Okay so I spend a lot of my life on Pinterest, and see a lot of amazing Pinterest cover pages about how people make one gazillion dollars a minute just by blogging and if I follow their two easy tips, I can too! But what I feel like this stupid pins fail to disclose is that even if you did make an email subscriber list, and you made pretty pinnable pictures and you became an affiliate to every program under the sun, you still need to sit down and write, and I tell you what, that is hard. So, in short, I will not be becoming a viral blogger sensation anytime soon. I am too lazy. But I do want to record a little more of our new life as landscape business owners in Northern Michigan.
Firstly, we’ve officially been married for two months and it is darn great. And we’ve been living in our new town for almost two months, and that’s darn great too. And I have worn lululemon to my new ‘job’ every single day that I have worked and that, my friends, is the pinnacle of living.
Small town life is taking a strange type of adjustment. There seems to be a preference for older people to live around you, which is sad for my social life. In fact, we were so hard pressed for youthful activities that we went with our friend to a Bunko tournament in the neighbouring Boyne City. This is a six-monthly event where all twenty people over the age of 60 who live in the town get together and get extremely competitive about dice-rolling. As described by Wikipedia, it is a game of zero skill and complete luck, but that didn’t stop many of the people at my tables getting a little chatty when the scoring wasn’t perfect, or when someone called a Bunko (lol) (I got a Bunko) when it was questionable if they had indeed Bunkod, or if someone rang the bell for getting to the final score of 21 when they maybe hadn’t! Oh my. The drama. I lost almost all of the games I played, which did mean I got to move around a lot, as you change tables if you are the loser, but was kind of a hit to my self esteem and belief in my dice-rolling capabilities. However, I did roll a Bunko (hooray) and my prize for ending up with the Bunko bag (who the eff called it Bunko, honestly) was a free ticket to the next Bunko tournament in November, so I’ll keep you updated on whether there is any significant improvement in my luck that time. But it also means six months until my next outing, so we’ve started to look for other ways to occupy our social time.
Taco the pup is now three months old and three thousand times bigger than when we first brought him home. We were very smug about how quickly he learnt to stop peeing inside, but he’s now kindly reverted back to peeing on the carpet outside our bedroom. I’m convinced it’s more a show of defiance that he too is darn important rather than failed potty training, but we’ll see how things develop. Taco spends pretty much the entire day with me – I intentionally wake up 20 minutes earlier than required so I can let him out of his crate and get maximum cuddle time, since that’s his most snuggly hour. Taco is gradually mastering dog skills like the full downward dog morning stretch – although he just faceplants into the carpet, he is giving it his best. He also yawns (surprisingly not a common occurrence as a minipup), poops in odd locations like halfway up rocks, and likes to curl up on my feet while I’m cooking. After our little wakeup snug, he goes for a big run around the perimeter of our farm, comes with me to the office, home to cook breakfast, back to the office, to the Crossfit gym, to the office, in the car to the shops, then for another walk. And even with all that together time, he somehow grows when I’m not looking. It does pay off because I am officially Favourite Parent, and the only one from whom he tolerates extended cuddles, but on the downside, it is my jacket that is ruined from his co-opting it as his bed, and my socks that seem to vanish into his crate.
The day to day running of a seasonal business has taken lots of life adjustment. I haven’t been involved in an industry that is as heavily dictated by the weather as landscaping (funnily enough, you can practice law no matter what the weather, which clients seem to like even if they don’t want to pay for it), but the long frosty spring has meant that many activities can’t occur because well, the ground is frozen. In fact, it is early April and we are experiencing a winter storm, which blanketed our farm with snow so deep that Taco literally disappeared into it. That makes it very difficult to plant or dig trees, lay pipe, pour cement, or do many other things, including, in my case, becoming a zero-waste person and burying my compost. When I tried to bury my first bag of compostable kitchen waste this morning, I could barely lift my shovel (my hands were very cold on account of the frost), and when I did manage to get it moving, I quickly found out the ground, and all the green waste on top of the ground, was frozen solid and my Very Impressive CrossFit Muscles would do little to shift it all. The solution was to hide the bag of compost under one or two leaves and hope that nature would have its way and I would single-handedly save the planet. I think it went well, but I’ll keep you updated.
However, other than being a zero-waste household (Clark is PUMPED about it), the frozenness doesn’t stop other things happening. Really, what I’m learning, is an extended winter means more time to prepare for the upcoming season. Prepare, in seasonal business terms, really means more time to spend money on things. And on things that aren’t very romantic or fun either, like large amounts of pipe, and tree baskets. What I am really looking forward to over the course of the year is watching what these preparation orders become – in terms of actual work product performed by our employees, and final landscaped homes in the area, and all the steps along the way to get them there. That was the kind of oversight and involvement I craved previously, and while I’m finding out it is really hard to keep yourself up to speed on all fronts at all times to put together that picture, I hold onto the belief that the final knowledge of the lifecycle of the season will be extremely rewarding.
I need to brave the winter storm to undertake preparations for the husbo’s birthday tomorrow. I’ve scraped more car windows in the last week than I have in my life (cars don’t frost shut in Australia, weird), and I can’t say I love it. However the one time laziness won out and I figured that the warmth of the car would melt the snow and ice was extremely traumatic – unsurprisingly, I was wrong about the warmth of the car beating out the snow and ice. Driving with such limited visibility is extraordinarily dangerous and absolutely petrifying, so I bailed out into the driveway of the dentist’s, and used my cold fingernails to desperately try to remove some of ice. It kind of sufficed.
Well, enough procrastinating, this snow is going absolutely nowhere. Happy spring, and more updates about Life as a Landscaper to come.