Category Archives: Special Touches

Lawlessness

In the United States, from what we see on the tv, there is increasing lawlessness – rioting with burning, destroying, murdering, hurting – mostly, it seems in the big cities.  Thankfully, none of that in our part of the world is showing, though, we occasionally get some bad stuff going on.  Always seems to run its course when the perpetrators grow up, get a life, and quit being selfish snowflakes.  (also, the coppers getting in there and ferreting them out!)  But in the meantime, sometimes cattle are let out, combines destroyed, vehicles are stolen, inside of new homes being built are trashed, and multiple fires set to old buildings and piles of hay.

But, i hope that we never get to the point that others will attack and kill you for a coat they fancy, or a nice piece of jewelry or a sweet camera.  Yes, there are some countries in which this happens in broad daylight.  Tourists need to take care as to what they are wearing and displaying to avoid being accosted.

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This lovely hand made necklace is a gift from my daughter which she purchased from a crafts lady in DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 2013 when she traveled with and as a guest of our dear friends Clement and her new husband Patrick.  They live in Kinshasa, but Jessica was able to spend time on Clement’s mom’s farm outside of the city.  
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Hand crafted necklace and matching bracelet.  No real monetary value, but a treasured gift from our friends’ home land.  Nevertheless, i wouldn’t wear this in a public and dangerous place – especially as a tourist.

Simple Coffee – Simple Breakfast

Daughter, Jessica, is always thinking of nice things to give others.  She brought home from Vietnam Simple Coffee Co, a couple sacks of delicious coffees grown and roasted in Son La, Vietnam.  She has since recently returned to Vietnam (quite the adventure in that – taking 52 hours and now in isolation!), so i’m enjoying the Forest flavor all by myself.  We shared Sunrise earlier in her visit.  Okay, now i’m going to cry because i miss her still. 😦  She’s been doing this international schools teaching since straight out of uni – you’d think i’d get used to her being gone.

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Roasted beans i ground this morning and pressed for a fresh cup.  Enjoyed one of my home made Applesauce Chia Granola Bars.

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Vietnam

Tanzanian Peaberry

Excellent roast.  My first cup was a bit of a surprise at how dark and strong Tanzanian Peaberry was.  After that, i adjusted the amount of beans i use for just the right enjoyment.  Although the description uses aromatic notes such as Sweet Brown Sugar, Black Tea, Anise, my first sniff reminded me of campfire cooking.  Salter Bros Coffee Roasters roast the beans you order AFTER you order.  Super fresh.

Looking forward to trying some of the other roastings by Salterbroscoffee.  A bag of Honduran medium-dark roast is waiting patiently in the cupboard.

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Brekky with a freshly made banana nut/oatmeal muffin.
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FLAVOR: Sweet Overall, With Lemongrass, Plum, Light Nougat
ACIDITY: Crisp
BODY: Rich Medium to Full Body
AROMA: Sweet Brown Sugar, Black Tea, Anise
ALTITUDE: 1,200-1,600 Meters
SOIL: Volcanic

 

Just A Bit of Cleanup

On Jun 6 a year ago, daughter, Jessica took me to a manicurist in Chillicothe because my hands and nails were a disaster and my son was to be married in a couple days.  We walked in and i sat down – the young girl took one look at my hands and commented ‘you must be a farmer.’  no exclamation, no criticism intended — just stated as a matter of fact what she saw.  Nevertheless, she commenced to work magic on my hands and nails in time for a very important day in my life – the marriage of my youngest to a wonderful new daughter.  

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My typical look – farm hands.
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And after a fair bit of scubbing and polishing. (And, yes, i did that by myself!)

Pershing State Park Trails

Ivis and I enjoyed our weekly hike on gentle trails at nearby Pershing State Park – a bit cool and very breezy, but good to spend time together.  Although, the calendar says we are 3 weeks into spring, there is only the tiniest bits of evidence.

 

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Sgian Dubh

Armed with Nathan’s knife making lessons and a trip to Scotland for Nathan’s 18th birthday, Nathan and I attempted to make our own sgian dubhs and a very useful sgian ‘brew.’

The sgian dibh is the small knife tucked inside the sock of a kilt wearing young man.  Known also as a ‘dark’ or ‘hidden’ knife.  We purchased our blades from Rainnea

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Cutting out the basic shape.
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Using tools we have on hand to sculpt the handle.

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This handle is made from osage orange (hedge).

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Sgian ‘brew’ on a Blackwatch tartan which is similar to that attributed to the Falconer sept of the Clan Keith.  This handle is fashioned from an oak log that was buried in the ditch on my farm, Tannachton Farm.

 

Barn to Bookshelves

At long last my feeble attempt at building a much–needed bookshelf out of the boards from our old horse barn that was located at the Lamme Farm is complete.  Most of the delay was due to the super cold and long winter.

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Final portrait before starting tear down of the horse barn at the Lamme Farm. – 2014
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The old barn was past its prime.
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Salvaging side lumber.
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Boards in storage.  I did have a bed made from these boards a few years ago, but hadn’t made anything until this bookshelf i recently completed.
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Lots and lots of sanding to remove layers of old paint.  My husband won’t let me buy a planer – says they are too dangerous.  Hmmm, but he has no problem with me running a table saw, chainsaw, reciprocating saw, circular saw, jig saw, band saw, and working cattle all day long.
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Putting on the final sanding.  Still without a planer, there are gouges which don’t show up until i add stain or other finish.
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I loaded this 6 foot tall unit into and out of my pickup, then into the house and up a set of curved stairs.  Good thing it’s not heavy!  A bit awkward.  The shelves are removable.

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A point of interest is that the Monocoat Pure wood conditioner/stain i used shows the difference between the ‘front’ of the boards (the side that was painted and exposed to outside weather) and the ‘back’ of the boards (shown here and the side without paint and inside the barn).  The back or inside stained darker.  I don’t know why.
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Here is the ‘front’ or outside painted side of the boards – showing a warmer finish than the darker reverse side.
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Not much organization, but it’s gonna hold a lot of books.  i’m encouraged to put another build on my ‘to do’ list once i get all my other ‘to build’ items completed.

Have a great week!

tauna

Horse Barn teardown 5-27-14 (1)
The barn, and later our house, was razed, shingles removed, and the rubble burnt.  Not much left after we salvaged so much from it. (the house was removed in a truck since it is illegal to burn a house – even out here in the boonies)