21 Mar 2017

I'm Back

21 Mar 2017 09:21 am
ursulas_alcove: Pink petal hat (Peeking flower faery)
Gulf Wars was a lot of things. It was cold for most of the week. Highs in the upper forties and low fifties. The nights were 35°F. I sold as many Viking hats as I brought. No one was inteested in anything from a later time period. Problem is, once the hats sold out, sales plummeted. Since I make them all by hand, there was not a huge quantity to start with. The number of people who braved the cold was down from previous years. Lots of people from Austin, TX who were fleeing South by Southwest. Also folks from Northshield who thought the weather was just fine. And frozen Trimarians because Florida is close by. There were some great classes. It is definitely an event I would want to just attend, even without merchanting. Early Period Living has its own village where you could just hang out everyday. Gulf Wars also has horse activities and coursing hounds as well as all the rest of the martial arts. The pagentry is stunning.


I was able to take a couple of classes with many thanks to Lady Jennette who booth sat for me. I look a lacto-fermentation class. This is food preservation by using salt and whey from cheese-making. We tasted raw salmon, raw beef, carrots-ginger, and pear. The teacher had also taught the bog coat class which she went into afterwards because we finished early. This has lead me on a quest for stitches and finishing techniques for bog coats, which I do make. I also got to take the clay pot cooking class that I missed at WW last year. I am going to try this at home. This has promise for summer outdoor cooking and in case our electric gets cut off. I was able to swap with a potter for an appropriate pot. At home, is the possibility of cooking at the fireplace inside our house. (although the wood smoke stinks up the house) Another plus was that I got to speak at length with the bread bakers at the Early Period Living clay oven. I really want to try this. It means finding firebrick. Anyone with some floating around, I will gladly take it off your hands. I want a cob oven. I helped clean up the wet textile tent. I took home copper and iron mordants to use here.

Now comes the hard part. Figuring out out which bills to pay and getting used to being hungry. The gas gets turned off next week. Attempts to apply for aid have not worked. Their system makes it look like we applied for aid and then spits us out with all the data lost. I need to make some calls. John comes home from the hospital tomorrow. I might have enough gas in one car to get him. I bent a wheel rim on the way to Gulf Wars and I need new engine seals. I can't afford repairs. My vehicle's days are numbered. Internet and phones may follow. Sales just haven't been good enough to support us. I'm working real hard to get things listed on etsy. I may try my hand at advertising. My business never really needed a marketing department before. The stress of never knowing whether things will work out is starting to wear on me. I pray that our taxes will net us a refund but am terrified they won't. Time will tell. I plan to talk to our bank next week to see if I can roll the second mortgage together with the rest of the mortgage into a fixed rate loan. Our original was a 7.5% interest, much higher than todays rates. Since the county reassessed our home to a value higher, it might be an option to lower our monthly bill. What I don't have are closing costs. And the hospital bills will follow soon. They say I can pay them $5 a month forever. You have to have $5 to start with. Currently, I have more loose change in the car's ashtray than in the bank. I do have some other irons in the fire. I will try to entice a local store into carrying my handwovens. I also just partnered with another business to carry my handwoven leg wraps. That way I can care for my husband without traveling too far. I just need to make them. That takes time. I also will be appying for property tax releif once the taxes are done. There is hope. Each month that passes is a miracle. We survived. We will find a way to get through this. Running your own business has always been a crapshoot. It is not for everyone. There is no safety net.

This leads me to some dark thoughts. America is rapidly becoming a two class system, the "haves" and the "have-nots". Most people I hung out with last week ordered everything online. If you don't support your local stores, soon you won't have any. So those without credit cards, bank accounts, and internet will no longer have anywhere to buy reasonably priced goods. This is not a pretty scenario. Michele Obama brought the food desert problem to the nation's attention. Meaning, there are no grocery stores in the inner city. Compound that with no other types of stores, clothing, shoes, etc. and America has a big problem in addition to the poverty that caused it. This is a societal problem, well above my pay grade. It's sad that our wealthy nation has been reduced to this.

Chronographia had a show that bombed. She did not break even. She learned many lessons though. Hotel room vending is not for her. She needs to be among other vendors for her own piece of mind. Also if customers are in your hotel room, you have no safe space to retreat to. And sometimes you need to separate work from private. Also the convention was not well thought out. It was called The Dark Side of the Con. Sort of a Goth theme with Voltaire doing a concert. Lots of vampires. The bad part was that no one in charge realized that having bondage merchants with colorful adult toys would attract the small children who attended. The merchants thought it was a 21 and over show. The patrons thought it was a family friendly event.

The first day of spring, we planted more seedlings. By golly, there will be more food in the yards this year if I have anything to do with it.

Update on Seedlings


ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)

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