Balance

So… I was supposed to return from maternity leave to my old, full-time, wonderful job on May 15. I had been there six years and had very much climbed the ladder (and had been given the opportunity, trust, and support to do so from my boss, co-workers, our board, our members… everyone) in terms of both salary and job responsibilities/title. It was an awesome place to grow and learn, and in those respects it was very hard to not go back.

In the I-have-a-Willem-now respect, though, it was very, very easy to not go back. I just… I can’t even imagine working full time right now and am utterly thankful I am not having to make that work. However, being completely focused on a baby and someone else’s needs? That gets old fast, and so I am super lucky and thankful to be working very part-time for Growing Places Indy as their operations manager. I’m writing grants, tracking donations and entering data into QuickBooks, doing graphic design – basically, whatever needs getting done, I’ll do. It keeps me tied to the real world in an awesome way, since I get to work for an organization that is doing some amazing stuff in my city and that I really believe in and am interested in already.

I’m pleased as punch to see my signs around town for our new u-pick farm and farm stand:

Farm U-Pick and Farm Stand, Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center

Growing Places Indy's Urban U-Pick is open for business!

And the other day we got notice that we received funding on the first grant I’ve ever applied for. It seems weird that this is the first grant I’ve actually ever applied for; I’ve worked on grants for other people before but never really been the head grant-applicator. Or something. Anyway, it’s awesome, and it means we will be able to grow produce year-round AND support a year-round urban farmer, which is huge. I’m super proud.

P.S. Backyard panorama, just for scuzz.

Backyard panorama.

P.P.S. Speaking of “balance,” I’d be remiss to not post a picture of my Willem being cute, right?

The cutest.

Into the Great Wide Open

Today would have been my first day back from maternity leave. Instead, I’m hanging out with my little dude.

I feel so lucky to be able to stay home with Willem while he’s little. So thankful to Chris, to my parents for teaching me to live within my means, to myself for working hard and saving for a rainy day (for THIS rainy day, it turns out), to so many chance and luck kind of things that have transpired to bring me to this day. I know a lot of people don’t have an option and have to go back to work. Today, I am incredibly grateful to be exactly where I am. Doing what I’m doing.

Which today is a little grant application writing, some dreamy gazing at the suddenly growing garden, and a lot of this:

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Home Sweet Home

It’s been a little quiet around these parts. Know why? I’ve been off in the second greatest, first littlest state of Rhode Island for a full week for work (oh, yeah, that job I never talk about here!), and Chris has been crying in a corner, missing me too much to be able to function enough to write a blog post.*

*That is a total lie. He actually busted ass with a sod cutter and did some awesome work around the garden. More on that in a mo’.

20120930. Partial WaterFire for our annual conference. PRETTY SPIFF.

Our conference opening session – we had our very own mini Watefire. Providence proved to us over and over what a cool city it is.

20120927. View from my Providence hotel room.

The view from my hotel room.

20120930. Partial WaterFire for our annual conference. Can you spot me and my look of utter terror carrying that torch?

For some reason, someone actually thought it was a good idea to hand me a flaming torch and have me walk down many flights of stairs. They apparently do not know my history (see: stabbing self with knives, nearly cutting off fingers, and falling down/cracking teeth off in Barcelona).

I arrived back at the first greatest state of Indiana yesterday afternoon, dumped my bags, then ran outside to hang with the chickens and get some dirt under my nails. A friend asked if Little Red charged my shins like a tiny rhino upon my return. No, but she did jump up onto my shoulder as I crouched down to say hi to the rest of the girls. We are homies.

After a week away, the three littlest girls look so different to me. Boo’s comb and wattles are getting big!

20121004. I leave for a week, and all the chickens look different to me.

Look at Little Red’s waddles! And I missed Dino Puppy’s black freckles.

20121004. Little Red is getting big waddles!

20121004. I leave for a week, and all the chickens look different to me.This was from a couple of weeks ago, but here is my second (sort of failed) attempt at getting video of the girls “flying the coop.” They get stage fright when I bust out the camera.

I was also thoroughly impressed with Chris’ work while I was gone. Sod cutter plus mulch plus the help of a good friend = LESS GRASS, MORE VEGGIES. He was nice enough to leave some of the sod rolling and mulching for me, though, knowing I would be so very sad to have missed all the fun.

20121004. Chris cut up a ton of sod in the garden area. Halfway done!

Less grass to mow, more room for veggies, and a new bed.

Finally, I decided it was time to harvest the sweet potatoes. We planted them after a potato bin workshop in June at Fall Creek Gardens, so we got a later start than you really should, but whatevs. I can’t wait to plant them again next spring! Look at how cute they are:

20121004. Sweet potatoes! Next year, these are going to be AWESOME.

20121004. First try at sweet potatoes.

Dang, sweet potato, you clean up real nice!

20121004. Growing sweet potatoes for the first time.I cut off some slips before harvesting the taters that will maybe, hopefully grow nice and strong all winter and be ready to plant by the spring. Again, it’s the blind (me) leading the blind (also me) here.

20121004. Sweet potato slips for next spring!There were a few things to harvest in the rest of the garden, too. I definitely dropped the ball with the garden this year – between the heat, the chickens, and the drought, I cut myself a little slack over that.
20121004. Sweet potatoes, peppers, an Romas.So glad to be home! I missed the dude, the chickens, the cats, and the garden. Ahhhh… Indiana.