Our New Home

Our New Home:
The Historic Rasmussen Farmhouse built in 1911

There are a thousand things I love about this house but perhaps my favorite
is that it is surrounded by giant old trees on all sides.  I especially love the old palm 
and the giant redwood on the side of the house.

The view from my breakfast table 

Matjilia (Ma-til-i-ha) Poppies in full bloom by my front door

Casual Mother's Day Lunch for 29 adults and 30 children on our back deck

The hidden Grist Mill behind our house.  The Mill is hidden behind the trees in 
the creek and almost no one in the valley even knows it is there.   I had already
walked on the road under the mission thirty times and or more before my friend, Christy,
took me through the creek and out the other side to this Mill.  It was built in 1820
by Joseph Chapman who escaped from a Pirate ship and was sentenced to a firing squad.
Instead he was paroled to Mission Santa Ynez where he built this mill. 
It is the reason my road is named Old Mill Road

 Rob and Me at the Masquerade Ball on the left
(after we removed our masks since they were too itchy)

Rob on a walk behind our house

Duddy and Princess running through the fields behind our house

Cecile Brunner Roses blooming over the cottage in the back garden.
Something is always blooming in this garden and when one flower ends 
another begins.

The house glowing at night with lights over the side garden

I haven't written for awhile because there have been lots of major changes in my life:  the first one being that I met a wonderful man we have all moved into a new home.  Rob and his son, Bobby, my two girls, our dogs, Princess and Duddy, and the cats, Tiger and Lily, have all created a new family together.  (Rob's daughter is in college in Oregon and came down during Spring break and will also be a part of the blending process.)  As I told one of my closet friends:  being divorced and merging two families together was not the script I had written for my life, yet this new chapter is certainly filled with a chance for happiness.  I think it is always hardest on the children no matter how many good things come from the new circumstances.  I think children, and many of us, have an idea of what a "normal" family is and there is a growth process as we all adjust to becoming a new family.  In our situation, the process was certainly made easier by moving into the most charming house I could ever imagine with one of the kindest and most supportive men I've ever met.

The pictures above tell most of the story.  We are still getting settled and hanging pictures and arranging things the way we'd like to have them.  I, of course, moved all the kitchen things in first and I've been cooking a ton since the third day of being in the house.  My Mom and Dad and Uncle Ray have come over for dinner often.   The kitchen and garden are ideal for entertaining with multiple options for seating and dining.

The house is so cute I keep feeling like I'm on a set for a commercial.  Whether I'm sitting in the Adirondack chairs under the giant pine tree in the back yard or on the rocking chairs on the front porch it all just seems picture perfect.  Those of you who have known me for years know that life has not been picture perfect and that is probably what makes this new chapter even sweeter.  I love almost every part of the house from the original doorknobs on the old wood doors to the hardwood floors to the root cellar that was necessary since the house was built before refrigeration was invented.

Because the kitchen is such a joy to cook in there will be lots of recipes to come and hopefully lots of times to write once the last of the boxes are unpacked and sorted through and everything gets settled.  At this point I'm still pinching myself because it all seems like a wonderful dream.  And for all of you who may be going through a rough patch in your life, I'm living proof that you never know what delightful thing may be waiting for you around the next corner.

"So many people decorate to impress, but my favorite houses have life in their rooms.  There are animals.  You can tell the owners throw parties."  --Prentiss Douthit


Hi Maili, You are an inspiration! Not only do I enjoy your writing, but I adore your new home. I'd like to learn more about the Mill, and walk under the Mission too! Sounds like a fun field trip the next time I am home. Wishing you and your family many blessings, healing thoughts and laughter-filled days. Your Friend, Tiffany Smith Nielsen.
Maili Halme said…
Tiffany, when you are walking that loop under the Mission you will see a way to go under the creek. It looks a little scary and more precarious when there is water in the creek, but the water is almost dry now. The trees are low and it truly doesn't look like it will go anywhere. When you come out the other side you will walk to your left and then the Mill will surprise you. There are actually two buildings and they are amazing! It is such a wonderful secret spot.
susanbuchanan2 said…
Thanks for sharing your joy and your home best wishes Sukey
Bonnie said…
Those are some really great pictures. I am sure you are thrilled to call it your own. It looks like a great home too. I love your back deck and yard and I am in love with how you decorated for mother's day. I am sure you will make many wonderful memories while you are living there with your family.

Margaret @ Boston North Shore Real Estate
Shelley Hubbard said…
There is no better feeling than purchasing that first home. The same feeling can be felt when one is able to locate and purchase the prime real estate of their dreams. It is certainly very nice to be able to find a resource and avenue to find that perfect home.

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