Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fizzy Lifting Drinks and Finding Purpose

Last week, as I was in the crunch of putting the finishing touches on the charity auction, my daughter starting giving me Emergen C to help me keep from catching my son-in-law's head cold.

If you are familiar with the original movie of Willie Wonka, you may remember Charlie's adventure with the Fizzy Lifting Drinks.

We started calling the Emergen C "fizzy lifting drink", and had a good laugh about it. This week I'm still using the stuff as a "just in case" --- the raspberry is pretty good tasting.

Today I got an email telling me that the total amount earned from my efforts was about $13,000, giving them about $8,000 after expenses to put toward the production of the next opera.

That number makes me feel really good. It tells me that I did a good job.

While it may sound a little silly, it feels really good to have done such a big job and have it be so successful.

The past few years I have had some times that I have felt a bit useless -- the result of having retired from the corporate job and having my daughter leave home all at about the same time.

Coordinating the auction and working with adults toward a goal has been very rewarding (if some days exasperating!).

It's good to feel like there is a purpose to what I am doing.

Now it's on to the next adventure.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Exhausted, exasperated, exhilarated

Exhausted --- yup, setting up and running the auction was lots of work

several days last week were spent "pounding the keys" to get the data into a form that the cashiers could work with

then we spent a couple of evenings creating baskets out of the various pieces that had been donated to us

Exasperated --- the worst part of the whole event is the bundling up of the packages at the end of the process

there was not really enough space to take things from the numerical sequence to the alphabetical sequence and we had about 45 minutes of just waiting for the cashiers to do their work before we could even start doing that

and by then we had people waiting at the door to pick stuff up

Exhilarated --- last year I had donated a piece of jewelry to the auction

over the years of doing shows, I've donated a lot of things to auctions or as door prizes, and I've sold a lot of my art -- bears, jewelry

for the most part after I hand over the piece, I never know again if the person that bought it or received it actually likes it or uses it or if it just ends up in a box somewhere and will eventually end up in a garage sale or a trash can

so as I sat at the back of the room while people went through the auction it was an amazing feeling to look up and see someone actually wearing the piece of jewelry I donated last year

not only was she wearing it, but she had added a piece of chain to the back of it to extend it to the perfect length for her and she adores it

at the intermission she came back and ask me to sign the back of it

how amazing ----

Thursday, September 17, 2009

R.I.P. Mary

when I was a teenager I was more a fan of folk singers than rock and roll

even though I listened to the Beetles, I loved passionately the music of Peter, Paul and Mary

and although at that time in my life I didn't have the financial means to buy the albums, I listened to the radio and knew the tune and lyric to almost every song

so when I heard this morning that she was gone, I felt very sad

I'm really glad that we have all of those wonderful recordings of her reminding us that we have a social responsibility to those around us who are less fortunate that we


Thursday, September 10, 2009

thoughts on when a blue ribbon is a bad thing

This is the quilt my DH and I designed and made for our son-in-law, hanging in the display at the State Fair.

See there on the bottom edge --- a blue ribbon

When I first saw this at the Fair, I was thrilled

Yesterday we went to the fair grounds to pick up our entries as the fair is now over

Right now, I'm unhappy about that blue ribbon

Why? Because the fair committee for this division decided when they did the judging that this was in the wrong catagory.

I entered it in the catagory that was described as "Original design, quilt or comforter, hand quilted"

They moved it to the catagory described as "Quilt, applique, hand quilted"

And yes, it is a quilt, yes it is appliqued and yes it is hand quilted. But what I'm upset about is that they decided, after I stated on my entry form that it was an original design, that it was not.


Upset I guess is not really the word --- totally enraged is better.

Oh yes, and when I asked about it at pick up, the two ladies that were manning the area said "well there's so many parrot patterns out there......"

I don't care if there are a billion parrot patterns out there --- I didn't use one of those! Each and every little feather on this quilt was hand drawn by the DH and hand sewn by me.

And what about the quilter that placed second in this catagory because they decided to move my work here? That quilter should be angry too because the competition was not fair.

I sent off an email this morning to the only contact I have at the fair, trying to find out if there is someone specific I can address this issue to. Failing that, I will just write a letter to the entries department.

Much as I love to win (and yes, I DO love to win), this is not the right way

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

as the title says --- some random thoughts

I'm drowning in paperwork for the charity auction I volunteered to chair; it's been at least 6 weeks since I've visited some of the blogs I used to get to once a week; and I had signed up to do "class work" over at Marty's blog, but haven't done a one.

Fall is coming, the squash in the garden are setting on, the neighbor FINALLY moved his wood pile and instead of us having to, he actually repaired the fence, which means I'll get to paint the garden shed.

Over the weekend I had two days in the row that I felt energetic and strong again so I cleaned out another shelf in the linen closet (only one to go!!) and washed all of those things as well as a whole tub full of assorted dresser scarves, table cloths, doilies and napkins (all of which had been just sitting in that tub for probably 6 or 7 years!).

Yesterday I once again felt like I'd been run through the knot hole ---- BLEAH!!

Ok, I guess this whole recovering thing will continue to be two steps forward and one step back.

This morning I actually did get to one of the blogs I read almost every day while I was recovering (I hadn't been there in nearly a week!), and found myself smiling at her adventures and longing for a group of friends like she has.

I can't wait for the auction to be done so I can get on with planning and working to sell the house and move closer to our daughter --- with a deliberate plan to find that group!

Monday, September 07, 2009

in the garden

we've had a busy little spider!

this amazing web is over an evergreen tree right outside the patio door --- I took about a dozen pictures, and this is the only one where you can really see the web

(I used a squirt bottle to put a very fine mist of water over the web, so what makes it visable are the tiny little water droplets on the web)

even though the hail beat up some of the sunflowers, they are a hardy bunch and have decided to bloom anyway

I've noticed that there are a lot more bees in the garden now that they have bloomed too

so next year when I plant, I may think about planting some flowers out there in with the crops to help draw the bees

and here is why I want more bees ---

see him there in the blossom?

busy gathering necture to make honey

oh yeah, and pollinating the squash blossom

yup, we want more bees

so I can see more blossoms that look like this!

a pumpkin!

this year we planted acorn squash, hubbard squash and pumpkins, and it's looking like we might actually get some of each --- as long as there is no more hail and the frosts don't come too early

since we're getting toward fall now, it's time to do those chores that need to happen before the snow flies

today I'm planning to scrape the old cracked paint off of the garden shed so I can give it a fresh coat of paint --- and we'll be taking a look at the fence next to the shed to see what we need to do to it too

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

In praise of good kids

I have a great kid

and she married a really great kid too

she reads my blogs and follows along with the "trials and tribulations" as well as the artistic endeavors

last week she saw my post about the medical bills and the tight budget and that my little piece in the budget for art supplies would be cut yet again

when I got home yesterday from our trip to the fair, there was an envelope in the mail

pretty card (Sunflowers by Monet, which is a whole special connection of it's own) with a note from my daughter and her husband and a gift card to our local craft store

when I called her and asked what the occassion was, she said she can't magically make the medical bills go away, but she can help keep me from being so depressed by keeping me in art supplies (she knows how far I can stretch this card by using coupons and shopping sales) --- her husband says a lot of the art work ends up at their house, so they should help "support my habit"

love it

like I said --- I have great kids