Sunday, March 21, 2021

So Grateful this Vernal Equinox

It is officially Spring.  We've missed an entire year of festivals, gatherings, and friends.  It just might be almost over.  My fingers and toes are all crossed.

It's almost unimaginable that it was over a year ago that most of us agreed to lock down for 2 weeks in order to help get this virus under control.  2 weeks stretched to 6, and then there was no end in sight.  We've all peered into this long tunnel, searching for a pinpoint of light at the end.  My book - Medicinal Herbs for Emotional Healing came out last March.  

Available on our website:
Click on the "books" tab

The signings and presentations I'd planned didn't happen, but the launch went okay, especially because the topic was so relevant.

Several times during this year, I've patted myself on the back for thinking ahead and having what I needed on hand, for staying in, and doing my part. It would be easy to go off on a self-congratulatory tangent, but the truth is that I was lucky.  I already work from home and lead a frugal life.  We stay to ourselves pretty much up here on the hill, so there was very little that changed except we only ventured into town once a week - with added anxiety. 

We spent 6 months working on new-to-us techniques in eco-dyeing, and I found the art form I've searched for my whole life.  I am in LOVE.

Mostly we do silk scarves, but that process results in some interesting cotton prints, too!

A few months before things got serious, we'd announced that printing and mailing costs were such that we could not continue to create a printed magazine, and would only be doing so for one more year.  Since 2002, we were determined to print as long as it was feasible.  We thought that would go on forever, but that was not to be... We DO have another 10 years to compile into a book, though.  We're saving our pennies for that mammoth project.

Our website started providing a fun and easy option for emails, so those who've signed up while visiting the site now receive "Just the Essentials" - a short newsletter every 2 weeks that contains a little of this or that, introduces new products, and occasionally includes an exclusive discount. 

Let's just say that keeping up with all of this makes me very happy to have 16 years of blogs and 20 years of magazines in my bag of tricks!

I can't tell you how many times I've stopped and considered how fortunate we have been to be able to make that decision and switch a few issues early.  We have one more issue in our first all digital year, and we are so grateful for the smooth transition.  We lost a few subscribers, and that was expected.  So many of our readers chose us because we were a print magazine, so it was a great surprise to find that the vast majority of our readers stuck around.  We've had some that dropped the magazine, but came back!  Most of our advertisers stuck around too - so we've got a lot to be grateful for, and we're determined to continue earning that loyalty.

In the meantime, we're still struggling a little bit getting used to the schedule, now that we added the "Extra!" that arrives in the months that magazines don't come out (thanks for the brilliant idea, Susanna).  Double the deadlines (for us - not the contributors), double the fun.

We get to play around with different ideas.
Sometimes we include a video link.  Couldn't do that before!

Our advertisers are included in the Extra as well as the regular magazine at no additional charge, so we feel we can give them a better value.

Sometimes we receive content that really fits much better during an in-between month, and the Extra is perfect for that, too.  

It's more work, but we are really enjoying it. Originally we promised that it could be just a recipe or a puzzle, but so far it's been a mini magazine.

With the weather improving and things loosening up, we're hoping to do more with our youtube channel now that I've realized time will not make me younger, thinner, or cuter.  No time like the present!  

We've got lots of ideas, but if there's something you'd like us to present in a 5 or 10 minute video, let us know.  Obviously, that's not enough time for major projects, but we can do a lot in a few minutes.

Another thing that has been an unforeseen challenge was trying to figure out how to present the magazines on the website.  For the past few years we'd been having a lot of fun creating a seasonal tableau for each issue to photograph and display on the home page.

We're getting there.  Little by little we figure it out.

We have been having a lot of fun this year, quietly writing and pondering here on the hill.  There are a few things I'm looking forward to, friends I've really missed and hugs to be given.  

Here's hoping you've gotten your subscription so that you don't miss out on anything!  We know how scarce extra money is and try to make sure we're more than worth it.