The Last Day of June

Today is the last day of June. Six months of 2015 will be over with at midnight tonight and we’ll start on the second half of the year. Again, I say, time travels by just so quickly, except if you are a kid – then summers just fly by before the beginning of a new school year. At least that’s the way it was when I was a kidlet. The older I get, the minutes just seem to tick by faster and faster.

This weekend is the Independence Day holiday weekend. At least for some people. Not everyone gets a paid weekend, not everyone gets a day off. But, for those that do, I’m sure they’ll be migrating right out of our beautiful state and heading for somewhere ‘to do something.’ We hear it all the time, “there isn’t anything to do around here.” For nine years we’ve been trying to spread a little community spirit, trying to get people to visit the places in our own state. It hasn’t worked. People don’t want to stay home when they get a couple of days off. And, we’ve come to the conclusion that people really don’t care what we think or say anyway. And that’s okay too.

The newest edition of All Things Country Magazine prints on Monday, so I’ll be sitting right here at the computer putting it all together for our readers and advertisers to enjoy. We hear so many kind comments, it’s heartwarming to open the mailbox and read letters from readers. And we hear great things from our advertisers too. Many says it’s the best advertising they do, and that definitely makes us happy. We try our best, we really do. Things have slowed down so much with advertising that it makes it rough on us at times. But, there isn’t anything we can do about that except keep on trying and keep on hoping for the best. We know that at some point down the road, All Things Country will no longer be in publication so we try to enjoy each and every month that our advertisers allow us to print it.

We really want to highlight things that we love about Kentucky in our July edition. That’s the reason we started the magazine in the first place. After moving here, we couldn’t find any good information on things to do in the area. So we got in our vehicle and drove around to see what we could find. The more we drove around, the more we wanted to share it with people. And the magazine was born. The very first edition, every ad was given away free. We paid for the very first printing all on our own. And of those free ads, only one of the businesses is still in business. It’s almost depressing to look in past editions and see ads for businesses that didn’t make it.

We’ve shared our lives with you for the past nine years. The ups and downs. We’ve done our best to promote the area – the entire area that we call home. Not just Estill County where we reside. Everyone knows us …. we know few of you. Dave actually knows more of you than I do, but I do get out and about at times and try to meet as many people as I can. And when we travel anywhere …. delivery, covering a story, selling advertising – we take past copies of the magazine. So even if you advertised months ago, your ads are still being seen. And they stay online forever, so really your advertising never dies, even long after your business has died.

And we’ll keep sharing our lives with you as long as you’ll have us and we sell enough ads to print it each month! There is no legal advertising for us to depend on. No national advertising. No ad agency ads. Just the Dave person and I …. out trying to promote your business. Of course, we do give you something for your advertising and that is something you don’t get when you advertise with different avenues in the area….. we give you something to give out to your customers. So, give us a try and we’ll do our best to promote your business. Because that’s what we do.

Have a great day!
Pam

What I’ve learned in the past nine years

Good morning everyone. As I sat here this morning in the early morning light, just me and my spinning wheel, my mind started considering what all has happened in the past nine years. You see, our upcoming July 2015 edition of All Things Country Magazine marks the beginning of our tenth year in publication. Nine years of my life has been spent promoting our area and sharing good news with our readers. One hundred and eight publications. One hundred and eight paydays.

Things have definitely changed in those one hundred and eight months. Facebook came along, and so did Twitter and Instagram. Hand held mobile devices arrived. And the competition, oh my gosh. Somehow we’ve survived all of the other publications that popped up after our arrival. And most of them have come – and gone. We’re still here …. promoting every last business that advertises with us. Not just through our publication, but also through social media and the internet. Yes, we upload the magazine to the internet every month. You can find it at www.atcky.com or at issuu.com. We actually get Abby Track entries in the mail before we even get delivery complete. It’s amazing.

What hasn’t changed? Our readers and all the kind comments we get each month. Many people send us notes with their Abby Track entries and they just warm our hearts. We also get pictures all the time of readers with their copies of the magazine. We get Facebook likes all the time from other states and I can only attribute that to our readers leaving their copies wherever they go. I know I never leave home without magazines and hand them out all the time, and I know many readers do the same thing.

Sadness crept into my thoughts this morning too. I have nothing to show for the past nine years either. I have no business to sell in the end. I’ve devoted all of these years to promoting our area, our local businesses, events and festivals in the area and when it’s all over, when the magazine finally goes away, I’m left with nothing. The businesses, events and festivals will all remain, or most of them will. They certainly won’t miss us coming in every month asking for advertising. But then, I cannot forget about all the wonderful people we’ve met along the way either.

As I read back over this, going over my words, it seems like I’m giving up. Trust me, I’m not. I still believe. I believe that there’s a whole bunch of people that don’t read things online. They don’t get their advertising from television because they don’t have it. I read their letters. I cannot begin to compete with the radio or newspaper. I can’t sell an ad and have it run on the radio that day. Or sell an ad and have it run within days like the local newspaper. It’s a once a month thing for us.

What I can promise you is this: if you advertise with us, you’ll get a good looking ad in a widely read magazine, distributed in more counties than any of our competition even begins to cover. You won’t get a magazine filled with ads for businesses that we wouldn’t frequent ourselves. You won’t get a magazine filled with arrest records and murders and robberies. You’ll continue to get a magazine with poetry, short stories and events and activities in our area. You’ll continue to get a magazine that customers come in and ask for every month.

As always, have a Blessed day. We appreciate you all.
Pam

Happy Monday to ya!

Cyber Monday Special

Cyber Monday Special

Oh, gosh! December is here. We are officially 31 days away from 2015. All I can say is wow. I hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and were able to get everything you had on your lists accomplished. The weekend after Thanksgiving is usually the time we get our lights out, but after participating in Small Business Saturday, we took yesterday off. Well, kind of. Being self-employed, you never really get a day off. I actually spent part of the day finishing up the Estill Art Council’s newsletter, then spent a bit of time working in our beautiful fleece. So, not really a day off at all. I guess the lights just got put on the back burner.

We sure enjoyed ourselves on Saturday. We met so many people that read All Things Country Magazine and sure enjoyed that. Dave is out and about today picking up all the passports and drawing tickets so we can get some figures on how successful the day was for our locally-owned small businesses. I’ve heard lots of good, and I’m sure we’ll hear the bad too. I have to remember that it was our first year of participating in Small Business Saturday with an ‘event’ and changes can always be made.

Today is what they refer to as Cyber Monday. Although I’m not a big fan of spending money online – I am a fan of supporting small businesses. So, we are offering the same special we offered Saturday today on Cyber Monday. You can get a 1/16 page Christmas Greeting ad for half price. Yes, HALF PRICE. This is a great way for our readers to show their support of the magazine, along with wishing our readers – your friends and neighbors – a Merry Christmas. Some folks just don’t have the time to send out cards and sometimes folks have lists so long they can’t afford to send everyone a card anymore. Let us help – and you’ll be helping us in return.

Here is the link to pay for your ad if you are interested. Ads must be paid for today, we cannot bill you for this special!
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=NZNYC7TEK9CR6

If you participate, just email me with your instructions for your ad and I’ll design you something special. I’ve got lots of beautiful artwork too, so we can design what you want. Or at least try to!

I hope each of you have a Blessed day. Thanks for reading All Things Country. We appreciate each and every one of you.

Pam

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is day after tomorrow, a day for each of us to be thankful for what we have. We all need to concentrate on that, especially in the time we are living in. Listening to the news today and all the coverage from Missouri just breaks my heart. The destruction that has been caused by such angry people. I finally had to turn off the television. I won’t get into my thoughts and views. I’ll just tell you the whole situation is sad, on so many different levels. “If only” is all I can say.

This is a time to be thankful and that’s just what I’m going to do. I’m incredibly thankful to publish All Things Country Magazine each month. We’ve developed some great relationships with our advertisers over the years and continue to try our very best with each edition. For the record, I only like about half of them. I rarely look at one after they come back from the press. I’m ALWAYS disappointed with something, so I give it a look or two and then try not to look again.

I’m my own worst critic though. You don’t see the magazine through my eyes. Through my eyes, this is my ‘art’. I take pride in each and every page. I want it to be the very best. And that, folks, will never happen. It’s not in the nature of publishing. There is always an error, a picture that is too dark, too light. A mis-spelled word. Ugh. Oops, I’m not sounding too thankful, am I?

I’m also thankful to all of our readers who take time out of their days to read along. Those that search for that Abby track. Those that send their recipes and short stories in. I’m no writer. In fact, I find it very hard to write a ‘good’ story. But, I can somehow ramble along – and most of you follow along with it. It’s incredibly awesome to read your letters too. Sometimes I’ll have just a horrible day and then along comes a letter from a reader, thanking me for the hard work. It keeps me going on those days that everyone says “no, I can’t afford an ad.”

Heck, I won’t even complain about the WEEKS that go by and everyone says “no, I can’t afford an ad.” It wouldn’t do me any good anyway, would it? What will be, will be. The magazine comes out and if we have enough advertisers to pay for it, that’s great. Sometimes that isn’t the case and we just have to try harder the next month.

I’m thankful for the phone calls we receive too. It makes a person’s heart feel very full when they know their work is appreciated. Being the boss, I don’t pat myself on the back very often. So those phone calls help. Of course, we do receive our share of phone calls that aren’t the best either. Twice in the past month we’ve been ‘reprimanded’ for charging for subscriptions. I’m pretty sure you cannot call Southern Living and request a free subscription. And who knows, maybe you can. They have a much bigger budget than we do. We certainly don’t have the budget to send out magazines for free. The postage and envelope are expenses that cut into the bottom line.

We take the good with the bad. We celebrate when we get new advertisers. We are thankful when our regular advertisers continue to run. We are happy to see the small businesses that support us succeed. And we are even happier to drop them off magazines each month to hand out to their customers. We listen to people complain because we don’t leave magazines here or there, but our advertisers come first. They always have. And always will.

So, as you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner, know that the Dave person and I appreciate each and every one of you. Many blessings to you and your family on Thanksgiving Day and beyond.

Pam

The Countdown Begins

It’s that time of the month again …the final week leading up to printing. It gets hectic around here. Living with a deadline is something I’ve become accustomed to. It’s not for everyone and I’ve learned that over the many years I’ve spent in the world of publishing.

I remember an interview I went through one time, one in which I’m sitting around a table of five department heads trying to decide whether to hire me. Now, for those of you that know me well – you know how bashful I can be. I’m not one to talk up in a crowd. I’m the one sitting on the side, taking everything in. So, needless to say, I was a bit nervous.

Questions were being slung at me from all directions. And then this one, “what would you do if someone spilled ink on all of your pages minutes before press time.” And I thought to myself, “well the first thing I would do is go outside and smoke a cigarette and vent to myself.” Of course, I’m not going to say that to these department heads. I answered the question and apparently it was a good enough reply because I was hired.

Basically they were trying to figure out how I would handle deadlines. You see, the press doesn’t wait for you. I’ve literally worked at a newspaper that printed a blank page one time because there wasn’t anything there to shoot for the page. Half the run was printed with a blank page before they were forced to stop for something and the plate got hung. Sure was glad I wasn’t the supervisor that night!

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve freaked out a few times over the years in this industry, especially in my earlier years. I still freak out now. I get scared every month that we won’t have enough advertisers to make a decent magazine. It’s a struggle that we go through every month and even more so in January and February. It takes a good November and December magazine to even things out.

Of course, since we’ve started All Things Country the avenues for advertising have increased ten-fold. Almost every community we deliver to has some form of free publication. Getting advertising in counties further away from us is getting more and more difficult. The new year may bring about a few changes, especially delivering to counties that we quite literally never get an ad out of. We may need to spread our wings in different directions.

Well, I guess I’d better get back to things at hand. Like deadline week. I have to send the magazine to the printers one week from today. Our November edition is going to highlight Open Houses and Craft Shows going on in the area, plus something I’m very passionate about … Small Business Saturday. I won’t even start that subject right now, I’ll save that for my next post. If you are interested in running an ad and helping to put out another great edition of All Things Country, please let me know.

Have an awesome Wednesday and take advantage of the beautiful weather outside our doors. They say we may have snow by Friday, yikes!

Pam

Were you ready for Fall?

Fall has officially arrived. The scenery is truly changing each day outside our doors. And the weather is starting to get a little chilly in the mornings and evenings. I’m ready for it, I guess. I was never a fan of fall living in the northwest. Fall meant bringing in wood for the winter. Lots of wood. Most homes back there have at least one wood stove. Some have one on each floor. And at times, both are needed. I can remember some winters where you couldn’t even see out your windows because of the snow falling off your roof.

And that’s a whole ‘nother problem back there. Snow on your roof. Shoveling it to make sure it doesn’t collapse your home. It’s not just back there though, most places in the north deal with the same thing. Something we’ve never dealt with since moving to Kentucky. And, I’m guessing we won’t have to with the lack of snow that actually sticks around here.

But, back to fall. Let’s not forget about the season all together. I saw a post today commenting how their neighbors were decorating for Christmas today. Really? On October 20th. What happened to Halloween, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving? If we all got really creative, we could follow the list of holidays for the month of November and stay so busy that we wouldn’t even think about Christmas until December.

I mean who doesn’t want to celebrate Deviled Egg Day on November 2, which is also “Look for Circles Day”. Then follow that up on the 3rd with Sandwich Day. And eat a few because the 4th is Election Day and that is enough to make all of us sick. Of course, if the election doesn’t go like everyone wants, the next day November 5th is Gunpowder Day so it might get loud.

I won’t even get into the details of Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day, which falls on the 7th. Or Chicken Soup for the Soul Day. Who comes up with some of these. Oh, yeah … a chocolate maker and a publishing company came up with those.

Now there are a few holidays I really can’t leave out: World Kindness Day on the 13th, America Recycles Day on the 15th, World Peace Day on the 17th, National Adoption Day on the 22nd …. these deserve some attention. And they shouldn’t be forgotten or skipped over because everyone is so busy getting ready for Christmas. Christmas is supposed to be on the 25th of December – not the 9 weeks leading up to it.

Okay, rant over. I certainly will stop now before I mention a dreaded day I saw on that list: “Clean Your Refrigerator Day”. That’s a ‘day’ we’d all like to skip.

The First of October

October has arrived. It was never one of my favorite months, but I’ve mellowed with age. And October brings memories of my beautiful Grandma Alice, whose ‘birth week’ always fell in October. Yes, she celebrated her birthday for an entire week. It took that many days to fit everything she always planned for that week. I’m thankful she’s in heaven watching over my every move, but I still miss her terribly. But, I know most people miss their grandparents terribly, so I shouldn’t even complain.

This is also the month that the Dave person and I arrived in Kentucky to live. We arrived about noon on October 31st of 2002. We spent the previous four days out-running a snow storm that seemed to follow us about half the way. Moving from Idaho at the end of October might not have been our most brilliant idea, at least at the time. But we are sure happy to be here. And have no plans of leaving either. We always celebrate our Kentucky anniversary every year and I’m thinking that I should tell Dave that we should celebrate the whole month … kind of like Grandma would have done. Of course, I’m sure that Dave isn’t going to take me out to dinner each night, so I’ll go ahead and change my thinking there! Not like we eat out very often anyway.

October’s edition of the magazine will go to the printers Monday morning. It’s another good one, if I don’t say so myself. We’ll be doing a feature on the Estill County Engineers Marching Band, which I’m excited about. I wasn’t a band geek, I never lived anyplace long enough to take up an instrument. I wasn’t a band parent either, our kidlet chose dance. We were dance parents … and I must say Dave was a pretty good Dance Dad. The girls could get him up and moving in the audience, and I’m still to this day not sure how they did it. So, I’m excited about spreading the news about our awesome Marching Band and all their accomplishments so far this year.

We’ve also got several great ads announcing Holiday Sales and Open Houses. Yes, it’s already that time …. the holidays are closer than we realize. Of course, Halloween is almost gone off the shelves of the stores, being replaced daily with Christmas items. Much too early in my opinion, but I’ve learned my opinion isn’t worth too awfully much.

There is also a Zombie Walk coming up at the Lily Mountain Nature Preserve in Irvine. I’m excited to share that with all of our readers. Of course, this is where Dave got attacked by Turkey Mites, but I’m sure they’ll all be gone by the end of the month. The weather gurus say that we may even have a frost over the weekend, so that should do away with alot of our bugs.

I guess I’ve babbled on long enough. I need to get back to creating beautiful ads for our advertisers. If you’d like me to design you one, just let me know! I love sharing good news and I hope you enjoy reading it too.

Blessings,
Pam

Getting back into the swing of things…..

Gosh, it’s hard to get back into the swing of things when you’ve taken some time off. I guess that’s why we take very few vacations! We were gone last week from Tuesday through Sunday to attend the 22nd Annual Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival. As much fun as it is to get away and enjoy all the happenings on the mountain, it always takes me a few days to get back into magazine mode. I had a total of 235 emails to answer – or try to answer when we returned. I try my best not to think about work when we are gone, but it doesn’t happen. I’m always checking my phone for emails, but the lack of cell service keeps me from answering any of them. You kind of have to stand a certain way on top of the mountain to get service.

You would think, as high up on that mountain that we are, that cell phone service would be wonderful. Maybe we are too far up! Or maybe it’s just someone’s way of telling me I should relax and not think about work. That doesn’t happen very often, me not thinking about the magazine. The life of a small business owner.

While we were away, the Estill County Marching Engineers were awarded the first Grand Champion award in the program’s history. Now, that is something to shout about, isn’t it? We’ve watched the marching band improve each year and it is pretty exciting that they finally won that Grand Champion award. They have several more competitions coming up – and I’m guessing that a couple more big awards will be coming their way this season. We were all crushed last year when the wind disrupted their State routine, so maybe this is their year to take the award!! We can all just keep our fingers crossed. Maybe even our toes.

We also missed the Ravenna Railroad Festival on Saturday. About the time it was starting, I was standing near the Green Room at the festival and talking to Vince Gill. Yes, I got to meet him. It was pretty darned exciting. The Railroad Festival looked like it was bigger and better than last year. Each year it improves and more and more visitors come to Estill County. We had a wonderful selection of photos submitted for the photo contest. The pictures will stay on display through this week at Sharon’s shop in Ravenna. Stop in and check them out if you didn’t get a chance on Saturday.

It’s hard to believe that today is the first day of Fall. Summer just flew by, didn’t it? We really didn’t have to deal with too much humidity over the summer and for that Dave was thankful. He’s not a fan of Kentucky humidity. I’m wondering how much a fan of winter he will be this year. I’m afraid that it’s going to be a long, cold, snowy winter. Wait, didn’t we have a long, cold, snowy winter last year? It wasn’t a whole lot of fun, so let’s hope all the projections for winter are wrong and we don’t endure lots of ‘snows’. But, what will be, will be.

Have a great day everyone! It’s nice to be back.

Blessings to you….. Pam

And Fall Begins …

Summer is over, right? Labor Day Weekend has come and gone and that means Fall begins. I’ve come to love the season. It took me a few years after moving here to come to understand what fall means around here. In Northern Idaho, this is the season of getting out in the woods and cutting firewood. It’s also when overnight snowfalls start happening. Camping season ends and the start of winter begins.

We arrived in Kentucky on a rainy Halloween day in 2002. That year, Dave didn’t even wear a coat on Christmas Day. I remember him calling his friends and family back home and telling them all about it. Now, of course, I can’t remember too many Christmas’ since that time that he’s gone without a coat, but he never forgets the one time he did.

Something I found funny that first fall is when I found out that most places in the area have their highest rates in the fall months. I had to ask my Uncle Bobby about it and he told me because of the fall colors. Of course, we had pretty much missed the turning of the leaves that first year, so we didn’t really understand the whole thing for almost a year.

We had pretty fall color in the West, what’s the big deal? Well, we found out after that first year. I guess it’s the variety of trees that grow here that make the colors so vibrant. And Kentucky has very few fir and pine trees. That’s a big difference here. Just about every single tree loses its leaves. You see things you never know existed once the leaves fall. Still to this day that happens to me.

I wasn’t real impressed that first winter. No snow and bare trees. Followed by the ice storm of 2003. Hmmm. Snow was much easier to deal with than ice. Especially on these roads. (Yes, another thing I wasn’t really impressed with – the width of your roads!). But, I’ve come to enjoy every season in Kentucky. Each unique in its own way.

Spring brings so many blooming flowers, not just out of the ground but bushes and trees. Summer brings mowing season. Yes, I’m a fan of mowing season. Never got to do it much in the West, so I’m making up for the 30 years I was a west-coaster. Dave absolutely hates the humidity, but I’ve learned to live with it. At least most of the time.

Fall erases most of that humidity, so that’s another good point to the season. And the colors, absolutely breathtaking. There is nothing like taking a drive on one of these all-too-narrow roads, with a tree-lined canopy of beautiful color to surround you. Of course, those leaves only stay on those tree-lined roads for a short period, so you’ve got to have your timing right. One good wind storm or rain storm will knock them all to the ground and you’ll be driving ON your beautiful color.

Here’s hoping the kick-off to your fall season is a great one. Schools are all back in session, the approaching holiday season is on most everyone’s minds now and pretty soon we’ll be saying hello to 2015. Remember to be thinking ahead for all of your holiday advertising … we’d love to help you promote your event or business this holiday season. Give us a call and find out more information.

Have a great day!
Pam

 

Busy Week Ahead!

A very busy week is ahead for most of us. Labor Day weekend is the last big blast of the summer for most people, so I’m sure everyone’s head is wrapped around weekend plans. If you don’t have any plans, I can give you a few ideas to toss around in the next few days.

• Callie’s Campground and Lake in Powell County is having live bluegrass music on Saturday, August 30th at their beautiful campgrounds located in Bowen. I think that camping spots are still available if you would like to reserve a spot for this coming weekend, but I would check with them quickly. This is a great new family-owned campground that is close enough to plan a quick get-away and not put out too much money. You can find out more by visiting them on Facebook  or visiting their website at www.callieslakeandcampground.com.

• There is a Benefit Cruise-In and Auction at Citizens Guaranty Bank this Friday night, August 29th, to benefit Mike Horn and his family. Mike was working on a car when he was severely burned several weeks ago. He is in the burn unit at UK, in critical condition. He has had several surgical procedures done and has more to follow. Even though he is recovering, he still has a long road ahead. Mike is well-known for his upholstery work and has helped restore many cars in the area. Being self-employed, he could be out of work for months. For information contact Jimmy Miller at 606-975-6317 or Wesley Miller at 606-663-9411. A fund has been set up at Citizens Guaranty Bank if you cannot attend but would like to make a donation. Contact Regina at 606-723-2139.

• Saturday night also brings back the 3rd Annual Revive River Drive on, you guessed it, River Drive in Irvine, Kentucky. This annual event has been popular since the very first year that Staci York and Nivra Lainhart came up with the concept and it just seems to grow each year. If you remember the ‘days’ of cruising on Friday or Saturday night, you don’t want to miss this event. There will be live music by The Jenkins Twins at Citizens Guaranty Bank, plus WSKV 104.9 FM (www.wskvfm.com) will be on hand.

• The Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival is taking place in Winchester over Labor Day Weekend. During your visit to Winchester, make sure to pop in and say hi to Kim at the Winchester Flea Market and Kitty at Unique Creations. Tell them we sent you. And if you need batteries for the upcoming weekend, make sure you stop by Batteries Unlimited on West Lexington Avenue. They are sure to fix you up.

• The Swift Silver Mine Festival is the annual festival that is held on Labor Day weekend in downtown Campton, KY (Wolfe County). The festival features a parade, street vendors, traditional Appalachian music, clogging, square dancing, lots of great food, a scavenger hunt, games for youth, a fabulous antique and vintage car show, and a gospel music concert. The festival honors the legend of the lost silver mine that was found and abandoned by John Swift during the Civil War era. The silver mine has never been found. All the activities are held in the downtown area of Campton beginning on Friday evening before Labor Day and run through Sunday evening. 
If all that isn’t enough to get you going, I’m sure that there are events in your area that you can support by attending and participating in. At any rate, whatever you may do, please be safe and have a wonderful weekend.
Blessings to you all,
Pam