April 17-23- Week 16

This week was pretty lame in many respects, but pretty cool in others. Isn’t that the way it always goes? My health issues have been partially rectified by taking this monster dose of Nexium each day, but I feel like an onion. The Nexium has relieved symptoms, only to reveal others that have been masked by the others. By no means do I feel as though I have found the solution to my problems, but I have found a way to be able to live with them longer. Most of my day to day physical back and shoulder pain is gone, I seem to be metabolizing food better- I am less hungry and grouchy when I don’t eat, and I have been able to sleep through the night almost every day this week which has left me less tired.

Monday started with all the usual but I went and met my cousin, B, for lunch and some retail therapy. It was really great to get to spend some time with her alone- I don’t think we’ve really done that since we were kids, and to have it be on such a nice clear spring day was invigorating. We swapped some stories- about my stomach issues, and her issues, which shed some light on what might be going on with me. I also sent in my taxes on Monday- I promised that this will be the last year that I do my own taxes- next year I will get an accountant. I’ve been pretty good at keeping tabs on my purchases, etc so far this year I’m only 1 month behind) and I think if I keep it up it will be easy for someone to take it from me and fill those darn things out.

Tuesday: I put together a basket for MLAC’s silent auction and C dropped it off to them in the early afternoon. We decided to take the evening and go to AC for the night. We had a really nice meal and came out a whole $20 richer (if you don’t count the meal…).

Wednesday I had a dentist appointment- I need to floss- what a surprise. Do Dentists ever say that you need to floss less?? I doubt it. And then I ran some shopping errands- Target, AC Moore, etc- really it was just to do some thing until my Dentist Apt, and then I could pick up C from work and go home.

Thursday: My appointment for my ultrasound was cancelled- the machine was broke- so that is now next week on Tuesday. I made soap, paid my sales tax for PA and NJ, and packed for Saturdays show.

Friday: I printed flyers, ran my usual set of errands, packed the van for the show and worked on some homework.

Saturday: It rained. It rained hard. I’m tired...I’m tired of going to a show in the rain and having to come home soaked, having to re-cure soaps that have gotten damp from the humidity, tired of being cold and miserable all day while few people come by and those who do are pretty miserable too. I don’t mind (I don’t like, but I don’t mind) a light drizzle, a shower, a mist, a sprinkle, but the downpour we had was too much. I didn’t get out of bed, I didn’t go to the show, I didn’t set up, or tear down, or make any sales. I looked at weather.com and intellicast.com- and the radar was green- dark green- over the whole area- but watch- when I see some of the same vendors in a week they will tell me that there was blue sky over Bloomsburg all day, and people came with packed wallets and left with empty ones- and all I had gotten from Saturday is a good nights sleep and a clean house…..

Sunday we went house hunting. We think we found one we like in Emmaus. We are going to try and see it again if it hasn’t been snatched up from under us. This may )or may not) be the one…..


April 10-16- Week 15

Well its been one heck of a week. I have been having trouble with my digestive system for some time now and I finally decided to go to the doctor this week and see if modern medicine (which I have very little faith in) could actually assist me in my quest for a normal life. I had gotten to the bottom of my bag of holistic medicine tricks and it was time to give in to the pharmaceutical hype and try some Western medicine mojo. All I can say is that Nexium is a “magic pill”. I have eaten more over this weekend without any of the cruel side effects of calorie consumption that I typically endure than I have been able to eat in a long, long time. Now I don’t think that this acid reflux on steroids that I have been experiencing is the end of my path, but the last five days sure are a heck of a lot different than the last five years. Next week I have an ultrasound and the week after that I meet with my doctor again and get the results of some blood work, so this is just the first chapter in what might end up being an interesting story.

Monday: After Sunday’s exhausting trip home from the show I ended up using Monday for a catch up day (instead of Sunday night). I made a number of phone calls that I needed to return, blogged, paid bills, and just did random paperwork- like inventory and show applications. I also did homework which luckily ended up to be much easier than I had anticipated.

Tuesday: I started making up some samplers and caught up on all the soaps that I needed to get edged.

Wednesday: Milled soap and got a couple of orders ready to get out. I got my first overseas order the other day- England. I thought it was pretty cool. I also started making shaving soap. It smells so good. The color is weird because of all the clays in it. But I think it is going to be one heck of a bar.

Thursday: What started as a simple doctors appointment turned into a day on the sofa. See, when then went to take blood, I passed out. I think what annoyed me the most is the fact that I am not afraid of needles, or blood, it was just a natural reaction that some people had that made me go all wonky. Needless to say- I had to try this again a few days later. And although both the doctor and J told C that I was fine, I compromised an sat on the sofa all day- he wanted me to sit there all weekend!

Friday: I escaped my sofa prison and ran errands- groceries, bank, post office, drycleaner etc…

Saturday: I started the morning having my blood drawn and lo and behold- I didn’t pass out this time. I had drank so much water I thought I’d float away, and they kept me there for like 30 minutes to be sure I wasn’t passing out some time in the future either. C and I went for breakfast, then I came back to the house and did some homework. Then it was yard time. C is trying to cut down these crazy Wisterias we have growing in the back year that are literally tearing our fence apart. Later that evening we went to B & M’s for “Blessed Food”, an Easter eve ritual where you pack a picnic basket or cooler with food, bring it to church to have it blessed, and then bring it home to enjoy with family and friends. All I can say is- Good Stuff! Then we went on to beat them at a game of Pocket (an odd sort of Canasta like game).

Sunday: Easter. We spent some time in the yard and then I cooked a really good meal- pot roast, masked potatoes, creamed cauliflower, spinach salad, and a pie. Later that evening the Kiffle Fairy came bearing gifts (B bringing over home made candy and desserts). Yum!


April 3-9 Week 14

Monday: I made bath salts until I ran out of salts. My supply order should be in on the 10th so I can get these pumped out pretty quick I hope. I organized for the show- figured inventory and started to pack up my traveling boxes- new pens, new first aid kit, etc.

Tuesday: Sent out show apps and payment for some upcoming shows. There are a few in May I need to decide on- exactly how packed do I want that month to be? Also did home work, made up new signs for the display, printed flyers, and had a very nice dinner with B. Her husband M was traveling too, which he doesn’t do much, and then after we went to visit B’s parents and grandmother for a bit. C left for Mexico that morning and I have been less than thrilled with his account of his travels. Mexico City seems like a pretty crowded, dirty, unsafe place to be. So dinner was good since we were both stressing and needed to get out of the house for sure..

Wednesday: I went with B to see a house that she wants really bad, and then after that we went to Atlantic City. I came out $30 richer than I went in- pretty cool, and then we went and picked up her husband from the airport. I also packed for the show- clothes- soaps- etc and packed the van up.

Thursday: I did a few things around the house and then left for the show. I went the long way, but it kept me out of the bulk of NYC and ended up being a very nice drive.

Friday-Sunday: Hofstra University Flower Show (see other posts).

April 8 & 9 Hoftsra University Flower Show Days 2&3

Hofstra University Flower Show- Day 2

I noticed today that there was another soapmaker at the show. But after further inspection and a Google search, I am 99% sure that they import the soaps and lotions from Australia, rather than handcraft them. The first give away was the boxes marked “Made in Australia”, but also the Google search showed them in a few other places in an “International Marketplace”. But gosh, these things were cheap! 5 for $10 cheap. It amazed me. But I guess when its just a pass through- open a box and put them out- you don’t have to figure labor into the equation. The good news is I doubt we’ll be running into each other much even though they are from PA too because of the type of show that I typically do- handcrafted by artist- type of things. But it does make me think how many other of these small flower shows I should try…

Sales today were a little better than Friday but still slower than I was hoping for. I did get lots of great information from my neighbors about other shows and promoters, and I got great feedback from the customers. I especially liked it because I just redesigned my display a few weeks ago, and it seems as though I made some really fine decisions.

Day 3:
Sales were brisk all day and even had a few big ones to boot! Load out was crazy as usual, but they did have student athletes to help. It was the typical- people who don’t have their booths down yet pull up to the loading dock, and those of us who do, have to walk our stuff to the other side of creation just to get loaded. The drive home was stressful- I followed C who was following his GPS- right through Manhattan. I could do without that experience ever again. I liked my way better- it was longer, but Staten Island is kind of pretty, and the Belt Expressway was a nice drive compared to the craziness of the ride home.

Best Sellers:
Soap: Into The Woods & Peppermint Foot Scrub (tie)
Bath Fizzys: Lavender
Bath Salts: Love Potion
Lip Balm: Pina Colada
Lotion Bar: Lavender

I also brought some new products- bubble bags and sachets for the first time and they both seemed rather popular. That is a good sign. Soap Samplers sold well as usual and the Jars of Fizzys sold as well.


April 7- Hofstra Flower Show- Day 1

Hofstra Flower Show-Day 1

Well because C was gone for work I didn't want to make the drive out to Long Island by myself in the morning so I drove out on Thursday. Good thing- I got lost three times and it took me almost 4 hours to make it to the hotel by the time it was all said and done. I was starving when I got in and was very happy to see that I had cookies in my room and a bottle of water. After I swallowed them down I left to find some dinner. There is a steak place down the road that caught my eye and I had a mice (oops, nice...) salad and prime rib sandwich. Nothing special but good food. After that I went back to the room and worked on schoolwork and some accounting that I needed to catch up on.

Friday: After a terrible nights sleep-these walls are paper thin, I got up, had a nice breakfast, and went to find the show and load in. I was expected around 9 am, and I gave myself 2 hours for a 30 minute drive. So I got to load in early- only four trips down the elevator with the big carts they had available. What amazed me the most was load in. I knew I was early so I parked over to the side of the loading dock so as not to block it for someone who had an appointed time, and the one other person who showed up while I was there had to keep blocking my path up the stairs- they had a whole dock to use! It's amazing how some people just don't notice or care- just proves no good deed goes unpunished.

My neighbors are great people. I have learned about some new promoters and some shows that I have been interested in that they all do. Although sales were slower than I had hoped for- I didn't make my goal for the day-I had some great conversation and great customers as well.

The quality of the stuff at this show is top rate It is a relatively new show which I did not know (about 4-5) years now and it is growing each year. If I can make my sales goal I may be back next year- it certainly has potential.

C landed about 9:30 and made it to the hotel about midnight. Words cannot express how glad that I am that he is home and safe. I feel bad, I need to wake him up so we can leave soon.


March 27-April 2- Week 13

At the end of last week I instituted a new way to attack my two do lists. Now I first work on my daily routines- things that need to get done every day. Then I move on to the list of things for the business that need to happen in the workshop. Hopefully by after lunch I can move upstairs and attack homework, business things to do on the computer, and personal things to do. After this is all done I go to the MASTER LIST. That list of things that seem to never get done, the one that hangs out for months at a time, never getting any shorter. Now I try and do one thing a day. 30 things- 30 days. It still isn’t getting any shorter, but the list is at least changing and things get deleted and added. We’ll see how this goes for a month.

I’m a little stressed about my upcoming show. It’s at Hofstra University- a flower show. I’ve never done it before and I’ve never gone out on Long Island for a show before either. I have to go set up and do the first day by myself because C is on a business trip to Mexico and won’t get in until late Friday night. I don’t know where I’m going, what kind of neighborhood the hotel is in (or the University for that matter), and what kind of turn out the show is going to get. I may sit there and twiddle my thumbs, I may be swamped. I just don’t know.

Last week as I finished my entry the heater had broken. It was the coupling that attached the motor to the pump for the hot water baseboard system. It got fixed quite quickly on Monday. Also on Monday I had a great experience with a new display vendor- one came broken and it was a pleasure to get a new one sent out- no hassles. How cool is that! I also got the recall on my car fixed and my oil changed on Monday. I hate my dealership- I always feel lied to and that it is impossible to get good honest service from them. I don’t know how they keep they 5 star rating. All I know is from now on when I get called for my after service survey they’re gonna hear it from me for sure.

Tuesday I just took some time to do some paperwork- a few things from my MASTER LIST that were costing me money month after month and I was just too lazy to call and cancel. Also went to the post office and mailed out the April newsletter. I finished homework for my classes so I could start new ones on Wednesday.

Wednesday: new classes- Advanced HTML and Business Success Seminar. The seminar seems like it will be pretty easy as log as I can keep up on the writing. The HTML isn’t hard per se, just labor intensive. I have a cool final project so I hope to redo some of the web site in a much more easy to update way- using CSS.

Thursday- I got the newsletter (e-mail version) ready to send and finished hemming the new fabric I bought for the tables in my display.

Friday: errand day and I learned to decorate eggs using Pysanky. It is an easy technique to learn, but hard to master. It involves layering dyes and wax to draw a design onto an egg. B and I went, it was her idea and I am so glad that she came up with it. It was uber-cool! You can learn more at http://www.learnpysanky.com/getting_started.html.

Saturday: C and I set up my display with all of the new elements that I have bought lately. We took pictures so I can remember how to set it up the first few times. It really adds a lot of height and color that I hope helps attract customers. I just need a few banner signs now and I’ll be set for a while. We also went to BJ’s to get me a new table to work on since the ones I was using go back to being part of the display and we emptied the van of all the stuff that I picked up at my old storage unit about a month ago when I emptied and closed that.

Sunday: House hunting. We are going to have to take a few weeks off because of shows and Easter so we tried to fit in quite a few this week. More and more we learn how picky we are and hard to please. Lets see, the first two we didn’t bother going into- either they looked really small or weren’t in as good an areas as we though they’d be. The third one was cool, if I won Powerball and had enough money to renovate it the way I want to. The fourth was pretty awesome, but didn’t have any off street parking- a deal breaker. The fifth was not as nice as the fourth and way over priced. And finally number 6 was just not what we were looking for. I’m tired of looking and I am glad that we have a few weeks off.