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Monday, April 14, 2014

Away for a Bit - too Sad to Stitch

So, I have not blogged for the A-Z at all, or Turtle Trot - I haven't stitched much, either.  April 2nd, a relative of my mother's died; she had cancer but was getting better so it was a surprise and happened very fast.  She wasn't a close blood relative but she might as well have been my aunt.

Then on the 3rd another member of Mum's family (an in-law, but for 50+ years!) was... well, okay, bluntly, arrested for a hideous crime and everyone thought 'no way'.  Then they admitted it.  So another blow.  It was almost like a death, in a way, because the person we thought we knew was just gone.  I guess they never really existed.

Then a few days later, that relative's child, my first cousin, had been awake for over 80 hours, decided they could not live with what their parent had done, and committed suicide.  The ME put 'suicide while of unsound mind'.

Then, and I know it's not as bad as the human losses but it was just an added blow, my kitterling Audio died of old age.  He didn't get sick, just went to sleep one night, so at least he didn't suffer.  It was the last thing I was ready to deal with, though.

So, it's been really, really hard the last two weeks or so and of course I have barely thought about stitching or blogging but I'll be back soon, I promise!

PS - I thought it best to turn comments off on this post since I'm on several lists for the April challenge.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A is for Apple

I decided to try the A-Z Blogging Challenge again this year, but not with a stitching theme.  What I want to do - and I have no idea if I can find something for each letter - is try and take pictures or talk about something that's a little unique about living in rural Appalachia.  Southern West Virginia, but I'm not going to be any more specific than that!

I should have posted 'A' yesterday, but I had to work double shifts and then fell asleep as soon as I got home, so I'm already behind - this does not bode well for my efforts in this, haha!

Anyway - A!  Apple Orchard!

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This is the only orchard within a four hour drive of where I live; unlike most destinations, this is luckily very close to home.  It's almost all apples - there are a few cherry trees but they are not visible from the road.  They're all in pre-spring dried out state right now, of course, but what I want to show you guys - what is different about this orchard is - on mountainsides, you have to terrace.

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Neat little layers of trees!

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That's an old gas well, capped off, in the foreground.  I hate those things.  Might talk about them for 'G', though.

I tried a panoramic shot even though I didn't have my tripod - didn't come out too badly, though!  See how sharply the road curves?  Most mountain roads around here follow the old wagon tracks - they curve along the easiest path.  It's no problem for cars to go down a steep hill and then back up, but it was a different story for your horse!  Sometimes, you have to drive miles to get to a place, when 'as the crow flies', it is much, much shorter.  For example - if you follow this road, about a mile further on you will suddenly be beside the apple orchard again - and can look right back across to this spot when you would think you had left it way behind.  The orchard isn't a mile long!  The road just bends and curves around the hillside.

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It's pretty obvious, but just in case - the terracing is necessary, simply to keep the fallen fruit from rolling down to the bottom of the orchard and rotting in a big, stinky mess.  Trees will grow on hillsides, of course, but their trunks look really odd sometimes, and I'll have to get a picture of that sometime.  They grow out, and then up.  These trees are actually growing on the sides between the terracing if you look close - the fruit lands on the flat part. This terracing was done over fifty years ago - maybe longer.  I'll have to find someone who knows for sure; I don't know the owners personally.

You can pick your own apples in this orchard, by the way - different prices for picking off the trees or picking up off the ground.  Gorgeous fat red, yellow or green apples!  Yum!