Friday, May 25, 2007

Where did the week go?

Woops, it has been a whole week? We had an awsome weekend out in ND. I walked/jogged all 3 mornings, though my knee was sore the last day so I just walked. The loop that I walked must be about 4 - 4 1/2 miles long because it took me about an hour when I walked/ran it and it took over an hour when I walked it. The graduation was fun and lots of work, but very good to see and visit with family.

I have continued to exercise and eat more or less pretty well. I am seeing a little downwardness with the scale, so finally, but this is tough work.

Business is going pretty well. I have been working on bids for bigger programs. Sometimes those are a lot of work and they turn around and don't go with your bid anyway. That gets discouraging. I have also been working on figuring out some of my summer ordering. That gets kind of discouraging too, because then I have to figure out a way to pay for all the stuff I want to order in.

Had a customer come out to the store on Tuesday night. That was great. She was very surprised and delighted with all of the stuff that I have available. Very cool.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Scale Woes

So, since Monday, I have been eating well and exercising at least some each day, and I weigh exactly what I weighed on Monday morning. That just does not seem fair to me. Losing weight is such an agonizing process, gaining weight is so easy, I can do it with my eyes closed. That is how it feels, it feels like when I am over eating and not exercising that I am coasting, no effort, not as much pain (emotional and physical). Now that I am trying to do well in the healthy eating and exercising, I have to be present. To myself and my family and my body. Being present is painful. My feet hurt, my arms hurt, my back hurts. I think I get a lot of my emotional needs met by over eating, or eating the wrong things. Kids naughty? Eat a candy bar. Set back in the business? Eat some icecream. Argue with Ron? Eat SOMETHNG, anything. Uggg..

The business has been going well this week. Sales calls netted me about 6 deliveries on the way out to Wilton. Now, I need to go enter them and finish filling the van. I am going to try to exercise before I leave and I told Benjamin I would pick him up at 1 pm, so I had better get a move on.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm Leaving on a Freight Train

Actually, we are leaving by car, tomorrow for Wilton, ND. Does anyone know where Wilton, ND is? It is about 20 miles north of Bismarck, ND. Which is the capitol of North Dakota, so of course all of you know where that is. Right? So I have been making sales calls to see if I can deliver orders on my way out there. I did some calling on Monday and sent out catalogs on Tuesday, and .... they came back to me in the mail because I needed more postage. Grrrr... I had to use my car and $3.14 gasoline to drive 10 miles each way to mail these catalogs. Yup, .92 each to mail, and about .75 each for the printing of the catalogs, so almost $1.50. I hope these customers decide to buy something. So many people say they haven't gotten the catalog, the catalogs would have arrived in the last 3 weeks and I try to remind them what is on the cover, just in case they got it and just don't remember, and then sometimes they say, "Oh, ya, I did get that". So does this mean that they get so many catalogs, they just toss mine in the garbage? Or did the mailing company just not mail out some of the catalogs? I don't get it. I had an awsome week in sales. Mostly Little Tikes and Step 2 products. I will be placing those orders on June 11.

Benjamin is the only one going with me. Mary Helen has play practice, and Jonathan is too hard to travel with. I think it will be good to have some one-on-one time with Benjamin.

I am sorta surprised because Ron and the kids are planning on going over to the wedding rehersal dinner on Friday, June 1. I always assumed that Mary Helen and I would go over and stay there and then the guys would come over on Saturday. This is great though. Serenity said she would be taking the kids and going back to Duluth for the night (it is only about 1 1/2 hours drive). It sounds like Ron and I will get to stay in a cabin that night. That Friday is our 16th anniversary. I am married to an awsome guy. I often think about what a lucky girl I am.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mothers Day to Me

It was a fairly standard mothers day around here. Except it was Ron's first without his mother. The kids faught on the way down to church, we picked out a grill (I think this was supposed to be a mothers day gift, but no, it is for the family, at least in my mind), we ate at Subway, and then home for an afternoon of naps (me), putting the grill together (Ron and Benjamin), riding the horse (Mary Helen), making us all unhappy (Jonathan), and watching tv (me, Benjamin, Mary Helen). I do have to say, I have been down in the dumps the last few days. I know this time of year is really busy for Ron, and now that I am not traveling, I am home, but alone. Can you feel another pity party coming on? Arggg...

I have the laundry started and have been coloring rice to sell this morning. It is very easy to do. Here is the recipe:

2 cups white rice
1 tbls rubbing alcohol
liquid water color (as much as you want, but at least 1 tbs)

Stir in a bowl, lay flat on newspaper to dry (put on a formica counter top, NOT on nice wood, the alcohol will take the finish off of wood). It will be dry in less than an hour. Make several colors, mix and use for collaging, or making a fun rice box for kids to play with magnets in.

So I am in shorts ready to exercise this morning. I really need to exercise for both my mind and body. Hope you all had a nice mothers day.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lazy Saturday

I am having a lazy Saturday and it feels wonderful. I am frequently traveling on Saturdays so to be home and just relaxing is so great. The little kids went fishing with a neighbor and Ron is out farming with Benjamin. Ah, the house to myself. (Oh, ya, I get the house to myself all week, but it is different because I am working). They caught 2 fish and brought them back for me to cook and then we all ate very fresh pan fried fish. Delish. We picked out the picture invitations for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. There is a picture from their wedding day and a really recent picture too. Very fun. Had a good day of home visits in Bemidji on Thursday. I really should be cleaning closets today and getting ready to paint my bedroom. I bought yellow paint, but with all that has gone on in the last 2 months, it had to wait. I did do budgeting stuff this morning, so now I know what I need to be careful about as far as money.

Ron and I are going to take a mini-vacation to the Taylors Falls area the second weekend in June. My dad asked me to present a workshop for their Sunday School teachers that Sunday night, so we will go up to Int'l Falls to his church after our vacation. I am really excited about getting away with Ron. It has been a few years since we have been away alone.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pity Parties Not Allowed

I have been feeling rather sorry for myself lately. I feel tired and over extended. Frustrated and less than hopeful. Arggg... I did exercise yesterday and maybe with a few days of that under my belt, I will start to feel better.

My parents have been married for 50 years now. We are having a big shin-dig in August. I think it will be fun to see everyone. Especially if I could just lose weight. Yuck. I hate seeing people when I am fat. Hate, hate, hate it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I Started My Book Today

I started writing a book today. I decided just to work on it for 1 hour a day and see what kind of progress I can make. I actually have 3 books I want to write. I also exercised for the first time in weeks. I am back to the weight I was at last August and I am really not happy about it. I wish this wasn't such hard work. I wish I didn't over eat and under exercise so often.

My nephew is graduating from high school a week from this Sunday out near Bismarck, ND so I will be traveling out there for that. I think the only one going with me will be my 13 year old son. Who wishes that the earth would open up and swallow me, or that I would be invisible when his friends are around, or maybe all the time so he wouldn't have to look at me. He can really be a pill sometimes. Arggg...

Another nephew is getting married on June 2 and I am cooking the rehersal dinner. Serenity is going to help me as well as Mary Helen. I think we will have fun doing it.

No reply from my email from this weekend. Either it did not go to the right place, or they are choosing to ignore me. Whatever.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Sundays are for Crying

I had such a tough tough weekend. Here is an email that I sent to the people in charge of the conference I was a vendor at.

Katy and all
I just want all of you to know how hurt I am by what happened at the conference last night and today. I am not sure what you heard from Jody, but last night Katy showed me the spot where I could set up. I had spoken with Kathy B about unloading on Friday night and she said I would be able to come any time between 1-5. I tried to leave on Friday morning in time to get there by 3 (I live at least 5 hours north of the Blaine Sports Center). I was late leaving, got caught in traffic and had difficulty with my 9 year old son on the trip down there. By the time I arrived at 4:30, I was pretty well fried. Katy showed me where she thought I was supposed to set up in the vendor room (she called someone, but I am not sure who? Jody?). We looked at the two corner spots by the outside door and only one spot had electricity which I had paid extra for. It was at this point that I clearly made a mistake. I did not look at my info where it plainly said that I had paid for one space and one table (neither of the 2 spots had one table and one space), so I took 2 tables. I rearranged and started setting up because Katy said that they had told her that we could be in the building till 8 pm. (I only ended up staying till 6). After I had gotten part way set up, Jody came in and started complaining that I had taken 2 tables instead of a table and a space and that I was setting up in the wrong space. I offered to give her the table back, but she kept complaining. I then told her that I had had such a hard day, that I would prefer to pack up my stuff, get a refund and go home, but she said to just keep the table. I left soon after that and finished setting up in the morning. The next morning, it was very apparent that the spaces were too small, the room was too far away, and there was not addequate signs to tell people where the vendors were. Many of the vendors were very upset that the non-profits were out front and had more room. But it kinda made sense since they paid LESS. By mid morning, I had had one sale. It was to another vendor who had called me last week and I brought her items with me. It was at this point that someone on staff came and told me that I would need to pay $67 for another table since I had taken too much room or taken another table, I am not sure which. I said I would not pay for another table, but that I would be happy to pack up and leave and get a refund immediatly as I had had virtually no sales. I do have to say this person was very calm and not unkind, but she said she would go and talk to the president. She came back and said the president was in a meeting (in the mean time my 9 year old son thought that George W was going to be coming to talk to me and that I might be taken to prison because I wasn't willing to pay the extra vendor fee). No one ever came back to talk to me to clear the air about what had taken place. I do not think that many of you understand what it is like to be a vendor. I have worked with many of you both as a vendor and a trainer and I have made every attempt to be Courteous, on time, entertaining, and add value to all of the conferences that I have attended. I do not enjoy conflict and feel sick about how I was treated and how I am probably being viewed by your organization. I do apologize for taking an extra table, however, I did offer to give it back, both Friday night and Saturday morning. I apologize for bringing so much stuff to sell. I do think that bringing a lot is an advantage for your core customer (child care providers) for several reasons. They have a chance to see the items in person, they do not have to pay shipping, and they can compare prices more easily. I have had to work with Jody when she was running things with the Anoka conference and she has always been very difficult. You are hurting your organization to have someone like her working with the providers and the vendors. Please consider removing her from this position. I feel very badly about hurting the relationship that I have built up with Kathy B, the chance to get to know Katy better and the others that I saw at the Wisdom conference. I have considered your organization an ally and friend and would like to continue that relationship in the future.

Joan Berntson
Back 2 Basics 4 Kids

Then on Sunday, I got an email from one of my online instructors saying that my final project needed to be re-done. I cried for a half an hour and then just re-did it. I was going to say, whatever and walk away from it all, but I am glad I re-worked it. Went and saw Serenity in Duluth on Sunday night and we had a great time. She was having an art show for her art class and it was good to see that and spend some time with her.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I am feeling better today. I hope the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train. I was telling Ron yesterday that in my thoughts about putting my trust in God over the business, that I need to just go out and do what needs to be done in terms of sales, calls, filling orders and everything else that needs to be done, as a comparison of picking up manna. That I need to not worry about paying the bills next month, or paying off the credit card, or paying for more inventory that I need to order, but just do what I need to do today and God will provide another customer, another order, enough money to pay the bills.

My 11 year old daughter has tried out for a summer play. She finds out today if she made it in. I am excited for her because she will be a good actress and have fun with it. I hope she gets the part.

I am traveling to Thief River Falls today, Bemidji tonight. Blaine on Friday and Saturday and Duluth on Sunday and Monday. I'm glad that I like to travel. My 9 year old son will go with me this weekend. He loves to come and sell with me and my husband is trying to get the crop in. It seems lately that the 2 boys fight so much that it is hard to have them in the same place at the same time.

I still have 2 more assignments for my online class. I wish that I was done with them. I have until end of the day tomorrow. I was looking at another online class, but for marketing. However, at $400, I can do a lot of self study. Yikes.

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