Category Archives: life in a log cabin

life in a log cabin: out with the old…

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life in a log cabin: out with the old…

Well 2013 is here (FINALLY!) and after a year, in very close quarters, living around boxes of things, piles of things and the endless retrieving of things from storage, Stef and I are beyond ready to “unload some THINGS!”. Years of acquiring THINGS have left us with an impressive assemblage of THINGS and we had no idea of the right venue for selling them. We tried Craigs List (never again), ebay local classified (way better than Craigs List), later this month we are having a local auctioneer sell some stuff and last but certainly not least, we have a few treasured items (read: higher end) on which we did not wish to pay the auctioneer’s commission. So, we thought we might post them here to see if any of our family, friends or followers may be interested in acquiring something special.

The first photo is of an Antique French linen cabinet, although we used it to store Italian Cooking Pottery in our old home, that was removed from a 17th century French Nunnery. We purchased the piece from Exter Antiques in Leesburg. Stephanie hand painted the flowers and the swags. Additionally, the inside of the cabinet, shelves and sides, have been lined and pin-tucked in coordinated green gingham and green toile fabrics.

Nunnery Cabinet 2

The Drum Table below was purchased from the Black Shutter Antiques in Leesburg. The top is 40″ diameter and we were told that the table once graced the foyer of the Dabney Douglas Plantation near Richmond, Virginia.

Drum Table 2Drum Table 1

The Isfahan Floral rug below is as beautiful as it is HUGE. The  rug was in storage until April of last year and the first floor it has ever been down on is our current bedroom floor. As you can see from the tag (which is still on the rug) it was graded as “very, very fine”, the colors are amazing and it is soooooo soft.

Isfhan Floral Rug 4
Isfhan Floral Rug 1Isfhan Floral Rug 6Isfhan Floral Rug 5

If anyone is interested in any of these beautiful items please let us know by sending an email or commenting on this post. We have several additional items we will include when we update this post. While we hate to part with these THINGS we simply do not have room for these larger pieces in the log cabin and do not wish to see them waste away in storage. CHEERS!Our Signature

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life in a log cabin: the afterglow of christmas

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life in a log cabin: the afterglow of christmas
written by Stephanie
 

The Christmas cheer is waning and the New Year awaits us.  As I ponder the New Year and hope for the offerings it will bring, I think back on the past year.  At the beginning of 2012 my glass was half empty and I saw the world in black and white.  We had moved out of the house where I had brought my newborn babies home to.  Saying goodbye to the house holding the memories of us as new parents was hard.  The house was packed up and my cherished possessions were strewn about among various storage locations.   For 3 months our temporary housing was 2 bedroom apartment in an equestrian facility.  The kids loved to look out the large window in the living room that showcased the indoor riding arena and the wonderful Warmblood horses at training.  Still, we lived in a barn…albeit, a very nice barn.   Old friends parted ways with us, having chosen new paths.  Our little black terrier mix, Toulouse found her peace after enduring several hard months of illness.  During the summer, my birth father (I am adopted),  passed away.  He was man I never really knew and had only spoken to him twice.  All the questions I had for him will go unanswered.  Last Spring, we moved into an 1850’s log cabin and I was not happy.  It was dusty, dark, stink bug infested, cramped and removed from city life.  Life as I knew it, had been uprooted and transplanted into my own little bubble of isolation. This is just a small glimmer into the black cloud I had hanging over me and my family.

Now, I raise my glass half-full.  New friends have been made and out-of-touch old friends and relatives have resurfaced.  It is with these people in our lives that David and I look forward to the New Year.  Possessions are still strewn about as we try to make sense of this smaller home we live in.  Some belongings I miss,  like my baby-grand piano, and other things …well I just can’t remember what they are.  What is the saying, out of sight, out of mind?  It just proves to me, how much “stuff” I don’t need.   David has always been a “glass is half full” kind of guy.  He continues to hone his woodworking craft and work on cool projects for clients.  Over the next few months he will be blogging about an old house he is putting through demo and then renovating.  I will diligently be working on my leather work and introducing some new designs (the creative wheels are already spinning).  The cabin is growing on me as I revel in the beautiful outdoor setting that surrounds it.  The road on which we live has enticed our family to take many nature walks.  During these walks we have met and made new friends and acquaintances.  The cabin has taken on an almost ethereal glow since Winter emerged.

Christmas Cabin

We found ourselves digging out from all the clutter to make room for the Christmas tree and later, my piano.  The cabin, lit by soft lighting, is warmed by a wood stove.   In the evenings the lighting and the log and stone walls impart a soft glow that I want to wrap myself in.

Fireplace

Deer Head

Crystal Tree

Front Door

Christmas Table

As we decorated the cabin for Christmas I had to put aside the modern girl in me.  Our silver foil tree with its modern ornaments had to stay in storage.  The backdrop of the horrible pear and grape wallpaper (yet to be removed) was screaming old-fashion Christmas tree.   It is wonderful to have a tree befitting my treasured German Koestel wax ornaments.

Christmas Tree

Koestel Victorian Lady Koestel Pied Piper Koestel Christmas Witch Koestel Angel large Koestal angel small

My tiny collection of woodland gnomes settled in quite nicely among our rustic environment.

Christmas Gnomes

As we counted down the days on our Advent calendar, the resident house Elf on a Shelf was there to watch over the kids.  I am not sure who had more antics during December, the kids or our house elves (we have two, Rudy and Miss Snowflake).

Elf on the Shelf tree

collage Elf on the Shelf

Christmas Eve was upon us and the ritual plate of cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer was placed beside the wood stove.  (Santa and Mrs. Claus indulged before a picture was taken.)

Christmas Eve

Now as I look at the festive Christmas decorations around the cabin, I realize that some of the adornment lends a coziness to the cabin and could stay put all winter long.  Our home now glows with a new warmth of comfort, new friends and our hope for new beginnings.  So, if you are ever in Round Hill…give us a call and stop by.  We can show you around the cabin which won’t take long and share a glass of wine or a cup of tea!  So I raise my “half full” glass of wine to you and yours to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Stephanie-Signature

life in a log cabin: discovery channel live on the back patio

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life in a log cabin: discovery channel live on the back patio
written by David
pictures by Stephanie

The day started much like any other when you live in a log cabin…Thunder, our 3 year-old black Lab, running up to the back door foaming at mouth. That’s right thick and frothy white foam streaming from both sides of his beautiful Labrador jowls. “GREAT, what now!”  Thank God for “THE GOOGLE” because…apparently, (and who knew?) the common toad secretes a poison through its skin and if your idiot dog sees fit to scoop it up in his mouth, presto change-o, a mouth-full-of-foam worthy of “Cujo”. The foaming at the mouth situation is easily rectified, just place the end of a hose in the side of the dog’s mouth and spray until all the poison is washed away or the dog drowns (or at least he thinks you are trying to drown him, LOL), which ever comes first. The bigger problem…what to do with the toad? For you see, the dog, without regard for the foam streaming out of his mouth and what had to be one horrendous after-taste, still wanted at the damn thing. I mean after all, it was HIS prize. So, should we relocate the toad or just keep Thunder inside until he lost interest? Well, before we could decide Mother Nature stepped up to the plate and the result was a show worthy of the Discovery Channel.

Enter the Dragon…actually not a dragon, it was only a lowly Garter Snake.

Small, not more than 2 feet in length, and with a mouth that at first glance did not seem at all large enough to swallow the toad’s leg let alone swallow the whole toad…ALIVE.  Au contraire! The ensuing struggle lasted the better part of 4 hours with Easton and Scarlett sitting ring side for the whole event and with the toad alive and kicking as its head slipped past the snake’s unhinged jaw. The best part, just like mini-Discovery Channel producers, the kids armed with digital cameras and video recorders taped the entire toad dining experience digitally.

They have video and stills starting from “Maverick, I’ve got your MiG (read: TOAD) dead ahead! I’ve got Lock! Firing!“, to a jaw and throat stretching exercise of epic proportion, followed by the Garter Snake, with a final herculean move, wordlessly commanding the toad to “Get into my B-E-L-L-Y!” and the Grand Finale…the victor, sated and bulging slightly in the middle, slithering off to the wood line.

… it’s just another day in the life of log cabin living.

life in a log cabin: wine and a williams gap road walk-about with friends

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life in a log cabin: wine and a williams gap road walk-about with friends
written by David
pictures by Stephanie
 

The weather on Sunday, two weeks past was positively spectacular. The sky, azure blue and filled with puffy white clouds. The temperature, in the low 70’s, would drop to a slight chill when the sun slid behind the clouds. Autumn was in the air and a perfect day was on tap.

For several weeks we had planned to spend the day with our good friends the Leconte’s, Brice and Stephanie. Perhaps just relaxing on the back patio and maybe throwing a little something on the grill for dinner. But, with such an amazing day before us we all decided to pick up some eats and head to our favorite local winery, Otium Cellars, for a bottle of Cabernet and a light lunch. Every thing was fantastic…the friends, the food and the wine. After lunch with still over half a bottle wine and lots of day left  it was decided that we would head back to our place. From there we would take the leftover wine (add another bottle) and go on a little walk-about down Williams Gap Road.

Williams Gap Road is the “photo-op” gravel country road that fronts our log home. The road is lined by pre-Civil War Era field stone walls, 3-board fenced pastures filled with horses and cows, several amazing stone spring houses, a young vineyard and many beautiful homes including a fantastic 1750’s stone farmstead that includes a magnificent stone house, several wood-frame and stone barns and incredible stone spring house that rests the shadow of a 300 year-old sycamore tree.

Armed with a full glasses of wine, a camera, jackets to ward off the approaching chill and a bag with 2 bottles of wine (extra glasses in the chance we met a neighbor willing to imbibe) we: Brice, Stephanie, Easton, Scarlett, my Stephanie and I, headed west toward the mountains and inevitable adventure. Our first encounter was a jogger, she paused long enough to let us know that just up the road, past the second barn and in the middle of one of the pastures, a pair of bald eagles where dining on a small deer they had just killed. The excitement among our children was palpable. Our pace quickened just a bit not wishing to miss this sight. Rounding the first big bend in the road is the lovely stone farmstead. We stopped at the driveway to admire the magnificent stone buildings and were greeted by a gentleman who poked his head out of one of the stone sheds. It was the owner, Les Goldsmith DVM, Ph.D. Following introductions Mr. Goldsmith asked if we would like a tour of the barns. Forgetting the eagles for the moment we readily accepted and were then treated to a viewing of one of the few local pre-Civil War Era barns lucky enough to have escaped the wrath of Sheridan  as he burned his way south. Inside the main level of the barn Les houses his 1950’s era McCormick Farmall Tractor…for the record, it started on the first turn of the key.

“Goldsmith Stone Barn, circa 1750’s”

“Brice with Les Goldsmith on his Farmall Tractor”

As we exited the door we were shocked to see a fruit bearing fig tree. Les had planted the tree on the south-side of the barn protecting it from weather while ensuring lots of sunlight. As we sampled the “fruit-of-the-fig”, I remembered my manners and offered Les a glass of wine. He accepted (our first victim), clearly it was a fair trade.

Our next stop on the farmstead was the recently re-pointed spring house. This lovely stone building rests in the shadow of an enormous 300 year-old sycamore tree and the spring actually flows out of the roots of the tree. The farm had once been a dairy farm and the spring was used to keep the milk cold while waiting for dairy pick-up. Now days, said Les, it’s only used to keep his beer cold.

“Goldsmith Spring House, a.k.a. Beer Cooler”

“Spring House – Room With a View”

After thanking Les for a fantastic tour and bidding him farewell, we resumed our walk. A little further down Williams Gap Road, just past the next barn, we came upon an amazing sight. There in the pasture standing tall atop his downed prey, with his mate close at hand, a majestic and proud American Bald Eagle! The open pasture, usually filled with cows, appeared empty until we noticed all the cows deep in the tree line well back from the dining eagles apparently not wishing to be next on the menu.

(Stephanie made me become the eagle’s next potential victim.  She handed me the camera and sent me out into the pasture to capture a photo of this majestic bird!  There were actually 4 eagles circling overhead!)
 

As the shadows started to lengthen we made our way up a small lane, at a bend in Williams Gap Road, hoping to get a view of the Blue Ridge before we started back. In the waning light of the afternoon as it gave way to the approaching evening we paused beside the lane for some photos, poured the last of the wine into our glasses and toasted a truly memorable day.

It was almost time to turn back when we passed through a wide hardwood hedgerow that arched over the gravel lane like a gateway. Groomed pastures spread out before us and the land began to roll and rise toward the west, inevitable ending at the ridge line of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. A perfect way to end a perfect day…

…. it’s just another day in the life of log cabin living.