The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Hello All! I woke up today and the room hasn’t started spinning yet so am writing before and if it starts up again! I hope and pray everyone is healthy, happy and safe. I still feel like I’m living in an altered universe, waking each morning thinking it was all just a bad dream. I’m not getting used to it, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it, or complacent about it, because everything inside me tells me this is not the way life is supposed to be. It’s like living in a bad dream that keeps on going.
And then, my mind quickly looks to the light, the learnings, the wisdom, the opportunities; becoming a better person, expanding my patience, honing in on what’s right in front of me that I often overlook. The time to bake the perfect loaf of sourdough, find the joy in sewing and quilting again, let alone the time to try different dyes for my papers to create with. When I saw the featured quote this morning, "Live Through This", it was my sign. I can't just 'GET' through this, I must Live through it. Time is too short, life too precious to just watch go by. So we will all push each other to rise and live as best as we can until we are all free again.
I always felt that I am a compassionate person. I often take the troubles of people I love into my heart and pray so hard I can almost feel their pain. I have learned in times like this, one’s compassion grows, one’s heart expands to encompass so many prayers. I am filled with such hope as I sit and go through my little prayer box reading each name and knowing I am doing something for someone, for I believe prayer is key in times like these. I hope you made Tamra’s Box, I promise you, seeing it as you pass through your day will bring you joy. It will remind you of the precious people in that little box and cause you to thank God for all you have when things seem so dark.
Trust me, I’ve just about had it with this new way of living right now. I actually had the audacity to put my own name in that box to pray for patience and understanding of things I may not agree with or see. Again, knowing my faith is bigger than any storm gets me through my selfish ways at times. I don’t think I’m a selfish person, actually. But I do miss my HomeGoods, Craft Stores, and O-K, I’ll admit it…. I miss going into Gucci and holding those beautiful bags in my grubby little, uncovered germ filled hands!!!! I KNOW!! SHALLOW!! I admit it!!! God has even tried to throw my name out of that box several times when I open it!!!
I wish I can put into words how different this is for me. I’m retired, this quarantine should be life as usual for someone like me who does not work. I always have all the time in the world to craft, bake bread, knit etc. But it is different. I don’t do well without my freedom to come and go as I please. I don’t do well with my mouth and nose covered- all of a sudden, I have developed claustrophobia and I can’t breathe!
The small trips to my favorite stores, meandering through the supermarket picking the perfect eggplant, or spending time in front of the meat counter deciding about dinner charges me, gets me up and going. Seeing people, talking to strangers in my Dollar Store about an item we will be transforming is food for my soul. Taking a ride to the beach to visit my dear friend, go to yoga, or driving to Hobby Lobby with my “all knowing” friend, and making our usual stop at Duncan Donuts for a hot coffee before our long, meanders down those craft filled aisles, all keep me mentally strong and healthy. (Now that was a great run on sentence!!)
This IS hard, and if you are feeling it, you should be, and its Ok. What is not Ok is to give into it for too long and loose precious hours, even the long boring ones. We must get up, shower, dress, and keep our hands and minds busy!
Yesterday, I put Tamra’s name in my prayer box. I always say, funny how God works. I watch from afar how hard she is working to keep that business open, that business she single-handily opened, with the help of her family, blood, sweat and tears. The business that keeps all of us going, makes this extra time on our hands purposeful, and valuable to our well-being, my mental health, and I’m sure yours also.
She is putting in fifteen hour long days now- fifteen. Free tutorials, constant give always, worrying if a product will get here in time, having to be “on” and creative basically 24/7. I know she loves every second of it, I marvel at her strength and fortitude, the way she keeps fifty balls in the air at one time. I admire how she can read the occasional rude comment, the occasional mean-spirited words that would send most to bed, and just absorb them and move on. Oh, she absorbs those words, but her strength and faith rise above them and she does moves on. They hurt none the less, for she is human.
The very few, recent Mystery Box comments would be a case in point. When you have a business, and gratefully so many followers, or customers, you will never be able to please everyone. I think we all know this, but when you are doing your absolute best, literally giving away thousands of dollars of merchandise at the lowest cost possible to still be able to pay bills, trying to be as fair as you can be, and are then scolded by a few who weren’t able to get one- that is unfair in my opinion.
I joke about being first, (well ok- I’m not joking-), but it’s fun, it makes me laugh and I hope it makes you laugh. For me, and I know the majority of us know there are only a certain number of boxes she can put together, dozens more, mind you, than any other company makes up for theirs- (and only a very few do this by the way). This is merchandise she has bought and paid for, she does not make a profit on this- she needs to make room for the next seasons joys, so she makes up these boxes, filled to the brim.
The same goes for her Box of Scraps which brings joy to so many. She does have to save them, organize them, put them together in a box, and pay shipping. She does that for us, to help out many who cant afford to buy many collections.
So, although, we want this blog to be a happy, healthy, informative, spiritual, and creative space, I needed to speak up about this. Tamra was hit with a lot this year. We don’t see it because she comes on several times a week, giving us all her time, creativity, and love. She laughs, she shares, she brings us into her home. She has also been juggling the immense job of dealing with all the changes for the retreats. Can you imagine the phone calls, and emails from a business standpoint, let alone her truly worrying about us and how all these changes will affect us? I’m sure it would have been easier just to cancel them as most would think. But many don’t realize the deposits have been spent on the retreat costs, and she already put out her own money to cover the supplies, designers’ expenses, hotel deposits, and travel expenses, etc., that have to be done way in advance.
I am posting this blog without showing it to her, because I know she does not like to have to say these things. (You may not ever see me again after this) I just needed to give her a shout out, because of some of the comments I saw posted this past week. I feel we all need to walk in each others shoes at times. One of the silver linings that has come out of this nightmare is just that I think. I believe many of us are now walking in a few more new shoes these days.
So, I hope you can forgive me for taking this time to vent a little. I hope some of you can think twice before you post a negative comment on someone’s wall or post- maybe sit for a few minutes, take off your own shoes, and try putting on someone’s else’s and thinking hard before you possibly hurt someone’s feelings for something that either can’t be controlled, or was controlled in the best way for all involved. This Dr Seuss quote hung in my classroom every year and was discussed often- I love it!
Ok! There I said it. I don’t like to get dark, but I do when I have to stand up for one of my causes or beliefs, or above all my family and friends. I speak my truth; I can’t help it- this is the girl my mom raised. I do not expect anyone to change their truths or beliefs- that what makes this world so great- we are all unique, beautiful people who are free to be themselves, I just don’t believe we should have the freedom to intentionally hurt each other.
OK back to the good stuff. Tamra is finishing up on that magnificent truly magnificent wedding album she is working on this week. All that is left is the cover and it will be all done.
The book is absolutely gorgeous and of course you can use any paper you want it does not have to be a wedding book.
Don’t forget don’t forget to check out her new kit for beginners. It makes the perfect gift for someone who has not entered our little world, someone who needs, to keep their hands and head busy right now, your niece or nephew, a first responder – and don’t forget Christmas will be here before you know it -how great of a gift would that be with one of the new Christmas collections due out soon!
Did you see Jennifer’s Dinosaur Mini Album!! ! OMG It’s amazing!! Check it out!!!
As for me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for hanging out with me on my silly, long, babbling lives. Thank you for reading my blogs and especially I thank you in advance for understanding where this one was coming from. I adore chatting with you, and sharing little bits of fun and maybe an idea or two here and there- I know its mindless- but for people like me who need human contact, it makes a few hours pass.
Thank you again Tamra, and everyone for making this a very happy, joyful world.. and... Tamra-
PLEASE DON'T FIRE ME!!!!!!