What a difference 6 weeks can make…

If I’m being completely honest, I have no idea when we will actually manage to move out to the farm 100%.  I do know that Jeremiah said “two weeks” about a week ago, but then he spent nearly a week at his conference, and four days out of the next seven are chock full of shoeing.  I also know that there is still no water to the guest house, and the bathroom isn’t finished even if there were.  I’m beginning to have suspicions that we will finish things up just in time for Katie to move in and for us to start this all over again with the big house.  But who knows for sure.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the four years that Jeremiah and I have been together?  Don’t bet against him.  Not ever.  Somehow he almost always manages to accomplish more in a day than most can do in seven.  He may surprise me yet.

Jeremiah and Minnett.  Jeremiah and I had only just started dating; this is just after I explained that if he wanted me to pick between him and the llama, I was going to choose the llama.
Jeremiah and Minnett at the Ranch. Jeremiah and I had only just started dating; this is just after I explained that if he wanted me to pick between him and the llama, I was going to choose the llama.

In the meantime, I’ve been alternately stressed about moving and excited about this new chapter for us.  (By the way, I packed one box while my guy was gone.  One.  Box.)  I specifically remember a day when I was younger (probably 15), wandering up the drive to the llama barn and thinking that I would really like to own a place just like that one day.  Of course, I mostly dismissed the idea, unable to come up with a future where I’d be able to afford such an amazing place anytime before my retirement.  Now that’s it’s happening, I keep waiting for someone to pinch me awake.

Even so, if you’re no familiar with running a ranch or renovating a house (in our case two), you should know this: the work is infinite.  You can always find something that needs to be done or purchased, and the size of the “To-Do” list is longer than the “Done” list, no matter how many things you check off.  And, of course, this is on top of everything that needs to be done everyday.  (Clean water buckets, feed animals, clean stalls, sweep barn…sleep, eat, work, etc)

And, on top of both of these lists, you can add mine.  I have plans to add chickens to the menagerie (laying hens…in my world, broilers would invariably become useless pets…at least the laying variety will be useful pets).  I plan to have a big, giant vegetable garden.  I plan to add a strawberry patch.  (Side Note: There is LITERALLY nothing on the planet that tastes as good as a homegrown strawberry.  If you don’t have the privilege of growing some yourself, do yourself a favor and buy some from a local farmers’ market.  Trust me. Your taste buds will thank you.)  I have been getting super excited about composting.  I have no idea why.

I keep wondering what it would look like to flash forward about 6 weeks into the future.  By then, we should be living on the ranch.  I will be done teaching. (Huzzah!)  The chicks I plan to order at the end of this month should be in, still little fluffs living in the garage.  The garden will be tilled, possibly sown.  And my sweet, dear husband should be losing his mind over a whole new house full of renovations to start.

What a difference six weeks can make…

Overwhelming, wonderful insanity… Or, a move of a lifetime.

I had several windows open in Microsoft Word when I got up this morning.  One was a letter I edited for my husband’s business.  (He’s a farrier, among other things.)  The others were grading sheets, my Spring syllabus, and a sign up sheet for grammar presentations that, God willing, my students will pull off Monday without a hitch.  I’ve decided that this is my last semester teaching English 101 at the local University, giving me the chance to focus full time on my job in aircraft sales; in a couple of months, I won’t need those documents anymore.

Other than the immediate area around my desk, which is only sort of organized, the office is complete chaos.  It’s been the catch-all room since we moved into our current house in 2011.  The printer is sitting on a stepladder.  My guitar amp is functioning as a pseudo-shelf for our router and a box of files.  If I try to pull my chair back too far, I hit a pile of airstone boxes, some weird metal conduit, and a bag of mortar mix.  This room serves as a constant reminder of the renovations that haven’t stopped since we bought this place.

We both thought we’d live here for a long time, and we renovated accordingly.  Quartz countertops, expensive tile, landscaping for days…we never meant to flip this house.  But now?  Now we’re preparing for the move of a lifetime, out of the city and onto a working ranch complete with twenty-five llamas.  Our three horses moved onto the property in October; our plan had been to join them in early March, moving into the guest house before our current property went onto the market and living there until the current owners move out of the big house themselves.  The best laid plans of mice and men, right?

Our current house when we moved in:

house move in

Our current house last summer:

Our house last summer

The guest house surprised us, needing all new electrical and plumbing, a new bathroom, and a new kitchen.  I will admit that we budgeted neither time nor money for those repairs to begin with, but now we’re waist deep in a whole new set of renovations.  My husband, God bless him, has spent every spare moment over there since the last tenants moved out.

It’s insane, and overwhelming, and wonderful.  Sometimes all at once.