dare to be different, Teddie Aspen

Crotchless!

This is definitely a post for the record books. It’s no secret I rise in the dark and wee hours of the morning to get my fitness on before most even think of waking.

I normally dress in the dark and move about in a quiet but fast pace to not startle others. On most days that doesn’t work but the effort is there.

I have had my share of friends who put their shorts on backwards or inside out sometimes and they have done it more than once.  We giggle. We move on. I have admittedly put my shorts and bras on inside out but always corrected it because you could feel the difference.

Then today happened. A story like no other. I did my usual morning routine and arrived at the gym. I scurried into the gym in the dark and said hello to a female friend on the way in. Put my keys and phone in the bin and jetted to the girls room. Took care of business and looked down in complete and utter surprise. An oh shit moment of how in the hell did this happen. What am I going to do and send help please but no phone was with me!

I hear the rumble in the next stall of toilet paper being jostled. Who is it? Do I know them? Who cares! I shout who’s there? The reply was who do you think is here? OMG no time for games, it’s Kim. Thank you Jesus an ally. A trusted friend. Don’t come out yet I have a wardrobe malfunction I said. Ummm, okay she replied. What kind of problem? I don’t know let me assess the magnitude. Oh it’s bad. Thank God nobody saw this when I walked in. Or did they?

My dog ate my pants. She specifically and mindfully crafted a crotchless pair of Nike pros! Yes I wrote a crotchless pair of shorts. Not on the seams like a normal rip she actually chewed around in a methodical fashion. See below for proof:

I have no clue how I didn’t notice before I left, on my drive but I am ever so thankful I had to use the restroom before class since today was squat day. Disaster averted or kind of. Now that my class mates think I legit shit myself and had to leave class. If you think I’m joking see below:

Or if the shit yourself comment wasn’t bad enough I got one about Aunt Flo coming for a visit. Sigh, big sigh, deep breath. Now that my morning has been an absolute cluster fuck I should note the following. My little princess of a bitch dog is mad at me. I threw away her favorite frisbee yesterday because she ate it. It was supposed to be indestructible but clearly it wasn’t and neither was my Nike pro shorts that I happened to like a lot. So I will leave you some cute pictures of my dog but confirmation of her devilish side.

Life lessons learned today. Put your fresh laundry away even when your dog wants to lay on your clothes at bed time. Check your drawers before you leave the house and make sure you have panties on so you don’t flash the world your you-know-what accidentally. Take a few extra minutes and wake the house up to avoid utter humiliation.

I will be forever explaining this in the weeks to come. No, I didn’t shit my pants. I had a wardrobe malfunction. My dog ate my shorts. Enough said! Thank you Teddie. I know you can be sweet like the picture below but also evil when you want to be.

3Splitz Farm

Dirt to Dreams

Some folks wonder what dreams are made of. For me my current dream is made of dirt. Or it at least starts with dirt or land but there is a vision behind the layers of dust, dirt, grass, rock and critters.
Today’s dream is agricultural at its roots with the seeds planted for future development over the long haul. It’s hard to explain but to just jot down the CliffsNotes of the vision without giving away the finish line is a great way to show a glimpse to others who maybe can’t see the path on their own. My motto has always been dream big and this is a great example to showcase.
Just a chick on her tractor with her faithful sidekick moving dirt in one way or another. A whole different level of badassery than you see on the weekdays but equally satisfying. How could that be? I’m working on my dream. I’m using my own blood, sweat and tears to build something that matters. The depth and breadth of the project is hard to quantify today but the process in itself of building/assembling the dream is priceless.
The people on the journey near and far who see the value of the dream and even participate in one way or another is magical. Sharing smiles is ever so treasured when on or around my dirt pile I call rustic paradise. This past weekend we had a family gathering. The memories made on the land, in the dirt were irreplaceable. My 80+ years young mom got to share in our country festivities and see a simple side of life. No hustle, no bustle, no TV, but somehow time goes by so fast.
Three generations of women sharing stories, memories, experiences on the dirt / land I incorporate in the big dream. For now this is just one example of the value within the land. There are many more from virtual connections, friend connectivity, farmily traditions and overall growth as people within this environment.
This weekend I dealt with snakes, ducks, rabbits, dogs and other critters. I came out unscathed and enjoyed every last minute. Even the frightful moment dealing with a venomous snake. And the irony of the snake picture is I stopped to get video proof of this snake to identify it. Now it appears to be a copperhead yet last time I wrote about a snake I noted I screamed dramatically. This time I didn’t but probably should have given the type of snake!
The good news is I lived to tell another story and hope that somewhere in the world somebody is enjoy my dream big stories. Signing off as a farm girl for now before I strap on my heels for the day job. Until next time.
family, friendship

Memory Chest

I recently wrote about what I missed due to the pandemic state we will live in currently. What I neglected to mention is that my memory chest had grown immensely during the same time. An irony of sorts.

A kind soul said to me one day: I hope your memory chest becomes as full as mine one day. Those words rang true to me in many ways. Many years separate us in age but quality memories ring true with both of us.

Sharing is caring and building memories involves sharing. Sharing of good times, great times, sad times, trying times and oh so many adventures. Here’s a virtual toast to your memory bank. Building the best of the best memories.

For today I am reliving my memories in photos, journal entries, blog posts, adventures and so on. Below is the blossoming of a lifelong friendship. From teammates to besties to barn buddies. Their shiny smiles can light up a room.

And then there is ageless beauty of a mother, wife, caregiver learning to soar on her own in a complex world. As you recall In my last post I said I missed smiles. The smiles hid behind masks. These two photos alone show what I wrote about. In nature, away from crowds, in the fresh air, less populated areas you are not looked upon with disgust for no mask. It’s a glorious feeling. A sense of freedom among the chaos.

Onto lazy day snuggles with your puppy. Who says you can’t grab a blanket and snuggle away. It’s never too hot to grab a blanket and pile it for a snuggle sesh.

And who can forget backyard bbqs and all the fun they bring. Memories fill the the chest. The hand written notes saved have a spot in the chest. The memorable cards saved have a secret compartment, too. The newspaper clippings from back in the day have a place as well. The trophies and other keepsakes are all part of the memory collection. The memory chest. They all make the memory chest plentiful and unique to you. Keep building yours, like I am mine.

Share the memories. Share the smiles. Make others smile. When creating this post I didn’t look for smiling pictures they were just the ones that seemed to fit. Ironically there are full smiles.

Unfortunately there are some corona memories in the bank. Hopefully they will be covered with dust soon. Until then I will escape the ordinary to find my peace and make additions to my memory bank. My words to pass on to you will be the same as the ones given to me: May your memory bank be as full as mine one day.

How amazing is it that when I wrote this post that the cup above was on my daily tea from a local vendor. How did they know a smile was on my mind? Enjoy the journey. The escape. The process in general. Pay attention to the little signs around a you.

3Splitz Farm, family

Never Have I Ever

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Never have I ever…

….driven a tractor.

….cleared out my own patch of overgrown rose bushes.

….mowed acre after hilly acre of thick wet grass with a push mower.

….ridden on a four-wheeler.

….shared my bed with a dog.

….eaten an avocado.

….moved myself into a farmhouse.

If we were playing the game “never have I ever,” which of these would you agree with?  Which have you already done?

In our first couple of weekends on the farm, at least one of our farmily knocked each of these things off our “never have I ever” lists.  I’ll let you wonder which belongs to who.  There are some surprises.  Many more not listed here.  And ones we can’t even imagine on the horizon.

Funny how this new adventure is taking us each on refreshing paths.  New experiences and challenges are possible at every turn.  Some take deep breaths before we try.  Some take asking questions, even a little trial and error.  It’s learning about the land, ourselves, and even each other.  We are knocking things off our lists while filling up our time with amazing memories.

What’s on your “never have I ever” list that you need to cross off?

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working women

Wah

Work at home or wah has been something I have been accustomed to for over 20 years. I am not a newbie to juggling work and home life. Wah requires a certain kind of discipline.

School holidays, summer vacations and digital learning days have always added a layer of distractions over the years but they were managed with care. Even when the pandemic popped up tolerance was built up and grace was given across the board. A juggling act of sorts began. The tolerance was temporary.

Fast forward four months and patience weakens when the reality sets in that one’s wah environment changed permanently. The distractions become coworkers. A teenager, a spouse, a token visitor, and a dog are now fixed figures much like a coworker. Don’t be fooled. These coworkers are not on your team.

Their output doesn’t impact your quota or goals. In fact, their production counts against you in ways that are hard to articulate. Their mere presence over time can counteract your goals.

Each new coworker has needs. It could be bandwidth for zoom meetings. Background noise for calls. Your favorite snack in the pantry. The list could go on and on. Now let’s compare that commotion to the once quiet and peaceful singular employee wah environment one was used to. There is no comparison!

The world around us has changed as well. Neighbors are also working at home due to environmental conditions. They may now mow the lawn more mid-day. They may let their dog(s) out in the yard during the day more. There may be neighbors talking over the fence more. There may be kids playing in the pool next door. There may be more UPS deliveries next door more often. That means noises, distractions, and so much more.

A chain reaction can start quickly. One dog barks in the area then five dogs bark. One toilet flushes then another, then another. School starts at 6:20 am for one. Work starts at 8 am for another. Work starts at 10 am for another. End times, lunch breaks, naps, and meetings all fluctuate between the pop-up mini-team. The poor dog is like a ping pong ball. No more daytime naps for the dog. Too much stimulation.

Somebody turns on the laundry mid-day. Somebody has a visitor pop over. Somebody burns something in the kitchen. Somebody takes a TV break and turns the sound up too loud. How does anyone get anything accomplished?

Work conference calls. School zoom classes. Chaos on the home front. Home and work is now mixed without barriers. Temporary is now more permanent.

I almost forgot the annoying coworker. The one who reads an article and wants to discuss it with you. The one who can’t focus on their own work so they ask you irrelevant questions. A coworker who looks to you for motivation or that mental push. Remember your coworker isn’t on your team but they need you to solve their perceived problem. Today it could be motivation. Tomorrow it could be world news they want to have a chat about. The complexities of wah with coworkers that have independent goals and objectives are many especially if they are related to you.

Was your home office really designed for one or four? Do you have additional responsibilities during the pandemic to keep your job? How is your performance holding up? How is your mental toughness?

How will businesses survive when employee productivity declines even further because their impatience and stress at home become too much? How will kids develop when we take away their social environment and replace it with forced digital environments that  are unhealthy in the best of situations?

So much chaos today. I didn’t even have to mention the fact that no masks are required at home. But is home really home when you make it a workplace, a school, a gym and force so much change on everyone within the home walls that the seams are ready to bust?

Wah no longer means work at home to me. It now translates to what a haze. A haze not traditionally discussed. One that will cause some to revert to drugs, alcohol or other self- medicating or self-harm measures to cope.

Each of the above coping mechanisms present another layer of negativity in the home which is now the school which is now the conference room and maybe even the church and so on.

I can’t wait to see the statistical reports in about 3-5 years. The data that will show all that was lost and learned in 2020 during the pandemic. Statistical data is going to pack a punch down the road. Many are in the moment not thinking about long term consequences.

There will also be stats on kids’ vision and how it was impacted. All the screen time between video games, social media and now online schooling. I know in our wah environment we have made adjustments from varied background screen colors to glasses to keep up with changes in digital hours.

2020 is definitely a year for the record books. Wild, crazy, unpredictable. I think I’m going to work at the office. I have that choice, many don’t. It will most likely be less chaotic.