Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Things Are Heating Up

Whew, things are definitely heating up around here... both figuratively and literally.  The temperature here in Maine has been rising with multiple days in the 80s in the past week.  Eliot and I finally caved and installed our AC unit in the living room last Saturday when it was over 80° out.  We still haven't gotten the one in our bedroom set up, but that will be happening in the next few days.  It's supposed to be 90° on Thursday!

In addition to the physical heat, we're feeling the heat with our businesses.  We're so thankful for all of the orders that we've received these past few weeks.  April and May have both broken sales records and we've been insanely busy.  However, it also means that we have to make everything that has been ordered... and when the 3D printers can only print so fast, it becomes stressful.  

We've had a bunch of orders for Happily Ever Hatter and Snowblade Creations that have been due at the same time.  At this point, we've gone from being ahead to being behind.  It's been an adjustment that we're still working on.  Eliot and I have never been this busy with both businesses at the same time, but we're hanging on.  We are hoping to be caught back up in the next few days.  We've got a plan of attack, and once we get a bunch of pieces printed, we'll be able to finish the backlog of orders that have been at a standstill.  Then, we'll tackle the next wave of orders on my list!

Thankfully, Eliot and I have been able to keep our minds engaged while working on all of these orders.  We usually listen to music, but this past week and half we've been able to listen to hockey in the background.  The San Jose Sharks season might be over, but the NHL Playoffs have also been heating up.  The first round of the playoffs is currently happening and a few teams have already punched their tickets to the next round!  We're looking forward to the playoffs and listening to the games while we work!

Even though Eliot and I have been busy fulfilling orders, I've also gotten out of the house a few more times.  My calendar continues to slowly fill up and it has been really encouraging.  I know that we're not totally out of the woods with the coronavirus pandemic, but things are starting to feel more like normal for us.

Monday May 17th, Eliot had a massage appointment over by the mall.  (He's been scheduling a two hour session once a month to help work out some muscle pain.)  I've been driving up to the appointments with him so I can do some shopping while he's in his session.  The past few months, I've used the time to get dinner at Chipotle, but most times, that's taken the majority of the two hours since they're so far behind with to-go orders.  This particular time, I decided to go to Joann and Michael's instead. 

I spent most of the time browsing at Joann.  They had the Mickey rainbow fabric (that my Dad bought me on Mother's Day) back in stock, as well as a few other designs from the Pride 2021 collection.  Then, I stumbled across a few fabrics that made me think of Mickey and Minnie's new outfits for Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary celebration later this year.  I almost bought them, but I decided to wait until I figure out the designs for my ear hats.. then I'll go back to get some!

I also found a cute Disney Princess sign that had Moana, Belle, Ariel, Rapunzel, Mulan and Cinderella on it.  It was in a random location, but like usual, I spotted it right away out of the corner of my eye.  I picked one out for my office and continued to wander.

After going through the jewelry aisles, I came across a center display of Disney Happy Planner items.  The display had one side with a bunch of princess items, as well as another side of Mickey and Minnie items.  I took photos of both sides and made a mental note to come back when I had more time to look through everything.  After that, I checked out with my stuff and made my way over to Michael's.

I didn't really need much at Michael's, so I browsed through some of my favorite craft sections.  I ended up finding a few glitters that were on sale.  They also reminded me of the WDW 50th colors so I thought they might make fun ears!  When I got back to my car, I called my parents to check in with them.  May 17th was the last day of extended tax season this year so I wanted to make sure they were still standing!  They were wrapping a few things up, but still hanging in!

At that point, it was almost 9:00 so I drove back to pick Eliot up from his massage.  We had already decided that we'd get Friendly's for dinner so I was ready for that!  We ended up going inside to eat instead of getting it to go.  It was so late that there weren't that many people inside, so we decided it was safe to do so.  (This was the 3rd time we'd eaten in a restaurant since the pandemic and it still felt a little weird!)  But I really enjoyed having hot food served on a plate and I even got an ice cream sundae to go!

Our other big outing was this past Sunday on the 23rd.  It was totally unplanned and last minute.  Basically, the bookcase that we've been waiting weeks for finally came back in stock at IKEA.  I got a text Saturday morning, and I kept checking the inventory throughout the day.  What started out at 54 left in stock became 21 by the end of the day.  Saturday night, Eliot and I decided that we'd drop everything (knowing we'd be putting ourselves even further behind) and drive down to IKEA on Sunday.

Sunday morning, we got up, showered and headed south.  We met Jeremy at the Burlington Mall where we picked him up and kept driving.  After arriving, we made a mad dash to the aisle it was located and realized that there were plenty of them.  Still, we bought the bookcase and a few other things we needed.  Then, Jeremy sat in the truck with the stuff while Eliot and I went back in to buy a few other things on my list.

Eliot and I returned to the truck with the rest of the stuff and some food from the snack bar.  Eliot ate his pretzel sticks while Jeremy had his hot dog and I drove around the corner to Target.  Then, I enjoyed my Swedish meatballs, potatoes and lingonberries while they went inside.  Then, we continued north- making a quick stop at Home Depot in Waltham to get a tarp when it looked like it was going to rain.

We arrived back at the mall and went inside to check our usual haunts.  First up was the Disney Store of course!  They had the Winnie the Pooh nuimos and Eliot wanted Tigger and Eeyore.  Then, I selected a Spirit Jersey for them.  Eliot caved and also got a Donald nuimo and I grabbed a rainbow key from the 2021 Rainbow Collection.  We made a quick trip over to Newbury Comic but I ended up standing outside to wait.  The store was boiling and I couldn't handle the heat with my face mask on!

After that, we made our way up to New Hampshire and Eliot and I met Jeremy at the Walmart in Amherst.  We ordered our to go meal from Friendly's down the road and then walked around Walmart while we waited for it to be ready.  Then, we drove over to pick the food up.  We decided to sit in our cars and eat outside of the Merrimack outlet stores.  By the time we were done, everything was closed, but it was a quiet place to eat.  (We really need to find a place with picnic tables somewhere around there.)

After eating, Eliot and I said goodbye to Jeremy and headed north.  We stopped at the Walmart in Epping since Eliot wanted to see if they had a few things.  I sat in the car and relaxed my legs while he was gone.  Then, we both needed a pick me up so we got Starbucks from across the street.  I hopped back on the highway and we didn't stop again until we reached the Walmart in Biddeford.  We picked up a few things that we needed for the house and made our way home where I fell asleep almost immediately!

It's been crazy busy the past few weeks, but in between all of the hustle and bustle, we've been enjoying the small things.  Eliot and I have been watching the wildlife around our house.  We've got a bunch of chipmunks that live in the flower beds in our front yard.  They like to run around and aren't scared of us until we're really close to them.  I also recently discovered that we have a family of red squirrels living in the bird house on our tree that tipped over.  They like to chase each other in the trees.  We've seen as many as five running around at one time!

Eliot and I have a few other forest friends we're fond of.  There's a momma bird in the nest on our front porch.  It's been there for years and we haven't had the heart to move it.  Obviously, it's in a safe location away from the elements.  This year, it looks like a small sparrow or chickadee living in the nest.  I haven't seen babies yet, but I hear her out there all the time.  (As I've been typing this, she's singing outside our window.)  

Then, there's "Munchie", the cute groundhog that we think lives under our storage building.  Every year I get really excited when he finally makes his reappearance after winter.  He's a constant in our yard every spring and summer.  He likes to come out and munch on dandelions in the backyard.  (Hence the name I've given him.)  I'm not sure what he'll think of our puppies, but I hope he hangs around.  This year, we have also seen him in the front yard, so I'm hopeful that he'll just move his munching habits there if we have the dogs in the back yard.  He doesn't seem too phased by human things.  The other day, Eliot opened the front door to find him standing in the center of the porch!  I don't know who was more startled... Eliot or Munchie!  (Munchie hightailed it to the woods and Eliot let out a small yell.)  But we've really enjoyed watching him!

Anyways, that's pretty much what we've been up to as of late.  I thought I'd take a break from cleaning and working on orders long enough to post an update.  

Today is Eliot's last day of work before the holiday weekend.  This rest of this week, Eliot is using his last three vacation days for this past fiscal year.  (Use them or lose them!)  I'm trying to use the rest of his work hours today to be productive, but to also get a little bit of relaxation done.  After today, we're going to juggle cleaning the house, working on house projects and working on orders until my parents, Nana and Jeremy arrive down here sometime Friday.  (3 days of productivity here we come!)  Thus, I probably won't be back here until things quiet down after the holiday weekend!  

Have a wonderful week and weekend friends!  °o°

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