Bummed out...

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I'm bummed. Got up to a grey, cloudy day then read the daily paper and got more clouds - two former patients (recent) in the obits, one old age, one suicide. And I really thought the suicide was going to be okay. Sumbitch.

Guess I'll do laundry in spite of the glowering clouds; and maybe pick some peas. Gotta do something to brighten up. Sorry for dumping this on you all, but I had to get it out. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2004


warm hugs to you, Polly; surely is easy to get the blues on a cloudy day I think, especially after reading the news. Have you ever tried forcing yourself to smile non-stop;supposed to releade endorphins or somesuch. So sorry about the patients; does it help at all to think of them as now at peace?

Tryin my best to keep positive about the business myself;we spent some time with two SCORE representatives today. Gave us a few good ideas, but it just seems like it is going to take more time than we had anticipated to get this thing jump-started. I am trying to manifest someone to come into our lives who is just the right person to do some promotion. We need to create a buzz, get the nutritional and health aspects out there more, and I'm still questioning the packaging. Someone once said the two-paks reminded them of Ho-Ho's (whatever they are, but I guess they're some kinda junk food), which isn't good. I'm wondering if they shouldnt look more fancy and sophisticated, but I'm not terribly creative and we wouldnt be able to up the price of the packaging much. Sigh.......this just has to work; I don't know how I'll live with myself if it doesnt,but it's costing us a lot of money just to run the place every month,and sales are slow. Can only do that for so long.

Me too sorry, but I need to let it out, and can't do it with Bren and dont want to burden the kids.

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2004

I hope the garden therapy helped you Polly.

Low-carb is really hot around here now, hopefully business will pick up for you EM.

Big hugs to you both. :)

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2004

Thanks, ladies; I just needed to vent a little.

Acutally EM, anything packaged like HO-HOs would be a plus for me... I don't know why the two in a package thing is such an industry standard, but it is. Do you have any tea shops, or coffee shops, or heck - even local diners on your client list? The diet fiends here at the hospital are doing low carb, but that just means they scarf all the bacon before the rest of us can get down there for breakfast - I sure wouldn't mind them having some other choices! How about gyms/spas? Convenience markets? You know, for the on the way to work crowd? Do your muffins appeal to mostly women? How is your packaging designed - to draw whose eye? How about places that do those foo-foo gift baskets?

I used to like doing the marketing on farm and farmer's market, but I'm at a loss in a city situation. Got my fingers and toes crossed for you in any case. (And boy, does that make it hard to type!)

Hugs again,

-- Anonymous, June 22, 2004

So far our stuff has not been a hit with the low-carb crowd. It's really not my biggest interest anyway,since mostly people are in it for the wlight loss craze; as you know, I have always believed in low carb for overall health. Seems most folks who are just into low carb cuz they wanna lose weight are the same people who would rather eat junk food, so they want cheap, and could give a fig about the other attributes. Most of the natural food stores have told me that their stuff mainly marketed as low carb has not been doing well. Cours that could be cuz people who speak with their food dollars by shopping at natural food stores think most of that stuff tastes like yuk.

Polly,I think the comment about Ho-Ho's was indicating that packaging them like that might cheapen their image. This is quality food, not just a treat, and how do I get people to know that? Packaging is important of course;people make purchases mostly by emotion and perceptions after all. Thanks so much for the ideas;I need em!

-- Anonymous, June 22, 2004

EM, I've been thinking more about this (put an idea in my head and it won't go away sometimes!), about the two pack thing. You know, if this is for the health concious, not the diet concious, if we understand the distinction here; might they be shying away because two would be - what? - too many? One muffin is a delightful, healthy treat, two is decadence? Indulgence?

How about book stores? What is your shelf life?

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2004

Hi Polly,

Sorry to hear about those folks. I would probably be pretty bummed, too.

Laundry as therapy. Has it ever been so...

Personally, I've been experiencing some gnawing anxiety every once in a while. I keep thinking of Galadriel saying "The world has changed..." in Fellowship of the Ring.

When I drive to work, I wonder if some terrorist is going to dump something scary onto Seattle and whether or not I'll have a way to get home. It's background noise for sure, but it creeps up. I wonder if others feel this way?

Anyway, EM maybe you could find a market with a six-pack instead of Tupac? Just kidding of course.

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2004

Actually we package them in 12-paks too; but they aren't doing well cuz they're a big chunk of money at once, even though they are cheaper per item that way.

I personally don't give much thought to the terrorist thing at all; it's obvious bushco has created countless more enemies than we had before (duh), and done practically nothing to protect our borders, but there's certainly nothing I can do about it, so why worry?

Polly, the reason they are in 2-paks is because they are small, especially compared to nowadays gigantic gross muffin things you see everywhere. which is one reason we are changing the name to "gourmet tea cakes," so they comparison is less likely. A package with only one would get lost and have no room for a label.

We also thought 2 to be a good idea cuz some folks are perfectly satisfied with one cuz they are so filling, and they can be shared between two people, or one saved for later, or both eaten at once.

They are perishable, so need to be sold from the cooler or freezer. Shelf life in cooler is 2 weeks, although I know from personal experience that they last longer.I would need to have a lab test done to state a longer shelf life,to make certain they don't begin to produce any bacteria after longer than two weeks.

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2004

Hi Earthmama,

I guess just finding out that Seattle was one of the original 911 target sites (the Columbia Tower) kind of rocked my world. Maybe I need to move to the Midwest.

I guess we all could use a helping hand, one way or the other.

Are you ready to market to Washington? Is there some way I can help? Seems like it would be a good market out here (not sure of the timing or much else).

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2004

Sheepish, I hope that didnt sound dismissive of your fears, cuz I sure wouldnt want to give that impression. And you're right of course, I can't say for certain if I would be more paranoid if I were aware of being in a supposedly targeted area.

I guess I just refuse to buy into the fear-mongering this administration is so fond of; it's the only thing they have and they use it with impunity. I ain't afraid of dying in the least anyway, but I sure do have concerns about the state of the world the past 4 yrs have created, and the fact that terrorism is without doubt more likely after the stupidest foreign policy in history, and how the next generation is going to pay most of the consequences.

-- Anonymous, June 24, 2004

No dissin' perceived.

Today we had NORAD flying all over the place at low altitude. No worries, they keep telling us. Just a drill. Reminds me of Firesign Theatre or something...

Something about living between Boeing and the Navy and the Air Force and the Army and Microsoft and the container ports...

Well as FDR said: nothing to fear but fear itself. I am going to switch from a briefcase to a backpack though for work...plus carry water and some snacks (and my hiking shoes and good socks and a good rain jacket). Hey if NORAD can practice, so can I.

Hope everyone is doing okay and the weather is sunny and pleasant!

-- Anonymous, June 24, 2004

Sheepish, I'm not too worried right now - mostly, like EM, 'cause there ain't one damn thing I can do. I can understand being more concerned, being in a coastal state, with all the service bases nearby.

We're still living life as usual, tho I am trying to get my pantry stocked back up - Hubs is good at cooking, poor at shopping! I just managed to score 28 days of vacation in Sept/Oct and am trying to plan something to do. As much as I would like to go to DC to the museums, I don't think this is the year. I imagine that we'll take Pop out to Nebraska for a few days; then head down to Arksansas again.

The flat black, unmarked 'copters have been flying low over this area for the past couple of weeks; we figure it is either the Guard out on manuevers, or the dope scouts.

Lost another staff RN yesterday, so I am back to 60+ hour weeks. Pop has taken over watering the flowers and keeping the garden weeded, and Hubs is continueing to do all the cooking and the most essential housekeeping. My job is work-sleep-pick garden produce. Pop is in at the kitchen table shelling peas that I just picked; Hubs will blanch, package and freeze them tonight. Don't know what I'd do without my fellas!

-- Anonymous, June 25, 2004

All that government aircraft buzzing above is not a comfy feeling,I know. I remember after 9/11, with Bren having left to drive out to Oregon to pick up our girls who were stranded after camp cuz they couldnt fly or take the train, there was about a week of constant planes overhead here, mostly helicopters. Very nerve-wracking. Reminded me of when we lived in LA, helicopters overheard usually meant the cops were looking for some murderer of rapist of somesuch on the run.

We all went to the opening of "Fahrenheit 9/11" yesterday. When we bought our tickets several days ago, the theatre we went to was the only one in town that had booked it, way on the other side of the Cities from where we live, on three screens, every half hour,and was totally sold out yesterday. Two days later, it was booked on two screens at the one we usually go to, a mile from here!

I was so pumped to see this movie; thought it would be a great big wonderful pep fest, lots of humor like Moore's movies always are, and in this case at the well-deserved expense of the Bush administration, our cowardly congress in general, and of course the stupidity of this war. What I wasnt prepared for was how incredibly depressing it would be. Lotus and Matt were sitting in front of us, and at the end, she was a total wreck, almost inconsolable. Lo is not much of a cryer actually, but it just really shook her up. I turned on the radio on the way home, and a woman on a talk show who had just seen it said, "it will break your heart." And indeed it will.

-- Anonymous, June 26, 2004

I've heard the movie is *really* sad. I haven't seen it yet.

I can hardly move today (something about being 52?). I weeded and weeded and mulched and mulched all day yesterday, and then today we had our shearer out. While he does most of the hard work, it's still a challenging day for Mr. S. and I. From skirting all the fleeces to sorting and bagging (and the free-wheelin' rodeo catching up 2 of the gang who adamantly refused to go into the barn this morning- Mr. S. did a full blow cross-body tackle on one wether, and I took a serious ass-over-teakettle flip, including hitting my head on the ground, going after my oldest and savviest ewe). What a scream. Nothing like a little serious hard work to make one appreciate the concept of leisure! Our property taxes just went up 21%. The last time they went up, it was 20%. We get re-assessed every 3 years. sheesh. Maybe I should move to Honolulu....probably costs the same!

Our neighbors are putting an addition on their house and had a bunch of trees taken down. They gave them to us, so Mr. S. has been busy buzzing firewood.

Time for the hot tub. Blessed day today. Sheep are happy, the sun has been shining, the corn is looking good (although only shin-high!) and we have peace overhead, except for little Cesnas and stuff.

Take care and have a good week.

-- Anonymous, June 27, 2004

Weird paragraphing. Sorry!

...being weirdly obsessive..transcriptionist stuff maybe...

-- Anonymous, June 27, 2004

Anbody know a site where one can sell homesteading-type books ala ebay but with a more likely audience? I'm ready to get rid of some stuff I wasn't ready to get rid of three years ago. Also,anyone want free old issues of Grass Farmer magazine? (you can pay the postage only).

-- Anonymous, July 04, 2004

Well, first you have to tell US what they are!!

Otherwise I would suggest that you try www.todayshomestead.com; the barter board. If you don't want to register under your name; let me know and I will post it for you. This isn't the board that Chuck changed over to from the old Countryside board, it is a split from that board. Has some pretty nice people on it - Marcia, Sherri, me...!

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2004

Thanks Polly. I'll try there. Mostly I have horse and horse farming magazines and books to get rid of. I have about 50 books up on ebay and half.com right now I think.

Wish you guys could come down and see Lotus play; she just doesnt capture (as of yet anyway) her magic on recordings. I am amazed every time I see her perform. Even in creepy dingy bars full of clueless drunks, or jaded yuppies,she commands the stage and captures everyone's attention.It's a beautiful thing, although I do miss the blues she used to do almost exclusively.

-- Anonymous, July 07, 2004

We have found a home for Isis! A farm family down the road from a lovely woman who bought some of our cows and has become a friend of mine! My friend tells me this neighbor is wonderful to her animals and that's recommendation enough for me. Has a flock of kids involved in 4H, all kinds of critters, already has one Pyr and is crazy about him, and is actually looking forward to adopting another that is used to watching livestock! Yessir, the ol' envisioning thang worked again!

-- Anonymous, July 12, 2004

Hooray for you and Isis. Glad to hear such a happy ending to the story!

-- Anonymous, July 12, 2004

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