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The Store is Open!

Quite a few years ago, we built our own house.  Hands on built.   During that time we learned a very important life lesson.  If you think it will take an hour, it will take a day.  If you think it will take a day, it will take a week.  If you think it will take a week, it will take a month.

As it turns out, that also applies to stores and websites.

I started considering this about three years ago, and dismissed it for all of the reasons we as humans come up with because we are reluctant to step into unknown territory. However, it would not go away.  Finally at the beginning of this year I decided I HAD to do this.   Every argument I came up with would be demolished by something I read or heard.   Beyond that, I just knew this was what I had to do or I would forever wonder…  What if?

So here I am.  Here IT is!   This truly is a culmination of my life:  all that I have experienced and all that I have learned (about myself, about my craft, about life, about those I love).

I hope you will come along and watch my store grow and maybe even help me with suggestions, photos of your work, and even questions.

And please examine those thoughts that keep coming back to you and won’t go away.  Please don’t get to your sunset years and find yourself asking…  What if?

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Why doesn’t it FEEL like the holidays are here?

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It is almost Thanksgiving.  The turkeys are thawing in the refrigerator.  The shopping lists for Thanksgiving dinner are prepared.  The date and time of our family Christmas get-together is set.  The names are drawn for the gift exchange.  So…  Why doesn’t it feel like the holidays are upon us?  And what do I do to change that?

When I get into one of these funks, it is hard for me to be creative.  I can do the work.  I can do all the right things, and they can come out looking good.  But they are missing something.  That spark is not there.  Again, what do I do to change that?

For me, the best thing I can do is get out of my routine and do something appropriate.  So that is what I did.  I took the time (when I didn’t feel like I had the time) and made the drive to a somewhat local, one location, garden center that happens to ship its plants all over a several state radius, Corso’s Garden Center.  I called them first to ask if the poinsettias were in the store’s greenhouse and if they were in bloom.  The answer was “Oh, yes!”  And as you can tell from the above photo, boy were they!  Not only that, but the beautiful decorations were up, included an exquisite garden railway, set up by a local garden railway enthusiasts club.  I am sure soon the music will be playing as well.

It struck me later that we don’t have much of that in our area anymore.  The higher end department stores and malls used to be beautifully decorated, and abuzz with music and people.  Most of those high end stores have closed in our area, and the malls are feeling the loss.  I was missing something I hadn’t even noticed was gone.  I knew the stores weren’t there anymore, but I hadn’t realized that the “extras” had left too.  What has replaced those extras is all mass produced and artificial.  And we have already been looking at it for months.

I am so glad that there is somewhere I can visit that still goes over the top for Christmas, with natural beauty and the scents of Christmas included.  Not the artificial scent of cinnamon pine cones found EVERYWHERE (and I should know, as I have a coughing fit every time I get near them), but the real scents of flowers and pine in abundance.

I am happy to say the inspiration is back!  Full force!  And now I know where to go when I need it again!

Where do you go to get re-inspired?

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Eat Your Frog!

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.
And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
Mark Twain (Brainy Quote.com)

This little stone frog lives on my windowsill above the kitchen sink.  He lives there because that sink tends to be the first place I go in the morning to fill my tea kettle.    He is not adorable.  He is not even cute.  But he does have great significance to me, and I need to see his face each morning.

I bought this little guy back in February, 2011 at a small “flea market” in Haiti.  This was just a little over a year after the Haiti Earthquake of 2010, and the effects were everywhere we looked.   My husband, adult son, and I were all there as part of team that was building a village for displaced people to live.   When we came across these little hand carved stone frogs, my son and I just had to bring one home as a reminder of an important principle we had learned.

One morning while there, a spry awesome little spitfire 80+ year old nurse stopped at our table and asked my son and I if we had eaten our frog today.  Neither of us had any idea what she meant by that, so we asked for an explanation.  She proceeded to tell us that it was a saying that meant that you should look at the tasks that you have for that day, and do the one that you dread the most first thing in the morning.  This not only stops procrastination (You can’t procrastinate on a dreaded task more than a day if you are doing this!), but the rest of your day just seems so much easier after accomplishing that one thing.

We had no idea that this was part of a Mark Twain quote, and it wasn’t until years later that I found that out on the internet.   When I sat down to write this today, and looked up the quote, I found the second half of this quote:  “And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”  Even better!

Over the years, I have found it to be amazing how many things I put off and put off, only to find that it only takes me a few minutes to actually do it when I set my mind to it.  And it is so freeing when that thing is not on my mental to do list anymore!  Freedom AND productivity, all in one simple step.

So…   have YOU eaten YOUR frog today?