Change Is Hard

We had a plan to move for about three years. We have now lived here for five months. Yet I have not started working on establishing new health care providers. We changed banks before the move but that was easy. They had branches in both towns. Doctors and dentists are a little tougher. Plus we really only need them 1-2 times per year. I haven’t been motivated to do anything about it. So we kept our exiting providers. It also gives us an excuse to go back home once in a while. Today was one of those days for me.

The cool part is we are just beyond small business Saturday. I had a list of all my favorite places to stop at today. I was back home a few weeks ago and did the same thing. We are stocked up. I stopped at Schmidt’s Meat Market twice today. Once on the way down (I brought a cooler) and once on the way back (made it before close). I stopped at Friesen’s Bakery and picked up some bacon cheddar buns and some yummy Spokato soup. I also had lunch with a friend today at Olives Restaurant – one of the best independent, family-owned in the area.

The weather was fantastic for the drive down. I am hoping for some mild weather spurts this winter so I can make another visit.

A Word of Thanks

Each year that passes feels busier than the one before even when the majority of activities are completely different. This year is no exception. I’m not traveling 2-3 days a week as a baseball mom or volunteering at every school activity but still, the time went too fast. This year gives me much to be thankful for – our new home, a new dining table (as of Tuesday) from which we served our families today, a stable career full of growth opportunities, a loving spouse, another year of good health and an expanded extended family.

The past few weeks as the temperature has started to dip we are enjoying the heat from our fireplace and easing up on the electric bill.

As the first official year we have hosted both sides of our family we had lots to be excited about and as a result I made about twice as much food as necessary. Yeah for leftovers!

I am looking forward to many more meals at the dining room table and more time visiting with friends and family by the fireplace.

It’s Warm Inside

I love Autumn. It’s my favorite time of year. I struggle with winter. Granted, I live in Minnesota so that’s part of life but that doesn’t mean I like it much. It’s bearable. On the up- side we have a beautiful fireplace that cost us some blood, sweat and tears and it is now cold enough to enjoy it. We had a few days here that really belonged in January – they somehow ended up in November.

It’s hard not to love that smell – a roaring fire made of dried hardwood. That smell carries many memories for me. Lots of reflection. I grew up in a home with a wood burning fireplace. Not only does it warm the room it also warms the heart.

This will be an enjoyable feature for many years to come. Bring it on Mother Nature. We’re ready.

The Hunt is Over

I took firearms safety when I was 12 years old and have been coming to north central Minnesota to hunt well over 20 years.

It was so weird this year to not travel. I literally pulled out the tub of orange clothes the night before the opener. No packing the car. No planning to take off work or school early. I got a deer on day 1 so that changed up some plans. I had intended on taking off a few hours early later in the week but instead of hunting was cooking and butchering. By the time Thursday rolled around we were 7 of 10 with three full days to go. We were all filled out by 8:30 am Saturday morning. It was the best year we have ever had hunting. The most my dad could ever remember getting on any given year was six deer. The meat will be share across six families. It was a good feeling.

As the seasons change we are remembering again why we made the move. I love the serenity and the scenery. The camaraderie is always nice. We truly appreciate time with our friends when they make the trip up the visit. The annual Saturday pizza gathering at the neighbors was A LOT shorter drive this year!

Lifetime Learner

This past week I volunteered as a course facilitator for those preparing for their professional certification exam. I was also there a few weeks ago for another class. I chose the topics of HR Strategic Planning and Organization Development and Effectiveness. As a lifetime learner I am very passionate about strategic planning and change management and you can’t have one without the other. 

When I spend time thinking about these topics I feel very proud of all I’ve done in my career up to this point. To make the content relatable and easier to remember, you tie it to stories. We had some really good discussions in the two sessions I facilitated. These are my peers albeit at various stages in their career. It is exciting to think about the impact our profession has in business and all the opportunities that still lie ahead for us. 

In my current employment I have education benefits. Thus, of course I’m thinking about “what else” I could take on…a new credential. Any additional expertise I can gain raises my value and gives me more knowledge to share. I haven’t found any adjunct teaching gigs since I moved but I’m hoping that is something I will have the opportunity to do again someday. For now I will continue to raise my level of knowledge and look for opportunities to share my skills with colleagues and industry peers.

 

Make A Difference

The seasons have changed. We had a week of Indian Summer and now winter is closing in. The first snow appeared this past week and made things very messy. We don’t have our wood cut for the fireplace but we will get there. Our building is up. It isn’t fully enclosed but there are still things we can do to keep it moving forward. I think the windows and walk door arrive today. Yesterday was #MakeADifferenceDay and my dad and husband spent the day helping on of the neighbors gather up their hay bales and moving them so they in turn could help their dad with a water pipe issue. That’s the great thing about living in the Midwest – people helping people. My job was the food, something I love.  It probably helps that I love my kitchen and don’t mind spending time there. This afternoon we will regroup and run all our weekend errands. Time to get ready for the workweek. Things are never done but there is always ‘later’. 

Can’t Fight Mother Nature

A few weeks ago we had a celebratory moment when we got all the walls up on the new shop. Lots of late nights, late dinners, dirt and grime. That moment of pride and happiness was wiped away a few hours later when 80 mph winds came threw the area and brought the entire project to the ground. A few neighbors suffered damage to barns, buildings and trailers but mostly uprooted trees and a huge amount of standing water. 

Devasted. That’s the only way to describe the continual set backs and heartache we have felt with this project but after a few days of mourning we rallied the troops. We have fantastic friends. They are the ones who will clear their schedule and drive 3-4 hours (one way) for a weekend to lend a hand. We would do the same for them in a moments notice. There was a short moment where we didn’t think it would happen. We got 4 straight days of rain and showers and everything was a muddy mess. We warned everyone that rain boots would need to be on the packing list. 

In 48 hours we had it completely back to where we left off and a whole lot further. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, food came too. The only thing I made all weekend was a stack of pancakes. We provided a cooler of water, Gatorade and beer on ice. It was great to see everyone. There were lots of sore muscles and a strong feeling of accomplishment.