internet

The storms have finally let up but we’re going on day three of no reliable internet. Since nearly every system I use is web- or cloud-based — postage/shipping, customer database, accounting, photo editing, social media management — everything is moving at the speed of molasses. But I’m doing what I can via phone. Hopefully the worst ISP in North America will come out and fix their Stone Age technology pretty soon and we’ll have the usual crappy DSL again… in the meantime, please don’t take it personally if I’m slow to answer or a bit taciturn 🙂

Pinned post: re. Seraphin Station

Updates on items/shop stuff are usually posted to the Seraphin Station blog. So if you’re following this blog but not Seraphin Station, you could be missing news (and rambling) about spiritual supplies and tangibles. Big Lucky Hoodoo will continue to be rootwork-specific, and you can find my services here, but the *stuff* is at the Seraphin Station shop.

You can sign up for the shop mailing list to get a “welcome coupon,” plus I send out subscriber-only offers, advance access to cool stuff, and surveys that I weigh very seriously when I’m deciding what soap to make next or what kind of Rewards Program stuff to set up for y’all.  

I’m gradually updating/editing the existing resources and links here at Big Lucky Hoodoo and turning the old blog posts into actual articles.

boring status update (2015 reparations, organizing of stuff)

I have a few emails sitting in my inbox that I haven’t answered yet, not because I’m ignoring the people but because I wanted to give them good, solid news… or at least solid news… when I did respond.

My plan was to spend the weekend locating and sorting through all the paperwork associated with clients, customers, companies, processors, orders, charges, chargebacks, postal crap, etc by Monday and announce that I had a list or something.

Yeah, that was unrealistic. I’ve found lots of it but I feel like I’m missing something pretty crucial – probably like all the info for orders and services in progress that lived on clipboards in the appropriate area while in progress. Haven’t found those clipboards yet, which is frustrating.

I did find the storage box containing orders that my partner had spotted. It was large. It was full. It was full of shipping boxes in various stages of being filled. Quite a few of them had paid shipping labels attached to them. And they went into storage. And they stayed there. I just … I can’t even. (This is me not screaming. It’s taking a monumental effort.)

I guess I secretly/semi-consciously hoped that I’d blown all this up in my head to monstrous proportions but it wasn’t really as bad as all that. Well, it really is as bad as all that (and this is just orders for items – haven’t dived into services/readings yet :/ It could realistically be *even worse than I thought.* )

And the former customers who’ve gotten in touch with me over the past week to say they’d like to have any products/supplies that could currently be created rather than just a straight-up refund? Well, I was hoping I’d find their full or nearly full and ready-to-go shipping boxes in there and that everything in their order would still be usable and stable after sitting in a box in a storage unit for years.

LOL, yeah, that’s not too realistic either, huh…

Well, at the very least, I hoped I could see what made up their order and check to see what could conceivably be recreated if I have or could order the materials. That would give me an idea of what was left over that I’d simply need to refund.

Well, no such luck there either. I mean, the boxes didn’t even have packing slips in them (wince). No names, either, most of them – just initials and order numbers scrawled in horrible handwriting that’s barely legible on the outside of the box. In theory, if I can decipher those numbers, I can make a start towards a list, but yeah… I have a long way to go still.

It kicked up my asthma, too, all this digging around in dusty boxes and files, which has made me feel all slow and gross and fuzzy. (It’s taken me two days to write this post now that it’s after midnight.) And it really bummed me out. It was enough to send me back under the bed for a while.

I didn’t do that – I’m still here being vertical and trying to tackle this head on – but wow, this is a challenge (and not just financially but also psychologically).

Anyway, I’m working on it! I’m also still working on populating the new Etsy shop, Seraphin Station, which is very slow going, in large part because I have to rework prices on every single little thing, both to account for how much ingredients have gone up in almost five years and to account for Etsy’s  new-to-me, complex, and quite significant fee structure. This is all after I go through all my stuff and determine whether I even *can* make the thing in question, which in some cases can take a day or two. (One box I needed yesterday ended up being up in the barn in the loft, which I had to move a 12 foot ladder over half an acre to get to. Stuff like that. Free workout, I guess…)

But one thing’s become clear as I’ve been doing this – Etsy’s free to charge what it pleases, but especially for someone who tends to stock lots of smaller, lower-priced items (like individual oils or bath crystals), their fee setup isn’t very friendly. (Neither is their pressure to offer free shipping, because there’s no such thing as free shipping, really – but that’s gonna have to wait for another post when I’m less fuzzy headed before I try to talk about math!)

So I’m investigating alternatives. As with everything, so much depends on available funds, which means I have to make one thing go before I can afford to make the next, better thing go — since the next, better thing usually wants X amount of money a month. But hopefully Bonanza support will answer my email at some point soon and I’ll know what’s what with that. It might not be ideal, but its fee structure means I don’t have to tack $3 onto the normal price of a bottle of oil like I do at Etsy, blech.

Any of you folks who have done this same song and dance with platforms who have any recommendations, I’d love to hear ’em!

anthony post cover (1)And in not-whining-about-Etsy-and-my-allergies news, I’ve updated the FAQ Directory to consolidate all the St. Anthony links into a single blog page, updated the resources, and written up a bio/overview. (Mostly so I would have something to write here that wasn’t me whining and that could actually benefit *y’all* since this blog’s been a little shy on that kind of thing for a while now!)

St. Dymphna + update on 2015 record-sorting/reparations

If you’re just here for the hoodoo, there’s a new post about St. Dymphna up at the Seraphin Station site with links to prayers/novenas and some other sources and resources.

st dymphna medal (4)
Currently available at Etsy.

St. Dymphna these days is called on for a lot more than just anxiety and psychological disturbances. She’s become one of those saints like St. Jude who is called on when shit really hits the fan and things seem impossible. So she’s increasingly one of those “patrons of lost causes.”

This is pretty timely for me. This afternoon, I finally managed to download transaction reports for the entire year of 2015. Haven’t managed to get the raw reports into any usable form yet, but that’s one more tiny piece of the puzzle at any rate.

See, in 2015, I largely relied on Paypal to keep my records. Everything was associated with a transaction, and anything hitting my email account got labeled/filed and marked/moved around as appropriate, and stuff in-house lived in hardcopy until it got a shipping label. I had half a dozen different assistants over 2014-2015, and that definitely contributed to the records being in chaos, but at the end of the day, I was sure I could sort anything out ultimately because of Paypal. It was simple to pull up an order someone had placed and see if it had been shipped or not, ’cause it would have the shipping label payment transaction associated with it, whether it was shipped from Paypal or from my USPS account, which was funded by Paypal.

Yeah, it doesn’t work like that anymore.

Continue reading “St. Dymphna + update on 2015 record-sorting/reparations”

Long time no see…

Well, I’ve basically been offline for over three years now.

It’s been a rough few years. When I thought things couldn’t get any worse as I was updating you guys about shipping and paypal issues and such, well, they did get worse. They got even worse than my anxiety and worry had needled me about. A bunch of my nightmares came true.

cabin subfloor sep13 2016For a while, I lived in a small tent in the woods. My partner’s family donated materials so we could build ourselves a one-room cabin, which we did and proceeded to live in well into the winter, which pretty much sucked.

 

And by the time I had a roof again and got my stuff out of storage and inspected the insect and weather damage and found entire boxes of stuff that had shipping labels on it but it never got dropped off at the post office…  by the time I realized how badly I had screwed up with so many customers and clients, I couldn’t see any way to fix it short of paying them back, and until then, I decided, I couldn’t show my face (so to speak). I would lay low, keep my nose to the grindstone, and work work work until I could appear with reparations.

Well, I worked worked worked alright, but I sure never came close to being able to afford to throw enough money at these issues, and the more time passed, the worse it all felt, and the more final. How to fix my business without being open for business… couldn’t see a way. Over the last couple of months, though, a few things happened.

I had a falling out with a family member that reminded me very keenly about something I know intellectually but lose sight of when things get painful — that we only get out of life what we put into it, tend, and stick around to harvest, and we have to do that ourselves. We can’t sit still and just hope things will change any more than we can sit home and hope somebody else suddenly remembers we love them and they haven’t spoken to us in six months. Can’t control their emotions, can’t control all kinds of things, and can’t read minds, and if we wait on them to remember we exist or for life to somehow get easier *before* we put our shoulders back to the wheel… well, we’ll rot. We have to get going with our own lives even when we’re sad about the way it turned out.

Around the same time, a friend gently suggested that my perspective on it all might be a little skewed and I could be turning this into an all-or-nothing scenario when in fact there were more than just two binary options. She also reminded me that I’m a writer and that I get a lot of my sense of meaning out of that. She was right – so in leaving academia and then deciding I’d screwed up this business and all my client/customer trust and relationships royally and fatally and forever and had to go live under a rock, I suddenly didn’t have either of the vocations that I’d put everything into over the last 10-15 years, and I also didn’t have anything to write, anywhere to put it, anything to say, or anybody to say it to. There are really only a couple of things I know enough about to bother articulating opinions and ideas on, and I had no room or outlet to do so re. either one.

Just about everything in my life that contributed significantly to my sense of identity or vocation or meaning was upended, exploded, turned inside out, or at the very least shaken to within an inch of its life over the past few years – my sense of self as a mother, as a rootworker, as an academic, as a teacher, as a daughter/sister/niece/cousin, as a problem-solver and thinker and writer…

adult dark depressed face
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And who in the hell would want anything to do with spiritual commentary, advice, or services from somebody who couldn’t even fix their own shit when it broke? (went the mental narrative) Why should I even bother trying to unsnarl the incredibly messy tangle I’d have to dig shoulder-deep into to even start getting a clear picture of where things are? (went the mental narrative) I had nothing of any special value to contribute anywhere anyway. (went the mental narrative)

And then coronavirus happened. I have allergic asthma and it’s been very poorly controlled  over the last three years since we moved out to the middle of nowhere and then into a old house full of 20 years of cat dander, mold, mildew, dust, God know what else (definitely a goat used to sleep in the living room when it was cold out). So I’m in that category of folks who could realistically end up deader than hell if I get sick. And we live so far away from an emergency room that I might not make it even for a regular old asthma attack.

Well, damn, I thought. Never thought I’d be one to go out with a whimper.

Then I thought, wait a second. Screw *that.* For better or worse, the good Lord gave you a loud damned mouth and that seems to be the only asset you have left, so maybe you should be using it. At the very least, you can put your apology out there instead of just cringing your way into the grave looking all hangdog. Your sitting there feeling like shit for a few more years, or until you die of pneumonia in a couple of months , isn’t gonna do anybody any good.

So maybe a few people see you around and show up to hurl rocks and epithets. Well, you earned a little grief, so suck it up and take the best chance you’ve got to fix it in the foreseeable future. But it’s pretty unlikely that anybody except you has been obsessing over this several times a week for a few years, so they probably aren’t going to be emotional about it. (went the new mental narrative)

…All of which seemed fairly reasonable and plausible, actually.

So here I am going through the rubble, seeing what can be salvaged, seeing what I do and don’t recognize of the world now, and trying to suck it up and start fixing things.

It is pretty slow going. I have some real messes on my hands and a few things have changed since I last had to fool with them. But if you want to keep up with what’s going on, the plan is to regularly update the new site, Seraphin Station, with that sort of thing. I posted a note there the other day for people who were Karma Zain customers/clients between 2002-2015 explaining some of this, but it’s gonna take me probably months still to track down and catch up on everything and everybody, so there’s bound to be some repetition and some rubble along the way.

I haven’t even been able to access all my old social media yet, and I figure I must have about 8,000+ messages and comments to sort through (sigh) but I’ll be keeping up with new messages here at this blog and the Seraphin Station one. I suspect I’ll keep both and let this one be the more “advanced” material/discussions for people who don’t need a generic intro to spiritual work and are already familiar with conjure specifically. I guess… we’ll see?

But if you *don’t* hate me and would like to see me kicking around on the web making a nuisance of myself again, please leave a comment and let me know how you’ve been, or drop me an email (you can use the contact form at Seraphin Station or the gmail address), or wave or click the like box or subscribe or *something* so that I can tell my imagination to get stuffed and to stop with the sky is falling stuff :/

Hope everybody is healthy and hanging in there and your homes are all peaceful and patient and loving and nobody has cabin fever!

status update + current coupon codes/sales + giveaways/freebies

Order Backlog:

I got one huge Tupperware box of packages safely in the hands of the postal pickup lady last week, and I am working on the next. Operation Backlog Deadline is moving forward, and if it’s not moving forward as fast as I’d like (guess whose car went *back* to the mechanic last week, after dying on the way to a job site, meaning I didn’t get to the job and didn’t get a paycheck for it???), I do have to say that at least a couple of handfuls of folks will finally get their packages this week, along with some freebies by way of apology and a letter from me (longish, but don’t just toss it unless you’re totally done with me, because somewhere in there or on a card in the box there is likely a coupon code just for folks whose packages ended up in shipping limbo for a while).

I am running low on some herbs, butters, and oils I need to make some stuff for orders already in-house and need to order those this week, so I was absolutely right that I didn’t have enough squirrelled away from my out-of-the-house jobs to get everything made and shipped in one fell swoop, as they say. (And besides the damned car breaking down again, just a few months after it needed a new transmission — and before I got the personal family loan for that mechanical work paid off! — I have quite a few nasty chunks of expense I can’t avoid or delay any longer, such as getting myself, the offspring, and the dog to their respective doctors and dentists and such, retaining an attorney and an accountant to deal with some serious unpleasantness with a creditor and with the government, and dealing with some insurance and doctor billing stuff that got messed up a while back and that needs money applied to it to fix.) But I am whittling away at the backlog, and as funds trickle in to the Paypal account, which is blessedly no longer in the negative, I am continuing to print shipping labels. Everyone *will* get their stuff as soon as I can get it to them, and I am happy to say things are going at least a *little* more quickly now than they were.

Email Backlog:

I haven’t made any real headway there beyond scanning quickly for new stuff or fires that need putting out, or going in to search for a specific message. I am prioritizing getting these orders out, but I’m trying to get some help on the continual challenge of sorting through, labeling, filing, etc. iwith the inbox so I know what’s what and what needs what action instead of just dipping randomly into an undifferentiated mass of messages (and there are *hundreds* of them, many hundreds of them). This will take time.

Reports and Services:

See above and previous messages for why I am prioritizing tangible items over services. These are the next order of business after the orders are caught up, and some refunds will be involved, which will be another messy element affecting the speed of order processing and shipment. But I do still plan on offering free phone sessions to folks who still want the session and who have been waiting longer than their original estimated turnaround (which is pretty much everybody now). I will discuss teh details separately once I can actually start scheduling things.

Current Sale (through Sun, Sep 20):

Everything in this BOGO collection/category is “Buy One Get One Free.” You don’t need to do anything special  – when I see an eligible item in your order, I’ll add the second item along with the first as I prepare your stuff. You do NOT need to leave a note to tell me which items are eligible — I already know that — and you don’t need to add the second item yourself; if you are buying one 2-dram bottle of Attraction oil, add that to your cart. I will make and send TWO 2-dram bottles of Attraction oil if your order is placed while the sale is active. If you put two bottles of Attraction oil in your cart, the system will not discount the second bottle; you’ll just get a grand total of FOUR bottles when you get your package and you will have paid for two of them.

Basically, anything appearing in this collection — that’s all regular condition oils, powders, and bath/floorwash crystals, excluding specialty and custom-made items — is BOGO Free, so if you order one, you get two in your package. If your order also contains items that aren’t eligible, you still don’t need to do anything – I know which are and aren’t eligible, so I’ll add the extra freebies and skip the stuff that isn’t eligible for a second item/bottle/package free.

Because there is no coupon code you have to use to take advantage of this offer, you can still use other available coupon codes with your order as well, so you can pile on the savings with this one.

Offer applies to orders placed between 12 am Sunday, Sep. 13 through midnight Sunday, Sep. 20.

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Current Prize Drawing/Giveaway (open through Oct. 1):

My daughter agreed to sew another couple of treats for me to give away to two of you guys, whichever two are the winners of the random drawing that I’ll hold after October 1.  You don’t have to do anything separate – any order placed between now (Sep 13) and midnight on 1 Oct will be automatically entered to win. Given the backlog, it’s possible that larger and/or custom orders will not be ready to ship until I’ve drawn the winners anyway, in which case I’d send the custom-finished prize with your order, but if you are identified as a winner after your order has shipped, I’ll just send it along separately later.

I’ll post more about this later, but I will have two mojo plushies (read more about them and about how this works in this post) to give away to winners. I have one small evil eye plushie as well (more info here), and the first prize winner can choose the plushie or the evil eye if s/he prefers that. If s/he wants the plushie, then the second prize winner will also have the same choice.

Current Coupons (through Sun, Sep 20):

Use code SEP15 to take 15% off orders over $30 (before discount, excluding shipping). Use code SEP35 to take 35% off orders over $80 (before discount, excluding shipping). Both good through midnight Sunday, Sep. 20.

For instructions on using coupon codes, see the applicable heading in the FAQ.

***

Terms of Service re. shipping/handling and prep times apply.
Read the FAQ here, including instructions on how to use coupon codes if you need them.
Read the latest status updates, including matters affecting shipping, communication, etc. here.

Your use of this site constitutes your acceptance of our Terms of Service, including your understanding of our posted shipping, handling, and turnaround times; guidelines for contacting us about a current order or service; and instructions for how to request a trace on a shipped item.

status update and plans: shipping of backlogged orders, plans for next 6 weeks

Between my starting the first draft of this post and finishing the version I’m actually posting, some things (as usual) changed. I’ll mention the changes in brackets within the text.

This turned out to be rather a long post. I’ve put it under a cut. The bottom line for readers is that I’m giving myself a deadline to be caught up – October 15th. If I’m not caught up by then, i’ll be putting the shop on “vacation” until I *am* caught up. Since I’m officially job-hunting again as the outside work has largely dried up and since there won’t be even the trickle of income from here in that event, I am not sure *how* I’ll get caught up, but I have to do something, and that is what this post is about.

Continue reading “status update and plans: shipping of backlogged orders, plans for next 6 weeks”

ETA: fixed! status update – a.m. version (site is broken, I’m not dead)

*DOMAIN/NAVIGATION ISSUES: ETA: Fixed as of Th afternoon (the 13th) — and at least when I checked last, the site came up via the url karmazain.com on both Chrome and Firefox. That’s progress!

My site is down. I don’t know when the problem will be solved – I have been working 8-12 hour shifts 7 days a week lately at an outside job. But I’m posting to say I’m going to fix it as soon as I can, I’m not dead, I haven’t gone out of business, and nobody needs to panic about their orders or their money disappearing. Things are just still slow for the same old reasons.

*DOMAIN/NAVIGATION ISSUES: My site is down. I don’t know when the problem will be solved – I have been working 8-12 hour shifts 7 days a week lately at an outside job. But I’m posting to say I’m going to fix it as soon as I can, I’m not dead, I haven’t gone out of business, and nobody needs to panic about their orders or their money disappearing. Things are just still slow for the same old reasons.

*ORDERS: Related to the above, as outlined in previous posts, I have had to scramble for income since I quit my university job and the very few orders that come in through the shop get swallowed up by the hole in my account and/or by required supplies, and so I have a slew of boxed up orders sitting here that I haven’t been able to ship. Since my site has been a little wonky for a while (esp. for Chrome users) and I don’t have the skills to solve the problem definitively/permanently, and since I have been out of the house so much lately and haven’t been able to get anybody else to solve it, and since the shop and back orders are still in a total disaster state and I haven’t really had much in the way of orders coming in anyway, there’s no income there either. So I’ve been working overtime to earn some cash so I can eat, pay rent, and hopefully have something left over to ship all these orders sitting here. Part of my check that I just deposited is going to printing labels today, in fact. Since I still don’t know when I can dedicate phone time to catching up on consultations, and since I am still not anywhere near caught up on the inbox and I am sure there are some refund requests in there mixed up with all the notifications from Shopify and Paypal about how shit is fucked up and some people are forcing their refunds to the top of the list with disputes and chargebacks, I am going to try to start refunding consultations too. Unfortunately, for reasons I’ve covered in previous posts, I have to handle the physical items orders first.

I feel terrible about this and I feel terrible about having to repeat how terrible I feel.

Continue reading “ETA: fixed! status update – a.m. version (site is broken, I’m not dead)”

status update + current coupon codes + drawing for multiple giveaways/freebies

*DOMAIN/NAVIGATION ISSUES: There’s still some sort of hiccup going on with some users navigating to the Karma Zain Spiritual Supplies site using Chrome. The hiccups do not appear to be affecting Firefox for reasons as yet unclear to me. I thought this was resolved after my last post mentioning it, but it apparently isn’t, and fixing it is on a long, long list of things I need to have done yesterday, but it’s had to take a backseat to getting these damned orders out and getting through the email inbox (more on this below). Anyway, my domain karmazain.com has NOT expired – it’s registered through 2017. This probably has something to do with a change that Shopify made to how their domain forwarding/pointing works, and I’m still investigating, but in some cases users have arrived at a page that looks like my domain name is up for sale or something, and lately users are just getting a “can’t resolve server” error, whether they enter karmazain.com or http://www.karmazain.com. Things are fine in Firefox though – it forwards you to the actual shop URL http://karma-zain-spiritual-supplies.myshopify.com like it’s supposed to. I will figure it out at some point. Meanwhile, if you have the site bookmarked and are getting a blank page or error in Chrome, try Firefox and accept my apologies 😦  You can always navigate directly to the Shopify location of the store, too, which again is http://karma-zain-spiritual-supplies.myshopify.com

**If you have not been following my updates here, you should probably read this post first to get up to speed on what’s going on, why shipping is still delayed beyond the usual handling times, and why communication is still backlogged.**

*ORDERS: As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I am in a hell of a Catch-22 with this shop situation. I can’t close the store until I get caught up because chargebacks continue to come in, and in cases where they were credit card payments direct through the shop processor, I am getting screwed with those *regardless* of whether I can prove the item has shipped. As for Paypal disputes, once somebody escalates to a dispute, my only options for response are “I accept liabilty and will refund/have refunded” or “I can provide shipping info.” I can’t answer with “your order will ship as soon as I have funds in the account” or “it’s set to go out next week” or anything else – so basically I hustle and try to get the package out, but I sometimes can’t, and then I just have to accept the reversal/cancellation, even if I’ve already filled a custom-made or custom-finished order and have it sitting in a box waiting on a label.

I talked before about finally having adequate time to spend on/with the shop/altars after two academic years of working 80+ hours a week on teaching-related stuff, but the nasty Catch-22 here is that as long as I’m in the hole with the shop, all the time I put into it is not actually feeding me or my daughter (or my damned dog – more on her in a sec). So I have no choice but to work at another job as well, and I’ve been doing that right at full-time since the semester let out. I’m an independent contractor, in theory using the woodworking skills from growing up the daughter of two furniture craftspeople, but in practice basically doing assorted light construction for a couple of different clients, some of it woodworking but most of it just plain carrying, hammering, measuring, hauling, drilling, painting, and demolishing. It is physical labor, and while I come from strong, healthy peasant stock as I always say, I’m not in my 20s anymore (hell, I’m not in my 30s anymore, either, for that matter), and at the end of the day it’s not as easy as it used to be to start a second shift of being on my feet (really a third, if you count the housekeeping/cooking/taxi-ing/similar unpaid but necessary work involved in being the mother of a dependent teenager and the daughter/granddaughter of folks who need help with things more often these days). So the hours I’d hoped to sink into the shop aren’t quite getting sunk since I have to manage groceries and the power bill while I’m getting caught up. (The pay isn’t all that great at this new gig, either, truth be told – in fact, it’s miserable, but I’m working on remedying that.)

Ideally, my current work would involve more of this, which is a rolling “cart” for beer kegs made out of reclaimed 18th century French colonial wood and glass, made for a customer’s wedding reception (and you wouldn’t believe how heavy those antique doors are!)

But in practice it’s a lot more of this, which is the underside/working end of a bar/restaurant we’re remodeling:

As I’ve also mentioned, I got one final paycheck from my academic job, and I printed hundreds of dollars worth of labels as soon as it hit my account. It wasn’t quite enough to get everything in-house shipped, but it was going to go pretty far, but then – because this is the kind of year I’m having – my 1.5 year old dog ate something she shouldn’t have and had to go to the doggie ER at 2 am (where they charge you $100 just to walk in the door). Some blood panels and IVs later, my dog (whose name is Rocket for reasons that are immediately apparent as soon as you meet her in person) is fine, thank God, but the bottom line is pretty much that my dog ate your shipping label, or to be more precise, my dog’s vet took all my money for your shipping label. (I’m also nearly out of ink, which is another expenditure I have to make before I can get the next batch out.)

But you can’t stay mad at this face:


She’s supervising, that’s it – she has to inspect all the paper in the trash bags before we haul it out of the shipping area 🙂

Then, as I’ve also previously mentioned, there are some ongoing family obligations related to being a member of a very large, close-knit Irish Catholic clan with some of the family elders truly getting on in years. There have been more hospitalizations and more traveling around for these types of things, and of course in the midst of all this my laptop died, mucking up any ability to stay on top of things while on the road, because — yeah — that is the kind of year I’m having.

Though I did get a picture or two of the old family homestead from my mother’s father’s mother’s era: some land outside Bermuda, Alabama where the clan once dwelt, and then a shot of Burnt Corn Creek (you think that one’s colorful – some members of the following generation settled on the banks of a creek called Turkey Branch!)

Anyway, I am steadily prepping and packing orders, but I am still behind, and I am still not flush with the business account. I’ve shipped a lot, but a lot of y’all are still waiting on things you expected before now, and I need to try to get the business account back into the positive again (yes, I had another chargeback this past week). And those of waiting on services are still waiting on me to get caught up with the tangible item stuff before I can dedicate time to those when I can be sure chargebacks aren’t around the corner and I have enough in the bank to feed the hungry mouths around here.

I’m working like a dog, y’all, I promise (though not like my dog, who doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot of anything resembling work), and I have not forgotten anyone or anything. I will make it right, and I am making progress — just not as quickly as I’d have liked.

In good news, I have a new assistant, and let’s keep our fingers crossed about this one, can we? She’s just started training, her name is CK, and y’all be nice to her so I don’t have to lose *yet another one.* I’m going to be nice to her too, which needs to start with paying her on time, so the pressure is on from all sides, for real. But we put in several hours tonight and will put in several more tomorrow, and have the eternal goal of one day seeing the bottom of the inbox in mind.

Current Coupon Codes:

From now until midnight on Tues, July 14 (Central time), use the following coupon codes at checkout, good for any item or service in any store category/collection at all:

code july40 to get 40% off any order totalling $60 or more (before discount, excluding shipping).
code july30 to get 30% off any order totalling $40 or more (before discount, excluding shipping).
code july20 to get 20% off any order totalling $20 or more (before discount, excluding shipping).

For instructions on using coupon codes, see the applicable heading in the FAQ.

I plan to do at least one more sale and one more giveaway/drawing this month, later, too, but I don’t know the details or dates yet. This 40% off digs deep, though, so I’m not likely to repeat that percentage in any sale offerings after this if I can avoid it. So carpe diem and all that.

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Drawing for Free Gift: “Evil Eye Plushie”

In addition, you can enter to win a drawing for a free adorable thing that I don’t have a name for, so I’m going with “evil eye plushie” right now. Just type “evil eye plushie” into the “Notes” box during checkout to enter; you can enter with any order at all placed now through midnight Central time on the 21st of July). More detail below.

As I mentioned before, my daughter definitely inherited the family crafty gene, and some of her creations lend themselves to spiritual ends, and I asked her to make something new and one of a kind for a giveaway/drawing for y’all and she came up with these plushie evil eye charm things.

  

The one with the beads already attached has already been gifted to a client, but the other two are up for winning – first prize will have first pick and second prize second pick. They are ready to have your custom herbs, curios, petitions, and/or personal concerns added, at which point they can be sewn up and have whatever appropriate/preferred beads, bells, feathers, mirrors, etc. attached before they come off my altars and make their way to the winners.

When she sews her little plushie things and fills them with hypoallergenic pillow stuffing, she leaves a little segment of seam unsewn so that you or I can add appropriate herbs, personal concerns, etc. suitable to your petition/intention. We can talk details via email once the winner is identified, but you could either send me things for inclusion or I can send you instructions for how to do the personalization part yourself.

Whether or not you use the July40/30/20 coupon code, you can enter to win this customized evil eye plushie by simply placing any order at the shop, no matter the amount or product/service type, and typing “evil eye plushie” into the “Notes” box. On the first or second page of the Shopify checkout system, you’ll see a text box that says something like “Notes.” This is the one I’m always telling you NOT to use when you want to give me more info about your order, because what you type won’t print with your order and so I generally won’t see it. (So you should never use it to give me customization info or leave me a note about an order or a question you want an answer to – I will NOT see it if you do this in ordinary cases.)

In this case, though, I have set up a quick and dirty workaround that will flag me when a note exists, so even though the contents of the note will not print, when I see that flag during this sale/offer, I’ll manually go into the system the “back way” for the order processing rather than through the normal workflow, and I will check to see what the “note” field says. If you type “EVIL EYE PLUSHIE” there, then I will manually mark your order printout and, once, all entries are received, it will join those “in the hat” and I’ll draw the winners at random
and contact them for customization details. One order equals one entry.

There will be two winners; each will receive ONE customized evil eye plushie. Please be aware of handling times for customized / custom-finished items per FAQ/TOS.

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