Saturday, January 19, 2019

An Old Clock Evokes Memories



What’s so special about an old clock? One that’s been hanging on the wall of our family room for more than forty years. One that has no batteries. One with no cord to plug in. A clock that chimes every half-hour and on the hour reports the time. It’s a windup clock that requires winding once a month. If the room is quiet, you can hear it running, “tick-tock, tick-tock.”

Our old clock brings back memories of the one-room country school that I attended for eight years. A clock just like the one we have now, hung on the school’s south wall. It was key to everything we did at the school. When school began, it chimed nine times. When we burst from the building for recess, one chime at 10:30, when we could find our lard-pail lunch buckets for noon lunch, twelve chimes. Two-thirty for afternoon recess, and four chimes announcing dismissal.

How I remember those cold wintry days, smelling chili and soup and whatever was brought from home. As the jars were warming in a pan of water on the wood stove in the back of the school room, delightful smells filled the school room We watched the clock move ever so slowly toward twelve and lunch time.

I also remember Miss Thompson, my seventh grade teacher, saying to the ragtag collection of farmer kids, “I want it so quiet in this room that we can hear the tick-tock,of the clock on the wall.” The room was oh so quiet.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: An old clock can evoke life-long memories.

ANNOUNCEMENT: I am organizing an internet book club that anyone can join. And you don’t have to leave home to participate. Go to www.jwappsauthor.com for details. It begins February 1 and will feature my first novel, THE TRAVELS OF INCREASE JOSEPH (historical fiction about Wisconsin)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

February 5, 11:45-12:30. Larry Meiller Show, Public Radio. We’ll be discussing my books: Once a Professor, and Simple Things: Lessons From the Family Farm.

February 9, 2:15 Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison “Ten Simple Things I’ve Learned From Fifty years of gardening”

February 10, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison (Repeat topic)

PURCHASING BOOKS AND DVDs:

Order your signed Apps books and DVDs from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, a fundraiser for them. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.

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

Popular recent Books:

Simple Things: Lessons from the Family Farm (fun to read in winter)

Garden Wisdom (Time to begin planning for the upcoming garden season)

Old Farm Country Cookbook

The Quiet Season (All about winter)

Cold as Thunder (A look into the future)

The Travels of Increase Joseph (Historical fiction about Wisconsin before 1900)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Norwegian Woodpiles



This book was a Christmas present. I thought it was one those Norwegian jokes, like the Ole and Lena jokes of some considerable fame. As many people know, I married into a Norwegian family, so getting this book from my Norwegian, actually she’s half Swedish wife, was not a surprise.

What surprised me was the book was not what I thought it would be. It is not filled with page after page of Norwegian jokes about wood. Yes, I considered that could be a possibility. Norwegians seem to have a never-ending supply of jokes about anything and everything.

My background is German—a serious bunch of folks to be sure. I once saw a German joke book. All the pages were blank.

But back to the Norwegian book about wood. It is not a joke. It was written in Norwegian, and translated into English. And it is 191 pages of serious stuff about everything from how to select an ax to the nuances of wood splitting to an entire chapter on how to build a perfect woodpile. Reading this chapter, you will learn that “The first rule is to ensure that the pile you build is appropriate for the kind of wood you are stacking.”

Here you learn how to make a “sun-wall” woodpile—stacked against the sunny side of your house. Other stack styles you will learn about: a round cord stack and a long cord stack, a closed square pile and an open square pile. A “V” shaped stack and sculptural stack. These Norwegians take their woodpiles seriously.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Listen to those who seem to know, especially if they are of Norwegian background and are talking about wood.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
February 9, 2:15 Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison “Ten Simple Things I’ve Learned From Fifty years of gardening”

February 10, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison (Repeat topic)

PURCHASING BOOKS AND DVDs:

Order your signed Apps books and DVDs from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, a fundraiser for them. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.
www.wildroselibrary.org

Popular recent Books:\

Simple Things: Lessons from the Family Farm (fun to read in winter)

Garden Wisdom (Time to begin planning for the upcoming garden season)

Old Farm Country Cookbook

The Quiet Season (All about winter)

Cold as Thunder (A look into the future)

Saturday, January 05, 2019

The Old Pump House


Those who have followed my writing over the years know how much I like old buildings. I have written about barns, grist mills, one-room schools, cheese factories, and breweries. I discovered that every old building has a story to tell; sometimes it just takes a little work to discover the story.

Pictured here is the old pump house at my farm (There is a special beauty in these old farm buildings, especially after a fresh snowfall). The building was built in 1912, when the Coombes family moved their farm buildings across the road from where Tom Stewart, who homesteaded the place, built the first buildings in 1867. For several years, a windmill straddled the east end of the building, pumping water from the well that was located inside.

On a cold winter day in the early 1960s, the nearby farmhouse caught on fire and burned to the ground. The pumphouse also caught on fire, but the neighborhood farmers managed to put out the fire on this old building. To this day, the charred boards show evidence of the fire.

When we bought the place in 1966, the pump house provided our water as well as a storage place. Some years later, when we drilled a new well and installed indoor plumbing in the cabin, we turned the pump house into a woodshed. We continue to cook and heat the cabin with wood stoves.

Our woodshed, now some 107 years old is as sturdy as the farmers who once lived on this land.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Respect the old farm buildings, for each has a story to tell.


UPCOMING EVENTS:
January 8, 9:00 a.m.,Barns of Wisconsin, Auditorium Main Bldg, Wausau Campus of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Barns of Wisconsin

February 9, 2:15 Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison

February 10, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison

PURCHASING BOOKS AND DVDs:

Order your signed Apps books and DVDs from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, a fundraiser for them. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.
www.wildroselibrary.org
Popular recent Books:

Simple Things: Lessons from the Family Farm (fun to read in winter)

Garden Wisdom (Time to begin planning for the upcoming garden season)

Old Farm Country Cookbook

The Quiet Season (All about winter)