Monday, May 21, 2012

# 268 - Reality Writing - Back to the Plan!

Writing a blog affords you to enjoy many benefits. One of the best parts of blogging is that each entry is sort of like a journal entry...with photos. I think of my blog as electronic journaling or technical scrapbooking. No, I don't scrapbook in real life; I'm the kind of person who uses the old-fashioned black corners on the scrapbook page to hold in the photo and I write next to it. No fancy paper, no big effort, but I do LOVE to look at other people's scrapbooks. Blogging is sort of like piecing together your favorite or notable subjects.

I think of blogging as "Reality Writing" and "Reality Reading" at its finest. We no longer have to be stuck behind that book or magazine about people moving to the country because we can BLOG about it, read about it, and even participate in back-and-forth comments about it.

For me, I love it when I have huge "A-ha" moments after reading a blog buddy's comments, such as what happened to me with yesterday's blog (#268). Your blog buddies can sometimes serve as a committee, helping you to stay on track. Sometimes, I read comments and have to sit back while shaking my head at my own tendency to veer off the planned path because of current stresses. The comments helped me to think more deeply about reasons for our order of construction. The comments definitely confirmed that I needed to slow down and not feel closed in or in a rush to build structures out of order. Doing things out of order would probably bring a lot of misery.

This past week, I had been overwhelmed by the process of selling our house for several reasons, my attitude and fortitude began to waver because...

1. The phase of life we've hit with having grown children who are "grown" but not quite ready to take all of their belongings is very difficult when it comes to packing. It's a packing nightmare. It's a time in life when you feel as if you are packing things that really won't have their own place or their own "room" in the next house. In the country cabin, we will have a house that will have guest rooms instead of rooms specifically for raising children. Weird, but welcomed! We've earned this stage of life, but it makes packing more of a challenge. Well, our youngest offspring will still have a room...until she's finished with college and on her way in life with more permanent residency, other than college-revolved living. The oldest child is in a permanent, long-term housing situation since she's living with her fiance...this means that she will have to start taking her own belongings to sort through as she pleases. I'll let her make the tough choices about which school memorabilia to keep or toss. However, all of those things we've held onto since the kids were growing up might not necessarily need to be held onto for eternity!

2. Animals are a bigger part of our life since we've lived in this house. I've never lived with chickens AND dogs while having to market a house. It's a non-fun juggling act. On the same level, we would've never known we were so eager to live in the country PRIOR to actual retirement if we'd not plunged ahead with getting our chickens while living in the city. We LOVE our chickens!

3. I do not have the energy to keep the house in show-stopping condition day by day. I was around 37 years old when we sold our last home and there's a big difference in how I feel from 37 to 44 years of age. The staircase also slows me down. The size of this house makes it very difficult to maintain; hence a BIG REASON for wanting to sell it. The house is simply too big for me to keep up with on my own. I'd rather spend extra time on a lawn tractor than behind a vacuum cleaner.

Those are part of my reasons for struggling more with this particular move than our past moves from house to house. Like many people, I have health issues that get in my way. Even so, I keep plugging along!

My last blog post had many great comments that helped me to remember "the plan" we have had in place this past year...such as building the workshop/barn first, then build the house. My blog buddies helped to to recall that I need to remember the ORIGINAL plan instead of feeling trapped and panicked about needing to get out of the city house. The process of getting out to our land will be a difficult process, we're doing all we can to make it happen, but I need to remember to not rush it.

I feel as if I can see the finish line and am getting tunnel vision!

As for building a barn/workshop, I have been seriously considering sticking with wood construction. Perhaps we can do steel beam supports, but I love the look of a wood barn. We currently live in a VERY heavily industrialized area and are surrounded by metal buildings, so I don't think I'll be very happy with a metal building on our land. We do have a metal storage building out there now, but I don't think I can deal with building more of them, especially when I'm trying to get away from all of these metal buildings. It works for some people, but not for me --- too much metal will remind me of the industrialized area we're trying to leave behind.

If we build a barn/workshop first, as planned, I believe we'll go ahead and build something similar to an efficiency apartment within the structure itself instead of purchasing another RV, especially since we already have the refrigerator and such. Setting up a little kitchenette area won't be difficult, putting in a window unit won't be too challenging and installing a basic bathroom setup is no problem, especially since Deputy Dave will probably use all of these areas as a big bonus to his workshop. When the guys come out to the property...and we do have a LOT of guys in our family...I'm sure they will thoroughly enjoy all of these conveniences in the workshop area. We've considered the RV angle over and over...we had an RV on our property for years, but it is something that comes with its own maintenance issues. In the end, I believe it will be nice to not worry about storing an RV, keeping insurance on another vehicle and not having to sell it. Bottom line, I'd rather put every dollar toward a solid structure that we will need for the long-term plan.

I appreciate all of you for helping me to get back on track. The stress of selling sometimes makes you want to go in circles and to forget the path of your well-thought out plans that have been in place. As you get closer to the reality of moving, there's a sense of urgency that increases. I've got to keep my head on my shoulders!

Thanks to my blog buddies for helping me stay on track! In fact, if you have any barn structure ideas or pictures, PLEASE SEND THEM TO ME!! I don't know how to link up a photo, but if you know how, feel free to do so! Also, if you email the photos to me ( --
please give me written permission in the email to post the photos on my blog.

We are looking for a barn/workshop with an exterior overhang, such as in the photo above. Of course, we can work that into many construction plans.

Barn tips of all kinds are welcome, such as pros and cons of one type of barn over another. I love Pole Barns, but wonder if I am limiting myself? I have no idea. I'm listening to every word you type!! We're the thick in this midst of this transition with all the madness it entails. However, I'm back on track; back to the original plan...

Thank you!


Rae said...

:) Glad to hear you're feeling more on track/positive. I can hear it in how you wrote this post, compared to the last.

The first house of three that we looked at (the third being the one we're in now) had a huge metal sided pole barn. Now, metal aside, the inside was what was cool. The structure was tall enough that they had built an apartment of sorts in the top level of the barn. Everything was rough hewn lumber, I'm assuming due to expense, but I thought it was great (especially the stairs)! One half was animal stalls below and storage above. The other half was workshop below and a couple rooms above. Was pretty sweet. If you did it right, you could end up with a pretty cool "guest loft" in the barn. Other ideas for when you wouldn't need it anymore... Jam room if you play music, craft room, canning room, extra storage?

LindaG said...

Imagine still having 2 kids in the house who don't intend to come with you.
Hopefully by the second week of June they will have an apartment of some sort.

Having a sink and such will hopefully keep Deputy Dave from needing to 'clean engine parts' or some such in your sink. ;o)

Glad you're feeling better about the move again! *hugs* ♥

Anonymous said...

Glad to help.
I have a feeling you will sell your house in the next, keep on keepin' on. ;) Beth

Anonymous said...

I have a book to recommend to you for country living info.
Carla Emery's Old Fashioned Recipe Book- An Encyclopedia of Country Living.
Not a recipe book per se....more like a recipe for country living. Everything you need to know and more about living in the country.
From growing vegetables to raising animals for milk and meat and what to do with all of it. Baking bread to candle and soap making.

Lana said...

Rae - the panic has subsided. We're closer to moving, getting a LOT of calls to show, so it probably won't be long until we get a contract. As for pole barns, I love them! I think we could configure one to give us the room needed for open space along with separate storage space. It would be nice to make the top level or a part of one corner built-out as our little apartment for the time being. Having a loft would also be incredible, we'd surely have awesome views out over the land. I'll have to post some pictures of a few designs I love. I have a feeling that we're about to be building a barn-workshop. :-)

Linda - I hear you! We still have our youngest here frequently. She is now in between apartments/student housing. In a couple of weeks, I am going to be bringing a lot of my oldest daughter's things to her plus some things she's wanted to inherit.

Beth - thank you for always being encouraging and for helping to get me back on track! It means a lot. I don't need to forget the "master" plan or we will be frazzled in our moving to the country. It will be a huge challenge, but as long as I stay with the plan, it will be approachable.

Beth - I'll write down the title to the book and will look for it each time I go to Half Price Books. I LOVE those old-fashioned books. Sometimes, those old books are great because they don't require store-bought materials to make the things outlined in the book.