The last several weeks have been a blur. Oh, who am I kidding, this entire year has been a blur, especially the last four months!
A couple weekends ago my brother and sister-in-law stopped by for a visit on their way down to Florida where they spend the winter. They visit twice a year as they head from upstate New York to Florida and back again. We love these visits and always wish they could stay longer.
The following weekend (which was last weekend) my Dad and StepMom flew up for a quick visit. It was so good to see them as I wasn’t able to go to Florida earlier in the year for the annual quilt retreat that I have attended for the past several years and when I take some time to visit them.
On Saturday, we all headed to Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. What a fascinating piece of history!
I questioned their beliefs but their ingenuity of their times was quite impressive. I also liked the simplicity of their lifestyle, their work ethic, and how the community was developed and organized. Over 3,000 acres so neatly arranged with every building having a unique purpose to help sustain their self-sufficient lives.
Above is the main living quarters. The men dwelled on the bottom floor and the women lived on the second with a meeting hall on the second floor as well. They even entered separate doors. Rooms were dormitory style with four to six in a room.
CountryBoy and I went nuts over the farm which was located on the east side. Beautiful and functional! (The garden is in front of this stall.) Something to strive for here at Dream Valley!
Before we went into the barn my Dad & I stopped for a photo op…
Best Dad ever!
He’s 92 and still going – playing golf every week, gardening, traveling and just enjoying life. I am so thankful for his health and thankful for my StepMom who takes such good care of him.
He even zipped around in the side-by-side with CountryBoy and helped unload wood at the cabin as we prepped for our first cabin guests Sunday.
Our guests were actually friends of mine from a few years ago (like middle school years!) They were the ones who said we needed to set up an Airbnb when they were visiting a couple of years ago. We said “a what”! Needless to say, a couple years later here we are and how apropos that they would be the first guests. So cool!
But, as I mentioned, these were friends from long ago so my Dad knew them. Since they would arrive while he was here CountryBoy and I decided to have an early Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate family and friends. My great-niece was able to come over as well so we all feasted on some yummy food and enjoyed catching up. (Hats off to CountryBoy who cooked the entire meal right down to homemade dinner rolls!)
Shortly after we finished feasting everyone went their separate ways – friends up to the cabin and the folks headed to Lexington for the night as they had an early flight. My great-niece hung out for a while then she headed home and all of a sudden the house was strangely quiet.
The folks left at the right time because the day after they flew home we woke up to this…
our first snow of the season. It was only an inch but it was beautiful!
Prior to the first batch of company we acquired a couple more chickens…
two pretty hens and a new man in town…
The previous owners said he was a docile rooster so we had hopes that our docile rooster and he would get along. Nope. Hackles were raised and combs & wattles were being bitten and bloodied. I broke it up a couple of times by picking up Fuzzy Foot (aka Fancy Pants!). Eventually, we decided to let Fuzzy Foot have free reign of the farm.
He loves hanging out under the bird feeders cleaning up the seeds that the birds rake out or drop. In the evenings he heads to the barn where we put him in with Mabel for the night. I think he’s quite happy with this arrangement as he has no girls he has to watch out for and no responsibilities. He’s a free bird!
Speaking of Mabel…
Such a cutie-patootie heading back into her pen!
The chicks are getting big and are looking like mini-chickens…
I can’t wait until they start laying in about four months since we’re getting one egg a day – if we’re lucky. And we have 26 laying hens! Although I hear from lots of folks that have chickens that egg production is down considerably this year. We had to take our sign down by the road since we don’t have any eggs to sell.
As if I don’t have enough going on already I started a major project yesterday. After a year of contemplating and then hearing the suggestion from my Dad I finally decided to just do it – I’ve decided to paint our ceilings downstairs.
You’ve heard me mention several times as to how dark our house is. Wood floors, dark wood walls, wood ceiling with exposed floor joists and small windows makes the house dark unless the sun is shining. The grey days of January & February leave us feeling as though we are living in a cave.
In hopes to avoid the cave-like feeling I’m painting the ceiling white. It’s quite a pain in the neck – literally – as I am painting the underside of the wood floors on the second story and they are grooved which makes it difficult to get decent coverage.
I had a few hours yesterday so I got started on it…
I started in the dining room in case we didn’t like it then I would stop there and not go throughout the living room. It’s going to take two coats and a really long time to do but I think it’s going to help reflect whatever outside light there is and therefore lighten everything up indoors. It’s definitely going to help bring out our rough-cut wood walls. Maybe we won’t feel like we’re living in a cave anymore come the end of winter!
I was going to tackle another section today but we had a last minute request to book the cabin today so we were up and at ’em bright and early this morning trying to get the cabin ready for an early check-in.
Parts of the farm still look like this from last Tuesday’s snowfall…
and the cabin was no exception. A thick layer of snow and ice was on the deck and I had not taken the time to clean and ready the cabin after our first guests left. CountryBoy had stripped the sheets and I had washed them but that was it. With a last minute booking and an early check-in request to boot that meant we had some work to do this morning.
Needless to say, neither of us slept a wink but we were up before the sun and hit the ground running. CountryBoy headed up to start chipping away at the ice and snow and to light a fire to knock the chill out of the cabin…
While he was doing that I started baking a treat for the guests while catching up on two weeks of laundry. Once he finished he headed to town to purchase a gas grill. I had it listed on our listing but we hadn’t been able to find one that suited our needs yet. Needless to say, our guests were planning on using the grill so we had to find one. Luckily he found one. (I went ahead and listed it on our listing because we honestly thought we had some time before we would have anyone booking it – especially during these cold months but, note to self, don’t list it if you don’t have it yet!)
While he was in town I headed up and cleaned and readied the cabin and did some more chipping and scraping of ice and snow.
I finished up and came down to change clothes just in time for our guests arrival. I tell you what, yesterday the thought crossed my mind that I needed to get the cabin ready but I quickly dismissed it because I wanted to start painting and we didn’t have anyone scheduled to arrive. Pfhhht. Next time I’m readying the cabin immediately no if’s, and’s or but’s about it and that way we’ll be ready for a last minute booking!
After all that was said and done I did not have it in me to tackle some overhead painting. Instead I worked on a different project this afternoon…
I’m crocheting an afghan made up of a bunch of hexagons that will be stitched together to reveal a beautiful patterned afghan. I can’t wait to show you the finished product!
Soon we’ll be off to bed. Maybe we’ll catch up – maybe we won’t!
Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂