Monday, January 05, 2009

Inside and Outside the Farmhouse

We've lived on Coal Creek Farm for fifteen months. Within the first week of moving in I started ripping off the wallpaper in the dining room. Clay begged me not to start a project, but I just couldn't stand that wallpaper, it was too dark and gloomy and it didn't match anything we owned, it had to go.

This is a photo I took during the open house. We put a contract on the house, the same day we saw it. My poor kids were in shock, they thought we had lost our minds. Then I reminded them that we had been looking for a house for over two years. I think they thought we'd spend the rest of their lives going to open houses.

I just showed these old photos to two of my children and they asked what they were. I said, "That's our dining room" and they said, "Oh. No it's not".

As I ripped off the paper there was one area over the pass through between the kitchen and dining room that started to crumble and then a whole bunch of termites started to fall out of the wall. It was so gross. You can read the whole dining room saga here. Also, I was trying very hard not to learn how to set the date on my camera, so for about a month or more all my pictures have the date 01/08/2005 on them even though it was 2008. Guess what? I learned how to set the date. Now if I could just learn how to program my cell phone.

We lived with that hole in the wall for quite a few months while we were trying to decide just how to patch the darn thing. Then one day we both decided we'd just get the job done.

I spent several days sanding, patching, sanding, patching, sanding... you get the idea. And then I painted that darn room three different colors before I finally got to one I liked.

While I procrastinated the work in the dining room I got a bug in my britches to paint the kitchen.
I painted right over the wallpaper since it wasn't peeling or ripped. It was so much easier and I got the whole thing done in one night.

You can see more photos of the kitchen here and here. I wonder when I'm going to be able to get rid of those weird X tiles? They used to drive me crazy, but I've been here long enough that their not bothering me as much. I have a feeling they're going to be there for a very, very long time.

Moving outside the farmhouse. This is a photo I took before we bought the house. This was the lean-to or shed that housed a bunch of lumber that the previous owners left. We had thought about making it into a chicken coop.

Here you can see the shed in the background and Levi trying out the swing we hung with one of the tires we found in the shed.

It's a good thing we didn't have anything precious stored in the shed because it was blown to bits during a storm. The entire windy story can been seen here.

Clay had to use his truck to drag the big pieces of the shed out of the field and then we started sorting through the mess.

We used some of the lumber to build our garden beds.

And build the pig pen.

My favorite use of the broken shed was when my son took it upon himself to build this masterpiece.

It's a fort that he can hide behind when playing air soft gun wars with his friends. Isn't it lovely?

We also used a bunch of the lumber to build a chicken coop and patch the roof of the barn. I know why farmers never throw anything away now, because you just never know when you might need a piece of lumber or scrap of metal to make a patch or build a pen.

I don't know about you, but going through all these photos and seeing the green grass and garden are sure making me ache for summer.

I'm starting to think a lot about a chicken tractor. I was reading about meat chickens. Do any of you chicken people have opinions on raising Cornish Cross meat birds? I have mixed feeling about those birds. I'd sure love to hear if any of you have raised some. Clay told me he doesn't think he can make a decent chicken tractor out of the remaining lumber from the shed, but I be he can squeeze out a few more raised beds.


Kim said...

It's always been my dream to live on a farm. I'm not sure if it's because I love the idea of a farm or if it's just because I want a pet goat.
Do you guys get a lot of snow there? I've been wanting to play in some snow but we mostly get freezing rain here in SC. Boo.

Gladys said...

More! I love seeing the progress. My Mom always said "Old houses are not for the faint of heart. They are like caring for an elderly dog. You never know when they are going to fart out termites or gas."

Trisha said...

Okay, I give. What is a chicken tractor? A mini John Deere that chickens can operate?

I love the pictures and updates about what you have done at the farm!

Andi said...

I grew up on a farm...A real working, 24 hour-a-day farm. I pride myself on knowing farm-y things. I have to admit, I'm a farm snob. But, I'm stumped here...what the HECK is a chicken tractor?

Oh, and I have visions of fixing my kitchen. The counter tops have burn marks and stains from the previous owners(we've lived here 6 months) but unfortunately we HAD to buy a new car (no joke), so when the funds for counter tops will come about is about 4 years down the road now as far as I can tell. Like your kitchen colors!

Lisa said...

Hi, April!
Check out this guy's blog:
for all you'd probably care to know about the Cornish X chickens. This was his final entry on the subject, which will be obvious by the pictures, but there are a couple of earlier entries about the Cornish X's that are very informative.

Rhea said...

Ok, I grew up on a ranch/farm here in Texas and I have no idea what a chicken tractor is.

I love how the shed broke down and was used to make so many different things. VERY cool. Recycling A+ to you guys!

Why don't you start raising Alpacas? I like that idea. :o)

Sand Flat Farm said...

Hey April - enjoy your blog!

Check out this link - all about homemade chicken tractors and coops. This person really has some imagination and ingenuity! Be sure and let us see what you come up with! Vickie

Sand Flat Farm said...


Ok, sorry there's the rest of the link...

DVM's Wife said...

The joys of old houses. A never ending money pit.
What the heck is a chicken tractor?
I'm amazed at wallpaper back in the day and people still put that stuff up!

Anonymous said...

Oh, April, I love you, but I cringe at the thought of you painting over wallpaper. I lived in an apartment where the previous renters had done that and what a mess! Not only did it look cheesy (you could still see all the seams) but it was chipping in some areas and there was no way that wallpaper was ever going to come off. The only solution was to cover it with some type of beadboard or take down the drywall and start fresh. Instant gratification but long-term problem. Hope yours holds up better!

Clayvessel said...

We've been raising Cornish Cross for over twenty years. We usually do two batches of 25 a year. We just put 25 in the freezer this fall and they all weighed between six and eight pounds each! I can squeeze three meals from each one. I herb-roasted a big one last night, aamof! I could tell you lots of things about raising them, but I prolly shouldn't here?

It's certainly worth doing.

Jaclyn Bailey said...

You know... I have no idea what a chicken tractor is, but I love to eat chickens (if that helps!) I saw that Rhea said you should raise Alpacas..... there is good money in alpacas. Really good money. Knitters and spinners will pay crazy good money for beautiful Alpaca fleece!

I live IN Jesus said...

We raised cornish cross chickens when we first moved to our farm.
Honestly, unless you REALLY want organic meat, they are way more cost(with feed as high as it is) and a WHOLE lotta work(unless you have someone else butcher them). I would not personally do it again even though I would love to have the organic meat. Also, they start having leg issues and that was what forced us to butcher them, even though it was a little sooner than they say you should. Anyway, that is my 2 cents! Take care.

cndymkr / jean said...

"A chicken tractor". If you only knew what an image I got just from that phrase! I had to Google it just so I could stop laughing.

Jennifer said...

hey- loved the walk down memory lane! i really like your blog, too. i may have mentioned that before. we are raising chickens as well, too. you can visit my blog to see what we've done with our chichen tractors. i woiuld definitley recommmend the one that is rounded- much easier to pull every day. also, i would emphatically recommend the cornish meat cross. we've raised them, and others that we got from the local feed mill, and the cornish are the best. the others look scrawny and puny- hardly worth the feed and time taken to raise them. the cornish cross are definitely engineered to be meat birds. no comparison! well, 'nuf said. come on over to my blog and visit!

Clayvessel said...

There are two big problem issues with Cornish Cross - (#1)broken leg/feet issues and (#2)"flip over" (when you find them dead on their back - chicken heart attack). #1 is handled by finding a good hatchery that sells chicks that are not overbred. #2 is handled by not over-feeding the birds. Since they are such fast growers, their hearts can't keep up. We take away the feeders at night. We only lost two birds out of 25 last time while a friend who was raising 150 lost 80 birds. YIKES

erinz said...

You can paint over wallpaper?! I didn't know that. We are living with wallpaper we hate. It was a terrible job ripping/scraping the mess out of my daughter's room (right after we moved in). It was so exhausting, we decided we could live with the awful wallpaper as we didn't want to go through the mess again. Now...I may have to see about painting over it tho!

Linda said...

You know, I still have plans for a chicken tractor. My daddy drew some up and has it on his work bench. Alas, I'm still a town dweller and since we put in a pool in the backyard, I just don't have the room. So I dream of my chickens and about a 5-acre plot of land to build a house, plant a garden, get some chickens and have my milking cow. Meanwhile, I live vicariously at your farm. Keep posting on your progress!

Brindi said...

The work you've done on the farmhouse is beautiful. We live on Farmer Brown's old family farm and there is so much work to do with all the old buildings. You and your family are doing a wonderful job of making a home.

I am going to wake up Farmer Brown so he can explain what a chicken tractor is. We have every other kind of tractor, but not one of those. Now he will probably have to buy one.

Jenni said...

It looks like you have made a lot of progress! I'm still hoping to get a couple of raised beds made and actually planted with veggies this year. We shall see.

Amy said...

I feel your pain with the whole ugly wall paper thing. We're still living in a GREEN PLAID KITCHEN of nightmarish proportions and I would LOVE to just rip it all off! Crooked walls/floors + paper with LINES in it = Butt Ugly. *sigh*

Your place looks awesome! Great job!

Rachel said...

Good ideas with all the scrap lumber---I want a garden.
You should visit are friends of mine that raise organic chickens and have lots of info on their techniques, feed, etc. Plus they are really friendly had like to answer your questions. :-)

materials said...

I will pass on your article introduced to my other friends, because really good!
wholesale jewelry

anywhere_Smile said...

Now that we have described discount links of london the one way linking process, how can you get links of london silver websites to link just to you? One answer is that it is links of london sale dependent on your sites content, especially if you links london jewellery have unique content. Other websites will link cheap links of london to you if you have interesting content that links london bracelet compliments their content. The problem is that you london links charms really have to have something exceptional. links of london watches sale One easy way to get a type of one way link called discount links of london rings a back-link. These are links to articles that you cheap links of london necklaces have written and distributed through article directories.

muebles said...

To my mind one and all must go through this.