Friday, October 30, 2009

A New Farmhouse?

So... I haven't posted in MONTHS! I know you're all busy and hardly noticed, but I missed blogging. I always wondered why people decided to take three months off in the summer instead of having year round school... and now that I have a little mini-farmlike lifestyle, I KNOW WHY! Summer is hard work. The freezer needs to be filled with veggies and fruits and chickens, and the pantry needs to be filled with jellies and jams and canned tomatoes. If we had a cow, we'd need to make cheese and get all that surplus milk dealt with. Not to mention the laundry. Yeah, it was a busy one!!!

It is fun, though, to open a jar of your own tomatoes, from your own garden when a recipe calls for 28oz canned tomatoes. It's fun to work with your kids around the kitchen table putting those tomatoes into jars, too. The knitting and sewing suffered over the summer, too, and now that cool weather has returned and I'm indoors more the urge to clothe people is compelling me to make stuff. So far I've made a shrug and bonnet for a friend's baby, a sweater vest for my baby, I finished the knee socks, started a pair of socks for hubby, cast on a stranded sweater vest, and have knit the back and left front of a cardigan for hubs. No sewing. Guess why....

We've been house shopping! We toured and compared, we walked lots and explored pastures, we debated gas vs wood fireplaces, and we finally signed a contract to buy a house. Of course, it's a short sale, and so many things could fall through before we close on the house. As a matter of fact, I'm trying to reconcile myself to it falling through now. I mean, if I don't get this house I'll know that God wants to remind me that Heaven is for the afterlife and not the here and now, because that house is perfect, OK, it's darn close to perfect.

It's yellow. My very favorite house color (I'm so ordinary). It has five bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, a family room, and a great room attached to a kitchen with granite counter tops and an island and a double oven with a gas range. It has beautiful distressed oak floors (exactly the kind that my husband daydreams about when we talk about our dream home) and gorgeous light fixtures that are the perfect mix of traditional and simple. It has a front porch with a tin roof, a fenced yard, a creek, a pasture, lots of trees, and a view. I wouldn't even need to paint... and I like the carpet, and the windows are big, and it's only 3 years old... Should I go on? I mean, I could, if you want me to. I could mention the great big storage room.

I really have appreciated the farmhouse here, and the farm itself is glorious, but we are a bit shoehorned in.... not that the bedrooms aren't adequate, they are, but there's just one living area and we do EVERYTHING in there. It's a foyer, and a schoolroom, and an office, and a playroom, and a living room, all at once. So it gets messy, and really downright dirty rather quickly. Living in a house built in the 20's is rather romantic.... but the windows are really old and one can feel the wind in the winter, and the floor isn't insulated, and the furnace burns heating oil, which is stinkin' expensive. The stinkbugs and ladybugs just wiggle right into the house through the windows in the fall and try to hibernate in the bedrooms by the hundreds. Not to mention the constant battle with paint chips and lead in the pipes that would make any mom rather worried. So we're ready to go. In the spring.

What have we learned here on the farm? We learned that we can grow a whole lot of our own food. We learned that we love chickens and the eggs that pastured hens lay. We learned that we are NOT city people. We love the country life, and we love the outdoors, and we love to be able to LIVE in our house and not just sleep in it. We learned that we love Jersey milk from Josephine, the cow who provides it...and we like knowing our milkmaid's names too. We learned that it's waaaaaaay harder work than we thought it would be, but it's fun, too. We learned that my husband wants to be able to go on vacation, so we'll probably never have our own cow! Oh, also... that largish yellow labs sometimes like to steal eggs from chicken coops and can squeeze themselves through remarkably small chicken doors to do so. AAAAAAAaaaaaaand that I hate raccoons and love MaryJane Butters.


  1. The new farmhouse sounds glorious! I love how bring and yellow and cheery your blog is. Welcome back to blogging after a 3 months sabbatical. Thanks so much for posting a comment on my post. I have been anxiously waiting for comments!

  2. Melissa, you make me smile when I read your blog! I have actually missed you on here :) Glad you're back. And the house that you may or may not get??? Sounds heavenly to me too! I hope, hope, hope it is yours one day soon!

    I do have a question for you about the sweet little sweater you made Ava. I need to wash it (and I'm planning to hand wash it) but is there anything else I should know??? Obviously I will also lay it out to dry, but any issues with using detergent?? LOVE it so much, don't want to ruin it at all :) It's just beautiful and I can't wait for the next baby to wear it too! That is, when there is a next baby!! :) Hope you guys have a great weekend!

  3. Thanks Granola Mom for your comment here, you inspired me to post on Halloween myself...
    Stephanie, the sweater can be washed very easily in baby shampoo in the sink... First brush off anything you can, the fibers are stronger dry than wet.. then just run tepid water, mix in a tiny bit of detergent (enough to make the water feel slippery) and gently put the sweater in the water and soak for a few minutes, then let the water out and walk away a few more minutes, then pull the sweater to the side and fill the sink with tepid water again, but don't let the water fall on the sweater. Gently swish a couple of times and then let the water out again and let it just sit in the sink for at least half an hour, then lay flat, pat into shape, and let dry. I only washed my baby sweaters when they smelled funny or there was something on it I couldn't brush off, as wool airs out very effectively outdoors. I'm glad you get to use it before she outgrows it!

  4. I forgot to tell you to roll it in a towel to soak up excess water... so ... do that before you lay it out to dry! :)

  5. While I'm not really the farmhouse type, I would love to come there on vacation! Sounds fabulous!!! I'm always surprised at the small places largish yellow labs can squeeze into.

  6. We'd love to have you, Sabrina!!! Bring all the kids, we're only about 1 to 1.5 hours from DC.... you could combine trips.

  7. I too am a MaryJane Butters fan, I would love to be more sustainable and am learning more every day on how to do that. I hope the house works out for your family, it sounds lovely!