Saturday, February 29, 2020

August 2019: Painting, More HEAT, Carrie, Colin & Puzzles

Posted:   February 29, 2020                                    Most Recent Posts:
About:  August 2019                                July 2019: Extreme Heat and Endless Work
                                                                      June 2019 at Greenfield Mountain Farm

Most of the month of August was given over to arranging the monumental task of painting the farm house and David’s shop.  I was lucky enough to have Shannon Wilber respond to my search for a painter.

  He turned out to able to do absolutely anything and around an old farmhouse, that is the man you need.  I never dreamed I would find someone as handy and knowledgeable as David.  He was the best thing of the entire summer.  I only wish David could have known him and he David.  They have a great deal in common.  Shannon so reminds me of David at Shannon’s age.  A quiet, calm capable man.

The roof was first  and it must have been horrid up there in the extreme heat on that metal.

The painting of this old house with 4 different colors was made, as I said, so much more difficult by the extreme heat this summer where it was in the mid to upper 90’s for weeks on end with heat indexes over 100 degrees and 110 at one point.   I wondered why I left Florida where it was in the low 80’s in Flagler Beach.

I’ve lived in Virginia since 1968 and I have never ever seen heat like this even when I lived in Virginia Beach rather than here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge where one would expect it to be cooler.

DGB International Driver's License 1966In addition to getting the painting done, I was working on putting together a slide show for David’s memorial in September.  I went through all the thousands of pictures we had taken of our Full Timing Life and as many as I had time for of his life prior to that.

These pictures were among my favorites.  First is David before I knew him.  This picture is from 1966 while he was in college and I found it in his first International Driver’s License.  Remember he was a pack rat and kept EVERYTHING.  Guess he was trying out the beard.  Glad he decided against it.

The second is also from an International Driver’s License in 1997 when he was the respectable father of  teenager about to leave for college herself.

DGB International Driver's License 1997

More painting.


Ah, the young and foolish, painting without a shirt in this blazing heat.  Frying his skin to a light golden brown.  But in his defense, it was SO hot his shirt would have been dripping and needed to be wrung out.  No joke.   I hope he had sunscreen on though


Before painting the house had to be scraped and on this side in particular, repair work done to replace boards.  I wish I had taken more pictures of all the work Shannon did just to get the house ready to paint.



Carrie came again to continue cleaning out her room.   This time she only brought Colin so she could get more done.  Unlike Celia, he is not walking yet and easier to watch.   Yes, if you put him in one place he can crawl off but at least he can’t run off.  He also naps more than a 3 year old.


During those naps Carrie continued going through the collections of things in her room.  The tuxedo dress was worn for many piano and flute recitals and competitions.

How about those Cabbage Patch dolls?  An almost empty closet!

Like all active toddlers, Colin sometimes wears his food.  I love this picture.  He seems totally unconcerned.  No idea how he got those cheerios stuck to his forehead.  Hope he gets a kick out of this picture when he’s a teenager.

Colin is 11 months old and cruising around the furniture or whatever he can pull up on.  He enjoyed seeing himself in the mirror of the oak wardrobe David had turned into a stereo cabinet.


He caught me taking pictures of him.  I wonder what he thought about seeing me in the mirror too.


David’s shop is the  last building to be painted, including the roof.  Inside he kept a Shopsmith and tons and tons of other tools, nails, files and things I have no idea about or what to do with.

This grape arbor is to the left of the shop  and led out the gate and toward the 10 100 square foot raised bed gardens and potato, and corn patches we had during the 30+ years we were organic gardeners.  We grew vegetables and every fruit tree and berry that grew in Virginia.  And grapes of course.

Here is an example  of what will happen to an arbor of Scuppernong Grapes that is not pruned for 8 years.


Still producing in spite of it all.   The pruning or at least a sever cut back will happen this year.  Hopefully a repair of the arbor as well.


IMG_9955Among the other things Shannon did was to trim the fence line coming up the driveway and take the piles of brush away back in the woods before he mowed the fields around the house so that people might park their cars for the memorial in this area behind the house. 

Shannon is a one stop shop.  It was so wonderful to ask him if he knew anyone who could do X and have him smile that cute grin and say yes, me.  He turned out to be such a wonderful help.  Having only one person to arrange with was just fabulous.   He reminds me so of David in that he can do anything. 

In addition to the painting and repairs and mowing and clearing of this summer, during August he put in a new breaker for the water heater when it quit working, found a leak in the well  line going to our former garden and repaired it when I had no water, got the lawn tractors working so I could mow the grass and in general was there whenever I needed him.   I can NEVER thank him enough for showing up in my life at the perfect time.   I hope he will stay forever and ever as my go to handy can do anything man. 

He hauled off all my cuttings around the house fence as well and his assistant Maria can handle a big weed whacker with the best of them.  She trimmed the fence line after I cut it and did much of the trim painting on the house.


By the end of August we were in very good shape.  Only a few things remained to be done to the property.  Now all the arrangements for the Memorial have to be taken care of.

The internet at the farm is sketchy to say the least so there is definitely no streaming. The farm still has a land line since cell service is undependable.  I’m lucky to be able to do email and some things on the web. There is no TV reception without a lot of cost and contracts as the house sits in what is locally known as a “holler” surrounded by the mountains.  So to keep myself from worrying hours away in the evenings about all the things still to do, I’ve taken to doing puzzles.   Here are some of what I worked on in September.  Some easier than others.  Nothing over 750 pieces.  I don’t want to work hard at night too.

Wish I were here this summer.  Wherever it is.


I’ll save this one for Colin and Celia


I’m working on this red rock country as August comes to an end.


The beautiful view out the west porch window where I am using the big desk to do my puzzles.   This is also the reason I have weak internet and no TV.  The internet is an extremely irritating story best left for another post.



  1. So much work! I am so glad that you had some good reliable help for all this, someone you could completely trust. A true blessing! Love seeing the puzzles, and Carrie's room was a treat. Oh my. Pack rats all of us. If anything were to happen to Mo I would have to depend on her brothers to help figure out what to do with her shop full of screws nails tools and a gazillion other things I would have no need for. Hopefully I go first! That is the plan. LOL Hugs to you, Sherry, and again, congrats on getting us caught up on the past year. Definitely a tough one for you I know.

    1. Yes a very tough one. Thank you for a wonderful comment Sue.

  2. What a blessing to have Shannon show up in your life at just the right time. I like to think that David pointed him in your direction:o)) So much work in such a short time...AMAZING!!! Love the old photos of David!! He had such a great smile!!! But I guess you can't smile in those ID photos;-((( Keep plugging away on these catch up posts. You will be so glad you did!!!

    1. That first photo of David always makes me laugh out loud which is why I put it in the blog. It was a lot of work but it sure didn't seem like a short time while it was happening.

  3. Someone is watching out for you to have sent you Shannon :) What a blessing! Your home looks lovelier than ever with the spiffy new paint and all the other touches. I'll bet David would be pleased.

    1. I think you're right Gail, David would be very pleased to see it looking so nice although he would grumble about what it cost me to get it done. He was a do it myself guy.

  4. Lucky you to have such great help.And you are right it is so much easier dealing with one person instead of 1/2 doz. Love your piece of land in Virginia, I can just imagine your happy little family in that perfect farmhouse. I am so glad you are blogging again.

    1. I was so lucky to have such good help you are definitely right. Thank you for such a nice comment.

  5. I recognized David in the first shot right away. He would have been up on the ladders with Shannon painting. Quite often the right people come into our lives when we need them. The farm seems a tranquil homey place. Thank you for sharing these stories.

    1. I feel very lucky let Shannon showed up in my life when I really needed him. I'm not sure that's ever happened to me before.

  6. That farm house is beautiful! Sure glad you found a skilled and honest handyman. Does he want to go RV traveling with you?

    1. Skilled and honest describes him perfectly Tom. I don't know that I want to take him rving with me but I sure wish he knew how to work on them. Actually I think I'll ask him when I get back in the spring.

  7. I call Shannon showing up a “God Thing” I’ve had a lot of those God Thing days in the last three years😘.

    1. Glad you've also had the experience of having wonderful people show up in your life Betty.

  8. Loved seeing those old pictures of David!

    1. You'd have loved the slide show which had over a thousand photographs of David from the time he was a very young boy. It took forever to put together but I'm glad I did.

  9. Shannon did so much! I'm really glad you found him. Given where the farm is, it would've been awful if you'd had to hire someone different for every task. The view out the porch window shows what a special place it is. Lots of memories you have made there. xxxooo

  10. Shannon sounds like a great help and a real handy guy. So happy Carrie gets to come and help out and bring that delightful little guy with her.
    Farm house looks really great and the views of the cleaned up yard are wonderful. Just to bad about the heat.

  11. We all need a Shannon in our lives as single women without the ability to do all repairs. We just don't have the same strength even if we have the knowledge. I'm happy you found him. The farm is looking very nice, very spit and polished. Carrie's room is looking pretty empty now. The tool shed is a good thing, being so well stocked, it's nice to know that the handy man has everything at hand to do whatever needs to be accomplished. Keep going forward Sherry, you're doing great. Deb

  12. Amazing what arrives when we put it to the universe to provide. Angels in jeans and no shirt who just happen to carry with them the skill to accomplish a random list of very lovely :-) That grapevine is amazing, but one would expect nothing less given its delightful name. The heat sounds terrible and hopefully is not a potent of years to come. I love doing puzzles and need to get one going here now that I have some spread-out room for a few more weeks. Colin is sure a cutie, nice to have him there to add some giggles to the chores.

  13. That is a truly beautiful view...

  14. Looking back at this summation, and the before-and-after photos, it is AMAZING how much you, Carrie and Shannon (with the cute/comic relief of Cheerio-forehead Boy!) got done - it would be impressive even for a crew of twice that many. And in that horrible heat! The farm is so beautiful, and I know your heart is there, and it really shows. Love to you- Laurie

  15. How wonderful that Shannon appeared just when you needed him! We've been gathering a crew of people to help us with the daunting mountain of projects at my folks' home and property. Like you, we are so grateful to these hard-working souls who take such care and pride in what they do.
    Hilarious photo of Colin with the Cheerios stuck to his forehead. He's adorable!

  16. Wow, what a God send that Shannon was there to do so much for you. Just the person you need to help out. The farm looks so nice! I'm sure it was helpful having all that done for the memorial service.

  17. Shannon. Thank you so, so much. What an amazing guy! Kind, calm and capable. That does describe Dad too. I love the pictures of Dad, the farm, the puzzles and wish Dad could see his grandson grow!

  18. Imagine trotting out the cheerio shot of your grandson at a wedding reception.


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