Saturday, December 15, 2012

Walk-thru, wanderings, and wants...

Headed down to the farm on Friday. I needed to do the walk-thru to ensure the repairs were made. The ones I could check, I did. I should have gone under the house to turn on the water though…the water pressure remains a concern. However, as the other plumbing work was completed along with the electrical, I’m pretty confident it was dealt with. That and my realtor has asked for the receipts to prove the work was done.

Because we were supposed to have the closing on Friday, I had already planned on taking the day off from work. So instead, I had arranged to tour the primary school so that James would hopefully feel less uncomfortable about changing schools. Transitions are really hard for him. The sensory integration disorder syndrome (SIDS) that he has ends up making transitions, crowds, strangers, unknown and unfamiliar situations that much more difficult,  but he did very well at the school.  Everyone we met at Buckingham County Primary School was super nice and very friendly. They seemed really interested in our kids and our kids seem really interested in their school now as a result. 

The school is newly renovated – I think the principal said the building itself was still being finished (signs of on-going construction are evident as is the incomplete landscaping). I think James and Catherine are going to not only do well, but succeed and prosper. They have a kitchen lab to teach food science, art and music rooms, and about 1000 kids between the primary school (grades k-2) and the elementary school (grades 3-5) but then again, it’s a county-wide school and thankfully we’re only about five miles from either the primary or the middle school. They have self-contained classrooms (for kids like James) and an advanced “novel” program that Catherine would love!

The middle school is not as new, but it was constructed in 2003. They have separate wings for each grade (6, 7, and 8) as well as one for the electives. The nice thing about the middle school is that is has about 450 students. Currently, Andrew attends a combined MS/HS that has over 4,000 students - the main hallway is 1/4 mile long! I'm rather happy that he'll be attending a school that has numbers closer to what I grew up with in an environment that isn't so obsessive/compulsive advanced, IAB, or honors programs. Unfortunately we weren’t able to take a tour because I didn’t prearrange. I wasn’t too sure how long it was going to take at the elementary school and given James’ issue, it made more sense to make an appointment at the primary school.

I was pleased with the mix of all kinds/colors of kids; yeah, so not PC. But honestly, who doesn’t think about that when they are moving? I want my kids to know and learn about various types of people and lifestyles, not just about how the upper-middle class white people live.

The house was cleared of all the furniture. Someone bought the big ass tractor (that we couldn't afford and can't use anytime soon anyway) but they did leave the John Deere ride-on mower that we’ve agreed to purchase. They also left some of the paperwork regarding the heat pump and AC unit as well as the flooring. In addition, they left some plans they had done up regarding making some changes to the house. Not sure we'll be using those, however the first few pages contain the layout as it is, so that’s really neat to have.

The previous owners also left behind some old frames that they had hanging on the walls as art. They were left because the previous owners said they “came” with the house. I can’t wait to hang them where I want them – I have a few ideas to group some smaller framed photos within the frames.

They left a “Welcome Home” note which I thought was super nice and included the names of the nearest neighbors as well as a handyman with whom they had a hunt/yard work arrangement  deal. He does the yard work in exchange for being allowed to hunt on the 40 acres. I’m good with that as long as he doesn’t shoot my livestock and he teaches me to hunt!

Cameron and I wandered around on the land trying to find fence lines and I found some old rusty tractor attachments. I would love to turn them into yard art – I love the whimsical idea of that. I’m going to clear out the area of all the bushes around the house. In the area near the L-shaped porch, I’m going to pull out all the bushes and growth, put the painted tractor parts  (shiny fire-engine red) there, and grow a small herb garden in that area. We got to talking earlier today about how the farm should be – old fashioned, hippy, utilitarian? I want red barns – we’re going to be painting the existing barn and storage shed red  which screams FARM to me along with the big white house. But I want whimsy! I want to leave or at least re-purpose the art sculpture pieces in the yard that the previous owners left. I want to cut down the dead big trees near the house and carve the stumps into mushroom shaped stools, or small backed seats…and paint them wacky colors. I want to paint the chicken coop red but maybe paint the fenced run in all colors of the rainbow. I want the farm to be a happy, comfortable place not uptight and serious.

In our wanderings, we found a pile of discarded weathered wood boards and posts (must have been an old barn) that I plan on using to build the kids a tree house somewhere. Maybe down near the creek – I think that would be a great place to play.

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