It’s been a while since I’ve posted out here, I suppose. (I’m not sure it’s a blog if you don’t forget about it for months at a time, at some point.)

What have I been up to, since last I updated?

  • Novel progress: I took a break from my second draft. It lasted a couple of months. I’m just now getting back into the swing of writing regularly. It’s tough to get back into the habit, but I feel like my time off really helped — my fiction writing has improved. I’ll get a second draft finished soon.
  • I learned some code! I started studying web design and front end development with Team Treehouse, and have been learning about HTML, CSS, and Photoshop, so far. See my progress so far.
  • I accepted a position working as a UX Designer at a new company, and have been in my new position for about four weeks so far. I’m enjoying getting to know my new coworkers and company. I’ll have the opportunity to do more user testing, and to see how another company operates. I already know I’m going to learn a lot about branding at this new place, working in more traditional advertising.
  • Every year, a local group does a big clean up of the rivers in Milwaukee county. I gathered a few friends this year to help, and we went down to the river by my house and picked up trash. We pulled several bags of trash out of an absolutely beautiful little slice of nature, and even dug out a shopping cart that had been partially submerged ever since I moved in a couple years ago.
  • I recently acquired a new banjolele. Yes, I have a banjo, and a banjolele… but I decided that picking up an inexpensive little banjo to keep at my desk at work would be a double-edged sword in the fight against working through my lunch and keeping my musical skills fresh. The littlest banjo needs a little set-up love from my local music shop before it’s ready for daily strumming, but I’ve already learned some new strum techniques on it. Hoping to start learning new songs quickly.
  • I’m wearing orthodontic braces now. I always wanted them growing up, and have had crooked teeth forever. I finally got sick of looking at my jacked-up grin, and went in for a consultation. I’ve been in braces for just about 12 weeks so far, and it’s mostly been okay.
  • Garden season is upon us! I have started my own gardens at home, including a new wildflower bed, a new pepper bed (that is still in progress as of writing), two more vegetable beds, roses and peonies out front, and more. I’m spending a lot of time outside with the hose, or the trowel, or just with dirt on my hands.
  • I’ve also just spent the weekend volunteering with the Victory Garden Initiative, a local Milwaukee group that helps people all throughout the city build raised garden beds. What they’re doing is really neat — anyone can buy a raised garden bed, and have it installed. This is how I got two beds last year, and where I’m getting my third this year. However, people living in certain zip codes can get beds at greatly reduced prices, to help those with lower incomes afford their own home-grown vegetables. It’s terrific, and I’ve met some wonderful people so far.
  • In my third garden-related update, I’ve just planted a small window box garden at work. My new company got together a group of interested gardeners, of all different skill levels, to try their hands at gardening at the office. My garden has two different kinds of peas, as well as a row of edible flowers. The sprouts are just starting to poke through, and I can’t wait to share what some of my coworkers are doing with theirs.
  • I’ve started a regular baking habit. We go through a lot of bread in my household, and I decided that I ought to know how to make a staple like that. It’s taken some trial and error, but I’m now regularly baking whole wheat loaves that are turning out fluffy and delicious. Made from scratch, with lots of love kneaded in.

Sorry it’s been so long without an update! With gardening season here, though, and a new banjolele at my desk, I should have plenty to share in the months to come.