Couch to 5K week 3 Day 3Second Try

So I wanted to run it outside and not on a treadmill. Not today.

I think I am more tired and dehydrated from the weekend than I think I was. But after halfway through the second interval I just couldn't do it. The sweat was pouring off of me and my lungs were screaming for mercy. So I walked the rest.

Will try again tomorrow. Or maybe even later tonight, when it cools down, and the humidity breaks.

I got in a good walk, so at least I didn't turn around and totally give up :)


WXPN Festival Day 3

If there is a god of crafts, she is a trickster god (eta: In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior) because only she would be sure that after three days in an oven, I would still have to pack and bring home a wet tent.

It rained about 1/2 hour before break down. Fun. At least it stopped before we had to load the van.

Sunday's sales were almost the same as Friday and Saturday combined. It was still hot, and I think more humid. Personally, I think two days in the heat was making us feel it more, but I found Sunday to be more uncomfortable than Saturday. Especially after it tried to rain the first time. That just made it more humid and sticky. I had trouble knitting for the first time all weekend because my hands were sweating that much.

Really this heat wave is the summer equivalent of a blizzard. There is nothing you can do about it and barely anyone goes out in it. I was lucky to have a chance to make some money and to make some customers happy.

The WXPN Festival itself was wonderful. We were checked on quite a bit, they made sure we had water, they warned us before wind and rain, and the show was bad by no fault of theirs. The music was great, there was plenty of promotion of the show. They did everything they could do right. They made load in and out as easy as possible, provided cold water and juices, and provided general moral support. This heat wave was an Act of God and nothing they could have done would have prevented it, or made it any better than it was. I don't want anyone to think I don't like the show or how it was run. I love the show, I just hated the weather.

But I am home and unpacked, getting ready to make soap and to catch up on sending out orders and doing paperwork. A good night's sleep is all I need to be back to my normal, perky self :)


WXPN Festival Day 2

OMG... This was they most uncomfortable day at a craft show EVER. In 11 years I have never been so miserable to sit at a show. We got there a little before 12 noon and it was already in the 90's and by 3 it was registering as 102 with a heat index of 106. Add to that the booth is on concrete, so the heat just reflects back at you, there is no shade at the back of the tent, there is this huge wooden bench in the space which makes sitting anywhere the most uncomfortable experience, and the breeze was slim to none for most of the day.

My neighbor brought his generator, so the wonderful silence I had on Friday between the uber loud musical acts was replaced by the drone of a generator, so now I can't enjoy hearing the main stage acts anymore. Now I know why they don't usually allow them, the whole place would be screaming with generator noise. He offered us a fan, but we knew all it would do is blow hot air, and honestly I hoped he would get that fact and turn the damn generator off.

All I can say is that the customers I had made it worth it. I have made my booth fee back, so the weekend is not a financial loss. The number of people who told me that they were hoping I was here so they could get more stuff was overwhelming. I made some new friends, saw some old ones, and loved that fact that I had time to chat and connect with people, that is a blessing of a slow show, lots of time to talk to everyone.


WXPN Festival Day 1

The heat was brutal! Let's just say that when we got in the car at 9 pm, it said 100 degrees, and we felt like it was sooo much cooler than than it was in the afternoon!

We arrived early, big, huge, monster thanks to Effie for arranging so that the craft vendors could set up early rather than making us wait till 11 am!! So we got there at 9:30 and were set up and out by 11 am instead!

It was already hot, that kinda hot where you don't really think straight. We had stopped at Wal-Mart to get sodas and waters for the cooler, and I had cooled down enough to actually be hungry, but my brain still didn't function enough to think straight about where to eat.

We settled on Uno's because they have a gluten-free pizza and I figured C could get something that would give him leftovers to eat if he was hungry after the show. We were both only satisfied with the food. You would think for a girl that never gets pizza that I would be jumping for joy, but I wasn't. I ate it all, it was good, but not good enough for me to drive to the closest UNO's at home (30 min). Which is odd because I drive 45 for a Trader Joes, and 30 for good ice cream so I am not opposed to a long drive for awesome food.

Anyway, after lunch we headed back to the hotel. it let C do some work, and I took a nap and generally rested. About 4 we headed out, out gas in the car and arrived at the show just in time for opening.

It was hot. Personally I think anyone who came out to the show (this includes us...) was a little crazy. I had actually contemplated that morning not even setting up, and that is the first time ever that the heat made me wonder about doing a show. I have skipped due to crazy rain, and even snow, but never heat. Sales were actually better than i expected and after 7 when the sun was going down, the breeze was picking up, and the temperatures fell a few degrees, there were actually quite a few people walking around and exploring the festival.

At 9 pm when we left it was still 100 degrees according to the car, oddly we had just ben commenting about how much cooler it was feeling out. Guess we just had a skewed sense of temperature by then.

Got another day today, but Noon-9pm so we will have to tough out the hottest part of the day. C rigged up a great tarp set up for some shade, and i hope the breeze picks up some because right now the air is still and humid. Wish me luck :)


Couch to 5K Week 3 Day 1 Second Try

I DID IT!!!!!!

So I am at the hotel this morning getting ready to go and set up for the WXPN Festival and I wanted to take advantage of the treadmill and the air-conditioned gym. Well, I got to use the treadmill, the gym is a little room with three machines and no air conditioning.

I overcame that, and ran anyway. Now I used no incline, and I think that I ran and walked slower than I do at home, since I didn't go as far distance wise, but I ran all the intervals.

I plan on doing this again Monday before I leave and will add a little incline and maybe try a little faster too. Then I can go on to week four!!!


WXPN Festival- Day 0

Ugh, It's gonna be a HOT one. Good thing I am down by the waterfront so we usually have a breeze of some sort.

I really hope that I do well. This show is on the chopping block this year. Not because I don't like doing it- I LOVE doing this show, but because it is a real PITA to do for us.

When C is traveling for work, I have to pick him up from the airport tonight, and then drive to the hotel, then set up and do the show Friday, show on Saturday, show and tear down on Sunday, and drop him back off at the airport Monday am before I come home. If he wasn't traveling we really would only need to stay away fro two days, but this year (like last) it's a four day stay, plus show fee, plus food and water. It's just an expensive show for me to do, both money cost and time cost.

So despite the 100 degree plus temperatures, I hope I do well. It's going to be so hot that they are allowing us to being a generator for the first time so we can run fans. We don't have one, nor will I rent one, so battery fans are it for us.

Wish us well and take care of yourself, its gonna be hot out there!


Oh the pain, or... the things I learned yesterday

Yesterday morning while loading some tent weights into my car, I caught my finger between two of them.. Instant blood blister.

First to any of my neighbors who heard me shout "Damn" about none times in a row yesterday morning, I apologize for my outburst. If it means anything, what was coming out of my mouth was MUCH more censored than what was going through my head.

Second, it is always a good idea to have emergency ice in the house. Like those bags you break and they cool, or the blue ices that STAY FLEXIBLE when frozen. I only had a block of reusable blue ice for my cooler. Rock hard and impossible to apply cold to a small digit like a finger.

Third, wrap said ice in a towel first. If you do not, the creaming pain from your finger will make you wonder if keeping the swelling down is worth the possible frost bite.

Fourth, it is hard to drive while wiggling in pain. I was leaving for a friends house right before the accident. I decided to go anyway. Not my shining moment, but at least she had flexible ice when I arrived.

Fifth, once said friend saves your butt with proper ice and towel, going on with your day will bring on periods of intense pain as the nerves in your finger go nuts. Also the pressure of going up into the Pocono Mountains will increase the pressure in the blood blister that has formed under your finger nail, thus will increase the pain. But coming back down and going home makes it feel much better.

Lastly, before bed load up on Tylenol PM or a similar over the counter drug. Kept me from waking up every time I moved my hand.

Oh and as a bonus... it will still hurt the next day, less, but enough to keep you from doing any real work for the day. I am still not sure if a doctors office visit is in order. I think it will go away on its own. I would like to avoid the nail piercing alternative, or the cost of someone telling me I am just fine.

And in case you are keeping track, yes today is supposed to be a running day, no I am not running, yes it is because of my finger. Yes I am officially a wimp. I can live with that title.


Couch to 5K week 3 Day 3

I shook things up a bit and went to my local park to run. It was already hotter than I wanted it to be when I got there, I had to drop C at the airport first. This is supposed to be a scalding hot week, so I need to be sure to get up and out early on Wednesday to run. Friday I will be in a hotel, so I can use the treadmill and enjoy the air conditioning.

Running someplace new is challenging. I loose the visual cues as to when I am almost done with an interval, so there are times where the running just seems to be a tunnel with no light at the end. But it is invigorating to make myself push through this and finally hear the postcast say that I completed an interval.

Interval 1: 90 sec: ran
Interval 2: 3 min: ran
Interval 3: 90 sec: ran 60
Interval 4: 3 min: ran 2 min

The last interval wasn't a consecutive two minutes, but I was happy that after stopping and walking I actually could get myself going again and didn't just give up.

Like I said before, another try on Wednesday and then treadmill on Friday. I think I can finish this week and go on to next week in just a few more tries.


Couch to 5K week 3 Day 2

So I changed my route. I found that the "killer hill" on the way back psychologically challenged me way too much. So Now I come home one road over. It still has a hill, but it is a gradual incline, not the short but intense 45 degree angle the other road has. I also figured that I can cut out the cul-de-sac that I go around because now I have to cut over one block (twice), and that is probably the same distance. I also think this route has more options for expansion as I run longer distances, I can weave my way from one street to another through the alleys and increase distance without having to go on main roads.

I didn't ruin as well as I has psyched myself up to. But I ran too hard right from the start. I need better pacing practice. I get excited and I run so hard that I can't finish the whole work out. I know I pushed too hard today because I felt nauseous part way through the first three minutes, and my shin hurts, and that only happens when I push too hard uphill.

Interval 1: 90 sec: ran completely
Interval 2: 3 min: ran 2:20
Interval 3: 90 sec: ran 75
Interval 4: 3 min: ran 60 sec

I try again on Monday. I think with the new route, and some speed discipline, I can do this!


Welcome to the Jungle....

Ok, it's not a jungle, it is just my garden, but it feels like a jungle! My garden is in three parts- the "main" garden, the "lower" garden and the "upper" garden. It used to just be the upper and lower, but this wear dad built new raised beds between the two, thus christening it the main garden. I was supposed to pull out the lower garden, but give me a chance and I will plant anywhere, so I got it planted before anyone got the chance to make me rip it out. And next year we hope to expand both the main garden and the upper garden, so then I can get rid of the lower garden without loosing too much harvest.

All together I have about 160 square feet (a 10'x16' equivalent). This doesn't seem like much, but when everything is going and needs care and harvesting at the same time it can get pretty overwhelming.

This week dad and I harvested squash, zucchini, and cucumbers, Swiss chard, and beets. I picked about 6 quarts of cucumbers, and we cooked and froze about 12 quarts of squash and zucchini (with more in the fridge to eat). Today I cooked about three gallons of chard and beet greens, most of which will be frozen as well most likely.

I also spent about two hours clipping back tomato plants gone crazy, and pulling off all the fruit with blossom end rot. This is my first time experiencing this and it is depressing to have half the harvest just rot on the vine. Luckily I think I know why it happened and how to keep it at bay next year. I gave gotten some alpaca poo, which is a great fertilizer, and will plant a little further apart next year. Luckily, the interwebz tells me that the end rot should only bother the first fruits, so I should still get an acceptable harvest this year. I hope.

Tomorrow I have to finish up the main garden, just some broccoli, peppers, and kohlrabi to harvest, an then start on the lower garden. It's also time for me to start thinking about the fall crops and what I should plant soon for that time of year. I also want to see what I can over winter- like kale, and turnips, and explore that, or yeah, and garlic too :)

So if you have any garden tips, or favorite things to plant, let me know. I am an adventuresome gardener and will try to grow anything once (except fava beans, I tried them twice and still got none)...


Running Again- Couch to 5 k week 3 day 1

So just before Kutztown I started week three of the program and I did pretty well.

Then there was 11 days without exercise, OK, maybe 12...13???

So now that I am back with my more regular schedule, I am back to running again. Yesterday I warmed up by just walking the route. It's pretty difficult to just walk fast, so I am kinda proud that I can run any of it.

I knew I wouldn't be as good as I was last time because of all the time off, but considering that, and my crazy allergies and stuffy nose, I think I did OK today. Certainly good enough not to feel like I have to start back at week 2.

Interval 1: 90 sec... ran it all, The post nasal drip was extremely annoying, and all the mouth breathing really tired me out fast.

Interval 2: 3 minutes: ran 2 minutes, walked the rest. Chest was burning by now and the pain between my shoulder blades was telling me to stop running or pass out.

Interval 3: 90 sec...ran 75 seconds. Started up the dreaded hill and just gave up.

Interval 4: 3 minutes... walked it all.

Now I am home, my nose won't stop running and the sneezing is constant. The pollen forecast for today is low, so either there is something that bothers me, and no one else, or it is all environmental: smog, dust particles, humidity, or a combination thereof. I bought a decongestant yesterday. Not sure if I need that or an antihistamine. Also started using my neti pot again and my saline breather. These things usually get me through the worst of my summer allergies.

I run again Friday-- goal: finish the first three intervals...


Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 9

I am really happy that I got to take part in this show. It was a really fun experience. I loved the opportunity to dress up, even though a few days were pretty darn hot.

The last day of the show wasn't that busy for me, but it was steady and we saw lots of friendly faces and I am ecstatic at the overall sales numbers for the week.

Load out was pretty easy. I can't believe we fit everything in the car. It was so packed I wasn't sure for a while if it would all fit. I don't know why it seemed much emptier when we went to set up, and we really didn't get too much while we were there. But although we had to push the seats up and were sort of uncomfortable on the way home, we made it. First thing to do today is to empty the van of all unnecessary items and to restock the unsold inventory.

I had a lot of fun getting to know Karen who was across from me. We knew each other in passing, but found out we really have a lot in common and I am sure we will be sharing pickling recipes and knitting patterns from now on.

I bought some of the most beautiful yarn while I was there, yummy pickles, and some herbs for the garden (couldn't pass those up for $1 each!).

I cannot believe the pile of laundry I have to do. Those big skirts take up so much room in the washer it will be two days before they are all done and packed away for next year. I will know in March if I will be at the 2012 show, and then I will have mom make me enough skirts for each day, get blouses, and shorts to wear under them too. My goal is not to have to do laundry the whole week.

Today is just catching up on life, bills, garden, emails, cleaning the house some, and getting to bed early. Also will go to knit night tonight and catch up with the girls I haven't seen in a few weeks. Hope I don't fall asleep in my knitting!

Today I also hope to get back on track eating properly and getting some exercise. We will see about the exercise today, my feet and legs still hurt from standing on the pavement for a week.

Still lots to do, this is my second busiest time of year (next to Christmas) but nine days are done and I am ready for more!


Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 8

All better. All I needed was C to get home from a business trip, and get a good night's sleep.

The day started out slow but ended up my second best sales day of the festival so far.

Spent some time teaching a young girl in a booth nearby how to knit. She needs practice but I think she has the desire to keep trying.

Found some awesome yarn I want to buy tomorrow. Beautiful stuff that I just can't pass up.

Heat rash finally set into some kinda personal and uncomfortable places. Bummer....

The garden is overwhelming. It will be all week before I catch up on harvesting, trimming, and cooking it all.

Tomorrow is the last day and I think it is gonna be great!


Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 7

OK, I'm going to preface this post with telling you I probably should not be posting right now. I am not in a good place.

It finally rained.. mostly away from my booth for the duration, but a few drops here and there and a little wind.

So this was my worst sales day yet... (Still exceeded my minimum daily sale hope but about $30 bucks)...

Tired of the same food day after day packed in a cooler, eaten at less than optimal temperature.

Tired of the same two hours of music played over and over. I can sing all the lyrics now.

Moved my shaving mug display at the end of the show to avoid wind damage over night. Dealing with being short and in a sticky, hot, tight armed dress, I stepped on the sheet I was putting over it and dumped over the whole display. Lost most of the mugs and dishes...

Traffic sucked on the way home. Tired of construction and back up on 222. Took 45 min to get home.

Came home to a cranky father because his sales sucked because of the rain. I am having trouble practicing compassion for this fact right now.

Minimal food in fridge... have I mentioned I am sick of eating the same thing day after day?

Learned my email has been cloned again.. 235 undeliverable messages in my inbox. Turned it off for a few days. Now I have to change my email address and kill this one as soon as I can. Just ordered 1000 flyers and 5000 business cards, all with it printed on them. not sure what to do now.

OK.... There was a lot of good today too. I just can't think of any right now. Guess its catching up with me.

Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 6

Well it rained some today, but not for very long, less than an hour total. Luckily it rained in the right direction, so there was no wind driven rain into the stand. Supposed to rain more today, oh well, I hope that the wind direction is in my favor again.

I am sad. I am sad to say that I have heard a rumor that a church that has been at the festival for over 50 years and runs a food concession as a fundraiser may be leaving after this year because their pastor does not support the effort. He says there is easier ways to raise money. All I can say is yes, their may be easier ways, but maybe not better ways. The community outreach is priceless. If I am supposed to keep God out of my politics, then keep politics away from my God. Enough said.

Sold soap to a young woman visiting from Germany. She flies back today, and the soap goes with her. Hope she has a good flight and a happy reunion with her family she hasn't seen in six weeks.

I am amazed by the diversity of people who attend this show. I honestly expected a PA Dutch Fest to be very white bread America, but I see people of all ethnicity and races, from many countries, and tons of different states. It is great to see so many people interested in PA Dutch history and folklife.

Three more days left. I am not overly tired physically, but I am ready to move on. I get kinda bored after five days. I could never own a retail location as seeing the same four walls would get boring fast.


Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 5

It was the slowest day yet, but still not as slow as I feared it may be. I am averaging almost twice as much per day as my "this would make me happy" sales hopes.

Had my first crappy customer. Not bad for five days. And it was just that they kinda thought I was a hick because I don't live in a big city. And they voiced that they couldn't go back home smelling like any of my soaps because they live in said city and things are just different there.. yeah, right, like I haven't sold to anyone who lives in NYC before....

Also learned my cooler makes a bad ladder... now I have a concave cooler.

My dad rocks, he made soap today, cleaned the shop, and gardened...

Hope it doesn't rain tonight, tomorrow, or Friday. I would love a whole week of good weather.

Showers never feel better than after a hot day at a craft show.


Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 4

Sales were much better than I expected.

I learned how to keep my feet from hurting- don't stand on them so much.

Great place on site to get breakfast... lasts me most of the day.

My diet and eating schedule are right out the window right now.

So is exercising.

The heat makes me thirsty, and not hungry at all.

I think I am a wee bit dehydrated.

I am less tired than I expected to be.

Must get an outfit for every day, doing laundry mid week sucks.

Must get all my demo work to do together before the festival begins, doing it in the am sucks too.

Bit my lip the other day, it won't heal. Any suggestions?

Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 3

Today just felt loooong.... Customers some through quite steadily, and purchases are steady too, so I am never bored for long. But with an average attendance of about 15,000 a day, and a really large fairgrounds, the place never feels so stuffed with people that you can't move or enjoy yourself. There really isn't any lines for the bathrooms, and only the most sought after foods and things get a line and that's only really at lunch time too.

But today the day went really slowly. Maybe because I was hot, maybe it is just because it is day three and the longevity of this show is creeping in, maybe its because no matter what shoes I choose, they are uncomfortable by the end of the day....

But it is three days down, six to go and I am still thrilled to be here. Gonna be hot again tomorrow, but at least they are not calling for rain.


Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 2

This show is weird, but cool too. It isn't fast paced, everything seems to be one notch slower. I think that is the whole vibe of the festival, to go back in time, to celebrate a slower pace. No one seems to be in a rush, everyone seems more friendly. It is easy to have and keep a smile on my face all day and it is hard to find anything to complain about.

The show is well run, fabulously organized, and a pleasure to take part in. And my sales are strong, so I have nothing to complain about and nothing too exciting to even say.

One cool ting happened on Saturday... first let me say how friends are funny things, there are people I see all the time, but only consider acquaintances, but people that I barely ever see that I consider friends. People you can just pick up with right where you left off even though months or even years have passed. I consider my friend April to be one of those people. We don't see each other enough, and it is my fault. I let my busy schedule keep me from doing things and I use it as an excuse to sit home and be lazy rather than go out and do things and see people.

Saturday a lovely couple came up to the booth bearing gifts. It was April's parents and they had a bag of books, a heavy bag of books. Now there is love for you, to haul around books through this huge show, to give them to this woman you have never met, all for your daughter. So in this bag is a note from April, about how she had been collecting these books for me, but we haven't seen each other in a while, so she thought ahead enough to have her parents bring them to a show for me. WOW!!

So April, I hope you read this.. Thank You! And after this long, monster show, I will call and we can have lunch, and catch up. I am sorry I am such a bad friend, but I want you to know that I consider you a great one!


Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 1

OK, now I can truly say that all the jitters are gone. I have a day under my belt and now it will be all easy peasy from here. Sales were better than I expected them to be and the day was easier and more fun than I expected too. I met lots of new people and saw some friendly faces that I knew as well. It was a challenging but fulfilling day.

What have I learned so far....

Do wear shorts under your colonial skirt.. your legs will rub together, and you will be raw with out them...

Don't wear a t-shirt under your blouse. Contrary to your belief, it will not keep you from sweating through your blouse, so you can wear it twice. In fact it will make you sweat more...

It is fun to dress in costume, I wonder why I have waited so long to do it. It really does make you feel different, and the customers treat you differently as well.

It is not fun to go potty while wearing a skirt that has five yards of fabric in it. Enough said.

It is hard to recognize other crafters who are acquaintances when you are all in costume, and it is pretty embarrassing when it happens and you have no idea who they are.

Wear comfortable shoes.


On another note I haven't been running since Wednesday. I worked out on the Wii on Thursday but Friday I took off because of the set up, and Saturday had an air quality alerts and I don't run when I know I just have trouble breathing normally. Today it is raining... But I will get back on the wagon on Monday and keep going...I was thinking of running after I got home at night from the show rather than in the mornings, we will see how that goes...


Kutztown Folk Festival- Day 0- Set up

So I have been crazy nervous about this show. It is my first time as a vendor, and I always freak about booth set up and location, but I have also had the chance to freak about costumes, and having enough inventory, and what food I can pack and stay on my diet, and when I can get some time to excercise, and all that crud on top of my normal craft show jitters.

Today C and I went to set up. Easy Peasy... The booth is a little big, a 14'x14' corner. So I had room to add another table, use the large bath fizzy display I use at Chriskindlmarkt, and a new display I bought for shaving brushes. It took us a few tries to get it all figured out, but I think I have something that looks good, has good traffic flow, and is set up in a way I can logistically handle it by myself.

I have made a list of things I need to pack that I either forgot or need more of, and I have a few last minute things to take care of, but besides that I am all set, and now much, much more relaxed about it. Now its like any other show, get up, get dressed, put on your game face, and go to work.

OK, I am off. got laundry to fold, orders to get out, and stuff to pack... I am a busy lady this week and am super excited about it!!!