Project 52.5 – I’m Adopted!

Moose and Misty

It’s not what you think. In fact, this post has nothing to do with parents. Since “home” is as much about family and the people we spend our time with as it is about a place or a feeling, I thought I’d introduce the two that adopted me into the family almost immediately upon meeting. I’m not talking about Mike and Scout (sorry guys, I’ll get to you in a later post!). I’m talking about the ones that accepted me into their home after just a few days, a slew of kind words and caresses, and a handful of bonding walks around the property. Yes, I’m talking about Mike’s dogs. These two have done more to make me feel at home out here in the country than I can possibly put into words. When I first met them, it was June and Misty had recently rolled in something dead. That … Continue reading…

Project 52.4 – Anybody Lookin’?

One of the best things about living in the country is that your back yard becomes a stage for the theater of nature and wildlife. So many scenes are enacted right outside your window. Eagles fighting in mid-air, coyotes bouncing in the tall grass hunting for mice, and the occasional moose lumbering by all provide moments of drama. And there’s comedy, too. For instance, these shots were taken from a bedroom window:

Project 52.2 – Before and After Barn

What would a series of photos and musings on the subject of “home” be without a quick and dirty description of the place I’m calling home now? For those who are new to me or this site, the short version is that I live with my partner, Mike, in a barn that was built in the 1940s, back when Mike’s grandparents had a dairy farm. Over the years, the cattle were sold and the barn was relegated into a place for storage, for shooting basketball hoops, for skateboarding, for hiding out from parents, and sometimes for holding barn dances – although probably not in that order! In 2007, Mike moved from the Seattle area and began converting the barn into a home. This involved putting on a whole new roof and siding and installing a massive window. Inside, he built a 900-square foot living space with two bedrooms, a massive … Continue reading…

The Project Moves Forward

It’s been quite some time since I’ve said anything about our barn-raising antics. Well, it’s time for an update. Progress has been pretty slow the past several months. Between Mike’s back absolutely refusing to cooperate and my finances being directed toward other things like, oh, you know, food and transportation, we’d slowed to a snail’s pace – if that snail had sore feet, no energy, and an attitude like Scarlett O’Hara. “I’ll think about it tomorrow” was for several weeks our favorite mantra. But then Thanksgiving came and I was reminded how lovely it would be to cook a Thanksgiving dinner in my own kitchen. Nay, to actually have a kitchen I believe was more the point. I do adore visiting with family and friends on these holiday occasions, so I can’t say that cooking a feast on the scale of Thanksgiving is the main reason I was feeling reminiscent … Continue reading…

Practicing Good Ladder Safety, Part 2

The Ladder

Just in case anyone is wondering, ladders have a sick sense of humor.  They cannot be trusted.  They will stay strong and support you for hundreds of passes up and down and back up again.  Then one day, they will go on strike and slide out from under you, most probably when you’re at the very top starting your descent, and send you toppling into a heaping ball of broken skin, bruises, and pain (and hopefully nothing worse).  At least that’s what happened to me.  Yesterday’s friendly and secure ladder became today’s ladder of evil trickery.                           Looks innocent enough, right? Ha!  Wrong!  Do not be fooled!  For this is what happens:                     So, the next time you go to use a ladder that has held steady for you … Continue reading…

Practicing Good Ladder Safety, Part 1

My partner, Mike, and I are deep in the throes of barn restoration.  A few years ago, Mike chucked in his life in Enumclaw, Washington, and moved  his family back to North Idaho where they began the monumental task of restoring and converting a 60+ year old dairy barn into a home.  Two years ago, I entered the picture and was immediately swept up in the work, drama, and occasional mayhem of the project.  Of course, it’s not all drudgery, sweat, and headaches.  We’ve learned to look on the lighter side of things, even though we do take our work very seriously.  Here, as you can see, we’re all about safety. As we progress through this project, I will post more photos, perhaps something along the lines of Mike dangling upside down from a rafter beam or doing a completely unnecessary handstand on the scaffolding.  You’ll just have to wait … Continue reading…