February 19-25 2007 Week 8

Mondays always start out crazy and this one was like all the others. The thing that gets me is the logical progression of the fact that I have to do thing A in order to do thing B but how this progression gets me so frustrated. I feel so behind because I haven’t started thing B, but I haven’t done thing A yet, and somehow that fact doesn’t seem to bother me as much as not starting thing B. I try lists and lists of things to do in order to keep this progression of things straight, but I still sit every Monday morning doing 10 things just so that I can do 10 others that I am stressed about. My brain works in mysterious ways. I almost finished with the Bath Salts today, and did the typical paying of the bills, answering e-mails, etc…

Tuesday I FINISHED THE BATH SALTS!!!! Can you tell I’m excited with this? What I love is the fact that I have done just about all of them (minus a few labels here & there that I need to order), and that this inventory will last me the remainder of the year just about. How cool is that?!? I also emptied out a few boxes that were storing empty salt containers, so I could use those for crates that I purchased on accident. I had ordered 200 crates and received 400. A few more than I had room for at the time, so the huge box that was blocking my steps to my workshop is finally gone. Fuchsia is upset because it was her favorite place to lay and sleep. But she’s a cat, she’ll find someplace else. I started making lotion bars finally and hope to make one fragrance a week for the next 6 weeks. And finally I started on of my 2007 goals- getting my workshop organized.

Wednesday was more organization. I got all of my bulk supplies broken down into manageable sizes, put everything where it belongs, and labeled boxes accordingly. The afternoon went a little slower than I expected, since I slipped down my stairs while holding the vacuum cleaner. I have a few really pretty black and blue marks, but I emerged otherwise unscathed. Just sore, sore, sore.

Thursday I made basic soap and finished up my lotion bars for the week (except for more labels that I REALLY need to get ordered). I also went to WalMart to buy some Rubbermaid containers that I needed, washed the car, went to the post office, and the drycleaner. I also got ready to go away for the weekend with J. I packed my bags and picked her up at the airport. She arrived about 45 minutes later than she had expected, but since she came into Allentown the midnight arrival wasn’t that bad.

Friday I did a few last things around the shop so I wouldn’t come home feeling too far behind and then we left or our knitting weekend in Maryland. Friday night was a lot of fun. We met some cool people, and we knitted. I started my first sock ever. The bed and breakfast was fantastic and dinner was great.

Saturday was different though. We really caught a different vibe from the excursion and I was less than enthusiastic about the “bedside manner” of the instructor. I found her to be short tempered and not at all encouraging. By lunch we were over it and it just happened that J’s husband had hurt himself at work, giving us ample excuses to go. So it ended up being back to the house for a quiet night of Chinese food, knitting, and watching TV. On a side note: I have been reading this great blog called The Happiness Project. And Saturday was another example of how to me, communication can bring happiness. A few weeks ago C and I went and saw a movie, which we both hated, and would have left half way through, but rather than saying anything, we both suffered and didn’t enjoy the flick. So we have promised each other to say something from now on so we can avoid this in the future. I told J this story, so when she was unhappy at our retreat she felt OK to say something. The same thing I was thinking and feeling, allowing us to make a change and do something that made us happy. BTW, I was going to say something, just a little later than she did.

Sunday we hung around the house, it iced about 2 inches and snowed a bunch. We chilled, knitted, went for an Italian dinner and just generally had a relaxing day. Should I mention that my main man, Mark Martin, the 01 Army car now leads in points. Maybe he won’t have a short season after all. I’d hate to see him loose the chance for a title run…I guess this also means that we watched most of the NASCAR race too :)


February 12-18 2007 Week 7

Monday: Whew, I’m tired.. I started out making lots of soap, actually finishing the Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey that I needed to get to my desired inventory level. I also milled soap, fragranced bath salts, did laundry and paid bills. All while spending what seemed like all day on the phone. Between J, my dad, and what felt like the rest of the world it was a miracle that anything got done today.

Tuesday: I drove to B’s for our semi-monthly meeting to keep each other on track for our business goals. I actually accomplished all I was supposed to in the last two weeks and now have a huge list of things to do during the next two weeks. Keeping focused is hard to do. Once I got home I started bucking down and figuring out what shows I am applying to. It had started to snow and the beginnings of a rather bad storm kept us home for the evening.

Wednesday: Back to the grind, and oh what a grind it is. Since last meeting with B regarding our businesses, I have this (I know) impossible schedule that I am trying to keep. This is making me work long hours, almost like a real job. More soaps made (1/2 of the Love I need to make), fragranced more bath salts (these are taking forever, but should hold me for most of the year), and C and I sat down and pondered shows- then I worked on and got out the last of my applications. I still have a few weekends that I am looking for shows, but I even have some backups in case I don’t get accepted into some that I want to do and some others for alternate weekends, depending on what I am accepted to. After all this we buckled down and started snow removal. One good thing to remember for next time: remove snow AFTER the plows have come through, because all they do is fill in your clean sidewalks with more snow…

Thursday: Supposed to go to Main Line to jury for the spring show but when C went to work the local roads were terrible, so I stayed home. I made three batches of basic, unscented soap, as well as a test batches for what I am hoping will be new products in 2007 (but they are a surprise till I get them working right).

Friday: Typical morning with a trip to the groceries, dryceaner, and post office. I spent some of the afternoon exploring yarn stores. Picked up some new cotton yarn here in Emmaus and at the place in Hellertown as well. First time to the store in Hellertown, not much cotton yarn there, but she does have peaches and cream, which I don’t find very often. Later, C and I went to the movies. We wanted to go to the new ones at the Promenade Mall, but they were WAY busy and filled with teenagers, so we drive down the road for a bit and went to the old faithful theaters. We saw Ghost Rider, and we learned an important lesson in relationship communication: when you think the movie is so bad you want to leave- tell your partner- they probably agree with you and you can both leave rather than suffer….

Saturday: We went to breakfast at Perkins, dropped by the Home Depot to price new blinds for the living room (which BTW are 15% off till the end of the month, making them the cheapest of the places we have looked so far) and then we went to the new LL Bean. C got some sweaters and pants and I got a new pair of jeans that are lined with flannel… those puppies will keep me warm at cold shows this year….
Sunday: I cut basic soap up and got a few other small things in the shop done. Mostly I watched NASCAR all day, starting the pre-race at ll am and finishing around 7 pm with a depressing, but exciting finish (I so wanted Mark Martin to win). I started to knit a afghan for B that she asked me to make for her. It’s not that hard and should work up pretty quick and easily. The yarn is a little weird so I have to pay attention to it but that’s about it.

Some things about me...

A friend of mine from High School sent me this, and I was supposed to rely by e-mail, but I thought it would be fun to blog instead.

Things you may not have known about me.....

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Happy Daze Drive In serving ice cream & food
2. At a pet shop
3. An intern at Maine State Music Theatre
4. As an independent contractor working on a project at Universal Studios Florida

B) Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. Any of the X-Men movies
3. Reservoir Dogs
4. The Usual Suspects

C) Places I have lived:
1. Perth, NY
2. Las Vegas, NV
3. Orlando, FL
4. Bethlehem, PA

D) Four TV shows I like to watch:
1. CSI (Las Vegas)
2. House
3. Criminal Minds
4. Project Runway

E) Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Puerto Rico
2. Alaska
3. Hilton Head Island, SC
4. Caribbean Cruises

F) Websites I visit daily:
1. Soaper’s Asylum Message Board
2. Yahoo
3. Google
4. Nascar.com

G) Four of my favorite foods:
1. Sushi
2. In n’ Out Burger
3. Corned Beef & Cabbage
4. Corn Fritters

H) Four places I would like to be right now:
1. Australia
2. Japan
3. In Bed
4. On the sofa, knitting


February 5-11 2007 Week 6

Monday was the first day since being sick that I started really doing something in the shop, about the business, and I even restarted exercising, slowly and a little, but enough to start building by endurance back up. I measured out bags of bath salts so I could start to fragrance them and package them. I couldn’t believe how many bags there were! I knew I had bought quite a bit of salt (200 lbs) but looking at it all at once in gallon baggies, well it took up lots of room on the shop floor. I got an order mailed out. It was actually placed last fall for Christmas but I was sold out of a few fragrances already so I had to get it out in time for Valentines Day instead. I ordered some supplies, and did laundry as well. I think it was a good first day back to work.

Tuesday I still took it slow. I have been working on show applications for days now and they seem never ending. Trying to figure out what I really want to do and when to apply for them, and when I’ll hear back, and what my second choice is, and on and on and on. I’m to the point where I still have a few apps to send out and I have a few more weekends to try and find shows for, but if I can get into what I have applied to so far I’ll have a challenging year. I started catching up on this blog, man I was so far behind… I also got a box of stuff mailed out to my dad and to K as well.

Wednesday was more blogging, more apps, and more work on the salts. I did a complete inventory of the soaps and what I still need to make to get up to the inventory that I want. I also figured out exactly how many bath salts I need to make and whew, that is a LOT of salt! C left this morning for Mexico, he is only supposed to be gone for a day, but his flight was delayed so he missed his connecting flight. So instead of flying from Philly to Charlotte to Mexico City, he flew from Philly, to Charlotte, to Dulles, to Mexico City, and landed about 10 hours later than he expected to. Needless to say his meeting for the afternoon were cancelled, so he’ll be gone a day longer than expected. B and I went out for a great dinner this evening. M was out of town as well so we decided it was girls night out.

Thursday I started to fragrance and packaging the salts, still was working on those stupid applications, I swear I have hundreds here to go through, blogged some more, sent out an order, and bought more yarn that was on sale online.

Friday was a day of rest. Ran my errands (like groceries) and then sat and knit all day. I have been going through a NASCAR withdrawal so I watched SPEED channel all afternoon, including practice for the But Shootout. I got quite a few washcloths knit so it wasn’t a whole wasted day.

Saturday C and I just took the day and relaxed. His flight in the way home on Friday was delayed as well so he made it home a few hours later than he had expected. I watched the NASCAR race in the evening and we pretty much just hung out all day besides that.

Sunday we ran some errands. Our one I-pod needs a new battery so we brought it back to Best Buy since we have an extended warranty. We had done this just a few weeks ago but they didn’t seem to have fixed anything, not to mention they mailed it to our house three addresses ago, even though we told them the new address when we dropped it off. Hopefully this time it will get fixed. While we were there we bought a new game for the Wii. Hopefully we’ll get the darn thing set up this week finally. We also went to Wegmans and got C’s dad some bulk sugar free candy, and stuff to make this awesome coffee cake I make. I spent the rest of the day baking coffee cake and making Bacalo salad, and then soup for dinner. We aren’t used to having so many things to eat and we were stuffed by the end of the night.


Jan 29- Feb 4 2007 Week 5

Monday Can you believe it, I was still sick. So I finally started taking the antibiotic. I swear I almost instantly started feeing better. I so should have ignored the doctor and started taking it last week when she gave me the prescription. It’s not like I get sick all that often. It’s been 10 years since the last time I was sick enough to go on an antibiotic. I’m not contributing to the “super bugs” evolving due to using so much antibiotics and antibacterial products. Next time I’ll know….

Tuesday I went to B’s. We had our first UWBW meeting for the year. It’s a name we have- it started with B & D and now is B & me- to refer to us meeting once every two weeks to talk about our businesses and make goals for both the year and the next two weeks. It keeps us on track to get things done (one of my goals was to get caught up on this blog), it gives us a chance to blow off some steam, and gives us an opportunity to exchange ideas for each other. It is sort of like having a mini board of directors, or maybe a VP of our business. Just something that seems so less alone than thinking about things ourselves or bugging our husbands to death with our thoughts.

Wednesday I really am starting feeling better by now. I started catching up on paperwork and things that I could do that didn’t have anything to do with actually making soap. I really needed to make a list of things to do and a schedule of what I wanted to get done first. So I started working on show applications, getting some things ordered, and getting some orders out finally. I tried to take it easy, because even though I was feeling better I was getting tired fast..

Thursday: I had a meeting at MLAC to discuss what we would and wouldn’t accept in the show anymore. How much of the product has to be made by the artist. Especially things like- if a clothing designer designs a piece, but has it made on the outside- is that a craft? But if it is then further embellished by the artisan, does that make it a craft? Or if you are a graphic artist and design a picture, and then have it printed on cards, does that count as a craft? But if each card is hand assembled by the artisan but the parts were printed outside the artisan’s shop, does that count. They were really hard questions and I am not sure how much of an answer we came to, but at least we tried and started to come up with guidelines for the show. After the meeting I did my typical stop at Trader Joes and picked up some frozen foods that I could get because it was so cold out and they wouldn’t have a problem with the long drive home.

Friday: Errand day- groceries, drycleaner, cleaning the house some, and resting. Still coughing a bunch but feeling 90% better.

Saturday & Sunday: It was our anniversary weekend. Saturday day we went to BJ’s- because it is just so romantic- actually we were just trying to beat the rush for the last of the Super Bowl shoppers. We also stopped at AC Moore and at Blinds to Go because we really need some new shades in the living room, the vertical blinds drive me crazy! Saturday night we went out to dinner with B & M at Paprika’s. C had that pork over French Fry dish I had the last time and I tried the fried meatballs. Awesome. Awesome dessert, great conversation. Just a good time. Sunday we got up to go to breakfast and ended up at Friendly’s because Bob Evan’s was packed. We then went home and read the paper together, hung out in the hot tub, took a nap,and just generally rested and relaxed and spent quiet time together. We went to dinner at a new place for us. It was good seafood, OK service because it was Super Bowl night (we might as well get over it and make it a national holiday), but not as great as our favorite place, which is remaining our favorite place for now. When we got home from dinner we caught the second half of the game and C did some work and I knitted. It was the perfect day.

Jan 22-28 Week 4

Monday I went to the doctor about my illness. She told me it was a virus and that she would prescribe me an antibiotic but that I should only take it if I felt worse by Wednesday or Thursday, or of I was still sick by Saturday. So we went and filled the prescription and I went back to bed.

The rest of the week I slowly started to feel better, but the cold migrated and started settling in my chest. It was that fun, spasmodic cough that you just can’t stop. Especially when you lay down for bed. So I switched from the NyQuil to the cough suppressant. Tried to relax as much as I could, and started feeling good enough to knit some.

Saturday & Sunday we went to Atlantic City. I know what you are thinking- you’re sick, are you crazy? No, we just had tickets to go see Craig Ferguson do a stand up act at the House of Blues. We stayed at a local hotel (not a casino) and we went with B&M. It was actually a gift that B got M for Christmas, but she had asked us if we wanted to go and so she got us tickets too. The smoke in the casino was tough on my throat and lungs abut even after we left on Sunday I wasn’t sicker, just the same sick as I was on Friday. The concert was hysterical to say the least, but it was tough to not laugh, because every time I laughed, I coughed uncontrollably. Needless to say, both B & M were worried that I didn’t enjoy myself because every time they looked over I wasn’t laughing. But I was, on the inside!! C and I both were loosing at the slots until right at the end. We had all decided to put $20 into a dollar machine and give it 10 pulls and see who makes the most. It was going to be the last machine we would play before going home. Well I did- a $300 pull! How cool was that. It pretty much made us even for the weekend (we typically play pennies and really don’t bet all that much, can you tell? You can’t loose what you don’t play….)


Jan 15-21 2007 Week 3

So I spent four days at J’s sicker than a dog.

Monday was horrible as I got close and intimate with her bathroom as well. We tried going to a yarn store, but I couldn’t stand long enough to enjoy the experience, so we decided to try again on Tuesday.

Tuesday I was feeling better, but still had no desire to eat any solid food whatsoever. I had some buttered pasta for dinner which was nice, and we finally got the chance to leave the house. We saw the exhibit Our Body: The Universe Within. J loved it, it was right up her nurse/medical alley. I really enjoyed it, there was just a few things that sort of creeped me out- like the finger nails still on the severed arms (for some reason it made me think of my grandmother, with her wrinkles and her nails that had so many ridges on them) and the hair on the who-who of the females. I think for me these are things that really spoke to me regarding the humanity of the exhibit. That these were real people who were donated to science. It made me think about the Chinese government and whether or not these people knowingly and willing gave their bodies for this exhibit. And if it really matters- I mean, for me I believe the body is a shell that holds my soul, so what happens to it after I am dead makes no matter for me. If my body could help science than that is a bonus to me. But each person holds their own beliefs and they should be respected. So I suggest that anyone who can see it should see it, because I think beyond the science, and the spectacle, for me the experience was spiritual.

We also stopped at a few yarn stores and I picked up quite a bit of cotton yarn that I had never seen before. I love being able to get a chance to get new things that my customers will not see in the stores around here. For me it makes knitting the bath mitts and washcloths so much more interesting to be able to experience new yarns as well.

Wednesday J and I went to breakfast with her mother-in-law M. I ate a plain waffle, so food was agreeing with me better and better. Later we brought K to see Charlotte’s Web. J and I cried through the entire movie, and K looked at us like we were crazy. We couldn’t stop thinking about people we have loved who have passed, and people we know who are sick. I guess that was a great example of ignorance is bliss, and how growing up makes us know and understand things so much better than children. For dinner we made a pot roast that didn’t turn out the way we wanted (the crock pot didn’t get hot enough) but we saved it. I ate lots of potatoes and carrots and a little meat and my tummy seemed fine…

Thursday we made one last stop at a yarn shop to pick up a few skeins before I left and then headed off to the airport. On the way there I was thinking how good I felt and that it was too bad that I wasted my time with J being sick. On the airplane my throat started getting scratchy and sore…my nose started running… and I got home feeling pretty lousy. After I got back to the house I needed to go through the mail, bring in boxes that had arrived and clean up the house some.

Friday I started feeling even worse but cleaned my bathroom, sent out some orders, and answered e-mails and phone calls.

By Saturday when C came home I had a full out cold including cough and sniffles, as well as a fever and aches. So I slept almost all day.

Sunday was the same but I had decided to see a doctor on Monday if I could get an appointment. I was taking copious amounts of Theraflu and Nyquil. I was so sick I didn’t even want to knit, now that is sick.

Jan 8-14 2007 Week 2

C was gone all week. He was traveling in Great Britain and the Netherlands for work, one week in each place. I thought about going with him one of the weeks but I wanted to have K for all the time I could before she went back to school, and I also wanted to go and visit J while he was gone so we could minimize our time apart in Jan.

Monday-Wednesday K and I got lots of work done. Soap made and lip glosses started. I also got lots of knitting done. The big thing I learned this week was not to watch Six Feet Under when your most beloved person on the planet is traveling and communication with him is spotty. What a great show, but how depressing. I think it was better when you only got to see an episode at a time when it was on TV because being able to watch 3 or more in a row can defiantly affect a person’s frame of mind.

Thrusday: K and I went to Ikea and picked up a few things I needed and a few things for her dorm room as well. We also stopped at Michaels to look at the yarn and one other store to see if they had any yarn left (they were phasing it out to have more room for beads). In the afternoon I had a hair appointment. I really like having my hair short, and that it can actually be put into a nice style, but the cost and time to keep it up at the salon is such a pain. I am probably one of the only people who really doesn’t enjoy having my hair cut.

Friday I went to lunch at R’s place. R and I met at a craft show a few years ago and I had her make a bracelet for K, so I had her make one for M as well. So I went to pick it up and spend some time with her and the kids. It is just so nice to be able to get out of the house and spend some time with adults and with women. As a kid and young adult I never really had many friendships with women, but in the last few years I have really had the opportunity to meet and bond with some superb ladies. I just need to take some time and spend more time with them because it is good for me to get out, to get a new perspective, and to get a chance to socialize.

Saturday: A day to get some things done and to get packed for my trip to J’s. I went to dinner with B & M at Paprika’s- and absolutely awesome Hungarian restaurant. I had this great dinner that pretty much is roasted pork in a garlic sauce served over French Fries. It was so good I find myself craving it now….and dessert…I can’t spell it but they are these crepe things that have all sorts of stuff in them, I had mine finned with walnuts.. YUM!

Sunday: The day itself started well, but the night was he**. I laid down early because I needed to be up around 2 am in order to be able to catch my fight to J’s. Around 8pm I started not feeling well, and by 10 I was having an intimate relationship with my bathroom. I tried sleeping in between “incidents” and poured myself into a shower around 3 am and somehow got myself to the airport and suffered through the flight to Detroit. This was the sickest that I have ever been that hasn’t been alcohol induced. It was so bad that about midnight I almost called B to come sit with me because I had almost passed out. But I was set on getting on that plane and I knew that she wouldn’t let me go, so I suffered alone…


January 1-7 2007 Week 1

Well, like many other people, you have probably noted that I have gotten very far behind in my blogging for 2007. I hope to take the next few days to catch up, but honestly, now so many things have gotten foggy, I am not quite sure everything I have done in the past month. But I’ll try…

Monday: New Years Day. C and I just took this last day to hang out around the house and to relax for the last day before he went back to work and I started soaping again.

Tuesday: K came over to work during the day and at night I went to dinner with some old friends and some new friends. A was leaving in a few days to go away to a trade school to learn more about her craft and F decided to get a bunch of us together to say goodbye for the next few months. It was pretty funny once we got there we realized that starting with A and ending with F- each of us represented each decade 20’s-60’s with most of us exactly 10 years apart. It was amazing and not lost on us to see how the generations could come together and have fun, share morals and values, and still differ and respect each others differences. Here’s a few pictures, and yes, that is me with the lampshade on my head:)

Wednesday: Meeting at MLAC to discuss the application and contract for the spring show. Like usual I took the opportunity to stop and shop at both Trader Joe’s and Ikea. Next trip I’ll add a yarn shop or two onto my mist. I saw a sign for one the other day near MLAC and I can stop at the one in Lansdale on the way home as well.

Thursday: K came again. It’s been really nice to have some help getting things arranged and going this month. I find it hard to schedule what she can help me do, but she say’s I’m not a bad boss, so I just need to give myself some time to get used to having extra hands available.

Friday: the usual Friday, errands, groceries, etc….

Saturday: C left for two weeks away early this morning. It is going to be a long two weeks. I started out planning what I wanted to accomplish during his time away and what I was going to eat while he was gone. I hate cooking for myself, so it’s more of a plan of takeout and soups.

Sunday: Dessert day at B’s. I got up and did a few things around the house and then went over for Dessert Day. It is a day where after a week of baking 30+ desserts, B invites everyone over to chat and eat. It is a great way to blow the first week of diet and exercise that I have been practicing. K came over too, although she was sick I think she had fun and so did I. The evening was spent just relaxing and knitting.

December 25-31 Week 52

Monday: Christmas Day. As usual I was spoiled rotten. From new clothes to some awesome knitting supplies I just can’t explain how cool some of the things I have gotten are. C got me LOTS of knitting needles. I got almost all of the sizes of the new light up needles and I also got one set of size 8 GLASS needles. I can’t wait until I have the perfect project to use them on, however, I have a HUGE fear of breaking them. I am really happy that I actually have a hobby like knitting. I am right now having to knit a bunch of mitts and washcloths but in between I’m going to do some great projects for myself. B got me some hand made stitch markers, so now I am all set. In a month I’ll go on a knitting retreat with J and I will look so spiffy it won’t be funny. I guess I am becoming the crafter that I have always hated- all the bells and whistles but none of the knowledge. But I’m getting to be a better knitter so I won’t be like this for long.

Tuesday: K couldn’t make it to work because of family stuff. I just kept on truckin’. New labels for some of the boxes of supplies, I cleaned out the fragrances and figure out what I needed to order. I ordered a bunch of supplies. Man the money goes fast in January and February.

Wednesday: K came to work and we just kept at it. It has all been such a blur I can’t even really remember what we did this day. All I know is that we kept crossing of things on my list of things to do and the shop just kept getting more and more organized.

Thursday: We milled, and milled, and milled. I had close to a years worth of unsellable soaps to grind down for my new camping/travel soap bags/ sachets. I thought it would take us a few hours, it took us close to 5 and that was both of us working hard. The next day my hands hurt like crazy and K said that her back was pretty sore.

Friday C and I spent a bunch of time running errands. We went to Home Depot to get some peg board so I could use it for a jewelry box of sorts. It was just a million little things that needed to get done.

Saturday was spent doing things around the house. C had hurt his back during the week and it was finally feeling good enough to do a bunch of stuff.

Sunday was New Years Eve. We had a great dinner (as usual) with B & M at their favorite Italian restaurant. After that we went over to their house and played games with them and D & J as well. D & J’s daughter, M was there too, but she was really sick so she was pretty much just hanging on the sofa. My stomach started giving me problems so we ended up leaving right after midnight (pretty boring I know), but C & B both went yelling in the street right after the ball dropped. It was raining so they got soaked!