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2002-07-05 - 11:39 p.m.
Now Gordon wants to know what I do all day long! (So many questions, Gordon!) And I'm getting the idea he thinks I just lie around all day drinking champagne and eating caviar. (I only do that occasionally!) Actually, he's worrying that if he wins the lottery, he won't know what to do with his time. (see his post Early Retirement) Well, Gordon, being self employed is not the same as winning the lottery. I just try to live that way....even when I can't afford it! (And for every fabulous brunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel....there were dozens of nights spent shivering in a huge building in Astoria, with frozen pipes and no heat!) But, if you do win the me, I'm sure you'll find lots of things to do.....and, if you get really bored, you can always email me....and I'll help you out!

Until then....just keep your mouse glued right here!! (and little by little, you'll see what I do everyday!)

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2002-07-04 - 11:13 p.m.
Happy Fourth of July from Astoria, Oregon!!

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2002-07-04 - 10:52 a.m.
In the comments to yesterday's post, Gordon asks: "Just curious, but how do you manage to only open 'irregularly'?"

This must be the question I get asked the most! Basically, some years back I had another business that I sold....and through some wise/lucky investments since then, I no longer need to rely totally on the income from the shop to stay afloat. Also, since I now live 1100 miles away from the's hard to be there everyday!

But, even back in the day when I was barely making it, and had to rely on the income from the shop....I tended not to have regular hours. I felt that one of the perks of being self employed was to be able to set your own hours. And it never seemed to hurt business any......people were just that much more anxious to come in and buy something when I finally did open!

I know....your next question is "why do I even bother opening at all?" Well, I still have a shop full of stuff to sell...and I still like many aspects of the antique business (just not the unruly customers!).....and it's always nice to make a little extra money once in a while! So for now....whenever I manage to get up to Oregon, I do open the shop irregularly.

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2002-07-03 - 10:53 p.m.
Running an antique store is a lot like doing a study in human nature. All kinds of crazy people seem to find their way into my shop. Today in particular, I had a sour bunch of customers....cranky people, with no sense of humor. (Unlike yesterday, when I had a fabulous bunch....but more on that later.) I've never had regular hours at the shop (especially now, when I don't even live here anymore...and if you saw some of the people I have to deal with, you wouldn't be here regularly, either!) But I get these people who act like it's a matter of life and death to shop at my they are just. going. to. die. if I'm not open. And they get sooo angry! They rant at me about how many times they've driven by....but can't find me open. They question me at length, in an angry tone of voice, about why I can't be open in a regular fashion.

Now listen, people, this is an antique store.....this is not mandatory shopping....this is supposed to be fun shopping. I am not the only antique store in town. If I am closed, you are not going to are going to shop someplace else! Don't take life so seriously!

OK, so I always get those people. Then there are the other crazies. Today it was a rather large older man, who was smoking a pipe.....he walked up to the counter and asked me rather pointedly if I was wearing a wig! Of course, I was not. But is it ever appropriate to ask someone if they're wearing a wig??? I don't think so! Really, either way, if you're wearing one or not....and someone asks, "are you wearing a wig?" can't be meant as a compliment. ( To compoud the situation, I had just had my hair cut ...quite short...and was not quite happy with this really didn't help!)

But then, sometimes, on some rare occasions, you get really great, fun people (rare, did I say rare?) Yesterday....I had one particularly fabulous person. She is the person I want to be when I grow up (OK...I'm already grown up....but she is the person we should all strive to be.) But how can I describe her so that you can get the full gist of her?! I would guess that she was a woman in her late 50's.....maybe older, maybe younger. But in a passing glance, you would have thought early 30's or younger. This was not one of those women who is trying too hard to be young....she simply just had youth in her bones! She had great style, without being pretentious. She had a sense of humor....and loved discovering all the quirky things in the shop. She seemed like she could find fun anywhere she goes. Basically, she seemed ageless.....youthfull.

This is one of the things I think about alot: you can find two people who are exactly the same age....both of them in their 60's, say. One of them might seem positively elderly.....and the other might be an active member of The Rolling Stones! get the to get old without getting old.....or, more accurately, how to get older without becoming elderly! Clearly, the woman in my shop yesterday had it! And I want to be like her!!!

Anyway, if any of you out there are thinking of starting up an antique store....just say no! For every one fabulous person that comes through the door....there are a thousand bitter, cranky, crazy, no sense of humor, sometimes elderly (in the worse sense of the word), crazy (oh, I already said that) people who come through the door.....that don't buy anything!!!!!

OK....that's my post for tonight! Stay youthfull.....see you tomorrow!

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2002-07-02 - 9:51 p.m.

Today was an oddly interesting day. First, I went out to run some errands, and as I was heading back...I was followed through town by a woman in a big truck. As I pulled in to a parking space beside my building, she pulled up beside me...jumped out of her truck...and ran up to me, frantically declaring how she had been waiting weeks for me to open the shop. She was beside herself with excitement!

Since I had been thinking of opening the shop anyway, I decided to let her in....and she promptly made a huge purchase!! Just by opening the door to her, I made as much as I would expect to make in a whole day of being open! So, of course, this was turning out to be a very good day.

And, as if that wasn't enough.....a few minutes later, my handyman/tenant (who I haven't seen in two years!) comes walking in....I couldn't believe it! And, he's going to be in town long enough to begin work on some of the much needed repairs to the building.Yay!

After that,....the day kind of went down hill....because when I say "much needed repairs"....that really means "major renovation".....or, more acurate, "major reconstruction"! We determined that the whole back end of the building needs to be ripped out, because of rot....and a whole new wall needs to be constructed. And this is just Priority #1. (Don't even get me started on Priority #2,3, and 4!!!)

The impact of that is.... my whole kitchen, living room, and bathroom area....the "living space" in the building, will have to be completely rearranged, dismantled, moved, destroyed....etc. Perhaps I am over stating this (perhaps not!). But in the end, it's either that or wait for the roof to collapse on the back quarter of the building! So I guess we'll go ahead with the plan, then. I had an inkling that this might be the case....from the moment I bought the building....eleven years ago! Ah well.....

Goodnight for now! Tomorrow's work is all cut out for me!

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