Tag Archives: Family Adventures

Brown Bears

Today I blinked and this squishy guy was doing some serious and old-school research into brown bears, and why our own brown bear is so defective.

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“It’s from that time he ate the whole jar of Vaseline and had pooping problems for days, Mom!”

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“Don’t worry Super, I feel the same way about vegetables.”

Who knew puppy bellies are so sensitive, and who knew babies grow up so fast. (The real question is who knew that there are creatures in existence who eat things that taste like Vaseline??)

With the life and the business and dentist appointments and new products and moving to a new location and copper-orangey things, sometimes I get caught up with all the hustling around. These days, the days are long and full, but the years seem to fly by, and already I can’t believe how long ago it’s been since I was in school and without a care in the world.

This “community” – our local community of bricks and mortar shops on Dundas West, the online community of people who email and follow the blog, and especially the people who take the time to write letters and postcards to us, this community is what keep us in business, and keeps us excited to do what we do everyday.

And it’s these two, the pup and the babe (and the hairy one at the shop right now) that are the centre of what we’re moving towards: that archaic and almost-but-not-quite-obsolete family business with a baby in tow and the dog keeping the sofa warm.

Every once in a while I think about whether or not I’ll go back to teaching. I loved teaching, although likely more now that I’m a step away from report cards and staff meetings and early morning yard duty in January, but then I see these two and I think that for right now, this is okay too, this is where I’m supposed to be.

Until one of these two needs to poo.

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10 Thankful Things for this Thanksgiving

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1. A Monday off to clean out some pens and the excitement of new colours back in.

2. A Rhodia 80th Anniversary giveaway coming up – more details to come in a week! 

3. The Toronto Pen Show. The anticipation of meeting people we’ve only gotten to know digitally, new pens, and practising restraint

4. A sleepy baby.

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5. The dream of a Vac-Mini.

6. A neat stack of thank you cards and letters waiting for the mailbox.

7. Customers (and delivery people!) who still remember me even though I’m not in the shop everyday 🙂

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8. Inks and inks and inks coming into the shop as we prepare for our wintry deep freeze.

9. J. Herbin’s Stormy Grey Anniversary Ink coming soon – the end of October, fingers crossed. And…Jon, who has promised I can keep a bottle.

10. A dream that has turned into a family business that is actually paying the bills, feeding the dog, and keeping all my pens inked up.

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Shop Closing for a Week in Early September

We’re planning on closing the brick & mortar shop for around a week when the baby comes – the official due date is September 2nd, which is… next week! We’ll be posting it on Facebook, Twitter and our website, and you can call ahead before you make the trip to check if we’re open – 647 461 2426. If you get our answering machine and it’s our regular message (it’s Wonder Pens, leave us a message), then we’re still open and probably with a customer so can’t pick up. If you get the “it’s Wonder Pens, we’re closed until…..”, you’ll know what that means.

We’ll still be shipping out online orders, maybe a few days later than usual, and of course if you’re in desperate need for ink (we all know the feeling), just let us know in the order comments and we’ll try our best to expedite. E-mails may also be delayed for a few days.

Jon, manning the fort.

Jon, manning the fort.

It’s Jon’s last week at his “real” job before beginning paternity leave, and we are scrambling to organize ourselves here as we prepare to close up shop for the baby coming. Jon has set up a coffee machine in the back, which means he’s basically ready to take over the shop. Now that he’s going to be here full-time, I think he’s laying down some ground rules about candy hoarding behind the counter and boxes of inventory clogging the front half of our very tiny shop.

This past year and a half has been an adventure, and it’s certainly true what people say about opening a business teaching you many life lessons. With all the ups and downs of running a business, a slightly anachronistic-seeming shop selling fountain pens and stationery at that, it’s pretty exciting for us to reach the point where we’re ready to take it on full time as a family business.

When we first started the business, I was working full-time as a teacher, which was a job I loved, as much as there were parts of it that were not as enjoyable (report cards, paperwork, yard duty in the winter). I still would love to go back, because there really is nothing like being in a classroom, but Jon and I always hoped/dreamed/worked towards the goal of being able to work together in the shop full-time, and it’s a crazy and beautiful giant leap for us now that it’s here.