Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Day, New Life, New You - Happy New Year!

be!
Happy New Year!

I'm looking forward to 2009. Looking forward to a New Day, the opportunity to create a New Life and the chance of self renewal. This pillowcase design says it all. I tossed in as many positive affirmations, feel good mantras and motivational phrases that I could. The pillowcase is meant to start the day off on a good foot and go out and "be" the best you. The glow in the dark pillowcase design help end the day feeling positive about yourself. A lot can happen in a day. I open my eyes every morning in a good mood, it's tough sometimes to maintain that - especially when my 2 boys are arguing over cereal at 7 am. Sometimes, all that we are supposed to be thankful and appreciate for, ends up being the downfall of our cheery outlook on life!

Every day is a NEW day I tell myself. But, there are still days that I'd rather stay in bed and pull the covers over my head! I'm not all sunshine and roses here LOL

So, join me in the New Day, New Life, New You revolution! Is it too pushy to say "click here" and order your pillowcase? No, you say - cool, click here to order. There are lots of other glow in the dark pillowcase designs at Comfy Cozy that you can choose from, for yourself, your kids or friends that just might need a boost to get out of bed in the morning.

If your a WAHM or WAHM "wanna be", have a great New Year! Get out there and make this a great year! Keep checking in with us here at the superwahmz blog. We'd love to hear from you and help you make your dreams come true!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dog the Halls

Merry Christmas!

To all the superwahmz out there, have a great Christmas. May your choice to work from home be the greatest gift you've given yourself! I know it is mine. Even though my business doesn't thrive as I would like it to, Comfy Cozy is doing just fine. Lots of children and grown ups are enjoying some magic with my pillowcases - all over the country. That makes me proud. But the choice to be a wahm, means that I can be home w/ my husband every minute that he is here and take my kids to the bus stop and pick them up at school. I haven't missed very many moments in their lives and am thankful for that gift. The gift of not having to rush home for my sons viola concert or not having to worry about what the boss says when I have a sick little boy are beautiful things. I could do without the gift of hearing every argument and listening to every fight my 2 boys have though LOL!

Merry Christmas! We'll be welcoming the birth of Jesus with warm hearts and lots of love. May you enjoy a peaceful few days and stay away from your computer - at least on Christmas Day!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fantastic Friday: Facebook

I joined Facebook a month or so ago. Put in my school and previous work info and voila! I have over 100 friends. Some are folks I haven't spoken with in over 20 years. It's wild catching up with folks.

Last night I discovered that I can create a Facebook page for my business! Then folks can become FANS of my business, Shaka Studios! How cool is that?

With a Facebook business page, you can upload photos & videos, create a calendar of events, start a discussion, link to your website... and I'm sure there are other neat features I haven't figured out yet.

So you are probably thinking? Who has time for Facebook? Here's the rub: There are now over 100 new people that now know about my custom furniture business. The beauty of social networking is that because they know, soon their friends will know, and so on.

It took me about 30 minutes to set up my Facebook business page. I'm going to sit back now and see what happens.

Now back to baking cookies and addressing cards... HO HO HO!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Full

This time of year is so full

Our plates are full of too many things to do
Our minds are full of so many great memories
Our hearts are full of warm wishes for good friends and family
Our stomachs are full from too many Christmas goodies
Our credit cards are just too full

I want to wish all of you a holiday season full of all the good things this time of year brings and enough time to enjoy them all.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fantastic Friday: Overcoming Difficult Clients

My husband and I have been running our custom furniture business together for over 10 years. We have shipped furniture to over four thousand happy customers all over the U.S. and even a few other countries, as well.

Every once in a while, a client comes along that for whatever reason, throws a monkey wrench in the works. Luckily, I can say this has only happened a handful of times in the past 10 years. However, it is hard not to take it personal.

The thing is, we know we do a great job and make a fine quality product. We also know that no matter we do, these difficult clients will never be happy because they are miserable in their own lives.

Each situation is different and there is no magic cure all for overcoming difficult clients. The only thing you can do is to post your terms and conditions on your website, make the best product you know how to make and stand behind your terms and your product. Open up the machine and yank that monkey wrench out and then move on.

It also helps to keep a file of letters from satisfied clients that you can pull out and read to lift your spirits! Post your testimonials to your website and be proud of a job well done!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cyber Monday! 50% OFF or BOGO!

Well, here it is, holiday shopping is upon us and in full force.  For alot of WAHMS, cyber Monday is a big day.  I'm hoping that my customers respond to the email I sent out and take advantage of the 50% OFF SALE at comfycozy.com.  There are quite a few glow in the dark pillowcase designs on sale, as well as cozy cover ups & pajama shirts for teens.  We have an entire collection of inspirational travel pillows for 50% OFF too.   If that isn't enough to help you mark off a few of the gifts you need to buy, everything else on our site is "BOGO" (that's Buy One Get One 1/2 Off!).
Just enter the code MCBOGO in the Comments box of the on-line order form.

Don't forget, Comfy Cozy will make every pillowcase more special by adding Personalization.
Make this a Christmas that will be lighting up the night all year long with a magical Glow in the Dark pillowcase.

Oh, and remember, Comfy Cozy products aren't just for kids!  Everyone can use a little inspiration or just a little fun in their lives.  Check out our "Eat Chocolate, Drink Wine, Sleep Naked" collection - perfect for wine and chocolate lovers.  Have some dog and cat owners on your list?  They'll love either the PUPPY LOVE or CAT NAP pillowcases!

Happy Cyber Monday and Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanks!

I have a lot to be thankful for.  I'm not going to list them all, but I am going to think about them.
I may even sit around for a while and write them all down, just to look at them.  I never did any of the lists that Kandas has suggested - the 100 things we want to do, etc.  This list just might prove useful.  Last night my oldest son was aggravated about everything and nothing.  I told him he couldn't get up til he wrote a list of 25 things he was thankful for.  I realized it might not be the best time for it, but then again, it couldn't hurt!  After he wrote them, I made him read the list out loud.  At first he begrudgingly spouted them off.  I told him he had to start over and read them slowly and THINK about each one as he said them.  Amazingly enough, he did just that and his attitude changed dramatically by the time he got to the end of his list.  More amazing is that I was on the list LOL

I'm looking forward to what I just might put on my list...

Before I can do that, I have to go thru my "list of things to do" for work.  I suppose I have to be thankful that I have that list, too:)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Great Gift Idea

Oh My Gosh, I did not realize that I had not posted for such a long time. Where is the time going? I can't believe that next week is Thanksgiving already. MY favorite holiday of the year. I am thankful for so many things :) On this day in particular I like to have my dinner guests say one thing they are thankful for. It is odd to me that sometimes it takes quite a few minutes for someone to think of just one thing. I think people go through life NOT thinking of things they are thankful for and they should. Life is good. Even in these hard times.

On to my great gift idea.
I have a line of Totes for our pet lovers.
They are very successful with the rescue groups as fund raisers.
I was just thinking the other day that they would also make great gifts for the person who has everything or that hard to buy for person on your list.
If they love their four legged family member they will love our new
Pets are Family too Tote.
Our totes are personalized with names and you choose your colors.
We have done bags with up to 4 names so far. You can check out the other bags and order at
D's Stitcheree. They can also be found on Etsy.
Happy Thanksgiving. Turkey rules!

Snow. Business. Facebook.

I'm 3 weeks or so behind on posting.  This will be fast and furious - yeah right, from me that's kind of comical:)

Snow.  It snowed here in Southeastern PA last night.  Wasn't supposed to start til this morning.  A lovely surprise for 2 little boys and a puppy.  The dog had no idea what to do w/the stuff but the boys were ready for school faster than lightning so they could go play before school.  I love snow - as long as I can go play in it, don't have to drive in it and have a nice cozy fire to warm up to after being in it.  Feel sorry for those of you in the south that don't get it ever, or often.  Then again, some of you feel sorry for those of us that have to wear heavy coats and gloves for 5 months!

Business.  Sales of magical glow in the dark pillowcases are starting to pick up but not as much as I'd like.  Run, don't walk to your address book and send this link of our 50% off Sale to everyone you know.  Then ask them to forward it to everyone they forward every email they ever get too!  I'm looking for orders folks, so don't be shy.  They can post it on every blog they visit - maybe I should offer a commission??  One Free Pillowcase for every 6 orders referred to by someone!  Comfy Cozy glow in the dark pillowcases - what kid wouldn't love one under the Christmas Tree or for Hanukkah?  Plus there is that fun "Eat Chocolate Drink Wine Sleep Naked" design that I'm sure you could find a friend or 2 that would get a huge kick out of it!

Facebook.  I sign up.  I have a facebook page.  I'm not sure why lol!  I've spent way to much time on it.  Found some folks from high school and even have a few "friends" to speak of.  In addition to my SuperWahm friends, my facebook friends include a girl I cheered with at Charleston Catholic High School, my high school boyfriend (who is now a grandfather!) and another high school friend that is living in Bogata, Columbia and is a reporter for the NY Times and NPR.  I can't seem to figure out an easy way to find folks from the University of  Tennessee, but like I said, I've spent way too much time on it.  January would be a better time for this project.  I'm vowing to not look for anyone else until then.  

That's that.  Now, go send that link to your friends about the Comfy Cozy 50% off Sale!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My New Venture

My daughter has been trying to get me to design a new headpiece line for a while now. A week ago we got it started. It is still bridal, but consists of headbands and combs with a vantage feel. It’s really fun to be doing this with her and I’m so excited about the six pieces we have created together so far. We hope to finish the new line quickly and get it out to my bridal stores, but we also plan on creating a web site for ourselves along with a site on Etsy. I love being creative again, and together I know we will produce amazing things. So stay tuned and I will post some picture of our designs soon!

Jill

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One year younger!

Yes it's my birthday today, and all day I was thinking I was turning 49, My last year in my 40's. At lunch I figured out I'm only turning 48. I just got a whole year for my birthday!! Not many people can say they got a year younger on their birthday.

Happy Birthday Jill!

It's Jill's birthday today... go check out her tips from home website and post a birthday comment for her!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Denial

No, not a river in Africa.  I'm talking about not seeing the truth.  You know, when you think something is one way, but in reality, it is most definitely another.  *sigh*

I am in denial.  Well, I am coming out of denial.  Because I have been busy all.year.long, I didn't think my fall rush had hit yet.  I just kept telling myself, "you're just busy as usual."  Yeah right.

I guess I have left denial and entered the swamp.  Pretty funny, huh?  At least I can still joke about it.  Really though, I am now swamped.  My stack of orders measures 1/2" high, and I get several orders a day.  Some of them for multiple items, so they should really count as more than one order.

So, I may or may not be posting here for the next 2 months. Hard to say....if I get a free minute (what's that?) I will. Otherwise, you can grab a snorkel, strap on a paintbrush, and join me in the swamp : )  Ain't life as a wahm grand?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fantastic Friday: Competing in Today's Home Accent Market

If you make/sell home accents, you will want to watch this video from Gift & Home Channel:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE

Are you wearing your I voted sticker proudly, I am. This has been an ugly campaign and I’m so glad all those commercials and recorded messages will soon be just a memory. I am also glad to have my vote count. If you haven’t done it yet I hope you will all go and exercise your right and vote.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Juliette Gordan Low


Today is Girl Scout founder Juliette Low's birthday. She was born October 31, 1860. Which would make her 148 years old if still alive. I do not think I need to explain the impact Juliette Low has made on the United States and the world. Today 3.5 million members belong to Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts is not about cookies and camping, it's about creating leaders. In fact, 64% of the woman leaders today were, you guessed it, Girl Scouts. Every year, on October 31st, Girl Scouts across the country celebrate Juliette Low's birthday! It's a Girl Scout tradition! In fact, I am helping to organzie a big birthday event on November 8th in my community.

Juliette Low died of breast cancer on January 18, 1927. She was just 67 years old. In 67 years, she made the world a better place.

A friend from high school, Lisa, (oh my, was it really 20 years ago?) sent the following email today. Lisa has always been a runner, and is currently putting her running shoes to good use:

"Thank you to those of you who have supported me in this current season and in the past. These are trying times for our nation and exciting ones as well. In a few days we will have the opportunity to make history, either the first African-American president or the first woman in the White House. Our economy is shaky and people feel as though the future is unsteady. But for some the future is more than unsteady, those suffering from cancer and their families.

"A few weeks ago, we had a celebration of our "Cause", our honorees and they announced that a little honoree from Silicon Valley passed away after a valiant battle with leukemia (she was just 5 years old). This news really struck me since Rebekah is 7, and I couldn't imagine her not being with us. Then last week, I watched the TV show "Extreme Home Makeover" and they were working on a home in Arkansas where the little boy (10 years old), battled leukemia and while he was in remission from that, the treatments caused him to require a double lung transplant and he was wheelchair bound. I sat and watched and thought about how difficult the treatments are on the body to rid it of the cancer. Sometimes, the treatments are much harder on the body than the cancer. How can we keep these things from happening (children dying, people struggling after remission because of treatments), we can donate to organizations like The Leukemia Society. They guarantee 75% of all donations to be returned to research. They have funded the research of Gleevac, a drug that is responsible for many lives being saved.

"How can you make a difference in this trying world? You can donate to my fundraising campaign so together we can make a difference in people's lives and become their hero. We never know when our lives will be changed by a single act and wouldn't we want someone to help us if we were diagnosed with these diseases.

"I am going to challenge you to donate at least $10 to help find a cure for other children, like Mickey, Teagan, and Dylan. You are more than welcome to donate more but I am asking that everyone donate at least $10. I am also asking that you send me 5 names and addresses (email or snail mail), so I can pass on this challenge to a larger group of people or please pass my email or snail mail address on to people that may help us in this fight.

"Please use this link http://pages.teamintraining.org/sj/honolulu08/lloder
to donate online quickly and securely. You will receive a confirmation by email of your donation and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation. Please make checks payable to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I have committed to raise $2,340 for the Society but my fundraising goal is $2,500 (I have currently raised $624.50) I would like to reach my commitment goal by November 15th, so I can concentrate on my final weeks of training.

"On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support. I really appreciate your generosity! Please remember that 100% of your donation is tax-deductible."


While Leukemia and Breast Cancer are much different forms of cancer, a cure can be found for both. I encourage you to make a donation to either BreastCancer.org or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of Juliette Low, or someone else that has touched your life. Like Juliette Low, you can make the world a better place, too!

Oh and...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Free Business Cards for All











On Branddoozie you can create free business cards, download the PDF and print it right on your printer. Its easy to use, and even if you don’t have a business it’ll be fun to make and print one out for yourself.

I’m sure you could think of all kinds of great titles you could give yourself; Chief Executive Home Officer, Queen of Blogdom, Mrs. Do-it-all. Go ahead click on the link and give it a try, let me know what you think!
Here is one I made today!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Guilt

As woman I think we learn guilt at an early age. It comes in all shapes and sizes.

We fell guilt when we think we are not spending enough time with our kids

We feel guilt when we hover too much over our kids

We feel guilt when we think we are spending too much time working

We feel guilt when we think we aren’t spending enough time working

We feel guilt when we don’t have the time or energy to make dinner

We feel guilt when the houseplants are thirsty, and our furniture is drowning in dust

The one thing we never seem to feel guilty about is when we neglect ourselves.

So I want to remind you all, make that dreaded annual Dr. appointment, (I for one am overdue) Lock your self in your bedroom and give yourself a facial. Take yourself for a walk (OK you can take the dog with you if leaving it home will make you feel guilty) Sit down with a cup of coffee and look through one of the magazines that’s been lying around for a few months untouched. Do something for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it, nobody else does.

Jill

Panic and Stress

A couple weeks ago I talked about panic and stress and how I wanted to figure out an acronym for each of the words.  Well, I did it and uploaded the file to my site.  So if you want to print your own (colorful) panic and stress sign, click here : )  It is a pdf file and you only need to print one and then cut it apart.  Hopefully it will help me (and you) chill out during this busy season.

Hmmmm.....I'm thinking maybe I need some kind of little stuffed animals, or pet rocks, I could name panic and stress. Then maybe I could learn to take care of them and love them. Notice I did not say plants? I so kill plants : )

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fantastic Friday: Increase Targeted Website Traffic

I am currently enrolled in Cricket's search engine optimization classes online because Lynn did. And I always do everthing Lynn does. She's awesome. I'm on lesson 4.5.

This whole process has been eye opening. Over 400 pages of our custom furniture website have been indexed by google. We get about 130 hits per day. Most orders are placed via telephone, not online. But, since we do not have a brick and mortar store, we know they find out about our furniture online. We do a good amount of business and make a decent living. I'd like to do a phenomenal amount of business and make an awesome living. Thus, the search engine optimization classes.

Cricket's Lesson 4.5, Increase Targeted Website Traffic, leads with: "Imagine for a moment here that my business involves country style decorations for the home. I am currently working on optimizing a page which includes various wall decorations."

Hmmm... we make custom furniture, but we mostly make American Country style custom furniture. So, this lesson hits home in a unique way.

Cricket advises to pick one niche, and focus on that niche for the duration of the classes. I picked wood tv stands because we happen to make some nice ones, like this 56 inch Girtz Plasma TV Stand:

wood tv stands

So be like me and do what Lynn does... take Cricket's Search Engine Optimization classes to learn to increase traffic! Then come back here and tell us what you think!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do What You Love

A piece of advise successful entrepreneurs are always throwing around. The idea being if you are doing what you love, it will be easier to attain success. This weekend I went to see Jimmy Buffett, talk about someone who is the poster child for this train of thought. He gets on stage portraying a barefoot, carefree child at heart, having the time of his life, while he is raking it in. He has turned what he loves doing into a major empire. Playing all summer to sold-out concerts, while Parrotheads everywhere are drinking his Margaritaville tequila and Land Shark Beer. Then there are his record and book sales, toped off by his chain of Margaritaville restaurants with gift shops selling everything from $500 margarita makers to key chains (which of course double as bottle openers).

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big Jimmy fan, and have personally added to his pile of money. I was just wishing that all of us could be having that much fun while we were getting fifthly rich!
Jill

Moms Blogs & Moms Clubs

I've been on the hunt for new business lately. Did some searches for moms groups, moms clubs in my area and landed on the Chester County Moms blog. Today, Sarah over at Chester County Moms featured my glow in the dark pillowcases in a product review! That just makes my day:0) I had emailed her a few weeks ago and she replied with a cheerful note and positive feedback about Comfy Cozy. It's exciting when someone you don't know has such cool things to say about what you make - even more exciting when they want to tell others about it!

I found some cool blogs for moms - where were they when my boys were 1 and 3?? They are a great place to learn, share and vent.

I've also been contacting MOMS Clubs in PA. When my boys were really young, I went to my local MOMS Club a couple of times. They are great when you need to get out of the house but have to take your kids. I figured the best way to increase sales and get the word about my company is to go directly to my target market. DUH! It took alot of time and research, but I was able to contact them. The advertising cost is minimal for their newsletters and it's good to know that the fee goes to support their efforts in their communities.

The ads will start running in the next week or so. I offered them a special offer and hopefully some of the moms will be just as excited as Sarah and order a couple pillowcases for the holidays.

Advertising is so expensive that I rarely do it. But I think I've hit on something that is beneficial to me and the MOMS Club moms. I get some exposure, the moms learn about our fun and functional products (I stole that from Lynn) and make a little money for their projects.

The best thing so far is the great response I received to my intro email. The women were receptive to my request because I was a mom just like them:) One mom even said that after visiting my site she became inspired to go after her dream and start a business making quilting kits. Good for her - good for me! I hope her MOMS Club members give her alot of support and encouragement.

Catching Up

If you happen to read my personal blog After the Dust Settles, you know I've been sick. This cold is still hanging on, but as a (really) small business owner and a wahm, I have no one else to do the work. So I try to do a little bit each day. Just a little though....can't wait until I have my energy back.

Several times a day Periodically I type piggy banks into google, just to see where my site lands. Imagine my surprise joy when I found myself at #1 yesterday and today (so far). So exciting. I haven't been at number one for years....now we'll see how that affects business. I've been pretty steady this whole year, so I may not notice much of a change.

My site will be getting moved to a new server. Cross your fingers that goes well. Right now it is not passing the PCI security test. This is the guidelines the credit card companies want businesses to follow when they collect customer information. Once my site is moved to the new server, we'll be good to go. If I don't pass the tests, I'll have to pay a monthly fee for non compliance. Kudos to Jo for working on this for me.  Of course, I may owe her my first born : )

Hubby got my second kiln set up last week. I have to take some pictures of my work area. It's handy to have 2 of them now. It should make a huge difference in me staying somewhat caught up this year. Maybe it won't be quite as stressful a holiday season....I can dream : )

And that's it....I need to get moving here and get some stuff done : )  Only 2 weeks to election day!  Yay!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

And the Winners Are

First of all, thank you to everyone who visited our sites and who signed up to follow our blog. We appreciate your friendship.

Please contact the person who's prize you have won.

Kandas - kellyh

Diane - georgie

Noelle - marrdy

Peggy - megryansmon

Jill - pseudonymoushighschoolteacher

Lynn - bink

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Doom and Gloom or The Glass is 1/2 FULL......
I choose to believe the glass is 1/2 full. I think that you are what you believe and if you believe in doom and gloom then you will be a gloomy person. There is so much to be thankful for. Our beautiful FREE country. God Bless Her. :) Long may she live.
I wish you a beautiful day where ever you are. :)

It's Boss's Day!

Happy Boss's Day to all you hard working wahms out there : )


Click here for a little somethin' from me to you.


Have a great day and reach your left arm around your right shoulder and give yourself a pat on the back.  You done good : )

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Search Engines & Robots

Do you think the Jetson's had any idea what search engines, spiders and robots had in common?

For WAHMS, we aren't just moms, wives and business owners, we're inventors, designers, crafts"man" (I'm not so politically correct!), assembly workers, accountants, receptionists, customer service reps, sales reps, etc etc. We are also computer geeks! I know more than I want to know about my computer and software and updating my web site. We often spend more time on our computer, than on actually running our business. Let me clarify, we are RUNNING OUR BUSINESS when we are updating our web sites, but I'd rather be designing!

I am not a really good computer geekand I can't believe I understand what I do! OK, Peggy, let's get to the point!

For the past few days I have spent HOURS on updating Key Words, Meta tags, descriptions on my web site, comfycozy.com. It's a daunting, time consuming task. All with the goal of increasing the rankings on Search Engines and landing on page one, so that when you look for a personalized pillowcase for Christmas, that Comfy Cozy is going to be the first web site on that page!

We all want to use whatever tricks we can to achieve #1 rankings on Google & Yahoo searches. Sometimes the tricks are doing us any good. I wanted to share something I learned about what is called a "robots follow" tag. Two web sites, highrankings.com and seoconsultants.com say that the robots follow tags and revisit-after tags are not going to increase your search engine rankings, don't effect when the spiders stop by and who created them. I was totally bummed! Now I have to go find another trick that will make me think I've got one up on my competition LOL! Check out the web sites for more information. Now, I'm going to do some REAL work - paying taxes...but that's another post for another day!



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Look Who's Featured In An Etsy Treasury!

Enter the Super Duper SuperWAHMz Contest!

The amazing and wonderfully talented, Diane, Custom Embroidery Goddess, had her embroidered lamb baby gift set featured in an Etsy treasury! In the first spot, not less!


Kudos to DistinctlyDiana for having such superior taste.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fantastic Friday: Crazy 8's

Enter the Super Duper SuperWAHMz Contest!


So... I TOTALLY stole this (including the picture) from http://herbigfamily.blogspot.com/ The lists, however, are mostly mine.


8 Favorite TV shows...
1. Battlestar Galactica
2. Doctor Who
3. Star Trek Deep Space Nine
4. Star Trek Voyager
5. Star Trek Next Generation
6. Star Trek Enterprise
7. House
8. Bones


8 Favorite Restaurants...
1. Spago (Las Vegas)
2. Taverna (Conroe, Texas)
3. Chez Panisse (Berkeley, California)
4. Da Nang (Berkeley, California)
5. Cha Cha Cha (San Francisco, California)
6. Buca di Beppo
7. Sweet Tomatoes
8. Texas Roadhouse


8 things that happened yesterday...
1. Went for a 45 minute walk.
2. Evaluated a Mark's speech at Toastmasters.
3. Did two loads of laundry.
4. Fixed the BEST tortilla soup ever!
5. Went to the post office to mail presents.
6. Picked up the books I had on hold at the library.
7. Went to a PTO meeting.
8. Ran out of yellow ink and could not finish printing Shaka Studio's new Dining Table catalog.


8 things to look forward to...
1. Camping at Dinosaur Valley State Park Thanksgiving weekend.
2. A Hair Cut.
3. Camping at Space Center Houston with my Girl Scout troop next month.
4. The presidential election being over.
5. A SuperWAHMz retreat!
6. Our Girl Scout Service Units' 3rd Annual Juliette Low Birthday Party
7. Being given an antique piano.
8. The Holidays


8 things I love about Fall...
1. The temperature drops below 80 (usually)
2. Opening the windows
3. I find the time to craft
4. Not sweating when I walk to the mailbox
5. Fixing soup for dinner
6. Wearing my black boots
7. School!
8. Thanksgiving dinner


8 things on my wish list...
1. A cleaning lady
2. Financial Freedom
3. Tranquil moments of pure free time and no guilt
4. More local cabinet refinishing jobs
5. More tiger maple and cherry custom furniture orders
6. To own income producing rental property
7. Regular pedicures
8. A snazzy white Mercedes convertible

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Specials at D's

Enter the Super Duper SuperWAHMz Contest!

I just bet you will be so excited when the election is over. I know I will be.
We all need a little financial relief. I can't offer billions in a bailout but...
D's has decided to offer a limited time special on a couple of our gift items. We are also offering FREE shipping on orders placed by November 15th.
If you do early/mail in voting, please remember to sign your ballot.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Balancing Act

Enter the Super Duper SuperWAHMz Contest!

I think we all feel like we are doing a balancing act. We "superwahmz" aren't the only ones. While being a wife, mother and small business owner have some uniquely tricky moments, keeping all our plates from crashing to the ground is a challenge everyone faces. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking a tight rope and someone keeps making the distance longer with every step I make LOL. The past week or so, however, I'm making some headway across that tight rope!

It feels pretty good. I've decided to not let the recent headlines and financial crisis make me lose my balance. I'm challenging myself to stay focused on the positives and not get caught up in anxiety, fear and hopelessness. (After all, you'll still be ordering my Comfy Cozy Glow in the Dark Pillowcases for Christmas gifts won't you!!)

Having a visual image of what a REAL balancing act looks like helps immensely! I find the following 2 examples help me to "walk the walk". I have apparently forgotten about these the past few months when I was swaying back and forth, on the verge of falling! It seems a good time to look at them again and buck up to the challenges that face me.

The first one is the amazing accomplishment of Libby as the first woman to walk the Lost Arrow Spire Highline. You HAVE to watch this video with the sound. Libby is one of my heroes now and somewhere on my list of 100 things I want to do in my life, is to walk a highline! OK, my husband isn't too thrilled with the idea, so I'm starting with putting a cable in my yard. It may only be 6 inches off the ground, but I think it will be great for me and my boys to walk on!

The second one I learned about from my oldest son, who brought home The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.
I was amazed, impressed and in awe of what Philippe Petit had done. It was on
Aug. 7, 1974, when Petit stepped onto a cable rigged between New York’s Twin Towers and proceeded to walk back and forth, literally suspended in midair, only pausing to lie down for a bit of a rest—1,368 feet above the ground. YIKES! (Note: Libby had a safety line, Philippe did not!) It's a great story for kids. Not the part that his walk was illegal, but the accomplishment. So my boys could appreciate his walk, we drew a chalkline, the same distance, in front of our house and tried to walk it without falling off ...not that easy!
Both of these are inspiration that no matter how hard it is to balance everything in our life, we can do it. The wind will blow, the distance will seem endless, but we CAN do it.




Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Super Duper SuperWAHMz Contest

Are you ready for a contest?
(sung to the tune of "Are you ready for some football???")  
Pay attention, because there are a few prizes and a few ways you can get a few entries to win one of the few prizes.

Let's do prizes first... (commence clapping.  you can hoot and holler too, if you want.)
First up from Kandas at Shaka Studios, we have a $150 Gift Certificate good towards the purchase of this lovely Brazos TV Stand or any handcrafted furniture or bedding from Shaka Studio. (oooo's and aaaaah's would be appropriate now : )



Secondly, from Diane at D's Sticheree, we have this ADORABLE embroidered Doggie Tote Bag. (imagine  a Price is Right model holding this : ) Valued at $34.00, it can be personalized just for your pooch. Imagine all the doggie treats this cute tote could hold.



Next up, from Noelle at Cabin Fever Primitives, a hand poured, highly scented, 16 ounce jar candle. (breath deeply and you can just smell it : ) Valued at $16.95, a great gift for someone you know, or a treat for yourself.



"What's next???" you ask. How about a little something from Peggy at Comfy Cozy? An ORIGINAL "magical" Glow in the Dark Make a Wish Pillowcase! (these are really cool!) Perfect for anyone that believes in wishing on a star. Valued at $18.95, it can also be Personalized : )



Wait, we're not done yet....Jill from Tips From Home is giving away a $99 membership to Branddoozie, the do-it-yourself marketing tool that provides start-ups and small businesses with online access to design, publish and print marketing materials. The Start up package includes a matching Brochure, Flyer, Business Card, Envelope, Letterhead and Postcard. It also includes a Free logo builder, and you'll be able to upload your own photos and have access to our free stock photography. (this is way cool!)



And last, but not least, would be my prize....you know me as Lynn - the piggy bank painter, but I do paint other things. In honor of the upcoming election (will it ever end?), I am giving away this assortment of hand painted, Americana items from Korff Ceramic Originals. A set of votive candle holders, tea bag holders and a double spoon rest, a total value of $44.00, these are great gifts for yourself, or someone you love.  (I say "keep them" : )

How to Enter.....
  1. to get 1 entry in our contest, simply leave a comment.
  2. to get another entry (that makes 2) follow our blog.
  3. to get yet another entry (this would make 3) blog about our contest and link to it. Then leave us a comment so we know where to look for our link.
  4. to get 6 more entries (yes, I said 6) visit each of our 6 websites that are listed with the prizes. Find your favorite product at each site (w/price, if applicable) and leave a comment back here for each website. Please leave a separate comment for each website.
I know, I know, it sounds confusing. But you bloggers are smart people and I know how you all like multiple entries... *grin* You can do it.

The rules (are as follows)...
  • There will be a random drawing for EACH prize offered, from all entries received.
  • You may win more than one prize.
  • No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Etc, etc, etc.....
  • The prizes will be shipped free of charge to US residents. If you are outside the US and would like to enter, and win, you would be asked to pay the shipping charge.

This contest will run from Tuesday, October 7th to Tuesday, October 14th. Drawings will be held on or around Wednesday, October 15th .

Have Fun and Good Luck!

Wyld Woman Award

I was blog surfing and happend upon a quilting blog called Stitches and Ditches. She had been given a Wild Woman Award!

So, I think: "Hmmmm.... Do I know any amazing women?" DUH! Took about 5 seconds to cut and paste this Award to give me my FAVORITE Wylde Women!

This award was created by Tammy Vitale to send love and acknowledgment to women who brighten your day, teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy. The SuperWAHMz certainly do that for me!

These are the rules of this award:

1. You can give it to one or one hundred or any number in between - it's up to you. Make sure you link to their site in your post.

2. Link back to this blog site ( http://www.tammyvitale.com ) so I can go visit all these wonderful women.

Read more about the award at: http://tammyvitale.typepad.com/women_art_life_weaving_it/2008/07/wylde-women-award.html

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fantastic Friday: Win American Country Furniture by Shaka Studios

Morning Musings

Almost every morning, after I put my nine year old on the bus, I grab the dog and head out for a walk around the neighborhood. I listen to recorded books and think up witty insights that would make perfect posts on this blog. I sure wish I could remember some of those witty insights by the time I return home and sit down to blog. Sigh.

In case you are wondering which recorded books I listen to... the last three titles are:
  • Star Wars: Legacy of the Force #8: Revelation
  • Lemony Snickets' - A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window
  • Douglas Adams' - The Salmon of Doubt

Lest you think I only listen to Sci Fi, I am a business owner, so I also enjoy listening to Jack Canfield, Robert Kiyosaki, Suzi Orman, etc.

100 Things

An update to my list from last week.

REVISED 72. I cook on a gas range. WELL... I have a little extra cash right now and my oven has been "broken" for over 2 years. The broiler does not work. I did some shopping around for a gas oven. After having put serious consideration into this, I've decided that for now I am perfectly content with my ceramic top range. It's very easy to clean. Gas ranges do not appear to be as easy to keep clean. I don't like to clean. So... number 72 on my list can wait and I'm just going to repair my oven.

79. I have a lap pool and jacuzzi.

80. I have an amazing yoga instructor from whom I learn weekly.

81. I have tried scuba diving.

82. I make someone laugh each day. (During my early 2o's this was my mantra. How did I let this slip away?)

83. I am comfortable wearing a sexy black dress and occasionally I do.

Spot the Black Bat & Win!

FIVE lucky winners will each receive a $150 Gift Voucher towards the Shaka Studios product of their choice.Choose from one of our signature painted American Country classics or new Figured Maple or Cherry offerings.

Contest ends 10/31/2008. Winners will be drawn and notified on 11/1/2008.

Enter To Win...

BONUS: Save $25 on your internet purchase of $100 or more. Use code 311083552 in the "Discount Coupon" field under the "Voucher" header on the check out page. Shop Now...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dogs Rule

Here at D's we have added a FUN new item to our Family FUN Wear line of great embroidered gifts.
We believe that Dogs are family too and we thought that you might like to proudly display your pooches name on a colorful tote. Of course we all love cats too so keep an eye out for our new Cats Rule items, coming soon. I am looking forward to adding more Dogs Rule items as time goes by.
Since this is Thankful Thursday let me see if I can find something to be thankful for.....hhhmmmmm lets see....... LOLOL as if I can't find a ton of things to be thankful for. :)
Today though I think I will say I am thankful for my health. Although fighting my weight, all in all my health is pretty good. I have work, I am thankful for that. I have an awesome husband and I am super thankful for that. I have awesome kids and grandkids. Oh my gosh, who could ask for more. AND, let me not forget my SuperWAHMz friends. They are THE best. I have some pretty awesome non wahmz friends also. I am so thankful for friends. Life is just good. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Defining Success

SUCCESS is Always a String of Failed Attempts to Get it Right

How do you define success? It's been a rough couple months for me. Well, rough may be too harsh of a word. Let's say a bit stressful and frustrating. For a few days, here and there, I've had a hard time defining myself as a "success". Whether it was as a mom or a business owner, it just seemed that I wasn't making the grade.

I was defining success in lots of ways - hoping to find ANY way that would make me feel better! What I had forgotten, was the saying that I often use as a mantra when it seems like I'm wallowing in a string of failed attempts and success seems unattainable. It was time I sit back and remember that success rarely comes easily and without some early failure, and certainly without a lot of hard work. I was hoping some things would be successful because I "wanted" them too - right out of the box, no real effort on my part! What was I thinking??

As I accomplish little things, I feel better. Like today, I updated my web site comfycozy.com. It's not where I want it, but I am gearing up for Christmas and it no longer talks about Back to School! I LOVE my Christmas Pillowcases:My reality check and reminder came when helping my 2 young sons with homework. They get frustrated and I hear them saying "I'll never be able to do this" or "I'm always making mistakes". It breaks my heart to hear them be so negative. So, I'm teaching them my mantra. Teaching them that SUCCESS is string of failed attempts to get it right. They'll misspell words and get math problems wrong MORE often then they'll get them correct UNTIL they put in the effort to learn them and soon SUCCESS will be theirs.

My kids have helped me accept that I AM a SUCCESS as a mom and as a business owner...I just have to remember that failure isn't necessarily a bad thing when we learn from it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happiness

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the best of everything they have.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Quotable Women

My eldest sister gifted a subscription to More magazine to me for no reason last year. More magazine caters to women over 40. I am 38. Hmmm.

I do admit to finding value in the magazine. This current issue was especially poignant. I'd like to share with you three quotes from the magazine that hit me in the oomph spot.

"'We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.' - J.K. Rowling, 43 in her commencement address at Harvard." (p. 27)

On living in Afghanistan, Jean MacKenzie says:

"If you cannot tell the difference between a sexual come-on and a death threat, then, in the words of one of our great political thinkers, you are in deep doo-doo." (p. 88)

And every corporation in America should take a lead from the following job negotiation between the University of Chicago Medical Center and breast-feeding-mom Michelle Obama:

"...she went to the interview with two-month-old Sasha in her arms. "I had on a breast-feeding top. I strolled in: 'Hi! This is me! New Baby!...'" She launched into her deal breaking list of demands: high salary, decent budget, an absolute right to structure her own hours."

Guess what? They gave her everything she asked for and she built a "whole new arm of the hospital." (p. 214) Don't let anything prevent you from breastfeeding your baby!

Check out www.more.com if you'd like to learn "more" about this magazine.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fantastic Friday: 100 Things

I stumbled upon a blog called Skip*ngo today and read the authors list of 100 things. My favorite author, Jack Canfield, writes about the power of the 100 things list in his book The Success Principles. The concept? Create a list of 100 things you want to do and then do them!

I created this list this morning, written as if they have already been completed. Some of the things I have already done, but I felt it important to list them again. I challenge you to make a list of your own. If you've read, watched or listened to The Secret, then you know why you should write the list in present or past tense. If you haven't, trust me, just do it. Writing the list in future tense will make the items things that you will do in the future, and that future may never come.

Here's my list:

  1. I’ve met Jack Canfield.
  2. We live on a small farm or ranch with a furniture studio and store on the property.
  3. I have completed my Bachelor’s Degree.
  4. I have seen the Lucy Skeleton in person.
  5. I own a Mercedes convertible, or something better.
  6. My daughter has a horse.
  7. My family has medical security.
  8. My daughter defines success for herself and others based on a happiness factor.
  9. I have a gorgeous head of hair.
  10. I surround my self with positive, happy, forward thinking, and successful, motivated people.
  11. I have a million dollars in liquid assets.
  12. I have donated large print books in my memory of my Aunt Dorothy to her local library.
  13. I have walked in a 5k.
  14. I inspire others to be their best.
  15. I have viewed the Nisbet Castle in Scotland.
  16. I have visited the Coliseum in Rome.
  17. I have enjoyed Disney World with my daughter.
  18. I have visited Alabama with my daughter.
  19. I have visited Alaska with my daughter.
  20. I have visited Arizona with my daughter.
  21. I have visited Arkansas with my daughter.
  22. I have visited California with my daughter.
  23. I have visited Colorado with my daughter.
  24. I have visited Connecticut with my daughter.
  25. I have visited Delaware with my daughter.
  26. I have visited Florida with my daughter.
  27. I have visited Georgia with my daughter.
  28. I have visited Hawaii with my daughter.
  29. I have visited Idaho with my daughter.
  30. I have visited Illinois with my daughter.
  31. I have visited Indiana with my daughter.
  32. I have visited Iowa with my daughter.
  33. I have visited Kansas with my daughter.
  34. I have visited Kentucky with my daughter.
  35. I have visited Louisiana with my daughter.
  36. I have visited Maine with my daughter.
  37. I have visited Maryland with my daughter.
  38. I have visited Massachusetts with my daughter.
  39. I have visited Michigan with my daughter.
  40. I have visited Minnesota with my daughter.
  41. I have visited Mississippi with my daughter.
  42. I have visited Missouri with my daughter.
  43. I have visited Montana with my daughter.
  44. I have visited Nebraska with my daughter.
  45. I have visited Nevada with my daughter.
  46. I have visited New Hampshire with my daughter.
  47. I have visited New Jersey with my daughter.
  48. I have visited New Mexico with my daughter.
  49. I have visited New York with my daughter.
  50. I have visited North Carolina with my daughter.
  51. I have visited North Dakota with my daughter.
  52. I have visited Ohio with my daughter.
  53. I have visited Oklahoma with my daughter.
  54. I have visited Oregon with my daughter.
  55. I have visited Pennsylvania with my daughter.
  56. I have visited Rhode Island with my daughter.
  57. I have visited South Carolina with my daughter.
  58. I have visited South Dakota with my daughter.
  59. I have visited Tennessee with my daughter.
  60. I have visited Utah with my daughter.
  61. I have visited Vermont with my daughter.
  62. I have visited Virginia with my daughter.
  63. I have visited Washington with my daughter.
  64. I have visited Washington, DC with my daughter.
  65. I have visited West Virginia with my daughter.
  66. I have visited Wisconsin with my daughter.
  67. I have visited Wyoming with my daughter.
  68. We own a store where we sell our custom furniture.
  69. I know how to fly a plane.
  70. I have met all of my SuperWAHMz buddies in the flesh. (Diane & Noelle, check. Look out Hedy, Lynn & Peggy!)
  71. I have been to an Oprah taping.
  72. I own income producing rental property.
  73. I cook on a gas range.
  74. I have a deep freezer.
  75. I have a pair of oval shaped gold hoop earring.
  76. My husband buys me jewelry.
  77. I have visited Dinosaur Valley State Park with my daughter.
  78. I have come up with 22 more things for my 100 list.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Presidential Election

This "Quick Study" is missing candidates from parties other than the traditional, but it does seem accurate but it is missing some important information: http://www.barcharts.com/system/downloads/free/Declare_Yourself_08.pdf

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008 here are the other candidates: "The Libertarian Party has nominated former Congressman Bob Barr, the Constitution Party has nominated pastor and radio talk show host Chuck Baldwin, and the Green Party has nominated former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Ralph Nader declined to seek the Green Party nomination and is running as an independent candidate."

Click around on the Internet to find out where each candidate stands, including the ones that aren't getting as much press! Knowledge is power. Before you vote, you should know all the facts. Don't vote based on hearsay and rumors.

Disclosure - SuperWAHMz is a group of individual women with individual politics. We do not endorse any candidate as a group. All opinions stated are our own individual opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire group.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

S * T * R * E * S * S

Boy oh boy, I can tell this is going to be a humdinger of a week.....yesterday I wrote about panic and today I am going to write about stress.  Not a good sign so early in the shopping season.

Today the feeling of panic has passed, but boy do I feel stressed. It's like if one more thing comes up that I have to do, or take care of, or deal with, I think I will just scream. Really.

So here is my STRESS mantra.....I need help with the last "s"es.
S - slow down
T - take a deep breath
R - relax
E - exhale
S - scream.  okay, not really, but that's what I want to do.
S - ???

Oh Yeah...

I forgot to mention yesterday that last week, when I had to use SIL's computer to do a little work, I was able to hook up my external hard drive and retrieve whatever passwords and info I needed.  It was about a month out of date, but it sure was better than nothing.

So BACK UP YOUR HARD DRIVE.  You never know when you will need it.  Go.  Go back it up now.  Like today.  Don't wait, go do it.

And I haven't decided what the "I" in PANIC should stand for.  Got 2 great suggestions from you girls....imagination (or imagine) and inspire (or inspiration).

Should I imagine my life being stress free?  Or use my imagination to make things work?

Or should I think of my inspiration?  What inspires me to work so hard here at home.... Or how can I inspire others through what I do?

Hmmm....tough choice. I'll keep thinking about it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

P * A * N * I * C

After the power outage of last week, and combined with being busy all summer, I can feel panic coming on. I usually get so busy thru November and December I paint almost 24/7. I get scary busy. Really.

I do have some help, but as a control freak/wahm, it's hard to "outsource" a lot of what I do. I just like being in control. It's my business and I want to do things my way.

Anyway, as I was shopping this morning, thinking about the upcoming Holiday Season, I could feel the stress starting. The panic setting in. I told myself I have to figure out a way to calm down and take it as it comes. It's not here yet, there's no sense in panicking now.

So I thought maybe if I made a little word game....I'm not sure if it would be an acronym or something else...each letter of PANIC will stand for something else. So, when I start to panic, I can go through these other words in my head and maybe I can de-stress myself.

This is what I have so far. Suggestions are welcome for all letters...
P - patience. Because sometimes you have to take your time and do things slowly.
A - attitude. A positive attitude will take you much farther than a negative.
N - no. Because sometimes you have to say "no." You can't do everything asked of you.
I - I had something thought up for I, but now I can't remember it.
C - calm. Stay calm and don't get worked up over the little things. Or the big things, for that matter.

Well, I need help with the "I" since I forgot what it was I had in mind. Hopefully I can use this as a mantra, or maybe print it and post it here at my desk. Then when I start to panic, I can get a grip and relax. Anything to make things easier this fall....

WAHM w/o Power

I missed last Monday's post. I had no electric. Who'd have thought that Hurricane Ike would strike us here in SW Pennsylvania? It did. And it did bad. Thousands were without power for days. We lost ours for 2 days and the news is saying there are still a few folks without it yet.

Starting last week with no power made for a strange week. My business is internet based, as well as my kiln is an electric kiln. So, no electric meant not much work getting done. I did run over to my SIL's to use her computer, (and shower) but all firing was on hold. And that threw off my groove and put me behind.

I was almost caught up when Ike struck. I could see the bottom of my order pile....it was within reach. Then Ike came and went and my small pile orders grew into a larger one. Funny how many new orders came in last week. Which is good. But sometimes it is nice to know that you are caught up and have some breathing room.

Add on top of the newly placed orders, the current orders I screwed up. I'm going to blame it on our 2 days without electricity, because I want to blame it on something. I am not a stupid person, yet I made a few really stupid mistakes last week that I can only correct by repainting the orders. I'm not taking the blame for those myself, I must have been distracted or stressed or something. I know better.

This is not a good time for me to be making mistakes. Although, it's better to make them now and not in month or two when I am really swamped. It's just that I have SO MUCH to do to prepare for the fall rush and I don't have time to do it because I have to repaint orders that I should have done right in the first place. (How's that for a run-on sentence?) Argh, it's just frustrating.

At the very least, last week showed me I have to slow down a wee bit, take my time and read my orders carefully. Pay attention to the details. Or I will be in a hole too deep to climb out of when the holiday rush hits. And that will be very, very bad.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Super Saturday

Well, after being a whine baby about not having work, the universe saw fit to give me more work than I can handle right now..... so what do I do???? I start a blog...
http://stitchens-morninsunshine.blogspot.com/
I am so happy today that I thought I should start to share. I am basically a positive person, a little hard to be in these days of politics, economy and the lack of world peace but I sure try.
OK, I am off to work.......... :) Oh, how I love saying that.
Since I didn't post on Thursday I should be sure to pop in here now and say a word of thanksgiving that our dear friends are all safe and that Kandas has her electricity back up.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fantastic Friday: Electricity is Good

This truly is a Fantastic Friday! We have POWER! We have clean clothes. We have hot meals. We have a working refridgerater. We have internet access!

While much of our community is still without power and no where near back to normal, things are looking up. At 5pm today they announce which schools will re-open on Monday. I wonder if the kids realize they will have to make up this past week at the end of the year?

I went to the grocery store yesterday. The shelves were picked over but they are restocking. The store was very busy with people restocking their fridge's (like me). I threw out so much spoiled food!

This is what I learned from the Hurricane:

    • Electricity is good. But, you can live with out it.
    • However, you CAN NOT live without water.
    • Gas Ranges are a necessity and not a luxury. Guess who is getting a gas range ASAP?
    • Lift-top Deep Freezers can double as coolers in a pinch. Guess who is getting a deep freezer ASAP?
    • Neighbors and community are important. Don't piss off your neighbors, you might need them.
    • Share what you have because one day you might need it.
    • Kids can play outside without too much supervision and still be safe.
    • We have copperhead snakes living in our backyard. Ugh.
    • FEMA is good. That can not be said for all government agencies.
    • Even though you are recovering from a storm that was the size of the state of Texas, your customers will still call to check on the status of their orders.

Our shop is open today. The boys are assessing and planning. We should be back to normal by Monday. We are running a furniture and bedding sale to help us recover financially from the lost week.

Oh, and yesterday my 1995 Ford Explorer decided it no longer wanted to run. :(

But, we have POWER! And electricity is GOOD!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Don't Like Ike, Day 5

Day 5. Still no power. Stores are opening and the gas lines are getting to be less than ridiculous. My husband, Shane ventured out early this morning and found another cooler. I was relieved. It's hard to keep that much food cold when there is no room in the cooler for ice.

The "boys" (our employees) are coming over today to clean the backyard. They need money and it's the only work we can give them right now. We call them boys because we are old enough to be their parents. Boy, does that make me feel old. None of the boys have running water at their houses, so they will all take showers here.

A dear friend came over yesterday to fill up water jugs and take a shower.

I am running out of busy work to do. Today I am going to tackle decluttering my office. It's a big chore and a little difficult to do without power. Not only is it full of work stuff, old trade magazines, etc., I also have a huge section of Girl Scout related stuff that needs to be boxed up and moved to our new meeting location. I'll give it my best WAHM effort.

My neighbor bought a generator yesterday that is big enough to run the wash machine. She said I could wash a load of towels today. Thank goodness. A shower is wonderful but what's the point if you have to dry yourself with a stinky towel?

The other two major chores that need tackling are decluttering my closet and my daughter's closet. Those might wait until tomorrow. My office is a doozy.

Yesterday, my daughter and I ventured out to find ice. I had to visit two PODs. Found it at the second POD. FEMA really is doing a remarkable job with the PODs. Lots of city employees, fire department and police were working the distribution lines. KUDOs to FEMA and the City of Conroe!

Anyway, on our adventure we saw a caravan of 15 work trucks with backhoes and other heavy equipment from Georgia. We also saw a caravan of electric company trucks (bucket trucks) parked on the side of the road just a mile from our house! There are electric trucks from as far away as Canada here working to restore power! It's wonderful! I can't wait!

I can't log onto the internet in the afternoons. It's too much of a power drain on the neighbors generator. So, until tomorrow morning... This is Kandas the SuperWAHM, reporting in from Hurricane Ike Central. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

work, work, work

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, although that sounds kind of nice right now! I’ve just been too busy to get to anything extra like reading or posting to blogs. On top of my normal work, I have been doing a series of photos for a new landing page coming soon to Branddoozie’s website. Life has been stressful lately, and I have been feeling out of control, but the events of the past few days have but things into perspective for me. Looking at the devastation that Ike left behind made me realize that I have it pretty good right now. So I will get back to my piles of work and do it with a smile on my face.

I Don't Like Ike, Part 2

Well, this is day 4 after Ike. I thought it might be fun to learn what a WAHM does after a hurricane. Currently, we have water and gas but no electricity. Phone and DSL work. I am running my PC off the next door neighbor's generator. But, I only have a few minutes more before I need to shut down.

Yesterday (Day 3) went like this:

Woke Up. Ate defrosted frozen pastries.

Threw some undergarments in the bathtub with some liquid detergent. Stomped around in the tub for a few minutes. Rinsed out the garments. Rigged up a clothes line using my husband's weight set on the backporch and hung the garments on hangers to dry.

Hooked up the generator line to the laptop and read some email. Could not respond to messages for some reason. Also posted to our business blog and website that we'd be without power for up to 4 weeks.

Washed the pots from last nights grilled spaghetti dinner. Yes, we made spaghetti on the gas grill.

Made cheese sandwiches for lunch.

Cleaned out the fridge and freezer. Threw out over $100 worth of food. Fridge sparkles.

Garbage truck picked up. Thank goodness.

Mailman delivered someone else's mail to us.

Entertained 6 neighborhood kids with sidewalk chalk and a parachute.

Filed a couple months worth of vendor bills and correspondence.

Raked the front yard.

Swept the living room rug and floors.

Cleaned out some of the garage.

Went to neighbors house for hamburgers.

Slept like a log. Exhausted.

Day 4 agenda:

Email and Blog Posts
More in the garage.
File Customer Correspondence and Invoices
Clean out the pantry
Watch neighbor's kids
Drive to POD to pick up MRE's (look that one up on the internet)
Grill chicken for dinner with the neighbors

No school all week. So entertaining the kids is high on the priority list.

Hopefully, I can post more tomorrow!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Resume?

OK, I need a resume. I have owned and operated D's Stitcheree for 16 years. I know there must be something good I can put in a resume other than I am a SWAHM. I love being a SWAHM but find that I may now have to seek outside employment, at least for a little while. hhhmmmmm how does one compete with much younger workers when she has been at home for 16 years and does not have a formal education. Went to college 26 years ago. Do I go back to school at 56, hubby says no, I would never recoop the cost because employers would rather hire younger workers. I LOVE being a SWAHM and this will probably be mute in another month when my business picks up, BUT, for the time being this is an interesting predicament I find myself in.

Me & Angie - best buds

This quote came to me through my Google Alert for "wahm." I just had to share it...make sure you don't have a mouthful of, well, anything. Ready?

"Angelina Jolie really has a lot in common with the average WAHM, which means Work at Home Mom. They both have to figure out how to manage their time, household, and families while looking pretty."

You have GOT to be kidding me. A multi million dollar actress has something in common with me? There ain't no way our lives are even remotely similar. Sorry, I don't buy that. There is no way she works as hard as I do and makes as little money.

And since when does she work at home? I don't think a movie set in some far-off place constitutes home.

And the last part of this quote, "while looking pretty." Uh...apparently the author here has not worked at home long. Or has a whole different idea of it. While I get up and shower every morning, brush my teeth and fix my hair, I sure don't go out of my way to look pretty while working at home. Really, for who? The dogs?

Anyway, this just amused the heck out of me, so I posted it. What do the rest of you wahm's think about it?

Here's the whole Google Alert......I'll give credit where credit is due.

Angelina Jolie is the Perfect WAHM, now what does that mean?
Angelina Jolie really has a lot in common with the average WAHM,
which means Work at Home Mom. They both have to figure out
how to manage their time, household, and families while looking pretty.
Debbie Cluff went from a simple SAHM (stay at home mom) to a
WAHM and has ideas on how to market the at home phenonmenon.
Go to powerstrategies.tv for the entire article.
Links for Learning: Online Coaching - http://linksforlearning.wordpress.com

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fantastic Friday: I Don't Like Ike

I'm writing this post on Thursday... not really Fantastic Friday... but I had to get this off my chest today!

I don't like Ike! No offense, I'm sure he's a perfectly nice storm but he is causing panic here in Southeast Texas.

At 8:30 this morning, I popped over to the grocery store because we were out of milk and coffee. The kid needs milk. The husband needs coffee. One hour and 30 minutes later, and after much trauma, I finally checked out.

It was mass panic! People were bumping into my cart and shoving their way to the check out lines. At 8:30 in the morning no less!

WHY?

How about the non-stop news coverage about Ike? He's coming to Houston, don't you know? EVACUATE! Get the heck out of Dodge.

Now, here's the thing. I live 150 miles inland and 60 miles north of Houston. By the time Ike hits my community, it will be nothing more than wind and rain. There is no reason to panic, and certainly no reason to ram your grocery cart into someone elses.

My heart goes out to the folks down south under mandatory evacuation. They are sitting in their cars as I type in 95 degree weather in bumper to bumper traffic, hoping that when they get home, their homes will still be there.

But HERE!! Where I live? That's not an issue. At worst, a few trees might fall down. No reason at all to panic.

Okay, so maybe it's not Ike's fault. It's the way that people are responding to Ike that I don't like.

Have a fantastic Friday! I'm going to enjoy the day with my husband and daughter. Hubby is staying home because even though our shop is well out of harm's way, he doesn't want to drive in the traffic. Daughter will be home because the school district figured no one would show up anyway, so they closed the schools. I have plenty of milk and coffee. It will be a great day! Thanks Ike!


Today is September 11th. Here's the famous flag of flowers to honor those that should never be forgotten:

Now that I think about it, someone bashing my cart at the grocery store really isn't that big of a deal compared to what thousands of people went through just 7 years ago today.

Lessons from my mother

My mother is a saint - or she should be granted sainthood! My father & mother have more patience than anyone I've ever known - they needed it! Life wasn't perfect, we were your typical average "middle class" American family in the 60's & 70's.

I've tried to become my mom on occasion - yes, I don't think "being like your mother" is an insult! Since I had my children she has tried and tried and tried to teach me certain ideas and ways to be a mom.

The other day I asked her advice. Told her she could deny my request OR be honest with me and I wouldn't be offended by anything she said. After years of suggesting things to me, she said "yes"! Sometimes our conversations are going over the same struggles of being a mother - she says I'm too hard on myself and still talk to my boys too much. This time, she said a few things she had never said before - how can that be? Not only that, what she said hit me like a ton of bricks - I could ACTUALLY follow this advice...at least I think I can LOL It was a light bulb moment.

The lessons I've learned from my mom have helped me get thru some rough days of motherhood. How blessed I am to have her and my father in my life. I don't take a moment
of them for granted. I thank God for all the lessons they have taught me, even the ones that took YEARS to make sense.

They helped me when my business was struggling and I thought I'd have to give it up. Our boys were young and I was more of a mom than a business owner. They loaned me money and support. But didn't hesitate to say "Peggy, it's time to either make this company work or let it go". That was an important one.

I hope I can teach a few lessons to my boys that will stick with them and make them better people and great fathers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hump Day

Hump month. This morning I ran my reports from last month so that I could pay my taxes. D's did not sell anything last month. First time in 16 years I had a $0 report. This bothers me on so many levels. I am wondering if when the election is over, things will get back to normal? This is such a historic election, such an unsure time for our country. Personally I am tired of all the pettiness on both sides. Get on with Country Business and get jobs and money flowing again. What is wrong with these people. Small business is the back bone of our country but what are we gonna do if small business close because of $0 monthly reports. I am trying to stay positive. I wish we could get across to them (the politicians) that we don't want partisanship. We want results.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cleaning Day

Well, school has been back in session for over a week now and do I feel like I am getting on a schedule?  Ummmm, not really.  Still can't seem to get organized. But things are getting done, so maybe in the near future I will be ready for the fall rush.

I know getting my desk cleaned off would certainly help with the organization. Plus it would make me feel good. But something always comes up and that task gets pushed to the back of the line (again). I think they call that prioritizing.

So while I prioritize it to the bottom of my list, the papers keep stacking up, and I get to feeling cluttered. Physically and mentally. Not a good thing for a wahm.

So today, I am going to get my desk all cleaned off and see if that helps my overall being. Physical and mental. It certainly can't hurt and I know looking at a clean desk will just make me "feel" better....I'll let you know how it goes : )

p.s. After the Dust Settles has a new look. Check it out!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thankful Thursdays

Of course we all know how thankful I am about just about everything so I wont bore you with that today. :) My dad just sent the cutest little PS that I could not help but pass it on. I think we need to remember this, as WAHMz. Keeping in mind what is important to each of us.

Thought for the day

Handle every Stressful situation like a dog.

If you can't eat it or play with it,
Pee on it and walk away.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Picking Your Battles

Ready the last few posts, helped me decide what to write about today. Working from home for the last 25 years has taught me a few things about setting priorities. When you work from home it’s easy to blur the lines between stay at home mom and work at home mom. When you leave each day to go work somewhere else, I think it easier to not fret about the fact that your house isn’t clean or your dirty dishes are in the sink. But when you work at home you suddenly think you are supper woman and can do everything at once.

Let it go. Pick your battles. A clean house is great, but the only one who really notices it is you. Give your self a break and only worry about those things that really matter at the end of the day.

Stress and guilt are killers, and I wish we could figure out a way not to be so hard on ourselves, but as woman I think we are just wired that way

Sarah Palin - WAHM or not?

So, I've been thinking of whether or not I should write a post about something "political". I decided this wasn't so much political as it was professional. Regardless of what you think about Sarah Palin's politics, you have to admit that she's a successful woman, wife and mother. All I could think of last week when she was on tv, was "how does she get thru a day - how does she do it?".

I wasn't so much caught up in the immediate attention of her being a WOMAN that was selected to possibly be the Vice President of the United States, but the fact that she was a MOTHER who could possibly be the Vice President of the United States! Not a mom of grown children, but a mom of 5 kids spread over 18 years and one is a BABY! My respect for her as a politician and professional woman is one thing, but here she is taking on this HUGE opportunity with kids in tow:)

Sarah Palin may have lots of help. Something tells me she isn't doing the laundry at midnight, but we do know she's nursing a baby at 2 am! She probably doesn't dust either, but something tells me, she would if she had another hour in the day. As a Governor, doesn't she "work at home"? Is her office in the Governors residence? I'm sure there is one there. She probably has times when one of her kids will come into her office and not even care that she's the governor, to them she's just "mom" and they want something to eat or $5 LOL. OK, she probably has a secretary that just might ask them to wait - I'm sure they don't have to make an appt.

I write about her because I've been having an exceptionally rough patch as a wahm. I wrote about the guilt /regret thing and it's just not "in me" to whine and pout for more than a few minutes. This summer seemed to be a combination of "life is wonderful, enjoy every minute" and "life is hard, how do I get thru the next minute".

When I saw Sarah Palin on stage, I started getting excited about my life and the possibilities that lie ahead. She obviously has worked hard to get to where she's at, threw a few punches along the way and certainly took some...she most definitely will be taking on alot of folks that would rather not see her succeed past being Governor of Alaska.

I've put things on hold with Comfy Cozy because of how it might effect my kids and husband. I've also used that as an excuse to not take chances. Sarah Palin is an example for us to take those chances. She may not be perfect - who is?

So, my point is that Sarah Palin was and still is a wahm. She was a small business owner and we all know that means you work at home even if you have an office somewhere. The next time someone doesn't see me as a "working woman" or comments that I don't have a "real job", I'm going to let it roll right off my shoulders...we could have a WAHM in the White House.

I'm wondering what you think?