Saturday, February 7, 2009


I got up at 5:00 a.m. today and got ready to hop on the 7:08 train to the city. The train ride was uneventful except for the man in front of me that kept picking his teeth with his fingernail, the elderly gentleman next to me that kept blowing his nose and the guy in back of me that kept coughing on me! UGH!

Tresa picked me up at the station in the city and we went and had an awesome breakfast at a charming vegetarian restaurant called Victory's Banner. It was so cool to look at a menu with no meat on it! I had "Satisfaction-Promise", which was scrambled eggs with spinach, pesto, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese served with potatoes and the most delicious whole grain bread I think I have ever had! Yum!

From there we headed to The Paper Source to look for a couple of little things Tresa needed for the shower next week. Talk about a neat store! I could have spent hours in there! Then we headed to the reception venue to meet with the florist, the caterer and the photographer. The wedding ceremony and reception are being held at Prairie Productions in Chicago. It's a photo studio with amazing natural lighting. I wish I could take my etsy pictures there. Tresa's wedding is in the evening, so the light doesn't matter but the place is so cool. It has a warehouse look to it, but most of the inside is white, because we all know that white backgrounds make for lovely photos....don't we?

The florist brought some of his ideas with him and let me tell you I was blown away. Tresa is allergic to flowers except for orchids and tulips. He created some of the most unique and exciting arrangements I've ever seen using greenery and a few flowers! It is going to look gorgeous. He even made her a sample bouquet to see if she liked it. He's a really neat guy that has actually done some work for Oprah, so that's kind of fun.

The caterer is wonderful. Anything Tresa and Chris have asked for she tries to make happen for them. She really is working hard to make sure that their special day is just that. She works for Jewell Events Catering. If the food is anything close to what the service has been so far, it's going to be perfect!

The photographer is the owner of the studio. He is also really great. Everyone just walked around the studio and went over location of tables and bars, the DJ and ceremony set up. It all went really well.

Tresa and I headed to the mall then. We both needed a few things. She didn't have much luck, but I found some great jeans at the Gap (of course) and a darling sweater and cute top at Anthropologie. I love that store, but can only afford to shop in the sale room there! We made a couple of other stops and I even bought some L'Oreal lotion that gives you a little bit of a tan. I thought I would try it now and see how it works. If it turns me orange....I will be going to the wedding with white legs and oh well.

We got back to our house much later than we anticipated. Michael came by for a visit and we just ordered take out from Chilis. I definitely got my walking in today and all I want to do is eat, get in my jammies and chill out for the rest of the night! was 50 degrees here today! It's the middle of winter! We were all thinking how perfect a day this would have been for a wedding! We'll be keeping our fingers crossed that we are blessed with a day like this next month!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Thousand Thanks

I absolutely have to acknowledge some fellow bloggers for recognizing me and my blog with a variety of awards. I thought I would have time to be able to do this the right way....but it just doesn't seem to be happening. So instead I will first say thank you so very much to the people that gave me awards, and then I am going to list some of my favorite blogs. I follow a lot of blogs, and I read and comment on as many as I can each week. I think all blogs are wonderful in their own special way. There are more that I like, so I might try to do this again in a couple of weeks.

Thank you so very much for the great awards. I really appreciate your kindness:


Some of the blogs I read are informative, some will teach you something, some will entertain you and some will make you laugh...but like I said they are all different and that makes them all wonderful in my eyes.

Some of these bloggers I feel very close to, even though we have never met and probably never will. Some of them comment on my blog very regularly and sometimes their comments make me laugh and sometimes they make me really think. Most of them have etsy shops and are awesome artists and crafters.

So, if you have the time....check out their blogs and their shops. Here we go in no particular order:


Have a wonderful evening!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Commute

I have a 20 mile commute to work each day. I leave at a very specific time in the morning. If I leave 5 minutes earlier than that time, I get to work way too early. If I leave even 5 minutes later than that time, I hit all kinds of traffic and have no idea what time I will get to work.

As you all know by now, I am obsessive compulsive about certain things and just plain anal about others. So, you can add "arrival time at work" to either of those lists.

My preferred arrival time at the office is 7:20 a.m. since I start at 7:30 a.m. On this fine morning, I pulled out of my driveway, got to the corner, turned left, made a quick right and I was on my merry little commuter way. I grabbed my plastic Zip Lock container with my two little hard boiled eggs in it (minus 3/4 of the yolks....the yummy little yellow nugget with all of the fat and cholesterol) and started to savor my first breakfast of the day. (I eat again later, but that's a story for another day) I got to the next corner at the same time as a nice white pick up truck. Being the very gracious and polite driver that I am, I let him go first...even though I really had the right of way, but I'm really nice like that.


Now, I am not a speed demon nor do I crawl along like a certain man that I know whose name starts with I and ends in V. I usually do about 5 mph over the posted speed limit, but no more than 5 because the law might be lurking as they often do. On the expressway however, my mantra is, "Move over or I will run you over!" Just kidding...sort of.

Anyway, Mr. Pick Up Truck must have left his house really really early this morning, because he decided to drive 5 mph UNDER the speed limit!! Are you freaking kidding me?? I need to get to work by my preferred arrival time! To make it even worse, we are on a two lane road with no passing.

All I could hope was that when I turned right at the stop light, that Mr. Pick Up was going left or straight.....but oh no, of course not. There was his cute little blinker going blink, blink, blink as he crawled into the right turn lane. So I crawled in right behind him. The light changed and we made our turns onto the next two lane road with no passing. Putt, putt, putt, crawl, crawl, crawl....5 mph UNDER the speed limit for the next 5 miles! Maybe his speedometer was off....

Trust me, I don't suffer from road rage. I would never ever abuse another driver, so what did I do to deserve this? I'm sure it was some kind of test and I was failing miserably.

5 extremely slow miles later, there was his blasted blinker again signaling his right hand turn...just like me. Same thing at the next light only we went left this time. Now I'm thinking I am going to be late for work. Not that anyone there would care...just Kathy the control freak.

Finally, we were approaching the four lane highway. His blinker went on and he was still going my way, but it didn't matter now. We both made our turns and I immediately put on my left signal, changed lanes and flew past Mr. Pick Up Truck!

Now it was a race and I would need to catch every light green to get to work on time. If you commute, do you ever pray that the Green Light Goddess is there with you on your drive? You know the one that flips the switch and turns every light green just as you approach the intersection? Well that lovely Goddess was sitting on my shoulder this morning and I literally breezed the rest of the way to work....and after all of the moaning and groaning and fretting and stressing, I actually got to work at 7:15!!! HAHAHA!!!

In my effort this week to chill out a bit though...tomorrow I am going to try to slow down and just do the speed limit. I won't freak out if the guy in front of me is moving the speed of a three-toed sloth. This is the new me! Kathy the Calm......

Now just get the heck out of my way!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My List Addiction

Can this possibly happen to me two days in a row? Yep, it can and it is and I really don't give a poop! I really didn't want to say poop, but I don't want to offend anyone by saying that I really don't give a shit so I said poop instead!

I have had a miserable headache all day today. When I got home from work, I started tweaking the photos of the cards I took pics of this morning before work. Then I had an appointment to get my hair cut...and she was running late! UGH! I didn't get home until 7:00 p.m., ate some dinner and here I am.

So, once again I am not going to get the things done that I had planned to get done. Am I bummed....of course, but I am not going to get worked up over it. I am going to try to get one of the cards listed when I'm done with my blog and if that's all I get done....that's all I get done.

I read the comments on yesterday's post and really envy the people that don't live by lists. Even my lists have lists....and then after I do a few of the things on the list, I have to write a new list because that one looks messy and I can't have a messy list!

Then I thought about how crazy my lists are making me and how much time I spend making lists and worrying about lists....and I started to wonder if I could still succeed in my business without the lists. That isn't to say that I wouldn't have goals and plans. I would. I have to. I need some kind of structure. What I don't need is the pressure I have been putting on myself. Some of my lists I wouldn't be able to accomplish in a week much less one day!

So, here is what I've decided to do. I will still have my goals and my plans for this year...and that would be to get 1000markets and Artfire set up, to check into some shows and Farmer's Markets for spring and summer and to perhaps get a website up and running. See, when I write those things sounds fun and exciting and doesn't sound stressful at all. It's those daily lists and expectations that are doing me in.

Therefore, the only daily goal I am going to set is to try to list one thing in FourDogDay every day and two things per week in MyOtherShop. I am not going to write down what I should be doing very minute of every evening because it isn't realistic and it really isn't much fun.

I think the fun and excitement I was feeling in 2008 went right out the door when I made this massive business plan and realized that I had a lot to do. I was afraid if I didn't have this big formal plan that I would never have a successful business. I think business plans are great, and I really do believe in plans and goals, but I also realize that I love what I am doing...and in order to keep loving what I am doing I need to cut myself some slack.

So, tonight I will not make a to do list for tomorrow. I know what I need to do, and maybe if I just do what I can when I can....I will keep loving what I am doing for many years to come and have a successful business as well.

Oh and this is totally off topic, but I got the two pairs of shoes I ordered. One pair was too wide and one pair was too narrow. I reordered the too narrow pair in a larger size because I really liked them, and we'll see if they are any better.

Also, the skinny jeans came today and they kick butt!!! I absolutely love them....except that they are about 6 inches too long. I always order talls from the Gap because I love my jeans long...well these skinny little guys were way too long. So they are going back to the Gap tomorrow for the same ones but not in a tall!!

Oh happy day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

Why is that one day I feel like I am right on I have it all together and then the next day I wonder what the heck I am doing? Do you ever feel like that? One night I sit there in bed and write up my plans for the next day including what I will work on, what I will list, what I will renew, how I will redo my sections, when I will be in the forums, if and when I will twitter.....and on and on and on. I look at it and I know for a fact that I am so on!

Then I get up in the morning and I take my list and head into my workshop. I sit down, turn on the computer, look at my list and immediately think it's all wrong, very, very wrong.

Does that ever happen to you? Do you have goals and plans and you know they are perfect, and then you look at them again and think they had to have been written by someone that had no idea what success is or what it takes to succeed or how much time things take?

I am struggling a bit right now. I love what I am doing, but I cannot seem to prioritize the things that need to be done so that I can accomplish the things I must accomplish in the amount of time I am able to dedicate to my business. (That was one hell of a long run-on sentence....but did it make sense to you?)

Last night I wrote down that I was going to list 3 items for MyOtherShop. I decided that I would list a photo in FourDogDay and work on some new cards and I would write my blog. All very doable....but here it is 8:30 p.m. and the only thing I have done was to photograph one item, rephotograph a couple of cards that are already listed and cut the cardstock for the cards.

I lost my enthusiasm when I realized that the tray I wanted to photograph can't be photographed in my light box because it is too big. What was I thinking? It's a big tray! Once I realized I wasn't going to be able to list the tray, it ruined the order I wanted the items in so that idea went right down the drain. Can't list any of it tonight!

So, I started on the cards, went and ate some dinner and now it's late and I am writing my blog. I have this sick feeling that I am going to get nothing done that I wanted to get done! UGH!

What do you do when your best plans end up your worst nightmare? Do you get angry? Do you beat yourself up for thinking it was a great idea in the first place? Are you able to laugh and say, oh well tomorrow is another day? How do you handle disappointment when it comes to your business?

When I started writing this, I was really bummed. I know I'm not going to get a lot done tonight, but you know's okay. Writing this has actually made me realize that this is really a tiny little problem and one that I can laugh at. I didn't think things through as well as I thought I had. Maybe my brain had already shut off for the night when I made my list. Whatever it was doesn't really matter. What matters is that I am able to laugh at myself, finish this blog and go over to my work table and make those cards before I go to bed. The photographs and the listing will have to wait.

What do you do when your really great plans turn out to be not so great after all?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Search and Rescue

A few months ago Matt was asked if he might be interested in joining the Telluride volunteer Search and Rescue Team. At the time, he assumed that when you were part of SAR that when you got pages, you had to go. Being a public school teacher, he knew that wouldn't always be possible so he didn't pursue it. He was asked again and yet again. The last time, he actually started asking questions and found out that when you get paged for a call, you go if you can.

Knowing he could be part of the team made him start asking even more questions, but now they were directed at himself. Could he be committed enough to attend the twice monthly training sessions, which would go on for many many months? Could he wear a pager 24/7 and drop whatever he was doing to go on a call? Could he deal with the emotional side of this kind of work?

The last question was the only one he was unsure of when he attended his first training class last week. It will be many months before he goes out on a call, so it's hard to answer that one.

The first class was held in an airplane hangar learning all about helicopters. You never know what kind of vehicle you will be using for a rescue. It could be snowmobile or a helicopter, a 4WD vehicle...whatever it takes to get you to the scene.

You might need to find someone that is lost in the mountains, or help someone that has fallen off a cliff, you could be searching for someone buried in an avalanche, or even recovering bodies from a car that went over the side of the mountain. You don't know what awaits you.

Matt's feeling is that no matter whether you are assisting in a search or a rescue, you are helping someone. It might be a rescue where you save a life, or if you are retrieving a body, you are helping the family and friends of the victim put some closure on a tragedy.

Matt will continue to attend classes and I will update you from time to time on what he's learning.

Speaking of avalanches....they scare the heck out of me, but I am also in awe of them. I can watch videos of them over and over and over again. Kind of like a video of a tornado. It's like I can't believe what I am seeing. Here is a video of a controlled slide. Often times they will create man made avalanches when conditions become unsafe on the mountain. This is in Telluride where Matt lives.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Gardener's Tail (woof woof)

I told you yesterday that I went shopping to combat the boredom and the disgust that winter is so darn long here, and that I would share with you what Irv is doing to pass the time away until the thermometer hits a reasonable temperature.....he gardens.

Last year, Irv decided to start some of our flowers and vegetables from seed. We had a kitchen table covered with trays of seedlings in various stages of development. It was fun watching them grow. He had tremendous success with green beans! He was so proud of them. Slowly he moved them to the deck to get some sun before he transplanted them into the garden.

One day Wrigley was outside and Irv had run to town to get something. I went to the back door to call her in and I looked at the deck and all I could say was, "Oh shit!" Irv's beautiful beans plants that were so tall and so strong and so healthy looking.....were now laying all over the deck and the yard. Little peat pots were shredded everywhere and dirt was scattered from one end of the deck to the other. The yard looked unreal with parts of bean plants and parts of the little pots just everywhere. How could one little dog destroy so many bean plants in such a short period of time.

Irv would surely kill the cute little dog when he got home....and even though I felt so bad for Irv I couldn't help laughing! I wish I could have seen a video of the rampage. I'll bet it was the funniest thing ever! She must have had so much fun. You can be sure he will be much more careful where he puts his little plants this year when he wants them to get some sun! (Little dogs that are left unattended, even for a short period of time get very bored and will search out their own entertainment.)

So, here it is February 1st and Irv has been busy gardening. Since he is doing this on a larger scale this year than last, he moved his project to the basement. In order to do that he had to rig up some warmth for the little guys. He hung some lovely black plastic around a big table, hung lights overhead, added a light underneath and presto, he has an instant greenhouse.

Understand, that we don't have a finished basement. It has a painted concrete floor and walls and a little rug, a tv and a couple little tables, so it isn't like he has taken over living's just a basement.

I was actually thrilled that he decided to do this again this year. Not only did it produce a lot of great flowers last year for a lot less money than we normally spend on flats, but it gave Irv, the I hate winter so much and turn into an obnoxious human being by the middle of January, something to keep him busy. It also reminds him that spring will get here eventually!

I use to be the flower person in our family, but in 1998 I was diagnosed with melanoma, and since then the sun really isn't my friend. So, Irv has taken over all of the outside duties and I will occasionally find my way outside...covered with sunscreen and/or sunscreen clothing to say hi...and then I run back in the house. Well, I'm not quite that bad anymore, but I am very careful about the amount of time I spend in the sun...and trust is very little.

I enjoy watch the plants grow, and it is so rewarding when you can plant the flowers outside in the yard and they blossom and look so beautiful, or your garden produces so much that you spend the entire summer giving it away!

So, now you know what old people like us do with our spare time in the middle of a midwestern winter. We shop and we garden!

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