Goodbye Farm, It Was Good Knowin Ya

I guess the title says it all. It's been a mighty difficult last couple of weeks. Twenty seven years makes for some long, hard roots to pull out. My poor folks are completely exhausted. But at least they have everything out, and hauled to the new place. There have been a number of fiascos to overcome, but they've managed. One being, the man they had lined out for over a month prior to the agreed upon start date to fence a portion of the pasture at the new place, pulled out 2 days before he was to start. He called and said “I'm not going to make it to your place – I'm just too bushed from my last fencing job, and you can understand my side.” At that point in time my Mom had a bit of a short fuse, and she really didn't understand his side (what a way to run a business, that big knot head). Boy, did she let him have it. Needless to say, he was Johnny-on-the spot 2 days later, and fencing away at the new place. They would have had absolutely nowhere to contain their little horses had he not shown up, and I'm sure she made that abundantly clear. There are too many people who have garbage work ethics these days. Or at least it sure seems like that around here.

My folks did the lion's share of all aspects of the move themselves…..and they are no spring chickens. Far too proud to ask for, or accept help, no matter how many people offered. The way all the legal paperwork shook out at the end, with the vacate date of the owner of the home they were moving to, and they themselves tied to a move date decided by the people that bought the farm, gave them exactly 5 days to move all of their worldly possessions 15 miles from the farm to the new place. They had rented a “Pod” moving container about 3 weeks earlier, so were able to box up many things and stack in the pod, which helped. But, when you move a whole 2 story house, barn and outbuildings, and farm equipment, there is a lot more than a pod's worth. Oh my gosh, that 5 day move period was a killer. Bruce and I each took a vacation day, and also went out every evening after work; and my big little son, my brother, and his son, also pitched in as best they could (as my brother and my son both work 10 hour shifts each day with their jobs). We were loading 3 trucks (cabs and boxes), and a 2 horse trailer for each trip in – and made trip after trip….after trip. Oh Lordy. And to make matters worse, they are in the middle of a huge highway construction project between the farm and town. You could expect a 15 minute wait for a pilot car each way, both coming and going. And a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

But that part's done now, and there are just a bazillion boxes to sort and unpack at the new place, more fences to build, a new barn to build, water hydrants to install, and the list goes on. Even with all that, I believe the good Lord helped them get a place that will suit their needs; with a nice little house, just enough land to support the little horses, only a couple miles from town, and best of all, the fact that they were able to nab it in this out of control real estate market we're experiencing presently.

I took a few pictures in parting, but only a few, because I was ready to bawl and didn't want to make my folks feel bad. I don't deal well with change, and this was a mighty big one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Farm(s) Pending

This might well be the new “mini” farm.

Quite the view. Six and three quarters acres (80% less land than the farm), but just enough land to suffice. The house is about 1/3 less square footage to have to keep tidy and maintain. Close to town. Neighbors, but not right on top of you like living in town. Irrigated. These are the pluses.

The downside is; no barn or shop for hay and equipment storage. No small shelters for the little horses. Not a fence on the place. Close to the highway, so the 5 remaining barn cats coming with will have to be contained in some type of little building with a tall, screened in outdoor area, to keep them safe. (Being barn cats, they have always roamed free at the farm, so this will be a tough adjustment for them.)

These all are the realtors pictures. The inside is lovely, but quite small (compared to my folks farmhouse). But, that's all part and parcel of downsizing. It was a lucky break to have been able to JUMP on this place hours after it was listed. My folks tied it up as quickly as was humanly possible. The realtor had multiple, multiple inquiries in the days following the listing of this property. It's going to be a lot of work to get it ready to house all the critters, but that's part of the give and take. The land is pretty much a blank canvas. They are already contacting fencing companies, contractors to build outbuildings, moving companies, etc., just to get on the lists. I mentioned before how crazy wild it is right now with real estate in this area, and all types of companies involved are booked up weeks to months in advance.

So, God willing, it's upward and onward. Real estate dealings are are fragile and fickle; fingers crossed this will go thru without a hitch. I guess now would be the time to start stock piling super potent vitamins and coffee….the whole family's going to need them to get this show on the road!!

I'll take a minute now for some more sappy and sentimental sharing of farm pics. The gardens are so beautiful right now, due to my good little Mom's relentless efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Clover, the tamest barn kitty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Farmward – Ho!

The saga with my folk's farm continues. It looks like this time the sale might be the real deal – possibly. It's been a long drawn out process, drug out since last fall. A couple with 4 little kids want to buy it “for sure”……..contingent upon them selling at least one of three properties they own. And then comes all the hoop jumping and red tape with appraisals, inspections of every sort, what is included in the sale, etc., etc. At least these people don't expect my folks to include furniture, pictures, garden decorations, clothes, shoes, and the family bible in the sale, like the last yahoos did. (Maybe a slight exaggeration, but not by much!) This potential buyer did want them to throw in the backhoe with the sale, which may, or may not, be considered. Depends on what sort of place my folks can find to move to. If they have to start from scratch with a place with no fences or outbuildings, my Dad will need all his equipment to get the job done. Hopefully a place will come up not needing everything from soup to nuts to get ready, before they can move in. I cannot tell you how absolutely insane the real estate market is in this area right now; very little to be had, and a king's ransom in pricing for what is available. We've all been searching like mad, trying to catch things that come on the market immediately, as homes and land are snapped up, literally, within hours after being listed.

I stopped at the farm on the way back from the cabin the other day. I feel like you can't soak in enough of the place, when you know the chance is great that it will belong to someone else soon.

 

My Mom brought me upstairs to see this cactus type plant that is in full bloom.

 

I got to visit all her babies while we were upstairs.

 

 

And get an upper view of the gardens from the bedroom balcony.

 

It will be a big adjustment for the little horses to have only a very few acres to live on. Hopefully it won't bother them too much. They are an elderly lot; the oldest one being about 34 years old, the youngest I think around 22. There are 15 left, and my folks just want to keep them fed and happy til they go to the happy pasture in the sky. Their whole house search is revolving around finding a place where it will work for their old horses, and old barn kitties. Some people call that crazy, I think it's mighty admirable.

 

From last fall

 

Hopefully the geese will get to stay on the farm, as many of them are 30+ years old

It's a beautiful place, and I sure hope the new people will love and care for it as much as my folks have. It will be nice for their little kids to grow up there; the perfect setting for playing and memory making.

As stressful as it is, I guess we just have to remember that the good Lord has a plan for us all, and we need to keep the faith and move forward knowing it's in His hands.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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They’re Taking Her Down

I didn't do my homework before starting this post, so I'm not sure what year the Teslow granary was built, but this iconic structure has stood in our little town for all my life, and even as far back as my Mom can remember, and she moved here when she was a teenager, many moons ago.

Now it's scheduled for demolition. Many of our townsfolk are very sad! There is a community appreciation site for our town on Facebook, and they have had a kind of photo “contest” to basically just honor and show our appreciation for this long time sentry of of our little country town.

These photos I am sharing from Facebook-

 

 

You can see how it's been slowly falling apart over the years. The wind in this area is wicked, and structures here, especially ones as tall as this, require more maintenance than buildings in areas with less volatile elements. The roof is blowing off, bit by bit, as are sections of the sheet metal cladding. The busiest street in our town runs right next to this granary, so it is more than a little hazardous having chunks of this building fall to the street.

These are photos I have taken of the old building –

 

 

It was for sale at one time, and I heard someone was interested in restoring and putting a restaurant in the building. I guess it all proved to be too much of an undertaking, because it never came to fruition.

So, over the next few weeks, we'll be losing a piece of our little town's history. I really hate to see these kinds of things slip away.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Fingers Crossed

Well, my folks have sort of sold their farm…..sort of. Contingent upon them finding another place, smaller, where they can still bring their little horses, geese, and barn cats. Which, so far, has been a good trick. Good grief they want a ton of money for places with any amount of land attached to them around here. Actually in pretty much the whole state of Montana. The realtor, my folks, and basically our whole family have been searching hard for a place for them, but they have such specific needs, it has been extremely difficult to find anything. The market is pretty limited around here, also. That is, unless you have the ability to pay into the millions of dollars. Which they do not. If they had a place all lined out that they loved and would be excited to move to, this could all be so much less stressful and sad. It would be a bit of an adventure! But all they have looked at have much less land, very much smaller or very weird houses, and all need tons of work. And the majority of them are priced at not much under what they have accepted for their farm. But you get to a certain age where it is necessary to downsize. It just gets too difficult to maintain a place of that size in the manner that it has been kept by them for the last 25 years. Forty acres, a big pond, river frontage on 3 sides of their property, a dozen out buildings, a big old 2 story farmhouse, and every inch of it all meticulously kept. Of course, it was a wreck when they bought it (that's how it has been with each house they have owned – buy a wreck, turn it into a gem). But after years of blood, sweat, and tears, it is wonderously beautiful little farm. This time though, they just can't start from scratch again, even if it is a smaller place, and have to turn coal into a diamond like they have every other time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here's keeping my fingers crossed, that my folks will be lucky enough to catch a break, and find a miniature version of what they already have. They deserve a break after all the hard work and shear determination they've had through the years, to not have karma reward them in a fitting manner!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Big Sky Small Fry Ranch

Where lots of little critters have been raised over the last 20 years!

K, so here's the tour I promised of the inside of my folk's house. And, once again, I'll apologize for the quality of the photos, but these will at least let you get a feel for how cute and cozy this wonderful old farmhouse truly is – the realtor working for my folks has a much better camera than I have, so if you want to see her photos, or are curious about the listing particulars for the farm, just go here.

 

This is from Christmastime cuz I forgot to get a picture outside today. They really do have all their decorations down now πŸ™‚

 

Here is looking back at where we just came in thru the front door.

 

Living room.

I love these prints above her couch. My Mom and I both have a thing for sheep pictures. You will easily be able to tell where I inherited my collecting abilities (aka dysfunction) after taking this tour :). We both like stuff!

 

Another piece of furniture that was my Great Grandmothers, a very pretty quarter sawn oak buffet that lives in the dining area.

A beautiful light fixture above the dining table. It was another great find from Craigslist. This pic is from Christmas, too. The one I took today was a little blurry, so I substituted.

Take a left just thru the front door and you head upstairs.

There are three bedrooms and a half bath upstairs. The next 2 pics are the middle bedroom.

The front bedroom is surprising when you step into it because my folks opened it into the attic. It is a really sunny room, has a loft, and an outdoor balcony. Not exactly what you'd expect to see in a 100+ year old farm house.

 

 

I found the fireplace mantle at a garage sale, it was fairly beat up. The metal insert I found later. It is the front off an antique gas burning furnace and was in an alley to be thrown away. I asked the guy who lived there if I could have it rather than have it go to the dump, and he gladly gave it to me. My Mom said she could use them in this bedroom, so out to the farm they went. My folks combined their artistic magic on both of these cast offs, and now it is a beautiful focal point in the room.

 

Up to the loft.

I didn't climb clear into the loft to take the pic, so this is the best I could get. There are 2 chairs and a small bookshelf, a nice cozy little nook to relax in – I don't know if I would try to tote a cup of tea up that ladder tho!

The door to the balcony is just to the left of the bed. Another sweet place to relax, take in the view, and get some fresh air. It would be easy to take a cup of tea out on this little balcony!

The third bedroom is super cute! Kind of a shocker if you're not ready for it tho –

There's a lotsa babies in this room!

 

 

 

 

This little cutie was also my Great Grandmother's. She is German, and over 100 years old (the doll, not my Great Grandmother ^..^ ). Guess at that age, that would make her the matriarch of the baby doll room.

Now back down stairs. This is the master bedroom.

The ceiling is awesome in here. It took my Mom days and days to get it done with several types of paint, faux painting, and wallpaper border.

 

It's really cozy and old fashioned.

She has some spectacular art pieces throughout her home, but these two are very special to her because her Great Uncle carved them both. The swan piece is carved from one chunk of stone, nothing carved separately and glued on. (Except when I was a kid I threw a pair of my Mom's shoes in her room and the hit the carving, knocking one of the swan's head off. It did get repaired and glued back on, and I am very lucky to be sitting here typing this story right now :-O )

The other one is this horse which he carved out of a single block of wood.

The TV/Family room is next. You have to go thru a short little hallway to get to it. She has a pinecone theme that runs thru the house, and in this hallway she did a cool stenciling treatment with joint compound, and then painted it in a sort of ombrΓ© paint style. I think it is beautiful.

 

Many cute do-dads and China pieces reside in the lovely antique cabinet in the hallway.

And into the TV room we go.

The stove backer is a piece of art in itself. She purchased a thick sheet of metal, drew on a pattern of pine branches and pine cones, and took it to a welding shop where they used a plasma cutter to cut out the design she had drawn. Then she treated the metal with some kind of stuff that makes it susceptible to rust, and threw it out in the snow for a couple of weeks. When it was ready to come in the house, she sealed it, backed the pine branch design with green (for the pine needles) and Amber (for the pine cones) Christmas lights and then attached it to the wall behind the stove. The metal offers the fire and heat protection needed behind the stove. Then there is the added bonus of plugging in the “hearth” and seeing the branches come to life πŸ™‚

The office is a small room off the hallway. Bruce was in there working on my Mom's computer, so I could only catch a picture of this corner.

She has a beautiful collection of pottery pieces.

On to the kitchen –

 

 

 

 

Very cute and farmy! It is a bright, happy room to be in.

Well, that about covers the inside. Nothing was staged or anything, so if there is an odd whatnot sticking out in any of the pics, it's my fault, cuz I didn't give my Mom any warning that I was coming out to take pictures. Oh, and here is a pic of Sophie the deer herder. She wasn't too thrilled about sitting still for her portrait!

And another pic of Lilly the houndy dog.

TTFN

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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Over the River and thru the Woods

Today, going thru the pictures I have stored, I thought it might be fun to take you for a walk around my folk's place. These are taken at different times, so some are snowy, some are green grass and flowers. They used to raise sheep and goats, along with the miniature horses they still have, but have downsized considerably over the last few years. They have decided it is time to get a smaller place, so they have put the farm on the market (sniff… actually, it's more like wring out the darn handkerchief). It makes me sad, but it is a lot to take care of, especially the way they do – beautiful yard, painted fences, brush cleared on a big portion of the forty acres for grazing, etc.

The house is really only visible when the trees are bare. With everything leafed out, it's tricky seeing the house from the road.

To the right is the milk house. There was a stanchion inside, and that is where the goats were brought to be milked twice a day.

If only this barn could talk, the stories it could tell – it is about 115 years old.

The view to the northwest of their front door. (And, by the way, those are the mountains where our little Moose Springs cabin sits πŸ™‚ !)

A small area of their lovely, large yard, where my Mom toils away spring thru fall making it beautiful, and the deer uninvitedly eat all the fruits of her labor. Needless to say, she is not fond of the deer, and has rescued a hound dog from the animal shelter to prove the point. Except that plan fell thru, as the hound dog doesn't care if there are deer in the yard – she is busy keeping her eyes peeled for raccoons. So the job has fallen to the rescued poodle/schnauzer/muttsky dog to be the deer runner offer :). She chases the deer away while the mighty hound dog lounges in her chair in the TV room.

 

Here is a picture of said houndy dog. I just love her, the big goof. She is so smart and sweet. Her name is Lilly. I can't find a picture of Sophie the deer herder (who is equally smart and sweet). I'll have to get one of her the next time I go to the farm.

 

 

Luckily, they have a back hoe, so my Dad can haul in big rocks as my Mom landscapes to her hearts content.

 

 

If the farm doesn't sell right away, my Mom plans to turn this little round house into a studio so she can have her own private place to paint, sculpt, and be creative with whatever. She's tired of my Dad fiddling with her projects when she has them set up in the house πŸ™‚

A sunny spot in the round house garden.

The geese wander where they please around the farm, but don't ever leave the property.

The Shields River wends it's way around the pastures.

Grazing peacefully.

The backside of the barnyard.

 

 

 

Quintessential farm scene.

Sheep Mountain in the distance.

 

 

One of the barn kitties.

Jig is the boss horse, the only stallion they have on the farm.

A bunch of the girls, having fun.

Hope you enjoyed our walk around the farm. It's a really beautiful place to be. The inside of their house is every bit as charming as the rest of the place. I'll make it a point to post an inside tour soon.

 

TTFN,

 

Teresa

 

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