Saturday, 18 September 2010

Ten Things that Went Right This Week -

I've always been a believer in positive thinking.  Earlier in my life when things were tough I was keeping a journal where I wrote positive things almost daily.  Perhaps now when things are really good in my life I shouldn't forget this.  Perhaps certain habits should be kept up continuously regardless of the situation.

1) Even though I was feeling pretty bad with a big head cold, I still went to work and was treated well by those I work with.  It made the week livable and by the end of the week I was feeling much better and glad I pulled through without staying home. -- Yeah to the good people I work with.

2) I received a second wholesale order. 

3) My daughter was invited to her first birthday party since she's started 1st grade.  She's very excited and it makes my heart sing.

4) The group of women I work with and I had a meeting with the parents of the children we work with and almost all the parents had great things to say about the work we did.  Those who wanted something changed had small wishes that were not big deals.  Everything seems really positive.

5) I've eaten candy every day this week.  Since it's been a bit of a rough week and since I have not gone overboard, I'm deciding that this is a good thing that is needed for my soul.

6) I'm starting training again tomorrow.

7) Today I drove into Bergen today, alone and without kids.  Even though I was just in for soap supplies and didn't even treat myself to coffee, I listened to my favorite music driving to and from the city.  And I started day-dreaming again about what I want to do for my 40th birthday.  Maybe I'll invite the Canadian Ambassador to Norway or even the King of Norway.  Not that I expect them to show up, but it would be really cool to show off some rejection letters. 

8) My kids have  been exceptionally nice this week.  I mean, I have great kids who have good boundaries.  I'm just saying that they've been exceptionally nice this week, especially on a week that I really needed them to be.  I think I'll feed them Nuggati for breakfast tomorrow.

9) My husband made dinner tonight - Fårikål - which is Norway's national dish.  And he made enough to eat tomorrow evening as well.

10) It's Sunday tomorrow...... and I have all day to think of things that will make me happy.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Building Building Building

I think my friends (both on the net and off) as well as coworkers, acquaintances and finally even my friendly post man don't actually believe me.  The question always arises in various forms: What did you do over the weekend? How did you spend this summer? What are you plans for the autumn?

The answer is pretty much always the same: building.

So this is what we were doing last Saturday (our Sundays being saved for family walks and hikes).

We built an outside shed for the new bar-b-que that we bought earlier this summer. It was a little bit of an investment and we intend to keep it for quite some time to come, so that means building it its own house where it can hibernate during the wet, wet winters we have.

My apologies for the unfinished picture.  We did manage to put a sealed roof on it as well, but I forgot to take a picture of that. What can I say? Both my hubby and I were  so tired after building this that we actually bought 'store-bought-pizza' (Oh My!! The Horror!!) and slept for almost a full hour on the couch afterwards.... 

It seems to be my curse in life that I am an effective painter.  Which means that this will forever be my job.  As my father used to say, 'No good deed should go unpunished.'

Need I say more?

In any case, I was able to prime all sides of our Grill Shed, all the while lifting roof materials up to my hubby, telling the kids they could not go in and watch TV, making jugs of juice to drink as well as pots of coffee for hubby (Norwegians should take their coffee intravenously if you ask me, but that's another blog post), and washing and hanging up clothes.

But it got finished, and our bar-b-que will live to see many happy summers.


Other projects that are waiting to be finished:  above are foundations forms for a cement wall.  We're waiting to next paycheck to order the cement.  (Both hubby and I have made enough cement by hand and we're really tired of it.  This time we're phoning the cement truck).

It is on this wall we will be planting a small hedge.... and will be having an eating area just behind this wall and in front of our house.

This wall should have been completed over a year ago.  It was my brother-in-law (digging and foundation expert in our family) who had started helping us build the foundation forms.  He spent one weekend with my husband and started building the forms, and then was diagnosed with cancer the week after that.  And six weeks after that he was gone. In our grief, we just couldn't go back to working on it even after months had passed.

When my husband did finally get to finishing the forms last autumn, they weren't strong enough. The result was that the forms broke and the cement spilled sideways, which can be seen above.  With the help of my father-in-law, we built a second form on top of the first unsuccessful wall and finished the job.

This raised flat space will also be covered with concrete, and then layered with stone tiles of some form or another.  We are thinking of uneven, natural shapes, but this is not something we will be doing this year.

Finally, we have dreams for this area on the side of our property.  Where the cars stand we would like a garage.  And to the right of the swing set (which will probably disappear in a year or two at most) we dream of having a glass winter garden.  These are pretty big dreams at the moment, and we are not quite sure how we will finance it (I need to sell at least 5 times as much soap as I am now.... and I don't think this is possible under the restraints of being a mother and working wife like I am at the moment), but the two of us get so much joy simply talking about the dreams.  

It's been said in many different ways by many different people, but the line in Amanda Marshall's song rings in the back of my head as a constant these past couple of years: The joy's in the ride.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Prepare for Christmas Early This Year

If you're like me, Christmas gift shopping is a double edge sword. The desire is still there: we want to show our friends and family that we care and think about them. We want to symbolically tell them that they are still special to us.

The down side is that it can be so inconvenient to Christmas shop. We need to pay for parking (if we can find a parking spot!), we often have little ones in tow that do not want to be with us in the first place, we've worked long days and are tired, the weather is really bad and we're worried about getting to and from our favorite shopping places, or packing and sending parcels in the mail can take longer than originally planned for. The list can go on and on.

This is why I am offering an Early Bird Christmas Offer. If you order soaps from me as Christmas gift between now and the end of November, I will package your soaps in holiday colored wrap, include a small Christmas/holiday note, have your package ready addressed with stamps and will send it off on November 25th, which is generally the last shipping day which will guarantee that all packages will reach their destination before Christmas. (I can also send it earlier if you give me instructions to do this).

Purchase your Christmas gifts in September, October or early November. Simply write a message to me in the 'Message to Seller',give me instructions on what I should write on the little holiday card to the recipient of your gift, and where I should send it. Then cross those names off your list and breath a sigh of relief. Your work is done! That's it.

And all of this for no additional cost.

Then you can spend the time before the holidays concentrating on the important things: decorating the house as you wish, baking the Christmas treats you remember from your childhood, attending your children's Christmas concerts while being able to pay full attention to what your youngsters are doing.... not thinking about all the other things you need to get done.

Nothing could be easier. Everyone deserves to have a great holiday this year.

For any other questions, just contact me in my store: Ultimate Organic Soap