#7 Chasing Dry Rot and other stories

Tom tore off dry rot today on 1/3 of the house. Finally, many hours later, he came to the end. There is actually a little of the house that doesn’t need the siding to be replaced. I volunteered for Central Linn School District (WHOOT, holler! Represent, Cobras!) to serve BBQ  chicken dinners to people. I bagged dinners for an hour and then headed to Junction City to the property.


Tom had done this when I arrived, taking away the door, front porch, rotten siding and more. I was floored! It looked, well, scary, but also better. It’s like knowing the cancer has been removed, but it still hurt.

The major shout out for the day goes to Joe Porter. He’s the brother of Tom’s last apprentice, and he’s an incredible worker. Honestly, if I had a business to hire a worker for, he’d be my top choice. My dad would have looked at Joe and said, “Manager.” I shook his hand several times today, and the last time, I looked in his eyes and said, “You worked really hard today. I will definitely want to work with you again.” He was amazing. He cleaned out the entire barn. He did more work than 2 people. I was very impressed with him and his work ethic. This is the empty barn, after he cleaned it.


This is what it used to look like.


But really, worse than this, because he cleaned out 4 big spaces. #herojoe

I cleared brush all day.  Tom and I have had a few bumps in the road the last few days. We’re working on better ways of communicating, better ways of being a partner to the person we love. We both have bad memories, bad habits, bad triggers from our past. This week was a major lesson in trust and love. I was #notsopatientlytryingtonotfreakout most of the week and he was #notsocalmlytryingtodealwithhisstuff. It was hard.

Reality check: we are normal human beings. We fight, we make up, we love each other fiercely, we are passionate, we mess things up, we fix things, we hurt each other, we heal each other, we cry, we yell, we say we’re sorry, #workinprogress.

So I cleared brush, cried a little, and reminded myself how much I love him today.

I made it possible to walk through this area today. I had to use Tom’s sawsall to make this gate open again. I had to cut down a lot of cottonwood saplings today. Between me and Joe, we made a pathway in the grass in the back acre. The saplings and the other trees make such a beautiful arch in the back of the property, it makes me happy just looking at it.

For heaven’s sake, everyone came by the property today. Shane and Stephanie, Cheryl and Jim, Chris and Jarron and baby Eli, Rich Robbins (Tom’s boss’s dad), and Olivia.  It felt like I was was hosting company while in my grubby clothes. I took time to hang out with everyone, if only for a few minutes. I spent most of that time with baby Eli, because, duh. He’s a baby.


Ella hung out with Eli and Jarron and Chris while they visited. Chris is our investor, the one that made this whole #tinyempire possible. And Jarron is Tom’s apprentice and Chris’s son. I know, it’s #allinthefamily.

We worked our butts off today. We worked so hard.

This happened yesterday, and I didn’t post. The bedroom was framed out, and Tom and I took out the marble tile counters.


I leave you with this. We make choices every day, whether or not to tear a wall out, whether or not to take a risk, whether to show up in our lives and be seen, or not.

We choose every day what sort of life we want for ourselves. It is all within our control. We can choose to be a better partner or not. And we can make it a practice every day to work at it.

I told Tom this evening and he told me, we’re all in. We’re not perfect in any way. But we’re willing to keep trying.



One thought on “#7 Chasing Dry Rot and other stories

  1. I love this! And I love you! You’re right on the money. We choose everyday, who we want to be and how we are going to move through the world. I try everyday to make the world a better place to be in, sometimes I fail, but I always try.


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