Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Tour Inside The Farm House - Upstairs

Since we began a house tour yesterday, let's go upstairs now and see that also. That moose head, by the way, is a bird house with the two nostrils as entry holes for the birds. I don't put it outdoors but think it's a pretty nifty wall hanging:

The top of the stairs with Georgette atop her cat tree where she spends most of the day. That halo of light coming from the bathroom is from two high windows looking toward the west:

And here are the windows and the bathroom:

The business end of the bathroom. The shower is off to the left:

My bedroom which, admittedly, has gotten a bit crowded. Those bi-fold doors go to one of two big, walk in closets:

The parakeet and guinea pig get to live in my bedroom. I figure they get more personal attention that way from me and are protected from the cats:

One of two dressers plus the doorway to the second big, walk in closet:

The guest bedroom. I'll use it to house the brooder for the baby chicks when they arrive and then turn it into a guest room:

The view to the northwest from the guest room window:

The view to the northeast. Those trees are the flowering crabs and apple tree which bloomed so strikingly this spring:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Tour Inside The Farm House - Downstairs

Now that everything is unpacked and organized, I thought it was time for a tour inside the farm house. Let's begin with the "Dog Food Corner" in the kitchen. There are two permanent water bowls and three food bowls, put out twice daily. The aluminum flashing on the corners is to prevent any more cat scratching damage and the row of dog beds to the left is one you've seen often because it is such a favorite:

Looking from the kitchen dog beds toward the main door:

And the business end of the kitchen, with sink, cupboards and appliances. The laundry room and door to the cellar are off to the left:

The kitchen work space. The needlepoint was made by my sister many years ago:

Looking from the kitchen through the hall, past the front door toward the living room:

One corner of the living room:

More of the living room:

My little office and computer space:

Another corner of the living room. The wooden mask came from a trip to Mexico, the drum and drumsticks I made myself. The old barn board with horseshoe, etc. was made by mother from artifacts of the ruins of the old family farm in Mount Vernon, Oregon. I found the cow skull in a cow "grave yard" in Hoosick, New York. It had no horns, so I glued some on:

The living room as seen from the front door:

I have two glass fronted shelf units filled with memories. This one has gifts from my sister, memories from both my parents and old stuffed animals full of history which I found in old, abandoned houses and fields. It also contains my childhood Pinewood Derby entry and trophy, vases, animal salt and pepper shakers and lots more. In the center of the top shelf is a double candlestick in the form of a Scottish bear sliding on ice, a favorite possession of my father's. I guess I'd qualify less as a pack rat and more as a sentimental, soft touch:

The other glass fronted shelf unit has a photo of my sister and me as children, my father's old brass canon once used at ceremonies of the Cleveland Armory and a moose candelabra. There's an ivory carving and patriotic dog stature from my father's apartment and lots of memories from family, friends and travels:

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Evolution Of A Tiny Chicken Coop

The baby chicks had been ordered for a long time and were scheduled for delivery in mid-summer. I had lots of time to prepare a chicken coop, but I also know how time gets away from me and all of a sudden things undone become a crisis. So one day I took the dogs out into the barn to scout out a place for chickens. I liked this old box stall and its two windows. Not too big, but these will, after all, be only a few bantams:

I checked around inside the stall and declared it the best spot for chickens. The dogs liked it also, although Seamus and Fergus were wary. They used to get locked into the bigger, adjoining space when I had to go somewhere:

I removed the two windows to repair them because they were rotting away:

Then I found two doors in the barn and hauled them in. The one on the right became a wall and the one on the left got to continue its life as a door. I framed around them:

Then I paneled the inside walls with thin, hardwood plywood. It looked deluxe but was actually chosen because it was thin (easy to work with) and cheap:

The old panels on the walls looked to me suspiciously like cement/asbestos board so I wore dust masks whenever I worked inside there. Better safe than sorry, and this old barn was unbelievably dusty anyway:

The windows I removed were beyond repair and wouldn't open and close anyway. So I purchased two Anderson double-hung windows, the only two windows in the entire county which fit that opening. I shimmed them and nailed everything in place. Then I caulked everything to make it at least "sort of" airtight, though heaven knows the rest of the space is not:

Yes, they'd look pretty good once everything was painted:

Then I cut a hole in the side of the barn for the chickens to use to access the great outdoors. I'll still have to make some canopy to protect them from falling roof snow:

I hung a light inside and began painting everything white. When I ran out of paint, I declared it "Good Enough For Chickens:"

I built a four-bar roost in the right hand corner over by the windows:

And transformed an old, old, old, cabinet I'd found in the barn into next boxes. All was pretty much ready although the chicks wouldn't be arriving for some weeks yet. And they'd stay in the house in a homemade brooder for a few weeks even after they arrived. But stay tuned, the rest of the story will come later:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Found Treasures On The Farm

I've been finding lots of "stuff" around the farm house and barn since the day I purchased it, but only a few items have held enough interest for me to clean them up and keep them. Somehow, they've all ended up on two shelves in my bedroom:

But this odd little fork (or spork), which I found buried in the soil beside the barn, was what really got me interested. It must have lay buried for many decades and yet it's barely tarnished:

Here's a front and back view. It's apparently a specialized eating or serving utensil from the Victorian era, but no one seems to know exactly what it was for. I've guessed it might have been a children's fork, or for serving relish. If you know, please leave it as a comment at the end of this post:

I found this tiny, metal tricycle, a reminder of one I had in kindergarten:

And this little cast metal truck with rubber wheels:

These may or may not be old, but I'm sure they were given away with each box of Red Rose tea. The last I knew, the Red Rose Tea Company was still including one in each box:

And then there are the bottles, lots and lots of bottles:

More bottles and an old lamp base:

One bottle was a half pint milk bottle. I remember getting these at school once upon a time:

This bottle reads, "Lydia Pinkham's Medicine" and I found quite a bit about its history here. Lydia Pinkham concocted women's tonic until her death in 1883. It was meant to relieve women's menstrual and menopausal pains :

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Quick Jaunt Along The St. Regis River

It seems to me that I've been busier since I retired than I ever was before. I've been building a chicken coop, clearing brush, cleaning the barn, mowing the lawn (4 to 5 hours per mowing) - and that's not to mention the regular chores of laundry, shopping, paperwork, cooking, etc. But one beautiful afternoon I put the pooches in the car and drove directly to the Fort Jackson Town Park. I stopped at the edge of the St. Regis River:

I let the dogs out to run - and run they certainly did, at least until I remembered my resolve to keep them within 15 or so feet from me. So I began calling them back over and over and over again:

But the scenery was beautiful and all the dogs (except Clover) began to understand the recently instituted rule that they stay closer to me:

The river was swollen from several weeks of rain. There were very large waves, at least for a river. I wouldn't have wanted to fall in and try to swim:

We followed a trail through the forest alongside the river. Seamus' sore hips and legs were miraculously cured for the duration of the hike. Walking seemed to help instead of hurt him. I suppose what he really needs is more exercise. But on this day he was back to his youthful, happy self:

Clover continued to run full speed, forward and back, forward and back. She always came when I called but then ran too far ahead again. Little Clover would do wonderfully on an obstacle/agility course:

Daphne discovered a vernal pond in the forest, surrounded by large, flat surfaced rocks:

And then we all walked down to the edge of the river. No one, not even Seamus, was foolish enough to go in:

And the forest was spectacular, growing atop a different type of rock than I've seen elsewhere nearby. I used to see that type of rock in Ohio, but not around here:

Lots of Hemlocks lined the trail and we all proceeded happily through the beautiful forest:

But this was just a quick jaunt and we were soon on our way back toward the car, the St. Regis River still our constant companion on the trail:

And of course it was then time to jump in the car and go home. "Aw, Dad. So soon?":