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Monthly Archives: March 2008

Baby grass!

It’s disappointing that, because of the wet weather, I’ve not been able to move my trailer up to Stokes. The ground is too wet to roll the trailer out of my Mama’s backyard, or down my steep road. However, all that grass seed I planted is loving the rain. The white clover that I mixed […]

What's a wellhouse, and what's a pumphouse?

A typical North Carolina wellhouse. In this abandoned wellhouse, the well is gone, but it would have been under the porch. Inside are the milk troughs and places for food storage. In a comment here, a friend asks what’s the difference between a pumphouse and a wellhouse. The pumphouse is a small building to house […]

Ugly work, but necessary…

1. The truck that brought the septic tank got stuck in the soft soil and had to be towed toward the septic tank hole using the backhoe’s hydraulics. Notice the chain between the backhoe bucket and the rear of the truck. It’s hard to think of a more unphotogenic process than putting in a septic […]

In goes the septic tank…

This heavy piece of crockery holds 1000 gallons. The septic tank, and 210 feet of drain field, got installed today. Another mess. But I got it cleaned up, and seeded, fairly well by the end of the day. I’m too exhausted to post more photos tonight, but tomorrow I’ll post details and a photo sequence. […]

New photo with all the trim in place

Bob, my brother, finished putting the trim around the eaves and soffit of the pumphouse today. In the photos I posted last week, some of that trim was missing. So here’s a new photo with all the trim in place. Bob with the finished pumphouse. Notice that what Bob calls “the birds,” the facing on […]


Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1914. Photo by Arnold Genthe It’s a ritual of mine to send out this poem every year using whatever communications system is close at hand. It used to be newspaper Atex or SII systems. Then it was email. This year it’s the blog… The Goose-Girl Spring rides no horses down the […]


The new pumphouse. My brother, Bob, designed and built the pumphouse to harmonize with the house and the other outbuilding, which of course haven’t been built yet. Tuesday was a red-letter day. The guys from the plumbing company came out and installed the pump in the well. I now have water. There’s a hydrant behind […]

Creecy greens (and roadside produce stands)

A mess of creecy greens, probably from South Carolina Creecy greens have a long history in America. They grew wild, and they appeared in late winter, often when there was still snow on the ground. My dad, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, used to say that after a long winter the mountain […]

More heavy machinery…

The evil machine at rest. It started raining as stone was brought to the driveway, and work had to stop. So the bulldozer waits in place for the ground to dry. Is there anything uglier than a ditch? I spent hours today working on starting grass in it. This has been a stressful week. I […]

More on flaxseed pones…

I’ve made a lot of flaxseed pones in the last couple of weeks, and I’ve learned from my mistakes. Most important: Don’t put too much liquid into the batter. If the batter is too wet and runny, the pone will never finish baking, and the texture will be gooey and disgusting. Keep the batter thick, […]