Monday, July 7, 2014

a cottage, farms, and a baby

 So there's been a lot going on since I've last talked to you all. Don't worry, it's all good.
 Just a long, busy extended weekend. I'll warn you ahead of time - this post will probably
 be quite lengthy and photo heavy, so grab your favorite drink and make yourself

Last Thursday, my former yoga-teacher- turned-friend invited me out to her new house for
 a visit. She and her husband recently downsized into an old cottage that they're
 completely rehabbing. I have a pretty good feel for what someone's house is going to
 be like, just from knowing the person. My friend is beautiful, charming, artsy, and mindful
 - and her house reflects the same. I was so busy taking in every detail of her gorgeous
 cottage, that I didn't even think to ask her if I could take pictures. So I took a few of hers
 from her online album. This is the cottage's one and only bathroom...

This huge upstairs loft became their bedroom. I wish I had a picture of it with all
her furnishings and decorations in it. The room is so beautiful that I told my friend,
"I would never leave this room!"

This is her kitchen before everything was moved in, too. She painted all the cabinets
a light creamy brown (has a tint of green), then painted the insides of the top cabinets
and left them open.
The kitchen boasts the 1960's stove which still works just fine! There's a vintage
fridge, too, but I don't have a photo of that.
On Friday, we were 2-1/2 hours north in Wisconsin at our church's annual Bible
Camp. We don't go anymore, but we like to head up there on the last day to visit
with some people - most especially, one of my dearest friends who lives in Canada
but yet makes the trek to Wisconsin every year to attend this camp. It's really the only
time I ever see her. And did I take any photos of her? Or have someone else take a
photo of the two of us? Of course not. 

Tim came home for the long weekend and on Sunday, the two of us went on a
photography adventure. The weekend before when I had driven out to my best
friend's new house to help her unpack from her move, I passed an abandoned
barn "out in the middle of nowhere". I made a mental note when I passed it, that
I would love to go back and photograph it one day. And I knew Tim would love
to take pictures, too. I still only have my point-and-shoot, but I do the best I can with
 what I have. We started off by taking pictures of the outside of the barn and
 surrounding property. I wish I knew the story behind this barn and looks like
 there might've been a tornado or a fire.

 There was obviously once a house on the property, too. We found the crumbling
remains filled with water.

 The inside of the barn was really creepy. There were a lot of stuffed animals and
dolls lying around in piles of garbage.

 There were old license plates hung on the walls...

and even a Christmas wreath still in place.

 On the drive back home, we stopped at another farm to take photos. Look at
all this beautiful, wide-open farm land. It's so beautiful in the summer. You can tell
how hazy and humid it was that day though.

 And then my wonderful, long weekend was completed today by a visit from this
cutie patootie. His mom, Rachel is like my niece. Rachel's mom and I were best
friends from our last year in high school until our late 30's. Rachel and my oldest
son, Phil (who passed away almost five years ago, for those of you who don't know)
were born only two weeks apart. Me and Rachel's mom spent a lot of time together 
back in those days, plus I babysat Rachel while her mom worked. Anyway, Rachel
got married five years ago and moved to Canada, so I hardly get to see her anymore.
And now she has a baby! Rachel, her husband and the baby are in town right now,
so I finally got to hold and kiss this little guy. I wonder how Phil would've felt that his
best childhood friend was already a mom. I think he would've gotten a kick out of 
being "Uncle Phil".


  1. What a sweet baby! Maybe you'll have a grandchild in a few years. :) That farm really is creepy, yikes! The dolls would have freaked me out. I'm glad you had a nice photography adventure with your son. :)

    1. I would love to have a grandchild, but seeing Tim is only 23 and still in school and still umm...a bit immature, I hope it's more than just a few years before he becomes a father. ;-) Yes, the dolls were freaky but great photograph and story material.

  2. The farm is so sad, hopefully one day it will be cleared up and rebuilt. xx

    1. I tried researching the property but didn't come up with anything. It's a beautiful piece of would be nice if someone bought it and rebuilt a house and barn.

  3. A cutie patootie, indeed!!

    Melanie, I, too, am still using my trusty Sony Cybershot Point & Shoot, and I'd say you took some pretty amazing photos, my friend!! Wow, what gorgeous countryside! Love barns, and this one is quite intriguing with its remnants left behind, which I always find sort of sad, as if the inhabitants had to leave in a hurry or something! How wonderful that you and Tim share a hobby for photography; must be so neat to discuss this art form!

    Have a great week!

    P.S. Lots of Canadian connections, eh?;))

    1. I'm glad another blogger is still using a point and shoot camera! Mine is an old Canon Powershot. Tim gave me his first DSLR, but I still need to buy a lens. I never knew how much I liked photography until just a couple of years ago. Tim critiques my photos and he's not too kind, lol. So I tell him to teach me. One thing I just learned from him is that I shouldn't be cropping my photos. He said he can immediately tell they're cropped because the photo is so boxy. He said I need to use the view finder and take the photo exactly as I want it either get closer or zoom in. Don't crop out what you don't want in the photo later. Yes, I have a lot of Canadian connections - relatives and friends! My dad was Canadian and I still have some cousins up there.

  4. What a cutie pants the little guy is! Old barns are definitely interesting. We don't have many around here anymore. Years ago Greg got some good black and white photos of the old house his great grandparents had lived in long before. It was abandoned and eventually torn down, so I'm glad he went when he did. Lots of history in these old places to wonder about.

    1. I agree that the baby is a little doll! So active already...good thing God designed us to have babies when we're young. Don't know if I could handle that bundle of energy now! Black and white photography is awesome...another thing I would love to learn.

  5. Your friends cottage home is adorable! Love you outdoor photos, and old barns are always cool to look at. I took a few on our trip too. I hope one day the farm will be rebuilt. The treasures I shared yesterday were from the flea market not garage sale. Can we get together soon, need another hug!

    1. Glad you liked the photos - thanks! We can definitely get together again soon. I will privately email you.

  6. Hi Melanie, Oh, that barn gave me the creeps, too. Those dolls were a bit Steve King-ish. The photo of the flower and bumble bee was my favorite. I think that it is wonderful that you and your husband both enjoy photography together. Steve and I use to take day trips just for the purpose of taking photos, maybe after he retires, he'll feel more relaxed and want to start doing that again. I hope so. I always enjoy your posts. You pack a lot of interest into them :) Thanks for sharing. Your blogging sister, Connie :)

    1. You are right about the dolls! Well, it's not my husband who enjoys doing the photography with me - it's my son. He's in college majoring in photography and art. ;-) I'm glad you enjoy my posts - thanks, Connie!

  7. ADORABLE little boy! : ) Oh I hope that you will go back one time to that cottage and get more pictures...that upstairs bedroom is amazing! :)

    The dead dolls in the barn...right out of a scary stuff!! :)

    1. I hope my friend does indeed invite me back to her cottage and lets me take pictures with all her furnishings and decorations. The barn was really creepy, but also fascinating to photograph.

  8. How cute is that little guy. Has to be hard thinking back . The barn is interesting. Could homeless be 're. I'd love to see more of your friend's cottage. Esp. The outside.

    1. I don't think it was homeless people in there...the only belongings were the dolls and stuffed animals. And lots of broken beer bottles! This was also way out in the country with nothing but farmland all around. Homeless people tend to more congregate in cities. I wouldn't take any photos of my friend's cottage on the outside right now, as the paint is all peeling off. That's their next project - the outside. They wanted to totally re-do the inside first (including the plumbing and electrical) so they could move in.

  9. Your photos are wonderful, Melanie! Your friend's cottage looks adorable. You got some great shots of the old barn.
    It's always fun to read about your weekend.
    Mary Alice

  10. Fun post, Melanie...lots of great photos...and the baby is a cutie patootie!

  11. Love your photos! Looks like home to me :) But yea, definitely creepy on the toys laying about! haha Makes for a good memory though!

  12. Melanie,
    Such an interesting, intriguing and beautiful trip to the countryside. Those dolls were super creepy! Made me think of the series True Detective on HBO.
    Oh, yes I spy a cutie patootie alright!
    So glad you had such an enjoyable outing!


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