?

Log in

   
04:26pm 07/05/2010
  Things have been busy and weird lately. I'm trying to keep up with the store blog, and as a consequence don't have much time or enthusiasm to attempt to make my less-professional thoughts more legible here...

Cam is starting a new job on Monday in a different city not too far away, but far enough that she won't be living here during the week. So, as of Monday, my entire home life will be different. I'm not exactly thrilled about the idea of coming home to an empty house every night - something I haven't done in a VERY long time - but at this point it'll just be something I have to get used to.

Things are good at the store. I'm a little concerned about summer sales slowing down, but I'm trying not to worry. Honestly, worrying is becoming a profession in and of itself for me these days, to the point where I worry about how much I'm worrying...

Also, I'm starting a sock project where I knit myself 14 pairs of socks and reward myself with Fluevogs... except I technically bought the shoes on Monday. But I'm not letting myself wear them until the project is done...

shop-May 2010

sock number 1... on the home stretch...
 
     

(telegram!)

 
   
07:46am 07/04/2010
  My seed supplier (for the store, I sell seeds a bit now too) has a table booked at this weekend's Peterborough Garden Show, but can't actually make it. She wants to know if I want her table, I'd sell additional seed from her on consignment, and I could sell yarn as well.

Pros:
- great exposure to a potentially knitting-friendly local demographic
- experience working a show as a bosslady and not someone just working for someone else
- potentially being able to restock some of the really popular seed (bull's blood and golden detroit beets, cosmic purple carrots) that I've sold out of
- potentially making money

Cons:
- asking my mom and Cam to cover for me at the store this weekend
- having to take my own seed displays from the store to the show, not being able to sell any of that seed in the store this weekend, and having to transport said displays across town, likely by cab
- not having much in the way of signage or promotional materials for the store
- not having much experience with shows, and having to do it alone (can I just use a cash box and be cash only? can I roll the tax into each price so as not to try to add it up seperate {is that legal?})
- potentially not making much money at either place
- being exhausted

Tonight I'm a guest at the Women's Business Network's monthly meeting/dinner thing, a woman who works in my mentor's office has agreed to take me along... I think I've sorted out my wardrobe issues for that, but it's been stressful in its own right. How is the only professional looking jacket I own made of velvet? Is velvet okay in the rain? I feel like the answer is no...
 
     

(6 stops | telegram!)

 
   
10:33pm 31/03/2010
  I feel like all I talk about it work now, so here is something decidedly non-work related.



I've been listening to Timber Timbre a LOT lately, I just can't seem to stop. The only other things that seem to break in occasionally are the Weather Station and Great Lake Swimmers, specifically singing along to "Everything is Moving So Fast" by the latter which, ironically, I can only sing while standing still (I sing a lot while walking to and from work, quieting down for passersby of course)... I think this is partly due to the fact that I prefer the higher harmony part of the song, and partly due to my recent physical inactivity. But no matter, these are still great songs...

Anyone have any amazing songs I should know about? Preference for those easily sung, but any old song will do.
 
     

(6 stops | telegram!)

 
Things I want and can't have...   
10:00am 15/03/2010
  Around this time of year my mind starts to browse. I always have fantastical ideas of what my tax return *might* bring, but this year the practical side of me says "save it for later, whatever you get" because yarn shops generally don't do as well in the summer, which means if I'm barely breaking even now, I may be in for a rocky first summer. I'm not too concerned about it, my dad is ready to lend me some emergency money, but the less I have to do that for my own personal expenses, the better. So here is a small list of things that I wish I could have, things that I will buy if I have a magical windfall summer! (haha)

1. Fluevogs, maybe these or these or these

2. Compost, a truck full (technically, just one cubic yard, not a whole truck)

3. Riel, in t-shirt form

4. A "Build Your Own Banjo" Kit (I have this dream of learning to play the banjo in the slow summer days at work. I also have a slightly more realistic dream about drop spindling at work this summer, especially because one can walk around while doing it!)

5. While we're at it, Fiddle Lessons - there's only so much you can teach yourself...

6. Alan Lomax's The Land Where Blues Began, book and cd

7. A whole bunch of cds and books, probably too numerous to name. I would love a Carter Family cd, and I'd love a copy (vintage copy if possible) of Canadian Crusoes by Catherine Parr Traill, since I'm reading her Backwoods of Canada right now...

Realistically, it's probably a good thing that I can't spend any of my tax return on frivolities this year (even though, being self-employed, this may be my last tax return for a while...) because whatever return I get probably wouldn't cover half of this stuff, leading to some very difficult decisions... Best to just leave it be for now...
 
     

(telegram!)

 
   
12:12pm 12/03/2010
  Day of Yellow, under gray skies

This is my second-last jar of peaches, a Friday treat! I'm sad to be nearing the end of my peach stock, but it just means I'll have to set in to the rhubarb in the freezer - pudding cake anyone??

I've been listening to a song from one of the Deep River of Song collections, this one being Virginia and the Piedmont: Minstrelsy, Work Songs, and Blues. It's a collection of songs recorded by Alan Lomax, but the song in particular is actually sung by Lomax himself. The liner notes explain:

CAN'T HIDE
Sung by an unidentified group.
Recorded by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax, probably
on December 22, 1934, at the State Penitentiary,
Raleigh, North Carolina.

This is the earliest recording heard on this compilation
and one of a handful made at the State Penitentiary in
Raleigh, North Carolina, shortly before Lomax raveled
north to New York City with Huddie Ledbetter. "Can't
Hide" is case in the antiphonal form that is the signature
of many genres of African-American roots music, form
work songs to soul. We hear what appears to be a quartet
arrangement. The theme - one can't hide from God -
is a common one for spirituals and is especially
strong in the black tradition. The Norfolk Jubilee Quartet
recorded a version of this song in 1927.

Leader: ... To the rocks...
Group: You can't hide.
Leader: Find no hiding place.
Group: You can't hide.
Leader: It ain't no hiding place.
Group: Oh, you can't hide.
Together: And you can't hide, sinner, you can't hide.

And my Jesus calling.
You can't hide.
And my Jesus calling.
You can't hide.
Ain't no hiding place.
Oh, you can't hide.
And you can't hide, sinner, you can't hide...


It goes on from there. I think if songs like this one were sung in churches now I might consider going just for that. But a quick google search of the lyrics turned up nothing very close...

I don't know if it's the weather getting warmer or what, but I'm feeling especially compelled to dive deeper into the Lomax collections. I just discovered today that in addition to the Land Where the Blues Began cd and book, there's a documentary film too... I'm going to see about finding it. In the meantime, Google videos has "To Hear Your Banjo Play" (1947) archived, written by Alan Lomax, and featuring, among notable others, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, two of my favourite blues musicians...



And now I have a crush on Peter Seeger, circa 1947...
 
     

(telegram!)

 
printemps   
07:24pm 10/03/2010
  My goodness. Considering how much time I find to read other people's blogs, I should really be able to find time to update my own (both of them, in fact, since I'm blogging for the store now too)...

Speaking of, the store is rolling along okay. I'm not swimming in money (technically far from it) but I think I almost made enough to cover an average month's bills in February, which being my first full month is not too bad. I've been caught off-gaurd by the shockingly warm weather - here I was hoping for one last snowy weekend/week/month? to be able to go out cross country skiing since I actually possess the skis to do so now, but no luck! I'm trying to switch my brain over to soon-to-be-gardening mode, but I'm mildly lacking in success. Can't wait to take Alma (mon velo!) out for her first ride though...

On another note, I need more things to listen to at work! The CBC feed today was especially sketchy (although I did finally catch a small piece on The Story From Here about a Hutterite colony in Saskatchewan who are setting up wind mills to power their farms and sell the excess electricity back to the province - amazing!) and I've exhausted my carefully chosen supply of This American Life episodes which I love and adore. I just downloaded three new albums, Timber Timbre's self-titled, Brasstronaut's Mount Chimera, and Great Lake Swimmers' Lost Channels, thus exceeding my music budget for the month (see above: no money). So... listen to any good podcasts lately? If so, please share!

Gratuitous sweater photo:
Liesl cardigan
My first sweater finished since opening, and I had beer spilt all over it on Saturday night at the Wooden Sky show. No, it wasn't *my* beer... this time... :)
 
     

(2 stops | telegram!)

 
If you're feeling crazy over the holidays, you're not alone...   
09:35am 19/12/2009
 
mood: excited
First, a holiday story:

Cam and I have been very late getting our holiday cards out this year. A couple days ago, I was downtown travelling from one meeting (with an insurance broker) to another (at the Community Opportunity and Innovation Network) when I thought, "I know, I'll stop in at the post office and get Christmas stamps!"... So I did. I waited in line and when I got to the counter I asked if they had any Christmas stamps left. The guy behind the counter says no. So I think "okay, I'll just get regular stamps, they're permanent now, so they're basically good forever, no big deal". I asked how much a roll was (fifty dollars! for one hundred), then said I was really only looking for fifty... So he gives me 5 packs of 10 stamps and I'm good to go. Not Christmas-y, just normal...


When I got home, I looked at the stamps. They aren't just Canadian stamps, they're a special "Mental Health" stamp with a portion of the proceeds going to various places that deal with mental health I guess... Which is fine, mental health is important...

But nothing says "Merry Christmas" more than a big stamp that reads "MENTAL HEALTH" on it! We did eventually find a few holiday stamps elsewhere, but not nearly enough to cover all of the cards, so if you get a card with a "MENTAL HEALTH" stamp, don't take it personally! You are just one of the special people we thought might not be super offended by it... :)

In other crazy news, I'm opening a yarn shop in January! It's a for sure deal that it's going to happen, it's just still unclear as to exactly when. I'm aiming for January 15th, but it all depends on how long it takes for the loans that I've been approved for to actually be disbursed to me. But I have a lease and a bank account and a business license and insurance and a lawyer and an accountant and I'm as pleased as punch. This coming week I'm going to head up to my mom's after my last meeting on Monday - I was debating whether I should spend so much time away from command central, but all of my lending agencies (and most of my suppliers) are closed as of next week until January, and all things considered, I might not get a chance to spend close to a week up at my mom's at Christmas for a very, very long time now that I'm entering this matrimonial engagement... I mean marrying a retail store, of course! But everywhere I go, I meet more and more people who are super pschyed about the store and pledge to spread the awesome news... A yarn shop in Peterborough! The best Christmas gift in the world... :)
 
     

(12 stops | telegram!)

 
december the first   
11:18am 02/12/2009
  december first  
     

(3 stops | telegram!)

 
   
05:20pm 29/09/2009
 
mood: sleepy
The more I read, the more I like her: 'Michelle Obama to promote gardening on "Sesame Street"'
 
     

(telegram!)

 
Last full day of mercury in retrograde...   
08:10pm 28/09/2009
 
mood: nauseated
Holy smokes! Today our fridge broke - but our landlord bought us a new one - but we can't plug it in yet...

I started feeling a bit nauseated earlier this evening, before the big fridge meltdown of 2009 was confirmed, and now that I'm faced with a sizeable pile of things-going-moldy-in-the-back-of-the-fridge-that-I-didn't-know-about-and-never-wanted-to, the nausea is getting worse. I think maybe I'll lie down for a couple minutes and nurse my half-glass of ginger ale and take it from there...
 
     

(telegram!)

 
In the season of "gold and crimson graciousness"   
02:42pm 22/09/2009
 
mood: pensive
I am reminded now that it should be said that I have a great many things to look forward to. My kitchen is awash in tomatoes, we bought sixty pounds for twenty dollars, and I have been canning up a storm ever since. Mostly just plain canned tomatoes, but there's likely to be some ketchup and perhaps some salsa, too!

Tonight I have knitting group, which is usually on Thursdays but there's a special one tonight to meet with Robyn Love, an artist with a CCA grant to travel across Canada interviewing suburban knitting groups about knitting and their community. It should be interesting, but I've also come to genuinely look forward to this little gathering of women, mostly my age or a bit older... It's nice to have the opportunity to learn people's names.

Last friday was the great potato harvest and it was a complete success! The harvest was smaller than last year, so I'm told, but there was lots of help and the task was completed in record time. I was sent home with one and a half bags of potatoes, the full one of "good" ones, and the half of "eat now" ones, but they're really all very good. The garden manager there might go out to another woman's farm this Thursday to help out since the intern there went back to school this September and has invited me to tag along.

This Friday a band is playing that I've been looking forward to seeing, and Saturday we're having some friends come to visit and see our place. It's also Peterborough Pride, though I doubt I'll have much to do with it. So I'm trying to plan what to have for folks to nibble on without spending too much money that we don't really have, but I think it'll be a good time regardless...

Finally, I'm about eighty pages from the end of Anne of Avonlea, the second of the "Anne" books by L.M. Montgomery, none of which I had read before now. How funny they are! And very well written; it's very evident that Montgomery had quite the sense of humour. I really wish I would have read them when I was younger, though I'm really enjoying them now. Anne of the Island will be next, I think!
 
     

(telegram!)

 
Font Options   
10:25am 21/09/2009
 
mood: determined


Now accepting opinions...
 
     

(2 stops | telegram!)

 
Disappointment Wednesday   
04:16pm 16/09/2009
 
mood: crushed
Alright, I need to vent.

Today I went for an interview at a local employment-type agency that deals with the Self-Employment Benefit program here in Peterborough, with is a province-wide program that basically pays a living wage for 10 months while you start a small business. I applied with the hope of opening a yarn store here, since there's a shocking lack of one in this little city, but was denied access to the program because I'm unlikely to be approved for any loans because of my total lack of assets.

And here's where I start flashing back to Buffy, in the episode in season six where the heroine applies for a loan only to be turned down - that they'll only lend money if you can prove you don't need it... (I'm thinking I'm going to watch that episode)

What really sucks is that I've been using my VISA more than usual, and while I don't owe a lot, I owe more than I'd like to considering I'm not going to be in this program. So my options are as follows (in chronological order):

- Approach the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and see what they say. I wish I had done this in the first place, it would have saved me a lot of waiting around for this interview which produced absolutely nothing. If I'm turned down by CYBF, my plans for a yarn store will basically be dead in the water.

- If yarn can't work, I have to. I mean, I'll have to find a job. Which won't be easy, considering Peterborough has very high unemployment and I have very few skills. And no driver's license.

- If all else fails, I might go back to school. I'm actually really in love with the idea of the new Sustainable Agriculture program offered by Fleming College, but agriculture isn't exactly known for its booming employment opportunities (although, as Aimee the garden manager says, the average age of a Canadian farmer is 52, which means in about ten years time we're due for a major food-production crisis...) I've also been toying with the idea of trying to nudge Trent University in the direction of starting a farm incubator on one of its massive tracts of land similar to the McVean Farm Incubator in Brampton (of all places). If I were to initiate that, it might provide me with some sort of employment?

I'm currently debating applying for a TA position at Trent even though the closing date was last Friday - why is it still up if the closing date has passed? - because the class sounds really interesting, but the money is crap and I'm barely qualified. It also would mean that I wouldn't be able to go to Fleming come January if that's actually what I end up doing which is actually very unlikely. I hate the conflicting schedules of my possible futures!

I think I need to console myself with knitting and Buffy, and make some off-brand macaroni and cheese product to remind myself that that's basically all I'll be eating over the next couple of months while my food budget pays off my credit card... *sigh*
 
     

(2 stops | telegram!)

 
   
07:57pm 13/09/2009
 
mood: dreamy
I'm trying to prepare myself for a busy week.

Tomorrow is the 50% off sale at Value Village, and I generally can never keep myself away. I was actually thinking about making a list! Just of things that I know I want to look for (like more spice jars)... That's reasonable and not crazy, right?

Tuesday will be preparation for Wednesday when I have a *very important interview* about which I will not speak about here until after it has occurred, as it's the kind of thing that has the real potential to change the direction of my life, and this terrifies me like nothing else... except perhaps driving...

Which is Thursday! Second driving lesson ever, although I'm feeling slightly more comfortable with it after driving from Coboconk (yes, it's really a town) to Highway 12 just south of Orillia with my Mum last week. People passed me and everything!

Friday will be the great potato dig at the garden unless it rains.

And Saturday we're expecting friends for a visit, and might tour a nearby brewery even! I expect it will be splendid.

September is marching on folks!
 
     

(3 stops | telegram!)

 
   
06:31pm 15/08/2009
 
mood: hot
I'm trying to be glad that summer has finally arrived (for however long), but tropical heat always seems to remind me of how illsuited I am to the toleration of it. I am melting, and all I want to do is lay on the bed and read, when I had promised myself that today would be a sewing day. Having fans to blow the air around gets in the way of pattern cutting, though.

If there had been watermelon at the market this morning, this heat might have been made slightly more bearable. (But seeing as this is the first heat we've had since briefly in June, the melons are not yet ready...)
 
     

(telegram!)

 
even measures of good   
05:39pm 13/08/2009
 
mood: jubilant
You know it's going to be a good day when you wake up to great news:

http://coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/2009/08/winner-of-2009-fiddlers-summer.html

The pickles seem to be going well, the whole front room smells of dill. I harvested the overgrown zucchinis tonight in hopes of baking cookies with them, ran some errands this afternoon, and started painting some wall-mounted shelves for a future kitchen organization project (sometimes I feel like my whole life is just one big kitchen organization project!)... I have one - just one - last beer in the fridge which I think I might pop open to round out the goodness of the day... Cold beer, hot day, cold pasta salad and a BLT for dinner? Sounds good to me.
 
     

(4 stops | telegram!)

 
   
01:21pm 12/08/2009
 
mood: pleased
The grand total of beets was sixty jars! Thirty litres of pickled beets!

Plus six jars of peaches in syrup.

Today I need to prepare pickling cucumbers for fermentation - my first foray into fermented pickles! Hooray!
 
     

(3 stops | telegram!)

 
the army's a'gatherin   
11:06am 11/08/2009
   
     

(3 stops | telegram!)

 
hearts all a'tremble   
08:56am 11/08/2009
 
mood: nervous
First things first: voting has begun for the Cold Antler Farm Fiddler's Summer Challenge and as I suspected (feared) it's open to everyone, anonymous voting: http://coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/2009/08/time-to-vote.html
So if you feel like voting for me, please do so. Or watch some of the other videos and vote for someone else! I'm really not very good at this cheering-myself-on thing... :)

Second things second: there is a gathering army of pickled beets in the kitchen. Cam and I canned 36 pint jars of pickled beets on Sunday, with at least one more batch waiting to be cooked, peeled, pickled, and canned in the fridge. Yesterday was too hot for canning, and Cam and I were both busy with other things. But today is nice and cool, and aside from a few phone calls I have very little planned... It's going to be a good day!

Third things third: I have a new project officially underway and it's big. I mean, BIG. But I'm dorkishly afraid to explain myself for fear that I may jynx it. Really. But soon, hopefully very soon, wheels will turn, momentum will gather, and things will get very exciting.

Or it'll all fall in the toilet. But no negativity! It's going to be big... :)
 
     

(1 stop | telegram!)

 
   
07:54am 04/08/2009
 
mood: sleepy


We went up to my mum's for the long weekend, and boy was it lovely. I'm sorry to be home, which doesn't happen often.

It might have something to do with today being my first day of Driving School....
 
     

(3 stops | telegram!)