A quick update since I’ve been MIA

Sorry to be absent so much lately. I know I don’t need to apologize to anyone but myself for not writing but I’ve been thinking about the blog a lot lately and have been wanting to write, but I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to set aside the time and energy to focus on writing. Quite honestly, I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to do many things, whether I want to do them or not. But that’s the way it goes sometimes and I’ll probably find a big pocket of motivation and energy in the near future where I’ll feel like I can do all of the things again.

Work is busier than ever as we have recently been given the approval that we needed to hire new people, including several in Support. Because of my experience in building larger Support organizations, I’m working very closely with my manager to assist in refining our onboarding and preparing to scale our team globally. It’s all really exciting, but it’s also a lot of work and has been consuming a lot of my thoughts. If you’re interested in working with me at a surprisingly cool financial startup, you should definitely check out the Spreedly Careers page. As of this minute, the new Support positions haven’t been added but we’re in a phase of growth where we’re adding new positions fairly constantly and many of the new ones are remote.

Outside of the excitement at work that has been keeping me occupied during the day, I’ve also been worried a bit about a friend of mine who has been dealing with some major depression. I don’t want to spill the details of someone else’s life without their permission so I won’t say too much, but I was planning to go out and see him soon to give him some human contact and also help him move back home. I know that traveling during a pandemic still isn’t the smartest thing still but since I already got my vaccine, I felt that the slight risk I would be exposing myself to was worth helping my friend out of a tight spot. Unfortunately, the situation changed in a way that added a lot of uncertainty to my friend’s life, so I’ve been worried about him while also trying to think through what this means for our plans. Fortunately, he’s back safe in Illinois right now, so I’m a lot less worried than I was.

In much more exciting news, I treated myself to a GoPro for my birthday with some of the stimulus money that I had left over. I’ve been wanting one for a while but generally couldn’t justify the purchase to myself. I’ve done a little videography in the past, but not anything really substantial, even when I had access to a camera on a regular basis. Lately though, I’ve been feeling pretty inspired by a few YouTube creators like Markiplier, Kevin of Epic Gardening, and The Cottage Fairy and the way in which they present information. Even if I don’t generate a following any larger than the six people following my blog, I figured that this could be a really great way for me to track progress in the garden, remember my traveling adventures, and to share my daily life with friends of mine that I don’t get to see as often.

I was doing a little thinking earlier about why video as a medium appeals to me so much more than photography when it comes to this type of content. I absolutely love photography but unless I’ve just cooked something that I’m proud of, I’m looking at interesting plants, or I’m having a unique experience that I want to share with specific people (such as travel), I’m not often inspired to pull out the camera on my phone. I’m often caught up in the experience itself and have a hard time remembering to take a moment to capture a memory. I feel like photography almost inherently puts you in the position of being outside of the experience instead of actually experiencing it first hand and that’s not as appealing to me. I want to live my life. With a video camera, I can do that composition work once and then generally forget about it until I’m done with the current activity since I’ll do all of my editing and stuff later.

I don’t think one form of media is inherently better or worse than the other though. I think it would be a really sad world if people didn’t express themselves through photography as it’s probably the media that I enjoy consuming the most. It just turns out that the media I enjoy consuming isn’t the media that works the best for me to create, at least not all the time. It’s kind of a weird feeling, honestly, but I’m glad I’m experimenting.

The other really big thing that has been on my mind is the garden. We’re super behind in the physical work of the garden and I feel somewhat bad about that. However, I have been checking on the plants almost every day and most of the seedlings are healthy and alive which is honestly more than I was expecting. We’ve also been doing a lot of talking, thinking, and planning for the garden which I have trouble thinking about as “work” but still takes effort and is necessary for progress to be made.

We’ve measured and cut most of the lumber required to build the 5-gallon bucket tiered planter that I talked about a bit in the Happy Ostara! post. We’ve got about three pieces of wood left to cut and then we can start laying out pieces to begin assembling the rack. This is the priority for this upcoming weekend.

Even without the rack made, we’ve got everything that we need to start transplanting tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant into 5 gallon buckets and putting them out into the garden to get some good sun. We can probably manage this for some of the plants this weekend, but we’ve only got maybe 12 buckets available and we’ve got quite a few more plants than that, so we’ll have to figure out which plants we want in our bucket rack and which ones we want to put into raised beds.

Given the experience of getting lumber delivered to the house without our own pickup truck, I’ve decided that it might be wiser to use a material that we’re capable of picking up in a vehicle that we own. Cinderblocks are pretty cheap at $1.78 each and give us a ton of flexibility when it comes to shapes and sized of our raised beds. It also allows me to cater to my ADHD a bit more since cinderblock raised beds can be stopped and started at any point and I could easily take a 20 minute break during the day and build out more of the planting area instead of having to dedicate large amounts of time to being focused with a lot of physical and mental energy.

As I was looking up information about building raised beds out of cinderblock, I remembered information that I had seen about keyhole gardens which combine growing areas with compost and I wondered if anyone had done this with cinderblocks. Spoiler: this is an incredibly common idea. So now I’m thinking about trying to build a keyhole garden right outside the back deck so that we can just take kitchen scraps outside the back door instead of all the way to the compost bucket. I think that might allow us to keep the fridge cleaner and not throw away so much food. I also have a theory that if we use the same sort of fermented grains as is used for bokashi composting, we might even be able to be less picky about what sort of food waste we put into the compost. This might also be a Very Bad Idea but it’s easy enough that I think it’s worth trying.

Anyway, that’s a little bit about what’s going on with me right now. I’m hoping to catch up with writing more often again (and maybe even providing a video of what I get up to) but we’ll see! I hope you’re preparing to have a lovely weekend!

One Reply to “A quick update since I’ve been MIA”

  1. This year has been very trying on many gardeners. Several of my clients, and myself, have been getting a lot less done this year compared to previous years. And, I have literally NEVER felt truly on top of my gardening tasks, lol. So you are totally not alone there! (and it is nice to know that I am not alone in this either)

    When I came over to take the soil tests the other day, I forgot to tell you how wonderful everything is shaping up! The effort put into the gardens was really apparent to me, and I think you can be really proud of your progress! It accumulates so much over time. If you stay in this house, I bet those gardens will be unrecognizable in a couple of years, so it is wonderful you are documenting your progress!

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