Well, as promised, but perhaps not as quickly as I had planned, it's time to sit down and have a little catch up time . . . grab a cup of tea or java and let's chat. As I eluded to in my last post, there has been a lot going on . . . some exciting and some difficult times as well.
First I will talk about the bad . . . not because I want to focus on that, but because that means I get to end with the positive! On December 29th, my Dad had a stroke. He has been dealing with dementia for several years and this stroke, besides affecting his ability to stand, walk and use his right hand, added to the dementia as well. He spent about five weeks in a nursing home having rehab. During this time, my brother and I took turns driving my Mom up to spend the day with my Dad each day, as my Mom does not drive. He has now been back home for over a month and is happy to be there. Mom has hired a homecare service to come in the mornings and evenings. I watch Dad about once a week as well, so Mom can go out shopping and doing errands with a friend. While it is not perfect, a bit of a routine has gotten established. It is hard watching my parents age and realizing this may very well be the last year I have my Daddy around. We just celebrated his 81st birthday this last week. But I am thankful he is content at home and know I am blessed for having had him as my Dad. He has always been a kind and gentle man.
During the weeks of daily driving my Mom up to the nursing home, I was also trying to complete something else . . . the exciting thing I have been wanting to tell you about. Actually, I have been trying to get it going for nearly a year. And finally . . . drum roll please . . . I can now share the news with you. BLESSIFIED! What's that you say? You think I am talking gibberish? No, actually, that is the name of our new website! www.blessified.com.
While we love Past Blessings Farm and our monthly sales and especially our antique show, "Pickin' on the Prairie" we hold here each August, we felt like we needed to also add an online shopping site. I love making my signs and have also started carrying some great jewelry, purses and more. And we have some custom designed t-shirts that should be arriving rhis week.
|Some of my original designed signs available on www.blessified.com|
As the kids are pretty much grown up now (our baby will soon be 20!) and we start thinking of the future and . . . dare I say it . . . our, um "senior years," we want to have something lined up that can help supplement our income and yet not be quite as physical as putting on antique shows and barn sales . . . I can't begin to tell you how many thousands and thousands of pounds we have lifted over the years moving all the furniture I have refinished or repurposed. Don't worry . . . we are not planning to quit Past Blessings Farm anytime soon . . . but we do want to be wise when we look to the future and Blessified is simply a part of that plan.
It took me so long getting it going because I decided to try to get the website going myself. While my degree from long ago is in graphic design, website design is not something I know at all. So after lots of frustration and mistakes, it is finally up and running. I anticipate lots of fine tuning and improvements in the days and months to come, but I am pleased that it is a working viable site now.
But now is the hard part . . . figuring out how to direct traffic to my new site. I told my husband it is kind of like I spent all this time building a beautiful boutique . . . painting it up, decorating it to a tee and then filling it with lovely products. I stand proudly in the entry way, gazing at all the beautiful things I have just waiting to bless someone. Excited about all the shoppers who will come and buy up my beautiful wares . . . and then I realize I built this boutique deep in a forest that no one can find. So though it is beautiful and filled with treasures I know so many will want, no one will be able to find it. That, I am afraid is where I am right now with my new site. So now I am spending hours studying ways to promote websites . . . how to get my page seen on Google, learning about sites like "Stumble Upon", etc. I feel like a foreigner trying to learn a new language. But I know, with time I will learn how to get the people I need to my site. To quote a line from the movie "Field of Dreams", I believe "If you build it, they will come." So the website, though far from perfect, is built. The baby is born . . . now it is a matter of learning how to nurture it and help it grow.
We will have another barn sale coming up here this weekend, on March 27th and 28th. Our annual "Spring Has Sprung" sale.
|If you will be in the Spokane area this weekend (March 27th and 28th) be sure to come to our "Spring has Sprung" barn sale . . . the barn is stuffed with tons of vintage treasures.|
So now I am trying to wear a lot of hats . . . lots of furniture to be redone, signs to be made, and "new to you" finds to be cleaned up and priced. And a website to promote, blogs to be written and listings to be shared. Then there is the hat of wife, the hat of Mom and the hat of daughter. The hat of fixer-upper 117 year old farmhouse owner . . . we are in the midst of redoing some second hand cupboards I found on Craigslist for our kitchen. I will hopefully share about that in the posts to come. And then the antique show hat . . . the posters need to be printed and posted in all the area antique stores and coffee shops, postcards need to be sent, event insurance and honey buckets need ordered . . . and the list goes on.
Overall, these are good things. I am so fortunate to have a husband who is also my partner. He helps me to see what is important and what I can simply "let go." There is a part of me waiting for the other shoe to drop . . . realizing that aging parents eventually leads to life changes that you have no "say so" on. Sometimes, if I allow myself, I can get a bit overwhelmed . . . I think of growing not one, but now two businesses, fixing up this old run down farmhouse and trying to still be the wife, mother, daughter and friend I want to be. But I am learning to live in the moment. To enjoy the now. To do what I can, but not panic about what I can't. I have always wanted everything done "yesterday." Patience has always been a struggle for me. But I am learning that patience is not just a virtue people talk about abstractly . . . it is a learned art. I still need a lot of practice learning this art, but I am seeing that letting go is freeing and learning to wait can be a time of peace and quiet.
So here I am waiting . . . waiting for the changes I can't control, waiting for my website to "take off", waiting for our house to finally be "fixed up" (well, at least to be free of leaking sinks and cupboards falling off the wall). Waiting for our fourth annual "Pickin' on the Prairie" to come together and work all the "kinks" out. Waiting for our kids to make the right choices and grow up to be the men I know God has planned for them to be. And I realize as I ponder "the wait", how blessed I am . . . the fact that I even have these things to wait on is a blessing. As I wait for the changes coming in regards to my Dad, I realize how blessed I am to have him and to have been able to call this great man "Dad," As I wait for my website to grow, I realize how blessed I am to be able to pursue the creative things I desire and have the support of my husband. As I wait for our farmhouse to be slowly transformed into the classic home I desire, I look over our beautiful property and realize how many people would love to live in such a serene setting and I have no doubt I am blessed. As I wait for my boys to become the Godly men I believe they will be, I know I am not only blessed with the gift of being their Mom but will be blessed to have a front row seat, watching their lives unfold.
So there you have it . . . my blessing filled, creative, chaotic life . . . I truly am living a "Blessified" life.
May your life be always "Blessified."