Give Me Fuel, Give Me Fire…

Today was the perfect autumn day to work outside.  A bit of a breeze, a lite sprinkle of rain, and some little helpers needing to burn off energy. My wife had our two youngest cleaning branches and pine needles from the driveway and around the house. My eldest child and I cleaned off the roof and gutters. Her and I then worked together to tackle a project I put off all summer.


We tidied our disasterous woodshed. From boards and beams that were haphazardly tossed in, to the logs that had fallen over into the walkway, we needed to clean it all up.  We re-stacked the wood to the drier side and swept up the dust. Old wooden beams and plywood made their way to the back of the woodshed for possible future use. I even took the time to show my daughter how to safely chop kindling. 

During our afternoon, we shared some good bonding moments that didn’t feel forced. Even laughing maniacally as we killed armies of spiders that crawled their way out from the wood.  Afterwards, we went back into our home for a late lunch where my daughter also lit a fire. 


Our oldest daughter enjoys hanging out beside the fireplace in our large black wingback chair. This is her favorite spot for contemplation and peace during the fall and winter. The woodshed and fireplace are in essence, her way of becoming an adult. Bringing us comfort by warming our home is her contribution to the household.

Little did she know that she also warmed my heart by sharing her time with me today. Talking with her I realized she isn’t my little girl anymore, but a young lady with passion in her soul. These interactions become the “A-Ha!” moments that catch me off guard. 

With a bit of sadness and a lot of love, I’m glad that together we cleaned the woodshed today.

Six

It happened suddenly and without warning. It wasn't until I looked at my salary that it actually hit me. After all is said and done, I somehow make six figures a year. No, it's not a brag in this day and age either. It's just an observation really. A fact I never tried to accomplish.

I am far from educated so that never got me very far. Life has always been a push or even a struggle to get up that hill into adulthood. Pinching pennies, spending long hours working, having a plan, sticking to a budget. All of it with goals in mind. Not all of the goals involved money.

I never sought money as a reason to work. Of course money is noice and affords me the lifestyle I want to live. But working for money? Not my thing. I have been enjoying work because of the challenges it presents me. Jobs lose their luster and thrill after a while but my current job has so many avenues available to me, I really don't know where I may end up.

So, I set my goals. Next year? Travel as much as possible. The year after? Put money into upgrading the home. The year after that? Help our oldest with post secondary education. The year after that? More travel. The work I get paid to do helps promote my plans. Sixth year? Seems like it will hit me fast.

Work goals? Learn as much as possible whenever possible. Share my knowledge with others. Help others achieve their goals. Make a difference in how the work environment feels. None of that sounds too lofty. Nor does it feel like a corporate ladder to climb. I figure if something interests me, I'll work towards it.

Why am I so Lazy This Week?


I haven’t been the most helpful husband this week.  Most mornings after a nightshift, I’ll drive the kids to school.  But not this week.  I came home every morning and went to bed.  I also woke up to eat dinner and then went for another nap before going to my nightshift.  I didn’t even make the dinners this week.


Everything fell on my wife.  I appreciate what she has done this week (and every week for that matter).  I’m not sure why I became so lazy.  But my wife stepped up and did everything for the family.  She did so without any real complaining or animosity towards me.  


She’s a pretty darn good lady who deserves daily praise.  To say that I will make it up to her is an understatement.  This weekend we are probably just going to lounge around the home.  She enjoys beating me at videogames, which is why I don’t like playing them with her.  I think a weekend away is in order soon.  

But tonight I will make dinner to thank her.  Sushi Take Out…

Running a Home Business 

My wife has a small home based business.  She creates fleece hats and hair clips in a small studio off the side of our home.  Shameless promotion here: Ningen Headwear

Her business started about eleven years ago as a way of making some extra money while our children were toddlers.  My wife attended craft fairs and sold on eBay from 2005-2010.  Etsy showed up in 2009 and she began selling there.  From that point on, she made numerous contacts and began focusing her products towards a specific genre.  We attended our first Anime Convention, and thus began a new way of life.

My wife’s business pays for our trips.  We incorporate vacation time with the Comic Cons.  As a family we love the Convention Circuit.  The kids are often dressing up in Cosplay, having photos taken, meeting celebrities, meeting fantastic artists and just having a good time.  It doesn’t feel like work when we are there.  But building stock and merchandise, that feels like work.

 

Inspirational view and sewing machines.

 

Last year I finally completed my wife’s studio.  Up until this point, our dining room and spare bedroom was where she worked 11.5 months of the year.  We only ever packed up for the two weeks at Christmas to make it feel like a home again.  Now she walks out the door and enters her own world.  She puts in full time hours but it feels like part time pay.  That’s the cost of running a home business.  No one tells you it will take twice as much time for half the results.

In my spare time, if I’m not doing housework or general home repairs, I try and help her.  I don’t know how to sew.  I don’t know how to measure and cut fabric.  I do know how to update her website.  I know how to sit at her embroidery machine and thread it (thank you movie theater experience for that!)

 

Busy making fan favorites!

 

My wife’s home business isn’t going to make millions.  But it does make her happy.  My wife makes her customers happy as well and their feedback is phenomenal.  That’s a job satisfaction that comes with taking pride in your work.  Her business also keeps us traveling.  Which allows for us to spend quality time together.  That is worth more to us than any amount of money.

Running a home based business isn’t easy- but it sure can be rewarding.