What an odd time for us all. I hope this note finds you all safe and healthy. Everyone here has been well so far. My son is out at the farm holding down the fort, and I am home with Amelia. My job as a mail carrier is essential, but I am home with an injured leg recouperating. I wish I could give you a big list of tasks that I have managed to accomplish, but I have just been relaxing with my leg propped up in between physical therapy appointments. This week I made it a goal to work on some tasks that I wouldn’t normally have time for. I have been teaching Amelia, my eleven year old, how to cook. So far we have made baked apple cupcakes, and cookies, and made homemade tzatziki sauce. I tried to pick recipies with a lot of ingredients to measure so she can work on math skills too. I have been doing a watercolor a day following along with some YouTube videos. I had bought watercolors and paper in January as a New Years goal to paint more. Monday was the first day I had opened them.
I hope you all are trying new things and spending time with your families as you can. So far, I have only had to change a few things out at the farm. I had some showings that I have had to change, and Riverside Paranormal has changed their public investigation to July 18th from May 16th. I am hopeful that I will be able to hold the Craft Show and Open house on Memorial Day, May 25th. Watch the website and Facebook page for updates. I keep thinking that things will start getting back to normal, and that hasn’t happened yet. I know other businesses haven’t been as fortunate and the virus has created havoc with many events. I would urge you to support local businesses as best as you can right now, and after the quarantine as well. We will all get through this together.
In the meantime, what things have you been working on? I would love to see some of your art projects. I might do some watercolor classes next year after I get some more practice.
Stay well! Hope to see you safely soon.
Wedding booking season is in full swing and I have been busy answering questions about the wedding venue at the farm. Outdoor weddings are so popular right now and the pictures are so beautiful. I can see why brides want that gorgeous outdoor wedding. Since the Cambre House is primarily an outdoor venue the question about rain comes up often. I thought I would share the tips that I share with brides here to help more people. Not every one of these tips are going to work for every bride, but hopefully they will give you some ideas.
I listened to a bride and groom tell the story of their wedding where it poured rain on their outdoor wedding all day long, and into the evening. Everything had been moved into the tents they had rented for the wedding, so it wasn’t too disappointing, but it still wasn’t exactly what they had planned. They couldn’t remember how it got started, but some how they ended up doing a mud slip and slide in their gown and tux with the entire bridal party. Talk about a memorable wedding! They couldn’t talk about it with out looking at each other and laughing, and said that their friends still bring it up often even now decades later. To me, that sounded just about perfect.
I have been working hard on getting the schedule put together for 2020. Several brides and paranormal teams have contacted me to make bookings and I couldn’t be more thrilled that our schedule is starting to get full. If you haven’t contacted me yet for your date this year you should do that as soon as possible so you can get in before we are completely full. The public event schedule for the year has been set as well. I am very excited about what the year has in store for the farm!
In May we will hold our fourth annual Memorial Day Craft Show and Open House. This is held on the Monday of Memorial Day weekend from 10am to 4pm. I have some great vendors lined up, but still have space for more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the application to get signed up. This year the barn will be open! After all the hard work put in this fall getting it ready the barn will be open for the public. I have a limited number of inside vendor spaces in the barn and am excited to finally have this area ready for the public. Fat Frieddy’s food truck will be there this year with some really tasty offerings. After last years crazy weather day I think we are overdue for an amazing day of fun. As always, this event is free to the public and the house will be open for free tours all day. This is the one day of the year to just come in and wander through and see what we are all about.
June will be the Summer Soltice ghost tours and Paranormal Faire. June 19th and 20th will be ghost tour nights. Along with Chad Derry and Augusta Paranormal, Raven Rose Paranormal will be helping out both nights with tours. Two paranormal teams for the price of one! Saturday night will be extra special because we will have Kelly McCarville psychic medium, and Chris Neilsen of Paranomadic helping with tours as well. Saturday nights tours will be three hours long and will be a phenomenal time. Bookings for both nights will start on May 1. Watch the Facebook page for when they go live, you do not want to miss these! The Paranormal Faire will feature Paranormal Teams (Raven Rose, Paranomadic, Augusta Paranormal, and more!), Psychic Medium Kelly McCarville, other Haunted Locations (Granger House), and more. There will be speakers througout the day on paranormal topics and the house will be open to investigate on your own. $5 per person paid at the gate will get you access to all the vendors and speakers.
July will be Waterloo Bridge Painting Classes on July 17th at 5pm and 18th at 1pm. This is one of a series of paintings that Monet did of the Waterloo Bridge. I think it looks a bit like Fort Madison and you are welcome to paint it that way if you choose. This class is open to all ages and skill levels. We walk you step by step through creating a masterpiece in this three hour class. We provide all paints, brushes and canvas, and a snack and water. Feel free to bring your own beverage and a snack to share. Class is $25 per person and must be booked in advance.
August will be Starry Night Painting Classes on August 14th at 5pm and 15th at 1pm. Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night class is one we offered our first year of classes and has been a popular request so I thought we would do it again. There is a special Harry Potter version of this painting that you can do as well. This class is open to all ages and skill levels. We walk you step by step through creating a masterpiece in this three hour class. We provide all paints, brushes and canvas, and a snack and water. Feel free to bring your own beverage and a snack to share. Class is $25 per person and must be booked in advance.
October will be our Fall Ghost Tours during the last two weekends of October. October 23rd and 24th and 30th and 31st. This year Halloween falls on a Saturday and is a full moon. Very excited to be able to offer ghost tours on this special night! Bookings for the fall tours will start on September 1st. Watch the facebook page for when they open up and more information on these tours.
I think this year is going to be a great year for the farm and I am looking forward to seeing you at our events.
And just like that ghost tours are over for the year. We had a great turn out for the tours and memorable experiences were had by all. The tours this fall had some amazing activity. We added some great stories to tell during the tours. As always we love seeing the pictures you took during the tour, so be sure to send them to us. The first weekend was cold and wet, but it didn’t stop everyone from having a good time. The barn worked perfectly to start the tours in and we stayed warm with the patio heater. We even had some ghostly activity out in the barn. This was the first time we have had the barn to the point where we could actually investigate inside it. I had one tour where I demonstrated the diving rods and they crossed before I could do it myself. Overall both weekends were very active. Typically we investigate outside as well, but with the weather being cold and drizzly for most of both weekends we stayed mainly inside either the house or the barn.
For me personally one of the most startling experiences happened friday evening last weekend. We had been sitting in the living room getting ready for our first tour and we thought we saw a car pull in. So I put my coat on and was getting ready to go out the front door when there was a knock at the door. I thought the group had made it to the door and knocked while I was in the process of getting my coat on. When I opened the door no one was there. The first group of poeple were still sitting in their car.
The absolute best experience was had by a woman on her very first ghost tour. The group was in the upstairs bedroom and she was looking down at the K2 in her hand. It started lighting up and she turned to the person standing next to her to show them. She thought she was standing next to another person on the tour in a white jacket. She wasn’t. In fact when she looked up, the person she had seen next to her was not there at all. The person in the white jacket was on the other side of the room.
All in all a great couple of weekends. Thank you all for making the ghost tours a successful event. We are looking forward to our summer ghost tours during Summer Soltice on June 19th and 20th.
The hard work we put in over the summer has finally paid off in a useable barn. When I bought the farm the barn was solid, but mainly a very dusty storage area. Various ideas were debated about updating the barn, including making it into a house (which would have cost as much a building a new house), or just knocking it down. I couldn’t bear the thought of knocking it down, but wasn’t sure where to start on the renovation. Finally this spring I decided on just making it useable.
Last summer during one of our many barn planning sessions we discovered that the floor had considerable dry rot. To the point that we were falling through the floor in spots. So the first step was pulling out all the floor boards. Fortunately the joists underneath were sturdy. I had a termite inspection done, just to be on the safe side and everything looked good there. A friend came to help and redid some of the siding. This was followed by many more barn planning sessions. My contractor has many different plans drawn up for the many different ideas we had. After much planning and discussion I decided I would just work on putting it back together to make it useable and work on adding the grand plans as I have money to do them.
The first step was to put the floor back down. My son and my parents helped add a plywood subfloor. Then we added some temporary walls. Based on the forecast for the weekends of the ghost tours I knew I was going to try to heat the barn somehow and by adding in a wall it would give a smaller area to heat and block off a large opening. My son added some plastic sheeting on the ouside walls to block the breeze and we moved in our patio heater. Some edison lights and we had lighting!
Our first weekend of ghost tours was cold as predicted, however the barn stayed fairly warm and worked well for starting the tours in. Much better than sitting outside on the patio in the rain. I am so happy with this project. It is far from complete, but it is useable. Future plans involve finishing the leanto areas to make them functional as well, and possibly a bathroom.
October is almost here and I have been busy getting ready for our annual ghost tours. If you haven’t been on one, they are a fun experience. So what are ghost tours? Our tour is a paranormal investigation of the farm. The two hour tour gives you an introduction to a paranormal investigation like you see on Ghost Hunters. We often call this Ghost Hunting 101. I cover the types of paranormal activity, including what you might experience at the farm, different types of equipment used to try and document paranormal activity, and give a history of the house including the activity experienced on the farm. The best ghost stories are often those you experience yourself. I cannot guarantee that you will have a paranormal experience on your tour, but I can say that you will have a good time and you might have an experience.
Want to hear me talk about it? I will be on a few podcasts this month. First will be REP Paranormal and Friends which will be live on Spreaker.com tonight, September 26th 8/7c. https://www.spreaker.com/show/rep-paranormal-and-friends I will chatting with Kim and Allison about the house and paranormal activity. Should be a fun chat! Next up is the Graveyard Shift podcast. The graveyard shift team came to the farm on Sunday and recorded a two part episode, the first part will go live on Friday September 27th. They are on apple podcasts, google play, podbelly, and several other platforms. Look for them where ever you listen to podcasts. The first episode goes into the history of the farm and the Cambre family. The second part I go over paranormal activity we have had at the house and they talk about the investigation they did on Sunday. It was a great chat and I am excited for you to hear it. The last one will be later this month. I will share more information on that when it happens.
The first weekend of ghost tours is almost completely full. Thank you all for taking the time to book your tour! I will be starting to book the second weekend today. November 1st and 2nd will be our second weekend of tours. Please text 309-221-9803, message us on facebook, or email email@example.com to make your reservation. Looking forward to seeing you all on the tour!
We are planning to have 2 painting classes offered this summer.
Led by artist Amy Provine, we will walk you step by step through creating your own masterpiece. $25 per person. Class size is limited, so you must register in advance. We provide paints, brushes, and canvas. Bring your own drink and snacks. Learn impressionist brush strokes and coloring. Open to all skill levels. Classes last 3 hours. We are offering two opportunities for this painting. Friday evening at 5 pm, or Saturday afternoon at 1pm. Call or text 309-221-9803 to book.
Cezanne inspired still life will be July 26th at 5pm and also offered July 27th at 1pm
Monet Hay Stacks Landscape will be August 23rd at 5pm and also offered August 24th at 1pm
Paranormal investigation of the house and farm. Tours will be in the evening of June 21st and June 22nd. Group size is limited to 10. Must be over 16. Check back for more details closer to the date.