Tuesday, December 31, 2019

20-20 Vision

As of tomorrow, we will have a new month, new year, new decade.

While it won't necessarily be a clean slate for me, when I look back on the past decade, it comes pretty darn close.

Because, lemme tell ya', the twenty-teens  and pre-teens were a bitch.

There were so many many things going on in my life and the lives of my children.  

A short list, in no particular order...

driving lessons, marital troubles, homework battles, college, counselling, new kids in the family, soccer games, high school, surgeries for the kids, surgeries for myself, IEP meetings, braces, hormones, graduations, teenage relationships, animal acquisitions, animal deaths, children moving in (sometimes not my own), children moving out, new old friends, middle school, divorce, proms, downsizing, building fences, building chicken coops, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, runaway ponies, moving, mental health issues, re-entering the work force, death of my mother, Residential Treatment Programs, changing jobs, new old name... 

I honestly don't know how I made it out alive.

But here I am, alive and well.
More grey hair than a decade ago.
Healthier in many ways than I was a decade ago.
Ok, parts of my body are literally falling apart and in need of replacement, but that aside...

So with all the change, did anything stay the same?

Resoundingly, yes.

My own inner strength and stability.
God in my corner.
Children and animals all around me.
My own unique, creative perspective.  It is mine alone.  Everyone has their own, I get to claim mine and I will be forever grateful for it.

This time ten years from now, I will be on the cusp of 65.  
An empty-nester (except for maybe Bella?).
Retired (in the name of all that is good and holy, please). 
By the grace of God, still in my beautiful home, petting the ears of a dog as I sit by the fire (as I am at the moment), gathering eggs, and enjoying creative pursuits. Only not all at the same time.

As long as my things-that-stay-the-same list.... you know.... stays the same, I can weather whatever the twenty-twenties throw at me.  I've seen worse.

So bring it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

You Can Take the Girl Out of the Funny Farm....

You can take the girl out of the funny farm, but it seems you can't take the funny farm out of the girl.

A couple of years ago, I posted that I was closing up shop on my Funny Farm blog.  Because of life changes.

Like divorce.
Like moving.
Like saying goodbye to all the farm animals.

Well, here it is two years later.  I am in a home about a third the size of my old one.  I am on an acre, as compared to the seven acres on the farm.

And so I thought I was done with all things Funny Farm.

But I was wrong.  It just won't leave me without a fight.  Not the Funny.  Not the Farm.


I think?

I had started another blog to showcase some of my creative pursuits.  Birdsong Bits and Pieces.

And although I enjoy it, there was always a piece of me that missed my Funny Farm blog.  So I think I want to try to get back to it. Not to sound cheesy, but it was like home.

OK, that was pathetically, ridiculously cheesy.  My apologies.

Anyway, with all that being said, allow me to illustrate why I said the Funny Farm isn't giving up without a fight.
And I promise I will go back and fill in the blanks later about my new place and my Amish neighbors, and where I am with kids and critters, but here is what happened this morning.

*clears throat*

My son woke up and looked out the window to see the neighbor's cow staring in at him.

Consequently, I woke up to my son knocking on my door to let me know the cow was in our yard and he (my son, not the cow) had to leave for school.

Sadly, this steer is being raised to feed the neighbor and his brood, so the only name he has is "Jersey" (which is, surprise, surprise, his breed.  No points for creativity).

I said "Good morning, Jersey, what are you doing here?"
He just looked at me and peed.
It's an effect I have on some, I don't know what to tell you.

He thought briefly about making a run for it, but then remembered what a good back scratcher I am.

I really am, it's true.

So after a little scritch-scratchin', he allowed me to fashion this leash into a heifer halter.  OK, I know he's a steer, but heifer halter has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

My daughter went to Penn State (before transferring to Temple) for a year and all I got was this lousy dog leash.

As it turns out, Jersey has not been halter trained.
Nor leash trained.
Nor don't eat the neighbor's roses trained.

Son: "Are you sure you've got this?"

Me: "I'm not sure of anything!"

"Come on Jersey.  You can do this."

We made it to the gate!  We're home free!


A few more....

And one big push.

He's in!

I shut the gate.
Chained it.
Reclaimed my leash.

Walked around the field to look for where he got out.  Found an open gate, so I shut and chained it, too.
My work here is done.

Not too shabby,

This was before coffee.

So yeah.

Like I said, you can take the girl out of the Funny Farm...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

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 farmbeachgal@yahoo.com 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.

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


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