Sunday, October 7, 2012

just another pea picklin' week: a diary

Monday, October 1
What a great day at Saturday's farmers market! The turkey and happy bee pillar sold out, many little pine cones left the table, another Ball mason jar went to a new home, and one lucky customer walked away with every single charmer, including the psychics. The weather was perfect, and I ate some delicious cinnamon rolls. Now, lots of candles to make and this morning I'm expecting a visit from Alex, the new vendor liaison from MIUpperHand, and later in the week 500 pounds of fresh, raw beeswax should arrive from downstate.

What a turkey!

Tuesday, October 2
A new routine has developed: Mid-afternoon Elliott, Buster, and I walk to the river. We spread out along the trail (Elliott likes to lag, then catch up in a mad dash, and Buster's bound to stray off trail, getting lost in the tall grass), but eventually we come together at the top of the bank, by the balsams, where the trail zags down to the riverside. I pick up Buster and carry him halfway down, where we sit among the trees. Elliott explores, scratches tree trunks. I muse. Buster rests in my arms, his nose working autumn memories. Leaves drift down, float away.

I've settled on price changes and updated Etsy and made new price markers for my market display. Also got a couple dozen sheets made, ready to roll for charmers, and chopped up the remaining 30 or so pounds of raw wax in the shed. Right now, a hunk of that wax is melting in a pot in the kitchen.

Later,  Mr. Owl prepares to ship out.

Wednesday, October 3
The trees are crazy with color, and driving up to Houghton for my weekly shopping spree (anitfreeze! cheese! toilet paper! etc.!) I experienced transcendent moments of joyousness. Sounds flippy, I suppose, but I love autumn. The shortening days, the lowering arc of the sun, chilly nights. And yes, those riotous leaves.

Got a few candles made yesterday. The new thrift store vase candle continues to come out with cracks, so back in the pot it goes. And then suddenly, 16 tons of gravel arrived. Yes, I ordered it, but the idea only percolated a couple of days ago, and now the dang stuff is here, in two big piles, and I have to start shoveling it. One pile is right in Buster's path from "ah! relief!" area to the front door (he never comes in the back door, even though he goes out the back door, because out back is where he finds relief ... ), and he has stumbled into the gravel mound a number of times, coming up looking mighty confused. I need the gravel to raise the ground level along the west side of the house where the porch leaves off and the spring snow melt pools and freezes. The idea is to make this area a kind of gravelly patio. The second pile of gravel I'll use in the spring, to fill in holes in the driveway.

Making candles again today, and may take delivery of 500 pounds of beeswax, down at Jerry's Auto Repair, where it's being delivered, because it's $100 less to ship to a commercial rather than a residential address.  This will be the first time I have not picked up the wax, made that trip across the Mackinac Bridge with a dog or two in tow. It's cheaper, now, to have the wax delivered, and besides, overnight road trips with Buster have become an ordeal.

The gravelly patio project.
Thursday, October 4
No wax yet, but many candles made, close to 40 on the week. It got up to almost 80 degrees yesterday - and sunny. Now, this morning, in the forecast for tomorrow night and Saturday, snow. Doesn't bode well for the farmers market.

The thrift store vase candle is finally coming out sans cracks, and this makes me very happy. It's a  cool-looking candle and burns great. It will debut Saturday ... in the snow?

The beeswax vase burns.

Saturday, October 6
What a snowy drive to Marquette this morning! All day yesterday the wind blew from the west, and in the evening the rain started, a cold, dashing rain. Friday morning, after I got the fire going, I just wanted to stay in my chair, reading, drinking tea, listening to the wind howl, all day, maybe just once in a while opening the door for Elliott so he could sniff the cold air then retreat to his chair. But, I had all the charmers to roll, and I wanted to get my display board set up with more ornaments, and I'd had an email from a gallery downstate about applying to be in their holiday gift gallery, so I had to figure out if that would work, and then that beeswax might be delivered and I thought I might make more lip balm ... So I started designing new business cards on Vistaprint and eventually things got rolling.

I called the delivery company about the wax. Oh. They'll call me. No need to fuss that they might dump 500 pounds of beeswax by the side of the road in downtown Pelkie without telling me ...

As the day rolled on, the wind blew harder and colder and I considered not going to the farmers market - taking Saturday off! - but I had six pounds of wax to get to Colleen for her soapmaking, I wanted to get a couple of sympathy cards from Maggi, and anyway, I hate to miss a market. This morning, when I took off in a slush fall, oh boy, and by the time I hit Baraga, honest-to-goodness snow. The trees, now the pines, spruce, and cedar, catching the snow on their limbs and needles, were beautiful. (I took some videos while driving, posted one to YouTube.)

At the market, I was able to set up inside the Commons building, so all my long underwear just made me uncomfortable, but heck, that's OK. In Marquette it was rain rather than snow, and quite windy, so being inside a cozy building with a large stone fireplace suited me fine, and it ended up being another good day, eating cinnamon rolls, selling beeswax, and getting some nice honey soap for my bath tonight.

Received this picture of Mr. Owl in his new
home. Where, I assume, it's not snowing.

{Thanks for sharing the week with me. I usually do write on Sundays.}