ETA: newer customers, please note that my goal is to respond to you within two business days. If you request an invoice on a Friday night, two business days is Tuesday evening, and if I'm backed up, Wednesday morning. So before you freak out and pay more shipping than you have to because you're thinking "oh my god five days have gone by," ask yourself if you're considering that this is a business and it is not open 24/7 even though the shopping cart is, ok? :-)
I was supposed to be back from my trip home with business stuff up and running Monday, but as y'all know, trouble brings along company sometimes and I'm not up to speed yet.
The woman whose life we gathered to commemorate was in many ways a second mother to me during my early childhood and then, again, for a good stretch of my adolescence when we again lived close to one another. My brother is named after her husband, and their oldest boy is named after my father. These are friendships that are so deep and long-lasting as to be kinships even before any blood or legal intermingling happened, the bonds between this clan and my own birth family. So while there was even some joy at being gathered again from all those geographical areas into which necessity and sometimes the wind sent us away from each other, her death was a powerful, deep loss for a whole whole lot of people, and the world has lost an incredible woman who had so much to teach about love and forgiveness and the healing power of a hug.
The memorial service was held in Axis, Alabama, which is a terrible place to have your car break down on a Saturday night. Guess whose car broke down on a Saturday night in the middle of freakin' nowhere. Yeah. What's even heavier in the situational irony department is that a very old family friend was there, one who had a great deal to do with my interest and education in spellcraft, herbs, and natural magic during my childhood and early adolescence, and she laughingly, gently chided me for not having brought along a Safe Travel mojo for the trip. My "second mama" died unexpectedly and so the trip out of town was very rushed, and I sure enough didn't take the usual travel precautions.
On top of all the screwups in my travel plans due to car trouble, there's the plain fact that in certain parts of Alabama, you can't take 24-hour businesses, internet access, or even cell phone signals for granted. I joke that I come from the country and that I was picking tomato hornworms off the plants in our garden when my schoolmates were eating TV dinners and McDonald's, and so I should be excused for not being quite in step with my generation in a lot of ways. While this may be overstating the case a bit, it's true that the very nature of the sort of spiritual work I do has its roots in a world that doesn't always accommodate this culture's desire for instant responses or 24-hour service or rush anything, and this weekend the home of my youth reminded me that some things were simply outside my control and I sometimes just have to take the lumps from the rest of the world. So I'm real sorry that I was supposed to be back in business Monday and yet the emails have piled up; all I could do was put things in the Lord's hands these past few days. (Though I find myself wishing the Lord would help make some ebay members a little more patient and able to understand that there is no reason to freak out when you email somebody on a Friday and haven't heard by them by Sunday. This is not Walmart, folks! Even the angels rest on Sunday - and I for sure am no angel!)
So with all this and several days straight of just about nonstop crying while trying to have a million conversations with a hundred members of our large, complicated, sprawled-out extended family, I had completely lost my voice by Sunday night and the illness I'd spent last week trying to beat off came back with a vengeance. So it looks like my optimism about finally getting caught up this week was misplaced. Plus, to be honest, I had just not factored in enough time for grieving, and some of the circumstances of this dear woman's life and death are complex and painful.
Therefore, I think the best thing to do is to just give myself some time to catch up by keeping the shop closed up a few more days. That will give me a chance to send personal responses to those who have gotten automated responses, and to respond to folks who were supposed to get an automated response but didn't due to some glitch in my gmail vacation/canned response settings.
Bottom line: I'm closed right now.
I'm home now, and I am maintaining contracted altar work with no interruption because I have backup plans in case stuff like this happens, but I have to get caught up, so anything new that comes in will get an automated reply for the time being. Don't take it personally!
I have several light setting reports I'm working on typing up, and over 200 emails to respond to, and I am afraid to estimate how many items to ship - looks to be well over 100. I am working as fast as I can. If you ordered something that I haven't started yet and want a refund, please feel free to ask directly or via the contact form here http://www.karmazain.com/contact.me.php ; if you could put "refund request" in the subject line, that would be great and would help me process your refund faster.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for your patience.