Sunday, July 17, 2016

Certified Mail

Can you believe the USPS has lost certified mail?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Lost in the mail

It might sound like a cliche, but it is the truth. A number of the refund checks we mailed to those who entered the Rock Spring Farm essay contest have not been delivered.
If you are one of the unfortunate ones who has not received your check, you will. We had hoped when we published the post that by May 1 we would have written and mailed the reissued checks. We have not received the checks for the second account. Our target date is now June 1. We hope by then the remaining checks will have been written, mailed, received and cashed!
Randy and I would appreciate your patience and your prayers.

I posted the following on the RSF Facebook page April 8, 2016, in response to those who have been less than kind to us about the undelivered checks. 

The bank has offered a suggestion that Randy and I have decided to implement. Before I detail the plan, I want to advise that I will block ANYONE who attacks this plan or who posts another negative comment.
This plan will not cost anyone the stop payment fee. The hundred or so people who are waiting for the return of their entry fees will receive their refunds sent by certified mail. We will absorb the postage, so implementing the plan will not cost you anything.
JUST TO BE CLEAR: The plan the bank has suggested will ensure that each person who has yet to receive his or her refund will receive $200 without incurring a stop payment fee or additional postage.
As an aside: two checks cleared the bank today. We wrote one of the checks January 10 and the other February 22. As the postmaster assured me, the checks will arrive; no guarantee when.
Are you with me?
Do you understand you WILL receive your $200?
Randy and I will reissue the outstanding refund checks, but they will be issued from a different checking account.
We will close the current Rock Spring Farm checking account April 15, 2016, and transfer the money to the new checking account.
We will wait a week to close/open/transfer the funds to be sure that if you deposited your refunds today will not be charged a returned check fee. Once we close the current account, any checks drawn against the current account will be returned because the account will be closed.
YOUR BANK OR CREDIT UNION, most likely, will assess your account a fee. If you do not submit the RSF check for cash or deposit, you will not be charged that fee. We WILL NOT be responsible for any returned check fees!!!
You should receive the reissued check about May 1. It will be sent via the USPS and you will need to sign for it.
We WILL NOT PAY a stop payment fee for any reason for any check drawn on the new checking account.
If you have a different address, SEND your new address to us at the RSF e-mail account:
1. You will receive your $200 entry fee from a different checking account;
2. You will not have to pay a stop payment fee;
3. At our expense, we will send your refund via certified mail;
4. You will need to sign for the envelope;
5. You will receive your check about May 1;
6. DO NOT deposit the waylaid check;
7. If you deposit the check that has been missing, our bank will return it to your bank;
8. Your bank, most likely, will charge you a return check fee;
9. We will not be responsible for YOUR return check fee;
10. We will not be responsible for any stop payment fee for checks drawn on the new checking account;
11. We will block anyone who posts a negative comment about anything, including this plan; and
12. If you have a new address, send it to us via the RSF e-mail address; do not send it to us via this site or a PM.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Rock Spring Farm is for sale. Price: BELOW MARKET VALUE!

Rock Spring Farm is for sale. This magnificent property is located on Virginia's Middle Peninsula about 10 miles north of Tappahannock in Essex County. The price is $615,000, which is below market value. If you are interested in buying the farm, please call Randy at 804-241-5200 or send an e-mail to, At some point, if a buyer does not come forth, we will list the farm with a real estate firm for a much greater price.

3,500 square feet, four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, two 1/2 baths
Beautiful sunroom overlooks the farm
View from the south
Master Bedroom
Dining Room
Enjoy grilled food year-round!!
900-square-foot, two bedroom, upscale cottage is rented and generates a nice monthly income!
1,400-square-foot workshop has HVAC!
5-stall barn with a loft
20 acres of hardwood trees

Visit our FaceBook page to see more photos of this stunning property!

Keep in mind that the cottage is rented to a retired police officer who recently completed paramedic training. He works for a firm that provides security detail for high-profile clients. He travels extensively and pays his rent on time. He would like to live on the farm for a long, long time.

Previous posts of interest:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Rock Spring Farm is for sale!

We learned a television station in New England announced our contest this morning. As much as we appreciate the publicity, unfortunately, it is about two months too late!
We canceled the contest the end of November because we did not receive enough entries. However, Rock Spring Farm is for sale! Please let us know if you are interested in buying it.
The price for contestants and visitors to this page is $615,000, if you enter into a contract with us before we list the farm with a real estate agent. We will do that once we finish purging the clutter! The market value for the farm is a lot more that the tax assessment, so you would acquire equity AND a beautiful farm!
Since we canceled the contest, Randy and I are writing refund checks as quickly as we can; we want you to receive your money as soon as possible.
We are writing refund checks in chronological order. We just mailed checks for most of the essays we received October 3. The rest of the October 3 refunds will go out Tuesday.
A couple of you have said you have not received the checks we mailed several weeks ago. For whatever reason, the mail is incredibly slow. Your check still may be en route to you. Part of the backlog can be attributed to the Christmas rush; since we are two weeks into January that no longer seems to be a viable excuse. We used your envelopes, so the addresses should be correct!
Our bank charges a $35 stop payment fee. If we need to issue another check, we will deduct the stop-payment fee from the second check.
Keep in mind MANY essays arrived without SASEs and/or entry forms. We truly appreciate the trustee's conscientiousness and attention to detail, or we would have no record of your entries. We will process those entries last -- after we refund the fees for essays we received in early November.
Please be patient. Refunding the entry fees is complicated due to cross-checking, verification, and the sheer number of essays we received; it is not a process we feel comfortable handing over to someone else. Several people have offered to help, and we appreciate their graciousness.
Keep in mind that the people who entered the contest in April and May waited eight months for their refunds. Those who entered in October and November will wait less than four months.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Rock Spring Farm announces "finalists"

Although the contest ended without our awarding the farm to a winner, Randy and I thought it only fitting to let you know which essays we had stacked in the "finalists" pile. We know you spent hours drafting, revising, and editing your writing. We know it was not an easy task! Just because an essay is not listed below does not mean we didn't like it or that the writing wasn't stellar.

Randy and I had many conversations about the merits of each essay. We agreed; we disagreed. Whittling the entries to the numbers listed below was an incredibly difficult task. The task was challenging because you wrote sincerely and from your hearts.The default pile always was the one with the label "finalist." We were a bit overwhelmed with the thought of eliminating any of the essays, and we certainly were glad we were not the ones who would be picking the winner!

The total number of essays listed here is a bit more than we announced. The reason is that several people submitted more than one essay, and several people were fortunate enough to have both or each of their essays counted as finalists!  

A special thank you goes to Dorine Mahan of Farham, VA. She submitted the first essay, which the trustee received April 17. Thank you, Dorine!

The essays in the finalist pile as of November 25 were:

20150617-01, Shannon Keyes, Zurney
20150627-01, Catherine Herbert
20150627-05, Cathleen Vernon
20150627-06, Anna Ahlbin
20150627-07, Lauren McDonald
20150627-09, Cara Donata-Parker
20150629-01, Amie Vollmer
20150701-03, Leslie Marshall
20150701-04, Janet Croon
20150701-05, Tracey and Richard Terwilliger
20150701-08, John Burkholder
20150701-09, Collin Burkott
20150701-13, Morgan Colonna
20150701-14, Nancy Garner
20150703-08, Angela Bassani
20150703-10, Melissa Rishel
20150703-12, Angela Bassani
20150703-17, Brit Carlson
20150703-24, Brittany Lea Neal
20150706-01, Kenneth Carr
20150706-03, Meghan Brown
20150708-02, Kathryn Mark
20150708-03, Kenneth Wagner
20150708-06, Jennifer Mason
20150803-02, Jessica Wilbourne
20150817-02, Shelby Honeycutt
20150821-05, Carol Minter
20150905-01, Marshella Merritt
20150908-05, Priscilla Britton
20150910-05, Margaret Trotman
20150910-08, Catherine Ford
20150916-01, Julie Davidson Shulman
20150916-11, Amity Stoddard
20150919-04, Stuart Jefferson
20150919-07, Stacie Miller
20150919-10, Steven Frye
20150919-20, Aubrey and Loretta DiVincenzo
20150924-01, Marshella Merritt
20150924-14, Nancy Garner
20151001-34, Anna Danielson
20151001-52, Lesa Mitchell
20151002-05, Sarah Liu
20151002-07, Jared Slater
20151002-15, Elora Forgie
20151002-18, Donald Carter
20151002-28, Carolyn Campbell
20151002-32, Keith Horswill
20151002-41, Stephanie Auer
20151002-42, Nancy and John Ness
20151002-83, John "Brock" Freyer
20151002-89, Adrienne St. Cyr
20151002-95, Jennifer Morris
20151002-117, Richard Jackson II
20151003-47, Denise Leerkes
20151003-55, Michael Anderson
20151003-72, Barbara Parsons
20151005-16, Dawn Hicks
20151104-05, Mary Ann Overfelt
20151106-01, Rachel Stanley
20151109-132, Patrick Smith
20151112-03, Katherine Loveland

I know this honor is bittersweet, but thank you for allowing us to peek into your families' lives!

Keep dreaming and planning!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Rock Spring Farm is for sale

Dear Contestants:
One of the benefits of this contest is that we have met you; thank you for being such awesome people. We are honored and humbled when reading your essays. We admire your courage, your brutal honesty about how you arrived where you are today, and your dreams for the farm. Your ideas are creative and range from simply sitting on the porch enjoying the view to helping soldiers heal and raising heirloom vegetables to rescuing horses.
Another benefit of this contest is that Randy has accepted it is time for us to begin our adventure! I am so grateful. Thank you for affirming his creativity and craftsmanship and giving him permission to dream and pass along his beloved Rock Spring Farm.
We are heartbroken that we have to tell you we did not receive enough entries for the judges to select a winning essay. Nothing would have made us happier than to have awarded Rock Spring Farm to one of you! We appreciate the countless hours you spent dreaming, crafting your essays, agonizing over just the right word to convey your thoughts, and, finally, waiting in joyful anticipation. We only can imagine your disappointment.
We cannot begin our adventure until we sell the farm. We are offering you the first opportunity to buy it. The price is $615,000, which is below market value. If you are interested in buying the farm, please send an e-mail to, or call Randy at 804-241-5200. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to finance the farm, but we can give you the contact information of the bankers with whom we work. If none of you is interested, we will list the farm with a real estate firm for a much greater asking price.
Keep in mind that the cottage is rented to a retired police officer who recently completed paramedic training. He works for a firm that provides security detail for high-profile clients. He travels extensively and pays his rent on time. He would like to live on the farm for a long, long time.
We sincerely regret we could not complete the contest as we had expected. We hope you continue to dream, work fervently to accomplish you goals, and live the life you envision. Thank you for sharing your hopes and dreams with us!
We will begin refunding entry fees December 1 in the order we received them.
Randy and Carolyn

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Antique walking wheel

Until I purchased this spinning wheel five years ago, 
it had been in the same Essex County family since the Civil War. $450

Three rocking horses

This antique doll rocker (#1) measures 27 inches tall  (19 inches to the withers) 
and 37 inches long tip-to-tip on the rockers. Original condition; showing signs 
that children enjoyed this toy! $350

Randy bought this horse (#2) at an antique store knowing that it is NOT an antique. 
He and Margie liked it and wanted to add this horse to their collection. It is 18 inches
 tall (13 inches to withers) and 21 inches long. $100

This toy horse/rocker (#3) on the rocker measures 15 inches to the saddle, 20 inches tall, and 23 inches long. Randy and Margie were told this was an antique and paid a lot of money for it. After they brought it home, they suspected it is not an antique. $150

Antique baby carriage in very good original condition

This antique baby carriage is in very good original condition. Since Margie and I did not have children, she collected dolls. Her favorites lived in the carriage. $425

Too much stuff!

Randy and I collectively have been married almost 70 years! We are like most American couples: we have too much stuff!!! With our impending move, we have to get rid of stuff. The most logical place to sell our stuff is this Web site. Pictures and descriptions of the stuff we will be selling will be interspersed with our posts about the farm and the contest.

George Carlin was a great comedian, although I never appreciated his language. If you can get past the four-letter words, his routine about too much stuff is hilarious. If you cannot get past his language, please skip the video!

If you want our treasured and beloved stuff, send an email to!

We have a ton of stuff to post, so check back often!