Sunday, July 27, 2014

Octogenarian


Octogenarian.  There’s a mouthful of a word.  Six syllables: oc-to-ge-nar-i-an.  Hard to pronounce. Worse to spell.  Sounds like it might have something to do with October.

But the word has nothing to do with a month of year and everything to do with people who are in their 80s.  It means older person.  A person with years of experience.  A person with stories to tell and adventures to share.

“Eighty, it’s the new 60,” someone told me the other day.  And yet another person reminded me that a 80 year old can have a forty-year old mind.  Sounds encouraging. Hopeful.  Optimistic.  But true??

Oh, I by the way, I am now an octogenarian.  It happened last Friday, which was my birthday.  I had imagined bells would ring and there would be loud shouting.  Maybe there was, one thing about 80, one’s hearing is not quite as sharp as it once was.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  Age is a state of mind.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  It’s time to sign up for my writing class at The Clearing (Saturday, November 1). It’s all about writing stories from your life—to be shared with families, friends and more. Go to this link for further information. http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=3
If that doesn’t work, write or call The Clearing:
12171 Garrett Bay Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
(920) 854-4088.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

July 29, Ephraim Historical Foundation. 7:00 p.m. Barns of Wisconsin.

August 2, Neillsville Library, 10:30 a.m.  Stories From the Land

August 20, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Madison. 5-7 p.m. Stories From the Land.  For more information: elindell@wisconsinacademy.org


Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story).

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rain

I felt a fine mist in the air as I began my morning walk on a cool, almost October-like early morning.  We were in the Northwoods, in a cabin on Lake George a few miles from Rhinelander.  A gloomy, cloudy morning.  Nothing stirring, not even the resident loons on the lake.

As I walked the mist became heavier, and colder.  I pulled up the collar on my jacket, pulled down my cap and continued on, thinking it would soon stop, the clouds would part and the morning sun would greet me.

The opposite happened.  The clouds thickened and the mist turned to a light and then a heavier, very cold rain.  I continued walking.  I had no choice; I was a half mile from where we were staying.

Wet and uncomfortable when I finally plodded up the hill to the cabin, I thought about my growing up years on the farm.  No matter what we were doing: making hay, cutting the oat crop, picking cucumbers, the rain prevented us from doing it, but Pa didn't complain. When the rain came it was welcome on our sandy, droughty central Wisconsin farm.

As I sat by the cabin window, drinking a cup of coffee and looking at the falling rain over the lake, I remembered about how Pa always appreciated the rain, no matter when it came, and how inconvenient it may have seemed at the time.  While I was grumbling, Pa was smiling.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Never curse the rain.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  It’s time to sign up for my writing class at The Clearing (Saturday, November 1). It’s all about writing stories from your life—to be shared with families, friends and more. Go to this link for further information. http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=3
If that doesn't work, write or call The Clearing:
12171 Garrett Bay Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
(920) 854-4088.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

July 23, Jacksonport Historical Society, Mr. G’s, 6:00 p.m. Jacksonport, WI. Horse Drawn Days

July 26, Wild Rose Historical Society, Book signing, 10:00-2:00.  Part of Wild Rose Days.

July 29, Ephraim Historical Foundation. 7:00 p.m. Barns of Wisconsin.

August 2, Neillsville Library, 10:30 a.m.  Stories From the Land

August 20, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Madison. 5-7 p.m. Stories From the Land.  For more information:


Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story).
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.







Friday, July 11, 2014

Writer's Retreat

Jerry Apps is at a Writer’s Retreat.  Back soon.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Remember to take time to re-charge your batteries.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  It’s time to sign up for my writing class at The Clearing (Saturday, November 1). It’s all about writing stories from your life—to be shared with families, friends and more. Go to this link for further information. http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=3
If that doesn’t work, write or call The Clearing:
12171 Garrett Bay Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
(920) 854-4088.
UPCOMING EVENTS:
July 12-19, Writing Retreat, Rhinelander, WI.
July 23, Jacksonport Historical Society, Mr. G’s, 6:00 p.m. Jacksonport, WI. Horse Drawn Days
July 26, Wild Rose Historical Society,  Book signing, 10:00-12:00.  Part of Wild Rose Days.
July 29, Ephraim Historical Foundation. 7:00 p.m. Barns of Wisconsin.
August 2, Neillsville Library, 10:30 a.m.  Stories From the Land
August 20, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Madison. 5-7 p.m. Stories From the Land.


Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story).
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.



Monday, July 07, 2014

Woodshed


My woodshed at Roshara is 102 years old this year, and what a story that old building has to tell.  The Coombes family, who owned my farm before us, built the building as a pump house with a windmill driven pump. The building is 12 feet wide, 16 feet long and 12 feet tall at the peak of its gable roof.  It has a poured concrete wall, which is a bit unusual for farm buildings of that era.  Farmers mostly piled some fieldstones to provide support for buildings, or constructed a wall with fieldstones. 
When the farm house burned on a cold winter night in 1959, one side of the pump house caught on fire.  The neighbors called to help put out the fire could not save the farm house, but they did manage to toss enough water on the pump house to put out the flames.  I've not replaced the charred boards on the south side of the building.  They are a reminder of that terrible night in when the Coombes home burned and they left their farm to live in Wild Rose.
We've done little to improve the building, outside of putting on a new roof, and replacing a few rotted boards.  It is the one building on the farm that looks just as it did 102 years ago. Today, we use the old pump house as a woodshed and storage place, and where little brown bats roost during the daytime.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Every old building has a story to tell.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  It’s time to sign up for my writing class at The Clearing (Saturday, November 1). It’s all about writing stories from your life—to be shared with families, friends and more. Go to this link for further information. http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=3
If that doesn’t work, write or call The Clearing:
12171 Garrett Bay Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
(920) 854-4088.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

July 12-19, Writing Retreat, Rhinelander, WI.

July 23,  Jacksonport Historical Society, Mr. G’s, 6:00 p.m. Jacksonport, WI. Horse Drawn Days

July 26, Wild Rose Historical Society, After the parade, Book signing.  Part of Wild Rose Days.

July 29, Ephraim Historical Foundation. 7:00 p.m. Barns of Wisconsin.

August 2, Neillsville Library, 10:30 a.m.  Stories From the Land

August 20, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Madison. 5-7 p.m. Stories From the Land.


Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story).
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Bookstore in Montello

A new bookstore, READERS’ REALM, has opened in Montello, Wisconsin.  Located in a former Methodist church at 147 E. Montello Street, the grand opening was this past weekend.  I had the privilege of speaking and signing books there Friday evening and what a grand event it was.  People from ages eight to ninety-two filled every chair and stood in the aisles.
 An eight year old asked what work I had to do when I was eight years old on the farm.  Her eyes got bigger as I told her.  A twelve year old asked how old I was when I learned to drive, and when I said I drove our hired man’s old Model T Ford around our cow pasture when I  was ten, he looked at his father with a “see I told you so” look.
We talked about the Great Depression and the sandstorms that rolled across central Wisconsin during the miserable mid-1930s.  We talked about potato growing at a time they were planted by hand, hoed by hand, and dug by hand—acres of them.  We talked about milking cows before electricity came to the farm. We remembered outhouses and Sears catalogs.
Youngsters were learning; oldsters were remembering.  Everyone seemed to be smiling and having a good time.  Gathering at a neighborhood bookstore is a place to do that.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Visit your local bookstore.  They are community treasures.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  It’s time to sign up for my writing class at The Clearing (Saturday, November 1). It’s all about writing stories from your life—to be shared with families, friends and more. Go to this link for further information. http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=3
If that doesn’t work, write or call The Clearing:
12171 Garrett Bay Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
(920) 854-4088.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
July 12-19, Writing Retreat, Rhinelander, WI.

July 23,  Jacksonport Historical Society, Mr. G’s, 6:00 p.m. Jacksonport, WI. Horse Drawn Days

July 26, Wild Rose Historical Society, 10:00-2:00.  Booksigning.  Part of Wild Rose Days.

July 29, Ephraim Historical Foundation. 7:00 p.m. Barns of Wisconsin.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story).
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Garden Status


For my vegetable garden friends who enjoy comparing gardening seasons, here is the status of my garden on the first day of summer.  I've awarded a one to five designation with one meaning pathetic, and five, mostly unattainable.  In central Wisconsin, crops are a bit behind, but with three inches of rain this past week, and warmer temperatures—everything is improving. Steve and Natasha are keeping fast growing weeds at bay.
Early potatoes=3 (Late potatoes are outshining them)
Late potatoes=4 (Nine long rows, on a tear, best crop in a while)
Onions=4 (Three long rows, really looking good.
Beets=2 (Sad, sad, poor germination, not growing well)
Gourds=3 (Should be okay. Germination fair)
Sweet Corn=3 plus (Make knee high by the Fourth of July?  Maybe.)
Cucumbers=2 (Not good.  Poor germination.)
Pumpkins=4 (Coming along, but a long way to go)
Tomatoes =3 plus (42 plants. Doing better.  But no blossoms yet, not even on early varieties)
Zucchini= 4 (Seven hills. If you can’t grow zucchini, well . . .)
Peas=4 plus (Love the cool, wet weather.  In blossom)
Broccoli= 4 (First harvest yesterday)
Red cabbage=4 (Coming along just fine)
White cabbage=4 (Ditto for red cabbage)
Green Beans=3 (Need more sunshine, long way to go)
Lettuce=4 plus. (Great crop, three harvests already)
Collard Greens=3 plus (New for me this year.  How to fix?  Suggestions?)
Carrots=2 (Looking mostly sad, but hope, always hope)
So that’s it.  I’m interested in how other vegetable gardens are doing?  Similar to mine?
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Every gardening year is different.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  It’s time to sign up for my writing class at The Clearing (Saturday, November 1). It’s all about writing stories from your life—to be shared with families, friends and more. Go to this link for further information. http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=3
If that doesn’t work write or call The Clearing:
12171 Garrett Bay Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
(920) 854-4088.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
June 27. Readers’ Realm Bookstore, 147 E. Montello St., Montello, WI. 5:30-7:30. Talk at 6:00 p.m.

June 28. Over Fifty High School Class Reunion, Wild Rose High School.

July 12-19. Writing Retreat, Rhinelander, WI.

July 23.  Jacksonport Historical Society, Mr. G’s, 6:00 p.m. Jacksonport, WI. Horse Drawn Days

July 26, Wild Rose Historical Society, 10:00-2:00.  Booksigning.  Part of Wild Rose Days.

July 29, Ephraim Historical Foundation. 7:00 p.m. Barns of Wisconsin.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story).
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division St.
Wild Rose, WI  54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org


Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Pair of Pliers and a Jackknife

Pa carried a pair of pliers and a jackknife with him all the time, except when he went to church.  He said there was likely no call for either pliers or a jackknife in church, although he suggested some other tool might have come in handy on those Sundays when the preacher went on with no stopping in sight.
He carried the pliers in a little pocket on the side of his ever-present bib overalls, and the jackknife he toted in a regular pocket.  Scarcely a day passed that Pa didn't find a use for one or both of these simple, but handy tools.  It seemed a fence wire was always breaking, the pliers could fix it.  A bolt had loosened, easily repaired with the pliers. A nail needed a little hammering—once more the pliers appeared.  And at the end of a hot day when it was time for a cold beer from the ice box, the pliers snapped off the cap.
Same with the jackknife, which had a larger blade and a smaller blade.  The smaller blade was the sharper of the two, brought into action when a pencil needed sharpening, a rope must be cut, a sliver needed removing from a finger, or some whittling was necessary, such as fashioning a new stopper for the water jug.
The larger blade came into play as a substitute screwdriver, to scrape dirt and grime from a farm implement, to slit open a letter, or pry a board lose from a wooden crate.
            “You never wanna leave the house without a pair of pliers and a jackknife,” Pa reminded me regularly.
 Simple tools, for a simpler time.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Doesn't take a fancy tool to fix an ordinary problem.
UPCOMING EVENTS:
June 20, Wausau Historical Society, 10:00 a.m. Presentation. Stories from the Land.

June 21, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County 9-4.

June 28. Over Fifty High School Class Reunion, Wild Rose High School.

July 12-19. Writing Retreat, Rhinelander, WI.

July 23.  Jacksonport Historical Society, Mr. G’s, 6:00 p.m. Jacksonport, WI. Horse Drawn Days

July 26, Wild Rose Historical Society, 10:00-2:00.  Booksigning.  Part of Wild Rose Days.

July 29, Ephraim Historical Foundation. 7:00 p.m. Barns of Wisconsin.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story).
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division St.
Wild Rose, WI  54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org