Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Old Stuff

  My earliest collecting started at the age of five, when I found a cobalt blue medicine bottle in our backyard creek. I remember thinking that I'd found the greatest treasure. I still have that little bottle 25 years later, along with many others. I've had many great treasure hunting adventures since then and I've drug others along with me. We've dug in old dump sites in the woods or old homesteads long forgotten. I've found ink and medicine bottles in my own gardens too. Some of the perks of gardening behind our 120 year old house. Just imagine all my cute little medicine bottles on the window sills with little flower stems in each one, sun shining through.

  At some point in high school I became smitten with old windows. I've even taken a wrong turn on my way to a college class and ended up with 20 windows.  I simply left a note on the door inquiring about the windows leaning against the barn. He called back. I left a $20 and away we went. I estimate that I have around 100 windows now. Hopefully I can start building greenhouses and cold frames with them next year.

  I've accumulated quite a few other things too. I love baskets, buttons, fabric, tea cups/plates, antique kitchen utensils, wooden trunks, old picture frames and so much more. I realize I sound a bit like a hoarder but I have plans for this stuff, I swear. It will all happen now that we have our own house.

  Clearly, I'm very nostalgic. I'm not collecting for value or looks, though they are perks. To me it's more about the history. How many pie crusts have been rolled out by that old rolling pin? How many children have gazed out these old windows at the first falling snow? It's the same feeling that makes me gaga over an old farm. I think of the generations of families that grew up there. The hands that built it and the babies born. It's the saddest thing to see an old farm slowly falling into itself. I would save them all if I could.

  I pictured my first home to be a farm house. It's not and that's probably for the better. They need more love and since this is our first home it's better to start off with something easier. We will enjoy it too. But when the time comes for our first real old farm, I'll be ready. I'm not sure about Andrew (not much for diy), but I'll be ready.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Late Summer Pics

I'm still really terrible at using blogger.  I have the hardest time placing photos, caption and text.  It probably doesn't help that I'm very impatient and spend zero time actually learning the program. 

I started using the caption feature but then it just stopped working, oy.  Whatever.  You can see in some of the photos that I have a piece of fuzz inside my lens.  I use a sony cybershot so it will probably be cheaper to buy a new one than to send it off to be cleaned.

Eventually, I would love to upgrade to a Canon Rebel.  First, I must make a more consistent income.  Always easier said than done.  

Amazing storm.
Slow decay.
Zissou enjoying her favorite spot.  Hilarious.

 Morning webs.

 Cherry orchard fence.
 Zissou in her second favorite place.

 More morning mist.  See the fuzz in the center of the pic?

 The clouds above.

The sand below.  Andrew and I visiting Lake Michigan.
 Juice grapes.
 An otter at Fishtown in Leland.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rain Check on Thanksgiving

Since we are living in a basement apartment with no kitchen, (we share the upstairs kitchen with roomies) and our parents have all moved to AZ, and our siblings have plans, and we wont be moving into our new house until December, and...  I guess we will have to wait to have our little feast. 

I was really hoping to cook for everyone.  I love making the feast.  Perhaps I can wrangle in a few people for our late celebration.  Oh how glorious it will be to cook in our new kitchen with brand spanking new stainless appliances including a gas stove, my favorite way to cook!

  I sat up and looked at seed catalogs for hours after reading the book, Heirloom: Notes from and accidental tomato farmer by Tim Stark.  I played on Pinterest for many hours yesterday, pinning gardening stuff.  I laid in bed last night until after 2am thinking of the possibilities for our five acres.  I may loose my mind.
 See the pretty rolling hills through the doors.  The carpet was replaced with wood floors since this photo was taken.

Some of the backyard.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Running Wild

My mind has been going into overdrive thinking of all the possibilities for our new yard.  Trellis here.  Raised bed there.  Chickens here.  Bench there.  Garden paths.  Rock walls.  Goats...........

I need to find a a little greenhouse so that I can start seeds this winter/spring for our veggie garden next year.  I will grow for us next year and hopefully be able to offer up CSA shares in 2014 if all goes well.  No rush. 

Our big front yard will be turned into flower gardens.  I'll put the iris's into wide rows with grass paths in between.  There's a few apple trees out front.  I think I'll under plant that whole area with my spring bulbs and I'd love to have a split rail fence out front. 

I want to yank out the few yucky shrubs around the house and replace them with natives.  I also have several Autumn Olives to pull out.  Those things run rampant around here.

We'll chop out some of the brush on the south edge and leave some nice specimen trees so I can have my woodland gardens.  We have lots of maple leaves to mulch into that sandy soil luckily.

We may be able to close a week earlier.  I'm hoping we get in there before the winter snows start.  Moving in snow would not be fun.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Closing on Nov. 30th

Inspection.....check.  Appraisal....check.  Home owners insurance....check.  New appliances....check.  We will be closing on the house November 30th.  We're really excited to have our very own home!  I have so much space to decorate and so much soil to play in.  Can't wait until spring!  I'll have all winter to dream and plan.

I drove in my first mini blizzard today in over five years.  It's going to be a long winter, warm and cozy in our new home.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We bought a house!

We made an offer on a house yesterday.  It was accepted today!

It's not my dream farm but it will do for now.  It's a very nice place with five acres.  Plenty of space to start digging in the dirt.

13435 South Cedar Road, Cedar MI

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Beautiful Poem

Homage to Life

It is good to have chosen
a living home
and harbored time
in a constant heart,
to have seen one's hands
touch the world
as an apple
in a small garden,
to have loved the earth,
the moon and the sun,
like old friends
beyond any others,
and to have entrusted
the world to memory
like a luminous horseman
on his black steed,
to have given shape
to these words: wife, children,
and to have served as a shore
for roving continents,
to have come upon the soul
with little oarstrokes
for it is frightened
by a sudden approach.
It is good to have known
the shade under the leaves
and to have felt age
steal over the naked body
accompanying the grief
of dark blood in our veins
and glazing its silence
with the star, Patience,
to have all these words
stirring in the head,
to choose the least beautiful
and make a little feast for them,
to have felt life
rushed and ill-loved,
to have held it
in this poetry.

Joseph Stroud

Friday, September 21, 2012

On We Will Go

 Well, that farm that I loved so much in my last blog post, sold.  The old saying, "you snooze, you lose", has never been more true.  It took two weeks for me to convince Andrew that it was actually a great deal for the area.  When we finally contacted the realtor there was already three offers.  We were able to make an offer at the very last minute but since we were not pre approved, we had no idea what we could truly afford.  Out of fear, we made a very low offer, (not my idea) and it was not accepted.  Lesson learned.  Moving on.  We are pre approved now and sadly realize that we really could have afforded the place.

It took me a few weeks of periodic crying but I'm okay now, sort of.  I still get mad about it.  I'm such a dreamer that I had that farm totally planned out.  The dreams were made.  Gardens were laid.  Farm animals were munching on grass.  Blast my dreamy dreams!

There will be another.  I hope.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Farm Hunting

  Andrew and I have been scanning the local property listings a lot lately. We are finally ready to buy when the right place comes along. Yesterday we went and checked out an old farm property on the Leelanau Peninsula, which is where we currently are renting. Andrew has his heart set on living out here, as do I, but I didn't really expect it to be a reality with our budget. It can be pretty expensive out here in Lake Michigan. The land that is good for growing orchards sells at a premium so I was quite surprised to find this little gem.

 It needs lots of work. Most of the buildings need roof repairs as does the house. The house is small and dated. Nothing special at all really. It seems to be quite solid though.  No creaky or wavy floors.  Windows are shot.  It needs all new flooring and paint.  In this case, however, it's not really the house I'm after. The land is beautiful! Rolling pastures, large maples, nice wooded areas, it really has everything that I want.  We need to do some research about the farm, land values, and find out about the electrical, wells, etc.  It's 21.5 acres. 

 I think this property is as close as I will ever get to what I want in this county.  I love it!  We can make it our own.  Andrew isn't impressed with the house at all but I'm trying to make him see its potential.  I'm the rose glasses wearing optimist.  He is the realistic pessimist.  I suppose that is good.  If it were my choice, we would have bought and moved into an old farm that had no modern amenities a long time ago (giggle, giggle).  I can picture it years down the road, much larger with big windows and a grand porch.  Sigh.

 Two views of the house.  The front half appears to be made of cement blocks and the back is wood.

 I love the stone work of this barn.  The rood is covered with sheet metal so there isn't much damage.
 The huge pole barn appears to be in great shape.
 This building needs a lot of work.  The roof is caving in.
 A little shed that may house some electrical stuff.
 The root cellar.  I was so excited when I stumbled across this!

 The North end pasture.
 Some of the pretty woods by the house.  I love that it has Trillium.  A sign of good fertility.
 The North pasture again.
 Looking East.
 Western border.
 Looking down the driveway from the road.
 The house is just beyond those trees.
 Another damaged shed and the house just beyond it.
 Several of the large, old maples.

 More maples.
An old hay rake?
 A tiny shed.
A handpumped well.  Not sure if it's just decorative or if it was functional.

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