Sunday, July 31, 2011

yard sales and tools

Up here, they call them tag sales, but in the Tri-State Area—they were and always will be—yard sales. I passed by this barn in Salem yesterday while on my way to Agway. I couldn't resist stopping by. It had all sorts of pretty shelves of glassware and old Texaco Oil signs. The big wagon wheel outside was interesting to me, but I didn't want it unless it had a brother I could use on a horse cart. Everything else seemed boring. The old rush I used to feel around junk wasn't there. I didn't buy anything. I did, however, step outside and spend a long time looking at the garage's walls. Here in the middle of farm countr: people use tools as decorations and make a living selling decorations to tools...

The scythe, the wood drill, pitchforks, etc. All of those things seem to have real purpose, and I could use them all back at Cold Antler. I suddenly wanted to laugh. How lucky we are to live in a time of such abundance and good fortune that hand tools used to grow food are so unnecessary we bolt them to walls! The people I bought my farm from did the same, and I left their installations there because I thought they looked nice and "farmy." I wrote them off as part of the decor.

A few weeks ago Brett and Diane came over to help me install that pasture fence. Brett told me via email he'd bring down a singletree from the college's workhorse supply so I could use it with Jasper for training. After the work was done, meals eaten, and thanks given he left and I realized he didn't leave the singletree? I was a little bummed out, since I had plans to start really working with Jasper. The next day at the office he explained in an email he drove off with it in the bed of his Tacoma because there already was one hanging on the wall outside the farmhouse. Where?! I asked in reply. He said it was up like a decoration, mounted on the wall outside the overhang where I stack lazy hay bales. I turned red with embarrassment in my desk chair.. Me, the wannabe teamster, who didn't even realize she had her own draft horse equipment hanging on the walls of her own farm house.

What a tool.

21 Comments:

Blogger Mrs. Junque said...

OK, that made me snort.

July 31, 2011 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

That is hysterical! Hmmm, makes me wonder, are the things I need right in front of my face.

July 31, 2011 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

We see old tractor attachments EVERYWHERE here - just rusting away as "yard art". Kills me.

July 31, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Dreaming of Jeanie said...

buahahahaha...oh my dear, people don't become full fledged, old-fashioned farmers overnight. I don't even know what a singletree is...I may have to look that up. In my neck of the woods you see a lot of old plows as yard art. I never really gave it a second thought until now.

July 31, 2011 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Quail's Hollar Farm said...

Wow it looks like something from a Cracker Barrel/ TGIF's sale. I hope you made some money, people seem to have a knack for using old tools for everyday purposes for some reason. Who would have thought a iron screwdriver or hammer would work better than a plastic framed one, hmm.....

July 31, 2011 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger jennifer said...

I have never heard of Lazy bales. What is the difference? I think is is special that that antique tool will be used on that farm again. I wonder if the previous owners bought them or if they were left there.Either way it is way cool you are using them. I have an oxen yoke my grandfather made but I just keep it because he made it I don't use it. (yet)!!

July 31, 2011 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Tara, I KNOW!!

Jeanie: a singletree is a small wooden staff with a ring in the center, and two hooks on the end. It is the thing that attaches the horse harness traces to the thing it is pulling: be it a cart, log, or buggy.

July 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Oh, and Lazy Hay is a term I just made up. It's hay to be used short term, so it is somewhere out in the elements like, for example, under a porch or under a tarp outside, and not in the barn. It's easier to access then the hay you may have stored in the barn.

July 31, 2011 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Anja said...

LOL reminds me of my mom's house :) the outside wall of the house my parents bought when I was 14 is decorated with old wooden wheels and a singeltree too.

There is lots of other stuff too, since my dad had the same mind set about homesteads then I have , my mom doesn't use it and my brother isn't interested and everytime I go back I take something of this old stuff back home with me...

July 31, 2011 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

A little embarrassment is good for us all now and then :). And now I'M embarrassed because we have an antique plow sitting in our backyard! It's one of the only decorative things that's made it with us through 3 moves. haha.

July 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM  
OpenID barntalkblog said...

I hate it when people decorate with old tools, or like Tara says, leaving old tractor attachments laying around! If it's too broken/rusty to be repaired or used.. take it to the scrap yard to be scrapped! Plus, if it is able to be repaired, by all means, use it!

-Autumn

July 31, 2011 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Christine, don't be embarrassed. I have plenty of farmy decor, here. Who knows, you might use that plow yet!

July 31, 2011 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi, I'm Dawn and I have an old pitchfork and a hay rake hanging from my wall. Is there a 12-step program for this syndrome? Not that I want to stop, that is! I even have old linen feed sacks hanging as decoration or made into pillows which I love. I think it's wonderful that people see beauty in these old, utilitarian things but I agree it's fun to use them too, if possible. They certainly seem to hold up better than a lot of things made today.

July 31, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

JENNA,
IF it'S AN OLD TOOL I NOT ONLY TREASURE IT; "BUT USE IT"!!!
THE SAME GOES FOR MY '42 CHEVY FLAT
BED FARM TRUCK!!!
YES, I STILL LOOK FOR OLD TOOLS TO USE IN MY CRAFT, & BESIDES
IT'S STAMPED MADE IN THE GOOD OLE U. S. A.!!!
VERY INTERESTING "POST" FROM THE CAF BLOG AS USUAL!!! WILL KEEP A READING IT!!!
"THANKS"!!!
RONNIE A VERY HAPPY X SEAT WEAVER!!
DBA http://www.chaircaningdirectory.com
P. S. SEE YOU CARRY A CAMERA WITH YOU SO WE DON'T MISS ANYTHING YOU SEE OF INTEREST!! "THANKS AGAIN"!!!

July 31, 2011 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Fantastic post; sharing now.

July 31, 2011 at 1:20 PM  
OpenID edgwickfarm said...

Isn't that how life twists and turns. I am looking for a hay wagon base (no deck, no wagon, just wheels and axle and tongue. Putting it under a chicken tractor that I built on a too small two wheel axle. Anyone have one?

July 31, 2011 at 4:38 PM  
OpenID lazyhomesteader.com said...

Love it!

July 31, 2011 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

LOL! I drive around with an eye out for old horse-drawn implements.

I recently bought, but probably should have scrounged for, a grass scythe. I am trying to get my horses accustomed to grass turnout, but they are too fat and the pasture too lush to just let 'em rip. So I have been scything a bit each day, simultaneously cutting down the pasture and getting them slowly acclimated to it. It's very soothing, the rhythm of scything.

July 31, 2011 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Just a thought - I would test that singletree with your pickup before you hook a load to it with Jasper - especially if you are planning to use it with your wagon. Just in case the weather or crawly things have weakened it.

July 31, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Beth Ann said...

The boyfriend and I went to a "Pickers and Diggers" sale Saturday- I noticed that the lady had some young pigs in the barn- I couldn't resist, I asked if she minded I go take a look- so while he looked around I got my fill of ear and snout rubs- and they all(the Pigs that is) watched me as I left- The lady offered to sell me one- I had to turn her down- for a lack of a place to keep it. She told me she'd be here a while and I could come anytime to pick out my pigs. Someday I said, someday! It was the best darn sale I went to all weekend. Thank you for all you do and helping us to stay focused on our hopes and dreams.

July 31, 2011 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger harvest said...

All the comments are very interesting and the information onHaying Equipment on this page are also very significant

August 5, 2011 at 6:49 AM  

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