Robyn is joining me today to help keep THE STORE filled and the merchandise in the window new and exciting. And then last Thursday, I received a call that we sold the set of Bavarian china and Toni came over after I called for help and we got that entire set of full service for 16 (!!) packed in record time! And packed well, I might add! Thanks to both for helping out.
Always a challenge to keep the place looking good, floors clean, and glass items dusted. And now, too, we are bringing out the winter clothing and oh yeah, it is the holidays, too!!! WHEW!!!
Thanks to both women for their dedication and time. The place would not look as good if it weren't for them!
Doors were opened early and Amanda and Robyn were there for support and whatever came our way! We sold sweaters (ugly and others!), beautiful 1950's dresser, hand crafted mittens, and all kinds of other pieces! People are in town for the holidays and so many acquaintances from last year were rekindled today when "drop-ins" happened and hugs followed.
And, of course, a family told me of the older dog, Homer, that they adopted. And with others, we talked of weddings, gifts for husbands, and many, many times of our Lucy. A busy day with many smiles, happy customers, and three tired women at the closing of the doors.
Someone brought Rice Krispie bars, pumpkin bread, and an assortment of those calorie-free holiday treats!
Thank you, Robyn and Amanda, for helping on this Small Business Saturday at THE STORE. Without the two of you, I would probably still be there!!!!
We have foot traffic from parents here to retrieve their college student. College students looking for presents to bring home. And then, the usual shopper always curious about what new items we put out today. What a great opp THE STORE has become to spread the news of unwanted horses, the joy of rescuing, and the attachment we humans can build with them - if we are open and willing.
Lucy, of course, does her part to entice people to sit a while, visit with her, and get to know THE STORE. And many students are now bringing their parents in to meet the cat "that helped me hold it together". Lucy plays an important role in that town, it appears.
If you have a few hours, we have the glass shelves that need your dusting, books that need your sorting, and mannequins that need your redressing. And, of course, we have Lucy that needs your attention! Thanks for thinking of helping out at THE STORE!!
The final step in setting up the new store location was completed today: Gene came to THE STORE and with that simple, "Is there anything that I can help you with?" statement we tackled - and finished - the hanging of the Refuge Farms pictures in the front corner. On the wall is a leather painting of Jerry, the Roan Horse. A color creation of Laddee, the Little Belgian Mare. A photo of Spirit running the fence line. A large color photo of The Posse. Handsome and I hugging and me kissing Beauty the first time in 5 1/2 years that we were able to trim her feet without sedating her with an injection. Also hanging is Liz-Beth grazing spring grasses, Lanna's Garden poem, and selected pictures from the 2014-2015 Refuge Farms calendar in full poster size. Even to me, the corner is impressive! The love and hard work and compassion hanging in that store is now strong and visible and tangible! Now, come the stories! Now, come the questions and our Missions will be told over and over. And now, we hang the OPEN sign! First thing tomorrow morning, I'm hanging and turning on that OPEN sign for the world to see. Now that the horses are with us, we can fire up!
Thanks to all of you for getting us here. Not only will the OPEN sign go up tomorrow, but Bonita's Boutique wood carving will also go up on display. Now we are complete.
Thanks from me and all of these treasures hanging on our walls.
There was a dozen Friends of THE FARM in THE STORE this morning before 1pm!! Mike brought back lamps he had repaired, Jude stopped in and made my day, Faye brought friends in to THE STORE and we made an appointment for their visit to THE FARM. And, thank heavens, Chris and Toni and Tiffany appeared to help me!!
After working on removing adhesive from that big bay window, I took Toni and Chris and Tiff to the kitchen area. We first attacked the pile of boxes in my truck and got them emptied, contents stored, packing materials sorted and set up for recycling or reuse at THE STORE. And then, bless their hearts, they attacked the boxes I had tucked under the big table in the kitchen. They did NOT give up! Not until the final box had been opened and properly addressed. And yes, it was 2 or 3 times that I found "just one more box . . . or two!".
Thank you ever so very much, Toni and Chris and Tiffany! There is a ton of work now to sort, clean, research, price and tag, but that's all doable. Getting the boxes opened and the contents sorted in an enormous task! Eormous!!!
Friday mornings are filled with excitement about the coming weekend, a bit of regrouping to get some of us to Sunday, which is our weekend, and especially today, a bit of self-talk to keep us smiling while we were in a building on a day like today!!! So opening THE STORE I was a bit "under". Getting a bit tired by week's end and needing to dig a bit deeper than usual this morning.
Lucy-Gucy did her best to cheer me and I found some good music to set the tone. And then the entire world all changed for the good!
A lady I have known for 2 years? maybe 3 years? from her coming into THE STORE arrived first thing with brown lunch bags in her hands. She leaned over the counter and asked, "Are you okay with wheat?" or something to that order. I nodded that I was but was a bit puzzled, to say the least. Well . . . . .
This kind and thoughtful woman handed me one lunch bag that was warm and soft and filled with a just-out-of-the-oven loaf of wheat bread!! Oh, I'm just grinning from ear to ear now!!
And then, this beautiful person handed me another lunch bag with three rolls - also still warm from the oven - in it. And (yup, there's more!) she then handed me a plastic knife and a stick of butter!
How do you thank this kindness from someone whose first name you cannot locate in your brain??? I did what I felt like doing: I came from behind the counter and hugged her deeply and said to her, "You do not know how much you have helped this morning. Your kindness was exactly what I needed today. You helped me more than you will ever know!"
She just smiled and scurried off. What a dear person and what delicious bread!! I ate the 3 rolls with a wad of butter pushed deeply into the middle of each one. Ate those rolls right then and there.
Morning! I was too pooped to pop last evening to give you an update, so thought I would post this morning.
True to form, Trish and Tim and Emily (all from Madison) arrived at THE STORE at 10am and got working diligently until 12noon. AND Brian joined me as I was unlocking the door and, thankfully, Brian stayed and helped until past 2pm. Thank you to all of you!!
THE STORE is reorganized with the dish displays in the front and the boutique displays in the rear of the floor. I spent until 6:30 walking dishes up to the front and arranging the new setup. It is looking very inviting and interesting - hopefully it will draw more crowds into our store.
I'm back at THE STORE this afternoon from 12noon to 5pm if anyone is willing and able to help move "stuff" - dishes, clothes, pictures to rehang on walls, etc. I have one case to slide about 6 feet and one clothes rack to setup. One dresser to find a home for and a set of bookcases to setup and fill with books. And yes, there still are dishes to move from the rear to the front. Tomorrow will be swallowed by the raffle setup and also tweaking the newsletter for mailing so today is the final day to get the store "shop-able". Help would be great!
If I don't see you, have a great - but wet - Labor Day!!! And again, many thanks to Trish and her Crew and to Nick, Brandon, and Brian for getting us ready for winter at THE FARM and at THE STORE!!!
A grateful Sandy and The Herd
PS - Before heading to THE STORE, Brandon and I went to a business in Menomonie and loaded the Exiss full of good, oak pallets for placing under our precious round bales of hay! I should say that I drove and Brandon did the work - but I know that you already figured that one out!! As it sits, we now have TWICE the pallets we had yesterday ready for our hay supply. Thank you, Brandon!!!
The final "Folding Party" at THE STORE today at 1pm to complete this newsletter. A team of great women coming together to chat while we collate, fold, tape, and label. Makes the job just disappear! Many thanks for the hands, Ladies! And the companionship!
We are in the process of clearing summer out of THE STORE and putting Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Fall in THE STORE. Last week it was too hot to even disturb the summer sandals. However this week - that's different story!
See you at THE STORE where we have a supply of newsletters, hugs from Lucy, and great merchandise to browse!