Welcome to Sweet Memories




Friday, April 30, 2010

There is life out there...

Some old friends of mine came in for lunch today. They are sisters and were our neighbors when we first moved to this area. I spent the first 10 years of my life in Bucks County. We lived in a big old Victorian house with several houses on either side of ours. There were kids my age in all of those houses...we spent all of our time together, outside more often than not, riding our bikes and playing.When we moved up here, it was to a house we built in Zionsville, on a dirt road, and our closest neighbors ( the sisters I mentioned ) were about a mile away!!! It was a HUGE change for me, but I adjusted! We are all, about, the same age ( give or take a year or two ) and became very good friends...it was nice to see them... I, actually, have seen more people from my past in the shop, recently, than I have anywhere else...especially people I graduated from high school with. Luckily they know who I am....because I, usually don't know them! I mean, they look familiar...but EVERYBODY looks familiar! We have so many people come through our doors in any given week(month or year ) that I always just assume I know you from the shop...and I don't " get out" much...so if you look familiar, it must be because you are a customer! I'm sure I must have a startled look on my face when I realize that's not where I know you from...sometimes people who own their own businesses forget there is life out there!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Mother's Day Tea class went very well!!! It was alot of fun with alot of new faces! The table was really cute. I found a "child-size" ice cream parlor table and chairs and that was the focal point. I also had an old china tea set that I incorporated into the tablescape...it made it look like the tea parties you had with your little ones...I thought it was a cute twist on Mother's Day...bring back Sweet Memories!!!(sorry!) We did the "shoot" for WFMZ this morning...the camera man was very nice! I told him to edit the daylights out of it and get the footage of me down to a minimum!!! I hope I answered the questions OK. I don't have a problem speaking in public and I can think on my feet...but when questions come out of left field, and you are on camera...it's a little nerve racking. We sent him on his way with cupcakes...so, hopefully he will be kind, and edit the daylights out of it like I asked him to...not that the cupcakes were a bribe, or anything!!! This will air on Friday May 7th at the end of the 6:00 broadcast...so be sure to tune in! (but don't tell me if you thought I stunk....please!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ready for Mother's Day....

We have our Mother's Day Tea class tonight. This should be a fun class! I've added some whimsy to the tablescape...I don't like "formal" teas...I think they should be fun ( for the hostess as well as the guests ) so I twist things up a bit! We went to my favorite garden centers on Monday...my idea of heaven...and I bought some herbs, including some lavender, that I may incorporate somehow. I don't want to put too much emphasis on herbs because the next class is Cooking with herbs....so I want to save them for that class, but I think the lavender is appropriate for this class! We also picked up the hanging baskets for the front porch. I want to re-pot them in antique egg baskets...I think I'll try to do that today. We got some new merchandise in, yesterday, so we spent some time re-arranging the displays...It looks great and the new stuff is awesome!...and there is more on it's way! We are ready for Mother's Day... in theory,anyway!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Attitude!

It is Monday. I have the day off. It is the day after my birthday, but the day we get to celebrate it, because I have the day off. I am going to enjoy myself. Go to some garden centers, spend non-working time with my husband, maybe hit an antique shop or two and re-align my inner self. I WILL NOT have another week like the last one...and, since I seem to have magic powers, I will assume I can make that happen!!! I did not plan to use this blog as a place to b----, so I won't ( for now, anyway...)I have noticed that I feel much better after I vent on here, and I know I need to let things go, or, better yet, fix them, or I will continue to be upset!( however, fixing the world is not part of my job description )... there ARE positive, productive things to think about, too! So...in spite of the rain, I'm off for a wonderful day...because I deserve it...BIG TIME. If anything amazing happens ( and I certainly hope it does ) I'll come back and tell you all about it, because I need positive energy....and a new attitude!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Enough already

I wasn't planning to write this today, it's my birthday, and we serve brunch and Sunday supper on a Sunday...so, obviously, I had to work. I was going to take what was left of my evening and just try to relax and enjoy what was left of my day. However, I decided about half way through the day to call off supper and come home and try, really hard, not to blow-up!!! Happy Birthday to me!!! It appears as though there are some new super powers that I was not aware of....reading peoples minds, for example. I bake all day, every day. I make everything from scratch, on premise. I have a 9 foot bakery case that needs to stay full. All of the people who come in and sit down to eat choose their dessert from the case. Then I also take orders for everything from scones to cookies to cakes etc. I am only one person who does the best she can!!!! I started in this business cake decorating. I did ALOT of cakes...many very creative cakes....and I enjoyed it. The fact of the matter is I no longer have time to make batch after batch of icing to tint every color under the sun so that I can do elaborate cakes...it doesn't fit into the plan anymore. I make delicious, homemade ( tasting and looking ) cakes and I'm happy with that!!! There is something very comforting about fresh strawberries and whipped cream instead of pink roses, and swirls of homemade chocolate buttercream instead of the newest cartoon character....but, it seems, that is not MY decision....I am supposed to do it all, whenever I am asked, and ( here's the kicker) even when I'm NOT asked ( I should just KNOW )...no one cares that I don't have time...they want what they want!!! Well, sorry, but that's not gonna fly!! I think I have some policy changes in the near future...either that or I'm going over the edge....there is a fine line between making people happy and making it easy to take advantage. This year I'm giving myself a birthday present...the right to say enough already!!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Super powers?....Nope YOUR fault!!!

I have had a very strange week! I have had 4 different things happen, that I had no control over, that were, basically being blamed on me! I'm not sure when my super powers kicked in...and why I don't know about them! It appears as though I have the power to FORCE you to tilt cake boxes (with cakes in them...) Take away all ability to do simple math, completely CONTROL who makes reservations, and when, for the simple enjoyment of watching others become irate, and I have the power to make people forget dates...all of them...until it's too late!!!! I guess I should be glad that I have discovered these powers...You're a wizard, Harry!!!!....but I must say, if I am to be endowed with magic, super powers, I can think of better, more constructive ones to have!!!! Let's think about that possibility for awhile...if I did, in fact have magic, super powers I would FORCE people to care about what they say to one another, take away all ability to be selfish, completely CONTROL the rampant "it's not my fault" "I refuse to take responsibility" epidemic in this world and use my power to eliminate all stupidity!!!! So, to sum up...I guess I DON'T have the super powers I've been accused of, after all....which means (uh oh!) it's YOUR fault!!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

type"AAA"???

Well I didn't have time to do any work in the garden, today, but I did take a look around! It's not too bad, an hour would make a big difference. I think I can get it looking good for Thursday. I have a double washtub on a stand just outside the front door that I plant with flowers every Spring. I love unusual containers and lots of personality in gardens. I also love the contrast of the old metal and the flowers. However the squirrels and chipmunks love to dig in the tubs....I have no clue for what????....but it is making a mess on the porch AND killing my pansies. So, we looked it up and were told to sprinkle pepper on the plants...which I did...so we'll see if this works. I hope it does the trick, because I'm tired of the mess!!! ( and the dead plants don't make me happy, either!) I have some invasive plants that need some taming...and then it needs some new flowers for color. I'd ,pretty much, decided to risk it and stick some in the ground and I think I heard something about a frost warning...good thing I didn't have time today!! I'll watch the weather in the morning( why, I don't know, because they are wrong more often than not...) and probably risk it anyway, before Thursday...it's all about the perfection...I do believe I've mentioned that type"A" thing....is there such a thing as type "AAA"?????

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Some more orders...

Another one of my reps was in today...some more orders placed! Today was a challenge, I was ordering everyday, Halloween and Christmas all at the same time...talk about TMI!!!! I've got some great new stuff coming, though, so I'm excited (especially because I'm at home and not looking in catalogs anymore!) So, back to the present...I really need to give some more attention to the garden in front of the shop. They film the outside, as well as the inside, for this T.V. thing. I'm trying to decide if I should listen to my instincts( which say to go ahead and plant because I don't think we are going to get any more killing frosts) or risk the outside shot looking less than wonderful ( for the whole 4 seconds you'll be able to see it....)...this is my type"A" kicking in, right on cue...but first impressions are important!!! I, also, have my Mother's Day Tea class next week...so, once again, I find myself with many irons in the fire. I was hoping to get the garden in shape on Monday, but the weather forecast says not so nice...of course, since they are always wrong, maybe this is a good thing!!! Perhaps I'll be able to steal a few minutes over the weekend and get a little jump start on the garden...and maybe just a few flowers won't hurt!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Newsworthy...

Our local news does a segment at the end of the 6:00 newscast on Friday called "local flavor". We were recommended as a restaurant of interest and, now, they are coming next week to "shoot" the segment. I'm not 100% sure what all is involved...but we have had magazines do photo spreads and we've been written-up in the paper quite a bit...it can't be much different! I will be in my type"A", everything HAS to be perfect mode, so I feel a little sorry for my family, but it's not like it's never happened before....1000 times, so they should be expecting it!!! It is supposed to air on May 7th...basically Mother's Day weekend! We are already close to being booked...so I'm sure there will be some people angry with us...Oh well! When someone wants to give your business this kind of exposure you take it!...and if that means it's even harder to get in, I'm sorry!!! Really!!! Well, to a certain extent, anyway. I mean, we ARE running a business. I'd like to be busy, because if we're not...we're not in business. Now this seems logical, right??? So why do I get a phone call from someone who wants a reservation, next week, NOT next month, next week...for a larger group (who, apparently, think it would be OK to sit for hours, tying up one of only 10 tables...and we know this because she said so...) and there is some shock that I have a reservation at the bigger table already! Especially considering this is not the first attempt to get this table hogging group in? The outcome of this lovely conversation? We have been removed from their list of places to try...because we're busy...is everyone else making the "are you serious" face...or is it just me? So, to recap...again, if it's hard to get in...I'm sorry! Actually, now that I really think about it ...no I'm not! Shame on us for working our tails off for the last 15 years!!! For working so hard that we have a "newsworthy" reputation! Shame on us...whatever!!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Corny, but true!

I decided to do some re-arranging upstairs in the gift shop today. We have some great,new merchandise, on it's way, (I hope...) so I thought some sprucing was in order. It looks better, but it will look great with the new stuff! We did get a new card line in...the artwork is like old-fashioned storybook illustrations. I love that kind of thing. Make-believe and fairytales...animals wearing clothes and making dinner...baking cakes and tending to their gardens...the artwork on these cards is really great...you could, actually, frame them!!! I also received a Christmas catalog from one of my favorite Holiday companies...Retro is even hotter this year than last...maybe we ALL want a piece of our childhoods back! I'll need to get this order done quickly or I won't get all of the "memories" that I want to have on the shelves this year...you snooze you lose with this company. I used to have a real problem figuring out what merchandise I wanted to carry for Christmas 9 months early!...but I'm okay with it now. I just want to have THE BEST STUFF...so that, when you shop with us...you leave with Sweet Memories....SOOO corny, true, but corny!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday, Monday

It's only a little after noon, and Ive washed all of the tablecloths for the restaurant, took my husband to the doctor for his follow-up( and it looks like he will get his drivers license back before we thought...which is AWESOME), did some other errands and went antique shopping with my daughter... these "days off" are going to kill me! I found a child's chair with a piece of quilt for the seat cover...it is adorable and it was only 13.00! What a steal! I have a thing for miniatures and child-sized things....so this was right up my alley! I found a great book, too...also a steal...AND I have a thing for books!!! Success all the way around! I think a little lunch, and a trip to the Garden Center( or maybe just some garden time ) and my day will have been productive...it turns out I have some problem-solving to do...I find that counting on other people is very disappointing. It's no wonder I don't delegate...but, put a road block in front of me, and I'll figure out a different route! Just don't come back, later, and ask me for a ride!!!! On second thought, I think garden time would do me good, I do some of my best problem solving in the garden!!! This will all work out for the best...for me, anyway...maybe not so much for the "problems"!!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Faith in karma

So today was busy...which is a good thing, until it gives a shoplifter the chance to get a thrill!!! (I decided, today, to take a couple of extra days off around the 4th of July....people are, really,ticking me off!) This has happened before. Someone took little decorative light bulbs, out of the package, and left the empty package for us to find...a kind of "trophy" of their AMAZING abilities??? Who is so sad and sorry that stealing from other people makes them happy...seriously!?!? Today it was 2 pickle forks (yes, you read that correctly) from a box of 4. So they took 2, and left the other 2 in the box for me to find!!! Dealing with people is challenging enough without this kind of garbage,too! I just hope that every, single, scummy person in the world gets what they've got coming to them! I'm putting my faith in karma...and I hope it bites them in the ***!!!! And to the person that ruined MY Saturday...FORK you!!!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I won't have time to write this in the morning like I usually do. I have lots of orders, we have alot of reservations and we have a shower tomorrow afternoon. We will need to get an early start! My candy order came in, today! The display is all set up and I think it looks SWEET ( HaHaHa...) as soon as we got it all done, we had two little girls checking it out! They were allowed to pick something for a treat after dinner...they had a hard time choosing, I guess I did a good job! Deciding what merchandise to buy for any part of the gift shop is hard! It's a gamble, really. There is SO much of me in every part of the business, from the decor and color scheme to the music we play in the backround, to the kind of hand soap and paper towels we use in the restrooms. I just look at all of my merchandise options and, if I really like something, or get excited about a product, I buy it. It almost always works out that our customers,( who LIKE our decor, music and handsoap) agree with me...and buy it too! I have quite a few product lines that I feel very strongly about... Byers' Choice Carolers, Gooseberry Patch and Cheerful Giver candles to name a few... I carry those products all the time, but, for the most part, I change things as much as possible to keep things interesting! I just put the centerpiece of our Halloween merchandise order in...we've got a reputation for Halloween! They come from great distances to see what we have...no pressure!!! It's amazing how many Halloween junkies there are! I actually count myself among them! But, Halloween aside...if you're looking to take a walk down memory lane...you should come see our candy display and look for your favorites! Hopefully, you will have a hard time choosing, too!!! ( and I'm not sure why I got off on the Halloween thing...I think this is WHY I usually do this in the morning!!!)

The good ones

Owning a small business is a challenge. It is alot of hard work, many many hours, when you are in retail AND restaurant/bakery, trying to second guess peoples tastes is a challenge. We make everything, from scratch, on premise...so we have the time challenge-eveything needs to be ready when we start to serve!! Without question, though, the biggest challenge is people. I constantly find myself wondering why?... how?...seriously?! (which I've covered...) but it is very important to keep a good attitude. Your energy level is directly connected to it...so, I'm going to be thankful, this morning for the GOOD ones!!! We have a ton of them!!! I was talking to 2 ladies, yesterday, one was from Emmaus the other from over an hour away. They meet for lunch, sometimes, and spend some time together... The lady from Emmaus suggested they meet halfway...thoughtful...the lady that had to drive over an hour said no she wanted to come to our shop for lunch! They ate AND solved a birthday gift problem, too! We have a couple that comes in from New Jersey with some frequency...again quite a drive... he told me, yesterday, that he has learned to lock the door on the MENS restroom after being walked in on 3 times. He told me this story with such good humor...it was the big laugh of the day! I mean it does say MEN on the door...i guess there is a wait everytime they're there???? I had another lady buy a Byers' Choice piece. She was telling me that she started her sister's collection, and had given them as gifts for many different occasions. She said everyone who collects them say they "talk" to them...but she had never HEARD them herself...she left with a little girl....she couldn't wait to hear the " I told you so" from her sister... I am going to think about the GOOD ones! They rock!!! And to all of you out there who don't fall in that category... who make people in the service industry cringe and other customers shake their heads and stare....HAVE A NICE DAY!!! (Good thoughts...Good thoughts... I NEED my energy!!!!!!!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quite a day...

Another successful class under our belts. Lots of questions, last night....that makes me happy! You can't learn if you don't ask questions! Baking is a science. Science is a subject with lots of questions... The tablescape turned out exactly like it looked in my head, all of my daughter's collectibles did the trick! Presentation is very important...I feel that way about the plates when they leave the kitchen, the bakery case and each dessert within, all of my merchandise displays and my tablescapes for the classes are on that list too! The one I have planned for the Mother's Day Tea class is going to be really cute...We, also had some other event of importance going on yesterday. The truck convoy carrying some of the surviving pieces of the World Trade Center passed VERY close to the shop on it's way to Coatsville. They are going to put them in a museum about steel, but there is, certainly, more interest in these pieces than what they are made of. It's amazing that we are still trying to come to terms with that day...I, really, don't think we ever will. I think it's, almost, impossible to wrap your brain around that much hatred, and that much devastation. Well, to be honest, I don't want to be able to understand that kind of hatred...and I pray we never have to see that kind of devastation again!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Sugar time...

I just finished typing the recipes for the class tomorrow night! Old-fashioned yellow cake with chocolate frosting, strawberries and cream cake roll, lemon ice box pie, peanut butter ice box pie, hot fudge pudding cake and ice box cookies. The tablescape is all set in my mind...I've got some food history facts. Tomorrow I'll make at least one of everything ahead of time so we can serve them when we are done teaching,( I guess it's a good thing it was so quiet today. I'll have time to get it all done before we start to serve...because we are NOT quiet tomorrow!) We are a go...Desserts Like Mom...here we come, it's sugar time!!!! I hope everyone listened to us and they eat something without sugar in it before they come!

Monday, April 12, 2010

One thing at a time...

The lemon balm put up a good fight, but I think we won this battle...I'm sure, however, that the war is not over! It's really starting to look good in the gardens, but there is still much to do! I also need to work on the garden at the shop...only so many hours in a day! Thanks for the comments, by the way, it does help to know that these things happen to other people too, and that it is not some sort of exclusive punishment...it is also nice to know that I'm not, in fact, talking to myself! So keep the comments coming! I did go antique hunting and uncovered some finds. The classes are starting ( or finishing... depending on the class ) to shape up in my mind. I found a child sized china "cake set" in blue and white that finalized the direction I was heading for the Mother's Day Tea...and I decided to "shop" my daughter's apartment for this weeks "Desserts like Mom" retro look that I'm after. It has been one of the things she has collected from the beginning...In my mind, I see a tablescape that looks like you just took your apron off after a productive day of baking...now I just need to make the final decision on which desserts to teach...so many choices! This will be a fun class, because it ends with the tasting of the recipes...and tasting your way through desserts is always fun! I still need to finalize my plans for the herb class and the fairy tea class... but I have a few weeks, so...one thing at a time!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day off???

Tomorrow is my only day off. I have a long list of things I'd like to get done...but I am really whipped , so we'll see if I accomplish my whole list. I am going to tackle the lemon balm before it takes over the whole garden.I need to dig some of the clumps out, now, while they're still small. Everything is so far ahead...my lilacs are ready to bloom! I don't, really, keep careful records of such things, but I'm pretty sure they usually bloom in May. So, if I don't get control...yesterday...I'm going to get my butt kicked!!! I also need to go antique hunting! My classes are approaching, quickly, and I need "props"! My next class is on Wednesday, it's "Desserts like Mom", and I want a retro-look for the table. I have some things I can use, here at home, but I am more primitive than retro...so we'll see what I can find! I also have "Mother's day Tea"," Cooking with herbs" and the "Fairy tea" classes coming up...hopefully I'll have success! I have some ordering to do for the shop, so I think I'll stop there and get that done too. Then I should do some other things in the garden, if I haven't decided a nap is in order instead! I have come to the conclusion that I have very STRANGE "days off"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Seriously?

OK, I started this blog because I wanted to teach myself something new on the computer. After I tackled this new frontier I realized I needed something to write about...so I thought the everyday stuff that I encounter because I own and operate a family-run, small business would be the ticket. Sometimes the stories are funny, sometimes interesting, hopefully entertaining... I am asked an awful lot of questions, all day long, about the everyday stuff, so this made sense... but at no point was I going to use this blog to vent...until today! People will often start a sentence with " I have a stupid question..." I always say " there is no such thing as a stupid question..." I stand corrected! This has been a week, full, of stupid questions!!!! " Oatmeal-raisin-chocolate chip-walnut cookies... what's in those?" Seriously? "chocolate-toffee-cream cake...what's that?" I'm going to tell the truth, I'm never sure how to answer those without sounding like a smart ---! How about one, just one, good reason why you'd bring a dog into a restaurant...(no it was not a seeing eye dog...) or, for that matter, why you would bring a cup from another establishment...and then ask if we would throw it away!!! Or why people make a mess in the restrooms, and why I find the toilet paper roll on the floor? Seriously! Or why...and I'd REALLY like an answer to this one...when everything we have in print, from ads in magazines and newspapers, to the phone book and our business cards, to our facebook page and the chalkboard on the front porch...(we won't even talk about how many times a day we SAY it) tells you we recommend reservations...it's our fault that we are full and can't seat walk-ins...to the point of nastiness....seriously....I know there are other people who are challenged, everyday, with these kinds of things! I'd love to hear from you...if only to know I'm not alone...Seriously!~!!!

Spring is back!

The weather around here has been very confused the last few days. For some reason we had skipped right to July...but April has returned! It is much easier, and more pleasant, to bake when the kitchen is not 89 degrees! That early "summer" weather also tricks your mind into thinking you are even further behind on your gardening chores because you have skipped 2 whole months!!!! I'm glad April is back! The Garden Club members were working in our towns newly finished center ( the triangle ) yesterday. They renovated the whole thing,last year, it was an involved project that took most of the summer. It looks great, but they didn't get to really make it "bloom" before the season was over. I walked up to see what they had put in, last year, and there were quite a few perennials. It will be fun to watch it this year and see what they do. I'm sure it will be beautiful. There is a fountain, planter beds, paving stones and alot of black wrought iron fencing...great backdrop for flowers! Now I have to get cracking on my own garden in front of the shop...the "Best of Bloom" festival is coming up... I've got to do my part to make Emmaus look it's best!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Candy, Candy, Candy

I put the summer candy order in yesterday. I have so many interests and so many different stores that I would like to own, but the reality is that it's a ton of work, I'm a control freak who is not big on delegating, and there are, in fact, only so many hours in a day! So, my solution to this has been to "dabble" in all of the things that interest me. Now the trick to that is to make the "dabbles" awesome. We carry all kinds of amazing Halloween, Christmas and Easter collectible in the gift shop(I love the holidays...) ...great things for the kitchen( that one is obvious...) all kinds of cool stuff for your garden...but I only carry the best stuff & move things around all the time. As much as I'd love to have a garden shop, in a separate building, that is not an option. So I create my shop on a small scale filled with great pieces and then replace it with my Halloween shop at the end of the summer. Now, downstairs, I indulge my desire to own a gourmet market and an old-fashioned candy store, just on a small scale. We carry jams, mustards, grill sauces, dips, bread mixes etc. Only the best will do! Then we have the candy "shop". Now for the holidays this area is easy! If you are looking for the very best (and cutest) treats for ghosts & goblins, stockings or Easter baskets...come see us! The summer months can be a different story... so I went retro! We have skybars and mallow cups...pixy stix and candy buttons...wax bottles and wax lips...bottle caps and cow tales...just to name a few!!! Who needs a WHOLE candy store? Eat your heart out Willy Wonka!!! I can't wait for the order next week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm not complaining!!!

Sometimes I feel like I'm being set up...there are moments, everyday, when you can't get caught up! Of course this isn't really true, because we always do,but it seems like you are going backward. This really doesn't have anything to do with us, we can only go so fast, but ,we feel, it is causing our customers unhappiness, and our customers are our #1 priority. We don't like to make you wait for a table...although this is unavoidable...we don't like to make you wait for something to drink, your food, your dessert (that's just wrong!!!) or your check...because, after all, we all have places to go and people to see. Now this really is not the point I'm making, but I feel that it is part of the equation. I'm assuming that,if we have made you wait for any of the before mentioned things, or if you have had to wait in line to pay the lunch bill, or for your treasures from the gift shop...or just to get a cookie...we are busy! Good thing! Often, someone asks if we are always this busy...I'm happy to say "yes"... but I'm sure I have the " but I'm sorry that it made YOU wait...for anything... face", because I'm, almost without fail, told that I should be happy because there are so many businesses that are not doing well! At no point have I ever been sorry that we are busy...and I'm not complaining... I AM going to come up with a better answer to the question, though! Any ideas???

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back to work

The two day break is over... duty calls! I'd say it went so fast... but everyday does. I have alot to do today...bake, bake, bake and it is supposed to be unseasonably warm... why is it that we are never happy? A few weeks ago we were unhappy because the weather was awful... now it's too warm! ( Although it IS too warm for early April!!!) The trick is to find the good in every situation and spend less ( or no...) time dwelling on the negative... I am a positive person by nature, and feel that negativity is a waste of time and energy. Deal with problems, find solutions, move on... Spend your time and energy accomplishing instead of complaining! So the good here is that our business is successful and our customers wanted our food on a major holiday, to help them celebrate ... nothing to complain about there!!!! It really is nice to know we were a part of so many Easter dinners!....But I am only human...and it's going to be HOT in the kitchen!.... not dwelling...just saying!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Garden Calls...

Easter, 2010, was a picture-perfect day! We worked in the gardens until I needed to get Easter dinner started. I accomplished alot...but there is SO MUCH to do! We had a rough winter with snow and wind causing damage...nothing that can't be fixed...but there is an overwhelming amount of fixing to be done! I know myself well... do many small things that make big improvements...then the motivation stays on track! Put the front porch in order. Get big (heavy) Mr. Rabbit out of storage and put him in his rightful home... buckets full of spring flowers, birdhouses, bee skep...quick and beautiful! Next? Front flowerbed ( the one you can see from the road)...clean-up...looks great! Next? Herb Garden!!! We have lots of "themed" gardens...and I love ALL of them, but the herb garden is my favorite. Our home is, almost,200 years old.The herb garden "belongs"with the house. It is formal in shape...a rectangle in the middle with 4 "L" shaped beds around it... then big beds surrounding all of that with grass paths in between ( that my husband, patiently, mows.) The middle bed is full of many kinds of thyme, the"L" beds are full of any kind of herb I can get my hands on. I mix in edible flowers, too, and use them at the restaurant.The big beds around the outside are planted with some vegetables, a peach tree, an apple tree, some blueberry bushes, antique roses...less formal-a kitchen garden, really. It is the centerpiece...all of the other gardens either lead to the herb garden, or are accessible through it. It is, sort of, a (very) glorified version of my first, 4 square, garden...and my MomMom clocked many hours helping me weed it, and quite a few enjoying it ,too. Maybe it's my favorite because it is so full of Sweet Memories!I think I need to start a movement...try to get as many people to love herbs as much as I do...I know the world would smell better!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Morning

Happy Easter everybody. I'm heading out to my garden for a long overdue visit! I'm thrilled that it's going to be a beautiful day! I know alot of people consider yard work---work, and don't care for it...but I really enjoy it! It is one of the many gifts my MomMom gave me. She was one of the smartest people I've ever known. She never stopped learning...she loved to read, she loved history, she loved antiques,and birds,and ALL holidays, her family...and her garden( all gifts she passed along.) She did have to work, though, to get me interested in gardening. When I was about 13, I took an elective in school called Colonial Living...I thought it was really cool...and she decided to use this new found interest to get me interested in gardening(aka weeding)...so we blocked off a part of her way too big ( the reason she needed someone to help weed) vegetable garden, and planted a 4 square " Colonial Williamsburg" style garden. We planted cucumbers...she was going to show me how to make pickles. We planted some herbs and old-fashioned flowers like zinnias and marigolds ( easy, no fails...so as to not discourage the new gardener..) and the plan was that I would be SO excited and "hooked" on this new undertaking that I would be in the garden, day and night, and my energy would overflow into the rest of the rows and rows of vegetables and she would never have to ask for help again...and I'm sure that vision came to her everyday, that summer, when she would come to the fence (around the SWIMMING POOL...do you see where this is going?) and try, VERY hard, to make me feel guilty because I was not doing my gardening chores. I took care of "my part" of the garden(when the sun went down and it cooled off) and, occasionally, helped with the other stuff...and we DID make pickles! Now, here we are, many years later, and I'm "hooked" on this undertaking...like I said...a very smart and wise woman...thanks MomMom...I miss you!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

We made it!

Well, it's over and we did it! All of my orders were done, and no one had to wait for anything! I'm beat, but looking forward to two whole days in a row to do some things around the house. If I was asked once, I was asked one hundred times if I am cooking tomorrow... I am! However, Easter has always been a more relaxed food holiday here... more of a picnic-type meal...easy! Besides, it's what I do...it wouldn't be a holiday if I didn't cook. It's all part of the traditions and memories that mean so much to me( and, hopefully, my family) not doing it would make me upset. I hate when the traditions are "out-grown"...like dying and hunting the eggs. Eventually your kids get too old for that...but they are never too old for your deviled eggs and homemade candy! So how could I NOT cook?? I hope YOUR Easter basket is filled with the traditions and memories that make you happy!

Friday, April 2, 2010

My srange life

I spent the day baking... as usual. I made coconut cake(s), chocolate toffee, lemon cream,cookies and cream, strawberries and cream...a typical day. I baked tea cookies, chocolate chip, oatmeal etc. ...it's what I do. I also made Chocolate glazed egg cakes the size of footballs, (one of which is heading to Illinois...remarkable!) and "cutout" Easter sugar cookies that were selling, still warm, off of the trays!!! ( I'm going as fast as I can!) I did some other typical stuff too, solved some problems, re-arranged some merchandise displays,did some ordering, paid some bills...even dealt with( I'm told not too graciously) some, actually 3, uninvited electric provider sales people who were very pushy and rude to my daughter and seemed to think that their time was much more important than mine....sorry, lost my train of thought for a moment...this is NOT about them....although I'm sure THEY believe ...sorry again!...Anyway, a typical day...certainly a pre-holiday day (crazy...) but do you know how I ended this fast paced, non-stop day?....I sat down with one of my (invited) sales reps and put in a CHRISTMAS order...while my Easter cookies were cooling...Welcome to my strange life! ( I wouldn't change a thing...but could someone please tell me what month this is!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Springtime

The class went well. I decided on a Spring garden centerpiece. I put tulips, daffodils, herbs and pansies in a rough old tool carrier and topped it with easter grass. I love the look of old primitives (watering cans, buckets, old wooden containers) and flowers. It is now sitting on my dining room table waiting for our Easter dinner. I'm still not sure what I'm cooking...but I'll figure it out. I miss going outside at the crack of dawn to hide the Easter eggs for the kids...now I'll be outside, at the crack of dawn, working in the garden. It's supposed to be nice weather, and we haven't had ANY on my day off since it started to warm up. I love working in the garden in the Spring...I think I'll start in the herb garden...I always feel like I've accomplished alot when that looks good!...as for the egg hiding...now we have Caden. He is only 6 weeks old now, but we'll get to the egg hunting soon enough...but not too soon! Enjoy what you have now...someday comes faster than you think.