Friday, June 29, 2012

The Darr Farms Project ~ Icing on the Cake

Tonight we were part of close to 20 privileged guests of George and Bev Darr, owner of Darr Farms in Newcomerstown, OH.  Bev Darr is a petite, energetic multi-talented farmer's wife/retired Kindergarten teacher/piano teacher/church choir director.  Her husband George is a round-bellied, good-natured man with a ready smile that makes you like him in an instant.  Nestled in the rolling hills of central Ohio, Darr Farms is a large, 2000-acre farm with sweet corn as its Number #1 commodity.  Other cash crops include soybeans, wheat, and various produce including tomatoes, peppers, watermelons and pumpkins.  An impressive operation to say the least.  But tonight was not about business but to show appreciation to those who had made a dream remodel of the Darr farmhouse a reality. 

The day was steaming . . . mid to high 90's and getter hotter as we drove farther south down I-77.  Ohio is in the grip of a heat wave and semi drought with the 30% chance of rain being much more a slim possibility rather than reality.  Grass is brown, crops are thirsty for rain.  The plan was for a 6:30 pm cook-out, and we had just enough time to squeeze in a visit to my very close cousin who lives in a neighboring town.  As we drove down the interstate, we casually commented on the clouds that were darkening the sky, not thinking it would be anything more than a few rain showers or at worst, a scattered thunderstorm. 

The heat hit us like a blast furnace when we stepped out of the car at West Lafayette Point Rehab Center and Nursing Facility.  As we walked through the common area, the TV was tuned to The Weather Channel.  It was warning folks to have their IPads and technical devices fully charged as storms approached.  Not our area, as we dismissed any threat of storms and went on to surprise my cousin.

. . . Within 20 minutes, the building had lost power, the backup generator had flickered on and off three times as the torrential rains poured and the wind whipped the trees like whirlygigs.  Hoping for a lull in the downpour and needing to make our dinner on time, we said our good-byes and made our way through the maze of wheelchairs in the hallway.  The patients were all huddled  in the central part of the building as they waited for the all-clear, each with a blanket and pillow.
"Are you a fireman?"

"We're under a tornado warning. Maybe you should stay here for a bit."

No, we'll be fine.  We only have a few miles to go."

It didn't take a 1/2 mile to realize that we should have stayed put.  Debris was everywhere, trees were uprooted, branches were scattered and strewn on the road, power lines were down, strong winds were whipping the tree branches as we drove underneath them. 

"If we don't find this farm pretty soon, we're pulling off and taking cover." 

It sounded like a great idea, but we had no idea where that might be except at the home of our hosts.

  So, what do you do with a house full of dinner guests in the midst of a severe storm and power outage?  You have the electrician re-start the generator!!!  Soon the power was on, faces of our new acquaintanes became clear, conversations mulled around who had trees down on their property, which roads were closed, which roof blew off, crops, and how badly we needed the rain.  Soon the rains had all but stopped.  We gathered around the  kitchen farm table.  Before our host gave thanks for the food, we each shared an introdution and the part we played in the rennovation project. The temperature had dropped over 20 degrees in one hour, and those of us who had dressed for 95-degree weather shivered as we gathered on the wrap-around porch to enjoy our feast.

"Donna, now that the lights are on, why don't you start upstairs and take the pictures of your curtains?"

I sure will, Bev.  You don't have to tell me twice.  You see, the reason we were there was because we were the icing on the cake.  In this stunning century farmhouse, there were fourteen windows dressed by Home Sweet Homespuns

"I fretted and stewed about these window treatments so much.  I just happened to find you on the internet." ~ Bev Darr

"Fretted and stewed is the LEAST understatement she could make!" ~ George Darr

"Well, okay, I AGONIZED over the window treatments." ~ Bev Darr

"We are honored that you chose us to help you." ~ me


Enjoy the tour!

 Thanks to the generator, our hosts were able to carry on with their plans even after a severe storm and power outage. 

One door remained with the original oak framework from George Darr's childhood home.
  The pattern was reproduced through the entire house

Each window treatment was carefully selected from our 140+ fabric choices to match the room and decor

 All of the hardwood floors are original.  They were recently stripped and refinished by an Amish craftsman.

 Everyone of these furniture pieces, and the woodwork and doors, have been refinished by the energetic homeowner, a retired Kindergarten teacher. 

 Furnishings are family heirlooms.

The homeowner and I worked together as she chose the fabric patterns and colors for each window.  She chose the simple look of the Rod Pocket Panels with a unique 4" header for each window. 

 The chimney was uncovered under drywall.

 Check out the tin inserts in the cupboards!


 The old clawfoot tub with a fresh coat of red paint.
 The Master Bath - a new addition
 The new master suite

Bev Darr and me