The Spring season is a burst of activity in our natural world after the winter weather thaw. New life begins to emerge in front of our eyes. Spring weather can be ever changing. One day we can experience beautiful blue skies and sunshine, the next day, can bring cooler temperatures and a blustery wind.
Spring is a beautiful reminder of how wonderful nature can be! I hope that you will enjoy my pictorial review of Spring.
Did that opening title have you think about the classic song 🎵 from MC Hammer??? This blog post isn’t intended to discuss music today BUT to get y’all thinking about those surfaces in your home that you DON’T need to touch before you disinfect.
Can you easily identify the “high-touch surfaces” in your home? Do a quick visual survey of your surroundings inside your home.
Whoever does the cleaning in your home is likely to catch several of these “high-touchsurfaces” on a day to day basis. I hope that these tips for finding “high-touch” areas will be useful.
Spring is less than 30 days away now and it may have you thinking about a good healthy dose of cleaning. So let’s begin with a few basics below.
What are “high-touch surfaces”??? These are the surfaces in your home that receive the most direct daily contact with your family. High-touch surfaces are the areas where dirt, dust, and germs if left unchecked, will thrive. High-touch surfaces should be regularly cleaned and disinfected daily.
When I use the term disinfect, here’s the gist of what happens when you do that…to disinfect is using a chemical cleaner to remove viruses and bacteria.
Now the quick breakdown of TEN high-touch surfaces, to disinfect inside your home. These TEN areas are based upon my own personal experience as a mom AND also as one who actively works in and participates in the hardware life. I’ll be curious to know if you found several of your “high-touch” surfaces in your quick surroundings survey of your own home, are you a novice or a pro??? Or maybe somewhere in between???
Top Ten Hardware Life High-Touch Surfaces
1. Think about Small and large appliances (ex. coffee pot, microwave, refrigerator) that are frequently used by each member of the family each day. Don’t forget about things like a can opener, or even the knife block!
2. Door knobs and light switches, & even your house keys!
3. The Kitchen Sink. Yes, it is definite.. a highly used kitchen item and don’t forget to clean the faucet handles.
4. The Countertop. This is where food gets cooked & consumed… often my counter gets scattered with keys, phones, and mail. Our kitchen counter is a drop zone of sorts. Yikes! Keys and cellphones are also high-touch! 😳
5. The Bathroom. Clean and disinfect fixtures, sinks, toilet seat, and toilet handle.
6. Remote control for tv, cell phones, iPads, game controllers.
7. Kitchen chairs and table. If you use it daily, then clean it often. Think about where your family meals occur everyday and clean and disinfect often.
8. Toys and play areas for your children. Kids play hard all day, and make sure to clean toys that are often used by your child everyday and disinfect often.
9. The Pantry. Think about the door knob, and other touchable areas outside/ inside (if you and have kids, or grandkids, they use it frequently throughout the day)
10. The Laundry Room. Wipe down your appliances AND clean your laundry basket! A laundry basket holds all of your dirty clothes AND clean clothes. Wipe them down often. I have separate baskets for clean and dirty clothes but, I regularly clean all of my laundry baskets.
Now that you have my top ten list, what should you use to disinfect effectively?
Here are a few tips that you can use for cleaning “high-touch” areas. A more detailed guide can be found with CDC recommendations on cleaning those frequently used areas in your home and workplace. The internet is a plethora of information on the subject.
The Hardware Life Daily Cleaning Tips
1. Begin with a clean surface. Clean area first by removing any visible dirt or dust. I keep a good multi-surface spray handy for quick cleanups.
2. Use gloves … a pair of disposable gloves might work best especially when disinfecting surfaces. Throw away once you finish cleaning.
3. Pick Easy disinfectant choices… Clorox or Lysol wipes. These will do the job quickly and easily.
5. Read the label on your disinfectant carefully. Do you need to rinse after application? Allow for drying time.
4. The Multi surface Cleaner… Keep a good multi-surface spray handy for quick cleanups. I keep one upstairs and have at least one multi surface spray available for cleaning in the downstairs areas my home.
Lastly, let’s evaluate some “germy“ cleaning utensils and those you might not think to clean.
1. The Sponge.. if you use a sponge to clean, let your nose to guide in your decision to keep or throw out. Your nose knows! If the sponge smells, then it is time to stop by our hardware store and pick up a new one.
2. The kitchen brush- if you have one of these brushes to scrub surfaces in your kitchen, sanitizing it is a must! Put it in the dishwasher after each use.
3. The toilet brush. It should be disinfected weekly or after each use. Rinse well after cleaning toilet, apply a disinfectant spray and allow to dry before replacing into toilet brush cover. Some experts say to replace your toilet brush every 6 months.
4. The plunger. Clean and disinfect after each use and allow to dry.
5. The bucket. If you carry your cleaning essentials inside your bucket as you clean at home, don’t forget to regularly disinfect your bucket.
6. The Mop. Let your nose be the guide again! If it smells, it is time for a new one. Regardless of the type of mop you use, the mop should be clean and disinfected. Your floors will be as clean as your mop. Some recommendations are to replace your mop every 3 months depending on the style of your mop.
I found this quote as I was working on this blog post, “our house is clean enough to be healthy, but dirty enough to be happy”. This reigns true in our house. Things are never perfect … shoes are often in the floor, keys are on the kitchen counter, blankets are thrown about on the couch, and two sweet pups roam absolutely everywhere. But it is HOME! I clean intentionally now that I’m more aware of surfaces that require an bit of extra “love and work”. Deep cleaning occurs when I can get to it. Whether you are a novice or a pro at finding all the frequently used areas of your home, home should always be a place a of comfort and joy. Happy Spring Cleaning Y’all!
This topic is seemingly double talk to most of you today… Blogging about Blogging. I think it is worth the time to explore the methods to my blogging journey.
Since I began my blog in the summer of 2018, I have gotten these questions more than once:
1. How do you put together a blog post?
2. What inspired you to write about this topic?
3. Do you have a list of topics that you write about?
My blogging experience is not vast. I blog simply because I enjoy the creative aspects of blogging. I don’t think my blog will ever become a viral sensation. My blog started out as a way to chronicle our new journey into hardware store ownership. After my retirement from the education world of work, it became a way to continue my creative interests.
My first blog post was extremely short and I used the picture that was generated from the blog builder website, meaning my skill set knowledge of the new blogging techniques was limited. I just recently changed that first photo from that first blog post.
Looking back, at the first several blog posts that I created, I don’t think I included any pictures at all . I simply hadn’t thought about including those! If you look back at my first blog posts, they still don’t have photos and I think I’ll leave them that way so I can visualize my own personal growth.
Over the last few years, pictures have become a greater feature in my blog posts and I have grown to love them as part of the story behind the blog and a nice way to break up large pieces of content within the blog to give the reader a visual break.
When it comes to blogging, I’m a novice. I have completed and published approximately 109 blog posts… and I blog when I have time and the inspiration. I don’t have a huge following but I do have a few, sweet, loyal fans.
A well known blogger once said in an interview, that her biggest fans were not her friends or extended family. I’m not really sure why that is the case. Sometimes folks may not fully understand or appreciate the purpose of a blog’s intent, how to navigate the technical side of a blog, or take the time… well the list is there.
But, in my own personal experience of blog creation/writing, I have found that to be somewhat true, with the definite exception of my Mom and sister-in-law. They are both consistent readers of my blog and are always there to support me and give me a boost when I need it the most. Thank you so much for always taking time to read my blog and sending me feedback Mom & Kimberly!!! It is much appreciated! Love you both dearly! 💕
I am also very lucky that I have dear friends who read and comment on my blog regularly. Thanks for your support! Y’all make my efforts worth the work.
But when it come right down to the nitty gritty of writing, and getting a blog post together, my process of writing has definitely evolved over the last few years. When I first started blogging, I would finish my blog post in one sitting.
Typically now, that is rarely the case. I will write for a brief period of time and then return to that same blog piece later on… it could be weeks between writing sessions or a matter of a few hours. Most of my blog posts are written over a period of a few weeks due to the time consuming nature process of writing and editing. Sometimes it takes a few months to finalize a blog post.
The writing is only step ONE! Once that is done, I add in the photos. The photos are selected carefully from my vast collection of photographs on my phone matching the content to the images. I do use stock photos occasionally in order to make the images and content of blog interconnect.
My most productive time for writing and editing tends to be in the mornings. I’m more of a morning person and my brain shuts off as the day progresses.
The longest span of time that has elapsed for writing /editing a blog post was ONE year! I began writing Women in Entrepreneurship and I didn’t actually publish it until a year later.
My topics for a blog post are chosen. They maybe seem random but often it is just things I’m thinking about, discussion topics from things happening inside our hardware store, or I may write about items that I think my readers might enjoy. And yes, I now have topics in queue for a future time.
Ultimately, I write and create because I simply enjoy it. It is a great way to convey a small piece of our lives to a greater community often sharing a bit of insider knowledge with my readership.
I just read today that the shift is starting in the blogging community to a more focused content approach. I very thankful that my blog is still going strong with a mix of personal insights, thoughts, and a lot of our hardware life. Thanks for sharing and supporting me in this blogging space.
We lost a dear friend late last week. It has been extremely difficult for me, Richard, and our entire staff to digest this loss. Monty was truly an amazing person. Those of you who also know him, will absolutely agree with me on that. His joyful laugh was infectious and he brought a lively nature into every conversation.
Monty has been a significant part of our team for the last few years. Monty’s work ethic, and life experiences was a model that other staff members noticed and worked to exemplify his success. Monty had the heart of a true entrepreneur. He was willing to take risks, try anything new, and discuss the potential and possibilities of “the what ifs”.
I’ve tried to wrap in my mind the impact he has left upon all of us… mentor, friend, and most definitely “hardware store dad” and dear friend to all of our staff. As a good dad model, Monty always had a kind heart, offering food those who were hungry, and even advice when you needed it. I’m not sure that I can fully grasp, and vocalize everything Monty has done for us. His daily life impact will be long lasting. Monty’s actions demonstrated that he truly cared for all of us and wanted only the BEST for every single staff member at Wilkes County Hardware and everyone he encountered in the surrounding community.
Grief is hard. I ask that y’all send prayers to Monty’s family, as the journey of grief is beginning. Monty loved his family. We also covet your prayers as we grieve and try to transition to life without him inside our store. Monty will remain a key part of our heart inside Wilkes County Hardware and we will carry his love with us forever.
Work… the mechanical manifestation of energy, according to science. Work it could be said, is the “nuts and bolts “ of what we do each and every day. After all, nuts and bolts are not the whole of a project, they are only a portion of a project.
The successful concept of work today creates within the soul a feeling of pride, satisfaction of a job well done, and contribution back into your greater community in some type of capacity. Today I’m offering y’all an inside look at our hardware work… the “nuts and bolts” view of what we do each day.
Walking inside Wilkes County Hardware may take you back into a time of nostalgia… viewing our old building, wood stove, historic elevator, or even remembering a time when hardware stores used to be full service for the customer. We still do that each and every day. Our customers always come first! Customers are the essential element in our business, and that is why we are customer service oriented in what we do! Wilkes County Hardware is definitely more than a place to go pick up a few nuts and bolts.
Yes, we have several folks who stop by to shop our extensive selection of nuts 🔩 and bolts… whether you are looking to purchase one or two or even multiple boxes. But did you know that we do the following things as well??
1. Key duplication
2. Kerosene wick replacement
3. Threading and pipe cutting
4. Glass cutting up to 36 inches
5. Chain cut to exact length
6. Basic lamp repair
7. Tool handle replacement
8. Pool water testing for free!
9. Roll pipe cut to length (most hardware retailers sell the entire roll) and copper pipe
10. Gas and plumbing fittings … including a good selection of Pex and Shark Bite
11. Vast selection of furnace filters
12. Window screen repair
13. Knife and scissor sharpening
As y’all can see we work hard to be a full service hardware store for our customers. Our goal is to keep our customers coming back to us for all of the things that they need for any project. Thank you for being a great part of what we do each and every day whether it is a purchase of nuts and bolts, a key or even a bag of bird seed. We couldn’t be here without you!
So there it is… the “nuts and bolts” of the hardware life daily work. Stop by and see us soon. We appreciate your support of our small business. YOU are the part that holds all of our work together in our nuts and bolts analogy. Thank you for joining us in our journey of the hardware life for the last seven years.
He is the gentleman who built the current building that houses our hardware store in 2022. Mr. Eller placed his business, as you may have guessed, in our current building on the corner of 10th Street and D Street in North Wilkesboro.
To our best known facts, the building dates back to 1905. Mr. EE Eller was a premier poultry & produce dealer in North Wilkesboro. EE Eller Produce Co. was one of the largest turkey, and chicken wholesalers. EE Eller was a major processing center for local farmers to bring turkeys/chickens into North Wilkesboro. Ironically, it was probably one of the first poultry processing plants in our town.
Farmers would literally herd their turkeys from down the mountains in Ashe, Watauga, and Alleghany Counties in order to collect the cash proceeds from their labor filled task.
Eller’s staff would process/sell their flock. Could you imagine the sight that it must have been??? All of the sudden the flock of turkeys appeared on the roads in Wilkes!!!! Men guiding them with corn along the way, flocks of turkeys gobbling, wobbling with wings flying everywhere!!!! I would imagine that the sight of this was pretty common in the early 1900’s in rural Wilkes County. I bet the turkeys never suspected any “fowl play” on their journey. The old newspaper article did say that one of the largest turkey drives that ever was processed by Mr. Eller was 1,500 turkeys in one drive!!!
Once a flock of turkeys arrived at EE Eller Produce, they were processed/ dressed for shipped via train. Our local train station was just down the street from our current store location. The train destinations were mostly in Northern states after leaving the North Wilkesboro station. According to local oral history, it is estimated that Mr. Eller processed at his height of business, 1 million chickens and turkeys!!!! Guess that was all “gravy” for him after that!!!!
I have written about the history of our store before but, new facts have come to light! Let’s “de-feather” this poultry truth!
To those loyal readers of my blog, this will be new information for you. All the “plucky” truth, as we know it… A few months back, we were lucky to have a few family members of Mr. Eller to drop in for a quick visit. Up high on the wall held 4 pictures of what we had thought were the past 4 owners of the building, but it was ultimately revealed that the charcoal drawing on the far left was not Mr. EE Eller.
Further reading and research has revealed that Mr. Eller moved from the corner of 10th and D Street building to Forester Avenue in 1941 to a larger location. Wilkes Hardware moved into the 10th Street location sometime later on, I haven’t been able to determine a definite date yet but we know it was sometime in the 1940’s.
It was fascinating to “pluck out” the facts about the origins of this historic building we currently reside in each day. As time allows, I’ll continue to research more about the history of Wilkes Hardware and even Mr. Eller. For now, I think we have “gobbled up” a few new fascinating facts about our historic past.
My morning usually starts with breakfast and a large mug of steaming, hot coffee. After breakfast, I usually try to check notifications on our social media and put out new stories on our most active social media accounts. My morning routine was in full swing today when I came across a post about the first day of November. It was a cute one, Bette Milder in her best Sanderson sister costume on the left side of the screen and on the right, Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. The gist is that Christmas has officially begun today on November 1st.
In reality, yes, it probably has officially begun. Retailers have had all things Christmas up and in stores for a few weeks now… trees, lights, and decorations. Hallmark Christmas movies have been featured on the television for the last few weeks and I would bet some folks are ready to get onto a healthy dose of holiday spirit with Christmas lights, and trees .
So what happened to the season of Thanksgiving? It is now a holiday surrounded by a kickoff of the Christmas shopping season. I’m not debating the right or wrong way to celebrate the month of November in this blog post, but my thoughts are just reflection upon the season of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving… a time of gratitude, grace, thanks, blessings, and giving back to our community. After all, the smallest blessing can be received even from the tiniest of things in life.
Thanksgiving is now just 23 days away. What will I do differently over the next few weeks in preparation for this important holiday of Thanksgiving besides shopping for a turkey & dressing???
I’m actively working on my November “bucket list” and I don’t think putting up my Christmas tree is high on the list right now.
Here’s my current brainstorming plan…
1. Create a Thanksgiving playlist of music. ( FYI: I have a working playlist now and will continue to update it as the month progresses.)
2. Make & bake a pumpkin spice treat, pumpkin muffins??? Thanks mom for sharing the recipe.
3. Make Hot Apple Cider – Muddled with spices
4. Fire pit and marshmallows
5. Friendsgiving fun.. it’s been a couple of years since we have done this, but going to try to do this again.
6. Try a new soup or stew recipe for a cool, “fallish” evening meal
7. Enjoy the simplicity of every day life in the season of Fall.
8. Gratitude posts… share posts that are inspiring and complete at least two a week on my personal IG page or Facebook page.
9. Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, with popcorn of course!
10. Create a list of must watch Thanksgiving movies 🍿 or shows. This one will be a work in progress for 2022… so I’ll let you know what ends up on my list when it is finished.
November might actually turn out to be a nice month y’all, with more reflection about blessings, thanks, gratitude, family, friendship and slowing down to enjoy the last days of Fall.
The colors of Fall is distinctively different from any other season of the year. The Fall season is truly a mosaic of colors of the rainbow… green, gold, red, orange, & brown set against the bright blue sky.
Our natural world which we have grown accustomed to during the summer, suddenly changes into a magical world of autumnal colors, happening almost overnight it seems. I’m sharing my favorite, everyday hardware life Fall photos with y’all today to celebrate the season of Fall using the caption of Fall is…
The tale I am about to unravel goes back way in history to the beginnings of our store… well, actually before it was a hardware store. Our original building was constructed in 1905.
In the early 1900’s, our building was known to all the residents of Wilkes as EE Eller Produce. Mr. Eller was a major poultry buyer/ dealer where local folks would bring in chickens, and turkeys for processing.
The processed chickens & turkeys were loaded up on the railroad cars just down the street. The North Wilkesboro Train Station was a bustling center of commerce in our town.
It was a major operation that farmers routinely made their journey into North Wilkesboro from the surrounding mountain areas and nearby communities.
I have been told that over 1 million chickens and turkeys were processed in year!!!! Now that you have just a bit of historical background information about our building, our story can officially begin. Here we go…
A few years back during the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival we had a gentleman who was visiting with us in the hardware store and he began to tell us about his experiences inside our old, historic store…. this gentleman had spent some time with our neighbor next door and he stayed in his “man cave”.
Our neighbor had let this man stay in his “man cave” for a few months until he could figure out where he wanted to go and what direction life would take him next. This gentleman said that he would often be awakened around 2 am.
He reported to us that he regularly heard at night… chains dragging across the floor and sounds of chickens. He never could see or find anything unusual once he went to investigate. This man then continued with his story, by stating “now I know all of this is true because I am a reincarnated Buddhist, Catholic priest, I can sense that things happened here”. After that statement, we just simply didn’t have any words.
Our conversation moved to other topics and we of course were super busy in the mix of Apple Festival Day and we all laughed about the story the man told us that day and continued on with our business. Maybe he was being a real “comedi- hen”… 😂
Sometimes when the shopkeepers bell rings attached to our front door, without an apparent reason, we always joke, “it must be the chicken ghost” going back to the gentleman’s story on that Apple Festival Saturday. Lots of times we think it is the wind catching the door, elevation change of the door position, etc. We can usually explain it away….
But it is hard to explain the random chicken feather that just floats down from the ceiling… you wouldn’t think that would still happen after all these years???
Now, I”ll share this piece of information with you as well… we have had a few paranormal/ghost hunters to come into our store to ask if they could set up after hours. They thought our store would be a great location to pick up paranormal activity. We have always declined the request of these folks.
The last aspect of our story goes back to the blog post that I did a few weeks ago entitled “Messy Monday”, it was one of those very busy days and our cash register/credit card machine were not working-via no internet plus we had lots of other factors playing into that day that made it a very long and hard day.
After supper, Richard went back to the store that night to try to make sense of the day, clean up somewhat, etc. He did not get back home until after 10:30 pm that night— here is what he told me the following day.
“I was standing near the front cash register looking down at something and all of the sudden I heard a huge SLAM sound on the front doors, ironically, the shopkeeper bell never moved.” He then continued by saying that he looked up because he just knew someone was outside possibly walking a dog on the street or someone had run into the front door from the outside… it was dark of course but nothing had alarmed or signaled on the cameras at the front door. He could see no one or nothing alarming.
Could it be the “chicken ghost”???? I suspect it could be “fowl play”. OR even a “poultry geist”😂.
Sometimes in conversation as I remember talking to my Granny at the end of the day, I would ask her what they both had for dinner. As she began to talk about her meal, I soon realized that she was referring to her mid-day meal, not her evening meal. My vocabulary was not the same as hers. I quickly learned that her view of supper/dinner was different from mine. Does it matter? Well, I guess it is all about perspective.
A major NC magazine in our state just recently published an article about Sunday Suppers. It was well done. I’m not going to rehash the intent of that article. But, it did bring back up all those supper/dinner conversations that I had with my granny came to my mind when I read the article.
So upon reflection, I began to ponder my usage of “dinner”. I use the term “dinner” all the time to gather my family to the table, but the reality is that we really are seated for “supper” instead.
Why supper??? The word supper is less formal. Dinner can be a full fledged event with fancy dinner napkins, china, etc. But, when we gather at home, it is not a formal affair. Our family is blessed to have passed down to us, the antique farm table that was in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. The table is definitely not formal by any means, and it is the only table around which we gather to eat. At this farm table we engage in the conversations about the day, hold discussions about local events/news, and let the puns roll. (Our form of making our son roll his eyes 👀 at us.). Supper at our house is a time to simply gather, eat together & unwind from the day.
This was modeled well in my family as a young child growing up. All four of us always ate together at the table in the kitchen. As they say, “old habits die hard”. Meals gathered as our family unit or shared with friends are a strong part of my memories of home.
Now in present day, the weekends are probably the most relaxing suppers we get to have as a family unit. Saturday evening supper is probably one of my favorite times. This tends to be the meal when we can relax, kick back at the end of the day. Saturday supper tends to be one of our Traeger nights- smoking a good piece of meat, or grilling up fish, or whatever is on sale at the grocery store! Do you guys do that too???
Saturday supper doesn’t have to be all fancy, high dollar meals that breaks your budget 💵. Sometimes supper is quite simple at our house–homemade chili beans, or biscuits in a Lodge skillet & country ham, maybe even soup and Traeger grilled cheese sandwich, or lastly, a crockpot meal that we all love.
So I guess when I call my family to say, “dinner is ready”, I really mean supper because that equates to family time. 😊
Happy Supper Saturday y’all !!!
Living the "hardwarelife", join us in our journey of hardware store ownership