Changes in the works…

Something BIG has happened…

A milestone.

Before anybody gets excited, it isn’t a another ‘new’ job. And no, I’m not getting married again. Nothing quite that monumental.

But over the weekend, I reached 10,000 hits–or visits to this site. (Over 10,000 now…)

When I began, I didn’t know if THREE people would visit the site. Or at least THREE people who weren’t family…

Obviously, there are writers, bloggers, websites that have 10,000 hits per day–and get millions on a yearly, or monthly basis. I know that.

And yet, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

When I look at my stats, there visitors from all over the world. Not only do I have a ‘nice’ group of followers (27, last time I looked), there are also many who use RSS feeds, bookmarks, Facebook and other tools to keep up with my posts. And they do so regularly.

To everybody who has stopped by…my most sincere thank you. I appreciate the comments, personal emails, texts and other communications. I truly do….

Nothing is more touching than connecting with others, sharing our commonalities. I’ve made new ‘friends’ in England, Australia, Florida and both the eastern and western seaboards. Which humbles me…

Honestly, I’m not a Perfect writer. I abuse grammar rules. Write in fragments. (No shock, because I THINK in a fragmented way…) And am constantly flagged for using the ‘passive’ voice. (Grrrrr……I can’t help it sometimes!!)

But I do love to write. Love that I can make a difference. Can share some of my thoughts and experiences (AND disasters and struggles) in an honest, positive way. And hopefully others feel a little more human, less alone.

CHANGES IN THE WORKS…

LENGTH ~ I am going to try (HARD) to shorten my posts. Writing the longer ones is time-consuming. (And I fear boring?) Plus I need to focus on getting a ‘real’ job–at least a part-time ‘real’ job. (And soon!) Unless I want to make like Fred Flintstone and drive a log car, using my FEET to get it going.

THEME ~ I have playing around with it. It will probably change soon. Don’t be alarmed, or think you are in the wrong place if the site has a ‘new’ look.

WEB HOSTING ~ Fingers crossed, this isn’t noticed by readers. And that any technical difficulties in the transition are minimal. I need to acquire hosting service, start using proper tags and other technical stuff. Believe it or not, I have slowly grown doing NONE of what writers/bloggers are SUPPOSED to do to attract readers. Not shocking. I don’t often follow the rules, or go in the proper order…

A BIG THANK YOU–And all of my gratitude to those who have hung in there and supported me these past couple of years.

And please let me know if you like the changes. Or hate the changes. Comments and Feedback often helps point me in the right direction…

I just realized why I HATE shopping…

If I can go to the store and buy it new, I generally don’t WANT it.

With a few exceptions.

I do frequent grocery stores, bookstores and the pharmacy. And I am a hot, sweaty mess without my Premarin. I’m rarely cranky–so if I am, the kids ask if I took my pill. Referring to the HRT.

My family is tight-knit, funny, and sentimental.

When we are together, we share experiences. We have fun.

My memories?

The whole family going to see the movie Elf when it came out, because it was a big deal to my kids. Family dinners, game nights, baseball games at Three Rivers Stadium when my aunt lived in Cincinnati. Bowling outings. Meeting up at a golf course for a round of golf. Family vacations in Hilton Head, trips to Cedar Point and of course Washington, D.C.

What we have never done for fun? Gone shopping.

Not to say we don’t gift each other on occasion. My aunt bought me a lovely Tiffany Drop Heart Pendant for my birthday the year I was preparing to move from my home, with divorce imminent. She felt I needed something special.

Not too long ago, my father and his wife had a lovely old family clock restored for me.

Shopping absolutely bores me. If I need something, I get it. But I’m in and out. I have never shopped as a form of entertainment.

Just today, I needed a new pair of shorts. I went into Eddie Bauer and bought a pair. Took me about 15 minutes. Sure, there was an outlet full of stores. And I could have spent the day trying on shorts. But I got what I needed.

Then my aunt and I took the dogs to a lake nearby, where they spent an hour jumping off a dock and swimming for tennis balls. Far more entertaining to me than the outlet mall.

I also enjoy walking in the woods, or on the beach. Reading. Throwing a Frisbee to the incredibly athletic Little Black neurotic Dog. Going for a long bike ride. Rollerblading.Yard work, planting flowers. Auctions. Painting and refinishing the retro furniture that I find.

Spending time with family and friends.

Or what we call ‘Field Trips’ in my family. And Road Trips.

Road Trips are long trips. Vacations to Hilton Head, New York City, skiing at Peek ‘n Peek or going to my aunts in Leesburg, Virginia. As I did this week.

Field Trips are short adventures. Like the year the kids and I hopped in the car on a whim on Christmas morning, then showed up at a family brunch in Pennsylvania. Or heading to the West Side to see friends there. Or to Geneva-on-the-Lake.

What made me think of this? And my aversion to shopping?

Being in Virginia this week. Walking around my aunts home.

Let me explain with photos…

The pretty, antique mirror on the wall belonged to a relative. For my whole life, it hung above our living room fireplace. My mother inherited it. When she passed and my father sold that home, it went to her sister–my aunt. The black table is new from an upscale Virginia furniture store. The grandfather clock was purchased at Pierces in Mentor, Ohio. Maybe 25 years ago? It has been on a few moving trucks over the years.

The sectional and club chair are modern. But the library table in front of the bay window is late 1800s. It was inherited from relatives in my uncles family. It is in near Perfect condition.

Here’s a closer look at the table…

The series of pictures on the wall are Warren Kimble and depict the seasons; spring, summer, winter, fall. I have the same set in my house. A 30th birthday gift from my family–including Dad, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles. My set will probably be in one of my children’s homes some day. (Notice the dog? We all have dogs…)

The little pottery jug with lid to the left must have been bought by my aunt ages ago. I can remember her having it when I was a young child. And I am 41 now. It sits on her Corian countertop and holds dog treats. It has actually held dog treats for many years.

Which brings me to function. We USE everything. If there are books lying around, they’ve likely been read. Jars hold things. We use our dining tables and put our feet on the coffee table.

A prime example of this…

The Nordictrack. It is there because my aunt uses it when the weather is bad and she can’t get outside for a walk. And it is placed so that she can see the TV when she does so. She has had the machine for years. It isn’t the newest, latest or greatest. But it works great. (Function, again.) And it actually looks fine.

I’ve always known how my family decorated. We don’t so much ‘design’ rooms, we fill them with our favorite things. Or things we use. We make ourselves comfortable.

We don’t go store to store with paint and material swatches to match furniture, wall art and accessories. Nor do we stress over color and everything being perfectly matched. Or what is ‘in style’ at the moment. When we do buy furniture or big items, we buy what strikes us–what we love. Then work with it. Often for 25+ years. (Or more…)

Rooms come together as an extension of surrounding ourselves with what we love. Things that have meaning to us.

And in looking at my aunts examples of this in the photos, it works for her. Her home is a reflection of the people who live there. Always has been.

I guess I’m a product of my environment.

So it is the elder generation’s fault that I hate shopping. Because it feels like a waste of time. I already have everything I need. No need to go out looking for more things, when I could be doing something fun!

Tomorrow, I’ll be going to an event here in Leesburg. The 2012 Annual Luckett’s Spring Antique Market. People fly in from all over the country to attend. I cannot wait…

But not because I plan to spend the day buying things. Or wishing I could buy things. I’ll spend it meeting vendors, talking to people, snacking on festival foods, looking at artwork and being inspired by others creativity.

In other words, I’ll soak up the experience of being there.

And if I find a little trinket to remember the event by, I might just buy it.

But only because I happened upon it. Not because I was shopping for it.

Here’s a link for those wanting information on Luckett’s: http://luckettstore.com/events/50-spring-market

IT’S A LOT LIKE…Work??

My space at the CRAFT & ANTIQUE CO-OP. For local readers: 1871 N. Ridge Road in Painesville, Ohio.

 

 

 

After completing my 4th weekend of being a Co-op Vendor and of listing items on eBay, I am beginning to understand what I’ve gotten myself into.

And it feels an awful lot like work! Thankfully, it is thus far work that I love. And I’m the boss—the person who decides what goes into my Co-Op space, how to display it, the pricing, what gets listed on eBay, and how items are presented for auction. So far, it is going quite well. But I am exhausted

Even more so than when I had a 9-5 job. With a ‘real’ job, somebody else is responsible for EVERYTHING; the budget, inventory, paychecks, insurance and the headaches that go along with keeping a ‘business’ IN BUSINESS. Though most employees work hard, the burdens that come along with business ownership fall to somebody else.

Before wandering down this path of (potential) Self-Employment, I knew that. Heck, I graduated college with a business major—we certainly studied these things. Yet, I didn’t really KNOW.  As things begin to take shape, I make my adjustments.

Which led to my spending this past weekend moving my home office to the finished (thank goodness!) basement.

Previously, my computer equipment was in the 20’x20’ family room–directly off the kitchen—in the hub of my humble home. A humble home that never seems to be EMPTY. There is (1) fluffy, (not so obedient—but nice) golden retriever, (1) five month old (marginally behaved) mutt, my (2) teenagers, my (somewhat) ex-boyfiend’s (3) teenagers and the (sometimes large) assortment of friends, boyfriends and people who are dragged home for sleepovers, movie nights and ‘family’ dinners. So, the idea that I could possibly run a home-based business from the upstairs was obviously not well thought out. Was I delusional? Especially, as I am still trying to decide if such a business is possible?

Besides the lack of privacy—we won’t go so far as to call it Organized Chaos…or to label my home Noisy—I needed to move the office to the basement, because after only a few weeks, I had begun to feel that I was NEVER off work. The computer winked at me each time I walked into the family room. It beckoned me to check emails, balance a checkbook, or to research an item to potentially list on eBay…and a few minutes quickly turned into a few hours.

The worst part of the main floor home office? In order to feel done with work, I had to clean up a mess of paperwork, eBay items, packaging materials, Co-Op merchandise…and more–at the end of each day! The mess started in the family room, but spread–like a wine on a cotton tablecloth–into the kitchen, dining room, and garage. With everything in the basement, I can turn off a light and be DONE for the night. There’s no need to clean up. I can leave everything ready to begin again the next day. Best of all, the upstairs is clear of all work items—and ready to be lived in.

Already, I’m finding that I am able to relax again. And to enjoy my downtime—something that will be in short supply in the coming weeks, if all goes well.

Please stick with me and I’ll keep you updated. If nothing else, I am having fun and there will stories…

MY FIRST FURNITURE SALE!!