It’s 4p.m. on Monday afternoon. I have to be at my regular job in four hours for a 10-hour shift, but I’ve been wrestling with some things and I’m going to sort out a couple thoughts regarding this side hustle of mine.
A week or two ago I started writing this. I’ve been getting e-mails about my Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate needing renewing. It will only be $10 or so, but it was a reminder of how much I have neglected Neat & Keen this year and the question is: What do I want to accomplish here?
I’ve been traveling, returned to work full-time, and started designing greeting cards. It’s been a super bittersweet summer.
While I sat in the waiting room before a follow up on my aching limbs, I purchased a membership to the Art Institute of Chicago. That weekend I made an overdue trip to the museum and I was just overwhelmed with the art there.
My friends and family are sick of the constant updates on my social media feeds. The truth is I’m in a bit of pain and bored. Anyway, I realized I hadn’t updated the business page in a while, so here’s what’s going down.
Back in May I got the wheels rolling on a home equity loan with the hopes of consolidating some higher interest loans, making some small business investments, and maybe, sort of, buying a motorcycle.
Hey kids. It’s been a while. I suppose you are wondering what’s been going on. Here’s what’s been going on.
Attack On NeatKeen.com
Sometime around February or March of this year I began to have some problems with the website. In addition to years of WordPress upgrades compounding on one another, I was notified by my host that my site was under a cyberattack. Long story short: I lost everything and I’m on a new host now.
What Was Lost
Although I had different versions of backups, so far I’ve been unable to rescue any of my previous posts. All the images are still on my computer. However, the text of all posts may be gone for good. Most of it is more of a lost to me, than to you. Sometimes I would refer back to my old posts if I wanted to remember a technical detail that I needed to repeat or resource that I used to order materials from. Going forward I think I will save my posts in a simple text document on my computer in addition to regular WordPress backups.
I’ve debated what or if I should write about this, but decided it is something that will further define who I am and if I’m going to be someone that creates art and music informed by my experiences, I can’t pretend it didn’t happen. On the morning of October 13, 2018 my mother, Pamela Sue Morton, passed away at the age of 55. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in June 2015.
A little about my mom:
She loved animals. I’ve lost track of the number of wounded or abandoned wild animals that she rehabilitated, but the list includes a crow, a baby possum, baby raccoons, baby skunks, a wounded sparrow, and so on. Over the years she kept cats, dogs, horses, a peacock, ducks, goats, chickens, a turkey, and a couple of cockatiels.
For twenty years she worked with adults with developmental disabilities. She earned a degree in psychology over the course of ten years while raising a family and working full time. Along the way she learned American Sign Language and found time to teach herself to juggle. Later she would work with people living with dementia.
At one time or another she served on just about every committee in her church: Sunday school teacher, superintendent, treasurer, ham dinner committee, youth group leader, choir, deacon… those are just the ones I know about.
She cooked and baked. Sometimes for fun, sometimes for us, and sometimes for some extra cash on the side. She made cookies and cakes. Huge cakes! Elaborate wedding cakes with staircases and real running fountains. She never once charged enough for all the work she put into them.
Originally I had written more on this, about how I’m feeling, about how the situation has changed my perspective and informed my decisions for the last three years. I think I’ll let more of that come out organically as I put out more art and music and discuss the process.
When I first made an announcement to friends not yet in the loop I wrote, “She put the needs of others before herself more than any person I have ever known.” My cousin Jordan went on to say, “I have no doubt that many who knew you will be inspired for the rest of their lives by your kindness and quiet perseverance. I just hope that the good we do in your memory will be enough to make up for the loss this world has experienced with you no longer in it.” That is something I will be thinking about in all things I do moving forward.