With Spring Comes Renewal

Blue Haven Farm - die Blohaafe Bauerei

And, as such, a new name for the homestead!

I was reflecting on the farm last weekend. I’ve got all sorts of beautiful spring flowers popping up all over the property – daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops, hyacinths, etc. And, then, the majestic oak in the front yard caught my attention.

He’s had my admiration since I moved onto the property. It’s difficult not to admire him. He’s front and center in the yard and stands strong and proud. Knowing that he’s probably between 200 and 300 years old only adds to my reverence. And, the fact that most oaks in my area had been forested for housing really makes him a special guy and deserving of honor.

I also started turning my mind toward the actual renstoration of the house. Realizing that the current property name is probably a nod to the blue siding on the house, it feels too transient. While blue…

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Winter Blues to Winter Muse: Reflections on the Farm

Blue Haven Farm - die Blohaafe Bauerei

I must admit winter is my least favorite season. Most years, I take something of a hibernation period during winter catching up on books and TV shows or movies and just planning for the spring. This year was no different in that I used the winter to plan for upcoming changes around the farm. But, as if to remind me why I so dislike winter, this particular one was for the record books. The first snowflake fell before winter even officially began at the beginning of December. We ended up having the third snowiest winter for the region. More days with high temperatures below freezing than is normal. It was literally warmer in Alaska than in southern New Jersey this winter! And, as I write this in the beginning of March, there’s actually the possibility for more snow in the coming week. Old Man Winter just does not want to give it up!

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Fall on the Farm

Blue Haven Farm - die Blohaafe Bauerei

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As one would suspect, fall has been a busy season around here! I’d love if it included harvesting but alas, I did not get my gardens in this year. Instead, it was all work inside (and the usual festivals, potlucks and get-togethers this time of year brings). I did step back and regroup a bit. I have a big end of year Holiday Open House every year so I want to ensure that the main floor is in the best shape possible for the party.

A friend and colleague who just happens to own a demolition and concrete company was kind enough to clear out the garage of all the – ahem – treasures left behind by the previous owner. And, I put my usual OCD skills to task and cleaned and organized that space. It’s wonderful having all my tools in one place and tidy. That certainly is making all the updates…

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Independence Weekend 2013: A Lot of Planning, Some Work and a Little Play

Blue Haven Farm - die Blohaafe Bauerei

I ended up with a four day weekend over the Independence Day holiday and while that would seem like a perfect time to get a good amount of work done, I decided to take a little break. I ended up at the Kutztown Folk Festival on the 4th and bought a wind spinner for the yard. With the green, blue and clear beads and black metal, it was a perfect piece for the yard!

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I finished getting all the wallpaper off the half bath walls and painted the room in a light neutral color. I found an old ceramic box that matches the toilet and put an aloe plant in that. So now even the mustard yellow toilet looks ok! For now!

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And, I cleared some more weeds/overgrowth from the planting beds and uncovered the cornerstones. That provided a surprise: it looks like the rear addition was actually built in 1907…

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Necessary Nasties

Blue Haven Farm - die Blohaafe Bauerei

In the past few weeks, I’ve had to deal with some distractions – my 12-year-old, 80 pound dog decided to injure himself (still not sure what he did but he is healing so that’s a relief) and my car’s timing chain went which led me to a new car as the most fiscally sound decision. The upside is that the new car matches the house better anyway! LOL Once those items were dealt with, I was able to refocus on the Farm. As much as I want to start work on the fun stuff, I’m finding that there are some things that require immediate attention.

I finished cleaning the floors on the second floor. When we ripped out the carpets, two of the bedrooms’ padding left behind a nasty, sticky residue. The black adhesive-like substance stuck to the bottom of shoes and was getting tracked all over the house. If…

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Moving Day

Blue Haven Farm - die Blohaafe Bauerei

Well, all good plans of mice and men!

I intended to get to the house prior to the movers arriving so I could take “before” pictures unencumbered and without furniture, boxes, etc. in the way. Alas, settlement was delayed and the movers were waiting on me!

So the “before” pictures you’ll see have boxes and all my stuff all over the house. And, since I was getting help that first weekend, the carpets (that were dingy and stained) have already been torn out of the second floor. The good news is that there were hardwood floors under said carpets albeit painted. But, it’s nothing a good stripping, sanding and refinishing won’t fix. I also already replaced the old, dirty and stained mini blinds in the master bedroom and bathroom with room darkening roller shades.

I’m trying – and it’s a difficult task for me – to not spend money unnecessarily on things that will eventually…

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