Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Well, with a lot of perseverance, and a lot of help from my new 'on-line' friends, I have a banner on my blogs!!

I know it's not one of life's more important endeavors, but certainly something I have been working on a lot lately.

It is so exciting, and such a feeling of accomplishment. I kept at it. I continued on. That's what perseverance is, to keep going even when it is frustrating, confusing,
and we can't figure the whole thing out. I was 'steadfast' in purpose, in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Sounds pretty deep for just putting a banner on my blog. But as usual, God has used it to help me grow. It is such a feeling of accomplishment to work at something new, and learn it. Certainly worth the struggle in the midst of it. Then we move on to the next new thing and work on it.

And that's the way our walk with the Lord is. We struggle through something, learn it (whether it be a computer program, or a life lesson) then move on to the next experience.

He can use all these little, every day, seemingly unimportant things in our lives, to help us grow. We become closer, and more like Him, and it prepares us more for the hard times.

So, here's to more challenges, and more life's lessons!

God's Blessings as you grow in Him.

PS: To Mary at Isabellascloset- Thank you for the beautiful banner, and all your help to get it on my site. You're the best!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beautiful Treasures

tea cozie made from vintage pillow case.

I am having so much fun with my new camera.

First of all, a little story.

My birthday was 2 weeks ago, and Scott took me to the coast for a couple of days.
I guess you know, that as a small gift shop owner, I am always checking out other stores to see what's 'in', how their prices are, displays, and anything else I can glean in the visit.
And I did just that.
There were a couple of cute stores, but nothing over the top exciting.
Then we came home.
The next day when I walked into the store, "This is soos cute!" were my first words. It's so nice to do something you really love, and makes you smile when you see it.
I'll ad more store photos and things for sale on teh store blog.
Have a fun day!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tears, and Joy

OK, this is a bit of a sad time for me.

My folks, who come up every summer from Arizona, are getting ready to go home.
They stay over at my business property, so while they are here I am over there almost every day to hang out. We get a lot of work done, and just hang out and have time together.
We go to garage sales every Friday and Saturday, and not only enjoy the bargains we find, but love the time with other people.
We work together on the store, both moving things around, and brainstorming on new ideas. Mom finds more places to put all the things i buy. (out of necessity, and because she is a highly energetic person and keeps herself busy with whatever needs to be done). Dad helps where he can, not being as active as Mom any more.

Every summer they come our time together gets sweeter and sweeter. We become closer, and share our hearts more with each other. We laugh more, and cry more.

So, you can probably imagine, that every year their leaving becomes harder. That day is here.

So, the tears.
I will miss having Mom and Dad's hugs each morning when I go over. I will miss their presence at garage sales, and my Dad singing to whoever will listen. (and some who don't but he sings anyway because he loves to sing). I will miss Wednesday night dinners at church with them. I will miss working with my Mom. We laugh to tears sometimes at the way things go (like assembling shelves and it doesn't go right). Times when, by myself, I might become frustrated. As a matter of fact, we laugh a lot!! I know we will both miss that! And the work always seems to go faster when you have a 'friend' to do it with.

Hmmm. I just thought. I bet they will miss all that too. My Mom will miss having someone to work with, and someone who makes her laugh, and a friend to talk to. My Dad will still sing. (They have lots of jams where they live,) but he will miss his 'paper girl' bringing him the paper each morning. And they will miss their 'chauffeur'.

OK, all that to say, yes, I'm crying now, and I will miss them so much wehn they go.

The good side is:
I have had all summer with them! I am grateful for and cherish that!
We have had more family gatherings because they were here.
I know now to just let myself feel sad they are leaving instead of busying myself so I don't think about it.
I see my husband, who tenderly held me this morning and asked if he should take this afternoon off to be with me.
And I have a Lord, who I know holds us all in the hollow of His hand, and is with us each day, wherever we go.

WOW! I guess sometimes it takes the sad things to really see how much we have , and to truly appreciate and cherish our loved ones.

Blessings and Love to all my friends and family.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Going the extra mile

YAY!!! I finally finished my business card decisions!!

I have to say, those people at Office Max are wonderful. I can't count how many times I've been in there, and from the first day they have been awesome!!

I wrote a bit already about the two who first helped me, and many thanks to them.
But this last gal, she was the best!!! She was so patient with me. Time and time again I made changes, and time after time she made them and each time it was better than the last.
This morning when she called to say she had another proof for me, I got a little anxious. (that was the norm every time I talked to them, mainly because I know what a pain I can be) This time, however, I said to myself, "this is a process, this is a process". So wherever we were in the 'process' it was another step toward completion and I chose ahead of time to be OK with that step.

Allison told me something a week ago that I find to be true. She said you have to chose between price, quality, and time. You can choose 2 out of 3, but you can't have all three.
Once I quit being in such a hurry for it to be finished, and quit expecting perfection, things fell into place. So I got a great price, and great cards, and learned one more step about the "process" of life.

So, Allison, thanks for going the extra mile.
You're the greatest!!

God Bless you all as you walk in His ways.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Birthday Friend

I told you about our new friend at my birthday breakfast at the coast.

You know, the quiet guy, who smiled the whole time, and never even said 1 word?

Well, here is his photo. Rather nice looking, don't you think?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yes, It was my birthday yesterday!!

My sweet husband took 2 days off work and we left Sunday night for the coast, visiting our friends in Hillsboro first.

The weather at the coast was perfect the first day, and it was so much fun just hanging out together, and getting away from all the daily responsibilities of life.
Of course we can't go anywhere unless I check out gift shops and second hand stores.
So we came back with some good 'loot', and another look at what crazy prices other stores are charging!

We had breakfast with the nicest fellow Tuesday morning at our motel. He joined us at our table, (well, actually we joined him at his), and he didn't seem to mind sharing it with us at all.
Scott thought I should write about him.

All the time we were there he just sat quietly as Scott and I talked. I know he was glad we were there because he smiled the whole time. As a matter of fact, he was smiling when we sat down, and never stopped, even after we got up and left him sitting there alone again.
He was dressed a little odd, but we try not to ever judge a book by it's cover.
He had kind of raggedy pants on, with patches on them (normal by some standards today). He wore a hat, and his hair was pretty scraggly too. But he just seemed so glad we sat at his table.
Scott said we should take his picture, so I will put it on the blog next time.

Our trip home was uneventful, and the whole 2 1/2 days were a wonderful gift from him. (I also got some new leather gloves to replace the ones I lost last year, and a rain check for a dinner out). Thanks hon.

To all of you who are joining me at 60 this year, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Love being 60, and feeling 35. We have so much to be grateful for.

Have a super day, and remember to keep smiling. =0)) And be a good listener like our new friend.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This week I have been working on new business cards. It wouldn't be too bad if I didn't already have a picture in my mind of what I wanted. Trying to communicate that to another person, and hoping they are patient while you work together is hard to do. Especially when the designer is a creative person herself, and has her own ideas too.
I will say, we do almost have it done. The girl is off till next week, but we will pick it back up then.

There are so many more decisions about this whole busniness thing than I ever knew. Guess that is the way it is with anything. You never quite know what you are getting into, until you get into it. Ever wonder if you knew how much work something would be, would you do it??

I'm not saying I'm sorry mind you, just that it is a lot of work. Somehow I thought it would all be like playing store. You go out and get things, or you make things, and you set it up all cute, and you dress up pretty, and people come in and visit, and buy something, and you do it all over again. Sounds like fun, right?

Well, that certainly does happen, and it is fun. But either no one warned me, (or I didn't listen),
about things like keeping the place clean, getting set up with credit cards (talk about making decisions!), getting blog banners (still trying to figure that one out), getting a web site set up,
and bookkeeping.
Wow. I'm tired just thinking about it! =0)

Seriously, there really is a lot of work to it, but I am learning so much, and we are making progress. It's a very rewarding feeling.

After all, isn't' all of life just making decisions, learning and growing from them, then sharing what you have learned with others?
It certainly is.

So, let's make the best decisions we can, determine to learn from them, and be willing to share with others in the hope they won't have to make the same ones.

God Bless your decision making today. And remember, life isn't perfect, roll with the punches, and give a smile to everyone you meet. =0)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Helping People Help You

I'm in the middle of a project right now that is somewhat frustrating, but I am also learning from it. (as should always be the case). =0)

I am trying to get new business cards made.
Now, for those who are computer skilled, and make decisions easily, this would probably be no hard task, but for me, well, I need lots of help.

I had somewhat drug my feet on this, as I was trying to get my blog changes made and still trying to get that kitchen/ girly pink area done at the store, but the 1/2 off business card sale at Office Max has put me headlong into it.
I knew about what I wanted to say on them, and some fonts I like, and that I want it soft and romantic sort of rosy Victorian looking, but deciding exactly on any of those things is the challenge. (there's that perfectionism again.)

So, I went to office Max an hour before it closed last night, and happened to catch a young man working there who was not very busy, (not many customers that time of night) and he was willing to help me. I showed him kind of what I wanted, and we sat down at the computer together to try to figure out the details.

Although this can be a very frustrating and confusing thing for me, I was determined to be pleasant no matter how it was going. And, having the peace of the Lord helps incredibly.
We plugged away for 20 minutes, then 30, and 45. It was getting close to closing time, and he was still patiently siting there with me, with a few interruptions by other people needing things. I sat patiently and waited till he was done and got back to me. There was that marvelous peace again. I was so grateful for his time and pleasant manner in helping me.

I overheard him make a call to his girlfriend a few minutes till 8 (closing time), that he would be a little late as he had not even started to close up yet. I felt so bad, and told him how grateful I was for all his time and help and patience, and that we could stop so he could close up and not be late getting out of there. He was so nice!!! He said it was OK, he would stay and finish, and that he was grateful for how nice I had been, and patient when he needed to help others. He said usually people are very impatient, and think they are the only ones there that need help, and don't like waiting for it. We were thanking each other for being so helpful and nice.

Sooo, I'm sure you have already figured out how I came up with the title of this blog:
"Helping people help you".

Our good attitude, and pleasant manner, with some patience, and a kind word thrown in, can do wonders for everyones day.

Thank you Lord, for the peace and patience only you can give, and thank you for James, the kind and knowledgeable Office Max employee who went the extra mile.
And thank you Angie, Sue, and Pam, for your patience and help on all these projects.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Too Tired

I just wrote a great post, then somehow deleted it instead of posting it. =0/
I'm sure it's in here somehwere, but have no clue how to find it.
So, you get the condensed version:

Even when you feel too tired, grumpy, or emotional to go to Bible Study, GO!

Even if you sniff and sneeze and blow with allergies all the way through it, STAY!

When you feel like crying or sleeping, take hands with a friend, and PRAY!

The Lord will renew your strength, and fill your heart with joy.

You will also be winning a battle (one of the many the enemy is constantly waging against us), and will be taking a foothold that will help give victory in times to come.

Ps 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanksto him in song."

Monday, September 1, 2008

Perfect? Or Process?

I'm sure, like myself, a lot of you have "visions" for particular things in your life.

Right now, a lot of my visions are for the store. I get a certain picture in my mind of what I want an area to look like, and I set to work "creating" it. Several things happen while I am doing that.

One, is that I never seem to have just the "perfect piece" to go in just the "perfect place" I want it to be, to look just the "perfect way"I want it to look. I spend a lot of time going through all the inventory I have stacked everywhere to try to find that "perfect" piece.
Another thing that happens, is sometimes I experience a 'very slight frustration' that I cannot get things done when I want, how I want.

I guess you can tell, that because of my search for "perfection", I get little done in the "perfect" amount of time and looking the "perfect" way I want it to be done.

Well, such is the curse of "perfectionism".
I say I am a recovering "perfectionist", which usually gets a chuckle from the person that I am saying it to. (Often it is to a new student that I recognize has the same disease I do). =0)

Just when I think I have put the little guy (the curse, not the student) in it's place, it rears it's head again.

So, what is the answer? What do I do with this problem?
Well this morning, (while I was walking of course) , I realized I've fallen back into "the perfectionist zone" with the new room at the shop. The "Pretty in Pink" area that we have already worked on a month, and it is still not "perfect".

Then I remembered what I said in the Country Register article about the store. "When asked what she's learned...Barbara responded "I've learned to ask for help, and that everything takes longer than you think. I'm learning to be content each day, whatever comes, and to enjoy the process as much as the result." ZING! OUCH!
I have to eat my own words!

So, the long sought after solution, and reminder from the Lord? Step back, take a deep breath, make sure you have your priorities straight (for me, God, family, friends, everything else), and keep plugging away. Remember that there is no "perfect". Life, (and the store display) can change in an instant. So enjoy every moment of the process while we are here, and thank the Lord for a healthy mind and body that can even think "Pretty in Pink". =0)

Hope you enjoy the process of this day. Blessings.