Acclimating to Wisconsin

Welcome back to Wisconsin, home of frigid air, snow, potholes, sales tax, lots of roadside deer, and viruses! In all seriousness though, I’m enjoying being back in my home state, despite writing today with a cold that came about two nights ago and the 5-degree temperature I got to “enjoy” this morning while walking Cole. 

Speaking of Cole, he has had some serious health developments recently. First, we discovered he has two herniated disks in his back. A couple of weeks later, I found out he had a couple of badly infected teeth that needed to be extracted. I’m happy to report his mouth is doing much better now after a few very stressful and painful days of recovery. We continue to monitor his back issues and address them as needed. For the most part, he seems comfortable and relatively active, as much as should be expected for an 11-year old pug. 

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Cole and I on our first day of work at Metric Forrest Studio

I enjoyed my 10-week break from working but eventually needed to find some source of steady income to help supplement my budget as I work on growing my photography, interior styling, and minimalism coaching businesses. Once I began looking for opportunities, it didn’t take long to find a part-time bookkeeping job at a local jewelry designer in downtown Madison. It’s the perfect fit for my needs right now as it offers a flexible and dog-friendly schedule and enough income to cover my normal expenses (like cell phone, internet, insurance, etc.) while not consuming as much time as a “normal” full-time gig would. This way,  I still have enough time and energy to work on my own business endeavors although I still find it challenging to come up with the energy I need to make as much progress as I’d like on that front.

My photoshoot last month was a fun success and provided me eleven new portraits to add to my portfolio as well as taught me some valuable lessons as I develop this new service of my photography. The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that photo editing is way more time consuming than I imagined therefore the number of images I promise to deliver per photoshoot will be less in the future.  I’m happy to report though that I have a few new leads on paid portrait work in the future that I’m excited to pursue so maybe this whole portrait work thing will take off after all? Meanwhile, I continue to work on learning as much as I can to improve my craft and build my portfolio. 

My interior design and minimalism coaching businesses have been a bit slower in progress. I got my website to an OK (but not perfect) point, created my Facebook and Instagram accounts, begun recruiting followers and have a writer lined up to help refine some sections of my website. I still need to work on acquiring more photos for my Instagram account as well as need to create a price list for the website. I moved my Intro to Minimalism workshop back one week while I work on getting the word out to find folks to participate. I’m also considering the possibility of offering remote workshops and consultation services to the mix. I like this idea for two reasons: first, I can work from anywhere and second, I can work with people no matter where they live therefore helping more people. The hardest part about this business venture is the fact that it is all so new to me, therefore, it requires more time to research and figure out how I can be of the most help to people. I continue to take baby steps forward though and am confident I will slowly see progress despite the challenges. 

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Cole test-driving the new chair

My home space is coming together nicely. Three of the four closet doors are now hung as well as all but one piece of art (that I have yet to get). The ceiling fans are installed and all of the electrical outlets and switches match the faceplates. I decided to return my couch as I found a fantastic oversized leather chair online for free. It only took two trips to Belleville, several hours of time, and help from my sister and her truck to get back home. I think it’s safe to say it is Cole-approved. All that remains for the space to be completely done is to hang the last closet door, put up trim, and re-paint the walls. I look forward to sharing photos once the project is complete. Stay tuned…

I’ve especially been loving spending time with Cole and my family since being back in Wisconsin. Living with my sister has been a great experience and so much easier than any co-habiting adventure I’ve had so far. Our parents came over to spend our first Thanksgiving together in over two decades and I got to enjoy my first ever birthday party with my cousin and her daughter last weekend. In addition to my family, I’ve enjoyed meeting and catching up with old friends around Madison this past couple of months.  I still have more people to touch base with and look forward to doing that in the New Year. Overall, things are going well and I’m happy with how everything is unfolding during this new chapter. Most of all, I’m grateful for all the wonderful people in my life both near and far. Thank you for being in my life!

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Happy 7th Birthday, Nya! 

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