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Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter's not so bad!!!

Is it just me....or does it seem incredible that we are getting to the end of January???

On the one hand this month has gone very quickly...on the other hand...it can't go quickly enough!!!

It has been rough...in the weather department...around here. Weather issues always trickle down and create more issues. The heating bills, the snowplowing bills, the lost business. It is very easy to find yourself complaining....but I feel like that is a huge waste of time and energy. So....instead of complaining...I am trying to put a positive spin on the situation and make good use of my time and energy.

So...what does that mean?? What have I been up to?? Well....I have decided to continue the "revitalization" movement, downstairs, in the restaurant area of the shop. I have picked out some new colors for walls....and other things. Decided to look for new material for the "windows" in the small dining room (I "settled" before....what I used wasn't what I wanted!!) I think my "new" idea will give me the look I am after!! I have been exploring all kinds of new avenues for merchandise for the gift shops....and I have been "playing" with new menu and bakery items!!

Does this make Spring show up faster...no!! In fact...it seems very, very far away (if you watch the news and weather....which I am seriously considering NOT doing, anymore!!!) indeed. However....while Spring may not be RIGHT around the corner...new paint, new curtains, new merchandise and new goodies will certainly give me something to look forward to in the meantime!!

If the "Winter blues" or "cabin fever" are getting you down...pick a project and accomplish something. It will lift your spirits!! With any luck...February will be a little kinder to us than January has been!! Of course....you are always welcome to skip the work and come in and view the progress we are making with OUR projects....and get yourself something in the gift shops (which are full of all of those NEW finds!!!!) and treat yourself to some of the new menu and bakery treats. Like I said....weather issues always trickle down and create more issues....like getting busier because you guys can't stand to be shut in the house any longer and really, really want to treat yourselves!!!! Hahahaha.....hey....that's what we're here for!!! Besides....I'd like you to try the new peanut butter cream pie with the chocolate crust, that I have been working on....see....Winter's not so bad!!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

If you don't have something nice to say......

Oh yes....it's that time...again!!

Earlier this week...I posted something on Facebook about being an optimist. It is true...I am. I was referring to the weather...and trying to look at the "bright" side (even though it was really hard to see!!) It doesn't matter what the subject matter is, though....I am still an optimist!! I believe that dwelling on negative situations (and people) is a waste of energy. This belief has served me well. Regardless of who you are dealing with...coworkers, "friends", strangers, customers.....heck even "family"....people can be very trying!!! I hate to say it....because I am afraid it will sound negative...but it is only getting worse!!

I try to find solutions to difficult situations...or problems...quickly. Then I try to let it go!! Most of the time this works. Sometimes, however, the universe has other plans. Sometimes we blame it on the full moon...sometimes the weather (I feel like we can blame a lot of life's problems on the weather....) but...we can blame it on anything we want to...the bottom line...people can be rude!!!

My philosophy has always been to handle situations with humor. I would much rather fashion myself after Erma Bombeck than a long winded, opinionated (usually annoying) political commentator, for example. I feel that humor...and "killing them with kindness" goes a long way. Every now and then, however, it is just SO hard to do...it's almost painful!!!

I had one of those weeks. One difficult situation right after another. People giving their opinions....like anyone cares...people thinking the sun rises and sets on them....thinking that rules are in place simply to annoy everyone and that...because THEY are SO special...the rules do not, in fact, apply to them!!! Oh yes...it was one of those weeks!!!

I am sure you are thinking "hmmm....that's too bad....but it isn't my problem!!" but it is!! Because...while my encounters were with people who think they can buy all of the desserts in the case (even though we ask you to order large quantities!!!!) and try to pay with $100.00 bills (even though we have more than one sign that says we don't take them....and, by the way, you should ask the bank NOT to give them to you...NO small place wants to change those big bills....and "they" have figured out a way to bleach $5.00 bills and then print over them so that the "pens" don't identify them as counterfeit!!! **deep breath**) and tell me what they think of the Byers' Choice Carolers...(FYI...I don't really care what your opinion of them is....) and even a few people telling us they bought candles at the Thrift store (or worse....the Big Box store!!! Good for you....but I don't see why you would tell ME?????) they are all rooted in the incredible rudeness that is overtaking the world!!!!

At any point, this week, did you find one of your coworkers or Facebook "friends" bragging, stretching the truth, being a hypocrite, commenting on something you said...and, basically, making an idiot out of you?? See....it IS your problem, too!!! What ever happened to "if you can't say something nice....don't say anything at all"???? I'll tell you what happened....social media and the internet!!

Don't get me wrong....I am on the computer as much as the next guy.(occupational hazard) However....I have never, NEVER tried to hurt someone, make someone feel stupid (which, by the way, would be really easy....because NO one knows the difference between to, too and two....among other things!!!) push my beliefs, retaliate against a place or a person that I have a problem with (read some "reviews" some time....who the heck made those people authorities?????) or, basically, stick my two cents in where it doesn't belong!!!

I try my best...to be my best me...every day of the year. I, frequently, allow people to go in front of me at the grocery store, hold doors open for people, I say excuse me....all the time...even though 99 times out of 100 I am ignored!!! I try to "donate" as much as I can to as many good causes as I can....we,  as a family, have even been known to "pay it forward"!! I filter everything before it comes out of my mouth....and, for the most part, it has kept me out of trouble!! Hey....I have opinions!! Those who know me WELL would even call me "opinionated"....but, sometimes, it's just not appropriate to "say" what you are thinking!!!!

So....what is the solution?? I don't know. What I DO know....I am going to continue to be the best me that I can be...I am going to continue to run my business...and my life...as an optimist!! I am going to continue to treat situations with humor....and I am going to continue to kill them with kindness!! Most importantly, though, If I don't have something nice to say....I am going to keep my mouth shut....unless I am having one of those weeks. If that is the case....I am going to get on my soap box and put my 2 cents in on the computer!!! Hahahahahahahahaha.....Here's hoping for a great week ahead!! I can't help it...it's the optimist in me!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Time to put Christmas away!!!

Take a deep breath....and exhale.

We packed up all of our Christmas decorations, here at home, today. I love my collection...and I will miss it....but it's time to move on.

A few weeks ago I was dreading having to put it all away. I love Christmas and I love how warm and cozy the house is when it's all decorated. I love coming home from work and turning on all of the lights...it's like a big hug!!

But, right on cue, the first of January arrives and I am "ready" to put everything away until next year!!

It always seems to go by so quickly. It seems like you just get the tree up...and you turn around and it's time to take it down!! I am really, really glad that I decided, a few years ago, to decorate early in November. With our schedule...it just seemed logical!! At least we get to enjoy the season...and not feel as though we blinked and missed it all!!

Not only do I love to decorate the house for Christmas....I love to collect NEW decorations!! This year I found myself looking at the "vintage kitchy" things....I picked up old plastic cupcake picks and cake toppers....some old paper houses...even an elf on skis!! I never would have thought I would be interested in them....but I was fascinated!! All of my "treasures" found a home mixed in with my kitchen display!! It was fun...but it has me wondering what I will find myself interested in, next year!!!

So...now that Christmas 2013 is just a memory...was it wonderful??

I think, sometimes, we have great expectations for the day...we want everything to be perfect....just like a Christmas card!! But, it doesn't always work out that way!!

I have learned to stop and smell...the gingerbread (hahahaha....) and really enjoy the whole season. By the time Christmas day arrives I have, already, enjoyed "weeks"of Christmas. The music, the lights, the decorations. I try not to have "expectations"....just roll with it and enjoy what comes!! Striving for that "Christmas card" is just not realistic!! It's also....exhausting!!

I hope your Holiday season was "Merry and Bright"....but I, also, hope the year ahead is awesome!!

I know a lot of people made their "New Year's resolutions" but I don't believe in them...I just try to do my best. Treat people the way you would want them to treat you (.....an awful lot of people should learn that one!!!) believe in yourself, try to remember that the world doesn't revolve around you (again....an awful lot of people need to learn THIS one, too!!!!) don't count on other people to make you happy...(it's your job)...and get out there and find those things in life that make you smile....like "kitchy" elves on skis!!!!

Happy, Happy New Year....time to get the snowmen out!!