Knock on wood….our mini farm is for sale and we are hoping to move on to greener (and bigger) pastures. If you know of anyone who would love to start their own mini farm in Western Washington please pass along the info. UPDATE: The house sold before I even had a chance to get this blog post up…yay! I love my house and honestly never thought I would move. It is a small two bedroom house which never bothered me because I figured that if God blessed me with kids they would happily share a bunk bed (so much room for activities!) and we would have a nice cozy house.
Our house was built in 1954 as a part of the Maxwell Homestead. The Maxwells were a pretty big deal in the history of Maple Valley as they were one of the original homesteaders of the area. At one time the Maxwell’s farmed most of the area that Maxwell RD runs through. I bought the house from James Maxwell, who had inherited the house and other properties from a long line of Maxwells.
When my Grandpa helped me buy the house five years ago it had no floors, no ceiling, all the windows were broken out and badly needed a fresh coat of paint. However, as grandpa put it “the bones” of the house were great (a bonus of having concrete block exterior walls). The entire acre consisted of black berry bushes and HUGE Rhododendron bushes to the point where you couldn’t see the house.
Over five years, with lots of help from family and friends, Ross and I made our house a home and our forest a yard. Ross patiently (and not so patiently on some occasions) listened to the advice of his older and wiser mentors (my grandpa and dad) and built the shed and barn with reclaim materials from the Millwork Outlet. Over the last two years we added six goats, seven chickens, two barn cats and turned our house into a mini farm where we wake to the sound of a crowing rooster, gather an average of five eggs a day from the chicken coop and recently helped our goat EB deliver two healthy goat kids. As for the house, we spent hours, a little blood, lots of sweat and a few tears completely remodeling and upgrading. We installed reclaim pine floors, new carpet in the bedrooms, tiled the bathroom and added all new fixtures, upgraded the kitchen cabinets with new drawer and door fronts, replaced the Formica with a reclaim glue-lam slab counter top, put a new roof on the house, added a front porch and patio and installed all new windows, doors and moldings.
As the reality of packing up and moving gets closer we have been discussing the things we will miss most about the house as well as some of our fondest memories. We have had some great memories in this house and have had some epic first time home owner fails that in hind sight are really funny. There was the time when my dad commented that ferns were very expensive and we were lucky to have so many established ferns. Being one who hates to throw away a good thing, I convinced Ross we should transplant the ferns from the front yard to the back yard. Anyone who knows my husband knows he is no green thumb and if it can’t be moved with an excavator it doesn’t get moved, so we transplanted all the ferns with the mini excavator and of course it looked terrible and they died almost instantly, but at least we could say we gave it a shot! Then one weekend I thought I would build a bubbling pond…let’s just say I didn’t get past digging the hole and the empty basin and rubber cover sat unused next to my pathetic hole for almost an entire year. When I think about leaving I know I will miss our house, the Maple Valley market down the road with great beer and the friendliest checkers and our neighbors who have always looked out for us, but at the same time I am excited about our new place, all the memories we will make there and the process of making our new place our very own!