Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I H8 Lighting...

What a last few weeks it's been.  I've been packing, moving into a rental, and shopping for everything for house at Jacob Springs.  We have to get bids on everything in order to get a construction loan for the house.  I feel pretty good about everything except the lights.  I hate shopping for lights.  There are way too many to choose from, yet I can't seem to find exactly what I want. 

I am seriously thinking about going with these

throughout the whole house except in the bedrooms where we'd have ceiling fans.  Only in white.  They're plain, they're simple, fairly inexpensive, and well, I just like them.  They're old barn type lights.  Our house plan is such that we really only have a few rooms.  Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a pantry, and a laundry room.  The entire rest of the house is one big open room.  Don't you think these lights would be cute in the pantry, laundry, and kitchen (hanging over the island)?  We would have to have some recessed lighting in the main part of the house as well.  We'd do something more like this

in the bathrooms.  

Oh, and guess what I picked out today.  We only have 7 interior doors, so I picked these out for the interior doorknobs.  Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!

They're so beautiful and remind me of my grandma.  So, tell me what you think about the lights.  Be honest! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Blog - Or Not...

I'm trying to decide whether to start a new blog for the barn house construction and living.  I have no idea how to do this unless I go with again and I'm not real impressed with blogger.  I'd rather do something where I could make it look a littler nicer.  I'm sure I'll have to pay a small hosting fee.  Does anyone have any ideas?  I know this won't end up being anything huge, probably just the same readers I have now  - all 6 of you!

But I'd like to have a bit more variety as far as font availability and setup.  In case you don't know, our property is called Jacob Springs and so I'd like to think of a new name for the blog as well.  The blog name doesn't have to include the words Jacob Springs, but it's an option. 

I've also found some fascinating history about our property and the area around it that I'd like to use to start my blog.  I think this is going to be fun if I can figure out how to start it. 

Ideas anyone?  Better yet, who can set one up for me!?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Free Range Chickens - and Coyotes...

Hidden Springs sits at the base of the the Boise foothills.  We are surrounded by thousands of acres of private and federal lands that are open and natural.  It's what makes it so beautiful and such a great place to live.  When people come into the Merc and tell me they are looking at homes here, or have just purchased a home, I always seem to say "You'll love it out here.  You'll never hear sirens, but you'll hear the coyotes instead."  I love the fact that we have coyotes, an occasional cougar, and bear that wander through our neighborhood.

When we first moved here, there weren't near as many houses as there are now.  One afternoon I looked out my window and saw two wolves in the open field below.  I loved it.  Adam and his friends would go down to the creek to play.  I knew that there were cougars and bears that had been spotted down there but having the creek so near by was just too awesome and I knew that more than likely, he would come home in one piece.

Today, we have free range chickens down at the barn. 

They're put in the hen house at night, but during the day, they're fair game for the hungry coyotes that lived here long before we took over their space.  Some of the residents are now fearful that these coyotes are dangerous and shouldn't be in the neighborhood.  That makes me sad because I have a feeling that it won't be long until Fish and Game is sent out to kill any brave enough to be around during the day. 

I will never, ever understand why people move outside the city and then have a fit or are fearful when wildlife enters their backyards.  If you have outdoor cats, they won't live long here.  If you let Fifi out of the yard, Fifi might not survive.  Keep your cats inside, your dogs in their fenced yards, and teach your kids what to do if they see wildlife.  If that doesn't do it and you're still afraid, please, move back to town.  There are a lot of us out here that live here because we love the wildlife.  If you are afraid for your children or your pets, please don't move here - we have wild animals nearby.  They live here - they deserve to be here.

I'm glad we'll be up on the property by the end of the summer.  I'm starting to get real cranky with people who don't understand that the wildlife is an important part of this community and if they take the proper precautions, they can live with the wildlife instead of replacing it with a sterile environment. 

Carry on!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

25 Things...

One of my favorite blogs is Meridian Road.  I like the things she does and I love the fact that she's local.  I haven't found too many local blogs that interest me.   Her last post was "25 Things" and I thought it would be fun to do.  So, here's 25 things about me that you may or may not know, and may or may not care about!

1.  My wardrobe consists of jeans, t-shirts, and sweat shirts - and most have Boise State Broncos logos on them.  Rather embarrassing when I think about it, but it's what I'm comfortable in.

2.  I love to do cross stitch.   It got hard to do several years ago so I quit.  But, I now use readers and have started again.

3.  My dream job would be to be a picker.  I just love almost anything old.  My tastes have now gone toward primitives.

4.  We're building our dream house.  Not a dream house like most would think of.  It's a barn with a huge open space in the middle, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a laundry room.  Very basic but it's what we want.

5.  I never cry.  I think there's something wrong with me.  That's just not normal.

6.  I have a collection of old clocks.  I especially love old alarm clocks. 

7.  If I won the lottery, I would take care of friends and family, then have a wonderful time making donations to people and charities that needed help.

8.  My dream vacation would be on a tropical island - or having free reign in an old ghost town.

9.  I would love to be a glass blower.
10.  I can't scream.  None of the women in my family can scream.  If I ever need to scream, I'm screwed.

11.  I would love to see Vermont.

12.  I would love to have a makeover.  A REAL makeover.  I bet they'd make me wear a dress.

13.  I would love to see a UFO - and bigfoot.

14.  I love to gamble.  I'm a sucker for penny slot machines.  If I had unlimited funds, I could sit at them for days.

15.  I have a hard time connecting to women and get along much better with men.  I always feel like women are judging me and it makes me feel insecure.

16.  When I was in high school, my best friend and I went to a party at a campground in Garden Valley. Some "strangers" had invited us after they asked us for directions.  These strangers ended up dancing around the campfire naked while I sat in the car, honking the horn (my friend has disappeared), terrified I was going to be killed. 

17.  I would love to have another German Shepherd.

18.  I want miniature donkeys.

19.  In my younger days I dated several men because I felt sorry for them.  I even married one of them and then he committed suicide.  I should have realized then that I was going to make men miserable!

20.  I love taking baths in my jetted tub.

21.  I tend to overextend myself.  There's still so much I want to do and so many people I want to help that I have a hard time saying no, or not being the first one to volunteer.  I usually end up disappointing others and myself.

22.  I've never had a boy/man break up with me.

23.  I've never been fired from a job.

24.  My favorite job was when I worked for Fish and Game.  I loved getting out into the field when I could and loved the people I worked with.

25.  I would love to have a reading with a psychic.

That's it!  If you have a blog, I'd love to see your 25 things.  If not, post them below.  It was hard for me to think of 25, so you don't HAVE to do them all.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Need to Find Some Old Bricks...

This will be going somewhere on Jacob Springs.  I was looking for uses for an old cabinet door - something I could make for the Hillbilly auction, and came across this.  I'd like to make it a little more rustic looking though.  Maybe even leave a few old bricks on the ground to make it look like they had fallen off the structure.  There's also too much "stuff" in front of the brick, but I love the old wheelbarrow (we just happen to have 2 of them) and then put some seating in front. 

This would be a great project for Ival and I to do together.  I wish I had hauled all those awesome old bricks off the property Linda and Bob lived on.  They would have been perfect.

Does anybody have some old bricks laying around?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One More Elmer Story...

But before I tell you about that, we met with Idaho Power yesterday and got the info about getting power to Jacob Springs.  It looks like it might cost a bit less than we had planned for - YEA!  Then Ival met with the well driller.  We could have both done by the end of April - then on to start the house!

So, our buyers don't want the chickens.  We have a community "hen house" down by the community barn.  So, while the hens were roosting last night, Elmer gathered them all up and seatbelted them into the truck.

Just kidding.  We stuffed them into a 24 x 12 Rubbermaid container and threw the container into the back of the truck, in the dark of night.

We pulled down near the barn and noticed a truck there.  The lights were on in the old farmhouse that's been restored so Elmer decided that the truck people must be in there.  Lights off, we pulled up near the fence, Elmer quietly go out, retrieved the Rubbermaid chickens, and tip-toed off into the dark.  Moments later, I see him tip-toeing back, container in arms - obviously still heavy with chickens.

"Oh shit, was there somebody out there?"
"Yeah, somebody was in the hen house with a flashlight."
"Now what are we going to do?"
"Let's go home and come back in 15 minutes."

So, the Rubbermaid chickens rode back home until we felt it was safe.  We drove back down just as the truck was leaving the farm.  Lights off, we pulled up next to the fence and repeated the process, this time however, Elmer came back with an empty container.

I guess we'll have to stop by the farmhouse today and see if the girls survived the night - out alone, with the owls and coyotes.  If they did, they'll have a great life living in that hen house with all the other girls.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Can You Help?

I have been blessed in my life and in order to "pay it forward" I have tried to raise money for a worthy charity at least once a year. This year, I've chosen Wish Granters because they really need the help and I know that all the money will go to granting adult wishes.  Wish Granters is operated by my old boss at Wishing Star.  He saw a need for granting wishes to adults with terminal illnesses.  Doug has worked hard to ensure that his office space is donated and all of his office equipment was donated.  Doug has made sure that every dime donated to this wonderful charity goes to make sure these people have their last wishes taken care of.  There is basically no overhead. 

Wish Granters has restored vehicles, built storage sheds, arranged final family reunions, fenced yards, and made sure that a man got to meet the Boise State Broncos football players just to name a few.  But, there are still a lot of wishes that need to be filled and they receive more requests every day.

I want to raise $10,000 for them at the Hillbilly Gatherin'. In order to do this, I have to have 140 items for our silent auction. If you have something you could donate, you could really help us achieve this goal.

Do you have something in your closet you've been gifted? Are you crafty? Do you work at a restaurant that might donate a gift certificate? Family and friends, I really need your help!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Things Are Moving Along Nicely...

The kids accepted the counter offer we made on our house on Thursday afternoon.  By Saturday, they had the inspector out to do the inspection which went very well.  A few minor things like outlet covers that needed to be tightened.  I'm sure they'll have the appraiser over this week.  They want us to rent the house back until May.

We got the phone number for the guy we need to talk to in order to get an easement from his property right above us on the other side of the road to get power down the hill to our place.  Ival is meeting with Idaho Power on Wednesday to get a general price and timeline on getting the work done.  We'll contact the well driller and get that scheduled and start on the permits for the house.

For the last year and a half, most of the work has been on me to make sure the house was spotless at all times for showings.  I have to admit, I'm relieved that the next month will be things Ival will take care of.  Once those things are done, they we can work together to get the house built.

Our friends Butch and Penny Welch stopped by yesterday.  Butch is a retired Game Warden that had the first Dutch oven cooking show on television.  We took them up to the property while they were here and they loved it.  They need a large garden space because they've branched out from their Dutch oven clinics and have plans for some new things to do and teach, such as canning.  So, we showed them the perfect spot on our place for their garden.  We also talked about the logistics for the Hillbilly Gatherin' and they donated a catering event for the auction.  I have a feeling it will be our biggest seller.  They've never been to the event and are really looking forward to being a part of it.

For the first time since we bought the property almost 2 years ago, as we stood at Jacob Springs with Butch and Penny, I was able to allow myself to visualize our home, barn, the pastures, the pond, and the critters.   I had always known that if the house didn't sell, the property would have to go.  It was awesome to be able to stand there and know that by the end of the summer, we would be where we wanted to be.  It was a wonderful feeling.

So, for the next few weeks I'm going to relax, work on my cross stitch, spend some time with my grandkids, and work on the Hillbilly Gatherin' - especially finding things for the auction and a few more sponsors. 

I'm excited to get the power and water in at Jacob Springs.  Then the fun will really begin!

Friday, February 3, 2012

It'a Been a Good Ride...

Twenty three years ago, Ival and I found our dream property.  They were 10 acre parcels out Dry Creek on Neville Ranch.  The only problem was that they were asking $50,000 for the lots.  $50,0000!  That was a LOT of money and there was no way we could afford it.  But, it was a great dream.  We built a house on a nice lot in NW Boise instead.  Then, about 10 years later I found Hidden Springs - also on Dry Creek.

I had watched Hidden Springs for years.  It started with just 3 model houses.  It was back in about 2000 and the model homes were about $350,000.  It was a lot more than we could afford.  But as it grew to 12 houses, I continued to come up and dream that someday we would be able to buy a house here.  I loved how anyone standing outside their homes would wave to you as you drove into the community.  Every house had a front porch - and you could tell the neighbors all had a good time together.

I wasn't a city girl.  Growing up in Garden Valley I had lived the perfect life.  I knew that Hidden Springs would be as close to country living as I could get since we needed to be near Boise.  As it turned out, I had come up to attend the Harvest Festival, started driving around, and found a home that was about halfway built.  I could tell it was abandoned.

I called Ival and made him come and look.  We contacted the realtor who had the house listed and discovered that we could buy it for $172,000.  We figured if Ival was the contractor and found his own subs, that we could finish the house for a reasonable price.  And so we did...

It served it's purpose for almost 10 years.  I have lots of memories, but the one that best describes our lives here was watching as Adam grew.  The only way we knew for sure how many friends Adam had over was by looking to see how many pairs of tennis shoes were lined up near the front door.  Now, I look out the front window to see how many vehicles are parked in front of the house.  There's usually at least 4 but I've counted up to 7. 

Now, we get to move on and let a nice young couple who are expecting their first child enjoy this home.  They're both teachers, have friends up here, and like us many years ago, have wanted to move here but couldn't afford it.  They love the house and will be a great addition to Hidden Springs.

I contacted my boss last night and we'll be renting one of their homes up here.  It's furnished so we can put all of our stuff in storage.  They do have it listed so if it sells we may end up having to do something different later.  But, if it's summer, we could always go over and borrow my sister's travel trailer and camp on the property until the house is done.  We have to make a trip to Portland anyway because Bob, who is a packrat like me, has the old flooring out of the Caldwell HS gym that he's giving us to use in the barn house.

I'm sure my blog will be changing.  I thought about starting a new one to document our journey on building on Jacob Springs but decided against it.  I'll be posting pictures as we go of course.  The tent will stay.  It will be moved to a flat spot on one of the hills for friends and family to use if they want a night away from home.  In fact, we'll probably add another tent.  We want to share our farm with all of our friends and family.

So we start a new adventure.  I'll have my horses, we'll have free-range chickens, some miniature donkeys for the grandkids, a pond for them to fish in, and deer and wild turkeys in our back yard.  This will be our last home.  Something we've both dreamed about for years.  Our barn house on Dry Creek on 15 acres.  Just about 1/2 a mile from that first 10 acre lot that we looked at almost 25 years ago...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This Could Be a Great Day!

I woke up this morning and realized it wasn't a dream.  It is REALITY.

Last week, we showed our house to a realtor with clients in a foreign country.  Ival, who I have to admit is one of the best salesmen I've ever met (and his boss should be grateful to have him) took the agent through the house, pointing out all the features while she took pictures to send to her client. 

Yesterday, we showed the house 3 times.  The last couple was here for over an hour, taking pictures inside and out (although it was dark outside).  Again, even though it's taboo, Ival was here to greet them and start their tour and point out some things they probably wouldn't have paid attention to had he not been here. 

When they came, I decided to run and get some pizzas to cook once they left.  Usually a showing takes about 15 minutes.  It was dark when I got home so I parked across the street from the house waiting for them to leave.  Thirty minutes later, I was still "creeping" as Adam calls it.  Every once in a while I'd drive around the block, down the street, thinking they'd be gone by the time I got back.  Finally, I saw them outside.  Taking more pictures.  Then, back in the house.  Holy crap they've now been here for an hour and I'm hungry!  I called our realtor to tell him I was creeping and ask what it meant if the lookers have been here for an hour and are taking pictures of the outside of the house in the dark. 

"That's just one step down from having a U-Haul parked out front."

I should tell you too, that earlier that afternoon I had the following conversation with our realtor:

"Are you ready for some good news?"


"We're getting an offer on your house!"

(I swear, it just blurted out - that's so me.  I have absolutely no couth.)

As it turns out, the couple from the foreign country loved the house.

So, back to my creeping.  I finally see their realtor drive away and the couple get into their car so I pull into the driveway and lug the pizzas into the house.  There, standing in the dining room is the nice young man who has been there for over an hour.  Oh shit.  He's chatting with Ival.

So, to make a long story short, our realtor called later that night, close to 10 and said that he had been on the phone with the kid's realtor for almost an hour.  He is pretty sure that they too will be making an offer on the house today.  It seems they were very fond of Ival.  I wonder if they think he's included in the sale?  Hmmmm. I'm sure we could work something out.

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?????  I told Ival that I'm staying home today, doing nothing except my cross stitch with the fireplace on, waiting for the realtor to call.  This is going to be a good day.  I can still hardly believe it and still a little afraid to get too excited, but holy heck - the possibility of 2 offers in 1 day? 

Ival already said he's hoping the nice couple from last night buy our house.  They really loved it.  So, I wait for the phone to ring...