Getting in the mood

I had planned to share the final post in our waterproofing project today, but some of the finishing touches have been delayed. So instead, inspired by the project that took us away from the basement, I’m going to be sharing some thoughts on DIYing.

As I sat down to start writing this post, the announcers who are calling the baseball game on TV were talking about one of the players taking some time off for family problems.

Matt added his own commentary. “Family problems? What, did his wife make him dig a trench too? And complain all afternoon about not having a backhoe?”

Now, in my defense, I did not make Matt dig a trench. I came up with the brainwave to add a hose connection out at the garden this spring. I also advocated for renting a small backhoe or hiring out the trench (I even got a quote). Matt’s the one who came up with the brainwave to hand dig the trench for the new waterline and to do it on a humid 30+ degree afternoon in August.

As much as it might sound from my description that we’re sniping at each other, really we’re just teasing each other. This is part of our rhythm. When it comes to working around the farm, we are very much a team.

Trenching a waterline to the garden

But the thing about DIYing as a couple is sometimes we’re not both in the DIY mood at the same time. And that was definitely the case for me when we were digging the trench.

It was hot, between a cold (I hate a summer cold) and a lurking migraine (thank you, humidity) I wasn’t feeling great, our clay soil is super hard and full of roots and rocks, and the distance from the hose hook up at the driveshed (where we’re tying in) and the garden is loooooong.

But because of all of the things I listed above (except for how I was feeling), I didn’t want Matt to have to do the whole trench all by himself.

Plus, I really want a hose out at the garden, so if Matt’s in the mood to trench the waterline, I’m going to take advantage of that, no matter what mood I’m in.

So I grumbled about a backhoe, how hard our soil is and my bad mood. I took breaks to sit and lie down in the shade. I kept refilling our water bottles and planned how we’d reward ourselves with a post-trench refreshment. And I also kept swinging the pick while Matt wielded the shovel.

And Matt was understanding. He didn’t begrudge me slacking off. He got extra drinks for us, posed for pictures and encouraged snuggle breaks with the dog.

Farmboy lemonade reward for a hard day's work

He also recognized that even though he said at various points, “Why don’t you go in and watch the Olympics,” there was no way I was going to leave.

Relationships are about give and take. Add in a farm and a heap of DIY, and we need to be even more flexible. For Matt and me, recognizing where we each are at and supporting each other–no matter our moods–allows us to accomplish everything we do around the farm.

How do you get in the DIY mood? What’s your secret to DIY success? Are you part of a DIY duo? How do you make a partnership work?





9 thoughts on “Getting in the mood

  1. Haha, love your bickering. My parents gently bickered for 63 years about which way was “up” on an egg, and which way you should slice a tomato, with the stem in the middle of the first slice or on the top of the middle slice. (My mother was right in terms of the egg, and my dad about the tomato, lol.) Sharon and I do that too. Sharon’s saving grace is that she always puts the word “lovely” in front of the word “wife”. 🙂
    We have trouble getting up and going for renos and yard work. I think we need to take a leaf out of your book, just get up and start and see if the other person joins in. I hesitate to ask because of her pain, and she hesitates to ask because I don’t have much down time. But really, I usually feel better after doing some physical work anyway.
    I hope your cold goes away soon. Summer colds suck! But you will appreciate the trench and hose every day you use it.

  2. Oh how alike we are! Steve and I are the same way with projects! If one of us has to belly crawl in the crawlspace, we both do. When Steve wanted to save money by replacing the transmission in my vehicle this Spring, I was underneath holding it in place with my hair in a puddle of transmission fluid. Yes I complained, but we are in this together. He didn’t want chickens but he helped me make the coop and he climbed up in the tree to get them down when they wouldn’t go back in their coop last night. We play-gripe at each other but at the end of the day we are a team. And it sounds like you and Matt feel the same way!

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