Giving Tuesday

Hashtag Giving Tuesday is quite possibly the only day I want to participate in during the slew of “days” after Thanksgiving. Black Friday? No thanks, I was on the other side of the counter for a few of those and have no desire to switch sides. Small Business Saturday? Okay, but I’ll try to shop with them on other days, too. Cyber Monday? I was on the other side of the computer for those a few years, too. Giving Tuesday? Count me in!

This year, I made today a reason to give. I took the amount I had to donate and parceled it out to some organizations and causes I believe in.

Girls on the Run of Greater Cincinnati: They are a great organization doing very important work in the community and making a positive impact. I’ve also volunteered with them off and on since 2011. (They make volunteering a breeze, if you’re interested in helping.)

NEST Community Learning Center: This is a relatively new organization in my own backyard. They provide “sound nutrition and targeted education in a safe neighborhood environment that will transform the outcome of at-risk school-age children.” Supporting that is a no-brainer.

Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region: This organization provides “a wide range of reproductive health care services” and I think that’s pretty important. I once was a full-time student, employed part-time and without health insurance.

Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic: I adopted my former cat, Corey, from OAR, so this organization has a special place in my heart. They work hard to spay and neuter cats and keep the cat population under control. (If you have a garden and have cats that roam the neighborhood, you know this is important. No one likes cats using their garden beds as a litter box. Yick.)

March of Dimes: I donated to them on World Prematurity Day so that my donation would be matched. My son was born 8 weeks early and while he didn’t have any major setbacks, my eyes were opened to this issue.

Admittedly, I didn’t give each organization much. But, I keep reminding myself that just because my donation isn’t an amazing amount, it shouldn’t stop me from giving. And, it shouldn’t stop you either, whether you plan to give today, tomorrow or have already done so.


On December 30, 2014, I was accused of “grandstanding.” Merriam-Webster defines this as “to behave or speak in a way that is intended to impress people and to get public approval.” This wasn’t the first time I’ve been on the receiving end of this type of accusation. Although, it was the first time this particular word has been used. I’m okay with it. Consider me guilty as charged!

Hello, 2014!

Happy new year! Since 2013 ended with a bang–I mean baby–I can guarantee 2014 is going to be a busy one. Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish this year:

1) Enjoy being a family of three. No doubt having a kid will change up our former DINK lifestyle. But, I’m looking forward to it–especially showing our little one all the cool things in life and the hobbies we love.


2) Garden more. Of course. This year, though, I want to track how much we spend on supplies and how much we harvest. While growing produce will always be a hobby, it’s a dream to make it more about being self-sufficient–relying less on the grocery store. And, I’d like to have some level of efficiency.


3) Write more. For myself. This is always easier said than done. I write as my day job and write as a volunteer gig. This in itself is a dream come true. I have essays half-started in my head, though, that I want to get out. We’ll see where this one goes.

Best wishes to you all for the new year!

Farewell to 2013

This past year has been a mix of losses and gains–sadness and tremendous joy. Let’s reflect through the lens of Instagram (@tbudco).

In February, I turned 30.


My gift from my husband was a greenhouse setup of sorts in our basement–getting me deeper into my gardening hobby.


But, just a few days after my birthday, I lost my Grandma Louise–my namesake grandma and the only grandma I really knew. I drove out to Illinois for her funeral and while it was sad, I did enjoy seeing my mom and seeing (and meeting) all of my aunts and uncles.


Last winter, we got a bunch of snow. I think I’ve finally embraced the Lower 48 spirit, because I called off work a couple of times because I didn’t want to drive in the White Death.


In early April, I found out I was pregnant. And so, we started to think about life at Combs Canyon as a family of three.


In the summer, we tended to the garden that was inhibited a little bit by a rainy season. We still had success with pickling cucumbers, okra, tomatoes and got a few zucchinis.


In September, just as the garden work was winding down, we headed off to Massachusetts and Maine. We visited my aunt and uncle and saw my sister and her two younger kids. Maine has always been on our to-visit list. It’s a beautiful state–it reminded me of my home state, Alaska. Sorry, I don’t have any Instagram pics of the trip.

When we returned, we noticed Corey, our cat, wasn’t his usual self. And, a week or two later we lost him. Losing a cat was a whole lot harder than I ever thought it would be. He was my first “grown-up pet”–I adopted him four months after moving to Cincinnati because I finally had a full-time job and didn’t have plans to move out of town in the near future. Corey was a fine specimen of a cat.


For the rest of the year, we focused on getting ready for the main event.


(Not an Instagram pic.)

Finally, on December 11th, our little girl made her debut! (We gave her my grandma’s name as her middle name.)


For the remaining days of the year? Well, you can bet that we’ve been spending them getting to know the newest addition to Combs Canyon and figuring out this whole parenthood thing.

With the bad comes the good and, for that, I can’t complain. Goodbye, 2013! Hello, new year!