Monday, January 26, 2015

Around The Farmhouse

Some of you seemed interested in seeing inside the farmhouse, so I have some photos of around the two main rooms. But I thought it would be more interesting seeing some of the "antiques' I use everyday. When I was in college I spent nearly every weekend collecting stuff with friends and started making those found objects from the Beforetimes part of my everyday life. So here are some photos and the reasons behind them. To start, here you'll see my little record player on a leather record holder from some church. It says on the record holder "The Audio Bible Society of America" and there's a vintage TV under it, my dad's old reel-to-reel, suitcases and old cameras. There is A LOT of taxidermy around the house as well, all of it collected from dusty antique malls or gifted to me from friends. There's a 36-cup coffee boiler a reader mailed me, books on the occult, a golden-framed Mona Lisa, and random knick knackery.

There is no overhead lighting in the farmhouse unless you are in the kitchen. Oil lanterns like this are hung up instead and there are antlers everywhere. Antlers are important around here.

I don't have any machines you plug in to make coffee or tea. There isn't a microwave either. Well, there is one old one from the 90's I got at a garage sale but it's on its side being used as a saddle stand in my tack room/office upstairs. Anyway, percolators and teapots are the way to go at this farm. This little teal perk was a gift from the Daughton Family and I adore it. For more people I have a Rapidbrew percolator, which has a wooden handle and is pretty awesome.

I don't have a cell phone right now and I am leaving the world of Smart phones. Good riddance. It's too much for me, and I don't like what those little black screens have done to my ability to be content without constant distraction. So right now the only phone I have is this one, a land line. It rings with actual bells inside it and it has a cord. There is no answering machine, which I appreciate very much.

This is my Air Conditioning Unit. I don't mind being hot, or humidity. I adore it. There is no sense in being treated like a morgue slab when I spend all my time sweating outside anyway in the summer, with the Battenkill River to be my cooling off swimming hole if it gets really bad. I can tube, swim, and fly fish right here in Cambridge everyday. No AC is a symbol of my personal liberty.

Heating. Just a wood stove. Temperatures in the morning go from 30-50 degrees indoors to 60-70 degrees when the fire is roaring. This Bunbaker stove also has a bread oven in it and a dragon humidifier on top! The dragon was also a gift! Thanks E!

And this here is a stack of old suitcases. AKA end tables. I use suitcases everywhere to hold things up like computers, lamps, and in this case a kickass old ibook that still works. Inside are books (there are books everywhere here, in every corner). Notice the fashionable plywood floors!

Entertainment System. My Granny's old Singer and the RCA player. Photos you see there are grandparents and relatives on my mother's side including the intrepid Aunt Mimi. Furniture is all second hand here. I refuse to spend a lot of money on the inside of my house, as all the adventure and reasons for being here are outside!

Other things I don't have at home: a working washing machine or dryer, working dishwasher (holds pots and pans for storage), upstairs plumbing, upstairs hear, a bathtub (just a shower), kitchen aid, or a flat screen television. I don't have a working TV or cable. You can not watch flat sports here. I don't have carpets anymore, and the floors are linoleum (easy to clean). In the winter I sleep downstairs where it is warmer, just as people would have when this house was built in the 1860's.

But all those things I don't have or use, they are just choices. I'm not a luddite and I'm not condemning them. It's easy to not have those things when you are one person without kids or a spouse. I'm sure if I wasn't single there would be compromises, but for now this is my life. And my house is much like the lifestyle I chose: a mixture of the old and new. It's a contrary combination I love. Games here come in the form of boards and pieces and people around a table and not located cell phones. Music can come from a fiddle or tin whistle or an old record player instead of a sound system pumping from the walls and woofers. There's a horse harness draped over a spare chair and a V-8 engine truck outside. If you don't like contradictions you're not going to have a good time around here.

To some people homesteading is returning to 1890. To others it is better food and security for their families. To me it is what makes me happy, a niche I found and turned around three times in before falling asleep. I like the quirky home, all the stories and histories and people behind every object, and the lack of plastic or flat sports. This is a peaceful place always ready for a good time. It's mine and my own.

Thanks for taking a look at it.

Last photo taken by Tara Alan.


Blogger Amy Verkruissen said...

I absolutely love this. :)

January 26, 2015 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Laurel Szabo said...

Love your phone and record player. The one I used in 1961-ish was called the HiFi and it was red with pink cloth in front of the speaker. You could smell the tubes burning inside when it was plugged in and turned on. Lovely memories!!!

January 26, 2015 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Betsy Earley said...

Wow, how cool! It looks like you have tin ceilings. Thanks for sharing, what a lovely home.

January 26, 2015 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

The ceiling in the plywood parlor is fake, plastic I think? But I love the living room ceiling with the original exposed beams of the farmhouse. Thanks guys!

January 26, 2015 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

I love the old red coffee pot in the first pic. I would feel very comfortable at your farm. :)

January 26, 2015 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Black said...

Awesome. I would love to hear more about your fiddling these days.

January 26, 2015 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

Nothing wrong with plywood! Seal it with something and get on with it. It suits your lifestyle. I have some hardwood floors in this house and I would rip the carpet up in a heartbeat....but others....

I upgraded to a smart phone probably a year ago. Only because the monthly charge was the same as a stupid phone. I've never even come close to a gb of data used in a month. I wouldn't really need a cell except I do have family members, older and health issues. However, I did drop the landline in favor of an Ooma. $3 and change a month for local and long distance.

I'd ditch the dish and the TV, but I'd hear rumblings from others in the house. lol

And if my furniture isn't 20 years old, I bought the "new" stuff on Craigslist.

January 26, 2015 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Gelfling said...

Thinking about you as the storm moves in tonight, stay cozy and good luck!

January 26, 2015 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I miss percolated coffee...hmmmm
My favorite post in a while Jenna, love the new phone! I wonder how many people will revert back as I agree with you on the inability to disconnect from the phone screen.

January 26, 2015 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Bobbie brown said...

There is no better coffee on a cold morning...or any morning, for that matter than freshly ground and percolated coffee. Mine is an early 60's Corel with the little blue cornflower, non electric. Gets perc'ed on the stove top.

January 26, 2015 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

I love this post! I love seeing all the "old" stuff which actually brings back a lot of memories - especially your "phone".

January 26, 2015 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

love it! I actually hate our carpet and your fb post might get me shoved to painting the floors here. too many dogs, cats, and dirt that is dragged in from outside.
#teamplywood yay!

January 26, 2015 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

Ah yes, the rare taxidermied blue tinysaur...

January 27, 2015 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger Christina S said...

A tip for plywood or OSB floors. If you lightly stain them with a dark stain, I absolutely love wallnut, and then seal them with polyurethane they will look amayzing. We have OSB shelving in our entertainment center, and for our bathroom shelves too. I think it adds a different character... The only problems you may run into would be the cracks, if the plywood was not toung and grove, and the extra added insulation another later of "any material" would have added.

January 27, 2015 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

Thanks to your gorgeous coffee percolators and brewers, I'm feeling inspired to go out and (finally) replace my teapot. I got a french press two Christmas' ago and my teapot instantly crapped out on me. Which clearly defeated my attempt to take electricity out of my coffee making :( Moving it to the top of my projects list! Thanks for sharing.

January 27, 2015 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Renee McCausey said...

"I don't like what those little black screens have done to my ability to be content without constant distraction." Profound words that reach my very core right now. Thank you for a glimpse inside!

January 27, 2015 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Renee McCausey said...

"I don't like what those little black screens have done to my ability to be content without constant distraction." Profound words that reach my very core right now. Thank you for a glimpse inside!

January 27, 2015 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Siberian said...


Does your rotary phone make outgoing and receive incoming calls? Many (if not all) don't work, especially with outgoing calls, because of changes made by phone companies. Did you have to do anything special to get it to work properly?

January 27, 2015 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Tami Lewis said...

Love this post! I too, with my family of 7 kids and 1 husband, live off grid. We heat water on the Woodstove for baths, don't have TV those do watch DVDs with a generator running, use oil lamps, etc. So glad to connect here and on fb.

January 27, 2015 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

We have a cord phone from 1980. We still use it. I am especially interested in your grandmother's treadle sewing machine. The spools above the treadle were interesting. Do you know how to use the machine?

January 27, 2015 at 8:46 PM  

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