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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

a few snowy observations....

How are you making out with all of this white stuff??

An innocent question. Or the beginnings of a firestorm!

If you live where the "blizzard of 2016" hit....you know that is, pretty much, all anyone has been talking about. The interesting thing, though, is that no two conversations are the same.

There are people who are singing the praises of the road crews...people who are angry and frustrated because those very same road crews are not doing a very good job. There are people who are talking about how their neighbors and communities came together and worked...side by side...to clean up their little corner of the world....and there are people who still can't find their cars...or who cleaned out their space only to be plowed right back in again. There are those who took out their snow shovels and did the responsible thing...and cleaned up those sidewalks....and those who still haven't touched them.

So....why so many different takes on the very same storm?

I think one of the explanations lies in our personalities.

I can really only SPEAK for myself......but I can observe others and draw conclusions.

My take....as much as we all would like to believe that we have a handle on the weather....we do not. You can check on what the weather experts are saying 24/7 via all kinds of avenues...TV, computer, phone....but, the bottom line, just because "they" are telling you something doesn't make it "so"....and Mother Nature is driving this bus! Sometimes "they" are right....but, just as often, "they" are wrong. So....observation....watching the weather is a pleasant diversion....sort of like reading your horoscope.

Another observation....the world is made up of all kinds of people. There are people who try to find the good in everyone and people who are just plain miserable. There are people who do "the right thing" and people who wait for someone else to do "the right thing" for them. There are people who take others feelings and situations into consideration....and people who only care about themselves. If you would like to observe all of this for yourself....head to the grocery store two days AFTER a storm. Just stand still....people watch. Watch the ones who are in the middle of the aisle...blocking the way....maybe on their phones....completely oblivious to everyone else (I am going to assume they have not done their sidewalks...) and then there are people who are picking up the things that they need...as well as a few things for their elderly neighbors (I am going to assume they are part of that community that worked together to clean up the whole neighborhood!)

As I said before....I can only observe and draw conclusions for others....but I can SPEAK for myself. I do not do well when I am not in control. Period. And there is no...NO...situation that you have less control of than the weather....and what happens AFTER a weather event. My opinion....the roads aren't horrible....but I think they could have been better. That brining thing that they wasted days and dollars accomplishing....was a dreadful waste of time, energy and money. There should be a "Plan B" in place for "historical" weather events....better to be prepared for something that never happens than to be unprepared. I think our little town (and many, many others...) were unprepared. I think if you love the snow...that's just wonderful....but there comes a time when you should keep that to yourself! And now would be that time! I think if you have a job that you can do from the cozy comfort of your home....or one for which you continue to get a paycheck even if you don't, actually, work...that's super awesome for you....but there are an awful lot of people who NEED to get somewhere....work, an appointment (perhaps the doctor...) who would like for you to be quiet!

We will be starting our 22nd year in business this Summer (ah....Summer!!) and, although everyone is  claiming the reasons for all of the, current, problems is the "historic" nature of this storm, I have witnessed the inability to handle snow (even less historic amounts....) many, many times over those 22 years! Taking into consideration my problem with lack of control....I am seriously considering taking this bull by the horns....does anyone know where to find a used front end loader? Craig's List??

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pass It along.....

I don't know about you...but once the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is over I start to think about all kinds of new projects.

I love, love, love the Holidays....starting with Halloween all the way through Christmas and New Year's Day....but there is so much to do...decorating, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping...there isn't a lot of "extra"  time.

But....once the decorations are all put away (and my Snowman and Valentine's Day collection is out!!) there is a little time to think about something else. Now....let's be clear....there is just a "little" time.....because...before you know it...it'll be time to think about gardening projects!!! (And after the snowstorm, yesterday....the sooner the better!!) but January and February are perfect for those indoor endeavors!

When you are the "caretaker" of antique properties (and we own TWO!!) most of the time those projects involve maintenance....painting is, usually, at the top of the list! But....there's always time for some other things too!

And, right now, I am obsessed with old recipes!!

A few months ago I pulled out all of my grandmother's recipe collection. I have four separate "collections"...notebooks and recipe files. They are full of newspaper and magazine clippings and hand written recipes. There are quite a few "typed" copies, too! Typed....like on a type writer!! 😊  The hand written copies are not in her handwriting. They were shared by someone she knew. I go through those pieces of paper...carefully!!!...and think "this must be a great recipe" after all...someone took the time to copy it and pass it along. And aren't those the best?

There are definitely many, many more "treat" recipes than "dinner" choices. Pound cakes and pies, cookies and candy....and that's fine with me!

There is a place for fancy, (over)decorated, trendy baked goods....but not in my world! I love the old recipes....the old-fashioned, homemade, nostalgic...HAPPY recipes!! We are so lucky....we have access to Pinterest, Facebook and Blogs. They are today's newspaper and magazine clippings....they are how WE "share" recipes!

Someone takes the time to cook or bake something...and it makes people HAPPY....and then they pass it along!! Old-fashioned ideas....just a new way of doing it!!

I am, slowly, working my way through these recipes....picking out the ones I want to try. Once I settle on one...I will take the time to bake it and then "pass it along" right into the bakery case at Sweet Memories!! With any luck...it will make all of you happy! After all....making people happy is my job....and, usually, it's a piece of cake....or pie, or cookies!

If you have an old recipe, or two, that has been making people happy....pass it along!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Be the Change.....

One whole week of 2016 is in the books....how is it going for you?

I know, traditionally, the start of a new year means resolutions. Resolutions to change everything. The way you eat, the way you spend your time....the way you live.

Personally....I don't make resolutions. I try....everyday....to do my best. I try to have a positive attitude, treat people the way I want to be treated, try to find the good in everyone (THAT one can be challenging!!) try to work hard, try to give back whenever I can....I put my family first....and choose to be happy.

There is no doubt about it....the "world" is not always the way we want it....there is room for improvement....LOTS of improvement.

The Internet is an amazing thing....we know everything in "real time". We can avoid accidents, check the radar, find a recipe, check "sales" at stores, check our bank balance, wish someone a "happy birthday" post a picture...seconds after we take it...but, with all of this amazing technology at our fingertips, so many of us "miss" the old days!

We talk about how....it was NEVER like this when we were kids! A coincidence? Is all of this technology, at least partially, to blame?? Or maybe, just maybe, we should take some responsibility ourselves?

I think there is a little distance (or maybe a LOT of distance...) when you communicate with some taps on a screen....and, I think, that has made people a little...well...rude! After all....you can say anything you want and there is no backlash.

I am an opinionated person. I raised my children to have opinions...and to have self esteem....and to stick up for their beliefs. But I did not raise them to inflict their opinions and beliefs on other people just because they can. Unfortunately....I think the distance that those taps on the screen has created has made it, not only okay, but "normal" and acceptable to just say whatever pops into your head!!

It's not. And perhaps it's one reason why it was never like this when we were kids!

I don't know if you spend any time on Facebook pages or websites of people or businesses you enjoy, or if you ever read comments....but it is, actually, shocking. The rude...beyond rude....things that people say!! Reviews are the worst. Sad, unhappy, nasty people who act like they have some right to bash people simply because they can. After all....you will never meet them face to face...so there are no repercussions!

Again...one of the reasons things aren't like they used to be?

Here we are...at the beginning of a new year....a new start. You can put all of your energy into not eating candy....or we can put all of our energy into starting a movement. Go find all of those businesses and people that you like, love or enjoy and let them know how appreciated they are!! Review the small business...the one that makes you happy. Let them know that the hours and hours that they put in, every week, is not a waste of their time! Find a few old friends on Facebook...and reconnect! Find something NICE to say about posts and pictures....compliment!! If you don't have something NICE to say....don't say anything! Be part of the solution....not part of the problem!!

We, the family that owns Sweet Memories, consider all of YOU to be part of our family, too. We lost a family member last Friday. A lady that we loved to see...a lady that was funny and sweet...a lady that was way too young! Life is too short. There just are no words...all of our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

Be the change you want to see in the world.