The Vines On North Fork

What I like about blogging is chronicling time.   In Mendota, things move slow but we do have change.   Some very good changes, but we remain a rural farming community.

Farm Use

It’s such pretty country…

God's Country

While only a very few tobacco farmers remain, we still have several organic operations, RiverGate dairy, sheep, cattle, and finally, a small vineyard quietly went into place on Friday and Saturday of this week.    Here’s The Farmer.

Farmer Kevin

I don’t have a picture of The Farmer’s Wife, because she was cooking and running about, but she is the reason for the vineyard.  She wanted some grapevines for grapes for jelly.  The Farmer must really like her jelly.   She has 1,000 grapevines.  I hope she has a lot of jars.

Kevin and Ginger Mumpower own and operate Gingerbread Cooking and Catering and, hopefully, in a few years, they’ll have some grapes ready for the first homemade jellies and food sauces.    Ginger’s jellies for our bellies!

The grapevines arrived last week.   They are dormant at this time.

Grapes in the Barn 2

Kevin worked with Virginia Tech to determine the soil PH and how it should be amended as well as to determine what grapes would grow best here in Mendota.   Everything is ready to go in the picture below.

Rows for Grapes

Each vine was tucked into its place.  It rained shortly thereafter.

Vine in the hole

It’s good to have some help.  This is Bill, Kevin’s father in law.

Bill's Tractor

Some help came from East High…and one former Gate City High School (now JMU) fella..

It Takes a Village 2

And that’s Scarlett….every vineyard needs a dog.

Guard Dog

And it has to have a name…


Vines on the North Fork 2








Some Things Work Out

Remember the crates that I found in Gate City at Memory Lane Antiques?   Here’s how they’ll look with the tees in them.  This is the Canada Dry crate which works well for small t-shirts.   I take no credit.  Mike thought this up.

Crate of Tees

Also, long…I talked about the kayak quilt square Mike was making me.  the date of the post was April 27, 2015.   It’s done–it’s hanging up on the shop we use for our base camp.   It took him one year, but he got ‘er done!   Thank you honey!

Kayak Barn Quilt Square

We have both enjoyed repurposing things for Adventure Mendota’s base camp.   Since we have a septic tank, we have to b e careful what goes in the toilets, so we ask guests to dry their hands using paper towels outside of the bathroom.   It’s our hand drying station.  It’s made of an old sawhorse Mike made, the center leaf to an old table that we used 25 years ago, and we added the Saltville crate that we got at Memory Lane to house the paper towels.  We could have used a plastic bin, but it just didn’t seen right.

Saltville Box With Towels R


I’m rolling and folding t-shirts for the crates.   It seems like they have multiplied since I started this!


Treasure Hunting in Gate City, Virginia

Blue Chest

Hi there!   It has been such a busy time around here as we prepare for the first days of Adventure Mendota 2016.    Mike and I have also been on the fundraising merry-go-round for the Goodson Kinderhook Volunteer Fire & Rescue, Crossroads Christian Academy and the Washington County Public Library.   We’ve  bid in […]

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Cleaning A Vinyl Fence

Fence top before Green

When we first built this house, we said “everything is to be maintenance free.” We were dumb. There is no maintenance free anything. While it’s nice that we don’t have to paint the vinyl fence, it does require maintenance. Each year following winter, we are greeted with black and green mold on the fence. If […]

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Mendota in the Past – Sand And Silica

Sand Tram Crisp

I have always had an interest in the sand and silica mining that took place in Mendota long ago. My grandfather mentioned it here, and later, when I worked for AGC Glass, I was taught how important sand was in glass making. I kinda sorta knew where the mining took place. I finally got to […]

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Are The Bees Alive?

Bees Spring 2016

We have heard from everyone that this was a bad winter for bees, but thankfully, it appears my three hives survived.  See for yourself.   I started feeding them today.   Their enclosure is a mess…I’m going to clean it up and plant flowering seeds out there. Here’s what I plan to plant…”Black Eyed Susie Vines”. They […]

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Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe

Chili soup

In Mendota, we didn’t think winter would ever arrive when we were lounging around in 70 degree temperatures in December.  Whoops!  Were we wrong!   It’s here! We had a weird little snow last night that left things very slick so I took a serendipitous holiday/vacation day from work.   I was about to change my mind and […]

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A Queen No More….Navy Bean Soup


It’s January.   Winter of 2016 is here.  Looking to the left from my front porch… Looking to the right from the same spot.. Definitely is God’s country.   However, there is almost a foot of the “devil’s dandruff” covering everything, and we’re stuck.  River, my beloved Little Man, has not ridden in his truck for days.  Can you imagine?    […]

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First Real Snow of 2016

Icey River 2

I love snow.  It’s magic.   We had a little magic this morning!    Al Archer, the weather guy for WXBQ, said we’d have about one inch of snow.   We had anywhere from about two to five inches throughout the Tri-Cities.    I went into work and decided to leave at 10:00 am, because I was concerned about […]

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What’s That Higher Ed Building On Lee Highway Anyway?

Backside with Two Tanks

Did you play the Powerball Lottery?  Did you win anything?  I did.  One of my numbers was 10, and I won $8.   Here’s what I bought with my winnings.   I’m good with this prize.   I’m watching a tribute to Willy Nelson as I type this and wondering if he’s sick or something.  He’s getting such […]

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