finding
coffee in the morning.

Sew Bee It shop somewhere in Arkansas

Both Oklahoma and Arkansas have a large number of quilt
shops—advertised on billboards—and of course I had to stop at one of them as I ‘needed’
more fabric.

Home is always sweet but it took me nearly an hour to unpack
the cab of my truck of all the tomatoes, walnuts, apples, canned goods and so
forth—a good kind of work. I put my lovely new sink and convection oven to
good use, peeling apples and slicing tomatoes for freezing and drying. The walnuts
are drying outside; I’ll process those husks into ink this weekend.

 

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. It is a beautiful early fall here in WI.

    October 11, 2011
    • I wish I could have stayed a few more weeks and enjoyed the color changes–but one week is better than none at all.

      October 13, 2011

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