Friday, January 29, 2010

in and around the farm . . .

It's fun to "settle" into a home and re-arranged things to fit exactly the way they function best. We have done that with the kitchen and family rooms already. After living here for a few weeks we are starting to get the feel of what works, and what doesn't, and have moved things around a bit to find that great fit for items.

The children started their studies again after a long winter break. With moving, and the fact that they study on Saturday and through the summer, Ildi decided to give them an extended break while we have been moving in. It's always hard getting back into the routine of waking early and spending time studying. They are however, doing a good job of it already.

Janey is giving us more and more milk week after week. After we moved, it seemed like her milk production went up a bit, and we are not quite sure why. About three gallons a day. As a result of the abundance, Ildi is able to make cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and we are helping out my mom with some fresh milk. It is really helping her blood production and her lack of iron.

This next couple of weeks we are going to be visiting some churches in the area. I am excited to get back into a local church where we can start building friendships with people in the area, and worship God together.

Monday, January 25, 2010

repairing to do . . .

This past weekend Nolan and I spent some time fixing a few of the barn doors that had jumped off the track. Big doors . . . big work. We have two more to hang, and a little repairing to do on the weather beaten bottoms, then we'll be mostly done with the barn door work. I love the idea of getting the outside buildings not only functional, but aesthetic as well.

In addition to fixing some of the outside stuff, a good friend and his family came over on Saturday for dinner. Patrick brought along his Stihl chainsaw and helped us cut some more wood to burn for this winter. It's nice to have someone who knows what they are doing with a chainsaw to give tips and pointers on how to cut wood. He has cut wood since his youth, and is a reservoir of information on cutting techniques. LOOK AT THE FORM on that MAN! :)

I'm almost ready to post another few before/after pictures of the interior. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

some before and afters . . .

Mostly these picture are for Chris H. however everyone else can enjoy them as well. Over the years of friendship, Chris and I have had joy in designing interiors of our many homes. Like us, his family has moved several times and he has painted, arranged furniture, and enjoyed adding his and his wife's style to their homes. These are the before/after pictures of our family room and kitchen. (the new part of the home) The last few years Ildi has wanted to try her hand at cooking on a wood cook stove. So, last weekend we installed the "New Decade" wood stove to not only heat the house, but to cook on as well. It is equipped with an oven to the right, and the entire top of it is a cooking area.

These two rooms are almost completely done minus some art on the walls, and a few minor changes.

Friday, January 22, 2010

mucking out the barn . . .

Each evening this past week we have spent some time mucking out the barn. Apparently, there was a beef operation on the farm at one point and the barn is LOADED with dried manure. There will be no need to buy compost or manure for the gardens this year (or next!)

We started working from pole to pole doing one section of it at a time. Good for us, each night Janey sleeps right in front of the hay chute. So we started there. Filling that small area with straw is easy for now. Our plan is to get all the floor mucked in the next week then we can start on the loft part of the barn. It sure feels good to have that old mess cleaned out.

Monday, January 18, 2010

cut some wood . . .

Today was a great day on the homestead. For a couple of weeks I have only concentrated on painting and organizing in the house, however, since school was closed today, I spent almost the entire day outside doing work. And it was a BEAUTIFUL day to be outside. A cool 27 degrees with no wind. Perfect weather for outside work.

This is Fly with her catch from the woods today. Both the dogs have been delighted in catching rabbits and digging in the ground to uncover field mice.

Floppy is our doberman/hound mix that wondered into our lives around 4 weeks ago. We hesitated keeping her but found that she keeps Fly with some good company.

Two days ago I bought Nolan a chain saw to cut some wood for us. Today we started cutting up some of the "down" wood in our 4 acres of woods. There is probably enough wood laying around to keep us in wood for the whole rest of the winter.

Both Nolan and I take turns cutting. Even though the saw is only 9-10 pounds, it does take quite a toll on your forearms. Maybe after a few years we will be strong enough to handle cutting for several hours without it being so exhausting.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

some small tidbits . . .

It is good to have internet service again. The last few weeks I have been doing research on providers here in the area, setting up our desktop, and arranging furniture to house the computer. After several calls it came down to one provider and DSL. Our phone company. Come to find out, we had to go with the DSL service with our phone company because NO other company provides service this far out.

On a barn note, there's a rotten egg smell coming from the well water in the barn. No wonder the previous owners put a pond in for drinking water. The smell is foul. I don't think the animals will be affected by the sulfer in it though. However, if the milk starts tasting funny, I'll have to come up with a new plan for water to the barn.

Nolan was driving the ATV/Gator around pulling the other children on sleds behind it. Always trying to look back to see if everyone is OK, he came too close to the propane tank, bumped it with the tire, and KNOCKED it over. That's right, 200 gallons of propane in a bullet-like container dropped right over on it's side! Such a scary ordeal. Thankfully, no one was hurt, the gas works, and no explosion at the new home. When you live in the country and use propane you can either rent, or buy a tank. If you rent one you buy gas only from the company whose tank is on your property. When you buy one, you can decide who you have fill it. The advantage of buying one is comparing prices and having different gas companies fill it. Hopefully with our wood cook stove coming today, it will add enough heat to the house that I won't need to use that much gas.

Since I have a long weekend this weekend we plan to finish putting everything away and I will continue to touch-up some more painting. I also will get the garage and workshop in order so that I can make a few pieces of art that was ordered on my Etsy site.

Looking back over these past two years of renting and now finally landing here in this home, I really can see God's hand in "placing" us here. We looked at so many houses and farms, and none of them seemed to suit our needs. It is nice to finally be at our own place and for it to not only suit our needs, but also exceed what we wanted in a homestead. Ildi and I have spent hours already talking about the possibilities of our lives here and sharing vision for the place. I love things like that.

Friday, January 15, 2010

day nine through now . . .

This is the view driving into the property; the detached garage and workshop, and the HUGE grain barn in the back.

Wow! Did I mention that I really don't enjoy moving? I am soooooo DONE NOW with moving my junk all around the country.

Here's a bullet fashion snippet of what happened the last several days.

I stayed at the house up until Friday before move day to get as much painting done as possible. I painted almost the entire interior of the home minus three bedrooms and the master bedroom.

After we moved in, the existing radiators stopped working one day. Little did we know that we need to keep an eye on the propane and NOT let it run out!

We got the well pipes fixed and we now have water to the barn. No more dragging 5 gallon buckets of water out to water the animals. :) (it's really heavy to carry those buckets full of water about a 100 yards)

I found some radiators on craigslist and plant tp check them out this next week. Since I have Monday off of school, I am planning to drive up to Toledo and see if they will fit in my home. If they do, that will save me several thousands of dollars.

Tomorrow I drive to the Amish to get my wood cook stove I ordered. It will be GREAT to have an additional heat source in the house.

Lastly, the boxes of books, decor, and miscellaneous is finally dwindling. I can see light at the end of it all.