Thursday, April 03, 2008

"Dance of the little white lights"

Send a little white light, or say a prayer for Kathi Goertzen today. She's back in the hospital this morning for surgery on her brain tumor - for the third time. Let's hope it's a speedy recovery and that's it's finally over for her.

May 12 the postage goes up again. A first-class stamp will be 42 cents, and shipping rates are changing too. Dang. The summer mailing is happening at the end of this month. I won't increase rates for anything right now, but I'll have to see how much my shipping rates are affected during the summer. I adjusted all my shipping rates last year, with the hope that it would cover another increase this year. But it's always an ongoing struggle - to keep my costs as low as I can while not losing my entire profit margin either.

I'd been a little lazy the last year or so with costing out my "basic" stuff. I try to do it a least once a year (or if there is some sort of sky-rocketing hike) - just to make sure that I'm charging enough for a bar of soap to cover all the costs. Now that I've added all the groovy new oils to my recipe, the luscious shea butter and hemp oil, I needed to make sure that the $4.00 per bar is not going to make me broke. Luckily, it still works out. The olive oil has gotten a tad cheaper lately, and the other ingredients have stayed almost the same in the last few years, amazingly. Everything else of course has gone up. But not like gas and food prices, which are insane.

I know it's not just me that is starting to re-think everything and change my basic lifestyle. Sometimes I feel like a shut-in, because I'm choosing not to drive or go places I would otherwise not even think twice about. But if the choice is 25 miles to a swanky nursery or cool shop, I'll choose no. Instead I'll wait until I have to be in that vicinity for something else, or bunch up a whole bunch of errands in some area and carefully plan a route that hits everything without making extra trips. I'm sad that the joy of the spontaneous road trip are gone.

And the grocery store is getting spendy too. Lots of little treats are just not happening. I suppose it's healthy to have more rice and bean dinners. This time of year - late March to April is my scariest time. The surplus I had after the holidays has all gone to supplies, taxes, show fees, bill paying. More going out than coming in. Mail order is smaller now that the spring newsletter is a couple months old and the summer announcements don't happen until May. The shows don't start until May either - just a couple of small things towards the end of April. So it's penny pinching time for me.

Ah, that's the violins I hear playing. My cue to stop rambling. No pity parties allowed. It's a super sunny, gorgeous day today. And tomorrow it's over, back to clouds and rain. So I'm off to do some work away from the computer screen, where I can look out the window, and have lunch on the patio.