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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lights....on water......

This is our poolhouse. I know I have shown it to you, before....but there has been an addition to it. This past Saturday was Ladies Night. I have told you about this, too. Once a month we get together for dinner...and take turns hosting....well, while I was at Ladies Night, my husband worked on a surprise for me. He bought strings of little white lights and put them all over the poolhouse. It was very dark when we got home...so he took me out and turned them on....SURPRISE!!!! It is SO pretty!!! I will try to take a "night" shot so that you can see how cool it is!!! My Grandson saw them, last night, it wasn't pitch dark, yet, when they left....but it was still pretty!!! He said " lights....on water..." (he is only 17 months old....) he loved them, too!!! So...this is where I will be spending this evening.... It was a long day....and I got several big boxes full of Halloween surprises ( I know you all can't wait and that this teasing is driving you crazy....and, yes, I am doing it on purpose!!!) and I am bushed ..... looking forward to relaxing in my newly lit poolhouse...ironically, I have not been able to since he finished it!! We worked Sunday night, it rained Monday night and everyone was at the house last night!! Hahaha....but, tonight....I am heading out back!!!   Hope all of you have a great night too!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I believe.....

I believe in the power of positive thinking. I believe everyone should have a can-do attitude. I believe in mind over matter and that every problem has a solution. I, also, believe that even I have my breaking point. Last week's weather....was absolutely horrible....and, as the week drug on.....I was beginning to believe that I was going to have to throw in the towel!!!! I never give up....or back down....but, I thought, there is a first time for everything....and this is it!!!! However, it is Monday...our "weekend"....we made it...we survived....and tomorrow is a new day. I am hoping that the combination of the emptiness of the shop and the, slightly, lower temperatures today, as well as the rain they are calling for and the fact that the oven isn't on full blast, will give the building, itself, a chance to cool down. I am, also, hoping that the worst is over. As I sit here...in the air-conditioning...writing this...I feel positive again. I am positive that, this too shall pass....and one of the reasons I am so positive about that is the great expectations that I have this week. Today is the day that I named as my ship date for my huge, highly anticipated, Halloween order. I placed this order months and months ago.....and now it is here. Surely that means that Fall is right around the corner!!!!! I am expecting other Fall, Halloween and Christmas merchandise this week, too, and I am putting the finishing touches on my smaller orders, this week, and getting them in. I had planned to do it all last week....but it got to the point where I didn't feel confident in my decisions because of the heat stress....yes, that's how bad it was....I didn't want to make mistakes. Hey...we are known for our amazing Holiday merchandise and are, rapidly, gaining a reputation as THE go-to place for gifts (both to give AND to keep....) so I don't want a box full of "what was I thinking" to show up.....I will keep you posted on the deliveries....I won't tell you what is in the boxes....but I will tease the heck out of you while they are coming in.....we don't want to ruin the surprise!!!! We have to have SOMETHING to look forward to.....they are calling for the next heat wave!!!! Positive thinking .... positive thinking....positive thinking....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Up on that soapbox.......

I think I need to get on my soapbox.....I haven't been up here in a little while, but I have a few things to say!!!! I spend a good portion of my time running this business. I have to order, shop, cook, bake, do the paperwork, pay the bills, rearrange all of the merchandise displays, take care of the garden.....it takes a lot of time. However....I always MAKE time to stand in your shoes. I really give a lot of thought to what you see from the minute you step onto the sidewalk to the minute you leave. We are in an interesting position....we are retail....as retail as anybody can be....but we are also a restaurant. So...I give a lot of thought to when seasonal decorations should start to show up....I mean, we may put the Halloween merchandise out, for sale,  in the middle of August....but the fireplace mantle will not get changed over until mid to late September. I wouldn't want to sit and eat my lunch in the middle of the Summer surrounded by Jack-o-lanterns and ghosts....it's too soon....this is where the soapbox comes in.... I am a collector....I LOVE Fall and Halloween. If I happen to stumble onto something decorative for that time of year, now, I get a little excited at the prospect of the upcoming season....I can't help it!!! However...I KNOW it is too early NOW for the Halloween offerings to be out on the floor....(although we went to a well known establishment on Monday....and they had it ALL out....) I don't want to "rush" things...although, all of you fellow collectors will back me up here, I don't want the new offerings to show up in October, either, that's too late!!!! I feel, very strongly, that when I put all of the Fall and Halloween merchandise out, it is the right time...or I wouldn't do it. Judging by the amount of merchandise that leaves the shop in those first few weeks....I think I am doing the right thing!! Right now.....this very minute....we have a flyer on the counter for the "1803 House: A Very Merrie Halloween" event that I am helping to plan for this October 1st. It is a black and orange piece of paper that is supposed to help you remember this awesome event and help you to plan that day so that you can be there. It is in weeks....not months....weeks. We just wanted to get the word out there so that you don't miss it!!! If one more person says "Halloween already"...and I hear it.....I may just scream!!!! It isn't a decoration....or even for sale....it's just a friendly reminder on a piece of paper. I want you to come....I don't want you to miss this event.....just pick up the piece of paper and take it home....hang it on your refrigerator....circle the date on the calender....but stop saying "Halloween already"....or I just might put those pumpkins and witches on the fireplace to keep you company for the rest of the Summer....thank you for listening....and good night!! :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Simple pleasures....

Some days are diamonds...some days are stones....sometimes you need to find your Happy Place. I find myself doing more and more, thinking about more and more, planning more and more....and I am OK with that. However, I am also finding that I need constant, little doses of "Happy Place" to keep my thoughts clear, my plans organized and my energy in all that I have to do. I realize that there are many of you who are finding yourselves in this same boat....between the kids, the house, your job, your significant other, pets, yards, groceries....it can be overwhelming!!! So...what do you do?? Everyone has a different idea of their "happy place"....luckily for us....many, many, many people have decided to come and visit our shop when they need their happy time!!!! It is, after all, about finding a few, uncomplicated moments that re-energize your spirit....what could be better than sitting and having a nice lunch with a friend and then going shopping??? For me, though, it is the simple pleasures. I love to watch the birds in my backyard, I love to walk around the gardens, in the morning, with my coffee, I love to read a new magazine, light candles, bake something....(yes...really....even though I do it ALL day!!! :) ) rug hook (which I don't do enough!!!) watch a good movie. As nice as it is to have the big adventures to look forward to....it is the little things that make it all worth while. So....make a cup of tea, get a good book and sit and treat yourself to a few stolen moments... Here's to hoping you find all of those little things that make you happy!!!! Have a great, rest of your weekend!!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Memories......sweet ones!!!

Memories can be funny things. Sometimes they come to you because of something you smell or hear. Sometimes they come to you because of something you taste (birch beer does that for me...my MomMom always had it in her refrigerator....) and then, sometimes, it's something you see....like a little red wagon. My MomMom always had one in her garage. She used it to haul things around in her garden. It was like a wheelbarrow....but much daintier and more romantic. It was, also, easier to pull stuff than it was to push it!!!! When my kids would visit her house in Chalfont....her little red wagon became their entertainment. There was a small hill in the neighborhood that they decided would make a great place to "ride" the wagon. They talked about that....forever....how much fun it was and how much fun she was for letting them do this "daredevil" stunt. (We use the road through her old neighborhood as a shortcut to Byers' Choice when there is a retailers event...my daughters were with me, one time, and saw the "hill"....from an adult perspective....it's really not more than a bump in the road. Sort of shot that whole "daredevil" thing right down!!!!) When she passed away...I went to an antique mall and bought a little red wagon. I "parked" it in one of my flower beds and planted it with flowers....for the memories. Now.....my Grandson is carrying on the tradition. We went and visited them (on his home turf....they, usually, come to us...) on the 4th of July. He was showing us his wagon and PopPop put him in it and took him for a ride. The next day....we went searching  for a little red wagon!!! We found this one, once again, in an antique mall. It's an old one....but very well taken care of. My husband "oiled" the wood and touched up a scuff mark or two on the white part of the wheels. Sometimes newer versions of the "classics" are not built "like they used to be"....this one is heavy and solid and will be around for a long time....hopefully full of memories!!!! As I watched my Husband pull him all around the yard, last night, I thought....MY MomMom would get a big kick out of this!!!! Thank Goodness for those memories!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sometimes you need to chill......

Sometimes you just need to chill. That was, primarily, how we spent our day off....I had several topics that I was considering for my Blog, this evening....and then I realized that I left my camera at the shop. I wrestled....briefly....with the idea of getting into the car and going over to pick it up.....and then...decided that I just didn't feel like it!!! This heat and humidity really saps the energy!!! I put a few hours in, this morning, weeding and watering...and Emma from Patch came and took pictures for a garden story that they are running this week. After that, I hung out in the pool and the pool house all day!!! Too hot for anything else!! My Grandson entertained our evening away....( and that is a whole other post...)and now I am heading to bed!!! I am not looking forward to the weather, tomorrow....it's supposed to be worse than today....Oh....the joys of July!!!! Stay cool and have a great night!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A wonderful 4th.....

Oh my goodness....I have fallen down on the job again!!! This time of year is really just crazy busy....that's all there is to it!!! We had our mini vacation....today was our first day back to work. We didn't venture too far from home...and that was just fine. Sunday morning I made blueberry muffins with the blueberries I got at my friend's farmstand....we ate them outside on the patio....it was really nice....and the last time we sat down that day!!!! We got a whole bunch of little projects done around the garden....weeding, pruning, planting....it was great because I could enjoy the process, knowing that if we didn't get EVERYTHING done it was OK....because we had another day!! I really don't think the gardens have ever looked better!!! On Monday, we went to the Kutztown Folk Festival. We have gone every year for as long as I can remember....at least the last 20 years. It is part of our Summer. My son didn't go...because he lives in Kutztown, now...and the novelty has worn off. All of those extra people and extra traffic has taken the "shine" off the thing for him!!! But, both of our daughters and their boyfriends went along with us this year. The only part of the whole experience that I would change would be the time of year that they have it....it is ALWAYS SO HOT!!!!! We go early....we're there when they open....but by lunchtime....I am ready to come home!!! I just can't handle the heat!!! The only cool spot they have is the quilt barn...it's air-conditioned!!! When I just can't take it anymore...I head for the quilts!!! Looking at them is a real treat....air-conditioning aside....just beautiful pieces of ART!!! That is one thing on my "bucket list"....I would love to make a patchwork quilt. One of these days.~~~ My niece hosts the Fourth of July picnic in our family. She lives in Nazareth....so we headed up there and spent the rest of the day with our family. She does a great job....always a huge spread....and on our way home we can see, literally, all of the fireworks displays!!! Ohhh....look at that one.....Ohhh....look at THAT one....the trick is not to look so much that you forget you're driving!!!!!! We finished our vacation the way we started it....and the hard work paid off!! It looks "awesome" (one of my Grandson's new words!!!!) and, now....other than a little maintenance....we can enjoy the fruits of our labor!! And when all of our tomatoes ripen...so can you!!!! Have a great night!!!!