In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine


I gotta get caught up!

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Monday, May 18, 2009 0 comments

OK. SO. We have the big house inspection tomorrow to satisfy all the VHFA (Vermont Housing Finance Agency) requirements that were set when we closed on the house. We are officially done today (assuming that the guys from the gas company really DID come by to install the heater in the kitchen). So here's the breakdown.

We updated the electrical wiring...fun fun.
We had the flashing around the chimney re-done (even though the ROOFERS said it looked fine)
Kyle screwed down the newel posts on our railing for the main staircase for added stability...
I extended the railing at the top of the stairs... (sorry, no pictures for these things at this moment)

Put in some new stairs to the basement:

This is Kyle's brother-in-law, Chris going down the ladder after they removed the old stairs.

And this is the end result...very sturdy.

Took out the carpet samples from one of the bedrooms and had new carpet installed:

crap- thats before...I don't currently have an after- I'll get it later.

We installed a support beam in the really wide threshold between our living room and family room:

this beam is now painted white so it doesn't stand out so much...

What else...oh, we took down the "unsafe" portion of the shed:


after Kyle removed the walls...

Kyle's truck...tied to the support beams (after Kyle cut all the studs with a chainsaw...)

This is a picture I took, running like hell to get out of the way when I thought the little birch trees were going to fall on me...the shed fell by the way...you can KIND of see it there on the left of the picture...

See. This is Kyle next to the fallen shed...after this we had a HUGE mess of wood, etc when Kyle continued to tear it apart using an excavater...and there was a fire...a couple of them actually. One of them was WAY too big.


Lovingly Posted by Melissa Tuesday, May 5, 2009 0 comments


I am SOOOooo exhausted! We've only got two more weeks until our requirements from VHFA must be completed and I feel like I'm running out of steam. We are so close to being done and I just feel like I'm halfway through a marathon (not that I've ever run one...but I can imagine) and I've hit a wall. We're only a few days away from having the rest of our wiring updated (even though the last few rooms are going to be wired with "electrical molding" aka conduits) and we're pretty close to having a NICE bathroom on the second floor...but I just can't WAIT for it to be over!!!!!

In preparation of this final push of the wiring we have completely dismantled any sense of comfort in the living, family, and dining rooms in our efforts to make all the walls accessible to the electrician. Our television is now up in our bedroom so we can still watch movies in relative comfort but our poor dogs are left to try to squeeze onto the couch between stacks of books and other nick nacks. My dining room table is covered in tools, bags, mail...beer bottles (empty) and an empty pizza box from Friday night.

I am anxiously looking forward to having things back to how they should be. Or at least in a way that I can get home and relax and not have to look at piles of boxes and construction materials.

Along with all the house stuff I've been pushing Kyle to get me the rest of his family's addresses so we can FINALLY send out the last of our wedding invitations! Yeah, we've got a month and a half to go and we are still sending these out. On the up side we've decided to just have Top Hat DJ play music for our ceremony as they are WAY cheaper than paying a musician and I am sick of searching and searching for a musician who can play half-way decently.

So yeah, I'm feeling just a bit overwhelmed. House, wedding...ok...so I guess its just that two, but they are HUGE. And please don't ask me what we're doing for a honeymoon...as we still don't know yet.