Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cleansing the palate

Okay, I need a little break as much as you all do. (Although I am watching the replay of "Meet the Press," which I missed this morning. John McCain just called Tom Brokaw "my friend." snicker)

Ken just got home, and we're looking forward to a couple of days off together. (We have things to do, including casting our early votes! Yay!) I've got a chuck roast in the crockpot (with tomatoes...sounds weird, but it makes a sort of tomato gravy), and I'll make some mashed potatoes.

Good grief, we've had some crazy winds here this afternoon! It seems to have calmed down now, but things were really whipping around for a while. (Note to self: take down the wind chimes for the winter.) There are still a lot of leaves on our trees, although there are some that have dropped them all. I took a few pictures of our place yesterday.
This is one of the paths that lead from the house to the driveway, and up to the road. Fall and winter aren't my favorite seasons, because I love warm weather. In the summer, this path has a nice cushy carpet of moss. I have to admit, though, that it's really pretty to see a different carpet (a throw rug?) on the paths in the fall. There are several small sassafras trees along here, and I notice their leaves the most. They're mostly bright yellow, and I like to think of the tri-lobed ones as Vulcan leaves. (My fellow Trekkies will get it!)
This is our driveway. It curves around to the right, which is where the new garage and the house are. No, it's not paved, and we're reluctant to do so. It reminds me of a country lane, and I like the lack of concrete or asphalt.
That's caused a problem or two, because rocks can get up into the snow blower and cause the shear bolts to break. Ken's learned to adjust, and not run the snow blower so close to the ground. And he makes sure to have a supply of shear bolts on hand, just in case! If there's a couple of inches of snow left on the driveway, that's okay--it's just the 8 inches and more that cause a big problem!
This is our driveway from out by the road. You can just barely see one of the sheds that Ken built, over on the left. That's where he stores the big lawnmower (the smaller one is in the new garage).

It looks very harmless now, doesn't it? Pretty little tree-covered driveway...believe me, there were a couple of times when I was trying to get to work (after Ken had left already) that I got stuck in this driveway, and it wasn't much fun! I got dug in so deep a few times that Ken had to pull me out with the truck. There were times when I wasn't able to make it into work, but most of the time, Ken was able to take me in the truck. Our country road isn't at the top of the list when it comes to getting plowed, so it isn't until 10 AM or later that we get dug out. Snow days still exist at Nutwood!

We're very fortunate in a lot of ways to live where we do. We aren't annexed as part of South Bend city limits, so we have our own well. We don't live in the city, but as part of the county, we have curbside recycling, even out here! This is a rural area, with plenty of wildlife, but in 5-10 minutes, I can be at a shopping area. I hope the city never annexes us, but I suppose we'll deal with that if we need to. At least we know that no one can build right next to us, or behind us, because it's our property. (Although as I like to say, we're only temporary caretakers of this land.)

I've lived in apartments and subdivisions, as has Ken, and after finding this place, we both know that we could never stand to do so again. I shouldn't say that...everyone does what they need to do, and I believe we'd be happy wherever we were. But here is where we thrive. We researched a few houses when we started looking, and did several drive-bys. We actually walked through only four. There was a century-old home on 2 acres, and that was such a neat place in so many ways. Gorgeous high ceilings, big huge rooms, a spooky old basement...but it needed a lot of work, including on the bathrooms, and we knew it would have been a money pit. (That's for you Indigo! wink) There was a smallish home a couple of miles away, on 2+ acres, and that was pretty cute, but there was a lot of moisture in the basement, and it was fairly close to the highway. We looked at a house down the road from here, also on 2+ acres, and it was kind of neat, too (Cousin Shane looked at it independent of us, and we both loved the 50's-era oven built into the wall!), but it didn't have a basement, just a small cellar that was filled with water when we looked at it. (In tornado-prone Indiana, I'm big on basements!)

The fourth and final place we looked at was right here. We parked close to the road, and as we walked down the driveway, it was one of those "This is it" moments. The house itself had mauve walls in the living and dining rooms; dark wallpaper in the kitchen; Barbie pink walls in one of the bedrooms (the one that became our bedroom); and stained carpets. But we saw the potential. Sometimes you have to look beyond the surface and see what can be. We had to do a lot of work here, but we are very grateful that we looked at this place and found our home. There's no place I'd rather be.


  1. Nutwood is our sanctuary and our sanity. No matter what happens beyond these premises, we have each other, our feline, and our special place. We are blessed with wonderful family, and know that we have many years to enjoy our HOME :o)

  2. I love visiting Nutwood. Now if I could just pick up my house and place it somewhere in the Endless Mtns. I would be in heaven. We just got the date for the Family christmas here...sigh....the bathroom still needs to be done, kitchen ceiling'll get done and then the rest of the winter is all MINE. Funny you should describe the house the way it was before you guys bought it. When I moved in with Paul his Kitchen had the 50's style Pink and Black checkered tiles. The Bathroom has the tiles that look like they have clear chips and different slivers of green in them. Another 50's classic. (Hugs)Indigo

  3. I absolutely enjoyed the break from politics and the serenity of a visit to Nutwood. I don't question Ken about Nutwood being his sanity, but Beth, you and I are not sane people. Just wanted to point that out! Somehow I think that together we would be Lucy and Ethel, I'm just not certain which of us is which!

  4. LOVE the pictures of your dirt road... my brother's driveway is similar and goes up a pretty steep grade... I don't know how they have managed not to get stuck... of course, we only have a few inches of snow once or twice a winter... and the drought has been so bad here that the roads aren't mushy. I love a carpet of leaves... the only thing better is to walk in falling leaves! Thanks for sharing!

  5. It looks like such a serene place to live, and all that fresh air, loved the picures.

    A question what is Chuck is it a cut of beef, we tend to use it for steak pie if it's the same thing I'm think of.


  6. Hmph... Looks like you could get eaten by a bear or a very angry squirrel.

    Yep. That's why I love living in the burbs. From my neighbor's diesel-powered air-conditioner that rattles all night long, to my other neighbor's Harley and incessantly barking dog, it's always just noisy enough to keep me from getting too much sleep.

    Oh yeah. I'd be horribly miserable in your bucolic little slice of heaven. You can probably see lots of stars too. I couldn't handle that. The sky is supposed to be solid black at night.

  7. It looks beautiful there! Linda

  8. Hi Beth,
    Nutwood looks great ... how peaceful!

  9. my BFF is a realtor so i know all about that moment when you just know and have went to hundreds of homes with him that were magical, scary, needing to be torn down and also million dollar mansions. I find that whole industry fascinating but i do not have the attitude for it nor the patience.
    I love your drive and am so glad you and Ken have such a lovely place to live and then share with us. XO

  10. It looks like something Faulkner or Steinbeck would describe as a definition of a place of Beauty! May you both share countless years of joy, and peace there. Thank you for sharing your wonderful santuary with us all. Please have a joyous day tomorrow!

    Blessed Be,

  11. I went to a wedding (renewal of vows) and had a blast. No TV here

  12. OMG- I'm making a pot roast today, too! What kind of tomatoes do you use? Sounds yummy!
    I totally get your reluctance to pave. In my historic district neighborhood, I couldn't bear to add concrete, so my driveway is paved with bricks set in sand, the old fashioned way. The weeds that come up through it are just part of the charm!

  13. Thank you for sharing your slice of heaven. I dream of living in a lovely home surrounded by wilderness, just as you do. Maybe one day.
    Sheria's comment made me laugh as I have two friends who call me Lucy.
    Hope your roast was as yummy as it sounded.

  14. Sorta cool how you describe what you felt when you saw the place ... that is what attracts me to people ... seeing what I see in them and what they could be.

    Good for the both of you!

  15. Love living out of the city. Wish we were MORE secluded. One day, i keep telling myself.

  16. I loved your pictures and the description of your home, it sounds wonderful. You are lucky in the respect that you are private yet so close to shopping. I love the fact we are so isolated here but it sometimes is a day trip just to go grocery shopping or run errands.

    We rarely get plowed until everyone else is done and it always drifts shut so it is not uncommon in a big snow to be snowed in for a few days. It's great!

    I can understand why you love your home & knew it the moment you saw it...isn't it wonderful to know when you've found your "home"!

  17. Your roast sounds GREAT! You have a beautiful place. I loved the photos!

  18. hi beth, beauitiful place to live can i come? mind you i wouldn't get away without the 2kids,4 cats,2dogs, hubby and the rest of the family, I cant run away they'd bloody follow me, except here for the moment!!lol tY for the little piece of peace, you are so lucky. take care mrs t xxx

  19. beautiful entry!

  20. I am so jealous!! Your place looks like a dream. I have to agree, no pavement.
    Enjoy it!

  21. what a very pretty place you and Ken live at! I enjoyed reading about this :)



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