Monday, October 24, 2016


It has been pointed out to me by several of my friends that I didn't mention Donkey when I was discussing our big move.  Have no fears Donk is alive and well!  Our old horse Teddy died this last winter from old age.  After we put him down, Donk was so depressed.  They had lived together for the last 14 years and had never been apart in that time period.  We knew this moving stuff was coming and we didn't know if we where going to be renting or buying land or who knows what, so I needed a temporary place for Donkey to get loved while we figured ourselves out so we could buy him a new friend to keep him company.  
I work with the most amazing nurse in the NICU at Community North that has a cowgirls spirit.  She has a young grandson that needed a bomb proof mini to play on.  Did I have the guy for her!  Mr. Donkey can not be spooked.  He has the heart of a rag doll cat, he just wants to lay around and be loved.  That is the perfect little boys first pony.  He has gone to hang out with her for a year or so till we are ready to take him back.  My friend is spoiling him up right and giving him all love he can handle.  I miss my Donk, but he is having fun at camp.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

::we sold the farm::

We are moving.  We decided last year that it was time to finally move closer to Josh’s family about an hour from where we live now.  We have wanted to do this for awhile, but last summer felt like it was finally time.  Emma was graduating high school and Lily was starting junior high.  We didn’t want to move while Emma was still in high school here, but we wanted to move before Lily started high school.  The boys are still little and they don’t really care what’s going on.  We listed our house with a shady realtor who has lots of sales in our area.  We quickly realized we couldn’t stand this guy, he was giving us bad advice left and right.  We got a buyer who made it through inspection and then backed out.  We pulled it off the market August 1st because the kids where going back to school.  We thought we would just try again next spring.  Then I got a random call from a different realtor named Lori Redman who asked if her clients could still come see our house even though the farm had been off the market for weeks.  We let them come, they loved it but they didn’t have quiet enough money to buy the whole thing.  We really didn’t want to move at that time anyway so we said, no big deal.  Six weeks later they came back with more money.  We got our old shady realtor to agree to take a reduced commission since he hadn’t done a damn thing any way.  Lori negotiated both sides of the deal and we all agreed to everything. 
               The kicker is that the buyers wanted a short closing.  They only gave us SIX weeks to be out.  Right now we are about one months from closing and I can’t hardly believe it.  We are going to miss this farm like crazy.  We love this place.  It is an amazing farm, but we have said our emotional good byes and come to terms with it.  I will always love this place.  We have lived her 14.5 years.  We got married here.  We have had three of our kids here.  But now it is time to move on to our forever farm.  We are going to take all the wonderful things we have learned over the last 14 years and use them to make our next place awesome. 
      Speaking of next place – we have found a new farm.  It’s less than 1.5 miles from Josh’s parents, and 3.8 miles from his brother.  It’s five acres, which is just the size we wanted this time.  It’s got a pretty little one story farm house from 1930 that needs mostly gutted to the walls.  Everything must go.  Then it has the most amazingly huge barn.  I mean HUGE!  There is a 100 year old had cut beam wooden barn that was cover with metal and is very well preserved, with a loft that dreams are made of.  Then there is a cement block building that was built in the 1950’s and was used as some kind of mechanic shop, with four nice sized rooms.  Those two buildings where attached to each other with a pole barn that is about 150ft long and about 70 feet wide.  There are all these amazing open spaces and charming little rooms.  You just never saw such a barn in your life.  You can just feel the magic and the history.  I swear if you saw a fairy fly in front of you, you wouldn’t even be surprised.

Then next door to the main barn in a cattle barn.  It’s a good 100+ feet long and 30 feet side.  It’s only closed in on three sides and it set up for dairy cattle.    Between the barns and behind them is a large cement area with and two large circular foundations for silos.  Between the barns and the cement area I would say that one solid acre is taken up. 
               It took some serious back and forth.  I even wrote this letter to the buyers to talk them into lowering their price.  Our realtor told me the house has over forty showings and we were the first offer.  It’s just a different kind of place and we are different kind of people = perfect match.  Here is the letter:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. S. –
               I wanted to reach out to you about your lovely farm in (blank).  We toured your house last week and fell in love with it.  The house has such good bones and is so pretty.  Your barns stole our hearts.  All that space, with so many different rooms and turns.  We could feel the history in there and it spoke to us.  We are a family of six, four children ages 18, 13, 8, and 4.  My husband grew up just down the road from you on 900 near (blank).  We are moving back to the area to help with my husband’s parents and to be closer to his brothers and their families. 
               We have lived the last 14 years on a 16 acre farm near Lebanon.  It needed lots of work when we bought it but over the years we have spent many late nights and weekend bringing it back to life.  I am a huge gardener and keep several different gardens.  When I saw the open sunny space at your farm, my mind started spinning at the gardens I could keep there.  My children and I keep a few pet livestock animals, including three pygmy goats and one miniature sheep.  They wonder around their paddocks at our current farm and I could just see them playing in new paddocks at your house.  We can’t wait to get some chickens again too, and I know those guys would love your farm too.  We also have a very silly Great Pyrenees dog that loves to patrol his property all night and protect us from every falling leaf he see’s.  He’s a really friendly guy and our family really enjoys him.  When I came to your farm I could just feel us being happy there.  All the space and openness has so much appeal, and the farm felt so peaceful.  Our family is used to the large amount of work that living on property takes and we hope to be able to put that energy into your farm.
We are hopeful that we can work with you to buy your house and barns, and make it into our families dream farm.
Thank you,
Brooke Schaefer

  I am so ready for this place.  We will be living with my brother inlaw and his family while we hire out the renovation.  Josh has all the skills needed to do the renovation, but not the time and since we will be homeless till then we will be hiring professionals.  We have SO many plans for this farm.  First the house: gut it to the walls.  There is no internal charm to salvage, it’s been renovated before and not in the nice way, so it needs gutted for a reset.  We want a four bedroom, kids rec room, laundry room, mudroom, kitchen with large pantry, and one million other finer points that I will chronicle here.  There is a lovely shed and green house that I plan to make into my sanctuary.  I have the perfect spot for a knot garden (much more on that to come), I know just where I want my coop with chickens, my big garden, small orchard, fire pit, shooting range, and more and more and more.  This place is nice and flat and very wide open.  This is going to be our sanctuary.    


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