Happy Labor Day

Ashe and I just finished up a nice long weekend as I had the day off for Labor Day. I’m still recovering from a minor elective surgery that I had a little over a week ago, so I wasn’t able to do all of the things that I would liked to have done, but we still managed to accomplish quite a lot.

Before I talk about what Ashe and I got up to this weekend, I want to mention something that I’m very excited about. Ashe started their own blog called Ashe Grows and they wrote their first introductory post just over a week ago. They’ve been talking about wanting to take a social media break since it impacts their mental health just like it impacts mine and have been talking about using this blog as a bit of a replacement. Personally, I’m very excited. I really miss the days of Livejournal and Xanga where I’d learn more about the lives of my friends through their own words instead of a random smattering of information on Facebook which often boils down to the same meme or inflammatory article passed around between all of my friends.

If you’re reading this and have your own blog, let me know down in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for more blogging friends, especially since that will help to motivate me to post more often. If you don’t already have a blog, I encourage you to start one and let me know. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Anyway, back to this past weekend. Because of the divorce, our future situation is pretty up in the air as we have no clue what the outcome will be. That has made it difficult for us to do any long-term planning of any sort and has really dampened our motivation to do things like work in the garden, do long term projects, or make any concrete plans for next year. The uncertainty makes all of our struggles with ADHD that much more difficult so it often feels like we’re stuck in a holding pattern.

No matter how things turn out though, there are still things that we need to do to live the life that we want to be living. There’s always chores and house maintenance to be done and there are skills to learn if Ashe and I are going to be able to set up our homestead in the relatively near future, whether it be here or elsewhere. So we’ve been trying to focus on those things as much as we can.

On Saturday, we had plans to go grab coffee with our friend Hilly out in Danville at Obsidian Coffee. Ashe is friends with the owner of Obsidian Coffee and they are super serious about their coffee, even roasting their own beans. It’s a really small shop and often very quiet on Saturday mornings, so we like to go out there to hang out for a bit and catch up before starting our weekend. The only problem with going over to Obsidian Coffee is that there are no breakfast places nearby to grab a pastry to go with the coffee, so Ashe and I dropped by the Urbana Farmers’ Market on our way and grabbed some vegan chocolate chip scones from Pastry Daydreams to bring with us to share. Unfortunately, on the road to Danville to pick up Hilly, we learned that she wasn’t feeling well, so we stopped to grab some ginger ale and dropped it off with a scone. Ashe and I were already in Danville at that point so we decided to still stop for coffee while we figured out what to do with the rest of our day.

Ashe already had plans to head to Country Arbors Nursery with their family after breakfast. I was hoping that I’d feel well enough to go with them because I love wandering around nurseries and plant shopping but I could tell that walking would be more difficult than I’d like, so I dropped Ashe off at the nursery before going home and resting for a bit while playing some Minecraft Dungeons while chatting with my friend Matthew about writing and role playing. I’ve really been enjoying playing Minecraft Dungeons lately. It reminds me a lot of playing Diablo II back in high school where I can just turn off my brain and relax for a bit. Even with my high consumption of cannabis, I have a lot of trouble turning off my brain and relaxing, so I appreciate anything that will let me do that for a bit.

After Ashe got home, we cleaned out the fridge, took out the recycling, and did some kitchen cleaning. I feel like we did more things after that, but if I’m being honest, I don’t remember the specifics.

On Sunday, Ashe and I decided to try and get an early start on the day too. We had been talking for a while about putting up a shelf in our kitchen for a while to help us organize all of the fermentation vessels that we have. I have quite a few jugs from when I used to make mead and we’ve been cleaning out a bunch of GT’s Kombucha bottles so that we could make our own. Since we didn’t have a dedicated place for them though, they’ve been cluttering up various parts of the house, making it hard to organize other areas. So after we got up and got ourselves sorted for the day, we measured the space that we had for a shelf and went over to Menards since they have the best selection of ready to install shelving in the area. While there, Ashe also grabbed a piece of scrap wood from the cheap wood pile so that they could practice some wood burning later.

By the time we were done at the hardware store, Ashe and I were both pretty hungry since we got up and moving without grabbing any sort of breakfast first. The only thing that sounded good, however, was grabbing food from La Bamba’s and they still weren’t open yet as we got a pretty early start on our day for a Sunday. We needed to do a bit of grocery shopping anyway, so we stopped by the grocery store and stocked up on our quick snacks and picked up a rutabaga and some peach cider which looked quite good. After that, we grabbed food from La Bamba’s and went home to eat lunch and watch a bit of YouTube.

Ashe and I are both pretty heavy media consumers but we’ve moved a lot of our media consumption from “mindless entertainment” to educational media as much as we can so that we can take advantage of times when our bodies are busy but our minds are still free and active. Over lunch, we watched a couple of videos about wood burning techniques, a video from Anne of all Trades about neat tools for the homestead,

Since we want to start our own homestead, we watch a lot of homesteading videos to figure out which skills we need to prioritize learning about and practicing. Our favorite channel about homesteading is Roots and Refuge Farm and Jess and Miah have such a loving, wholesome approach to organic gardening and permaculture. However, I think it’s important to diversify the sources of information that we consume, so I’ve been on the lookout for other homesteading channels to subscribe to as well. I found Anne of All Trades really recently as I was looking for some carpentry videos and was really excited to find out that she also has a homesteading playlist, a cooking playlist, and even a blacksmithing and metalwork playlist in addition to her Woodworking 101 playlist. I’m really excited to dig in and check out all of these topics especially since she also used to be in tech, found it to be unhealthy, and went in search of a simpler life.

On Monday, we decided to get up a bit later than usual since I had the day off. I was feeling a lot better though so after we got up, we spent the morning in the kitchen, cleaning up some more and putting up the shelf that we purchased the day before. We didn’t spend too long in the kitchen but it looked a heck of a lot better when we finished. Then in the afternoon, our friend came to pick up the car that Ashe sold them so now we have that space in the driveway cleared out.

Sometimes the progress on the house feels really slow and I have to remind myself that even though I do want to get to a point where I’m getting more done with my day, the life I’m trying to build is a slower one, so I need to get used to doing things slowly and as I am able. However, spending a few productive days together with Ashe and coming out of it with a cleaner kitchen to work in and with a shelf up to help us be more organized is a good reminder that progress can be slow and still meaningful.

Now that my mobility is a bit better, I want to try and get back out into the garden since I’ve neglected it for a little while and the weather is a bit better. There’s a lot to do in the garden, even if we’re not able to do any long-term planning. There’s a ton of pruning that I still need to do to get the landscape looking nice. I also want to work on mulching the back yard and building out some pathways as I can to make it a little easier to traverse. I also still have a bunch of small trees to chop down and some branches to cut into smaller pieces, so I need to make some time that I can go out with the electric chainsaw and make that happen. Basically, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me and I’m excited for the cooler weather to make it easier to do.

In the mean time, I hope you all have a great week. I’m going to try to get into the habit of posting a little more consistently than I have been but I make no promises. However, if you have a blog or want to start a blog and want to be blogging buddies to help motivate me by giving me someone to write for, let me know in the comments below! I’m always looking for new friends to connect with.

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