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KirstenL4W — All About Me - And Then Some

Yard Work is Not For Me

I’m not a huge fan of yard work. I don’t like gardening; I don’t even have any house plants.

But I’m on my own now (another story for another day) and I have a half acre of yard to take care of.

I have what mostly qualifies as a lawn – at least the parts you can’t see from the street. There are still a lot of bare patches. I bought some seed and starter fertilizer hoping I could get some baby grass to grow, but it turns out that you need water it – a lot. I had a few issues with this:

  • We were getting regular rain, until I seeded my yard. This put a huge crimp in my lawn-growing plans.
  • I have a sprinkler, but it doesn’t move itself around the yard. Since I work all day, it would take me a week to get the whole lawn watered just by leaving a sprinkler on.
  • I work all day, and I really don’t want to spend a couple of hours after work soaking my yard to get things to grow.
  • It’s a half acre. That’s a LOT of yard to take care of after work and on weekends, especially when I’m trying to have a social life too.

So now that all my grass seed has turned to dust, there’s rain in the forecast this week. Oh, and have I mentioned that the weeds are taller than my dog now? Because they are. She doesn’t like going in the yard because the weeds tickle her belly.

I have a big beast of a rider mower that I have no interest in riding, so for the cost of some delicious home-cooked meals, I’ve managed to get my nephew to come over and take care of that for me. At the very least I’d like to not lose my dog in the yard because the weeds are too tall.

After years of living in Las Vegas and not having to worry about this stuff, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I can’t wait for winter. I love the look of my white, snowy yard because I don’t have to do anything to it.

Boston Strong

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s been some crazy shit happening up here this past week. I don’t need to rehash it, because you can all turn on any news channel and get the idea.

Unlike the events of 9/11, this one hit much closer to home. First, there’s the physical proximity. I don’t live in Boston, but I am within close reach, being only 30 miles away. When I get away from New England, I tell people I’m from “near Boston” because it’s easier to state proximity to a major city rather than telling people you’re from a state without a major city, which usually just invites blank looks.

Second, I have friends who live in Boston. When I heard that the city had shelter-in-place orders, my thoughts immediately went to those friends. They quickly confirmed their safety via social media, and continued to update throughout the day, but of course I was still worried for them because no one knew what would happen.

And then there’s the day of. Being so close to the city, it’s not unusual that one of my friends or family from up here would go into the city for the day. And that day, one of my friends was in the city, taking his son to Fenway Park for the first time. When the news broke and shit got real, I texted him to see if he was ok and quickly got a short text back confirming. Later his Facebook update told of how they had to walk 3 miles from Kenmore Square to North Station, but they did it safely and were able to make it home in time for dinner.

I did end up breaking down that night. See, my friend’s son is the same age as the youngest victim. THAT is what really brought it home for me.

I continued to fight back tears as the week went on, not only because I kept thinking about the victims and my friends’ proximity to the blasts, but also because of the Boston pride that emerged. Boston Strong. Everywhere I looked, people were refusing to back down. Hilarious pictures about Boston’s resilience showed up on Facebook. Tributes dominated sporting events all over the country, and every team became a part of Red Sox Nation.

Then Friday happened. Boston and surrounding cities shut down after a deadly rampage. Friends were stuck at home, our corporate office was closed, and everyone I know was glued to the news, hoping that the suspect would be found and we could breathe again. Finally, that evening, they got him. I cried again. Cried because I was proud of the law enforcement officers that didn’t give up until they caught this guy. Cried because I have close friends and family who are in law enforcement. I’m thankful for what they do for us every single day, and proud that they’re amongst those that are closest to me. And of course I cried because of my love for Boston, a city that showed the world we don’t let anything get us down.

On Monday morning as I drove to work, one week after the blasts, I passed an electronic message board that said only one thing:

We are Boston Strong.

Big Changes

I’m in the midst of some major changes in my life. With that will come some major changes for the blog. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve made some decisions regarding my blog, but I also think I’ll be starting over with a new URL. This blog will be moved back to my old Blogger blog, and I have some ideas on how to start fresh.

In my real life, I have a lot going on that’s keeping me really busy. I need to figure out how to manage all that I need to do in real life with all that I want to get done in my virtual life. My presence around here will be scarce for a while, but don’t worry. I’ll be just fine.

Moving Again

So I’ve decided to move again. I’m not moving where I physically live, because I’m just really tired of that. I’m moving my blog.

I’ll keep the same address and point my domain to my new host, but I just can’t do this self-hosted thing anymore. I got an email from the support team at my host, and basically something was running that was using a lot of CPU usage, and I realized that I had no idea what they were talking about. I had to use some of my mad internet research skills to get a clue, and even then I’m not sure I fixed the problem correctly. I haven’t gotten any more nasty emails from them, but it got me thinking…

I have no business being self-hosted.

I do not have the time to put into learning all this stuff. I don’t have the desire to put the time in. Sure, I liked tweaking my designs and stuff when I was on Blogger, but it’s so much more difficult on WordPress. I don’t have the time that I used to have (read: a job that lets me be on the internet), so I don’t have time to worry about things going wrong. Because of this, I need a hosted solution that will take care of all that back end baloney that I don’t want to deal with.

Then there’s the cost. Not only does this cost me time I don’t have and skills I don’t have, it costs money to host a blog somewhere. And while I don’t mind paying a little bit to keep my blog going, I don’t like the idea of paying all the money and doing all the work. If I have to pay for it, then let someone else keep up on all that tech crap.

I’ll be spending the next few months moving back to Blogger. I know I predicted Blogger’s eventual demise, but it’s still around, I haven’t heard any rumors about Google getting rid of Blogger, and since it’s free and does a lot more than it did when I left, it fits my needs perfectly.

I still have plans for my blog, and it does involve shedding some of those past posts in order to move forward. That will be something I work on as I move my posts. In the meantime, posts that have been moved will go into draft mode here, to avoid duplication but mostly as a way for me to keep track of what’s where.

So that’s that. I do still want to blog, but I think some of my silence lately has been frustration on having to deal with the business end of things, like updates every single time I log in. It makes me not want to log in! Plus, I do have a lot going on in my life and I’d really like my spare time to be dedicated to my life, not blog maintenance. I’ve flirted with moving back to Blogger a few times, and even started the process, but this time I’m going for it. It’s been fun, WordPress, but I can’t keep up with you anymore.

Down With Google

So Google Reader’s days are numbered.

Feedburner isn’t what it used to be. I use Feedburner, but haven’t really checked in on stats or anything like that in, oh, forever.

This makes me think that Google is going to give Blogger the ax sometime in the future. This is disappointing, because I keep toying with the idea of moving my blog back to Blogger. I’m putting less and less effort into my blog, and it doesn’t make sense to pay for hosting anymore. I just really want somewhere to move my posts to so I don’t lose 7 years of hard work.

I do have to make it known that I don’t particularly like Google+. I never found it all that intuitive to use, and it’s quite clear that it wants to be Facebook. As messed up as Facebook is, with its ever-changing privacy issues and changes to the news feed, it’s still the one social network that pretty much everyone is on. G+ probably gained more users out of Facebook frustration than anything else, but people still keep using Facebook.

Anyway, I’m still not 100% sure what I want to do with this blog. But at this point, I don’t think moving to Blogger is the best idea, since Google seems to be getting rid of the services that made them such an indispensable, one-stop-shop in the first place. I just hope they don’t ever consider getting rid of Gmail.