Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

MOVED! Part Two

It only took me a week, but I finally learned how to install a subscribe box over at In the process, I’ve learned more than I thought existed about child themes, search engine optimization, and plugins.

I’ve only just begun to realize how much more I have to learn!

As I continue to learn more about blogging and get ready to unveil one of the three big projects I’ve been working on, I haven’t been posting too regularly. I’ve decided to post on Tuesday and Thursday at for the next few weeks so that there’s a predictable posting schedule. And I can always post more if I’m so inclined!

I hope to see you over at soon!


Mother Earth News Fair Recap

Filling our water bottles at a natural spring

Filling our water bottles at a natural spring near our condo. Jason’s sorry the pictures are either too dark or blurry!

Last weekend Jason and I spent Saturday and Sunday at the Mother Earth News Fair, held in Seven Springs, PA. It’s only about an our southeast of Pittsburgh, and we were lucky enough to have family offer us a free place to stay and free childcare FOR THE ENTIRE WEEKEND. We were a little excited.

We arrived late Friday night to a sweet condo with a fireplace. We stayed up too late enjoying the quiet, the wine, and each other’s company, which meant that Saturday morning was a late one. Unfortunately, we missed the first set of sessions on Saturday, but we quickly found out that we couldn’t get anywhere near most of the rooms anyway. Several of the sessions were so full of people that just the long, wide hallways to get to the session rooms were packed enough to make my agoraphobia kick in. Jason attended sessions mostly held outside, so he was able to see and hear fine. His interest in alternative energy drove his session choices for the day, but he found many of the sessions to be less practically applied than he’d hoped for.

Although we missed out on the morning and early afternoon sessions, we had better luck with the afternoon & early evening sessions. We attended a bread making session together, which was fun because Jason is in charge of the pizza-making in this house.

A session about promoting and earning income for your farm through social media caught my eye. Jason was interested, so we went together and found it to be the most interesting session we attended all weekend (the funniest, too). Jenna Woginrich from Cold Antler Farm gave extremely practical advice that anyone looking to promote any homegrown business could benefit from.

Sunday morning we headed back over to the Fair a bit earlier where I sat in on a session about making easy soft cheeses and Jason learned how to build his own solar panel. Note: Jason is NO LONGER interested in building his own solar panels!

On Sunday the crowds were much, much thinner and we explored all the exhibitors, vendors, and the book shop. There were so many vendors both outside and in that it took a couple of hours to see everything we wanted. After some delicious vegan vendor food, we headed back to the condo to pack up, and then ran into the woods for a quick hike. The condo we stayed in was actually in Hidden Valley, very close to Seven Springs, but even closer to lots of beautiful hiking trails in Forbes State Forest. The next time we get to that area, I’d like to spend more time hiking–there were  tons of trails and back country hiking and camping, too!

We had a few takeaways from the weekend (aside from new bread and cheese ideas)…

If we go to the Mother Earth News Fair again, we would like to go on Friday instead of or in addition to Sunday. There was apparently a full day of sessions without the crowds.

If we go to that area again–and we will!–I want to spend more time hiking. 

I’m thinking that it would be a great area to take the kids camping next year, hopefully with some friends–close, but feels completely removed from our normal urban lifestyle.


Go anywhere fun or learn anything new over the last couple of weeks?



I’m sick. I have a miserable sinus infection on top of a pregnancy that makes me wicked tired. And I need to be working right now. But all I want to do is curl up under a blanket and snooze. With Harvey. He’s a great snuggle buddy. See photo above.

Worse, I’m starting to question the worthwhileness (is that a word??) of the job I’m currently working. I enjoy the writing and the people (especially the woman I work closely with–she’s wonderful), for the most part I like all of website stuff, content finding, emails, meetings, conference calls, everything, that is, except the ad sales. I hate selling ads, and I try never to use the H-word. But yes, HATE, in all capitals, just like that. I hate it so much that I’m just starting to consider giving up the contract job (I’m self-employed) that I like so much.

Sure, there’s a commission. And sure, I’m paid my normal hourly rate just for making the calls. But man, that is not enough motivation for me.

The other huge problem is that ad sales involves being on the phone almost constantly. I make lots of calls, get many people on the phone, leave messages for more who call me back later. Like when my toddler is throwing a tantrum. But I have to take the call, knowing as I do that in sales, if a person knows you’re trying to sell something an actually calls you back, you CAN NOT put off that phone call. They won’t call again, period.

Since I do most of my calling when J is sleeping, and he’s a fitful sleeper at best, I’ve had lots of issues lately with him waking up while I’m in the middle of a call and screaming at the top of his lungs. I live in a very small apartment, and the person on the phone definitely hears every time. It has ruined more than one call that was going pretty well.

When I took this job, I committed to no more than 15 hours a week, and committed to myself that I would confine my work to J’s nap times and evenings and weekends when Jason could be with him. He has since started day care 8 hours a week to give me designated hours to work. That’s great and all, but it eats away at my pretty meager bottom line. And while I knew that sometimes I would need to take/make an important call or send an email, I didn’t anticipate the level of intrusion on my J time from return sales calls.

This is one situation I do not know how to balance, and I’m not sure there’s a way, other than to ask that I give up the ad sales. I don’t think that would be received very well, considering sales was primarily what I was contracted to do. And I walked happily into it, I’ve just learned since that it’s akin to inserting bamboo rods under my finger nails.

Woe. Alright, I’ll be quiet now. Thanks for letting me vent!


It snowed a bit on Friday night.

20 inches in our backyard, to be exact. In a spot without drifts! And that was at 8:30am, but it continued to pour down the snow until after noon yesterday.

We had fun playing, shoveling, and playing some more. The entire neighborhood had fun watching Jack have so much fun. There’s something about a toddler in a lot of snow that’s just so cute!

Unfortunately, Saturday was my designated work day. The Mr. and I had blocked off the entire day for me to do an interview and lots of research for some articles coming due February 15th. Needless to say, none of that happened (and neither did my Christmas gift massage from my brother-in-law and his fiancee–I’m sad about that!) and I was a little stressed for an hour or so. Then I realized that my sinus infection was making me feel terrible, and the nausea from the pregnancy made everything even worse. Whine! A forced day of rest was probably exactly what my body needed, and I do feel much better today.

I can mention my very new pregnancy here because I likely don’t have any readers yet, so I don’t have to worry about word getting out!

So, no work for me, and a little stressed today, but getting ready to do as much work as I can this morning while The Mr. & Jack play. I’ve rescheduled my interview for 4pm and The Mr. has offered to play chauffer and entertain Jack at the coffee shop while I do my thing.

Big Deep Breath. I will get it all done. I will get it all done.

My beautiful, loving, supportive mother arrives on Thursday to stay with us for a very long weekend so that I can work non-stop until everything is finished. What would I do without her??

The real question is: will I have enough time this evening to make loaded nachos before the Superbowl starts?