Thursday, October 28, 2010

more before and after . . .

This is the bridge in the woods that I now have completed.  It was a bear to get there and I ended up having to take it mostly apart after building it.  I built it close to electricity, and then when Nolan and I started on our journey out to where we where going to install it, we ended up popping two of the tires on the Gator!  It was REALLY heavy.  We left it in route to the creek for a couple of weeks until we had more materials to work with, and decided how we could get it there with LESS work.

The pasture behind our woods is a 17 acre field used for crops
And this woods view is back up to our Big Barn.  Right above where the new bridge sits.
And now for some more before/after pictures of the house . . . down the stairs to the basement is our Downstairs Kitchen.  I don't have the electric stove hooked up yet, but that is the next electrical piece I do down there.  I painted the walls white and the floor a favorite coffee color.  We have harvested the pear tree and are using the floor space there to allow the pears to ripen.
 The second room we are calling the Garden room.  It beats calling it the second room huh? It is the area where we store come winter items when not in use, and some canning materials.
And our laundry room also got updated as well.  Sure makes doing laundry a little nicer.
And now the laundry area is equipped with a small dress-up area for the children to change after swimming, or being outside in the snow.  And the clothes stay RIGHT THERE in the laundry room!
And here is the final change in my bedroom.  It went from BRIGHT, flowery, and cold to DARK, plain, and warm.  Just the way I like it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

FREE mini chalkboards . . .

Etsy sellers and bloggers . . .

Here's the post for the FREE mini chalkboard set.
All you need to do is leave a comment on this posting and you will be entered to win a FREE set of eight mini chalkboard signs, or a set of eight mini chalkboard place settings.  At the end of this week, (Saturday at midnight) I will have one of my children choose the lucky winner.

I will contact the winner for their shipping address and the package will be sent out in the mail on Monday Priority Mail!

Happy posting . . . 

garth (

Sunday, October 24, 2010

oh, the ideas . . .

Here's the finished outhouse where it's going to stay.  It's up close to the rode so that in case a passerby needs to use the restroom, they have a place to stop!  It also serves the people that come to buy eggs from us.  The Star (men) and the Moon (women) are the symbols used that denotes that it is a unisex bathroom.  

I propped the door open to take this picture of the inside.  A natural toilet paper roll holder made from a small log, a small table to hold some wipes and sanitizer, and a painting made by Macy adorns the inside.  There is also a solar light (with remote) located on the ceiling.

And this is my proposed site for my Wall Tent Bed and Breakfast spot.  I am hoping to build a deck, and have a 12 x 14 wall tent on top of it.  I also want to include a bathroom (outhouse of course) equipped with a outdoor tub.  The site would also have a fire ring for night fires and a hammock for daytime relaxing.  An outdoor library, an old propane stove, ohhhh the ideas!

Friday, October 22, 2010

a visit to the farm . . .

WOW!  What a fun time at the farm!

Yesterday, the after school program from one of my schools came out to the farm as a field trip.  It was a blast for everyone involved.  65 students arrived to be greeted with a slew of hot dogs and cookies.  And after they ate, it was a free for all with several activities for them to experience.

Nolan took students on the Gator for a ride through the woods.  This was the big hit of the trip for them.

Amory was stationed at the horse riding area.  Horse riding came in second as the favored activity.


Macy worked with the students, and the teachers, on how to milk a cow.  She also supplied fresh cold milk for them to try.  And some of them loved it.

Asher helped the children in and out of the makeshift pig pen so they could pet and feed our little porker.  It was fun to watch the pig, and the children, squeal.

And Maine worked with the children on catching, handling, and feeding chickens.  It was fascinating to see which animals the students gravitated toward.


It was a great time for the students, and for my children as well.  An all around A+ field trip to the farm!

In addition to field trips to the farm, lately I have been thinking about some Bed and Breakfast accommodation ideas as well.  :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

seeing the sides at night . . . is a funny little site that Jostens Yearbook Publishing company has come up with to play around with vintage images. Here I am, back in 1968 playing basketball with a school mate friend. I am number 32 . . . and that was back before my beard.

Even from a half mile away you can see the barn illuminated as you drive down the route toward our farm. Two weeks ago, I dug out some of my spotlight yard lights and hooked them up to the barn to highlight the Ohio Bicentennial logo. Currently I just have them in with extension cords so drivers could see the sides of the barn as they traveled down the route at night. I am planning to make them a permanent part of the exterior decor. I have had several comments from local farm neighbors saying that they "LOVE" the lights and are happy that we are taking such care of a once neglected farm. In fact, this farm, back in the day (1907-1930) was the most recognized farm in the county. And everyone that I talk to around here has some historical connection to this place. For example, their aunt married one of the brothers, their grandparents bought meat from the family, or their dad mowed the fields for the family. It seems that our Big Barn is the center of this farm community and that there is a buzz about what we are doing here on our place with it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

crossing the creek . . .

Another successful butchering day. And a BEAUTIFUL day at that! The chicken plucker has revolutionized our chicken butchering times. It is a pleasure to process 30 to 40 birds now. This morning, I leisurely got around to setting up our stations knowing it was only going to take a few hours of work to process our birds. I don't even think we got started until 10:30 or so with the first of the bunch. An hour and a half later . . . and we were DONE! Done, like I did not have any more to do than to bag them and put them in the freezer. (of course I had a few minutes of cleaning up to do though) What a world of difference a simple little machine makes.

Today was the first day I sold chicken to a customer as well. A family that has been buying eggs regularly from us decided that they wanted fresh chicken as well. So, later in the afternoon, Keith came over and picked up some chicken along with his egg order. It's fun providing food for others and I am excited to see where this venture of providing meat for others lead us.

Another project I have in the makes is a bridge that crosses our creek in the woods. The bridge serves two purposes. One, it helps us crossing the creek whether on foot or in the Gator. Second, it is a practice for the horses as they have to cross over wood (like a bridge) on the Trail event in horse riding. As part of the Tinora High School Equestrian Team, Amory competed in the equestrian event called Trail where the horse is required to do all sorts of things while the rider only uses one hand on the reins, and leads the horse around by touching the neck of the horse. (it's called reining when you tell a horse what to do only using the reins) Two weeks ago she placed SECOND (2nd) in STATE in the Trail event. That was 2nd place out of 9 teams of horse riders with about 2 to 5 riders from each team competing in that event. Way to go Amory!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

hay ring . . .

Last year, when we bought this place, it was full of weeds . . . mostly teasel, an invasive, eye sore of a plant that grows to almost 6' tall. Hidden in the barn pasture teasel was a worn looking, ill repaired hay ring. I didn't even find it until after spring came! This weekend I decided to give it an update with some cinnamon color that blends in nicely with the fall backdrop that is slowly creeping up on us from the woods.

I am extremely influenced by color, and love making the farm and farm items display the beauty of subtle color. The hues are fun to work. (Corrie . . . you would appreciate this color in a blouse or sweater)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

the one-seater . . .

My Etsy business has taken OFF this past year and I find that I am out in the wood shop most nights cutting chalkboards. However, I am finding some time each evening to do a "little" work on the outhouse and have gotten about half way done with it. Here's some updated photos of my progress thus far.

Inside seat (it's a one-seater)

Sliding Plexiglas windows with screen

View from the front

I have it close to the garage now while I am working on it, but when I am finished, it will go out next to the Big Barn. I am painting it the same color as the rest of the outbuildings and trimming it to match the barns.

I suppose if I keep at it a little at a time, I'll be able to finish it in a week or so. Good thing, I have an after-school program of 60 children coming to visit the farm the latter part of the month. And it has to be ready for then!