humanity


 Keeping it all in perspective after almost losing my husband to a heart attack this month.  He survived & I’m back! I think this video sums it up quite nicely! Thanks for all of the support! I love ya~

Read about simple things you can do to make someones day! http://daymaker.net/top-50-ways.html

I know I’m an idealist but I can’t help it….I was intrigued when I recently heard about this movement.  The author is David Wagner, the book is called~ Life as a Daymaker.  The book was published back in 2003, but it’s still so timely for society today.  I don’t know why I haven’t heard of it before now, maybe I’ve just been too busy earning a living.. but  I find so much wisdom in the concept of making someones day.  I practice it every day in my flower shop.  I think it’s something we could all practice, if we only gave it a thought once in a while.  It has the power to change the world and move us towards kindness, love and joy.  I thought about David’s comment that ” it’s hard to focus on your own problems if you are living life as a Daymaker. ”

It reminded me of a time many years ago when I worked in a nursing home. My friends used to ask me how I could do it.  Everyone found it depressing, but I always found that it helped me to be more positive.  When I looked around each day it made me realize that there was always someone who had it worse than me.  I learned to count my blessings in small ways.  I made a difference in a life, in my own small way, and that always made me feel great.

A woman came into the flower store one day a number of years ago, and she asked me to make a corsage. She came back the next day, she paid for it, and asked me to give it to the next person who needed a corsage.  I couldn’t believe it.  You can imagine my surprise when another woman called later in the day and asked if she could order an inexpensive corsage.  She explained that she didn’t have much money, but that she really wanted to get this corsage for her mother for an upcoming special occasion.  When that woman found out that she was going to be the recipient of a free corsage, paid for by a prior customer, she became so emotional.  I’m not even sure that she believed the whole thing was true.  She kept thinking that I was the one giving her a free corsage.  I kept trying to explain to her that it was paid for by a stranger, who wanted to be a “Daymaker”.   It’s a movement we could all engage in.

In the words of David Wagner “ Just be Kind,  it only takes a moment to make someones day. Each of those actions can sustain us. Those moments can even change lives”.

You can read excerpts from the book on Amazon, or purchase the book here:

Park Place Books~ A local Kirkland Bookstore

http://www.parkplacebookskirkland.com/

Thirdplace Books~ An Independent Book Seller

http://www.thirdplacebooks.com/book/9781588720757

Amazon.com an online book store:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1588720756/qid=1049320392/sr=1-5/ref=sr_1_5/002-3281715-6728801?v=glance&s=books

I was recently reminded of how much joy flowers can bring, when I read about an anonymous benefactor who is bringing joy to folks in their town by having flowers delivered to individuals for no apparent reason. I was so thrilled by this story! The only criteria is that the recipient must have done a good deed at sometime in their life.  The florist Dennis Nutley of the Green Cottage in Hudson Valley gets to create & deliver these gifts,  and he recently said  “he wished the person sending the flowers could see the joy that he sees when they are delivered”.  You can read about it here; http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2010/12/17/life/doc4d0a8d594f9c1596323966.txt

Another fellow florist in Scotland was reflecting upon how beautiful their flowers looked in photographs that were sent to them by a local photographer who was shooting an event they did locally.  Their flowers are really beautiful!  You can read their blog and see their flowers here;  http://planetflowers.blogspot.com

I was reminded while reading their blog, how little I really get to enjoy my flowers.  I am always so busy with the production aspect of installing for an event, or setting up a ballroom for a party or wedding, or just making beautiful flowers for clients who call daily and want us to send a little bit of joy to their loved ones, there is so little time for me to actually enjoy them.

If you ask our delivery drivers, they will certainly  tell you a whole different story. They get to experience the joy, the surprise, and the pleasure that a gift of flowers can bring to the recipient.  Delivering flowers is a hard job, but I’m pretty sure that they wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world!  My driver always wants to know what the occasion is because he cares that much.  I always love it when he comes back to the  studio and tells me how much the recipient loved the flowers.  I realize that I need to stop taking flowers for granted!    Bringing JOY is what we do best!

The other thing that was a great reminder was when a customer recently sent me flowers.  She came into the studio, while I was at home sick. She asked if any one had sent me flowers?  Of course not, who would make them?  But our designer Tamara told the client she knew how picky I was & knew exactly what to send to me! I can’t tell you how it made me feel!  Maybe I was more shocked at the kindness of the customer, but I know that a big part of my joy was seeing the beauty of the flowers through different eyes.

I would love to get a little mystery flower trend going and send them to someone who deserves a little bit of joy back!  We all know that special someone who keeps giving but never expects anything in return.  What do you think? This could be like the Seattle wave~pass it on~let’s make it happen in our own little communities. Call your local florist, , give them a little joy, by asking them to send a gift of joy  to someone who deserves it! Just thank them for being the kind of person who gives to the community expecting nothing in return.

P.S. I just remembered the lady who came into the store, and asked if she could pay for the next person’s flowers~ When the next person came in, I rang up the sale and told them that they were already paid for, she just could not believe it!  She thought it was me that paid for it, but I told her it was paid for by a customer, who just wanted the next person to be blessed in the way she felt she had been blessed in her life.  I don’t know what led me on this path today, maybe it’s just the time of the year, but I too feel very blessed. The human spirit is truly amazing and I am reminded every day in this job that it’s not about shopping, it’s about a purpose!

The elections have me thinking about promises and politics and how it applies to the small business owner and customer relationships.

The past few weeks I’ve had a few customers call and express outrage that we charge for delivery.  I’ve been so mystified by their anger that I haven’t really known how to respond. I really can’t understand how someone would expect me to insist my delivery driver work for FREE,  or insist that I pay him at the expense of my company being able to make a profit.  Delivery does have expenses associated with it,  things like  gas, insurance & repairs. I guess I could give FREE delivery and just absorb the costs, or I could give FREE delivery and hide the costs in the price!  Neither option seems very smart to me.

Now that I’ve  had a little time to think about it,  a few questions come to my mind.  I Hope you don’t mind if I share the questions with you and I really hope someone will give me a little feedback and share their thoughts.

1. If you see the word FREE,  do you automatically want to buy the advertised item just because it is FREE?

2.  If you see two advertisements, does the one that says FREE make you want to buy it more than one that doesn’t say FREE?

3.  Do you think FREE  is really FREE or do you think promotions  have  some strings attached to it?

FREE  is a VERY good price, and it will always bring people in to get the FREE  item. The problem is, just getting people in the door no matter what it costs is not why we’re in business.

We do need customers, but we also need to make a profit on those customers. Our ultimate job as a business owner is to make some money,  give superior  service and give our customers more than they expect!

I’m wondering if at some point this FREE  kind of marketing devalues the product in our customer’s eyes. Why should you pay $5 for this item today when it’s going to be FREE tomorrow? If a company offers a FREE  promotion for any length of time, then don’t you as the  customer grow to always  expect it?  Will you become angry when we decide it’s time to stop offering the promotion? Just wondering about the reasoning behind some business owners and their marketing schemes..it’s just makes no sense to me.  Am I missing out on something grand here?
I really believe that people value paying a fair price for a good product!

Absolutely Free

“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

Here’s my vote!  I know in my heart there are many more important issues in life, but if we forget about the grace in our life~ what can the future hold?  I’m with Dale!  Check out Oprah’s audition for the next star!

http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=12389&promo_id=1

Check out the experts!

http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/flowerexperts/flower-and-gardening-experts

Oprah’s search~

http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html

http://www.ampleharvest.org/

The Ample Harvest campaign diminishes hunger by enabling backyard gardeners to share their excess produce with neighborhood food banks.  I recently became aware of this organization through some fellow twitter farmers and of course I promptly looked up my neighborhood food bank to see if they were members. I was happy to discover that they were members. I was excited to see this!

Hopelink  just opened a new facility just down the street from my new location,  11011 120th Avenue N.E. in Kirkland, and I have been hearing some great things about the new facility.  One of the most exciting things I recently heard was that they offer  a whole new format for a  food bank.  They have it set up more like a grocery store.  Research shows that people don’t always eat the way that the food bank gives out food.  So they have organized it like a grocery store, where families can come in and shop just like you would in a grocery store. Each family has it’s allotment based upon need. Families have  more freedom to get food that they actually want and end up eating healthier as a result. You can read the news story here:  http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/east_king/kir/lifestyle/52396417.html I am so excited about this new food bank model, and even more excited about Ample Harvest, it’s  the missing piece to our nations food bank models.

I know that it is the end of growing season, but I wanted to post this so that we could all think about adding an extra 2 or 3 plants of lettuce, beans or tomatoes, or whatever you love to grow, just so that you could know that we can all help provide healthy & nutritionally great food to families through a simple distribution model.

I really did not know that you could donate fresh produce and I’ve just never given it a thought until now.  I always think of non perishable items when I think of giving food to a food bank.  I know that I have always felt bad every time I drive by an apple tree and see the apples going to waste.  My friend Leslie has made me aware of an organization called Fallen Fruit, which is an activist group that is mapping fallen fruit around the country so that it can be put to good use.  It’s a great idea! I think this takes it a step farther by enabling individuals the opportunity to make a choice to donate to a good cause like www.ampleharvest.org which has the connections to get local FRESH natural food into the hands of the families and individuals who need it the most.

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