Thursday, December 23, 2010

Progress on Several Fronts

It's been a very busy week here at Amen Farm. The house project seems to be pulling together on most fronts. The folks from HA George were here yesterday morning to finish up the pipe work from the generator to the propane line and to put the tack room on the main propane line thus removing the small temporary tank. Powers Generator will be here on Monday to 'fire up' the generator and give me instruction for it's operation. Already I can fell that 'my ponytail is way too tight'.
On Tuesday the sonic water treatment system was installed and the pressure tank was moved further into the corner of the tack room. A double bonus here....more room in the tack room and the minerals in the water will no longer turn my hair blue!!

Dave had a bit of a Christmas Party yesterday noon for all the people who have worked on this project. Apparently a fine time was had by ALL !

This morning Mike and Brian are putting siding on the front of the house IN THE SNOW. Gotta love it!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Gary Leonard sheet rocker extraordinaire is still working full bore and the panels for the radiant heat on the first floor have been laid. Gerry has laid the tubing in the grooves in the living/dining

room area. The heavy duty vac's were in use to clear the grooves of any foreign material that might poke a hole in the tubing.

I've spent quite a bit of time choosing paint colors for the first floor. It all started a month or so ago with my friend "Pearl" and I brainstorming some colors using my Fine Paints chips. We eliminated
95% of the colors and I put the remainder in a Zip Lock for further consideration. Now that the sheet rock is up it is easy to thumb tack the chips up on the walls and stand back for a good look.

This afternoon I finalized the colors! Now on to the upstairs bedrooms and bath. I am considering using the gorgeous pale apricot that I used in the dining room at 1744 NW Hill Rd in one of the bedrooms. And, now that I think of it I really do need to check out the tiles for the upstairs bathroom as they well may dictate the paint color for the walls. Perhaps I'll run down to Lee in the morning and take my paint chips with me or better yet bring the tile board home so that I'll be able to see it 'in' the bathroom.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This was the sky on last friday morning. It lasted for a good long time and was simply glorious!

The sheet rocker was here all week end. He has finished the first floor and is working upstairs today.

Had a meeting with Jeremy this morning about the kitchen cabinetry. This may be the most critical part of this project Also having a hard time deciding on a mantle.

Dave was laving the grids for the radiant heat when I went out this afternoon. I went over from the barn to ask him to take a look at the Nelson Waterer and explain to me how to adjust the counterweight. A 3/16 in the socket wrench and i had it fixed !!

I'm off to knitting as soon as I've finished haying the horses. More later.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The sheetrocker was here Friday and again Friday evening. We awoke to his arrival on Saturday morning. He worked through the day and then was back at work at 8:00 P.M. and according to "himself" he left around 1:45 A.M. I'll have to get out to the house and take some pictures and perhaps I'll get around to posting them this afternoon.

We took the dogs for a walk on Indian Massacre Rd yesterday and on the return , at the height of land, we slithered down the slope to the old railroad bed and followed it along the river and then on through McMahon's corn fields. We reached the end behind the Oil Lady's place and had to bushwack through a hedgerow and then through the open field opposite the cemetery.

This morning we are experiencing a bit of a wintery mix that is in the process of turning to rain.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I took this photo a few days ago from the loft of the barn after I threw hay out for the horses breakfast and before the 'lake effects' snow blanketed our area. How lovely to see the four horses enjoying some sweet summer hay on this sunny cold morning.

As of Monday the wet area at
the bottom left of the picture has been fenced out of the pasture and a new 20' section of culvert has been attached to the culvert that runs beneath the driveway and carries the runoff from the foundation drains. Eventuall all of that water will be piped to a future pond site. Meanwhile it will just run over the bank into the woods.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Have you ever seen a 'furnace' like the one hanging on the wall of the utility room? I am absolutely astonished that anything so small is reputed to be a state of the art propane furnace. There have been many more pipes and valves put in place since this picture was taken last week. I think that I will be needing a serious tutorial to understand how it all works.

And here we have our Rumford fireplace complete with andirons. We were concerned that the black cast iron andirons either wouldn't fit or wouldn't be appropriate for this fireplace. We both think that they will be perfect. I wish we had some history about them. We do know that they came from Syd's family's house in Annandale, NY but where they came from before then remains a mystery. For all anyone knows they may have been in the house when they moved there.

You can sort of tell that some bit of insulation work has been done. They have been working here off and on for the last week. They were apparently held up today due to bad roads and didn't arrive until early afternoon.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Indian Summer

A glorious Indian Summer day! It started on the cold side but didn't take long for the sun to warm everything right up

The roofers were here at O dark hundred and will be finished by mid afternoon.

Today is the start of Deer Season here in Vermont. I don't imagine that the hunters are all that happy with the warm temps.

I took a not so great pic of the horses enjoying a bit of warm November sunshine early this morning.

Syd brought out the tractor to back drag the barnyard. In preparation I dug out the manure that was packed up against the exterior barn door and wall. Yuck !

Cicero and I went up to the Handsome Hound in Bennington to get dog food and when we arrived back home the barnyard was cleared and the roofers were nearly finished.

Through the Roof!

Yesterday was a very eventful day her on upper Tubs Rd. The roofers (Wooliver) showed up bright and early and within a couple of hours had the garage and interstices covered with asphalt shingles. Next came the boom truck from RK Miles to lift the 'faux' chimney and lower it into place on the west end of the roof. Mike and Dave are in the pics guiding the chimney and then securing it in place.. Unfortunately the photos are in the wrong order and I don't seem to be capable of moving the. arrrgh

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An early November day

T'was a mighty frosty morning here on upper Tubs. I checked the thermometer when I arose and it was only 24F. Had some coffee and headed out to the barn to feed the 'hay burners'. They are always eager to see me on a cold morning, a form of flattery, I expect. I've been including some joint supplements in Nibbies and Talisman's feed. They are both a bit on the stiff side and I can only assume that age plays it's part.

Jeremy was here this morning and we looked at some floor samples that he dropped off for us. I think that we have settled on pine for the second floor but the first floor remains undecided. The roofers are due here next week !! The propane tank has arrived at H A George and I gather that the master plan is to get all the trenching and tank burial stuff done next week. Hope the weather cooperates.

Mike and Trevor put up quite a bit of siding on the back of the house today. The weather for tomorrow isn't looking good for outside work so I imagine they will be working in the basement.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The painter was here most of yesterday priming doors, etc. Indeed the folks from Pella came on Friday and exchanged the six over six sashes for eight over eight sashes. Now all we need to do is get the last windows installed, the clapboards on the house and painted. And, we hope that the propane tank and generator come this week. Syd moved all our trailer out of the way so that Dale will have a open canvas on which to work.

Dave stopped by yesterday afternoon to say he would be back to work on Monday. I don't imagine he'll be here as he is on 'light duty' for several weeks.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gloomy Friday

Not much new on the house project. The painters have been here off and on to prime doors, screen doors, etc. I'm told that Pella will be here today to bring the correct sash ( 8 over 8) for the windows in the basement room and the two in the stairwells. Mike and Trevor continue to put up siding and hope for continued good weather.

This morning I made the decision to pass on the crown moulding over the windows on the back of the house.....just too busy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We now have 'some' of the trim painted and this is a very good thing. Not sure what the prospects are for an entirely RED house in 2010. The temps are dropping and that seems to be a minus in the paint window.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Up the Chimney

Cicero and Alice having a bit of a romp just outside the barn.

Just downloaded a few pictures of the chimney. It's really quite gorgeous as chimneys go. It'll look even better when the chimney of the other end of the house is in place. That one will serve the Glenwood kitchen range and be a 'fake'. The stove pipe will go from oval to round out of the range and after the damper it will fit into a metalbestos pipe that will go up through the roof and have a 'fake' chimney created around it.

Rock On

Last week I traveled up to Springfield, VT to have a look at some soapstone slabs. We are considering using soapstone for our kitchen countertops. This slab is quite green as opposed to the others that I saw that were grey and nearly blsck. Am leaning toward the green with light veining.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Autumn Gold

Fall is in the air. Check out the shadows and
the gold on them thar hills. The winter sun will be setting early on this little farm. Guess I'll be getting my barn chores done earlier rather than later and then walking into a kitchen warmed by our new/old Glenwood kitchen range. Way back when our Windsor, MA house was just in the planning stages we stopped for gas just off the Taconic Parkway and I spotted a second hand shop just next door to the gas station. There was a rusty old cast iron cook stove on the porch and we bought it ....on the spot! And, we never looked back! After a couple of calls we managed to borrow a trailer to cart it back to our apartment in Pittsfield. It would up in our basement where we spent many hours removing the rust, cleaning the broken pieces of firebrick out of the firebox and sending off the trim to be re nickeled at Royal Plating Co. now long out of business.
When we sold the house we left the stove behind. What a mistake. Anyhow, we found another Glenwood range this past winter and bought it pretty much the same way that we bought the first one. Love at first sight! This one came from the Love Barn north of Belfast , ME. The kids collected it for us on a return trip from Holden, ME. Can't wait til we have it in the new kitchen.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's a steamy September morning. I'm just in from the barn where the crew is enjoying a lovely bale of Mike Darling's second cutting. As I was picking the area under the overhang I couldn't help but congratulate myself on investing in a Nelson Waterer. It's only been in service since the end of June but it has already paid for itself in my book. No more algae coated water troughs, just a lovely stainless bowl that is a breeze to clean.

On Sunday the winter's hay arrived. 608 bales in all and I must say that it is always a good feeling to know that the loft is full. A few weeks back Mike injured his knee so the troops rallied to help with hay. Dicky, Mike's brother in law, apparently ran the baler at warp speed which may account in some way for the weight of the bales?? The 'gorillas' were John , Brady & Tyler Rose, John Darling and a couple others that I didn't know. They managed to consume gallons of iced tea and thanks to Syd we had plenty of mint! He went back to the old farm and gathered a generous bunch,

This is a picture of the house progress from last week. Much has been done since then. The garage is in situ, the trusses arrived yesterday afternoon. The screen porch is under construction and the porch flooring has been delivered. More pictures soon.
Last evening after the hammer bangers had left I went out with a tape to try to layout the placement of the kitchen sink, dishwasher and cooktop. Managed to rescue a few scraps of plywood of an appropriate size and used them to represent the appliances. I think I'm close.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dog Days

This entire week has been H, H & H ! Progress on the house has been terrific. Early

in the week the plywood went up on the roof and then the tar paper sheathing was added.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ceremonial Pine Bough

At the end on a pretty long day! Everything fit!!! Dave and Neil are disconnecting the slings from the crane cables.

Last of all Neil attaches the traditional pine bough to the frame. It's official!

Raise the Roof !!

On Tuesday morning Dave Dentz showed up with his crane and the timber framers arrived to finish raising the frame. The 'second story' was assembled on the ground with the help of the crane. It took a while to get the top rectangle together and then to get the straps in the proper place so that when it was lifted it would be level.
Next the started adding the posts and braces.... eight posts in all.

Finally ready to lift the structure up to the second floor.

Phew!!! We are about to find out if eveything fits!

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's a Frame Up

Finally back following the move from Northwest Hill Rd.   It was indeed the move from Hell.  In truth it was such a horror I'd just as soon not relive it by 'telling the tale'. 'Himself' left for Boston on the 29th of June for hip replacement surgery. I finished up removing from the house all the odds and ends that the movers left behind.  The kids helped by loading up the bed of the truck and parked it in the indoor arena where it remains, still loaded.  I immediately came down with a mean case of bronchitis that knocked me to my knees. Fortunately I was beyond the worst of it by the time FSS arrived home on Thursday.  Something called a Z Pac of antibiotics made all the difference.Meanwhile Dale McLenithan had dug the foundation hole for the house and the foundation  had been poured, forms removed, drainage placed around the perifery of the foundation and finally backfilled in preparation for the timber frame.  Jeremy Broadwell's crew got everything ready in the basement for the plumbers to lay the tubing for radient heat and Grady and Jennings came on Tuesday to pour the floor.  By Wednesday afternoon the decking over the basement was complete and ready for Dave Bowman and Neil Godden, our timber framers to arrive, unload the timbers and assemble some bits and pieces in preparation for the 'raising' on Friday. 

Neil and Dave arrived around 8:30 and the crane showed up shortly after.  The first two bents went up pretty quickly....much faster with a crane than with 'man power' but certainly not as pretty to watch.

I had to leave for a couple of hours and snapped this last shot of them putting the fourth bent in place.   By the time I got back the weather had deteriorated and all progress had halted in anticipation of thunderstorms.
The crane left to go back to CT and the crew left for Cummington and Goshen.  The plan is that they will be back on Monday or Tuesday, which ever day looks to be lightning free, to finish up the frame.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I spent most of the day up at the patch mucking about in the garden. The tomatoes are in the ground, including the 'hard to find' Caspian Pink variety. My fingers are crossed in hopes that "Late Blight' will be a non issue this year. The Simpson ( bolt resistant) lettuce transplanted well as did the eggplant.

The 'Fancy Fema' arrived mid afternoon. It is very very small! One of the bedrooms is smaller that my closet and the other two aren't much larger.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

More Like a Farm

The barn is really starting to take shape and that is a very good thing. Cement was poured and brushed in the central aisle. The floor drain is in place and will make cleaning the barn so much easier.

The garden is looking a tad better as I continue to hand weed and add new plants as I am able. The highbush blueberries from Project Native are looking very healthy. Today I hope to plant two Cornus Florida and two Clethra.

The picture of the 'dozer' shows Dale removing the top soil from the house site late yesterday afternoon. Looks like things are really starting to take shape housewise. We have chosen a contractor, FINALLY ! This has been a very long and somewhat difficult process and we are both mightly relieved to have made the decision.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Kris and I are off to S Acworth today to hand out with Ann and Lyndsey. Ann has fallen to the siren song of 'a horse' !!! Our job is to train it in four hours !!! Pictures to follow!!!

It is always fun to visit Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue and the photo ops never disappoint. Several years ago I got one of Isabella

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Barn Progress

Syd and I went up to the patch on Sunday afternoon to deliver some conduit left over from the Indoor Arena rehab project. Bruce is going to make grills to put between each stall. I hope that the aisle floor will be poured soon! We also staked out temporary pasture on the east side of the driveway. I hope that Brady can get started fairly soon. He did take up a couple loads of T post and a bunch of pressure treated corner posts.

I picked up five gallons of semi transparent stain at RK Miles to be used to stain the barn trim and siding. In my haste I neglected to pick up a couple of brushes. Tomorrow.

Monday, April 26, 2010


The weekend was billed to be lovely on Saturday and marginal on Sunday. For once the forecast was mostly accurate. On Saturday afternoon we headed up to the patch armed with a brush cutter, several large black plastic garbage bags, felco clippers, leather gloves and shear dint of will. Syd cut brush along the roadside and I pulled Garlic Mustard. I'll add a photo of it later.
It was a 'hands and knees' task! Lots of crawling under branches, clipping MultiFlora Rose canes , etc to give me access to the miserable ubiquitous invasive. Over the course of the afternoon I filled one bag to the very top.

Yesterday I pulled more Garlic Mustard. This time along the roadside opposite Katherine Porter's house. There is plenty more to pull next to where the old barn foundation was located. I'll have to get to it this week as it is in bloom and I really want to get it up before the seeds are set.

On a happier note I took a photo of the Cornus Florida (below) that is about to bloom !! How exciting to have a wild native dogwood growing on our patch !!! Last fall I planted three very small Cornus Florida at the base of the hillside behind the garden. Happily they weathered the winter very well.

Syd picked up a pallet of topsoil & 30 bags of compost at Leonard's. We filled up one of the beds and I'll do the second bed some day this week.