DIY DIVA
DIY diva

Endings and Beginnings

November 12, 2019 | 126 Comments | Uncategorized
DIY diva

Even before I knew how to name it (or identify it) one of the core principles of my life was always to follow my energy. I used to say that I was a jack of all trades, or that I had a lot of hobbies, or, in wry moments, with countless projects in-progress around the house, call it “Project ADD”.

Fifteen years ago– before all of the houses and power tools– I used to take art classes, religiously. Metal casting, stained glass, painting, pottery, photography. I don’t have a passion for a specific art medium, just a desire to know how things are done, and then, when I can picture something in my head, to bring it into existence. I often don’t care what it is, or what’s involved in bringing it to life, I just get an overwhelming urge–once I can see it–to make it real.

And, truthfully, every construction project I’ve taken on, that house I built while I lived in a garage, and almost everything I’ve done on the farm is just a bigger and more complicated extension of that. Of picturing something in my head, and then bringing it into existence. Building it, planting it, tearing things down and/or cleaning them up. (Okay, fine, very very rarely cleaning things up, but you get what I’m saying.)

Everything I’ve written on this website has also been an extension of it. Once I’ve broken something down, dived into the details, and understand it from top to bottom there’s nothing I love more than to tell a story about it. To share it with everyone else. And while I know this is not the case, part of me likes to assume everyone out there is just like me and wants to know all the ins and outs of how things work, and how to take it all apart and put it back together themselves.

The internet, and the early days of blogging, provided such an amazing platform for those things, partly because nobody was doing it. There wasn’t good information out there written by, well, nerds like me. People who were just learning themselves, but passionate enough to want to dive right in, learn everything they could, and share it with everyone.

There are sixteen whole years of my life documented on this website. Even if you look back at the online world ten years ago, there wasn’t great “how to” information on the internet when it came to houses and DIY, and so everything I wrote here felt good, and useful and energizing.

A few years back I stopped writing how-to articles, mostly because all of the sudden you could find how-to’s on almost anything online (and I’m not mad about it… do you know how many parts I’ve been able to change out of my piece-of-shit ’95 farm truck because some guy made a shaky phone-cam tutorial and posted it to YouTube? ALL OF THEM. I am so grateful.)

Even after I realized the wave of useful how-to’s had caught up with me, I told stories all of the time. I believed so strongly, and still do, in the power of an authentic story.  I recently went back and re-read all of the archives of this website–which, as far as existential crises  go, I do not recommend re-reading 16 years of your life in one sitting– but I will say that I fucking love everything I ever wrote in 2013 (and not one of those things was a how-to). I love a lot of other things I wrote, but if there was a year between 2004 and now that I was on point with my storytelling (or maybe just genuinely delighted with my life?), that would be the one.

Recently though– and this will come as no surprise to anyone who has been checking this site, wondering what I’m up to– not so much. Which is weird because I’ve actually been writing a fair amount. Writing. Re-writing. Thinking a lot about the things I’ve written, and then never hitting the publish button.

I spent at least three weeks on this one, and I kind of love the story, but also kind of hate investing more time into a story I can’t seem to tell correctly…

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Don’t even talk to me about my Drafts folder right now.

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I know everyone wants to hear about the Tiny Angry Badgers. (Spoiler alert: They’re feral cats and resulted in six of the worst weeks of my life, and currently 2 of the best (since Bubs died.) I’ve had three complete emotional breakdowns over them. It has been a roller coaster.)

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Here’s the thing… the fundamental parts of me that I’ve shared on this website for years have not changed. I love a challenge (I mean, people used to give me shit for drinking and using power tools, and now my hobbies have escalated into climbing mountains… alone. And even that doesn’t seem challenging enough. So.)

I love tackling projects on my own.. and increasingly feel like a crotchety old man when talking to the youths about how to do so, which I also love. (Let’s be honest, deep down I have always been a crotchety old man inside.)

I still occasionally have wicked building streaks (like all of the spring of 2019) where I have so much fun and so much energy I just can help but want to share it with the world.

I also have stories, like we all do. Stories about how I was bummed my peach trees only produced one whole peach this year (and yet how fucking delicious that one peach was… how much more I appreciated it than the years where those trees gave me ten pounds of fruit.)

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Stories about how cool it is that my mom lives on a lake, just a half-mile down the road from me (how much that has increased my quality of life in general, and how good my gardens look because of it), and stories about how hard it is that my mom lives on a lake, just a half-mile down the road from me (because I’m basically a crotchety old man inside… one who doesn’t have a lot of patience sometimes, or a lot of experience navigating shared responsibilities with my mom.)

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I have stories about how some of the grapevines have finally established, and stories about how (after all of that work and joy) I harvested a bowl full of grapes and then let them all go to waste in my fridge because I was too busy with work to do anything with them…

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I have stories about how I feel I’m not doing right by the farm, because I spend a few of my after-hours hours at the gym instead of at home. Stories about how, at this stage in life, a career can override a lot of your passions (because let’s be honest, unless you’re very, very lucky, a career will pay for far more of your mortgage than passions.) But also stories about how my passions have been the catalyst for some of the best, strongest connections I’ve made with amazing people in my adult life, and how I struggle to make time for them. (Both the passions and the amazing people.)

I have stories about the internet which, through this website, was once one of the best and most energizing parts of me.. and now has now become one of the worst distractors from the things I love to do. I have stories about how building a non-traditional life by myself–without compromise–has been one of the best decisions of my life. And I have stories about how I’ve failed. How, because I love the life I’ve built so much, I haven’t taken chances. Stories about how living that non-traditional life has both provided unique opportunities for connecting with people, and also prevented me for connecting with people in the way people who live more traditional lives do.

I spend a lot of time every day looking for the kind of stories that used to inspire me, that I used to feel a connection with, that made me think, “hell yeah, that’s not perfect, but it’s awesome, and it makes me want to do the same.” And I don’t find them. I find a lot of people trying to be “influencers” (I have never hated a word more in my life), a lot of people who have genuine stories to tell who are more worried about the searchability of their blog posts, or the clickbait in their titles.

I mean, seriously? Screw a world in which we cannot say a true thing in a true way because if we tell an authentic story in an authentic way A SEARCH ENGINE MAY NOT FIND IT AND DISTRIBUTE IT TO THE MASSES.

I am, in general, uninspired. (And, if we’re being honest, also jealous of the kids who have found their niche building things and doing what they love on Instagram. I appreciate them, their creativity, their free spirits…  but not as much as I’ve appreciated health insurance and a 401k in the past which makes me? Old and lame? Probably.)

I realize this sounds like the the end of this website. And maybe it is? Except I clearly have a lot of stories I’d still like to tell. Things I would still like to share about the farm, and my projects (when I have the time for them.) It’s just that there was time where sharing them on this website made more sense in the world, and in my life, than it does now. And, honestly, I haven’t sorted it out. I don’t even have time to sort it out. I just have time to write half-finished blog posts… to think half-finished thoughts about my current life, but not to share them. (Except this one, which I promised myself I wouldn’t sleep until I published.)

And maybe, maybe telling the truth about all of this will unlock the part of me that just can’t figure out how the hell to tell a good story right now. To share in this new world of sharing. Sometimes just saying “I don’t know” gives you permission to just speak about what you do know, or what you’re questioning, or what you think you know but will probably realize you’re wrong about later, and maybe that’s all I’m asking for.

But in any case… if it takes me a week, or a month, or a year, or ten years to tell my next good story, this sure has been an amazing ride. Not just the sharing in general, but sharing it with all of you. Thank you for being a part of my story.

Edit/Update: So I hit publish on this post some time after midnight, woke up this morning and headed into day 14 of a work crisis, and honestly didn’t give it another thought until I came up for air an hour ago. And then I read all of your comments. (Is it dusty in here? Because my eyes are watering.  Maybe I’m allergic to these tiny, angry badgers…) Anyway. I’m going to respond to every comment but also wanted to make a general statement, which (if I haven’t said it enough) is basically thank you. Again. Sometimes all of these feels like shouting into a void, and then every once in a while you get a moment of clarity. Like, holy shit, the void has people in it! Awesome ones!

Seriously, every comment has been meaningful, and it has all given me a lot of food for thought.

I don’t know what shape my life is going to take in the next 6-12 months, or what part storytelling will play in it, but I don’t plan to take this site down (so all my old stories will stay up), and while I’m contemplating a full social-media break, I do post pics of the farm (and the badgers on my personal Instagram @_kitliz … I never quite figured out the right mix of personal vs. public social media, so what the hell, follow me there if you want to make sure I haven’t cut off a finger or fallen off a mountain.)

I can’t imagine this is the last thing I’ll ever post here, but it might be the last for a little while. Thank you for letting me know that when I’m ready to tell good stories again, you’ll be here to read them. It means the world.

DIY diva

    Comments

  • Mandy


    I love your blog and check regularly in hope that you have posted something!
    Your voice is you and your stories are always entertaining and inspiring and I will absolutely miss following this small part of your life if you stop, but whatever you decide all the best and I can’t help but feel that an empowering thoughtful genuine voice such as yours will make its way out somehow xx

    • Kit


      Mandy, yours was the first comment I read on this post and I was kind of flinching about what people might say… I haven’t been feeling empowering, thoughtful, and genuine to my actual self, and in those times it’s hard to imagine how your words could ever feel that way to other people. Thank you for helping me see my stories in a different light in this moment… it really is meaningful.

  • Joseph


    I started reading your blog years ago, have never left a comment, but look forward to all of your garden updates! In fact, I just built some strawberry covers based on your design.

    If you haven’t, read this: https://www.raptitude.com/2019/07/lets-talk-like-we-used-to/

    It sums up that pull between wanting to create perfect posts and that push to just talk like a real person.

    • Kit


      First of all, that is the best blog post I’ve read in a long time and now I’m devouring everything on that site, so thank you for that.

      Also, really hope the strawberry covers work out for you… I was flabbergasted about how many strawberries I got this year because of them. Damn birds! :)

      • Joseph


        I hope you enjoy! David’s blog is fantastic!

        My problem are the ducks and a dog. The ducks eat the leaves and the dog eats the strawberries. :)

  • Reenie


    I haven’t even read your post yet, (I printed it to read it at home) I went straight to the comments and screamed NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I don’t even know what to say, but I love your Blog and reading about all your happenings. You amaze me all the time. I sure don’t want you to go anywhere…but certainly understand it. I’m happy you have Instagram ~ I joined IG a few months ago just to read my fav Bloggers that are there. I don’t even know how to post a picture. Ha!! You do what’s right for you Kit….but we all love you!! xo

    • Kit


      Thank you Reenie. I don’t think I’m going away forever, just trying to navigate what this new part of my life looks like, and while I don’t need permission for much in my life, for people who have consistently read my stories (and commented, like you do) it’s actually really important to me to know I’m not disappointing you while I’m trying to find my voice again. Thank you!

  • Izzy


    I will miss your hilariously funny stories. Please keep us posted on Instagram. ❤️

    • Kit


      I will, I promise. Might take a short break to get a handle on my social-media usage, but I do love posting pics of the farm!

  • Kathie


    As a woman whose life took a turn into marriage and having a kiddo, I live vicariously through your mountain climbing and your farm. Keep doing what you love. We’ll still be here.

    • Kit


      Marriage and kiddos are also an adventure (I have friends doing the same and I live vicariously through them in some ways too.) I won’t be gone for good, just long enough to figure out what the hell I’m doing!

  • Jess Z #2


    I think I’ve been following you (mostly) for a nearly a decade! You’re an authentic inspiration. You show the reality I think a lot of us are craving in this insta-version universe we’re living in now. I always encourage people I follow to show the real side and never apologize for a mess, a work in progress. Never apologize or feel bad for a life in progress. We all are living it. I think you should keep doing you but I would enjoy it if you posted more half-assed things!

    • Kit


      Holy shit, it has been a long-ass decade, has it not? Sometimes I barely remember my 28 year old self. I do feel I am more “in progress” in this moment than in others though, and appreciate the support… I’m working on the half-assed part of things. 😉

  • Taffee


    Kit I’ve been following you for awhile and i think you are amazing. You are such a talented, articulate, hilarious and strong woman. I always enjoy your stories and your writing style. I’ve also enjoyed watching you update your farm house. So thank you for taking us along on that journey. If you need a break from blogging temporarily or permanently it’s ok. Do what you love! Thanks Kit.

    • Kit


      Thank you so much. It’s weird that “permission” from people who read my stories to take a legit break (without feeling guilty about it) matters, but it really does. I appreciate that you’ve come along on the journey with me and don’t take it for granted!

  • Heather


    I tell everyone about this blog and also tell them “I want to be just like her!” You’ve been a pretty significant inspiration for me going out on my own as a handy person in NYC. Hang in there. I love the stories and the photos and I hope whatever you do, you’re content and find joy.

    • Kit


      Love this. But to be honest, if you’ve gone out on your own as a handy person in NYC then I want to be just like you! Still very much considering if my love for building and houses and DIY should be a job or just an amazing passion that I get to pursue when I want but am not forced to do. (Also, in NYC! Love the idea of old buildings, but so many people! lol)

  • Virginia Paul


    I never comment – but I wanted to let you know I adore this blog. It’s my favorite because it takes me back to the world of blogging 10 years ago. Yeah, you can look up a tutorial for how to do anything these days, but my favorite tutorials are from people I whose stories I follow. I love seeing the process of putting a house together piece by piece over years. That’s how Young House Love was, way back then. Reading YHL now is reading an advertisement, not a story. I love how you are raw and real, smart and driven, and honest.

    • Kit


      Thank you so much. I also miss the blogging of 10 years ago… I know that everything changes (especially when people realize there is money in it) but man, it feels like there were so many communities and stories back then, and now it’s all just content-driven bullshit. I may be a little bitter. lol. But also maybe I just needed to hear that raw and real still resonates with people… seems like a shame not to keep putting that out into a world overwhelmed with how to sell yourself. Working on figuring out what makes the most sense for me. Really appreciate the feedback… it is meaningful.

  • EJ Michel


    Don’t stop write when you can. Typing with a sprained wrist. So brief comment but you inspire me with every and any post whenever they come.

    Whenever you write, I and many will be here

    • Kit


      Ouch! But also if you can type with a sprained wrist, I should be able to figure my shit out to still tell some stories on the internet. I’ll get back to it eventually in some form or another. Hope that wrist heals up soon!

  • brandi


    I have loved your blog (but never commented)for so many years and read every post and laughed and cried. I’ve missed you -your voice, your stories, your photos.I will keep checking your blog(my heart hopes this is just temporary break)but I wanted you to know how much your little part of the world has meant to my little part of the world.

    • Kit


      Thank you, thank you, thank you. It really means something to know that people have read the things I’ve written and that they’ve been meaningful to them in some ways. I haven’t felt that in a while, and this has been such a good reminder. I hope this is just temporary and I can come back in a more authentic way that makes sense in my life. Appreciate that there’s been a connection between our little parts of the world!

  • Cheryl


    This sentiment is why I like reading your posts. You share a bit of yourself; it’s not to push out a post on a schedule, it’s not to share a sponsor, and it’s not full of nothing. This isn’t a small thing or something you can force. I hate the idea that you would continue to write these stories if they are not serving you. Maybe there will be future stories that you want to tell (that’s great!), but it’s also okay to be done. Chase what brings you joy today! It will be different than what brought you joy yesterday.

    I want to thank you for sharing your journey with us for so long! We’ll be excited for future life updates if you choose to write them, but if you don’t I’ll be still totally stoked at the idea that you’re finding fulfillment through other means <3

    • Kit


      Seriously, this is like the best version of the healthiest relationship I can imagine. Thank you for acknowledging the thing I love most about telling stories (that I’m not trying to sell a thing, just telling a truth when I have one to share) and for supporting me if I continue and if it’s not the right thing for me.

      I am clearly having a small existential (possibly mid-life) crisis, but it has been so meaningful to have support from people who know me through the stories I’ve told over the years. I appreciate you.

  • Leah


    Ahhhh dude. My heart started racing as soon as I read the first paragraph. As a five year follower, I’ve SO enjoyed observing your journey and getting to experience it alongside you. You’re my very favorite corner of the internet, the place I revisit when the rest of it feels plastic or shiny or bought and sold. It’s inevitable, though, that a person with so many interests and strengths and curiosities eventually discovers they need to make time for new explorations. We are all rooting for you as you blaze your own trail, and should you ever find your way back to this corner we share, we’ll be waiting, wine and power tools at the ready.

  • Guerrina


    I’ve been missing your blog posts about the animals, the farm, the accomplishments and frustrations, your sense of humor, and yes, your DIY tutorials! I started following you while you lived in the garage and you taught a woman much older than you how to DIY and how to find solutions when the first attempt didn’t work, and I now have tools and the knowledge to use them. You’ve been a huge part of the journey. I’m going to miss you even more!

  • sweetfe


    I really appreciate your honesty. Your projects do not always go perfectly. You are a real human and it sure makes me feel better. I do not think you need to solve the world problems or anything….just keep being you. I love the renovation stuff you do….and the animal stories…and your farm is a dream. It sound like you might be overburdened right now. I do hope you keep posting…when you are up for it. Nothing needs to be perfect…I do not think life is. Thank you for all the great stories and information… Take care!

  • Sam


    Simply adding my voice to the chorus: I love your blog, and look forward to every post. I’m not a big commenter, don’t have an online community, don’t really use Facebook…but I do really and truly love what you have to say. Your voice is a unique one and I’m grateful to have stumbled across your blog many years ago. You do exactly what you need to do, but I imagine many of us will still be here if and when you resurface, ready to dive in with you.

  • Lotte


    I’ve been reading your blog for about a decade, since my early 20s, and especially the fact that you managed to do all of this mostly by yourself helped convince me that I could in fact buy and renovate a house on my own too. It’s been 5 years now, and it’s still not finished, but I’m really happy with how it turned out so far and how much I’ve learned, so I sincerely thank you for inspiring people by sharing your stories. From a selfish point of view, I hope you keep posting occasionally, even if it’s just once a year. I love your writing style and getting to see glimpses of the farm. But obviously, you should do what makes you happy. Most people would be exhausted doing just half of what you do on a daily basis, and if quitting/pausing the blog will give you a little more room to breathe and get inspired again, everyone will understand. I’ll keep this website on my RSS feed regardless, in the hopes of one day seeing a new post from you. Take care!

  • Robin Edmundson


    It’s always a pleasure to meet you here. I savor each of your posts because of the stories you tell – because of the stories you live.

  • Carmen


    I’m reiterating what others have said, but there’s power in numbers. I love reading anything you share. I’ve been following along for more than a decade. I want you to do whatever you feel you need to do and have the energy for…I’ll be here for whatever that is.

  • Jen


    I don’t follow a lot of blogs anymore but after google reader died, I made sure to find a new aggregator to continue to follow some of the ones I felt like I needed to keep reading. And yours was definitely one of them.

    I don’t think I have ever commented before but I truly look forward to it every time you post. Your life is different than mine but I have been inspired by you. I built a desk once. I like knowing how to use a drill and find studs in the wall. I really appreciate the authentic feel of your voice – made more authentic by the fact that you did not post every day on an exact schedule.

    Anyway, thank you for sticking around on this corner of the internet as long as you have. I’ll miss your stories.

  • Marty St. Clair


    Kit, I have been an enthusiastic and loyal ready for many years, but have never commented until now. I suspect because of many like me, you have never known how many people you have touched. I have loved your courage, your honest narrative, you love of power tools and your loving relationship with your mother. I will miss you terribly. But I understand. You do not need the extra burden of a blog right now. Please know that you are loved.

    Marty

  • Christina


    I’ve been reading your blog for yeeeears and you absolutely inspired me to buy a house – an old beat up 225 yr old farmhouse – and fix it up myself. Because you showed me that that’s possible and worthwhile and fun. And buying and working on that house is the best decision I’ve ever made. So THANK YOU for all the years of stories and how-tos and inspiration.
    Chris

  • Nathan L Anderson


    I also have been reading your blog for the last few years. Thank you for all the enjoyable stories. Please feel free to take a break and come back when you have stories that you want to tell. Those are the best kind to read.

  • Anonypilgrim


    I love your stories. I’d love it if you kept them coming. But through the magic that is reading about someones life over the course of many years, I care about your well being. Doing what you need to do to take care of you.

  • Leslie


    Been reading your stories since about 2009. I came from the How To’s and stayed for the storytelling. Your writing seems very genuine to me, and gives me, and probably a lot of people reading your blog the sense that if we met face to face, I’d already *know* you (which would actually probably be weird as hell, right?).

    Also, I didn’t know what window treatments looked like in an adult home until you bought them for your mom’s house at the lake. I totally copied it. So thank you.

    Will check back in the future. Enjoy!

  • Alice


    I’ve read your blog for years and am always so happy when a post pops up in my RSS feed! You have a unique and honest voice that (as you pointed out) you just don’t see very much these days. Thank you for everything you’ve shared! You’re always an inspiration.

  • Laura


    I have been following along from somewhere close to the beginning in your cute cottage (I still want one of the awesome broomsticks you made way back when!)

    I’ve commented a few times, but certainly no where near as often as I could have, since your stories often really resonate with me. You’ve inspired me (I have a 100 year old craftsman that was in a shambles when I bought it – much less shambly now, almost all DIY), you’ve made me laugh, given me lots of solid info, lots of beautiful pics and inspiration, and made me feel less alone when drinking wine surrounded for construction debris.

    You do what feels right. I’ll be here if and when you have more stories to tell and I wish you the very best either way!

  • Pudge


    Thank you for being such an inspiration and for being REAL! I have loved reading your posts and it’s about time that I finally comment to let you know (hard for me to do since I’m a crabby old lady inside).
    I’m echoing what others have said; we’ll be here to read if/when you have another story to tell. Until then, keep following that energy!!

  • Sam


    I’ve been reading your blog since the pergola went up in your first house and have come back ever since. When you have a new post I regularly read at least half of it out loud to my husband (he loves it when I do that, honestly).

    Thank you for sharing your life and stories with us all for so many years. Hopefully others have already gotten the point across but just to reiterate – you have been a huge inspiration to me, and I try to copy some of your “fuck it, I can do this” attitude whenever I attempt something.

    Totally understand if the blogging part of your life is over, but I’ll still be checking in every now and then, and I’m following your insta!

  • Beth


    Yours is the only blog I check anymore. You’ve been inspiring to read the past few years as a fellow 30 something with a 401k who would rather be farming. My farm dreams are less realized than yours, but you’ve inspired me to make small changes! It’s also inspiring to see you step back and say “that was good for me then, and I’m going to take a break and figure out what’s next.”

  • Jan


    As someone who has taken many social media breaks and have yet to go back to a few, I totally get it.

    And yet it makes me sad thinking you won’t be here to share stories with us. Your blog was the only one I was ever allowed to read out loud to my husband.

    :)

  • Susana


    Your voice has been one of the most original and honest voices I’ve ever experienced. I’ve loved every minute of every read. I’m so grateful for all you’ve shared. Every story you told mattered, and each one spread light into spaces near and far.

    Whatever happens, I wish you the kind of laughter, inspiration, and awesome reality you brought to me. Always.

    Here’s to that light you spread bouncing back your way when you need it most…

  • Maria


    I never comment, but have read every single post you have ever written here. And now I know that if you can figure it out, I probably can as well. (Well, not the climbing mountain things. Or, I could, but I don’t want to.) Very empowering, thank you!!!! If and when you get back I’ll be here!

  • Maria


    I’ve missed you! I check every so often for a new post, and have missed your stories. Adulting is hard, and busy!!! Do what makes you happy :)

  • Mandy


    I have been a subscriber on your site for almost 7 years which seems like so long ago. I can’t begin to tell you how my life’s situation has changed since then and I certainly can’t imagine telling those stories year after year. I can tell the last few years have been rough in terms of writing for you as the posts have gotten further apart but it never fails…I see one hit my inbox and it’s the first thing I read every time. I have learned quite a bit about farm life and home renovation from your stories. So when I tackle some renovation or repair at home, I think of your site. When my chickens kill themselves in a water trough, I think of your site. When I think of how lame my garden turned out, I think of how I wish I lived in Michigan where the soil must be amazing like it was in Ohio where I grew up. All this to say, if you never write another word, you’ll be missed for sure but I can’t tell you how nice the journey has been from a reader’s perspective.

  • AmyL


    Thank you for always being real, whether you’re sharing something really beautiful or really hard or really awful. You have a gift for straight talk that I truly appreciate in this age of blogging for clicks and likes and product reviews.

    Following your blog inspired me to tackle many house/yard projects myself rather than wait for help or have someone else do it for me, and I’m so, so grateful to you for that. The sense of accomplishment is amazing when I succeed, and even when I don’t, well, I still learned a lot more than if I’d just outsourced the work!

  • Carol


    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog posts so much, for so many years. You’ve given me so much inspiration to tackle my own projects and to find my own confidence in situations where I didn’t think that I could. I am so thankful that you shared your thoughts with us for so many years, and I’ll check back every once in a while. Thank you!!!

  • Julia


    Hi, I’m not sure if I’ve commented before, but I’m guessing not since I’m not much for engaging on the internet. I’ve read you for years, like the other comments, and I enjoy your honest and authentic stories. Not everything is picture perfect, and there’s beauty in the things that make us human. Not everything perfect should be celebrated either.

    I hope you the best journey ahead for what’s best for you. I enjoy reading your posts because it allows me a view into a world I don’t occupy – having the guts to do what you want, consequences can take a back seat or you’ll deal with them — Examples: living on a farm, building things, etc. Also, I enjoyed reading about your hobbies with climbing. I was passionate about climbing many years ago, but I think I’ve changed in interests over the years :)

    No one stays the same, no one remains static for years and years. If blogging no longer makes sense, then that’s how it is sometimes :)

    The very best of luck to you, in whatever direction you choose to take. If it’s something to be shared in the public/internets, I’ll be happy to follow along again.

  • hjc


    Have followed you for years (a decade plus) and have always loved picking up what you laid down. Your honesty and humor is all too rare, and that much more enjoyable because of it. Somewhere in a pile of paper/envelopes/missives in my one and only closet, I have an original picture/print/artwork of yours…you’ll have a place in my reading list whenever/whatever you write! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  • Kent


    Thank You. I have truly enjoyed your posts over the years. I, too, share your loathing of the term “influencer” and how that feels as one rolls around the ‘Net. This is what I always liked about your posts. One did not get that “mercenary” feeling. Your authenticity came through loud and clear.

    As I stop to think about it – I can only imaging the amount of time and dedication it took to create this space in your life and share it with us.

    So again Thank You.

    “The flowers, the gorgeous, mystic multi-coloured flowers are not the flowers of life, but people, yes people are the true flowers of life, and it has been a most precious pleasure to have temporarily strolled in your garden.”
    —- Lord Buckley

  • Luanne


    I have always loved reading your blog because you kept it “real”. It wasn’t just the pretty things in life. I follow you on Instagram and will continue to!!! I understand about needing to take a break from blogging. I have a blog, but it seemed like at times I was spending more time trying to figure out what to write then living my life. I truly wish you all the best in the next chapter of your life. Give your 2 leading men on the farm a hug from me… I just love those faces. All the best, Luanne

  • Lethe


    I am so glad you’re back. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts over the years. There’s a sense of vicarious joy when I see your fuzzy donkeys and growing garden, my heart broke with you over the baby keets and poor Bubs. You give us all this little window in to your life, and if you hadn’t realized it before, you should be able to see now how much people have connected with that, and appreciated it.

    Writing for an audience is hard. There’s all this weird curating and self-ambassadorship, and fight to be authentic but still clever and witty. Just so you know, you don’t need to do all that. You can just write it, and have it be sort of unfinished and imperfect, and hit post anyway, and we’ll still appreciate that we had a new window into a fragment of your life. None of it has to be perfect (a good thing to remember for renos, too, as I’ve been living through a whole house / backyard reno for 5 years now and have forgotten what it was to be clean and organized. Sigh.)

    Keep being bold and courageous.

  • Kate


    I’ve been following your adventures for a long time without commenting but I wanted to let you know that I have *loved* reading your words. Having an insight into a life so very different from mine has been positive in every way and although we will never meet, I find myself caring very much how you are. Be ok. Do what you’ve got to do. You are clearly a fricking awesome human being and even if you never update this site again, please know that you have improved my little corner of the world more than I can ever articulate. Thank you.

  • Shell


    I’ve lurked in the background and wished I had a farm. Or a farmhouse I needed to renovate. Or a barn to re-side. Or chickens! Oh, how I have wanted chickens! Whatever direction you head, know there was a woman in CO who truly loves her life, but sometimes after the kids had gone to bed and the bottle of wine opened, wished it was more like yours. You are a natural storyteller and if this is the end, thank you for the daydreams.

  • nancys


    No need to respond – but I have missed you here! Thank goodness I had to the sense to follow you on Instagram. Lets face it, summer time is busy time & you shouldn’t feel guilty about not posting here. Re-energize over the winter, for yourself, and then maybe selfishly we’ll see a post or two in the spring. Though I do know how busy spring can be on a farm. So maybe early early spring :)
    Happy Holidays…..

  • Noah


    Welp – everything changes, no matter what. Thank you so much for contributing here. I’ve really enjoyed your thoughts and buildings all the shit happens when you just want to try something new.

    Thanks again.

  • Liz


    Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your site so you know all your time and energy really is worth it to many. As a mom of an infant living in the burbs with no time or energy to tackle the projects you do, I love living vicariously through your James Herriot/This Old House adventures. Keep em’ coming whether they make it to the blog or not.

  • Michele Bakalar


    So glad you didn’t fall off a mountain or a cut off a finger. I wish you would have told stories about the angry badgers… I would have poured a glass of wine, cheered and cried with you… feral babies are hysterical and when life isn’t fair… it’s heart breaking. I could tell you stories about feral cats and the last remaining one we have after 11 years of feral antics.

    You inspired me, I have been reading this blog for 15 years, shit that’s a long time. There is a missing wall or 2 in my house because of you. Thank you lady for sharing awesome stories and being an example of what a female can do once she puts her mind to it! <3 I hope you always remain that old crotchety spirit!

  • Jane


    Hi
    I stumbled onto your website a few years ago and loved it – I’m just a MN girl from a very small town (302 people), grew up playing on my grandparents working farm which grew my love of animals (except mice, I hate rodents) and moved to the big city which I can’t imagine leaving. When I stumbled on your blog, I enjoy reading about your adventures with animals and with projects. I’ve admired how you take your project and make it your vision come to life and don’t need someone else to do it for you. Best of luck with the new projects and visions because even though you may not write for a while or maybe never – I know your projects will continue to make you happy. It has been fun reading your posts and I will miss the tales of the donkeys (just love them) and your chicks. Enjoy life…

  • Katie


    I have followed your website for a while now (though never really commented) and I have always loved your commitment to authenticity. Almost every other blog I follow has downgraded itself to “click here” and “swipe up here” to make a buck. I like that I can come here and read your stories about the farm, your DIY, and your awesome life without affiliate links. I enjoy seeing you live your life as a strong woman who does what she loves. I wish you the best, and when and if you return to blogging, I’m sure many people will be here waiting, excited to hear what you have been up to.

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