Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board

Voicelessness and Emotional Survival => Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board => Topic started by: sKePTiKal on February 19, 2018, 09:09:25 AM

Title: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 19, 2018, 09:09:25 AM
Well, it feels like a new phase here... so new thread. The "crap" thread was getting long in the tooth anyway. And we're having a "false spring" now for a few days. The geese are back honking their pleasure with how full the pond is... and all the things I didn't get done last summer are still there.

How does that happen?! Where have those pesky elves gotten off to? I spent yesterday in front of a special edition of Apocalypse Now with my garden catalogs... looking up websites, etc on the ipad. And then I remembered - well - first you need DIRT, and some levelled paths... and beds... and tools where I will use them...

So I've had a nice navel-gazing at home vacation. I got new glasses (and yes, brain works better when the visual input is clearer! New eye doctor speaks a little neuroscience.) The Amy thing looks temporarily BETTER with a promise of her finally dealing with it, once and for all - if she sticks with it. I'm getting a lot more comfortable running into the big town "over the mountain"... it's getting light earlier and dark later... and I MIGHT have turned over enough rocks on the dating website to find someone who's actually local to me, that seems cozy - not really trying to prove anything, and is looking to just "explore" possibilities. We'll be talking off the website, because like me... he's got some issues with it.

So, to keep myself still trusting myself that I can do this without wading into a sinkhole filled with snakes & alligators... I'm going to run scotch tape over my bathroom mirror and write "boundaries!!!" on it in sharpie. He's a year younger than me and I still feel like a cougar because of it. Then, I remind myself of how I felt around Ronnie (until we talked) and the fact he's Holly's age.

And I think I've seen something new about myself in this process... how I work really really hard to "be there" for people... in hopes that they like me. Sometimes to my own detriment - because quite simply and uncomplicatedly - I'm just lonely. Much as my solitude has been freeing and healing... being extreme solitude... it's time for a new balance.

I don't want to be as busy working as was last summer. I want to build in time in that schedule for people and things that are good for me. Move a little slower while I'm working on the "next phase" around here... because I need to pay attention to what it "wants to be"... not what I can make out of it.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on February 19, 2018, 12:32:09 PM
That all sounds really good and positive, Skep.  Steps forward, slowing down a bit, looking for opportunities but not needing to rush into anything or make something happen.  I'll keep my fingers crossed on the Amy situation.  Keep us updated with things as they happen :) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on February 19, 2018, 12:49:44 PM
Ok..... I'm going to skip the speel about not giving too much information....or your town....or address.....or complete social history until he's spilled his and you've talked to a couple exs.


Is new skipping that.

:: nodding::.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 19, 2018, 01:26:06 PM
uh..... yep Lighter. I've been digging through the internet looking for a trail. Not finding much either. Spideysense is wary.

One marriage; she died 5 years ago. Business website has some.... oddities to it. Web presence is awfully sparse. I'm going to dig just a little deeper before I attempt a reply. And then, I'll be asking some local-area type questions. Can't be too careful with people on the internet - especially sites like that.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on February 19, 2018, 01:41:10 PM
Bravo. I love how you're approaching this.

Interested while intelligent.
Excited while not letting fantasy outstrip reality.
Attracted while waiting to verify.

Yes yes.

My big one, (from my own experience bias) is that since writing is my comfort zone, the way I both open myself to others AND "manage" my presentation thus actually remain in "hiding"...means I can get caught in lengthy online relationships with men that take so much energy, fuel my fantasizing side endlessly, and allow me to AVOID real-life men....is tricky.

When you're literally geographically isolated, much less alone...you can't build real connection online unless it's the kind of thing where you never have serious hopes of meeting this man IRL.

I'm babbling, but Judith Sills' advice has stayed with me. DON'T -- if you're looking for a real-life mate -- build a huge relationship in writing or correspondence. START it there, of course. That's great! And teddibly modern. But if a spark of interest sustains itself over a few written exchanges, move it to the real or step away.

Because all the time and energy and emotion and imagination and wondering and hoping that you invest in writing emails....is time and energy and emotion and imagination and discovery that you cannot invest in a person sitting across from you.


If possible and plausible and workable for you.

And if not...then maybe the online romance is what you need. I feel my opinions TOO strongly and tend to generalize them as right for everybody else. And I do think that's a pattern of mine and consider myself busted (while offering it anyway, fwiw).

Oy, I wear myself out.

Tickled pink to hear you've reached out and that something happened. Just dunno yet what the something is, and don't want you hurt or disappointed in any way that might cause you to further retrench.

It's good to get out of the trenches, and into the sunshine.

(Preaching to self, as I hide in my bed avoiding my decision about very likely dumping B...more on that on Heist.)

love to you,
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 19, 2018, 03:03:03 PM
Well I think this was a false alarm, ladies.

My "useful big brother" who really IS that kind of engineer... is helping me dig. I hit an immediate pothole when one of the photos he sent me clearly looked photoshopped. So I checked out the company website... LOOKS legit... until you find out there are no technical docs behind the links. A bare bones LinkedIn profile for the CEO (with absolutely NO personal data; just a blurb about the company). That's not at all how CEOs use LinkedIn. I haven't checked facebook, because I deactivated my account there.

Now, I know how easy it is build a web presence to legitimize just about anything. So, I started going deeper. Local county public records have nothing - no phone number, no address, no tax records for this guy. So I looked up the company address in Texas.

Google resolves that to a townhouse, and tax records show someone else owns it. OK, so he's renting it... but when I did a reverse DNS lookup on the website... the domain name for the company (with the typo in it) is still available for sale. And there is another company of the same name in Florida (without the typo in the web address). Better Business Bureau in TX never heard of the company.

Once upon a time, there was a rash of people buying domains with a slight typo in it... to trick people into thinking it was their familiar legit website, so they'd provide personal info for identity theft. The kind of searching I'm doing online is something Mike was genius at. We had several occasions to use his techniques when we were trying to verify that something was on the up & up.

Think I'll take my time replying to his email. There are some good questions I can ask about where he says he's living now... to catch him in his lies. (Which was something he said he hates in relationships... a couple of times, which also caught my eye as being... odd, this early on.) Think this is a scam, ladies. Way too many things that don't pan out; aren't on the up & up.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on February 19, 2018, 03:09:17 PM
Oh my GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!

Could you simply click the link to report him to the website and back away, let others fix this?

Sheesh. This does not deserve your precious interest, imo.

SO glad you're dodging this bullet and resent that you even got it fired at you.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on February 19, 2018, 03:43:28 PM
Now see.....THIS is why I don't date.  The idea I'd actually invite more chaos into my life is untenable....pretty much consistently.  I see people around me dealing with chaos and feel conflicted....one part of me admires their bravery and grit....

The other part is totally flipping out...... and then I remember DD's bf.  That there are nice men out there.  That nice people don't have to get snapped up only by the personality disordered.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on February 19, 2018, 03:59:51 PM

What I'm REALLY asking, Amber, is...why reply to his email at ALL?

Why take the bait?

Why spend another minute trying to prove something that wastes your time?

What, if you want to look at it this way...what are you getting out of spending one minute further?

(That I think, is where the fruitful insights lie.)

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on February 19, 2018, 04:18:30 PM
Skep, I think you should work for the FBI!  Oh my goodness, what a lot of kerfuffle.  Do people do this to scam money or to hide things like being married or something like that?  You might end up on Catfish :) I hope this doesn't cause problems for you, Skep, it sounds a bit scary xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 19, 2018, 04:41:10 PM
Well, since I inherited the business, I had to learn a lot of things about protecting myself from those who would take advantage. My doc big brother has also pounded it into my head. And then, it's always been easier for me to talk about "feeling things" with complete strangers online... and never ever breathe a word of how my situation financially is laid out. So......... he doesn't know my name; doesn't know where I live; there is absolutely nothing he can find to identify me without having some more information.

So..... flirting I can do, without giving away any important data. It's fun, I'm a little rusty, and truly scared of just this kind of thing. So.... except for the Viking revenge fantasies I've got - LOL - I'll probably just kill that email address... block him on the website... and simply not play his little game. I got work to do anyway.

I'll chalk it up to a good lesson about how quick I am to be flattered by attention. And try to remember that from now on. I've kissed enough toads in my day, looking for a prince. One failure of this sort isn't enough to dissuade me. (The number of toads might though.)

Lighter, I KNOW about this risk going into the situation. It's a calculated risk; like how many toads you go through before finding a prince. I'm not making this full time pursuit/hobby either. I really do have too much to do to waste a lot of time looking at these pages & pages of guys like I was picking out a new rake or curtains. If I don't take the risk... I'm choosing to be alone, it feels like. And I know I don't want to choose that for myself. If that's what happens, I'm OK with it... but I'm not going to overtly deny myself either.

Ya know: the steps I'm making are probably smaller than I realize. They feel big... but just being able to take the risk talking/flirting is only one small step to "getting back on the horse".
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on February 19, 2018, 07:06:06 PM
Well, you sound pragmatic enough about this, Amber.

Wading in, with eyes wide open, is what you're ready for.

Wade away, and we'll learn as you go;. )


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 20, 2018, 08:10:34 AM
The baby-chick Viking woke up PO'd. Only partly at being misled by this guy. More at myself.

60 some years of experience moving through the same environment filled with predators (of one sort or another) and well-honed SOP defenses (the shield wall)... and simple lonliness blinded me for a moment and let myself believe in a fairy-tale and trust someone... only to have none of it check out... and to have that hope dashed uncermoniously on the rocks of factual evidence. Who knows? I might've continued talking to him, IF, he'd been honest about who he was. Even the VAT tax number on his website didn't check out; useful brother checked on that for me.

I would theorize that there is probably a lot of room between the two extremes of completely open and vulnerable (and blind) and the self-limiting steel bunker-mentality. And that I've never really been completely one way or the other, though the tendency has been more bunker than not. Mostly because I was so detached from feeling anything for so long, that it was way out of my comfort zone to be that trusting. And to trust myself to feel anything from that realm was a no-no... because I seem to have that primal desire to fall all the way into it without engaging brain.

It sure was a whole lot easier to navigate that feeling continuum with new people, when I knew Mike had my back. And I depended on it. Didn't have to do the work, myself; I had a ready 2nd opinion. Maybe.... it's idea time... maybe I need to think of this as more of a "job interview" and I'm looking for those kinds of qualifications - someone to have my back, help me feel safe, that I can trust. All prioritized above the mooshy-gooshy fairy-tale stuff.

I certainly wouldn't hire someone who faked their resume and wouldn't think twice about passing them over for someone with real potential.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on February 20, 2018, 08:31:20 AM
The baby-chick Viking woke up PO'd. Only partly at being misled by this guy. More at myself.

60 some years of experience moving through the same environment filled with predators (of one sort or another) and well-honed SOP defenses (the shield wall)... and simple lonliness blinded me for a moment and let myself believe in a fairy-tale and trust someone... only to have none of it check out... and to have that hope dashed uncermoniously on the rocks of factual evidence. Who knows? I might've continued talking to him, IF, he'd been honest about who he was. Even the VAT tax number on his website didn't check out; useful brother checked on that for me.

I would theorize that there is probably a lot of room between the two extremes of completely open and vulnerable (and blind) and the self-limiting steel bunker-mentality. And that I've never really been completely one way or the other, though the tendency has been more bunker than not. Mostly because I was so detached from feeling anything for so long, that it was way out of my comfort zone to be that trusting. And to trust myself to feel anything from that realm was a no-no... because I seem to have that primal desire to fall all the way into it without engaging brain.

It sure was a whole lot easier to navigate that feeling continuum with new people, when I knew Mike had my back. And I depended on it. Didn't have to do the work, myself; I had a ready 2nd opinion. Maybe.... it's idea time... maybe I need to think of this as more of a "job interview" and I'm looking for those kinds of qualifications - someone to have my back, help me feel safe, that I can trust. All prioritized above the mooshy-gooshy fairy-tale stuff.

I certainly wouldn't hire someone who faked their resume and wouldn't think twice about passing them over for someone with real potential.

Skep, I think you're being too hard on yourself; you had no reason to doubt anything this guy told you (and personally, as much as I've been let down and done over over the years I still really don't want to become a cynical, untrusting person) and you very sensibly (and with ninja like skills!) checked out his info and found it to be false.  You didn't let yourself be blinded because you were lonely; you assumed he was a decent human being instead of judging him instantly (something I tend to do and am working on), you found out some info about him and checked it and when you found it was bogus you deleted him (or whatever the equivalent action is!).  Sensible and balanced approach and one that has stood you in good stead :)

I think it's sensible to think in terms of 'job interview' and to look for the key qualities that are important for you.  The minute a guy I barely know starts paying me compliments I switch off, because I think it's just smooze.  I want honestly, reliability, cool head in a crisis kind of people around me (male and female).  So be pissed off for a bit but don't let it set you back too far; you caught this before any harm was done and unfortunately the internet has bred a whole new kind of con artist but you saw it for what it was and didn't get taken in by it. xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 20, 2018, 10:49:24 AM
Thanks Tupp. I'm going to work off some of my ego-bruises and stomped hopes and PO'd-ness. It's trying to be spring here... and there is just SOOOO much to do - inside, still and out.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on February 20, 2018, 02:53:09 PM

I try to remember there are lovely people in this world.  Allowing the sociopaths, and opportunistic predators to cut us off from contact, or potential contact, with good people isn't tenable either.   As with all difficult truths, this one goes in and out of focus too.

I see your recent experience this way.....

you did your homework, saw crazy coming, and crossed the street.

That's a big part of healthy boundaries, IME.  Not allowing them to get away with the first nutsy rocksy koo crazy thing.  I'd for certain report the guy as a fraud, and perhaps worse.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 20, 2018, 08:38:04 PM
Not going to let it stop me. I signed for a session of e-harmony too. :P take that bad-guys.

As for reporting him, that isn't going to happen unless he persists in trying to contact me. Who knows why people feel so badly about themselves that they have to pretend to be someone else? He might NOT have been targeting me. So he gets this one chance.

But I really don't have a lot of time - and I'm not getting a LOT to go on from the brief "profiles" of these people. I need to just talk and get to know them. But that doesn't seem to be an experience that any of the sites encourage.

It is possible online! Look at us! And I've been able to create my small, close groups of friends in lots of other forums, too. Even the big rowdy ones. Back when all this technology was just starting to get used in education, I preferred discussion forums to chat. Of course, chat was pretty glitchy back then. There is one chat I visit from time to time; I used to be more regular right after Mike got sick and after he died. About 5-6 "regulars" would get together and just talk. It HELPED so much in the evenings, when couples normally end their day talking together.

Maybe the difference is the "group" experience versus taking that first step at a "private" conversation. It's a much lower bar to just talk and be yourself in a group situation, and you get a sense of who people are and how you interact... without that pressure of one on one.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 21, 2018, 12:09:39 PM
Back to work - slowly, clumsily, but getting there.

I got a metal cabinet yesterday, which fits in an alcove next to my woodstove, on the tile I laid. This is one domino - next, is to unload the boxes of first aid stuff I keep on hand, in there. THEN, I can have someone give me an estimate on replacing the flooring.

College Hunks coming to take away the old hot tub tomorrow. YAY. I think I'm building a summer kitchen in that location. Still working on that idea.

The replacement piece for the entertainment center that got damaged will be here next week. Then I can work on spreading my ticky-tacky decorative clutter around so no one place looks "over full".

As soon as I find one of my two staplers and staples, I can start work on the insulation any time now.

I have 4 shelves to build in the garden barn, then I can start transferring the big equipment and the smaller stuff that will live on those shelves (for now). Still need workbenches out there and when the electrician comes to hang my chandeliers (maybe next week?? he hasn't called back yet) I'll have him explain what all I need to have ready for him to connect the building to power, for lights and outlets.

THEN, I can finally have the room in the other garage to start sorting out the last stack of Mikey gear, that will (I hope) get sold at auction.

That's the extent of my to-do list for now. Still have stuff to do organizing the studio too. And stuff to purge... and the bunkroom to "edit".

After checking the long-range weather report, I'll get in touch with Ronnie's brother about plowing/terracing my garden area and working on the road.

I need better wood storage, too.

Today, for some odd reason I was hungry this morning. Then I drug my feet a little more and now it's lunch time... LOL.

And that's ALL I'm going to do. This was all stuff that needed doing last year and I didn't move fast enough. There are new "chores" on the list starting this summer... to get ready for next winter.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 22, 2018, 08:47:43 AM
The part of online dating that requires keeping myself safe... I've got covered. I'm confident I can navigate that aspect of the situation JUST FINE. What scared the crap outta me, and made me angry at myself, was the automatic emotional reflex to hope, be pleased that someone would pay attention to me, and made the effort - EVEN (now that I think of it) - even if it was all made up. It was the space of an inhale... before I was totally tizzified and allowed myself to feel that rush of excitement. And HOPE.

I know that makes me human. And therefore is a good thing. But I also judge it to be very dangerous, opening up vulnerability to being completely manipulated and taken advantage of. If it held off until I was more sure of being able trust someone else... it wouldn't seem as dangerous.

Like so many other things about myself, that I judge myself severely on... I can't exactly pinpoint any actual times that I let my heart rule my head to that extent. It's never happened (and I don't count my high school crush that walked away from me so abruptly and cruelly; he is a master manipulator as an adult). So, after a couple days of just facing this experience and accepting it what I think is...

I'm judging myself so criticly because of the experience of my parent's not protecting me. I trusted them, and got attacked anyway. INDIRECTLY, they set up the environment and moving pieces that made the attack possible. They can in no way be held responsible DIRECTLY for that attack. Even more so, can I not blame 12 yr old Twiggy... ie, my SELF... and that residual fear about trust, emotion, enmeshment, and getting blindsided... is all rational to me, in the emotional "language" of feelings.

So, I don't really need to be afraid of that emotional reflex. It can "be"... and still be tempered by sensible precaution and self-protection and boundaries. I do think I'll change my profiles though. I want to dissuade anyone who is flat out stating up front that they're looking for marriage only. There are a whole lot more relationship steps for me between total stranger and that level of commitment. And YES, I've raised the bar on who can qualify for marriage pretty damn high.

That's based on experience, for sure. And thinking ahead. Most of the guys online put marriage as "what they're looking for" out there, because they think that's what women are looking for. Time to cut the crap and lay out some ground rules, on my part.

LOL, I got a message from a 35 yr old guy. No demands or requests, just wants someone female to talk to. LOL... another one struggling with the software. Eyes open, I sent him back a commisserating message about the software and told him my kids are older than he is, so maybe I'm not what he's looking for. That website has exceedingly complex age filters and a lot of the guys' ages are shown as being in their 30s - but with salt & pepper hair, or all white. And in addition - the software considers me a "match" to someone who's 25. (I've gone back to the 3 different places where you specify age range and reset it AGAIN. If it doesn't stick this time... I'm out of there.)

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on February 22, 2018, 03:11:10 PM
That's a lot of information, Amber.  You're so busy!

I do want to comment on the part about your hoping so quickly......


You can feel giddy, and tingly, and interested in men, and that's something to be celebrated that you're ready.

That your parents failed to protect you and your brother..... is a terrible thing you'll be wrestling your entire life  likely.  I want to say I'm profoundly sorry they weren't able to do better, bc you were worthy, and deserved better.  So sorry.  You seem to be able to protect yourself just fine now.  You're a full grown Amazon, and you're mindfully finding your way through all aspects of your journey.

I believe in you, and I'm glad you've set the bar high for any new men in your life. 


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on February 23, 2018, 06:00:53 AM
Aw Skep, I really identified with a lot of that, I think parents failing to protect leaves us with shaky foundations.  Combine that with a deep seated need and desire to be loved (again often there in spades if it isn't easily come by in childhood) and a people pleasing attitude (that so many of us have) and yes, it can cause all sorts of problems.

But I think you're dealing with it the right way.  You're aware it's there.  You're aware that hoping someone turns out to be as nice as they seem is okay and part of being human.  You're aware that not everyone is as nice as they seem so you sensibly checked things out and avoided the car crash.  All of this is good.  Personally I think I've got to a point where I'm accepting that bits of me are damaged and so I just have to put a bit more work in to live my life with those damaged bits in place.  I do experience what you describe.  I'd love a happy ending.  I'd love to meet a man who makes all the crap I've been through worth it.  But I am careful not to let my thoughts run away with me when I do meet someone (in the flesh or online).  I suppose it's knowing where your own line is between day dreaming and hoping and denying reality.  We all have to find the point that's comfy.  I think you're doing just fine :) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 23, 2018, 08:43:24 AM
Thanks! I swapped pictures on the 3 sites I'm on. There was a better one than the one I initially used. I huffed a bit about the "auto-renewing subscription" on 2 sites... so I'm good for a couple more months yet and on the 3rd, I just didn't subscribe. I'm getting awfully tired of the gotchas in how people do business. At least they backed down and let me subscribe for 3 months at a time.

I've sent out a couple of messages and gotten a couple. Invariably, the guy's messages are overly-lovey-dovey... as if we already have a relationship. I guess they THINK this is what women want? Or other guys have said this is what they should do? I got news for 'em...

if someone I'd just met started talking to me that way face to face, the only reaction he'd get from me is terribly sore privates and probably a hand print on his face, as he bent over in pain. So I think I'm just going to have to accept that they need a little "training" before even considering housebreaking them... UNLESS I find one who can mind his manners a little better.

I'm trying to get better at looking for that in the self-descriptions. Someone who won't presume that a message is a full-on green light to jumping in the sack or marriage... and that I'm so emotionally "needy" that any attention or sweet talk, will cause me to swoon. (That's also to help keep me from swooning, actually.)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on February 23, 2018, 08:51:38 AM
Ha, that did make me laugh, yes, the whole 'this is how you chat up women' thing leaves me cold, I prefer gawky, awkward correspondence to be honest, because it seems more real - if you're showing your true self then most people feel a bit shy or unsure to start off with, I always feel that 'lines' are just that - trotted out to anyone that will listen and I assume it's a scattergun approach (if I say this to ten women one of them's bound to say yes!).  Perhaps I read too much into it or am just a bit long in the tooth now :)

Anyway, your approach sounds good, Skep, and I think Hops' advice re swopping a few messages and then getting together for a coffee is good.  I've probably been on a dozen dates with men from internet dating sites over the years and I think only two have been the way they appeared via their pictures and emails.  It's funny how people come across differently in different mediums.  Anyway, good luck and keep us posted :)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on February 23, 2018, 09:40:33 AM
Ok...that assumption instant intimacy has been established is sort of how dd15s xbf started out.  She told me he skipped the part she was looking forward to.  It's sad bc he just has zero idea how to DO slow, funny, gentle getting to know someone.  I know he'd do better if he knew how. 

Does anyone think a toad can be hidden by these poor dating habits?  I'm thinking it's possible, but geez..... unlikely.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on February 23, 2018, 10:00:30 AM
Ok...that assumption instant intimacy has been established is sort of how dd15s xbf started out.  She told me he skipped the part she was looking forward to.  It's sad bc he just has zero idea how to DO slow, funny, gentle getting to know someone.  I know he'd do better if he knew how. 

Does anyone think a toad can be hidden by these poor dating habits?  I'm thinking it's possible, but geez..... unlikely.


I think it's possible, Lighter, I think there's so much 'social programming' that we're all conditioned to think is what or how we're supposed to be in all sorts of situations and I think people generally present a certain side of themselves initially, for self protection perhaps?  To be honest I'm really hoping I meet someone in a non meeting kind of way, just through doing an evening class or something I take my son to, because I think getting to know someone (to a certain extent) in a non dating way is better than setting it up as a possible romance from the beginning - I just think there's a pressure to it that makes both sides act a little different.  But I've been single for more than a decade so I probably shouldn't talk about dating at all lol :)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on February 23, 2018, 10:26:41 AM
The only time I thought someone was a prospect, he went nuts....watched me eat in a creepy across the room way, barged into the bathroom, woke me from sound sleep to talk, was impossible to make small talk with, and it was like BAM!  He changed from funny and seemingly normal once he thought dating MIGHT be a possibility.  We never dated or discussed it!

He texted like a 13 yo girl....
while I was driving in a hurricane.....
with iffy tires! 

My brother said men lose their minds when they're attracted to a woman.  I wonder....how often is it a permanent thing?  It's.....not possible for me to engage it.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 24, 2018, 08:16:14 AM
Tupps - you said exactly what my issue is with "dating" as a "thing". All my husbands (and THAT sounds weird) were people I knew, before we even thought there might be romantic interest. #2 was probably the closest to a "love at first sight" situation... and that didn't turn out so well. It also wasn't that bad, except for a couple of intractable issues.

This is why I'm looking for someway for us "senior singles" to interact as a group. Pairing off happens way more naturally; you have a much better idea (walking into that first "date") of who the other person is, how they treat people, where their boundaries are - and if they'll respect yours. Maybe center the "get together time" on some kind of activity, so there's at least that in common... cards, board games, trivia, movies... books... with discussion & socializing to follow.

There was one guy on the site I haven't subscribed to that made me laugh out loud last night. He's fairly close to my location, but it would still be a drive. He said he was making a "new" profile, since what he started out with obviously wasn't effective. He said he didn't like cats, dogs or people much. Didn't feel like it worth his time to try to meet someone in cyberspace and jump through hoops like a trained unicorn... and he wasn't sure coming across as "desperate" was the image he wanted to share publicly... so I looked at his pictures. One is of a 50s pickup truck he's restoring. I opened my message to him... with NICE TRUCK. And proceeded to talk a little about my jeeps. I might have to subscribe to a) find him again and b) continue talking.

And he's just an average guy, average looking, blue collar... but I don't care about all that. I'm interested in who he is as a person -- and his "new profile" let that come through the screen. THAT is something I can connect with... whether it goes anywhere or not.

I guess I'm finding out a lot about myself in this process. Blowing up my own long-believed myths about "me"... what I want... really... and how this whole process works.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 27, 2018, 07:11:34 AM
Never got a response from the guy with the truck. I think that website keeps everyone's profile and runs it across your screen, calling it a "match"... when it's just another entry in the database. Then, the profile descriptions that automatically selected based on a really short list of questions have fallen into quite the pattern. Some guys do write their own; there is some life to them.

But I did get a message back from someone. He seems real enough. We've just been talking... dipping a toe in the water... talking about ourselves a little. (No identifying/specific location data.) And not every day, either. He doesn't "tizzify" me... but he sounds like someone I can be comfortable with.

Good enough for now.

MEANWHILE, back at the ranch, in real life... I seem to be talking and no one understands what I'm saying. Something that should be simple enough to arrange to get done, or explain what I want, or accomplish... has become incredibly frustrating. All because the words coming out of my mouth aren't what people understand... and I don't understand or know about what information they're saying they need from me. And that feels horrible. Like I've been dropped into an alien culture, with a different language, customs, and I DON'T BELONG.

Sorely tempted to go back to bed for an hour or three, and dream until I wake up back on "my planet" again.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on February 27, 2018, 08:06:22 AM
Skep, I think lengthy naps when it's all getting too much are just the best :)

As for the online dating - I know in the UK there are loads of things those websites do to make it look like they've got more users than they have, or they put users up as active when they're not or just have random computer generated matching things so it looks like someone wanted to get in touch with you but when you contact them they're not a paid up member so they can't reply, and so on and so on.  I got bored and lonely last weekend so joined one and have had the predictable emails from blokes who haven't read my profile and just want someone to get together with (mostly starting with 'oh you're so pretty!) which goes back to that flattery stuff we were talking about before.

Yes, I think the meeting someone as part of a group type thing is way easier; you know you've got at least one thing in common and I find I meet a lot of guys day to day that I find attractive but I know if I saw a picture of them I wouldn't feel the same.  It's all about getting a vibe off people, I think, and sometimes just something about their eyes or the way they stand, there are so many little things that are lost online.

Are you too rural where you are for there to be seniors social gathering type thing?  They sound like nicer places to meet people, not even necessarily for dating but just for company or new friends.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on February 27, 2018, 09:04:32 AM
The weirdness of online communicating---

NICE TRUCK! [Omg, she's so aggressive. All caps!? I'm scared of her...click, swipe, panic....]

Nice truck! [Is she a mechanic? Maybe she's part of a truck theft ring, I'd better shut down....]

I really like your truck! [Oh, that's sweet. She sounds....nice. Mebbe I'll....]

You like trucks? Me too! [Hmmm. Okayyy...but this is a guy thing.]

What kind of truck is that? [Uhhh. Guess I'll answer: It's a blah blah.... see if she wants to talk....]

Oy. Good luck Amber and keep at it!

Another line somebody once wrote about dating that I found both hysterical and helpful:

Hello, hello, keep the line moving....

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 28, 2018, 08:36:37 AM
That's what's nice about this guy Hops. We're having a perfectly ordinary "getting to know you" conversation. No red flags, no overly intimate stuff, just two people talking online.... just like THIS. Talking about losing spouses. Things we like to do... day in, day out stuff.

Does it help that he looks like a viking (and those DO look like authentic photos; no telling how old of course)? Yeah, kinda. Does it help he ran a nightclub in the 80s-90s that catered to rock & roll... and now has a much less "glam", more blue collar job?? YEP. We have music in common at least, some bands. We both survived our contact with that world, with our sanity intact. Does it help that he feels good about how his kids turned out, after raising them without his spouse? That too. He like boats, fishing, the Ohio State Buckeyes... (no one's perfect)... and he doesn't seem emotionally needy.

I might be though. LOL. I do keep checking to see if he's responded to my last message, which I'm working really HARD to keep from overly verbose. I tossed him a question this morning - that might cause him to run the other way as fast as he can. We'll see. I could be wrong about how I think he'll answer.

Weather is not enticing me to work outside today, but I might venture out to bring up one of the tall ladders and get light bulbs in my living room fixture. Ladder's heavy and has to come up steps. Then, this afternoon the bridge for my tv/storage unit is getting delivered and connected - THEN, I can finally put stuff ON it. Right now, I have all the electronics hooked up and only have to pull one plug to move the base cabinets, it's all in. I don't know what all we need to do... but I am going to have to level the left side shelves while things are pulled out and I have some muscle here.

I've ordered some rosa rugosa - rose hip bushes - to plant as one of the foundations of my food/fantasy - read: flowers & herbs - garden. I think I need some lilacs too. Fruit trees could go in this year too... but now I need to have a) front end loader and b) backhoe... for all this heavy work. That's a lot of holes to dig by hand in rocky soil. I need to call 811 and get my underground power marked too. I don't want to dig anything up or break it. And that needs to be done for running the power to the barn, too.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on February 28, 2018, 09:05:40 AM


There are good ones, and all other manner, so stay frosty.  Believe him when he tells you who he is, and he likely will if you let him talk with zero judgement from you. 

Spring looks like it's lining up pretty well for you, Amber.  I'm so glad.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on February 28, 2018, 09:29:16 AM
"Hey Mr. Vi...
Now that we've chatted some, would you like to meet for coffee? It's good to meet the real person behind the messages. Let me know, Brunhilde"

Amber, there's no such thing as ordinary conversation with you, you know.


So happy you're having fun. Urge you to get offline asap and meet the guy. Before it builds...

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on February 28, 2018, 12:18:23 PM
He's 5-6 hrs away from my location.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 04, 2018, 08:48:10 AM
The Viking is minding his manners and he's letting me babble on about myself, in hopes he starts to feel comfortable doing the same. I didn't scare him off yet. We aren't giving a lot of demographic information - so for instance, we couldn't track each other down and there's nothing for me to check online about him. It's just ordinary people conversation so far - no emotional anything.

He evaporated for a couple of days due to flooding in his area. And I felt like it would've been OK if he'd been scared off. No harm done; still no expectations... but that also indicates to me that we might just be passing the time, without any real connection or caring. I think I'm still OK with that, at this point.

Whatever strange space I've been in the past month, is starting to shift. And I'm completely re-examining my spring "to-do" list. I'm glad I didn't just jump into some really big projects just yet. I've got 10 rosa rugosa on their way, and I need to know where I can safely dig holes... plan out fencing... and think things through - keeping the whole picture in mind - including future "expansion" before I end up doing something that will become an obstacle or awkward later on.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on March 05, 2018, 12:33:34 AM
Hmmm....two and a half hours each way for each of you?
A pain, but doable....

Dang. Wish some tall drink o' water in your neck of the woods would ramble into your life.

Meanwhile, you sure are staying mentally healthy with the projects. Productive and active.

I ate pizza and cookies and spent all day dozing. Elder gent is at the edge of life, health crises and loads of intense pain, so caregiving's gotten intense. You can only give a 107 pound 93 y.o so much medication before it affects all systems, and docs just keep piling in the pills. He barely eats and I hate to see him suffer. I've arranged an agency to fill in some times when i can't be there but feel the stress of worry about him. Hard to get others to step up although the church did come through so I could enjoy half the weekend. Whew. Sorry for the hijack, might start a thread just on work.

love and enjoy,
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 05, 2018, 09:03:50 AM
That's OK Hops. There are so many digressions in my threads... it looks like a "where's Waldo" map.

I've been TIRED this weekend. Usually happens for a stretch in the spring/fall. I'm totally in agreement with myself during these times - silence is wonderful, I don't want/need to think, turn on something mindless on tv like barnwood builders or a favorite movie that I already know the dialogue, what happens, and don't need to really pay attention to it. My brain gets "spacey"... and I just "stop". I fall asleep with what I'm reading... and sleep for 9-10 hrs at a stretch. Wake up rested, but with "still" energy... not ready to tackle the list yet.

Some of it is the huge barometer swing we've been through, between the storm and now. And the temps being just as cold, as those days when the sunshine was pale & had no heat to it... only now the sun is blazing bright and actually feels warm.

I piddled around and started filling the shelves on the tv/storage unit. That let me de-clutter where all that stuff has been living till now, in the kitchen & dining room. That now looks less like a General Store. Did a little online shopping for things I was almost out of... did buying research on a wood splitter... and even talked myself out of doing laundry. I am starting to realize I need to do another thorough spring cleaning, since the carpentry work done last summer. And MAYBE I'll get ahead of the ladybugs & stinkbugs now. I'm thinking about tight-fitting, all wood, spring-closed screen doors for summer. I have sun shades for the porch here, just waiting for motivation to hang them. The sun coming over the ridge in the morning lights up all my trinkets on the top shelves in the tv corner.

Kids were going to come out - but they have their own stuff to take care of. My friend will come out for an overnight St. Patrick's weekend... one of our traditional get-togethers, because Mike's birthday was about then, too. I could very well have the usual house full then... so I guess I should work on that bunkroom some.

The Viking is OK. I already knew that guys my age have their own farms, family close by, and aren't giving any of that up... and neither am I. He has mentioned wanting to buy land near OBX... and I don't have the heart to fill him in on the reality of it. It's a good place to dream about and vacation in. The trip to where he is, is about 4-5 hrs Hops. It's about the same distance from here, to where I grew up in OH - only he's east a bit and where there aren't any major highways. Remember - I'm about 1/2 hr from the VA border... and my county is optimistically described as "2 1/2 hrs from DC". LOL. Maybe as the crow flies.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on March 05, 2018, 11:25:36 AM
So you pick a spot halfway between, and meet there for a looong lunch!


(I am SUCH a nag.)

The idea of you sitting on your mountain watching the morning light appear over a ridge and cast magic into that deep-quiet, mountain-home space nearly gives me chills. But happy ones. Such beauty.

I lived in mountains a lot during my life, and that's the nature that most speaks to me. These days, I don't spend enough time there. Need to go out (hell, it's just 20-30 minutes) and look at the valley, take some old-lady trails, remind myself how good that mountain quiet, except for wind rustle, is...how calming to the spirit and spacious to the mind.

Hops PS I notice your assumption no landowning man would ever be besotted enough with you to come live on YOUR mountain. Hmmm. Just don't pre-decide you know that, magic is always possible.... But I also see that you're moving in your own space, inner and outer, at your own pace, and that's exactly as it should be. I'm tickled for you.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on March 05, 2018, 02:44:33 PM

Why can't the Viking have his, and you have yours?  Stuff isn't as important as having connection and relationship....if that's on your list, that is, and certainly this is just my opinion. 

Maybe it's wiser to just not explore a possible connection if you set minimum criteria,and stick to it, but everyone's children are grown..... I see more room for compromise in every direction.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 05, 2018, 05:04:28 PM
Hops - he's already told me as much. I just told him I was independent - ie, not looking for someone to delegate the honey-do list to.

Yes, Lighter... the connection is way more important to me than the specifics of our living arrangements. For the time being, at least. And we're NO WHERE close to needing to discuss such things anyway. We're still just two strangers talking.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 11, 2018, 10:28:16 AM
Reader's Digest update. There is a lot going on in my head, but it's not coherent enough yet to "spew" it out.

Amy IS continuing to see the therapist. And she seems to be aware that it will take some time, before she is comfortable enough to dredge up the real burr under her saddle. Meanwhile, she's almost recertified for her EMT again and working... and there have been some changes that will keep her from being overly stressed out, and overworked.

Holly & Matt's future is still in the impasse stage. Couple that with the fact that production ends in a couple of months, and she's starting to quietly "flail". He is putting the whole decision of their continued relationship on her and she's stubborn enough to not fall for that; and try to get him to participate at a level that two adults should function on for decisions this big. But that is making her very unhappy too. She and I have talked through all the various possible outcomes... so she has to decide. She's been 7 years trying to decide - looking for fault in herself, for what she wants... bending, changing, working on the relationship... all by herself, and it's not even on Matt's radar that changes will take 2 people. She has a tendency to explode when she's that frustrated - and she's aware of it and trying to find another way through.

Friend is coming out this weekend for girls' R&R... and Holly's been "threatening" to come out for a month and other stuff has gotten in the way. Weather, cars, work... so this weekend will be a surprise for me. LOL.

Electrician is coming back Monday to put up the other light fixture, and see if the globes will fit over the new bulbs I got for the living room one. We'll talk about the next steps in getting power out to the garden barn... and I've let Ronnie know I've got that going on before I want his brother to do a few things with his big equipment.

I need to get in the garage and start shifting things where they go, so that I can sort, toss, and re-organize the last "mikey pile". I think I'm going to plant his ashes, in the woods & rocks on the cliff that I can see out my bedroom window in the mornings. Maybe I'll grow a new guy!!   ;)

And so far, the Viking is still just talking... two strangers passing time together. And I'm still OK with that... for now. I know it's not what I "need"... ultimately. But since it's been so long since I've done the "getting to know you" dance... I need this step first. How to talk to a new guy, 101. Who knows? Maybe we'll just be friends. That wouldn't be a bad outcome.

Well, I have a lot of housework on my list today. I finally - FINALLY - scheduled myself a massage for Wed, and I'll go to the bank, pick up/drop off glasses... and shop for the weekend. PHEW, that's a lot of "big town" running around. The housework, is mostly finding the balance between layers of "decorating" vs "clutter" that feels right for me. I need to get guest rooms ready too.

I have some heavy stuff to go in the studio - one piece I can't carry even if I get help; it's going to take two strong people.

And I'm STILL trying to get a firm, clear sense... of what is "going on with me" right now. Descriptions defy me, at the moment. Maybe I'm just "on the road" to something else and what I'm noticing but can't put into words... is just the fleeting images out the car window.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on March 11, 2018, 01:41:59 PM
It will make sense at some point, Skep.  The pieces fall together and it starts to clear a bit.  You are such a busy bee :)

I'm glad Amy is engaging with the T and working at things.  That's good news.

Internet viking chat is no bad thing.  Safe, comfortable, easy, little effort required.  Could become more.  Could stay the same.  Sometimes it's nice just to get an email on those quiet days when you don't see or speak to anyone.

It sounds nice to plant Mike's ashes where you can see him easily every day :) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on March 11, 2018, 05:54:35 PM
OHH, the Mikey pile. How beautiful. How...beautiful.
I think spring is going to help with this. I found this idea so moving.

H finding her way to the moment of knowing, the right decision when she's ready to make it. And A, having some functioning...these are good and hopeful (and oh hell don't we all wish we could observe these fragilities with the equanimity of da buddha...). Your center is safe.

And Viking, a safe practice space for Vikinggirl...that sounds good too.

I wanna girls' mountain weekend! Your moment of phew, city shopping...reminded me. Even an extravert can get tired of that city energy too. And the sweet mountain silence is so so so gorgeous.

Thanks for all these images of your life, outside and in...

(I spent hours re-connecting with church folks I'd missed after being absent a while, and wound up bundled in a warm jacket in my backyard "uphill patio" spot with my awesome gf from across the street, drinking bourbon and talking about religion, meaning o' life, men, all of it. I feel so appreciated and lucky...she's an unexpected gift who came with the neighborhood.)

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 11, 2018, 07:11:13 PM
That sounds like a fun day Hops.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 14, 2018, 08:24:21 AM
Making the trek over the mountain... banking, shopping, picking up glasses... and a long overdue (read: self-denied) massage. Girls weekend coming up... my friend Friday night, Holly on Sat morning.

Friend needs to blow off steam, have a few drinks, talk through more changes to her life... and Holly doing about the same - altho she's more actively engaged in trying to make something happen, based on what she knows about what her inheritance is likely to be. The downside of getting her up to speed and engaged in stepping up, I guess. The upside is that at least, she's not feeling economically at Matt's mercy re: her choices in life.

We have a LOT to discuss. The timing is about right for several things to "come together" at one time but I have to kind of fine-tune her expectations somewhat. This is simply one of several big things she's chewing on right now - her job on this production ends in May, and while there are rumors of another show coming into town and their soundstage... she has also been networking with other crews - in other locations... and thinking about doing different kinds of work completely.

I'm having to put my business/legal hat back on again when I was rather more looking to get my hands dirty planting & building a few things, instead. I need to hire a couple of strong guys to work for me on an "as needed basis", I think. I'll have to be careful how I word that ad! A Freudian slip might get me the wrong kind of responses. LOL.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on March 14, 2018, 06:09:06 PM
Good luck finding part time helpers, Amber. 

Have wonderful visits, and enjoy your visitors: )


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on March 15, 2018, 04:29:33 AM
I hope you have a really solid time with your girlfriend, a great visit.

I'm sorry Hols is bringing you back into matriarch PLUS financial advisor mode. Doesn't sound fun.

Hope soon it's all about your own life and joys again...your work never ends but you do seem to love it. May it be so soon.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 15, 2018, 08:29:56 PM
I don't feel it's that way at all, Hops. We get together, talk, solve life's problems, ponder the universe... ask "what if" and "why not"... and we intermittently work around here, look at properties she's interested in... while she talks out loud about her thought process about why she's still living with Matt, where she thinks that's going, etc.

I listen, interject some feedback (when I can get a word in edgewise)... and remind her, it takes me a while to actually spit out what I'm trying to say. Debbie's input will shift things a little bit... but she's been through the "drill" before. LOL. It will be fun...
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 18, 2018, 04:05:06 PM
So. I planted the husband today.

I was going to have Holly open the plastic box, but I did it instead. His ashes were in a plastic bag secured by a wire tie. Hahahahaha. Mike was all about wire ties. We both wanted to be composted. So I couldn't just put a plastic box in the ground.

I can see where he is, from my bedroom window. Every morning. That's his section of the land to guard.

I thought it was going to be real emotional to do that... but it wasn't. Functional. Completion. And the kid brought an unopened bottle of really good bourbon and 2 beers... and we did spill a few drops of bourbon while sipping... but it was just another task to complete. NOT a big deal, at this point in time.

And maybe I'll grow another husband. Or NOT. I think I'm OK either way.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on March 18, 2018, 07:30:30 PM
And of course you had to spill a few drops of bourbon!

It was an offering for Mr. Mike.

I'm so glad you did that.

And will be able to see that lovely place where he rests.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 18, 2018, 08:13:42 PM
It was time to do this.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on March 18, 2018, 08:24:19 PM
Setting the memories free, to come to visit you, to sail on, as they will, at peace always.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 22, 2018, 08:46:09 AM
SNOW... Somewhere between 8 in and a foot... depending on where I look. Time to suit up like "Nanook of the North" and begin redistributing it.

I didn't bother between breaks in the snow, the last two days, because it was warm enough to melt - and then leave ice everywhere. Like all the steps from the main living level down to the ground. Snow is OK - it doesn't freeze underneath. Ice, not so good.

We've had a pretty decent winter for moisture - even IF it was so cold for a month that it didn't do anything. Had our only "good snow" last winter in March, too.

There's still not much traffic out on the highway and my road hasn't been plowed (last in the county on the priority list). So, it's not like I'm going anywhere - anyway. LOL. Just have to get some bills out.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on March 22, 2018, 09:15:45 AM
I was wondering how much snow you got.

Hops... are you snowed in?

How is everyone doing out there?

We have a lovely partial dusting... nothing on the roads here, but perhaps farther North.

The wind howled last night.  Branches breaking and falling all night... very eerie. 
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on March 22, 2018, 11:29:26 AM
Nice snow yesterday, only about 4" -- took the day to loll about. That day would've been unsafe driving but today there'll be no problem.

Where I am it takes 6" or more to feel truly stuck but if it ain't urgent, I just stay home. My old folks were in safe situations though Ngent does call me a LOT on days off. Thank heaven for voicemail

My driveway's very short and my car's 4WD so after a bit of melt I just blast out of here.

I'm happy we had at least one snow that looked the part. Now on to spring!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 26, 2018, 10:38:45 AM
I still have snow on the steps/deck at the studio. I guess I need to start the process of getting them clean and dry for the weekend. Kids will be here and I have a heavy piece of furniture that's going out there. It's supposed to be warming up - F I N A L L Y.

But, wanted to stop in and say that waiting so long to plant "Mike" turned out to be the right decision for me. Yes, I let him have a year at the "little cabin" he liked - and that I sold. But I had plenty of time to process that the contents of the plastic box weren't him any longer... and what WAS him, that I missed, was prior to the year or so when he tried to cover up that he was sick. He's been "gone" long enough now... that while I still miss certain aspects of him from time to time... that space he occupied for me, doesn't hurt any longer... and doesn't rightly belong to him, either. I'm reclaiming it.

And since no one else is actively seeking to occupy that space, I think I might just go on about my days right now, busting through some more "can'ts"... and maybe breaking some old taboos... and finally fixing a few things about "me" that have needed attention that I directed to other people for so long.

Look out world. LOL.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on March 26, 2018, 11:26:34 AM
all your energy directed to yourself, Amber.

Finally: )


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on March 26, 2018, 01:38:27 PM
I'm glad you got him in a nice spot, Skep, and I think those informal, getting on with it type ceremonies can often be the best.  I like that idea of you taking him with you to the cabin.  I hope the snow doesn't cause too many problems!  We had a lovely spring day today but they are forecasting snow again for the end of the week.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 29, 2018, 10:19:59 AM
It's official. I have spring fever. Today is supposed to be the warmest day, till the end of April. Which explains why my area is totally socked in with fog again today - there are still patches of snow on the ground, and it's been rainy for a few days on top of the melting.

It's now week 2, that I've been waiting on power co & electrician to get together here, decide what's what... and how they're going to proceed. I am pretty useless in the process; to me, it's simple - there's power at that pole or the transformer at the house - now, hook it up to the barn. As far as deciding the best way to do that... I am not qualified to make those decisions.

Bless my electrician, he kept thinking of more options for me to choose from until I finally said: I want THIS, and put that HERE... and how the wire gets to that - I don't really care. Even if it costs more money. If you think it's a better solution - let's do that. He does know I know about some things, and therefore have a "vision" and expectation in mind. But when it comes to this level of electricity, pardon me while I pick my nose and go sit in the corner and drool. I can't possibly know HOW I want it done; I just want it done. LOL.

I guess there's not much anyone can do about mother nature and her delight in throwing a kink into plans. It's been a reallllllllly long winter. And all of April is going to be 10 degrees cooler than normal. More like March, than April around here. I am so glad I didn't go whole hog starting seeds. But I did indulge in buying a box of herbs, the first week our nursery was open. They didn't have the lavender grosso, so I got 3 hidcotes and 2 munsteads; a couple spearmint (said to keep the stinkbugs at bay); oregano, thyme, and sage. I'm going to use the cool weather to finally get my kitchen beds designed and built. I'm also considering "editing" my driveway some this year.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on March 29, 2018, 11:44:22 AM
It's been a long winter here as well, Skep, everyone's itching for the bad weather to clear off now and to let Spring come through.  We keep getting the odd nice day and it's sooooo lovely.  Can't wait to be able to sit outside in comfort lol.

I feel the same way about getting jobs done; A needs to get to B so please just sort it :)  I think when the information is out of our zone of understanding it's better to let someone else decide the best way to do it or suggest an alternative if what we want isn't practical so I hope it all gets organised soon and I'll keep my fingers crossed the weather starts to perk up.

Next door's cat keeps trying to let himself in; he reminds me of your moggy that adopted you :)  He was sitting out on the step when we got home and he kind of slinks through the door as we come in and get our shoes off lol.  He's absolutely lovely and so affectionate but our cat hates other cats and it's not fair on her so I give him a cuddle and then chuck him back out lol.  He's very well looked after but is a real lap boy so when his owner's out at work he keeps trying all the houses hoping to find a lap to curl up on :)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on March 31, 2018, 05:16:27 AM
We'll Amber, I'm homesick reading your post.  I want to plant, and plan, and garden in the cool moist dirt too.

About your electricity and waiting....you might get a better plan with all this waiting.

 I'm grateful I have a week to prepare for the building materials, turns out. 

Besides rummaging through close quarters living with two other people on this job.... we're working kinks out.  Had to be done, and it's less stress this way.

 Boy are we working on it.
 Are we.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on March 31, 2018, 10:05:32 AM
It's going to be a few more weeks before I can do anything in the dirt Lighter. Mother Nature has her own planning - and I can either get with her program, or sacrifice my work for no result.

The area around the garden barn is soup. The ranger looks like it's been mudwrestling. Spring is a month behind what I've experienced in the past. So be it. I still have lots of other things I can (and should) do... to get where I want to be in another 6 months.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 01, 2018, 06:48:49 AM
Well....we both have to wait to play in the mud, Amber.  I so miss my yard.

And alone time.

And children.

And not being forced to manage other people's emotions.  I so suck at it, am repelled by it, remain mystified by it.

Non sense is my address.  I long for home.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 01, 2018, 10:15:51 AM
Well I hope you get accomplished what you've set out to do Lighter, in the time you have there.

The kids moved the piece of furniture (that the entertainment center replaced) yesterday. Holly & Matt had several butting heads moments... one where he thought she was being disrespectful to me - and he called her out on it privately; but it's just our way of talking through issues. She dealing with a lot of passive-aggressiveness/control issues with him... and trying to find her way. He can't seem to just let her be her.

I see her constantly calling herself "a bad person"; because Matt's always "correcting" her (playing parent). And she's fully expecting a week of crap of deal with. Matt overheard some of our conversation while he supposedly "went for a walk". More like eavesdropping. And I'm well aware that her frustration levels are working up into one of "hurt herself" or "hurt him" modes.

I've laid out what I see her options are. And she's not choosing - just enduring more & more, thinking I guess that being this unhappy and frustrated and alone within the relationship is just something that is like the "cost" of being with "such a great guy". Her friends are also trying to tell her she doesn't deserve to be treated this way, too. He IS a great guy, but he's trying to make Holly into what she is not. I've also covered the idea that she is an intense personality, and that he has been trying to work out just how to be in the relationship with her - as well. It's not his style at all but he is trying, best he can.

Sigh. She's 40. She has to figure this out and choose all by herself. Working on herself, isn't exactly all that's needed to be heard by him... and to be able set that boundary about how much he can criticize, shape, and change her. Chances are, that's a dealbreaker for him. But she knows she can't keep living like this.

Sigh. Values are far apart here. And IMO, that's a lot of the source of the problem - but knows that the boundary issue is something she didn't understand until after she'd moved in and it's incredibly difficult to shift it back where it belongs... especially, when your partner is disengaged from you.

My own personal soap-opera, how wonderful. Not. It's always the same episode over & over.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 01, 2018, 01:30:15 PM
OOOF. This must be so hard to watch, Amber, and not step in.

I hope H finds her oxygen and is able to think it through so that whatever decisions she makes, she will fully own them.

Matt needs to read up on "critical parent." There's some basic great book about that dynamic, can't remember what it's called. But he might be surprised once he learns what that voice is, and actually be less interested in playing out his partnership that way.

One can hope. I do hope for you and for them, peace, happiness, and some emotional ease.
It's exhausting to be in struggle like that...reminds me of my first marriage especially. We were both critics in that one but I was the most vocal. It was my defensive offense, and we were both miserable for seven years. He avoided with alcohol and pot, and I verbalized everything pointlessly. No peace.

Peace for Hol and Matt AND for you. You have worked SO hard to create a family gathering place.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 01, 2018, 02:07:21 PM
I let her vent and discover her own feelings, and validate her perceptions. Try to explain how the games work. There is gaslighting too. One thing that helps is their mutual friends have also affirmed her perception - and while they all love Matt, they're gently pointing out that they aren't right for each other.

It's exhausting for me, true. But I've been standing up and hugging her through temper tantrums since before she could talk - at 2 yrs old. I'm not sure she's really hearing herself sometimes. So that's where I draw my boundary and keep my distance. But I can't let her flail alone without some feedback and information. She's done alot of her own research, reading, talking & thinking. I think she misses the part of herself she's had to put away, to stay in the relationship. And yet - that place has been unfilled by the relationship. Matt looks out for his own interests and simply expects her "be there"... unfulfilled, miserable and lonely. She gets the 3rd degree going out to be with her friends.

Matt's miserable too. For now, it's best for me to stand back and wait.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 02, 2018, 11:03:21 PM
Yikes, Amber.  My heart hurts for your DD and for Matt.  Don't you wish they could click their heels and find some great good therapist to spell it all out for them.....I do.

::Sending patience and care::..

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 03, 2018, 08:31:58 AM
Holly's asked him to go to counselling many times. There's just a no and a total shutdown, followed by sulking... because there's nothing wrong with him (in his mind). It's all Holly and who she is, that is the problelm to Matt.

As of last night, she's moved from being scared and thinking she's a bad person, to being angry and getting over that too.

I'm going to find something else to think about for awhile. Study up on cerulean warblers and their habitat. Log splitters. Skid steers. Finally order some seeds.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on April 03, 2018, 01:06:33 PM
It's very tough being on the edge of other people's realationship issues, Skep, particularly when they're your own grown up babies!  Very hard to listen, not judge, decide whether or not to voice an opinion, to do it objectively without criticising or berating the other partner, it's tiring just writing it down!  I think that you finding something else to think about for a while is a good idea.  Bit of head space and hopefully they can clear a few thoughts of their own in the meantime.  Tough one for you, I'm sorry it's all going on xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 04, 2018, 09:07:19 AM
Yes Tupp; it's difficult. Hol's been close enough to emotional abuse (thanks to her Dad) that she knows what it is; how she reacts; and has to find her own way through that mindfield. I have to really watch myself... and simply suggest ideas from my own experience... and then let her say yes, no, not quite... about her own.

What affected me the most about that short visit was the extreme hostility coming from Matt, directed toward me. I had to hold in my own anger, so was thankful that they left early the next day. Me having one of my infamous, fully honest, total nuclear meltdowns wouldn't have helped a thing. I've vented, I've realized now how angry I am... and most of why. And it's time to move on.

Not my job to sort it out; what will be will be. And Hol is really good at navigating boundaries between the 2 of us. She just flat out tells me to back off or butt out. And I usually do. A lot of times, we laugh and we just move on.  I'm hoping that serves as a useful example to her. I know it's one of the reasons she's been visiting so much. It's a place where she can just BE HER and not have someone "correcting" her, molding her, and trying to tame her... and make her what she is NOT. She IS intense; she DOES process things verbally; and when she goes quiet - be very, very afraid of what's coming next. She also knows herself pretty damn well at 40, and having been through her own form of therapy to sort out "what was wrong with her" feelings.

Without Matt's participation in sorting out what's wrong with their relationship, I think Holly knows it's doomed. But getting "out" feels like failure to her... I'm still trying to get her to see, that when an issue is big enough to consistently create unhappiness, that it's not a matter of failure... just a mismatch of personalities/being.

I simply do not understand people who feel entitled to tell other people how be, at this level. Seems to be mutually exclusive with "intimacy", ya know?

ETA: I've left it with her, that I've got her back like always. But for the sake of my own sanity and not wanting to interfere... I'm backing off. I really DID like Matt. And I've never ever had that feeling from him before. My responses to that are decidedly, clearly NOT productive or helpful... so I simply contained them and postponed pulling them out look at them. That came at a cost to me.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 04, 2018, 02:37:09 PM
That makes complete sense to me.
You've made all the suggestions and shared all the ideas that it's possible (or maybe reasonable) to share with Hols. If you keep "trying to GET her to see..." --- well, anything -- I wonder if you might exhaust yourself and eventually strain the relationship.

She's a chip off the old block. The amazing block that you are. And she really will find her way to her own decision, in her own time. What comes up for me (being a very impeachable source) is concern that if she makes any decision on the force of the wave (even a supportive wave) coming from you....do you have any sense she might waver? Just to feel as though she's not a person who needs, as an adult, to be held up by their mother so much? Or might postpone her autonomy further by getting into a brand new relationship with the same kind of man?

[NB: I'm also concerned I'm projecting all over this, so do dump out your salt shaker on my advice today. Tx. XXOO]

I'm sickened by how it must've felt to feel that wave of hostility coming from Matt. Almost as sick at heart as I felt reading that he refuses counseling and makes all their problems Hols' fault.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope spring seduces you into the things that renew you.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 04, 2018, 05:28:12 PM
One thing she's not Hops, is dependent on me; LOL - hasn't been since she was about 16. And she finds ways to talk to/see her friends too. Some of which are more my age... and experienced folks. I've finally met the closer circle of friends. Impressive crew.

Ever since we first worked through the crap her Dad dumped on her (and there was Ex#2's participation in that too)... our tried & true method is mostly just giving her the space to feel her own feelings, say them out loud... hear herself... and then if I think she's missed something - or has a misleading perception, I say so. She takes that in, goes away and chews on it, and THEN decides. By herself.

Yeah, I catch myself seeing the parallels between some of her thought processes and yours sometimes. Up until Matt, she NEVER would've tolerated this kind of treatment. She's doing a lot of sorting out; trying to get to why she's putting up with it now. She hasn't been this self-unsure... since she was a teenager. Her self-respect has always been pretty healthy.

Thinking there might be a bit of pre-menopause starting. Hormones flipping out.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 05, 2018, 04:49:28 AM
Lordy....hostility toward you, Amber. 

I don't see that relationship getting better, I'm afraid.  Holy will have to survive, and Matt seems determined to stomp her Hol Ness into the ground.....at some point that arrangement implodes, ime.

If he's hostile to you it might mean Hol shares information or opinions you have that aren't highlighting her as the identified problem in the relationship. 

That he's openly hostile, at all much less to women he's supposed to love, doesn't bode well for working things out, but neither does his world view..... he's perfectly fine, everything is someone else's fault, he has zero responsibility in it.

The pouty shut down blaming Hol for every sounds exhausting.  Not productive. 

I'm hoping Hol finds clarity around this situation soon.  Until then, what's going right in your life, Amber?

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 05, 2018, 10:54:36 AM
LOL... going RIGHT? You're kidding, aren't you?

The weather has me pretty well socked in and not "doing" much of anything. Too cold, too wet, too windy (like yesterday) or too "white". I'm expecting 3-6 in of snow again over the weekend. The lovely little herb plants I bought need to go outside soon. And I don't dare right now. They're too tender and I'll have freezing temps for another two weeks (at least) yet.

Projects are kinda at a stand-still. Don't know what happened to electrician; I'll call today and let him know the lights for the barn are here. Weather is likely the holdup there.

I did have a lovely chat with the local forestry and wildlife guys on Monday. Have most of the paperwork done to get signed up in the forestry stewardship program. There's a tax break involved and even reimbursement for paying the consulting forester to develop a management plan. I'll probably schedule the consultant for the end of the month; it'll be easier to get into the back 40 then. Not sure if I'm going to sign up to create bird habitat or not. DNR is concerned about the "cerulean warbler" population in our area. I think what I plan on doing with the trees will automatically create the kind of habitat they (and turkeys) like. I'm not enthralled with the idea of having regular visits to inventory population numbers.

I'm "flailing" a little bit... spinning my wheels... reprioritizing back & forth... and not quite sure what I feel is the most important thing "to do" just yet. Guess I'll go back and look at the journal from the end of last year... and see what seemed important then.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 06, 2018, 02:14:47 AM
I'm sorry you're flailing, (((Amber.)))

I'm flailing a bit too.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 06, 2018, 08:28:17 AM
I'm going to just babble out some random things that have been floating through my head. Dunno if they're connected or not.

I'm perceiving myself as being "stuck", because there's just not a lot of physical activity going on here right now. (Going to try to change that today.) I have some big ticket items to shop for and haven't done it. I have the money; that's not the issue in why I'm just not doing this. I've asked the "big brothers" for input too... since these are machines that will help me do what needs doing here, even by myself. I think I'm doing the "conditional thinking" thing again. And dominos.

I can't just proceed to buy what I need, until I take care of some big ticket items I've been discussing with Matt & Hol... and until they sort their situation out... I can guarantee that those items, aren't even on their radar. This is all in my head & feelings mind you. And it makes no sense rationally. But because both pieces of equipment are traditionally "guy things"... I think I'm really put off by trying to wade into that with little to no experience. (I am doing my homework though.)

I think I can trust myself to buy seeds, right? Well, apparently not. The stack of catalogs and the list of things I eat are sitting on the coffee table mocking me.

The job of moving things and tackling the last "mikey pile" was supposed to get done over the winter. More dominos... deciding what I needed to store things; what things I could store in the barn; that made sense to be there... instead of somewhere else. It took a LONG time just to get to the point of putting shelves together.

I can't decide if I'm being lazy because I'm tired; some of the decision-fatigue lingering on... or if I am actually resisting work, because I don't "like" it... or more correctly, if the inner little girl doesn't "wanna". I feel like I need/want to just sit around around like a lump... and not even think. I thought maybe I just need sunshine - but it was a little chilly & windy yesterday - and that just saps my energy. I perceive... that I'm just not able to step up and do, what I want done, because that seems to validate that a) I'm really alone and b) I don't matter... as much as the people I'm trying to take care of. I'm doing the essentials... and those mundane chores have become anxiety-laden as I attach overmuch importance to when they actually get done.

I don't EVEN think I can look at any of my lists, plans, timelines... much less the legal stuff I need some time to digest and ponder over. I'm so anxious about whether things are happening in the "correct" order... sigh.

I guess I'll take another round of Vit D, again, until it decides if it's really going to be spring or not. I'm not exactly depressed... more apathetic than anything else. And right now, that feeling - or non-feeling - has the upper hand. It's probably because there are still things on the list, that didn't get done...that need to, for me to give myself permission to play in the dirt. And that need to connect to people... seems to run counter to the need to "be in my body" and "do work at a comfortable pace".

I hope next week's massage removes whatever "sludge" this is and gets me up & moving again.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 06, 2018, 09:00:59 AM
I just need ME to really NEED me, to start SOMEWHERE and keep on going. Maybe this is another level of working on trusting myself again. One of those non-verbal pre-cognitive things that have been there forever... and I should be thinking about connecting to me, what I need, and how to go about it.

AND take a week's round of Vit D.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 06, 2018, 05:14:57 PM
OK, a month of sending "getting to know you" notes back & forth to the viking... with a week long hiatus there... and he JUST last night called me "dear".

LOL. Maybe we're both gun-shy. Love our space - to a degree. Hmmm. Hmmmm.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 06, 2018, 10:45:09 PM

Guilt sucks.  Throw it down the hole, and just DO something you love.  Order seeds....or read reviews of seeds....or....
paint.  Just pull out the paints and create.  Without judgement or should or have to anything.

Or sit quietly, and know that's what you need to do right now.  Down time is part of life and cycles and busy time comes round and round again.  Always does.

Resistance to accepting cycles just mucks them up, and draws out the parts that frightens us, ime.  Embrace the static time, and ask it why it's here.  Fold yourself into it's arms, and find comfort there, if you can. 

Stop resisting.....

Get curious.

You're doing great.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 07, 2018, 07:16:02 AM
This morning, the "thing" on my radar... that has me pinned down is the danged impossibility of trying to plan for the future. (Probably a shifting target because there's more than one thing.) Impossible - even for Viking Shield Maiden - because the waves of change going on "outside" in "greater life" - are still shifting around and not settling down. The number of variables that are "uncertain" are increasing not decreasing... and require elaborate spreadsheet managed formulas.

But I did make a start on the mikey pile yesterday. Only worked a couple of hours; the wind started to pick up again and standing on concrete wears me out - along with the difficulty of "space management" and trying to have room to spread things out enough to "sort". Found my company parka, though. Rated for cold Michigan winters... which I could've used the past 2 winters here. If it still fits. (Working on that too, at least in my head.)

And in the process, forgot the clothes that have been in the dryer for 2 days that need folding... and to bring up some more wood to split. But, talked to electrician - and he'll make the next step in getting power to the barn next week. Other business taken care of. A couple local shopping things to do... and a big one, over the mountain.

The ranger really needs a bath but I need to start early on a warm day - and that won't be for a while yet. Holly's been quiet. Sent me a tiny house link made from a smaller grain silo. Very functional for one or two people and cute, too.

I am debating about fence. My deer have wings & springs in their legs and sail right over anything that isn't at least 6 ft high. A fence that tall feels like the Berlin wall to me. (One reason I liked being out west - no fences.) Fencing the garden area would be easy - because it's location. And I could use the fence to grow vertically. I have smaller animals to keep out too. So I think I have to redesign that whole idea. Fencing around the house is a bigger issue. It's probably going to require at least one or two - maybe more - gates. Just because of the patios and decks.

So that's going to involve some pencil/paper again.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 07, 2018, 09:27:22 AM
I hope the planning is half the fun....even when plans have to change.
End of the Road Farm just sounds amazing. I still enjoy thinking of the LR...loved that pic.

My farming involved finally getting a gardenia that I dripped water in all winter in its wee plastic-cup hothouse until the leaves smooshed against the top. Into a pot. (The getting.)

Uh-oh. Brain not in yet, clearly.

Farm on! Dear. :)
I'm happy you have some nice vibes going with him. Any phone talk yet?

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 07, 2018, 10:13:25 AM
Not yet Hops. (I'm thinking I might make a 1/2 pot of coffee extra today*). I kinda seize up in cold-feet fear about even suggesting the idea and he hasn't yet.

So much old crap kicks in, when I notice that we are just casually strolling along in kinda biographical, but carefully edited chatting, until it kinda seems like we've always been together. And then, I imagine actually talking face to face... and I'm terrified and thinking: RUN....

It's been closer to 2 months now. I think I am now a total coward about this process. And that is a brand-new experience for me! LOL. I am usually the one throwing caution to the wind... but then the process started (back in dinosaur days) face to face. I think he's already figured out that I talk incessantly when I'm nervous. LOL.

*I've already hauled wood and split kindling for tonight's cold snap. I was up early - and I always feel better on that schedule rather staying up late. It's OK, if I read in bed... but the tv/puter has to get shut down. And I've started a week's Vit D boost. It's helped that the daylight is lasting longer now, but I haven't seen much sunshine... and being stuck inside, just kinda doing nothing except pretending I'm doing something by clicking here, then there, just isn't cutting it.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 08, 2018, 05:03:51 AM
Amber, where are your paints?

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 08, 2018, 07:29:55 AM
Oh lord, lighter! I'm not at ALL interested in throwing color at canvas. Looking at the one blank canvas that I've had for years and years... is like a mirror that can see deep into me. Matt suggested the only thing I do to it is sign it.

I have dirt, trees, and rocks to play with. Only time I'd make a picture of it, is to tell someone else the idea in my head. Pencil is a lot easier to correct when I change my mind.

Had a turkey hen come visit the other evening while I was on the porch.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 08, 2018, 08:35:00 AM
Is it Albert's girlfriend?


I bet you could tame and make friends with all sort of amazing animals...



Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on April 08, 2018, 12:26:26 PM
Skep, I just wanted to say that I am now on day three of being a lazy bum and I can't even be bothered to summon up the energy to feel guilty about it ;) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 10, 2018, 01:31:29 PM
Yay yay!

No guilt.

Guilt sucks!
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 10, 2018, 10:38:04 PM
All right, Miz ((((((Lighter)))))).

You can dish out that kind self-care, self forgiveness, self mercy.

Make sure you take it, too, especially now.

You deserve this.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 11, 2018, 08:05:42 AM
Ma Nature needs some hormones to even out these "mood swings".

Monday night, I had (I think) the last fire in the woodstove. It's all cleaned up, just in case.
Tomorrow is going to be a lovely spring day - 73 I think they're saying; sunny for a change.

Fri & Sat look to be full on summer temps - like 84 already - before a cool front on Sunday brings more rain (and mud). I will not be shocked to see more snow on Mother's Day this year. The 15th of May thru Memorial Day is supposed to be our "last frost date"... but years ago, Mike made me a quick set of pvc frames for supporting plastic covers over my raised beds. Still have those.

I'm ordering truckloads of dirt & compost by the end of the week. It'll be a couple weeks before they arrive. I need it for my kitchen beds - and anything left over will start the garden area, or go in the holes for berries, rose hip roses, or fruit trees.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 11, 2018, 08:22:56 AM
Ah, Amber... reading your post made me weepy.  I love that you kept Mike's covers for your raised beds. bi I love that you're planning, and ordering, and getting ready to be busy in the dirt.  All that rest, and being still will pay off "hugely."  I just know it.

It always does.

Hops..... I gave in to self care with everything I had when I surrendered to the moss yard.  It's glorious!  I walked it this morning, and I can see my sister's been working very hard.... also put some kind of little mole chase away solar powered sticks in.... not sure what they do, but suspect they vibrate, and whine a bit.  The damage they did over the winter was pretty bad, kicking up dirt and frozen moss that will dry out and blow away if not patted back tenderly with care, every inch. 

My runny right nostril is reminding me to tend to care with food choices.   Wheat and dairy make my nose run constantly... not a lot, just enough that I rub a little rough spot in place.  A reminder that little things do matter, and deserve attention to.  Self care deserves attention.  I don't even want to think about the sugary choices I've been making.


Rose hips, berries and fruit trees!  YES!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 11, 2018, 11:31:22 AM
Amber, do you accept aging farm interns who are only good for sloth-paced weeding and can't lift anything over 20 pounds?

Your projects in the dirt sound like heaven. Or like you're the rural planner for heaven.

I am still dithering over four or five blueberry bushes because I want to chose mid-Atlantic natives and don't know which ones would be right. Much less where to order them, what size is affordable but not stupid. Any nursery suggestions? Mail order?

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 11, 2018, 06:12:07 PM
For blueberries, try Musser Forests and Stark Brothers. (I still haven't ordered a blessed thing except the rosa rugosa yet. I "need" raspberries... but I got amazing rootstock from the Mother's Day plant at the State Arboretuem in Boyce, VA years ago. I tried moving one to the beach. No luck.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 11, 2018, 11:55:20 PM
Thanks, Amber.
I'll check them out!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 12, 2018, 07:54:59 AM
So today, I'm supposed to go look at a wood cookstove that's for sale. It sounds like it's in pretty good shape except for the water reservoir. I'd like something like this for my outdoor kitchen, but I'd originally thought about building something instead. Sounds like an interesting story behind it - continuous use throughout the seller's whole life, so I haven't quite decided if I'm even going to go look yet.

I'll probably go buy a wood splitter and do the grocery run first. I can tow the splitter with the jeep.

The electric to the barn project is one step closer to happening. I need to get Ronnie's brother & equipment out here to start working on the driveway. Ronnie called me and said he might stop by on the weekend. He didn't. This weekend's going to be a lot nicer.

Yesterday was massage day - she used hot stones this time - and oh my; I had to sit for 10 minutes to get back into my body enough to drive. LOL. I picked up shelves & brackets for the laundry room project that's kinda been on the back burner. That's something I can do myself. I took the time to look at a new washer/dryer set too. Debating swapping the gas dryer for electric; electric's cheaper here for some reason.

Before I left the big city, I drove out to the biggest farm/construction equipment dealer in the area. I have a quote for a skid steer, and 3 useful attachments that will let me sculpt my landscape and do the work that needs doing, all by myself. They deliver and run over the controls with me. Yes, it costs as much as a good sized tractor... but the tractor is too big for me, and the spaces I have to work with and I wouldn't use a tractor as often. I need to decide soon. I need to decide soon - I have logs to move/split... paths to make for my kitchen garden... a truckload each of topsoil/compost that the nursery guy wants to schedule since the supplier couldn't get into his site due to weather so far. I'll need the bucket on the skid steer to fill the beds I'm building. It's a big investment, but my budget can handle it... and it lets me work by myself and not mess with dealing with someone else. It'll let me rearrange my rocks without killing myself.

Day before, I stopped at the flooring shop and have a date at the end of the month, for someone to measure my downstairs so I can have an estimate on how much to rip out the old carpet and put down something practical for how I use the space. Once that's done, and if the laundry room can get done too... I can replace the appliances then. This and shelving lets me finally work on insulating the half of the garage I'm going to use as pantry.

Then, I'm going to build a wood shed... split/stack wood all summer... and somewhere in there, order seeds, plants, plant them and think more about fencing. All this involves finishing the domino of the mikey pile in the garage. And getting access to my big woodworking tools, and having the space to use them. Oh, and getting the consulting forester out and a reference for someone to cut some trees down into logs for me. If I can't get Ronnie & his guys to do it.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 12, 2018, 09:02:02 PM
I started testing the water with the Viking (former) rock & roll'er.

I observed how our messaging back & forth sounded like two old married people... and nary a flirt to be seen. Cozy, comfy, not scary at all. Said it was kinda silly-funny, given he's owned nightclubs, been on stage... and I never had any problems flirting or attracting attention when I was looking for it. Mike was a notorious flirt.

His reply is that he's still giggling over my description of what we're doing. And he hopes to meet me in person. So I told him when I plan to be up his way. And that I might have Holly riding shotgun (and doing a lot of the driving - she prefers to drive). He has some recent pics. Yep; old rock & roll'er... or even biker look. But, he's a family man. Met his wife - her name was Amber too -  and it's been 15 years since she passed. He's had a couple relationships but not been "in love".

There was just something about his pictures - old and new - that I felt we could have something in common. Finding out he's a tomato grower and makes his own sauce... well. And he does like the beach... so there's that too. He's counting me a friend for now. And that'll do. For now. It's just nice to know he's still looking to see if I've sent him a message. Guess it's time to exchange emails. He'll be "quarantined" for a bit to a special account I use. I think; I'm feeling pretty comfortable with him.

So, it's all going very slow. And I got no problems with that. He doesn't seem in any hurry either. Low stress really works for me.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 13, 2018, 05:46:52 AM
I'm really happy that you've got a grip on slow and low stress with Mr. Viking!

And that you'll get a chance to meet.

Why not? (That's the only bumper sticker on my car....Why not.)

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 13, 2018, 07:37:59 AM
Why Not is one of the BEST questions in the universe! (The answers vary a lot more... LOL)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 17, 2018, 11:56:03 AM
Thought I'd respond over here to your new tidbit about the Viking, Amber.

When people show you who they are, believe them.
Something I learned somewhere was, you can get the most important clues in the very early stages of a relationship. Before a deep bond forms, they reveal themselves. That "screening" opportunity has to fight against the pull of loneliness.

Whatever Viking has sent you that caused a quick hit on Pause, please trust it.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 17, 2018, 12:15:59 PM
Fear not. This is the female with "flee" hardwired into her brain, you know. I did relay my opinion to him, about what he shared. Let's wait (till the weekend likely) to see if he responds to that.

So far, I've noticed that when I ask questions - he doesn't answer them. The message format there isn't very conducive to holding a conversation, and he is usually about to fall asleep in his chair when I get a message. I'm not going to try to mind read.

So I'm not terribly emotionally invested in this "conversation" at this point. Still going very slowly and mostly talking about things that he can't identify me with. And vice versa... although he has been little more forthcoming than I have.

Good luck today Hops! I don't think you'll have any problems with this T and imposing his values on your solution. People that do that, serve a much smaller clientele. I'd be just as wary as you - and for many of the same reasons. But you've got this.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 18, 2018, 08:22:45 AM
Well, words. Words are inadequate sometimes to accurately convey what I'm trying to share.

That said, I'm aware of "being" in a different emotional/head space these days. Almost, as if it's one of the 5 stages of Grief... that isn't even listed. Done with processing the feelings and the life "to-do" list, except for that one Mikey pile. And I still miss Mike, it's not like I can make 15 years of my life with him, disappear. It's not like I divorced him or that we're separated by choice.

It's just life. These things happen.

I'm more a whole "me" than I've been for a real long time. Not a perfect enlightened being mind you... I still have my flaws and scars and "radar warnings" that can go off in my head and either send me into hiding or awaken the Viking Shield Maiden.

Been grappling with the "importance" issue some lately. About feeling important enough to take care of myself (which I've been doing anyway), or take the first steps to solving the puzzle of being in my 60s and wanting to create a self-sustaining farm here. And how badly do I "want that"? Where am I going to compromise about being "off-grid"? What makes sense and is vital... and what is just wishful thinking and "foo-foo pretties"?

And every day, I have to choose "what's next" from "the list" - which isn't getting any shorter, let me tell ya! I'm still doing a lot just "looking"; "feeling" the spaces... drawing imaginary floating boundaries about how much I want to actively "manage" (and am able to, to my standards)... and how much I need to just "let be".

I've been letting myself just be too. Maybe too much. I think I'm actually starting to get bored. That rarely happens. I know I have cabin fever and just want to be OUTside now. Making progress; even in baby steps. Baby steps count. I've shut down the "idea factory" for now - I still have to make the things I've already envisioned. And I want to be able to see progress, instead of throwing more things "on the list".

My rosa rugosas are here; I need to dig holes and get them planted. I think I need at least one lilac bush; maybe a rose of sharon... and more edible shrubs/berries. But then there's the fencing puzzle I'm trying to solve too. Big piece of equipment to "help" me work by myself is on it's way sometime this week. I might want to buy the auger attachment for digging holes; holding off on that right now. Finally ordered seeds; even knowing I might not plant but a few this year.

There's plenty going on. People are just waiting on the weather to cooperate. As am I.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on April 18, 2018, 12:49:03 PM
There are surely sooooo many possible reasons you are where you are, Amber, and doing what you're doing.

Your creativity (that does extend to a mountain farmette!)
A place to heal from losing Mike
Stimulation of the projects
Being an emotional survivalist
Beauty of nature
Love of adventure
Respect for your own introversion

And more, more. You'll uncover more and more reasons your life has meaning and clarity.

You ROCK it, mountain or ocean or sidewalk.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 19, 2018, 08:45:10 AM
You know, I think I have to call the equipment place and order an auger. I think I'm going to kick myself for not getting that particular attachment at the same time as everything else.

Digging 10 holes for the rose in rock & shale... is intimidating. Difficult. Holly said she could really work off a lot of frustration helping, but as soon as this last freeze is past (tomorrow night)... these babies need to get into the dirt.

But saying "no; I don't 'need' that" first, is all part of the denial dance I put myself through; I "should" be able to dig those holes by hand. Yep; indeed-y do. But dammit, I'm 61. I'd much rather dig in soft dirt. And I've got a LOT planting of shrubs/trees like this I want to do.

I've just about "had it" with this reflex to deny myself; make life harder on me; choose to feel like I don't deserve such & such. Downright sick of it in fact. And then the sheepish return later on... admitting I really wanted/needed it in the first place.

Boredom is indeed setting in, in the form of cabin fever. My imagination is feeding off itself - and it gets into trouble doing that. I can't remember the last time I was bored. Maybe before I quit my job.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 19, 2018, 09:18:43 AM
Arrrgh.. that denial bug. 

Get the auger, Amber. 

You'll use the auger.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 19, 2018, 11:19:10 AM
Already ordered before you posted Light.  I NEED it this weekend, when the weather is supposed to be decent. I NEED my topsoil/compost too, around the same time. But equipment scheduled for Tuesday; and I'll need to check back in with nursery on whether they're digging topsoil yet - it's been too wet and today's weather isn't helping.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 20, 2018, 07:12:25 AM
Arghh... I remember when I wanted to dig fence posts for dog area... and my father's auger had been loaned out by my brother.... years and years and years ago. 

I got the auger back, then lost the momentum to GET THE JOB DONE.... lost the thread.... lost the will.  I lost something I needed, even after the auger came back.  I guess I expected it to be put ON the tractor, but it was just plopped down, and... I lost the thread.

You get the job done, Amber, and we'll all cheer for you.


This is so exciting.  Spring at your farm!


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 20, 2018, 02:51:56 PM
Looks like it's still too cool for the next week, to start setting out my herbs. At least, night time temps are 10 degrees below normal. Most of May is looking chilly at nights too, but at least I won't be running a/c... not even in June, the way it looks right now.

I've got some ordering to do... I want a new watering can. Plastic ones will just blow away in this wind - which appears to be a constant in our weather for the foreseeable future.

I've been cleaning up the downstairs front porch bed. Leaves tend to collect up to a foot deep there, and I leave them, all winter long. Rhododendrons, lots of vinca, a couple roses and yellow daisies in there right now. I'll be planting spearmint in that bed, since mints are supposed to discourage stinkbugs. I need to take a rest... but then I really should get up and keep going. SOOOO much to get caught up on and now I can "see" how I want things. It's going to take time; can't happen overnight. But I want what I want - LOL.

I don't see myself building fence. But the auger is going to help tremendously planting trees and shrubs. I'll be filling the holes with topsoil and compost by hand, most likely. But the digging is what would convince me to move to a condo at the beach again. LOL.

I just NEED to be outside to start building up some strength again. It's unreal what a toll even this simple, light work is taking on me. I don't like it one bit and the only way to fix that - is work, rest, and work again.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on April 21, 2018, 10:33:26 AM
You sound exhilarated, Amber.

I wish I had some of that this morning. 

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 21, 2018, 06:09:09 PM
Yes, doing my happy dance Lighter!

There is a good kind of tired, and that's what I am. Pleasant temps; no wind to contend with. Perfect for working into building the strength/stamina for the bigger projects to come. My seeds came today. My parking area kitchen beds are started; the idea is going to work!

I have wild violets/violas coming up through the moss in the yard - moss covers probably 75% of the yard - you'd love it -because there's no topsoil to speak of. Time to see if I can get the truckloads delivered! The bobcat will be here Tuesday and I think one scoop of dirt might be perfect for most of the new beds.

Big surprise - when I finally opened the deck box - I found the missing top piece to my rolling greenhouse and the tool rack I'd been looking for since I moved in. I've clean up alot of the junk on that downstairs front porch too. And chased away the bird who keep trying to nest under my upstair front porch. Multiple times - LOL.

This is what I wanted to do with myself when I bought this place. There are still big jobs on the list - but I wanted to spend my time doing this kind of stuff. And the weather looks to be PERFECT for the next few weeks to indulge myself. Only thing I didn't do, that I wanted to was test start the mowers. It's getting to be "time" - especially in the garden field. It's all green and lush. Pretty sure that's the best batch of topsoil I've got. I can't wait for the redbuds to start blooming - they are out along the highway - but my micro-climate is just a bit cooler here.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on April 22, 2018, 03:38:02 AM
I get tired just reading through your thread, Skep, you are so busy, even when you're not busy!  Lol :)  I always think I've only missed a couple of posts and then I start reading and loads has been going on.  I'm glad you're at a point when you can get on with doing the bits you like, though.  I enjoy the finishing off part of a project much more than the preparation and the slog of getting all the work done :)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on April 22, 2018, 10:10:32 AM
Preparation can be tedious Tupp; I usually forget something in the process. But it's also kinda zen, if you allow yourself the space/time to get into it. And the "doing"... is the quick way into "the zone" for me. I need to find things to do, that put me in the zone MORE - lot's more. It's a great place to be for me for some reason.

And I think being in the zone, is what generates that "pleasantly tired", and a little stiff, but not sore the next day feeling... so that you feel like you want to DO MORE - from the zone again. Knowing this "place" it's really hard for me to take "exercise" seriously. I've never gotten this feeling from exercise - maybe I don't have improvements around me to look at.

I'll for sure stretch this morning. And I'm not going back to the work I've done for 2 days - doing something different today. Then I'll get back to moving those blocks in place.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on April 22, 2018, 10:48:56 AM
Preparation can be tedious Tupp; I usually forget something in the process. But it's also kinda zen, if you allow yourself the space/time to get into it. And the "doing"... is the quick way into "the zone" for me. I need to find things to do, that put me in the zone MORE - lot's more. It's a great place to be for me for some reason.

And I think being in the zone, is what generates that "pleasantly tired", and a little stiff, but not sore the next day feeling... so that you feel like you want to DO MORE - from the zone again. Knowing this "place" it's really hard for me to take "exercise" seriously. I've never gotten this feeling from exercise - maybe I don't have improvements around me to look at.

I'll for sure stretch this morning. And I'm not going back to the work I've done for 2 days - doing something different today. Then I'll get back to moving those blocks in place.

I think the thing I dislike about prep is that you do such a lot of work but it doesn't look like much?  Because the nature of prep is usually that the finished project looks good or works well or wasn't a nightmare to implement - it's the sort of 'avoiding future problems' stage of it.  So when decorating and decluttering for example, I might spend two days clearing out cupboards and washing and sanding walls and it doesn't look any different :)  It just means the end result is nicer than it would be if I hadn't done it all.  It's always worth it, it just feels like a slog at the time.  I'm glad you've got something different to do today and I hope the weather is clearing up a little :) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 02, 2018, 08:31:33 AM
Been BUSY!!    :shock:

The list of "doing what" is long, and definitely a "one from column A, one from column B" sorta combination. So busy, I forgot the clothes in the washer overnight; and again in the dryer. LOL. I guess I'll see if they're that wrinkled and run them again. Before I start today's madness.

After today, I'm "in" for awhile and have some bigger jobs to tackle over the next 5-6 days or till it rains again. Someday, I'll dust & vacumn. House needs it top to bottom and I just remembered this morning, I never finished the interior poly on the windows. Need to get back at that too.

Having a new recurring dream: I'm lost in the city and trying to find my way back to where I can get a ride home. I quite literally don't know where I am and am dependent on total strangers. And it's a scary enough dream to wake me up. Nothing bad happens to me in the dream, except I don't know where I am. Holly sometimes figures in the dream; sometimes not.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on May 02, 2018, 09:07:37 AM
I have been trying to figure out how to make a list.
That is ridiculous.
What happens is, when I start writing down all I need to do I become totally overwhelmed about prioritizing and give up.
I'm ashamed of it because it's part ADD but part obstinant resistance.
When I can read for hours and NOT: plant patio pots, water blueberries (did have those planted after thinking about it for 5 years), sort/purge, paper, novel, etc.

I just brain freeze. Avoid deciding until I go to work around 1:00.
THEN, because I'm taking care of someone else...I'm motivated.

Your lists help. Your energy and ability to motivate yourself to do all this work FOR yourself are something I would like an injection of.

Thanks for the inspiration, Amber.

A poetry prof once said, there's no such thing as a nightmare, our subconscious is processing something. It's getting released that way, so it won't hobble us.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 02, 2018, 12:26:59 PM
Hops, limit yourself to 3 things on the list! Those are today's targets. If you don't get there today (and yes, I have days like that) transfer them to tomorrow's list -- and don't add anything ELSE. I have a tremendous amount of resistance that particularly pops up about things "I want". I think it's because after all this time of doing it myself I REALLY want someone to do it for me. And when I ignore the whole list... the whiny inner child is saying "I don't feel like it", "I don't wanna". So, I don't... and remind her it will still be there tomorrow.

Sometimes, I have to go do something I really enjoy BEFORE I can muster the motivation to the things I know I need to do. Things that are in the way of me doing other things I enjoy.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 04, 2018, 01:41:18 PM
I'm being lazy today. Not quite "comfortably" lazy. I feel like I "should" be taking advantage of the slightly cooler temps and good breeze today - lots to be done and half my dirt's here! But oak pollen is pretty strong right now and I am physically tired. I had to hustle to get a space ready for the dirt yesterday... and then they couldn't put it there without risking turning the dump truck over. Two days and nights of really HOT weather was enough of "trying to work through it" or sleep through it, for me.

Compost is supposed to be delivered today. I'm still waiting on diesel fuel cans (for the bobcat) to get delivered. It's not as "thrifty" as the ranger is with fuel... and it's me hauling them to the gas station and lifting/carrying heavy cans. Not my favorite chore. And I've committed to getting tires on the Cherokee tomorrow... so I guess this is just regroup time. I still having mowing to do... and so many other things... and well, they'll still be there if I don't do them right now.   :P

Highs are going back to the 70s next week. Much better for me to work in. And a really humid/wet weekend ahead. There's still stuff I can do inside to cross off the list finally.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on May 04, 2018, 10:35:18 PM

Amber, "lazy."


You are ridiculously inspiring. Maybe it worked!
Although my back can't do it, I at least bought eight thornless hollies today, and Esteban came and planted them beauteously (needed a hedge between me and my neighbor's trucks) including two baby shrubs B gave me....a hydrangea (lemon lime?) and a cherry laurel. He misunderstood my note and put the hydrangea in the wrong corner but who cares.

I felt crazy productive (by my standards, which are like the bottom of a tortoise's belly...but still.)

Thanks for the leadership, Farm Queen Amber!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 05, 2018, 10:43:35 AM
Those kinds of projects are kinda their own reward Hops. First the "doing" feels good, then the new "landscape" you're making will provide entertainment through all the seasons.

Thursday, I tried shovelling in the dirt/shale into one the holes made when a tree fell over. I'd forgotten how awful digging "dirt" (I use the term loosely) that is 70% shale is. This old lady about wore herself out on one hole. Now, I've got 10 rugosas (if they all make it) to plant and they need a pretty good sized hole, with a lot of topsoil/compost added to thrive here. TEN HOLES... 2x3 ft might be enough for this sized bareroot stock.

Which is why I have a bobcat now. With an auger. And now I want/think I need a digging bucket too. Which means I need a new shed to store all those attachments out of the weather and so I can drive up to them and hook up. LOL.

Is this what they call "progress"???
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on May 07, 2018, 07:39:32 AM

This is exactly the definition of progress, Amber.

You are an Amazon soldier!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 07, 2018, 09:57:44 AM
LOL.... if that's true Lighter, then I've been on R&R since Friday. Nursery had an open house this weekend, so I didn't get the truckload of compost yet. I figure those guys had their hands full; when I drove past on Sat, the parking lot was full. I went into town to have better tires put on the Cherokee for mud/snow. Plus the OEM tires were hitting their max mileage. Next up is an oil change for that vehicle.

And it POURED here. Between all my frogs, the wind and rain... it's like I still live at the beach. But the pollen isn't as bad... LOL.

When do you go back to the cottage?
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on May 08, 2018, 03:52:09 PM
I'm back as of yesterday afternoon.  Contractor has the cistern in back bedroom covered tight so my froh problem there is solved.  I had golden frogs... Some as large as your fist, coming and going.

The taxi put my stuff behind his van, insisting little ladies like me shouldn't be lifting, then ran over my stuff.  Brand new laptop....crunched.  Many things crunched, in fact.  To be fair he was distracted by a handicapped gentleman....but darnit.  I needed all the stuff I schlepped here.

My renter intends to get money back from cab driver, but I'm not hopeful.  Will see.

I put insulation over the skylights in the bunkbed room today.  Cleaned out that entire space as it became the storage room.  Started taking up broken tile flooring.  Will seal the cement floor....possibly stain it first.

Exterior on main house got pressure washed today....some caulking done.

Hit water heater hooked up 10 minutes ago, woo hoo!  Will enjoy that tonight.

Cooking steak, potatoes and corn for dinner.

Tomorrow morning I'll do an old driftwood gray wash on the countertop, and see how It goes.  Maybe do the same in the front room which ended up bead board with 2 feet of stucco at bottom if wall for when hurricanes blow water in.  The old wood siding just ducked up the water and warped.

I really like the painting jobs.  Will get house painted tomorrow with some local help, then storm shutters can go up.

Going back to organize more, and clean so the place will feel better.  Maybe work out on beach as sun begins setting.

I'm here for 2 more weeks. 
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 09, 2018, 08:29:24 AM
OOOF. Sorry about the taxi disaster Lighter! Sounds like you just kept right on rolling, though.

Weather has been totally fabulous the past couple days. Cool crisp mornings warming up to "comfortable" during the day without being hot & sticky or oppressive. The oak pollen has been bothering me some; but not like in year's past. We'll see if pine pollen diminishes too. Different varieties here.

Last week's "fun" has turned into a struggle to get started again. Mower problems yesterday completely shut me down. But an online friend who repairs them, suggested one more thing for me to check out as the possible cause and the correction. The water issue at the garden hydrant was stupid simple: neither electrician or I had the strength to lift the rusted handle far enough. So while the plumbers were here, we worked out a plan to move that hydrant to a more convenient place. That'll save me dragging about 30-40 ft more of hose... and be less likely to get hit by someone backing up.

Compost is still MIA. The nursery had a big open house over the weekend and the rain just POURED... so it may be too wet to get a whole truckload loaded up. I still need to design a woodshed, put together a materials list, find someone to cut enough trees that I can split for next heating season.

I have company threatening to come again too... and the house just feels dusty from pollen season. And I really do HAVE TO finish up the caulking, poly finish on the interior of the new windows, paint the inside of the doors downstairs, and think about juggling the flooring job/replacing washer & dryer at about the same time. And there's a whole bunch more "dominos" involved there.

Meanwhile the garage projects are languishing at the bottom of the list.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 12, 2018, 07:57:57 AM
I have GOT to get Freddie his own brush. Cute little boy is shedding like crazy. I just cleaned all the pollen off the porch and now stray cat hairs are floating around... sigh.

Finally got the lawn mowed around the house... and it's on to the trimmer. Lots of places are too steep for the mower. Cut off a multiflora rose that's growing next to a tree stump. Still lots of things to build, fill, plant and prune/cut down around here. But I'm going to need to make a grocery run this morning and Ronnie said after he takes care of some business this morning, he'd be back to cut a tree that fell across his path in the back 40 and "spot" me while I get some hours on the bobcat.

Work is going to have to be with equipment or pretty light for me today... it's supposed to be stinky hot.  And I continue to chip away at the housework. I'll check the weather for the month again...  it might be time to switch to a/c.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on May 12, 2018, 09:51:43 AM
I'm finding I'm good with 80 degrees indoors during the day, with fans.
At night, though I hate running the AC, I'm doing 74 for sleep. Impossible without it.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on May 13, 2018, 12:03:19 AM
Ahhhh, so much going on, Amber.  Makes me tired reading it.  I assume things get easier and easier as you plug away.  You have a vision, and you're working toward it.

How is Holly doing?  Did she take the job?

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 13, 2018, 11:31:33 AM
I guess I spoke too soon about the viking. LOL.

Claims he was in the hospital with kidney issues... said he missed chatting with me... still don't know how I feel about so much space in this arrangement. But maybe that doesn't matter. Decided to just not worry about it.

Tree pollen is working overtime. And while we had some thunder & showers last night - clearing the air - now I've let all the pollen in the house by leaving the windows open. Again. LOL. That's the trade-off for my practice of trying to acclimate to the outside temps... by not running the a/c. I did just turn it on, because of the humidity though. I can actually taste the pollen, so I know it's pretty bad. Lots and lots of dusting & vacumning have to happen now. Clean the ceiling fans.

OH WELL... it's going to be pretty hot & muggy the next couple days anyway.

The step-daughter's ex called; it's his weekend with the littles; to wish me Happy Mother's Day. That was really nice. But I seem to run out of things to talk about pretty quick.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on May 13, 2018, 11:58:52 AM
Is it possible his kidneys were damaged by very bad music?

I know.

I'm evil.

Want you to be somebody's Viking PRINCESS, and minimal communication from your basic ungrownup...doesn't sound like what you deserve....(first takes, not fair I know, mind open....)

Big hugs
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 13, 2018, 02:58:54 PM
Oh, I know Hops. I'm not terribly emotionally invested in our "pen pal" situation either. No idea if there would be a spark, meeting face to face. And perhaps that doesn't matter either. I think we're both looking for an easy companionship, he & I. Not a lot of expectations, or hoops to jump through, just talking... like two grown-ups. Even if he does have different taste in music. Mike was a big Hendrix and Zappa fan... neither of which, I can endure for a whole album. But there was plenty of music in common we liked too.

Hey, I've sent him theme music from Outlander - in Gaelic! LOL. And some Steeleye Span. And Nick Cave. So the music compatibility isn't a make/break issue, as it shouldn't be. I don't like a lot of Holly's music either. And it's not like musical taste defines a lot of pieces of important character.

At least the viking isn't "emotionally needy" - LOL. I can respect that. Within reason of course.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 18, 2018, 10:27:04 AM
It seems like I haven't updated the goings-on for awhile. But it was y'all's turn to be busy I guess, while I cowered in misery & lethargy from the pollen and basically didn't do a thing during the days & days of rain. The pond is so full, the dock is almost underwater.

I've cleaned the worst of the pollen off the porch that is my second living room. I've started cleaning the pollen off the windows - it was in the 90s here and I finally broke down and turned the a/c on, but it's since cooled off to barely 70 now - so I can leave them open at night.

Real early this morning, the power company showed up to install the meter and turn the rest of the barn wiring over to the electrician. Of course, it's been raining the last 1/2 hr - it's breezy and chilly too - and the guys are in their trucks. This is the hurdle I needed to get past to keep that project moving along. Plumbers rescheduled moving the water hydrant back closer to the barn, too; till Monday.... because of the rain.

So I've been stuck inside and not doing much. Removing pollen from the INSIDE of the house - LOL. Washing. Re-watched all 7 seasons of Game of Thrones again. LOL. I can't find anything at all I want to watch on Netflix or my live wifi channels. My roses are still in 1/2 a 5-gal bucket of potting soil and most of the herbs in their 4 in pots. It's just TOO wet right now. The roses are really starting to leaf out, so I've got to get a plan together for where I'm planting them. That dump truck load of dirt doesn't look like enough for what I want to do! But I will use it all before I make that call. The nursery still owes me a truckload of compost - but since it's mushroom compost I guess they have to wait for the mushrooms to get harvested before they have that much again. Then, he said he'd bill me. I just realized I haven't paid him and when we talked - he said he knew where I lived. LOL.

So, I guess I'm still just puttering around inside at organizing the downstairs, clearing it out for flooring (in July), and cleaning. Till it dries up enough around here to mow & move dirt.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on May 18, 2018, 10:41:09 AM
You awe, awe, awe me.

I'm going to offer to share this morning's poem by PM if you like, let me know...

Believe it or not, it could be called, Why Don't I Work Like Amber? just as easily!  :lol: :lol: :lol:


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on May 19, 2018, 08:24:28 AM
Oh, clearing those hurdles, Amber!  It's marvelous to read as I sip coffee on the old time seawall this morning, facing the Atlantic.  YES, and yes to finding places for your roses soon.  I find I do best after researching for days, then sitting things out in patterns, thinking on it again, then re checking morning v afternoon shade patterns, winter leaf patterns and so on.  I'm still trying to find the right place for neighbor's glorious green Hydrangea bush gifted from her huge healthy specimen.  She has the perfect shade and sunny spot I don't share in my yard. 

Anyway....so excited for you.  Moving ahead again...
Amber leading End Of The Road Farm expedition.  Yes😀
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 19, 2018, 09:09:54 AM
Ugh. It's STILL raining. Day 4 of 24 hr Chinese Water Torture. Still, it feels like this massive amount of rain was something needed here. Not a bad thing; all part of keeping the balance - balanced. It's just me, that finds it "in my way".

Hops yes... go ahead and share your poem!

Well, today's attempt to keep myself occupied and not going stir-crazy (beyond imagining the rain totals as snow instead) is making an excursion to town to recycle cardboard, and replenish the kitchen stash of goodies to eat. I'm on a broccoli slaw kick right now. Maybe more later; we'll see if I can break the hypnotic spell the rain has me under.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on May 19, 2018, 06:28:29 PM

I looked at the weather radar and the same swath of weather is dumping on you, and Hops, and me...goes all the to Washington, blowing over my children....over me.  It's huge.

Oh well..... I should have been planting palm trees.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 21, 2018, 09:08:13 AM
Soooo.... my subscription to the dating site expired Saturday. Which means I can no longer access the messages section to see if the viking has replied to me. I have a fenced-off email address I can use to continue conversation and I was going to send him that, but I missed the deadline.

OH WELL, crap happens. Except, in the back of my mind... I can see him maybe wondering where I got off to. And maybe feeling the same way - c'est la vie. And he does seem to be a pretty nice guy despite the head-banger music. He has a life and a family he dotes on. A garden to tend; wood to get in for next winter - just like me. Perhaps some medical issues. Don't we all have those creeping up on us?

So I'm trying to decide - renew the subscription for the short-term, send him the email address (his sub expires in July and he's not re-upping) and enjoy having found a new friend without worrying if it goes beyond that - or just let it go, it's not like I don't have enough to keep myself busy, right?

Except that it DOES seem to matter to me, that someone cares enough to engage in conversation and start a "technically-speaking" relationship... even if it might be different than either one of us was hoping to find. And someone else caring... seems to be necessary for my motivation to "keep going". I still haven't mastered that kind of "self-caring" for myself... although it's definitely better than it once was.

I could continue dithering about this until it doesn't matter, but I think I'm going to give myself a deadline of the end of the day to make up my mind. After shuffling through all the profiles & pics that I have... he was the only one to kinda "grab my attention" in more than a fantasyland way. (Mostly THEIRS, about what a good catch they are.) Some of them can't even spell and many of them advertise themselves as "God's gift to women". Blech. Viking seems downright normal and average comparatively speaking. There are worse things than being a Buckeye fan - LOL - I am so OVER football.

ETA: NEVERMIND... I'm in a "just do it and stop thinking about it" mood today. Just sent him the explanation.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on May 21, 2018, 04:33:13 PM
We'll, whatever happens, happens.  You have choices.  You'll do what feels right. 

I'm curious......do you notice a heavy or light feeling when you think about the Viking?

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 21, 2018, 08:37:56 PM
Hmmm. I would say I'm curious about him. It would be a truly tough thing to live through, waking up to find your spouse died during the night. And then raising his kids alone. But he doesn't seem any worse for wear these days - 15 years later. When I get messages from him - assuming he's not hired a service to write them (I don't think he has) - it's light and fun.

He doesn't press me for information. We talk about what we're doing that week, sometimes reminiscing about the old days. He asks pertinant questions but they don't seem anything more than curiosity about me & my situation here.

It's very very easy to talk to him. And he says he enjoys my babbling! (That's a plus, right?)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on May 22, 2018, 03:01:19 AM
Skep I was about to post and say keep in touch with him and then saw that you had :)  Something sticks in my mind from a few years ago and I think it applies in many cases.  I was messaging with a teenage girl who'd posted on a home ed forum that she was having a rough time, parents weren't very supportive etc etc.  I contacted her to see if she was okay and if there was anything I could do to help and we stayed in touch for quite some time after that.  I became concerned that my being in contact with her might be preventing her from seeking professional help - she had quite a lot of problems, was self harming, often talked about suicide, but any suggestion I made with regards to her getting help was met with a reason she couldn't do that.  A psychologist friend of mine said that quite possibly email contact with me was all she could cope with at the present time - she wasn't ready to engage and deal with her problems so the email contact was her way of doing that - which was fine by me.

It just occurs to me (sorry, that was a bit convuluted!) that maybe for you and the Viking no commitment. no expectation email messages are what you both need just now?  Both bereaved, both busy with your lives, both kind of thinking it might be nice to have someone - but maybe just not quite now?  So I think all the time you both enjoy chatting (and it is nice to see someone's contacted you and to be able to chat about your day) then I think all the good.  Maybe it will develop, maybe not but I think it's a nice way to reach out without putting yourself out there, if that's not a practical option at the moment.  It's nice to have 'someone', however it may be :) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 22, 2018, 08:48:32 AM
Tupp, that's what I'm thinking too. Just let it be what it is.

Since he doesn't write long messages - the software at the site won't let you make paragraphs; annoying! - it could be he's more comfortable on the phone too. I've noticed people seem to have a distinct preference. The long silences are because he's on the computer all day for work, and just doesn't turn it on, after. I can definitely understand THAT.

Neither of us "needs" anything special in our lives, is the sense I'm getting. Companionship, even of this sort, may just be the bit we're "missing"... an extra set of hands, even... and it seems we can do this well enough. Remember I said it was a couple months, before he even started using "dear" and other affectionate terms? LOL. It's charming in a way, that he didn't feel entitled immediately, to "possess" me or claim me like some guys do. And we don't flirt with each other or tease each other, either. Just not on that level yet.

I know I'm reading into things a lot; filling in the gaps with my imagination too. I think that's probably a natural part of this process - in this medium. Face to face, one gets to "see" if words & actions match up a lot easier. It takes me a long time to trust someone, as I give a nano-inch at a time. I knew Mike for YEARS before we realized we were attracted to each other. And then it was like earth-magnets... LOL. Viking is a fisherman; so he's patient too.

So for now, we're just online friends. Getting to know each other. And the bar is set so low... neither of us would fall very far or hard if it just doesn't work out. But it does seem interesting enough to me, to give it some more time.

RAINING again here. Plumbers rescheduled yet again. No one's digging in this mess... and the grass is so tall out in the field, that I'll need someone to bale it. This is putting a definite kink in all my outdoor plans. Time to punt and go in another direction.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on May 22, 2018, 11:06:50 AM
(((((Amber)))) Finding a successful formula for online dating is a really important thing. When you find it, you will be able to purchase the state you're in, plus an extra mountain range.

That said I have a couple practical ideas...if you haven't already, getting a second email address that does not include your name is helpful. Say, Hopsadoodle @... etc. Anything neutral sounding, as long as it excludes name or place references. (I recommend non-flirty names, too, as it's also come in handy for sites that require email, but may add me to lists I wish to ignore.) Then, I set the new email to forward all emails to my main email address. Gmail does a pretty good job of filtering the dreck first (Promotions, Social, Updates) so I tend to get only personal (Primary) messages forwarded.

Then, when you first sense you'll enjoy email chatting, give a person that. I just explain I don't enjoy chatting through the site and seldom check it for messages. Truths.

The other thing that's important (not germane to you in this instance) is willingness to stop a correspondence if and when you want to. I've known women who feel obligated to continually answer emails and explain, over and over, in a similar way to answering the phone before cell phones.... I know, that's not where you are, you're going in the other direction. But saying No without tension has helped me; I immediately filter their email afterward just in case.

But right now, you're wondering what you're saying Yes to. I hear you and I feel uncertain whether this is the road to happiness. For myself too, though I'm still signed up on a site.

Is there a local fire station you could volunteer at? A rescue squad? A school? A hospital? Any way at all you can meet more local people who actually live where you do? Scary but...if you focus on volunteering, you'd meet good folks and friends, at least. Never wasted...

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 22, 2018, 12:05:27 PM
I choose not to get out a lot Hops. I'm extremely uncomfortable - or trying to take over & manage - in those kinds of situations. Not a good formula for making new friends. I'm not afraid of people, mind you... but if I'm out, I have my own "game plan" in mind and I've just never "played nice" in groups. And I'm incredibly BAD at chit-chatting with someone in what most people consider ordinary situations. Completely different, when I'm behind a keyboard.

And, if I don't do the work that needs doing here at home - it just doesn't get done. And it NEEDS to get done - and become manageable. Just not there yet. So the casual nature of this type of interaction is actually perfect for me. At least, that's my excuse for now. LOL.

I'm not having a problem with how things are. I just don't need a social life, like most people do. If I have a few scattered gatherings throughout the year, here at the farm... or a single person coming to visit every so often... I'm just fine. LOL.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on May 22, 2018, 12:33:56 PM
I believe you, you introvert, you.  :)

I just hate the idea of you being lonely. Even introverts get lonely.

Off to work (picking up, might have an interesting new customer to help...).

I'm so grateful we can talk about the mating stuff, so openly. I just had
a nice man write me and he lives two hours away on a lovely lake and my
internal monologue is...impossible distance. How wimpy is THAT?

It's one of the biggest challenges, in my head. Distance. Moving. Etc.
I was freaked at the possibility of having to move, say a mile from my house,
with B!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 22, 2018, 05:19:05 PM
LOL. I seldom get truly "lonely". But yes, I now what you mean... before, I'd have said I never get lonely. 2 hours? Piece of cake - since you've not met him face to face yet. And probably don't know yet if you want to. You might surprise yourself what you might be willing to do - for the right relationship. And who's to say he wouldn't be interested in being the one to move? BUT YA HAVEN'T EVEN MET YET, kiddo.

Present moment thinking, Hops. What is NOW... not "what might be". I think it'll help when things do come up. For the time being, you're figuring out what you like/don't like... and I think doing that with the goal of marriage - always there - puts too much pressure on you. You're looking for a best friend more than anything else this go-round so just start with that "target" and see if that works.

I also like that we talk about this openly. Between self-doubt, old fears coming back to haunt us, the trust issues (both of ourselves and others), and KNOWING we have aging bodies... oh vey! This is way worse than being 16. LOL. But look how far we've come! Taking chances on enhancing our lives... wow! I think I'll look for a slinky purple polka-dot dress, come hither shoes & hat... and start the painful process of core training. LOL.

They call me..... Bobcat Woman. (Sounds better than cougar.) My superpowers are attachable/detachable. Meet "Rock & root Grapple", Auger, and Pallet Forks... and "Bucket". LOL.

Hell, I wish they'd just call me and whisper sweet nothings some times. LOL.

I wish I knew when my knees gave up the ghost. It took all DAY to paint a really small shelf, that's been on the list waiting till I had nothing better to do. Today was that day, thanks to MORE RAIN. I had to grab a folded towel to kneel on. I'm ready to break out a rain suit and try to mow and plant in the rain. It's not like my yard is anywhere CLOSE to looking like well-tended sod.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 28, 2018, 11:52:53 AM
I need to spew all this out - get it off my head and hopefully, that'll let me maintain the boundaries I'm trying to "mind" and not go all Mama Bear - Tiger - Dragonlady - Berserker Viking.

Holly & Matt are unravelling in a giant hurry. I'll spare y'all the complicated back & forth reasons why this, that & the other thing has caused Matt to form a narrative of their relationship and Holly in particular, that has convinced him she's a liar and has probably cheated on him numerous times. Matt got home before she did on Friday - and the puppy had chewed part of the journal she was using to work out a lot of her relationship feelings, on her own while she was crewing the sailboat over the winter. Matt of course read the bits of paper - and proceeded to read more of the journal as well.

That has fueled this particular delusion of Matt's that she has/is/and is going to cheat on him (fear-insecurity based) yet AGAIN. It's not the first time in the last 8-9 years they've been together. And it's definitely NOT TRUE. Holly spent Friday night with a girlfriend so she could attend one of the "end of production" parties with her co-workers; left it open if she would come out here for the weekend. Matt wanted to her to go away - so he could "think". Friday night, they did talk and he said she could come back home now - but she'd been drinking and spent the night away as planned, anyway. She went back Saturday afternoon. She said initially he was calm, and they talked about things rationally.

And all day yesterday he was back to yelling at her, asking for the ring back, just having her around makes him pissed all over again, and he said she should be looking for somewhere else to live. She has been letting him get this out of his system... and not engaging with him. And he's said some truly off the wall things to her - that are way out in la-la-land. Still, she's staying centered. Finally he left because he couldn't be around her anymore... so she called and we talked. She can't talk to me with him around - very small house; and I'm obviously the devil. (Not the first time for that either.)

She DOES have places to stay; obviously she feels like her feelings aren't safe around him - but has to remain in Baltimore for work for at least another week. But she is GOOD with this being the end of the relationship/living arrangements because whatever this script Matt has in his head - he's been trying to force her into - reliving some past experience he had. Neither of us knows what that might be, except for a previous girlfriend, but I recognize the signs. Did it myself ya know. And I think there might be something prior to the girlfriend that's stuck in his head. Holly's OK with this ending - because she's been trying to get this to work for years and providing ways for Matt to participate in the relationship - and he doesn't. I guess that's scarier for him, than living out this script/pattern again. It matters NOT to him, that there is nothing going on for him to be angry about. He believes there is; she's a liar - lying about cheating on him. And NOTHING has EVER happened like that.

My advice was to leave before he gets home, if she can arrange it (has laundry to do) - so she can let her thoughts and feelings calm down - and obviously not be there as an irritant to escalate the situation anymore than he is trying to do - before they go to work tomorrow.

Then, she will need time to regroup and process things out of her head... and with the work situation not having an easy transition to a new schedule... figure that out too. She can come here. But it's not definite that she will. She has money to do whatever she wants at this point. But she's a lot calmer than I am about this! Rational too.

I'm going to bet he unconsciously calls her by his former girlfriend's name before all is said & done.

Holly knows she can't live with constant emotional abuse - or with someone who's not emotionally accessible to her. But she's been trying to engage Matt enough rationally that the lightbulb will come on, for him, that how she feels in this circumstance matters too. Two-way street kind of thing. And she had grown so much in the process that she's not freaking out. A little worried she'll internalize his criticisms of her and believing them... but I reassured her that I thought she'd grown past the point that this would happen. The only time he's like this - is when something triggers this script in his head and Holly's journaling of whether she wanted to continue being the only one working on the relationship triggered it for him - again.

Only a pro can fix this with Matt working hard, himself. She can't be objective enough - and it isn't her job really - to help him fix this. But she sees it too. She has limits to what she stand, too. But she doesn't want to experience that. She's said several time in the past couple years that she's already pre-grieving the relationship's end. So she's way more clear in her own emotions and feelings than I've ever seen her... about something that is intensely emotional for her.

I keep telling her she's doing good. I'm confident in her "toolset" for dealing with this. And that the things Matt is saying are not true. Just so she hears it. Where things go from here - is all going to be up to her and she can't even deal with it until production and her job end. It's just physically, logistically not possible. So, until Matt becomes rational again it's just better for her not to be there.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on May 28, 2018, 02:46:32 PM
Oh, so sorry to read that. 

I'm not surprised they're at this point, but still.... very sorry.

Holly needs to get herself clear of that anger, and process, as you say.  She's tried her best, and done what she could... it just isn't working. 

It made me extremely anxious to read Holl would BE subjected to anger, and false allegations with zero way to address the truth.  There's nothing for her left to learn through this..... it's just time to go, IME.

If you need to be big bad scary viking mama bear, then you BE that, Amber.

You have my permission.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 28, 2018, 04:31:00 PM
Thankfully it's not needed this time Lighter. The littlest Viking has grown up - and she's not angry at all; more relieved that they now how something real between them - ironically enough, that there's no way forward with the relationship.

She won't revert to self-destructive tendencies; won't go off the deep end. I'm really proud of how much she's learned about herself, processed about the past, and worked her way to being mature and adult about things like this. The only thing keeping her from being completely whole - was Matt's criticism of who she is. (no, I never told her that. I didn't have to - she's a quick learner and learned a LOT from her few months of therapy.)

She said it's a relief; and in more ways than one. She has to make decisions about work that Matt was getting in the way of. She has a ton of friends and a network of coworkers. She knows that she can come stay with me as long as she wants - but she may not want. So, I'm standing back and letting her take care of herself. She's staying with a really good friend.

This has been YEARS, literally, in the slowly agonizing, life-negating making. It'll be a couple days before she realizes she can breathe again.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 29, 2018, 07:57:01 AM
Phew. That's better.

As "mom" - and witnessing some (not all) of this behavior and how Matt targeted Holly's biggest weakness/trigger points for self-doubt - and watching it all escalate the past couple years - I was always worried about how this would end. Because it was abundantly clear, that Holly was out of patience for for being alone in a relationship and being on the "child" end of a parent-child "correction of thoughts, feelings and actions" regime... and not feeling SAFE to just be herself around him.

She just dug in her heels, and wasn't going to end it herself -- and then have to deal with Matt making it "all her fault". She knew leaving was an option; but she didn't want to leave him - because she did enjoy being with him, when he wasn't stuck in running his "script". We talked about double binds, some. She was clearly relieved to come out here alone and just throw off all the paper mache bits & pieces of behavior that Matt insisted on... and just re-connect with her real self. Breathe freely.

I believe Matt could fairly easily resolve his issue. He's smart, insightful, intuitive and - except for the script - he is kind. But he's refused every and all suggestions of going to therapy with Holly. He thinks it's a GREAT idea for HER, mind you... because her values are (according to him) "wrong"... and her personality even... isn't "right" either. So, I've been the sounding board all these years...

and have been emotionally close to the situation. Right up to the edge of the boundaries... tightrope walking it. Holly is WORTH IT... because I've watched her grow out the abuse she took from her Dad, over the Amy situation (he finally recognizes it after all these years)... get out of a "fatal attraction" marriage... and survive on her own and become a well-rounded, giving and now, growing wise woman. My mom role has always been to just give her the space to BE HER and try on things, grow out of them, make her own decisions and choices.

And I know the lengths that frustration and anger can drive her to, when she's trying to control those intense emotions and "do the right thing". There is a reason she's always been known as a "force of nature". So I've been on edge for a LONG TIME... wondering how this part of the Holly & Matt story would play out. I can stop holding my breath too, now.


Yep; just heard from her. She's says: that after 9 years of hearing him say "I can't live like this" (whatever that means)... and her loyalty (and honesty) isn't good enough... then F you. She's sorry his feelings are hurt, but she's not responsible for them... and she's tired of jumping through hoops trying to be good enough to be loved for herself - and him always finding fault with it. Some of the things he's said to her, that I've witnessed... are the kind of things not even a PARENT would say to a child, because it's so invalidating.

I think she found her inner Viking again.   ;)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on May 29, 2018, 11:05:45 AM
Ah, both Vikings, Skep, you're like two peas in a pod.  I'm sorry she's going through it but glad she's doing it, if you see what I mean.  I think most of us get to a point where enough is enough, even though it's tough at the time.  I do find it odd when one person becomes quite certain that the entire fault lies with the other one.  I get it if there's an addiction problem or some such thing involved but in these sort of situations, where one person won't even begin to entertain the idea that maybe they could change some aspect of their behaviour to make things different, it really isn't on.  I hope Holly is okay and that peace starts to rein supreme now :)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on May 29, 2018, 11:08:14 AM
I'm so sorry you're all going through this, but I hear you must.
Going through can be excruciating, and then once on the other side, you get to breathe.

I remember how deeply painful it was to divorce.
Such a huge huge loss.

These days if I faced it again I think it would not be as hard.
First thing is, I would never again say the sorts of things in vows that placed me between a rock and a hard place.

Some people DO a Jekyll-Hyde thing. Not necessarily monstrous, but different enough from the person you thought you were wedding to be a massive shock and crushing disappointment.

I just will never again set myself up for self-loathing by taking vows that do not allow me to love myself responsibly. Got a long-term discussion going with religion about that...nobody winning....

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 29, 2018, 05:33:51 PM
Thankfully, she couldn't commit to marrying him. So no legal stuff to deal with - just logistics of moving. She has been thinking about this turn of affairs for a LONG time. I'm interested to see what she comes up with for a "what's next"... and how quickly she can shrug off the effects of that kind of invalidation. (She has been fighting believing it for years now.)

I don't think I realized how much energy I was spending thinking/worrying about that situation. Now that it's over, I feel totally drained. But I saw a Scarlet Tanager this morning - the pair, I think. Looked it up, since I didn't rightly know what kind of bird it was other than BRIGHT - LOL.

The heat & humidity are back too; and weather page says tree pollen is still high - which I don't quite believe after all the rain we've had. That combination leaves me feeling like a limp, 3 day old noodle anyway. So I'm amping up the self-care for a few days... and dipping my toe into the work I have still waiting on me. I'm still sorting out driving/controlling the bobcat... so trying to do a little each day.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on May 29, 2018, 06:27:24 PM

I remember when I finally gave up trying to fix, or understand my first husband even.  Once I gave up, divorce was easier.  Moving beyond was possible. 

Sometimes giving up is where healing begins.   I'm glad Hol made peace with letting go.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on May 30, 2018, 08:46:08 AM
Feeling much better today. It's cooler and promising more rain. I have several outside tasks that NEED doing. I have a little more energy too for this.

The more I think about some of Matt's reactions to what Hol & I consider "normal" people stuff, at an intimate level... the more I really think he has something like my poison arrow to work out. And it's not the old girlfriend. She was just another "victim" of the same script. I hope his mom can convince to see someone and work this out.

Holly, meanwhile, sounds like she's starting to worry about him. Which is natural - but kinda conflicts with her resolution that she's not responsible for his feelings. I think she can figure that out by herself. I know I make her sound like a YOUNG woman; and she does give that impression in person. Very playful. But she IS 40 now, experienced, and knows her self. That's one of the things that was painful trying to work on the relationship with Matt. He kept trying to "correct" and "improve" to his liking - her self. But when Holly would ask for specific concrete "baby step" things from Matt... she coulda been talking to a wall. Yet, his conscious rational mind would agree to it...

anyway, I don't have time to sort Matt out. But I know Holly will be processing this for awhile. Once she's not working 10-14 hr days. Time for mom to shut up, back off, leave her come to her own conclusions... and mind my own business. Until she's ready to dissect it herself.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on May 30, 2018, 11:41:54 AM
Yes yes yes.... Holly will have to process in her own time, in her own way, for her own reasons.  Backing off is just right, IMO.

About it being cooler out.... it's been nice working outside in the drizzle, or in between downpours.  The moss is super thick, and happy.... like a carpet.  I've been tidying up borders, and picking up sticks and branches..... trying to stop pulling weeds, as I plan to poison with a sponge once it's dry and hot enough. 

I look forward to reading about your progress at the farm, Amber. 

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on May 30, 2018, 12:18:12 PM
Zing...zing... edited to show how I relate... Oy oy oy.

That's one of the things that was painful trying to work on the relationship with Matt B. He kept trying to "correct" and "improve" [me] to his liking - [my] self.

Bless her, bless him, bless you.

May everybody learn and keep on loving themselves, let that love point the way to healing.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 03, 2018, 08:13:33 PM
The sky has been crying all weekend. It's wrecked my driveway, since the ditches should've been cleaned out last fall. I put it off. And we're having one of those REALLY wet years here. Flooding is a problem all over the county.

There's been a kind of 180 in the Holly & Matt situation. She had brought the dogs out here with her, since they're cooped up in the house while they work all week. Had to take them home. And she & Matt talked; a GOOD TALK for a change. He talked to someone professional over the weekend who suggested they attempt to work through the break-up together. Logistically, it makes sense to me. And after this weekend, I'm pretty sure Hol's strong enough and solid enough in herself to successfully do this. We both have reservations about Matt. BUT... he finally saw his way clear to tell that he hates her, because he loves her so much. This is the first authentic statement he's made in this situation. It's not much... but ya work with what ya got. And he thanked me for my idea for his 40th birthday party in October. That could STILL work out, if they can part on peaceable terms.

I realized I'm taking this almost harder than Holly is. Matt's been a part of my life for 9 years too. And he's stepped up and helped out in some tough times. Additionally - she doesn't need me anymore. (She says she still does, but in reality - no; she's fully grown up now.) She's got the situation completely in hand - even with her feelings - and she has some amazing friends. Maybe it's triggering the old Mikey feelings; losing him. So I'm binge watching Outlander this afternoon & evening. The story of the relationship has always been close to me and I have a real soft spot for the scots. And the strong bond between Jamie & Claire always bring the tears. It'll be a good release.

Holly sounds pretty happy about this turn of events, so I warned her about making herself vulnerable via hope. I needn't have worried - LOL. She'll be keeping a sharp eye out for a return to habitual characteristics. But this is something that pleases her.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on June 04, 2018, 06:37:10 AM

I'm glad Matt saw a professional, and admitted his feelings of hatred, as well as love, towards Holly.  Validation of our experience is a powerful thing.  A very heeling thing... it explains why Matt behaved the way he did towards Holly.  It brings clarity, IME.

Matt will likely push to save the relationship, as it was.  It's too bad that's the likely reason he finally went to a therapist.  Not bc she asked, years ago, or bc she was suffering, and he was the cause...but only bc he's lost something, he's suffering.

IME a couple working through a huge issue can make them stronger, but I've never seen a couple successfully work through hatred towards a partner.  I've seen them remain friendly, to a certain degree, but the hatred, and old issues, always popped up when things shifted out of friendship,  and back into romantic territory.

They'll both learn a lot, no matter what happens.

Sorry about all the rain, and your driveway Amber.   It finally stopped raining here Friday, and I had the most glorious day in the yard Sunday.  Just beautiful.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 04, 2018, 08:11:09 AM
They're still going to break up Lighter. It's just not going to be "uproar style". The love/hate thing seems normal to me. Love is big enough to absorb those moments when you hate the partner - as long as they are "moments" and not a constant, repetitive feature of the relationship. After 9 years of trying to get to that "aha moment"... they're just not able to.

I've been really thrown for a loop by this change. Been supporting a (seemingly growing) list of ill online friends, widows, and now this... I finally realized I am just too sensitive still to losing people I care about in my life. Or watching them go through things that it's impossible to comfort them in. Feelings are just too exposed and raw right now. I end up hurting right alongside of them. That just isn't good for me...

So, I'm going to do my "turtle thing" for a little bit.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on June 04, 2018, 12:17:12 PM

Sorry you're struggling.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 05, 2018, 07:14:03 AM
It's hardly a big deal Lighter. Just something I'm recognizing - and know what to do with it. I can't fix everything for everyone. No matter how much I wish to.

Taking a day off of looking at the mess the rain has made here - if I can get the Cherokee out. Run some errands over the mountain and hopefully get back before today's rain sets in.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 05, 2018, 09:16:18 AM
Turtles rock. Turtles hold up the earth. Turtles are wise and deep.

I think you were really wise to recognize how deeply you identified
with Hols' situation (sub-surface) and how that affected you.

I totally get it. How could you possibly live what you've lived, love the way
you love, and have the knowledge you have...and not experience her situation
in a personal way?

I'm glad you're retreating a while to heal your own pain. And leaving your
strong daughter to heal hers, however she negotiates her transition with Matt.

GOOD going, you.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 05, 2018, 06:41:50 PM
Thanks Hops.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 06, 2018, 08:45:32 AM
Turtle woman is starting to peek out of her shell. I finally actually RELAXED and slept well last night. It required a couple of home made "remedies" for sinus/pollen/barometer rollercoaster rides... and one of the beneficial "side effects" is turning off the anxiety centers in the brain.

Anxiety, I'm almost positive now, blocks chi. And you can toss worry into that category too.

But it appears the waters (every kind) are calming a bit... so still continuing the self-care focus for a bit. Meanwhile - delayed work awaits. The grass is so tall in the garden field, that it could be baled. Seriously - it's almost waist high. That should make mowing it "fun" - and require two passes at that - but it HAS to get done.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 07, 2018, 07:01:29 PM

Seems Holly/Matt have chosen to do this the hard way -- ie, maintain a friendly respectful but still breaking up situation. Except Holly has noticed he's kind of working his way back into - well, if I'm just nice to her so she stays, then it can go back to what it used to be. She's been working hard all week winding up the production stages - and will likely have to work Monday too. So, there's a weekend where they can really talk. She's going to suggest an overnight at a friend's cabin to be somewhere OTHER than home to talk.

What she wants is a lot more independence and time off from the "same old same old" to determine - each of them - if they want to try to seriously work through their impasses. The summer would give them that space to decide. And it's not like they wouldn't talk; or even see each other during that time. Just in the space of last weekend, I watched her resettle into her "Holly-ness" from the various roles she maintains at work and at home with Matt. She has some serious depth to her and will most likely address her feelings for Matt in excruciating detail. I won't be privy to any of that until she's processed it into coherent form.

I think she's probably at the point, that this is now about her and her choices... and less about being the only one doing heavy lifting in a relationship - and not having much to show for it at the end of the day. So until I hear otherwise, I'm "doing" what needs "doing" by myself around here.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 07, 2018, 09:13:40 PM
Sounds like a good approach to me.

Being "best friend" to your child in this, her adult situation, and hearing every blow by blow might set you up for more destabilizing enmeshment, which you don't deserve. And can hurt you.

No unnecessary extra pain for Amber, is da rule.

Why can't we all have our own Carolyn Hax to drill us on boundaries???? I need her reminders over and over, it seems. (So nice that she's available....)

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 09, 2018, 10:31:33 AM
Well, it's INTERESTING Hops. Holly and I are really close. No doubt about it. But she became independent, at an earlier age than normal... for periods of time. She would move back home for months too, until she finally got her own place, by herself, at 18.

My T knew her from tai chi, as well. And when we were working through the boundary issues... I was worried precisely about enmeshment. Her comment was that Holly was so strong in herself, that I shouldn't worry about her at all -- in that way. And Hol and I have talked about it in detail at length... and we're both OK with the way it is. She knows I worry about her... and she reminds me that she's 40. LOL. I really don't have a thing to worry about with boundaries and Holly. She's been telling me to F off and mind my own business for so many years... and I say OK... and we only "analyze together" when she's trying to identify all her options or is afraid her perception is skewed one way or another.

Same with me; turn about is fair play between us. And yes, I chafe and squirm under that kind of "helpful comments" too. But we can do it, and keep on rockin' & rollin'. She was the toddler with temper tantrums; serious tantrums... and waited to really start talking. And when she found out that I could talk her through the intense emotional moments... if she talked to me... till the "waters calmed", she quickly internalized that as one of her "superpowers". She only very rarely shows that intensity to people... it freaks people out. But not mom. I let her vent it all, only saying enough to show I'm actively listening and getting what she's saying... and then she engages rational brain again on her own.

I was very young then, when we figured out how to do that. Before she talked, and during a tantrum, I just hugged her real close and absorbed the energy until it was spent. The comfort of that touch and security helped them go away completely. I guess I instinctively knew what to do because that was how I needed to be mothered. And wasn't. She would be fine in a short amount of time... and we'd go back to whatever was going on... as if it was completely normal. In time, she managed those times herself with lots of finesse and skill... and compassion for others. She knows that her intensity in those times is scary to people. It's like being in a lightning cloud and tornado all at the same time.

And when it's reversed - and she's doing that for me (there have been times) - people simply look at us as if OMG... there isn't going to be any going back from what's coming out of their mouths; and I'm uncomfortable in this situation... and when the energy is dispersed... we're just fine, but everyone else is confused. All in the space of maybe 5 minutes. LOL... There was a commercial awhile back for gelato. An Italian couple just going AT IT... and it's all resolved with a spoonful of the ice cream... until something else sets them off. It's like that.

The connection between us is strong enough to absorb it all, not infringe on each other's autonomy/independence, and not take offense or take the intensity personally - no matter what words come out. I don't know if that's a more primitive level of "socialization" or interaction... or if it's actually more evolved. Don't know; don't care. It's what works for us. LOL.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 09, 2018, 01:00:06 PM
when she found out that I could talk her through the intense emotional moments... if she talked to me... till the "waters calmed", she quickly internalized that as one of her "superpowers"

That is amazing mothering, Amber. You have trained her not just to be dependent only on you for that level of understanding, but to internalize that kind of process and become her own "calmer."

No wonder she is so strong as an adult today. She understands her own intensity but now is realizing that she won't be dependent only on you, to be the only person who can understand and weather her storms. Very very hopeful.

I am awed. So now I'm back to picturing your own personal storm-savvy Viking to come shelter YOU in that kind of accepting, resolute embrace. You deserve it.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 09, 2018, 03:43:23 PM
I think she's learning to not "depend" on anyone else to absorb it and help her dissapate it. It's NICE when there is someone there to help; just not necessary.  As much flailing as I've done the past few years, adapting to being alone, I'm finding there's just not much occasion for needing to deal with my own intense "storms". They're more like an average summer thunderstorm that freshens the air, removes humidity, and cools things off a bit.

If you've ever seen the History Channel series "Vikings"... while I strongly identify with the shield-maiden/mom/wife/farmer Lagertha... I also really really enjoy/understand Floki - the boat builder, who's always got one ear open to the Gods, to try to understand the mystery of life around him.

Independence matters to Hol. Responsible independence, and she forms strong connections with people too. She's always been socially oriented and very compassionate. But I raised kids to be independent; to think for themselves and not ONLY seek approval from their peer group; and to understand that the effort required - mentally, physically, emotionally - to maintain independent self-hood. I can not conceive of wanting kids to be dependent on me that way... shudder to think of such a thing! Ugh.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 09, 2018, 04:10:44 PM
Double awed.

And you've given me a new series to binge watch!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 11, 2018, 09:52:49 AM

Weather throwing kinks in plans/schedules again. Holly still hasn't heard anything definite about future work in B'more... and I didn't ask about about the relationship situation. Better they have complete and total privacy right now. This might be Matt's last chance to hear what she's been saying for years, and if he DOES, she's conflicted enough about stay/go that she could decide to stay. Which is why this has taken so long already. I trust her ability to BS-detect; and she does know him way better than I.

Electrician, chimney sweep, and backhoe guy... all on hold waiting for the rain to stop. Miss Utility did get the power lines to the panel marked, finally. I need to get some paint & mark some trees at the end of the drive - if I don't already have some. That will mark the path I'm wanting for the new driveway intersection with the county road - and give me a double entrance/exit.

I'm coming back into my normal head space now. Rested a lot this weekend; talked to my doc friend - who I think either is so used to reading into what people write that he's imagining things contrary to what I've shared... or he's simply on a another planet. Maybe it's just male/female cognitive differences. I'll back off him for awhile and see if he regains an equilibrium, where he takes what I write to have the meaning that sits there, right on the face of it.

OH HOPS... I found this and thought it was funny, because I thought we women already knew this about guys. But, it's really not a bad specific reminder that men & women see things a lot differently.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 11, 2018, 11:23:15 AM
Ahhh. But I am a humorless prude, feminazi, and bonus: over-sensitive.

So have to admit my take was the same as this commenter's:

pbird June 10, 2018, 8:42 AM
I saw that list somewhere else in another decade. Its been around. Its a little funny.
Most of those “rules” have at their base a great deal of unkindness.

But keep working on me, Amber!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 11, 2018, 05:52:01 PM
Gosh. These were really quite tame compared to a lot of the women-bashing I see from time to time. And poking fun at guys - just as much, for their tone-deafness to women.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 11, 2018, 08:06:22 PM
I know...just, for real, I yam that way.

No harm no foul!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 12, 2018, 07:44:56 AM
Is OK, Hops. I do get that we all have those thresholds at different places. But it does help to laugh at it all - the stereotypes he pokes fun at (male & female) and how they still persist in all our psyches... despite how hard we CAN work to not fall into that trap. We can laugh WITH each other over what I call "dumb things humans do". We all have "something" about ourselves like this, and while they're different things, I think being able to laugh at ourselves is a form of love & acceptance*.

Michael ALWAYS had more shoes than I did and couldn't resist the gaudiest, tackiest things. I was definitely a mudhen, to his peacock. And except for space issues, it really didn't bother me.

*I mean something entirely different from the "mean" sort of humor that I see a lot of these days - laughing AT someone, and putting them down or having a laugh at someone's expense. I don't find any of that funny at all. It can be a fine line, granted; and perhaps our personal thresholds have a lot to do with how we perceive it.

Laughing is really good for the soul. I think it helps chi flow, too.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 13, 2018, 03:25:51 PM
First real sign that Holly is moving forward now:

The show they thought might be coming - isn't. So everything on the stages/in the warehouse has to be removed and/or disassembled. That's another 2 weeks of work for her. And the production has to sell off the furnishings they used on set. She got a bed for $30 (sans mattress; but easy to procure later)... a couple of chairs, 2 glass front bookcases and 2 floor lamps for $140 total. So she is already beginning to think about the "next place" she can turn into a "Holly-nest".

I don't know WHERE she could've gotten her talent (and luck) for this kind of thing.... :takes tongue out of cheek and stops rolling eyes: 

She never really had a chance to put her "touch" on Matt's place; never really "moved in together" in 9 years. So this is her doing what comes natural -- and feeds back into her self; she's gonna be just fine.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 15, 2018, 09:45:24 AM
Except the proverbial "other shoe" has dropped. Again.  :shock:

Please stay tuned for another episode of the disgusting Amy saga. Or maybe not. It's like a lot of movie sequels - it's the same story; only some of the characters and "action shots" have changed. Y'all have heard it all before and truthfully nothing significant has changed. Just the added threats of physical violence this time... even directed at Holly and me, this time. And Sky is almost 18. I'm thinking I won't put y'all through it again.

The threats, I'm not totally convinced this guy is capable of acting on. But he's not rational either... and I've already rallied troops, gotten experienced advice, and for now - am just trying to keep Holly kinda centered. As usual, her innate kindness and sense of how "wrong" things are, are making her examine what if anything can help or fix the situation. But again (just spoke on the phone) she really doesn't need my help - just compassion/commiseration.

And I'm just trying to process out my revulsion at the details/circumstances... and find some glimmer of hope that all three of them: Amy and the boys even HAVE a future.

Apparently Amy has said she's really close to "ghosting" both Holly and me. My comment was: oh, please, make my dreams come true! But I know it's really a lie, because the next time she gets herself in a fix that requires money, I'm getting a phone call. (I have yet to speak directly with her this time.) There is only so much evil, depravity, perversion and irrationality I can stand before I simply shut down and shut it out of my mind. And it doesn't seem to make sense to me anymore... to try to protect and defend people like that without letting them suffer the consequences of their actions. I'm real sorry bad things are happening to them, because of their choices.

But when it's starts to show up on my doorstep, I'm all out of pity and sympathy.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on June 15, 2018, 09:57:44 AM
Oh Skep, I'm so sorry.  I always get really behind on your threads because you're so busy, I feel like I've only missed a couple of days but you've crammed so much into them it takes me a while to catch up :)

I'm sorry that the Amy situation has come to a head again.  It's so hard, isn't it, drawing a line between being supportive and kind of playing a role in abusing yourself, in a way.  Especially with kids involved, albeit kids who are older now.  But I'm sorry things haven't worked out a bit better this time and I hope you're able to find a way through it that doesn't involve you having to put yourself out there to get hurt xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on June 16, 2018, 09:56:28 AM
What a nightmare, Amber.  I'm sorry you and Holly have to keep watching Amy train wreck her life, over and over.  I'm sorry Amy and her sons are IN that train wreck.  It's terrible.  There are no good options.  There never have been.

I hope Holly can pull back, gain some perspective, and remain fairly centered while she's transitioning out of her relationship with M.  I'm sure you remind her she didn't cause Amy's problems, she can't control Amy, and she can't fix her problems.  Only Amy can do that, and A will have to choose that for herself when she's ready.

Caring more than Amy won't help Amy.

Staying centered, so you have more emotional and physical resources if needed, is better than spinning into grief, and despair.  I know you KNOW all this, but sometimes it helps to see and hear these things when grief, despair and resigned acceptance present at the same time. 

 Resigned acceptance is a difficult choice, but it's the only one that doesn't eat us alive, IME.  I hope Holly remains focused on herself. 

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 16, 2018, 02:52:53 PM
I am SO sorry, Amber.

And btw, you're not "putting us through" anything we're not entirely willing to read, care about, and respond to. Post all you need to as much as it helps you.

I vaguely understood that A threatened to send a male friend to bully you for some reason? Jeez.
I clearly understood A is threatening No Contact. So...she's very pissed about something.

I don't think giving her money helps if she's still full-blown alcoholic.

I know you worry about her and her children, one of whom is near adulthood.

That's about how much I have full clarity about, but I welcome more.

I'm so sorry, Amber. I know this kind of heartache.

love to you,

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 16, 2018, 05:44:15 PM
Lighter - nail on the head, about caring more about Amy than Amy does isn't going to help her... and doesn't do us any good either.

Hops, you're just a little confused. It's Amy's ex who is threatening us - as a way to threaten Amy and the boys. Of course, there was a bit of panic finding out about directly from HIM -- and not a word from Amy. Conversations between Hol and her, not going well. Amy is threatening to ghost both of us - even though I've deliberately NOT interacted with her.

I've been meaning to ask you for a while now - are you feeling OK? Everything going alright? You sound a bit pre-occupied yourself lately.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 16, 2018, 09:45:24 PM
Jeez, that is weird! An ex-husband trying to hurt his ex-wife by threatening his ex-MIL and ex-SIL? To what end? What a fool. Tool. Fooltool. I hope it's not real danger. Can you enlist a local bear to hang out in the yard? I don't like this!

Amidst all that, you ask about me. Thanks, hon. I'll open a thread to update.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 21, 2018, 09:22:21 AM
As I thought - that threat basically disappeared and was nothing more than big-ego, big-talk. I've heard nothing else since the initial flurry of crap. "Fooltool" is perfect Hops!

My own mind - and initial experiences with ye olde Bobcat - have created a negative feedback avoidance loop to "getting back on the horse". But I've GOT to get one side of the barn graded before next week. I'll just have to go slow and careful... and if it takes me more tanks of gas, than it would Ronnie... SO BE IT. I already know I don't know exactly what I'm doing and there are going to be "oops"... IT'S OK. I learned to ride a motorcycle; I learned to do LOTS of things.

I keep telling myself "I can't" and "it's not safe unless there's someone here to "rescue" me from my own ignorance". I have ALREADY tipped the thing back to it's built-in stopping point even with someone watching me. I know how to get it back on 4 wheels. I've done it. It's NOT that scary; it's even kinda fun in a way. Like the old jeep I sold because I convinced myself I had no business driving that thing - but I DID drive it on my mountain roads; capably.

WHAT is this mental "tic" that pops up and triggers that irrational fear... the "I can't" reflex??? Where did it first pop up - what happened for me to just automatically assume that any time I don't immediately master something intuitively that I'll never ever be able to do it????? It's just so not true.

And the damn thing hasn't started itself up and done the work to my eye's satisfaction all by itself overnight either. Electrician would REALLY like me to at least grade one side of the barn, so he is trenching for the power line conduit AFTER I've established a new dirt grade level. It really HAS TO happen.

Oh look - it's raining now. OK time for more coffee... maybe it'll clear off later.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on June 21, 2018, 10:58:35 AM

How does one establish the new grade level?

And, once it's done, how does one go about doing that work, checking levels, and calling it done?

See... there's lots of reasons to NOT get on that BobCat and do the work, IMO.

You can't UNTIL you've done the research, figured out the tools, and procedures, then there's getting up, used to the BobCAT again, and THEN the worry about flipping it over, looking a fool (who THOUGHT she could handle it, but couldn't) maybe hurting yourself, and creating mechanical expenses you won't have IF you stay at the kitchen table drinking coffee.

See..... this is complicated, and you can't say it's about one little fear thought.  It's just not. 

Eventually you'll do the research, feel confident about it, and move on the the next THING you have to do, and you'll do it. 

I've been stuck in that place plenty, and asking for help sometimes does the trick... not to DO it FOR YOU, but to explain it, and make clear steps out of the job that brings confidence, and a sense of order, kwim? 

I had to change the wax rings on a toilet for the first time, and I called my BIL to walk me through it.... this is BYT (before YouTube.)  I can do it myself now, but it seemed like a bigger job while looking at the nuts, and contemplating germs, and worse.... the thing STILL leaking after I got toilet all over me. Just thinking about it gives me the vapors.
::back of hand to forehead::.

The idea of grading something correctly seems HUGE to me, math and all that, but I'm sure some YouTube vids, advice and the proper tools will take all the mystery (and fear of doing it wrong) out of the equation, IME. 

If you can, stop thinking about running the Bobcat, and write out all the steps, tools, and time lines for the job.  The Bobcat is a tool, not the obstacle to overcome. 

Bobcat GOOD.

Job surmountable.

You're capable, and you will get this behind you, Amber.

Maybe run the Bobcat around for a while on flat ground for a bit, so the controls are drilled into your muscle memory a bit.... that should instill more confidence.  It seems like logical that pushing something around, till you're bored, will make the grading seem like duck soup?


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 21, 2018, 08:40:29 PM
I've GOT to get one side of the barn graded

The only word that gave me pause in your entire post was this...I've.  :D

Y'all are such JOCKS! So...errr...manly! (In the best way.)
Said with deep jealousy by fluffy Hops, sitting in her puddle of pudge, contemplating how she's reaped the fair reward of living from the collarbone up for too many years now.

OOF. To get myself back in minimal shape is going to take a year or two. And I can't tell you what an inspiration it is to read about you real Amazons believing, unintimidated, that you've GOT to do some phenomenally concrete, real-world, quite challenging physical thing. What IS that?

I'm feeling faint. Pass me a Mimosa. But, seriously, thank youse!

Yours in awe,
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 21, 2018, 08:44:26 PM
PS, Amber-- Is this about age or about being female, or both?

You ain't going gently into that good night, I can tell ya that.

I so like your feisty.

Same time, really REALLY hope you guess well and with positive acceptance about the natural thresholds of sensible self-restricting ability compromise that do come, just part of nature, etc. etc. Live long and prosper, please! Do not be killed by a Bobcat, 'mkay?

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 22, 2018, 09:29:07 AM
Hopsy, did you know I rode my own motorcycle - in Baltimore and surrounding areas - for 3 years? LOL. I did quit riding while I was accident-free. Other things I wanted to do.

It's my competitive streak (and that spark of feminism that says skills aren't male/female), that makes me determined to conquer these so-called "manly" things. It's my living alone - sans the compromises of adding a man to the equation - and my age that requires I use the proper tools for the jobs that need doing. It's not all that intimidating a piece of machinery; less so for me than a tractor - but equally as useful in my up and down terrain (very very few actual "flat" places Lighter).

And it's the "I can'ts" in my head that make me figure out a way to do these things. I had to essentially cull through the manual - which is encyclopedic - and highlight pertinant information to create my own "order of operations" and task-related controls (applying the info to what I wanted the machine to DO) cheatsheet. It fits on an index card. The manual was disorganized too. The actual starting up procedure was 100 pages in. Who thought that made sense??

I still had one issue yesterday which required a trip back to the house for the manual I forgot to take out with me. And it turned out the instructions/photo were useless anyway. But I figured out what I needed to... got the bucket securely re-attached, scooped a little dirt, raised the arms and dumped it... and I was going to back up and make another pass. SUCCESS. When it wouldn't go anywhere.

The cab/seat restraints (for safety I get that) are such that I can barely SEE what the machine is doing. The operator needs to rely on "feel" instead. I was spinning the wheels and burying the machine in the mud. But I went the opposite direction, got it in front of the barn, shut it down and am now waiting the for monsoon to stop and the ground to dry out enough that I can get back on this task. So my frustration/patience thresholds are in inverse correlation to each other right now.

But yesterday's session gets me over the hump, I think. I'm functional for now. I need to go slow. I DO need hours on this machine, to really get used to it and to see the ROI in concrete terms of work completed. But I also have other things on the "list"... and a lot of days deal with being torn over which one is more time-sensitive or important.

Lighter - all I'm trying to do is create a grade AWAY from and lower from the barn, to direct the runoff that's been coming down for two months away from the building. Right now, anyway. So, a swale that's lower than the dirt/slab at the barn to channel these downpours somewhere else. Probably end up needing some drain pipe too. Once that's down... I'll level room for a drive up to the the big doors and terraces for actual garden beds.

This is a bigger project than could be done in a timely fashion by hand tools. So that's why the bobcat. This much rain is highly unusual here even this time of year. (We're 5 in above normal so far; flooding is a problem now too.) But the silver lining is that I can SEE with my own eyes, where I'm going to need to plan to direct the water around the beds (so they don't wash away) to take advantage of what rain we do get in dry years... and let the beds drain well enough that my garden doesn't drown.

I'm earth scupting. My first really big 3-D art project... that has to function well, too. Haven't studied a blessed thing except the dirt right there and am following the basic principle that water seeks the lowest point to travel to... and my intuition. I DID miss the elevation change when I sited the concrete slab. Big mistake, too - and since the house we built in the 90s was in the same kind of situation I really should've noticed this. But I was in a big hurry. Hence the mistake that needs to be fixed.

With this much acreage, I'll get my use out of the bobcat over the years for various ideas that play around in my imaginative mind. But I'm still going to need actual men to come cut trees for me. The bobcat has an attachment that will load the logs on a trailer or truck... get it to my wood splitter/storage area. Two main elements I'm trying to design this place for -- the inevitable aging issue on my part, and self-sufficiency off grid - just in case. I'm not so acsetic that I'll forgo the basic modern conveniences until I have to. The wood stoves help me manage the propane usage (high cost) too. They're modern stoves and efficient in several important ways.

Timing is still everything. When the monsoon woke me up this morning, I realize I was REALLY glad I did the window/door replacement LAST YEAR. The guys would barely find a day they could work in this mess - and the rain is slowing down the power to the barn project even. I've even had to carefully time my online shopping because my road/driveway have taken a hit from all this rain. (But I'm glad I got new beefier tires on the Cherokee before it started.) Driveway part 1 is done; but I need to stay on it and find a window to start getting it gravelled. Flooring downstairs is supposed to happen in July; I don't have a tentative date for that yet...but I'm clearing stuff out of that space in-between other stuff that has to happen when it's NOT raining.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 22, 2018, 07:41:30 PM

I am poleaxed with awe. And respect.

Overwhelming drive, creativity, determination and RESULTS.

Truly Amazonian, and inspiring..

Wowzers, profound wowzers.


So enjoyed this, Amber.
(I missed competitive genes entirely but love hearing how they work!)

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on June 23, 2018, 11:58:09 AM

When you think of becoming more active, think in terms of getting your heart rate up for 20 seconds... however you do this.... then rest for a minute, then up for 20 seconds, then rest for a minute, then up for 20 seconds, then call if done till you do it again 2 more times in a week. 

What is that?  Less than 10 minutes a week, for sure.

Also, if you do it an hour before you eat anything it will rev up the hormone production... growth hormones, etc. 

You might find that eating twice a day, whatever calories you take in, suits.  Or three, or one, but not more than that since it drives up insulin and keeps you burning what you're eating.

If you let insulin levels drop off, you're body switches to burning your stored energy reserves, and this is the key to keeping off the weight, and not gaining it back.

Fewer meals, no snacking is how cavemen lived.  It can work for us. 


You motor cycle driving Amazon, you: )

Fearless in so many ways.... of course you can master this Bobcat. 

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 24, 2018, 08:51:59 AM
Fearless isn't quite true, Lighter - LOL. But I am finding myself in situations where I either TRUST MYSELF to figure things out and learn to do them, or I give up and delegate it to someone who's more familiar, stronger, does it all the time. If I DO trust myself - then I break things down step by step so I don't overwhelm my silly brain and send into a tizzy.

I'm hoping one of these days (soon) I can get my basic "chores" down to something that's a lot more easily managable. And these projects are part of that strategy. Ain't getting any younger you know.

I'm also finding that emotionally - I'm still needing quite a lot of down time. As in read a story all day long or just try to remember all the things on my "procurement" list and maintenance lists. That cocoon of comfort and no stress is still really important. I think I'm having to just "stand still" and feel secure, safe, and nothing "pressing" that can't wait a day or two. Bed early; sleep long; enjoy the peace & quiet... without letting it slide into restlessness or boredom or lonliness. Me dealing with me and trying to learn those limitations Hops was talking about.

Trying to get to know MY needs, the signals for when I need to give them attention, and trying to make ME as important to me, as all the things I do. This is still the main work in progress around here. Also sorting out the routine; evaluating it's effectiveness - wondering which change might catalyze some energy towards the whole list of "goals"... that are/have been put aside for other things. Trying to reinterpret my inner world and ability to read those "signals". There has never been time to do that; just to see it was something I needed to do.

ETA: I think I'm trying to figure out how to improve my relationship with my self. Many times I'm at odds with myself, negotiating, bribing, flogging my self... pulled in two directions... because I'm not used to treating that self, as if what she wants/needs MATTERS.

And I think that's a wrong way to be, for me & self, now.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on June 24, 2018, 10:36:05 AM
Riding the motor cycle.....
I couldn't do it. 
I wouldn't. 
You did.



That motor cycle riding Amazon is the one who climbs into the Bobcat, and she's wiser, and mindful these days.  Deciding what to pick up, and what to put down takes guts too.  Esp if you set your mind on something, and then have to re think it.  That's how I see it. 

About what you wrote, Amber: 

ETA: "I think I'm trying to figure out how to improve my relationship with my self. Many times I'm at odds with myself, negotiating, bribing, flogging my self... pulled in two directions... because I'm not used to treating that self, as if what she wants/needs MATTERS."

"And I think that's a wrong way to be, for me & self, now."

IME that kind of judgement can be counterproductive.  I don't say change anything... just add some curiosity, suspend a bit of judgement, and release a skosh of expectation while you're pondering maybe.



Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 25, 2018, 09:15:07 AM
Maybe there's some judging in that Lighter - because I stand there paralyzed in trying to decide which makes the most sense, is more important, or more efficient use of time. And end up doing nothing because it took too long to gather the momentum to get started. That annoys me, for sure. But mostly I'm just noticing it. It's partly because of unfinished projects that I want to move along... and regular chores... and having the weather impact my choices, many times. Too many times.

So I "give up"; say screw it... and don't do anything.

I think I documented the source of this... the futility of trying when you're just going to be criticized anyway no matter what you do or how you do it... years & years ago. Knowing the source doesn't help me know the way out of the paralysis. What I end up doing - is satisfying one of my "want to" tasks instead. In this case, weeding the big front bed. Waiting for the ground to dry up enough to get back on the bobcat; and mow again.

Once that looks decent...I usually work up the motivation to mow. If it doesn't rain again... or isn't 90 and excessively humid.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 26, 2018, 07:51:40 AM
So I'm almost done with that bed, and it now looks semi-civilized; not a pasture of weeds anymore. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be cooler and less humid -- and the end of the week/weekend are going to be beach weather; and probably social things too. Grandson turns 10 over the weekend.

I'm deliberately forcing myself to try some different routines. Working early in the day vs the heat of the afternoon. Playing online in the evening and NOT CARING about what's going on in the world unless it's going to directly impact me and letting those dramas (like tv shows I've never seen) play out without me knowing about them. And substituting reading for playing online, too.

Holly's feeling the full impact of being untethered coming at her. No house, no relationship, no job. I asked if she felt like she was falling... and yep; that struck a chord. Now I have to suggest that instead of flailing, she flap her arms and fly. She's been turning over some interesting new stuff that she's trying to pursue... including cute houses in safer neighborhoods in the city.

She and Matt are actually getting along a lot better since she's agreed to move out. LOL. I think in the process, she's reclaimed her independence of his way of thinking/doing/being etc... and that's helped generate that line of respect for each other that seemed to have disappeared. I would not be at all surprised that after a time away from each other, they might try it again. But mom has butted out, and will remain that way. She's always been an independent cuss - but also quick to make attachments with other people. She just needs to sort that kind of thing out for herself and learn to understand exactly what I will eventually be passing on to her... and the other kids.

She's also of an age, where she's not willing to trade off the life she's created and the people in it, willy-nilly, for something silly. I keep calling her a kid, but at 40 she's a lot more mature than some people I know at my age. I think she'll be glad to see 41 come along... this has been a rough year.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on June 26, 2018, 10:30:37 AM
Go Holly..... what comes next will teach lessons, no doubt.  About Matt... he'll be nice enough, long enough, that they may try again.  My experience with that is.... everything is fine, great even, till a sensitive topic (read that as anything real) comes up, then whatever tape plays in Matt's head likely pops up, sometimes with a vengeance, and things go back to exactly where they were.  Hopeful, and sad, but oh so familiar.  I remember irrational accusations that had nothing to do with me... mostly accusations of being critical.  The reality was ex criticized ME relentlessly, mindlessly, without understanding he couldn't even SEE me.  Whatever it was, it was his, and I didn't feel the need to figure it out. 

On the other hand, IF Matt goes to T, and IF he addresses his part,  he has a chance of building a super strong bond with Holly going forward, whatever they do with it.  I'm always amazed at the strength of relationships that weathered huge hard storms, vs relationships that haven't.

About the farm jobs.  I hate thinking of you feeling frustrated, and paralyzed.  I ask myself this when I'm on the lip of feeling those things... WILL this matter in 100 years?  The answer is almost always NO, and that helps me find perspective. 

Lately I'm playing with FEELING paralyzed, or not.  Not is better.  Not opens up creativity in ideas, and approaches.  NOT, most importantly, is a much improved quality of life.  My moments can be light, and productive... even if I'm contemplating the HOW or WHAT of a job.... I consider that time productive time, and so it is.  It's not being paralyzed, bc I don't look at it that way, and should it venture into paralysis..... I then choose between seeing it as negative, or positive...
I'm paralyzed THIS IS BAD!
I'm taking some down time. I must need it.  Things will be clearer bc I'm taking it.  All will be well.

And in 100 years...
will it matter?


But in these present moments, it's all the difference in the world.

ps  I'm living with the same wet crap weather you are, and it's been a job not to come out of my skin waiting for the sun to parch these damn weeds.  When that happens, I know where to start, though I've never done it before. I'll figure it out, then go to the next phase, whatever that is.  Do I have to make my leaf islands bigger?  Landscape with more rocks?  Call in a professional to help me with that lay out?  I have no idea, but I'm trying to trust, and believe, rather than look at it negatively.  And watching these weeds take over perfectly plush moss garden is....
not easy.  I also struggle with the next phase of the Ocean Cottage, and how to proceed there.  Waves of anxiety come and go, bc I assure myself I'll figure it out, and I'm certain I will. 

Part of this is just not caring what others think about my choices, and actions.  Honestly, there's magic in finding that place, and it does come and go.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 26, 2018, 12:09:32 PM
I remember, with each of my two divorces, how surprising it was that once the decision was made, all tension evaporated. Peace in the house. It was a sad transition but so much tension and anxiety just went away, even while we had to cohabit until the waiting period was up.

I'm glad Holly is finding similar relief. And for her sake, I hope they don't reunite. I'm sure M could learn lots in therapy but it sounded to me as though it's a personality type issue, and that doesn't normally get rewired without massive motivation.

In my case/s, the sudden drop of tension did re-awaken some affection that had been lost. But it never made me/us question the inevitability (in my case, also the rightness) of the decision. It is a mercy that I never confused "it feels much better now" with "let's undo our decision."

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 28, 2018, 09:28:30 AM
Word to the wise:

If you own property, and ever sell it to someone else... PLEASE sketch up a map of how the utilities run underground! I'm having the devil of a time trying to get things marked out here - so that I can plan out fence and plant the rosebushes that will get huge.

Miss Utility only marks from the pole to my transformer (and that meter) and DID mark from the pole to the meter for the barn. Now the electrician knows where NOT to dig to actually run the line from that meter to the barn. (Assuming it ever dries up enough for the bobcat work; got rain again yesterday - enough to reverse the drying process.)

I want to fence around the house, so I can keep a dog inside of it... and probably a compost pile and chicken coop down the road. Miss Utility says to contact power co to mark lines from the transformer to house... I call them and am informed they no longer do that - Miss Utility does; and then I'm told to TELL Miss Utility that information and have them come back, for what I want. I've been at this for 6 months now... so I was more than happy to do that. This time, I'm told that if that's the case, I'll have to hire an electrician or special "locator" service. SIGH...

Gas co guy was out yesterday (in the rain). His idea of marking things was to swing his arm from the location of the tank... to the garage/studio and again, to the house... where the regulators are clearly visible on the outside corners. But he WAS on site when the garage was built; and remembers the trench. He believes that the water line and power was run in that one trench... because uphill is an exposed rock ledge and then the house. But he did say that he's pretty close to me, and to just call him the day I start to work. He really didn't like the idea of me running the auger on the bobcat with Holly helping "aim" and steady it. So I'm STILL going to be guessing where to set fence posts. Even if I hire someone I can't tell them more than that. (I'm totally unsure where the water line comes into the house... my best guess is in the same vicinity as the gas/power which are visible. I'm going to try metal detecting that line; the gas line will be PVC so not detectable.

And it's going to be too danged hot & humid the next few days to do anything outside myself. THIS is why this year's projects are taking so long. I probably wouldn't so frustrated, if I hadn't been planting raspberries at the beach and cut one of the low voltage wires with my shovel. Never did get that lighting working right after that. It was a perfect spot for the berries - WHO KNEW there was a wire there? LOL. Took two hours and a couple phone calls and two guys to find the septic tank down there, to pump it out. When I had the break here - in February - I couldn't tell the plumbers where my tank was, how the lines ran, etc. Took them 4 hours until 11:30 at night in the freezing cold to scope all that out... and of course, it was old and no longer to code.

I guess I have SOME satisfaction in that I'm rectifying all these unknowns... and mapping them. Keeping the map with the surveys, too.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on June 28, 2018, 10:21:54 AM
Good Lord, Amber.  I remember the time it took to figure out where my buried gutter lines emptied into the woods.  I can imagine what you're going through.

Utilities are so... scary.  You don't want anyone getting electrocuted, and what a huge PITA to repair them, worst case scenario.  An electrician electrocuted himself at a condo property, when I was the President of the Association, years ago.  Oy.  Such anxiety!  Gives me the vapors thinking about it.

I still need a new D box for septic system at this house. The entire area has failing septic systems, hence... no eating what you catch from the pond in the woods.   :shock:

Because you talked about low voltage lighting, I just flipped the light switch to the shed to see if the Christmas lights (I left up all year) still operated.  All but 2 feet lit up.  Darnit.  I really hoped I'd get 2 perfectly lit seasons out of all that work, and I now see I won't.  Drat, and darnit.  I should have taken them down, but another neighbor still has his lit, so...... it gave me the courage to leave them.  I'm sure he calls them fairy lights, at this point.  Oh well.

::shaking head::.

Can you ask the the sellers if they know where the utilities are?
Any help would be a good thing, IMO.  Maybe there's a diagram somewhere?

If it's not one thing, it's going to be another. 

While I was dealing with a blown pressure reducing valve, a friend was struggling with hers in another State.  Neither of us understood the problem, or knew the other was struggling.  We could have saved each others appliances, nipples in the shower, and garden hoses had we known what we were dealing with.  If you encounter increased pressure, put together a list of all plumbing problems and leaks, and call a good plumber, ladies.   Have him set the pressure valve where you want it, then leave it alone forever, as touching it will make failure more likely.  They don't come with any guarantees, and they're expensive. 

 I wish this rain would stop.  On the upside, the moss in the forest is magical.  It's all around the trails, and usually there's hardly any in these woods. 


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on June 28, 2018, 02:48:43 PM
I had asked for information like that at closing Lighter. I got a handful of manuals for things - and that was it. Seller told the realtor they had to figure things out the hard way - so the basic checklist of things I asked for weren't ever delivered. They're probably out of the country by now.

My plumbers are on speed-dial. LOL. As is the electrician. As much as he's been here, I probably oughta feed him. I've found markers I can sink into the ground (to mow over) that will mark all the various runs... once I figure it all out. I can kind of see the long mounds (opposite of furrows) that run in as straight a line as possible from point A to B, where the trenches were dug. They're visible to me, because when we built the first homestead in the 90s - we did all that stuff ourselves. The confirmation is me simply being nervous and not wanting an "oops" where someone gets hurt.

This is the LAST thing I need to nail down before I update my map. I'm going to try the metal detector; it might not be strong enough - but the contractors are supposed to bury some tape that will signal - along with the utility lines. At least now a days, they are. Chances are it wasn't required 20 years ago out here.

The heat is here; afternoon storms probably too. So I'm piddling around inside, getting caught up with housework. Might try to finish my beds tomorrow morning, if it's reasonably cool. But the bug bites (yes, I spray myself with two kinds of repellent) are making me crazy too.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on June 29, 2018, 09:42:46 AM
Hope my small hedgerow new shrubs are smart enough to grow their roots past the gas line when they are developing. They were planted just about a foot away (it was marked) because it was the only place to put them beside the neighbor's driveway.

I think new roots can figure it out though with their smart cells..... Pipe, bleaaggh, nasty.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on June 29, 2018, 05:11:03 PM
Gack.... now I'm thinking about the gas line buried down the drive at the cottage.... it was cracked by the big machine, and contractor fixed it leaving an exposed pipe sticking up out of the drive... in a tire track..... with a cinderblock sitting atop. :shock:

Every time the shuttle carries me to the cottage I worry they'll hit it.  The first time I saw it I thought some jokester put it there for giggles.  Every pipe is buried in a shallow ditch,come to think of it.   INCHES under the sand.  Some run alongside the falling down front porch on the guest cottage..... crap.


Amber, I can't believe the sellers were such D's about sharing info on the property.  Just....


you must have gotten a pretty good deal on the place, huh?  That's the only thin I can think of that makes sense.  They felt a little raw about it, or....
they're just Ds?

Gotta be one or the other, IMO.

::shrugging shoulders::.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 03, 2018, 07:01:28 AM
Well - another unintentional all-nighter. Just started reading - drifted - never really slept. No, nothing's "on my mind" of any import. But the heat has laid me low and I essentially did nothing at all yesterday. Not even think. Just one of those things.

I know I'll pay for it around 1-2 pm... but that's the way things work sometimes.

Electrician is due in this morning. I haven't done what he hopes I'll have done with the bobcat... because of the heat and making me feel ill. We had 2 hrs of thunder yesterday evening, before it finally spritzed a little rain and cooled off almost 20 degrees. I am soaking up the cool before the sun gets over the ridge and the blinds have to go down... and catching up on the stuff I completely forgot to do yesterday in my zombie-daze.

No word on Holly's timetable yet. I know it'll be the weekend before her friends can help move the stuff she's putting in storage (for now). Then there's the logistics of two cars. She's going to do what works best for her... I don't have to think about it.

Not sure how I've become so heat sensitive. Mighta been the time I forgot to pack the water in the cooler for a hike in the desert. I remembered the sandwiches.  :rolleyes:  Or the years at the beach spending all day around the pool. I literally get melty; get the chills like with a fever; nauseous; and super-brain-fog... like losing the sensation of where my body is in space. When I can maintain long time-frames at a cooler temp, I can tolerate some work in the heat if I pace myself and stay close to shade. Low 80s is just fine. Anything over that - and I can't push myself. Heat index in the 90s... and I'm done for.

One reason I moved back north. I didn't think we'd have but a day or two of that kind of heat; never expected a WEEK of it all at once. Even IN the a/c... it affects me. I truly have weird things falling apart on me. At a time, I'm motivated to get back in "fighting shape" and get the big "have-tos" done around here.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on July 03, 2018, 05:13:33 PM
Sorry the heat's so hard on you, Amber.  It's a tad bit concerning.  Are well hydrated?  Is your blood pressure OK?  Malaria?  Sounds.... like something's going on.

What did the electrician get done.... could he keep moving forward?

I don't know how I missed the post where you said Holly moving with you, but glad to read it's happening.  Do you have more energy when she's there?

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on July 04, 2018, 05:32:57 PM
I think being affected by this heat is not a failure or sign of weakness.

It's the body's indication that, like lions, we need to spend the extreme heat of the day lolling in shade (or in AC). The kind of heat we've had in recent years is NOT USUAL, so if you haven't been feeling as good as usual in it, you're normal.

Climate change is no fun. Likewise, it's no fun but natural to step down somewhat what one's body always used to do...it's just part of the natural cycle. You're in no danger of a sedentary life!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 06, 2018, 09:25:41 AM

I'm trying to take the same advice I just gave Tupps. Shifting out of feeling frustrated... helpless... completely in limbo with no forward motion because of reasons totally beyond my control. I'm going to turn it into a "refocus Amber" weekend, I think. Full of self-care... different things than I normally do, read, look at or listen to.

I can't win for losing with the weather. It's alternating between total monsoon and so hot & humid a person can't breathe - much work - outside. I have a simple, but great rehydration drink recipe that came from a friend - who's actually having exactly the same heat-sickness issues. She's a chef so is working in a hot kitchen all day; in Florida. She's acclimated there... but I think we both drank too much water and didn't eat enough. Hard to eat when you're being assaulted by the heat.

We got a storm that dumped about (ANOTHER) 4 inches of rain in a couple hours on the 4th. Poor electricans were stuck in the metal barn, and the lightning, hail & wind were pretty impressive and scary. And now it's going to rain pretty much all day here - and with only 2 days of nice weather to dry things out enough that I can finish grading around the barn -- so the next time we get that much rain, I don't have a lake INSIDE the barn. It is critical that I do as much as I humanly can, as soon as the weather provides an opportunity. This job has been "in progress" for 4 months now... and isn't THAT BIG A JOB.

I DID have plans this weekend... but it's yet another type of limbo. Friend was going to come out for an overnight this weekend. Then it looked as though Holly would be done at work... and be moving in that weekend... and now she tells me that depending on the decision to keep or demo their shop's spray paint booth... she could be in B'more NEXT week yet. It's her boss, dragging things out... and keeping his crew "on call". They're actually only working a little bit the week's hours the union insists they get paid for. This girly has "plans"... which haven't manifested yet either, for which she could use the extra padding in her bank account... so she's working. And if she wants to stay in that business, she won't just walk away to take care of her own. Things are peaceful enough at home and she has free time to go swimming, etc with her friends and start thinking about if she WANTS to stay in Baltimore (or one of the counties around it) that badly.

I think that whole group of people, personalities, relationships is loathe to let "what is" go... and jump off the cliff into change. But maybe that's only my perception, because I'm sitting here spinning in my own little square foot of existence and would just LOVE for something I already have "on the timeline" to move ahead. Tomorrow and Sunday are supposed to be dry and sunny; I'm probably gonna TRY to at least get the one side graded the way I want it... even if it's wet. I'll only push things so far before I prudently stop.

I can focus on the outside stuff at every opportunity for a few weeks; the guy who's replacing the downstairs flooring had to have eye surgery... but I have a date! August 13 is the start of the 2-day process.

So today is a GREAT "spa day" at home... and letting myself journal offline for a bit... refocus, cook, gather energy... and then point myself in a productive direction in those gaps between weather extremes.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on July 09, 2018, 06:53:49 PM

If one is stuck inside.....
spa day!

Why not?

You'll get this job kicked in gear, Amber.  The weather can't go nuts forever.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on July 10, 2018, 04:21:23 AM
Wow Skep I am always bowled over by how busy you are!  And dealing with such huge projects as well, awe inspiring.  It can be hard to change, I think sometimes the 'what ifs' can wear you down.  Which is why I think life sometimes changes things for us - a metaphorical boot up the backside :)

I always think of the Alaskan Bush People show when I read your posts :)  I watch it sometimes, they're all off gridders and constantly working on their land and their buildings and their next project (which is usually making something out of bits they have lying around in the shed, like the A Team).  There was one episode where they were filming in the winter, only a few hours of daylight each day and everyone had cabin fever and was going a bit nuts.  The men tend to go off for a few hours and hunt but the women stay at home and work around the farm.  One of the ladies gave herself a 'glam' day - she came out to do her chores in a nice outfit, with a handbag and wellies with a wedge heel on them.  She'd done her hair and make up and honestly, it was the funniest thing I'd seen in ages, she was trotting round the farm all glammed up feeding animals and hammering nails into things.  Then she had to move some stuff with this digger and she climbed up in to the cab and announced it was time for a cocktail, opened her bag and took out a plastic martini glass and a bottle of booze!  It was hilarious :)  Just made me think of it when you started talking about your spa day :)  I hope you got to look after yourself a bit and can move on with whatever needs to be done next :) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 10, 2018, 09:36:55 AM
The spa day was EXACTLY what I needed! I've spent the last 3 days on the bobcat... and have dug out the dirt in front of the barn's walk-in door across the whole front... about 10 ft wide (building is 24 ft wide on that side)- and at the corner, it's about 4 ft deep - to be able to have a place for the rain run-off to get channeled AWAY from the barn, instead of INTO it. I need to go along the back of the back yet; it's longer - but there's only about 6-8 ft of soil, taller than the concrete. I'll channel that water into the creek.

I had to have a place for the removed soil to go - a combo of topsoil, shale, rocks and yes, I found a vein of clay - so I started levelling the space in front of the garage doors that will face the (future) garden and to make a level start for a driveway into those doors. It's very rough right now. I had started playing with what they call "finished grade" - ie, smoothing the dirt out, removing the rocks that are in the way and "cleaning" things up to "pretty". I had to stop that, in order to focus on the big job of just digging/moving all that dirt.

It's truly boring. Drive up - set the bucket to take a "bite" - drive into the bank - tilt bucket - back up - drive to the next place I'm going to dump - raise the arms - dump the bucket - bring the arms down and adjust the bucket on the far side of the pile to be able to drive backwards and smooth out the little pile... then go back and do it again & again & again & AGAIN...

Add to that, the operator's position is strapped in so tight I could be launched to the moon without shifting in my seat... and despite the machine doing all that heavy work, it was still EXHAUSTING. But this was the first series of days I had in a row, where the ground was dry enough, it wasn't raining, and it also wasn't a heat index of 100... and it NEEDED to get done, at least this far, so when the electrician comes back he can see how far down he needs to dig to bury the main powerline into the breaker box. He's going to have to dig 4-5 ft, maybe 6, down from the corner of the barn to the meter panel. But the distance isn't too far. I'll be finishing the back side about 4 ft away from the building - the width of the bucket. (This isn't the biggest bobcat; but it's not a suburban yard model either.)

It's really a pretty intuitive machine to operate. I guess I've got 10-12 hours in on it now. It's the joystick model, so when I get tired, I start mixing up the hand controls - left hand steers/drives and right operates arms and angle of attachments. Getting close to being down to half a tank of gas now. So I'll have to find the off-road diesel place soon.

So... the boring aspect and getting in the "zone" with it...

leaves me plenty of time to "look"... and imagine. With that back corner being almost 4 ft high, I'm going to NEED a retaining wall. And because the rest of the hill still slopes to the building, I'm going to need to run a long length of that perforated black plastic drain pipe behind the wall. Home Depot has those interlocking, stackable wall blocks. I DO have lots & lots of natural rocks to work with here but it takes time to collect them and stack them - especially that high. They'd have to be perfect to stack in such a way, that they would be stable and secure. The wide spot in front of the walk in door stays in shade all morning and then again in the afternoon. I can see that getting pavers some day - at least the kind that make a flat surface but allow the water to drain through.

That wasn't in the original idea/plan. BUT... it sure will enhance that barn spot and make it a pleasant place to hang out and work. And it would be possible to cover it... carport style... which would keep the noon sun off and give me a sheltered place to put some of my equipment attachments. And easier to keep the snow off too. I heard Holly groan when I told her about the retaining wall part of the project. LOL. It's only tall for part of the distance from that corner to the real front of the building. Those style of blocks should go up fast.

If I go ahead with that - it would also be a decent place for the outdoor kitchen I wanted too. But that's a decision that can wait for another year or two.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on July 10, 2018, 03:26:51 PM

Congrats on getting so much done,  Amber.  Sometimes it's an imperative to just stop DOING, not feel guilty about it, and see what comes up.  You get more out of self care, than feeling badly about things not going to plan, IME.

Yes yes yes, cover it, Amber.  A shady overhang for working, and storing equipment is so helpful.  You'll be so glad you did it. 

That the Bobcats boring now is wonderful.  You'll log more hours, get more comfortable, and being in the ZONE will become a familiar place of comfort, I'm guessing.

You won't need to think about what your hands are doing... you'll be able to puzzle out plans as you work... changing, honing with more creativity.  Well done, Amber!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 12, 2018, 08:15:38 AM
The "zone" and I are very old friends Lighter - LOL. Some days I really think it's my "natural" state of being - as opposed to all the things I've had to learn about interacting with people through the years and all the time I spend in my head, thinking about things from that intellectual side.

I always did like to create BIG pieces of art... and the 'cat lets me do that on a Christo scale. Functional and practical are the primary requirements... and then I can let my OCD take over for the finish work. I've never had a problem doing something that was that repetitive either. Like needlepoint for instance. Totally frees a person from "monkeymind" to actually SEE beyond what is... to what could be. Pulling weeds serves the same purpose - it just makes my back hurt more. LOL.

I'm going over the mountain today. Sounds like Holly could be here as early as over the weekend for a few days and MAY have to go back for the 2nd car and to work a day or two next week. Both kids are realizing this "long goodbye" is dragging on too long... and so far it's all been really good. Neither of them wants to screw that up. It's been since May. When she takes the bulk of her things to storage this week, the reality (of the feelings) is going to set in for both of them. Not sure how they'll choose to handle that - she could flee, just to not have to deal with it or they'll rehash the old wounds for "old time's sake" LOL. She can't predict right now. And she's just a little bitter that she's being heard NOW, after the decision to split after 9 years. But I think even if the break up isn't permanent, they really do need some time apart to do certain things particular to each one of them. It's not like they won't talk to each other or even see each other, at times.

And this is going to be a little weird for me; having someone around all the time. But she's obsessed with the need to have her own place; her own headquarters... and nest. Knowing the skills she's acquired in the last 10 years, she's definitely capable... but the work situation is the one that she needs to resolve first. She doesn't really feel comfortable with all this uncertainty and "winging it". I would't either... but I've had a lot of practice at it.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on July 12, 2018, 09:21:45 AM
Well, after weather wait, and hand wringing you're in this job.  I'm glad you're happily engaged, and gaining competence.  Nice. 

About Holly and M.  A good span of time apart can only help, whatever happens, IME.  You're right about that. 

With someone else in your space you might feel a bit pinched, but she'll likely be out before you know it. 

I wish you happy times puzzling out house, barn and and bunk room decisions. 


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on July 12, 2018, 09:35:30 AM
I hope all this goes as smoothly as it can, Amber.
I have trauma memories of taking in my adult child but your situation is different.
Might be a wonderful chapter in your relationship.

Is H's plan to continue seeking work in the city where she lived with M?
But just store everything and take a break at your home before launching a new job hunt?

I forget what her work is but do remember I thought it sounded very interesting.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 13, 2018, 07:30:30 AM
She's one of those people whose name shows up in the credits of tv shows and films, Hops. Special Effects. Right now, there isn't anything filming in her city. She would have to go to Atlanta, NC or New Mexico - and work for another crew/boss than she's worked so far. IF she hears of something in her city, she would prefer to settle in there - has a lot of friends, after all this time.

Working for someone else would be an opportunity to learn more about her craft and build her resume such, that she could seek out work on her own a little more. She has worked on some commercials by herself and some independent short films.

She has a big personality; big in a different way than mine. But over the term of this relationship she's matured a lot and even shut her natural exuberance down. She did defer a lot of things - personal things she wanted to work on to allow her to work on the relationship. Now she wants to catch up on those. And the LAST thing she wants is to get involved with someone else right now. Hanging out with me, gives her a buffer from being in a setting where she might very well meet someone. This choice is intentional on her part. I am hardly her "last resort" and this isn't a "return to mom's nest" -- just a "timeout" from life while she explores & sorts. She will require a lot of space - which she wasn't getting the right kind within the relationship. She and I know how to do that.

I'm going to have to get out the short leash on my mom-reflexes though. She IS 40; has a rich experiential life already; and different thresholds for adventure and caution but is a lot more able to take care of herself and do that well... than I was. No way does she look or give off the impression of being "middle aged"... not with the long thick hair and tattoos and tall lean bod... and her ability to flip a switch from totally deep adult conversation to playing like she's a kid is most charming. She's competent, reliable, takes instruction well, knows to shut down her ego and ask questions if she doesn't understand something and takes care of other people as much as she also wants the same in return. And I can't take any credit for this -- she's chosen that path and done well with it with tools she had at 15-16. There HAVE been detours and crises; but mostly because of her sister impacting us. She even has that pretty well under control these days. Resolved in her mind - if not in reality - what her limited choices are for handling that.

So now it's time for her to learn what new opportunities will be there for her, when I'm gone... and think on her choices for that time. LOL... my guy in charge said I could do like my Dad did with him. He'd only been on the job for 3 days when my Dad said "Adios, I'm going to Florida for the winter". And he had to figure it out on his own. Same thing happened to me, when I got over the shock of what I'd inherited. But I've been winging it for so long - and had Mike to help - that except for dealing with my brother... there weren't many difficult challenges. The little ones scared the crap outta me; but I did plow through and pretended I knew what I was doing. She'll still face some of those - but will have plenty of grounding ahead of time.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on July 15, 2018, 01:56:55 PM
Hi Amber:

Your posts help me make parenting choices, and feel OK about them.  I'm heading to the beach cottage for almost a month, taking youngest dd only.  I'm more productive and worrying less about things I would normally get angsty about. 

It's difficult to take our hands off,  and let the kiddos solve their own problems, but necessary.

I'm sure you and Holly will have some great moments during this time of transition.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on July 15, 2018, 02:08:15 PM
Your D sounds like a chip off the old block, Amber...and absolutely wonderful.

Thanks for this incredible word-portrait of her. You must be so proud.

I'm really happy for you two. And hope H finds exactly what fulfillment and
work she would love, and in the right time.

Mountains are good for the weary heart.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 15, 2018, 02:45:36 PM
Thanks, that means a lot guys. She isn't coming out till tomorrow morning. Most of the stuff got moved to a storage unit this morning. Matt is feeling very fragile right now - understandable after pulling his usual all-nighter to be ready for today's art show opening and her imminent departure. Holly will go to the opening with him tonight. And then, she will go back on Wed - has a tattoo appt, for some coverup work and work Thurs/Fri. and then figure out how to get both vehicles here. Possibility Matt will drive one and then she'll have to take him home. I think friend Debbie is talking about coming out next weekend... but I haven't heard from her yet, for sure.

I'm just a tad anxious, listening to her plans... trying to work out "our" plans... and wondering how all this agenda is going occur without some major "oops". Sigh. Just a bit of flailing on both our parts. I like things nailed down - but her situation is all full of a lot of "ifs" and uncertainty right now. I don't think it's her choice really; just that's the way it is right now.

So, lots of deep breaths around here and chipping away at the to-do list.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 23, 2018, 08:17:26 AM
My "fair-weather friend" - the weather - is once again forcing me to adapt my plans. But I guess my house will be nice & clean - LOL.

All my "projects" are on hold for one reason or another. Holly is a little attention-starved, and I've been letting her process the feelings she can actually have the space to feel now. After the first 24 hrs, it seems to be calming down a lot. She's antsy to move forward to whatever is "next". I stocked up on childhood "comfort foods" for her; but she showed up with 3 bottles of Hershey's chocolate syrup. LOL.

The puppy is settling in quite nicely so far. Freddie's dealing with it; Mio-mio is protected in her bedroom suite by a baby gate which I can navigate OK, since I've done it for many years. Only "sticking point" so far, is the electronics. Seems Matt used his phone to withdraw into... so she's touchy about my interactions with people online. But then, I've been getting myself to limit screen time too... for several reasons. So it's not a big deal - just something she let me know about.

She's got a real good perspective on all of this change, so far. Nothing really yucky coming up that hasn't been dealt with a hundred times already. She's appreciative of having full run of my place - and the freedom to run out and visit with old friends around here - without me kvetching about it. (I like my peace & quiet too.)

Friend Debbie is finally getting a real weekend to come hang out and do adult things without "taking care" of her mom & brother - who's had a small stroke. I don't know when she'll be able to deal with her own health issues, but she's transferred in her job and won't be driving so far to it, in the near future.

Ronnie had a motorcycle accident. He's lucky to be alive. But apart from the severe road rash on his back, 3 broken ribs and various cuts & bruises, he also severed his spine. Already had surgery (happened last Sunday) but he is totally paralyzed from the waist down. He's getting transferred to a good hospital in Atlanta for rehab. Docs only give him a 1% chance of walking again, but he's determined he'll beat the odds. I've already donated to his family. Wife is a school teacher and it'll be a month before those paychecks start up again. Two tween kids too and his mom. WV does a LOT of fundraising in the community for folks that have issues like this. It's been a tradition around here for a long time. His friend Albert & I are already cooking up improvisations to be able get Ronnie out in the woods for hunting season.

It just seems really weird to know that he's not going to just show up, as he has time and feels like it, to check on me. Albert's already offered to stand in for him. LOL. And his brother Ricky is my backhoe guy. They're all part of the hunting group too.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on July 23, 2018, 11:21:52 AM

My mouth dropped open when I read "severed spine."  Paralyzed from the waist down, forever likely.  That's tragic, and I'm so sorry to read that.  You're an amazing person to have in one's corner.  R lucky to have you there.

About the chocolate syrup.  You guys presumably eat gluten, sugar and dairy,  so I'll vicariously enjoy sharing this idea and picturing shared enjoyment of same.

1.   Waffles.... toaster kind just fine, but not too crisp
2.    Vanilla ice cream...  a good brand
3.  Chocolate syrup
4.  Salted nuts, your choice (I used to change up peanuts, and almonds mostly)

You can make ice cream samiches,  with nuts and chocolate between, or have open faced affairs, with nuts and chocolate syrup toppings. 

I always add extra salt, but that's not everyone's thing.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 23, 2018, 12:36:33 PM
LOL... except for a cookie now and then, I eat VERY little sugar. For that matter, sans PMS, I don't eat much chocolate anymore. Last thing I baked was a cheesecake; more my style. A good bit of dairy (cheese) too. I eat some ice cream, but again - not much. Milk makes me gag, thanks to a first grade teacher who made me finish my bottle (w/the little cardboard top) that had a fly floating around in it.

Now bread is a whole 'nother story. But I'm conscious of it, so don't overdo because of the carbs. Some noodles here or there, occasionally pasta, and artisan hard crust rolls. I actually LIKE rice and potatoes are a staple around here.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on July 23, 2018, 01:41:34 PM
Well, if DD looks low... consider offering up the waffle sunday. 


It's good; )

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on July 23, 2018, 04:12:38 PM
I am so very very sorry about Ronnie, Amber.
That is heartbreaking, truly.

So glad you will be one of those who step up for his family.

Motorcycles are the devil's transportation. They are just
such a bad mix with weather, testosterone, and gravity.
Every doctor I know hates them.

So sorry.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 26, 2018, 08:21:13 AM
The good news:

It MIGHT not rain today.
No rush to clean up before Debbie comes over.
Matt is speaking to Holly.
Freddie and Knuckles are learning to be playmates - and Knuckles has been switched into sleepy puppy gear for 2 days... today looks like crazy puppy day.

The bad news:

Going to be a sauna outside again... but that's what a/c is for, right?
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on July 31, 2018, 08:34:44 AM
Well, Hol and I are adjusting. Bumps, bruises, processing, old crap... new crap, and a city-pup diving headfirst into the woods... running off after a deer one day and down the prickly brushy cliff a few days later... full of "guy" bug bites, scratches and scrapes... because he's a dog and doesn't know better yet.

He took off like a shot after the deer and was up on the ridge (toward the highway) before Holly could get long pants and boots on to go after him. Told her to take the ranger and she went a bit off road with it. (Tough little beast.) She came back without the dog. About the time Debbie showed up - I spotted him; he followed her car in. The possibility that Knuckles wouldn't find his way back hit Hol pretty hard. But he wears a tag with her phone number on it, so she's done all she can - except for getting him past the hardheaded, excitable "teenaged" puppy years training.

Makes me realize, I can't chase a dog like that now. So a FENCE would have to come first.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on August 01, 2018, 09:38:20 AM
Lordy, I know that terrible feeling of crashing through the woods, screaming for a dog to come back.  Just terrible, esp in deer season 😬

I'm wearing long pants and shirt, with work boots now.....do most days, even in this heat.  Sometimes care for skin and.....workers arrived.  All work from yesterday scrapped.  Poison ceiling has to come down.  50 years if dust, and bug crap.....oh well.  The best choice, all in all.

I'm hiding in scorching bunk room to be while processing this and fact ai have no bathroom today.

The good thing is new ceiling going in, aliling with bathroom exhaust fan.
Bug man sprayed everything on my kitchen countertop is bad thing.

Glad I took the time to bag everything before leaving last trip, then unbag it this trip NIGHTMARE btw time and irganization wise, so thpoison wouldn't get olall over things, and now now now all iver most important things!


And I have to pee.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on August 01, 2018, 11:10:25 AM
Amber, I know it must be hard to adjust to Hols' -- independent full-grown 40-ish sensitive Hols -- moving in. And, the pain she's in over her loss of relationship...hmmm, upon whom do we often unconsciously take out the pain we're in? Oh that's right, those we're safest with! Owww.

It's good y'all know how to give each other space, flexible, patient, no-stress, you come to me when you're ready or would like to, ignore me for three days it's okay, do what you gotta do, I'm fine....

Love fences for pooches. Love love love the idea of you getting a pooch!

My sizeable yard is all fenced, glad it came that way. Big joy for lazy me is the doggy door. She just scoots in and out whenever she feels like it and always comes back in happy.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 02, 2018, 03:18:27 PM
Ahhhh.... she's off for the weekend; back to city for taking care of some business. Matt said she could stay there. Possibility he'll drive 2nd car back here Sat. We'll see. Everything is spontaneously dependent on whether Matt feels it's necessary to vent anger at her.

In 2 weeks or so, she's gotten a LOT out of her system and re-connected with her; but her is different now than 10 years ago "before Matt". I know she's less vulnerable now than she was, despite the anxiety she's got about this visit. And yes; one had to walk on eggshells around her that first week. Lord, was she sensitive and taking things personally/the wrong way/and just reacting as if I making a matt-criticism... when I was simply trying to talk about things. I think we have that pretty well in hand, at this point. She made me the target for all her anger one night and hit the cold-anger mom in the morning about how unfair she was being. I surprised myself with how rationally and calmly I could express that. A couple hours cooling down time, and we were working together on another project.


I got a lovely massage yesterday. With a mini-hot stone on top even. The hot stone massage triggers a massive detox effect on me, physically. I knew I needed it and yes it thoroughly helped. Hol drove around town to drop in for a quick chat with a couple friends; we had lunch; shopped... and I crashed out early. She stayed up and watched stuff on tv till 3 am. and slept in. So I had a morning to myself, too.

I'm going to have to watch my mom-reflexes. Those ping sensitive spots. Mostly I need to phrase things differently about my concerns... because I never REALLY forget she's old enough to make her own decisions, understands prudent caution and planning, and is 40 years old. But the old habits are incredibly easy to fall back into... and my brain is way more open to the past and those hieroglyphs engraved on the brain from previous experiences and escapades. I'm still learning who the 40 yr old daughter is.

This is going to work and be OK. But it does require self-awareness and maintaining boundaries as well as "making space" for the amazonian howling & throwing rocks at the moon she engages in. The only to get past that phase is to do it until you don't need to. I'd prefer she mostly got through it before starting this 20 day cross-country & back drive she's planning on doing. It's been 10 years since the last time she's done this, and she may not get a chance again. This will make the 3rd or 4th time she's done it. (She seems way more part of the Kerouac generation than GenX.) And of course, the mom-reflex to worst-case scenario the plan is forefront in my brain. But I think I found one way to keep that under control.

If this weren't challenging, it wouldn't be Holly. LOL. Once she got off her ball & chain, I knew to expect this. But lordy, I think she's gotten fiercer. That just means "marshmallow Holly" is processing the deeper wisdoms of the recent experiences.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 03, 2018, 10:12:14 AM
Amazons, wield your 2x4s on my feeble brain.

I THOUGHT I'd learned the lessons of:

Do not volunteer your time to help someone else - BEFORE you look at your calendar, and take care of commitments you've already made.

Do NOT assume responsibility for other people's feelings, when it's their own stuff to sort out.

Engage BRAIN before opening MOUTH.

It would appear that I'm a tad more stressed out than I realized (accounts for forgetting massively busy week next week that I have only the weekend to prepare for). I can not take care of anyone else, until I take care of me. It's just a simple fact - no one else is going take care of me and my crap to-do; and it's way better for people to take care of their own emotional stuff for my being able to maintain perspective and be useful.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on August 03, 2018, 10:30:07 AM

Remember to cut yourself slack if old habits creep in.  They likely will.  Maybe you and Holly can recognize and laugh about it together, at some point. 

Some of my favorite moments with my mom we're times she'd see something about herself, point it out, then we'd laugh together...partly bc she'd gotten angry the first times I brought it up. Her awareness was new, and laughter was celebration of her awareness.  She could see how obvious the thing was, how irrational her anger at my bringing it up, and how lovely it he connection between us was.

I hope you can talk to Holly about your journey in this too.  My oldest daughter needs me to connect and talk more about my tough stuff.  It's new, and hard, and I remind myself now to be kind when I fall short, and share more of myself in those moments when appropriate.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on August 03, 2018, 11:45:57 AM
Maybe use some of those 2 x 4s to build some new love boundaries?
The most loving thing we can do sometimes is to stop noticing, stop tracking, stop intuiting, and instead wait for the other's green light to share their own discoveries with us....

You are working so very hard to understand H, it's almost as though she is Twiggy.

But she's an entirely separate human being. Whom you love more than anyone, but she's not in the kind of danger that Twiggy was.

She will be able to cross the distance between you if you let her. She is possibly going to be feeling some unhappiness. But that is her path and this is just one turn in it. She is not in psychic danger.

She is a chip off the magnificent old block and has the capacity to mature at her own rate and become her own, different magnificence. You have clearly raised an amazing adult daughter, Amber.

Maybe time to just bask in how amazing that is, enjoy the small good moments, and not analyse her quite so much? You can be open-hearted and still keep your serenity, I know you can.

Her dramas need to be her dramas, and her peace her peace. You can share in whatever she offers for sharing, but she probably needs your nonverbal comfort as much as your mind, imo.

That was a LOT of opinion and 90% uninformed, so please forgive if these hunches are off base. They could well be...and as is clear, I am no expert on how to help a volatile adult daughter. I just remember the slow realization that apart from her own separate issues, during her childhood she and I were enmeshed. Toxic to us both in the long run.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 04, 2018, 10:02:30 AM
Yes Lighter, cutting myself slack. I realize that the past 2 weeks of making a safe space for Holly also created stress that snuck up on me before I noticed. But that wasn't what pushed me into a total anxiety/panic attack.

My online friend the doc, got himself into a situation that took him states away from his farm. Lots of work too... trying to get a property cleaned up to sell, for hopefully some profit. This is the guy who lives - and has had a lifelong relationship with a woman at the farm. I've talked about him before. He was the only doc to prepare me for the reality of Mike's death during that up/down rollercoaster ride of treatment (hope) and the reality that Mike wasn't able to talk to me about, but obviously knew.

Doc has been working on clearing out a lifetime's worth of "stuff" in this other state, when he gets a phone call from his wife (they're not divorced; long story) who still lives on the suburban farm near me. She fell and broke her hip. When he shows up, he immediately realizes she's a had a stroke but what was a surprise, was that she'd coped and hid this info from him for 5 years. She will need assisted care when released from rehab and won't be able to take care of the farm or their adult blind, handicapped daughter anymore.

So now he is readying a 2nd property for sale - 3 states away from the first one - which is half the country away from current farm... and trying to care for his daughter and manage all that needs to be done. He NEEDS a second set of hands and someone who can just "do".

It's literally a 2 hr or so drive from me. Big modern house, and the daughter can handle basic personal things herself. Another daughter, older and married, is stepping up to help and will take in and care for her sister. Eventually. Lives in an apt and needs to buy a house first. So he thought to ask how far away I was, and would I come rescue him?

WITHOUT taking 30 seconds to THINK, I recognized the piling on state he was in and knew I could help because supposedly Holly had her stuff completely under control. But I couldn't go away without touching base with her and letting her know what's up. She was still sniffling after crying 3 hours because even though Matt said it was OK for her to stay - he let himself use the opportunity to verbally beat her up over something that is all the past now.

And the first thing she asks is: this the guy you've only known online right? never met? (LOL, one of us was thinking despite everything else)

That made me realize I probably couldn't leave her to come home to an empty house. But I'd already volunteered myself.... and ended up in a total whirlwind of anxiety loops. After 4 hr of almost sleep, talked to Hol again... told her I wasn't going anywhere... and let the doc know I hadn't remembered how much work I have scheduled here for next week - which needs me to get some other things done this weekend.

It was that super-fast reflex to help someone who's helped ME -- without looking at what it would cost me -- that I need to examine. Obviously, Hol and I are moving pretty well - and appropriately most of the time -- through the new living together phase.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on August 04, 2018, 12:59:48 PM
OH my gosh.
You really do have a caring connection with this man...and bless him for giving you reality as Mike was in his last chapter. That's a huge gift, imo. No wonder. And he's been there for you.

Forgive me but I am actually a little bit excited that he'll now be close enough to, errrrrrr, actually MEET?

I can't imagine how that feels.

But you already have Real Friendship. If that's where it stops, it's still a beautiful place.

You can leave Hols. You can go right on ahead with your separate thing. If you don't WANT to, that's cool...but you totally can take off and go explore helping him. If you WANT to. She'll cope.

Big hugs,
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on August 04, 2018, 02:08:54 PM
Skep, I know my son isn't an adult yet, but I do think we underestimate what our grown up kids can do/cope with, because they don't have the same damage that we do/did.  They've not grown up in the same toxic, caustic, abusive environments and they don't have parents who don't care/can't care/won't listen/can't hear anything.  We went out with a friend in the week, myself and my son, my friend, three of her four kids (two teenagers, one mid twenties) and her little grandson and we were all sat chatting.  The kids are confident, friendly, they chat about school, college, work, nights out, there's no sense of them and us (kids and adults).  Everyone was just sitting enjoying the sun and talking.  The two younger ones wanted to go home early so they went off and caught the bus, the rest of us went for a walk and caught the later bus back.  When I was a teenager I felt crippled when talking to adults, or other teenagers.  My mum would poke, prod, ridicule and just generally make life uncomfortable.  So I marvelled at the way these kids can sit and chat quite freely - my own son included - because they haven't had the same upbringing that I/we had.  I only give it as an example because I think our kids have a stronger foundation for the most part, and so can manage to sort themselves out (I know your other D isn't quite along those lines but H seems to be).  I think it's not just okay, but absolutely necessary, for you to keep your work schedule and me time in place - and if that means you can or can't help your doctor friend out then it's okay, either way.  It will all be okay xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on August 04, 2018, 02:34:11 PM

I think you could lend a hand to this friend, but perhaps not commit to extended time frame?

Holly needs her space.  She needs to heal, and solve things her way. 

You need to let her.  If she needs your physical presence, would she tell you?  She might be fine with your being gone for a short while, or linger.  She might heal faster on her in.

Just saying.... it's not crazy to reach out to this friend in his time if need, imo.  If only to help him get a handle on his situation.

I think you'd be a big help. 

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 04, 2018, 03:48:40 PM
Holly and I mind the boundaries pretty well. Even with the times we have bumped up against them. She comes and goes as she desires, I do my own things. No question she'll deal with this on her own - all I'm for is food - as she's hungry, hugs, and an understanding ear. We are good friends apart from the familial relationship. A safe place to do what she needs to - and she's no stranger to these parts. Lots of friends.

The doc is the problem. He's already dealing with 2 women - NOT a romantic possibility for me. I get that he's overwhelmed; I know exactly what that's like. I do feel for his situation - but I didn't do that to him. What I DON'T WANT is to insert myself into what looks like a bunch of messy "other people's problems". That's a major no-no for me; it always ends up badly for me. I do like him, and he has been helpful to me.

He is at times too "fatherly" in his protectiveness of me, and I redraw that boundary. I'm no less competent or experienced than Holly is. He immediately saw Ronnie as a "problem", for instance and worst-case scenario'd our informal working relationship. He was relieved to hear about the bike accident, for instance.

Makes me think some distance is warranted. And I need to watch out for my "volunteer" reflex. It's that "need to be needed", I think. It's abundantly CLEAR that Holly doesn't need me, to move on and leave the relationship in the past. But I can validate the things I'm seeing/hearing that are good as she does it, and wear off some of the edges of 9 years of INvalidation, too. It's most interesting, that it was Hol that pulled me back from getting in over my head.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on August 04, 2018, 04:32:37 PM
Holly and I mind the boundaries pretty well. Even with the times we have bumped up against them. She comes and goes as she desires, I do my own things. No question she'll deal with this on her own - all I'm for is food - as she's hungry, hugs, and an understanding ear. We are good friends apart from the familial relationship. A safe place to do what she needs to - and she's no stranger to these parts. Lots of friends.

The doc is the problem. He's already dealing with 2 women - NOT a romantic possibility for me. I get that he's overwhelmed; I know exactly what that's like. I do feel for his situation - but I didn't do that to him. What I DON'T WANT is to insert myself into what looks like a bunch of messy "other people's problems". That's a major no-no for me; it always ends up badly for me. I do like him, and he has been helpful to me.

He is at times too "fatherly" in his protectiveness of me, and I redraw that boundary. I'm no less competent or experienced than Holly is. He immediately saw Ronnie as a "problem", for instance and worst-case scenario'd our informal working relationship. He was relieved to hear about the bike accident, for instance.

Makes me think some distance is warranted. And I need to watch out for my "volunteer" reflex. It's that "need to be needed", I think. It's abundantly CLEAR that Holly doesn't need me, to move on and leave the relationship in the past. But I can validate the things I'm seeing/hearing that are good as she does it, and wear off some of the edges of 9 years of INvalidation, too. It's most interesting, that it was Hol that pulled me back from getting in over my head.

I think that people like you do tend to volunteer to help, Skep, you're so resourceful and practical that you can handle pretty much any situation and you would breeze in there and get a whole load of stuff sorted out.  But that's also why it's important to say no if necessary, or offer support in a more manageable way, like talking on the phone or by email rather than physically being there.  Just don't feel bad about doing whatever is needed or necessary for you.  I think it's good that you've recognised that 'other people's problems' are just that - other people's :) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 05, 2018, 07:57:13 AM
The only boundary issue I'm finding with Hol of any significance - is that form of empathy that arises from my own recent deep grief, when I'm aware of hers. We deal with it differently... which isn't a conflict for us because I recognize she needs to do what she needs to do. And if I don't, I'm TOLD in short order to back off - LOL.

She obviously knows how I sometimes miss/don't process social cues fast enough.

Going to be BUSY around here for a couple of weeks. Some logistical problems, too.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 12, 2018, 09:19:30 AM
Knuckles - the knucklehead puppy - has found his role as a contributor to the "cause" around here. He's been bringing up sticks (admittedly to get someone to throw it for him to fetch) and then mulching them on the porch. This morning, he dragged a 6 ft long limb (6 in diameter at the base) all the way up the hill. He hasn't figured out how to get it up the steps yet.

I guess he's a "wood retriever".

I think Hol is over the worst of the emotional processing. In a couple of weeks, she's whittled my to-do list down, to where I have more split wood than I had for the whole season last year. (There will be a LOT more to come, as the driveway work gets done soon; that involves removing about 20 trees.) Floors downstairs get started early tomorrow morning. I was getting at least one coat of paint on the 4 doors down there while she was splitting wood. A few more things to clear out - do a cobweb run - vacumn and then I'm ready.

That whole space is going to look/feel different with a new floor. And THEN, the fun part can proceed - decorating. I'll need to finish sorting/purging in the garage/getting the auction to pick up some stuff and then I can organize THAT space finally and hopefully get some ideas about creating a "bunkhouse" space in there... so I can finally deal with the other room upstairs, as a guest room. I need it empty to do that (to "see" the space) and the bunkbeds I have are just way too huge for that room. The upstairs rooms are under the eaves and have been chopped up to make bathrooms - RV style - and closets, too.

But somewhere in that process, I'll need to visit the roof redo - I want to add more insulation and maybe change it to a metal standing seam (TBD) roof... and redoing the decks... and the summer - fall - winter outdoor kitchen. And do a much more stuff... that keeps falling off the list or won't seem all that important when Hol moves back out again.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on August 13, 2018, 09:54:18 AM
That was a satisfying read, Amber.  I'm glad you're moving through your list with some epeed.
I'm envious if all those little bathrooms, frankly.  My sister wants me to finish the shed into a little studio apartment, with small bathroom addition.  It's not 15 feet from septic so will see. 

It will be exciting to read about the decorating piece if your project.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 14, 2018, 07:54:32 AM
I'm already rethinking the desk I picked out Lighter. It's a big old thing and that room isn't large. Flooring looks great! They're 3/4s done downstairs already and plan to finish up today. They had the old carpet out by 9:30 am and even that made a world of difference. The boards feel great on bare feet - warm even, and enough texture that it's not really slippery. I only have one coat of paint on the doors (wasn't too sure about the color; it's kind of a caramel color - blends/transitions from the warmer pine wall tones to the warm gray on the floor).

I know I'm going to want to close up the walls in the laundry room more. No idea why they left the bottom half open. I think I'm just going to use painted bead board and a tall chair rail molding. And INSULATE between the studs. LOL.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 16, 2018, 01:11:00 PM
PHEW, OK, I think I can be coherent now. I didn't sleep well last night and have been hyperventilating/stressing out/halfway to an anxiety attack all morning. ALL because of juggling deliveries being scheduled and errands that have to be run. Like I was telling Tupp, being tired kinda makes me susceptible to the same stuff she's going through. Holly tried to help, suggesting ways that we could "divide and conquer". I thought of a solution that would work well... AND give us both a day off today, except for minor futzy stuff... and then I promptly FORGOT what it was. THAT'S how badly I've wound myself up. (I remembered later and wrote it down.) I keep ping-ponging back & forth right now.

Monday, bright & early, the flooring installers arrived. They had the old carpet out by 9:30 am. Came back Tuesday about the same time to finish up. We had to manage the dogs (Boggs is here too for a visit) to keep them out of the guys' hair.

Yesterday, my tree guys decided they couldn't work anywhere else in their list of job orders because it's too wet there... so at 6:30 AM they started cutting trees out of the path where the new end of my driveway is going. They knocked off at 2 pm, in the horrible heat of the day and came back this morning to get the last tree up there - take down 3 around the house (fire prevention) and limb up one of my bigger healthy oaks. They removed 97 trees in that path... chipped the branches and left me 3 big piles of hardwood mulch... cut the logs into rounds and delivered them to where Holly has split most of the logs that were cut LAST year. I wound up managing the dogs yesterday while I tried to decide what is coming back into the downstairs. New dryer is on it's way to be delivered today; tomorrow a pallet of water softener salt and lot of misc hardware/landscaping materials. (And the salt was probably the "last straw" that triggered my out of control spiral. Would mean working on the bobcat when I'm TIRED and in even worse heat than yesterday. Except that the solution I thought of makes more sense.)

Of course I blamed myself for not thinking that through and all the stuff that needs to happen first. Dryer's here. I'll finish this later. <THAT didn't take long; 15 mins MAX.>

I'm going to balance some checkbooks now and make an executive decision about running errands today or tomorrow after the next delivery. First load of laundry is in - Holly was ready; I'm not. I'll bet they deliver all that other stuff tomorrow morning.
And my laundry is now back in business until the washer gets delivered on 9/1.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 16, 2018, 02:17:11 PM
PS - the new Pottery Barn catalog got me excited about decorating.... choices, choices....
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on August 18, 2018, 06:00:34 PM
You're busy busy now, Amber.  Sounds like Holly super on board, and up to the mission. 

Love Pottery Barn clean lines, and simplicity.  The more stuff you get rid of, the better your space will feel as you decorate.  Don't fear letting things go into the universe for others to use.  It's ok.

Keep updates coming. 

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 19, 2018, 09:58:46 AM
Thanks Lighter. I'm much better at making the decisions of what to "build" or "design"... than I am letting stuff go. But I AM making progress there.

Holly heads up to the city, to drop Boggs off, move her work tools and pick up the Pontiac today. Then, when she gets back - packing the car and making ready to set off on the "Tour de America" for 3 weeks. She has heard there could be work again with her crew by the time she gets back; but right now that's iffy.

I'll have headspace and quiet after she takes off, to say more.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 22, 2018, 08:09:54 AM
Well, Holly's off on her road trip. Left yesterday, after the garage found a couple more things to fix on Monday and she didn't get in Mon night till around 10 pm. I know she made her first destination because the credit card showed her gassing up about an hour out from there; she didn't call/text however... which was our deal. Let me know when you "get there" (where ever "there" is) and then we can chat in the morning before you move on.

I do understand that a) she was trying to find her friend in a strange town and b) she was TIRED, in the extreme after Monday's anxiety/frustration over the car and then the packing frenzy of Tues morning.

It is NOT EASY fighting off the "mom reflexes". I feel as if I'm struggling a bit, especially as she's treated me to the living-color, gory details of her emotional state - as it fluctuates through both her grieving process, putting herself back together the way SHE wants to create a whole new "life platform", our relationship - which is both nostalgic and growing/changing at the same time... and the kazillion minor boundaries involved in all of that. I've retreated to a sci-fi/fantasy book and going to bed EARLY. LOL.

She has however kicked butt around here on the "to-do" list. I have more wood now, split & stacked, than I started with last November. There is some issue with the log splitter that I'm going to have to resolve - it was stalling out and now won't start; but I'm going to wait for the dry weather the weatherguessers are promising. Have to go over the mountain today for some errands.

There is a gigundus pile of new logs to split, from the 97 trees that were cut for changing the entrance to the driveway already. It hurts to drive past the stumps; DEVASTATION!! But it's for a good cause - enabling me to get in/out easier in bad weather, as I age. It should also minimize the run-off in the torrential downpours we've been getting. Backhoe guy is backed up with work, since the rain hasn't really let up much. And again - I wait.

Rain didn't impact the flooring re-do downstairs much at all. They had 3/4s of the job done the first day. Now to decorate!! (I'm saving that project for when I start to miss Hol - probably by the weekend.)

If it EVER dries out around here, I need to regrade in front of the barn to let my puddle drain and finish around the back, before hunting season starts. Then the electrician can come back and finish up connecting me to the meter. And I need to mow again of course.

I've got 2 more wood racks to put together, but I really need to build a wood barn. Still thinking on how to go about that... and when I'm going to get to it. The garage down there has a little more space, but I need to keep on that during rainy days, too. Bought some easy to assemble shelf storage for Holly's suite to put together. It's needed some TLC for awhile. It's been pretty spare and I just brought stuff from the beach house and used it where needed. It doesn't necessarily fit well in the space, nor was the guest suite intended to be a full-time living "retreat". But we're getting there.

So, Holly and I have done the work we needed to do to keep ourselves "in gear" and reasonably comfortable with our situation for the last month or so. She has seriously dealt with the break-up emotions pretty well... and kind of re-connected with her "essence" again. My role is "compassionate witness" more than anything. I answer direct questions; when she's sorting out the mind-games/power struggles or whatever that occurred with Matt - I validate some of her perceptions and observations. Not all of them, because she's too hard on herself and too often takes on more responsibility than she should. Wonder where she learned that? (rolling eyes)

Which brings me to my doc friend. I haven't blocked him on my phone yet, but I've been tempted. That is a long story however and I've already babbled too much this morning. Any personal, face to face interactions remain in the "10 ft. pole category"... as I'll explain later.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on August 22, 2018, 10:30:58 AM
Skep you do more in a week than most people would do in a year!  Always so busy and so much going on, your head must be spinning :) I'm glad Holly's ploughing through the to do list.  It sounds like she's handling things well enough (and for what it's worth, I don't think the mum reflexes ever leave!).  I'm sorry to read that things don't sound too good with you and your doc friend.  I hope it isn't adding too much hassle to your already loaded down life!  I hope it starts to dry out soon so that you can get on with more 'things' xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on August 22, 2018, 02:27:28 PM
Oh dear, Amber. 

I can't imagine how the 10' pole became necessary, with your much appreciated doc friend, but these things happen.  Lord knows they do.  Sorry to read that. 

When it rains, relax and turn towards inside jobs.  Worrying does no good, and sometimes you don't lose so much as have time to figure out better plans, IME.  Sometimes not, but worry over something you can't control is a waste of good time, and certainly doesn't reflect on you.  You're a work monster, and you'll get everything done as you can, bc that's what you do.

Sorry about the trees, but it sounds like you're keeping and protecting zillions more, so there's that.  Do you have many Hemlocks?  And, are they suffering?  Wooly Adelgid is killing them all over the place here.  Don't wait too long if you have specials ones around the house you need to save, and they're struggling. 

Pat yourself on the back, and enjoy that novel. 

Holly will check in eventually, and you can pretend not to be ticked off that she waited.  Maybe mention she missed the agreed upon time when she's calm, well fed, and feeling good.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 22, 2018, 04:16:31 PM
Oh, none of us are all that sensitive Lighter. Not even Holly - she does hide behind that sometimes to express irritation at some of my mom-reflexes - but her irritation goes away when she has to admit she does the same things, sometimes.  ;)  And that I can't always catch myself either.

Even when we're REALLY angry with each other, it almost always ends in laughing at ourselves for being jerks, one way or another.

She called me from the road, and we talked when I called her back. She didn't call last night because it was after 11 pm. Told her a text that said she arrived at planned destination was all I needed and we can always chat in the mornings. Texts have gone back & forth periodically today. Silly "adventure" stuff. Knuckles stuff. I knew the dog was going to be a challenge (in more ways than one).

Dr. Know-It-All, my friend - initially understood how I could forget that long post of things that I did during the timeframe he wanted me to help. He asked very late at night one night... and I was already stressed out about Holly seeing Matt. My brain doesn't fire on all cylinders when I'm stressed. All was fine until he started making snide & nasty comments by way of "diagnosing" Holly's mental/emotional state to me. (Which are totally off-base and also a boundary issue, IMO.)

So, I didn't just return fire. I stopped. I considered the messaging that had gone on late in the night; the stress we were both feeling... I simply corrected the record (I thought), apologized thoroughly and formally for backing out on him and owned the mistake I made. And still those one-liner nastygrams continue, along with a total misperception about Holly and our relationship.

That perception is, no doubt in my mind, being painted with his bitterness about what's happened within his own family - the incapacitated wife he's still married to (and hasn't lived with in 12 years), the plans to care for his disabled adult daughter, the #2 daughter also bailing on him... AND the woman he lives with. His responsibilities at the moment have him between two states, which is not where he lives most of the time. He really IS overwhelmed, I get that. I would be a basketcase.

The family situation itself - was enough for me to pull out my trusty 10 ft pole. The additional nastygrams yesterday had me asking WTH he was talking about. He asked if he might be losing his mind... LOL. I said it was a distinct possibility the way he'd misperceived things I'd said. AFTER I'd validated his plans, decisions and problem-solving even.

He's like a hand grenade that's had the pin pulled. But instead of being overly sensitive - he strikes out with venom. I don't need that and have no intention of continuing to be on the receiving end of this. I keep wondering if it would be even worse, if I had let Holly dangle on her own - without being here to witness her processing and keep her from doing any more damage to her self image - and did arrive on site to help him. (As all the other "developments" were forthcoming from him, after I bowed out.)

I think I narrowly escaped a very unpleasant experience that would probably put a stake in the heart of any possible friendship. I'll give him a wide berth for awhile; let him get his situation under control by himself and stay a bit more detached.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on August 22, 2018, 07:24:01 PM
About the doc friend....

I'm sorry he's struggling, and lashing out.

I don't know if he'll pull it out. 

That he can admit what he's done seems hopeful to me.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on August 23, 2018, 08:24:02 AM
For me, one instance of lashing out or verbal venom and I directly exit the relationship.
Ain't mine to judge, but if an adult has not yet learned to manage anger in a different way, as in go chop wood, walk, talk to your own T, work it out in your own way AWAY from me...then that's not a person I choose to remain connected to. Took me a long time to figure it out but there it is.

Not me, of course, because I'm much too sophisticated...but someone I vaguely know something about (her nickname suggests a cowboy or perhaps a bunny wabbit) watched Bachelor in Paradise the other night. An engaging though obnoxious fellow who felt stressed suddenly slipped into F*-yous and glares and lashed out at others verbally, putting them down ("you're envious...").

One young woman talking about him later said, when I saw his eyes go dark and heard that, how I felt about him changed. (She's currently being stupid enough to hang in with him but that's just because she gets to continue in the game, I think).

Anyway, it's like that for me. I forgive and even understand, but I will not subject myself to someone with an untrustworthy temper. Just no can (or no will) do. Although as a personality I generally want to fix things, spurts of anger or rage I do not wish to fix. May the universe fix them.

At this stage in my life, I require reliable emotional self-control from anyone I'd be vulnerable with.

And I think it's not judgmental, really, just knowing who I am and setting my own boundaries.

Good luck with this, Amber. I know you have a higher pain threshold but that does not mean you deserve pain.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 23, 2018, 09:03:01 AM
Well, one thing I know about me is that as a compassionate witness I can compost a lot of misdirected anger which might seem as if it's dumped on me... but really isn't. (I don't often allow myself to wear that witness hat, however. The people aren't that important to me. This guy has been a wise friend who spoke directly about hard things until I "heard" him. But won't ever - even in my wildest fantasies - be more than a friend.)

I was mostly in this role for Holly. Because, much like me, anger pulls her out of self-pity and fear and anxiety about the future. She does this way faster & better than I do. She is currently leaving that chapter of her life, 6000 miles behind her down the road as she heads off into the sunset with Knuckles and the '77 Pontiac. She'll turn back toward home in about 4-5 days. Two days on the road has her in OK City, from WV. She grabs on tight and jumps off the cliff - laughing.

For me, Doc's "sin" was a) not hearing my description about Hol and b) superimposing his judgements on her without the awareness that his own family-karma was coloring that. It's forgivable, I think. But as he's still not settled, I won't tax him with addressing this just now. I'll simply fade away for a bit. I can't give him more than that, until he gets his head removed from his anal area and is able to THINK again. But it does give me some insight into a kind of man, I am not compatible with. We all have quirks, foibles, bad habits... but the difference for me, is being aware of them, and TRYING to manage yourself so as not be painful to be around. Even one's confidantes... in those times when you need to bare your emotional soul.

Holly and I probably push the line on those moments. But we both know it and are aware of it and are quick to resolve it, happily. We've had a lifetime of practice with this - hers. We are always mindful of boundaries and our personal differences, even when we let ego get in the way and think the other should be more like "me". We both know that's never gonna happen. LOL. Sometimes, we even remember to include a disclaimer that we're changing "role hats" now... before pronouncing something difficult to address. And the relationship has been evolving over the past month. Lots of things to ponder as I've noticed them... perhaps point out or acknowledge to her.

She needs that kind of attention - at arm's length - right now; or did the past month. Her autonomy and self-confidence is what she's currently driving toward. And my anxiety or worries come second to that pursuit. I know she'll be fine, in her own flailing way. LOL.

And now that I have my solitude - and all the chores - back to myself. It's time to pick a spot and start digging in.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on August 23, 2018, 11:47:50 AM
If you and Holly are happy and not enmeshed, and comfortable with the release of anger then it's working for you. It sounds like it works for you both--she reciprocates and seeks out the intense dialogue with you, so that says she values or benefits from it.

As someone whose intense involvement in my D's life later resulted in complete rejection, I can't view it objectively or therapeutically, so that's a good boundary for me to mind. Every twosome, parent-child, friend-friend, partner-partner, discovers its own unique benchmarks for a healthy relationship. And what's healthy to some ain't healthy to others. (For me, now, even if my D appeared in a cloud of light, I'd approach with extreme caution. Because cruelty.)

I'm glad your way of relating feels positive for you two and also glad that you will have some relief for a while from that focus. So you can return to the ongoing projects that bring you contentment. Contentment is what you deserve. And I still hope new trustworthy male companionship will appear for you!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on August 23, 2018, 01:42:38 PM

This doc friend....

he's interested in you for more than friendship, isn't he?

Or not? 

Seems some men pull that when they have romantic notions they can't talk about or bring about, IME.

He's certainly lost his ability to remain patient with you, even if he wasn't judging Holly, and lashing out.  He's questioning his sanity, so he can tell he's lost his balance.  Distance seems necessary. 

I guess worst case scenario is, you lose a cabinet member you once relied on for frank opinions.  Best case is he goes back to being that, and this crisis behavior falls away. 

I spoke to a guy friend this morning I haven't spoken to in a while.  It was all about his dd, and not much personal about ourselves.  He did that lash out thing, and I tried to talk about it to him last year.  He didn't admit to it, but laughed when I laid it out so he couldn't MISS what he'd done.  Laughing was worse than pretending he didn't do it at all for some reason, and that's one cabinet member gone.  No use pretending he's not, bc the relationship has been all  but over for many months.  It's just taken me a period of adjustment to grasp that truth.

So, there's more room for new people.  Not an empty place where a friend used to be.  Right?


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 24, 2018, 09:44:37 AM
Right Lighter. It's not empty at all. Because of Ronnie's accident - and his hunting buddies - I'm getting to know them - and my "rent-a-men" for specific things, much better. You know, people who can actually lend a physical set of hands when I need them. The guys bring their kids - mostly sons - along too. So they don't think I'm scary. The local people here are generally good, honest (do what they say they will) and reassuring to be around.

I've been questioning the Doc's relationships for quite some time. He's the one who invited me to come visit him (with his bipolar ladyfriend) at his farm. Maybe I'm just paranoid... but that immediately raised warning bells for me, if you can remember back when I mentioned it. He wanted to assist in my "grieving process". Thanks, no. I think I've done ENOUGH of this, to know how to do it. LOL.

Now that his chickens are coming home to roost in the form of having what looks to me, like two families to deal with... I'm glad I wasn't tempted at the first invitation and that Hol pulled me back from getting involved when he sent me his SOS. It's OPP - other people's problems. What I do for Hol is because of what she does for ME... and has done without complaint or difficulty. And that goes back many years now - over the time I divorced #2, married Mike and all the "rescues" of her sister. It's also Amazon training... which we have been doing since her teens. She is not like many people in her age cohort. She fits in and has a big network of people she knows and interacts with - but only a handful of those are her "korass" (it's a Vonnegut term). People she's had a long and deeper connection with over the years. She's going to be seeing some of them on her trip.

I just don't know if there is ever going to be another guy, Hops. It's kinda more what I think I SHOULD do, than what I really WANT to do. At least for now. It seems to offer "ease" & "security" but the reality of getting to know someone's warts and history... isn't always easy. And while Hol has and continues to push me to be more "social" and interact with people face to face... she finally understands my position after dealing with the bottom of her break-up blues. Yes, I could probably care about someone enough to be vulnerable with them again. Do I NEED to? Honestly, the answer is no. But I'm also not making that a firm "rule" for going forward; staying open to the possibility... there just aren't any candidates right now and that's OK. And I'm not LOOKING. I am taking a close friend's advice though and trying to "design one" in my mind and call him forth. LOL. You never know!! It could work. Stranger things have happened to me. (I also have a korass of people I'm deeply connected to. And as evidenced here - will babble incessantly about anything to anyone who stands still long enough to listen to me. LOL.)
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 25, 2018, 07:55:07 AM
forgot to mention...

Somehow, over this last month of providing room for Hol to grieve her last 9 years it seems as though any lingering sadness I had over Mike has evaporated as well. Maybe because there was a lot of discussion about the balance between self & connection that goes on in a relationship... and what an "ideal" healthy balance should look like.

She pulled into Amarillo last evening, for an early night, hot shower, and downtime. On her way to Santa Fe either today or tomorrow... depending on stuff she can do with the dog. Been 3 days of tough, relentless driving - a sleepover at a friend's for a couple nights and a little exploring. Knuckles chased cows and Holly reacquainted herself with barbed wire again in OK. LOL. She said the cows all lined up and stared at him, puzzled - as if they were trying to decide if he was just a little cow or what he was. LOL. His new nickname is "Little Cow".
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on August 25, 2018, 03:09:19 PM
I'm really glad the grief has run its course, Amber.
That makes room for creativity and peace and maybe...what comes at the right time.

So happy Hols and Knuckles are off doing their cool thang!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on August 26, 2018, 07:57:18 AM
Back on the bobcat again yesterday - and today too, most likely. 4 Days and NO RAIN!! YAY. I didn't make the "puddle of mud" disappear completely yesterday, but I did improve the situation a lot. It's slow work because I'm being very careful to not take too much dirt away. I think I'm going to try the back of the barn today.

It's starting to warm back up again which means it's going to get humid agaiin and likely more rain too. I have other jobs that go faster that I need to do while it's dry, to knock them off the list too. But I really, really really want to get this grading done. It's a big job and it's great practice for me on the bobcat.

Hopefully I won't be completely covered in mud today. LOL.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on August 26, 2018, 05:31:14 PM
Eh, get as dirty as you need to be, Amazon Amber.

That you're doing your own grading is amazing in ways I can't describe.  Well done!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on September 01, 2018, 04:32:12 AM
Skep, as always, I'm blown away by how much you get done in the relatively short space of time that I don't catch up on posts!  I'm so impressed with all your machinery and giant projects as well :)  I'm glad to hear Holly seems to be doing okay.  I like the sound of 'Little Cow' :) I hope the situation with Doc friend settles one way or another xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on September 01, 2018, 09:27:21 AM
Tupp, I think the Doc friend situation was just what I thought it was. He is finally back home, with disabled D to settle in... is totally exhausted, and still dealing with 3 different situations and properties. Of course, there is work to catch up on back at the home farm, too, now - he's been away for like 3 months. I've suggested he only work 1/2 days until he gets rested up again. He's 68; so no spring chicken. To keep going at the pace he HAD to these last 3 months will catch up with him and completely put him out of commission.

There are some boundaries I'll need to enforce more strongly with him in the future; but it doesn't preclude having a friendship.

Holly's made it to her westernmost destination/stop. I think she'll be there at least for the long weekend. It has been QUIET here! YAY. I haven't turned the tv on once... and even the radio is left off for long stretches. I have TRIED to keep chipping away at the things that need doing. I'm avoiding mowing until next week... and keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't rain today. The mud puddle at the barn has FINALLY dried up and if I was "good", I'd make it couldn't collect rain again today. I'd planned to recycle cardboard today... but that can wait. I can load it in the jeep and try for some more progress on this one thing (the barn grading) which seems to be holding up progress everywhere else.

The quiet is letting me ponder (sans "thinking") that bit about "resistance" we're kinda talking about all over the place. If I just ponder and LOOK at it, sometimes I see things I didn't see/know about before. I think that's a good thing for me to address right now; and it's been long enough "in the wings" that I don't want to wait much longer.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on September 14, 2018, 02:09:37 PM
Phew! I've been keeping busy around here, even if I haven't been able to get the mowing done or the power run all the 20 ft to the barn yet, due to rain.

I am in design mode downstairs. The new floor makes such a difference down there! Today's delivery was at least one blind for the windows down there. I have a new desk and combo file cabs/bookshelves coming so I can finally unpack and set up my ham radio equipment. I still need to order an antenna. I have rugs in the awkward "mudroom" & woodstove space, have finally purged the movies and put back just a fraction of them. I'm moving some artwork around and just generally making those organizational decisions.

New washer & dryer are in and I have more shelves to put up in there for storage of household type stuff that I don't need very often - paste wax, odd cleaners, that kind of thing. The lower portion of the wall panelling was never finished, so I think I'm just going to order some beadboard and chair rail to put up over it. It will make that a much more pleasant space.

Holly took down the annoying, irritating, too much in the way bathroom door. I'm going to install a sliding barn door there. Office makeover may include either a sofa bed (there's a nice Serta which would warm that space up a lot visually) or perhaps a cabinet bed - which has a jointed memory foam mattress that pulls out. I haven't decided, because when Holly gets back I'm going to let her rest a week, then we're head to the business for some legal meetings. Business planning stuff. We shouldn't be there but a day or two. It's time for her to make her acquaintance with those people.

I think I had moats on my mind when I was working on the grading with the bobcat around the barn. The past couple weeks of rain extended my "puddle" to a small lake, that's about a foot deep at the worst spot. But what I did do already has improved the situation with water flowing into the barn across the slab. Hit it again for a few hours yesterday even though it was still wet up there. And again, I think I made an improvement. I was concerned about the rain from Florence left-overs we might get. At least that puddle is draining out the front and down the slope in front of the barn now. It needs MORE work for sure, but until I can get drain pipe in there (and I need a backhoe for that) nothing's happening beyond my grade work. Maybe I can fill in my puddle with shale. Right now - it's like quicksand it's that wet.

Backhoe/front end loader is needed for the driveway route change too. But there's no way Ricky has time to get out here with all this rain. The road crews are still coping with rain/flood damage that is recurring this summer... patching and cleaning out/widening ditches; they haven't even mowed along the roads this year. And you know, the office guys are thinking - what if this precip continues this winter?

I was thinking earlier in the spring, that I'd have time to get a whole house generator too. HA. No way I can get that done before winter now. Not even if this jet stream pattern shifts away from us until January. Just ain't gonna happen... and I'm out of patience to even try right now. There was so much outside work I wanted to get done this year. My piles of topsoil & compost have knee high weeds covering them. My roses are still in a 5 gal bucket of dirt. Not too much worse for wear, but that's one thing Hol and I need to accomplish is a better "holding bed" for them for over the winter... if we can't get the holes dug.

Since mother nature has seen fit to thwart all my enthusiasm for outside projects this summer, I'm probably go a little overboard on the interior stuff for a bit. I need a little "fun" in life right now. I'm glad Holly's having some without pushing her travel schedule too hard - but she planned to be back here in 3 weeks. She's leaving Idaho headed east today and figure it'll be a little over another week before she gets back. Hmmph.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on September 14, 2018, 06:14:51 PM
I looooooove thinking about you enjoying creating your decor!


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on September 17, 2018, 08:37:39 AM
rain rain rain rain rainnnnnnnnnnnn.... looks like I've got at least a solid 24 hrs of this. Wind is picking up, too.

Holly is about half way home again. She got a gut feeling about Matt and one of their mutual friends and started checking in with them... and it was more or less true. She's still not accepting that he can't/won't talk to her about whether this is a permanent break-up or not... or why "Mr. Great Guy" simply can't respect HER feelings and be open/honest about his so they can remain friends. Sigh. It's always tough when someone says they're "this"... just not with you and they can't even see it.

But I think the road trip has been the right "medicine" for her to think about moving on and just letting this go. She's always going to have to deal with old wounds that make her question herself, I think. But that has improved a lot too.

Well... looks like I need to think about working inside today. There's still plenty to do.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on September 21, 2018, 12:39:08 PM
Holly got home Wed night. Now the hard part starts - deciding what she's going to do, work-wise, where she wants to live, etc. She had an appt in B'more today - but even doing a round trip is short driving for her, given the last leg she drove. That was about 12 hrs straight.

She had a premonition about one of her friends and Matt while on the road. She checked it out, and it appears there is some hanky-panky going on... which she is actually HAPPY for them. But Matt took the opportunity to lash out at her again, accusing her of lying and trying to manipulate him and doesn't believe she's actually happy for them. That knocked her down a bit. But she's processed that pretty satisfactorily. Now, he wants her to move all the rest of her stuff out of his house. SIGH.

I guess he's entitled to changing his mind, but logistically, this might not be possible for a couple of weeks. At which time, she may be working on a new 6 wk long project - with no guarantee of more work there, in the future. It's still all up in the air.

I need to order extension brackets for the big blind in the office to clear the window hardware.

Kinda taking some time off, with my feet up and being lazy today. And seriously asking myself if I really WANT Hol to live here... or go her own way, just not too far away. I probably should've sat with that question before I made the offer.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on September 21, 2018, 05:53:30 PM
seriously asking myself if I really WANT Hol to live here... or go her own way, just not too far away. I probably should've sat with that question before I made the offer.

Oof. That is indeed a deeply serious question, ((((Amber)))).

(Obviously, my experience affects this opinion.)

Something I profoundly wish is that with both my mother and my D, I had join into our joint living arrangements with an absolutely crystal-clear "contract" between us that in each instance, we both agreed openly and without pretense that we'd do this for six months. And then re-evaluate.

It's hellish to recognize that a family home share isn't good for you later in life, and by the time you do...it's even more hellish to make a change.

Good luck with this--I have faith you'll think your way to the right approach for you.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on September 22, 2018, 03:22:54 AM
That's a good point from Hops, kind of like a get out clause - maybe agree from the outset a regular review period.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on September 22, 2018, 09:28:11 AM
Well, there is an opportunity in the situation for me to work on one of my long-standing "problems", if she does stay. But it's fraught with the implication that I need a "minder", or am aging to the point that someone needs to keep an eye on me.

And there isn't any problem with us being able to communicate - even when we do rub each other the wrong way, we're able to talk it through and actually accomodate the other. So.... we're thinking, discussing, she's reflecting - and so am I.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on September 22, 2018, 12:52:27 PM
The things I'd hate most (even if I had a wonderful D and excellent communication with her, that was not fraught or exhausting) would be:

1) I'd resent her for becoming my inevitable "minder" as age does what it does
2) She'd resent me for hampering her opportunities to move on in her life if they appear (but not admit that to herself or to me)

Again all in hindsight, and from very different family experience...were I to design my perfect old age it would include frequent visits from my wonderful completely free children, but...my daily independence/assistance with same would come from my hand-pick of a good, solid, honest, reliable and kind-hearted person who is not my relative.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on September 23, 2018, 06:57:26 PM
Well, we're kinda talking this through our way - which is one of us will say something, and we drop it for awhile and each go think - and then come back and talk again.

She FINALLY found an older jeep this weekend, for winter transportation. And both of us realized that what she decides to do, is going to be a series of smaller decisions... leading up to what she what she ultimately does. Like, right now, she can deal with being at my place this winter. Or even make my place her "headquarters". Even if she gets temporary (like 6 weeks/6 months at a time) in the city. She has friends with an airbnb in the city or can sublet something. She's been looking for a jeep and missed a couple, for over a year.

I think we might be able to wing this - but it's going to require me to actually SAY what I think I need/want out loud. And not "just do". Which is not a bad thing in and of itself. I've been alone for about 3 years now. And she is definitely NOT the hermit/homebody type... so I will get some downtime alone too. We can co-exist in silence and peace & quiet... so I'm pretty sure my "issue" is all me. And why it was so easy to choose the hermit route.

It's an adventure; a journey. We'll just go one step at a time.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on September 24, 2018, 12:21:38 AM
I know you'll find your way, and if the path gets rocky, you'll just get on your baby dozer and plow it smooth!


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on September 24, 2018, 09:45:36 AM
LOL. I want to do exactly that Hops. But rain, rain still won't go away more than a day at a time here.

I'm realizing that some of our scratchy, too hot, heavy wool type moments is just "all me"... they consist of "the easy way out" coping mechanisms for interacting with another person and living around them... and I no longer have the "fresh widow's excuse" of needing space to just feel myself alone, "robes of dignity" to wrap around me, that only the intrepid, insensitive and rude would dare breach. And that those robes were fully capable of trapping me into a total surrender and giving up, and "letting be" the most ascetic, repetitive, and DEPENDENT ways of being.

No, I couldn't see it. Told myself a bunch of BS that made it "OK" to continue it. It was way too close to what I felt I "deserved" for being me to see it. And I am aging; and I was a caregiver for many of the last 10 years putting other's needs/schedules in front of what I needed and wanted. So, Holly laid down an ultimatum before going on her road trip. If she was going to accompany me to the shop and start getting involved in the business stuff, I had to finally make a doctor's appt and see what - if anything - might be my health issues that could be corrected before it was past the point of correcting.

When she makes those statements, she is fully prepared to back them up. And angry at me, to boot, for weaseling out of it over & over again. Putting her in the position, that Mike put me in. She knew I knew it, too... and let her disapproval be fully felt. Not because what I want doesn't matter - but because she knew I could do this and not be a weenie about it... and choosing NOT to do it/face it was NOT the mom she thought she respected.   :shock:

Yeah, we do those kinds of things for each other. Makes the little stuff seem really little, and petty, and not worth being irritated over.

So, I went. And the doc totally surprised me. He's a damn leprochaun!! Bright carrot-red hair, big glasses, about a foot shorter than me. I doubt he's as old as Holly. Only thing on the list that's bugging me, is he wants to check out a heart murmur. But he DID let me talk; and DID hear me about my previous invasive (and to me) traumatic heart procedures. When we talked about smoking, I saw that the med profession's strategy has changed... so I was able to let him know how much research I've done into the psych/neuro addiction feedback loops and my conclusion that I needed to address that first in any quit attempts this time.

BP was way normal this time; a little white coat elevation but nothing like it used to be. And it's so fun to see the shock on people's faces when I say I don't take any medications. So, when I get back from Michigan, I do the last gyno stuff EVER... yay... and the test he ordered to check out the heart murmur was an echocardiogram. That won't be such a big deal or physically traumatic. All that can happen at our little hospital here; they're connected to the big med system over the mountain... where Mike's D works now.

We talked about lifestyle modifications too. So I have some "hope" to be able to follow through with this guy, if he sticks around. He didn't treat me like a non-human being specimen. It's a good start. Maybe my friendship with the online doc has helped me deal with my "flee" reaction some, too. But I'd be lying big time to everyone, including myself, if I didn't admit that this heart murmur thing really bothers me and scares the bejesus out of me.

On the other hand: it lays down the law, just Hol's ultimatum did, about what I NEED to do for me and face and deal with - ie, resolve and settle not just come to terms with - and start putting one foot in front of the other and DOING IT.

No more excuses or BS or exceptions.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on September 24, 2018, 02:50:23 PM
BRAVO for facing the doctor, Amber.
Huge bravo.

I have been joyfully and peacefully addicted to nicotine gum for a couple decades now. My desperate recurring attempts to quit over the years had failed and the emotional damage was getting as bad as the physical.

So at my final (2nd) hypnosis appointment I made a conscious decision to maintain a level of nicotine in my bloodstream and ditch the shame about an "alternate dependency." The hypnosis was a miracle, I came out and chewed the gum. And I'm eternally grateful.

FWI, I have zero cravings for smoking any more and the hypnosis helped me implant in my own mind revulsion for cigarettes. However, I'll crawl the walls if I run out of the gum. That is just fine with me. It was a conscious, rational tradeoff that spared me withdrawal and kept me on my fav drug...virtually harmlessly.

(Well harmless except it ain't cheap. But I found a way to order it from a reliable, decent, excellent service overseas...let me know if you ever want that info.)

Just a thought.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on September 26, 2018, 09:54:06 AM
Fast moving situations, or lots & lots of life-stuff... are not conducive or supportive or nurturing... to attempts to mentally/emotionally change habits, or ways of thinking/being.

For me, at least.

Things are busy - and then they're not - around here all the time. There are different kinds of things that need to be dealt with - so I can move on to the next thing. Changing those "hats" so often, so quickly... or wearing more than one at once... feels like I'm out of control; not thinking all the way THROUGH... or seeing all the angles of something. Like I'm blundering, flailing, and will be trapped into something I can't get out of. A danger to myself.*

Yet, I've managed large institutional changes; that involved one on one interaction with hundreds of people. Sailed through huge life changes (people are always asking: so what craziness is your life right now?) and somehow landed on my feet, no matter the size of the wave I'm surfing.

* All because of minor mistakes or misunderstandings; not being able to express myself simply and clearly; or even being able to say "what I want" and it's my "fault" for "feeling like this". None of my mistakes are "life threatening". Hahahahahaa.

These two realities are mutually exclusive. They can't both exist/be real at the same time. Yet they do. Lighter's brain integration studies are something I'm following along with. I feel like I know exactly what she's talking about... but it doesn't come out the verbal side of my brain. At all.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on October 04, 2018, 06:52:45 AM
Getting ready for business trip; leaving this weekend. I'm going to try to nail down some important stuff for the future. No idea if that's even possible... but it's worth trying to open the conversation about it.

Holly finished an interesting project. It's a "knit with your hands" wool roving blanket - like a giant sweater. Made with with wool roving as thick as my wrist; lightly felted; then using your hands as knitting needles to "knit" the wool. The wool is expensive, but she essentially finished the project in a day.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on October 04, 2018, 04:52:21 PM
Good luck on your business/legalese venture, Amber.
Hope it nails down that security for the years ahead.

Holly's knitting project sounds waaaaaay cool.
I love color and especially natural textures in clothing,
pretty hard to find (outside of high end craft, that is).

Travel safe! I'll be on the road too this weekend, just
to the beach, books on tape geared up.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on October 04, 2018, 08:53:12 PM
Well that's 3 of us out of town.  I'm leaving tomorrow...be back the 15th.  Safe travels. 
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on October 17, 2018, 10:06:04 AM
Well, so we're all back now. LOL. Guess our intuitions are pinging us about snow flying sooner rather than later this year. Another rainy spell meant we weren't going to get much done outside anyway and as far as wood, we're pretty well set. I have double what I had last year, split & stacked - courtesy of my workaholic D. I just need to spend a few hours for a couple days splitting kindling now, but that's a good way to work off restless energy.

The trip was a form of "knitting" too. Holly hadn't been to the shop since she was in Grade School. She got to put faces to names, and the meeting with Kelly and the lawyer was useful. She also hadn't seen my mom or bro in years & years either. And we had plenty of driving time and downtime to just be together somewhere new. Knuckles showed off on the beach at Lake MI, just how stick obsessed he is. LOL. Still, parts of it felt like an ordeal.

Both Hol & I have suffered from others imposing their wishes upon us about words, behavior, etc... and tend to "forget" and do the same thing to each other. It is the main point of friction, some days. We've parsed & deconstructed this & accepted our own mistakes and participation in those situations. Hours and hours of talking about it... diving deep into our own feelings and trying to explain (since no one can truly FEEL how another feels)... and scouting out comfortable boundaries about it. Conditioning, reflex, reaction, all that stuff that is engraved on our neural pathways from experience... and both of our paths/progress trying to manage it successfully to suit ourselves and not be a PITA to other people around us.

Our paths are different, because we didn't experience exactly the same real conditions - but the "pattern" is familiar to each of us and similar. There are angry words, when the emotional lizard brains get engaged... and it clears the air... and we CAN go on from that point with the clarification of boundary lines again. I just get frustrated at having to go through the same conversation, the same explanation of pointing out the differences between us and our paths for reconciling ourselves to the "content" and "context" of our life experiences. And she keeps trying to sledgehammer down my rock-solid choices -- which may be defenses, as she claims; but she's also not giving me credit for having tried things and not liking them... leading to my choices. I didn't just unconsciously "flee" to the woods and a slow pace and quiet life as a "reaction" to anything.

So, it's the choice itself that she find incomprehensible - because we are different. LOL. I have yet to explain Hops' theory of N-spots... but I can already see that it will get brought up and probably apply to both of us. And that's OK.

We had dinner with my long-time BFF and she was commenting how much like me, Hol is. Yes -- and no. The differences are strikingly important. And are natural, "right", and the way things should be. She is NOT a mini-me... and I would never want her to be. On the other hand, the number of times we dress exactly the same or the same words come out of our mouths... LOL. V did do a lot of defending me, and why I chose what I did. I think, the salient point Hol isn't able to grok yet is age-related; phase of life. And she has a lot of fear surrounding the slow realization of just what that consists of for me - and WHY.

Since she's 40 - footloose & fancy-free - and physically in great shape, her path and choices right now are going to be different from mine. More power to her! It's a great opportunity to intentionally re-evaluate and reflect on her choices... and I don't need to be involved in that design process. Sure, I want & need some things too. I'm not falling back into "mom will take care of everything and you too" mode. She has rebounded from the whole Matt thing pretty strongly - but not in a flailing sort of way - and has (I think) pretty quickly transitioned into the "What am I, who am I, where am I going NOW" phase. She can dive deep into those intense feelings - and that scares everyone but me; but she doesn't spend a LOT of time there. She does it; puts in a chapter of the past... and keeps on truckin'. Her ability to process all that quickly is formidable and impressive.

I tend to be like a dog with a bone, chewing on it from all angles... revisiting... until dammit, I'm sick & tired of it. Then I go do something else that to the outside world looks like it came out of the blue. Oh well. We aren't clones of each other... no matter how much we can see ourselves in other people.

So whether her decision to make the farm her "headquarters" long-term - with extended trips away for work & life works or not... the critical functional piece of that, is our individual independence and acceptance of each other. And both us learning not to be so danged sensitive and taking things so personally. LOL. There is deep understanding of the other outside of words... and she truly NEEDS to experience that right now. It's like her armor, that makes her the force of nature that she is. And she's starting to "get me", too.

So it's all good.

Going to have a crazy busy week next week - between projects, appts, her work, and a girl's night out we cooked up with her girlfriends who were here a few weeks ago. It's going to stretch my comfort zone, to go into DC for a concert somewhere I've not been before - late at night. But, I have been to many a concert - in a number of different situations and there will 4 of us crazy, independent, strong ladies. The crowds will part for us, I'm sure. LOL. Going to go see Nick Cave!  I know more of his old stuff... so I'm really interested to hear the new. Ticket prices weren't astronomical either; and it's a "small hall" situation... not one of the huge concerts. So, we'll see if an old lady can still hang.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on October 17, 2018, 11:23:23 AM
I'm guessing you'll "hang" just fine.  Getting tired, and yearning for your bed isn't failing, btw.  It's a reason to take two cars, or agree bar hopping won't be expected after the concert, kwim?

You sound good, Amber.  Welcome back.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on October 18, 2018, 02:08:34 PM
Skep you are endlessly busy as usual, I'm always shattered just reading how much you do!  And Nick Cave!  I love him but have never been to see him live - I can only imagine he's astonishingly good :)  Such an amazing talent, be sure to drink it all in! xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on October 18, 2018, 05:38:32 PM
Thanks guys... you know, right, that all kinds of reasons why I can't go - shouldn't attempt it even - pop up in my head all the time? Right?

Hol thinks when I bring it up, that I'm making excuses not to go... but I'm GOING, in spite of those "reasons". Been listening to this guy's music for 20 years. Hol's friend just went ahead and bought tickets; and I think we're going to have a great time. :P on my stupid mental tapes.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on October 18, 2018, 08:48:27 PM
Is it time for me to admit I don't know this singer?


Boy, I am oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooold....

So I'll hit up a YouTube of him in y'all's honor!

Have fun hon,
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on October 19, 2018, 08:40:17 AM
My favorite one Hops: is "Into My Arms". He isn't for the faint of heart, that's for sure. But this song is simple, poetic, and for me, meaningful. Other music by him is angry, testosterone-laden, and slightly bizarre. Think Lou Reed meets the Doors and Rage Against the Machine.

Frost on the field this morning. Winter is descending like a soft but persistant cloud of fog.... and I'm already turning to head-centered interests/pursuits that don't matter to anyone in the real world. LOL.

Saw an interesting Netflix series; 10 episodes. "The Haunting of Hill House". It's only part, classic haunted house story. The other part is resolution of dysfunctional family issues... which doesn't happen until the last episode. I've seen that one twice and bawled both times. Holly didn't like the ending. I won't spoil it for anyone past saying that much.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on October 24, 2018, 07:10:31 AM
I marathon sprinted through the last 6 episodes of Hill House, and thought it was really good, up till the ending. I didn't see the first episodes, so that have changed how I feel about it.

I agree with Holly.  It's not the ending I would have chosen. 

It was full of jump scares, some really good ones, and I screamed LOUD during one of the last ones.  OMG.

I have to say..... consistently choosing "lets split up" in a haunted house never works out well, does it?

I'm glad you liked the ending, Amber. 


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on October 24, 2018, 09:36:26 AM
I guess I saw a lot of connection in the ending with the grief cycle, relationships, fear vs love, courage, and the fact that no matter how hard we work - we simply aren't EVER going to know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING. Life remains mysterious and surprising and scary and even rewarding... in ways we can't predict.

And I LIKE that.  ;)

No one "right" way to be... no absolute "perfection" of the human condition... we're ALL different people... each unique, valuable, and enjoyable - or difficult - in our peculiar way.

The busy-ness of this week continues. So it's time to do, and reflection will come later.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on October 27, 2018, 09:27:31 AM
Yeah, so the old lady can still hang. I was still awake when we got home at 3 am. Still mostly sober too. Holly turned around and drove to B'more to work - so she was 48 hrs without sleep. My friend Deb showed and first off, announced she was exhausted! So, the old ladies crashed about an hour before Holly did - she was letting the excess coffee jitters wear off.

I can now resume my usual winter planning, thinking up things, and designing the farm phase. More soon....
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on October 28, 2018, 08:55:15 AM
Sounds like this is a creative time of year for you, ((((Amber)))).

I often think of you as the polar opposite of me in terms of productivity.
It honestly astonishes me how much you do and how you approach it.

I'm regularly inspired by you (and everyone here) in the struggle to
overcome intertia.

Hope the fall brings you incredible leaves, amazing sunsets and
new friends.

Do you see a big swatch of sky from your porch. One of the best
things I love about being in the mountains is the lack of light pollution
and the huge expanses of sky. Have a little bit of that even here, as
my street's up on a ridge. Clouds are amazing. But where you are,
they must be even more gorgeous.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on October 28, 2018, 11:30:41 AM
Hops, it's not that I have that much energy or will or drive to do. There are plenty of "slug" days for me, too.

But I've been focusing more on "what it is I want" - and when there's no one offering to do it for me (I don't want to be that dependent ANYWAY) - I just start doing and if it all gets done, excellent. If it doesn't - tomorrow is another day. Too often, Holly will volunteer to choose something off my list that I can absolutely do myself - but she can do it faster. I've been kinda standing aside, because the physical work helps her. But I'll be starting to split kindling again - almost time to fire up the woodstoves.

Going to that concert was a sacrifice - for both Hol & I. She worked without sleep the night before because she had to drive me home - went to work (and it was a very difficult day even though her job itself wasn't hard at all) and then drove home for the weekend. It's a long story and it's a dang good thing my hair can't get any whiter. We're both in "rest & recover" mode. This movie will wrap filming in the middle of Nov. and she'll have to stay there and work a 9 day stretch toward the end.

It's almost holiday season, too. And I'm feeling like I want to shake things up and do something different this year. So.... thinking on it and looking around.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on October 28, 2018, 12:13:15 PM
Are there any new, clear options, you're considering, Amber?

For holiday choices?

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on October 31, 2018, 09:38:28 AM
Lighter I have no idea about the holidays right now... except that with dealing with so much change the last few years, and this year in particular with Holly moving in... Mike's D, Autumn & the littles (who aren't so little anymore) being so busy that even though we're close now - we see less of them... all the rhythms are different, so I'm thinking how we go about the holidays needs to adapt again too.

Holly might be sailing in December again; she was asked to at any rate. She hasn't decided yet, since there would only be a week after wrapping this movie and when they'd need to take off... and it's right after Thanksgiving.

She is concerned that I don't do enough "fun" stuff. And I don't think our definition of "fun" is the same. I enjoyed the Nick Cave concert. But, getting home at 3 am was really pushing my limits of endurance. My BP the next day was way high; yesterday's was back to it's "normal" again... which is low enough that it's not going to prompt any Rx prescriptions or recommendations.

I catch her doing some "projecting" too. And there are other things, she's trying to "edit" about me... through discussion that are prompting me to ask some questions of myself -- and may have me calling her out on her own internal work, too. But I've put that on a back burner for the time being. We have work to do! And winter is coming.

I FINALLY have the power hooked up in the barn - that opens up a list of things that have been "waiting" for that, to get done. Ricky's been working down the new path for the end of the driveway and I'm thinking about how I'm going to "finish" that - with a gate, etc. He & Ronnie have also asked if it's OK for Ric to make a path up the back ridge for Ronnie to get up there to his blind, with a side by side, like mine.

I've been too busy to get into my office and start pulling it together/organizing/setting up computer & radio equipment... files... I've ordered new furniture for the "bunkroom" - and the auction folks have picked up most of the furniture that I "made do" with when I moved in. Minus a file cabinet that I forgot to have them load. The medical appts kept me busy - away from here, too.

October's calendar page looks worse than what I used to schedule at my old job! Jam-packed full of go here, do this, etc. I fully intend to just SLOW DOWN back to my accustomed pace... and if Hol gets too bored or restless... I'll enjoy the solitude, while she's off filling her experience with crap I couldn't care less about. LOL.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on October 31, 2018, 06:21:23 PM
Wow. First mention of the Hellydays. I may disappear but I'll be back in January!

Amber, what a solid meaningful full productive challenging and interesting life you're living!

That's all I got at the moment but it's lovely to contemplate.

Big hugs,
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 01, 2018, 08:26:22 AM
Yeah Hops. I know all about the holiday-crap. I think that's why I've always tried to shake things up and do strange, unusual, more FUN things around that time. Take the old feelings about it, and shake the living hell out them in front of societal "expectations" and "norms".

The last couple have been REALLY quiet around here; Hol & Matt came to the beach and it was WARM there that year; the first year after Mike died. Autumn - Mike's D - got the day wrong last year and showed up with the kids early. LOL.

Hol is used to very wacky takes on the holidays. She was there the year we potted a brussel sprout and made it the tree. She got her own wheel of baby swiss cheese that year. And since her birthday is the week after Christmas... we haven't ever been hung up on a special "day" to get together. That's real helpful when kids have multiple sets of parents/grandparents to deal with. So I have my thinking cap on NOW because we'll both end up being homebodies a lot this winter, if the weather forecasts are correct. Might as well GO somewhere; do something totally different. I'm just waiting to hear what she's decided about sailing most of December.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 01, 2018, 12:30:24 PM
Good approach!
I literally try to NOT think about them.
It's nearly impossible but that is my preference.

I've come a long way to accepting my D's absence
but with two major familyfamilyfamilyfamily celebrations
for the entire culture coming on way before they actually
occur, it feels to me like for folks like myself, the world around
us is hijacked with painful reminders in every media, in every
place, on every airwave, in every setting. So it takes a lot of
inner peace (not constantly handy) and resolve and intense
concentration and huge diversion planning and will power to
protect my heart.

It's exhausting. And regular as rain.

But I'll be okay. Probably will not have anything to say about it,
just gonna get through. Two long months.

PS--And I promise to hereby take my Grinchy, Scroogey crankiness
off to a separate thread whenever I feel the need to mutter humbug and pee in
peoples' eggnog. I DO HOPE that everyone I know has joy and peace
and verrrry happy holiday times! Sorry for the hijack, ((((Amber)))).
xo--Bad Santa
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 02, 2018, 07:28:12 AM
Oh Hops... you know I literally don't mind a BIT, if you bring your feelings and joyful inner self to this crazy journal of babbling experiences thread. In fact, if you didn't - I'd worry bout ya! (and maybe wonder if I'd gone around the bend myself).

I have my own past holiday disasters that inspired this way of dealing of them. There is just something so EMPTY in the Hallmark card version - it's so UNreal - that it seems some malevolent fairy tale used to make people impossibly "less than" because the "family" around them won't play their parts in the story correctly. I'm not sure my method of dealing with that is all that healthy; but it seems to have reduced the power over me, that it used to have.

It is the past. Holly has been periodically nailing my butt to the floor about why I still let the past inform how I feel now, why I still refer to the past as explanation of now, about some things. And why I haven't just LET IT GO yet. Mostly to do, with Twiggy... and that whole saga, and inner child work. Which raises a separate thread's worth of questions for me. And they're not easy questions - they span quite a few levels of experience and reality... and identity. So I've been chewing on that for a bit.

I "saw" a flash of something different while she tried to persuade me - with her unrelenting logic - but I wasn't able to get it to hold still long enough to really examine it. So I "intuit" that maybe she's right; but not completely - she's getting something wrong, too. Or else, I'm way more wrong than I know.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 02, 2018, 02:39:54 PM
I think it's pretty amazing how much deep "work" you do with your own daughter.
And even more that you both seem to seek it out and believe it benefits your growth.

You always seem to feel positive and productive about the intense dialogues you
have with Hols.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 03, 2018, 11:15:47 AM
I think it's kind of the silver lining in dysfunctional families, Hops. We survived years & years of crap  together and kept each other as sane as possible.

Pushing on with projects around here - winter related projects! The wind is blowing fiercely, and while the temp isn't that cold... the wind makes it truly unpleasant to be outside. So I'm doing what I can to make sure the wind doesn't get INSIDE, as well.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 03, 2018, 12:39:34 PM
Is your house up on a ridge, halfway up a mountainside?
What's the terrain like?

Is the wind exposure because of house positioning in landscape, a clearing, or just the general nature of being on a mountainside where everybody's hit by full wind force?

Glad you're draft stopping. Can't insulate the whole place but hope you find many supplemental ways to tighten it up.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 05, 2018, 09:26:47 AM
Actually, I am insulating the ceiling in the garage - which is my kitchen/dining room floor. Being a vacation home, it wasn't a priority for any of the previous owners and the house is perched on the edge of a cliff with big boulders... looking over the hollow and up the next ridge, of my "back 40".

The wind comes from the south a good bit - from down the hollow - and the garage doors face that direction. One door is going to be sealed up completely; I'm turning half the garage into emergency pantry. Farmer's Almanac is saying this is the year we'll see those heavier snows we all remember. And while I have a plow blade for the ranger and the bucket on the bobcat... if I am not needing to get anywhere... I won't exactly be plowing except to get the power meter readers/gas delivery done.

Replacing doors/windows the first summer, was practically a premonition. As wet as the weather has been this year - they simply wouldn't have been able to do the work. It's helped a lot with bug invasions, too. Very few stink bugs this season; now to figure out how wasps/ladybugs are getting in!

There has been a draft right where the couch is, when the wind is fierce - and I've caulked logs inside & out. I insulated below that corner, too. At this point, the only thing I haven't investigated is where the roof meets the walls. My roof is about 20 years, so I'm going to be addressing that in the near future anyway... and with woodstoves/gas furnace & stove... it's probably healthier to not make the house perfectly "draft free". And besides, I have plenty of down throws for the couch, when we're "potatoing"!
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on November 06, 2018, 06:08:29 PM

Let me know how your wasps are getting in.  I have them in my house too.  Oldest dd took a sting on the pinky, and her entire hand swelled up.  Emergency clinic, antibiotics, and other meds.... that was in the LR.  Youngest took a sting around her eye, then wiped at it, and got another one on the hand.... all this while she was sleeping in her bed.   I did a balance right away, and there was zero swelling, thank goodness. 

I can't see any place they're getting in, and sometimes they're in the kitchen, sometimes in the loft, sometimes in the upper bathroom, and now it's in bedrooms. 


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 06, 2018, 10:44:04 PM
That is VERY unpleasant!
I feel for your stingy D.

I hope you can get an exterminator soon
to clear them out. Some of the nests....shudder.

Good luck on this and may they be gone soon!

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on November 09, 2018, 09:13:07 AM
Golly... the idea of a nest inside the house.... is really troublesome.   I was thinking they were getting INTO the house, Hops.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 11, 2018, 07:31:36 AM
In the fall, there are a series of bug "invasions" - as they look for warm places to try to survive the winter. Not many stinkbugs this year. Not as MANY ladybugs. And a handful of wasps. When they sealed the outside logs, the nests were all removed. But a bug is persistent. I found a large hornet's nest next under the deck too. It's cold enough now, to spray it and knock it - and all the other beginning wasp nests I can reach - down. But the trick that will defeat them is going to be caulking on the inside upstairs. If there are no air gaps - they can't get in, unless they come in on us or the dog.

I've been dogsitting Knuckles, while Holly finishes up this movie. She should be home by the end of the week. Then she's back for the winter... trying to decide what's "next". All my baseline med tests came back fine - except of course, cholesterol. So I did some digging, having read something recently that turned "conventional wisdom" on it's head. I wanted to make sure I knew what I thought I knew - before I decided to fight for "my way" of dealing with it instead of the usual statin Rx. Seems that after 60, taking statins actually INCREASES the risk of heart disease. This conclusion was based on assessing the results of many, many studies over many years in Great Britain. The re-evaluation also suggests that a higher level of cholesterol in older people, than the "accepted range" actually protects cardiac health somewhat. Either that - or for some people, a higher level is NORMAL for THEM.

He wants me to do bloodwork again in 3 months. In February. LOL. When we're most likely to have 3 ft of snow. But then - all I am, is a case file of data to him. They have already added Lipitor into my file - althought I've never been prescribed it. Had to explain to the LPN, that it was suggested ONLY and I am not taking it. So, because of the rote, one size fits all "system" and fix it with Rx mentality... this exercise in making sure there's nothing "happening" in my body that I'm unaware of (for Holly's peace of mind, too)... has now made me subject to the "accepted medical wisdom" and the "system" that feels it is entitled to TELL ME WHAT DECISIONS ARE RIGHT FOR ME, based on a "one size fits all", very strict and small range of data.

Boy did they pick the wrong person. I did not remove his head in the office visit - but I did rattle off all the things I've been doing (including not remembering the blood test was supposed to be fasting)... that I'm aware of will help keep me as healthy as I am. It was something I discussed with him in the very first visit too - but of course THAT'S not IN my file, so he doesn't remember. Then, I got into the online test results.

Validation really feels good. My cholesterol number that bothered him (it was just triclycerides) wasn't that high. It very well could've been the chicken soup I had 2 hrs before they drew blood, creating that situation. Most of America is OVERmedicated. Throws a person's metabolism, energy flow, and chemistry completely out of whack - needlessly. And then the body becomes dependent on those medications... and entropy takes over. NO THANK YOU.

I think the thing that irritates me the MOST, though... is that the reliance on blind data (with no other factors considerd) and the basic ASSUMPTION that they then have the right to tell a person what they WILL DO -- as if we were all children, and it was for our own good; and that we have no choice or autonomy in the matter. My response is and will remain a giant FU to that mentality. I didn't decide to go through this... because I didn't feel well. I did it to prove to Holly, I know my body - and while my methods don't provide immediate results - the slow and gradual way is healthier and longer-lasting... than getting artificially "fixed" and facing a lifetime of poisons needlessly.

You know how I'll fight to be believed. LOL. No, I'm not as fit or strong as I was at 40. But I'm in damned good shape for 62 and the fact I'm taking no medications whatsoever, is still one of the big shockers to the people looking at my chart. Yes, I'm becoming more active all the time. Yes, I'm learning more about nutrition and how that fits into the balance of health. Yes, I have vices to control.

I'm a human being and I ain't putting those chemical poisons in me, when there are other ways to get the same results. I GET TO DECIDE THAT. Not THEM. I didn't GO THERE... for HELP. I went for the tests to prove I knew what the hell I was talking about.

Heh... heh... I don't "have to" go back, either. They can't make me. So there.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on November 14, 2018, 10:43:50 AM
I'm glad you feel good about your experienc with the doctor, Amber.  It's a shame Western docs aren't trained to listen to their patients, ime.

I don't have any lady bugs this year.  Only a few stink bugs.  It's those darned wasps....still not sure where they're coming from.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 14, 2018, 10:10:50 PM
You sounded so incredibly triggered and defensive about these medical behaviors/attitudes, and it made me worry that this all is really fear. More fear about (maybe The Vice?) than about their inadequacies.

I agree with you wholeheartedly about the frustrations of dealing with short-sightedness and shortcuts in medicine.

But...I am worrying about you, hon.

love to you,
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 16, 2018, 08:22:10 AM
Hops, thanks - but I really AM fine. Control over my own body, is simply something that I am NOT delegating to anyone, because of what happened to me in the past. I completely resent the "doctor knows best" attitudes. Worse: the idea that any patient who shows up for wellness checks MUST be found to have a "problem" that requires a Rx... is always the first reaction. If I permit it, they'll keep looking... running up the insurance costs (for everyone)... until the "aha!" moment.

Maybe it's old-fashioned, but I don't tend to seek medical assistance unless I'm incapacitated, need an antibiotic (like for a sinus infection or the like), bleeding, or in great pain. MOST minor ailments - cold, flu, sore muscles - can and probably should be treated at home.

There was no acknowledgement whatsover of the first office visit's conversation, that I was simply getting a baseline set of tests... to assure everyone that nothing major was beginning, that could be caught before it was past treatment. (Which wasn't MY fear; it was Holly's.) They definitely WANT to recruit people into their "system"... because it makes money. Corporate medicine is an oxymoron and borders on being evil, as far as I'm concerned. Especially, when I have no chronic problems that need to be "managed".

As far as my vices, there's always a trade-off between things that keep me sane - and letting them get out of control. Which doesn't happen with me; I have too much work to do and too many obligations.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 16, 2018, 11:36:28 PM
So you went for a sensible screening visit and it got parlayed into more, along with not being listened to. And, the issue of nobody else claiming your body autonomy.

I understand a lot better now why it was so triggering. Thanks, hon, sorry to dredge deeper.

Good on you. You are your own best advocate and ain't nobody going to take that away. Period.

Hugs and cheers,
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 17, 2018, 08:56:43 AM
Hops, my stream of consiousness ranting really wasn't all that clear... so I can see why you came to that conclusion. Insult to injury: I also picked up a disgusting, annoying cold bug.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on November 18, 2018, 03:11:54 AM
I finally caught up :)  I had got about half way through when Porngate hit so I got distracted and then couldn't remember what I'd read so had to start again :)  So - in the last four weeks Skep has:

Stayed out half the night at a Nick Cage concert (I am jealous and must make an effort to start seeing some of the people I love live);
started getting ready for winter;
watched the Haunting of Hill House and analysed all available sub text;
sorted out more of the outside space;
done more work on the office;
done more work on the bunk room;
re-written Christmas traditions to something more meaningful (or is intending to :) );
revisited Twiggy as part of ongoing interaction and work with Holly;
insulated the garage;
eliminated bug invasions;
shown the doctor who is boss :)

Ha ha.  I love it!  I am always in awe of how much you get done, particularly when you say you do have down time and off days.  Quite amazing stuff.  One question I have though; what is Rx?  Is that something to do with prescription meds?

Interestingly I have found many more friends this year are fed up with Christmas and all it entails and looking for alternatives.  For a long time I have felt like the only one that isn't keen and doesn't want all the fuss.  But several have said they are doing quiet days at home this year; a couple have said no to family for the first time because they just don't want the annual 'raking up the past' that goes on as the drink flows.  We were in a clothes shop yesterday; all decorations are up, Christmas clothes are on display and the Christmas music was playing.  I asked the girl behind the counter if the Christmas music drives her nuts or if she likes it.  She pulled her hair back behind her ears to show me a very small set of ear plugs and grinned at me :)  Lol

People here have been talking about the Haunting of Hill House.  I have a real fear of the supernatural; anything to do with ghostly happenings frightens me.  Is there much actual ghostliness in it?  There was one evening last summer when we were in our old flat that I'd started watching a programme about stalkers, but ones who had actually lived in properties without the owners knowing and had spied on them, wandered round the house at night and so on.  I turned it off quite quickly because I knew my mind would start playing tricks on me.  About ten minutes later I heard very soft footfall on the stairs.  I literally froze but there was a tiny part of my brain telling me that people can't make such a soft sound when they climb stairs.  It was next doors cat; I'd left the front door open as it was such a warm evening so he'd decided to come in to say hello :)

And in one of your posts you mention how much crap you and Holly have been through together which, funnily enough, a friend of mine was talking about yesterday.  Her family are going through another drama that she's been dragged into (I'd have binned the lot of them a long time ago; I am so drama averse now that the slightest thing sends me running) but she was saying they've been through so much it feels wrong to jack it all in now.  It's interesting how tough times bring some people together and others apart.

And as for doctors - yes, I am not a fan.  Any problem or ailment I have ever had has resulted in a suggestion of anti-depressant medication.  It is a very useful thing for people who are depressed, but in many cases I feel it is just something that stops people being bothered by the thing that is bothering them.  So yes, I understand the desire to look after oneself as much as possible and not to pop a pill every time there's a problem.  Someone I used to know was a pharmacist so obviously knew a lot about side effects, contra indications and so on - and she avoided medication as much as she possibly could.  I feel sorry for people who have no choice because their health problems are so serious that they really wouldn't survive without the drugs as the side effects can be so debilitating so yes, drug free if at all possible would be my choice as well.

Okay.  I think I have caught up for now.  I hope things are going well with Knuckles!  Lol xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 18, 2018, 08:45:22 AM
Yes, Rx is an abbreviation for prescription.

Knuckles is a very good boy, for his age. He knows his two mommies (LOL) have different speeds, and he is very gentle and patient with me. He picked up "slow" very fast, while I was dogsitting and had to take him outside at night. Because of his love of running and my bears, I would put him in harness and leash him to go down the steps. There are dark spots - and my night vision sucks - so having him go slow up/down the steps was necessary for me. Strong little guy! I think he could pull me up the hill on a sled, if need be. LOL.

I'm enduring the first cold I've had in years. Pretty sure I picked it up at the doctor's office.  :x

Hol ordered some bunches of eucalyptus to hang in the shower - aromatherapy steam.  It smells real nice in there.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 18, 2018, 10:11:19 AM
I love the eucalyptus in the shower idea! How cool is THAT?
Will it rot and get slimy? How long do you think it'll last?😊

So sorry you got a code, Amber. Hope it passes fast.
Reading Tupp's summary of your activity, could be you just
had an immunity dip due to a bit Too Much, eh?

Echinacea (2-3 caps two or 3 times/day) will knock out 90%
of the colds that try to get me. Zinc lozenges too, but only
if I start them the first second I perceive symptoms coming.
Got my high-dose flu shot a week ago, one more week and
the protection will kick in. But everybody's got their own.
(That was a brief Dr. Hops, Unsolicited, advice attack...)

Sending you mental soup, the most delicious you've ever tasted...

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on November 19, 2018, 12:42:31 AM
Yes, Rx is an abbreviation for prescription.

Knuckles is a very good boy, for his age. He knows his two mommies (LOL) have different speeds, and he is very gentle and patient with me. He picked up "slow" very fast, while I was dogsitting and had to take him outside at night. Because of his love of running and my bears, I would put him in harness and leash him to go down the steps. There are dark spots - and my night vision sucks - so having him go slow up/down the steps was necessary for me. Strong little guy! I think he could pull me up the hill on a sled, if need be. LOL.

I'm enduring the first cold I've had in years. Pretty sure I picked it up at the doctor's office.  :x

Hol ordered some bunches of eucalyptus to hang in the shower - aromatherapy steam.  It smells real nice in there.

Eucalyptus showers sound lovely, Skep, aromatherapy is one of the things on my 'would love to learn more' list.  I hope the cold clears up soon, yes, being in a confined space with lots of unwell people in order to obtain health advice always seems an odd thing to do!  The same things seem to happen in schools - one child goes in with a bug and they all go down with it.  My sister has four kids and they literally take turns being unwell.  Then husband gets it (which is as if the world has ended) and finally sis gets it.  By then the next bug has started doing the rounds and so it goes on.  Touch wood, son and I rarely get colds.  Not sure why.  And now I've said that I bet I'll go down with a humdinger.  Lol.  Hope you are feeling better soon xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 19, 2018, 08:47:03 AM
Thanks! Day 4 (today) is past the midpoint; like it or not - and nothing truly helps, except to minimize symptoms - a cold lasts 7 days. I'm feeling a little more human today, but yeah - I was pretty whiny & miserable the first 3 days.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on November 19, 2018, 09:07:37 AM
Thanks! Day 4 (today) is past the midpoint; like it or not - and nothing truly helps, except to minimize symptoms - a cold lasts 7 days. I'm feeling a little more human today, but yeah - I was pretty whiny & miserable the first 3 days.

Hopefully it will be your only one of the winter, Skep, and you'll be fighting fit now until Spring :) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 19, 2018, 07:28:01 PM
Here's to sound sleep and fast healing, (((Amber))).

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on November 20, 2018, 11:37:26 AM
Sorry you have "the cold', as youngest used to say.

I find xyletol nose drops help keep secondary sinus infections from cropping up.  Hope you feel better soon, Amber.


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 20, 2018, 02:38:24 PM
PS -- And when you're all better, recommend the pneumonia vaccine.
Very successful and a big protection as we exit our whippersnapper years....
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 25, 2018, 08:56:10 AM
Finally feeling semi-human again - now to get back to what didn't get done.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Twoapenny on November 25, 2018, 09:22:52 AM
Finally feeling semi-human again - now to get back to what didn't get done.

Yay - glad you're feeling better :)  Don't go too mad with catching up, though, you might still need a bit of recovery time :) xx
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 26, 2018, 10:00:05 AM
The past couple months, Hol's had a chance to unpack just about everything in her life - from her head & heart - that's ever given her grief. I surely hope we're getting to the end of it soon... as since I'm the only real human around her, I'm the one getting it all trotted out for me - and here recently, a good bit of her "seeing" has been about me personally.

So far, we're still able to keep right on going and understand that we both care very much for each other. It takes a toll, however, on both of us. There are idiosyncrasies in each of us and differences, that can make working together fraught. So we're trying other ways of working... communication can be a dicey area, but we're working on that.

So far, so good. I think. It's kind of the right time - and the opportunity exists - for her to do this kind of thing. I've noticed some old traits about her, that are still kind of driving some of her discomfort... and I think they might be anxiety related. But anyhoo... there has been a LOT of time devoted to this kind of thing lately. With the weather turning unseasonably cold, and limiting our work options, it could be a good thing. But I've got other things to do as well... and I need to figure out a way to accomplish that.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 26, 2018, 10:11:01 PM
You know,
you have every right (without relinquishing an iota of mother-tigerness) to require some balance for your own well being.

To state that you are going to take a break from the intensity for a day or so or hour or so...needs no explanation. It's just your right.

That stuff may be exciting and powerful and healing and no doubt is all of those. But without pacing and time to breathe and relax and touch base with your own replenishments, it can become draining and toxic.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 27, 2018, 08:24:59 AM
I know Hops. We're working on that too. LOL. I think we'll both come out of this winter together, new & improved. Still with the same old patina from "wear & tear"... but free-er.

Household projects are still on-going, but slowed down by delivery delays and back-orders. Farm projects consist only of getting things protected from the elements, before the elements start falling from the sky. Hunters are still camped out in the barn, for now. It's more comfortable/doable for Ronnie to get around on the concrete in that bigger building. And he's got his own ranger to get to the back 40, too. Still rehabbing, figuring out how to do things on his own.

I've just about got the Christmas shopping done. We've decided to bake the traditional cut-out cookie recipe this year... but Holly is going off into the weird zone with cookie cutters and decorations. Which is OK.

The next interior project is going to be the main living space. I've done a few bits and pieces... but essentially, I picked out a few things from the beach house or before, that would work in here even if it's not optimal. The studio/garage under... also has the beginnings of plans in my head, too.

That's what I do all winter long, because I don't have to look outside myself or where I am, to make "fun". Something I'm trying to teach Hol, that she should've learned a long time ago. Or learned better.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on November 27, 2018, 08:49:00 AM
Me, too.
I wish I could catch a contagion of connecting to my home again.

There's so much I could do to make it prettier/happier, but I've
just disengaged from that pleasure. Clutter and neglect. It's clean
enough, but way way far from optimized.

That's Thing #1 (after Writing) that I hope new T can help me with.
If I'm alone here, I'm alone, and I have got to rediscover my joy in
decor and periodic guests and domestic putzing, or ... bad stuff.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on November 28, 2018, 10:27:31 PM
We didn't make one cookie over Thanksgiving.  I planned to bake Trilbies, and cut outs.  We did manage 6 pies and though.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on November 29, 2018, 10:14:48 AM
Assuming I have enough eggs, we'll be starting in on the "Great 2018 cookie farce" today. We're planning to send some out to people. Holly has been assuming command (off/on) in the kitchen; she made stuffed shells last night that were fabulous!

My cold is finally down to a periodic memory. So I'm up for the mixing that's required - 10 cups of flour makes a real stiff dough. The frosting and decoration of the final product are going to be assuredly non-traditional, weird looking, and maybe even scary... but they'll all taste the same. LOL.

The weather is pretty blah around here - when it's not raining or snowing and blowing miserably cold temps so early in the year. Ronnie even called to ask if I'd had my propane tank filled - they'd been here the day before. In between cookie work... I have equipment to get under roof; kindling to split; house to clean and arrange for having guests... and cut/assemble my primitive natural Christmas decorations. Assuming I can find all my "goodies" for making such things.

And who knows what else I'll think of to do. Still have more insulation to get up in garage.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on December 03, 2018, 04:37:33 AM
I bought a tiny Christmas tree today, and that's about all I can do right now.  The idea of you baking, packaging and gifting homeade cookies, along with making lovely decorations, is comforting to me.

You sound pretty happy/busy/engaged right now.  I hope that's how you feel.

Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on December 04, 2018, 09:40:02 AM
Right now, I'm more "bah, humbug" than anything else Lighter. The "usual suspects" are harshing my "mellow"... but I'm doing my best to ignore it.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on December 05, 2018, 09:02:14 AM
So, a little more...
Hol & I are both a bit depressed about the holiday right now. Slightly different reasons, but there are similarilities. Breaking up with Matt - she isn't any longer included in his family's get togethers. It's tough to hang out with Mom, 'coz for years Mike & I had successive Christmas's due to people's other family obligations. And Mike was the "Master of Fun".

My fun is a LOT quieter, personal, and low-key. It always has been, I guess since the bulk of "making Christmas happen" for years, fell to me. Mike was a change in that respect - he was the crazy lights & lawn ornament type... always involved in a Christmas project for our make-a-gift exchange.

People are mostly going their own way this month; plans already made... so any invitations we've put out there are only getting "maybe" responses. The weather looks to be a little challenging too. She does have some things coming together over New Year's - and because one of her friends from Portland will be around, he might be joining them.

And with the outdoors being yucky... that kind of work is off the list for now. I have a couple things yet to try to do. Mostly littler things. We have decided to take a trip... but it doesn't have to be in December. Think we're going to KY, for a distillery tour... unless we think of something else. I've been checking out snow tubing places... but she'll want to take the dog if we go for a weekend. March is a good time to go to the beach... or April. But she might be moving out by then and going back to work... there's just no way of knowing right now.

Tai Chi starts a new cycle in January - and we're both interested in going at least once a week. With Holly going to the same session, I have a driver for getting home at night - which was my main concern with a 6:30-8:30 (or 10, if we stay for push hands) class.

SHE gets restless because she's used to a lot more external stimulation... and that gets to be a problem for me, who doesn't need it as much... and truthfully, I want to direct my energy into getting caught up around here. I tried getting her into thinking about building a house here - her house. But so far, that's not seeing a lot time directed to it.

So winter/holiday blahs. I use that time to plan out next season's project list... but I'm not getting a lot of "me time", as she's enlisting me in getting stuff done here. LOL... that's a GOOD thing, as I've worked off another 5 lbs. The large mass of belly (that I used to think of as insulating myself from parts of life I just don't like) is going away. She dreamed that my garden area was all done & planted. So it's not that we're not on the same wavelength... so much as I take my time doing things. Partly because I enjoy the process and want to go slow. Think things through more thoroughly... not just "get it done" and off the list. Some things anyway.

I think she's slowly getting the idea that I need her to entertain herself, some days. LOL.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on December 11, 2018, 09:43:50 AM
aaaaaannnnnnndddd... just like that, "hurricane Holly" met someone from an online dating app. He's a local boy, also developing/renovating an old farm near here. They've been spending a good deal of time together in the past week/10 days. He's younger than she is. LOL... he seems very nice, but I'm not able to get much of a read on him yet. It's not "serious"; she considers this "fun" for now - and it's definitely a way for her to get through the holidays without succumbing to boredom, restlessness or running over the mental-overanalyzing "what went wrong" with Matt. New guy seems to just taking things at the same speed, so it works. She has a couple other "friends" - guys she's known awhile - she's talking to, but they're on the other side of the country... so not much companionship there.

I'm just as glad to have some "me time"... and move at my own speed again. Even if I am dogsitting, because Knuckles managed to cut his dew claw some days ago. She wants to keep him relatively quiet till it heals up better.

I have so many teeny tiny things I want to do - that don't matter to anyone but me - and I want/need time to just THINK and suss out where I might venture off next, in the coming months. Necessary projects, "nice to have" projects, and the "pretties" that got postponed due to lousy weather all spring & summer. I'm waiting on a storage/platform bed for the former "bunkroom", and trying to organize (read: purge) my office... have been making steady headway doing the same thing in the studio. Garage under studio, is still a disaster... and no, I didn't get a wood shed built this year.

So having "quiet time" like this... is PERFECT for me. And the new beau is doing wonders for her ego-wounds... and keeping her entertained for now. I signed back up for a dating site too. But found that most of the "matches" are the old ones from the last time I subscribed. Huh, ya think maybe they just made up some profiles? Those guys don't TALK, that's for sure. Even if I initiate conversation. There was one new guy - a writer - who was funny as hell in his profile. I sent him a flirty message... got a response... and he promptly killed his account.

It has been suggested that the next time I go to Home Depot and shop for men... I take rope & duct tape. LOL. "Look what I brought home Holly"... LOL.

But, ya know what? It's just not that a big a deal for me and I keep myself entertained pretty well, most of the time.

PS - my mom sent me a box last week - pictures of where she's lived the last 20 years (but no longer does) and pics of my niece/nephew... but I'd already gotten some from my brother. AND, there were 3-4 years worth of birthday cards she never got in the mail... and "very early works in oil" by yours truly. Only one of which I might have an attachment to...

LOL. For what it's worth - she's trying to catch up. But so far, the "spots" are the same... no change yet.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on December 11, 2018, 12:33:42 PM
Amber, are you buried in snow?  We're about melted out, but there was a frantic snow blowing day, directed by an elderly neighbor, 2 days ago.  Honestly, I think we'd be ok to let everything melt, and skip the  back breaking work.  I say that  every time, but I can't watch
that neighbor, and not help.  The snow plow came down our street yesterday.  School likely to resume tomorrow, which is good, bc I have a dentist appt I'd like to keep.  I baked.  We made yummy food.  I'm ready to get out of the house now.

It's good Holly has a distraction.  I'm not sure what to make of the online dating, but it seems to be a distraction for you too.  You have your sense of humor in place.  Glad to see it. 

How's your brother doing?


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: Hopalong on December 11, 2018, 02:44:02 PM
Amber, sounds like serendipity! Holly with a new boyfriend (don't get me going about how cool that would be for you if she one day settled on his farm....brakes, Hops, brakes...). And you're craving some creative cave time, your own pace, all of that.

I hope it continues and gives you that winter creative spirit. I hope the office purging rubs off over here!

I know what you mean, Lighter, about pointless shoveling when it's all going to melt fast anyway. I wasted $25 yesterday on a cute young man-bun wandering the neighborhood with his shovel. Fast 15 min. for him and I could have skipped it (short driveway and two short walks). Pretty good snow but not that much...stayed home Monday but had no trouble getting out and about today.

Seeing Pooch in her little red insulated "coat" a friend gave her was fun. Even bouncing her little self through the snow, she stayed visible.

I had a new online date a week ago. Very sweet man, but again...lives nearly two hours away. I'm going to treat him to a beer tasting here after the holidays. The other very sweet man (engineer) type who lives on a different lake got in touch, explained the lady he was seeing wasn't panning out, and could we meet up to "talk about options." Lord. Engineers.

I wrote him I am genuinely pleased to have him as a friend but don't see romance in our cards. He said fine, but will I go with him to a historic site? I'm happy he could shift gears easily but we just are TOO unalike for an intimate thing. So now and then he'll pass through and we'll have lunch.

That may describe how things with men go for the rest of my life...and maybe it's not so bad.

Hope you enjoy all that you are doing and that the holiday blues recede. If they don't, got that Hellidays thread for you!


Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: sKePTiKal on December 15, 2018, 11:34:15 AM
LOL Hops, you matchmaker you...

I have no expectations that Holly will ever follow a traditional course. New guy doesn't even rate "relationship" status yet. But she LIKES him and has fun being with him. We're still talking about building her something at the farm... and not exactly rushing it. She's going for walks with new guy - who raises mushrooms along with ducks, geese chickens and dogs... and scouting out possible sites.

And I'm pretty sure I'm going to not want to commit to a legally binding situation either. It's not out of the question and things happen. But I'm definitely NOT advertising (or available) for such right now.

She has cultivated a pretty wide circle of diverse friends. And despite the fact she's not lived in the city "over the mountain" for a decade... new guy was asking her if she was a celebrity or something, as many people come up to say hi and hug her. At least he's not intimidated by her... or looking to "possess" her. This whole experience for her, has been a giant ego-boost; she readily admits that. But her reaction to that is to tread even more carefully and deliberately - knowing those recent lessons she's starting to get past. She's still making things, too. Still an amateur; it serves the purpose of keeping her focused during non-work, non-scheduled time but her skills are improving a lot.

It's awfully easy for me to vicariously "have a life" while she's around. But since she's been going out more often, I seem to have acquired a dog - LOL... and have had time to accomplish my little things that I know I want to do. Cooking is a frequent creative outlet right now.

And I'm almost at the point... where my interior design phase on the house is just about to hit a comfortable, flexible and functional stage. The studio/garage building is next on the list... but I still haven't decided what I want yet. That's a whole different process... because it is shared workspace now, part-time "party room" and overflow guest accomodations.

Been thinking more about next season's project list. I think a generator tops it, for now... but some study needs to go into that... and hard decisions made about "need" versus "want" for what I want to power. It'll be pricey to fuel it with propane, but I can get the longest run-time that way with another 1000 gal tank. Especially if I am restrained on the "wants" list... well pump is one of the top things; hot water the next on the list... then I guess freezer/fridge. Everything else, I believe I have adequate backups for... and lights are the last on the list. Absolutely don't need lights.

The outdoor kitchen is getting thought about again, too. It would make a good canning kitchen, as well as making it easier to cook for the large groups of people Hol likes to surround herself with from time to time. It will be wood fired, but I'm not finding good sources yet for plans to build. I'll keep looking.

But so far, nothing's written in stone yet.
Title: Re: End of the Road Farm
Post by: lighter on December 16, 2018, 12:06:22 PM

Get a good generator.  Whatever size, try not to have to go outside, under a crawl space, and power things on, one at a time, every 20 minutes.  Get one that kicks in, and powers the fridge/ freezer, pump and a few outlets all by itself, if you can.  My neighbor had one like that, while I was in my crawlspace.  Hers was the better set up.

:: Nodding::.

I'm glad you're cooking with interest, and enjoying your outdoor kitchen plans.  It seems you have a handle on the big projects, and can relax into things now.

I'm curious about what you and Hold might build, if you find the site, for her.  Three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, or maybe a small cabin, just for her?  Oh dear.  Now I'm picturing a tree house; )

Hops, have fun on your outings.