Friday, October 31, 2014

National Cat Day Pumpkin Carving

Smokey approves the rough draft of the cat carving.

My talented grand daughter, Kelsey Alexandra, created this entry for the pumpkin carving contest in her home city.
It is so beautiful a cat that I think she should reproduce it in a more permanent medium.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Amish Wedding Preparations

Anna Miller and the women of the Amish community have been busy for days preparing for the wedding of the Miller's youngest daughter, Mary.

Mrs. Miller invited us to visit the day before the wedding--and take photos of the arrangements.
[Remembering my experience with Delila Yoder who wanted photos of her quilts, I have offered to print some of the photos.]

Several pieces of furniture have been displaced onto the porch and long wooden tables arranged to accommodate family and guests for the wedding dinner.
Mary has been collecting blue glassware, some of which was given to her as gifts.

This is the bride and groom's corner.
The wedding cake will be served from the cake stand; The glass bowl with the basket handle will be filled with fruit.
The attendants/witnesses will be seated to either side of the new couple.

A view from the center of the living room, showing the arrangement of tables and benches.
All is simplicity.

A long view of the side table.

This table has been set up in the sun room which opens off the living room.
When I asked Anna Miller if the dishes all belonged to her, she laughed. 
"Oh, no--the other women have loaned them.  We've put tags on them to make sure they are returned to the right people."
I noted hand-written tags--but suspect these might refer to designated seating.
I am very diffident about asking questions which might seem too inquisitive.

Anna's sewing machine has been moved to one side, the top closed.
When we were there last week a daughter-in-law was stitching on a blue dress.
I was interested to see that while the machine is treadle-operated, the 'head' is not one of the vintage machines.
It appears to be a more modern machine adapted to treadle mode.
This is something I will inquire about if opportunity presents.

Last week the young men of the family set up a temporary enclosure for the wrap-around porch, using pressed board panels on the lower half and a heavy gauge plastic on the top.
The desk which usually sits in the living room has found a spot on the porch as well.

It was not until I uploaded the photos that I noticed the foil-wrapped tins at intervals along the
 porch tables.
Many of the men smoke--thin dark cigarettes not of a familiar brand.
I suspect these men will be eating on the porch.
[I believe that in most Amish gatherings the men are served first. When they have left the table, it is reset and the women and children sit down to eat.]

On top of the desk are these twin lamps fueled by white gas burned in a mantle.
The New Testament is an edition which contains both English and German; it is flanked by  books with German titles.

Around to the kitchen entrance of the porch.
The pies above are coconut custard.

The pies with 'dotted' filling are vanilla with chocolate chips.  Anna Miller explained that when served 'there will be more on top'--whipped topping!

A trio of apple pies fresh from the oven had attracted a tiny wasp--perched at the edge of the 
center pie.
I found a web photo of a portable kerosene heater.  Nearly a dozen of these were lined up at the edge of the porch, flanked by teakettles and coffee pots.
Amish gatherings are fueled by endless refills of coffee!

Anna Miller suggested I go down to the basement level--as immaculate as the rest of her house--the table settings here are less festive, but all is tidy with serving bowls and large spoons ready to 'dish out' the meal.

Loaves of 'store-bought' bread, extra cartons of eggs, are lined up in the basement area designated for canned goods and large kettles and coolers.

When we arrived at the farm, the noon meal had been served.
The roomy kitchen was full of aproned women bustling about to clear the tables. 
Young girls held toddlers to keep them from under foot.
Infants were parked in strollers and baby carriers.
An older woman, portly in her full-skirted blue dress, still sat, a coffee mug cradled between two hands. 
A large roasting pan held the remains of a noodle casserole; another huge pan had served up a berry cobbler. 
Plates and mugs were already piled near the washroom sink, a teakettle of hot water at the ready as the dishes were briskly washed and rinsed.
For such a large gathering of people it seemed quiet--the small children didn't dash about knocking into things. 
Anna Miller exudes a quality I must describe as 'serene.'
When I asked if I had arrived too early to take photos, she reassured me.
'The men are still in the living room--but I will tell them to go out!'
[In this modern world where many people share 'selfies' the Amish disapprove of 'graven images'--which means they will not pose for photos and wouldn't hear of being even on the periphery of a picture.]
The men obediently trooped down the stairs to the basement and out the lower level door where they congregated to continue smoking and talking.
As I moved around the rooms I was trailed by a retinue of small children.
They were fascinated by my little red camera.
When I spoke to them, they didn't reply, even scrambling back up the staircase when they had followed me down to the basement.
These were pre-school aged children--possibly better acquainted with German than with English.

I would have loved to record the flurry of activity in the kitchen--the women so efficiently dealing with the dishes and the remains of the meal; many of the children were attractive--the young girls wear a slender dress with no waist seam, with a matching simple pinafore. The young boys are dressed as the older men--'square' pants with buttoned flies, held up with suspenders. 

Thinking about it later, I realized that one would not usually want to take photos of a group of people going about everyday tasks.
It is the differences in dress and lifestyle that pique the curiosity of 'Englishers'--we are welcomed thus far and no farther into their old-fashioned world. 

Jim has already moved one of his tractors, some tools and lumber to one of the barns at the lower property.
He realized he needed to rearrange these to allow for the horses and buggies of neighborhood visitors to be 'parked.'

I was standing at the corner of the carriage shed when three of the older girls walked down the drive.
I used the zoom feature of my camera to stealthily take this photo--making sure that I waited until the girls' faces could not be recognized.

The young men were making a clatter in the big house.
We found they were setting up 'church benches' in preparation for the wedding ceremony.
This is the kitchen of the big house.

The 'church benches' are made with folding legs so that they can be easily stored or moved. 

[Old Order Amish consider that 'the church' is a gathering of like-minded believers--not a building designated for worship. Church services are held on alternate Sundays--an all day affair hosted in the homes of a communities' families in turn.]

In the living room sunlight streamed through the windows and created a glare on the polished floor and gloss-painted walls.
I tried several camera settings but my photos were not good.
I had waited until the young men finished their work and trudged back up the lane.
I wonder about the chairs facing each other three by three.
The couple will be married by the local bishop.
Perhaps the bride and groom face each other with their attendants seated on either side [?]

The polished wood range was gently warm; a rocking chair stands invitingly near.
This house is presently occupied by one of the Miller sons with his wife and three young children.
They will be moving soon to a house they have purchased in our old neighborhood of Gradyville.

I went outside, walking through the back porch entry, emerging into the bright sunshine.
I felt as though I had trespassed--although the houses and land are now deeded to us.
I hope that Anna Miller's serenity will see her through the move from this place where she has raised her family, kept her house immaculate, served meals to gatherings of relatives and neighbors.

As I walked around the dooryard, noting a rosebush near the east wall, a spill of spearmint and comfrey at the south end of the back porch, Mary, the bride, crossed the lawn, bound on some errand.
I wished her the joy of her wedding day, told her I hoped Thursday would be bright and fair.
Today has been fine--a nip in the air that warns of frosty nights to come.
I've thought of the celebration taking place, of the great gathering of families, many inter-related. 
We have wondered if the mountains of food have all been eaten.
We imagine every bedroom filled, blankets and quilts spread on the floors for the children.
I've wondered if the bride and her husband [a local lad who attended the Amish school with her] will be given much privacy--Mary stated that 'we can go on a wedding trip if we want to'--but she didn't reveal their plans--and again, I didn't want to seem too curious.
I think the Millers will need a few days of recuperation before they begin to pack up the household for the move to the little yellow house I so recently called home.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Walking in Wind

Early mornings have been wrapped in fog.
I love to watch the sun 'burn through.'
We've had a run of  perfect autumn days: skies of clear deep blue, afternoons of golden warmth that call us to be outdoors.
We've had many errands, mostly to do with the anticipated move to the Amish property.
Each time that we go there Jim explores another winding back road.
We drive slowly on narrow lanes that follow the meanderings of creeks half hidden behind a screen of vividly colored leaves.
The roads wander around sharp curves, climb the ridges, descend into quiet 'hollers'--bring us out along fields mellow with harvest.

It was windy and bright this morning, but soon after I pegged laundry on the lines, the sky dulled to a satiny grey, the wind increased. As I walked to the garden intending to snip drying seed heads from some favorite cosmos I felt the sting of raindrops.
I hurried the wash into the basement and stuffed it into the dryer.
Rain came in brief bursts through the day--gentle, desultory.

The garden is faded and untidy, the cosmos knocked flat in some places by wind.
I have gathered seed heads from the prettiest of the sunflowers.
They are in an old metal basin in the shop awaiting a few moments when I can shake them loose and divide them into labeled zip-lock bags.

Leaves drift across the grass of the back yard and the landscape seems more open.

A tangle of cosmos and fading zinnias billow around the sunflower stalks.

Morning glories seeded themselves into the garden by the hundreds, clambered into the saplings near the shed, tangled into the green beans, climbed corn stalks.
Jim attacked the brush behind the shed and in the boundary hedges, ruthlessly cutting down brambles and locust saplings, then mowing over pokeweed and morning glories.
Still they have prevailed in the garden.

My Dad was fond of morning glories and planted them each year on the south side of 
his Vermont house.
He coaxed them up trellises of string, watched as they reached the topmost limits and began to twine their way back down the strings--often without producing blossoms til nearly time for frost.
He might have enjoyed a few of these which grow in such uninvited profusion.

Morning glories have appropriated a tomato stake---the tomato plant
was pulled up more than a month ago.

Frost asters spill in an unkempt corner near the western edge of our property.

It is a strange tumble of a planting: an evergreen, a straggling rose planted in the evergreen's shade, an iris, a few orange daylilies wandering down the bank toward the road, two clumps of yucca, now going to seed.
In places folds of landscape fabric ripple up between the invasive roots of a hackberry tree.
The former owners mentioned they had hired the services of a landscaper.  Perhaps at one time the plantings were tidier.
Now they have an air of randomness, as though 'leftovers' had been poked into the ground haphazardly and left to fend for themselves.

I pruned this rose severely twice during the summer.
The reward has been a flush of late bloom.
The wind kept the branches moving as I tried to take photos.

Nellie watches from behind the glass outer door, doubtless wishing he could come out to chase the leaves which skitter across the asphalt drive to lodge in the damp grass.
I wanted to stay outside in the wind, but there was supper to make, laundry to be put away.
Darkness folded in early, the air cooling quickly.
Unsettled weather is forecast for the remainder of the week, nighttime temperatures expected to drop, a frost expected on Friday night.
Knowing now that this is merely an interim house, an interlude, the usual wrap-up of autumnal activities seems to have little meaning.
I think of a garden at another home; I try to think beyond the continuing ordeal of sorting and repacking those items so tentatively placed in shelves and cupboards.
There are still a few belongings which I must round up and pack at the little farm.
Have I said the proper goodbyes to my gardens there?
I am anxious to take possession of the Amish house, to help with the renovations that must be done before we can live there.
I long to be truly settled--unruffled by winds of change.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Turnings We Can't Imagine

The little house on the hill in Gradyville

Nearly a week ago, on Thursday morning, I loaded photos, typed in a post title, thought about how I could condense the happenings of the past week or two into a coherent story.  
I was pressed for time, with my second cataract removal scheduled for late in the afternoon.
I scurried about, doing laundry, putting fresh sheets on the bed, trundling the vacuum cleaner through the house. 
[The cataract removal is done by laser, a brief and nearly painless procedure, but one is left with blurred vision for several days and the recommendation is for rather limited physical activity.]
My post -op appointment was early on Friday morning. The eye doctor pronounced that all is well.
It was a day of glowing sunshine--I would have liked to spend it outside tidying the garden, but knew that I needed to stay inside out of bright light.
Jim had a flurry of errands, so I stayed at home and made apple pies. [It is quite possible to peel apples and roll pastry with one 'good eye'--and only a bit awkward!]

The Bedford Stone house in Cane Valley
I am still bemused by recent happenings, 
Here then, an attempt to update this journal and put my loyal readers in the picture.

Those who have been 'with me' for a number of years will perhaps recall our exodus from Wyoming after 12 very busy years in which Jim first built custom houses and then began to purchase land, subdivide and design/build homes for resale.
In 2010 we 'retired' and chose Kentucky as a place of milder winters and reasonably
 priced real estate.
We had spent months researching properties online, had contacted an agency, and arrived with a list of properties to view.
We hoped to find a small acreage with a farmhouse in decent condition--a house which we could renovate as needed.
We quickly learned that 'farmhouses' on offer in our price range were usually neglected buildings that had stood empty for a number of years, with leaking roofs and sagging floors.
Often we learned they had been given up by families who opted to build a tidy brick bungalow or vinyl sided 'ranch house' nearby, and as an afterthought had put up the old house with an acre or two for sale.
Disillusioned we arranged to view a 5 year old log home on five acres.  
It was beautifully done, very like what we had been building in Wyoming.
The kitchen was fitted with the very line of cabinetry we preferred; the landscaping was tidy, there was a neat small barn on the property. It was situated a little too near a busy highway for comfort. 

We headed back to our motel room that afternoon, tired, minds boggled by the whirlwind trip of nearly 2000 miles, the several days of being whisked from one property to another.
Our home in Wyoming was sold, our worldly goods packed into two trailers awaiting the move.
We needed to find a home!
Jim had driven the old Dodge truck to Kentucky, pulling our car on a trailer, planning to find a storage lot where we could safely leave the car until we made our move.
Strangely, the truck, serviced a few days prior to our journey, developed a need for a new alternator.
We left it at a repair shop conveniently located down the street from the motel.
Jim stopped at the repair shop to settle the bill while I drove the car up the hill, parked and let myself into the motel room.
Jim breezed in a moment later waving a business card.
It transpired that a local farmer coming into the repair shop noted our truck with out of state license tags and inquired of the shop owner what he knew of us.

'Folks looking to buy a small farm and retire here,' was the answer.
'Give them my card and tell them I have a farm to sell!'

I was tired, a bit down-cast, aching from too many miles.
Jim called the number on the card, was given directions to meet the gentleman in half an hour [when he would be finished with feeding his cattle.]
I declared that I wouldn't go. I was sure it would be another disappointing venture.
Jim coaxed, I got a grip on myself, put my shoes on again and followed him out to the car.

We collected the man, J.M. at his tidy home place.
He was friendly, comfortable, out-going.
He had bought the place a few months earlier when it came up for auction, had done some tidying of the grounds, some cleaning in the house.
As we approached the property, he had Jim drive slowly along the country road, pointing out the boundaries--28 acres of gently sloping fields and pasture, two weathered barns, a bit shabby but straight and sturdy. 
A cautious excitement began to stir within us.
No woods, but a fine garden spot, an ancient pear tree in the north field, a dirt-floored 'garage'--smaller than Jim needed as a shop--and the house--a 30 year old 'ranch'--small, but nicely situated at the top of the drive.

I will always believe that we were meant  to find that property.
By the end of the month we had taken possession.
I chose paint, we ordered cabinetry and appliances.
Jim ripped up 30 year old carpet, put down hardwood floors. 
He tilled a garden plot, laid out my flower strips.
While I planted vegetables and perennials, he spread fertilizer on neglected fields, sowed the mixed seed for a hay crop.
I discovered old plantings of peonies, clematis; I disinterred and divided clumps of iris.
Outdoors in the warmth of a Kentucky springtime we weeded, pruned, planted.
Inside we painted, unpacked, tried to find room in the little house for the belongings which had so recently been arranged in a bigger space.

From time to time we pondered how we could enlarge our living space: close in the front porch? Build a room off the dining area?
We couldn't quite commit to such a project--there was too much else going on!

It became clear after the second year that putting up the hay as a cash crop wasn't viable.
Much as Jim likes to 'make hay' it is a labor intensive process when done on a small scale, and the return didn't justify the effort.
We kept an eye on area real estate--simply because we are interested, sometimes combining errands with a drive-by of some place offered for sale.

It is difficult even now to trace the progression of restlessness which gripped us at the 
start of  the past winter.
We had discovered in the listing of a local realtor a property which appeared to be what we had looked for 4 years earlier.
A farmhouse, tastefully restored, with a few acres located at the end of a dead end lane.
We drove by, liked what we saw, called for an appointment.
The holidays were barely past and the owners when contacted by our agent declared that they were in some disruption and couldn't show the house.
Inquires the next week brought the excuse that they had discovered the need for repairs to the septic system--didn't wish to have a viewing with the dooryard torn up.

Jim was away with his family for over a week. Upon returning he called our realtor who stated that when he tried to pin down the sellers of the property in question they declared they had decided 
not to sell! 
We put the property out of our minds, but meanwhile, the longest and coldest winter since our arrival kept us cooped up; we got in each other's way, the house seemed crowded with furniture and heavy coats; we tripped over the boots ranged by the kitchen door.  The wood for the fireplace seemed to take up half the living room!

I was working with Jim in the shop on a February morning, carefully 'masking off' a tractor he intended to paint, when the phone rang.
It was our realtor, wondering if we had decided to continue our search for a bigger house and 
list our property.
We asked for five minutes to talk it over.
We decided to put the little farm on the market and within a month had purchased the Bedford stone house with its mere acre of land located 10 miles away.
We spent much of the summer renovating, planted and tended a garden, moved our belongings over in a rather desultory fashion--whatever fit in the van on any given trip.
We spent our first night in the house September 16.

Front view of the 'big house.'

A few days before our move, a dilapidated pickup pulled into the yard--a 'driver' bringing an Amish gentleman, M. Miller, on a quest.
Several of his sons had recently located in the Gradyville neighborhood and he was interested in purchasing our property.
He had land for sale at the eastern end of the county and a prospective buyer who would know in a week if he could arrange financing.

The morning after my first cataract surgery, our son [staying at the Gradyville house] phoned to relay the message that Mr and Mrs M. were coming down in an hour to view the place.
We hurried over--to find the Millers already there, strolling about in the garden.
They had knocked at the door but H. hadn't appeared.
I went in, heard the roar of the vacuum cleaner drifting up from the basement.  Going downstairs I bellowed at H. He was, in his persnickety way, hoovering cobwebs from the floor joists overhead!
Informed that the Millers had arrived, he replied crossly that people hadn't ought to arrive earlier than anticipated.
Mr. Miller informed us that the sale of his land had fallen through, but that he still would like to own our property.
He asked that we visit him at home on the following day to 'see what might be worked out.'

The 'big house' on the Amish property, with carriage shed and barn in the back.

I was skeptical of what might be suggested, Jim more optimistic [that's the way our personalities react!] Howard declared that he was merely along for the ride.
We followed directions to the dead-end lane and turned in past the house in the above photo. 
I took this photo as we approached the upper house.

Miller's Harness Shop
Mr. Miller gave us a tour of his harness shop [remember that post?]
then invited us to cross the drive and go inside his home.
It was plainly furnished according to Old Order Amish sensibilities, but all was immaculate and tidy.

A gleaming wood range presides over the vast kitchen.

The Amish don't use built-in cabinetry--the kitchen is furnished with dressers and hutches--which move when the family moves.
Plain white curtains hung at every window, upstairs and down.
Sunlight gleamed on hardwood floors and shimmered against the gloss paint which the Amish use to play up both natural light and the glow of their kerosene lamps.

I was immediately seized with 'pantry-envy!'

Paths are graveled, and plantings mulched with gravel.

From a tour of this house we went down the hill to view the large house where the Millers raised their family [15 children!] now occupied by a son, his wife and three young children.
We then drove with Mr. Miller around the boundaries of his property which are on the road--some 60 acres, with 40 acres leased out to a corn crop.
Convened again in the harness shop, Mr. Miller came to the point.
He wondered if Jim would be interested in some sort of a 'trade.'
Jim had an inkling that some sort of 'deal' would be suggested but assumed that we would need to put in cash.
"What are you proposing?" he asked quietly.
"Would you swap your property for mine--straight across?"

A moment of astonished silence, then Jim offered his hand, Mose Miller grasped it with a firm clasp.

"If you will make the arrangements for the title search, then come back for my deed, and we'll go from there," he suggested.

We drove home in stunned silence, punctuated only by Howard's skeptical comment that the task of retro-fitting plumbing and electric to 2 large houses would be daunting.

From that day, events have moved with incredible speed.
Our lawyer had time to do the title searches immediately, so we were back at the Miller's next morning to pick up the deed. I asked hesitantly if I might take photos of the home's interior, a request graciously granted.
We knew already that this was not going to be an 'investment property.'
We knew we had found the 'farmhouse' for which we had searched in vain 4 years earlier.

At this writing the deeds have been exchanged and recorded.
We have listed the Bedford stone house with our realtor.
'How could you not accept this trade!' he exclaimed.
He is well acquainted with the large extended Miller family, and does considerable business with the Amish community.
So--have we gone quite mad?
We have reminded ourselves of all the 'reasonable' motives for down-sizing--getting rid of acreage, refurbishing a sensible [if rather uninteresting] house--near to town--closer to church, suitable for drifting into our 'dotage!'

We are elated, excited, energized!
In a way that cannot be mere coincidence, things have come together.
Jim has been put in touch with the septic inspector and has the necessary certificate of approval.
The permit for temporary electrical power is in process.
Jim is supplying truck and trailer to move his own tools and such to our new property and on the return trip the Miller's tools and machinery of the harness making trade are hauled to Gradyville.
The Miller sons lift and load and unload at either end of the journey.

I will not be finishing the task of 'settling in' to the Bedford stone house--a task for which I have been strangely lacking in enthusiasm.
I am sorting--anything not needed for comfortable interim living, will be packed up to the Amish house--or given away--all the sorting that should have been done before this piece-meal move!
As I journal this adventure, it is possible that my readers may tire of the details!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Burning Books

From the opening paragraph of 'Dragonfly in Amber' by Diana Gabaldon:
"Roger Wakefield stood in the center of the room, feeling surrounded...the books..the books!"

When we began packing at the end of August I was horrified to discover that some items in our finished basement room had fallen prey to mildew.
In four previous years of similar hot and humid summers this hasn't been an issue.
Most affected were books on the bottom two shelves of my small open bookcase.
I don't mind the slightly stuffy odor of old books--that scent of softened and yellowed paper and shabby bindings.
It was the smell which hung about the stacks of the library in my hometown, familiar and expected.
The odor from my mold be-speckled tomes is another matter.

Teasel--my devoted helper.

Books from the upper shelves and some of those in boxes were afflicted in varying degrees.
I began sorting those which were impossibly vile into one heap, setting aside others which I hoped could be salvaged.
I made a solution of Murphy's Oil Soap diluted in a little water and spiked with a generous dollop of tea tree oil. 
Sunshine was streaming into the garage, so I worked there, swabbing down book covers, wiping them dry, standing them, spine uppermost, on a bench in the front porch.
Most responded well to this treatment although
if I were to stick my sensitive nose directly on the pages I would have to admit that they don't smell like new books.

Reluctantly I carried a number of damaged books out to heave onto Jim's bonfire: the tattered copies of the 'Pooh books' beloved since childhood, a dear old songbook, the entire Poldark series in paperback--a few less cherished.
I watched for a moment as the bindings caught and flared and pages began to blacken, then returned to my sorting.
Books in the glass fronted cupboard fared well.
They had been removed and carried to the other house before hot and humid weather arrived.
I dusted the cupboard, dusted each book as I retrieved it from the guest room closet.
I have a box piled with books destined for the library or charity shop.
After years of lugging around numerous tomes on crafting, gardening, decorating, I've reached a place of wanting to have less.
As I picked up each book I asked myself, "Will I really want to read this again?" Or--"Am I likely to suddenly undertake the crafts outlined in this book which I have had for a decade?"
I steeled myself to an honest answer and added yet another book to the give-away box.

The favorites which I re-read once a year or so have lived in the fireplace cupboard--they were safe and sound, smelling only slightly of woodsmoke.

This small bookcase resided in my downstairs sewing room, tucked against an outside wall. 
We have a dehumidifier in the basement.
No idea why it was invaded with mold.
I thoroughly scrubbed it, set the case in front of a sunny open window, took the removable shelves out to spend the day in fresh air.
I happened to harvest lavender from my herb garden at the 'other house' [which we once called 'home'] and decided that its fresh scent in this newly painted room would be beneficial.  When it has completely dried, I will place sprigs on all the book shelves.

There are still boxes of books [boxes of everything!] in the lower level back room here.
I tackle them a few at a time, doing the sorting which ideally should have been done before moving.
Our week has been busy with unexpected and [to us] exciting developments--not conducive to plodding away at settling the house!

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Visit to Miller's Harness Shop

Current Contact Details for
Millers' Harness Shop
[Added 2/7/2018]
176 Turkey Run Road
Hillsboro, KY

We have had some business recently with an Amish gentleman from the other end of the county and as a result have been twice to his leather shop.
This man and his industrious family have restored my faith in the Amish culture a bit.
Mrs. Miller keeps an immaculate home, Mose is a canny businessman--personable, a craftsman of a high caliber.
The many machines are powered by a gasoline generator which sits outside the workshop.

Horse collars ranged above a bench that holds a variety of hides ready to be worked.
Mose explained about different qualities and thicknesses of leather and how it can be sliced into very thin layers.

Halters and such waiting to be shipped out.

 So many pieces to admire.

Mose brought out a matched set of harness specially made for a pair of miniature horses who will wear these when on show.
The harness is going to a customer in England.
The cost?  A mere $6400.00!
The harness hardware is stainless steel.
Photos not good as the lighting is from overhead skylights--very practical in a shop that has no electricity.

I would love to see the little horses rigged out in this.

The head pieces are patent leather adorned with heart motifs in stainless steel.

The carriage horse belongs to one of the Miller's sons, who lives at the bottom of the lane.
This is a typically large Amish family, and the sons also work at the leather/harness trade.

 One of the family's buggies. 
It was a joy to be shown around here--everything so tidy.