Saturday, November 29, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Driftwood Santa ornaments: I won!

Through one of those friend-of-a-friend situations, I occasionally read the blog of Tim Ayres, Sooke BC Realtor Extraordinaire. He posts bad MLS pics of the day and while some aren’t near as bad as the ones featured on It’s lovely, I’ll take it! Tim goes above and beyond to point out the technical whys of bad real estate listing photos.

So while some people were stuffed full of turkey, Tim was running a contest on his blog. We had to point out what was wrong with this photo. *shudders* The first time I saw it, I was stumped as to where I could even begin. Anyway! Turns out all us commentators won a very lovely driftwood Santa ornament for the holidays made by Tim’s lovely fiancee.

Can’t wait to see it! Thanks!

While I’m on the topic of holiday decorations, hopefully I’ll get around to my idea of writing up some blog posts with instructions for making some cute, quick and cheap Christmas decorations. All I’m doing is taking pictures of things I made years ago and putting them on the blog finally. Turns out I did quite a bit of neat stuff before I even started blogging. (and that’s coming up on ten years now, wow.)

Let it snow -green

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

My blog forgot me

Ever log in to your blog – I mean, try to log in to your blog, only to find out you’ve been forgotten? By this I mean, the login box has a ticky square to check to “remember me”.

And you know, my blog and I go way back (waaaaay back) but when I tried to go write a post about maybe how I’m to busy and boring to write a post and I’m sorry man, I’m sorry, okay? – that I find that even my blog has forsaken me and doesn’t remember me anymore, it can’t even countenance it. “Andrea who?” it asks?

I am having a tough day. This is just icing. Nothing specific, just not feeling like I rock, not getting enough stuff done, arguing with kids and husband, finding out there’s literally DOZENS of client emails of in a folder where I didn’t notice and now I have a bunch of people who thought I was just ignoring them all this time.

You know, the usual.

Can I rock tomorrow? Ron says it will be a new day. I’ll try then.

***

Overheard: “In two weeks it’ll be twenty years, think we’ll make it?”

Saturday, November 22, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

The weekend update

hey peeps, i was sitting here trying to decide how much I could squeeze onto Twitter when I realized, DUH, I has a neglected blog. huh.

Anyway. Today was the big craft sale day at the local community club / center that I was heavily involved in. We had a pretty good time, but it is snowing out there to beat the band, so the crowd was disappointing.

I did manage to take a few of my things, but did not sell one item. People did say they were nice, and well made though. some people had no idea what a tea cozy was. Humph.

I remembered I had a lot to do on the club’s website (no link because I’m embarrassed) and since I am not always in the loop of what’s going on, it was difficult for me to even think about updating the site with events. Then I had a brainwave: I was thinking it woudl be a great idea to write a blog post all about how to host a Christmas craft sale, and put it on the blog, but I think I’ll put it on the club site instead. So it can be a handy resource for anyone else, as well as a community hub of information. (and yes, think Google long tail, ad revenue and SEO… blah blah blah… short version is to make the club’s site pull in some money too.)

we rented tables, charged admission and had a draw for a lap blanket, plus sold tickets on two more blankets, and charged for drinks and sandwiches. we made $233+change, with $100 of that being table rentals.

I also bought Emma a pair of hand-knit mittens because we love them, and the colors were horrendously bright and I knew she’s love them because of that. Which she did. Pics to follow. I would have bought more, but I had less than $10 on me.

Sarah had to work today, even though it is stormy out. Actually, she had put in for this weekend off, and in writing, as the bosses told her to do, but they booked her solid instead. She had Wednesday off and her next day off is Thursday. But she’s making a ton of money for college.

We had a special delivery this week. mom said she saw something in staples and had to get it for me, and this guy in a huge truck with a great northern English accent dropped it off. I resisted asking him if he could just ‘ang ’round a bit, maybe for a spot ‘o tea, and I’d just listen to ‘im talk, yeah? Then Ron grabbed the box, signed the slip and hustled him out he door before Emma could hug him again. Ron put the chair together, right on the lunch table, and then we got to argue over who got to sit in it. (I won, just so you know. I’m realigning my back on it now.)

Also, I have been meaning to write a seperate post about the wood pellet shortage here on the eastern seaboard. Yes, although the Maritimes and NE USA, you cannot buy any significant amount of pellets for the wood stove. we ran out a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t a big deal because of unseasonably warm temps. then earlier this week it got cold. we kind of freaked a little until we realized out pellet stove is also able to handle alternate fuels, so Ron took a trip up to the feed store and we’ve been burning CORN. yes, really. Pics to follow.

This relates to the craft sale a bit, because one of the club members who helped out is the previous-previous owner to the house – the woman married to the guy who had the breakdown while working on it. The back wall has been extremely cold and we’ve been trying to figure out why. Ron has a temperature gun, and Sarah’s closet was 2 degrees the other night. We know the side wall is insulated with blown-in cellulose, and there were buckwheat hull remnant. I asked her if she knew if the back wall was insulated and she said she recalled her husband saying how it was full of buckwheat hulls. So I guess they didn’t do that side. Just a few minutes ago, Ron came up to say that on the first floor, under the colder rooms, were areas in the wall we know he cut, like to put in a window, so now we figure there’s whole sections of walls where they let out the buckwheat hull insulation and didn’t replace it. Great! But that would explain it.

now that the sale is over, I think I may even feel like I am chipping away at my to-do list. I have a couple items I was freaking out or worrying over and I decided I just don’t have to energy to do that anymore, so I’m doing the “suck it up and deal, princess” headslap on myself. The other thing is, I’m trying not to do too much actual work this weekend to look after some other household things.

I’m certain I have to fold and put away laundry, as throughout the week, I kept trying to remember to put a load in the washer and then the dryer. They’d get dumped on a chair. Somewhere on Thursday Ron made a show of placing a clean dry basket of clothing at my feet, next to my desk, in the office. Something was said about socks and underwear so I guess I’m folding laundry today.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Desperate times calls for selective memory

This has been on my calendar for a while.

Something about Tuesday

Emma, as you no doubt are aware, is the hugest Pixar fan ever.She’s been counting down to the Wall-E DVD release for quite a while. Probably since we saw it at the movie theatre. So she has been looking forward to the day she could go to the store and get Mom or Dad to buy it for her as soon as humanly possible.

And, just between you and me and the entire internet, I pre-ordered it from Amazon. Not the single-disk version, not even a 2 disc set, but the THREE DISC SPECIAL EDITION.

Yeah, I plan on videotaping her reaction when she opens it for her birthday. Shhh, don’t tell her.

Did I just say birthday? Why yes, I am a cruel mother making her wait that long. Except the hard part has been keeping it a surprise. At first, I used avoidance.

“Mom! Wall-E comes put on DVD next week!”

“That’s nice honey, what do you want for lunch?”

But as the date drew closer, we had to step up our tactics.

“I’m SO EXCITED!!! WALL-E COMES OUT TOMORROW! Can we get it?”

“We’ll have to wait and see. Did you brush your teeth yet?”

And finally I had to pull out The Big Guns. We coincidentally had to go get groceries on Tuesday, and as we were discussing our driving plans, Emma comes out with this:

“Since we’re getting groceries, and since today Wall-E comes out on DVD, could we buy it? I’m sure the grocery store will have a stand right by the checkout.”

“….. go ask your father… Ron? Can you explain this to her?

So. Ron spent a good five minutes explaining very carefully that no, we will not be buying Wall-E today at the store. Someone may have purchased it for her as a present already, what with her birthday being a month away and Christmas a week later. So in case she did not receive it on either of those occasions, Daddy then promised to take her shopping for it. *After* Christmas. She had to wait.

I thought she took the news rather well. She was calm, did not appear upset, and said, “Okay, Daddy,” quite plainly.

At the grocery store, we got most of the way through without a mention. But then we had to go by the electronic section and there was the display. It was huge. It *talked*. As we were standing there looking, the voice box in the cardboard wall-E fell out. I had to replace it.

Now we’ve been there a good five minutes and of course they are right at Emma’s eye level. Our conversation was the sort of “yes, that is cool,” and I tried to veer it towards the, “Oh, these are just Blue Ray..” or “Eh, it’s only a one disc movie.. pfft..” to try and downplay it, even while being entranced by the whole thing myself.

But as I was replacing wall-E’s voice box, Emma was holding a movie case.

“I’m gonna put this in the cart now.”

Uh…

“It’s okay, right Mommy?”

Uh…

“Hey, remember what Daddy said?”

More thoughtful looks and some lip-chewing. And then I had to pull out my whole bag of mommy tricks, saying I know how much she loves the movie – remember that part when the ship was tipped and the lady said “Hey Frank? Wanna have kids?” and the kids rolled across the floor to them? – but, you know, her birthday is just around the corner, as well as Christmas, and I’m sure she’ll get some presents she really likes and it’s hard, I know, but she just has to wait.

I held my breath.

“Okay mommy. I can wait.”

Phew. Dodged a bullet there.

I only hope Ron hid the package somewhere *I* can’t find it, before I cave.

Saturday, November 15, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

The start of the season

I went out today to a craft sale, except when I got there it was nowhere to be found. I could have sworn that’s what the radio said, but there was a pee-wee hokey game instead of craft booths. Hmph.

I am trying to get in a crafty Christmassy mood because next Saturday I have to not only manage the Christmas Craft sale down at the local hall, I have to make sure I have enough of my own stuff to sell there too. right now, I have three tea cozies ready to go. Now, a reasonable person would say something like we have plenty of tables booked to the point that we have to borrow tables from the firemen down the road and I’m sure nobody woudl notice if you didn’t put in a table of your own stuff and you DO have to sort of manage things and oh my, who is working the door even, but you know.. it’s kind of the principle here.

And I have a stack of half-finished cozies and things I should really finish up and sell since it’s taking me forEVER to even think about working on my shops site. Which will happen someday.

The day after Remembrance day it seemed decorations went up everywhere. Oh sure, the stores started putting out Christmas good before Halloween candy was even gone, but now the places are decorated too. is it just me or does this seem early? I know once we get past American thanksgiving it’s pretty much “the holiday season”.

I’m going to try and get some cards out this year too. I swear. Cross my heart.  Even scheduled it in there somewhere. I think. I wrote it down anyway. Sorta.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 in working at home & loving it

How Moms can make money online – part 3 – the people who can help you

I’m not going to sit here and type up a big list of famous people online or off, or tell you I “made it” through hard work and a little luck, because… ugh, that’s for feel-good self help books. In some senses, I’m still fumbling around like the rest of you, and I sure don’t feel like I’ve made it, but I DO feel like I am well on my way there.

So how’d I get here? Well, the “duh” answer is Ron, so we’ll go right beyond that. There’s a few people I know online who have given me a virtual butt-kicking, telling me I’m too hard on myself, I expect too much from myself and just lighten up already. I have even had this in real-life, and this morning as I wrote down a massively overwhelming to-do list with 26 broadly-labeled items I have to do before Christmas, JoVE‘s voice popped up in my head. And I laughed.

Why? Because a couple of years ago we met up, and as I confided some of our plans (which have bloomed to incredible proportions and possibilities), she told me two important things:

1. Charge more. I’m worth it.
2. Stop expecting to accomplish more in one day than most people try and do in a week.

And when I get too neurotic or angsty or worried or whatever, and I spill my guts all over someone’s email inbox, it’s my friends like Jo who tell me to smarten the heck up and just DO IT already, sheesh. Um. So THANKS! :D

So list item one for you is your SUPPORT NETWORK. If you have close friends that support you and have been telling you the same things for years, listen to ‘em. They’re smart.

Item two: there’s a whole pile of extremely intelligent, witty, caring and big-hearted women out there in the big online world. I happen to know some of them, and a few are even peripherally aware of my existence. Good thing for you, they have blogs with tons of free advice and things you can do.

Naomi at Itty Biz
Wendy at Sparkplugging
Kelly and Lynnette from Moms Mastermind

If you do nothing else, read Naomi’s blog. If the fact she swears bothers you, get over it for a short while. What she says on her site is worth millions. If you have some time and no money, read every post. You will not regret it. If you have less time and less money, start here.

And lastly, there’s you.

In the middle of last week’s acceptance speech from Obama, I turned to Ron and said, “Maybe now we’ve come to the end of the Age of Entitlement and are heading for the Age of Responsibility.” I have to say, it would be a nice shift.

At the end of the day, there’s you. Sure, there’s other issues you have to deal with, some thing you can’t change immediately, but there’s still a lot of things that YOU can DO. (and yes, I realize that’s quite ironic given I started talking about the size of my to-do list).

Money isn’t going to fall in your lap overnight. But you can start doing one or two small things today to start working towards that. Reading those blogs above (instead of fluff blogs for example) is a good start.

I keep thinking of my friend Lisa. She went though some devastating personal issues a few years ago. Today, she’s part owner in a HUGELY successful corporation. The last time I saw a picture of her, she was positively glowing. Why? Because she got out of bed one day, put on her big girl panties and her arse-kicking boots and made things happen.

So put on a fabulous pair of boots, even if it’s only in your mind, and get out there and make things happen. You can do it. :) Go forth and be fabulous.

And with that, I have a list to chomp at.