Week of 7/24 - 7/30/2016
Sunday: Farmer's market day! It was not so hot today, which was a welcome change. During the market, a lovely woman named Paula stopped by, informing me that I had "taught her" how to make soap and she just loves doing it. During our conversation I learned that she had been taught by me through my book! And that she's on THIS VERY newsletter list! WHAAAT?
How many bloggers get to MEET people on their email lists? 1. ME. What a thrill! And thanks, Paula for saying hello!
The rest of the day involved Costco shopping for actual healthy food (salad stuff, a roasted chicken, ice cream -- mental health food), putting all the food away, cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes, ordering soap supplies to be picked up tomorrow or the next day, setting my work calendar for the week, and then watching some TV. Fell asleep exhausted.
Monday: Update this blog by creating the week's template (this is how I do it now) to add to it later. Roller derby in the evening. Uneventful day.
Tuesday: Get up, wait for friend to bring over her dog because I get to babysit for a week! Yay! Dog arrives, I get her set up with my daughter (whose job this is), and I drive across town to my friend's house, for some work. We are working together on a project for HER, creating online courses! I am going to do the back end work and she is going to produce the content. We got a lot of work done.
After that, I went to the gym, as it was on my way home. Came home, had some dinner and watched the Democratic National Convention. Worried about dog because she was sleeping with her eyes half-open, and went to sleep very early, and I wasn't sure if that's how she is or if she was having an extended seizure or what. This is what happens when I worry about someone else's pet in my care--their behavior is atypical and I want to rush them off to the vet. I decided instead to go to bed.
Wednesday: Get up and check on the dog. She is still snoozing soundly. I decide to do the same and wait for the dog to ask to be let outside. She does, and I give her a treat and prepare her breakfast. She eats it, starts to play, and I am reassured that I have not completely ruined my friend's dog in one night. Take it easy because I'm supposed to have lunch with a friend today. Get in touch, he has to reschedule. AGAIN. I haven't seen him in over a year, so I reschedule, but in my mind, this has to be the last time.
Thursday: Best day ever! Got some work done in the morning, then met a couple of my good friends for lunch, which lasted 4 HOURS, because we hadn't seen each other in a very long time. It was a fantastic day!
Friday: Get up, go to gym. Eat, then get work done in preparation for tomorrow. Refreshed the till, bought lunch bags, then psyched myself up to make one batch each of lavender and citrus lotion. Count the bottles I have, realize I only have enough for one batch of lotion, so I choose lavender as it's the better seller. Make the lotion, bottle it, print the labels, label them. Pack the buckets for tomorrow, remember the lotion, remember my vending apron in the laundry, remember my rolling cart, remember to make my salad for my lunch, pack it all up, shower, go to bed.
(Also, this dog is the easiest dog in the world. Perfectly behaved. Love her)
Saturday: Crafted Life Market, in Lafayette, Colorado! Get up at 6am, have some eggs for breakfast, pack my lunch and water, pack the car, and leave the house at 6:45am. Stop by Starbucks on the way, then drive to Lafayette, Find the place, unload using my rolling cart (LOVE MY ROLLING CART), park the car, get set up. I'm in the shade, under some trees as well as my tent, and on the grass. This bodes well. Realize during setup that I am next to three other vendors from Denver who are my friends. This also bodes well.
Vend from 10am-5pm. It is slow. SLOW! Lovely people who do stop by, though. Did not make very much money, and as soon as I realized this was the case, I went to the organizer, who owns the local, indie craft store. Sold her on the idea of private label solid lotions (I do this for another indie craft store in town), hooray! Also, while talking with my neighbors, got a line on another private label opportunity. Hooray! Also got about 10 new email sign-ups in my notebook, which is good because these folks are not my regulars. Hooray!
Tear down, roll it all to my car in about 4 trips. Head home. Unload at 6:45pm--12 hour day.
Go to 5 Guys for dinner. Come home. Shower. Collapse.
Week of 7/17 - 7/23/2016
Sunday: Farmer's market day! I rouse the entire family to come with me, because I'm lonely and want some company. I remembered to bring the liquid soap I bottled yesterday, which is a near miracle. Also remembered my hanging signs that I saw on the shelf as I passed through the garage for the last time on the way to the car. Yay me. They come to help me load the car and set up, and they stayed through about 10:30am, then left to do grocery shopping and make burgers for lunch. I'll take it.
Had pretty good sales at the market, as it wasn't so unbearably hot (topped out at about 90 degrees at 1pm, I would say) and it was very busy. Got home near 2pm, the family helped me unload, and I ate a burger and chips, lovingly prepared for me by my husband. Got very full. Took a shower because I felt skungy. Did a very small amount of computer work, and then spent the rest of the evening re-watching Season 6 episodes of Game of Thrones.
Monday: Got up at a reasonable hour ate some eggs, and read the news. Went to the gym for the 9:00am workout. Came home, showered, got ready, went to meet a friend for lunch. Got STOOD UP for lunch, unacceptable! Came home, changed clothes, got to work on the computer, and friend calls me to apologize. He fell asleep. I can only sympathize, as it's summer, and we both work in public schools, and naps are a thing. We will try again for next week.
Finished my Week 28 blog, hooked it up to the newsletter, sent that. Wrote and scheduled the soap newsletter for this week (forgot last week--ugh).
Tuesday: Get up, go to gym, do some rowing and mobility because I'm just too sore from yesterday. Come home, get some computer work done, watch a webinar. While watching another webinar in the evening, get interrupted because there is torrential rain outside and our backyard window well is about to be overtaken by water. Put on boots, grab the shovel, and go outside to dig a trench to direct the water to the French drain on the side of the house. Shovel in the mud with thunder and lightning happening, in the dark, soaking wet, and feel very Hollywood. Also realize this is pretty much like a second workout for the day, and I've done two doubles. Not good.
Finish saving the basement from water damage, come in, do laundry for muddy clothes, change, go to bed.
Wednesday: Get up, decide today is the day off from the gym. Attempt to get some work done, fail miserably. Eat some lunch, decide I'm not feeling it, and I take my kid to the water park for the rest of the day. Mental health days are a thing. So are water slides.
Thursday: Barely get up. Too much activity. Put KT tape on my left shoulder because the pain is starting to get worse. Notice that my hair looks GREAT today, so I put on makeup and a good shirt and record 6 videos in one day. Edit all these videos, and upload them to YouTube. Update email sequence and my mini-course is done! It's free! Do you want to take it? WHY NOT.
Friday: Set my alarm to get up at 6am, so I can go to the HIIT IT class at 7am. Blood moving = good. Weight lifting = not so much today. Go to the gym, work out, blood is moving, still feel a little broken but not quite as much. Come home, shower, have breakfast, read the news, try to get to work. Update this blog, write another blog post, take child out for lunch. Come back, get some work done on my online courses project, schedule some items for next week. Watch a movie on Netflix. Bed.
Saturday: Up around 7am, decide being kind to myself is a thing, especially since last week nearly wrecked me, so I skip the gym. Have coffee instead, then rouse the child to come with me to see the dog we/she will babysit next week. Yay! Doggy! Go out for brunch with doggy's mommy. Come home, get some work done, then around 4pm, get some ice and fill the cooler with ice and Lacroix waters. Get child, and we take the cooler to the shelter my friend runs. We help her out once per month. We go there, set up beds, I run and fetch the donated dinner, help with getting dinner ready, serve dinner, clean up, head back home. Pack the buckets for tomorrow morning, shower, bedtime.
Week of July 10 - July 16, 2016
Sunday: Up and at 'em for the farmer's market! Learn from yesterday and bring more ice and water than I think I will need. Make sure to fill up the water in the little fan-spritzer-thing. Go to market, it's hot as balls the whole time, have pretty decent sales anyway. Great total of sales for the weekend. Go home, unload, take a cold shower and crash for the rest of the day. Sleep in the basement because it's so hot.
Monday: Sleep late, get up and get straight to work because this week I'm doing live broadcasts on Periscope every day! (Follow me on Periscope: @crafterev) Today's topic: How to Discipline Yourself for Daily Work. I figure out the broadcast, do the broadcast, 1 person was listening the whole time, I guess I have to start somewhere. (I see you Katjo!)
It's time for the gym! Work out, feel great. Come home, eat lunch, do some family care. Back to the basement office because it's so damn hot out.
Tuesday: Up and straight to work after breakfast, again! Get some website work done, and do my Periscope broadcast (Day 2: Paper or Digital Organization?). 2 people tuned in the whole time. Some would call this exponential growth. Go to gym, work out, feel great, come home, eat lunch, are you seeing a pattern here? Take a shower, then have a Skype call with a new friend from New Zealand, who is 17 hours ahead. Timing is key here. Have a lovely chat, and then it's time to pick up my soon to be sister-in-law for some fun times. We take her out to dinner and then drive up to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater because she's never seen it. Gorgeous end to a great, productive day.
Wednesday: Imagine that, I get up and GO TO THE GYM first thing. This is a different thing for me, but I want an uninterrupted day of work because I am picking up Soon to Be Sister In Law earlier today than yesterday. Work out, feel great, then feel really hungry because I didn't eat before working out. Come home, eat breakfast, get to work. Lots of great planning based on my chat with NZ friend yesterday, then I do my Periscope broadcast. Day 3: Use your Technology for Good (not Evil). For 3/4 of the broadcast, I had a grand total of ZERO viewers. Don't care, I'm doing it anyway, and then one viewer joined me, but I had to end it. Did some work looking into Skillshare.com, for which I have decided I am going to be a teacher (stay tuned!). Do some work on my ebook that I need to finish. Realize I need more photos, and that I do have some videos of this. Decide to embed videos into the ebook, because why not? Then decide maybe just make private links because videos will make the ebook file too big. Keep thinking about this. Pick up STBSIL and go out to dinner, then drive her around Denver to show her some sights. Exhausted. Bed around 10pm.
Thursday: Thank goodness for rest days. Sleep in until 5am (haaaahahahahaha), up and at the coffee. Eat, and then get ready for my Periscope broadcast. Promote that, do that. Begin creating YouTube videos from Periscope broadcasts and upload them. Chat with friend in New Zealand online about my progress on the course; she is doing one, as well. Look at liquid soap and think, " I need to dilute that and bottle it for Sunday." Do nothing about this.
Quit working at 6pm, say, "I'm done for the day," then go back down to the office to finish creating and uploading the Periscope videos because I don't like to leave projects unfinished. Finish about 10pm, go to bed.
Friday: Up at 6am, coffee, small breakfast, not very hungry. Read some news, look at the liquid soap that needs dilution, and start boiling the water for that. Pour the water over the soap, put plastic wrap and then the lid on top of that, and put it on the patio table in the sun to keep it hot and speed dilution. Have some actual breakfast and get ready for the gym. Go to the gym, work out, do not die even though it's ALL THE RUNNING which is not my skill set. Come home, eat some sort of lunch, and get to work on an email sequence for my free mini-course. (Want that free mini-course when it's ready? CLICK HERE.) Finish work, get ready to go to the movies with my family. We saw The Secret Life of Pets. I thought it was funny and adorable. Recommended.
Saturday: Up at a decent hour, went to the 8am workout at the gym, back home. Ate all the breakfast, took a shower, and went to the Jefferson Park Farm and Flea Market. I worked this market last year, but wisely thought this year that I would cut down on my Saturdays, so I didn't do it. Instead, I got to go there as a shopper. IMAGINE! I bought myself a new hat from my friend Diane and her company BlueDye.
EVERYBODY in Denver has one of these hats, and now I do, too! I can finally be one of the cool kids.
The rest of the day was spent scenting and bottling liquid soap, and then resting. It felt pretty good, as far as balanced days go.
Week of 7/3 - 7/9/2016
Sunday: Farmer's market. A beautiful day. Very low attendance, but better sales than the past two times we were there. The 4th of July weekend is never very good here, because of the Cherry Creek Art Festival, and because many people go camping in the mountains for the 4th. I will take it!
During some down time at the market, I use my Remember the Milk app (it's free!) to make a to-do list for the week. A friend stopped by with her parents, and she wondered aloud if I ever teach people. Our conversation got cut off and so I sent her a message a bit later, offering to teach her how to make lotion because I have to make it sometime this week. She responded with a resounding yes, so I told her when I make my weekly schedule, I would let her know.
Monday: I started this week of re-energizing my plans by printing out my monthly planner pages for the rest of the year. This kind of planner works okay, but I think I should design my own, for someone with multiple income streams. The one I use is specifically for bloggers. I must think more about this. Today was the 4th of July, and my gym had a workout in the park and a barbecue afterward, so I went to the mark and worked out. Came home, hung out and did some computer work, then hunted down some fireworks in the evening.
Tuesday: Got up, had breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen table for lotion making later. Went to the gym, came home, showered, and had a good time with my friend Nama, teaching her how to make lotion. Later on, I actually took a nap. I am not sure what's going on with me, but whatever. Relaxation is a thing, I guess.
Wednesday: Today was a day off from work, which felt really good. I worked out in the morning, then came home and roused everybody for our day off of swimming! Met some friends at an indoor rec center pool that has two water slides, and a lazy river, and had a fantastic time. The rest of the day was completely uneventful, as days off are a thing. Went to bed early.
Thursday: Rest day from workouts. Took a bath to soak my sore muscles, did my retail taxes and paid and submitted them online. Went and got a facial treatment for free from my waxing girl, who wants to use the photos for her promotional efforts. Damn, that shit hurts. Afterward, went to a witchy store to pitch the idea of private label soaps. She was into it. Left her with two samples and emailed her when I got home, for ease of her reply later.
Friday: Worked out at the gym. Went to the DMV because I got a ticket because the month sticker had fallen off my license plate. $75! This is predatory.
Anyway, I labeled the lotion and refreshed the till and packed the buckets and made sure I had tablecloths, and tried to print things out to give to vendors to encourage them to sign up for my newsletter list right here, but the printer didn't work and I had to give it up. To bed early because I have a 6:15am load-in.
Saturday: Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market today! Up at 5:00am, get dressed, fill water bottles and snack bag, and head out to load the car. Leave the house at 5:55am, stop by Starbucks for coffee and some breakfast, and I'm off. Arrive at 6:13am for a 6:15 load-in. I will take it. Unload, park the car, come back and set up. Think about my "How to Unload your Dang Car" video as I always do, because there are vendors setting up their tents, etc. with their cars sitting in the thoroughfare. Every. Damn. Time. GRR.
Set up, take a little video of the people waiting in line (they get swag bags) and post it on the Instagrams (@crafteblog). Vend all day, four friends visit, two with food (yes!) and two to visit with me and fetch me water and ice. It was so hot.
SO HOT. Pretty good sales, considering the heat. This summer market is never as profitable as the spring and summer shows, but I needed to make up for some lost vending time. I'll take it.
When the day was over and I had torn everything down and went to fetch my car, the car temperature reading for the outdoors was 104 degrees. That sounds about right.
Drove home, got help with unloading, went inside, and took a shower as cold as I could stand it. I wasn't hungry, and so didn't eat dinner until about 8pm. That's how hot it was--near total appetite suppression. Went to bed, and couldn't sleep all night because I couldn't cool down.
I need to save up for central air conditioning. Seriously, this heat is bullshit. And solar panels, too, so I can cool my house with the heat of the sun. Yeah, that's what I'll do.
Week of 6/26 - 7/2/2016
Having never done this before, I was a fool to think that I would be able to blog, or even to breathe in and out, with an experience like this.
What I didn't post from the previous week is that my mother died on June 23, 2016. She died one week to the day that the doctor discovered the tumors on her spine. I got to spend her last 6 days on Earth with her, and for that, I count myself lucky.
After she died, everything became what I call A Series of Horrible Errands. Taking her things out of the hospital room was the first one. Meeting with the funeral director. Going to order flowers. Getting ready for the visitation. The visitation itself! (That one was more awe-inspiring than horrible. There were about 300 people who came. That's the size of a small town in the midwest. Some stood in line for an hour.) The funeral and the lunch afterward.
People ask how I'm doing, as they have since February, when it was discovered the cancer had moved from her breast to her lung. I have gotten used to saying, "I don't know," because often, I really don't. I've never done this before, and don't know if I'm doing well or not.
I can describe how I feel, though, for those who have never experienced the death of a parent. I feel like this:
Imagine I am on a cliff, looking down into a deep pit, that is filled with a viscous liquid. This liquid is all of the sadness, heartbreak, grief, pain, and suffering of the entire world, and if it touches me, I know my heart will shrivel up into a sundried-tomato looking thing that will never again be able to feel happiness, joy, or any simple pleasure. The liquid roils around, black and covered in an oil-slick luminescence. It is strangely beautiful, and alarmingly tempting. And now I'm back at the top of that cliff, and I'm sitting on a chair that is right on the edge. And the chair is tipping backward over the edge, with me on it.
You know that feeling? The wobbly, OMG I'M TIPPING feeling, right before the chair decides one way or the other?
That's how I feel all the time.
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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.