James: Well, here we are. Five months into home-ownership, and a full year into quarantine. Sorry we’ve taken such a hiatus from our ever-attentive readers. There’s been the tendency to look inwards in this time; I was talking to one of my best friends the other day and we both were remarking about how easy it is to accidentally not keep people in touch, since with the people you know the best you can typically imagine the conversations you might have had anyway.
Sheila: Since this started as a travel/adventure blog, we haven’t had too many trip guides to share from within the bounds of our home. That said, it is a bit wild to think that within the past 400 or so days we’ve actually moved 3 times: New Hampshire to Denver, where we stayed with my family for over a month (big thanks!), then into our own apartment in Denver, then into our new home on the same street as our apartment but about a mile and a half away. So… I suppose we have been “traveling” in some respects.
James: one thing that we’ve learned, both as apartment-dwellers and now in the comfort or our own home, is that much like parents (as pawrents🐾), our lives now revolve around Buckwheat. When he’s being a good boy (which is … fairly frequently …), everything is easy and we can play with him, attend to our work, and take awesome walks either in the mountains or in our neighborhood. All is well. When Bucksweetie isn’t in a good mood though, watch out! We talk about 3-5 PM MT as his “witching hours,” where if he hasn’t been properly tired out, he begins to try to get fed ASAP.
This happy boy can’t be fooled by any amount of treats, bones, or toys; if it’s close to dinner time, he wants dinner! We’ve learned that much of our day has to be planned around him, because he has no problem whining for as long as is necessary for him to get what he wants. Here’s a photo of him pouting because he hasn’t been fed:
Sheila: Ah yes - a rescue dog living the life of a royal. Now that you know all of the details of Buckwheat’s moods and schedule, you basically know everything about our life. When anyone asks “what’s new” I usually default to saying how much Buckwheat now weighs, talk about his social life (which is thriving in contrast to many of us humans), or tell them about a new trick he learned. I mean, does anyone really have a good answer for “what’s new?”
I do suppose I could be more fair — we have new plants all the time, we are slowly adding furniture into our new home, I’m learning new things all the fluffing time while running a business, and James just got a new job! 🥳 James, do you want to tell them about that?
James: I started a new job with one of the internal engineering teams at Salesforce this past week. It was a chance to apply some of the programming paradigms that I’m passionate about within an organization that I’ve long hoped to work for. So far it’s been a blast.
Meanwhile, I’ve gotten to be privy to the unique challenges and excitement endemic within any good startup — I’m talking, of course, about Sheila Anne, Sheila’s coaching business. It’s been really cool to see her taking on clients, getting her Associate International Coaching Federation credential, and generally tackling some really hard problems in the start-up world while continually providing clarity, inspiration, and empowerment for women at the same time. Sheila, is there one thing right now that’s a work in progress for you that you want to share with us?
Sheila: I have a few exciting collaborations coming up! In the next two months I’ll be co-leading at least two workshops, appearing on two different podcasts, and I was just asked the other day to be a facilitator for the training for aspiring coaches that are working toward earning their certifications! This is one of my favorite things to do. Last time I facilitated, I saw powerful growth in the students in just a few days. Though solopreneur + pandemic life has felt lonely at times, I am excited about making these new connections and I am so so so grateful for your support and listening ear over this past year.
James: We write to you now from Angel Fire, NM, where Sheila’s cousin’s parents 1 have graciously lent us the use of their cabin for the weekend so that we could have a little getaway for ourselves. On the drive here, we listened to two fascinating podcasts - one on the subject of regenerative agriculture and how race factors into the lack of democratization in agrobusiness; the other, with Sophia Bush and Glennon Doyle talking about lessons learned in life.
Both felt extremely uplifting while providing food for thought on the challenges we all face; both in our relationships and in the way we condition ourselves to think about our own personal challenges. It felt like an apt metaphor for quarantine; more time to double-down on learning and appreciating our friends, partners and family, but more time, too, where it’s doubly important to remain present, mindful, and attentive — not just to our partner (and, in our case, also our dog …), but to ourselves. This is the ongoing challenge behind the actual challenge of Covid.
Sheila: Yes, an important and on-going process indeed! Connecting with others without leaving our your own needs, growth, and care. I will say, there are certainly more ways that I could be incorporating self-prioritization and self-care but I don’t think I’ve ever been as committed to my sleeping schedule as I am these days. 99% of the time in bed by 9:30PM/10PM and up by 6:30AM or earlier… I kind of love it. As a person who studied “the benefits of sleep deprivation” in her AP Psych2 class in high school and truly believed I functioned better on 5 hours or less, my ways are officially changed.
James: We went to bed at 11 last night. It was shocking. I didn’t know I could stay up that late anymore. 😂
Though it does feel like the number of updates we have on a day-to-day basis remains low, in truth much has been done since we moved into our house:
We had a fence built in our front yard, which has been a consistent source of compliments (not the least of which comes from our old landlord, who after seeing the fence offered to buy the place if we ever decided to leave!). This was a huge quality of life improvement for Buckwheat because we only ever had a small patch of grass in our old apartment, and the house only had a modest side yard (much longer than it is wide) when we moved in. By taking out the side yard’s containing fence and building a new one throughout the entirety of our front yard, Buckwheat got a lot more room to play!
- In what could only be described as a saga, we made several purchases even before closing on the house that we only took receipt of within the last few weeks — a new oven and microwave being chief among the lot. The old microwave was actually really nice (and I kind of miss it), but having an electric stove was a no-go for us. We got a gas range installed and it’s been a huge quality of life improvement!
- We had a friend visit after a mutual 2 week quarantine period, and bought the futon you saw Buckwheat lounging on in that first photo as a result. It’s quite the nice addition to my office space!
Sheila: I remember being nervous that neighbors wouldn’t like us making changes right away but was pleasantly surprised by how many people have passed by and yelled: “Nice fence!” Colorado is a friendly place; I still get a little surprised when people are kind and wave… quite different from Boston energy. We also have a farmhouse table that my talented cousin, Evan, helped us make in his garage-turned-woodworking-shop. For a little while we enjoyed sitting at the table with folding chairs that Evan & Kristen had lent us but we recently acquired a few vintage chairs via the good ol’ Facebook Marketplace! So, we’ve certainly had a good time settling into our home and exploring the great outdoor spots around Denver, and we look forward to more home updates as well as local adventures.
Well, that’s all for now! We’ll be back soon for recipe updates & more.