Matt P. and Deb P. (not related!) joined me at THE STORE yesterday morning and we WORKED!!!!
Carpeting was torn up and beautiful wooden floors underneath were exposed, furniture was delivered to the woodworking magician for slight repairs, dishes were washed and tagged and on the floor, and boxes were opened. Plus customers were served and horses, of course, were talked about.
I left at 8pm last night and the place was looking great! New merchandise out on the floor, the rack for purses out on the floor, and a fun display for summer in the window, as well.
Many, many thanks to Matt and Deb! Great workers and not afraid to get dirty! Love it!!! Thank you!
What a treat!! Late yesterday afternoon, I looked up to see who had entered THE STORE. The mahoghany table was being assembled - we now have room on the sales floor for it!! - and I heard the entry bell ring. Looking up, I recognized that head!
Lavonne had stopped in! She said, "I've got 40 minutes, what can I do?"
It was everything I had to hold the table and not run and hug her. Lavonne washed 3 dish drains full of dishes to be marked and put out for sale and she helped me reorganize something that I had been pondering for a few weeks and could NOT get it into my head how to do it! By the time she left, the purse rack was set up, the top rack was moved, dishes were draining, and the table was ready to be cleaned.
Thank you, Lavonne, very much. Not only did we get visible things done in THE STORE but you lifted my spirits and re-energized me. Many thanks.
Bonita's Boutique for Fine Vintage Millinery has scored its first hit!!
Our hat section is filling out but the one that ALWAYS grabs people's attention is the golden straw hat with heavy black edging and a "folded, flat" front. On this front are 4 different strands of "flowers" made of rhinestones mounted on black, as well. The flat part of the hat could be worn on the front or the hat could be tipped and the flat section worn on a side. Either way, the hat was striking and I've answered questions about it for several days now.
To add to its wonderment, the original manufacture's hang tag was also still on the hat meaning this was an old hat that had never been worn!
This morning a rather elegant woman walked into TH STORE, tried on the hat (with the flat over her forehead), and looked in the mirror. She was darling and the hat was exquisite on her! The hat left THE STORE with her and Bonita's Boutique has made its first big sale of fine vintage millinery.
Just home from THE STORE and the Annual Witches Nite Out event in Menomonie. We did well and THE STORE could not have been open had it not been for the support of Lavonne S. and Deb P. who responded to the email and stepped up. Thank you, Ladies! Your timing was perfect - I was just about to "go under water" and there you were. It was then that I could breathe and begin to enjoy the evening. Many thanks for your response to my request for help and great job done by both of you. It is amazing to me how many people you both know as they walk through the door!
Our Lucy is showing her disgust with me and her newly imposed d-I-e-t. She is most upset and angry with me - to the point of tipping over the "OPEN" sign in the front window! When that girl talk, she is very, very clear with her message!
So now we will shift gears and prepare for the Holiday Season. Anyone one at all with a spare hour is welcome to come and help and we turn our store into Santa Land!
We are heading into the busy season at THE STORE and Saturdays are now a handful. Last Saturday, Amanda appeared and rescued me for the latter part of the afternoon. I would have been sunk without her assistance!
If any of you are willing to commit to a few hours on a Saturday between now and Christmas, your help is needed and would be greatly appreciated. The Saturday of November 29th is Small Business Saturday and last year, there were 3 of us kept busy all day!
Please email if you are available and willing! It would be great to have a bit of additional support!
I look forward to decorating THE STORE for the holiday season today. Hauling the trees and Santas out of the basement last night was a challenge but they made it! And yesterday was the start of the holiday music fest, as well. We are officially in the season!
Thanks for responding to the request for support - see you this afternoon! Lucy will be excited with all the commotion and activity!!!
THE STORE is a rockin' place! We had customers as late as 7pm last night!
The sales floor is decorated, the snowflakes are hanging from the ceiling, and the windows look very festive, indeed! However, the glass shelf desperately need dusting and there are some glass pieces that are really quite dusty from the floor ripping and just regular foot traffic. Anyone with a free hour willing to give to the horses is more than welcome to stop in! We are out of newspapers to wrap purchases in so I'm unfolding as we sell - not very efficient or timely for our guests.
An absolute T O N of work completed at THE STORE today. Brian R. came over to help me move a chair to its new owner prior to opening and then, bless his heart, he just kept asking me what else I needed done. Brian never once said, "What? You want what where?"
We now have a vintage photo enlarger now on display, a new rather substantial floor fan ready for the hot days to come, big shop lights on display in The Barn Store that were in the basement (!!), and several items put down in the basement for now. Both of us working on the floor all day and you could actually tell the difference . . . but still so much more to be done!
There are non-lifting projects on the list, as well, so if anyone has a spare hour or two, we can use the help!
As a lady told me today when she came in from looking at the windows, "This store just keeps getting cooler and cooler!"
I am a full hour early in getting to the desk this evening - thanks to the thoughtful help of several volunteers!
Amanda (bless your heart!) could not be available to assist with our big donation move on Sunday so she came to THE STORE today and helped me move items around to make room for most of the big pieces coming in on Sunday. That meant moving this before we could move that . . . dusting that before we could display on that . . . . and, in general, getting 5 lbs. in a 3 lb. bag! Thank you, Amanda, for giving the full day! And for making a huge difference in the pressure to get things done prior to Sunday!!!
Then Toni appeared to help dust. Once a week, Toni is there to ask, "Where do you want me?" My reply is usually, "DUSTING!!!" And so she dusts and restores an order of elegance to the items we have for sale. Thanks, Toni!
PS - It is Toni's hometown in Alaska that is experiencing the sink holes and mud slides on the national news, people. Say a pray, please!
Jeanne was here for Clyde-Mare this evening and I am still very cautiously optimistic about the oils for her leg. I'm asking the woman who came up with the mixture to visit Clyde-Mare and look at the leg herself. Perhaps she will suggest additional or different ingredients but so far, we are doing very well!
Our store is packed and looking great in time for the students to return. Thanks to a ton of support from some very thoughtful people!!!
G'nite, All! And thank you for continuing to see the need!
Yesterday - Sunday: the day of rest! - was not that for Refuge Farms!
A dear friend of THE FARM donated her Mother's household to THE STORE in support of our Missions. A remarkable, generous donation and with perfect timing since the college students move in this weekend! Our task was to "muscle up" and move the household from the townhouse to THE STORE and then - talk about impossible! - fit the household onto the sales floor! But, with a bit of prayer and a ton of muscle, determination, and great teamwork, it is done!
This is some of the nicest furniture we have ever had at THE STORE! Chairs and bedroom set and end tables made of wood - NOT pressed board! Clean items that include a Lazy-Boy full size couch that folds out into a double bed - with a matching loveseat! Boxes of dishes - and get this: the boxes are packed, taped, and labeled! I am like the younger Sandy Gilbert in the Fanny Farmer's Chocolate Store!!
Many thanks to Liz's family for thinking of us and being so very generous with their donation. Huge appreciation to "The Guys" - Brian, Bry, Nick, and Corey. You were an awesome team that simply did not quit! I am honored to have you as family here at THE FARM.
Now - time to do a bit of "squeezing" on the sales floor and get items marked. We've got a tremendously busy week ahead of us!!
After all of this remarkable news, I would ask that you keep Lucy-Gucy in your prayers tomorrow.
Lucy is our shop cat and a gift from Dear Jen. I promised Jen I would care for Lucy and so I am. Lucy is heading in for a work-up and check over tomorrow morning. She isn't herself - seems sensitive in her mid-section and warns with a light bite. She is breathing hard when she lays flat and so she has been sleeping with the arm of the couch as her pillow, keeping her head elevated. And she just is punk - not greeting customers and not moving around as usual.
This little cat is a hero in downtown Menomonie. She has retired professors, women from Baldwin, students, and Jen's family members visiting her daily. She is the talk of the place and usually a great babysitting for the youngsters while Mama shops. But lately, she is quiet and so she'll hate tomorrow but it is necessary.
Your thoughts and prayers will help with her recovery, I'm positive. Appreciate the additional voices for her!
It seems literally impossible, but yesterday - with help! - we began to setup the Holiday Jewelry display. Yikes. Already!!
Robyn appeared with her smile and boxes of goodies for both THE FARM and THE STORE. It is always a treat when Robyn sorts in her basement! We are the lucky recipient of her no longer wanted items and let me tell you - they are great!!!
Then, she tore into the start of removing summer clothing and getting fall clothing on the racks. And then, after we ate a lunch - that she brought with her!!! - she tore into the jewelry cases and sorted/displayed the holiday pieces for the gift giving that is coming.
WHAT A RELIEF!!! That has been on my mind since Labor Day and we were behind the other stores - but no more!
Thank you, Robyn! For covering the miles and spending the time. And again, for doing whatever it is that needs to be done!
WHEW!!! There was a birthday party for the Mabel Tainter today and we were B U S Y!!!
I met some wonderful people, horse lovers, and people who just liked out store. Was there until 6:30 tonight - helping a couple pack a cuckoo clock into the bags on their Harley! You just gotta love it!!
Thanks to Robyn's help, we have a Christmas glitter of jewelry display from which we sold multiple pieces today!!! And this year, we are ready!!!
In a sick kind of way, I'm glad it was raining most of the day! That way I didn't feel so wounded spending the day in THE STORE reorganizing the sales floor! I told you it was kind of sick!!
We have a glorious deco dresser with mirrored glass mounted right on the dresser, a matching tall chest, and the large head and foot boards. And we have electric guitars, amplifiers, and electric keyboards on a stand along with an accordion and a banjo/ukulele. WOW! We've got a music store!
This day is only possible because of the volunteers that filled the Exiss with me yesterday morning and unloaded all the furniture at THE STORE. Thanks, Guys!