Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today was computer day

I’ve been chained to my laptop for the last 14 hours. I’ve just uploaded the video for step 4 of our Crazy Patch BOM. Starting early this morning I printed instructions, wrote my article for a trade magazine, proofed and printed instructions for classes. After that I worked on designing the ad for our next BOM, Garden Trellis, which begins in July (but sign-up start next week). We are using the Fabshop service (the people that run the internet hops) to advertise the program. This is a project that I designed for the store. It is 100% ours. We do not offer the program to other stores so if anyone in the world wants to participate; they need to sign-up with us.

There’s an overwhelming thought. How much fabric do you think you need if you are inviting the entire world to participate in your program? There are 46,000 quilters that participate in the internet hops. What if 10% (that’s over 4000 of them) take you up on the offer? The fabrics are hand printed in Indonesia, 15 yards at a time. If those numbers are not enough to make you sweat, you are spending someone elses funds. We had to commit to significant yardage months ago. Worse yet, what if you plan for 4000 and only 40 decide to participate? 400 would make me a very happy shop owner. More than that and I might consider taking the bridge. Less than that and Ill have enough “topaz” batik to slip cover my house!

Back to the advertising. Designing an ad to entice the right number of people to participate was not nearly as stressful as finding out that I need to prepare the ad in HTML. As I’ve pointed out, I don’t speak “tech”, but it looks like I’m going to learn. Why does that kind of thing always look so simple when you don’t know what you are doing? Then I am knee deep and overcommitted when I realize what I’ve gotten myself into. I think my tombstone is going to read “It was a good idea at the time”.

Karen

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Distracted

I have an idea for a new Mac commercial. Picture this: The PC guy is obviously worried and upset as he says “She’s trying to print something, why isn’t it printing?” The cool laid back Mac guy will calmly say “Don’t worry, she’ll figure it out”. He’s right; I will figure it out, eventually. Not this week, but eventually. I assume that I will get the Mac to form a solid relationship with at least ONE of the 4 printers in my life. Right now it seems content to collect printer drivers without the ability to actually print any pages. I can almost hear it saying “Come on, let the PC do the printing, we don’t want it to feel inadequate”.

Printing issues aside, yesterday was a very productive day. Becky Kelly was basted, quilted and ready for binding. E-update sent. Email answered. Chenille is being snipped (It’s good to have staff). BOM instructions written, proofed and printed. The other instructions are well underway, at least in my brain.

I spend a lot of time writing instructions in my head, working through the step-by-steps before I put them to paper. I do this while I’m driving (scary thought) or performing routine tasks like packing my daughters lunch or taking a shower. Reworking them over and over allows me to consider how the customer will perceive what I am saying and choose the best alternative for the project. This usually isn’t a problem unless I’ve been writing all day and can’t turn my brain off when I go to sleep. I end up dreaming in step-by-step format!

Today was one of those mornings. While I was brushing my teeth in front of the mirror I realized that I had been a bit distracted while getting dressed. Cream sweater, black bra, brown pants, black shoes…. Hmmm. Not the look I had planned. At least the bra matched the shoes and it was clearly visible, so that helped. Now I am going to have to have my husband look me over before I leave the house to make sure I match and everything is in place. Had I realize 30 years ago that this would become a priority I may have looked for someone with a better sense of fashion.

Now it’s time for binding, binding, binding…..

Karen

Monday, April 28, 2008

Uh-Oh Monday

I spent most of yesterday leisurely sifting through instructions, proofing the math one more time and adding illustration options before send about a dozen pages for assorted projects to Emily in New York. By “leisurely” I mean that the better part of the afternoon was spent working on the laptop in front of HGTV while people gardened, bought houses and remodeled their kitchens to keep me company.

The NY office is strictly Monday through Friday. They put in their share of long hours when necessary, but weekends are not included. Owning a retail store gives you an entirely different perspective on the work week. A 24/7 perspective. Although the door may be locked, it is up to you to get the work done whenever you have the time. I would be willing to bet that Emily left her desk neat as a pin and was completely caught up when she left her desk on Friday. Now I’ve gone and filled her virtual inbox with what will amount to a weeks worth of work while she wasn’t looking. And I am not the only designer that does this to her. If I were Em, I would dread Mondays.

Speaking of other designers, for past Markets I have designed the Dimes project for Timeless. Dimes are 10 inch squares of batiks. They are given to shop owners that purchase a specific assortment of 30 bolts of batik fabrics so that they can make a sample. The project must use the 30 squares and you are limited to the 10 inch pre-cut blocks. For this market I designed this:




Timeless thought it wasn’t unique enough so they returned it to me and had Blue Underground design this:

All the work that went into my project is not a total loss because now I can publish the pattern under the TQC name. Not being limited to just the thirty 10 inch squares of fabric, I was able to write the instructions for several sizes and include all of them in the same pattern. It also means that I can make another sample using Moda’s “layer cakes” – which are 10 inch squares of their fabrics. Layer Cakes? Where did that name come from? “Short Stacks” seems more appropriate for a 3/4 inch stack of fabric squares. It stands to reason that if a 5 inch square is called a “nickel” a 10 inch square would be a “dime”! Moda needs to get with the program.

Now I have to: Quilt the Becky Kelly piece, write and print the May BOM handouts, design the ad for the new BOM that is due May 4th, design and print 250 schoolhouse handouts, finish quilting the train, snip those chenille channels, write the instructions for Union Squares, photo the BOM, answer 11 emails and send an E-Update for the shop……
No problem.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday

It is still early, but I am pretty sure that the best part of today has already happened. At 6am, before I had even opened my eyes I started to make a list of things I needed to accomplish. I was several items into the list when it dawned on me that today is SUNDAY and not MONDAY!

That revelation was like a 24 hour gift! As tempting as rolling over and going back to sleep seemed, my brain was already awake and functioning so I tiptoed out of bed, made coffee and finished off the instructions and illustrations for the Lindsay handout immersed in the luxury of a quiet house a cup of hot coffee and my bathrobe.... ahhhh.

Later today when my brain can't possibly write one more step-by-step I'm going to tackle the job of getting the new Mac to talk to the printer. I managed to get it to connect at work just in time for my husband to switch our home connection from cable to Verizon so that I had to rework those connections too. Isn't technology wonderful?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sneak Peek

I skipped a day.
Yesterday was another "Mom" day. Lindsays concert was last night and it took all the time I had to make the post office run, do the bank deposit and pick-up 8000 patterns from the printer and get ready to go. It was a magical evening and I am so happy that we didn't miss a minute of it!

In an effort to accomplish something that I could check off the “list”, I’ve uploaded the Sew Easy Chenille video to YouTube. This link will be provided to shop owners so that they can see the details of the pre-printed flannel product. Originally I had intended that the videos be something to jog the shop owners memory after seeing my presentation at Quilt Market. It turns out that many of them are sharing the link with their customers. It’s an open forum, so you are welcome to take a look too. Keep in mind that these are truely "home grown" videos and you get what you pay for, which in this case is FREE! I will never be on the short list for Katie Coric's job and "not looking dorky on camera" isnt something that I list on my resume.

We keep the work that I do for Timeless Treasures seperate from The Quilt Company. Mainly because my TT work uses only Timeless products. The things that I do for the shop can include any products I choose. This is a bit confusing for some of our customers that see it as all "me". They search for something and find me, but not what they wanted. You have to know which "me" you are looking for. For example: You won't find our Chenille Baby Quilt Kits mentioned on the Chenille video. You will find them in the kit section of our web site at http://www.thequiltcompany.com. If you are looking for the Crazy Patch videos that are intended for the participants of our Block of the Month program they are linked to the Crazy Patch page on our website or on YouTube under The Quilt Company headding. We sometimes get confused around here too!
Enjoy your weekend!
Karen

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ta-done?


I promised to try to post each day. I never said what TIME of day I would get around to it! My goal was to post as soon as I had the Becky Kelly project finished..... and by "finished" I mean the top assembled. Like most of the other things I've tried to accomplish lately, this took about 3 times the amount of time that I think it should. It isn't that I sew slowly or that the project was particularly difficult. Even though it is my priority for the day, I have to squeeze it in between my "other" job - of running the store! There are kits to be planned, fabrics to order, clubs to prepare, printing to be done, orders to run to the post office, banking, calls, questions, and that is why it is 9:14 pm and I have FINALLY "finished" those darn stars.

Before someone points out that "it isn't a quilt until it is quilted", I know, I know. Someday I will explain my personal philosophy of the definition between "finished" and "done", but right now, I am going home to a glass of wine!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Language Problems

Yesterday turned out to be a total loss for the To-Do list. I had to put everything on the back burner while I experienced several new languages.

Because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to add a new computer to my life. Because I have limited technical ability I allowed my oldest daughter to talk me into a Mac. Truthfully, I wanted a Mac just because of those Mac/PC commercials. I love that neurotic man that plays the PC and I want to be the cool Mac guy with no problems. I started my tech life as a Mac purest (ok in the-land-before-time I was originally a Commodore Amiga person, but that is almost too embarrassing to mention). My new Mac speaks both Mac and PC….. but not to me. The thing is so sleek, so cool, so technologically wonderful that it has taken me a month to figure out how to do anything with it but surf the web. – at home. Yesterday I tried using it here at the store, but it wouldn’t connect to our wireless internet. That required a call to Verizon Tech Support. You can imagine how well THAT went. I am quite sure that if the Tech Center has a bulletin board where they post transcripts of the dumbest calls ever received, my name is up there with red exclamation points. I simply don’t speak “tech”.

My afternoon and evening were consumed with driving my daughter to her rehearsal. Lindsay has been given an unbelievable opportunity to solo with the Mendelssohn Choir at their 100th anniversary concert this Friday. There are four adult professional soloists along with my daughter that will be performing Elijah at Carnegie Music Hall here in Pittsburgh. These are heavy hitters in the music world; the lead baritone has performed with the New York Metropolitan Opera and the conductor is grammy award winning Robert Page.

I very naively thought that I would sit in the back of the auditorium and calmly hand stitch some binding while they rehearsed. Impossible. Sitting in a mostly empty concert hall while a full professional choir and orchestra perform this powerful piece is something that you simply can not take your eyes off. I know NOTHING about music. NOTHING. Those black dots on the page might as well be Arabic. I do know that Lindsay sings from the balcony, her part begins on page 93 and one of her dots is well above the top black line on the music page.
At one point Elijah, in his deep booming voice commands Lindsay to look to the heaven for a sign from God. At that point everything stops and all you hear is my daughter’s clear soprano voice. She is wonderful. On the other hand I am filled with nothing but shear panic. Not speaking the musical language I have no choice but to worry and fret through the first 92 pages! How does she know when to come in? How does she keep track of those quarter notes and eighth notes and how does she know what note to start on? In a feeble attempt to help her in any way possible, I hold my breath the entire time she sings. Thank heaven her part is relatively short. I am sure that I will get over this helpless feeling of panic if she decides to pursue a career in music, but between now and stardom, I should probably be sedated. It would be easier on both of us.

Now it’s back to the world I am comfortable in. Today I absolutely must make those Becky Kelly stars shine.

Karen

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

22 and counting



Yesterday I managed to check several things off the list. Click & Ship with UPS is almost too easy to count as an accomplishment and by the grace of the quilting gods the leftover sample fabric was just large enough to stitch up the backing for the Lindsay Light project and everything has gone off to the quilter.

The big accomplishment was finishing the stitching on the large chenille project. The stitching is done and binding applied. I just have to finish snipping all those channels.
I have to admit that it is absolutely THE most boring sewing that you can do. Beige thread stitch over beige lines on beige flannel – ugh. It ranks right up there with having to write on a blackboard “I will stitch straight and turn perfect corners” 1000 times! BUT – and this is a big one – the RESULTS are worth it! My husband was watching me edit the video for this project and he made a remark about how I never stopped fondling the finished sample as I was explaining the process – so much so that he joked that it might make him jealous! (I selected the clip with the least amount of fondling for the final edit).

I managed to finish the hours and hours of stitching by applying the fundamental techniques of my M&M motivational program. It is a simple program to follow and you can feel free to apply it to your own tedious stitching projects. It is so effective that I should probably produce a series of books and tapes and sell them on an infomercial for three easy payments of $49.95, but I just don’t have the time. Here is the info for free:

1. Reach into the largest bag of M&M’s available. I personally prefer the 2lb bag if a deadline is involved.
2. Grab the largest handful of M&M’s possible. No cheating here, just the ones that fit into your hand. I will share one tip: Inserting your hand palm down and removing your hand, palm up, yields the largest quantity.
3. Sort the candies by color, noting which piles are the largest. In the past – before blue was added, M&M’s were packed in a specific color ratio; you always had more dark brown and less red. With the addition of blue, they screwed everything up and now you will probably have almost equal amounts of everything (which limits your options in step five).
4. Arrange the piles in color order with blue being first, then green, yellow, orange, red and then brown. Color order is of the utmost importance. Call me a purist, but I like to get rid of those blue ones as soon as possible.
5. Evaluate the sewing that you need to accomplish and broker a deal (yes, you are dealing with yourself so it is hard not to take advantage of the situation – but be firm!). For the chenille project I agreed that I would not eat another color group of M&M until I had stitched at least 5 complete rows of zigzag stitching. Depending on how tedious the sewing, I have also been known to agree to eat the color with the smallest number of pieces, progressing to the largest so that the “reward” becomes larger the longer I stick with the monotonous task.
6. Sew and reward yourself for your accomplishments by sticking firmly to the rules of your agreement. There were 50+ rows of stitching in the chenille project. Luckily I was able to broker a new deal each time I ran out of M&M’s – hence the need for the 2lb bag!

Now I have to unearth the Becky Kelly project that I didn’t touch yesterday and get to work. The chenille project as well as the one for Quilts & More are ready to have the binding hand stitched so I will be packing my needle and thread to take with me this afternoon while I take my daughter to her rehearsal. – There is something to be said for the phrase "There is no rest for the wicked"!

Karen

If you live in Pennsylvania – don’t forget to get out and vote today!

Monday, April 21, 2008

23 Days to Quilt Market:

As promised I’m going to attempt to post each day about the status of my infamous “To-Do” list that consumes my life for at least a month before Quilt Market. I’ve decided to try this to keep myself on track (guilt works wonders in my life) as well as keep you informed. If all goes well I should be able to post from Portland in less than a month and hopefully show you photos of how everything has come together.

The most important items on TODAY's do or die list are:
Pack and ship the Lindsay Dark quilt to NY so that they can have it photographed for an ad that will run in Fons & Porter Quilting magazine. I applied the binding over the weekend, the UPS box is ready to ship, I just have to go online and schedule a pick-up, print the label and seal it shut! This is going to be easy to check off!
This project needs a better name. Lindsay “Dark” has an identical companion quilt which is know as “Lindsay Light”. If you have a suggestion on what to name it, feel free to post it as a comment!

Lindsay Light must go to the quilter today. I have to construct the backing before 4pm and have everything ready for Mary (the quilter) to pick-up. It isn’t easy being my quilter. I am happy to pay the prevailing rate and don’t expect a discount, but every project seems to have an unreasonable deadline, not to mention the pressure of having your work featured in magazines and handouts. I know they want it perfect and I always seem to need it back in a minute and a half!


I hope Mary had a relaxing weekend because I have not one, but TWO Lindsay quilts waiting for her! The red/taupe Union Square is for The Quilt Gallery ads that you have been seeing in McCalls Quilting. The ad will not run until the October issue, but it is made from the Lindsay Collection, so I need the project for Market and the ad deadline for the October issue is May 26th!

I have to finish writing a section of the Lindsay Dark/Light instructions. NY needs them by tomorrow morning so that they can have them ready as soon as the photo is ready. This project will be a free handout and Emily in NY is the world’s best proof-reader. She needs the time to proof, design the layout and have the color printing done. All that means is that she is down to the wire too. Almost everything is written and proofed at my end (I used those instructions to make the second quilt). The difference between the light/dark is the mitered stripe blocks. Mitered squares are a piece of cake, but mitered rectangles require set in seams. In addition to the instructions I also provide step-by-step illustrations that I draw in Corel then convert to Adobe for NY to publish. Leaving the tricky part to the end probably wasn’t the best idea. At times like this I envy Nike and their motto “Just Do It”. I think those are perfect quilting instructions!

I also have to finish editing the video’s I filmed yesterday. With any luck all the footage I need is in the camera and only the editing needs to be finished. In addition to the step-by-step video that we film each month for our Crazy Patch BOM, I also film step-by-steps for Timeless. This is not as glamorous as you might think 90% off the work is done on Sunday mornings in the shop, in my socks, unscripted. I try to edit ASAP before my nail polish color changes or we loose the pieces I prep for the camera just incase I have to re-do a segment.


It would be nice to finish and bind the adult size chenille quilt from yesterday’s video. I have some long rehearsal hours to attend with our daughter this week and hand stitching some bindings will keep me from entering “I could be getting so much done” panic mode.

I have stars to sew to complete the Becky Kelly project for the booth. Becky is an extremely talented illustrator that is doing work for Timeless, but she doesn’t sew. Every now and then I volunteer to make samples for “other” people. I get to keep the quilt after it has been displayed. If I intend to buy the fabric line for the store anyway it becomes a win-win situation for everyone involved. This is probably not one of those times.

This is by NO means the entire list. I won’t bore you with hemming pants, prepping for class projects and BOM’s here in the shop, pulling orders, updating mailing lists or preparing e-updates because I would NEVER get anything done!

Stay tuned tomorrow when I believe the crisis will revolve around the Quilts and More project deadline!

Sew Something!
Karen

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I confess. Instead of hitting the to-do list first thing this morning, Deb and I did a quick trip to the Three Rivers Quilt Show. This is their first year at the new venue on the South Side and although we made several wrong turns and my Garmond said "recalculating" more than a dozen time, it was well worth the trip. The quilts were wonderful, the space bright, clean, well lit and just the right size to hold the show and vendors without feeling cramped.

Here are a few snapshots I took before getting so wrapped up in the quilts that I forgot I had the camera with me! I was having too much fun walking the show and not being a vendor (when we have abooth I really only get to see the 4 or 5 quilts directly across from our space). It was the first time in 15 years that I have attended a show without vending..... it felt good!


video
“Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last………”

Does anyone else remember that song from, …could it have been the 60’s? That particular phrase has been stuck in my head for the last few days and although I can relate, I have no idea where I picked it up. I do know that it has nothing to do with “feelin groovy”! It is more of a time warp thing.

The newest collection of Amy Butler fabric arrived in the store. We selected the aqua/lime colorway and purchased every bolt available. They are beautiful graphic prints that make me think of Goldie Hawn every time I walk past the display. Amy Butler is probably too young to have been inspired by Goldie’s appearances on Laugh-In, but for those of you that are not, do you envision that geometric print paired with white go-go boots? ………..Is my age showing?

Talk about feeling OLD. My Moda Rep was in the other day and one of the new “retro” collections that they will debut at Quilt Market is designed around 1974. Read that again, not EIGHTEEN seventy four, it says NINETEEN seventy four. That’s the year before I graduated from high school. When did I get old enough that my youth was suitable for reproduction status? I didn’t order the fabric line – not out of spite – but as an actual eye-witness to 1974 I didn’t think that it represented it well. I have to admit that my memory revolves mostly around my prom dates purple crushed velvet tuxedo and my favorite pair of pink bellbottoms, maybe they were trying to capture the more sophisticate look from the era?

Things haven’t changed all that much. I was prom dress shopping just this week with my daughter. We made the rounds of the department stores, specialty stores and even the pattern counter at JoAnn Fabrics before we stumbled across “the” dress that was not only reasonably priced, it fit like a glove. I am a very happy mother. Fitting a 5’6” size 0 isn’t easy.

The trip to the pattern counter was out of desperation. I definitely do NOT have time to stitch up a formal between now and May 9th and was secretly relieved when it became obvious that making one to fit properly was too much of a risk and the fabric selection was dismal. I'm still curious if someone can explain why the pattern books offer dozens of pattern options in the Prom/Special Occasion dress section and not one of them is available in a size smaller than a 6? Even the Vogue designer series patterns, at price points of $22 and $24 for just the pattern, only list an occasional size 4. What are they thinking?

I’ve been pretty lax about keeping up with the blog. It’s that darn to-do list. I’m in “count down” mode for Quilt Market and instead of whining and complaining, I think Ill provide you with daily up-dates on the progress starting next Monday.

Sew something!

Karen

Monday, April 14, 2008

"Mom" for the weekend

Has anyone heard how they are coming along with that cloning process? I could use an exact copy of myself. Like many of you, my to-do list is a mile long and there is no end in sight. It isn’t even a complete list. I am afraid that if I actually took the time to write down everything I have to accomplish, it would scare me! I keep a top 10 – 20 list. That way I can pick and choose what to take care of next. I have to admit that on really bad days I sneak an item onto the list that I’ve already done, just so I can have the satisfaction of checking something off!

Last week my never ending “to-do” list turned into a “who-cares” list. Our daughter was cast to play Cinderella in the high school musical “Into the Woods”. I decide to sit back and enjoy it. After all, how often do you have the chance to watch one of your kids dreams come true? Lindsay has a beautiful voice and has paid her dues in lesser rolls waiting for her opportunity to shine, and shine she did! Our son, daughter and her fiancĂ© were home from out-of-town to see the show. Due to work schedules, having everyone home at the same time is something that rarely happens around here, even at the holidays.

It was an absolutely magical weekend. Not only did Lindsay overwhelm us with her performance, every person in the production was in top form – and I do mean every person. I know all 93 of this year’s cast, crew and orchestra quite well. For the last several years the party after the Saturday night performance has been at our house. You may think that the idea of close to 100 excited and hungry teenagers descending on your home at 11pm would be overwhelming, but it is not. Sure, they eat 8 extra large pizzas, 200 cheese sticks, 9 lbs of meatballs, 3 lbs of nacho dip, 100 chicken tenders, 8 dozen cookies, 4 dozen cupcakes, 3 large bowls of fresh fruit (I try to sneak something healthy in there!) all the leftovers from the concession stand and multiple cases of bottled water, but they do have fun! They are also the most polite, respectful and well behaved mob you can imagine. They dance, sing, laugh…… and EAT until 2am. Despite the fact that I am absolutely exhausted, I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.
But now it is Monday morning, the spell has been broken, and it's back to that to-do list………..

Karen

Friday, April 4, 2008

Why is it that I always seem to post on Friday? It’s probably because as I stand in the shower on Friday mornings, running the list of things I did and didn’t get accomplished for the week, blog guilt sets in. I think of 100 things every morning that I want to post, but somewhere between the shower and the computer life’s little details get in the way.

I’ve spent far too many hours this week dealing with email. Our name, web address, email, phone, etc is on every one of our publications. It’s easy for our customers to contact us. I like that. If you have a problem, we are here to help.

In the “no good deed goes unpunished” department: We had a person order a pattern from California. She needed it for class on a specific date. My mostly Catholic staff sent it to her “regular” mail, assuming the post office would perform in a reasonable way and deliver it in a timely fashion. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a slam on Catholics. It is just that I’ve learned that people that were raised by parents of the depression and schooled by nuns are absolutely incapable of waste. They will save you money at every opportunity (regular mail vs. priority mail). They will write on BOTH sides of the paper and never use a sheet that is larger than needed (I think that’s why 3M makes the tiny Post-It’s!). In an effort to save the customer the few dollars of extra postage, the package took longer than expected and set the customer into a tizzy on Sunday afternoon.

As part of our “customer service” I took the time to email the customer a detailed list of cutting instructions and options so that she could prepare for class. Her package arrived Monday afternoon in time for her Tuesday class. I can only assume that she was pleased with our service and told everyone about my email. I’m assuming that is true because by Wednesday I started to receive messages that read “Please email me the -------- instructions, I’m taking a class”. Hmmmmm? We SELL those patterns. It’s is part of what helps pay the electric company, the phone company, etc around here. The only reason I emailed instructions to the first customer is that she had PURCHASED the pattern and we had delayed the delivery by trying to save her $ on postage. That took several emails each to explain.

Then there are the people that ask 1 sentence questions and only sign their name or initials. That may seem reasonable to you, but it is delivered to me via the WORLD WIDE WEB. Your message is mixed in with requests from Australia, Japan, Canada, etc. and it is often difficult to tell the difference. “What will it cost to send me a yard of fabric?” is not a question that can be answered in one sentence; although I have to admit that I am often tempted to respond “A lot”. If you live in the greater Pittsburgh area the price is much less than if you live in Europe! “Do you have this?” messages with no attachment are another of my favorites. Have what? An then there are the people that you respond to, in detail, only to have your message bounce back because you are not on their approved list of recipients. They usually write back to berate you for not responding. If you happen to be Kathy T. with a blackkat email address, yes I did respond. You will need 9 additional blocks.

I’m afraid that as the gasoline prices continue to rise, so will the email requests. Not a problem. We’re here to help, but do me a favor help me out and give me all the details in your first request!
Karen