Kristin Nicholas has my life...Sigh. I'm crushed with life-envy. I've been reading all the back posts on Kristin Nicholas' blog, Getting Stitched on the Farm, and I think I've gone from my usual pink to pea green. Let's list the reasons I'm having a conniption:
- She lives in Western Massachusetts, near Greenfield, aka the best place on earth (my husband and I went to Hampshire College and it's when we both realized we were New Englanders at heart)
- She has sheep (I want sheep)
- She has chickens (I want chickens)
- She has her own yarn line and gets to play with color all day (sigh)
- She writes amazing yarn books that people buy and worship her from a distance (like I do!)
- Not only is she a knitting designer, but she's also an embroiderer, my other dream craft
- She is surrounded by 4000 apple trees abutting her farm
- She posts regularly on her blog, with amazing photos
- She has beautiful peonies and lilacs and roses and an acre of sunflowers to just name a few things.
- She cooks a lot and blogs her recipes using her own produce and eggs.
So I'm stuck in my boys' dorm at school (and don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for my apartment), but Ethan and I did a road trip to look at land the other day and I'm getting rather primed to buy land next year (I almost wrote "tomorrow") and move onto my mother earth stage. There is one pickle in my plan, and that is my wonderful husband, who is not, repeat NOT, interested in the whole outdoors with livestock and dirt thing.
He wants to move as much I do, certainly. Surrounded by 80 teenage boys, many of whom seem shocked that after pounding on your door at midnight that you were actually sleeping when they wanted to ask you a question about the homework they should have finished at 10:30 pm, gets a little old after a while. This is actually the place where we like our neighbors the most out of all the places we've lived (maybe because you can go next door and say things like, "What are you doing??!? Why are you playing video games through your subwoofer?!? Are you insane? Stop!!" and they listen, for the most part). In previous homes, we always have developed a pathological hate of our neighbors. We had the neighbor who loved to chainsaw at 6:00 am, the weird guy in Indiana who was so obsessed with mowing his lawn that he would ride his riding mower on a 3 foot defrosted pile of grass in January then go sit in his open garage while relaxing on a recliner in his parka, the drunk laughing lady who would fall off her deck drink in hand while her husband yelled, "Jesus, Judy! Again?!", and the Purdue University guy who ran mini-frat house across the hall, whose party started on Thursday night and went until Sunday complete with major subwoofer (I see a subwoofer theme here) and who Ethan would call "Hoss" to his face when the dude came over beer in hand to complain why we called the cops to shut down the party. We've been very lucky.
So, after 15 years, we want to have a little elbow room. I'm thinking 2 acres at least, but I'd love it to be closer to five acres, with a bit of a wooded buffer on two sides if possible. The reason I want cleared land to be a good part of it is because I want an orchard and berry bushes and a vegetable garden (so I can go after my Master Gardener and Master Composter certification - what is my penchant for certifications?). But Ethan is totally not interested. He's sweet and will say things like "That's nice, honey" but he doesn't really want to be outside. He says it's because there are bugs outside and he hates bugs. When one comes in the house, you'd think it was the Nazis marching through Paris based on the level of horror and violation he experiences. Usually he locks himself in the bathroom yelling, "You deal with it! Kill it!" (as long as the bug isn't in the bathroom), but I understand why he came out this way. His family has a lot of allergies, especially his mom, so I'm sure there wasn't a lot of outdoors time for him growing up. Mind you, if he's playing baseball, he's content to be outside for hours so this is a qualified fear.
He wants land so he doesn't hear other people that much, and so he can play his stash of guitars and amplifiers at ear-bleeding levels and not worry about other people. I respect this. I understand that I have a husband who can provide minutia about Eric Clapton's life or the guy with the weird hair from Bon Jovi, and that's very interesting and helpful in certain situations. But it would work better if he wouldn't mind feeding chickens or sheep or helping me weed on our future farm. I'll have to ease him into it and see how far I can get until he balks.
And there's plenty of time. If we buy land next year, it will still take a while to build a house to live in (we want a small house - 1000 t0 1200 sq ft - with passive solar, solar hot water, rainwater catchment, etc.). So now I just post my pull-out poster of chicken breeds from Backyard Poultry magazine on the fridge (you thought I was kidding when I said I wanted chickens, didn't you?) and praise him to the skies when he talks about Buff Orpingtons. What a guy!