Saturday, September 26, 2009

Warm Jello and Richie Rich

When I was a kid, and I felt sick...or even pretended to feel sick by wrapping the thermometer in a heating pad, my mom would make warm jello for me because it felt so good on the sore throat. I also remember her coming back from the store with a new comic book. Usually Little Lotta or Richie Rich! I don't remember getting comic books for any other reason. But that could just be a childs perspective and selective memory.

Today, after two weeks of feeling sorry for Menehune Man, it seems he has shared his bug with me. I woke up at 5am with such a sore throat. I didn't get up again until 11:30 when MM announced that he had made me some soup.

So today has been one of those days that a little warm jello would feel so good. Instead of the Richie Rich and Little Lotta, I sat with a remote and watched a full season of Project Runway! I just couldn't bring myself to do much of anything else.

Finally I came into the computer room and decided to catch up on my records. I hadn't updated Augusts' sales yet so needed to add that up since here we are at the end of September! If you will recall, my goal for the year was to make 1000 bags. As of yesterday (since I didn't sew today) I am at 812! With three months left in the year, I am confident that I will reach my goal. It may not be warm jello, but it did cheer me up!

PS...the photo was taken of my big sis feeding me when I had the chicken pox. (a few years ago)

a hui hou

Monday, September 21, 2009

Taking a Break

Now, don't panic....Sasaki Bags isn't taking a break! I meant ME! Literally I am just taking a short break from my busy day to write a short note to whet your appetite about some things in the works. Today is my day to sew for Palm Palm on Kauai. I have two Big Kahuna almost ready to send off to Marjorie this week but need to finish one more.

So what am I up to? Well, Sasaki Bags is going to be launching a whole new line of accessories in the next few months. I am not going to tell you any more than that just yet. I just wanted to let you know that I am not sitting by idly watching TV and eating Weight Watchers cheesecake! No siree! I feel like I am either sewing or thinking about sewing and am always looking for fresh ideas. I am still in the prototype stage but it won't be long....

That is it for now! Stay tuned for further updates, clues and sneak peeks!

a hui hou

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Reason...a Season...or a Lifetime

I think that friendship is one of the amenities that life offers that allow us to survive otherwise insurmountable odds. Some things we just can't go through on our own! Some friends have only lasted for a particular stage in our life...while others have been there since grade school! Some friends are just "shopping friends", or "chat on the phone friends", but then there are the friends that you know you could call in the middle of the night!

I have a favorite saying that goes, "People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime". But something that I have discovered on my journey through life is isn't always about ME! (I know that is hard to believe!) Once in a while...a person will come into our life and maybe...just maybe... it is because THEY need whatever it is that WE have to offer or teach THEM. Usually it is hard to know the difference, because when you open yourself to another person, you can't help but grow in some way yourself.

I was reminded of the importance of that kind of friend this week. You see, my mom is the kind of friend that anyone would be lucky to have. She is able to keep a confidence. She is fun to be with. She will be your shopping and going to lunch bud....and if ...heaven is time for you to pass out of this life, she will be there to hold your hand. I know this because she has done it more than once...for people that in the beginning, weren't even close friends. But in the last moments of your life....I believe that the one left holding your hand, IS your closest friend at that moment. For some, that has been my mom! Yesterday, she again was there, holding the hand of a friend who only two months and four days before had been "fine". As I recall, this 59 year old woman from mom's church called her to take her to the doctor because she couldn't think straight. She wasn't in pain...but felt something was wrong. Within a few hours, it was determined that this woman had brain cancer, breast cancer and liver cancer. Quite a lot to process.

My mom is not a nurse or a professional caregiver. She is just a wonderful friend who has survived loss in her life. Her mom died when she was only 7, while in a plane being flown to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She died of Addison's disease. Mom was also there with her grandma as she died of cancer. She has also been present when other friends of hers have passed.

My mom is determined not to let a friend die alone. She could have just checked her friend into the hospital and her obligation would have been fulfilled. But instead, for the past two months, she became taxi driver, caregiver, bottom wiper, and confidante. As a daughter, I worried about her over doing it. I know that she is a slight woman, beyond her prime...although she would dispute that fact! But she did what she felt she had to do. I know that it is important to my mom that no person be alone when they die.

Last night I got a short email that just said, "My friend Terri died tonight". I knew she must just be exhausted. I once lost a friend with cancer who I had visited daily and tried to be "up" for. Early on, she had "appointed" me as her official "sense of humor" because she knew that in time, with the chemo, the hair loss, the loss of her breast...the vomiting, fatigue....etc she would probably lose her sense of humor. I took my job very seriously! (as I wore the Groucho Marx glasses!) I insisted that in the final stages, anyone who came into the hospital room to visit my friend, had to put on the Groucho Glasses! My friend would see them and crack up! When they saw her laughing, it was harder to cry! (it is really hard to cry when you "feel funny"!) But...she did age 32...with two small children left behind. The after effect is one of adrenal depletion! (Mom...I understand!)

I called mom today and she described herself as a person who had been trying to run into the wind...a strong Eastern Montana kind of wind....for two months...and then the wind suddenly ceased...and she just fell flat on her face." That is where she was today! In need of a nap!

My mom lives her life without regret. She is my hero! I hope that one day I will be just like her! (when I grow up! ha!) I'm not sure if she was in Terri's life for a reason or a season....but I do know that for Terri, she was blessed to have met my mom! Love you, mimi!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mahalo to Lei Chic

I just opened up my daily "Lei Chic" ezine and to my delight saw that they gave a shout out again about my coffee market totes! Just clik on "tote bags" to read more! I am feeling the love from those girls over there! Thank you so much.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Day After...

Today is the "day after" September 11. It is the day I feel grateful. You see, on September 11, 2001, I was a newlywed of less than 3 months. My 20 year old daughter had moved to New York on September 1st. She called me on the 10th to tell me that she was excited that she had gotten a job in NYC at Mario Bedescu's...a day salon in Manhattan. For some reason I wrote it all down.

My hubby likes to sleep with the TV on, so I oblige since he has so few vices. I awoke at about 4:30 am. Oddly, the power had been off and had just come back on. As I lay there, I flicked through the channels and in minutes, to my horror, saw the second jet hit the world trade center. Within minutes I was confused because they were talking about a jet crashing into the was it???? I couldn't comprehend that it could be BOTH! I tried to call my sweet baby girl but couldn't get through.

In a panic and a need to connect with anyone out there, I found a phone number of a man we had met on our honeymoon on Kauai. He was an executive for Estee Lauder in NYC. He had given me his information and offered to assist my daughter if needed in getting a job. I called them and just talked. Their teenage boys were stranded at their school and they too were worried. But it helped to talk to another mother...albeit a stranger, who was also worried about her kids. She could see smoke from her house.

Although I have never been to NYC and do not know the layout, I did not suspect that my daughter was in the twin towers. Perhaps because I would not allow myself to "go there". But I did suspect that my baby girl was somewhere in the city and she was scared. I so wanted to reach out to her...hold her, stroke her hair...I finally got ahold of her room mate. She told me that Sarah had left her phone at the apartment that day and she could hear it ringing. She knew that Sarah had left for the city and was headed to her first day of work.

My chest was pounding. My eyes felt hot! I feared she would be stuck in a subway and didn't even want to imagine more than that.

Almost 3 hours later, I got an email. It was short. It said something to the effect that she "had made it into work and couldn't talk now, but would contact me later." I crumbled into a pile and started to cry for the first time! I went into the bedroom and woke Menehune Man. "She's alive!" I cried. "Sarah's okay".

I will never truly know the trauma she suffered. She was so young and so far from home. I told her she could come home and it wouldn't mean she had failed in anyway...but she chose to stay. She stayed another 2 years! She said that the New York people had been so supportive that she couldn't leave them. The events that followed shaped her into the person that she is today. And I think she is pretty wonderful.

So on September 11th, I remember those that were lost. But on September 12th, I feel grateful for those who came home. I love you Sarah!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time management

Okay, who put my calendar and clock on fast forward? I have so much going on in my life that there seems so little time! I was informed that I got the big order of 225 bags and have been slaving away, trying to stay on top of my projected schedule. Yesterday I purchased 120 yards of aloha fabric and today went back for 100 yards of canvas. I also ordered another 150 yards of cotton webbing which makes about 500 yards in the past 3 months.

When you live on an island there is always so much more to consider when scheduling your time. You see, we could have a tropical storm or hurricane, a strike by workers who ship our goods here or just plain old "Hawaiian Time" service. So with the holidays approaching along with the deadline for my big order, a wise bag maker ensures that she has all her supplies on hand!

Through the years I have discovered a thing or two about myself. I am not the type of gal who thrives on drama or adrenaline. I don't like working "under the gun". I like things to run smoothly and as planned. Don't spring unwelcome surprises on me! I like it when people are true to their word and I don't respond well to someone trying to control me. Cinnamon bears are my favorite candy, Casa Blanca Lilies are my favorite flower and bad hair can ruin my day. It doesn't always work out as planned...but in a perfect "Barb's World" that is what you would see. Ah...peace, birds chirping and the sound of Sven humming my favorite tune. ( you girls do know Sven by now, right?) So with all that in mind, I do try to plan my schedule and even prepare for the unexpected. For instance, Menehune Man is sick. Usually that means that in a week or so...I will be sick! So this week I am working OT to cut out linings and coffee bags. I look at MM with his feverish face and can't help but think....OMG, he's had a high fever for 2 days already...I have no time for that kind of sick..(in the event that I get sick)...I have bags to make! So it really is all about time management....

Just a note for anyone who may be wondering if I am still sticking to my Weight Watchers...
Yes, I am. I have lost 10lbs so far. I am really doing it differently this time in hopes that I will be more successful at keeping the LBs off. But thanks for caring....

Now back to the sweat shop!

a hui hou