Letters from Home

May 15, 2017

Good Morning Everyone, 
     

    What a beautiful morning we are blessed with! The sun rose this morning in a clear, blue sky. I just didn't want to stay inside so I went on a short walk. I could hear the trilling song of the Boblink coming from across the field and a bright red Cardinal flew by and perched on the power line and sang it's cheery notes. A neighbor lady came by with the horse and buggy and she stopped and we chatted a little while, but her horse could see why it should stop and didn't want to stand. At the top of the hill I stood to absorb the beauty of the countryside. In looking out across the valley one heard of black and white cows were grazing in the lush, green pasture while the neighbor's herd must have had their fill as they were lying down and I assume chewing their cud. Out in the distance on the far slope a flock of sheep were grazing. 
   

      Now that the danger of frost is almost over some more vegetables and flowers are being planted. Asparagus and rhubarb are being enjoyed, along with radishes, lettuce, etc.
Some grass has been cut for hay and I saw one farmer head for the hay field with 4 horses hitched to the haybine. 
   

      For those who like auctions, at the Mt. Hope Auction Barn, a Swap Meat will be held on May 20, a Memorial Trotting sale on May 27, on June 4th the Annual Kidney Fund sale, on June 9 the Summer Carriage & Pony sale, on June 10 the Summer Draft Horse Sale.

     I almost forgot, some of you wanted to hear about my birding vacation to Lake Erie. I had an enjoyable time, but the Warbler migration is late this year due to the strong north winds. We did see most of them but they were hard to find. We saw quite a few shore birds. The Wilson's Phalanger was a special one and a good find for everyone, also the two Black Terns. The weather was mostly sunny, but quite windy and nights were cold. The water on the lake was choppy until the last day. My total count seen or heard was 147.

     Quote from a perpetual calendar, "The curve of a smile can set a lot of things straight."

Have a great day!
     - Sovilla

Letters from Home

April 17, 2017

Good Morning, 

     Spring is here. The warm sunshine feels wonderful. As I stepped outside the back door on the north side of the store the sun was shining but through a thin layer of clouds, making it slightly overcast, and the air was cool. As I stepped out the front door on the south side I get a different picture. Some clear blue sky can be seen and since I don't feel the north wind the sunshine feels warm. Whether the sunshine and blue sky or the clouds will take over and win is yet to be seen.

     Springtime activities are being enjoyed. Gardens are being tilled, spaded, or plowed and the early things are planted, lawns are green and are being mowed and fields plowed. The cattle have been put out to pasture and enjoy the luscious green grass. Spring cleaning also needs to be done if we enjoy it or not. When that has all be done we always enjoy our thoroughly cleaned houses.

     To those familiar with spring greens, weeds/herbs that are edible and healthful, now is the time to enjoy them. Besides the common dandelion, nettles is another one. The fresh leaves can be chopped and added to soups or scrabbled egg/quiche type dishes for an added flavor and nutrition. Be sure to wear gloves when you pick the nettles or you will wish you had. ☺

     Birds are returning and as it gets warmer their songs get more animated. It's exciting to hear the first song of the season as they come back. The Purple Martins with their lively chatter are back. It is amazing to be able to see 80 different species of birds in one day in a radius of approxmately 100 miles, but that is what we did last week.

     Garage sale time is coming up. On May 3rd and 4th there will be garage sales along Country Road 201. Anyone might be able to find bargains or treasures. 

     Then on Saturday, May 6th will be the Ashery's 38th Anniversary Sale.

     Following is a recipe for a granola/energy bar that I found in a magazine that I want to make this week: 

     Granola Bars

     Mix together dry ingredients and the wet ingrediants in a separate bowls then pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and toss to coat well.

     Press into a baking pan and bake at 350º for 10 minutes or until set.

 - Have a Beautiful Spring

     Sovilla

Letters from Home

March 29, 2017

Good evening,

We finally got some real winter weather about a week short of the first day of Spring. It was nice to just stay at home and watch it snow from inside a cozy, warm house. At the time the girls went home from work after 5pm it was snowing so hard and fast it was like a white-out and a challenge for the driver to see where he was going.

Tonight after supper I decided to take a walk and also get the mail. The sun was shining out of a mostly clear sky. It was a beautiful evening but I did not get very far as the north wind was very cold. I stopped at the mailbox and pulled out, “The Journey of Wings” magazine. It is a birder’s magazine that comes 4 times a year. If anyone is interested, you can subscribe to it by writing to 6954 CR 77 Millersburg, OH 44654. Instead of doing a sales pitch here, you can email me at Sovilla@asherycountrystore.com if you want to know more about it.

A few weeks ago Curt took some of his employees to an Employee Seminar at the Heritage Center along 62, between Berlin & Winesburg. The topics were very interesting and gave us a lot of food for thought.

Thoughts about gardening were put on hold with the snow we had a few weeks ago. I know of someone that put peas in the ground and I wonder how they (the peas) fared under the snow. I noticed quite a few farmers got some plowing done, also.

For those interested in my Florida vacation, I enjoyed it immensely. The weather was nice with sunny days. A couple days were a bit rainy and the mornings were cool. We had a good time birding in the Fort Myers area, Fort De Soto state park, plus at Celery Fields. My total count was 114 different species. The Redish Egret and American Oystercatchers were a few of the ones I had never seen before.

A quote from the Amish Country Calendar:

“Faults are like crooked buggy wheels...we never notice our own, only those of the buggy ahead of us.”

Have a good day,

Sovilla

Letters from Home

February 27, 2017

A hearty howdy to all,

I hope this finds you doing great.

There certainly should be no reason for cabin fever this winter with all the wonderful warm weather we’ve been having. While nice weather sure feels good to the blood it doesn’t bode to well for the fate of the fruit trees this spring. Those budding trees won’t know what to do when the freeze hits again before spring.

The good thing about the mild winter is that we have gotten the chance to see a lot of our customers more during the winter. No snow to push before you back out of the garage makes a trip to the Ashery a lot easier. ☺

This time of the year is an exciting time with the production of maple syrup happening, although warm weather can bring that to a halt pretty fast as well. I just spoke with our Maple Syrup provider yesterday and he says even though the weather has been pretty warm, they had a very good run of maple sap prior to it warming up.

Have you ever wondered how the process of cooking maple syrup happens? I’m sure some of you know and maybe even tap some trees yourself. If you are wondering, there’s no reason to wonder any more. On March 10-11 and 17-18 we will have a demo of cooking maple syrup on the front porch of the Ashery.

Our supplier Amber Valley Maple Syrup will be cooking and bottling syrup while you watch and you will be able to buy some syrup that is still warm. You will also be able to sample it with some fresh, off the griddle pancakes. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Watch our Facebook page for some Free maple syrup giveaways.

As I think about you our customers there’s one word that comes to my mind, “Friends”. It’s such an honor to know many of you as friends. Speaking of friends, I ran across a really good quote from Dale Carnegie today that I will leave you with.

“You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming interested in others than you can in 2 years by trying to get people interested in you.”

That’s some good stuff right there. Join me in taking interest in others. It will make the world a better place.

See you all at the Maple Syrup Cookoff!

Happy Trails,

Curt

 

Letters from Home

February 10, 2017

Good morning,

What a beautiful morning! The sun is shining and the sky is blue. The ground and the roofs of buildings were white with frost. The laundry that was hung outside froze stiff, but now at 39° it is thawing and hopefully will dry.

There is not much birding going on for me at this time of year in Ohio, except I did hear the soft warble of a bluebird as I was coming in from hanging out the laundry. Lord willing, I will be doing some birding next week, but then I will be in Florida.

The ladies make use of this time to get their sewing needs done and perhaps find time to piece and knot comforters.

The church ladies have plans to sew a quilt on the 8th for a benefit auction that will be held later this summer.

The job for the farmers right now is getting barn chores done, taking care of the animals, grinding feed and hauling manure. It will soon be time to start plowing.

The 28th annual Air Works consignment auction will take place Thursday through Saturday, Feb 16-18 at the Mt. Hope Auction.

The employees at the greenhouses are busy already. Today, it sure feels like spring is just around the corner.

Some folks have already topped their maple trees with anticipation of cooking the tasty syrup. The buckets can be seen hanging on the trees as you travel past wooded areas.

 

I found a recipe for meat balls that I enjoyed and want to share it with you.

Festive Turkey Meatballs

Sauce

 

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the first eight ingredients. Add the turkey; mix well. Shape into 1 in. balls. Place meatballs on a greased rack in a 15x10 in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, until cooked through and juices run clear, approx. 20-25 mins.

Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan; whisk over medium heat until heated through. Brush meat balls with 1/4 cup of sauce; return to oven for 10 minutes. Serve meatballs with remaining sauce for dipping. The sauce is a good honey-mustard dressing for other things as well.

-Taken from the Taste of Home magazine

 

Quote from a flip calendar:

“Live one day at a time and make it a masterpiece.”

 

Have a good day!             

-Sovilla