Keeping Feathered Friends Fighting Fit for Spring

One mild New Year’s morning a few year’s back I opened our front door and was greeted with the honking from a flypast of Bewick’s swans. They, like many other bird species, over winter here in Ireland.

Here in Corrogue we are blessed with a great biodiversity. When you live amidst such plenitude you develop a stewardship mentality. This New Year, like last year’s, will be arctic. Care for our feathered friends has become a daily task as we try and help them survive these freezing temperatures.

It takes a lot of energy for a bird, with its hollow bones, to stay alive in subzero weather. With snow and ice on the ground they can’t get to worms, insects or other grub on the ground. Most of the berries, which were particularly bountiful this autumn, have been stripped.

Each morning my partner puts on his boots and refills the bird feeding station in the apple trees. Since we have a cat, Zymina, who fancies herself a savannah huntress, we have taken to hanging the largest jingle bell around her neck as a warning system. She’s not much of a tree climber so the apple orchard seemed the safest bet for a feeding area. Continue reading

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Working at Lehman’s

Ever wonder what it would be like to work at Lehman’s?

Laura Siedlecki cutting fudge.

Laura Siedlecki cutting fudge.

Local reporter Laura Siedlecki tried it out. She wrote about her experiences in the local paper. Along the way, she learned something about the sweetness of homemade fudge, packing orders without breaking them and how to make a sale.

Click here to read the article.

Galen Lehman
Galen Lehman, President, Lehman’s

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Out with the old, in with the new!


If you’re on our email list, you just got our Overstock Sale email. (If you want to sign up for the email list, click here.)

We’re offering up to 55% off on overstocked items from 2010. We need to make room for the exciting new products we’re planning for 2011! If you want to learn more about the closeouts, just click here!

Deciding what to clear out at bargain prices is a big decision for us. We want to keep what makes us special, but we know that new ideas and new ways of doing things are always happening, even in the old fashioned hardware line. So, in order to let those new and exciting things happen, we’ve got to go “out with the old and in with the new!”

My work and my personal life are hopelessly intertwined. I guess that’s what happens when you are one of the owners in a family business (of if you just happen to really care about doing good work). So, whenever we make big decisions like this, I always think about how my personal life parallels what I’m doing at work.

We’re offering the 2011 Old Farmer’s Almanac at 1/3 off. It’s one of my favorite reads and it’s not even out of date yet! Why are we getting rid of it? We’re looking ahead. As I thought about my personal life, I realized that looking ahead is important. I want to make wise decisions in what’s left of this year so that I can do well next year. Sometimes the wisest thing to do is to give up on something we nice (like the 2011 Old Farmer’s Almanac) in order to get something even better (like the 2012 Old Farmer’s Almanac)! Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

If you’re on our email list, you’ll get a Christmas greeting from our family to yours today. (Click here to sign up!)

In the email, you got our official “Merry Christmas” photo. Here’s a photo that isn’t for official publication. The photographer popped a few seconds before we thought she would.

Around the office, we’ve started calling it the “poinsettia head” photo!

Our family is probably a lot like yours. We’ve had some struggles and good times, laughter and tears. But, it’s the laughter and joking around that makes it all worthwhile!

I hope you have a very special time with family this holiday season! Have fun, laugh, make some memories!

Galen Lehman
Galen Lehman, President, Lehman’s

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Don’t ‘Keep’ Christmas

Editor’s Note: This sentiment is too good not to share. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Let Me Not Keep Christmas

Let me not wrap, stack, box, bag, tie, tag, bundle, seal, ‘keep’ Christmas.

Christmas kept is liable to mold.

Let me give Christmas away, unwrapped, by exuberant armfuls.

Let me share, dance, live Christmas unpretentiously, merrily, responsibly with overflowing hands, tireless steps and sparkling eyes.

Christmas given away will stay fresh—even until it comes again.

– Linda Felver

Recycling the Christmas Spirit

It is usually met with a combination of mystification, confusion and bemusement by adults when, on Christmas morning, one of the children spurns the bright, shiny toy and begins to happily play with the box that contained the toy.  It is usually the youngest child of the family that keeps up this tradition until at some point they come to that ‘age of reason’. They realize that they may hurt the adults’ feelings if they don’t prefer the bright, shiny toy. Children, generally kindly and mostly carefully brought up to show interest in gifts as gratitude, then give up the happy hours of box play.

Isn’t this interesting? Adults often complain how children just don’t seem to use their imagination any more in their games and are glued to the electronic, all buzzing, all blipping, screen flashing sort of toy instead. Yet in the post-war austerity years my mother noted that in 1950 my brother and sister had one toy each – a tin horn and a drum, at my sister’s insistence to Santa Claus. Mercifully for my parents’ ears, they also loved the boxes.

Last Christmas a friend gave me a lovely set of organic shower gel and bath accessories in a wooden box. The box was lidless and when I had put the lovely toiletries into the bathroom I sat there admiring it. Continue reading

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“…delicious…a terrific cookbook…”

Over 1,000 recipes will keep menus fresh! In stock now at Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio, or Lehmans.com.

Over 1,000 recipes will keep menus fresh! In stock now at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or Lehmans.com.

Lehman’s Anniversary Cookbook was just recommended on ASimpleHomeCook.com! Paula said, “This is a terrific cookbook that I will put in my ever growing collection of great cookbooks.”

Thanks for the recommendation, Paula! I’m very grateful.

Galen Lehman
Galen Lehman, President, Lehman’s

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Snowed Up Soup: Slow, low and absolutely delicious

Here in Ireland we have had record low temperatures that have created chaos for this temperate climate culture. No snow tires (or tyres) here. Rock salt is rationed for densely populated areas and out here in the wilds of West Cavan we get ‘grit’- a combination of loose chippings mixed with sand.

So even snowfalls of less than a foot can leave you stranded if you don’t own a jeep with four wheel drive.

But for someone who loves to cook and likes the creative challenge of looking in the larder and seeing what you can make up with what you have on hand, these days mean a frenzy of cabin cooking. And lots of yummy fun.

My cast iron cooking pot comes into its own, because there is nothing like a stew or a thick (or what my friend Jane calls a ‘knife and fork’) soup to insulate you on the inside when the weather is subzero on the outside. Continue reading

“I yam who I yam.”

As a child, I loved Popeye’s line, “I yam who I yam.” I’m not sure I completely understood it. But, I thought it was funny.

As an adult, I’ve kind of figured out that a lot of who I am is who came before me. I guess, “I yam who I was brought up to be.”

My friend David Lehman (no relation) runs Mennonite Mutual Insurance. He describes himself as a driver. Highly task oriented. A decisive, bottom line, get it done sort of guy.

He remembers his Grandpa Sentz as one of the most influential men in his life. Grandpa Sentz had a saying. “If you want to get it done, you’ll find a way. If you don’t want to get it done, you’ll find an excuse.”

Grandpa Sentz also told Dave, “Every man needs a hammer.” I guess it’s not hard to figure out how Dave became a “get it done sort of guy!”

The most influential man in my life is my Dad. Thinking about Dave’s “Grandpa Sens” memories, I realized my Dad shaped me, and by extension, the store we run together with my sister, Glenda.

Here I am with my Dad, the man I admire most in this world.

Do it right or not at all.” Dad always told me there was only one way to do things. “Do it right or not at all,” was his version of the more common saying, “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.” And, if “doing it right” looks impossible, there is only one solution. Apply two times more effort. We like to call Dad the Iron Man. That’s because he always made it happen, no matter what it took. Of course, I’ve always tried to keep up with that standard (but even at age 82, he still gives me a run for the money). On Sunday, he beat me at ping-pong (again).

Never say no.” One thing Dad hates is conflict. Despite his “get it done right” attitude, he likes people around him to be happy. That means most of the people who come into contact with him leave the conversation feeling pretty good.

Being raised with a “Do it right or not at all”, “Never say no” kind of attitude shaped me. By extension, it shaped every hiring decision, every service policy and every product choice we’ve ever made.

The result? Whether you shop in our Kidron, Ohio, retail store, or visit our website (http://www.lehmans.com), what you should find should find is a group of people who will absolutely go to the mat to do it right. A group of people who absolutely hate to tell you “no”.

We is who we is!

Galen Lehman
Galen Lehman, President, Lehman’s

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Fruit and Vegetable Twinklers

Holiday candles nested in fruits or vegetables are a creative way to light up a room. These twinklers are an excellent reason to forgo traditional holiday candle holders for a more “natural” alternative.

Orange Clove Twinklers

This first one is easy and smells good even while you’re making it.  You will need:  a knife, whole cloves, a candle, and a whole orange.

Cut the bottom of the orange so it can sit flat.  Good candle holders do not roll away.  (Place the orange on a plate or in a bowl to prevent any juice drips.) Cut a hole in the center and scoop out enough of the insides to fit a candle.  Decorate the rim of hole by pressing cloves into the orange skin. Insert the candle into the hole.

For a twist on this, use an artichoke. Simply cut and scoop out the center for a candle. Continue reading

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