I entered into 2009 optimistic and ready for a new challenge. What I didn’t take into account was the turmoil of the economic downturn, and the realities of living, finding a job and working back in my home state.
One thing I was able to successfully carry through the year was my involvement in Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter, a group that is working hard to raise money to buy land and build a permanent animal shelter for the Prairie du Chien area. I submitted press releases after joining the group in January and worked some of their events as well.
Some of the Belle the Cat (freelance) goals I achieved in 2009 included having a short story (originally submitted to Gather.com) published in a Valentine’s Day anthology, a humor piece that was accepted (but never ran) in Coulee Region Women’s Magazine, an article on Methane Digesters which was published in the Courier Press in April, two articles published in My Dog Magazine in June, and articles published in Dane101.com July, August, September and October.
I also gave myself rewards. I earned “Animal Crossing” for the DS with my first publication, “Harvest Moon” for my second, a small digital camera for my first paid.
Goat farming took a back seat; strange when you think that was a major drive of mine moving to Wisconsin. Still, I was concentrating on getting a day job, not dropping everything and becoming a farmer (only lawyers and those who grew up on a family farm can do that.) I do want to make that a priority this year and hopefully grow the Hall of Fame idea.
My calendar year went like this: January brought Ohayocon and Jaz’s wedding (a trip back to Oregon). My cats got sick this month, which always really drains me (my little familiars). I cleaned and organized my aunt’s office for her, as well as reconnecting with my cousin who lives in Madison.
In February I attended the MOSES organic conference- this would be a great outlet to get info out about the Goat HOF and Museum. I also traveled to Florida with my family to celebrate my sister’s birthday which was a great trip-never forget playing Apples To Apples, drinking Gonzo Imperial Porter and not being able to stop laughing when my sister didn’t know who Florence Nightingale was (and my mom’s helpful comment that “she was a nurse in the Crimean War”). I also did some research in self-publishing for my friend and I’s book “Mermaid Money”, another possible money maker going forward.
March was all about job hunting. The weather was horribly gloomy. I took a grant writing class (online) and won a contest for a writing conference.
April I worked with RABAS, almost got a job at a tractor museum, and attended a beer and cheese fest with Dan and Donnie. In May I moved into a cabin in Madison that needed a lot of work, and got my current Day Job in June (Event Coordinator for House on the Rock). I visited my friend Kristina after we went to the writing conference, met Barry Levenson of the Mustard Museum to check with him on goat museum ideas (he said that he liked the idea of making money from memberships and merchandise), went to the Prairie Rendezvous, and worked on the cabin.
In July, I continued to get used to my new job, we put a new roof on the cabin, got preapproved for a house loan, reconnected with Lily and Leon, talked with a girl Kristina knew about a grant, went to Norah’s baby shower (made an awesome cake) and Donnie’s van got rear ended!
In August, we licensed Hal Fiskur the boat, took a trip to Lambeau to see the Browns suck, we continued to look for a house, and Jameson and Tabitha were born. September brought DragonCon, more house hunting, a visit to James in Chicago, GeekCon, planning for the haunted Ghidora Manor, and dry walling at the cabin.
My quote for October came from Lee Iacocca: “So what do we do? Something. Anything. So long as we don’t just sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainty, it may be too late.” So we bought a house and got married. In November, I decided to roll my car in a ditch and had to spend a few days finding a new car. I also had my cat’s tooth removed and Donnie and I went to my cousin’s Christmas party. December had me setting up my new place, planning for the future, and making gifts for Christmas presents.
So what comes next!