Archive for September, 2016

Redneck Girl!

So. I sent Summer on a delivery to Chesterfield and she also needed to make some stops to pick up some supplies. She came back to the store carrying her tennis shoes and said, “People in Chesterfield must not know what boots are! They look at you like you are weird”.  It was rainy and I can understand the boots for where she was going on the delivery.  But…

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I said, “You didn’t go into Lowes and Sams looking like that???!!!”

I am sure you can guess her answer…. “Of course!”

I started laughing. The redneck girl went to town to buy, of all things, a chandelier for one of our customers in Bermuda.

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Looking like this!

Maybe sometimes it is just better not to know!!!

Like they say, “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl”.

 

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was a large, white,  two story, clapboard farmhouse sitting in the middle of our lawn.  For those  of you who are “Powhatan old-timers”, it was the John “Booker” and Mary “Lula” Webb homestead. (See note at the bottom of the post for a little bit of info about the Webbs).

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This is one of the Webb boys-I forget which one. It may be Percy.

The leaning walnut tree on the left side of the house is still standing.  From day one, I disliked that tree and wanted it cut down. It was hollow, half dead and  leaning. I wanted to help it out of its misery. Gene saw its potential.  Lightning, storms and disease have taken down all the original trees plus some that we have planted, except for that tree.  Since I wasn’t allowed to get rid of it, I planted a maple beside it to replace it when it succumbed; which I knew would be in the very near future. Instead, it was as if the maple gave it a will to live and thrive. It revived itself, sprouting new growth and has stood the test of 45 years just to prove me wrong!! I do believe it will outlive me.

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We were privileged to know some of the Webb family; Percy and   “Aunt” Susie Worsham (everyone affectionately called her Aunt). One of the granddaughters, Vernelle, (Percy’s daughter), lived in California and a number of years ago stopped in for a “trip down memory lane”. The only remnants of her history are the leaning walnut tree, the broken remains of an old well and the dairy barn portion of the house. I am so sorry I didn’t write down the history she told me.  The dirt road in the foreground  went by the front of the house, down through the back pasture, across Thorntons (our neighbor) and ended up on Rocky Ford Rd.

I am not sure of all the timing, dates and families. Someday I will go to the courthouse and do some browsing.  Sometime along the way, the house burned and the Green family living here added a three-room apartment (kitchen, sitting room, bedroom and bath) as a second story to the cinderblock milking barn sitting on the back corner of the lawn. Their intent was for this to be temporary housing while they built a new house. Instead, in the early 60’s they sold the farm to Mr. Allen who added an addition with three more large rooms around the structure. This addition included a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bath. The milking barn portion was transformed into a laundry and second bedroom or office. The house now resembled a tug boat!!! The house had a square two story on one corner with a cinderblock, tar and gravel, flat-roof addition around it.  The inside was very nicely done but the outside was beyond ugly!!!

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The before…..our “fixer upper”

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In 1967, the O.W. Hertzler family bought the farm and in May of 1968, Gene and his brother moved from Newport News to run the dairy. They brought along the farm name, Quarterfield, and painted the outside of the house.

Around the time we were married in June 1972, the screened front porch was enclosed with sliding glass windows.

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In 1977, Gene’s folks added a full upstairs and a new roof covering the entire structure, completely changing the look.  Through the years we have given the house lots of loving care: painted inside and out, added a deck, shutters, gutters, new windows and landscaping. The house has “evolved” into a decent looking house that we are proud to call home.

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For the house, life keeps getting better and better. Each time it has modeled its new look with style and wonders what its owners might do next.  Only time will tell, but for the little house, it dreams of living happily ever after.

 

After…. transformation!  And yes, it is the same house. and it still has the upstairs apartment!

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This picture shows the leaning walnut tree.

Hertzler Farm and Feed-June 2009-web

 

Additional Farm History

Webb Family

John “Booker” (1853-1934) and Mary “Lula” (1858-1940) had eight children: Annie (Tuohy), John,  Alice (Simpson), Percy, Charles, Susie (Worsham), Arthur, and Bernice (Nicholls).

In the 1910 Powhatan County fair, the Webbs were responsible along with other residents for the huge success of the fair. He was one of the prize winners of the Virginia Burley Tobacco.

John was a very strict with his children about the care of his animals and always wanted to make sure they had water. He would take wagon loads of supplies to the “poor house” and the residents would sit on the porch waiting for him to arrive. Meals were served promptly at 6 a.m., 12 noon, and 6 p.m. in the Webb household.

Information taken from Powhatan Heritage Book printed in 2010 by Powhatan County Heritage Book Committee.

Note: This information tells me that tobacco was probably raised on the farm along with a variety of different crops and animals. The daughter who visited remembers milking cows.

We also know that at some point there was a moonshine still on a knoll across the creek in the back corner pasture.  When the Hertzlers purchased the farm they found remnants of it and numerous quart jars-one of which I still have.

Mr. Green

Mr. Green was a farmer and his wife was a school teacher.

Bernard Allen

Bernard was a plumber and he purchased the farm in the early 60’s. He milked cows and purchased a new line of John Deere equipment which were all sold at auction in 1965 or 66. The Hertzlers had restless feet and wanted to move the dairy out of Newport News as the city was encroaching on the farmers. They came and looked at the farm but did not come to the sale. The farm was sold to Hugh Ownby and Eddie Orange, a big cattle broker and re-estate company. They were planning to turn it into a cattle auction facility. Plans changed and in 1967 the Hertzlers purchased the farm. That fall they planted rye in preparation for moving the dairy herd in May.

The Allen boys loved to race cars and used the quarter mile driveway as their racetrack. For years bits and pieces of their vehicles would work their way to the surface in the driveway.

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If anyone has or remembers tidbits of history on the farm or any of these people I would love to know. Pat

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Additional Blog Links

Remodeling Bathroom

My New Sunroom

Down a Country Lane

The Tale of Two Trees

Heatwole Gathering-2016

This year our family gathering was at the home of Jim and Kendra Landis. They have a beautiful home site nestled on the edge of Shenandoah Mountain with National Forest all around. Jim is very creative and their place was better than a park with a zip line, playground, walking trails and picnic area.  The pictures and video clips will tell the story.

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My parents, siblings and spouses started Saturday morning with a delicious breakfast at the home of Rich and Marj.

Back: Ed & Eileen Heatwole, Marj & Rich Heatwole, Gene & Pat Hertzler

Front: Mother (Fannie Heatwole), Phil & Ev Borntrager and Daddy (Dwight Heatwole)

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Midmorning we begin to gather at the Landis home. The kids had a blast climbing on the monkey bars, swinging and sliding on the play set, and riding their bikes.

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The zip line was a favorite for kids and a few brave adults.  The “take off” perch was on a cliff behind the house.  There was an adult at the station to ensure all safety precautions were followed and the harnesses properly hooked to the cable.

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After putting on the harness,  you had the thrill of a 500 ft. zip across the lawn to the “landing station”. Two adults were there to receive/catch the “zippers” and help them unhook.

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Some of the smaller kids rode tango with another but each had their own harness

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Spectators!

Jase

I think most of us were anxious and excited to see little Jase. It has been awhile since we had an update on him. He is now 14 months old, cute as a button and a specimen of health.

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He had a heart warming smile that made you just want to snatch him up and cuddle on him. He had a strong preference for this parents and preferred you visit from a distance!

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No SMA baby ever dreamed of standing like this.  What does the future hold? No one knows. He is on an experimental drug for two years. Because he has participated in the program and shown huge results, he will be able to continue the drug.  Other kids his age have crawled and are toddling around.  So far he has not achieved that feat. He wants to crawl and rocks himself forward but can’t quite get his body into the right position. Is he just slow? We hope so. But standing on his mom’s lap he definitely has strength in his legs.  The movement in his arms is strong and there is nothing floppy about him. It is truly a miracle and gift from God that modern medicine has gotten this far.

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I had the privilege of holding him while his mom worked with lunch.  Let’s say “he tolerated” me with a whine!  But whenever I got too close after that he would watch me with those huge brown eyes and get that worried look on his face with a hint of a twinkle in his eyes.  What a charmer!!

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I could hardly get enough of the little fella!  He has no idea how unique and special he is.

The Lazy Boy Chair

Gene has had a rough summer with four surgeries (one on his shoulder and three for a kidney stone). He is still trying to get his strength and energy back.  He was struggling this weekend with extreme muscle soreness.

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He started out in his lawn chair but behind the scenes Jake and Jim were busy carrying a recliner from the house and up the hill to the picnic area. When the time came to move to the area for lunch,  Jim offered to carry our chairs and walked with him.

This video clip tells the story!

 

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This was really, really a very thoughtful and much appreciated prank!

A while later the sun popped through the leafy overhang and the guys immediately pulled out a patio umbrella for shade!!! How much more loved and special can you get? Jim and Jake’s mother-in-law wondered aloud if she would be this special and cared for when she was old! (The answer is on the video clip!)

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The Picnic Area

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A funny adornment-I guess just in case you are brave enough!!!

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The Faces of Us!

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The youngest of the clan.

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It was a fun, relaxing and absolutely perfect day with good food, fellowship and weather.

P.S. We missed the families of Keith, Jill, Brian, Jeannette, Aaron and Karmen. One of these couples was in Ireland on vacation and another is expecting their baby any day, any hour!

My New Sunroom

Remodeling puts a whole new lease and feel to your house. We recently redid the bathroom (Remodeling the Bathroom) and now we have just finished a complete remodel of the front porch.

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The porch was in desperate new of a new face-lift.  The windows and door no longer closed properly, there was no insulation, the walls were rotten, the rug was faded and it was hopelessly outdated.  Through the years it was a playroom for the children and grandchildren and it served its purpose well. But now it was time to repurpose the room.img_1178

For a sunlit room it was dark and dingy: paneled exterior walls, cinderblocks interior wall, concrete floor and stained batten board ceiling.

It was cold in the winter and hot in the summer which basically meant it was not an inviting room to enjoy.

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I forgot to take pictures before I moved all the “stuff” out of the room and realized too late that I have almost no pictures of that room except this one of Emily playing with the kitchen set when she was a little tyke.

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Joe Hertzler was our contractor and under his skilled hand my vision for the room came alive.

We rebuilt the walls, insulated, put up sheet rock and put in new windows, door, flooring and a room air conditioner with heat pump (similar to what is used in hotel rooms).

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Instead of toys, there is now white wicker furniture. The toys were all cleaned, broken ones discarded and moved to an upstairs bedroom. The first thing Noah said when he came over was “Where are the toys?” He was worried!  Ryan’s first comment was “I hope you didn’t throw away the fire truck.” And with added emphasis, “It WAS my favorite!”  I had to admit it was gone. In my eyes, it was broken and didn’t work properly.

The new look…. I can hardly get enough of it. It is so relaxing and inviting to sit and enjoy the view.  It has basically added another room to the house.  We call it the “Sunroom”. So friends, come, sit awhile and let’s enjoy a panoramic view of the farm with a cup of coffee!

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Gene’s Ordeal

 

It has been a rough, tough summer for Gene. In six weeks time he had four surgery procedures: one shoulder and three for kidney stones.  People are asking how he is doing…..he is now well on the road to recovery and feeling much better. He was even back in the hayfield driving tractor this week.

The beginning of August I wrote about the start of his ordeal in “When Things Pile Up”. For two months he has basically called the lazy boy “his home” (day and night) and his recreation was doctor visits and surgeries. I have teased him about his lineup of prescription bottles.  He could hardly keep them straight. One week he had a medical appointment of some kind every day. He couldn’t drive so I was his “Uber” chauffeur, Meals on Wheels and “Visiting Angels” caregiver. It really wasn’t too difficult but it sure is good to have my good-natured hubby back.

His shoulder is doing well and he can raise his arm above his head. It still aches some and is weak. He is having some issues with his wrist but that seems to be a result of the trauma to the nerve in the shoulder. He wasn’t able to complete his shoulder therapy because of the stone attack and surgeries but he plans to start again to help regain his strength.

His kidney stones turned out to be a bigger deal than the shoulder.  He passed one and a week later was hit with a second stone which he couldn’t pass. He ended up in the ER and was admitted to the hospital. They wanted to do a Lithotripsy (blast the stone) but he had to be transferred to another medical facility to do it but his pain was too severe. They ended up doing surgery to insert a stint. The stint prevented the stone from leaving the kidney until they could do a Lithotripsy. In the meantime, the stone moved in the kidney to a place where they could not see it. They decided to try to retrieve it with a basket. That surgery was not successful.  Finally the stone moved to where it was visible once again on x-ray and they were able to blast that little 5 mm sucker to sand bits. They removed the stint and within a day he was feeling like he was going to be a normal person once again.  He still battles fatigue and is having to pace himself to regain his strength. He was down for a full two months. It is amazing how pain, multiple surgeries and anesthesia sap the strength from the body.

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While Gene was going through this ordeal we were in the process of remodeling our front porch into a sunroom.

Cousin Joe provided great entertainment for him!  I kidded Joe about having to “baby-sit”!!!

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Some days I found him on the patio just looking and watching his cows and the happenings of the day.

 

 

 

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