Monday, February 27, 2017

barn dance

        We have been working on The Noah Farm for over two years now and sometimes it feels like it will never be done.  Then there are other days when we visit the farm and it looks like a beehive of activity and my contractor tells me to have paint ready soon for the living room and kitchen walls and I want to run into the barn and do my happy dance. 

        The one question I get asked continually is when do you expect to move in and the answer I'm currently giving is . . . before summer. I'm learning to be vague.  We have a lot to do before then.  So here's what's happening at the farmhouse lately . . .

       The siding job was started and stopped because they ran out of siding . . .what?   (See it does pay to do your math in school).  The additional siding was delivered yesterday so this part will be done by the end of next week.

Back view

       On this side of the garage the siding is all done, but if you look closely along the ground something else is being built.   Another thing we didn't plan for was building . . . .
a retaining wall!  To give you some perspective here is the view from the garage apron looking down. 

drywall has been started in the apt./loft above the garage.

And is almost completely done in the farmhouse.

         All the cabinets for the loft kitchen  have been delivered.
       And this green submarine was put in the ground in the back yard. 

Lifting it to move into the hole

       I'll probably never see this green propane tank again.  It was filled and buried so it wouldn't float when it rained.  Can you believe that big thing would float?  I thought it was going to pull the backhoe right into the hole with it.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

decorating inspiration!

     One of the things I've learned in decorating is to find something that gives me inspiration for the theme or color of a room.  My sister, Cindy, taught me this when she was taking decorating classes at Ohio State University.  It can be anything:   a piece of fabric, artwork or even the colors in a stone. 

         This mini quilt was made and given to me for my birthday in 2000 by my dear friend, Lori.  I love the colors and the cowboy, prairie, country feel of it and decided it would be my inspiration piece for my mud room and half bath.  

       I found this dresser at the new Paramount Antique Marketplace location in Northeast Wichita.   
 My talented contractor is going to convert it into a vanity for the half bath in the farmhouse. 

   Another piece I am excited to show you is something older than our house (built circa 1897)   Below is our busy contractor, Steve Vogt, holding up one of the two beautiful corbels that will go in the corners between the living room and kitchen areas so I could see how they will look.   I purchased them from my sister Cindy, who was selling them on her etsy shop   She bought them from a lady who said they were from the Civil War era.  I love history so they are especially meaningful to me.

               I thought they would feel right at home in this old farmhouse. 

        Now for some progress pictures.   The garage doors are on 
and the concrete apron has been laid.


And the final result looked like this. . . .

       And the first car in the garage is Alex's new/used Mini Cooper.  

      One of the most daunting projects was getting internet for the house.  We weren't even think about how difficult it would be to get a decent internet connection when we fell in love with this farm.  Something to consider if you are thinking about country life.  So far we've had to install a 50 foot telephone pole.

        And then have a tech install a satellite dish.    

        And we're in business.  Works great!

        Inside the garage and loft, insulation has been sprayed and drywall will go up soon.

       I have been working on the kitchen layout in the loft above the garage and purchased cabinets, countertop, and appliances.  Here is the floor plan.  

        Here is what my dining room looks like right now. Not quite warm enough to work outside.  See my inspiration piece laying on the dresser and the barn quilts in the background? 
        The quilts are both done and ready to be hung up, but I have to wait until we rent a lift to put  steps on the telephone pole for future service calls on the internet.  We'll use this lift to hang the large barn quilt over the barn doors.  Can't wait!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

brain space

       Sometimes the thing we most need to pencil into our schedule and put a big star by is the one that never gets done.  
       Lately my brain has felt like rush hour in downtown New York City. Some nights I wake up and my mind starts running like a Wall Street ticker tape with all the things I have to do and I can't get back to sleep. Then I am reminded of author Emily Freeman's words, “What am I giving space in my brain to?” and realize I needed to refocus.

       I haven't written much about the farm house lately because most of the work done in January was boring(at least to me): framing, insulation, drywall, electrical, plumbing. The things that are  s0 necessary but are hidden behind pretty painted walls. I have been busy picking out appliances, cabinets, sinks, fixtures, etc. It suddenly feels like everything is coming together and I have a ton of decisions to make and items to purchase. Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode. Ever been there?   

      Instead of good brain space full of inspiration, love, peace, and joy, my brain is full of junk... like a garage that needs cleaning out. It is full of anxiety, headaches, my to do list, worries about my family, the mess in the world, remodeling my farm house, and what am I making for supper? It is full of comparisons and put downs. How does she do it all and I can't? My brain space is full of guilt and fears.

     One of my deepest desires is learning how to rest even in the midst of stress. How to not let the crazy busyness of life overwhelm me. My stresses are from a life full of blessings, not life and death issues and I try to keep that perspective. I know I am not alone in this struggle so I thought I'd share  a few things I try to do when I'm on overload.
  • Here's what's on my night stand.
    Schedule time for yourself. I am an artist, so having time to write, paint,  read, and create rejuvenates my spirit. What is it that makes you come alive? When was the last time you did it?  
  • Play - Go to a movie.  Get together with friends for dinner or coffee. These activities will get you out of your own head space and help you see life from someone else's perspective. Life truly is good and sometimes we just need to be reminded.   
  • Quiet your soul. When was the last time you sat still without any noise and just let your mind and heart relax? Can you turn off the TV, radio, your phone and just not be available for a short time? How do you connect with your inner spiritual person? For me it comes through prayer, meditating on God's truths, being still and just resting. I am learning that rest is a form of trust. Can you rest? Schedule it in your life like an appointment. You are not just a body, you have a soul too.
  • Slow down – literally! Drive a little slower. Take time to listen to birds chirping. Take a walk. Really look your loved ones in the eyes when they talk to you about their day. Dallas Willard writes, “God never gives anyone too much to do. We do that to ourselves or allow others to do it to us.” Maybe it's time to say “no” and not feel guilty about it so we can truly slow down and give our soul rest.

       Just like the space behind the walls that we don't normally see, our brain space and what fills it is important. If the foundation and the work behind the walls is done correctly, not rushed or done cheaply, it will be a quality house that will last for years.  I can cover up the walls in my house with beautiful artwork, but if the plumbing isn't done correctly, the walls will leak. 

      I'm learning that what I put in my brain and what I focus on is just as important. I can put a smile on my face and pretend that everything is okay, but if I don't give my mind space to relax and rejuvenate, my body and soul suffers.

        My son, Alex was driving just a few minutes behind me on the same highway into town last week.   He saw this beautiful sunset and stopped to capture it.   I never saw it. . . . .

     My brain was too full.  I want to change that.  What are you missing?