What’s NOT to love about a Feed and Seed Store?

It’s Monday morning and I will spend the day at my computer. I have work of every variety to take care of today: blog, legal, business, school, farm. I’m feeling a little drained right now, having a hard time getting started. Do I even have anything to write about today that any one would want to read??? My creativity has been on the low side lately. But I’ve got a cup of coffee, a bowl of yogurt and granola, and a cat in my lap, so I guess I’m ready to roll.

Here’s the cat that’s visiting my lap at the moment, Jude. Funny cat likes to stretch out his front legs. I’m always finding him in this odd position. I’ve never had a cat that likes to stretch out like that.

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My husband walks by and says, “What in the world are you putting on there?”

“What? What do you mean? It’s a photo of Jude.”

He puts on his glasses, looks again, and starts laughing. “It looked like someone’s legs in white shoes and white underwear.” He’s still laughing. I’m like, what are you talking about?

And then he shows me.

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Ha Ha Ha! It does, doesn’t it!

Anyway, I think since I recovered from not being able to get out and about, all I want to do is get out. My mind is not focused on writing or this computer. At the moment, I’m not only thinking about how my cat’s markings look like tidy-white-y’s and white socks, but now I’m thinking about going to see the horses in the barn, plowing the garden, building a pavilion, taking a hike by the mountain stream, visiting with neighbors, feeding the chickens…Oh, the chickens!

I was supposed to run to the local feed and seed store this morning after I dropped my daughter off at school to pick up some chicken feed! I forgot! I love to go to that farm store when I’m not in a hurry. And. Just. Visit. Um. Hmmm. You want to go now? Okay!

What high fashion should I rock today? Yeah, sure, I think you’re right. My warm flannel-lined camouflage work pants and pink plaid flannel shirt. And my barn work shoes. Perfect!

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Stylin’!

My feed and seed store is jam-packed with everything you could possibly need or want for farm living. It is situated way out in the country, with a yard full of pipes and drains and metal storage buildings full of water heaters and wood stove inserts and everything else.

We’ve arrived!

Here’s one of the metal storage buildings I mentioned. Look at all those wooden barrels!

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This is outside where you park, before you walk in. Do you need a lime green manure rake? Or an orange one? I sure do!

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Here we are right inside the front door.

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Snow sleds and shovels! We haven’t had much need of these this winter.

There are probably five aisles with this type of stuff, hardware, plumbing, electric, whatever else.

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And what about these awesome metal funnels? This is a store where everything’s not made of plastic. I love that!

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Ah….Be still my heart, the garden section!

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Overalls, pots, rubber boots!

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And this! When’s the last time you saw a mess kit for sale? I love this store!

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And check out these bottles and pottery.

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Yee! They’ve gotten in some seeds already!

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I don’t know…what do you think? Should I???? Grow Snake Gourds?

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My favorite chicken water-er ever is there on the left. I have two. Got them from here!

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Check out this shelf. It has it all. I direct your attention to the right upper shelf, a certain popcorn popper. That will be relevant shortly.

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And I always see stuff like this that I have no idea what it is.

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The people here are unbelievable. Friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, nice. There’s always a crowd and lots of chit-chat. This morning, folks are talking about one of their favorite subjects, the weather. This winter has been incredibly mild. We had a couple of snows, but none were deep. And the temperature always warmed back up the next day and melted the snow. I still have a barn full of hay because the pastures have stayed green. That is very unusual for this area. Usually, by now, we’re all asking around to see who has extra hay left in case we run out.

The consensus here is that winter is still coming. “We’ve had our biggest snows in March,” an older gentleman says. “Remember ’93?” And they talk about a big snow they had in late March that year. It sounds like a doozy; one I’d love to experience myself! I tell them about the year we had “Snow Jam” in Atlanta when we all got stuck in our cars and what ensued was a big party. Big. Party. Big, gigantic party. I think it was ’82?

Another conversation started up when a man I don’t know walked in and started talking about hunting on Sunday. This is a big deal to the hunters. Local officials were considering banning Sunday hunting. When I grew up in the South, you couldn’t do anything on Sunday. Well, except go to church. Most of those laws have been changed. But recently, the issue of a ban on hunting on Sunday arose in our community. It was not well received. There is a great deal of hunting around here. During deer season, we hear gun shots frequently. Being an animal lover, it used to bother me. Not so much anymore. I’ve come to understand that people enjoy deer meat, that deer meat is incredibly natural and organic, not filled with steroids and antibiotics of farmed meat. And, the animals live a wild, wonderful life until the end, unlike our farmed animals who spend time in feedlots and are stressed before they die. Hunters around here also hunt for hungry people, sharing their meat. I have also come to understand that our lands would be overrun with deer if it were not for hunters; there would be more car accidents involving them. So, four years when we moved here I might have said, “Oh, poor precious beautiful deer. I hate to hear the shots: constant reminders that another lovely animal has been killed. Yes, ban hunting on Sunday.” Now, I just smile and listen.

One man talks about a huge deer he shot and processed. He found an old bullet in him—it wasn’t his bullet, it was someone else’s. He pulled the old bullet out of his pocket and showed us. (The story sounded familiar, I think I’ve heard it somewhere before.) Anyway, it’s a big discussion, about how this deer was shot at some point and lived with a bullet inside him. There was a lot of talk about this bullet and this deer. Hypotheses galore made for pure entertainment.

No one is in a hurry here.

I mention my problems with mice in my chicken house. The woman who owns the store shows me just what I need. A mouse poison holder that the chickens can’t get inside. Yes, that is just what I need. I hate the idea of poisoning mice, but I have become overrun. And I don’t think it is healthy for my chickens. I buy the poison I need and the poison holder.

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And then she had another idea, “Put some water in a 5 gallon bucket and put it in there at night. You’ll have a bucket full of drowned mice in the morning.” Really? Okay, I’m trying that!

What about the snakes living in the walls? A man offered, “Get rid of the mice and you’ll get rid of the snakes.”

I’m down for that. I can’t even imagine a chicken house without mice and snakes. The stuff that dreams are made of!

Speaking of chickens.

In sad news, one of my chickens has died. Polly, the Polish. She had so many feathers on her head that she couldn’t see. She’ll fly down from her roost right into me. It’s never easy. My husband was out of town when I found her. She died during the night. I located a pretty pink shoe box and wrapped her up in a kitchen towel that had Pooh Bear on it. I dug the hole as deep as I could and provided her with a private burial ceremony. It was just me and her. Her friends were close-by though. My chicken cemetery is under the old apple tree beside the chicken run. So the rooster and other hens saw and heard the whole thing.

And now, my lullaby song changed. I don’t count to 14 anymore when I put up the chickens, just 13. We came in late from a concert Saturday night and I went in to sing to them. I had forgotten. I looked all over for number 14 until I remembered. I’ll have to get used to the new number.

RIP

Polly the Polish Hen

April 2013 – February 2017

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Now I’ll share my drive back home with you. I drive by some fantastic old buildings. I am told this one was a cheese factory.

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And this one was built during the Civil War era.

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The road I drive down has several areas that you just feel like you are driving through a junk yard.

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I like old, junky cars as much as the next guy, but I don’t like them right on the side of the road. These folks keep theirs on both sides of the road, not sure why.

Here’s a nice old barn and old building. One reason I like this drive is because it takes you back in time.

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A sweet, simple, clapboard church.

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I see how long this post is and laugh. I sure had a lot to say for someone who had nothing to say at the beginning!

Do you have a favorite local feed and seed, country, or farm store? Tell us about it!

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl in the Country, Rebekah

PS I should show you where I decided to write once I got home from the farm store. My word for 2017 is “outside.” I didn’t pick it; it picked me. Sooooooo. I popped some popcorn—(remember that box I pointed out to you on the shelf? That popper is terrific. I used to eat those little bags of microwave popcorn, but they have a lot of gunk in the ingredients. This pops kernels pure and plain. My favorite snack these days.)—, put on the kettle for tea, and built a campfire in the yard.

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My senses are alive out here. I hear birdsong in the black walnut trees, I hear frogs chirping like ducks in the pond, I hear crows cawing and yapping close-by,

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I hear the mournful wail of a cow, a mother or a baby? I hear a woodpecker in the distance, and the gentle roar of a tractor somewhere in this farming valley. I also hear the heater running on this side of my old farmhouse.

I smell the aroma of wood smoke and I do indeed smell the bite of cold winter air in the breeze. (yay! fingers crossed.)

I see beauty all around me. I see my old wash house that I turned into my office.

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I see the green shoots of day lilies just emerging from the earth.

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I see the steeple of the local church. It’s Monday morning and their parking lot has plenty of cars. I wonder why there are gathering this morning? I see black cows on a green hilly pasture in the distance.

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I see Christmas trees to be harvested in future years and Christmas tree stumps from this past Christmas.

I see Mr. Mustache inside my window. FullSizeRender (41)

He is SO not a feral cat any more!

I’m trying to recall all five of my senses, hear, see, smell. Oh, taste! How could I foget taste??? I taste the citrusy flavor of my cup of Matcha green tea and the earthy flavor of plain, air-popped popcorn. I hope to taste a piece of my Valentine’s Day chocolate in a little while. :)

And feel. Yes, feel. Touch. I’m not wearing gloves, so I can type on the computer, so my fingers feel very cold and so does my face, especially my nose. I hold my hands up to the campfire and feel the warmth. I guess I need to go inside and get a hat and maybe some gloves since I’m at the end of this blog post…

Leave a comment 24 Comments

  1. Barbara says:

    What a wonderful ride in the country. Thank so much. Enjoy another great day. Hugs, Barbara.

  2. Cindy says:

    Hi Rebekah!

    First of all, I was thinking about you the other day when someone posted on Facebook about organic foods made in China. I remembered when you posted something like that on your blog several years ago! And you are 100% correct about deer hunting! And most hunters are very humane. My husband dear hunts, but we did not get any this year because he refuses to kill a doe(s) with her fawn. And that’s all he saw this year. (Oh, and we call “deer meat” venison. Teehee). We have had a fairly mild winter too, and already experiencing above average temperatures. Of course, you know it doesn’t bother me. And so far so good for my bees! I would love to have a farm and feed store like that one! Oh my gosh, those sleds. I remember hitting a tree with one of those!
    I need to get going now…Happy Fat Tuesday!!!

    Cindy

  3. Diane Van Horn says:

    Love this! I can get lost in the seed and feed store too. Just love the down to earth items and conversations. I just adore your blog posts and the snippets of your farmgirl life that you share. Still laughing at the tighty whities and socks image! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kimberly Diener says:

    Wicks or TSC is the place we go to around here to buy chicks ducklings and everything in between. Wicks been around longer, I can remember going there as a kid and have loved the store ever since. I love sitting outside and doing a few bird calls and hearing back.

  5. Rene Marie Foust says:

    I am so happy to hear that you are up and about now! Such a wonderful place to call home.

  6. I loved this post! I felt as if I were along with you on your travels. I could see, hear, smell and feel everything … and now I’m hungry for popcorn. This is what real life is all about, and that is the perfect topic to write about. Bravo!

  7. Krista says:

    I can’t help but laugh at your cats legs! That is just too funny! Your cats have some marvelous markings! I have enjoyed seeing all your pictures and taking a tour with you. That snake gourd is just creepy. It looks so real. Not sure if I would be able to grow those. It would freak me out every time I seen them. Sorry to hear about Polly the Polish. She will be missed. Losing animals is not easy. Hopefully getting outside will help you with your creative juices. I know I need that more than I want to admit!

  8. Deborah McClure says:

    Always love your articles, this way of life is rare and such a gift. Being on my little Hobby Farm is a blessing as well. I will take this life any day over the city!!! So happy your cat is loving now, smart guy! Cannot wait to read your next post! ❤

  9. Marilyn says:

    Hope you are feeling better. Sorry about your chicken.
    Marilyn

  10. Meredith says:

    LOL! Those must be brand NEW barn shoes! They are so CLEAN!! ( From the feed store? That’s where ours come from!)❤

  11. Irene says:

    Beautiful country! My dream is to live in the country one day. My cat would love it also. Thanks for a great post.

  12. Bobbie Calgaro says:

    I so enjoyed that. Old neighborhood farm stores and hardware stores are so much fun to go to. My favorite farm country store is Mast General. Every time I’m in the mountains I go there. But if you ever get a chance, travel down to Lexington NC to Lanier hardware. There is no place like it. It’s huge and has everything! My hometown in PA has Sarasniks. If you can’t find it in the big box stores, they probably have it there. It’s the best.
    Oh I think we’re going to still get winter in March. I remember those snows even here in Clemmons that those guys were talking about. But I worry about the apple farmers cause everything has budded and bloomed too soon. I don’t know whether to hope for one last gasp of winter or think it should not come at all for the sake of the farmers.

  13. Elaine C says:

    What a great post. I love going to feed and seed stores. Even though I live in the metro area, I’m a country girl at heart. Those stores have everything and anything. Sorry to hear of the loss of Polly. And yes, Snowjam was in 82….I remember it oh too well (10 hrs to get home 10 miles away). Thanks for your wonderful posts.

  14. Donna Kozak says:

    Love all your posts and look forward to them. Our local Co-Op Store looks identical to the one you were in…same articles for sale, mostly for the farming community. I love shopping there because of all the friendly people and I don’t have to worry about my wardrobe !! My husband and I are also city people moved to a small acreage with a large garden and 13 chickens (which includes 3 Buff-laced Polish which we love!). We have had far too much snow up here in British Columbia and are anxiously waiting for some warm spring weather. Enjoy your time outdoors.

  15. Linda says:

    Rather go to a feed store than shopping center any time! Sunday hunting…if you ride your horse it’s nice to have a “safe” day to ride in the winter. Once heard bullets whistle by our heads while riding and that’s scary! Try using coconut oil (that tastes like it) for your popcorn. Yummy!

  16. Brenda Towsley says:

    Oh this was just a wonderful read! We have a local hardware that carries a lot of household stuff that you can pick up in a pinch. The closest farm store is about 40 minutes away and it is one of the big box chain ones. I do wish we had a local feed store like the one you just shared. It is snowing here today, I am waiting for spring. Not a lot of snow this winter but it was very cold at times. Warmed up two weekends ago and we let the chickens out to run like crazy around the yard while we cleaned out the hen house. I pop popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag in the microwave. You just throw in some popcorn and fold down the top. Sometimes I add a little coconut oil so I can get a little salt to stick. We have not had a cat in a couple of years. Every time I see someones sweet cat in Blogland I yearn for one. The wood worker is not ready for another one yet….

  17. Sandi King says:

    Oh Rebekah, I loved the cat picture and yes it does look like what your husband said. LOL. We have another fat cat who loves to lay on his back with his big belly showing and his back legs sprawled flat and when you walk by him he grabs at your legs with his front claws and hangs on to be pulled along the floor. So funny and so cute. I love the tour you took us on. I too love the old timey country seed and feed stores or even the older country stores where everything was available to be bought from soup to hay, butter to wagon parts – just every thing a person could be in the market for. I remember a couple stores from the 1960’s rural Indiana area that I used to visit with my mother-in-law and I was amazed at the variety of supplies they had. I was from out west where we didn’t have the one store that carried everything a person needed. I am so glad you are back to blogging. Keep well and God Bless.

  18. Cindy says:

    Love your journey to the feed store! Many years ago I was blessed to live the country life and we had a feed store so similar… my heart skipped a beat just remembering. Thank you❤

  19. Cyndi Neumann says:

    That feed store is awesome! Love those crock pots and more! In Western North Carolina I love driving the country roads here also, I pass about the same old run down barns like you do and take photos all the time of them.

    So sorry about your chicken, May she rest in peace! Sounds like a beautiful ceremony you had for her.
    Thanks for sharing all of your adventure!
    Smiles, Cyndi

  20. Denise Ross says:

    Loved your post today, as always. So fun to have a look at your feed store and I can imagine the stories and conversation that would abound in there.
    I also love old cars, most old things really, but I don’t like the whole junkyard thing so close to the road either.
    Loved the old buildings and I love the old simple churches. I imagine the services and the people attending down over the years and where they might be now.
    I screen shot your camp fire area, it’s so rustically cosy, and that seat is now on my want list. I’m so sorry about Polly. It must’ve been a sad day for you.
    Your photos of your cat are so cute, and did make me laugh too with your husbands comment.
    Thank you for a peek into your everyday life.
    I’m hoping to head outside some more, now that’s Autumn is here and hopefully some cooler temps are on their way. My poor plants have really struggled this summer, but the rain and or storms usually came in the nick of time and they’re hanging in there for the time being.
    Have a glorious day

  21. Beth says:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart! You just made a crappy, sick day GREAT again. Today’s blog was a trip back to my childhood. I love your feed and seed store. I’d sure be thinking about the electric ice cream freezer that was across from the popcorn popper. But, I think I’d have to pass on the snake gourds.

  22. Marlene Capelle says:

    This is one of your best postings and your sense of fashion is spot on.

  23. Vicki says:

    I can so relate to this post.. I currently feel like I have nothing to share and my creativity is so low…
    But I LOVE going off to Fleet Farm!! Our farm store where I get my chicken feed, cleaners, seeds, you name it! Its not as cute as your local farm store, more like a wal mart sadly. But it is where I can get almost everything I need!
    Then, I loved your pictures of what you can see around you… GORGEOUS!! I would totally build myself a campfire and sit outside next to it to write!!
    Blessings

  24. Marilyn says:

    Great and interesting post.
    Marilyn

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