Whew! It’s been quite a week…. So much has gone on, and I’ve had little time to post about it all! To say that we’ve been busy would be an understatement, that’s for sure.

I don’t even know where to start, so when I’m in those predicaments, I bullet:

  • My shop hit several milestones this week. I surpassed 2000 orders, hit a score of over 1000 positive feedbacks (and I still hotly contest the 2 neutrals — a buyer who didn’t measure/read &  thought what he got was somehow a bit bigger that he expected and another who LOVED the tag but wasn’t sure her split ring would fit on it…) ANYHOO… it’s amazing. That means WELL over 2000 pups + kitties are wearing my tags, when you consider multiple orders… Just amazing. AND, somewhat out of the blue, I received a copy of Jacki Allen’s Kentucky Bride Magazine – where my own Bouquet Tie/keychain was featured as a ‘Favorite’! I submitted a few samples back in October and never heard anything afterwards, so I’m totally pumped that we were featured. Hey, it’s no Martha Stewart, but I’m celebrating *any* victory here!
  • We found a Realtor (we think!) He’s outgoing, young, snarky/sarcastic (in a good way), and shares my hatred for hideous split-levels and tract new-construction. We sat looking at listings online and after hearing what we were looking for —  he started clicking on all the houses I would have clicked on — so it showed he was listening and seemed to ‘get it.’  He’s a renovator, old-house lover, has experience with building, and all around seems like a cool guy. We’re going to check out some houses this week, and hope to see a cross-section of options… so he can ‘gauge how much work we’re in for.’ HEH. We’ll see how this goes…
  • Dogs. The dogs are getting bored inside. There’s only so much they can do outside in the snow maze /race track we stomped out for them, and Darby only plays ball up/down the stairs for about five minutes before he gets bored. So we started thinking about trying to find a dog daycare we could drop him off for some solid dog-park quality play potential. We checked out The Barking Dog today, which seemed pretty impressive for daycare. There were huge rooms for play and, get this —  an inground heated pool(!), so it would more than meet our needs there. But we’re thinking of trying to find a place where we might be able to board Darby when we go somewhere overnight. Our ideal situation would be an in-home stay for both Poppy and Darby at someone’s house… someone who wanted a cuddle dog and a crazy dog, but we haven’t found any options on Craigslist or know anyone around to ask. Darby would be fine with a traditional boarding situation, though I hesitate to return him to a cage-like environment (terrible, pound-like associations from the past?), and I just won’t put Poppy in that scenario at all. She’s very … sensitive… and has tendencies of abandonment and depression, perhaps, when she’s left somewhere. I just wouldn’t feel good leaving her somewhere so institutional…. I know it’s kind of silly all around, but we’re crazy when it comes to our dogs, and we truly see them as part of the family. It  just wouldn’t be fun leaving, if we knew our sensitive pup was hunched over, trembling in the corner of some boarding crate. The hunt continues….
  • Speaking of hunting… Cameras. Goooood god, we’ve spent so much time lately figuring out my ‘birthday present’ – a new camera. We returned the Powershot SX30IS due to it’s abysmally pitiful viewfinder and pretty much equal photo quality to the Powershot I have now. And I think I’ve settled on my current idea  <despite how backwards it seems>  to buy a used Canon S3is – to replace/stand-in for my temperamental point-and-shoot currently held together with duct tape, which I dearly love. And THEN, to take the plunge and buy a DSLR. And around this, we’ve hemmed and hawed. We’ve read and read. We’ve driven to camera shops and chatted with associates. And we’re still no further along in the search. It seems that every camera store ‘expert’ we speak with has a different opinion, and it’s become a circular pattern of what we think we want, what we can afford, what we THINK we’d like, what we know, what we (more vastly) have no clue about … and overall. AgHGHH. So that sums up our camera search right now.
  • Again, since we’re busy.. (what could be an entire blog post ends up as a point), I officially ‘closed’ the door on a potential opening/ opportunity with a staffing company in my area. The owner had been contacting me every since we’d been hooked up through a referral/friend in the area, and while I hoped I could continue selling on Etsy– and potentially going fulltime with it — I wanted to play it safe and keep my staffing ties an option. When he called multiple times in October, November, and December… I was able to hold off pursuing new work  while I tested the waters through Christmas with making tags & jewelry exclusively. As things picked up and STAYED up, I finally felt confident enough to graciously close the door and tell him that I’d contact him if anything changed. It truly was a big step for me, and I’m actually shocked at how *not* freaked out I am about the whole thing. And thinking about it… I do hope that ‘nothing changes’ on my end, actually. I have a great job, now — one that I control, one that I feel good pouring my time into, and one that I get rewarded in kind for the time and effort I spend. After working for 8 years in a job where I didn’t get rewarded any more for successes than failures, it’s so good to feel that kind of motivation and reap the rewards of my very hard work. And it is  true… I work *all* the time.  I should do a ‘typical day’ post so you get the idea… but it’s definitely not part-time or even 8-5…
  • And, in true bullet-point style… we watched The Proposal last night on Neflix Streaming… OUCH. Seriously… WOW.
  • That’s all.

So, you’re officially brought up to speed. I’m hoping this next week brings some exciting home options, a clean house, and perhaps, a sorted and put-away basket of laundry which has been sitting here for a solid week— perhaps collecting enough dust to merit yet another washing.