bringing the house back to life

Not only are we trying to start our cheese business but a huge part of why we moved here was for this little adorable house so we are constantly working on bringing the house back to its glorious state. We met with the Kimble Brothers and they love to do historic renovations, needless to say they were beyond thrilled to work on our little piece of history. It is really exciting working with people who have just as much passion and desire to bring it back EXACTLY how it was. What impressed me the most about them is that they were working on a porch for some folks here in Sanpete and normally you would create the first spindle and then program it into the router and have it repeated twenty times over but being the true artisans that they are, they created each one by hand as to keep each one unique and with its own flaws- that's how the pioneers would have done it so that is how they do it. We are also having to re-point the house which means to chip out the existing mortar and refill it in with a very specific limestone mortar for which we have the recipe. Not only do we need to redo the outside stone work but the basement needs to be re-pointed as well. We need to replace the window trims and replace the new door, the one the previous owners put in, with an older door. seems a bit backwards but we want a true historic home. It has been suggested that next year we may get on the home show tour since ours is the oldest here. Now if you look closely at the little shack in the back, that was the original kitchen and we are going to be basically taking it apart piece by piece and turning it inside out since the wood is in better condition on the inside. I also want to move it closer to our big pear tree so it is more visible from the street. Basically there is tons of work to be done and we couldn't be more excited about being the ones who get to do it. If anyone is ever interested in helping you are more than welcome to come and stay with us and be very well fed for your services.... ;)


fence building party continued.

Our fence building party must continue on. This time we only had the kids and Joel & I to complete it. Oh, and Joel got there Friday at 10pm and left Sunday at noon. I was very nervous we wouldn't be able to finish it with only us 2 but with a bit of help from the kids moving wood and Jake manning the drill we were able to finish the whole thing, minus the gates. Compared to the first fence party, that one took 12 of us 3 hours to build 80ft of fence. This one took 3 of us 12 hours to build 190 ft of fence. The odds were not in our favor but Joel was a man on a mission and once we got a good system down we accomplished our goal. It was a fun experience for Joel and I to have a plan, get all the supplies, make the crazy drive and finish it by ourselves. We had a great time together creating something for our cute house. Slowly but surely it is coming together and with only one smashed finger (mine:). Weather was so cold, our fingers were numb same with our feet and after the first day we were so incredibly worn out. But again, it was totally worth it and even if it took Joel 8.5 hours to drive from Vegas home (usually a 3.5 hour drive) I know it was worth it to him... right babe?

the farm life... is hard

There are many perqs to living the farm life. There is a certain amount of true freedom- living for yourself and no one else. We are wanting to end up a bit off the radar and being more self-reliant. We have always wanted animals, some for milking, some for eating, some for protection and so forth. Though it is a lot of work, and money, we have enjoyed the benefits that animals can bring. We have our dog Sunny Two-tox for protection and she is REALLY good at barking and chasing people, thus, the need for the fence. We don't have sheep yet but in the next few weeks I am hoping to be part of the birthing of new lambs, very exciting! We also inherited 8 chickens which I have to drive and feed each morning and carry 100lb. bags of chicken feed (heaviest thing I have ever carried). Though it was a rough beginning, (8 eggs over the past 5 months) we started to see the fruits of our labors. Just 2 weeks ago we started collecting 5 eggs one day, 3 eggs another and even up to 7 eggs in one day! It was so fun, kind of like opening Christmas presents or finding Easter eggs- just a fun part of the farm life. But, as I mentioned, the farm life can be hard physically and emotionally because you get quite attached to your animals so when the dog is in pain we are in pain or when I go to feed the chickens and find the rooster and a hen outside the pen I get concerned. Well, Monday morning, still trying to recover from our fence building weekend, I had to go feed the chickens and there they were, a hen and the rooster... out of the pen. As I looked into the garden I saw a black chicken on the ground, not moving, which made me concerned. "Is she sleeping?" Then, I looked further down the garden, two more chickens laying on the ground. I started to panic and then I looked by the gate and saw two more dead and then another! "What happened!" I yelled to no one. I couldn't believe my eyes, didn't know how to react. I am not used to this! I just had to leave and talk to Joel or anyone who could explain what was happening. Well, I called my friend Beth who has Icelandic sheep and chickens. She let me know this happens and it was probably a dog who got in there because he just killed them and didn't eat them. Man! Am I cut out for this? She came over with me and we had to shovel them into the trash, we took the two who made it out alive and she took them home to add to her bunch. I am sure it was amusing to watch us trying to "clean up." There was a lot of girly screaming and trying to talk ourselves into being brave. It was not fun. I didn't know if I should be crying out of sadness or what. It has left an impression on me and I have gained a new respect for the farm life, it isn't all happy times. The reality is that we have to treat these animals like family members and love them for what they do for us. I have a new found respect for life and not just the human ones.


bleu boy makes his first appearance

We decided to break into bleu boy as a thank you to those who came to help build the fence and yes it's scary trying something new with a big crowd. I slowly cut into him and boy was he firm! I aged him for 3-4 months so it is very exciting and nerve racking to see what we got. Everyone was eager to try it and as always we learned a few things; one: It was very hard, almost like a Parmesan cheese, very crumbly and dry. Two: The bleu didn't travel down to the center where I poked the holes it stayed close to the surface. Even though we knew we wanted to change the recipe and several of the techniques as soon as it was made and as I watched the aging process we decided on a few other changes to make... we know better what to do next time. This is all part of the learning process and it will be exciting to try it again. Taste wise it was very interesting, not a very strong bleu flavor but what you feel is the numbing effect that a good bleu produces. I really liked this batch, it is like nothing I have ever seen, a hard bleu, and though it's a mild flavor it has a really strong after taste that is delightful. People who don't normally like bleu really loved it and people who love bleu also really loved it. I think it was a success, Joel on the other hand, isn't too happy with it since it wasn't anything like what we were going for. Needless to say it's still ALWAYS a hit.

fence building... PARTY!

It's been a while since my last post but it's been a busy month. It was my birthday and I wanted to throw myself a "fence building party".
That's right folks, It's a wonderful way to get people to come help, guilt is your best weapon in this instance. There are so many people to thank but it was seriously amazing! We had 80 feet of fence to build and we started at 11am. Now what needs to be known is that the weather was predicting snow all Friday and Saturday. Knowing this I decided to have a guy come and cement the posts for me, something I didn't want to do by myself. Well, it didn't snow at all on Friday and flurried just a bit int he morning on Saturday. Everyone showed up at the same time and we gathered everything needed. It was a little discombobulated at first but once everyone had a job it was just plain magical to watch. All 12 of us working together non-stop and it only took 3 hours almost to the minute. It couldn't have gone anymore perfect and everyone was pretty proud of what we accomplished. It was a perfect day, lots of fun and I even shed some tears as I thanked everyone for helping. One step closer to getting our house the way it used to be. This is going to be a good year as we see it come together not only for us but for the business, it's all part of the image we want to carry... quaint & country.