The Great Dryer Affair

You know those times in life where you can either chose to cry or laugh?  We are currently having those on a nightly basis.  So far, we’ve had no trouble laughing about all of it – they say laughter makes you live longer, right?  Readers, bear witness to the Great Dryer Affair (of 2012 – I’m sure there will be more to come).

As of Tuesday morning, we didn’t have any appliances in the house.  None, zip, natta – no range, no oven, no dish washer, no microwave, no refrigerator, no washer and dryer.  BUT on Tuesday, thanks to the strong muscles of Chad’s brother, Daniel, and the gracious assistance of Chad’s mom, Dee-Dee, we got a hand-me-down refrigerator, washer, and dryer in place, all ready to be hooked up (we’ll address the refrigerator in a “kitchen” post, soon to come).  The washer and dryer were left-overs from the Logan beach house, and although they are well-loved, they work, and that’s all we can ask for!

First, Chad got the washer hooked up – we gleefully began the first load, hardly believing that we had a real-live washing machine at our disposal (if you can imagine how many disgustingly dirty, wet rags we have, you’d be excited, too).  We stopped to eat dinner and came back to find a floor full of water.  [PANIC ENSUES].  Luckily, it was just a result of worn-out tubing, and we happened to have an extra.  Luck was in our favor!

On to the dryer.  Chad had to climb down into the creepy crawly basement where the dryer vent exits and the circuit breaker lives:


He bravely risked his own life for our cleanliness.

Then, we realized we didn’t have a cord that matched this outlet:


So we ran to Lowe’s in Woodstock, got a cord, and returned to conquer the dryer.  The cord fit the outlet perfectly, but the cord connects to the dryer in three places – and one of the screws for one of these attachments was missing.  Of course.  Luckily there is a truck stop in our driveway (haha), so Chad made a few trips back and forth to find something that would suffice.


(Where’s Chad?)


(There’s Chad!)

Finally, at 11:00 p.m., one screw fit…I hit the “start” button, and…nothing.  Out of sheer frustration, Chad shook the machine and…the light inside the dryer came on.  I hit start, and the machine lurched from its slumber.  Sometimes, a little kick in the shin IS all it takes – I should’ve known that much from rugby (we think the connection point may have oxidized and just needed some of the build-up knocked off)!

We found this obviously brand-new bottle of detergent:


And Chad did a victory dance:


And now we have clean clothing.  Hallelujah.

Finders Keepers

It has come to my attention that there are actually a handful of people reading this blog now, so although our internet connection at the house is spotty at best, I wanted to try to post a few pictures of some of the hilarious things we have been discovering as we live in the house.

Last week, we purchased a few odds and ends at a local auction – imagine 10-15 estate sales all going on in one location, once a month.  One item we snagged was a 4-poster bed, and, because no one purchased the art work that had been displayed on the mattress, the auction house threw in the art work as well.  WHAT A STEAL.

Since we are both lawyer-types, it was absolutely necessary for a copy of the Constitution to be displayed in our home.

Next is the token image of our buddy Thomas “T.J.” Jefferson, founder of the great University of Virginia.  Here, he is pictured debating Alexander Hamilton about the soundness of creating a national bank – and boy is he mad (and possibly cross-eyed?).

 We are also feeling very patriotic with a NYC skyline, pre-911.

Rounding it out is an amazing…?  Not really sure what this one is, and you can see the lines from the Sharpie marker, so I’m pretty sure we got a steal because this one is clearly an original piece.

 In addition to the art, I found this fun detail in our bedroom:

 I’m pretty sure that’s a bullet hole, folks.  That’s all we know about the incident, and I think that’s enough said.

BUT – when you have a view like this, how can you criticize the decor?

The Dream

Hey guys!

I guess it is time for me to do my first post.  Later on I’ll detail the history of the house, but I’ll start with how Rachel’s and my dream of Edge Hill got started.

As little boys, Daniel and I would often discuss who was going to live where when we grew up.  For some reason (likely beaten submission) I didn’t put up much of a fight when Daniel unequivocally said he wanted mom and dad’s house.  That left me on the hunt.  I had always liked my grandparent’s limestone house on Lee Street in Woodstock, but one day when I about 12 years old we went to dinner at house that dad was buying as a part of a new farm.  The previous owners were good friends of the family, and we got a tour of the house with all of the architectural details highlighted.  I fell in love.

In my fourth year at Virginia I took a class with Architectural Historian Richard Guy Wilson focusing on early american architecture, and for my final paper in the class I did a study on the property, and I think that was when I made my decision; one day I would live at Edge Hill.  But who would want to live there with me?  As you have seen, the house isn’t quite move in ready.  What young woman would want a life in the country in a run down house where what doesn’t work far outnumbers what does?
Enter Rachie.  As most of you well know, Rachel and I met my first year of law school, and a little over a year later we were engaged.  What you may not know is that as a little girl Rachel also had an interest in historical homes.  Well maybe more than an interest.  She would full on dress the part in colonial garb while volunteering at Sully Plantation.  JACKPOT!

I don’t remember the exact first time I took Rachel, but I remember two reactions: Shock and Awe.  The place was in such a rough state that it was hard to believe it could be livable, but the potential was also shining though the cracks in the plaster.  At that point, I began experimenting with a 3D design program called google sketch up.  Though the design process, Rachel and I began to envision a home where we could grow old together.  Literally.  We are using ADA standards for the bathrooms so we can wheel each other around if that ever becomes necessary.

The only loose end with our dream was the timing.  When Rachel and I got married, we weren’t sure what we would be doing three months later, she was deciding on law schools and I was job hunting for after the bar.  Well, two years down the road it seems that fate took control and here we are, both working in Harrisonburg and jumping head first into life at Edge Hill.  It seems that the only one who has no worries about this whole process is Afton, who spent a hour this morning harassing the cattle and sprinting in her new yard.  Now if only mom would get here already!

The Final Countdown!

Today, Chad has officially moved into Edge Hill!  Is it crazy that I am jealous?  That house and I are going to get A LOT of quality time in the coming months…Chad has spent a week of evenings scrubbing and mopping, and last weekend we both cleaned so hard we were sore for days.  But, with this much dirt and grime built up, it doesn’t take much to see a VAST improvement!

For the summer, we will be living in only two rooms due to our limited A/C supply (old window units borrowed from Chad’s parents).  We have converted the formal dining room into our master bedroom (it has a full bathroom en suite, go figure), and the adjoining parlor as our living room.  See the following “before” and “after” shots:




A HUGE thanks to Dee-Dee, Chad’s mom, for all of her help with the moving and decorating!  What a trooper!


We are filling the huge rooms with hand-me-down furniture and enjoying the “eclectic” feel.

The rooms have absolutely beautiful details – pictures rails, chair rails, ornate door frames, and locks that are original to the house.  The original owners had the doors painted with faux grain, and we are hoping to save this in as many rooms as possible.  The hardwood floors are original in the entire house EXCEPT these two rooms – termite damage in the 1950s caused them to be replaced.  As a result, the “new” floor boards are slightly narrower, but still beautiful and almost entirely in great condition.   Image

Original knobs and locks – every door has a deadbolt!  We’ll be in trouble if our future kids ever figure this out!


(This is pre-clean, but you get the idea)

Afton is already making herself at home chasing cows and enjoying the great outdoors – she also took no extra time finding her nap spot and is as excited as we are to finally be settling in.  I can’t wait to join Chad on Sunday!!!