Author Topic: 2019 Farm Life  (Read 2315 times)

Hopalong

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #105 on: May 17, 2019, 02:43:53 PM »
What Lighter said. Mega dittos.

And you are far from "helpless", Amber hon.

I think what you face, as an amazingly competent woman facing the natural changes of aging, is befriending it. Or if not making friends with the modifications you are rational enough to make...at least making peace.

You can do this too. It comes to all of us. Denial doesn't help but the gradual compromises we ALL (no matter how Viking) need to make are not the same as capitulation to uselessness and helplessness just because we can't do everything EXACTLY the way we used to.

We are different. And that is okay. There's peace and beauty available about all this. You can find it.

It ain't over. You had a little accident. Forgive yourself. Consider mental space for those projects and plans that aren't herculean, from which just as much satisfaction can be gleaned.

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #106 on: May 18, 2019, 09:25:57 AM »
Thanks, ladies. I'm fine. The thoughts have been getting some analysis though.

Yes, I know - they're JUST a thought and as long as I don't bind myself to it - they're gone as fast as they occur to me. It's one of the real treasures in Buddhist philosophy. Whatever in our minds is ego, likes to think that every thought it can concoct is THE most true, important, and instinctive one EVER. I find the opposite is way more true, in actual practice.

I no longer care to know exactly where or how a particular thought-judgement about myself got bound to me. I scrutinize it on objective merits with actual examples from experience. With SO much noise in the world these days, I've got a lot of practice deciding if something is "important" to me or not; or if it's interesting, draws me, or is just something curious. So when the subject is my own thought - especially when it's colored in emotional judgement - I've been applying the same skills to it.

It was purely an accident. My last fender-bender was over 40 years ago; inattention due to a display of antique furniture along the roadway. LOL. This time, my position in the seat - due to the physical attributes of the vehicle and the maneuver - made it almost impossible for me to reach that pedal without at least a few more seconds to move. My path was clear until it wasn't; and there wasn't enough time for brain-body to manage all the info needed at the same time. Unique circumstances; my turn. My mistake about not getting the brake; but I can also see how superhuman-fast I'd have to move to do so. I was already not having such a "with it" day, too. Didn't WANT to go shopping, just decided to get it over with.

Usually, there's not a soul on our road too. So I wasn't expecting grand central station that morning.

As for getting old - I am dealing with that a LOT these days. Not so much physically. I've just never given much thought to BEING old(er). So, I've gotten the angst about mortality pretty much dealt with. It's the space between now and then, I'm concerned with.

So, the choice of the farm - turning this chunk of the Mother into a nurturing, peaceful, self-sustaining bit of dirt - was perfect for me. There is ALWAYS something to do or that needs doing. Chores repeat themselves; new ideas generate new projects; each sub-circle-system has requirements... which as I build them, I'm doing so with the idea that my physical abilities are just fine right now... but aren't always going to be. On the other hand - I am purposely making sure I don't make it so easy around here, that it contributes to physical decline.

But my over-active imagination - my blessing & curse - can't just always work until I die. NEW thought occurred to me, that I'm looking at this the wrong way. (Again! LOL) Why can't I just design that TIME between now and then, the way I want it? Or try to, anyway. I know better than to attempt to bend life to my ideas about it. But perhaps a truce of sorts can be negotiated. Work out a decent compromise... so life can continue on it's trajectory, while I "make pretties" along the way. Have adventures. That kind of thing.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #107 on: May 18, 2019, 01:05:16 PM »
Such a good thought, Amber.

Designing your time, the way you want it.

Again, it's about choices, and not taking what comes to us.  You can change course, add to the plan, or subtract. 

Does it sometimes feel like things are cemented in place?  Just FEEL that way?  Any part of it? 

Good to remind yourself nothing is forever, and you serve yourself.   

Just because you're doing things a certain way now,  or planning to do things a certain way,  doesn't mean you can't pivot.

You can, and it doesn't have to mean anything at all. 

Viking sKeP begins wielding power, sans judgement.

"Power resides where men believe it resides." 
Varys GOT

Rhetorical question here...

DO you feel empowered, fully, and without reservation or doubt, or the hitching of breath, or holding of it.... emotionally?  Physically?

You're right... you can write these next chapters for yourself.

Is there something there, you're not aware of maybe, that keeps you from feeling you're in control?

Glad you're feeling better, Amber.

Lighter



Hopalong

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #108 on: May 18, 2019, 05:40:01 PM »
I really like that idea too! Designing your time rather than endless projects.
Should help you prioritize.

You just seem so buried in construction, mega projects, etc., that at times I wonder if you'll miss a dimension. But that's me, socially dependent, and not physically strong, and just in a different place.

That said, I wonder if designing your time will include time for:
FARM Mega projects
FARM Minor projects
SOLO SELF Art
SOLO SELF Relationships tending or seeking
FAMILY SELF Hol et. al
COMMUNITY SELF Volunteering/3-D community activity

Hugs
Hops who is talking to herself, actually
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #109 on: May 19, 2019, 12:18:26 PM »
Yeah, no Hops. For one thing, I absolutely don't have the craving, desire, need to make images (art) anymore. It may/may not return. My creativity is going into the farm, planting, etc. And that's actually my kind of FUN. Right now, the clematis and rhododenrens are starting to fade from the height of their glory but they were absolutely gorgeous this year; roses are coming on and it'll soon be time for mountain laurel too. I have a lilac and really nice red raspberry to plant. A couple plum tomatoes; all the garlic & onions I planted are up... and I'm really glad I finished the kitchen beds, with Holly's help.

I have pre-paid my volunteering debt many years ago. I'm feeling more needy these days than generous; but that's transient. Tomorrow I could see someone that I could totally help and drop everything to do so. It's either directly person to person for me, or totally anonymous. There is nothing, no reason, for me to bother with anything in between. That just feeds ego.

There might be a few adventures left in me - but I don't know what they are yet. Investigating that. And my idea of "community" is much different than "normal". It's more like Vonnegut's korass. So that, I may not interact with someone for 20 years - and then when I do, we just take off from where we left off. It crosses time and space.

And I have one basic emotional need at the moment - fill that hole available for a guy who can assure me he's there for me... but doesn't suffocate me, that will let me do the same for him too. When I "crash & burn" emotionally, it's because even the strongest people crave someone to turn to, that they can lean on - emotionally, intellectually, mechanically - whatever.

Fortunately, that need isn't a constant; it's just a periodic thing. Like maybe every 6 months to annually; LOL. My pack of big brothers all look out for me and even try to stand-in for that need when it comes up, too. Ya can't beat that! No socks to wash. I get the most fabulous compliments from the married guys, actually. Guys my age or older; and the younger guys - Hol's age. They are super-sweet to me and very helpful. And it's like grandchildren - I can send them home again. LOL.

Some of them aren't the epitome of "tall, dark & handsome" or even that strong anymore - but if I call or say please help... they're right there. Even Ronnie. Maybe it's coz I don't ask - don't have to ask - that often. Got another guy, that we've been talking for years about a trade. He's making me something I've wanted for the long time, himself. I'm trading him something he's wanted for a long time. AND he's going to give my Rubicon a thorough going over. After he drives here from south of where I lived on the beach. We both know he's terminal due to some blatant medical malpractice; but he was the one person I could call at 3 am, 3 sheets to the wind and bawling my eyes out about Mike or madder than hell and he just let me vent, calmed me down, and helped me stop beating myself up over not being a trauma nurse or endowed with the power of life and death.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to stop hugging him when he gets here. LOL.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #110 on: May 19, 2019, 09:51:30 PM »
Wow.
You really do make deep connections with men, Amber.
And it's beautiful to hear about.

I hope the fella you described arrives soon and that connection gives comfort to you both.

I am finding myself stunned by connection with sweet M, who has been the most unexpectedly right arrival in my life, at 69... I am anchored for the first time in so very very long (maybe ever) in belonging, safety and trust. It is amazing. And he is reciprocating so overwhelmingly that I know it's real for us both.

Who'd a thunk it.

I am mentally sending you his cowboy twin.

love,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #111 on: May 20, 2019, 12:35:03 AM »
Skep, I'm sorry about your accident and glad there's no major damage, human or otherwise.  I think it's very easy to be off balance when you're facing the wrong way and going backwards instead of forwards!  You're body's doing everything in reverse so easy to see why your foot went to the accelerator rather than the brake.  It does shake you up, and sorting out repairs can be such a faff.  I hope you're okay and that everything gets sorted out fairly smoothly now xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #112 on: May 20, 2019, 01:26:54 PM »
Thanks Tupp. The insurance red tape has been remarkably easy. Never expected that; I was dreading it. But that went a long way toward me not getting stuck in blaming myself. Looks like it's going to get fixed; and when I have an ETA on that, I'll see if the guy who really wants to buy it is still interested - with full disclosure. It drives just fine. Just needs some pretty serious body work.

So, I need to spend time car shopping. I do NOT want another new, complicated car with all the electronic bells and whistles.

Hops, yes - when I find certain types of guys I tend to bind to them tighter than a tick. LOL. Even if they're not "mine" in that kind of relationship. And I am talking to a "cowboy" from one of the dating sites actually. 68 and training to race motocross in his age class. It's all very casual, easy and two people just talking with each other.

He seemed to take my ideas about having some major space & freedom within a relationship in stride. And the distance doesn't seem to bother him (he's in Texas). We'll see if we graduate to email.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #113 on: May 21, 2019, 12:52:01 PM »
He sounds interesting, Amber!
Will enjoy hearing how/if it grows.

My 17 y/o Honda CRV is an amazing car.
My favorite ever. Love driving it, being a bit
above the road so visibility is great, comfortable
off road, etc. Highly recommend 'em. And with the
delightful exception of the brake handle (see it, you'll
get it) all the controls are reality based (not designed
by somebody thrilled with layers of menus, etc.)


Good luck on the car choosing! I got this one used
(had been a soccer mom car) and it's kept on chugging.
No problems at all, just routine maintenance.

xxoo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #114 on: May 22, 2019, 08:45:28 AM »
Seems like we're testing the rule of thumb that things happen in 3s around here.

My older Rubicon - "Rudi" - is no longer in tip-top shape, and I dare not drive it until the issues get sorted out. It could be as simple as the gas being old; and the ethanol in today's gas tend to gum up fuel filters and such. Could just be O2 sensors. But until I can get it looked at, to know for sure - since I'm not much of a mechanic; can do some basic stuff - I dare not take the chance.

Friend of a friend is selling an older pickup; fairly priced at the low end for the work he's put into it. I need something to haul lumber, blocks & such... since delivery out here is beginning to get iffy. I'm feeling really motivated to spiff Rudi up and drive it regularly now, instead of something newer. It's only got 22K miles on it. My auto parts guy said - that's barely broke in. LOL. But I really DON'T go a lot, being a homebody. And once we bought the Cherokee - it sat at the beach too - not being driven much at all. That's going to take more than a thorough tune up; more of a project. But I'm committed. Rudi has always taken care of me; I'll take care of him - and more so, since he was neglected so long. I know better, but was honestly overwhelmed with "stuff" to take care of.

This morning, Hol is headed to retrieve the last of her stuff from Matt's, and tie up a few more loose ends in B'more. She's already gotten word that she might as well try to get work in Richmond, since nothing new is starting up in the other city. Which suits her just fine. There seem to be alot of endings going on in B'more right now - the bar she used to work in is closing it's doors the end of the month and the owner is moving on to other things. He did very well, and it was a very loved and inspirational place that went a long way to trying to help the city and it's inhabitants, but Hol thinks it's a good time and note for the owner to end this and do something else that works for him and his family.

She's finished the house plans for the Holly Hut too. Spending time in the travel trailer at Steve's has changed a lot of her ideas about what she "needs" in a space. So the main living space is essentially a one-room cabin. LOL. Bedroom suite is enclosed of course. Guest room on the first floor downstairs... as well as work space for sewing, etc.

Ricky is about finished with the road to the site. He's done a great job improving the drainage and I'm taking delivery sometime this week of 3 decent sized culverts he'll put in too. He's borrowing a big dump truck to add shale to firm up the road base, for the construction phase. And we talked about him coming back AFTER they're all done, to clean up what will likely be the mess the heavy trucks - well driller, septic, concrete - make while working. The bobcat is going to be useful in the finishing process too. I've been working on trimming trees back along the road and told Hol we can start clearing brush any time now.

I should mow the big garden field again; sometime this summer when we have some muscle around I need to get my disc up there and start working up the bed areas and finalize my plans for high tunnels. I might only have 2 and they won't be huge; but big enough that with crop rotation and soil amendment (compost) that we can keep things growing - enough to eat fresh 9-10 months of the year. But since I'm not pressing my luck right now with ANY major equipment (superstitious at this point; my luck seems negative right now - challenging me) I'm going to focus on getting the plants I've bought planted. Lilac found a good home yesterday. I've got a 100 sprigs of vinca to plant around the bare ground at the propane tanks - and need to add some topsoil on top, too. That's a bobcat job. Then, I'll have to reorder the rugosas since between the rain and the cold, they just didn't make it in their temp home.

And there is SOOO much tree pruning and brush clearing that needs to happen, I may be buying more tools and having "work parties"... LOL. JUST to keep mother nature at bay.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #115 on: May 22, 2019, 12:17:56 PM »
Oh I should come to one of those work parties.

My role is essential. It involves following around people doing Actual Work and asking insightful questions such as:

What does that thing do?
How does this widget work?
Oh my, doesn't that hurt your back?
LIFT WITH YOUR LEGS!
I don't have any lemonade, want some water?
Is this your dog? Cuuuuuuuuuuute!
How did you get into carpentry in the first place?
Want to share your family history? Those are fascinating!
Ever been in therapy?

For some reason, I'm not invited to many...

:)
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #116 on: May 23, 2019, 08:30:42 AM »
LOL Hops. That would be fine. Although, things like the wood splitter are rather loud. Might not hear your questions. I moved a row of rocks yesterday... along with more pruning/trimming/planting... all but 3 rocks that are just too big. My technique is to roll the bigger ones - not lift! And you have to get under it with a heavy steel bar first, to loosen it. Mind you, it works better rolling a big rock DOWNhill.

I get so far into the "zone" doing things like that, there often aren't any thoughts or words going through my head. And when they do, they repeat over & over again... like "What on earth were people thinking planting THAT this close to THIS?" If I have to stop and give directions to someone doing something else - it takes me a little time to "come back" enough to even have words again. This can cause misunderstandings; and it's something that with Hol here, I've been working on.

She does the same thing I do when working, and doesn't accept suggestions or reorientation or guidance during her process any better than I do. So, we sort all those kinds of things out prior to someone moving, gathering tools or gloves, and then go our own way until break time.

That means, we start to resemble a group of guys standing around looking at stuff for an hour before doing a blessed thing. LOL.

My secluded little "land that time forgot" is definitely a challenge to maintain up to my standards of "tidy". Mind you, I recognize I don't live in a suburban gated community where someone's going to complain if I haven't kept the grass "estate" level pristine. For most of the years we were at the beach, Mike & I did all that work anyway. We both liked doing it and had plenty of experience. But it DOES eat up a lot of time. So while I'm doing my thing now... I'm thinking ahead to how to mark areas for maintenance that I could delegate to some company or guy with a side job and not fuss over it myself. In the days, when I'm not going to be able to work 4-6 hrs a day at it... and do the things I really want to do.

But keeping things cleaned up around here, creates a fire buffer in case of forest fires, keeps the bugs, snakes & creepy crawly critters down... and helps preserve the buildings around here in a usuable snug state. Fires are rare here now; but have still happened in recent memory. So, I look consciously at things... add things to the list "to-do" as preventative measures... and try to steward the site to the best of my ability.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #117 on: May 23, 2019, 12:09:22 PM »
When I thought I'd be moving to CA and we were looking at fire-zone properties online (and when I read my aunt's letter about escaping the Camp Fire)...I thought about how different a yard would need to be out there from the mid-atlantic lushness I'm used to.

In terms of maintenance right near the house, what would it be like to scrape off topsoil to 6 inches, install serious weed barrier cloth, put the topsoil back, cover it with river rock etc, then add creative unusual "beds/planters" for flowers and shrubs? And great paths curving between? Could maybe skip entirely anything that must be mowed?

There. Now you know why I'm not invited to landscaping parties either.

xo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #118 on: May 24, 2019, 11:42:05 AM »
Nothing goes to waste around here, Hops. So, when the crew cut 92 trees last summer, to clear a new path for where my driveway intersects the gravel road... they also chipped the small branches and left me two big piles. I'll be making paths with those.

Because of the dogs, we need some grass around the house - and "someone" has spread two bags of grass seed around, sprinkled wood ashes (helps "sweeten" the pH), I'll have a couple compost bins in the yard, a mossy boulder-y "firepit" area near the kitchen beds, and possibly a chicken coop within the fenced area of the yard (TBD for now). Most of the yard is weeds; only a few places where the grass grows well. And I fully intend to plant ground covers... edible shrubs... perrenial herbs... etc in that space. I'm pretty good about planting ground covers on the banks, so it doesn't need as much trimming (or trying to mow it). I need to start getting some fish in the pond, too.

The big garden area, is going to be devoted to food production - a bit of orchard, the berry beds (raspberries are temporarily in one of the kitchen beds; gal pot I was able to separate into 3 plants). I don't need to go crazy on orchard trees, because my area has LOTS of big local ones. Garden will be a combo of high tunnels and open beds that I can work with the ranger & attachments. I'm buying ONLY heirloom seed... and am still sorting out exactly where my seed starting is going to happen. It's really the only way to get good medicinal herbs established.

I learned my lesson last year, with the rosa rugosas. Not to overbuy, overcommit, or start working outside TOO early. I'm going to have to replace them, and I'll only get 5 this time.

Because of my sensitivity to sun/heat/bugs... I have to plan to work on overcast days or in the shade. If I'm just using the bobcat or ranger, I can work in the heat.

I'm dogsitting today, while Hol mows out at Steve's. Maybe all weekend, if they go camping at the mushroom doin's up in PA. Beebs has been excavating the groundhog hole under the Yew... and Knuckles has been trying to get him to play instead. They stick around pretty good (or Knuckles does when he's by himself) while I'm out working. But I don't like them around when I'm running equipment. I'll do some more trimming, weeding and moving rocks - step 1 - before I fire up the bobcat to dig a shallow ditch and cut back the bank a bit from the driveway between the yard & pond; it's a tad narrow there and tends to collect puddles in the rain. The house sits a good 20 some feet higher from there and I need to direct water; not let it just take the path of least resistance. While I have the bobcat out, I'll move some more topsoil to cover where the propane tanks are, so I can get that vinca in... and possibly dump some between the boulders for the echinecea... and future full-sun herbs.

This is getting long-winded; but just talking out loud about the kind of planning Lighter mentioned in her Yard thread. I've spent 2 years and 8 seasons just looking... feeling what the space wants to be... and imagining what I might make here. Holly's doing the same with her site. We need get started on clearing the brush in that area - and could probably use Steve's assistance too.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 11:47:19 AM by sKePTiKal »
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #119 on: June 05, 2019, 09:24:04 AM »
Quickly - I've not gone quiet for any negative reasons. Life has just made a major shift around here, and I'm still processing everything. It's all good, just different.

Counting on you guys to take good care of yourselves, have some fun, and hold down the fort till I think I understand my situation better. LOL. (As in, analyzed down to the mitochondrial level...) I'm not exactly "managing"... just trying to see the whole picture. Previous negative happening is settled for the time being. (I think; we'll see. And if not - current events will likely counter it.)

Whee! 0 to 90 mph in a nanosecond! Surfing.....
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.