Friday, July 25, 2008

Ode to Craig's List

I won't be available next week due to some prior commitments, so I wanted to check in ahead of time because let's face it....I know you've been waiting with baited breath for the useless information I have to share.

Craig's List...what shall I say about Craig's List. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes I just don't know. My husband is continually placing ads on Craig's List for printing. He's a printer by trade and has had great success with the internet. Anyway, lately somebody keeps flagging his ads to be removed. There's nothing questionable, there's nothing objectionable...that is except for The Great Craig's List Bandit. The Bandit also hit me. Wait til you hear what for...I advertised a stuffed bunny rabbit on the site and I got dinged by the Bandit. This person obviously is a bandit because he (or she, as the case may be) steals the right for us to advertise on Craig's List.

Now here's one we found on "The Best of Craig's List". There is a man who advertised on Craig's List to take care of all the abandoned pets who are left when all the Christians are raptured at the Second Coming of Christ. He said that since he was an aetheist, he would be left here and would gladly take care of all of our poor pets who are "left behind" for a mere $50 deposit per pet. And the goofy thing is, IT WAS A LEGITIMATE AD. Now my question is twofold: if the guy is indeed an aetheist how is he SO SURE there WILL be a rapture? and secondly, where was the Craig's List Bandit when we needed him?!?!?!?!?

Until next time,

Monday, July 21, 2008

The County Fair

El Paso County Fair in Calhan, Colorado is in the middle of NOWHERE. But it is so much fun. I love the livestock and the exhibitions. I love to watch the people. But it was so hot on Saturday when we were there. I was searching everywhere for something to drink. I spotted a smoothie concession. I ordered my favorite, pina colada. My mouth was watering. The concessioneer (is that a word) handed me the drink, I took one drink and voila! SOAP! The drink tasted like soap! My husband tasted the drink and he said, "soap". We took it back to the concession and the man said, "taste like soap? I thought so, too.". He took it bad, no problem, and gave me my favorite: DIET PEPSI!!! I was in heaven. I held on to that drink as if it were the last drink I'd ever have! Out there on the prairie? It could have been. I mean, it is desolate out there! No trees. Just prairie, wind, cows and rodeo!

Now on the the most important thing of all: my afghan. Did I place? Did the judges hate me or love me? Where was that exhibition hall? My hubby and I searched and searched for Swink Exhibition Hall. That was where the creative arts entries were judged. We were hungry and all the smells were getting to us. Then we walked by the livestock and lost our stomachs.

I was nervous because I was afraid Old Lady (please read previous entry) was the judge for my afghan. We found the hall, entered and wandered around and found the knitted afghans. I PLACED! I WAS SO EXCITED! There were lots of really good ones so, I was already nervous because I'd never entered anything before. Then I got the gurgling tummy kind of nervous when Old Lady was so "excited" to meet me and my hubby the previous Friday (NOT!). I looked down with one eye open and TA! DA!....there was a ribbon on my afghan. Third place, but still, it was a ribbon! I was so excited. But guess who the judge was. You guessed it! OLD LADY! She didn't like the yarn I chose. Oh, well. "Ding! I don't like red yarn! DING! I don't like the texture! Even she can't get me down. I was THRILLED.

When I get the afghan back I'll post a picture of it.

Take a look at the new items on Ladies, I put "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman" by Elizabeth Buchan on the site today. Buy it, read it. It's a hoot!

Until then,

Friday, July 18, 2008

El Paso County Fair 2008

I got up this morning, took a shower, got dressed, fed the cats and the bird. Today is the day to take all entries to the county fair in Calhan, Colorado. So I pulled out my daytimer (yes, I still use one of phone is just too complicated to put all that info into) and discovered I had 1 hour and 15 minutes to go 20 miles to enter my afghan into the fair. For some reason, I thought the deadline was 5 p.m. It's tough getting old...memory is the first to go. So my husband did a Mapquest of the location and we hopped into the car and drove to Calhan.

When we arrived, we were greeted by two very nice women who pointed me in the right direction. I thought to myself that it was fairly simple just checking in. They were pleasant enough. I received my labels for the afghan along with a safety pin to attach it with and proceeded to the knitted items area. Now, this is my first entry EVER so I had no idea what to expect. But everyone appeared to be having a sort of good time so I thought this would be a breeze.

Ok..first of all, never underestimate the power of a little old woman in a position of power. I guess the better way to say that is this: never underestimate the power of a little OLD woman in the position of ASSUMED power! My husband and I were looking to see where the afghans were to be placed for judging and this tiny, little, hunched-over, gray-haired lady comes over and gives me a look that basically said, "what the hell do YOU want"? She was twirling around one of her fingers a key on one of those plastic wrist chains. I should have known...keys are power! We gave her the label so she could see where the afghan should be placed and in the meantime my husband took a look around the table. Everything was displayed numerically. He said, "oh, here's where it goes!" and she stood up (well, she stood up all hunched over), shook her finger in his face and said in her most imposed upon voice, "Excuse me!!!!!" (you know that voice, it's the one your mother used when she called you using your first and middle name) and pushed right in front of him. (When I was a child, we had to go to the end of the line if we cut.) I looked at my hubby and said, "don't make any waves, please. These people might be judging my wares later and I don't want a problem."

There was another lady there helping and she came over and asked me if she could help. She asked for the labels because I needed to attach them personally. I said, "she's got it", and pointed to our much distressed helper. The new lady looked at her and said, "you're going to have to give that label to her". Old lady then wrapped her hands around it as if it were her most prized possession and said, "I gave her the other half." New lady said, "she has to have it back". Old lady stood there for quite a while, I looked at the new lady and made a face that said, "boy, this is awkward."

Eventually, she gave it up, I attached the label and she informed me she knew what she was doing. NO DOUBT! She was asserting control over the knitting section.

When we walked out, my husband said, "man, I can't believe how rude she was. And did you get a load of all those people in there. They acted like no one had better touch their entries for fear of losing a limb." I said, "what about the greeters? They are the Gestapo of El Paso County, Colorado.

One man was bringing in some pictures that had been mounted but not framed. The check in lady asked him if they were framed. Well, duh! Nothing was framed. He stood there and said, "I don't know." I don't know? I guess he could have been sight impaired or something. Anyway, she said, "no sir, they aren't framed and you can't come in here unless THEY ARE FRAMED. I can't let you in." I looked at the man....blank stare...I mean there was nothing. He just stood there with all those pictures. After our ordeal with Grandma (and I mean that in the most affectionate terms) that man was still standing there. But no more blank stare: you could see the the wheels turning. In my mind I was thinking he was trying to figure out a way to fake out the greeters and get those pictures in there. Sort of like, oh look up in the air, and sneak in while everyone was looking the other way.

We left. I'll go back later and see how I did. (I HOPE SHE WASN'T MY JUDGE!!!)

Will I do it again? Yeah, I guess I will. Next month is the Colorado State Fair and I have two entries there. If little old ladies get power-heads at the county fair can you imagine what the state fair would do? Their heads will explode.

Until next time,

Monday, July 14, 2008

Christmas in July

Today I started filling our store with Christmas items. My house has been full of snowmen, moose (or is it meese), and Santas and now it is time to share them with you. I think our holiday items are great and more will be coming as the summer progresses. But you really must buy them because there is NO way I could possibly decorate my house with all this WONDERFUL stuff! If you live in the Monument/Palmer Divide area of Colorado, please come in our store at 481 Hwy. 105, Suite B to shop or pick up your online purchases.

Other news: I finished a prayer shawl for a friend of mine, who owns Innovations Salon next door to our pack & ship. She has cancer and is currently in treatment in Oklahoma. I can't tell you how moving it was to see her face and experience how overwhelmed she was to receive it. She said to me, "there's no way I can ever repay you for all you do for me". I told her to "just get well". The shawls aren't about self-gratification or to receive praise from anyone. It is about blessing someone's life. You can order one from me and bless someone, too.

If you are in the Calhan, Colorado area next week and the week following please stop by the El Paso County Fair and see the afghan I entered. I've never entered anything before, but I wanted to get a feel for what people thought of my efforts. I have also entered an afghan and a prayer shawl in the State Fair in Pueblo. I am so excited about it, even if I don't place at all. It has done a tremendous amount for my self esteem to bring these projects to completion. Soon I will be offering both large and smaller afghans and baby blankets online at

Hope to see you there soon,


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The First Day's Thoughts

Opening day of Pikes Peak General Store was Tuesday, July 8, 2008, and we are so excited we can barely contain ourselves. We have had 903 hits to our site since that date. That's amazing!

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging while I've been building this site. It's been a dream of mine for some time to have something I can do while living with rheumatoid arthritis. I'm awed by everyone's kindness, congeniality, hugs, encouraging words, and patience with me while I have made this transition in my life.

My husband, Don, has been loving, kind and supportive during this time as well. He's the one who has to live with me and when I've been confused with the world of computers and wanted to throw the thing in the trash, he has consoled me, pulled me away from the computer, bought me a strawberry shake (my favorite), or whatever it took to get me through the moment. I am so blessed and fortunate to have this man in my life.

On to other news: I just got a huge shipment of Christmas items which will be making their debut in the general store as well as our storefront, 1st Class Pack & Ship in Monument, Colorado. I think you will love them. I've been impatiently waiting for them to arrive and I'm going to have a little bit of Christmas in July at my house while I do the inventory, cataloging,photographing and filling our shopping pages for you.

The prayer shawls are an item you can order from us and I will hand knit it for you. This is a unique type of gift as while I am knitting it, I pray for whomever will receive it. I have knitted them for people with illness, going through divorces, and "just because I love them". I have seen people cry with the emotion of receiving such a gift. The experience is awesome and one I cannot adequately explain.

Any feedback is welcome.

Best wishes from PPGS,

Hazel Peterson