Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's a New Year...

Blah, blah, blah... seems like everywhere all we are hearing is it's a new year.  Time to change your weight!  Time to organize!  Time to BUY A NEW CAR!  I think it gets so pervasive that it's actually tuned out.  Well I hope you don't tune me out.

I was thinking about what I have done in this past year. It was strange because I wasn't really thinking about what I have done, I was thinking of what I should have done.  How I should have spent more time with family, or friends.  How I should have went fishing more often.  How, dare I say, I should have been more organized so I could do more things!  Isn't that how it goes though?  People look back through life at the things they didn't do.

My best friend's dad died of cancer several years ago.  He said something that has always stuck with me as he was going through the process cancer puts you through.  This a paraphrase, but basically he said he wished he would have taken the time to do the things he was waiting to do when he retired.  He had worked hard.  A full-time job with his own business on the side.  His dream was to go to Australia and he never had the chance.  He said he should have just done it.  I believe I have learned from him, but maybe not enough.  This summer was the first time I had seen his daughter, my best friend, in at least 3 years.

So I guess what I'm saying is, I can look back at what I haven't done this last year, or just try to do better this year.  Maybe it's best to build on the good I did in this last year.  Go fishing with my family more.  Take some time off.  Spend more time with friends.  Get out and get some fresh air once in a while.  Come to think of it now, I did do more of that this year than last!  Improvement is always good.  Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas time is.... gone?

Could it be?  Is it true that Christmas has now passed?  Why does it still feel like we're in the "holiday season"?  I guess it's because we technically are.  We are in phase two.  This is when we decide how we will drastically change our lives for the next year, but end up being disappointed this time next year because we didn't keep our (wait for it...) R-E-S-O-L-U-T-I-O-N-S!  Cue the dramatic music, Dum DA Dum!

Why do we feel the need to put ourselves through this every year?  Who even started this tradition?  Probably some psychiatrist needing money this time of the year after overspending on his kids for Christmas!  I guess a little reflection is always good.  So what are your plans for this year?  What are you resolving to do? 

I have a few, but I will only share one with you.  I want to be a better business owner.  What I mean by this is not financially, well actually, yes financially! It's really more than that, though.  I want to think out of the box with my store.  Try new things.  Right now, we have already scheduled a Ladies Fishing Class/Tea for February.  Tell me that's not out of the box!  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Also, I will be teaching an outdoor fishing class for ladies.  I have been asked to do this for a while.  I should have done this a while ago.  I have had numerous requests for ladies classes.  I have to admit that I have just been burnt out.  This was a busy year for us.  It started out with a huge endeavor.  Our store downsized BIG TIME!  We went down to about 1/3 of the size we had been.  I built a lot of displays with the help of my sisters.  The renovation could have actually been a reality show!  I believe in measure once, cut twice!  Yes, I know it's not the right way, but let's face it, I'm no carpenter!  I also painted, moved merchandise.  It was a monumental task.  When I finally got that whole situation organized, I had another surprise.  I had emergency surgery!  The surgery came after many tests which took me out of the store.  I came back to work quickly, but looking back now, I should have rested longer. 

I think the combo of both situations put me in a funk.  There were a lot of things I could not physically do after the surgery and I just gave up.  I am much better now and excited about the new year.  I'm excited to teach these classes.  My hope is that it will help ladies to not be intimidated by fishing.  Some may be single moms with kids who have been asking to go fishing.  Others may have enjoyed fishing as a young girl and just need a refresher.  Either way, I hope I can show them what there is to love about fishing.  I have always said, I love to fish because it's the one place no one can bother me.  You can't take your phone in the water with you.  It's so relaxing to hear the water flowing, feel the sun warming you...  If this sounds good to you and you're a lady, sign up for one of the classes.  The one in February will be indoors and warm.  What else do you have to do this winter?  After all, it's cold, and you know how I hate that!  Happy New Year to you all!  May God bless you throughout the year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Cheap Christmas???

I have a friend from high school who posted on Facebook that she purchased all of her gifts this year at a dollar store.  After laughing hysterically, I posted to her about it.  She just basically said that Christmas was going to be about gifts needed in this economy.  She had wrapped the gifts and put them in a "grab bag". 

I was updating our store page on Facebook a couple days after my friend's announcement.  I was posting about some of the products we had that were under $20.  As I was listing items, I started realizing, you could really shop well in our store if you wanted a gift that was less than $20.  The thing with any gift you buy here, as opposed to the dollar store, is the gifts you buy here can help you!  They will help you catch more fish, get into shape, hunt better, and even bring the family together!  We have fishing supplies like hooks, lures, bobbers... all under $20. 
How about a first knife for a son, or daughter? We've got those under $20.  Want to get your kids outside to play while finding out how truly out of shape you have become?  (No judging here!  Already told you in a previous post that I am there myself!)  How about a Wiffleball and bat combo?

See, the local dollar store isn't the only place to get a deal!  You may find just what you want here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

When I first started writing this blog, I told you it may be about all kinds of subjects.  I guess I never thought this would be one of them.  I write this blog post with a somewhat heavy heart.  I just read an update on a customer of mine who is currently fighting cancer.  Seems there has been another bump in the road.  I don't want to say too much about the person's medical problems, but I do want to say something about the man himself.

I have many regular customers and this particular one, we'll call him S for the sake of privacy, has been one of my favorites.  He has been a regular customer since I first opened.  He always comes in with a smile and an encouraging word.  He even took me fishing twice!  Let me tell you, my arm was actually sore when I came back from that trip!  It was a lot of fun though.  How could you not have fun flying down a river at about 50 mph on a boat?!

We have gotten to know one another from his visits to the store.  We have talked about everything from politics to good manners while fishing, but never the conversations we have had lately.  You see, S has a new way to view life.  He has told me that he is thankful that he has the time he has.  He is able to spend each day with his family, friends, and most importantly God.  He has a gratefulness that many people don't.  Each day is a gift to him.

I need that kind of attitude.  I am so wrapped up in everyday life that I don't have time to enjoy the really important things.  I know that possessions are not priorities, but neither are things like- my store, meetings I need to attend, etc...  The main priorities are God and family.  I don't think I see them the way S does right now and I should.  A couple years ago, Tim McGraw sang a song that became quite popular, you may have heard of it, Live Like You Were Dying.  In it he sings these lyrics:
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I've been denying
As I say a prayer for S tonight, I think I'll also ask God to help me to remember just what those words mean.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tebow- yeah I said it!

I have watched the entire Tim Tebow saga with delight.  From the time the young man came out of college, all we heard is how he could not be a NFL qb.  ESPN has basically went on a crusade against him.  Now the naysayers are actually starting to eat crow.  I guess it's hard when you are the expert on the NFL and you dropped the ball with Tebow.  Sometimes it's not about the throwing motion mechanics, or the time it takes to throw the ball.  It's about heart, drive, the intangibles...  There have been a lot of guys the NFL draft experts have loved.  They have been busts.  Here's a list of the top ten draft busts in the history of the NFL:  I know I'm no expert, but it seems a few things are needed to be a pro and clearly he has them.

Discipline  I don't think you are going to see Tebow skip practice or come back to camp the following year out of shape.  I can go on a full rant about some NFL players who have done both.  My favorite team, the Redskins (I know, I know) had a player named Albert Haynesworth.  Maybe you have heard of him?  He couldn't even pass a conditioning test to start camp last season.  The test basically consisted of running back and forth to some cones in an allotted time period.  Yeah, I would expect that I couldn't pass it!  This guy is supposed to be a pro.  Tebow is known for his training.  He worked the whole off-season between the last football game and the draft to change his throwing motion.  I also don't think you will hear about him out in the club at 3 in the morning involved in a shooting.  Just sayin...

Knowlege  The guy is a student of the game.  If he doesn't know something, he will work on it.  Time after time you hear about him watching film, asking questions...  Brett Farve was a great qb, but I've heard stories of him blowing off watching film.  Knowledge is great, but there is something else that propels him to the NFL level that many players are lacking.  It's my next point...

True Leadership  He is a leader in many ways.  The guy never gives up.  He encourages others to be better.  He makes promises he keeps.  Look at the change in the complexion of the Denver Broncos.  They went from straight up losers, to winners in the midst of a season.  People want to follow someone they can trust.  Someone they can believe in.  This is what I mean about promises.  This is why the Broncos are winning:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Work It Out!

This Christmas, my sister has gifted me with a gym membership for a couple of months.  Still trying to decide if that is an insult.  I mean, is it a nice way of saying, "You need to get into shape", or just a way to spend time together and get healthy at the same time?  Actually, only men would do the first one, so I'm going for the healthy/time spending theory.  We have only gone once this week and I'm paying for it.

Someone, who is clearly not me, enjoying the treadmill!
Let me explain, I'm not as young as I used to be, but I'm not one foot in the grave either!  We went to the gym the other day and while it was hard, I felt pretty good about myself as we walked out.  Ha!  My body was just in the process of a delayed reaction.  The next morning I woke up with a cramp in my calf.  "A Little Cramp!", you say.  Hey, this was no little cramp.  This was the kind that wakes you up out of a dead sleep.  Your leg feels like it has been taken over by some voodoo priestess!  I could barely sit up to stretch it.  It was like my calf had taken control of my whole body and it was going to make me pay for the day before!  Oh, I understood the "agony of defeat" at that moment.  As my eyes welled up with tears, I frantically reached for my foot to stretch.  It finally subsided, but that cramp was messing with me.  Telling me, "Oh, I can come back any moment"  My leg has been sore since.  So sore that I have had a therapy heat bag on it two nights in a row.  This morning it felt better, but as the day has progressed, I still feel a little twinge.

So, I guess I need to come to terms with the fact that my body is: 1)- not in shape, 2)- healing at a rate slower than the US economy's improvement.  The thing I am realizing about getting older is that my mind, for some reason, doesn't seem to understand it's happening.  I think I can do things I did years ago.  So,my body has to remind me where I am in life.  Some reminders are more painful than others.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside

It's about time I finally told you why I don't hunt.  I've been promising to for a while and, well, there's no better time than the present.  At least, that's how the saying goes!

The main reason I choose to not hunt is simple: I do not like to be cold!  I could tell you there are other things that come first, but they don't.  I really don't like winter.  I don't like seeing my breath, or if it's early enough, not seeing my breath.  I once saw a hunting show on tv.  They were hunting in Texas.  They were in this "blind".  Yeah, right, it was a small house on stilts.  It had running water, windows, a/c and heat.  Yes, I said a/c and heat!  They were watching a big screen tv and sitting in these really comfy looking leather chairs.  They had to TURN OFF the a/c to shoot the deer.  The guy opened a window, shot the deer, closed the window, and went back to watching the game.  Ok, so I love the "house blind" idea, but somehow, that just doesn't seem to be in the right spirit of hunting!

Secondly, I will eat deer meat, but I don't crave it.  I have often told customers that when they open up cow hunting, I'm there!  Imagine hunting the elusive Black Angus!  So it wouldn't be much of a challenge, but man would it taste great!  I have customers who hunt all season just to fill their freezer for another year.  That is great.  I applaud their living off the land, but my idea of living off the land is my garden.

I know deer aren't the only thing to hunt.  Inevitably the word squirrel has come out of someone's mouth as they have read this.  Squirrel?  No thank you.  A squirrel and a rat seem to closely related to me.  One is the country cousin to the other.  Just get a squirrel in your attic and see how closely related it is to a rodent!  Hey, but if you like squirrel, rabbit, whatever... I say, "Go for it!"

I believe if you are going to kill something, you should be able to clean it yourself. I also have no desire to clean any animal, especially a deer!  I don't always, but I have cleaned fish when we have caught them.  Fish are bad enough, but man, the way folks smell after gutting a deer... NO THANK YOU! 

Lastly, I don't hunt because I don't have time to come home in the middle of the day and take a two hour nap!  Seriously, my husband goes hunting, comes home and sleeps on the couch with the tv on in the background like a lullaby playing for a baby!  No thanks.  I have too much to do.  Plus, who will be grilling the Black Angus steaks from my hunt for dinner?