The Surprise

This place I’ve found–our farm–is a dream come true.

It looks exactly the way it would if I had picked it right out the Sears Roebuck Christmas Wish Book. (My source for picking out Christmas presents when I was a youngun.)

I heart the old farmhouse that needs so much work.

And I heart what’s around the farmhouse.

You know. The outbuildings. The farm. The land. The dirt.

Today I’m going to take you on a tour of the outbuildings.

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  1. debbie says:

    oh i do see the possibilities! absolutely love it. and that milkhouse would be fantastic. ever think about getting some dairy goats? i love mine!

  2. Ruth Ann says:

    Having grown up on a farm, I am very familiar with all of your photos, most especially the milking parlor with the stanchions (where the cow stands with her head in the contraption to hold her still when we milked her.)Love your new farm, very nostalgic and I know you will love it there.

  3. hobbit says:

    I’m reading this with a heavy heart and a smile on my face.Iwas raised on a farm and loved every single minute of it. We had 3 generations living there at one time,and, I was happy as a pig in……..well you know what I mean.While my brother and I were busy doing the "school thing" my mother "surprised" us by selling the family farm. My father had died leaving her "the city girl" to man the farm and it was too much for her.My brother made it back to farming and I live on the outskirts of town in a semi rural area…….I have one tiny chicken coop that needs as much repair as your barn. My husband,also a city dweller thinks we should plow it down and build something "nice" I can’t let it go and like you I want to fix it not replace it.Good luck with your project. Mine is teeny tiny next to yours but, my motto is "moving forward and never forgetting the past." So happy to see that someone is taking on the bigger projects….pumps me up to move forward on mine.Thank you for the tour.

  4. Ellen says:

    Oh my gosh the possibilities, the mind reels with so many ideas!! I am so excited for you, but to be honest, it would overwhelm me. I grew up on a farm, my father grew up on a farm, sadly my kids, well, they are townies. There is not a country bone in my daughter’s body. Whoever originally farmed there would be so happy to know that someone now loves their place & will bring it all back to life. p.s. I totally have the vision and see a playroom in the attic just like in "Little Women".

  5. Doris says:

    Was that a picture of a (real) little boy in your favorite building? Or was it just a generic picture? I love your farm and am enjoying all of your postings.

  6. RhondaLane says:

    I just LOVE your tour with all the photos of your outbuildings! Even though I am out in the country, I don’t have any barns or "extras". I have always missed having a big old barn so make sure you relish every bit of these pieces of history. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Rebecca says:

    As soon as I saw the outbuilding close to the house I had visions of a pretty little "garden shed" all decked out with flower boxes, maybe a little front porch, would be perfect. Good luck and have fun.

  8. kay says:

    Growing up one set of grandparents had a farm in Idaho and the other set had a farm in Montana….spent many days on land that looks like you farm….oh, the memories, so happy for you.

  9. Wow, it’s huge! So many buildings! I’d be helpless, and not able at all to figure out what to do first. Maybe I’d just walk around with a grin on my face, and hold out my arms and spin, spin, spin!

    I’m looking forward to seeing how you and your farm grow together. You’ll put your mark on each other, don’t doubt it. The love you have for it will make it glow!

  10. Junebug says:

    Wow, what memories you brought back to me with this post. I grew up on a dairy farm so that milk house was a delight to see. With life’s ups and downs I did not end up in the country but I’m still a country bumpkin at heart. I’ve enjoyed the tour and I will be a faithful follower to see how your vision comes to life.

  11. Vicky Peters says:

    Hahahaha! Why is it that women see all the beauty and wonder of old, run down buildings and see Possibilities! But men see WORK, and sometimes too much work. 35 years ago we went to see a farm house with 7.5 acreas. It was CHEAP. My husband said there has got to be a reason why it is so cheap. But we went and saw it anyway. Walked thru it and around the out buildings. Talked to the realitor a little more. Got in the car and left. As we were driving away. My husband said well, now we know why it was so cheap. I said with a dreamy smile, didn’t you just love it! Well, 35 years later I am still loving it!

  12. Dianne Beach says:

    WOW Isn’t it wonderful?!!!!!!!!!!!! You know the buildings you might not choice to restore the wood alone would be useable. Blessings to you thanks for the tour!!!!

  13. Joan says:

    What a wonderful LIFE!!! yupper even through all the old/run down/may have to be taken down – can always use it for something else – AHHHH what a wonderful LIFE!!!!

  14. Brenda says:

    I know right away what your surprise building was as soon as you showed the first inside pic. My grandpa was a dairy farmer. How cool are all these buildings. You have your work cut out for you for sure. I expect you have thoughts running circles around in your head morning, noon and night. I would. Happy for you! Pretty soon we will not be able to call you the City Farmgirl……maybe the Countrified City Farmgirl?

  15. Pam deMarrais says:

    What a great farm you have! Two big barns and silos, and several other [lost count!] cool buildings for all sorts of farm critters. You will be a busy lady, but you will fall asleep as soon as you hit the pillow at night! Your daughter must be pretty excited too! What a great adventure. Let me know when you have the barn dance…I would love to come!

  16. Brenda says:

    can’t wait to see what you do with those out building we have a old barn over hundred year old, a block milk house that the boys turn into a house to use to hang their deers when they hunt because it stays cool, a small house that I was told held the milk it has two cement holds that the milk cans were put in till they were used or picked up. I also have a corn crib ,a cement garage and two pole barns one for the horses so that will stay that way, the other we use as a work shed . It does take alot of pennies to fix stuff up inside and out so good luck and waiting to see pictures for ideals . always love reading what you share.

  17. Emma says:

    Oh girl this is so cool I love the old barns. I will be keeping a close eye on the progress of this project. We just inherited property in Lula GA and now we are thankful we haven’t started out house here yet! It is on the Grove River and the property is all up hill. No buildings but it won’t be long. I can’t wait to see how you work this land and buildings. Emma

  18. Susan Ruff says:

    I’m so excited for you!! And a tad bit envious. Your wonderful tour brought back some awesome memories. I grew up on a small bit of land that had a big barn and a couple out buildings. One of those building got turned into a playhouse and I spent hours upon hours out there being Laura from Little House on the Prarie. Thanks for bringing back those memories!

  19. Nancy says:

    Congratulations! You’re right; I see possibilities. Like your husband, I also see tons of work.

    I do covet your silos, though!

    Enjoy; enjoy; enjoy!


  20. Shery says:

    You mean there is MORE to your wonderful farm than your incredible house??!! Wow! Is the tobacco ‘vintage’?…I mean has it been hanging in there for a long time?

    What a piece of history you have on your hands…and a Looooooooong list of plans. Oh, gracious, I’d think you could pay for much of your farm plans by renting out for wedding settings!! That is so popular now. This farm thang is going to change your life isn’t it. What a fun adventure.

  21. Rebekah says:

    For those of you guys who were asking….
    Here is the link to my FaceBook page!/rebekah.teal.5

    Gloria, Welcome! I looked for you too and couldn’t find you! Find me and friend me!
    You can also find the Strawberry Bread recipe on my personal blog,

    ‘Tis yummy!

  22. Anna L says:

    How fantastic is this! oh my goodness I am positively swooning over all of those photos.

  23. Denise Ross says:

    Oh goodness Rebekah I just read this post. I must have missed it done where over the years. What awesome outbuildings you have. I love the character and the history of each one. Very special places.

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Up the Orange Stairs

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

You are such supportive and helpful friends, you’re coming in the back door today! You know that quote “Back door friends are best!” Your comments and emails and feedback are SO thoughtful and helpful to me. THANK YOU! You help me “see.” It’s nice to have some friends who share in our excitement, rather than thinking we’ve lost our minds.

Okay. Here we are right inside the back door. Remember those orange steps? Let me remind you where we are. Looking past the steps (and Blue) you see the brick fireplace that is in the kitchen.

Now, come on up! And when we’re finished, let’s sit out on the porch and visit. Tell me if you like the upstairs or the downstairs better.

Continue reading

  1. Tana Lewis says:

    I love all the rooms and would just take a little time to get to know the room before doing anything to them. I am so pleased for you.


    oh darlin’ … t’is truly delightful! i know you and your sweet family will make many wonderful memories in your charming home. Love every spot .. especially the porch and view!!! Will keep watching as you turn it into your ‘own’ little heaven! xo, frannie

  3. Carol in NC says:

    Lovely! You are going to have so much fun. Priorities: (in order, ha)
    Garden, Paint, Floors. The rest will come.
    I see horses next door. Other peoples horses are the best kind. You get to watch them every day and don’t have to pay the vet or the farrier!

  4. Jan says:

    I LOVE your daughter’s room, too! Wow, one thing that you have is lots of space. You could add on another bath if you wished so that your daughter has her own by the time she’s a teenager…
    The fireplaces are so visually wonderful. I would suggest that you contact your local utility to see how much the past owners paid for power during the winter. It might be illuminating when it comes to heat sources. Might be an arm and a leg, but you might consider gas or propane inserts.
    As for the ‘smoking’ smell, you can use a nice sealer/primer to cover up any remaining residue after you clean it, and before you paint. Any porous surface sucks up the smoke, wallpaper, paneling, and even bricks.
    The upper kitchen could be very handy, especially if you had guests. It might even work well if it is adjacent to your office space.
    I would have been all over that little sweet mule, too. Plenty of time for you to fill your life with other wonderful creatures!

  5. Brisja says:

    Absolutely beautiful and so FULL of potential! I can’t even begin to tell you how your house excites the designer in me 🙂 You are going to have so much fun turning this house into a beautiful home.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Every time I think a room is my favorite, I see the picture of the next room and love it, too. The porch is definitely the place I would be spending all my spare time, though. The view is spectacular! Love it all and wish you and your family the best.

  7. PAINT THAT PANELING AND THE FIREPLACE. We painted every piece of paneling in our home and LOVE IT..I see a lot of potential in your home. It will be nice.

  8. Brigitte farmgirl of heart says:

    When I saw the room you least like I already saw an office room…where you might put all your computers, and do you papers work…Plus with some cosy big chair and cushions you can have a nice place to read and concentrate…Or,don’t know if the master bedroom is near that room, but if it is, you might just open the wall and that unlikely room can become a very nice place to put an old bath with legs plus a nice sofa and some antiques twins sinks! Good luck with that!

  9. Dianne says:

    The house is beautiful!! So happy for you and your family. What a grat new adverture you all are on. I think the upstairs porch railings are so pretty. Dianne xxoo

  10. Maureen says:

    All of those bedrooms with their own fireplaces, amazing. I know my sewing room would go in the bright one with the view! And the walk up attic, great for high and dry storage! You certainly have a winner with your screened in 3-season porch. The ceiling fan and outdoor living will be awesome. How fun for you. I’m living vicariously!

  11. sherry says:

    Oh so jealous….I love it ALL. Live the dream girl. Live the dream

  12. Carol says:

    Rebekah … I’d love that Strawberry Bread recipe! I love the upstairs of the house – so much personality with all of the fireplaces and beautiful woodwork. I think you’ll easily be able to brighten that dark room simply by painting the closets and woodwork white! What a fun tour!

  13. meredith (hereford girl) says:

    I see wall to wall bookshelves in your least favorite room, to go with the above mentioned office! Now, on to something important! If you are really going to have a farm, you arent going to want to be without a MUDROOM! You will want it more than you know. It helps keep the farm OUTSIDE. If you garage can substitute, great- go ahead with your plan for a sunroom (which i would love to have too!) but if not, consider where all that mud will wind up- its not called a MUDROOOM for nothing!!!!

  14. meredith (hereford girl) says:

    I see wall to wall bookshelves in your least favorite room, to go with the above mentioned office! Now, on to something important! If you are really going to have a farm, you arent going to want to be without a MUDROOM! You will want it more than you know. It helps keep the farm OUTSIDE. If you garage can substitute, great- go ahead with your plan for a sunroom (which i would love to have too!) but if not, consider where all that mud will wind up- its not called a MUDROOOM for nothing!!!!

  15. kathy says:

    Closets – – – In my husband’s and my bedroom, we have 2 shallow, rectangular closets with wooden accordian doors. In the first one, we removed the doors, took all shelving and poles out of the closet, and painted the inside a soft creamy color that coordinated with the soft earth tones on our bedroom walls and the trim. Then, my husband routered three wide planks of cedar for shelves, the lowest one placed where clothes are hung on a pole just beneath it without getting near the ground (hope you can visualize what I just wrote!). The cedar shelves are just gorgeous, the texture and organic hue of the wood are soothing to see. My clothes are few ( I like keeping things very simple and uncluttered), and I have foldable clothing items in smallish stacks by colors – so pleasing to the eye! – on the two lowest cedar shelves. On the top cedar shelf, I place just a few items that I want to see – a cute purse, a pair of shoes, etc. My clothes hanging from a wooden rod just beneath the lowest shelf are in a limited palette of soft, dreamy earth tones and creams on wooden hangers. My undies and socks are in smallish antique wooden chest drawers, which sit on the lowest shelf. An identical closet sits next to this one. We stripped and painted it the same way, but we placed a low antique wooden dresser in it with a large mirror above it. This brings light into the closet, and the dresser serves as a place to put clothes that don’t fit into the room’s palette, etc. Doing our closets this way has set such an airy, soothing, feminine, orderly tone to our bedroom, and truly makes getting dressed fairly simple. 🙂 Of course, my husband’s closet is in another bedroom, because he is messy. 🙂 I love that you have 2 kitchens! What fun, fun, fun!

  16. Sharon says:

    Your new home is beautiful. I love the upstairs. Seeing that second kitchen makes me thing that at one time your house was a multi-generational home and everyone had their own space. I love your vision for the room off your mud-room. Exactly what I would do! As for the master bedroom is one of those other bedrooms adjacent so that it can be converted into a master bath and master closet? Oh the possibilities. I just know you are going to have so much fun as you make this space your very own. Wishing you much joy and happiness in your new home!

  17. Joanna says:

    I love your farm and the house has such great bones. I love the fireplaces, upper patio and 2nd kitchen – I think it would make a great breakfast room. I see a lot of white paint in your future! Have fun!

  18. Pam deMarrais says:

    The upstairs is just as charming as the downstairs. You have yourself a gem…a diamond in the need of just a bit of polishing. I think that you are blessed to have some closets, and the attic is an extra bonus! Your rooms are all plenty large enough to put in some storage, too. I had some antique armoires in my Victorian house, to supplement the small closets. They add so much character, and are cheap compared to today’s construction costs. Anyhow, it could be a temporary solution. Have fun decorating, and thanks for letting me take a peek!

  19. Love Love Love the upstairs. I know what you mean about the nicotine colored walls. My parents smoked alot…way too much and when they were gone, and the pics came down there were still frames on the wall. lol. I’m afraid you will probably have to take wallpaper down to get smoke smell out. But it will be worth it.
    I loved the first bedroom, and I saw french doors leading out to that upstairs porch if that an option. Also, I saw the sun room the same as you did. Loved the daughter’s room as well. Cant wait to tour the land. Be Blessed and have fun

  20. Shery says:

    WOWOWOWOW!! A fireplace in all of the bedrooms!? You could always find an antique mantel to dress up the fireplace that is missing one. I bought an old mantel for my porch and there is NO fireplace. I’m pretending.

    My sister painted her dark woodwork and what a difference. I’ve also painted paneling too and went over it with some stain to antique it.

    Looking forward to seeing Christmas photos of your new HOME in the country. It will be magical.

  21. Sally says:

    I think that upstairs kitchen solves your need for another bathroom. Does it happen to share a wall with your master bedroom? If not, maybe some rearranging can be done so you have a master bathroom and walk in closet from that space.

  22. Penny says:

    Oh this place is wonderful and a kitchen and washer and dryer upstairs, do you feel you have died and gone to heaven? I love it all….I can’t believe that is everything I’ve ever wanted, an old house, fireplaces in every room, porch upstairs…and oh so much to mention….congrats, farmgirl sister….now let me see if I can find you on facebook….this place is just wonderful…enjoy your new home..

  23. Rene Foust says:

    So beautiful!!! I am on the same sort of adventure I just moved into an old home that wasn’t in as good of shape as yours but we turned into something really nice!!! I am like you about the snakes and I am on 51/2 acres but I am surrounded by 40 acres of farm fields they are out there I just don’t want to see one! Good luck on your wonderful journey. Oh and I love your daughter’s room too.

  24. Trish says:

    BEAUTIFUL! You are living my dream. Green with envy, but totally happy for you. I can’t wait to see what you do with this house. As everyone has said before me, what potential! Congrats!

  25. REBEKAH says:

    Hey Y’all! By popular request, I posted the recipe for the delicious FRESH STRAWBERRY BREAD at


  26. Nicole White says:

    Love it! Love the potential. Love the views. So happy for you. We are off on a different adventure now. After six years in a sort of country life on two lovely acres my husband’s company is transfering him. Because of local we are back to suburbia but hopefully I’ll be able to get a half acre lot and have chicken and bees and get into urban homesteading. Life is an adventrue and I’m so happy you get to live yours.

  27. Adrienne says:

    Let’s see: besides being a little envious, I would like to rent the room you don’t like and have access to the upstairs kitchen. Whatcha think? 😉

  28. Joann says:

    Your home is beautiful! I love old farmhouses with all their charm! Can’t wait to see what you will do with it! You certainly have been blessed! Enjoy every breath and minute on your farm! Love to read the articles you write! When I get my new issues of Mary Jane’s Farm, your column is the first one I read! Love your insights.

  29. Wendi says:

    What great rooms the upstairs has!! I love all the fireplaces!! The only thing I see a real need to change is hall panelling. I’d paint it softly. Enjoy!!!

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