Meetings, planting and celebrations…

This morning I took the house van to the gas station, as I’ll be back on the ranch the rest of the week. I had a rewards card and 40 cents off a gallon, so I figured I may as well take advantage and put in a week’s worth of gas. I was also taking into consideration traveling to San Luis an hour each way on Saturday. However, as I meant to spend 40 or $50, I end up putting $65 in the tank. When I started the van it said I had 366 miles until empty. I only need the van for 175 or so. Oops.

I stopped at VolCom on my way back from checking the Adelante mail and Alyssa and I ran our bikes over to Chaparral Tire shop. Not only do they put air in our tires for free, but they also change the tubes on our bikes at no cost! They are really great people working there—each time I’ve gone they’ve been above and beyond helpful and kind. If the winds are more agreeable next week I may be able to start biking to work each day! Soooo looking forward to that…

At Adelante I began working on Life Skills speakers for the future. I find it’s becoming more and more difficult for me to focus on what I need to be doing each day. With so many projects and commitments, my mind is overwhelmed with information and ideas. I need to develop a better way to shut down certain thoughts and projects in my head while working towards one specific thing at a time—in the present moment.

Jeff, Victoria and I had a meeting with Donna from the Small Business Development Center. (She is the one who is running the Leading Edge Business Class I’m in Wednesday nights.) We spoke for 2.5 hours, going back and forth about different ideas and models we could use for seed me. It is so difficult to come up with one that fits what we are doing. Along with that, it’s difficult to determine what our costs, revenue and charges to seed me members will be in writing our business plan. So many ideas and variations that haven’t all seem to come together quite right.

What we do know is we need to start with a few members who will be “success stories,” in order to build up the branding and reputation of seed me. We’d set ourselves up for failure if we tried working with someone who has no basic business skills or product they’re making—especially with a lack of our own funding at the beginning…

Huberto and his grandson will be great to work with first, along with Lacy, Morgan, a soap maker and perhaps an Adelante client who makes jewelry.

After the meeting I went over to Admin to turn in one of my four timesheets for the week. I then drove back and picked up a supply of much-needed printer paper for the office.

It seemed the day flew by and all ready it was time for Life Skills when I got back. We drove to the elementary school garden and planted trees with our clients for Earth Day. It was really great to see the progress Victoria and Claudia have made on prepping the land for growing. Chokecherry, apple—and some other fruit tree that’s slipping my mind—are being grown for the first time in the community gardens.

After planting we went back to the office with our clients for a celebration. Dores prepared snacks and sparkling cider and we toasted to many successes and accomplishments. One client is graduating from the program and moving forward.

Upon cleaning up from the celebration, I drove to the ranch to do all the chores and feed the animals. I’m beginning to feel much more confident in working with the horses—they sure did intimate me the first few times I walked across the field with them to their feed.

My housemate, Jake, was there building new chicken coups and had brought a pizza over for dinner. We stayed up and chatted for a while before he had to head back into town. It’s nice to make the time to socialize a bit with the other volunteers—I find I’ve pushed that aside these last few weeks with everything that I’m doing…any down time I could scrape together I’ve felt I needed to myself to process and wind down. While I really enjoy solitude I know I also need to balance it along with the need for friendships among the volunteer community.

I re-watched this TED earlier today about storytelling and had forgotten how many good points were made:

Don’t give them four. Give them 2+2. It’s the invisible applications that holds our attention and draws us to stories.

“Frankly there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you hear their story.”

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