painting the house

If you have ever bought a home before, you will know what it is like to drive by it daily until your moving day. . . . . It was in the Spring of 1994 when the talk began of moving our family to the farm. Terry's dad had just passed away and we were all missing him so much. The opportunity to move to a farm came at a time when Terry in particular needed a change and a challenge to keep moving forward. I had grown up on a farm and Terry and I had always dreamt of raising our sons on a farm as well. We felt incredibly blessed to have this chance at a different lifestyle. We jumped in feet first and saw the run down, delapidated farm as a challenge and a chance for Terrence and Stuart to be kept busy in their teen years.
Terry never actually saw the inside of the house before we moved there. When buying an operating farm, it's the barns that are the focal point not the house. My Auntie Betty and I were allowed to go inside the house "once" and we took a few Polaroid pictures so that Terry could have an instant view. He asked when I went to see him at Safeway . . . "well, is it fixable?" . .I replied . .."you can do it". Once the farm was purchased we were amazed at the willingness of friends and family to lend us a hand in renovations. Auntie Betty came to help with the painting and the cleaning. There is much I could say about her, she is an amazing and wonderful aunt and is a blessing to our entire family. I have already mentioned her earilier in the "Hula Girl Story".

The exterior of the house had not seen a coat of paint in as many years as it had been standing, and we set to work to scrape off the remainder of the paint. We accepted any volunteers we could get. My dad who was 76 at the time even he scraped and painted. My mom made some suppers and brought them to the farm so we could continue to work.

The back yard really wasn't a back yard at all. The people parked willy-nilly where ever they liked. It nearly drove Terry mad. The barns were in need of as much repair as the house inside and out. That first year is a bit of a blur. Its amazing what you can do when you have a vision and a drive to work hard. It is amazing what you can do when your friends and family step up to offer their help and support.

That summer, the boys learned to work. Stuart was 13 and Terrence was 15. They worked in the barns in the morning and in the afternoon helped to make the house livable.

Daily we saw small improvements and slowly our dream began to emerge.

When we talk about raising our family we always speak in terms of before the farm and after the farm. It really was a pivotal point in our lives. Terry worked hard for those first few years. He got up at four in the morning, went to work, came home early in the afternoon and worked in the barns until nine or ten in the evening. While the work seemed endless most of the time, it was such satisfying work. We saw daily improvements and we began to appreciate the lifestyle of country living.
I don't have many pictures to show you of the interior, next time that I post the "moving to the farm saga" I will show you exactly what I showed Terry.
I'm off for my 30 minute walk. Later on today, my friend Monica is coming over to tell me her story. I plan to post a part of it tomorrow. Have a wonderful day my friends.


  1. Love the post and pictures you have shared! Lots of charm in the home as well as memories! Blessings to you and yours..

  2. Having seen the before in person, I know you really did have to have a 'vision' to even attempt to make the run-down farm the invitingly beautiful 'estate' that it is today.
    I don't want to spoil your 'before' saga but you do have to tell what was being raised in the barns other than chickens!!!

  3. oh Julie, I was just thinking about that. I don't have any picutres . .(who would want to see them anyways) but I thought I might post the details amidst flower pictures. That way if you don't want to read, at least there is something pleasant to look at. too funny.

  4. I admire you for taking on such a project! I am not a do-it-yourselfer, but I can see how people get satisfaction out of transforming something. May you enjoy many more years on your beloved farm.

  5. Can't wait to see pictures of what the house looked like inside.

  6. Good heavens, what WAS being raised in the barn, besides chickens????????

  7. Hadn't visited your blog for a while, and man, that house really has gone to pot! (probably hosted a few plants too in its day) Then, what relief to see its a historical document on the life changes of your estate! You have come a long way!

  8. I love HGTV and seeing the before and after pics of fun! Thanks for the trip and entertainment...I can't wait to see the inside of this place too...!! This was a great idea Julie it!

  9. What an undertaking! Thought I know from experience that making something old, new again is so exciting and fulfilling. Now I am curious. What were you raising other than chickens?????

  10. The first time we did our own 'drive by' to see the farm and house you had bought we both said that this was certainly a job that Terry would be able to manage. He is so detailed, organized and tidy. He is a hard worker and we had no doubt that a big transformation was in store. He really does a great job of anything he sets his mind and hand to. What a sense of satisfaction you all must get as you look back and now take a look at your inviting home, gardens and farm. WOW. My hubby was in on some of the 'barn fun'. Men kinda get into that stuff. You all might hear about the barns, or maybe curious minds will always be left wondering. Kathy


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