For the first time in about as long as I can remember I actually took a few days off to do nothing and decompress thanks to the invitation by my friend Steve (spyderbaby) to come visit for a few days so I can see the cool old Victorian farmhouse he bought a few years ago & has been hard at work restoring.
I flew up after work on Friday the 28th and Steve met me at the airport – hard to believe it’s been 8 years since I saw him but he looks much the same aside from the fact that his hair keeps growing & now his dreads are down to his ass! His farm is about an hour north of Detroit near the little town of Holly & we stopped & had a late dinner in one of the little restaurants there surrounded by antique shops & a cool old Victorian hotel.
His place is amazing – a huge ornate farmhouse built around 1860 with lots of fancy woodwork & inlaid patterns in the floors etc. He’s done an amazing job so far in restoring it though he still has a ways to go but it’s wonderful to see such a great place preserved & being brought to its original glory.
He also built a chicken house out back & I swear he went thru the chicken catalog & ordered all the weird looking ones as he has a neat little flock of usual looking birds, plus three turkeys (“Bob”, “Bob” and “Bob”), two African brown geese & about a dozen various kinds of ducks, plus he was ducksitting a half dozen extra ducks for a neighbor who’d gone away. The upside of having a ton of chickens is eggs eggs eggs – several dozen a day, Steve pretty much gives them away to his friends & just ask they return the cartons for refilling. Never had “farm fresh” before but they were delicious!
And inside are the kitties – Taz the old fellow I had met back at his parent’s house, Lucy the extremely vocal blue gritty kitty who obviously runs the place and wants you to know that, Sadie the little grey & white former feral who used to roam the grounds and took a long time to learn to trust Steve but now is very content to be a house cat & claim her own sofa, and Puffy, the little scaredy cat Persian rescue who mainly lives on a heat grate in the pantry where he soaks up the warmth. Last but not least is Hadley, a huge black dog who is a rapidly growing adolescent puppy who is extremely friendly but doesn’t quite grasp that 80 lb dogs aren’t the best lapdogs. Hadley ate my shoes (well he chewed the straps off my Mary Janes but thankfully Steve got me another pair as they are my work shoes)
Steve’s been really busy as after tons of hard work things are taking off with his band Spyder Baby – he’s got a new record label, Blind Prophecy Records, and will have an album out followed by a tour this spring and was busy meeting with his accountant & talking to his manager making arrangements. When he goes on tour I hope to join up with them for a few days to do some concert shots :)
I'm so glad to see things taking off for him as he’s worked his butt off for so many years – I remember back when he was 17 him coming to visit me on the Greyhound with his guitar, and going with him to Trent Reznor's studio in New Orleans when he auditioned for Marilyn Manson - LOL perhaps as well he didn't get that gig, it sure didn't do that much for Zim Zum's career! ;) Hopefully he’ll get a chance to come visit before the tour starts.
Spend an ungodly amount of time just talking and catching up on stuff & staying up until 4-5 in the morning each night yakking, also made the rounds of the antique stores and I got lucky and found a very cool old Gladys Brown Edwards sculpted Arabian horse trophy that had been won by one of the greats of the breed, Synbad, who later went on to become National Champion stallion. I already had a similar one but I figure I’ll sell the other on ebay & keep this one for its historical significance. And after a hard day shopping we ate in a wonderful little restaurant called the French Laundry.
New Year’s itself we bathed the cat! Poor little Puffy, he’s kinda high maintenance, at least he’s good about being bathed and enjoys the warm water but is not so keen on the blow dryer & hid under the tub so Steve just lay on the floor pointing it at him! Silly little cat, he looked so nice once he was all clean :)
It was really good to see Steve again, it had been too long, I’d almost forgotten so many of the crazy times we’d had…so good to reconnect, after loosing Jree I’m determined to keep in better touch with my friends…. Had to learn the hard way to appreciate them.
Tons of photos here:
Flickr gallery – visit to Steve’s place
the old Hadley Farm, circa 1860
Steve, Bob and Bob
Hadley chasing Bob
The chicken house
This rooster is a "Jersey Black Giant" and the breed comes from NJ...3 quesses what the big black cock's name is and the first two don't count...
Rose prefers the house to the chicken house
Here she is on the sofa with Steve after refusing to come into the chicken house -she'd hid under the porch while he was rounding everybody up
Steve & a freaky looking Turken
Steve & Hadley-
Keep Your Ducks in a Row!
Puffy gets a bath
And a blow dry
Beautiful view New Year's day-
inside the house...
not only is that a jackalope, it is a rare FLYING jackalope!