Foggy Mornings, Brains, and Beans

My farm is slap-dab in the Appalachian Mountains.

That means the view is awesome, the climate divine, and the people here are warm and friendly.

That also means that when I moved here, I found myself living in a place rich in its own unique, special traditions. And music. Oh the music and traditions of Appalachia!
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  1. Diana Henretty says:

    Good Morning from the Ozarks,
    Here in SW Missouri, we pick persimmon seeds, open them up, check to see if there is the shape of a knife, fork, or spoon to predict the winter, it works every year. We are hoping to see the shape of a spoon this year, that will mean shoveling lots of snow.
    We too start preparing for winter in August, our local sawmill gives away their scraps, so we load up for cooking on my old cookstove.
    We have a "ice storm pantry" named after the ice storm in 2007, where we keep all extras and necessities "just in case". Every time I go grocery shopping I buy an extra item or two all thru the year to stock up gradually.
    Growing up in San Diego Calif where the temps are pretty warm all year long, I longed for a white snowy winter, and still do here in the Ozarks.
    This year the Farmer’s Almanac promises us one too, YAY!!
    Happiness to you, gathering your beans, and counting on a snowy winter!
    Diana, Noel, Mo.

  2. Joan says:

    Oh how the traditions are so wonderful! Miss the Appalachian mountains fogs, had never heard about the beans though – nice to know. Around here we watch the horses, if they start getting their heavy coats on we know it is going to be an early cold, how much for how long is a guess though, nothing accurate like the beans. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your anniversary of loving the mountains. God Bless.

  3. I grew up a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and I remember it being said that the number of foggy days would be how many frosts you would have. But I like the idea of snowy days better! Now I am in Idaho in town and can’t see the mountains (boo!)unless I drive to the interstate (sometimes the only high spot around). I wonder if the number of smoky days has some significance? I know it means dry and lots of wildfires! So I am "green" with envy of you (green being only where the irrigation water flows here.) Totally different place, but I am trying to "bloom where I am planted". I even found a 12′ 1956 glamper that is sitting in my back yard (a girl can dream, can’t she?) I am now 65 and my dreams sort of outweigh reality, but I am still active and thankful for what I have. Best to you.

  4. Meredith says:

    Here in the Shenandoah Valley of Va. W watch the "wooly worms". I don’t know their real name. They are brown fuzz with a black fuzzy stripe. We were always told that if they didnt have the stripe and were solid brown, it would be a hard winter. Or maybe if they were all black with no brown. I can’t ever remember! This year I have seen very few of any combination! What does that mean?! I am voting for a snowy winter!

  5. Brenda says:

    Oh I am glad we do not have that ritual, we get plenty of snow without adding the fog days into the mix. I would sure love to ship some of the white stuff to you because you appreciate it so much more than I. Beautiful foggy picture and I would love to visit that store, right down my alley. We have a local general store but it looks so modern. Have a great week!

  6. Candace says:

    You would think as a resident in Minnesota that we would have such a tradition as counting foggy mornings to predict upcoming snow events in the winter but I haven’t heard of such. Oh, and Rebekah, you need hot chocolate in your snow pantry! When we hear a snow storm is coming we check our hot chocolate supply, our tea, toilet paper and cat food. I always have soup frozen in the freezer.

  7. Debbie says:

    Darn you Rebekah! What are you doing saying the " S " word out loud already? Hahahah. I’m already seeing grumpy faces on my fellow New Englanders with the end of summer in sight.
    And, the rain and clouds we are having right now don’t help the situation. On top of that, our local news channel announced that we are in for a " bitter col winter " . I guess they’ve been reading the farmers almanac too! One thing we have to do this year is buy a generator. The last few winters ( and fall during hurricane season ) have been challenging leaving so many with out power for days and often weeks on end. I don’t wanna be in that crowd this year! I do love the snow though, and days locked inside with my family and lots of good food… But I like to be arm too! I’m wishing YOU a far full of beans and all the snow you can handle! As for this farmgirl…I’m content to keep cutting flowers until the first frost. ( which I feel will come sooner rather than later this year )
    Happy Farmin’ sister!
    Deb ( Beach farmgirl )

  8. Deborah Bessom says:

    Hello from California! I live in a little logging town one hours drive almost exactly west to Sacramento, or east to South Lake Tahoe. Our town looked just like your picture, except that ours was smoke, not fog from the Yosemite fire (although it is quite a distance away). We try to figure our upcoming snowfall by a plethora of falling pine cones, or how fat our cat is getting. This year we have a cute little kitten, and are yet not able to set our winter clock to his girth (he grows bigger daily anyway). However, we do know that we have had our last snow when it "Snows on the Dogwood". That we can set our winter clock to! Have a wonderful winter, but don’t forget to enjoy the fall.

  9. Carol in NC says:

    Wow. I guess it’s true then. I heard three people in as many days say that if this rainy weather pattern holds we’re going to be in for a rough winter. We got rid of a ton of stuff in our move but kept the sleds. Bring it!

  10. Marji says:

    Well here in the Interior of Alaska we watch for the migrating swans leaving for the winter. We live right next to a big game refuge that is the summer home to millions of migratory birds. Some of those being swans. We always know when the first snow will be by the day the swans leave. It is quite an awesome sight to see hundreds of swans all leaving on the same day. You can then start counting the days until the first snow. One, two, and on the third day we get snow. This unscientific method of forecasting always works. They’ll be flying out pretty soon here so we will keep a close watch on the skies for the next few weeks. I love the snow too, you are not alone. Marji

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Barn Peace

Dear Snake:

You are hereby notified to vacate the premises as of 8/7/2013.

While I am certain that you have enjoyed your residency here in the barn in years past, I must now insist that you leave. Immediately.

Your very presence is causing me great mental anguish. When I accidentally picked you up the other day, mistaking you for a stick, I thought I was going to die. In addition, you pose a threat to my chickens and the eggs I hope they one day produce. You have greatly interfered with my relationship with my magnificent horses as I now am afraid to enter the barn. You have, quite frankly, stolen my barn peace.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. And please know that I greatly appreciate any rodent eradication efforts you might have engaged in while residing here.

You have until midnight on the date stated above to be vacate.

I mean you no harm, only the best of luck.


Rebekah, The New Farm Owner

(who finds you intriguing and wants no harm to fall upon you, but cannot find the courage to share the barn with you. Can. Not.)

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  1. Denise says:

    Oh Rebekkah, sounds awful for you, snakes are the thing that worries me about living on property. Your posts on it send shivers down my spine, especially when you accidentally picked it up…yuck!!
    In hindsight was it better the devil you know? Hmmm will have to send up extra prayers on this one for you,

  2. Sukochi Lee says:

    Girl, look on the UP side. Yes, there is an upside. Though, you would never catch ME in that barn….E.V.E.R. I bet you have no mice. But, mice ARE cute and soo much less threating. You need a snake whisperer. Take the offending cat bed OUT of there. Perhaps, that is the breeding ground. After all, it is a bed!! Good luck, you need it!

  3. Crystal says:

    Maybe there is a service in your area that specializes in snake removal. One of my neighbors has posted in their yard that they do snake removal, so there are people out that there that do it. Until then your husband gets to go in the barn 😉

  4. Brenda says:

    OH my….What to do…
    I am just going to say this. I love love my hens. They talk to me and I talk to them. They give me the best eggs I have ever eaten. When a fox came and drug one away before we caught it at it a couple of years ago and when my husband took a stick after it when it refused to drop one of the other feather ladies, I would have shot it….and I would never want to hurt anything myself either. I live with the little snakes that curl around the shrubs I want to trim and I just walk away and leave them be. But if these snakes find you chickens and thier yummy eggs, you may have to get tough. I agree with Sukochi, take out the cat bed, maybe add it to a bonfire, maybe one of your workers that have been trying to catch them for you would do it. Do you have a front loader?:)

  5. Karin says:

    If you find a way to rid your barn of the snakes, please let me know. I do notlike snakes and have ask Charlie, our black snake to leave, unfortunately Charly must have been a Charlene. I know it is not Charlie because I escorted him to the next county, after my neighbor told me he would come back. I will admit after coming upon a Timber Rattler threatening my cat, I am not so concerned about the black snake brood but I still do not like snakes and want them all to leave and let me cats take up the slack in rodent control…. The cats have gotten lazy and need the work out..

  6. Denise S says:

    Oh so sorry for your snake infested barn! I have always been told that if you see one then there is always another one close by. It’s not a comforting feeling but you do live out in the country and that’s just the way it is. 🙂 I live in a subdivision but grew up in the country. Having to watch every place you put your foot and look in trees is just part of it. But in saying all of that, I NEVER EVER liked having to watch for snakes. I found one in my yard while mowing in my subdivision and ran over it & then realized what had happened. I was screaming bloody murder while pushing and pulling the mower back and forth over it only to discover the hole it had gone down into. I ran and got a box of mothballs because I heard they don’t like them and I poured the whole box down the hole. I never saw the snake again. I hope he and his family moved to a new whole that didn’t smell funny! Lots of luck!

  7. Sippie says:

    You know what you need? A road runner! Seriously, snakes hate ’em – or, of course, a few barn kitties, which I know you said it did not want, but… seriously … it’s time.

  8. Sherry says:

    I’d come help you out if you were a neighbor. I relocate snakes all the time. Black snakes can get grouchy. Last one I had was pretty big and I ended up catching her by the tail and relocating her to a creek bed about 2 miles off. But I know we have more, they’re just wily. I’ll be thinkin’ of you. I’d just try to relocate them one at a time. Good luck!

  9. Kathy says:

    UGH…I could barely read your post, i dislike snakes that much, but i could never hurt one, i had a snake in my garden last year..named him Walter….i would always call out his name so he would know i was coming and it was my time! Biggest, bravest snake thing i have ever done…good luck!

  10. Mary Rauch says:

    I must be a terrible person in your eyes. I grew up in a farming community lifestyle. There was NO TROUBLE getting rid of snakes at our home. Any kind of snake was eradicated immediately on sight. The area next to our property of tree-laden, gurgling creek water and mossy earth was a wonderland for snakes. We sent the ones that came to our property on to "snake-happy-hunting-grounds".

  11. Margaret says:

    Rebekkah, I too have snakes around our home and shed. Everytime I step outside even into the closed garage I look down before I step so I will not walk on one accidentally. When I first had trouble living with them I took moth balls and scattered them around. I don’t know if it helped but it might make them move out further from the barn. Over the years I have attempted to remove their desired areas away from the house which helps a little. We, my son and I, were planting mums one fall when he dug a small hole for the new mum and wound up in a snake den of baby snakes. He moved as many as he could but I have had a real problem digging holes in my flower garden now for over 10 years because of that. Needless to say my flowers are rather odd as everytime I seem to do any weeding etc there is that huge old black snake. Looks a lot like your transferred gal. Just learn to work with them as best you can and to get over your fear. It’s the rattlers you have to be careful for and I had one of those one year on my deck.

    Good luck. But try moth balls helps a little. And devise a new way to fasten that gate right away.

  12. Deb says:

    In the area where I grew up, people kept Guinea Fowl. They were kept to eat insects like ticks (ew!), natural burglar alarm, & also to find & kill snakes. But never as food.

    When I joined the US Air Force, I was stationed in England where I was served Guinea Fowl. It takes like chicken.

    So all this rambling is to suggest that you add a few Guinea Fowl to your farm. They are pretty, helpful, & delicious!

  13. Tami Wright says:

    Rebekkah – I really enjoyed your post! Were you able to determine what kind of snake? I am in the mountains of California, and we get all kinds and have to do a double take before we decide what, if anything, to do about them. Except for the rattlers, I don’t mind the snakes but certainly understand your desire to not have them lurking in the rafters or someplace you may reach. Sukochi is right, though: they will keep down the rodents, and unless the snake is venemous, the rodents are actually more dangerous in spread of disease. Maybe moving things out that may be an attractive "home" or source of nesting material for rodents will help move out the snakes. I had a 4 1/2 foot king snake on the porch one day and was THRILLED because they kill and eat the rattlesnakes. A few weeks later I wished he had stuck around since I had to kill a rattler in the garage and almost stepped on one in the barn. Needless to say, ridding both places of certain boxes, straw, wood collections, etc. helps with the problem a bit. Don’t know about where you are, but here it helps to keep things up off the ground as much as possible. Of course, I still poke the wood pile with a shovel before I just reach in. 😉 Best of luck with the snake removal!

  14. Kerri says:

    Sorry……I would have killed that thing in a heartbeat, I don’t care what they eat!!!!! I honesty and truly do not think I would have survived picking it up! UGH!!!

  15. rene foust says:

    Oh no!!! How horrible I can’t even imagine what it must feel like for you· I hope you can find some kind of resolve and find it real quick. After reading the story of your horrible ordeal I am certain I will have horrible dreams of snakes, I really do not like them.
    I pray that you can find your barn peace again!

  16. Leslie says:

    I totally get your snake thing….and as I am a suburb gal moving to Texas in the next year with Mr. Man , I have informed him that HE is on snake patrol and I will run screaming from the garden if I encounter one. Thankfully he gets it. What a guy!!!

  17. bobbie says:

    I feel for you girlfriend. I hate snakes too. The snake fear would definitely keep me from having a farm. Even my suburban home with woods behind the house is a problem at times. So you have my sympathy and I wish you luck.

  18. Margie says:

    I also have a snake or snakes but they are gardener snakes, I have only seen one, each year in the spring, but I just know they are in my stone basement. I guess I am getting use to him around (the grandkids call him "no legs" but he does scare me when I don’t see him and he moves. I don’t even want to think about babies. I live in an old log cabin so who knows where they hide. I do have mice, but rather have them then a big black snake I guess. Sorry but I trap them, that’s life in the country, lucky for me the snakes haven’t come into my house, maybe because of the dog.

  19. lori richards says:

    Awesome!!!!!thank u! I have no “peace”…(well..I do…till I see that snake!)…im hard to getoverit!…

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