I love this time of the week when I sit down and relax, and simply write to you all. It's one of the most peaceful things I do in my entire week. It truly does feel like I finally get to sit down and chat with you all.
I can't start this out without saying how AMAZING you all are. So many of you have made purchases from Mike's store, but here's the part I find the most amazing... if he's run out of something (which has happened often), you all have waited for him to get it back in so you could buy from him rather then going elsewhere! That's so sweet of all of you. Many of you have sent really encouraging messages to him which have helped more then you know. Mike is very nervous right now. If his comfort zone had a number it would be 10. Right now, he's hitting right about a -4! This is way out of his comfort zone. We've had some long chats about it and I think those really help him. I'm able to put things in perspective for him because I grew up with a Dad that went into business for himself. And it doesn't hurt to remind him that he's been hauling 15-20 packages a day to the post office! I'm excited as can be an have taken over ordering product - so ladies and gents watch out!!!
Stepping back a bit, I want to share a little history that will make Mike's nervousness more understandable. Before I met Mike he lived a very quiet life. He had lived in his apartment for 18 years. He had a girlfriend for about 18 years as well, but that was going no where. She never moved away from home and had no desire to. They were down to only seeing each other about twice a month. Mike had his truck and replaced it every 5 years. He fished with friends now and then, hunted once a year, and once a year went to Canada to fish. That was Mike then.
Six years ago I moved into the apartment across the hall from him. I had already heard there was a single guy living in the apartment across from me, so I was curious, being single myself and all. So I started watching for him. Let me tell you ladies, he's one quiet guy, it was like he was stealth. I knew when he left for work and when he came home, but it seemed I always missed him. We pretty much shared a balcony, it just had a divider between the two and I would look out my back door and see he had meat on the grill so I would watch for him to come tend to it so I could step out and say hi, but it never failed, I would step away for a moment, come back and his food was off the grill and he was back inside. It literally became like stalking..lol I couldn't catch this guy to save my life, so I came up with a plan. We all had individual garage doors in the lowest level of the building (4 family building) and I knew he came home from work about 3:45, so I went out back about 3:30 and started waxing my car. No mind you, my car was just a driver, it was nothing I ever bothered to wax that's for sure, but on this day it was getting some TLC. So, there I was waxing my car, like it was something I always did...lol and here he comes home from work, right on schedule. Of course being the nice man he is he came over to introduce himself and welcome me to my new apartment. Me being chatty, kept him out there for a good hour. I really enjoyed our chat and he never mentioned a girlfriend so I thought he was 100% available. I was excited, good men are hard to find and I had a feeling I was on to something good here. So he went in and I put that car away lickity split, I didn't even finish waxing it...lol Soon after that I started running into him more on the balcony and before long he was looking for me to be out on the balcony (I didn't know that at the time). Then one evening, being the person I am I asked him if he would like to go one evening to get a snow cone. I told him I loved doing things like that, but it was no fun alone. He jumped on it and offered up night we could go. I was like a little kid, I was so excited. So we went on our snow cone date and really had fun getting to know each other. I loved he was so stable, he had a solid background and it made him a solid man. I can't tell you all how attracted I was to that because I had nothing solid in my history. Shortly after that he asked if I would join him for dinner and he was cooking, he set it for the upcoming Friday night. Well I was already falling for him, so I couldn't say "yes" fast enough. Let me just tell you ladies... I was ready to marry him that night I had dinner with him. He has always been an amazing cook and what a meal he made for us. He fried fish he had caught, he made bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, coleslaw, potatoes cooked in foil packets with butter on the grill, and even had home made cookies for dessert! The conversation was wonderful and I still hear nothing about a girlfriend so I was heaven.
From then on the rest is history to a point. Since the old girlfriend thing had been dwindling anyway, he officially ended it and we went forward from there.... kind of... remember the part where nothing was stable about me, well I've been full of life changing ideas since he met me. Since we were together all the time and were paying rent on two apartments it only made sense to buy a house, well that was easier said then done. Talk about nervous wozzer.... he couldn't pull the trigger even though we had found a perfect house. Now mind you he bought the house in his name back then since we were not married and he did the down payment, but he was approved for a $300K house and we were only buying a $167K house, so he could easily afford it and he was scared to death... I pushed and I pulled and he's now been in the house for almost 6 years and loves it.
Then I hit him up for the Corvette. OMGosh, I thought his arm was going to fall off when he was writing the check for it. He was literally trembling. Not because we couldn't afford it, but because it wasn't a necessary item in life, it was being frivolous. Now he's on his second Corvette and just bought the '54 Ford...lol So he loved that too.
Next was the dog idea. I said one day, "I would really like to get a dog to keep me company during the day now that I'm not working". He said, "ok, I guess we can o that, what kind did you have in mind?" I said, "a Greyhound". He immediately came back with, "anything but a Greyhound, I don't like them at all and I'm not getting one so what other kind do you like". I gave him the business and asked him what a Greyhound ever did to him...lol He even went to work and told the guys, "I'm not getting any blanketie blank dog". So funny. Now he and Tupelo are inseparable. They go for walks every day and Mike takes him the car everywhere he goes... So, he loved the dog idea too.
And of course he had to make the decision to marry me... who knows what he went through to decide that, because he surprised me on my birthday 5 years ago with a ring. He had to be shaking in his boots then too, but I'm pretty sure he's happy he made that decision as well.
So Mike has had his world turned upside down and sideways since meeting me. He lives a life he doesn't even recognize..lol But he's also "living" for the first time and he loves it.
When we chatted the other night I reminded him of these things and how they positively impacted his life and it helped him put this new business venture in the right perspective. Yes, it's a big change, but nothing he can't handle, and the risk is not near as big as if he were to try going out on his own in the tile business. In fact the next day after he slept on all the things we discussed he seemed to be much more excited about it all and a lot less nervous.
So, there's a little background.... I'm still glad he's the stable rock in the family though because someone needs to balance my "try anything" nature. lol
Now for a store update! Ladies and Gents, I can't even begin to list all the new items that will be coming to the store. Here are a few that come to mind - First I ordered a lot more of the things Mike keeps running out of, hopefully we can now re-order when we are low instead of trying to get product here quickly after he has run out. I ordered from a different distributor I had not ordered from yet and got Mod Podge, Fiskars stamp presses, Inka Golds (in great colors, I even found the "Gold Brown"), Soy paints, a bunch of Crafters Workshop Stencils (some I have never seen before that were really neat), Martha Stewart clay molds, Sculpey Original clay, and loads of other fun items. I was able to find the metal tips for the Art Institute Glitter glue. I ordered a bunch of the tips and the glue. I have more Judikins embossing powders coming, more glitter glue, 3D crystal lacquer starter kits, Tombow glue, glass beads, and the list goes on and on!
The big news to share is the Dusty Attic order. I went through each item in their store and put together a really big order. I purchased items from I think every category they have. I got a lot of flourishes, Christmas designs, nautical items, and I ordered all of their flowers, some leaves - it's the biggest order TupeloDesignsLLC has ever placed, so for those of you who love Dusty Attic I think you'll be pleased. It won't arrive for a while though, their website states it takes them at least 14 days to ship and then it has to come to the states.
In the mean time you will see the shop fill up with loads of fun goodies. I also want to remind everyone we are still working on perfecting the shipping charges, it's quiet the challenge when trying to figure out how much to put in the category for "when purchased with another item", but we are getting there. I do want you to know though, if your shipping seems out of proportion, and it turns out you did pay too much, after Mike weighs it and pays the shipping, he will refund you the overage if it's was more then $1.00. At first he had a lot of refunds because we were still working on getting it right, but we've been tweaking here and there, and he said he's had a lot less refunds to do so that's a good thing.
So, wow what a long blog post today! It's nice to catch up though and I'm now going to get myself going and make my "From Me to Who" card, another highlight of my week! I just love making and sending those.
Thanks again for all of your endless love you share with us in the form of friendship, encouragement, support, and kind words. We are so blessed to have you all in our lives.