Author Topic: 2019 Farm Life  (Read 1760 times)

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #90 on: April 09, 2019, 10:27:41 AM »
Tupp, she'll ask me questions here & there. My opinion on things. The contractor has opinions too, that she needs to listen to. But I am not involved in this project; just paying for it. There are some legalities that I'm tap-dancing through... and for the time being, have to shoulder those. Eventually, the property will be shared ownership.

I think she's done pretty well, paring down her "wish list" of aesthetic features to something more practical, energy-wise. It'll be a cute little house. Big research project at the moment is being able to source/install/design an off-grid solution to the electric issue. I have a feeling it's going to require removing more trees than she wants to take out. But given how many just tip over around here... I can see the wisdom in that. Also - we have an abundance of carpenter bees and also termites. So, all that is a consideration in the site and construction design.

When your main goal is to provide pleasing shelter in a way that minimally disturbs the setting and natural geological/flora environment, the challenges and decisions start to add up. She likes having her head full of that kind of thing. I've been doing it so long, that I have to stop her from throwing a whole week's worth of schedule/activities at me... LOL. I just want to deal with "today's list". Let's see how that goes, and THEN I'll decide on the other stuff!
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #91 on: April 09, 2019, 03:12:56 PM »
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Concrete!
Glass!
Passive solar!
Earth sheltered!
Straw bale!
Arcosanti!
Thermal!
Wind turbine!
Plus a Tuli Kivi!

WOO HOO!

Speaking of vicarious...
xo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #92 on: April 10, 2019, 11:09:40 AM »
I love watching shows where these earth homes are constructed. 

Just amazing, and round, and pleasing.... artist marked.... nothing negative, IMO.

Lighter

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #93 on: April 12, 2019, 06:13:00 PM »
Things are moving along. I have a big propane tank sitting in my "yard" (it's not much of one really) waiting for next week's install of generator & excavater to bury the tank and dig a trench for the pipe to the generator. My backhoe guy will be along this weekend to look at improving the road to the Holly Hut area; Ronnie was here today I showed him... so he'll have some ideas too. He brought his Mom and stepdad, to ride 'up the mountain' with him today. He's starting pool rehab soon; looks good and seems to be more his old self. His mom just kept laughing at me... some of the things that come out of my mouth. <shakes head>

Mr. Forum guy who contacted me out of the blue... started pressing me with questions, then insisted we talk on phone, since he isn't the world's best typist - even after I explained that I do much better making myself understood writing it down, than talking. So, I summarily shut.it.down. I was feeling a tad creeped out, because we'd never conversed with each other on any topics previous to the PM request. A couple years ago, another guy used exactly the same method to get me to talk to him. And I did meet him; and he was even creepier in person.

An online friend who was a moderator at that forum, from the past experience... told me last night, that's how news articles about women found dead start. LOL. I mighta freaked out, but you know what? I feel much relieved now, not dealing with him anymore. Some of the younger married guys who are my friends implied much the same thing. So, I'm glad that's not going to be an on-going thing.

It might sound like I rejected him for his lack of typing, which would be terribly unfair. But what threw my radar into a tailspin was all the similarities between this guy and the one from a few years ago. First guy had contacted several women on the forum, who were recently divorced or widowed - not just me. And tried the same thing with them. Guy #1 read like a total control freak to me, and was specifically looking for domestic "help" - with no consideration whatsoever for my plans, on my place. I literally felt like I was fleeing that first encounter.

So when the patterns matched up on this recent one... I just didn't want it to go any further. I've always had pretty good "creep" radar (given my history) so even if I was wrong about him, I'd rather be safe - and comfortably alone - than sorry. I do remember to double check with other people about the situation, too. Get their perspective before deciding.

Had some time to myself - Hol is helping Steve out, since his car died and she's amazingly tired from all the driving she's been doing. They're getting home tonight, earlier than expected. I just finished up a batch of toll house cookies, and will make a savory meatloaf, mashed taters and broccoli slaw and keep things ready for them to eat when they get here. The rest of the weekend is going to be busy and she won't be around either. I realized some time today, that yesterday was one of M's & my anniversaries... would've been 20 years together.

SOME times, I think I might just be clinging a bit too tightly to what is now past history and trying to make that "nutritious" emotionally. It's definitely NOT, though. I think I am ready to tackle someone new... (maybe not literally)... but, I'm still gonna weed out the guys that are making me feel like I'm doing something I don't really want to do. Just because that's what THEY need. I think I've done that enough already.

Now for something REALLY different! So, without having any criteria... or a plan... just going to mess around trying some different things. Found an over 50 group called "stitch". People get together in groups for activities and meet people face to face that way. Not just romantic things, but friends too. I'm debating joining; everything close to me is in NoVa. And I definitely don't do things in that locale anymore and definitely not alone, especially at night. All very conscious choices, based on my wretched night vision for driving back home. I might be able to come up with creative workarounds. Or I just might find actual local groups to go "play" with - based on certain activities. The biggest, oldest ham radio club is around the corner from where we used to live over the mountain. Once I get my antenna up (I got licensed when we lived at the beach)... I'm going to need help, and those guys/gals are close enough to me to do so. New connections.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 06:17:27 PM by sKePTiKal »
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lighter

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #94 on: April 13, 2019, 12:49:04 PM »
OK..... I'm glad you're instincts are working, you're listening to them, and validating them through others. 

And... I didn't know you needed to be licensed to operate a Ham Radio.  You just get in there, and mix things up, Amber.  See what shakes out.

::nod::.

Glad to read a positive update for Ronnie.  Thanks for that.

Lighter

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #95 on: April 24, 2019, 08:50:05 AM »
Well, Ronnie's asked me to dinner some weekend. The next couple aren't going to pan out - expecting company (I still need to post a blessed schedule of reservations around this place! So much for solitude... LOL.) I think he's bored and a little lonely in his new life and just needs a friend. He came out again yesterday with his mom & stepdad to get out in the woods again... and Ricky was here, working on widening and improving the road to the future Holly Hut.

Former house guest came out to hang out and spend an overnight; he's still in search of a job but working at it. His tiny apartment is working out pretty well for him so far.

Pollen's at it's prime right now; the redbuds are gorgeous this year and even the oaks are budding out "right on schedule". Yesterday was a tad hot for me, but we're getting weeks of actual "spring" this year... and I'm pacing myself on the outside work. I do have to clean house though, because of company... and it's driving me a bit bonkers trying to do both. Hol is helping of course - but she's often not here, going between Steve's place, the city over the mtn, and taking care of getting herself permanently a resident here.

She's got work in B'more this weekend and hoping to wind up the process of clearing her stuff out of Matt's house. I'm taking a breather from planning any more projects at the moment... I just have to get the other little things done FIRST so I don't feel like I'm piling it all on myself. Hol is planning a moon garden, and she potted up half a dozen peonies to eventually transplant at the "hut". LOL... cart before horse a little bit... she needs to get her floor plans to contractor, and talk about off-grid system vs running power. And she definitely has "neighbors"; Steve saw a young bear the last time they walked the back 40. The old folks with Ronnie, are always armed when they traipse around down there.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #96 on: April 24, 2019, 01:17:12 PM »
You're always planning and making busy, Amber.  Hows the outdoor kitchen plan coming?  It's nice Ronnie has your friendship.  I wonder if he'd enjoy giving opinions on some of your projects... as they evolve?

Tweaking the right amount of socializing, and solitude will take a while, but sounds like you'[re on it to me. 

I'm glad H has this weekend job, and new love interest while she's finishing up loose ends at ex's.  Hopefully she'll sail through. Hopefully there's closure, and peace around it.

Glad the visitor continues to do well.  That's a good story, Amber/

Lighter

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #97 on: April 25, 2019, 08:52:28 AM »
Ronnie freely suggests ideas and hands out advice. LOL. It's good to have a second opinion.

House guest is doing well. His first visit, he was totally broken. There is no doubt that his ex is a malicious, vindictive N, definitely sociopathic tendencies. He let himself believe he could "fix it" by reasoning with her, saying just the right combination of words and sincerely believing them. And when it became too much - or too crazymaking - for him to fix. Then, he couldn't stop thinking suicide was the only out of the emotions he was feeling. We know how miserable those can be. That was just more than I could be around and I sure couldn't get through his obsession either.

After 6 weeks or so, almost 2 months of active treatment in the hospital, his second visit was a second chance for us to try to explain that he wasn't alone in being treated that way; he wasn't just spectacularly "lucky" to have experienced such things. He could actually relate to both Hol's and my experiences - including the ongoing Amy saga - and start to see that there are plenty of people in the world "like that". We could explain, that sometimes people who've been through that trauma develop almost the same personality characteristics (as camo/survival for existing around N). We could share the things we CHOSE to pull ourselves out of it; to "see it coming" better in the future; and to know how to listen to our own inner voice/emotions when something "felt wrong".

So that was a good transition time from intensive treatment, and for us - an ability to observe if he would stay on his welbutrin Rx and involve himself in self-care. So it was a shorter time he was with us. I knew he needed to - wanted to - get back on his feet and independent again. And we were able to help him do that; put him in touch with other artists in the community; help him with finding his way around and making work contacts.

He's been on his own for a month. So when Hol spontaneously decided it was time to get him back here for a hangout, laughs, and an update that's what happened. It's a little reinforcement for him, too. His "support network" - which did not exist for him prior to the first visit - is still here.

Sigh. Perhaps if I'd known (or Hol had known) more of the background, we would've been better prepared for the first visit. But I'm not kicking myself; I hit my limit and seriously needed some peace & quiet again. And the hospital did a stellar job; he's still praising the nurses he encountered and his doctor. He's back in touch with siblings, too. His brother brought him a bike, so he's more mobile now.
He is really committed to putting a life back together after his "nightmare" phase. He's pursuing it with due diligence.

So, alls well that ends well. And he's adopting my "living well is the best revenge" policy - LOL. With proper boundaries, an understanding of the "bait & switch" game N's love, and putting taking care of himself at the top of the list... he's saving himself. We just helped him get to where he COULD.

Outdoor kitchen is on hold for the time being Lighter. It will start to happen about the time I do something about the decks out back. And I've started to lose shingles... so the roof retrofit (w/more insulation hopefully) moves up the list.
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lighter

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #98 on: April 25, 2019, 10:06:36 PM »
The visitor's story restores my belief in humanity, Amber.  That friend is lucky to have your support, wisdom, empathy, and ear.  I'm sorry you didn't understand how to help him sooner, but who would have?  These things unfold, IME.   

Well done.  Amazing job.  You and Hol did an amazing job.  I see good things for the visitor, bc of your care: )

And.... of course Ronnie's giving advice, and enjoying fellowship. 

That was a great update post, Amber. 

Thanks,
Lighter

 

Twoapenny

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #99 on: April 29, 2019, 01:57:13 AM »
The 'Living well is the best revenge' policy has been a life saver for me.  What I do find difficult is finding that balance between needing/wanting to sift through the past, feel it, examine it, deal with it, and needing/wanting to move on, do new things, find your new path.  What I've also found very difficult is that our Western society leans towards evidence of 'living well' as gaining financial and material wealth, or positions of power.  I've found it more difficult to focus on things that aren't obvious - feeling happier, dealing with problems in a healthier way, setting boundaries and so on - and using that as a barometer of living well.  It's just the way we shift through life, isn't it?

Lighter's right, he's very lucky to have you around for him and it's great that you've got Ronnie about for ideas and feedback as well.

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #100 on: April 29, 2019, 09:49:43 AM »
Tupp, I don't care a whit for how other people gauge "living well" - I have my own definition. Not saying there's a thing wrong with their yardstick, as long as they don't judge mine. LOL. Different things matter to me, on my yardstick.

Question about your comment on a switch flipping, Tupp:

I wonder if you're forcing yourself to "suffer" or pay the price to something/someone ahead of "just doing"? As if you KNOW, you're going to pay for it anyway, one way or another? Based on past experience? I certainly felt that, at different times in my life. Like my wish to have things done, didn't matter as much, as all the plethora of things - big and little - that I could be doing instead (that someone ELSE thought was important).

As far as diving back into the past goes, I've pretty much stopped doing that. For me, I have already delved it; gained some "treasure" - enough to be able to free my mind from obsessively seeking "uncontrovertable evidence"; I've already gotten the insight/evidence that was there - and while the old habit lingers on, I spend less time "looking back" now and more time choosing (actively) in the present and planning for the future. I do still do it; and sometimes Hol will point out that I'm still trying to justify present choice/action on past experience - which is a self-limitation.

I can't tell you how valuable it is, to have someone who's done this kind of work around to get feedback from. Like this board. It's too easy to get lost in our own labyrinths of thought-ruts... where we simply relive the same old neural paths over & over. An outside opinion - even if it's wrong - can help SOOOO much in changing those thought-ruts to a smooth road that actually goes somewhere.
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sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #101 on: May 11, 2019, 09:26:09 AM »
Been "making hay while the sun shines" around here, and this weekend the weather is cool & wet. Have a flock of plants lined up to go in soon. Kitchen beds are done except for stabilizing the taller stacks of blocks - and I planted two kinds of garlic and one of onions.

BIG milestone, since that project got delayed a year and I was a bit tentative about dealing with the bobcat to move topsoil up that hill. Most of the grass has been mowed at least once, so far. The big garden field needs mowed again - and then I'll be dragging the disc through areas for beds (for next year).

Holly's got 6 big pots with peonies coming up; I've got an old-fashioned lilac, echinecea, and a replacement oregano for one that didn't make it through last year's monsoon and the winter. Hol has started splitting wood, from the big pile of trees we cut last year.

I found a place over the mountain that recycles electronics. I can FINALLY purge that pile of gizmos and gadgets that Mike couldn't let go of, and that I kept thinking they might be useful ("someday"). Right now - I just don't want it all.

House guest helped me get some new shelves up and in place in the garage under the studio. I can finally finish the purge out there, too... and it appears I'm going to have the floor space to do the kinds of building/woodworking I want. Bought some new sewing tools; my favorite pair of shorts for the max of summer, are apparently no longer made. So, I'm disassembling them to make a pattern and make my own. Hol made 3 prairie sun bonnets in an afternoon for friends, who saw the one she'd made for herself and wanted one.

Knuckles is home with me so much, he's starting to be more my dog than hers. LOL. He is listening way better than he was as a result. Now I need to teach him how to behave when we're working with equipment or driving around. He can go with her to Steve's once they get a fence up; too close to the road for comfort with the dogs, even though Beebs is already smart enough not to get out on the road and doesn't chase cars. When he's working, I have both dogs to feed, potty and keep busy. Beebs is a lot more low-energy than Knuckles, and he puts the pup in his place enough that he just rolls his eyes at me to save him from hyper-dog. LOL.

Hol is definitely slacking on getting her stuff clear of Matt's house (one more load) and staying on top of the house situation. But, he's not making it easy either. She is trying to teach herself the "standards" for designing a floor plan and got stuck on stairways. I explained that her sketch would be clear enough to the guys that if for instance, the stairs were too short for the rise... they'd let her know and solve the visual problem - which is keeping the stairs off an exterior wall but not interrupting the open floor plan, upstairs.

I'll ask her to let me look at it this evening. I'll bet she could a downstairs closet or shelves under the steps... and that would support the steps. My steps are all open to the catwalk and two bedrooms, and while she likes that airyness... her brain isn't seeing support in her floorplan, yet.

Ricky's been working on widening and smoothing the road to the Hut location; adding very needed drainage. In the process, he's moved or unearthed some very interesting large rocks that I might ask him to relocate for me, before he's all done. The bobcat won't be able to lift 'em. They're THAT big.

It's been a lovely long spring here. We're still wearing sweaters some days and are able to do the hard work without breaking a sweat. Compost bins are about ready to go up too. Then it's on to building a big woodshed; Steve's offered to help with that but Hol said my job is to decide on the location, design, get the materials here... and guess who is still dithering about that? LOL.



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Twoapenny

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #102 on: May 11, 2019, 10:47:50 AM »
Wow, Skep, you never stop!  So much going on and it all sounds so good and constructive.  Great that you've found a way to recycle those gadgets - I hate to throw stuff like that in the bin but sometimes it's hard to find somewhere else to put it.

I missed your question in the post before; I do think there's an element of me working through the 'bad' situation in case it happens.  I notice it a lot whenever anything comes up from the local authority - any kind of problem and my brain starts working through different scenarios before I've even finished reading it.  I do feel like I need to be on the defensive around people, in general.  Some of it is childhood stuff - whatever I did or said was criticised in some way.  I went down the perfectionist route, sister went down the 'I don't give a crap' route and makes no effort at anything.  So it's partly that, partly wanting to fit in, I think, and then because of all the child protection stuff there's constant efforts in my brain to defend myself and son from unwanted attention or questions.  But I'm working on it!  Lol xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #103 on: May 17, 2019, 08:52:07 AM »
Yesterday was not such a good day. I felt fuzzy-headed, probably for multiple reasons - one being an inconsolable dog who started waking me at 2 am. Some kind of skin irritation and he'd been in the cat box again.

So, knowing I needed to venture out to the grocery... hopped in the car with no other agenda except making up the day as I went along. Just as I'm getting to the highway & mailbox, I notice a truck trying to pull in. Good neighbor that I am, I started backing up - uphill, around the curve to the wide spot at Gladys' drive. It's hard to see out of the Cherokee's back window; they aren't low enough so I was halfway turned around in the seat.

When I saw a UPS truck (wrong time of day for them; I look for them on the road) coming down hill. I went to slam on the brakes and got the gas instead. Could've been the angle I was turned, or that with this new obstacle - my brain momentarily shorted out. So I slammed the back end into the front end of the UPS truck. Everyone's fine - my ego is wounded; this crap doesn't happen to me normally. UPS driver is worried for his job; they are that strict about accidents - despite the challenges that section of my road poses.

The whole window shattered and of course the hatch and bumper are smashed, but I could drive it home to call the towing company to take it over the mountain to the dealer. Talked to a sweet lady in my local insurance office while we waited around. Got home, called the dealer to let them know the jeep is coming and I wanted an estimate to fix it. I saved dealing with the insurance company until this morning because I didn't think I was ready to jump into the red tape game. As fuzzy as I was when I left... it was worse after.

Holly got the Rubicon running and brought it down from the barn - so I have something to drive. And it needs driven. My poor baby has been relegated to a museum piece practically. So he needs cleaned up and gone over mechanically too; a tune up. While the dealer gives me the news on the Cherokee.

I've been bouncing between feeling like I have no business even thinking I can manage on my own in a place like this - and letting the Viking out to play. Mad at myself, because how many times have I been incredulous that anyone could mistake the gas & brake. I'm pretty sure being halfway out of my seat, turned around to back up had a lot to do with it. As for how fast the UPS truck was going - it wouldn't matter on that curve. So, flustered me did exactly the wrong thing. It happens.

The Rubicon is an old friend of my inner Viking. He has style, substance and attitude. I can use a lot more of that in my days now, than worrying over whether I'm becoming a helpless old woman. Besides - the silly ostentatious Cherokee was the very first automatic transmission I ever owned. I'm WAY more comfortable (and happy) in a stick-shift. After 6 years, I still find myself trying to shift the Cherokee some days. If the estimate is high, I'll still get it fixed, regardless of what insurance will cover. And I'll call the generator guy who said twice, and gave me his number, he wants to buy it.

I've been talking about trading it in for a couple years now. It just didn't seem that urgent with everything else I'm doing, building, planting, and working on.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 08:53:40 AM by sKePTiKal »
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lighter

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Re: 2019 Farm Life
« Reply #104 on: May 17, 2019, 12:42:53 PM »
So sorry about the accident, Amber.  The knock to your inner confidence is hard, I know.  Just keep piecing together what you'll handle yourself, and what you need help with on the farm.  Asking for help isn't a bad thing. It's a necessary thing, and sometimes, for some of us, it's the hardest thing to do, IME.

OK..... thank goodness no one was hurt.  Every time I get stuck in traffic, I go back to....
"I hope no one's hurt up ahead."  That's what's really important in all the slow down, and waiting, and fear of an accident.  Things happen all the time, and this time it was your turn.  You're human.... have compassion for your kind, good, competent self, forgive this bobble, and keep moving.  So much to do.  So much to discover.  So many projects, and you need your whole brain.  Getting bogged down in self doubt, and judgement.... not so helpful, IME.

Breath, and rest up. 

Your inner Viking will recover soon enough.  This is a bobble.

Lighter