"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Tiger Runs Wild

     By mid-November the retail Tiger was pacing his cage and roaring to be set free. We let him run on Black Friday and everyone held on for dear life. Shifts were extended and overlapped, the reserve troops were called in to help with backstock, bagging the crystallized ginger, cocoa powder, regular jars of spice and freeze dried corn.  Stocking the shelves continued non-stop all day long. Huge orders were placed, received and hauled into the back. Feet and backs ached, lunches were catch as catch can, coffee and Pepsi runs increased. 
     We asked our old friend Ashley to come in over the past weekend to help out and she graciously accepted.  Sam's nephew, Ethan, joined the team and helped with everything, learning the ropes of selling spices, running the cash register, weighing, jarring and labeling spices. There is nothing like the energy of youth to revitalize everyone in the shop. There is also much to be learned. #1. Don't pretend to know anything you don't know. Period. It always gets you into trouble. 
     Yours truly was worn to a frazzle more than a couple of times and had to call retreat and invest in an afternoon of serious napping.   As a matter of fact, I think all of us fell off that running tiger at least once.  Emotions rose to the surface now and then, nerves frayed, irritability increased, but we persevered and made it through. I guess the team is still intact. At least no one quit.....that I know of.  Actually, there are two more days to go before Christmas and today was as huge as any day this month and it was Tuesday, usually the slowest day of the week for us. I am off duty. Thank the gods.  I think Able could easily sleep for two days straight right now but is still wonderfully helpful with the customers and everyone else. Here in the west we have a saying: There's no rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need it. 
    We need it, believe me.
     The kids are having Christmas with their kids, at their own homes, as it should be. We will have our Christmas at the farm sometime in January, once the smoke clears.  
    Although we swore we would never sell spices outside the shop again, after the fiasco that was the kiosk a few years back, we did it anyway.  This year we had a little pop-up shop down in the Myriad Gardens for one long weekend. The pop-ups change every weekend, Thursday through Sunday. This time we actually made money. Hooray! But it was still incredibly exhausting because everything (items for sale, tables, racks, decorations, heaters, EVERYTHING) had to be hand carried across half a block and a main road in downtown OKC and down into a parking garage.  Our weekend was the final one for the kids to visit with Santa in the Devon Tower so the roads that normally access the area were blocked off. On my one trip down there with a bunch of gift-sets I chickened out completely, at the thought of all that walking on my screaming feet, turned around and went back to the shop. C'est la vie.
     Now I am at the farm and taking a couple days off to rest, pet the cats, take walks in the balmy December weather (?) and run over to visit my Dad. I hear one of my brothers might be there. Not sure.
All I know is that I already had one four hour nap today and am about ready to go to bed early. I paid my prop. taxes and estimated taxes and for some fence repair and supplies today. I really only come home to pay the bills, feed/pet the cats and sleep. Oh, and watch Doctor Who and Sherlock. This is now a retreat house for me, instead of my regular home. My regular home is in my Honda. True story.
    Oh, I almost forgot, last Saturday I joined Abbey, Audra and Maggie Jewel for a viewing of The Nutcracker Ballet at the Civic Center downtown. Great Grandma's famous ruby ring made it to the performance, as is the tradition. We all put on our sparkly everything, as a matter of fact, and settled down to watch the dancing. The OKC Ballet did not disappoint, as usual.  Clara visited the Land of Sweets and fell in love with the Nutcracker Prince. The Sugarplum Fairy and her Consort danced magnificently in purple and white. 

There was a humongous golden silk parade dragon with the Chinese dancers this year. Splendiferous! 
    This just in: 
 The littlest grandchild, Rowan (2.5), fell off his 'spaceship' and cut his chin open this afternoon.  Man down. Stitches. Hooray for modern medicine which also discovered he had double ear infections. That might be why his superb balance was off a little.  Such is life. 

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