This year has simply flown by and I'm not quite sure where the time has gone. Maybe it's because I've been off doing all sorts of time-consuming projects (three of which I'm almost finished with, only 33 to go!). Or maybe the time has flown because I'm getting older.
This isn't going to be me lamenting over tedious parts of my life that I have no business sharing with anyone outside of a doctor's examination room (don't worry, folks, no erectile dysfunction here...) but I'm starting to feel old.
Oh sure, most of the world's population (okay, maybe it's more like 65%) is older than me but the whole age thing comes creeping up. It's getting harder to hide the fact that I eat like shit and drink like a horse like a horse who had just galloped through the entirety of the Mojave Desert. (Busted, I don't even drink that much). Weight has never been an issue for me but now I find myself standing in front of the mirror jiggling my slowly expanding gut. Hell, I just ate 3/4 lb. of smoked pork while I've been writing this so maybe I need to begin with portion control. I totally blew off my burgeoning jogging routine this year because we were busy most night pitching in watching our four young nephews a few nights each week while their mother worked nights and their dad worked 12-15 hour days. A few nights of that left me wanting to do nothing more than relax. Couple that with the sweltering summer we had here in Minnesota and outdoor time wasn't exactly in the cards -- especially for extraneous physical activity.
See, I have an excuse for everything.
Once August rolled around, we began working on some pretty exciting online ventures. Those have sucked up more time than I ever thought possible. I spent early weekend mornings and plenty of nights getting three of the intended four ventures off the ground and, in the process, taught myself the basics of Wordpress, some rudimentary PHP skills and learned still more about CSS. Yep, pretty nerdy stuff and those projects are nowhere near perfect yet but like plenty of things I do they are a work in progress.
I took some vacation time (four days to be exact) to catch up on household work. My yard was totally clean as the first snow fell back before Thanksgiving. I manufactured and installed some new exterior trim which was terribly deteriorated after only 40-some years and built my old lady a walk-in closet. Sure, it doesn't have a door installed yet or any texture on the drywall but that son of a bitch is built!
And because our plan for a new two stall garage is a distant dream, I sprung instead for a garage door opener on Black Friday and, pending a missing part thanks to the monkeys who can't package shit at Chamberlain's Chinese manufacturing headquarters, I am stuck with an inoperable garage door opener for the time being. (See, that one is actually out of my control)
All told, the past few month's work is all leading up to a plan to supplement our income. It's all part of that American spirit. Entrepreneurship at its finest. We both rather enjoy what we do and are, for the most part, happy with our lot in life but we also want to restore our grand old home to its former glory and give it some much-needed curb appeal which all begins with a facelift to the old three-season porch spanning its width. It's the biggest project (even compared to the bathroom we gutted and rebuilt) we plan on tackling and it requires a lot of things to fall into place. But with some luck and a lot of extra effort it's going to happen. So help us to make it happen.
So spread the word about Minnesota Recipes. In short, it's an always growing collection of, for lack of a better word, heirloom recipes. They've been dug out of dusty drawers, book cases and out of print and decades old homemakers and church cookbooks. We've been busy typing recipes from old recipe cards tagged with the names of people I faintly recall from my years growing up on the family farm. We've also been busy trying some of these crazy sounding recipes for the sole purpose of photographing them and giving them our own stamp of approval in the process. It's all a lofty order when both are saddled with full-time day jobs and a now three year-old who is as loud and curious as she is cute.
Sure, Minnesota Recipes is far from perfect but I've learned a ton along the way. I learned the quirks of certain Wordpress plugins. I learned that SEO is a real bitch to crack sometimes. I learned that it's easy as hell to get frustrated when the results of your hard work are slow to turn in to something more substantial. Beware that when you visit Minnesota Recipes that I am scraping up bits of time here and there to fill out the missing bits of information. Descriptions of many of the recipes are missing when viewed in search engines due to my learning on the fly. Photos are slow to come because there's only so much food a family of three can afford to cook and eat.
All told, though, I'm becoming happier with the fruits of my labor. This is my first full Wordpress website. Creating it, though, has secured a future for myself at my job because I have that skillset ready to use at a moment's notice.
Hey, if anyone reading this knows more about CSS than I do, maybe you can lend a hand as you'll probably notice a couple elements still somewhat out of place on the main page of Minnesota Recipes. Feel free to drop me a line, I would greatly appreciate a few minutes of your amazing skills!
Thanks, though, for following my projects and to a certain extent my life. Hopefully Minnesota Recipes grows as quickly as MinnPics did -- or even faster! And don't think for a moment that I'll forget about MinnPics. That website is my little baby. I love photography and I love seeing and sharing what other photographers across Minnesota are up to. Curating MinnPics has taught me more than I could ever dream of and has spurred both me and my wife to become better photographers and find the hidden photographic gems in our own little corner of Minnesota.