Take the next step on your journey

Informal interviews with homesteaders, cooks, gardeners and employees will help you take the next step on your journey to a simpler life. Escape the chaotic, stressful world for about seven minutes and learn how to live a satisfying life, enjoying time with family and friends.

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Employee Spotlight: Amy Murray

Who doesn’t love a unique kitchen gadget? Lehman’s housewares room is full of them and Amy Murray, our housewares guru at Lehman’s, knows about each one. Amy’s love for people plus her enthusiasm for teaching and learning is quite contagious. She has the knowledge and the energy to get you excited about the next step on your journey to a simpler life. Get to know Amy by tuning in to this week’s episode of Solutions for a Simpler Life, then take a trip to Lehman’s in Kidron, OH to meet Amy in person!

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Glenda Lehman Ervin: Welcome to Solutions for a Simpler Life. This is Glenda Lehman Ervin with Lehman’s on the square in Kidron, Ohio. We’re glad you’ve joined us. Today we have Amy who works in our housewares department. Amy Murray, how long have you worked for Lehman’s? And in a bunch of different areas too right?

Amy Murray: So I started as a CSR, customer service representative, in Dalton in 2010 part time. And then I’ve been full time about six or seven years.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: And when did you move down to the store?

Amy Murray: About three years ago category manager for housewares opened up and…

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Well if you’ve ever been to Lehman’s and Kidron you will love the housewares department. I love those custom embroidered pieces that you do and the clothes line and the bright colors. It must be a really fun department to work in.

Amy Murray: It is so fun. I love taking new products home and trying them out. So we have this huge high ceiling. And my dream immediately was that clothes line, that pulley clothes line up there. And so we can put all our new towels up there and aprons and…

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Oh and it’s just such a bright pop of color. The store is beautiful every department but there’s a lot of brown. There’s brown walls and brown floors because we have a number of old barns and that department just pops with the skylights and everything else. So lots and lots of products in that department. Do you have a favorite or a couple favorites?

Amy Murray: Whenever anyone asks me my favorite I have a tough time. So I actually have a board up behind my desk and I say these are my favorites. I really like our towels, our flour sack towels.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Yeah, love them.

Amy Murray: I use them for about everything. Like you said I even embroider on them. I use them to dry the lettuce out in my garden. I use them to cool my cookies on and dry dishes too, right.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Sure.

Amy Murray: That’s what they’re for. I like the Rada knives. I use a lot of them and then I also have the Wusthof knives kind of the high end and kind of the…

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Everyday type, yes.

Amy Murray: Yeah. I really like, we have a plethora of colored silicone tools, spoons and…

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Spatulas and whisks.

Amy Murray: Yes.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Yes. I love those too.

Amy Murray: Yeah. And they can take the high temperature and they’re one piece so they don’t fall apart. No bacteria gets in there and they don’t get sticky and gummy.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Good deal. Now I remember one time you told me you loved the lid lifter. Can you tell us what that is and why you love it?

Amy Murray: I do. So I have been canning since I cannot remember. Like when I was a little girl and we would chase those… When you can, you sterilize your lids and we would chase those lids around with a pair of tongs. They’re down in that boiling water and you chase them around. And when I started working here I suppose there’s been a lid lifter for a while and I didn’t know it. This little item that’s two dollars you put it in there and it picks up one lid at a time. There’s a magnet on the end. I’m like yes.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Life changing.

Amy Murray: Yes. And I give it to everyone I know that cans. I’m like you need one of these this lid lifter.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Yeah well it’s just a small thing that I guess helps people solve a problem. It’s a solution and it helps people live a simpler life, which of course here at Lehman’s that’s what we’re all about. You probably talk to some folks who are interested in starting or continuing their journey to that simpler life. What is some common advice you give to people who want to embrace more of what we’re about?

Amy Murray: So one thing that’s really exciting. We develop these tearaway sheets. One of them is how to ferment and the other one is making your own salsa. So last fall I kept making and making and making salsa until I really liked it and then I wrote up these directions, really simple, straightforward a little sheet of paper front and back all the supplies you need it’s right on there. So when somebody says, “I want to can but I don’t know where to start.” I’m like, “How about salsa?” And the other one I always say is applesauce. Applesauce is apples and sugar. A little bit of sugar and a little bit of cinnamon and I can talk them through it. I show them the canner. It’s so straightforward, it’s so easy. And I think you feel very successful. I did it myself.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Exactly. And I think people sometimes are intimidated by, “I’m supposed to live off grid in a tent?” But no it’s just taking different steps so what you describe basically is the Cliff Notes of how to get started and it doesn’t mean that you have to butcher your own livestock but if you get a bushel of apples and make applesauce not only is it delicious and very satisfying as you said it’s also very healthy because it doesn’t have all those preservatives in them. Now I know that you demonstrate products on weekends a lot. Is there a certain one that’s the favorite?

Amy Murray: So speaking of applesauce that’s a really fun one because we have our Roma sauce maker and we have Lisa who I adore. She’s from Dalton. She wrote the little children’s book on applesauce. It’s called applesauce day and she sits right beside me and she signs books and even that little picture book will take you through on how to make applesauce. And my daughters come in. I have a daughter that’s coming in this weekend and she’s going to do pasta making and my other daughter is going to come in next weekend and do pancakes.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Yeah you’ve done spätzle before?

Amy Murray: Yes.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Tell us a little bit about that.

Amy Murray: So the spätzle maker, we make a batter put it in and we run it across boiling water. Some people say, “Oh this is less just like gnocchi.” And it’s like this universal… It’s sort of like pasta. But it’s the German form of pasta instead of the Italian. People go crazy over it and it’s just fun. It’s just fun to do.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Sure sure and juicing that’s another thing I know you’ve done before.

Amy Murray: Yeah.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Another one of those one ingredient foods. What’s grape juice? Grape juice. That’s all.

Amy Murray: Yes.

Amy Murray: So again very healthy. Yes.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Good. You’re known for always being so cheerful and such a friendly face to customers and employees. Do you have a personal mantra or how do you always stay so genuinely happy?

Amy Murray: You know I read the book The Fred Factor. Are you familiar with that?

Glenda Lehman Ervin: I’m not.

Amy Murray: It’s worth reading. And actually it was recommended by my former boss but I think Chris my boss now I think he recommends it too. It’s just a book on how we treat people. I feel like I’ve been blessed. I feel like I’ve been treated well in my life by my spouse, by my children. And honestly I really just have a passion for people and I’m almost disappointed when somebody asks for an item and I show them all the things that I think might work instead of that item and they say no it’s not what I want. I’m like…

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Oh come on!

Amy Murray: I’m like bummer, I want to help you.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Oh yeah I’m sure I know that you’re very passionate about helping people. If you did not work at Lehman’s and you could do anything in the world what would Amy like to do?

Amy Murray: I have a daughter in Iowa and a daughter in Kansas and a daughter in California and two sons in Mexico.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: So I’m guessing travel. That’s right. Well you can get a tiny house. We have a new tiny house at Lehman’s. You can hook it up to a truck and spend two months in the backyard of each child so that you’re with the family but you’re not in their space all of the time.

Amy Murray: They would approve.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Yeah. They would approve. Well that’s great to know. Well thank you so much for joining us for solutions for a simpler life. And keep up the good work.

Amy Murray: Thanks Glenda was a pleasure.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: This is Glenda Lehman Ervin with Lehman’s where we stand for a simpler life. Thanks for listening. For more visit lehmans.com.

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