We never anticipated waiting until January 22 to close on the property after our offer was accepted back in October. And we’re still not living in our house, but instead, a temporary apartment 45 minutes away, through March. And there’s so much more to do before we are officially residents of Maple Dell Farm.

This past week has been full of cleaning, painting, sanding and much on-your-knees work. We’re taking the time to get the house ready for occupation, in our opinion, despite it having been occupied by various people (renters) for a long time. It was left to us in a fairly dirty condition, though I’m told that it was a lot worse after the last renters moved out; thankfully all their leftover stuff had been removed (neccessating a dumpster) and several repairs were made (new boiler, new stove, new well pressure pump). We’re making progress. All but the basement has been cleaned, with the exception of rugs, which are slated for either removal or cleaning in the next month. The livingroom carpet was removed, last weekend we layed down birch ply underlayment, this week it was painted with a grey milk-wash and hand sanded down to accentuate the grain. We also had removed damp and grotty flooring from the main bathroom, along with the old vanity with its burn marks and filthy drawers and doors, and medicine cabinet, and this week the floor was sealed and we layed laminate and installed a new cabinet and lighting. I think most of the registers (we have hot water heating) are clean now. We’ve disciplined ourselves to pare down the “todo” list to only those things that hinder us from moving in; the rest will have to wait.

In the meantime, the prior greensman / caretaker / mower / handyman (we’ll call him Andy) was hired to remove a number of dead trees on the property. Despite the cold weather, he’s felled 5 (at least that many to go) and is in the process of cleaning all that up. Cold and snow has been constant here; the river has almost frozen over, as have Andy’s fingers if I’d guess. There are a number of trees more to go; I’ll keep him at it until the money runs out. We have many more things to fund in order to get the farm up and running. Financial discipline is one of the hardest things. We want to do everything right now.

Maple sugaring is probably not possible this year just due to time constraints, since my son and I still have full-time jobs (only working weekends) and the ladies are cleaning and painting. I’ll be working from home as soon as we move in, which includes 2 storage units of stuff, as well as our tiny apartment. We might be able to get some sugaring in toward the end of next month, but chicks are due about then, so we might be working on the new coop instead. We’re learning to be flexible, as I imagine one needs to be when involved in farming that’s so dependent on the weather. So flexibility is a good discipline too.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Heb 12:11

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