Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lucky Bogging Doesn't Have To Pay The Bills....

I suppose I could apologize for our lack of blogging over the past many months but I think if you read back a  little ways you'll see that I've already done that a number of times.  The fact is that I've been a bit behind on my progress on the house and there haven't been that many changes of late.  So I said to myself,

"Well, you could go out and work on a project in the cold, windy snow... OR you could sit down and blog and tell yourself that blogging counts as working on a project and you'll get that same sense of accomplishment without the frostbite...."  Which do you think I chose??

We have had a number of things transpire in the last few months in our lives in general.  One of the biggest ones is that it looks like we are going to be able to buy the barn property next to our house.  For those who don't know or don't remember there is a very large old barn that sits on a hill behind our house.  It was part of the original farm and we've been in love with it since before we moved here.  It has 3 levels and is just full of history and we couldn't stand the thought of it falling down one day.  The school district owns it presently but if all goes well over the next month or so we will be buying the 4 acres that it sits on along with an old chicken house that is down the hill next to our house.  Here's a picture of the barn up close:

And one from our back yard:

And this is the chicken house (not as majestic but we love it anyway):

We have 14 chickens right now and will be getting another 26 at the end of April so this chicken house will be filled to capacity by early summer.

It's always amazing to us how God works in our lives and blesses us with things that we can use to bless others.  A while back we decided to give our eggs away to local people.  We could sell them at the farmers market but it made more sense to us to give to those who would appreciate them.  The gift of the chicken house will allow us to give so much more than we presently do.  We are going to reach out to the local food bank and partner with them to share our blessings.  So hopefully we can go from 50+ eggs/week with our present chickens to 150+/week with the new flock.  Pray for productive hens :-)

It's amazing to me what becomes "treasure" when you refocus your life.  Not too long ago we were out exploring an old house and property called The Rush Farm.  It's a house that was build about the same time as ours that has been empty for 10+ years.  The property had been in the Rush family since the mid 1700's but when Mrs. Rush died it was sold and divided.  Well, when we were out exploring the house we found an old kitchen stove that was so cool and was in pretty good shape.  During the Christmas season I contacted the real estate company that owned the property and asked if I could buy the stove.  I was going to give it to Ann for Christmas... Pretty romantic huh??  Anyway the guy said "No" and that the property had sold, so I thought that was that.  But, we had an inside track that we didn't even know about.  Come to find out the property was purchased by our neighbor Mary's grand daughter and so:

There is the cleaned up and completely working early 1960's GE stove in our kitchen.  The thing was almost like new once we got the grease and rat's nests out of it.... Ok, one small nest under one of the burners but seriously it was like nothing was ever baked in it and EVERYTHING worked.  Even the clock still keeps perfect time.  It has a small oven on the left and a large one on the right with 2 storage drawers below.  And, our neighbor Troy, who brought it to us, said that Everett Tash (the last Tash to live in our house) had one like it in the kitchen when he lived here.  That made it even more perfect.  It cost us 1- half case of Bud Light, 1/2 bottle of Mrs. Myers cleaner and a roll of paper towels... What a deal!!!

The final piece of treasure we've been blessed with lately is:

A new baby calf.

  *** NOTE TO CITY PEOPLE:  The cows don't really have evil looking glowing eyes.  I took the picture in the barn and the flash caused this... DO NOT BE AFRAID***

Anyway, the calf was born about a week and an half ago and is doing really well.  This brings our "herd" up to 3.  We think we are going to keep this little one and breed her.  Sadly, the one that is almost a year old will be going away in late summer only to return to us wrapped in small, TASTY, white packages.  So if you happen to be back this way in late summer/ early fall we will feed you very well.  You will get stuff from our garden and our freezer.  Better bring some sweat pants or other loose fitting clothing in case you over do it.

Well, that's about it for me for this morning.  Not that I'm out of stuff to write but Ann will be getting up soon and need this computer to start working.  I never thought life could change so much for us in such a short time but WOW has it ever.  Right now I can hear the wind blowing outside and see the snow being swept all over the yard and there is not a car or house in sight and as much as we love the city... This place really does it for us.

And before I finish, no blog post is complete without a kid picture (Bonnie on the gate by the chicken house):

And a scenic, seasonal picture (ice on the barn):

Take care, thank you all for keeping track of us and we'll write more soon.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year! (or A Post I Wish I Didn't Have to Write)

Hope everyone is having a good start to 2013! We have been enjoying the winter in the house with our wood stove that keeps us warm and toasty. For someone like me (Ann) that grew up in houses with central heat, this is a new experience and I have gotten many splinters from the task of keeping the stove filled up. I still regularly mess up and the fire gets too low and my better half has to rebuild it!

Here's our lovely $75 wood stove that Kevin refinished.

In the process of being refinished:

Looking at these photos reminds me that repainting the porch is #1 on the agenda for spring!

Here it is installed.

And now for the part of the post I wish I didn't have to write......sigh....

First, a few photos.

It may not be obvious, except in the first photo of the three, but we've got some gapping going on, which is disturbing to me. We assume it is because this floor has not be refinished in decades, and since the house was unoccupied for about 7 years, it is drying out. Also, I wasn't able to capture it, but near the wood stove, there is some settling happening.

What you have likely guessed by now is that this floor, which I really, really, really wanted to just be able to going to have to come up. boo hoo hoo :-(   And while we are at it, we are going to re do the office floor as well. SIGH......  Since we need the stove for heat, this work will happen this summer. 

On the bright side, we have some 'issues' with the floor that we will be able to fix - namely, bigger gaps near the front of the house.

On a literal bright note, we've been installing lighting in the kitchen and upstairs.  The kitchen is still not finished but is coming along.

Here is the back wall currently:

As you can see, we still have some work to do but it is workable for now. We will install more cabinetry on both sides of the current cabinetry and wrap it around on the left, under the new (reclaimed!) shelves on the wall. The stove will be moved to where the frig is on the right and the frig will be to the right of the camera view.

Also, Kevin determined there is wood under the drywall on the ceiling after all, so the old drywall will come down and we will paint the wood underneath white.

Well, that's all for now. We realize we aren't blogging quite enough to keep up with everything we've got going on, so our New Year's resolution is to get better about it!

Until next time, be well!