This Thursday is the first day of spring. Here in New England, we are still waiting for her to appear. Saturday was a somewhat pleasant day and my boyfriend and I headed out early to check out the Old Home and Barn Show at the Raddison in Manchester. It was very informational, though I wish they had more vendors. We are in the (very slow) process of trying to bring our old farmhouse back to the way it would have looked when it was originally built in 1850, while blending with modern amenities. We are antique dealers so we are very much into to re-using and re-purposing.
One of the things I like and find interesting is the use of reclaimed lumber from old homes and barns. We have an 1800’s barn that will need to be torn down in the coming years. We thought about selling the lumber to one of these places to help pay for a new addition. We spoke to a guy at the show who stated that to purchase reclaimed lumber and have it ready for your floor can cost upwards of $24 a square foot! But they only pay $0.50 to $5 a square foot when they buy it. Okay, the $24 was the extreme end, but even at $5 to $10 a square foot (on average), it was still more expensive for the reclaimed pine boards than for us to install the much more durable bamboo (at $3.50 a square foot) we had been originally looking at. We were told if we wanted to use reclaimed wood, we should just take it from our own barn and have it planed. Sounds like a deal to me.
The other thing we have been looking at is soapstone sinks. In this case, to purchase a brand new soapstone sink, the cost is about $1500. So, we took a ride out to Exeter to check out a salvage place called Architectural Salvage. I was like a kid in a candy store. They had old soapstone and slate kitchen sinks for half that amount (go figure), but the sizes were all over the place and you would need to custom build the bottom cabinets to hold the sink. They also had old porcelain tubs, several old fireplace mantels, tons of corbels, and some really great hardware. I was going crazy just thinking of all the ways I could re-purpose the old doors, windows and shutters. (I’m thinking garden shed?) We will definitely go back.
Of course, this is New England, so even though Saturday was actually very nice, Sunday brought frigid weather and a bitter wind. We still had more running around to do and finally made it home at 3:30, at which point I started our traditional Irish New England boiled dinner and made a pistachio pudding cake for ST. Patrick’s Day. Mmmmm.
Today is still another frigid day. In fact, several records have been broken, one going back 129 years. I am still a skeptic when it comes to global warming, and today isn’t helping their case. Over the next few days, we will see a slight warming trend and Thursday may hit 50 in some places. Enjoy it, for by next Monday, we will be back into the 20’s again. The weather people keep chanting the same story…”this cold can’t last forever,” but I know better. This is New England.
This morning, as I was standing in my kitchen staring out at the frozen tundra that is our backyard, I noticed a few deer crossing the field. I grabbed my binoculars (kept handily right on the counter) and sure enough, there were six of them, crossing the field in groups of two and waiting up for each other under the pines on the other side. They were plump with pregnancy and I hope the weather warms up well before we start to have little fawns. I keep some deer food up there for them. While they nosed around for a little while, they didn’t stay long and soon had hopped the stone wall and disappeared into the woods.
I hope everyone has a wonderful (and warm) St. Patrick’s Day.