May 9, 2019

Ten Years

Ten years ago, Dan and I bought the property that has become our homestead. A decade seems like a true mile marker and a good time to take a look at then and now.

House and front yard then.

House and front yard now

Driveway then.

Driveway now.

Outbuilding #1 then: storage and Dan's workshop.

Outbuilding #1 now: goat barn and milking room.

Outbuilding #2 then: became our first chicken coop & goat barn

Outbuilding #2 now: 1st a goat barn, now Dan's workshop

Behind the outbuildings then.

Behind the outbuildings now.

Fig tree then (shrub on the right)

Fig tree now (as tall as the barn)

This time next year this will be a garden
Garden then

Garden now

Back pasture then.

Back pasture now.

Road front then.

Road front now.

West pasture then.

West pasture now.

East pasture then.

East pasture now.

And then there's the house. To see what we've done in the past ten years to our 90+ year old bungalow, please visit my remodeling website blog, Our Old House.

It's still a work in progress! We've had ups and down, successes and failures, done a lot of experimenting, a lot of learning, and a lot of wishing we knew then what we know now. Do we ever wish we'd chosen to do something else? Never. We're both very thankful for the life we are blessed to live.

Thank you to those who have followed our progress over the years. You've been both encouragement and inspiration.

Ten Years © May 2019 by Leigh 


  1. Tremendous progress shown in those before and after shots, and you didn't even touch on all you've done to the HOUSE!

  2. These kind of posts are great. You tend to forget from where it all comes and where all the hard work went. You have made a beautifull spot on earth. Must be very rewarding to see the before and after photo's. Even for me, it is nice to see the difference. Well done!

  3. Gorges, which is why it's a good thing we like it! lol

    Michelle, thanks! I love before and after photos too. You prompted me to add a link to my remodeling website. It could use a little updating too, but it is a good record of the most of the work we've done.

    Wendy, thanks! It's so true that it's easy to forget about all that hard work. So often we only see what isn't done, not what is done! It's good to remind ourselves from time to time, isn't it?

  4. What a difference ten years has made...I loved seeing the changes. The grass in the pastures looks healthier...has a darker color. Maybe that is because of the time of day photos were taken.

  5. Wow! It's amazing to see how much has changed when you put the pictures side by side. The trees along the road front made me look twice.

  6. Well done you've done so much. 10 yrs is a great milestone.

  7. I wish I had the foresight to take "before" shots of some of my projects. Most of the time I only remember to do that after I'm part way into the project.

  8. Rose, hopefully the grass is healthier, but it may just be the camera, or like you say the time of day. We are definitely working toward increased soil health!

    Lady Locust, I think that set of photos has the most difference! It is nice to take a look back.

    DFW, thanks!

    Mark, thank you! Hard to believe we've been here that long.

    Ed, I only wish I'd taken more. There are things I remember (or think I remember) and would love to compare with now. But I didn't take as many shots as I think I did!

  9. I love seeing these before and after photos, Leigh! You've made so many wonderful improvements!

  10. You've done so much in 10 years and it shows! I love the look of your home from the front, and of course all of the pastures and outbuildings. - Margy

  11. Congratulations Leigh! What a great before and after story!

  12. Debbie, thank you! So glad you enjoyed the photos.

    Margy, it seems most of the work was on the house, which needed a lot of updating. But I like what we're doing with the soil and pastures, and that's important.

    TB, thanks! It's nice to stop and look back every now and then.

  13. Wow you've done so much. Your work and love of this home are an inspiration. And I am kinda shocked at how long I have "known" you. I remember vividly your apartment days. Happy Anniversary.

  14. Leigh...that was so inspiring to see/read. Seriously. We've been so upset about what happened lately and having to re-sign the lease for another year...but seeing your post revived me a lot, let me see that one year is a drop in the pond!! The photos of the "Road Front" then and now are spectacular, what kind of trees were planted, or did you guys plant new ones?

  15. Wow, 10 years already. Everything looks great, maybe now you can sit back a bit and watch the pastures grow! :-)

  16. Oh my gosh! These pictures are amazing. All the hard work over the ten years really shows. I love seeing before and after pictures. You and Dan have made your homestead into a beautiful place. So lush and green and all the buildings look so nice. Congratulations!

  17. Renee, we've "known" each other since my cat blogging days! That was before I even dreamed of starting this blog. So glad you've hung in there with me!

    Rain, I'm so glad it was inspiring and not discouraging! I so know what you and Alex are going through. Finding the right property can be a real trial of endurance. But I know you'll find it at the right time.

    We planted the trees along the road front in July of 2009. They are Leyland Cypresses and were the perfect choice.

    Mike, amazing, isn't it? Now that we're retired we have slowed down, but you know us - always full of plans and always busy. It would take several lifetimes to get it all done, though, so we just plug along, thankful to be here.

    Henny, thanks! It's good to take some time to look back and remember where we've come from. It's rewarding to feel productive.

  18. your property looks better and beautiful now....

    Have a wonderful weekend

  19. How wonderful to have this documentation! And no small task to go through the trouble to have it all together like this. Happy Tenth Anniversary!

  20. The before and after are stunning photos of your and Dan's hard work. I really appreciate all of it. I have just received my cypress seeds and am starting them this week. They make the best fence for along the road, and grow pretty fast. It is wonderful to see yours 10 years later. Thanks for sharing all your success!

  21. you should both be so proud with all you have achieved - your place looks amazing and is a credit to all your hard work :)

  22. Tanza, thanks!

    Mama Pea, it is fun to compare then and now. I admit I had a whole lot more "then" photos, but this is as far as I got in taking updated shots for this post!

    Wyomingheart, those Leyland cypresses were such a good choice. I do like a pretty privacy hedge. We made careful to water them generously that first year, but they've hung in there through heat and long dry spells splendidly.

    Helsyd, thank you! Sometimes we're so busy working that we forget how much we've done. It's nice to stop occasionally and remember.

  23. The place looks like a million bucks, Leigh. Almost inspires me to go after my own hovel...

  24. Thanks Glen! I have to admit that sometimes it gets pretty easy to overlook a lot of things around the place. ;)

  25. We certainly are blessed, to be able to persevere with what we want to do, in life. It's always enlightening, to see those before and after shots. Because at the time we're doing these things, they're always up close and in great detail. Stepping back, you get to appreciate the size of the change that has transpired, together.

    I really love the hedge at the front of the property. Nothing says time, like seeing a plant go from shin high, to towering over your head. Maybe, kids are similar like that too, lol. ;)

    I've really enjoyed following your (and Dan's) story, and hope it's something you can continue to share in the future. :)

  26. Chris, I appreciate that. Transforming land is such a huge project, even though we're just trying to build it more in nature's image!

  27. My goodness! You guys should be so proud! Can't believe how long I've been reading your blog for, just be 7 years (as long as we've been here).
    *raises glass to you and dan* Here's to the next ten years!

  28. Kev, it really helps to take some time to remember and compare before and after. Otherwise, all we see is what remains to be done!

  29. Well done Leigh, it's inspiring to see your progress, here's to another ten years of joy.

  30. Kirsty, good to hear from you! Thanks!


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