Monday, December 2, 2013

New blog...

Hi folks, just a reminder that my new blog, A Little Blue Barn, is now up and running.  So this one will be going away shortly.  Feel free to follow the new one to keep in tough.

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, November 22, 2013

New blog...

Hi Folks.  Now that House 54 has come to an end, and our family has moved on to bigger and better things, I decided to start a new blog.  First of all, my blog is shared with family and friends, and I wanted a blog address that was a little more G-rated than this current one.  But I also wanted to start fresh with some new writing for this is a new chapter in my life.

The new blog will cover the rehab-ing of our farm and our house, as well as my new role as a stay-at-home-mom.  If any of these topics interest you, I hope you'll follow me over to the new blog.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Farm fitness: Moving firewood...

With 3 days worth of U-HAUL rentals, and a few too many trips in our own cars, Hubby and I managed to move all 7 cords of our firewood to the new house.  Holy ol' sore arms, Batman!
 FYI, this was not intentional to inflict this level of torture on ourselves.  We had been very proactive this year and ordered our firewood early and got a great deal on it (good enough that it was worth the extra price tag of the U-HAUL rentals to move it).  We had it delivered, and had it all nicely stacked our old house.  Then we went an bought a new house.  We were hoping that the old house would sell before winter, and that whoever bought it would be overjoyed at the already full wood shed, and that we could use some of the money from the sale of the house to purchase new firewood at the new house.  Not so much... 
 This is what Hubby calls my "dirtbike trail."  He came home one day and couldn't figure out what was making the single tire track up our lawn.  I'm not sure what he thinks I do at home all day when he's not here, but unfortunately it's not riding dirkbikes around the yard.  First on the adgenda for next Spring will be to build a wood shed much closer to the house, and at the TOP of the hill.  So next Summer I'll have to go back to lifting normal weights and doing squats again, because I won't have to push the wheelbarrow full of firewood up the freaking hill every day. 

But this guy comes along for the ride in the backpack and keeps me company...and adds a little more resistance for a seriously punishing uphill climb.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Taking The Kid on an adventure...

42 Things to Do with Kids in New York City | Fodor's
The Kid has been wanting to see New York city for quite some time now.  I've been there three times in the last few years for business related/craft show type stuff, and left him at home each time.  Now we've just moved to a new house, we still haven't sold our old one yet, and I'm closing my business.  We'll probably NEVER be able to afford to go there again.  So I figured that before we had too much time to think about it, we should just go.  He's at that great age where he's old enough to be an easy traveling companion, and also be able to remember it all, yet still young enough to think that just the lights alone are super cool, and he'll be thrlled to eat bagles and pizza (the cheap food) the entire time we're there.  Hubby is winning some MAJOR brownie points for this one also.  He's staying home with The Baby while The Kid and I set off on our adventure next week.  It's not easy being the big kid when there's a baby in the house.  So this way he can have 3 whole days of my undevided attention, see the city he's been dying to see, and neither of us have to spend a 7-hour car ride with a crying baby.

Have you been anywhere in NYC that you think a nine-year-old boy would think was super cool?  We have a lot of stuff on our to-do list already, but I'm always curious to hear other suggestions for must-do's (as well as must-not-do's).

Thanks for sopping by,

Monday, November 4, 2013

New blog name...

Taking suggestions for a new name for my blog...

Has to be something that still conveys the theme of rural Vermont life, farming, and motherhood.  perhaps something a tad more PG-rated than my current title though?

Your assistance and ideas are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bureau refinishing project...

I used to have a super amazing bureau.  It's a family heirloom, beautifully preserved, solid wood beast of a clothes hording device.  That was until I got married.  I married a man whom I love more than life itself.  He's cute as hell, a phenomenal cook, he's an insanely hard worker, and an incredible dad.  But he absolutely freaking SUCKS at organizing his clothes.  The teetering piles of sweatshirts and "comfy pants" in our closet was giving me serious anxiety issues.  So I took one for the team, and gave him my bureau.  Now all of my husbands crap lovely attire was hidden away, and peace had been restored.  Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I happen to be a bit of a closet organizing Goddess.  Toot, toot!  So I was able to store most of my stuff in creative ways without the use of my bureau... until we moved.  The new house came with a smaller closet in our master bedroom, and it needed to be shared by both of us.  No amount of organizational genius was going to make enough room for everything.  I pride myself on having a super tiny, and wickedly efficient wardrobe.  So it generally doesn't take up a ton of room.  But I still needed a place for work (barn chore) clothes, bulky sweaters, and that sort of stuff.  To the rescue came my dear friend Jamie...       
She had this old gem sitting in her attic, and offered it up to be at the bargain price of free!
 Purple is not my color though.
 And neither is Mint, Hunter Green, or White.  I wanted that nice solid Maple that was rumored to exist under all that paint somewhere.
 After 2 solid days of sanding, a day of letting Citristrip work on the hard-to-reach crevices, and a day to dry after giving it a bath with the hose, I was able to put a couple of coats of water-based poly on it.
Not to shabby!

Yay for great free stuff and some elbow grease!

Thanks for stopping by, 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Making peace with being a stay-at-home-mom...

I struggle with my need to make my own big-girl money.  Being a stay-at-home-Mom is never what I had envisioned for myself.  There's no paycheck for it, and a paycheck is something that has always brought me a sense of self worth.  Maybe that's shameful of me, but it's true.  Since before I could drive a car, I had a job.  I could pay my own bills, buy my own clothes, and I didn't have to ask anyone for anything.  When my oldest son was 6 months old, I landed what I thought was my dream job AND it paid me about twice as much as any other job I'd ever had before.  I thought I'd made it big. Then I spent the next 6 and a half years working 12 hour shifts while someone else watched my kid.  My son was 7 and I'd missed most of it.  This is when most people would have had a serious reality check.  And I did, but not in the way that I should have.  I planned and saved big time before giving my notice at that job, and did so with a grand vision.  I could work from home, be my own boss, make my own hours, start my own business from the ground up, and do it all while being with my kid.  

That was 2 years ago.  In those two years I did exactly what I set out to do.  I started a business from home.  And it took me the entirety of those 2 years to have another reality check.  I was being selfish.  My husband and I had done the math.  It was going to be tight, but we could afford for me to not work.  My sole responsibility could be my kids.  And I started a business anyway.  I spent most of our savings on it.  I went twice to out-of-town craft shows that both cost me more than I made.  And I sacrificed time with my family for an unnecessary, and quite frankly, pretty miserable paycheck.  My oldest son is now 9, and my youngest turned a year old in July this year.  I feel like I get a do-over now if I quit while they both still like me.

This was not a decision that was made lightly.  My husband and I have been batting ideas about this back and forth for many months now.  We've played devils' advocate with each other, discussing the pros and cons of different scenarios.  What if we cut it back to only Etsy sales and wholesale, and no more farmers markets or travelling to shows?  What if we cut it back to just one or 2 products?  Would it even be worth it then?  What if we went back to printing our own labels?  Would it work then?   Ultimately the answer was No.  No, it's not worth it for us.  For someone, it is, but not for us.  There have been many hysterical crying fits about wasted money, loss of a business that I worked so hard to build, and honestly, loss of my identity as a member of the workforce.  But I really just needed to get over myself, and be OK with having a job that didn't pay me with my name stamped on an official paycheck.

I am still planning on attending the Queen City Craft Bazaar as a vendor in November.  I'll keep my Etsy shop open through the Holiday season, or until all current inventory is sold.  After that time, House 54 LLC will cease to exist, and the New Year will mark the official commencement of operation stay-at-home-mommyhood.

Thanks for stopping by,