Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Half empty?? Half full??

OK -- I have to be honest here ... I am struggling a bit.

Oh ... business is good.  Bills are under control.  Our health is great.  And work is even getting done around the house ... though it may not be the work that we planned.

No ... this is the struggle. 


Yep ... the number 60.

It gets listed on my driver's license as of Sunday.  I turn 60.

When in the world did I get so old????

Last time I looked .... I was 21!!!

And this is what is getting to me ............ best case scenario, I'm 2/3 done.

Two-thirds of my life is over????  Really???

I've got sooooo much to do!!!!  I am not even close to accomplishing everything I wanted to accomplish.  Heck -- just getting through my yarn and fabric stash alone should keep me going for another 50 years!!!

Those dreams of my youth still haunt my memories.

I wanted to be the first female President of the United States .... and its sad to think, theoretically, it could still happen.

I wanted my house to be published in a magazine.  Old farmhouses with living rooms with blue wallpaper with hearts probably won't make House Beautiful.  (Cue the 1980's geese!)

I wanted to weigh what my driver's license says I weigh.  Yea ... Not. So. Much.

So very much more I want to  do .... and the question is, Will I?

Everyone says .... It is only a number.  And it is.

But its a BIG number!

It seemed so old when I was 19. 

It seemed so far away.

And now its here.

I guess I will just have to stay tuned to watch the end of the story. 

I hope you will watch with me.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our Changing Landscape ... part 2

In the flower industry .... cuts that come from shrubs like hydrangea, viburnum and willow are called woodies.

I was going to title this post ... "the year of the woody".  But my very infantile-minded friends .. would immediately start giggling.  And I would be the butt of another joke.

Welcome to Beer Tuesday!  :)

Our plan this year was to spend most of the summer working on the house.

Cue Queen.

Yep ... another plan bit the dust.

So we jump on plan two!

All that remains of the willow ......


and the ash ....

is this.

Almost eighteen yards of wood chips that will find its way around my garden.  

Today is stump removal day.

Our stump grinding guy said the lower we got on the stump ... the cheaper it would be.

Yep .... Honey is whittling away on four large stumps and should have then all close to the ground by the time the stump grinder arrives.

He really needs a new chain saw and a good wife would make a note of that for a Christmas present.  

But what is there to cut down???  All of our large trees are down.

It may be a new Swiss Army knife!!!

So in the changes ............

 The Henry Lauder's Walking Stick was moved to the pond.  Not the best time of year to transplant ANYTHING   but we did it.  The leaves show signs of transplant shock but I think it just might make it.

The pond, on the other hand, needs resuscitation.  Liner needs to be replaced ... pumped died ... currently, it is a slimy, stinky mess.  It's another project that has been pushed back farther and farther down the list.

 Where the contorted fig (Henry Lauder's Walking Stick) was ... we planted this small but pretty Limelight hydrangea standard.  It had been pruned for ease of shipment.

But now ... I'm excited to report that small buds are forming!

Yea ... that will make me smile!

Right now, we have two new trees to plant in the place of the ash and the willow.  Including a beautiful paper bark maple!  (Smile number two!!!!)

Honey .... did you say something????  

You think we may need another tree???

Yep ... looks like we will be at our favorite garden center come closing time!!!!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

My snarky is coming through ....

I have been diagnosed with a dominant snarky gene.

I am absolutely certain of it.  If there was a test .... it would say that.  Dominantly snarky!

And I find ... the older I get .... the harder it is to hide it.

I mean .... I really do try to be nice.

But sometimes ..... me ... being nice???  Not so much.

I had that moment yesterday.

I got a phone call from the manager of a new community venture in a near by town.  He was looking to buy eggs at a wholesale .... so he could re-sell them at a profit.

Now ... selling eggs at a wholesale price is usually not a good deal for me.  I currently have a waiting list for our eggs.   I like to have eggs for our customers that come to the farm.  And my break-even point is usually below the "wholesale" price.  And when I sell eggs at wholesale .... I want it to be for our local restaurant .... The Depot.

Most small farmers in my area quickly sell out of fresh farm eggs so I don't know too many that have extra. But  I did give him a couple of names.

It surprised me as he did not recognize any of the names I gave him ..... and had no clue about their location and what they did.  He might as well been plucked out of Chicago for the knowledge he had about our neighborhood and little town.

And then .... he said something that released the snarky in me.

Well -- maybe we can help you advertise to help your business.

At that very moment ... there were four cars in my driveway ... three different groups, chatting, relaxing, picking flowers and having fun. 

There were kids on the swing.

A picnic in the corn-zebo.

Photos were being snapped left and right.

A tour bus had just left.

I had just gotten two or three hugs from people as they had gotten out of their cars.

And there it was!!! SNARKY!!!!

Your advertising won't increase my business.

Yea..... I said that.  Out loud.  And not just that little evil voice that lives in my brain.

I said it right to him .... out loud.  Because it is true.  No amount of advertising will increase my business.

Only one thing will.  Well ... two things.

Quality product.  Fun, friendly, warm atmosphere. 

And advertising can't give me that.  No matter how much you think it does ... it doesn't increase business.  It may increase visibility ... if people see it.  But it can't increase business on its own.

This is what increases business for me ..... this is a letter I received yesterday.

Dear Cathy,

I'm writing to thank you for the magical experience of picking flowers for our daughter Maggie's wedding to Jaron, in June.  It remains one of the biggest highlights of an incredible wedding week.  

The flowers were just spectacular, and we'll never forget the fun and beauty of picking them ourselves on your glorious far! Your warmth and joy heightened the wonder of the day -- Lizzy still wants to come and live with you.  Maggie and Jaron are so grateful to you, too for making their beautiful wedding even more breathtaking.

Thanks from all of us.

Advertising might bring people in .... it might let people know you are there.

But only you and quality product can increase your business.

But you can't be snarky!!!!