Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grand Children Summer Visit

Lucy,Cara, and Loretta chase chickens
 Once again we are blessed with a visit from some of our grand children. Lucy and Noah Ledesma are here from Yulee, Florida. They will stay for 3 weeks this year. We are already going on adventures. Yesterday we went out to the Homestead Creamery to watch the cheese making process. Lucy spent some of her time playing with Loretta and Cara Flory. I caught them terrorizing the chickens in the hen house. The girls thought it would be great fun to chase the chickens with sticks and make them all run into the hen house. It was chaos.
Noah watches cheese making.
Noah spent most of the time in the creamery watching the older Flory girls making cheddar cheese. They make cheese every Tuesday. Both of the kids enjoyed our trip to the dairy and Lucy has new friends to visit. The Flory family has 8 girls and 2 boys. Noah had no one to play with except for the girls. We plan to go back to the dairy at 5PM to see the milking.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Young Amish Craftsman Builds Dreams

John Graber completes dream house.
I drove out to Trenton, Missouri yesterday with young Amish craftsman John Graber. John just turned 21 this year and is taking over the family furniture building business. He is a new generation of Graber craftsmen who is branching out to custom design and building projects.
John's motto is, "If you can dream it, we can build it". When I heard that he had a customer with a 25 year old tree house they wanted to save for sentimental reasons, I decided to see what John did for them.
As you can see from the photo John took one of his fort designs and integrated it with the old tree house for a new generation of kids to enjoy.
I was impressed to see how quickly he built the new addition while all the while listening to his customer and integrating her ideas. He truly made her dream come true. I spoke with the owner and she confirmed that John built it just the way she asked. She was ecstatic. Good work John.
You can see more of John's work at

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Amish Rebuild After Fire

A fire last Saturday June 9, 2012 consumed a local Amish pallet manufacturing shop. The fire was huge and brought people from the surrounding area to help put it out. The buildings were a total loss. Initially I heard that it was not certain that they would rebuild.
Today I heard that the Amish had come together, cleaned out the rubble, graded the site, and began pouring concrete for the new foundation. I am not at all surprised by this, as the Amish are noted for coming together as a community to help rebuild when disaster strikes.

The pallet shop employs several workers and keeps the Amish saw mills busy with work. It is an important part of the Amish economy in Jamesport. As the reconstruction goes forward I hope to chronicle the event with additional photos.

June 15, 2012, 7:30AM
June 15, 2012, 9:00 AM

June 15, 2012 12:30 PM
UPDATE:  06/15/2012  7:30 AM ... I went out to the pallet shop this morning to see how things were going. The concrete had set and the walls were going up fast. I plan to go back this afternoon to see if the framing will be done today.

June 17, 2012 08:00 AM
UPDATE: By 9:00 AM the trusses were up on the south side. By 12:30 PM the trusses were all up and rafters were almost complete. Note in the photo that Amish on the ground are tossing 2x4's up to the framers who then nail them. The younger Amish boys climb up to the top and deliver nails to the framers.

UPDATE: June 16, 2012 .... After just one week after the explosion and fire, the pallet shop is up and has a roof. Most of the siding is on and many of the windows installed. The Amish will take a break on Sunday, but will probably complete the building on Monday or Tuesday.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Amish Saw Mill Tour

Horses pulling wagon load of  scrap.
 I had a small tour group from North Carolina today. One of the tourists was a woodworker and asked if we could stop at a saw mill. There are a few Amish saw mills in the area, so we stopped in at the Troyer Saw Mill. They cut logs into pallet wood which is then sent over to an Amish pallet manufacturing shop.
The interesting thing about the mill is that they use draft horses to do all the heavy lifting.
Tourists watching saw mill operation.
This was the first time a tourist asked to see a saw mill. It worked out pretty well. It was noisy, but everyone seemed to think it was fun. I checked with the owner before we went into the mill. I would not suggest going without getting permission. They are not really setup for tourists, but since we were there I dis get some good photos.