Monday, April 8, 2019

Why We're Turning Our 1974 Home Into An English Victorian Mermaid Cottage {To Then Sell And Become Homesteaders}

 My dear friends,

I received the news last Wednesday that we were out of the running for the curatorship of Flanders Mansion in Carmel By The Sea. I wasn't devastated or distraught, because I know that just means considerable specific desires that Jeffrey and I have are coming. I deeply trust the processes. I spent over 5 years diligently working with the city, historical research on the mansion, the Flanders family genealogy, and I feel very confident that all of that work was leading me to what will be.
My newest little cross-stitch I'll begin this evening by kerosene light.
My Beloved Gardener and I have a little routine that we do on weekends. After our home chores: we get baths, dress, jump into the truck, drive about looking at homes, land and property. We go to all sorts of little farmers markets, flea markets and charity shops. It's one of our favourite things to do as a couple.  He also knows that when I take my big camera there's going to be many stops for picture taking and picking of wildflowers. {I keep a little pair of clippers in my car, along with a little corked bottle of water, just for those spur of the moment times}.

So, upon learning that Flanders' was no longer in our future, we talked about where we might want to set down roots to create our 'forever home'.

Our plan is to find a substantial piece of property and become homesteading farmers. We have even talked about buying one of those stone cottage kits and build our own little cottage just the way we like it. We are going to get 5 sheep, more chickens {we'd like about 20}, roosters, more rabbits and a few dogs. That will be plenty for us as we will have all the farming to do, especially since we plan to have a large vegetable/ flower garden too. Jeffrey is most excited about the garden, and I can't wait either. I feel a little like Tasha Tudor. I can imagine she was just as happy the day she purchased her property to begin her dream home.
 I will have a stone wall such as this, along with the entire cottage being made of stone. Even the sheer thought of it makes me beyond giddy.
I think of Louisa May Alcott when she and her family finally moved into The Orchard House.  She, too, had always moved around and I can only imagine she was thrilled to bits to finally land at, "The Orchard House".

I am actually a bit relieved to finally know that I can now get on with life~so to speak. I had spent so many years living in a state of uncertainty with Flanders. That feeling begins to take a toll on someone after a period of time~ it did for me, anyway.

I do love the little home that we named Staffordshire Cottage, and it has so many delightful features and a surplus of potential. I had the idea of turning it into an authentic Victorian cottage a few months back as I was speaking with my dear friend. She is the friend of Tasha Tudor's children. We were chatting it up last week, and as usual, Tasha came up. She knows so much about Tasha and I gathered many more intentions from her. I got off of the telephone and thought to myself, " I shall do as Tasha Did." Tasha wasn't always where she desired to be. It wasn't until much later in life that she lived in her dream home that her son built by hand. Did you know for a little over a year Tasha and her children lived in their barn while the house was being built? She went many years living in another home, and while she was there, she sketched and dreamed about her one-day dream home that she envisioned.

The other day I was thinking about how often women, look at other women and compare their lives. We forget~ that artist/author that we admire so greatly has been on their personal journey for decades, and maybe our journey is just beginning. They, too, were where we are once upon a time. I am into my journey of only a few years. There are others somewhere out there, just beginning. Let us be mindful, we will get our greatest desires and dreams, but we must relish and live in the NOW. Each of us is unique and individual, and we mustn't focus on others and what they are doing. Regardless, of how similar in nature someone's life seems to appear, it is not. I think women do a grave disservice to themselves when they compare their lives to other women.
I acknowledge to you that I say this frequently, and the reason I do so is, that what better person to speak of such a thing, than a person that once upon a time struggled. It tore me up mentally, and it's truly no good for our sweet little spirits. Let us cut that out. {smile}

The long end path of Jeffrey and myself will be to spend much effort in transforming our little cottage into an English Victorian Cottage. Our tentative plan is to then sell it, make a decent profit and buy our piece of land. We are going to give ourselves a good year to work on the cottage, and in our spare time, continue seeking a beautiful piece of land. Do you dream of living in the country or are you a city gal?

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. You bring up a good point in that we see the success of others but not all of what leads up to it. Also, we just moved from our mountain house to the skirts of town. There are many factors but it wasn't where we wanted to retire and this will be the best chance of getting us back out of town to where we do want to retire - if that makes any sense. We are definitely country folks.

    1. Isn't that such a truth. I, too, found that I did this for many years. I love when you show your darling little house. You are my sweet little country girl and kindest friend. I love you angel! Raquelxxx

  2. What interesting timing! Last year here was all about letting go (including having to sell my beloved goats and egg-ducks), but 2 weeks ago now, we found as a family that we need to move several states away. I, too, am fixing up this place on a one-year timetable, and visualizing more space in the new spot. I spent time with my sister this last weekend making "Treasure Maps" and now have a glorious big new vision board on my wall.

    One step at a time, yes? Step by step toward that vision, sometimes super mundane, sometimes a leap forward. I am wishing you delight at how quickly it all comes together for you!

    1. Kimberly, you are such a delight and thank you so much. I hope the same for you. I look forward to your story, and please do visit me again. Muawhhh Love Raquelxxx


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