life on the funny farm

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fledgeling Etsy Shop

Birdsong Bits and Pieces has a fledgeling Etsy shop.  Not much there now, but looking to grow!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Funny Farm For Sale

Our home has not found a new owner yet, so I thought I'd repost this.  Who's looking for their dream home????

The Funny Farm's story is coming to a close.
Due to life changes, I will be turning my beloved home and farm over into the hands of a new caretaker.

In other words, house for sale.

Please take a minute to look over the pictures of my wonderful home and think about whether you would like to make it your own.  If owning it yourself is not possible, maybe you know someone who is looking for this exact type of thing.  You know, a place in the country with Amish neighbors, a house oozing with character and charm and history, an old farm house with room to spare and a pond and fruit trees and a barn.

So be a dear and share.

Here she is.  The original stone part of the house is about 200 years old, but about 30 or so years ago, the rest of the house was torn down and built anew, so you get the charm of yesteryear with more modern conveniences like closets and indoor plumbing.
This old house has been a working farm, as well as a bed and breakfast.  Several of the original farm-owner's descendants live right down the road.  Our Amish neighbors have an honor-box produce stand across from our property, and from time to time go fishing or ice-skating at our pond.
This house has great income potential as an Air BNB, horse-boarding, or bed and breakfast inn.
Within an hour's drive you can visit the Brandywine Valley, rich in history and Andrew Wyeth art,  the world-famous Longwood Gardens, Philadelphia and Baltimore.  In two to three hours you can get to the DE, MD or Jersey shores, Washington, DC, New York, and the Poconos.  It is located on the outskirts of the darling and up and coming small town of Oxford, PA, with art galleries, antiques shops, coffee shops and restaurants. Oxford is in southern Chester County, PA, and is near the state lines of both DE and MD, and about halfway between Lancaster and Philly.

The original homestead was about 150 acres, but it was subdivided about the time that the house was redone.
The house now sits on 3.87 acres with a pond and barn.  It has 7 bedrooms, 4 full baths, and 5700 square feet.  The master bedroom has his and hers offices, and there is a large home office on the first floor, as well. There is a walk-up, floored attic and a full, partially-finished, walk-out basement.  Central air was put in shortly after we moved in, and propane heats the hot water baseboards, stove/oven, and hot water. There is also a whole-house generator run on propane, so you never have to worry about losing power.
We also own the adjoining 3 acres with road front, backing to woods and a small creek.  That is available as well, sold separately.

Here is the front porch, with second floor balcony off the master bedroom.

This is the other porch, which overlooks pond and pasture.

The pond has plenty of Sunnies and Bass, so be sure to pack your fishing poles!

The barn is quite versatile.  The front portion you see is where we park a car, the tractor, and all lawn mowers, weed wackers, etc.  Beyond that is the workshop, and leading into the pasture in the back is the barn proper.  It does not have stalls in it, but it would be very easy to make it into a center aisle barn with stalls on both sides.  Currently one side is built into a large chicken coop and rabbit pen. The part of the barn jutting out to the right is what we call the "kid's garage", and it's where you can find all the bikes, balls, outdoor games, and all that.
There is also a one-car garage under the house.

The little well you see there?  The real deal.  It used to be the functioning well for the property many years ago, and there is water down there that can be tapped into for watering the plants during times of drought if you wish.

Here we are inside the house.  This is the cozy family room with wood-burning stove and wide-plank wood floors.

The farm kitchen has an industrial stove with two ovens, six burners, a large griddle perfect for Sunday morning pancake breakfasts, and a broiler tray.  The former owners found this the perfect thing when they were running their bed and breakfast, "The Stonewall Inn".
The plentiful barn wood cabinets and the tile countertops make for a very functional and yet cozy kitchen.

The working coal stove is a nice touch, too.  You can actually cook on it, if you so desire.

This view looks past the eat-in area of the kitchen with built-in bench, into the dining room. The doorway from the dining room leads into the game room where the kids save the universe in video games, or play chess, or hop on the computer. The near door is one of two leading from the kitchen into the family room.

The dining room is perfect for entertaining, with plenty of room and gorgeous views of the pond and land.

This is the entry room and home office, with kid's study area.

Our coat room/pet room/catch-all room.  One of the most functional areas of the house.  Kind of messy, I know, but so nice having a spot for all the coats, shoes, boots, pet food, hats, mittens, you name it.  And I can close the door and pretend it's not there!

Speaking of functional rooms, how about this pantry?  You can't see it in this picture, but there are two aisles, a full refrigerator and a freezer. I have been known to direct my kids to finding the item they're looking for by saying, "Aisle 1, right side, top shelf". I moonlight as a grocery store manager.

First floor full bath.

One of the original parts of the house, the library is rich in character with unique brick floors, beamed ceilings, stone walls....

....and incredible stone fireplace.

Upstairs you will find seven, count 'em SEVEN bedrooms.  Each are large enough to hold a king-sized bed, and all have walk-in closets.  One of the bedrooms (aside from the master) is also en-suite.


Located just off the master bedroom, my favorite room in the house is my sewing room.  Inspired by my grandmother Big Mama, this is where the creativity happens! Whether I'm sewing, painting, or just kicked back on the couch reading or dreaming, it's my peace place.

The master bath has a large soaking tub, dual vanities, and roomy walk-in shower.

I challenge you to find a bigger, more tranquil master bedroom than this.  I love it.  I love it, love it, love it.

Don't you?

The man cave.  Right off the master.  Isn't it amazing?  Old wood floors, cathedral beamed ceilings, stone walls and stone gas fireplace. Lie back on the couch with a fire burning, listen to a horse and buggy clip-clop down the road just outside the window, and be transported back in time.

And now, for a  few shameless farm-love shots.
The old silo is covered in wisteria, and is a sight to behold in the springtime.

Quackly, quackly! Contact Anne at to let her know you're in love with her house! She'll answer any questions and invite you to come take a look-see for yourself.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Yesterday I was sweaty.
I was sore.
I was teary.
I was at times speechless.


It's all because of my friends.

See, I am in the process of trying to get my house ready to sell.

I know that might come as a shock to many of you, but it's true. The Funny Farm will be no longer.
In fact, all the farm animals have been rehomed, and we are left with only a handful of cats and dogs. Big change from where we were at the peak of farmdom.

But yes, due to some life changes and the fact that the kids are reaching the "grown and flown" stage, I am downsizing. I will likely be moving on to a house roughly a third to half the size of the one I've been in for the last 11 years.

So for probably over a year now, the kids and I have been working on this old house.

Painting, ripping up carpet, tearing down wallpaper, changing out curtains, changing out rugs.
Putting in new light fixtures, installing new flooring.
Cleaning out the barn, the garages, the workshop, the basement.
Filling dozens and dozens and dozens of bags and boxes for Goodwill, for trash, for sale on my local Facebook yard sale site. Filling to the brim one of those giant construction yard dumpsters with rubbish.

I have hired professionals to fix and paint the deck, pressure wash the house and porches, fix broken stuff galore.

And now I'm down to the nitty gritty. And I'm down to the wire. I have set a date with my realtor to come take pictures and get this house listed.

And all of a sudden, when I thought there remained only a few details to take care of, I realized how much more needed to be done.

I found there still remained a handful of drywall holes, and already patched holes that needed to be painted. There were leaky shower heads and non-functioning lights. There were large items that needed to be moved, and cabinet pulls that needed to be put on, and flaking paint that needed to be touched up, and caulking, lots of caulking. Plus ceilings and even whole rooms that should be painted. There were errant paint marks (more than I care to admit to) on wood trim throughout the house. Basically if you were a piece of wood trim within 30 yards of a room we were painting, you got paint on you.
What else.... baseboard radiators that were falling apart or rusty or both. Chimney flanges that needed to be replaced, speakers dangling from the wall, broken heat units, broken windows....

Enter my friends.
They have been an enormous source of support for me over the last few years: listening, advising, hugging, wine-pouring, card-sending, shoulder-lending.
And now, paint-brush yielding.  Drill-swinging. Hammer-holding.

They gave up their day off to come over yesterday with tool boxes and paint clothes.  They took my lists and went room to room fixing up my house for me. They went above and beyond my expectations, doing so much more than I had asked.

I did my best to answer questions, find supplies, pour wine, scrape paint, hug, kiss, laugh, put out munchies, bring ladders.

So like I said,
I was sweaty.
I was sore.
I was teary.
I was at times speechless.


Thank you.
With all my heart,
Thank you.

You are, quite literally, Godsends in my life.


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