Tag, I am it....

I have been tagged by my friend Sue over at Red Tail Designs for a questionnaire about blogging. So here it goes…

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because of D over at There are No Bad Ideas. D and I dated while I was in college and still keep in loose touch. He sent me a link to his blog and I liked the idea of having a) a way for people who I am not near to keep in touch with my life b) a way for customers to get to know “me” better and c) a kind of diary of my business, its ups and downs and how it changed through the years.

2. How did you come up with your blog name?

Well, I am a soap maker, and I liked using the term “soap box” as both a way to show what I do and as it’s typical usage as saying what you want to in a definitive way. I think the “on the soap box” really fits when I am reviewing craft shows that I have been at because I really don’t censor myself.

3. Do your friends and family know about your blog? What do they think of it?

They know of it, I tell everyone, it is on my catalog, my business cards, my web site. C doesn’t read it, it is almost like he thinks it is too personal for him to read, but I am not sure about that. Many of my other friends read it, I hardly get comments posted, but I do get comments while I am on the phone with them or through e-mails with them.

4. How do you write posts?

I make myself write one a week during my “slow time” (no craft shows), just as a diary of what I have done. I try to do a few paragraphs that sum up my week and my feelings and observations. Once show season hits I try and blog about every day at a show, there is almost always something good I can come up with to write about. And besides that I write when I get the fodder to do it, I wrote almost every day a few years ago while my dad was sick and sometimes I write after big events too.

5. Have you ever had a troll or had to delete comments?

Nope, don’t get enough comments to worry about

6. Do you check your stats? Do you care how many people read your blog? If you do care, how to you increase traffic?

I don’t check my stats at all. I do have a hit counter which I loosely monitor for my own delight and amazement. I could care less how many people read my blog, I do it for me and hope others are interested really. Last year I tried to care, I tried to think about increasing traffic and being a good blogger and all of that jazz, it left me tired and I didn’t blog for three months, it made me tired of being “out there” and feeling watched. I like the idea of just not knowing or caring better.

7. What kind of blogs/posts interest you?

I am interested in people like me, simple people who are just telling about their daily stuff, but telling about it in delightful, sometimes comical, interesting ways. I read blogs by stay at home moms, foodie blogs, knitting blogs, and the blogs of my friends.

8. What do you like and dislike about blogging?

I like having a place to put my thoughts and to be able to go back to them and relook at them. I love having a diary of my life, but especially my work and my business. I dislike when someone thinks they know me because they have read my blog, like I have had a conversation with them that never existed in my end. I find that weird.

I tag anyone who reads this blog- and comment to me, tell me about you and where I can read about you :)

March 16-22, 2008

Well the first week with dad being around is done. I think I know how people with children feel and I am surer than ever that I don’t want any. Actually, It hasn’t been bad at all, dad is really great now that his room is just about finished, it is his little cave and he would rather be there than anyplace else. I am just tired, we have do so much in the last week and I just don’t stop going and going and going. I am tired and sore, both in good ways. It hasn’t been too hard to adjust- it will be even easier when he starts a new job and is home even less.

Sunday: I cleaned the house some- just a few touches ups and made lentil soup for dinner. Dad arrived at night, ante, talked, and then went to bed…

Monday: I cleaned up the shop to get it ready for some real work. It keeps getting cluttered this year and every few weeks I need to get it rearranged and ready to accomplish something in again. I helped dad move furniture into his room, and made corned beef & cabbage for dinner. Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Tuesday: I got some soap made- first new fragrance of the year- Vanilla! Blogged, paid bills, printed out flyers, and went with dad to get his truck inspected- it passed yay!!

Wednesday: Made soap- blueberry! Ordered supplies and arranged pick up for next week, got a donation sent out, and divvied up vanilla beans for a co-op. It was girls night out at S’s and I was just beat, but I went and had fun.

Thursday: The morning started with the cats getting out. The garage door blows open once in a while if it isn’t latched right and bout 6 am dad noticed it was open and F & P were outside under cars. Good thing wit was a windy yucky day or who knows where their adventure might have taken them. I did learn that F ate a little too much grass while she was out and, well, had the gollywoggles the rest of the day… C worked from home so dad and I went and ran errands- Post Office, Target, Bank, Joanne’s, My Father’s Beads, Pet Store, LL Bean, Fresh Market, Home Depot, Drycleaner, (then lunch with C), and Wegman’s.

Friday: The morning was my typical Ravelry update (although I hadn’t knitted too much), took pics, answered e-mails, mailed swap items, etc. I cleaned up the kitchen, cleaned the cat’s stuff (cat pan & water bowl), did dishes, put together easter baskets, vacuumed, and mopped.

Saturday: An early morning trip to Ikea, finished with a early afternoon trip to Trader Joe’s, followed up by early evening Blessed Food dinner at B’s. Whew, I get tired just thinking about it!


March 9-15, 2008

Stress seems to sneak up on me these days. I remember when I was younger stress caused me to loose weight (why can’t I be so lucky now?), or caused me to loose sleep, now stress sneaks up on me and I blow like a volcano only instead of spewing smoke and lava, I spew unkind words and tears. I wonder if it is the hormone changes that come with age, or if it is the way I live- at some heightened level of stress that I no longer recognize- so that a simple word or action can push me over the edge? Is working from home, owning my own business, and trying to balance life more stressful than I give it credit for? Or maybe I am just a wimp now, a bundle of hormones and emotions stewing in this body just looking for a way to escape, like that alien in the “Alien” movie. Well, what I can tell you is the prospect of a parent coming to live with you for an indeterminate amount of time is a lot more stressful than I expected it to be. It brings out your baggage from childhood (my room was never clean enough), and it heightens your maternal/paternal instincts (because at some level we do parent our parents when they live with us) and it can make you be the kind of person that you think your parent thinks you are (great another bar set too high).

And spinning around all this emotion and stress my week was full of stuff:

Sunday: I cleaned the kitchen-I mean really cleaned- rearranged food in the cabinets, moved silverware and plates, rearranged the pantry, and ended up with one heck of a headache that took up most of my afternoon trying to get rid of- it was a “I can’t even watch the NASCAR race” sort of bad…

Monday: K came to work and a lot got done. I did laundry and ordered supplies, cut soap, made soap, and we got the newsletter mailed. Dad was flying from Dallas to CA to start his trip home.

Tuesday: More soap, inventory for a store wrapped, inventory for a show labeled, and started wrapping inventory for another store. We did lots of show applications too.

Wednesday: Meltdown day. Ended up getting one batch of soap made and then went with K to the yarn store for some retail therapy and then out to lunch. Much better after a gluttonous amount of fiber was purchased.

Thursday: Meet with B for our meeting and lunch.

Friday: Errands, gardening (planted peas and started other seeds) and went to Stone Soup for and event that was cool but ended a little too early due to a power outage.

Saturday: Cleaned the bathrooms- rearranged cabinets, threw out old prescriptions, and scrubbed the entire room- walls and all. Something about my dad coming soon made me want my bathroom to be “cleaner than a truck stop” which it probably was even if I never touched it, but I needed it to be pristine. I also worked on more seed starting, some knitting and finished the kitchen (mopped the floors and scrubbed the counters)


March 2- March 8 2008

Sometimes when something terrible happens it doesn’t just show you what others mean to you, but what you mean to others. This week I had the unfortunate chance to help friends after a death in their family. I have always felt close with these two people, but they allowed me to help them in ways that showed me that just maybe I mean as much to them as they mean to me. You could say that I am making this “all about me” but really the week was “all about them” and not only what I could offer them, and what I could do, but what they felt comfortable enough to let me do and to trust me to do. It goes without saying that people, friends, like this are few and far between and I consider myself very lucky to have them, and after this week, I appreciate them even more. For some it is hard to ask for help, and I am honored that I was asked.

Sunday I downloaded books for dad from his Audible account, knit, helped C put up pictures and artwork, and we had dinner with B & M.

Monday I mailed out boxes, sent out taxes, and did housework

Tuesday I answered emails, helped B & M and worked on some orders

Wednesday I mailed out the orders, made soap, wrote and e-mailed the newsletter and printed it out so I could get it mailed

Thursday I made lists of things I need to buy ASAP, and made soap

Friday I did the usual errands (grocery, post office, etc) I also placed an order for some stuff for my garden, and went and got some crafty supply stuff. I also cleaned my van out and knit.

Saturday I went and did a craft show with B while M borrowed my van for the day to do some things he needed to get done. It was sort of odd to be at a show and not be selling soap, it certainly is a different experience.


February 24-March 1, 2008

I haven’t been this productive in a while. Between moving the computer out of my direct line of sight (therefore removing my desire to check my e-mail and Ravelry 100 times a day), and learning that I can boost my production by one batch a day (it is amazing the difference, new hot crack pots can make), I got a ton done. This as usual is just in time for life to stick out its foot and trip me up again. Oh well, at least it was one productive week.

Sunday: Ikea, Trader Joes, work on office move more and watch the race- which got delayed till Monday.

Monday: Lots of soap making! Almost done with the patchouli (yeah!!). Also did a bunch of laundry. I started making some glycerin soap- I had a bunch left over in a box and it’s time to get rid of it. Paid some show fees, caught up on some sales tax and that kind of administrative stuff.

Tuesday: more soap! Ocean tides, plus bills and cleaning the house some.

Wednesday: Lavender soap (not my favorite to make)

Thursday: basic soap, class with the kids (lip gloss and bath salts) and had a terrible migraine. Really need to get my eyes checked.

Friday: Updated my calendar, pics for Ravelry, posted some stuff for sale to a few soap newsgroups, meeting with B. Went to Ollies for some way cool, cheap yarn…

Saturday: Blocked knitting, went to Target, CVS, Joanne Fabrics, and lunch with C. Knit some, and went through boxes of artwork we have to figure what to keep, what to toss, and what to sell, as well as what to hang on the walls.