Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today, is a year ago, that we signed a contract to buy a farmhouse built in 1850, 90 acres of land and a carnivorous, double barn, filled w/trash, falling down.
Today, a year ago, we spent an innocent weekend up in Sharon Springs NY (another interesting place). We were leaf peeping and land peeping, but who would have thought we'd find something our first time around......????
This all started actually, with an ad for a stone farmhouse for sale, in Country Living Magazine. It looked like the house of my dreams....historic, restored, funky, had some land (not much-but who knows what is, when you live in suburbia), or what sounded cheap, to us city folk. A call to a friend, who had relocated to this same area, from our hometown, revealed what the magazine, magically, left out. While this house was indeed a jewel, it was surrounded by dilapidated houses or trailers, a section 8 apartment building across the street, next to a trailer proudly flying a confederate flag. OK, not my idea of idyllic, country, weekends & happily ever after! Hence this house is still for sale.....and it will be, until someone has the money & ambition, to move it, to a better area!
So, I hooked up with a realtor & booked us into a B&B & off we went! Never before had I been in this area...but I guess it was love at first site! And the rest is history! And this Blog!
OK now fast forward to this weekend,,,,Peter took our son Daniel up for the first time, to lend him a hand, installing the boiler & HW heater (YAY)
Daniel, who has always stayed behind, when I join Peter for the weekend, to take care of our 2 dogs,( since there is no room in a tuna can sized trailer, for four people & 2 big dogs) never was inclined to see the farmhouse anyway, once he heard there was no cell phone service (a fate worst than death to a 20 yr old) But, Peter really needed him this weekend & he had no great plans & he's a big, strong, lad.....who owes us big time, so yeah, we made him go up there.
Long story short, he liked it! He didn't realize the vastness of 90 acres. He rode a quad (which he hadn't done in years) all over, explored the barn & the remains of the ice house, climbed the waterfalls, snaked thru the trails, deep in the woods. He was always, my nature boy, so I knew, he would really relate, once he got over his cell phone.
The boiler & HW heater are now installed. It was an impressive job. Next, the sheetrockers. Next, Peter runs the baseboards. And we inch closer & closer to being able to sleep in the farmhouse.
Daniel survived being unplugged, for the weekend. He was rested & good natured about the whole thing. Actually, that's the nice thing about the farmhouse, I think. Its good to unplug.
Our actual anniversary, of buying the farmhouse, is in January, when we closed. We celebrated, by carrying in a box of pots & pans (my idea) & putting the farmhouse back to sleep for the winter.
We've often said, about this spontaneous, almost impulsive, purchase....its either the most brilliant idea we've ever had together, or its our worst decision yet. A year later-we still think it was brilliant!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Crazy Quilting

Well, alot has happened since the last time I wrote.......The Farmhouse was insulated with blown in foam, done by professionals. The Barn's foundation was fixed, expertly by an Amish Mason and a dirt road was made from the driveway, down to the barn.
New windows were installed in half the house. A concrete floor was poured in the basement to replace the dirt one. And both bathrooms have rough in plumbing & showers.
My Husband has been working tirelessly, every week, on the Farmhouse.
That leaves us separated, for much of the time. Its not easy on him. He's always working somewhere....but the way we look at it is, that we want to get it done as soon as possible so we can enjoy it, before its too late.
Right now, it 's a race to get the heat going, so we can continue to work on it & even spend time there, this winter.
Last weekend, I went up for the first time in close to 3 months. And this time we did some meandering. We stopped for breakfast @ one of my new favorite places-Bread Alone. Please take a moment to Google Bread Alone. I was amazed when I found it & I continue to be amazed, each time I go there.
Then we stopped at a quaint little gift shop friends told us about, that had great Adirondacks furniture, blankets, candles etc, just a neat store & although I can't recall the name just right now, you can find it by looking for a GIANT wood chair, right outside on the lawn!
All these places are on RT 28. I really enjoy RT 28. It winds thru different towns from long ago, a mix of history, salvage & funky, artistic, old fashioned stores, restaurants & motels.....each time I travel it my eye spys something I hadn't noticed Kate's Lazy Motel-owned by Kate from the B52's......or Peekamoose-which we ate an early dinner in on our way home-just blew us away-the structure-the decor-the FOOD-all spectacular! A real "you can't judge a book by its cover" reaction.
So while we have a long way to go, before we can actually stay in the Farmhouse, our dreams seem to be alittle closer to reality....we are in line to have it sheetrocked, and that will be our turning point.
Peter is there this weekend, installing central vac (it gets real muddy there & we intend to bring our dogs, which will increase the mess) and doing other things-the kind of behind the scene things, that needs to be done. I miss him and I feel bad that he toils there alone, but yet I know, that if I were there, he'd get nothing I just try to stay busy, cleaning our "real" house & catching up on things like reading & laundry & maybe just a tiny bit of shopping.....OK so I did join the masses & went to the Mall, but hey, what's a girl supposed to do to pass the time?
One last laugh....last weekend while riding the land on our quads, Peter & I searched the property, for the site of our future house we dream to build, our last harrah...are we nuts or what?? Oh and I definately, want goats!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Melting Moments

Come early spring, the first step was to gut the Farmhouse. Peter prepped it alone. The plan was for him to stay a couple of days..... Our Friends, graciously lent us their beautiful rental apartment to live in while he was working on the Farmhouse. He filled his dump trailer up to the brim with debris & the plan was to dump it locally instead of hauling it all the way home, however, he realizes, he forgot to bring some cash! No problem, he would go into town & take cash off of a credit card. But, he had to wait for the next business day the bank would be open. No problem. He gets the money, now he's ready, only now he gets his van stuck in the snow & mud & he can't get out!! This will prove to happen more than once, but OK, so hes getting boards out of the barn to lay under the tires etc. A stranger stops by & offers to go get a chain to pull him out. Peter thinks, yeah right, like I'll see him again, but lo & behold, he returns & pulls him out!! Which brings me to talk about how different people are up in the country.....
Even notice it when I stop in the food store near the Farmhouse. Everyone smiles & the cashiers talk to you. Everyones friendly & people stop by the Farmhouse to come in & introduce themselves & tell us where they're from & offer advice & help. Its another world, compared to where we live first, I was alittle mistrustful, I'm not used to having interactions with people in the food store, unless I know them. Or to have people just stop by my house & introduce themselves! Random smiles & hellos?? And being invited over people's farms to see their animals....just downright open & friendly!
Well he gets stuck a few more times after that, and different people help pull him out! Will eventually (hopefully, before the next winter) need to fix that driveway....
But he returns with his helper & guts the house & we come up with plans and dreams....two new bathrooms, new windows in certain spots. He opens it up, letting the light in, the beautiful views of the fields, while gently keeping its layout, integrity, and its past. We are going to try our hardest, to return it, to what it originally was, yet update it with modern conveniences. But, put our own spin on it. Slowly we will get there from here.......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In the Beginning......

How did we become the proud owners of a Farmhouse & barn sitting on 90 acres of what once was a dairy farm, back in the late 1850's?
It all started with a picture of a stone house in my Country Living Magazine.....which led us to a weekend in the "country" just innocently, casually, looking for some property.....and the next thing we knew, we were sitting in the Realtors office, signing a contract, before heading home!! Really, just like that!!!
Then there was the the fiasco of getting a mortgage! Oh and the haggling over the price...and then back again to the fiasco of getting the mortgage!! And finally, on the first COLD Friday of January-we closed! And the Farmhouse was ours!
That weekend, we spent with friends and then winterized the Farmhouse, before heading home. Home is about 4 hours away. Snow shuttered the Farmhouse. We periodically went to check on it, anxiously waiting for the Spring, to begin our work......