December 31, 2003
Holiday 2003 Recap
Well readers of the blog...I am happy to report that Azure Seas Jewelry is solvent and we nearly made our sales objective. We were within the 80% of expected sales thanks to two huge sales made today. See the DancingRainGirl pass out in disbelief...Relief really. We will press forward into 2004. Thank you to all who prayed and to those that bought!
Today was the last day of 2003 that we will be open for business. There was a lot of partying already going on at the Cunningham, so its best that we are just closed and not frustrated by that. All will be well 1-2 when everything returns to what passes as normal there. We, Woody and I will be going to our New Years Eve traditional trek to the theatre to see LOTRIII...I cant wait!!!
Woody had a good interview today as well. Perhaps that will bear some fruit. He also was approved for computer training, paid by the govt. as he is a Vet and this is a Benefit. He needs the help as all the jobs require computers and if you cant say"Well I know this and this and this software", you cant get a job. Im in the same boat and need to take a class in Excell as trying to teach myself is for the birds... I bloody hate that programme. Just give me DOS anyday. I understand that.
We also got wind of another possible site for the store. We are also the 2nd person in line for this space as well. It is not nearly as nice and well appointed as the first one I saw and not as big. Its off the beaten path too, so its not as sure thing that we will take it. Needs a ton of work and I am not sure that the land lord will do it for me. We shall see.
Ready to turn in was exhausting. Writing up that many tickets that is...Thank God for it.
December 30, 2003
Its raining... and has been for the last 48 hours. Not too unusual in an area that gets 165+ inches of rain a year, more or less. We have been in somewhat of a drought as we have had only 89 inches of rain this year...its nearly a record dry year. The weather has been wonderful and other than being concerned for those souls that depend on catching rainwater for their drinking and other water needs, I would rather that it stay dry.
The landscape here suffers though if it doesnt rain everyday at least a little. We live in an area that is relatively new land. This side of Hawaii island has constant volcanic activity. As recently as 1960 areas within a mile of my home have had lava flow. My house is on top of such a flow, solid rock with no top soil. Grasses, plants and even trees grow out of the very porous rock. Moisture gets trapped in the smallest crevices, and provides a hospitable environment for growing things. It dries up quickly. I have seen it rain 36 inches in 36 hours and have no puddling in the yard or drive, it sinks in that fast. Flooding happens only where there is soil, or in Hilo where they have paved over much of the town, and the streams that drain off Mauna Kea bring torrents of water down to the bay. In 2000 a huge rain driven flood did a lot of damage to parts of downtown. The current location of the shop is not in a danger area. The possible new location could have some flooding at the front door area. We'd sandbag inside and outside the front door.
So I tell people that I live in the Green Desert. It really is. When Monica was here she was amazed at the water dripping off everything yet there never seems to be any bodies of water, no lakes or ponds. That's because the island is one huge water tank, a aquifer, with water seeping out under the sea and on land too.
I said that most people here in the Puna District use "Catchment" systems to gather the water used for bathing, toilet flushing, and if you have a really good system that kills the microbes you can drink it too. If your tank runs dry you can have it filled by the water man who brings his big truck and hose. There are water spigots along the main highway for people to get drinking water for free. In our subdivision we have a water system. This are was known since the old times for its water. "Puna" means "springs" as we understand them. Water flowing from the ground. The developers tapped it and the 5500 homes ( more or less) reap a real benefit. Our water is rated the best in all of the Hawaiian Islands. After growing up in Southern California, where the water is so hard,and full of chemicals it is the consistency of jello, (just kidding!) this is bliss, just having a glass of water. I drink a lot of it and prefer it to any other beverage. It makes superb coffee and tea too. My water bill in California was 50.00 a month (I did a lot of gardening), here its 15.00 a month unlimited usage. More Hawaiian bliss. The only thing that tastes as good as this water is the fruits that grow here in that water.
To have this luxury we must have rain and lots of it.
We have had the first "winter" storm (which means cold) of the season. We had thunder and lightning and its snowed on Mauna Kea
I include a link here to the observatory. The Mauna Kea Weather site has a great photo of the observatory swathed in snow. This is the only place on earth where you can snowboard in a Aloha Shirt. Looking forward to seeing the "White Mountain" perhaps tomorrow when we go into the shop.
We took the day off as we didn't want to deal with the weather and we were pretty sure wed have little or no business. Normally we are closed on Mondays anyway. Had a lazy day. Did some work getting ready for taxes and the annual inventory which we will do on the 2nd of January.
Tried my teapot today...it leaks... See the DancingRainGirl make a pouty face. Woody wasn't happy either, but we know that Margaret at Phoenix Rising will make it right. One way or another.
December 28, 2003
I thought that this mornings message by Mrs. Elliot-Gren was particularly suited in this season of go go go, do do do...We meet Elisabeth and her husband Lars as the set off on an adventure, whale watching on the waters near their home on Cape Cod..
On a beautiful cool morning last July, Lars and I left behind all our usual work and chugged out of Gloucester harbor in Massachusetts on a fifty-foot fishing boat. There were about twenty of us aboard, all of us in high spirits until the captain announced that the marina we had just left as well as the restaurant behind it and the lobster packing plant next to it had been bought the previous day by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. This lowered our spirits momentarily, but they soon shot up in anticipation of what we were about to see. It was not the cormorants that flocked on the tiny island at the mouth of the harbor, or the reef of Norman's Woe where the Hesperus was wrecked, or the lighthouse on Eastern Point.
We noted all of these things with interest (the oldest paint factory in the country did not rouse us much), but none of them were what we had paid our fifteen dollars apiece to see. Lars had called the week before to inquire about the advertisement. Did they guarantee anything? No, that was impossible, but in the twenty trips made so far that summer they had seen them every time. We decided it was well worth risking the price of tickets if there was even an outside chance of seeing them: whales. Not captive in Marineland, not doing tricks in the zoo, but real live full-sized unbelievable wild whales out in the open Atlantic Ocean, free-swimming, God-glorifying giants of the deep.
Our on-board whale authority turned out to be a man of about twenty wearing a T-shirt and cutoffs, with a baseball cap clamped over his long hair. He stood up in front of us with a chart and proceeded to show us pictures of "the whales we'll be seeing."
Well, I thought, he sounds wonderfully confident. Will we be so fortunate as to see even one spout in the distance? Sometime after half-past nine, he assured us, we might begin to spot them. We would understand the lookout's directions if we imagined the boat as the face of a clock, its bow representing twelve o'clock, its stern six. He then explained that the whales most likely to be in the area were the humpback and the finback, each having a characteristic "blow." Whales, being mammals, breathe air. They surface every few minutes, exhale a great column of vapor (the finback's is twenty feet tall, straight up into the air), inhale in a split second, and then dive.
They do their mating in the area of the Dominican Republic in the wintertime but eat little then. In the summertime they come north and do most of their eating off the coast of Massachusetts, occasionally going as far north as Newfoundland, depending on where the food animals are swarming. Instead of teeth these two species of whale have what is called baleen, a double series of triangular horny plates on each side of the palate (as many as six hundred all together) which fray out into a sort of hairy fringe to form a sieve which filters out of the ocean's soup all the nourishing tidbits such as plankton, krills, copepods, herring, sardines, and copelin.
The most remarkable of the tidbits is a creature called a diatom. These microscopic machines behave in some ways like animals (they swim and dig) and in other ways like plants. Scientists cannot agree on how to classify them, but whales love them and they provide more food than any other living thing, nourishing not only whales but a variety of infinitely smaller creatures like krills (I confess I had never once wondered what krills ate). Diatoms come in several thousand species, in marvelous shapes (pinwheels, spirals, stars, triangles, chandeliers, discs, rods, ovals), and the largest of them measures a mere millimeter. A humpback whale consumes rather large helpings of diatoms, netting several hundred billion every few hours, taking in several tons of water with each gulp and straining these vast torrents through his baleen, as much as a million cubic meters of seawater a day.
Among our fellow passengers was a very large lady wearing a knit tank top and slacks which she filled to bursting. She had a shopping bag on what there was of a lap. We had not left our moorings before she had reached into the bag and switched on a radio, then began foraging for something to eat. Most of her crackers and bananas were gone, she had downed a Pepsi or two and inquired in vain if there was food to be bought, by the time the lookout cried, "Blow at eleven o'clock!'' We rushed to the bow in time to see a distant geyser. The captain made for the spot, and soon we saw the huge glistening back and dorsal fin of a humpback roll to the surface and heard the surprisingly powerful phooh from the blowhole before it vanished.
Within a short time we had sighted other spouts, other fins, and then, to our great excitement, the monstrous tail or fluke splendidly flashed clear of the water so that we could see its markings and the clinging barnacles.
"There's your fluke, now," the captain's assistant remarked laconically.
Our knowledgeable young man had described something he called a "bubble net" which he hoped we might see. A whale goes down about thirty feet, blows a twelve-foot circle of bubbles so that the surface of the sea turns effervescent turquoise. No one is quite sure why or how this works, but it seems to have the effect of confusing the small fish and other creatures so that they are "caught" in this net. About ten seconds elapse (the gulls have time to flock to the scene screaming, the eager watchers also scream and focus their eyes and cameras). Then, suddenly and awesomely, the whale's cavernous mouth explodes from below and swallows the "net" (and sometimes, the man said, an unwary seagull or two). We had seen perhaps three or four whales surface, blow, and disappear some dozens of times before the lookout shouted "Bubble at seven o'clock!" We raced to the stern, found a great green pool not many feet away, and held our breath as the enormous square warted snout of the humpback shot out of the water, the entire pool poured through the billowing mesh of baleen, and before we could blink in disbelief, the ocean was as faceless and empty as ever. I don't think anyone said a word unless it was "Wow. " There would have been complete silence if it hadn't been for the sound of the radio in the shopping bag.
The lookout called our attention some minutes later to what seemed to be a patch of dim, pale-green light moving smoothly alongside the boat, perhaps four or five feet beneath the surface. It was the gray sidepatch of the finwhale. If he had not pointed it out, our uneducated eyes would never have noticed it, for there was not the smallest ripple, there was not the least sign to indicate that a fifty-foot giant weighing some sixty tons was accompanying us.
The fat lady, I think, missed it. She was eating another banana. Not long after we had made this trip I received another of those letters from an aspiring writer. A young woman wrote, "I often yearn to be a writer but after reading books like yours, I feel that all the important things have already been said!''
They have indeed been said, and long before I said them. If a thing is true it is not new, but the truth needs to be said again and again, freshly for each generation. I have often been introduced to some seventeenth-or eighteenth-century writer by a nineteenth-century writer. If I quote what I learn from the ancients, a twentieth-century reader is sometimes helped when he would not by himself have found Crashaw's poem or St. Francis' prayer or St. Paul's Love chapter.
What of the twenty-first century? Which of the young people I know are now laying the groundwork for being the writers or artists or, as I like to think of any who show truth in any form, the prophets for my grandchildren's grandchildren?
I wrote to the young woman:
Don't give up that yearning. During these busy years while you take care of small children and give yourself to being a godly wife and mother, lay the firm footing on which good writing must be built. Read great books if you have time to read anything at all. Get rid of the junk that comes in the mail, eschew all magazines and newspapers if your reading time is limited, and by "hearing" the really great authors, learn the sound and cadence of good English.
There are two other things required of "prophets." Observation ("What do you see?" Ezekiel and John were asked) and silence. ("The word of the Lord came to me.") Obviously we (I, at least, and most others, I suppose) are not anything like the biblical prophets. Ours is a different assignment. But we are charged with the responsibility of telling the truth, and I don't see how this can possibly be done without opening our eyes to see and our ears to hear. There must, there simply must, be time and space allowed for silence and for solitude if what we see and hear is to be "processed."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of Wind, Sand, and Stars, said in a conversation with Anne Morrow Lindbergh, "The great of the earth are those who leave silence and solitude around themselves, their work and their life, and let it ripen of its own accord."
If any of the crowd we saw fishing from a breakwater as our boat entered Gloucester harbor again are among the "great of the earth," it will be against terrible odds. They, like the lady on board, were also listening to a shrieking radio.
ln the cry of gulls, in the blow of a whale, in the very stillness of an early morning, it seems to me, we are more likely to hear the Lord's quiet word.
Speak, Lord, in the stillness,
While I wait on Thee.
Hushed my heart to listen
CopyrightÂ© , by Elisabeth Elliot Gren
all rights reserved.
duplicate post deleated...something is up with blogger...
December 26, 2003
Its Boxing Day or was for most of my penpals. I had a chance to go and walk around Hilo. People were shopping picking up post holiday deals. Ets'ko
, and Phoenix Rising
were selling luxurious ornaments for the tree at 50% off. My kitties would have a field day with those especially the tassled ones!!
I ventured forth to gain two prizes, one a pair of teacups so Woody and I could have tea using his teapot that he gave me, and of course... tea. I went first to Phoenix Rising
. This is where Woody bought the lovely pot. I told Margaret, the proprietress, that she had done my husband a great favor and that this was one of the best gifts he'd ever given me. She thanked me then told me that the dear little thing doesn't come with cups and she didn't have anything that would resemble it. But Ets'ko, next door, has open stock porcelain and she was sure that I would find what I needed there. So I went and Margaret was right, there they were. Perfect, like they were made for the pot, and I got a small round stand for the pot. $23.00 later I was away.
What makes this exchange so remarkable is that at one time Margaret was the owner of Ets'ko.
. Hilo's premiere gift shop. This was her baby. Born out of a desire to do something with her life and be a success...She worked hard and here it is...A gorgeous shop full of beautiful oriental things and a lovely coffee bar.
Then one day her dream ended. Her husband filed for divorce and took Ets'ko from her. I don't know the details but it is touted as one of Hilo's most acrimonious divorces ever. She wanted to open another store, and had a site selected, but at the last minute, her ex got the landlord to pull the plug on her lease... a really dirty trick, considering how hard it is to rent anything in Hilo.
So she contacted her old land lord, who had a space next door
to Ets'ko. So she leased the space and opened a brilliant new store called Phoenix Rising
. I love it, having had a bitter divorce myself. She is so confident that she will do well that she ran a ad asking her old customers to continue to support her old business, while she builds up her new store... Ets'ko is up for sale. Who will buy it now?...Now... that the brains, heart, and soul of the place is alive and well next door.
I must have the fortitude that Margaret has to succeed here. It's a must. I cannot give up, lay down and die. I too, must be like a phoenix rising...rising above the dead things of the past and look towards a new future...
12-29-03- I found the website where you can get your own dear little tea pot. The firm is called Te' Teas
Looks like there is something for every one here.
December 25, 2003
" Joy to the World"
My favorite carol. In fact, if I have a funeral or someone is around to that wants to do that, I want this played. I love it so.
Joy to the World
[Psalm 98, Isaac Watts and Lowell Mason, 1839]
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.
Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
while fields and floods,
rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessing flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love
I love it because of the message that it brings, the hope that it shares and...because in the guise of a cultural seasonal song the whole world gives honor to my Jesus. I realized this phenomena was occurring about 10 years ago. I was a starry eyed novice worship leader... really in touch with words, music ect and I was walking alone in the crowded Cerritos Mall. I heard the words and the music to "Joy to the World"and I stopped and just listened. People were singing or humming the familiar tune as the walked by me. The room was atrium like and the shafts of light were pouring in on me and I was enveloped with the thought that the world was singing about Jesus. Jesus as King, Jesus as Lord, Jesus as Ruler of the earth...Amazing. The Bible says that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus in Lord of All. All Christmas is, is a rehearsal for this great event. I shared this from the platform that Christmas Eve. ( That was also the fateful night that Woody and I went on our first date.)
Our Christmas was subdued. I baked a succulent turkey. We ate treats from Big Island Candy. John let me open my gift, a lovely tiny teapot from China, made of a black clay. Beautiful, graceful in a silk lined and covered box. I shall buy tea tomorrow and we shall have tea in it.
I don't know how much business we shall do in the next few days that finish out this month. I hope to have a few days off next week we will be closed New Years Eve...and New Years Day. I may take the days after off to prepare for the tax season. I have a load of work to do to get ready for that.
Thank Jesus for coming to the poor earth. You have changed my life and given me hope to carry on. Help me to struggle forward.
December 24, 2003
"Twas the day before Christmas..."
and all through the store, were the wee sounds of weeping... cause hope was no more..." No more hope. I've run out now. I waited for Fall, Cruise ships, tourists, and now Christmas. Not a thing helped. Not advertising, not good will, not repeat business. Its horrrible and I fear that I have made the biggest mistake of my life, other than perhaps a personal decision regarding a certain long term relationship...Hello! Anyway its really hard to sit here and realize that we only had a average month and not really even that.
Not that people arent shopping. Woody saw people on the Bayfront going about their Christmas shopping business and knew in his heart that this was how we should be and we are not. I envy and resent them, the other merchants... But I shouldnt, its not right. God knew what I needed and He provided what He will... I guess this is what I needed. I cant ask for more.
It was 2 pm before we had any business and the guys didnt buy. so its nothing and I am pretty frustrated.
I shut off Aloha Joe... too happy...I am listening to KUSC, they are not playing Christmas Music, Im not in the mood.
I feel really bad as I have yelled at Woody three times and he went out and got me a Christmas gift. I dont have a thing for him other than the cookies from Big Island Candies... Well we have milk I guess that is enough.
Will write more at home.
PS....after 5 pm two men came in after hearing our commercial on the radio. Both were very happy that we were open and between them they spent 1000.00. We all were so happy. I wished that I had a bottle of champaigne to share...
I am so glad that we stayed and kept the store open. We cant give up.. We just cant.
December 23, 2003
Its Christmas Time in the City (Hilo town that is)....
Its Christmastime in this tiny city. You can seen the Mall and Walmart's parking lots are jammed. We had a rush of shoppers yesterday but only one sale today, and no, nothing major. This is also true everywhere..... except one place...Big Island Candies
....This is heaven.... all of you chocolate fans out there...I indulge myself once in a while and this time of year I go all out. Its the cookies. Hand dipped in various chocolates, they melt in your mouth and are some of the best cookies I have ever tasted. Mind you I am somewhat of a cookie expert, having tried bakeries all over the world. Rich, flavorful, crisp enough to "snap" when you break or bite them. Tender enough to as I said melt in your mouth. The packaging is lovely and the place is the most tastefully decorated retail store in Hilo. I envy them that, and should I move I want to be like that in my store. I went by there this morning while Woody watched the shop and spent a small fortune but its my gift to me. I walked in along with a flood of Japanese tourists and a large group from the RCCL Legend of the Seas, which is in port today. I was given a sample of the"cookie and candy of the day" and offered coffee. It was all very festive and a "ka-ching-ing" money making gold mine. I watched the ladies dipping cookies into the chocolate and the cookies baking and packing. Only Krispy Kreme has this down better. You want a cookie really bad after seeing this. They run about $15.00 a lb. for the dipped. I buy the bulk paper packed ones. You can get them in individually plastic wrappers, but that's quite a bit more and while its nice for parties(they stay fresh and crisp this way) Im not going to any parties so its fine.
I feel more alone this year than ever. First I miss the carols and the singing. I miss the preparations for a musical and for worship more and more the further I am away from it. I also miss being at the Credit Union. Being around Believers and friends. Woody is not given to celebration. Jeff when I was married to him insisted on all the trimmings. I think a throwback to his English/German roots. No one knows how to "do" Christmas like those countries...
I feel lost. More so than normally. I feel like I always did to a degree. I found that I wasn't included usually in the festivity once the work at church was over. I was single and the marrieds didn't really want me around. I guess that they feared I'd snatch their husbands or something. Now we just plain dont know anyone.
I have come to realize that we are like those pioneers out on the Great Plains 100 plus years ago. Little contact with their neighbors, being so spread out. No help certainly...You are there to go it alone, and that is rough.
Had a customer in. He was a raging Liberal. Was trying to tell us how Walmart was ruining the world. Well, he is right about Walmart, it is a machine and does degrade small towns' shopping districts with poorly made good's and really cheap prices you cant compete with as a small store owner. He bought from me a nice thing, bit of glass pendant and a nice chain. We also had a man yesterday come to us to buy, his wife saw Tahitian Pearls at Walmart, but he knew they were no good and so came to us and was very happy to spend his money with us.
We need more folks like that here.
Listening to Hawaiiana Christmas music on Aloha Joe. Especially love Keola Beamer, and I heard a great version of "We Three Kings", no announcing, but the group sounds like the Makaha Sons, and Brother Iz, singing the lead tenor line. Harmony so close, the back of your neck tingles, or "as deh sey here in da islands, " yo get da chicken skin..." " It is that for sure. Its one of my favorite carols. Such beautiful words and images...especially this...
King forever, ceasing never
Allelujah, Lord Most High...
more perhaps later...
later... I thought that I would post the whole carol
We Three Kings of Orient Are
[John H. Hopkins, Jr., 1857]
We three kings of Orient are
bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night,
star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect Light.
Born a king on Bethlehem's plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
over us all to reign. Chorus
Frankincense to offer have I.
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising all men raising,
worship Him, God on high. Chorus
Myrrh is mine: Its bitter perfume
breaths a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,
sealed in the stone-cold tomb. Chorus
Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice.
Sounds through the earth and skies. Chorus
December 21, 2003
"One Cannot Unscrew the Inscrutible"
This is a quote of the late Addison Leitch, a theologian and the second husband of the noted Christian Author and speaker Elisabeth Elliot Gren
. Professor Leitch died of cancer not long after his marraige to Elisabeth. Understand, those of you that dont know, that this lady had waited long to marry this man and was already a widow. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, died with four of his missionary comrades in the jungles of Equador in 1953 while trying to reach them. It was international news two years later when she took their young daughter and the sister of another on of those men and lived with these people for three years. She has a courage and inner strength that I admire and wish that I posessed.
I speak of Mrs. Gren because she has been a great source of hope and encouragement to me personally over the years. I received a newsletter from her ministry, really from her and her husband, every other month and reading it was a source of refreshment to me. Well all good things must come to an end and the newsletter published last moth that i just received yesterday will be the last. I cried...
In this letter she spoke of how often in this life we try to do and be what God wants us to be and yet when you look at it all, all the work, all the hope, all the prayers, it seems like a big waste..."God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform..." You consider those words when you think of all the "wasted"energy...Nothing is wasted in God's Economy.
Our lives these days fall into that "waste" catagory right now. The money that we spent getting to Hawaii. ( 1$ per pound of stuff. The container weighed 12500 lbs... we have sold or given away at least 1/3 of that stuff we thought that we "needed" ) John bought Big Red for 5000.00 Stupid for a truck with 125K miles on it. Paid 1000.00 to ship it here. Sold it this week for 1500.00...waste...Now we wonder should we go back to California...to what??
The store....75K...yet I do have the inventory and maybe I can get something out of this stuff. But how do I recover my lost dreams? I have had little of sucess in this life. I have fought and struggled for everything I have. I dont want to give up.
My youth....Seven years in ministry, to a church that said "dont let the door hit you in the butt..." because they wanted a fresh start and wanted all of the staff except a few friends to go....Long story, but thats sort of the way it was....Then marraige to Woody. I wanted to have a family and now I am married to a guy that wont lay a hand on me, and hardly has since we were married. Now that is beyond me and I cry for it. I feel like I am not wanted by anyone for anything, anymore and it hurts.
" One cannot unscrew the Inscrutible"... You cant figure out God and you should not try...Trusting is the hardest thing. Knowing in you r heart that what God has for you is the best even when your world is falling apart.
Elisabeth...I know that you have been through it, and I salute you. At 77, you are a living Saint, a hero of the faith. and I will miss your words of wisdom...
December 20, 2003
Silver Bells... or Promises, promises
Christmas Bells, Wedding Bells....Did you know that 25% of all marraige proposals are made during the holidays? I had one this morning in the store. A lady that was in several months ago looking for a sort of "promise" ring was back today with "Mr. Promise Me" and a daughter, hers or his either could have been. It was quite evident that they were happy together. They were in for the little ring. He flat said "no" to the little silver thing and went straight for the engagement ring section. Selected a classic solitaire with a small but very pretty diamond. $359.00 later and a photo I took, they were off with promises of future business, that of buying their wedding bands from us. Lord...I wish I could believe it.
People promise that all the time. Here is an astonishing fact. Of ten people that buy at Azure Seas, only one returns again for another peice. Why? They get a great deal, beautiful packaging, plenty of Aloha, followup, a newsletter, coupons, but nothing more. I dont know what to do...I basically am striving to get new customers all the time. That is the most expensive way to do business. It costs far less usually to maintain a customer base than to entice new buyers to enter the store. Now admittedly we have had some visitor business. Im not counting those sales in my one in ten. Its horrible.
Abosolutly no one faults my marketing. The newsletter and the radio ads are beautiful and do encourage business, but they dont drive
business and while they do encourage repeats I get very few in the end. There isnt an answer for me anywhere.
People take our cards " We will be by to see your shop" or "We'll be back..." " Glad I saw that will come back to buy it" nothing. A lady just came and asked about Tahitian pearl earrings wanting a price. Will she come back? She said monday she'd come. I wont be holding my breath. I couldnt get her to buy now.
Our closing ratios were better before, now they stink. I think that its burnout and battle fatigue. We are weary. Weary of the struggle with the tenants, Weary of the setting up and tearing down of the store and the setting up and knocking down of each other....Weary of the fears of failure and the pain of each day looking in the mirror and wondering what went wrong. Why are we struggling, what should we have done differently. If I had all the money in the world to put into this what would I do???
remember back when I said that I needed 40% of a years sales this month. thats 11,000.00. Im at 3900.00. Thats pathetic....
On another "cheery"note... my Mom had a phone put into her room. I have been trying to call her for two weeks and finally I called the desk and asked about her and they said that she is alright and that she didnt "need" phone calls...What??? so I asked that a message go to her to call me and she did. She said that her phone has been ot of order..." the line gets pulled out of the jack" Someone is doing this deliberatly. Mom doesnt believe this but I do. So she was going to have David, my nephew look at it today and fix it. I told her to have him tape it in there and that if it comes out that means that someone has pulled it out deliberately. Mom has had three falls and is confined to bed or her wheelchair. No more talk about her running around on her scooter alone. Its as the lady at the Manor Apartment said. Mom is a danger to herself and needs the care. So that was not discussed.
I need to go to the mainland to see her soon. Promises Promises
8:30 pm Update....The guy that hired Woody under the table had cold feet, so he called and took the job offer off the table. Seems that the other guys and Mr. Salvage Yard had concerns about Woody's weight but were too wimpy to say thanks but no thanks yesterday. On top of this during the initial process they asked for all of these references made it sound like this was a big time job and that it was such a big deal.. the fact was that the guy had his 12 year old grandson doing it for 2 bucks an hour. What???So it was a big let down yesterday and now this is worse. I feel really bad for Woody as I am no light weight either. The situation was a no win and it couldnt come at a worse time.
Promises Promises...bah humbug
December 19, 2003
I type this toungue in cheek, as we look tword the future scared half to death. We are not sure what to do yet we know that God is wathching over us and we need to have faith and trust in Him. The Bible doesnt say anything about this being easy...
Sales are dismal. Frankly I dont know what to do. Im selling Roman Glass one piece a day. Today I had one customer. He did buy and I am grateful not just for the sale but for his encouragement that it took five years for he and his wife to get settled in Hawaii and there were some scary moments...scary years of little food and no money. I feel that way and I wonder how it will all work out. He said it does.
Woody's last day at Fairfield is tonight. It was a sad thing. The ladies he worked with are bitter as they really needed this job... Not that Woody doesnt need it but it paid so little and we havent reaped the benefits of the insurance or anything.Woody had an interview at a local salvage yard, and they are hiring him under the table at 10.00 per hour, 19 hours a week. I dont know what happens if he gets hurt out there, I think that could be a problem, but we are needing that money so we are going for it. The hours are flexible so Woody will be looking for a real job still.
Woody sold our Pickup Truck, Big Red. We werent driving it so the tags and the insurance were an extra expense. The 1500.00 went to paying off the car. It was just a bit short. Im sure that we can make it up. I just hate to see our assets sold off one day we will need something we sell.
Woody needed that job to be full time. I feel really bad for him and its so horrid that he cant seem to get anything and its all under the table so no benefits...
I am looking myself. If I can get something part time and Woody could help me with the store that would be great. We shall see.
December 18, 2003
God Gave Us Breath...
I received this Christmas Card from my pen pal Yonnie, and it sums up how I feel and why I have the handle "Dancing Rain Girl" or on Neopets " ImDancingInTheRain"...not to mention the fact that one dances in the rain here in Hilo nearly every day!
God gives us breath
that we may sing.
God gives us all the earth
to plant faithful gardens.
God gives us the promise of His Second Comming
that we may dance
even in the rain.....
I love this.
December 16, 2003
Where Have I Been???
Yeah... I have been a bum and not been writing but I have been Soooooo busy that its hard to stop thinking at night. I also have to update the blog on stuff that has happened in the news.
First my friend Monica was here and it was fantastic and all went well. We went to see the Volcano
one day then to Honomu
then to Hawi
(pronounced Ha Vee)It was all very fun. It rained quite a bit but Monica didn't mind in fact she said that she was sort of looking forward to being here and having it rain torrential, she wasn't disappointed on that score...The volcano was taking a holiday and so no lava flows to see. Just as well, the girl walked my legs off!!!I loved every minute of it.
After we spent a couple of days doing the East side of the island we went to the west side and stayed at the Royal Kona Resort
. This is the place where the timeshare people that Woody works for houses guests and has a huge recruiting station. It was lovely. We had a nice room that had a partial ocean view and I was able to lay by the pool and feel ocean spray as the high waves rolled up Monica and I had a wonderful dinner there and a leisurely breakfast, while watching the waves. She had accidentally come in on a United flight to the Kona Airport, so we needed to get her back there and she didn't fly out till 4:30 so we spent the whole day relaxing.
Our first full day we were there (to back track) we went to the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Park
. This "City of Refuge" is a living link to the pre Christian Hawaii. There are areas where traditional crafts like canoe building and lauhala weaving are done. Also there is a burial temple there where the "i'wi" or remains of "Ali'i" Hawaiian nobility are interred. Its a fascinating place. I don't know that Monica was as impressed with it as we are. It amazes me as the terms of refuge are so similar to the Biblical "Cities of Refuge" found in the Old Testament...I am a firm believer that the Proto Polynesians ' ancestors came from the Middle East. There is so much evidence to support that. I really enjoy going there to see it.
Prior to going to Pu'uhonua O Honuanua, We stopped at the Coffee Shack restaurant.
Woody and I love this place, so I just had to take Monica to see the stunning views of Kealakekua Bay. You can click on the link above, and look for the link that shows that photo. Its one of the most stunning views on the Big Island.
Once Monica had flown home (sniff) then I had to get to work on the store in ernest. Well to be honest with you nothing much has happened. In fact my holiday sales have been lousy. I barely made the quota for my November sales and December is only at "normal" No Big tide of shoppers here. Its crushing. I feel very defeated yet I know that there must be a way to improve the situation. Our ads are out and that may help us out.
I am also looking to move as soon as I can. I may have a space to move to, I am waiting to see if I can have the space. Its about a block away and HUGE! Nearly 1000 sq ft. with a kitchenette and bathroom two parking spaces and a inner room that could be used as a "safe" room or vault. I could do all sorts of things with the added space, like add a bench Jeweler eventually. So we shall see how things go. I called the owner, a nice older gent in Honolulu, who said that I would be perfect but another person spoke first and if they don't want it, he would be happy to rent to me. So we shall see how the thing turns out. I must keep a sharp eye here.
The situation here at the "Cunningham Resort for Lowlife" has had many days of hair pulling frustration. But I think that the Lez girls have moved giving us all a reason to thank the Good Lord for His intervention, and we have a couple in the back unit above us that really care about the noise and what not. So we may have good neighbors above. But as always there is a new wrinkle.
Just behind us is a small storage room. A Hare Krishna man has it and he stores his supplies that he sells at the Farmers Market in there. Recently I have seen him there with a ton of incense and candles and smelly stuff like that. Well, now we can smell it through the walls. Its gross. So one more reason to get out of here. I run the air at full blast all the time to keep the stench under control. Now, we were promised that we could have that room. I don't know that we will get it. Even if we do it will have to painted to get the stink out. Smells like a mortuary, embalming fluids Yuck!!!
I have not spoke to my Mother in nearly two weeks. The last time that I talked to her she was not too happy about the chain of events that have taken place since she moved into Bel Tooren
. I knew that it would be a big change for her. I had some idea that Mom was not aware that her life wouldn't be the same. I knew that it was going to be a drastic change. Its a hospital, and they run it like a military camp. Everything is regimented. She feels that she is a prisoner there and that she cannot go when or where she wants and doesn't understand why. She has her scooter so she need not try to walk and so wont fall off. Well, I know that she has taken falls off it and that she was examined by the staff doctor and that likely he decided that she should always have an escort when she wanders about. To get an escort from the home is 22.00 per hour. People from the church have been very helpful but I know that after a while that will get tiresome so who knows? I am not in much of a position to do much about it. I have been trying to call her and there is no answer on he phone. I am concerned but not sure what is wrong with the phone. Will send a fax or call the home in the am if I don't hear from her.
Woody just came back. He is getting laid off at Fairfield. They want him to go to the Kona Side for commission only. It sucks. He would have to pay 100.00 a day for lodging/food and no guarantee that things would go very well. Frankly, because he has unemployment, he'd need to make more than his earnings for it to be worth while. Also i think that things are going to break here for him job wise here. He's had a lot more opportunities than he's had in a while. So no need to go to Kona unless he can rent a apartment there cheap with a friend even of it was a female friend.
So soon it will be the worst or the best. I don't know what the future holds I can only pray that things work out. I believe that they will and that God will watch out for us. He has before and I know that he will now.
News flash. The Lawyers for Brayden Mohica Cummings, the non Hawaiian boy that was accepted at Kamehameha School on Oahu, then told that he wasn't Hawaiian enough settled with the school. Cummings will get to stay in the school until he graduates or some how fails to make the grade. The news from the court was that Cummings is adopted and the Mother feels that he should get all of the preferences that her natural born kids get. True but since the Kam school uses race as a deciding factor on who get in, he has no Hawaiian blood so he's not Hawaiian...Get it. Well since this isn't going to go to trial we wont ever know how the law looks at this. I think that it would have been interesting.