Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas - the Air Force Way

I saw this on Laura's blog and decided it was too got to not share here. I am fortunate to have my Air Force husband home this Christmas, but many of our friends are spending it far from their families. Please take a moment to remember all the troops that are serving far from home this Christmas.

Twas the night before Christmas, and he lived all alone;
In a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see what manner of person in this home did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see;
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand,
And on the wall hung many pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, and awards of all kinds,
Suddenly a thought so sobering came into my mind.
For this house was much different, it was so dark and dreary,
I was in the house of an Airman, once I could see clearly.

The Airman lay sleeping, silent, all alone;
Curled upon the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
Not exactly how I imagined I'd find an airman soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I then realized the families I saw on this night,
Owed their lives to these airmen who were willing to fight.

For soon 'round the world the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed their freedom each month of the year,
Because of the airmen, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many more lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve, in some land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
And I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The Airman awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for our freedom, I don't ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my Air Force."

The Airman rolled over and drifted back to sleep,
But I couldn't control it, I started to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
Until we both shivered hard from the cold night's chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night
This Guardian of Honor so willing to fight.
Then the Airman rolled over, and with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day and all is secure."

One look at my watch and I knew he was right
Merry Christmas, my friend, and to all a Good Night!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thank You!

As the year draws to a close, I want to take a few minutes to say thank you to all who have supported me this year. Sales in 2009 have far exceeded my expectations! At the beginning of the year I set a very small sales goal for myself. When I reached that goal by August, I set another very small sales goal. The shop is now $27 away from reaching that goal! I am humbled that my customers had the faith in my product and me, to spend their money here. With each sale I was able to put money back into the shop and help support other small businesspeople like myself. In the fall I was able to start paying myself a little salary! When I quit working three years ago, to stay home and raise our son, giving up my paycheck was the hardest part. This year I am able to buy Christmas gifts with MY VERY OWN MONEY! I purchased gifts from other artisans in hopes that they too will pay it forward.

To officially say thank you I am having a giveaway in January! Keep your eyes open for the details!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Featured Twice in One Day!

This afternoon I stepped away from the computer for a bit and when I returned, I was pleased to find I was featured in not one, but two treasuries!

The first is a grouping of all Homefront Team members and is called Met Me Under The Mistletoe. This one is especially exciting since I hung my mistletoe today!
The second beautiful treasury features my Elegance in Juniper memory board and is aptly named, Juniper and Mars.
If you have a chance, stop by each treasury and view each of the items featured.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring!

This weekend was the Old Norfolk Christmas Craft Show at the Fred Heutte Center in Norfolk, VA. I had everything planned out. I had PowerPoint presentations of my booth set up. I had more merchandise than I had storage buckets for. And I had mud. Yep! Mud!

When I arrived on Friday to do set up the ground was already muddy because it had rained for what seemed like an entire year. Saturday was promising more rain. I dropped off grid walls and tables and my tablecloths.

Saturday my friend Christine and I arrived to find this…

a big, giant, muddy, mess. I was grateful all of my stuff was still standing but my white tablecloth was missing. Huh? I would later find out that it had somehow ended up two booths away and was laying in the mud - so dirty in fact that the vendor thought it was hers an she took it home to wash.

As the day progressed so did the rain. The large tent had a pocket right above our heads and we spent our day poking the roof with a broom to release the build up of water. Eventually, the temperatures dropped. Thankfully a very kind man brought us his giant butane heater and we all gathered around it to keep warm.

Our reward for Saturday was Sunday. The rain broke and the sun shone bright. The vendors from the tent set up on the sidewalk. We basked in the sun and worked on our tans.

You can see here the mess that was left behind in the tent. We had layered straw, plastic bags and more straw but the mud still seeped through.

All in all, it was a great weekend. I met new vendors and made connections for new groups as well as got some great information on upcoming spring shows. My plan going forward… stick to inside shows!