Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Things of a Less Quilty Nature -

This is a photo of a heinous chestnut tree.

I’m not sure if that is actually the species name, but it is definitely the name I am giving it. 

This is the first time I’ve had a chestnut tree in the yard, and to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t be sad if it left – but it would have to leave a full sized many decades old tree-of-another-kind in its spot were it to move off and go elsewhere.

THOSE HULLS!  They are prickly beyond belief and it is this time of the year that they start hitting the ground in bunches.

Last fall was our first foray into chestnut pick up – this year we are doing things a bit differently.

Sharp and evil chestnut hulls have met their match!

The chestnuts themselves are not a problem – (Are you humming “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…..” yet?  STOP IT!  That can’t happen until AFTER Thanksgiving!) In fact The Electrician pulled out his pocket knife, stooped down, scooped one up, peeled it and popped it right into his mouth with a “Yes, ma’am! These are Goooood!”

Having never been a huge fan of chestnuts – they were just not readily available where I grew up, I told him he could take as many as he dang well pleased – but please throw the hulls over the fence in the process. 

Truth be told – I bet the deer will beat him to the chestnuts, but there is no getting the deer to throw the hulls over the fence.  They just let them lie where they are. Dangerous little land mines just waiting to be stepped on!

Under the Chestnut Tree.

This little rolling chestnut-picker-upper is the newest gadget to take up residence in the garage/shop at Quiltville Inn.  It certainly beats picking up those spiny balls of death by hand. Even with gloves.

We got the ones that had fallen scooped up on Sunday, in preparation for son Jeff and the big mower to do their job yesterday. But by the look of these branches, there will be many more to fall before it’s all over.

And did I mention that there is also an ancient walnut tree to contend with?  

The squirrels mostly take care of that nut-bombing, I have so far only found a few of those on the ground.  We have a lot of oaks in the woods around the cabin, and we can sit on the porch in the evening and just listen to them fall.  But at least they are NOT falling in the yard!

Hill looking golden behind the back porch!

There are some very dead trees that are going to come down as soon as the other trees have lost their leaves and the brush is minimized.  You can’t hardly see the creek and things are running very low as we have been without rain for quite a while.  Every time I think we are going to get a cloudburst – the clouds move away and leave us high and dry.

Colors kind of happening -

But mostly leaves just falling and looking bare.

(Nice mowing job, Jeff!)

Interesting things from the old General Store.

The Old General Store needs to COME DOWN.  Seriously.  The floors have fallen though, it’s been open to the elements from the roof, the broken windows, the floor – but The Electrician asked if he could poke around in there a bit – and I said sure, but watch where you step. 

In its day, it was not only the store, the post office, and the electric company, but the center of community.  We found this thing still in its box – we have no idea how old it is, but there were also old electrical meters, rusted locks with keys, and several things in original boxes just left behind when the store closed in the 1970s.

Some kind of start/stop switch.

I thought I might keep this around so I can push the red STOP button during this year’s Quiltville Winter Mystery if the whining starts ramping up for any reason.  LOL!

Let there be shower caddies!

There is a story behind these.  In this little town of Jefferson/West Jefferson, North Carolina there are only a couple of choices for hardware type things.  Roses, Walmart, Lowes, Dollar Tree.  

NO ONE had caddies that would work with the spray nozzle type of shower head.  None of them.  I asked at Lowes first – they don’t even CARRY shower caddies.  Walmart?  Nothing that did what I wanted it to do.  So sometimes when you live remotely, you are FORCED to order off of Amazon to get what you need.  I have tried to buy local.  My first thought is to buy local. We are just so limited here.

And then I stopped beating myself up because there has been mail order for needful things since Sears opened their doors in the 1880s:

“In 1886 Richard W. Sears founded the R.W. Sears Watch Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to sell watches by mail order. He relocated his business to Chicago in 1887, hired Alvah C. Roebuck to repair watches, and established a mail-order business for watches and jewelry. The company’s first catalog was offered the same year.

In 1889 Sears sold his business but a few years later founded, with Roebuck, another mail-order operation, which in 1893 came to be known as Sears, Roebuck and Company. In 1895 Julius Rosenwald, a wealthy clothing manufacturer, bought out Roebuck’s interest, and he reorganized the mail-order business. Sears meanwhile wrote the company’s soon-to-be-famous catalogs.

The company grew phenomenally by selling a range of merchandise at low prices to farms and villages that had no other convenient access to retail outlets. The initiation of rural free delivery (1896) and of parcel post (1913) by the U.S. Postal Service enabled Sears to send its merchandise to even the most isolated customers.” [source]

Amazon is now this generation’s version of “Sears Catalog” and I am one of “even the most isolated customers.” (And now you've learned something new that you didn't know before today!)

I still had to tell the folks at Lowes that I would have bought from them – had they carried what I needed. But since they had NO shower caddies of any kind, they had forced my hand and I had gone straight to Amazon.  It is what it us.

Thank you, Judy!

Judy sent an adorable vintage china sugar bowl in the mail that nearly matches the sweet old pitcher that I bought while out with Martha in Chilhowie on Friday!  I just LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  Thank you, Judy.  It now holds my stevia packets for my tea and is residing next to the electric tea pot at the Quiltville Post Office.

And I know I said this was NOT a quilty post – but still – this you have to see!

Who woulda thunk it??

When you don't realize you've pieced glow-in-the-dark fabric into your quilt until you turn off the lights and find it glowing green. Oh. My. Heck. Lol! It made it kind of a fun start for the Halloween season that is almost upon us.

This weekend I think it’s time to get out the autumn dΓ©cor for real and put summer away.

Today – Dentist day number 1.  I am having a crown replaced, and this dentist does the whole process start to finish, making new crowns in house while you wait.  It may be a few hours of a wait.  I may shop, I may find the library.  I’m not sure what I’ll do in between, but I’ll be hanging around Jefferson as I don’t want to make two trips in one day only a few hours apart.  I could take handwork and sit somewhere lovely – maybe a park and listen to an audio book while I stitch and enjoy this late September day.

Next week there is a filling on the OTHER side that has to be replaced, and I opted to do that in two different appointments rather then have the entirety of my face numb for a good portion of the afternoon.  By the time I head to California I’ll have my mouth all back and ship-shape.

Did you see that we have a Quilty Box Gift-Away happening on Monday’s post?  Head on over there to enter to win – it’s a great one with some gorgeous fabrics, and more!  Drawing to happen on Saturday.

Quiltville Quote of the Day

Vintage bricks quilt found in North Carolina.

I read once that the people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. In other words, we become like our friends.

True friends will lift you up into a better you and you will do the same for them!

Have a lovely Wednesday!


  1. Bonnie, thanks for all you do. Love the sugar bowl too. I keep forgetting to remind you that the Delta bath fixtures have a lifetime warranty for parts and finish issue s. Not that you will ever need our services.

  2. I wonder if that chestnut picker-upper would work with hickory nuts. Would love to know where you found that. Amazon is my go-to department store since even Lowes and Walmart are 25 miles from here. They do serve a purpose when "buy local" isn't an option, and millions of folks are in just that position.

  3. Thank you for helping me feel less guilty about ordering from Amazon. I live in a rural area and while I do try to shop local I often can't find what I want/need.
    We have a walnut tree that the squirrels love. I often find nuts buried in my flower pots and planters.

  4. Love that roller you have for picking up the chestnut hulls what a fabulous idea and will save you time and pain. Jeff sure makes an expert job of the lawns, such a sweet and loving boy.
    I am always amazed at what you can find in abandoned buildings, such fun to see how things have changed in the years.
    What a fun surprise to find the glow in the dark fabric lol but that all part of the scrappy quilting. Enjoy the rest of your day
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  5. .....cool the 'other side of the fence' will be a deer feeding ground. What a blessing for them ! Bonnie you have the best solutions for problems!

  6. OMG! I showed that start/stop switch to my husband and his response was a delicious "Oooohhhhh", much like you respond to vintage quilts and sewing machines. Please consider that there is some value in that old merchandise before you relegate it to the landfill.

  7. Thank you for the laugh this morning. The stop button for whiners! Wish I had one of those for my granddaughter!

  8. When I was a teen in the early 50's we lived in a very small town, Independence, CA. Before each new school year, we would order all of our school clothes from the Sears catalog. We
    loved looking through the new catalog as soon as it arrived.

  9. Be grateful you have a chestnut tree; they are almost extinct!

  10. Wish we lived closer, like your electrician, we love chestnuts and our two tiny trees barely produce enough nuts for Thanksgiving chestnut dressing. Know what you mean about the hulls though, my husband wears welders gloves to pick and husk. The other hulls I dread are black walnuts, black goo throughout the house from shoes stepping on the fallen nuts.

  11. What happened at Emmy Lou’s vet visit? We vet tech quilters want to know!

  12. Nancy H - I haven't taken her yet. I will soon.

  13. I wonder if those chestnuts scattered around the perimeter of my house would keep the critters from digging and going underneath to pull down my underbelly. Last year I had to file an insurance claim as they did so much damage. When the contractor went underneath to take pictures for the insurance adjuster he said it was 80 degrees under there and we were in the midst of a polar vortex.
    I was looking at the chestnuts and they remind me of little aliens.

  14. The Start Stop button idea for The Mystery Quilt is priceless!

  15. Fun Glow in the Dark peeking out in the dark. Have a good rest after your Appointment. It's a very good excuse for a slowdown day. Nice to get a nearly matching Sugar bowl for the teapot. Yes, it's too early for singing "Chestnuts Roastin..."

  16. My mother-in-law had a much hated chestnut tree in her back yard. She would have been all over that roller machine. Now if they had one for the small acorns that fall from a southern red oak - my yard will be covered in them by spring and the only thing to do is rake, rake, rake. They get flung out the exhaust chute of the mower against the brick house and it sounds like an artillery barrage. I didn't even know there was glow in the dark fabric like that - kind of makes me want to sneak some into the next project just for giggles.

  17. Did I spot a village smithy?

  18. I think the balls of the sycamore tree rival the chestnut (though I've never experienced the chestnut balls). And re: one day crowns..my dentist has been doing that for years and the first one I experienced was AWESOME!!! But I've never been more than about an hr and a half. He's good and fast and it SO beats the temporary crowns they have to yank and pull to get out!

  19. I don't recall ever trying a chestnut. My parents had 2 walnut trees on their property and those nuts were so much better than store bought. Nice antique pieces.

  20. Is your walnut tree a black walnut? They're really good in cookies & bars, but might be an acquired taste for those who didn't grow up with them. A real bear to pick out of the shells too.

    Don't apologize for ordering from Amazon. I live 60 miles one way from any kind of shopping but basics. The grocery store & hardware store here in my itty bitty town just don't carry a lot of things I buy regularly so that means Amazon a lot of the time. Chewy.com is great for pet supplies too. FedEx delivers to my door! Can't beat that.

  21. Oh, I hear you on the chestnuts. We don't have many of those around here, but our last home had a buckeye tree near the back door. Their spines are a bit different - spaced further apart - but just as wicked. And at both that home and the current one, many oak trees that pelt the house with acorns like they have a grudge against our shingles. Couple of dilapidated walnuts, too. They're all messy, but it would be sweltering in the summer without them, so I'll grin and bear it. ;)

    The glow-in-the-dark fabric is cracking me up. Gotta wonder where that came from. ;)

  22. The chestnuts look like they are yelling at you! I've never seen them before.

    Love the non whine button as well. Marilyn Marks

  23. My son works in electrical warehousing. He says that the start/stop switch made by Square D company still looks the same today. LOL

  24. Not sure all the details, but I think you could buy a small house from Sears Catalog.

  25. I can identify with your "nutty" dilemma but in a smellier way. I worked at a library branch in a historical building. The original owner was gifted a ginkgo tree over a century ago. That thing has the nastiest fruit drop from it for about 6 weeks in the fall. It gets tracked all over the two story library. They have to shovel the walks with a snow shovel. Nasty but beautiful tree. Just like yours.

  26. Omg my husband has been talking about that nut rake for two years! I finally made him order it for himself for his birthday in August! We too have a chestnut tree and the spiky balls are wicked!!! They really are very rare trees, btw... a blight came along and virtually wiped them out back in the 70’s or 80’s here in Kentucky. I tried to roast them a couple of years back to see what all the hullaballoo was about, but I really didn’t like the taste at all... oh well- the deer LOVE them!! And yes, they get the spikes stick on their hooves, too - I saw one jump the fence and limp with one stuck on its back hoof. Also, for the lady that wondered if the nut rake would pick up hickory nuts, or acorns - yes! You add more of the little rubber prongs or take out the spacers to make the prongs closer together and it will pick up smaller nuts. I grew up with lots of hickory trees. I spent many hours picking up hickory nuts and filling 5 gallon buckets for the bonfire, or the fireplace - if my dad was still alive, he would’ve LOVED having this nut rake! (Love the glow in the dark fabric surprise, too!)

  27. Wish I had your chestnut and walnut trees. Where I live there are only black walnuts, which I love and don't have a problem with picking them out. Only none on my property , so I have to go scrounging. LOL

  28. Ahhh sweet chestnuts. We had to go out picking where we used to live but now lucky to have a tree of our own - I say lucky because it's right at the farthest end of the field - no treading on the little green urchins! I make chestnut stuffing for Christmas so it is appreciated. We also have a huge walnut tree - last year the squirrels cleared it all. This year the weather has removed most of the nuts. Last house had a huge oak tree - I think that was the worst tree ever - standing underneath to sort out chickens in the autumn was like running the gauntlet - and boy do they hurt! LOL!
    Love the old gadgets plus wow glow in the dark fabric - cooooool!

  29. Well, if you ever get tired of a caddy directly behind the shower head, you can always get a tension rod (I have a nice sturdy brushed steel one) and then you just position it along the back side wall of the shower, up high, and a smidge of the tilt (or gorilla tape the gap of the two rods that adjust) but clearly out of shower spray range and perch the shower shelf so the top shelf bottom rests on the rod.... I could send you a photo of ours. I love it. and you can put it at the other end of the shower so it is not always getting sopping wet.

    I love that chestnut picker upper. WOW.
    I really enjoyed reading your post today
    I hope you have a happy Thursday

  30. I had to laugh at your glow in the dark fabric surprise. Apparently when I pieced my "Tulip Fields" quilt I did the same thing. I vaguely remember thinking "I bet this one glows in the dark" but in it went anyway, following your instruction that everything can be included. It surprised my sister when she came to visit and it was on her bed. When she turned out the lights there were little bats glowing in the dark! I love it.

  31. I used to have a chestnut tree. Probably one of the last ones in my area as they had all been hit with blight. It finally got mine too. I loved collecting the chestnuts and then roasting them in the fireplace. We had black walnuts too, which I didn't care for. The English walnuts were wonderful though.

  32. Don't worry about not shopping locally as Walmart, Dollar Tree, & Lowes are just national chains anyway who push the little guy out. I always shop locally, if at all possible, when the store owner is the one at the cash regis

  33. Spiny balls of death! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„ I'm gigglesnorting into my teacup!

    We make a habit of buying local whenever possible, but in my situation Amazon is an absolute blessing. My husband, however, loathes shopping over the Internet and will spend an entire afternoon and a tank of gas searching for what he wants. Between the two of us, I figure we balance each other out.

  34. OH how I would so love to snoop around the old general store. There might be lots of hidden treasures in there. It would be so great to open it up again for the locals to sell their wares, whatever they may be.

  35. I recently discovered that the (alleged heinous) chestnut tree has a symbiotic relationship with the porcini mushroom. So, where one grows happily, the other does too. Ya may want to look around the base of this tree every so often. πŸ‘

  36. I recently discovered that the (alleged heinous) chestnut tree has a symbiotic relationship with the porcini mushroom. So, where one grows happily, the other does too. Ya may want to look around the base of this tree every so often. πŸ‘

  37. A day later, but I just have to share with you, Bonnie. My husband loves chestnuts (I have no time for them) and had nursed a tree for a couple of years. This year it is producing in a mighty way. He goes out each day, hoping to get there before the squirrels, to collect his treasure. Today was windy and he learned that it's not good to be under the chestnut tree on a windy day, LOL.

  38. Those chestnuts look like little cartoon monsters.

  39. Wow, a real chestnut? For years I've read about the American chestnut and the terrible blight. (Richard Powers' The Overstory most recently -- it is a SPLENDID book, deserving of all the accolades.)

  40. I have loved reading this post, though a few days late. I am behind, so busy this week. I am just reading all of last weeks post this lazy Sunday morning. I have never seen a chestnut tree, I have tasted roasted chestnuts and I didn't care for them. I didn't know a nut roller even existed. I have been packing up my Mom's stuff from her house to move back into her old house my niece moved from for an estate sell. We moved mom into a retirement center. Also going through my sewing stash, tubs of fabric I haven't looked at in 10 years. I have been stripping it all into 2.5 inches with my Sizzix. And making piles for 1.5 or 2 inches. I have made it through 3 tubs, and man has my stash grown. Plus filled two cat litter containers with strings. Once I get moved into the patio home we moved Mom out of, I hope to be finally sewing and quilting away with a whole new stash of stuff. I will late getting to the new mystery quilt it looks like, but hopefully I found lots of stuff to use for it this year. Thanks for sharing your life with us Bonnie!

  41. My mom had a hickory nut tree and man was it a pain! Rake, rake, rake those hulls. The squirrels got most of the nuts, so only raked a few nuts! LOL. We would help mom pick up the hulls and the one that had not split open yet, those were tossed in a box to open later to get the nuts out--to feed to the squirrels. The apt where my sister lives has a maple gum tree (2) and man are they prickly balls!


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