Artists and Engineers

Feb 07, 2022

Brad and I are designing a pole barn in our back pasture. We've been talking about it since we moved here but now we are in the serious stage. We're talking to our neighbors, have chosen someone to build it, and are drawing it out.

This past weekend we walked out to the pasture and put down flags and garden hoses to mark it all out and that's when it all quietly went to hell lol. We are so alike in so many ways but every so often we do something that reminds us of our differences. We were having an FFT, otherwise known as an Effing First Time. Once I realized it, I calmed down. When was the last time I designed a 40x40' pole barn with Brad? Never.

So we were walking around the pasture with a tape measure and little white plastic flags on wire measuring out this 40x40' square. This seemed like a simple task to both of us. We were doing it in 20' chunks because our little wheelie-measuring-thing's batteries were dead and our tape measure wasn't long enough.

I had wanted to do it by walking one-foot-in-front-of-the-other as my boots are about 12" long but Brad wanted more precise. I'm an artist and he's an engineer. I've lived with engineers around me my whole life, grandfathers, father, ex-husband, and Brad so I know their brains and I was like, "Sure, precise. That's fine." All the while thinking, "I mean we are in the middle of a pasture and using a 20' tape to measure 40', marker flags, and a garden hose, but if you think you're going to get precise, then go for it."

So, off we went, being "precise."

Squaring up in this situation is pretty fluid ;-) I was holding the end of the tape and he was walking out with the other end and marking with flags.

Flags are all over the place and hardly any in a straight line. I was standing there, trying not to giggle, looking at a line of 4 flags and it's literally a zigzag, another line was a shallow U.

Oh GAWD. Help me.

Perfectionism Julia to the rescue! 

I started pulling them out and placing them in a "straight line," lining them up with various visual markers, mainly the line of the girl goat barn. Brad was walking behind me, measuring my changes and getting more and more agitated.

"But this is 6" off. No wait, the original flag is a foot off! Well how can this be? Ok, I'll move this here but wait, now this isn't right..."

Finally in a huff he realized that it wasn't possible to be precise, I let go of my lines needing to be straight, we really started talking and suddenly everything was a lot easier! Yay for communication!

We did get it marked out:

I'm pointing to the outer corner of where our 3 stalls will be. The photo was taken in such a way that it's completely distorted but you get the idea. 3 stalls on left: a 12x14 for big boy Wynter, a 12x12 for little man Sweetness the mini donkey, and another 12x14 for Rayn. Or Sweetness and Rayn if that's what they decide they want. We will use free standing stalls like this:

And the rest will be open for coaching work and goat snuggling sessions with the public. The open area will have fencing around the edge to keep baby goats in :-) Lots of airflow in this thing as it's more hot than not here in NC.

May you get a chance to create with someone you love this week and may you laugh a lot when you do :-)

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