Friday, April 16, 2010

The good news is that it is a finger, but they don't like to stitch those.

I was humming along, cutting mat board as backers for the frames I made. I was listening to Mona Lisa Smile. It was all good. That is, until I Exacto'd part of my finger. Oh, don't fear! I didn't actually cut it off. I now have a bit of a flip-flap that under any other circumstances, doctors would have been happy to stitch. I bound it back together with some waterproof Band Aids and off I went. Had to get the stuff done.

The good news? I turned 12 finished frames in at 4 PM. Oh, and I didn't bleed on anything other than the cutting mat.

The bad news? This puppy'll take a few to heal. There's a thumping in my finger. :( It hurts.


- Being able to walk back and forth to get K- at school.
- Getting 5 frames cut out and foiled. They are ready to be soldered this evening.
- Caffeine to help me get the frames done.
- Hubs walking to school with us this morning and getting suckered into helping me post the children's names on the 100 Book Challenge board. We made a dent, but sadly didn't get the pile completely finished. We were there for 45 minutes!
- The Arithmetickles program that we attended with friends tonight. Though not well attended (I suspect the weather, previous engagements like sports/Girl Scouts and the like), the 3 that we were with had an absolute blast. Each of them went up on stage 2 separate times. (Yes, I took pictures with my cell.)
- K- taking her teacher an apple to school. How many apples do teachers have brought in through the year? I wonder. Rachael?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Like any good and decent artist

I have a deadline. It is Friday. I have nothing additional done.


It's okay. They were happy with what I already had done, but I want to do more.

I'll be spending tomorrow in the studio. That is between walking K- to school, doing a bit of volunteer work while I'm there and then having an evening math program to attend with K-.

I see an all-nighter coming my way. Caffeine, take me away!

Smiles in my day:
- The construction company put in a temporary access to our cross street which means that we don't have to jump down in the the street and climb back out! Hooray!
- K- has a new student in her class today and she brought her a handful of tulips and grape hyacinths.
- Listening to K- work on her kindergarten writing test homework. She's in there crafting sentences and sounding things out. I love the sound of it.
- I accomplished everything that I set out to do at work. I changed major displays and though the merchandise varied wildly, the end display worked out well. It makes me happy.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"You can't spit in the gallery" and other fine tales.

I was without a WFMW idea, so I thought I would share this subject instead.

Okay, y'all know that I work in an American craft gallery with a sister store, right? Keep that in mind as I tell you the following tales.

About a week and a half ago, I was toodling through the gallery and doing my typical display gig. I heard something. I heard an unmistakable sound and went whispering to the other guy that was hanging out with me.

"Joe, someone just spit."

"No! Did they really?"



"I don't know."

I go about my business and I hear it again. This time, I was walking past the open back door that goes out to our court yard, I look out and there is an older guy sitting in one of our chairs just pulling himself back around from the audible spit and let-it-fly episode.

I was so grossed out. I paged the gallery manager and told her about the spitting guy.

"You are not serious, are you?"

"Yes and you have to come do something!"

I laugh now when I think about it because she came out of the door and said, "Sir, I had a report that you were spitting in the gallery. You can't spit in the gallery, so here are some tissues and a trash can for you to use."

Then what does he say? "I didn't spit."

She comes in, upset at me thinking that I just accused this guy of something disgusting. Turns out that it was him. He did do the spitting and the slinging and ewwww, it makes me crinkle my face up at the thought.

I was walking through this evening with an armload of tiles to be hung. They are thick and heavy, but I had them balanced just so.

Wouldn't you know, a woman was blocking my narrow way. Then, she turns and says, "Oh! Do you work here?"


"Yes I do."

"Well, I have a question for you." We were proceeding forward, but it was like she was purposely blocking my way.

"Ma'am, I'll be happy to help you in just a minute. I'm sorry. I want to put these tiles down a moment. They are a little heavy."

I think that it may have irritated her that I couldn't help her right. that. minute. All of a minute later, I was back to her. She wanted "an English riding horse, not a Western horse, but an English riding horse. Something more refined. I looked at things next door and they were ffffaaaarrrrr too expensive." The thing or two that I showed her, she turned her nose up at. She wanted a blown glass horse sculpture about 18-24" tall, but didn't want to pay the "handcrafted in America" price for it. I explained how the items were all handcrafted and that called for the difference in price, but she was snooty about it. (Yes, I meant snooty and not snotty.)

Fact of the matter was that she wanted a gorgeous hand crafted piece, but wanted it to be at mass produced price. I tried to find things for her. One item that I suggested she stated would be "a slap in the face of a person who truly rides." "You know, I gave one to a friend who owns a horse and is a die hard rider and she just thought it was great. Certainly, it isn't the perfect gift for everyone." (To note, it was a small, hand crafted metal sculpture.)

I had some older folks come in. They let us know that they were looking for bookmarks. I pointed them all out to them. We have beautiful inlaid wood bookmarks, basic paper, fun plastic corner markers, small metal religious and fun printed wood. They further explained what they were looking for. It was a small hook bookmark that we had at the holidays. They were $3.00 each. We had no more. They were so mad at me.

I moved a bunch of mirrors by our door and the first person who came in had to stop, check herself out and make certain that her make-up was good. That one made me laugh!

We had a woman mad at us today because "you always move everything." The item she was looking for? She saw it at Christmas. When she left, both Julia and I discussed how we didn't recall her being very nice when she was in before. This same lady was the one that came to the counter and announced, "THIS IS A GIFT." "Congratulations! I'm so glad you were able to find what you were looking for! Did you need that gift wrapped?" Hint, hint. Ask nicely. Though it is free, please don't be so demanding about gift wrap. And yes, I did a gorgeous wrap job on her item.

We had a woman pop part of her body in the door at 5:05 PM and say, "Oh good! Are you still open?"

The door has the hours. The double open gate across the drive has a huge, very visible sign that says "OPEN" and our hours.

"Absolutely! We're open for another hour."

We chuckle that people miss a big sign on a very large, bright-colored door.

Just a few things that make us tilt our heads to the side.

Smiles in my day:
- K-'s motivation to get her sentences written in the evening is being able to ride her bike for the mile and a quarter loop around the housing development around the corner.
- The pile of cake and brownies that showed up today after my boss announced that his birthday was this weekend and, "Where was my cake?" Happily, he got his cake. The one in charge of the cake dropped the ball. We all made up for it, though.
- Although displaying product that I'm not a fan of at all, the display (though not close to done) is looking good. Hopefully the customers will like it, too.
- Figuring out that if I take an Advil Cold and Sinus when I start to get head haze, what appears to be an allergy headache goes away lickety-split. I can't let it go too far, though. If I do, I lose it and the Advil Cold and Sinus doesn't relieve it and I walk around in a cloud.
- We turned K-'s Time Line project in today. It is due on Friday, but I had to drive K- to school this morning because of the PTA meeting I needed to attend. We still wrapped it in two garbage bags. It was raining and I didn't want it to be ruined!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Oh, you can't get out backwards. You've got to go forwards to go back.

From Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The road construction has gotten interesting. I've had the following:
1. The Deputy Mayor e-mailed me on Wednesday night. He said nothing other than people would get back with me that day and they didn't.
2. The police officer in charge of patrol told me to "go down and ask the construction workers the time frame." I told him no thank you.
3. The engineer called me and gave me a briefing. He told me that he went to our public schools, walked to all of them and considers walking an important thing.
4. The sergeant in charge of the school zones called me Sunday evening at 8:30 AM and again on Monday morning. His Monday morning message was that they were "going to move Jim [the crossing guard] down to - - - Road and you'll be able to cross down there." That is two blocks further than what we go, one block up, then two blocks back to get back to the road that K-'s school is on. At approximately 1/10th of a mile per block, they are ADDING 1/2 mile to the one mile walk we are already making. (Hence the Willy Wonka.)
5. The councilman called me at work. He discussed the situation with me, laughing that they think that everyone who walks would walk a 1/2 mile out of their way. I explained that this morning, we hiked in and out of the dug up roadway. Thankfully, Hubs was with me. It is about a 24" drop. I asked if they were able to give us a temporary walk. "With steel plates?" (Could you imagine walking on steel plates on an incline in the rain?) "No, just like the temporary driveways they are putting in." "Oh! I think that would be a good idea." So, he is waiting on the construction company and police department to call back.

I think I may have ruffled a few feathers.

Smiles in my day:
- Mallards have laid eggs under the bush in our back yard! We're on a postage stamp sized lot. For us, it's nature's attaboy. :)
- K- was a good sport with having to truck through the construction zone on her way to school.
- K- brought home good class papers, despite it being her first day back from break. It typically takes her a day or two to get back into the swing of things.
- Hubs did a beautiful job of mowing the lawn. He loves his new equipment.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My to do list only gets longer.

Do you have a to do list? I have a mental one. Sometimes it gets logged into the calendar in my phone. It seems that for every entry, it has a surprise twin and something sneaks around the corner and says, "SURPRISE! You have to deal with me, too."

Don't get me wrong. I'm certainly happy to have things to do. I don't sit idle very well.

I decided to go outside and water the new lily transplant splits from earlier on in the week. As I was watering, I was taking stock of everything else that has come up. (And I just remembered that I must go water where I planted snap peas.)

Folks, my beds haven't been cleared out yet. We're zone 5, so you don't put your snow shovel away until tax day. I'm really not that behind, but goodness. The periwinkle has spread nicely, though it seems as if it has take a billion years to do so. The Lily of the Valley is up and very happy. The Rose of Sharon that I lost all faith in, seemed to just sit latent for a few years and boom! There it is. I can't believe how big it is! I have pickable parsley and sage. The butterfly bushes, only by the Grace of God, made it through our major winter nastiness and have leafed out on old wood. After a particularly harsh previous winter, I cut them back to the ground last year, so perhaps it was the new growth that carried over that kept it humming along. I have an adopted Hyssop. It was a cast off from a show at work last fall. The display person asked me if I wanted it and of course I said, "Sure!" When I went to leave, I found that he had squirreled it away behind my back tire so that I would see it, but it wouldn't be damaged or lifted by anyone else.

So I have the beds to deal with, a new raised garden bed to set, my garden window needs a complete strip down and re-do, my seedlings long ago needed transplanted and there is still more!

I have paint for my kitchen. I've had it since last summer. I am going to tackle the kitchen this spring/summer. I'm going to do a poor man's re-do, but it'll work out just fine. I'm having a hard time deciding what to do with the back splash. Actually, I'm not having a hard time. I know exactly what I want to purchase. I want glass tile. I don't have to have glass tile, but I want glass tile. I haven't decided if I want to tile the full area between the counter and under the cabinet, or if I want to run a back splash type thing around the top of the entire counter top and to make bigger areas of tile behind the stove and sink. Since it comes in preset sheets, I don't think it would be terrible to install. You might ask, "How much tile have you ever installed?"

"Um, none." Isn't that what Home Depot/Lowe's Workshops are for?

I still need to make more work to submit for the staff show. The deadline is April 16. Do I have any additional work done? No.

I still have a small pile in the basement of things that need to be dispensed of.

I need to run through K-'s drawers and flip seasons and sizes.

I need to run through my drawers and flip things that aren't working anymore.

I need to paint the VBS double sided road sign.

I need to continue to attend Community Building meetings for K-'s soon-to-be-rebuilt school.

I need to contact the summer tutor that we'd like K- to see to keep her on track and advancing in reading.

We need to bite the bullet soon and order a new play set for K-. The old metal swing set is sufferin' succotash.

I need to weed the driveway.

I need to replant sections of the front yard where Brandy, Mike's dog, has peed all winter long and killed the grass. She's taken out 1/4 of the tree lawn and a 1 foot by probably 25' strip down along the side yard. Mike is so kind that we would never say anything to him. Believe me, he feels horrible every year he sees that we've had to replant.

I need to strip the curtains and blinds from the windows and clean them.

I still need woodwork in several of my rooms, but I can't deal with that one. I just have to bat my eyelashes at Hubs. Don't worry. I have very long eyelashes. He won't miss the batting.

I'm a VBS volunteer, but I tend to get a miscellaneous work load, so I don't know what I need to handle quite yet.

Don't worry. You'll never hear me say, "I'm bored."

Smiles in my weekend:
- Hubs scrubbed the living room and hall carpet. It needed it in more ways than I can tell you.
- Falling asleep sitting up and Hubs poking me to go to bed.
- Accidentally finding my great grandfather's "Certificate of Arrival" online. He was from Poland, but he came to the states from Germany. He arrived in Baltimore in 1913. It was just something fun I found. Makes me want to call Uncle Walter to find out more.
- K- trying to teach me how to count in Spanish.
- The sergeant in charge of the crossing guards, school crossings, school zone camera ticketing . . . (basically, anything school zone wise) called me Sunday evening at 8:30 PM to discuss the disruption of crossing that we're anticipating. I guess that I put a bee in the bonnet of the city, as it doesn't sound as if folks gave this disrupted school crossing the thought and consideration that it really should have had prior to closing the road. Another thing added to my to do list. I'll be working back and forth with the sergeant to make certain that the area is secure for children to cross safely.

Have a great day!

Here's the sign from last year.