Two Years Later

In the Summer of 2009 I decided to do a little experiment, 99 things in 99 days. Taking the 99 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day I tackled a bunch of little (and some big) tasks on my to do list for the house.

And while I *barely* finished with my goal I, well, cheated. One of the items was to remove the ugly fish border in my bathroom and while *technically* I did that I did not remove the sticky gluey part. Which was still up on the wall until yesterday.

I finally got it down with a good removal system (water bottle and dish scraper), music so I could work faster, and the hope that I can get this room painted in the next few days.

Memorial Day is a great time for painting.

So that project completion got me thinking about last summer when I did not have a project list. Well, I did have a big project but it was just one thing: get freelance work.

And I did that and love my work. So I’m thinking it’s time to reinvent the list. Maybe it’s apt I just do this on odd years because I am odd.

A little work with the calendar tells me May 29th – September 5th is exactly 100 days. Time to go make a list.

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Clever Title

Spring is definitely here and despite the overcast weather today, it’s been getting warmer and warmer. I don’t look forward to summer and 100 degree weeks but at least this year I’ll be home and able to control the thermostat.

Recently I went out to the Library with my camera – their Gardens are maintained by a Rose Club.

the flower here is my second favorite part of the picture. That bokah? love it. and, like most of my favorite photos, completely unintentional.

I’ve been encouraged to join the Rose Club since I have 18 bushes in my yard but eh, I’m not really an enthusiast. In fact when pruning them back I’m often reduced to shouting ‘you prick!’ when the thorns piece my gloves. The garden here is nice though and it’s not all roses:

What else is going on?

I’m working on finishing up projects around my house, in a few weeks my parents are coming up and we’ll be hanging mirrors, finishing baseboards and installing a new dishwasher. I lived in my grandparent’s house without a dishwasher for 2 years (in during college for 4 before that) so the last 3 years without one hasn’t really been a big deal. Of course I can think of six dozen things I’d rather do than dishes at this moment so having one would be nice. Mostly it’s a planned upgrade for the house so when we’re ready to rent it out or sell there will be less to do.

This is probably my favorite corner of the house. A stack of old books, a light bright and a labyrinth. The tin is bright and fun too:

I’m considering laying more sod in the backyard since I suck at growing grass from seed. Really I just need to fix the timer on my backyard sprinklers so the health of my lawn does not depend on me remembering to water. I also picked up 10 – 8 pound bags of top soil today. I’ve used this brand before and it’s good stuff, need to fill in the low spots in the flower beds (the dogs tend to dig) and level out a few places in the yard before putting in some sod. I’m also looking at composting options to add nutrients.

Tomorrow I go house hunting – really excited about the place I’ll be visiting. It’s exciting to plan and have a place in mind that would allow me to get some chickens, maybe an outdoor cat and goats! It’s a little depressing that I’m not even done fixing up my current house but I know it’s a good time to buy and my current place would be easier to rent out. We’ll see, nothing set in stone and signed by a notary yet.

Less than a Day Beach Vacay

Original title was “one day” but then I realized I didn’t stay a full day in vacation mode. More on that later.

As an entrepreneur running my own business one of the things that gets thrown around a lot online is freedom. Like Jonathan at the Illuminated Mind in this post about Burning Maps, and the basis of Chris Guillebeau’s blog the Art of Non-Conformity (and his life) encouraging travel, the frequent topic of writers like Corbett Barr and Everett Bogue,  Colin Wright at Exile Lifestyle and so many more. Actually, I’ve met Chris, Corbett and Everett (all in SF last year) and I know they’re each living the life they want and inspiring others to do the same.

If you pursue entrepreneurship long enough you may realize that freedom isn’t one size fits all. It’s not prescribed with one week in Hawaii, two days off a month for rock climbing and 10am yoga classes. The true freedom is not to envision and achieve “this life” that other people live but to define and create your own. For me that’s a mix of national and international travel, a home in the country with a huge hammock and lots of land and long dinners with friends and celebrations with family.

Let me tell you, it’s hard not to jump on the $300 one way to London deal going on right now… so hard. Because I could work from London although my sleep schedule would be a mess and I do have the funds to snag a great flight deal and stay in a hostel while seeing the city.

Instead this weekend I made a trek to the beach and boardwalk in Santa Cruz to enjoy the sand, surf and seafood. It all began on Saturday, returning from a conference in San Francisco I rolled down my car window while crossing the Bay Bridge and thought “I love the smell of the ocean… I should go to the beach!”

Yes, that was the extent of my planning.

Less than 24 hours later I’m on the boardwalk, my car parked 4 blocks away at the motel and it’s awesome. Santa Cruz is just over the mountain from my grandparent’s home in Gilroy and our go to spot to celebrate birthdays. The last time I came to the boardwalk was to celebrate Grandpa’s 89th in the summer of 2009.

Aren’t they cute?

But since we visit the wharf I don’t typically get to go down to the beach. This trip I went to the beach, got a little sunburned, took pictures and relaxed.

It was precisely what I needed to clear my head, get a change of scenery and appreciate the freedom that comes with my business.

Sunday night I walked the boardwalk and wharf:

Grandpa hated this ride which he took me on when I was about 10. He spent the entire time telling me that it was structurally unsound and we were going to die!

Monday I did calls from the beach:

and I also managed to fit in a swim, watching breaking news (which never happens as I don’t have cable) and getting a great night sleep. Although I arrived at 3:30p Sunday, was working by 6:30am Monday and on my way home by 12:30pm Monday, it was a great “day” at the beach.

Now, if only I can find a great cheap flight to London in the fall…