Wednesday, April 26, 2017

All Prayer Warriors on Deck . . .

There is a special place in my heart for all of you who have loved my family over the years.  You lifted my mom’s spirits when she was battling cancer, shared the joy of my son’s wedding – and yes, even enjoyed the humor of my dog’s run for president.  Many of you have become so much more than customers – you have become friends.


Patty Hays is one of you.  She and I first became acquainted years ago when she e-mailed to see if I would bring a care package to a show in Indianapolis.  Then I noticed that she lives in Nashville, Indiana – the home of Brown County State Park, a lovely area where we camped when I was a kid.  That began conversations that have continued to this day.  Patty almost always sends me a cheerful note when I post something about my family on the blog.

I received an e-mail from her last Saturday – as usual, it started with a comment about a blog post with my old medical records from 1959.  But then the tone changed – last week, Patty was diagnosed with terminal inoperable cancer which has spread through most of the organs from the base of her skull to her pelvis.  She started chemo last week, but the doctors tell her that even with that, she probably has less than a year.

And if that’s not enough, her husband Jim has been in and out of the hospital since shortly after Thanksgiving, and spent some time on life support and dialysis.  He is home now, but not completely out of the woods – and yet he wants to take care of his wife.

Patty and Jim have a strong support system from their church and friends, and they believe in the power of prayer and a healing touch that goes far beyond modern medicine.  So do I.  If you feel the same, please include them in your prayers, and by all means send a note of encouragement to them at


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Celebrating a Life Well-Lived . . .

For the locals . . . we have a heavy heart today.


Our friend and matriarch Judy Davidson finished a nearly 20-year battle with cancer yesterday evening. If you have ever been in our store, you surely have met Judy -- she truly was the spice that added flavor to Marco's Paper.

Visitation will be Sunday, April 30 from 2:00-5:00 at Westbrock Funeral Home, 5980 Bigger Road, Kettering.  Funeral will be Monday, May 1 at 10:30 at St. Charles Borromeo, 4500 Ackerman Blvd., Kettering.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Catching Up . . .

I have been essentially off the grid for the past 2 1/2 weeks.  Would love to be able to show you some fascinating thing that I have accomplished during that “down time” – unfortunately, I have merely been sick.  An icky chest and throat doesn’t sound like much – but for me, “sick” usually lasts for a couple of days and barely slows me down.  This time, I missed 2 1/2 days of work (which hasn’t happened in at least 30 years) and had next to no energy for the next ten.  Finally, I am approaching human again – with a very random array of tidbits to share with you . . .


Spring has arrived in Ohio – this from the dogwood in my backyard last weekend.  My white dogwood is really pretty, too – but the pink one is amazing.


The pipeline for Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink Pads has finally reopened – the handful of orders including them that have not shipped are because we are waiting for something else to arrive.  Should have plenty of them in our booth at Adventures in Stamping in Akron next weekend!

And here’s an update on the Tim Holtz Stamp Platform, which was originally supposed to arrive this month – Tonic Studios (the manufacturer) announced last Tuesday that the launch has been delayed until early June.  We will ship advance orders in the order they were received as soon as the platform arrives here.

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These pics are actually related.  While I was sick, I went to the doctor – and was informed that the practice is closing next month.  For the first time in my life, I am going to have to look for a new one, so I asked for my records.  The last nine years or so are computerized, but I picked up the rest – starting with my first visit (aged six months) on April 4, 1959.

This "calendar block" is my souvenir from the practice – it has been at the receptionist's desk for the past 25 years. The date was a day off when I went in last week, and as I corrected it, I was reminded of my son. When Ryan was little, he always checked it when we went to the doctor, and if the date was wrong he would update it. It got to the point where the receptionist and nurses would mess it up on purpose so that Ryan could correct it as we checked out.  It's a silly little thing that has no value -- but to us, it is priceless.


Made sour cream drops one evening when I had a bit of energy – actually mixed the batter and baked a couple of sheets one evening, then baked the rest four days later.  Discovered for the first time that these things are amazing straight out of the freezer.

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Emily stopped by the mail center yesterday so I could help her install a new tube on her bike tire.  Zoe was much happier then than she was this morning after I helped with her spring shedding . . .

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What I do with your change at shows – my nephew Conner collects coins, so any of the older ones that I discover eventually find their way to him.


For the locals – a week of Faber-Castell fun next week in our store, leading up an appearance by Jennifer Spoden from Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft and the beginning of the Spring Spectacular (Friday, April 28 through Saturday, May 6).  Here’s a link to a page on our site with all kinds of fun that’s in store for you at Marco’s over the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Never Assume That You Know What Is Coming Next . . .

Last weekend was our annual visit to Allentown, Pennsylvania – I love the fairgrounds and the farmer’s market, and our booth rocked all day on Saturday (which almost offset the frustration of not getting a signal for our credit card machines – from a processing company based in, of all places, Allentown, Pennsylvania).

But my story of the weekend came from Sunday, when the pace was a little slower and I could pay more attention to what was going on at the demo table . . .


About an hour after the show opened, I noticed that four children had taken up residence at our “self-serve” demo table – they started out using the Wink of Stella Markers and Gelatos, and moved on to making backgrounds with Gel Press.  They were perfectly behaved and did a pretty good job of cleaning up after themselves (I helped a little after they left) – the only time I heard them was when their mom was announced as the winner of a door prize, and they cheered for her when they spotted her a couple of booths down the aisle.  As they left, one of the kids came up to me and asked for a bag for his creation – it was still wet and he didn’t want to smudge it.  I was happy to oblige.

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About an hour later, I looked up and they were back – joined another customer trying out the demos and went back to work.


As they finished, this young man came to the register to show me what he had made – and to ask for a bag to carry his creations.


A little later, I spotted this adorable young lady and her dad working on a project while Mom was busy shopping in the booth.  I snapped this picture, knowing it would be a highlight of my day.

Just before the giveaway, a little over an hour before the show ended, those kids came back.  Same story – sat down at the demo table and went to work.  I was beginning to feel a bit like a babysitter.  As I was trying to get through the last few customers so they had tickets for the drawing, I noticed that all four kids were standing in line.  I knew what was coming next – all four of them want bags.  And I pretty much made up my mind that they could use the bags I had already given them.


Then they got to the front of the line and did this . . . and my heart melted (and I felt like a heel for the thoughts that had been running through my head)

I am very thankful for five kids who crossed my path at a show – and parents who are obviously raising them well.