Saturday, April 11, 2015

Renewal


April stirs sleeping roots,
pink azaleas dot the hillsides;
she whispers in the woods,
life bursting from earth's tomb.

Pink azaleas dot the hillsides,
sap flows through veins;
life bursting from earth's tomb,
dogwoods wear white crosses.

Sap flows through veins,
the valley glowing with verdant grass;
life bursting from earth's tomb,
a symphony of song birds.

Tulips splash rainbows on lawns,
she whispers in the woods,
renewal of the soul,
April stirs sleeping roots.
              --Brenda Kay Ledford





I hope all my blogger friends are enjoying this beautiful spring.  I think this spring is about the most marvelous we've ever had here in western North Carolina.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SPRING! SPRING! SPRING!

SPRING HAIKU

Early spring morning,
raindrops glitter on the poplars,
lupines sprinkle hillsides.

Wearing orange-striped vests,
cups open to drink sunshine,
a rainbow of tulips.

Snow twirls on breeze,
hundreds of apple blossoms
tossing petals to the earth.

Easter cantata,
robins perform in the hills,
daffodils dancing.
                  --Brenda Kay Ledford

Welcome Spring!

I hope all my blogger friends will have a beautiful and splendid spring.  I'm so glad to see spring again.  It gives me hope that "all things work together for the good to those who love God and called to Him."  We indeed serve a living Lord!  Amen!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Frozen Fairyland


The rising sun paints
the snow-capped mountains
with broad brush strokes,
pink and purple shades.

Under the veils of lace,
white silence fills the hills.
Walking through the forest,
footsteps crunch snow.

A cardinal rustles
powder from the pines,
berries frozen on holly;
winter carves ice sculptures

on Hyatt-Mill Creek.
Three deer appear,
icicles dazzle on roofs,
wood smoke curving heavenward.
                  --Brenda Kay Ledford


















Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day


LONG LASTING LOVE CANDY

1 package of strong faith
2 cups patience
1/4 cup gratitude
3/4 cup respect
2/3 responsibility
1 can kindness
2 teaspoons compromise
8 gallons of love

You may freeze the Long Lasting Love Candy for a century, pull it out as needed.
By;  Brenda Kay Ledford


A recent research shows that saying thank you when your mate does something nice such as taking out the trash, creates feelings of happiness that can make a relationship go the distance.


Dan Hollifield and wife, Patricia, share advise for a happy marriage:
"Compromise," said Dan.  "There's never been a marriage where you agree all the time."

"You must be best friends," said Patricia.


I wish all my blogger friends a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

High Mountain Meadows Farm and Creamery

Way up on Double Knob Drive in Tusquittee, you'll find the goat farm.  It's like the Swiss Alps on the mountain.  Donna Gains owns and operates the High Mountain Meadows Farm and Creamery in Hayesville, North Carolina.  Her farm includes dairy goats, cheese, meat goats, rabbits, chickens, and eggs.  It's an adventure touring this goat farm.

Donna Gains keeps her creamery spotless clean to minimize contaminants while culturing and fermenting cheeses.  She's making goat cheese from an Italian Alps recipe today.  "You must love it," she says, "because it's a long process in here."
She spends about four hours in the creamery at a time and listens to books on tapes to pass the time.

This pasteurizer kills harmful bacteria in the goat's milk. It holds five gallons and cost $5,000!  Fortunately, she applied for a grant that helped to pay for it.

Donna holds some goat cheese.  She makes hard cheeses like cheddar and gouda in her creamery.  She also produces soft cheeses including mozzarella and chevre. Other popular goat cheeses are feta, blue, and riccota Goat's cheese is very popular now.

After pasteurization, you let the goat's milk cool, then make the cheese.  You add bacteria to create taste and aromatic qualities.  It must sit and culture 40 minutes. Then add calcium and rennet, a substance from the lining of the stomach of calves, to curd.  Making cheese is lengthy and you use chemistry in the process.

Donna pets one of her babies. She owns 20 goats and they graze in green pastures above the barn.  A retired operating room nurse, she enjoys the quiet life on the mountain farm.

The black and tan goats are French Alpines and produce milk.  The milking station is located at the barn.

Goats are curious animals.  They checked me out when I visited the farm.

Here are some milk goats and the white animals produce meat.

Goats thrive in rocky and mountainous areas.  Goat's milk is easier to digest than cow's milk.  It is an important source of milk for many babies, elderly people, and folks with stomach ailments.
Notice here that Donna uses an electric fence to keep the animals from getting out of the pasture.

This billy goat wonders who is that lady taking his photo.

Here's another billy goat posing for the camera.

 This billy goat sits on his house and watches the visitors at the farm.

Donna Gains uses rotational grazing on her farm.  Goats eat a wide variety of plants and use their small mouths and flexible lips to grasp, and pick leaves.  Goats can cover a wide area searching for food.

 It was an adventure touring the goat farm.
For more information about the High Mountain Meadows Farm and Creamery, go to:  www.southernappalachianfamilyfarms.com.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Simple Christmas

A SIMPLE CHRISTMAS
by:  Blanche L. Ledford (My mother is the writer of this short story).

During the Great Depression, we celebrated Christmas in a simple way.  The Blue Ridge Mountains blocked contact with the outside world.  We had no shopping malls and looked forward to getting the Sears and Roebuck catalog in the mail box.

My siblings, Oma, George, Mary Lou, Frank, Hubby, and Helen fought to look at the Christmas catalog.  Mama often had to settle the dispute by hiding the wish book.

I selected a doll from the catalog.  I begged Mama to order it for Christmas.  She smiled and said, "Santa's keeping a list of who's naughty and nice."

The weeks preceding Christmas were filled with anticipation.  We drew names at Ogden School and exchanged presents.  The grade mothers brought refreshments for the party and school turned until after New Year's Day.

That night nature spread a sheet across the hills and hollows of Brasstown, North Carolina.  After breakfast, we kids headed outside to build a snowman.  My brother, George, dared me to run around the house barefooted in the snow.  Fool like, I took him up and pulled off my brogans and headed through the deep snow.  It took a long, long time to warm up my frozen feet before the fireplace.

The girls scooped a big dishpan of snow and made cream for us young'uns.  We popped corn and strung it together to trim our Christmas tree that Daddy and the boys got in the woods.  Mary Lou placed a bird's nest on the limbs of the pine.  Oma and I put candles on the branches and held little Hubby as she put a star at the top of our tree.

On Christmas morning, we young'uns raced into the living room.  Our stockings were filled with oranges, apples, hazel nuts, and candy canes.  When we opened our presents under the tree, I was delighted that Santa brought me a doll!

Daddy read from the Bible about the birth of baby Jesus as we sang Christmas carols around the fireplace.  Our mountain home was filled with cheer as we celebrated the birth of the Christ child with a simple Christmas.

 
 

I wish all my blogger friends a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Miss Byrdie Dills

After days and days of rain,
magic slips into the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Sapphire skies reflect in puddles,

three wedges of geese resound
across the Groves' farm.
I will not succumb

to the power of autumn until
Miss Byrdie bursts forth.
Memories stir like apple butter

bubbling over an open fire.
The mountain woman cared
for her family and flowers,

gave rootlets to neighbors.
I cannot remember her face,
but when the mums explode

with colors each fall,
Miss Byrdie spills fragrance
upon a breeze.
                       --Brenda Kay Ledford
Reprinted from:  CREPE ROSES
                          Poetry Book
                          by:  Brenda Kay Ledford