Looking Back


I’ve been reading through my old blog posts today. I didn’t realize that I have over 300 posts ranging from 2005 to 2013. There’s a real range of emotions from beginning to end. One post really stood out. It’s from late 2009:

“My day started out with a failed attempt to get out of bed. Not because of the usual suspects; my back, lack of sleep (due to my back or insomnia) or all-night creative binge. It was something new. I couldn’t walk without very sharp pains shooting up into my hip. I’ve never broken a bone, but I have to say this must feel similar. It felt as though my leg had been broken and bones were rubbing against each other.

So, this morning I returned to the doctor. He quickly assessed that it was not bursitis, but couldn’t figure out was was going on. For now, he wants to go with two different diagnoses with medication for each. He gave me a steroid shot, a pain reliever and a muscle relaxer and told me to go home and take all three. I’m supposed to report back to him in the morning with the results.

After a day of what felt like a drug-enduced comma, I have an overwhelming urge for ‘changes’. I don’t know how to describe it. Not anything like ‘mid-life crisis’ changes, just a desire for things to be different. I was making really good progress with my new diet, sugar monitoring and exercise regimen and then my leg refused to cooperate. What’s next? My leg will work, but my head falls off when I stand up? LOL I know it sounds ridiculous, but I honestly don’t know what to expect next. I’m just a bit frustrated at the whole process and how things are going.”

Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with my hip issues and four hip surgeries were underway.

I hadn’t really thought about how many years this struggle with my health has been going on, but I certainly feel it. I’m exhausted more and more these days.

I’m scheduled to see specialists at UAMS next month. Maybe some “changes” will finally start happening.

Proud Papa

Steven Trotter

2014-08-03 16.35.53-1Something awesome happened this morning:

I had another vendor at the ASU Farmers’ Market come up to me and “congratulate” me on “doing something right as a parent to raise a kid that has the ambition to start a business, learn an old school skill like working with wood, take the time to scavenge for recycled materials and also help the older people break down their booths at the end of the hot day”. He said that he “couldn’t remember ever seeing someone quite like Daniel before”. It was a very proud moment for me and brought a tear to my eyes. Crystal and I have been blessed (and not so blessed) in so many ways, but having Daniel as a son and, to be honest…a friend, has been such a joy. We look forward to seeing him mature even more over the next few years (driving test next week – yikes!). I also wanted to say thank you to everyone who came by his booth today or in the past, whether you bought something or not. Thank you for saying how cool the pieces are, asking him how he made a piece, taking photos and sharing them, complimenting his work ethic, or mentioning his items looks like they “should be on Pinterest”. He has real issues with confidence, but it’s getting better by leaps and bounds each week!

However, even though he is mature for his age, he is still 14. And he is at that crucial teenager turning point now where he is really struggling with continuing with the goal he has set for himself, because it has gotten harder. Setting up at the market every week, making more complex pieces to meet customer requests, making more pieces each week, learning new methods/tools and to add to that, he isn’t making a ton of cash quickly for this tiny house goal (even though we explained this wouldn’t happen “overnight”). But, each piece that he sells sends a flash of light through his eyes, which I know so well from being an entrepreneur myself for so many years. There’s nothing quite like -selling something you made-. Nothing at all.

avatarIf you have a chance this month, please try and stop by his booth at one of the markets (ASU on Saturdays & Downtown on 1st and 3rd Thursdays) and take a look at his pieces, chat with him about his woodworking, his tiny house plans, where the name Odin Woodworks comes from (if you’re feeling geeky), or anything else. It might just help encourage him to keep it up and I would appreciate that oh so much.

He thinks “mom and dad” want him to keep it up “because we said so” and I really want him to understand what he has already accomplished, how unique he/it is, how useful it will be and where it can lead. The skills he is learning will be so valuable, not only for his tiny house goals. It’s worth sticking with it for a season or two just so that the woodworking and business skills stick with him and can be applied to other projects & ad/ventures down the road. I know this from experience. I had to learn all this old school stuff from my dad and the internet in very compressed lessons (with lots of band-aids) in my early 20’s, simply because I ignored the treasure trove of hands-on experience that was right there while I was growing up, free for the taking if I had just chosen to absorb it from my father. Alas, I was too cool for school back then. 

Hope to see you Thursday at Alive After Five supporting your local artisan vendors! I’ll be the guy with the “Proud Dad” coffee thermos and big, bushy beard.

Dungeons & Dragons Terrain

Bear Rug

Pleth Marketing Materials