In some ways I can’t believe that summer is officially over, but in other ways… holy shit, I’m surprised I survived it at all. It’s been a goddamned fantastic mix of big projects, and farm life, and feeling awesome, and getting things done, and hugging donkeys, and hanging out with friends. And it sure went out with a bang…
Prettiest sunset of the year, hands down.
I mean, what more can you ask of summer?
Well, I guess I could have asked for more progress and a better harvest from the garden. It was okay this year, but not great.
But in all the time I wasn’t planting or weeding, or installing the rest of the raised beds, or building a greenhouse (ALL of which are going on the top of my list for next year) I still managed to do some pretty awesome things…
The bees, for example…
Such a great addition to the farm…
And honey harvest was an awesome learning experience (that resulted in 3 gallons of honey) this year, and also gave me a lot of ideas for next year…
Plus the beginning of the orchard…
Which I could not have done without some of my favorite people pitching in over my birthday (in the pouring rain) to help out…
And I finally turned my fire pit from a huge pile of weeds…
Into something respectable…
Then my dad (and my brother and all of his buddies) helped with the demo and re-siding of the garage, which is a project that has been weighing on my soul for the last three years.
Sounds dramatic, but ugh. Remember this?
Even though there’s still work to do on the soffits and trim, it’s still amazing to see it look like this…
It’s also amazing that after three years I’m thisclose to being able to take a legitimate bath in this house, thanks to my
internet real life friend Sarah who took time away from her own projects to hang out on the farm, drink beers and bullshit like any good friend, and get my ass moving on some things that need to be done around here. (If you haven’t already seen it, you can check out Sarah’s perspective on life on the farm and our tiling adventures here, here and here.)
And then there was the pergola. I just… there are so many things I love about this house and the property, but for some reason of all the things I’ve done so far, this project is the one that stole my heart.
Maybe it’s because most other projects on this property are still half-finished (even when they’re “done”), or maybe it’s because it was gnawing at me for so long, or maybe it’s because so much of it was my favorite kind of build (just me and my power tools and a whole lot of thinking “I’m not sure if I can do this” and then digging deep and finding out “hell yes, I can totally do this!”)
These are some stills from the shoot we did with the film crew a few weeks ago…
Here’s a true story… this was a Saturday and we spent all day filming the building of the bigass table that I built to go under the pergola. And the next day I had something like 30 people showing up to the farm to eat, drink and be merry around my finished table under my finished pergola… except the pergola wasn’t finished. (Obv. This is me we’re talking about here.)
So after this entire day where I was “on” and trying to say coherent sentences while building a table with six people staring at me and two cameras pointed directly at my face, the crew asked if they could just get some shots around the farm in the evening, and at this point I was just fucking done with other humans, so I was like you guys do whatever you want… I’m going to go finish building the pergola for tomorrow.
So I did.
I didn’t realize they were also shooting video of me while I was working, but of everything we captured that weekend, this is my favorite. It’s the part that feels the most “real”… just me and my tools…
And that beautiful view…
Trying to get shit done so I could share it with the amazing people in my life who help me with so much…
Which I also did.
The best advice I could ever give is to surround yourself with amazing people…
People who make you laugh, and support you in your crazy (good crazy or bad crazy), people who make you think about things differently, people who know you well enough not to take you too seriously, and people who know how to tell good stories (and who end up being a part of your good stories.)
I’m lucky to be surrounded by amazing people like that, and maybe that’s why I love this project so much… because of all the spaces on this property, this is the one I built that’s meant for all the amazing people in my life to come together.
And there’s also the hammock…
So even when people aren’t coming together out here, it’s still a great place to just hang out and enjoy the sunset…
It’s been a great summer, and even though I love fall with it’s chilly weather and the constant smell of apples and woodsmoke in the air, I’m a little sad to see this one go…
But I also know that if I was guaranteed beautiful weather with beautiful sunsets, I wouldn’t appreciate them as much as I do. And since I know that what comes next is a lot of long-johns and snow shovels, I’m grateful for what I’ve done this summer, I’m appreciating the mild days of early fall, and I’m looking forward to the adventures that the next season will bring. Because farm life is many things, but it’s never boring.
The weather lately in Michigan has been amazing!! Probably one of the nicest Septembers in awhile.
All of it looks so amazing. The firepit, the tidy garden, the pergola and the barn. You’re amazing.
Great post…..a summers synopsis.
This has been one of the greenest late summer / falls I can remember, which is nice on lawns, gardens and farm crops etc. You finished up some bigger items you’ve wanted to do for some time this summer, Plus…you’ve added bees, which I think is a really Good Thing and a BIG DEAL. Took time building stuff for them and learning, getting set up – First year 3 gal. of honey seems like a pretty good harvest and like me, you get close to your work…ha! Big props on getting the well built BigAss table and pergola completed for the filming and the family & friends appreciation picnic. All while working with a deadline on the projects with humans roaming around you pointing stuff (cameras) at you – according to one of the photos seems like you kept things in perspective (and your balance ) pretty good.
Tonight, you can take in the total lunar eclipse coinciding with a “SuperMoon” ( which won’t happen again for 18 yrs.) With thoughts of appreciation and pride in your summers accomplishments…Rock On 🙂
but THIS year you have your own tractor for a plow, so it’ll be better than last year! Just remember to keep your door clear so you can get it out this season! 😀
Best end of summer post! Phenomenal work accomplished well. Have to ditto Jack and Samirah. Didn’t accomplish much this summer now that I am helping my single dad son raise his 5 year old son. An honor to be sure, but limits my diy because I need to be able to think and grandson does not see any value in not talking! Thank God weeding does not require much thought so gardens are looking good!
Truly a badass pergola. Yet I’m waxing poetic on the garage…and thinking my cinderblock raised beds are SO ready for an upgrade to cedar! 🙂
Job well done. Onto autumn!
Woah! , you have made some serious progress around your place. It is a major transformation and looks so tended to.You are the most capable person I “know of” except for those fellows on Mountain Men. I keep thinking though, maybe you ought to slow down a wee bit on acquiring living critters that depend on you. You are just one person. Then again, maybe you will turn into a big Hollywood star and hire your own crew. I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you.
Margaret from Alabama
Oh, I hope I never hire my own crew… doing it myself is the part I enjoy, but I also have a lot of animals who don’t need a whole lot from me (that’s why you won’t ever find dogs or other high-maintenance animals on the farm!) Also… I’ve never seen the show Mountain Men, but they sound like my kind of guys. Do they have beards?? 😉
Your place is absolutely beautiful. You’re a beast lugging the lumber up the ladder by yourself. The pergola & table are my favorite. You continue to amaze me. You are very talented.
This post put a big ol’ smile on my face. Impressive progress, Kit – so much to look and work forward to. You GO! And these humans will follow. 🙂
You guys are the most tolerant humans ever for figuring out how to make me look coherent, when I’m used to just drinking beer and talking to the chickens while I work!
I feel for you. I love fall but it is the harbinger of (shudder – or shutter) winter. Which hasn’t held much charm for me in a very long time. Hang in there Kit. Crystalized honey bath ahead 🙁
That was supposed to be a happy face 🙂
Ha. I was like, what’s to frown about with honey baths?
love the shots of you working on the pergola at the end of the day. the lighting is amazing. it’s a good visual of what your blog is all about. you and your tools and your kick-ass views.
You’re reading Harry Potter I see… good choice!
Cheers to an awesome summer, and to making the upcoming fall and winter awesome as well 🙂
I re-read them once a year!
What a terrific recap of the very busy and productive summer you had!
Fall is on us in New England also and I know before long everything will be covered in snow again. But when you can celebrate successes like you had this year, have the time to enjoy a sunset & glass of grapes every now and again AND have your internet bestie become an in your face bestie while entertaining us on a regular basis, topping it off with some great videos and keeping up with farm life – well, YOU ROCK! Kudos to you. Is anyone else tired ?????
You’ve made a great job with the garage! And I love the hammock!
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