Got a call this morning from a guy named Dave.   Dave sells post and beam construction houses and is looking for a local crew to sub out part of a project.  Before coming to Iowa, he was in the military jumping out of air planes.  After that he worked  for a spell building million dollar log homes in Colorado.  Spent some time living off the grid out west.  Finally settled down and started a family.  Now he’s in Iowa.  His body is shot.  Got my name from the guy I’d gotten honey bees from last year.

I was telling my crew about the conversation at break.

Jason made the comment he’d love to start general contracting  larger projects.

I told him my aspiration, is to learn the art of consistently growing large onions. (I still haven’t figured it out.)

Learn how to consistently grow large onions and get a few laying hens. (again) 😉

Ones that lay large brown eggs.

Nothing like stepping outside in the morning before heading to work, heading over to the chicken house for breakfast.   Eggs that are still warm.  Chop up a large onion,  saute in butter.  Maybe  cook up a little bacon or ham,  Couple of eggs over easy....and coffee….dark roast.

Now that is a thing of beauty. 🙂



Fell into my life calling quite by accident. Been doing it for 40 plus years.  Intended to go to college after a working for a year for my dad.  At the end of that first year, I realized I loved construction. I loved what I was doing, and if I stayed with it long enough, it held out the possibility of making a decent income.  I love working with my hands.  Love using applied math to calculate roof pitches, stairs stringers,  estimates, etc.   I stick framed a  high-end  house roof  back in the 1990’s that had 27 hips and valley’s.  Two story, 12/ 12 pitch.  Yep.  Been there done that.  General contracted enough houses (5) to get that out of my system too.  I can give you several reasons why I would never/ ever general contract a house again. Sub out parts of it, absolutely. General the whole thing.  Nada.

I’m all about stress management.

Love it when the phone doesn’t ring.




Came across the following  30 years ago and it continues to inform my choices:

“It is vain that you rise up early and go late to bed, eating the bread of anxious toil…for the Lord gives to his beloved sleep (or gives to his beloved in his sleep”)

(A Jewish scripture.  Psalm 127:2)

I’ve written on this topic multiple times. Here’s a link if you’re interested.


If you were having coffee with me today,  how would you  answer that question on goals and aspirations (currently)?

I’m genuinely interested. DM












26 thoughts on “Aspirations

  1. If you asked me about goals and aspirations, I’d say I’ve got enough “been there, done that” T-shirts to make a quilt. And if I got out the old journals and read my goals from 30 years ago they’d be the same ones I have now. Lose weight (when I weighed 40 pounds less than I do today!) Be kind (I’m still trying.) Appreciate the little things. (When I slow down, I can see them.) Thanks for a really nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been 1 year since my divorce. My only goal during this time was to enjoy my new way of life and allow the anxiety of the past years to ebb away. I have found enjoyment, and most of the bad stuff has been shelved as easily as one would put groceries in a cupboard. The world is open at this point so I suppose it’s time to consider what might be some future goals. One that is sitting with me lately is the idea of finding a real home, versus apartment life. I love this place, but there still exists a need to have someplace of my own. Much to consider with that idea though, so movement on, and consideration of this idea is very slow and deliberate at this point.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, hard to believe it’s been a year already Deb…Glad you like your current place, but I know what you mean about having a place of your own…done both, multiple times (rent) Good to hear from you. DM

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I entered the workforce at 13 (to help with farm income). If I wasn’t in school I was at work. I’ve worked at everything and anything and every shift. Graveyards as a baker, days as a roofer. Pumping gas, selling commercial refrigeration equipment, waitress, cook…..automotive which you know. 42 years. Had to put food on the table, raise kids, pay bills….
    When I left my job last year I figured I’d be good for about a month before I started ‘jonesing’ for a job again – my identity has always been tied to a job. Hasn’t happened.
    Goals…..more self sufficient on the farm, keep my bees alive through the winter, finish writing a book I’ve been working on for years, get the house finished, get the barn floor fixed……teaching myself to slow slow down. Took an out of the way detour last month on a quick road trip to spend time with my son. Took another trip to spend a few days with my daughter. Working on my health – blood pressure is down, blood sugar is down – I was at the back door of type 2 diabetes.
    People still ask me if I’m going back to work. Tough question – but at the moment – no. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Did I know you have bees too? I know you have chickens 🙂 (remember you talking about butchering before) Good for you that you’re seeing real progress on your health. That is the hardest area of my life it feels like to stay on top of. Sounds like you’re retooling your life. (learning there is more to life than work) ..if you can shut the “work-a-haulic” voice off..that is also huge. good for you. DM

      Liked by 1 person

        • this is my 2nd attempt @ bees…there is so much information..someone told me just recently, it takes about 3 years, before things begin to make sense. I’m not there yet 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Good morning Val, I was just scrolling back through old blog posts, saw this comment…how are your bees? did you do anything special to get them ready for Winter? I know you guys live further north than I do..wondering if you have to do anything special to help them make it? DM

          Liked by 1 person

          • Wintering bees is a big thing up here yes – many of the ‘big’ operations bring their hives indoors. Some smaller Beekeepers do as well – I’m set up to do so should I decide to, but it requires planning. Temperature, light, humidity and ventilation need to be controlled. I’m in a holding pattern at the moment – I have insulated the hive, and covered with 2” styrofoam- leaving top and bottom entrance open and space for my top sawdust box (insulation/humidity) to vent. I’ve given them a candy board to work on – they have plenty of honey stored, but there’s a lot of winter to go yet. I’ve a second candy board with pollen patties in it, that I plan to sneak in after the solstice in December.
            The weather is unpredictable these days – normally we are well into the deep freeze by now, but we are actually hovering around the 0C mark. Too warm to bring them in for sure. There are dozens of other methods of getting hives ready for winter – I’ll know by spring how I did. Winter losses in Canada are common. 😊

            Liked by 1 person

  4. We have worked to reduce our carbon footprint. Smaller home. Less gadgets and doohickeys. Less consumer/retail therapy. Goals? More sustainable, continue to work to improve our soils and increase garden production. Continue planting trees for forest diversification. Continue to work on increasing orchards. Finish the two books currently on the drawing board and write more. Speak truth to power in every format/medium I know. Get our bees to survive winters reliably. Live well. Fully love the people in my life. Learn to play the banjo. (Not necessarily in this order.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lots of great items. I can see you’ve been giving these things some serious thought. You mentioned you have any other musical instruments already under your belt?


      • Alas, I’ve only begun to learn to play. But I became entranced by early twentieth century instruments, and the story they tell about music becoming “democratized.” Previously the primary instruments were piano and violin, each requiring some measure of wealth for space and lessons. But the late 1800s and early 1900s saw a burgeoning of mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, banjoleles, banjolins…it goes on and on. And I began collecting and refurbishing. Now I have quite a little collection of lovely, sturdy little stringed instruments. If I took all the time I spent refinishing these–and put it into learning to play, I’d be accomplished now. Somehow I got stuck rescuing them. Soon though, strumming is in my future. (As soon as the barn is built.)

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Both me and SWMBO gave up on making plans to better our future long ago.
    We realised that although our goal setting was doable and our aspirations reasonable, our biggest failures were when ‘trying’ to improve our lives.
    We always brought down by another be that TPTB, money, or by trusting others.

    So now, as a senior couple, we keep goals and aspirations to:-
    Grow old gracefully, together, and not because of what happens to us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If you figure out the large onion have to promise to let me know what you discover….you’re writing a book? Do tell…tell me more….fiction, non fiction? Where are you at in the process?


  6. As long as we’re together, we can do anything (within reason, budget and health permitting!) If we can make just one person smile a day, that’s good for us. We gave up making plans years ago as it always went belly up. We have no delusions, and know the gvnmt will find a way to screw us one way or another, so why plan for a future and end up lining someone else’s pocket? We get by, don’t owe a penny to a soul, and enjoy our life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No debt..that is a huge millstone you don’t have to drag around Di. Good for you! Do you miss boat life, or have you settled in to your new place by now?


      • Yep, we miss the boat and being able to untie the ropes and putter upriver whenever we felt like it. However, in this heat, it would have been unbearable, even on the water. We miss the simplistic life, the peace and quiet of the marina as everyone respected everyone else’s privacy, and of course no screaming kids or boom boxes passing our door.
        We’re settling in OK here though, have got into a routine and the bills are well within our budget, so I’m really pleased. The town’s nice, and people friendly, plus we have the beach of course and it’s lovely in the park. Not a bad spot to be in a house.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. My goals now…get my kids raised, and get myself restarted. Possibly involve myself more heavily in getting my parents through the next phase of their life…my dad has a new diagnosis and it will likely require a major commitment, for life, on my mom’s part. There is plenty of room for me to help.
    I got raised once and was a young adult…got married, settled down, had kids, rode the roller coaster of my husband’s giant family and different culture/religion. Now I have to get my kids raised but I also know, in the same way that I once had to strike out on my own separate from my parents, I also need to set out on my own, separate from this giant family I married into. Hopefully without losing all the relationships here entirely…I love them all but their way is not my way.
    And I have to figure out how to do that while factoring in my kids and my parents.
    It’s broad, but those are my goals: get it figured out and keep things moving in the right direction…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa, I am confident you will figure it out. You are smart, articulate, and have a big heart. Always good to hear your thoughts. ps. Any plans for another road trip out west..(hint hint) ? Take care. DM


  8. It’s funny, I’ve been trying to figure out what else I could do with my life. I toy with ideas like home health nursing or wound care nursing and then I go to the OR and forget about those other ideas. I’m not good at making changes. Or doing new things. I don’t think I’ve gotten comfortable in what I do because what I do is always changing and improving. I don’t get bored at work. I enjoy my work. And now I’m back travel nursing and that might be enough to keep me satisfied for another stretch. But the wound care stuff really might be my next go to. Outside of work, I’m all about the hiking and backpacking. I dream of the thru hike, but may be happy with section hiking. Thanks for asking! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you’re not getting bored @ work, and you enjoy what you’re doing (and you’re making enough to pay the bills) then it sounds like you’ve found that sweet spot….then to have a hobby outside of work that you also find enjoyment in, is another gift not to be taken lightly. Gardening does that for me currently. Good to hear from you Michele. DM


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