#25 It’s Real and it’s Good and it’s Love.

So, our sweet house in Halsey went live on the RMLS Wednesday night. We were running around like crazies trying to finish up myriad details, and then we just went “done.” Whatever it is now, it is. Buyers can request/suggest/ask what they will and we’ll negotiate.

IMG_4978 It’s kinda sad, but only kinda at this point. We are so tired, and so in love with Soggy Bottom, we’re ready to start on that project full-force again. Not to say we won’t miss Halsey, the open fields, the grass seed farmers, the neighborhood kids I know from school and harassing teasing the staff of Halsey Select every day. Obviously, we’ll come back often, more than just me going to school every day.

Speaking of Soggy Bottom Ranch, some MAJOR events happened there already this week! Our humongous 1,500 gallon septic tank, 380′ of drain field, tie-ins for the septic for the addition, a temporary RV dump site that will later become a main line for the future shop/studio build (with bathroom, naturally) all went in as well as site prep for our addition. It looks incredible! And more is so real! I can’t stop using exclamation points!

I went to the ranch with the dogs today while our house was vacant, so no need for appointments from brokers. (Tomorrow and Sunday, 10-6, we are doing more “show as vacant,” so come buy our house! 😉 )

It is pretty incredible there. Any time I feel overwhelmed, I go there and it all makes sense again. The ranch is full of trees, birds, wild bunnies, neighbor sheep, fields, dirt, grass seed, potential. There are cherries, blueberries, apples, pears, plums, grapes. There are roses, mint, azaleas, rhododendrons, blackberries (sort of contained), cottonwoods and willows. There are many Ponderosa pines and cypress. There are more trees than I have indexed, obviously, but they are all there waiting for me to love. I cannot even believe it, and I say a prayer every time I’m next to my trees, thanking God and the Universe for bringing them into my life.  Tom is especially sweet about my trees when people come to work on the property. He makes sure they know that the trees are priority #1 and that workers had better not hurt them. It’s pretty sweet.  #helovesme #ilovehim

The Eugene Airport gets quite a few late morning arrivals, and yes, they literally fly right over our house. I could possibly wave to passengers as the planes descend into Eugene. And yeah, I prefer the sound of trains over the sound of planes. But it’s not that bad, and inside you can’t hear it. It kinda doesn’t register as an issue at all when you are looking at fruit trees and pathways through gardens. Look at how the big willow (we have 2) is returning to its former glory! Vince’s tree surgeon was right, (of Superior Tree Service, the company that took care of our trees) it grew back just fine after they had to cut the broken limbs from the storm away. Behind it you see the barn to the right. To the left is my greenhouse/she shed. AND IT IS AMAZING. More stories about my greenhouse later. And I will later get a studio with electricity and a sink. My studio will be attached to Tom’s shop. We can work side by side in the same building and not have to be with each other, having our own spaces/rooms.  No kidding! #tomforthewin #jenforthewin

All kidding aside, we obviously get along pretty well. I mean, we’ve done two properties together in 12 months. We closed on our Halsey place this week last year. I think we’re kinda good at this relationship thing. Sure, we get on each other’s nerves, and sometimes yes, we fight like most couples do, but it’s over quickly and we’re back at whatever we need to do. We don’t hold grudges and we’re honest with each other. Problems arise when we’re stressed out or not communicating well. We’re doing well figuring out what the other one needs, especially when we’re working on stuff (house stuff or self stuff) and how we each experience stress. Paying attention to each other’s needs is kinda important, and we do that really well.

A very important lesson that I’ve learned is that relationships take constant work. It’s just the way it is. If you put in effort, and work at having an amazing friendship and and amazing love, you will!  And you have to remember that getting hurt is part of the package, and to not be mean to your partner when things hurt you. You can just say you’re hurt, and move on. It’s okay and tomorrow is another day. This is honestly the best job ever. I choose this guy over and over, every day. Tom is my twin when it comes to hard work and the non-stop quest for projects and DOING. We are both big on doing. Between the two of us there is always something happening, and I love that about us. I’m really proud of us tonight. So much so that it makes me kinda teary. (Sniff. I love you, Tommy Ray.)  Honestly folks, if you can do this amount of work and suffer this amount of exhaustion and frustration with someone, and still be madly in love, you’re on to something. We didn’t make babies together, but we made houses together. It’s not the same and kinda a little tiny bit the same. No matter what, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s my person.

Ok, enough sappy stuff…


The former grassy/weedy area between the house and out to the field was leveled over by our septic installers. I kid you not, the owner of the company’s name is Casey Jones, Jr. I mean, who wouldn’t trust him? They did amazing work, and they are also the ones that tore down the second dwelling on the property when we realized it had to be removed. His business names is Casey Jones Well Drilling and CJ Development. I can highly recommend him for any land and site development. He does basically everything, and he took great care of us. Plus his workers are cute, not that I noticed or anything. Tom’s niece sure did. And yeah, they’re taken.

I thought you might like a look at what the property line looks like from the front. The first picture is our driveway in the front. Our storage container is on the right, and that area with our storage container all the way to the purpley leaved tree is where the old 2nd dwelling used to reside. It’s the site of our future shop/studio. Yeah, the chicken coop part of the barn you see there in the back looks dilapidated, but it isn’t. The crooked door makes it appear that way. My chicken run is pretty sweet, actually. The run is attached to the coop, and has the coolest door closure for the run. I am maybe  definitely getting some chicks before September.

IMG_5002Today when Tom got off of work we went to Costco and got flooring. We’re installing in the kitchen/dining room tomorrow at Soggy Bottom. We got 25 cases of oak laminate. TWENTY FIVE cases! It sounds like a ton, but isn’t. We intended to do the same flooring that we put in Halsey, but they stopped carrying it. This floor is a lighter almost bleached oak, not grey toned maple. It has a more farm-house feel. It seems appropriate for Soggy Bottom, so we’re pleased. The planks are wider, and it has the look of real wood flooring, so that’s nice. We should have this all in and the floor finished tomorrow. We might also have all the painting done and the kitchen/dining room ready except for counters. If not, we have Sunday, and that’s all okay. We’re very happy to be able to focus on the Ranch again. Soon we’ll be filling our storage pod with more boxes and moving in for good. It will be cramped, sure, in 750 sq ft with two teenagers and two dogs and one bedroom, but it will suit us. Our duplex was the same size, only difference is that we had a bedroom, too. But if things get hairy, I’ll just go outside, pray under a tree for guidance, and I’m pretty sure God and tree spirits will guide me. #grace

Today I cleaned up our back porch so we could feel like it was ready for us. It looks like a shack in a shanty town, but it is perfect. Yeah, I’ll paint it and make it look spiffy later. But for now it looks like a shack and that is just fine with me.


Blessings, friends. This is a beautiful life, appreciate every moment you are given to the fullest.






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