The Merry Month of May

May has always been a favorite month for me. When I was much younger it was my favorite monthBalloons because it meant school was winding down and summer vacation was getting closer and closer. Plus, my birthday was in May. When I was younger I didn’t mind birthdays because it meant there would be cake and ice cream – two of my favorite food groups.

When we lived in Albuquerque, I had a friend leave a lovely little May Day basket on my door. How she managed to get up early enough in the morning to hang that basket on my door still amazes me. It was the first, and only, such basket that I’ve ever received. Given that it was over 20 years ago you can tell what a lasting impression her gesture and generosity made on me. I’ve often thought that I would follow her example and surprise special folks in my life, but I’ve never gotten around to doing it. May 1 always seems to sneak up on me somehow. You’d think by now I’d know to be watching the calendar and start making plans by mid-April, but I think I never make it because April doesn’t have a 31st day. That’s my excuse anyhow. Were I to be honest, I would have to say it’s because I’ve never been overly good at planning ahead of time for some things, and putting together May Day baskets seems to be one of those things. At least I do a decent job planning ahead for Stitchin’ Camps.

To say it is now May just floors me. My brain is still back in January somewhere. Then again, my brain is used to being left behind. Next thing I know, it will be October and I’ll be wondering where the summer went. As I’ve said before, I don’t know where my time goes, but it sure goes there quickly.

Speaking of time passing quickly, I had thought that I’d have lots of time to do lots of things by closing the shop three days a week. Not so I’m afraid. I’ve gotten more done than I would have had the shop remained open six days a week, but I’ve not even scratched the surface of all the different areas in my life that I’d hoped to get straightened out. I still find myself behind and doing some things at the last minute that I thought I’d be able to do ahead of time. Some things I’ve not even started to tackle, mainly because the job seems to be so big. I keep telling myself that you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time, but you have to identify him and catch him before you can even begin. Maybe there’s where my weakness lies. I have yet to really identify what I want to do with what I have to work with.

One of the things that seems to take up a lot of my time is clerical “stuff.” When asked about owning a quilt shop I’m quick to point out that it’s a good thing I took typing in high school and had several business courses in college. The experience I had as a secretary and administrative assistant in my former life has come in handy too. If I had to give myself a title I’m not sure it would be “Shop Owner” but more like “Glorified Secretary.”

I’d hoped to do a better job of blogging this year, but as you can see I’ve not managed to do so. In thinking about it, I’d like to ask you these questions. And yes, I really would like to hear your answers. Do you prefer bloggers who send you something every day, once a week, once a month? In other words, how often do you want to hear from me? Also, do you want to hear about life in the quilt shop past quilt related information? In other words, how much of our lives do you want to share in over and above what goes on inside the shop? I ask because some of the bloggers that I tend to follow post daily and include details of the goings on in their life that to me would be something I’d share with a very close friend or relative but not with hundreds of unknown readers, not that I have hundreds of readers but I gather they have. I know I’ve written about the kids in the past, mostly on birthdays, but that’s mainly because those who visit the shop regularly, and some who just visit on occasion, have watched them grow up during the years that I’ve had the shop. I mean, Victoria was just nine when we bought the shop, now she’s 20. While none of us have changed that much or look any older, she definitely has and does. It’s a good thing she doesn’t read these posts isn’t it.

Should I make the posts more frequent and therefore shorter? Although I won’t guarantee that posting more often would result in shorter posts. Once I get on a roll with a thought it’s like a snowball rolling down a very long, very steep hill. It takes a good long while for the end to be reached. Would you like to see tutorials, or posts dedicated to book reviews? Do you want me to share links to freebies like quilt or embroidery patterns or BOMs, or do you have enough of each to keep you busy ‘till the year 2525?

Do you even read blogs any more? One of the bloggers that I’ve been following for a while now recently posted that she was going to be blogging less and using Facebook and Instagram more. I don’t particularly like Facebook, and I haven’t a clue how to use Instagram, nor have I ever used Twitter. Yes, you might say I’m still in the dark ages where social media is concerned. Because of that, blogging is easier, and more meaningful to me. That’s because it’s like writing a letter to a friend. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and receiving, letters. You should see my collection of stationery! I know we’re all very busy these days, but those other forms of keeping in touch just seem somewhat cold and impersonal. I know for a fact that posts on Facebook that go more than three or four short sentences tend to not be completely read. So in my mind I’m thinking it’s a waste of time to post something that no one is going to take the time to read through to the end. Am I missing something?

Since I don’t have an actual web site, I tend to use this blog in place of one. That’s why there are all those little tabs running across the top of the page. Each tab represents a different section of the shop. Which of those could you live without and which could you not live without? For instance, if I put coupons on more often, how likely would you be to use them? I’ve put some on in the past and not seen a single one brought into the shop, and we’re talking about 40% off coupons here. So, it’s another one of those things where I feel I’m wasting my time designing and posting if no one is going to take advantage of them. Again, am I missing something?

Yes, you might say I’m at a point where I’d like to simplify my life. With Victoria graduating this Sunday, I’m looking at being able to possibly make up for lost time and to spending more time with her doing some fun things. I know, she’ll probably end up spending her newly freed up time at the dance studio teaching folks how to waltz and such. But I can dream and when I dream I dream of having quality time with her where I’m not having to teach her something she doesn’t really care about learning or drive her somewhere she needs to go. She thinks she’s going to be able to go to the beach multiple times this summer, and I wouldn’t mind being able to go with her. You see, I love the beach just as much as she does and have done for much longer than she has.

So, help me out here. What method(s) of keeping in touch with shops do you prefer and how often do you want/need to be reminded that they’re still out there waiting to serve you? This inquiring mind really wants to know.

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