Monday, February 28, 2011

Farm Home renovations got a bit delayed this past weekend, thanks to an uninvited guest of the feline variety.  I arrived at the farm Thursday morning to what appeared (and smelled) to be presents that a cat left behind on the temporary bed we had set up to sleep on. Now this is the SECOND time this has happened. The previous inhabitants had told us that they were unable to catch their barnyard cats, but never made mention that there might be a pet hiding somewhere inside. This time Animal Control was called. Within moments a Sheriff's Deputy showed up and helped me search the house. Nothing. He was as puzzled as I. The house is void of furniture save the above mentioned bed and a sofa, so not a whole lot of places for the fury devil to hide. We set a live trap, but after one night came up empty. Night two, the crafty cat had ate the bait, but not triggered the trap. Day 1 AM. We figured out that it had been hiding in a tiny plumbing crawlspace in the upstairs bath. We put the caged cat in the well house

for the remainder of the night since it is heated and went back to bed relieved to have solved the problem. The next morning, Fritz went to the well house to get the cat to the animal shelter and EMPTY cage. The cat was indeed still in the stone well house, so Animal Control was called again. A different Deputy was there in minutes. He got out all his cat catching equipment and we all thought he had it, when it suddenly broke loose and took of across the field. I thought for a moment that it really did deserve it's freedom after all it's clever work, but then remembered the smell of my ruined new mattresses and was happy that the deputy set out two traps. The next morning the traps were full....with the 2 barnyard cats. My formidable feline is still out there. Laughing at me no doubt. A third deputy showed up to pick up the other 2 cats, but it took him 40 minutes to show. Must have been some real crime happening in Page County.
Despite all the antics, we did manage to get a little bit done on the house. Fritz continued with the painting

and tried out his new toy.

I test stripped one of the dormer closet doors just to see if I could do it and if the doors were nice enough to restore. The process is fairly simple. Take a door loaded with who knows how many layers of paint,

 brush on some stripper, wait 15 minuted for the paint to soften

and scrap it all off.

I didn't think the results were all that great, but the rails and stiles of the door appeared to be quarter sawn oak, so I decided to give it a second try. So pleased I did!

A little fine sanding and some oil, and I think I have a keeper. 14 more doors to go. Or maybe just a few.

And please hope with me that the escaped kitty does a fantastic job of keeping the yarn free of all the other possible unwanted critters. (especially the long skinny slithery kind)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Renovations to the farm house are coming along. Our initial goal is to get a fresh coat of paint through out the entire home and refinish/re carpet the floors. We will then move some furniture in and  just Live a bit before contemplating major re-do's like the kitchen and bathrooms. Those areas are completely functional for now although in need of style updates. I want to take the time to "try on" the space before committing major investments into them. We have all 4 bedrooms, the dining room and what will be my hobby room completely painted. The rooms look so good with fresh coats of paint on the walls ceilings and trim. The plan is to get the foyer, stairwell, upstairs hallway and living room done this weekend. Then it will be on to floors and doors.
These past two weekends have been productive dispute taking time off the play with this little love of mine:

And to drive to Lynchburg for my Tommy's home opener Lacrosse game

Everyone is pitching in with the work. A visit from my mom and her husband Ray was especially helpful since Ray is a retired painter

Andy found a way to get a massive built in desk out

and Joey is determined to get the overgrowth along the fencing under control

even the little guy tried to lend a hand

While I am impatient to get things done so that we can have the kind of family gatherings I hope for, simply posting these photos makes me realize that we are already having those moments as a family. My children seem to love the place as much as I do and most importantly want to help bring it to life.
 I am a very Blessed Momma.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blogging the Easy Way

  My daughter expressed it way better than I ever could.   
     Please go to  this post!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Full Circle

     We started looking for a place in the country 12 years ago. Seemed like every weekend we were loading up the kids and taking them on the house hunt with their favorite country tunes streaming from the radio. I fondly remember the windows rolled down with the fragrance of fresh cut hay in the air and all of my children signing "Shoulda Been a Cowboy" as loud as they could. We found many that we would have liked...Pink House and Seminole Farm in particular, but our place in Luray was well worth the wait. For Fritz and I, buying a place in Luray feels like we have come full circle. During our High School and College days we spent many a weekend in the adjacent Blue Ridge Mountains along Skyline drive on the Motorcycle, taking in the views and doing a bit of hiking. More weekends were spent in the valley at pig roasts and tubing on the river. We even spent a few days there at the Mimslyn following our Wedding.
    We pulled onto the property keys in hand and after a "its really ours!" hug, we went straight to work. The house is in very good shape mechanically and structurally, but needs a good deal of cosmetic updating.


Problem is that it's SO hard to work with such Beautiful Views outside.

 I found myself staring out the window way too often. The previous owners came by with soup, zucchini bread and a big jug of obligatory southern sweet tea. They are such lovely people and we are happy to have local friends already.
   The next morning, our oldest two boys and Fritz's brother and nephew came. It was so very satisfying seeing the WOW on their faces as they took a look around. 

 Andy made friends with the neighbors  


and found a restoration project of his own on the property.


Joey rose early in the AM to watch the sunrise.

                                                                               He was not disappointed. Nor was I.

   By the end of the weekend, we had taken 1600 pounds of carpeting to the dump, patched all the walls, ripped down a hallway of wallpaper and even got one room painted. Being exhausted and happy at the same time is a Very good feeling.
    ...And one night at the Mimslyn made it a perfect weekend. Full Circle.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

When Dreams Really Do Come True

Through this Field,

Past this Oak,

West of these Blue Ridge Mountains,

And East of this Sunset,

Sits upon a Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley

 this very Special Place,

That has Lived in our Imagination for quite a long time,

And is now a Reality.

So much more to follow...