Thankful for Change

Many people fear change, and at one point, I thought I was afraid of it too. But within a year I’ve learned that the best kind of change happens while you’re not looking.

Exactly a year ago, I had just been laid off from my job, was in an unhealthy relationship and just wasn’t happy. I couldn’t afford to gift very much for the Holiday’s (let alone my own Mother’s 50th Birthday) and I barely spent any time with my horse.

A few days before my Birthday in December, I ended said unhealthy relationship and while I knew it was the right thing to do, the downward spiral somehow continued. Next, I applied for unemployment (something I had never had to do since starting work at the age of 14), continue the endless search for another job and make due with what I could. Then, I walked away from a once valuable friendship (and to this day, I don’t think he realized how much it hurt me). So, I spent about 2 months job hunting, binge watching Netflix shows, crying uncontrollably, and hiding in my apartment. I knew that I had lost myself completely.

Then, January came and I got a call from my previous Executive Director, offering me the position of “Creative Director” at KidsGardening.org (a spin-off/start up of a division of our old company) and of course, I said YES! With this opportunity knocking, I knew things were starting to look up.

Dark times often bring people together, and during this time, I met Krystal. Krystal and I soon learned that we had Line Dancing in common! And with that, we agreed on need to bring this back to Addison County. With hard work, research, practicing and enthusiasm, we launched “Addison County Line Dancers” Line Dancing Lessons in March 2016 with an astounding attendance of 143 people for our first class!

With time, patience, a fighting side and a line dance (or two), I began to find myself again. My confidence was growing, my heart was happier and I was finally able to put all of the pain of the past behind me.

And now, a year later, my life has completely changed for the better! I am the proud co-owner and instructor at “Addison County Line Dancers”. I’ve continued my work and career as the Creative Director at KidsGardening.org. I ride my horse as often as I can and enjoy every moment I spend at the barn. I’m in a healthy and loving relationship, with a wonderful man (Ben Huestis, I’m braggin’ about you honey). And I am grateful for the friends that stuck by my side last year, when things weren’t so bright.

NEEDLESS TO SAY, THIS YEAR, I AM THANKFUL FOR CHANGE!

Lessons Learned and The Little Things

It’s time to admit to the world that I am only an amateur gardener. As a child, I spent quite a few summers helping my grandmother in her garden. But clearly I learned more about my love for vegetables from those years than how to properly care for the garden.

In May, I started to weed an old raised bed behind my apartment building, only to remember a lesson learned at a recent KidsGardening garden installation: Moss = Shade. This mossy bed didn’t get enough sun for the crops I wanted to plant there. I promptly asked the owner of the barn where I board my horse if I could use her two raised beds for my garden. She said yes (and will get half of the harvest as a thank-you). And so I began my very first garden adventure as an adult. Needless to say, I still have a lot to learn!

Plan-ting Accordingly

KGBlog_-2324With the guidance of my KidsGardening colleagues, I purchased an assortment transplants from Gardener’s Supply including; tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and broccoli. I also had a variety of squash, pea and lettuce seeds from High Mowing Seeds. I had planned to plant the seeds in raised bed #1 and the transplants in raised bed #2, but that’s as far as I got with my planning.

I landed myself in a muddy, rushed and humorous situation come planting day. The day was overcast, the raised beds were weedy and I was determined. But by the time the beds were weeded and the compost was mixed into the beds, it had begun to rain. Determined and ruthless, I got everything planted. Despite slipping a few times in the infamous Addison County clay, all I could think to myself once the job was done was, “Well, at least I don’t have to lug out that watering can tonight!”

Hills and Valley’s

KGBlog_-2459I was quite proud of myself for planting in a rainstorm and for how nice the raised beds looked now. One day the farm owners pointed out that I had planted in the valleys, not the hills… thus, I gained another nickname – “Valley Girl.” Despite this mistake, I regained hope that my garden would be okay when I saw the strong sprouts popping out from the ground.

Crowding

KGBlog_-2984After six short weeks, the garden was flourishing! I was so proud, but I realized how crowded the beds were becoming even though I was weeding regularly. Looking back, in the rush of planting in the rain, I had ignored the planting directions on the labels and seed packets. Another lesson learned, and now I had to find a solution to my mistake. A few DIY trellis’ later, along with some judicious thinning, and my plants seemed much happier!

Lessons Learned and The Little Things

I was raised to learn from my mistakes, and have I ever learned a few things from my gardening adventures this summer! The biggest lesson learned is that gardening is all about planning. Plan for the weather, for the layout of your garden, for the plant spacing, and for gardening materials you will need as your garden continues to flourish.

KGBlog_-2339In spite of the mistakes I made, I learned to appreciate the little things that these two raised beds brought my way. The little things like spending quality time with the barn owner, the excitement of seeing the first few sprouts, the chance to sit and relax while weeding and watching the horses graze, the realization of how much I meant to this little farm, or the numerous beautiful sunsets over the green peaks of Snake Mountain. I am truly grateful for my very first garden adventure as an adult, the lessons I’ve learned and the harvest to come!

Blog adapted from my post on KidsGardening.org’s Growing Ideas Blog.

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