Monday, February 4, 2019

The Big Red Barn

The Barn.
The magnificent barn.

It's still hard for me to believe it's ours.
When you're driving in from either direction, it stands out like a beacon, and every time I think to myself, Look at that barn!
Sometimes I even say it out loud, which gets a big eye roll from kids.

The neighboring field was radish seed last year and it was so amazingly beautiful. 

We don't know a whole lot about the barn itself.
It was built in 1908, so it's older than the house, which was built in 1916.
It had been white forever.
 Then the owners we bought from had it painted red in 2016.
Word on the street is, it was a sad day for the locals when that happened.
I was told one of the neighbors cried.
I can see how a major change like that would be upsetting to the people who have always known it one way.
For us, red is all we've known, so we love it.
It's pretty crazy to see old photos of it when it was white, though.
Who knows, maybe someday it will be The Big White Barn again.

Because of its size, you can see it from every corner of the property.
Because of that, it shows up in nearly every pulled back photo that I take.

From the patio.

The pond patio.

 My bedroom.

The back door.

The compost pile.

The driveway.

The fire pit.

Lilac Island.

The back cow pasture.

The Garden.

The front yard.

The Redneck Pool and Rainbow Garden.

The tracks.

As I'm sure you've noticed, the tracks separate the barn from the house.
In general, the train runs Monday through Friday.
Once in the early afternoon, empty.
It comes back through in the early evening, loaded with lumber from the nearby mill.
You can't set your clocks to its schedule, but that's roughly when you can expect it.
On occasion, it'll come through on a weekend, but not very often.

The field to the left of it, where the radish was, belongs to someone else.
To the right is pasture.
Back behind it is more pasture and the creek, which is not much in the summer months, but when the rains come, it floods.
Here's the back end.

The next photo is looking out the back door, and a bit right, to the lower pasture.
Previous owners used it as such, but it currently isn't fenced in a way that we can put our critters down there.
There's a long list of to-dos, as you can imagine, but getting it set up to use again is on there.
Because it stays wet for so long, it's free food that we definitely need to tap into.

You can see the t-posts above and in this next photo.
This is looking far right out the back door.
Now, the pasture cats have access to everything to the right of the posts....the left is where we want to eventually give them access.
The oak and big stand of trees is about where the neighbor's property starts, so we definitely could be utilizing that whole area as part of a rotating pasture system.  
One of these days.....years.

The second huge old oak tree, dead center out the back door and in the photo below, is where our property goes to a point and ends.
The trees to the left is where the creek is, not visible at all.

Same view when the creek's flooded.
Isn't that nuts!?

This next photo is kinda funky, but it's a close up of the oak that's straight out the back door.

Getting it all fenced in and animal safe is a pretty big project, but definitely one we would love to do, sooner than later.
As you can see in the next photo, we need to up our game in the existing fence as well.  
The naughty goats get out and eat in the neighbor's field, pretty much every day.
They're so naughty.
I'm convinced they see me pull out of the driveway and then go running for the field, because they're out there every time I come home from somewhere.
Did I mention naughty?

Okay, enough about the pastures and fencing, let's check out the inside!
Before we even technically owned the house, the girls we bought from let us move all of our belongings into the barn.
It was beyond amazing of them, and saved us having to pay for a storage unit, as well as move everything twice.
The Dad and some friends made numerous trips out with truck and trailer loads, then on the day we officially moved out of our old house, we had a moving company bring everything else out here in a big ol' semi.
I couldn't find any pictures of how it looked with all of our stuff in it, but it was basically filled with furniture and boxes from the front doors to the back.
It was ridiculous.
We slowly moved most of our stuff inside, but you know how it goes....there were still all those unopened boxes and random pieces of furniture.
The Girl asked to have her birthday party in there this last October, so I was bound and determined to finally deal with the piles.
Her birthday is the 24th, so on the 1st, I went in and started pulling everything out.

This is standing right inside the front doors.
It makes me twitch just looking at it now.

Inside a little more, still looking toward the back.

 Annnd, looking toward the front.

 One of the first orders of business was a play corner for the little one.
I just put some of her things, that wouldn't fit in the house, in one of the stalls.
In addition to what's in the photos, her play kitchen is out there, as well as more dolls and aprons and a white board for playing school.
It's too cold now, but she was out there almost every day after school when the temps would still allow.
Of course the looky loos wanted to know what in the world I was working on.

Onto the main part.
I started collecting furniture.
Goodwill, Salvation Army, Facebook Marketplace.
I was on a mission.
The bank of lockers were some that The Dad brought home from a job.  
They were going in the dumpster.

The fantastic chairs were given to us by a friend.
The "coffee table" was here.
It's just a rusty old cabinet on wheels that had animal stuff in it.
Side table was mine.
This was phase one.

Phase two.
A neighbor gave us the foosball table, so we got that set up.

Another neighbor was selling the red leather chairs on Marketplace, so I got those from him.

The coffee table was one The Dad built for outside at the old house.
The side table was thrown in for free when I bought the red chairs.
Same with the cane back arm chairs.

Phase three.
Hanging stuff on the walls, bringing in lamps, throw pillows, etc.
It's all a mix of stuff we had, stuff that was here, stuff that was given to us, and stuff from second hand stores.

Here's the other two cane back chairs, two dining chairs that were ours, our old grey living room chair, the orange one was $8 on Marketplace.
Dining room table was ours, too.

Side table was another freebie with the red chairs.

All our stuff on the walls except for the round mirror.

This is the orange chair that tried to kill me, twice, when it was in the house.
It was in the barn when we moved it.
It went back to the barn after the attempted murder charges.

And then, of course, you need twinkle lights for a birthday party.

The amazing green couch was scored at a second hand store.
It's a hide-a-bed!
It was $100, which was too much, so I asked if they'd come down.
She said they couldn't, but that it would be half price later in the week.
So I waited.  And held my breath.
My best buddy was there when they opened.
And it was still there.
Meant to be.
It has since moved to the bonus room in the house.

And then it was birthday party time.
Flowers from the yard, food, music, and family.

The ashtrays were given to us.
No smoking in the barn, ahem, so I put butter mints in them.

The buffet is our old desk with a piece of plywood on top.
The shelf brackets were there, with ropes and things hanging off them.
I just pulled a piece of wood out from under the barn and it fit perfect.
And, the mirror got moved.
Always rearranging.

The old Clipper was here.
I knew from day one that I wanted to use it as a bar.
It's so cool.

And that was the first official barn party.
We watched the Civil War game out there with friends, but it's too cold to be spendin' time out there now.
I'm excited to have some summer gatherings, though.

I don't have many pictures of upstairs, but here are a couple.
Now that my camera is up and running, I'll be able to get some better ones.
Back in the day, this is where the real barn parties were held.
This first pic is the elaborate hay fort that was built one weekend when we had friends out.
The dads went all out.

And yes, it is definitely used for hay and straw storage.
Those pasture cats need to get jobs.

And last, a couple from Christmas.
Yes, I put a tree out there.

Should we do another before and after?
Looking toward the front doors.

Looking toward the back doors.

I'll introduce you to the Motley Crew next.

 Until then......


  1. And on and on it goes. What a dream! Your party space looks amazing. Girl, you got some good karma goin' on! ;0D

  2. All that and the gardens, too. Sigh....


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