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



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Blue Ridge Thanksgiving


Granddaddy Bob Ledford moved a family to Franklin, NC one November in 1920.  He drove his wagon over the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains though the wilderness.  There were no paved roads back then.

Thanksgiving was coming and Granddaddy figured he would get home in time to eat Grandma Minnie's pumpkin pie.  The weather had been mild, and he did not anticipate any problems.  It took days to drive to Franklin, but he made it fine to the little mountain town.

As he headed back to Clay County, NC, Granddaddy noticed angry clouds churning above Chunky Gal Mountain.  The wind whipped his face like a razorblade.  Snowflakes twirled like feathers to the ground.  When he came to Buck Creek, Granddaddy could not ford it because the water was frozen.  He had to drive the team on ice.

Moment by moment the temperature dropped.  Granddaddy stopped in the woods to build a fire.  He was going to spend the night there, but couldn't sleep on the cold ground.  He gave up and moved on.

Granddaddy came to Rainbow Springs and saw a dim light flickering in the distance.  He happened on a log cabin.  He explained his circumstances to the mountain couple who opened the door and invited him to stay overnight with them.

After a hardy breakfast, Granddaddy headed home.  As he drove the team of horses through the snow, Granddaddy shot a wild turkey.  It graced the table as he and his family celebrated a Blue Ridge Thanksgiving.

Bob Ledford thanked the Lord for the mountain couple who saved his life during the Appalachian snowstorm.

I wish my blogger friends a very Happy Thanksgiving and blessed November.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Tractor Parade


Fall was in the air on the historic Hayesville, NC townsquare on Saturday, September 27, 2014 for the eighth annual Tractor Parade.


Mrs. Linda Davis wore her overalls and dressed up for the fall festival and Tractor Parade.


This little girl is enjoying "driving" the tractor on the old courthouse lawn.


Children had fun climbing the tower of hay and jumping in the toe sack race.


This little boy loves to pet the pony.


Mr. Billy Goat let everyone know he was at the Tractor Parade with his bleating.


Mr. Jimmy Anderson rides his bright red tractor in the parade.







Mr. Bill Cody drives this tractor with his family riding on the float.



Mr. Rogers drives his older model tractor.



Melvin Cantrell and his dog are enjoying the Tractor Parade.


Rev. Davenport participates in the Tractor Parade.


Mr. Lowe with the Lowe's Body Shop takes part in the Tractor Parade each year.


It was a clear day with the beautiful mountains forming a backdrop on the Hayesville townsquare.


This tractor captured the patriotic spirit in the Tractor Parade with the historical courthouse towering in the background.  It was a great day for a parade.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Evening of the Rain Crow


I heard the rain crow cooing
in the distance this evening,
as the sun sank crimson

and honking geese formed a wedge
behind the Shewbird Mountain.

He perches in barren oak
whose crisp leaves rustle golden
and brown to the frozen ground below.

I hear his shrill caw
resounding still through
chilled October quiet,

and know that by night
silver droplets will begin.
             --Brenda Kay Ledford

This poem first appeared in Appalachian Heritage Magazine.

During the early 1900's, farmers in the Blue Ridge Mountains had no radios, televisions, iPhones, computers, no modern technology, to listen to the weather forecast.  They depended upon the signs of nature including the rain crow or mourning dove cooing to predict rain.