Friday, December 30, 2016

Random Thoughts and ARe

Looking back over my year, it hasn't been a bad one. I'm actually ending up at the same weight I was when it started - the exact same weight. That means I lost and then gained and then lost and then gained the same six pounds over and over again throughout the year. In a way that's frustrating, but since it's a weight I'm actually fairly happy with, it's not so bad. I still want to lose that last fifteen pounds and was half-way there in August, but it's not urgent.

I would prefer my plateau to be six pounds lower, but it's really OK
where it currently is as long as I continue my swimming. I can't
afford to coast here, though. Maintaining this weight still requires
work and daily trips to the gym - actually a really good thing. 

After tomorrow's swim I will have been at the gym 289 days this year. That's something that I'm much more pleased with than the weight loss or gain. My body is much happier, and I'm feeling good! I switched to all swimming during the summer and stayed with it instead of alternating machines/swimming on opposing days. I'm not sure that was the best decision, but swimming is great core and all over body exercise, so I think I'm OK with this. I know it's less damaging to my body to swim my daily mile in the pool than to run on the elliptical and ride the bike. I'm hoping that when/if I retire I can work equipment back into my routine, just extend my time at the gym by another hour or so. We'll see - that's still out there a year or two.

One class I'm considering would be this bezel-set and wire-wrapped
cabochon pendant. I think it looks rather fun, and other classes by this
teacher also look interesting. She has a different take on this type of
project, and a fresh point of view. 

With DH's help, I found several Bead & Button Show classes of interest for this year, so I guess I'll be attending after all. I'll take a final look through the print catalog and on-line today and try to call for hotel reservations. Those have to be made early - in fact, I probably should already have tried to make them. But, until earlier this week, I was going to try to get to Vermont in July instead of Milwaukee in June. I've had too many customers asking me if I will be in Milwaukee again to blow it off. Duty calls, but duty can also be a lot of fun.

ARe books is going dark at midnight on December 31st. They stated that
they have been steadily losing money and feel there is no way to have
a viable business in the industry of books and publications these days.
Because books are my life blood, I sincerely hope they are the exception,
not the rule. However, if you ordered books from them, make sure they
have been downloaded and that everything is finalized before Saturday night. 

Several friends and authors have posted that ARe books is shutting down effective January 1st. They won't be honoring any pre-orders. This has certainly left people in the lurch, but several other publishers have stated if you can prove your book pre-purchase, they will honor that and arrange for your download at no charge when the book you pre-purchased is released. Of course, ARe's shut-down is also leaving the authors in limbo, and they are only paying out a percentage of the royalty payments they were contracted to pay in the 4th quarter - only 10 cents for every dollar they owe the authors. They are also cancelling, but not repaying, any pre-paid advertising dollars, so this is ugly and rather cruel. Most certainly NOT a good way to end the year for several authors I know/read.

It's been a fun and busy four days, with excited customers and wonderful
projects to help them choose their beads for. We've also sold some
finished products so we're happy there too. One more day of working
hard and tomorrow is a short day when we close early, do our
end of the year reports, and leave to collapse for two days of rest and

Today is the final day of our Year-End Four-Day Sale and I'm very grateful. It's been a huge success, but Chickie and I have been running our feet off! Yesterday Chickie didn't get her lunch until almost 2:00 pm and I didn't get one at all - it was crazy/busy. But I'm NOT complaining - I was and am delighted to see the customers and friends. I hope today will also be strong, allowing us to end the year with a bang instead of a whimper. Happy Friday to you!

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