Working to make Brook Farm “lovelier”

Sarah titled her Workaway profile, “Come stay in a lovely country B&B and help make it even lovelier!” Well, Dave and I have completed our second work week at Brook Farm, and I promise we are trying our hardest.

Brook Farm, in all its glory.

Brook Farm Bed and Breakfast, in all its glory.

Brook Farm is gorgeous. It really doesn’t need much help, especially with the gardens and the wonderful way Sarah decorates (I am going to model my one-day home after this place). But, as with any 500-year old building with acres of gardens and dozens of animals, there is always something to be cleaned, something to be planted and something to be fixed. For anyone who still thinks I’m simply relaxing on an extended vacation, I promise you we have been working quite hard.

Transplanting geraniums

Transplanting geraniums

Digging holes for lysimachia

Digging holes for lysimachia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am writing this post from our sitting room, which is painted a lovely blue, thanks to one of our recent projects. One of the best things about our work here at Brook Farm is that every day is different; that was always one of my favorite parts about journalism. I couldn’t handle doing the same thing every day. So in 11 days of work, Dave and I have: organized a book room, trimmed rose vines, cleaned out gutters, trimmed hedges, straightened out a patio, helped chop down a tree, hauled firewood, cleaned a kitchen (still a work in progress), painted a sitting room, dug up and transplanted geraniums and lysimachia, laid straw for donkeys and are in the middle of cleaning the conservatory.

Sitting room before

Sitting room before

Sitting room after

Sitting room after

Dirt is permanently imbedded in my cuticles, and it feels good. My dad bought me work gloves about 10 years ago for some volunteer work I was doing, and they still looked nearly brand new when I brought them here. By the end of about day four, they had become a nice dark brown instead of their original gray and green.

This was actually one of my less dirty days.

This was actually one of my less dirty days.

Dave thought he was Wolverine with the gardening forks

Dave thought he was Wolverine with the gardening forks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of people think I’m weird for “giving up” my journalism career to clean someone else’s house. But I’m using my hands again, working outside in the fresh air and learning new skills that will serve me no matter what career path I follow. I have yet to doubt that this was the perfect decision for me.

Back patio, mid-project

Back patio, mid-project

Back patio finished! I slaved over this.

Back patio finished! I slaved over this.

Dave hasn't yet figured out manual focus on my camera.

Dave hasn’t yet figured out manual focus on my camera

Dave knows how to use a hand saw.

Dave knows how to use a hand saw.

This is a wood pile to make you proud

This is a wood pile to make you proud

This is a disaster that makes you [want to] cry

This is a disaster to make you cry

The actual color is nothing like this photo

The actual color is nothing like this photo

Dave says I look like I'm taking a nap, but this just shows how determined I was to complete a perfect paint job

Dave says I look like I’m taking a nap, but this just shows how determined I was to complete a perfect paint job

Before we got to it...

Before we got to it…

…after we got to it

…after we got to it

Happy workers :)

Happy workers : )

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