Andrew's Blog

A City Boy Making His Way in the Country
January 2012

Brilliant Asylum.

Sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in an asylum, albeit a brilliant one. Dogs are always barking, jumping, and looking for some form of cashmere to chew up and spit out like an Old Navy t-shirt. Sheep are BAHing constantly, in the hopes of getting more grain. Goats moan. Our newest goat, Maryellen, is used to riding in the front seat of a pick-up truck and eating french fries. For her, Orchard House is a new reality. And, like Edmond Dantes, she is none-too-happy with her current situation.

Cats are constantly walking on keyboards,sleeping on treasured pieces of clothing, and meowing at 4 a.m. in what can only be a daily audition for Stanley Kowalski. Ain’t no one getting the part, so can’t they just be quite?

Mud continues to grow deeper and deeper. If I didn’t know the amount of manure mixed in it, I would think of opening a spa! Although, perhaps an “Alpaca Droppings Wrap” could be the next craze! Get me one of those Kardashains on the phone – they’d be just dumb enough to buy it! With the weather freezing and then warming, and then freezing and then warming, fresh water can be difficult to maintain.

But when you have a little llama eating grain from your hand, or a baby goat, that’s 8 inches tall, jumping on your knee, life can be great – nay, brilliant! Our three dogs are like 4-year-old triplets, that don’t ever seem they’ll grow up. While crazy, it’s never boring. And the exercise! I’m continually reminded that while like can be intense, and trying at times, it continues to be a wonderful life! And I didn’t even have to jump into a river to figure this out!

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From this picture, you’ll see we’ve had some snow. Being the first big storm of the winter season, it’s been interesting to see how all the animals are reacting. From the picture, you’ll also see there are no animals in the fields. They remain huddled in the barns, chewing on hay, and dreaming of warmer days.

Bacon gets to eat in his house when it snows like this. There’s no need for him to leave his straw-filled bed in search of dinner, when it can just as easily be delivered to him. He seems to enjoy it. The ducks have also retreated to the barn, where their isn’t much water, but the straw is thick, and the heat lamp is a-glowin’.

It’s been snowing pretty steadily for about 24 hours, with some areas highlighting 18 inch snow banks. Wally gets lost in these snowy areas, Bob Evans just jumps in and out of them, like it’s a sweet spring morning. I used to love snow, and I guess I still do, but when you have frozen hoses and have to truck out in huge snow banks twice-a-day, it gets old real fast. But soon enough, it’ll be 99 degrees with no water and I’ll be moaning about that just as much. It’s the circle of life, as predictable as ever.

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I closed my eyes for one second…

And it seems taxidermy is the new Jonathan Adler. (P.S. thank god anything is chicer than a stupid white ceramic animal.) This “stuffed” craze seems to have taken over every interior designer in America. Look at the picture to your right for an extreme version.

I have nothing against a stuffed head on the wall. An eland or gazelle or boar can look great. And, depending on the animal’s death, can be great for the small local communities where they were harvested. But when Martha Stewart starts highlighting stuffed birds, and places them as the centerpiece on a dining room table, the envelope may have been pushed a tad bit too far. For starters, me thinks no one wants to eat with a dead animal in the middle of the table – unless covered in a delicious glaze with a side of roasted potatoes. And second, who the heck is making a centerpiece out of dead birds? That ain’t Peoria.

Luckily for the PETA’s among us, this craze is so widespread that you can buy numerous examples of faux taxidermy. Cardboard heads, cloth heads, and cement racks are adorning the walls of America as quickly as designer cupcakes are popping up on kitchen counters. It’s very Beauty and the Beast meets the 21st century. But then again, what’s old is (always) new again.

And the next trend is going to be? Paint-by-number vintage pictures? They’re sure trying hard! Please tell me what you think. I love to be ahead of the curve. Things are so much cheaper that way!


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Things I love. Right now. at 11:00 a.m., 1-8-2012.


I’ve been cruising the design blogs, getting great ideas, and loving color combinations even I’m not brave enough to attempt. Sure, there are some real misses, and some houses that look like Restoration Hardware threw-up inside them. Reading all this, I got to thinking. Why don’t I share some of the things I love right now. Lord knows, I’m not too trendy. But I do enjoy beautiful things. And gorgeousness. So without any further ado:

Right now, I love…

– Things with pinecones. Less L.L. Bean, more Black Forest.

– The color pink.

– Old Royal Doulton plates with wise sayings on them.

– The new Parent Trap. (Maybe not so new, but I’ve been re-introduced.)

– Cheap oil paintings from ebay.

– Peacocks.

– Clean, purposeful clutter.

– Taking Don’s expensive vitamins without him knowing.

– Oriental rugs.

WPA oil painting. $40.

Not an exhaustive list, but important things none-the-less! I’d love to know what you’re interested in these days. What’s your cat’s meow? Colors, designs, foods…let me know! After all, I can’t follow everything out there – and if you’re hiding a fabulous find from me, I’m going to be very angry.

If you’re in the mood, please follow me on – you can find me at Andrew Kohn. And if you need an invite, let me know. I’ll be happy to get you into this very fun on-line club. We can be chic together! There’s no one I’d rather share a glass of champers with and muse the current trends in outdoor living and wallpaper patterns.

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I’ve misplaced a peacock or two.

I can’t help but think about that Seinfeld episode where Elaine is sitting at a party, and a woman keeps saying, “Where is my fiancé, I seem to have lost my fiancé.” And Elaine replies, “maybe the dingo ate your fiancé.”

A few days ago, it seemed I had lost my peacocks. They weren’t in the barn. I turned a corner, and one was sitting on top of the barn. I quickly morphed into Jack Hanna, and grabbed a stick with the intent to lift it off the roof and into the barn. It was going great until we reached the barn door, and that sucker took off in flight, heading into the sunset. It was like a moment from Free Willy or something. And then, the sun really did set. And they were both on their own in 20 degree weather for the night. India, this is not.

In the morning, they were found in the Christmas Tree Forest. Sitting on the ground, happy. And for the past few days, that is where they have stayed. Contentedly eating things off the forest floor and basking in the sun. The barn door is left open well after dark to allow them a safe haven from the scary world. They haven’t taken me up on the offer yet. Me thinks I got some pretty hardcore peacocks!

They have taken to living in a bramble den surrounded by actual barbed wire. I hadn’t noticed the barbed wire until trying to flush them out. It’s a real fortress they’re living in! Audi Murphy never had it so good! So with the peacocks found, I can rest easy. All the easier knowing that a dingo is a rare breed in Central Ohio!

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