A Finished Space, Finally

I have a long tradition on this website– and in life– of not actually finishing things in such a way that there is a beautiful “after” picture for everyone to enjoy. Guys, it’s the journey that’s important and blah, blah, blah… okay, fine. I mostly just don’t have the patience for staging gorgeous after pictures, because you know I’ve started at least a dozen other projects in the meantime.

But this time?

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Yes. YES. Look at this beautiful thing that I built.

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THE CHALUPA GONDOLA PERGOLA IS DONE.*

I don’t even feel bad bragging about it because I’ve spent three years looking increasingly uglier variations of this…

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Not good.

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Not really any better.

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Looks completely half-assed.

And listen, I’m okay with that. I don’t mind living in the middle of the mess, I don’t mind the part where things get worse before they get better, and I don’t mind weekends full of long hours and hard work. But dammed if I won’t celebrate a little when it’s all done. There may have been a little jumping for joy when the last couple of rafters went up…

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I waited until I got back on the ground for the jumping part.

And finally…

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Done.

This is usually where I’d leave things and move on to projects like the kitchen renovation that I definitely have not started. Ahem.

But, the last week has been anything other than “life as usual” on the farm, for two reasons 1.) I can’t tell you about yet. Ugh, sorry. I hate the guts out of people who say shit like “Hey I have this really exciting thing going on but I can’t tell you anything about it and I can’t tell you when I’ll be able to tell you anything about it.” Fuck that. So let me say this… An opportunity fell unexpectedly in my lap and over the last two weeks I had to make some big decisions, fill out massive amounts of paperwork, dust off and update some old business plans, revive some dreams I’d stored away on a dusty shelf waiting for “some time in the vague future when the timing is right”, and I’ll be able to tell you all about whether or not those dreams will come to fruition next Monday. But suffice it to say I’ve been running on little to no sleep for a fair number of days now. Oh, and also, totally unrelated, 2.) There was a camera crew at my house all weekend filming me build shit.

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Hey there camera guys.

So let me tell you a little bit about filming…

I don’t know exactly what we thought we were going to film going in to this, but I agreed to at least build the fourteen-foot long table to go under the pergola on camera. So maybe it was going to be a little bit of a “how to” with a pretty “after” shot of everyone eating around my table under the finished pergola. But when the team came out to the farm Friday afternoon I think the same thing happened to them that happened to me the first time I saw this place: They fell in love with it. So we did spend a lot of time shooting the construction of a really long table…

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The table itself turned out really well… although I’m not sure I said one coherent thing to the camera during the entire build.

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And then we also shot a bunch of things around the farm– in the garden, with the donkeys, chasing chickens, some of the “finished” rooms in my house (and some of the not-so-finished rooms too)–plus the set up and gathering of my friends and family in this new and awesomely finished space.

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You know, I’m not the kind of person who jumps at the chance to have someone else tell their story, but I will say this… my weekend was full of pretty amazing people. I saw enough to appreciate the time and care they put into their work– into telling the right story, and getting just the right shot–and, even more importantly I felt like they got a glimpse of what the farm means to me. There’s so much work and beauty and fun and pride and laughter and beer and swearing (which I first misspelled as “sweating” and that’s true too… so much sweating this weekend) most of which happen when it’s just me doing my thing out here every day… I don’t know if I always capture all of that in what I share here, but they just might have managed to catch a little bit of it, and I’m really excited not just to see what story they tell about life on the farm, but to share it all with you guys too.

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46 Responses

  1. Hey! It’s Monday evening! SPILL!

    Awesome stuff, gorgeous after shots, can’t wait to see the table build video and hear about this other thing…which you said we could hear about Monday evening, which is now(though just barely I guess). Pardon my hunger mania, need to go eat.

  2. I really, really enjoy your posts and story and voice. I’ve been reading for a few months now, and you nearly make this Boston girl want to head for the fields. Nearly. Frankly there’s probably not enough antihistamines in the world to make that actually possible, and like, ew, dirt. But you’re really pretty awesome to follow and I always look forward to your posts. Keep ’em coming, please, but more than that, keep being fucking awesome, eh?

  3. Kit,

    My oldest daughter sent me the link to your blog a few months ago and I have been enjoying it ever since. I’m 61 and last year bought a house on 3.6 acres after living for 30 years in the middle of a city. I got tired of staring into my neighbor’s dining room while I did dishes, and I wanted a big vegetable garden, trees, and most of all, SPACE.

    My farm is half the size of yours, and there aren’t any animals (I would love goats but none of my children live nearby, so there’s no one to care for animals when I visit my kids). But when I drive home I see blue hills in the distance, corn and soy fields, deer, cows, and impossibly beautiful skies (I should mention that for a few months of the year there are copious amounts of snow. That just gives me an excuse to drive my dad’s 1950 Farmall Cub and plow it all away). Anyway, whatever happened at work just melts away on that drive, snow or no snow.

    I love this place, so I know what you feel for yours. Congrats on finishing the pergola, thanks for sharing the journey, and I look forward to seeing how your dreams come true.

    Best,
    Carol

    1. That is such an awesome story, Carol! I’m so glad you found your place as well… nothing beats those views, and the wide open spaces.

  4. Beautiful and gorgeous. I don’t think I can ever explain fully how much you have inspired me over the years. Thank you for documenting the journey. It made one girl in Northern Ontario take on a whole bunch of shot in her house because Kit showed me it can be done.

  5. Kit,
    I just stumbled upon your website and blog. I’m hooked! But, hey girlfriend, it’s now TUESDAY! We’re waiting to hear your news!

  6. Okay — I feel like the before pictures of your pergola were misleading — I really had no idea how big that area was until I saw your huge and beautiful table underneath!! Girl – you really are amazing, and I hope amazing things happen! Looking forward to hearing about it Monday! 😉

  7. I took a photo of my screen so my husband can help me build this for my 40th birthday coming up in October. I know I just asked that the antique clawfoot tub be installed (upstairs….currently it’s in the kitchen downstairs) by my birthday but I’m only going to be 40 once and this looks do-able. Fantastic. I love looking at your projects! Thanks for the continued inspirations!

    –fellow lover of old farms and their buildings

  8. Loving that table! That’s an awesome piece; I hope you’ll get to post some of the video that tells the story of building it.

  9. That. Looks. Great!

    That second photo even has some beach feeling to it (even though I know it’s on gravel and there’s no ocean anyplace near, but still). Makes me want to build one too.

    Nice job on the table as well, I just love long, wooden tables.

  10. Beautiful! I’m so glad you took some time to enjoy the finished product!

    And that table, please do a tutorial! Or will it be on the show? I want something like for our dining room. Simple, classic, and well made.

  11. I’ve been along for the ride since the first pergola you built and I have no doubt about the awesomeness and beauty of your farm. You convey it eloquently in every post (albeit covered in dirt and sweat!). I hope the seats around your 14′ table are always full. Looking forward to seeing the video and many other of your secret dreams coming true!

    1. When you said you hope the seats around the huge table are always taken my immediate visual was chicken, chicken, guinea hen, chicken, chicken, cat, chicken, donkey, kit, donkey, chicken

    2. Thanks Jen! You know I’ve been reading Rambling Reno since you had the Monet bathroom (and before Chloe was born!) 😉 So fun to be able to follow along all these years. Always appreciate your design support and kinds words!

  12. I’m feeling a new HGTV show coming here?? Oh I can’t WAIT. I, too, have so enjoyed your posts and reading about your amazing accomplishments. You truly are an inspiration, Kit!

  13. That table is gorgeous. I hope the video gets released! I want to know more about how you built it, and what the dimensions/structure are.

    Good luck with everything.

  14. I don’t know how I stumbled on your blog a few months back, but I am loving every post and looking forward to seeing your video. My husband and I would love to watch a show about your farm life so I really hope something like that comes out of this!

    1. You’re right! It’s totally aesthetic (but it will provide some shade once I grow a vine over it!) It’s still mostly for visual interest though…

  15. Oh, Kit, I’m so excited for you, whatever the news may be! You do such awesome, fearless things (or at least make them look that way). Your entertaining space looks great. Way to go, girl!

  16. I have one response. ITS ABOUT DAMN TIME! It is. You are special and you deserve any quality exposure it gets you. I adore the pergola and table. Keep on keeping on Kit.

  17. What Vanessa D. said KIt. Great construction, appearance and fit the area well, you rocked it and no doubt rocked it on film. Patience is a truly a virtue, you’ve worked very hard, learned, taught, laughed, cried, fell down and got back up, saved live, being a wonderful inspiration to so many while empowering them to be greater achievers and believers in themselves…while holding down a full time job paying taxes ( If anyone is more deserving of great opportunities or Rock Star Status than yourself, I know not. Undoubtedly the decisions like you’ve said will be hard ones only you can make. Best wishes in any venture or road you pursue, Don’t ever undersell yourself nor settle, you are a great read, inspiration and deserving of great things 🙂
    constant growth…

  18. What Jack said… And can you feel the love? I will never pick up a saw in my life but your posts are so entertaining and I love rooting you on. Are you starting a honey farm? It is fun speculating. The pergala and table are the cover shot. I can’t wait to see what you have done in the kitchen.

  19. Kit – Outstanding job! It is all so beautiful. You have given me such great information and direction for the old farmhouse we’ve renovated and the small gentlemans farm we purchased in Maine 3 years ago. I’ve used your guidance in the last of the renovation so we can put our CT property on the market and finally move to ME. We’ll be adding various animals to our farm and your nug stories and hen rearing experiences have provided great information for a newbie farmer. Also your raised garden beds are spectacular. Keep up the awesome blog and terrific tutorials and also the humor you inject in each blog or Facebook post! Can’t wait till Monday!

    1. I love the term “gentleman’s farm”! (Sounds way too refined for what I’ve got going on, but still…) Also, best of luck making the move to your farm property… sounds awesome!

  20. It’s a good lesson to not let anyone tell your story. I’ve been contemplating this for some time and, again, great advice, unless you know, you don’t give a shit about the truth. I have so many shits to give! (take?!)

  21. I’m a first time visitor but I love the how realistic your blog is.
    I like the presentation of the table creation when I see images like this motivates me to make something similar, not that big, maybe a bit smaller…
    I’ll be coming back to this blog for sure

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