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Ella Durham

My pet spider found this.

A spider showed up near the side entry way. It is a very clever spider. It spins its web across the glowing window every evening. Sometimes the outside light is left on and it attracts a bounteous smorgasbord.

Ella Durham

Hurry and grab the tin foil.

Ella Durham

Gut and the volcanic brain.

Ella Durham

Chicken Training

They will all be lap soon enough.

Ella Durham

Bok Choy

Ella Durham

Cloud Stacks

Ella Durham

Dear Person Who Set Out a Cooler of Ice Cold Water for Those on the Billy Wolf Trail on September 20, 2014:

2 min read

Illustration with cooler that has a sign on it that says,
The magic cooler.

Dear Person Who Set Out a Cooler of Ice Cold Water for Those on the Billy Wolf Trail on September 20, 2014:

You do not know it, but I love you. I think you might be my favorite human in the entire world.

You saved me from heat sickness when I casually set out for a mid-day, seven-mile run while stupidly under-hydrated and oblivious to the fact that it really was not fall yet no matter how much I tried to convince myself. There were still plenty of Nebraska summer leftovers to be had.

Sadly, I was unable to get back to the trail to leave you a thank you note before the cooler had disappeared. I wanted to let you know of my deep gratitude and that, even though I will never be certain of your true identity, I will forever imagine you as a caped hydration hero with 100% pure kindness oozing from your heart.

Illustration of heart oozing out joy with a speech bubble saying
This is your heart

I hope this note somehow finds its way to you.

Thanks again for you undeniable awesomeness and thoughtfulness of human strangers who happen to be me,

Ella


On a completely different, tangentially related and more contemplative note, all of this has reminded me I've been meaning to give a virtual hat tip the Detroit Water Brigade, the Detroit Water Project, and all of the great work being done to bring relief to families affected by the water crisis.

I've intended to donate for quite some time and never really had any good reason why I hadn't yet except for maybe that it's far too much work to walk across the house (and maybe even up the stairs!) to retrieve my debit card. However, after the magic cooler incident I had that cliché itch to 'pay it forward' and finally followed through.

If you're not familiar with what's going on or how these initiatives are helping, I encourage you to give it a moment of your Internet time.

Ella Durham

Lessons in Gardening

1 min read

We have pet rabbits. Many of them. We've been feeding them well with the bounty of our garden. They've feasted on beans, peas, peppers, melon vines, and sunflowers. They must not be fans of tomatoes, corn, and squash. This is pretty much all they have left untouched. They are adorable, but since they've leveled the veggies we might have to opt for rabbit for dinner instead.

This is the first year I've undertaken a gardening endeavor of this size and extent. I started seeds, built beds, and established a compost. I set out to learn about the layout of the garden, challenges and advantages of the site, my own limitations, etc. It's definitely already been a year of lessons, and they'll continue into the fall as I try my hand at winter gardening.

Ella Durham

Progress not Perfection

2 min read

When it comes to personal projects, I often fall into a cycle of stagnation as I begin to face obstacles of any sort whether it be inconvenient timing, unavailable resources, or simply indecisive creative direction. The cycle kind of goes like this: put a couple of hours of work in, put things away, return to the project, put a little more time in, reassess the project, put things away, scrap it all and start all over.

I knew if I wanted to actually ever be able to take the jump into the IndieWeb it would have to be with a completely different approach.

Enter the world of unapologetic lack of grace. Actually, this is only half true, simply writing this post attempting to justify the incredibly-imperfect-but-actually-somewhat-progressing state of my work indicates this approach is still a bit embarrassing and uncomfortable for me.

There's a slight bit of overhead in getting started on the IndieWeb and at first I really wanted to work out the nitty gritty of my approach before I took the jump. I found this to be another stagnation-inducing obstacle so I decided to dive right in and work out the details later instead. This meant I would take a familiar path and the easiest entry point no matter how much I really wanted to debate the best technologies, build and design my own theme, etc.

So, yes, I'm using Wordpress with the mostly-out-of-box-SemPress theme and things are clunky as I've installed a couple of plugins I haven't customized. Yes, the code could be prettier, and the footer is broken, my syndicated content looks a little funny, and there is no cohesion between the landing page and the blog. But I am here. I am generating content. This project is progressing.

Update: I'm now using Known and I've created a couple of custom content type plugins. Right now, my front page is static but I'm hoping to eventually make it dynamically generated. I need to do a lot of tidying up but I'm getting places!