Long Range Planning

Today’s post comes from Ben.

I’ve been doing some long-range planning on building a shop. Or maybe it’s just a ‘garage’. Basically, I want a warm place to work on machinery. And things like grease guns and cans of liquid wrench or chain lube work better if they’re not 20 degrees. Even cordless tools are more fun to use when they’re not cold.

What do I think I want to work on? Does it need to be big enough to get my current biggest tractor in there? (Yes!) Or does it need to be big enough to get a combine in there? If I don’t actually build it for another 10 years, how much will I actually be farming? I don’t own a combine and I don’t expect to own one. My biggest implement (at the moment) opens up to about 26’ wide. Do I need / want enough room to pull that in attached to the tractor, AND unfold it to work on it? I have machine sheds now. But machinery is stored in there. There isn’t room to actually unfold an implement. Heck, sometimes there’s isn’t room to get the tractor and implement all in the shed.

Course during winter I put more stuff in the shed. This fall I spent a couple days moving stuff around so that I could get out either door with the tractor and snow blower. And still get to the rear blade if I needed that.

What started all this, aside from the deep seated, but dormant desire for a nice warm shop, is my grain drill. It’s 15’ wide. I bought it used a couple years ago and It needed a lot of work. Over the summer and early Spring I got it ready to plant. The next summer I fixed a few more things. But it needs one more thing and fixing that won’t be hard, it will just require taking a fair amount of stuff off to get that ‘cup’ out and a new one installed. Every summer I think I’m going to work on that.  But every summer other stuff happens, and I don’t get too it. Sort of like any of my home remodeling projects; ‘We can do it this summer!’ Famous last words. (And I’m still working on hardwood flooring and baseboard trim and closet doors).

Ok, so if I just want a shop big enough to work on the drill, I could get away with a two car garage. But then it doesn’t take too many things along the wall and pretty soon you have a one car garage.

watch some YouTube channels of other farmers; these big guys have the wonderful huge shops and sheds. All heated and well lit. I don’t need that.

Just the other day I got an email a farm magazine called ‘Successful Farming’ and their ‘top shops’ issue. Maybe I need a wash bay? What about a separate welding area? A lube rack?? Painting booth! And what about heating options?? Tool storage?? Water? OFFICE! Sleeping quarters!! ??

I’m still thinking.

And of course, WHERE will it go? Kelly asked me the other day what I was thinking about that. I have some ideas… still thinking.

And also nagging at the back of my mind is the question of ‘When do you really think you’ll have time to use this??’ I mean I can’t get my home remodeling projects done now. So, when do I think I’m going to have time to putter about in my nice warm shop…?

When I retire! But then… do I need to fit the big tractor in there then??

So many questions.

Anything nagging at your thoughts? What are your long range plans?




37 thoughts on “Long Range Planning”

  1. I sometimes struggle to identify the author of Trail Baboon header blogs. The only attribution on this one is Renee. But since the writer seems to be married to Kelly and has a grain drill, I’ll bet we can thank Ben for this contribution. Renee is an enthusiastic gardener, god knows, but I doubt she has a grain drill. Thanks, Ben!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Either Renee added the information about Ben after your comment, Steve, or you overlooked it. It’s the very first line of the post.


  2. Did I pick the right second number for Powerball? And that fourth one is looking kinda iffy. Should I have put that around the world travel plan on MasterCard or waited to cash out my winning Powerball ticket? It’s all very confusing.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Because of my health, it is hard for me to think of long term plans. I know that in the near future I’ll be spending two+ months in Rochester for a stem cell transplant and the initial aftermath/recovery but I can’t see beyond that. If I am cured then I have hopes of being able to hike around and shoot photos again, but I can’t see that far ahead at this point. My thoughts are taken up with what needs to be done immediately or in the very near future.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I know your future is scary, ljb. I’d never dismiss that. But if things go for you as we all hope, I think you will come through this period with a clearer grasp of what matters to you. I hope with all my power that it goes that way. Selfishly, I want to see the pictures you will take.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I hope you will be able to see new photos of mine, Steve. Although I suspect I will be a bit “rusty” and need some time to get my photographic eye back to what it was.


    2. I think that’s entirely understandable, Edith. Sometimes when faced with the kind of uncertainties you’re facing, over which you have little or no control, you have to focus on the immediate concerns, and what you can do about them. Good luck as you head to Rochester.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. LJB’s health problems clearly illustrate that “long-range plans” are always relative, whether they change day-to-day for the same person, or that MY definition of long-range is completely different from YOUR definition of long-range. Regardless, best of luck for a healthy 2019, LJB. 🙂

      Chris in Owatonna

      Liked by 2 people

    4. Long-term planning is a luxury that I rarely dabble in anymore. Truth be told, when I did, it would be more accurate to describe it as daydreaming, ’cause preciously little actual planning was involved.

      Take our kitchen remodeling project, for instance. Essentially I wanted some better kitchen cabinets. Hans envisions moving the stove from its current spot against a wall to a center island – closer to the sink. That would be nice, but then we have to get a new floor, and how about a range hood? This project has been stalled for at least ten years because of this, and this point, a new kitchen isn’t all that high on my list of priorities. For one thing, I don’t cook nearly as elaborate meals as I once did, and rarely for more than the two of us. Do they still make TV dinners, I wonder?

      Liked by 3 people

    5. I think your focus SHOULD be on recovery and the planning related to that. We’re all going to be behind you supporting you.

      Let me know if I can help with your plans of coming to Rochester.
      FYI– Both Bakers Square’s closed yesterday. And both Perkins closed last month.
      You’ll hear talk about “DMC”. Destination Medical Center. It’s either the Greatest thing– or Worst thing — to happen to Rochester.


      1. Thanks, Ben, for your offer of help. At first, I will be so immersed in medical stuff that I won’t be up for diversions such as eating out (even now, I can’t do that sort of thing – not enough appetite and it’s too tiring). But as I start to feel better, I’ll probably ask you for tips on various things. And hopefully I’ll feel good enough for visitors at some point. I’ll be staying at the Transplant House, which is a little more homey than a hospital.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Long range plans?
    2019: write sequel to Castle Danger
    2020: write MG adventure book starring a Little Brother and a Big Brother
    2021: write another novel
    2022: write another novel
    2023: etc. etc., and perhaps, just perhaps, break even financially on this silly writing career. 😦 (What was I thinking???) 🙂 (Hey, it’s still a wonderful mental exercise and it certainly is nice to read positive reviews and meet people who have truly enjoyed my writing. As the Beatles so famously said, “Money can’t buy me love.”

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Hi– Don’t “they” say to have both a 5 yr and 10 yr long range plans? I’ve never been good at that. Honestly, I’m just trying to keep up with today, tomorrow and maybe the show that opens next week.
    Our financial guy is always giving us ‘long range goals’ and showing how far behind that we are.
    And farming is always planning for next years crops.

    Thanks for sharing your long range plans no matter what range they are. It does give us all something to think about doesn’t it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. No long range plans for me. My family struggles to form plans more than a few months out. The experiment of living in SE Michigan has failed. We’re not sure what follows. We will stay here until June, and then there are no plans. The most certain fact is we will do whatever we do together.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I’m spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about retirement these days, ever since a whole bunch of people retired from my department division this past summer.

    The big plan on my horizon right now however has to do with my studio and how my stamps and die cuts are organized. I don’t really want to bore anybody with it but all of the time I have been doing papercrafting my things have been organized by theme and now I am moving to an organize-by-company plan with stamps and dies together. I know it doesn’t sound like much to you all but this is huge and massive in my world.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ll take your word for it, vs. I should put some effort into organizing my herbs and spices, they’re just a random mess. It shouldn’t be that hard to do, but for some reason, I just keep putting it off. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say, that I just don’t think about it until it’s a source of great frustration in the middle of cooking a meal.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Fun post, Ben – I see your dilemma (s).

    Couple of things.
    – On Christmas Day we were at the home of a friend who just moved into town from out in the country – she’s unpacked but doesn’t have stuff on the walls yet, and there are still clear spaces on horizontal surfaces. I came home and looked around – realized it’s time to really do something about the clutter here, from both too much stuff and also having it all in sight. My eye needs to rest on something, somewhere, that doesn’t remind me of something I “should” be doing. (See room-arrange comment above answering PJ…)

    – I happened on a chai-tea-from-scratch recipe, and for the second time have made myself a teapot-ful. It is SO much better than the boxed stuff, what passes for Chai tea (not to be confused with t’ai chi…) in the stores. I’m going to make several packets of all the spices used, and have them ready when I want to boil up some milk-and-water – it is pretty putzy to do every time.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. From Christmastime Treats by Sara Perry:

        Christmastime Chai

        1 C. each milk and water
        1/2 tsp. cardamom seeds
        1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken in pieces
        1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and sliced
        8 whole cloves
        10 whole peppercorns
        3 strips (3 inches) fresh tangerine peel, 1/4 inch wide
        1 piece (1 inch) vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)
        1 Tbsp. loose black tea leaves (i.e., Darjeeling)
        1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar, or to taste

        In a small saucepan over medium-hjgh heat, combine… all ingredients except the tea leaves and sugar. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the tea and simmer 10 minutes longer. Strain into a pitcher or teapot and stir in sugar. Serve immediately. (Serves 2.)

        BiR’s edits (the second time she made it – after she consulted another chai recipe):
        – I did not cover as directed – started to boil over.
        – I forgot the tangerine peel
        – I added the tea and sugar right away and only boiled for 5-10 minutes


        Liked by 1 person

  9. O.T. – Just heard the tail end of a snippet of news, something to the effect that an increasing number of orders to Amazon are placed via Alexa. That made me smile. Hope Alexa is a whole lot better at voice recognition than whatever software tim is using. I’d like “60 ryegrass agony monsmom,” please. 🙂

    Don’t know how many baboons saw this later entry to the Henry Dog post a few days ago. It was a real head scratcher.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. My long range plans never seem to come about, because I’m always dealing with immediate realities.

    I can really identify with this part: “I have machine sheds now. But machinery is stored in there.” That’s always my problem – I have spaces I would like to use to work on projects, but there’s always stuff in the way. Where’s the clean empty square footage that would make it possible for me to get organized? Before I can do this, I have to move that.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Rise and Plan Baboons,

    I have been trying to post a response all day, but my short term plans kept interfering. Isn’t that the way it goes.

    Recently I keep planning art projects that I do not do. I get off track and wander into short term stuff. There is not physical stuff in the way, but apparently mental stuff that I need to clear out. In 2 hours it will be 2019. Maybe 2019 will magically clear out the mental clutter.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. If the shed satisfies 80% of your needs its a success, very few items we own perform 100% of the tasks we would like them to. Your shed I venture to say will never fulfill 100% of your needs no matter how much planning is involved, you are already comparing it to your neighbors: just don’t do that.

    Liked by 1 person

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