Appliance Break Down and Covid

As if Covid-19 isn’t bad enough, imagine if you will, being without a washer for almost two months!!!

My Maytag washer broke on February 7th making a super loud noise like a jack-hammer!! It was a year old old in November and thankfully we bought a three year extended warranty when we bought it from Lowe’s in 2019. I’ve not had a moments problem with it until February of this year.

Maytag washer purchased in November 2019.

It took three days of calling, pushing buttons, talking to the wrong people, getting disconnected and much frustration from the service center before I finally found the right person that setup an appointment eight days later. On that day we had a our first heavy snow and the repairman lived two hours away when he called me at 3:00 in the afternoon and their hours are 8-5. We postponed that appointment for a week later and dirty laundry is building up. Now, I could have used my daughter or son’s machines at any time but I hate doing that sitting alone in their home waiting for the one load to finish. The morning of the appointment I get a call from the repairman who has been sick overnight and would like to reschedule again for a couple days. I say okay because I really don’t want a sick person I do not know coming in my home so we reschedule for the following week. I wait another week and hear NOTHING!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m patient but this is getting ridiculous so I call the service center again and after 2 1/2 hours finally get to a representative, explain what has happened and she locates a note that my repairman is still sick! An hour later he calls and has been diagnosed with Covid and can’t get to me for another two weeks. NO THANK YOU!! I call the service center again and they make me another appointment in five days with a repair service. I take a load of clothes to my daughters two days and stay in the house all day and no calls and no repairman. I call the service center again and they can’t find an appointment in their system. NO I didn’t scream, I didn’t throw the phone, I didn’t feel my blood pressure raising!!! I laughed out loud for several seconds and the service center reps asked if I was alright and she kept saying I’m so SORRY!!! I told her it was okay but if I didn’t get the machine repaired very soon my husband was going to load it up, take it back to the Lowe’s store we purchased it from and dump it in front of their door and explain to every one that was in the parking lot and store why he was doing it!!! WE DIDN’T DO THAT! She made us another appointment on March 8th between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Here we go again!! On the 8th the new repairman called and he was in Lexington (2 hours away) and he would be here to repair that day! He asked a bunch of questions about the issue and like all the rest I could not make them understand how loud this problem was. This guy was sure I had detergent build up!!! (I laughed). He asked me to put a cup of white vinegar in the machine and run a quick cycle and call him back in 15 minutes and let him know if I see any suds and bubbles at anytime during the cycle. I did it and called him back and luck be with me while we are on the phone the jack hammer begins and I held the phone to the machine for him to hear. He is shocked and I am laughing!!! He tells me to turn it off ASAP!! He needs to call the manufacturer and will call me back in 15 minutes! NOT!!! Two hours later he calls and tells me what the issue is and he has order the parts needed and they will be shipped to our home in 3-4 days and he makes an appointment for the 18th. No shipment arrives, no calls from the repairman, no show on the 18th. I called the service center and the automated message tells me my parts have been backordered and my appointment will be made after the parts are delivered. My husband called the Lowe’s store we purchased the washer from, informed them of part of the history and told them we would NEVER buy another appliance from them again. He then went to Home Depot and bought a new Samsung washer. When he came home we drug the Maytag to our front porch for when or if the repairman and parts ever arrive (he’s giving them 2 months), hauled in the new machine and set it up!!! I’m now caught up on ALL the laundry that built up since the 7th of February!!


The Work That Never Ends

The pandemic that we are witnessing is a very real reason to stay home. We stay home most all the time anyway so it hasn’t hindered our life much at all. You see, there is ALWAYS something to do on the farm that keeps us busy during the day and at night we’re usually too tired to much anyway!!

Wintertime keeps us busy with feeding and caring for the cattle and small animals on the farm. Everyday finds us hauling firewood out of the woodhouse into the house or to the front porch when there’s pending bad weather. It’s also a time for restocking the wood stores for the next winter and checking the fencing for downed trees that have broken the fences that keep the cattle where they belong.

Some winters are much worse than others.

This winter we are dealing with a lot of ice and over the last two months we’ve had a total of about 12 inches of snow. We’ve expected to lose power but only had one outage early that was fixed and back on within about five hours, we were asleep during most of that.

Our next big issue is calving time which begins again on March 18th through May. We’re hoping that the bad winds, ice, below freezing temps and snow are over for the most part then or we could end up with a couple orphans like these to take care of.

This was George and Prissy born in 2015, adorable and saved during a winter ice storm on the same night.

A few more work projects coming up are fruit tree pruning, making maple syrup and opening the greenhouse (unheated), building new fence and repairing old, restocking chicks, introducing more ducks and maybe turkeys to the farm, and fixing roads that have developed deep ruts and gulleys wherever the tractor tires dig in. This is all before we start the garden!!! There are no lazy days or boredom when you’re a farmer!!!

New Fencing on the Farm

I’m not sure why but we just can’t seem to keep up with the fencing repairs on the farm.  Every year there is a field or road fence that needs replacing.  Last year we enlisted the service from a “professional” fencer and though it looked good it wasn’t installed properly.  Electricity was running to the metal gates going into the field.  We contacted the fencer and he told us he would be back to correct the problem but he never showed and within a couple of weeks someone in the community ran through the new fence and didn’t stop.  At this point we had to repair the fence anyway and hubby made the corrections to the electricity himself.

Fencing torn out and repaired.
Fencing torn out and repaired.

We do a lot of patching when we can but Dad is tired of doing that and wants to replace now.  Some of the bad spots look something like these:

These fences are probably 30-40 years old.
These fences are probably 30-40 years old.

Woven wire that gets bad is usually patched with a couple strands of barbed wire.
Woven wire that gets bad is usually patched with a couple of strands of barbed wire.



fencing-2016-17-45 fencing-2016-17-43

Here’s a look of what the old fencing on the farm looked like before we started the new.


This year we selected a new fence service who gave us a decent quote and hubby thinks his service was excellent.  His crew worked as hard as Mr. Price and  on days when the wind was howling and terribly cold.   Mr. Price was a true professional and hubby says we will be using his services again in the near future.


Mr. Price was quick to start the work and his crew didn’t just stand around and wait to be told what to do.  They tore out the old fences, stacked the old wire and piled up the old post which we’ll use for firewood.  You can’t beat locust posts for a hot fire in the middle of winter.

Old fence posts and stacked wire ready to move from the fields.
Old fence posts and stacked wire ready to move from the fields.






Here’s some of the finished work and I know we will be using Elmer’s Fencing again in the very near future!fencing-2016-17-30 fencing-2016-17-29 fencing-2016-17-27 fencing-2016-17-23 fencing-2016-17-17 fencing-2016-17-11 fencing-2016-17-9 fencing-2016-17-8fencing-2016-17-38fencing-2016-17-36fencing-2016-17-35fencing-2016-17-35new-board-fence-at-farm-entry-2016-1 img_0012 img_0011 img_0010 img_0009 img_0008 img_0006

Board fencing with high tensile behind it.
Board fencing with high tensile behind it.

Beautiful new board fence behind Heather's new house.
Beautiful new board fence behind Heather’s new house.

img_0005 img_0004 img_0003 img_0002 img_0001 new-board-fence-at-farm-entry-2016-5 new-board-fence-at-farm-entry-2016-4 new-board-fence-at-farm-entry-2016-3 new-board-fence-at-farm-entry-2016-2




Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!  The next fence project is a line fence between us and a neighbor and Eddie & I are going to tackle it alone probably in the next couple weeks.

Farm work is NEVER done!!

Winter stockpile

2014 final wood split and ready to store in shed.  Wonderful oak that has been dead for at least a year.
2014 final wood split and ready to store in shed. Wonderful oak that has been dead for at least a year.

We’re ready for a cold winter after this load is put in the woodhouse. I believe it’s a total of three pickup loads full. Hubby split it in three days while I was at work. Now we need to put it in the shed to keep it dry for winter use.

Wood General wood splitter has saved a lot of sore muscles and pain the back!
Wood General wood splitter has saved a lot of sore muscles and pain the back!

This will all go in the big stove in the living room. We’ve not brought in anything for the wood cookstove yet.
Heating oil tank on the backside of the woodshed.

Heating oil tank on the backside of the woodshed.

This fuel tank was used for heating oil when hubby’s aunt & uncle lived here. The back side of the tank was against the wood shed and years of rain off the roof, onto the tank and draining against the wall has rotted it badly and it was placed against a door to the back side of the shed.  This is what it looks like after years of rotting.

Rotting wood
Rotting wood

Woodshed needs repairs.
Woodshed needs repairs.  A hole and major damage is at the bottom of the door and a short board is holding it shut for the moment.

We’ll replace the door and use it to throw the wood in for stacking. It will be easier to back the truck up to that opening.  Always something to repair or replace but this door will make it easier to throw the wood in the building instead of the window.

The shed is already two-thirds full from wood we didn’t have to use last year.

Two-thirds full
Two-thirds full

We will surely be warm in the coming winter months!


Hubby repaired the rotten door today and did an amazing job.  He plans to paint the entire building with a old time mixture to preserve it the rest of OUR lives.  Here’s the results and it was the first door he ever made from scratch.  He’s so amazing!


Repaired with lumber cut from the farm.
Repaired with lumber cut from the farm.

First time he made a door from scratch.
First time he made a door from scratch.



Repairs to my double seater rocker

My kids bought me a gorgeous wooden rocker for Mother’s day a couple years back.  It’s had a rough couple of years and the one of the rockers was broke off last year when someone rared back in it.  I convinced hubby it could be saved!!  I’M A MAJOR REFURBISHER!!!   Is there such a word? 😉

Anyway, I had him take the rockers off and make it a pretty bench for the porch or yard.  As you know from previous posts, we’re big porch sitters and entertain on our porch a lot.   It looked great!

Shannon and Lisa meet Christine for the first time, I think!

Sometime during the big birthday party it was sat in again,  rared back in again and more repairs were definitely needed before using it safely again for entertaining.  Hubby used some ingenuity and placed some braces in strategic places and here’s what it looks like before it gets a new paint job.

IMG_0021  IMG_0019  IMG_0020

And here’s the final project.

Hubby has decided that if this doesn’t keep it upright and strong enough for ANYONE to sit in it will be used for kindling in the winter.  Here’s the finished product have a new paint job.

Freshly painted.
Freshly painted.

I love wooden rockers but this will make a pretty bench for the porch.  Time to make cushions now.
I love wooden rockers but this will make a pretty bench for the porch. Time to make cushions now.

Farm building under repair

Hubby seems to always be repairing something on the farm.  Recently he’s been working on fences, hauling more limbs out of the fields from the winter winds and last years durachio.  We have lots of repairs to buildings to be completed due to time and lack of repairs before we inherited the farm.  Some buildings were beyond repair and have been torn down and cleaned up.  This week he started on the corn crib at the mansion.

Repairs made to back of corn crib.
Repairs made to back of corn crib.


The winds wreaked havoc on the roof of this building and some of that will be replaced in the coming weeks and some will be pulled down and screwed down to prevent further wind damage.  The front of the crib is in fairly good shape but this end needs new support at the bottom which you can tell has sunk.

West side of the mansion corn crib and work to be done.
West side of the mansion corn crib and work to be done.

This side of the crib has an addition on it for storing equipment and is in really bad shape.  First we have to get the old bulldozer out of it and take it to the scrap yard and then we’ll begin the work of repairing the side of the building.  We’ll us it for storing the lawnmowers, tiller, and other small equipment in the winter months.  The other side of the building holds the backhoe and is in good shape.  It doesn’t suffer the west winds and rain like the side you see above.

Here’s some of the fencing that has been completed by Hubby and our daughter in the last few weeks since it’s warmed up.





More tree limbs to pick up

more pecan trees

Eddie and Sassy repairing fence

Damage to chestnut trees

There’s always something to do on the farm and never any time to be bored!!


Sugar house repairs

When we moved to the farm almost 12 years ago we  were way too busy taking care of  my husbands uncle who had Alzheimer.  What a horrible disease but that’s another post!!  My husband inherited our farm from his uncle which has been in the family 200+ years.  It once was the farm of at least five different links of the Caldwell family.  Some parcels were sold off and some of what we know was in a journal of one of my husbands great uncle, OFWC.  There are at this time two apple houses, two cellars, two smoke houses, numerous  grain bins, storage building, barns, barns and more barns and currently four houses.  We live in one, our daughter is building another, the other two are family homes or build somewhere in between.  We have bull barns, cattle barns, hay barns, equipment barns, bee house, and did I mention a “sugar house”??

A sugar house was built for just making wonderful maple syrup.  Our farm is loaded with all sorts of fruit and nut trees, pines, and more than anything else, sugar maple trees.  One on the property we are sure was about thirty years old when a family picture was made on the farm and that was in the mid 1800’s.  It’s starting to look pretty bad and in need of pruning or taking down but it sure pours the maple sap in the spring.  I digress again and on with the story of the sugar house.  This is what it looked like when we moved here 12 years ago and hadn’t been used since our kids were small and they’re 36 and 39 years old at the moment.

2004  and the sugar house fire pit is full of trash.
2001 and the sugar house fire pit is full of trash.

The brick and mortar are falling out.
The brick and mortar are falling out.

Some bricks have fallen out of the chimney.
Some bricks have fallen out of the chimney.

Brick and mortar around the pan spout hole are completely gone.
Brick and mortar around the pan spout hole are completely gone.


Time to take some measurements and start over.
Time to take some measurements and start over.

My son-in-law is a brick mason and loves restoring old building and the fixtures within.  Even though he’s my kin, I have to say he used to do awesome work.  Economy and no work has changed that way of life in our neck of the woods.

Anyway, hubby, Joel and my brother broke it down, cleaned it out and started over as you will see from the following photos.

Brother, Junior , helps with recontruction.
Brother, Junior , helps with recontruction.


Backhoe is perfect tool for hauling off old brick to fill up ruts or wash outs.
Backhoe is perfect tool for hauling off old brick to fill up ruts or wash outs.

Syrup pan in good working order, just needs a good cleaning.
Syrup pan in good working order, just needs a good cleaning.


Now, I wasn’t around to take pictures when Joel was rebuilding but I think these beauties will show you what a beautiful job he did and I’m so proud of the beautiful “sugar house”!!

Bandit Ann checks for varmints Now to clean out around the pit and put down small gravel Nice pit, clean pan and tools time to make syrup Need to fix the chimney flashing Side view Sugar House Tools ready_pan full_fire heating upWe’ve used it several times since the renovations and everyone enjoys the time together!  We usually have friends and neighbors into for the day or two that it takes to cook the sap off and everyone enjoys the french toast and waffles when the first batch comes out of the pans.

The main reason I did this post is the time is upon us to tap the trees again if Mother Nature will cooperate and everyone is well.  I’ve posted in the past on the process but plan to do that again sometime next week with some new photos of last years event.  Until then, THINK SWEET THOUGHTS!!







Four more blocks. . .

This has been another successful quilting day for me.  First I corrected the mistake in block six from yesterday.  Then I spent two hours cutting the pieces to make the two different blocks  that follow.  There are four different blocks but two versions of  each pattern; subtle, yet vibrant differences when you look carefully.

Block  # 7
Block # 7

This is block 7  of the Sampler Quilt I started yesterday.  It’s a simple block but look at the difference changing the colors can make in Block 8.

Block # 8
Block # 8

Block # 9
Block # 9

Block #10
Block #10

You can see the same difference in placement colors for Block 9 and 10.

I plan to do this throughout the quilt, that is, two color placements of the same block.  It will give me practice for all the blocks that will wind up in the quilt.  I’m really pumped to complete the entire king size quilt.

This is the correct Block six that caught my eye yesterday and it only took about ten minutes to pull out the seams, turn the blocks and put it back together.

Corrected Block #6
Corrected Block #6

I may not be as productive tomorrow because I have 36 half pints of blackberry jelly to process, but more about that later!!

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