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Just kidding. There's no one here but us chickens.
Until recently, I never thought that the “seven-year-itch” (known to disrupt marriages and long-term relationships) would also apply to the workplace world.
Until recently, the longest I ever remained with any employer was four years…
I have often felt bad about that — my inability to “stick” anywhere… But actually, the mean time Americans spend with a single employer is 4.1 years, so I’m actually on par.
And, according to surveys and studies, in the business world, the seven-year itch arrives during year two - five years early. So, most people stay with an employer for at least two years past the time they have lost interest and incentive.
Once, at an economic development conference, a nationally-known mover and shaker shared the wisdom of his career. He walked to the edge of the stage, pointed his finger at the audience, and said, “Never stay anywhere more than five years. By that time, you’ve made all the change you can make.”
I heard his words deep within my bones. And I believe, if you are a mover and a shaker, those words are fairly true. (The pandemic didn’t help.)
Over the next few months, I will be transitioning back to a mostly home-based, homesteading lifestyle. Our seed order has arrived, and the garden that has lain fallow for three years will soon be turned and plowed. I have a significant collection of empty canning jars waiting to be filled, and we have new plastic for our greenhouse frame.
I will also be focusing on my creative work and will be using this platform to promote my books, paintings, prints, and the books, products, and services of people, writers, small business owners, and artists I actually know and support.
I don’t believe our support of big box stores contributes to our renaissance. I believe our renaissance depends upon us supporting small businesses and each other.
That being said, it’s time to introduce you to some of the chickens affiliated with this pen. These are people who support me in my work, and I gladly support them in theirs.
The Holstein House Bed & Breakfast - Robin Holstein writes our Sunday Bible studies, and in addition to multiple projects and services, she owns and operates a B&B in Diamond, WV. Robin’s 2-story 1920's era home offers an original Airbnb mom-and-pop experience with a private room. Off historic Midland Trail (U.S. 60), 3 miles to I-64/77, 15 miles to Downtown Charleston, 18 miles to Kanawha State Forest 35 miles to Hawks Nest State Park.
MoG Handmade - Monica is a single mom who started making soap for her son’s sensitive skin. Now, she offers artisan soaps and bath bombs made from top-quality ingredients in small batches. (Hint — not yet listed on her website, but ask about her shampoo and conditioner bars as well! I’m in love!)
Mountain Creek Books - As a publisher, I sometimes feel Kara has been my secret weapon. She created Mountain Creek Book Services to help authors navigate the evolving world of self-publishing. She can coach as you write, edit what you write, and then design the book layout and cover. She can help you step by step.
Those Shoes - Have you ever had a pair of shoes custom-made? Shoes that last for years and years and years? Handmade in a Lewis County hollow, featured in Tamarak, worn by celebrities, hippies, and down-home folk. People will ask you, “Where’d you get those shoes?”
Below are two new ways to support this publication:
Two-Lane Prints - Apparel, Stickers, Mugs, Totebags, Magnets, Pillows, Phone Cases, Journals, Art. Our curated list of West Virginia and Appalachian design themes supports Appalachian artists — including me.
Two-Lane Books - Our curated online bookstore offers new release books, my books, books by authors I know and other Appalachian authors, plus other fine book choices, with orders filled by a cooperative of independent bookstores. Your purchases support small businesses — and this publication.
I have other features coming soon, including an online gallery of my artwork, a regular audio podcast, videos available only on our website. And, our publishing house will be releasing a new children’s book in April. I’ll make announcements concerning those as they come to life.
In the meantime, the best way to support my creative work is to make sure you upgrade to a paid subscription to TLR. Most audio and video features will be behind a paywall, available only to paying subscribers. You can subscribe by the month ($5), by the year ($50), or as a one-time sponsor ($200).
I appreciate you taking this journey with me, from a measly newsletter started in December 2021 to a rebirth of my creative endeavors and homesteading endeavors.
And don’t forget, you can share the news of our growing e-zine, products, and services. Just hit the button below to share this post.