Out of My Comfort Zone (and Into the Basement)

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It even looks scary in the daytime if you ask me.

It even looks scary in the daytime if you ask me.

Earlier this month I spent a whole week at the Ohio house. Most of it alone (my in-laws visited me for the weekend). I almost cancelled the trip multiple times because I was afraid of being there at night alone, and worried I couldn't really get anything done by myself, or that I would break something big and expensive. Fear of going into the basement at night prompted me to ask my father in law to leave the water heater lit when he was leaving Sunday so I wouldn't have to light it late Tuesday when I arrived. It's old, and getting ready to go, so as a precaution we keep it off when the house is empty. He left the water heater on for me. But as luck would have it, I'd be in that basement, in the dark, checking to see if any breakers in the electrical panel had tripped (and resetting it multiple times). Two and half hours after I arrived, the house went totally black while I was enjoying a soak in the tub.

That's right, I was literally naked and afraid in our new house.

After finding a robe, and a flashlight, which was hiding in a drawer on the opposite end of the house, I faced one of my fears. I didn't head down there out of bravery. I did it out of necessity. It was after midnight, I was tired, and the coffee maker needed to do its thing in the morning or I was going to be grumpy. I went down there three times that night with nothing but a flashlight and survived. Once we realized it wasn't the panel (I called Jared immediately, because he can fix it from 1,800 miles away), and the electric company's site wasn't showing any outages, I was forced to go outside to investigate if the neighbors' lights were on. They were, and their dogs were going crazy. Either something big and expensive broke (my fault no doubt), or someone was out there and they had cut the power to the house and were now watching me wander around in the dark. 

It turns out nothing expensive broke (at least nothing we had to pay for), and no one was out there! There was a transformer issue and our house is the only one powered by it. The electric company arrived around 4am to fix it and they were done in 30 minutes.

Once all my worst fears had been tackled unwillingly on my first night, I was free to get to work with wild abandon!

Hooray!

I'm pleased with myself. Can you tell?

I already shared about all the hard work that went into the Potager, and in case you missed it, there's also a very happy photo update on Facebook! I've also already mentioned I absolutely loved mowing, but did you know I started and mowed with the mandarin mower for the first time the week I was by myself? If you're already comfortable around small engines, maybe this isn't such a big deal, but there are a series of steps you have to follow to get it started, begin moving, and then get the mowing deck down and running. Only a small bit intimidating if you've never done it before, no one is around to help if you can't remember what comes next, and your neighbor is out mowing their side yard and has watched you stall 5 times in a row trying to get out of the garage (the parking brake has to be off before you put it in neutral, duh). 

Not only did I do a fabulous job (ok fine, grass was cut, but not all the lines were straight), but I learned how to hook the John Deere trailer up to the mower (thanks to my father in law), and backed that bad boy into the pasture and garage on multiple occasions. I could do it with my eyes closed now! Being able to run the mower and use the trailer allowed me to get a lot more weeding done than I could have with the wheel barrow, and I was able to tote all the tools and soil I needed to put seeds in the ground after the weeds were handled. The property is big. Saving time and energy is crucial if all the weeding and planting is to be done in a reasonable amount of time. 

I didn't hit anything, not even a little! Had a heck of a time getting in there though to dump it.

I didn't hit anything, not even a little! Had a heck of a time getting in there though to dump it.

Other great experiences I had over the week:

Filled gas cans at the gas station. I know, it seems weird I've never done that, but I've never really had a need to. It was super easy.

Started and used the gas powered blower (my father in law is quite patient and showed me how to do a lot of things). It's essential for blowing all the cut grass I threw on the driveway while mowing, and cleaning the mower up. Those things are heavy, so once you loose control you're blowing grass into the garage instead of out and using two hands to try to aim it the right way without letting it get away. Not the easiest piece of equipment to use, but I'll get the hang of it eventually.

Walked down Main St and felt like a local. I even stopped at the counter only Dairy Queen and got a blizzard. I think the high was 50 something that day, but I was covered in grass and dirt and didn't care. I think I'll be making this a regular thing.

Drove on a road with the word "hollow" in the name. Don't do that unless you have to. The road through the hollow (pronounced "holler") is narrow, and winding, and I swear I went uphill both ways! US 50 was closed between our town and Chillicothe, so if I wanted to go to Menard's I didn't have much of a choice and that was the detour. I rewarded myself with good coffee in town for surviving and took my time getting home.

Finished painting a few rooms and even managed to get the ceilings. I'm never painting again. Nothing has ever taken so long or felt so excruciating.

I began questioning my sanity right about here on room one. This is just the first coat of primer.

I began questioning my sanity right about here on room one. This is just the first coat of primer.

This won't be the last week I'm thrown so far out of my comfort zone or have to figure things out. Pretty much everything I did the whole week was all new. I thrive on learning new things and having new experiences, so this trip was really right up my alley once I was able to get out of my own head and just do it. That sounds so cheesy, but for real, I'm a capable adult when I tell myself I am. Which brings me to my point: you'll never be able to handle it if you keep telling yourself you can't.

There's still a ton to be done, which I'm anxiously awaiting while enjoying my last few days in Phoenix. Which reminds me, our chicks have now been laid and are growing comfy in their eggs, so the countdown to hatching begins! I ordered this book to celebrate (and learn more). I'll be sure and review it as part of my Homesteading 101.

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This post contains ads & affiliate links (this links to our full disclosure about browser cookies, and way more than you probably wanted to know about ads and affiliate marketing). We make a small commission when you purchase from some of the links shared in this post. Making a purchase from a link will not cause you to pay more or affect your purchase in any way. It will however, support our wildest farmin' dreams, which is mighty awesome of you