Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October Snow

This morning I woke up to see a white yard. Small flakes are still falling and it looks like our first day of temperatures not getting out of the 30's. I have been busy trying to finish up outside work, but it is slow going with my back still healing from the accident. At the most I have been able to work about a half a day. Still I feel lucky to be working at all.

I am doing physical therapy twice a week for the back and by next Summer I hope to be back into good shape. Lee has been splitting wood for the next winter and moving wood closer to the house for this winter. The cost of propane is at a all time high $3.25/gallon. Thankfully, we only used 118 gallons this summer to heat our water, stove and dryer. We use the small gas space heater in the winter only when we leave for an extended period of time or the temperature drops below zero. Last year we used about 200 gallons during the winter. I know the cost of heating effects everyone in the Valley.

Slate Run Store has a large area to heat and very little income in the winter. We have been warned of severe hour cut backs and the employees have been told to come wearing a coat. It is a sign of difficult times. Something this area has been used to and people work together and do what they have to get through it. I know this will be a long winter for many lets hope its not a cold one as well.

The snow should melt off before the weekend as temperatures are going to be back in the fifties. This Friday is Halloween and if you are like me you can remember dragging yourself through the snow to trick or treat once or twice. During the day's of paper bags many a child lost their candy to the wet snow working on the bag. Have a great Leetonia Snow day. Mountain girl Paula logging off and going to work.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Leetonia Cemetery

The first picture shows a big improvement done to the Leetonia Cemetery last year. Its own sign and a few steps going up to the graves.
All of the graves are on the side of a very steep hill just up Francias Leetonia Rd about 150 yds from its intersection with Leetonia Rd. At one time there was a school house on the property and you can still see the foundation for it. I believe they held church services in the building as well. Later on the school was moved to the site were the Bonitz camp now sits.
There is a very surprising thing in this graveyard. A large part of it is filled with young children and babies under the age of two. Many of the stones record to the day the amount of time the children lived. Most of the deaths occured near the year 1878. I often wondered what killed them and by chance was reading an old Morris Newspaper account during the same period. It had said there was a large Whooping Cough Epidemic that had killed many children in the town of Leetonia.

The second picture shows part of the row of tiny head and footstones. It seems they keep most of the youngsters in this row heading up the mountain. It makes you realize how lucky we are today to live in a society were infant deaths are much rarer.

The last headstone is a Campbell, a World War I veteran, and from what I could tell one of the last people to be buried in the Cemetery in 1919. The Campbell family surrounds this headstone and there are quite of few of them that lived and died in Leetonia. I know one of the young Campbell boys was killed by the train in town, but I have yet to find his headstone. I believe he was about 10 when it happened.

There is something about the Cemetery that gives you a feel for how hard people who lived here had things and what a hardy group they had to have been to survive here. Mountain girl, Paula, Logging out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brown Township Firehouse Dinner

Tonight was the last Brown Township Dinner of the season. The Township has several dinners throughout the summer to raise money for the firehouse. The dinner tonight was pork and sauerkraut along with mashed potatoes, hot dogs, applesauce and an assortment of desserts.

There are a lot of people up for the weekend with the weather being nice and the leaves giving an enjoyable blast of color. You can see there was a full house inside the fire station as well as a constant exit of to go dinners. It is always a good time to catch up with friends as well as to meet people new to the area.

You are probably wondering why the last picture is of a deer mount. Well, there are actually two deers inside the station and any other fire station that might seem strange. So I asked around because where there is a deer there is a story. Bob Drexel informed me that the two deer were actually part of a trio of deer mounts brought to the fire house annual flea market. One of the trio sold and the other two landed a permanent position on the wall inside the fire station. I had hoped for some elaborate story about the fire trucks hitting the deer or fireman hunting them atop of fire engines, but alas I had to settle with the true story. Brown Twp. Fire company has two deer mounts because no one else would take them.

I apologize to anyone who had a funny look when I took this picture. Guess I should have said cheese. Have a great Leetonia day from the Valley of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, Mountain girl, Paula logging out.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fall Ritual

I have always said there are really only two seasons up here in Leetonia: wood gathering season and wood burning season.

The logs you see in the picture are tops cut above our place by loggers last fall. After spending time, gas, money on permits, and stress on my vehicle. I have decided spending the money to have logs delivered is more cost efficient for me.

As you can tell there is still plenty of work to do after the logs are
here. They have to be cut into fireplace size pieces, split, stacked and dried for a year. Lee is splitting the firewood for the 2009-10 winter. The firewood for this year still needs to be moved close to the house before snow. We usually stack both porches full and find that makes it through the winter.

I don't like to keep wood on the porch year round because of some of the insects in it like to eat wood houses just as much as they do firewood.

The last picture shows you the progress Lee has made through the stack. The first picture are the logs yet to be cut and split. I am afraid I am not much help this year with my lifting limit still at 30 pounds so Lee is stuck with the entire job. I did notice Scooter "helping" by dragging fairly large pieces away to chew on. If we could just teach him to stack them he could pay for some of that dog food he eats. Looks like beautiful weather for the weekend and we are enjoying the pleasant temperatures. I am sure there will be a hum of chainsaws and splitters running this weekend as camps and homes try to off set the cost of heating this winter. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Things Past and Present

I was blessed with a visit from blog readers, Fred and Carol Espenship. They were nice enough to take Lee and I out to eat at Antlers last night and in return I gave them a guided tour of Leetonia.

It was a beautiful day except for one thing. The dreaded attack of the lady bugs. The lady bugs (really called Asian Beetles released by the State to eat gypsy moths) came out in full force today for the first time. Fred said he had never seen anything like it and I
believe him as this has been an annual event for only the last dozen years. They get everywhere and they bite you if they feel like it. Only an annual spraying of the outside of our camp keeps them from coming in.

Back to the real story. As you can see from the first picture Carol and Fred are standing in front of Fran's old residence. I included a more recent addition to the property of a plaque for Hershey Zimmerman Jr. who also was a past resident of the camp. We went around and I showed them were various buildings are located and we did a nice visit to the Leetonia Cemetery, which I will cover on another post. Fred was amazed at how much has changed in Leetonia. The trees are much bigger than he remembered and some camps are now gone and some remodeled (mostly my work). They are headed to Cedar Run Inn tonight for dinner and I am sure they will be impressed and filled with the good food there.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall and more quills

Well its official Leo isn't smart. He decided to take another try at a porcupine and yes we got to pull quills out of the inside of his mouth again. Two quills broke off on either side of his nose. We are watching to see if we can get them out later or it will require a trip to the vet. He hid in the bathroom and even jumped into the tub to try to escape the dreaded pliers.

Today he is not happy, not just because of the quills, but the weather went cooler. It is in the 40's and raining. Leo has retreated under the blanket until Lee Anne decides its cold enough to start a fire. It was 62 degrees inside the house this morning and according to Lee that just means you add a jacket. Some of Lee's friends are coming in today and I predict they will be able to convince her to start a fire while they are here. This is my least favorite weather because it chills you to the bone. Colder and it snows and you don't get wet so it doesn't feel as cold.

The leaves have made it to around 50% color so this next week should be good for viewing. On a sunny day I will get a picture for you. The hummingbird feeders have been cleaned and put away for another season. The hummingbirds officially left on September 23rd. So it is officially Hummingbird Fall.

We have had just enough rain to turn the new gravel in front of the house into a muddy mess. I don't expect much change in that until it freezes. I am seeing a couple of sun moments peaking through the clouds, but I think today is a good day to rest indoors and enjoy living in Leetonia. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.