Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fossils and a lack of progress

On one of his many walks through the creek in below-freezing weather, The Husband happened upon a very interesting rock. While we frequently find rocks with tiny fossilized shells, this is much larger, and appears to be a piece of bone, possibly some kind of joint.

I posted it on the Fossil Forum online, hoping to find some more information about it. It is entirely possible that it is just a hunk of rock, but that's not what it looks like to me.

I love this property for its history, but when we purchased it, I had no idea that it would reveal a history much older than the stories we heard of the Herkimer Farm in the 1700s. I think I will have to accept the offer of my new friend Anna, from the Little White Church, to come over with her 2 metal detectors and do a little archaelogical survey of the back forty. I know it won't help me find anymore fossils, but I think this land has many more stories to tell.

Dave did some damage to The Dump last Tuesday, and then went home and rested on his laurels. Nothing has been done since.

And we had a house showing last week as well, but they were not interested, and rated my favorite NJ house as only "fair". Shame on them for not appreciating what a great house it is! This, plus the recent inactivity, convinced me to come down in price again. Shame on them!
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Detroiter/Dump Demolition by Dave and Donnie

He did use that 3" or 4" of snow as an excuse to not come out on Monday, but Dave made up for it on Tuesday. He fired his first helper Johnnie, and signed up Donnie to help with taking down The Dump. They took off the walls and windows in the front addition today. Now you can see that pristine turquoise, cream and black siding on the inside. I wasn't able to get anyone to reuse the siding, but at least Dave can sell it for scrap. He was a bit disappointed to find out that it is tin, not aluminum which is worth a whole lot more. Who knew?

You can see in the first photo just how sturdy that foundation was...Not! I wonder how many critters will be displaced by the demolition. I know there have been groundhogs and at least one skunk living under there, and I suspect there are more mice than anything else.

What a difference it will make to the horses across the street! It will very much improve their view of us. Several of them were standing at the fence watching the goings on at The Dump. I think if they had thumbs, they'd give us a big thumbs up.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

First week of spring!

Coming in like a lion?

We were finally able to see some grass, with only about a quarter of the ground still covered in snow for the first day of spring...and then Monday morning brings more snow. Go figure! I guess that's what spring is all about—dramatic changes in the weather.

Let's hope that Dave the Dump Destroyer doesn't use this as an excuse for yet another missed Monday of work.

The Husband and I went to "Sugaring Off Sunday" at the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown yesterday. We had the fine pancake breakfast, with real maple syrup of course, and then wandered around for a bit since the weather was so nice. We also bought enough local maple syrup to carry us through to sugaring off next year.

When we returned, we filled the seed trays with yellow beets, Brandywine tomatoes, black cherry tomatoes, winter and summer squash, sunflowers and pumpkins—all from Johnny's Selected Seeds in Maine. We'll pretend it is spring inside since the outside is not cooperating. It felt good to play with all the nice warm dirt (seed-starting formula). And this year we are trying Johnny's "CowPots"—starter pots made from composted cow manure that you can plant with the seedlings. The toughest part was finding a spot to hide the pots from both dogs and cats who found them very fragrant, and probably would think they were very tasty as well.
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Friday, March 18, 2011


The CR-V passed the 100k mark last time I was coming back from NJ on the Northeast Extension. (Yes, I was doing 70 mph, don't tell the troopers!) This is the third car I have driven to that point. The last one, the second, was my favorite 1985 Toyota Corolla SR5 which was stolen and stripped when it had 109k on it. But I'm not still bitter, really I'm not!

The other milestone event is the destruction of The Dump. It is not happening quite as quickly as I would have liked, but at least the inside is completely gutted. Dave the Dump Destroyer keeps promising to "come back on Monday" and start taking off the additions, but a few Mondays have passed with no obvious action. The photo was taken in the kitchen part of the trailer, looking all the way to the back bedroom. I thought without all the walls and stuff in there it would look larger, but it actually appears much smaller than when it had walls, furniture and appliances.

The Tax Assessor was out to inspect on March 3. I think enough was done at that point to convince her that we no longer have "multiple residences" on the property. I am curious to see how much difference it will make in our property taxes now that we have removed one of them.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Little White Church in Schuyler Lake

The Husband and I went to the Second Sunday Soup at the Little White Church today to talk about preserving the wonderful little white church which was built in the early 1800s. The church was severely damaged by a fire on December 28, 2010. See my post from December 30. Although the larger Methodist church would have them tear down the building and start fresh, discussions are underway to preserve this historic structure.

If you watch the video in the post below, you will see not only the church in all its glory, but also Mary's Pantry and Chazoo's barn. I think the folks who recorded the piece about the barn parked in our driveway while they were out and about, since that is the direction from which they walked. I think we deserve a credit in the video!
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YouTube video of Schuyler Lake, NY

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring will come, soon enough

I had another nice photo from Monday, so I thought I would post again even though I don't have much to say.

Things are happening in real estate: Some friends are going to settlement on a house that they have been trying to close on for months. I still haven't heard anything about our house showing last night, but I am grateful that at least people are out shopping. With all that good weather you're having in the south country, come on people, COME SEE MY HOUSE! It's my favorite house in all of NJ...there are no comparables if you ask me!
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I thought we were headed toward spring...

...and then winter came back to bite us again.

We were finally able to see swaths of green grass after some serious rain and warmer temps over the weekend, and then Sunday afternoon it all went downhill, again. The driveway was almost completely cleared of snow and ice, and replaced by mud. This was not much of an improvement, but definitely a signal of spring. Then, Monday morning we woke up to about 2 feet of snow on the ground. Poor Mr. Kelley the Snowblower didn't make it out here until 8:30 am to clear a path so The Poor Husband could get the CR-V out of the garage to go to work. It looks and feels like we have returned to December.

We had several dinner guests on Saturday night: Jim the Builder, wife Chrissy, 2YO son Jack, and 6MO son Sawyer, and Richie the Worker with his girlfriend, Eileen. Roast pork glazed with grainy dijon mustard, rosemary and fig spread was pretty tasty, but over-cooked. I was too much distracted by playing with the 2 adorable children.

I am always amazed that Lester and Sophie are so well behaved around babies. Of course, after only a few minutes, Lester had Jack well-trained to feed him Nilla wafers, dozens of them...

And the final bit of exciting news: Little Sister had a house showing on Saturday, and we have one tonight...keep on shopping folks...we both want to sell our houses!
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Friday, March 4, 2011

This time last year

My beautiful soapstone counters were installed on March 3 last year. The installation went smoothly, except for Todd the Stone Guy sanding down the edge of the sink and sending super fine stone dust throughout the house. This first photo was about an hour after he left, and you can see the dust is everywhere, including still flying through the air. Even after he hired a cleaning lady to scrub the house, top to bottom, the dust is still year later.

We also had the little Ruby Monster here with us last year from January through May when she was finally adopted. She made a point of terrorizing the guys working on the house, to the point where Bruce the Plumber refused to come in while we were all staying here. I was surprised to see that there was that much snow on the ground in March. We had very little snow last year, compared to this very snowy winter.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Between two houses

Just back from another NJ trip this weekend. I am finally starting to feel like I live in Lester's Flat, and that I am only visiting in NJ. The more furniture and personal stuff that I transport up here, the less I feel like it is my home back there.

Since I was taking back most of the office stuff from the studio, I decided to convert it into a bedroom. It took me most of Friday and Saturday to move all the big heavy furniture from room to room, and room to car. I am trying to do a better job of staging the house. Everyone (so far) who has looked at it thinks it is too small, including the ones who viewed it this weekend. I am hoping that if they see 2 large bedrooms and the smaller room as an office, that they will better appreciate it.

It has been a bittersweet withdrawal for me—the sweet part being that I love everything about our new home, and I love living up here. The bitter part is leaving friends and family there, but as I have made new friends and met some other family members up here, I am feeling less displaced.

And I am still a bit bitter about leaving my favorite old house, but my crazy new neighbor next door is making the transition a little easier. Since I was here for the past 2 months, he took it upon himself to reach over my fence and hack down a grapevine that I planted right after we got married. It was part of a wedding gift from my brother. I think he left the 2 pieces of it on the ground just to let me know that he was doing me a favor.

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