Sunday, March 16, 2014

Yes, I'm Still Here

It has been more than four months since my last blog post.  I keep meaning to sit down and take the time to gather the photos and stories together. And then I end up finding myself knee-deep in some other project, and so the months go by.

2013 closed out well for us here at the farmhouse.  Though I'd been working out of my office in the rehabbed farmhouse since January 2013, by the end of the year we had finally reached a point in our rehabilitation of the old structure where we felt we could make the move from the garage apartment.  New Year's Eve and New Year's Day were spent moving our things into their new places in the old farmhouse.  Still lots of work to do, but we made the move.... nearly four years after we started our big rehab project.
Joe installs hooks in the bathroom
Joe installs antenna for old farmhouse
There were advantages to moving in full-time.  The kitchen is SO much nicer here than in the garage apartment.  I'm not complaining at all, but what a liberating feeling it was to be able to prepare a full meal, using MULTIPLE pots and pans!  The master bedroom is spectacular.  Waking to the early morning light coming through the stained glass window is such an awesome experience.  I just love that room.  My sewing machine... I am FINALLY able to reconnect with my old friend of many, many years.  I am slowly, but surely, making the window toppers that I prefer to curtains.  I even have my own little sewing room.... well, except when the lovely Miss Eloise is visiting....during those times it is "Eloise Room!"  She is such a delight.  But the best part about living full time in the old farmhouse is that Joe now only has to worry about keeping one woodstove going.  Of course, when we are working in the garage apartment, he cranks up that woodstove too, but, well, it's been a cold, wet winter and we have been hibernating as much as possible.

Panoramic of old farmhouse living room
Panoramic of old farmhouse living room looking toward stairs
Ready to enjoy some TV
Baking lots of bread
Joe enjoys breakfast in bed in the new bedroom
Though 2013 closed out well for us, 2013 brought some very sad news for one of our friends.  She discovered that the cancer she'd beaten a few years ago had circled back, and with a vengeance.  She is a young woman, with an 11 year old son.  To-date, the chemotherapy has been unsuccessful and, save a miracle, her prospects on this earth look grim.  I continue praying for that miracle.

2014 has been COLD so far.  This may have been the coldest, wettest winter I have experienced in Virginia.  I am so looking forward to spring, and yet, even as I write this, we are battening down the hatches for more wind, and wet stuff --- 3-4 inches of the white variety.  I would love to have one full week of no precipitation, and reasonable temperatures.  I'm ready to start planting seeds.

Snow on the service deck outside the bedroom
Chicken....determined to be outside,
 but not wanting to get her feet in the snow
During the past couple of months we've had the pleasure of hosting the lovely Miss Eloise in our home for several days at a time.  She loves all of the animals and awakens each morning with a huge smile on her face, eager to go, "feed the co-cos, goats, rabbits, dogs and cat" -- Co-cos are chickens.  She is quite the little farm helper.
Joe and the lovely Miss Eloise
The lovely Miss Eloise reads to her babies
They love to read!
The kitchen table has drawers..
which make perfect tables for toddlers.
She is at that stage where she is a complete sponge.  You need only tell her something once and she remembers it.  Every time we go to get the feed for the critters, she stands well back from the feed van, and reminds me that she is standing there so she will not get her head bumped with the back door of the van.  Once the van door is open she climbs in and starts filling up feed buckets.

A farmer girl at heart!
Let me show you my goats!
Here you go baby!
If she sits down, Miah comes to be petted
Helping Gaki fill the feed bowls
Petting Fluffy
Fluffy is "FOST!"
This most recent visit she learned to, "cross the bridges," all on her own, not holding Gaki's (me) or Joe's hand.  This is a big deal because these bridges are simply 2" X 8", and 2" X 10" boards that Joe has laid across the open trenches which are deep and wide and which, should the weather EVER decide to cut us a break, will finally be closed in.  The lovely Miss Eloise eventually got so confident in her ability to cross these bridges that she made a little game out of jumping off the bridge at the end.  This worked well until she was crossing the bridges while carrying a basket of eggs.  Though she did not break the eggs, I cautioned her that she should not jump off the bridge if she was carrying eggs.  From then on, when crossing the bridges, she made a conscious and verbal decision as to whether to jump or not to jump.  And, if she forgot to jump off the bridge when she was not carrying eggs, she would retrace her steps going back over the bridge, JUST so she could jump off the end!

Learning to cross bridges on her own
Still getting a helping finger from Joe
The day after this crossing,
she was crossing the bridge on her own
I think that before her next visit, we will need to set up a little puppet theater.  She is just enthralled with playing dolls with Joe, who practices his ventriloquist talents with her baby dolls.  She reacts so wonderfully when the baby doll cries that "she" wants this or that.  It is quite enjoyable to watch.

Until next time.... THINK SPRING!!!