Monday, January 3, 2011

10 Memories from 2010

I'm participating in a journaling challenge...the challenge is to journal every day. I'm not sure how long I will last, but hopefully I can keep up with the challenge, weekly if not daily.

So my first assignment is to write about 10 memories from 2010. Hmmm.

1) The biggest memory of 2010 is that we had our home of 13 years on the market for most of the year. We first listed the house in November of 2009 and really didn't think it was going to sell until this recession was over. There were so many homes for sale in our little town, and way too many foreclosures with great prices. But after a long wait, the perfect buyer came along and, YAY! We sold the house is September. After keeping the house neat as a pin for 11 months, we were outta there!

2) DH took a job in California. He had been job hunting for a while, and when the perfect chance came along, he took it. Since our house hadn't sold (see #1 above), he commuted back and forth from the west coast to the east coast, starting in May. It was a strange time, but he loves his new job, and we love living in the Bay area!

3) We moved from New England to California. I think that's all I need to say.

4) My beloved Father-in-Law passed away. He had been sick for a while and really went downhill quickly, but it was still a difficult time for us all, especially DH. May his memory be eternal.

5) Youngest DD took a semester off from school and moved home. The house had been so quiet since both girls had moved on to the college life, so we were thrilled to have one of them home again. And lucky for us, she has moved to California with us!

6) We took our annual summer week at the Jersey shore, but for the first time had DH's mom staying with us. We also had a short visit with youngest DD's boyfriend, so it was a lot of people in a small house and a lot of fun. We played a ton of games, finished a few jigsaw puzzles, and ate a ton of ice cream. All in all, a memorable week.

7) DH and I started playing Super Mario Brothers for Wii in 2009, when he was still retired and we had just listed the house. We were trying to keep the house neat and tidy and couldn't find anything to do, so we decided to give it a try. This particular video game is unique because we could both play together as a team. Let's just say that neither of us was raised on video games, and we are REALLY bad, but it didn't take us long to get hooked on the game. What did take us long was finishing the game. We would spend days or even weeks on one single "land." But we persevered, learned to work together and take advantage of each other's strengths, and in 2010, we managed to beat the entire game! Yahooo! The only downside is that we haven't yet found a game that can take it's place.

8) Special Family events of 2010: my niece got married and DH's neice had a baby, the first grandchild in the family.

9) I discovered Clean Eating...which in my book means no white foods (sugar, white flour, potatoes, etc.). It's hard to do at first, but really helps keep my arthritis pain at a minimum. Now if I can just keep it up in 2011. Wait, really I need to say, "now if I can just get back to it!" LOL

10) We had both DD's here in the new house for Christmas this year. Eldest DD brought her boyfriend along, and we had a great time--lots of games, lots of ice cream, and lots of fun. We loved making new family memories in our new home.

Sending a prayer of Thanksgiving for all the blessings of the last year and a hope for continued blessings in the year to come.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

I haven't posted in quite a while. Last fall I temporarily closed my Etsy shops, and since this blog was originally designed to promote the shops, it fell by the wayside as well.

I closed my shops for a couple of reasons. DH and I were busy dealing with an upcoming move across the country, from Connecticut to California. Since a lot of my shop items were made by my mom, I wasn't sure how I would get the items out to me--I do the photography and mailing, so I need the items in my hand. It is so difficult to get a decent price for hand knits anyway, I hated to add another cost in order to ship the items across the country to me so that I could prepare them for sale.

But I am also quite discouraged at the path Etsy has taken in the last year or so. It is obvious that Etsy management has decided to allow resellers a place in Etsy. Right now, however, they allow the resellers to misrepresent "who" is actually making the item. These resellers pretend the item is handmade in the USA when it is really made in a third-world country for slave labor wages. As a handknitter in the USA, I cannot compete with these prices.

I have no problem with Etsy allowing these sellers as long as the seller is clear about where the item was made and who really made the item. Then the buyer can make an informed decision. Purchase the cheaper handknit and support the reseller rather than the actual knitter, who probably earned pennies for his/her work, or support the actual artisan who made the item, but pay a higher premium

Many buyers would probably choose the less expensive option, but at least it would be an informed purchase. As of now, there are people all over the internet complaining about making a handmade purchase on Etsy from a seller in the USA, only to find a "made in Tibet' (China, India, you name it) tag inside the item.

So for now, my shops are closed. Our move is finished, and we are loving our new life in the Bay area. I'm watching Etsy closely to see if changes are made that would warrant our revisiting the idea of selling handmade knits again.

I'm planning to use this blog for more "esoteric" musings, so feel free to stay tuned if you are interested!

And a blessed new year to all!