Sunday, May 31, 2009

Get off my back! I'm dating my blog already.

"When are you going to update your blog" asks my Sister almost daily.  

I'm in season. (Not like a dog in heat.  Season meaning I'm gone 4 days out of the week & am hardly ever home.)

She knew this was coming.  I've warned her.  But it seems that she's not the only one. 

"When are you going to update your blog?" asks my friends.  

I'm updating it right now.

This is my life over the past few weeks:

Thurs -Sunday I'm in Lake Tahoe (except for this weekend.)  I sell tie-dye to tourists.  Been doing it for about 13 years in Tahoe.  Love it & have a great following.
This is my friend Jori. (Rhymes with Lori.)

She's what we in the craft business call a hawker.  She'll sell anything.  She doesn't make her stuff.  She buys & sells.

When I first met her she was selling gourmet popcorn.  Now she sells back rests.  She's a party girl and we go dancing all the time.  Love my Jori.

This is Don.
He sits in the back of his booth and says "Very good prices. Very good prices." or "Cheapest silver on the lake. Cheapest silver on the lake."

He repeats everything twice.  

"Lauren!  I'm going to the porta johns.  Lauren!  I'm going to the porta johns."
"Ok! Ok!" I repeat back.
He's into Scientology and marching bands.  He plays his marching band music at full volume all the time.  He also hands our free Ron Hubbard books.

I thought I had pictures of my booth but looks like I didn't take any.  I'm doing a show this coming weekend in Tahoe so I'll make sure I get a couple.
Steve & Me at my Nieces open house.
I like this picture except I hate my chins.  
Me in a very cool hat.
I have a leather guy who's making all sorts of stuff to sell in the store.
He said that he had to make this hat & had to show it to me right away.  The thing weighs a ton and I felt like I was going to lose my balance while I was wearing it.

Demonia boots
Got my shipment in this past week.  
The store is doing ok.  I still have days where I want to just close the door & walk away.  We're down about 30% this month over last year.  

My weight:  I'm at 202 & holding steady.  Have been slowly adding fruit to my diet.  Love the strawberries.

Miss you all.  I'm doing the best I can.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm still here.

I know.  I've been neglecting my blog and you guys.  It's been a tough couple of weeks.

First off our store isn't making the money it needs to keep our doors open.  I'm having to make payments for rent.  You can't get to the store because of road construction.  I send out emails to our customers 2x a week saying "Come shopping!" 

This weekend is our 2nd anniversary sale.  BIG clearance.  Big whoop.  I've probably had 6 people walk thru the door since I opened at 9:30 and it's almost 2 now.  

Even my employees & the woman who rents space from us doesn't care.  There are days (like today) I just want to lock the doors and drive away never looking back.  It drains my energy and my life.  Today is doing that.

I mean come on people.  We have a giant rack full of clearance vintage clothes for $5.  This is stuff that I had marked up to $50 and now it's $5!  

Steve is out doing a local event.  He made more in the 1st hour than I've made in the 4.5 I've been open.  Thing is that money is our tie-dye business money.  It's what supports Steve & I.  

I love my store but today I want to walk away from the bills, customers and crap that goes with it.

My other issue is my health.  I had a huge chunk of melanoma removed from my arm last Nov.  The dr wanted me to see an oncologist.  We have such shitty insurance that I have to pay out of pocket for my chest x-ray & blood tests.

Finally got the blood tests done & found out I'm cancer free!  Yeah!  

But I still have something going on with my parathyroid.  That blood test happened on thurs. The oncologist should call me this week with results.

Oh something funny at oncologist:  He told me I'm losing weight too fast: 30 pounds in 4 months.  I don't think that's too fast.  I think that's pretty normal.

The rest of my metabolic panel came back normal.  My cholesterol levels were beautiful along with my glucouse levels.  Yeah!

I will be calling the dermatologist for my 6 month check up.  I need to ask what makes UV clothing UV clothing.

Sorry to be such a venter but this is the space I'm in right now.
Photos from around the store today

Iris in bloom
Our old hand painted sign
Animal bikes
Basket of eyelashes

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This is my life.

A picture says a THOUSAND words.  
Let's see if you can read them all.

A winged Jackalope.
How creative is that??
A traditional Jackalope.
I wanna ride that pony!
Kudo's to my friend Mac for sending me these in an email.

Gotta love a good cat fight.
Who wants to know about crack van today??
Ok kids.  Have a seat & let Auntie Twinkely Dots tell you the latest.

Van is still in the shop.  Denny at Denny's Dependable found us a blinker housing & light.  It's being installed thursday.  $100.

I'll pick up the van, get it inspected at the DMV, register it & then put it on Craigs list.

We can drive it with the cracked manifold. So we'll sell it with the cracked manifold.

Good bye $4000 we've spent.  

I'll be gone this weekend.
I'm heading over to Davis for the Whole Life Festival.  The fire group will be performing on Friday night.  
Miss me!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday


Full of
Ask me about the van.  Go ahead.
Ask.  I dare ya.

After leaving the DMV yesterday to get ANOTHER 15 day temp registration I decided to go get the tires balanced & rotated.  The van shimmie's if driven over 60 mph.  

Turned out the back 2 tires were bald on the inside.  The steel had separated from the rubber. $200 for 2 new tires.  The front 2 were new.  

Today the van is at our mechanic because it lurches when stopped after being warmed up.  No word yet from the mechanic. Oh and it smells of raw fuel after being driven.

I can say one positive thing about the van.  It has an AWSOME sound system.  
Fire spinning

As you guys know I've been taking fire spinning classes since January.  My big goal is to spin in conclave before Burning Man.  (Conclave is the fire troupes who perform before they burn the big Man.)

My friend Chelsea recorded & posted my 1st burn on YouTube.  Since I don't know how to upload video on my blog you can click here to watch.

Food, Diet, Lifestyle changes

My friend Nancy has been on the same journey with her food as I have.  She was diagnosed about 3 months before I was with the gliadin allergy.  She's really into nutrition and health.  

She emailed me a thing she had gotten from her dr about baking soda curing cancer.  It has to do with the acid/alkaline levels in the body.  

I googled and came up with all sorts of information.  

I'm going to pick up ph strips to start checking my ph level.  With my skin cancer I don't want to take chances of having cancer anyplace else.  

What this is leading to is that I've started to move back to being vegetarian.  It will be a slow process.  As of now I'm red meat free.  My body doesn't process animal products so I know I'll be healthier because of the decision.

When I was vegan it was for health reasons not ethical.  Studies show ethical vegans stay vegans where as health vegans don't.  

I'm a strong believer in the food chain so I have no problems with others eating meat/fish/chicken around me.  It's the same as I have no problems with people eating my food allergy foods.  (Does that sentence make sense? Huh.)

So I'll start blogging about my moving towards vegetarianism.  Look for it!
John the pirate
Meet John.  He's a pirate.
He was on his way to a raid last night when he stopped by.
4:15 pm Car update
Manifold is leaking.  $800.  

Sunday, May 3, 2009

So much to say. Let's catch up, shall we?

Where to start.  Where to start.

I know.  Crack van pt trois.  (Subtitled:  How I spent my day off. Abridged version.)

Time to register the van.  Head down to our local DMV with smog check, proof of insurance and title.  Easy peasy.  

Maybe in everyone else's world  but not in mine.

Turns out the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the title doesn't match the one on the van.  So I have to have the VIN inspected by the DMV.  Out to the inspector I go.  

He writes down the correct one.  Go back inside to same clerk.  

She has to run the correct VIN to make sure it's a clean title.  VIN doesn't show up in NV.  "When I bough the van it had California plates."  Oh.  

Starts to run it in CA & the system shuts down in CA.  

Tries 15 mins later.  System in CA has crashed.  No clue when it's going back up. I've already been at the DMV for about 2 hours.

Clerk & I decide that we're both going to take a lunch break.  "See you in an hour."

Come back.  System is still down.  

Finally comes back up.  

Turns out the title in Cal is "salvaged".  In other words this van had been in an accident & then it was sold here in NV as clean.  Now the fun part comes in.

I have to have the van inspected by a certified mechanic then bring it back & have it inspected by the DMV.  It's missing the front driver's side turn signal housing.  

I take it to my mechanic who signs everything off.  I lie to him & tell him I have the housing at home.  I kind of lie.  I think that we actually have the part.  I know we have some sort of light part at home.  

Back to DMV.  He won't let me pass without the light.  

This whole process took close to 4 hours.  

Steve's plan:  Crack van is a 99 Mercury Villager.  We also own a 97 Mercury Villager.  He'll remove the 97's light housing, I'll take it with me back to DMV, get the van to pass & then reinstall it on the 97.  

Um.  No.  98 was the last year Nissan made the Mercury Villager.  99 is when Ford started making them.  Guess what design they changed.  Yup.  The whole headlight panel including the turning signal housing.

We've been online, Steve's been out to our local Pick your part place.  Nothing. nada.

I want this van OUT OF MY LIFE!  But it can't go until we get a clean title.  fuck.  

I'll be back at the DMV tomorrow to get an extension on the 10 temp registration.  
Hotel Hallway
Harvey's Lake Tahoe.

Red Hat Lady
Red Hat Ladies in my booth
NOT buying tie-dye.
Friday & saturday I was in South Lake Tahoe not selling tie-dye to the Red Hat Convention.  

Steve & I had decided that we would try new things this year.  The local Red Hat group had ordered tie-dye from us for the Northern Nevada Red Hat Convention.  

"You should sell at the convention!" says Rhonda.  "We love your tie-dye!  You'll make a killing!"

Liar liar pants on fire.

Did you know that you can only wear a red hat if you're over 50?  If you're under 50 you're a "Pink Hatter".  

Vernice, the organizer for the convention, shops in our store.  "Oh yes!  You must come!"

I could only bring clothes that were purple, red, pink & lavender.  Oh and no kids stuff.  Adults only.

I had to get a room because the place I rent for the summer isn't available for me until Memorial day weekend.  Let's add that expense.  

Attendance was down.  Wayyyy down.  Last year:  500+ .  This year:  280.
More booths this year:  14 vs 7 last year.

All that added up to 2 days of Red Hat hell.  

If anyone ever asks you to vend at a Red Hat convention thank them kindly but then RUN. RUN. RUN!! 
I've started to incorporate food that's been off my anti-candida diet.  

Started off with strawberries.  I've been having about a cup a day with goat yoghurt.  So sweet! So satisfying.  Yum! 

Friday night I splurged and went to the buffet at the top of Harrah's.  If you're ever in Tahoe and you want a buffet go spend the money.  It's the best buffet at the lake & the view is amazing. 

I had a couple of things:  sushi, mashed potatoes that were totally off plan.  And I paid for it during the night.

I think my emotions from the lack of sales didn't help my digestive tract during the night, either.  

There were people around me eating rich, creamy desserts and those looked disgusting to me.  Funny how 5 months ago I would have been passing on most of the entre's and going just for the desserts and now I have no taste for them.  Boy I hope that feeling stays with me for the rest of my life! 

I'm in the store today cleaning up & out.  Tie-dye employees come back tomorrow (yeah!) and they'll need a work space.

They better notice my weight loss (chuckle).