My post one year from now…

Green!I believe very strongly in visualization as a path to realization.  To follow is the post that I will make one year from now.  I know you’ll be on the edge of your seat at this time next year to see how many of these things happen.  Me too!

It’s still amazing to me that both Michael and I got job offers the week after I lost my job and that both were in the same area of Washington. The stipend towards our move was unexpected but helped so that all our savings could go towards buying our new place!

I really love my job more than I ever thought it was possible to love something called work. I thought I adored my job at the Foundation but this is just incredible. It’s still crazy to me that this just fell into my lap. I wish I had trusted more that it would happen and not worried so much at this time last year. But how was I to know that someone would approach me with a job description so perfect that I could never have invented myself. I wouldn’t have believed that someone would pay me more than was making before to do all the things I love? Animals, photography, graphics, story-telling, social media! Not only that, but there is nothing better than being able to work from home most of the time. Especially in this dream home that we have.

I don’t know how someone could have allowed this dream property to be foreclosed on so that we had the opportunity to snatch it up last November. And in just 10 years we’ll own it outright! Crazy huh?!? I can hike every single day in 5 acres of wooded property. No more walking 8 miles a day on pavement and sidewalks for this gal! The wildlife that I see in there fills my soul with happiness – deer and rabbits and eagles and foxes and oh so many types of birds.

Little red henAnd then to have 5 more acres that is an already built out farm! Not having to construct a barn or chicken palace really saved us so much work and research. I love starting each day with my animal family. I wouldn’t trade my mornings in the chicken garden for anything. Who would have known that chickens could be so affectionate? It’s so relaxing to grab my cup of green tea and head out to let the girls out of the coop and into the dewy garden fresh with new nom noms. Sitting quietly in my chair in my corner of their corner of the world, I just am overcome every day with the sereneness of my life. It’s so comforting to feel the soft brush of feathers as each of the girls checks in with me to get their morning treats. OK – so occasionally one of the girls pecks at the laptop and posts an odd message out into the world but I haven’t heard any of you complaining about their silly morning chicken faces on Facebook. Who said you have to sit inside at a computer to check email and social media? As they settle into their day and I start mine, I am always excited to head into the coop to see what gifts of multi-colored eggs they’ve left for me. It’s like Christmas or Easter every day. Trading eggs for produce has been a wonderful way to meet the neighbors.

And who woulda thunk that I would end up with a little red barn of my own? Doesn’t that just factor into everyone’s farm fantasy? Well, it certainly factored into mine. I’m so appreciative to the feral cat folks in San Diego for giving me the idea to house a community of feral cats in the barn. Once they started to trust me, it was easy to get them all trapped, spayed and neutered. It’s a win-win. They help to keep the rodent population down and I know that they’re safe from predators at night. Tobee and Buddy are happy to be the only indoor cats and have gotten over hissing at the doorway when they see our ferals hunting in the garden. I’ve gotten past wanting them to come to me like domestic cats and am just happy that they don’t run away any more when I come around.

GoatWhen I come into the barn in the morning, I often see the cats and my two little pygmy goats all curled together in the goat stall. Someday I’ll get a photo but I’m usually so entranced watching them that I forget. My little goats are the joy to my morning. The way they prance just makes me laugh. I love that, as I wander around the property, checking fence lines and getting myself ready for the day, they just hop happily behind me, climbing on and over anything that strikes their fancy, bumping my hands with their heads and chatting with me with those funny little grunting sounds they make. It’s been an adventure learning about their quirky goat habits and they have certainly earned their keep in weed abatement. I even brought them over to mom and dad’s house one day to help out in their back acreage. They were amazed. I’m so glad I found the fencing system I did that allows me to reconfigure their yard to where ever I need the plants mowed down and to keep them away from plants that don’t need to be eaten. Although, it was really hard not to laugh when they showed up the other day at my back door with dahlia petals all over their faces – those wide innocent eyes trying to convince me that they hadn’t just plowed through my flower beds.

It’s also so fun for me that my coworkers, including my boss, often decide to work remotely, grabbing their laptops to spend the day working with me here. I’m thrilled that I’ve created a place that people view as a calm oasis. I’d be happy never to go into an office again, but to always have my coworkers around at my place. It’s like we’re not working but we get so much done and enjoy each other’s company in the process. I’ve never in my life laughed so much. It doesn’t hurt that they love to get their hands dirty and help a bit with the barn-work and fixing up the place when they want a break from the computer. I could not have found a better set of friends/coworkers than these. We really do work hard to make a difference in the world but they all also understand the value of a work/life balance and the freshness it brings to our perspectives.

Relaxin'As we head into our first summer in the PNW, I am excited to feel the sun but also appreciate it all the more because of the rain, the snow and the cloudiness. And, contrary to what people would have you believe, I really did see the sun quite a bit over the winter and spring stretches too. I know, it’s a part of the PNW code to make people believe that there is no sun at all. I’ve enjoyed the grey days, however, because it allowed me to enjoy the out of doors in the green without worrying about being too hot. And need I say it again – the green!!! After the brown of San Diego, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over how beautiful all the green is. I know that the wetness is what helps the green be here and I’m happy to learn to work with the rain to have this beauty.

I am also glad that the local animal welfare contingent found me pretty soon after we moved up here last year, and proud to say that just last week we adopted our 7th foster into a loving home! With the size and layout of our home, it’s easy to give Borrego and Hef their space without asking them to interact with our fosters.

Hef loves that his area has a little door out to his covered outside patio garden. His new bunny friend, Elektra, was such an easy addition to our family. I’m glad we thought about the fact that, if the place was all new to Hef, he might more willingly accept a friend into his space. He seems happier and is actually more affectionate now that he has a bestie.

While we haven’t yet completely figured out the farming thing (and to be fair, we’ve just started our first full summer here), it’s been wonderful to have made friends with the family that runs the local CSA down the road, and to be able to get a weekly box of organic fruits and veggies in exchange for me doing a little social media and graphic work for them. We’re learning so much from them and hopefully will be growing our own food soon.

Please plan on coming to visit us. We’d love to have you and have plenty of guest rooms to accommodate. Michael’s been working on a few new recipes and we’d love to try them out on you to see what you think.


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