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DeJoux House to be published

Our house has been watched over the years by a couple, Susan Daley and Steve Gross who create amazing books of old houses and Hudson Valley (each name below is a link to Amazon).  They knew the house and had been watching our progress. As we came close to finishing they reached out and asked if they could photograph the house for a book of cottages:

Catskill Country Style Book, Old Houses, Farm House Revival, Homes With A Past, Gardens of Hudson Valley, Time Wearing Out name but a few.

All of these books are beautifully produced. I can't wait to see our home in one of them later in 2015/16.

I won't reveal all of the amazing photographs that have been taken of our house, you'll have to buy the book to see them all....but here is a little taster.

Recent posts

Paradox farm

If you wander along Springtown Road, past DeJoux House, you will see our mailbox opposite the front door.  It's not especially distinguishable except it is rather large and sits on an old tree stump.  It's a rusty old thing but it seems to have survived the snow plows and drunk drivers of Springtown Road.

It has always bothered me that on the side of the mail box you can see the vague outline of the words "Paradox Farm" which was clearly a name that DeJoux House was more recently referred to.  Occasionally when wondering the fields I would stumble across some incongruity and wonder if that was indeed the "paradox" that the farm was named after.

Yesterday morning, for some unknown reason, I decided it was time to resolve the paradox.  I sent a quick email to the previous owner June Finer to see if she knew anything of the Paradox Farm ghost on the side of the mailbox.

This was her reply:

once upon a time we, (myself and russell gilmore---my ex), met a rather …

A long silence broken

It has been over 18 months since I posted an entry on the DeJoux House blog.  Why? I'm not sure. The renovations were held up for a while as we enjoyed a working, if unfinished house. Looking back there was frankly very little news of note. Lots of socializing. Lots of enjoying the bounty of the land. Lots of swimming in the pond and Ice Skating...but you'd seen all of that in the old posts.

Today, I am inspired to write a post because I have uncovered some news about the history of the house.  Since we bought the house we have always been told that the house was built in 1740.  That's what the town of New Paltz have in their records. That's what the previous owners told us and well, we had little reason to disbelieve it.

However, we have very little proof of when the building of DeJoux House started. This puzzle was further heightened when a gentleman from North Carolina contacted us with the following request.
Mr. Flebut -

I am a professor at the University of North …

The surprise flood

After the wonderful weekend of skating last week, we were ready to skate again this weekend.  There had been a warm spell in the middle of the week where it got up to nearly 60 degrees F.   There had been rain and obviously the snow melted but I had not anticipated that the Wallkill River would flood.  As we drove up today we were surprised to see the fields covered with a layer of ice.

This interesting combination of melting, flooding and re-freezing caused a very unusual phenomena. The flood waters had frozen about half an inch and then the flood receded leaving ice suspended a foot or two above the ground.   You could see this most clearly on our reed bed by the lake.

Unfortunately since the pond had been under water the ice on the surface had been buckled and bent and broken in several places.  Ice skating would be impossible.  The 'flood ice' was all over the peninsula and we had lost a couple of our seats around the fire pit.

One sad moment was the discovery of one of o…

The house that keeps on giving

It was a short weekend...I was in California on Friday so we didn't get to the house until Saturday morning.  The weather had been bitterly cold for the whole week - between 10 degrees and 20 degrees F.   We knew the ice would be thick on the pond and we'd invited Vanessa and Chris to come ice skating with the Jake and Tabitha.

A bit of quick shopping -  the ingredients for full English breakfast and a roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings.

We started off by clearing a small part of the pond.  Just a square in front of the Peninsula.    The snow was light and powdery so made wonderful lines as I ploughed....Looked like the start of a long night at Studio 54.

The ice was very solid and I cleared relatively quickly.  By the time the guests arrived the ice rink was ready.     Tabitha was still in her pyjamas but that didn't seem to stop her.   The sun was absolutely gorgeous and the fire pit was raging so it was easy to warm up.    Jake did not have skates but a "sum…

Lived in and loved.

Once again I beg forgiveness.  It's been two months since I posted on this blog and I've had so many lovely comments from people all over the world.  It seems the Paw Paw post was very popular.

I have no excuse except the end of last year was a whirlwind.  We traveled to California for the Holidays to see Daniel's family.   It was perhaps the longest we'd gone without visiting DeJoux... We missed it.     Before we left we put up some Christmas decorations.   I hope the neighbors noticed.  I think this is the most lived in the house has looked for many years.   Driving down the road you really did see our illuminated wreath.

The inside of the house has also become much more usable.   The open loop geothermal heat pumps work excellently.  They keep the house warm and we never seem to run out of water.  The Nest thermostat tells us how often the heating comes on, even when we are away.   Even in this cold weather it does not come on too much..which suggests the insu…

Oh Sandy!

It had been such a wonderful weekend and the Smoketree looked spectacular.  It may look like this photo has a filter but this truly was the amazing color of the tree this weekend.   Last week I'd spoken to a journalist recently about the tree because he'd heard about it's size and splendor.

He asked for a photo of me with the tree.  We took a couple but they were never used.   It was a bit of an odd article in the end.

You can read it here: Tree article.

It was our favorite weather blogger Hudson Valley Weather who first told us of "Sandy".   Alex who writes the blog posted the following over a week before Sandy landed in New York.

"The most popular name the next week will be “Sandy” and what is to ultimately become of the storm that as of this morning is nothing more then a cluster of thunderstorms in the Caribbean. There has been very little changes overnight in models thoughts on another landfalling tropical system for the Northeast, below are images…