Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday encore ~ The 7MSN Ranch 2.0

This encore post is from August 16, 2016. 
I've been thinking about the subject ever since and am finally 
in a place to share my thoughts ... and even some decisions.
But before I do that in next week's posts,
I thought it might be useful to go back to the beginning.


Can we talk?
Something’s been on my mind for months, and I sure could use some advice.

I need help figuring out the rest of my life.

The ranch will be paid off in a little less than five years (1,795 days to be precise). 
I will be 66 when that happens and able to retire if that’s what I feel like doing at the time. 
As much as I want to live here forever, I’d have to be crazy to think I could pull it off. 
Taking care of this place requires a lot of physical work. The chores are easy for me to do now, 
but when I’m 70 or 80, maybe not so much. And hiring help isn’t a practical option, 
given the ranch’s remoteness and the 11 miles of dirt road to get here.

Which brings me to the realization that I need to develop the 7MSN Ranch version 2.0.
It should probably be a little closer to somewhere than nowhere (5MNS?),
or at least on a paved road. 
The question is, where? 

 That’s where you come in. I’m thinking if I crowdsource the answer 
among people who know and understand me, surely we’ll be able to identify options 
for my forever home. Five years seems like a long time to figure this out, 
but by the time I research, visit, and agonize over the decision, 
it will likely be time to put up the for sale sign on this place.

So ... here is what I’m looking for:
1. Utopia
Got any ideas?
I kid, but not really.

My wish list is lengthy:

1. A place with wide open spaces where my animals can live as naturally 
as possible and there won’t be a neighbor in sight – rural but not remote.

2. A place where I won’t live in fear of natural disasters, including but not limited to: 
floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, forest fires and severe drought.

3. A temperate climate – not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry.

4. Within a few hours’ drive to an airport – not that I plan on traveling,
 but I do love having houseguests.

5. Reasonably close to a thriving small town with charm and a grocery store 
(sort of the opposite of Mountainair, New Mexico).

Ok, so maybe the list isn’t that long, but items 2 and 3 sure do narrow down the options.

Might you or someone you know live in a place like this? 
Have you vacationed or visited somewhere and said, “this is heaven and I want to live here.” 
I realize that no place is perfect and I may have to compromise on one or more of my wishes, 
but with all of you helping me look, I’ve got to think almost-utopia is possible. 
And with any luck, one of you already lives there and I’ll know someone when I arrive!


  1. Can't wait to hear about it. I am still rooting for a shared ranch with several small houses where your friends live and share the fun of a ranch. Lisa G in TN

  2. I remember this and am now waiting to see what you have come up with... good luck with your choice

  3. Suspense. I've never been too good with that.

  4. I just went back and read your 'fairy tale'... what a courageous move! And I read the suggestions made after your August 2016 post. Adding my 2 cents, I would also suggest the Hill Country of Texas. My daughter lives there on acreage and has horses, dogs, cats, and chickens. It's a beautiful area that has a wonderful climate and a big friendly horse community. It also has quaint little towns and not that far a drive to the coast. It does have some flash-flooding (avoid buying in those areas) and drought (but almost everywhere has drought these days). Good luck! Hope you will let us follow your journey!

  5. Can't wait to read next week's posts!

  6. No drought in Wisconsin! Winters are getting milder and summers aren't excessively hot. No shortage of anything in sight. Just about perfect.

  7. I travel all over Oregon for work and think you would love the central Oregon/Bend area.
    Ashland in Southern Oregon is also nice :-)

  8. Funny that you should bring this up again....I also ponder going somewhere else
    to live...sell my house on 1.25 acres on a hill in a small city in Piedmont Triad, NC
    and I get stuck wondering where I would want to live....I love the Pac NW, but too
    far from family.So, I just stay put...At 69 there are not too many places I would
    lie to live...Enjoy the journey looking for the perfect place for you and your crew.
    Love from NC

  9. Very expensive in Bend and near abouts. It is being taken over by Californians and the prices are sky rocketing. Medford/Ashland area extremely hot in the summer over 100 degrees. My horse friend is moving from Bend where she just moved to 4 years ago just before the explosion happened in Bend They are moving to Spokane WA after all her exploring for good horse places. That is a place to look at. Also western WA is good along the I-5 corridor between Olympia WA and Portland OR. The closer you are to Olympia or Portland, the prices are HIGHer. Everything on your list is satisfied except there is rain. BUT with the climate change they are getting less rain and more sunny days. Build a covered arena with run ins shed off of it and you are set for those rainy days.

  10. please consider my backgarden. It doesn't tick any of the boxes but you and all your animals would be so welcome!

  11. it'll be interesting to read what you've decided. I agree w/isace "very expensive in Bend (and Portland and Olympia...)". We, recently, moved from west side (wet side) to east of the Cascades-HUGE difference in so many ways-weather, housing prices, political leaning. We went from 3 acres of isolation to being city dwellers. It has been an adjustment, but I love it! Altho the other day on Craigslist someone listed a mini donkey and I'd so love to be able to take the little guy, but...

  12. Wherever you go, build everything as if you were already 80 years old and using a walker, and you'll be set for a long time. This includes some very simple things, like either no stairs, or shallow, deep stairs. Mine are deep enough I can use a walker on them, and have sturdy rails on both sides. Hallways that are wide enough. Automatic watering system for the yard so you don't have to drag hoses around. Sidewalks to the outbuildings that are wide enough to pull a big wagon full of the stuff you need to move (a wheelbarrow is hard to push when you're old). Grab bars in the bathroom, a high toilet instead of a low one. The house doesn't have to look like a care facility, but there are lots of little things that make life easier as you age.

  13. I've often wondered if you made a decision...