Friday, June 17, 2016

‘Be Still’


Hello Friends ~ Here it is another Friday already. Time keeps zipping right along.

Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments dealing with my Etsy shop. I’ve only had 25 sales since 2008. Part of that time I had nothing in it as I was dealing with grieving the loss of my dear husband.

For any of you who have an Etsy shop or who are thinking about it, I suggest you do read about collecting taxes, etc. Things have changed and we do have to do what is required if we want to be in this online, retail business.

Here is some info I saved from Etsy:

Reporting obligations
a. For U.S. Registered Sellers, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) regulations require that U.S. third-party settlement organizations and payment processors, including Etsy, file Form 1099-K to report unadjusted annual gross sales information for sellers that meet both of the following thresholds in a calendar year (reporting):

1.     More than $20,000 in gross sales, and

2.     More than 200 transactions.

As a result of these regulations, Registered Sellers who approach 150 (one hundred and fifty) transactions in a calendar year, regardless of sales volume and aggregated across his or her Shops, will be required by Etsy to provide taxpayer-identification information and will be notified via email and through other communication channels available on Etsy.

Realizing that I must collect sales tax here in the state of FL, even though sales are online, this is what I found out about getting a sales tax #.

Business name, physical address, contact information, and mailing address
Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN); see instructions for item 8 if you do not have an FEIN
Bank routing number and account information if enrolling to file and pay tax electronically
Name, Social Security Number* (SSN), driver license number, address, and contact information of owner/sole proprietor, officers,
partners, managing members, and/or trustees
Dates when business activities began or will begin
Description of business activities
Employment information (date of hire, number of employees, payroll amounts, payroll agent’s PTIN, if applicable)

I read somewhere in my searching that in order to get a sales tax permit here in FL I will have to get a business license.

So, for right now, I am totally taking a break from Etsy. My whole life changed when I lost my dear husband 3 1/2 years ago, and changed even more when I lost my job of 17 years, a year ago. I have stressed about ways to supplement my s.s. income, then started stressing about selling on Etsy. Not good for my health, mentally or physically.

Different writings have been coming my way lately about ‘being still’, living in the moments I am blessed with each day, and relying on Jesus/God to take care of me in each and every situation. That is what I want to do right now.

Earlier this morning, I sat in a chair on the little stoop of the shed out back. The breezes were gentle and nice, and it’s not as hot and humid as it has been the past couple of days. While sitting there my eyes welled up with tears, & my heart was full as I looked around at the views, saw butterflies and dragonflies, heard birdsong, and the gentle notes of the wind chime beside me. I am filled with gratitude even though I miss my dear husband terribly. The ache and the missing don’t go away, ever.

Here are some photos from the past few days.

The driveway is becoming overgrown again with neighbors overhanging trees. DH used to take care of all of this with a ladder and his sawsall. Grass needed mowing.

06-14-driveway (1)

Grass mown and some limbs trimmed at the back so I can turn around with the van.

I trimmed the tree limbs Tues. morning, mowed Wed. morning.


After weedwacking.



Taken this morning as I was ‘being still’.




‘Palo Verde’ tree. Very lacy and airy with sweet yellow flowers, and wicked thorns on the trunk.


I was ready to come inside after that little time of ‘being still’ and saw a harmless black snake. After seeing this one, I saw another one slithering across the driveway. Even though they are harmless, I still jump and make a little noise when I see them.



Front entry patio shaded in the morning. Driveway on other side of gate. 5 lane road to the right, into property on the left.


Today I decided to  ‘be still’ and stay indoors and rest, with my right foot up and ice on it to bring swelling down on my right inside ankle area.

Well, it’s time to make some lunch.

Have a great weekend and count your blessings and take the time to

‘be still’.


Be Still by Steven Curtis Chapman


Terra Hangen said...

Those tax regulations sound complex and more aimed at big companies but with individual sellers getting sucked into the net too. I can see why you are "being still" and stepping back. Your photos show your place is a small tropical paradise. Now rest your foot!

Darla said...

Very interesting info about Etsy and taxes. I've never had an Etsy shop and with that amount of paperwork probably never will. Too bad it is so complicated.

Your spot looks like a lovely spot to be in and to be still. It is hard to maintain all that alone though I'm sure. DH is having hip replacement surgery next week and so I've been on call for awhile for maintaining the outdoor area. I don't really enjoy it either. It will be awhile before he can resume I'm sure.


Consider It All Joy said...

This is interesting information regarding Etsy. I started a shop about a year ago, but never put anything on it, so I'm glad to read this info and that of your last post. Pretty soon you'll have to have a license to have a garage sale!!! I know what you mean about missing your hubby. There just isn't a day that I don't think about my Mark and miss our conversations and especially the look in his eyes and his quirky smile! I'm sending prayers your way! Stay close to the Lord! Blessings, Cindy xo

Janice said...

Your place is certainly peaceful looking, and your entry patio so inviting. I do a good bit of yard maintenance, so I know what you're up against, but you've surely created a haven there.

I think tomorrow is going to be a little cooler than normal too, hoping so anyway.

Sorry about the Etsy mess..._Janice

Ruth Hiebert said...

You live in a tropical paradise.

Karen said...

Rainey, I'm always confused by tax regulations, too. So much paperwork, it's all exhausting. Being still is something that is hard for me, but I know it is the best thing to do sometimes. When worry and anxiety assault me at every turn, just to be still and listen is the best advice. I love your home. The snakes would scare me terribly, I'm not fond of them at all even though they are harmless. You're so brave. I hope elevating your foot helped some, I'm always thinking of you, dear.

Nancy J said...

I think your " Be Still" was just what was needed right then, and a break from Etsy, good idea, and I'm sure another way for extra supplementary income will arrive. Rest up, the green lawn, pathway and more look so wonderful.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

What a difference a little manicure makes!! I used to sell items at local craft fairs. They aren't so popular in my area anymore so I quit because you just almost couldn't break even anymore after taking into account the entry fee, not to mention the time spent manning the show. I hit that tax wall when I put items in a consignment craft shop. Indiana charges inventory tax. That was that. I think selling on the internet now takes a lot of time socializing on social media. So many I know are selling off pages created on FB and doing quite well, but I know they spend more time promoting than I want to. Still, it's free and might be worth your while to try it.

For me, I require "Still" time every day. It's good for the soul and the body as well.
Much love to you Rainey. I wish for you to have resolution to your need for additional income. I totally relate.
xx, Carol

Mountain Mama said...

Your property is just charming, like a secret garden, for sure. I hate snakes, and I always jump and screech when I see them, also. Ugghh. I used to have snakes in my garage at my rental - they used to scare me every single time! I would pull up the garage door, and there they were - I had forgotten that until your photo!

Kim said...

losing someone is hard I know that... butlet's try to be strong together :) my dear husband passed away too last year. he lost a battle with cancer. I cry almost every single day but I know that I need to let him go to a better place

Kit said...

Sorry to hear about your shop. But do what is right for you. :) I like being still too. It feels so good. Take care, Love, Kit

gld said...

We should all have more quiet times to just absorb the beauty around us and relax. It is very hard to do in our busy lives.

I am sorry for all the difficulties with the Etsy Shop. More and more things are getting complicated for small,family businesses to exist.

I know you have thought along these lines but could you manage to get by with your income in some way.
I would wish you could have more time to just do what you love to do.

Darcie said...

Oh my dear friend, it sounds like you and I had a moment very similar but miles apart. Sometimes we just need to be still to even see the miracle that God is doing or getting ready to do. You always amaze me with your wisdom, and someday I would love nothing more then to just sit with you, and be still. (((hugs)))) from across the miles!

BeachGypsy said...

so sorry about the etsy shop all sounds so complicated!! Why do they have to make something good so darn complicated?? Love the photos of your property....I can see the serenity and calm there right through the photos! Just love seem so peaceful and tropical there. Do you grow vegetables as well as flowers or just flowers? have a real nice Sunday my friend! Thinking of you from charleston!

Leslie Kimel said...

Your garden seems like the perfect backdrop for a music video or a photo shoot for a fashion magazine. It's just so cool and interesting. I love every view!

Deb said...

As an online seller in Florida since 2005 the process to obtain you tax ID number is quite simple and free, as a vitual store you don't need a business license nor do you need to file a fictious name application. Once you get your TAX ID you will receive a tax reporting booklet, very easy to file out each quarter, if you don't have any sales you will enter all zeros, if you make sales you put the sales tax you collected and each quarter you make that payment, remember you only have to collect sales from customers that live in the state of Florida. In over 5 fives I haven't had a Florida customer so no taxes were collected and no payments had to be made I just send in my form with all the zeros. The best part of having a tax ID is it allows you to buy supplies from wholesalers and even can be used when buying supplies at Joanns etc. as long as they are going to the projects for resale. I hope this helps ease your worry and feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

Jeri Landers said...

Creative people tend to forget the uncomfortable "business aspects" of selling one's goods. As a traveling artist and an online artist, it is a real chore keeping up with it all. Etsy has not been a successful venture for me either, I don't have the time needed to make it so, I do much better with my own online website.

Jane said...

Hi Rainey! Deb has some good advice. I forgot that about being able to subtract supplies from the bottom line and you can pay yourself too, Which usually means you end up with zero income. Why don't you sell here on your blog? Many of your supporters are readers too, aren't they?

I heard a wonderful sermon on being still the other day. All the time I assumed it meant to be quiet and listen for God's voice, but the interpretation of the phrase "be still" meant to quiet your worries and be confident that the Lord is in charge.

I hope that if money gets really tight for you, you won't hesitate to avail yourself to the many social services that are available for senior citizens. As a tax payer, I know that I'd much rather my taxes were going towards something like that, rather than the many many boondoggles that the government wastes its money upon.


Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

Sometimes being still bring out our emotions...being with you hubs for as long as you were it will take a very long time for the ache to subside, if ever. Your overwhelmed with everything falling on your shoulders...when I first moved to the Charmer I was single and it was SO overwhelming to take care of everything inside and out. I have an online shop, not etsy and feel that I don't have the time to deal with it all, especially the shipping! ugh! Your property is charming and be kind to yourself!

Rebecca said...

I will pray that you will find inspiration and make a good decision re. supplementing your income. From your experience with Etsy (and apparently several others' experiences, too), I can see why you are stepping back.

I'm sure you already know how much I love your cottage and its beautiful, BEAUTIFUL setting...This particular post made me like it even more! (Well, except for the black snake...)

I hope the week finds you gaining peace and perspective, Lorraine. ♥

Sandy said...

Dearest Lorraine, please don't give in to worry and stress. It only leads to loss of energy and then depression. I have never had enough sales in my Etsy shop so I understood I did not need to think about taxes. I sell my jewelry in a friend's store here in my city and also just word of mouth and do better than on Etsy, though I keep my shop for the occasional sale. I have been thinking of getting my own website and just selling that way. Let me know what you decide to do. Your creations are so beautiful and the public needs to be made aware of them.
Big Hugs~ <3

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Sometimes it is good to take a step back and reassess things by being quiet and still. It must be so hard trying to get by without your dear one. You did a good job with the trimming and mowing. Everything looks so pretty and neat. It's too bad that Etsy has to be so complicated. Maybe with this door closed, a window will open. Thinking of you - hope your ankle feels better. Hugs xo Karen

M.K. said...

Oh, FL, I do hope you are able to get things arranged for your personal life and finances so you can have peace and not worry. So many of the very best things in life are free, or at least not very expensive -- the cool breezes, the butterflies, the flowers and clouds, love for each other, the love of God. He will provide for you. It does sound like they make Etsy hard to do, even if you only have to take care of state taxes :( I'm sorry. Maybe God has a different venue for you to sell at? I hope he leads the way for you.

Jessica Jarrell said...

That's some great information on Etsy, thank you! I haven't done much research, it's always been a pipe dream for me. I know to make sure and look into licensing and taxes and all if I do that in the future. Complicated stuff! That black snake would have scared me too! They are so large, it's hard not to be intimidated by them. They are good for the yard though.

I spend about an hour everyday sitting in my garden, being still. It's a good substitute for attaining that peaceful feeling without a good long run :-)

Take care FlowerLady! Have a great week!

Melanie said...

I try to take some time every day to be still, too. Like you, sometimes my eyes well up with tears when I look around at all the beauty and think about Phil and how he should still be here with us.
Those black snakes would've scared me, too. Don't like snakes!

Kate R said...

So sorry that Etsy is such a big mess Lorraine - so frustrating, but you have the right idea about taking time to "be still" Of course you have the most perfect garden to just sit and absorb all that prettiness around you. It all looks lovely. Wonderful photo of the snake! Like you I always jump when I see one - although I know they do a lot of good they still spook me!
Have a good rest of the week with plenty of "be still" moments!

tina said...

Everyone wants their share of the almighty dollar I guess but it is such a shame to put the burden of collecting taxes on a small businessperson. Really!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Lorraine, you have a beautiful and calming looking spot. It looks easy to be still there. It must be hard taking on all the work by yourself though, even though it looks lovely. We used to have a business license when we sold antiques. It seemed easy at that time in California. We did have to pay taxes on what we sold but got some good deals at wholesale prices. It was a lot of work and am glad we don't do it anymore. Now, I just buy from others and that suits me fine..Have a wonderful rest of the week..Judy

Ilene Jones said...

Lorraine, do you have a local ElderCare or a church that helps retired people to wade through complicated stuff? Our brains are not as sharp as we age, and some things just become overwhelming to us. I sensed that feeling while I read your post.

Deb had some very good advice and really if you take this apart and do it in small pieces it will all come together. If you have her email address, maybe she would walk you through the process. Since you have Comment Moderation on, it would be easy for her to comment with her email address and then you'd just delete that comment after you had the address. I'd start with the application and just deal with that part. Don't think ahead. Just one step at a time. FL Tax Commission probably has an 800 number that you could call and ask questions. As far as income taxes, if you fill out the little worksheet in the tax instructions booklet under "Who Must File", and find that you're under the minimum, even with your income from the Etsy shop, you may not have to file an income tax form at all. I'm not sure if you can deduct your time, as you are the owner, but don't take my word for it as it's been awhile since I was out in the business world. But for sure your supplies, postage, even what you pay for the space in which you work via your mortgage, if you still have one. I do know that the state of Oklahoma says it's losing money because of people buying from places like Amazon, and they want to make you pay sales taxes even if you are not in the same state where your customers live. But in past years for as long as I can remember, if you ordered something from a catalog and were not living in the same state as the vendor you normally did not have to pay sales tax.

The state of Oklahoma has been trying for years to find a way to tax garage sale income. Some things just present such a big enforcement problem that it's cheaper to let sleeping dogs lie. I read somewhere about how this woman was required by her state to charge sales tax for goods sold at a garage sale. Services, however, were not taxable. So she gave her garage sale items away but they had to be carried away in a bag and she charged for her services in putting the items in the bag. LOL Rock on, Honey. xoxoxo

Darcie said...

Good Evening my friend! You were in my thoughts tonight, so I thought I would hop over and say 'hello'. Hope all is well for you!

Sallysmom said...

Hope all is well with you.

Maryann said...

I'm a doer so I find it hard to "Be Still" but it's when we are still that the Lord can minister to us and speak to us through His Word. I wish I could quietly sit with you but know that you are in my prayers and thoughts.

Jillayne said...

My word - that's a lot of red-tape for a little Etsy shop... I'm sorry to hear it's such a procedure to deal with the tax stuff. Taking a breather is a good idea, ponder things and see if something a little easier doesn't come along.
You do such an amazing job with your property Lorraine, and all that yard work. everything looks lovely, and so charming.
I hope you feel better soon - take good care of yourself!

Rebecca said...

Everything OK? I'm missing you and just checking :)

My Journey To Mindfulness said...

thinking of you with love
and a hug.
you will be fine
I am
we both have much to be thankful for..

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Hello! Catching up with you. Sorry I haven't been by for a bit. Always enjoy photos of your garden. I see you have a slithery creature. Take care and get well soon. The rules of commerce are always changing and vary from one place to another. Good to check it all out again. Be well my friend.

Ally said...

I was contemplating starting my own business in my retirement, but the rules, regulations, taxes and paperwork are just too much. I decided to travel instead. After I've had my fill of seeing the sites of our beautiful country, perhaps I'll look into it again. I love your embroidery crafts. Maybe someone will figure out a way to make Internet commerce friendlier in the future.

Deborah Montgomery said...

I think I'd jump around the snakes, too! even if I knew they were harmless. Looks like you did a great job trimming in your corner of paradise there. So many beautiful things in this world, right along with the sadness. Seems like this old life is such tangle of joy and sadness, often at the same time. We rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, often in the same day. I prayed for you last night just as I was closing my eyes, you and a couple other blogging friends who have lost their husbands. I often do, as I think of you. Blessings to you, xo Deborah