Making Hay

Was there really a time when i wrote a post daily? Yeah. i did that for almost a year in 2008. Clearly, i had some shit to work out.

Turns out, the need to hoark it all up and chew on the undigested bits* is far less compelling when i’m content, focused, and comfortable in my meat suit.

Suppose it’s time for an update, after disappearing (again) for half a year.

i’m good. Really good. After undertaking a rather seismic shift in my daily life, it appears to have been a stellar decision

For those who have been hanging around for the past decade, you may be aware that i’ve been in a long-term relationship with a fine gentleman, nicknamed Studley McRocklegs by a fellow blogger** who has long since moved on. Studley and i rode quite an entertaining rollercoaster in the early days, most of which was not shared on this here blog. We stuck it out, though, and when effort was required to do relationship work, we got big shovels and dug in.

Through it all, we were really comfortable living apart. In fact, it may be one of the key reasons our relationship thrived. Neither of us had lived completely alone during our lives, and once we were free to do so, found it quite liberating! For the past several years, though, we discussed “what’s next”. We both wanted to get out of condo living, and lose the home owners’ association albatross. Senior dog sanctuary for me, and a chance to dance naked around a bonfire for him… Some land. Gardens. Workshops – woodshop for him, welding for me. And enough storage for the camper, motorcycles, Jeep, bicycles, kayaks, and….

Given the collapse of all travel plans during the pandemic, we realized sometime in June that if we were going to make such a move, this year might be an ideal time. He casually started looking at real estate listings, while we both continued to purge excess household crap.

He found a place. Looked promising. About two and a half acres, an overly-countrified home, with not one, but TWO glorious barns! A spring-fed creek! Bonus! We went to the open house on a Sunday, and despite being nowhere near ready to make such a move, threw down an offer about a week later.

In September, after lots of crazy logistics, false-starts, headaches, and massive alcohol consumption, we hired a fleet of moving trucks and did the deed.

It. Has. Been. Fabulous.

There will be more updates – at least until Spring arrives, and i need to get my ass back out in these beautiful gardens to figure out how to keep everything alive. While i’m stuck inside, not quite ready to tackle the removal of fruit-encrusted wallpaper in the “country kitchen”, i’m going to get back out and make the rounds to see my blog mates. Hoping that everyone is staying safe, healthy, and has found a means to grow during a global health crisis.

* i remain relentlessly sexy…

** While i’m very happy that Renal Failure moved on, the blogosphere is less interesting without him.

26 thoughts on “Making Hay

    • Thank you, Cat! After years of thinking about it, discussing it, it was a bit strange to just yank that chain and yell “yee haw!”. Once we started the process, not much time to think. With the first few months here unpacking, organizing, mowing, mulching, sorting, and getting settled, it wasn’t until January hit – and cold weather moved us indoors, that i’ve really had a moment to notice just how happy i am… lots of room to breathe. And separate offices! πŸ™‚

    • Good to see you, EC! We bought a homestead – the original, and only, owners were handy and skilled. The Missus was a master gardener, and before she was sidelined with dementia, she had built the most incredible gardens! We’ve seen photos of the glory days, when she was winning regional gardening awards – and they are stunning. Have fallen a bit into neglect over the past few years before we bought it, but i am excited to join the ranks of those who can post lovely garden photos! i’ll have to upgrade my camera to do justice to what lies in my backyard!

  1. Love the American Gothic painting reference πŸ™‚
    I used to write about thrice weekly in the early days of the blog, but over the years it became less and less.
    In 2019 I was averaging barely one a month, but the Covid situation seems to have breathed a new life into it for me. Every week since the beginning of April last year I’ve put up a blog post to accompany the recording of the previous evening’s live video podcast on photography.
    Sometimes the posts are related to the podcast, but more often than not they go off on a significant tangent that doesn’t have much to do with them.
    I now have barn envy.
    I know full well they would instantly become 2 studios for us – one for Maggie’s art and the other for my photography.
    Keep the updates coming, and if you’re ever free on a Tuesday 7.30pm UK time (not exactly sure where you are, so anywhere between 11.30am and 3.30pm is my guess, but I’m sure you could google the time difference), then do tune into the podcast on Facebook Live. πŸ™‚
    Stay safe!
    Kim πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kim! I follow your photography page on FB, but have yet to drop in on the live podcast! While we are stuck inside for at least a few more weeks, I’ll make the effort to watch! East coast, so 11:30 – I can watch while having lunch!

      The barns are what we bought. The “small” barn is more of a garden shed. Tractor, trailer, lawn implements, potting bench. It is not wired, so daylight use only. The big barn? The front half has a basketball court! Electric (220V), propane heat, wood burning stove, and air conditioning! This is the magic! Studley is starting to organize his wood shop, and I am planning my welding (art) and auto shop. Once we finish getting rid of leftover furniture, and organizing storage in the loft, we will spend a lot of time here!

      • East Coast is closer, so more like 2.30pm, I think πŸ™‚
        We clearly have different ideas of size. When you use the word “Shed”, I think of our shed, which you can see in the 2020 in Pictures post of mine you commented on – where Maggie and I are sitting outside it. Something big enough to hold a tractor, trailer, lawn implements, potting bench could probably be converted into a small house πŸ™‚
        And your big barn sounds more like an aircraft hanger πŸ™‚
        Perhaps one day I’ll be able to make it across the pond and see!

        • Yes! I have a brain lock on sorting time zones – so much so that we built a display showing the time in places where our four children live! They are scattered around the world, and I’ve Accidently called too late at night. I can do a 2:30 live stream!

          Even by US “shed” standards, these are very large. The big barn, with modifications, could indeed house a small airplane.

          Should you make it to the States, you are very welcome to visit! The barn might not be comfortable, but the two guest rooms are ready to go!

  2. Congrats on your move. When our blended family was blended, we both came from rental situations. Our first house became our permanent house for decades. We are still here. We don’t seriously think of moving. I fantasized about going to a rocky mountain region. Honestly right now I just want to travel freely without worries of the virus.
    Yeah I like you and many others posted more back in the blogging heyday. Never daily for me. I went from 2 or 3 a week to 1 or 2 a month.
    Two barns – wow. Do these barns have finished floors or ones more like a basic farm barn? I very happy we have a large basement that allows a bit of escape.

    • Hi Lisleman! The most challenging aspect was the downsizing! We went from 2 condos (6 bedrooms, 5,000 sq feet total) to 3 bedrooms, 3,000 sq. feet. While the house is still very large for 2 people, we had to jettison a lot of beds, tables, chairs, and assorted furniture. He sold his hot tub, i sold my billiards table… and we have donated a lot to friends, and charity. But there’s still a bit of excess hanging out in the barn that will need to be rehomed in the spring.

      Smaller barn is more of a giant garden shed – concrete floor, and a hayloft, but no electric. Keeping the lawn tractor and other yard items there. I built a potting station for plants, too. We are not using the loft for storage. Afraid anything we put there will never leave!

      Big barn is more than finished – it has been lived in! The prior owners moved out there while adding on to the house in 1995. It is not plumbed, but it’s got 2 kinds of heat (propane, wood), and a commercial grade air conditioning system. There’s an electric hoist to haul items up to the storage loft. They left all of the compressor lines, so i can use air tools on the rusty bolts on my jeep (once i get a compressor!). Engine hoist, too. We still have a lot of organizing, and downsizing, but there is ample workspace there. It will get a lot of use…

    • Thank you, Ashley! Much like our dear friend, nursemyra, i’m finding it hard to write much having stumbled my way into the life i found. It can all blow up in a heartbeat, but i am trying to savor this moment in time… ❀

  3. I know i’ve used this before but we all know how i love to steal from Mr. Vonnegut so… “if that isn’t nice, i don’t know what is.” Glad to see things are going well over at the Daisy Farm, you know when you disappeared for a bit, which i know you’re prone to do sometimes, the soccer mom in me begins to worry, especially under the current situation. Now i can breathe easy πŸ˜‰ (exhales large cloud of suspicious vapor). I must say that picture is most excellent and i particularly like the Studman’s pitchfork and gloves… it’s good to know that you have two barns in case i ever need a place to stay, lol! I’d be like a Steinbeck character, i’m thinking Lennie from Of Mice and Men… good to get an update Ms. Daisy and glad everyone is safe and healthy!!

    • Hey, Kono! You know, i’m one of the few women my age without a tattoo. If i were to get one, that quote from Mr. Vonnegut’s dear Uncle Alex would likely factor into the design. Suspect i’ll remain untatted, but it’s one of my favorites.

      My favorite tall, hairy soccer mom! We are trying to figure out what to name the place – condo was ‘the drunk thinktank’, but that doesn’t fit here. Prior owners named it “Shallowbrook”. We are considering “Stonerbrooke” since we are enjoying the recreationals quite a bit these days. But still not set…

      The photo was homage to Green Acres, the old TV show. We have been away from yard work for so long, the previous owner took one look at us and threw in a fancy Ferris zero-turn tractor, knowing we were going to need it. We are tackling each challenge the best we can – losing our well for 2 weeks around Christmas required professional help, but we have (so far) managed to do a few maintenance projects without burning it down. And thanks to modern technology, we don’t have to climb a pole to make phone calls!

      You are always welcome here, kono. One guest bedroom doubles as a costume/craft room. If you’re insistent on hanging in the barn, our little camper has a comfy bed out in the big barn. Even have a 30A outlet to keep the TV/DVD player going!

      Will get over to the lounge to catch up soon. Gotta go work a project while the sun is shining… Xoxoxo

  4. My reader was in “neglect” gear but, fortunately, I read about this on the Farcebook page.
    Why am I nearly as excited as you! It’s not as if I have no gardening to do here…
    Here’s to new angle!

    • I haven’t been on facebook much either. Felt I was due for updates – especially now that my condo is under contract to sell. That was the final puzzle piece in the protracted logistics. Frustrated that it took 6 months – Studley’s was sold in a week! But now I can breathe, and start pricing a MIG welder for the barn!

  5. Congrats, daisyfae, on your move! We lived out in the country (in California and here in Texas) for 35 years so I can appreciate its charms and challenges. Having a well pump freeze up and being without water for days…been there, done that. But in looking back, I don’t think I would have changed much. (Well, fewer rattlesnakes.) Best wishes to you both on your new adventure!

    • Thank you, lady! “Charms and challenges” sums it up well! Previous owners were very clever, and very handy – we keep finding odds and ends that attest to how smart they were (“hmmm… this widget attached to the fireplace must be for something”). Losing water to the house was indeed a surprise! Some support from the home warranty purchased by the prior owner helped, but we pulled on all of our rustic camping skills, loaded every cooler with water from my then unsold condo, and were able to get through until the repairs could be done. Festive, and stories for many years to come!

      • Your camping skills came in handy! We kept on hand lots of large plastic containers filled with water to use to flush the toilets in case we lost water to the house. (Still have a bunch lined up in my garage here in town.) People who aren’t on a well don’t think about stuff like that until there’s an emergency due to some kind of natural disaster like a hurricane, etc., and all of a sudden the tap runs dry.

        • When we consolidated households, i was astonished at how many coolers we have! Was planning to ditch many and minimize. Yet that was the handiest thing to have in the water crisis! We were able to schlep smaller coolers for refill, then reload the big ones in the bathtub and shower. Fortunately the home warranty company provided emergency lodgings after a few days, and we were able to book a nearby hotel for showers and water refills. I set up a full camp kitchen at home, too. Old school, i know how to do this… If it had happened in any other season, we could have pulled water from the spring/creek for toilets. And yes, we are keeping a few filled coolers just in case… Lesson learned!

    • Hey there stranger! Glad you stopped by! He is far from a jerk! The man gets up early, and brings me coffee in bed! How cool is that? Living alone for years has us both up to speed on sharing household responsibilities – whoever feels like cooking cooks, the other does dishes. Yard work is fun for both of us! We’d traveled enough together to have a good idea of what it would be like to be roomies, but it’s better than i expected. Lots of space to spread out, separate offices/spaces and we’ll build separate workshop areas in the barn. i’m pretty lucky… will pass along your regards (and compliment!) Cheers to you and yours! I’m not on the ‘gram much, but appreciate your photos…

  6. DaisyFae! OMG it’s been way too long. I’m so glad to hear you and your family are well, and what great news that you and Studley are co-housing ;-). We had our 6th g’baby in December (well, our daughter did but g’ma is a >little< possessive) and Mom and daughter are doing wonderfully, especially since we are having to stay in Oregon and they're in LA! Haven't seen the little nugget since January and Joy is going a bit nuts (me too!) We started a gut remodel of our home in January 2020 (perfect timing /sarcasm)and it's been chaos since, but we are now 90+% done so life is better. We lost our older dog and rehomed one, but we are back to 2 pups, both little guys, which works better for our current sit. Just want to send our most heartfelt good wishes and hopes for your continued happiness!

    • YOGI! What a wonderful surprise! So very glad you stopped by, and that you and your family are doing well! Perfect timing on the remodel – have you thought about what else you’d have done without such a massive project this past year? And congratulations on another little one. I’ve only got 3 grands, and have managed to see the family in the US for brief visits, but the one overseas is video only and it just makes my heart ache to not be able to romp with that 2 year old. Here’s to better days ahead, in-person visits, and a successful completion to your remodel! ❀

    • Well I’ll be fried in coconut oil! Look at you! I miss you, and your people! I hope you’ve had a blast with improv, and wherever else it led you! I miss the old crew. I know our dear friend nursemyra is crazy happy, and hope that a similar fate found you!

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