Change of plans… Again!

While we don’t change our plans as often as we change our underwear, it sure feels like it!!!

It is a good thing we are resilient and flexible! Seriously! 

Our ultimate goals are the same, our location is needing a bit of adjustment. Disappointing? YOU BET! I can’t tell you how homesick I am for Alaska. There are so many things we want to do and dreams we want to fulfill… But alas, reality sets in and life is what it is.  

We don’t know if we are ever going to make it back to Alaska now. That makes me sad. At this point we are just trying to get by. Working non-stop to make ends meet. Not going to cry about it. Wouldn’t help if I did.

We still have dreams. Who knows if we will ever see them come to fruition. On a positive note, we are enjoying our work… Thank goodness for that because I cannot imagine working this hard doing something I hate…been there and done that and this is sooo much better!

I think it is time to revamp the blog a bit… I’ll be making some changes, so please stay tuned and if you have any suggestions I am totally open for feedback. TOTALLY!

~ Molly 

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Coming Together

It is exciting to see things finally coming together.

With graduation upon me in two very short weeks, I am doing what I have always done… Working, planning and getting things done. Always thinking a few steps ahead of where I need to be in order to stay on track.

Our plans may change, altered by finances and reality, but I know that we will realize our dreams. Sometimes with a “come Hell or high water” attitude.

Fred and I are both working our tails off, seven days a week right now between our jobs. We work everyday together in one form or another. I can and will say this, I like it! We make a great team.

Fred is running the tree lot at the nursery, in addition to being the general handyman/go to guy for just about everything. We had a delivery of nearly 300 Christmas trees today that all needed to be processed. Done and done. It is very physical work and exhausting.

My work today consisted of decorating and embellishing wreaths. Just a continuation of my school work but easier.

It is fun to utilize my knowledge and to be able to apply what I am learning. I look forward to work and have plans and dreams for the future that are bright, and optimistic.

Since changing careers, I have been having consistently great days. What’s not to love. Rain, cold, wind…I’m good working outside. Hot sun? I’m still adjusting. No matter how I look at it though, everyday is a good day working with plants.

 

“You are a prisoner of your own position”

As I was following my morning ritual (catching up on the various “news” of the day) I came across this article:
Thought-Provoking Photographs Of People Living Alone In The Wilderness

This quote pretty much sums up my life over the past 25 years.

Tkachenko’s work raises questions about what identity truly means when we are forced to live how society tells us to: “School, work, family – once in this cycle, you are a prisoner of your own position. You should be pragmatic and strong, or become an outcast or a lunatic. How to remain yourself in the midst of this?”

I became a prisoner of my own position… As I suspect many people have.

I graduated from High School, went on to college. Got my first degree, then my first “real job”, then I got married, I got another degree, started on my chosen career path (the real career, not my starter career), earned certifications, became licensed, hung in all the “right” circles, networked (as expected), gained credibility… And so forth.

Somewhere around my 45th birthday (maybe I had a mid-life crisis) I recognized that “this” was not what I wanted. AT ALL.

Besides the fact I had been in a loveless marriage for far too many years… I had also come to recognize that being trapped in the maze with the other “rats” was not what I wanted long-term. I had no desire to compete with anyone or keep getting things bigger and better than previously obtained.

No need to belabor that part of my life other than to say that while working in my profession a constant complaint heard from others was that they were stuck and had no choices when it came to their work/careers. People felt trapped because of expectations, standard of living and debt.

They stayed in jobs that made them miserable because that job provided them with the income to live at a standard they were accustomed to, or wanted.

Mind you, no one chooses the path for you… you choose your own path and how long you stay on that path is completely up to you.

I have always believed that we have choices. We are not truly “stuck” or “trapped” except by our own expectations.

It is hard to change your lifestyle when you have become accustomed to something.

It comes down to this; how badly do you want “it”… Whatever “it” is.

What are your priorities?

I’m not going to say that transitioning to a lifestyle where I consume less has been easy.  What I make today as compared to what I made just a few short years ago is staggering. Like 100K LESS type staggering.  But guess what, that extra 100K didn’t make my life any more enjoyable.

Sure I could afford things that I can’t afford now but I wouldn’t trade my present circumstances for anything.  I DO NOT want to get back on that treadmill.

I am fortunate that I did not feel trapped.  I saw an issue and I made the changes I needed to in order to change my circumstances.  Mistakes have and will be made but it is all a learning process.

The photos presented in the article mentioned above really resonated with me.  Not that I want to be a hermit. I am just at a point in my life where I am ready to disengage a bit and focus more on what is important to me.

I finally found a person that I can share my life with. Someone with the same goals and dreams. Someone that equally shares the joys and trials of life.

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For many years I put on my “happy face” and did what was expected of me… professionally and socially.  I was exhausted.  By nature, I am actually an introvert.  I gain energy from spending time alone and even more energy is gained when I am out in nature and being active.

Before we know it, Fred and I will be back in Alaska.  No doubt we will struggle to make ends meet and learn what we need to learn to survive in a very different mode than what we have been for the past few years.

We are actually enjoying it.  Planning our next moves, making sure we are gaining the skills we need and gathering the resources to make our dream come true.

This isn’t a passing fancy, this is the rest of our lives.  Fred has a huge responsibility to his family and his community. I am there to support him. That is what partners do.

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This is what we are looking forward to. This picture was taken from very near where we will be living starting in 2016. We met initially in 2008 on this canoe and became acquainted again in 2010. Cube Cove – Admiralty Island, AK

 

I am longing for the day when we will be on our own – away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The only part I am not looking forward to is being away from my mom. I really treasure the time that we have been having with her. It is a blessing for sure.

If you get a chance, take a look at the article and the photos. It is fascinating and the photos are quite stunning.

~ Molly

 

Cropping Assignment Progress… And other stuff

Well, I am happy to report that my seeds germinated… Yeah me!!! In the first week after germination they are doing well.

I keep a daily written and photo log to track their progress and in the next few weeks I’ll be adding two more crops to my daily activities.

My work is more detailed than what is required by the assignment but I am looking at this as a long-term investment and not a short-term grade. The more I understand how things grow and the fine nuances in a controlled environment with access to people who can guide me, the better I will do when we are on our own in Angoon.

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So, you are seeing my foibles as well… I did not do a very good job of getting my seeds evenly spaced when sowing them. I have a nice big clump (or two) and then empty space. Oh well, live and learn.

As far as my other work in class, I am struggling a bit with Plant ID. We are learning seven to nine new plants per week. A lot of information to remember and my last quiz had me scratching my head.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t identify the key characteristics of the plant, my brain froze and the genus/species and common names completely flew out of my head… Until I turned in my quiz. 😞 Then they flew right back in.

I would do so much better if it was a verbal quiz where I could go out into the arboretum and point out the plant on the list. But, that isn’t how they do it. I’ll just keep plugging away at memorizing and know that I am learning how to identify the plants in ways that will allow me to refer to resources that I can use to make positive ID’s, at least until they are burned into my brain.

That will happen. I am slowly replacing health administration data and information with horticulture information. Pretty soon you’ll ask me something about Medicare or Medicaid or human resources and I’ll give you a blank stare. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

I am NOT missing that work (or management work) AT ALL!

Lately I’ve been struggling with motivation. Feeling down and really wanting to tuck myself away in hibernation until things change. Unfortunately, things aren’t going to change if I don’t get to them.

What is dragging me down? The enormity of what I need to get done in the next year and how I am going to do and pay for it all.

We have so much stuff to sort and cull. And not just our own stuff. I’m tempted to just get rid of it all. That is the goal anyway, what am I talking about! 😜

But even then, I still have to sort and cull. A never-ending cycle. It wears me out.

I know I will come out of this funk. It is a cycle.

~ Molly

Interesting … Regenerative Cities

I’m not sure when it happened for me, maybe when I moved to Alaska and into a less urban setting, but I am gaining interest in simplifying my life and reducing my reliance on consumerism…. Being back in the city and in the midst of mass commercialism and consumerism is making my skin crawl.

This is a very interesting read.

Something to add to my thoughts about how we will be changing our personal habits and how that may impact “the system”.

Regenerative Cities – World Future Council

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Playing with clay

Learning new skills …

Molly & Fred's Excellent Adventures

Fred and I are playing with clay.

We thought it would be fun to take a class together so we signed up for a ceramic class and are going to be learning different clay techniques.

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Today was our first day of class and we started with learning about clay and tools and pinching pots.

We had three assignments for today. Three different pot shapes. Flat bowl, rounded bowl, and cylinder bowl. I did okay on the first two… Not so good on my third bowl.

I also have to get over my “perfectionist” tendencies. It bugs me that my bowls were not perfectly symmetrical… Even if they were my first ones. 😜

Fred says “everything’s just ducky – quack, quack, quack, quack” when asked how he liked the class… 🐥🐥🐥🐥

I’m already looking forward to next week.
~ Molly

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2015 – A year of possibilities and preparation

My head has been swimming. So many ideas, so many plans.

I am not really sure where to start.

Well, I am sure where to start but it is all very overwhelming at the moment.

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We are seriously vying for a spot on the next episode of hoarders. This picture doesn’t even scratch the surface!

You can see why it may be overwhelming!

We are making progress though. Slowly.

If you remember, we plan on downsizing to a 40 x 8 ft motor home. There just will not be room for all of this stuff.

Since moving to Washington nearly three years ago (and spending thousands of dollars to get our stuff down here) I can tell you that we have barely used anything that we so carefully packed to bring with us… And that was AFTER downsizing and selling enough stuff to pay for a good part of our move. Truly disgusting.

I have just over one year to cull as much as I can down to what will fit (is necessary) in the motorhome and into an enclosed trailer that we will pull with our truck.

What do we really need? REALLY need!

Being that I am currently “unemployed” and starting school on Monday (January 5), I am planning on utilizing any extra time I have to keep sorting and culling our belongings. Besides the fact that tackling a bit each day will help with the feeling of being overwhelmed by the huge task that we have ahead of us.

I am looking forward to learning new things this year that I will be able to take with me when we move to the village.

2015 is going to be a challenging and exciting year! Woot woot! Let’s roll!!

~ Molly