Things I Learned About Gardening: Part Two

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

About two years ago I got the great idea of starting a garden.  That ended pretty poorly, but I learned a great lesson from it.

Lesson 1:  If you want to grow a garden, you can't abandon it after planting seeds.

Who would have thought?

Anyway, now that I'm back at my parents house again (wooo 28 and living in the parent's basement!) I decided to give it another go.  And this time I wasn't going to move away days after starting my garden.

So how did it go this time?

Very, very, slightly, maybe, marginally better.

I was definitely more diligent this time around. I (almost always) regularly watered my plants. I started them indoors to start the seedlings.  I even built a cool little garden bed out of a old wooden pallet (how Pinterest-y of me!).  I planted several different types of veggies.  I figured veggies would be better than flowers this time around since I would actually get food at the end of the whole thing and thought that might motivate me more.

I had planted tomatoes, peppers, carrots, lettuce, spinach, and squash, but despite my huge increase in dedication this time around, I manage to come out with only a handful of very late season tomatoes. 

So although I only came out of this with a few tomatoes, I did also come out with another important lesson:

Lesson 2: The soil/fertilizer is CRUCIAL.

See, when my tomato plants were growing they were a little too close to each other so I had to pull out the weakest looking ones to give the healthier ones more room to grow.  I basically had a pile of tomato plant rejects that I was just going to toss.

My mom took them instead and put them in her own planters and used a special soil mix.  I swear within a day those little loser plants were triple the size of my prized picks.

I spent the rest of the summer watching her plants explode to life while mine kinda sorta sprouted a couple of flowers.

In the end I think we got 2 or 3 of the smallest tomatoes from my plant, while all of the others came from my moms.

Nothing else of mine grew at all.

And despite taking lots of pictures of the whole process I somehow deleted everything but this one tomato picture off my phone.  Not that there was much to show.  That's just being a bad blogger though, not a bad gardener.

So for next year I'll be sure to use good soil and not abandon my plants.  I'll be living off the land in no time.

$60,000 in Debt: Month 17

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Another month down.  We're still not entirely sure of what we're going to be doing for living arrangements in the upcoming months, but I figured I should still throw as much money at the "house fund" while I can.  I can always put less into it later, but for now I'm trying to beef that account up.

I also upped my 401k contribution.  It'll coincide with cost of living increases at work so I probably won't even noticed the difference now, but hopefully I will in 40 years!

Other than that, nothing too exciting in the money department.  I've starting reading a few finance blogs which haven't necessarily affected what I'm doing with my money, but they are making me feel like I'm on the right track.  My favorite one is Budgets Are Sexy.  Check it out if you're looking for some entertaining money advice.

I'm determined to pay off my smallest loan next month (or realistically in a few day when my next check comes in since this post is much later than usual!)  That will have my freshman and sophomore year of college completely paid off AND should get the loans I'm paying interest on under $30k. 

New Work

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 1st started a new fiscal year for us in the office and with that I started a (kind of) new role.  I'm still doing most of what I was doing last year, but with a few added responsibilities (and hopefully a new title as well).  

Along with pretty much everyone in the office rearranging roles, we also launched a new website which created a sudden flood of inbound request.  This is, of course, great since they are mostly sales inquiries, however I am the one who has to filter through all of these and send them off in the right direction.

On top of that we've hired two new people so we're all spending time training them and getting them up to to speed.

Needless to say it's been pretty hectic.

Fortunately, I enjoy the craziness... unfortunately, it seriously messes with my blogging time!

Things seem to be settling down a bit and now that I'm more comfortable with my new responsibilities I'll hopefully get a little more time to write again.

Totally unrelated, but I just finished reading 11/22/63.  Obviously it is still fresh in my mind since I completed it about 10 minutes ago, but I have a feeling that's going to be one of the ones that stick around in my mind for a long time.

Story Of My Life

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I'd add some of my own feelings about this, but there isn't anything I can say that isn't already said by her here.

Little Changes

Friday, October 2, 2015

Sometime I feel like little changes can have a huge impact.  Maybe it's just because I'm a huge dork, but when I make small changes to better myself I get really excited.  Sometimes it just something that I've put off for a long time but when I finally just make the change it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, no matter how small the change was.

I try to do just one small change a week.  None make a huge impact, but they always seem to build up to something bigger. 

One example is finally getting a sensor replaced in my car that was giving me error messages every time it started. The part was a few dollars but I had put it off for the three years I had the car.  It doesn't change the way my car runs, but being able to check that item off my mental list of "things you should do" felt great.

Rearranging my furniture in my basement so it was more open for the dogs to play was another one.  I can't say the room is feng shui'd at all, but having that big open space just feels so much better.

Finally booking an eye doctors appointment (eight years late!) will be another (when I actually do it).

My big (little) change this week was getting a new mouse.  I've been using an Apple Magic Mouse since I started here.  We use Macs but we run Windows on them so while the mouse probably works great on the Mac side, it's pretty terrible on the PC side.  It's too sensitive and erratic but, considering myself technologically savvy, I refused to accept the fact that the mouse and I just didn't work well together.

That was until last week when my wrist started to cramp up.  A few projects I've been working on lately involve a lot of clicking and moving my mouse around and I think my wrist is just not happy.  So I finally bit the bullet and asked for a new mouse.  While it definitely works better than my Magic Mouse, my wrist still isn't happy.

So, while I thought my (big) little change was just going to be getting a new mouse, I've actually deicded to be true to myself and commit to being a full time lefty!  Ok, typing that makes me feel even more lame.
I am a lefty but (as any lefty would know) mice were, for a long time, right handed only.  Eventually you were able to switch them, but by then I had been using my right hand my entire life and it worked fine.

With this wrist pain though I just can't keep using my right hand.  I feel like I'm learning how to walk again or something.  I think I'll get used to it quickly, but this must be how it feels when you ask a righty to do anything with their left hand.

The worst part of all of this?  The little cursor you are so used to seeing does not make sense when you're using a lefty mouse.  And there are no lefty cursors saved on my PC! I had to go download some to get it working correctly.

I'm still not 100% sure about going full lefty, but at least my wrist has gotten a break for the day. 

Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

...well, not really.  But happy company new year!  Our fiscal year runs October 1- September 30 so today we start a new year.  We managed to hit all of our numbers for the last year which is a great thing.  I went from a company that was pretty much imploding due to poor management, to a company that was tanking (and eventually bought out) due to several factors, to a company that is not only doing well, but exceeding expectations.

Our head office over in Ireland celebrated with champagne in the office, but our president here decided we'd all prefer a half day off next Friday.  I won't argue with that!

With the new year comes some new job changes.  We've done some restructuring and my position (for the third time since I start here less than two year ago) will be changing again.  I'll not longer be coordinating conferences and I'll be getting two of my own territories to support.  Prior to this I was general support for all territories (which I'll still be doing), but I'll be support two of the territories more heavily.

Back when I was leaving my old company and got two job offers in the same day I was really torn about which job to take.   They were different in almost every way. A massive company versus a tiny one.  A very clearly defined position and advancement schedule versus a job that changes almost on a monthly basis.  I took a risk and I'm so happy I did.  Sure, things can get chaotic and stressful from time to time, but the number of different roles I've been able to play here has allowed me to find so many things I enjoy that I would have never tried at another company. 

So as of today I start with my new role and I hope that I am continuously able to learn new things and grow even more than I have so far.

We've come off a great year and hopefully have another great year ahead of us.