Good intentions... I have them every time I think that I'm going to be able to be consistent with blogging regularly again. Looking back, I don't know how I did it. I'm pretty sure I was busier before... or maybe it was the issues that I wanted to work through that motivated me to write. I think the past election had a big effect on me in that I still get angry at everything, but I have no energy to get riled up about stuff. I got spent with dealing with all that. I'm more apt to just walk away from a fight or conflict... and even a friendship, at this point. I've been trying to keep moving forward lately, but I feel like I'm in a boat with no paddle... I'm drifting towards my destination but not making enough progress... and even going backwards at times.
I have made a lot of progress over the last couple of months. For the majority of January and February, I worked at my Uncle's house. Last year, when his wife passed, he moved in with my Aunt and basically walked right out of his house and left it... refrigerator still running with food in it... cupboards full of food, clothes in the drawers, etc. I went through every single thing in that house, sorting through their 60 years in the house together. Underwear drawers, old pictures, Xmas decorations, clothing, furniture, personal effects.... everything. I couldn't help but to feel odd since I really wasn't close to them... but I was all they had to help them. I had to approach it like the daunting task that it was, making decisions about what was important and what wasn't... what was to be kept, sold, given away, donated... which is a difficult position to be in. I had done it when my Mom passed and I moved my Dad in with me, so I had some experience with it, but it's never easy. My Dad really didn't want to take much with him, oddly, so it was simple. This was harder... having to deal with my Aunt who is a control freak... and my Uncle (90 years old), most times, coming into the house every day crying because his wife wasn't there, his stuff was being thrown out and the house was being stripped for painting/remodeling, getting ready for sale. I pulled up carpet, refinished wood floors, took down heavy draperies and sheers full of dust, ripped out the bathroom (and put in a new vanity, lights, toilet and floor) and painted a lot of the house. It wasn't easy for anyone. I couldn't help think who'd be going through my things when I go... and realizing how much crap you accumulate over the years that you really don't need. You think it's important at the time, but in the end, it's not. All that money spent... all those good times... all that comfort... gone.
My season started a few days after I finished with the house, mid-March. It's been so cold here and been snowing so much that I haven't been able to do much, like last year, when it was 75 in March and I had already cut the grass 5 times by this time. I bid on another hotel this year but didn't get it, which is kind of ok. I thought that I would want to expand heavily this year, feeling that I really haven't been aggressive with my business and, as it turns out... I was right...I wasn't, and I'm not really that worried about it. It would have meant hiring someone, getting insurance and working even longer hours, and I'm just not ready for that. I did make a major purchase in buying a 6 X 12 enclosed trailer and sold my 5 X 8 open flatbed trailer. I got a great deal on it and was able to take an empty shell and reinforce the sides to be able to hang my tools and built shelves in the front for everything else. I am now able to get everything I need in there, locked and dry, unlike the other one. It makes such a difference to not have to take everything off the trailer to tip it to get the tractor off, let alone not having all my tools on there all the time and having to go home to get something. Not only that, but I cleaned out my whole garage and now I can park my truck in there. The trailer is too big for my driveway, so I'm storing it at work. It just feels so good to be so organized. I have two guys and 24 yards of mulch coming on Sunday... it's supposed to be 60ish degrees. Fun times!
I decided on a name for my business... Cedar Grove Landscaping. I'm in the process of initiating an LLC and registering the name to protect myself from liability. My friend in Florida that owns a printing business came up with the logo for me, which I love. I was looking for something whimsical and sort of Charlie Brown / 70's / retro, and he nailed it. I had business cards made up and some signs for the side of the trailer.
With being sick the month of December and then spending January and February at my Uncle's house, I didn't have my normal winter time off. The real deciding factor to not expand this year was that my back has been acting up again. The herniated discs are bulging on both the right and left side of my spine, so walking, jumping and, especially, sitting has been difficult. It's not a muscle pain... it's a nerve pinch, where it feels like a knife being jammed in and my legs giving way. Add that, now that I'm almost 46, I had no energy... I was so exhausted for months until a friend of mine got me some testosterone shots, and I've been doing them several times a week over the last 4 or 5 weeks which has helped dramatically with my energy. I'm trying to also make a commitment to the gym, which is helping with a much-needed weight loss and general strength training and toning. I'm in pretty bad shape... I went so many years with nothing wrong with me then, all of a sudden, I'm falling apart. I bought an inversion table and have been hanging upside down quite a bit to stretch my back, and that's helping. I also bought a bigger bike... it's a 29 inch, and I love it... not that I've had much opportunity to ride yet. I'm trying to stay active... I have to.
I just booked my yearly trip out west... something to look forward to. I'm flying into Denver early July for 8 days. A friend of mine who is driving across the country for 4 weeks is picking me up there, and we are hitting Arches, Monument Valley, Badlands, and Bryce and Zion... several that I wasn't able to hit last year. He'll drop me off in Vegas on his way to California, and I'll spend a few days there before heading back. I'm so excited! If there's anything that I've learned from the experience at my Uncle's, it's that you can't wait around... you have to just go do it... your life will be over before you know it and memories will be all you have in the end.