Monday, February 18, 2013

Running a business alone,,,,,,what was I thinking??


Running a business alone is never easy and I will often find myself, especially during difficult times, asking, "what was I thinking"?  I really think that is human nature when we get into tough situations or times to ask ourselves questions like that and more.  We become overwhelmed and start to get filled with self doubt.  I am no exception!!

Last week was one of those times.  I had a terrible bout with my fibromyalgia and neuropathy and it had me asking those questions.  I had fallen a few times due to lack of good feeling in my feet from the neuropathy and had a tremendous amount of pain from the fibromyalgia.  I even thought I would have to close the store.  That was probably the most heart breaking thought I have ever had in my life!!

But, after getting over my "I must have been crazy, pity party" and talking to a few people to get my thinking back on the right track, I am ready to forge forward.  I know the risks, the doctor told me several times, I cannot spend so much time on my feet or I will wind up back in a wheelchair.  But I am going to try to make some changes in how I do things so hopefully that either won't happen at all or it will be put off a very long time.  I am just not ready to give up!!

So the first thing I am going to change is the baking.  Instead of trying to make a lot of stuff in 3 days I am going to spread it out more over the week and bake a little each day.  I think that will help me in that I am on my feet constantly when I am baking.  Another thing I am going to change which will get me off my feet a little sooner is the pies.  I am not going to do the fancy cuts any more, that is very time consuming.  I will still decorate the pie tops, but by using cookie cutters to put cute things on the top which will go a lot faster than the fancy cuts.  Don't worry, they will still be the same great tasting pies I make.  :-)

I hope to implement some changes I have been planning for the store in the coming months.  Hopefully, these changes will make things a little easier as well.

This week I am running a big sale, 25% off most items.  I want to bring in new inventory and replace many of the items that sell well.  So this will not only give me room but the money to do it.

When you run a business by yourself you wear many different hats.  In my case, store clerk, cashier, stocker, baker, book keeper, cleaner and so much more.  That causes many long hard days.  So in the near future I hope to be able to get some help, which of course will help relieve the physical and mental strain on me.  I think the store will be ever changing and evolving until I find that winning combination that works for me.

I love the store and the people that come in and I can't imagine doing anything else.  I appreciate your business, your support and especially your patience as I continue to make changes to grow.  Thank you for shopping in Clinton and thank you for shopping at Candle Hill Farms General Store!!!

Until next time,,,,,,,,,blessings!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Grandma's Rolling Pin


Both in my personal life and here at the General Store I like to live simply.  I believe in old time recipes that are usually very simple and basic.  The foods and baked goods I sell are also very simple.  I enjoy the old way of doing things from scratch.  But when I opened the store I did something that I now find very silly.  I went out and bought one of those fancy rolling pins.  You know the ones made of marble or simulated marble?  They have a sort of rubber handle on them.  Not suppose to stick to anything.  Paid over $40.00 for the new fangled thing.  What a big mistake!!

After using it just one time the handles started to disintegrate after I washed it and little black flakes were falling from the handles!!  Needless to say it went in the trash pretty quickly.

Then I remembered I had my Grandma's rolling pin packed up in a box in the basement.  I had packed it up for safe keeping because it was old and I was afraid I would break one of the old red handles off. 

Grandma passed away in 1955 and I had never met her but many say I am very much like her.  I like to bake, cook, put up food and live a simpler life just as she did.  Grandma cooked on a wood burning cook stove which I was fortunate enough to be able to use when I was a kid.  My step-grandpa still lived in the old family homestead and he was kind enough to teach me how to cook on the old wood stove.  I suppose in a way grandpa was passing grandma's ways on to me as he thought she would have done were she still alive.

I remember marveling at all the canned foods that lined the shelves in the basement even years after she had passed.  They may not have had much money but they sure were not about to go hungry with all of grandma's hard work in the kitchen.  You have simply not lived until you have smelled a pie or bread baking in a wood stove!!  Just thinking about it brings back a lot of fond memories.

I don't have a wood burning cook stove today, (although I would love to have one) but I have wonderful memories and Grandma's rolling pin.  I'm not sure how old Grandma's rolling pin is but it's been almost 50 years since she used it last and it is still the best rolling pin in the world!

It's not the prettiest or the fanciest and it has seen its share of dings and nicks.  It even has a couple of scorch marks on it that I assume came from grandma setting it to near the fire or on the hot wood stove.  If it could talk I am sure it would have a lot of stories to tell about grandma's kitchen.  And someday it will have stories to tell about making pies at Candle Hill Farms General Store too.

I was fortunate to inherit grandma's rolling pin and recipes  and especially her love of a simpler life.  I try to bring that simpler way of life into Candle Hill Farms General Store.  Stop in, relax a while, share some stories and I just might show you Grandma's Rolling Pin!!

Until next time,,,,,,,,,,,Blessings!