We're MOVING :)

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Well, many of you DGer's know that we have been looking (and looking, and looking, and...well you get the picture) for a farm. Well, yesterday we got the word, we will be movin' to the farm!!!!

DH and I will be caretaking a 25 acre farm in the SW section of Virginia (yes, Darius will be my neighbor...yay!) Remodeled salt-box farmhouse, approximately half wooded, half cleared, orchard, fenced pasture, live spring, on a river with 300 acres of woodland behind us. Multiple barns, a garden spot and a big swing in the front yard.

The property owner travels extensively, and we have full permission to treat the property as we wish - animals (we're inheriting a draft horse and Vietnamese Pot-Bellied pig), greenhouse (materials provided by owner), chickens, goats, building a summer kitchen, root cellar - all permitted.

We leave this Friday to see our new digs in person for the first time. I'm so excited that I am just about levitating, and I'm having a hard time concentrating on work (as you can see since I'm HERE).

I just had to share it with folks that would understand (unlike my family) why we are ecstatic to be moving to a tiny, no Wal-Mart, no Home Depot, place in the middle of the mountains.

I'll be picking all of the old timers brains here for help and guidance, since we're farm and homesteading neophytes to say the least!

Can you hear me whooping and hollering where you are? :D

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

I can hear you all the way up here in Rhode Island!! I hope your week goes by quickly so Friday will be here for you lickety-split!! When will you be making the move? The place sounds like heaven!

Sue ☺

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks Sue :) If we can get DSL turned on Monday while we are up there, I will move in this weekend. Since I work from home, the DSL HAS to be present and working before I can move in. DH will stay here in GA and pack up and bring things on his bi-weekly visits. This is all if our landlord doesn't let us out of our lease....which we're hopeful for since it is a job-related relocation. If we are released from our lease, then we'll have to formulate an alternative plan, but I'll still probably be staying on property with him managing the move down here in the interim.

Personally, I think he's just trying to get me gone so HE can determine what to keep and what to throw away (hahaha)! J/K :)
He just doesn't place the same value on jun....I mean, treasures that I do ;)

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Congrats Hineni!!! I know your joy, as I am sure by now you know I am doing the same thing...I have been trading off things out of my house here for things that better suit the new home...and doing pretty well with it...I am especially proud of trading off my 1930's HUGE round mirrored vanity and stool for a 1900's dresser w/mirror and a matching wardrobe cabinet to go with the 4 poster bed I already have...I will finally be able to put the canopy frame on the bed with the 12 foot ceilings!! LOL...

We will expect to see LOTS of pictures!!!

Dusty

This message was edited Jun 9, 2008 12:51 PM

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Sunny, I am SO happy for you, and of course for me too since I will have another DG'er with similar interests for a neighbor!

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks Darius - I'm hoping you can come hang out a few nights with me during my first week up there, if your schedule allows for it. I'd offer to do a sleepover, but since I'm only taking a blow up mattress I figure that'd be mighty hard on ya...haha!

DSL service is ordered and should be on by Friday...Woot!! If so, I can work on Monday and still be at the place, thereby saving another vacation day for later in the moving cycle.

Dusty, that sounds beautiful! I have a penchant for armoires (no, not fancy antique ones, just armoires period) I'm still trying to wrangle keeping more of them than is currently in the furniture-on-truck space budget ;) Since all but one aren't valuable anyway, it might be cheaper to have a garage sale and take the $$ and just buy other ones when we get up there, and they might fit the character of the farmhouse more anyway.

I promise photos this weekend, if DSL is working :)

Gotta run, lunch hour is over!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Sunny, I can hang out earlier in the week, but my high school friend, Betty, from Marietta is coming that Wednesday through Saturday or Sunday.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Ohhhh Yes!!! Sell the non valuables, and replace when you get moved in...VA and WVA are notorious for beautiful antique or period pieces... and reasonable prices too...Just look around, and steer clear of big dealers unless you are willing to pay the price...Yard/garage sales are a real boon... Sometimes people don't know what they have...

I am going to work on getting my furnishings completely changed over eventually...My dining room furniture will work fine with a change of hardware, as I am going to do things from 1874 when the home was built, up to about the 1940's period...I don't feel the home would want anything any newer than that...

You will know when you get there I'm sure, what the home wants if you give it time...I am doing absolutely nothing to my home in restoration including the wallpapered ceilings etc...until I can afford to Tin them...
The kitchen dates to about mid 50's with homemade cabinets, but it does have a dishwasher and garbage disposal...I MAY later on, paint them, and remove a small section of cabinet that covers the area where the chimney for the original wood cookstove was so I can put one back in there...I will put the chair rail and underside trim framing back up in the dining room eventually... and restore the fireplace that was there...or put an electric one there...

I am also going to re-add the fireplaces in the upstairs rooms, but I am going to cheat and use the electric ones that look like real flames and have blowers from Home Depot or Lowes when they go on sale in the spring...That will be where my Christmas money goes...I need 3 of them at best count so far...One per year...The fireplace in the living room is functional, and the chimney is clean and clear, but my intention is to put an airtight stove insert in there...I can still enjoy the flames, but it will be better efficient for heating...and the house is currently heated by fuel oil, so that is a real consideration with todays prices...IF you have access to a good supply of wood/coal...

I recount all of this, so you can plan and think what you may need to do as well...This is not the first 100+ year old home I have lived in, and they take special thought if you want to be comfortable in them, and not get discouraged the first winter you have to survive in them...Winters can be brutal in this zone...
As long as I keep the windows and doors closed downstairs, the house remains cool, as it is brick...Opening the upstairs windows allows the heat to rise and escape in the summer...A fan in my bedroom to circulate the air will suffice...

I can't wait to see your pics from the beginning like mine, and then what you accomplish...This will be sooo much fun comparing notes...LOL

Dusty



This message was edited Jun 9, 2008 3:11 PM

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

wow, that';s exciting, hooray for you!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Yeah what a wonderful time you are going to have !!! what a great deal you have. :) goats too, i m thinking cheese :)
you are going to have so much fun !!! i m giggley with excitement for you.
I m really looking forward to your pics too. ....... still waiting patiently ........ LOL :)
congrat on your new adventure !!!!
best wishes
sue

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks ya'll :) The nervous rush has set in now as I try to get utlities turn on from afar, manage installers when no one is at the house...eeek! What was I thinking? LOL! We have to plan for no power (so pack lanterns and the like) since no one is there and if the previous occupants left things "on" with a load on the meter, then they won't connect. So we may be more homesteading than we know this weekend...hehe.

I know that the farmhouse has been remodeled, but I only have photos of pre-remodel, and exterior only at that.

This is truly an adventure and I'm so excited I can barely think straight. But I love it!

Dusty, do you have a photo link somewhere on DG that shows your progress? If so, I must have missed it; please share if you do.

Sue - we can have goats, but there aren't any present at the property yet (unless you count the wild ones loose in the back woodlands). I don't think the fencing is strong enough at present to allow for that; but again, we'll have to see this weekend.

I appreciate ya'll sharing this adventure with me, thank you :)

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Sunny, if you need to have someone go and wait for an installer, just let me know. Nothing going on here I can't drop, and it's only about 30 minutes away anyway.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I hate like everything to rain on the parade and joy of others, but stark reality has set in on me here in central MO & I'm fairly certain you will run into some of the same obstacles. Insurance companies either will NOT insure houses with any type woodburning appliances in them or will increase the premiums by multiple digit percentages, are picky about even free standing LP gas stoves(be sure the stove pipe goes way out from the side of the house & upward into the heavens or up thru an existing inspection passing chimney) and insist on central heating up to current specs, the wiring is all post 1960s and up to passing present day code should they decide to inspect, plumbing must be up to today's code specs, and I don't know just what else some company will dream up next to get out of insuring a home. Right now I am with a company who has accepted my home but has a bad claim paying reputation and high premiums. All things to be thinking about and looking into.
I am really happy for both of you that are getting new homes that are what you want. I too wish I lived closer to someone like Darius. But considering my health I doubt the other person would find it much of a privilege to live close to me.

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

wow, how exciting. Bet you can't wait to see it! I can't wait for pics. Post pics of inside and out. We want to see every detail!
Gwen

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Hi Gwen,

I'll probably bore ya'll silly once I get up there, with pics and documentary details...LOL! It's just so wonderful to have people who understand the excitement, to share with.

I did get a photo of the house pre-renovation, so I've attached it here. Can't wait to see what she is wearing when we get up there :)

Thumbnail by Hineni
So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

That's so cool! Wonder if that big tree is still there?

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Hineni.. Here is my link...

http://picasaweb.google.com/DustyDS/LifeAtTheHomestead03

I love your new home!! Can't wait to see the finished product... You sure won't be boring me with Pics... LOL ... Ummmm Stock up on camera batteries!!!!

Hugggs
Dusty

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Well, Darius got to see it before I did...LOL! She was gracious enough to go by and pick up my DSL router off the porch for me so it wouldn't walk away before we arrived.

She sent some pics, but I really can't post much today because I'm only working a half day. But here's the ol' gal with her new finery (please ignore the underbrush...which is why the property needs a caretaker...LOL!)

I'll chat with ya'll probably later in the weekend, as we're on the road in a few hours.

Thumbnail by Hineni
Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

The picture reminds me of the house my parents moved to when I turned 14. I wonder if the inside has the same floor pattern. It was a popular one back then.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Hineni... It is just lovely!!! Can't wait to see more of it!!!

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Hineni!!! Are you there yet???? Curious minds need to know!!!!! ROFLLL

Hurry up and tell us everything... better yet, Show us!!

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I too am eager to hear and see all about it. I'm sorry about my first post about the insurance woes. I had just been turned down by 3 companies in 2 days for the reasons I listed. And I think our home is newer than your new one. So I was just trying to warn you of possible problems you might have to face. Perhaps they aren't as strict in your area. But I really am happy you are getting something you want.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks Leaf...In Heinnis case, the property owner has those woes, not her...All she needs is tennants insurance on her belongings...and in mine, the same, until I go under Land Contract next year, however I had already contacted the current agent, and was told no problem to transfer into my name since the house has been standing since 1874, we will assume with continued good care, it will continue to stand...Many things have been upgraded, and wood burning inserts in fireplaces are encouraged here in these old historic homes to help avoid a stray spark or ember from an open fireplace...not to mention the efficiency, and one reason I am replacing the old fireplaces that have been blocked up with the electric ones...Esthetically, I will get the ambiance I want, and some heat to boot without the fire danger...I'm quite sure you had very good intentions and I'm sorry you had a bad day with the insurance companies..

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

I am here and finally have DSL- although cell phones don't work here. I'll post some pics tomorrow, but tonight I'm tirrrred and finally found the cord for the camera to upload the pics.

It's far more wonderful here than I ever dreamed! Here is an intro...this is the entry into the valley that we live in.

Thumbnail by Hineni
Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Here are a few pics before I log in to work - I have to resize them so that it won't bog down the dial up folks!

Drive way to the house - the barn on the left is the first of three barns on the property. It's in good shape, wired for electric (but not live at this time), and has a closed woodworking shop on the right hand side, and the left side is open - that will be my potting shed. There is an upstairs, but it's currently very waspy, so we'll have to get that remedied before it is useful. Not sure what's up there. We thought we would have to put in a root cellar, but discovered that under this two story barn IS a root cellar. Currently the water has been diverted wrongly and the floor of the root cellar is always wet, and it is a mud floor, so we will have to work on draining that pasture and routing the water properly before it can be used again. I must tell you though, we found piles and piles of old, old canning jars down there, along with hand thrown bowls and other really, really cool stuff. I haven't set foot into the actual cellar...haha! We have some lovely salamanders on the property, which is new to me. Since we have a spring and a spring house, we'd already seen them in there, but they also live in the root celler. Their colors are awesome!

Thumbnail by Hineni
Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

This is the view of the barn above, from the front porch of the house. The wood is in excellent shape. It has a rock foundation, and the root cellar entry is made of tree trunks.

Thumbnail by Hineni
Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

This is looking back down the drive from the parking area of the house. This area contains more poison ivy than I personally have ever seen. In fact, the one thing this place grows extremely well is poison ivy :)

Also, we have dandelions over six feet tall, and thistle at least four feet tall...LOL! But, to offset those negatives, we have scads of red clover, chamomile, yarrow and over 200 brambles bearing blackberries and raspberries, as well as peaches, black walnut and beechnut. So it balances out.... :)

As you can begin to see, we really have our work cut out for us.

Thumbnail by Hineni
Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Last one for this morning...

This is the beech tree directly off the porch of the house, which makes it shaded all day long and gives it a lovely, secret garden feel in the mornings and early twilight. I LOVE this tree. It has a swing on it, like you saw when we were kids - wooden seat, and I sit here (when the trailer isn't in the way) and swing and drink my morning coffee :) Did I mention I absolutely adore this property?? :)

Three grown men can barely wrap their arms around the trunk of this beauty.

Thumbnail by Hineni
Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

I'm so glad you love it! It does sound very cool indeed. I would kill for a root cellar! Esp one with old jars and stuff in it. How neat is that?!? It all sounds just like a dream come true. I am so jealous about the barn. I want a barn so bad.

Maybe you'll develop somewhat of an immunity to poison ivy. I used to live in Calif where we had poison oak and I developed a bit of an immunity to it. My parents were pretty good about keeping most of it pulled and now there is very little to none left on their property.

Gwen

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Congratulations! The property is beautiful and you are going to be so happy there, in spite of the work that needs to be done to the grounds!

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

That is a beautiful place. Sounds like you hit the "dream come true" mother lode.

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks for all of the encouragement, and Kathleen, you are absolutely right. I've cried many times already in our three days here from joy and amazement that we are HERE. It was a blessed gift, and we are very, very thankful.

Gwendalou - apparently I don't react to PI as badly as some other people. I've already gotten some on my calf from tucking my PI-exposed pants into boots (duh moment there!) But some Bach's Rescue Remedy cream takes any itch out immediately. It also works on tick bites as I discovered when I got my first one of those the other day too.

ROBIN - Hurry down to visit woman :)

Okay, for some more photos (I'm sure you'd rather look at pics than read my blabbing...!)

This one is of the beautiful rescued draft horse that came with the property - my first horse relationship. Actually, the first time I've ever really touched a horse and man is she lovely - both physically and disposition-wise. I think it might be the apples impacting that...hehe. J bought a horse brush and he used it on her yesterday for the first time. She was sooo still. It's really cool how stealthy she is, for 1,800 lbs! Earlier today I stepped out on the porch and didn't know that she was in the upper pasture here (she has free reign of all of the property except the immediate farmhouse area) Apparently she heard me, and did that cool noise she makes to say 'hey, I'm over here blind woman!' I didn't have on my pasture boots, so I just tossed her an apple. She didn't seem to mind it much :)

Thumbnail by Hineni
Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

This is a full view of what I guess should accuratly be called the 'lower' pasture, since it falls the lowest on the lay of the land. I think of it as upper because it's 'up here, by the house' LOL! As you can see, we have real drainage and collection issues, hence the large patch of cattails in the middle of the pasture. This view is north of the barn and the spring house. There is a culvert that runs under the road behind me that drains the rain run-off into the river across the street, WHEN the drainage is set up properly. Right now just the spring overflow meanders through the pasture and into the river.

You can also get a good idea of the slope up from behind the pasture and house from this photo. On the other side of the fence is the primary path (ATV, horse, walking and driving) that leads up through the middle of the property. On this slope that you're viewing is where one of the largest groups of blackberry patches is - very convenient for picking when they ripen up!

Thumbnail by Hineni
Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

This is a side view of that same pasture, from standing in the drive right in front of the house. You can see my 77 year old neighbors gorgeous (albeit not organic) garden. They are wonderful people - another blessing. They have lived here over 50 years, so they are a wonderful source of information on how the land used to be utilized.

Thumbnail by Hineni
Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

To the east of the house, looking at the same barn, but inclusive of the spring house further south just before the path.

Thumbnail by Hineni
Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Oh, Hineni, what a dream world you have entered into. I'm so happy for you.

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Wonderful that the neighbors are so close! Must have made J more comfortable leaving you behind.

Definitely will be coming to visit as soon as we get the bank account built back up and get the truck fixed. Guess I should start buying stock in Enterprise, as much as we've rented cars from them lately.

I love your place! Every picture just makes it better and better!

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

H, one thing you need to be aware of with the drainage issues. In NYS, any area that sustains certain plants (cattails, reeds, swale grass) is considered wetland and is protected. The tendency in many other states is to go the same way. You need to be in touch with your County Extension office or Soil and Water Conservation District about what is allowed and how it needs to be done. We have put in miles of drainage tiling under hayfields and pasture land with three significant wetlands remaining. It has been profitable for us (not having to fit ground with two tractors, one pulling the one pulling the tillage equipment, et cetera) and has been good for the crop and pasture land and the wetland areas. Here's a link to the VA DEQ Wetlands site: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/wetlands/

It will give you an idea of what is permitted and where to go to find out more. This is one of those things that sometimes throws people off - the state regs can sometimes make it look like your rights are extremely limited, but usually there are many ways to work within the system and still achieve what you need to.

Aren't those horses something? When our first Amish neighbors moved in they had a team of work horses, a buggy horse and a pony that occasionally got out of the fence. One day they found our corn field (the last year we planted corn) and my daughters, then pre-teens, and I went to see if we could chase them home. Well, you can't herd horses, so after a great deal of frustration, I grabbed the halter on one of the work horses. The other came over to see what was up, and I grabbed its halter as well. I pulled and they followed, the buggy horse followed them and the pony followed the buggy horse. I started down the road towards the family's farmstead and thought I was pretty smart, until the work horses got a scent of home. I should say here that at my tallest, I was all of 5 foot 3 inches. We were about half way home, when both horses lifted their heads. I felt like Peter Pan, "I'm FLYING." My poor daughters were following behind and panicked, thinking I was going to be killed. I just hung on for all I was worth and when they got to the barn, they lowered their heads to go in the door and I touched down and let go. It is an experience that we laugh about now, but my eldest still remembers how scared she was after 20 plus years.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Kathleen, I can just imagine that picture of you being carried along by those draft horses. LOL. I glad you didn't get hurt.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

That's TOO funny, Kathleen!

Good advice on the Wetlands issue, since I live 25 miles from Sunny, and also have a small marshy area...

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