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Dear Cindy,

Hello!  I’m alive and well.  I saw your blog post and decided to write a letter letting you know what’s been happening with me.  Last time we connected was right before Christmas, no?  Well, that’s when I fell off the face of the blogosphere, so let’s just say then.

I had a really fun time doing the song challenge in November but then, all of a sudden, my blog reading and writing became nonexistent.  However, some stuff has happened to me in the last couple of months.  Here are some highlights.

My gouged finger has pretty much healed.  I have a dent in the pad of my finger, it’s still sensitive and the skin seems “new” rather than “scarred,” but for all intents and purposes, it’s back to normal.

The Christmas season was filled with lots of activity ~ shopping (which I hate), gatherings (which I love), and shenanigans (thanks to our full-grown nephews who continue to make me laugh every time I see them).

My cute, vintage angels, spelling tidings of good cheer.

 

My cute, vintage angels now exclaiming (in Spanish) the victory of Christmas?  Thanks Paenney and Fojo, for your word scrambling (and letter hiding) prowess.

 

Our nephews pull shenanigans, that’s for sure.  But they also saved us eleventy-thousand dollars a year by buying me and Husby a smart TV for a Christmas gift, allowing us to cut that dang cable once and for all.  Husby and I are now in the 21st century, bingeing on old-time favorites and brand new TV shows and movies.  Which is probably why I haven’t blogged in a while.

Right before Christmas I lost a great consignment gig.  A heartbreak for me.  I was with the shop for over a decade and poof ! I was history.  Amazing how agendas and skewed visions can be so personal, yet be disguised as a business decision.  Oh well.  Nothing I can do about it except pick myself up, brush myself off, and start all over again.  I’m still working on gaining strength to do that start-all-over-again thing.  I will not be intimidated by anyone who doesn’t know how to smile!  Despite my business and emotional bruises, I will survive and thrive.

Husby and I are doing fine.  In fact, just today, after weeks of excruciating hip pain, my right hip joint cracked.  Audibly.  My mobility has not been this great in many weeks!  Yay for positive joint alignment!

This week my dad celebrated his 87th birthday.  He and my mom treated the family to a lovely lunch at one of their favorite restaurants, and Charlotte provided the venue for post-lunch presents and cake.  Mom made Dad’s favorite angel food cake, accompanied by strawberry ice cream and chocolate milk (the chocolate milk being a birthday tradition in our family).

 

“Damn near 90” ~Dad

With that, I’ll tell you things are going okay in Minnesota.  The concerns and “worries” you expressed about me (and others) in your blog post touched me .  It’s not often that one knows they are missed, and when that’s expressed it means so much.

I’m grateful for you!

Love, Sara

 

This letter was written in response to a blogger who mentioned me in a post about bloggers gone missing (after she was temporarily one of them due to technical difficulties).  I’ve been behind in my blog reading and writing, and while trying to catch up I read one of Cindy’s blog posts from earlier this month and saw my name.  Not only did the mention of my name make me feel like a real, live person who could be noticed as not present, it made me feel like getting back to my blog (and other) writing.  Blog friends are real friends!

 

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Hello everyone!

It’s that time of year when everyone is bustling around, getting ready for whatever holiday they celebrate this time of year.  A week ago (for those in the U.S.) it was Thanksgiving.  Now it’s Christmas.  And those are just the events in my personal life.  Being a business woman I also need to provide for others who are looking for gifts during this time of year.  Apparently Auntie B’s products are in high demand.

So, there’s baking cookies, tidying up the house, pouring candles, decorating the house, making drink charms, cutting a Christmas tree, making magnets, trimming a Christmas tree, shoveling snow, updating the Etsy shop, planning holiday cheer menus, do the laundry, stocking retail shops…  The list goes on and on.

One of the things I’ve procrastinated on for way too long is blogging.  Today I’m going to post come hell or high water, good post or bad.

The thing is, when I procrastinate on one thing I accomplish another, which can’t really be called procrastination, can it?  I mean, I’m productive at least, or merely…prioritizing?  Yes!  That’s it.  I’m the master of prioritizing.  I call that Productive Procrastination.

But I put the “pro” in procrastination.

There’s some light, fluffy snow falling as I write this, and my spirits are high.  I feel motivated, although I know I’ll procrastinate on something(s).  What doesn’t get done, won’t, because something else will be done in its place.  Productive Procrastination.  At that, I’m The Pro.  For any “pro tips” on how to procrastinate effectively, you can contact me.

Please forgive the lack of photos in this post.  I know the internet is supposed to be all about eye candy, but I’m procrastinating with taking photos and/or digging them out of my archives.  And I ask you, do you seriously need picture books/blogs at your age?

Please forgive me for that last sentence if it offends you.  If pictures and photos are a requirement for your bloggy reading, put mine off for a while (i.e. procrastinate on it).  Many photos to come, if I get around to it.

If you want to find any of Auntie B’s products for some holiday gift-giving you can find them here:

The Farmer’s Daughter – White Bear Lake, MN

artZ Gallery – Amery, WI

Auntie B’s Wax – Etsy

 

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Everything Is Blunderful

My life is…completely unremarkable.  Except for the extreme blunders I make.  Blunders that make people wonder if I’ve had a stroke or am suffering some kind of psychosis.

I made one of those colossal blunders this week and I’ve been feeling badly about it for days.  It’s times like this I want to run away and hide.  Out of shame, out of embarrassment, or just to protect myself from committing more blunders.   I need a hiding place.  A private place.

This cottage and piece of property have been all but completely forgotten.  As far as I know it isn’t for sale, but from the looks of the upkeep the owners are there very seldom if ever at all.  It would be the perfect hiding place for me.

My blogging has been suffering lately, along with my self-respect regarding the most recent blunder.  The little cottage with the yellow door and shutters would be a wonderful place to think, reflect, and write.  In fact, this piece of property was pointed out to me as what could be my “perfect blogging retreat.”  I can’t disagree.

Take a closer look at the front window.  The reflection in the front window would be my view as I look up from my writing or my woes.  A beautiful lake and pristine forest surrounding it.

We all know one can’t run away from problems or blunders.  My problems won’t disappear even if I do, and blunders can’t be undone.  But how much easier would it be to erase those things from my mind, even if for a day or two, if I could escape to The Blogging Retreat?

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STOP IT!

So here I am, it’s 5:30 p.m. and I’ve barely gotten home from work.  I have a ton of things to do such as:

1. finish making and packaging drink charms
2. finish up packaging votives
3. price magnets
4. eat some dinner

I realized right now that I haven’t written a blog post for today, and I must in order to honor the challenge of 30 posts in 30 days.  Leave me alone!  I have way too much to do!  Plus, I’ve been working my a$$ off trying to train someone in at the day job, keeping up with the holiday inventory at the shops I stock, and plus I’ve got a week at the hospital in store for me starting tomorrow (watching over someone else).

That’s no reason.  To those who read blogs, especially those who are newcomers to this particular blog, the author’s personal problems are of no consequence.

Let me say this right now – I have nothing interesting to say today.  But look, I’m writing a blog post saying just that.  Those who know me will understand and those who don’t will never visit this site again.  So be it.  I warned everyone at the beginning of this challenge that some posts will be completely uninteresting.  This is one of them.  But I’m doing it.

So now I’m off to do some of those other things I committed to that don’t involve blogging.  It’s going to be a long night.  A long week.  Things are crazy, “cray-cray” as they say these days, and I hope you understand.

Hysterical…Wild…Cray-Cray…This is me – at least I’m finely accessorized.

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It’s All In My Head

Oh just look at me.

Wait.  On the other hand, don’t look at me.

I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me.

Seems like it’s been ages since I’ve done anything productive ~ in public, that is.  I haven’t been writing on my blog, I haven’t been updating my Etsy shop, I haven’t been filling my calendar with summer craft shows.  What have I been doing, you may ask?

Being a loser!

OK, not really.  I’ve got other people’s situations taking up room in my head.  I’ve got a friend going through a difficult situation with her dad, I’ve got my own dad who’s recovering from a knee replacement, I’ve got another person who’s going through an emotional break-up, I’ve got still another person who’s dipping his toes into the complexities and responsibilities of adulthood.

Then there’s my own stuff in my head.  I’m thinking of ways to spruce up and promote my Etsy shop, I’m preparing to host lovely Mother’s Day brunch this coming weekend, I’m crunching numbers in preparation for an upcoming retirement, I’m tuttering over the novel I started a year and a half ago, I’m stocking retail shops with my products, and I’m getting all pumped (and nervous) about a journey to a foreign land.

It’s all in my head and I have to get it out somehow.

Hey there bloggy friends ~ what’s keeping you from blogging?  I’m pretty sure it’s all in your head.

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MaryAnn Opened My Eyes

Today I had lunch with my life-long friend MaryAnn.  She’s been quite the Facebook fiend lately, posting a lot about any number of things.  I told her, as I was stuffing my face with fried rice and princess chicken, you totally should take those Facebook posts and put them on your blog.  

A long time ago I coerced MaryAnn into starting a blog and she liked posting for a while, but then the little bloggy space she created was abandoned without a second thought.

During our lunch MaryAnn told me all about some new challenges she’s undertaking to better her life, her quiet time spent at the A-frame cabin in the woods by the river, and some awesome things her husband can do, like building his own saw mill.  I looked at her with amazement and said, duh, more blog posts!

What? You mean my life is actually interesting enough to blog about?

She looked thoughtful for a while and decided that yes, it would be fun to document some of these things in her life.  Then she told me very pointedly that my blog, too, has been suffering.  She wondered if Dobby was ever given a sock and was quite relieved when she read my last post about the candles I poured last week, which was written nearly a month later.

It’s so much easier to find blog posts in other people’s lives.  My own life seems so ordinary and it’s hard to get motivated about expressing the happenings in writing.  Do I really have to have pictures?  What about my horrific grammar and editing skills?  I lost track of why I blog and therefore it got harder.

I have to blog at my own pace and on my own time. So with that I hope I’m a little easier on myself when it comes to blogging, and MaryAnn, won’t you join me?

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Oh, the things I can get done in the dark hours when I know I don’t have to get up with the birds the next day.  I listen to the chime of the mantel clock strike a late hour as I’ve just finished producing, pricing, and recording a load of inventory for a drop at a gift shop that’s been waiting for my goods for three months.  If I were going to the day job tomorrow I’d have been in bed hours ago, probably tossing and turning with thoughts of how I could better spend my time.

The calendar flips its days, weeks and months to the finish line when I can say goodbye to the day job.  It’s all I can think about these days.  To spend time in this life exactly how I want to seems to be my purpose.  Nothing specific, just my whim.  How glorious that will be.

I’ve been avoiding writing lately, and I can’t really understand why.  It’s not that I don’t have time; I do have some, enough, yet I’ve been avoiding it.  Maybe it’s because that’s all I want to do, and the snippets of time afforded me only tease and torment.  Or maybe I don’t really want to write at all.  I haven’t figured it out yet.  But here I am in the silence of the night, fulfilled with what I accomplished without a solid bedtime, writing.

Day after tomorrow I’ll be going to the family cottage for the holiday weekend, and I’m taking my laptop with me.  Some of my family members might smirk at my bringing technology to the rustic nature of the cottage, but I’m not the only one bringing things to smirk at.  Enough said, eh Charlotte?  Perhaps I’ll find some time between roasting stale Peeps (a new delicacy Charlotte is going to try with Easter leftovers) and cleaning out boats and cottage rooms to return to my work in progress, rewriting/editing the first draft of the novel I wrote last November.

Such ramblings I have when I can relish the dark summer night.  Bear with me, for there may be more to come.  My blogging may take a turn, or continue to wane; one never knows.  I’m just getting in practice for that time when all I have to listen to is my whim.

Serene Muskie Bay

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