Sunday, November 28, 2010
IF we begin construction in June, we've signed on for site prep duties for the homesite along with the task of trenching in and laying water pipes, clearing a path for electric poles, clearing the large septic field. Making a driveway. Starting/finishing work on all 14 doors. Re-wiring old lights. Re-furbishing the old oven. Researching the actual meaning of "refurbishing" an old oven.
It's quite ludicrous when I see this all written down.
Due to this ludicrous-ness (Yep, it's a word. I just made it up) we felt a "To-Do" list of epic proportions was in order. I rattled off this list while driving to another family Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. Jer recorded the list while I drove and sent it to me via email. I have yet to open the email. I am intimidated.
Which got me thinking. What's the deal with to-do lists anyway? Are they really all that useful? Don't they just create undue stress in an already tense situation (life)? What's with all the added pressure?! Because, come on, if stuff's really that important, don't we usually get around to it in the end? Can I get an amen?
Tonight I am alone in the house while Jer spends the night at the land. It's the perfect opportunity to crack open the list he sent me, face my demons, act like an adult and get moving. But I've been sidetracked by a glass(es) of wine and the Coal Miner's Daughter. And I'd rather work on a very different list.
After careful consideration I've created the following list to help guide me through the spring - if not life. Feel free to use this as your own general road map, and please do re-prioritize as you see fit.
1. DON'T pass up a glass of wine for any reason. Unless it's a really good reason.
2. DON'T over-clean your house. Clean it once in awhile and feel quite proud of your work. Then just forget about it until someone complains.
3. DON'T live by lists. If you feel the urge to create one, just jot stuff down on a post-it and leave it lying around the house. At some point in the future, find the post-it stuck under a magazine. Say "Oops, I forgot to do that" and then shrug your shoulders. It's therapeutic.
4. DON'T, as they say, sweat the small stuff. If you do sweat the small stuff, like myself, then refer to #1.
5. DON'T forget to repeat #4.
6. DON'T ever go through life without a pet or access to some sort of animal.
7. DON'T get pushed around. In any situation.
8. DON'T just trust your instincts; follow them.
9. DON'T pass up a glass of wine for any reason. Oh! I already said that.
10. DON'T listen to me. I'm still working on achieving most of these. But doesn't this beat the hell out of a TO-DO list?
Sunday, November 21, 2010
99% of the time. That leaves a whole percentage point open for error. When you're talking about a donkey, that's a vast expanse. This long-winded story set-up leads us to a recent day at the land. Jer and I were patting the donkey herd through the "newly" built fence. At this particular moment, we were remarking on the wonderful invention of fences and the beautiful safety and freedom this fence afforded us so as not to always be worried about the donkey sneak attacks we'd grown so accustomed to. With the fence, we created a "controlled environment" in which The Humans exert their power and superiority over The Asses. Order was restored. The world was right. I was enthusiastically discussing the fact of how we so cleverly created a safe distinction between Us and Them; a designated animal space on these wild acres that had gone untended for so many years. At this precise moment I felt something grab me in the most unfortunate place. My eyes shot down in a panic to see that Boo had managed to quietly push his gigantic head through the narrow gate bars while we talked, had managed to slowly crane his neck waaaaaay out towards my chest, had managed to grab onto something and, once there, managed to tug backwards ever. so. slightly.
Remember the land? It's that big lump of dirt that we have to somehow make useful. It's gotten a little lost in the excitement of Marta and the cabin but it's still out there, costing money and growing more tangled by the day. Perhaps my contributions will emerge through goat handling/cheesemaking since my fence-mending and post-hole digging "skills" are just crap. Perhaps a few goats will lead to selling raw milk and fresh cheeses. It won't pay all the bills, but it could bring a bit of spare change and make this girl very happy, to boot.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
That there's Matilda inspecting the overturned canoe after managing to knock it off its side where it leaned against a tree. She put both front legs in it right after the photo was snapped, trying it out for size, but decided it might not hold her. Mostly I enjoy Seamus's "been there, done that" attitude towards the entire situation. Ah, cows = endless entertainment. Or is that just me?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Aside from numerous electrical and other tasks involving switches and hoses (I'm already bored with this sentence), one of the first jobs was a new floor. Marta came to us a little more shabby than chic and the state of her floors elicited a slight gag reflex when I first stepped upon them in bare feet. Imagine the filthiest gym shower stall you've seen, but with 3 more years worth of grime and old cheese smell. Yep. Once the 'ol peel and stick "wood" floors were in place, we decided the next upgrade would be an addition to the "kitchen" (I use all room related words loosely when it comes to the trailer. Including the bathroom. Sigh). Jer's magnificent engineering skills were put to good use when he whipped up a new butcher block/table, tripling counterspace, and generally sprucing up the joint.
I don't even have a counter this nice at home! Thank you Ikea/Jer! Thank you very much.
So last weekend we commenced the Great Lean-To Build, 2010. This means that Jenna gets to man the tractor/auger in order to dig post holes while Jeremy breaks up rock and unruly clay. It's a job that involves a lot of cursing and sweating, on his part, and a lot of pulling levers, on mine. As farm tasks go, digging post holes ranks up there with watching a donkey castration. It's best to do no more than once a year.
And yes we did, oh yes we did, meet with the cabin builder. We met for over 2 hours and walked through their model cabins once again, as we did almost two year ago (pulls out hair). And would you believe it?! We love the damn things as much as we did the first time. And would you believe it?! We might be signing a building contract with them in a few weeks. And starting in June. But don't hold us to that, as plans are malleable around here.
So there are lots of changes. Change of house plans, change of routine, and changes of name. I've spent considerable time with the donkey herd, particularly the minis who are rarely mentioned here because I'm so very partial to the original star, Boo. However, those three ladies certainly have distinct enough personalities to merit a few name changes. Regardless of their high intellect, donkeys don't know their names (or, mine don't) so new names are basically symbolic. Fiona becomes Noni, to better suit her curmudgeony demeanor and short stocky physique (think: small Italian grandma). And Jasmine is easily a Jezebel since her....well..ok, she's basically an aggressive b*&%h and just trust that the name fits. And Brownie remains Brownie. The name I hated the most stays the same. She sidles up to everyone without stirring the pot or throwing things off kilter, just like the name of the dessert that everyone brings to potlucks. It (she) goes with everything.
Martha also underwent a change after our recent and manic bout of re-watching Arrested Development. From here on out we'll call her Marta. And yes I am talking about an inanimate object so if you're trying to follow a stream of logic, there is none.
But really the biggest change has to do with a definition. The home pictured in my mind for so long is now completely erased. Home is a cedar cabin. Home is a trailer. Home is the land.