Week of May 22-28, 2016
Sunday: Farmer's market day! Up at 6:15am, have some eggs for breakfast, little bit of coffee, and time to work. Load up the car because our garage no longer holds a vehicle. Drive to the market, come in, note that the idiot who is two spaces down from me and pays for two spaces himself, has parked his van right where I need to unload--my spot. GRR. Drive in, park in front of him, tell him that hey, I have to unload so could he please move his car? He does, with much harrumphing. Hey, dude, if you would UNLOAD YOUR DANG CAR the way I have told every one in that video (just click the link!) then we wouldn't have this problem would we no we wouldn't!
Vend, vend, it's a perfect day, all of the people are out, and I have good sales and even have a friend stop by so I can go pee. Time to load out. Pack everything up, put it on the sidewalk neatly, go to get my car. Drive back in, and what do I see? DUDE FROM THIS MORNING HAS PARKED HIS VAN IN MY SPOT AND IS WALKING HIS SHIT 30 FEET DOWN THE STREET TO LOAD IT!! He's doing this because he has failed to tear down anything--his tents are still set up! WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK.
So, because this is not my mistake and because I am pissed as hell, I park in front of him giving just enough space to drive away, pull my chair into the shade, and sit right by his car and watch him load his car. I refuse to haul my shit when I am following the rules and have done everything perfectly in order to just throw it in my car and go; I will sit and wait. My plan works and he sees me, apologizes for "miscalculating" (What? You are 30 feet away with tents up!) and I tell him the truth. I tell him that, if he had broken down all of his stuff and moved it to the sidewalk BEFORE getting his car, then he could have parked IN TWO SPOTS and not mine! And now I have to wait for him, or haul my things, and I had set up my things so I didn't have to haul them, on purpose. He scurries away.
I finally load out and go home and unload, and then send an email to the market manager, telling her the exact story I just told you. After 13 years of farmer's market vending, I have lost my patience for vendors who a) don't read emails and b) don't follow the rules.
GET OUT OF MY SPOT OMG
Tomorrow is my husband's birthday but since tomorrow is a Monday, we decide to celebrate today, so we go out to eat at the restaurant of his choice, and I buy the cake he wants (the Chantilly cake from Whole Foods) and we celebrate as a family. It was very relaxing after dealing with the morning jerk.
Before going to bed, I pack a friend's soap order to take to school tomorrow.
Monday: Back to work, deliver soap order. I have such supportive friends at work. Two very long meetings today, during which one of them had no parent show up, for the second time. Who asks the special ed team to evaluate her child, and then doesn't give them the information they need to do a good job, and then doesn't show up? Twice? For the other meeting, the parents did show up, so at least the day was productive. But seriously, WHAT IS GOING ON THIS WEEK?
Roller derby tonight. Good practice, scrimmage with a neighboring team helping out. Awesome.
Tuesday: Mostly paperwork today, with teaching, home right after school, early to bed.Thank goodness for boring days. Finally. Husband delivered the private label order and brought home a check. A very good day.
Wednesday: Up and at 'em, feeling great after a bunch of sleep. At this point in the school year, it's getting hard to focus on small details, like lunch, and preparing it or bringing it. And caffeine. Like, I am uncaffeinated, but can't get it together to even make a cup of coffee.
This is a problem. We have this week and next week and then school's out. I must be three steps ahead of the children. Coffee is imperative.
After work, go home, then get dressed and drive back across town to the gym. Yeah, I could have stayed at work, but that's how much I need to get out of there. Again, the end of the year is brutal. Work out, feel great, go home, dinner, shower, sleep.
Thursday: Happy Friday eve. All the paperwork at school, along with the teaching. Home early, I try to work on my new project, try to get excited, but sometimes it is just too hard because exhaustion is a thing. Give up, go to bed.
Friday: I have no idea how I made it here. Teach, do paperwork, RUN AWAY right at the end of the school day. Go to Guitar Center because my husband has a dj gig tomorrow and needs a Y-cord. Magically, they have exactly what he needs. I stop for takeout on the way home, eat some dinner, do a little bit of computer work, and I'm out. Done. In bed as soon as I can manage it.
Saturday: That's better. Go to the gym for the 8am workout, feel great, come home, make breakfast for myself and my husband. Help get him loaded up and out the door to the wedding for his dj gig. After this, I take a shower, then feel very sleepy so I lie down and take a nap. I NEVER NAP. This is just bizarre. Get up again, make my daughter some food, then I read articles on the Internet until about 3pm.
I chop up some ugly soap into 4 small bars each, then get 20 lip balms together. Gather child and my stuff, and go to Costco where I have pre-ordered 7 pizzas. Take pizzas to women's overnight shelter where we volunteer once per month. My daughter helps set up beds while I get gift bags ready for the ladies: a soap, lip balm, nail polish, wash cloth, nail file and a razor for each. We get dinner ready (pizza plus food from others), with two of my roller derby friends helping as well. Our other derby teammate runs this shelter--she is a pastor at her church. We serve dinner, hand out the bags, and clean up after dinner service. My friend who runs it will stay awake all night for security for the ladies. She's an amazing person.
Week of May 15 - May 21, 2016
Sunday: First farmer's market of the season! Hooray! I check the weather and bring a hoodie, a raincoat, and my parka, mittens, and boots. Throughout the day, I wore them all. Didn't take off my parka until 12pm. So cold! Didn't make a lot of money, but it still feels good to be back. I love vending at this market! This is my 13th year! WOOT! Note to self--fix the damn tent, because the screws are falling out and duct tape on tent joints, while secure, just looks terrible, and is also a pain in the ass.
Come home, unload, eat, then go to the hardware store for nuts and bolts. Come home, put them in the till for next week, when I set up that dang tent. Write last week's blog post, send email. Write soap newsletter, schedule it to be sent. Schedule another to be sent to the soap list, to remind them of the Sunday market, to be sent Thursday. Bask in the glow of automated technology.
Monday: Back to work in the real world. There are only 3 weeks left of school! Work, get home, eat, go to roller derby, feel tired but better. We have a game coming up on Saturday, and that practice felt really good.
Tuesday: More work! Come home, remind myself that we have that private label order to finish. Too tired, don't do anything but shower and go to bed. Too many sleepless nights in a row.
Wednesday: ALL THE WORK OMG. I'm ready for this school year to be over, so I can focus on my new project. Remind myself about balm book as well. (You want notification of this? Join my newsletter!) On lunch hour, write down ideas for free course--oooh, this is going to be good. Go home, eat dinner, get child ready, come right back to school for her choir concert. She had a solo. AAAAAAH, she killled it! It was awesome! What a great evening. Come home exhausted and happy.
Thursday: Work. Go to gym. Come home, do some email work. Make schedule for Saturday. Do laundry for Saturday.
Friday: When will this school year end? After work, come home, rest outside because it's hot in the sun and cool in the shade, and yaaaas! Cruise around online. Take a tiny nap. Then go to my friend's house for yoga, because I need to stretch out my hips or my legs will just snap in half, I swear. Come home from yoga, immediately go to bed, sleep forever.
Saturday: Up at 6:45am, love it. Sleep for the win! Have a protein shake, go to the gym. Come home, eat, make breakfast for child, then make the solid lotions for the private label order. Do laundry, get act together. Pack buckets for farmer's market on Sunday. Get clothes and family ready, and head to roller derby game! Play the derby, have all the fun, go to 5 Guys for a burger and shake, go home, collapse. Farmer's market tomorrow! YAAAS!
Week of 5/8 - 5/14/2016
Sunday: Happy Mother's Day! After yesterday's deluge, I warmed up in a hot, hot bath somehow, and went to bed at 8:30pm. I slept HARD, straight through until 5am, when I woke up to birds chirping and no rain. Excellent. I knew that my husband was planning on making me brunch, so I didn't eat, just had coffee. I wrote last week's blog post while drinking coffee, and then at 7:15 I got dressed and then went to the gym for the 8am workout. Afterward, I see that my husband texted me:
"Where are you?"
"Why are you even up? Are you ill?"
I rolled my eyes and texted back that I'm fine, thank you, I feel great, and I'm coming home. He replied,
"Ok. When you come home, stay out of the kitchen."
He made me French toast out of chocolate-chip brioche, which was AMAZING, and fried potatoes and some bacon. And more coffee. It was perfection.
After brunch I checked our email -- soap order. Excellent! I printed out the packing slip and shipping label, watched some TV with my child, then went back to bed and watched YouTube videos. After a while I got antsy and decided to go to Costco. Got some spinach, mushrooms, apples, avocados, toilet paper and birdseed.
Came home and finished the blog post. Sent notice of the post in my newsletter. (Click here to sign up for it!)
Monday: Went to work. Sold some eggs to co-workers, so I can pay for the feed with that money and make my chicken habit self-sustaining. Got a soap order, printed it out. Went home, packed a skin care order to take to roller derby practice. Went to practice. Damn, my legs are hurting. CrossFit and derby and life, but mostly CrossFit. I have to figure something out.
Tuesday: Went to work. After work, stayed late and worked on MY NEW PROJECT, omg, I am so excited! A little disappointed when my daughter's after-school thing was cut short. Go home, eat dinner, go to bed early for once.
Wednesday: Up and at 'em again. Work. Home. Husband has made soap! Very good--this upcoming Sunday is the first farmer's market of the season. Work on new project. Go to bed.
Thursday: Up and to work. I wonder when it will be the weekend because it feels like it should have already arrived. Work all day, go home right after school for once. This feels weird. Do some work on new project. Measure oils and NaOH and get supplies together for tomorrow.
Friday: Bring supplies to school because I am teaching science all day to 8th graders--soap making! Teach them about acids and bases all day, make 5 small batches of soap, have a blast and impress some teenagers, which I think is impressive in itself, as they are perpetually apathetic. About everything. Go home, rest some, eat some, and go to yin yoga class which is all stretching, in an attempt to fix my legs, which are still fucked up.
Saturday: Up at 6am, have coffee, go to the 8am workout. Legs still feeling it, but the pain has moved around which I count as a good sign. Work out, feel great, take some time to stretch afterward. Go home, have a day, and then get ready for the farmer's market tomorrow:
1. Check the buckets. Restock them.
2. Get tablecloths from laundry after last week's vending in the rain.
3. Get change for change box.
4. Print out inventory sheets -- 3, because I will need them.
5. Ensure everything is packed and ready to be unceremoniously thrown into the car tomorrow morning.
6. Go to bed.
Week of 5/1 - 5/7/2016
Sunday: Get up without an alarm for once, which is awesome. Spend the day hanging out and doing a bunch of nothing. Well, Dad suggested I do my laundry, because then it's one fewer thing I have to do when I get back to Denver, and he's right. So I did my laundry. Went out for some dinner before flying home to Denver. Uneventful flight. Went to baggage claim--bag still there. Texted husband, walked outside, stood for 1 minute, and he pulled up. EXCELLENT. Went home, put chickens to bed, and went to bed. Didn't make my lunch for the next day, didn't do a damn thing.
Monday: Up and at 'em--time for work. Somehow I get dressed and out the door on time, stop for coffee because why not, didn't bring lunch or breakfast because I will figure something out on my break time later. Well, well, well, it's Teacher Appreciation week, and someone has thoughtfully catered in breakfast burritos for us! SO CONVENIENT! My food here is done. Come home, make plans for Saturday--first outdoor vending of the year, and it's a big show! I decide to skip roller derby practice in order to make products.
I clean off the table and hunt through my stuff to get the items needed to make bath fizzies. This will be my special offering on Saturday, because bath fizzies are a pain in the ass and are all labor, and that is not my jam. However, when I made them last fall for my holiday show, I sold out of every single one. So this time, it's roses for Mother's day. I have dried rose petals and glass pint jars, and I've done this before, so let's roll. I make them, and they are setting up, and I foolishly try to unmold one and it crumbles all over and god damn it.
I knew from before to let them sit overnight. DAMN IT
Okay, okay, I leave the rest alone and will unmold them in the morning.
Tuesday: Work. After school, work on my NEW ONLINE COURSE for crafters in business! OMG SO EXCITING! I am pumped for this, and get really focused, and completed my outline. LIFE IS GOOD.
Come home, unmold fizzies because I am not going to work in the morning before school, who am I kidding? Make fizzies again, learn from yesterday's mistake and do NOT unmold them, just make them and go to bed.
Wednesday: Husband has made sugar scrub like I asked, so I print the labels for them and label them. Time for shrink wrap! GREAT I HAVE 5 SHRINK WRAPS. Otherwise, I'm out! Good thing these also have a seal inside. I can still sell them--their labels are now in trouble, though. (HINT THIS IS FORESHADOWING) He made a double batch, so I have many scrubs to wrap. Still trying to dismiss the annoyance of being out of shrink wraps.
Let it go. Let it go.
Husband has not made second batch of sugar scrub needed. Inform him for the millionth time that they are needed and I really need his help. He informs me that I need to chill out, I've done a million shows, he will do the work he needs to do, and just back off.
Thursday: Work. Come home. Unmold fizzies, decide that's it, no more. Package fizzies in jars with dried rose petals. Delightful. Sugar scrub is done, see? Decide to label them tomorrow.
Friday: Work. Home. Pack buckets for show, taking my time, ensuring all is ready. Go through Vending Checklist in my mind. All is together except for sugar scrub. Sugar scrub needs labels. I printed labels a few days ago for the other batch. I go to print these. Printer is not recognized by network or computer or anything. SPEND 1.5 HOURS ON THE PHONE WITH TECH SUPPORT FOR THE EFFING PRINTER. It is finally fixed after installing the driver that is NOT available online. Print labels. Print inventory sheet. Finally go to bed, omg.
Saturday: Awake at 3:30am, JACKED for today because I love outdoor vending and it's going to be AMAZING. The Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market is a fantastic show run by amazing people, and it is always a great sales day. 3:30am is far too early, though. Force myself to lie in bed until 4:15, then get up because I'm starving. Make myself some oatmeal and coffee, then get ready and pack the car. Time to roll out.
Hit the Starbucks, then drive to the event. Find my spot, unload my car, and then drive away to park it. REMEMBER THIS IF YOU ARE EVER AN OUTDOOR VENDOR! Here, watch my video about it. Even better.
So, it's warm enough with a hoodie and I set up for this show. The wind is a little annoying, but I'm still hopeful that we will luck out with the weather. The sky has been cloudy the whole time, but no rain yet. Maybe we will luck out.
The show starts, and the temperature drops. Still no rain. Maybe we will luck out. I see some friends, I sell some stuff, I see a couple more friends.
The temperature continues to drop. And then, this.
We did not luck out.
Almost snow. It was in the 40s. but the weather app said it was in the upper 50s, which was A LIE. And after just a little while and after I put up a curtain to protect my soap because it was starting to blow inside my tent, it came down hard and turned into this:
You can hear the raindrops. That was just before the HAILSTORM and heavy rain. Ugh.
However, comma, that show is so awesome, I made about 4 times my booth rent. Even in that shit weather. I will take it! This next week I'm getting ready for the first Old South Pearl Street farmer's market--the best market in Denver. I have already looked, and it's not supposed to rain until 1pm, which is when we tear down. Hopefully it will hold off for 15 minutes after that. 1:15. That's all I ask.
Week of 4/24 - 4/30/2016
Sunday: REST! That show yesterday was good, but the first one is always hard. Wrote the blog, wrote the soap newsletter, didn't do much else.
Monday: Back to work! Worked all day, and made plans, because I'm out for the rest of the week to visit my mother in Iowa. Went to roller derby practice, which was good stress relief.
Tuesday: Get up to drive child to school, but she is sick. Call school instead, then come back home and pack the things. Not all the things, as this time I'm checking my small bag and only walking through the airport with a purse. Frontier charges less for a checked bag, and it's a direct flight. While waiting to leave, decide to run to Costco to pick up my daughter's glasses. One less thing to worry about. Husband and child drive me to the airport, and I'm off. Have a headache the entire flight--why? I never get headaches. Probably dehydrated. Off the plane, get checked bag, walk out of airport and my dad is pulling up to the curb. Perfection achieved. Go to their house, dad changes clothes, we go to the bowling alley to eat (don't ask), go back to the house, go to bed.
Wednesday: Garage sale prep! I help haul things up and price things and whatnot. Most of the work has already been done, but some large things still need hauling. Hooray for the CrossFits. My mother's garage sales are not filled with baby clothes and children's toys. She has been an antiques dealer for my entire life. Her sales are epic. This one is no different.
Thursday: Cold and rainy. GREEEAAAT. Let's have a garage sale! Temperature only gets into the 40s. Rain off and on all day. Good sales.
Friday: Cold and dry. Sales are not as good. I get to see a friend or two. Mom does her best to come out every once in a while to help. She does what she can. I convince Dad to consolidate all of the stuff onto the tables in the garage, and to reconfigure them, so that as much stuff fits in the garage as possible, as there is a 100% chance of rain tomorrow. He agrees, we consolidate, and it fits. IT'S A MIRACLE. I take a hot shower before bed.
Saturday: Yep, it's raining. Sales are not as good, but my friend Lee comes to visit. In his TESLA. WHICH HE LETS ME DRIVE OMG. Seriously, I don't "want" cars, generally don't want things at all, but this thing? THIS THING, Y'ALL. It is even more fantastic than they advertise. It glides. The suspension was designed from someone in the future who designs hovercrafts. Amazing experience. I saw several friends today, as well, which was wonderful. Time to fly back to Denver on Sunday, though.
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Who writes this?
Hi, I'm Amy Kalinchuk. I am an author, publisher, crafter, entrepreneur, roller derby skater, wife, mom, and friend. I try to be organized and maintain an air of enviable breezy elegance. I do not always succeed. But crafting? I can do that. And small business. I can do that, too. So can you! No, seriously, you can do this! I'll show you.