I took an unplanned hiatus. At some point in the late winter and early spring, I stopped riding the bus and I started being busy with the house. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and sort out my thoughts. Now, I have a moment, as I wait for Ellie to wake up and we can get ready for a wedding in the Minneapolis area.
I don’t think the work that comes with owning a home has dipped into my time as much as I thought it would. We powered through the first things we wanted to get done and now that those are, mostly, out-of-the-way it is a lot more relaxing. What I think really stole my time is the new location of the house. We used to live two miles from downtown Madison. Now we live six miles. It’s quieter and still easy to get there but it does take longer. My 10 minutes bike ride to work has become 25 minutes. The bus ride went from 20 minutes to 45 minutes (with a transfer that if I miss it adds an extra 20 minutes either direction). My days feel shorter because I just spend more time traveling and when I bike to work, I use three times as much energy.
Speaking of bikes, I now have four. Looking to sell three. So if you’re in the Madison area and need a bike, let me know and I can cut a deal for you. The most recent bike was a gift from my in-laws. My brother in-law John had left his bike at home and it hasn’t been ridden in years. Given that my mother-in-law Mary is unrelenting in her quest to not hold on to things, they gave the bike to me. It’s a 2009 Trek Valencia 24-speed. Rides great and it’s been tricked out to be a great commuter. It also is the nicest bike I’ve ever owned.
Speaking of Trek, a coworker’s husband works for Trek. He recently was in a terrible biking accident. He was mountain biking somewhere in Wisconsin when he but a jump, landed wrong and broke his back. The friends he was with has the calm to know they shouldn’t move him and risk greater injury. He’s recovering in the hospital. He’s undergone multiple surgeries and procedures but the outlooks is good. Even though his spine was broken (in two places, I believe), he has feeling and some movement in all of his extremities. We’re happy to know that he’s far better off than he could have been. It’s going to be a long recovery for him.
In addition to all the house updates, I’ve kept myself busy with a couple other things. First and foremost, I’ve been growing a garden. I don’t have any recent photos of it, and it’s a topic that deserves a longer update. But things are going really well. Nearly everything I planted has come up and looks to be the best I’ve ever grown. The soil is ideal for.my veggies. I haven’t been able to eat anything from the garden yet, save for some small pieces of lettuce, but soon enough I’ll start picking things faster than we can consume. Especially since we also have our CSA again this year and I discovered a weekly free veggie giveaway on campus. I usually raid that to add to our ever-increasing healthy diet.
I’m also working to set up a system to easily convert old radios into Bluetooth speakers. I have the process about 75-80% sorted out. My biggest concern now is power, supplying it and making sure there’s enough to go around. Just last week, in trying to rig the power system, I ended up frying a switch because I stupidly ran 120 volts directly through it. I’m not an electrician, so it’s a steep learning curve.
What’s there to look forward to, now that you know where I’ve been? Well, we want to get a puppy, and that should be happening in the next month or so. And I really should update on the house so you can see how great it is. There will also be an update some time about the garden. Once I get the radio working, I’ll post about that before it goes off to the shop to sell. I also need to make my yearly batch of kvas to get me through the summer and that will probably be followed by mine and Ellie’s first attempt at wine making because it looks like we’re going to have a whole ton of wine grapes in a month or two. I also want to get to some fun and frivolous projects like building a game console to keep us going through the winter, but I have time for that. There’s also a bit of writing I want to do, but I haven’t had a chance to sit down and do it yet. Maybe that will come soon.
What’s been happening with you while I’ve been away?