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building a modern farmhouse

Why we Built A Modern Farmhouse – Part 1

Filed in Exteriors, House Tours and Ideas, Interiors, Our House, This is Us — April 12, 2019

It was so weird. I was careful what I ate, I lifted weights, I generally tried to take care of myself. 

But suddenly, I was sick, and not with just one aliment. My medical records were filling up fast…scary fast.


Long story short, from January to June 2017 I had developed a multitude of unexplainable symptoms that were bringing me down fast. 

After months of intensive testing, still no explainable cause to my symptoms. Below are the main ones. I know the list looks ridiculous, but I’m not kidding.

These were the worst sypmtoms:


breast lump development

extreme sensitivity to light

blurry vision

difficulty finding words

brain fog

red rimmed eyes

extreme fatigue & weakness

shortness of breath


upper abdominal pain

difficulty swallowing

reaction to almost every food

extreme nausea


extreme morning stiffness

extreme night sweats while feeling cold

menstrual cycle disruption

I felt like a hypochondriac

I felt like a fool going back to the doctor over and over again. None of my symptoms matched up logically with another. I started to feel like a hypochondriac, except I wasn’t. 

I really did not feel right. Something was wrong. 

By this point, it wasn’t just my health failing. My toddler daughter and husband were demonstrating odd symptoms as well.

Mallory was 2 1/2 years old at the time and she was constantly sick. Hers’ were primarily respiratory, including pneumonia and aggressive allergy like symptoms. However, over time, she was even pointing at her upper abdominal region saying it hurt when she ate. 

Mark had the least symptoms of all of us, but his allergies and insomnia were getting worse.

I was desperate to figure out what was going on.

I’ve always loved science and anatomy, so naturally that’s what I studied at ISU. I am absolutely not a doctor, but with my basic understanding of anatomy, I dug into research mode. Every spare moment I had, I devoured health podcasts, articles, and made phone calls. 

One day on a health podcast, the host was interviewing someone who had unknowingly been living in a house full of mold. 

As the guest rattled off his long list of mismatched symptoms, I couldn’t stop the tears. I had almost every ailment he had been fighting.

His advice...get out of the moldy environment now!

For weeks I had this discussion with myself, “No…no way…it couldn’t be that. I mean, there’s mold everywhere outside. Surely it’s something else. Surely it’s not our farmhouse.” 

“But what if it is mold? What if?”

At this point I needed to talk to my husband about my suspicion; that our home could be making us sick. 

Ugh!! Ladies, you know what I’m talking about?! You have your “Mom hunch” or “spidey senses,'” alerting every cell in your body on how to protect your family…and yet you have no hard evidence and people look at you like you’re bat s**t crazy!! That’s the worst feeling, and that’s where I was.

To my surprise, when I brought up the topic of calling a mold inspector, I didn’t get much resistance. I had no clue who to call, so I jumped on Google and picked up my phone.

Within a couple of weeks, the first mold inspector came out to look over our house. 

We cracked open an access panel to the attic (which was next to our daughter’s bedroom) and suddenly, maybe, I wasn’t so crazy. 

Below is what we saw.

The underside of the roof decking was covered in mold. All that black you see, that’s mold growing. When the door opened, you could smell the distinct musty smell of it. 

The mold inspector also said, “I smell bat guano. You guys not only have a serious mold problem, but you have bats. Mold also thrives on bat guano.” 

We clearly had an issue, and we had absolutely no clue what to do about it.

to be continued...


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Hey there! I'm Finley Austen, a lifestyle blogger who's passionate about capturing the beauty of the world through photography, discovering new culinary delights, and exploring exciting travel destinations. With my camera in one hand and a fork in the other, I'm always on the lookout for my next adventure.

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East of Euphoria is founded by Finley Austen. A lifestyle blog located in Seattle, WA. offering inspiration and design services to help promote a stress free lifestyle with "intentional living".