Its Monday

Ok, so i turned off the auto correct on the ipad because it chooses some weird options. So just be patient...

I woke up sore from walking/running yesterday. Just sore enough to skip today but not sore enough to make me uncomfortable all day. So instead i worked this morning a bit. I ordered some fragrances, added some emails to the newsletter database, and generally streamlined my list of things to do.

The rest of the day was spent with family. C's dad has been ill, so we visited in the hospital. Looks like he will be home soon so tomorrow we are going to start getting the house ready for his return.

Tomorrow I hope to finish the newsletter database and start the newsletter as well as knit some more. I finished two washcloths and a hat so far. I will run again tomorrow at least a little and i want to cook some too.

Time for a snack and some more knitting!


Santa ROCKS!

I was brought some awesome gifts by Santa this year. I got yarn from my dad and a cool bubble maker that glows in the dark. C got me knitting essentials like a knit kit to bring on the plane and three pattern books that I have wanted. I also got a huge pile of Sharpie markers. They are my favorites and I even got some limited edition colors. Now I can go though my old ones and throw out all the ones that are dying. But my cooles presents are completely different, one on the cutting edge of technology and one so old fashioned that they aren't really even made any more.

I got an IPad!!! This means that I am typing this right now on it. It can get my email, get online, act as my new credit card terminal while at craft shows, and generally make my keeping in contact easier and much much lighter to carry around than my old lap top.

I also was given an bobbin lace roller pillow. It was hand made in a town here in Puerto Rico that is famous for it's lace making. They are nit readymade anymore and luckily a friend of C has a family member who lives in the town and could find someone to make me one. The pillow is this emerald green and the instructional book is in Spanish so it will take me a bit to translate. I have found a few videos on the Internet and plan on watching them in conjunction with using a lot of Google translate.

I started the couch to 5k running program again this morning. I really sucked at it. Haven't ran since august so I really lost stamina. I will go out again tomorrow for a walk at the very least. I have also been knitting, two washcloths on the plane yesterday and almost a full hat today. I hope to get some of my completed knit projects up on the web site for sale later this year, I am collecting quite a pile of them and I have given away so much to friends, family, and charity. Maybe someone might be interested in some of my creations? I guess time will tell...

Ok, time to stop playing with my new toy and get some sleep. Lots to do tomorrow, need to exercise, visit family, knit, and start working ion my web site update and ordering supplies.



Starting at 6 pm tonight, I am officially closed for Christmas, New Years and Epiphany. I will reopen January 10th, 2011.

But what does this mean???

I means that on Jan 10th I will post a SALE!!!! Free shipping, new clearance and old clearance at cheaper prices.

It means that the NEW FRAGRANCES FOR 2011 will be posted! 8 new fragrances inspired by you the customer's requests, and a few of my own ideas as well.

It means that the newsletter will be redesigned and themed (this year's theme was charity).

And it means that I will be blogging a lot more. I have to come up with some ideas, and a schedule to try and keep.

Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and enjoy Epiphany. See you in 2011!!!


Gratitude and Humility

Week three of Chriskindlmarkt and I am full of gratitude and humility. Each year that I have been at the show I have been blessed with increased sales, new friends, and the return of valued repeat customers. I have exceeded my wildest expectations and still have one more weekend to go. The stories I am told about how someone loves my products, how they have changes their lives, how they visit me every year, it makes my heart swell. I cannot thank you all enough for all the encouragement and feedback, ideas and suggestions. My business, my sucess, has been built on all of you and I do not forget that. Every day I get to do what I love, every show, every order, every phone call is a blessing that I am thankful for.


Chriskindlmarkt Week 2 is done!

All I can say is that my heart is filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the sales I made, gratitude for the friends I have made, gratitude for the feedback I recieve, and ideas I am given, and for the enjoyment I get from being at this show,

Sales were brisk with Saturday being my best day ever at the Markt. A few days I ran out of one or more soaps completely. Sachets are selling like crazy and so are lip balms.

I really am still overwhelmed by the the whole experience. I am tired but in a good way and just trying to relax for a day or two before next weekend

Saturday Dad was at the Indiemade market and had a fabulous day and on Sunday he had an awesome few hours at the Folkshul. Although he wasn't feeling great he made it though both days and now he is resting too.


Chriskindlemarkt Week 1 is Done!

It was my best first weekend ever! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I sold lots of soap which is expected, but man those lip balms kept flying off the table, and lotion bars galore. Even gift baskets were a hit and shaving mugs- well 6 of them found new homes!

I am exhausted from the hard work, but I am also invigorated to get things done and ready for next weekend. The soapy love was overwhelming! The number of you who come in and share how much you love my products really means the world to me. It sounds corny, but your appreciation is better than the payday to me. The money comes and goes and pays the bills, but your comments and encouragement is what stays with me when I am tired and blue.

Next year they are extending the Markt to 5 weekends!!! I am really excited about the move (and not just because we will have access to real potties!) and the changes. I really think it will make Chriskindlmarkt better than ever and I am proud to be able to take part in it and I am blessed it is in my back yard so to speak.

Once again, Thank you to my customers for everything! I gotta go make some lip balms :) See ya!


Chriskindlmarkt Day 1

It is the first day of 15 days. I am seriously in love with my display this year. I have used the space much more efficiently I think and there are more soaps out so I shouldn't have to pack inventory as often, and it is easier to get to when I do need to deal with it.

We got a new carpet for the booth and I think it is awesome. It is a dark teal and brown, dark enough the at the mud and dirt shouldn't show too fast and colorful enough that it actually adds something to the booth rather than just being a drab carpet.

I have lots of gift baskets available, great bath salts, tons of fizzys, and of course, all the soap.

I am suer excited and hope to see everyone soon!


Whew, what a week!

Everything was going on this past week. I was super tummy sick starting on Tuesday and it would last the whole week. C came home on Wednesday and he gets to be home till after Thanksgiving (YAY!!!), Dad had three craft shows to do, the new shaving mugs arrived and needed to be filled...

OK, lets start this again: tummy sick: Monday night I woke up with the most horrible heart burn and couldn't get back to sleep. The rest of the week was a constant pain and bloating, just enough to make me uncomfortable, but not enough to lay me out flat. No fever, no sore throat, nothing else, so I did my best to work through it all and get orders out.

Dad filled the shaving mugs when they arrived. There are two new colors: red and variegated black. The variegated black is cool because it had hints of blue and even purple in it depending on the mug. There is a possibility in the future we may be changing brushes too, found a nicer one for the same price, just need to test it out and make sure it doesn't fall apart, so maybe 2011.

C came home and just in time since there are tons of things to do before the holiday. Sometimes I don't realize how much I miss him until he is home. I just fill the time with work and things to keep my mind off of his absence. It even takes a day for me to get used to him being back. It was really Friday before I settled back into routine and right now I am just enjoying hearing him sleep in the next room. It is a comforting sound and feeling.

Dad had three craft shows, all of which went as well as hoped and sometimes better. One was Tuesday in the afternoon, one was Friday night, and one Sunday afternoon. All of them were pleasant and festive.

Well that is about it for this past week. This week I have a show tonight, a yarn sale to get to, and Chriskindlmarkt to set up for and do. So there is plenty to pack, orders to mail, baskets to make, and errands to run. Hey at least I have the turkey and all the groceries for the sides. I hope to enjoy Thursday cooking and eating and relaxing as much as possible, and I hope you all do the same!


Rollercoaster Weekend

It was a roller coaster of a weekend. First we started out at the Craft Show to benefit the North Wales Library. I loved that I got to see some friendly faces, always a bonus! And our neighbors across the way were just fabulous people, so warm and passionate about their craft! The show started out slow but ended up being all that we were hoping for. It wasn't some kind of magical day, but it was a nice, solid show, that was easy to get in and out of, and was filled with kind people.

The next day Dad did a show at the Astor Community Center and didn't even make the table fee. He kept getting comments on how expensive everything was, and no one even stopping to smell. The place started emptying out a few hours early (we were not the only ones not selling) and Dad stayed till almost the end, just hoping for that one good sale that never came. It was a long drive down (about an hour) and a long drive back. It always amazes me how we can be welcomed with such open arms one day and shunned the next.

Four more shows and then Chriskindlmarkt... Busy busy busy....

See you soon!!!


Peddler's Village Apple Festival

It was Brrrrrrr Cooooooold this year, especially compared to last year's beautiful weather. But I try to see the bright side- any time it isn't raining or snowing in November is a good weekend for me.

Dad and I went out on Friday to set up in the afternoon warmth rather than in the Saturday Morning frost. It was the best decision I had made all year. Even though It cost me some extra gas and some extra time, Saturday was so much more pleasurable to have the tent up and the displays out and most of the inventory ready, rather than doing it all in the cold, dark, morning.

Overall sales were down from last year, but it wasn't the worst weekend I had seen there. I really like the layout, it is easy to set up and tear down and it is a pleasant show and I usually make about the same sales each year.

But I am very happy it is my last outdoor show for the year and I am ready for the big end of year push- six more weeks to go!


Three more weeks....

Three more weeks till my biggest show of the year. 8 more days of shows between now and then. Still looking for two more shows between now and Christmas for Dad to do. Lots to do. I need to clean up my display once I am done with this weeks show, I need to make lots of gift baskets. I need to buy some display pieces and get them painted. I need to get new shaving mugs ready. I need to make soap and lip balms so I have inventory, and probably lotion bars too. Oh and I have 50 or so washcloths to knit.

OK, but the good news is that: most of my inventory is ready, I have a short list of soaps and lip balms to make, my last outdoor show for the year is this week (no more tent to carry around), only one special order to do, I found a treasure trove of baskets (on sale) at a local store and bought them all, Dad is only a few days away from having all the sachets labeled, I have my table layout all figured out, and the overwhelming stress I usually feel right now is non-existent.

Today I make my plan for the next three weeks and follow it as best as I can. Trying to balance work and home, life with my to-do list, and getting copious amounts of sleep as well. Wish me luck!


A great weekend of shows!

Thursday and Friday at the farm markets were both great for dad and exceeded our sales expectations for the fall. I really expected everything after September to grind to a halt but that hasn't happened for us yet and the markets are still going strong. Next week is the last week for both events (Bethlehem and Bath) so if you haven't gotten out to them or know you want to stock up, better get a move on!

Saturday I was at the St.Luke's Health and Craft Fair. I did great. Now I saw many others that didn't and it was a mixed crowd, but for a first year event I was very happy and I hope they hold it again next year. It was well run, a great layout, good crafts, better than expected sales, load in and out wasn't bad at all, pretty good food (simple wraps but good), just great potential for what could become a something special.

Dad was at the 2010 Groove Your Best Life Conference. I know he entered this event with some apprehension. It is a woman's empowerment conference and there was a big chance that he would feel uncomfortable as pretty much the only man there, but he didn't. I went over after the St. Like's show and was greeted with open arms and just a great vibe. You could really tell that dad had been accepted instantly and that everyone loved that he was so supportive of his daughter. Rosalind who ran the event went out of her way to introduce him to people and make him feel welcome. He was gushing over the great vibe, great women who attended (how smart and empowered, and gracious they all were)for a hour after he got home from the event. He can't wait for the next one!

It has just been a great week for us and shows. This week is the last of the Farm Markets but nothing over the weekend, so a little rest before November and December descend on us. Have a good one!


White Horse Farm Fiber and Art Show

What a WONDERFUL day. Each year my goal is to find what I consider to be "hidden gems"- lovely shows that don't cost a lot to participate in, but bring an unexpected profit and that are fun to be at and just overall some kind of special. This was one of those places!

Dad was seen at the Linvilla craft show by this organizer and I was contacted about participating. Since it takes place at an Alpaca Farm, I figured that it would be a good chance to make enough money to pay for the table and maybe some yarn. I was wonderfully surprised by the turn out and my reception by the festival goers. It is organized by a wonderful fiber artist who does everything- knits, cross stitch, sews, just amazing things, and the farm that hosts it is just beautiful, great architecture, wonderful animals, great fiber and yarn for sale and owned by a honestly warm and generous woman and her husband.

Dad didn't go because he was already booked at another location, and frankly I am glad that he was:) I had that much fun! I got some beautiful baby alpaca yarn and wonderful horn buttons. They put out a great lunch for free for all who attend and participate, and I could have spent all day in the field with the Alpaca, but I had to be at my table selling soap.

In the spring there is another event- shearing day, and I hope to participate and be there again. It was truly a gem of a show!


River Festival & Chestnut Hill

The weeks are getting busier and busier as the Holidays approach. This week marked the last week of the farm market in PPL Plaza. It was canceled due to weather. Although we do not plan on returning next year, I am indebted to them for their kindness, professionalism, and hard work. Some shows work for us and some don't, and this year has been one of growth and expansion into new markets- especially farm markets. We learned that doing three in a row (plus craft shows) is very hard and tiring. We learned that we need more than two days a week to make soap in order to keep up with inventory. And we learned that having at least one day off a week would be nice, and this summer that didn't happen.

Saturday Dad went to the River Festival in Pottstown. It was a rather large lay out, and there was a crowd, but sales were terrible. I can say we won't be back and I will advise anyone I know and like not to do it either.

Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts was as charming in the fall as it it in the spring. This is my first year at the fall show, and other than the fact I think booth placement could have been better (really, did the other soapmaker have to be right across from us?), the day was pleasant and we had great sales. I made a HUGE mistake in the morning and had to drive back to the shop for a box I forgot. It was full of bags, the credit card machine, all the signs, and the rest if the important stuff. UGH. 45 minutes each way made the day a long one. I was asleep around 8 pm and slept till 6 am, long for me...I guess I was tired.

Next week will be quieter. Only two farm markets and shows on Saturday. I am already making a list of household chores for Sunday. No rest for the weary.


I had a dream about this blog post title- this isn't it

The change of seasons changes me. I start to have extremely vivid, very odd dreams. Often I can tell that I was influenced by something on the TV, or in a book, or by some fear. But sometimes they came out of nowhere. Last night was not one of those nights. I had my first dream about Christkindlmarkt for the season. In this dream the booth next to me was setting up with lotions and liquid soaps, all in these huge five gallon pump containers and you would go in and buy your stuff by the squirt. The booth was huge, at least 20 feet long, and full, I mean full, of people to help you. I was frantic because I was trying to get set up and they kept interrupting me asking me questions about set up, and I was all worried about manning the booth alone. I was trying to hang up signs explaining that my products have no dyes or preservatives and that I use my own recipes, in order to try to compete with the booth next door. All the while I was so hurt that they would put such competition right next to me. I literally woke up shaking. But it is October, and that is my last big show for the year and it is on my mind already, so I doubt this will be the last of the creepy dreams.

Getting more storage space soon.. I have an oil tank in my workshop that hasn't been used in a while. It is being drained and removed in the next few weeks so I will have lots more room for storage and shelves. I can't wait!!! I don't know if I am going to use the space for sachets, or for shipping supplies, or both, or for something else. More space means I can start to make some new products I have been thinking about because now I will have a place to put them!

What to do in Denver in October?? C and I get to go to Denver at the end of the month. The hotel stay was a gift and we have enough air miles for the flight and car rental. Now we just need things to do... any suggestions???.. let me clarify-- any non skiing, snowboarding, or general winter sports suggestions??


Visit to mom, New Hope Arts & Crafts Fest, and a headache, not at the same time

Last week I went and visited my mom. While I was there dad did the craft show at Linvilla Orchards. It wasn't a great show, but it got us invited to two more shows so that isn't too bad! He said he had a pleasant time and load in/out wasn't too bad. It would have been great if this was a one day show, but the drive down and back twice was a lot to deal with.

Mom and I went to the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, a Butterfly conservatory, Vermont, and a bunch of places just around town while I was there. She started knitting her first pair of socks and finished them yesterday. She is already looking for her next pattern- I think I have created a monster!

I came back and did the New Hope Arts & Crafts show. A wonderful show. Sales were very good given it was my first year there. It usually takes a few years to create a base/following and I was very happy with my sales. There was even another soapmaker there so I did have come competition and heard a few times that people already bought from them so they would try me online. Load out wasn't that bad but it took 3 people to make it go easy. Dad went for the car while C & I loaded. Out on less than 30 minutes!

Monday I awoke to a migraine. Often I think of them just as a bad headache. Enough Migraleve and them become manageable and I can function. Yesterday was not one of those days. So I watched lots of TV in the dark and knitted my simple stocking in the round because I barely had to look down to do it. I had to stop when I got to the heel because it took too much brain power to deal with. Still a little bit today. Hope to get some soap made before back to bed for me.


I am sick of it!

1) I WANT TO RUN AGAIN! But I can't breathe right and I need to let my allergies calm down before I really get running again. I hope that the fall weather brings me some relief.

2) What is up with the Piazza at Schmidt's?? They started out with weekends at $100, then dropped to $75 and now they are free. That doesn't give me the warm fuzzies about the quality of the event or the vendors there, but what is worse is that I signed up when it was $100 and have had to fight tooth and nail for my refunds. There has been some personnel changes, but it is time for me to call my credit card and complain. Personally right now I wouldn't touch this place with a 10 foot pole and don't plan on trying the events in 2010 now. Will have to see if they get their ducks in a row in 2011.

3) Tired of making fizzies. Only about 500 more to go and then I am done. But they are so boring to make and wrap.

4) Stupid people... please...before you complain, check your emails to/from me, your receipt, and count the products in your box. Not only do you not need a refund, I sent you a bunch of free stuff on top of your order. Also, if you are a promoter and I email you about getting on a mailing list, please do not respond asking me what kind of craft do I do- I have included my web page in the email- click the link, please.

OK, that is it, I have vented for the day/week/month. Return to your usual happiness, I am gong to :)


No Shows does not equal Days Off!

So the Labor Day weekend left me with three days without shows.. but lets back up a bit...

Monday I had my cavity filled. My whole left side of my face went numb- including my eyeball. My eye wouldn't focus and I couldn't tell if I was blinking or not. Probably the oddest sensation of my life. The afternoon was spent with B watching the first disk of Dexter Season 4 and getting some lunch at 5 Guys.

Tuesday is when the pain set in. Not from the tooth but from the needle for numbing agent. I got up, made soap, took two Tylenol with Codine and slept for another 4 hours. Then I ate some soft lunch, put an ice pack on my cheek, and proceeded to nod in and out of sleep for another two hours. Then it was some dinner, some TV, and back to bed. Wasted day for sure...

Wednesday dad did the PPL Farm market and did well again. Such and odd show, you just can't predict how it is going to go. I got caught up on paperwork and made lip balms and lotion bars.

Thursday was errand day, and lunch with B. Dad did the Bethlehem Farm Market and once again, did well. I think this one is building for us and I am happy to see that.

Friday dad was at Bath, awesome as usual and brought home great corn and squash. C made it home that night and the weekend officially begun.

Saturday started with a quick trip to the grocery store so I can cook all week. I miss cooking and dad and I eat at such different times I won't cook for the two of us very often. So when C is home is when I really get to prepare meals. So I planned on a week's worth because he will actually be home for a bit!

Sunday was spent largely at the computer just getting things done. I have a few spreadsheets that needed to be updated, and a bunch of supplies / displays that needed to be ordered.

Monday C cleaned my displays and we did laundry. We also ordered the last of the things we need to finish the bathroom remodel.

So even though I had no show, plenty of things in the shop were done, soap was cut and racked, lip balms were made, and paperwork was completed. At home I gardened, cleaned, ran errands, and cooked. Busy bees we all are for sure!


Busy Week

It has been a busy week. Monday I tore down the tent at Folk Fest and Tuesday I did my best to catch up on paperwork, write up my huge list of things to do, and rest some.

Wednesday I went to B's while dad did the PPL Farm Market.

Thursday we started making soap, rejuvenation was first on the list of things to do, and in the afternoon dad did the Bethlehem Farm Market. That night K & M arrived for their visit so I sat up with them kinda late and chatted.

Friday was Vanilla-Hazelnut day in the morning and dad did the Bath Farm Market in the afternoon. C worked from home, a bad case of poison ivy had popped up and I prescribed three showers a day with pine tar soap and a good slathering of calamine lotion in between for good measure. K & M went to breakfast with me & dad and then went off for their day of adventure. My day ended with some Chinese for dinner and a few episodes of Bones :)

Saturday meant to be a day with K & M, but alas, the poison ivy would have made for an uncomfortable day of walking around. So we got things done around home, including some gardening, but mainly lots of paperwork and napping. Dad did a craft fair at Zion Wesleyan Church in Bath (almost Nazareth). Unfortunately it wasn't the little gem of a show I hoped it would be, but the day wasn't a waste either for him. Dinner was baked potatoes with all the fixings, not exactly balanced, but pretty yummy anyways.

Sunday started with lots of plans. Plans to go to dinner at one place, then plans changed to another, and yet still a third before me, C, K, M, B & M could all eat together. It was great everyone getting all together and I am really glad that we could show M show much we all care about K and miss her terribly. The afternoon was really just chilling and watching a movie (BTW, The Road is good, but depressing!!). Dad and I made some Bay Rum soap and some special order Gardener's Soap before I left with everyone for lunch and he finished up the days soap.

It was a really good, but but busy. This week really isn't much different. Good thing it ends with a long weekend. Too bad it starts with a dentist appointment in a few hours. First.Cavity.Ever. Guess I gotta go brush my teeth and take a shower :(


A moment to reflect...

August is exhausting for me. I have 17 days of shows in 17 days plus three set ups and load outs to deal with, making it a 19 day test of will and stamina.

I am sitting here in my favorite chair after a long hot shower and the fragrance of pepperberry sits lightly on my skin. I am watching the living room grow brighter and then dimmer as the sun peeks in and out from the clouds. For me it is the end of summer. I am already thinking Christmas displays, ordering supplies, and finalizing a show schedule. But for a moment I am reflecting on how blessed I have been the first half of this year.

Dad being in the shop has opened doors to a world I knew existed but wasn't sure how to reach. The farm markets have been a success and the craft shows he has done have all been good as well. We have been blessed with good weather and only one truly lousy show all season. He has streamlined the workshop, kept it going, kept it clean, and kept me on track.

We have had our moments, those moments where the boss/employee and father/daughter relationships overlap for better or for worse. I am still learning how to be a good boss, I am still learning how to be a good daughter, and some days are better than others. But it is easier now than it was, there is a quiet understanding of what needs to be done, and when we need to push each other through the difficult days.

These 19 days of August in retrospect were utterly amazing. I have such wonderful, caring, trustworthy, honorable customers that my days were filled with soapy love in both the form of words and sales. I met three great artisans that I think will remain friends forever now. One experienced her first craft show ever, another is traveling far and wide to sell her wares, and yet another is raising a family filled with love, spirituality, and hope. Talking with and watching these three ladies taught me so much about myself, where I want to go with myself, and where I came from, that I really consider their touch in my life a changing experience.

The shows themselves were secondary this year. Musikfest was its usual self, with long hours, hot dry weather mixed with periods of rain, and my overall love/hate feeling about it. It is a music festival that happens to have a crafts area, we are secondary to the festival, it would go on without us, and that is the overall vibe of the event for me. It is something to survive, to endure, and only the friendly faces of my customers (and so many that have become my friends) that keeps me going day after day. I feed off their energy like a vampire, I need it to survive.

The summer festival at Mulhenberg Hospital is a dying show. Each year it gets less and less crafters, and fewer and fewer buyers. It is a vicious cycle. I for one will not be back next year. It was not worth missing the farm markets for the event. I had fun the two days I was there because I shopped the white elephant sale and the book sale, ate great food, and played bingo, all while dad manned the booth.

And Folk Fest... ahhh Folk Fest. My favorite show of the year. I had a great spot, high and dry, easy to find, and the weather wasn't too bad either. It was my second most successful fest ever. I love the people, the energy, the family atmosphere. I noticed it is becoming a little more commercial, I just hope it doesn't loose its charm along the way. And they take such great care of their crafters, that show leaves me rejuvenated and happy to do festivals. I wish that one was ten days and Musikfest was three :)

The hard month is over, it is all downhill from here. Sure I am busy with shows and inventory and orders, but the hours are not as long, I get to eat better food, and sleep more than I got to this month. Next thing I know it will be January and I will be sitting on a beach somewhere knitting some socks, napping the afternoon away, and pondering what is in store for next year.


Folk Fest & Mulhenberg all done!

I hate to say it but I think Mulhenberg is a dying show. There are fewer and fewer crafters each year and fewer and fewer sales each year. It is a cycle that just seems to keep going on a downward spiral. This year there wasn't enough vendors to fill the three tents so the center spots were completely empty in the center. Sales were sluggish on all the days except the first day, and overall didn't amount to much. Depending on what other shows I am accepted to next year there is a good chance that this one will fall off my show schedule.

Folk Fest was a solid show this year. It rained on Sunday and the sucesss of the show is very dependant on the weather that last day. People tend to camp and buy on the last day before leaving and when it rains, people just run fo rcover rather than going shopping first. But, it is one of my favorite shows to particiapte in, the promoters are wonderful, the custumers are wonderful, and I am very lucky to have this show so close to home. Would I travel for it?? Probably not, but to be able to sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, I am happy to be a part of the show :)


PFF & Mulhenberg.. all at once

Yesterday I started the day setting up for the Philly Folk Fest. I have a great spot over by the information booth so I think I will get a lot of traffic. It was an easy set up, I only put up the tent, and will go back today to put up inventory.

The summer festival at Mulhenberg started last night and was the best Wednesday that I remember in a log time. I think the weather was perfect and since there were fewer crafters this year there was space for people to move in the isles more and not feel pushed through.

I had a great time, dad maned the booth, and I played some bingo, bought some books, some glass jars, and got dinner. I really had a wonderful time last night despite my allergies killing me.

My allergies are going absolutely crazy. I can barely breathe and dad is the same way. The dust at Musikfest really got to me and I just can't get it out of my system. I walked from the festival last night to the nearest grocery store to get me something to take. I slept fine, but got up and the snotworks started again...

Wlel I have a few things to do before I can get out of here and down to the Folk Fest so I better get going!


Musikfest 2010- All Done!

Musikfest 2010 is officially done and all I have left to do is to tear down the tent and clean up the displays for the next show. This year was the dustiest, grubbiest, dirtiest, fest that I can remember and my displays and table covers can attest to that. I am pretty sure they will need to be washed twice to get all the grime out.

Even with the rain, sales finished strong and I have experienced my best sales ever. I got to barter with some of my colleagues for wonderful pottery, jewelry, and glass work. I also have a small pile of craft show invitations/applications to go through and look at and try and squeeze into the schedule.

The list of things to do is currently amazing and overwhelming. I am trying to get some rest the next few days in between completing some stuff. I have a small list of special orders, quite a bit of inventory to make, a huge pile of mail to go through, a shop to finish cleaning up (since the water heater exploded last week and left a mess), and a garden to tend. Whew, that list makes me tired just writing it!

Oh, did I mention all I want to do right now is nap??

OK, it is 7:10 am. I have to get going so I can get that tent torn down before the rain starts again.


Big Little Fans

I LOVE my biggest, littlest fans- the kids. And I have so much trouble keeping all the names and ages straight and understanding the smallest ones is so hard (they can talk so quietly)..

But yesterday Gabe came to help me for an hour. He has been asking for three years if he can help in the booth, and finally he is old enough and tall enough to do so. He spent an hour with me, bagging orders, meeting other crafts people, and generally getting tons of questions answered. I had a blast and hope he stops in next year for an hour or two as well!

Emily is a new friend this year and her bubbly personality and joyous inquisitiveness just melts my heart. This is the second time I met her this year and each time is such a joy. Yesterday I answered he questions about what Patchouli is and how I make the colors in the soap... Such fun!

Little Sophie and her big sister came by. Lip balms are their favorites! Mom says they come ask to visit me by name, amazing!

So even though it rained outside, there was sunshine in my heart all day!


Quick updat- Musikfest- 1/2 way!

I am half way done with the fest and I am having a great time this year. You guys/gals are stupendous and I I have so many memories already from this year.

I have had a customer from Spain come and by lip balms because she loved them last year, another purchased Patchouli soap in memory of her late brother, some Pine Tar helped clear up a customer's poison ivy and she finally got a decent night's sleep, and the list goes on and on... just an amazing year!

Also, thanks to everyone who will be at Folk Fest next week. I appreciate the heads up on the large orders so I can get them aside for you and be sure to have the stock for you :)

I also have a special order that I can't give out too much info on until it is complete, but it is exciting and it is making me research and make something I have never done before.

OK, back to the show!!


Musikfest 2010- 3 days down, 7 to go!

Friday started off a little slow. I was worried that the economy finally had reached as far as Musikfest and that besides the great weather, I was in for a long, boring show...

But Saturday and Sunday proved me wrong... can I just say.. BEST WEEKEND EVAH!!! First, I was the recipient of all kinds of soapy love, from the fans of the shaving soap, to the bath fizzy fanatics, my regular customers were out in full force and showing the love! THANK YOU!!! Every time you come in to the both and share your delight, it helps me make sales to new customers. Your testimonials really not only help me feel great on a long hot day, but help spread the word, and that is the best form of marketing a gal can ask for!

I was also interviewed for an upcoming TV show and will let you know when it will be on as soon as I know!

Soaps flew off the table, and if you love the Blue Lagoon, there is a serious chance I will sell out by the end of the show! You are also keeping my friend Bebe busy, as she will need to throw more soap dishes after this is done for sure, they are such a hit! And mom will need to speed up on the knitting, because washcloths seem the be the rage this year too :)

Of course there are always things that can be improved upon, and I wish this year the area was less dusty, I am afraid to think of all the grime I am breathing in, yuck... and of course I wish there was more and better monitored parking nearby. But as a whole this show is run very well and I just hang on for the ride.

So stop on by, say hello, spread the soapy love, and have fun at the fest!!!


Some time to relax!

This past week has been great overall. Except for Wednesday when I forgot I was supposed to have lunch with B and she drove all the way to my house! Whoops!!

The week has been full of getting things done but on a slow schedule, which is nice because the next few weeks get pretty crazy so I enjoy the ability to rest a bit. I wish my allergies would calm down, then I could actually breathe and enjoy the day some, instead I just seem to sleep through the day.

We made some soap and I am all caught up on the list of things to make. I also made lotion bars, so we are all set! So nice to go into a few big shows without a huge deficit in inventory already.

The Farm Markets have been doing well. Plaza Growers Market is just small and not the venue for us, I don't think we will be back next year. Bethlehem is doing OK, it is steady and we are growing slowly. I think after a year of local shows this market will be better next year for us. We can promote it as someplace we are and people can save shipping by going over to get stuff there. But the big surprise is the Bath Market. It is FANTASTIC and growing every week. I love the vibe of the place, and it is where I get my groceries each week now.

So today I am catching up on some paperwork, having that lunch with B, and enjoying the fact that my allergies are subsiding!!!


NJ Festival of Ballooning

OMG... unless you LUV balloons stay far, far, away from this festival.

I walked around as a visitor and only saw lots of promotional giveaways, some carnival rides, mostly average music (except the headliners / big names), and no shade anywhere!! Now, I am not that into balloons and from my booth I couldn't see anything. So there is a chance that there was some stuff going on that I couldn't witness. But from what I did see this is not a place I would spend $25 to get into and not a place I would send my friends or family for a fun day out. But that is just my personal .02.

As a vendor I was blessed that I made it away with my booth fee and a little bit more. I was lucky that I got fed up and left early, just to miss the afternoon thunderstorm that came through the region. I was also lucky that I was next to an awesome neighbor who did great airbrushed tee shirts and brought in a crowd of her own. I was especially lucky to be placed in a location that allowed me to leave early, gave me a good breeze, some shade, and an end location so I only had one neighbor, not two.

The hours are brutal, the crowds are not as large as the the promoter claims them to be (and if they are, they didn't walk by me!), the tents provided were a logistical mess (mine wouldn't close properly, had holes in the sides, and had an awful red and white striped top that makes all the colors inside wonky). There were three soap makers there, one just one booth away, and when we talked we were all approached by the promoter to take part- so they knew they were triple booking one kind of craft. The fine jeweler left after the first day (poor people came all the way from Virginia for this mess), the other left Saturday afternoon. The "craft tents" are mixed in with buy-sell people, free giveaways, and fund-raising booths. So there is no real "craft area" and people actually avoided some tents because of the pushy fundraisers/ giveaways!

And I don't even want to go into the load out experience. Lets put it this way- as cars are allowed on and off property to "deliver" to the corporate promotional booths, we were not allowed to drive on and pack up. If you got there before security you could park behind your booth and no one would say to move the vehicle, and one vendor sat in his truck all day (running) for the air conditioning, but no one said anything as his exhaust seeped through the air!

Every year I have one bust show, and I hope this is the bust for this year.


WXPN Festival, Days 2 & 3

OK, so the show overall was OK. Sales were down from last year and I will have to take a really hard look at doing the show next year. It was good enough to give it one more try but it wasn't good enough to get a hotel next year so that makes the show all the more grueling.

I hated being behind the stage. It was cool because people saw me and smelled me and told me that they could smell the soaps from the seating area. I also sold to a few of the artisits who were performing. But it was loud and hard to talk to the customers.

I learned this show that angry music makes me angry. When I was setting up I could hear the Warped tour and it was loud and angry and at the tear down the music was probably the loudest and angriest of the festival. I was miserable for both set up and tear down.


WXPN Festival Day 1

Always a challenge...

We got up Friday morning after a good nights sleep and went to the grocery store to get snacks and lunches/dinners for the next few days. I have to start to write a list of things to get because we just pile things into the cart all willie nille and then end up spending a fortune on food.

Then we went to set up. First there was a huge fire truck in the way and we had to figure out how to get around it to get to where we needed to be. Once we got in we learned our space had been moved, to right behind the one stage. Will this be good or bad? Only timw will tell.

Set up was a little challenging, it always is but this time we had new weights to contend with and that took a while to get all settled. We still did well with about 2hours total for set up.

We took the chance and left to go back to the hotel for a few hours. There was another music concert (the Warped Tour) going on next door and there so parking was a nightmare and so was driving in and out.

We had lunch, cleaned ourselves up and rested a bit before heading back. It was much easier to get there this time but parking was still a nightmare. Hopefully that is much better today.

The show was kinda slow. I think it was a combination of a few things... first it was the first day so anyone who is there for all three days usually buys on the last day, second, it was hot, and third, the other concert made the parking a nightmare so I think the crowd overall was lighter than last year.

I think the booth location is a good one. I think we get more traffic and more eyes on us. It is loud at times, but today will be the true test of how it works out.


Couch to 5K Week 3 Day 1 again....

So I have been slack. Last Monday and Wednesday I din't run because of the air quality alerts. Friday I was recovering from a migraine and thought if I ran i would puke. This Monday I was just lazy and Wednesday it rained all day.

So today I got to the hotel I am staying at for the WXPN festival and I went to the gym. And I ran...

Warm up- 5 minutes
First run 90 seconds & first 90 second walk- done
3 minute run and 3 minute walk- done!!

You do realize this means I RAN 3 minutes in a row without someone chasing me with a gun, right???

The second 3 minute run I manages to finish all but a minute of, then I had to give in to my pounding chest and walked the rest and the 5 minute cool down.

I know it was inside, I know it was on a treadmill, I know it was without an incline.. but people... I RAN 3 Minutes!!! The whole thing was about a mile and a half. I am sweating like a pig, I am thristy as all hell, and I feel great!!

Off to the shower!!!


This past week in review

Wednesday was our best week in sales at the Plaza Growers Market so far. So good in fact that the sales for the week were better than all the other weeks combined..and it was 100 degrees out...go figure!

Thursday was a very good day in Bethlehem. I missed it due to a migraine.

Friday in Bath was terrific too. I love seeing people week after week and I love this market. Great food, great prices, great vibe. Even with a little rain it was just awesome as usual.

Saturday I was at Simon Pearce. It rained hard on the way down and most of the day. An OK turn out for four hours. Hope to schedule some days in the fall. I think it will be great as it gets closer to the holidays.

Market at the Piazza. There is rain and then there is RAIN. It was raining hard for what would have been set up and the first few hours of the show. Driving rain that makes a day with soaps that shouldn't get wet just unbearable. Executive decision was made... not to go to the show...too bad, it seemed interesting...and was a free weekend to celebrate the grand opening... will try again in a few months.

Sunday I cooked lots since I had a fridge full of veggies and a ton from the garden. Dad replanted lots of the plants, C and I went to Target to get necessities. A good mellow day enjoying the World Cup final and lots of good fresh food.



Take a cool shower or bath to help cool down. Using products that contain mint (like Rejuvenation) will make you feel cooler because of the natural menthol present in the essential oils. Bust mostly try and stay relaxed, stay cool, and drink plenty of water. Remember your furry friends and put out an endless supply of water for your pets, and even the wild birds would enjoy a cooling bird bath!

I have been working in the shop, and on the computer updating the web site, blog, and newsletter. Luckily the air conditioning is on and I have been comfortable. Today dad went and did the farmer's market by himself, and we will go out later to pick up some supplies.

I have not been running- we have had air quality alerts every day and I can feel my chest tighten just as I go out to get the mail. Better safe than sorry. So even if the heat doesn't bother you, take this time to check on your neighbors, especially the elderly and ill. Get to know them by bringing over some iced tea or lemonade- it is a nice gesture without seeming too intrusive.

But it will be a while before this heat really lets up, so take care of yourselves!


Last week was a good week

Last week was a good week. Our best sales yet at all three farmer's markets combined with a 4th of July Celebration in Pottstown meant that we were busy little beavers.

The show in Pottstown isn't one that we will be back to next year. The crowd during the day didn't buy at all- and 1/2 of the shows profits were in the last hour and from only two sales.

C got home on Saturday so the family had two days to spend together and get caught up on things around the house. Sunday was spent cooking and eating, a great grilled meal, and Monday was more cooking and stocking the freezer with food.

We also held down and shaved the cats belly. She has long hair and is getting old, so it gets matted down more than I would like it too. I wish she liked being brushed, but she doesn't. So now she looks funny and is not a happy camper.

I started a new knitting project- finally gave up on on and ripped it out and started with the same yarn on something else. Some projects are just not meant to be. I think I will try the pattern again someday, in the winter, when I have time to concentrate a little more.

It has been crazy hot here and we have had some air quality alerts. So I haven't been running. Breathing already feels difficult so no need to make it harder by adding exercise. But I have been doing some gardening each morning while it it still cool out. I got the landscaping all weeded and the vegetables are all staked up and watered. Even harvested some more cucumbers.

Well I must be off. Got a dentist appointment this morning. Time to get my teeth cleaned :(


Couch to 5K- Week 3- Day 2

Somehow I feel farther behind, yet a little ahead, all at the same time... let me see if I can explain...

First- the intervals- 5 minute warm up walk (done)- 90 second run (ran 75 seconds)- 90 second walk (done) 3 minute run (walked it) 3 minute walk (done) 90 second run (ran 70 seconds) 90 second walk (done) 3 minute run (ran 1 minute, walked 1 minute, ran 30 seconds, walked 30 seconds) 5 minute cool down walk (done).

What I can say is this: I RAN my runs. I felt like I was going faster than ever. I passed walkers and thought I looked like a runner to them. My knee felt great (will try without the brace on Friday). Before I felt like I was always going the same speed but was just bouncing more during some of it, now I felt like I was running.

Now I took a week off and I am really proud of myself because I actually started up again. I just need a few weeks to keep at it. I had a few moments where my chest was very tight and I was coughing some, but I overall feel that this weeks program is doable for me. It may take me a month to get strong enough both physically and mentally, but I think I can do it eventually.

My foal for Friday is to run...completely run, both 90 second intervals. Then I can build from there.


I'm Baaaaack

I have been gone for another week visiting my mom and C. It was some wonderful time away and probably the last I will get until at least September. Show season is really heating up and with the farm markets I am busy about 5 days each week at shows, plus the other days in the workshop.

Dad and I are trying to take Mondays and Tuesday to do non shop things. This includes paperwork, gardening, the lawn, finishing the new bathroom, and grocery shopping (just to name a few things), then Wednesday-Sunday one or both of us has farm markets, craft shows, and days making things in the workshop. Every Friday we try to make an inventory and plan of attack for the next week, and every Monday we try and rest a little in order to have enough energy for the week ahead.

Since I got back I have been doing lots of paperwork, blogging, web updates, postage, supply ordering, and picking dozens of cucumbers from the garden. When I left they were the size of my thumb, when I got back they were bigger than my hand. I made my first batch of pickles, and didn't even bother to process them because I know I will be eating them all in the next few weeks. I harvested my garlic- the largest are the size of a baseball!

The plants I purchased for the front years that I thought would run out of space in about two years have run out now and I have loads of repositioning to do out front now. I am trying to work a few hours each morning while it is still cool outside and get caught up on the yard work. It will take at least a week!

Finally, I need to get back to running. I took a week off and need to start again. It would be easier for me if I would just keep on a schedule, but every time I stop and restart I am proud of myself, I usually just stop... and don't start again. So tomorrow I try to continue with Week 3. And will try not to get discouraged!


Couch to 5K- Week 3 Day 1

It was supposed to be Week 2 day 2 redux... but I had synced my IPod and forgot to e sure week two was checked to sync. so when I went to run when at my Mom's.. all I had was week 3... so I went for it...

First, it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I am kinds glad I did it. It will take me a few weeks to get it, becaue the three minute run is daunting for sure.

The first interval is 90 seconds and I DID IT!!! Then I rest for 90 sec and the second interval is 3 minutes. I probably ran about 1 out of the three before I had to stop. My chest was really tight and I mostly feel it as a stabbing pain in my back and shoulder. So I walked the rest and the rest interval of 3 minutes too. The third running interval is 90 seconds again, I ran about 1 minute of it and walked till the fourth interval where I was supposed to run 3 minutes, but I ran 1, walked 1, and ran the last minute.

I figure that the whole trip including warm up and cool down was a little over 2 miles.

So far no knee pain since starting to use the brace. My right calf is a little tight and I keep trying to stretch it as ften as I can remember.

BTW.. I like the scale at my mom's better than mine at home. Not sure which one is accurate, but hers says I weight considerably less than I thought...


Bethlehem Farmer's Market- Week 1

What a WONDERFUL market.


Lots of food
great sales
saw lots of customers I have seen at craft shows before
cute alpacas & yarn!!!
set up/tear down was easier than I thought it would be
free parking
access to a real potty
great music

Right now I can't really think of any cons... I am just so excited on how great it went. Maybe next week I will have some things to work on:)

Couch to 5K- Week 2- Day 1- redux

OK, so it is my second try at week 2. I bought a knee brace and used it for the first time today and it seemed to work well. No pain.

I ran 1/2 of the first four intervals and walked through the fifth and sixth. But I can feel myself getting stronger. I am walking faster and probably running faster too. I did my usual circuit almost twice before the end of the cool down period. That is quite a bit farther than I was run/walking just a week ago. So I feel good that what I haven't gained in running stamina I seemed to have gained in overall stamina and am going more miles than before in the same amount of time.

Saturday I run when at my moms. The first hill is a bit much but that should be my warm up walk and the rest is quite flat.

I am proud of myself for going out there after the last run was such a heartbreak. I actually missed the exercise and I overall feel stronger and more healthy. I find myself being more conscious of my eating habits (especially on run days) and have lost about 5 lbs so far. I am just barely under the 170 mark now and I really believe that this is making a change in me that I have been looking for for quite a while.


Plaza Growers Market Week 1

Hopefully it was just a mix of it being the first week and impending rain, but sales were terrible. I saw a few friendly faces and made 3 or 4 small sales, but most people were looking for food and snacks or weren't prepared to have the market start this week. Very few people even came by to look or sniff. I have to admit I was very dissapointed, especially after my sucess at the Bath Farmer's Market.

I know that I can't base the whole season on the first day... but...dissapointing is the word that describes the day :(


Couch to 5K- Week 2- Day 3

I feel like I am going backwards. I just didn't have a good day today. I tried running in a local park and hated it. Just bland, and worried about my car (had left my keys in it so I didn't have to carry them) and decided to run the "upper loop". Should have known that the word "upper" meant there was a big ass hill to climb to get to it.

I ran most of the first three intervals and tried to start the fourth. Just couldn't. It was so humid that the swat was just pouring off of me and I felt like I was breathing water. So I gave up and stopped. It was over 1.5 miles, so I figure that when I do the entire routine I run/walk about 2/5 right now.

I'm gonna see what the weather is like tomorrow and maybe try again, but definatly Wednesday for sure.

Best in Bloom Festival, Emmaus PA June 12-13

1) extremely cheap to participate in
2) extremely local, just a mile or so from the house
3) great location- in front of the bike shop, near the farmer's market
4) music on Sunday (and they were fans of my soap already!)
5) sales were not bad, Sunday was better than Saturday
6) real bathrooms (could use the one in the bike shop)
7) good foot traffic due to the coffee crowd at the shop and the farmers market

1) sales were slow and came in spurts... almost nothing until the last hour on Saturday
2) Sunday was oppressively hot and rain started around 2
3) Farm market runs 10-2, show 11-3... should be the same times I think
4) Way too spread out. Local businesses sponsor an artist to be in front of their store, and there needs to be more, or they need to be concentrated better. My nearest neighbor was a block away.
5) needs more/better advertisement. Not even a banner hung over Main Street. No one knew why we were even there!

Overall: on the list for maybe next year... like to participate in local, and it wasn't terrible, just long and hot, and near the road so you suck traffic fumes all day.


IndieMade Craft Market- June 12th

Lets start with the pros...

1) there were three soapmakers and I still almost made 10x my booth fee!

2) goodie bags that are given out make for a busy opening and start to the show

3) real bathrooms

4) pretty good live music all day

5) plenty of space between booths, and booths are 10x10

6) outside, but under cover, only the worst driving, horizontal rain could impact the displays and maybe not even that

7) three new possible shows from people scouting for crafters

8) volunteers to help you load in :)


1) one of the hardest load in/outs I have done in a LONG time. One ramp, through a building (two doors to get through), into a second building, and then all the way across the ice rink. LONG WALK... with a dolly...that is heavy...I am physically sore from the day.

2) I think the show runs a little long, it could probably end an hour earlier for sure

3) well run but not overly friendly. when I got there I had a goodie bag in my stand with water, an apple, and two granola bars, but no one came by to check on me all day or to formally introduce themselves as part of the promotion team.

4) no volunteers to help you load out

5) after about 10 loads to the car and back, a few vendors were allowed to drive into the ice rink and load directly into their vehicles. This choice was never extended to me, even after a few people who seemed related to the show commented on how many trips I had to make. I feel like I was doomed by my own preparedness, and if I didn't have such a good (or any) hand truck, I may have been able to drive in and load out much easier.

Overall thoughts:

I will apply to the December show which I am told is much more busy with foot traffic. I would do this spring show again, but only with help to load in and out. The show itself wasn't busy enough to need two people to sell, but it certainly needs two people for load out especially.


Couch to 5K- Week 2- Day 2

So I took a bunch of time off.. my knees were killing me! When I got go run again I couldn't decide if I should go back and do week 1 again, or press on with week 2. I decided to press on with week 2.

The morning was bright and crisp, and I was running on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. I had planned on using the treadmill, but the gym wasn't open yet and I didn't want to wait or pay the spa fee just to use the treadmill. So I made it down to the boardwalk. I ran 45 sec-1min of each of the 6 90 sec intervals. The first I almost finished, and the rest I could tell I had taken too much time off.

But my knees didn't hurt before or after the run, or the next day. I will try again on Monday... week 2 redux... and I think I need to find a place to run with less hills.


Morgan Log House June Craft Fair

This show is TINY. And besides that the weather seems to impact it every time I have gone there. This Sunday we had a tornado watch and only half the vendors even showed up for the craft fair (there was only supposed to be 12 to begin with). Then some of the demonstrators didn't show (boo to the smithy people who didn't come!, and volunteers were late or nonexistent.

Dad was a trooper. He went and set up, put up the tent sides in case of rain, staked the tent down good and then just held on for the ride. Of the six or so that did come a few didn't have tents, and the person next to us had a tent that was so jury-rigged that it was actually dangerous. It blew over once, sending the screwdrivers used to hold it together into the air as shrapnel. Luckily no one was hurt.

His first sale of the day was pretty good. About 1/4 of the days sales. Then there was a big sale, that we knew was coming, because D had warned me that she wanted a mess of bath fizzies and that I needed to send enough down for her, (that was 1/2 the days sales) and the rest dribbled in here and there.

The vendors without tents were the first to go, then the other slowly started to pack up. When dad realized he would be there all alone, he made an executive decision and packed up too. The day was not lost, but this show is not growing as I had hoped it would be doing. Another one in August I think, then I will have to decide about next season or not. We will have to see how it goes.


Art in the Park- Kutztowm PA

I did not do all that bad. But certainly not good enough to go back next year. Sales were very slow (I averaged less than 1 sale an hour). It is not managed all that well, one person came by and didn't bother to introduce herself, I didn't even know she was someone running the show until another crafter told me she introduced herself to them. There is also a concession booth for food and drinks and it doesn't open untill the baseball games get going, but no one bothered to tell us, so at lunch time it looked like there was no place to get food. B's husband left to get them lunch, only to find the concession stand open about an hour later.

Upside: real bathrooms :)

So this is another one on the list of places not to go again next year. That list is getting pretty long already....bummer...


Couch to 5K- Week 2- Day 1

So Tuesday after I ran last my knees hurt. Wednesday they really hurt, and Thursday they were just sore. So I decided to run today since when I woke up they didn't hurt at all. But now I feel like I was more held back by my legs than my lungs today.

See, when I was really really little my feet stuck out like a duck. The doctors put me in shoes that looked like they were on backwards and stuck a bar between my shoes. It was supposed to being my feet where they belonged. I still tend to walk a little funny, and my legs kinda turn out a little. Then when I was in middle school I dislocated one of my knees. So I have never had really good luck with my legs. So I am thinking of going to the running store in town on Sunday and asking about knee braces or of they have any suggestions that wont cost me a mint.

Anyway, I got up really early because we have an air quality alert today starting at 9 am. I could see the haze and feel it even at 6 am when I ran. I am glad I didn't wait any longer to get out.

So today is the start of a new week. 6 intervals of 90 seconds each, with a 2 minute rest walk period between them. It starts with a 5 minute warm up and ends with a 5 minute cool down.

I walked the warm up and my knees were a little stiff. I ran both the first and second intervals, and half the third and fourth before they got truly sore. So I walked intervals 5 and 6 and most of the cool down, but I was home, so I decided to stop where I was.

I am really proud of making it the first two intervals and I feel if I can get a handle on the sore knee issue I will be able to breeze through this week faster than I expected. It may not take me 6 tries to complete it!

But the weekend is for rest. No running till Monday. And maybe some ice on my knees.


Mayfair Festival of the Arts 2010

What a wonderful weekend! The weather was great except for a few showers on Friday. Dad came and helped all weekend and even opened up for me a few days- Saturday so I could be at the Woodsong Hollow Farmer's Market and Sunday so I could have lunch with C and spend some time with him.

Thank you to everyone who was patient and kind to him as he gets used to helping customers at a busy show. He really loves the feeling of community and support you all show me and showed him as well.

Sales were up 36% even though I had competition in the form of another soapmaker. Overall I thought crowds were smaller, but those who came seemed to be buying more. There were few artisans, only like 50, but the show is dedicated to having a small show full of good artisans rather than a large show full of mediocre artisans. We are all hoping that the show will grow as we do better and better each year. Both in the number of artisans as well as the number of attendees. I know I will be back next year!

Couch to 5k- Week 1- Day 3- redux

I DID IT!! I can go on and try week 2 now. OK, I cheated, I stopped 10 seconds early on my fifth interval. I am not proud of that, and if I knew there was only 10 seconds left I may have been able to push through. But I RAN all the intervals. My walk may have been slow at times, and my run not too fast at times either, but I did the whole work out and I feel great!

I was supposed to run yesterday, but five days on my feet at Mayfair had done me in. I was tired and sore. I tried to run after the show closed but it was starting to rain and I don't have a waterproof case for my i pod yet.

So in two days- Thursday, I will start week two. It will probably take me a few weeks to do that one as well, but right now that is the last of my cares!

I also was told about first strides by a friend who is a mentor there. They meet on the parkway on Allentown starting in August and increase their running by 10% each week, and at the end of the training program the run a 5K. I figured by August I will either be finished with or pretty far along in this program and I may join that one when it starts.

OK, I am off too shower. I am pretty gross and am dripping on the keyboard. Cheers!!


Couch to 5k- Week 1- Day 2- redux

I ran to the High School and back. Uphill. Bothways... seriously...
The road I took has a long hill on it, it was my warm up walk and the first three intervals. The way down was interval four and by the end of the cool down I was turned around and on my way back up hill again until interval eight and the cool down walk.

Good news... I RAN the first FIVE intervals. I started to run the sixth but stopped after about 15 seconds and walked until interval seven began and I RAN intervals seven AND eight!! That is 7 out of 8 interval ran!!! Much better than I had hoped for! I really had to push myself at the end, and starting to feel a blister form didn't help. But I have the next two days off to recuperate and heal. Might need to put a bandage on that blister on Monday.

I woke up stuffy and with a head ache. I really had to push myself to get out of the house today, but I did it. And now I just have a headache, but not as bad as it was. I have to read about proper breathing while running, I think I can do something to do better at that.

OK, off to weed the garden and then take a shower. I am dripping all over my keyboard.


Mayfair Festival of the Arts

Come on down to the Mayfair Festival! I set up yesterday and am in space #44, that is the LAST craft booth before you head over the bridge to lakeside.. or the first booth after the bridge (if you are heading the other way).

Dad and I set up yesterday and it went quite swimmingly. There is some construction on the Ott Street bridge and even some in the park itself, so there is some driving/parking crapola to deal with.. so don't let it discourage you!

We are supposed to be having some wonderful weather (over the long weekend) and I am looking forward to the first real big show of the season! See you there!


Couch to 5k- Week 1- Day 1- redux

OK, so i just started my second try at doing the Week 1 work out. It is just about 20 degrees cooler here in PA than it was in PR and I really think that the temperature and humidity difference made a big difference in how successful I was today.

My goal was to finish the first three intervals- I powered through the first FOUR and 45 seconds of the FIFTH. The rest I walked. The terrain here is much more hilly than in PR and I could feel the burn on the hills. I liked having better geographic goals here too. I could estimate 60 seconds as making it to the next stop sign, or next parked car, and usually I overestimated and got to stop before I expected to. My legs twitch a little after today's work out and that is new.

I weighed myself yesterday- no change from the week before, but my legs do feel slimmer in some places so we will check again after this week. It is gonna be a slow change I think.


Home and Overwhelmed

I am home.. and I am frantic.. ok, not frantic, but I certainly have enough thing son my plate to keep me busy for a while.

I have to set up Mayfair tomorrow, and finish getting dad's display ready for the farmer's market. We need to pack stuff for him to take and things he needs like bags and fliers. I have orders through the co-op, and through the web site. I have laundry to do, things to unpack, a blanket to block, a garden to weed, and a general pile of other paperwork to take care of.


OK, I'm a little better now after the scream...

Oh, did I mention I have a wedding to finish making things for and a special order to make up too??? MUST...STOP...THINKING....


Couch to 5K- Week 1- Day 3

Yep, I'm gonna need to do this first week again to get my lazy body into some kind of shape.

I ran the first two segments, the first was no problem, the second I was a little tight chested after. I made it through about 40 seconds of the third segment, 30 seconds of the fourth and 30 seconds of the fifth. 6-8 were just walking as well was the cool down.

I was pretty proud that I could even start the third segement this week, and my goal next run is to be able to finish it.

I tried using my inhaler before my workout. Doc had recommended trying it. I never have tried it before because I think my doctor is a moron. And it didn't help me either this time. I was still tight after the second interval, and by the seventh I even had a funny taste in my mouth, and kinda felt light headed for a few seconds along the way as well. This may or may not be from the medicine, but I think I will continue to not use it before the workout from now on.

It was another high humidity day- 79% and felt like 90 by the time I got out to excercise. The weather just hasn't been with me this week. I am looking forward to an early am on Wed back in PA where it will be cooler at least.

So I try again in a few days, I see a progression, very slow, but a progression. I feel a little different already in my hips and waist. Doubt that with all the good food here that I have lost any weight, but we will see when I get back to a working scale.

Running is much more mental that I thought it would be. You get to a point where you want to stop, but the thing is to push through just a little bit longer. I seem to want to stop at 45 seconds, the trick is to remind myself I am almost done and can go just a few seconds more. Some intervals I can do that, some the pain in my chest is to strong to ignore. I need to get stronger mentally as well as physically.


Couch to 5K Week 1- Day 2

So it is not any cooler today than it was on Wednesday. 82 degrees with 76% humidity feels like 88 degrees. Given the fact that PA is currently 63 degrees I think that next week when I get home this program may be a little easier on my body.

I walked the warm up 5 minutes and ran (yes ran!!!) the first and second intervals! All 60 seconds of them. I was quite winded and my chest/back was tight so I walked through the next interval and its recovery period. Intervals 4 and 5 I ran most of (about 45 seconds each) and then I walked the rest, including the cool down period.

I certainly wasn't as red as I was on Wednesday. Bright pink, but not red. I also seem to be coming back to normal quicker today too. I feel like I could have pushed 30 seconds or so out of intervals 7 and maybe 8, but I am resigned to take this slow and I was pretty proud of my accomplishments already.

I am also trying my yoga after the work out today to see if the stretching after helps keep any soreness down. I also skipped it trying to get out of the apartment before the temperature rose any higher.

Got one more day to do this while here (Sunday) and then will most likely repeat week one again when I get home, because I doubt I will be able to run all 8 intervals on Sunday, and even if I did, I would need some more practice before going further.


Couch to 5K- Day 1

So i am trying to do the Couch to 5K excercise plan. K sent me a link to a cool podcast that tells your your intervals so you don't have to watch your watch. C bought me a nano and new running shoes...

For those of you who don't know what it is.. basically it is a 12 week excercise/running program that is supposed to get you off your couch and running a 5K. Now I am a little challenged with this... other than some sports in High School, I have never been a runner and a few years ago I got real sick and have had some mild asthma symptoms ever since, especially when excercising. But I decided to give this a go anyway, even if it became the 24 week excercise plan or 52 week for that matter. I just want to build some stamina in my lungs, some muscles in my legs, and maybe as a side effect, loose some fat.

So I started today...It is 80 degrees out and 87% humidity, making San Juan feel like 87 degrees at 9 am. Probably not the ideal conditions to start a running program, but hey, it will seem easier next week when I am back in PA, right?

At home I started with 20 minutes of light yoga/stretching.. The the 5 minute warm up. Intervals of running for one minute and recovery walking for 90 seconds. I couldn't even run the full 60 seconds (more like 45-50) and I only did the interval 4 times (not the 8 I was supposed to), but I walked it all and most of the cool down period too. I am hot, flushed, and thirsty. But I feel like I acomplished a lot for my first try. My lungs got tight and I coughed a few times, but the recovery walks seemed to do just that- let me recover.

If my legs don't hurt I may try again tomorrow for a few intervals, or I may rest like the program suggests. I will be really happy when I can at least do this weeks plan ...baby steps!


May 15- Arts Alive! Quakertown PA

UGH, what a horrid little show. OK, maybe I am over reacting. Maybe horrid isn't the right word...lets see here...bad doesn't describe it well enough, terrible doesn't fit either.. sucky.. that is it.. what a sucky little show.

So after 1 pm, about half way through the show I checked with some crafter friends- a beadweaver, a photographer, a potter, and a wood worker. All of us had either just barely made our show fee, or didn't even make that. It was across the boards a terrible sales day. I had a few sales right at the end that pulled me past my show fee, and further than I thought was possible, but by no means did I have a good day. When comparing it to the night before at the farmers market I seriously only made 50 cents more today. And it was double the amount of time.

So onto the positive....
1) the customers were great. I didn't have many, but the ones I did have were a pleasure to serve. No grumpy cutomers here for me.
2) the show promoters were not too bad. many come around to introduce themselves. They handed out a packet with information and a pen. They were easy to find and well marked (they had on certain shirts)
3) Not too many buy/sell/junk booths. most of the arts and crafts were well made and made by hand. not all, but most.

I can't say that I won't be back next year. Who knows what financial situation I will be in and I did make some profit. But to be honest, I will most likely try something else this weekend. It would hard to do worse.

Bath Farmer's Market- Week 1

It was the first week at the Farmer's Market. Boy do I have a lot to learn. First, I need a smaller set up for these events. Good thing I have some new displays on the way. I need to get down to two tables, not the four that I usually use. It just takes too long to set up and tear down. I also have to set up in a way that I can get away without using the tent sides except in the most extreme weather. That shouldn't be too hard most weeks, but on bad weather days I need to put the two tables in the center and go from there.

But we got very good feed back and I love the prospect of being able to do lots of special orders. I spoke with on woman who is vegan and talked about the fact I can make any of my soaps without milk for her, and another wants a special scrub and will look up what the ingredients I need, a third wants nag champa so I need to track down my samples of that fragrance for her. These special orders really allow me to be creative and to test out and learn new things. It really is one of my favorite things to do.

Sales were stronger than I expected and although we left an hour early due to rain, it was a very good day. Dad will be there next week and the week after then I will be back for a few weeks with him. I really like this Farmer's Market stuff, I should have been doing this all along :)


Certified Soapmaker!

The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild (HSMG)is developing and implementing a soapmaker certification program. The Guild undertook this activity to encourage and promote the highest professional standards among HSMG members. The Program also presents criteria by which members can measure their soap making knowledge and skill, creates a centralized repository for industry-standard information and resources, and provides a communication venue for members to share their expertise.

The Certification Program benefits the handcrafted soap making industry as a whole by establishing an industry-wide standard of excellence in soap making. Achieving these certifications will benefit the member as it demonstrates dedication to professional standards and builds credibility with customers.

The exams are offered only to HSMG members and are entirely voluntary

I have taken and passed my first two exams with flying colors! I am certified in both CP/HP (Cold and Hot Process) as well as MP (Melt and Pour or Glycerin. There is also an advanced and master level for both processes. I start studying for the advanced level next week and will need to submit soap samples with my exams.

Happy Belated Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday. I got the best gifts of all- first and foremost, C stayed home with me! There are many years he has to travel on my birthday, so the chance to sit and hang out with him all day was just awesome! Dad got me a card, and Mom sent me a text. I am very close with both my parents, so there need not be a huge Birthday thing, I actually prefer it if there isn't.

My Rav friends all posted me Happy Birthdays and a day filled with yarn. It wasn't totally filled with yarn (I got to knit some), but it was filled with some cool gifts. I got an I-Pod Nano in orange, with a case that can strap to my arm when I go for walks, and I got a new pair of walking shoes, and some new t-shirts. Last night I started downloading podcasts I want to listen to including the Couch to 5K workout.

We also went to lunch at a new place called Bamboo (on Cedar Crest). It is now my new favorite sushi place. Great stuff. Different stuff. I love soybean wrapped rolls, and one was topped with mango, yum!

Today B is bring me to Vanity Fair with her (I need socks and stuff), lunch, and then to the movies. It was planned for yesterday in case C had to be out of town, but postponed to today, so I get to celebrate my birthday for two days!


May 8-9 Downtown Bethlehem Fine Art Show

I hate to love this show. Yes, I know that doesn't exactly make sense, but I love this show- it is local, there are great artists, the location is nice, the price to be there isn't too expensive, and sales are usually pretty good.

And I hate this show... I don't think it is managed all that well and it has been windy (dangerously windy) the past few years. It really needs a location change. My vote is to move it down the hill into Historic Bethlehem kinda where Musikfest is held.

Last year the wind kept me away on Sunday. This year the wind kept me away on Sunday. This years my sales were better than last year. Two years ago, when the weather was beautiful, I had great sales. So the show has some major potential, some great history, the ability to be just wonderful. But I hate it when it is windy. And I love it when it isn't.

I will apply again next year. I will hope for better weather. Hope for that miracle. And I hope that everyone who stuck it out today did really, really well. But my gut says that I doubt it :(


May 2- Chestnut Hill Home & Garden Show

I had an average day. Sales were not as string as I had hoped them to be, and given the pricey entrance fee, honestly I expected them to be a little better. But the sales for the day were average.

The weather held off and the day was just plain hot and sticky. Unseasonably warm for this time of year. But we are in a great place, under some shade trees in front of a park which gives us some great cross breeze. It never got too windy and we didn't even bother to put the sides on the tent, which is very rare for us when there is even a hint of rain in the forecast. C was with me, which always makes a show better, and he hunted down some chicken salad for me for lunch. I drank my free coffee, and should have ordered it decaf, because I was buzzing for most of the day!

I had some very sweet repeat purchasers from previous years, and I always appreciate it when they announce themselves- "oh good, I am glad I found you, I was looking for you!" always boosts sales. Quite a few new faces too which is great.

Last year this show was rained out and delayed, I think if I can get a good two or three years of good weather my sales will increase and this will go from an average show to a really good show. I just need the repeat customers to keep on bringing in new customers and for new customers to brave the weather (heat or rain) and come on out and shop. But for now, this show is in the "try again next year" pile.

May 1- Heckler Plains Folklife Society Herb, Flower & Craft Show

What a treasure of a show! Now, not everyone did as well as I did, it may have been the location so close to the herbs for sale, or the spring breeze carrying the smell of the soaps all over the field, or just plain luck... but for a very inexpensive show I did very, very well.

Dad came with me for the first time and it was a great experience for him. He got practice with the cash register at a show that wasn't too busy or too long, but we had enough customers for some real practice.

They do another show in August, a little more expensive (but not by much) and I think we will try to be there if we can (I need to look at the show schedule.

I would say that it was a prefect day!


Washington County Fiber Tour

This weekend I went to visit my mom and we went to the Washington County Fiber Tour. There was approximately a dozen farms on the tour and we we saw 9 of them. It was a beautiful day to drive the countryside, stop and see the adorable animals, learn about where some fibers come from, and the care of fiber animals.

I will admit, I think that I would have enjoyed the tour more if I was a spinner. There was not as much yarn as I had hoped there would be available. Although there were Angora rabbits in two places, I did not see any yarn (there was spinnable fiber at one place). I still got three wonderful skins that mom bought me for my birthday.

We got to meet some brilliant people, who take excellent care of their animals and are extremely knowledgeable about their care and breeding. If there is anything like this in your area, I totally suggest going, it was and amazing day.


Wonderful Day...

I spent this afternoon at the Co-Op's Open house. It was pretty wonderful. It wasn't huge, but it was very well attended. I love to get to meet other producers and both members and non-members. The rain stayed away and it didn't get too cold until late afternoon. I got some great leads on other places to sell and some good insight on where not to.

Now I am home, trying to warm up, and starting some paperwork I need to get done.


The Cat's Have Forgiven Me...

So now I can really consider myself home. Took them about 4 1/2 hours before I got any love, and purrs, any attention at all. That is what I love about cats, they hold a grudge. I have to be on my best behavior around them or I get punished and have to sleep alone.

What a trip! It started out with the guy behind me (in first class) taking his shoes off and propping one between the seats, so close to me I was tempted to play "This Little Piggy". And having to listen to him hit on the flight attendants like it was 1975 and he was expecting to become part of the Mile High Club.

The first day or so we had no electricity in the apartment. Then they decided to repave the streets around the apartment building. Loud, stinky, and did I mention I didn't have any electricity for part of this?? Oh, and the cable was out.. on tax day...that day I am actually trying to pay the government the money I owe them on time. That is the problem with being self-employed.. you always owe (self-employment tax...) And when I tries to go for a walk after they were done paving there were a million little sticky, gooey, tar pebbles everywhere. and they got into your shoes like rocks and made your feet black and sticky and all over gross.

My highlight was the spa afternoon with my niece. Manicure and reflexology massage. I am sure my nails won't last through next week since I have so much soap to make and gardening to do, but for right now my nails feel sexy in their nude polish and buffed cuticles. It has been years 9maybe like 5) since I last polished my nails. The reflexology was incredible. It amazes me how just some pressure points on my feet can make me feel like I have gotten a full body massage.

I came home today and the flight was uneventful except for the landing into Philly where for a moment the plane felt like it was going right and left rather than straight. It was an odd wobbly feeling. I could do without that feeling again.

So what did I do while I was away (other than my taxes).. Well the fun stuff (yeah, right) included fixing the web site, looking for quotes on car insurance, and ordering grass seed for the lawn. I also got to watch C do his taxes, work late, get stuck in traffic, and have an employee quit in him (he had a tough week). The real fun stuff included lots of knitting (two hats, two afghan squares, and a sweater front left side), the spa appointment, a trip to the busiest most insane Wal-Mart I have ever seen, a trip to home depot, a walk on the beach, and the failed attempt to go to a boutique that never seems to be open when it says it will be.

And off to work tomorrow. I will be at the Lehigh Valley Co-op Open House. This is kinda a practice craft show for me. Find the tables, the table covers, some of the displays, my box of show stuff and just hope I can get through without a huge list of things that I forgot to bring. That reminds me, I need to go to the bank and get change..better write that down before I forget it...

Hope I see you tomorrow!


Healthy Open House

HEALTHY OPEN HOUSE at 860 Broad Street, Emmaus on Sunday, April 18th, 12-5pm. Open to the public – all are welcome! Stop in and see all the services and programs they offer. Lectures throughout the day. Free food. Natural foods available.

The Lehigh Valley Food Co-Op is offering toxin free skin care, komucha, sauerkraut & sprouted grain bread cooking classes and wild food foraging, and lecture by Sal LaDuca consultant, baubiologist and electromagnetic relief specialist. I will be there selling my products, so come on over and get to sniff the new stuff before craft shows start!

Freedom Platia of The Sanctuary for Healing Therapies is offering free chair massage and herbal elixirs in the Buddha Lounge;

Dr. Merlin Haas & Donna Haas of Alternative Healthcare are offering nutritional response testing and heart rate-nerve express testing;

Lisa Baas of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine is offering pulse and tongue evaluations and facial diagnosis;

Dr. Scot Kocis of Chirowerks Wellcare is offering functional medicine testing – your unique pattern of imbalance;

Erica McHugh and Britt Tagg of Emmaus Yoga will be offering yoga demos and intro classes.


Easter is Over.. Less Thank One Month Till Craft Shows

It is less than one month now until my first craft show of the year. Things are really heating up here in the workshop and I only have about 1800 more bars of soap to make to get me through until October when I will need to stock up again for the Holiday season.

Today I am going to pick up shaving mugs and soap dishes from Bebe at Pleasant Springs Pottery. I love the fact that I have my mugs made by someone local and that I can help another artisan too. What is great, is that when a customer buys a shaving mug, it actually helps two people, not just one. It is a win-win purchase for sure.

I have been very lucky this month and C gets to be home 9 days straight!! We picked out the shower pan for the bathroom redo and tentatively chose a wall color and a toilet color. Saturday I go and travel with him again, which means I get to see him for a whopping 15 days this month. Pretty cool!

Well, I am off to send in show applications, get some donations out, and clean my car (now that it warm, it is a science experiment in the making).


Back again...

So after being at a beach in the Caribbean the last few months, this time it was a beach closer to home. And it rained both days I got to really see it. I got to visit my friend Sandy at her beautiful farm in Delaware. What a lovely place, what overwhelmingly lovely hospitality, and besides the rain, I have learned I just love this part of the country. Parts kinds reminded me of the area around Hilton Head Island, SC. I love how each town has its own beach, sometimes boardwalk, and certainly its own charm and personality. I could spend a week or more there just window shopping, and exploring the area.

I got to be friends with Mopsy, who's size and temperament really reminded me of Pimienta. I couldn't stop paying attention to her and even dreamed that she jumped into bed with me one night (but she didn't- the door was closed...)My stay was overall much too short and I hope that I get to go back again soon.

Of course as with every time you take a few days off you seem to come back to chaos. I had orders to bring to the co-op, supplies to pick up, and gift baskets to fill. Today I met with a new bride and finished up the plans for her wedding favors.

I also learned today that the pipe that runs to the outside faucet runs right through my workshop.. how did I learn this you ask?? Because while running the hose for the first time this season, we learned that the pipe had burst over the winter, and it filled my shop with about an inch of water in one area. Kinda put a damper on the days activities, and will impact soapmaking tomorrow too for sure, since everything had to be moved and dried out, and needs to be replaced tomorrow. I thought about taking pictures.. and decided it was too depressing... much worse than when I overflowed the sink last year.


Slower Lower Deleware

Tomorrow I get to go visit a great friend of mine in Delaware for a few days. I am hoping that the weather is good and that we get to have a bunch of fun. I am sure we will do the regular things- go to the outlets and the casino, but I also hope to get my first golf lesson in, take a ferry trip, see the boardwalk, and generally just enjoy each others company. S and I have been getting to be closer and closer friends over the years and we don't get to see each other much. It is hard with our life and craft schedules plus the distance between where we live. I wanted to stay longer but my obligations keep me from being able to, so that just means I will have to visit again soon.

I went over the soap making schedule yesterday and am very excited. I expect about 15 more days and I will be done till the fall.

Friday was a heartbreak day for me, it was the day I kept getting letters from craft shows not accepting me. I was declined from three. One because there were already too many soapmakers, and the other two just sent me form letters telling me they had too many people apply and not enough spaces. So I set out hunting for more shows and sent out an application to one, and have another to be sent out soon. There is a fourth I am waiting to hear from, and according to their application I should have heard by now. So now I have to bug them and also take a chance on double booking myself because IO have another show that same weekend with the application due. It just spins my head around to keep all this information straight.

I got a letter for Jury Duty.. I sent them a letter back, hope they let me out of it. It would be right in the middle of Mayfair...what a PITA that would be.


Why was I half naked at 2 am?? Not why you may think...

So last night around 9 pm I was exhausted. I had made 200 bars of soap that morning, did lots of research into health insurance and retirement plans for my dad (always such a fun thing to research), mailed out an order, went to the grocery store, labeled lotion bars, made up four gift baskets, did laundry, and started my taxes. I was mentally tired. So I went to bed. First I tried to watch some TV and realized that RuPaul's Drag Race was more interesting than this season's American Idol. So much for brain numbing entertainment.. on to Discovery channel.. boring... Animal Planet was about a bear attack, and NatGeo was telling and showing me about a child in (I think) China with a huge facial deformity (too depressing). So I tried the PBS channel. Not riveting entertainment, but not depressing.. so I set the TV to turn off in 30 minutes and tried to relax..

30 minutes later the TV turned off and I was wide awake. I tried counting backwards, forwards, and even reciting my abc's. Now it is 10, and I get up and check my email, bounce into Ravelry, and play a few games of cards. Back to bed...There I play solitaire on my cell phone and finally decide that something needs to be done. So I take a sleeping aid. It is 11 pm, I am expecting to be awake around 7am, with a huge void of time, no bathroom breaks, and no real dreams to remember either.

Instead I am yanked out of this sound sleep at 2 am by the cat.. who has decided to puke..on the bed..and more decidedly ON ME!! WTF???

I spring up, toss the cat onto the floor and take off my PJ top cuz it is pretty gross at this point. I take the comforter off the bed and put it in the corner of the room to be looked at better in the morning- can I wash it or does it need to be dry cleaned? The top sheet goes into the laundry basket, and upon inspection the bottom sheet is clean...

So I wander to the hallway closet for some new blankets. Have I mentioned we are remodeling our bathroom? Well, the pile of crap from the bathroom makes it almost impossible for me to open the closet door. I can open it enough to pull out two light blankets but not the extra comforter. I am still in a sleeping pill induced fog, and as I look back, I am amazed I just didn't get up and sleep the rest of the night in the spare bedroom, would have been a better choice...

Back to the bedroom with the two blankets. Put on a new PJ top- long sleeved because now I am cold, and flannel PJ bottoms. Curl up and go back to sleep..

Only to be awoken at 5 am by the same cat, on the same bed..this time disaster was averted due to a quick swipe of my feet sending her to the floor to make a mess.

So much for my sound sleep. And if you were driving around Emmaus at 2 am and saw some woman stumbling around her house without a shirt on.. well that may have been me..I realized this morning that some of the blinds were open...great....